Okay, let's get things straight about this lye stuff. I'm no skin expert, but there is enough information to back up what I'm saying (if you're skeptical of me because I'm young, you can look up the info I give). I'm not spewing nonsense chemical info. I'll try to keep bias out of this review, until the end where I actually review this product An important note: pH depends on the concentration of the compound, so I can't tell you the pH of this or that. It really depends on what the concentration of the chemical used is. There seems to be different formulas of Noxema. Noxema MAY OR MAY NOT have been using sodium hydroxide in their old formulas. Currently, I cannot find anyone selling a tub of noxema that contains this ingredient. missnat says Noxema contains calcium hydroxide. But all the sites and ingrediant lists I've seen say it contains ammonium hydroxide. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), also known as lye, can be dissolve to create extremely alkaline solutions. It is a very strong base that almost entire dissociates into ions in water. Solutions of NaOH of 0.5 M (molarity) and above is extremely caustic. I have not found an ingredient label for Noxema that lists this. And if there was NaOH in an old formula, who knows how concentrated that base was? Ammonium hydroxide (NH3OH, though technically this isn't possible and only exists in solutions where the compounds are dissociated) can also make very alkaline solutions, though not as strong as NaOH. Wikipedia says household ammonia is a dilute form of ammonium hydroxide. I don't know if this is true. But like I've said before, THIS product might have a very low concentration of ammonium hydroxide. Calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) is also fairly alkaline. It is used in the place of NaOH in no-lye relaxers. Wikipedia says this ingredient can be found in Nair. Then again, it is also contained in "calcium supplement[s] in mineral fortified baby formulas". (Wikipedia, yeah yeah I know). Again, yes, it's alkaline, but how concentrated is it? Human skin has a pH around 5.5 (different sources vary by 0.1 or so). Compounds ending with "hydroxide" are bases. Now, my opinions and biases: I don't think it's good to wash your barely acidic face with a basic solution. But some things work for one person's face while it totally ruins another. End scientific rant. I have an AP Chemistry test tomorrow. I really should be studying for that instead of writing reviews on MUA. But my teacher said Noxema was made of NaOH and I was like, "REALLY?!" and had to check it out. The Noxema sold in USA at this time isn't made of that. ------ THE ACTUAL REVIEW ------ Opinions and personal experiences continued.: My mother used this when she was younger (it worked well for her), and she recommended it to me when I got chemical burns/rashes from Pond's. (I was sensitive to the cyanide.) I chose not to buy Noxema because at that time (and even now) I'm very sensitive to anything that 'tingles' or 'refreshes'. But I don't think my mother would have recommended it to me without good reason. You know what, someone should really stick a pH indicator in that tub of Noxema.
Eyeliner -Wet 'n' Wild - Mega Liner Liquid Eyeliner
ccjcjl 9/15/2009 6:28:00 PM
I did a swatch of my 3 black WnW eyeliners on the back of my hand: this liquid liner, WnW creme liner, and WnW H2O pencil liner. A few minutes after application (3 minutes, maybe), I patted each, and the creme liner and liquid liner were only moderately dry. An hour later, I washed my hand with water. This one melted off first (it really did "melt" off), followed by the creme and then the pencil. It makes a nice line (bold, very black), but I don't like how it can't withstand even a drop of water. I know this isn't waterproof, but it would be nice to have a little more staying power. O/T: The creme liner showed up as a gentle black (but definitely black) and the H2O liner showed up as gray.
I used this as a cleanser only and it caused very bad allergic reactions. It does remove makeup very well, and the container isn't so bad (I keep a mini scoop inside of it), but I will never, ever buy this product again. It makes my face numb (temporarily) and causes burn-like rashes on my face (permanently?!). It looked like rosacea, with a lot of bumps (whiteheads and blackheads galore!) in the red areas. And now, 5-6 months later, I still look like I have very mild rosacea. I'm wondering if I actually have the skin condition. I think I'm allergic to the ceresin in this product, like many others are. Edit, October 2009: I think I've had sensitive skin before this product. The cream just made it that much more apparent.
Eye Makeup Remover -Lancome - Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Make-up Remover
ccjcjl 9/13/2009 5:29:00 PM
Unlike many reviewers, I like the small opening. I like how I can get some product onto a q-tip without dipping all that lint into the bottle. But the product itself isn't worth the huge price tag. I wear Wet n Wild eyeliners, and they're really difficult to remove. This eye makeup remover takes off most of it, but still leaves this dark-grey area under my eyes (I apply eyeliner exclusively to my upper eyelids.) This makeup remover is better than others that I've tried (Clinique, Pond's, etc.), but if I run out of this, I'll definitely not repurchase.
Eye Makeup Remover -Clinique - Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent
ccjcjl 9/13/2009 5:23:00 PM
I use Wet n Wild eyeliners (usually the creme liner in black), and almost all liners from this brand are known for their staying power. This removes just as much eye makeup as a plain cleanser would (which isn't much), stings really badly, and dries my eyes out. I have blood-shot eyes hours after using this. Not contact-lens-friendly.
Edit: It's actually slightly pink! And it has sparkles and shimmers in it! I bought this in Neutralizer, which is yellow-toned. It covers dark circles very well, but doesn't do much over broken skin. It didn't break me out even though it had very heavy coverage. I'm currently trying to wean myself off of foundation/concealer/powder, but I'll repurchase if I find myself needing a concealer.
Like Gabster90 said, this is so dark that almost everyone would mistake it for black. I usually wear a lot of dark colors and I don't want to be seen as an emo/goth/rocker type, so this is bad. I'm thinking about mixing in a white nail polish to lighten the color just a bit. But besides the color, this product is good. With a clear polish as a top/base coat (Wet n Wild clear nail protector), I only had minor wear on the edges after a week. I'll repurchase if I can alter the color to my taste.
Edit: I finally realized that this color is making my skin look yellow. Knocked off a lippie. :( I LOVE this color. A single coat gives you a bright red :( but two coats will give you the bottle's color. I thought that I couldn't do reds, but apparently this is an exception! It didn't stain, though it was difficult to remove with non-acetone nail polish remover. If I could only pick one nail color, it would be this. Also, there was very minor wear on the tips with clear polish as top/base coat. (I used Wet n Wild clear nail protector.) No chips, but just "pushed back" a bit. I don't wear nail polish often, but I'll repurchase this if I run out.
Eyeliner -Wet 'n' Wild - Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Pencil in 657 Deep Blue
ccjcjl 9/13/2009 2:56:00 AM
This eyeliner smudges sooo badly. I put it on and it smudges almost immediately. The color's a bit dull, too. I'll give it two lippies because the pencil is soft.
Treatments -Burt's Bees - Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
ccjcjl 9/13/2009 2:52:00 AM
I love the smell of the cream! It's very citrus-y, though the scent dissipates quickly. Although it has a waxy consistency, the product absorbs very quickly, and it doesn't transfer onto anything else. I used this on my toes in addition to my fingertips because they were so dry --- they look much better now. But it really isn't all that special; I could use Vaseline or Aquaphor instead. I won't be repurchasing.
I have a very light upper lip and I was looking for something that would make my lips match. I bought this because many people raved that this was a MLBB color. But this liner looks garish on me. I would only use this for a formal occasion, and even then I'd smudge it and take off most of it. I can't use this smudged under clear gloss because it's so dark compared to my lips. Also, it makes my lips itch a bit, which I would have ignored if the color fitted me more. The texture is silky, though, so I'll give two lippies for that.
I don't know why, but whenever I wear Chapstick (original/cherry flavor), my lips get a little numb. And it tastes funny. :( It doesn't moisturize much, either. I like Chapblock (the CVS knock-off of Chapstick) much better. It's more moisturizing, doesn't numb my lips or smell weird, and its cherry balm gives more color than cherry Chapstick.
Concealers -Maybelline - Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer
ccjcjl 8/13/2009 5:06:00 PM
I returned this recently. This was my first concealer, so I freaked out in joy when I first put it on. But on the second day and on the days following, I realized how awful this product is. This product has sheer coverage. It feels like I put on a heavy concealer, but looks like I have on some light-coverage foundation. Also, it makes my face look oily. Not a nice dewy look, but oily. Oil is not bad: I wash my face with oil and moisturize using a product containing oil. The oil in my skincare products make my face glow, but this makes me look like I haven't washed my face for a day. So to fix the oily-looking "finish," I apply face powder. Alas, nothing can save this concealer. It looks really blotchy whatever I do. Even if I let this "set" before I put on my pressed powder, it accentuates (small) bumps. I'm guessing it would do similar things for wrinkles. This concealer would work for someone with near-perfect, completely-smooth skin. (But then why would she be using concealer?) But it's not for me. I'm currently using CoverGirl Smoothers Concealer, if anyone is interested. It comes in stick form, but it's unbelievably creamy. The color selection is very limited, though.
Pressed Powders -Rimmel - Stay Matte Pressed Powder (ALL)
ccjcjl 8/8/2009 12:51:00 AM
I'm a fair-to-medium-skinned Eastern Asian and I got this in Sandstorm (004), though I think Silky Beige (005) may have been a better match. This powder might work for some people, but it definitely doesn't work for me. I have dry, flaky, sensitive skin, and this further aggravated it. However, I give it 3 lippies for giving medium (but not very buildable) coverage and for staying put. Edit: I mixed some alcohol and glycerin into it (actually, I put hand sanitizer in it because I had to mix in some other pressed powder that broke), and it doesn't dry out my skin as much. Do this at your own risk, though! The powder actually became finer.
Eyeliner -Wet 'n' Wild - H2O Proof Blending Eye Pencil in 791 Black Chrome
ccjcjl 7/17/2009 4:07:00 PM
I’m not allergic to it. :) I’m a contact wearer and I usually get itchy wherever the eyeliner lands (eyes, eye area, entire face) so that’s a relief. But besides that plus point, there's nothing much to this eyeliner. It smudges a bit. The pencil is on the hard side, and I don't like how I have to keep on applying to get any real color. The pencil is good if you are short for money (like I am) and need an eyeliner right away, but if you've got the money, it's a good idea to invest in something better. I have to mention that this eyeliner smudges much less than the non-water-proof version. So if you're going to buy WnW pencil eyeliner, spend that extra dollar to get the waterproof one. Edit: Check out WnW's creme eyeliner! It lasts so much longer and has been compared to MAC's Blacktrack.