Powder -Clinique - Perfectly Real Compact Powder Foundation
awful_cherry 3/9/2006 10:52:00 PM
I hate to break up the raves but currently I'm underwhelmed. The coverage, in my opinion, is quite light. It does look natural, but in my opinion, for a product with this little coverage to look unnatural would be absurd. I would definitely not call it "moderate." I think that the MA picked the wrong color for me, as well. I'm cool toned, NW20, and got 106, which is a neutral color. It looks light in the pan but goes on orangeish. I'm going to try this with primer underneath, and then tinted moisturizer, and see how the color of my skin changes when I'm at the beach/pool more often this month, before I return it, though. I'll update later on whether I found a way to make it wearable. I really want this to work because I have difficulties with liquid foundations, they always make me flake or melt off when it's hot -- this was a last resort before studio fix, because I've heard so many horror stories about it.
I just found another foundation I like (a liquid that covers and doesn't make me flake!) so I'm not going to go spending money trying to make this stuff work. Back to Bloomies it goes -- at least I got a GWP out of it.
Foundations -Merle Norman - Aqua Base [DISCONTINUED]
awful_cherry 2/22/2006 8:00:00 PM
I think of this as a diva foundation. When conditions are right, it performs very well, but it's just too high maintenance for me. If my skin is the least bit dry or I forget to moisturize, it makes me flake which of course looks unnatural and gross. If I sweat or something it starts to look gross. And you have to apply just the right amount. This is not a buildable coverage foundation -- if you use too little, you can see streaks on your face and it gathering in your pores, and if you use too much it will cake up. You have to blend perfectly or it looks disgusting. I have to use concealer on a lot of marks on my cheek, and this product requires so much blending that I wind up rubbing it off. I have two mirrors in my bathroom -- one is across from me when I stand at the sink, and the other is beside me and is either a magnifying mirror or just more honest because it's closer to my face. The mirror across from me will show my face looking fine, then when I look in the mirror to my side, I can see flakes and caking up and streaks and everything else. Definitely check in a mag. mirror or a compact after you've applied this. On the occasion that I'm having a good skin day and I manage to apply it right, this stuff is good. It has good coverage and a fairly matte finish (you still need to set with powder). Also, it has never irritated my skin. Even when my skin is irritated from using two prescription topicals for acne and my acne mark peel, and everything I put on my face down to the mildest unscented, non-spf moisturizer burns, this stuff feels soothing. I like the sun protection from the zinc and titanium dioxide. It also provides decent coverage. But unfortunately the formula just doesn't work on me. I think it would be more suited to oilier skin because it's drying to mine, which wavers between slightly dry to slightly oily. I also don't like having to go to the merle norman boutique to buy this, as you can't drift around trying different foundations before selecting one to buy as you could at Sephora or a department store (and since the mall my Merle Norman is in is huge, I'd actually have to drive or take a 45 minute walk to get from merle norman to sephora).
I must note that I've only ever tried this liner in black. I like dramatic eye looks in general, plus with my black lashes, nearly black hair and brows, and brown eyes, light colors look silly on me, so I only use black (and very dark brown with warm-colored eyeshadows). This black liner is quite good. It goes on neatly if I want it to, and it smudges well if I want it to, which I usually do. It is kind of hard to smudge without wiping a lot of it off, but you just have to take your time smudging and relining. For $1, who cares how much you use? It certainly performs as well as drugstore eyeliners that cost 5 or more times as much. If you're going to buy a more expensive black liner, go all the way to high end because there's nothing in the drugstore that's worth the extra money. My only gripe, strangely, is that you get too much -- the pencil is far too long. For $1, I'd rather replace it twice as often and have a pencil that fits in my makeup bag the day I buy it rather than this strangely long pencil.
Moisturizers -Aveeno - Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 15
awful_cherry 2/7/2006 12:21:00 AM
It's an okay moisturizer. I'm not very experienced in the area of moisturizers -- mostly I've just used samples -- because my 19 year old skin has only recently gotten to the point of needing something stronger than aloe gel and tinted moisturizer. It's not as greasy as the neutrogena moisturizers I've tried, and it doesn't make my skin oily. If that's all you want, I guess you could buy this, though it's kind of expensive for a drugstore moisturizer and I have a feeling that there are plenty of others you could get for a few dollars cheaper (it's about $13). It does not ultra-calm my skin. In fact, my skin has recently gotten more sensitive due to acne treatments I'm on and exfoliants I use to remove the mark, and I think that it's irritating my skin. It used to be somewhat calming but now it actually stings my face when I apply it. I'm pretty sure that has to do with the chemical sunscreen -- my skin doesn't agree with them, and since my makeup has zinc and titanium dioxide in it, there's no reason for me to use a moisturizer with SPF. It could also be the fragrance. If all you're expecting is light moisture and you aren't sensitive to fragrances or chemical sunscreens, then this is okay. If you're sensitive and need "ultra-calming", try something else.
Pretty grayish-taupe with purpley undertones. I don't think it's going to become an all-time favorite but I will definitely wear it quite a bit -- it's very versatile. Also, anyone who wants to purchase this should do so soon, as I think they may be running out (it's LE). The MAC store was out of this color when I went, and I had to go to Macy's to purchase it. Edit: I loooove this stuff now. It is a great every day eyeshadow or paired with black liner for a smokey eye. I also find the color nearly identical to sephora eye dews in stone so if you can't find this stuff maybe try that one.
If this stuff smelled just like it does 5 minutes after applying it, I would wear it every waking moment of my life, whether I was sleeping or seducing someone or attending an 8am class. It was DIVINE. Spicy enough to be sexy but still warm and comforting...I even smelled apple in it, but more apple cider than green apple (which gives me a headache). But, alas, all good things must come to an end and within half an hour my wrist just smelled like a powdery old lady. If you don't mind a powdery perfume, try it out because some of the good notes do stick around -- I just can't stand powder smells (I find the smell of baby powder offensive), and considering I'm 19, they don't "go" on me anyways.
Well, she does get points for accuracy. This smells a lot like miami beach -- as in, sweaty bodies and scented sunscreen. I'm all for beachy smells, I don't even mind the artificial coconut in d/s sunscreens -- but this makes me think of sweaty, oiled down drunk people with pina coladas. It's just kind of gross. What's next, a fragrant portrayal of the subways of brooklyn?
I would have loved this stuff a year ago. I had oily but nearly perfect skin and was using CG smoothers TM despite the fact that it was too shiny, because I wasn't about to spend a lot of money on makeup I barely needed. I don't think it suits me now. For one, it's very drying. It made my skin flake! But I'm not holding that against them too harshly because, of course, it is marketed towards oily faced people. I just didn't expect it to actually make me flake. Also, the coverage isn't great. It's light, just a little more than a tinted moisturizer, but it is buildable. I put on a few layers and it looked okay. Color selection sucks, and with limited color selection, I can never, ever find a color cool enough for my skin and so everything always looks to orangey on me. The finish is matte, you don't even need a powder. I didn't return this to the store because I could see myself wearing this during the summer on vacation to a humid climate if my skin was oilier than it is now, and since I imagine this level of coverage would be sufficient if I had a tan and once I have time to work on my post-acne marks (they're fading but not gone yet). I would have given this a three because it was so unsuitable to my skin despite the fact that the quiz on the maybelline website told me it was a good match for me (and, granted, I do have the sensitive, acne-prone skin it's advertised for, just not oily), except Maybelline gets extra points for not getting a big head and jacking up their prices a ridiculous degree like all the other brands in the drugstore. If almay and revlon continue with this trend you might as well be buying MAC or Clinique!
Update: I'm lowering my rating of this stuff. I just can't make it work. It makes my skin flake terribly every time I use it. I tried mixing it with moisturizer, figuring it'd be less drying and give a dewier, rather than powdery, finish. This brought the coverage down to zero, and my skin still flaked. I would only try this if a) you have extremely oily skin that breaks out from nearly everything (though I'd recommend you try merle norman aqua base first, similar idea but better coverage and texture), or b) you for some reason insist on buying $5 foundation, as this is probably not bad for its price range.
Cleansers -C.O. Bigelow - Gentle Oil Absorbing Clay Cleanser
awful_cherry 2/2/2006 3:37:00 AM
First of all, the smell of this stuff makes me gag. Literally, physically gag. I think it's because it smells like these antibiotics I had to take when I was younger but it's still gross. I wouldn't consider this a cleanser. It's not actually going to clean anything off your face, except maybe absorb a little oil. I wouldn't recommend anyone try to use it as a cleanser, except possibly a morning cleanser for someone who doesn't use any nighttime treatments to wash off. It's more of a treatment, with suflur and zinc oxide. But, unfortunately it doesn't actually treat anything, unless skin that is not on fire needs treating. It burns like hell and does nothing whatsoever! I don't have sensitive skin -- it takes doing a weak glycolic peel and then piling on benzoyl peroxide, differin, and vitamin C cream to make my skin sting. This made my face so painful that I was afraid when I washed it off and looked at myself I would be bright red with skin peeling off. Sulfur, kaolin, and zinc oxide are all in this and can all be effective on acne, but do yourself a favor and buy a queen helene mint julep masque instead of using this crap. Luckily I got this in the sample size for half off. If I'd paid the full sample price I'd have taken it back to the store for my $5 because I will never use it again; I'm not sure why i'm even keeping it in my bathroom. I even used it 3 or 4 times seeing if my skin would get used to it and it never did, and I never noticed it doing anything good for my skin.
Cleansers -Olay - Sensitive Skin Foaming Face Wash
awful_cherry 1/28/2006 3:17:00 AM
Love this stuff. Bought it because I was having dryness problems and sodium laureth sulfate is way down on the list of ingredients, as opposed to 2nd-4th for other cleansers. It's a good, simple cleanser that I use when my face isn't oily (I use a lot of acne and exfoliation products so my skin is sometimes an oil slick and sometimes dry and flakey).
Gorgeous pink shade with a bit of peach. I have cool skin and this is a great alternative to peach for me when I want a warm, radiant glow (no shimmer though...it's matte). Also works great to soften up a bronzer. This stuff looks good on my skin whether I'm extremely pale (winter) or very tan (summer). You also get a large amount and it doesn't take much to apply to your skin -- i've been using it a few times a week for 6 months and have barely made a dent in the blush. The brush isn't as good as an ordinary blush brush but it's also usable, not totally useless like those tiny, stiff brushes that come in drugstore blushes that would be better suited to applying eyeshadow, so it's quite portable.
I was starting to go insane because teal eyeshadows seem to be everywhere nowadays and they look ridiculous with my brown eyes. Happened upon this at the MAC store -- it's the only blue eyeshadow I own. It's light, with brownish and greenish tinges to it, so it actually works with my brown eyes. I can also wear it for day paired with brown liner and a peachy blush. I wouldn't say it's the eyeshadow that looks best on me, but I love the color and the light pigmentation, so it's a good compromise between "cool" colors and the browns and brownish-purples and brownish-greens that look good with my eyes.
I'll admit, I was first drawn to this product for the name. "Hunger Red" sounded so dark and glam, like a blush Robert Smith would wear. And it's limited edition, giving me the perfect excuse to buy on impulse. However, this is a gorgeous color IF you apply it right. This is not like cheaper cream blushes or lighter, subtler blushcremes where you just smear it on your cheek. You literally touch the stuff with a fingertip, then blend it onto your cheek. Any more than that, and it will be impossible to avoid having a giant red splotch on your cheek. After I learned how lightly to apply it, however, I was thrilled. It gives my fair (but not pale), cool-toned caucasian skin a great flush. The color is buildable if you want a deeper flush, as well. It's a little difficult to blend in but I'm not deducting any lippies for that since a more blendable blush would be creamier and thus less matte. At $17.50, the price is a little steep, but since you get a large compact and it's so pigmented that you barely have to apply any to your cheek, I imagine this would last for a very long time. If this weren't LE I would definitely repurchase, but since I think it will last so long I'm not going to stock up on it (because who knows what blush I'll be wearing 3 years from now?).
Found this product by total chance. I was 17 and driving home with a hickey late at night, and it was the cheapest concealer at the 24 hour drugstore. What a pleasant surprise! The stuff is nice and creamy, and I've continued to use it since then. I have no lines around my eyes, so I don't know about it settling into them, but it covers undereye circles decently and blends well over blemishes. Not a heavy duty concealer but the best thing you'll find at a drugstore, and nice and cheap compared to l'oreal, revlon, and the other "cheap" brands who seem to be slowly hiking up their prices to clinique level.
Just went through my first tube of this. I do love what it did to my lashes -- of all the mascaras I've tried, it's my favorite. I have naturally long, thick, dark, lashes -- I like a mascara that doesn't give too much length or curl (otherwise my lashes will touch my eyelids and smear mascara on them) but gives lots of dramatic thickness (otherwise, I wouldn't bother with mascara in the first place). It does give great thickness, and is very buildable without clumping. And I love the large, dense brush. However, I'm not going to repurchase because I'm not sure that it's worth the money. I prefer dry mascaras (otherwise my lashes smear them onto my eyelids) which means the ones I really like dry up and lose effectiveness fast, and this is no exception. As a college student I can't justify buying this stuff every 6 weeks; that's over $150 a year! If mascara were like any other beauty product and could be kept until it ran out, I'd definitely continue to repurchase, but it doesn't last long enough to justify the expense. However, if the price isn't a huge concern for you, I definitely recommend it.