After trying and hating many liquid foundations, I had just about given up until I read the rave reviews for Laura Mercier. I went to Nordstrom and the SA applied both the moisturizing and the oil-free to different sides of my face. (My skin is normal but acts weird sometimes, so it was just a test to see which formulation I liked better.) At the end of the night, the oil-free was really drying so I swapped for the moisturizing in the correct shade - Warm Ivory. I could not be happier with this product! It goes on smoothly on top my DDF moisturizer, blends like a dream, looks really natural and doesn't emphasize anything it shouldn't, like flakes or lines. I dust some MAC Blot over the top and I am good to go. My skin looks awesome with this foundation, and I am actually looking forward to spending $40 for my new HG! I also love the packaging - finally, a pump bottle! One little pump is perfect for me, so this will hopefully last a long time. Also, an added bonus: NO BREAKOUTS...so far -- will update in a month! UPDATE: Okay, it hasn't been a month yet...but this foundation seems very dry for my skin! I apply it over moisturizer in the morning, and by noon, my face still feels tight. :-( I'm going to switch back to my Prescriptives Virtual Skin and see what happens. Hmmmmmm.....
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Extra Strength Blemish Fighting Solution
Chickey 10/14/2005 1:54:00 AM
I received this in a swap after reading Paula's website and her thoughts about blemishes. However, this was before I came to the realization that my acne is 100% hormonal, and that I don't need a daily blemish treatment. Also, BP is very drying for my skin, and since this solution is 10%, it's pretty strong. I didn't like this much, but I appreciate its properties, and it didn't do anything harmful to my skin, so I'm giving it 3 lippies. Perhaps for someone else, but not me. For spot-treating my TOM pimples, DDF 5% BP w/tea tree and the sulfur mask are much more effective for me.
Cleansers -Philosophy - Purity Made Simple (Real Purity Cleanser)
Chickey 10/14/2005 12:18:00 AM
So far, so good with this cleanser! I had been using Clean & Clear's acne cream cleanser (with 10% BP!), but since my acne is hormonal, it wasn't really doing much to control it. (I have better luck spot-treating with DDF gel and mask, but that's another review!) So, I switched to Philosophy, thanks in part to rave reviews here on MUA. I'd tried it before and it didn't agree with my skin, but my skin has changed, so I'm giving it another go. I usually like foaming or creamy cleansers, and this is sort of in between, but it's very nice. It really does clean off all my makeup very nicely without harsh detergents, and my skin feels really soft afterwards. Yes, it feels slightly tight, but I like a squeaky-clean feeling. I also really adore the smell, it's like a woodsy-lemon scent, which I find very refreshing. I bought the smaller bottle from Sephora and intend to finish this, and if all goes well, call me converted!
I just tried this out (about ten minutes ago) -- purchased it on a whim from Sephora. I got the Red color, and although it's beautiful in the tube (deep berry), it's pretty sheer on. And holy crap, can we talk about the taste and the smell?!?!? I'm telling you - motor oil! Someone before me said that was the lanolin, I guess its smell is pretty unpleasant. The taste is equally bad. Very, very gross. Even if the taste was fine, the smell wafted up to my nose and I had to wipe the gloss off. Not ten minutes into my tryout of this lip balm, I'm already filling out the return form. Ick city! $10 at Sephora.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Active Breathable Sunblock SPF 30
Chickey 10/12/2005 12:06:00 AM
I really love this sunscreen! I was on a day trip with friends and they were slathering this on their faces and necks (we were at a rollercoaster park), so I helped myself. I was shocked, because it wasn't like any sunscreen I'd ever put on. Non greasy! Absorbed! Didn't leave a white cast on me! Didn't stink like sunscreen! I even put it on my face and I didn't get one pimple from it. I have gone through 2 tubes of this, and I will keep buying it -- it's about $8 at a drugstore, which I think is cheap for Neutrogena. P.S. It really does smell good - my mom commented that it smelled like Chanel No. 5! :-) I am LLL, normal skin -- if I don't wear sunscreen, I burn and then tan. Sunscreen tans me nicely.
Gels/Soaps -Bath and Body Works - Antibacterial Hand Soap
Chickey 10/10/2005 1:44:00 AM
I love these soaps, and have been using them for about 2 years. My favorite scents are Country Apple and Mango Mandarin, but I also like the White Tea & Ginger and the Sweet Pea. (Not a fan of the Coconut Lime Verbena!) I love the scrubbing beads, and these foam up just enough for me, I can't stand the instant foaming soaps. I've also tried the moisturizing antibacterial soaps, and those make my hands feel slightly greasy. I love these soaps, and I always try to keep a good supply on hand. I'm sooooo looking forward to the B&BW online store, it's coming in two days - awesome! Love these soaps.
Lipstick -Clinique - Moisture Sheer Lipstick - TENDER MAUVE
Chickey 10/6/2005 2:41:00 AM
I got this after becoming disillusioned with my Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (see my review). I like the concept of a pigmented lip color that's also moisturizing, and Clinique has very nice colors. I like this product for the most part, but I'm apathetic about purchasing again, and here's why: there are SOOOOO many different lip products on the market, and I'm so hesitant to rebuy something if I think that there is a better product somewhere! (Silly, maybe!) Anyway, back to this product - I like it. I wear it sometimes when I go out and it wears well, comes off on my drink glass (but seriously, what lipstick doesn't?), and doesn't have a taste that entices me to lick my lips (unlike with a lip gloss). I've been alternating lately with a couple different lip products, including Bloom Lip Tint and MAC Lipglass, and I have no definitive decision. Color me gray.
I'd used this before, but tossed it because the SA picked a very wrong color for me (Porcelain, the lightest -- I'm light, but not fair). However, I wanted to try it again, so the SA matched me to Beige Beauty, which is a pretty good match, especially in the summer. Anyways, I really like this powder. It smoothes on over my moisturizer and concealer, doesn't cake or emphasize dry spots, and covers up my redness pretty well. I like the rubber sponge that it comes with, although I should probably wash it soon - hehe. I like this, but I won't use it for winter, because it's strictly my summer look -- I have normal skin that gets oilier in summer and drier in winter, so this is a must-have in the summer. Thumbs-up!
Treatments -DDF - Benzoyl Peroxide Gel 5% with Tea Tree Oil
Chickey 9/13/2005 1:48:00 PM
This product has become my HG of treatments! I bought it after giving up on both Persagel and Neutrogena's On-the-Spot treatment, and I'm so glad I plunked down for it. I have stubborn whiteheads on my chin and I get bad PMS acne, so I needed this -- I love that it's a gel, and that it's not 10% BP (which is much too drying for my skin), and that it contains tea tree. I dab this on pimples and whiteheads at night, and in the morning, they are not completely gone, but definitely reduced. This gel, combined with DDF Sulfur Therapeutic Mask and the oil-free moisturizing dew, have become my skincare staples. I hope this product never gets discontinued. For reference, I have normal skin that is drier in winter...and I only use this every other evening because it can be drying if you use too much!
Like all BeneFit products, I am seduced by their cutesy-ness (packaging, slogans, names). But I am usually disappointed, and this was no exception: this concealer is awful. It caked on me, didn't last, and dried up terribly in the pot. I tried wetting my brush and then using it, but it just gunked up the brush! It didn't blend at all on my face and I was disappointed. The color match was okay -- they only have 3 so it was either too light, too dark, or maybe somewhere in between. Ugh. Thumbs-down from me, I ended up throwing the whole thing away, which was unfortunate because it's really expensive!
I know this gets rave reviews here, but I couldn't stand it. I applied it after moisturizing, and it didn't blend AT ALL. It caked on my skin and broke me out. Ick-ola! I tried both the tube/wand packaging and the squeeze-tube and they were awful. The only upside is that this product is very cheap so I didn't feel bad when I threw it away. Thumbs-down from me.
I am searching for a good concealer to cover up my undereye circles and blemishes...and this is definitely not it. It was really greasy, too yellow, and it caked badly. It's also really expensive, and the packaging is crap -- a twist off pot, like for an eyeshadow or gel eyeliner! Bad.
Masks -DDF - Sulfur Therapeutic Mask [DISCONTINUED]
Chickey 9/10/2005 4:07:00 AM
I bought this at Sephora while purchasing other DDF products, and after reading the glowing reviews here. I had been using Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask, but it wasn't drying out my zits as well as I liked. I applied the DDF mask one evening after cleansing, and left it on about 15 minutes until it dried. I gently rinsed it off, and my skin felt amazingly soft. My pimples felt smaller to the touch, and I was pleased with the result. I haven't tried it as a spot treatment overnight yet, but when I have monster zits, sometimes I dab the mask on them and let it dry about 20 minutes to completely suck out the nastiness, which helps to make the zit go down a little. Some reviewers have complained about the smell -- I normally despise the smell of sulfur, but I can only detect a hint of sulfur smell in this mask. It smells more like tea tree, which I very much enjoy the smell of. This mask is pricey, but I think it's worth it. My skin loves it. It comes in a jar, which isn't very sanitary, but oh well. Tube packaging would probably reduce the amount of product you get. A definite repurchase for me -- if I ever finish the jar! (You get a lot.)
I bought this at Sephora while I was purchasing other DDF products, and I should have read the reviews here first! My skin is pretty normal, and although the label of this cleanser said it was for normal skins, I think it's more suited to oily skins. I use a BP-based cream cleanser at night to remove makeup, so I need just a splash of cleanser to prep for moisturizer and makeup in the morning, and unfortunately, this cleanser really dried my skin out. I also use DDF 5% BP gel with tea tree oil as an acne spot treatment at night, and this cleanser really irritated those patches of skin -- BP is drying, so this cleanser didn't help. I won't buy it again. I also was reading recently that even if you don't have sensitive skin, it is wise to purchase products geared toward sensitive skins -- they are formulated to be the most gentle. I think this is good advice and will follow it more often!
Moisturizers -DDF - Ultra Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew
Chickey 9/10/2005 4:00:00 AM
I bought this moisturizer after deciding that my skin needed just a hint of moisture -- it's pretty normal for the most part but sometimes my BP acne products dry it out. So I splurged on this after reading the reviews here. I like it very much so far -- super-light, absorbs quickly, and doesn't break me out. I hope that it continues to work for me over the winter (although I live in a humid area so I don't anticipate any extra dryness)! I like the pump with lid packaging, and although it's pricey, this moisturizer is worth it. I really like it and will purchase again when mine runs out....which probably won't be soon because I only use 1 pump in the morning. UPDATE: Total HG moisturizer. This stuff is awesome for my skin, and for the price it's totally worth it.