Styling Products -John Frieda - Luxurious Volume Thickening Mousse
marley100 1/13/2009 5:53:00 PM
This mousse definitely makes my hair feel and look thicker. Previously, I had been using Kerastase Volumactive. (By way of reference, I have fine hair, though a lot of it. It's straight and chin length.) The John Frieda mousse is more volumizing than the Kerastase. But the Kerastase made my hair far shinier and the smell was way better: cleaner, and less perfumey than the John Frieda. Still, volume is what I'm after so the John Frieda would still win out, especially since it's way cheaper. Except that the John Frieda mousse irritated my eyes. I have to make sure I thoroughly wash my hands after applying it, and even then.... But of course, all that's a very individual sensitivity. It definitely gives a lot of volume.
This stuff actually worked well on my fine hair: gave it shine and protected it from flat-iron heat. Most of these kinds of products, I've found, make my hair too greasy and weigh it down. So that's a huge point in its favor. However, to me it smells so so so awful and that hideous smell lingers--it's like a combo of old-lady perfume and bug spray--that I stopped using it.
Hair Color -Unlisted Brand - marc anthony root touch up
marley100 12/27/2008 3:42:00 AM
One of the worst products I've ever used. Impulse buy at CVS. The color doesn't take--at least on my stubborn grays, which I have a lot of on the top of my head. I bought a medium brown, left it on 20 minutes, rinsed it and--voila--maybe 10 percent of my hair was colored a very very light, brassy brown. With the remainder of the color, I recolored the part line and temples again. Left it on 30 minutes and--voila--maybe 40 percent was colored a very very light, brassy brown. The brush is teensy and too hard--the dye doesn't flow on to it too well. This stuff is expensive, ineffective, and time-consuming. Revlon's Colorsilk Root Perfect is so much better: it actually covers the gray, is way easier to apply and a third the price.
My lifelong oily hair had become more dry in the past six months, because of highlighting and sunning, using Matrix Amplify Shampoo (turned my hair to straw), and letting the layers grow out instead of snipping off the ends every month or so. In my search for a moisturizing shampoo, I tried, among others, Biologe Hydrating Shampoo. It smelled great but wasn't particularly moisturizing. Or so I thought. So I moved on to a more obviously moisturizing shampoo, Neutrogena Triple Moisture, which was lovely at first but over time made my hair lifeless and strangely brittle. Out of desperation and sick of spending money for shampoos, I started using the Biologe Hydrating Shampoo again. No, it wasn't particularly hydrating at first. But after several uses it started to grow on me. It's still not a super hydrating shampoo, but it's not drying and I don't need a conditioner afterwards. Over the past month I've been using it almost every day (clarifying shampoo once a week), and my hair isn't dry anymore. In fact, I need to wash it every day again, which for me is a plus: I like that fresh-washed feeling. My hair is shiny and has body; the shampoo doesn't have 'cones to weigh it down. If you're not impressed with it at first, it might be worth trying it for a bit to be sure. I'm so glad I didn't toss or return it.
Powder -Neutrogena - Mineral Pressed Powder Foundation
marley100 11/23/2008 4:30:00 PM
I wanted to find a cheaper brand of pressed mineral powder/foundation than Fresh Face Luster, which is why I bought Neutrogena. The bar was set incredibly high, because Fresh is amazing. Luminous finish, and it's long lasting, offering flawless though light coverage. But it's also $45 and within six weeks of using, I had used enough of the stuff that the center of the pan was already showing. Plus, it's not a good foundation for traveling, as the top and bottom aren't attached and the powder is very soft. Which brings me to Neutrogena's Pressed Powder Foundation. The lightest color (classic ivory) was a good match and the powder feels velvety and finely milled. (I'm a MAC NC15 to 20, depending on the season.) But the Neutrogena's not flattering on me. Not chalky, but it's flat and makes my skin look dull. And my skin isn't dull without makeup (I've been doing lactic acids peels, and they're been so helpful). In fact, my naked skin looks better than it does with the Neutrogena Powder, whereas the Fresh makes my skin look more luminous. Maybe the Neutrogena might work as a touch up powder mid-day to blot shine, but it's not working for me as a foundation.
Great liner. Super cheap, of course, wears well and is easy to apply. Similar in color to MAC Smoothblue Technakohl Liner, though the Jordana is slightly less iridescent and more of a medium blue and less of a medium aqua.
Shampoo -Neutrogena - Triple Moisture cream lather shampoo
marley100 11/19/2008 8:53:00 PM
My lifelong oily hair has become more dry in the past six months, because of highlighting and sunning, using Matrix Amplify Shampoo (turned my hair to straw), and letting the layers grow out instead of snipping off the ends every month or so. In my search for a moisturizing shampoo, I made two false starts: Biologe Hydrating Shampoo, which smelled nice but wasn't particularly moisturizing; and Nexxus Therappe--no lather, wasn't moisturizing and had that coconut smell that you love or hate (I hate it). On my third try, I bought Neutrogena Clean Replenishing Shampoo, which gave me nice body and had that lovely, clean Neutrogena smell but was only slightly moisturizing. It's a keeper, but I wanted something more moisturizing. With my fourth purchase, I hit pay dirt: Triple Moisture Shampoo was incredibly rich and gave my hair body and hydration. Smell is sweeter and stronger than other Neutrogena products I've used, but it's not unpleasant. I have straight, fine hair and a lot of it; it gets weighed down easily. I was so surprized that this didn't weigh it down at all. Au contraire. It looks great. No need to condition, which I try to avoid like the plague anyway, as that tends to make my hair flat and lifeless. This is how good it is: When my hair is a little dry the day after I've used a clarifying shampoo, if I wash with Triple Moisture, it's conditioned, so there's no need to miss a day if you like that freshly washed look. UPDATE: Took too lippies off. Over time my hair started to get strangely brittle from the product. I can't figure out why. Out of desperation and sick of spending money for shampoos, I started using the Biologe Hydrating Shampoo again. As I said in my first post, it wasn't particularly hydrating. But after several uses it's grown on me. It's still not a super hydrating shampoo, but it's not drying and I don't need a conditioner afterwards. Over the past month I've been using it almost every day (clarifying shampoo once a week), and my hair isn't dry anymore. Who knew? It has no 'cones to weigh hair down, so I'll stick with this and just use the Neutrogena right after. coloring/highlighting.
I've been using Tress F/X for years, and though I have straight, fine hair, I've done well with many Ouidad products. It smells like cloves but the scent dissipates quickly. I use it before blow drying and sometimes use a little bit after, to curb the dry flyaways that overwashing and blowdrying can bring on. From time to time, I try other products, but I always come back and buy it in the large economy size.
I've been using this shade--and others in the Bare Escentuals line--for a while now, and I've been pleased. Goes on very smoothly and doesn't dry my lips. Better quality than many higher priced lipsticks, including Lancome and IMO NARS. Color is a red-orange and reflects light nicely. When I want a lighter look, I'll swipe Berry Glace on top--or use it by itself.
I like this a lot, though it worked a little better before I got a thinned-out cut to make my hair flip a lot more out at the ends. (I have straight hair that's fine, but I have a lot of it.) Where it never used to weigh my hair down at all, now it can if I use too much. Usually I don't like scented products, but the smell on this is so fabulous, clean and long-lasting.
Styling Products -Garnier - Brilliantine Shine Glossing Spray
marley100 11/19/2008 5:53:00 PM
This was a big no for me. Made my fine hair flat and full of static, whether I used it wet or dry--though wet was worse. In fairness, I think people with fine hair can have a harder time with these kinds of products. As for shine, I get more shine rinsing my hair in cold water than with this stuff. Major disappointment.
Hair Color -Unlisted Brand - Color Mark Professional Instant Liquid Hair Color
marley100 11/19/2008 5:41:00 PM
This is, for me, an amazing product. When I don't have time to get my gray roots done and so don't want that white/gray skunk line, dabbing this stuff on--as others have said, it's basically a lip-gloss wand--and presto, the gray is gone. Once dry, it doesn't rub off--until you get it wet. It's lengthened the time between salon visits by a week or two, and I feel less like a slave to the stylist. The medium brown worked when my hair was a medium brown with gold highlights, and it's still working on my hair now that it's darker (level 4).
Skincare - Face -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - 55% Lactic Acid Peel
marley100 11/18/2008 12:22:00 AM
I've been using glycolic acid peels (built up to 60 percent) and salicylic acid (25 percent) on and off for years and the 12 percent lactic-acid drugstore moisturizer called AmLactin as well. The first time I used the 55 percent lactic-acid peel, I thought it was OK, but I liked the salicylic much more: instant gratification, pores look tighter and skin clearer immediately. But the salicylic can be irritating and cause peeling, so I usually don't reach for it until my skin looks really dull. But the lactic-acid peel doesn't irritate my skin, and the peeling is minimal the next day--it's not even noticeable unless I use makeup. I usually keep the lactic-acid peel on my skin for a long time--7-10 minutes, which is way too long for most of the reviewers on this site, but not for me, perhaps because I'm so used to peels. And it does sting a bit, but for me it's not a big deal. I don't use the witch-hazel prep. Strangely enough, that would be irritating for me. Instead, I wash with the fab green-tea soap before and after using the peel. It took a few uses to notice any real change, but now I notice a big improvement. My skin is clearer, smoother, and really glowy--so I can get away with not wearing makeup. I really like the stuff. And I can use it every week or even twice a week with little or no irritation, so it's easier to keep up.
Just had my hair dyed a dark, warm brown--I had been doing the medium brown with golden highlights for a few years--and wanted a blush to bring out the cool blue underbelly of my skin. When the salesperson at Nordstrom blushed Gentle on my cheeks, it looked a little Baby Jane, but she used three strokes of the stuff. I was hesitant, because I like blush to be subtle, but with Nordstrom's fab return policy I bought it. Next day I tried it--but with a much lighter hand; this stuff is heavily pigmented. On me, it's pink with blue undertones--not really a mauve, and almost a raspberry--and a barely there shimmer. I've been wearing it all week. It's really gorgeous, and with my new dark hair, I've got a Snow White thing going on--perfect for winter and a more specific complement to my hair than the universal Laura Geller Berry blush (which seems to work on just about everyone) that I had been using. Packaging is attractive and compact--though a mirror would have been nice. If your skin has cool undertones, this is a really beautiful blush--if you use a very light hand.
I've been using Rejuvacote for several years. Initially, when a manicurist recommended it, I rolled my eyes and told her that I had tried nearly every product on the market to make my nails stronger and had amassed a shoebox of stuff that did squat. She swore that Rejuvacote was different. Reluctantly, I bought a bottle. First off, it dries in a minute. And second of all: it changed my nails. As long as I wear it (usually under and over Lippmann's Whiter Shade of Pale) my nails look good. They rarely break or chip. The stuff is amazing.