The Worst Smelling Beauty Products Ever

I think I speak for a lot of us beauty product users when I say that a good product is the total package. It has to look nice, feel nice, and usually smell nice. But there are some products out there that…well, just plain STINK. And I’m outing them. Sooo hold your nose and keep reading for my Top 10 Worst Smelling Beauty Products

Almay Liquid Eye Makeup Remover (Oil Free) – This stuff smells like… turpentine! It’s very gentle on your eyes, which is amazing since it smells like a corrosive chemical. Weird. I ended up giving mine away because I couldn’t deal.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams – I have a love hate relationship with the scent of these. They smell like butter. I think they’re supposed to smell like frosting or something, but all I get is super sweet (and strong) butter. At first I didn’t mind, then I wanted to wretch, but luckily when you apply it the scent dissipates. There’s a Paula Deen joke in here just dying to come out. Any volunteers?

Butter London LIPPY in Snog – I love the bright pink color of this gloss. Problem? It smells very strongly of melon. I can’t do anything melon. It just makes me CRINGE and I have a difficult time wearing it because I very much dislike the scent. It’s a pity because the color is gorgeous. The Maybelline moisture extreme lipsticks were watermelon scented too. Ugh. Sick. I shudder just thinking about it.

Maybelline Colossal Mascara – Why do mascaras even have scents? You’re putting this on your EYES. Regardless, this mascara is rose scented. Very strong and very synthetic rose. Barf. Dior mascaras are also rose scented! What’s the deal with scenting MASCARA???

Revlon Colorstay Foundation – This is a much beloved product. I am not wild about it but I like it alright. But here’s the thing– it smells like tempera paint. Being a pretty heavy/thick foundation and smelling like tempera paint…well maybe the smell isn’t that far off. You can not only feel like you’re painting your face, but smell like it too! Note that the smell does dissipate. ;)

Philosophy Hope in a Jar – Sure this moisturizer has a cult following, but it smells like a combination of mildew and wet dog. And the smell lingers. Ewwww. Many people also don’t care for Purity Made Simple’s scent, but I don’t mind it. It’s kind of herbal and weird, but it grew on me. Hope in a Jar is definitely one to avoid though. I’ve been told the SPF version smells a lot better – can anyone confirm?

NYX Round Lipsticks – I love these. Really. I do. But they smell like band-aids. No really! They have that weird sort of plastic-like scent that always reminds me of getting a boo-boo. It won’t stop me from using them, but the smell is just odd.

Neutrogena T-Gel Shampoo – It’s almost not fair to put this here, as it’s a medicinal type product. T-gel is for getting rid of dandruff. It smells like flea dip. Not cute. However, there are loads of good smelling dandruff shampoos out there (Garnier & Biolage holla!) that I had to call out T-gel for smelling pretty darn rank.

Guerlain Meteorites – Now I know someone is going to be PISSED I said this, but I don’t like the smell. At first sniff it’s OK, but it’s quite strong and after not very long it gives me a headache. It’s a very floral, perfumey scent. Bleh.

Almost every hair spray – No joke. For YEARS I never used hair spray because it’s like no one can make a good smelling hair spray to save their lives. I’ve found a couple that aren’t too bad in the scent department – Sebastian spray is not too stinky at all. Bumble & Bumble Does It All hair spray actually sort of smells like Stila Jade Blossom perfume – love love love. However most hair sprays stink to high heaven. The scent of aquanet makes me want to vom.

I’m sure there are tons of stinky products out there, but those are MY top picks for ickiest smelling beauty. What are yours?


  1. D G says

    Milani Color perfect lipsticks are wretched, too, in my opinion–like a gallery of artificial florals.  

  2. Maybelline Lash Stiletto.  Probably for the same reason as the other mascara i the list.  Smelled like old dead flowers

  3. Dolce says

    T-Gel is actually for psoriasis, and at one point, could only be found behind the phamacist counter.  It has some kind of tar in it.  Believe me, if you don’t have to use it, then don’t.  However, for thos people suffering from psoriasis and excema, T-Gel is pretty much a necessity.  It actually used to smell stronger.

  4. Budnick says

    I have started using Amber Romance hairspray from Victoria’s Secret and it is unbelievable. EVERYWHERE I go, gas station, food store, bank, train, church, whatever, some guy or guys come up to me and tell me I smell good. Now, I’m not wearing any perfume or lotion, just the hairspray. Plus, women tell me, too! I can’t even smell it when I’m wearing it, but it’s like a magnet!

    In terms of bad smelling products, don’t use anything Aveda! My husband won’t even get near me when I use any of those products (unfortunately, my hairdresser works in an Aveda salon…). Also, I bought the beauty products that Cindy Crawford sells for face and I just couldn’t use them because I hated the smell so much.

  5. cassandre says

    You should try Tigis catwalk line called sessions. All the hairsprays smell good.

  6. Lipglossandalatte says

    I totally agree with you about Dior mascara having a nasty smell. I also wasn’t keen on meteorites when I first got them (I thought it was so bad I nearly returned them), but they have since grown on me. Elnett hairspray also stands out in my mind as a particularly terrible smelling hairpray.

  7. Haha, “smells like a combination of mildew and wet dog”. I will have to get Philosophy Hope in a Jar and find out how does the combination of mildew and wet dog smells like :)

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