It seems like I like just about every Kenzo scent that has been released so far, so I wasn't worried when I ordered this one. It did not disappoint! Notes given are vanilla, orchid, jasmine and passionfruit. What I like the best about this scent is that it is fruity and floral and vanilla all at once. From beginning to end, all the dominant notes can be detected, and they blend and balance very well together. This is not a thin or sharp fruit at all, its round and luscious and has a nice depth to it. The jasmine did not turn sharp on me at all, and I was glad, because sometimes I find jasmine to be overpowering on me. It's held soft by the fruits. Gourmandies will love this! It's one of the few vanilla-based scents that I have that isn't too heavy for hot weather. I do get the sense of a tropical island! I should remove one lippie for lasting power, because it was gone within just a few hours, but I can't dock it for that because it is probably just made to be that way. Another worthy scent from a great perfume house!
Blush -Laura Geller - Blush n Brighten Pink Grapefruit
cavewoman 7/14/2008 9:32:00 PM
I bought my first Pink Grapefruit at a Sephora store, because of the demonstrations on QVC and for the raves it got here on makeupalley. When I got mine home and opened it, I was so surprised to see that it was dark, and brownish, nowhere near the color I expected it to be. This is the inherent problem with these baked products. They vary from one box to another, and you can't open them all to choose the one you'd like. I wish it had been pinker or lighter. I took it back. Then I decided to try it again, and the second one was even darker than the first and actually resembled more of a dark bronzer than anything even close to pink-peach that it is supposed to be. I was just glad to swap it away. Just for comparison, if you are liking these baked products, Prestige and Physicians Formula also have them, also made in Italy and you can go through them all to choose the one you want. And MAC, when they offer these types of products, has a see-through box and compact so you can see the swirls and colors and choose the one that you like. When I bought Lightscapade, my MAC SA went through her entire stock with me to let me pick the ones I liked the best. And so, just be aware that with Geller, you never really know what you are getting until you bring it home and open the box. Even looking at a tester is not going to guarantee that yours will look like that.
Powders -Smashbox - Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder
cavewoman 6/19/2008 5:33:00 PM
If you are an NW20, do not buy the Light in this Halo Powder, wow is it ever dark. I feel like I have too much color on my face. I do like the glow it gives and it doesn't look like I'm wearing powder, but this shade is going back and I am going to try it in Fair. I will update the review when that color arrives. In the meantime, my face hasn't felt dry or tight all day, the brush that comes with the set is really good, nicely shaped, and small enough to give good control and put the powder just where you want it. I like that you can easily just shave the amount of powder you want, it's way easier to use that way and not waste powder. I am impressed so far, and I hope the Fair is a better match. Will update. Update: Yes, the Fair was a perfect match. I love this product! It gives a very pretty glow but without the weird sheen of products like BE. There is no gimmick with Halo. It's great for dry skin, I've used it by itself and also over foundation, and it is nice to say that the claims made for this product are basically true. I will definitely buy again!
I feel badly about ruining the perfect score that this sponge has already received here on productville, but I wanted to write a few thoughts about my experience with this product. First of all, it had a weird chemical smell to it when I first took it out of the package. I washed it and the smell went away for the most part, but I can still detect it a bit. I used the sponge with my Carmindy foundation and it soaked up the product so quickly that I had to pump out another pump in order to finish my foundation application! That never happened with the Beautybender, used either damp or dry! So I tried the Kashuk again, this time slightly dampened, and the foundation went on so unevenly that I had to retouch with my fingers. Another reason I am not so crazy about the Kashuk version is that it is so big! I had to keep turning the sponge to try different parts of it to get close to the sides of my nose and near the eye area. And it's stiff, too. It is not nearly as soft and pliable as the Beautyblender. I had high hopes because the Kashuk is half the price of the Beautyblender, but now that I have tried it, I'm going back to the pink. I won't repurchase the Kashuk.
Highlighters -Boots - No7 High Lights Illuminating Lotion
cavewoman 5/24/2008 9:34:00 AM
I wish I had discovered this beautiful Boots No7 High Lights Illuminating Lotion before I forked out big bucks for the Armani Fluid Sheer that I recently purchased. This is the second time I've found a Boots product that is so similar to an Armani product that I can't find any differences at all! (see my review for Boots True Identity.) Both the Boots High Lights and the Armani Fluid Sheers are made in France. The Boots is a pink pearly liquid in a very nice glass bottle with a pump that allows you to dispense the exact amount you want. I wear it under foundation to just give a glow to my Winter-weary skin. It's luminous but not greasy looking, it feels very smooth on the skin, and it lasted all day under my Carmindy foundation. It does not have an iridescent flash like some of the Armani FS. I do not break out from makeup product so I can't really address that issue. My skin is dry, and this did not aggravate the dry skin, nor did it flake or clump into lines and wrinkles. It's just a very good under-foundation product to add glow to the skin without oil-slick sheen. Ingredients are: Water, butylene glycol, cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, dimethicone, mica, cyclohexasiloxane, glyceryl stearate, peg-100 stearate, hydrogenated coco-glycerides, methylparaben, xanthan gum, propylparaben, ci 77891 (titanium dioxide) ci 77491 (iron oxides.)
Tinted Moisturizer -Boots - No7 Soft and Sheer Tinted Moisturiser
cavewoman 5/15/2008 7:24:00 PM
Another great Boots product, this tinted moisturizer is wonderful on my dry skin, gives me a decent sun protection, and a pretty glow, too. Slightly more sheer than the Lancome Bienfait MultiVital that I love so much, but very similar in just about every other way. I am an NW20 and I chose Light in the Boots because I've come to know that their foundations tend to run a bit dark. It's perfect for me. It does spread on rather light but after a few minutes the color seems to adjust and there are no lines of demarcation at all. It melts into my skin and feels comfortable and gives a nice healthy dewy look. Comes in a 50ml squeeze tube which has a very convenient flip-top cap. It is easy to just squeeze out the amount you need. The only drawback is that the tube is white, it's opaque, so you can't really see how much is left. If you hold it up to a lightbulb you can sort of see how much is in the tube. The sun protection is SPF 15, mostly from oxtinoxate and a little from titanium dioxide. I've come to know that the titanium dioxide is an ingredient that is drying on my skin, and in this formula it's only 1.9%. And that is why I decided to try it. I'm thrilled to find a less expensive TM because I had been using the Lancome. This product is made in France and the ingredients are printed on the box. Here they are: Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, cyclopentasiloxane, glyceryl stearate, cetyl alcohol, dimethicone, petrolatum, paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), mica, peg-100 stearate, cyclohexasiloxane, c18036 acid glycol ester, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, sodium stearoyl lactylate, polyacrylamide, talc, propylparaben, xanthan gum, sodium polyacrylate, alumina, c13-14 isoparaffin, tetrasodium edta, laureth-7, bht. May contain ci 77891 titanium dioxide, ci77492 iron oxides, ci77491 iron oxides, ci77499 iron oxides. A word about titanium dioxide, this is a physical sunblock that may give the skin a whitish appearance. Think of a tube of white acrylic paint that an artist would use. That white paint is called titanium white. It's thick and opaque. And now a word about the ingredients. There are things on this list that might cause some people to break out or get blemishes. I am lucky that I don't break out at all from facial products, so I can't address the breakout issue with this Boots product. I'm happy with it and would definitely repurchase.
Boots No7 True Identity foundation is a very velvety product that is almost exactly the same as the Armani Face Fabric. It's full of silicone and it's hard to say whether it's a cream, a liquid, or a tinted moisturizer. There are very few shades to choose from, and the Light was too dark for me (NW20) -- and the formula is too dry on my dry skin. If you're looking for a very velvety-super matte finish and not alot of coverage, this could work for you and it's way less expensive than the Armani. It is easy to dispense the exact amount you want with the squeeze tube, but it's black so you can't see how much is remaining in the tube. Ingredients: cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone crosspolymer, talc, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, cyclohexasiloxane, cetyl dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, tocopheryl acetate, dimethicone, paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil,) retinyl palmitate, triethoxycaprylylsilane, methylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben, tocopherol, may contain titanium dioxide and three iron oxides. Made in France.
Primer/ Corrector -Revlon - Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer
cavewoman 5/11/2008 9:10:00 PM
This new primer from the Revlon Beyond Naturals collection is about as close to Smashbox's original PhotoFinish as I have found, with one slight exception, it's not quite as drying on me as the Smashbox. I wore Smashbox for years until my skin seemed to turn super-dry overnight, and it took me a few months to realize it wasn't working for me anymore. I did lots of primer testing and ended up finding a few that now work well for me, but I am always looking for what's new. I found this new Revlon recently at Walgreens. On the plus side, it's a clear tube, easy to squeeze out just the right amount, and it is easy to smooth on, and it dries pretty quickly too. Very good at diminishing the size and appearance of pores and lines, and gives a velvety look to the complexion. If you love Smashbox or other silicone based primers, this is a good one to try, and it's less than half the price of Smashbox (this tube is .85oz) but if silicones are not your friend, pass on this product. The ingredients are printed on the shrink-wrap, very tiny print, lots of 'cones, some fruit extracts, and fragrance is also listed. I did actually like the scent of this product, it is very faint and kind of fresh. I will be able to use this primer when the weather turns warm (if it ever does!) and I don't need the more emollient products that I need right now. This primer is far superior to the other two Revlon primers that they launched within the last year under the Age Defying group.
Liquid -Revlon - Beyond Natural Skin Matching Makeup SPF 15
cavewoman 5/11/2008 8:55:00 PM
This new foundation by Revlon is similar to the Almay Smart Shade in that it is a white liquid that has brown dots in it, and when you smooth it onto the skin, it starts to change into a skin shade that is supposed to match your skin. And it does! I am an NW20 and I chose the shade called Light-Medium. It is a perfect match for me. It is just slightly more moist than the Almay, and it's easy to smooth on, but you have to do it just one area at a time. I didn't use the beautyblender with this because I didn't think it would work, since this foundation has to be actually blended onto the skin. At first I was pleased because it is not quite as matte as the Almay. At the end of the day, I noticed that it had gotten very dry looking on my face, and even had cracked in places and flaked and caked in other places. I guess this formula is not for me with my very dry skin. But I think it would work well for oily or combo skin types. The sunscreen is part titanium dioxide (3.9%) and part zinc oxide (2.0%). The ingredients list shows: water, dimethicone and other silicone-type ingredients, plus some fruit extracts, denatured alcohol, more cones, and parabens, it's a very long list that is printed on the shrink-overwrap, and it's slightly wrinkled so it is hard to read. I think this could be a good foundation if my skin were not so dry, and for people who like a decent physical sunscreen in their foundation. Lasting power is really good. I even took a nap with this foundation on and there was absolutely no ruboff on the pillowcase. Comes in an opaque squeeze tube, which is good for being able to squeeze out just the amount you want as you use it, but not so good to see what remains in the tube. If you are combo to oily, it could work for you.
Concealers -Lancome - Maquicomplet (Complete Coverage Concealer)
cavewoman 5/11/2008 7:29:00 AM
This review is for the Maquicomplet Complete Coverage Concealer in the color called Brightener. In my search for good concealers for under the eye, I am always reading about how a peachy-apricot shade can brighten better under the eye than a skin-shade does. I tested this Brightener shade at the local Lancome counter at Macy's from a tester that was on a new display with a few other new shades of this product. Here is a product with just about instant gratification when it comes to results! Even the kind and helpful SA was astonished at how this shade worked for me! She hadn't even tried it yet since she said the shade was a new one. It was almost the end of a very long day, I was tired, and my eyes showed it. With just a little Brightener, my eyes looked refreshed, and the best part is that it does not give the tell-tale "concealer" look. It is very easy to blend and for me it did not crease or cake, and it stayed put til I removed it. It didn't settle into any fine lines, either. This Brightener does not dry down to a matte or powder finish, so it would be good for people with dry skin. The only drawback is the packaging, which is black, so you can't see when you're running out of product. The packaging is a sponge wand-type applicator. I dabbed the wand on my finger and just tapped the product under the eye. It is a very wet formula but also very opaque, it is easy to blend, and has a kind of luminous effect without being shiny or too glowy. If you've been looking for that peachy undereye product, give this a try.
Fragrances -Yves Saint Laurent - Paris Pont des Amours LE EDT
cavewoman 5/5/2008 3:04:00 PM
Pont Des Amours is the newest of the Springtime Fragrance limited editions of YSL Paris. This has to be the lightest of all the Paris Springtime editions, it is fresh as could be and still maintains its roots in the original version of Paris. That's what I love about these Springtime editions. You always know you're wearing Paris, but with just a twist here and there. Pont Des Amours has the rose-violet accord that I love, with a little orange blossom for sweetness, and a base with sandalwood and musk. The musk is barely there. The 4.2oz bottle sells for about $55 (Bloomingdales has it) and it's now showing up at some online discount perfume websites too. The bottle is the classic Paris bottle coated in a pretty iridescent finish, and a surprise is the new listing on the back of the box of some of the ingredients. This is in keeping with the new French regulations regarding possible irritants. It's not necessarily a list of notes. I would not repurchase this Pont Des Amours only because I never finish any of the LE's. I will be reaching for this one when the weather turns warmer and I want a pretty evening scent.
The latest addition to the La Collection group of re-releases, Peut-Etre is the musk for people who hate musk scents. That's me. I found this scent at Saks, which has an exclusive distribution on it at least for now. I went to the store with "bare" wrists just in case there was a tester, and when I saw it, I sprayed, I swooned, and I bought! These special editions from Lancome are 1.7 Eaux Des Parfums, and the price is $125 USD. Now for the scent itself. Peut-Etre has no irritating crisp can't-wait-til-that's-gone top notes, it immediately presents itself as a round blend of sweet florals and the musk is evident right from the top. Don't think of heavy, sweaty musks -- there is absolutely nothing heavy or overpowering at all to be found in Peut-Etre. The musk reminds me of Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely, which is the only other musk-based scent that I've ever liked. This is that type of soft, light musk. I am getting a hint of sweet floral like an orange-blossom and there is also a lemony-rose and iris in the blend. It's not a lemon scent at all. Just a freshness. It's not complex or confusing, it's feminine and romantic and the lasting power is amazing on me. The iris is just an accent note, it does not seem like any of the iris-based (Prada or I Profumi Di Firenze) types. I'm not fond of iris in general, but in Peut-Etre, it just seems to balance out the florals and add a touch of fruitiness, almost like a plum note. I'm not yet a musk convert, but I've been wearing this just about non-stop since I bought it, and I'm definitely repurchasing. I hope that Lancome keeps this one around for a long time. I think it could be worn year-around, but right now it just seems right for warm Spring days.
My face needs a primer under foundation. A lifetime of oily skin (which now has turned dry) has left me with large pores. Combine large pores with dry skin, and the challenge is to find a primer that won't dry my face out and drain my face of moisture, but still create a smooth surface. The silicone-heavy primers are just draining all the moisture out of my face right now, and causing my favorite foundations to appear heavy and cakey because the silicone has a tendency to suck the moisture out of my foundations. I have had to stop using my Smashbox PhotoFinish for that reason, it's just too drying on me now. But I love the pore-minimizing effect of Smashbox, and the PhotoFinish with Dermaxyl is better, but I don't want an SPF in my primer. I've been using Borghese Prima Viso now and I'm happy with the results, but I could not resist the new Sally Hansen Inspired By Carmindy Luminizing Face Primer, so I bought it at the only CVS store here that's carrying the Carmindy line. So far, I'm very pleased! This primer has more slip than Smashbox, it's thinner in texture, and it has a slight shimmery effect on the skin which looks very pretty and naturally glowing under foundation. It doesnt' fill in pores and lines as effectively as the original Smashbox, but it does well enough and has not clogged my pores, either. This primer does contain silicones, just not as thick as Smashbox. The main objection I have is the pump bottle, and although it is glass and very nice and elegant for drugstore packaging, I have yet to press this pump and not have the primer squirt all over my clothes and the bathroom sink! I will repurchase this primer so I hope it's just that I got a defective pump here with this first one. The primer feels comfortable and moisturizing on my face, and under the Carmindy foundation, my makeup application lasts all day without wearing unevenly or turning color, no caking or drying effects, no blotchy wear. Before you put on your foundation, it appears to have some shimmer, but then with foundation over it, it's just a nice natural glow, a luminous effect. It's wonderful! This is not an oil-free primer, and people with oily skin won't like it. I recommend it for people with dry skin who are looking for a primer that gives a natural and glowing effect with their foundations. I took off one lippie because of the pump and because if you are looking for ultimate pore-disappearing, it's not quite as good at that as Smashbox. But it is good enough for me to repurchase, and I will. This product is made in Italy, and here are the ingredients, which are printed on the shrink-wrap and not on the bottle itself: (with apologies for any spelling mistakes): Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Tribehenin, Mica, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dipropylene Glycol, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Olea Europa (Olive) Leaf Extract, Tropolone, Quercus Suber Bark Extract, Titanium Dioxide (CI77891). If you are in the Northeast Ohio area, page me for the two stores where I have found the Carmindy line.
Styling Products -Aveda - Pure Abundance Hair Potion
cavewoman 4/14/2008 8:40:00 PM
This little bottle of magic has transformed my wispy, baby fine hair! I have a shoulder-length, heavily shattered bob, and I'm not very adept at styling it to make the shattered ends look separated and chunky and stand out a bit from my head, which is how this shattered bob style is supposed to look. My hairdresser at the local Aveda salon reached for this powder-in-a-bottle and just shook some into her hand, rubbed her hands together, and started to just pull her hands through the ends of my hair with the liquefied powder. Then she started lifting little sections and just shaking the powder into the scalp area, and then working her fingers through my hair at the roots. Instant fullness! I look as if I have twice as much hair! And this is a product I can use at home -- it's so easy! If you have baby-fine hair and you crave some thickness, this is the product to buy. I see from the other reviews that there have been similar products, but I'd never heard of this type of product and haven't tried any others. It does not make the hair sticky or stiff like a hairspray. It just volumizes and looks totally natural and undetectable. You can either just shake it into the hair and then work it, or just lift esctions and shake at the roots. It really requires very little effort! It washes out easily too. Wish it came in a giant bottle! I will repurchase again and again! Huge RAVE to Aveda!! This stuff is genius!
Masks -Boots - Boots No7 Pamper & Peel Radiance Mask
cavewoman 4/14/2008 10:54:00 AM
I have been looking for a peel-off mask to try to alleviate some flaking on my dry skin, and to clear out my pores on the nose and surrounding area. I spotted this mask at Target and decided to give it a try, because so many Boots products get lots of raves on makeupalley. On the box, the product promises "a gentle revitalising treat for smoother, brighter, beautiful skin" so how could I resist! The product comes in a lovely heavy frosted glass jar, along with a little synthetic bristle fan brush with which to apply the mask. The product is purple gel, and at first the smell is horrible like nail polish remover! That dissipates quickly and then it just smells of a faint fruity scent. I applied the peel with the brush and waited the 25 minutes that the box suggests. There is the usual slightly tight effect as it dries. I peeled off the mask and my face felt as if there were something slightly sticky remaining, but the box does suggest to "wash away any mask that is left behind" so I did that. My face felt pleasant but not particularly different or smooth, and the flakes that I had hoped would disappear with the peel were still there. And my pores were not cleared out with the mask, either. I give this mask a 2 because the next day I noticed that my face felt so incredibly soft and smooth. So, it's ok as a softening mask, but don't expect anything dramatic. Ingredients are: Water, polyvinyl alcohol, butylene glycol, PVP, PEG-75, polysorbate 20, PPG-5-ceteth-20, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, sodium pca, methylparaben, carbomer, parfum, potassium hydroxide, dipropylene glycol, glycerin, pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract, butylparaben, ethylparben, tetrasodium edta, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, panax ginseng root extract, morus alba leaf extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, spirae ulmaria flower extract, CI 14700 Red 4, CI 42090 Blue 1.