I tried the newer SPF15 version and it made my lips crack and peel terribly. It was so painful I could barely open my mouth after a few days. I returned it of course and I would never purchase it again. I would have stopped using the first day if I had realized it was the cause of my extra dryness, but I've never had such a terrible experience with a lip balm. I didn't understand the concept of a lip balm drying out your lips until I tried this. I like the rest of the True Blue Spa like so I was shocked at the performance of this product.
Just adding to the positive reviews here. This lip balm is amazing. It makes your lips feel soft, but you don't feel like you're "addicted" to it like you do with other lip balms. At first I was a bit afraid to try it since another lip balm with SPF made my lips crack horribly, luckily I've had no such problem with this balm. I wasn't expecting it to smell so yummy, since all the fragrance is natural, but they really hit the right mix. I agree it smells like lemon meringue. I'm sensitive to mint so I'm happy all the different scents have their own essential oil blend. I did get the mint for my male housemate though and he likes it. I usually have perpetually flaky lips which leads to excessive exfoliation and then more flakes, but this is really healing my lips and making wearing lip colors so much easier. I don't think I'll ever go back to wax based lip products again.
Cleansers -Aveda - All-Sensitive (2011 new formula)
Jessiebanana 10/1/2011 1:55:00 AM
Loving this cleanser so much. I needed a replacement for my Aveeno Calming Cream Cleanser that has disappeared from shelves around me. This stuff is perfect for my dry sensitive skin. It's completely non irritating or drying. Of course it's a true cream cleanser so there isn't any sudsing action. It won't take off heavy makeup, but I don't expect it to, I use an oil based makeup remover. In fact the pores on my nose seem cleaner, but maybe that's my imagination. I have no idea what the old formula was like, but this new gentle fragrance free one will go in my HG group. Only gripe is I do agree the pump doesn't dispense enough so you have to pump a few times. It's not a big deal it just makes you feel like you're using a lot when you aren't, but better too little than too much and actually wasting product.
Powder -Lancome - Dual Finish Versatile Powder Makeup
Jessiebanana 9/21/2011 7:26:00 PM
So I really like this powder. The reason I give it 4 and not 5 is because it has a very strong fragrance. If the fragrance free version came in all the colors I would be happy to change my score Lancome =). Onto the powder itself. I think this powder foundation is best suited to dry to combo skin. I say this because it isn't oil controlling. It's a soft matte/satin finish, but it doesn't absorb anything. After a few minutes I look luminous, in a non dewy way, and I have dry skin. I've only used it dry, as I bought it only to use as a powder, and dry it goes on light to medium coverage with a kabuki or sponge. My favorite brush to use with it is the Sephora Platinum #55. It's completely non cakey, no matter how much you build it with a brush and your skin just looks effortlessly natural. It has a soft focus effect that makes up for the lower coverage by blurring the imperfections. This foundation actually ends up being fairly cheap for a HE foundation as you get 19g of product, which is quite a bit more than other brands. Also a powder foundation that doesn't emphasize flakes and looks good on dry skin is worth it. The packaging is sleek and sophisticated and despite being a powder this foundation comes in a wide range of shades, even for women of color. FYI I don't use the puff/sponge it comes with it, but if you did I would save the plastic tray insert so you can have a way of keeping the applicator away from the product. ***Edit*** I can achieve the same, actually better results, with MAC Careblend and the powder is even more neutral and a better color match for my skin. Ultimately I found the fragrance a bit irritating to my skin and nose so I switched to another product and took off another star.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock spf 70
Jessiebanana 7/14/2011 1:50:00 PM
This sunscreen is pretty fantastic. I was using the Healthy Defense Liquid Moisturizer in SPF50, but I switched to this for summer, mainly out of curiosity. It's matt-er than the Healthy Defense, which is nice for hot sweaty days, but has the same liquidy runny thin consistency you normally associate with Asian sunscreens, minus the alcohol. It's a bit thicker than the Healthy Defense, but it goes on less greasy and is still very light feeling. For a sunscreen the fragrance is fairly light. It doesn't break me out and it doesn't leave a white cast on my NW43 skin. Once again Neutrogena brings in a great product for an excellent price.
The best exfoliant I have ever tried. It's so hard to find an exfoliant that doesn't contain any sulfates, cleansing properties or fragrance. I have dry sensitive skin and I already have a gentle cleanser. I don't need to rock the boat with extra cleansers in my exfoliater. This cleanser also doesn't contain any aloe, which I am allergic too. It's actually pretty hard to find natural products that don't contain aloe. It's an extremely effective exfoliater. The grains are so tiny that it really gets those tiny flakes off that exfoliaters with larger grains can miss and it has tons of those grains. It doesn't dry my skin out or anything. It says to use it 2-4x a week. If you have thinner dry skin 2x a weeks should suffice. Maybe if you have thicker oilier skin 4x is better? I can't say for sure because that isn't my skin, but this is definitely an effective product that doesn't require daily use to be work. I did get tiny tiny bumps in my t-zone after the first week, but I think that's because I had gone almost 5 months without exfoliating (recovering from a bad AHA experience) and I had a lot of dead skin and gunk going on there. I continued into the second week and the bumps started disappearing and were completely gone by the third week. Now I actually break out less. I just had a time of the month and didn't break out at all. I highly recommend this product. It's absolutely work the $24. There are more expensive products out there that are no where near as good and don't contain the quality ingredients this does.
Styling Products -John Frieda - Frizz-Ease Hair Serum Thermal Protection Formula
Jessiebanana 7/14/2011 12:15:00 PM
This is a fantastic heat protectant for those of us with curly hair. Unlike many heat protectants on the market, it's truly suitable for use on curly/dry hair. If you have curly hair that you don't wash everyday, but want to touch up the initial straightening job, last thing you want to do is make it more frizzy by applying some wet (probably alcohol based) heat protectant on it. This product has the same consistency as the original frizz ease, actually a bit lighter/thinner, so if you like that but want the added heat protection I highly recommend this. Oh I like the John Frieda has added the twist and lock feature to this product. My Frizz Ease products in the past always magically end up spilling somewhere no matter how diligently I store them. It's nice to be able to lock it after every use and not have to worry about it.
Lipstick -Cover Girl - Lip Perfection in Temptress
Jessiebanana 6/2/2011 10:13:00 PM
So I was fairly disappointed in this l/s. The color was fantastic, but despite it being a cream formula and it's claims to be hydrating it was actually quite drying and had a slip to it that felt really strange and disappeared quite quick leaving a stain behind. The stain I didn't mind, but the drying aspect was not fun. I also wasn't a fan of the sweet-plastic smell. I almost would have preferred they forgo the fragrance, instead of having that combined smell. It's not the worst l/s ever, but I was hoping to finally find something DS I liked. I ended up returning it, even though I bought it with a coupon, and got MAC Impassioned instead. Impassioned is similar in tone, but more intense.
This product replaces the MSFN for me. The MSFN was the best thing I had tried so far for my dry skin, but this powder out does it by far. It has about similar coverage, but I find that this product is so silky it goes on lighter with a fluffy brush than MSFN. It's so light and creamy that it doesn't cake or pronounce lines at all. It's a powder so it's a matte/satin finish, but it still adds a bit of that glow though. I am very happy with it and highly recommend it to other dry people. I'm a (more neutral) NW43 and I wear Dark, which I find is a lot more neutral than the MSFN in Dark. The MSFN was very very yellow, which became a problem if I wanted to wear it as more than a setting powder. Also the MSFN gets cakey and itchy if I apply more than sheerly. With the Careblend being neutral I can use it with a denser brush (Sephora #55) and achieve a light-medium coverage. It makes my skin look airbrushed and radiant. As of 10/23 it's my current foundation. I just use concealer and this product. ***I also love that this is a fragrance free MAC product.
I agree that compared to other MAC lip liners this one isn't as creamy, which is why I give it a 4 and not a 5. What makes this product amazing though is that it is such a unique color. Like a lot of people I find that most pink l/l either lean cool or rosey or nudey/browney, which is okay, but when you want your light or medium warm pink or coral l/s to stay that way it's an interference. I got this l/l because my lips are naturally mauvey and I have a hard time getting warm pink or peachy-pink lip colors to show up true. I'm also a NW43 so medium shade pinks just tend to pull differently. Obviously I would never wear this l/l on it's own or with clear gloss because it's way too light, but it's an excellent product for canceling out the dark mauvey pigment to my lips and allowing the true color of my lippies to shine through. The fact that it is so light means it won't darken your bright lippie what so ever. I had a l/l that was just a shade or two darker and it did that and it was so disappointing. All in all this l/l is a color saver for me and it will be a staple for me, especially through the spring/summer.
I've been using this product for a year now and I'm not even a big "mask" person, but this stuff works. I have dry sensitive skin and a lot of products irritate it or dry it out. This mask is very gentle. It leaves your face feeling really clean, but not red or uncomfortable. It sucks all the gunk out of your face and even if it doesn't all come off with the mask, it's near the surface ready for exfoliation or gentle pressure. It also works on blemishes that are resistant to surfacing. Like others have said, the product must be shaken, which can get tricky towards the end, but nothing that can't be conquered. You get a few months worth of uses out of one package so it's extremely affordable. I highly recommend it.
Eye Makeup Remover -Boots - Organic Face Nourishing Eye Make up Remover
Jessiebanana 5/15/2011 11:33:00 PM
This product is amazing! It's essentially a cleansing oil in a thicker consistency at a DS price. In fact I think I prefer it to many HE cleansing oils because it it only contains five ingredients. I use this product all over my face, like the reviewer below. I use a gentle cream cleanser so I wanted a separate product to take off my mu, but not strip my skin and defeat the purpose of using a gentle cleanser. I've actually used many cleansing oils before, but they can be irritating depending on which oils are used and pricey if you only want to use them to remove mu. This product works just as good and it's not irritating or stripping at all. The jojoba and olive oil are perfect oils for dry sensitive skin. The thicker consistency means it doesn't blur your vision as easy either. I will be sticking with this product for a long time.
Treatments -Alpha Hydrox - AHA Souffle 12 percent Glycolic AHA
Jessiebanana 5/9/2011 1:25:00 PM
I have dry sensitive thin skin and I was thinking that maybe chemical exfoliation would be better than physical, though I've never had a problem with physical exfoliation. I also thought it would help fade my acne scars. I was dead wrong. This product burned and stung so bad upon first application. I thought it would go away, but after a month and a half it never did. I tried using it every other day, that was too much so I tried 2x a week and it was still too much and then once a week. Even at 1x a week it turned my skin into something amphibian like and when I would go outside without mu on the wind and sun felt really harsh on my skin, even with ss! And speaking of ss, this product made my skin incredibly sensitive to chemical ss. To make matters worse it didn't speed up the fading of my acne scars at all. I was incredibly disappointed. It made my skin softer, but not in a good way. It stripped it of all it's natural protection and my nose and forehead flaked worse than they ever had before. It took a couple months to get my skin back to a healthy state. I don't think it was specifically this product. I've never had any positive reactions to AHA or BHA or Retinols in unnatural forms. I think it's a myth that these products are better for sensitive skin and I would caution anyone with dry sensitive skin to think twice about leaping into to this product.
I got this blush as a 100pt Sample and I swatched the other colors and I must say I think this product is terrible for dry or brown skin. There is nothing "HD" about it. It's very obvious. It sits on the skin and drags when you apply it. It made the texture of the skin on my cheeks look 5x worse than it actually is. Also despite the incredibly pigmented colors it still looks chalky when blended on my darker skin. I tried applying it multiple ways and there was no way it looked good. If you have combo/oily skin and are light/med skin tone these might work for you, but for me this product doesn't live up to MUFE standards. The packaging also needs to dispense less product.
Cleansers -Aveeno - Ultra-Calming Moisturizing Cream Cleanser [DISCONTINUED]
Jessiebanana 4/29/2011 1:41:00 PM
There aren't enough good things I can say about this product. It is the BEST cream cleanser I have ever tried. I have extremely dry, sensitive, even cystic acne prone skin and I had been wanting a cleanser, for the morning at least, that was very gentle. This cleanser actually works well, it gets your face clean, but with no stripping at all. Even cleansing oils can strip a little sometimes, but this doesn't at all. It has a lotion consistency and a super light pleasant smell. I love that there is no fragrance added. I thought the feverfew claim was just for advertising, but my face was visibly less irritated the morning after using it and after a week my face has calmed down. I couldn't believe it at first. It's better than Cetaphil which I don't feel like cleanses my skin. I also think this product has better ingredients. It doesn't take all my mu off if I'm wearing liquid foundation, so I do use Jojoba oil on cotton round to remove my face mu first, but it works fine alone if you're just wearing blush, powder and/or non wp mascara. I also like using it with my Clarisonic because it is so gentle. Even though I was only in search of a morning cleanser it's all I use now because I notice that my skin goes from being perfectly clear with this cleanser, to having small breakouts when I go back to my old one. It's happened enough for me to rule out it being a coincidence. I am so happy I discovered this product and gave it a shot. I've tried so many cleansers, HE as well, and this is the best. It's a god send really. Oh and I don't know what some reviewers mean by small size. It's 5 oz, the same as any other cleanser, and you only need a small amount. It should last a decent amount of time, 2-3 months if you use it twice a day.