Darling color (can be piled alone or on top of another color), but the packaging is horrible. The stout round bubble-shaped bottle is really cute but holds only 1/4 ounce of polish -- most brands are 1/2 ounce, & this one costs tons more than most. But then again it is a high end brand, so no surprise. The polish is a clear base filled with super-sparkly shimmery ivory/champagne pearly frost that goes on sheer & can build up with multiple layers. The glittery effect is very finely milled but sparkly. I don't remember what I paid (it was years ago) but the brush is so short & impossible to use, I never bought another bottle. I see some going for auction on eBay, but I'm not about to go for it....
Very cute but super-duper expensive for a tiny 1/4 ounce bubble-shaped bottle. I bought Dragee #43 (pictured above), a super-shimmery sparkly sheer shade that has pearly ivory or champagne color shimmer. BTW what kind of name is Dragee?! Very nice effect, looks super-awesome in the bottle, but the handle is so stout & tiny, it's difficult to apply the polish! Come on, give us a break for all the we pay for your products.. make it easier! I don't remember how much I paid but I'm sure it was a lot, & now I'm pouring the remaining 1/4 of the bottle into another bottle of similar polish because the little tiny brush doesn't even reach far down enough to make applying this polish a possibility anymore. Thanks a lot, Lancome! The neck of the bottle is too big for its size & the brush it too short! Sakes alive. I give this polish 3 lippies just because of the bad packaging.
I adore Yello-Out for its yellow stain neutralizing abilities, but I absolutely loathe how it chips & peels almost instantly. Expose your hands to water & forget it, polish peels off! Otherwise I still love it, & I still use it on a regular basis. It's a transparent lavender-tinted polish that neutralizes the appearance of yellow stains in nails & REMOVES them! When I remove the polish from my previously yellowed nails, they are fresh & healthy looking. Topping this with a layer of sheer white nailpolish results in the most gorgeous manicure. But it doesn't last. So I have to re-do my manicure frequently. By itself, this polish makes nail beds look pink & healthy and nail tips look clean & white. Only about $3 in drugstores. UPDT 3/22/11 - The bottle is the same but the formula has changed (the purple tint is more intense in the bottle - you can see the difference in the photos above - old vs. new). Now it dries matte rather than shiny (I guess to give a more natural look) which I don't really like - it makes my nails look like they have no polish on (no shine), except for the improvement in nail color appearance (healthy nails instead of dull or yellow). New formula notwithstanding, unfortunately this polish still begins to peel after a bit of water exposure, whether I'm wearing it by itself or underneath other nailpolish (even more so). So no improvement there, but I still depend on this product.
Polishes -Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri Nailpolish Colors
felgoj 1/28/2010 4:13:00 PM
OMG this was TERRIBLE for me! I keep my nails very short & I don't have huge nail beds, so although I was excited about the idea of a flat brush applicator (which I like), I did NOT like the brush in this product - way too BIG to apply color to my nails without making major mistakes & smudges!! Both on my hands AND my feet! (with perhaps my big toe as the exception) So the only polish of this line that I could buy was the CLEAR, & even this one is giving me trouble in making a clean application! I like the idea of a fast-dry nailcolor, so I poured this clear polish into an almost-empty bottle of some fast-dry top coat & am throwing this empty bottle & it's GIANT brush AWAY! The fact that the brush has a tapered curved edge instead of flat makes it even worse to apply. I know it was intended to be helpful, but it isn't. Sally Hansen makes some nail products that have flat brushes which are normal size & shape, & those are spectacular! This one is NOT. ugh
Treatments -Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri Speed Dry Drops
felgoj 1/28/2010 4:07:00 PM
Did not like. These drops did not dry my wet nails as fast as the Insta-Dri top coat does. Now I have a bottle in my manicure drawer that doesn't get used & I don't know what to do with. Didn't cost a whole lot ($5) but I hate to throw it away. I'm sure I won't want to use it. Maybe I'll end up putting it up for swap...
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Jessica Bend Don't Break
felgoj 1/28/2010 4:01:00 PM
Love this stuff. I go to extra trouble & effort to buy this online AND at higher cost since it's no longer sold in stores (in NYC). So it costs me much more to get this treatment polish but it's worth it to me. It effectively moisturizes & hydrates weak, dehydrated nails & dries quickly enough. I like using this as a basecoat under color. A similar product like this might be Sally Hansen Nail Quencher basecoat, available in pretty much every drugstore for only $5 or $6. I use that too. As a basecoat I alternate btwn Jessica & Sally Hansen, depending on my mood. This product is made to allow your natural nails to bend, flex & bounce back, instead of break in a brittle, rigid way.
This was my fave fastdry topcoat until I discovered Jessica Brilliance. Both dry super fast (which is the main thing I need) but Insta-Dri after a few days on my nails would crack, chip & yellow. At the time that I used this topcoat, Essie Fiji was my go-to np & I hated watching it go from a beautiful light pink to an almost peach color 1-2 days into my mani. And my sheer white manicures would always show white cracks after a couple of days of regular work (which includes typing). And ultimately came those dreaded bubbles! How I hate them. The shine faded quickly on me & I had to refresh virtually daily. So when I tried Jessica Brilliance (which has all of Insta-Dri's pros & none of its cons), I ditched Insta-Dri & never went back. I do like Insta-Dri's flat brush (which Jessica Brilliance unfortunately doesn't have, but that's OK). I'd rather spend the extra $ for Brilliance (which doesn't lose its shine, doesn't yellow, doesn't bubble, doesn't shrink, doesn't goop, doesn't crack, doesn't need frequent refreshing, AND dries quickly).
Top/Base Coats -Sally Hansen - Nail Quencher - Hydrating Base Coat [DISCONTINUED]
felgoj 1/28/2010 3:38:00 PM
This product is great! I noticed that when I started using it, my manicure, which would chip within the first day, would last for a good week before I'd see any chips or cracks, & even then the chips would be much smaller! I liked the idea of a moisturizing or hydrating base coat because I only use 100% acetone to remove my nail polish (which I do frequently) & my nails take a beating in terms of dryness & frailty. The acetone strips them of moisture. I rub a little coconut oil on my bare nails between manicures to condition them. And every time I start a fresh manicure (I stopped going to salons, I just do them myself now) I begin with a base coat of Nail Quencher (or sometimes Jessica 'Bend Don't Break' which pretty much does the same thing). Both are great & work the same but Nail Quencher has the advantage over Jessica in that it's easily available in drugstores & costs less. Jessica costs almost twice as much to buy it online. I love the clear turquoise oval bottle this product comes in. It's a refreshing color, easy to find in my nail drawer & easy to find in the Sally Hansen store display. Only $5. Comment 4/29/10 -- SH was stupid to discontinue this product. Dumb move!
Polishes -Bourjois - Lissant Blanchissant Smooths Whitens
felgoj 1/28/2010 2:49:00 PM
This was the best sheer white nail whitener polish I've ever found. After Bourjois CHANGED the color & THEN discontinued it altogether, I had to make my own, using a little opaque true white nailpolish in a clear base & a little lavender anti-yellow polish as well. My formulation tends to develop a bit of a grayish cast on my nails within 2 or 3 days. :( I bought Lissant Blanchissant a few times & am still clinging to my last bottle, making it stretch & go the distance after several years.. adding more clear polish to it when the bottle gets halfway. When it gets thick (from age) I add a little nailpolish thinner to loosen it up. Surely this can't last forever. I can't even find it on eBay. I wish Bourjois never took this away. I found it in Sephora for $9 in 2004 and it should still be sold there. This not only prevented colored polish from yellowing my nails but it also neutralized any staining that was already on them from before using this product. I loved it as a manicure polish all on it's own. My nails looked like a high society French manicure. Shame on you Bourjois!
Who would've thought Claire's Accessories would have great fun glitter nailpolish? For $3.50 (not very cheap for a dinky unknown polish) I bought Champagne Glitz which is a champagne-bronze color glitter that's finely milled & densely packed in a clear base. I love piling several layers of this glitter polish on top of other colored nailpolishes, especially pink or gold-based colors. It really does give my manicure a champage glitz to the finished look. Wearing this by itself on plain nails is just boring. But it works great with other polishes. I bought a couple of bottles (I think they might have been on buy-1-get-1-half-off) to make sure my supply would last a while because I knew I wouldn't find this item again. There were less than a handful left in the store. Sure enough, next time I went to Claire's a month or two later, it was all gone. As far as glitter goes, this is a great grown-up color that doesn't look childishly ridiculous (since Claire's caters to youths).
Hair Color -Clairol - Natural Instincts Hair Color
felgoj 1/27/2010 10:33:00 PM
I've tried a number of Natural Instincts colors over the years. I have to say, I never liked any of the brown shades (my natural color) - all of them came out an ugly muddy shade OR too brassy. Even with ash or cool shades, my hair ALWAYS pulled red, red, red. So I went with reds for a while, which were nice shades when I was into my red-hair phase, but now I no longer want to wear red hair. So back to the drawing board. Finally, I've tried the black (I think it was called Blackberry) - which was a very HARSH looking blue-black - to my surprise turned out to be permanent! It NEVER washed out or faded, despite even using clarifying shampoo to strip it out gradually. No fading! Dang. Eventually after many months I had to strip the black pigment out ... I used a home color-remover kit ... that started a whole other mess with a few more tries ... I'm not new to haircolor processes, but they are far from foolproof, & I ended up in a salon chair for color correction & highlights (it was summer). Couldn't fix this one myself. So I'm leary of Natural Instincts haircolor, though it's supposed to be semi-permanent & fade gradually, that doesn't seem to be the case for me. To get a haircolor I really want, I have to go to a good professional (which is also hit or miss). *Sigh* It's a shame L'Oreal cancelled its Natural Match line - that was my favorite & the most reliable for cool shades that didn't pull red. What a dumb decision to discontinue this line. Never Natural Instincts again! I lost faith in this line.
Hair Color -L'Oreal - Natural Match haircolor [DISCONTINUED]
felgoj 1/27/2010 9:58:00 PM
This was my go-to home haircolor when I used to color my own hair. I like to experiment w/diff products & colors in my hair, so a few haircolor disasters later (thx to wretched Nice n' Easy Perfect 10) I had to resort to professional color correction followed by 1/2 yr of professional blonde highlights. So I haven't colored my own hair in a yr, but if I ever do go back to a single overall color, it will be Natural Match. I'm a natural medium brunette but have sported every color of the spectrum over my lifetime (except blue & green). I have more grey hairs now than I'd like to admit & Natural Match covers them but unfortunately fades off the greys in 1-2 wks. Oh well. So now I tweeze my greys periodically. I know I can't keep doing this forever cuz I'll eventually I'll end up bald, lol. But otherwise I love that Natural Match is gentle to my hair, doesn't smell bad at all, & its thicker consistency makes it way easier to apply, plus the nozzle tip is longer & finer than the other dinky drugstore brands. Kudos to L'Oreal - great quality product! With Natural Match I have to refresh in 4-6 wks to boost the color (it fades within a month). My hair is shiny & reasonably healthy after using this color, & I trust it to always deliver good results. Never brassy, muddy or mousy looking (always a problem w/other brands in the past). I use the cool shades in this line b/c my hair has the problem of pulling too much red - the cool shades are perfect, not a drop of red! UPDT 2011 - So L'Oreal has discontinued Natural Match, huh? What a dumb move!
Bath Treatments -Freeman - Fresh Idea Watermelon & Pineapple Foaming Bath Soak
felgoj 1/27/2010 7:13:00 PM
SO DELIGHTFUL! I wish Freeman would bring this back or make another product using this exact same watermelon-pineapple scent. IT'S HEAVENLY & INVIGORATING. I snatched up all the bottles I could when I found this on clearance sale (it was being discontinued). Now I am all out & very very sad! No other watermelon-pineapple type scent I've smelled in any other product has ever compared to the scent so far.
This was a phenomenal product when it was out on the market for the all-too-brief time that it was around. The pineapple-watermelon scent was to die for! I wish they would bring it back. At least the same scent in a different product...
Moisturizers -Reviva - Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C Ester, DMAE Night Cream
felgoj 1/27/2010 7:02:00 PM
This cream does not impress me anywhere near as much as lotion of the same name. Both have amazing ingredients, but the lotion gives you so much more bang for your buck.