#05 Fresh Pink: I like the look of this color, but I find the texture pretty hard to work with. It doesn't blend out very well, but this particular shade is a pretty, fresh color for spring. I wish it were a little creamier—once it's on my fingers it feels sort of powdery and I have to really pay close attention to get an even, blended look. EDIT 4/19/2012: I upgraded this from 2 stars to 4 because I tried it again with the Sephora Pro Blush Brush #49 instead of my fingers and it went on much better. Not mind-blowing, but I'll definitely use this more often now because I really do think #05 Fresh Pink is a good color.
I have Midnight Brown and Rosewood, and I think they are the best eyeshadows I've ever owned. I can already see that I'm going to end up ordering a few more shades because these are just too good. Midnight Brown is a very flattering soft brown with a hint of taupe and just the slightest glow (I wouldn't go so far as to call it shimmer), I can imagine it working on just about anyone. Rosewood is a matte, neutral, dusty rose that makes the perfect every day single eyeshadow, and also pairs perfectly with Midnight Brown. Yes, the packaging is very chic, but the real reason these puppies are worth splurging on is their performance. They are buildable, so you can easily go from very subtle to very dramatic by adding layers. They blend perfectly,melt into the skin, and last all day without creasing. They don't leave a powdery, flaky mess under my eyes when I'm applying, and the shades (both the ones I have and the ones I saw at the counter) are beautiful and timeless. That said, this is absolutely a luxury item and no woman NEEDS to shell out $29 for an eyeshadow—I'm sure one could easily find a drugstore dupe and if I come across it I will update here for sure! ;)
LOVE! I bought this in #209 Feather Pink, and it is SO PRETTY! It feels somewhere between a lipstick and a gloss, yet with unbelievable staying power. One coat gives a nice stained look and two coats a rich, moist kiss of color with a bit of shine. This particular shade is incredibly flattering for my pale complexion, but I can imagine it working well for a variety of skin tones. It's a warm-toned, springy pink—close to my natural lip color but with a hint of a melon/papaya hue to it. This is one of colors worn by Cara Delevinge in the Spring 2012 campaign. I also purchased two of the Burberry Sheer Eyeshadows, "Rosewood" and "Midnight Brown" and I'll be reviewing those after I've had a chance to play around with them a bit. There's no need to spend $30 to get a great lip color, but if you're looking for a very enjoyable, luxurious, fun lip product, this is heaven.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum
ammasprajna 2/23/2012 2:14:00 PM
BEST RETINOL SERUM EVER!!!! This is the new retinol serum from PC. I've been using it for about 2 months. I was looking for the perfect retinol product—RoC Multi-Correxion is great but smells awful, and DermaDoctor Poetry in Lotion is high potency but too irritating (and 2x the $$ of this PC serum.) I was able to use this every night with absolutely no irritation, redness or flaking, no breakouts or any other unwanted effects. It just gave me really soft, glowy, clear skin and within two weeks even began fading fine lines and some old acne scars. Amazing! My skin is a little on the sensitive side, combination with occasional breakouts, and this was just the right formula for me. Here's the info from PC website: Paula's Choice RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum is an exclusive formula that utilizes a proprietary blend of highly stabilized retinol, potent antioxidants, and skin-repairing ingredients. Its soothing, silky texture goes to work immediately to help skin of any age look and act younger. With ongoing use, you will see fewer wrinkles, smoother skin, and improved skin tone. This product is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free. INGREDIENTS: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol (silicone slip agents/suspending agents), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate (skin-conditioning agent), Dicaprylyl Carbonate (emollient), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (skin-repairing ingredient), Phenyl Trimethicone (silicone slip agent), Squalane (emollient), Bisabolol (anti-irritant), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (stabilized vitamin C/antioxidant), Retinol (cell-communicating ingredient/antioxidant), Tocotrienols (vitamin E-based antioxidant), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Lecithin (cell-communicating ingredient), Laminaria Ochroleuca (Kelp) Extract (anti-irritant), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil (anti-irritant), Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil (skin-repairing ingredient), Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (licorice-derived anti-irritant), Hexylene Glycol (slip agent), Caprylyl Glycol (emollient), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-conditioning agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).
Deodorants -The Body Shop - DeoDry Dry-Effect Deodorant
ammasprajna 2/23/2012 2:04:00 PM
Aaaw, I'm sad to see so many negative reviews here. I love this deodorant! I bought all three fragrances, and liked them all. The blue one is the most effective, the pink one is the prettiest-smelling, and the green one is just ok. I'm a yoga teacher and don't want to wear anti-perspirant when I'm teaching (or practicing). I just don't want to stop sweat production when I'm working out and detoxing my body. I find that these REDUCE sweat without stopping, and they do a great job at preventing odor, which is very important to me. The fragrances are subtle and understated, and it doesn't irritate me. I do have to reapply this about once a day, but I don't mind.
Makeup Brushes -Sephora - Professional Blush Brush
ammasprajna 2/23/2012 1:53:00 PM
I must have a new version of this. I have the silver-handled, pale, two-toned angled blush brush (#49), and I really like it. I bought it about 2 months ago and it's not shedding, feels very soft, and picks up color easily. It's very easy to work with and has a nice weight. It might be a little too dense, as plenty of blush stays on the brush, but I'm happy with it and feel that it was a good investment.
Blush -L'Oreal - True Match Superblendable Blush in Tender Rose
ammasprajna 2/23/2012 1:44:00 PM
This is such a pretty blush, and it runs circles around many of my more expensive blushes. I'm pretty fair (NC25) and Tender Rose is exactly the color my face turns when I blush. It's not glittery, it has the subtlest glow and looks very healthy natural. It's also very buildable, so I don't worry about overdoing it. Great every-day blush and excellent value.
Tinted Moisturizer -Bobbi Brown - Tinted Moisturizer - New Formula 2011
ammasprajna 2/23/2012 1:29:00 PM
This is a "best product" on Beautypedia, so I bought a tube at Nordstrom, as I was looking for a light coverage foundation with spf that would leave my skin feeling slightly hydrated. This fit the bill perfectly. I was told that this is a NEW FORMULA AS OF MID-2011, so perhaps some of the older reviews here might not be applicable. I have very pale skin and was matched to the "Alabaster" shade, which matches me perfectly. It dries to a nice matte, yet SLIGHTLY dewy finish and looks ridiculously natural. It's really just what I was looking for. I look like I don't have foundation on, and like I have gorgeous skin. It's a little on the expensive side, so I didn't want to use a sponge or brush to apply it. It would probably blend best with a slightly damp sponge, but I use my fingers. It doesn't have much "slip" to it, so it doesn't spread as silky and smooth as other foundations, but that also means that it has great staying power and doesn't melt off my face. I got the hang of the texture and find it works best to put a dime-sized amount in my left palm and use the fingers of my right hand to dot and blend it in. Once it's blended it looks lovely and I will definitely buy again, especially because of the broad-sspectrum spf. Love!
Treatments -Olay - Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum - Fragrance Free
ammasprajna 2/23/2012 1:01:00 PM
This is a really good serum that is loaded with antioxidants, and mercifully contains no fragrance. It's not moisturizing (serums are treatments, not hydrators), and dries to a silky matte finish. I think it makes an outstanding primer, and with all the good anti-aging benefits this serum contains, swapping it with my Smashbox primer is a no-brainer. I often have a lot of other skin care products layered on my face, so often I just use this on my neck and chest. It's basically a well-formulated, light-weight serum packed with anti-aging ingredients, without irritants. Recommended!
Treatments -Peter Thomas Roth - Gentle Compexion Correction Pads
ammasprajna 2/22/2012 3:21:00 PM
I bought these a while ago at Sephora at the recommendation of a sales girl. For the first few days, they seemed to do a nice job of reducing oiliness and calming breakouts, even if the product did leave a weird shine on my face that made me look like a plastic person. I figured I'd just use powder to help the finish, but lo and behold about a week into use my skin was peeling hideously. I was so sad because I really wanted to enjoy the great benefits of AHA and BHA. That's when I found Paula's Choice, and her exfoliants are just outstanding. I now have the perfect skin I've always envied on other girls, and people compliment me all the time. But back to PTR pads—reading the great articles on cosmeticscop.com I learned so much about why this product is a complete waste of money, and I highly recommend taking the time to read the info on that website. First, the jar packaging lets air and light in every time you use these, so the active ingredients will degrade over time. JUST SAY NO TO JAR PACKAGING!! Second, these pads are LOADED with alcohol, which is a serious irritant. The temporary reduction is oiliness comes at a high cost: inflammation and the breakdown of collagen! Not good. Finally, these pads are HEAVILY fragranced, which is also irritating to the skin. Irritation can happen under the skin's surface and not show obvious signs of damage, but over time can age you faster. Btw, I also learned that witch hazel, menthol, and lavender are serious irritants, too, and are extremely common in skincare products. There are better glycolic and salicylic products out there, don't be taken in by the hype! There is no FDA regulation of the ridiculous claims skincare products make, it's all marketing. Do your own research and enjoy the skin you've always wanted.
Pressed Powders -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - Light
ammasprajna 2/17/2012 12:22:00 AM
THIS IS FOR THE LIGHT PLUS: Every time I wear this, people mention how nice my skin looks. I use this by itself, just over my spf or moisturizer, depending if it's day or night, and it gives a light, natural coverage that evens out my complexion and gives a fresh, soft glow. The only thing I don't like is that you can't really take it with you because it breaks up when the compact gets jostled around. But it's one of my favorite MAC products ever! :)
This is a fantastic cleanser. It's well-formulated, gentle, and cleans really well without making my skin dry. It might be the best cleanser I've ever used. You definitely have to rinse a few times to get it all off, as it has kind of a sticky texture, but don't let that keep you from trying it. I can actually imagine this working for a broad range of skin types and concerns. You only need a pea sized amount so it lasts forEVER! The only thing I would add is that with a cleanser, you're washing all those beneficial ingredients down the drain, so if $$ is a concern for you, buy a cheaper, gentle cleanser and save your money for well-formulated products that stay on your skin like serums.
Toners -Paula's Choice - Moisture Boost Hydrating Toner
ammasprajna 2/16/2012 1:21:00 PM
It's so hard to find toners that are formulated without alcohol and irritants like witch hazel or menthol. I avoided them until I started using PC products and was surprised to see that she recommends them so highly. I bought this toner one day along with the Moisture Boost cleanser (I called customer service for a recommendation, they are amazing), and I am very pleased with it. Here's the thing; I too experienced some mild tingly/stinging sensation the first few times I used this. The customer service person said that the new formula contains a lot of antioxidants and that some people might find it a bit irritating at first, but that most people adjust to it within a few uses, and that was also the case with me, so I'd say that if it's just a mild tingly feeling hang in there and keep using. If it's super irritating and burning just stop using it, obviously, and call PC because they have a 60 day satisfaction guarantee and will help you find something else. Now I use it 2x/day and it's one of my FAVORITE steps in my skincare routine! It feels lightly hydrating and soothing, and it's loaded with good ingredients, so while it's not a necessary step, it's totally worth it. I usually just use my hands to splash this on my face, neck and chest (a bottle lasts me about 3 months). If I wore foundation then I use this on a cotton pad and it helps to eliminate every last trace of makeup.
There's no reason to spend this kind of money on a leave-in conditioner. It's not a miracle product, and if you have split ends you really need to just cut them off and avoid the causes of split ends (excessive coloring, heat-styling, etc.). That said, as far as leave-in conditioners/heat protecters go, this is a great one. Like every other conditioner out there, the results are temporary, and that smooth, silky-strong feeling it gives you is just the feel of the product. Don't be fooled into thinking that these expensive hair products actually change the condition of your hair, it's just an effect. That said, this product smells DIVINE, and really makes my hair feel and look silky and strong, without weighing it down. I have fine, straight hair, and I think this is a wonderful product to use before I heat-style it, which I only do on the weekends. There are cheaper, drugstore options that I'm sure are just as effective—this is a total luxury thing, like a fancy pair of shoes or an expensive perfume.
Styling Products -Shu Uemura - Art of Hair Liquid Fabric Spray
ammasprajna 2/16/2012 12:48:00 PM
This was recommended to me when my salon was out of BB Surf Spray. At first, I used too much and it weighed my fine/straight hair down and made it look stringy, although I loved the heavenly smell. The next time I picked it up I only used three spritzes and it worked beautifully with a diffuser to create the perfect tousled, airy look. Basically this just "dirties" up my hair a bit and gives it some texture. It's really easy to go overboard, especially if you're used to BB Surf Spray, which you can be liberal with. I wouldn't compare these two products, I just mention it because that's what they said at the salon. Be sure not to spray this into your roots, as you will be quickly chasing it with dry shampoo. Just the damp ends, then diffuse, and maybe mist with a light hold hairspray and presto! You have that sexy, I-just-got-out-of-bed-but-not-really look.