Treatments (Eye) -Kinerase - Kinerase Intensive Eye Cream
shanstuff 2/2/2010 6:13:00 PM
This is a completely adequate, non-revolutionary, totally ordinary eye cream. Not worth the price, by any means. I had heard so much about the Kinerase line that I got this as my first foray into the line...now I'm probably not going to go any further...it's that unimpressive. Highly overpriced for what it is. It is a fairly heavy consistency, but it doesn't seem to moisturize terribly well. It also doesn't sink in well, although the texture is such that I never felt that it was greasy. Overall, I just don't care for the product. It isn't exactly BAD, just not GOOD---basically, just an average, run-of-the-mill eye cream.
I'm going to be the voice of dissent here and say that I really like this primer. I think the biggest key to liking or disliking this product, though, has to do with how much you use, and that is problematic because of the pump dispenser it comes in, which dispenses FAR too much at a time. You literally need a TINY amount per application to get the results you need, and if you use too much, it just won't work well. Stay Don't Stray looks a lot like a fluid concealer product. It is a light flesh tone (I'm NC15, and it still brightens my eye area), and is dispensed from a pump dispenser. This is the main problem with the product. The directions specifically instruct you to use TINY dots of primer around your eyes, yet the pump dispenses a very generous amount, leading to overuse. If you use an entire pump, you will most definitely not get good results with this product! It took me a couple of tries to figure out exactly how to use this product, and when I first used it, I used too much and I had creasing issues. However, once I got the application technique down, I started having great results and have loved SDS ever since! One tip on dispensing SDS...rather than trying to pump the product out, gently "tap" on the top of the pump. This dispenses just a tiny amount at a time...each tap will give you about the amount you need per dot for application around the eye area. You will save a TON of product doing this, and will also not be nearly as tempted to overuse the primer because you won't have a huge glob of it sitting on the back of your hand. Okay, now that you know how to dispense the stuff, on to the actual primer and it's performance. I follow the directions and pat it all around my eye area---lids, under the eyes, and even on the orbital bones. I find that this often conceals my circles on its own and adds brightness to my entire eye area under my foundation. When my circles are a real problem, I do follow with additional concealer, and I find that Stay Don't Stray helps keep it from settling in my under eye creases (which are mild, but tend to gather concealer like nobody's business!). SDS keeps my eye shadow from creasing and does help the colors go on much more true to what they are in the palette. I tested several shadows from different lines on my inner forearm on both bare skin and over the SDS, and there was a definite difference. I didn't notice any "morphing" of the colors, since the primer is a neutral flesh tone. Rather, the colors remained truer, darker/brighter, more intense, and stayed on much better. They also went on with a lot more opacity, rather than sheerly. They do the same on my eyes. The trick to this product is that you don't want to use too much. A little definitely goes a long way...hence, it's important to get the hang of the tapping method with the pump, or be willing to let some product go to waste, as you will most definitely not need a full pump. I also find it is beneficial to let it set for a couple of moments before following with shadow. That way, it won't "grab" the shadow so much that it makes it difficult to blend. This is great for holding eyeliner in place too, especially mineral or wet shadow eyeliners...no more fading or smudging! So far, I've been very happy with Stay Don't Stray primer. I haven't tested it in any really difficult situations, like hot or humid weather, but I do work in a kitchen and have gone all day with no creasing or migrating and had my shadows stay color-true all day when they normally would fade without primer. I think that if you use a light hand and follow the directions carefully, you will have results similar to mine. At the least, I recommend you give it a try.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Proclaim - Natural 7 Oil
shanstuff 1/30/2010 2:33:00 PM
I use the Olive Oil version of this product, and it is wonderful! I have straight, thin, fine hair, but I color it every month and it gets dry and fried on the ends. I use this once a week as a hot oil treatment. I warm it, slather it on (very generously), slap on a shower cap, and leave it on as long as I can stand. I then wash my hair twice to get it all out, follow with the Olive Oil Conditioner, and my hair is as smooth as silk! It doesn't weigh it down or leave it greasy, tames fly-aways, and gives amazing shine. I won't be without it!
Eye Shadow -Chanel - Quadra Eye Shadow - 18 Kaska Beige
shanstuff 1/24/2010 10:55:00 PM
Oh, how I love this quad! I bought it on a whim...love at first sight at the Chanel counter. The colors are gorgeous! A deep, shimmery plum, a softer, muted, browned plum, a shimmering bronze, and a matte peachy-beige. They all work so amazingly together, and can be used in so many ways! I went out to dinner tonight and used all 4 colors together...the bronze on the lid with the browned plum in the crease and "v", the peachy-beige as a highlighter at the brow bone and in the inner corner of my eye, and the deep plum used wet as a liner. It was a lovely, sophisticated, smokey look...absolutely gorgeous! For day, I can use just two of the lighter colors for a more subtle daytime look while still getting plenty of "pop" for my brown eyes. These colors are so highly pigmented and easy to blend, as well. It's a joy to work with them! I'm actually considering going back and getting a backup of this, as it's an LE and I don't want to be without it!
This shadow is a nice shimmery champagne color, but is far from unique...I imagine just about every line, including DS lines, has one similar. There is a LOT of shimmer to this...so much so that in daylight it looks pretty ridiculous, which makes it an evening-only shadow--a shame, as it is such a great neutral base for my fair (NC15) complexion. There is a lot of fallout from the brush on application as well, which is a pain in the butt. I do give 2 stars for texture...beautiful smooth, creamy feel and great blendability.
Ohhhhh, how I love this! I am a red lipstick addict...I have more than I can count. This is now my favorite. I bought Serum de Rouge in Crimson #840, and it is truly one of the most beautiful, glorious reds I've ever put on my lips! Slightly blue based, with just a hint of berry, yet truly, truly crimson all the same. Creamy and shiny, and just sheer enough to apply without a liner, yet with such a great color payoff. Highly, highly pigmented treatment product. It applies, as many before me have stated, much like warm butter...it simply slides across the lips. You can literally feel the conditioners sinking into your lips as you wear it. This is by no means a long-wearing lipstick, and it shouldn't be, given it's glossy, semi-sheer finish. However, it lasts longer than I anticipated, and dries/fades down to a beautiful berry red. Can be worn over liner for extended length and a more opaque effect. I usually don't go back for the same red twice (even though I always think I will), since I'm always enticed by the "next" red on the block, but I think this one may be an exception to that rule. There are just too many things that make Serum de Rouge stand out from the crowd.
I'm done with LUSH at this point. This is the second time they have led me astray, and I'm not going back for more. The first time, the SA assured me that Dark Angels would be a perfect scrub for my normal skin, and I ended up with a raw, red, hot, irritated face that needed a soothing, hydrating mask to calm it down and balance it out just to keep a major catastrophe from occurring. This time, I went in and VERY specifically told the SA that I have NORMAL skin but was looking for a GENTLE purifying mask for my skin type...just something that would brighten me up and handle a few minor blackheads on my nose. For whatever reason, she suggested Cupcake (which I later found out is marketed to acne-prone teenagers) and gave me a sample. The first problem I had was with the application. Cupcake is a great name for this stuff...it has the color, smell, and texture of thick cupcake batter. It's difficult to work with, and is hard to spread across the face, and you're forced to spread it in a thick layer, even though the directions suggest you use a thin layer. I've used a lot of masks, so I know what I'm doing...this mask is NOT easy to work! Secondly, it is mildly irritating. I have normal, very fair skin, but I'm not excessively sensitive. My skin is accustomed to daily exfoliation and glycolic acid and has no problem with either, so my feeling is that Cupcake probably has a few irritating ingredients...possibly the essential oils in it. The Rhassoul clay also sucks literally all the moisture and oils out of your skin, leaving it tight and bone-dry on removal. Which brings us to removal. Ahhhhh, removal. That was a chore. I felt like I was scrubbing chunks of cake batter into my face. It took forever for the mask to thin out and emulsify enough to rinse off with warm water (the recommended removal method). Once I finally got it all off my face, I used a toner, and there was still quite a bit of brown residue coming off on the cotton pad. The mask does NOT rinse clean. My face did feel soft and smooth at first (probably from the serious scrubbing it got when I had to remove the darn thing), but it didn't last for long. My sample had exactly 2 weeks until expiration, so if I had bought the full size, I would have had to apply this mask 2-3x/week just to finish it before it expired. I probably would have either thrown some away or tried to use it all and ended up with my skin all dried-out and irritated from overuse. NOT impressed with this product, or any of the facial skincare I've tried from LUSH. I'm giving up on them at this point and sticking to my more tried-and-true lines, especially Repechage, which is relatively unknown but has done wonders for my skin in a very short time. Nice knowing you, LUSH...you're a fun line, but the party's over for me!
Beautiful pink pink blush with blue undertones! Gives my cheeks a great flushed look without being too feverish. Works wonderfully with my NC15 skin. I can wear this with pinks and reds for lipsticks and it looks great, as long as they are blue-based. There is no "muddiness" to this color. It is very highly pigmented, so you want to tread lightly with application. It will last me forever, but I will be repurchasing should the need ever arise.
I bought the Givenchy Rouge Interdit in #19, Black Plum.On me it turns a deep, brilliant, yet sheer plum. Trust me though, this isn't your everyday plum lipstick! It's deeper and darker than fuschia, and even deep for a plum, yet somehow too bright to be goth, and has much more depth of color than the average sheer lipstick...yet I can still see my lips beneath it. The color itself is a plummy, berry-ish, wine color with the sheerness of a stain, with a satin finish. That's the closest I can come to describing it, at least! Feels great on the lips and gives a plumping effect due to the slight shine. Lasts well for what it is...a sheer lipstick. Don't expect this to be long-wearing, as it will need fairly frequent reapplication, but it's worth it. Overall, I find this to be a wonderful lipstick. It's a shade I would normally never be able to wear due to my pale skin, yet it works fantastically well due to its sheer, slightly shiny finish and brighter undertones, despite the fact that at the end of the day, it's a deep, deep plum color (hence the name, Black Plum). Matches NARS's Angelika blush LIKE A DREAM! For reference, I am NC15. Took one lippie off for packaging (bulky) and price (high for a non-treatment sheer lipstick). However, will probably still repurchase because it is such a unique color and sets off my coloring so well.
Powder -Aromaleigh - Ultra Resolution Finishing Powder [DISCONTINUED]
shanstuff 1/14/2010 10:15:00 PM
This finishing powder, in my opinion, is just not up to par. It comes in "clear" and a couple of other colors...I got the original clear. You are only supposed to use a tiny amount, and that is true...if you go too heavy, you will look like you have white chalk on your face. My problem with this powder is that it is very drying, yet does not control oil later in the day. I don't really get oily per se, more "glowy," but I personally prefer a more matte look. This just doesn't control the shine at all. I find that by 3:00, I'm wanting to blot or reapply the powder. I feel that a good translucent powder gives a much better, longer-lasting finish.
Twig is absolutely my go-to natural color for those "no makeup" days. It is truly a MLBB color. It deepens my very pale lips to the color they SHOULD be, and allows me to add fullness and plumpness to them without it being obvious. It's a very subtle mauvy-rosy-brownish shade that goes with absolutely EVERYTHING. It's the best neutral I have ever tried--and I've tried literally hundreds over the years. Doesn't turn pink or brown on the lips, and stays on for hours and hours. Definitely will be repurchasing forever!
"O" is a great multifunctional lip color. During the day, it makes a great plummy neutral, yet at night it is shimmery enough to stand out and make a statement. On me it tends toward the purple end of the spectrum, which isn't my favorite (hence the loss of a lippie), but for overall versatility and wearability, I do recommend it for most skin tones. Will probably not repurchase for myself, though.
This is a great, hot, creamy, blue-based red that is my go-to for those days when I really feel like standing out from the crowd. It is hydrating and lasting, and doesn't bleed. I've loved it from day one. It's perfect for fair, cool-toned skin. Pair it with a light neutral eye and long black lashes and you have a look to die for!
Great, true red with slight blue undertones. I do wear a lip balm underneath, as this one (being a matte) tends to be a bit drying. Overall, a wonderful, classy red! Will repurchase.
Sunscreen -Bath and Body Works - True Blue Spa-Zero Tolerance Face SPF 45 Sunscreen
shanstuff 1/10/2010 12:51:00 PM
This is an excellent facial sunscreen with Parsol 1789 (Avobenzone), as well as Kelp extract for extra soothing and moisturizing benefits, and it has no added fragrance. I detect only a slight chemical smell, but that "sunscreen" smell that so many people complain of has never bothered me, so it might be there and I just don't notice it much. Regardless, the payoff is worth the scent, IMO. This applies very smoothly and does not "pill" underneath foundation--as a matter of fact, my foundation applied quite smoothly over it. I don't find that my face turns greasy or that my foundation darkens during the day with this, which is a problem I have had with other sunscreens. There is also no irritation to my face with this, another problem I have experienced in the past. SPF 45 is a good number, as well. It's winter, so I haven't had occasion to test the water and sweat resistance, but it doesn't feel heavy or greasy on my face. It doesn't dry down matte, but does any sunscreen, really? At least it isn't a shiny disco ball, at least on my normal/dry skin. Packaging is good---plastic squeeze bottle that can be stood up on the bathroom counter, fairly attractive. I was lucky enough to get this at B&BW on 50% off for only $6, but normal price is only $12 for 4 oz, which I think is a good buy for a facial sunscreen. Highly recommend, and will repurchase.