An Ulta in Chicago was having a closeout on Zhen, so I scored Habotai, a non-shimmery dusty rose similar to PC Nude Rose, for $3.97. (Aside: I have a lot of Zhen stuff and I've never paid full price for any of it. Always bought when a store was discontinuing it.) This is the shiniest tube lipstick I've ever used. The texture is creamy and a little bit slippery, and there is a faint floral fragrance I can live with, but some of you might not be able to tolerate. This will definitely become one of my lipstick staples year-round!
I know a lot of you gals are down on Elizabeth Arden, because for years I was too. It had a reputation as an old-lady line. But with a packaging and color range redo, I like the line a lot and find some good stuff and reasonable prices. I have the Exceptional Lipstick in Breathless, a slightly dusty rose with a brown base and no shimmer. It goes on slightly sheer and greasy and is very emollient and shiny. This is one of my holy grail colors, and I have a travel size in my (constantly packed) suitcase as well. The new packaging is glossy black with a gold band, elegant without being too baroque. Love love love this lipstick! May it never go out of stock.
I was really looking forward to this product and can see why other users are excited about it, but it left me a little cold. For your $22USD you get a flat 2.5 g compact of product with a tiny mirror inside (Marcia Kilgore, are you listening?). The online description says it has no fragrance or taste, but I detect a subtle violet fragrance and taste. The product goes on nicely (I used my fingertip rather than a brush), but the color swatch is way off. I chose Satisfied because it promised to be in the pink range, and it does look sort of pink/rose in the compact, but it goes on orange, not peach, I mean orange, on the lips, and stays that way. Scott Barnes is supposedly known for his nude lip, but orange is not nude. Texture on the lips is creamy and slightly greasy. The minimal amount of shimmer is not bothersome to me. Get the color right and I would buy over and over again. Until then....
Eye Shadow -Sonia Kashuk - Enchance Eye Color Flounce
Beth 2/23/2005 1:01:00 PM
Funny, but I disagree with shejustlaughs about the shimmer in this shadow. I had been coveting this color for some time and specifically because it had little to no discernible shimmer. Flounce is a medium beigey rose that if there were such a thing as "your lids but better" would be it for me. However, although the color is nice, the texture is somewhat chalky, not creamy or silky, and the color writeoff is less than I would have liked. Packaging is creative, a tiny white (not black!) compact that has both a clear window so you can see the color and an eye-sized mirror inside. Kind of makes you wonder how some other manufacturers that charge more for shadow, lip gloss etc. charge $18 for a product yet can't seem to figure out how to get a mirror inside. (Marcia Kilgore, are you listening?) Retail is $5.99, but I happened to score one for 1/2 price at Target, so for $2.98 I'm happy. Most of the other colors in Sonia's range are tasteful and work with each other, so there's no reason not to go back for more.
A very pleasant nude pink that matches the color of my natural lips exactly. No discernible taste or fragrance. I mark it down one lipstick for the gritty appearance in the pot. Although the grit does seem to melt once it's on my lips, I can feel it when I first put it on and some of you might as well. Plus, for $18 I agree with most of the others there should be either more product, better packaging (couldn't they figure out how to get a mirror in there?), or both. Another lipstick down. CK Pink Lacquer is also MLBB and I got way more product for $17USD. Still, it's an elegant color and I will enjoy using it. But after it's gone, no looking back.
Lipstick -Joey New York - Collagen Plumping Lipstick in Luxurious
Beth 2/18/2005 4:01:00 PM
I of course doubt this lipstick or any other will add any collagen to the lips (it's just too big a molecule to be absorbed topically) but as a lipstick, this is great. Luxurious is a soft dusty rosy red with no shimmer. Packaging is minimal, a matte rubbery-feeling black case. The consistency is slightly greasy and it goes on very glossy and sheer. There is a faint floral fragrance. Those of you who have been afraid to try red lipstick might have some luck easing into things with this shade.
Eye Shadow -Scott Barnes - Illumineye eye shadow in Cashmere
Beth 2/14/2005 5:59:00 PM
$22USD is a lot to pay for a shadow single. I got this during Scott's 1/2 price tsunami "sale." Cashmere is a matte rosy brown that looks like a medium dusty rose in the compact but goes on more like a mushroom brown. Great if your color season is Summer. A little hard to work when wet, but beautiful used dry. Now that I am on business travel all the time, it has made its way into my makeup bag and become my everyday shadow. (Post hoc 2/17/05: I noticed on the case that the actual color name is Ca'shmere! Yes, the misplaced apostrophe is a little pretentious, but maybe he meant it as a pun on smear, which is what you do with eye shadow.)
Treatments -Neutrogena - Advanced Solutions Facial Peel [DISCONTINUED]
Beth 12/19/2004 12:57:00 PM
I am sorry, but I had professional microdermabrasion once a month during the first half of 2004, and this product doesn't even come close to replicating that. For your (on sale) $21.99USD you get a one-step treatment, a slightly gel-like cream with microbeads you apply to your whole face, let sit for 7-10 minutes, and then rinse off. Prior to rinsing, you're supposed to add a few drops of water and massage your skin to activate the microexfoliants. The mask may not be dry by then, which they say is ok. Well, mainly due to that ghastly smell, it's a Herculean task for me to let it sit that long. I cannot believe this product made it through beta testing and focus groups with that g-dawful stench, which I'd describe as floral mixed with rotting petroleum products. Most days I used it, I had to hold a bottle of Angel or Hollywood Pink under my nose while it was drying. OK, so you massage, rinse, and see the wondrous professional-level results. I didn't get results anywhere near what I got at the salon or even what I expected out of an at-home product. The only reason this isn't getting one lipstick is that it does do something. The exfoliation on my skin is very light. It's just not enough for my needs. For those of you who have light exfoliation needs and who can stomach the stench, go ahead and give it a try. The kicker that burns my butt is that I decided to try this based on one of those little peel-off bubble samples you see in a magazine. Those are usually called "high-quality renditions" of the original product. I think if Neutrogena 86'd the real thing and packaged the high-quality rendition, they'd have a winning product.
Lotions/ Creams -Olay - Moisturinse in shower body lotion
Beth 11/28/2004 10:38:00 PM
About 10-12 years ago, Jergens had a product that promised to be a rinse-off in-shower moisturizer. It was nothing more than a foaming cleaner with a mineral oil component that stayed on your skin after you rinsed away the foaming component. I really liked that product and, since it apparently is no longer made, hoped that the Olay Moisturinse would be a replacement for that. Despite the ingredient list, it's not. This is a non-foaming lotion with petrolatum in it, which you smooth on your skin after cleansing. It has a nice creamy texture and kind of a faint cucumber-melon scent. (Watermelon scent normally grosses me out, but this is tolerable.) I shut the shower spray off, smooth on the lotion, wait a moment, then turn the shower back on and rinse off. Pat with a towel and you're done. My problem is that almost no protective moisturizing layer is left on my skin and, with my severe eczema, feel I have to use a separate non-aqueous layer of moisturizer anyway. I wouldn't buy the normal-to-dry formulation again, but today I purchased a bottle of the extra-dry formula and will try that to see if it's any better. Post hoc 1/26/05: The extra-dry formula wasn't any more effective than the original. NB: One other note on packaging: One day I dropped the bottle in the shower, because it does tend to get slippery in there, and the top shattered, leaving sharp edges. Someone suggested a pump instead of a squeeze bottle. That's a good idea, or at least a squeeze tube with a screw-off cap one can stand upside down in the shower.
Concealers -Kevyn Aucoin - The Sensual Skin Enhancer
Beth 10/25/2004 4:28:00 PM
I bought this product from Craig at Henri Bendel expecting to be able to use it as a foundation or concealer. (My color is SX-07, which is a light neutral beige tilting toward the yellow side.) For a year, I used it as a concealer only, and it works great for that. You need just a tiny tiny amount to cover most flaws. Last week, I dared to use it as foundation, using a tiny amount and blending with a damp sponge. Well, as a foundation....it's a fantastic concealer. No way will I ever use this as foundation again; it's just too dense and masklike. So I paid $42 for concealer, basically. If you're shooting for a theatrical look or need something for a professional photo shoot, this might work as a foundation, but not for normal everyday civilian use.
This is a very disappointing powder shadow. The premise is cool: a main color, with a flash of a second color when viewed in the right light. This one combines two of my favorite colors, green and pink. Actually, it's more like a a dusty rose flash on a dusty peridot green shadow. Sounds great in theory, but this product has the worst color writeoff of any powder shadow I've ever used. My brush will not pick it up dry at all. Wet, it's not much better. I found that it's not really meant as a wet/dry shadow, but if I use a cotton makeup applicator on it wet, I can get sufficient color writeoff to actually show up on my eyelids. It also doesn't work well as a liner, wet or dry.
I got this sheer wand-style lipstick in a swap. Truth was, when I saw the color in the tube I cringed: kind of a warm bronze shimmer, not my cup of tea. But on my lips it's rosier and the shimmer is not so pronounced. (If you can't tell from my other reviews, I hate shimmer) It has a slightly waxy texture, which I don't go after, but I know is good for my dry lips. The color comes out very sheer and actually is quite suitable for my coloring. I'd give it 4 1/2 lipstix if I could.
Lipstick -Avon - Avon Brilliant Moisture Lip Color
Beth 4/14/2004 4:49:00 PM
After a few missteps in color choices*, I am now very happy with Nude Pink, a shimmery dusty rose. This lipstick goes on smoothly, seems to wear well, and doesn't dry out my lips. Whether it actually moisturizes remains to be seen, but it feels good on. Taste is ok, I'm detecting a slightly perfumey fragrance but a generically sweet taste I do not find offensive at all. *Most of you who shop Avon know by now that the color swatches in the brochures are not even close to reality. I estimate the actual color to be lighter and warmer than the color swatch in the book. Same goes for Web site. I hope this is helpful to some of you.
As with the Future Skin, I really wanted to like this item, but just couldn't get with it. For USD$51 (I understand the price has gone up since then), you get a small amount of a slippery cream foundation with a sponge puff and mirror built into the back of the pan. As with other Chantecaille products, it comes in its very own little black grosgrain drawstring bag. The coverage is very sheer, which isn't enough for me. The color is OK (my color is Bliss) and the formula is moisturizing to dry skin. I'm told the puff soaks up way more product than necessary and, to be economical with the product, I should have used a brush. I hit pan after about 10 uses. The last straw came yesterday, when the pan snapped off the compact because I was trying to use the mirror on the back of the product and use the product at the same time. This is a poorly-thought-out design. The mirror can be on the inside of the cover and not detract from the aesthetics of the packaging. This is the last Chantecaille foundation I'll ever buy.
This is so sad! I wanted to like this product, I really did. But there was not enough scrubby particles in it for me, nor did the cream part really wash the skin (I was expecting something that would foam up). The feature that saves this product from a 1 is the WICKED peach fragrance--just like a real peach, nothing the least bit artificial about it! If I were ever to buy it again, I would beef it up by adding some of my own sugar from the pantry. (PS: Yves Rocher excels in all the peach and coconut body items, with the authentic smell. I'm also a coconut junkie, and no other company has a fragrance that even comes close.)