This mascara was a failed experiment. I returned it after trying to make it work several times. The formula is extraordinarily dry and thick in texture, leading to to clumps, weighed down lashes, and too much time spent trying to make it look presentable. The black color is too dull for my needs, as I prefer a more highly pigmented black mascara. When I returned it with these complaints, the sales rep told me this mascara is designed for use with the Multiple Eye lash primer and an additional product that is supposed to "enhance" the lashes. Sounds like too much work and money to make a simple mascara work effectively.
This is a healthy and natural looking bronzer, without the excessive glitter, shimmer, and ruddiness caused by so many other similar products. The color is buildable, enabling the user to adjust the intensity as desired. It blends easily, and gives a sunkissed tan glow. The only downside is that it requires occasional touch ups throughout the day, as the color tends to fade after a few short hours.
This is an excellent hydrating, buildable, medium to full coverage foundation for my dry, almost 40 year old skin. It is perfect for the cold, dry, winter months, but it would probably be too intense for my use in the hot weather. It generates a slightly dewy, long lasting, flawless finish and doesn't settle into fine lines and pores. This foundation helps to conceal my melasma, whereas most foundations barely mask the problem. The product is highly pigmented and concentrated, so only a tiny amount is needed to achieve coverage. I quickly learned that this foundation needs to be applied and blended with my fingers, as it is too thick to use with a foundation brush. I am able to create lighter coverage when desired, by mixing this with a bit of a moisturizing highlighter, and stippling with a cosmetics sponge.
This is the best under eye, dark circle concealer that I have used to date. I have hereditary dark circles that have become worse with age. Normally I have to mix a couple different concealers to get the coverage I achieve with this product. Color #3 is a perfect match for me, with medium intensity and warm undertones. I start with a moisturized eye area, followed by eye make-up primer, apply a very tiny amount of this concealer with a concealer brush, using minimal pressure and the flat side of the brush to thoroughly blend. The consistency is creamy and moisture rich, providing just the right amount of slip needed in this difficult to conceal area. I finish blending with the tip of my finger as needed. This concealer is highly pigmented. Using too much, and neglecting to blend and set very thoroughly, will result in creasing. This process is time consuming, but it works. The coverage is buildable, so I apply additional concealer to the spots that need it after the first application starts to set. I use the Laura Mercier secret brightening powder to set in place. The end result is a natural looking, long lasting, brightened, and flawless finish.
I bought this lipstick in several shades, including Parfait, Bellini, and Red Delicious. I love the highly pigmented colors. I was pleased that this lipstick is long lasting. Unfortunately my positive feeling about this lipstick was hampered by the odd taste, the strange smell, and a drying/peeling effect that is likely caused by a reaction to the product ingredients.
Highlighters -Tarte - Smooth Operator Illuminating Serum
dsbirnbaum 12/9/2011 10:40:00 AM
This is a very subtle, light lotion based, neutral tinted highlighter that gives a modest, slightly pink toned, brightening effect. If you dislike the glittery or shimmering look caused by some highlighters, this product may be for you. It doesn't give my skin the dewy appearance that I can achieve with other , more moisturizing illuminating products, but that is probably because my skin tends to be dry. The product claims to hydrate the skin and help it retain moisture, but it has no hydrating effect on my dry skin. I apply it over moisturizer and under foundation. I sometimes apply extra product on top of my foundation, to boost the highlight on my cheekbones. The result is a hint of glimmer and a very mild brightening effect. This highlighter doesn't last on me the way other similar products do. The brightening effect tends to fade after a couple hours. I wish this came in more color options. My skin is warm/light olive toned, so a warmer, slightly golden color would be more noticeable and better suited to my skin. I would not repurchase this because there are other highlighters that are more suited to my skin tone and type. I recommend this as a good highlighter option for skin colors in the fair to lighter toned, oily to normal skin type.
Moisturizers -Olay - Regenerist Night Recovery Moisturizing Treatment
dsbirnbaum 12/9/2011 9:27:00 AM
The product claims to give a "mini-lift" to the skin each morning, but I did not notice any improvement in skin tone or texture after a few weeks of daily night time use. On the contrary, this cream did not provide adequate hydration on my dry/combination skin. I often woke up with patches of flaking skin. In addition, I believe this sparked a few acne break outs. The lavender/flowery scent is overpowering, unnecessary, and likely the cause of irritation in my case. I discontinued use on my face and used the remaining product as a foot cream. Seems more appropriate to put lavender on the feet, rather than the face. The product ingredients list includes peptide actives and antioxidants, but I did not see the more noticeable results I have experienced from other brands with peptide/antioxidant actives. This leads me to believe that the peptides are unstable in the jar packaging, low in concentration, and/or rendered useless when combined with the other product ingredients.
Treatments (Eye) -Unlisted Brand - Platinum Skincare-Eyes Restoration Therapy
dsbirnbaum 12/8/2011 10:22:00 AM
I have been using this eye cream am/pm daily for approximately four months. It is hydrating, emollient rich, and non-irritating on my sensitive eye area. It sinks quickly into the skin and doesn't interfere with make -up application. A tiny amount goes a long way, as the first jar lasted me over 3 months. The ingredients include skin firming, antioxidant, hydrating, and repairing actives that typically cost double or triple the price in other brands I have tried. In addition, this cream contains kojic acid and other ingredients to promote lightening of eye circles and decreased puffiness. I haven't noticed a significant difference with my hereditary dark circles, but I doubt that any cream will solve that problem. This cream has made the fine lines near my eyes slightly less noticeable over time. It is not a miracle cream, but it is effective and moisturizing.
Treatments (Eye) -StriVectin - SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles
dsbirnbaum 12/7/2011 5:35:00 PM
I am always experimenting with eye creams. This was one of the most disappointing experiments. This product proved ineffective after several weeks of daily am/pm use. Fine lines appeared to be more evident with this product, as it did not provide adequate hydration on my skin. There was no noticeable change in under eye puffiness or discoloration. Despite the fact that I only use a tiny amount of cream, and always wait 10-15 minutes for it to sink into my skin, it interfered with subsequent make-up application and caused primer, concealer, eye shadow, etc to flake, ball up, and look creased. I don't typically have this problem with other eye creams. I decided to discontinue use after the cream gradually sparked irritation, including milia, upper eye puffiness, and redness.
I have been using this product to treat a stubborn case of melasma on my forehead for the past 6 months. With daily morning and night application, I have noticed a very gradual, yet substantial reduction in discoloration. My dark spots have broken up, lightened, and in some places have completely faded. During the first few weeks of treatment, this product caused unsightly redness and peeling. As my skin adjusted to the product, the initial irritating effects subsided. Redness and mild peeling continue to pose an occasional problem with use of this product, but it is easily managed with regular exfoliation, use of moisturizer, emu oil, etc. I have been using this in conjunction with night time application of Retinol .05% and periodic use of glycolic peels. In the 24-48 hours after performing peels, I skip the Obagi until my skin has healed to prevent irritation. I religiously use a sunblock during the daytime, as hydroquinone can increase sun sensitivity and I want to prevent future hyperpigmentation. Obagi Clear is a light, lotion based formula that sinks quickly into the skin. I wait at least 10-20 minutes after application before applying moisturizer, make-up, or other products, to give the treatment an opportunity to completely sink into my skin. I apply the lotion only to the spots of discoloration, not all over my face. A small amount of the lotion goes a long way. I am still using the same bottle of Clear that I purchased six months ago. The packaging is utilitarian, and keeps the ingredients airtight to prevent them from decomposing. After I run out of Clear, I will probably experiment with a new hydroquinone product in the hope that I can find something that will make the melasma disappear. With that being said, I would consider repurchasing and recommend this product as it has produced results that I have not seen from other lightening products.
This product is supposed to hydrate and "depuff" the eye area, using a blend of antioxidants. It is a light cream, almost gel like formula that has a cooling, somewhat soothing, and light hydrating effect. I found it to be similar to Clinique's All About Eyes, which was sufficient in my 20's, but proved ineffective for my needs as I went into my 30's. "Super" provided less than super moisture on my almost 40 year old eyes, so I sometimes had to layer additional moisturizer on to prevent dryness. I did not notice any reduction in puffiness, fine lines or dark circles. Perhaps this product is better suited to a younger age group? The melon fragrance (or whatever fragrance is in it) and/or ingredients gradually became mildly irritating around my sensitive eye area, which led me to discontinue use after several weeks of daily treatment.
Scrubs -Unlisted Brand - Platinum Skincare-Diamond Dermabrasion Creme
dsbirnbaum 8/18/2011 12:25:00 PM
I recently purchased this after trying a sample and seeing wonderful results. This is an exceptional exfoliating scrub without added fragrance. It is non-irritating on my sensitive skin. Lactic acid helps increase the product's ability to lighten minor skin discoloration. This product is comparable and/or a marked improvement in quality to similar exfoliating scrub products I have tried that cost double, triple, and quadruple the amount (ie Dr. Brandt, Dermadoctor, Peter Thomas Roth, Ole Henrikson). At under $20, with results that are this positive, I consider it a bargain in comparison. I use it once or twice per week in the morning, massaging a very small amount for several minutes. Used in this manner, the jar will last many months. Definitely don't use this on a day that you plan to perform an acid peel, otherwise it could contribute to irritated skin. This scrub effectively deflakes and leaves my skin soft and glowing, with noticeable improvement in skin tone and texture. My only complaint is the jar packaging, as a tube would be more hygienic and efficient.
I recently started experimenting with various Sonia Kashuk brushes (concealer, eyeshadow, blush, kabuki, travel blush brush--not the brush set in the photo above, but various brushes sold individually in her collection) and I am pleasantly surprised with the quality. These make up brushes are a true bargain. They are moderately priced and comparable in effectiveness, durability, and design with the more expensive brands I have tried, such as Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier.
This self tanning lotion provides a natural looking, long lasting, streak free, tan glow, at a moderate price, without looking blotchy or orange. There is a substantial amount of glitter in it, which I find unappealing and mildly annoying. Despite this inconvenience, the glitter is not noticeable on the days you don't use the lotion, as it washes off easily in the shower. Unfortunately I can't continue to use this product because it is highly irritating for me, causing rashes on my dermatitis and eczema prone skin. I wish this product did not react with my sensitive skin, as it costs half the price of my regular Clinique self tanner and fades gradually in a more natural looking and less blotchy manner. This product is worth an experiment and would likely be a good choice for people who don't have sensitive, dermatitis prone skin.
Treatments -Skinceuticals - Refining Night Cream With .5% Pure Retinol
dsbirnbaum 8/17/2011 7:58:00 PM
This is a very effective, potent, retinol formula that aids in the reduction of fine lines, hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and blotchiness. The packaging is great, as it preserves the active ingredients and prevents oxidation. My skin tends to be sensitive and dry, so I had to gradually introduce this treatment in very small amounts. I started using this almost one year ago and I still have the same bottle. A tiny, pea size amount is all that is needed for the entire face. I began treatment using this once or twice per week, with substantial peeling and dryness. After almost one year year of use, I have gradually adjusted to this product, and recently worked my way into using this nightly. I will transition to the 1% formula when I run out of this. I am trying to increase my tolerance to retinoids to treat melasma, as I have been unable to tolerate the prescription strength Retin A, but want to transition to prescription Retin A eventually. This product is helping me in that regard. With use of this product over time, I have noticed a significant reduction in fine lines, hyperpigmentation, acne breakouts, and overall improvement in skin tone and texture. It is noticeably more potent and results are more evident than other retinol products I have tried. To ensure optimal results, I use this only at night, and I wait 30-60 minutes before applying any actives ( in my case, prescription strength hydroquinone) and moisiturizer.