I'm not entirely in love with this product. I ordered it online so i didn't get to see it beforehand. I expected it to be much more shimmery/glittery. It looks very similar to MAC Black Tied in the pan, except I think Black Tied has a larger volume of silver glitter flecks, but they fall out almost immediately on me, so at least the Illamasqua glitter lasts, (providing you use a sticky base like a greasepaint or apply it wet). It basically looks like a very intense matte black, with the occasional silver speck. Not what I hoped for, but still nice. The black is very pigmented, more so than MAC Carbon, so I would buy it again to use in place of Carbon. But If you want a glittery/shimmery black, try MAC Dark Soul pigment instead.
This isn't my HG foundation, but it is definitely one to check out. I have extremely pale skin, the vast majority of companies don't make anything that remotely matches my fair skin as I don't really have any undertones. I bought this foundation in 105 (basically an off white, which Illamasqua claim is the lightest 'skin' colour they do, but the only people who would match this colour are the walking dead). I also bought the shade 120, which is significantly too orange and dark, so I mix it with 105 to mix almost my perfect shade. The coverage is very full, you can't see the skin at all. I have very dark acne scars, freckles, redness and visible veins and this covers them all. However, you can see it on the skin, not terribly bad, but you can tell you're wearing makeup, so i would only wear it at night. I've tried sheering it out by mixing with a tinted moisteriser and also with a primer, but that takes away from the coverage which is why i like it, though it does look more natural. The foundation dries to a matte finish, which I like and doesn't promote oiliness in my skin, Though i do need to use a powder to set it. The best way to use this foundation is to buff it into the skin. I use the Illamasqua highlighter brush, which I LOVE. An alternative to that brush would be the MAC 109, something small but dense. Overall, not a miracle product, but it's decent and not too expensive. Has a nice vanilla sort of smell which I like and comes in a squeezy bottle making it easy to dispense and hygenic. Would purchase again, but I really wish Illamasqua would extend the shades between 105 and 120, as they don't actually provide much more shade choice for pale skins than most brands without having to buy 2 colours and mix them.
Primer/ Corrector -Boots - Mattifying Make-up Base
looweehse 9/24/2009 7:13:00 PM
This does mattify my skin, and the effects last throught the day. However, this is like a paste to apply. It is impossible to spread it evenly or smoothly without being rough with my skin. I can't apply it around any areas where I have active acne as it either cakes or rips off the tops of my spots (pretty image I know) if i try to smooth it out. Blending foundation over the top of it is very difficult, especially if you use a cream foundation. I have very oily skin, but it kind of makes me look powdery and dry, and makes my fine lines (I'm 19, so they're really quite faint) look huge. Definitely won't be repurchasing.
Liquid -Bobbi Brown - Oil-Free Even Finish Foundation SPF 15 [DISCONTINUED]
looweehse 8/19/2009 12:35:00 PM
I bought this foundation about a year ago and initially thought it was the worst foundation I had ever tried. However, I revisted it about a month ago and I must have been doing something wrong before because now I think it's prety good. PROS: -Great selction of colours, especially for pale people. MAC, Chanel and basically most cosmetic companies don't make shades light enough for my skin, or they're always too pink or too yellow. I use 0 Porcelain and it is more or less neutral. - Doesn't break me out, and my skin is very sensitive. - Doesn't oxidize (turn orange) as the day goes on. - Coverage is even, IF! you use a primer underneath, preferably a mattifying one, and if you stipple it onto your skin with a MAC 187, and take your time with it, and don't swirl the brush over your face, just stipple. - Photographs well, not too shiny, not splotchy, skin colour looks true to life. CONS- Can make you look oily if you don't use a primer or set it with a powder. However, when my skin does become a bit oily looking (normally after I've been wearing it for 8+ hours) it gives me a nice healthy dewy look, so I don't mind it, but I know some might. - Doesn't apply that well with a regular foundation brush (like the MAC 190), it can look blotchy. It's much better to stipple it on, so for that reason it takes longer to apply, which is another con. - The bottle doesn't have a pump which means it's difficult to regulate how much foundation pours out, and inevitably I end up wasting some product each time. - It's reasonably expensive I guess. More expensive than MAC, but I hate MAC foundations anyway so I'm happy to pay more, and it's only about £5 more expensive I think. - Doesn't give full coverage, if you have blemishes you will need to use concealer on them. I'd compare the coverage to Estee Lauder Double Wear. Overall, I don't think it's a HG foundation, but it's pretty good, and if I don't find anything better I will buy again. I just wish they'd give the bottle a pump.
Concealers -Maybelline - Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer
looweehse 3/28/2009 1:37:00 PM
I usually wear MAC concealers (in NW15) or use Lily Lolo mineral powder concealer. However, I thought I'd try this on a whim and I love it! I have 02 natural, which I think is the lightest shade and while it doesn't match my fair skin tone 100%, it matches much better than MAC, which even though I use NW15 shades still seem too yellow and dark! I think it's better and more natural looking than MAC Select cover and MAC Select Moisturecover. However, I've taken off one star as I needed two layers to cover really bad blemishes and scars, (but I think that's me just being very picky). PROS: 1. Blends very well and flawlessly under eyes (using a patting and pressing motion with ring finger rather than wiping it under). 2. Doesn't crease or settle into fine lines at all (when used over L'Oreal Collagen Filler Eye) 3. Doesn't look obvious on skin or look powdery like MAC Select Moisturecover does. 4. Has good coverage, one layer is enough for most blemishes, maybe two for the really dark ones. 5. It lasted 14 hours after setting with finishing powder (it may last longer, but I took it off after 14 hours) 6. Doe foot applicator makes application easy and you don't waste product like you might with a sqeeze tube. 7. Didn't break me out or make spots look dry (but I sprayed some MAC Fix+ on top of spots first) 8. Cheap and easily to find in stores CONS: 1. Doesn't some in a large variety of shades.
Foundations -Make Up For Ever - HD High Definition Foundation
looweehse 3/1/2009 5:19:00 PM
PROS: The feel of the foundation is great, it's light and you wouldn't really know you're wearing it. This is especially good considering the medium coverage it gives. CONS: I got #110 which is the lightest shade, and was still too dark for me, and after a couple of hours it oxidised and turned orange. It comes with a pump which would be great, that is, if the pump actually dispensed properly. My pump is very stiff and so I have to press down quite hard and can't actually control how much comes out resulting in me wasting a lot of product. While it feels light, it looks heavy and obvious on the skin. When I applied it with a MAC 190 and MAC 187 it looked uneven. But when I used my Illamasqua Highlighter brush to buff it in it looked better, but not great. I have naturally oily skin, but this foundation made me look really dry. So I tried exfoiliating before hand and used various moisterisers. I used it with and without primer (MAC, Smashbox, Laura Mercier, NARS, L'Oreal) and it still looked dry and uneven. Maybe I just expected more from all the hype it gets, but this was a big disappointment for me.
LOVE! A pretty dark pink that looks good for day and night wear. For a day look I use Paradisco over the whole lid, then pat Sushi Flower in the crease, just above the crease and lightly down towards my inner eye, but with the colour being most intense on the outer crease, and shroom for a highlight. I get so many complements about how pretty it looks! For night, I like to use a mehron pastel pink base wear i want sushi flower to go to make it more intense. Or, I place sushi flower over my whole lid and put Embark in the crease for a more vampy look. If you like pinks, you neeeed this colour!
HG lipstick right here. It's a lovely blue tone red which will look incredible on fair and cool skin tones (like me). The stick itself looks quite dark, but once applied it is much brighter. It's matte, so it has awesomme staying power, but is therefore also very drying. To remedy this I exfoiliate my lips with a regular toothbrush or a sugar and honey scrub, then apply Blistex Relief Cream about 20 minutes before I want to apply the lipstick. Then I apply a light layer of MAC prep + prime lip or some regular lip blam, line my lips with a red lipliner and apply ruby woo using a lip brush in short firm strokes. I then blot my lips with tissue and reapply another layer until I reach the colour I want. Then I coat my lips with Lipcote (so i can drink and eat without worrying about fading lip colour!) and then another light layer of lip balm if desired. Alternatively I'll just smudge on some Ruby Woo with my finger for a nice natural day time stain.
Shampoo -Burt's Bees - Very Volumizing Pomegranate & Soy Shampoo
looweehse 2/7/2009 5:46:00 PM
I'm joining the minority here by saying I love this product. PROS 1. It smells great, really nice and the smell lingers after washing too. 2. It does provide some volume to my extremely thin, limp hair, though nothing really spectacular, however I can't expect the world of a shampoo. 3. It's natural 4. It's sulphate free so doesn't strip out my hair colour 5. It lathers up really nicely (especially for a sulphate free shampoo) so it spreads easily and evenly throughout the hair and gets rid of all the styling products and whatnot. 6. My hair gets greasy within a day usually, but I can go up to 3 days without washing with this. CONS 1. Difficult to find 2. Reasonably expensive for a shampoo (more expensive than drugstore brands) 3. It doesn't give really, really incredible volume (you'll still need a styling product)
As a lover of matte red lips I spent ages searching for a lip stain that was true red instead of purpley/pinky/orangey red as a long lasting alternative to lipstick. This is it. It applies a strong true red colour when applied straight onto the lips with no blending, or can be sheered out very easily by only applying to the middle lip area and then blending out with a finger or lip brush. I would recommend applying a lip balm and/or exfoiliating lips a few minutes before using this as while it's not drying in itself, it will show up any dry spots or flakes that are already present on your lips. As far as staying power goes it's fairly good, depending on the lengths you're putting it through. It can last all day without a problem if I drink through straws, don't mess with my lips and I'm careful to avoid contact when eating. If I've been putting liquids to my mouth regularly then it'll only last about 4 hours, however it lasts about 6 or 7 hours if I apply something like Lipcote over it. Packaging is good and easy to use, plus it doesn't take up much room so it's perfect for travel.
Moisturizers -Aveda - Outer Peace Acne Relief Lotion
looweehse 6/16/2008 5:28:00 PM
I really wanted to love this product, as I love Aveda generally, but this really didn't work for me. I have chronic acne, which i've had for years. I tried this out on the only area of my skin which has no blemishes and it seemed fine, so i tried it all over. After a week of using I got a breakout on the only area of my skin where i didn't have spots, which was followed by a general worsening of everywhere else on my face. The product itself felt fine on my face, not too thick (I only used a small amount though) and it absorbed easily, but it made me acne worse which defeats the object of the product.
Treatments (Eye) -Clinique - Advanced Stop Signs Eye SPF 15
looweehse 5/29/2008 1:41:00 PM
Though it is apparently allergy and opthalmologist tested this practically destroyed my eyes. I have oily skin (with oily eyelids) so usually my problem with eye creams is over-moisterising/greasiness. I didn't have a greasiness problem at all, in fact it sucked all the moisture out of my skin making my eye area flaky, itchy, red and my fine lines look worse! I found it doesn't absorb easily at all (compared with All About Eyes). I really don't like the packaging (small jar), where you have to put your finger into the product with each use. I find this type of packaging to be unsanitary. No matter how much you clean your hands before some bacteria/skin from your finger will end up in there and bacteria can breed. This is a bigger problem with eye products as eyes are generally more sensitive. I much prefer tube despenser creams. The final blow of this product utterly failing for me was the price - waaaay too expensive.
Skin Background: highly sensitive and oily skin. Suffered from chronic cystic acne for 5 years. Tried literally every drugstore brand, also tried clinique 3 step, pro-activ, aknicare, panoxyl, bye bye blemish, Dr Brandt, Bliss, various oral and topical prescriptions treatments, herbal treatments, homemade stuff, been through several dermatologists and had light therapy. Nothing really worked all that great, or those that did left me with red, flaky, painful skin. Then I found Avene. And this is the star product. This didn't make my ultra-sensitive skin flare, it didn't even sting, give me redness or any flakes. I only use this at night, because I like the Avene cleanance regulating lotion during the day as it gives more matte effect, though saying that, cleanance K doesn't make me overly oily. I have been using it for 2 weeks now, along with Avene cleanance regulating lotion, cleanance mattifying lotion, cleanance gel soapless cleanser at night, and neutrogena deep clean oil-free cream cleanser in the morning. 2 weeks ago i my ENTIRE face was covered in either whiteheads, blackheads, large open pores, red inflamed pimples or just redness. Now I have completely clear areas of skin, only a couple of blackheads. My cheeks have 3 spots on them in total, my chin has one larger one and a small one, the only part of my face with still quite a few spots is my forehead, which has always been the worst area for me, though it is noticeably better. I still have quite a few scars remaining but they are slowly fading, I'm estimating it'll take about 6 months. However, to actually have areas of skin completely cleared in 2 weeks has never happened for me before and I'm over the moon. Additionally, my skin doesn't feel as oily and equally isn't dry or uncomfortable feeling at all. but I will definitely be re-purchasing this again!
Makeup Brushes -Bare Escentuals - Handy Buki Brush
looweehse 4/28/2008 3:37:00 PM
Generally this brush is pretty good. It applies evenly and unlike others I don't find it scratchy on my skin. I like that it has a handle, which means I don't press into my skin as much as I can't help but do with a regular kabuki. Personally I like the reletively small size of the brush head, as it allows me easy handling and precise application, and it honestly doesn't increase the time it takes to apply make-up. The handle also means it's easier to store in brush holders/roll-ups and I find it easier to clean. I've taken away 1 lippie as the bristles do shed and are starting to crumple up. For the price (£18) I would expect the brush to last much longer. *EDIT* I just bought the MAC 182 and now I use that. I tried using this BE brush again the other day and I never really just how scratchy it really is! in terms of application it's fine, but it felt like I was exfoiliating my skin!
I'm torn about this product. It did give me lots of volume for my fine, limp hair. Probably more voume than other similar products have given me. However, it feels very sticky once it makes contact with your hands and hair, so spreading through my hair was a problem. Once it dries it feels very crunchy and stiff, so I brush through it a bit to loosen it up, which unfortunately takes away some of the volume. On the plus side it does hold the volume and lift for quite a while, (it's been 3 days and my hair hasn't gone flat yet). And it does smell really nice and sweet. I'll use the rest I have left but I won't be buying again.