Bronzers -Avon - Arabian Glow Multipurpose Pen in Shimmering Bronze
danai 7/19/2010 12:40:00 PM
Well here's a product I completely regret spending my money on. This is actually supposed to be a 3 in 1 bronzing stick, meaning you can use it as a bronzer, an eye shadow, or a lipstick. Being on the fair side, I chose this the Shimmering Bronze version of it - it also comes in Deep Bronze. Sadly, this is unusable. When Avon do bad, they do really bad. No matter how hard I tried, this did not work in a way that could allow me to leave my house wearing it. So if you're wondering about lasting power and the like, I'll be of no help. No here are the basic reasons why this is useless. One, it's not even discreetly shimmering; it's straight up matte and flat. Two, it's not bronze. It's actually plain brown with coppery undertones. There you have it. I thought a bronzing stick would be a good idea, and here I am, left with a matte brown stick. It looks like I'm smearing dirt or pottery clay on me. It's absolutely hideous on the lips and useless as a bronzer. Maybe it could somewhat work as an eyeshadow but the color it gives is still hideous. And the reason why I rated the packaging as rubbish as well is, when I first tried this and realized how wrong it is, first thing I did was check the tube to see if I got the shade I ordered. Well guess what; that still remains a mystery, because the shade is stated nowhere on the tube. Actually, nothing at all is one the (cheap, goldish plastic) tube; not even the name of the product, not the ingredients, not one thing. Are Avon serious? This is a joke. Alright, let's suppose this junk might actually work for someone; but who would ever find it acceptable for a company not to list their ingredients on the product? Or even the shade and the product name? I really wonder what it is I got; not even at the dollar store do you get a completely label-less product. Money wasted. Worst item I've ever had the misfortune of bringing into my stash. *UPDATE* Mystery solved. There's a teeny tiny sticker on the very bottom of this which reads "Avon Shimmering Bronze", provided you use a magnifying glass. As for the ingredients, they are still absolutely nowhere to be found. So if you're even considering throwing your money away, you take your chances at what you put on your skin.
Shampoo -Johnson & Johnson - Baby Shampoo (detangling formula)
danai 7/16/2010 2:45:00 PM
It really surprises me that people get this to work for them; even ones with thick or coarse hair. I wonder, what could I possibly be doing wrong here? For the record, I have a moderate amount of long, fine hair that is color treated, tends to grease up a little on the roots and be dry on the ends. But to be fair, it's not that hard to handle, especially if I'm not expecting too much. But first things first. I needed a simple, easy 2in1 shampoo for a short trip and I figured, you can't go wrong with baby shampoo, plus I wasn't going to be styling my hair so I just wanted something that would clean it and leave it reasonably soft and healthy looking. So I got it and to be honest I regretted it. First of all, it's so thin and watery I need about two handfuls of this to make nice lather that will cover my hair. I went through this as if it were plain water; tons and tons had to go into my hair and rubbed again and again. I really don't like a shampoo that doesn't lather easily/enough. Even when I got it to function though, this didn't quite work. My hair was almost as tangly as if I'd used any shampoo. It was a struggle to detangle it without pain and breakage. And sadly, once my hair started to dry, the ends felt so dry I was shocked; honestly I don't remember the last time I felt my ends so coarse and straw-like and frizzy. Of course, I still needed leave in conditioner. Which totally defeated the purpose; I could simply have gotten my usual shampoo and conditioner instead. Even more shockingly, my SO who also used it complained about it. He has a typical short cut; nothing long or coarse, and still he came out of the shower asking me why on earth this doesn't lather. Also later he complained about his hair being harder than usual to style. I only used it a couple of times since, on days when I wanted something extra mild on my hair, followed necessarily by leave in conditioner or spray. My hair were left nice and healthy then, but that was the leave in product for the most part. So bottom line, for me this is unusable without a leave in conditioner and therefore practically pointless. The bright side is, besides hair, it's a great cleanser for other things. I use it for cosmetic brushes and undies. So it's not totally worthless.
Very intense, sexy and vamp-y. I get mostly vanilla, spice and incense, so sweet, spicy and sexy would describe it nicely. It's alwo quite warm and feminine; I think it would be better for the colder months. I can totally see myself wearing this when I want to smell confident, sexy and alluring; I also think it's quite a headturner so I'd reserve it for special occasions. All in all, wonderful.
Cleansers -La Roche Posay - Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser
danai 7/14/2010 8:40:00 AM
This was first recommended to me by a derm and I've bought it over and over again. First used it seven years ago, and today, having gone through and tried lots of cleansers, I'm steady with this one. I do stray at times, but I always come running back. This is made to suit my exact skin type: oily plus sensitive. That's a type that's often overlooked by cosmetic companies; for their products to suit you, you'll have to either be superdry, or have perfect skin by default, or be drenched in oil. Us who are oily and acne prone because our skin's easily reactive to factors (be it products or hormones or weather conditions) often have to struggle to find something that suits us. Kudos to LRP for realising that acne prone skin can be (and in fact often is) on the sensitive side. Now this is a clear gel that smells ok. No pretty scent here, which enhances the simplicity of the product and underlines the fact that it's supposed to be pharmaceutical rather than strictly cosmetic. It lathers very nicely; it takes a little bit to go quite a long way, so a tub lasts fo quite some time. It's easy to use and no-frills, but it does provide a squeaky clean surface for the rest of your skincare, whatever that may be; I use it before both antiacne treatments and moisturizers. It has also never caused any reaction to my skin; on the contrary it has helped improve it many times throughout the years. The price is great for the quality of the product too. My only gripe is the packaging, which I've found tends to leak when transported. This sadly makes it inconvenient for travelling, which bothers me because I feel it's one of the most necessary beauty products for me. I still haven't figured out how to solve this. To sum things up, this is my holy grail cleanser, and unless I come across something much bette someday, I'll be sticking with it.
Lotions/ Creams -Nivea - Angel Star Soft Body Souffle
danai 7/12/2010 2:40:00 PM
This body cream is part of the new Angel Star line by Nivea, which is advertised as extra lush and special. However this product does not live up to that and it's actually nothing special. So it's supposed to be a soft, luxuriously scented cream that, according to their website and the English section of the label, is nourishing for the body because it contains "yogurt extracts". I wouldn't count on that; the Greek section on the pot only mentions "fluffy yogurt texture". I wonder, is the translator stupid or are Nivea deliberately leaving the yogurt extract part kind of vague? Anyway, I guess the performance of the actual product matters more, so there it goes: for one, this does have a nice, rather unusual texture that reminds me a cross between yogurt and jello. In fact it looks lighter than it really is, so first couple of times I used more than was needed. Truth is, this is an absolutely generic moisturizer that offers nothing more than a regular body milk or cream would. It moisturizes ok and that's it. If you overapply - which is easy considering the fluffy texture - it gets really greasy. And even worse, when overapplied it tends to slip off the skin in tiny bits, which is quite gross when it happens. However the really bad part is the scent; which is funny because the Angel Star line is supposed to be distinctively great smelling. So no the case at all. This is supposed to smell like rasberry (which in itself should' ve kept me away, as berry scents in my experience are more often than not very synthetic). What it really smells exactly like is rasberry toothpaste for kids. Ok, it's not totally gagworthy I guess, but I simply tolerate it; not what I want to smell like at all. I wish I hadn't fallen for the marketing nonsense and stuck with the regular Soft creme, if I really had to go with Nivea. This product is nothing like the beloved Soft creme, which actually sinks in, moisturizes nicely and offers a soft, comforting, clean scent. Only worth it if you have a dear daughter with dry skin who won't sit down for you to use regular lotion on her. I don't understand what about this product could be appealing to a grown woman.
Used this once for a couple of weeks; never touched it again. The reason is this: I used it every night after showering or before bed. The next day I'd wake up, put on my clothes, get my cream summer bag and get out in the heat. The result, I ruined an awesome bag and a couple of light colored bras and tops. I literally sweated this out of my pores, and I'm not even one of the people who have the tendency to sweat heavily. I'm talking brown sweat stains on the handles of my bag, the lining of my bra, my top straps...Absolutely disgusting to say the least. And the funny part; I used the fair version.The icing on the cake, if you don't like the characteristic self tanner smell, to you this will most probably stink. Well, you get the picture. In my experience, this is unbelievably, dangerously bad.
Fragrances -Estee Lauder - Bronze Goddess Eau Fraîche Skinscent
danai 7/12/2010 7:58:00 AM
Awesome really summery scent. Exotic fruit and (not foody) coconut. The creator/s has/have made a pretty good job at captivating the smell/feel of summer in a bottle. To be honest, it's the only frag that really nails this. I only have two complaints. First of all, I'd prefer it to be an eau de toilette; I think it's a little more watery that I'd like. And second, where I live once June kicks in, every other girl on the street leaves a trail of this behind.
I'm on the fence about Avon in general, but they have exceeded my expectations by far with this one. Honestly, it's perfect. Incredibly soft, goes on smooth and nice with no effort whatsoever (my previous brow liner had to be pressed to leave obvious color). It just glides on, almost by itself. It lasts me an entire workday in the heat, so it lasts, period. Doesn't cause my eyebrow area to break out - which my previous brow liner also did. I have it in the lightest shade available and it's just perfect for giving my brows the definition and oomph I want. It's normally about €10, but it was on special offer recently so I got it for about € 3. So it was an incredible deal. To sum things up, if Avon ever has this on discount again, I'll stock up. HG quality product.
Top/Base Coats -Avon - Quick Dry Nail Enamel Spray
danai 7/12/2010 7:27:00 AM
I wanted this to work but it so doesn't. First I have to point out I only used it on my toenails, because it's far too messy on the hands. It's basically some sort of dry oil, which I don't mind, but it just doesn't work on hands; if I have to wait for the oil to dry anyway (which it takes a couple of hours to completely do) then I'd rather just sit and wait for my polish to dry by itself. So only toes in the summer for me. Now I tried it again and again, in different ways - right after top coat. 1-2 minutes after top coat, 5 - 10 minutes after top coat, and all the above. It pretty much never worked. It never made my top coat stay intact, and I'm not talking anything rough; it's just toenails in flip flops or sandals all day. They don't get to touch anything but my sheets. How hard would it be for a proper drying spray to protect my toes from my bedsheets if I've used my top coat more than an hour before bed and sprayed it 2-3 times since? Still I woke up yet again today with my top coat needing to be redone. In other words, I gave this tons of time and it didn't work; and Avon's saying it works in record time? Really? Oh please. For the rest, this is oil slick (which would be ok if it worked I guess) and it smells reasonably pleasant. There has to be something out there that works better even for a smaller price (where I live this was 9.5 Euros full price - I got it for 5,5 Euros, I still feel robbed). Two words: Never. Again.
I'm a sweet scent person for sure, to the point that I sometimes like to go for outrageous sugary, foody creations. This was supposed to suit my taste, based on the notes. But it turns out, it does not work for me at all. I'm all for cupcakey sweetness, as long as it doesn't give me a headache, but this frag feels like a pungent cloud around my head. There must be a couple of loud floral notes in the mix that stay throughout, because this doesn't give me the creamy vanilla/sugar drydown I so adore. It smells so loud and strong that it causes me to gasp when I get whiffs of it. I'll stay away.
This is right up my alley, for I have a thing for sweet scents, so it's something I would very gladly wear. The opening is mostly citrus to me (bergamot or orange?), but this goes away almost immidiately, and the fragrance starts to unfold into a sweet, honeyish scent which is very girly though not very loud or overwhelmingly foody. Despite the initilal citrusy sharpness, in fact this is a mellow scent. I'll probably get a full bottle of this soon.
I'm not that impressed with this product, which is sad because it costs an arm and a leg in my country. I was very pleased with the Creme de coco mask from B&B, so I thought for once I'd try another deep conditioner from them for the case it might be even better. So I went for this. For reference, I have fine and brittle hair - also color processed - which I've been trying to keep as long as possible all my life so far and never getting quite the length I'd want. Maybe I haven't quite gotten the protein treatment concept, maybe this is supposed to be beneficial for the hair in the long run and not instantly, however it bothers me that this mask doesn't leave my hair silkier, softer or more manageable. After I wash it out, my hair's the usual tangled mess and detangling it is a pain. On the contrary, the CdC mask leaves my hair feeling like silk; instant shine and detangling it while still wet is a piece a cake. With Deeep, I have to fight with my hair to comb it thoroughly while it's still wet. To be fair, my hair does feel silkier and overall healthier once it's completely dry. It also feels a bit thicker, richer and stronger, which is a great thing. So it's not that I'm entirely negative on this product. It's just that for €35 I'd expect more impressive results. Well, I'll stick to Cdc which certainly gives me that for the same price.
Moisturizers -La Roche Posay - Effaclar Active Matt moisturizer
danai 6/28/2010 10:24:00 AM
I've already bought this product lots of times and it seems whenever I stray, it isn't long til I come back crawling to this one. This actually doesn't mattify as well as, say, Normaderm by Vichy which sucks any oil dry miraculously. But that's not bad at all because this actually does moisturize. To be clear, this keeps a good balance between mattifying and moisturizing, which means it mattifies skin somewhat but not enough to make it look as dry and powdery as paper. Which means, if your purpose is solely to get matte at any cost, this may not meet your needs. It meets mine though, because I've found that products that radically mattify tend to not go well with makeup and generally powdery is not always desired for me, as it can end up looking dull. This cream sinks in fantastically, leaving absolutely no film on the face and therefore feels extremely nice, fresh and comfortable. Once it dries my skin feels soft and velvety. It doesn't cause breakouts at all or clog pores, which is a concern for me with other creams. It's also calming to the skin in the long run; I've seen quite some improvement with this (my main problem apart from oiliness is easily cloggable pores hence mild though sadly frequent breakouts). Also it goes very well with makeup, makes everything glide on perfectly, and it sure doesn't interfere with anything. The price is very reasonable and it comes in a pump bottle which is great. All in all, this is my basic morning moisturizer right now; the one I also typically use as a primer under my make up, and while it will not perform miracles or give you airbrushed skin overnight, it helps in the long run. Whenever I run out and try to use other stuff instead of repurchasing this, I end up craving it and running to the store, so that says a lot.
I'd been looking to replace my favorite pinky/coral shade which has been discontinued, so I came across this on MUA and decided to give it a try. Not only was it a fantastic replacement for the discontinued shade - it turned out to be even better. So let me give you the pros and cons. Pros. 1. Absolutely perfect shade. The right amount of both pink and coral, the right amount of brightness and loudness. Ideal for summer feet. Seriously I don't think you can easily find a better coral shade than this. Fun and elegant at the same time. 2. Decent price for the amount you get. 3. In my experience so far, lasts a decent amount of time without chipping. Now the cons. 1. As others have mentioned, this does go on somewhat uneven. This means you'll need some patience and 2-3 coats. As you pile on the coats, the streakiness goes away. 2. As has also been mentioned, bad brush. Too slim to be user frendly. Shame because I think Revlon could take care of this pretty easily. All in all: my HG summer nail polish. Some flaws in the useability but the color is so fantastic I can deal with that.
Lotions/ Creams -Palmers - cocoa butter formula concentrated cream
danai 6/22/2010 9:05:00 AM
I wouldn't buy this product again because to be honest I can't tell much of a difference between this and the original Palmers lotion in the flip top bottle. Which I should be able to do, as the concentrated formula in my country is about three times the price of the regular one. In fact, the classic formula in the flip top bottle is rich enough to take care of business; it's more of a cream that a lotion anyway. In my experience the concentrated formula does nothing the regular one can't do. Whch is overall a very good, classic, less is more moisturizer. So, I don't see any reason to waste money on this version and I wouldn't advise anyone to look any further than the original.