Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Ultra Aero Slant Tip Tweezer No.4860
mashimaru 12/20/2007 1:14:00 PM
Best tweezers I've ever used! I've tried Rubis, Bobbi Brown (also made by Rubis), Solingen Inox, and a ton of cheaper drugstore ones. The Ultra Aero grabs every hair without breaking it. Works perfectly, and also comes in a case so it doesn't get dull in between uses. Can't live without it!
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Milbon - Crede ER Hair Treatment
mashimaru 12/17/2006 7:46:00 PM
I began using the Crede ER treatment at my stylist's recommendation for about three months, and it is the best hair product I've ever used. I can't believe how consistently nice my hair looks and feels - smooth and soft, not dry at all. It's pretty expensive, but for me it's worth it.
Liquid -Bourjois - Repulpant Reboosting Collagen Foundation
mashimaru 9/14/2006 4:50:00 AM
I discovered Bourjois in Hong Kong this summer. I bought a bottle of this in Rose Peau and even though I am not looking for any collagen-boost effect, I enjoy the consistency of this product - blends easily, isn't too dry. Unfortunately, Bourjois is only sold at Ulta or Sephora in my neck of the woods, and Sephora doesn't even carry this foundation! I went to Ulta to buy another bottle, but the two bottles they had of my color were tampered with and squeezed. (Shoppers, please use the tester bottles!) I've had to order it online at Ulta.com. I wish these were more widely available, but oh well. It's worth hunting around for, for me.
I bought a tube of this in Hong Kong this summer. (#26 cassis tropical) Love it! I love the brush applicator, the color is perfect, and the gloss isn't too smelly or sticky. I will definitely keep buying this. Unfortunately, it's only sold at Ulta or Sephora in my neck of the woods ...
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Isa Knox - All skincare
mashimaru 6/16/2006 1:02:00 PM
After trying out many skincare brands over the years, I've finally settled into a routine with Shiseido & Philosophy as my top brands. But I recently received an Isa Knox gift box (the MX-II line in the blue bottles, which is for dry skin), and it is fantastic! So for the past 5 weeks I've been using everything Isa Knox but the cleanser (I'll stick with my trusted Philosophy Purity for now). The set contains toner ("softener"), lotion ("emulsion"), and the cream which I use only at night (kind of heavy). It also contains a sample size of all three products as well as a sample of the serum ("nutritive firming essence"), which I've been using as well.
So it's been about 5 weeks and my skin feels wonderful! Dewy, soft, and translucent. I really like this, and I'm going to stick with it. I'm definitely going to buy the full-size of the serum, too.
Hair Styling Tools -Babyliss - Professional Ceramix Xtreme 2000 Watt Hair Dryer
mashimaru 2/22/2006 7:29:00 PM
The best thing about this dryer is how powerful it is. It's very strong and hot and gets my hair dry faster than any dryer I've ever used. I don't see any appreciable difference in hair texture, however - it didn't make my hair *more* frizzy or *less* frizzy. Which is just fine with me. If you want smoother hair, you might need an ionic dryer, which this is not.
The dryer is a little bit on the heavy side, but that doesn't bother me. It's got a black rubberized exterior and a very long cord (not swivel). It also has 3 heat settings and 3 speed settings.
I bought it from Amazon.com for $31.99 (w/ free shipping) which is worth it to me. I'm definitely willing to pay a bit more than the standard Target price of ~$20 for this just because it dries my hair SO fast.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - SILK ELEMENTS MegaSilk Moisturizing Treatment
mashimaru 1/27/2006 4:49:00 AM
I bought a 16 oz. jar of this from Sally's recently. The salesperson recommended it when I asked for an inexpensive deep conditioner.
It usually costs $10.99 but was on sale for $6.99. Silk Elements makes a lot of ethnic hair products, but the Sally person told me this is for everyone. So I gave it a try and I really like it. Has a nice citrus-y scent, and my hair feels great!
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - COREANA Perfect Magic Gel Exfoliator
mashimaru 1/26/2006 3:04:00 AM
I've had no luck with abrasive scrubs, and I've tried many, including the new microdermabrasion stuff. I've also been using the Philosophy Oxygen Peel (formerly called "Great Awakening") for a few years. It's a good product, but I hate dealing with mixing the stuff and the little plastic spatula and ... ugh, what a hassle.
So I discovered the COREANA Perfect Magic Gel and it is simply THE BEST exfoliator ever. Gently rub into your dry, clean skin and the dead skin just rolls off. It's pretty gross, but also pretty awesome.
Do not use it every day, but once a week or so, and your skin will be supple and smooth. One of the best beauty products I've ever tried. For real!
I paid about $35 for it, but it was worth every penny, considering I paid $45 for 10 uses of the Philosophy Oxygen Peel. The COREANA Perfect Magic Gel works better, and you will get many more uses out of the tube.
Hair Styling Tools -Sedu - Ionic Ceramic Professional Flat Iron (Original)
mashimaru 6/11/2005 11:30:00 PM
Like many others, I had trouble deciding between Sedu & Solia, so I ordered both from Folica.com. Both flat irons have tourmaline in their plates, and both heat up very fast. The results are very nice: smooth frizz-free hair that lasts. (My previous iron was a Chi Turbo 1".)
A quick list of pros/cons to help you make your decision:
- lighter, more compact design than Solia
- very smooth plates
- controls on the outside of handle
- the "head" (or "mouth") part of exterior gets too hot to the touch, making it impossible to hold/squeeze during use
- the plates are fixed and flush against the surface, and they are slightly convex, so the contact between the plates isn't very good
- the plates sizzle when I use protectant spray
- I like the "self-adjusting" or "floating" plates - there are springs under the plates to ensure maximum contact from any angle
- the plates are not flush against the surface, and the edges are rounded, so it's easier to curl/flip your hair
- the exterior stays cool to the touch
- a little bigger than the Sedu 1"
- the controls are on the inside of the handle, and I've found that sometimes I accidentally turn the temperature dial while I use it
I initially decided on the Solia because I liked the beveled & "adjusting" plates which make more even contact with your hair and prevent snagging/pinching.
FYI: many high-end brands feature "adjusting" plates, e.g., Chi [original & Turbo], HairArt T3, and GHD all have springs in their plates. The cheaper irons (e.g., Conair) don't. So the fact that Sedu doesn't have springs in its plates is a drawback.
After using both the Sedu and Solia, I prefer the beveled-edge plates. Also, some members have noted that the flush plates on the Sedu create a ridge in their hair. Something to think about.
I really did not like the sizzling I experienced with the Sedu. I always flat-iron when my hair is dry. However, I do use heat protectant (6-8 pumps) before I iron, and with the Sedu - there was sizzling! (I currently use BTZ Turn Up the Heat & Matrix Sleek Look Iron Smoother, two sprays exclusively designed to protect hair from ironing.) It made me worried that I was scorching my hair. Solia did not sizzle on me, even at the max temperature. Neither did my Chi Turbo or my T3.
In the end, I ended up keeping neither the Sedu or Solia and decided to buy the HairArt T3. The excellent 4-year comprehensive warranty and the fact that HairArt is a well-known company made me feel more secure about my purchase. I was able to use a $20 coupon from Beauty.com so I only paid $140 for my T3. That's only $14 more than the Sedu, and I think it was worth it.
So my final word on Sedu: the drawbacks are that the exterior got too hot for comfort, and the sizzling was alarming. I think I could do better for my money. I was disappointed, considering it's so highly rated on Folica.com, and so many raves on the Hair Board here. (I've since learned that Folica offers a $5 store credit for positive mentions of their site. So perhaps every Sedu rave should be taken with a grain of salt.)
After having done some research on flat irons, I've written up a notepad to help other MUA members.
Hope that helps! Peace and joy.
***False Advertising Issues:
A member alerted me to an interesting site (Misikko.com) that I think is worth your attention.
One of the things Misikko points out is that the Sedu gets too hot (as I noted above), and is therefore dangerous to use.
Another point Misikko makes is that the Sedu is advertised on Folica.com "As Seen in Allure," which implies that it was chosen to be featured in the magazine. But the truth is that Folica/Sedu simply bought ad space in the magazine. I've seen this ad in Allure, and it is in the back among the boob-enlarging creams and pimple potions. Wow, that is tacky. The way Folica claims that Sedu was "seen in Allure" is indeed misleading.
In addition, Misikko also alleges that Sedu falsely claims that it is used by celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston. However, Jennifer Aniston's hair stylist, Chris McMillan, is a frequent contributor to Allure, and he has said that he only uses T3 irons.
However, this doesn't change the fact that Sedu does in fact get way too hot on the outside, and is inferior to other high-end irons. And their claim of "as seen in Allure" is in fact sleazy and misleading. And that's enough to get a thumbs-down for me.
Thanks everyone for the reviews! I used to use my finger for concealer. (Worked well enough.) Then I used a compact foundation brush [Japonesque] to put my concealer on. (Worked better.) Now I use the L'Oreal Concealer Brush. (Works BEST!) Flawless finish. Who knew a little brush can make such a difference?
I bought this because I had a $5 Ulta Coupon, but should cost about $8 elsewhere. The bristles are made of taklon, and the handle is smokey-colored lucite. Great product, highly recommended.
Wonderful alternative to more pricey cleansing oils! I've been hooked on this for quite a while. I use the green bottle which is the olive oil-based one (also comes in pink). Very light citrus scent. Snap-lid is more convenient for travel, rinses clean and removes every trace of makeup. Only $7.49 at my local Asian grocery store.
Ingredient list: MINERAL OIL (PARAFFINUM LIQUIDUM), CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, PEG-20 GLYCERYL TRIISOSTEARATE, PEG-7 GLYCERYL, COCOATE, WATER (AQUA), FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), OLIVE (OLEA EUROPAEA) OIL, MACADAMIA TERNIFOLIA NUT OIL
6 FL OZ (170 ML)
Moisturizers -Clinique - Moisture On Call - Moisture Cream [DISCONTINUED]
mashimaru 5/8/2005 10:05:00 PM
The advantage of this cream is that it doesn't feel very greasy. But I agree with the review that says this feels "like glue" - it sits on my face without being absorbed, and then feels like a coating of something has dried onto my skin. So when I move my face (like try to smile) I can feel it pulling. Yucky. Is this the "firming" factor? No thanks!
Makeup Brushes -Japonesque - Foundation Brush #312
mashimaru 4/29/2005 11:47:00 PM
I've had this for years. And I never use it. I just don't like it at all.
What I don't like about it:
- The bristles are well-packed but they are actually too dense and firm. It creates the effect of spreading the foundation on your skin with a trowel. And blending is impossible. I can't even use this for concealer, because of this reason. It actually hurts.
- It's not even that cheap. I think I paid $16.95 at Ulta back when I bought it - probably costs more now. Cheaper than most HE brands, but you can definitely get something much better than this at the drugstore for around $10.
The only advantage this brush has, in my opinion, is that the ferrule and the handle are very similar to MAC brushes. So if you have MAC brushes, these will fit right in. Believe it or not, that is the only good thing I can think of about this brush.
My other foundation brushes are - Chanel, Beauty Basics (from Nordstrom Rack), EoB (from CVS), and Posh. One HE and 3 DS. Every last one of them is far superior to this Japonesque brush. It's really awful.
It provides great coverage, and the color selection is good. I also like the packaging, the separate vented compartment for the application sponge is great! It's a little bulky, but I don't mind that.
The worst part is that it turns orange. I wear NC20, which is the perfect match for my skin, and it looks great when I put it on. But about halfway thru the day, my face turns very distinctly orange. I tried it for a week to make sure it wasn't my imagination.
Plus, it also made my face itch.
Part of the "Men's 3 step" line, which includes soap, and a toner which is called "scruffing lotion."
It's the exact same product as Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. Same product, different packaging.