The worst $30 I’ve ever spent? | MAC Spiked eyebrow pencil

The product in question.

My holy grail eyebrow product as a broke, on/off college student has to be the Maybelline Brow Drama brow gel (MBD) in dark brown. Of course I tweak it a bit by cutting off that useless ball at the tip of the wand, but other than that it is, what I consider, a perfect brow product.

But this isn’t about MBD. This is about when I ran out of it mid eurotrip about a month ago.

I just had to be a cocky mofo while I was packing. I was so sure I’d have enough product to last me three weeks, and even if I didn’t, I’d definitely find it easily in Europe. I mean European women wear make up right? And there are black women who actively work and carry out their lives there right?

Hahahahahahaha haha ha ha.

So halfway through the trip I ran out. Wait, I’m being generous here. Maybe about eight-way into the trip I ran out. But I still held hope that I could scrap every last bit of product out of that tube. And I knew, I just knew I would be able to buy a replacement. So when my travel buddies and I landed in Rome, I took the opportunity to start my search for a drug store.

Tip #1: Europe doesn’t really have “drug stores”. They have pharmacies, usually the size of a corner store, with enough makeup to fill a stand (as see to the left), which usually only has one brand of makeup here in Canada.

I went into maybe seven of these pharmacies and nothing. I started asking the employees if they knew where I could find Maybelline products. “Maay-baale?” they mumbled back, with a shrug, feigning ignorance though I just heard them speak perfect English.

But I digress; this is not a story about language boundaries. Back at the hostel I felt defeated, but I kept googleing. I couldn’t give up! Finally I found a store called COIN that said they sold Maybelline products! And there was one about ten minutes from my hostel! Success! …. FAIL!

Tip #2: Websites lie. If you can, always call before leaving to confirm any information you see.

They didn’t have Maybelline. But they did have a lot of other makeup brands, so I scoured through them searching for any eyebrow products available. None of them were the right shade. Any dark colour swatched ashy so I knew I’d look like a damn fool if I paid money for them. Eventually my searching led me to a MAC counter, and I knew I couldn’t be let down there! And I wasn’t! For I found the perfect shade of eyebrow pencil (Spiked). Paid my €20 (which works out to about $30CAD at the time of this post) and trekked back to my hostel, joyful that my eyebrows wouldn’t have to suffer for the next 2ish weeks.

Again, haha haha Hahaha.

I don’t know if products are made differently for different countries or something, but it was the worst product I have ever bought! I would only twist the product up a bit and when I started applying it to my eyebrows (with a liiiiiiight touch mind you because I like my brows to look as natural as possible) it broke. I tried warming it up by slipping it in my bra before using it, thinking that maybe the cold air made it a bit brittle. Nope! I tried not twisting it up as much, but that led to product not being applied at all because it was too low. I had to twist it up so much, so often that the product was literally finished at the end of my trip a about a week and a half later.

Why the hell should I, or ANYONE spend that kind of money for a week and a half worth of product? From what’s supposed to be a reputable brand? Definitely not a case of “you get what you pay for” at all.

Moral of the story? Never be a cocky mofo when it comes to packing what you consider your essentials. And remember, more money doesn’t necessarily mean a better product.

Until next time, enjoy your Halloween & be safe!
x Marie