Lotions/ Creams -The Healing Garden - Jasmine Therapy
RitaPerfect 1/2/2011 5:46:00 PM
The thing that I love about The Healing Garden lotions is that the scents are very pure. I mean that it smells exactly like the body spray version, unlike other "fragrance lotions" that have a slightly altered scent (even the lotions that accompany very expensive perfumes in their gift sets). Jasmine Therapy really brings me back to my early teenage years, when I first discovered aromatherapy and organic skincare. I bought a bunch of The Healing Garden lotions to improve my mood. I have the mandarin therapy (very energizing and invigorating), lavender therapy (relaxing and sleep-inducing), and white tea therapy (clean, fresh, and simple). The one that I am most drawn to is the jasmine therapy, which is a beautiful floral scent that smells romantic and, as the tube describes, "sensual". It is perfect for nighttime use. The consistency isn't all that great because it is way too thin and runny to be moisturizing, but I mainly use this for its scent anyway. Even though it's merely a lotion, I would say that the scent of The Healing Garden lotions is strong enough to equal what you would get with a body mist or light perfume.
If you read my review for the Mane 'n Tail Shampoo, you will know that I don't have a lot of hair, so I hate it when my hair gets flat since it emphasizes my lack of hair even more. In addition to this, I have another problem: my hair also tends to get frizzy sometimes and the ends are damaged from heat. This means that I cannot use the lightweight conditioners that are usually paired up with volumizing shampoos because they are simply not moisturizing enough to tame the frizziness and hydrate my ends. I use this Mane 'n Tail Conditioner in conjunction with the Mane 'n Tail Shampoo, and I find that this combination is wonderful. While the shampoo does a great job of cleaning my hair of any oil and prepping it to be full and fluffy, it also leaves my hair feeling rather stripped. So then I take the conditioner, which I apply only from the middle of my hair to the ends, to make up for this loss of moisture. The formula is nice and creamy, not thin and runny, so it it really sticks to my hair. It smooths my hair and tames the frizziness. The bottle states that it's meant to be a texturizer as well as a moisturizer, and I think this is due to the "emulsifying wax". I love the look of healthy and natural-looking hair that has texture and bounce, unlike the synthetically soft, slippery, and shiny hair you get from silicone-based hair products. Another thing I like is how this conditioner deepens the color of my hair. Just like how hair looks darker when it's wet, my hair soaks up the moisturizing oil ingredients in this conditioner and retains the darker color of "slight damp hair" even after blowdrying. So my hair looks a lot more lustrous and the color of it is more pronounced. I was initially afraid that the vegetable oil, coconut oil, and lanolin would be too greasy and heavy, but this has not been a problem. I know some people like to use this condition as a deep conditioning treatment and leave it in like a hair mask, but frankly, I find that rinsing it out as a regular conditioner still keeps my frazzled ends (which I worry about the most) hydrated. I love this conditioner!
I am not blessed with the abundance of hair that I long to have, so I am always on the lookout for volumizing shampoos. My HG was the Suave Professional Volumizing Shampoo for the longest time, but I used up my last bottle and now I cannot find it in stores anymore! So I was intrigued by the Mane 'n Tail Shampoo when I saw that it contains all the basic ingredients in the Suave. Unfortunately, I threw out the Suave bottle already, but I do remember that it had very similar ingredients. I decided Mane 'n Tail might be like the same thing, but without the extra frills. Now let me announce here that it does work just as well, maybe even better!! I LOVE this shampoo! Used in combination with the Mane 'n Tail Conditioner, I get a super thick mane of hair that looks so great when I gather it into a full and bouncy ponytail. I love how cheap this stuff is and how convenient it is to find. I don't even mind the totally non-girly packaging with the horses because I feel that it makes the product seem less mainstream and more of a well-kept beauty secret that I had stumbled upon. It's definitely not the flashy and sleek bottles being promoted in magazine ads, so I feel rather special and unique as a Mane 'n Tail user. The only thing I found slightly off-putting about this is the lack of lather when shampooing. I personally love a rich lather so I was surprised to find that the formula mostly stayed in a liquid form with only a little foaming. I tried to compensate for this by using a lot more shampoo in hopes of producing more lather. Big mistake. As I was rinsing, my hair had that "squeaky clean" feeling and it tangled too. All shampoos that claim to add volume and body essentially work by stripping the hair of any oils and product gunk that could weigh your hair down. This means that they contain heavy-duty cleaning agents. My advice with this shampoo is to not use too much of it during shampooing because the Sodium Lauryl Sulphate in here is pretty drying and it does not contain any moisturizing oils to counteract this. Personally, I like how it doesn't contain any extra stuff that could coat and flatten my hair, but this formula may be rather harsh for those with super dry hair. So I suggest just concentrating on cleaning your roots (not the ends!) and quickly washing it out. Then apply the Mane 'n Tail Conditioner for gorgeous healthy-looking hair that will make everyone wondering about your hair secret. They don't need to know you're using hair products designed for show horses!
This stuff is worth the hype! I ordered this concealer in Light/Medium and at first I thought it was going to be too light for my NC30 skin tone. Initially, it does go on pretty light, but since I use this to brighten up my eyebags and inner corners, I I can get away with using a light concealer. If I had bought this to cover up scars or pimples, then I think I would go with a slightly darker shade. I do think that after a little while, the color changes slightly (somehow darkening a little bit) and matches with my skin better. The consistency is really wonderful because while it offers great coverage, it's also super blendable and doesn't feel heavy at all. After it settles onto my skin, the finish is very natural -- not cakey and does not accentuate any fine lines. One thing I don't like is the packaging. It's clear plastic and cheap-looking. The sides of the jar are rather high considering that the product itself only takes up half of the container anyway. It also came with this little circular sponge that I didn't know what to do with. I guess it can be used to apply the concealer, but I prefer to use my ring finger. I know this is expensive ($18 at Sephora), but it's worth the splurge for such a lovely product that I can use everyday.
Lipstick -Wet 'n' Wild - Mega Matte 903C Just Peachy
RitaPerfect 11/3/2010 1:40:00 AM
These Wet 'n' Wild Mega Last Matte lipsticks are amazing! "Just Peachy" is probably as close to the pale lip look as I can get because I just cannot do nude lipsticks. They always make me look dead, and the fact that my lips look "erased" seems to elongate my long face shape even more, which I hate. But while "Just Peachy" is on the pale side (at least, paler than my usual stash of rosy pinks), it still has some color. Since the finish is matte and the formula is on the drier and denser side, I like to apply this by lightly tapping the color onto my lips and then smacking my lips together to blend. This prevents the color from looks cakey or uneven. With only a thin layer of color, the matte finish looks very smooth and almost creamy. Don't think that you have to layer this stuff on -- it has tons of pigmentation and offers full coverage! I had another lipstick on and I was surprised to find that applying "Just Peachy" completely masked the previous color! It's pretty longwearing too and does not suck the moisture out of my lips. But if you find that it does, you can always use a lip balm OVER this lipstick, not UNDER because that will prevent the color from adhering properly to your lips. I love how the creamy matte finish makes my lips look fuller and poutier!
I've read some really good reviews about this lash serum on MUA, so I decided to give it a shot because it's considered extremely cheap compared to other lash enhancers out there on the market. I bought the lash serum by itself because I figured that I wouldn't need to get the serum-infused mascara too if I already owned the sole product that would do all the miracle work. I must say that I was instantly impressed upon first application because this stuff made my lashes look much fuller overnight! I have straight lashes and they are usually difficult to curl. But this serum made them so soft and fluffy that only two clamps with my eyelash curler already had them curved sky high. Then I realized that this feat wasn't too special because any lash conditioner could coat your lashes, giving them a moisturized and (for lack of a better word) "conditioned" fluffiness. So I continued using this stuff every night for about a few weeks and now I do notice a slight increase in the length of my lashes. I can't say too much about the overall volume because I definitely didn't grow a whole bunch of new lashes. The serum just pampered the lashes that I did have and made them look a little better. One thing that I just discovered recently (and made me bump the rating to 5 lippies) is that this serum is great for the brows! While I didn't see any incredible change in my eyelashes (it wasn't life changing enough to make me stop hunting for new mascara, that's for sure), I find that the slight enhancement helps a lot with my sparse brows. At night, I brush the serum onto my brows and really try to work it into the roots of the hairs. In the morning, the brow hairs that usually stick straight down are much softer and more manageable. Since the hairs are conditioned, the overall shape of my brows is more defined because the hairs stand out and I can get away with using slightly less brow product. NOTE: In the beginning, I did notice a very minimal stinging when I applied this to my eyes, but then my eyes grew accustomed to it because I no longer get that feeling. It wasn't bad enough to make me stop using the product, but then again, maybe my eyes aren't as sensitive as others.
This blush brush is worth every penny! Not only are the bristles super soft, but they also form the PERFECT shape and size for a perfect blush application! I have powder blushes stowed away in my makeup drawer that I thought never looked good on me until I tried them with this Ecotools brush. It turns out that the brushes with a rounded dome top deposited way too much color in the middle of my cheeks (where the bristles first touch the skin), and floppy long-bristled brushes just weren't dense enough to pick up enough pigment! This Ecotools Blush Brush is a bit flat, but it is also fluffy and dense, so it fits to the apples of the cheeks perfectly and gives a natural dose of color (not too much and not too little). You can also rotate the brush head to use the narrower side to sweep highlighter across your cheekbones. The bristles don't scratch your cheeks at all. I love the wooden handle design and the affordable price! I highly recommend this product!
This is the Multi-Use Palette that came out in the Suede Rhapsody Fall 2010 Collection. I was so excited when I spotted this at CVS because it looked so cute! It's a small and compact black square palette with a clear plastic flip top. There's a shimmery white highlighter shade on the top left, and a shimmer-free coral-salmon blush on the top right. The bottom contains a shimmery brownish-aubergine cream eyeshadow on the left, and a shimmer-free slate gray on the right. Then the bottom layer of the palette comes with an intense-looking red lip color that can be pulled out from the side. It also comes with a tiny lip brush. I think the real winner of this little palette is the lip color. While it looks like a super bright true red shade (the exact type of bold red you would expect to see on a geisha), the blue undertone comes out rather nicely and tones the red down to a pretty berry-red shade. This stuff is highly pigmented, so I dab my finger in the pan once or twice and then gently tap it across my lips. Then I rub/blend out the color and watch as the color blooms into a stain-like finish. I know some people worry about red turning bright fuchsia on them, but this doesn't happen with this product (at least, not on me). The finish is a very sophisticated matte, so you don't have to worry about having overly glossy red lips that look too garish. I think this lip color is perfect for the wintertime! The two eyeshadows aren't my favorites because they don't last long at all, but what can you expect from a cream formula, right? The brownish-aubergine is on the sheer side and doesn't do much for my NC30 skin tone, other than add a slight shadow and shimmer to my eyes. I was also hoping for a bolder aubergine color (it's more like cooked eggplant, really) but instead, it shows up as more of a brown on me. I also experienced creasing after a little while, but I haven't tried it with a primer yet. I think this color is nice if you're going for a professional and not too overdone look, and you're willing to do touch-ups throughout the day. The slate gray eyeshadow is shimmer-free, which I didn't like. I tried adding the shimmer white highlighter on top of it, but that just resulted it the gray being blended out completely since these creams have too much "slip" in them, preventing you from doing a blended eyeshadow look because they mix together or blend away other shades. However, if overlooking this fact, I did end up liking the slate gray because it is much more pigmented than the aubergine, so I am able to apply it to my lids more quickly without having to dip my finger in the pan over and over again to pick up more product. I have only tried these eyeshadows using my fingers, so I don't know if they will work better with a brush. I also have no idea if they will wear better if an eyeshadow primer, but it never hurts to try. The highlighter and the brush were surprising loves for me. I didn't think I would have any use for such a tiny square of shimmery white cream until I discovered that it works really well as an inner corner eye brightener! It really helps open up my eyes and flatters any eyeshadow color that I'm wearing. I just dab a little bit of it with my finger and then lightly tap it into the inner corners. This is a lot easier than applying a powdered highlighter with a brush. I take extra caution not to smudge my eyeshadow, especially if I'm wearing one of the accompanying cream shadows (see the problem of overblending above). The shimmer particles are gold and rather noticeable, so I don't like using this on my face. I didn't have high hopes for the blush at all and I wasn't even planning on using it because I normally don't wear any coral blushes. However, this blush shows up on my skin as a pretty apple-pink color with a hint of warmth! It looks so fresh and girly! My only gripe is that I wish it would last longer. Overall, this palette wasn't bad for only $6.99. I think Revlon comes out with some great limited edition items in their collections and they are worth collecting if you happen to like the colors or think the product itself is unique. It's the second option for me with this palette. I will continue to use this for the gorgeous wintery red lipcolor, the useful white highlighter, and occasionally the blush, but the eyeshadows will have to be things I just play with from time to time.
Lipstick -Revlon - Matte lipstick in Mauve It Over
RitaPerfect 10/3/2010 10:43:00 PM
This is definitely my new go-to lipstick! I was afraid that the matte finish would make my lips look dry and unnatural, but this is not the case at all! It just makes the color a lot more subdued and understated, which is why I like pairing this with charcoal eyeliner (lightly smudged). It's a simpler take on the classic "smokey eyes and toned-down lips" that you would wear for a party, but it's much more wearable for the daytime, especially since "Mauve It Over" is a warm MLBB pink instead of a super pale milky-pink. I am in love with the smooth and creamy texture of this lipstick! It's so moisturizing. I think I would rather buy a matte lipstick that I can top with a lipgloss to add shine than get a glossy lipstick that cannot be used for professional events. To me, lipstick and lip gloss should be two separate things!
I am so surprised by the quality of this lipstick! I've been really loving the new Wet 'n' Wild Mega Last matte lipsticks lately, so I thought I would give these Revlon ones a try since everyone has been going on and on about the texture. And believe me, it does not disappoint! These are way more moisturizing and creamy! Even though they are highly pigmented, they don't dry out my lips at all and the application is so smooth that it feels like putting on a lip balm! This lipstick reminds me a bit of the ELF Mineral Lipsticks (which also coat my lips like a balm) but definitely feels less heavy. "Fabulous Fig" gives me a nice subdued red color because it has tinges of warm brown in it. It brings to mind the lip color I remember on a gorgeous model for an advertisement back in the 90's. I can't recall what the ad was for (some clothing brand, I think) and I don't know the model's name, but the wonderfully classic and womanly look of this color remains the same. I like to dab the lipstick on lightly and then even out the color by smacking my lips together. This allows for a sheerer coat of color that won't look too overdone.
Lip Gloss -L'Oreal - Colour Riche Lip Gloss--all shades
RitaPerfect 10/3/2010 12:59:00 AM
I am normally not a lip gloss kind of girl. I hate the slippery and oily feel of gloss, so the only kind I prefer are the thicker and goopier ones. They are usually more pigmented and stay on longer too. But I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that I actually like the L'Oreal Colour Riche lip glosses! I have "Cloaked Rose", which was on display in the new L'Oreal Midnight Muse Collection (Fall 2010). It's a pretty plum-berry shade with shimmer. As I had hoped, the color is very rich but wearable, and I like to layer it on top of my lipstick to make the color deeper and more winter appropriate. The result looks very high-end and sophisticated. The texture of this gloss is super smooth and lightweight, but isn't so liquidy that it migrates everywhere or makes me feel the urge to wipe my lips. The shine is also just right -- not too wet-looking (so unprofessional) but not too subdued either.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - One n' Only - Argan Oil Treatment
RitaPerfect 9/18/2010 6:22:00 PM
NOTE: Previously, I made a mistake and put this review under Moroccan Oil when it was supposed to go under this One 'n Only Argan Oil Treatment. Sorry! I was really excited when I found this product at Sally's Beauty Supply because I had heard so much about it on MUA. Without any styling products, my hair tends to look very stiff and flat. I don't have a lot of hair so it desperately needs volume, which is why I am always on the lookout for products that will make it soft and silky but won't weigh it down with heaviness. This stuff does moisturize and smooth instantly, but only because it coats the hair. My hair felt ridiculously silky and slippery (thanks to a silicone as one of the first ingredients in here), but it fell flat very quickly and the roots got greasy by the end of the day. In conclusion, I find that this Argan Oil Treatment is better suited for those with thick and/or coarse hair. If you desire that super straight look and you have thick dry hair that needs to be tamed, go for this product. I like the Biosilk Silk Therapy better because it does not leave a heavy gloss over my hair and my hair still retains a lot of bounce. It even leaves some of the natural wave in my ends instead of making my hair stick straight. You can find a Generic Value Product version of the Biosilk at Sally's.
This mascara is a bit overrated. It doesn't hold a curl at all and weighs down my thin lashes so much that I have to clamp them extra hard before applying the mascara to counteract this effect. It does provide volume since my lashes do look much thicker, but it doesn't give me any length. I'm also not a big fan of the brush because it's curved/shaped in a way that forces you to only use one side of it. Even with my other curved mascara brushes, I can rotate the wand a little bit to use as much of the product on the brush as I can. The bristles on this brush are considerably long, so it makes applying the mascara (nevermind trying to rotate it!) feel rather awkward. After application, I can't pretend that my lashes naturally look this way when I wake up, but they're not extreme enough to look full-on, made-up glam. I would rather have it fall under the category of "for daytime use" or "for parties/nights out," but I feel that this mascara is caught in between. I do think the bright purple packaging is very cute though. UPDATE: I have bumped this mascara up to 5 lippies because I found that it is working VERY WELL for me now! At first I thought the formula was very liquidy and weighed down my lashes too much, but after sitting in my drawer for a little bit, the formula must have dried and thickened up. So now, the drier formula prevents the brush from depositing too much mascara at once and my lashes no longer droop after the application. I have also been using the Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara, which did lengthen my lashes noticeably, so I am no longer too disappointed with the lack of length that comes from this particular mascara. I am happy with the volume that it provides. By this point, I have also gotten used to the awkwardly shaped brush.a
Eyeliner -New York Color - Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil - all
RitaPerfect 8/17/2010 12:07:00 AM
This eyeliner is my go-to everyday HG eyeliner! I'm always running late in the mornings, so my eye makeup consists solely of quickly lining my eyes with this pencil before running out the door. The texture of this pencil is to die for! The line goes on very easily without any tugging and it is soft enough so that you can use a finger to clean up any messy areas. But after it sets, this stuff will last throughout the day! I do see fading when I'm hot and sweaty days, meaning that it's not truly waterproof, so I have to reapply in that case. But since this is only $3.99 and readily available at your local drugstore, who can complain? I use "Dark Brown" (dark brown like the name suggests) on my upper lashline almost religiously and "Mink" (a lighter medium brown) on my lower lashline if I have enough time to add definition to my eyes. I also have "Smoky Plum" (a blackened eggplant shade), which I like to pair with plum/purple eyeshadow. I love these!
Highlighters -Tarte - Smooth Operator Illuminating Serum
RitaPerfect 7/27/2010 2:47:00 AM
This came with a lovely boxed set that I bought called the Tarte Radiant & Rested Luminous Complexion Collection. I had originally headed to Sephora planning to get the Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer in "Bare Radiance" because I wanted something to put underneath my foundation to make my skin look more glowy. I already had the LM ready for checkout when I suddenly spotted a purple and sparkly box from the Tarte section. Feeling curious, I examined it closer and saw that it was a set containing a Tarte Smooth Operator Illuminating Serum that basically did the same thing as the LM for the exact same price! AND it came with four other goodies designed to make you look more radiant, rested, and awake -- a mini-sized Natural Cheek Stain in "Glisten", a EmphasEYES Inner Rim Brightener pencil, a sample of their Recreate Primer, and a Park Ave Princess Mineral Bronzer. All five items for $42! How can you possibly beat that price? So I quickly put the LM back and snatched this up immediately (it was the last one)! So far, the Smooth Operator Illuminating Serum has been my favorite product. I had a sample of the LM "Bare Radiance" before and upon application, my face looks shiny and "moon-faced" for a few minutes before everything sinks in. It's also pretty thick since it's supposed to be a tinted moisturizer, and so I avoid using heavy foundations with it. In contrast, the Tarte one is super lightweight and sinks in right away. I can put any foundation on top of it and my face stays subtly radiant for the whole day without looking greasy. The color is a pale beige, which blends with my skin tone better and doesn't look unnatural. This item is a pre-sale item right now, so you can only get it with the set. But after the official launch, everyone with dry skin that tends to look dull should try this product!