"Pagoda" is a very pretty, sheer berry-rose with gold shimmer. It is neutral-leaning-towards-warm (like my LLL complexion) and kicks up my natural lip color a notch or two, making for an understated, MLBB sorta look. Like all of the Glossimers, this has a smooth, gel-like texture, is moderately sticky, and has only fair lasting power (I usually have to reapply after two hours, sans eating/drinking/canoodling). It does not dry out my lips or leave behind traces of glitter (hate that) and has no taste or smell. The packaging is sufficiently weighty and elegant (Glossimers are like the Cadillac of lipglosses in this regard), but unfortunately, gloss gets pushed out of the tube each time you reinsert the wand, making the opening all gunky. You'd think for $24 they'd be able to design a lipgloss tube that didn't do that (Glossimers are the only lipgloss I've had this problem with, mind you). Expensive, but I can see this becoming a staple.
Gentle, non-drying, and cleanses thoroughly without stripping. This has a very runny, liquidy texture and there's a very slight fragrance that reminds me of baby shampoo. I have combination skin and this doesn't exacerbate oil production or dry out my dry spots. I find that it is not great at taking makeup/sunblock off, but hello--any foaming cleanser that does do that will be terribly drying and bad for your skin. I've found that if I apply this to a dry face, wash and rinse thoroughly, then follow up with a milky cleanser or jojoba oil and wash again, I get a perfectly clean face. (Catherine Deneuve noted in her Allure article that one should spend about as much time removing one's face as putting it on. That's sort of an exaggeration, but overall, it makes sense, doesn't it? In short: Rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse!) Overall, this is an inexpensive, nice face wash. Final observation: I've found there to be little difference between this and Cetaphil and will just go with whichever is cheaper.
Cleansers -Alpha Hydrox - Nourishing Cleanser with Microbeads
jiney17 2/2/2006 5:18:00 PM
I was kinda annoyed that I'd found my HG face wash (the old Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash) in the midst of its being pulled off the drugstore shelves. Fortunately, this new cleanser works just as well as that one. This comes in a squat squeeze tube with a flip-top cap (someone is listening to me!). The texture is the same as the old Foaming Wash, slippery and kinda Cetaphil-like, and you only need a little bit to get a good lather. There are little pink beads filled with Vitamins A and E that burst (I squirt some on my hands and rub them together to break the beads) and are supposed to make this even more moisturizing. I find the beads to be neither great nor bad, just there, and it is kinda amusing to bust 'em. Rinses very clean and does a pretty good job of removing makeup (I wear tinted moisturizer, powder and concealer) and sunscreen (Shiseido), though I rub a little milky cleanser (Lumene) and jojoba oil (separately) onto my face after washing it, then wash again in order to ensure that all the gunk is off. This is soap-free, fragrance-free, non-drying and non-irritating, despite containing glycolic acid. Overall, very nice and a definite repurchase (although I still prefer the Foaming Face Wash).
Differences between this and the Foaming cleanser (according to the website):
The Foaming Face Wash is 6 fl. oz., costs 7 USD, contains Citric-AHA, is pH balanced, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, soap-free, and oil free. The ingredients list is pretty short, too:
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Decyl Polyglucose, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PEG-3 Distearate, Ammonium Hydroxide, Sodium Chloride
The Nourishing Cleanser is 4.5 oz, costs 8 USD, is supposed to "[leave] skin pH balanced", contains Glycolic AHA, is soap-free, fragrance-free, vitamin enriched (A & E).
Ingredients: Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Alkyl Polyglycoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl, Isethionate, Glycol Disterate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide MEA, Laureth 10, Peg-150 Disterate, Methyl Gluceth 20, Propylene Glycol, Glycolic Acid, Mannitol, Cellulose, Mica, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Talc, Triethyl citrate, Titanium Dioxide, Red 30, Ultramarines, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Panthanol (Vitamin B5), Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Peroxidzed Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Wheat Germamidopropyldimonium Hydroxypropyl, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
Being a general sucker for things-in-cute-tins (hence: Nivea creme from Germany; the aforementioned Smith's; Altoids, etc.), I bought this in Red Currant even though I have about a zillion lip balms. I like this a bit better than Smith's Strawberry Balm since that one is very thin and slippery and doesn't stay on for more than three seconds. The texture of this is a bit thicker and softer, and it feels more emollient on my lips. The Red Currant also adds a very slight hint of reddish-pink to my lips and has a light, fruity scent and taste. The tin is adorable and art deco (another major weakness) and there's tons of product in here so I don't feel too bad about spending almost 7 bucks as I'll probably never have to buy another one.
My SO gave me this candle as a gift, and while I'll keep it and burn it because he was nice enough to buy it for me, I will not get another. The candle itself is beautifully packaged in a vintagey-looking cardboard box (which is pretty enough to keep) and glass jar. The scent is a strong, dusky, incensey floral, hot and gingery, yes--but it reminds me more of poinsettias than anything else. The name, "Black Ginger" made my SO think it'd be up my alley, though he privately thought it was too floral. I'd have to agree with the latter sentiment--it is way too strong and flowery for me, without any sweetness to balance out the almost-metallic notes. The candle tends to smoke and seems to be burning down very quickly, but has very good throw. Personally, I like the one he got for himself better (Fir, I think).
Some nice swapper sent along a packet as an extra and I tried it this morning, pre-shower. It is a very, very, very sticky blue mask sealed into an individual pouch (nice, though I worry a bit about the extra materials that went into it). You wet your face, then apply it. It honestly feels like I'm smearing honey on my face 'cause it's so thick. There are little blue beads that burst open and continue the warming effect (it gets very, very warm) as you massage it into your skin for 30 seconds. I actually left it on for another minute or two because I was slathering on my bath oil and wanted to get that done before I rinsed off the mask. It took another few minutes to thoroughly rinse off the mask--this is one of those that might require a face cloth of some sort to remove it if you're pressed for time or feeling lazy. Skin didn't look or feel that different afterwards, but I was in a bit of a rush so I didn't inspect my face too closely. Overall, okay but nothing spectacular. I probably won't be buying any more.
Lip Gloss -Revlon - Super Lustrous Lipgloss- Shocking Spice Liquid Lacquer
jiney17 2/1/2006 5:38:00 PM
This is very similar to the LE "Get Cinnamon" SL gloss, being a medium, neutral nudey pink color. It is quite pigmented, has the same texture, scent and tube as the regular SL glosses. I'm not really impressed by it (I've also tried "Beaming Blush"--they're both too much like the SL glosses to be worth getting), so I won't be getting another of these guys.
So cute! "Lovestruck" is a cool-toned, medium pink blush (bordering on fuschia) with a very thin layer of silver shimmer sprayed across the top. I'm not sure why Revlon decided to add this layer since it doesn't go all the way through the blush. It seems utterly pointless to me to make it seem as if a product has shimmer when it doesn't (unless you want to trick your customers, I suppose). It bothers me more on a what-the-heck-were-they-thinking level more than anything else, as the blush is sorta satiny on its own (or at least, not matte), with a finish more reminiscent of a cream rather than a powder blush. A touch of this gives my cheeks the sweetest pink glow. And I love the little hearts pressed into the top of the powder--it sorta makes me regret using this at all since my brush will end up wearing away the design. Packaging is very good--the compact is large and round enough to fit most brushes. Inexpensive and LE, so try it while you can.
Lip Gloss -Bonne Bell - Vita Gloss 02 (solid stick form)
jiney17 2/1/2006 4:22:00 PM
[I'm reviewing the VitaGloss O2 Moisture Stick.]
Found a display of new Bonne Bell stuff at CVS the other day and couldn't resist picking up one of these. It is supposed to be a sort of hybrid between gloss and balm; shiny but also moisturizing. While it's not really as shiny as a gloss, it does add a nice sheen to your lips. Plus, the texture is great--smooth, gel-like, and just sticky enough to stay on your lips for more than five minutes (a few hours in fact). My lips definitely feel more moisturized. I have this in "Mindful Mango", which has a generic, sweet melon scent and taste. The packaging is a bit bulky and awkward, but really cute (a squatter version of their VitaGloss O2 lipgloss); the shape also makes it easier to find in a crowded bag. Would repurchase.
The concept for this lip pencil is wonderfully quirky and cute--"Cupidon" is supposed to be a sort of highlighter for your upper lip. Look closely at any high fashion magazine spread; nearly every one of those pouty-lipped models has a faint sheen above her upper lip; almost like sweat but more attractive. Cupidon gives you that same effect. You outline your cupid's bow (not on the lip itself, but just above it) with this pearly cream-colored pencil (there's a hint of fleshy pink here to prevent it from being stark white) to subtly define and draw attention to it. Don't worry about looking strange--the effect is subtle, especially if you use the other end (a little brush) to blur the line a bit. The texture is nicely smooth and the pencil draws well. The packaging is luxe, slightly silly and adorable. Because this doesn't go on my actual lip, it lasts longer than a normal lip liner, especially if I'm not wiping my mouth with a napkin at lunch or something. I've also found that it makes an excellent highlighter for the inner corners of the eyes. While I really enjoy having and using this, I'm not entirely sure I'll get another since it's very expensive and hard to find. But I'll have fun with mine while it lasts :)
Finally, finally acquired one of these Fluidlines after much hemming and hawing (Q: Do I really need another eyeliner? A: Not at all, but screw it, I want this!) I managed to swap for this one and I love it. It comes in a small, sturdy glass pot with a screw-top lid; the opening is nicely large (unlike, say, the NARS liquid liners) and I can easily stick my finger or my brush into the jar. "Rich Ground" is a very warm, coppery-bronze color (i.e. it has a lot of red in it). The color can make me look worse if I'm tired, but it also really deepens my dark eyes and makes my skin look creamier if I'm not. This is not at all close to "Teddy", since that kohl is very brown and has only a touch of bronze, whilst this has very little brown in it.
The texture is fantastic--super-smooth and creamy; it glides on so easily, unlike the Stila Smudge Pots and Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners, which were a bit dryish and crumbly (the Stila was worse than the BB in this regard). I use an angled liner brush to apply (my cheapo Essence of Beauty one works fine). Since the texture and pigmentation are so good, I only need to touch the brush to the surface about two times to do both eyes. (So the 15 USD price tag is not bad at all since the jar should last for quite some time.) Stays on my eyes all day without fading or smearing. Washes off okay at night (though I must admit that I have a fairly elaborate face-washing routine: milky cleanser; rinse; jojoba oil; rinse; remove oil with Burt's Bees Garden Tomato Complexion soap or Alpha Hydrox face wash; rinse thoroughly; Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Toner). I'll definitely be checking out more of these beauties :)
Off-topic, but this is my 1000th review. *Throws confetti* Thanks for reading!
This is supposed to be a heavy-duty concealer. While I found that it is quite pigmented and I only need the tiniest of dabs to cover my faint acne marks, etc., it also faded away by midday. (I have combination skin with oiliness on the T-zone and a tendency to dryness everywhere else.) The texture is quite dry, and it tended to accentuate flakiness of any kind. The color (02 I believe) is slightly too light for me as well (I swapped for mine), though it is nicely neutral in tone (a light beige that is not too orange, yellow, pink or brown). I like the sanitary squeeze tube, which is quite generous given the small amount that is needed for each application. I would've preferred a flip-top cap however. Overall, decent but not much better than Revlon or NYC, etc.
ETA: I've changed my mind. I stuck this in a drawer and forgot about it until recently, when my Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer seemed to stop working for me (I'd apply gobs of it and it'd look funny and I'd still look tired). So I pulled this out to give it a try around my eyes and lo and behold: it's fantastic! I only need a tiny dab on my (well-moisturized) inner corners. The fluid texture makes it easy to spread and blend, and I've found that I get a bit more coverage if I use the Touche Eclat trick: apply concealer and let it sit for a few seconds before I blend it (by tapping with my ring finger). My eyes look refreshed and non-cakey, dry or too light to match the rest of my face. Plus, the concealer lasts all day sans touch-ups. I think I would repurchase.
I've been using this every morning and night for almost three weeks now and I haven't noticed a difference in my skin. Pores are the same size and texture, etc. seems to be the same. One difference is that I've experienced some purging, but that may also be due to the Alpha Hydrox 12% Glycolic Souffle I've been using every other night in the past few weeks. I'll update in a month or so, however--maybe this takes longer to work?
This comes in a large, glass spray bottle. You're supposed to spray your face and neck (I only do my face--this is expensive and I don't know why my neck would need clarifying) and gently pat/press it in. I like the delivery system (cuts down on cotton pad waste) but the patting/pressing thing always seemed like a huge gimmick to me. No one's really offered a good explanation why this method of application works better than just rubbing the stuff in, but I do try to follow package directions for awhile before going nuts and doing my own thing with the product in question. Anyway, the spray is a fine mist and the toner feels slightly sticky whilst patting it in. It takes a few seconds to fully absorb, and I'm left with really petal-soft, almost velvety skin. I like the herbal-rosy scent, which is pretty much the same throughtout the line. Very, VERY expensive. Overall, it's a nice toner. I haven't noticed any improvements, but it does seem to lightly moisturize my skin (combo/dry now) without irritating it. I'm not sure whether I'd repurchase as it doesn't seem to be doing anything that Thayer's Rose Petal toner can't do (except smell better).
I'm reviewing the Shadow Box 2 in the sparkly silver cardboard case with the pink skull and crossbones on the corner (the categories are really confused). Colors include: Cherry (sparkly, icy pale pink), Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (beigey gold, very sparkly), Grifter (sparkly light lilac), Vert (grass green, shimmery finish, not sparkly), Oil Slick (black with rainbow microglitter), Shattered (pale aqua with gold interference, non-sparkly), Blunt (pale gold), Chopper (coppery gold), Twice Baked (deep, non-sparkly brown with a touch of bronze). With the exception of Shattered, Chopper and Twice Baked, I found these colors either too chalky pale on me (Cherry) or too, too sparkly (big, chunky silver glitter). The texture of the non-sparkly eyeshadows is wonderfully velvety and rich, but the sparkly ones are annoying as the glitter tends to drift to other parts of one's face (even using the Visine trick).
The packaging is really cute (UD certainly knows how to do packaging), but a lot of the colors are redundant in my personal collection, so I ended up swapping this away. This is also quite expensive for glittery, teenyboppery eye makeup. I would avoid if you're not into color and sparkle.
Some duplicates: Oil Slick is similar to Jane's Clubbing Eyezing or Milani's Storm e/s. Shattered is pretty but not an uncommon color (try Wet 'n' Wild's Blue Lagoon). Grifter looks just like Prestige's Uva eyeshadow. Vert is Milani's Clover.
I took one lippie off because the packaging is annoying--sure the glass bottle looks cool, sorta like a little inkwell, but I foresee difficulty in getting the last bits of product out. Plus, this is freakin' E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E at 27 USD, not including tax.
The color is a deep, shimmering blackened olive--the kind of color I gravitate towards. It's definitely a dark olive, not black; if you smear it on the back of your hand, the color is unmistakable. I should add that I also have mark's hook-up liquid liner in "Nefertiti" and Urban Decay's liquid liner in "Smog" and if you have either of these two, you don't really need "Equus". Nefertiti and Smog are both a bit lighter and greener, but the first is more of a cooler green, whilst the second is more of an olivey, smut-green.
I didn't have too much trouble using this. I just dipped the included itty bitty liner brush into the bottle, wiped off the excess on the rim, and had enough to do one eye. I find the separate brush + liner work better for me (as opposed to a pen-style liquid liner) as I can control the amount I get on the brush. The liner brush does a pretty good job, but it is very stiff and pointy and scratches me as I use it--it's unpleasant enough that I'll be trying to find an alternative soon.
Lasted all day without smearing or fading and washed off easily enough at night. It is very expensive, as I said earlier, but the color is really lovely and neutral, the bottle will last for a long time, plus, an e-GC to beauty.com + free shipping = I only paid 7 USD for it! I might be interested in trying other colors, but that will depend on how indulgent I am feeling.