Reading this review, keep in mind I'm a grocery store shampoo girl, usually. I have waist length, fine, untreated. thick hair and seborrhoea. What I look for in a shampoo is two things: it has to be able to clean my hair without weighing it down, and it has to be gentle on the scalp. This shampoo fills these two requirements. The problem with this shampoo is, however, that the clean feeling really only lasts a day or two. With other shampoos I can go up to a week, without feeling my hair is so gross that I cannot stand it any longer. With this, I get that feeling already on the second day. So, gentle on the scalp but requires more frequent washings to work well.
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24-7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero
JulesGrey 12/28/2009 3:24:00 PM
I got this in a mini size. At first, I really liked it. It glides on smoothly and dark at once, no tugging. Pencils are also great for on the go, and for quick mess free applications. However, without a primer to keep it in place it SMUDGES! And it is totally worthless to rim the waterline with. So, I like the creaminess, colour pay off and pencil format. I do not like staying power. If it had been cheaper, I could have forgiven it for that fault since it is correctable. But for the price, I'm going to search for another liner and stick to my gel liner instead in the meantime.
I use this in between my weekly deep cleaning. I pour it onto a bit of lint free paper, then I swirl the brushes on the paper until they stop depositing colour on the paper. This method does not clean my brushes a 100%, but it helps to keep my brushes disinfected and usable in between cleansing. The bottle is not the best, though. I wish it came either in a spray bottle for easier use, or perhaps in a pump bottle.
I got this as a sample to try, of course the sample was really, really far too dark for me seeing as I'm almost snow white and got a sample in WRF3. Though, it was easy to apply and get even since it is a light weight formula. It held up to the wash of test nicely, since it would not budge until I used my make-up remover when it came off easily. Overall, I would be interested in trying this again in the lightest shade.
I got a sample of this in the Hall of Fame set. My first thought, upon opening it was that the brush was big and oddly floppy, a bit hesitant I applied it and was pleasantly surprised to discover two things: One, the oddly floppy, big brush is actually a really nice brush. It manages nicely to get to the base of my lashes, and coat them evenly with one application. One application admittedly does not get every single lash, but it is so close that for everyday use one sweep is enough. Two, it really gives a very nice, natural look with separated lashes without a lash comb. It does not clump and does not flake. If you fall asleep (which I am prone to do on my long bus rides between home and university) it will smudge a bit but it is really not a big deal. It is easily removed with a damp bit of tissue, without any real rubbing. Over all, a really nice mascara that does what I want a mascara to do. Though, I do have lashes I am happy with naturally, so all I want from a mascara is to define them a bit, not ridiculous length or thickness or to hold a curl, just clump free, defined blackness.
I got a mini of this in the Hall of Fame set. Reading that it was a beige I thought typical, but nevertheless opened it and put it on to be very pleasantly surprised. This is just the most gorgeous golden shimmer that just subtly alters the colours of my lips, finishing any look beautifully. Though I agree, it is more of a gloss than a lipstick colour wise, but definitely wears like a lipstick. Glosses last about ten minutes for me, this lasts about an hour or so before I need reapplying but that's the same for all lipsticks. It is also the reason I give this a four rather than a five. If I could, I would probably buy a full size of this despite the price since it is so flattering. But, living in Sweden, the shade is hard to find. As for the packaging, I love the mini format. Really, it is the perfect lipstick format for taking with me and for applying. Usually, I find lipsticks rather clunky and hard to apply at the corners. With this stick, it is super easy. Plus, I actually imagine that I will finish this one up one day unlike a full size lipstick, which is a good thing! I do hope Urban Decay will realise how a wonderful idea this little tube is and sell their ordinary lipsticks in mini sizes, that way I could afford more colours without feeling bad about owning too many lipsticks.
Eye Makeup Remover -Lumene - Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover for Eyes and Lips
JulesGrey 12/10/2009 12:52:00 PM
I have been using vegetable oil to remove my make-up for the longest of time and it works quite well, except for with stubborn eye liner and mascara. To remove products like Mac's fluidlines, you do need a proper eye make-up remover and this is it. Just soak a cotton bud, swipe the wet bud across your liner on both eyes. Wait a few seconds, then start removing with slow, gentle strokes and it will come right off. To me, this feels just like a toner on my face, but then I am used to using oil to remove my make-up so anything not pure oil seldom feels oily. Considering I use oil first to remove my eye make-up as well as oil can do, and then just a small amount of this, it works out to be quite cheap especially since it actually does work miracles. This is a staple item for me, definitely.
Cleansers -Lumene - Radiant Touch Moisturizing Cream Cleanser
JulesGrey 12/10/2009 12:26:00 PM
So, a few days ago I ran out of my favourite cleanser, that I have to order online. I know I should have stocked up on cleanser a long time ago but I figured I would do with some oil cleansing to remove make-up and my foaming cleanser until it is time to restock other essentials from my online skin company, like my HA serums. However, washing twice a day with a foaming cleanser designed for oily skin? Not good if you have combination skin. I needed a new, gentle non-drying cleanser a.s.a.p. to use when I do not wear make-up. My choice, after much walking around in stores, fell on Lumene's Radiant Touch Moisturizing Cream Cleanser. Admittedly, I prefer natural cleansers since I just feel better for using them but after washing my face with this, not very natural at all, cleanser I start to wonder if perhaps I can make one exception in my routine. Now, I've just used it for the first time today, and will update after continued use, but it managed to wash my entire face of make-up right of with the tiniest amount. A feat non of my current cleansers really manages, without the use of a facial cloth or oil cleansing. It also smells nice, is creamy and foamy at the same time and spreads easily, and to top it all off, it really is non drying. Everything, in other words, I look for performance wise in a cleanser. And here in Sweden, it is reasonably priced too. Now, I just hope my skin will accept it and not break out, but time will tell. The reason I only give it a four is that it contains a lot of parabens, something I try to avoid; mineral oil which is another of those things, when they could just as well used a vegetable based oil; and I feel it would have been better packaged in a classical pump bottle. However, it is easy to pour it over into one.
Hair Styling Tools -Mason Pearson - Popular Bristle & Nylon Brush
JulesGrey 12/1/2009 4:32:00 PM
Before I came to the world, almost 25 years ago, my father splurged on this brush. My mother thought he was insane, paying what he did for it, but it has kept all these years of daily usage by the whole family despite not being taken care of as it should have been (cleaned with ordinary combs, washed with washing up liquid and I don't know what!). So, a really sturdy brush well worth the price just for how it has kept up throughout all of these years. Though, where it really shines, is performance wise. Lately, since my old Mason Pearson has finally come unglued and started to loose the nylon bristles, I ordered a new one. For a student, this is more than just splurging, but I know it is worth it. The reason? Because this brush really takes care of my hair, rather than just untangling it. If you haven't used one of these brushes, it is hard to explain but unlike other brushes, this just detangles, cleans and keeps my waist long, thick hair silky soft just as really good conditioners do. And the most amazing thing? You will not feel it tug to detangle, it just glides through, if you begin at the tips and work your way up. My routine, after showering, is usually: detangle comb, air dry and this brush. Smooth, perfect hair without a lot of products in it. So, pricey, yes, but definitely worth it on all levels in the long run.
I had never owned a lash comb before, since I had never heard about it and thus never wore mascara because mascara tends to clump and look horrible on me. This brush changed all that, since the teeth side divides nicely. The brush side works well to shape brows, but also to comb away excess mascara against a bit of paper (blinking accidents do happen). The reason I only give it a 3 is because I've not even had it a year yet, and the plastic is already breaking. I'm going to invest in another brand next because even if it performs well (I cannot do without a lash comb now) the quality leaves much to be desired.
No matter what I do, I always have something to conceal be it an angry blemish or just some slight redness around my nose. What I look for in a concealer is not perfect, flawless coverage all on its own since I don't believe such a concealer exists. What I look for is a concealer that is easy to apply, covers redness completely and blemishes reasonably well and stays put throughout the day and this does just that. I think people who give this bad reviews are expecting it to be the magical potion that turns all your flaws invisible, if you just put it on. This is NOT the case. As with all concealers, application is the key. First, you have to prime your skin with something, especially if you have oily skin. I use a silk based powder underneath my make-up. Then, you just touch a concealer brush to the cake. When it is brand new, you might have to wiggle the brush a little, but generally just dab the pencil into the cake, then dab it onto the area you want to conceal. Don't swirl, or try to blend. Just dab, dab and dab until you get the coverage you need. Then, blend out the edges using either the brush or your finger. Don't touch the concealed area. When you have blended the edges, put on a loose powder to set it and there you have it. Of course, as with all concealers, if it is the wrong shade then it is the wrong shade. The price may seem high, but really, I use so little even if I have much to cover and use it everyday I cannot see myself buying more than 2-3 of these a year, if even that. I give this a 4, because even if it is not the concealer of my dreams, it works well enough for me to make me feel content with the result. Though, I will be honest and say it is not overwhelming love, it is more a good, reliable friend who stands up to the test over and over again where other concealers fail. Though, still looking for a better one coverage wise.
Moisturizers -Garden of Wisdom - Immortelle HA serum
JulesGrey 11/20/2009 5:19:00 PM
I have skin that can never quite decide what it is. One period, it can be oily, the next few weeks dry. Most of the time it manages to be both at once, with all the problems that comes with these conditions. I got the Immortelle HA Serum in a sample pack together with Honey Comb and Cranberry two weeks ago. I've used this for one week and it really does help to control acne. Not that great at adding extra moisture (Honey Comb is much better for that), I need to mist both before and after, and add a moisturiser most days or at least a few drops of safflower oil. However, as a balancing step it is wonderful. My skin really cleared up, but then I switched to just Honey Comb this week and I started breaking out again. It is not really cheap, but considering 0,5 ounces will easily last you at least a month of not two of daily usage, the full size bottle of 2 oz would last me anywhere between 4-8 months, which brings down the price quite a lot. I wish the bottle came with a dropper, of perhaps a pump.
Eyeliner -Lumene - ARCTIC DEFINITION Mineral Eyeliner in Arctic White
JulesGrey 11/20/2009 4:31:00 PM
I have rather small eyes, which is made worse by me wearing glasses so a white liner for the waterline is a must, or so I've come to understand since until recently I did not own one since all the ones I've tried in stores have either been too dry, or simply too expensive. Not this liner. This liner is soft and creamy, it just glides on with no tugging and it is under the 100 SEK (14 dollars) I had budgeted for a white liner. The reason I only give it a four is that even if it is soft and creamy, perhaps because it is so soft and creamy, it does not have that very good staying power. After 2-3 hours it starts to really fade, in a patchy kind of way. And even if it is cheaper than the high end liners, it is still not really cheap. I paid 90 SEK (13 dollars) for it. Though, reapplying is really easy, and since the effect of a white liner really is: WOW! I can live with it. :)
The design of the brush have been changed to a a small one with a knob on the top, which in my opinion is a nice design since it allows you to really swirl the brush rather than scrub it against your skin, which helps the bristles reach down into the pores. As the previous reviewers have pointed out, the bristles are a bit harsh but since I bought it in a last desperate attempt to clean out the pores on my nose and not really to use all over the face it does not really bother me. Just use a lighter pressure on your cheeks, to get rid of dead skin, and you will be fine. I've owned this for a week now, and used it every single night on combination with a castille/oil cleanser. The pores on my nose have really started to disappear, and I've tried more or less anything within a reasonable budget to achieve that, this is the only thing so far that has really worked to clear up my blackheads. As an added bonus, it seems to help with my clogged pores on my cheeks etc. too. So, to summarise. Yes, the bristles are a bit harsh. The cap is irritating since it bends the bristles out of shape, and does not have holes, to let the brush dry properly (which sort of defeats the purpose, since bacteria grow wonderfully in moist environments. But...if you want something to scrub at your nose...then you would probably be better off with a toothbrush which would have about the same feel/effect and be cheaper and easier to store in a hygienic way which is why I give this a 2.
Loose Powders -Silk Naturals - Perfecting powder (untinted)
JulesGrey 10/30/2009 4:32:00 PM
Primer, setting powder, finishing powder this does it all. It is a silky, lightweight powder that completely melts into your skin upon application, making your skin appear smoother and less shiny and it is absolutely translucent on my pale skin. Some finishing powders adds a tint, but not this. It comes in a large jar, with the cutest little puff. Now, the puff is really redundant in my case since I have other puffs and brushes I prefer but still a nice touch. As a primer, it is best applied with a loose, fluffy brush like a classical powder brush. For blotting and finishing, however, it is best applied with a good quality powder puff. Especially for blotting it is much more effective to use a powder puff. A great all in one product, saving you money and space in the make-up drawer, though the big jar is a bit big to lug around so would wish it was sold in a flatter, smaller jar that fit more easily into my make-up bag. Not entirely sure if it is HG yet, since I have not tried that many different types, but it sure is the best I have tried and I miss it now when I am absolutely out of it (after a few months of regular usage) even if I have other blotting powders since this was better.