Gels/Soaps -Philosophy - Amazing Grace Hand Wash (gel)
bren81 4/19/2011 1:15:00 AM
i bought the set of the hand wash and hand soap for about $50 canadian including taxes at sephora. i like this set because i can put one in my bathroom and one in the kitchen without taking much space (comes in a little metal caddy) and the matching fragrance of soap and hand lotion helps it last longer. Plus it looks really cute!! I personally love the scent so it was worth spending the money but if you don't like strong scents, stay away. It last quite a while (avg half hour or so?)
Lotions/ Creams -Aveeno - Daily Moisturizing Lotion
bren81 12/5/2010 9:33:00 PM
I keep a small tube of this lotion by my office desk at all times (70ml size). My hands get really dry from frequent washing and this prevents my hands from chapping. On my skin it absorbs well and doesn't leave my hands greasy. It doesn't have any bad smell. In fact, I believe this product is fragrance free. And that's partly why I use this instead of my beloved l'occitane at work because some of my co-workers are very sensitive to fragrance. I can get this lotion pretty much anywhere and it is often on sale, so I think it's priced reasonably although there are many cheaper alternatives (whether they all perform as well as this, that I can't attest to). IMO this is a very affordable, good quality hand lotion. However, it is a bit too rich to be used on my face (I have oily skin) and not moisturizing enough on my body (I prefer body oil).
Foundations -Etude - BB Bright Cream Multi-perfect SPF 30
bren81 11/28/2010 12:09:00 AM
I had never heard of BB cream when it became a big hit in Korea as I live in NA but my friend gave this to me as a gift about a year ago. Ever since that, this has completely replaced my Cle de Peau foundation. At first, I didn't know how to apply this because on the back of the case, it claims to provide skin whitening, anti-wrinkle, and sunscreen effects. So is this a face cream?? WTH is this? so I thought... I am not sure if it actually does any of the above but it sure is a pretty good foundation providing full coverage, natural finish and long time wear. If you apply this with your fingers or a brush, it may leave streaks and you probably won't get a nice, even coverage. Try wetting a sponge (that's right... the dreaded make up sponge) with a mist (I use Mac Fix+) and apply the BB cream with it. It will melt into your skin and look much more natural that way. I tried to wear a primer but really there is no need. You can top it up with loose powder or go without if you want a more glowy finish. The shade I am using is #1 "firming glossy skin" I think there are only two color choices available which is a downside. I have pretty fair skin and this blends in naturally. Girls with darker tones or very pale skin may have a hard time blending this in though... It doesn't have any bad odour (no scent actually) and does not discolour over wear. I like that because some foundations turn ashy or orange by afternoon. I have very oily skin with old acne scars. A lot of foundations disappear on my skin after 3-4 hour wear. The only foundations that did not do that on me are this and the creme foundation from Cle de Peau. Considering this BB creams costs about 10% of CdP, I am going to continue repurchasing this BB cream until Etude decides to pull it off the market.
This nail polish is part of MAC's Pre-a-Papier collection. Originally I was only going to stock up on Studded polish which is also a limitied edition color. But when I saw this, I couldn't resist! The color payoff is very good. You could wear just one coat but I prefer two coats for even and denser coverage. It applies very very easily. Unlike the crappy Chanel polish brush, MAC nail polish brush gives even distribution of product and smooth application. The color is more coppery rather than gold. IMO it feels like MAC turned a gold pigment into a nail polish! I've only worn it for a day so I can't really attest to longevity of the polish. I will update after a few days on that. It is definitely pricier than a drugstore polish but cheaper than a department store brands. I don't think I will stock up on this in particular color but it is a fun color for special occasion. I wish MAC would do this formula with cherry red color. That would be a dream!!!
Lip Treatments -Christian Dior - Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm
bren81 4/28/2010 11:45:00 PM
i'm on my second tube of this and so far i'm quite happy with it. it gives pretty pink tint to my lips, wears comfortably and moisturize a little bit. love the packaging too! but i do with it was less pricy :(
Love! It was a house warming gift and my God I love it! I put it in my closet in between uses and it fills the whole closet with it lovely nectarine fragrance. Because I loved it so much I even bought the perfume (my clothes already smells like it from the candle so why not!). It lasts and lasts too. I've had it for about 4 months now and I lit it practically everyday for a minimum of 30 minutes and it's still pretty full! It is bit too pricy to buy it myself but would make a perfect gift
Masks -Clinique - Deep Cleansing Emergency Mask [DISCONTINUED]
bren81 4/18/2010 4:52:00 PM
My friend who has very oily skin and prone to acne recommended this mask to me. I also have oily skin that is prone to acne but it is also quite sensitive. Aging also brought me slow recovery T-T (any little cuts/wounds leave a scar behind now...) and dry, flaky spots on my face.... I haven't had very much luck with Clinique skin care products so I was a bit hesitant but my friend swore by it so I gave this a try. Well, if I leave this on my face, I can immediately feel the tingling, pulling, and minty/alcohol coolness on my face. The first time I put this on my face, I washed it off after just 2 minutes, worried that it would give me a bad reaction (of course, I tested it on my arm before putting it on my face and it didn't cause irritation. but you never know with my face. it's got a mind of its own). I didn't notice any difference. So the next time, I just put it on as a spot treatment where a painful cystic acne was just forming on my chin. I put on just on the spot at night and left it on for about 10 minutes. It actually calmed it down! After 2 more application, it was gone! So that's how I use this now. To put it all over my face, I am still on the fence about that but as a spot treatment it works well!
I used to use this when it first came out. I think this was probably the first mascara primer that came out in the market. As a mascara junkie, I just had to try it out. Well, I didn't have anything else to compare it to, except the case of applying mascara without a primer. It does add length and volume compared to wearing mascara alone. However, I wasn't impressed how this base turned my black mascara grey. So once I discovered etude mascara fixer, I never went back to this product. Fast forward to early April, 2010, I received a 15% coupon for being VIB at Sephora and wanted to try Shiseido's mascara primer (I tried this as well years ago and thought it was just okay. But after reading raving reviews at MUA, I wanted to give it another try). Shiseido primer is also quite pricy but with 15% coupon, I thought why not. Well, it was out of stock... So the SA gave me a sample of Lancome's Cils Booster as an alternative. I think she did the right thing because I really like it! I tried it with all my mascaras that I'm rotating with (I have about 5 tubes open at all times...) and surprisingly it really works well with Loreal's Voluminous mascara. Voluminous was a bit of a let down for me because it is so wet and clumps easy. But this cils booster totally saved that mascara. It adds good length and volume and separates my lashes. Curl-holding wise, it is not as good as my etude (that's why I don't think I will re-purchase this...) and it flakes less! And most importantly, it doesn't turn gray!!!! Etude mascara fixer is still my No1 but I can't get them in Canada. So in a pinch, now I know where to go for an alternative.
Lip Treatments -Clinique - Repairwear Intensive Lip Treatment
bren81 4/1/2010 12:43:00 AM
Wow! I'm so glad I did my research here on makeup alley because i would have never picked up this product without the recommendations i read here! when i started working at a new office with the air conditioning right above my head and the sun directly on my face practically all day, my lips started to chap really really bad. it chapped so bad that everytime i laugh or sneeze, they would start bleeding!!! T-T i tried putting on my kiehl's lip balm, amore pacific lip balm, chapstick, vaseline, honey, you name it and nothing worked! dry, flaky skin outlined my lips and it was so painful and gross. i wanted to go back to my trusted cle de peau but i'm on a really tight budget now so i was desperately looking for a cheaper alternative. i decided to give this a shot. it was still quite expensive at about $33 canadian at my local shopper's drug mart (i wish the bay's clinique promotion started just a week earlier, urgh!) but i bit the bullet. even the store clerk raved about it at the cashier. i put it on generously all over my lips that night and woke up in the morning and found my lips flaking!!! i was so upset! but when i gently scrubbed off the flaky skin, underneath all that mess was my old soft and smooth lips!!!!!! it healed all that chapping over just one night. i couldn't believe it!!! now i'm recommending this to everyone with chapped lips. the product itself is encased in a lipstick-like tube. packaging is so so and the stick goes really fast. i'm already down 20% of the whole thing in just 3 days :( but i don't think i need to apply anymore because my lips are all moisturized and healed. i am going to keep one at the office and maybe get another one for my night stand though. i don't want to be without it when that dreaded dryness comes back (especially with the summer coming soon, it is going to get worse with all that artificial forced air ventilation on my head and the sun!)
I first tried this mascara when I lived in Japan. It was really popular for a short period of time so I gave into the hype and bought it. I wasn't too impressed with it though. It lengthens, yes but that was about it. The lengthening effect wasn't very natural looking either. Oh and it didn't smudge very much which was a plus especially in a hot, ultra-humid japanese summer month. My friend found this at a sephora store a few years after that and bought one for me. I tried it and the results were the same. Nothing special, just over priced than before. However, this company makes a smaller version of the same mascara (tiny bristle and I think they named it sniper or something. I am not sure if you can get it in North America). The smaller version is perfect for lower lashes if you do apply mascara on the bottom too. It doesn't smudge or flake
Mascara -Maybelline - Full 'n' Soft waterproof mascara (vitamin E)
bren81 12/11/2009 7:41:00 PM
Wow! I wish I knew about this like 10 years ago. If I can only take one thing of makeup with me, it would be mascara for me. I've tried all kinds of mascaras mostly from department store brands and only fairly recently I started to experimenting with drugstore brands. This one, by far, outperformed its drugstore peers and some of the department store brand mascaras. Its bristles give just enough volume and lengths. It does not clump (it's amazing how clean and natural the final results look. It looks as if I natually have full long curling lashes) or smudge. It doesn't kill the curls that I carefully applied (I use curler from Shiseido and I highly highly recommend that too). It does not have a bad smell. It has a bit of shine to it so it looks natural rather than dry and stiff like my Lancome mascara, but not too runny like Clinique. It stays put where I apply all day long instead of running down my face and upper eye lids. And I can apply multiple coats without it ever clumping up together like spider legs. It just adds length and volume naturally. And it's cheap!!!! Shoppers Drug Mart (it's the Canadian Walgreens) has sales often enough that I can get this fairly cheap. I am in love with this mascara and I will continue to buy it unless I can find another mascara that can give me better results at the same price or lower. Go try this one out if you like natual-looking length and volume (not for you if you want dramatic eyes for going out at night).
Moisturizers -Shiseido - Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizer
bren81 10/8/2009 2:40:00 AM
I got a sample of this when Sears was having GWP a few weeks ago. I generally don't use skin care products from Shiseido but my grandma uses Shiseido lotion so I bought that for her and kept the gift :P Anyhow, the gift set included The Skincare cleanser, toner and night treatment, which were all just okay, and then a sample of this moisturizer which I like very much, and a lipstick which I also like very much (perfect rouge. I don't wear lipstick a lot but that lipstick is very smooth and does not dry my lips nor accentuate lines on my lips). I normally have oily skin all day long except right after I wash my face so at first I was a bit hesitant to use this. It looks like a very rich cream in a pot (hate the container but I guess you can't do much with this texture. It's like a combination of gel and cream). But it absorbs into my skin really well without any oily residues. Does not make my skin any oilier throughout the day but provides ample moisture. My skin looks more nourished and the foundation goes a lot smoother. So far I have not had any negative skin reactions such as breakouts which I am prone to. I don't know if it helps even tone my skin or "whitens" my skin. I have not noticed any improvements on that side. However, the little dry patches that started to form right when I hit 25 now seems to be gone, so hurray on that one. I think the product does deliver (at least on the surface) what the name promises. It does revitalize my skin by making it look more nourished and plump. I will buy the full size product once I'm through with my Amore Pacific and CdP bottles.
i originally bought this for covering my under-eye dark circles, but now i use it to cover other discoloration on my face (around my nose, blemishes, sunspots, etc). It feels so light and smooth but has excellent coverage and staying power. It covers the depressing dark circles under my eyes like a dream and does not accentuates the fine lines (some of other thicker type concealers gets into the creases and looks cakey, but this doesn't do that). I use the shade #20 and I think this was the second lightest (the SA showed me 3 shades but I don't know if that's all the color they have. if so, I don't think that's wide enough). It matches my fair, cool tone skin quite well and blends naturally. I really don't have anything bad to say about this product and will repurchase.
Skincare - Face -Amore Pacific - Skin Energy - Hydrating Treatment Spray
bren81 9/5/2009 7:38:00 PM
I bought the regular size bottle after using up a travel size sample. This is a nice facial mist: moisturizing, calming, cooling, etc. But why I like this over other mist is the fine spray that the bottle delivers. It's a lot finer and even mist compared to MAC, Clinique or Vichy facial mist (I'm not even going to bother with Evian. urgh enough said already). So I can carry it in my purse and spray on my face during the day without worrying about my make up melting away. It absorbs very quickly and has a refreshing smell. The only reason why I wouldn't repurchase is because of the hefty price tag. I'll search for other more cheaper products that can replace this. If my search fails, I'll have to come back to this though....
way back when i thought lancome made the best mascara in the world, i used to use this religiously. well not anymore. i'm still searching but during my years of search, i've stumbled across better mascaras half the price of this. it's not a bad mascara. it lengthens well. and... i think that's about it. i don't know what it is about lancome mascaras but they all feel so dry and stiff. and they flake! it does add some volume but i still have to wipe out the access before i apply it in order to avoid big lumps on lashes (which will weigh down my lashes and kill all the curls that i've put in there). i don't know why i should do this extra step for a mascara that's this expensive. i understand doing this for say, great lash mascara because it's cheap and i don't expect too much. and it takes a bit to dry (if you blink, you might have to re-do the eye make up T-T). overall, this is below average performance mascara with a high price tag. will not repurchase