For me, this is remarkable. It gives me LOOONG, defined, CURLED lashes that last and last. It doesn't look "natural" because it's such a pitch black, but it looks better than most false eyelashes I've ever attempted to torture myself with. For the most part, this is "the" black mascara I've been dreaming of my whole life. (I tend to prefer auburn mascara most of the time, because black is very bold with my eyes and hair). My only problem with it is that the brush is rather sharp and prickly. I have almond-shaped, heavy-lidded eyes, with stubby straight lashes, so perhaps it's not as rough on rounder eyes with naturally long lashes. I have to get really close to my lids to make any contact with my lashes, so I keep poking myself with the bristles. I tried using a different brush for application, but, I didn't get the same effect. Apparently the brush is a huge part of the "secret" of the performance of this mascara. This brush is fabulous for curl and definition, and it defines bottom lashes better than anything else I have seen. Two coats on top lashes and one coat on bottom create a "false" eyelashes look, mostly because of the outstanding curl. This holds defined curls like waterproof mascara! Thankfully, size-wise this brush isn't anything like its Bad sister's brush, (which is like 3/4 as long as my whole face and wider than my nose.) They're Real's brush is the length of an "average" eye. I love that I do not need primer with this, at all. Even though it's costlier than my usual mascara brands, it winds up being a bargain, because I don't have to buy primer anymore. I use Philosophy Purity cleanser to remove this mascara, and it dissolves and rinses off with ease.
Tinted Moisturizer -Philosophy - Hope In A Tinted Moisturizer
Tovah 8/5/2012 11:43:00 PM
This makes my skin look radiant and smooth. Since this product came out, I've seen rave after rave about it, but, even though I am hooked on many Philosophy products, the word "moisturizer" in the name scared me away. I've been on a quest for "tinted" products to even-out my skin tone, mute discolorations, and keep my skin from looking dull, without the sun exposure it loves so much. Most of the tinted moisturizers I tried were bombs for my oily skin and/or provided lousy coverage, and.or caused breakouts and irritation. I'm not going to exaggerate and pretend HIATM controls oil, because it doesn't. However, for a "moisturizer", it has a remarkably matte finish, and it really doesn't seem to add more oil to my face. A little moisture during the hot Arizona summer can't hurt. I wear Medium-Tan, which appears orange for about two seconds, and then it blends beautifully and looks shockingly natural, yet "air-brushed". I LOVE this color. The peachy undertones are fantastic for blending in discoloration, so while others may not like "orange" I hunt for peach/apricot concealers. This works for color correction and brightening. I think this product is perfect for easy daytime wear when I know I'll be indoors a lot or have only incidental sun exposure. I like the coverage of Hope In A Tinted Moisturizer so much, on days spent outdoors I've been wearing this over higher SPF, and, if needed, I use The Present as a buffer in between. This is lovely for a natural, healthy, smooth look. This has a much lighter texture and feel than BB Creams.
Palettes -Too Faced - Natural Face Natural Radiance Face Palette
Tovah 8/2/2012 5:14:00 PM
As far as I'm concerned, this palette is the best thing in makeup since the paper bag. It comes with instructions (always a plus), it's natural-looking, and the colors are highly flattering. I use it with the matching lip palette for a fresh and polished look. One semi-negative: unless you have very fair skin, if you're looking for a bronzer in a palette, this isn't what you want, unless you intend to apply it heavily. A sheer layer doesn't show up on my skin, but for some sparkles. Don't worry that's this is a glittery palette, though. While the bronzing powder and the powder blush have light "shimmer", they really blend in well, and the glimmers don't show up as shiny particles on skin.
I was able to give a sample of this a test, using it a fews days in a row. The shade matched to me is 6.0. The color match was great, and the liquid seems to literally melt into my skin. In addition to the amazing color match, this foundation adds an even-toned, smooth texture that doesn't cling to all the spots you're trying to cover. I probably won't be purchasing a bottle of this, because it just doesn't do well over any of my sunscreens. For sunscreen, I experimented with Naked Skin over Hope In A Jar SPF 30, Philosophy Keep the Peace Color Corrector SPF 30, Boscia BB Cream SPF 27, DermaDoctor Aint Misbehavin SPF 30, and Too Faced Beauty Balm SPF 20. Each sunscreen product ruined the texture of Naked Skin, and most of them changed the foundation color as well. I tried putting a layer of oil-control between the foundation and the sunscreen, testing Boots No. 7 Color Calming Primer, Boots No. 7 Shine Free Makeup Base, Philosophy The Present, Dr. Feelgood, and Too Faced Primed & Poreless Powder. None of these allowed Naked Skin to have its unique appearance. On bare skin, the effect of this foundation is stunning, but necessary sunscreen ruins the look on my skin. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase this for evening-out foundation if I ever run out of my MAC Face & Body Makeup, but it's not a useful product for me.
Primer/ Corrector -Philosophy - The Present Clear Makeup
Tovah 7/7/2012 8:54:00 PM
I love this. It makes my skin look amazing. I use it alone, as a primer, over makeup, and, occasionally as a nighttime moisturizer. The claims about "airbrushed" looking skin are perfectly accurate for me. This is a classic for good reason!
Treatments -Philosophy - The Oxygen Boost Daily Energizing Oxygen Elixir
Tovah 7/7/2012 8:47:00 PM
This is now my favorite serum. It invigorates my skin, gives me antioxidants, and it's soothing! This helps my pores, veins, and fine lines look better, and it works beautifully under makeup and/or moisturizer. For hydration, it's fine by itself, but it's especially softening when used beneath Take A Deep Breath moisturizer. This serum is loaded with great ingredients and it seems the delivery system is sophisticated. It's great to know the healthy stuff is probably getting to the right skin layer. I find it fascinating to see how chemists are incorporating proven medically beneficial ingredients (from specific studies with Fluorocarbons as anti-inflammatory agents, dermatological aid for transporting oxygen to the skin, etc. ) to see how they benefit general skin care.
Cleansers -Philosophy - Purity Made Simple (Real Purity Cleanser)
Tovah 6/19/2012 2:42:00 AM
I love this cleanser. I've used it fairly regularly for over 10 years. During hot weather when it's dry outside but my skin is still prone to have more oil, this cleans thoroughly without a bit of tightening. My favorite part about this cleanser is the way it seems to instantly dissolve all my makeup, including eye makeup, like cleansing oils. This leaves my face feeling so fresh and completely clean I don't need separate eye makeup remover, or toner. It's smells wonderful; earthy, green, and spa-like. This is an everyday luxury that I'm certain helps keep my skin clear and soft with its deep, yet gentle cleansing, Like just about every Philosophy product, there's really nothing to compare this to. It's a one-of-a-kind product with a brilliant formulation.
BB Cream -Garnier - BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector - Medium/Deep
Tovah 6/19/2012 12:15:00 AM
EDIT: I've had to lower my rating to 1 lippie. After using this only a few days, this morning, I had to raid the medicine cabinet in my teenage sons' bathroom to use their ProActiv stuff. I've got 4 cystic bumps that seem to be getting bigger, and a few little pumps over my pores on my cheeks. The red, cystic bumps hurt. The culprit could be the Octinoxate...which has given me trouble a lot, or maybe this is just too moisture-heavy for my skin. I was so glad this didn't turn grayish, but I don't want a "blemish balm" to be the cause of my blemishes... ORIGINAL: After applying this, before reading the ingredients, I could FEEL that this has a lot of alcohol in it, and not the moisturizing kind. Why? Because it feels so good - like the product is evaporating, and it's cooling as soon as it hits skin.This feels wonderfully light and soothing, it spreads beautifully, and it sets right away (unlike Miracle Skin Transformer, which never, ever sets on my skin.) This BB Cream gives my skin a glow - but it's a bit much. It doesn't look natural. It's not "shimmery" but it's glowy enough to look oily, and I need no boosts in the oil department. There are two things which would keep me from repurchasing this: 1. The SPF is only 15, and it's not an ingredient with UVA protection (http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/uva-and-uvb/shining-light-on-ultraviolet-radiation - Octinoxate 4%). 2. This cream seems to be kind of heavy if I layer it enough to get medium coverage over my melasma. In general, I find the coverage to be pretty good for everyday wear, and I wear this without foundation, but it's not really a perfect match for me. It's better when I wear it over a yellow-tinted primer. I put some primer over it, which helped with the shine, but the mixture was too heavy to be comfortable. This BB Cream is not for me, but I look forward to trying some of the brands that made this product category such a sensation in the first place. Hopefully a broader shade range will be available soon for the American market.
Fragrances -Philosophy - Field of Flowers Violet Blossom
Tovah 6/18/2012 12:04:00 PM
Philosophy has begun a new fragrance collection based on a "wardrobe" concept. (Think Jo Malone, 40% cheaper, in the prettiest bottles you could ever imagine). A range of different florals in a "field of flowers" are beautifully packaged in individual boxes that look like books. You open the "book" and inside is a gorgeous bottle with painted "theme" flowers. So far, the collection has Peony Blossom (the original Field of Flowers fragrance, re-named), Magnolia Blossom, Orange Blossom (which I've been on waitlist for at QVC for two months!), and Violet Blossom. Violet Blossom comes in a "book" with violets illustrating the cover, and lovely purple flowers are painted on it's white bottle. It's pretty enough to buy just to look at, and I want the whole collection because it's fun. I wasn't sure if I'd like the violet fragrance, because violet fragrances usually don't work for me, so I was surprised with delight when I wore this the first time. My allergies have been miserable this season -to the point where I'm having problems tolerating fragrance- which is nearly tragic for me. As is often claimed, and true for me as well, most of Philosophy's fragrances do not irritate my sinuses or nasal passages! Violet Blossom is welcome not only for it's high tolerability, but it's an incredibly attractive fragrance. I can't help but compare it to other fragrances, for description's sake, but reactions to fragrance are as relative as everything else. This smells like Love's Soft Jasmin (vintage), with hints of fresh violet, on a base of heliotrope. It's clean, but it's nothing like laundry detergent or fabric softener or room spray. It's definitely "perfume". I find the lasting power to be outstanding. This is a soft fragrance that won't bother anybody, but it lasts and lasts. On clothing, especially, you have to launder clothes to remove the scent. After wearing one day, I wake up the following morning and I smell this on my skin. (I love to spray it on my bedsheets, too). I tested the Magnolia Blossom at Ulta, and I didn't like the fragrance as much as Peony or Violet; but I usually don't like magnolia soliflores, so I wasn't surprised. My four year old daughter LOVED the magnolia, and I'm going to buy it to wear for her, or to spritz lightly on her skirts or shorts. The Magnolia Blossom bottles has pink magnolias painted on it, and my daughter, unlike me, goes nuts for anything pink.
UPDATE: I have to take .5 to 1 lippie off my rating because of color. (However, this deserves at least .5 of a lippie for amazing longevity.) I applied this BB Cream at around 6am yesterday morning. I had a non-stop day, and I didn't see a mirror till much later. I met friends and family for dinner at 7:45pm. When every person who saw me asked if I was feeling sick, I figured I'd better go to the restroom and see what I looked like. When I saw my reflection, I was horrified. To say I looked like a mime is, perhaps, a slight exaggeration, however, my face was glaringly lighter than the rest of olive-skinned me, and it looked ridiculous. To make matters worse, I had hastily swept some Coralista on my cheeks, (in my dark car), and it looked more like absence of color than "healthy" pigmentation. I actually washed my face right there, with water, and one of those tree-bark-like paper towels from a motion activated dispenser. Boscia's color might be all right for daylight, but I can't use it without adding some color, if I'm going to be in artificial light! Original: I cannot stress enough how wonderfully surprised I am with this product. I'd been in Ulta for an hour, and nothing I'd tried was matching my skin (too fair, too pink, too greasy; the usual.) When I tried the Boscia BB Cream tester on the back of my hand, I must have cringed, or moaned or something, because an SA seemed to materialize right next to me. Without my saying a word, she said, "I know. But rub it in well and give it a minute." On the back of my hand, the cream initially looked almost white, and it seemed to be sparkly. My skeptical look prompted the SA to say, "I wear it." Her skin is amazing, and, like mine, it's medium/olive with yellow undertones. So I gave the BB Cream a minute. In that minute, the cream managed to make the back of my hand look and feel like satin, and it even muted some slightly noticeable green veins. The SA returned to my side and said, "This doesn't get oily at all, or rub off, either. Plus, it has a whiteneing ingredient." Since I hadn't mentioned needing mattification, or my battle with melasma, I glanced in a mirror. Earlier in the day, I'd applied only Philosophy Color Corrector and some lip gloss, so I knew I wouldn't look my best. Still, I was unprepared for the evil lighting in Ulta. First, I looked like I'd rubbed baby oil all over my face, in layers. In addition to that, the discoloration and brown blotches on my forehead and cheeks made me look like I'd randomly smudged garden dirt wherever it would be seen the most. So I bought of tube of Boscia BB Cream, and I honestly love it. Even though it appears to be very light during application, it blends amazingly with my skin. I don't know how it does it, but it provides excellent coverage, and hints of warming color correction. It is definitely matte, and oil-controlling. I am so grateful to the SA for reading my mind (and my skin), because I wouldn't have taken the chance on this product without her wisdom. I am really amazed by how natural-looking this is on my skin. I don't see any "glitter" in it at all. I do see a slight sheen as I'm blending it into my skin, but once it sets, the sheen isn't noticeable. I even put some on the back of my wrist, so I could see it in different lightings throughout the day, but not once could I even detect that there was anything on my hand. I don't even detect luminescence, but it's not flat looking, and, miraculously, not gray. This makes my skin look vibrant, and healthy. How does something that's nearly clear cover brown spots? I have no idea, but this does the trick. I highly, highly recommend giving this BB Cream a try; especially if you have normal-oily skin and you're tired of greasy sunscreen. The reviews talking about the glitter make me wonder if there are different formulations of this BB Cream. There was only one Boscia BB Cream available at the Ulta where I purchased mine. It's pretty much sheer, but with a slight golden-beige pigment. It melts right in with my coloring, and not a fleck of glitter anywhere.
Mascara -Just for Redheads - Mascara Mystique - GingerAuburn
Tovah 6/6/2012 1:20:00 AM
I know heavy, dark eye makeup is extremely fashionable right now, as well as false eyelashes, but for everyday wear, professionalism, etc., a natural-looking, polished look is most comfortable for me. I'll never forget my delight, almost 20 years ago, when I received a Just For Redheads catalog in my mail. The first thing I bought was a mascara, and, to this day I have yet to find mascaras that are as flattering. I do wear black mascara, but mostly during cooler weather, or for nighttime wear. Most of the time, though, day or night, auburn mascaras are, by far, the most flattering. Honestly, and I'm not kidding, I feel I look much younger with redhead mascara; probably because warm tones are so flattering for my skin. Even brown mascara lacks the vibrance of auburn, and the auburn mascara deeply enhances green in my eyes. Mascara Mystique is JFR's newest mascara, and it's wonderful. Often the color "auburn" is interpreted with violet undertones, but, thankfully, JFR's auburn is a dark copper-bronze brown. It beautifies lashes just like black mascaras, but the shade and tone make a huge difference. I definitely look more energetic with auburn mascara. This mascara goes on very wet, and it takes a minute or two to set. I keep a Q-tip ready to wipe any smudges from blinking, or lack of coordination. When this stuff sets, it's not going anywhere until it's removed. It lengthens beautifully, adds volume, and HOLDS CURL! You'd think with naturally curly hair my eyelashes could do something...but they stick out straight, and they're lighter than my hair, and short. Mascara Mystique makes them curled, and very defined, which is the look I love. The color blends with my coloring so I get an all-over enhanced look without any glaring makeup. This keeps lashes soft and it doesn't flake, smudge, or cause racoon eyes. I use eye makeup remover to get it all off at night. It's not a water-"proof+ formula, but it's definitely highly water resistant. My DHC Cleansing Oil isn't even a match for this. A dual-phase remover works best. If you have red hair and you feel like black/brown mascara takes away from your look, you have got to try some of Just For Redheads mascaras. There are several formulas and a wide range of colors, Especially if you want your eyes to look brighter, and younger, you may find redhead mascara does the trick.
Moisturizers -Philosophy - Hope in a Jar - for all skin types
Tovah 6/2/2012 10:11:00 PM
When I first tried this product, about 10-11 years ago, I liked the way it felt on my skin, but I was ambivalent when it came to repurchasing. I didn't like the smell of it, and, back then, I didn't use moisturizer very often; especially a cream. As of recently, I'm not living in balmy Southern California, but in the Scottsdale desert. These days I feel the need to use a moisturizer, at least on my neck, every day. Between the truly "dry" heat and the moisture-zapping indoor air conditioning here, even my relatively oily skin can feel dry. Philosophy's corporate headquarters are in Phoenix, so Philosophy products are widely distributed and very popular in this area. After receiving numerous recommendations for Hope In A Jar, I decided to try it again. I must say, I've gained a whole new appreciation for the formulation of this product, and I love the souffle texture. I've tried a LOT of stuff over the past decade, but, truly, nothing else has felt like this moisturizer. It feels soothing, yet refreshing, like a spritz of spa water. It's light, fluffy, and smoothing. It smells fresh and nice in the jar, but after several hours if I'm sweating or oily, it takes on the same "wet dog" aroma I'd noticed all those years ago. I think my skin oils don't mesh well with the fragrance ingredients. However, I'm at a point where I'm not feeling too picky about the occasionally weird scent. I just want something to give my skin moisture that won't cause cystic blemishes, milia, and stretched-out pores. For occasional moisture, in the past I've really liked Nivea Soft, but after using Hope In A Jar again, Nivea Soft feels like paste, in comparison. (And it has a stronger fragrance than HIAJ.) I'm not sure how I feel about warnings over lavender oil as an ingredient in skin care products. I have no cosmetics-chemistry background, and I know little about product formulation. Cosmetics scientists and chemists tend to patent their products and sell them to huge corporations for oodles of money, rather than publish their effects in medical journals. "Recipes" stay secret because cosmetics chemists are not medical researchers. Cosmetics are tested "in vitro" for these reasons, and, of course, they're not going to be tested in the general population. The products that are developed from their reserach and formulations are for sale, so the more widely they are copied, the less they are worth. For years, a couple of skin care companies have been claiming that lavender is the worst thing for skin since sulfuric acid (I'm exaggerating), yet, more recently, there has been much hype about lavender's cytotoxity to cancer cells, and its antibacterial properties against types of acnes, and MRSA! These articles (http://skintypesolutions.com/index.php?option=com_article&view=article&id=86, http://roberttisserand.com/2011/08/lavender-oil-skin-savior-or-skin-irritant/) helped me understand the concerns a bit more, but I have yet to find studies that convinced me that a small amount of lavender oil, greatly diluted in a product used in small amounts on skin, is necessarily harmful. Personally, most sunscreens distress my skin way more than anything I've used with any amount of lavender. (However, research about photoaging, skin damage, etc. has caused me to understand that sunscreen plays a vital role in skin care.) The texture of Hope In A Jar is marvelous, and now I see why this formula is acclaimed. I'm also very impressed with Philosophy's Take a Deep Breath, but, Take a Deep doesn't soften as well as HIAJ on my neck or around my eyes. The softness from HIAJ seems to "plump" the skin, so skin doesn't look or feel dry and tight. Also, HIAJ and Take A Deep are the ONLY moisturizers I've ever been able to wear comfortably beneath sunscreen and/or makeup. Other moisturizers are usually far too heavy for me to wear during the day, no matter how hot or dry it is outside, because I usually have oil breakthrough, even with primers and mattifiers. I don't know what it is about HIAJ, but it doesn't have any "after-feel" like other moisturizers. When I smooth it onto my skin, it feels like water for a couple of seconds, then my skin just feel soft and comfortable. There's no stickiness, greasiness, or tack. Also, it doesn't cause additional products to roll or flake off of my skin. I am so glad I revisited this product. I love the results it gives me, and the price is surprisingly reasonable!
Geek that I am, I just happened to be reading recently about the effects of perfluorodecalin in skin care cosmetics. (I'm not joking. Here's an abstract of the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-2494.1996.tb00143.x/abstract). This study claims "this investigation showed that perfluorodecalin plus molecular oxygen improves the barrier function of the skin," and, " A linear dose-dependent increase in oxygen partial pressure of the skin (r=0.978) and a linear dose-dependent reduction in fine lines and wrinkles (r=0.9855) was found." I have no idea what the hell that means, but any fine line reduction is good, as far as I'm concerned. Out of curiosity I searched around for a product that contains perfluorodecalin, and I found this new moisturizer from Philosophy. I don't know about its oxygen value, but, as a moisturizer, it kicks butt. It has a cooling, more zesty feeling than Hope in A Jar (which is the best-named moisturizer of all time), but TADB is instantly absorbed into skin in the same way. It's refreshing and softening, but not greasy in the least. I think it may exfoliate skin a bit, because lactic acid is listed in the ingredients, but I like this best for the elasticity and smoothing it provides. This is a perfect hot weather product for protection against dry air and heavy-duty air conditioning. It seems to invigorate my complexion, and I don't think this reaction is psychosomatic. The cream contains caffeine, gingko biloba, and coffee seed extract, which probably stimulate blood circulation a bit.This seems to counter against sallowness and have an immeditate brightening effect, as though I've been active outdoors (even if I haven't). This is kind to pores as well. I haven't experienced a single blemish or milia, yet. In addition to the nice effect, this works beautifully with my tretinoin prescription, and I can't say that for many moisturizers. This feels so soothing I look forward to applying it.
Primer/ Corrector -Philosophy - Keep the Peace Protective Color Corrector SPF 20
Tovah 6/1/2012 10:52:00 PM
This is a color neutralizer that actually works to even-out my dark melasma. It's yellow-toned, so it also enhances my warm coloring (NC35). The SPF 20 comes from titanium dioxide (4.8%), zinc oxide (3.0%), but this cream does not look gray, and it feels light as air. This does everything I need it to do, with the perfect amount of neutralization, plus physical sunscreen. It fills in fine lines and pores, and helps blur discoloration. This is excellent for use under powders and powder-foundation, too.
This is a fun, pretty, happy, easy fragrance. I'm loving it. It smells like freshly squeezed oranges and lemons, mixed with orange blossom, lemon blossom, linden and hints of sweet berries. It's certainly one of those "joy in a bottle" type scents, but so what? Love Sweet Love is a perfect, every day, warm weather fragrance, and, like all Philosophy fragrances, it has an almost comical ability to elicit compliments from complete strangers. In addition, even my husband said he likes this fragrance, and I'm pretty sure he's anosmic to 98% of the materials on the planet. This, again like all Philosophy's fragrances, is perfectly work-friendly, and gentle on allergic sensitivities. My allergies have been awful this season...to the point where I can barely stand perfumes, and I'm usually a SERIOUS fragrance-lover. Love Sweet Love (and any other Philosophy scents I own) doesn't aggravate my allergies or cause any allergic symptoms. It's not ground-breaking, or any kind of "masterpiece", but it lets me enjoy a bright, energetic fragrance without feeling ill. The price for Philosophy's fragrances can't be beat, either.