A somewhat strange shade, a mix of lilac with a bronze-gold flash that almost shades into khaki in some lights. Although the effect is interesting as a sheer (one coat) I think two coats benefits it because with one coat, even though indoor lighting doesn't usually reveal streaks, sunlight certainly will and in sunlight they are very obvious and a very odd shade of lilac, as if I colored my nails with a lilac highlighter pen. With two coats the color is very pretty, different enough to be, well, different, without screaming "look at me! I'm wearing CREATIVE nail polish colors!!!" The coverage is fine and the wear is as good as I get with any other polish, using my cheap topcoat and always trashing my manicures anyway.
This is a lovely, very dark burgundy shimmer shade. The base polish color is black or maybe brown, and the first coat always looks streaky, watery and off-black. The second coat, though, produces an absolutely gorgeous very deep, ever so slightly bronzey, wine that flashes into dramatic red shimmer in sunlight. It looks every bit as posh as many of the vampy shades from expensive nail polish lines I've been seeing. Great for short nails. Wear is good (I always trash manicures so I'm not a fantastic judge of that).
A total disaster on me. I have never yet had aquatic notes work, and Bayou is the mother of all aquatic scents, so the result was a predictably nauseating, Axe body spray type reek. This is one for the hardcore aquatic lovers.
Fragrances -Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - Old Morocco
girlndocs 10/15/2009 5:08:00 PM
This is just a drop-dead stunner of a scent. It's rich, warm, toothsome, cuddly, sultry and sexy. The visual my synesthesia gives me is shimmering, puddling cocoa-brown velvet. Newer bottles of Morocco tend to be a little more on the vanilla side. As they age, the components blend together into something much better. Just be aware that this is one that tends to be out of joint immediately after shipping, and that if you haven't smelled it after resting it for 6 months, you haven't really smelled it at all.
Oh, ugh. I *love* me some BPAL, but this is one of my top 10, if not 5, don't-get-it-near-me-dear-god scents. My experience of it is a cloying, oddly artificial and plasticky, extremely powerful and carrying vanilla cake smell. It does not smell like any actual cake I have ever smelled, but it's easily identifiable as trying to be like cake, if that makes sense. A friend sent me the imp, and I ended up double sealing it in ziploc baggies in the closet until I was able to get it out of the house. I have had some BPALs turn awful on y skin, but this was a disaster for me before the stopper came out of the vial.
I've not had much success with eyelash curlers in the past -- either they did nothing, or they crimped my lashes so they bent at a 90 degree angle. I tried all the tricks, heating them a little bit, a tiny coating of vaseline, different curlers. Clearly, I'm not talented at this. I wanted to give the whole lash curling thing a try now that I need dramatic, eye-opening makeup for dance performances, so I hopped over to Kmart and picked this up. I gave it a shot with my hair dryer, and surprisingly enough, when I was done with it I could see that my lashes were indeed curled and not bent upwards. I really like that it's compact and not the usual freaky shape that's impossible to fit anywhere neatly. And honestly, to me it feels *more* durable than a lot of the wire type curlers I've used, that always feel like the handles are going to bend or the rubber strip will fall out. Plus, no metal parts means it's impossible to overheat it and burn myself on the eyelid. The shape also makes it super easy to put it exactly where I want along my lashes -- I was always working blind with the other type of curler. I hope this won't break soon, but if it does, I'll probably be willing to consider investing in a higher-end curler of the same shape and type.
Cleansers -Queen Helene - Queen Helene Whipped Cleansing Cream
girlndocs 9/2/2009 8:37:00 PM
I can only guess that the people complaining about the oily feel of this cleanser are not familiar with cold cream. That's what this is, cold cream, and cold cream is an oily cleanser. This cream is a little less oily than Pond's and has a much less obtrusive scent (something light, faint and vaguely floral). It feels very nice on the skin and it comes off more easily than Pond's as well, probably due to the added emulsifier and the sulfate. The secret with cold cream in general, and it holds true with this cleanser, is to use very warm to hot water on your cloth and wipe, wipe, wipe. It left my skin feeling absolutely velvety, but also slightly red. I'm not sure whether I'm going to be able to use it without the sulfate irritating me. I did leave it on for 10 minutes, and maybe that made a difference. ETA: Adding a lippie because this stuff is much, MUCH better than Pond's for taking off stubborn eye makeup. I perform occasionally with my bellydance class and wear heavy, dramatic eye makeup, including cream liner and many coats of waterproof mascara. I still have to do several goes with the Queen Helene to get everything off, but Ponds won't get all of it off no matter how many times I use it. I find the sulfate ingredient (probably) to be a little irritating to my skin if I use it on my face, so I use QH for my eyes and Ponds for the rest and come out happy. ETA2: After using this cold cream to clean my face regularly for a couple months, I had a lot of clogged pores and whiteheads on the sides of my nose, and I also noticed that it began to sting when I used it to remove eye makeup. So I chucked it, and I'm changing my rating.
It's a shame the title doesn't say WHICH Sally Girl lip glosses, because there are two (at least): the ones in the mini wand tube and the ones in the squeeze tube. I reviewed the one in the wand tube already under "Curfew" in lipsticks, but in short, it's a great lip gloss for cheap. This review is for the one in the tube. I got Knockout, and it's pretty bad. The color is okay but the texture is very sticky and gets stringy if I put on anything more than the very thinnest coat. The "vanilla" (a vague approximation at best) scent is overwhelming, which might be fine for middle schoolers but, you know, I have *perfume* I want to smell, and even if I didn't, the fake-sweet cake scent is not what I want to have precede me into a room. Skip the squeeze tube gloss.
This is not a lipstick, it's a lip gloss in a mini square wand case. It's a beautiful sheer nude-but-better and given that it's so sheer I'm impressed with its staying power: even after most of the shine has worn off there's a nice luster and wash of color that keeps my lips from looking naked. The tiny size is great. It fits in my pocket, and when (not if) I lose it, I don't have to sweat throwing it out when I find it three months later. At a dollar, I can buy 5 and leave them anywhere I'm liable to find them when I need one. There isn't really any fragrance or flavor that I can detect, which I appreciate. I wish I hadn't been missing the Sally Girl cosmetics all this time.
I've been dinking around looking for a good everyday neutral highlight shade, using various sample baggies, not finding anything from my usual mineral sources that I really liked or wanted to pay shipping on ... and last night I found the perfect shade in the perfect finish for a dollar. How much better could it be? The sticker on the back says "Gun Metal" but it must be mislabeled, since the shadow is a pale champagne with a very low-luster pearl finish. The texture is great and it applies beautifully with my usual eyeshadow brushes.
I have oily skin and .... drumroll please ... I love cold cream! It helps keep my pores clear and my sebum flowing normally in much the same way as the oil cleansing method, but it feels a bit more indulgent and glamorous to use a cream. Ponds is the only store brand of cold cream I have used. I wanted to give it a try because if you Google "cold cream" you'll find so many raves about it -- it *is* the original classic -- and I wanted to give it a try and compare it to my usual homemade cold cream. It's okay. I'm not a big fan of mineral oil, not because I think it's going to give me The Cancers or anything but because I prefer not to help create demand for petroleum products. Plus, mineral oil is completely inert, whereas plant-based oils may have antioxidants and other skin-friendly properties. It feels, cleans and wipes off very much like my homemade cream. The scent is very strong. I don't mind roses, but I get slightly nervous using anything so very perfumed on my face, so for that reason alone I'll skip the Ponds as long as I have an alternative. It leaves my face soft and clean. An advantage of Ponds is, of course, that it has preservatives, good for those who don't want to have to keep track of how fresh their cold cream is or anyone who only uses cold cream once in a long while. If you have oily skin and are concerned about cold cream leaving a film, take a soft washcloth and wring it in hot or very warm water; lay it over your face to steam for a minute and then wipe the cold cream off. Rinse and wring the cloth again and wipe, wipe, wipe some more. Every oily cleanser I've used does make me break out if I'm not careful to remove every last trace of it, but as long as I wipe and rinse carefully I have no problems, and my skin has been noticeably less oily with fewer clogged pores since I've incorporated oil-based cleansers into my routine. ETA: I wanted to use up the jar I bought, so I started using it more regularly, particularly since I've been wearing heavy makeup for dance class performances. I have to admit I'm hooked now. My skin is so soft, and the Pond's does such a good job of getting off the conventional makeup (as opposed to mineral makeup) that I use for the stage. It's not so great on the eye makeup -- everyday eye makeup yes, stage makeup with cream eyeliner and waterproof mascara no. I prefer Queen Helene Triple Whipped for that. But on the whole, I like it, it's more convenient than making my own, obviously, and I think I'll keep some around as a staple.
Eye Shadow -Unlisted Brand - About Face - Pigments for Your Eyes
girlndocs 8/27/2009 10:29:00 PM
These are good eyeshadows for the price -- even with the recent change to smaller jars for the same price, it's not a bad deal at all. The colors I have tried apply well and stay as well as any other mineral shadow and the Velvets are significantly better than most of the mattes I've tried, including higher-priced lines like Aromaleigh. "Baited Breathe" is my everyday neutral lid color, impossible to make a mistake with. Many of the shadows arrive looking a lot lighter than the pictures on the site, but that's hardly a problem that no other etailers have. If I could change one thing it would be the hideous typos and misspellings all over everything. ("Baited Breathe" is an excellent example since the phrase is spelled "bated breath".) The She Space has beautiful colors and nice products, now it just needs a polished and professional appearance.
I was really surprised (although I probably shouldn't have been) at what a difference this brush made applying my mineral foundation. It's super velvety, just incredibly soft, and lays down & blends a beautiful layer of makeup. The down side and the only thing I'm not happy about is that mine sheds. A LOT. I'm pretty disappointed about that, since I assume each of the brushes was inspected prior to sending them out -- I can totally accept that sometimes in a run of thousands of brushes you have a few that aren't up to spec. But I wouldn't think you would send those out, you know? I guess the only thing to do is wait and see if the shedding stops -- I really do like the brush otherwise and the price was certainly right. EDIT: At the advice I got, I contacted Kim about the shedding and she immediately and cheerfully told me to send it back to she could replace it, so that's been resolved! EDIT 2012: I've been using this brush for 3 years now? Wow. It's still holding up beautifully with no shedding and gives my powder a velvety finish like no other. Still loving it.
I ordered this set because cash was tight and it cost less than a separate blush brush and powder brush, both of which I needed to replace my ratty old set. I can't advise that anyone do the same. First the good stuff -- the brushes really are VERY soft, dense and well-made with no shedding. They look nice and feel good in the hand, not cheap. They come in a super sturdy, really well made case that's so nice I think I'll actually keep it, instead of ditching it like most of the cheesy brush and cosmetic cases I get. The eye-buki is fantastic for blending out my crease, something that's still challenging for me. The spoolie is sturdy and substantial. The bad stuff?This set is small. Really, really small. I have a travel brush set from Coastal and this one is way smaller even than that -- the handles on the small brushes are only 4" long, so short I find it almost impossible to use the angle and liner brush. The handles on the blush and powder brush aren't so munchkin-sized, but the heads are very small -- 1.5" across for the powder brush, 1" for the blush brush. I don't know about you, but that makes them useless for me as powder and blush brushes, respectively. The powder brush does a nice job applying blush; the blush brush would probably be great for contour or highlight, but I don't use those. Luckily, I also bought and traded for a couple other of the Lumiere brushes, so I have enough to cover my makeup application needs. Still, I wouldn't recommend this set to anyone unless you need a super tiny kit for extra compact travel, or you find almost all makeup brushes too large for you to use comfortably.
Sunscreen -Paula's Choice - Ultra light sunscreen spray lotion spf55
girlndocs 4/10/2009 5:44:00 PM
Paula, Paula, Paula. One would really hope you'd be able to manage a high-SPF sunscreen better than the generic brand kid's sunscreen at Walgreens. Particularly at five times the price. But no. Not only does it leave a shellacked-shiny, greasy and not particularly "lightweight" finish, but it BURNS. So intensely I was running to wash it off after 5 minutes on my face. I haven't had a sunscreen burn in something like 8 years, and that's with running around trying all kinds of drugstore brands, so it's not like I'm a delicate flower. Also, the spray bottle is useless. Since the lotion is kind of thin and milky in consistency, some kind of nozzle does make sense, but it doesn't "spray" at all, it just squirts in a single stream. A pump dispenser would have made more sense, but probably it wouldn't have added to the impression that this sunscreen is supposed to be similar to the Weightless Finish one. Don't be fooled, they're nothing alike. I'm returning it.