Cleansers -Garnier - Nutritioniste Nutri-Pure Daily Exfoliating Gel Cleanser
aryana 12/20/2009 9:29:00 PM
EDIT: Can't find this in stores lately! I hope it's not being discontinued! Works really well for my retin-a flaky skin and is one of the only cleansers I have repurchased! Don't know what all the bad reviews are about... I love this product! Just bought my second tube. I've been on Retin-A for the past few months which can make the skin flaky as it exfoliates dead skin cells, so I decided I needed a daily cleanser-scrub type of product. This has totally helped get rid of any dryness or flakiness! It has menthol and a very tingly sensation on the skin, so be aware of that in case you don't like those types of products. Personally I like it, but it can be a bit much at times when I don't feel like being all ~invigorated~ It's a great value and lasts a very long time. My drugstore was having a 2/$10 special on this and the Garnier cream scrub, so I got both. The cream scrub looks the same as this product but with a cream consistency instead of gel, so I'm going to see if that may be even better as it's winter now. This has not broken me out AT ALL, but I am on Retin-A and nothing has really made me break out since I began using it. However it is oil-free and non-comedogenic so I'm not sure why it would cause breakouts as some have said. Perhaps it's a sensitivity to menthol, as there is a lot in this product.
Bought this because of the hype... wish I hadn't! It's very hit or miss. Somtimes it makes my lashes look very nice... but most of the time it just gets them way too clumpy. I'm no longer a believer in the giant brush for big lashes. My favorite mascaras for big lashes actually have skinny bristles, such as CoverGirl lash blast. Honestly I think lash blast is so much better and it's infinitely cheaper. The DiorShow iconic looks more promising since it has what looks like more of a separating, defining brush... but I haven't tried it and definitely don't plan to after my experience with Diorshow. Also this mascara is so ridiculously over-fragranced, can't be good for the eyes. A pain to remove even with makeup remover. And as others have said, seems to dry up in the tube before you're even close to finishing the product. For the record my favorite mascaras so far are CoverGirl LashBlast, Maybelline Colossal, and 100% Pure Lengthening mascara. (And I have tried a looot of mascaras).
Shampoo -Head and Shoulders - with HyrdaZinc Ocean Lift
aryana 12/19/2009 11:44:00 PM
This does a pretty good job of keeping dandruff over control. I have dandruff this winter for some reason... never really had a problem with it before. This helps. But it seems to have a greater effect on my hair than my scalp, it makes my hair so soft and smooth! I have tried the 2-in-1 Silky Smooth as well but for some reason it doesn't have the same nice effect on my hair as the Ocean Lift variety. I'll stick to this variety from now on. Good stuff.
Adore this product! My new favorite beauty product. It's everything I was looking for in a lip stain. Long-lasting, great buildable color. It's free of artificial fragrance but still smells really nice, just like red wine (it contains red wine extracts). Also does NOT transfer (I put on lip balm after it dries and it doesn't even transfer to the tube lip balm). I haven't noticed that it is too drying but I always wear lip balm over it just in case. Definitely have to use a lip scrub often if you want to use this and have it look smooth, but that is the case with any lipstain and I'm willing to do that since I love the look :) I was skeptical about using it as a cheekstain because I use mineral makeup... the only way I could use it as a cheek stain would be to put it on pretty heavily on bare skin so it would show through the mineral makeup I put over it. I tried that and it took a while to build up the color on the cheeks but it looked really nice, probably the most natural looking blush I've tried :) If I didn't feel the need to wear MMU I would use this as a cheekstain on bare skin. The applicator is perfect too, it looks like a squeeze-tube but it has a "doe-foot" wand applicator that lets you apply it very precisely to your lips. I'm really not much of a lip product person, I don't really like lipgloss and would only wear Dr. Pepper lipsmacker on a daily basis for a slight red tint, but I finally found my perfect lip tint product :) Love how it is buildable so it can be very light/natural or dark/dramatic. Amazing value at $10... it will last a really long time. Not sure why I never noticed it in stores and only found out about it online... but I hope Sephora never discontinues it! I will admit I haven't really tried other lipstains so I don't have much to compare it to. But I found everything I was looking for in this one, and it is one of the most affordable you can find. Definitely give it a try! :) (Tip: obviously it will not last as long if you apply it over a balm or some other product. Apply it to bare lips and then apply your balm/whatever OVER it and it will last longer. If you already have stuff on your lips, the stain can't truly stain your lips very well).
Loose Powders -E.L.F. - Studio High Definition Powder
aryana 12/19/2009 11:27:00 PM
Perfect! Best finishing powder I've tried. Barely need to touch-up as it controls oil so well. Really minimizes pores and makes skin texture look really smooth. I find that applying with a powder brush works best... but the puff might be good for applying it as a base under foundation for extra oil control. I just prefer a brush because I put it on over foundation and I think the puff picks up foundation (I use mineral) and messes with my coverage more than a brush would. Also love love love the packaging. Large screw-top jar. Very professional. Great value even though it's pricier than most ELF products at $6. But you should really be using a coupon every time you shop at ELF... I used a 50% off one. Check out retailmenot dot com to see the latest coupon codes for different websites including ELF. Definitely my new favorite finishing powder!
Sunscreen -Cetaphil - UVA/UVB Defense Facial Moisturizer SPF 50
aryana 7/20/2009 5:22:00 AM
Ick! They have some nerve calling this 'non-greasy' on the label! I had high hopes for this product but I'll be returning it. Was looking for a high SPF face cream after being put on Retin-A recently. This sounded perfect as it was said to be good for sensitive skin and has SPF 50. But it's a no-go because it makes my face look like a GREASEBALL right after I put it on. If you don't wear any powder or makeup over it you look especially greasy. I don't think this made my skin more oily (it's quite dry from retin-a and acne treatments) but the lotion itself just gives your face a very greasy look. I haven't used high spf products before, but from what I hear many of them have this grease problem. I'm returning this and trying Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 30 after reading good reviews on it (as a light, non-greasy, MATTE face moisturizer). Hope that does the trick!
This stuff dries up zits overnight like nobody's business! Most effective topical I've used for acne. And it is super gentle and hydrating to the non-pimply areas of your skin, while totally killing the pimples! It works much better than my Neutrogena SkinID product, #14 - hydrator. By the way, DO NOT waste your money buying Neutrogena's SkinID. Just take their quiz and look for equivalent Neutrogena products on drugstore.com - you can compare ingredients and see that they are almost identical. My #14 cream cleanser from skinID is IDENTICAL to their Acne Stress line cream cleanser at the drugstore, except for the color and a few insignificant ingredients like cucumber extract. This 3-in-1 product is DEFINITELY a keeper... they better not discontinue it *knock on wood*! However I would NOT recommend it under makeup. It seems to ball up (especially if you use mmu and buff your makeup in). So I just use it overnight and it reeeally gets rid of zits fast :)
Makeup Brushes -Everyday Minerals - Skunkless Foptic Brush [DISCONTINUED]
aryana 3/10/2009 12:26:00 AM
I disagree with the other reviews. While this looks different from your typical fiber optic brush, you really have to try it, and don't judge this brush by its cover ;) I find that it works REALLY well for liquid makeup application. Light to Heavy, even coverage. (I need full coverage and this worked great with liquid for that purpose). The floppiness actually helps with blending in this application. It also is great at applying blush and finishing powders, or any powders, lightly. I use it to apply bright blushes like All Smiles and it works great! I have to disagree with reviews that say it does not pick up the product. I think I was ready to hate this based on bad reviews from people who were expecting a Mac-quality brush or something, but I am really glad that I own two of these brushes! I have never used a fiber optic brush before this one, but it works great for me for liquid foundation and light application of powders - two of the popular uses for fiber optic brushes - so it seems like a winner to me! I think some people are being too harsh... this is a VEGAN foptic brush, pretty unheard of, and just by nature it is going to be different from your typical foptic brush which is a combination of synthetic and animal hairs.
Cleansers -Neutrogena - SkiniD Cream Cleanser (#14)
aryana 3/2/2009 4:54:00 AM
I like this product and the skinID regimen I was given (14.32.72) HOWEVER as others have said, you can find pretty much the EXACT SAME PRODUCTS FROM NEUTROGENA IN THE DRUGSTORE FOR MUCH CHEAPER! I used the Acne Stress Control line before and it was pretty good too. I just compared the ingredients of the cream cleanser from that line (you can find the ingredients at drugstore.com) with the more expensive (and smaller bottle) skinID cleanser and THE INGREDIENTS ARE EXACTLY THE SAME except for the fact that the Acne Stress Control one contains artificial color (red & blue lakes) and cucumber/camellia extracts. Very minor differences that I don't think change the performance of the product or warrant such a price difference! Basically NEUTROGENA ACNE STRESS CONTROL CREAM CLEANSER ($6-8, drugstores) = NEUTROGENA skinID CREAM CLEANSER #14 !!!! They also have a 'hydrator' in the Acne Stress Control line which I think could easily be a substitute for the skinID #72 hydrator. Needless to say I will be cancelling my skinID membership since I can get the same products at the drugstore for around half the price (and the drugstore cleanser is 6oz while skinID is only 4oz). Neutrogena really does work well for my acne... it's what I used when I had problem-free skin so returning to it seemed logical and it gives great, fast results. But I suggest if you like your skinID products, you go to drugstore.com and look up similar products from Neutrogena, as you may well find that you can find nearly identical products at the drugstore for much cheaper!
Moisturizers -Eucerin - Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Creme
aryana 2/7/2009 7:50:00 PM
I've been using this for around a month now and I completely agree with all the rave reviews :) My skin had been dry from using salicylic acid acne treatment products, and this cream totally helped with the flaky-ness. So I completely recommend it for dry/flaky acne-prone skin. Most importantly it does not break me out at all! It's a truly gentle cream. I use it under my eyes too. I'm young but I still appreciate the anti-wrinkle aspect. Super gentle for an anti-wrinkle cream! I think this would work well for any skin type - just use more when your skin is dry and less when it is not as dry. Also it helps to wet your face before applying any cream - lets it sink in better and you avoid using too much of the product. Wears great under makeup too - mineral or liquid. It really does smell like butter which I wasn't too fond of, but it has grown on me. I love that it is fragrance and color-free! I am gonna recommend this to my mom too. ***UPDATE Dec. 2009 : Yup, still LOVE this. Still my HG moisturizer. Especially great in the winter. Just bought my 3rd jar... was very happy to find it on sale :-) I am on Retin-A now (miraculous stuff!) and this cream is great as my skin can get a little flaky at times from the Retin-A... this cream takes care of that right away :-)
Cleansers -St. Ives - Apricot Face Wash -- Blemish and Blackhead Control
aryana 1/6/2009 5:45:00 AM
I got this product quite a while ago after reading the good reviews here. I have a bad habit of switching products too often though, and used it just a few times before it started to collect dust for many months as I just used different products. Well my skin has totally been freaking out lately. Most of the cleansers I have are natural and contain lots of natural oils/butters, and I finally started to realize those are probably clogging my pores. So I reached for this stuff again. I've been using it for about a week now and my skin has just been getting clearer and clearer each day! No irritation or dryness either! Gets makeup off quite well (but I still recommend swiping with toner & a cotton ball afterward). I remember a 2% SA cleanser from Neutrogena also worked very well for me. BP does nothing for me but SA works pretty well. I think 2% SA cleansers work best on my acne because using it as a topical can be too drying (epiphany!) I wish it had a lock/open pump though since I travel between school and home a lot. I ordered Neutrogena skinID but they are being terrible with shipping "because of the holidays" so my order has yet to be shipped a week since I ordered it... but maybe that is a good thing since this has been working so great for me! I'm going to try to stick to it. Will update as I use it more.
Tinted Moisturizer -Sonia Kashuk - Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
aryana 1/6/2009 5:37:00 AM
EDIT: So I didn't like this product, and it's one that has just been sitting on myself. If you're at Target, pick up PIXI's Illuminating Tint & Conceal instead if you want a TM with a bit better coverage, higher SPF, oil-free, fragrance-free, talc-free, hypoallergenic, and with a handy concealer stick on the end! At $30 for 1 oz, I think it's pricier than the SK TM, but definitely worth it, and a little goes a long way. Haven't tried this yet, just got it today. But I just wanted to say: THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS EMU OIL! It is listed under its scientific name or something so I didn't notice. I wish they made that more clear because I don't use anything with animal ingredients... *sigh* I will use up this bottle since I got it and see how it does, but that kind of irked me. Also this is not oil-free but I think the reason why it still has great reviews and hasn't broken most of you out is that the only oils are PEG-40 Castor Oil and Emu oil, both of which are non-comedogenic oils. Will update this post with a real review soon. Just wanted to chime in about the EMU OIL for any vegans/vegetarians who may be considering this. I do have to agree about the pump though - squirts out way too much at a time. UPDATE 3/9/09: Ok, so I have used this several times now. The only thing I think it's really good for is reducing pore size - and it does that really well. I always wear it under foundation though, because I need heavy coverage. So I guess it was silly of me to get a TM in the first place, since they are not meant for coverage. It's just not really a product for me... while it minimizes pores, I don't like an extra layer of something on my skin for such a small purpose since I am so breakout-prone. This will just rot away for me, I'm afraid.
*************UPDATE: Unfortunately, this stopped working for me. No longer does anything for my acne at all. I think my skin grew resistant to the calamine. Cleared up my skin beautifully for about 2 months but now just does nothing. I think it may also have to do with inconsistency in different batches of the soap. It's a really different texture every time I get it. I still like LUSH's Herbalism but wouldn't buy any other skincare from them, especially not their face creams - Imperialis broke me out, and strangely all their face creams contain cocoa butter. *************** I've been using this for a few weeks and it's been very effective on my acne! More than any other cleanser I've ever used - and I have used many, including tons of natural facial cleansers and natural soap bars. I was not the biggest fan of LUSH before because they are not 100% natural, and this particular soap contains SLS, but I don't care because it works so well! It has made my combination/dehydrated skin a TINY bit dry, but nothing that light moisturizer won't fix. It is also a bit sloppy to use, as it doesn't foam, it creates more of a paste that is very runny so it's easier to use in the shower, but I still use it at the sink too. I LOVE the little scrubby bits it has - I think it's lavender flowers or something. They are very fine and make for great exfoliation. The bar gets a little soft/smooshy after a while so I HIGHLY recommend cutting your big bar into smaller pieces and use one smaller piece at a time to keep the soap fresh longer. (Run a knife under HOT water first, then dry it off, then cut it by pushing the knife through with a downward pushing motion, not a sawing motion. This will keep the bar from breaking/crumbling). I think what makes this bar work so well is that it has calamine which is very calming for inflammation, along with all of the most effective plants for acne (lavender, tea tree, & chamomile). ALSO another discovery that has made a huge difference in my acne along with using this soap has been using a MICROFIBER CLOTH with the soap to wash my face. Used gently, this gets all the dead skin off your face and prevents clogged pores in a way just washing with your hands can't. Microfiber cloth + Fresh Farmacy = clear skin for me, it seems! I will update in a month or so but I really feel great about this and I think it may finally be my answer to clear skin! OH and another great tip - this makes an EXCELLENT overnight spot-treatment for zits. While the soap is still wet, get some of it on your finger as a paste and dab it on your problem areas. I really see a difference in the morning.
Mascara -100 Percent Pure - Fruit Pigmented ultra lengthening mascara
aryana 7/31/2008 7:49:00 PM
I love this Mascara! I have it in Black Tea, Blackberry, and Blueberry. I especially like Blackberry (purple) and Blueberry because they really make my dark brown eyes POP! Before this I used Clinique High Impact mascara. While 100% Pure's mascara doesn't give me quite the same level of volume and length, with proper application and the help of an eyelash curler, I definitely get very long, well-separated, stunning lashes. So in conclusion, this won't give you the most voluminous lashes as compared to other mascaras that are designed for that purpose, but it lengthens really well and makes your lashes look gorgeous. I will definitely buy again! While I might use Clinique when I want really flashy lashes, this is my pick for daily use because of the 100% natural ingredients. I don't want to put chemicals on my eyelashes every day, and this mascara is the perfect solution. UPDATE 03/2009: This is still the best mascara I have used to date... and actually BETTER than Clinique High Definition, which I have trouble getting the same results with as I used to (did they reformulate?) It's so awesome that a NATURAL mascara is my favorite :)
This is by far my FAVORITE EM blush! It's really lovely. Its looks are deceiving, as in the jar it looks like a very pale, ashy, brownish-violet color (I think maybe the negative reviewer didn't actually try it on?) But when you put it on your face, it's a beutiful natural sunkissed color with a lovely shimmer. It looks so natural, yet you can dress it up and down. Definitely ordering a full size! I think this would work great for all complexions - for light to medium as a blush, and for darker tones as a all-over face color. I love EM's products and I think their blushes are some of the BEST out there!