13 Awful and Wonderful Products Instagram Told Me To Buy

About 8 months ago, I decided to take a break from Instagram, on a quest to find faces with wrinkles, and pores, and shadows in unflattering areas. And while I discovered little pockets of self-esteem during this break, I also discovered that I was spending less money on a monthly basis. I did a little digging, and it turns out that I spend fucking hundreds of dollars monthly on Instagram-advertised products.

I am a product marketers dream, delivering wonderful click-through rates and freely giving my email address away to paid social advertisers everywhere, and the joke of it is that I used to be a marketer who worked in paid social advertising. I should be immune to this, but I’m not.

The benefit of me spending such crass amounts of money on these products, though, is that I get to tell you honestly which products work - and which ones don’t. So let’s get into it, because some of these Instagram products are horrible and I’m excited to tear them down (and also, of course, give props to the ones I love).

1. Third Love

Third Love is the product on Instagram that boasts itself as the most comfortable bra you’ll ever try. I watched their advertisement on my feed and it honestly seemed fantastic - bras can be super uncomfortable, and now that I’m in my mid-twenties isn’t it time to throw away my old Victoria’s Secret bras and actually find a good quality one that fits me?

So I went on their website and ordered two - one t shirt bra, and one ‘comfy’ bra with less support. They came in the mail quickly, in beautiful packaging, and I put them both on only to discover that these were literally the least comfy bras I have ever worn in my life. It wasn’t that the fit was bad - the straps weren’t too tight or loose or anything like that - it was literally the bra itself.

The bottom part of the bra was heavy, and the wire pressed into my skin at a weird angle, and no amount of adjusting could fix it. I was honestly super stumped because the whole thing with these bras is that despite cost and look (which was relatively pricey and also just plain nude…nothing exciting) these were supposed to be worth it because of their comfort.

I returned them, and the process (as other reviews complained about as well) was pretty tricky. Nothing horrible, but you have to click a lot of buttons to return, then print out your own label, etc. Maybe I’m used to the millennial companies that give you a return shipping label, but either way it was a bit annoying.

Rating: 2/10

2. Function of Beauty

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If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ll probably know that I love personalty quizzes to an insane degree. I think everything in life should be personalized. I sometimes pay for subscription boxes just so I can take the personalization quiz during the sign up process.

So when I saw an Instagram ad for personalized shampoo and conditioner, I was like sign me the fuck up.

This idea is very cool - you take a quiz about your hair, and select the top 3 ‘issues’ you want to fix. For my hair, I picked dandruff (I almost always have this, I don’t get it), color treated, and dryness.

You then get to pick your customized shampoo smell (eucalyptus), color (teal) and lastly, what you want your Shampoo to be called (I called mine Shanpoo haha).

I got my bottles fairly quickly, and was excited to try them out. They looked amazing, and smelled fantastic, but sadly for me - they weren’t that great. Now I want to put in a disclaimer here and say that my hair has issues. For real. It’s curly, and thick, and when I say thick I mean thick. I need advanced level shampoo all the time.

I didn’t see it tackling any of my three “problems” that I had checked off, but I did love the smell and the look of it, so I kept using it from time to time. I would suggest this for someone who can use hotel shampoo and survive, but for sensitive heads like mine that need fancy ass shampoo to get through the day, don’t give this a shot.

Rating: 5/10

3. Le Tote, Stitch Fix, Nordstrom Trunk Club

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I actually already did a blog post on all of these companies, but since I found them through Instagram advertisements I’m including them here! You can read the post below.

Ratings:
Le Tote: 10/10
Stitch Fix: 6/10
Trunk Club: 7/10

4. Glossier

I have so much to say about Glossier. First of all, I currently work in the same building as Glossier! But I heard of them first in San Francisco, mainly because my coworkers would all bitch about how their makeup wasn’t enough.

Which is a solid point. They use models for their advertisements that already have perfect everything so the before/after shots are nearly identical. The whole point of Glossier is natural looking makeup, and when they say natural, damn they mean it. If you want to hide a pimple or have anything full coverage just don’t use Glossier.

So - here’s what I got from them and how it fared:

Milk Jelly Cleanser: 4/10

This (along with boy brow) is probably Glossier’s holy grail product and honestly I’m sounding like a big bummer on this blog post but it gets a 4 from me! It didn’t take off my mascara well, it smells like a baby’s ass, and I just find it easier to use a makeup wipe, but I’m a lazy son of a bitch, so take that as you will.

Boy Brow: 6/10

This is also a product that Glossier is known for, but it gets a 6/10 because their ‘blonde’ color (which I used) was far too dark for me, honestly it looked pure brunette.

Perfecting skin tint: 8/10

This skin tint is great - although a bit oily. If you’re going on a date during the day and you don’t want to look like you’re wearing anything in the cruelly honest light of the sun - this is what you should wear.

Moisturizer: 10/10

Great texture, I haven’t broken out once while using it (and I’ve been using it for months now) and the packaging is just super cool.

Lip Balm: 7/10

It’s great lip balm but so is vaseline and it’s a lot cheaper, you feel me?

5. Jade Rollers

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God even just typing this out I’m realizing how much of a slave to commercialism I am. I love my jade roller but I first want to say - this is a product you don’t need. A bra, shampoo, makeup, you could argue you need those in some sense, but no one needs a jade roller.

That being said, I do like my jade roller. You could look up all the benefits on it - but don’t bother, I’ll tell you what this thing really does: it makes you feel bougie as fuck. Some say that it depuffs your face, some say it improves circulation, but the truth of it is the improvements you see with a jade roller are really minimal, and it just makes you feel fly when you use it. It’s a little act of self-care, nothing wrong with that.

Rating: 8/10

6. Fabletics

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Fabletics is an athletic clothing company that I’m pretty sure was started by Kate Hudson. It’s a monthly subscription cost (you can ‘opt out’ every month - but it’s hard to remember to do so) of about $50, where once you’e subscribed, you get discounted deals on clothing. You can also purchase the clothing without the subscription (which is called VIP status), but it’s more expensive.

Also, as a big perk - when you sign up for VIP status for the first time, you get an insane deal, like an entire workout outfit for $20 or something like that.

The quality of the clothes, in my opinion, is great, and they provide a lot of options every month to choose from. The only drawback to this is that you have to remember to ‘opt out’ of your month if you don’t want to buy anything - otherwise your $50 charge keeps happening. Truth be told though, it isn’t that bad, because the $50 cost stacks up, so if you forget a couple months, you’ll then have $100 to buy clothes.

The reason I’m giving Fabletics a 8/10 though is because stopping your subscriptions is annoyingly hard. You have to get on the phone, sometimes you can’t reach a person right away, and after an agonizing phone call you can finally end your subscription - but there’s no way to do it online. Do better, Fabletics!

Rating: 8/10

7. Oil Diffuser

This product isn’t from a specific company - but like the jade roller it’s a millennial found-on-instagram product and of course I’ve bought one (or 3) before.

Oil diffusers look great, and smell great, and I do think that aromatherapy is super cool and underutilized. The thing to keep in mind here though, is that screwing the lid off, pouring in water, adding an oil…honestly it feels like a lot of work? So you’ll probably only use this when company is about to come over?

Then again, incredibly simple tasks often feel like monstrous battles so maybe it’s a personal thing?

Rating: 8/10


There we go! Do you want to know the craziest thing? There’s still so much out there I’ve bought. Birch box, Ipsy glam bag, book subscriptions services…

I also still want to buy a Casper mattress, Away suitcase, Quip toothbrush, Sill plants, Everlane clothes, and even the goddamn Care/Of vitamins which are really honestly just expensive vitamins??

But this blog post has been a good wake-up call for me that I need to chill the fuck out and maybe not spend so recklessly. Do you have any products that you’ve loved or hated from Instagram? If so - let me know! I’m always looking to try new things out (and spend more money, clearly).

Until the next one,
S