Liquid -Christian Dior - DiorSkin Forever Extreme Wear Flawless Makeup SPF
ibraille 4/21/2010 6:49:00 PM
Update: I kinda hate this stuff. I also started to notice that this does oxidize HORRIBLY. Even in the bottle it seemed to get darker. And it doesn't layer well, I started noticing. If you go back over spots when the first layer dries you end up with a darker spot! And yet, I continue to wear this, because it is still the ONLY foundation I've tried so far that does not break me out. : ( And believe me....I've tried plenty. This is my everyday foundation. Yes, it's pricey, but it works for my skin which is SUPER sensitive. It has excellent coverage and the color selection is pretty descent. I prefer a matte finish and this is it. I like this foundation because I can adapt it to fit the coverage I need from day to day. When I need FULL coverage it comes straight from the bottle to my face. When I need a lighter hand I mix with my moisturizer. Now, I know this is the standard for making your own tinted moisturizer, but I've tried it with other foundations(colorstay) with terrible results. Not with this one. If I need a little extra coverage in just a certain area I dot it on and then blend it out with a moist makeup sponge and presto...great flawless coverage. And it stays on my face even through a hot summer day. This has the equivalent coverage, stay, and finish to Colorstay but with SPF and no breakouts from regular use. I still go back to Colorstay for special events only because of the SPF effect with photos. Been using it for almost a year now and still can't find one better that won't break me out.
Top/Base Coats -Unlisted Brand - INM - Out the Door Top Coat
ibraille 4/15/2010 6:43:00 PM
PERFECT Top Coat. Does exactly what it says...Dries faster than any other top coat, nice fluid consistency--no goop, doesn't drag or pick up color from polish, and wears very nicely staying nice and shiny. I'm a busy mom so I need my nails to dry fast otherwise they end up smudged. This lets me get back to business fast and with nicely painted finger nails :) Toraly worth the $6!
Cleansers -Shu Uemura - Cleansing Beauty Oil Balancer
ibraille 3/23/2010 5:49:00 PM
This stuff is AMAZING. Never in a million years would I have thought of putting oil on my super acne prone sensitive skin. I have spent the majority of my adult life fighting acne and now, into my 30s, wrinkles to top. This saved my face from the severe dryness of winter. My face usually gets so dry it actually cracks. So painful and frustrating. This stuff resolved that. My face was so relieved! Also it cleared up my skin in a crazy amazing way. My sking hasn't looked this good in more than a decade. Seriously. Yes, there is a purging period. The first two weeks were a little difficult because of the breakouts, but I could see what it was doing. It was basically working all the stuff that was sitting there waiting to work its way up anyway. I had some really stubborn bumps that I literally felt being washed away when I rinsed the oil off my face. Stuff that had been sitting there for like a month was suddenly just sliding out of my skin....gross and weird but um, THANK YOU! I can honestly say that I no longer feel the need for a facial. My pores have all reduced in size because they're not congested anymore. My breakouts are pretty much nil at this point. I have an occasional breakout here and there due to hormones or something, but it's super small and heals so much faster. Not even noteworthy, really. Yes, it is expensieve, but SO worth it. I bought my large bottle in January and now almost 3 months later it is maybe only a 1/4 inch down from the top. It will last me more than a year I expect. Also, I don't find that I need the 3 pumps that are recommended. I use one full pump and go over my face except for my eyes. I then go back and do a tiny pump onto my finger tips and use that for my eyes before I jump in the shower. This has also done great things for my skin and aging issues. When my skin is dry, particularly under my eyes, I just look older and more tired. This cleansing oil has helped with the moisture level around my eyes. First place to show signs of aging, of course, so I love that. It has really helped to doquite a bit of repair to the skin as well. My skin has regained some of the natural glow that its loosing with age, too. HIGHLY recommend this stuff. HG for me.
This is an awesome conclear--once you figure out how to apply it. Yes, this takes a little more work. You can't just slap it on and be out the door. It requires a slight proceedure....but oh, SO worth it. So I'll list pros/cons and then tell you how I apply it. Pros: super pigmented good color selection little goes a long way travels well stays put all day covers EVERYTHING no milia not drying Cons: requires process for application can be cakey if not applied correctly So first, DO NOT attempt to use your fingers for this one. You require such a small amount of this product and it is so creamy that it's too easy to pick up too much product with finger application. You must also be well moisturized. I apply my eyecream and let that sink in while I apply my serum and then follow with my moisturizer. Once I have applied my moisturizer i grab my MAC 217 brush and lightly poke the ends of the bristles into the pot. I then pounce that directly over the crescent shaped dark shadow/circle that forms under my eye and up the area between my tear duct and side of my nose. I do the same on the other eye sometimes without picking up anymore product. Then I blend out. I do sort of a upside down windshield wiper motion to distribute the concealer to the rest of my under eye area but leaving the most concentration on those dark shadows. If it's a particularly bad morning I may dab a tiny bit more in that area and lightly blend it out. I then continue with my foundation and slightly overlap just so there's no demarkation lines. Now, here's the trick to make it last and blend seemlessly into your skin.......a make up wedge. I use a moist makeup wedge all over my face to give my foundation(Dior Forever) a more natural finish (not shiny or "glowy" just more like skin). I pounce it over my face and then finally under my eyes. It picks up any excess product and somehow also melts it into my skin. This DOES need to be set. I actually use Vanilla e/s from Mac. It has a slightly pink undertone and is a satin so it has a very slight shimmer to it. I use a fluffy blending brush and lightly swipe this from the tear duct to the area where the shadows tend to be darkest. This sets it and also helps to brighten the area. It is not a super pigmented shadow so no I don't have little white halo's around my eyes. I've also heard of some using Benefits' Powderflouge in the same way. I know it sounds like a whole heck of a lot of work....but it's SO worth it. The fact that I can apply this at 6:30am and it looks just as good at 8pm makes it HG for me.
This is an awesome brush. It works for so many things...all over color, crease and outer V....cream/powder shadows. Love that its actually flatter than perfectly round...I feel like it gives me more control on where I'm putting color. The only thing I kinda don't like is that almost every single one of these brushes is a tad different. Some are a bit fluffier and some are more tapered. And when you wash it you need to slip it into a brush guard or something to help it keep it's shape while drying. Otherwise..one of my favoirte brushes and totally unique and worth the money.
I wanted to like this....but it's horrible. My all time favorite foundation is ColorStay which I can't wear daily due to breakouts with continual daily use. So when I saw this I had to try it. I put it on and immediately washed it off. First, it is NOTHING like MUFE HD. MUFE's HD makes my face look shinier than I like (greasy almost--which to some this seems to equal "glowy" for some reason?!) but feels soft and matte to the touch. HD aslo looks great in pix but awful IRL. PR is chalky and grainy. It's like a bad copy of Diorskin Nude. If you like Dior's Nude finish, this might be a cheaper alternative, though. It highlighted every pore on my face and the coverage was medium at best even with a couple of layers. The packaging was probably the only part I liked. It has a pump like I'd really like to see on CS. The color selection is so-so as well. As for the sparkle factor-Only looked at it in my bathroom, but under indoor lighting its minimal. Although, Lol...love that pic of Edward! Cause that's exactly what I figure it would look like in sunlight!
Misc Beauty Tools -Clarisonic - Pro Skincare Brush
ibraille 11/17/2009 6:48:00 PM
Update - 1/2011- still love this. Cannot live without it. Only use it at night now, though. No longer feel it necessary for morning, at least for me. * * * This is a total worth while investment at about $200-225. I've had mine for 3 months now and I couldn't imagine going without it. Within the first few weeks of using it I noticed that the large pores I have on my nose and upper cheeks looked smaller. They didn't disappear, but they were smaller. At first I thought I was imagining it, but realized that it probably had to be due to the Clarisonic helping to clean my skin a little more thoroughly and leaving less stuff in my pores. For reference: I wear long wearing makeup, am very acne prone(very oily Tzone), have sensitive skin(highly reactive to ingredients), and use RetinA nightly (which gives me random dry patches) to help with my acne as well. I bought it after a HORRIBLE reaction to several products before realizing I was allergic to most sunscreens. I was seriously fearing permanent scaring it was so bad. Had never experienced such an adverse reaction. I was desperate and so decided to give this little gadget a chance. So this is how I use it... Night: I use it with my Olay Sensitive Skin foaming face wash. If you read the instructions it says not to use it with a foaming face wash, but this works for me. I wash once manually so that I can also gently wash any makeup/remover residue off my eyes. Then I go over my face with more face wash using the Clarisonic. This gets any missed makeup/dirt/oil on my face. It also gives me a light exfoliation which I need. I almost always have a little dry patch that keeps trying to come back. Morning: I just give my face a quick once over with the Clarisonic and my gentle face wash. I don't do the whole 1 min in the morning. I dont' find it necessary and mainly concentrate on the areas that tend to be the most patchy like the sides of my nose. Also preps my face nicely for a smoother makeup application. I wash out the little brush head after every use. I don't want to worry about bacteria growing on it and then putting it back on my face! So I use my antibacterial hand soap and just give it a quick warm soapy rinse and set it down to dry til the next use. I have found that since using the Clarisonic it seems to allow for my other products to sink in better. My skins overall appearance has improved I would say at least by 75%. I still get an occasional blemish, I still have larger than I'd like pores. My skin isn't perfect, but it's way better than it's been in almost 10 years. If I do break out, I find that since using the Clarisonic my face heals faster. The pinkish marks left after a breakout also go away faster as well. I would highly recommend this. It's definetly worth the money.
This is the perfect moisturizer for me. I'm allergic to most chemical SS except for the one in this product -octinoxate. All the rest do a number on my face with break outs and just gnarly dry scaly patches. The level of moisture is also perfect. Not greasy by any means and I have oily skin to begin with. I also tend to develop odd dry patches due to RetinA and this helps with that quite nicely. I like that it doesn't have a strong fragrance as well. The only thing I don't like is the packaging. It really needs to be rethought. You can't see how much is left and the whole getting the two pumps to go at the same time when you first buy it is really inconvenient and annoying. Also, it's not a lot of product for the price($14-16). Because this is the only moisturizer I found without Avobenzone and other chemical ss that don't agree with me....I don't have a choice and as long as it doesn't mess me up....it's worth it to me.
Cleansers -Olay - Gentle Foaming Face Wash w/ Aloe (Sensitive-Skin)
ibraille 11/16/2009 6:18:00 PM
This cleanser works very nicely. It doesn't dry my skin out and it still does a great job and getting all my make up off. I've also noticed that it helps keep my skin clearer. Gentle but very effective. Also, I use this with my Clarisonic at night just to make sure I get all my long wear MU off. Can't beat the price either.
So disappointed. No staying power and smeared easily (yes with primer!). The only thing I liked about it was the little sharpener that comes with it. My Ulta liner works WAY better than this.
Moisturizers -Aveeno - Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30
ibraille 7/15/2009 2:27:00 PM
I was really excite to try this. It was a descent price and the coverage was exactly what I look for in a tinted moisturizer. It did not feel greasy or heavy which I was glad about. I didn't really see glitter exactly, but it did have that that "light reflecting particles" thing going on which I liked cause it perked my face up a bit. Down fall....I broke out HORRIBLY. My skin was in descent shape until after one use of this. By the next morning I started getting these horrible break outs that ended up all nasty and scabby! yuk-i know! It took like a week to clear up. I figure it was more of an allergic reaction than an actual acne flare up cause I've never had anything like that before. Anyway, I really wish this had worked for me...but no go. Update: Turns out I'm actually allergic to most sunscreens including the one in this. Otherwise a GREAT product.
Liquid -Revlon - ColorStay Makeup with SoftFlex SPF 6 for Combination/Oily Skin
ibraille 5/12/2009 5:15:00 PM
This is the best finish on a foundation that I've ever found. It's not a dry matte-matte, but it's my idea of what natural finish should look like. Most of the time I find that if a fndtn adverts a "natural finish" it tends to mean shiny. IDK about anyone else, but when my skin is clean and dry...it's not shiny. The coverage is EXCELLENT. I can break out sort of easily, but most of the time my skin looks descent. I do have a lot of redness around my nose and across my cheeks. I can apply this with a wet sponge and sheer it out(on most days/better skin days) or I can use it straight to get full coverage for bad days. I don't need to use concealer under my eyes to hide dark circles when I apply this either. Concealer only on a particularly substantial blemish, if that. It also is not cakey and does not settle into the fine lines that have started to show up around my eyes. The lasting power is also pretty excellent. Only durring the intense heat of the summer do I notice some loss of coverage but that's still not until maybe hour 5 or so of running around in the heat. I only have to blot occasionally during the day otherwise. The only reason I took 1 lippie off was because you really have to make sure you really get this off. It REALLY stays so I have to take a couple of extra steps just to make sure I get it completely off when I'm washing my face. If I get lazy and am not as thorough, it can tend to break me out. Oh, and I really wish it came with a pump! This is my HG foundation. I've tried others out of curiousity and of course as a product junkie..always looking for the next best thing, but I keep coming back to this one. Highly recommend it! Update: Still my all time favorite finish, but can't use it regularly...finally admitted that it starts to break me out. :( No longer HG....so sad. But there for every special occasion when I need to look great.
The word "airbrushed" of course had caught my eye and finally my curiosity got the best of me. I had to try it. Even though it said "natural" finish which for some reason always seems to mean shiny. I had also seen this on my sister and was super impressed by how it looked on her. So I shelved my HG Revlon Colorstay for the day and slapped this stuff on. Coverage was a little more than sheer...and sort of buildable. Upon initial application the finish is very nice. It actually minimized my pores a bit. Not magic, but I'll take it. And not cakey at all. But as the day wore on I just got shinier and shinier. Yuk. By lunch time I was tired of reapplying powder. The main positives on this are the super lightweight consistency and the pump dispenser. Too bad that's all that worked for me. Back to my Colorstay!
I really wanted to like this foundation...but another disappiontment from clinique. For me at least. If you have normal to dry skin this might work for you, but if you're oily you may want to stay away. In less than an hour of application I was a greasy mess. I had to pat poweder on almost every hour on the hour. And it totally emphasized all the pores on my face. By end of day it had pretty much melted off. The only positive is that it is very light weight and does not cake like I find with most of the other Clinique foundations that I've tried.
LOVE this product. And to think I almost didn't buy it! I was looking for a highlighter that would not break me out or make me look all glittery. This is exactly what I was looking for. At first I was a little put off by the fact that it had various oils listed in the ingredients. (Don't be afraid of this! Seriously, just about anything with oil makes me break out, but this didn't!) I tend to get oily and I was afraid it would break me out. But after reading through the reviews and seeing virtually none of this reported from this product, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did. As I inch into my 30's I've noticed that my skin is starting to change and it's loosing it's natural "glow". My complexion often looks dull which I am not happy at all about. I use this two ways: 1) I mix ONE small pump(this stuff goes a long way) in with my moisturizer (Purpose) and smooth it all over my face giving me just a little perk-me-up 2) OR I apply a tiny bit of it alone just along the top of my cheekbones in the Nike swoosh shape and then down the bridge of my nose and in my cupids bow. Love it. It gives a pretty highlight without making me oily or too shimmery. The only reason I did not give it the full 5 lippies is because although it is sold as a moisturizer, I don't think that's its best purpose. It has no SPF and it does not moisturize well alone. Also, be careful when using alone around the eye area. I found that when I applied it alone (with the intent of brightening the under eye area) that it actually caused my makeup to settle into the little crease under the eye. Not cute. It's fine when mixed with my usual moisturizer, but not alone. Highly recommend this stuff!