Why are there not more products like this? I have thick, wavy-curly hair that goes past my shoulders. I normally use some sort of serum or anti-frizz creme before blowing it out or letting it air dry (which is rare). I'm trying to minimize the heat damage and leave it wavy/curly more often, so have been on the hunt for multi-tasking products - namely, something that can smooth but also provide some hold. I discovered this in this year's Allure-Best of Beauty magazine, and it was just one of those cheap thrills listed that I had to have. A thrill, indeed. This unassuming creme-gel has the best of both the runny/milky cremey-serumy products and a basic gel. What sold me on it right away was the texture, which is light and instantly disappears off your hands - no silicone-y mess. It also feels like my hair is actually absorbing it instead of coating it in another slippery, silicone-y mess (one which I was rather unaware of until I tried this wonder and realized things could be different.) I don't think any product truly prevents frizz and completely smooths, but this has been as close to it as any other product, with added benefit of a flexible hold that doesn't weigh hair down. Another great quality - it works well on both damp and dry hair. A steal of a multi-tasking product at about $3 - really, could not ask for more. More drugstores need to stock this Weather 365 line - it was hard to find. Contemplating stocking up on it, and I NEVER stock up on hair products.
Liquid -Rimmel - Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation
sumansaran 10/13/2010 3:51:00 PM
I'm surprised at the reviews here, because I've had a really good experience with this product after a couple of months' worth of use. I've never worn foundation except for special events, but this one has encouraged me to use it more. Shade #300-Sand matches my skintone (medium, olive-tan-yellow Indian) best, although upon application it looks a tad bit too light. This is most probably because I'm coming off of a summer tan, and the lightness fades away very quickly. The formula is smooth and creamy, and spreads easily - I don't need more than drop or two. It evens out my complexion with light to medium coverage, which is all I'm looking for. What I like most is that it absorbs well into the skin and never looks cakey or too dewey on me - neither drying nor oily. It's just weightless enough, and it actually makes my skin feel smoother and more moisturized than without it. It lasts for hours, although I probably wouldn't reapply anyway. It's definitely worth a try for those who find a good color match, and is the best drugstore foundation I've ever used.
Lotions/ Creams -Nivea - Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme
sumansaran 9/17/2010 3:14:00 PM
This is likely the best moisturizer I have ever used. I don't use high-end lines though, so my experience is based solely on drugstore brands. But I imagine that this could beat many more, expensive moisturizers. This is truly a "soft" lotion with a whipped texture. It sinks in and doesn't leave your skin greasy or shiny - just a basic, moisturized glow. I liked it so much for nighttime use that I started it using it during the day, too, and my skin has vastly improved over the course of the year and one whole tub of this stuff. Yes, I actually went through a whole tub and felt the need to repurchase and not try something else. I also keep a tube with my travel gear - really don't like to be without it for overnight. It also mixes very well with sunscreens, foundation, etc. - basically, anything else you might need to put on your face! It's not expensive at $7.99 where I live, but I think it could be a tad cheaper. Still a great investment though. A sort of modern alternative to traditional cold creams like Pond's - can't go wrong with that.
Polishes -Sally Hansen - Insta-Dry Fast Dry Nail Color
sumansaran 6/14/2010 5:05:00 PM
This line is such a keeper, and I'm not even picky when it comes to nail polishes. I usually buy whatever is on sale for under $3 and cannot fathom expending more than $5. Coming in at $4.95, this nail polish was almost a no-buy for me but I went for it because I had a coupon, and I'm very glad I did. As promised, this really did dry within 1 minute and didn't even need a 2nd coat. A few minutes after drying, I had a potential smudge while opening a drawer, but it didn't even happen. The best part is the brush, which I detested when I first opened the bottle, but it is actually a major improvement on nail polish brushes - no goops or blobs slowly trickling down the length of the brush, bristles, and then onto your nail to be spread out evenly. This brush allows for just 1 or two broad, even strokes. I didn't even bother with the usual top coat. I originally got this in Lively Lilac (the perfect light purple/lavender for darker skin if you can't pull off the pastel versions) and then purchased Quick Sand, a shimmery beige, after the great results I had with it. I'm seriously contemplating getting a few more to have a basic collection and throwing out my other bottles (since they mostly go unused anyway). Worth a try, and worth the money.
Cleansers -Avene - Cold Cream Ultra-Rich Soap-Free Cleansing Bar
sumansaran 6/3/2010 4:11:00 PM
I agree with some other reviewers that this is rather expensive for a bar soap. That said, it is relatively cheap as far as Avene's products go. I tried this cleanser specifically because it is a "non-soap" and "cold-cream" cleanser. My skin has been going through a lot of changes during these late 20-something years, and at the same time, I really want to stick to the most basic products possible - this fit the bill. For the most part, I love this bar precisely because it does so little - my skin basically feels the same after using it, except it is obviously cleaner! At that same time, there's a lot it doesn't do - it doesn't strip, dry, irritate, etc. For someone who has always had slightly oily skin, this has been far kinder to that condition that "oil-free" cleansers which I'm convinced aggravate acne and sensitive skin. Because the bar is rather rich, I find that after using it, the creaminess makes it "melt" away a little too fast. Since the bar isn't very big and expensive, this is the one reason I may not repurchase. I answered "Yes" to repurchasing because if I can't find a better bar alternative, this would be the way to go. Dove is next on my list. Overall, a great buy if it works for you - there are far worse things than a $9 bar of soap.
I know I would buy this product again because I loved it so much, I had to buy two! This lipstick is my current favorite for the summer, and my love for it will probably endure past the season. This is the perfect semi-deep, fuchsia-like pink that is not too plum or red, and not too 80s either. Great for my medium-tan Indian skin. I think it's fun and flirty but still sophisticated and kind of packs a punch on your lips. The finish is what I'd call a sheer, satin shine, with a touch of maybe frost - just a touch! The pigmentation, however, isn't really sheer, but there is a lightness to the color which keeps it fresh and modern. Moisturizing formula that does not slip and leaves a nice, even stain that isn't dried out. I got mine with a $2 coupon that they have on displays right now but even if I hadn't, it would have been worth every penny. I've also used it as a blush (works for me, maybe not others). A great, youthful statement color that is not red and is easy on the wallet.
Mascara -Korres - Abyssinia Oil Mascara - Volumising/Strengthening
sumansaran 5/5/2010 4:27:00 PM
Considering that I am not a mascara person and have not faithfully used many, I happen to really like this mascara and would repurchase if it weren't out of my budget. The formula was a good balance between inky/wet and creamy and actually evenly coated my lashes. There wasn't any major clumping and a few swipes of a lash comb helped ensure that. I also liked the medium-seized brush which caught more lashes than I thought I had. Stayed put all day - no flaking or smudging (unlike Dior Show!), and didn't show any sign of removal until I actually washed my face with water. Also, while on, this didn't make my lashes feel dry, brittle, and spidery. Overall, a really good and surprising find at Sephora - Korres always surprises me (their shadows are great, too).
Lipstick -Wet 'n' Wild - Wild Shine Lip Lacquer in Flirtatious
sumansaran 2/11/2010 1:41:00 PM
To put it simply, I really love these Wild Shine Lip Laquers. Flirtatious is a beautiful brown/plum/pink nude that works well with my tan/yellow complexion. Not exactly MLBB - but that depends on your definition. For me MLBB is just a more pigmented version of your lips without too much extra color, and this delivers exactly that without being boring. But besides the shade, it's the formula of this lipstick that gets me. It goes on silky smooth and just a tad creamy - enough to leave a stain later, and doesn't slip off immediately. Actually feels moisturizing, and never leaves my already dry lips drier. Also love the slim design. I gave it a 2 for packaging because for $2, you can't expect much, but as other reviewers have noted, the tube doesn't wind down all the way and it is easy to hit the cap and break it - it also breaks easily when dropped (which just happened to me). But a great, cheap staple to keep. I would definitely repurchase, and already have it in Rapture as well. Plan to get Fetish and Risque as well. Much better than the new Mega Last Lip Color they introduced.
Lipstick -Wet 'n' Wild - Wild Shine Lip Lacquer in Rapture
sumansaran 2/11/2010 1:38:00 PM
To put it simply, I really love these Wild Shine Lip Laquers. Rapture is a beautiful, easy, soft berryish red that works well with my tan/yellow complexion. But besides the shade (because I love a few others in this line even more), it's the formula of this lipstick that gets me. It goes on silky smooth and just a tad creamy - enough to leave a stain later, and doesn't slip off immediately. Actually feels moisturizing, and never leaves my already dry lips drier. Also love the slim design. I gave it a 2 for packaging because for $2, you can't expect much, but as other reviewers have noted, the tube doesn't wind down all the way and it is easy to hit the cap and break it - it also breaks easily when dropped (which just happened to me). But a great, cheap staple to keep. I would definitely repurchase, and already have it in Flirtatious as well. Plan to get Fetish and Risque as well. Much better than the new Mega Last Lip Color they introduced.
Since I rarely use face makeup, I may not be the best expert on this particular product. That said, I have tried a few to nail down an everyday basic for myself, and this is the only one I'm happy with. Reason #1 - the color match. In my opinion, Sephora does a great job with shades that match those in-between skin tones, particular various shades of tan. Even more high-end brands haven't achieved this. I have D32 for winter when my skin is paler, and it is perfect for my medium-tan (and rather yellow) Indian complexion. I plan to get D34 or D35 for the summer when I'm darker. Reason #2 - it does what a pressed powder/foundation should do. Some decent light to medium coverage, and not all drying even on my winter skin. Reason #3 - Blends easily and I can barely feel it. Very smooth, fine-milled formula that doesn't highlight any blemishes or imperfections by caking over them. Supposedly, this works dry or wet, but I prefer dry for now. Very simple but worth the minimal effort. In terms of price, a great compromise between over-priced high-end products, and also over-priced drugstore products (think of the similar new product from Neutrogena which retails for about $15). I would stock up since earlier this fall, they were sold out of D35 for MONTHS (not just at stores, but from the manufacturer itself).
Blush -Wet 'n' Wild - Color Icon Blush - Berry Shimmer
sumansaran 2/8/2010 1:35:00 PM
Ah, the wonders of inexpensive drugstore makeup. For all you high-end snobs out there, I'm sorry you are missing out on this! Wet 'n' Wild has recently revamped its entire collection with the new Color Icon line, and there are definitely some products to be excited about, particularly this great blush in Berry Shimmer. I have only recently experimented with some WnW products because hey, why not? At the dirt-cheap prices, they are worth a try. If you are a NARS Taos lover, you will jump for joy over Berry Shimmer. This blush offers the same vibrant, deep rose-coral shade that I like to think is the dark-skinned girl's version of Orgasm. This blush is extremely well-pigmented and blendable, and the shade doesn't change over time. I rate it rather high on packaging for a drugstore product because there is plenty of product in a slim compact, with a brush (useless, of course, but it always surprises me - why can't high-end products do the same?). I would like this blush at any price - am not giving it high marks because it is particularly good for the price. It just so happens that it is wallet-friendly - and what young working girl isn't going to appreciate that?
Lipstick -Revlon - Super Lustrous Lipstick in Deep Nude [DISCONTINUED]
sumansaran 1/13/2010 1:50:00 PM
This is one of a few great products that I've tried based on MUA reviews, and am very glad that I did. I'm Indian with a warm, tax complexion that is surprisingly hard to match with great lipstick shades, particularly neutral/nude ones. Deep Nude is definitely a soft red with a soft pearl (not frost!) finish that is neither too bold nor old looking. In fact, on me, it is almost exactly what the shade is named - a very deep nude that is truer to the natural pinks/reds in my lips than those awful beiges and browns that make everyone look like a corpse. This is very warm, with hints of coral. It is a fresh shade that will work year-round, is work/party appropriate, and best of all, it is a fun color that also doesn't make you feel insecure for wearing it. I got this at a BOGOF sale, but would definitely repurchase for the high-end formula (if not better than high-end) and great shade.
I'm Indian-American, and remember seeing commercials for Vicco products as a kid on Indian TV. Always seemed like a cheesy, fake "ayurvedic" product, until I read the great reviews here. I asked a friend visiting India to pick up a tube for me. I use a lot of natural products for face masks and such (turmeric, yogurt, honey, etc.), so I wasn't opposed to trying it. I have the one with sandalwood oil, and in my opinion, it's kind of necessary since this cream is a bit dry. Not to say that I won't continue to use this and repurchase, because I most definitely will. Within 24 hours of using this, my skin was substantially clearer than usual. While I don't have raging acne, I have lots of teeny bumps and am prone to whiteheads. My forehead gets especially dotted with bumps and whiteheads year-round. I'm never really impressed with product, particularly skincare, but this is the only cream I think I can swear by - at least for my skin. It is sort of a "dry" cream - not greasy at all, although it will appear to have the consistency of cold cream. I love how this feels on my skin - it doesn't add a layer of cream/moisture/grease/oil, but somehow, my skin feels moisturized and balanced, and smoother. It almost feels like what a primer should be, I think. Due to cold weather in the Northeast right now, I'm only using this once a day or every other day (although it's not like it will leave your skin peeling and dry, I just think too much of any good thing is a bad thing). I would highly recommend this for problem skin that isn't nearly bad enough for medication or stronger topical treatments, but still needs some fixing. Would also recommend this for people who prefer natural ingredients and don't want to overdo it with chemicals. This will definitely be a summer staple, and I'm glad for the initial reviews here that made me rediscover it. Some old-fashioned but very effective skincare.
I must add to the reviews for this product, because I do think it is amazing and versatile. I'm not a blush or a bronzer junkie, but nonetheless, was on the search for really good ones that I could feel comfortable using in any setting. I tried this on a whim and since then, have used it almost everyday. I'm medium-deep skin tone (think golden, Indian complexion) and this blush and bronze seem to adjust perfectly on my face to warm it up. The blush gives a natural flush that is neither too pink nor too orange, and the bronzer is neither too matte, nor too sparkly. Additionally, the bronzer shade is perfect for skin tones like mine - some bronzers tend to make it look "dirty" or simply way too dark. Not to mention how soft and blendable this is - makes it a breeze to use, but yes, heavy hands beware. If you happen to use too much, you can always blend some away. Far superior to NARS Orgasm/Laguna duo in quality, and far more versatile for various complexions. Not to mention that it comes with a cute brush - when was the last time that happened with a high-end product? I only wish that the compact were slimmer and sleeker. It is expensive at almost $30, but could be worse! Best of all, it has pretty good staying power - lasts about 6-8 hours unless you're running the marathon (in which case, don't wear makeup!), and after a light touch up, it fades away nicely into that just-warmed-by-fading-make-up look. Love it!
Walnut Bronze (#Es72) is a deep, mauve bronze in the pan, but goes on a more rose copper/bronze in a slightly pearl/metallic finish (by the way, the NYX color swatches are actually pretty accurate). Gorgeous over the lid for day, and with extra layering on the lid/crease for night. This shade would go with so many pink and brown shadows. Due to my skin tone and tinted lids, I need to use a heavier hand with this, but it is still far more pigmented and buildable than its Milani counterpart, Spice, which is currently collecting dust. Walnut Bronze also reminds me of MAC's Glamour Check from the Starflash collection (which I didn't keep). Starflash is seriously overrated - the finish of these NYX shadows is actually better in my opinion (almost creamy and less dusty), as are those of several other shadows (Smashbox included).