Eyeliner -Vincent Longo - Vibrant Eye Waterproof Liner
slok87 11/5/2008 12:59:00 PM
This is my favorite liquid liner. I've only tried it in black, but it is a true, deep, vibrant black. The brush isn't flimsy and is very easy to use and control for fine to thick lines. This does take awhile to dry, though, which is both good and bad; it means that you have a little time to erase any mistakes with a wet q-tip, but that you have to be careful no to blink too hard and get the eyeliner all over your eyes while it's drying. Once it is dry it won't budge without using oil or an oil-based makeup remover. This is everything I want in liquid eyeliner and unless something much cheaper comes out that claims to be as good, I can't ever see having any temptation to try another liquid liner.
I just used this for the first time and I am so pleased and happy with how this worked! I don't think I'm overly hairy but I do have a "mustache" that you can see if you really scrutinize my face--basically the fuzz on my upper lip is a bit darker than the white-blonde fuzz on the rest of my face. I'd wax my upper lip occasionally, but waxing was always extremely painful and left me with a blotchy, red, broken-out upper lip for days. When I was buying wax for my eyebrows I saw this bleach for only $5 at Ulta and decided to try it. I wasn't really sure that it would even work, because any other hair-altering cream I've put on my skin hasn't worked. I can leave Nair on my face forever and get a chemical burn before any hair will budge. So I mixed this bleach up, left it on my upper lip for ten minutes and dubiously scraped it off--and my lip fuzz was the same white-blonde color as the rest of the fuzz on my face! I am never waxing my upper lip again! While I had this on my face it did sting and was slightly uncomfortable and made my eyes water a little, but the stinging went away a few minutes after I removed the creme. Also, you don't really need to mix as much as the instructions say if you're just doing your upper lip (they advise 1/4 tsp of powder and 1/2 tsp of creme), but I mixed up about half that; just make sure you stick to a 1:2 powder:creme ratio and you'll be fine.
Fragrances -Bond No.9 - Andy Warhol Silver Factory
slok87 10/28/2008 4:39:00 PM
This smells like a freshly cleaned gerbil cage mixed with tea tree oil. If you haven't been around small captive rodents, you might just get wood shavings and medicinal tinctures, but clean gerbil cage and tea tree oil nails this one for me. It's also a linear fragrance that doesn't change or develop on me, aside from growing gradually more muted until it fades away completely (I've had this happen with other Bonds as well). This is pleasant and clean and just a little masculine, and if I loved straight up cedar I might be all over this, but I merely like cedar and like it even better when it's a smaller part of something larger. I was expecting a rich, woody fragrance softened with florals; I typically love all of the notes associated with this fragrance, but Silver Factory leaves me pretty apathetic.
Notes: Incense, wood resin, amber, jasmine, iris and violet
EDIT: I accidentally mixed a little of this on my skin with Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit and the two really balance each other out well--the result is spicy, sweet, reminds me a bit of Chinatown's drydown (only better in some ways because hey, no tuberose) and it's actually quite nice. This could drive me to a full bottle, even though I'm not really interested in wearing this on its own.
Moisturizers -L'Oreal - Dermo-Expertise Revitalift Night Cream
slok87 10/24/2008 10:51:00 PM
Okay, I really love this cream. I've gone through pretty much every drugstore cream I can find with retinol in it because I want a retinol cream but am not ready to take it to a prescription level yet. I haven't really had any problems with the other creams, but I don't know that they were doing anything, either--that is why I kept switching brands. This cream is slightly thick, white, and doesn't smell like anything to me. When I opened the jar and saw how thick the product was, I really thought it would probably break me out, especially because I already had a pretty bad breakout of cystic acne when I began using this product. My skin cleared up very quickly after I started using this cream, though. I don't know if the Revitalift cleared up my skin, but I do know that my skin looks great lately. It looks clear and--yes--glowy. I haven't changed anything else with my skincare or makeup or anything else in my life lately, so I think it actually could be this product (I've never had a skincare product improve my skin this way--usually I just try to find something that won't break me out or make me too oily or too dry). I'll keep using this until it stops working.
Sunscreen -Korres - Watermelon Sunscreen Face Cream SPF 30
slok87 10/24/2008 10:40:00 PM
I realize this has some very good reviews, but for me the fragrance was the only thing I could stand about this sunscreen. This is a very thick, white cream veering on greasy. I like to dab sunscreen on generously and then let it sink into my skin, but I couldn't do that with this cream; I had to apply it lightly and really rub it in, otherwise I would have visible white cream on my face all day. One day I had applied this lightly to my neck and forgot to rub it in, and when I was taking off my make-up that night I noticed this sunscreen still visible on some parts of my neck! So this is long-lasting, but I don't want to see my sunscreen. This was also quite greasy on me. I have combination skin that is more on the oily side, but this cream left my face feeling really coated, greasy and icky. It also broke me out terribly every time I used it. My skin is usually clear and not sensitive (it tolerates a lot of crap, switching of products, and so on with little complaint) but every time I used this product I would get a breakout of huge, red, painful cystic acne with the occasional smattering of whiteheads. How often did this happen? Well, I used half the tube before giving up on it, so I am confident that my dislike for this product is well placed. The price on this is about $28 for a little 1.69oz tube--another nail in baby Watermelon Sunscreen's coffin. The scent on this is pleasant, though, and it doesn't smell at all sunscreeny. It's just a very light, inoffensive watermelon (melon scents usually annoy me, but I like this one).
If you have dry skin this might actually be moisturizing for you, but it also might be even more prone to sitting on top of your skin.
Mascara -Guerlain - Divinora Supercils Base Fortifying Primer
slok87 10/23/2008 10:50:00 AM
What I want more than anything from a lash primer is for it to condition my lashes. Amplifying the look of my regular mascara is the second most important thing. My lashes are decent and I don't have trouble making them look okay with just mascara, but I do worry about damaging them with all the mascara I cake on. In this respect, this is a quite a good primer. My lashes don't seem to fall out as often or clump together as much as they did before I started using this (I've had my current tube for a few months) and this does give some nice definition and length to my lashes; however, I don't think this magnifies my lashes as well as Lancome Cils Booster XL (Cils Booster XL has fibers in it, though, and while I love the look it wasn't as easy on my lashes). Shiseido's mascara base doesn't do a lot for me, so I do prefer Guerlain's primer, but if you happen to love Shiseido there's probably little reason to switch to this. I would rebuy this again (like after trying some other products that I don't end up liking as well) but for my next primer purchase I will probably try something else. This is a good primer, but for a consistent $25 rebuy I need to be in love, and the love on this little primer is probably more like $15.
Fragrances -Bond No.9 - Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue
slok87 10/17/2008 12:08:00 PM
If you're interested in Lexington Avenue but have been put off because it's been cast as too similar to Chinatown, please at least sample it, because the two fragrances are not alike at all on me. To me, Chinatown is a creamy tuberose followed by warm, brilliant and spicy incense; Lexington Avenue actually smells more like a much subdued version of Silver Factory on me. Upon application I get subtle spice (a fennel/cumin/cardamom type) and sandalwood, which sits on my skin, close to my skin, until it gradually softens up into less spicy sandalwood before fading away. Even without all the hype over Lexington Avenue I think I would still be a little disappointed, and given the subtleness, flatness and poor longevity, I'm really not crazy about it. This is still a pleasant fragrance, though, and I'd probably find it particularly pleasant on a man. It reminds me of a sort of winter-woodsy-outdoors-all-day-doing-winter-woodsy-stuff-in-plaid-flannel type fragrance (although if I force myself I can sort of picture it transferring to a crowded street on an extremely cold, grey day in NYC).
notes: Blue cypress, fennel, roasted almonds, pink peony, crème brulée, and sandalwood
A million bottles of red wine have been uncorked and poured into glasses filled with rose petals. The wine is quaffed pretty quickly, leaving behind only the soaked, overripe, dripping mess of wilted blooms. An addictive aroma is left lingering and I keep inhaling more and more deeply to try to take it in, but this almost causes me to hyperventilate as the scent becomes fainter and fainter... Eventually I give up and go home. This fragrance is pretty, like so many other pretty fragrances, but leaves me waiting for it to develop into something that will stun me; it never does.
Mascaras keep claiming to enhance lashes by a zillion percent and I keep trying new ones, hoping for one of them to be just a little bit true. This one? This one claims to increase lash volume 10x. I haven't seen any other mascara dare to breach that claim (the highest I've seen other than Glam Eyes was, I think, 5x). Really, though, this mascara just looks very natural on me, even using a lash primer, even using 5+ coats of mascara and a lash curler. Volume Flash does more for my lashes than this one. The lash comb on Glam Eyes is good for separating lashes, but I really don't like it because it's a little tedious to use and takes much longer to apply than a normal wand (if I'm taking ages to apply mascara, then it should look more dramatic than natural). I have had no clumping issues with this, but it's just not working for the drag queen, false, doll lash look that I want. If you're looking for a good basic mascara that doesn't clump, and if you don't mind a non-traditional mascara wand, then Glam Eyes would probably be great for you. That's not how it's advertised, though, and it's not what I am looking for.
All of Burberry's fragrances smell good, but usually seem incredibly ordinary to me; Brit Red and Brit Gold are the exceptions (my favorite Burberry fragrance is Brit Gold, no contest, but Brit Red is my second favorite). Red is an accessible, sweet, softly spicy fragrance. This smells reminiscent of gingerbread on me, but isn't foody. It does remind me of a holiday fragrance that you might wear while baking or warming up after coming inside from shovelling snow (it has a warm, cozy quality to it) but it's also just a little bit sexy.
notes: green mandarin, rhubarb, gingerbread, jasmine, rose, vanilla, patchouli, benzoin, sandalwood and vanilla bean
Well hm. When I was in high school I wore The Healing Garden's Lavender Therapy products quite often, and really, this reminds me so much of those. It's not just that they both share lavender but it's specifically the way they've both done lavender; slightly spicy and slightly toned down, but unmistakeably lavender. On my skin Belle En Rykiel just stays kind of lavendery and never really morphs beyond that (especially the lotion). If you find that the edp softens too much on your skin and you wish the lavender lasted longer, try layering it with the lotion. This is a pleasant, androgynous fragrance, and is definitely memorable and, despite my comparisons to the Healing Garden, can stand on its own against a sea of other mass-produced fragrances. This doesn't do much for me personally, but I know it works better on others and I'd be thrilled to smell it on someone else. It's a lovely, inoffensive, surprising and welcome divergence from the mobs of D&G Light Blues, Clinique Happys and VW Princesses, so spritz this one on yourselves all you want.
notes: Mandarin, Red Currant, Lavender Flower; Heliotrope, Coffee Blossom, Frankincense; Patchouli, Amber, Mahogany, Vanilla.
Okay, I have a problem. I cannot tell the difference between this and Live unless I have one on each wrist and comparison sniff. Anyway, bearing that in mind, I do think this is pleasant but is it better than the regular Live? If I spritz one on each wrist and smell both wrists, Live Luxe is is fruitier and brighter, but is lacking that special pineappley goodness that Live struts; however, when I don't have them to compare right up next to one another, either one would do. In short, to me Live Luxe is another typical fruity-sweet fragrance. Yes, it smells good, but it isn't memorable. The best thing about this fragrance, though, is that I can smell no pear in it. Clearly I am not a connoisseur of the fruits (I just like pineapple a lot and dislike pear). But let's say you need a new clubbin' fragrance or just need a fruit cocktail fix--if you can find this cheap, you likely won't regret picking it up.
notes: pear, peach, freesia, muguet petals, musk, soft amber.
Edited to add that I just read the review below mine, which also marked this off as fruity and bright! (I hadn't read it before I wrote mine). Anyway, there you go, if fruity and bright is your thing then you are all set.
This starts off very strong--so strong that I disliked it the first few times I sampled it. I would always sample it in the store, though, along with Prada Tendre, trying to determine the difference in how they smelled. This, along with the flurry of fragrances in the store, zillions of paper test strips and over-spritzed arms led me astray and I had zero interest in having much to do with Prada edp; however, I was miffed at how a brand world-renowned for fashion could just release a blatantly strong (if not unmemorable) fragrance. So I'd occasionally sample again, because I still didn't have a clear idea of how Prada even smelled. One day I couldn't find any fragrances I was very interested in and hadn't sprayed anything on myself; as an afterthought, as I left the store, I spritzed Prada on one wrist and left. As I was driving home, something began to smell so incredible. I couldn't remember what fragrance I'd worn that day, and then I remembered the Prada. Inspected my wrist more closely with my nose and found that it had turned just intoxicating and I couldn't get enough of it. I carefully avoided washing that wrist and couldn't get the smell out of my head for days; I was hooked and purchased a full bottle shortly after.
On my skin, this is warm,sensual, sweet and delicious. It's slightly woodsy with soft edges of amber and delicate underpinnings of patchouli, but really not strong or overpowering; it snugly envelops my skin and is definitely a cold-weather bundling-up fragrance. I understand why people would shy away from this--I did too--Prada edp can be kind of scary at first, but it's really not a screaming powerhouse fragrance. This is a beautiful oriental, but if you're not a fan of orientals or if they all tend to smell the same to you, this is possibly not a fragrance you would enjoy. (I've noticed that a fair number of people tend to lump all orientals as smelling like Angel; I'm not sure why this is (I do have some theories) but to me, this smells absolutely nothing like Angel (I actually dislike Angel).
Bergamot Oil Italian, Orange Oil, Bitter Orange Oil, Mandarin Flower, Mimosa India, Rose Absolute ABS, Schinus Molle ABS LMR, Peru Balsam, Patchouli Oil LMR, Raspberry Flower, Labdanum Resinoide LMR, Tonka Bean ABS LMR, Vanilla Absolute, Musk, Sandalwood Oil.
The first anxious spritz disappointed me; it was too familiar and too similar, like a cross between the original Agent Provacateur and Ambre Precieux by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Perfumes; heavy and thick and deep and ambery with some powder and spiciness. This isn't a bad thing to smell like at all, but I was disappointed because I'd already smelled it before. I kept sniffing my wrists though (because that's what you do) and about forty minutes after I'd first applied, I inhaled again and... Strip had become its own fragrance! The amber still predominated, but it had lost a lot of the thick powderiness that had been clinging to me and now smelled sweeter and muskier and faintly of clove cigarettes. Not for everyone, but that sealed it for me. Amber and clove together? I love it. Layering this with a bit of vanilla might make it more friendly for people who aren't quite enchanted by the clove cigarette aroma. The drydown scent is not very strong, but the initial application is. If you put on enough at first to make it stronger for later, you'll have applied way too much and people who come across you for that first half hour will probably rue the decisions they made that day that put them in your path.
notes:ylang ylang, noble iris, geranium bourbon, amber, vetiver, musk
Fragrances -Gucci - Gucci by Gucci (new release 2008)
slok87 9/18/2008 12:50:00 PM
I was out shopping with a co-worker and I dragged her over to the fragrance counters for some sniffing. We were bombarded with spray cards of one of my most loathed enemies, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue. "Mmmmm!!" my co-worker inhaled, "I like this!!" Then we were attacked with Gucci edp by Gucci. She wrinkled her nose, made a hideous face, and did not bother to conceal a "blech" or "ew" or whatever choice declaration she made. So my opinion of the fragrance may have been biased favorably from the start, but I smelled that little card of deep honeyed-spicy goodness and I loved it. I spritzed myself for good measure and threw the card in my purse, from which it was frequently removed and inhaled. I couldn't get this fragrance out of my head.
My bottle (gorgeous deep brown glass bottle though it is) has not quite lived up to the expectations I had developed while sampling. I like this fragrance, but I'm not in love with it. When spritzed, my bottle covers me with a slightly sweet honeyed pear, and then softens into a deeper, barely spicy honeyed musk. It just isn't that complex and while I will occasionally catch a slight whiff of the spicy-honey I remember falling in love with, it is very fleeting. The fragrance also doesn't last terribly long on me. I like it, and I'll wear it, but when I do I wish it was just a little more something; it reminds me of the boyfriend you really should just break up with because he is never going to do what you need him to do, even though he seems perfect in other ways and you really think he should be able to live up to these other expectationss--he just won't.
Notes: guava, pear;
patchouli, musk, honey.