Misc Beauty Tools -Olay - Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System
felgoj 11/9/2011 10:55:00 AM
Lately I'm on the hunt for an electric cleansing tool & the Olay Pro-X is my 1st but I'm bound to try others in the near future to compare. For yrs I've been using high glycolic acid + plastic loofah scrubbers (or rough-textured cloth I used to get from the nail salon) to exfoliate my thick skin regularly (every 2-3 days). Now I've been wanting something as effective as manual scrubbing but ideally more gentle. While researching the Clarisonic, I decided to try the Olay Pro-X brush which I found @ my local drugstore. I love that it's easily accessible, super affordable ($30) compared to the Clarisonic, & it's so straightforward to use that instructions aren't even needed (they're printed on the side of the box in very small print). It comes w/batteries (2 AA Duracell, awesome) & the brush attachment is soft to the touch (fine nylon bristles). I've looked @ Clarisonic models in Sephora & by comparison this unit is smaller, lighter, made of inexpensive but water-resistant plastic, uses rotation instead of sonic vibration (I prefer rotation), has 2 speed settings (unfortunately I call them Slow & Slower), & the bristles are not as densely packed as Clarisonic but they seem softer to the touch, not prickly. For me it runs too sluggish - I'd like it to spin faster w/more power, but even @ its sluggish pace it really cleans my face well. Although I initially didn't feel like it was doing anything @ all since I couldn't even feel the soft bristles on my face, boy was I wrong! First time I rinsed my face, my skin was mildly irritated like I may have overscrubbed (after only 30 seconds of use). But that was only the 1st time, & my skin calmed down quickly. Now that I'm used to using this tool, washing my face is quick & feels relaxing & refreshing - I even run it softly over my closed eyes in the end - my skin afterwards feels renewed, cleaner that my previous washing method & well prepped for my skincare products to absorb better (I can feel & see the difference). Yes I still have to use glycolic acid lotion but now I look forward to my cleansing routine b/c it's been wonderfully spimplified using this tool. I didn't expect it to make a difference in my enlarged pores but it actually has lessened their texture visibly - my skin is smoother just in the 1st wk of use. I credit this to 3 factors surrounding this tool: (1) it cleans my skin better & exfoliates gently, smoothing the surface texture, (2) allows my anti-aging products to actually work, refining or plumping my skin as they promise to, & (3) I'm more consistent in my skincare routine which leads to getting results, whereas before I got lazy at least 50% of the time so results were sporadic. With this tool I'm committed to be consistent, but I don't feel burdened. If something's annoying to use, I lose interest in using it & lose out on the benefits. It doesn't foam up my cleanser (I use Shea Moisture Organic Coconut body wash for my face & hair) when I apply it directly to the brush, so I apply the cleanser to my wet face & then use the brush. I'm satisfied w/this brush as my 1st cleansing tool. It would be perfect if it had greater power or faster speed - that's its ONLY drawback for me. The Clarisonic seems super-powerful compared to this product, which makes me a little nervous that it might be too rough (I wouldn't want it to give me broken capillaries like a few have mentioned). I'll find out in the future......or maybe I'll try the i-Skin version from Sally's which got a lot of good reviews too ...so many choices! UPDT 2/7/12 - I still love this brush. It's still going strong & if it ever breaks down I'll buy another one. I've cancelled my consideration of getting a Sonicare someday - I'm not interested in that anymore. The Olay Pro-X is great.
Shiny Dancer, pretty boring. I was lemming this shade all summer long - it was chronically sold out @ Sephora, so I left it alone. Finally I found it back in stock @ Sephora & I decided to buy it the other day (another $9.50 ouch). It seemed so rich (sparkling gunmetal shimmer) when I swatched it on my tan summer skin but now that my tan's faded, on my pale fingers it looks like a metallic medium-grey frost. Very meh. It's a nice color, but I have other 'urban' metallic colors that I like MUCH better (such as Claire's Rockstar). Looking forward to going home tonight & layering Rockstar right on top of this. Well it's too late to return it (I think). I'll just save this for use in summer or as a base w/some glitter polish over it. It's a little sheer, so it needs at least 2 coats for opacity. Like most shimmers, it's prettier in strong sunlight than regular light.
Gorgeous deep rich color - Mattese Elite Intense Pleasure gives me intense pleasure looking @ it in sunlight. In regular light it's super-dark purple, like a purple-black, w/a hint of purple micro-glitter sparkle. In intense light the sparkle bursts & shows up beautifully, so I love sunny days (which it isn't right now, oh well). Not sure if this color was phased out or if it was part of the Orgasmic Collection, as I can't find any more in stores. But I'm glad I got my 1 bottle. The formula is smooth but I find w/Mattese that the texture quickly becomes thick & goopy, so I have to thin this out after a couple of uses (1 lippie off for that). Perhaps it's made to evaporate quickly so it won't flood the cuticle during application, which I appreciate when messing w/dark, intense colors. It otherwise dries smooth to the touch & shines up beautifully under topcoat. Makes a fantastic all-season pedicure. If I find this again I'll buy a backup. Was only $6 @ Ricky's.
Of the 3 blue shades of SH HD colors that I bought, this one's my fave. It's a gorgeous duo-tone blue/purple that throws off a beautiful sparkly lavender moonglow effect. In sunlight it is particularly exquisite. It's sheer, so this is best layered on top of any other color. I'm wearing 2 coats over a soft grey which allows the DVD to stay true to its color but pop w/the look of opacity. Can't wait to try it over black or brown! Didn't like the $7.29 pricetag @ Duane Reade but I like this shade so much I'd be willing to buy it again (tho probably cheaper elsewhere like Ulta, Target, etc).
Love Payless foot wear! I check out their new arrivals every season for all items - shoes & ALL their other accessories, even makeup now (though I don't like the makeup selection). I see lately a collection of perfumes has been added ($40 is a bit overpriced if you ask me). I've shopped Payless for countless years & have enjoyed the improvement in quality over time. Generally I always get @ least 1 pair of boots from there every winter, as I am not a leather fan & prefer to wear synthetic footwear (sorry) - they're less delicate & require far less care. These boots last me a good 5 yrs, esp. if I rotate them. The BOGO sales are the best time to shop but nowadays when I see something I MUST have, I just buy it @ regular price (which isn't too much anyway). I've gotten @ least a little bit of everything from Payless & I love the $$ I save when I shop there. Some of their shoes tend to be quite heavy & clunky (1 lippie off), which from experience I've learned to steer clear of no matter how pretty they are, & I stick to items that are lightweight & comfortable. I especially only get my gym sneakers (Champion) & tennis shoes (AirWalk) @ Payless for the past 10 yrs. I don't remember buying any from anywhere else ever since. I'm not into designer names, only style satisfaction & comfort. Great cost-savings.
Snagged this shade of Prevail polish from Duane Reade when I saw how beautiful it looks in the bottle - soft grey interspersed with delicate swirls of purple & subtle purple-y shimmer. I have other shimmer-effect polishes by Prevail that look really pretty, so I thought this might be special too. I expected this would have a gorgeous duo-tone effect on my nails but it disappointingly doesn't. On nails it's basically grey metallic pearl (not unpretty but kind of boring) & only in bright light does it reveal the tiniest dusting of shimmer specks. Dries matte, so it needs 2 layers of topcoat to shine it up. It's not gritty but does show some texture from the super-micro-fine glitter particles in it (which barely show up). It's kind of pretty but I'm not a super fan - not only would I not buy this shade again but I might also get a refund. For a couple of bucks I would prob keep it, but for $6+tax I have to think twice about its worth if I'm hardly ever going to wear it. (This also very surprisingly shrunk away from the edges after using my usual topcoat - a very unusual result!)
I tried this product in dry hair but it doesn't work for my chin-length bob. So clearly it's a wet-hair type of product (as per the usage instructions). This styling paste goes from feeling incredibly thick, sticky, gooey, & heavy, to feeling light, silky, glassy-smooth, & so sooooft....that's how it makes my hair feel after blowdrying. But I must apply it to wet hair AND blowdry it, which I don't like to do anymore & have avoided using a blowdrier for the past year. For the most part I prefer to air-dry my hair, so I'll have to reserve this awesome paste for the special occasions when I bother to blowdry... this limitation is pretty much its only downfall. Gives blowdried hair wonderful VOLUME, lightness, shine, softness, touchability - nothing sticky, crunchy, heavy or stiff whatsoever. Just a small pea-size dab is enough (my hair can probably stand to use less than that, I'll have to experiment more). But for texture in my usual air-dried hair I'll have to stick w/my regular products which unfortunately dry stiff (gel) or stay greasy (texture creams).
I love this line of longwearing lipglosses! It's so longwearing, I never have to apply it more than twice a day. Since not all colors are locally available to me, I take a chance buying some colors online, sight-unseen. Plum Savvy is 1 of them. I'm a certified plum nut & love to try all shades of purple lipcolor. But Plum Savvy isn't any shade of purple, plum or grape - it's a muted dusty pink & EXACTLY the color my natural liptone, so when I put this on I look like I'm wearing a glossy natural lip, but a bit more polished & sophisticated than clear gloss. It's a nice subtle color but I prob won't buy it again, esp considering the exorbitant price of this product ($26.50). I'll keep trying other shades though (I notice Lancome makes a LOT of different pinks).... Lancome should have called this 'rose' instead of 'plum.' I love the packaging, the applicator, the creamy moisturizing formula, the sheerness & dimension of most of the shades, the glossiness, & the longwearing durability. I generally like a lot of Lancome products, though I find them ridiculously priced like YSL & Givenchy. But they put out good stuff that I like (& the sister-company L'Oreal products are also very similar but at affordable drugstore prices - love that also).
I hated paying $7.29 each for 3 bottles from the HD collection, but they were too pretty to pass up. I was tempted only by the blue shades - DVD, Laser, & this one Spectrum which I'm wearing today. It's absolutely beautiful in sunlight, like sparkling shattered glass, but in regular light it looks boring, like a metallic turquoise blue frost (I'm wearing this on top of another turquoisey-green shimmer polish). From a distance I look like I'm wearing metallic foil nailpolish & only up close can I better see the delicate glittery sparkle. This is a great polish for summer w/lots of prolonged sunshine. I'm looking forward to trying it topped over other colors like black & dark brown (since this is a sheer polish it needs to be topped over something else for best effect). I'm happy to have these but probably won't rebuy since I'm already drowning in more polishes than I'll probably finish wearing for the rest of my lifetime. These are pretty but not HG for me. I did get 2 compliments on my nails so far today, however.
I bought this back in 2007 when it debuted & after I had stopped using it that summer I just found it in my makeup stash today - it still wears on my lips as gorgeous & fresh as it was then. The reason I stopped using this was that I generally reach for sheer plum lip colors (which is my go-to shade). This frosty sheer champagne nude is a big departure from my usual makeup wardrobe but looked so gorgeous when I tried it on @ Sephora that it was 100% worth buying, no regrets. Four yrs later, the product hasn't gone rancid. Still smells delicious (chocolatey cocoa butter scent), still wears true to its color, still rich creamy moisturizing texture on lips, still beautifully shiny finish, no separation of anything in the lipstick. It's been sitting in my lipstick rack for I don't know how long. Though my haircolor has changed since then, Ariel is still extremely flattering (thanks to it being very sheer & subtle) & am looking forward to wearing it a lot again. Not crazy about the color name but this shade is perfect for me - & I'm not a nude lipstick person @ all. For me this is more of a golden glossy lipbalm than a lipstick & I love its ease of use, completely mirror-free & effortless. Unfortunately the color in the picture is hideous - the real color is infinitely prettier than that ugly shade of clay & is shimmery. I'm pretty sure the High Shine line is discontinued - which is super-sad for such a great product line (I love purple-tinted Electra) & I hope I'm wrong about that (but I don't think I am). Another sad loss of a great product. $16.50 was a great price too, esp since all the other high-end l/s @ Sephora were $24+. Will definitely buy backups if I can find any.
This is my 1st purchase from the NailGrowth Miracle line. I bought Forbidden Fudge for the color - out of all the brown nailpolish shades I've been gushing over lately, this 1 is tops. It is deep, rich, dark-chocolatey goodness! Initially I passed this up b/c I worried the color might look cockroach-y on my pale skin (& I despise those nasty little things), but the other day I decided to try this on a nail & it looked wonderful. The color's not flat or bland, but very rich, deep & shimmery especially in the sun, but you don't need sunlight to enjoy the beauty of this color. The way you see it in the bottle is how it looks on the nails. It's mostly opaque on application but requires 2 coats for best coverage. Dries fairly shiny too, which is unusual for shimmer polish, & looks even richer after topcoat. While I absolutely despise most of the really wide brushes in some nailpolishes (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri is impossible for me to use), I found it surprisingly easy to apply polish neatly on my little nails using this extra-wide brush, probably b/c it's tapered curved tip allows good application controll for the contoured cuticle area. The formula is creamy so that no nails became flooded @ the cuticle, but not thick or goopy (the way Insta-Dri can be), just smooth & rich. Dries fast & didn't smudge or bubble (I use a fast-dry topcoat anyway). The mouth of the bottle could stand to be wider since it's very narrow for the brush width - I have to be especially attentive when using this bottle. But it's a hit w/me, I love the color & the quality, & will look into other color options from this NailGrowth Miracle line (also love the Xtreme Wear line - great bottle/brush/formula/colors).
Fragrances -Michael Kors - Very Hollywood Sparkling
felgoj 10/24/2011 4:46:00 PM
I'm pretty confused as to how Very Hollywood Sparkling EDT smells more of gardenia (which it doesn't seem to contain) than the original Very Hollywood EDP which does contain gardenia. The notes for Sparkling EDT are listed as: black currant, neroli & mandarin (don't know what else). I'm also stumped that the EDT (toilette) smells much richer than the EDP (parfum), the parfum smells much lighter - usually it's the other way around. I'm sure I don't have this mixed up b/c I did specific scent comparisons @ Sephora. It's listed as a "sparkly fruity version of the eau de parfum" - I disagree. In whatever case, I love the Sparkling version much better & don't really like the EDP at all. Sparkling reminds me of a softer, more modern version of the original Carolina Herrera (overwhelming gardenia) but Michael Kors made this more subtle & a great deal more wearable. It also doesn't last longer than 2 hrs on me (while Carolina Herrera lingers into the next day & endlessly on clothing). The bottle is a bit tacky - I don't like the glitter frosting sprayed onto the pretty carved glass, & also the wide rectangular shape is pretty cumbersome to hold while trying to spray. Still, it wouldn't deter me from buying a bottle anyway (preferrably the small size, which is plain carved glass with no tacky glitter & infinitely prettier!). Lovely scent for day or night, especially during this season's cooler weather. Rich & seductive but still youthful, not matronly.
Polishes -OPI - The Muppets Collection - Warm & Fozzie
felgoj 10/24/2011 10:53:00 AM
I don't think I'm going to buy any more OPI polishes. I'm not an OPI fan in general (good brush but too wide for me, makes precise application difficult) but there are some glittery colors OPI put out recently that look irresistible ...so I bought them ...only to be pretty dissapointed by the manicure results. Most OPI colors I have look better in the bottle than on my nails. I only have about 10 bottles, but unfortunately that turned out to be 7 or 8 bottles too many. And the couple of colors that I love had to grow on me for a while before they became favorites...hopefully the same will happen w/the rest, but sadly some colors will never take. It's a costly learning experience. For me, this color is one of those - it's really tempting in the bottle (burnished gilded golden-bronzey sparkle shimmer) but on nails looks rather drab, even after applying shiny topcoat (which doesn't make any difference in the finish). The nail swatch in the store gave me a picture of the result but I believed I could make it look better on my nails & so I took a chance on it. It's not an ugly color, just duller than expected, no real color pop or dimension, which I don't find worth spending $10 when I could get the same effect (or even better) w/much cheaper brands. The only way I can improve this polish on me is to get a tan or layer it w/something sheer or glittery to add the dimension it lacks. Or maybe just save it for summer when the sun can bring out its sparkle the way it should. Dreary Fall weather makes this color very drab where I live. The metallic color effect resembles OPI Miss Universe Collex 'It's My Year' (gorgeous polish!) & L'Oreal 'Owl's Night' both of which I recently obtained which have burnished gilded shimmer - I think they're both prettier than this one. 'Warm & Fozzie' is a metallic taupe-y shade that I think looks prettier on tan skin (horrible on my pale winter skin) so perhaps it's better suited for summer when my skintone warms & the intense sun can bring the glitz out in all its glory. I didn't like any of the other Muppet Collex colors (I think there's 10) except for 'Meep Meep Meep' which is a bold magenta-fuchsia sparkle which also needs intense sunlight (plus shiny topcoat) to bring out its sparkly beauty.
Dr Pepper LipSmacker is my favorite go-to balm but I like to try new items, especially when they claim to pamper lips like never before, & it's the standard by which I compare everything else b/c no other balm so far has moisturized my lips so comfortably as Dr Pepper LipSmacker - none! Most have dried me out (esp SPF), some are too waxy, others too oily/thin, others taste or smell bad, & some are just TOO friggin' minty! This balm is a new fave behind LipSmacker. Everything I like: Dewy & very moisturizing! Great as a nighttime lip conditioner too. Slight moist sheen. Very sheer slight tint (I bought Grape Vine - purple but comes out faintest fresh baby pink on my very pale lips). Nice fruity scent, not overpowering. Neutral taste/flavor. Decent price ($3.79). TONS of product for your money! STURDY packaging (I got the lipstick tube). Cute fun packaging. Excellent quality. Longwearing for a balm (3+ hrs on me through work/coffee). SPF 20 AND non-drying (SPF generally dries/peels my lips). Very portable in both lipstick or lipbalm packaging - not bulky. There's really nothing about this product that I don't like. I'm only disappointed in myself that I didn't try it sooner b/c I thought it was another gimmick. But Maybelline made a winner. New HG lip product!
Super-beautiful! I've been looking for a shimmery brown that doesn't look like cockroach & this 1 one stood out @ me, it was the only 1 in left the display. Grabbed it w/o caring what the price was (which was $5). The shimmer is a tarnished golden gilding that gives it a somewhat olive cast (like the picture above), very pretty & different. I was already wearing a burgundy shimmer manicure & I added a rich layer of this polish right over it, which looked immediately like the bottle color but as it dried down w/topcoat over it, it resulted in a very deep burnished cognac. Lovely effect. So it's nice knowing this is a little sheer to layer w/other colors, but 2 coats for sure is entirely opaque & beautiful on its own. Glad I got it! I didn't think a brown like this existed. I rate nail polishes on color satisfaction above formula & durability, & this color definitely deserves a 5. Good thick formula (perhaps a tad goopy but stays where placed & doesn't easily flood the cuticle), good quality brush to cover plenty of nail surface, & the traditional L'Oreal square bottle packaging.