Shampoo -Joico - K-Pak Reconstruct Shampoo for Dry or Damaged Hair
artemis513 12/24/2008 2:43:00 PM
If you chemically treat your hair on a regular basis, you need this shampoo in your stash. My hair is fine, naturally kinky 4a, relaxed and I permanently color twice a year and this has been such a great shampoo for my hair. Somehow while it leaves the hair soft and well-conditioned, it also puts strength back in too for a nice balance. Doesn't leave the hair stripped, nor weighed down. And the pH is perfect for the hair and scalp. For those of you who try it once and hate it, give it a try for longer than that. I must admit the first two times I tried it, I was on the fence about it, but the third time was the charm and my hair has benefited ever since. I love the whole K-pak line and would definitely re-purchase, as I have many times already.
Love this! Very sticky and dries quickly so you can get on with the colored polish. I would buy this again--and I have! I'm on my 3rd bottle. I love that Orly has those rubbery handles. It's so ergonomical or whatever, lol! Update 1/13/09: I didn't polish my nails enough to realize it before, but now that I change my color 1-2x wk I am noticing some staining from my darker polishes. I read on the NB to use a strengthener underneath (which I need anyways b/c I have weak nails - using Orly Nail Defense) and the polish has been lasting a few days longer than usual. Will continue to use, as Bonder is the stickiest base coat I've come across
Ok, I've only been wearing this for about 2-3 days, but I can already tell that this topcoat is a keeper! I didn't even realize that the topcoat I was using before (Orly Won't Chip) was so crappy!! I love that my nails were completely dry in five minutes, even after 3 coats of OPI nail polish (plus Orly Bonder base coat). And the bonus is that I haven't had a chip yet, which never happens!! I did notice that SV does shrink the colored polish a little bit, but I read on another board that you must apply to wet polish, so that's no big deal to me. If it becomes an issue, I'll come back and update. But for now it's my #1 top coat. The original price at Sally's was $8 but I have the member card, so I got it on sale for more than half off. Whoo-hoo! ***Update 1/16/09:Shrinks like crazy, even after I wrapped tips. I can't stand it because my naturally weak nails peel more as a result. Next day chipping. I am continuing to experiment with it to figure out how to prevent the horrible shrinkage, but also will look for another quick-dry. I recently bought Essie G2G and am looking at Poshe to try. So basically, I really love that it dries in 5 min and the shine is amazing, but that shrinkage just really pisses me off. I hope I can either make it work or find something better.
I chose that I would not buy this product again, but honestly, I don't really know if I would yet. I bought this as a recommendation from Dr. Baumann's book (I'm an OSPT) for a night cream and b/c the ingredients in it are BOSS, but it's really thick if you have normal to oily/slightly oily skin like me. A little does go a long way. I put this to the side for now until I use up Murad's Perfecting Lotion (which I love!) and I'm hoping I can figure out how to make the Olay work for me since it's cheaper and has just as good ingredients as the Murad. Will update when I can. Oh, and yes it's mad expensive for a ds product. ($18.95)
Masks -Freeman - Pure Ambition Purifying Facial Clay mask with Avocado and Oatmeal
artemis513 9/13/2008 12:23:00 PM
I used the old version of this product when I was in high school (I'm 25 now) and from what I remember this new version is wayyyyy better, lol. It's creamier and rinses off super easy. I have used this about 3 times in the past two weeks, and my skin is just getting better with each use. Today I used it right out of the shower like a previous reviewer suggested, and I didn't need to use any foundation (just concealer for fading post-acne dark spots), I just have this natural glow and my skin is super soft, firm, and oil-free. The pores on my nose are clog-free too. I have combo skin, slightly oily t-zone and normal (sensitive, acne prone) cheeks. I use this all over the face and neck. If you try this product, don't forget to apply to your neck, you'll love it! I'm giving 4 lippies instead of 5 because depending on when I put it on it'll burn just a bit. I noticed this after coming out of the shower, but if I were just coming home, washed my face and then applied it, it doesn't happen. Maybe it's due to the pores being really open after-shower...But there's no redness or anything thank goodness. Definite re-purchase. *UPDATE* 2/9/09: Still using this and I love it! If you have the one in the horrible packaging, it'll be runny and disgusting. The one in the pleasant squeezy tube is whipped. Much easier to use.
Pressed Powders -Prescriptives - Virtual Matte Oil-Control Pressed Powder
artemis513 8/4/2008 3:56:00 PM
I've only used this for 2 days (well, one full day at work) so far, but I can already tell this is substantially better than MAC blot powder. Every time I have gone to habitually blot my face like I would with MAC, my face has been shine free. I think I re-applied a lite dusting once today. I even used a blotting sheet to see how much oil I'd make and there was hardly any on the sheet at noon (I'd applied my makeup at 7am). I had to blot over and over to feel like I'd properly used up the sheet enough to throw it away. I bought this pressed powder in Level 4. All my foundations I own are Px and are Level 4, so even though I worried it may be too light, I bought it anyway, and was very pleased. I apply this with a travel brush and it does just what the MAC blot powder is supposed to do, except for the increase in oilies. The only problem I have is that the compact is not that cute (Px you have to up your game in the packaging dept, seriously!) and I found that when I was in a hurry this morning to open it, the clasp on the compact broke my nail, ugh!! Other than that I'm quite pleased with my purchase (despite the $28 price tag). I feel like this will last me a while because I'll only need it once or twice per day compared to 5+ times per day with MAC. I will repurchase this product, definitely.
I've been using this product for a few months now, and I didn't notice until this weekend when I tried another pressed powder (Px Virtual Matte), that this powder made my skin even oilier :( So much so that my makeup melted off in some places.It didn't matter what kind of foundation I had on (liquid or mineral powder). It is good at blotting, but I have to blot so frequently that it's just not worth it to repurchase. And I don't have very oily skin (just mildly so in the t-zone area) even in humid GA weather.
Skincare - Face -Murad - Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel
artemis513 7/23/2008 12:43:00 AM
I've used this product in the past, and just recently came back to it (about 3 months ago). Unfortunately my skin was extremely sensitive due to other reasons, so I had to start out super slow with this (I bought the Acne Complex kit). For the first week, I used the cleanser at night only, and the exfoliating treatment gel every other night. After one week, I moved to washing with the cleanser morning and night, and the gel every night. After two weeks of that I moved to adding the gel to my morning routine--every other morning--but found that it was speeding up the "purging" process, so I cut back to night time use only maybe 3-4 wks. I am now up to twice daily, but using Clinique liquid soap mild; the Murad cleanser was too drying over time to use 2x daily. (I sometimes use it at night only, though) My skin is smooth and soft and the dark spots from old breakouts are fading (in conjunction with other products, spf, etc). Overall, my skin is clear and is continuing to heal itself (who knows how clogged my pores have been lol!), but I find that for my particular skin I must use an antimicrobial gel (either the murad spot treatment or any bp treatment) for any active pimples. But the murad exfoliating acne gel helps them to heal faster, usually in one or two days the perimenstrual pimples are gone. FYI: To anyone that uses the Murad gel and find that it burns when you apply it, please make sure you pat your skin dry completely after washing your face. Even wait 5-10 minutes before applying the gel if you have to. Saves lots of pain and irritation. For me a moisturizer for sensitive skin or one with soothing ingredients like the Perfecting lotion or something like it is essential for my normal to dry cheeks. Update 9/14/08: Still using this with fairly good results. I still get breakouts each week (maybe 1 or 2 on my cheeks) but they only last a day. As a beauty addict, I continue to look for other products out there, but I would still repurchase this (and the whole acne complex kit) as my go-to if nothing else works.
I agree with a previous reviewer who said that this is not a beginner's brush. Definitely a superbly crafted brush that is great for highlighting and contouring. I got this brush after a makeover at a national Nars event, and I'm so glad I paid the US$38.50 for it. It's paid for itself many times over, and I am using powders and blushes (sitting in my collection) I wouldn't have otherwise now that I have this Ita brush. The price wasn't a deterrent for me because I have spent more on MAC and Sephora brushes. As I have now moved to the next level in my makeup I feel it is totally worth it to have top-notch brushes. I don't think I will have to buy another one, but if I did, I definitely would. A great buy!!!
Powder -Prescriptives - AnyWear Multi-finish compact foundation
artemis513 5/11/2008 1:44:00 PM
Prescriptives is so far the only company whose foundation matches me perfectly, and I really enjoy the Virtual Matte in Fresh Antelope, but I wanted to have a powder foundation (to replace Studio Fix which broke me out). At first I wasn't sure about this one because it's not as creamy as Studio Fix when used dry, and I felt that maybe it would be too drying to my cheeks, but kept it because it's the perfect color. So anyways, I recently bought the MAC 182 brush to use with bare minerals (which I returned btw) and use it with this instead and it makes a HUGE difference. Flawless, smooth coverage that lasts all day. I use Mac Select cover-up concealer and then apply this and I have beautiful skin. I do make sure to apply a little extra moisturizer to my cheeks and primer before applying, and it's been great. It has a little spf in it too, and I've noticed my skin has been improving since I've been using this. This is more expensive than Studio Fix but it's totally worth it for me because it's my perfect shade, has buildable (and manageable) coverage and doesn't oxidize or fade. The packaging is crap, but I don't travel with it, so that's ok (I keep MAC's blot powder in my bag). I'd even go so far as to say this is my HG powder foundation! Will definitely re-purchase when I run out. Update 8/4: I just hit the pan on this, and I wasn't even using it every day. I think I want to take off a 1/2 lippie. Other powders have a lot more product for the money.
*sigh* Ok, I have a love/hate relationship with this Studio Fix. On one hand, I *love* the powder foundation because it's got great coverage, finish, it lasts all day, and it's convenient (just a bit of select cover-up on my eyes, a powder brush and this and my face is done). However, color selection has been just short of a nightmare (last year I was NW43, this year I am NC45/50--very different), and if I wear this too often (like 2-3 days in a row) I get little breakouts on my cheek areas...but if I'm having an "OMG, I have 5 min to get out the door!" day, I'll grab this. Any other day, it's Px Virtual Matte and that whole process. I want to keep experimenting with this product and see if I can do something to prevent the sporadic breakouts (maybe extra moisturizer to the cheeks, or try a primer first), so if I find a solution, I'll edit my review as needed. Update 1/18/09: So it took me 2 yrs but I finally found a color that matches--C8. I also don't experience any breakouts since changing my skin care regiment to all one line (Clinique) versus a mix of expensive and drugstore stuff. Will still repurchase. Update 1/27/09: Please use makeup remover with this foundation! A product that removes makeup (or a makeup wipe) followed by your regular cleanser. I realized that the breakouts are due to this being a long-lasting makeup. So cleanse thoroughly and every night!!
I used this product last year, and hated it with a fiery passion. My hair doesn't do well with moisturizing conditioners that contain mineral oil (at least from past experience w/this and Keracare!). However, my new stylist used this (along with other products from this line) to wash and style my hair and my hair is soooo soft and manageable. The style and body she put into it was very long lasting. So I give this 3 lippies. I have better conditioners at home so I won't be buying it again, but if my stylist wants to use it on me again, I wouldn't mind.
Conditioner -Paul Mitchell - Super-Charged Moisturizer
artemis513 4/15/2008 3:47:00 PM
I love this product! I've been using it for years, and one would have to pry it from my dead, writhing fingers to take it away from me. I use this weekly as a deep conditioning treatment, and my hair has changed so much. Never dry, always shiny (I chemically relax and color my hair sometimes). Hair type: 3c-4a/F/i-ii. Note: I take one lippie off b/c it does not provide slip like a regular creme rinse would. No biggie, you can just follow up with something like PM's The Rinse if that's important to you. (Another great product by the way.) Update 11/16/10: Raising the lippies up to five now! This is my HG deep treatment, years later. My hair has never been this healthy in probably my whole life of being a heavy styler, and I attribute it to this product. When I stray to use up some of the other deep conditioners I have collected over time, I have PM withdrawals, lol. My hair is never dry when I use this and I will continue to repurchase forever. PM never discontinue this, my hair couldn't handle it.
Hair Styling Tools -Unlisted Brand - Solia Ceramic Ion Flat Iron
artemis513 4/13/2008 12:59:00 PM
I have 3c/4a textured hair (relaxed, colored) and I love this iron. I am able to wait longer in between relaxers because this iron really straightens any new growth that I get, and the hair stays straight until I wash it. And I don't even set it to the highest setting. I normally keep it in the 300s or so. I have fine strands, medium density. I don't know how others who get bad results are using this on their hair, but if it can straighten my highly textured roots, it can do no wrong.