I am up and down with this product, but I feel as though I have finally found a way to make it work for me! Here are some of the points that stick out, in terms of my personal experience: ~ I have found that the thick and tacky consistency is a plus - it lasts well under my eyes (particularly following eye moisturizer & primer steps). I use it very sparingly (honestly, the tiniest amount), dipping my finger into the pot and picking up a drop of product (it's nice that they include a spatula but I find it a bit unnecessary, to be honest - I always use a freshly cleaned finger). I then hold my finger down in the corner of my eye where my circles are most pronounced, which warms the product up, making it more workable and blendable. Then, I dot my finger down, never pulling, working the product down into my circles. I find that this ensures that the most product stays in the corner of my eyes, where I need more brightening, and the product gradually thins out into my circles. This keeps the product from creasing or caking terribly. ~ I use the lightest shade (Fair), which is probably a bit too light for me (it was given to me as a gift and I didn't bother exchanging it for the Medium) but it's still pretty close to my colouring (NC20-25). ~ I actually do find that this conceals my circles fairly effectively - nothing I've ever tried has disappeared them altogether but this does a pretty good job. My eyes certainly seem more bright when I use this. ~ I only use this for under my eyes (nothing beats Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage for the rest of my face!). ~ The longevity is not quite as good as Laura Mercier Secret Concealer (the other one I use under my eyes) but it does last longer than Bobbi Brown's concealer and creases much less. Overall, this is not HG but it's still pretty good. In terms of concealer, I have found that Laura Mercier has the market cornered (just one girl's opinion!) but this is a nice back-up to have on hand.
Not bad at all! It's definitely not my favourite dry shampoo but it makes the grade to keep in my stash. I like it because many dry shampoos can leave white deposits or streaks that don't brush or rub out easily, whereas this brunette formula conceals well (although it is more of an dark ashy-grey than a true brown). I don't find it as effective as Klorane or Ojon, but Batiste Brunette does a decent job of disguising oiliness for at least a solid day, sometimes two if I want to push it. Unlike other Batiste Dry Shampoos, the smell of this product is very subtle. I'll definitely repurchase!
Moisturizers -Philosophy - Hope in a Jar - for all skin types
tinytapa 9/24/2011 4:59:00 AM
I feel so sad that not everyone has had the same kind of positive experience that I have had with this product - it has been revolutionary for my skin! I can appreciate that everyone's skin (and senses of smell!) are different, but I am among those that really wouldn't want to live without Hope in a Jar. My skin type is combination-oily/sensitive/blemish-prone (lucky me!) and this moisturizer has been a miracle for me. First of all, it has helped keep my breakouts to a divine minimum since I introduced it into my skin care regime. My dry patches are less dry, my oiliness is much less pronounced, my skin flares up less, and I appear more evened-out. It's great under foundation as it isn't oily on my skin - my skin just soaks it up, which is a nice change from moisturizers that feel like they sit on top of my skin. The packaging doesn't trouble me (though I think it was a great move on the company's part to introduce Hope in a Tube) because my fingers are always clean when I put my them in the jar. The plastic lid on mine cracked, but it hasn't been a big deal. Finally, the price is a bit steep but my 60 ml jar has lasted me nearly a full year of daily day/night use (I don't need much, I guess!). The texture is pretty nice, I think - not heavy and a bit like a mousse! In terms of the smell, I find it surprisingly inoffensive (surprising because I am usually very smell-sensitive!). To me, it's lavender mixed with some sort of metallic scent. Odd, but bearable, especially given the benefits to my skin. As controversial as this moisturizer is, it's HG for me!
I am normally not a big fan of liquid foundations - I find that powders and mineral foundation are nicer on my oily-combination skin. However, this makeup is a nice exception for me. Some of the pros, in my opinion, include: ~ A natural, matte finish (doesn't look powdery or obvious) ~ A perfect colour match for my skin-tone (04 Cream Chamois) ~ Very blendable (no obvious foundation lines, particularly around the jawline) - also does not streak when applied, as other foundations can ~ A nice consistency - not too thin, not too thick - so the coverage is buildable but still substantial with a thin, minimal application ~ Does not break me out (woohoo!) or clog my pores Clinique describes this as their "smart" makeup, and I agree that it's pretty clever - it doesn't aggravate my dry patches and seems to moisturize, but it also doesn't make my face look like an oil slick either. In terms of oil absorption, I haven't found this to be hugely effective. My t-zone can certainly still become dewy in this makeup, but it's bearable. It's quite long-lasting, as well, particularly over a primer. Some of the downsides include the packaging, which is cute but a bit annoying in terms of getting out the last of the bottle (you are always meant to shake before using but then getting it off the sides is a bit tough). In the hot summer months I find it to be pretty poor at minimizing oil on my face, so this is my preferred winter foundation. All up, not HG but still a reliable ally!
Toners -Yon-Ka - Lotion - mist tonic- normal/dry skin
tinytapa 7/13/2011 10:25:00 AM
Mmm, Yon-Ka products are bliss! I've been using this line off and on for 13 years now, and I only wish I had lots of available funds so I could constantly keep my stock replenished! This is a lovely "toner" (it's categorized as a lotion but it really falls somewhere in the middle - meant to prep the skin for the moisturizing step but also serves some purifying purposes), and it smells like heaven in a bottle. (I wish I could bottle this has a fragrance, especially for stressful days!) The packaging is well-made and the spray nozzle is the best I've ever used, bar none - it gives a solid, even and wide spritz on the first go. The glass bottle is a bit bulky and heavy, but I've travelled with two Yon-Ka toner bottles across the Pacific and back and never had any dramas with cracks or breaking. My skin much prefers the Combo/Oily Yon-Ka lotion, but I like to use this one in the winter when my face get drier. It keeps my skin balanced and hydrated. I am likely to repurchase as I have in the past, but I always need to give myself a pep talk first in order to cope with the price tag!
YDK is an HG shade, in my opinion. It's everything a great eyeshadow should be - buttery, blendable, pigmented, long-wearing and simply oh-so-pretty. In the pan, it definitely looks like a mocha brown with golden finely-milled glitter (as described by UD), but on it is a soft taupe colour with plumy-pink undertones. The glitter is also very subtle and not overwhelming, unlike many other UD shadows. To this end, the fallout is very minimal (especially if you give your brush a quick tap before applying). The finish is very shimmery and has almost a metallic look to it. It's a great daytime colour, as an all-over or crease colour (I like it pair with a very soft matte pink, like MAC Yogurt). In the evenings, I like it as an all-over colour with a champagne highlighter (ie. MAC Shroom or UD Sin), a deep brown in the crease (ie. UD Twice Baked) and with some matte black in the outer corner for depth (ie. MAC Carbon). Fans of the former and famous MAC Coco Pigment will be pleased to find that this is near-identical dupe - honestly, it's almost impossible to tell the difference. I also find it to be quite similar to MAC Satin Taupe, though YDK has more plum-pink notes. For me, YDK (=You Don't Know?!) is a no-brainer repurchase and recommend. I love it!
I really like this Demeter fragrance - it works really well with my body chemistry and doesn't smell chemically on, as others have described. I am quite sensitive to fragrances and get headaches easily, but this scent doesn't give me any grief in that respect. I find that it smells very clean and crisp on, with a strong soapy note and possibly a slight citrus undertone. I find it to be an accurate representation of what clean laundry smells like - fresh, powdery and clean. In terms of its longevity, it's pretty average, as with most Demeter sprays - but it does seem to last longer than most! It clings especially well to fabric (ie. my sleeves or scarves), which can last all day. On my wrists, I have to re-apply after 4-5 hours (not bad for a fragrance spray, which is not the same as a perfume or eau de toilette). I like wearing it to work, where it's not appropriate to wear very strong fragrances - this is the perfect compromise as it's light, clean and fresh. I'll continue to repurchase.
I prefer this primer heads above the original Smashbox primer formula. It goes on much more smoothly and had a much lighter feel to it, in my opinion. This primer feels very velvety on my skin (thank you, silicone!) and my skin doesn't feel oily when I wear it (a big achievement!). It's never broken me out, which is a huge plus, as well. It makes my makeup last all day and into the night, and keeps it up from sliding around on my face, which is a problem for me and my oily skin. I find that I have to apply this to a completely dry face, having moisturized a fair bit beforehand - otherwise, it can ball up a little bit or create bit of flakiness during the application. Generally, this seems to be my experience with most primers - moisturizing well in advance is always key to a great application. Finally, the color-adjusting properties of this primer are pretty so-so, in my opinion. I do find that this evens me out and can dull some of the redness (ie. around my nose, chin and cheeks), but the effect is very subtle. Still, a bit of adjusting is better than none! Overall, I like this primer and am likely to continue purchasing it - it's the best one I've come across so far for my skin. I recommend buying a trial size first before committing to the large size, as this product seems to work differently for all skin types.
I really, really wanted Cetaphil to work for me, but it just doesn't measure up. To begin with, it does a pretty poor job of removing all of the makeup and dirt from my face, and I wear relatively little makeup during the week at work. When I use a toner afterwards, the pad always comes up with dirt and makeup still on it. So, not very cleansing at all. While Cetaphil has not broken me out, it leaves my skin feeling like there is still a bit of residue behind, despite a good rinsing. My face simply doesn't feel fresh or clear after using it. The only way I've found I can use this product is as a first-step cleanser, to begin removing some dirt and makeup from my face, before moving on to my main cleanser, which finishes the job by getting deep down into my pores and effectively removing everything else. On its own, however, I find Cetaphil to be pretty useless. I don't think I'll buy this again.
Haux is a beautiful, pigmented and blendable shadow. It is a rosy-brown satin MAC shade, and it applies like a dream. I find this colour very easy to wear in both the daytime and evening. In my personal experience, it doesn't crease, and is very long-wearing. I don't have issues with it oxidizing or changing colour throughout the day, which is nice! One of my favourite eye-looks for work is: MAC Yogurt - as the all-over lid colour MAC Haux - as the crease and outter-eye colour MAC Shroom - as the highlight on both the browbone and inner-corner MAC Oil Slick - in the outter-v (to add a bit of depth and dimension) MAC Teddy - eyeliner on the lid, and waterline I reach for this shade frequently, and have been repurchasing for the last 8 years. I recommend!
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24-7 Glide on eyeliner in 1999
tinytapa 6/18/2011 2:07:00 AM
Sadly, this 24/7 pencil doesn't do it for me. Hazel eyes normally suit purples and plums, but this shade makes my eyes almost look sore or bruised. It's just not right for my skin-tone and colouring, I suppose. It's a very metallic pencil, which I like, but the gold glitter is just a bit over the top for my taste. Unlike most other 24/4 pencils, 1999 doesn't show up very well on my eyes (which could be the cause of the slight "bruising" effect) and is especially non-transferable to my waterline. Swatched on my hand, it looks good (still, not my colour but at least pigmented and creamy) but it's hopeless on my eyes. Other friends have tried it and liked it, but I've yet to have someone say "Oh yeah, I'm going to go get one of my own!" as they have with my other 24/7 pencils. This won't be a repurchase for me, unfortunately.
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Stash
tinytapa 6/15/2011 9:48:00 AM
Though I've had Stash in my kit for years, I was inspired to write a review today because it's nearly 10pm and the eyeliner I put on at 7am before heading to work, 13 hours ago, is still intact on my eyes! Admittedly, I haven't been wearing Stash much lately because it is almost IDENTICAL to MAC Rosemary & Thyme, which I usually reach for. Both are herby-olive greens, with strong, beautiful gold accents. The only difference in colour, in my humble opinion, is that Stash is slightly more shimmery (more gold sparkle) and slightly darker. Even side by side, though, they are very difficult to tell apart. However, I think I need to be reaching for Stash more often because the longevity is wild! I forgot how well this lasts, and that I can go all day without a smudge! As well, it applies easily with a creamy formula. As with Rosemary & Thyme, I like wearing Stash on an otherwise bare eye...it just stands alone so well. I have hazel eyes, and this is a dream colour for me. I will continue to repurchase and am confident recommending it to others.
Talk about a late review - this is from the 2004 Greek collection! Better late than never, though, right?! So, this colour is beautiful in the bottle - bright, fun, turquoise blue with hints of pink shimmer. On, however, it's a whole different story - firstly, it's incredibly sheer so that anything less than 3 coats looks almost sickly in natural light. I usually give up after about 4 coats to achieve an opaque colour...I'm guessing it would take 6+? The colour that does come after 3 coats, however, IS really pretty - it's an icy blue with prominent lavender undertones. This colour is shimmery, and does also look pretty layered over a more opaque polish. For me, what makes this polish unsalvageable is the thin formula that takes HOURS to dry! I'm always amazed by how long my nails still feel sticky, even with a top coat - and the layers underneath take even longer to set completely. As well, this polish dries unevenly, which some patches looking more bare than others (the polish is sliding around, I'm wondering?). It also chips like nobody's business! Overall, not a great OPI polish.
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24-7 Glide on eyeliner in bourbon
tinytapa 6/10/2011 10:32:00 PM
Bourbon is a great colour on my hazel eyes - it adds warmth, dimension and subtle sparkle. Now, I'm generally NOT a fan of sparkly products, but the glitter in my Bourbon pencil is finely milled and doesn't impede a smooth application. My HG liner is, and has always been, MAC Teddy but UD Bourbon is up there as a regular-use item. It's in the same bronzey-golden brown family as Teddy but is a warmer brown (I imagine that if Bourbon and UD Corrupt had a baby, it would be Teddy!). Anyway, I find Bourbon to be long-wearing and very pigmented. I use it on my upper lid and also on my waterline with no dramas. As with other 24/7 pencils, application is creamy and smooth - it can be blended out for a smokey eye, but then it sets into a relatively smudge-proof line. I love it! I always keep one on hand, and am confident in recommending it to others.
My HG concealer - may I never, ever be without it! For me, this is the concealer equivalent to a rubber eraser - it literally disappears my redness and blemishes. I am perfectly matched to SC-5, and love I can customize my colour depending on the season (currently, for instance, I use more of the lighter concealer and add a drop of the darker). I use this on my nose around my nostrils and around my mouth to conceal hormonal redness, and also on my cheeks to cover my redness there. Finally, I apply it to blemishes and happily watch as they become invisible. Because this concealer is quite dry and hard, it clings to skin easily and stays put throughout the day...I find it to be very long-wearing. I have oily skin, by the way, and this never slips around on me. My preferred way of using this product is to begin by wrapping it in a dry hand towel and tucking between my upper arm and side of my body - this warms the product up, which makes it much easier to work with (I do this while I apply my foundation!). Then, I pick up the colours as needed, using a brush, and mix them on the inside of my wrist...the advantage of this is that I generally don't have hand cream in this spot (no mixing it all up!) and, as a pressure point, this further helps to warm the product. If it needs a bit more heating, a couple of deep breaths directly onto the product does the trick. Using a brush (I find a finger picks up too much product - a brush gives me more control), I dot it onto the areas I need to conceal, and then blend it out using clean fingers. I am always amazed at how "flawless" (pfft...as if!) my skin looks...this really evens me out and hides any naughty zits! I just want to briefly address the use of this product under eyes, as this seems to be a contentious issue. To be fair, the LM site, where this product is described in depth, does say this is effective for concealing dark circles...no wonder people use it this way! However, in my experience, I have found that this concealer is too dry for this purpose and can sink into fine lines. I do use it in the corners, where my circles are especially dark, and slightly up onto the side of my nose - I haven't had any problems with it looking dry or cakey in these areas. But directly underneath my eyes, this does not look good - I use Secret Concealer for that purpose. However (I know, I'm full of "however's"!), I have used it right at the very bottoms of my dark circles where they meet my cheeks, if you know what I mean...and, again, cakiness or dryness hasn't been an issue for me in those spots. Basically, there is a Bermuda Triangle under my eyes that I won't go near with this concealer...but around it is totally fine. ;) All in all, I love this concealer and intend never to be without it. It lasts EONS, as well - my current one has lasted me nearly a year and probably has another 6 months left on it, possibly longer. I highly recommend it, but suggest finding a separate concealer for dark circles.