Instant favorite. This balm is light but so moisturizing and absorbs quickly. I love that this has organic honey (which my skin likes a lot), and the very subtle taste is an added bonus. The packaging is adorable, and I will definitely be purchasing more of these to stash about, but I do have one gripe. The tube I ordered from Spirit Beauty Lounge was only about 2/3 full. Not sure if it's just a fluke, so I will hope for the best next time.
Tinted Moisturizer -Laura Mercier - Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 - Oil Free
mo98103 6/10/2012 11:41:00 PM
This broke me out more horribly than the original. I took it back to Nordstrom immediately. For the record, Clinique Moisture Sheer Tint is the only TM that has ever worked for my clog prone, fair and very oily skin. Now discontinued. Great.
Sunscreen -Kiehls - Super Fluid UV Defense Spf 50+
mo98103 6/6/2012 9:35:00 PM
I live in gray dark Seattle. Skin care aficionados tell me that doesn't matter, but I have never been one for daily sunscreen - I've tried dozens and they all make me breakout or leave me super greasy and burn like s***. This stuff is the best by far that I have ever tried, including all the weird and hard to find European and Asian stuff people on the boards recommend. I second everything the oily and very oily people have said so far, and will add that Kiehls is great about samples, especially at Nordstrom or the stand alone shops if you are lucky enough to live near one. If you don't, but you order cosmetics online, call Nordstrom, talk to a real person, place your order and ask for some samples of this. I never would have tried it if my local Kiehls store had not thrown three tiny tubes of this in my bag one day after I mentioned to the SA that I was headed down to FL to visit some family. That was enough vof the week I was there. I'm very fair naturally (and have no sun tolerance...Seattle) and never burned once. If I continue to not break out from this, I will continue to buy it. If you buy it, get the larger size - it's so much cheaper per oz. (about $14 vs. $21) and Kiehls has a wonderful return policy plus they never try to make you feel like a moron when something doesn't work for you. Looking at you, Seattle Barney's. Bumping this down, as it began to cause irritation and a few clogged pores. I would still recommend this to most people, but I won't continue to use it.
Yeah, this stuff is really good. Since Dior changed their Forever compact powder foundation and it didn't suit my needs, I thought I would try Chanel before I dove into the REALLY expensive ($100+)stuff. I'm a "soft beige" and the color is perfect (NW20), the coverage is medium but natural (I use a brush to apply), it does not settle into lines and it lasts longer than any powder foundation I have ever tried, and I must have tried 30 at least. I only need to blot once a day - practically a miracle. I will continue to buy this - making it one of only 5 or so powder foundations that I have ever repurchased. I'm going back to cleaner products, so I would not purchase this again, but it's a fabulous product.
Eyeliner -NARS - Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner - Madison Avenue
mo98103 6/6/2012 8:32:00 PM
This was a recommendation from an SA at Sephora who also has very oily skin and was wearing it on his waterline. Sold. He wasn't wrong, the color is a perfect slightly cool dark grey, perfect for fair skin and hazel eyes and very very waterproof. There are however, a few reasons that this does not work for me: The sharpener provided on the end is useless, it just breaks the liner and gets gummed up. The liner comes loose in the "pencil" and falls out/breaks. It's thick and difficult to blend, which is great if you like a defined line, but I prefer a smudged daytime smoky eye. Pretty pricey, too - for the amount you get, and the fact that it can't be sharpened means that I'll end up throwing most of it out. I would recommend this only if you can figure out a way to sharpen it, you are really good at applying eyeliner and don't require a smudge-able look, or if you have tried every other waterproof eyeliner and they all run/disappear. I'm in that last group, but I'd rather deal with the touch ups than buy this again.
Firstly, I don't hate this product. As an oily acne prone gal I've had a long and disappointing affair with mmu , starting with Bare Minerals (I can't believe they are still making it...) and Philosophy soon after. After those two flops, I moved on to "regular" powder foundations, again never finding anything that I loved (except Paul & Joe, which was quickly discontinued...). Back to mmu I went, trying at lease 10 e-tailer variations and then once some of the major makeup lines starting coming out with mineral based formulas, I snatched up every one. MAC, Laura Mercier, Dior, Amazing Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Hourglass, etc. Each time, I thought I had found the one, and each time I found some fault with each (for the record, the three best overall for me were Diorskin Nude, LM, and MAC in that order). So, I had been using the Diorskin Nude and got the "go natural" urge that I seem to experience every couple of years, started reading No More Dirty Looks and practically bathing in argan oil. They highly recommend Alima, so of course I bought some samples, found my color, and started using it immediately. Although prepared to love it, unfortunately it's a bit heavy/thick and very hard to "buff", but it did not break me out like MAC so I continued to try to make it work. I even bought new expensive brushes and tried mixing it with the Dior and a few other loose powders, but it's just not good. It oxidizes and settles into pores terribly on my skin. The company is great - wonderful customer service and the sample program is just the best. The packaging is adorable, price is great, the coverage is good (too good) and it did not cause breakouts. I wish this worked for me, and I'm jealous of those that have an easier time with it. I've moved on again to Chanel powder foundation...
Lip Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Rodin Olio Lusso Lip Balm
mo98103 6/3/2012 6:04:00 PM
Very pretty, nicely packaged and more or less useless. This balm is a bit too hard to apply without a brush, and even with a brush it takes too long to get enough product to cover your lips with any benefit. If you can finally get some on your mouth, it doesn't provide moisture, just a subtle shine that lasts about half an hour. It makes no sense - it's greasy, but dry. I don't know, I'm not describing it well, and I'm not sure that it's worth the trouble. It's the consistency of an old lipstick from one of those cheap 50 color palettes you can get at Walgreens around Christmas. And there is no color - I wasn't expecting any, but the Barney's site does mention it as "blush colored". I would much rather use a drop of argan oil for moisture or Burt's Bees Tinted balm for a touch of color. Upgrading this to a 4. I still would not buy it again at this price, but now that I keep it in the bathroom it has softened enough to use with a brush, and it's really quite pretty and moisturizing.
I just bought my second tube of this so it's time to review. Firstly, this is not what I thought it would be. Let me explain: My skin is so oily I have a hard time finding mascaras that won't smudge but still look natural. After Shu Uemura discontinued Mascara Basic (please, for the sake of all that is holy, BRING IT BACK!) I tried several expensive, (Chanel, Lancome, Armani, Dior) mid-range, (Benefit, Clinique, Urban Decay) "natural" (100% Pure, Dr. H, Korres) and well reviewed drugstore mascaras. Every one let me down in some way, and after reading something somewhere about Isabel Marant's favorite things that revealed she prefers wearing a bit of subtle brown eyeliner to mascara (French people...), I decided I should try the same, despite our lack of similarities in every way possible, much to my disappointment and embarrassment. After weeks of tracking down the right waterproof eyeliner, smudge brush, and lash curler I set out for my new adventure in mascara-less-ness with good results. The only problem is that with my super oily skin, I can only use powder foundation, even on my eyelids (on which I can not even use eyeshadow due to creasing and general grossness despite trying many long-wearing varieties). This means that my naturally long, dark, and thick eyelashes (I know, they aren't perfect, though - the tips are blond) were daily being covered in a fine mist of powder foundation and therefore appearing less than natural or dark. So, I set out to find a subtle "lash tint" with no luck - do these still exist? I tried just a smidge of Smith's Rosebud Salve and argan oil, applied by rubbing either onto the tips of my ring fingers and then blinking repeatedly, allowing my lashes to brush against my fingers gently. Result: smudgy eyeliner. Bioderma Crealine on a cotton swap ended with the same result. Next stop - clear mascara, but the few I have tried make my lashes spiky and/or crispy, plus they weigh down any curl. I contemplated having my lashes dyed but chickened out, and anyway I would still have the powder issue. This product had great reviews, so I thought I would try it before any of the super expensive lash serums available at Sephora. I thought it would be like a clear mascara and lash moisturizer hybrid, wiping away the powder dust but leaving no visible trace. Nope. This stuff is like glue, plus the applicator is a weird rubbery crescent shaped thing that does not separate the lashes at all. I apply this at night only, and I can not imagine using this under mascara - it would be like putting pantyhose over jeans - lumpy. This goes above the lash line on the eyelids (ah, now the shape makes sense), the top and underside of both upper and lower lashes, plus under the lower lash line. It's so thick the tips of my lashes show tiny visible sheer white droplets. To be honest, I only continued to use this because I paid $15 dollars for it, but after a few weeks I did notice a difference. My lashes are longer, not thicker or stronger, but since they needed little help to begin with in any department I'm still a happy customer and I believe this to be a legitimately good product. Cons: #1 - When I wake up in the morning, sometimes the serum is balled up in my lashes, which isn't cute. #2 - Unless you remove every trace of eye makeup, within days the serum inside your tube will no longer look pristine, which is not L'oreal's fault, but gross all the same. #3 - For the price of a drugstore product who's appearance does nothing to elevate the status of my bathroom beauty shelf, the tube could be a bit bigger...like, the same size as a mascara, maybe? #4 - I can only use this at night due the the aforementioned gluey-ness, so I won't see the long term effects as quickly or obviously as I would with twice daily usage. #5 - The applicator. I get it, but would still prefer a brush, or a dual ended tube with a brush on one side and the rubber business on the other. I don't think I will repurchase, but only because I am switching to more natural products, and finding cleaner replacements for things as I run out of them. In this case, Silk Naturals eye lash treatment.
Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this. Yes, it smells, burns, numbs your face, is hard to find, expensive and full of scary ingredients. It caused me to purge after a week of once daily usage for about a month, though not as badly as retinal or aha. My pores were noticeably clearer after about 3 months - not smaller, but no longer filled with grey sebum, either. This is the first product I have used in a long time that has allowed me to cut down on my 2% bp, which I have used for year even though it has not kept me really clear of acne or clogged pores. I now use the p50 twice daily, my skin is not perfect, but it looks much better than it did with the bp. My skin is very oily and dull, with open pores that clog easily. I know that this is drying for some, but for me the glycerine makes it moisturizing - I no longer use any of the half dozen oil free moisturizers I have littering the bathroom. I can apply powder foundation directly after this, sometimes with a single spray of liquid aloe or one drop of pure argan oil applied with damp hands. Yes, I will repurchase. I'm only on my first large bottle of this after first using a trial size (1 or 2 oz, I think), so 2 bottles a year should be enough. I purchase BR products at a local skin care clinic and they recommend using p50 with a thin cotton gauze instead of a cotton ball or round because the gauze soaks up so much less product and I find this to be very true. Find it at a beauty supply store or order it online from a first aid company. Trust me - I've run out and used cotton pads and you need twice as much product for the same result - not cool when a bottle is $90.00. The bf also uses this when he shaves and likes it.
Haven't used anything else for at least 7 years. I have sensitive skin and use the fragrance free variety. The one time I accidentally bought the mint version it caused some irritation, btw. Great, well functioning pump (or small sized tube), provides a lot of soft, slippery lather and it's cheap and easy to find. Three pumps covers the underarms, legs, and bikini area. Will not use anything else.
I never thought I would be reviewing this product... Since Shu Uemura has discontinued Mascara Basic, I had stopped using mascara after several expensive and humiliating attempts. Although this is not perfect, if I wipe off 95% of what comes out of the tube on the brush with tissue and only apply 1-2 coats of the brown/black, it's okay for a natural look. This will not work in the summer, and smudges on my oily skin when I've had a long day. For the record, I have long, thick lashes and really only need something to tint the ends - Mascara Basic was perfect for this, Clinique Gentle Mascara is about the same quality as this and 3 times the price. Doesn't hold a curl for me. Won't repurchase because I have a few natural mascaras on my list that I haven't tried yet, but I would recommend this if you are looking for something basic and reliable.
This review is for the Go (Bo) Away Acne Soap. Smells kinda icky (thanks, neem), but helps with skin irritations like flaky bits, razor burn, and body acne. A nice gentle soap at a fair price with very minimal packaging. This is a NW company so it's easy for me to find in Seattle, but available online, too. Recommended highly if your skin responds well to burdock - mine does. I also have not problems using this on my personal bits (gently, people...). On my third or fourth bar and will repurchase - it does melt pretty quickly. Update - I have tried a few more soaps from this line now and they have all been really great - hope more people will try them and my local co-op continues to stock them.
Shampoo -Alaffia - Shea & Virgin Coconut Enriching Shampoo
mo98103 6/3/2012 3:00:00 PM
Made my hair feel stripped and fuzzy but my scalp still felt oily. Not for me - I have long, thick, oily hair for the record. Love Alaffia but will have to use this on the dogs:) I'll still try another shampoo from this company because I love their conditioner, and WF sells travel bottles.
Conditioner -Alaffia - Coconut & Shea Daily Hydrating Conditioner
mo98103 6/3/2012 2:55:00 PM
Smells great, works nicely as a light conditioner and detangler for my long, oily and thick hair. Love this local NW company - some of the products are truly exceptional, especially at this price. This is a little too thick for the heavy weight bottle, but has a flat cap and can be stored upside down. Great alternative to my beloved but chemical ridden and expensive Kiehl's Formula 133.
Cleansers -Avene - Cleanance soapless gel cleanser for oily skin
mo98103 6/3/2012 2:50:00 PM
Somewhat overly fragranced, but a nice gentle foaming cleanser. I use this with my Clarisonic daily in the AM and it helps to keep my skin clear without drying it out. Packaging is perfect - a easy to squeeze plastic bottle topped by a twist open/close cap with a tiny hole. A little goes a long way, so I think the price is fair. On second bottle and will buy again for my boyfriend, but I've moved on to a non-foaming gel cleanser I love from Aesop.