This stuff works! I've only been using it for several weeks, but my stubborn hyperpigmentation/sunspots that even laser treatments didn't do away with are slowly but surely fading. I pump some gel onto the back of my hand, dip a q-tip in it, then apply it to my spots. I do notice those areas start peeling mildly, and become more sensitive to exfoliation, but the results I've seen so far are worth it. I apply it over my serum, about 5-6 nights a week, and try to wear sunscreen every day. I'm hoping my spots will continue to get lighter and lighter, and ultimately disappear. Fingers crossed! :)
This stuff works, slowly but surely. I've applied it to my brows and lashes for the past month or so, few times a week, and I notice a difference. I'm trying to thicken my brows, and correct the uneven, sparse areas. Some areas have new growth (albeit fine and light), and others are still empty, but I'm not giving up hope. For my lashes, I don't notice any new growth or thickness/lusciousness, but they're definitely longer (both top and bottom). I can't wear castor oil on my lashes when I go to sleep b/c it irritates my eyes causing puffiness in the morning. However, when I'm home and have nowhere to go, I dip a q-tip in the oil, and generously spread it on my brows and lashes. Will definitely keep using!
(The following review is based on the free birthday gift I got from Sephora) For my upper lashes, this mascara is a definite no; however, for my bottom lashes, it's amazing! For my uppers, I use Jordana Volumizing mascara, and it's jet black, volumizes, lengthens, defines, is super cheap, and just fabulous! When I tried They're Real on my uppers, even though it separated and defined the lashes, it didn't volumize or amplify at all.. they just looked too "natural". Now even though it was free, I didn't want to throw it out, so I thought why not try it on my lower lashes? I normally don't wear mascara on my lowers, but this has changed that. It separates, defines, and slightly accentuates my lower lashes, giving me that wide-eyed, dolly look. Plus, it stays put and doesn't smudge (though I haven't tested it out in a pool, rain, etc.). I'll keep using this for my lowers until it runs out. Then, I may go out and try Clinique Bottom Lashes.
I don't wear hairspray often (maybe 2-3 times a year when I curl my hair), but when I do, I'd use Tigi Masterpiece hairspray. However, because the pineapple scent is so strong (though I do love it ;P), I find that it competes with my perfume. So I was looking for a non-sticky-but-still-holds-a-curl nonscented hairspray. Prior to the unscented version coming out, I bought the regular scented Elnett and literally almost threw up; the scent was sooo outdated, potent, and just horrid. The unscented version, however, just smells like a "normal" hairspray to me (with a bit more alcohol). It's not a super-strong hold, so even though I sprayed and sprayed my curls, they loosened up in a matter of hours. But what I loved was how non-sticky, soft, non-crunchy, and touchable my hair was. If you want a non-extra-strong-hold spray, that comes out in a fine mist, is unscented, and lends itself to touchable hair, then give the Elnett unscented a try.
I bought BE303 (Ingenue) and here's what I love: - MLBB color (pink base with a tinge of brownish color) - soooo moisturizing!! (I have overly sensitive lips, so the majority of lipsticks, lipglosses, and even lip balms are drying and cause major flaking/peeling) - sleek, slim tube - seems to make my lips look fuller (but could be the shimmer creating an optical illusion) Here's what I dislike: - too shimmery/shiny (if I overapply, can look frosty) - doesn't last very long (1 hour without eating/drinking) - pricey ($25) and I think I'll go through it pretty quickly I rarely wear lipstick, but having this makes me wear it more often. I would definitely purchase again!
Misc Beauty Tools -Revlon - Precision Lash Adhesive
curlycuesue 1/6/2013 10:42:00 PM
PROS: - latex-free (I don't have a latex allergy but I like knowing it's not in there :P) - cheaper than DUO - thin brush lets me apply thin, barely-there strip of glue - not as visible on lashline as DUO glue - lashes stay on all day without lifting or irritating my eyes - when I remove lashes, it doesn't take eyeliner with it leaving a makeup-free strip of visible skin along my lashline (if that makes sense) CONS: - difficult to remove adhesive residue from lash band (b/c brush applies such a thin layer to begin with, unlike DUO's thicker strip which lets me peel off residue more easily) Generally speaking, I like Revlon's adhesive better than DUO's, and will be purchasing again.
I'm sooooo bummed this eye cream didn't work out for me! :( I read such stellar reviews online that I had really high (perhaps too high) expectations for this stuff. It's very moisturizing & creamy, almost to the point of being greasy. Initially, I used the lily-pad shaped applicator to apply, but no matter how gently I used it, my eyelids and undereyes hurt, and became red and irritated. However, when applying the cream w/ my ring finger, the only thing I noticed was how emollient and creamy the product is. The cream contains such spectacular, all-star ingredients (peptides, Vitamin E, aloe vera, antioxidants, no parabens/artificial dyes/fragrances), but unfortunately it didn't help with my puffiness or undereye circles. Also, as much as I love that it doesn't come in a jar, the cylindrical tube is just too bulky and cumbersome (it could've come in a much smaller squeeze tube). I seriously sooo wanted this to be my holy grail eye cream, but it just didn't work for me. :(
I love this stuff! It contains everything I want in a serum (hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, niacinamide). It's packaged in a pump, which is fantastic; however, it seems too bulky for the amount it contains. The texture is very creamy, and I can actually see the "streaking" on my face when applied (if that makes sense), but once I rub it in, it disappears, and my skin feels incredibly soft. My skintone looks even, and my pores seem to diminish in size. It hasn't caused breakouts, but unfortunately it hasn't prevented them either. I haven't noticed lightening of freckles or sunspots, but Ive only been using it for about a month. This serum moisturizes my skin enough, but also seems to lessen mid-day shine (esp on my nose). I would purchase this again.
Toners -Michael Todd True Organics - Blue Green Algae Toner
curlycuesue 1/6/2013 9:03:00 PM
I still suffer from occasional breakouts, and YT gurus and other online reviewers raved about how this cleared up their skin, so I wanted to give this a try. What I love about MTTO products is they're organic and contain no parabens, artificial colors/fragrances, etc. Blue green algae and tea tree oil are supposed to be antibacterial, and the hyaluronic acid is supposed to be moisturizing. While I still breakout occasionally (blackheads and whiteheads), I like this toner. It smells very herbally and "natural," and feels quite refreshing (but doesn't contain alcohol). This toner isn't holy grail status, but I think it's a nice addition to my regimen.
Toners -Michael Todd True Organics - Cranberry Antiox Toner
curlycuesue 1/6/2013 8:53:00 PM
I have combination skin with a slightly oily T-zone, and the only thing I noticed about this toner is that it made my nose more shiny. Otherwise, this toner didn't do anything - it didn't break me out, but it didn't prevent breakouts either; it didn't diminish the appearance of pores, but it didnt exaggerate their size either. To me, this toner smelled like roses, although there is no rose anything in the ingredients. What I do love about this (and all MTTO products) is they're organic, don't contain parabens, artificial colors/fragrances, etc. It's possible this formulation wasn't appropriate for my skin type, and it's also possible my expectations were too high, but this isn't anything special, so I won't be purchasing again.
Cleansers -Michael Todd True Organics - Honey and Oat Cleanser
curlycuesue 1/6/2013 8:20:00 PM
The first few times I tried this cleanser, my skin felt so dry and parched, I couldn't understand how this was being touted as "gentle." However, after maybe about 4-5 times, my skin got used it. The liquidy ivory/beige colored cleanser doesn't create fluffy, luxurious suds, but more of a thin lather. When I rinse it off, my skin feels squeaky clean (literally I can hear it squeak like clean Tupperware), but still feels incredible soft. It's supposed to remove makeup as well (and reviews on the internet indicate even waterproof mascara washed off), but for me, I always have leftover mascara/eyeliner around the eyes. It hasn't caused breakouts, but at the same time, it hasn't prevented breakouts either. It comes in a pump which you can twist to open and close, but unfortunately, when I first received the bottle, not only would the pump not lock, but the cleanser leaked out of the "neck" when in the "open" position. I've tried TONS of other cleansers (Cerave, Shiseido, Neutrogena, Philosophy, Sumaxin, F.A.B.), and in my opinion, this isn't anything special. Maybe my expectations were too high based on reviews online, but it's just meh for me. I won't be purchasing again.
I have puffy, sagging, heavy monolids, so every primer I've tried (Sephora, TFSI, Urban Decay, Nars) has resulted in some smudging (albeit less smudging than w/o a primer). Unfortunately, this LORAC primer also resulted in slight smudging underneath my lower lashline. The primer color is a beigey-nude and the texture is thin and creamy, but dries to smooth finish within seconds. I love that it comes in a tube; however, the opening is too big and I dislike the slanted, lipstick-esque applicator. I tightline w/ an eyeliner, and smudge it to look like eyeshadow, and this primer doesn't make blending difficult at all. As a matter of fact, the color looks more intense and uniform. Also, this primer keeps my lashes stay curled and sticking upward!! Totally unexpected but incredibly awesome! So even though I still get slight smudging below my lower lashline, b/c this primer keeps my lashes curled, I'll continue to use it.
The best thing about this for me is the spoolie, which eliminates the need for me to carry around a separate eyebrow brush. I also love that it's a twist-up pencil that I don't need to sharpen. I use the color Medium Ash, which is a darkish brown with no detectable red tones. I like how pigmented this is, and once applied, it stays put. I was afraid the brush would be abrasive/harsh, but it's actually softer than the Tweezerman brow brush I was previously using. Yes, it's pricey, but I'd totally buy it again for it's slender, doesn't need sharpening, the perfect color, has a convenient spoolie, and can be found anywhere (though it's frequently sold out). :) UPDATE (2/26/13): I just ordered 2 more Brow Wiz pencils from Sephora and Anastasia has changed the packaging: the pencil is no longer magenta/burgundy in color, but black w/ gold lettering. Unfortunately, along w/ the color change, the quality of the spoolie/brush seems to have changed too. Whereas previously the bristles were very soft and gentle, the spoolie now is quite harsh and prickly. I'm using the same amount of pressure/force to brush my brows, but it's as if each bristle is coarser and stiffer (if that makes sense). I lowered the "Packaging Quality" to 4 lippies from 5 due to the new spoolie. :(
What a fabulous product! Prior to this, I was using MAC Blotting powder, and while there wasn't anything wrong with it, I read such great things about this powder I thought I'd try it out. I shake it out onto a tissue, tap my powder brush in it, and lightly dust it over my face. It doesn't break me out, eliminates shine caused by my sunscreen, evens out my skin tone, and imparts a soft-focus, golden glow. Even though I only use a tiny amount, my face stays matte all day (though my nose can get slightly shiny mid-day, which I fix with blotting paper). I wish this came in a compact, or at least had different packaging, but I transferred it to a small screw-top sifter which makes it more portable. Paying $8 for 1.5oz of such a great product is a steal! I indicated that I would buy this product again, but it'll be years before I have to. :)
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Plus White - 5 Minute Speed Whitening Gel
curlycuesue 11/17/2012 8:58:00 PM
I think I'm addicted to this stuff. I was a long-time user and lover of Crest Whitestrips. I used them twice a year, and they definitely whitened my teeth in two weeks, but what really annoyed me was my back teeth were still yellow and dingy. Anyway, after coming across great reviews for this gel on MUA, I tried it out, and was sooo impressed. At first I used a q-tip to apply the gel to my teeth but it was nearly impossible keeping the gel from touching my inner mouth and lips, so I bought some moldable mouthguards from a sporting goods store. I started using the gel every day for about 1.5 weeks, which made an undeniable difference. If I put too much gel in the mouthguard, then it can overflow onto my gums when I insert the mouthguard, which can be painful in certain areas. So I have to ensure I apply a thin layer so when it presses up against my teeth, there isn't any excess that comes in contact with my gums (if that makes sense). I started out leaving the gel on for about 15 minutes, but there have been times when I've accidentally left them on for 30 minutes. Fortunately, I didn't experience increased tooth sensitivity or pain. What's awesome is that not only are my front teeth whiter, but my back teeth are quickly catching up. I feel more confident about my smile, and I find my whiter teeth make my whole face seem brighter and more friendly. I think this is a fantastic product, and I'm glad I have it in my repertoire. :)