I should have known better. I tried this formula out, thinking it would be a nice change from my regular mascara, giving me a bit more drama for evenings out etc. I can't stand this mascara.
I'm not the expert on thickening mascaras, as I don't really purchase them, but this was not for me or my lashes. Once aplied, my lashes looked shorter, darker, and clumpy. I combed out the clumps and they looked a bit better, but I failed to see any 'drama' or other noticeable improvements. They didn't hold a curl as nicely as when I use my Full n' Soft either. But my biggest peeve was the fact that this irritated my eyes. I wear contacts, and some mascaras just make my eyes itch like mad and feel as though I have some kind of debris on the lens itself, no matter how many times I clean them. This was one of those mascaras (even though it claims to be safe for contacts wearers). It drove me nuts the entire day, and I couldn't wait to come home and take this off!
Thickening mascaras are probably not meant for me to begin with, as I'm more into adding length and definition. So I can't fault it for that, as I really should have known better. But giving me the urge to claw at my poor red itchy eyes for an entire day at work? There's just no excuse for that. Stay faaaaaaar away from this if you have sensitive eyes.
I think I wasted my time (and money) on this. I found it at Trade Secrets for about $28 and having heard so much about it here and elsewhere, took it home with me. I wish now I could just take it back!
This mascara comes with a very ordinary brush, and is going to be a complete no-no for anyone looking to do anything besides darken and define their lashes. I have a pretty nice lashes, that don't need a lot of length or thickening, but I still found this formula too basic and boring. It also clumped a bit, and didn't respond well to my curler. It didn't flake or smudge during the day, it didn't irritate my eyes -- it didn't really do very much at all! It just sat on my eyelashes and refused to move. I found removing it was a bit of a pain. I didn't have any directions to follow, so I tried cold cream first, then water, and then spent about fives minutes pinching and pulling the little tubes of mascara off my lashes (it sounds a lot more violent that it actually was). And I still woke up with flakes and smudges around my eyes the next morning. After a long day, I don't have the time to play around at taking off my mascara, so I was really not impressed!
If you wear mascara on your lower lashes (I don't) and you can figure out how to get all of this off, you will probably really enjoy this product. If you just want a basic mascara that defines the lashes and won't flake or smudge throughout daily use, I recommend trying an ordinary waterproof formula mascara. I still can't recommend this! Not remarkable to me in any way, I won't repurchase.
Sunscreen -La Roche Posay - Anthelios "L" Total Block for Sun Reactive Skin
Aiko_Aiko 8/8/2003 10:22:00 AM
This is a really excellent sunscreen! I picked it up after doing some reading about the importance of photostability in sunscreen (in a nutshell: certain popular sunscreen ingredients are actually thought to degrade in sunlight, giving you less and less protection the longer you are exposed. There are some great posts on the skincare board about this). As I wear sunscreen religiously, I definitely want my protection to be reliable!
I came across this product, which contains Mexoryl SX, one of the few photostable UVA filters out there, along with titanium dioxide and Parsol 1789. The cost for 100 ml is about $23 CDN. This is just over what I was paying to import my old favorite PC Essential non-greasy SPF 15/30 (not including shipping or duty!) and as this product offers superior protection and can be found in the nearest drugstore, I have a new favorite sunscreen!
I have had no problems using this so far. It does leave my skin shiny, but no more so than any other sunscreen I've tried. It absorbs slightly after a few minutes and with my powder foundation on top the shine is cancelled altogether. I do need to use blotting powder by midday (not normal unless I've been outdoors for a while) but it certainly hasn't made me unbearably oily. I can see this being ideal for wintertime use. It can leave a 'white cast' on the skin if not rubbed in well enough (thanks to the titanium dioxide) but once absorbed it vanishes. I haven't experienced any breakouts or clogged pores whatsoever, so that's another plus!
****UPDATE****I now think this formula is best suited to use on the body, not the face. Having tried some of the lighter sunscreen formulas (which are sadly only available in Europe) I can see this being too heavy for anyone without dry skin. A shame really, as the protection is amazing.
I bought this from a wonderful MUAer recently, and I've completely fallen in love with it! Not even the cardboard packaging can dampen my glee! These colors (described well below) are just perfect for me, and for each other, which makes applying my makeup a total no-brainer. (And I'm all about paring down my makeup routine these days!)
The shadows are the same high quality as the other Stila e/s I own, silky and super easy to blend. They are quite well pigmented but can also be used sheerly for a different effect, which I appreciate, as it makes them more versatile. They complement my brown eyes nicely, make me look instantly 'pulled together', and go with a number of different blushes and lipsticks that I own, so I'm really pleased all around! If I ever needed to replace this, I would do so in a second!
I was lucky enough to get my hands on this trio recently and I'm so glad I did! The colors (described well below) are beautiful and blend perfectly together, making it extremely easy to use. I love the convenience of having my look coordinated and ready to go, and this trio is a real time-saver.
The shadows are silky smooth and easy to blend, just as all my Stila e/s have been, so no complaints there! They are well pigmented but not heavily pigmented, so I can use them sheerly, which is especially nice with the darkest color. And the shimmer in these is quite soft and 'pretty', not gaudy or garish looking, so I can easily wear this day or night. This ranks high on my wearability scale (I have brown eyes), but I think it would look great with almost any eye color.
We all know (and probably hate) Stila's cardboard packaging, but I'm willing to overlook that for now because I just love what's inside it! This is just a really versatile and lovely trio, and if it were ever to become available again I wouldn't think twice about getting another!
I found this product to be pretty unremarkable myself. I didn't care for the scent, and although the texture was nice, it left my hair looking and feeling greasy, no matter how sparingly I used it. I eventually found myself using so little I might as well have had nothing in my hair at all, and the results it gave seemed to reinforce that. Definitely not worth it in my book, there are much better products out there!
Moisturizers -La Mer - Creme de la mer moisturizer
Aiko_Aiko 8/3/2003 10:03:00 AM
Well, I have to chime in with my feelings about this: Please, save your money for something else! I gave in to the hype and purchased this, and I still can't believe what a sucker I was. The saleslady made this out to be some kind of miracle cream that fades scars, erases blemishes, balances your skin and makes it glow....the litany of praise was neverending. I had heard a lot of good things about it elsewhere, and allowed myself to think that I must be missing something special. Ha.
I took this home and followed the directions I'd been given (which are the same as those noted below by other reviewers), and smoothed a small amount onto my face and neck. I did experience a slight flush and warmth in my cheeks that lasted for about an hour. And that was the one and only effect this cream had on my skin - even after weeks of consistent use. My skin was moisturized, and I don't recall having any terrible breakouts as a result of it, but in all honesty, I might as well have been using a drugstore brand. Other moisturizers don't require any special application procedures either, so they save both time and money.
Perhaps my twentysomething skin is just not what this cream is meant for, because I was sorely disappointed by this. This product is what promtped me to start paying attention to ingredient listings and research, and not just brand names. I'm a lot wealthier, and a lot happier with my skin due to that, so perhaps I should be thanking La Mer! This is definitely something I'd recommend getting a sample of before you take the plunge. It can't hurt, but if it doesn't help either, then that's hardly worth your money. I finished off what I had, but I won't bother with it again!
Lipstick -MAC - Lustre - Honeyflower [DISCONTINUED]
Aiko_Aiko 7/29/2003 11:09:00 PM
I love this color! I think the other reviewers have described it well, so I'll only say that this is a great neutral on me with just enough shimmer and shine to make it pretty and wearable.
I love this when I'm wearing brown, copper/bronze or green shades on my eyes, it complements them beautifully. It also looks great paired with gloss - I especially like layering a bit of Bronze Sugar over this. However the lipstick is shiny and moisturizing enough to wear comfortably all on it's own, which is the real reason I love it.
I'm a big fan of the Lustre formula, and this shade is definitely one of my favorites. It has a great texture, great color, and a great price - I'll certainly repurchase!
I've only tried these once, thinking I might save myself some money that would have gone to an (overpriced) Stila lipglaze. Well, I was wrong.
I chose the Strawberry color. The gloss itself was well pigmented and a bit sticky, somewhat reminiscent of a lipglass. The color was not really for me, but the real problem I had with this stuff was the smell. As soon as I put it on, my nostrils were assaulted by an overwhelmingly sweet fake strawberry scent, that would not go away! I am not fond of 'berry' scents to begin with, but this was just too much, I couldn't stomach it. And the thought that people around me might actually be able to smell my lips (?!) was just plain disturbing. I had to throw this one out, it was totally not for me!
My experience with these is limited to only one shade, and the gloss itself was decent, so I can't condemn the entire line. I'd certainly suggest avoiding the strawberry if you don't like strongly scented lip products. The other colors all seem nice and wearable, and they are going for a reasonable price. Worth a shot!
This was another disappointment for me, as far as this collection goes. This is a dead rigner for Romp, which I already own. Romp is a frost e/s, and is a tiny bit darker than Tempting, but the difference between them (on my skin) is so slight that I couldn't justify keeping both. I get kind of irritated by the glitter in the Lustre e/s as well, so I think I prefer Romp overall.
This is still a gorgeous shade though! It looks amazing used wet, and compliments so many other colors, you can't really go wrong with it. I'm just trying to curb the 'twinning' going on in my e/s collection, I'd have loved this if it hadn't been for that!
This is a really great color, but sadly, it's just not distinctive enough to make it worth keeping. On my skin, it looks identical to Melon pigment, which I already own. I was hoping to see more of the rosy tones, but this is mainly a golden peach with a slight hint of pink on me. If this is a color you really love, you might as well pay a bit more and get the pigment, as that will last you forever. Melon also spares me from the glitter fallout I experience with the Lustre e/s formula.
Definitely something you'll want to test in person - if you're lucky enough to have Melon and Gleam show up differently on you, they'd probably look great together! It's not a winner in my case, but it would suit many different skintones and is still worth a look!
This is a very pretty pink with subtle lavender/mauve undertones and a nice amount of silver shimmer. It's not too frosty, and not too sheer, and I'm loving it so far! Although I think there might be similar shades in MAC's lipglass collection, this is pretty unique among the glosses I own, and a definite keeper!
In the tube this is a pale pink, shot through with lots of gold shimmer and flecks of irridescent glitter. On my lips this is a sheer golden pink, with emphasis on the gold! In most light, the gold shimmer is all I can see. The glitter is there, but it's fairly subtle. If you don't mind Bronze Sugar or Gold Charm, the glitter and texture of this one won't bother you at all.
A very nice shade when worn alone or layered over darker colors to give them a nice golden sheen. It is quite similar to the results I get from some of my other glosses though, so I'm not sure I'd repurchase!
This is a lovely shimmery tan/taupe, not too sheer, not too opaque. (I have a pic in my profile for anyone interested).
This is a great neutral that layers nicely over browns and pinks, and looks great all by itself as well. It's also not as sticky as my older lipglasses; they have definitely reformulated these - for the better! In short, I'm glad I picked it up, and if I ever ran out of it or lost it, I'd want another!
Cleansers -Paula's Choice - Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser
Aiko_Aiko 7/24/2003 8:04:00 AM
I've been using PC Normal to Dry for ages, but decided to give this a try, just for kicks. I'm really quite impressed with it. In fact, I might even like this cleanser better!
The product itself is a pearlized cream, that is light and not at all greasy. If I had to compare the texture to that of another cleanser I'd have to say it reminds me a bit of good ol' Noxema. (Mind you, it's been years since I touched a tub of Noxema, so I could mistaken.) But that resemblance is in terms of texture alone - this cleanser has no fragrance, no tingly or irritating effects on the skin, and is much nicer than Noxema all around!
This doesn't lather very much (on my skin), yet it does remove the last traces of makeup from my face and rinses clean. And best of all, it leaves my skin looking fresh and balanced. So far, in this regard, it does a better job than the N-D cleanser. I can go for hours after I wash without needing moisturizer or powder, which is great when I'm feeling lazy! It hasn't caused any breakouts or irritated my eyes either.
Like all PC products, this is very reasonably priced, a must try if you have combination skin! ****UPDATE****If it were closer to home I'd repurchase it, but I've moved on to other cleansers I like just as well.