Eyeliner -Estee Lauder - Automatic Pencil for Eyes in Walnut Brown 09
MsHepburn 4/2/2012 8:42:00 AM
This is nice if you like the smudgy, smoky eye look. For me, it comes off too easily and you can't really make it into a neat line because it's too soft and thick. However, the colour is very flattering and for smoky eyes this works very well. I prefer the slightly sturdier Technakohl in Photgravure, by MAC. But I guess I'm just a bit of a MAC fan.
This blush is absolutely gorgeous. It's actually saved me from giving in to the lure of the tanning salon in wintertime. I have sallow skin which is great in summer because I tan easily, so in summer I usually have a nice golden glow. However, having sallow skin in winter can be a nightmare! My skintone turns sort of greyish with a hint of yellow and everyone is always asking me if I'm sick. Not really the look I was going for. Thank God for this blush... Just a touch of it really livens and warms up my face so it's exactly what the doctor ordered, other than a trip to Barbados. The colour doesn't look very nice in the pan... it looks kind of brown/grey/beige/taupe with a hint of pink. However, on the skin (mine at least), it turns into a warm pink with a little bit of bronze to it. Strangely enough it looks really natural, like a warm flush. This does really require a light hand because it's extremely saturated, and you know what Oscar Wilde said about a woman wearing too much rouge... ;) I have a feeling this colour looks different on different skintones but will somehow suit anyone, so definitely try it on and see how you fare! Highly recommended.
This stuff is fine, just like the La Roche Posay one. I love micellar water cleansers, they are affordable, quick and effective and they do not bother my sensitive, acne-prone skin. Outside of the shower these are the only cleansers I use: no more messing around with face wash, makeup-remover etcetera. I prefer the Avene one, somehow it seems to calm down my skin just a little bit more. But if I can't be bothered with ordering that one online the Vichy one is readily available in every local pharmacy here, so I do use it from time to time and it's pretty good.
Good stuff. This clears up my acne (not quite overnight, but pretty quickly still). Then once it's cleared up I use Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair serum to get rid of scarring. I used to have very bad acne, but since I have started using (only) Avene's micellar lotion for cleansing both morning and night (meaning I ONLY use that: no more removing makeup separately, lathering up, rinsing, toning etc... only the micellar lotion) I barely break out anymore. When I do, I can pinpoint exactly why... eating too much junk or drinking alcohol (even 2 glasses of wine will cause a face full of zits the next day). So when I do break out, apart from eating better and drinking more water and green tea, this and ANR are my go-to products to make me look presentable again in a few days. Be careful though: this stuff might rub off on your pillow and stain it sort of yellow. By the way I am reading in these reviews that this stuff costs like 60 USD in some places... WHAT?! Thankfully I live in Europe where a tube costs less than 15 EUR...
Styling Products -John Frieda - Luxurious Volume Thickening Mousse
MsHepburn 4/1/2012 3:22:00 PM
So far, the only acceptable volumizing mousse I have come across. No crunchiness/dryness/lack of movement/tangles with this. However, my hair is extremely difficult... it is quite glossy, but that also means that nothing freakin' sticks. My hair is poker straight and it won't go any other shape. This mousse lifts it a tiny bit for a few hour but not much... But I will take what I can get because my hair is impossible to texturize without making it into a sticky mess first. I am on the fence about whether I would buy this again. Probably yes, because my hair just needs that little boost. But my hair usually looks it's best a day after washing, with a little dry shampoo in it. The day after I used this stuff I badly needed to wash my hair again because it had gotten very greasy, normally I can go one day without washing, but this time dry shampoo wouldn't have cut it. So I guess this makes my limp hair just a tiny bit less limp and I will have to settle for that for now, since I haven't found a better product (and I have seriously tried a lot!) Edit 7 April 2012: Scratch that. Not buying it again, this does nothing for me. I thought it did but then I saw a picture of myself where I had used it, and my hair looked just as limp if not limper than normal. Maybe if you blowdry this will be better but I am simply too lazy for that... A stciking with dry shampoo for volumising from now on/ This stuff makes my hair really greasy after a few hours.
So far this is my favourite foundation, the one where I get complimented on my skin when I wear it. I'm very prone to breakouts so I also like the Bare Escensuals line, but that is a bit tricky to apply so on lazy days I use this instead. My skin has yellow undertones. In summer I use nc30, in winter nc25. It looks natural, so much so even that I don't need to use it on my whole face. I just use it on my nose to counter any redness (in summer from the heat, in winter from the cold...!) and then just on any areas that are a bit blemished. I also put a little under my eyes and then top that with my Clarins Instant Light highlighter pen. If my skin is dry, though, this can make me look a bit ashen-faced because it's a powder. MAC has a great, natural-looking radiance powder called Mineralize Skinfinish so I lightly dust that all over my face (and of course moisturize well before putting on any makeup) and that makes my skin look not so dead. Of course a bit of blusher also goes a long way to counter any pastiness. So yeah. I have used their liquid foundations and creamy compacts before but that just ends up looking too 'makeup-y' for my liking and I never finish those. This powder I always go back to. I've used other brands but they all break me out: Clinique, Clarins, even Chanel.
Packaging: cute but the edges are so pointy I nearly cut my hand open! I've come to realize something over the years... BeneFit is overrated. I love love love their packagings... they are oh so cute and quirky, and since I like to think of myself as cute and quirky I am easily seduced by BeneFit products. It's that whole laid back San Fran vibe I really like and over the years I have bought quite a few of their products out of sheer willingness to love this brand. However, I have never bought any of their products more than once because, and I hate to say this, they are simply not that good. Coralista is no exception... First of all, it is insanely expensive for such a small box. Second: it has a very distinct perfumy smell that I don't think is necessary on a blusher. Third: the colour, while nice, does not show up on my skin very well. It also doesn't STAY on at all. I really wanted to love this stuff because I love the name, the idea and the colour... But even to bona fide Coralista aficionados I would like to say: try Style by MAC instead. The colour is very similar but just a little nicer, it's cheaper and it stays on better. The name and packaging of course are nowhere near as sassy and cool but oh well.
This is the only blush I have ever repurchased! I'm a bit of a serial dater when it comes to makeup... Like to try out other products, sometimes I don't even manage to finish a perfectly fine product before my eye is caught by something new and shiny. However, this blusher I have stayed faithful to now for over a year which is very rare for me. The colour is very pretty, sort of coral pink with a golden sheen. Sounds a bit over the top but it's really subtle and gives me a sort of fresh, healthy look. I use this summer and winter: in winter it livens up my pasty olive skin (sort of grey in winter, yeuch) and makes it look healthier, in summer it makes my tan pop and makes me look gorgeously sunkissed. It stays on quite long too, I barely ever do touch-ups. Maybe once after I come home from work, if I'm going anywhere. I use this only on top of the apple of my cheek, where I would naturally get a little bit of a sunburn. Under my cheekbones I sweep a tiny bit of matte MAC bronzer. Hello cheekbones! The gold in this blush acts as a highlighter. I don't think I will get lured away from this blush anytime soon... (I tried to cheat with BeneFit's Coralista but it doesn't look as nice or stay on as well, and it also smells weird.) So. Love this. End of story.
Eyeliner -Shiseido - Automatic Liquid Fine eyeliner
MsHepburn 2/29/2012 7:08:00 AM
Terrible. Saw this in a magazine and decided to give it a try, because the one I usually use (the Penultimate liner from MAC) only comes in black and I wanted to try one in dark brown. Honestly, this one is extremely expensive but it was hard to get right and then at the end of the day I looked in the mirror and was shocked to find it was pretty much gone. The MAC one stays put. Very disappointed, won't buy it again. I noticed it looks alright if I apply it OVER my Clinique quickliner for eyes, but then what's the point.
My favourite! I feel like I have to come to this product's defense. I use it in the very dark brown shade and it makes eyes look pretty Bambi-esque, in my opinion. Definitely the most 'volumising' mascara I have ever used. This mascara gives lashes kind of a plush, lush look, not terribly defined, but soft and full. Don't really understand why they have to scent a mascara like that, though. (7th pic from left, currently the last in the row, is me)
Unbelievably, this has been the scent I have been wearing since I was about 18. 13 years later I still love it... I sort of knew back then that this perfume is really timeless. Until then, I had been a big fan of l'Eau d'Issey (which I still love on other people) and had never considered wearing anything that doesn't sort of smell fresh, like water. Even l'Eau d'Issey ended up smelling too sweet on my skin. My friend wore this in secondary school and I always thought she smelled gorgeous, but somehow I didn't think this scent would suit me: too oriental, not fresh enough. But I tried it on and I was sold... even after a few hours, it was still so bloody sexy! Boyfriends have come and gone through the years (they have all commented on how lovely I smelled with this on), but She has stayed with me. Even the bottle still looks futuristic but classic as ever.
Treatments -Estee Lauder - Advanced Night Repair (Serum)
MsHepburn 2/23/2012 4:50:00 PM
Can't be 100% sure if this product is what did it, but my acne scarring has faded quite considerably since I have started using this about 3 weeks ago. No new breakouts either, which is always a plus. My skin can be quite oily sometimes, especially my nose and forehead, but the rest is actually quite dry in winter. I thought this might be enough to get rid of little dehydration creases at the top of my cheeks but it isn't really. Since I'm quite happy with this product otherwise (skin tone definitely seems more even) I have now paired it with Hydrationist, which also doesn't break me out and hydrates quite well. Still haven't found the perfect moisturiser though... so far every one I have tried either breaks me out or only works in the short term. I'm quite impressed by this product and am tempted now to try the 3 month 'blitz' version of it. Will probably buy it again. Oh before I forget: the packaging is fine, it's just that a pump would probably be more practical but I guess that the old fashioned pharmacy feel to this bottle is some sort of marketing gimmick that obviously works. Edit 2 April 2012: I just ran out of the 30 ml bottle. So that means that that lasted me approximately two months. I have been known to use this more than once a day though... for a while I used it both morning and night. Now that my skin has calmed down considerably I am going to start using it only at night. I just got the bigger 50 ml bottle. Hurt to pay almost 100 euro for it but it does work. I have to say, I originally got this and Hydrationist because I was starting to notice some dehydration lines at the tops of my cheeks/ around my eyes (turned 31 in February and since I don't smoke or drink I thought that was a bit early)... I didn't see much change with that initially but was very happy with the 'side effect' that my acne scars almost completely disappeared! Kind of forgot about the fine lines, but after 2 months now I must say HEY, THEY'RE GONE! I almost forgot about them. Could be that our central heating isn't on full blast anymore, but could also be these products. Who knows. Edit 11 June 2012: WOW... I just have to update this just to let you know that I have NEVER found a skincare product this brilliant. I used to be so skeptical since my mom has great skin and she never used a beauty product in her life, but this product is the ONLY product I have ever come across that I would gladly spend money on and not feel duped. My acne scarring is completely gone and so are my fine lines, since I started using this in February. Right now, since it's hot and humid, I'm not even using any moisturiser with it and my skin still looks amazing, even without makeup. I find now I only use makeup to add colour, not to even out skintone or hide blemishes, which for me is really remarkable. I have never been so impressed with a product in my life and am amazed that something can work so effectively from the outside. I used to think creams and lotions were bullcrap apart from temporarily coating your skin so it doesn't dehydrate, and I thought the only way to really improve your skin was from the inside out. But this stuff has really turned me into a believer :D... Too bad for my wallet but hoorah for my skin.
Concealers -Clarins - Instant Light Perfecting Touch
MsHepburn 2/23/2012 2:00:00 PM
Finally! I have been looking for a good undereye concealer for a very long time. Have had very bad dark circles since about high school. I was less than impressed with the famous Touche Eclat by YSL, not only was I unable to find the right colour for my skintone (which is slightly yellowish) but it also just wouldn't stick. I would try and dab it in carefully, but it just disappeared. Very frustrating. Anyway this one has a little bit of a thicker consistency so it is easier to apply properly, at least for me. I am using shade 00 which seemed WAY too light for my olive complexion but it really blends perfectly and lights up my eyes, it makes me look healthier and more awake. Very happy to have found this, will most likely repurchase. PS the second photo at the top of this review is me: left eye done, right one not done (viewer's perspective).
This stuff is great. Just rub a little all over your dry face at night to make the oil mix with your makeup and other dirt on your face, then add a little lukewarm water and rub gently a little more to make the oil and dirt mix with the water. It should now turn into a milky sort of substance on your face. Rinse off the milky stuff and voila, a clean face, ready for bed. My skin is extremely prone to blemishes but this is so mild and thorough I didn't have any problems using it. However, since I am a lazy b&*ch I have now swapped this for a micellar lotion so I don't need to use water and dry off my face at all: even quicker! I don't think I will be repurchasing simply because I don't need it, but I do definitely recommend it. Don't buy into the whole 'double cleansing' myth though: that's something you might need to do with a 'real' oil that doesn't mix with water. With this one, washing your face with a face was after is absolutely one 100% unnecessary. As the oil first mixes with the grime and then the mixture mixes with the water to turn into a milky substance which can easily be rinsed away, you have already gotten every bit of junk off your face after using this and there is no residue, as long as you make sure to mix the oil on your face with a tiny bit of water first before rinsing off entirely. Using a face wash after this will only dry out your skin unnecessarily.
Toners -Avene - Cleanance - Anti-Shine Purifying Lotion
MsHepburn 2/11/2012 8:23:00 PM
I used to use this in the morning, it works quite well at wiping away sweat and whatever else might be on your face after sleeping, but it doesn't take off make-up or anything. It isn't meant to. I actually really like this product, it keeps skin matte, however since I have discovered Avene's micellar lotion I simply use that morning and night. Because the micellar lotion also gets rid of makeup and other dirt, I prefer that one and I don't really see a special reason to use both. But if you're looking for a nice mattifying toner, this will do the trick very well. No breakouts, just clean, comfortable skin.