This mask is intense and has some pretty harsh drying agents, so do not use if you have dry, sensitive skin. Ingredients: water, Kaolin (clay), Bentonite (clay), glycerine (moisturizer), zinc oxide (use to soothe red skin/diaper rash and prevent sun damage), propylene glycol (natural gas byproduct whose safety has been in question lately), sulfur (sodium sulfacetamide is an antibacterial agent that interferes with the growth of bacteria on the skin; may also cause drying of the skin), chromium oxide greens (synthetic inorganic pigment used for coloring), fragrance (who knows what that contains), phenoxyyethanol, and methylparaben (both preservatives).
PROS: I really like this product! I normally hate that weird smell of self tanners, but I don't smell it with this one. Love the tint; it's more like a dye, and it's red/green/brown based, rather than orange, so I never look orange if I put too much on. I look more of a red. I also love that you can use a damp cloth and wipe this off several hours after you apply it if you overdo it in a specific area! This is great because after it starts to darken, you can tell if you put too much on but it's not too late to take some off. CONS: You really do have to wait a while to put on light-colored clothes, or you'll definitely get the tint/dye on them. Like all other STs, you need to exfoliate well before applying, or you'll get that cakey look in dry/rough areas. It's pricey IMHO, but I'll get it again. I don't think it lasts 5-7 days like it says on the packaging. It lasts more like 2-3 days if you shower daily. NEUTRAL: I haven't used this on my face, so I can't comment on acne. The push top is okay for dispensing, probably better than the pump, but I haven't bought the pump. Overall, I like this better than any other ST I've bought, mostly because it's never orange and it lacks that freaky smell.
I want so badly to be able to use this SS; I'm a SS adict, and I use it every day, so I want something that's effective, looks good, and is not cost prohibitive. In theory, this should fit the bill, but there must be something about silicones that don't agree with my skin. This stuff looks fab for about 3 days, then I start to break out, in a big way. Yes, I'm acne-prone, but I don't break out unless something disagrees with my skin. I am completely clear 99% of the time, but I am very sensitive to products that can react with oily skin. So, I guess I'm telling your acne-prone, oily gals to try a sample of this before you buy, or buy where you can return, just in case, since this is not an inexpensive SS. For those of you who can tolerate it, it is absolutely wonderful since it's basically a primer, tint, and SS in one, so it looks and feels good, and it's effective. I've gone back to Neutrogena Helioplex...for the time being.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - Footsie Fixers Heal Repair Shea Stick
gabiinchicago 6/7/2008 8:31:00 PM
I stumbled onto this foot treatment when I was looking for something to moisturize my feet after using my Ped Egg, but I was sick of having oily, goopy, greasy stuff all over my hands after applying a treatment. The best part of this treatment is that it's in a deordorant stick: yes, it's a shea butter stick neatly packaged in what looks like a deodorant stick, so you never have to use your hands to apply it! I absolutely love this application. It smells of light peppermint, and that would be from the peppermint oil, although the ingredients also list "fragrance" separately. I apply this right after getting out of the shower, then put on my slippers or socks, and I think the key is applying it when your feet are still moist. This treatment doesn't cause the color of my black or brown flipflops to bleed onto my feet! My jojoba oil always causes that, and there's nothing worse than getting your feet (finally) in shape for the summer, and looking down at them while at a party and gasping to see black all the way around your feet. The instructions say that you can apply it immediately before putting on your sandals, and I believe it. I bought this at Ulta for about $5.99. Give this treatment a try! Ingredients: Corn starch, safflower oil, beeswax, shea butter, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, fragrance, ozokerite, tocopheryl, acetate, aloe leaf extract, I-butyle hydroquinone (used to inhibit lipid oxidation).
UPDATED: I love the protection of this product, but I had to go back to the regular Neutrogena 70 spf Helioplex for my face since the Age Shield was causing some breakouts. I am using the remaining container on my body since it does provide great protection and has antioxidants in it. I do agree that it can leave white streaks if you don't blend it or rub it in, but I find that it helps even out my skin tone, and it gives a subtle or soft matte finish, without looking too dry or greasy. So for the price, it's a winner...and at under $10, you can always use it on your body if you don't like the way it looks on your face.
Sunscreen -DDF - Organic Sunblock Spf 30 [DISCONTINUED]
gabiinchicago 6/6/2008 3:10:00 PM
What can I say that others haven't??? Labeled "Organic," but whose definition are they using? Not sure, but it's not the FDA's. Says "For sensitive skin and those who prefer physical barrier sun protection. Zinc and Titanium Dioxide refract both UVA and UVB rays," and I like that it uses physical sunblock, but it's just not enough. Didn't leave a white film like many physical blocks do, but I think that's because it's not strong enough. I got pink after about 20 minutes in the sun, so you may want to reconsider their SPF of 30, though I am fair. Pricey - $28 for four ounces. Looked shiny on my face and caused breakout about 4 days after I started using it. I took it back to Ulta for a refund - bless Ulta.
Treatments -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - 40% Glycolic Peel
gabiinchicago 5/29/2008 11:24:00 PM
This is the 70% product I'm reviewing: it's an oil-based serum that really didn't do much for me. It stings just a tiny bit when it goes on, but I never peeled, even after prepping. I emailed them, and they offered to replace it or refund, so I can't complain, except it didn't meet my expectations. I was surprised that it contained oil, but when I emailed them, I mentioned this, and they said it was an oil-based "serum." I've been using it on my hands, but still no results. Any 70% peel that you can put on your hands every day without stinging, peeling, redness, isn't right. Maybe I just got a bad batch because I love their TCA peel.
Moisturizers -RoC - Age Diminishing Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15
gabiinchicago 5/29/2008 7:41:00 PM
I waited a couple of weeks to review this product because of my skin type, and I have mixed feelings. PROS: -I love the way it looks on: lightly dewey but not shiny -Sinks right in and doesn't feel greasy at all -Packaging is good - two pumps is perfect amount for coverage CONS: -Breaking me out in small blister-type bumps - almost makes me think I'm allergic to something in it, but there's no itching or swelling, so I'm just not sure -SPF is not high enough -I don't care for the scent in RoC products I really do love the way this product refracts light and diminishes lines, imperfections, etc., and I'll give it another try after I clear up. If my skin reacts differently to it, I'll come back to edit.
PROS: -buff is great for neutralizing red marks (looks really yellow in the bottle, but it's not too yellow, even on non-red pale skin), and I use it as a concealer -made in USA -dries matte but doesn't feel taut -doesn't leave a shimmer like others with minerals -pump is sanitary -bottle is a bit bigger than my other foundations -contains vitamins and antioxidants -hypoallergenic -won't clog pores (so it says...and it hasn't with me yet) -mineral-oil-free (says oil-free, but some oils are good for our skin) -uses a physical sunscreen (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) CONS: -wish the bottle were opaque to protect it from the light (which can oxize color over time) -low spf -not a great color selection -a little difficult to wash off -full pump dispenses too much for my use -coverage is light to medium (but it's buildable) UPDATE: still use this occassionally, but I learned that it comes off easier with oil or MU remover. It also seems to dry me out just a bit if I wear it for multiple days.
This lotion is a great base for any custom product. I make my own sunscreen by combining 1 oz this lotion with micronized zinc oxide, yellow/red iron oxide (tint to my skin color) and it's a fabulous 100% physical sunscreen that's not greasy, dries matte, won't clog pores, and moisturizes. Depending upon the amount of zo, I can increase or decrease the spf according to my activity or body part. Using this tinted, I don't need a foundation or powder. If you are oily, like me, you can blot throughout the day, but the zo stays put. BTW: if you haven't used zo, you'll be amazed at its coverage on spots, and it's great for the skin. I add some jojoba oil, and use it around my eyes for sting-free sun protection. This is a great base product or a simple moisturizer for someone who doesn't have really dry skin.
Cleansers -Cetaphil - Daily Facial Cleanser (Normal to Oily Skin)
gabiinchicago 5/9/2008 8:12:00 PM
This is a foaming cleanser, not a creamy one, so get this only if you have oilier skin. It doesn't overly dry my skin, but it does leave it feeling a little taut, so I have to moisturize, and I have oily, acne-prone skin. But this is a really good cleanser if you're looking for something to strip that top layer of oil, yet not make you peel: it's not harsh, but I wouldn't recommend it for someone with normal or dry skin. Also, you need just the smallest amount for your entire face, so don't use an the whole pump when you try it. I also like the light scent, but I think they could have gone without a scent at all, keeping with the Cetaphil, mild, approach, although I don't think the scent irritates me--but I can see it bothering some who are acccustomed to Cetaphil's unscented products. Bottom line, I would buy it again, but only if I knew I had access to moisturizer, and I didn't need to use the cleanser every day...a bit harsh for my maturing skin.
I have used a pumice for the last time! If you have dry, cracked heels, this is the product for you. You really will throw out your other devices because this works. I've used a pumice after every shower for about the last 10 years, but it doesn't compare. I've had pedicures that didn't come close to this. I just spent about 10 minutes on each heel, FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS, and I can barely see any cracks now. Honestly, the skin there actually looks like it's flesh colored now instead of something out of a horror novel. Make sure you move the egg in the proper direction (not circular or wrong direction), and take your time. Also, I did notice that some of the shavings fell out, but this only happened when I had the metal side facing downward--gravity rules. I should have bought the 3-pack replacement, so if you can find a deal where the replacement blades are less than $10, get them. UPDATE: my heels were a bit tender for two days following the treatment, and I was really surprised because I was not aggressive and I definitely didn't cut or injure myself. It's really odd because I think that massive skin build-up is a little necessary, albeit ugly. I still plan to use it again, but I'll probably do about 2-3 minutes per treatment.
This cleanser has a nice scent, and if you have really, really oily skin, you'll probably like it, but for my combo, acne-prone, t-zone oily skin, it was just too harsh/drying. I even use jojoba oil after I wash, and I just felt tight after washing with this cleanser.
Moisturizers -Desert Essence - Jojoba Oil - 100% pure
gabiinchicago 11/18/2007 8:21:00 PM
I really love this oil. Since I do have to use benzoyl peroxide every day and glycolic acid to keep my pores clean, I absolutely have to moisturize, and this oil is the only thing I can use. Just need a drop or two on clean, moist skin. It really fools my skin into thinking that it has enough oil, so I don't produce much oil now. From wikipedia: "Unlike common vegetable oils, jojoba oil is chemically very similar to human sebum." There will be a sheen for a few minutes, but it goes away. If you're battling acne, you should use the following routine, and it will go away with continued use! 1. Cleanse with mild, non-soap product 2. While the skin is moist, with wet hands, rub 2 drops of the oil between your fingers and gently rub on the face. 3. Apply 2.5% benzoyl peroxide all over the affected areas. This percentage is proven to be as effective as 5% or 10% but without all the irritation 4. Use a 5-10% AHA product daily to keep pores clear - this is a must. I personally like glycolic acid. You should start with 5% and use an entire bottle so that your skin can adjust to it. Don't use this on your feet if you plan to wear flipflops or sandals because it makes the color from my shoes bleed onto my feet - sad but true; but it's probably true of any oil.
Powder -Everyday Minerals - Foundation Matte Formula
gabiinchicago 11/18/2007 12:52:00 PM
My HG in MMU!!! This is BY-FAR, the best MMU, in terms of coverage, color/shade selection, price, and packaging. Ladies, if you are using any other powder MMU, you must research their ingredients. Most of them contain massive amounts of bismuth, which is a lead by-product and cheap filler. The ingredients in EM are Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, and Iron Oxides (pigment/color). There are NO CHEAP FILLERS here! The really great thing for those new to MMU is that you can get FREE samples from their website so that you know exactly which shade is right for you, and you can also get the finish you like most: shimmery (semi-matte), matte, etc. Also, the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide offer fair UVA/UVB coverage, which is great if you don't like to use sunscreen all the time. These are the ONLY physical sunscreens available, and they're both in EM! If you are one of those who hates the shimmery look of BE or other MMUs, make sure you get the matte finish because the semi-matte does have a bit of a glow, which is nice if you're flawless, but for me, it makes my flaws jump out. Some say they like it because it refracts light and makes their flaws seems less noticeable. I wish that were the case with me. Finally, because I am seriously acne-prone and oily, I always stay clear of irritants, and EM has so few ingredients. Zinc oxide is actually calming to the skin; it's the main ingredient in diaper rash ointment.