My #1 rule when it comes to buying makeup is to never purchase high-end mascara, nail polish or eye liner because there are so many suitable formulas at the drugstore. Well, I may have to break my own rule! I'm very much into "green" and organic makeup and a lovely fellow MUAer sent me this mascara to try. I absolutely LOVE it. My lashes are very thin, sparse and practically translucent (redhead here) and this mascara makes them look practically false! It's so black and it doesn't flake or smudge at all. My lashes also seem MUCH healthier and fuller since I began using this. I'm guessing that's from the added argan oil. I hate the thought of spending $22 on a mascara. If I can't find a good substitute before I run out (thinking of trying Physician's Formula Organic mascara), I'll definitely buy some more! I'm giving it a 4 overall because the price for the amount of product you get is not ideal.
Well, I loved the way this sunscreen looked when I applied it. It was really smooth and easy to spread. It didn't have that annoying blinding sunscreen sheen at all. It looked matte and felt very comfortable. The color also seemed to match my skin really well (VERY pale, NC10), but was a little orangey in the natural daylight. Surprisingly, it didn't get greasy-looking throughout the day, which was great. Unfortunately, I had some new little "friends" on my face after a few hours of wearing this, and in places that I normally don't break out like the top of my cheeks and chin. I'm glad I received a sample of this before buying. It's definitely not for me.
Moisturizers -Shea Terra Organics - Certified Organic Tamanu Face and Body Oil
Missy 5/4/2011 9:12:00 PM
I had high hopes for this oil. I did tons of research and read amazing things about it healing up wounds and making scars and stretch marks disappear like magic. I watched various youtube videos and read product descriptions at different etailers' websites. It sounded pretty amazing and just what I was searching for for my very senstive, oily, acne-prone skin. Supposedly, Polynesian women have been using this for centuries to promote clear, healthy skin. Well.... they can HAVE it and I'll tell you why. The first thing I noticed was the color. It's like...yellowish-green, I guess. The next thing was the smell. It has a strong odor, not necessarily BAD, but not something I want to smell like every day....and the smell lingers. If you get it on your bed sheets or bedspread or anything, you'll be smelling it 2 weeks later unless you wash it. Those things really don't bother me, though, and I would certainly repurchase if these were the only negative aspects. This oil is HEAVY. It's really thick and greasy and it doesn't feel comfortable on my skin at all. It never seems to sink in and my hair sticks to it like crazy. I've tried to thin it out a little and pat my face of excess afterwards, but it feels the same if I apply a little or a ton of it. I've tried to use it on old marks, new marks, scars, pimples and have achieved the same results every time...irritation. To top it off, it clogs my pores like MAD. If I wear it 2 nights in a row, my forehead is a clogged mess and I have a couple of new blemishes. I've also tried this on stretch marks with absolutely NO results. My mom had carpal tunnel surgery on her wrist and I also gave her some to try, since I've heard it's so great for surgical wounds. Well, it actually infected it and she had to use an antibiotic cream to heal it up. If you're looking for a nice, light oil, I recommend maracuja (also known as passionfruit oil), sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil. I can't recommend Tamanu oil at all.
I bought this a couple of years ago to use as an eyeshadow. It's a gorgeous color, but I found myself tire of it rather quickly. So, the other day, I pulled it out and tried it as a blush. Wow, this makes the most gorgeous blush EVER. It's so pigmented, so you definitely need a light hand, but it applies as the most perfect rose blush with a subtle radiance. This is my go-to blush now and I'll definitely reorder when I run out!
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Passion fruit (Maracuja) oil
Missy 4/18/2011 1:40:00 PM
I've tried so many oils in my lifetime, most with results that were nothing to write home about. Most are too heavy for my combo, acne-prone and rosacean skin and result in clogging, deep breakouts or general oiliness that feels gross. I first heard about Maracuja oil on QVC when they introduced it through a bottled version from Tarte. They included a very long list of the benefits of this oil and I knew I had to try it. But..the price....$46? Yeah..... I loved the little dark purple bottle it came in with a stopper, but the price was too much for me. Through my research, I discovered that Maracuja oil is also known as Passion Fruit oil and is available on many websites. I purchased mine from OCA-Brazil (www.oca-brazil.com) for $5 + $3 for shipping, so $8 for a 1 oz bottle. INCREDIBLE deal, especially when compared to Tarte's $46 for 1.7 Oz bottle. It's the same cold-processed, 100% pure natural oil with no additives, preservatives, fragrances, etc. The bottle is a plain, plastic white bottle, but it works. So, onto the actual oil...heaven! It's so light and fluid. I apply 1 drop to wet hands and smooth it onto my face. Most websites say 2-3 drops, but I've found that 1 drop is perfect for me. It's very calming and soothing to my ultra-sensitive skin and it's drastically improved my skin texture. My breakouts have vanished (even hormonal ones) and my skin feels incredible. It also doesn't make my skin feel oily, just nice and naturally moist. My forehead, which is usually plastered with a million clogged pores, is perfectly smooth and even. It doesn't prevent ALL blemishes from forming, but the ones I do get are very small and they go away quickly. I also wanted to add one thing. The reason I started experimenting with natural products is because I was fed up with paying good money for chemical-heavy products from the store that don't even do what they're supposed to. Going the natural route has drastically improved my skin and also saves me money! There are so many uses for everyday household items that most people don't even know about. For example, for the past few months, I've used nothing but honey to wash my face. It's proven to be the best cleanser I've ever used (check out my review for this as well)! If you start looking around the internet, you'll find all sorts of uses for everyday kitchen staples that could really help you save too! =)
If Aveda ever discontinued this, I would collapse into a ball on the floor and sob for a week. Think I'm kidding? Alright, maybe I'm being a little overly dramatic, but that's pretty much how I feel about this amazing powder foundation. It took me almost 19 years to find the perfect foundation. Now that I have it, I feel like my "quest" is over. I'm found my prize. LOL About the product, it is an amazing silky powder that keeps my combo-oily skin matte ALL day, with ZERO touch-ups. It covers flawlessly. I have very uneven skin with slight rosacea and acne scarring and this foundation makes my skin look better than it ever has. I don't even need a concealer with it! The best part is, I can layer it on in certain areas and it never looks cakey or fake. It also takes VERY little to achieve flawless coverage. I use a big kabuki brush (Ecotools bronzer brush) to apply. The color I chose is PERFECT. I ordered the lightest shade, "01 Cream" and was so excited that it was not only light enough, but matched my skin perfectly! For reference, I wear BB Alabaster, MAC NC10. Most makeup brands are too dark for me, so it was exciting to find a product that is healthy and natural-looking and also matches me! Lastly, this foundation does NOT break me out! I feel like I'm finally found my HG!!
Skincare - Body -Dr. Bronner's - Lavender Liquid Soap
Missy 4/6/2011 8:40:00 PM
I use it for just about everything in my house. It works fabulously as a dishwashing liquid, both in an out of the dishwasher (It makes the entire house smell amazing when the steam comes out!), a brush cleanser, a pet cleanser (my dogs and guinea pig smell AMAZING after I use this on them!). I also use this as a scented bath and it makes the whole bathroom smell great. It's really nice as a facial cleanser as well. I have to admit, it burns my eyes like crazy if I even get it near them and it doesn't remove eye makeup very well, but it's still a nice cleanser.
Honey is the best thing I've ever done for my skin, seriously. For my entire life, I've suffered with acne, rosacea, eczema and to top it all off, acne scars. Yay me, right? Anyway, I've tried so many things, from high end to low end, one gimmick after the other, prescriptions, topicals, sooooo many natural "remedies" and nothing has worked this well at keeping my skin clear and generally looking healthy. I use it every morning to wash my face, pat dry and then apply a light oil or a light moisturizer. i use it the same way at night unless I'm wearing makeup. To remove makeup, I use Dr. Bronner's hemp lavender liquid soap (also all natural) and then wash with honey afterwards. Two or three nights a week, I also use it as an all over mask. It makes my skin so smooth and soft. It's just amazing! Never before has my skin looked so good and I attribute it 100% to honey! I use organic strained honey. I tried the raw stuff for a while, but it's way too abrasive for my face. It crystallizes too easily and it's difficult to use and spread. I'm putting that to good use too, though! It's delicious! LOL Lastly, I just want to say that I didn't see results overnight with this, but my skin became better and better as the days went by because it prevents new blemishes and cleanses the toxins and bacteria from your skin so thoroughly. Now that I've found it, I will never go back to a commercial cleanser again! UPDATE: I've learned that the color of honey you use is really important. I recently purchased some organic honey gathered from a region in the rainforest which is really dark and bitter in taste. My skin absolutely HATED it and immediately protested with oily, congested skin and a few new blemishes. I spoke with a local beekeeper and he explained to me that darker honey has a higher acidic content than lighter ones. I bought some blueberry honey from him, which is really light in color) and my skin LOVES it. I've had a terrible problem with hard sebum plugs on my forehead for the longest time that even exfoliation couldn't get rid of. It just irritates my skin and exacerbates my rosacea. With this new honey, I can literally feel the plugs loosening and dislodging as I massage it in! It's an amazing feeling and my skin feels so clean!!
This is a pretty decent powder foundation. It's odd to me that most powder foundations I try, high or low end, all end up looking the same on me. It makes me question whether higher-priced brands are really better. I went to Sephora to compare this to the Laura Mercier powder foundation that I've been contemplating buying and they seemed identical in finish and color. As with most powder foundations, this looks powdery and a little chalky on me in the morning, but looks great once my natural oils have moistened it up a little bit. And as with all powder foundations, it looks pretty bad at the end of the day with serious caking and separation. On the positive side, the #1 shade is a pretty decent match on me and only slightly oxidizes during the day, probably not even noticeable to anyone but me. It also doesn't break me out, but I feel like it could end up drying my face a bit if I wear it too often. Like I said, it's pretty decent and basic. Great for those who don't like to fuss a lot with foundation!
This is a limited edition Spring palette inspired by fashion designer, "Milly", whom I've actually never heard of until purchasing this palette. This was also my very first color cosmetics purchase from Clinique. I've purchased their skincare, foundations and concealers before, but had never tried the eye shadows or blushes. This palette is absolutely gorgeous and drew me right in. It's silver and has a cute design on the top. It also comes with a pretty draw-string pouch designed by this designer and a couple of tiny and completely useless brushes. There are 4 shadows: an Ivory, a mid-tone shimmery bronze, a pale, slightly shimmery pink and a deep, matte brown. The shadows are pigmented and very pretty, though I wish the bronze color didn't contain quite so much sparkle. The colors are all pretty basic and dupe-able, but they work well together. The blush looks gorgeous in the pan. It's a peachy-pink shade with a very small amount of shimmer, which isn't even noticeable when applied. I'm sad to say, I really dislike this blush. I have to literally pile it on to see anything. I'm super pale and I usually have a difficult time with blush being too dark, but this stuff I had to apply over and over again to notice ANY amount of color. I used it for three days straight and was already seeing a shallow dent from digging so much into it! I couldn't justify the 4 mediocre eye shadows and the pretty packaging for the $36 price tag and promptly returned mine after a week.
Even though this cream feels light on my skin, it's a seriously heavy-duty moisturizer. This especially feels amazing at night after I've done a glycolic wash or something similar. It's definitely the most moisturizing product I've ever used, which really worried me because my skin is on the oilier side and extremely acne-prone, but since I've switched over ALL my skin care to Taut, I have not even had ONE new blemish, which is absolutely unheard of for me. After using this at night, I wake up in the morning with smooth, plump and even skin. I'm just thrilled with the results from using this line. The only negative thing I could mention about this product is the smell. It contains no masking fragrance, but the smell is really raw and almost plastic-smelling. I love that it doesn't contain fragrance, though, and I'll put up with the smell for the fantastic results I'm getting! I've included the ingredient list up top as well.
I wasn't exactly sure of what to do with this product when I first got it, but it just looked really interesting. Aloe vera is usually drying to my skin, but this isn't meant to be a moisturizer. It's a treatment to smooth on before your moisturizer. Like I said, I wasn't exactly sure of what to do with it at first, but once I figured it out, I fell in LOVE with it. After cleansing, I use a very small amount of the gel and smooth it all over my face. It's very liquid and easy to spread. It's SO completely soothing to my easily irritated skin and it reduces the puffiness around my eyes (which I have a lot of!). As with all Taut products, the ingredients list is really short, which I absolutely love. I've included the ingredients up top, which mostly consists of water, aloe and chamomile. It's simply a treat to the skin that I will never be without!
The first day I wore this, one of my friends commented that my skin looked "awesome", which is just laughable to me because I have really bad skin. I used to have pretty bad cystic acne and my face is full of small scars and marks. My skin is also really sensitive because of rosacea, so I have a pretty horrible time finding foundation that works for me. If the coverage is too heavy, I look like I'm wearing a mask and it just seems to emphasize my flaws. If the coverage is too thin, I may as well not wear foundation at all. This foundation is right in between. It's very natural looking, yet covers pretty well. I still need a concealer on darker marks and such, which I prefer, because I do not want to wear a heavy foundation all over my face. It's easy to spread and it wears extremely well throughout the day when set with a powder (I use Coty fragrance-free and it's great!). I also found a great match in "Breeze". I'm usually way too pale to wear Clinique foundations, so I was surprised I found a color match in this! Oh, and the bottle is lovely. It's frosted glass and it looks great sitting on my vanity. I could go on and on about this foundation, but I'll just say one more thing. What completely sold me on this is it doesn't break me out or upset my skin AT ALL and this is pretty rare for me. I'm extremely acne-prone and I also tend to get rosacea rashes from wearing makeup, but not with this. I've actually worn it every day since I purchased it and my skin looks better than ever! I will definitely repurchase and recommend to many! UPDATE: This seems to be drying out my skin. =( At the end of the day, my skin looks SO parched and old after I wear this. Perhaps I should buy some of their moisture surge spray to set this with... The color is also bothering me a bit, though. It looks fine in the morning, but it oxidizes throughout the day. It's a shame because I love the way this looks in the morning! ANOTHER UPDATE 12/6/12: I decided to try this again and it just doesn't work at all for me now. It looks really good when I put it on in the morning, but it wears off SO quickly. It still makes my skin look old and dry, even with lots of moisturizer underneath (and I have OILY skin!). Also, I had some new blemishes at the end of the day and some HIVES. My skin hates this and I won't be repurchasing for a third time! LOL
This is the best facial cleanser I've ever used....EVER. About 10 years ago, I bought this from a local health food store over and over again. When the store closed, I couldn't find it anymore and I eventually just stopped looking. I've had problems with my skin my entire life, with severe cystic acne in my teen years, mild acne in my twenties and then subtype 2 rosacea in my late twenties and early thirties. I've tried countless prescriptions and over the counter products to care for my overly sensitive skin and product after product has failed me. A while back, I was trying to remember when my skin was at its best and it occurred to me that it was when I was using this cleanser. To my delight, I found the product online. The line is called Taut by Leonard Engelman, who is a really popular and extremely talented makeup artist, and is a delight to correspond with as well. Anyway, back to this cleanser. It has a very watery, almost micellar-type consistency, although it foams very well. Just a drop is all I need to cleanse off every bit of makeup I have on my face, including eye makeup. No scrubbing at all. My skin feels clean and incredibly smooth and is NEVER irritated when I use this, which is amazing for my skin! I can use it day and night and it's not drying at all and my skin is the calmest it's been in YEARS, probably since the last time I used it 10 years ago! LOL The ingredient list is very short, which I LOVE, and it's cost-friendly because of the very small amount you use every time. I've listed the ingredients up top. Surprisingly, they include Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Fragrance, both of which I've always try to avoid in products. The fragrance is minimal and the SLS in this doesn't upset my skin at all. If you have sensitive, acne-prone skin like mine, I highly recommend giving this cleanser a try! Here's where I get it: www.tautskincare.com
First, I had a pretty difficult time finding a match. 1N1 Ecru was way too dark, 1W1 Bone was pretty close to my skin color, but too dark and 1C1 Shell was ALMOST light enough, but a bit too pink. In the end, I felt that Shell was the closest match to my skin tone. I applied in the morning and it lasted all day with zero touch-ups. The coverage was good and covered my minor acne scarring pretty well. I really didn't even need to use concealer with this. The reason I only gave it 3 stars is that it broke me out BADLY. My skin has been really clear for quite a while now, but when I removed this after wearing it for the first day, I revealed 3 large rashy bumps that turned into huge whiteheads shortly after. I know I removed it properly because I used a cosmetic wipe and washed my face twice with my usual cleanser, so it was definitely the foundation that caused this reaction. To be fair, I do have very sensitive and reactive skin, so if yours is a little more resilient, you would probably love this. It's just not for me.