It has been a while since I felt compelled to write a review on anything but when the SA at Barneys tried this on me today, I immediately knew that this is HG material. I have been happily using Banane for years. The quality of LeClerc's powders are indisputable and Banane sets my makeup perfectly and naturally. The color Banane disappears onto my skin which, in a loose powder, is a remarkable quality. Parme, on the other hand, makes a visible difference. Not that you can see it once it's on but my skin looks markedly brighter and porcelain-like with Parme. I was afraid that it was going to be too pale for my skin tone. I am fair but not extraordinarily so (Sisley 01 Ivory, Cle de Peau Beige) and Parme simply looks divine!
Perfume is just a very personal thing. Maybe it's because I've gotten older or maybe it's because I'm finally discovering carefully crafted and recherche blends, but Lutens creations have slowed my rampant fragrance infidelity over the years. First it was Fumerie Turque which settled into my skin beautifully and exudes an otherworldly albeit blatant sexiness. Now I found this. It was sprayed on one wrist while Rakhut was on the other. My plan was to walk around the city a bit and let the scents develop and settle. Rakhut was just sheer brunt force on me and stayed that way for the remainder of the day. But this made me walk back to Barneys as I rounded the corner on 5th Avenue just a block away. It is intoxicating. It is neither strong nor too provocative and it just works for me. Maybe it's because there is a gentleness about the scent, it doesn't read as being very unique. Louve purrs whereas a lot of those infamous "dirty" scents speak at a higher but still sophisticated volume. One could definitely be put off by the almond cherry liquor opening and the powdery finish. It takes a little patience or one would definitely pass this up as being common. But common it is certainly not. I guess this scent just spoke to me. If I had to have a perfume created in my namesake, this would probably be it rather than Un Lys or even Fumerie.
Liquid -Tarte - Peaches and Cream Liquid Powder Foundation
lola610 12/6/2007 3:23:00 AM
Two words, holy grail. This is the third foundation I've tried in the last 12 months or so that have delivered far more than I expected. Only problem is that this leaves me having to reconcile my love of this product and SKII Airtouch and Laura Mercier Mineral. Of the three, I would consider this the more put together everyday look. SKII is very polished and I will reserve that for special occasions from now on. LM, on the other hand, is very natural, at least with my mode of application. Nevertheless, it is this Tarte foundation that gives me the most "naturally perfect" skin. I say this because SKII tends to give a too polished look. LM just comes across a bit more dewy, more akin to what I was achieving with Smooth Operator. Something about the finish of this foundation is very very unique. I wish it was more readily available. I only came across this because I was on Tarte's website and for some unknown reason, it is not part of the regular store product line. Nevertheless, I am in love with this foundation. It blends like a dream. It contains ALL NATURAL SPF which is crucial because I'm allergic to chemical sunscreen. I think this is really the perfect foundation for when you want to have the perfect but not overdone look. I suppose it takes a real product junkie to have a weekday foundation (this), a weekend foundation (LM), and a night out foundation (SKII).
ABSOLUTELY THE BEST. I was a LOYAL Creme de la Mer user for 8+ years... since I was 18, in fact... and I love the pampering aspect of the creme and the concentrate. But the La Mer products also clogged my pores like nobody's business. So in exchange for no lines and plump skin, I get pesky little white heads along on my nose. This is where Superskin comes in. Does EXACTLY what La Mer does, if not better, and the clogs have cleared up within a month of starting this regimen. Beautiful calming scent, goes on and absorbs like a dream. I'm turning my mom onto this just like I turned her onto La Mer! Plus it's very very reasonably priced for what it is!
On kind of a mascara binge lately. Started with Lancome's very mediocre but very expensive ($35!!!) Cils Design which went back to Sephora after a day. Next in line was Maybelline's new Curl XXL. Great mascara, drugstore or otherwise. And this CG formula was my third. I ran to CVS right after I read about it here and I'm pretty happy I did. Between this, Maybelline, and my usual HG YSL Effect Faux Cils, I can't really distinguish the results which is to say that all three are great mascaras, at least volume wise. All three formulas deliver dramatic, buildable results. My lashes are long so I am not really looking for length. Nevertheless, I get comments on my lashes which is always a sign of a great mascara.
This is a really darn good mascara. It gets its fifth lippie because it's so cheap. For the price of a single tube of YSL Faux Cils, I can buy a year's supply of this. Is it better than YSL? No way... no mascara I have tried is, in fact... but this isn't bad at all in comparison. I would even go as far as to say that volume wise, this and YSL are comparable. Curl Power is one of those rare formulas that allows you to build coat after coat without the dreaded spider affect and the volume I am able to achieve with this is fantastic. After a few generous coats, my lashes stay separated and I don't feel all that compelled to use a lash comb. One downside is that this does flake a teeny bit, although after a full day of running around in bad NYC weather and two hours at the gym. This would be my drug store mascara staple.
I've been on a mascara binge lately. Jan Marini's Age Intervention has made such a dramatic difference in my lashes that I can't help but wanting to try out all sorts of mascaras to enhance those lashes even more... hehe. Anyways, I bought from high end and low... including my HG from YSL (Effet Faux Cils) as well as YSL's take on the silicone brush. I also tried Chanel Inimitable, Diorshow Unlimited, and Volume Couture from MF. Admittedly, there's something very very special about YSL's formula but it's also $26. That said, Maybelline's take is very very very good. I like that the brush is flexible and the bristles are varied in length. The formula is also lighter than YSL in general and does a great job of covering the length of the lash. It is not a major volume mascara but it can be built up. For $6, it's unbeatable. I like it better than MF's formula and brush.
This was $5. There are 8 colors in this palette. All of them are gorgeous but the dark brown alone is worth at least twice the price of admission! The purples and the taupe compliments the brown perfectly. This is definitely not the Wet n' Wild that I knew and avoided in high school. After depotting, I found out that the pots are very shallow. Not that it matters because again, all these colors came at about 1/3 the price of a single MAC shadow. At an age where women have been coaxed into spending almost $30 for one eyeshadow by some cosmetic companies, Wet n' Wild (as well as NYX) is a breath of fresh air. You really don't have to spend much at all for excellent quality. These shadows are richly pigmented and applies very smoothly. The quality definitely beats the wimpy shadows in the $50 Chanel quads and I personally can't tell a difference between this and MAC whose shadows I've used daily for the last four five years. I don't have oily lids though so staying power was never too major a concern for me. Nevertheless, these colors show up incredibly well and the W&W shadows are not as crumply as NYX trios. My only complaint is minor: the package is bulky and a bit tacky looking even if the pull out mirrow is kind of clever. But depotting isn't too bad using the oven and I just plopped these into my Shu Uemura compact. I wish the shadow pots would actually fit better but again, this is aboslutely NOT a reason to prevent me from buying more of this.
This really isn't bad. My expectations weren't high. Both the SA at Saks and at Bloomies endorsed Effet Faux Cils over this. The mascara works similarly to Chanel Inimitable which I liked. I chose this because of the blue and I wanted a change from the basic black. Personally, as a black mascara, I would probably stick with the Effet Faux Cils. But I think the brighter color does need a somewhat thinner formula and the special brush. The blue is fairly bold but not electric. I can imagine that with a lesser quality mascara, one would get loads of bright blue clumps, as if black spidery lashes weren't dreadful enough. The last time I tried blue was Dior Show and my lashes looked puny. The YSL managed to pump up my lashes and was noticeably yet tastefully blue. It's quiet a pretty look and I MIGHT even be convinced to try this during the daytime.
As I am giving this product five stars (I would give it more if I could), I want to give the FDA a HUGE thumbs down. I am head over heels for this and I can't help but cringe at the thought that my supply will run out at some point. I started using this mid February after practically begging and cajoling am esthestician friend of a friend's to sell me two tubes from her stash of the original forumla which she is reserving only for her best customers. I even bought Revitalash just in case she was going to turn down my offer to buy two tubes. I used Revitalash for about a week before I got Age Intervention so I can't comment on that product. Age Intervention, however, I have been using for just about three weeks and I can honestly say that the difference is ASTOUNDING. It's like one reviewer said, I think at some point my lashes will get embarassingly long. Right now, the difference is still only particularly noticeable with mascara on. Nevertheless, it is the kind of difference you will NOT achieve with any of those lash conditioners on the market. My lashes were never really a particular concern but they were never spectacular. Still, I have tried my share of lash conditioners both high end (Shu, Talika) and low (Ardell). I bought Age Intervention actually to boost my brows which have disappeared since my overzealous high school plucking days. Compared to the results I'm getting on the lash line, the growth I'm seeing on my brows is sparse. The new hairs are coming in VERY fine and I can't imagine this making a significant difference as to eliminate having to fill in my brows. But I suppose I have to wait and see. Although I also doubt that this will completely eliminate the need for mascara, my lashes have become MUCH easier to curl. I am Asian and my lashes are stick straight and I used to have to resort to lash perms but now a gentle press of the Shu curler will do and the curl actually lasts through *gasp* wet weather! In fact, I find that even a lash curler is unnecessary with certain mascara forumlas. I am so ecstatic about the results that I already have that I am already dreading the day this stuff runs out since the lashes are something you have to "maintain." UPDATE: I'm skipping eyeliner. NEVER done that before without feeling like my eyes somehow don't stand out as much. Love!
Masks -Jan Marini - Skin Zyme Green Papaya Enzyme Mask
lola610 2/25/2007 2:54:00 AM
This is a truly great and gentle exfoliating mask, far superior to anything I have tried. Astara's Green Flame doesn't hold a candle to this! No angry redness or dryness just cleaner, brighter skin. I only bought the mask first without getting the Clean Zyme cleanser. I didn't think it was abolutely necessary and was afraid I might literally blitz my face with too much chemicals. Having used the two products together as instructed, my earlier reservations were proven wrong. Again, this is an incredibly gentle system. There is no fumes that teared up my eyes like some exfoliating masks and the results are visible. I use my Clarisonic brush to clean off the mask and cleanser and I have not found a more effective way of purging my skin of all that NYC grime! This is LOVE!
I bought six of the trios off ebay because NYX is really quiet elusive here in Manhattan. I had a bit of buyers remorse before I got my shadows because even though they were close to dirt cheap, I also basically just bought 18 different eyeshadows sight unseen! Anyways, I can't rave enough about these shadows. I got a MAC 15-pan, spent 20 minutes depotting and I now have a perfect palette of neutrals. The standouts are the iced mocha (#17), root beer (#19), taupe (#3) and dark brown (#3), chocolate (#22), and the golds in trio #18. Basically every color set I got is a winner. I am especially impressed with the brown variations because none of the browns from NYX has that unflattering tinge of red. The silvery/taupe colors are just as pretty as their Mac counterparts. I typically use Satin Taupe and Moth Brown and I think root beer and iced mocha has gives very similar effects once applied. The NYX shadows are soft, blendable and very richly pigmented. Some even put my high end stuff to shame (here's looking at you, Chanel quads). Chocolate is absolutely the most ingenious color! To think that I have even gone as far as spending $23+ on a Dior single! I only wish NYX was more accessible in this city. This is my only complaint because I really want to see the entire color selection in person. I am pretty sure there are some other beautiful colors in the gazillion other colors they have. I think it's ironic that while you can get all the exclusive (and very expensive) brands that you can't find anywhere else in the country in NYC, a typical drugstore brand like NYX is near impossible to locate!
Lip Treatments -Vincent Longo - bang bang lip plumper
lola610 2/11/2007 1:06:00 AM
I agree with the other reviewer that this is not exactly a lip plumping product. But then again, I haven't really encountered any gloss or serum or balm that actually lives up to its lip plumping hype (although LipFusion supposedly came close). Nevertheless, don't buy this if you are going for bee-stung lips. The point of this product is that it's matte lip balm. This is rarity in a market saturated with lip products that run the gamut from slick to glossy to shiny to gloppy. No matter what the beauty editors are trying to tell us girls, very few guys enjoy kissing a lipfull of grease, even they taste like strawberries or whatnot. Truly kissable lips are supple and plush on its own and that is the effect I look to achieve with my lip products. VL's is very similar texture-wise to Remede's Hydralock but minus the raspberry tint. It is likewise similar to Shu Uemura's Principe Lip Serum but manage to hold on to my lips' moisture appreciably longer. I tried this on at Sephora today and it actually kept my lips moist through a 15 minute walk home in windy, 30 degree weather. Not bad at all for something that sinks into your lips and doesn't coat them in an impenatrable layer of grease. Also, I imagine this creating a very good base for lipsticks. The price is the MAJOR downer here. At $30 for a teeny and not too pretty/exciting tube, this beats even Shu and Remede in the steep spendy department. But like these other products, a little does go a long way. Just try to not lose the tube.
Given how often (namely, once in a blue moon) I do dramatic lips, this tube will probably last me for a lifetime. But just because I won't be buying this again doesn't deprive Vamp of its HG status. Typically, I NEVER wear dark lipstick. I don't even wear sheer berries or roses. In fact, since I started wearing makeup sometime in the late 90s the name of the game has always been to tone down my lips. I stuck to a nude/apricot palette because I always thought that since my own lips were full and pigmented, the extra color just overwhelms the rest of my face. My attention turned to Vamp after an amazing makeup artist at Aveda tested a "look" on me which included this rich deep berry lipcolor. I came to the conclusion that whereas bright strong colors make me look like a clown, deep strong colors actually "restrains" my lips. Basically, my lips are bold but it's not the first and only thing one sees. Encouraged by this new found knowledge, I bought Vamp and NARS Russian Doll. I like Russian Doll a lot but I LOVE Vamp. Vamp is the reason the strong lip is a classic look. Vamp is a classic in and of itself and for good reasons. It's not for the feint of the heart but I do believe it can be pulled off day or night. It's sophisticated, it's daring, it's wildly sexy. The color isn't so bright and outlandish that it can't tolerate any other makeup although I only feel really compelled to wear this color when I feel like my skin is bright and well rested. Wearing Vamp makes me feel put together but not in the fussy kind of way. The lady, as one would say, is a vamp.
Styling Products -Frederic Fekkai - Winter Hair Lift-Define-Shine Compact
lola610 1/26/2007 11:22:00 PM
I would buy this again but this being an "emergency" kit and the amount of product you actually need to use to achieve the results, this compact will easily last me through 10 winters. My first concern was the wax since I tend to see wax as heaving and "weighing down" rather than "lifting". But a small swipe of this on my finger tips and a quick rub into the roots of my hair et voila, touseled hair. The shine balm is pretty standard. It's not a rave in terms of quality alone. In fact, I probably would buy neither the wax or the balm as a stand alone product. On the other hand, this compact is something that is better than the sum of its parts. It's pretty genius.