Fragrances -Dolce & Gabbana - Sicily eau de parfum
Aiko_Aiko 12/3/2003 2:51:00 AM
I was undecided about whether or not I liked this scent for days on end. In the bottle and when first applied, this seemed like a warm, musky floral. Not at all overpowering, soft without being powdery, and something I was hoping would morph into a really bold sexy scent for nights out. The dry down was not what I'd hoped for, and at first I was very disappointed. On my skin the floral notes all but disappeared (with the exception of the jasmine), and the musk and bergamot became much more prominent. It was also a scent that was absolutely undetectable to anyone who didn't literally have their nose pressed to my skin! The end result is something sweet, musky, a tiny bit spicy, and very very subtle. And it's grown on me. It is definitely a sexy fragrance, in that it has that soft musky dry-down, and is also something that only my SO gets close enough to really experience. Almost like a piece of sexy lingerie in a bottle. Which means this is never going to be my all-time favorite or 'everyday' scent, but definitely something I'll be wearing when the right mood strikes. Still something I'd recommend trying before buying though, as I can't see this working for everyone!
Definitely a great buy!
I'll admit to being unsure of this when I first saw it, for a number of reasons: 1) it's absolutely tiny, 2) I'd never really used cream eyeliners before, and 3) some of the colors looked pretty impractical. But after a few days and a little bit of experimentation, I decided this was a keeper. Now, I love it's compactness, and think the color selection is just perfect for my needs! The liners themselves are quite solid, so it does require more than one swipe to deposit color on your brush. I attempted to use this with my MAC 266 (my favorite for lining) but didn't have much luck. After trying other brushes with equally poor results, I quit turning up my nose at the dinky little brush included in the palette - and it worked! I've been using the fuller taklon side daily, and find it cleans easily, and allows great control. And I've found it is possible for me to wear every color, including the red and gold shades. (In fact, they've inspired me to create new looks just as an excuse to wear them!) I think this is a great little item to have in any makeup collection, and it has quickly become a staple of mine. I'm tempted to buy the second collection just for fun, but would recommend this one for more practical every day looks/usage. Once you get the hang of using them, these liners are truly indispensable! ****Editing this to add that I've found the perfect brush to use with these, far better than the little brush included with it. Cargo's taklon angled liner brush. Works like a dream and makes me even happier with this than before!!****
Conditioner -Frederic Fekkai - Protein Rx Reparative Conditioner
Aiko_Aiko 11/19/2003 1:17:00 PM
Now this, I love! It's not my everyday conditioner, but used once a week, this does make a difference in my hair. I alternate between this and Joico K-Pak (which I also love) and find the results I get from this comparable, even though this is technically not a 'treatment'. The scent reminds me of vanilla soy milk, which is very mild and pleasant. I've actually gotten compliments on it, which surprised me, since I can't really detect the scent once my hair is dry. The conditioner feels so light and creamy it's as though it's disappearing into my hair, not coating it, and it rinses clean. My hair is always incredibly soft, smooth and easy to manage afterwards. I love my entire hair care routine, but this product is definitely a big part of what makes it work, and I definitely plan to keep using it!
Shampoo -Frederic Fekkai - Protein Rx Reparative Shampoo
Aiko_Aiko 11/19/2003 1:03:00 PM
I like this shampoo but I don't love it. I haven't had the problems with it that some of the other reviewers have, but then it's not something I use on a daily basis (usually just once a week before I deep condition). The scent does have a noticeable 'rum' note, but I don't find it particularly strong and it does not linger in my hair, so it doesn't bother me. The shampoo itself lathers nicely, and leaves my hair smooth, soft, and free of product buildup, and works beautifully with the Protein Rx conditioner. Whether I go to the trouble of deep conditioning, or just use the two together, I always end up with healthier looking, silky feeling hair. In short, it does exactly what I need it to, and I'm very happy with the results I've had. I'll stick to Redken All Soft for regular use, but this is something I'd repurchase for when my hair needs it's weekly 'boost'!
I was terrified of this shade at first, but trust me, even though it looks scary you have to give it a chance! In the pot this is a bright (I mean bright) coral pink, which transforms into a really gorgeous creamy pink/peach shade on the lips. Unlike some of my other Lip Glows, this is actually quite shiny and moist in texture and finish, (somewhat similar to a MAC Lustre lipstick). It has a really lovely subtle sheen to it - exactly what you'd expect from something called 'Lip Glow'.
As with any Body & Soul product, the packaging is pretty, and thankfully the little tin that holds the product is as functional as it is eye catching. I've never had problems getting them open or keeping them closed, even in my purse. Just be sure to pack a lipbrush, this is not something you want on your fingers!
An awesome color in a great formula, very close to being my favorite of the shades I own!
I'm really happy I got this. The Triplets set consists of three full size Lip Polishes in the shades, Bliss, Tickle and Kiss (a shimmering peach/champagne, a great YLBB pink, and a shimmering rosy pink respectively). All three shades are versatile and very easy to wear, and since you're basically getting one for free, it works out to be pretty nice deal (in CDN funds the set is equal to the cost of two single Lip Polishes).
The Lip Polish itself is thick and well-pigmented, but not sticky or tacky. The applicator and bottle are exactly like nail polish, and this can be good or bad, depending on how adept you are with the brush. I prefer shorter, firmer bristles for my lipbrushes, so I find application harder to control with these. And I'm not crazy about the mildly minty smell or tingle it leaves on my lips. In spite of that, I still like and recommend Lip Polish overall, and highly recommend this set if these are shades you don't yet own. Very well worth it for me, I'd repurchase if I had to!
I LOVE THIS! I really do. The tube is just too cute for words, but the product inside is what sold me on this. The balm is creamy, moisturizing and deposits a fair amount of subtly shimmering red-brown color on my lips. And it lasts and lasts, for hours! The raspberry scent is actually pleasant, and not overpowering (which is great because I don't like strongly scented lip products). I was worried that the size of the balm would make application tricky, but it actually seems to make things easier, especially when I'm in a rush! And I love that it's tiny enough to carry with me anywhere. I'm definitely getting this in strawberry and mint (I hate minty lip products, but I love the balm itself enough to want one that's relatively colorless), and I plan on giving these to my girlfriends as stocking stuffers this year. A new staple for me!
Lip Glow comes in an adorable tin, which is mercifully easy to open, and has travelled quite easily (and with no mess) in my purse throughout the day. It does require a lip brush for application, but that is not something I mind. That being said, this is basically a creamy lipstick in a pot, with no glossy or otherwise unique finish or texture. Those of you who prefer applying your lipstick with a brush will love this! Those of you who don't will probably be able to find a similar shade in tube form from another line.
Temptress is a shimmery rose/bronze, but appears as more of a straight bronze on my lips. Very pretty, and easy to alter with different liners. Nothing spectacular, but it is cute, portable, and a nice product and color for your money. It was approx $23 CDN, and I liked this enough to purchase the Lip Glow in a couple of other shades!
Cleansers -Dove - Daily Hydrating Cleansing Cloths [DISCONTINUED]
Aiko_Aiko 11/12/2003 10:42:00 PM
Another winner from Dove! I had tried (and liked) the Dove cleansing pillows before purchasing these, but wanted something a little more practical and cost effective for everyday use. These are the answer!
The cloths (like the pillows) produce huge amounts of lather, way more than I need. I actually cut them into quarters to clean my face in the morning, and use half a cloth if I have makeup I want to remove. The cloth is gentle enough to use around my eyes, and the cleanser does not sting or irritate them (whereas the cleanser in the pillows definitely does). My face rinses clean with no residue, and is not left feeling tight or dry afterwards. I do follow these with the Clarifying toner, and my skin is looking and feeling softer than it has in ages.
There are 30 cloths in a box, and the cost per box is about $12 CDN, so in all honesty, these aren't cheap. But since it's so easy to cut them and use only what I need, I find the box is lasting much longer than I expected. I'm really pleased with these overall, and I will definitely repurchase!
Cleansers -Dove - Essential Nutrients Cleansing Pillows
Aiko_Aiko 11/12/2003 10:26:00 PM
I really like these! I'm on a medication that can cause very dry, sensitive and flaky skin, and needed something to replace my PC cleanser and PTR buffing beads, which were no longer working for me. Believe it or not, these turned out to be a great help!
The pillows themselves are quite large and contain huge amounts of cleansing powder, so they always produce way more lather than I could possibly need. I'd taken to carefully cutting these in half to use them in the morning, so as not to waste them. (Fold them first, and cut with the fold facing upwards, if you'd like to try it. And be sure to store them upright in the container!) I still do this occasionally, but I've found I prefer to use the entire pillow if I have makeup to remove. The softer side is great at taking off the last traces of my mascara and eyeshadow, while the rough side is just what the rest of my face needs for exfoliation. The cleanser does sting my eyes, but it has not been irritating to my skin at all. After just a few days of regular use my face was much smoother, less flaky, and softer. And the results only seemed to get better with time.
I'm on my second box of these, and at this rate, I think I'll be purchasing again. They aren't exactly cheap (a box of 28 runs for about $12 CDN, and they can go pretty quickly if you wash twice a day) but they do their job, and do it well.
Moisturizers -Dove - Essential Nutrients - Night Cream
Aiko_Aiko 11/11/2003 10:59:00 PM
I have been curious about this cream for some time, after having picked up the Essential Nutrients Toner and loving that. This is also a very nice product, and something I would like to continue using (especially because it's such a steal!) but sadly, it's going back to the store....
This comes in a small jar which is surprisingly elegant, and easy to open. The cream itself is quite rich but spreads easily, absorbs quickly, and leaves my skin incredibly silky, soft and glowing. It is lightly fragranced and non-irritating, even when used around the eyes. I liked this so much, I would have been more than happy to repurchase.
So why is this going back to the store? Because it contains Cocoa butter. My skin may be on the dry side these days, but it's also prone to clogged pores and breakouts, so Cocoa butter is a BIG no-no for me. I wish I'd been able to check the ingredients listing before I purchased (it's not on the box) because it does claim to be non-comedogenic. I would love to recommend this, but I can't, especially if you're prone to blemishes. I'll be looking elsewhere for a night cream this winter.
I'm really liking this fragrance right now. It's warm and sensual, subtle and very feminine. It is a great fall/winter scent, and will probably get a lot of use as a nighttime scent once the weather warms up. Definitely one to test out!
I feel as though I should title this: 'HUGE Nail Product Rave, Part 2', seeing that I so glowingly reviewed my Diamancel nail file a day or so ago. Excuse me while I gush over this product as well, because thanks to this, my nails are looking better than they have in ages!!
This brand seems to be getting more popular/easier to find in Canada, as I've seen a number of products in the line carried at various SDMs around Toronto (the larger stores tend to have the most). And I for one am very happy about that, as this is probably the best nail hardener I've ever used. I have been cursed with nails that do grow quickly, but break, split and peel like nobody's business. I've tried so many strengtheners (check my other reviews for old favorites) but they all ended up disappointing me. They did work, but were a pain to reapply, they peeled off, made my nails extremely brittle, and eventually they left me right back where I started. This strengthener is just as effective, but with none of the nasty 'side effects', and I would recommend this above those others any day.
Mavala's strengthener is actually a thin blue liquid, about the same consistency as a polish remover - which won't stain the nails blue, don't worry! Because it's not in polish form, you can wear a base coat of your choosing, and it will never peel off, dry up in the bottle or otherwise interfere with your manicures. You get about 5ml for $18 or so, but when you consider that you only apply this to the tips of your nails, and the tiny amount needed to cover each nail, you realize that this little bottle is going to last for ages (it actually claims to be a full year supply on the insert)! They recommend applying an oil to your cuticles to protect them from the solution, but it's easy enough to control the application with the brush and the product disappears into your nails so quickly there's no real need to do so. It can't hurt, but it's not vital. I do use a cuticle cream regularly and lots of lotion on my hands, and that seems to keep things in good enough shape.
After all that, does it work? Oh yeah. My nails have grown quite long, and they are staying that way, with no sign of brittleness or peeling on the horizon. It's nothing short of amazing, I wish I had before and after pictures! I have been giving myself manicures every three or four days and reapplying the Mavala before each one (yet another plus - you don't need to apply it every day to see results). It's been almost two months, and I am loving this so much, I consider it one of the best purchases I've made all year! If you can find this, give it a try, it's by far the best nail strengthener I've ever owned, in every aspect. Wonderful wonderful stuff!!
HUGE rave for this nail file!! If you're into maintaining your natural nails, you really need to get your hands on one of these. This particular file is designed for 'average' natural nails (they also make files meant for fine/weak or coarse nail types) and I cannot stress enough how wonderful it is. Forget sawing back and forth at your nails with an emery board or metal file, it only takes a few light strokes from this to do the same work, and it does it so much better! You can actually shape your nails without removing the length, and you don't need to worry about them looking or feeling jagged and flaking off afterward. It doesn't look particularly impressive or unique, but it's like nothing else I've used to care for my nails - gentle, effective and durable all at the same time.
I have the pocket file, and honestly don't see why anyone would need to spend more money to get the 'regular' one. The pocket sized file is 6" in length, and the full sized file is 7" - but the difference in price is about $13! I paid $15 for mine at luxbeauty.com, and don't miss that extra '$13 inch' at all! 15 bucks seemed like a lot for a nail file, but when I consider how long this one is going to last, and the money I used to spend on emery boards that went dull after a few uses and tore up my nails, it's worth it! You can actually wash and reuse this as many times as you like (a nice feature of all Diamancel files) without affecting it's performance. I wish I'd spent the money on this much sooner, it's a great product from a really great line, and if I ever need to, I won't think twice about getting another!
Eye Shadow -Shu Uemura - ME Silver 945 [DISCONTINUED]
Aiko_Aiko 9/24/2003 4:23:00 PM
This is just as interesting and lovely as everyone says. It's a very complex color in the pan, a deep silvery taupe with plum and brown tones, but it really does look quite different once applied. In fact, I find it changes color in different lighting throughout the day. In some light it looks like a medium shimmery taupe, in others it looks like a light silvery beige, or sometimes a silvery plum shade. No matter what lighting it's seen in, it's always beautiful! I don't pair this with any other colors except for a highlighter on my brow bone, I think it's just amazing all by itself.
The texture of this shadow is very silky, and it is extremely well pigmented (which is great, because something this pretty and versatile is going to get a lot of use!) I use an eyeshadow base, and therefore don't have a problem with creasing, but this outperforms other shadows in that even with my e/s base on, it's very easy for me to blend. It's about $18 US for the eyeshadow single, and a definite must-have from the Shu line!