Moisturizers -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - Argan Oil
BelleDeCrecy 1/1/2010 8:33:00 PM
Though I loathe MUAC's hideous, runny labels and el cheapo packaging, they make consistently high quality products. I agree wholeheartedly with the previous poster. The anti-inflammatory/antioxidant properties of Argan oil make it great for soothing any skin irritation. The term "Argan Glow" really applies here. This oil is even lighter than Jojoba and absorbs quickly, leaving a healthy glow and no oily residue. I add 3 or 4 drops to whatever moisturizer I'm using and gently pat the mixture on my face, using my fingers to lightly spread it. My hair LOVES this stuff. 4 or 5 drops daily keeps the frizzies away in humid weather and makes my hair very soft and shiny. Argan oil has replaced Jojoba as my HG oil for hair and skin.
Treatments -Ren - Sirtuin Phytohormone Replenishing Cream
BelleDeCrecy 12/3/2009 10:49:00 AM
I use this cream to spot treat the area around my eyes and my on neck. I'm seeing a real improvement in these areas in terms of brightness and firmness. So far so good. It's highly concentrated, but at 1.7 oz you don't get a lot of product. If you use this as an all over moisturizer you'll run through it quickly. At $80, I want to stretch this product for as long as I can! At this point I think it's something I'd always want to have around. UPDATE- I'm now adding a few drops of Argan oil to SPRC. This has only added to its effectiveness.
This review is ONLY for the Resurfacing Cream and the accompanying tool. I don't think much of the other products in the line. This is a wonderful home microdermabrasion system that over time delivers salon quality results. I've even had a medical grade micro treatment that I feel was no better than this. I use it in conjunction with my acne.org treatment regimen. The two systems work perfectly together for me. I followed directions, using it for days in a row for 4 minutes then waiting a week before resuming treatment 3 days a week. All I can say is WOW! I'm more even toned, smoother and blemish free than I've even been. My pores are far less visible. I have had ZERO irritation, even with continued use of Benzoyl Peroxide AND Retin-A. Now comes a WARNING. DO NOT order this product from the Youthful Essence website. You will be forced to sign up for the automatic delivery program. They will get your credit card number and you'll have repeated charges on your account. I recommend that you order from Home Shopping Network. There, you have the option of ordering only when you want to. If you're like me and decide to use just the Resurfacing Creme and the tool, you can find the cream easily on eBay at a good discount. Also--I'm unconvinced that the jar really contains 2.5 oz of product. It seems like considerable less than that to me.
The absolute BEST bronzer for MMMs and GGGs ( I'm NC37.) This is a neutral shade with no orange or red. It adds a hint of warmth and a natural looking glow rather than a shimmer effect. LOVE it.
It's a shame that this mascara has received so many bad reviews. I for one have fallen in LOVE with tube mascaras. This is much more pleasant to remove than the smeary mess and untold numbers of Kleenex I have to use to remove traditional waterproof mascara. After using tubes I will never go back to any other type of mascara. I can wear this swimming, riding or to work out and it stays perfect until I take it off at night. PDM is a very natural looking lash " definer" that doesn't add much volume but does add considerable length. It's a tubular type mascara, similar to Fiber Wig. This type of mascara contains polymers and silicons that wrap themselves around each lash to form a rubbery little "tube." I prefer PDM, as Fiber Wig adds NO volume at all. I use Latisse: I LOVE the natural but defined daytime effect one coat of this gives my lashes. If you want to add a second coat, don't wait for the first coat to dry. Just keep going over the first coat until you get the effect you want. You can't get a lash comb through this once it's dry, but the tiny bristles make it easy to separate your lashes on the first application. PDM does feel a bit stiff when it dries, but your lashes won't LOOK stiff. It's actually very easy to remove with WARM water and whatever facial cleanser you use. Splash your face in the sink or let the warm water run on your face in the shower. Once moistened with warm water and your cleanser, the "tubes" will just fall off as you wash your face. I don't have to rub at all. It's very important that the water be warm. At the time of purchase, BB SAs really should tell customers how to remove it. I wouldn't reach for this for evening, but it's PERFECT for a natural daytime look. This is a great GREAT product. Give it a chance and learn how to remove it properly. I haven't lost a lash using it and I don't have to buy eye makeup remover anymore!
Makeup Brushes -Bare Escentuals - Angled Blush Brush
BelleDeCrecy 11/2/2009 7:02:00 PM
I'm in the minority here. I love the small size and precision placement this brush offers. I like to be able to place blush only on the apples of my cheeks, then blend out, up and down a little. I use this brush almost almost every day. It's very soft, doesn't shed and fits easily into my small makeup kit. This is the only brush I use from the kit I bought at Sephora. I can't say that I'd go out of my way to replace it, but it gets the job done.
Treatments (Eye) -Erno Laszlo - Antioxidant Complex For Eyes
BelleDeCrecy 11/1/2009 9:14:00 PM
I don't know why it's taken me so long to add a review for this wonder of an eye treatment. Though its very effective by itself, in winter I layer this under OccuPhel Emollient . The Antioxidant gel formula de-puffs and brightens my undereye area like no other eye creme. The OccuPhel creme provides the added hydrationI need in colder weather. It would be better if this came in a tube. The small glass jar is a pain.
My NC37 coloring can just barely get away with this-- if I use only one pump and dust on a little bronzer. It's very pretty and dewy, but just a tad too light. It could be the zinc oxide that gives my skin a faint whitish cast. I'm a GGG/MMM; unlike other posters I find it to be more pink than orange. This might be better for me in the depths of winter when I'm paler. I the meantime, it works great as a non-chemical sunscreen under other makeup. But, who wants to pay $50 for a sunscreen? UnIess I get great results from the actives in this I probably won't repurchase. PS: I don't detect the fishy smell that others have mentioned. Update- wanted to love this-- I like the idea of applying a natural looking foundation and 30 spf in one step. BUT... I'm downgrading this to just two lippies, This makes me look like a sick disco ball. The color is just plain weird and the formula has too much shimmer.
This is an extremely effective healing balm that contains no petrolatum. It's not creamy, but it's a very light textured oil-based balm that does not make my oily skin break out. It works well for flaky, irritated or chapped skin. It can be used under makeup or patted on top without disturbing your makeup. It's so light that it doesn't feel greasy. Although there's no added fragrance, it does have a very strong herbal smell that some may find off-putting. I also use Bobbi Brown's Extra Balm; so far I prefer Mayday. It's also less than half the price of BB's balm. This winter, I'll carry a tube of Mayday in my purse at all times.
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Wet Ones Sensitive Skin Wipes
BelleDeCrecy 8/29/2009 4:23:00 PM
I keep these handy little wipes on my makeup table and in my car. Unlike many other brands, they are unscented and not at all sticky. These wipes are perfect for quickly correcting makeup mistakes like mascara on the lids. They are extremely mild. I agree with the above poster-- these are great for wiping down MU brushes . They won't do an in depth cleaning but they will freshen your brushes.
Lips -Le Metier de Beaute - lip creme toffee creme
BelleDeCrecy 8/29/2009 4:13:00 PM
This lipstick/lipgloss hybrid is a joy to wear. It comes in a standard gloss tube with a doe foot applicator. It's quite long wearing and feels GREAT on my lips. Toffee Creme is a copper/bronze neutral with shimmer. It can be worn for day or evening and is quite pigmented. It has a yummy cinnamon vanilla flavor. I really like this new line. It's quite similar to and clearly inspired by Armani.
I'm a great fan of the older Hermes fragrances, Parfum d'Hermes (sadly discontinued) and Faubourg 24. I admit that I like my perfume unabashedly feminine. I find absolutely nothing feminine about EdM. It's a masculine scent with typical masculine notes and zero feminine allure.
This makeup survived a downpour today. I got caught for about 15 minutes while riding my bike. I couldn't believe it when I looked in my car mirror. My face was wet, but my makeup was still perfect! I'm a MAC NC 37. My Superstay color is True Beige. It's an excellent match and quite yellow based with a tiny bit of pink. Today I'd set it with LM's Translucent Finishing Powder, but I often use MAC Prep & Prime. This needs a colorless powder to keep the oilies at bay and stay truly transfer free. (FWIW, I was also wearing Rimmel Sexy Curves Waterproof mascara coated with Clarins Double-Fix Clear Waterproof Mascara, and Nars Loukoum Creme Blush These too survived the deluge intact.) I've had no problems getting Superstay off with Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Remover. The only cons: the long skinny glass bottle makes it tough get the product out neatly. It REALLY needs a pump. Maybelline should offer a wider color range in both the foundation and the concealer. The matching concealer for this (deep beige) was WAY too light. Nevertheless, Maybelline has a HIT.
HG, HG, HG! Had I known about these products and the marvelous (don't cha just wanna hug him??) Dan Kern, I could have saved myself a ton of time and money. After years of no problems with my skin, I suddenly developed a case of mild, but very stubborn adult acne on my lower face. The four products (cleanser, benzoyl peroxide, moisturizer and glycolic (AHA) treatment) used exactly as directed have left me with clearer, smoother, more even toned skin than I have had since CHILDHOOD. The copious amount of 2.5 % BP prescribed in the regimen is the kicker. It seems to block acne causing bacteria and help heal existing blemishes in record time. It is also far less irritating than the normal 5 or 10% concentrations found in other OTC brands. As a longtime retin-a user, my biggest concern was having to give up retin-a's anti-aging benefits. After strictly following Dan's regimen for 6 weeks, I have started doing it in the morning and using retin-a again as I always did at night. He says that after 6 weeks or so on the regimen you can begin to experiment a little with adding other products. If my skin gets too dry or irritated, I skip the AHA in the morning and substitute Dan's regular moisturizer. He recommends that you add a few (additional, as it's already in the moisturizer) drops of jojoba oil if you're really dry . It takes patience to do the routine twice a day, but in about two weeks I got my skin back and then some. It may take longer for those with severe acne, but PLEASE, consider giving this a try before taking Accutane or antibiotics. BRILLIANT. PS: While I liked Neutrogena's new Acne Stress Control regimen, IMO this one is FAR more effective. Update: This regimen is a keeper. I now use retin-a every other night. I use the regimen as prescribed on alternating nights and every morning. I barely need foundation and I only need a little concealer under my eyes. This is as flawless as my skin has ever been.
This is touted as the ultimate Doris Day powdery, girly confection. To my nose, KIF smells very much like Antica Farmacista's Casablanca le Parfum; a lily soliflore with faint notes of Ylang-Ylang, clove (and probably vanilla). KIF is very pretty, but unavailable in the US and not really worth the effort of tracking down, IMO.