Primer/ Corrector -Laura Mercier - Foundation Primer Oil -Free
laurore44 7/22/2012 10:15:00 PM
UPDATE: I've used this product through the hottest part of the summer and into early autumn. While I do think it probably helped keep my foundation on during the hotter months, I noticed recently (now that's it's not so hot) that my foundation actually looks smoother and lasts about the same without this primer under it. So this product is mostly useless, in my opinion, and I'm throwing it out. Next summer I'll be looking for a better oil-free primer. ORIGINAL REVIEW: I gave this product a 3 because it does the job, but it's nothing special as far as I can tell. It keeps my makeup (Chanel Perfection Lumiere) on all day, through hot and humid summer days. It doesn't eliminate shine or hide pores. That said,it doesn't make anything worse either. I like the squeeze-tube packaging. However, I've only been using it for about a month, and already the cap has broken. (It still works and seals, but the outer part of the cap broke away from the inner functional part of it.) I plan to finish the tube and then I'll probably look for something different for next summer.
UPDATE: I've had this foundation for less than a year (about 9-10 months) and unfortunately it has started to go bad. It has developed an off odor, and it has also oxidized in the bottle, so that it's slightly darker than it was when I purchased it. I have enjoyed wearing it, but I won't be repurchasing. I took away a lippie because the bottle is labeled as lasting 12 months, and it didn't. ORIGINAL REVIEW: I bought this foundation a few months ago and I'm about halfway through the bottle. I've used it during cold weather and also through extreme heat and humidity. My skin is normal/dry in winter, and oily in summer. My skin tone is NC30 in MAC, and I found the shade 30 Beige to be a near-perfect match. I think it's the best foundation I've ever used. It has a beautiful finish.--- BUT it looks awful and fades if I don't use a primer under it! So if you're having trouble with this foundation, try it over a primer. In winter, I wore it over Laura Mercier Radiance primer. In summer, I'm wearing it over Laura Mercier Oil-Free primer. I would say this foundation is best for normal skin types. It's not as opaque or oil-resistant as say, Estee Lauder's Double Wear. It does provide good coverage, but doesn't "blank out" your skin. I apply it with an E.L.F. Studio synthetic blush brush. This is my usual foundation brush. A little goes a long way. It can look cakey if applied too thickly. I do feel that it needs to be set with powder. In the summer, I use MAC Blot powder. In the winter, I'll probably switch to my Chanel loose powder. If worn over primer and set with powder, it lasts all day. I do usually have to blot at least once a day to control shine. UPDATE 11/2/2012: I'm still using the same bottle. I think the product has oxidized a bit, over time. I notice it has started looking darker upon application. This past week, I tried applying the foundation with a damp sponge, and I really like the resulting finish. I think it hides my pores better. And it seems to last longer, even without primer. I do use up about twice as much product this way, however. Since the weather is cooler, I've also switched from my MAC Blot powder to my Chanel Loose Powder. The Chanel powder provides a very pretty, smooth finish over this foundation, as long as your skin isn't too oily.
UPDATE: Now that we are in the colder winter months, I gave this another try, and I really like it. The scent is more "polite" and not so far-reaching as it was in the summer. I will probably wear it throughout the winter and switch to something else when the temperatures start to rise again. ORIGINAL REVIEW: I bought this recently and have worn it twice. Most recently, I wore it to an all-day social event. I had it on from about 6 am to 11 pm on a hot and humid day (i.e., lots of sweating). First, I will say that this product controls body odor better than any other deodorant I've ever used. It's also non-irritating. I can't wear most antiperspirants--they make me itch. But this one didn't bother me at all. Normally, I wear Dove antiperspirant. It's gentle and controls odor better than deodorant-only products I've used. But after a few hours, it stops working. Not so with Cashmere mist. It controlled odor even through the next morning. But I took away 2 stars because there are some downsides: 1. It left white marks on my black camisole. Luckily, I was able to wipe away the marks with a damp cloth. 2. The scent is nice, but too strong in my opinion. I disagree that it wouldn't interfere with other perfumes. Maybe it would mix nicely with some scents, but it is definitely not going to fade into the background. When I wear this deodorant, I consider it my "perfume" for the day, and even then, I'm concerned about the scent invading other peoples' space. I will keep this around for those days when I need strong odor protection, but it will not be an everyday deodorant for me.
Blush -Too Faced - Full Bloom Cheek & Lip Creme Color in Tea Rose
laurore44 8/6/2011 9:41:00 PM
This product is a nice color, and it's easy to apply, but I found that it did not have any staying power on my cheeks or lips. I would pass on this and instead recommend Clinique. They have some lovely blush sticks which last a long time and are more pigmented, too.
I was disappointed in this brush. I felt it was really too small for foundation application. Application was not very smooth either. And it broke after two uses. It might be o.k. for concealer, although I have other concealer brushes that I'd rather use.
UPDATE 5/10/2013: I wrote earlier that this brush did not pick up color or distribute it evenly. Well, I don't know if it was the blush I was using, or perhaps the brush performs better now that it's been washed numerous times-- but it's now my favorite blush brush! It's softer than my MAC and Sonia Kashuk brushes. It picks up color well and distributes a beautiful soft wash of color on my cheeks. I like that it's so soft, it doesn't disturb my foundation. I really like the shape of it. The only downside is that the ferrule became loose after about a year. But at $3, I can't complain. I will repurchase. ORIGINAL REVIEW: I love this brush, but not for powder blush. I use it for liquid or cream foundation and for that, it is amazing. The flat shape makes application smooth and easy. The "fluffiness" makes it great for buffing in the foundation, resulting in an extremely smooth and natural finish. I prefer this one to stippling brushes. I'm not so crazy about it as a powder blush brush, though. I find that it doesn't pick up powder very well or distribute it evenly. I think it would be excellent for blending cream blushes. I like the shape and length of the handle. The brush looks nice, in general. It doesn't look cheap at all. I have noticed a small bit of shedding when I washed it, but it doesn't shed on my face during use. It's an all-synthetic brush, so it's cruelty free.
When I first purchased this mascara, I wasn't all that impressed. It's nice, but not much nicer than any good mascara. I didn't notice any lengthening effect. The color is very black, but not astoundingly dark or dramatic. Now that I've used it for a while, I notice that it's clumping really badly and flaking quite a bit. It won't stay on my lower lashes. I've got quite a mess under my eyes at the end of a long summer day. What I dislike most is the huge brush. It's really useless, especially for smaller lashes and lower lashes. Big brushes do not necessarily produce big lashes. I've purchased some disposal mascara wands (at Sally's Beauty Supply) in the hope of salvaging what's left in my tube. I'm hoping I can get better lash coverage with a more reasonably-sized brush. As for my lower lashes, I'll have to find something else to cover them. This product is just too messy. UPDATE: The disposable wands made application much easier and smoother. But I still had the flaking and smudging, so I did not and will not repurchase.
REVISED 7/22/2012 My previous review was based on a sample, and after I bought the full-sized product, I changed my mind about it. I wasn't crazy about my sample of Rouge Coco, but I liked the color Mademoiselle, so I bought the full-sized lipstick. And I really like it. It's much creamier than I expected, and it's a flattering color. My lips are highly pigmented, and this color looks peachy-pink on me. It is very opaque. If you prefer sheer coverage, you might want to try the Rouge Coco Shine line from Chanel. I probably won't repurchase, but it's a nice, wearable, color. Not too dark, not too bright, but still looks like you're wearing lipstick.
Treatments (Eye) -Christian Dior - L'Or De Vie Eye and Lip Creme
laurore44 1/31/2011 10:00:00 AM
I received a sample tube of this eye cream and was looking forward to trying what looked like a very luxurious product. I've now used it once nightly for at least a month. At first, I loved it. I like the way it feels on the skin when I apply it, and I do think it helped smooth out some of the fine lines around my eyes, although the results were not dramatic by any means. However, in the last couple of weeks, I've had a problem with puffiness, redness, and irritation on my eyelids, and I think this cream may be part of the problem. I stopped using it for a couple of days and the puffiness went away. (Please note: I am not applying it directly on my eyelids.) The irritation may be just a coincidence; however, to me, it's not worth any further experimentation. The good results I saw in the beginning were not that dramatic anyway-- just some nice hydration and a slight improvement in smoothness. I've used cheaper creams that gave the same result. So, I won't be purchasing the full size. Too bad, because I had high hopes for this cream.
Treatments -MD Skincare by Dr. Dennis Gross - Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel
laurore44 12/4/2010 1:22:00 PM
UPDATE 7/22/2012: I've now been using this product daily for almost 2 years and have repurchased several times. I had acne for over 25 years. Bad, cystic acne. This is the only product that actually eliminated 98% of it. I now get an occasional small pimple. Cysts are rare; it's been months since I had one. I do still tend to get small blackheads on my nose, but they are not obvious. A couple of times, I've stopped using this to try other products. The acne came back. As soon as I switched back to the Alpha Beta pads, the acne cleared up. I don't find this product irritating at all, but judging from the reviews, there are people who do. I'm pretty sure they still sell 10-day supply packs, so I'd suggest trying that first, and use as directed. (I.e., use them daily and don't skimp on application. Also, make sure you don't rub the product in. You're supposed to just wipe it on gently. That's why the pads are saturated, so you don't have to rub.) Another thing that might help reduce the chance of irritation: Use a sunscreen to protect your skin. I use an SPF 50, religiously. After 10 days (or even 5 days), you should be seeing results. If you don't, it's probably not worth buying the full size. I didn't have to wait to see results with this product. P.S. I've also used the "Extra Strength" version of this and I can't tell the difference between the regular and the extra strength. UPDATE 12/21/2010: I did repurchase these (30 days in the packets) and have been using them daily, again, for about a week so far. This product has totally eliminated my very stuborrn, lifelong problem with cystic acne. It doesn't just keep them at bay, it has eliminated all the bumps and irritation. There is nothing to pick at or squeeze. My skin looks and feels smooth and NORMAL for the first time in my life. It's also been breaking down some stubborn sun spots, which is a nice surprise. What it hasn't done (at least not yet): It has not completely eliminated blackheads. I still have clogged pores on my nose. They are not highly visible and there is no redness, but they are there. Also, although my skin texture has smoothed out considerably, my large pores are still large. With all that said, I consider this a miracle product. I can't believe how effective it has been against my acne problem. ORIGINAL REVIEW: I received a 5-day sample pack, with each application individually wrapped in a packet. I used the product, as instructed, for 6 days. (I took a one-day break about midway through, for no particular reason.) I used it in the mornings only. I use an SPF 50 lotion daily. I have never seen such a quick improvement in my skin. For the first time since my teens (a LONG time ago), I felt like I could (almost) get away with not wearing foundation. I noticed a lightening of dark spots and a general evening of skin tone. Most dramatically, I noticed a smoothing of the "11" wrinkles between my eyebrows. I don't think this product alone caused all those changes. What I do think is that it exfoliated better than anything else, so that my wrinkle creams (Olay Regenerist Lotion and RoC Retinol night cream) could penetrate and be more effective. That said, the "neutralizer" portion of the treatment does contain treatment ingredients, including Vitamin C, so it probably did help to clarify and improve my skin. Toward the end of the 6-day sampling, I did experience three cystic acne blemishes (not unusual for me). The nice thing is that they all shrank down and went away within a day, without leaving marks or bumps. This impressed me because my acne tends to be very stubborn. It is now about a week since I used the product, and I've had no further breakouts. I'm really, really impressed. I do think it made a difference that I used the product, the full dose, (almost) every day, instead of alternating days or cutting the pads in half, etc. I have a feeling I wouldn't have seen such a dramatic effect if I'd stretched out the product by using it less often or in smaller doses. I did experience some irritation (stinging and redness) on the first day. I also noticed that I felt like I needed more moisturizing lotion after using this peel. It's strong stuff. But that momentary irritation was worth it. I have really enjoyed the resulting clarity and smoothness. I will absolutely be purchasing a 30-day supply. I don't think I'll use this forever, though. I think I'll go through a 30-day cycle and then maybe maintain with another (cheaper) glycolic-acid toner, perhaps repeating the 30-day Alpha Beta peel every few months or so. As others have mentioned, the downside of this product is the price. I do think it's overpriced. However, considering the fact that I've never found anything else so effective, (and I've used a variety of AHA/BHA products over the years), I'm willing to pay the price every now an then.
Moisturizers -Olay - Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 50
laurore44 11/23/2010 1:46:00 PM
This product is called a "lotion", but I think of it more as a serum with sunscreen. I have used the Regenerist serum and this, to me, has a very similar consistency. It feels very silicone-y. It is *not* the most hydrating lotion I've ever used. I chose it because it's not too oily, it doesn't break me out, it provides a good smooth base for makeup, it contains anti-aging ingredients, and it has an SPF 50. I'm about halfway through my first bottle. I can say for sure that it is effective in the following ways: It smooths very fine lines (crepe-y-ness, not really wrinkles)and it reduces dark spots. I do use other products which claim to do so, but I didn't notice the lightening effect until I added this product to my routine. And although the lotion is not heavy or greasy, I've noticed that my skin retains moisture much better throughout the day. There is a bit of shine with this product, which can be problematic for oily skins like mine. But it's not as shiny as most other sunscreens I've used, so I don't mind it. I'm prone to "oil slicks", but with this product I just get a mild dewy effect which is easily controlled with oil-control foundation and powder. I use this lotion in conjunction with a glycolic acid (exfoliating) toner. I think this helps it soak into my skin and helps to reduce the chance of a greasy look. I will repurchase this because I like the SPF 50 and the fact that it provides a very smooth surface for my foundation to go on. It feels good and doesn't break out or irritate my acne-prone skin. The only thing I don't like is the fragrance. It's really strong. I'd prefer a fragrance-free version; but for me, the fragrance is not a deal-breaker.
Treatments (Eye) -Laura Mercier - Flawless Skin Eye Cream
laurore44 11/23/2010 1:25:00 PM
I've been using this product faithfully for about 2 weeks, at least once a day and sometimes twice a day. One thing I know for sure: It is very hydrating. In addition to using it in my eye area, I've used it on some dry patches on my cheeks and some dry/cracking areas at the corners of my mouth. (My skin was unusually dry and all my usual face moisturizers were not up to that challenge.) The Laura Mercier eye cream restored those areas (as well as my eye area) to soft hydrated skin in two days. I haven't noticed any significant changes as far as wrinkles, dark circles, or puffiness. To be fair, I have noticed a smoothing effect, but I also use a retinol wrinkle cream (RoC) which tends to smooth away eye wrinkles, so it would be difficult to tell if the Mercier product had any effect on wrinkles. But other than the obvious hydrating effect, I haven't noticed anything special about this product, at least not yet. I will continue to use up the generous sample I received, and will update my review if I notice any further improvements. For now, I would say I'd prefer try out something new for my next eye-cream purchase, rather than repurchase this particular product.
Lip Treatments -Burt's Bees - Sun Protecting Lip Balm SPF 8 with Passionfruit
laurore44 9/18/2010 2:03:00 PM
I'm a fan of Burt's Bees other lip balms, but this one is not worth buying. It leaves a white cast on my lips, and it feels heavy and waxy on my lips. I don't find it moisturizing at all; it's almost chalky. (By the way, I found the same qualities in another sunscreen product from this company.) There are better sun-protecting lip balms available.
Lip Liners -Chanel - Le Crayon Levres Precision Lip Definer 05 Mordore - Nude
laurore44 9/17/2010 10:52:00 PM
UPDATE 7/22/2012 I previously said this was too dark to wear with light lipsticks. But now, it's my go-to liner for "nude" lip looks. Just be sure to apply it lightly and blend the edges well. It adds just the right type of definition for preventing that "concealer lip" look. :) ---- I can't believe this color hasn't been reviewed. Chanel's Nude (Mordore) lip liner is a classic. It's not a pale beige as the name implies; in fact, it looks like a coppery, almost brown shimmery tone. But once on the lips, it blends in with most red or pink colors, not just defining the lips, but also adding dimension and making them look fuller. It doesn't look obvious at all on my medium-pigmented lips. If there can be such a thing as an HG lip liner, this is mine. I wear it almost daily. If you are wondering which Chanel lip liner to try first, I'd recommend this one. The only possible exception would be people who prefer a very pale pink or beige lip. This one might be a tad too dark to wear with the lightest lipstick shades.
Skincare - Face -Estee Lauder - Take It Away total make up remover
laurore44 9/17/2010 10:37:00 PM
I bought this because I was told that it was designed to remove Estee Lauder's Double Wear foundation, a very long-wearing makeup. It's o.k., but I've found that my Clinique foaming cleanser (and probably any detergent-based cleanser) works better than Take It Away for removing Double Wear. What's more, Take It Away irritates my skin and is more difficult to rinse off than most cleansers. In my opinion, it is a mediocre product and not worth the price.