I've tried this several times in Sephora, but I've also used my friend's new bottle with the original brush. I'm always disappointed considering how famously great this is supposed to be. The formula is really thick and waxy and doesn't really coat the lashes well/deposit enough product evenly. It lengthened a little and gave me a little volume. But nothing about this mascara justifies the price. Go to the drugstore and spend $20 less if you're considering this, OR try Diorshow Iconic, which is awesome in all of the areas its original cousin falls short.
I have very pale neutral skin and this blush is absolutely perfect. It's a soft pink with a bit of gold shimmer and looks very natural and subtle on pale skin. There is quite a lot of product in the box and it has a very silky consistency and a very soft brush. Definitely a holy grail blush.
I used to work at Proactiv and I loved the product. But I could only afford it with my employee discount so I had to stop using it as it was $50 per kit, who knows how expensive it is now. It cleared my skin up really really well, but due to expenses I began using regular drugstore tubes of BP. Those don't penetrate very well at all and thus do a pretty shoddy job of controlling acne. A few months ago I was having a pretty terrible prolonged breakout on a couple spots on my face and the $3 BP tube I had was not working at all. I spotted the acnefree system at CVS for only $20 and tried it out of desperation. it is JUST like Proactiv, with very finely milled BP. It cleared my skin in a week and I haven't had a terrible breakout since. But since I'm sure I will again at some point, I am comfortable knowing I still have the acnefree system to deal with it. (**EDIT: that breakout did in fact come, and I started using the acnefree system again and its clearing it right up!)
I love the consistency and level of coverage (light to medium) and it mattifys decently, gives a really nice smooth finish, and lasts throughout my shift (even after blotting). The only problem for me is that while the lightest shade it looked great under sephora's lights, I find that it is too dark and too yellow for my really pale and neutral skin so I think I'm going to pass this on to one of my more tanned friends. If sephora comes out with a light, neural shade for their customers who are fair and not super yellow or super pink I will definitely get this again.
I've tried a lot of high end mascara and I got to a plateau where I thought I'd never find anything a nice as Chanel Inimitable and Diorshow Iconic. Faux Cils, Buxom, Fairydrops, anything from Clinique or Lancome, everything was a disappointment. I finally located my drugstore HG (Rimmel Sexy Curves) but I always like to have a high end on hand as well. Chanel is so pricey ($30 or $32? plus I hate giving my money to Macy's) and I found that my Diorshow Iconic dried out a little too quickly so I gave this one a try since it had been so well received by so many reviewers. I must say, it lived up to the hype. It gives so much length and curl that my lashes brush my eyebrows, and it gives a good deal of volume as well, without clumping. This is all with just one layer. I'm almost scared to put two like I usually do, then people actually WILL think my lashes are false. I put this mascara on before I went to work at 11:00AM and my lashes are STILL dusting my eyebrows when I look up as I type this at 12:30AM waiting for my BF to get out of work. It's really the best mascara I've ever used. I'm also extremely excited to completely master the brush! Best discovery for a mascara junkie. I'm almost kind of disappointed that my search is over, it was fun if frustrating.
BB Cream -Dr. Jart+ - Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 PA++
jskellis 10/2/2011 9:35:00 PM
I gave a "no" for repurchasing but I'm not final on that.** I'd definitely want to try another BB creme (like the Clinique one) but I could go back to this after trying others, who knows! I've never been a liquid foundation/tinted moisturizer person but I'd heard so many things about BB creme so I tried this in Sephora a couple of times and I like it because it's so sheer (my skin needs very little concealer and I don't use foundation) and looks beautiful and dewy under some pressed or loose powder. I took a star off because I don't think it's meant for oily skin. The dewy looks transforms into oily after about an hour and I have to blot. I always have to do that no matter what makeup I use, drugstore or designer, but I'd like to try something that is more matte and doesn't make me oily as quickly. I think it may also be slightly too dark for my very pale skin. ** I don't think I'll ever repurchase this and I found myself more and more dissatisfied every time I used it. The oiliness was annoying and it really was a shade or two too dark for my skin. It might work well for others though! and it's a great sunscreen.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55
jskellis 9/21/2011 4:24:00 PM
I have EXTREMELY oily skin. no matter what I use, it gets oily within the hour. This is not so with Neutrogena dry touch. It is in fact, horribly the opposite. It burned a little when I first applied but I stupidly ignored this. But later through the day, while my t-zone still got oily, the rest of my face was so dry and scaly that I was shocked. The dryness emphasized lines I didn't even know I had and made me look years older. By the time I took it off by the end of the day, I had a red chemical burn on my cheeks near my eyes. and I swear to go a wrinkle I've NEVER EVER seen before emerged under my eyes after using this. It took 4 days of olive oil treatments before my skin got back to normal. I'm using the CVS version now and it's much better. The drugstore version usually has the exact same chemicals which makes me think that Neutrogena puts a lot of one of the harsher ones in or sold my local CVS an expired bottle. Either way, I will never dare to let this stuff touch my face again.
Blush -Black Radiance - Artisan Color Baked Blush in Warm Berry
jskellis 8/28/2011 4:17:00 PM
I am very fair and normally I would shy away from something as dark as this. But seeing the Chanel-Byzance joues contraste in Rouge made me really think about getting a RED-red blush. As some blog said, "no one blushes pink or coral," going on that the most natural bush replicates the color of blood in the skin. This blush looks exactly that in the pan- like the color of drawn blood. If you've ever gone and given blood to the red cross, you can see how dark and red-purple it is in the vial. If applied with a light hand (especially if your skin is as pale as mine) it looks extremely natural, like I'd been out in the cold but it only affected my face in the most flattering of ways. I never was actually able to try that Chanel blush since my city's department stores are way too ghetto to carry it (as if I could afford it lol), but I love this Black Radiance blush none the less. I know it's intended for african american girls, but I really think it would look good on everyone. every one of us have different skin tones, but we ALL bleed the same blood, and no matter what we look like on the surface, we're all the same underneath. :)
Sunscreen -Sebamed - Sun Care Multi Protect Sun Cream SPF 50+ Very High
jskellis 8/27/2011 10:34:00 PM
I bought this in Turkey and I loooooove the UVA/B defense. the sun protection is incredible and I can't complain about that. But it is simply too greasy for my oily skin. I tried mixing it with another, much more dry SPF moisturizer but it was still a grease slick on my face. I use it on my body now and it's great. But for the face I just can't bring myself to use it, no matter how good the sun protection.
This is a beautiful bottle and a beautiful scent. I've had more compliments from this fragrance than anything I've ever worn. A blind man once sought me out at a party to tell me how wonderful my perfume smelled, and that was the exact moment I realized I had made the best choice with Hypnose. It has a sweet liquorice smell that dries down to vanilla and stays really nicely throughout the day.
This is a good SPF, with lots of chemical UV blockers, including photostable avobenzone at the FDA's highest allowed concentration at 3.0%. I actually use now it with a lot of success, but only when I mix it with an Aveeno sunscreen. If used alone, I find it is too sticky/greasy to use on my oily face.
Moisturizers -Aveeno - Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 15
jskellis 8/27/2011 10:19:00 PM
The only thing I dislike about this product is the price. at $17 it's almost unjustifyably expensive for a drugstore brand. But I do love it. It goes on so smoothly and dries down really nicely on my oily skin. I like that there's SPF as well as a 3.0% avobenzone UVA blocker. It's glorious alone, but in the summer months I currently mix it with my spf 70 neutrogena sunblock (which is a bit greasy by itself but is fine with the Aveeno). Redness hasn't been too much of a problem for me now that my acne is dying down, but my skin is still very sensitive and I'm sure that using this every day has helped calm it a lot.
This is my favorite drugstore blush by far. I have a compact of joues contraste which, at $42, is an incredible blush. But this is, what, $5.99? While cheap, it has a very silky consistency and a beautiful peach-pink color that, while it does oxidize a little, for the most part stays put and looks great for most of its wear. I find myself rationing and prizing this just as much as my Chanel blush. NOTA BENE: Get it in the small compact. To economize, I got the bigger compact once and while I like the color, it is not the same at all to the small Cheekers compact. Even comparing them in the harsh, fluorescent light of the store you can see that they are different colors. Something about the peachy-pink silky goodness is lost in the large package. It's not just my batch, too, I've done this comparison multiple times. Or maybe I'm completely wrong/blind, but it just isn't the same to me!
Loose Powders -Bare Escentuals - Mineral Veil spf 25
jskellis 8/27/2011 9:29:00 PM
I really wanted a physical UVA blocker to add to the chemical blockers in my sunscreen (3.0 avobenzone) and the drugstore PF brand I tried was terrible in too many ways to list here. I saw this at Sephora for only $6 more than the awful PF powder and decided to try it. On top of the 25 SPF (which is probably much weaker in the application I use, but nevertheless I have a more peace of mind with some titanium on my face!) it imparts a beautiful, smoothing glow to my face when first applied. I'm really oily and to my surprise this actually mattefies quite well. HOWEVER, I did take two stars off because it also has a tendency of settling into lines (which is where I need sun protection the most) and as my face gets oily, the veil starts to get orange and can look a little caked. The "no" I give on repurchase should be a "maybe" because I will be looking around for a better spf powder, but if I can't find one I'd get this again because it's definitely decent.
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
jskellis 8/27/2011 8:54:00 PM
I haven't really used this on my skin, but it works wonders for my hair (and my sauteed zucchini!). I doubt what I have is extra-virgin seeing as I was following my usual grocery shopping instincts and purchased the bottle with the best price-quantity ratio. Virgin, extra-virgin or not, it's worked very well. I have done whole head soaks with olive oil, which has made my hair feel like it belongs in a Pantene commercial. but after a couple of washes, once the oil is gone, my hair goes back to the way it was (very long, prone to tangles and split ends). So I've been dumping out the product from both my shampoo and conditioner bottles (Suave Naturals line) and mixing in three and four tablespoons of OO respectively. This apple-a-day treatment has made my hair so much sleeker, has reduced the appearance of split ends and has made it much softer and shinier. No expensive hair product or leave-in-conditioner has ever been able to do this for my hair. A little bit of oil each time I wash has ended up going really far! I'm thinking of trying this with sweet almond oil next time, but I'm extremely happy with OO as a hair conditioner. EDIT: I started using it on my skin a few times a week before I go to bed at night and it's wonderful! It doesn't break me out at all and my skin is soft and glowing the next morning. A neutrogena sunscreen burned my face a few weeks ago and I used olive oil every day for about four days and it healed up really nicely!