Lipstick -Elizabeth Arden - Ceramide Ultra - Rose Aurora
whisper 8/12/2012 1:49:00 PM
Let's just get the first and most obvious thing about this lipstick out of the way, and that is the packaging––seriously stunning! The color, aptly named 'Rose Aurora,' is a mid-tone rosy pink w/an ever-so-slight mauve hue (the mauve is especially noticeable indoors/ under artificial lighting; it appears a truer pink in natural daylight/outdoors). It applies smoothly and doesn't feel at all gritty or textured, despite its multi-dimensional, pearlescent 'rose gold' finish. It isn't terribly long-wearing; I think I get about 3-4 good hrs before having to reapply (that's w/out eating or drinking). It's lovely, though, and PERFECT for everyday. If you're not one who typically goes for bright or 'out there' lipsticks, or if you're not into lipstick in general, I think you'd love this because it's very natural looking and yet it adds just a touch of radiance and color to your lips; really brightens the complexion. I also think this shade would suit just about every skin tone, because it's genuinely neutral (neither cool nor warm). This is an all-around winner for me! Highly recommend.
Lipstick -Victoria's Secret - Very Sexy Lipstick in Whisper
whisper 8/10/2012 3:31:00 PM
Well, for obvious reasons, I couldn't resist buying this lipstick :-) My first VS cosmetics purchase and, as it turns out, I like it a lot! The color is a rather sheer, champagne nude w/fine pearl shimmer. It's quite moisturizing (my lips don't feel dry/flaky after it wears off, and it doesn't make my lips peel, which many lipsticks do). Not long-lasting at all; I'm lucky if I get 2 solid hrs…however, I don't mind, since reapplying pale lipsticks is generally not a high maintenance task. Packaging is a glossy black tube w/square base; it is a bit bulky/unnecessarily large, in my opinion. I wish it were more compact and sleeker. I'm not sure whether it's a 'must-have'––color-wise, it isn't unique––you could almost certainly find a cheaper (i.e. drugstore) equivalent. Overall, it's a nice, easy-to-wear nude lipstick w/a great formula. I actually think the pearlized shimmer is what makes it so wearable, as opposed to a flat or matte nude, which can tend to emphasize every little imperfection. Looks very pretty and understated, yet polished ("put together"). Price is $13 (+tax).
Shampoo -Organix - Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo
whisper 8/7/2012 1:20:00 PM
Am I living on a different planet?!?? I really love this shampoo! I have long hair (just past my boobs) that is very thick and has a natural wave; and I have lots of hair. I typically wash it every 3 days, in the evenings before bed. I sleep on it and let it dry naturally. This shampoo is fantastic for my hair! I have zero complaints. It smells lovely, the bottle is nice and compact (it's deceiving because it appears smaller compared to the typical tall bottle of shampoo, but volume-wise it's actually a lot of product). My hair air-dries awesomely with this. It feels so incredibly soft to the touch and makes my waves look defined and luscious; and as I've already mentioned, it smells divine. I picked this up at Costco; it came packaged w/the coordinating conditioner, plus a smaller bottle of the Penetrating Argan Oil. The entire set of 3 cost $17, which I think is rather good value for money. (The conditioner and the oil are both equally great, by the way.) For me, this is nearly a perfect product in every way. I guess the only reason I don't give it a 5-star rating is because, even though it's not expensive, it's still pricier (about 5x more) compared to what I usually use, which is Suave Professionals. Well, I'm clearly in the minority here but, nonetheless, I highly recommend this line. I plan on repurchasing when I'm finished w/the set I have now. Hopefully, Costco will keep stocking this for me (since I seem to be the only one who doesn't hate it, hehe).
Color is a mid-tone punchy warm pink; reminds me a lot of 'Chatterbox' by MAC. In fact, on my lips, I cannot distinguish between the two. The NYX round lipstick formula is great: creamy, smooth, not overly shiny but definitely not matte –– gives your lips a natural, satin-like sheen, perfect for everyday wear. This shade is particularly flattering on light-to-medium skin tones, but I also think it would look nice on very fair skin, or on anybody with pale-to-medium pigmented lips. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I suspect 'Fig' would be a bit too blasé to flatter olive or deeper complexions, and/or those who have darkly pigmented lips (instead try 'Pink Lyric' or 'Eucalyptus'). Price is around $4 including tax.
Lipstick -Revlon - Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain - Honey
whisper 7/28/2012 4:26:00 PM
The consistency, finish, and packaging of this product are all super; love that. But something is weird about this shade, Honey, at least on me. The product itself looks like a nice natural mauve color, but for some reason it wears like a mid-tone fuchsia on my lips. (???) Anyone else have this experience? Really strange. I truly don't understand it! It applies wonderfully smooth, and it has good lasting power (does what it says––totally 'stains' your lips). I just can't get past the oddness of this color, though. It looks straight up hot pink on the lips. I'm finding it difficult to wear on a daily basis for this reason, so I can't say I'd recommend this particular shade; I've not tried any of the others. * EDIT: all right, so I just had a look at some of the other reviews, which I'd not done before writing mine, and it seems I'm not alone in my experience. Good to know!
This is a pretty unexciting lip gloss; however, if what you want is that natural 'no makeup-makeup' look (which is personally my everyday 'face'), then this is a really great product to own. It's a no frills gloss that just gives my lips some shine and a hint of color. Although it appears as a mid-tone nude beigey pink in the tube, when I wear it, it looks more like a pale mauvey brown (in other words, it's not very true to color, on me at least). Don't know what's up with that. But I like the color, nonetheless, so that doesn't matter. Creme formula (no pearl particles whatsoever). Inexpensive (under $6). Smells like cherry Robitussin. Overall a thumbs up.
Bronzers -New York Color - Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny 720
whisper 7/17/2012 2:18:00 PM
This is affordable and widely available, which is great; however, it looks terribly orange-brown on my skin, which is a bronzer deal-breaker in my book. I know this product is super popular and raved about, but I just can't make it work on my skin. No matter how lightly I apply it, or with whatever brush, it ends up looking orange and...just wrong. Up side is that I didn't pay very much for it (less than $4 at Wal Mart). Also, I'm not sure why people are saying this is matte – it's not matte – there is a fine shimmer due to the pearl powder milled throughout this product. For reference, I'm half Korean, half German-American w/a light-med, yellow under toned complexion.
bethb216's review below says it all; no point really in writing an almost duplicate review, as I agree with her on all points! :-) Highly recommend this shade––so, so beautiful, and extremely flattering on my light/med yellow-under-toned Asian skin. Would I repurchase? Yes (already have, in fact; currently on my second bottle).
Cleansers -Philosophy - Purity Made Simple (Real Purity Cleanser)
whisper 7/9/2012 10:16:00 AM
It seems I'm in the minority in terms of my experience and opinion of this product; I simply don't like it. Why? It aggravated my skin and, literally overnight, produced 2 pimples on my healthy, clear complexion. I gave it what I believe to be a fair trial run––I used it daily for 12 days––before I just couldn't stand it anymore. By the end of my Philosophy 'experiment,' I had a total of 4 zits on my face, which might not sound extreme, but for me it's pretty severe, being that I rarely break out anymore (w/the exception of the hormonally-timed pimple that may occasionally pop up). That was enough for me. This was the first Philosophy product I'd ever tried, and it will be the last.
Highlighters -E.L.F. - Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder - Luminance
whisper 6/30/2012 11:31:00 AM
Bronzer? No. Highlighter? YES. This powder is legit beautiful on the face! I'm taken aback that a $1 pressed powder can look so amazing. It has just the right amount of pearlescent sheen -- perfect for highlighting areas like the inner corners of the eyes, upper cheekbones, and right above the lips. It looks gorgeous. I have Dior's Amber Diamond shimmer powder, and it actually pains me a bit to admit that I have lately (as in all of spring and now summer) been using only this as my highlighter, in lieu of the Dior. Although the quality of this e.l.f. powder is admittedly inferior to that of the Dior, there is just something about the texture of this product which imparts a glow that's somehow more believable, simply more ...well, "glowy," compared to the Dior. No lie. Wish I'd discovered this cheapo gem before shelling out nearly $50, but, oh well. I'm not bitter. (I'm a little bitter... haha) Anyway, all joking aside: Love this powder; highly recommend.
Makeup Brushes -Unlisted Brand - Paris Presents - High Definition Powder Brush
whisper 6/18/2012 12:31:00 PM
An FYI tidbit: these brushes, which are available at Walmart, are manufactured by Paris Presents, which is the same company behind the Studio Basics brand, as well as Eco Tools, AND Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman. Just thought that was interesting! Now on to this particular brush, the HD powder brush: Holy moly, it is simply stellar. I own the backstage powder brush from Dior (which is awesome; totally love it) but have lately found myself using THIS bad boy almost exclusively. In fact, I now only use my beloved Dior one when waiting on this one to dry after washing. Sort of makes me feel stupid for having paid so much for the Dior, although I have gotten good use out of it over the years. But if I could do it all over again, I'd save my money and go w/this Walmart one -- without hesitation. Planning on picking up the angled brush from the same line for contouring, and possibly another of the same to use for blush application. Highly recommend. Price paid was $6.98 at my Walmart (which may differ depending on where you live; not sure).
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Blush Brush
whisper 3/19/2012 6:24:00 PM
This is a nice brush, however not so much for its intended purpose. It's really too large for applying blush (in my opinion!) so I use it for loose powder instead. It works well for that, but not any better than my ecotools brush, and the ecotools one costs less. I rather like the design of the handle and the way it stands upright on its own. It sheds several hairs the first few times you wash it; nothing major. Otherwise, no complaints & I'd recommend it to someone who's looking for an affordable powder brush.
This would be the most awesome wearable punchy-red gloss were it in a creme formula (as opposed to the reflective shimmer/sparkle formula that it is). I LOVE the shade. It's not a bright hot pink, it's not a true coral, and it's definitely not a straight-up red; the best I can describe it would be like a bright neutral watermelon color (because the base, at least in my opinion, is neither orangey nor blue but somewhere in between that's just right). And of course, the micro-glitter, which, from what I can tell, is silver. Anyway, it flatters my light Asian complexion (I'm half Korean, half white w/a strong yellow under tone). I just really wish it didn't have so much shimmer (i.e. glitter) in it. I have to say, it looks good when I first apply it onto my bare moisturized lips, but about 40 min later is when things start becoming sketchy and the gloss naturally begins to wear off...all that seems to be left on my lips (and the perimeter of my mouth, which is the worst part) is glitter. No joke, it's like a sparkle party on the lower third of my face. Such a shame. I still have this gloss 'out,' as in I haven't banished it to my train case for storage purposes (in other words, collecting dust, let's be honest). So it's there staring me in the face every time I go to put on my other makeup or whatever...but I can never seem to get myself to actually wear it, solely because of the annoying amount of glitter. It's not worth it. I guess I keep it out just to look at it because the color really is so beautiful. So, an overall thumbs down, I'm afraid.
I honestly cannot see why so many people, the vast majority really, seem to adore this product as much as they do. But to each his/her own, I suppose. This powder is SO SHIMMERY it's frankly distracting. There are a number of other things about it that I dislike, but the glitter/sparkles in it are what did it (or, didn't do it, I guess would be more accurate) for me. I put this on and it was like a glitter-bomb explosion on my face. So I just don't see any practical use for something like this. I would return it without hesitation were it not a gift. Can't recommend, sorry. (Clearly, though, as I mentioned, I'm in the minority.)
This is actually a review for the Tweezerman lash curler replacement pads, which come in a 4-pack (they're purple silicone). I bought these at Sally's w/the intention of using the pads in my ancient-yet-still-going-strong trusty Shu Uemura curlers (which I purchased waaaay back in 2000 and am still using the same ones; and they're fabulous as ever, but I digress...). Anyway, I'd heard rumors (haha) that the Tweezerman pads fit the Shu, and so I bought these pads in lieu of buying a whole new Shu curler off their web site, because nothing is the matter w/mine – only the pad needed replacing (long overdue really; it was getting kinda pathetic..but again, that's another story). THEY FIT. PERFECTLY. End of sentence, end of story, end of the whole 'to buy or not to buy a new Shu' quandary. Just wanted others who may be in a similar situation as I was to know about this! Hope this helps somebody :-)