Moisturizers -The Body Shop - Aloe Vera Moisturizing Day Cream
brandysmom 8/9/2009 7:47:00 PM
My jar is called "Aloe Soothing Day Cream" not "Aloe Vera Moisturizing Day Cream" as the header in this review lists. My jar is the same cream as pictured. I am only able to use this product night since it contains no SPF, but I still applaud The Body Shop for offering a daytime moisturizer without sunscreen which can be an irritant. There is a daytime moisturizing option with SPF 15 available now as well. Aloe Soothing Day Cream leaves a calm, comfortable feel on the skin and does a decent job of moisturizing. There is no added fragrance, but there is a slightly chemical masking scent which fades quickly after applying. I don't suffer from rosacea but I don't see any reduction in redness from using a full jar of this. A huge plus is how gentle this product is. I can even use it in place of my eye cream, and if used in this way, the 1.7 oz. jar would last forever. Overall I prefer The Body Shop's Vitamin E Moisture Cream over this and would purchase it instead.
I bought the tube thinking it would be handier and keep the product from drying out. Mistake. I got a lot of splatter from air trapped inside the tube and ended up transferring the mud into a jar with a close fitting lid. The mud stains so be sure to have a washcloth you don't care about handy for removal. Without a cloth helping the removal effort, it's like splashing away at the Rock of Gibraltar. I look even toned, smooth and rested after the Queen Routine, so that keeps me trekking back to Sally's. Next time I'll get the tub.
Before I explain how smooth and moisturizing NYX Black Label Lipsticks are, and before I babble on about their full coverage, velvety formula, I have a rant about the swatches on their website. Their representations are highly inaccurate, even with the handy "roll over to enlarge" feature. I believe that some of the 96 shades of these lipsticks come in creme, shimmer, and metallic formulas, but this information is not available on the website, so you basically pay your money and take your chances. My random purchasing resulted in the following shades, all of which happen to be the creme formula: ~Brick is a corally red with just a touch of brown, much lighter than one might imagine with this name. ~Berry is a ladylike, almost retro rosy pink. ~Midnight Dinner is a medium deep pinky red cream. that is more muted than bright. If reds are hard for you to wear, try this one. It's my favorite of the bunch. ~Heather is a bubblegum pink with a hint of coral. ~Hot Tamale is orangy pink, quite a bit more coral than Heather. Black Label is a full coverage, long lasting lipstick, reminiscent of Vincent Longo's Creme Riche formula. They are indeed wonderfully moisturizing and creamy with a good dose of pigment. The formula is very comfortable; it feels more like a lip treatment than a lipstick. Scent-wise, there is a slight grape-y or fruity note that lasts a moment or two on application and then dissipates completely. These lipsticks have no sunscreen and no taste. The packaging boasts the product is Cruelty Free/Lead Free. The size is slightly shorter and wider than a Chanel lipstick. The tube is sturdy with a sample of the color encased in clear plastic on the bottom to identify the shade. The top of the case is metallic grey black, with a black lace filigree design. The packaging is actually one of the better designs in this price range. The name and number of the shade is lettered on the top and there is a peel-off sticker along the side which removes cleanly. One caveat: If you have a few Black Labels in your bag it's easy to switch the lids and forever mixup the names! The best price I've seen is on mscuppycakes.com where the Black Label Lipsticks are sold for $4.50. They are $7.00 on nyxcosmetics.com. With so many shades to choose from, you are certain to find several of these to love!
Eyeliner -Jane - Be Pure Mineral Gel Eyeliner, Navy
brandysmom 7/27/2009 8:14:00 PM
This liner is different from other similar products I have tried (MAC Fluidline, Bobbi Brown gel liner, Stila smudgepot, and HIP gel liners) because of its thick, almost waxy consistency. There is a top layer that you need to work your brush through before the color starts picking up well. The stiff brush that comes in the package is actually great for buffing into the pot. You can switch to another brush of your choice after this initial brushing, but in this case a slightly stiffer brush is helpful. The product goes on a little differently because it is heavier than the other creamier liners I've used. On my eyes though it doesn't feel any heavier or thicker. Jane Be Pure Mineral Gel Eyeliner gave a well pigmented, smudgeproof line that stayed in place during a record-breaking hot day. I like the way the navy color frames my hazel green eyes and makes the whites look whiter. Navy is a matte blue without any shimmer and I would buy this color again.
I loved this lip palette and used up every speck! Yes, for the first time ever I actually finished a palette. Of course this speaks to the small quantity of product it contains, 4.2 g or 0.15oz. The palette itself is adorable, black, nicely lettered with Too Faced logo and pink scrollwork. There is a huge mirror inside. The glosses smell chocolatey and there are 10 of them. Some have more opaque coverage and are closer to actual lipsticks. I know this palette is long discontinued, but it does turn up on ebay from time to time, hence the review. Once the pans are empty, you can carefully refill them or I may try to remove the innards and recycle the palette for eyeshadow. I wish TooFaced would re-issue this one!
I get a beautiful glow by dusting this lightly all over my finished face. It's possible to build slight color with Dandelion on its own, and I sometimes even wear it alone as a very light blush. (NC15 skintone for reference.) Cons: The brush is basically useless. The deep box takes up too much room and makes it hard to use your brush as you get toward the bottom of the pan. The price is too high for what you get. I would recommend depotting the pan if possible. Overall it's a great powder in terribly inconvenient, but admittedly, very cute packaging.
Lip Gloss -Maybelline - Shiny-licious in Peaches n Spring
brandysmom 7/12/2009 4:55:00 PM
There seem to be several scents and various reviewers report both peach and mint. Mine smells minty and gives a little tingle to your lips. The gloss shade is very light and frosty. Swatched, it looks like a very light frosty peach, but on my lips it is little more than clear gloss with some shimmer. I mostly wear this over lipstick for added shine and moisture. I actually like the applicator and find it's better than the stiff ones Milani used to put on their tube lipglosses. I would repurchase if I came across it again and needed a very light gloss.
This is a nice and simple formula that doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes. I love the long, thin wand for easy application. I don't experience any clumping or flaking. These are often in sets and are a great way to try.
Lipstick -Maybelline - Forever Metallics - Alloy Red
brandysmom 7/7/2009 11:53:00 PM
I found this discontinued lipstick at Dollar Tree and what a find it is! This is a perfect ruby red metallic that wears well and doesn't travel outside my lipline. It works well with many glosses on top. I'm hoping to score a few more!
Blush -Sue Devitt - Microquatic Gel-To-Powder Blush
brandysmom 7/7/2009 4:01:00 PM
This review is for Malay Reef, a flattering peachy pink with illuminating shimmer particles. The shade is somewhat buildable, from a soft whisper of color to a bit higher intensity, but overall the effect is natural. I swirl my fingertip over the pan and dot it on my cheekbones, but you can use a sponge or brush to apply, if you prefer. Sue Devitt is known in the beauty industry for her silky, glowy powder blushes. Her lesser known cheek product, Microquatic Gel-To-Powder Blush, offers cream blush blendability which then sets to a powdery finish that is not at all sticky. Microquatic blush comes packaged in the line's signature round silver compact and houses a nice quality mirror. I like this for a quick and easy summertime look over tinted moisturizer. One drawback of this product is that it does disappear more quickly on me than regular powder blushes do. I find that the wearing time can be lengthened by layering on a little powder blush on top. From their website: "Creamy blush formula glides on smoothly to enhance cheekbones. Microquatic(tm) Gel-to-Powder Blush by Sue Devitt incorporates Orchid Extract, a natural moisturizer that fights against free radicals, promotes healthy radiance, and protects skin's vitality with antioxidants and reparative properties." This beautiful gel-to-powder formula offers intense hydration with a sheer, smooth finish to impart a youthful glow and lasting wearability for all skin tones. Now available in two new skin flattering shades, this blush gives an instant hint of color that locks in moisture while ensuring a blendable, fool-proof application. Key Ingredients: Marine collagen filling spheres smooth out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, creating a flawless complexion and a perfectly radiant glow. Signature Microquatic™ ingredients include Ceramides, Vitamin C and Sea Fennel Extract to fight free radicals while soothing Orchid Extract, a natural moisturizer promotes healthy, radiant skin. Formulated with a synergistic blend of marine properties to promote healthy radiance and protects skin's vitality with antioxidants and reparative properties. Weight: 2 g/0.07 oz. $20.00 at Ulta and beauty.com 4 Lippies for a peach of a summertime product!
Makeup Brushes -Unlisted Brand - Adesign-Cheek Brush
brandysmom 6/21/2009 10:21:00 PM
I have the same brush set as the previous reviewer but my impression is much different. I can only rate the cheek brush as average at best. It gets the job done and does have a nice shape for applying blush. However, the bristles aren't exceptionally soft or superior to even my Paula's Choice blush brush. My biggest gripe with this brush is the amount of shedding. It has lost bristles since the first wash, maybe even the first use (?) and I pick off a few small stray hairs almost every time I use it. Maybe I got a dud set? The larger face brush in this kit has the same problem. I've washed the brush gently and laid it on its side to dry overnight, so I don't think the ferrule could have gotten wet and loosened the glue.
Tinted Moisturizer -Stila - Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
brandysmom 6/19/2009 10:18:00 PM
I have this in the lightest shade, Fair, which seems to have some cool pink undertones. If I were to try another color it would be Bare because it seems to have more neutral undertones. (NC15 for reference.) Sheer Color offers only light coverage. The product doesn't feel oily or heavy on my combination skin. On days I wear Sheer Color I skip applying a separate moisturizer, although drier skins might still require one. I reach for this on hurried mornings so I can skip a few steps. I like to dot on cream blush and then dust a little loose powder on top to set everything. The packaging is a silver tube that travels well and allows you to touch only the product squeezed out for each application. Overall this is a nice tinted moisturizer, but I can't really justify spending $34.00 when Wet 'n Wild makes an excellent one for less than $4.00 if you can match one of their limited shades.
Mascara often polarizes users into "I love it" or "I hate it" camps. Because I have sensitive eyes, my mascara purchases have generally been simple formulas which I know work. In spite of my poor track record with new products, I'm continually enticed by new mascaras sporting spiffy wands and dramatic claims of Plumping! Curling! Lengthening! Volumizing! This time I'm thrilled to have found a winner! I already have a good history with Rimmel mascaras. I'm a lifelong devotee of Extra Super Lash and had a brief but successful flirtation with Lycra Lash Extender. Sexy Curves Mascara is all about the brush. If you can't see yourself working with this three-humped wonder without getting stubbed in the eye, do yourself a favor and skip this product all together. If you apply one quick coat on your way out the door while guzzling a coffee and flipping through your morning to do list, this product isn't for you either. This mascara requires a little extra time and effort to deliver its full effect. Packaging: Cute sleek purple tube. Available in Black and Extreme Black. Dissection of the brush: The applicator wand is plastic and has three curved layers meant for pulling the lashes out and upwards while curling and separating them. I've seen the wand compared to Givenchy's famous Phenomen'eyes Mascara with the little spiky ball brush, but Sexy Curves has a much more precise tip. Keys to application: Applied correctly, the bases of your lashes will be darkened and almost look as if you've waterlined as well as mascara-ed your lashes. Place the wand very close to the base of your top lashes, positioning the tip toward your tear duct and using a wiggly, see-saw motion, pull the wand through your lashes slowly from root to tip. Next hold the lashes there for a few seconds to encourage the curl. Viola! Full, long, dark, separated lashes! Flaking? Not on me. Irritation? No itchiness, heaviness or other misery. Removal? Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup remover did the trick. Price? $7.49 at Walgreens Spiel from the website: "Lash plumping, full curve mascara. Fuller figured brush - fuller figured lashes. Curves in all the right places! The first Triple Plump brush with 3 x the curves for 70% curlier lashes. Voluptuous brush with CurveControl technology wiggles easily through your lashes quickly coating them. Exclusive brush design curves IN to maximize lash loading, curves OUT to curl and de-clump each lash for a complete curved look. Lashes look lusciously curled, plumped and defined. Plump 'em up! Enriched with proteins, the plumping formula strengthens lashes over time for a continuous lash boosting effect. Rich cream texture instantly amplifies your natural volume x 7 and fixes the curl for 12 hour hold. Fabulously fuller lashes."
Lotions/ Creams -C.O. Bigelow - Quince Hand Lotion
brandysmom 6/13/2009 1:49:00 PM
Most hand products I've tried over the years come in a cream form, all of which I find leave some degree of stickiness and residue that make it difficult to type or pick up small objects immediately after applying. C.O. Bigelow's Quince Hand Lotion differs in that it is a lightweight lotion. I enjoy the comfortable, yet protected feeling of this product, especially in hot summer months. The tube is perfect for stashing in my desk drawer at work and the apothecary-type packaging makes it appropriate for men as well as women. It is also fragrance free. I didn't notice any scent after using a tube for several weeks, but there is a slight neutral note (maybe from the quince?) if you focus on finding it. From the back of the tube~ Directions for use: Apply to hands as often as needed, especially after washing. Our pharmacist's advice: For very dry hands or as a special treatment, apply a liberal amount to hands in the evening before bedtime. Slip on cotton gloves and awaken in the morning to silky soft hands. From the website~ No. 007 Quince Hand Lotion Quince Extracts 3% Our original formulary hand lotion is a one-of-a-kind skin softening preparation that imparts a smooth, glove-like barrier to dry hands. Dr. Hiosous, a neighborhood physician, commissioned Bigelow to create this special formula with moisture-retaining quince fruit extract and antioxidant-packed carrot oil. Fragrance-free Contains active levels of therapeutic apothecary ingredients Contains no artificial colorants and not tested on animals Developed by Bigelow Chemists Made in USA $15.00 for 4 oz./113 g. Available at Bath & Body Works.
Makeup Brushes -Everyday Minerals - Skunkless Foptic Brush [DISCONTINUED]
brandysmom 5/24/2009 1:03:00 PM
This is my third brush from Everyday Minerals, and overall I highly recommend their fantastic brushes. I also own the long handled kabuki and flat top, which are excellent quality brushes at a very reasonable price. A Skunkless Foptic Brush! was the brainchild of EDM's forum of loyal customers who supposedly helped to create the brush. EDM's brushes are made with nicely weighted, renewable bamboo handles and exceptionally soft synthetic bristles. It is 100% vegan with no animal hair and after several washings, the bristles haven't shed at all. With the play-on-words name and the frenzy of the EDM forum, the "Foptic" was a sure fire sellout at $10.00. However, in spite of the exclamation point, "A Skunkless Foptic Brush!" is a bit of a clunker. The bristles are sparce, flimsy, and too darn long! The EDM Foptic brush is a total of about 6 1/2" long with 2 1/8" ferrule. The bristles measure almost 2" from ferrule to tip and offer little control so they flop around on your face. The Foptic works as a light highlighter brush, although you're sure to cover wide expanses of your face. I can also make this work as a stippling brush if I encircle the top of the bristles with my thumb and forefinger as I apply. I tried it with liquid foundation and liked the natural effect it provided. What makes this brush much more efficient is wrapping a hair tie about 1/3 of the way down the bristles. This greatly improves its effectiveness and makes the brush a lot more enjoyable to use. Foptic without a hair tie = 2 Lippies Foptic with hair tie wrapped around the bristles = 4 (one Lippie deducted for esthetics) Average rating = 3. Current price on everydayminerals.com is $5.00 Be sure to get the free 5 piece sample set with your order!