Treatments (Eye) -BeneFit Cosmetics - It's Potent!
cerulfox 6/4/2011 1:24:00 PM
Did absolutely nothing for my eyes over day AND night usage for the past month. No reduced puffiness, no brightening, nada. Heavy floral scent in this (and all Benefit skin care products I've experienced) heavy, unnecessary, and headache-inducing, but I stuck it out to see if this would work. Nope, sure didn't. Glad I received this as a gift with purchase rather than buying it. Also recently found out Benefit only doesn't do animal testing on its FINISHED products, so I'm never touching a Benefit product ever again. Tossed.
Absolutely AWESOME, HG product, deserves 5 stars all around...that OF COURSE Ojon had to go and change recently. But I'll get into that in a moment. I have thick, dry blasian hair that would typically require me to wash my hair every other day (or daily) because my scalp would itch up. This revitalizing spray does just that, revitalize; it gives my hair just enough of a pick-me-up moisturize-wise, softens my hair, and calms my scalp. I now only need to shampoo maybe twice a week. I love the earthy scent--why does everyone want everything to smell like flowers, those kinds of scents give me a major headache and irritate my allergies. One of those rare expensive-but-worth-every-dollar items. So OF COURSE Ojon revamped their hair lines recently, and what did they do? Change everything I liked about this. The smell is now STRONG lemon-coated flowers, made me sneeze for like 5 minutes straight, and the mist sits on top of your hair rather than penetrate it to the scalp. Luckily when I returned this in disgust my local Sephora had two bottles of the old formulation left. If you can find bottles of the old revitalizing mist, get them RIGHT NOW, they're SO worth it. Avoid the new "Dry Recovery" formulation like the plague. The new formulation gets 1 lippie in my book, where the old definitely deserved a 5. Ojon, why the hell would you fix something that wasn't broken? >_<
I was skeptical about buying one of these, since a) I hated fussing with my thick, dry, wavy blasian hair and b) it was hella expensive. But, I saw one of the LE ones (Pure Dark) for under $150 at my stylist's one day, and snatched it up before anyone else could. It's been several years now, and I regret the purchase not one bit. It's slim, easy to clean, starts up lightning quick, and the included carrying case makes it easy to transport. Back when I was using cheapo straightening irons my curl would come back within a day, but not with the GHD, my hair stays straight until I wash it out. Used together with the GHD hair protecting spray my hair is glossy, straight. and healthy. I used to always keep my hair short for ease, now I have it long and lustrous. The day this iron finally dies, I'll run out and immediately buy another...one of the blue ones if they're still available then. :)
My HG, summer everyday blush. If NARS ever DC'd this I think I'd just up and die. For color reference I wear NARS sheer matte in Tahoe, and believe the statements online that this blush is a brown girl's best friend! It's SUPER pigmented, so be sure to apply with a light hand to avoid looking like you got slapped by some Tang. :) I use a 187, lightly tap it into the blush, and lightly tap (never sweep, it's too much!) the brush maybe three times on my cheekbones. Voila, instant sunkissed tan! Since you need so little of it I doubt you'd ever need to buy it more than once, though if I needed to (say, if the aforementioned DC ever happened) than I'd buy a bajillion. EDIT: Unfortunately this blush doesn't last on my oily skin as long as Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-hour blushes, so I've deducted a lippy. However the pigmentation and uniqueness of this color makes up for it's ok staying power.
Awesome product, kept my oiliness at bay for several hours with a soft matte feel unlike any other. No cakiness, and my face felt so soft to the touch. Bravo MAC for the awesome powder formulation! Unfortunately I had to deduct a lippie since I believe *one* more shade in the medium/dark range would be perfect.
Eyeliner -Sephora - Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner
cerulfox 6/4/2011 2:40:00 AM
These are seriously a steal at $12, considering how high quality these pencils are. I wear contacts and have oily lids, so getting *any* eyeliner to stay was a never ending battle. Even MAC's coveted Feline eyeliner would smudge off within an hour, even with primer. I bought one of these on a whim and WHOA, it stayed on practically all day *without primer*, and with primer it's not going anywhere until you have at it with your makeup remover. No smudging, no fading, so traveling all over my eye area. Does precise lines easily as the pencil is just soft enough, and can be smudged with the little smudger at the end of the pencil. There's also a built-in sharpener--how awesome is *that*? My only complaint, and the only reason it's not getting the coveted 5-star rave review, is because the pigmentation could be better. I have to go over my eyes two or three times for the color to show up and be dark enough to my liking. But, I'd rather have to do that than reapply every 2 hours. Go buy a few, you won't be sorry!
Cleansers -Burt's Bees - Deep Cleansing Cream with Soap Bark and Chamomile
cerulfox 6/4/2011 2:29:00 AM
Nice basic cleanser...though I wish it actually deep cleaned like its name says it should. I use it in the morning since I use an acne wash (PTR) at night, though sometimes I use it at night too if my face is feeling especially moody. Even though I use a Clarisonic I still feel a film on my face after rinsing, and while I don't expect a squeaky-clean feel (that's not good for your skin), I don't want to feel like something's still on my face either. I have to use a toner (which I normally don't use) to feel really clean, and if I'm using this at night there's still makeup on the cotton ball after toning. I'll use up the rest of this tube but I seriously doubt I'd buy another.
Pretty good primer for the price, can't beat it at $18. My face felt tight and oil-free for about 4ish hours, which is the same as many high-end primers (though UD's Pore Perfecting primer only lasted one on me). There's a slight cooling feeling upon initial application with no stickiness, though I agree with others that you need to give it time to sink in. I only give it 3 lippies because even though scent is typically not a dealbreaker for me in products, this primer had an acrid scent, like gasoline or walking into a cheap nail salon, and it wouldn't go away. If you can tolerate the scent I say go for it, it IS a great deal, but my sensitive nose can't handle it.
I really wanted to like this foundation--it's all natural, cruelty-free (a necessity for my makeup purchases), and applied smoothly and evenly on my skin. Plus, it has an SPF! Unfortunately the color range for us brown babes is abysmally small. Almost all of the darker shades are pink in their undertones, and the one I was matched with, Natural 14, came off muddy--glad I got a sample. No oil control whatsoever on this, but I don't believe it was advertised to have it. Would be willing to buy once/if more shades are released.
Primer/ Corrector -Urban Decay - Complexion Primer Potion - Pore Perfecting
cerulfox 6/3/2011 7:30:00 PM
Worst. Primer. EVER. Especially for $30. Gave my face a white-gray cast that persisted after my makeup. Oil control, what oil control? Was shiny an HOUR later, had to blot every hour, makeup was gone in 4. Come on Urban Decay, you can do better than this!
Sunbasque was recommended to me by a MAC mua for my C6/C7/NC43-45 skin, and it shows up as a subtle sheen, but almost too subtle as it can be almost unnoticeable. When I was using MAC's Studio Fix Powder Plus foundation it showed up and stayed fine, but after switching to a liquid foundation that was a better skin match (NARS) it disappears in maybe 2 hours. My oily skin isn't helping that, but I've since found far superior orange blushes than this, such as NARS's Taj Mahal, and better blushes in general that stayed on my skin. Wouldn't recommend any MAC blushes at all if you have very oily skin and are using a liquid foundation.
Treatments -Peter Thomas Roth - AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel
cerulfox 5/30/2011 7:41:00 PM
Where have you been all my life PTR? Bad acne runs in my family, and even with me now pushing 30 acne is still an issue. Even worse, I get bad acne scarring to boot. I've tried everything, and by far this has been the best. HG! I've been using this for over a year now and compared to before my skin has definitely lightened and brightened. Instead of having nasty eruptions on my face when it's "that week" I now typically only get at most maybe two pimples. ALL of my acne scars have lightened (and shrunk!) to the point where people think they're freckles. If I'm having a fairly bad breakout I'll use this with the PTR Beta Hydroxy Wash, but typically use with a gentle cleanser so it's not AHA/BHA overload. Go buy this pronto!
Awesome powder, incredibly fine but can be incredibly messy. The inclusion of a mesh sifter AND a plastic one was genius on NARS's part, but the lift-off top on the container is not useful at all and just gets powder everywhere when you close it. Please NARS, redesign the packaging on this! It's expensive at $32 but you get A LOT and I imagine that even with daily usage it'll last 2+ years. As for the powder itself, it melts into the skin and help keeps oiliness at bay, even better when used together with the NARS oil-free primer and Sheer Matte foundation. I wear Tahoe in the Sheer Matte and Mountain in the powder, and Mountain pulls slightly red but not enough to notice unless you're really looking. Beach is WAY too light.
Finally, a HG foundation! I'm half black, half asian, so I've had the worst difficulty in finding a tan foundation that had strong yellow undertones. Every other foundation I've tried has pulled red or orange, or gone ashy. Not this one. My skin is also supremely oily, and this foundation does a decent job of letting just enough shine come through. Used together with the NARS oil-free primer and loose powder (I use Mountain) I was completely oil-free for at least 6 hours! It dries fast once it leaves the bottle, so I recommend using a damp sponge to apply (I use the Beauty Blender). Deducted a lippy since it doesn't come with a pump--you have to buy it directly from the NARS website--and also because it is pretty expensive for a foundation at $42.
Mascara -NARS - Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara
cerulfox 5/30/2011 7:15:00 PM
This mascara was very heavy on my lashes, was a PITA to remove, and even worse BURNED my eyes at the end of the day. I suspect it flaked and got into my contacts. Glad I never bought it and only tried it on during a makeover!