I really wanted to love this and I'm still sad it didn't work for me. I have sensitive, yet partly oily skin and I couldn't figure out which of the many options to use so I spent weeks & weeks fiddling and messing with different soap bars, toners and fluids of this series and it didn't work either way. I don't like this overly "squeaky" clean feeling the soap leaves behind. I don't think it's healthy for the skin to be stripped of its natural barriers like that and boy, did my skin revolt. It became angry red, itchy and eventually it didn't want to calm down anymore, no matter what I did. After break-outs I stopped using it and have since moved on to, for me, better products. I'm still sad about the outcome because I'm usually a huge Clinique fan and I know this system worked like a charm for one of my best friends. Alas, every skin is different, isn't it?
Conditioner -Unlisted Brand - Sante Brilliant Care Conditioner
soleil_kitty 4/9/2010 3:16:00 AM
Sante is a German natural cosmetics brand. And the reason for this product review is simple: I believe I finally have witnessed a miracle. This conditioner has done what no other conditioner has ever been able to do for me and I have tested many, both cheap and high end brands. A 200ml tube comes at roughly 5 €. Some say it's expensive, I think it an incredible price-performance payoff. I would still buy it if it was twice as expensive and it would still be worth every cent to me. The conditioner itself looks really normal: white & creamy. It's supposed to smell like coconut but I cannot quite agree. It's more like... I dunno.. organic, of course, but also a little hint of alcohol. Indescribable and not quite pleasant. The conditioner gets applied like all others as well: on damp hair, work through, let it soak a little while and then rinse thoroughly. The result, once the hair is dry, however, is unlike any other. When I say my hair feels like silk, I totally mean it. It's incredibly moisturized, unbelievably soft, shiny, fluffy & bouncy, yet it has obvious definition and it looks just like after a hairdresser appointment. No frizz whatsoever, just shiny, silky, smooth waves. Wow. It's also great as a leave-in to help prevent split ends. I honestly wish somebody had introduced this little miracle to me sooner. Girls at German beauty boards rave about the famous "SBC" but I never even bothered to test it myself until recently. Now I'm not willing to ever use another hair conditioner again as I'm absolutely sure I have found my HG. I would give ten lippies, if it was possible. INCI: Aqua (Water), Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Arachis Hypogaea (Peanut) Oil, Betula Alba Leaf Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Panthenol, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Glycerin, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Parfum (Essential Oils)
Moisturizers -Vichy - Essentielles Moisturizing Fluid
soleil_kitty 3/24/2010 3:41:00 AM
This is really a lovely product. I only apply this fluid in the evening or when I won't leave the house cause usually I apply a moisturizer with an SPF in the morning. Anyway, this little tube isn't overly expensive (9,50 €) and comes with a nice design (white with a pink rose on it). The fluid itself is milky white, rather firm, almost gel-like. I totally like the texture because it's "melting" into the skin almost instantly. There's no greasy feeling OR shiny skin left behind. It has a light, flowery smell and leaves the skin heavenly moisturized, comfy & matte! So on good-skin days you might as well leave the house without any make-up on. However, the fact that it's being absorbed so quickly makes it the perfect base for make-up as well, of course. Vichy claims this product is going to reveal the skin's natural radiance and it seems they're right. Since my skin is less irritated (it's extremely sensitive) and well moisturized it certainly looks better, more even and has a healthier glow. The moisturizer has been tested on sensitive skin, contains rose extracts and is paraben free. I will absolutely buy again!
Moisturizers -Vichy - Aqualia Thermal UV hydrating treatment SPF15/PPD18
soleil_kitty 3/23/2010 8:52:00 AM
This is what I use for my daily skin care right now. I had hoped for a moisturizer that would improve my skin. It's not that I have really bad skin but it reacts to stress easily and almost instantly, so it could be better & prettier. Alas, no such luck with this. It's still a nice product, I love its smell (reminds me of the sunscreen my mum used to apply when I was little) and the fact that my skin absorbs it instantly. Therefore, it's great to wear under make-up. The SPF is also very important to me as I have a) very light skin and b) also very young-looking skin (I'm 30 and still have to show my ID when I want to buy booze) and I'd like to keep it that way. I'll take off one lippie because I really expected this to work a little miracle and it didn't. It comes at a fair price, however, and I like the hygienic packaging even though you can't see through the bottle and don't know how much there's left. I dunno if I'll buy again.
Palettes -Christian Dior - 5 Colour Eyeshadow - Coquette 743
soleil_kitty 2/16/2010 7:39:00 AM
This palette came with the Spring Collection 2010. When it comes to eyeshadows I honestly have everything there is. Well, almost. The reason for still needing this palette is simple: Its colours are unlike any I've ever seen and they're matte! Yes, I hardly have any matte eyeshadows. The only slightly shimmery eyeshadow is the peach-pinkish one in the middle. All the others are beautiful, gorgeous nudes in mauve, grey, dirty purple and light (skin coloured) pink with an absolutely unique lace imprint. The colours are neutral but still smokey cool and provide a heavenly subtle, yet striking finish. It's perfect to wear both at the office and after-work parties. Especially the grey turned out to be what MAC's "Silver Ring" couldn't be for me. As for texture, the eyeshadows are just as lovely: finely milled, feathery light, highly pigmented, easy to blend, colorfast and they last, last, last. That I would find me a palette with 'new', never before seen colours, was really unexpected. I am so very happy with this and would totally approve if it got permanent, but for now this is a limited edition. I paid a hefty price for it (55€, though worth every cent). Photos of the pretty uploaded above. Highly recommended!!
Concealers -Estee Lauder - Double Wear Stay-in-Place Concealer
soleil_kitty 1/30/2010 10:51:00 AM
I'm fair skinned (NC15) and bought EL's Double Wear Light Foundation in 1.0. At the counter I spontaneously fell in love with this concealer and got it in "Light 01" which is a match. It's easily and perfectly blendable with the foundation. No creasing, smudging etc. Just like the foundation this just won't come off. It stays put all day. The packaging is alright and thanks to the little gloss-like sponge applicator I find it easy to dose and very hygienic. I will apply a bit with the sponge and use my fingers to work it into my skin. Works like a charm. It's quite an expensive little flask but I expect this to last me quite a while since I don't need much. Coverage is pretty high as was to be expected. A concealer needs to provide full coverage imho. What's absolutely incredible is the SPF 10 this is coming with. I'm a sucker for SPFs, especially around the eye area. Perfectly happy with this. Will repurchase!
Liquid -Estee Lauder - Double Wear LIGHT Foundation SPF10
soleil_kitty 1/30/2010 10:41:00 AM
For reference: I'm NC15 at MAC. I feel like mentioning this right now because I went crazy around here looking for somebody with the same fair skin and what colour they used in Estée Lauder. Intensity 1.0 is a match! I have quite oily skin. Especially around noon I usually start to get shiny. This will happen with this foundation as well BUT it absorbs and controls oil better than any other liquid foundation I ever tried (Sisley, Chanel, Nivea). Also a major plus: This really lasts all day, no kidding. Whereas my powder make-ups usually "glide off" around afternoon, this stays put like just applied. Wouldn't have thought this was possible but it delivers. Something else I love: The little tube package makes it easy to dose the amount of product and keeps this a hygienic process. Coverage is light to medium and it's easy to layer and blend if you need a little more here and there. It never looks cakey on me. The foundation does need a few minutes to "settle" before revealing its airbrushed, flawless, matte finish. It's not quite as powdery as I had hoped but it's still possible to apply powder blush afterwards. No meddling with creme blushes if you don't want to. It also blends effortlessly with the EL Double Wear Concealer. No creasing whatsoever. The only single negative point I could mention right now is what somebody else said before: It's quite difficult to remove. I'd say this foundation is quite waterproof so you need to buy a make-up remover for waterproof make-ups. But yeah, that's what you get when wanting to have a longlasting make-up, eh? ;o) Since I can't find any other negative traits about this at all, I give it all five points it deserves. It sure is a pricey item, but hey, there's more expensive foundations with less quality. I am so happy I gave this a shot! UPDATE (03-31-2010): I get so many compliments when I'm wearing this about how good & pretty I look and yes, people only tell me, when I'm wearing this foundation. They never tell me when I'm wearing powder, not matter which one. And apart from peoples' reactions, I simply can't get enough of the finish: natural, flawless, matte, glowing. I could go on and on. Also, I realized it has a calming effect on my sensitive skin. It's less red & irritated compared to my powder make-up days. What more could I wish for?
I've never had a liquid make-up, safe for a few samples here and there. And they're usually too dark. I'm fair skinned (NC15 - MAC and Porcelain - Bobbi Brown) and that's a major problem when once wants to find a suitable foundation. I'm also usually a powder-person. Creme make-ups are too heavy and I don't need a lot of coverage anyway. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Nivea offers a colour light enough: Ideal Finish in "02 Nude". Pro: Provides light to medium coverage, let's own skin shine through, looks very natural and has a powder-like matte finish. The mass of silicones also provide a silky, smooth feeling. That is, however, if you apply on dry skin. Since I'm a sunscreen junkie and use cremes every morning, it's not as matte anymore, even if you wait for twenty minutes before you apply. Oil control is okay. Not perfect - not bad. I do get shiny, but that happens with every other make-up, too. However, powder make-ups tend to "glide off"of my skin around noon, whereas this stays put at least. That's quite something. Con: If you need full coverage and layer this on, it will get too dark and too yellow, I promise. As a light colour it really only works when applied with a light hand. I found the price quite hefty for a supermarket brand - over 10 €. Since I don't plan to stick with it, though, I guess it will last me a while. And that answers the last question: won't repurchase. I think there are bigger and better fish in the sea. This is a nice product, but won't be a Holy Grail for me.
This e/s is a dirty, olive green with maybe a hint of grey (at least that's what I think). The colour is dark enough for a smokey eye (I'm an NC15-girl, mind you) and can be compared to MAC's "Green Smoke", though it definitely is not an exact copy. It really compliments my blue/green eyes and is universal enough to be worn daily, in my opinion. Like probably all e/s by The Balm it's slightly shimmery, although not downright "frost". It's highly pigmented and blends fantastically. The pan is also a MAC's size, I'd say. The packaging is, again, really cute. I love these tiny, flat, carton boxes with that magnetic lock. That way they're really handy when you travel as they hardly take up any space. Lasting power is incredible, like with almost all The Balm products. I would probably buy this again should I ever reach the bottom of the pan, but I think this will take me quite a while. Highly recommended!
Shampoo -Kiehls - Herbal Shampoo & Scalp Treatment
soleil_kitty 1/20/2010 3:59:00 AM
Okay, on with my shampoo testing. The basic facts: I have an extremely sensitive scalp that only really accepts shampoos with Zinc Pyrithione. It's been that way all my life and I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that I can never use just *any* shampoo I want. I came across Kiehl's by surfing the internet and found a retailer in Germany, where I live. When I read that Zinc Pyrithione was one of the main ingredients, I didn't waste a second thought and ordered a bottle. The shampoo itself is just as milky white as the bottle and smells like herbs & something uniquely fresh but not overly artificial. The foam is not exactly rich; it takes a while to lather scalp & hair and work it through thoroughly. When rinsing, however, the hair feels incredible, just like it's been well conditioned. This was also the reason to skip my usual conditioner routine and let the shampoo work on its own. Afterall, Aloe Leaf Juice is the fourth listed INCI and is known to be a great conditioner for hair. When dry, my hair feels incredibly soft, looks shiny and is sleek just the way I like it. My scalp feels relaxed & refreshed. No itching whatsoever. Conclusion: I love it and will probably buy again. This shampoo also made me curious about the other available hair products by Kiehl's and that says it all, doesn't it? Update 2010-08-23: HG! I haven't used another shampoo since and won't use another one ever again. There, I said it. This shampoo is all that. I was able to extend my washing rhythm from three times a week to two times a week and my scalp has never felt better in my entire life.
It was probably fate that I decided I wanted a milky, pale pink gloss and went to the MAC counter to find this lipglass with the Love Lace LE (it's a repromote, though). This gloss is everything I wanted: it provides full coverage if layered on and is very much like "Underage", only cold pink instead of warm pink. The iridescent shimmer is also beautiful to look at, albeit not very obvious. It makes the perfect Ice Queen lipgloss and I fell in love with this colour so much that I bought a back-up right away for the very first time ever just to be on the safe side. It will be difficult to find a dupe for that one, I think, as there's nothing like it in the general MAC collection.
This e/s was released with the Love Lace LE. In the pan it looks like an EXACT copy of Shale. The only obvious difference is that Shale is a "Satin" e/s and Hypnotizing is "Frost". However, once applied, the difference is striking. While Shale makes an almost smokey eye for a pale girl like me (NC15), Hypnotizing goes on extremely sheer. I can not imagine that this leaves a lot of colour on people with darker skin than mine. I'm really very light skinned and even I look like I'm not wearing eye make up today. It's very nude-ish. The frosted finish is beautiful to look at and it's a pleasing colour - a cold taupe (MAC describes this as "frosted grey mauve", though there's not a lot of grey in this...). I like it alright. I guess I wouldn't have liked it as much if it was too close to Shale anyway, because why would I bother getting two e/s of the same colour with only different names? They're different once applied and that's all that matters to me. I guess I will wear this when I'm not feeling like a lot of make-up and aim for a natural look. I bought this e/s with the Icescape lipglass of the same LE and combined it gives me the perfect Ice Queen Look for the winter. Since this is a limited release, I guess I won't buy it again. I highly recommend it for the pale girls amongst us, though.
Dianne Brill's "Stormy Rainbows Lace" is a rich, dark, sparkly chocolate brown that's the most perfect colour for blue and/or blue-green eyes. It comes in the usual Brill packaging. The pan itself is about a MAC size. It's incredibly pigmented and provides full coverage. That means, the way it appears in the pan it will also come out on the lid. For a fair girl like me (NC15) that's a smokey eye colour, hands down, so careful blending and highlighting is a must. But damn, it makes my eyes pop like you wouldn't believe was possible. It's really amazing! I had to decide between this and "Tahitian Lace" and I'm glad I made this choice because I cannot imagine that any other eyeshadow would provide such a result for me. Like all Brill products, it comes at a hefty price: 26 €. I'm fairly sure it will last me a lifetime, though. So there are no hard feelings at all. Should I ever finish this, I'm sure to buy again.
Bronzers -Bobbi Brown - Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Antigua
soleil_kitty 11/13/2009 2:20:00 AM
For reference: I'm NC15 @ MAC and Porcelain @ BB, so very fair skinned. As many other fair girls I can't use regular bronzing powders because no matter how light, they always make me look dirty instead of sunkissed which is a bummer, naturally. This powder is the ultimate solution now. It makes sense that it's a down toned pink without any trace of brown, as far as I'm concerned. I'd compare its colour to the blush that was in BB's Mauve Collection Palette, only a lot lighter. The ultimate trade about this is definitely the fact that it's a product for dummies. You cannot overdo it. It goes on sheer and featherly light which makes it a joy to use on forehead, nose and chin, or the "sun terraces" as make-up artists always say ;o). A little bit more accentuates the cheekbones in the most natural, lovely way. It doesn't look like a blush at all, it's just healthy radiance & glow. The contours of the face are also more prominent but still so pretty & natural. It's never obvious and never looks as if you actually used blush. It looks more like a morning after a hot night, a glass of champagne or a walk on a winter afternoon. It's hard to describe the miracle this powder works. There's the most subtle shimmer underneath it all but nowhere near as hefty as what the shimmerbricks deliver. This is so much more than just a blush, this is definitely a finishing product that can be applied in a large variaty of ways and will only compliment your natural look, never alter it. So if you're looking for drama this is really not for you. If you're all about natural but perfected beauty, you'll love it. I can see the difference it makes and I'm in love, love, love with this. Wish I had gotten it sooner and should this ever be discontinued, I'll cry...
Conditioner -TiGi - Catwalk Honey & Oatmeal conditioner [DISCONTINUED]
soleil_kitty 10/30/2009 5:02:00 AM
I won't launch into a rave about this product yet. It's a really good conditioner and it does what I expect it to do. It makes my hair shiny, soft, easy to detangle and on top of it, it comes with a unique, lovely, adorable smell. Yes, I love cinnamon. But other than that, it's only a conditioner. I good conditioner, a well-working conditioner, one that's well worth the money, one that delivers what it promises and one that will assault your senses in the shower with a scent that reminds most of us of childhood memories. Cookies & sweets and such. But it's still only a conditioner. I'll give it all five lippies because it works and it's sans silicones, which is always a plus. But I can't say anything about this being a miracle product, really. If your hair likes proteins, then this is for you. If your hair is more dependent on moisture, using this will probably not help anything. What surprised me is how far you get with only using a little product. My hair is BSL and I don't need more than maybe two hazelnut-sized drops. So one bottle will last quite a while. The packaging might become a problem at some point, because I'm used to turning bottles upside down once there's only little product left. That won't work with this one but I'll find a way around it. Will mayhaps buy again.