I used this product for about fifteen years. I wanted something that would help my eye shadow and liner stay in place. The Lancome SA recommended this product. Earlier this year I decided to try MAC Paint Pot Painterly. That is what I am using now, but I still have my Aquatique. I wanted to try one of the newer products out there and see how it compared to Aquatique. I have to say that Painterly is a great product. It goes on easily and keeps eye shadow and liner in place. However, I do still love Aquatique and go back and forth between these two. The one difference is that Painterly goes on much more smoothly and easier than Aquatique. I don't have to pull and tug as much. Aquatique has a natural color that works with my NW 20/25 complexion. I could use it alone if I just wanted to have a quick, natural look. Aquatique also lasts a long time. I have had this one for almost a year. That's good value! I did try the UDPP, but had to return it to Sephora because it just didn't work on my drier eyelids. I don't think this will work for mature women like myself. That doesn't mean that it's not a good product. It just means that it's not for me. I am happy that I tried another product. Now I have two great eye primers that I use interchangeably and still get great results. When I run out of the Aquatique, then I will have to decide if I want to stay with Painterly. But for now I am very happy with both products.
Respectfully, I have to disagree with the person who said that this bronzer is not for anyone over the age of 25. As people can see by my age category, I am way over the age of 25! I searched a very long time for the right bronzer and NARS Laguna was it! So many bronzers have a red undertone or a yellow undertone. It was very frustrating to shop for the right bronzer and be disappointed time and again. But when I tried Laguna, I knew that this was the perfect bronzer for me. This is a true brown, with none of those undertones that can distort the color. It does have a slight shimmer. However, it's not like your face will light up like a Christmas tree. The rule is that you go with a matte bronzer, especially if you are older. Well, I tried many of the most well known ones and they did not look good on me. I don't even have the time or inclination to list all the bronzers I tried. Suffice to say that it would be a who's who of bronzers from the top makeup companies. Bronzers can be too light or too dark. Some makeup companies only have two shades and neither one works. Some bronzers look orangey and fake. For my NW25 complexion, this bronzer is a perfect fit! It's just the right color. It goes on beautifully to give a natural bronzed look. I use it to contour my cheeks and then sweep it up over my temples, a little on the forehead and around the lower part of my face. The shimmer is so slight that it is barely noticeable. I combine it with my NARS Luster blush for a warm, radiant look. The product lasts forever. Yes, it's expensive but you get a lot of product for your money and it will last a really long time. I think it's a great investment.
A few years ago I was looking for a blush that would really work for me. I didn't want to settle. I knew all about Orgasm and Super Orgasm, but they looked way too pink on my NW25 skin. I found Luster and have never looked back! This golden, peachy apricot shade is just perfect for my skin. I love the delicate flecks of shimmer that add a sheen on my cheeks. NARS is really the gold standard for blush. They have a wonderful array of shades that should suit all complexions and the product goes on so smoothly and beautifully. I really don't like blush that looks too strong against the skin. I want a natural color that will enhance my skin and warm it up. Luster delivers on all counts! This is my HG blush. I don't need any other color. It works all year round. In the summer I can use my Laguna bronzer with this blush for a sofly radiant look. My search has ended and Luster is the perfect blush for me.
Mascara -Christian Dior - Diorshow Extase Flash Plumping Mascara
NativeNewyorker 11/19/2012 4:50:00 PM
I think Dior Extase is my all-in-one perfect mascara. I am a huge fan of Diorshow mascara. In the past, I would buy the original Diorshow and the Dior Blackout mascaras and use them together to get the look I wanted. Now with Extase, I can have it all in one mascara. If you want intensity, drama and a dramatic look, then this is the mascara for you. What I really like about this is that it doesn't tend to dry out like the original Diorshow. It also doesn't clump and the wand helps for a smooth application and great coverage. You get increased volume and thickness, length, curl and intense color all in one application. I did try a sample of the Givenchy Noir Couture 4 in 1 mascara with my beauty insider points at Sephora. I think it's very close to Extase. I did have more trouble with the wand when it came to applying the product. But the look was very much the same kind of intense dramatic one that I love. I still prefer Extase, but these two are very close and will give the desired effect. Price is not an issue, because if you are willing to pay $28.50 for Extase, then paying $32.00 for Noir Couture is not a stretch. I sometimes feel guilty paying this kind of money for a product that only last for three or four months. But when I see the effect that it creates, then I just think of it as one of my little indulgences.
I bought this starter set kit for eyes mainly to get the base shadow brush and the deluxe crease brush. The reason I only gave this four stars is because you cannot order these brushes individually. These are the two that I really wanted. Also, the rating is for packaging that is honestly of rather poor quality. The case is flimsy, but good for travel. I agree with those who have said that the base shadow brush is like the MAC 239 and the MAC 217 combined. It's amazing for packing on color and blending. I love the deluxe crease brush for applying concealer. It gives a beautiful, buffed finish and smoothes on the product with ease. This brush can also be used in the crease to apply eyeshadow. I am really happy with both these brushes. I can use the little detailer brush for highlighting the inner corner of the eye and for smudging eyeliner. So that's at least three brushes out of the this kit that I can use. That's still pretty good value. As for the fine eyeliner brush, that is for gel eyeliner. I use pencil and powder to line my eyes. I may check out a gel eyeliner to see what all the shouting is about. But I won't buy it just so I can use the brush. I will go to the department store and let a SA apply it so that I can see how it looks and how to use it. But I really have no use for the brow brush. In her video, Sam Chapman used it to apply black eyeshadow and smoke out her upper eye liner. But I have much better quality brushes to do that. This one seems to really not belong in this collection. It's not up to the quality of the other brushes. If I could order the brushes individually, I would buy at least two or three more each of the base shadow brush and deluxe crease brush. But since that isn't an option, I won't buy another starter eye kit. I love those two brushes and hope that they will consider selling them individually at some point. They are an excellent value! ETA: Now that I have been using these brushes for a while, I just wanted to update my review. At this point I wouldn't put the base shadow brush in the same league with the MAC 239 and 217. It is good for packing on color and blending, but I don't think it is as good as those two MAC brushes. I still use both the deluxe crease brush and the base shadow brush to apply concealer and shadow. I can interchange them with my MAC brushes. I still think these brushes are great value. ETA: I needed to provide another update. I had a problem with the deluxe crease brush. As I was using the brush, I realized that the brush hairs had detached from the brush itself. The brush hairs will move up or down if I try to put any pressure on it. I have no idea why or how this happened. I clean my brushes the same way. I have had no problem with the base shadow brush or the little detailer brush. I have not had any problem with the Expert Face Brush. I am so disappointed, because this brush was my favorite. However, I am not of a mind to buy the whole starter set again. For now I am just going to chalk this up as some kind of atypical problem. It's possible that there was something wrong with the brush.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Expert Face Brush
NativeNewyorker 11/15/2012 2:18:00 AM
I have a confession to make. I have never used any kind of foundation brush to apply my makeup. I have always used either a little wedge sponge or my fingers. I don't use much foundation just a few drops on my cheeks forehead and chin. But I heard so much about Sam Chapman's brushes and decided to buy this expert face brush. This has been a revelation! This brush is very dense and helps my foundation go on smoothly. I also have very dry, sensitive skin with mild rosacea, so I was nervous that the brush might irritate. It is so soft on my face! The real wonder is the finish I get on my skin. I have been fortunate all my life to have good skin, but using this brush makes my skin look flawless! I get great coverage and a gorgeous finish. I am not crazy about synthetic brushes, but this one is so well made. Great quality! The brush takes some effort to clean. The product just sinks right into the dense bristles. But it holds its shape well. I have had no shedding at all. Needless to say, I am thrilled with the results! Using a face brush can be a good thing! It's never too late to learn new and better ways to apply makeup. I was so pleased that I bought the starter kit for eyes. I had similar great results. These brushes are a keeper!
Concealers -Lancome - Maquicomplet (Complete Coverage Concealer)
NativeNewyorker 11/9/2012 2:08:00 AM
After an exhausting amount of research, reading reviews online and getting as much information as possible, I bought the Lancome Maquicomplet Concealer. I have been looking for a new concealer for a while. Since 1996 I have been using Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in #3. If I really love a product, I tend to stay with it. But recently, I realized that as I have gotten older, my skin is now much drier and there were other products out there that might suit me better. The SA suggested Claire II, which is perfect for my NW25 skin. I went to the department store without any concealer under my eyes. I thought the color was a perfect match and that is something when it comes to my skin. This shade isn't yellow based like the Laura Mercier SC and it's not pink based. It's a neutral shade that matches my skin tone beautifully. As I wore it around the mall, I noticed that it had good staying power and the skin under my eyes felt very soft. It's easy to apply with the doeskin wand and I use the Real Techniques domed shadow brush or the crease brush to blend and buff it. I narrowed my choices down to Shiseido, Estee Lauder and Dior along with Lancome. I realized that being older and having very dry skin, the heavy concealers don't work for me. They emphasize the dryness and lines. I tested the concealers from all these lines and Dior Sculpt Smooth Lifting Concealer in 002 was my second favorite. But the Lancome concealer was the best match and that sealed it for me. I have problems with undereye bags and puffiness. This concealer does an excellent job of hiding them as much as possible. I never look for miracles. I am realistic and know that the only way to get rid of undereye bags is plastic surgery. But until I decide to make that decision, this concealer will do the job! I am really pleased with my choice.
I went to the MAC counter in my local department store looking for an intense black eyeliner. My intention was to buy Smolder. but the SA told me that Feline was the blackest black and also smudged less than Smolder. He showed me both and sure enough, Feline was the darker of the two. I have been reading the reviews saying that this pencil doesn't last, smudges, etc. I prefer to use this on my inner waterline top and bottom. It works even better than the Maybelline Studio automatic intense black eyeliner I was using for that purpose. However, sometimes I will line it very close to my upper and lower lids for a more dramatic nighttime look. I always put a powder eyeshadow over it for staying power. I use Carbon and it helps the pencil liner stay on very well. That would be my recommendation for those who have had problems with smudging. Those who really want staying power might be better off with the Technakohl automatic liners in the MAC line. Smolder seems to be more popular, but for me Feline is the kind of intense black that I love. When I use it on the waterline, it makes my green eyes stand out. For me this is an excellent product that, when used properly with a black eyeshadow, has terrific staying power.
Moisturizers -Shiseido - Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizer
NativeNewyorker 5/22/2012 11:48:00 PM
This is my HG moisturizer. I have been using this for over fifteen years. I have tried other moisturizers over the years, but nothing works as well as this one. I always come back to it because it works. I love the creme-gel texture which combats dryness without that greasy heavy feeling. It's so light on the skin. It make my very dry skin feel plump and hydrated. I used to buy the 1.7 oz size, but when they came out with the bigger 2.6 oz size I switched because it was a better value. I cannot say enough about this moisturizer and the great results I see are a testament to its effectiveness. I had to be very careful because my skin is extremely sensitive. I have had reactions to so many other products. But no problems with this moisturizer. There should be a Hall of Fame and this product should be there! I will be using this for life!
Mulch has become my favorite MAC eye shadow. I use it on my lid just up to the crease and it has this subtle sparkle and shimmer that is absolutely gorgeous! It's a bronzy brown which manages to bring out my green eyes and make them pop. I usually use a neutral brown in the outer corner and then blend it along the crease. Right now my brown of choice is Espresso. Then I also use Soft Brown over the Espresso and blend them together. Any highlight shadow just on the brow bone and I am ready to go! I think that I am addicted to Mulch!
Since I need all the help I can get with my almost not there eyelashes, I consider myself a mascara expert. This is my most important product, along with eyeliner. Without either of these, I look like I have no eyes. I use this product specifically for the lower lashes, which are the trickiest to do. The thin stiff brush gets all of the littlest ones and doesn't smudge or make a mess on the lower lid like so many of the others I have tried. I have a whole collection of mascaras for different uses. This is definitely my go-to one for the bottom lashes and it works better than anything else I have tried. I can't afford to be without mascara even on the bottom lashes, so this product is indispensable to me. For the top lashes I have other mascaras that can do the job. I think this is the best product out there and the price is great, too.
Mascara is one of the most important products to me, because my eyelashes are so light and short and thin that they look almost non-existent. Since my green eyes are my best feature, I need a great mascara to show them off. This is way up at the top of my list. If you want a dramatic look with volume, then this is for you. But I don't use it on my lower lashes. The brush is too big, you would make a mess. This product actually makes me look like I have the most gorgeous eyelashes. I have even gotten compliments on how long and thick my eyelashes are when I wear it! I have to try to keep from smiling because I know what my eyelashes really look like with nothing on. When I wear this, then it brings out my green eyes and it's so great! My only tiny quibble is that I do think it starts to dry out a little too soon for me. But the look I get is so great that I am willing to put up with that and the price. The only other mascara that I think is even in the same league is Hypnose by Lancome, my other favorite mascara.
This is the best cleanser I have ever used and my skin is not only dry and sensitive, it is allergic skin. My allergy to mold affects my skin and I get rashes and itching and bumps sometimes. This is the only product I will use to cleanse my face. It is soft and creamy and removes my makeup beautifully without leaving my fact tight. I love that it is so affordable, too. One large bottle lasts for months. I have to be sure to use skin products that don't have a lot of fragrance or I will get a reaction. There are so many cleansers that I had to return that I was losing hope when I heard about this. I see why dermatologists recommend it. I won't use anything else. As long as my too, too dry sensitive skin is happy, then so am I.
Moisturizers -La Mer - Creme de la mer moisturizer
NativeNewyorker 6/16/2006 5:26:00 PM
This is my miracle cream. It is so expensive, but it is worth every penny. I have extremely dry skin and this is the one product that keeps my skin moisturized and hydrated like no other. It gives my skin a glow and seems to diminish the fine lines. I look younger since I have been using it. It's great that you can also use it as an eye cream and it has done wonders for my bags and puffiness. I sometimes have to be on Prednisone, oral steroid medication for asthma, and it really dries out my skin terribly. This product helps to counteract the effects of that and other medications. I couldn't live without it.