Moisturizers -First Aid Beauty - 5 in 1 Face Cream SPF 30
peoplerpeople 7/5/2010 1:25:00 AM
FAB's daily face cream (not to be confused with the ultra-rich cream) was too thin and awful to my skin. THIS stuff, I love, love, love. Rich and hydrating but no sheen/shine under makeup. And they added SPF. On day 4 and no breakouts. Wish me luck. UPDATE: This is second week of daily use and absolutely no breakouts. I do find that (1) too much product = dewy finish, no matter what you may have planned, and (2) pump often dispenses too much. I know that sunscreen should be "slathered," but I follow this spf moisturizer with spf primer and spf makeup. Oh - and this stuff does not sting my eyes *at all.* I am so sold. (So what was up with that daily no-spf, non-moisturizing face madness FAB released a while back? Yeesh.) LAST UPDATE: I still like this, but have moved onto a drugstore product w ceramides and sunscreen that gets the job done for less.
This has become a favorite. I cannot use Neutrogena's eye makeup remover pads or wipes, but this cleanser gets the job done without irritating, inflaming, or stinging my skin. I don't use it every night. I use it as a shortcut after a day of "full" (for me, foundation + eyes) makeup, or else I use it twice a week as a reset button or to get a clean slate. What I really like about this is that I can use just a pea-sized drop to lather my face and neck. When I'm done, I can't find any residue of cleanser, makeup, nothing. Of course, I have to hustle to the moisturizer, but I like knowing that I have one product that gets everything off without stripping my face to the point where I need an extra day to heal. It's relatively cheap and available in any "out-of-town" drugstore (if you know to look in Neutrogena cosmetics, not cleansers). Minus one lippie because I can't travel with this pump, hygiene aside. One bottle will probably last forever, which has me puzzling over whether to stockpile or not.
Liquid -Revlon - Beyond Natural Skin Matching Makeup SPF 15
peoplerpeople 6/23/2010 12:30:00 AM
I bought this because I liked Almay's version of this product and fine print on the label suggested that the two companies are affiliated. I like Revlon's version a bit better; it goes onto the skin a bit less obviously(?) than Almay's Smart Balance, etc. - a bit less rosy. The color settles and stays well enough. Still watching and hoping that this version does not cause my sensitive skin to dry out or break out. Must say, though, that this is third month of intermittent wear and so far, so good! UPDATE: it's four months after first posting comments and I have to say that I still use this (Medium/Deep for my NC42+ face) at least once each week on "fast-application" days. I apply mixed with my moisturizer, then apply Sephora mattifying powder foundation (D33). It's my fastest possible routine and the setup travels well. I don't use it everyday because the powder foundation doesn't last absolutely all day. (For all day wear, I've had better luck with Colorstay in Caramel or MUFE F&B 18 with MUFE HD translucent powder.) Still, I'm keeping this alternative option on hand.
Conditioner -Garnier - Sleek and Shine Fortifying Deep Conditioner
peoplerpeople 6/22/2010 11:53:00 PM
This conditioner is excellent. If you're trying the Sleek and Shine product line, know that the Sleek and Shine instant conditioner is crap -- you want this stuff, the stuff you leave on three minutes (really, that's pretty "instant" for me) before rinsing. I don't know that it really defrizzes and/or straightens, but I *do* know that it truly softens and seems to strengthen (but this is unscientific). When swimming/beaching, I pack this stuff in my bag. Just before/after getting hair wet, I slick just a bit through hair (sorry if that's gross, but I'm not trying to get that green, brittle chlorinated hair thing). When done, I rinse chlorine and whatever conditioner might remain before lightly reapplying conditioner until I get home for a proper washnstyle. I've grown attached to this and am starting to panic just a bit because it seems to be a bit more difficult to find than in the past. UPDATE: I think I had this product confused with that in the shampoo-height bottles. The Intensive 3 minute mask in the same type jar as the putty product is what I like. The shampoo-sized formulas don't do much for me.
I could repeat much of what others have said about this site, but I'll try to add something if I can. The fact is that the general information in first chapters is so useful and sensible that it seems I've always known this stuff...but I haven't. I'm grateful to know which cosmetic companies fall into which corporate families. The info is available elsewhere, surely - but I learned it in this book. The same is true of the explanation of many product ingredients. I don't take treat it as gospel, but as a moderately credible, relatively informed source of makeup info. That said, Paula Begoun stresses a few themes in her book that I simply do not share. The main example is her abhorrence of anything remotely resembling "peach" in undertones when it comes to foundation. I laugh to think of it, because, in her review of a foundation, she is careful to recommend against specific shades with the tiniest hint of "peach." Most often, one of the de-selected shades is the only shade possible for me, the only one that disappears against my skin. Could this disconnect between opinions regarding peach undertones have anything to do with the fact that my complexion reflects my African-American heritage? In all honesty, I have no idea. I just know better than to march with her recommendation over the truth I see in the mirror. And -- sorry, but I can't resist this echo -- I don't know what it is about Olay that bought her undying (uncritical?) loyalty, anymore than I know who at Neutrogena tinkled in her Post Toasties (showing my age on that one, I know), but her biases can be so obvious as to be amusing. I sidestep, move on, and still feel more informed than ripped off. I've tried, but Olay and I don't get along. I can't counter her info point for point; I just know that stuff doesn't like my face and vice versa. P.S. MUA's cool, too, but I'm looking for and receiving a different sort of information here...and getting it...mostly...I think. Finally, I too signed on at half-price. I'll renew.
I bought this because I am working to fade dark spots leftover from blemishes (some acne, some not). Let me be clear on one thing: in my experience so far (7 weeks), this product does nothing to fade spots. Nothing. So why do I like it? Because it happens to be just the right texture/consistency for my sensitive/dry skin, does not make me break out or itch, has good spf that doesn't seem to run or sting my eyes, AND it does *not* ball up under my primer or either of my two foundations (I alternate days between a powder one and a liquid one). This last criterion is what sunk the Superdefense moisturizers; I tried two skin-type formulations, but both balled up underneath the makeup I use. This Even Better moisturizer is rich stuff and I have to watch how much I apply; I can tell immediately upon application of foundation whether I applied too much of this moisturizer. Applied thinly but evenly, however, the end result is not shiny, heavy, or even dewy. By the time I've added a primer and/or foundation (also with spf), I feel like I'm in good shape for the day. So -- whatever you call it, I call it a good moisturizer and literally forget the product's promises as not worth remembering.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - Impruv Natural Repair Lotion
peoplerpeople 3/29/2010 9:56:00 AM
This product has proved perfect for me and my 5 yo. We both are prone to itchy, dry skin and atopic dermatitis. We are supposed to prevent it by applying a good lotion immediately after bath/shower while skin is still damp and not yet dry. The point is to keep our skin from losing too much moisture via evaporation. Other lotions we've tried (Eucerin, for example) have been really oily, seem to sit on top of the (damp) skin (ew), and take forever to absorb. My son's skin still feels oily the next morning. Others sink in quickly but leave my son's skin ashy and thirsty-looking in a few hours. This stuff, however, really seems to disappear the dampness into the skin, if that makes any sense. No matter how much we use, the lotion absorbs really well. At first, I thought that the fact that I couldn't feel anything meant that the lotion wasn't rich enough. I changed my mind when I realized that my son's skin was definitely soft and not at all ashy when he dressed in the mornings. One very important caveat: this lotion feels and works way better when applied to *damp or wet* skin. I didn't read this on directions or anything; it's just our consistent experience. On dry skin, the lotion feels too light and watery to me and doesn't sink in well. I don't like it as a rescue when I look down and see that my hands are dried out. In fact -- I'll go out on a limb and guess that you, Stranger, won't like this if you apply it to dry, ashy skin, but you will *definitely* be impressed if you try it on moist or damp skin. Probably the other Impruv lotions/creams are better on skin that's already dry (shrug).
Treatments -Rhonda Allison - Mandelic Arginine Serum
peoplerpeople 3/27/2010 8:34:00 PM
This was marketed to me as an extremely gentle but effective exfoliating serum/treatment for people like me who have not tolerated AHA *or* BHA *or* Retin-A Micro 0.04% well (in each instance, use of small amount only at night twice a week yielded dime-sized patches of incredibly flaky skin on forehead/temple/lower-cheek-near-jawline that persisted for days and days). I could tell with the first use that this product is not as strong as those other products; the next morning, my skin felt normal...haven't decided yet if this is good or bad sign. I haven't noticed huge changes two weeks into use, but I'd be satisfied with subtler results using a subtler approach. Product comes in opaque pump bottle encased in clear outer plastic bottle. Cost was $40 for 0.5 oz. (sigh); I use a single pump's worth on clean face under moisturizer at night. To conclude, this product seems okay so far but I reserve the right to change my mind and edit this review later! From the brochure: "Arginine (L-) - One of the 20 main amino acids and present in most proteins, arginine seems to accelerate wound healing, promotes collagen synthesis and increases skin elasticity. Mandelic Acid (5%), AKA alpha-hydroxy-benzeneacetic acid, is found in almonds (mandels in German). Its pH is 3.41, not as acid as pyruvic acid but strong enough for a good peel. It has long been used as an antiseptic because of its antibacterial activity. Some studies suggest that it could be beneficial in the treatment of skin problems such as photo aging, irregular pigmentation, and acne. Pyruvic Acid - produced from dry distillation of racemic acid, originally derived from grapes - not an alpha hydroxy acid but a keto-acid (pH of 2.65, this is a relatively potent acid, that metabolizes rapidly after working hard in a peel) because it is part of the Krebs cycle of respiration. Phytic Acid - This great natural antioxidant, extracted from cereals such as wheat and rice, has a powerful chelating effect on iron, which when free can break havoc on cells. The natural acidity of phytic acid makes it a perfect addition to peels, where it will provide the necessary acidity, while at the same time preventing the formation of damaging radicals that follows cell disruption caused by the peel." Whatever. We'll see what happens. UPDATE (5/10): The change I experienced during the first 6 weeks of use was pretty radical. Many spots that I'd "been working on" for months disappeared completely. I mean, the change was not subjective; it was absolutely and objectively significant. I never switched to another product, but fell off use a few times (I had used every night without fail) in the past month. One dark spot has reappeared. It's faint, but it's there and might have to do with uneven application of sunscreen or just how skin works -- I don't know. On the other hand, this product is so fabulously gentle and lightweight and has never caused clogged pores or a single dry patch like Re tin A-Micro and some other products. I'll stick with this stuff, repurchase when gone, the whole enchilada. I mean it -- this stuff is all that. Second place finish, btw, goes to Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance serum. FINAL UPDATE (7/10): Still love this stuff but have moved to every-other-night use because it can be just a little drying.
Moisturizers -Olay - Olay Complete Ageless Skin Renewing UV Lotion SPF 20
peoplerpeople 3/18/2010 11:25:00 PM
I have dry sensitive skin that is nevertheless prone to acne as well as flaky patches of irritation. Tried this based on review by Paula Begoun. This is my second day. I like the way it smooths onto my skin. I agree that the fragrance is definitely not for me (but not due to irritation, just a matter of preference or taste) -- smell reminded me of Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizer. Contrary to my experience with (heavier) Neutrogena ss/cream, I felt a need to apply primer between this product and foundation. In the end, however, the moisturizer is not rich enough to prevent/hide dry patches (spot on my temple and another on my chin). With some moisturizers, trouble spots show up almost immediately; I didn't notice these until about 3 hours of wear. I must say that, by the end of the day, my entire face *felt* fine, but *looked* pretty dried out (shine was definitely not a problem for me this go-around). I haven't given up on this product yet. I really want it to work because I like the price/sun protection/antioxidant mix, but I may be forced to return to something just a bit richer. UPDATE: This stuff is not for me. Compared to other products and combinations I've tried, this stuff stings ever so slightly; I can't get used to it. My ideal moisturizer/ss will dry to a more matte finish; this dries on the moist side of shiny (even though face feels a little tight) and other products have performed better as a layer underneath makeup. I feel satisfied that I gave this a good solid trial -- I really do. It just doesn't feel good and doesn't look good enough.
This stuff left my face feeling t*i*g*h*t! What a disappointment -- I use the Ultra Repair Cream like it's going out of style and had eagerly awaited FAB's version of a daily moisturizer. I will expand this review later but, for right now, know this much: - no SPF; consistency is creamy but lightweight; dries almost matte - product claims to be safe for sensitive skin; I believe this to be true, if only because my skin is crazy-sensitive and I saw/felt no hint of irritation - bought at Sephora for $18(?); packaged in opaque pump bottle - my disappointment has everything to do with the fact that my skin is extremely dry (but combo too); I had to put another layer of moisturizer on less than 15 minutes later, mainly to help with the tight feeling - this could be great on someone with a different skin type (but no spf...why bother?) - FAB Ultra Repair Cream is sort of a HG for me; maybe this new product could never have lived up to my expectations.
Despite assurances to the contrary from the CG website, Buff Beige does *not* equal Translucent Medium in (what was) Fresh Complexion or Fresh Look pressed powders. After 10+ years, Cover Girl has kicked me to the curb. Have it your way, Cover Girl. Peace.
Pressed Powders -Cover Girl - Clean Pressed Powder Fragrance Free
peoplerpeople 3/1/2010 10:14:00 PM
Buff Beige does not equal Translucent Medium in Fresh Complexion or Fresh Look pressed powders. After 10+ years, Cover Girl has kicked me to the curb. Have it your way, Cover Girl. Peace.
This worked really well on my heels and the soles of my feet, which stay dry year-round and sandpaper-y through the winter. Regular application really makes a difference in how my feet look and feel. The trick is figuring out the best possible time to apply, especially if the aim is twice a day, because this stuff smells. It doesn't stink, it just smells...like (get ready) sweaty-but-fresh(?) feet. All I know is that I have to apply just before bedtime or else a much smaller amount in the morning while wearing gloves or something.
Allow this completely adult AA GGG (NC42) to make this review short and sweet: If *I* can wear this pink lipstick (lustre), then this color must be just this side of universal. I have never, EVER been able to make a non-jeweled tone pink lippie work...ever. This pink is just pink enough, just pigmented enough, just sophisticated enough, just muted enough, but also just "there" enough for this grownup to wear. And the color hangs around at least as long as my other MAC lippies (one of the ways I got hooked on MAC lipsticks). I am *this* close to stockpiling because the color is limited edition, I think. I'm impressed. UPDATE: This may sound weird, but I'm deducting a lippie simply because I feel like my review for "O" is accurate, but I like "O" better than "Fresh Salmon." Is that fair? Is that silly? Sue me, I guess.
Treatments -Nexxus - Emergencee Strengthening Polymeric Reconstructor
peoplerpeople 2/22/2010 9:43:00 PM
This has become an important component of my Recovery Plan after a too-harsh Brazilian keratin treatment fried the shazizznit out of my AA, fine, curly hair. Following advice about hair breakage received via forum on another site, I apply generously to wet/very damp hair after a moisturizing shampoo. Then, before rinsing, I sit under a hardhat or bonnet hairdryer for 15 min. THEN I rinse and style (wet set - yes, there are a few of us left). Used in this method, this stuff drastically stops my hair breakage. I've tried using it according to label directions, but the results (starting with number of hairs that rinsed out with product) were noticeably unimpressive. Don't know how, don't care how, but it absolutely and undeniably slows hair breakage in my case.