I'm currently on my second bottle and this is definitely my favorite topcoat. Didn't appreciate it until i learned how to properly apply it (over wet polish), but once I figured this out i was really pleased with the results. Dries insanely fast and provides a reasonably durable no-chip shine. Around the fourth or fifth day I usually add a coat of Sally Hansen Hard as nails to revive the shine, but i'm impressed with the fact that my mani lasts for at least a week :)
Conditioner -Ion - Curl Solutions - Curl Defining Conditioner
achuh 9/6/2009 8:01:00 PM
i just reviewed the accompanying shampoo, and long story short: i liked it at first, but the combination of the shampoo/conditioner on my normally fine, straight but now permed hair was too harsh. the conditioner wasn't as thick as the thicker conditioners I have found to be more moisturizing, but the addition of a leave in moisturizer could help supplement this light conditioner.
I really wanted to like this product, and I did initially. I have fine, pin straight hair that I get permed once a year and I wanted a shampoo that would help to cleans my oily scalp while conditioning and maintaining my curls. It definitely did get my hair nice and clean and even allowed me to go two days (three days with the help of a dry shampoo) between washings which was very impressive since I tend to have very oily roots. In conjunction with the conditioner (reviewed separately) my curls were nicely defined and i was very pleased with the combination :) but after about a week of using the shampoo and conditioner, my hair started to feel a little bit too dry at the ends and my scalp started to really start itching and flaking. Since nothing has changed with the weather or my normal routine, I'm forced to conclude that the shampoo/conditioner is the culprit. maybe this will work better for people with naturally curly hair, but i think this might be too harsh for my chemically treated hair :(
I LOVE this blush! it is very natural on my skin (asian, light/medium, golden undertones) and stays put almost the whole day. I use my MAC 187 to put this on, though the pot is now littered with small black hairs from the brush (though that is a testament to the brush rather than the blush). when applied with a stippling brush it blends very easily and looks very natural. I tried using my fingers, but it was really hard to blend it to look natural so i just use the 187. the color just seems to melt into your skin and give a nice flush that is difficult to achieve with a powder or cheek stain. i always put a little of this on in the morning before class (with a little bit of mascara) to make me look fresh and wide awake, even after pulling an all-nighter :) EDIT: I've had this for almost a year and I've barely used half of it (and i use it practically everyday). I am thinking of trying Becca's creme blush brush with this instead of the 187 since it does have a more solid texture (as opposed to the NYX creme blushes which have a mousse-like texture)
I really love this color. I don't usually wear nailpolish, but i think i'll wear this one a lot. The color is very interesting to me in that it is more of a grey/purple in the bottle, but dries slightly more purple than grey on me. The picture from the first MUAer to review this color makes it look a lot more purple than it does on me, but maybe thats because of the differences in skintone (?) Anyways, the formula is very creamy and doesn't streak. even after one application, the color was fairly opaque but i did two coats just because I always put two coats of polish on. so far it is wearing very nicely and hasn't chipped (its only been three days, but i'm not very careful with my nails and usually chip them after a day or two).
i'm not a huge nailpolish person, but when i do paint my nails i like rich, monochromatic (none of this glitter or frosty stuff) colors. I'm also a huge fan of dark colors, but i don't really like to wear straight black so this color is perfect for me. I agree with the other reviewers that the online color swatch is very deceiving but I love how it is almost black from far away in certain lighting, but maintains an interesting green hue when viewed closer. When i first did my nails with this color I just sat in class looking at my nails the whole time :P
Eye Primer -Too Faced - Shadow Insurance, Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer
achuh 6/10/2009 12:48:00 AM
I really wanted to like this product since UDPP dried my eyelids out (which i find ironic/annoying since i have really oily lids....) but it didn't keep my shadows on all day like UDPP. i like that it didn't dry my eyelids out at all, but I need a primer that will actually keep my shadow on for more than a few hours...the search continues!
Cleansers -Desert Essence - thoroughly clean face wash tea tree oil and sea kelp
achuh 5/31/2009 3:18:00 AM
I'm really sad to give this a negative review, but this really didn't work with my skin. I'm using minocycline and tazorac to keep my really bad, deep cystic acne under control but I wanted to try a natural cleanser to help refine my skin and gently cleanse without overdrying. I read some good reviews and liked that this formula had sea kelp in it so I decided to give it a try. The texture is very watery, but I don't really mind it since it lathers very well. It cleaned my makeup really well (although, I only were a tiny bit of mineral makeup most days and I don't use this to remove eye makeup) and left my skin feeling clean and soft. After a week my skin was looking clear and fresh which made me super happy. But after a few weeks I started getting cystic acne (even though I was still taking my medication religiously) and I started developing smaller surface pimples, which never used to get. I stopped using this cleanser for a few weeks and all of my pimples cleared up. Too bad that this cleanser didn't work for me :( I gave it a two instead of a one since my skin's texture really improved while using this, but I couldn't deal with the cystic acne.... ladies who don't have a problem with cystic acne should give it a shot!
Lip Treatments -Jack Black - Intense Therapy Lip Balm spf 25
achuh 1/1/2009 4:16:00 AM
I am in love with this lipbalm... moisturizing, leaves a very subtle sheen, nice minty taste/feeling on your lips and has spf!! plus, it doesn't have petroleum or wax and has a really nice texture...it is kind of expensive for a lip balm in my opinion, but compared to all the money i've spent on trying to find the perfect lip balm in the past, this is a total steal!!
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Nature's Cure - two part acne treatment system for females
achuh 11/20/2008 6:08:00 AM
I've been using this product for about three months and I'm really liking it. For reference, I am 19 and developed really bad cystic acne a few years ago. I've used many topical and oral medications and found that minocycline worked very well for me, but I didn't want to use antibiotics for an extended period of time so I needed to find something else. I tried Proactive, ds products, Philosophy and a number of other acne washes, but I didn't have any luck. I had heard about Nature's Cure and thought the concept of homeopathic medicine was ridiculous, but decided to give it a shot since nothing else seemed to be working. Needless to say, I am very pleased with these pills! My skin doesn't look as flawless as it did when I was using minocycline, but I also don't have huge cysts which is a major selling point. I currently use joesoef's sulfur anti-acne soap, tazorac and sweet almond oil at night, and then the Nature's Cure cream and Olay Complete (combination) spf 15 during the day. For all you ladies who have tried everything else to get clear skin, you should give this one a try!
Makeup Brushes -Too Faced - Retractable Kabuki Brush
achuh 11/20/2008 5:59:00 AM
I really wanted to like this brush but it didn't live up to my expectations. I will say that I think the packaging is great. Pretty pink case that protects the brush and makes it great to travel with since you can just toss it in your bag without worrying about the brush getting all bent out of shape. Another good thing is that this brush is extremely soft. It didn't irritate my skin and just felt so luxurious on my skin. But I just don't like it to apply my mmu (which is exactly what I bought it for). I think that the brush is too dense for my taste and makes my mmu go on extremely heavy. Also, since it is so dense, any dry patches I might have on my skin seem to be brushed up and emphasized. Maybe this is just because my skin has been unusually dry, but for this reason alone, I've only used it once and will be putting it up for swaps...I'm looking into the EDM long handled kabuki next....
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Joesoef Acne Treatment Kit
achuh 11/6/2008 11:53:00 PM
I have mixed feelings about this product. I bought the kit because I really needed help with cystic acne (long story short, minocycline worked wonders for my skin, but I didn't want to stay on antibiotics forever). It was free expedited shipping with the kit, so I received my package in a very timely manner. Since the Joesoef brand isn't listed, I'll review each of the products here: (Anti-Acne Soap: 10% sulfur, .25% sa) this is included in the kit is actually a really nice cleanser. I usually stear away from bar soaps, but this one really works. since there is a lot of sulfur in this, it does have an odor, but I don't mind it since it fades quickly (it does make your face towel and pillowcase smell, but it is a small price to pay for clear skin). It can be really drying, so if you don't have really oily skin, you might want to try their 5% soap or 2% soaps (Anti-Acne Astringent: .5% resorcinol, .2% sa) I don't really like astringents because they usually irritate my skin and I've found them to be unnecessary. This one has alcohol in it so it stings my skin sometimes. I only use it occasionally and usually mix it with some water. (Anti-Acne Lotion: 6.6% sulfur) This is not a lotion!!! It comes in a bottle that you have to shake and is a yellow powder suspended in some sort of clear liquid gel. When I used this with the soap and astringent it really dried out my skin. I emailed the Joesoef company and they said it should only be used a few times a week on trouble spots. After cleansing I usually use a damp cotton ball and a little bit of the lotion, pat it onto the parts of my face where I am prone to breakouts (avoiding my cheeks and nose area where I can be dry). It can leave a little bit of a yellow powdery residue, so I only use it at night. (Anti-Acne Spot Treatment: 5% sulfur, 2% sulfur) This stuff is really nice. One of the better spot treatments I've used. When I get the occasional cyst I use Olay's blue clay mask for like 30 minutes, cleans my skin with Joesoef 5%, pat on some of this spot treatment, and moisturize with sweet almond oil. The cyst usually goes away in a few days (as opposed to the few WEEKS I usually have cysts). (Moisturizing lotion with SPF 15) Not part of the kit. I like that it has SPF and it is a decent moisturizer. A good sized tube, but it isn't anything special. It felt a little waxy on my skin, so I gave it to my roommate who loves it. I guess its a personal preference. (Vitamin E Exfoliating Face Gel) Not in the kit. I really like this cleanser. It has tiny beads that gently buff your skin and eventually dissolve. Makes my skin feel moisturized, clean and soft. I use this a few times a week instead of the 5% cleanser (on days when I use the astringent and the sulfur "lotion"). (Olive Oil and Collagen Moisturizing Soap) Also, not in the kit. This is the only product I really didn't like. It didn't see to moisturize or do anything for me. I really like this company. The packaging may look kind of cheap (the labels looked like the printer was running low on ink), but the products work well. The customer service is amazing too!! When I first ordered the kit, I ordered the spf 15 moisturizer and olive oil soap too, but the moisturizer was damaged in the shipping (there was a hole or something in the top of the tube). I'm not one to return things or complain, but when I emailed them a few weeks after using the kit (my skin was getting dry so I asked for suggestions regarding their other products) I mentioned the defective moisturizer. I immediately received a response apologizing, and they expedited me a new moisturizer and included a full tube of the vitamin e exfoliating gel and full size bar of their 2% anti acne soap!!! this is a great company with really great products!!
Skincare - Body -Aura Cacia - Sweet Almond Natural Skin Care Oil
achuh 11/6/2008 11:11:00 PM
My skin has randomly started breaking out and becoming more sensitive, especially around my eyes, so I started looking for a new skin care regimen. After taking minocycline for a while (my skin looked AMAZING with this), I decided to find an alternative since antibiotics aren't really good for long term use. I started using Joeseof's 10% sulfur soap and nature's cure which helped a lot with my acne, but really dried out my skin. Enter sweet almond oil!! This product is amazing. I love it as a gentle makeup remover (it even takes off waterproof mascara) and a moisturizer. I mix a little bit of it with my moisturizer at night and it keeps my skin hydrated and pimple free. If my skin is especially dry, I put a few drops and warm it between my palms before patting it onto my face. I only use it at night since it can be a little bit oily for daytime use, but when I wake up my skin is always so supple and hydrated that I only need a light spf moisurizer!! oh, and the bottle is really cool....
Moisturizers -Earth Science - Almond-Aloe Moisturizer
achuh 10/31/2008 2:10:00 AM
For reference, my skin is: acne prone/oily/dry/flaky. I am using a few different topical creams from the derm (one of which is tazorac) to control my acne, which means my T-zone is usually pretty oily, but my cheeks and other parts of my face can be dry and flaky I really like this moisturizer. I have the one with SPF (which is a must for me) and I really like the texture. It is creamy, but light and soaks into your skin immediately. I didn't really notice a scent, but my skin isn't sensitive to perfumes so I don't really pay attention to that. I used to use it year round when I lived in California, but since I go to school in the midwest, I've needed to use something a little heavier in the winter. I usually layer sweet almond oil over this at night which helps keep my skin moisturized, but I still think it could do a better job moisturizing. Overall a good product, but I still need something heavier in the winter
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original (UDPP)
achuh 10/29/2008 7:19:00 PM
I'm on the fence.... Positives: - makeup stays put - doesn't dry out my eyes - lasts a while (if you look up the youtube video about cutting open the bottle, you can get so much more product!) Negatives: - packaging is horrible (seriously, the wand is not sanitary and I don't think I should have to saw open the bottle to get a decent amount of product) - makes it difficult to blend e/s (but to its credit, the e/s stays put) - seems to have lost its potency (i've been using the same bottle for almost a year and a half and the staying power seems to have slightly diminished...maybe I shouldn't keep it that long) Its a good product, but there is room for improvement....I'll be trying Too Faced shadow insurance soon