I was looking for day and night retinol creams to use to even out my skin tone. I don't have a wrinkle issue thankfully but I'm ok with getting ahead of the game if that's possible. It was a toss up between this product and Neutrogena's Rapid wrinkle Repair Night formula but I chose this one for two reasons. One being that it was specific to tone correcting and contains soy and the other being that this contains significantly less dimethicone than Neutrogena's product line. Neutrogena does have a product that this is a dupe of the Ageless Intensives Tone Correcting Night cream but dimethicone is much higher up on the list and I'm cone sensitive. My skin can tolerate some but Neutrogena tends to have it as the main ingredient in their line and that usually doesn't work for me. Considering that dimethicone is the exact ingredient I use one drop at a time to defrizz my hair so it doesn't look oily I avoid it when I can. Because of this CVS brand is not quite as creamy out of the tube but blends in well and absorbs quickly. There is no greasy residue nor do I wake up with an oily face in the morning and I have combo skin. It also doesn't irritate or leave me red nor has it made me flake or peel. It has left my face looking a little brighter and clearer and my skin tone is evening out. It's also a bit cheaper than the name brand Not a miracle in tube but after 2 weeks I'm satisfied and will continue to use this every night.
Powders -Smashbox - Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder
hwnpunch 9/2/2011 9:31:00 AM
After sampling this several times at Sephora I finally sucked it up and shelled out the outrageous $59 for this powder. I would have given it a 5 if the cost wasn't so ridiculous. I've used a ton of different products and had been using Studio Gear TM but the formula seems to have changed this past year and I had to move on once they decided to add silicones to the ingredients in lieu of the squalane that worked so well for me. This powder + concealer though is fantastic over a light moisturizer. It does contain dimethicone for those of you like myself that are cone sensitive. However, it's a bit lower down on the list than many other products I've used that have broken me out and I've had no issues so far. Normally if I'm going to react to silicone in a product it's going to be within the first 24 -48 hours so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this one doesn't sneak up on me because I really love it. The coverage and shade are perfect but the colors are limited and run slightly dark. I normally wear a medium and while that shade blended in ok, I was told that Medium oxidizes and darkens as the day goes on and was advised to go with the light/medium shade. That color works perfect, goes on fast and evenly with a kabuki brush (not the one provided), gives the perfect amount of coverage for me over concealer and actually feels good on. I've used a lot of products that claim to give a "healthy glow" that either give a gross shine on my combo skin or a ridiculous glitter effect that no one over 30 should ever be running around in. This powder really does seem to give my skin a healthy glow without the shine or glitter and doesn't look like crap under my eyes over concealer. I don't have much in the way of wrinkles but I swear some mineral powders create them. It also doesn't over dry my skin and cause my t-zone crank up the oil production like some powders I've used. It balances everything out just right. No surprise that the brush they give you is crap but I do keep it in my bag for quick touch ups and it's ok for under your eyes. I do wish this came in a smaller size like the samples on display. That would be easier to carry around for touch ups and a lot easier on the wallet. The compact does take up a lot of space but I do love having the benefit of a pressed powder compact and loose powder all in one package with no mess.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Natralia- Acne Rescue Kit
hwnpunch 7/24/2011 8:41:00 AM
I spotted this homeopathic kit at our local health food store and decided to grab it for our kids. One is allergic to SLS and both seem to respond better to gentle products. This is a standard face wash and "acne rescue" cream 2 piece system and I got it for just under $20. This system seems to work great for my youngest and I've used it my self during a nasty monthly breakout and it really seemed to help clear me up fast without drying me out. This a break down of the 2 products in the kit with some ingredient info. This is a bit pricey for some but I found it to be worth the $. -The face wash is sulfate free, BP free, and SA free. It's active ingredients are Silica & Natrum but lists AVG , Calendula, Tea Tree oil, Lactic acid, Lavender oil and Witch hazel to name a few as Inactive ingredients which are all great for acne prone skin. I do find that I need to use a toner after. The Silica in this is meant to help absorb oil and in my case just tends to make me oilier an hour later and I need to get any of that residue off before adding any sort of cream or moisturizer. I took one lippie off of this kit for this reason but the silica could be a big plus for another user who knows my kids don't complain about it. - The Acne Rescue is also BP and SA free and the active ingredients in this are Calcarea Carbonica, Pulsatilla Vaulgaris & Calendula. The inactive ingredients have some similarities to the face wash with things like Tea Tree , Lactic acid and Lavender oil as well as some moisturizing & soothing ingredients like Squalane & chamomile. This goes on like a moisturizer not an acne cream with a faint herbal smell that isn't unpleasant.. Feels good on, didn't dry out my skin and caused zero redness or irritation. My 12 year old really likes that this doesn't sting like BP or SA products can. I would suggest a light touch with this lotion. When you're first putting this on it really does feel like a moisturizer but it's NOT so avoid the urge to slather it on like one or 20 minutes later you'll feel this laying on your face like a blanket. a thin layer is all you need in your problem areas. Moisturize everywhere else. I found that when I do that this stuff works fantastic. One of the best products I've ever picked up and I'll definitely repurchase.
I'm kind of on the fence about this product for a couple of reasons and wish there was a maybe tab for the repurchase option on here. I haven't used a home color in quite a while but a recent trip in the sun and salt water really rocked my color and I dont have time to get to my stylist in the next couple of weeks so I gave it a shot. I love that the application is so easy and mess free. If you can shampoo your hair you can apply this color easily. There is plenty of color in the bottle even for medium long hair like mine. More than enough and the smell is way better than products I've used in the past. This also didn't irritate my scalp or eyes at all. The gloves were good quality however they were latex & I'm allergic so I used my own. The directions were simple to follow, application was quick and seemed to give much more even coverage than a cream with little effort. A 5 year old could do this. The down side comes with color selection and well turn out. I purchased dark chocolate brown because that seemed to be the closest shade to my current color. I read previous that it could set darker but that was fine it seemed lighter than my color on the box anyway. After I rinsed my hair felt terrible like wet straw but after using both Ion's after color seal conditioner and the a round of the one included in the box my hair felt fairly normal again. The included conditioner is actually very nice. I'm sure I'll be needing to use it often because this color was pretty harsh. I dont ever remember my hair feeling that bad immediately after rinsing my color out but it's been a while. Right off I noticed my scalp had some staining from having to massage the foam in but it wasn't on my face or jaw line and not too noticeable. After blow drying my hair was a nice deep brown with no dark ends. However I noticed that while all of my gray was covered (bonus for a box color) my hair seemed to have a slight orange tone on the grays that were covered and at the root area. So I'm sure that after a week or two when this starts to oxidize it will start to take on a very unflattering and unnatural orangey tone to it. One that will make my stylist want to slap me silly for screwing with his color. I wish I could redo this in a different shade with a less brassy undertone to see the results. I really liked the convenience. Too bad the color selection sucks and samples are not even close to true results. Not to mention the damage it would inevitably do to my hair. If this lasts really well I may give it one more try but I usually need to touch up every 4 weeks and this seems too harsh for that so maybe I'll just let my stylist do his job and stop experimenting.
Shampoo -Aveda - Black Malva Shampoo and Conditioner
hwnpunch 6/21/2011 4:10:00 PM
I've used a lot of fail products and quite frankly given this products stellar reviews I'm surprised that this one ranks so high in my fail column. In fact this one really P@#ed me off to be blunt considering how much it costs and how little you get. I'm reviewing the conditioner which I purchased to keep the red tones out of my dark brown hair and maybe prolong trips to my stylist. I bought this at an Aveda salon and was told that this was so strong I would only need to use this once per week for 3-5 minutes to keep my color fresh but that it probably would not color greys. No problem...I hadn't used this until after a trip to the keys and my color had took a bit of a beating & lightened in the sun no matter how much UV conditioner I coated my hair with. I expected no miracles but was hoping for a bit of a boost so that I could hold off a week or so from getting a color touch up. What I got instead was a total strip of color from any area that color was covering grays. I mean what was lightened from the sun went completely white in one conditioning treatment with this crap. I guess the sales associate forgot to mention that possibility? I have medium fine hair and went grey early so fighting that battle is frustrating enough. Perhaps this product works best on someone with a courser texture hair but for me this is not only was a wasted purchase but would have sent me to the hairdresser a lot sooner than necessary had I used it right after a color. I wouldn't even give this crap away.
Conditioner -Modern Organic Products (MOP) - C-System Hydrating Conditioner
hwnpunch 5/10/2011 8:56:00 AM
As other reviewers have said , getting this out of the annoying square bottle is a pain but otherwise this is one of the best conditioners I have ever used. It's thick, gives a nice amount of slip for detangeling and leaves my hair nicely moisturized and shiney without wieghing it down or feeling gross. Even after a co-wash. I like that it has natural ingredients and isn't loaded with cones so no build up or long term dry out. For those of you that co-wash like I do, I tend to have better results using a cheaper cone free conditioner first like Tresseme Naturals to wash with first and using this as a final rinse. The cheap stuff seems to clean better while this locks the moisture in. I was able to pick up a large bottle of this at TJ Maxx for just under $15 which is pretty cheap for the quality and the size of the bottle. I'll probably grab another before they run out and continue to use this brand in the future. Good natural based conditioners are hard to find and this one is excellent.
Tarte is a hit or miss company for me and my shopping experiences with them directly always end up frustrating, especially during a sale, but they do have a few products that are well worth the aggravation of mystery shipping dates or constantly being out of stock. Their cheek stains are in my opinion the best out there and Blissful was a pleasant surprise for me. Initially I thought it was a little out of my comfort zone color wise but I agree with other posters that this would look great on anyone. It has just the right balance of peach and pink to work with any skin tone and looks completely natural. This is the first cheek stain that I love on my lips as much as I do my cheeks. I like that this is in the glycerin formula and not the creamier texture that they carry like the Ten limited edition shade. That dried out a bit after a while and became difficult (though not impossible) to work with while these last just about forever and are easier to blend. Like all of their products these are expensive but you should easily get a years worth out of one tube. Longer if you use different blushes like I do. Wait for a 30% off sale for a good deal.
I've been using this for almost a month and really like it. I like that it doesn't fade my color and requires less product than other cleansing conditioners. It's very moisturizing though and can be heavy on my fine hair but I find that following up with Nature's Rescue conditioner by Redken is a perfect combination for some reason. Together they leave my hair clean and perfectly conditioned without being weighed down. This will not remove heavy silicone based products or heavy hair spray/mousse so if you use a ton of product like many curly women do to fight frizz, this is not for you. I will say that their products, as well as a few of the Ouidad (sp?) products I've used wash out great with this. On the one occasion I used drug store mousse and hair spray I had to wash my hair with diluted shampoo and a hair polish to get it all out. This definitely didn't cut it. It just seemed to spread it around and my hair felt like straw after.
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Salux Nylon Japanese Bath Towel
hwnpunch 3/19/2011 9:07:00 PM
If I could give this more stars I would. It's dirt cheap and is the one product on here that lives up to the rave reviews regardless of your skin type unless you have some seriously sensitive skin. I almost spent some big bucks on a Clarisonic body brush for my daughters until I came across the reviews on MUA and remembered how awesome these were. My grandmother used to bring these back from Hawaii when I was a kid. Any ladies out there spending big bucks on spa salt scrubs, for less than $5 with shipping or a trip to your local Asian market, you can buy one of these and get better results in your own shower every day. Best wash cloth/exfoliate ever. Do be aware of what your buying though and purchase the original Salux as there are dupes out there not as good from China or Korea. Many previous posters have noted what to look for on Ebay and such and I thank them.
Tinted Moisturizer -Studio Gear - Studio Gear Tinted Moisturizer
hwnpunch 3/18/2011 12:06:00 PM
After trying so many TM's I think I finally found my HG...I think.. I really love this stuff. It goes on smooth, absorbs quickly, wears for hours and balances my skin well with no break outs. Even though it contains kaolin which normally makes me oily and disgusting this stuff makes my skin look fantastic. My only problem is the ingredients or to be specific the confusion over weather or not this product has been recently reformulated. I just purchased this from an Ulta store after trying it out because it wasn't loaded with cones and contained squalane instead. I bought this in Medium (which runs a bit darker than most mediums) as my summer shade and tried to reorder this online in Natural for when I have less color. The Ulta site and the Studio Gear site have a very different listing of ingredients then what I remembered on the box I tossed. A list containing dimethicone and castor oil, no squalane. I called the store and the SA said that the formula had not changed since she had been there but yes she had what I was looking for a Natural shade with the no obvious cone ingredients but yes containing squalane on the top of the list. So now I need to run 30 minutes out of my way to purchase this while it's still available and maybe a back up so I can have as many hassle free months as possible before resuming the hunt for a new brand. That is assuming that the Dimethicone version is the newest one. Studio Gear I hate you for taunting me.
Treatments -Redken - Nature's Rescue Refining Sea Polish
hwnpunch 2/18/2011 12:58:00 PM
My stylist gave me samples of this entire product line at my last cut and color. Of the entire line this product impressed me the most and was the only thing I went out and purchased. At first I was a bit hesitant to use This. It's a super fine pumice in a light silicone free/paraben free conditioner that you use after shampoo to gently remove build up. You can condition after using this product although your hair does feel pretty well moisturized after rinsing this out. It rinses out very easily with no pumice residue. I was afraid it might be harsh for color treated hair but the sample pack said it was color safe and recommended to use a couple times a week. In fact this product is perfect for me. I Co-wash most of the time to protect my color and build up can be an issue. This has proven to be an excellent solution. It removes build up gently and leaves my hair shiny and bouncy without dulling or stripping my color. It is expensive at $19 for a 3.4oz tube but you should only need to use a small amount a couple times a week. So I expect it to last a while. I'm gentle with this product pulling it through my hair downward from the roots in one direction only. I've had great results but I use it with care for fear of roughing up the hair cuticle. This is a great alternative to stripping clarifying shampoos and a keeper in my hair care routine.
Hair -L'Oreal - EverSleek Frizz Taming Creme Serum
hwnpunch 2/14/2011 12:32:00 PM
I actually hate the Ever line of shampoos and conditioners but this caught my attention because it was silicone free and had some decent ingredients. It was also dirt cheap. I really love this serum. It doesn't have the slip of a normal shine serum when applied to damp hair but it does the job nicely without weighing my fine hair down or making it look greasy. Unlike other serums it's light enough that I can add a bit more after my hair is blow dried for extra softness and frizz control. I also love that I don't have to worry about silicone build up since I co-wash most of the time. I definitely use more of this than other brands and you don't get a lot but for $8 it's a steal.
I'm annoyed that I found this product after reordering a big bottle of Clinique's DDM gel. Walgreens was giving out samples of both the day and night creams so I gave them a try. I'd never even heard of this stuff before but this moisturizer really is fantastic and at a great price compared to what I've spent on others. I have a hard time finding moisturizers that aren't too heavy or contain silicones and sunscreens that feel disgusting or break out my combo skin. While this does contain Dimethicone it's lower on the ingredients list than most others I've used. I didn't see any silicones listed on the Night Cream and that one feels exactly the same so I don't know why they bother. You would never know that this was spf 15. No filmy residue, smells nice, and it absorbs instantly. I prefer using the cone free Night Cream during the day under my own sunscreen but this is great to keep in my bag or for days I'm not running around outside much. I got a travel size tub of the Day Cream with a full size purchase of the Night Cream at Walgreens for $19. I took one lippie off for the tub packaging and the fact that in spite of the many good ingredients they both still contain petroleum. So if you're looking for a petroleum free product this line is not for you. Both versions list either petrolatum or Isoparaffin in their ingredients.
First I have to say that I love the way that this makes my skin look. The coverage is light to medium and feels weightless. It does give a unique almost airbrushed look with a nice glow that is not glittery or shiny. I got this as a sample in radiance and would have bought a full size but for two reasons. One is the insane price compared to the amount you get. Full size is 1 oz. compared to the avg. 1.7 fluid ounces that most brands provide. I read a review on Sephora where a woman stated that she only got about 12 pumps out of a full sized bottle. Seriously? I'm not going to shell out $57+ dollars for a product that won't last me a month unless it pumps me out a face fit for a magazine cover every time. The second is the top two ingredients, Dimethicone and Retinyl Palmitate. I seem to be breaking out from products that are heavy on the cones lately. I was only able to squeeze two uses out of the sample pack, (one of which was bare bones) not enough to see if I would break out. Retinol based products without built in Spf aren't a fabulous choice for someone living in the Sunshine State that plans to go outside. I did see that there are reasonably priced travel tubes available. I may give one of those a test drive to see how my skin reacts and to gauge how long even a small tube of this product might last.
Concealers -Smashbox - Photo Op Under Eye Brightener
hwnpunch 1/20/2011 7:54:00 PM
I hate this product for under my eyes. It accentuates any dark circles and I swear it creates fine lines and makes me look exhausted. It can be used as a brightener over a decent under eye concealer but it doesn't impress me that way either. The color is just off to me. I do use it sometimes to highlight my cheek bones so I gave it a lippie. Glad I got this in a kit because I would have returned it otherwise.