Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Olive Oil as Serum for Hair
jmmcd 4/30/2010 10:15:00 AM
I always keep extra olive oil in my cupboards because it is so great for so many different things. It can be a hot oil treatment, hair oil, cleanser, all over moisturizer, overnight conditioner, and as a heated masque or steamed masque it works wonders for helping to soften and dislodge blackheads. While it's not a primary item for me with the exception of helping my bentonite masque better remove blackheads, it is definitely a great back up for most purposes. My only beef is that it is so heavy and rich that it's not the most practical solution for a lot of these things as the smallest slip up can result in a greasy look/feel and the container itself makes it difficult to pour out just the right amount.
Skincare - Body -Unlisted Brand - Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel
jmmcd 4/30/2010 10:07:00 AM
Not just this aloe vera gel but just about any regular aloe vera gel makes a super awesome oil free moisturizer for any part of your body - face, hair, body. I use this as a facial moisturizer, an overnight moisturizer in my hair, a general moisturizer for my body, an after shave moisturizer, and it also works great if I need to shave and don't have the time to hop in the shower to do it. I just spread a thin layer of aloe vera gel on my skin and then shave. It glides well and is completely non-irritating. So far I have found that it also helps to clear up redness, razor bumps/irritation, and acne. It also smooths my skin and balances out the pH so excess oil is less of an issue.
These are pretty decent for the price. The pigmentation isn't great so sometimes it takes more than one coat to get the job done even with primer, but at least you're less at risk of going too dark (sorry, I'm not a fan of the super shocking eye makeup fad). Some shades though are ridiculously dark, like the greenish khaki one in Noveau Neutrals. They stay on pretty well with primer and don't crease too badly. The color combinations are superb. I like that the containers include a little mirror where the applicator is, but the applicator is garbage as in most quads. It's much better to use brushes, especially since you can pick up more powder that way.
This is by far the best eyeliner pencil I've ever gotten for $1. The gel formula has just the right balance of wax and oil to make the application smooth, non irritating, and remarkably long lasting given that it is so smooth and non irritating to apply. This is another one of those makeup basics that E.L.F. just got completely right. I also love how the pigmentation is actually brightening - I can actually wear darker shades of this without them making my eyes look smaller. They actually make them look a bit bigger, though not as much so as lighter colors do. This eyeliner also has lasted me all day with little smudging. Awesome deal! :)
So far I've only tried the waterproof side of this. I've kind of steered clear of the regular side because I know how $1 regular mascara can be and I seriously doubt E.L.F. can charm their way out of that one with their $1 mascara. However, I have really been impressed by the waterproof mascara. I've tried much more expensive ones and the majority of them have ran at least a little. But one day I was wearing this and had a bad day where I was crying a bunch all day. By the end of the day there was just a mere ghost of a smudge becoming apparent below my eyes. I mean, I had to get up close in the mirror to really see it. Color me impressed! I didn't think a $1 waterproof mascara could be that good... I just figured it would hold up more like a good regular mascara than the regular mascara side would. The downside is that like most cheap waterproof mascaras, this one is slightly clumpy, doesn't do much for length, and makes your eyelashes as hard as can be which makes them prone to breakage. If you know what you're doing though it's nothing that will stop you. I just apply a few coats to the base to work up the volume without adding clumps to the ends of my lashes, then very gently stroke the brush along the tips to color them and add as much length as possible. Next I follow up with an eyelash wand to clear up any clumps and better separate the lashes. I still prefer the mineral mascara which provides a much smoother and natural like coat, but I'm definitely going to start using this stuff when I suspect it may be a rainy day or something. It's fantastic at staying put.
Lip Gloss -E.L.F. - Super Glossy Lip Shine SPF 15 - Goddess
jmmcd 4/30/2010 3:37:00 AM
I absolutely love this shade of lip gloss. It really sets off my light olive skin tone and my natural lip color. I like that it's got SPF, though I doubt it's full spectrum. It stays on a decent amount of time for lip gloss and is slightly moisturizing and also seals off very well. A pretty decent buy, though I'm not very crazy about the applicator.
This is by far my favorite product put out by E.L.F. undereye concealer - It actually helps to reduce puffiness. I don't know about the dark circle clarification claims, I wouldn't put all my faith in this clearing that up. However, it does a great job at reducing the severity of existing dark circles. If I want to go all natural I can put it on and have the circles almost completely disappear without losing natural looking skin around my eye area. It also makes it possible to completely cover the dark circles with just a thin layer of regular concealer while without it on it takes a lot more concealer to cover them up. It's a liquid, so don't expect much coverage. I suspect that it does so well at minimizing circles because it contains light reflecting particles, but if it does they're so small I can't tell they're there. highlighter - This is also a liquid only with a higher concentration or larger light reflecting particles in it, and it's white. It makes a great primer for eye makeup and alone it really helps brighten up your eyes and make them "pop" a little more without being really noticeable. I suspect it's close to the same formula as the undereye concealer. Besides lip gloss, this has became a daily must have product for me. It makes the bare natural look go sooo much better on me.
Pressed Powders -E.L.F. - Clarifying Pressed Powder
jmmcd 4/30/2010 3:15:00 AM
Ok, gotta make a comment on some reviews here first. It's not false advertising that they say it is clarifying. This powder has zinc in it, which is known to help treat acne and control oil. The mineral oil is what makes the powder feel so silky and smooth when you apply it. Mineral oil by itself in small amounts is not going to break most people out. It's non-comedogenic. It's one of the natural oils that is capable of restoring wood. The idea that oil makes you break out is a MYTH perpetuated by the skin care companies. Your skin needs oil. Oil is part of what protects it. Ok, on to my review. I really like this powder. It's light, smooth, and mattifies very naturally, although those who like a super matte look may be disappointed. I haven't had any issues with it breaking me out so far and I don't use any acne products (or cleansers even for that matter). I have very sensitive skin and this powder has done a lot better on not irritating it than most have. I also love how well the Apricot Beige shade blends in with my light olive skin tone. The powder puff is crap - I may use it on the go to touch up but for the main application I use a horse hair powder brush. I also wish the compact came with a built in mirror, but then E.L.F. probably wouldn't sell as many of their stand alone compact mirrors. ;) Overall this is a very nice, basic face powder. I would recommend it for normal to dry skin and sensitive skin.
Tinted Moisturizer -E.L.F. - Shielding Hydro-Tint SPF 15 in Tone 1
jmmcd 4/30/2010 3:00:00 AM
This has quickly became the main product I use on my face instead of foundation. The pigmentation is very rich and a very small amount goes a long way. It is somewhat moisturizing but I wouldn't really rely on it as my primary moisturizer. It does nothing about controlling oil so it's smart to use an oil controlling moisturizer underneath and/or powder on top. The coverage is very smooth, blends well, and is somewhere between medium and light coverage. I must also say I've been very impressed by E.L.F.'s shades. The Apricot Beige shade matches my light olive toned complexion a lot better than most shades in that color range I've tried from other companies.
Styling Products -Unlisted Brand - Motions Foaming Wrap Lotion
jmmcd 4/30/2010 2:33:00 AM
I think this is probably by far the best product on the market for giving curly hair lasting definition and shine. The hold is very natural but firm, it's actually moisturizing instead of drying, it seals well, it stands up against humidity well, and it is very lightweight. My only beef with it is it doesn't keep my frizz at bay all day but I'm starting to think my hair type will just never be completely frizz free. I've got mixed ethnic hair strands and 3b ringlets. Porous and dry, so it needs moisture, has problems hanging on to moisture, and turns to zigg zaggy straw when it frizzes from lack of moisture.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol Plus
jmmcd 4/30/2010 2:16:00 AM
This is an awesome deep conditioner that also works as a daily conditioner thanks to its lack of build up. Unfortunately it does leave a weird texture behind once it dries so I can't recommend it as a leave in. However, just the moisturizing and restorative properties alone make this worth the buy, and the fact that it's only $2 where I live makes it even sweeter. If you have type 3 or 4 curls and you just can't seem to quench them enough even with leave in, try this conditioner out. Chances are you won't be disappointed. BTW, it's non-protein so it's not going to dry your hair out with heavy use. I have mixed ethnic hair that is mostly fine strands mixed in with thick strands. It's very porous and dry and also gets weighed down easily but it's extremely thirsty for its texture. I should probably add something about the container. As you can see, it comes in a jar. Not very small shower friendly. However, if you can place it somewhere where water can't hit it but you can still reach it, it's not too big of an issue.
Conditioner -Garnier - Fructis Sleek & Shine Instant Melting Conditioner
jmmcd 4/30/2010 1:57:00 AM
I absolutely love the slip in this conditioner. You can tell it has a lot of apple in it. However, I would not call this a deep conditioner. First, there are no deep conditioning ingredients. Second, it quite simply does not deep condition. However, it does detangle and smooth very well and I have found that for my dry hair it makes an excellent leave in conditioner that leaves my hair feeling like silk with no stiffness, greasiness, or any other strange textures. I love it!