6 beauty editors share the cult products they personally can't get on board with

And the products they recommend instead

divisive beauty products
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There’s no denying that the beauty market is oversaturated with options. From newly discovered spot treatments to viral lipsticks, not a day passes when there isn’t a new launch or trending discovery that’s getting hyped online. Throw TikTok into the mix and things get even more complicated, with thousands of self-proclaimed experts sharing their two pence on why a certain beauty product is worth spending your hard-earned cash on. And when the hype is this loud, it’s easy to get swept up in it. Heck, even working as a beauty editor, I can easily get drawn into the buzz of a trending product. 

But the truth is, the noise can leave us forgetting the most important rule in beauty: what works for one doesn't always work for another. Here at Marie Claire UK, we're all about the importance of shopping for the right beauty products for you. Those with oily skin might not get on with a product aimed at dry skin, and that's okay—it doesn't make any particular product bad

With years of experience in the beauty world between us, I caught up with some of my favourite editors to pick their brains on the really good products that they can’t get on board with themselves. These much-hyped beauty products are considered cult formulations for a reason—they are genuinely great at what they do—but that doesn't mean they work for everyone. Ahead, six of the most divisive beauty products according to beauty editors, and the products that they personally get on with much better.

1. Ata-Owaji Victor, Freelance Beauty Editor and Journalist 

Divisive Beauty Products Ata-Owaji Victor

(Image credit: Ata-Owaji Victor)

“Although the Refy Lip Blushes have long been the subject of rave reviews about the brand from trusted beauty voices on and offline, I personally find the formula a tad too drying on my lips. If you also struggle with matte finishes leaving your lips dry (I know not everyone does), let me instead point you towards the brand's lip glosses. The high-shine formula comes in eight colours, and I’ve repurchased Sepia more times than I’d like to admit, which means there’s a gloss for everyone.” - Ata-Owaji Victor, Freelance Beauty Editor/Journalist 

2. Shannon Lawlor, Executive Beauty Editor

Divisive Beauty Products Shannon Lawlor

(Image credit: Shannon Lawlor)

“The hydrating SPF from Ultra Violette is clearly an exceptionally good sunscreen. Everyone raves about it, and as someone who tests products for a living I really can see why this formula is so loved by those with normal to dry skin types. However, my skin is just too oily for it. I like my SPF to be hydrating, but it has to work with my already oily skin without causing breakouts. However, while I do find their mattifying version for oily skin a little too matte for me, I absolutely adore the Ultra Violette Preen Screen spray for daytime SPF touch ups. As soon as summer hits, I wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without a bottle in my bag. I can’t imagine anyone not getting on with it, to be quite honest.” - Shannon Lawlor, Executive Beauty Editor

3. Tori Crowther, Freelance Health & Beauty Journalist

Divisive Beauty Products Tori Crowther

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

“Jones Road What The Foundation has been all over social media since it launched, and I can see why people love it so much—it leaves a really beautiful, natural-looking glow. I pick up my pot every few weeks in hopes I can master it, but I just can't. For starters, I'm dyspraxic so trying to deal with the tub just isn't for me.

“I'm a dry-skin gal, so this product should be right up my street, as that's exactly what it was made for, but it's the fact I also have rosacea that makes it not ideal—I find that it doesn't give as much coverage as I feel I need. I want to flag, though, I adore pretty much all of the other Jones Road products, and Bobbi herself is obviously a genius.

“Instead, if you also experience redness or rosacea, I tend to opt for Dr Jart's BB Cream, which gives a lovely natural-looking finish with enough coverage to conceal redness without looking greasy or overly dewy. Though, the problem with this product is the lack of shades.” - Tori Crowther, Freelance Health & Beauty Journalist

4. Humeara Mohamed, Freelance Beauty Editor 

Divisive Beauty Products Humeara Mohamed, Beauty Editor

(Image credit: Humeara Mohamed)

“Earlier on in my career, when every single launch still incited over-the-top levels of excitement (read: squealing) and my skin was young enough to take whatever I threw at it, Sunday Riley's Auto Correct Eye Contour Cream landed on my desk. The formula itself is truly impressive—it brightens and depuffs with a cocktail of antioxidants, caffeine and Brazilian ginseng root extract, which is music to my ears and dark circles alike. I have friends and colleagues who swear by this eye cream and can't live without it (Marie Claire's Executive Beauty Editor, Shannon, absolutely adores it)—heck, it's become an industry legend—but unfortunately, it's not for me. After a few applications, my delicate eye area became sensitised. This is when I realised: I have sensitive skin. 

“I haven't always had sensitive skin, but it's become peevish with age, and this cream helped me realise that. Now, I only ever treat my under-eyes to gentle formulas that are packed with the likes of ceramides, peptides and hyaluronic acid. To be honest, on the recommendation of dermatologists, I often skip eye creams altogether, instead treating my face as a whole with strengthening, hydrating and protective formulas. Nowadays, I pick up the Sunday Riley ICE Ceramide Moisturising Cream, instead.” - Humeara Mohamed, Beauty Editor 

5. Lucy Abbersteen, Freelance Beauty Editor

Divisive Beauty Products Lucy Abbersteen

(Image credit: Lucy Abersteen)

"I would never call it an overrated product (it is, clearly, great), but I've personally never got on with YSL’s Touche Éclat. I want to love it as it's such an iconic product, but it just doesn’t do a lot for me. And I know I’m in the absolute minority here as so many people, including fellow beauty editors, swear by it. The brand’s NU Bare Skin Tint, however, is divine, and does exactly what I want Touche Éclat to do. Its buildability is almost unrivalled; a little will stretch far for a sheer base, but it also layers well for decent coverage. It’s really versatile and probably one of my favourite make-up bases.” - Lucy Abbersteen, Freelance Beauty Editor

6. Mica Ricketts, Freelance Beauty Editor & Copywriter

Divisive Beauty Products Mica Ricketts

(Image credit: Mica Ricketts)

“When CeraVe finally launched in the UK back in 2018, I remember being so excited to get my hands on the Hydrating Cleanser. Everyone that worked in the beauty industry would always rave about this product—bringing multiple bottles back with them in their suitcases from trips to the US before it was available here. And it wasn’t just beauty editors, either. Almost every dermatologist and skin expert I speak to (both then and now) always recommends this product for its gentle cleansing capabilities. I get it, I do. It contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid so it feels nourishing and hydrating, and there’s no chance of destabilising your skin barrier or causing irritation with this product—meaning it's an exceptional cleanser for most.

"However, as an oily, spot-prone person, I just don’t feel like this cleanser works hard enough for me. While I have reached for it on occasions where my skin has got a bit reactive after an intensive stint of product testing, for a daily cleanser I need something a little more active. Instead, I swear by the brand’s Blemish Control Cleanser, which contains salicylic acid and niacinamide to decongest, gently exfoliate and smooth the skin.” - Mica Ricketts, Freelance Beauty Editor & Copywriter

Mica Ricketts

Mica Ricketts is a freelance beauty editor and contributor to Marie Claire. She has written for titles including Refinery29 and Who What Wear UK, and also works with beauty brands on content messaging and marketing copy. She was previously Who What Wear UK's beauty editor. As someone that has tried basically every acne product on the market, she has a particular passion for debunking skincare myths and finding products that work. Plus, with two small children at home she is all about time-saving beauty routines that boost glow and disguise dark circles.