Eye Shadow -mark - I-Mark Custom Pick Eye Shadow - Gioia
amarock 5/26/2010 7:26:00 PM
This is my newest mark eyeshadow acquisition - I had read online that this particular colour was quite well reviewed, but unfortunately, Gioia was only available in one of mark's flip palette which I didn't want to buy the whole thing just for one colour. When they finally added this colour to their singles line up, I just had to buy it. When I first saw it, I was worried that it would be too similar to Tiki, which I already owned. But once I had them side by side, my worry subsided - Gioia is not as red / bronzey as Tiki; it is much more of a true sable colour without too much red or yellow. I prefer this colour more than Tiki for my colouring (NC25). The closest colour I can compare this to is NYX's Iced Mocha or Urband Decay's Underground, but Gioia has slightly more gold in it compared to both of them. As with the other mark eyeshadows that I've tried, the pigmentation and quality are superb. I normally use Gioia on its own as a sweep of colour - the shimmer makes it look like I've blended several shades together to create a very polished look (when in fact I've spent 30 seconds!). When worn over a primer (I use TFSI) the eyeshadow lasts almost a full day on me without creasing. Keep in mind is that these mark eyeshadows come in refillable pans in clear blister packs and you can either put them into your own palette (need to glue a magnet onto the back) or buy one of the mark palettes which come pre-magnetized. I think the mark palette system a very smart and economical way to build up a makeup collection. I now have 2 palettes (the "mezzo" size, this was before the smaller and larger size palettes were even available) which fits either 4 eyeshadow singles, or 2 blushes, or 2 eyeshadows and 1 blush (this is what I do with mine) - very portable and easy to customize your own palette. The mark eyeshadow singles cost $6 CAD for 2.5g of product which is great value for such a good product.
Eye Shadow -mark - I-Mark Custom Pick Shadow -Tiki
amarock 5/26/2010 7:09:00 PM
This was the first mark eyeshadow I bought - I had to purchase it online from the US because at that time the mark line wasn't available to Canadians. The pigmentation and quality of this eyeshadow convinced me to try the other mark eyeshadows! This particular colour, Tiki, is beautifully shimmery and multi-faceted. I can sweep this colour over my entire lid as a wash, or use it in combination with either a darker brown, or with a golden champagne colour - it's very versatile. When worn over a primer (I use TFSI) the eyeshadow lasts almost a full day on me without creasing. I took a lippy off for 2 reasons - the eyeshadow is a bit crumbly due to the softness of the powder (I've lost a chunk of a corner just dipping my brush into the pan with normal pressure) and this shade is a touch on the red side which can make me look a little sickly if I don't blend out the bronze correctly. Other than that, this eyeshadow is definitely one to have in your collection. The thing to keep in mind is that these mark eyeshadows come in refillable pans in clear blister packs and you can either put them into your own palette (need to glue a magnet onto the back) or buy one of the mark palettes which come pre-magnetized. I think the mark palette system a very smart and economical way to build up a makeup collection. I now have 2 palettes (the "mezzo" size, this was before the smaller and larger size palettes were even available) which fits either 4 eyeshadow singles, or 2 blushes, or 2 eyeshadows and 1 blush (this is what I do with mine) - very portable and easy to customize your own palette. The mark eyeshadow singles cost $6 CAD for 2.5g of product which is great value for such a good product.
Lip Treatments -Bonne Bell - lip smacker 100% natural
amarock 5/5/2010 9:39:00 PM
I'm surprised at all the negative reviews! I have this in the Honeydew Melon flavour and I'm very impressed with the quality of this lip balm. I wonder if the different flavours have different formulations hence the varying reviews? I've owned my share of Lip Smackers over the years and still occasionally relive my childhood by picking up a fun flavour for a few bucks. When I saw these in the stores, I just had to buy one to try out. The texture of this lip balm is quite thick and creamy, it moisturizes my lips well, and has phenomenal staying power. The smell of the honeydew melon is divine! It truly smells like real fresh juicy honeydew melons. And knowing that it contains all natural ingredients like olive oil and beeswax makes this lip balm that much better. As others have mentioned, I did notice that the stick didn't retain its shape very well as I used it - the tip would bend and smear easily because the formula is quite soft due to the olive oil. But this didn't bother me very much - the alternative - a hard piece of waxy lip balm - would be much more annoying (Burt's Bees Beeswax lip balm, I'm talking to you). In my opinion, Bonne Bell has been a trusted brand with pretty good ingredients even in the 'regular' Lip Smacker line - I hope they will continue to develop more all natural or maybe even organic collections. I would recommend this, and at less than $3 CAD, it's an inexpensive indulgence!
This was recommended to me by a colleague who uses L'Occitane Shea Hand Cream religiously (and pushes it onto me), but I find the L'Occitane hand cream to be too greasy, and I didn't want to pay $30+ for it either. Since the Aveda Hand Relief is about $10 less and, according to her, less greasy - I decided to splurge and buy this around Christmas time for myself. Just my luck that Aveda had a gift set that included a full sized and a travel sized hand cream (perfect for my purse) and a full sized and a travel sized foot cream, all for a total of about $50 CAD. It was a good deal since just 1 of the full sized creams would have cost me $22. Too bad though, I was quite disappointed by this hand cream. I gave the hand cream a good trial period (used up the travel size), but in the end, it just doesn't live up to the hype or the price. I find the cream doesn't fully absorb into my skin - it stays sticky on my hands no matter how much or little I apply, or how long I rub my hands. Actually, I wouldn't call this a hand cream, more of a lotion - and it isn't rich enough to last on my hands for more than 30 mins. The scent is fine, I suppose, but nothing amazing. Honestly, the quality of this cream isn't any better than drugstore hand creams, at 2-3x the drugstore price. Out of the Christmas hand / foot cream set, I like the foot cream a bit better than the hand cream, but that's another review. I will use up the hand cream for manicures but I wouldn't re-purchase.
I've been using this for a week, and it might be premature to write this review, but since there seems to be polar opposites of reviews so far, I thought I would chime in my observations of this product so far.
I've been using MAC's Brow Shader powder faithfully for my sparse Asian eyebrows for a year or so now. Unfortunately, the Brow Shader has now been discontinued. The colour, ease of application and natural appearance of the powder made it a favourite of mine. However, where the powder falls short for me is that it tends to fade throughout the day, and I found that it was difficult to control the line for a crisp look. So, I was looking for something to supplement the powder. I was against using waxes or brow pencils because I found they didn't look natural on me.
And I also thought that the Penultimate Brow Marker wouldn't look natural either. But I was wrong. The trick with the marker is that it won't look natural if it's the only brow product you use. It really cannot be used alone to achieve natural looking brows. The MA showed me how to use a feathering motion to apply the marker in the direction of the hair growth to mimic the individual hairs, and then apply powder over top (she simply used an eyeshadow, in "Mystery"), then a spoolie to soften the whole look. So I've been using the marker in combination with the Brow Shader powder everyday, and I now have neat looking brows that look natural and lasts all day. The marker resists rubbing or rain/snow, and by drawing in my brow line before the powder, it acts as a guide for my powder to be applied. I think the extra step of using the marker is worth the effort, and with practice, I think it will be easier and faster to do.
I found that the lone colour offering of this brow marker is pretty limiting - the taupey brown colour works for me only when I combine it with my darker brow powder (I use the Soft Charocal/Maple colour of the Brow Shader) but I can't imagine the colour would work for all brow colours like blond / redhead etc. One thing I wondered when I bought this was - if I ended up not liking this for my brows, could I use it as an eyeliner like the regular Penultimate eyeliner marker? Since the Penultimate eyeliner marker is only available in black, maybe this could be a good option for another eyeliner colour? I'm not sure, since I don't have the Penultimate eyeliner marker to compare, but I would assume the formulation and ingredients of the brow marker aren't that different from the eyeliner marker. The only eyeliner markers I can compare this with is the NYX felt tip liner (MAC's has a finer tip and more product, 1.0mL vs 0.6mL), Kanebo Kate Super Sharp Liner (Kate's is much finer and also 0.6mL of product, but it's hard to find in North America), and Kiss Me Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner (0.4mL of product and limited colour selection - black only - also hard to get in NA). Overall, all of the felt tip markers perform the same - they stay on the full day and apply quite easily (and they're all made in Japan!) I'm sure any of the felt tip eyeliners I listed could double as brow markers too - the NYX and Kate liners are available in brown and black colours. So I think the MAC is a good product that's readily available, and an option if you're looking to supplement your current powdered product for your brows. I paid $18 Cdn for this pen, which I think is a fair price, and I would purchase this again.
I own a couple of these (Plastic Pink and Coco Rum), I bought them a while back when they were on sale for $3 CAD. Both colours are great neutrals that I can wear for work - Plastic Pink is a light coral-ly pink cream and Coco Rum is a muted plum shade. As mentioned, these are similar to MAC's Slimshine and Clinique's Buttershines. However, I find these lipsticks are actually more pigmented. When I wore the Coco Rum, it left a faint stain on my lips as it wore off, which I don't mind since it still left some colour on my lips. These are very moisturizing and do not feel heavy on the lips. There is a slight sweet scent that isn't overwhelming and there's no chemical "lipstick-y" taste. The only reason I did not give this product a 5 is because both of my lipsticks have "melted" inside the tube with just normal use - and it's not like I left it inside a hot car or in my pockets. I think the formula is too soft and the slim shape doesn't help. I can't apply this directly from the tube anymore because of this, so I have to either use my finger to dig out the product, or a lip brush. Even with this, I would buy this product again when they go on sale.
I think this product is relatively new to the Beyond Belief line at Sally Beauty Supply. I had not seen this until about 3 months ago, and I visit the store regularly. Since they were having a buy 2 get 1 free on all Beyond Belief products, I decided to stock up on my ABH scrub and serum - both of which are amazing - and also pick up this microdermabrasion scrub to try. I was expecting it to be similar or stronger to the ABH scrub, but actually, it's more gentle than the ABH scrub. The granules are very fine - they're almost a baking soda paste consistency - and there are no chemical exfoliants in the scrub (like alpha or beta hydroxy). This scrub can be used daily if wanted (whereas I could only use the ABH twice a week), and I've even used it as a lip scrub. As an added bonus, this scrub does not have any scent (I know the anise scent of the ABH bothered some people). This retails the same price as the ABH scrub (and contains the same 113mL of product), at $8.29 CAD regularly, but is $7.59 CAD with a Sally membership. If you have sensitive skin or prefer a very fine granule scrub, give this a try. I recommend and would repurchase this for myself.
I bought this during a rash of eyelash curler purchases to test out a few, and this highly raved curler fell quite short of expectations. This eyelash curler just did not fit my eye shape at all. It's too curved and pinches my lashes and lids. I've tried pressing it closer to my lash line before I curl my lashes, but all this achieved were red marks on the outer edges of my eyes. My HG eyelash curler is from Shiseido which is $18 CAD, and I've had that curler for no less than 5 years (whereas the Shu is $2 more, and I've used it a handful of times). When I place the Shu and Shiseido curlers side by side, they look quite similar in the curvature and construction, with the Shu one just slightly bigger. I find the Shu curler does not open up as wide as the Shiseido, which I find it hard to get close to my lashes. I still gave this a 3 because it's clearly a well made product, but just not a HG item for me - and it just sits in my makeup drawer collecting dust.
Smudgeliner is a new-ish eyeliner in the Annabelle brand - I find the formulation is identical to their Smoothliner, but this eyeliner comes with a rubberized smudger at the end, and Smudgeliners typically are available in brighter, more fashion-forward colours compared to Smoothliners. This colour, "wired", is a great medium bronze shade with gorgeous subtle shimmer. This bronze shade works well for my NC30 skintone in that it's not too red or orange - other bronze colours tend to make me look like I've been crying. As with the Smoothliners, this eyeliner has fantastic pigmentation and lasting power. I apply this primarily to my lash line - it offers enough open time for smudging but then it does not budge even on my oily eyelids until I remove my eye makeup at night. The Smudgeliner retails for about $2 more than the Smoothliner (same amount of product 1.2g), and while it's nice to have the smudger on the liner, it's not essential. The main draw of the Smudgeliner versus Smoothliners is the colour selection of Smudgeliner is bigger, and offers more fun shimmery shades. Besides the Bronze, I also swatched "Armour" and "Purple Storm" - I think my next shade will be "Armour" (a mauve gunmetal colour). There are 12 colours in the regular collection (Annabelle also offers LE seasonal colours). The Smudgeliners retail for approx $8 CAD and I got this on sale for about $6 CAD at Pharma Plus (also available at SDM). Definitely recommend this, and would repurchase!
Previously, I had a bad experience with Annabelle's eyeliners - namely, their regular Eyeliner Kohl, which had poor pigment and no lasting power. I'm not sure what prompted me to give Annabelle eyeliners another whirl, but I'm so glad I did! The quality of this eyeliner is on par with my other HG eyeliner - Prestige waterproof eyeliner - in fact, the pencils look nearly identical: black wooden casing, made in Germany, 1.2 g of product... I would bet money that the eyeliners were made at the same manufacturing facility! This particular colour is called "Brownie" which is a dark matte brown - it's reminiscent of Prestige's "Suede" but slightly darker. I don't really 'need' another dark brown eyeliner but one can never have too many on hand as back ups! Just like the Prestige liners, this eyeliner applies easily without tugging, and it lasts all day for me with no smudging. For those Canadian gals who have a difficult time finding Prestige eyeliners, this Annabelle Smoothliner is a great alternative. Just be sure you're picking up the Smoothliner, not the regular Eyeliner Kohl - they look very similar in the display. I bought this on sale for approx $4 CAD and this brand is readily available at SDM and Pharma Plus - it comes in 6 shades.
Despite my experience with Stila's Diamond Lil (looked green and didn't suit me), which Smoke & Diamonds is supposedly a dupe of, I still bought this colour since I love taupes. I personally disagree that S&D and Diamond Lil are exact dupes - I can wear S&D whereas Diamond Lil look weird on my NC25 skintone. The highlight colours of the 2 e/s are similar, however, S&C has a plummy undertone, whereas Diamond Lil is green. I've never worn the Starflash formula before, and to me, it's very similar to their Veluxe Pearl, maybe slightly more shimmery. When worn with an eyeshadow base, this eyeshadow does not crease on me all day. So, if Stila Diamond Lil didn't work for you, give S&D a try! Since this is LE, it is only available in a pot, so it's $17.50CAD for 1.5g pot. This colour is a repromote from their Starflash collection... odds are, this colour will make another appearance sometime in the future, if they don't make it permanent.
I bought this because it was new, and on sale - since I'm a lipbalm junkie, and a Labello fanatic - I had to find out for myself where Nivea was taking the Labello line. I knew full well that this lipbalm was meant to be light, but I just didn't anticipate that it would be so... odd in texture. The product is in solid form inside the tub, and one has to press fairly firmly to pick up any product (it's like a wax), but then, once applied to the lips, the product becomes a watery silicone type lotion. It takes some getting used to - it's similar to applying straight body lotion onto your lips. The product does seem to soften my lips, but when I tried it at night, it completely disappeared and I woke up with dry lips. The scent is a very light soapy scent, almost like the traditional Nivea hand cream - which could be kind of odd for some people, since most people are accustomed to food-type scents for lip products. The balm is not very shiny, it gives a bit of a sheen to the lips - even though the balm itself is white, it does not leave any white film on the lips. I would imagine this would be a good balm to apply underneath lipsticks. The container doesn't bother me, it's a shallow pan for greater surface area, in a lightweight plastic container which makes it easy to toss into a purse. Overall, I'm not too impressed with this, and would not repurchase, since there are much better balms out there at this price point. I paid $3CAD for this on sale, I think regularly it's $5CAD for a 9g tub.
A year or so ago, the salesperson at Sephora recommended this product to me to remove eye makeup. She gave me a sample and it worked really well. I've been a die hard Rimmel eye makeup remover because of its price and effectiveness ($7CAD for a 125mL bottle, but can be found on sale for $5), but I kept thinking about this Caudalie Cleansing Water. It came time that I wanted to try something more soothing and "natural" - I noticed that Sephora sells this in 2 different sizes: 100mL ($14CAD), and 200mL ($27CAD), so I decided to buy the 100mL bottle to try. I am amazed at how gentle yet effective this eye makeup remover is - it removes all mascara, cream eye shadows, liners without having to apply too much pressure on the delicate eye area. I also found it moisturising but does not leave a film. And I credit this toner with removing a stubborn milia at my lower lash line - I've had the milia for a few years and suddenly when I started using this, it disappeared! I also really enjoy the soft fresh scent of the grape water. At this price, it's slightly more than double the price of my reliable Rimmel eye makeup remover, but this is a treat for me. I wouldn't use this everyday, but would repurchase this for winter time when I need a little more moisture.
I picked this up in on a whim when I saw that these were on sale for $11.50CAD (regular $15.00CAD). I bought this in "9o°", which is a very wearable greyed taupe with noticeable multi-coloured sparkles. There is a slight cooling effect when first applying this eye shadow pencil, but it goes away once the gel sets. I apply the shadow directly from the pencil - it's very soft and does not tug - and then use a tapping motion with my finger to blend on my eyelid. I don't wear this by itself, but as a base for powdered eyeshadow. I've found this pencil to be perfect as a base for loose mineral eyeshadows - it grabs the powder and enhances the shimmer in the mineral powder and helps with preventing creasing. My favourite combo of this gel shadow is with Silk Naturals "Dolce" loose eyeshadow, which is supposedly a dupe for MAC's Sweet Sienna pigment - it's a great daytime look with a little oomph (I wear this to work). I don't have any interest in trying the other colours because they're not appealing to me (blues, greens, white, copper). I hope these gel shadows aren't LE - I don't know if I should by a back up because I'm worried about it drying out while I use this up! I don't have any issues with a sharpener, as I also own L'Oreal Eye Smoker pencils (discontinued!) which are the same sized pencils, and I have a dual pencil sharpener that fits those pencils. You can find the dual pencil sharpeners at beauty supply places (I saw one at Sally's Beauty Supply), or at art supply stores.
I found this description online:
Quo Cooling Gel Shadow Pencils are available in seven pretty shades — 9o° (a sepia tone), Snowdrift (pearlescent purple), Glacier (sand), Cool Breeze (pebble brown), Ice Cap (cappucino brown), Tundra (smokey grey) and Arctic Blue (grey blue) — the gel shadow is water based, formulated with natural cucumber and chamomile, and crease resistant.
Shampoo -Unlisted Brand - Head & Shoulders Citrus Breeze for oily/fine hair
amarock 8/3/2009 5:06:00 PM
This is not the Head & Shoulder shampoo from the days gone by, that's for sure! I remember when H&S only came in one scent and 1 or 2 formulations geared only toward dandruff control. This "new" formulation has breathed new life into the H&S brand and it has made me rethink its products. Of the new formulation, I have tried the Dry Scalp, and this Citrus Breeze. While I liked the Dry Scalp formula for winter months when I have tight itchy scalp, the Citrus Breeze is great for summertime to help with oily roots. This leaves my hair so clean, yet it does not strip my hair of its moisture. The scent is nice, and not overly strong. I found that on the days that I use this shampoo (I rotate my shampoos for variety and to prevent build up) my hair is extra bouncy and full of volume that lasts all day. I do not use hair conditioner since I find they tend to weigh my hair down, and this shampoo leaves my hair feeling conditioned (and I don't use this in the 2-in-1 type). I think this shampoo is great value for the money, at approx $6CAD for 430mL bottle which lasts me for 6 months (as part of my shampoo rotation). I would repurchase this item, but I'm going to try the Extra Volume next to see if it's good as well.