Treatments -Sally Hansen - Vitamin E Moisturizing Nail & Cuticle Oil
rambow 4/10/2011 9:40:00 PM
Another product I bought completely on a whim, and didn't realize everyone loved so much! If you have extremely dry hands/cuticles, this may not be the oil for you, as it is quite light. You may need a waxy balm instead. My skin is oily, and my hands/nails only tend to get slightly dry. Frankly, I am too cheap for manicures, and I hate the artificial look of nail polish anyway. Unless it is a special occasion, I'm not bothering with that stuff. I also dislike how dry and nasty the polish and remover leaves my cuticles and nails. I may be somewhat vain, but I've always had nice hands and strong nails that easily grow long. Now that I'm getting older, the youthful, slightly-waxy softness of my cuticles is going away and getting more dry and flaky. This oil does the trick. It leaves my nails with a nice, buffed-but-natural sheen, and my cuticles almost totally invisible. It feels good, and not damaging to my skin and nails like polish does. It is a fluid oil, not too thick, and it has no scent. If you leave it on for a few minutes, it eventually dries and leaves your nails just looking lovely and moisturized. (You won't want to be doing a lot of paperwork right after applying. Let it dry like you would a nail polish. However, I am successfully typing with it on!) And the effects last longer than just one day. If you put this on at night, the next day your nails look just as lovely, even after showering and hand-washing throughout the day.
Fragrances -Yves Rocher - Fraicheur Vegetale Eau de Cologne Cedre Bleu
rambow 4/10/2011 9:20:00 PM
This is a pretty simple, straightforward cedar scent without much else going on. This would probably be a mark against it for most people, but I am OBSESSED with cedar, apparently, and I love it. DON'T JUDGE ME I GREW UP IN THE FOREST The reason I only give it 3 marks is because 1) the bottle is ugly as sin, and 2) it does not last AT ALL on me. Literally within an hour, the scent has disappeared entirely, even when sprayed on my clothes. Still, it's CEDAR and it's cheap enough that I can justify it.
I've been buying this since high school, because I am a very old-fashioned girl, I suppose. I also have oily skin and wear foundation, so I need to set it with powder. I use a powder compact during the day, but for a lovely morning powder when your makeup is freshly applied, I love this stuff. With a nice, big, soft powder brush. It has an old-fashioned floral perfumey smell, so if you don't like that type of thing, get the unscented version. The packaging is lovely. You get a lot of powder, it's reasonably priced, and available at most drugstores. This is a classic staple. Somewhere, I even have a photo of me applying this stuff to my face on my wedding day :)
I really had no idea this was so popular! I've bought this lipstick probably three times in a row. It's a beautiful neutral colour. I tend to be rather fair, but I tan easily, and this colour looks great on me both ways. I wish the formulation was longer-lasting, because I am a lip-licker and this stuff doesn't last me more than a couple of hours, but it's so beautiful, easily found, and reasonably priced that I don't care. If you have dry lips (I don't), you will probably like this because it is creamy and moisturizing. It also doesn't emphasize every tiny dry flake on your lips. I lost my last tube of it somewhere and found myself missing it for months, even though I had other lipsticks, until I finally broke down and bought another today.
Skincare - Body -Palmers - Cocoa Butter Formula jar
rambow 4/9/2011 5:53:00 PM
This stuff smells good, and is great for really dry, rough areas -- feet, elbows, dry hands. I keep it on my night table to use when I'm getting on my pajamas. I even put it on my lips at nighttime when they are dry. I live in Canada, though, and it DOES get hard in the jar when it's cold. But all you need is a tiny bit to do the job, which I can get out just fine by smearing my fingers around on the surface. I kind of dislike the jar itself, and next time I'll get the stick form. But it's lovely stuff for very dry skin, though it can leave a bit of a greasy/oily film behind.
I like the way this feels when applied to the skin (I got the oily/combo formulation) because it is not too heavy. Alas, I get slight stinging/burning sensation with this product, even though I am not particularly sensitive normally. Apparently my skin dislikes the chemical sunscreen, which would explain why I've had issues with certain sunscreens in the past, but not others. I would also prefer a flip-top cap to the screw-cap for easier application. I tried the Sensitive formulation of this (Equate brand generic, however), which uses the physical sunblock, and it was creamier and a bit heavier, but no stinging. I'll stick with that, thanks. However, if you're oily and need a good daily moisturizer, AND you're not sensitive to chemical sunscreen, this is a good option. It's inexpensive, feels nice, and is widely available. Just didn't work for me, and I won't repurchase.
I used this makeup when it first came out, way back in the mid-90s when I was still in high school. Decided to try it again after reading the reviews here and being annoyed with foundation that fades too quickly off my face during the day. The packaging is exactly the same as I remember -- glass bottle with a round opening that can be a little hard to get the product out of. The smell was even the same, bringing back memories of high school. The reason I'd originally stopped using it was just because I'd bought a tint that was too orange for my skin, and moved onto other foundations. But this time, I got a good colour match (with Sand Beige 180 -- I have fair skin with neutral undertones, and I normally buy the second-to-lightest shade in any foundation.) The good things about this foundation are 1) it feels light, not heavy, sticky, or greasy, 2) it does stay on your skin all day, and 3) I liked the colour match, and the colour does seem to cover imperfections pretty well. It can be tricky to blend, but using a dampened makeup sponge took care of that, and helped to make sure the coverage was not too masky-looking. The issues I have this makeup are that 1) even though the COLOUR coverage is good, the TEXTURE coverage is not. It is such a thin, fluid makeup that it can sink into any craters/pores/wrinkles, and if your skin does not have a nice, smooth, youthful texture (or if you're not using a primer), it just leaves your skin looking rough and not all that great -- and 2) it did give me some acne afterward. If I were young and still had nice, smooth, poreless skin, or if I liked using primers (ick), this would probably be just fine. I'll keep using this makeup for times when I need to make sure the colour will stay on my face all day, or when I need a particularly non-creamy makeup (like on humid or hot days.) Given those caveats, I might buy it again, but it's not likely to ever be a favourite of mine. UPDATE: I've been wearing this almost daily for several days, and I'm warming up to it. The damp makeup sponge is great for putting it on without the texture looking too awful, and then you can dab more on with your finger over blemishes -- looks better than concealer, even. I think this is one of those things I needed practice with to make work. It's not perfect, but it's my new daily. It covers better and lasts longer than Dream Matte Mousse, my skin has gotten used to it, and it's a much better colour match. UPDATE 2: Applied with a foundation brush, this gives much more coverage and has a pretty nice texture. The damp makeup spong gives more sheer coverage. I like the versatility. After several trials, I even prefer this to Estee Lauder foundations.
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Reversa - Skin Smoothing Cream 8% Glycolic Acid
rambow 2/28/2011 1:05:00 PM
After researching a bit, I wanted to try a GA product, mainly because of acne, pore size, some hyperpigmentation from old scars, and rough skin texture. I do have some fine lines, but I am not that concerned about wrinkles -- I'm more annoyed by the fact that my skin does not "bounce back" and heal from acne as quickly as it used to when I was younger. Scars and scabs take forever to go away, and my skin's texture has coarsened a little in general. I bought Reversa Skin Smoothing Cream (8% GA) at Shopper's for about $27 (after two coupons that the sales associate kindly gave me!) I was concerned about starting on the 8% right away, since there is a 4% cream available, but she assured me that it would be fine since my skin is not very sensitive, and since the GA in Reversa has a time-release formula. The instructions say to start using it only every other day at first, after doing the obligatory arm-patch test for allergic reaction. The cream has no scent, and felt quite gentle on my skin. I put it on at night after cleansing my face with Cetaphil and witch hazel, and it felt light but creamy, not greasy but moisturizing. I had the slightest little bit of tingling around my nose, but nothing alarming. When I woke up the next morning, my skin looked improved, and one particular new scab I'd developed on a delicate area of skin (right over my cheekbone) had actually HEALED overnight. This would normally have been a 3-4 day process for my skin. I didn't use the cream then for two nights. When I put it on again last night, I felt absolutely none of the tingling from the first time, and it was just a lovely-feeling moisturizer (and a little goes a long way!) I woke up this morning to, once again, nice-looking, refreshed, dare I say HEALED skin. The pores on my nose were visibly lighter. You must wear an SPF during the day if you use this cream. I would definitely follow the instructions to use it only once every other night to start with. If you have sensitive skin or don't know how your skin will react to GA, definitely do the patch test, and perhaps start with the 4% formulation. If you have oily skin, this cream might be too rich for day use. UPDATE: I've now used this for a week and a half or so, and using it every night is not a good option for me -- I started to break out, and the "healing" effect was lessened. I've switched back to every other day, and it works as it originally did again. But it looks like I will still need salicylic acid and perhaps benzoyl peroxide to keep my acne at bay. Will update with long-term progress when I'm near the end of the jar. UPDATE 2: It's been just over 2 weeks, and I'm now able to wear it nightly without breakouts (still using BP and SA though.) Since the acne products I use are drying, I appreciate the rich emollient factor of the cream now. The biggest effect I notice with this now is that the sebaceous filaments on my nose are drastically reduced when I use it regularly. UPDATE 3: I've found this stuff is ESPECIALLY awesome if you get any crusty/flaky patches of dry skin. It even is helpful on my psoriasis in between Rx treatments. Has a surprising lot of uses if you have skin with issues! I'm using Retin-A now instead of OTC acne treatments, but I'm planning to finish using up this jar on off-nights, and may find myself repurchasing in the future unless I can get hold of something similar for cheaper. Label says Reversa products are "hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, vegetal and mineral oil-free, paraben-free and without synthetic fragrance." INGREDIENTS: Water, Glycolic Acid, Caprylic Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate & PEG-100 Stearate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Propylene Glycol, Cholesterol, Sorbitan Stearate, Arginine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Allantoin, Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Ammonium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, BHT.
Mascara -Cover Girl - Professional Super Thick Lash Mascara
rambow 2/21/2011 9:03:00 PM
I've been looking for a great mascara. I really like dramatic, black, huge lashes, but I don't want to fuss with false eyelashes. My natural lashes are black, average thickness and length -- not super fine, light, or thin, just so you know what I'm starting with. I also only apply mascara to my upper lashes. I wore Maybelline's Volum Express The Colossal waterproof for a while, and liked the lashes a lot, but disliked the weird brow-bone smudging. After reading the MUA reviews, I decided CG Professional Super Thick Lash was my next best shot. I bought some for $4.99 (at Target) in the States. I put on a quick lick of it one morning and thought, ho-hum. Not dramatic. Just an average mascara. Oh well. This morning, I gave it another shot, and decided to do a more serious application and see what it could really do. Well, my friends, two-three quick coats later (zig-zag and then a straight sweep), this mascara is just as good as The Colossal, with one added bonus -- no smudges at the end of the day. I got loads of thickness, volume, length, and also a bit of unexpected eyelash curling (which is cool, because I hate curling them.) Tiniest bit of flaking (literally like 2 flakes near my brow) at the end of the day. Far preferable to the inevitable smudging I had with The Colossal. The black is very black, it's not too clumpy, and I'm loving it. The other one is going in the garbage now that I've found my replacement. Great mascara, great price. UPDATE: I've been using this daily for a week now, and I'm loving it. I'm not noticing ANY flaking at the end of the day. I also love that it's easier to remove than a waterproof mascara , and yet it performs like a waterproof (against oily smudging, that is -- if you cry significantly, you WILL go Tammy Faye with this) during the day. Awesome.
Lips -Cover Girl - Outlast Lipstain - 420 Sassy Mauve
rambow 2/21/2011 2:38:00 AM
This is a lovely, sheer berry colour that's not tacky-bright, but does really pop on my pale skin. My lips are not very dry or flaky -- if they were, I think this wouldn't be a great choice. But I have smooth lips and really dislike caky/waxy lipsticks, so I wanted to try something different. Combined with a really light lip balm (Chapstick with SPF 15) on top to make it harder to lick off the colour, it feels just moisturizing enough to not be uncomfortable. Thing is, unless you let your lips completely dry out, this stain really does not last. But, on me, no lipstick lasts for very long anyhow -- the best I can do for longevity is use a liner. Putting the Chapstick on top helps a little bit, though. I do like the felt-tip format, but I've also noticed that, like a felt-tip marker, the tip can get a bit fuzzed or parched out with only a few uses. Still usable, however, and still preferable to a lipstick. It's the only lip stain I've tried so far. Apparently there are others that may last longer -- I'll experiment when this one's running out and see how it compares.
I find powder blushes somehow look fake on me, so I decided to try a cream blush. This one is lovely. The colour (First Blush) is fresh and rosy without being garish. It definitely looks like a sort of natural glow, and nicely compliments my fair complexion and dark hair/eyes -- takes any hint of unintenional gothness away from my black-and-white colouring. It's also easy to blend to adjust sheerness or placement just by dabbing your skin, whereas if I accidentally over-apply powder blush, I find it really hard to blend away. I was using it on top of Maybelline's Dream Matte Mousse foundation, and found this blush didn't last very long (neither did the foundation, for me.) Within a couple of hours, it seemed to fade away completely, even after setting it with powder. I've just switched to Revlon ColorStay, so we'll see if it lasts longer with that. The packaging is okay if you don't mind applying with fingertips (which has never bothered me.) The little push-button pop-out mirror is completely lost on me, and I never use it. Otherwise, a lovely product. UPDATE: Definitely lasts longer with Colorstay.
Moisturizers -Neutrogena - Combination Skin Moisture Oil Free
rambow 2/21/2011 1:57:00 AM
My husband went through a raft of different moisturizers that he didn't end up liking for his rosacea, and this was one of the casualties. I have oily skin on my face and some acne, but decided to start using a nighttime moisturizer after a salicylic acid cleanser -- since now I'm getting older and my skin is a touch drier than it used to be, and the s/a could cause extra dryness. But I still wanted to make sure whatever moisturizer I used wouldn't be greasy and aggravate acne. Anyway, though this was a rather random choice, it fit the bill. I've been using it on my face and neck each night for a couple months now, and when I wake up, my skin feels moisturized and healed, but not greasy. I'll have the occasional nose-crease whitehead, but nothing else. My acne has improved quite a lot with the use of the salicylic cleanser and this lotion. I'm planning to move to a glycolic night cream, since g/a in the past has helped me with clogged pores and acne, and since I'd like to start heading off wrinkles at the pass, but this lotion will definitely be my back-up. I also love the pump! I'm actually going to save the pump when I run out of this to use with other face products (like sunscreen!) ETA: I've now switched to Complex 15 Daily Face Cream, but I still use the pump from this :)
Eye Makeup Remover -Neutrogena - Eye Makeup Remover Lotion
rambow 2/21/2011 1:09:00 AM
I think there may be some confusion as to how to use this type of remover to get the best results. Most of the bad reviews I've read mention using a cotton pad or cotton balls -- not the way to go with a lotion makeup remover. Here's how I use it: Massage a generous dollop of this stuff onto both closed eyes. Let it sit for about 5-10 seconds. Then either rinse off with lukewarm water and pat dry, OR go ahead and wash it off with your usual face wash (I use Cetaphil, which seems like a good combo.) When you rinse it off with water and pat dry, pretty much everything is gone. I often use thick, waterproof mascara and black liquid eyeliner, and this stuff works pretty well, without the astringency and skin-tugging of a liquid on a cotton pad/ball.
I used to use this when it was in different packaging (pale blue tube with a screw cap) and I absolutely loved it. I dislike using liquid eye makeup removers on a cotton ball or pad, because I feel like I am tugging at the delicate skin around my eye, which can't be good. I've also found that liquid eye makeup removers -- which you have to use a bit sparingly unless you want them to completely saturate and drip down your entire face -- don't remove every trace of eye makeup. Well, this stuff is a creamy lotion that doesn't require tugging and pulling at your eyes. If you use it generously, massage it gently onto your closed eyelids, let it sit for a few seconds, then rinse off with lukewarm water, it gets everything off with no irritation. When the packaging changed, I thought the product had been discontinued, and I have been looking for a replacement ever since. Right now, I have a tube of Neutrogena's eye makeup remover lotion. It's the same texture, same idea as Nivea's, but it doesn't work as effectively to get the makeup off. Still preferable to a liquid, in my opinion, however. Anyway, now that I see the product is still made, just in different packaging, I'll be getting more as soon as I finish off my existing Neutrogena. Woohoo! UPDATE: So, this is not quite as good as I recall. It stung my eyes a tiny bit when I accidentally got some in them. It is more fluid than the Neutrogena MU remover, and so can be a little difficult to handle. I think with practice, though, it MIGHT be just as good. The new packaging is more convenient than the old, for sure. But it doesn't seem to instantly dissolve my eye makeup the way I remember it years ago. That may be my memory, though, and not the product's fault :)
My husband uses Old Spice High Endurance deodorant. Anti-perspirants irritate his sensitive skin. I always loved the way he smelled when wearing it -- mildly spicy but a little sweet. It's a sort of old-fashioned spicy scent, rather like Pears' brown transparent soap. I always used anti-perspirants because I sweat quite a bit. However, I recently had a really bad skin reaction to regular anti-perspirant and swore off it. I went looking for a lady deodorant, but got irritated about how expensive they tend to be for a smaller package. So, I bought myself the same Old Spice (original scent) deodorant my husband uses. I love it. According to the ingredients, there are no parabens in it. It keeps me smelling fine during the day, and sometimes I even put it on at night before bed, just to keep away nighttime BO. I love it. Big, cheap, available, and smells wonderful.