Concealers -Cat Cosmetics - Run for Cover Concealer - Light refill
auntnett 7/12/2007 2:59:00 PM
One of the few Cat products I've tried that I don't like. I really like her foundation, so I thought I'd like the concealer - Not! It doesn't cover well at all. I'll stick to my Lancome Effacernes.
Makeup Brushes -Cat Cosmetics - Cat's Kabuki Brush
auntnett 7/12/2007 2:55:00 PM
I have had this brush for several years, use it every day and it's still like new. Very seldom any shedding at all and it works great. A definite staple for me.
Misc Beauty Tools -Tweezerman - Metal Eye Lash Comb
auntnett 7/10/2007 3:12:00 PM
I have been using these little combs for at least 20 years, long before Tweezerman bought out the I-Lash Comb brand, and in all that time, I've only been through maybe 5. I've never had one break, but I've lost the little buggers. These are the most useful tool in my arsenal, making even the most clumpy mascara tolerable in a pinch. I cannot get by without it and a good eyelash curler. Before I found these, I used to open out a safety pin and use it in the same manner - better than a straight pin because it gave you a little more to hold on to. However, this comb's multiple little pins wins hands down. As many others have pointed out, do be careful!
Mascara -Maybelline - Lash Discovery Mini-Brush Waterproof
auntnett 7/10/2007 12:17:00 PM
I have used this mascara almost exclusively for the last 3 or 4 years (except for a brief love affair with Revlon Colorstay Lash Tint, which was discontinued almost as soon as I discovered it), after having used mascaras in EVERY price range. I love the mini brush because I can really get at those bottom lashes, but I also love it for my top lashes. It lengthens, separates and only occasionally requires additional separation with my I-Lash Comb (which, by the way, I would not be without). I like the plain, narrow tube since I find many others too large or awkwardly shaped. Not quite as waterproof as I'd like, although it does well most of the time. It tends to dry up pretty quickly, so I buy a new tube every 6-8 weeks. It's so inexpensive, though, that the cost is not prohibitive.
Mascara -Cover Girl - Remarkable Washable Waterproof Mascara
auntnett 7/10/2007 12:12:00 PM
I decided to try this mascara based on good reviews I read on epinions.com, however, I totally disagree with them. When I used it for the first time, I first curleld my lashes as I always do. Then, as soon as I opened the tube and saw that gigantic brush I knew it wasn't for me. Plus, the mascara on the brush was all gloppy. But I went ahead and scraped the worst of it off on the opening of the tube and applied it. So-so application, needing separation with my I-Lash comb. Put on another coat, remembering that one reviewer said that that was when she noticed it really made her eyes pop after the second coat. Saw little difference between one coat and two except that it made my lashes lose the curl I had just put in them, which I really need to open my eyes up. Oh, well, it's not for me - I returned it to Ulta since they allow that. I'll go back to my waterproof Maybelline Lash Discovery as long as it's around.
Eyeliner -Cover Girl - Perfect Point Plus Eyeliners
auntnett 7/10/2007 12:07:00 PM
I have been using these pencils for many years because I like the precise line, the blender tip, easy availability and their low cost. The only drawback is that it doesn't stay on too well when my eyes are watery from allergies. I would also like a good violet or plum colored pencil like this, but theirs has absolutely no color on me. I do like both the ebony and espresso colors, although if I have to blend it any, ebony can end up looking sort of blue-ish. The only reasons this isn't 5 lippies is that it isn't waterproof and the color selection leaves a little to be desired: Ebony isn't a true black, Espresso is a little too light a brown - NOT espresso-colored, and the purple has little to no color, at least on me.
Eye Makeup Remover -Mary Kay - Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover
auntnett 7/10/2007 12:04:00 PM
I sold Mary Kay for a little while in the mid 90's, but even while doing so, I only used certain MK products, continuing to use my favorites from other product lines - what can I say? I'm fickle. No, really, I just know what I like, and I don't care if it's a drugstore brand or department store or whatever - Lancome and Chanel to Mary Kay to Cover Girl and Maybelline! Anyway, this is one Mary Kay product that I continue to use to this day. I have also used Cover Girl eye makeup remover because of its ready availability and it works fine, but my favorite is this Mary Kay product because it really is oil-free and, thus, doesn't leave that oily film in my eyes that the Cover Girl can. First be sure to shake it up well since it separates, then I squeeze a couple of drops directly onto my clean fingers, gently rub it on my eyes, then remove it with a clean tissue draped over my index finger. I then repeat to remove my Cover Girl Outlast lipcolor. I prefer this to using a cotton ball or cotton pad because I don't like getting the cotton fuzz in my eyes AND you use a lot more product than necessary squeezing it onto a cotton ball or pad. With this method, a bottle lasts me a long time, probably well over a year, so the $14 cost isn't too bad. I have found no makeup it doesn't work on from the most waterproof mascara (Cover Girl Marathon or Revlon Colorstay Lash Tint) to the most stubborn all-day lipstick (Cover Girl Outlast).
I have pretty fair skin and have trouble finding a powder that is light enough that doesn't change color after a while due to my oily skin. Both the pressed and the loose MK powders remain true to color, plus I really like that they are talc-free - my skin hates talc! The pressed powder gives a fair amount of coverage but the loose doesn't give any at all, really. I just like the loose when I first apply my make-up to set it with a semi-matte finish. Then I touch up with the pressed if needed during the day. A container of loose powder lasts me indefinitely - with its shaker top, you really don't waste any. The pressed powder is not very large and doesn't last nearly as well, so I go through 4-5 of those a year, thus, it's less reasonably priced, to me. I don't like the powder brush that MK sells separately. I prefer to use a cheapie velvety powder puff from the drugstore to press it on and then brush off any excess with a fluffy powder brush (not MK) that I have.
I have pretty fair skin and have trouble finding a powder that is light enough that doesn't change color after a while due to my oily skin. Both the pressed and the loose MK powders remain true to color, plus I really like that they are talc-free - my skin hates talc! The pressed powder gives a fair amount of coverage but the loose doesn't give any at all, really. I just like the loose when I first apply my make-up to set it with a semi-matte finish. Then I touch up with the pressed if needed during the day. A container of loose powder lasts me indefinitely - with its shaker top, you really don't waste any. The pressed powder is not very large and doesn't last nearly as well, so I go through 4-5 of those a year, thus, it's less reasonably priced, to me. I don't like the sponge applicators that MK sells separately - they make you use too much product at a time, an intentional result, I'm sure. I prefer just a cheapie velvety powder puff purchased from the drugstore, although it can be hard to find them small enough to fit in the space for the sponge in the compact (also sold separately, GRR! Admittedly, though in the long run, the cost isn't prohibitive since the powder refills are not too expensive. More "green" since there's less packaging to throw away, too).
I used to sell MK back in the mid 90's and still continue to use some of their products, one of which is their Classic Blonde eyebrow pencil. It is a throw-back wood pencil that they still keep around due to high demand from regular customers. This is a taupey color that almost anyone, except those with black hair can use. I am a fairly dark brunette, and that is what I use and find it to be the most natural-looking color on me and most other women of any brand around. Their other, newer-edition brow pencils are automatic plastic pencils that come, I believe, in Blonde, Auburn, Brown and Black. I have tried that blonde but it is not at all the same as the old Classic Blonde described above. It's too light while the brown is too dark even for me, a brunette. It also does not seem to stay on as well as the other one and is much too soft for my tastes. I have sparse over-plucked brows (a result of being a teen in the 70's!), and I can fill in nicely with the Classic Blonde, set it with a little translucent powder, and it gives me a natural look that lasts all day. With my combination skin, setting with powder seems to be a necessity with most brow pencils. Anyway, if you are having trouble finding a brow pencil or color that you like, ask for the Classic Blonde. It may no longer be in the MK brochures, but it IS still available. If you have an inexperienced consultant, ask her to look in Section 1 on her order sheet, under Color Cosmetics/Eyes, and it is an optional or special color.
I had used Mitchum or Lady Mitchum roll-on (I hate gel or sticks!) for 15-20 years but suddenly a couple of years ago I started to have horribly itchy underarms that prevented me from continuing with it. I tried many other brands with the same results, plus they didn't offer the antiperspirant/deodorant protection I was used to. Then I saw an ad for the new Dove line and decided to give it a try since it was supposed to have moisturizers. Didn't know to look for it, but I lucked up on the Sensitive Skin formula right away and found it to be a major improvement. Seldom any itching and even in hot, humid Georgia it gives me better protection than most, though not 24 hrs. like Mitchum! I have even tried the other Dove roll-on formulas when I couldn't find the sensitive skin formula, and they worked just about as well, with only a little itching sometimes. I also like the price and the large roll-on ball. My one complaint is that sometimes I get a defective bottle where the ball won't roll enough to even let me use the product, and on one occasion, I got one where the ball was so loose that the product leaked all over the place UPDATE: The roll-on has become almost impossible to find plus, when I do find it, literally half the time, the ball won't roll. I still like the product when I can find it and get it out!
Sunscreen -Mary Kay - Sun Essentials Sunblock SPF 30
auntnett 7/10/2007 11:46:00 AM
For me, MK's SPF 30 sunblock outlasts and outperforms other brands, even if they have a higher SPF rating. I am fair-skinned and, although I used to tan easily, I now find that I instantly burn due to medications I am taking. I never go out into the sun without sunscreen, and I swear by this one. I probably would never have discovered it had I not had a brief career as a MK consultant myself several years ago. I still am devoted to this product, much preferring it to any other brand I've tried. It's only one of a select few of their products that I still continue to use. It is quite moisturizing, it lasts better in the water than most and it doesn't burn your eyes, which has been a big problem for me with most other brands. Pleasant smelling, too. My sister's kids live at the pool in the summer and they never burn using this sunscreen, unlike all their friends using various other brands. They usually only reapply it a couple of times during a day at the pool. I wish I had known about it when I was younger - maybe I wouldn't have all these brown sunspots that I'm always having to have removed due to early sun damage! I always stock up on it at the beginning of the summer. I even use the SPF 15 under makeup, and it doesn't clog my pores or break me out.
Styling Products -Bumble & Bumble - Curl Conscious Calming Creme
auntnett 7/10/2007 11:39:00 AM
UPDATE: Removed two lippies - I've quit using this and all other products containing silicones. My hair had become lank, lazy and limp, and I finally found it was from the use of 'cones in most of my conditioners and styling products. Cutting out silicones, as well as sulfates in shampoo, has brought my curls back to life. See www.naturallycurly.com for more info (lurk around the Curl Talk message boards, especially). Another excellent, detailed but concise resource is www.livecurlylivefree.com. Happy curls! I get very good results with both this product and the Wavy Woman version for kinky/curly hair since my hair is sort of in between the two. Unless you are a naturally curly head, you probably won't understand or relate to a lot of what I'm about to describe! Curl Creme provides good "piecy" curl formation, definition and separation without frizz. HOWEVER, I do NOT achieve those results when I follow Bumble and Bumble's own instructions. They say to start with a quarter-size dollop and work it through the roots to the ends of hair and from the nape of the neck forward and then comb it through. And to use more if you have more hair. When I do that and either air dry or dry with a diffuser, my thick just-below-shoulder-length hair curls up pretty good initially, however, before too long it sort of goes limp and begins to look dirty. If, however, as my stylist suggested, I use a squirt only a little larger than a good-sized pea and work it very well throughout my hair with my hands - without combing - and then dry naturally or with a diffuser, it gives me nice, frizz-free curls that last at least all day, sometimes 2 or 3 days. I especially find that to be true if I precede it with some other type of styling product. Two of my favorites are Joico Ice Whip Mousse or Rusk Wired Styling Cream. Whatever else I use, I just end with the Curl Conscious Creme. My stylist said I should use it last because it has the same ingredient in it as curling mascaras, causing the hair to draw up into that nice S formation. Using it before other products would dilute it and lessen that effect. It is also helpful to rub a tiny bit (less than a small pea) between my hands and smooth them over my hair after I've pretty much dried it with a diffuser. There's always still a little bit of moisture in my hair, so once I add that little bit of creme, I let the hair get COMPLETELY dry before I pick it out a little (never brush curls!) to loosen the curls and then set it with a little Bumble and Bumble Extra Strength Holding Spray. Following these steps, a small travel-size bottle of curl creme lasts me close to 6 months. There's no telling how long a full-size bottle would last. A little goes so far that the cost is really not prohibitive, although it seems like it up front.
I got a travel-size of Bumble and Bumble Holding Spray when I was first introduced to their Curl Conscious line of products and found that they work very well together. However, since I like a little more lift and lock than I can achieve with it, I now use the Extra Strength Holding Spray. Either formula has very little fragrance even when I first spray it and no lingering smell to clash with my perfume. It dries quickly so that I can spritz a little on my curly hair and work it however I need to without it looking wet or crunchy-looking once it dries. It holds quite well yet feels pretty natural and doesn't flake or build up. I just like more lift on the shorter hair on top than I can achieve with this, so I use the extra strength version. I seem to use less of either the regular or extra strength than of other similar products, so that the cost doesn't seem too bad. I like it enough better than other sprays that it's worth the price, to me. It can only be purchased at select salons, which you can find with the store locator at www.bumbleandbumble.com.
Concealers -Lancome - Photogenic Skin-Illuminating Concealer SPF 15 ] [DISCONTINUED]
auntnett 7/10/2007 11:28:00 AM
I like Lancome's Effacernes Waterproof Concealer so well, I thought their Photogenic Skin Illuminating Concealer might be just the thing for my 51-year-old combination skin. I was disappointed. It covers pretty well, but doesn't look nearly as natural as Effacernes. I also found that, on me at least, it tended to look cakey after a few hours, especially if I had to reapply any powder. It settled into and, thus, somewhat magnified my deeper lines. It also tended to really accentuate any drier patch. Ivoire was too light for me and Light Buff was just a bit too dark, but there's nothing in between. This imperfect color match may have worsened all the previous problems mentioned. Overall, I think I'll just stick with their Effacernes concealer for anything I need to cover up, not just undereyes. See my separate review of it.