I didn't have any problems with this product balling up or applying unevenly. But this initially-sticky sunscreen ended up feeling tight and dry by late afternoon, and its beige tint was slightly dark (and ashen) for my complexion. Worse, it began to sting after only a couple days of wearing it. I later found out through the internet that this formula includes vitamin C, which many of us have great sensitivity to. It's despicable that, with all the acid-laden serums Clinique manufacturers, they have to put vitamin C in sunscreen as well (not to mention angelica archangelica root oil, which is photosensitive). Clinique, of all companies, should be about gentle ingredients and, unbelievably, they make it very difficult for consumers to know what's in their products outside of buying them and reading the actual boxes.
This lotion had some good points: it's quite moisturizing, plus it's very concentrated, so only a tiny bit is needed to spread over the entire face. I used it nearly every day for a month, and during that time was suspicious that both my acne and redness were increasing (I have rosacea, so I'm accustomed to at least some level of both). But I finally realized that this lotion's ingredients (probably the hyaluronic acid) were making my skin more and more sensitive, and I couldn't tolerate the burning anymore. My skin became so much calmer and clearer immediately after ceasing use of Cerave.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60
filmart 9/28/2009 9:38:00 AM
I quickly stopped using this product after finding out more about one its ingredients, methylisothiazolinone, which is a sensitizing preservative (and my skin is way too sensitive already). This lotion was fairly thick, and left a whitish cast - these features weren't much of a problem for me, since I'm fair-skinned, and this lotion evened out my skin tone. But I hated the fact that this sunscreen never seemed to dry, even with a layer of powder over it, so it would freqently rub off onto clothing. While Neutrogena is to be commended for providing good protection through physical blockers, they need to fix many other things about this formulation.
Sunscreen -Paula's Choice - Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 45
filmart 9/21/2009 7:33:00 AM
While I've been a reader and subscriber to Paula's reviews for a long time, and feels that she does much good, this product is an example of what (IMO) she does wrong. She's positively obsessed with antioxidants these days, and if any skin care item doesn't contain them, she bashes them as featuring "boring formulations," and gives them a lower rating. At times she acknowledges that those with sensitive skin (especially those like myself with rosacea) cannot tolerate vitamin C on the face. But that fact is of no concern to her when conceiving products such as this, and now that she's pushed her antioxidant beliefs so vigorously throughout the industry, it's much harder for people like me to find gentle, non-irritating skin care products. As far as this sunscreen went, it was easy to apply and blend, and it dried to a semi-matte finish - but, predictably, it burned by face terribly (increasingly so as the day went on). I'm at least grateful that Paula offers samples of this, and encourage anyone with sensitive skin to try this out first.
This product has so many great qualities to speak of. It goes on smooth, it's never sticky, and its water-resistant formula holds up great even in the summer heat. Both the regular and Enriched versions are outstanding, and they've never stained my clothing. However, after several years of using this product, I finally came to the realization that this formula SITS on top of pores. And then, when you apply foundations or hightlighters over it, the makeup dries and cakes over the pores by midday. What a disappointment, as 1/f truly offers more protection than most other sunscreens on the market.
Styling Products -Sunsilk - Captivating Curls Gel & Cream Twist
filmart 9/15/2009 8:31:00 AM
I assumed with a gel + cream formula that this wouldn't be a drying product, and the bottle directions promised that curls would remain soft. But instead, it left my hair dry and frizzy, with no hold or definition for my curls. The packaging is so cute and eye-catching, but unfortunately, it's all just a gimmick.
Pressed Powders -Maybelline - Dream Matte Pressed Powder
filmart 8/7/2009 6:50:00 AM
I have nothing but praise for the product itself, as I loved it immediately upon release. It mattifies and makes my face look very smooth and even-toned, without being drying. It can even be reapplied for touch-ups without caking. But while the powder gets a 5 from me, Maybelline gets a big fat 0 for cutting down their shade selection from 8 to 4, and for especially discontinuing the cool-toned Ivory, which worked perfectly for my complexion. Maybelline also discontinued the lightest warm-toned shade, which was just as shocking. Why the sudden disinterest in providing skin-matching cosmetics for paler women? I would've loved to have gotten an explanation from Maybelline, but unfortunately, they require almost as much personal information as the IRS in order to receive or reply to emails.
Styling Products -Garnier - Fructis Style - Smoothing Milk
filmart 7/13/2009 10:48:00 AM
I use a hair dryer briefly each day in order to stretch my curls into place. But even with such brief heat exposure, this "milk" completely dries up like plain water, leaving my hair coarse, frizzy and unruly.
I wish I had the chemistry for this fragrance, but iris has never agreed with my skin, sadly. The opening violet notes are gorgeous, but once the iris settles in, the scent takes on a dominant, Play Doh like character, and then completely fades away in about 2 hours or so. Definitely beg your NM Creed rep to make you a sample vial, or order one online, before buying.
Pressed Powders -Guerlain - Meteorites Poudre de Perles Nacre Des Mers 10
filmart 5/19/2009 1:14:00 PM
This is my first-ever Meteorites purchase, as it's the most neutral shade Guerlain has offered for my pale, cool-toned skin. The powder does brighten and even out skin tone, but I wish its glitter (which looks a bit OTT under sunny outdoor light) was a bit finer. I mostly wear this on weekends and special occasions, because its ultra-sweet fragrance stings my sinuses upon application. Thankfully the scent fades away within a half-hour, but I'm left doubting the safety of inhaling it on a daily basis. This product is good enough for me to consider repurchasing, but it'll probably be a long time before that's necessary (or even possible, as it's a LE for now).
Eyeliner -Clinique - Brush-On Cream Liner in Black Honey
filmart 5/19/2009 12:46:00 PM
Black Honey is a surprisingly flattering and versatile eyeliner shade, considering that it's a red-based bronze, and its shimmer particles are subtle. However, I'm disappointed with its thin consistency. It takes a lot of effort to create a solid line, which eventually dries down to the harsh look of a liquid eyeliner. Overall, it's a very durable liner, but I much prefer the softer look of a true cream formula.
Makeup Brushes -Sephora - Professionnel Platinum Bronzer Brush #48
filmart 4/24/2009 1:31:00 PM
This brush is luxuriously soft and, at $35, definitely a luxury to own. Its design, however, does take some getting used to, with its longer handle, heavier weight and shorter hairs. Also, the handle is rounded on the end, so you can't stand it upright to dry after washing. Overall, I wouldn't call this brush an "essential" buy, but if you can afford it, and if these features interest you, it applies all forms of powder like a dream (although I like it best for pressed powder).
What an appealing departure for Thierry Mugler, featuring the identifiable base of A*Men plus a rich, but sweet, coffee note. I'm not a fan of gourmand scents, and found New Haarlem's vanilla base too sweet and heady for my taste, but would buy Pure Coffee repeatedly if only it wasn't LE. Its only disappointment is its poor staying power (probably 2 hours on me, at the most), and this is also the only reason I wouldn't pay an extravagant price for another bottle on eBay. Mugler should definitely bring back Pure Coffee as an EDP. I also developed a new admiration for men who are longtime Mugler buyers, having to deal with the designer's rubber atomizer button, which has to be pushed hard. The fragrance then sprays out wide and, boy, is it ever a pain to decant (which you NEED to do for re-application of this subtle scent, and because the bottle is too heavy to carry around) . I guess this wide spray pattern works out well for men who choose to apply one good spritz to the front of the neck or chest, but really, couldn't Mugler design an atomizer that's easier and more practical than this?
Sunscreen -Shiseido - Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 55 PA+++ [DISCONTINUED]
filmart 4/24/2009 8:02:00 AM
For about five days, this sunscreen was great. It felt light, wore well all day, and it didn't turn greasy. But the next day, with the weather a bit cooler, it made my entire face burning and sensitive, and my chin was suddenly red and peeling. I chose the lotion over the cream, because I didn't want my skin to feel smothered, but now realize that the lotion requires a layer of moisturizer underneath. Other members have reviewed the cream formula as being drying as well, which leaves me puzzled as to why these sunscreens remain so popular.
For all the sales and coupons available to me for Physicians Formula cosmetics, I kept on trying their quads, hoping that such a moderately-priced option would work. Yet, their Canyon Classics looked sickly grey on me, and this Classic Nudes collections looks orange and muddy. I own plenty of matte shadows, but they're mostly department store brands featuring more nuanced colors, with a touch more yellow, gold or bronze to enhance pale coloring like mine. The texture and blendability of PF matte e/s is very nice, but their color offerings are just not flattering on me.