I use these things all the time. Great for keeping long hair (below shoulders) firmly up without falling down all day. I also use them to put my hair up when I go running - my hair doesn't budge.
I bought this because it was well-regarded on MUA and for just under $20, you get a lot of product that lasts a long time. I use this at night to remove my makeup and sunscreen. It emulsifies nicely and leaves my skin clean and smooth. I do still have to use a moisturizer after rinsing, but I'm still very happy with it. I use about three pumps for my face and neck and after two months, it's still about three-quarters of the way full. I highly recommend trying this first if you're looking for a good oil cleanser that doesn't contain a ton of unidentifiable chemicals or cost a fortune. If you do purchase this, do yourself a favor and buy the pump for $1. It's dumb that they don't include it, because you'll make a huge mess without it.
Moisturizers -Neutrogena - Oil-Free Moisture Sensitive Skin
dafyophi 5/25/2010 10:15:00 PM
This broke me out terribly. I've never been particularly acne-prone, but I had more clogged pores and pimples than I can ever remember having, even as a teenager. Even with daily BHA use and benzoyl peroxide spot treatment, my skin was a disaster. I was hoping it would be an inexpensive alternative to the Clinique Redness Relief cream I usually use at night, but no chance. I stopped using it and after 24 hours, my skin already looked dramatically better. Not a chance I'll repurchase.
This is a really gorgeous subtle peachy cream blush that works really well for my light NC25 skin. It doesn't leave me looking like I coated my face with glitter (which is a problem with a lot of blushes) and gives me a nice natural flush. I usually pick it up from the pan with my clean fingers, dot it on the outer apples of my cheeks and blend it inward with my Sonia Kashuk flat-topped blush brush. I also blend it with fingers, but I think it looks more natural with the brush. It's a great product and you get a decent amount, but it's a little overpriced. I expect it will last me a year or so, but I would probably repurchase if I can't find a lower-priced alternative.
I use this several times a week. It's a great shade for any light to medium-skinned woman and I suspect it would look nice on women of color as well. It's a nice pinkish-beige neutral that I like to wear for natural eye looks/as a color wash.
I use this all the time. Makes a great base for other shadows and brightens up my eye area without looking glittery.
Loose Powders -Make Up For Ever - HD High Definition Loose Powder
dafyophi 4/20/2010 3:15:00 PM
This product is GREAT. I was a huge fan of MAC Blot Powder (still am), but decided to give this a shot when Sephora started selling a $15 travel size. This sets my makeup (tinted moisturizer, concealer and cream foundation in spots) for the entire day with little to no oil breakthrough and a nice soft-focus finish. It doesn't require a ton of product and it's easily to apply it lightly enough to avoid a caked-on look. Since I use so little of it, I expect that this will last for a long time. I would definitely repurchase this or a similar product. If you're leery of the high price tag, get the travel size. It has enough powder to last a long time.
I wouldn't necessarily call this an HG product because I don't really get excited about it or anything, but I like it and I reach for it just about every day. It has good staying power and the black-brown is a good color. For the price, you can't really beat it. It works fairly well for the waterline, but it's pretty much rock solid around the lash line. It stacks up favorably with my MAC Technakohl pencil. The lasting power is better, but I prefer the color selection on the Technakohl.
At first I thought this was working for me, but then I realized it was breaking me out. It turns out that it's loaded with carrageenan, which gets a 5 on just about every list of pore-clogging cosmetic ingredients I've seen. My breakout wasn't terrible, but I'm still done with this. I might try it on my scaly elbows, but it's not going anywhere near my face again. I guess I have to keep looking for a good exfoliant.
Bronzers -MAC - Pearlmatte Face Powder - MAC in Lillyland
dafyophi 3/10/2010 3:28:00 PM
I bought this on an impulse and kind of regretted it initially, but I experimented with it and now I really like it. It's too orange to use as a full-on bronzer, for the most part. I lightly apply it with a contouring brush for just some subtle warmth on my face. It's important to use a very light touch and might take a couple of trial runs to figure out the best way for you to wear it. When I use it to frame my face, it gives me some nice depth and color without looking artificial. It's LE so I won't be repurchasing, but I'll have fun with it while I have it. The pan has a ton of product in it, so it should last for a long time.
Foundations -MAC - Studio Stick SPF 15 ] [DISCONTINUED]
dafyophi 3/10/2010 3:22:00 PM
It's a great product and I love it, but I wouldn't recommend it as a full-on foundation for most people. I do use it just about every day as a concealer for blemishes and redness and it works very well. Pros: Works well as a concealer and across larger areas of skin to cover redness. I like to layer this on top of my tinted moisturizer wherever I want a little extra coverage. Sometimes I just use it on bare skin on my problem areas and that works well too. My skin looks really nice but not heavily made-up. For blemishes, I use a synthetic concealer brush and blend with my fingertips using a light tapping motion. For redness and larger areas of skin, I apply the makeup to a regular foundation brush and blend that onto my skin or lightly apply some onto my fingertip and dot it on. The result is light coverage that looks completely natural. The color match (I'm NC25) is perfect. Cons: For $30, I expect a little more product. Still, this will probably last me a long time and I'll probably re-purchase. Update: I'm upping this to five lippies. It's portable and user-friendly and I feel like I could have an instant face with this, some blush and mascara if I was pressed for time or storage space. I would highly recommend this to people looking for a multi-tasking product that requires minimal effort and tools.
Moisturizers -Clinique - Redness Solutions Daily Relief Moisture Cream
dafyophi 3/9/2010 10:16:00 AM
My skin is usually pretty well-behaved, which I think is part genetics and part skin care. I'm fairly sensitive to dyes and fragrances, so I have to be really careful about what I use. During the winter, my skin can become extremely dry and uncomfortable and get kind of blotchy if I'm not careful. After an unfortunate experiment with Olay night cream (gag-inducing perfume), I shelled out $42.50 for this. It's expensive, but worth it. I use it at night and after a couple of months, my skin looks really good even for me. It's oil-free and fragrance-free and the anti-inflammatory ingredients keep my skin comfortable in harsh Midwest winter temps. It hydrates really well, too, and the few fine lines I have at my age (I'm 24) have pretty much disappeared since I've started using it. My HG night moisturizer for clear and smooth skin.
Tinted Moisturizer -Stila - SPF 30 oil-free tinted moisturizer TM
dafyophi 3/4/2010 3:46:00 PM
This is absolutely the best tinted moisturizer I've tried. I have NC25 skin and shade 2 looks great on me. I have good skin and prefer lighter coverage. This is absolutely perfect - I apply with a foundation brush and I'm always happy with how it looks. The higher SPF is great, too. I dust some MAC blot powder on my t-zone (which gets lightly oily after a few hours) and I'm set for the day. The packaging is not my favorite, I'll admit, and when it gets really low I'll probably have to hack the bottle apart and de-pot the rest of it, but for the quality of the product, I'm willing to do it. It's also kind of expensive, but when you consider that this is your face, it's usually worth spending a little bit of extra money for a higher-quality product. Bottom line is that if you have decent skin and can get away with light coverage, this is a great option. I highly, HIGHLY recommend.
I like to experiment with mascara, so when I found this on clearance, I decided to give it a shot. I think L'Oreal mascaras are hit-and-miss (mostly miss), but this was a pleasant surprise. This gave me a nice soft brown-black and, as promised, gave my lashes a longer appearance. The brush is tricky and I'm not crazy about it, but it's easy to get the hang of after a few tries. I really like the result - holds a curl well, doesn't create spidery lashes and looks great with low-key natural makeup. It's not really dramatic, but I can't walk around with out-of-control eye makeup all day. I like it and I'll probably use it for awhile.
Conditioner -Matrix - Biolage - Fortifying Conditioner
dafyophi 2/15/2010 1:57:00 PM
I have long wavy and fine (but dense) hair that I highlight every few months and lightly heat-style. This conditioner works great for me. I wash my hair every other day, applying this to my ends from about the ears down and leaving it in for three minutes. It helps prevent split ends, keeps my hair from drying out and has a light, pleasant smell. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, but I'm on my second bottle and my hair is in noticeably better shape than it was when I originally started using it. I might switch it up and use a different conditioner next time I buy, but for now I'm happy using this.