Looks nice in the compact, but it has minimal pigment. I was disappointed, actually, because the color looked just right. i had difficulty getting it to show on my NC30 complexion; all I got was a bunch of shimmer shards on my cheek. I had to really dig my brush into the dome itself to get any sort of color. Revlon needs to re-formulate in the mineral dept. if they want it to succeed, because, from what i hear, their mineral line is quite the disappointment! And it's expensive, too!
I originally posted a review on Studio Fix Fluid over a year ago, commenting on just how awful it was. It turns out that I was using colors that were way off for my skin tone . I was using NC30 and NC35, both of which were way, way too dark. I'm a NC30 in Select SPF, so I figured that I could grab this shade in SFF - bad choice. I hesitantly tried it again one month ago and, to my surprise, found a very nice match with NC25 - a light-medium shade with lots of yellow. If you're considering using it, go a shade or two lighter than you normally would with other MAC foundations, considering that this particular foundation is densely pigmented. However, even though the match was good, it performs quite terribly. As far as colors go and texture and blendability, it's amazing. But as the day goes on, it melts off your face and stains just about everything it comes in to contact with. If you use a primer - which didn't help in the slightest to make the foundation last longer - it will just float on the surface of your skin, drawing attention more to the fact that you're wearing heavy makeup. MAC's SFF is a real disappointment. I wouldn't recommend it as a long-lasting foundation. It looks good for a very short span of time, but it's not a functional foundation in any way. By the end of the day, the face is a mess, obvious and embarrassing makeup meltdown - lines, pores, patches, oiliness are ruthlessly exposed. Ughh, I don't want to elaborate any more. There are lots of better options out there.
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! When I got this, I thought it was a miracle-worker! Made brows look oh-so natural, so full, so groomed, "par excellence." I was thinking, "Finally, natural-looking brows. Great job, Maybelline, great job!" And then, it faded. Color is nice, texture is blendable-- velvety soft, yet capable of adding body, fullness and richness to brows. Staying power, however, is a LOW-DOWN rat!! Why does DS makeup taunt us like this!! Looks good for an hour or so, then it fades away completely! What's the use?!?
Mascara -Max Factor - Lash Perfection Volume Couture [DISCONTINUED]
J_cool 11/16/2007 9:00:00 PM
I really adore these plastic bristle mascara brushes. They seem to really grasp and coat my wimpy, pin-straight lashes. I just need to find a decent mascara formula that corresponds with it! MAX FACTOR Volume Couture has a few upsides, but the downsides of the product make it much too unappealing. I used it for several weeks, on and off, and although it does add LOTS of fullness and thickness to the lashes, it really aggravates my eyes. Like so many have already mentioned, it, too, gave me pink eye!! Looks smashing for an hour, and then it proceeds to makes the eyes pinker and pinker and then, finally, RED!! I love the lushness it adds to my lashes, but if it makes my eyes look completely burned-out, what's the use?! I wish MF would reformulate this product and use less irritating ingredients, because it does make lashes divine, albeit a bit crispy...
I've been using MAC STUDIO SELECT for a couple weeks and I think that's it okay, but it just doesn't deliver on the more important levels; it's disappointing, really, considering that it's rather pricey and is developed/tested by a reputable, professional make-up company. BUT what makes this product truly SHINE is it's beautiful, oh-so natural, heavenly color selection! I used NC35 and, although a shade-and-a-half deeper than my skintone, it was perhaps the most beautiful-looking liquid foundation I've EVER smoothed over my face. "Natural," "radiant," "healthy," and "even" were the words that came to mind when I examined it's smooth, gleaming pigment on my face in various lighting. Even harsh outdoor lighting wasn't enough to shatter this foundation's delivered, glowy naturalness. When wearing this indoors, you will look gracefully airbrushed. SADLY, however, the effect doesn't last long. The LASTING POWER of this foundation is awfully unstable. It actually reminds me of L'oreal's HIP high-pigment foundation, both in color and in performance. It applies nice, dries to a soft, natural, semi-dewy finish, but within hours, it will slowly begin to dissipate and leave you with spotty/patchy (some areas covered while others are not). Even with a heavy-duty primer, this foundation struggles to stay on throughout the day. And it rubs off, too, so don't wear anything valuable around your neck. It gives good COVERAGE when freshly applied and for the two to four hours it manages to stay on, but it wears off eventually and leaves the skin oily. These are the two main reasons I knocked off this foundation. Although it's color-selection is drop-dead gorgeous and fools people into thinking you possess smooth, healthy skin, it fails in terms of staying power and coverage, which to me, are very important, seeing that I work long hours and don't have the time to re-apply/re-check my makeup. If you like this formula and it's performance, I suggest trying L'Oreal's HIP line. Same colors, same finish, same coverage, but cheaper. Oh, and it's one tough b**** to get out of the bottle! Should come w/ a pump (that they shouldn't have to sell to you)!!
Blush -Physicians Formula - Mineral Wear Talc-Free Blush in Blushing Glow
J_cool 11/5/2007 9:37:00 PM
Of all the blushes I've bought and used, I rarely get to the bottom of the barrel. Physician's Formula Mineral Wear in Blushing Glow is an exception, as it is one of the better, more gentle blushes on the market today. P'sF MWB stands out amongst it's competition, as it provides just the *right* amount of pigment, looks rather natural, is easily to apply, is very long-wearing, and is, most importantly, non-irritating, non-acnegenic, and FREE from a lot of irritating additives, oils, and those annoying, sparkling glitter shards which have the tendancy to erupt blemishes on my cheeks (Almay "developed especially for sensitive skin" Blush comes to mind)!! The texture is so micro-fine and soft that it spreads over cheeks quite evenly and with much ease, much like that of a solid cream blush. In no way streaky or overly obvious, MWB is wonderfully blendable. The blush is quite buildable; the formula can be intensely opaque if you choose to apply it in a heavy-handed fashion. But with a good kabuki, it lends such an adorable, lovely flush to anyone's complexion, especially those with medium to olive-toned skin, like myself. It is a good value, but it seems to go pretty quickly... Or maybe I adore it and use it so often? ; )
There's really nothing out there quite like Pure Luxe Magic Eraser (powder). For the record, my skin is definitely NOT the ideal type-- it's sensitive, prone to acne and oiliness, and, alas, littered with gaping pores. Nothing really helped to make my skin look better, except Retin-A, but I digress... On to the review! Pure Luxe's Magic Eraser promises to soften and temporarily improve the look of badly textured skin AND to minimize pores. Does it? Yes! YES!! It does, indeed! The only other product I can compare it to is Clinique's Pore Minimizer. PM, however, isn't exactly "face-friendly," as it has the tendancy to seriously dry the surface of the skin and leave it leathery and littered with innumerable flakes-- probably due to it's sky-high alcohol content. Sweeping light layers of Pure Luxe's Magic Eraser on the face will blur, and, in some cases, totally disguise a number of facial imperfections, such as large pores, mild-moderate acne scarring, and fine lines. It is a true godsend for people with less-than-desirable skin texture. I use this as a primer under my foundation and it seems to work well throughout the day. The soft-focus effect is long-lasting, sometimes it lasts until the end of the day, depending on activity, of course. It does what every respectable primer must do: it provides a smooth base for foundation; it controls excessive oil; and it keeps makeup from shifting throughout the day. Although a great product, it does possess a rather large setback for me: the color. It's literally ghost-white!! On my warm, olive-toned skin, anything with too much white, whether powder or foundation, lends terrible ashniness to my face, which WILL translate as looking fake, unhealthy, and, well, laughable. Because of this, I have to use it rather sparingly as a primer and will NEVER use it over foundation. If Pure Luxe fixed this problem by developing a yellow-based powder eraser, then everything would be just peachy!! I'll probably try the "beige" eraser next, but it looks rather flat, too, and will probably produce the same ash effect as the original. Since using this product, I've had some small bumps on my face. I hope it's not the result of this product. I'm also currently experimenting with a skin-care line so I'm hoping that that's the source of my acne, not my beloved Pure Luxe!!
Gels/Soaps -Dr. Bronner's - Peppermint Castille Soap
J_cool 10/9/2007 9:41:00 PM
I used this a couple of years ago and it did lather wonderfully, it smelled nice, and it made my skin so fresh and clean, BUT it potentionally left a highly visible, cloudy residue on my skin which made me quite itchy and gave my skin an awfully dull, ashy appearance. Since this is pure soap, it, indeed, leaves film and residue on the skin. What film does to one's skin varies, but, in my experience, it irritates and produces acne. Someone on this board who had darker skin also had the skin "dulling" problem. I had to swich to another wash to heal and "liven" up my skin again. Wouldn't recommended to people with lots of skin pigment.
Quite possibly the most DIABOLICAL cosmetic ever invented! Only spiteful, cruel people could have created this monster! Let's begin!: Well after the first wash, it's alright. Your skin will feel so soft, clean and will even squeak! But the next day, or the day after, apparent dryness will set in. This soap leaves crazy amounts of residue on the skin's surface; each time you wash, the residue will collect on your skin and leave SCUM; scum that will continue to build and build and BUILD until it finally cracks on your face! After your face is littered with flakes, it will then become increasingly oily, red, and itchy -- fertile ground for bacteria. The epidermal layer will become awfully irritated and will erupt painful, stubborn acne cysts, which will discolor and possibly scar the skin. This soap truly destroys the cycle of normal, healthy skin, and it will immensely aggravate any intial skin conditions/problems. It will take weeks before the skin restores it's to normal state, that is if you make the effort with proper moisturization and treatment; otherwise, it will be DERMA-HELL from here on out! I honestly can't imagine who this soap is suitable for, it's industrial garbage and should be a household cleaner, not a cosmetic developed for "sensitive" complexions. AARRGH, what BS!! Dermatologists who endorse this product are really "off their rockers" and should be SUED! Cheap. Disposable. Disastrous. Scum. Final Grade: - 1
Treatments -Kose - Moisture Skin Repair with Rice Power Extract
J_cool 10/2/2007 10:39:00 PM
It's been about a year since I started using this product and it's a true skin-saver. Prior to using this, my skin was in pretty bad shape; it was parched, dry, red, scaley, itchy, inflamed-- a real nightmare. I prayed that my skin would return to a normal state. To my relief, I found FANCL, a Japanese Skin Care Line that specialized in skincare for truly sensitive skin. It was wonderfully soothing to my skin. My facial skin slowy started to regain strength. But it still felt dehydrated and was scaley at times, not to mention red. So I went online and found KOSE Moisture Repair w. Rice Power. KMR instantly quenched my skin with much needed moisture. After just a couple applications, I felt a balance in my face that I haven't felt since childhood, honestly. It was a miracle product. No more scales. No more tightness. No more flakes. No more roughness. Reduced redness. Softer skin. What more could I ask for? Out of ALL the topicals I have used, none have given me such benefits. This is what my skin has asked for all it's life. A godsend for those with truly unruly skin. I recommended it highly.
***UPDATE*** I no longer use this wash. It was fun while it lasted, but it's cleaning ability is sub-standard. I need something to make my skin truly clean. I now use DHC's Mild Body Shampoo, which not only makes my skin feel utterly fresh and clean after use, but also helps to control breakouts on my back. KNAVS is a bit too drying overtime. It's not suprising considering that it loading with all types of detergents. But it is still better than most. *** Despite being loaded with unpronounceable detergents, this body wash by Kaneno is suprisingly mild and is actually better than anything I tried at the drugstore. The LATHER in this product is excellent, if not, downright luxurious! As someone mentioned on the board, the lather is beyond foamy (!), quite dense, and can feel like shaving cream on your body! I looked forward to cleaning with this product in the evenings, 'cause it was just fun to use! The CLEANING ABILITY of this wash is decent. It doesn't clean as good as other body washes. This is really the downpoint of this wash. It just isn't a strong cleanser, and fails to remove serious grime, which is strange, considering the fact that it contains a number of detergents. After showering or bathing, your skin will FEEL soft and touchably smooth, not to mention fresh! It will not dry out skin or give skin that uncomfortable tightening, itchy sensation that can be felt with virtually every body wash on the American health & beauty market (sensitive skin people can empathize)!! The SCENT of the aloe wash is okay, nothing great-- well, it's actually somewhat irritating; it is reminiscent of dishwashing detergent. I would rather it smell more pleasing. Kanebo also makes a Peach and Yuzu fruit scent wash, which I can imagine would smell much better. This formula is quite concentrated. I was using 3+ pumps to clean my body early on and I later began to develop apparent dryness on my arms and neck, so I started using only 2 squirts for my entire body. This has worked for me-- no more bothersome dryness. This wash is a good VALUE. Due to it's high concentration and large pump bottle, expect to get well over a month of fun, super-bubbly cleaning. It costs around $9.00 and can be purchased online or at selected Asian grocers.
This is really one of the better blushes out there, and definitely a contender for "best drugstore blush." It appears to be just pigmented dust, but once you brush and blend the color into your face, it will give the most natural-looking, radiant flush. There's really nothing negative I can say about this blush, except for the fact that it has a somewhat limited color range. But make no mistake, all of the colors now available are nice and complement most skin tones. I use Bare Honey and it looks very nice, a bit rusty for my taste, but nonetheless, natural. I would prefer a brighter, more coral-peach shade. With the apparent success of this line, I'm sure L'Oreal will develop more diverse tones in the future. The texture of this mineral blush is great. It's airy, micro-fine pigment freely glides over the skin, where it then melts into the skin, evenly coating the surface. The end result is warm, glowy radiance: nothing fake, nothing forced, just naturally blushing skin. Unlike the dozens of blushes I used before, Bare Naturale doesn't cause breakouts or irritation. Blushes made by Almay looked great on me, but they gave me small, painful pimples on my cheeks (despite Almay's insistent claim for manufacturing products that are "hypoallergenic" and/or "clinically tested"). Mineral blushes are really the way to go for the more sensitive complexions. The staying power of this product is wonderful-- no, wait, it's magical! I put it on in the morning and when I come home at night, I still have same glowy color I had earlier in the day! This blush sets the benchmark for the 6-10-hour blush! A few minor qualms I have with the product are it's design and packaging. I don't use the brush. It's a bit "spikey" for my delicate face. I use a softer blush brush. As for the clunky, almost non-accessible container/sifter-- I tossed it. I put the blush in a small sealable Glad container and just pick up what I need with my blush brush. This is a great find, and I'm glad to have finally taken part in the "mineral makeup revolution," it's really excellent stuff!
Liquid -Almay - Almay Amazing Lasting Foundation ] [DISCONTINUED]
J_cool 9/24/2007 10:30:00 PM
I use to use this foundation religiously, thinking it was the BEST drugstore foundation of all time. It looked great freshly applied, had nice sun protection, didn't irritate my hyper-sensitive face, and did not rub off. Furthermore, it felt heavy on my face, giving me the impression that it was covering tons of imperfections. I wore it daily and never once gave a thought to how the foundation performed hours after application. And then, one evening, I looked in the mirror and was appalled. This is why I trashed this junk: COVERAGE: As someone on the forum mentioned earlier, it is a very heavy, dense liquid foundation that dries completely matte, yet it only gives modest coverage. As soon I noticed this foundation had "coverage issues," I tried and tried to make it work for me by blending it into my face. No matter how much I tried, it never gave my face full, even coverage. APPEARANCE: The color looks great in the bottle and in your hand before you apply it, but after it sets, it will leave you almost ghostly, nearly life-less, especially in natural lighting. In some lighting, it will look alright, like in a dark, smokey nightclub, but under florescent office lighting or at the beach, this foundation will ultimately leave you looking, for lack of a better term, CHALKY. Also, hours later (the span of a regular day), it's matte finish will literally disintegrate on your face and the formula will pool and settle into pores, lines, wrinkles, and any type of scarring you may have on your face. It will MAGNIFY what it initially tried to hide! An EMBARASSING situation, indeed! If you want a formula that gives great coverage and honestly hides imperfections and has a decent finish try Estee Lauder Double Wear or even AVON Perfect Wear. Final Rating: 2
The best body cleanser I've ever used! Ever since adolescence, I've struggled with bad skin on my back, particularly on my shoulders. I was constantly itchy and always had lots of breakouts in this area. In retrospect, the drugstore body washes and soaps I used at the time were what caused my skin complete distress. They were just simply very filmy, too dehydrating, and overly HARSH: they sucked the last drop of moisture out of my skin, made me terribly itchy, aggravated my acne, and even gave me eczema on my arms, legs, neck, and back. Even Dove and Johnson & Johnson's Baby Wash irritated my *truly* sensitive skin. I thought all washes were like this until I came across DHC Mild Body Shampoo via the internet. It contains no cheap, potentially HARMFUL detergents and so-called moisture binders, like Sodium Laureth Sulfate/Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate and Glycerin (which ruthlessly pulls moisture from deep within the skin to temporarily moisturize the epidermis!). Since incorporating this wash into my daily cleaning regimen, my skin feels and looks so much healthier. My back acne has cleared up and the overall skintone on my back shoulders and chest have improved tremendously. The lather MBS produces is just right, kind of milky; it is not too heavy, perhaps due to its mild, very low-sulfate content. It cleans exceptionally well. It does not dry out skin or cause any form of irritation. In fact, my skin feels a lot smoother and softer since I started using this. The fragrance could be more pleasant, though. It smells like dried roses concentrate or something. It could smell "fruity." The scent doesn't linger on your body, however, and leaves your bathroom smelling like potpourri. The price is fair, considering all the product you get. One bottle lasts me a good month-and-a-half. It is safe to use for the whole family. I used Baby Magic for about a year and it caused scales on my skin and did absolutely nothing for breakouts. If anything, it just upset my skin and drew out moisture. I can't believe they market that stuff to parents, way too harsh! For calm, clean, clear, refreshed and truly balanced skin I urge you to buy DHC Mild Body Shampoo. It's simply the BEST! Final rating: 5
Before using cleansing oils, I dried out, irritated out, and just reddened out my face with tons of "foaming," filmy facial cleansers. I would use these so-called "mild," high sulfate formulas to remove any one of my skin-bonding, high-coverage matte foundations (Colorstay, Double Wear, Amazing Lasting, Dermablend). The result was squeaky clean skin that was also raw, tight, stripped, and awfully flakey. In desperation, I surfed the net into the wee hours searching for a gentle skin cleansing alternative that wouldn't leave my skin in complete turmoil. I knew that cleaners at the local drugstore or supermarket weren't my only options. I'm so thankful that I took the initiative and found FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil. Prior to using FANCL I used various Japanese cleansing oils (Kanebo, DHC, ShiSuido), all of which cleaned well, but were too icky, drying, and caused breakouts. FANCL has a wonderful texture that glides over your face and melts away virtually every trace of makeup, no matter how heavy. It doesn't have the appearance, feel, or smell of oil, but is more like a foggy, semi-thick liquid gel. It feels nice and gentle on the skin and has a great spreadable consistancy so there's really no need to rub/massage it in too vigorously. It cleans wonderfully and hasn't caused breakouts or left my skin dry or caused any type of flaking. But to be sure this product is removed completely, I follow with an additional "light," gentle cleanser that helps to remove the tiniest trace amount of makeup left behind-- I recommend FANCL's Washing Powder or Washing Liquid. Since using this product (and the cleaning powders/liquids from FANCL), my skin is in GOOD, healthy condition. I have yet to experience the non-stop flaking, excessive oiliness, and uncomfortable tightness with this product that I had with other facial cleansing products, products which were often marketed as being developed especially for "sensitive skin" or "clinically tested" mild"-- even Johnson & Johnson's Baby Wash! Botton Line is that this product saved and repaired my skin from years of mistreatment. I'll continue to buy this product for as long as it's available, even though it is expensive. There's really nothing out there quite like it. Final rating: 4.5