Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Balancing Antioxidant Concentrate
judibean 5/6/2012 7:07:00 PM
I tried a sample of the skin balancing mattifying version for oily/combo skin and I couldn't get past the weird chemical smell. I can't describe it - it's a little nauseating. I also didn't like the texture - it feels like a silicone-heavy primer, and I don't understand how the antioxidants are supposed to absorb into the skin when it feels like the serum is just sitting on the surface. It does mattify as advertised, but that isn't the main point of the product.
Primer/ Corrector -Paula's Choice - Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish
judibean 4/27/2012 6:47:00 PM
I have been on the search for a mattifying primer for months now, in anticipation of summer. I thought I would settle for Too Faced, which makes my makeup look great in the beginning, but loses its staying power when it comes time to blotting around the afternoon. When I blot, it makes my pores more apparent again. Then I found this little darling! It keeps my face matte for longer and hides the large pores on my nose better. It also does not have the blotting issue I have with Too Faced. As one other reviewer commented, you do need to use a little more of it than with other primers for it to work effectively. The first time I tried it, I didn't, and it didn't work as well in mattifying. Then I took her advice and voila! It is now my HG primer! I love that it has no scent and does not feel like you are putting on another layer of product. I did want to try the Too Faced Pure primer because it is oil-free and supposedly more mattifying than the original, but now I am wondering if I should even bother!
I am new to oil cleansers and decided to try this one first because of the lower price. It is easy to find in the Korean and Japanese marts in the city. I don't wear eye makeup, but I do use Colorstay and physical sunblock on my face, both of which are hard to get off at night. Using this as a pre-cleanse works great. I don't mind the oily film that's left on my face, because I always follow it up with my Neutrogena Naturals Makeup Remover cream cleanser. With this extra pre-cleanse, my face now feels completely clean! I wish I had known about this sooner. There's a lot of discussion about whether the mineral oil in some of these cleansers are good for you. I have not experienced any breakouts, so maybe I am one of the lucky ones unaffected by this ingredient. I will be trying and reviewing a sample of DHC next just to see whether I want to switch to something more "cosmetically elegant." UPDATE: I have switched to DHC for good because it just rinses cleaner without needing another cleanser afterwards.
Liquid -Estee Lauder - Double Wear LIGHT Foundation SPF10
judibean 4/22/2012 2:04:00 PM
I was looking to upgrade my foundation from the Colorstay I'm using, hoping to find something that's a dupe of it without the awful paint fume smell. This one was recommended to me, so I got a 10-day supply from the Estee Lauder counter. The shade 2.0 is a good match for my NC25-NC30 complexion, not great, but adequate given the yellow base. However, the coverage was not as good as for Colorstay and the floral scent of the Double Wear Light (DWL) was equally as noxious as the smell of the Colorstay. DWL was also harder to take off, even with my oil cleanser. I guess I will stick with Colorstay for now. I'm going to pass on trying the original Double Wear because I'm guessing it will have the same strong floral scent.
Misc Beauty Tools -Sephora - Precision Pore Cleansing Pad
judibean 3/25/2012 1:25:00 PM
I am actually scared of using the Clarisonic because you can't control the abrasiveness of the scrubbing. This is the better alternative for me. I can be gentle on some parts of my face and scrub a little deeper on my T zone. I have large pores on my nose that are prone to getting clogged. This scrubber really cleans them out. I use it with Neutrogena Naturals makeup remover cleanser - it feels great! I much prefer this over the face brush that is also sold as a face scrubber because this one feels gentler.
Primer/ Corrector -Too Faced - Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer
judibean 3/25/2012 1:09:00 PM
This is the best mattifying primer that I've tried to so far, even better than the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer that others have raved about. I like that it tones down redness a bit and keeps my foundation matte for several hours. I do need to blot by late afternoon, but that's longer lasting than anything I've used before. I'm still using a generous sample from Sephora, but before I bite the bullet and get the full-size version, I want to also sample the newest version of the primer with the word Pure in it. This one is supposed to be oil-free. Sounds even better for oily skin!
I am more than halfway through the tube and can say this - the product turns my face into a major oil slick each time and does nothing to treat my dark spots after 3 months of use. I did notice a general brightening of my complexion, but I did not get it for brightening - I got it to lighten a few age spots that have popped up! Also, another thing to note is that it has a very strong citrus scent. I liked it at first, but as I kept using it on a daily basis, I gradually got sick of it. It is VERY strong, like all of Garnier's products. What exactly are they hiding?? I can't even finish the tube at this point and have moved on to Philosophy Dark Spot Corrector. (Will review that in a few months.)
Primer/ Corrector -L'Oreal - Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base
judibean 3/25/2012 12:52:00 PM
I found out that this is not made for oily complexions. It does not mattify at all under foundation. Also, it may hide pores in the beginning, but because it does not have any oil control, your pores will reappear with a vengeance by early morning. I also hate that it comes in an unhygienic pot. Given its thick paste consistency, I can understand why, but it is still unhygienic.
Primer/ Corrector -Hourglass - Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15
judibean 3/25/2012 12:39:00 PM
I got a sample of this from Sephora and am glad I did before buying. I tried it under my faithful Colorstay foundation. When first applied, it looks great - pores are hidden and stays matte for a few hours. Then by midday, some shinyness comes through. This is usually when I blot, but when I do, suddenly my pores are completely highlighted by this ghastly ashy part of the primer (the mattifying agent, I'm guessing) and my makeup is ruined! This primer is great for someone with fewer pore issues than I.
Foundations -Hourglass - Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
judibean 3/25/2012 12:27:00 PM
I am glad I got a sample from Sephora to play with, since I liked it a lot at first, but then saw the flaws in it as I kept using it. It is indeed a great product for oily skin, but for me, it only works well on my normal-to-oily cheeks, covering some slight redness effectively. It does not work well on my very oily nose where I have large pores. In fact, it tends to sink into my pores as the day progresses and highlights them with a chalkiness that is reminiscent of milk of magnesia (if you look at their ingredients, they do use a magnesium drying agent - epsom salt). The mattying power of this product is extremely long - all day for me, and even longer if you set with a light dusting of powder on top. However, given what it does to my pores, it is not a keeper. This may be a holy grail for others with fewer pore issues. In terms of color selection, I am an NC20-25 in MAC and the color Shell worked perfectly.
Nails -Unlisted Brand - Acquarella Nail polish and remover
judibean 3/25/2012 12:20:00 PM
I bought the clear conditioner, a polish in "Livid," which is the very popular orange-red on everyone from last summer (and probably this summer too), and the polish remover. Since I bought these all straight from the Acquarella website, I took advantage of a deal to get a free buffer set. This is my first time buying odor-free nail polish and polish remover, and I am hooked! I like not having to deal with noxious fumes when putting on nail polish and removing it. It is really amazing to me that I don't smell anything! The remover has a very slight odor, but it is actually pleasant. The conditioner is great. I just buff my nails beforehand and then apply. It looks just like clear nail polish. The nail polish in Livid can be applied with only one coat. It is that saturated in color. The polish dries to a nice shine - no different from other polish. The reason why I am not giving this 5 stars is because the polish does not stay on as well as normal polish. I give it 3 days tops and then have to remove. (The conditioner can stay on longer because it is clear and not as noticeable when chipping occurs.) Also, when removing the polish, there is more labor involved. You have to apply a cotton-soaked pad over each nail for a few seconds before swiping. This is a pain, but I am willing to deal with it because, again, no smells!!!
Primer/ Corrector -Korres - Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Face Primer
judibean 3/25/2012 12:05:00 PM
I bought this for my oily T-zone, but it is not effective at all for me. It mattifies for half and hour under my Colorstay foundation, and then I get major shine again. I do have to say that I like the concept of a silicone-free primer, and the ingredients are pretty good, but since I bought it for its mattifying feature, it is a deal-breaker.
Treatments -Korres - pomegranate mattifying treatment
judibean 2/19/2012 11:38:00 AM
I bought this with the mattifying primer as a set. I have an oily T-zone that can benefit from any kind of mattifying product, so this set was appealing to me. The treatment, however, leaves a lot to be desired. When I put it on my nose without anything underneath, my nose becomes an oil slick within 2 hours. I don't know whether I am too oily to be their target audience for the product or if it simply does not work. I can say this, however - the treatment contains witch hazel and alcohol. I believe those are the main ingredients doing the heavy lifting to shrink pores and decrease oil production. My face reacts the same way when I use straight-up witch hazel with alcohol in it. I'm sure the other ingredients provide extra benefits, but since the mattifying effect is what I wanted most out of this product, I will not be repurchasing.
I have the older version of this brush. I hear she just came out with a new one? This brush sheds a bit, but I've been using it for years and it still looks brand new! The handle is stable, the length is decent, and the hairs are pretty soft - a perfectly fine brush for its intended use. I really hope now that this one lasts given the reviews on the new one!
I am reviewing the black angled foundation brush that has soft, long bristles. I don't use this brush for foundation, despite the name. As with everyone else who has reviewed this, it does not apply foundation well. However, I've found a new use for this brush - to apply loose powder along the creases of my nose and the area between the eyes that's hard to get to with a large powder brush. It works very well for that. Thus the 3 stars.