Lip Gloss -Annabelle - Volume Lip Lip Plumping Gloss - All
ashleyanders 8/2/2012 12:43:00 AM
Product's Claims - True or False? 1) Full, pouty lips: Somewhat true 2) Painless: True Packaging: Volume Lip glosses come in a soft plastic squeeze tube with a slanted opening. It's smaller in size which I like for my smaller lips and it is nice and smooth for even application. There is a plastic cap that can be pulled off, which is very secure (if not too secure) and good for travel. The top portion of the packaging can also unscrew, which I find can be a bit problematic sometimes for travel as it can loosen up over time, but it doesn't seem to happen with all of the tubes. Earlier tubes had issues in which some would be quite hard to dispense product from but it has since been resolved and all tubes are easy to use. My biggest pet peeve with the packaging is that the name of the gloss is on the barcode sticker, which I removed after purchase, so I am unsure as to the names of most of the tubes I own. Formula: There are currently 11 shades, almost all of which are semi-sheer cream formulas. I currently own 5 shades, but I am unsure which ones they are. Based on looking online, I'd assume they are Sweet Tweet (a light brownish pink with shimmer), Poetic Mauve (a light cool-toned purple), So Sanguine (darker reddish orange), Plum(p)tastic (a purplish fuchsia), and Tangerina (a lighter orange). They are all very smooth silky on the lips with a lightweight and non-sticky finish. Consistency-wise they almost feel like a blend between a thick gloss and a thick balm. They are very layerable and layering does not cause any strange caking on my lips. These are taste- and fragrance-free as well. Performance: These glosses are some of my favourite in my collection. They do not plump my lips, at least not in any way that I've noticed, but because of the high gloss that they provide they do seem to give the illusion of slightly fuller lips. Colours fade evenly and not too quickly, and once it has worn off my lips still feel comfortable - if my lips are quite dry prior to application however the gloss will likely settle into cracks, so sometimes balm is required. I do not feel as though they are actually hydrating my lips but they are not drying in any way. Overall I'd say that I get about 2-3 hours of wear before I feel the need to reapply. These also layer really nicely with other glosses or lip products for your own colour creation. There doesn't seem to be any staining from most of the colours but the darker ones can take a little while longer to completely fade away, so perhaps a very slight staining. Bang for Your Buck: These glosses are generally around $9CAD for 7.3ml/0,22oz. While on the pricier side it is definitely a great gloss and not a lot is needed to get desired coverage. Final Thoughts: Despite a few minor complaints these are definitely some of my favourite glosses that I own. The line overall is definitely worth looking into, especially with the better packaging and expanded colour selection. However I'd say that for the more common or neutral shades wait for sales. * Overall Rating: 4.5/5 * Price: 2/5 * Packaging Quality: 3/5 * Repurchase: Yes
* this is a review for the "Professional Classic" curler specifically, as there are other similar curlers in the brand so I wanted to specify. Product's Claims - True or False? 1) Create beautifully enduring curl: True 2) Forms intense curl without ever creasing lashes: False Packaging: The curler came packaged in a standard cardboard and plastic wrapping with three extra silicone pads. There was really nothing note-worthy about the packaging to comment on. Construction: The Professional Classic curler is made of a smooth, skinny metal with a purple squishy silicone pad. the silicone pad is firm as well so I feel like it needs a bit more pressure than a softer pad would need. The openings for your fingers are on the small side so those with larger fingers might not be able to use this comfortably - it's already a bit of a tight squeeze for my thumb and my fingers are not really that large. The curling area is fairly wide and rounded, and the metal strips connecting the bottom edge of the curler head to the finger handle creates a triangle that would sit on your cheek while using. Performance: Like mentioned already lash curlers are very hit or miss due to the varying shapes of our eyes, our curling preference, and our experience with curlers. Every curler I've tried has pinched my lids but I'd usually get good results. I have never been a regular to lash curling, but decided to give this one a try because I've seen refills sold separately at drug stores. This curler definitely had a learning curve for me. When I first used it I pinched myself a lot and would get fairly dented curls, as well as too curled lashes that just looked absolutely ridiculous. But with a week or so of practice I've gotten the technique down and quite like the results I get and I don't pinch myself unless bringing it too close to my roots. The curl will also last whether mascara has been applied or not until the lashes are rinsed or makeup is removed. I do have lashes with a slight curl naturally though, so this could play into my results. My technique for using the curler is as follows: place the curler to sit at the center of my lid/lashes and when closing the curler I aim the tip more into the crease of my lid while tipping my head back a bit, I then squeeze once or twice at the base before moving it up my lashes a bit to squeeze once or twice again. If I want to I'll repeat this process. Bang for Your Buck: I got this curler on sale for about $9.50CAD at London Drugs, regular price closer to $12.00CAD. With the availability of replacement pads without having to repurchase the entire curler again and having three extra pads in there already I feel like it's a good price. Final Thoughts: With a bit of patience and practice I was able to turn a so-so impression into a positive one. it's probably not the BEST curler, but it's easy to purchase in my area compared to buying a curler at department stores and it isn't overly pricey for what's provided. I sometimes get a curl I'm not in love with but perhaps with even more use it will become second nature and I'll rarely get a dud result. I would recommend although it's not something I think is worth rushing into stores to try out. * Overall Rating: 4/5 * Price: 1.5/5 * Packaging Quality: 3/5 * Repurchase: Yes
Lipstick -Revlon - ColorBurst Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti
ashleyanders 6/17/2012 2:31:00 PM
Product's Claims - True or False? 1) Boosts lip's moisture: False 2) Glides on lips buttery smooth: True 3) Sheer to medium colour: True 4) Immediate hydration: Somewhat true Packaging: The butter comes in a lipstick-type tube, with a rectangular orangy cap and a clear opening at the top to see the colour of the product before purchasing. The cap is fairly secure with a click-lock type of mechanism but this can sometimes be a bit hard to open as it really likes to stick. It twists up and down like a normal lipstick, but for some reason my actual butter has shifted positions - the slant is entirely off to the side. It's not necessarily a hindrance but it does mean that I have to wind it up higher; the more product gets turned up the more likely it is to start scraping off onto the upward slant of the metal tube. Formula: Revlon claims this as a gel consistency, but it really feels more like a sticky, thick balm. Maybe a bit of a jelly feel but it does not remind me of a gel consistency. The butter is fairly orange with a hint of coral with a sheer to medium opacity which makes it more wearable to those unfamiliar with oranges or who don't want to go too overboard. It has a fairly strong vanilla fragrance that does linger, although I don't find it bothersome. It is a true creme with no shimmer or frost and a moderate gloss, like a toned-down lip gloss. The formula is very smooth while applying. Performance: My experience with this butter is torn; I really like the initial application but a second reapplication or simply wearing it for an extended amount of time provides unwanted results. When I first apply it the butter goes on very creamy and smooth and only a few swipes are really needed to get the coverage I want. After a few hours of wear it will lose its balmy/sticky consistency while leaving a sort of stain on my lips, which I don't mind but I feel like the stain is not as appealing a shade as the butter itself. When I go to reapply it will start to cake up on my lips a bit despite there no longer really being anything there, and so will collect in lines. The balm is also drying on my lips because of the jojoba oil, which is a drying trigger for me in almost all cosmetics. So after some hours of wear my lips are likely to have started drying out a bit, which can be really felt at the end of the day. If I have any dryness then I have to exfoliate or it will catch onto the dryness, and it does seem to feel better when I apply balm underneath - which consequently means needing to apply more product because the balm sheers out the coverage. Ultimately it's just not a very convenient on-the-go formula for my lips because I have to actually clean my lips down before reapplication, which I don't always want or have the time to do. Despite these issues the first application doesn't settle into my lines with wear and I would say I get a good 2 hours or so with the balmy consistency, perhaps even up to 4, and with the colour leaving a stain I don't feel the need to reapply as soon as I would with gloss. Bang for Your Buck: I paid about $10-12CAD regular price for 0.09oz at Shoppers Drug Mart. After just a few weeks of use, not even regular use, I feel like I've already made a relatively noticeable dent in product. If you wear a lot of lip products in rotation you may not find that the product gets used up quickly but if you are wanting something that you can wear often this is probably not an economically sound choice. Final Thoughts: While I love the colour and the initial feel of this product, it just doesn't work for me because of its use of jojoba oil. If my skin did not react to this ingredient I would very likely adore this product, and despite my reaction I would recommend it to others. But if you are solely looking at this for the colour I'd say look for other options instead; I bought an orange gloss around the time I bought this and I do actually prefer that colour and the pigmentation is similar. * Overall Rating: 3/5 * Price: 2/5 * Packaging Quality: 4/5 * Repurchase: No
Makeup Brushes -Ecotools - Bamboo Smudge Eyeliner Brush
ashleyanders 6/4/2012 2:28:00 AM
Product's Claims - True or False? 1) Creates smudged line for soft, smoky eye: True 2) Convenient sharpener on the end: False 3) Soft bristles: False Packaging: The brush comes in a simple zip-loc pouch, although for a brand that tries to utilize "green" as a feature it seems a little impractical to use plastic packaging. I have no issues getting into the packaging, and it has all the info you need on it and can work well for travel if you want to place the brush in its original pouch. Design: This smudging brush is dual-ended, with the bristles on one end and a pencil sharpener on the other end. I see no real point to the sharpener but I don't find it to be cumbersome or bothersome in any way. The bristles of the brush are made of nylon which are cut to a tapered point. The handle is a light bamboo with an aluminium ferule, and the brush overall fits nicely in my hand while using it. The bristles are fairly dense. Performance: The brush actually works wonderfully, like all of my other EcoTools brushes, but it has two major faults: 1) the bristles are tapered in a way that feels very uncomfortable on the skin when used to smudge liner, 2) the sharpener just plain doesn't work at all. The first time I used the brush I used it to smudge on some eyeshadow to my upper lash line, and had no issues with it in terms of it being scratchy or uncomfortable. It created a nice soft blended line, which was what I wanted - and could have achieved it with a normal angled brush as well but this was faster due to not having to blend it nearly as much. I tried it today to smudge a pencil liner and it did scratch my skin. After testing it out more I noticed it does this wherever I use it for smudging purposes. Which is clearly not ideal since it's designed to smudge. I doubt it's the bristles themselves that are poorly made but simply the cut of this brush isn't suited to my skin, which is quite reactive. But the smudging that this brush provides is excellent - soft but not disappeared, and it does the job quickly. The sharpener, which I did not intend on using but tested out for review purposes, simply didn't do anything, as I don't think my eyeliner even fit in it properly. This doesn't bother me because I wouldn't have used it even if I did like the bristles, but some people might want to be able to use it for convenience or in a hurry. Bang for Your Buck: The brush cost around $7CAD. EcoTools seems to have great quality and longevity to their brushes so this is definitely a reasonable price if it works for the buyer. Final Thoughts: It's a shame I didn't listen to the few reviews here, as they were right. It's a great brand but this one just happens to be a dud for me, and I will be exchanging it for something else. It works great in terms of giving me the results I want but I am not willing to put up with irritation from the bristles just to get easier smudging. I would still recommend to others to check out if skin sensitivity is not a huge concern. * Overall Rating: 3/5 * Price: 1/5 * Packaging Quality: 3/5 * Repurchase: No
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original (UDPP)
ashleyanders 6/2/2012 6:46:00 PM
Product's Claims - True or False? 1) More vibrant eyeshadow: True 2) No creasing: True 3) Makeup lasts 24 hours: True. 4) Glides on smoothly: True 5) Dries down invisibly: Mostly true 6) Easy-to-squeeze tube: True Packaging: Primer Potion now comes in a squeeze tube, which is what I'll be discussing (the original packaging is still available through their website). The tube is a shiny light purple and the cap is a twist-off that is meant to, I assume, be reminiscent of a genie's bottle. It twists on and off easily but there isn't a set stopping point - you could indefinitely twist it back on. The opening is small with a pointed precision tip so product must be applied with the fingers once dispensed. The plastic tube is easy to squeeze and I rarely dispense too much product. While the squeeze tube is much more convenient and practical I kind of prefer the wand because it made it easier for me to figure out how much I needed to use. The primer comes packaged in a cardboard box which is entirely unnecessary - ditching it might even somewhat lower the price. Formula: From what I've read the formula has changed somewhat from when it was packaged in the genie bottle. It has a a beigey colouring to it that blends nicely into my skin tone while evening my skin tone out. If your skin tone is very cool or quite dark the primer may look noticeable. It has a smooth yet dry/powdery thin consistency, maybe a slight emollience. It's definitely not as emollient on the skin as TFSI is, but has much better coverage. It spreads really easily over the skin due to the consistency. It sets down within a fairly short period, so I don't have to wait that long before applying makeup, but it doesn't set so fast that I can't take the time to properly blend it out. It goes on matte but doesn't flatten the skin or make it look dull, so it looks nice even worn on its own. It doesn't seem to have any noticeable fragrance to it, at least nothing added. Performance: I was originally started using this primer around 2008 but didn't purchase the new version/packaging until this year. It seems that both versions work fine for me, but I think the old one was a bit better. I went a few weeks without wearing eyeshadow and when I went to use the primer it has separated in the tube. I think that when it was in its old packaging the ingredients would get mixed together prior to application, but they are not completely combined in the tube and thus if applied straight from the tube it tends to leave my eyes feeling like the makeup is creasing and/or will not apply completely evenly. In order to get good results I dispense a small amount and press between two fingers, then apply. Regardless it still does a great job of making my makeup go on with vibrancy, whether applied wet or dry. Blending with this is fairly easy as well if I give the primer a bit of time to set before applying makeup, but even if I apply it pretty quickly afterwards it blends well. I've not tested any 24 hour wear claims but in the past the primer would hold up for nearly that long; I experience no creasing at the end of the day now when I do use it. I don't get any smudging either, and it does help minimize fallout when applied dry compared to not using a primer. Unlike TFSI (which did crease on me) it will make the eyes look a bit crepey if the skin is already dry. The old version seemed to be harder to remove, so a plus with this one is that it comes off very easily without needing too much makeup remover. Bang for Your Buck: Primer Potion cost me about $25CAD for 11ml. The original bottle usually lasted me close to a year, sometimes longer, so overall it seems to be reasonably priced for the amount given. Final Thoughts: It seems like the old formula was a bit better but I still get great results. Out of the other primers I've used recently this one provides be with the most well-rounded results and without any serious issues to contend with. * Overall Rating: 4.5/5 * Price: 3/5 * Packaging Quality: 4/5 * Repurchase: Yes
Deodorants -Secret - Scent Expressions Crystal Clear Gel - All
ashleyanders 5/29/2012 2:35:00 AM
Packaging: Scent Expression Gel comes in a standard plastic container with a twist mechanism at the bottom to dispense the product, Plastic is clear and tinted blue to allow you to see its contents. There's 2-3 dozen holes at the opening and one click/twist of the dial pushes out enough product for one underarm. The dial can be turned backwards if you dispense too much and it does a good job of sucking back in most of the product. The lid is easy enough to remove but feels secure enough for travel, but the lid can get a bit mucky sometimes and if you aren't careful the piece of plastic through which product comes out can get stuck to the inside of the cap - I've had this happen once now. The shape of the plastic is rounded and smooth and glides nicely over the skin without tugging, itching, pulling, or causing any other general irritation. Upon purchase the dial has to be turned numerous times before product starts coming out, after that one or two turns is sufficient each time. Formula: This is a gel formula, meaning it comes out as a gel and dries clear over the skin. It's somewhat thick and cool but still feels quite liquidy, and is easy to spread over the skin. It dries a bit sticky sometimes, but usually it dries without leaving any noticeable film or layer. The formula is completely clear. The scents are pretty strong, some of them being more artificial than others, but I enjoy all of the one's I've tried so far. My favourites are the pear and vanilla scents. Performance: Antiperspirants and deodorants are very much about body chemistry, so results are very YMMV. The Scent Expressions line (I've also tried the solid version, which I feel possibly works a bit better but I do prefer the gel) is the only one I've tried so far that doesn't change scent on me or start making me sweat during the day. I cannot attest to how powerful its antiperspirant action is because I use Certain Dri, but when I slack off on that my underarms are usually still good for at least a few weeks post-Certain Dri before they start getting a bit sweaty. Compared to using nothing at all it definitely helps with body odour and sweat though. The fragrance lasts all day for me without reapplication. One downside is that it can dry out the skin a bit, but usually only with overpaplication. Since it's a gel it can also take a while to dry, although compared to a paste once you've given it time to set it actually does dry. If wiped over the skin without working it into the skin it will take a while to dry, so massaging it in or continuing to wipe the packaging over the skin until it has dried will provide faster dry-time. I rarely experience white marks from this, and there's no staining of any kind while I use this - with paste products I'd always have residue. I also do not experience (at least rarely) a change in the consistency of the formula while wearing it - if sweating or hot it will not start melting and smearing. Bang for your Buck: This line averages for about $4.00CAD for a 48g container. It's a good price, although I assume that pastes might have a bit more product and might last longer. I have no issues repurchasing regularly, I'm not really sure how often I repurchase because I enjoy having multiple scents at hand. Final Thoughts: I realized tonight that I've been using this line since 2010. At that time I just liked it, but two years later I consider it a staple product for me. There are a few things about it I would change but formula-wise it really is the best I've found when used in conjunction with Certain Dri. * Overall Rating: 4.5/5 * Price: 1/5 * Packaging Quality: 3/5 * Repurchase: Yes.
* A review for the Quo by Orly line, as other seem to be posting them here instead of making a new category. Product's Claims: True or False? 1) Fast drying: True 2) Long lasting: True 3) High gloss: True Packaging: The polishes in the line mimic the general design of ORLY polishes. They have a long black rubberized handle with a slight inward curvature. The bottles are clear glass with four distinct edges - these and their corners are rounded off - and there is a bit of roundness to each of the sides. These design features make the bottles very comfortable to hold in my hand while opening and the opening of the bottles is very easy overall. Each polish is labelled with a sticker on the bottom for the colour, and there's a large white Q stamped on the top of the cap. Where the packaging lacks a bit is in the brush. It works well for me but the brush overall does look a bit cheap in comparison to the rest of the design as the bristles are not cut evenly (some bottles are more pronounced than others in this, but they all seem to have that same unevenness). This doesn't seem to affect application for me. The brush used is long and slender, but I feel like it's just slightly too slender for its length and could benefit from a bit of added width, but overall I have no significant issues with the brush with these polishes. Formula: I would estimate that I've purchased and tried nearly half of the currently available polishes in the line and I've been happy with all of them. A few are a bit iffy in the formula but they all produce results I am happy with. I have (and will) reviewed the polishes I currently own and so info on the formula for specific shades can be found in those reviews. The line has a nice mix of colours as well as finishes - creams, metallics, shimmers, glitters, and a few jellies (I'd say that Green Meadows, mentioned below, could be considered a cross between a cream and a jelly, and with two coats it's 95% opaque, 100% opaque with three). They are also introducing gels, but I've never tried those (from any brand) so I can't really give any thoughts on thsoe. I'm sure many of these are rehashes from the ORLY line itself but Sally's locations aren't as numerous or easy to access as Shoppers locations, so I'm fine with buying the Canadian offspring even if its colours aren't completely unique. Most of the polishes have a thinner consistency that makes spreading easy, and most are opaque in two coats. Performance: Aside from a few somewhat iffy bottles the polishes perform very nicely. As mentioned they go on opaque fairly easily and they also spread nicely. I only thinned out two upon purchase, and one was likely only in need of thinning out because it has been used as a tester by others (as evident by a crusty layer around the opening when I opened it at home). Even the somewhat trickier ones I've tried still produce an end result that looks smooth and even, only the more metallics tend to go on a bit brush-strokey. All dry down glossy and retain the gloss well. Wear seems about the same as other brands for me, I usually get 4-7 days of wear without chips and only minor tip wear (unless application error on my part or damaged nails). Bang for your Buck: 14ml/0.48 oz for $10.00CAD at Shoppers Drug Mart, and sometimes they will be on sale for about &8CAD. This is definitely a pricier offering, although most who shop at Shoppers will know that Shopper's brands are often on the pricier side compared to other drug stores. Seems to be similar in price and product amount as brands such as OPI, so it's definitely not a big splurge. Final Thoughts: Overall Quo by Orly is turning out to be one of my favourite polish brands, and I am eager to give the parent brand a try. Aside from a somewhat lackluster brush it excels in the other areas, of course with a few polishes here and there that aren't as great as the others, but all are very workable and produce a great finish. Definitely recommended, and hopefully they will extend the colour range further and include some of the seasonal colours as permanent additions. * Overall Rating: 4.5/5 * Price: 2/5 * Packaging Quality: 4/5 * Repurchase: Yes.
Product's Claims: True or False? 1) Fast drying: True 2) Long lasting: True 3) High gloss: True Packaging: The polish has a long black rubberized handle with a slight inward curvature. The bottle is clear glass with four distinct edges - these and their corners are rounded off - and there is a bit of roundness to each of the sides. These design features make the bottle very comfortable to hold in my hand while opening and the opening of the bottles is very easy overall. You can find the name of the polish on a sticker on the bottom of the bottle, and there's a large white Q stamped on the top of the cap. Where the packaging lacks a bit is in the brush. It works well for me but the brush overall does look a bit cheap in comparison to the rest of the bottle as the bristles are not cut evenly (some bottles are more pronounced than others in this, but they all seem to have that same unevenness). This doesn't seem to affect application for me. The brush is long and slender, but I feel like it's just slightly too slender for its length and could benefit from a bit of added width, but overall I have no issues with applying polishes from this brand with its brush. Formula: Tease is a bright yet dusty pink shade. I'm finding it hard to accurately describe the colour, but it pulls deeper on my nails than in the bottle (slight difference only). I would say that it's similar to a watermelon shade but less red. It's a cream finish but a little less opaque than the other polishes in the brand I've tried. Its consistency is very easy to work with as it's on the thinner, watery side but it doesn't pool into my cuticles while applying. Performance: Because of the slightly less opaque formula I find that three coats creates a nicer finish, but colour payoff is about the same between two and three coats - if wearing alongside other fully opaque polishes (currently wearing an alternating pattern) three coats will be desired. It goes on very smoothly and evenly without brush strokes. Any ridges in my nails don't seem to be obvious/visible while wearing this polish. Dry time for the polish, as with all others in the brand, is very quick even with more coats. Worn over my Orly Bonder BC the wear seems to be very good - I'm on day three of my mani and I've yet to see even tip wear. No chips, it's wearing well around my cuticles as well. Bang for your Buck: 14ml/0.48 oz for $10.00CAD at Shoppers Drug Mart. This is definitely a pricier offering, although most who shop at Shoppers will know that Shopper's brands are often on the pricier side compared to other drug stores. Seems to be similar in price and product amount as brands such as OPI, so it's definitely not a big splurge. Final Thoughts: This is a really nice addition to the Quo by Orly line. It's a great pink against my peachier skin tone and is definitely fun for summer. I am pleased with the quality, as always, and definitely recommend! * Overall Rating: 4.5/5 * Price: 2/5 * Packaging Quality: 4/5 * Repurchase: Yes.
Eye Makeup Remover -Clinique - Take The Day Off Eye Makeup Remover
ashleyanders 5/17/2012 6:46:00 PM
*Update: Edited my overall rating to a 3.5 due to the product's proneness to stinging in my eyes if too much is used (but the product works better with that amount used), and it seems like it's not as gentle/hydrating on my lids as Bi-Facil was. Packaging down to a 3 because the cap doesn't always child-lock back on properly - I wound up spilling some. I would no longer repurchase. Product's Claims - True or False? 1) Tugless: True 2) Fast removal: True 3) Dissolves hard-to-remove/long-wearing makeup: True 4) Non-irritating: Mostly true 5) Non-stinging: Mostly true Packaging: TTDO comes in a transparent purple container, perfectly cylindrical in shape. It has a twist-off child-proof cap and a large opening to dispense product. I love that the opening is so large because it makes getting product out so much easier, but at the same time could be messier if you happen to accidentally drop it while in use. I'm unsure what the current packaging in Bi-Facil is, but I do recall having more issues with dispensing product with it than with TTDO, with the former dispensing more product due to having significantly less control. All the info is listed on the bottle and easy to read. It fits nicely in my hands and the cap feels very secure. My one gripe with the cap is that I can find it difficult to remove sometimes, but I had the same issue with Bi-Facil, and with Aspirin bottles. Formula: As with other bi-phase removers, TTDO has two separate layers that require shaking to combine: a silicone (i.e. oily) layer and the water/soap layer. When combined they form a milky and oily liquid. Compared to Bi-Facil the formula separates sooner initially but once it has started its initial separating it can take a day or so to completely separate. The product is truly fragrance-free, which I do love quite a bit. I don't find fragranced items to be particularly irritating around my eyes but it's definitely a safer option in eye products. Performance: TTDO is almost identical to Bi-Facil. The only differences in performance I found was that TTDO seems to have an oilier consistency which makes removal a lot easier and I need quite a bit less to remove all the makeup. Its removal capabilities are great and possibly better than Bi-Facil. Although it feels oilier it also feels like a dry oil as opposed to slimy. If pressed/blotted into the skin is causes the makeup to flake off and adhere to the cotton, and if wiped/rub it smears the makeup around a bit. In both cases it rinses off completely (update: while it feels like it rinses off there's a chance that something gets left behind and that was causing issues for my skin). I've tried using it with cotton rounds and with q-tips and I find that both work really well, but the latter is a bit nicer as it doesn't require me to wipe at my eye and I feel like I might use less product overall. If using a q-tip I dip it in and then turn the q-tip around over my eye and gently sweep on the undereye, pressing it into the lashes a bit, then rub it all with my finger until mascara is broken down and rinse off. Whichever method I use I discovered that the key to using it successfully is to use minimal wiping and minimal rinsing - even though it feels heavy and oily on my skin if I only splash the eye 2-3 times and then pat dry I feel no residue and all makeup is rinsed off, without getting any dryness or tightness like I was getting sometimes (if used more than once in a day though it will start making the area tight). It removes all of my makeup, but sometimes I still have a few glitters if my makeup was very glittery, which doesn't bother me. Sometimes it can sting my eyes and definitely causes blurring. If over-rinsed my eyes will look kind of oily in the AM but not so when I use it as I've mentioned. Bang for Your Buck: TTDO was $22CAD for 4.2oz, which is almost $15 cheaper than Bi-Facil for the same amount of product, and I get the same results from both. Bi-Facil usually lasted me ~6 months of almost-daily use and usually minimal to no use during holidays/summer, so I expect the same or better from TDDO. Final Thoughts: I initially quite enjoyed this remover, but it wasn't without some drawbacks. Now that I've gone to another means of removing my makeup I can see that this was either drying me out as-is or was leaving a residue that was subsequently drying my skin out. Overall I would not repurchase, but if you are a fan of Bi-Facil I'd recommend giving this a shot because they are very similar (it seems that Clinique just utilizes some ingredients that do not agree with my skin overall). * Overall Rating: 3.5/5 * Price: 2.5/5 * Packaging Quality: 3/5 * Repurchase: No
*Update August 2012: Unfortunately I have to lower my rating down to a 3, as I am fairly certain that this was the cause of my staining/yellowing and peeling tips. It was also a little bit finicky in use since I had to make sure I really waited for it to dry in order to prevent the nail polish from wearing away faster. I would no longer repurchase. Product's Claims: True or False? 1) Grips Polish for Lasting Adhesion: True 2) Prevents Wear For Up To Two Weeks: Moderately True Packaging: Bonder is very nicely packaged. It has a cylindrical frosted glass container, absolutely no square edges can be found on this thing. The smoothness of the bottle makes it feel more comfortable in my hands while opening and closing the bottle. The handle is almost as long as the bottle and is made of some type of rubber material. The directions and product info are easily read on the bottle as well. My one issue with the handle is that, for some reason, it feels a bit uncomfortable. I don't know if it's that it's a bit too short or if it's because of the pattern on the rubber, but it can be a bit hard for me to open sometimes and can rub up against my skin a bit and cause some redness. I have numerous polishes from the Canadian Quo by Orly line that has the same rubber cap but with added vertical ribbing along it and do not experience this issue. The brush is long and slender, and I do wish it was slightly shorter and wider, but it's not a big issue. The base comes in a separate cardboard box which is entirely unnecessary. Formula: The base coat has a slight orange tint but it does not appear on my nails, at least not enough for me to notice it. It goes on very shiny and by the time it dries it looks pretty well matte. Once dry it definitely does have a strange feel to it on the nails, I guess almost rubbery. It's a very watery/thin consistency that can pool into the cuticles a bit, so be cautious while applying it to prevent getting too much on the nail. It dries very quickly as well. Bonder is 3-Free as well, although this has never been something that I've paid attention to in polishes. Performance: I'm not blown away by its ability to keep my polishes on. I get the same wear with this as I do any other base coat I've used, but I do notice better wear over nails that happen to be a bit weak and somewhat peeled/torn on the edges - with other bases those nails would show chips on the edges. When my nails are in good condition, which is most of the time, chipping isn't really an issue. My problem is more tip wear, and this doesn't seem to be that much better. With any base I normally get 1-2 days of wear before I get any tip wear and then the tips stay at about the same level of wear for the rest of the week. What I do really love though is how strong my nails feel since I've been using this. I was previously using Essie's All In One Base and it seemed to really weaken my nails, as do all treatment products for me. Bonder doesn't claim to help strengthen or moisturize nails, but I feel like it's having this type of an effect on my nails, or at least allowing my nails to get back to their natural strength even while wearing polish. My nails also seem to be growing much better lately, and this is really the only change in my nail care other than reintroducing a nail buffer (which I've used once). In terms of the look of my polishes in conjunction with Bonder, the polishes come out just as shiny, although they don't seem to come out any smoother or more even than with other bases or when applied to naked nails. Bang for your Buck: 18ml/0.6oz for around $10CAD at Sally Beauty Supply. It can look a bit pricey as an initial payment but the amount of product given is quite generous. I can easily see this lasting at least 5-6 months with weekly use or less. Final Consensus: It's nothing special in terms of maintaining my nail polish on the nail when compared to other bases I've tried, but I like the rubber effect and my nails seem to be really appreciating the formula overall - in this aspect I am quite pleased and surprised! I'd likely still try out other bases, but I will likely repurchase and will play around with it to see if I can get even better wear from it. * Overall Rating: 5/5 * Price: 2/5 * Packaging Quality: 4/5 * Repurchase: Yes.
Polishes -Quo - Quo by Orly Nail Polish - Night Sky
ashleyanders 5/10/2012 3:13:00 PM
Product's Claims: True or False? 1) Fast Drying: True 2) Long Lasting: True 3) High Gloss: True Packaging: The polish has a long black rubberized handle with a slight inward curvature. The bottle is clear glass with four distinct edges - these and their corners are rounded off - and there is a bit of roundness to each of the sides. These design features make the bottle very comfortable to hold in my hand while opening and the opening of the bottles is very easy overall. You can find the name of the polish on a sticker on the bottom of the bottle, and there's a large white Q stamped on the top of the cap. Where the packaging lacks a bit is in the brush. It works well for me but the brush overall does look a bit cheap in comparison to the rest of the bottle as the bristles are not cut evenly (some bottles are more pronounced than others in this, but they all seem to have that same unevenness). This doesn't seem to affect application for me. The brush is long and slender, but I feel like it's just slightly too slender for its length and could benefit from a bit of added width, but overall I have no issues with applying polishes from this brand with its brush. Formula: Similarly to Celestial Star, Night Sky is a shade that looks gorgeous in the bottle but doesn't quite translate onto the nail. It does however translate better than the former, and is definitely my preferred out of the two. Night Sky has a dark blackish blue base with lots of fine glitter than shines red, purple, and at certain angles the polish will give off a bit of bronze-y khaki olive shade. It's fairly subtle on the nail but it does still show up in some lights and at some angles. On the nail it predominantly shows up as a very dark violet shade with very pretty reddish purplish sparkles. The formula overall seems to be a bit better than Celestial Star, going on completely opaque in two coats and without any problems that I could see. The first coat is mostly even but it does require a second to completely even everything out. The consistency seems to be just right - not too thick or too thin. It doesn't flood my cuticles and it applies quite smoothly overall, no brush strokes or nail imperfections could be seen. Nice and glossy as well. Wear time: Overall it wears just as well as the majority of my polishes, although I would say that I tend to see the start of tip wear a bit sooner than with others - but once it gets that bit of wear it doesn't progress any further and my nails look the same as with other polishes near the mid-week point. I did apply it over a base that I didn't give lots of time to dry though, so I will update once I try it out again and give my base more time to dry completely (as giving the base more time to dry does give me better wear with all of the bases I've tried). Bang for your Buck: 14ml or 0.48 oz for $10.00 at Shoppers Drug Mart. This is definitely a pricier offering, although most who shop at Shoppers will know that Shopper's brands are often on the pricier side compared to other drug stores. Seems to be similar in price and product amount as brands such as OPI, so it's definitely not a big splurge. Final Consensus: This is a very pretty shade and great for those who want something vampy but aren't big on reds or blacks. The finish is very nice and even though the colour doesn't look exactly as it does in the bottle with al the glitter I still very much love how it looks on the nails. I definitely do hope though that Quo brings down the price a bit considering you get less than you do with the original Orly brand for about the same price! * Overall Rating: 4.5/5 * Price: 2/5 * Packaging Quality: 4/5 * Repurchase: Yes.
Polishes -Quo - Quo by Orly Nail Polish - The Blue Box
ashleyanders 5/10/2012 2:44:00 PM
Product's Claims: True or False? 1) Fast drying: True 2) Long lasting: True 3) High gloss: True Packaging: The polish has a long black rubberized handle with a slight inward curvature. The bottle is clear glass with four distinct edges - these and their corners are rounded off - and there is a bit of roundness to each of the sides. These design features make the bottle very comfortable to hold in my hand while opening and the opening of the bottles is very easy overall. You can find the name of the polish on a sticker on the bottom of the bottle, and there's a large white Q stamped on the top of the cap. Where the packaging lacks a bit is in the brush. It works well for me but the brush overall does look a bit cheap in comparison to the rest of the bottle as the bristles are not cut evenly (some bottles are more pronounced than others in this, but they all seem to have that same unevenness). This doesn't seem to affect application for me. The brush is long and slender, but I feel like it's just slightly too slender for its length and could benefit from a bit of added width, but overall I have no issues with applying polishes from this brand with its brush. Formula: Based on the name, it's easy to see that the colour is supposed to be interpreted as a Tiffany blue. I've never seen the colour in person but looking at colour blocks online I would say that the polish is very similar to the intended shade. It has a bit more mintiness to it, perhaps slightly darker. In the bottle it looks more like a pastel/mint seafoam blueish green and shows up darker and bluer on the nail. It's very similar to Essie Turquoise & Caicos but bluer and slightly darker. It's a cream finish and a completely opaque formula. Its consistency, while workable, is also thick and can go on unevenly. For the most part this isn't that noticeable but the polish goes on much nicer with some thinning (and the difference between pre- and post-thinning in the final mani is definitely noticeable to me). Both pre- and post-thinning the first layer goes on almost streaky, but it's more like little gaps in the polish due to the brush going against the nail, and within a few seconds those gaps fill up. I was able to get opaque coverage in two coats. While it's much easier to use thinned it does show nail ridges more than with its original consistency. Dry-time for the brand is always fast for me and this colour is no exception. Overall, once thinned out it has a great consistency and formula - but because many people purchase polishes and use them as-is my rating will be reflecting the original consistency. Wear time: I get good wear from the polish. No chipping but I do get some tip wear - nothing more than I get with all of my polishes. I could probably wear it for more than a week and not get significant tip wear. Bang for your Buck: 14ml/0.48 oz for $10.00CAD at Shoppers Drug Mart. This is definitely a pricier offering, although most who shop at Shoppers will know that Shopper's brands are often on the pricier side compared to other drug stores. Seems to be similar in price and product amount as brands such as OPI, so it's definitely not a big splurge. Final Consensus: Although its formula is one of the weaker of the ones I've so far tried of the brand, the colour is pretty enough for me to look past those issues (especially since you can easily thin it out). I'm unsure if the original Orly brand carries the same colour but because there are only three Sally's locations in the city, none of which are easily accessible to me in the way Shoppers is, I'm willing to pay a little more for the colour. I don't know how widely available this colour is right now as it was the only bottle left at that location and it was not with the rest of the display but in its own little display with a few other new colours. * Overall Rating: 4/5 * Price: 2/5 * Packaging Quality: 4/5 * Repurchase: Yes.
Product's Claims - True or False? 1) Up to 11 days of wear: N/A 2) Gel-like shine/Gloss: True 3) Excellent colour retention: True Packaging: While I really like the practicality of the packaging, it looks and feels fairly cheap. It also looks a bit awkward. The cap is almost the length of my pinky and thumb, definitely the longest cap for a nail polish that I've ever seen or used. The length does give it an upper hand over other polishes, as it makes opening the bottle much easier compared to stubbier caps. It's made of a plain black plastic, which does not hinder the ease of opening the bottle. The bottle itself is a cylinder shape, so it's comfortable to hold in the hand while opening. The brush consists of two slim brushes placed together, which spreads the polish over the nail quite nicely and easily. It is similar in shape to the Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro brushes, only shorter and not as wide.The bottle lists all the ingredients, and the name of the polish is on the top of the cap. Formula: Bare Bones is a very pretty beige-y khaki greyish shade. It's a solid cream consistency. I'm able to get opaque coverage in two coats and it goes on very smoothly, although it's ever so slightly thicker than I'd like (fixed with a drop of thinner) which can sometimes result in minor application flaws - they are not visible enough to bother me when they occur. It has great flow and smooths over the nail easily (pre-thinning) and does not dry thick on the nail. Dry-time depends on the base and top coat used, but with my preferred top coat I find that it dries within a few minutes and hardens within 10-20 minutes. Alone it has a nice glossy finish and the gloss remains when using your preferred top coat. Wear: I'm currently on day 4 of wear and aside from some barely visible tip wear on my dominant hand it looks quite nice. Gloss is still high, it hasn't chipped, but there is a bit of growth. It looks pretty much the same as it did on day 2, so I assume that I could probably go a full week before changing it up due to tip wear. Bang for Your Buck: I paid about $8.00CAD for this 11.7ml bottle. While it seems relatively affordable, the amount given is less than many other drug store and mid-range brands, so overall the price is not necessarily that much different than pricier DS polishes or mid-range polishes. Final Thoughts: I've not come across a similar shade in other similarly-priced brands or other brands I know and enjoy. This is a very pretty shade and the quality is great. I definitely recommend it to others and recommend the line as a whole! I have a feeling it will better suit warmer complexions though, so be sure to swatch if possible. * Overall Rating: 4.5/5 * Price: 2/5 * Packaging Quality: 3/5 * Repurchase: Yes
Eye Primer -Too Faced - Shadow Insurance, Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer
ashleyanders 5/5/2012 5:23:00 PM
Finalized review. Product's Claims - True or False? 1) No creasing, smudging, or fading: False. 2) Evens out skin tone: True 3) Softens fine lines: False (but does soften skin overall) 4) Shadows blend effortlessly: True 5) Maximum colour pay-off: True 6) Soothes skin: True 7) Light finish: True Packaging: Shadow Insurance comes in a small opaque blue squeeze-tube bottle. The plastic is very soft, but I do not recommend squeezing it on the front/label but instead on the sides, as that is where it is more malleable (and possibly thus less likely to cause the top part of the bottle to open as some have complained). It has a twist-off cap that comes off easily but does not seem to have a set lock point for closing - I'm not sure how much I should twist it in order to get a good close without damaging the plastic by over-tightening it. It has a small nozzle tip applicator, which I quite like. It allows me to easily and precisely dispense how much product I want. I don't get any excess product, perhaps because I squeeze it from the sides, which offers me more control than squeezing it from the front and back. The cap has a flat bottom which allows you to easily stand it up to allow product to flow down to the opening. The whole thing comes in a cardboard box that provides the ingredients and product claims. I'd much rather the ingredients be listed on the tube itself, as the box is wasteful. Aesthetically I think it's cute, it's not over the top and doesn't look necessarily tacky, so I can't complain. Formula: It has a light, gel-type consistency, slightly creamy, and very soft on the skin. It has an oiliness to it, and upon first opening it the product was separated. After thorough shaking and some squishing the formula completely mixed. It doesn't feel drying or greasy on the skin and leaves my eyes feeling very comfortable. The skin, without any other products used before or after, feels smoother and softer than without the primer on, so with regular use it may prove to help keep the skin softer. I've experienced no irritation from this product, and it works well on my skin when the area is already irritated without it causing or worsening the issue. The formula is very soft and blends/moves with ease; even tiny amounts are very easy to spread across larger areas. It has a flesh tone tint to it that blends into the skin, which does even out the skin tone but it seems to be slightly less efficient at this job compared to UDPP, possibly because it has a thinner/less creamy consistency. But when using the right amount it evens out my skin tone just enough to make my skin and makeup look much fresher. It picks up shadow colour very well and shadows deposit completely evenly over the lid - with UDPP (and slightly with NARS) the colours would not go on nearly as smoothly and evenly, especially around the edges. I feel like it picks up colour quicker when the base is still a bit tacky but is harder to blend, so it's ideal to wait for the base to completely dry (1-2 mins). Once the base has dried blending the shadows out is very easy. Colours show up very true to the pan (while UDPP brings out some yellowness to my shadows, which I had not noticed until I started trying out other primers). The primer does have a scent to it, but not an added one. It reminds me a bit of putty. It's faint and inoffensive, and should not be bothersome to those who are sensitive to fragrances. I've so far had no issues with washing the product off of my skin; I've always found UDPP to be moderately hard to remove. Wear: I've been trying this out for a few days, and sadly it started creasing on me. I had it on for maybe a few hours and it was starting to crease. Colours seemed to have lasted just fine though, so no fading and smudging. Just.. creasing. Bang for Your Buck: I paid $24CAD for this 0.35oz tube at Sephora. Overall I find that I need less to cover the same area with Shadow Insurance than I did with UDPP and NARS. I find this to be a very reasonable price for the amount given when taking into account how much is needed for use. Final Thoughts: This primer was so close to being a winner for me. It keeps my skin feeling comfortable, goes on really well, is affordable for the amount given, doesn't dry out my lids.. But it creased. I doubt it was a one time thing because I don't recall creasing this quickly with UDPP (which I used for 3 years). I would still recommend it but I think it would be ideal for drier skins or those who don't generally experience creasing to begin with because it really does make application of makeup really nice. * Overall Rating: 4/5 * Price: 3/5 * Packaging Quality: 4/5 * Repurchase: No.
Eye Primer -NARS - Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
ashleyanders 5/3/2012 6:37:00 PM
Product's Claims - True or False? 1) Lightweight: True 2) Shadow looks brilliant, fresh, just-applied: True 3) No smudging, creasing, or caking: True Packaging: Comes in a small cardboard box, which is only beneficial for its listing of ingredients. The product is held in a mascara-like tube made of a slight rubberized plastic. It's fairly hard so you cannot squeeze out any product from it but it feels like it'd be easy enough to decant. It has a small doe-foot applicator that spreads product easily across the lids. The wand handle is the same height as the rest of the tube, which makes it comfortable to hold while applying the primer. The applicator picks up a small amount of product which makes it easy to not waste any product, while there's a noticeable suction as the wand is removed - I assume this is to help keep the formula more intact over time. There's a small plastic dot on the top of the handle that makes it a bit hard to stand upside down on a table if you need to get product closer to the opening. Formula: It has a silicone texture, similar to the Smashbox Photo Finish Light face primer. It comes out white but goes on clear, meaning it will not even out your skin tone. My eyes are discoloured, so this is a negative for me as it makes shadow look less blended against the red of my skin. I do not experience any issues with not knowing where it has been applied; its slip makes it easy to tell where it is being spread. A small sweep over my eye allows me to spread the primer up to my brow and onto my undereye area. It creates a temporary sheen as well. I didn't notice any stickiness and it dried down relatively quickly. The product is fragrance-free, making it a good choice for sensitive eyes Performance: I've experienced no issues in wear with NARS. It holds up to all of its claims in wear. I've worn it over-night and my shadow looked like I had just applied it. It also seemed to provide better wear for my mascara in that my lashes held their natural curl better due to the lack of added weight I'd normally get from UDPP. My lids are prone to eczema patches and general crepeyness, but existing dryness wasn't emphasized. It seemed to cause a bit of an issue with blending if it was not let to dry long enough. Despite being tailored to sensitive skin the product did irritate my skin. Part of the reason was because I was applying and reapplying makeup very often within two days, which left my skin raw and I began developing some eczema issues. But when I applied my old UDPP onto the area the irritation did not worsen, whereas the NARS one would cause irritation to worsen. I suspect that its sea whip ingredient was my culprit as my skin is quite sensitive to plant and sea extracts/ingredients. If you are not sensitive to such ingredients then I doubt you'd experience irritation. Otherwise it performed great. Only a SMALL amount is needed to keep the makeup on. It performed almost identically to UDPP except that it went on a bit more smoothly and evenly. Colour is picked up very well and looks very true to colour, although I would say that shadows looked a bit brighter with UDPP. Removal of the makeup while using this primer is much easier for me than with UDPP as well. Unfortunately due to my reaction to the product I was unable to give it a thoroughly long test under numerous conditions. Bang for Your Buck: The primer cost me just over $30CAD for 0.28oz. Urban Decay, Too Faced, and LORAC all have primers for less money and with more product, and have similar ratings. My UDPP would consistently last close to a year without decanting before I'd repurchase, so perhaps the primer would last a relatively long time as only a small amount is needed and it's unlikely that it's formula would change in the way UDPP does. Final Thoughts: Overall I was quite happy with the primer's results, but it was simply too likely to cause irritation for my skin. If tinted primers seem to affect the look of your makeup in a way you dislike or you do not need to even out your skin tone, then I'd recommend you give this a try, but there are also other primers that provide similar results at a better price. * Overall Rating: 4/5 * Price: 4/5 * Packaging Quality: 3/5 * Repurchase: No.