Cleansers -Neutrogena - Naturals - Purifying Facial Cleanser
pocky 7/14/2012 3:14:00 PM
This is your run of the mill drugstore cleanser. It is nothing special. I was curious about trying a "natural" cleanser without spending a lot of money. This cleanser is okay but I can't stand the fragrance. It's a little too much and, frankly, it smells like something I wash my hands with. The cleanser also is a little drying and my skin doesn't have that soft, clean feeling I'm used to with my regular cleanser. I stopped using this after a few days because I was afraid my skin would get too dry.
Top/Base Coats -Unlisted Brand - Trind - "Nail Repair"
pocky 7/14/2012 12:16:00 AM
This is an amazing nail strengthener! My nails are so much stronger and healthier. I initially tried using it as directed by applying one coat every day and removing the previous coat before appling a new coat. I think I lasted exactly one day before I said to hell with it and tried to figure out a way to make Nail Repair work for me without the laborious and wasteful daily removal and application process. Not only can I not stand naked nails, but the Nail Repair has a tendency to chip or peel off, leaving my nails completely unprotected. In general, this does not work very well as a base coat under polish. Most of the time, the polish will start lifting by the second day. The entire polish may pop off or it will start peeling off in chunks. I've learned to wear Nail Repair under my regular base coat and polish on days when I want to wear glitter or dark colors because I know my polish will start peeling off after a day, thereby saving me the need to get out the polish remover and stain my fingers or wrap them in foil to remove the glitter. Once, I did a maniture with Nail Repair followed by Deborah Lippmann Turn Back Time, and 4 coat jelly sandwich of OPI Boy Meets Galveston and Pirouette My Whistle. I finished off with Posh Fast Dry and for some reason, this lasted for two whole days without any signs of chipping, peeling or lifting. I tend to change my polish every 2 or 3 days anyway so I'm just fine with my polish popping off after 2 days. Try wearing Nail Repair as a base coat, but also use a regular base coat and experiment with different polishes and top coats. My only complaint about Trind is the awful cap. It's too tall and I can't ever put my Trind away without having to turn it on its side. Trind is also on the expensive side on top of a smaller bottle (.33 oz to the standard .5 oz), but I get mine from Amazon for a little cheaper.
Mascara -Cover Girl - Lash Perfection Volumizing Mascara
pocky 7/10/2012 8:54:00 PM
This is my HG volumizing mascara. I don't know how many tubes I've gone through. It's THAT good. Lash Perfection gives me perfect length and volume without clumping, flaking or killing my curl AND it does not smudge. I like to wear this under my Imju Fiberwig, which gives me a little more length. I had used LashBlast Volume but I needed a skinnier brush. Lash Perfection's smaller brush is perfect for my smaller eyes and shorter lashes. If you were a fan of the old Max Factor Lash Perfection and you're wondering if Cover Girl Lash Perfection is the same, the Cover Girl is actually much better. The Max Factor did not smudge, flake, or clump but I don't remember it ever giving me much volume or length.
Lips -Revlon - Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain- Romantic
pocky 7/6/2012 10:00:00 AM
Romantic - Just like everyone else, these Revlon stain balms completely blew me away. I cannot get over the quality of these things. They all have the pigmentation you’d expect from a stain but with a lovely balm feel. I am only reviewing Romantic because it is exactly what I have been looking for and is everything that Lipstick Queen Medieval is not -- a true red stain with just a hint of shine that lasts. I love red lipstick but red lipstick is high maintenance and I don't always feel like going to all that trouble. Romantic is easy to apply--no lipliner needed--and yet looks incredibly polished and sophisticated. That said, I also like to start my day off with lipliner and an opaque lipstick and apply the stain balm throughout the day to keep that red-stained look, instead of reapplying lipstick. Please note that Just Bitten is not a substitute for a true red lipstick. It's just an easier way to wear red lips. Stick with red lipstick if you want the seductress red lips. This little balm stain is amazing, I don’t know what else to write. I have other colors and they're all gorgeous. Please don't discontinue these, Revlon.
This little thingamabob is amazing! I added one to my folica.com shopping cart on a whim since it was only $5.99 and I had a coupon for 30% off. I initially thought the Moni Poni (invented by some guy named Moni) was a gimmick but it really works! My problem with hair elastics is that the elastic either eventually gets stretched out and eventually it doesn't hold as well. You know how when the elastic is stretched out and you need an extra loop to keep it in place, but that extra loop is a little too tight and you don't want to put your hair up that tightly because it hurts and you don't want to damage your hair? Also, my hair is a lot fuller when it's dirty and loaded with styling products than when it's clean. I'm not organized enough to keep several different sized hair elastics around so I always buy one size. The Moni Poni solves this problem and it's so cool! Sorry for exclamation point abuse. I can't believe how well this thing works. You get the perfect amount of tension each and every time, no exceptions. There is a how-to video on folica.com although I'm sure there are videos on youtube as well. The only drawback to the Moni Poni is the price. One Moni Poni costs as much as a pack or two of hair elastics. Still, I think it's completely worth the money, especially since the Moni Poni doesn't get stretched out. I just bought a bunch more for friends. I might add that only the linx Moni Poni seems is suitable for different styles. The other plastic star or swirly Moni Ponis are only good for pony tails or securing the ends of braids.
This is a horrible teeth whitening system. There are so many factors that make it so awful, least of which is the $200 price tag. If you can get supposedly "professional" results for $200, why not just go to your dentist and pay a little more for custom-molded at home whitening trays? I did not experience any whitening, and certainly not in 5 minutes. The manufacturer claims that 5 minutes a day is all you need to achieve professional results at home, and therefore, the Tanda device is time to automatically shut off at 5 minutes. You can, however, do 10 cycles for a total of 50 minutes. Sounds easy, right? This couldn't be any farther from easy. The Tanda Pearl sounds like something that would be easy to use at home and give good results, but in reality, it's just a big gimmick and waste of money. It is not possible to program the Tanda device to shut off at a desired time so you have to keep pushing the botton to turn the device on, which is incredibly annoying and very inconvenient since there is no alarm to let you know when the device has shut off. I either had to set a timer to go off every 5 minutes so I can reset the Tanda device or I had to remember to look down to see that the light (it turns green when the device is working and goes dark when the 5 minutes is up) is off and reset it. On top of that, I had to keep track of the number of cycles with pen and paper. The Tanda device is not like the whitening trays you get from the dentist so there is no showering or running errands or doing anything but waiting around at home while the device is in your mouth. It is also extremely uncomfortable. The gel starts to leak into my mouth and mixes with the buckets of saliva already accumulated for a really nasty feeling. At times I felt like I would drown in my own spit and I was not comfortable knowing that I was ingesting some of the gel. It's thick like hair gel but not nearly as thick as a professional whitening gel. After a couple tries, I finally gave up on the Tanda Pearl and returned it. Luckily, it comes with a 100% guarantee so I got my $200 back. If you have that kind of money to spend on whiter teeth, just suck it up and go to your dentist for a professional at home whitening kit. I got the Opalescence whitening system from my dentist along with custom molded trays and I love them. I can carry on a conversation, take a shower, go out in public, and even sleep in my trays. Do not buy this piece of overpriced garbage.
Makeup Brushes -Make Up For Ever - Eyeliner Brush 2S
pocky 6/20/2012 10:46:00 PM
I never really mastered the skinny eyeliner brush and my eyes are too small for the flat push eyeliner brushes, but I love my gel liners so for years I made do with the Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush. Don't get me wrong, the BB brush is fantastic but the MUFE #2S is even better. If you're familiar with the BB brush, picture the 2S as a smaller and flatter version of the BB brush. This makes all the difference in the world because the stiffness and flat shape of the bristles let me fill in the lash line with the same convenience of a push brush but the smaller size gives me more control. The thin tapered tip of the brush lets me draw a perfect wing. I have been able to find excuses to wear all my neglected Bobbi Brown gel liners everday and I couldn't be happier.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - DermaNail Nail Conditioner
pocky 6/20/2012 10:00:00 PM
I have been using DermaNail religiously for the past 2 months and I am finally starting to see a difference in my nails. I keep a bottle on my night stand and a bottle in my desk at work, along with a tube of Cutemol. My nails have always been weak and thin so they would always break or split once they start getting long. It didn't matter how well I took care of my nails. Finally, with DermaNail, my nails are stronger and no longer break or split. DermaNail combined with proper filing technique, have made my nails so healthy that it's now almost a hassle to keep my nails filed down. I like a little bit of length but too long nails make it hard for me to type and I can't stand how crud always gets in the underside of my nails. Get some DermaNail and Cutemol, be patient, and you should have strong beautiful nails in a few months!
This mascara did not give me doll lashes or much of anything. I thought it was suppose to give me the flared out long lashes of a doll, but it didn't even come close. Not only that but it smudges like crazy. Usually, I can seal my first mascara with my Imju Fiberwig mascara (or whatever it's called now) and the Imju will keep the mascara from smudging, but Doll Lashes still managed to smudge. This mascara is not worth the money. Maybelline Full 'N' Soft gives me perfect doll lashes at 1/4 the price and it doesn't smudge. This went straight in the garbage.
Foundations -Garnier - BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector Daily All-In-One
pocky 6/20/2012 9:38:00 PM
I loved the way this made my skin look--dewy, smooth, and clean--like I had natural luminous skin. Unfortunately, it slides off in seconds if your skin is just the tiniest bit oily or if you sweat just a little. I was just starting to sweat but not full on sweating one day and in the 3 minutes it too me to walk outside to my car, the BB cream had already started sliding off my face and looked really gross. That particular day wasn't even a hot day, just a normal summer morning. Seems to me that this will only work for those with perfect skin who never sweat, which is no one I know. I am also not happy with the limited shade selection of BB creams. the Light/Medium was a little too pink for my olive-toned NC-25 complexion.
This is not the end all be all of teeth whitening systems so please do your research and talk to your dentist before you go through with it. I I don't recommend Zoom if you just want to whiten our teeth a few shades. I had a lot of dark, discolored teeth from not taking care of my teeth and not going to the dentist for years. My dentist recommended the home whitening trays because I might not need the Zoom, and if I did decide to go with the Zoom, my results will be much better since I will already be starting with a whiter base. I got the procedure done at my regular dentist's office. My dentist is wonderful, as is his entire staff, and they did not try to sell me the Zoom procedure at all. I got my teeth 4 shades whiter with the Opalescence home whitening, but I still wanted whiter teeth. Let me just say that even after a couple of months of using a prescription desensitizing toothpaste, I still experienced a lot of pain with Zoom. I edured all four 15-minute sessions under the light because I wanted to get my money's worth. I started to feel the zings towards the end of the second session. The last two sessions, specially the last few minutes of the last session were extremely painful. I didn't feel just pain in one teeth here or there but all over. The pain relief gel did nothing to relieve the pain so that night into the next morning were pretty bad. The pain finally went away by the second day, but still returned as short zings whenever air or something hot/cold suddenly hit my teeth. Before the procedure, they held my lips in place with a lip retractor and protected my gums by applying a gel or resin or something that cured hard. They also packed gauze in between my cheeks and the back teeth to protect my gums as much as possible. Then, the gel was applied to my teeth and they put the UV Zoom light over my mouth for 15 minutes. After the time is up, they scrape off the gel, apply new gel, and put the light on me again. Although it was really painful towards the end, I endured the entire 60 minute procedure and I am so glad I did because my teeth are whiter than they have ever been. My original plan was to get a few veneers on the top teeth, but now that my teeth are so white (and I spent a ton of money on the whitening), I'm not in any hurry to get the veneers. I am even thinking about getting braces before my veneers to get perfect movie star teeth. My teeth have gone from a couple shades darker than ivory to near movie star white so I am extremely happy, but as I mentioned earlier, the home whitening systems you get from the dentist are just as effective at whitening teeth without all the pain if you don't need dramatic whitening and you can be patient. Teeth don't become discolored in a couple of weeks so it's going to take some time to whiten them.
Blush -Tarte - Amazonian Clay Long-Wear Blush in Tipsy
pocky 6/20/2012 8:52:00 PM
On my NC25 skin, Tipsy shows up as a really pretty peachy coral blush. I've had mine for months and use it 2-3 times a week, yet it still looks brand new. This blush is so pigmented that I just need to touch my brush to the blush and it's enough for both cheeks. The Amazonian Clay blushes are dense like Nars blushes, which means no annoying powder fallout all over the compact. Tipsy is my favorite blush for all kinds of looks. Unfortunately, the compact looks cheap and is hard to open. It's nearly impossible to open without prying it open with a tool. Since I've stopped using my nails as tools, I always have to pop the compact open with the blunt end of my tweezers. For $25, I expect a lot more elegant packaging.
I have mild acne with combination-to-dry skin and the first month on Ziana was really hard on my skin. My skin was flaky, itchy, and really raw for the first 3 weeks, because I didn't start out slowly using Ziana every few nights and working up to nightly. Eventually, after lots of moisturizing, my skin got better and cleared up beautifully. I was amazed by how clear and smooth my skin was. I have been using Ziana every other night and taking spironolactone for the past 6 months and my skin is still smooth and clear. I get an ocassional breakout, which I spot treat with Epiduo. Unfortunately, my health plan is refusing to pay for Ziana. I obtained generic Ziana from an online Canadian pharmacy, which had it shipped to me from India (which manufactures quite a bit of generic drugs...no patent protection in India apparently). The active ingredients may be the same but when it comes to skincare, the inactive ingredients are just as important. I had to send this generic Ziana back to India because it has fragrance. I am now appealing the denial. If you are over 25, keep in mind that not all health plans will cover Ziana without a lot of hassle, if they cover it at all. The retail price of a 60 gm tube is over $500.
Primer/ Corrector -Korres - Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Face Primer
pocky 6/16/2012 11:47:00 PM
I went with the Sephora reviews instead of MUA this time and boy was that a mistake. I have been using the original Smashbox Photo Finish primer for years, but I have been looking for something even better now that summer is here. My normal morning routine after cleansing is a brightening serum (I alternate between several) followed by Metrogel, a light moisturizer such as DDF Moisturizing Dew, followed by Olay Regenerist SPF 55. Primer and foundation go on top of the sunscreen. This may sound like a lot of products, and I suppose it is, but I've never had any problems with Smashbox Photo Finish and any of my foundations on top of my skincare. However, the Korres primer pilled instantly upon contact with my skin. Not only that, but the tint in the primer turned orange on my skin, which made for little orange pieces of primer all over my face. I immediately washed my face and went back to Photo Finish. I can't say how well this primer performs under makeup as I didn't wear it long enough to even get to applying my foundation. I have spent too many years and a lot of money trying to find the right combination of skincare products that work for me so I will not be changing anything I use on my face to try to keep the Korres primer from pilling. I returned this primer.
I had lusted after Medieval for years. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. I have pigmented lips and Medieval just looks like tinted lip balm on me. It does not give me much color at all. Plus, it's just too much like a balm and it's either suppose to taste like rancid lipstick or I just happened to get a rancid tube. What I had in mind was a deep red stained look with some shine. Medieval did not deliver, but I suppose it was my own expectations and not Medieval itself. Still, $20 is too much to pay for tinted lipbalm. If you're looking for red-stained lips, try Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic, which I also reviewed.