I don't find that this works for my oily skin. It has a runny consistency that is easy to blend into your skin and this does leave a nice, soft-matte finish. However, I definitely notice a white cast. That said, the white cast isn't horrible. The main reason this won't work for me is because it does nothing for oil-control. I don't think it made me oilier, but it definitely messed with the lasting-power of my make-up and didn't help with the oilies. Something very similar but with better oil-control is Clarin's UV Plus. Update: Another thing to consider is the high alcohol content, which can also make this sunscreen a bit drying. These days, I cannot use this sunscreen because it is too drying for my dehydrated oily skin. If you have skin that is dehydrated and oily, or at least prone to dehydration (perhaps from retinoid use), try extra smooth lotion. It is light enough for oilier skin but not drying like this one. For more info on Shisiedo sunscreens... As of now, the following Shisiedo sunscreens are available in the US (these are the basic sunscreens, not including anything like lip protection, tinted products, etc.): Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream/Lotion N SPF 38 (PA+++/PA++) Ultimate Sun Protection Cream/Lotion+ SPF 50+ (Broad spectrum) Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 40 (Broad spectrum) Urban Environment Oil-free UV Protector SPF 42 (Broad spectrum) I have tried all of these except the new ultimate formulas, but I will do an update if/when I sample them. Although only the last product claims to be oil-free, from what I can tell looking at ingredient lists, none of these sunscreens contain oil. (But check anyway if that's important to you). Extra smooth is best for drier skin types, ultimate is for activities that involve lots of sun exposure, and urban enviro is for everyday (though the oil-free version is targeted for oilier skin types). All formulas sink into the skin very well and leave a semi-matte finish. The blue formulas can feel a little greasy initially, but this feeling goes away very quickly. Although all of the sunscreens have some form of alcohol, I don't think they would be considered drying for most. That is, except the urban enviro oil-free lotion, which my dehydrated oily skin cannot handle due to the high alcohol-content, which I find drying. (Interestingly, even when I was very oily, I could not use this lotion, but for a different reason: no oil-control. So I find it too drying initially, or not mattifying enough later.) Many people like the cream versions because they are rather good as mattifying primers. However, they can also be a little heavy, depending on the formula. I found both the extra smooth and urban enviro creams to be a bit much for my oily skin. That is, they were mattifying in the beginning, but I did see oil later. The old formula for the ultimate sunscreen was very popular as a mattifying primer for the oily, but I've heard that the new formula is not as good. As for a white cast, I see one with every sunscreen, though it's less evident if you let it sink in for a few minutes. But in terms of photos, there is a definite ghostly face effect. One thing to keep in mind with these sunscreens is that you really need to remove them properly -- preferably with an oil. They are known for their tenacity so if you experience any breakouts, consider your removal methods too.
Sunscreen -Peter Thomas Roth - Uber Dry Sunscreen SPF 30
sitknee 8/24/2012 6:58:00 PM
This sunscreen has all the protection you need and leaves a nice matte finish. It's creamy and a little thick, which makes it a bit hard to blend in, but it's not a big deal. I do have some issues with it balling up, but I think it depends on what you use under it (your moisturizer or whatever), and how long you've let whatever that is, sink into your skin and dry. Also, my Hourglass primer doesn't absorb into my face if I put it on over this. This sunscreen seems to leave a kind of film, which is fine for foundation but a little troublesome for products that need to sink in (like primer). That film I mention is not something you can feel -- I just mean it must leave some sort of invisible barrier. So this is supposed to be great for oily skin. I think it might work well for those with slightly oily skin, but not for those who have serious issues (like me). This doesn't really control oil, and it does this funny thing where it makes my foundation fade faster. Even though I have problems using this with my make-up, I do find it to be a rather good sunscreen. It feels like nothing on your skin and leaves nothing behind -- no greasy look or feel, no shine, no white cast. You just get a smooth, matte finish, great protection, antioxidants, and a fragrance-free formula.
Awesome curler! It actually curls my lashes, which are very straight and long. No drugstore curler has ever worked, and considering that I'm Asian, the super circular shape of American curlers just don't work with my eyes.
This scrub is definitely very gentle. Before I started using retinoids, I thought it was too gentle, but these days my skin is always exfoliated so I find this scrub a perfect consistency. Let's remember that this is marketed as a gentle scrub for gentle exfoliation. It helps remove dead skin cells, smoothing skin and cleaning well, but it's not going to do anything crazy. For something that's really going to scrub out clogged pores, St. Ives would be a better choice, but the walnut shell powder is very harsh so be aware of that. I've never experienced any tightness or dryness, though I do have oily skin. This cleanser just leaves my skin bright, soft, and very clean. It is always my gentle go-to! I also have to mention that this has really helped with brightening my complexion and evening out my skin tone!
This concealer has great coverage and lasting power. The creamy texture helps for covering bumps and it blends into skin well. I find that this product is best applied with your fingers, patted on. It's a little pricey, but it lasts a while so it's not bad at all. Except. Sigh. This tends to break me out, especially clogging pores around my nose. If you're acne-prone at all, save yourself the possible headache and try something else (MUFE has an amazing concealer), as MAC products are notorious for breaking people out.
Argh. This has nice lasting power and a matte finish, covers well, and looks pretty good, but it makes me break out. I was so surprised when I started getting blemishes because although I am acne-prone, I have a routine that almost always works. I can't even remember the last time a product broke me out but this did :( I would recommend this for someone who is curious because it does have good points. However, the acne thing is unacceptable.
Loose Powders -Make Up For Ever - HD High Definition Loose Powder
sitknee 8/23/2012 10:10:00 PM
This is a bit pricey but it works well and lasts such a long time. It gives you a flawless finish without making you look powdery. Of course, since it's white you have to be light-handed so you don't look like a ghost. I've heard that it doesn't photograph well but I've never had issues. Like other powder, this helps set your make-up and gives a bit of oil-control, though not anything crazy.
Like others have mentioned, you only need very little and this cleanser will foam up well. It won't remove all of your make-up but some good rubbing will remove blackheads, which I usually have to rely on scrubs to get rid of! I know some people say this leaves a film on your face. What seems to help with this is to, at the end, add more water so the thick foam turns into a soapy consistency, and then rub that around for a little before rinsing everything off. As for dryness, I don't feel that it is drying. Then again, I have oily skin and I use a hydrating toner right after. Overall, this is a nice product. I'm still thinking about it because I've been breaking out recently and I can't figure out if it's this, stress, or the climate change.
Moisturizers -Cerave - Facial Moisturizing Lotion - AM SPF 30
sitknee 8/22/2012 5:53:00 AM
I've heard tons of great things about this moisturizer from consumers and professionals alike. It's supposed to have beneficial ingredients and a good formula that is recommended. I do like this moisturizer and although I can't say much about all the scientific ingredients, I can say that using this makes my skin feel brighter, softer, and smoother. It hydrates my oily skin without making it oilier or greasy. My only issue with this is the finish. Even with a mattifying primer over it, my face has this shine that I don't find particularly attractive. It's so weird because even with a super-matte foundation, I will see a shine through the foundation and primer. And when I skip this moisturizer, that shine is gone. The shine doesn't really look oily -- it's the kind of shine you get from something with SPF. And even though I mention a shine, this doesn't feel that greasy. A little greasy? Sure. But nothing crazy. Anyway, I'm not sure why I have the issue with the shine, though I suppose it might be linked to my oily skin or something. Whatever it is, it isn't a problem for my boyfriend, who has normal-dry skin that's on the drier side.
After reading rave reviews, I was still unsure about purchasing because you mostly have to find it online and, well, it's a sponge for a premium. However, I am so glad I finally broke down and got one! The thing I love about this is the way it makes your make-up look so flawless. It leaves the most amazing, smooth finish and makes it so easy to apply a light layer of whatever and slowly build it. You have to try it to see how it makes foundation/bb cream/whatever look so much better. As for cleaning... I refuse to buy the brand's cleaner. I've tried soaps and baby shampoo and I have to say that the best thing so far has been a bar of soap. Dove, to be exact. I'm not sure if it's too strong or something, but it does an amazing job at getting every bit of make-up from my sponge. Baby shampoo is my usual go-to, but it does a terrible job and takes forever to rinse out. I've only had my sponge for a couple of months but it's held up very well and I hope it continues to do so! I really recommend everyone to at least try this out. I know you can only get it online if you want it from Sephora, but you can always return it (I specifically asked about this product) so give this a chance! Keep in mind that everyone says dupes do not work the same way.
BB Cream -Etude - Etude House Precious Mineral All Day Strong BB Cream
sitknee 8/22/2012 5:32:00 AM
Although this bb cream doesn't have much oil-control at all, the coverage and finish make it one of my favorites. I know some people consider this for a sheer, natural look, but I don't think that's really going to work out with this. I mean, of course you can do light applications and everything, but if you want a natural look (with some coverage), Skin79's hot pink is a better choice (not that it's the best -- I don't use anything that gives only a sheer look so I can't help with that). A light layer of this compared to a light layer of Skin79? This looks way more make-upy. In any case, you can definitely layer and get amazing coverage. It comes with such a pretty, (dewy!) flawless finish that blurs your pores and makes you look super smooth. As I mentioned earlier, you won't really see any oil-control. It doesn't contribute to oiliness, though, and doesn't make me break out. Also, I don't see any grey cast and although this is white, I think it's still workable as long as you're at least medium-fair.
This bb cream is a good choice for those who want more coverage. I find that it goes from light to medium-full (not full, really, but a bit more than medium). I wouldn't expect to get a sheer, natural look from this. I mean, if you only put a little on, you can definitely spread it out to get a lighter layer, but I feel that even when I use a little, I still have that make-up look. Of course, it's still going to look more natural than most foundation. In any case, so this works well for covering up blemishes and redness. The finish is pretty matte, which I don't have an issue with, but it does look rather make-upy. Also, it's not that flawless. I'm used to the amazing finish of Skin79 and Etude House, so it always freaks me out when I see the finish with this bb cream, which isn't amazing. It doesn't do much in terms of blurring pores or your making your skin look nice and smooth. I don't have an issue with any grey cast and though this is on the lighter side, I think it's wearable for those who are medium. As for oil-control, I wouldn't say this has any. It doesn't make me oilier, but it doesn't do any controlling. On a positive note, this has never broken me out. I know I had a bunch of negative things to say lol However, I do think this is a good bb cream for oily skin and those who need more coverage. It's just that it looks more make-upy than others.
This bb cream is great for oily skin and has an amazing finish. Although I still get oily throughout the day (my skin is evil), this bb cream truly reduces oiliness tremendously. I expect that someone with oily skin that isn't too terrible will find this really helpful. I also love the finish -- it's flawless and dewy! As for people with blemishes, this bb cream has great coverage, as it can go from sheer to medium. If you go sheer, this looks so pretty and natural. You can definitely build, but of course, the more you put on, the less natural you will look. The packaging is awesome as well, which, aside from being cute and elegant, makes dispensing the product super easy. As for the claims... I can't say anything about anti-wrinkle yet but I definitely do see improvement in terms of brightening and this does do a good job of keeping my skin hydrated without contributing to oiliness. Also, I am acne-prone but this has never broken me out (except when I take naps in it, which is a huge no-no). The only downside is that this is pretty white. I don't think it will work for those with skin darker than NC20. If you're worried about grey cast, don't be -- it definitely goes away in a couple of minutes.
Eyeliner -Stila - Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
sitknee 8/22/2012 4:48:00 AM
My second favorite liquid liner, Stila has a great black color and amazing staying power -- it takes effort to get this off! I also really like the tip. It's not hard or soft, but somewhere in between that makes it easy to control. Because I tend to only draw wings these days, I've been migrating more toward this liner than Lancome's Artliner, another great liner, because it's easier to freehand with a more stable tip. The only thing that kind of bothers me is the price. It's only $20, sure, but that's for 0.016 oz, whereas Lancome is something like 0.047 oz for $30. EDIT I forgot that the Stila tip can sometimes... get kind of worn. I don't know how to explain it, but it gets a little flimsy at the tip. You can pull it off with your nails so it's not terrible. Though it is a bit annoying.
This is a great liquid liner with an intense black color and a flexible applicator that makes it really easy to line your eyes (though the lack of a harder tip does mean winging takes a bit more expertise). I know some people have mentioned flaking but I can't say I've ever experienced it. My only issue with this liner is the fact that it's not waterproof. Don't get me wrong -- as long as you don't rub your eyeliner or cry, this truly does last all day. Another thing to think about is the price. I know it's expensive, but Stila (their liquid liner is another great one that people are always recommending) comes with 0.016 oz for $20 whereas Lancome is something like 0.047 oz for $30.