Cleansers -Boscia - MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil
shriekingviolet 4/15/2012 4:21:00 AM
I picked this up at Ulta a few days ago as I was hoping it would be a good, more easily removable alternative to the homemade oil cleansing blend I already use at home. I've been using (and quite liking) a mix of safflower and castor oils to clean my face for months now and have had a good experience doing so, but the straight up oil takes work to get off of my face entirely. I was hoping Boscia would rinse off a little more easily, and it does. A single pump rids my entire face of sunblock, primer, foundation and eyemakeup and it comes off pretty easily with warm water and a washcloth. Doesn't leave a film, make my skin greasy or break me out either. As happy as I am with its general performance, this product makes my eyeballs feel swollen if I use it to take my mascara off. It doesn't make them burn or sting, but they do feel semi-sensitive and uncomfortable afterward. I wouldn't call it painful exactly, but it's definitely not pleasant. I assume that the Eucalyptus oil or Menthol is to blame. I'm not particular sensitive to either ingredient, in fact, I usually like them in skincare. I just think they might be a bit much for use in the eye area. I really wish Boscia would have left them out, especially since they don't appear to have a purpose in the product. They don't even give off a refreshing tingly feeling that I enjoy so much in many cleansers that use them. They just seem to be kinda there.
I picked this up on a whim during Sephora's Chic Week sale a couple weeks ago and have been loving it ever since. I rarely buy high end mascaras as there are so many good ones available from budget brands that it usually feels like a waste paying extra for higher end product. Even when I do buy a pricier mascara and enjoy it, I rarely like it enough to repurchase it when I run out. They're Real may just prove itself as an exception for my mascara buying habits! They're Real! is described by Benefit as a lengthening, defining, curling and volumizing mascara, and it does a good job delivering on most of those promises. It doesn't appear to do any curling on its own, but it does hold curl well which is good enough for me since I always use an eyelash curler anyway. It also adds some fairly impressive volume and length to my lashes. Now do they look like I'm wearing falsies? No not quite, though this mascara delivers better for me on this promise than any other mascara I've tried before it that promised the same. It's not a lack of length or volume that really separates my mascaraed lashes from faux lashes, but the noticeable texture of mascara. Mascaraed lashes just never look as smooth as bare lashes or faux lashes, and They're Real! is no different in that respect. But it does still give me drag queen worthy length and thickness in two coats, which it does without smudging, clumping or flaking. What else I can really ask for? The brush is pretty awesome. It's a standard rubber bristled brush you see on lots of mascaras these days, but has the added bonus of a few long spiky bristles protruding from the pointy end. These are great for getting at the lashes in the very inner and outer corners, though they must be used with caution as the end often picks up more product than the rest of the brush. You can wind up with goopy corners if you aren't careful! The only downside I find on this mascara is that it doesn't build very well. If you try to use more than two coats, your lashes are likely to start looking kind of crusty. I imagine this would be a real problem for girl with short or sparse lashes. I've been using Revitalash for the past 7 months (that stuff is amazing!) so I have a good base with which to work with, but I might have been disappointed has I tried this mascara out on the lashes I was born with a year ago. I think the results would have still been good (or at least decent), but not 5-star worthy. Still, given how happy I am with what it does for me now, I don't like marking off for this. It's definitely been a good purchase for me!
Liquid -BeneFit Cosmetics - "Hello Flawless!" Oxygen Wow
shriekingviolet 3/20/2012 1:56:00 AM
Love this. While I don't buy into any of the ambitious skincare claims, I think that this is a great lightweight, buildable foundation with a dewy/glowy finish. As other reviewers have mentioned, the consistency is quite runny, so much so you'd expect it to be incredibly sheer. It's actually pretty pigmented for the weight of the formula, starting out with semi-sheer coverage that can be easily built up to medium. It spreads and blends really well, and feels weightless on. It's a dewy finish, so anyone with oily skin or who might just prefer a matte finish should either set this with powder or pass on this foundation. I have combo skin that's moderately oily in the T-Zone and it did no worse than any tinted moisturizer I might use otherwise. I have to blot every now and then, but I don't look oily and it lasts all day for me. I have fairly good skin so I use a single pump (maybe 1/4tsp of foundation) and that amount covers my entire face and neck when I use my Sephora Mineral Foundation brush. It gives just enough coverage to make my complexion look clear and even, and almost seems to disappear into my skin. After it sets, my skin looks really moist and glowy, though not at all sparkly like with some luminizing foundations. The effect is quite natural. I wear NW20 in MAC and for this foundation I use Ivory, the lightest shade. It actually looks a little dark and WAY too yellow for me in the bottle but since I use so little it actually matches pretty well. The yellow pigment tones down the natural redness in my face without adding much color. I think if I were to try to build this up to a heavier coverage the yellow would start to look a bit much, but for my needs it suits just fine. Still, the color range really is this line's weak point. All of the colors run dark and yellow, so this line is going to be tricky for people with really pale skin tones and potentially for people with pink toned and/or cool complexions. I'd definitely try before you buy, because with only 9 foundation shades there's not much wiggle room. Finally, I really like the practical, minimalist packaging. Everything is made of lightweight plastic and the pump dispenses a small amount so waste isn't an issue. This $34 foundation should last me a good while!
Great product, albeit steeply priced. They're a fun, (relatively) easy way to bring a little art to your nails that requires little to no creative expertise and are longlasting to boot. I've used these twice and neither time did I experience much in the way of peeling or chipping. Both times I removed the strips only because I was just ready for a new manicure after having worn them for a week. I use both a base and top coat with these so that might be helping with wear time too. They're a little bit tougher to remove than regular nail polish, but no more difficult than polishes that contain a heavy amount of glitter. For easy removal, I'd recommend dousing cotton balls in acetone and adhering them to your nails with aluminum foil or saran wrap and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes. After that, removal is usually a breeze. My favorite thing about these strips is that they don't require time to dry. I don't know why, but my nails take forever to dry no matter what combination of polish, base and top coat I use. Seche Vite may dry my nails to the touch in 5 minutes, but my manicure can be easily dinged, nudged and dented for a good two hours or more if I'm not careful. With these, I'm completely good to go as soon as my top coat dries. That makes these a life saver when I'm in a hurry and don't have the time to wait around for my manicure to fully cure, I do find these slightly awkward to apply, but I think that has more to do with my clumsy fingers than a design flaw. It's usually a bit of a struggle for me to lay it down flat and straight, but it's not so bad that it won't become easier with practice. My only real complaint with these is the price. Unless you have short nails and/or small nail beds, you're only going to get one use out of every box. If you're used to going to the salon to get your nails done, $10 a manicure will sound like a real deal but if you're used to doing your nails with your own polish at home, $10 a manicure makes buying and wearing Chanel polishes seem cheap. You may be paying more up front for a bottle of a high end nail lacquer, but it'll last you for multiple manicures making them a much better value. Still, these nail strips are cute and fun enough that they're worth the occasional splurge,
I'm of two minds on this product. On one hand, it's almost exactly what I want from an eye crayon. The product is pigmented, creamy, blendable, dries quickly to a smudge-resistant nontacky finish, feels lightweight and comfortable on (some long wearing eye crayons feel stiff and heavy after they set, this does not), and applies beautifully. No dragging or tugging on my lid, and with the exception of Pink Violet, no instances of patchy pigmentation. Texturally, they're exactly what I always wanted MAC Shadesticks to be. They just apply like a dream and the shades are so pretty. They go on as smoothly creamy and pigmented as Urban Decay's 24/7 shadow pencils, but I find these more comfortable to wear. Sounds fabulous right? The catch is that Stila defines longwear as 6 hours, which may be considered a decent wear time for a cream based product but it is the opposite of what I consider to be longwearing for an eye shadow. In my opinion, any eye shadow that aims for a lower benchmark than 10 hours (if not 12-14) cannot be labelled longwearing. Eye shadow is not like lipstick, people don't expect that they'll need to redo their eyes mid day. If your eyes can't last from breakfast until at least dinner, you're hardly employing a sensible makeup routine. And at least on me, these crayons don't last that long. I tested them out on the bare lid and over my regular eye primer (Too Faced Shadow Insurance), and in both instances these crayons lasted just 6 hours before they started fading and creasing. The shades I purchased (rose and antique) harmonize well enough with my light complexion that the fading and creasing doesn't look disastrous so I can get away with wearing these all day long, but I can't imagine that I'd risk wearing any of the darker shades if I knew I had a long day ahead of me. They'd be fine for running errands on the weekend or for evening makeup, but they're not up to the task of a standard 9-5 work day. If Stila could just increase the wear time on these they'd be perfect! To their credit, they do specify that these have a wear time of 6+ hours which on my moderately oily lids is fairly accurate. Given how prone cosmetic companies are to exaggerating the lifespan on their products (like the slew of "24 hour" eye products that hit the drugstores this spring), that honesty is positively refreshing. But honesty doesn't make this product any more practical, so for now, I'll be relegating this product to weekends only when I'm just looking for something quick to slick on to perk up my complexion.
I own a handful of these and really like them, though they way underperform in terms of their longevity. My lips tend to eat lipstains (of which I've tried so many!) so I wasn't expecting to get anywhere close to 10 hours of wear no matter what the label claimed, but I didn't get even 4 hours with these. YMMV here, as I find that longwear lip products of all stripes tend to wear off faster on me than on most people. They do last longer than lipglosses on me and as long as a full coverage lipstick, which is good enough for me to keep using them. For lipglosses, these don't have much shine. The only lipgloss-esque thing about them is the tube and wand application style so I'm unsure why Maybelline markets these as a stain/gloss hybrid. These are incredibly pigmented (so much so that on first application, they almost look like lipstick), lightweight gel stains that dries down to a satin finish. The gel spreads easily and evenly, which makes these a huge winner in my book. So many stains that I've tried go on patchily, leaving me with bright hyper pigmented spots among areas of more washed out color. These apply as evenly as a good lipstick, and the unusual paddle looking applicator makes them easy to work with. They fade evenly too. They feel nice on, not tacky, not drying, not heavy. I can almost forgot I'm wearing anything though I would imagine people with drier lips than mine will require lipbalm or gloss on top to wear comfortably as these don't have any slip to them. The colors are great though they skew cool and bright. This works well for my coloring, though it may be disappointing for warmer toned ladies. I can't wear warm shades of lipstick, but even the coral shade (which is far more red than any coral should be. the orange and peachy tones were very minimal) worked on me. My favorite shades are Pink Plush (a medium mid-tone pink), Refreshing Red (a semi-sheer neutral red) and Mauve Dream (a pinky brown). Overall, a good additional to Maybelline's line even though their weartime is deceptively low. They make for great low maintenance lipcolor as they're budge, feather and transfer proof, last reasonably long and look good until they disappear.
Flatter me indeed! This pinky beige is one of my favorite picks for days when I don't feel like dealing with makeup. A sheer wash of this applied with my finger and a little liner is all I need to look fresh and polished. It spreads easily and blends well into my NW20 skin tone. I really appreciate that it dries to a powder finish quickly. I'm not however as impressed with the wear of these as most seem to be. Over a base (I use TFSI), it wears all day, no better or worse than a powder shadow. On its own, it starts to crease on me after 5-6 hours. That isn't a huge deal as I'm accustomed to wearing a primer anyway, but it does make this product less useful as an eyeshadow base or a solid stand alone product.
Great moisturizer for dry, scaley winter skin! I was a bit nervous when I first picked this up as my skin is not what I'd describe as classically dry. I was oily as a teenager, oily/combo in my early 20s and have started to lean combo dry over the last 4-5 years especially during the winter. After years of neglecting to add a moisturizer to my regular routine, I started finding myself in a state where nothing seemed to work in combating the uncomfortable, dry tightness in my forehead and temples. I'd spend all winter long looking for a moisturizer that worked well with my skin, only to give up in March when the weather started warming up and my skin stopped being so dry. This year, I finally decided to give Skin Drink a try. I wasn't sure what to expect as this moisturizer is marketed toward seriously dry skin and felt really heavy when I tested it out in the store. And it is heavy and oily feeling, but thankfully a little goes a long way and it sinks in pretty well after a few minutes. I've been using it for a month now at night (it's a bit much for day time use for me, especially under makeup) and it's neither broken me out or made my skin any greasier. It's just made my skin smoother and softer during a part of the year when things can get pretty uncomfortable, and this is the first year in ages where my skin hasn't felt unpleasantly dry all winter long. This isn;t my favorite moisturizer by any means. It smells awful (like wet cardboard!) and feels greasy and heavy going on, and I'll be happy to switch back to my "normal" moisturizer in the spring. But as a treatment type moisturizer, it's great. It definitely cures what ails me.
Hydrating really? I bought this cleanser during a time when my combo skin (dry on my forehead, oily on my nose and cheeks) was being fussy and I thought it might be needing something stronger than my usual cleanser to help clear it up. I bought this one on a whim because the packaging was darling and because I was intrigued by the possibility of a nondrying cleanser from a brand like Clean & Clear. Plus I enjoy cleansers that use fruit extracts for things like exfoliation. Unfortunately, the only really nice thing I have to say about this cleanser is that it smells delicious. Very tropical, like a pina colada. I guess it does a decent job cleansing too, though no better than your average cleanser. If there's any exfoliation from the dubiously present strawberry seeds, it'd negligible, and I found the cleanser to be more drying than hydrating. After using it, my skin can feel uncomfortably tight for a good while (an hour at least) if I don't slather my skin in moisturizer. I've currently got the bottle in my shower so I can use it up (the pump style container being its only other redeeming feature in my eyes), but I definitely won't be repurchasing this product when I run out. If this cleanser is hydrating, I have to wonder how stripping the other two formulas are.
Eye Shadow -Hard Candy - Eye Def Metallic eyeshadows
shriekingviolet 12/17/2011 4:41:00 AM
Picked two of these up (Fake Baked and Jagged Jade) on a whim the other day just to see what they were like. I'm a fan of cream shadows on days that I'm in a hurry, though it's a product type that can be really hit or miss in terms of quality. Many cream shadows crease quickly or stay oily and tacky and are just not very good for prolonged wear. But there are others, that dry down to a nice powder finish that are long wearing and provide bold color in metallic or sparkling finishes that powders just can't duplicate. Thankfully, Eye Def shadows are the latter. They go on wet and creamy and dry to a fairly budge resistant state within 30-40 seconds. They're quite pigmented, in colors true to what they look like in the tube, and the finish is as metallic as advertised. I apply them over primer just to be safe and they wear pretty well all day. The formula reminds me a lot of Cover Girl's Intense Shadow Blast shadows, though thankfully these come in more numerous and more exciting shades. Now on to the downside: I hate the packaging! The test tube look is cute and all, but the long wand makes these sort of tricky to apply. With the short drying time on these, you need to work fast because if you're not happy with the way it looks by the time it dries, you might as well take it off and start over because you CANNOT build this product up without ruining it. The first time I tried Jagged Jade, my application was a little patchy. I tried adding more product on top to cover up my bald patches and that second coat dried to a crumbly and cakey state that ruined the product beneath it. I was able to slough the product off with my finger (all of it came off in crumbs when I gently rubbed my lid) because the cream would no longer adhere. I tried doing the same on the eye I had just one layer on and nothing happens, so clearly it was a product of my poor application. It's a good thing these shadows are pigmented enough to be opaque in one coat because there's no chance for a second coat. Anyway, great product. I really love that it comes in bright bold shades, some (like the rusty red of Rose Amoure) that you seldom see from budget lines.
Lips -Revlon - Colorburst Lip Butter in Red Velvet
shriekingviolet 12/11/2011 3:35:00 AM
Love this red! Red lipstick often looks garish on me, but this looks really chic and nice. It's more of a brick red than a classic bright red, but I think that's what makes it work on me. It's neither cool or warm. It's darker and more pigmented than the other shades of lip butters, more akin to a regular lipstick but it's still semi sheer and glossy. Once swipe gives you a bold, not-quite opaque red and two will get you nearly full coverage. One coat blotted gives a lovely red stain. The formula is great. It's not moisturizing enough to replace a lip balm, but it's soft and emollient enough to soothe lips that might be bothered by the cold, wind or indoor heating. It feels glossy and smooth on. The wear on this one is really nice. The shine wears off after two hours or so, but the color sticks around for at least another two hours and towards the end of its life looks like a red version of a MLBB stain. I like that look a lot!
Love these! Are they a replacement for lip balm? No, especially if your lips are prone to chapping and you find yourself reaching for lipbalm multiple times a day. These lip butters are rich and emollient, and comfort moderately dry lips and protect them from the elements but they don't *treat* lips that are already suffering or chronically dry. Which is something that isn't going to bother anyone who approaches these as a cosmetic item but will seriously disappoint anyone expecting a skincare item. Since I rarely need to apply lip balm more than once or twice a day in order to keep my lips soft and healthy looking, these lip butters work just great for me. They provide enough moisture and cover to soothe my lips if they start feeling parched from the effects of cold, indoor heating or wind which is all I need for them to do as a lip balm. As a lipstick/gloss, these are a really great product. They feel extremely smooth, lightweight and glossy, have a mid level of shine and pigment and come in really flattering shades. I've bought 6 of them and the only one I hated was Pink Truffle, and even that one just didn't work with my skin tone (pinky beige shades in general just oxidize oddly on my lips). The darker shades leave behind a bit of a stain behind after the product wears off that's really flattering and postpones the need for reapplication. I can go 3-4 hours between retouches with Red Velvet while lighter shades like Peach Parfait need touching up every two. I love the packaging too. The transparent matte plastic looks quite chic and makes it easy for me the ID shades floating around at the bottom of my purse. I also appreciate that the tube caps fit very snugly. Lipsticks have a history of losing their caps in my purse which can be a real problem for soft lip products which are easily gouged by other items knocking around in my bag! I highly recommend this product with the caveat that people have to approach them with realistic expectations. If your lips need a lot of TLC, they're still going to need extra TLC if you use this lip butter. But if you're looking for flattering, glossy, semi-opaque lipsticks these are awesome. I'm so happy with this product and that Revlon is making them permanent! I hope Revlon expands their color selection a little. I'd really love to see a darker plum or berry shade from this line!
Can't believe I just started using this given that the use of body oil post showering has long been my preferred means of keeping my skin soft and moist (it so much easier and more effective than body lotion!). For some reason it never occurred to me that Palmer's made their cocoa butter products in an oil form. I had been using baby oil all this time which works just fine, but Palmer's is a more natural and better smelling alternative. It's fantastic at banishing the painfully itchy dryness I often experience around my sides, hips and thighs during the winter and leaves my legs incredibly smooth after shaving. I just slather it on right after I shut off the water in the shower, rub it in as best I can and then towel off the excess as I dry off. So much more efficient than using lotion on dry skin! Love the scent too. It smells just like you'd expect any cocoa butter based product to, like creamy and sweet hot cocoa. At around $5 for 8 oz it's a little more expensive than baby oil, but still cheap enough that the minor splurge isn't enough to fuss over.
I've been using this product once daily since early September and have seen an improvement in the length and thickness of my lashes. I have sparse, medium length wispy lashes naturally and have been hoping for a boost in lash fullness. So far it seems like Revitalash is delivering! The difference so far isn't all that obvious when my lashes are bare. I can see some difference if I look closely, but nothing comparable to what a coat of a good mascara will do. I can definitely notice one when I apply my mascara though. I haven't quite reached false lash territory, but my lashes look at least 50% longer and 50% fuller using the same mascara I've been using for the past 6 months. Being able to get noticeably more dramatic results without caking on extra mascara is fantastic. The combined result of my current mascara (Cover Girl Lash Perfection) and Revitalash looks better than any mascara that I've ever tried. And I've certainly tried many, both from drugstore and high end brands. I'm hoping that my lashes will continue to grow if I keep this up as I'm not satisfied quite yet, but so far the results are very promising! Another great thing about this product is that it works well on your brows too. My right eyebrow has always been shorter on the outer tail than I'd like it to be (it stopped at least .25-.5 of an inch shorter than on the left side) and both brows are a little sparser than I'd like at the ends. I've been applying Revitalash to areas where I'd like my brows to be and I've been getting new hair growth in those spots. This benefit can also be a bit of a challenge though as it means you need to be really careful about where you apply Revitalash on your eye lid. Keep the line as close to your lashline and apply as finely as you can manage. I've seen a few new lashes pop up a little further up my lid (not *far* up my lid, but enough to be visibly separate from my lashline), no doubt as a result from times where I've been a little sloppy in my application. This isn't a big deal, as they plucked right out and probably wouldn't have been noticeable in the first place if I didn't spend time using a magnifying mirror on a regular basis when I pluck my brows. But it's something I thought I should note. I haven't noticed any difference in the color of my lashes or any change in the curl. My lashes are naturally dark anyway and I always use an eyelash curler so this isn't a big deal to me. This product is easy to apply, especially if you're familiar with applying liquid eyeliner as the process is similar. The applicator is a fine tipped brush, and you just apply a fine line to the base of your lashes. I haven't experienced any side effects. No itching. No burning. No stinging. No discoloration of either the skin around my eyes or my irises. Haven't noticed my lashes falling out any more than they might normally. I apply it once daily at night time, which is how the manufacturer suggested it be done. I apply it before any eye cream and then just wait about 5 minutes for it to dry before I apply any moisturizers. My only real complaint about this product is the tube. I wish it were easier to tell how much product you have in there. I've used it daily for 2 months and while I think I have plenty left I have no idea. I wish it were easier to judge how full my tube is so I don't worry about running out unexpectedly. The product is also pretty expensive, though I'm not sure what the real retail price is. I'm lucky in that I have a friend who works at a spa and had access to a full-size sample tube which she kindly sent my way. I'm not sure I would have given this a try had I not been able to test it out for free. $75-$100 is a lot to spend if there's no guarantee that something will work as well as you want it to. Now that I've tried it, I'd happily pay full price for my next tube as I think the results are worth it. Whew! This was a long review, but I hope it's been helpful to anyone who is considering trying this product but is afraid to take the leap! I've never tried any other comparable products so I can't compare its effectiveness to anything else, but on its own I think it's pretty great! Update: I'm on week 14 and am even more thrilled with this product! My lashes look amazing. Here are some before and after photos of my lashes. The first picture is of my bare lashes in early September. The second picture is of my lashes the last week of November without mascara, and the third picture is of my lashes with a coat of mascara.
Mascara -Cover Girl - Lash Perfection Volumizing Mascara
shriekingviolet 10/19/2011 4:35:00 AM
Let me start off by saying that as a former Lash Blast user, I'm utterly confused as to what makes this a different product than Lash Blast apart from the packaging. They're both marketed as volumizing mascaras and both perfect that function pretty damn well. The consistency of the product and the performance are the same as far as I can tell. Lash Perfection just comes in a thinner tube and uses a thinner brush with a more tapered shape. Given that I appreciate the sleeker packaging and find the thinner brush to be easier to use, I've made the switch from Blast to Perfection, but I don't feel strongly about one over the other. Bearing that in mind, this is a terrific mascara. Offers my lashes a ton of volume, length and definition with minimal effort, without leaving my lashes clumpy and heavy. It wears well, doesn't flake much and I've experienced no smudging issues. This is a great, affordable mascara for anyone who like wants to add a little oomph to their lashes.