Lotions/ Creams -Jergens - Overnight Repair Lotion
wiseowl 10/24/2010 9:46:00 PM
This stuff didn't do enough for my dry feet (especially my heels). I actually use regular Original Scent Jergens and like it. But, I've always known the Original Scent version does a decent job with my legs and arms all the while not being hydrating and softening enough for my feet. I'm okay with the Original Scent version giving a C+ performance. (And yes, I do like the Almond-Cherry scent.) However, the way the Jergens' Overnight version is presented, I had hopes that it could do more for my dry feet. When I exfoliate in the shower, then apply some imported German Nivea Creme or Weleda Skin Food, and quickly put on a pair of socks before going to bed, not lots of dry, hard skin on my feet when I wake up--pretty soft, actually, provided I'm not stingy with the Nivea or Skin Food. After a few nights of using Jergens Overnight, the skin on my feet was dry, hard, and kind of itchy due to dryness. I'm not soured on Jergens; I just don't think the Overnight version is an improvement on the Original Scent and Fragrance Free versions.
At last! I finally figured out how to add a new product to be reviewed! (Yes, I know, my technological skills are appalling.) As my reviews show, I am a HUGE LQ fan. I adore LQ Red Sinner, but I think for women nervous about taking the big plunge and trying a red lipstick for the first time, Butterfly Ball in Moment is the way to go. Red Sinner deliberately goes for the whole retro 40s-50s movie starlet lips and its sister color Saint Red is a less pigmented version. So, women wanting to do red lipstick, but still a bit nervous about making a bold statement, would think Red Sinner is a very pretty shade of red that would look good on a lot of different skin tones, but might be too much. BB in Moment, a totally different experience. It's most definitely a true red, but a much more natural, earthy shade of red--it's not a bright red like Red Sinner, but at the same time, it's not too dark so that you end up with "vampy" lips when picking up your daughter from preschool. My lips look really plump with this lipstick. It's also very moisturizing so I don't need a balm underneath. Because it has a higher level of moisture, this is a more pliable lipstick to apply; you can do a single quick layer for a more low key daytime look or add bit more for a night time look. I know the LQ website talks about Butterfly Ball having micro/tiny amounts of shimmer with the effect of whitening one's teeth. I do not find this lipstick whitens my teeth, but I didn't really expect it to. Also, I wouldn't honestly describe this as shimmery; instead, I would say it has a nice amount of shine. Frankly, I'm glad it's not truly "shimmery"--it's far more wearable for far more different situations having a nice amount of shine as opposed to shimmer. And while this looks good on me and I'm cool and fair, I could see Moment looking good on women of color with warmer skin tones (Butterfly Ball also has a wine colored shade in its range that I think would look terrific on women of color with rich, warm skin tones.) I'm a person who totally loves making a statement with a bold red like Red Sinner, but I honestly think LQ's Butterfly Ball range is the best way to start with this brand--it's way more flexible in terms of fitting different styles.
Lotions/ Creams -Kiss My Face - Olive & Aloe Moisturizer
wiseowl 10/9/2010 3:37:00 PM
Have to hand it to KMF, unlike a lot of natural ingredient-driven lines, KMF offers a moisturizer that's workable for people with rosacea or other sensitivies. The reason I'm taking off two lippies is that for the summer time, I'd prefer a slightly lighter texture. Let me stress, this has never broken me out. However, in the Southern part of the US, it's not unusual for it to get to 105 degrees in the summer. So, with weather like that, it feels more comfortable if one's moisturizer feels slightly lighter weight. I don't know why it is so many skin care brands seem to think all people with sensitive skin have dry skin--some of us do have combination skin and would not complain having a lighter weight moisturizer option. (Dr. Hauschka's Rose Day Cream Light is beautifully light weight, but my budget can't handle Dr. H right now.) But with this nitpicking aside, this performs quite well and what a lot of bang for the buck. For a woman who wanted to streamline her beauty routine, I could see this being used as a facial moisturizer and a body lotion--even if you did that, this would still last a long time, they're so generous with the amount per unit, all sold at a very nice price. So, for women wanting naturally-based products, but on a budget, Olive & Aloe from KMF is a great option. Update: I found with warmer weather (it was 100 degrees at the beginning of June where I live to give an idea of what I mean by warm) my face would get too oily wearing this. Also, while this wouldn't cause acne, I found it took longer for any acne to clear up while using this. So, I'm changing it to a two from a three.
The reason I'm adding a review of such a heavily reviewed product is that I've noticed some concerns mentioned by reviewers in their mid-thirties and I'm in my mid-thirties myself and thought I could mention something that would help with these concerns. I totally get other thirty-something women being afraid of this eyeshadow being "too young". However, I've found this shadow can work, you just shouldn't apply it the way you did in your teens and early 20s. With this being one of Stila's pigment-rich eyeshadows, a little bit goes a long way. I just put a bit on the very edge of my eyeshadow brush and then sweep that tiny amount across my lid. With my only using such a small amount, instead of being sparkly, it looks more like a brightening neutral color. Also, using this color as an accent color, with a very light hand, can work as well. If you're concerned about this looking too young, just give yourself time to experiment with how this shadow looks with a super light hand. I happen to be cool and very fair. So, when I want a "natural" looking eyeshadow, I generally wear a light cream pink shade, due to all the pinkness of my skin, it looks natural. Nude shades generally don't look natural on me: they're too dark or look too muddy on my complexion. However, kitten looks very natural in color. I wonder if there's a touch of pink in this nude shade that balances it out and makes it look natural in terms of tones, can't say for sure. The only reason I'm taking a lippie off is that I could see other skin tones and skin types finding this color a bit tricky. But, I really like that this shimmering eyeshadow is truly a shimmer, no chunky glitter. Also, love the buttery smooth texture and that a little of this goes a long way. Little to no creasing in my experience.
I used to be pretty meh about mascara until I discovered Max Factor's Auburn mascaras. Right when I had found mascara bliss, they stop selling Max Factor in the US. I got this mascara in a Stila Couture in a Can marked for clearance at Ulta. I decided to use this Stila mascara to stretch out my Max Factor mascara stockpile. Am not impressed. This stuff is lengthening, but I have to be careful to only apply at the ends of my lashes or it ends up being clumpy. (Max Factor has better packaging that prevents this issue. It has a narrower opening so when the wand is pulled out, it pulls away excess mascara that could lead to clumping.) Also, my hair has auburn highlights so black is not the most natural looking color on me. Finally, this product will flake and smudge on slightly humid days, not even rain, just slight humidity. I have a great deal of respect for certain Stila products, but this is not one of them.
Lips -Stila - Pomegranate Crush Lip and Cheek Stain
wiseowl 10/9/2010 2:36:00 PM
Oh, I so wanted to like this product. For some reason, after I apply it to my lips, it won't stay on my lips--it moves into a ring on the edge of my lips within sixty seconds. I've never had a product do this with my lips. And no, I wasn't wearing any lip product on my lips that might cause the stain to not stick. Also, while the clicking applicator is cute in theory, I always end up getting too much product out. And last downside, for some reason, this product numbs my lips, I don't know why. I've repeatedly tried this product, but have had the same outcome every single time. I'm truly sorry this product doesn't work because it smells lovely and it's a gorgeous color. In fact, it's so gorgeous in color that I plan on seeing if Stila has a color equivalent in their lip glaze line(I've seen listed a Pomegranate Lip Glaze, but I can never seem to spot an actual Pomegranate Lip Glaze at any store.) PS: Am wondering if I used an inaccurate term describing the applicator for this product: it does make a clicking sound when I turn it, but it might have sounded like I meant a click pen style when in fact it twists. All the same, awkward packaging and it still leaves my lips numb every time.
I got this in a Stila Couture in a Can that was in a clearance sale at Ulta. I would have never bought this product on sight by itself. But, I was totally proven wrong in my assumptions about this when I actually put it on. This past summer, coral was a big trend, but coral is typically unwearable for fair skinned types. Stila's Peony is a coral-ish shade that is actually wearable for fair skinned types. In the pan, it looked like one of those brown shades that I made a point of avoiding in the 90s and didn't want to try now. However, it doesn't look brown at all when applied. For some reason, this isn't drying at all on my lips, but I don't doubt effects varying from person to person. While it's okay as a blush on me, I like it better as a lip color on me, but I could see other women finding the opposite to be true. To be totally strict in my review, of all the Stila Convertible Colors available, I can't honestly say this is the most universal, play-it-safe shade. So, if you see another Stila Convertible Color that looks more wearable, go for it. But of the many corals I've seen offered these past few months, Peony has succeeded where so many others failed with my fair skin. Update: Since this review, I tried another Convertible Color and did notice it was a bit drying without any balm underneath. So, I see what other reviewers mean about this product. I think the particular batch of Peony I got must be much moister than Convertible Color can be. Final Update: I found I never use this, despite its nice color. So, I'm lowering my ratings. I find I end up using instead Tarte's dollface cheek stain instead: it has a more sheer, buildable finish that's easier to work with, as opposed to Stila.
It seems like I'm damning this product with faint praise in terms of my score. However, I really like this product: I just want people reading this review to be aware of its limitations as well as its strengths. I've found this to be very effective in drying up small pimples--overnight to three nights' use depending on the size of the pimple. Way more effective than any other product I've tried for non-cystic pimples. Alright, here are the limitations/qualifications. I don't think this product will effective all-over-the-face teenage acne or generally acneic skin. I think this product is intended for people who just get a few non-cystic pimples from time to time. I have mild rosacea and the only reason my skin can tolerate the stinging of this product is that my pimples pop up in the non-rosacea prone area of my face, the least sensitive area of my face. But, in general I'd have to say people with sensitivities or rosacea to avoid this product--serious stinging-burning risks. (I'd suggest sensitive skin types trying instead Lush's Fresh Farmacy, which has calamine in it--one of the key ingredients in Badescu's drying lotion, but doesn't have the stinging ingredients Badescu's does. I meant to try the Lush product myself, but it got tricky ordering it due to computer problems, long story.) Finally, I wish the packaging was such that the opening of the bottle was wider. When I pull out my Q-tip, a good portion of the product ends up on the inside sides of the opening. But with all this said, if you're a person who can tolerate stinging who gets the occasional non-cystic pimple, yeah, by all means, consider this as an option. When I consider the pile of money I've ended up spending cumulatively on ineffective ds products, I really don't mind shelling out twenty bucks from the onset and not having to buy other products. Not to mention, for someone who gets just the occasional pimple, a bottle of this lasts a good while--a single Q-tip dip is enough for my whole face. Update: I'm leaving the score to a three, because it does do what it says it does, but am changing it to a No, would not buy this again. I've found Lush Fresh Farmacy dries up both cystic and non-cystic pimples, but with no stinging--it takes a few more days to dry up the pimples than the Mario Badescu, but no stinging and it takes care of cystic pimples as well as the non-cystic so I'm really okay with having to add a few more days of treatment.
Two reasons for deducting a lippie. I have mild rosacea, but it's mild enough that I can tolerate certain products others with rosacea can't. So, if you have sensitive/rosacea skin and have never tried this product and are considering it, I'd say make up your own homemade oatmeal scrub for exfoliation to be on the safe side(there are plenty of recipes for homemade oatmeal masks and scrubs on the MUA oatmeal review entry). The AHAs in this might be too much for you. (Also, if you're a normal skin person recovering from sunburn or some strong reaction to another product stay away from this while you recover.) The second reason I'm taking away a lippie is that they do not say to use a sunscreen for at least a week after using this product. Fortunately, most AHA products have the good sense to say this, but not this one. Of course, you should be wearing sunscreen everyday anyway, but all the same, Freeman should mention wearing sunscreen when selling a mild AHA. With all this said, I'm actually very impressed with this product. Back in the early 2000s, I was a big Kiehl's fan, especially with their Pineapple Papaya Scrub. Using this product reminds me a great deal of the Kiehl's scrub in effect, soft, smooth, clean skin afterwards, but without one problem I sometimes found with the Kiehl's scrub--the risk of overscrubbing, with the result of a slightly sore face that risked feeling too dry afterwards and requiring extra moisturizer. Because this is an enzyme mask rather than scrub, I get to avoid accidentally overscrubbing it. Not to mention, way cheaper and easier to find than Kiehl's can be. In terms of ds brands, I'm so far way more impressed with the Freeman brand than Queen Helene. However, like I said before, if you have sensitive skin, you should probably stick to oatmeal masks and scrubs, which you can make yourself, AND if you do use this product, please be sure to wear sunscreen afterwards for at least a week. Update: My mild rosacea has made me too sensitive for exfoliating enzymes like in this mask so I'm switching to a No rating for would you buy this again and lowering my overall score to two lippies. Though, I still could see this being a nice ds product for those with more robust skin.
I got two of these for my 35th b'day. Totally agree with the previous reviewer on how this lipstick looks different w/each wearer. I think that is one of the lipstick's strengths, the way it varies w/each wearer, gives each wearer a bit more individuality. I am a very pale, cool fair skinned person, but no, it doesn't look like a serious red lipstick on me. (I'm a person who usually wears a lot of very red lipstick shades, that's my standard color, in fact. So, I can spot "true red/serious red" red lipstick on my lips, trust me.) I can't quite find the words to describe the shade on me, but it's very flattering--a pinky-red?, reddish-pink?, rose+pink+red combo?, a raspberry red? Anyway, a very flattering shade on me that works well w/my fair coloring and natural lip coloring--my lips are a pinky-red that seem redder or pinker depending on what I'm wearing or the circulation in my lips at a given moment. Nice amount of moistness so that this feels pleasant to wear, but not too heavy. It not being a matte, yes, more frequent re-applications than a matte and re-applications after having a meal, but in the mean time, I quite like the way it looks as it fades on me. This actually lands in my favorite of all time lipsticks hall of fame, the other two lipstick laureates being Lipstick Queen Red Sinner and Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball in Moment (see, I told y'all I wear very red lipstick usually!) Cyndi is my more lowkey shade of my favorite three lipsticks. I would wear this a great deal if weren't for the fact that this is limited edition and I have to ration myself with this. In fact, that is the only flaw to this lipstick, it being LE. My very first pop album bought, an LP of course, was She's So Unusual. So, it pleases me to no end that this pretty shade is Cyndi Lauper-related. I won't be so reckless as to say this is a universal color, but I do think it would work with a lot of different skin tones. And, even if it doesn't work out, hey, at least your money went to a good cause and you can easily think of a friend for whom it would flatter, but this color is a way safer bet than a lot of makeup risks out there. Also, this is the kind of color that doesn't seem limited to a single age: it's a feminine color and texture, but not juvenile or matronly. Easily could be worn during the day or at night.
Lotions/ Creams -Queen Helene - Cocoa Butter Creme
wiseowl 6/8/2010 8:27:00 PM
I don't find this greasy, provided I'm in an air conditioned place or a coolish to temperate room when I apply this. Actually, this stuff absorbs fairly quickly on me. I'm not bothered by the packaging because I always use a clean q-tip to get some out. I'm not put off by the smell, kind of like it, but if you're not into cocoa butter scents, don't get this. Reasons for making my score a two. On the directions on the tub, it says to be applied to the face and the body. Well, it has lanolin in it. While lanolin is perfectly fine for a good portion of people, there are definitely people who have bad reactions with lanolin, especially applied on such a sensitive part as the face. There is also mineral oil in this. I'm not one of those anti-mineral oil people: I've known some people on MUA who've had great results with mineral oil. But, I think the effect of mineral oil in a facial moisturizer varies with people. To blithely say in directions to use as a facial moisturizer a product w/lanolin and mineral oil is simply foolish. The other major reason why my score is a two is because it's not moisturizing enough for sore, dry hands or really tough feet. Yeah, I'll get Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Creme again when money is tight, but not when I have enough money for imported German Nivea or Weleda Skin Food. Update: With the weather getting cooler and drier, I found this product simply didn't do enough for my feet and hands. I threw it out while there was still close to half in the container. I'm changing it to a NO for the will you buy this again category.
Skincare - Body -Johnson & Johnson - Lavender Baby Oil
wiseowl 6/8/2010 8:06:00 PM
I've been getting this product since I was in high school, both the official Johnson & Johnson and the generic version. Both very dandy. Pretty nice for lightweight moisture for the legs and arms coming out of the shower. Or, for that matter, my mother used to make up her own rose scented baby oil that she'd put in her bath for a cheap scented bath and I'm sure lavender baby oil would be great for a cheap scented bath as well. Though, as other reviewers have pointed out, the scent isn't what you'd call a true lavender, reminds me of J & J Bedtime Bath. Very pleasant smell that would be flattering on just about any woman, especially in summer weather when it's nice to have a clean scent. I would advise trying to get a pump bottle to transfer this into because it's very easy to spill the baby oil in its original bottle, especially when it's very full. Why a score of three when I obviously like this product and have been getting it for decades? Well, when I consider in comparison a product like sweet almond oil, lavender baby oil doesn't deliver as much in the moisturizing department and isn't as multi-faceted. I can use sweet almond oil on my hair, face, and body in various combinations and applications. Lavender baby oil, I can't really do that. However, lavender baby oil is cheaper and tends to be easier to obtain the sweet almond oil. So, I get lavender baby oil when I'm tight on money or don't have access to sweet almond oil. But, although I know of other products that are more impressive when it comes to moisturizing or being multi-tasking, I still get this product because of the smell. It's a really nice way in warm weather to smell nice, but not fussy.
Gels/Soaps -Korres - Kings & Queens Shower Gel - Queen Elizabeth
wiseowl 6/1/2010 5:55:00 PM
The only reason this isn't a five is for very nitpicking reasons. The fliptop cap to this is very flimsy. It wouldn't be a very big deal if you're at home if the top breaks off, annoying, but not a big deal. But, say a woman is travelling and the flimsy top of the cap breaks off, I could see this being a big headache. I've seen other brands in this price bracket, brands that aren't as well-regarded as Korres, offer a better top to their caps, so I don't know what Korres' excuse is. There, conscientious nitpicking out of the way. A really lovely shower gel. Good for Korres developing a cheaper line. While the top to the cap could be improved, I really like the label--it's very pretty. I can understand why other reviewers compared the scent to cotton candy, but it seemed like to my nose, there was a faint note of some fruit that kept the main sugar note from being too cloying. I could be wrong and may have just imagined a faint note of fruit. But, all the same, this is a sweet smell that isn't cloying or juvenile. It has a nice lather and doesn't require much product to produce lather. One definitely feels nicely clean after using it. No, the scent doesn't last after rinsing it off, but I don't fault a shower gel for not behaving like a perfume, certainly not one that only cost me 7.99(if it was a pricey Fenjal shower product, it might be a different story). I could really see myself buying this over and over again and I think a desperate woman could get away with giving this as a present to another woman in a desperate race to Target before a friend's birthday party. My last remark isn't a criticism of this product, just a wish for the brand overall. I think it would be great if the Kings & Queens line develops shower cleansers for winter time and/or dry skin types. Because while this shower gel as it stands is lovely, I could see dry skin types or people whose skin gets drier in the winter wanting a moisturizing shower creme, as opposed a simple shower gel.
Lipstick -Wet 'n' Wild - Mega Matte 903C Just Peachy
wiseowl 6/1/2010 5:32:00 PM
If there was a rating category for lipsticks priced at three dollars or less, I give W'N'W's lipsticks the highest possible rating in that category. Actually, I think W'N'W might outperform some ds brand lipsticks priced at two to three times the price of W'N'W lipsticks. Does W'N'W outperform the really stellar high end lipstick brands, i.e. Lipstick Queen, Julie Hewett, some of the MACs and Chanels? No. But at the same time, I have deep respect for this brand it terms of what it delivers. Cool, fair types like me can often have problems with lipsticks in peachy ranges--can be too pale or too orangey. So, it's really impressive that they have a do-able peach shade given my skin tone. I find if I put on a little clear or clear pink gloss on top of this, just a bit in the center of my lips, it keeps the shade from being too pale on me. Also, I've found that I've had promising results when I've applied a layer of Just Peachy and then added a layer of a different shade of a Mega Matte--I think a person could get some pretty colors playing around adding a layer of a less pale pink or a red to this shade. I've heard some people find Mega Matte a little on the dry side. I haven't had such a problem, but any time I'm not wearing lipstick, be it awake or asleep, I'm pretty much wearing a moisturizing lip balm. (Only time I'm not is when I'm showering.) So, my lips are kept in pretty good condition for a matte. The following is why I'm taking off two lippies. I accidentally dropped my tube--it wasn't a long or hard drop. All the same, the lipstick became separated from the holder. I was able to put it back in the holder and the place where I keep this lipstick in my purse guarantees it won't get jostled around in my purse and come out of the holder again--but I could see the less secure packaging being problematic for others. Also, I've found it's very easy for the lipstick to smear on the topper when I'm putting on the topper after use. (I don't like wasting a single smidge of lipstick.) Last thing, while I've found this lipstick does last a long time on my lips, there's a certain amount of transfer whenever I have something to drink or anything touches my lips--including being kissed by my husband. (With a Lipstick Queen Sinner, there's not a bit of transfer once the lipstick sets. The only thing that moves my LQ Sinners are eating things with oil in them, which is entirely understandable.) While I still keep a fair amount on my lips, even when there's a transfer, each time there's a transfer, it's shortening the time I have left with each application. To be fair, even with the bit of fade induced by transfer, the look of the lipstick is still quite pretty. There are two big reasons women wear mattes: they like the heavily pigmented look and they like the fact they don't have re-apply as frequently as with a sheer. So, that's why I'm being so nitpicking, had to acknowledge the transfer issue when it's a matte. I would still buy this shade and other Mega Mattes again, but just wanted other women to be prepared for a bit of transfer when drinking or kissing. But, at the same time, I'm not truly bothered that a matte lipstick that I only paid two dollars for has a bit of transfer. Update: I decided to change the would you buy this product again category to a NO. While better than a lot of peachy shades out there, it's just too pale for my skin tone, even more so as cold weather approaches.
When I was giving praise in reviews to an Everyday Minerals' blush in terms of looking natural on cool, fairs and marvelling at how Shiseido's sun protection products are the only products containing talc that don't bother my skin, I realized afterwards, to my embarrassment, that I had totally disregarded Dandelion, with its talc and fragrance never bothering me and its color looking great on my cool, fair skin. Let me get the negatives out of the way, and they're pretty small. The reason I took off a lippie are for the following reasons: while the fragrance and talc never bothers my mild rosacea, I can't attest that it won't irritate sensitive skin types more sensitive than me. Also, the price is a bit on the high side. The reason I forgot about Dandelion, and sometimes forget I even have it as an option in my makeup collection, is that it's been a tried-and-true for me, gulp--this can't be right, since the previous century. I just turned 35 and I've been using this since college. Forgive me, Dandelion, for taking you for granted. For me, I find 1-2 swipes per cheek are all I need for a pretty natural bloom. Benefit's Box'O'Blushes are one of the few products where I actually like the brush included. It seems to get enough product without putting TOO much product on the brush. And while the price is a little high, the little box seems to last a very long time, which helps with the higher price. Just like with Shiseido, I'm mystified why Benefit's use of talc doesn't irritate or dry my skin. The fragrance doesn't cause a rosacea flareup either--another mystery. Also, I find using a tiny amount of Dandelion in conjunction with a tiny amount of High Beam has a very nice effect. I don't think this would work for every skin coloring/type, however. Fortunately, Benefit has different color options with their boxes of blusher: use your common sense when deciding which shade suits you. It's very easy when you're starting out as a young woman to end up spending too much money on products. Have to say, Benefit's box blushers are items where a young woman is way less likely to get burned for having invested a sizeable amount of her beauty budget.