Powder -Physicians Formula - Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation
saartjesmile 12/14/2010 9:57:00 PM
I have very fair, extremely hard to match skin, and I'm seriously loving this powder. To be honest, I don't have very many issues with my skin, and all I really look for in a foundation is some evening out of my skintone, mild to moderate oil control, and overall just kind of a "finished" look. I was looking for a new powder, and when I saw this on sale and saw that it also had a physical sunscreen, I just had to buy it. I own it in Translucent Light, and it's a perfect match for my super pale skin. It's obviously wonderful in the summer, when I can powder my face to control oil/sweat, and it does double duty as a sunscreen! It gives a lovely, airbrushed look to my skin, and I love knowing that it will prevent me from frying like a shrimp in the sun. As usual, if you need lots of coverage, don't use only a powder, because it won't be enough. I use a concealer under this to cover up my dark circles when I need to, but aside from that, it's the perfect amount of coverage for me. And to the person who "hit pan" after 5 uses... you're probably using too much. I bought mine in the summer and have used it nearly every day since, and I haven't done that yet. If you've ever used mineral makeup, you won't have a problem with the "feel" of this, it feels almost the same. If you're used to a cream-to-powder, however, it might take some getting used to. In short, it's a wonderful, all-around product, that is far better in comparison to, say, CG clean powder, which I have also used. I love it, and I'll definitely stock up when it goes on sale again.
I really like this stuff. I'm lucky enough to have oily-to-normal combination skin, with only a few hormonal, sensitivity or stress induced breakouts. This moisturizer is almost perfect for me. Immediately after I apply this, my skin looks almost like it's been airbrushed, and there have been days I've skipped my powder foundation entirely. I have visible pores on and around my nose, and over the course of the month I've been using this they've definitely become at least a bit less noticeable. There is a bit of silicone in this, and while usually silicones make me break out, this hasn't. It might be my new skincare routine or something magical in this formula that's been heading off that reaction, but I like it. Definitely worth a drugstore "splurge" at about $7.50 :D
Lotions/ Creams -Desert Essence - Vanilla Chai Hand and Body Lotion
saartjesmile 12/14/2010 8:48:00 PM
I love this! I'm a big fan of chai tea and Desert Essence in general, and once I saw this I had to give it a try. I originally was looking for a intensive-but-natural lotion to put on my absurdly dry feet (I think it might be some kind of dermatitis), and although this isn't *quite* moisturizing enough to solve that issue, I fell in love anyway. I get dry cuticles and hands during the winter (I live in the lovely PNW) and this is helping me stave it off. Not to mention, the scent reminds me of cuddling with my sweetie with a warm cup of chai in front of a fire, and after a while wears off to a slightly sweet, spicy alluring smell... it's hard to describe, but if DE puts out a perfume that smells like this too I'm buying 10. It's feminine without being girly, and a comforting, warming vanilla smell without being nauseatingly sweet or overwhelmingly foody.
I got a free 10 day supply with my Sephora order, and not only was the shade they sent me (fairly light) not a good match with my skin (which is fair), it had me breaking out by the 3rd day. I usually have excellent skin, and not much breaks me out aside from silicones and cocoa butter, but I'm guessing it was the evil Bismuth Oxychloride in this that made my skin go horribly south. Plus, even though they say "there's a shade for every skin tone, just blend!"... there's not. It made me look yellowy and sallow instead of pretty porcelain pale. I recommend passing on this, unless you do the free 10 day supply thing first to make sure it will *actually* work for you.
This stuff is amazing! Don't worry about the "shimmer" other reviewers have mentioned, the one I picked up for $3.99 at Rite Aid is mostly matte and incredibly natural looking. I am very fair, with dark hair and blue eyes, and as soon as I put this baby on I look like a smokin' hot Snow White. It is the perfect shade of "just came in from the cold" flush on my fair skin. I only ever use powder instead of liquid foundation, and I've never had any problems applying this blush either over OR under my powder foundation... Just let each of them have a moment to settle on your skin before layering with the other. Also, I have oily-to-normal sensitive combo skin, and no breakouts or disappearing blush yet, and I've used it almost every day since I bought it 3 weeks ago. I own two of Tarte's cheek stains as well, and even though this was a fraction of the cost of each of those, this one is far easier to blend. The packaging isn't quite as novel as Tarte's, but it is simple and easy to use. I'm a practical girl, and I'm looking for a cream blush stick to throw in my bag, not one encrusted with rhinestones or some other ridiculous nonsense. I just want it to work and look good, and this certainly does this on both counts! Love it!
I have a confession to make: I am a semi-religious Lush user when it comes to my face. I live nowhere near a store, however, so when a girl can't spring for shipping from Canada she's got to figure something else out. Luckily, when my mom went looking for a cleanser for me to use in the interim she found this stuff! I have combination normal/oily skin, so this formulation is a little more mild than the Coalface I'm used to, but it still works very well. I spread it over a dry face (eyelids included), let it sit for a few moments, and use a warm or cool wet washcloth to remove. The fruit oils bond with the oil on my face and in my pores to rinse away cleanly, and it even gently dissolves my blackheads! The washcloth helps it come off completely. It leaves my skin feeling slightly moisturized, warmed, clean, and tingly. I look glowing! I've noticed that if you leave it on for a little longer it feels and acts as a face mask, but this also increases the blood flow to my face so I get flushed for about 15 minutes afterward. But it will feel so good! It's made with lots of different fruit oils, but it smells like avocado with a hint of citrus. Just lovely! I don't like using traditional liquid eye makeup removers because they're too runny and oily-feeling for my liking. This is much creamier, stays in place until you're ready to remove and dissolves my makeup easily. If you need to go back and remove more eyeliner or something, it's easy to dab a bit on a q-tip, swipe it on, then use a damp cotton ball to remove. It's very gentle on the eye area and doesn't really sting if you get it in your eye. This comes in a pump bottle (so no cross-contamination) and it's very easy to dispense the exact amount necessary with no waste. The formula is hypo-allergenic, paraben-free, and the company doesn't test on animals. This is a great product and a total bargain! It is about $8 at my local co-op market for a 8 oz. bottle, and it should last you about 2 months as a total face wash, or longer as a makeup remover. If you like Lush like I do and use Coalface or Ultrabland, do yourself and your wallet a favor and try this stuff instead!
I went into Sephora about a year ago because I finally got tired of not having a medium coverage foundation that came close to matching my skintone. I'm very fair and have nice skin, but when blemishes or redness occurs it is very noticeable. The salesgirl recommended this in Facade for my skintone and needs. Good things: It blends very well over moisturizer, it's got SPF and antioxidants, and it's pretty water-resistant (I once wore it in a massive 4th of July water fight/parade and it lasted through the whole thing). It has no scent to it and it comes in a moderately good range of colors. You also don't need to use a lot of it for modest coverage on your whole face, so the bottle should last for a while as long as the packaging holds up. If you're looking for a foundation with SPF with a light-to-medium coverage and willing to deal with the negatives (see below), this would be a good choice. All in all, it's okay stuff. But there are some gripes.... For one thing, it's silicone based. For some reason, silicone based moisturizers (like Clinique's) and foundations seem to do something to my skin that makes it break out in little bumps that don't go away. It's entirely possible that it's the silicone in this that irritated another reviewer's skin. For another, the tube is kind of crappy... it's a nice lovely purple color and thick rubber, but the seam on top of the tube is not fused very well. I didn't do anything weird with mine, didn't sit on it or squish it in any way, but somehow about 6 months into having it the top seam cracked and foundation leaked out. That doesn't sound like a big deal to some, but that means that contaminants can get in and the foundation can mold/get gross/break you out, so I tossed it. Half the bottle was left but I had to toss it; it felt like throwing out $20. $35 is too much to spend on foundation if you can only use half of the 1.7 oz. bottle before it breaks. Also, you have to blend really well to get it to look natural if you're fair. I was so happy to finally find a foundation that "matched" my super pale skin, but Facade was not all it was cracked up to be. I'm kind of a pink-toned pale/"porcelain" (one of these days I'll go to MAC and get colormatched like everyone else seems to have done so we can all speak the same language), and Facade is a very yellow-toned shade. Advice: apply this very sparingly over moisturizer, blend like your life depends on it, and only add more if you need it. One more bad thing: if you sweat, this will get forced out of your pores and sit on top of your skin. This sounds gross because it is. I highly recommend not wearing this at any time you might sweat a moderate amount or more because it will come off your skin and mix with your sweat, so if you wipe off your face this nasty sweat/foundation mixture will come off. It's not attractive. End verdict: Nice stuff, but expensive for all the drawbacks I had to put up with. It was nice and worked pretty well while it lasted, but I probably wouldn't buy it again unless they fix the formulation and the bottle problems.
Eye Makeup Remover -Mary Kay - Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover
saartjesmile 9/10/2008 3:08:00 AM
It took my eye makeup off, that is to be sure. However, it made my eyes feel super greasy and oily, and when I woke up in the morning I had raccoon eyes from the mascara and eyeliner this failed to remove. Le sigh.
Mascara -E.L.F. - Wet Gloss Lash and Brow Clear Mascara
saartjesmile 9/10/2008 2:54:00 AM
This is a great product only because it is super cheap and gets the job done of taming eyebrows, period. I don't suggest it for use on eyelashes because as another reviewer said, it will sting or burn. Why, you ask? Look at the ingredient list: it's basically hair gel in a little tube with a wand. Also, be careful not to use it on days where you will get wet or sweat a lot, because it will run down into your eyes. A warning/piece of advice: after only a few months of use the "brow" end of the tube turned this murky color - it could just be from air bubbles from taking out and replacing the wand, but for safety's sake I switched over to the "lash" end. From doing this I discovered that the "lash" end is much better than the "brow" brush at applying this stuff to your brows, because the fluffier rectangular brow brush deposits too much gel which makes them look stiff and unnatural. Overall, worth the price, especially if you only use it for one of its intended two uses (twice the product!)
Liquid -Physicians Formula - Brightening Ivory Spiral Foundation
saartjesmile 9/10/2008 2:46:00 AM
This isn't a foundation to use if you have lots of flaws, period. The coverage is light and semi-sheer. Also, if you have oily or combination skin, the cute little bits of shimmer that are in the "brightening" part of the spiral will only make your oily spots look even more so. However, if you're young and/or have great skin to start with, and only need a little coverage, this is a great product. What I do to combat the oily-looking shimmer is blend it about 1 to 1 with a non-shimmer foundation or tinted moisturizer, which tones it down without neutralizing the brightening benefits. Another option would be to brush a little loose or mineral powder over the top. One thing that is GREAT about this foundation is that I have an incredibly hard time finding foundation that is light enough for me (I am really pale) and this is the one drugstore brand that can come remarkably close to my natural skintone. Hurrah!
Misc Beauty Tools -Clinique - Makeup Brush Cleanser
saartjesmile 9/10/2008 2:09:00 AM
Oh my goodness! This works so well! I'll have to admit just for disclosure's sake that I had never cleaned makeup brushes before in my life, until I bought this. My mom isn't much of a girly girl, so any makeup I put on I either applied with my fingers or the included applicator and I never gave much thought to brushes. I recently bought some nice brushes and started using them. I quickly discovered I loved using them for eye makeup and powder, but when it came to doing the makeup for a friend's wedding I was stumped. I needed to use them on the maid of honor as well as myself, but didn't want to pass on or receive anyone else's 'cooties'. What was a girl to do? Buy brush cleaner, of course! But what kind? I cruised the reviews here for a recommendation, and read up on different types at Sephora, but ultimately decided to go with Clinique's because I could get it sooner. I couldn't have made a better decision! This cleanser was simple to use, easy to rinse out, and has made my brushes even shinier and softer than they were before! (And that's saying a lot, because I have both synthetic and hair brushes and neither of them had weird results.) If I ever run out of this stuff, and that's a big if because the bottle is HUGE, it's a definite re-buy for me!
Like the other reviewers have said, this pencil is a P.I.T.A. to sharpen... What I use to is one of those jumbo sharpeners from old makeup kits, but you have to make sure to *really* push on it. It works though! I always clear up any unevenness caused by the blade by wiping with a finger or a clean tissue. I own these in "So 50's" (a gorgeous shimmery lavender) and "Dreamworld" (a sparkly silvery white). I've only used So 50's a few times, and so far only when the weather has been fairly mild, so I didn't experience any melting. I use So 50's for a semi-sheer eyeshadow and Dreamworld as an inner-eye highlight when I am looking especially tired. The whiteness will tone down any red in your eyes and draw others' attention to your eyes, not any shadows under them. The key to using Dreamworld is blend, blend, blend! I used these without UDPP, but you might be able to get better results with it. I tend to buy these from RiteAid when they are having a b1g1 deal, so any investment I made on these is small. I suggest that if you're not sure if they will work for you, wait for a cheap deal. If nothing else, they will work well as an 'emergency' eye makeup in your purse.
Even though I love the scent of this, I don't think I'd buy it again. As other reviewers have said, it's pretty, sparkly, and girly, but it's also one of the LUSH shower gels with the most artificial ingredients. Plus, the girly sweet sugar smell makes me queasy after a while, and for some reason it sticks to my skin like glue. For a company that supposedly prides itself on its natural and fresh components that go into the products, the label on Snow Fairy is a list of detergents and who-knows-what lurking behind the "fragrance" name. Also, it's one of the only shower gels I've tried from them that separates out over time into murky white goo and what resembles children's cough syrup. Sorry, LUSH - I may get this from the Free For All or its equivalent this January, but I'm not spending any cash on it again.