I use this with the Superstar shampoo/conditioner and it seems to give reasonable volume while keeping my hair soft. It does make my scalp itch a small amount (not as much as Pureology volume gel, though.) Seems the alcohols in these products bother me--I'm sensitive to organic alcohols. I also wheezed a bit after I used it, so this may bear some additional testing. However, directed at the roots of my towel-dried hair, it made for a really nice blow-out with soft volume. It's easy to use. I may try applying it to hands and then distributing to avoid the breathing issue. I have colored (single process, I caved finally), would-be gray hair that is fine in texture and yeah, I'm over 55 so it's thinning (like I needed that, thanks you deserting hormones! It was fine to begin with and now thin?) But I have plenty of hair other places on my head than in front and this spray does puff it up nicely. The spray comes in a tall, thin blue metal aerosol bottle, is like a mousse in a way, or like that really horrible stuff from Nick Chavez (Flocker) but this product, unlike Flocker, doesn't smell like diesel oil and it doesn't make your hair turn into a bird's nest. I give it thumbs up. I have not found the Holy Grail of volumizing styling products yet, but this is fairly good.
This is the matching conditioner to Superstar Shampoo. It comes in the same size (25 oz) pump that is bright Barbie Pink. So you can have a matched set of pink pumps on the tub or in the shower rack. My bathroom is black and white, with neutral accents, so this is not my favorite color, but it doesn't matter as this conditioner ROCKS. I pumped out about an inch or two of white, medium thick conditioner after washing twice with Superstar sulfate-free shampoo (volumizing.) This conditioner is supposed to help volumize, and since I have thin, somewhat oily hair, this is the ultimate test--I often try to go without conditioner to make my hair stay clean longer. The conditioner distributed quickly through my washed hair and felt very slick. But not greasy. It rinsed easily. After towel-drying, I added volumizing mist (a sort of light mousse, also from the Superstar line) and blow dried my hair. It looked GREAT. Much puffier than with my previous shampoo, and the next day, I brushed out my hair and it retained the volume. (By the way, I use a satin pillow case because I do get BED HEAD..hahah, back of hair tangles, and this was a rec from a former hairdresser for me long ago. She really had it right. Plus it keeps your face from getting those sleep-marks.) Anyway, I love this shampoo-conditioner set, the price for the duo is $30 at the salon which is good for a big pump set and I like it A LOT. The scent is faint bubblegum, not too strong, doesn't persist. ***UPDATE**** Knocking off two lippies for the fact this DOESN"T seem to protect my hair against static electricity. I get very fly-away hair. It doesn't make me terribly greasy but my hair is almost uncontrollable in winter with this. I tried not drying my hair with the hair dryer and it was worse, stuck out all over and I had to use the hot iron to smooth it down.
My stylist has been hit-or-miss with recs for my fine hair. I did try Pureology and it made my scalp itch. And it was darn pricey. When I finally ran down the bottle as much as I cared to, I tried TiGi Superstar, a duo of Shampoo and Conditioner in a pack that costs $30, which is about what one shampoo costs from more pricey lines these days. And it's A GINORMOUS BOTTLE WITH A PUMP. (26 oz.) It came, for that $30 with an equally large bottle of conditioner and so here's the review. The shampoo is pink (the whole set is hot Barbie pink, not my fave color) and the scent is predictably, bubblegum. That's ok, as the scent does not linger. The shampoo itself is a pearly mauve pink and it makes a surprising amount of suds for a sulfate-free shampoo, which this is! So not only is it not harsh on hair but it will preserve color. It rinses very clean, very quickly. I did one wash with a repeat shampoo followed by conditioner. You do have to use conditioner as this cleans very well and alone would make your hair a bit wild. But with the matching conditioner, my hair blow-dried with LOTS of volume and very shiny. The next morning, after sleeping on my freshly washed hair, it brushed up just as voluminous. I give this big props for great washing character, good packaging, pleasant scent and it does exactly what it says, gives you big volume. And the price is right.
I have the VG palette (actually I have 2 because I carry one and leave one at home.) So I must like this lipstick. At first, I just wore the more pale VG lipsticks, but once in a while I crave red lipstick. The problem is that despite whiteners, my teeth can look yellowish and just this year I noticed I do have fine lines for bleeding around the mouth (hello-getting-towards-60-dammit.) So...you should powder your lips or put a primer on, and lip liner, you bet. I apply this with a brush and I advise you to do so whether in palette or in tube. It is a dark, brown-red wine color (like a cabernet or zinfandel? Or maybe a shiraz) with bluish tones (so a neutral red) and it is matte in texture. So where last year, I didn't have many lip lines, I seem to have them now, and they show up more. I put a dab of clear balm over to blur the lines. After blotting. It is a great red, doesn't make your teeth look weird, and is very beautiful when you want a dark lipstick but not to look goth or like you are yearning for the 50's or anything. It probably looks good on anyone.
I like the idea of sculpting my face: I'm over 55 and though not wrinkled (like those desperately bad ads on the internet showing how you can remove elephantine wrinkles with some cream or other) --your face DOES change shape as you age. So...with that in mind, I did buy the Sculpt/Accentuate from MAC. The color: Dark side: a milk chocolate cocoa brown. The color of Swiss Miss in a mug. The Light side: pale cream with the faintest tinge of peach, just the vaguest not-pure-vanilla. The texture is matt and sheer. Buildability seems limited. I also got the angled brush (169) which looks as if it could be a good blush brush as well. (Nice brush, btw.) If you follow EnKore's (YOUTUBE) tutorial, you will learn that you dust the portion below the cheekbone down to your jaw with dark, then highlight the apple and up to the temple with light. I find I can get a very finished look but then...I am still too monochromatic, so need a blush. Here is where a cream blush might be good, but I just dust on some pink Fleurry blush and hope for the best. Then I went to check my face in the downstairs mirror, which has better light and daylight and I noticed I looked rather powdered but not "dirty" as some bronzers and contour can look. I get a lot of compliments from DH when I use this, so it must be doing something. Re the monochromatic look: if I want to wear deep red lipstick (VG1 looks nice on me) then this is really nice, no conflict with the deep crimson. The compact has a large enough size to easily use the 169 brush and isolate either dark or light powder onto the brush. I feel you do need an angled brush to use this effectively. Some use the large round brush for stroking lines for extra emphasis. (#138.) I don't think this is a must-have, but it is a nice-to-have. Overall: an excellent product that can be used for a natural blush (like Nars Zen) or for sculpting. For the record, I am a NW25 (mid-beige, paler in winter with a slight olive cast and a natural dark brunette with dark brows and deep green eyes.)
This cream is very thick, comes in a small jar with an oval profile and pearly white cap. You don't need very much to apply--I use a lump about the size of a pencil eraser. It goes on well if you dab it around the face and blend; as it warms up, it spreads well. It absorbs quickly, faster than the ceramide milk as a matter of fact. I was using Tocopherol E cream, then the Extra Nighttime Moisturizer from DHC but this cream is more effective in keeping my skin from drying out in winter. Only the Olive Leaf Cream worked better (rather like Creme de la Mer) but the Ceramide is very price-worthy in the ceramide set. I do notice my skin looks great in the morning, so this must be doing something right. My routine happens to be: remove makeup with Deep Cleansing Oil, rinse, wash with Mild Soap. Use cotton and the Ceramide Quick (supposed to be moisturizer but it's a toner that doesn't dry you out.) Then I apply this cream. During the day, I wash with Mild Soap, then toner, then apply the milk version. I'm very happy with this and probably will be a customer for life; have tried EL and the scent burns my skin. Clinique didn't do anything for me, and Mary Kay was not bad, but seems to go "off" in a short while.
Ceramide Milk is one of the ceramide line from DHC and is supposed to be a lighter moisturizer than the cream. It comes in a tall, oval bottle with no pump (hence the ding on the packaging)--you dispense by pouring out the relatively thick liquid into your hand. The white cream is the consistency of very thick dairy cream or yogurt, and it sits on your skin when you apply it for about a minute or so. This is disconcerting; there is a white layer right after you blend it in and it seems that it will never absorb. But then suddenly it disappears and your skin is velvety-soft. I use the Ceramide cream for a night cream and the milk for a day moisturizer in winter. I am over 55, have no wrinkles but normal-dry skin. My skin looks very luminous when I continue to use this product. While I don't like the consistency, I have to admit it works very well. There is also no scent or stinging feeling on my sensitive skin.
I like to wear makeup (surprise surprise...) and I find that even a good wash doesn't remove it thoroughly enough for me. I am over 55 (!) and my skin is really excellent, mostly due to being lectured on good skin care by grammy and mom my whole life. So I never go to bed with makeup on. I bought the oil since I use the DHC soaps and moisturizers. The oil is to be put on dry on dry skin,and it is supposed to rinse off. Well, it does an excellent job of removing most makeup, even eye makeup, though you might need an eye makeup remover for mascara and creme liner. It rinses ok, but I soap up afterwards and make sure to suds well. I do notice that around the edges of the face (forehead) I got a few bumps and I attribute this to not rinsing well enough near the hairline. So I knocked off a point for the possibility you too will get a few clogged pores. but overall, my skin glows, feels soft and the follow up soaping is less drying to my mature skin. I will repurchase, definitely.
Hmmm. There must be some evil psychology to discontinuing delightful colors of lipstick and other makeup. For example, my favorite red of all time was Lancome Cerise Vernis and it was discontinued, never to be repeated. Meanwhile, MAC plays hard-to-get with Mellow Flame, described as a warm coral pink with red pearl in a lustre finish. This is accurate. You see a coral red pink (more rosy than orangy) and the pearl is lightly visible in a sheer formula. Very flattering, as it diffuses fine lines in your lips. My lips are fairly pigmented, and this is a YLBB on me, sheer but just enough color to look natural but not washed out. It is one of the "goodbyes" and still available but it's one of the "dead lipsticks walking" meaning it will be dc. My only hope is that MAC seems to believe strongly in reincarnation and sometimes brings these good colors back as reborn under a new name or even as resurrected under the orignal name. I can only hope and pray. Meanwhile I will be buying a clone. spare. twin. backup. Whatever.
Hmmm, I am not having the issues other people are having with this base, so YMMV. I have mature skin, no wrinkles (well, ok, I have two frown lines between my brows, dammit) and normal-dry skin. It tends to oilier in summer. I am a NW30. I tried a beige sample, the apricot being out of stock. It is supposed to even out skin tone. I found that the sample worked great, and I ordered a full tube. Like most Japanese cosmetics, it has whitening-opaque components. The reasons for this are that the Japanese prize a porcelain-flawless complexion with no mottling. To cover dark spots and melasma on Japanese skin (which can be dark and they generally do not admire suntans), they put in a lot of opaque components. The same applies to lip products. (I worked in Japan for a bit so I had time to observe.) I put on the base after my Smashbox primer, which I prefer to DHC Velvet Coat. It covers my few freckles well and makes a smooth base for my foundation. It doesn't cake or get oily. The tube does dispense a runny liquid, and you have to apply it swiftly. I have no trouble with the tube. After the whole day, my skin looks luminous and even-toned. I bought this for the sunscreen (SPF 30) and it is a good replacement to Clinique City Block, which is heavier on me. Active ingredients: titanium dioxide 11.3%, zinc dioxide 20% Texture: watery-light Color: mid light beige Performance: Sunscreen and even-toning, a two-fer. Rebuy: yes
LOVE LOVE LOVE this gloss. It comes in a tube like Vaseline lip care, so I knocked off a point because it is too easy to squeeze out too much. Nevertheless, the gloss itself is smooth, taste-free, scent free and very shiny, like MAC lipglass but not as tacky. It dries to a smooth shine. The color in the tube looks pale beige with shimmer but on the lips it is perfectly clear. Feels great. I'm going to try a few others, but I think that the color payoff will be minimal. DHC has rotating sales so if you watch the catalog, they will eventually put it on sale. And they have a loyalty discount and sharing discount, so your purchases can often be less money. Priceworthy and performance to the max. Big Thumbs Up.
Highlighters -MAC - Beauty Powder in Natural Flare
jd-jd 12/29/2007 6:59:00 AM
I loved Drizzlegold. I thought I would like Natural Flare, which is lighter and more pink. I am pinkish-olive, medium fair (NW30) but this doesn't show on me as well as Drizzlegold. But it does add a light shimmer. Of my highlighters, strangely enough, I like Lightscapade MSF (very pale) or Drizzlegold but not this one, which should have done something for my complexion but doesn't. If you are pinkish-fair, you will probably have GREAT results. I do like the Beauty Powders esp. with the 183 buffer brush. I just don't like this color as well as the darker, warmer ones.
This is, like so many DHC makeup products, going to go DC but it is still available in good quanitites on their website. The color, as Sarasotagirl pointed out, is exactly mauvey brown, more brown on me (but I find I see violets as brownish very often.) The finish on me is more matt, with barely any satiny finish. It is very smooth and light feeling, no scent. It comes in a small, pencil container like Clinique almost lipsticks. As many Japanese cosmetics have, this has an opaque quality to create a smooth finish, something that is admired in Japan. If you have pigmented lips (I do) this may be your YLBB lipstick especially if you are very dark. So could work for women of color. I found it was very natural and pretty with the moisture lipgloss in the tube in beige overtop. I'd buy it again, as long as they have it, and I'm thinking of getting some of the other shades before they go away.
Unless you have dark skin, taupe will be dark enough for most brunettes. If you are a blonde, order a lighter shade. The product consists of two sides: a powder and a wax. There is a slanted natural hair brush that goes with. You put on the powder (I find a light hand is needed with taupe and I have DARK brows, so consider this when using.) Then you brush on the wax to hold the brows in place. The wax gets a bit smutched from the powder on the brush, but this actually is ok as the wax gets a bit colored like the powder on the brows. It isn't as easy as a brow gel, but if you need to fill in AND hold, this is a great product. I have repurchased, so I guess I like it. I can't use most brow pencils, so this one works for me.
Makeup Brushes -MAC - #183 flat buffer brush ] [DISCONTINUED]
jd-jd 12/8/2007 6:30:00 PM
This $40 brush is pricey, but I will say it is made exquisitely and I really love it. It is a short handled (actually, stump handled) brush with white hair and a flat surface for buffing down highlight powders like beauty powders. I suppose it can be used with Mineral Skin Finish and with regular face powder. It is soft and it skims over the face and is easy to control. It states "Limited Edition" which is a shame, as it is cuter than the 180 which is similar but has a shaving-brush type handle. My favorite brush and not scratchy like so many Kabuki style brushes.