Clarins just launched this mascara this month (September 2011). The mascara focuses mainly on volume, rather than length and it claims to not flake or smudge. There are nutrients in the mascara that will supposedly "nourish" your lashes when wearing this mascara. It's also okay for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. The star of this mascara is the design of the brush. If you all liked the wand of Benefit's They're Real Mascara because of the little bristles at the tip of the wand, you'll really like this wand. It's your standard bristle wand, not too large, not too small and towards the end of the wand, the bristles are very short. The design makes it a synch to get to those smaller lashes, especially in the corners of your eye and bottom lashes. The packaging is also very nice. It's a pale gold, squared tube with a little groove on the handle of the wand, which makes a nice little grip for your thumb while applying the mascara. It's also reflective, so if you happened to forget a mirror, you can use the tube. The mascara has a bit of a wet formula, so when I apply it after I've curled my lashes, I usually manage to get mascara on my eyelids. It is of course avoidable if you apply it with your head slightly tiled back, rather than applying it straight-on in the mirror. Usually when I apply the mascara, I rarely have to dip my brush back in for one eye. The end of the wand picks up enough product to evenly distribute across the lashes. Aside from the brush easily reaching the corners, I love that I can get real precise and apply the mascara directly to the base of my lashes. It's a great mascara for both length and volume. It's easily buildable with the constant brushing of the lashes. It also doesn't clump my lashes together, which is always a plus. It also keeps my lashes nice and pliable (not crispy), so I can easily add another coat or comb through them later in the day. Lastly, it doesn't flake throughout the day, and I've only noticed a teeny bit of transfer (smudges) under my eyes after several hours of wearing it. It only happened a couple of times though, and I think it was probably from not having my concealer properly set with powder. So I always make sure I set my under-eyes with a good amount of powder, and it doesn't transfer at all. Overall, a really good mascara, but I don't know if I'd pay $24. Mascara is one thing I like to purchase at the drugstore because I think it's all the same crap. Haha, of course that's my opinion/preference only! Here's a photo of my lashes with one, very good coat. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kA0iNeJoW6M/ToDLr-l93II/AAAAAAAAChs/f3jMX72EGoc/s1600/eyes.jpg
Bronzers -Physicians Formula - Powder Palette Healthy Glow Bronzer
nattyngeorge 9/19/2011 2:30:00 AM
***I would first like to mention, the main product photo shown above is not the correct shade. That is the "bronzer" shade, not the "healthy glow bronzer" shade (which contains pink blocks)*** In PF's Powder Palette series, there are three (3) bronzer shades, Healthy Glow Bronzer, Light Bronzer and Bronzer. Light Bronzer appeared the lightest, and Bronzer appeared the darkest. Bronzer looked too orange and I figured Light Bronzer wouldn't show up on my skintone (NC30-35), so I chose Healthy Glow Bronzer. Healthy Wear Bronzer is a mosaic powder bronzer containing a variety of matte, medium toned browns - a couple are cool, but the majority are warm. There are also a few areas of light pink. When swirled together, the combination of shades come together to create a light-medium, warm tan. I think the pink blocks give this bronzer a slight peachy-blushed tone. It's not completely brown and I wouldn't say it's too orange either. It's a pretty good balance. The packaging is okay - I wish it was a little nicer for the price. It's a little bulky and it's not that pretty with it's clear flip-top lid. I'm sure it will get scratched up to no end as soon as I toss it in my bag. What's nice about it though is that the pan lifts up, and there's a little compartment that houses a little brush and underneath the pan is a mirror. The brush is a little too scratchy, so I won't be using it. The mirror will come in handy though. The powder itself is like a really soft face powder (not in a cheap way). The coverage is pretty sheer, but can easily be built very well with light coats. It's actually considered one of the sheerest of the whole PF bronzer range. Because it is matte, it can work well applied all over the face for added color or as a subtle contour. I like using a soft kabuki or dense powder brush and swirl the powder into my cheeks and around my hairline. The color blends really effortlessly, and diffuses into the cheeks for a natural finish. It doesn't appear dirty or muddy, even when layered. The lasting power is the best when it's applied over a foundation. I've applied it to my bare skin, and the color seemed to fade pretty quickly. It will get me through the day when applied over my foundation. It also controls excess oil pretty well. Although I can't say run out and buy this for $14, but it's worth checking out if it's on sale (sometimes I see it for 40% off at the drugstore).
Lip Gloss -Revlon - Colorburst Lipgloss 002 Crystal Lilac
nattyngeorge 9/19/2011 2:21:00 AM
Crystal Lilac is a sheer, bubblegum pink with a fine pink-purple opalescent shimmer/reflects. First off, I love the packaging of Revlon's Colorburst line. The black quilted design of the cap looks really chic, and has a higher-end feel. I also love the applicator. It's your standard sponge applicator, but it's slightly flatter, so it glides nicely across the lips and picks up a good amount of product when inserted in the tube. The consistency of the lipgloss is really nice - It's not watery, overly thick or sticky. It feels pretty good on my lips and doesn't dry them out. It actually feels fairly moisturizing. The color is sheer with a couple of swipes, but can be built up for more opacity. Although I prefer the way it looks when applied in layers (to show the true color), it feels a little thick on my lips, so I'll usually apply it sheerly or applied over a pink lipstick. Because my lips are pretty pigmented, when using this lipgloss alone, I like applying MAC Lip Erase to my lips prior, so the outcome is more of a baby pink. Overall, really like this and recommend!
I love trying new soaps. Granted I haven't tried all that many, but I love picking up "au natural" soaps when I find them at my local Marshalls, TJMaxx, Whole Food and other health food stores! I actually have never purchased anything from Lush, I've only walked in there a few times.. but I am very curious to try some of their things as well. Reviva Labs is a brand that in my opinion, doesn't get enough praise. It's a fabulous brand and everything I've tried, I really liked. This soap is no exception! For the past few weeks, this soap has been the only thing I've used on my face as cleanser and on my body in the shower. I do like using African Black Soap, but I feel like the Seaweed Soap doesn't dry out my skin like the A.B.S does. If you're sensitive to scents, or are easily offended by products with no fragrance added, this soap may be a little too much for you. "Natural" smelling products don't bother me at all, and although this soap is a little pungent, I'm completely fine with it. The bar has little grits of seaweed that feel great on the skin. I like to scrub any areas prone to ingrowns, such as the back of my forearms by my elbows and my knees. I feel squeaky clean at the end of my shower, yet my skin feels very soft to the touch. On my face, I typically use this soap in conjunction with my Olay Pro-X Cleansing Brush. It takes away all of my makeup with ease and has made my face noticeably softer. **I'd recommend using a separate remover for your eye makeup, as it does burn when the soap comes in contact with your eyes. As far as cellulite reduction, I haven't been keeping tabs on that, but I will be re-purchasing this soap, so maybe it's something I'll notice in the long-run.
The Falsies has a bit of a wet formula in comparison to The falsies flared and it builds volume very quickly. It does seem to lengthen very slightly, but for me, there's much more emphasis on volume. With continuous strokes of the brush, the volume builds very quickly. You really only need a few sweeps and you'll be done - otherwise you'll risk your lashes clumping together. It is definitely a clumpy mascara - which personally I don't mind because I usually apply 2-3 coats of any mascara for lots of volume. This mascara seems to do that quicker. You may like this mascara if you like L'Oreal Voluminous or YSL Faux Cils. I love the fact that I never have to apply a second coat of mascara to my bottom lashes.. it gives enough volume with a few sweeps. My main gripe with this mascara is that it almost dries to the consistency of a "tube" mascara and it's very difficult to comb through your lashes with a spoolie or lash comb, unless the mascara is still wet. For a better end result, I find that cleaning off the brush at the tube opening will help lessen clumping. Once the mascara is completely dry, it leaves the lashes semi-stiff, so it holds a curl pretty well. Lastly, this mascara doesn't transfer or smudge throughout the day and it doesn't flake like The Falsies Flared does. I only notice very minor flaking if I've attempted to comb through my lashes with a lash comb. I overall love the way this mascara makes my lashes look. It does make them look a little bit longer and much fuller. I've also noticed that it holds up well through the night.. I've slept with this mascara a few times and my lashes still looked good the following morning. Will re-purchase!
Out of the three palettes, the one that struck my interest was Bare, because it contains all neutral shades that are suitable for daytime, work, etc. There are eight (8) shades in total with shimmery, matte and satin formulations. -Shine is a pigmented black with silver flecks. It's very reminiscent of MAC Black Tied Eyeshadow. -Control is a matte black. -Snoop is a matte, dove grey with a slight purple undertone. -Hitch is a matte, neutral ash-brown. It looks warm in the pan, but once swatched/applied, it is very neutral with grey undertones. -Act is a satiny, neutral taupe with a purple/mauve undertone. Again, this shade appears warm in the pan, but is very neutral. -Command is a shimmery, deep golden. -Elope is a pigmented matte, cool beige. It reminds me a bit of MAC Orb Eyeshadow. -Approach is a pigmented satiny, warm/yellow beige. It reminds me a bit of MAC Ricepaper Eyeshadow. All of the shades are fairly pigmented, with the matte shades packing the most pigment. Command and Act are probably the least pigmented shades, which is disappointing because they are the two most interesting shades as well as my favorites. With a proper base, the colors show up amazing. Without a base, might as well toss it in the garbage. I love using MAC Bare Study or Rubenesque paint pot as a base and using Command as an all over lid color. It really makes Command stand out. It's beautiful for a simple wash of color on the eyes. I like using Act in the crease and a little bit of Hitch or Snoop to darken it.. then I add a touch of one of the blacks in my outer V and one of the highlights in my inner corners. A really pretty combo. What mainly brings down the rating is the fallout. There is lots and lots of fallout which is a total shame. You MUST tap off your brush every time after swiping any of the shadows or else you'll end up ruining your foundation. The brush included is fantastic. The packaging is fine, but very bulky and a little too heavy. Although this palette is technically a good value given there are 8 shadows and a double sided (very good) brush, I still don't think it's worth $35 based on the quality of the shadows. I think at least $10 should be knocked off.
Graphite appears to be a metallic charcoal/silver, but it's so much more complex than that! It has a sheer, charcoal base and is suspended with extra fine silver and gold (they appear much more green to me, but that maybe because when black and gold come into contact, the gold appears green) shimmer. It has a foil/metallic finish and is completely opaque with two coats. I found the formula very easy to work with - It has a great consistency and isn't gritty at all considering it's so shimmery. In dull lighting it appears to be a metallic charcoal silver with a greenish/gold tinge, but when under sunlight and brighter lighting, that's when this gem really glistens. I've had it for over two weeks on my toes and around 6 days on my fingers and no chips yet! I'm even thinking of purchasing a back up.
Really good mascara - gives me a little added length, buildable volume, no smudging throughout the day, no flaking.. everything you could want.. but I HATE the brush!!! The brush is usually a make it or break it and despite the fantastic formula, I'm not sure if i'd repurchase because the wand is so inconvenient. You literally have to swipe your lashes one by one (is that the point??) so basically it takes me twice as long to apply my mascara.
Mascara -Maybelline - Volum Express The Falsies Flared
nattyngeorge 8/31/2011 4:05:00 AM
I purchased this mascara on a whim after getting sick of my long time love Covergirl Lash Blast (I couldn't tolerate it's stupid wand anymore). Needless to say, I absoltely love this mascara. The curved wand is fantastic and coats my top and bottom lashes really well. It's very buildable and I'm able to get lots of volume and a little bit of length. Also, it doesn't smudge!!!! I'm so thrilled about that - Will definitely re-purchase.***UPDATE: Took one lippie off because it flakes throughout the day. What a shame. Still like this mascara though.
Polishes -Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri - Bronze Ablaze
nattyngeorge 8/31/2011 4:01:00 AM
I was so excited when I spotted this polish at my local ULTA. It's a slightly metallic brassy-bronze-brown shade with a touch of micro shimmer. In certain angles the shade gives off a greenish pearl - absolutely gorgeous. In my opinion, this shade looks more "high end". The formula is where I take a point off. It's a little thick and both times I've used this - there was nothing quick dry about it. The first coat dried well and then I applied a second coat, waited a few mins and applied Seche Vite Top Coat. The Seche Vite should of sealed the deal and made my nails touchable and completely dry within a minute. Well no, that's not what happened. For some odd reason my nails stayed tacky for a while, causing me to nick a few of my nails. I think it was due to the thick formula. Also I had tiny bubbles on my nails. WTH! I never, ever get bubbles on my nails and it happened both times. Lastly, 1/4 of the bottle is already gone after two uses (2 coats each manicure).. I swear I saw the polish get lower and lower with each dip. Again, probably the thick formula. Anyway, I love the color and I don't regret purchasing. I was even going to purchase a back up but I'm not so sure now with it's stupid formula.
MAC Hangin' Loose is a neutral pink beige cream with very tiny white sparkles that seem to only be noticeable in bright lighting. This polish is from MAC's recent Surf, Baby! Collection and is still available on the MAC website as of now. I'm not sure if I can justify paying $15 for a nail polish, so I'm really happy I got a chance to try this through a swap. I never realized how SMALL the bottle is. Most nail polishes are .5 oz, this is .34 oz - another drawback. I really like the formula of this polish. It's not thick, not too thin, very creamy and dries fairly quick. It is a little on the sheer side and applies a little streaky with the first two coats, but I applied a heavier third coat and everything evened out very well. I actually love this polish and I think it's the perfect nude. I'll be wearing this very often.
Loose Powders -MAC - Magically Cool Liquid Powder - Cajun
nattyngeorge 7/22/2011 2:58:00 PM
Cajun is a sheer, bronze shimmer that reflects gold. It looks a little dark, ruddy and matte in the jar, but once swatched the golden hues really come out. It's a bit of an orangy bronze, somewhat similar to the color of Chanel Bronze Universel. There is a slight golden sheen, but it can only be really seen when the product is applied heavily. My favorite way to apply Cajun is with a duo-fiber brush. Preferably, my Sigma F50 Duo Fiber Brush because it is the most dense/stiff duo fiber I own. Because Cajun contains actual pigmented color (rather than a shimmery sheen like the other two powders) it can be a little difficult to work with. The way I found it works best is by tapping the tiniest bit into the lid of the jar, then swirl the duo-fiber in the product and tap off any excess. Then, lightly swirl it on your cheeks, or all over your face to warm up your complexion. Do not try building your color all at once, because once a lot of product is applied, it transitions to a powder almost instantly and won't move around much to blend. Apply a little and then build from there. Because applying only a little product at once is crucial, I don't really feel the cooling sensation like I do with Honey Rose (because with Honey Rose, I'm able to use much more product). The result is really beautiful and natural. Despite Cajun is a bit of a high maintenance product, I do like it and I'm glad I have it in my collection. I rated it a 3, rather than a 4 because it takes a bit of work to get this to work .
What really lured me into wanting Careblend is the claim that it doesn't look powdery and it isn't drying. Not to mention the amazing rating on here. I had a little bit of a tough time trying to pick a shade for my current NC30 skintone - I was debating with Light Plus (mainly because it has some good golden tones), Medium or Medium Dark. I figured that since they are sheer, there will be a little room for error, but my favorite MAC Sales Assoc. informed me that they do indeed pack pretty good pigment, so I played it safe and purchased Medium. I purchased this powder to solely use it as a setting powder. Medium is a good match for my skin. It lacks yellow though if you're medium skinned and particular about having the right amount of golden in your foundation or powder. I compared it to my MAC Studio Fix Powder in C3 for reference. Of course, C3 has a stronger yellow tone as all "C" powders do in the SF Powder range. The consistency of this powder to the touch, feels like your average powder. Studio Fix Powder actually feels softer to the touch. But, once smoothed on the skin, Careblend feels much smoother, whereas Studio Fix feels a bit dryer and powdery (ironic, huh?) The powder isn't completely sheer - it does have some pigment, so if you have relatively clear skin and need little coverage and oil control, this can be worn alone. I like using a large fluffy powder brush such as my Sigma F30 (FAV) and swirling the product all over my face to set my foundation. If I want a little extra coverage, I'll use a more dense brush such as my Sephora Pro Platinum Bronzer Brush or a standard Kabuki. The finish with this powder indeed is not powdery at all. It gives a velvety satin finish that even reminds me a bit of my beloved Chanel Double Perfection Powder. I don't need all that much oil control, just a little bit in my t-zone, and this keeps my skin from getting shiny throughout the day very well. Based on some reviews I've read, some don't recommend this powder for those with oily skin as it may not control oil well enough, but I've also read that some oily skin found it works great. The reviews are pretty mixed. I think it would work particularly well for those with dry skin as contains moisturizing oils (Safflower, Meadowfoam & Olive) as well as Shea Butter and it doesn't seem to accentuate dryness. I really love this powder and will continue using it for an all over setting powder.
Lucky me, I have very sensitive skin, and was blessed with the "hairy gene". So, whenever I shave my legs, underarms and lady parts, I can guarantee that by day 3, I'll be scratching my skin like I broke out with a bad case of the hives. Not pretty at all, especially in a bathing suit or sleeveless shirt. There are some products out there that will help, such as my favorite shave cream; Kiss my Face Moisture Shave or lathering your skin up with aloe. These do help, but there will be occasional irritations, especially when you're using a new razor - ya know, the new ones they keep coming out that have more blades for a closest shave? The Schick Hydro 5 killed me. Anyway, the following day after I've shaved I begin using Tend Skin - before the irritation starts. I don't use it right after I shower, or else it'll burn. You can use a cotton ball, but because of the high alcohol content, it will dry/evaporate (whatever it does) before you finish applying it. To lessen the waste of product, I like using a cosmetic sponge and applying it to my bikini line, underarms, thighs and backs of the knees - any areas prone to irritation. I've read from a review that one gal likes to use a fan brush. I bet that'd work good too. I also like using it when I wax my arms. Sometimes I'll end up with a little colony of pimples on my forearm, opposite of my elbow. This stops those from forming and if I forget to use my Tend Skin and they do sprout - It'll diminish them in a day or two. It's also a pretty good product to dry up pimples on your face. The main drawback of the product is the price. It is $20 for a 4 oz bottle. There are other sizes available, up to 16 oz, but 4 oz is the smallest. There is also a 2.5 oz roll-on, which is probably much more handy for $15. It can be purchased from Sephora.com or various online retailers. I actually have spotted Tend Skin several times at Marshalls and TJMaxx for $12.99 (I purchased two for $7 each on clearance last summer!) This product is worth it though for me and I recommend it if razor burn/bumps is something you struggle with. I have used a cheaper alternative called GiGi No Bump found at Sally's Beauty Supply, which is around $9 for 4 oz, but I still prefer Tend Skin. For whatever reason, I feel that Tend Skin works faster. The GiGi No Bump has pretty good reviews though, so it really boils down to individual preference.
Revlon Cloud is a pastel lavender blue. It does differ on certain skintones, but on my hands the color appears a little more lavender than it does blue (It shows really blue in the photo above). I was looking for more of a powder blue, but I think this polish is very pretty regardless. It really brighten up my hands. The particular formula of this one isn't bad, but it isn't the greatest. Based on some reviews, some thought the formula was too thick. I really didn't find it to be thick. It's pretty sheer (and streaky) with one coat, and evens out pretty well by the second coat. I did find that on a couple of my nails, it looks like I have ridges, which would of probably been evened out by a third coat. I didn't really find a third coat necessary though. I do think this color is pretty awesome and flattering on most skin tones.