Foundations -Stila - one step makeup [DISCONTINUED]
spackle_n_smear 12/21/2010 7:01:00 PM
I admit this was a compulsive buy after watching a demo on HSN and hearing the MA's amazement that this foundation didn't budge in 90 degree heat in New York. That's really saying something! I wasn't crazy, however, to buy this at the full $44 pricetag and snagged a bottle on "CheapBay" for $14.99. That was before consulting MUA on everybody's take on the product. I got nervous after seeing a lot of the comments were mediocre or negative. But how can this be after seeing good results on HSN?? I got my full 1oz. bottle in Dark (although I think they're phasing it out now and now calling it Deep) in the mail and ran into the house to give it a try. One pump the size of a bean in a longbean seemed right to me and proceeded to dot my face. The look and texture of the product made me nervous--it reminded me of Revlon Infallible foundation (blech!)--it seemed thick but it actually spread well. For me, it gave good coverage without being thick. I don't think a lot of people stopped to wait before the product set on their face before reviewing on MUA, because the result was an HD airbrushed look that was matte and polished, but still looked like skin, and not at all greasy or cakey! The color match was perfect too. I'm very oily, but it holds to my skin well with a bit of transfer if I blot with a tissue. I knew well that I couldn't throw away my powder just yet, and Laura Mercier's Smooth Focus powder is the best at mattifying using very little powder and lasting results. Bottom line, I really love this product. HG?? Time will tell. It has now replaced my Smashbox Healthy FX foundation which was at one point the the best I tried for HD foundations.
Treatments -Avene - Diacneal Acne Treatment [DISCONTINUED]
spackle_n_smear 11/29/2010 4:50:00 AM
The frustration of finding a product that reveals promising results and doesn't look worse before it gets better! My condition with acne at 40 is so frustrating. I went to a dermatologist and all he prescribed for me was a tube of cortisone cream. Helped with the swelling, b,ut didn't clear the acne for good. So far, I have these dark acne scars that become inflamed if I do anything with it. And one of them isn't small either--the size of a dime and dark as a mole! I tried Black Opal fading serum to help with the dark marks, but as much it does with fading the mark, it dries the skin in the first phase, and the mark is even darker, dry and flaky. I decided to abandon that and at this point it was less embarrassing to have a band aid on it than trying to cover it up with heavy duty concealers (MAC Studio Fix, Bare Escentuals, BOTH and still looking obvious). Consulted MUA's reviews again. Diacneal popped up with some promising reviews. I needed to weigh the effects of certain products on my skin that was in Diacneal. Retinol was good at exfoliating, but did little to fade the dark marks the acne leaves behind. Glycolic acid was great on me when it came to fading the top layer of skin and had an anti-inflammatory effect on my skin, but left a thick layer of skin before it peeled off. The concentrations looked promising, although I've used stronger products in the past. I decided to go for it after finding a tube for $19.95 (cheapest) on eBay. The product stings. I don't mind the feeling, at least I know it's working, and as long as it didn't make my acne swell, I was fine with it--and it didn't. After the first use, I noticed that it faded the mark considerably, and it lessened the bump considerably. I find that it's working well, and so far after a few days, I don't feel so conscious about it, although it hasn't gotten rid of the mark completely. Now there is a faded center with a dark ring surrounding the perimeter of the zit. So today, I decided to add a bit more in the darker areas by dabbing at the areas using the tip of the tube for a bit more precision. The mark is fading, but the swelling is still there, though I think I can live with that for a while, much more so compared to the dark marks. If your skin can stand the product, try it for its fading properties, and I'm happy for what it's done for me so far.
Primer/ Corrector -Smashbox - Photo Finish Targeted Pore & Line Primer
spackle_n_smear 9/30/2010 7:04:00 PM
This is the best primer I've used so far because it acts a lot like a mattifying gel without the damn silicones which seems to float all the oil on my face to the top, making me look even more oily!. Its mattifying effect works for a while, but when the oil on my skin cuts through, the diffusing powders kick in, retaining that smoothing effect on my skin so my face still seems clean and fresh when I look in the mirror. Great product to use if your pores seem to look more exaggerated when wearing mineral makeup. The tube is rather large, considering that you only use a tiny DOT of the product over your problem areas. It does wonders over the lines on my forehead, brow, pores around my nose, laughlines around my mouth and my bumpy looking chin area, and even my ugly old deep acne scars on my temples. I gotta say BRAVO to this one. I only gave 4 lippies because I wish it had a worry free mattifying effect so I could skip powdering all together, but still it is a remarkable product!
I bought a cache of samples of the product for 1/10th the price and amount equal to the retail bottle, and I'm glad I did because for me it would've been a terrible waste of money. Rather than a tightening effect on my skin as I was expecting, this product works on the concept of plumping the skin. Good for some, but WARNING, bad for deep lines, at least for me. Everything plumped around the lines, but not the lines themselves, which means deeper lines on me, especially the ugly ones between my brows and the crease between my lower lip and chin. Please find samples of this before investing in a full bottle.
Moisturizers -Kiehls - Rare Earth Pore Minimizing Lotion
spackle_n_smear 7/26/2010 9:48:00 PM
I hate moisturizers, but I feel that I need to use them because my face looks and feels like I might need something. I hate moisturizers because I have very oily skin and I look oilier after applying any type of moisturizer, even if it's for oily skin because "all skins need moisture". Ugh! Perhaps Kiehl's had something for me. I used to use the Sodium PCA cream, but no matter how I avoided the eyes, it would creep up there and my eyes would sting from, yes, you guessed it, the SODIUM! Since I was having some good results with the rare earth toner, I decided to go for the pore refining lotion. At first, I didn't know what to think of the product because what came out first was some runny liquid. Thinking that this must be what it is, I put it on my skin and didn't think much of it. I said to myself, meh, don't see anything with the pore refining effects. Same went for the evening application. When I used it in the morning, what came out was something definitely something that resembled lotion! I guess yesterdays dosage was what I think they call the "starter" liquid for pump products. 2 pumps gave me a mattified effect, and the look of refined pores. Sadly I still needed sunscreen since it doesn't have any spf, so I use 3 drops of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer on top of that. As the day wears on, I was happy to say that it didn't feel thick and oily by the end of the day and a dusting of face powder kept everything in place with the help of a little tissue blotting here and there, but only when I thought about it. Wow, I think I found a moisturizer for me! I can always depend on Kiehl's!
I really like this toner. I usually use their blue astringent and have been faithfully using it because there is an ingredient in it that seems to keep my perspiration in check and stops my makeup from running. I wanted a change, however. Since I am very oily, I decided to go with the rare earth toner. I didn't really like their old cream type cleanser because it seemed like my skin was "clean" after using it. The toner has a wonderful effect on my skin. It seems to pick up and wipe away the dirt and oil well, and it does have a "pore refining" effect from the finely milled clay particles. But don't get your hopes up that the effect will last the day because it doesn't. Like many Kiehl's products, it does what it promises and it does it simply. The toner is superb, in that it doesn't feel like it has left something heavy on my skin or create a rebound effect with the feeling of more oil on my face. Granted, it doesn't control the oil fully, but it does feel like I am blotting off less than I usually am. With my very oily skin, nothing will control it fully, unless I get myself started on a cycle or two of Accutane. I always fall back on Kiehl's when nothing seems to work, I think I'll stick with this one for a while.
Mascara -Chanel - Inimitable Mascara Multi-Dimensionnel
spackle_n_smear 3/20/2010 10:05:00 PM
I received this as a sample in Noir Obscur. I'm not really impressed. First coat gives color and definition and a bit of curl. Second coat super thickens and darkens my lashes to give me that Vegas showgirl fake lashes. That's the one added plus about this mascara--you would think you had a thin strip of bear or mink fur across your lashes because it's so thick and dark. No added length or curl however for me. It does go on rather clumpy and I still have to use a lash brush to get separation and the look of really thick lashes. In order for me to warrant a full purchase of this product, I expect a mascara to be hassle free and keep its curl without drooping down and the lashes separate without added brushing out. Meh, I'll stick with my Diorshow mascara.
MAC seems to always put out a high quality product--high pigment, good coverage, and a surprisingly natural finish. I thought I would try the powder after using the liquid and pancake stuff for a while just to see what it was like. The shade is always great, I can get a complimenting and natural color when I stay with the NW shades (40 for winter - 43 for summer) though I was originally told by the MAC artist that NC50 was good for me--uhm, too yellow, but glad I'm on the right track with the shades again. It offers good coverage for a powder, though it seems to go on looking cakey and powdery at first, but it settles to a more natural finish with good coverage. Doesn't hold back the oilies, though. So oily skinned people, you need primer and/or touch up powder. I don't touch up with this powder because it has just too much coverage--I'll be wearing a mask by days end! I just use this now when I want a more finished look or when I need more coverage. I'm perfectly fine right now with my BareMinerals Matte and a light but absorbing powder for touchups.
Moisturizers -Chanel - SUBLIMAGE FLUID essential regenerating fluid
spackle_n_smear 2/6/2010 12:10:00 AM
Glad I found a bottle of this for less than half the retail price on CheapBay! The weight and texture of this is the best for my oily skin. The pump bottle is heavy and beautiful. The top has a black ceramic/metallic finish to it while the bottom has a pearlescent pink-beige ceramic cast to it. Beautiful! Back to the fluid. It goes on sheer, and the light gel lotion dries matte with a light silicone finish with perfect moisturization for post-washed skin. Not slick smooth, but the feeling of clean smooth. I'm one who hates an overly silicone-y feel, but this has just the right touch to it--more tactile than greased down with silicone. It instantly creates a smoothing effect for the slight crepeiness under my eyes and a rested look all over. It soothes irritated skin, and exfoliates and fades discolored areas without feeling like it is too corrosive or harsh. I think it'll prevent wrinkles, but I don't think it will erase them. I definitely can see myself getting another bottle, but definitely not at retail. I hope my luck holds out and I can find another bottle for for cheap, or at least its equal in deluxe samples (10 tubes, I think). 4 lippies, one taken off because of the price, but it sure looks and feels good on the skin!
I just started using this for a week so I can't give you the low down on its full effects yet. I was able to get a bunch of samples together to equal 2 ounces of the stuff for cheap on eBay. I cannot justify any skincare product to be bought for $400 (especially when you can use it for SHOES! lol). A small dollop seemed quite enough, roughly the width of my pinky finger. It wasn't runny like a serum, but more like a gel lotion consistency. Felt thick and rich going on, but dried matte without any thick or greasy feeling. That's a plus because I'm oily prone. What it seems to do visually is that your skin looks smooth and tightened. What the active ingredients do, and I guess it's due mostly to the Plantifolia PFA, relaxes and smooths the skin and really soothes angry skin--but I think that is the squalane's doing. It seems to also work at discoloration by increasing skin's exfoliation process and I feel a firmess to the skin. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles, but sadly it doesn't erase it (at least not during the first week!). Bottom line, it seems to work, I don't think it's worth $400, but I'm sure that's a simple remedy for Chanel--cultivate the active ingredient in a more accessible locale and abundance and that should slice it down to 1/4th the cost. Though as much as I like this serum, I think the new Regenerating Fluid is what I need and does the same thing the serum is doing for me. I'm working on a sample of the Fluid and my full bottle I won on eBay for less than half the price of retail is on its way to me. 3 Lippies because of the price. I'd give more lippies because it does something positive to my skin, but like I said, $400 is just stupid to spend on for skin care month to month.
Treatments -Lancome - Rénergie Morpholift R.A.R.E.
spackle_n_smear 7/30/2009 10:42:00 PM
I'm not sure if this is the section for the serum, since my bottle says Microlift R.A.R.E. Intense Lifting Serum, but it comes in a purple tubular bottle. Lancome, like any other brand, does hits and misses. Such was the case of Genifique on my skin. This serum is the absolute opposite. It smooths, firms, plumps, and reshapes the face. My skin used to feel like melting jello, but now it feels firm like a those keyboard wrist pads. It is not just cosmetic like some products that tightens your face taught and then loses grip after an hour. Its 16 hour firming holds true, you can use it just once a day and it doesn't revert you back to square one by next morning. By the end of a week you get firm bouncy skin! I can proudly say it works. It retails about 80 bucks, so I can confidently say this is money well spent to do such miracle work. That twenty-something doesn't even need it . Her youth is already doing a great job about it, hence go find something preventative and not corrective. For the rest of us nearing forty or already experiencing its joys, this serum is worth a try.
Moisturizers -The Body Shop - Tea Tree Mattifying Moisture Gel
spackle_n_smear 7/30/2009 10:12:00 PM
I've read so many times that you should moisturize even if you have oily skin. I agree to some extent, and I think it's bad if you wash your face and go about without protecting your face with at least something on. The problem is, my face is oily, oily, OILY! Tried everything, oil free, with oil, gel based, water based, as long as it didn't break me out. One thing was always the same. It would start off fine, no trace of greasiness, and 5 minutes later, I'm ready to fry chicken on my face! USELESS! It didn't stop me from doing my rounds and finding something that made my face happy. Little did I expect this moisturizer from the Body Shop would do the trick. It goes on great. Doesn't feel too rich going on, and doesn't add any more shine. An hour, two hours, three hours and my face doesn't feel slippery. Yes, I still develop a shine, but I'm very happy I don't feel the slipperiness of grease. The tea tree oil that they use is great in calming my skin, and my breakouts are less angry by the end of the day. Tea tree oil smells strong, but it disappears in about 10-15 minutes. I also bought the night time moisturizer that is supposed to fade the dark marks acne leaves behind, but it's no good, and really it is greasy after 20 minutes. This moisture gel is just fine morning and night. Since I'm getting older, I've needed the use of anti wrinkle and firming serums so I use Lancome's R.A.R.E Intense Lift Serum. It's light, but it does get greasy, but has 16 hour lifting effect, so I just use it nightly. I took it for granted for a while, trying other things like the good moisturizer addict that I am, but I've come back to my tube for the 4th time now. I just gotta keep telling myself to stick with it. The price is a great joy for something like this, especially when you've even tried the more pricier stuff. Thirteen dollars for a 50ml tube. You can't beat that price for good stuff. I pray that I don't get bored with it again and start running to something else. I really love the stuff!
Moisturizers -L'Occitane - Immortelle Very Precious Fluid SPF40
spackle_n_smear 4/9/2009 9:37:00 PM
I'm always on the lookout for moisturizers with sunscreen. This one had an SPF of 40 and there was no doubting I would be needing a bottle. The fluid is a sappy white color and rather runny. It goes on feeling oily but the feeling disappears as quickly as I put it on, and doesn't get greasy for me as the day progresses--that's the make it or break it rule for me. I've been using this for more than a month now and I have to say that it does an awesome job of brightening the skin. I saw a difference on how luminous my face looked after 2 weeks. I also noticed that it firms the skin and makes it supple and has diminished the fine lines around my mouth. Good job so far!!! To the point that I've also purchased the Very Precious Revitalizing oil to use at night. I love the smell of these products--green and citrus-floral. Lifts my spirits every time. I believe in the L'Occitane products. They use a lot of fresh and natural ingredients and don't skimp on the concentration like many products out there to force you to use more and make you wait longer to see results. It won't kill your wallet to purchase these products too because you have to use less--much less than drugstore varieties. I myself believe in Perricone products in what little trial products I've used, but I can't afford it. L'Occitane is a good alternative in my view.
Hmmmmm....I'm not sure what to think about this product after using it for a month now. I think it is more cosmetic than a true skin repair product--hyaluronic acid with cosmetic polymers to give the skin a smoothing and firm feeling. Granted, it does feel like it has firmed my skin, but doesn't do anything for the pesky wrinkle between my brow so it's no true miracle worker. Let's be realistic. The only things that I'm aware of that changes genetic activity is hormones, radiation, dangerous chemicals, and cancer--it's never for the better, and if it does, it would probably fall under a medical prescription grade product. So my only conclusion is that it's a booster serum that enhances the properties of your current moisturizer by adding cosmetic fillers to it. I would've given it 3 lippies, but what upset me was all the hype written with scientific medical-miraculous promises on the Lancome website. Well, all cosmetic companies do this, but what upset me more was the statistical footnotes that diffused the full-blown promises, hence the 2 paltry lippies. I'm glad it's working for the other reviewers who have tried it already, but I'm still waiting for it to give me real visible results. I've actually spent money on drugstore products at 2/3 less the price and have received great satisfactory results
At first, I did NOT like this scent when I tested it. First impressions with fragrances can be that way many a times, especially for me. The reason being for this instance is that on the first try, I thought it overly floral--white floral, which can be tricky to my nose and skin chemistry. What changed my mind was when I received a very generous sample of the bath gel at my local Neimans. For the heck of it, I was in a "floral" mood (usually I'm for the deep and woody and vanillic orientals most of the time) so I decided to give it a try in the shower. Same thing happened. Something in it made me a bit uhm...uncomfortable. I couldn't understand what or why about it. I proceeded to get dressed, and I would intermittently go in and out of the bathroom to make myself presentable for the day, and suddenly the magic of Palazzo came over me. The smell of my bathroom was of a clean, soapy floral with undertones of something like that of warm skin, ripe and a bit animalic. So it dawned on me. That was what was making me uncomfortable! It was like showering with a stranger! I researched the notes of Palazzo online, it didn't list some kind of musk that I recognize in the mix, and the fragrance pyramid didn't show it either but it was described as a musky floral. I must say I haven't smelled patchouli like this, if it was patchouli to blame. I guess it must be the indoles evoked in the white florals that mixed with the patchouli. I was uncomfortable because it smelled almost like someone else, an olfactory identity I wasn't familiar with, if this makes any sense at all. It was another person that I couldn't identify within me readily, but most assuredly it did call forth this personality within me, this alter-ego. Palazzo smells of a modern chypre, bright, warm, floral, woody, and animalic all at the same time. An ambery facet warms like a candle lit glow for a bit, but releases itself to reveal a bright and romantic nature, veiled over a hidden sexiness. I've smelled a lot of perfumes, and Palazzo definitely evokes a bit of that old world style, sophisticated, confident, "upper-crust" and seems to have that French style of perfumery. I've been lately searching scents that smelled classic, scents with an identity. This definitely fits the bill! No, it does not smell like Angel, and while Ange ou Demon has that citric floral quality, it is way too ambery, smoky and heavy at the base to compare to. I do love the two BTW. I'd say I'd compare it more to the revived Pucci Vivara, which I definitely, hands down DO NOT LIKE! This definitely doesn't smell young and hip. You have to possess a personality to fit this type of scent, namely the chypre genre. Fun-young-and-hip lovers should walk on over to the Harajuku Lovers section if you care for something more playful. The perfume dries down to light floral notes with a gentle, sweet woody base that's whisper soft. Great for those who do not like that feeling of heavy notes that cling at the end of the day that can make you feel a bit too "unclean". Funny thing, something told me to go directly to the Fendi boutique to purchase this. I'm glad I did because the woman there told me that the fragrances were on "sale". SALE???? She pointed to a 50 ml bottle normally for $68, and then she pointed over to their luxe gift set for the same price! 90 ml bottle, and travel sizes of shower gel and lotion. SCORE!!! They were offered in this elegant black tabletop vanity case that'll definitely house pretty things that need to be tucked away in something beautiful. That's why I gave the price 3 lippies instead of 4 for regular designer perfumes. Despite how perfumes move me differently, I hope that I can hold a long-term relationship with this one. I have to admit, the fragrance world today is all too "modern", safe, and possess personalities similar to scents offered in a bottle of shampoo, hence the words boring and unimaginative. Which leads me to think, why wear perfume at all? To me, perfume should let people know who you are, or would like to let them believe who you are, or in my case, how you are feeling in that particular moment. Perfume shouldn't be about social acceptance, but an extension of your persona, much like the way you wear your clothes. For me, it's not the same every day, so I wear a different scent every day, and Palazzo certainly complement a personality I would like to project when I feel like it. Just when I'm supposed to be finished with this long-winded review, a last note. DON'T BUY THE EAU DE TOILETTE. Though it may be sweeter and gentler, it is just too safe--no personality at all! Get the EdP...LIVE DANGEROUSLY!