Intense and highly effective treatment! After leaving this product on for the suggested 2 looooonnng minutes, my skin was left glowing and smooth to the touch. I received a generous Sephora sample and compelled me to purchase! I have combo skin, not especially sensitive, but currently using Renova so was slightly nervous trying Exfolikate. I tested a small area and with no bad effects, so went for the full treatment. Be wary if you have sensitive skin and do not use of you have any open blemishes, etc. This stuff hurts!! But the results are there. Will repurchase!!
Highlighters -Unlisted Brand - RMS- Living Luminizer
xtinahb 9/4/2011 10:23:00 PM
Did not work for me. I am a N30/C4 Asian and used this as a highlighter on my cheeks and a touch on the bridge of my nose. At first, the pearly golden color and luminescence was flattering, but then within an hour, just became really shiny and oily. The RMS line is cocoa butter / shea butter based, so with my combination skin, it got greasy. Not the look I wanted. Beautiful packaging, though, easy to carry, and the natural seeming ingredients are a plus, I guess? Anyway, I fell for the RMS hype since it got a ton of press and alas, not worth it. I regret this purchase.
A great value foundation, definite staying power, with medium to full coverage, and a nice "made-up" finish. I am a C4/NC30 even complexioned Asian with combination skin (dry cheeks, oily T) and purchased the formula for Combination /Oily Skin in 330 / Natural Tan. The bottle with no pump means I pour a nickel's worth on my hand for the Beautyblender or I simply shake the bottle and dip a sanitized MAC 190 into the top of the lid and around the bottle neck and it's the perfect amount for my entire face. The odor is appalling and the worst part of this makeup. Also, I have to moisturize well otherwise my dry cheeks flake up by the end of the day. But the coverage is really nice when I want that flawless finish (it really covers a lot!), it lasts at least 6 hours before mild caking around my nose and chin, and the color match is great for my skin. I would only not repurchase because I like trying out new foundations :) But otherwise I am happy it is in my collection. It is quite good!
Cleansers -Bioderma - Sensibio H2O (aka Crealine H20 Solution micellaire)
xtinahb 9/2/2011 12:36:00 AM
Refreshing and effective quick cleanser that removes everything! Well, except my Japanese waterproof mascara, but it wipes every other waterproof product from any department store brand 100% off, including foundation and sunscreen! Feels fresh, a mild scent, and no weird dewy film. I use it when changing makeup to go out and don't want to deal with a full cleansing routine. It's pricey to get here in the US; I paid $48 for 500ml, about 16oz. Also hard to find. I only know one store in Manhattan that carries it. Worth it though, very gentle feeling, and handy when I'm lazy!
Eye Makeup Remover -Sana - Powerstyle Mascara Quick Remover
xtinahb 9/2/2011 12:05:00 AM
This is the ONLY eye makeup remover that completely takes off stubborn (but highly effective!) Japanese waterproof mascara. No other remover even comes close, not Lancome Bifacil, Neutrogena Oil-Free, Shu Uemura Oil, nothing will make my Sana mascara budge. The Sana remover comes in a tube with a plastic comb wand which you dip and apply just like mascara, except the tube has an oil-based remover. You comb through the underside and on top of your lashes, wait about 10 seconds, then gently wipe with a cotton pad, which I actually saturate with DHC Eyemakeup remover just to 100% remove everything. Voila! 100% clean! It is quite a process, but I love my Japanese mascaras so it's worth this cleansing ritual every night. Dept store mascaras just don't work on my straight spare short lashes, so this remover is essential since I will never stray from Sana!
Meh. I have short, spare, straight puny Asian lashes and this mascara didn't do much for me. Voluminous' best quality was the lack of clumping, the shiny gold decadent looking tube, and the flexible/bendy wand. Otherwise, even after using an eyelash curler, there was very limited volumizing, zero curl hold, and it smeared under my eyes after 4 hours. Not for me and will not repurchase. Will stick to my annoyingly impossible-to-remove-but-crazy-effective Sana mascara.
HG Bronzer for this light-tanned NC30/C4 asian. It gives my cheeks a healthy, glowy, believable pink tanned flush with ZERO shimmer and a natural, matte look. Not chalky or powdery. I apply with the MAC 109 on the apples of my cheeks and slightly up the temples and it is the perfect natural blushing color. It's the cheek color I reach for most often and compliments ANY lippie shade. LOVE!
A lovely, brighter everyday-for-the-office rosy red for this NC30/C4 asian with pigmented lips. This is the best formula lippie I currently own. It has a satin finish and my lips feel moisturized; it wears 4 hours through coffee, breakfast, and water and even longer if I don't eat a meal, with no feathering or flaking and when it does wear off, it fades evenly, no a ring around the lips. I wouldn't wear it out, since it is not as "fun" as I would want, but I feel finished and professional with it on and it is perfect for work.
Toners -Shiseido - The Skincare Hydro-Nourishing Softener
xtinahb 9/1/2011 10:01:00 AM
Fantastic and unique product for this early 30s Asian with combo skin. It is a toner that prepares your skin to fully drink up and absorb whatever product is to follow. It truly delivers this benefit! My skin feels more nourished and moisturized when I first use the Softener and then my moisturizer or retinol treatment. I use the Shiseido Bio Performance Super Revitalizer, but used this softener with other moisturizers just to see if it was still effective and it is! I would use this even if i stopped using other Shiseido products, but I wouldn't do that because Shiseido Skin care is truly the best for my complexion :)
Moisturizers -Shiseido - Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizer
xtinahb 9/1/2011 9:41:00 AM
An amazing and HG moisturizer for this early 30's Asian with combination skin and a relatively even complexion. I have fine lines, larger pores in the T-zone, dry cheeks and a shiny nose. I returned to Shiseido after trying more "natural" lines like Caudelie and Mario Badescu with limited to no changes in my skin's uneven texture and lack of radiance, though Badescu was way better than Caudelie. In any case, Shiseido KILLS it. In the AM and PM, I use the Shiseido Hydro Nourishing Softener and dot a pearl-sized amount of the Revitalizer lotion on my cheeks, forehead, chin, and neck, and then pat whatever is left on my fingers on and around my nose. It is a richer, denser feeling lotion so takes longer to fully absorb, at least 10 minutes, but after one week (I am on week 2), my skin is touchably soft, the dry patches on my cheeks have disappeared, and my skin is glowing. It provides much needed moisture, not oil, which my skin just drinks up. I am so happy this product was suggested to me by the SA. It works wonderfully under my daily sunscreen and liquid foundation as well, as long as I let it absorb fully, and am left with radiant, dewy skin, not shiny or oily or dry! Please try a sample if you feel you have the same complexion as me. It is truly a miracle product and worth every penny!
Fantastic neutral pink with slight brownish undertones. It is a great daily lipstick for this NC30/C4 light-tanned Asian. I have pigmented lips and brownish pinks can look muddy and dull. This shade makes my lips look finished, healthy, and sophisticated. This is a Creemsheen so it feels slightly more moisturizing than other MAC finishes, but as with all MAC lippies for me, I do get the unfortunate flaking and feathering in the corners of my lips within a few hours, even after exfoliating and using a lip primer. Still, I would repurchase just for the shade alone. It compliments light pink and rosy blushes and is PERFECT for work!
Primer/ Corrector -NARS - Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30 PA+++
xtinahb 8/26/2011 5:08:00 PM
A fab multi-use product! I have Asian combo skin (oily T, dry cheeks). After letting moisturizer sink in, I apply a little more than a dime-size amount and wait 5 minutes to apply foundation. I use a larger amount than typical since this is my daily sun protection. It creates a very smooth surface minimizes pore appearance, and despite the solid SPF, imparts NO whitish cast whatsoever. With my Sheer Glow or MAC Face and Body, I stay dewy, not shiny, for more than 8 hours. Definitely a success for me and will repurchase.
Not an effective cleanser for me. On its own, it doesn't remove makeup, or even sunscreen and moisturizer. It requires at least two thorough cleanses and then toner in order for a cotton pad to wipe clean on my daily face of light foundation and blush. Also, it is an SLS-based cleanser and felt somewhat harsh, slightly drying. It feels gentler and more effective when applied to dry skin and wiped with cotton, leaving a nice soft film. Also, it is a nice value and size and the pump bottle is very convenient. But still, I will only reach for this if I am out of my other cleansers (Mario Badescu orange cream soap, Shu cleansing oil, or Caudelie gentle cleanser).
Mascara -Sana - Powerstyle Mascara Super Waterproof Curl & Separate
xtinahb 8/24/2011 11:40:00 PM
This mascara is BEYONDDDDDD. My HG mascara for my sparse, stick straight, annoyingly short Asian eyelashes. One hit with my Shiseido eyelash curler and two coats of this stuff and I have long, defined, curled curled CURLED lashes. The curl truly stays all day!!! There is not much boost in volume, but between curl or volume, I will take curl every time. It is a narrow brush wand and insanely waterproof. It does not smear, budge, or clump. Which of course means it is extremely difficult to remove (requires oil based remover and 3-4 cotton pads PER eye) but totally worth it! I am stocking up on this stuff!
Why did I ever retire you, Studio Fix? In an overextended quest for the perfect liquid foundation, I totally forgot about one of my very first MAC purchases, trusty Studio Fix. It has a nice, smooth finish and when buffed in properly there is no powdery texture. I have combo skin (oily T, dry cheeks) and when buffed in, this product is undetectable and doesn't stick to dry patches, etc. Just be sure to moisturize first! I have a light-tan Asian complexion and use C4. I use a dense Lancome natural-hair flat-topped blush brush to apply for matte medium coverage. It can be as light or heavy as you want, depending on how heavy your hand is. Throughout the day, it is perfect to control T-Zone shine, and it always goes in my night bag for quick touch-ups no matter what type of base I am wearing. It can get cakey if I use the included sponge, so I stick to natural hair brushes and my fingers if I want to pack it on as a concealer. Slightly bulky due to the double-pan compact and I wish it had an SPF, which is why I took off some lippies. Otherwise, very good all around!