Lipstick -MAC - Japanese Maple (Cremesheen + Pearl finish)
1017 3/10/2013 8:25:00 AM
Japanese Maple is a Cremesheen + Pearl finish from MAC. I love the Cremesheens & the Cremesheen + Pearl"ones are really nice too. Japanese Maple is a pearly light beige shade. It is a beautiful muted lip. Whether this will skew peachy or pink in your opinion I think will depend on your lip and skin tone. I love this for a beautiful neutral muted lip (but not dead concealer lips) on my NW20 skin, rosey brown lips, almost black hair, brown eyes. I also have this finish in Peach Blossom and that is gorgeous as well. Japanese Maple really slid in under the radar, but it is my favorite "nude" lipstick now. And come summer, I am probably going to fly through this when my makeup goes more peachy / bronze.
If you have tried MAC Woodwinked and found it too orange, MAC Bronze and found it a touch too red, Maybelline Bad to the Bronze and found it a touch too cool, MAC Patina was just too off, try UD Smog. It is brown (not red brown, not orange brown), with a gold tone to it that makes it so very wearable on my NW20 skin, almost black hair, brown eyes, w/dark under eye circles. It is almost a hazel brown. And while MAC's Romp was described the same way " a chocolate brown with gold", Smog just comes off as doing something dramatic rather than a color that just kind of sits on my lids like Romp ended up doing. And Smog is soft enough for the lid, yet can also be a great crease shade. I was skeptical when everyone said, "it's a must have"...yay, yay, I have heard that before. But it IS that good. Look up the reviews by most helpful, the first one (as of the time of this review) is AliceF, and she really describes the color very well.
Eye Shadow -Bobbi Brown - Long-Wear Cream Shadow - Beach Bronze
1017 3/6/2013 12:21:00 PM
First these BB Long Wear cream shadows are the best thing ever for summer...they don't budge. Second, the color is a brown with gold shimmer/deeper/truer bronze than Maybelline Bad to the Bronze. The gold shimmer is what makes this work so well with my brown eyes. I have issues with bronze shades. They are either too orange, too red, too off. Beach Bronze is a completely wearable bronze for my NW20 skin, brown eyes, almost black hair...deep set eyes w/dark under eye circles. It doesn't even draw attention to my dark under eye area! It took a few wears for me to really appreciate this shade, but now I have nothing but love for this perfect beachy bronze.
Showstopper and I don't get along very well, but it did teach me a very important color lesson. My NW20 skin, almost black hair, brown eyes (with dark under eye circles) can NOT wear red based browns. I need to stick with honey based browns. This color always made me look like I had been on an all night bender. So yes, thanks to Showstopper I now know what to buy and what not to buy. I even passed on a recent quad because this was one of the colors even though I would have loved the other three. It is a very deep red based brown (matte). It isn't a bad color for those that can use it, but on me, it is a very, very bad color.
On my NW20 skin, almost black hair, brown eyes, rosey lips this is a pretty warm pink. This is warmer than than Pink Whisper which can came off as too pale, I put on Pink Pursuit with my MAC Dame blush and some casual eye makeup and my whole face brightened up. This also feels like a pink I can wear in the summer. Usually pinks feel too cool in the summer on me, but this one has enough warmth, I think I can make it happen. The only "con" is that sometimes it feels "off"...perhaps too frosty? Or too warm for winter? Not sure. My favorite pink from the Revlon SL line is Pink Pop though.
Lip Gloss -Revlon - Super Lustrous - Pink Whisper 130 (LE)
1017 2/28/2013 7:29:00 AM
Nw20, almost black hair, brown eyes, rosey lips. This can be too icy and cool for my complexion-leaving almost a white/silver cast on my lips. However when paired with the right blush (ie SK Flamingo) it can be a sheer soft pink. So no it isn't a no brainer lipgloss for me...I have to be sure I have the right look going. But with the right look, it can be very nice. It is a soft cool muted pink-very icy.
Styling Products -Finesse - Finesse Extra Control Mousse
1017 2/25/2013 1:47:00 PM
Since Finesse repackaged recently, this is still called Extra Control Mousse, but it also says "Self Adjusting for Consistently Beautiful Hair" under the Finesse name on the container. All of their mousse products have this that are currently listed on the Finesse website along with "with a touch of conditioning at the bottom of the container). BTW, the other mousse products currently listed (but I have not found in stores near me) are: Curl Defining, Volumizing, & Extra Control (this mousse). This is a very soft hold mousse that creates no crunch what so ever. On my uber fine wavy, curly hair, that I diffuse dry my hair is just ok, not seeing much of a difference than if I didn't use it except maybe a little less static-y. Honestly, how I usually do my hair (AG Recoil Curl Activator + mousse for extra hold followed by diffusing dry), I don't think I will use this again. However, for those that air dry...this might be worth a try. It isn't enough hold the way I currently do my hair though. FYI - This is lighter weight than the Dove Whipped mousse and feels better than the Pantene curls mousse. Way less hold than Suave Max Hold mousse or Joiwhip.
UPDATE: The ingredients don't really differ that much per "flavor" but I found the Vanilla Macadamia Nut one much more soothing than the Raspberry Rose (but if there is rose in there, maybe it's an allergy thing...who knows) or the other versions. But the bottom line is that I don't know if each scent is created equal. I enjoyed the Vanilla Mac Nut one, but just tossed the oters as they didn't seem to do much for me at all. Maybe they were all just starting to dry out my lips...who knows. ORIGINAL POST:This is fun to play with, but I doubt it will replace anything. I gave it a 4 instead of a 5 because it does leave a milky cast that needs to be blended out, and because of the tin...I am kind of over tins. Now on to the part that gets it all the way up to 4 lippies. It doesn't have lanolin or beeswax! It is so hard for me to find a lip product with out those two troublesome ingredients for me. It sinks in well, and gives me a smoother lip base to work with when I apply lip products. I also feels as if it helps my lip pencil apply smoother. I have the vanilla /macadamia nut one...smells nice.
This is a MLBB pink kind of color. It was one of the first of these shades from MAC I purchased (before VGV was even released!). My first few MAC lipsticks back in the 90's were all frosts, Fluid (my first), O (my fave work color at the time), and Sequin (my casual lippie). But as time and knowledge changed about what works on me, I am got older, looks changed, I have pretty much stepped away from frost lipsticks all together. I now prefer the Cremesheen finish the best from MAC. That said, at the time I loved Sequin on my NW20, almost black hair, brow eyed 24 yr old self. But now, pushing 40, 2013, I just can't wear it with out it feeling like I am wearing a very off color. For me now, there are a million better options out there. Like Hot Gossip, Creme Cup or Peach Blossom.
Styling Products -Pantene - Mousse Curly Hair Curl Defining (label as of Feb 2013)
1017 2/22/2013 7:50:00 AM
Pantene reformulates and repackages so much it is hard to know which product I am reviewing. So I put the product label EXACTLY how it appears on the container as of Feb. 2013. It also shows a hold value of 4. I don't know if this was the Curl Scrunching mousse that was listed or if it used to be the Curls Lock mousse that is also listed, but this is what the package calls it today. Now on to the review. Funny, no love for the Pantene mousse products here, but over at NC.com, this gets so much love. I have extremely fine wavy/curly hair. This mousse is adequate. I had decent curl formation (a bit stringy though), minimal static and even some lift at the crown. Plus that Pantene scent, which I like. However, my hair never felt right. The mousse comes out normal, but feels like nothing - like air puff...no creamy feeling...going into the hair. I prefer the feel of PM Hydrowhip, Suave, or even Joiwhip. Also, I think this would leave my hair a dried out mess in the long run. The next morning after using this my hair was like "Was it worth it? I feel awful!" It was a dried out straw like mess. But I will not use this every day (or keep it) because it will dry your hair out like crazy after prolonged use (kind of the Pantene curse).
Styling Products -Redken - Real Control Crema Care
1017 2/20/2013 12:46:00 PM
I can not tell you how badly I wanted this to work on my 2A uber fine wavy locks. I have tried it in every combo and method I could think to try it. I kept telling myself, "Everyone loves this stuff...how can you not? You must be doing something wrong. It is so cheap...c'mon, make it work." I like to encourage curl, but this pulled them out (which happens easily). While it did help with less static and adding heft to my hair, my hair did not look better...it actually looked better with out it. I am still hesitant because I feel like I should be able to make this work, but it just doesn't. And when I say "work" I mean not only add heft & prevent static as it does, but make my hair look less frizzy, curls bouncier, all around better working. I have to return it. :( If anyone has helpful tips on how to use this please PM me.
Everything about this oil sounded like perfection to me. The whole idea of it was fabulous, especially for my dry frizzy uber fine hair. But one spray and I just couldn't use it again. The smell was just repugnant to me. I tried to use it again, but just could not get past that smell. I am not talking, not my scent, it kind of made me gag. So before you try this smell it, just to be sure you can handle the scent.
My NW20, pinkness, brings out the pink in this shade. I swatched it on my arm and all I could see was a pink toned pearl shade. When I tried it on with a green coat, I caught a glimpse of that. It does not come out ashy on me at all. The MUA said those with extreme yellow tones would find this skewing ashy on them. But on me, it is lovely. I wore it with Dame blush, a soft pink lippie, Coquette in the crease and Shroom in the highlight area (Vex on the lid). It really looks nice. And I am almost 40 & the frost finish is not OTT. If you are going to only look into a few MAC eye shadows, this and Sumptuous Olive are two colors that are so much more than meets the eye and not your flat boring, "I can get these anywhere" colors.
Styling Products -Joico - JoiWhip (formerly I.C.E. WHIP)
1017 2/18/2013 1:01:00 PM
This mousse frustrates me. Everything about it should be awesome, but certain parts bug me. I have very, very fine wavy/curly hair that I diffuse dry to get more volume. Pros: I love the strong hold. My hair was blown around in crazy wind and it still held pretty nicely. And it really helps encourage curl formation and hold. For a salon brand it is pretty affordable for how much you get too. It also smells nice. And the holding power is great. Cons: When first done my hair was extremely crunchy which you can usually shake out, but it was clinging to my head. And the crown of my hair was flat while the sides were very curly & tight. Now after that wind came and loosened up my curls, it looked better...but it still kept falling so flat against my head. And when my hair was first done, it had that too tight against my head, crunchy, wet, look. Again, you can usually shake it out, but I couldn't get it off my my head...it just laid against it.
Lip Gloss -Revlon - Super Lustrous Lipgloss - Nude Lustre
1017 2/17/2013 7:48:00 AM
Not a fan. This was a bit too peachy/bronzey, skewing orange toned on my NW20 almost black hair, brown eyes, rosey lipped complexion. Yes, this would look better in the summer, with full tan, and my summer makeup. But it is that "Bronze Goddess" look that I will never really achieve with my natural coloring. For a summer gloss, I much prefer MAC Richer Lusher (way less bronze, more peachy pink). This just looked very wrong on me. That said, though, if you are an NC or darker complected....this would really give you that Bronze Goddess look. I gave it a 3 still because it has SPF, is cheap and would probably work on many other people. But for me the color is a 2.