I really love using Special Cleansing Gel- it is a gentle, high quality face wash that leaves my skin feeling clean and soft. It has some beneficial botanical ingredients, and smells so soothing and comforting. Although it's pricey, a bottle should last a long time, as a little bit goes a very long way. It isn't too easy to find- some salons (designated to sell Dermalogica products) and beauty supply stores carry it. It's best to check the dermalogica website to see where you can buy it. I used this at my cousin's place a while ago, since I forgot to pack face wash...I loved it, and bought my own bottle shortly after. It creates a nice, foamy lather that rinses clean, leaving me with soft, fresh skin- not at all tight or dry. It hasn't contributed to breakouts, actually keeping my skincare routine free of harsh, drying products has been very beneficial. I have combination skin (oily t-zone, normal cheek area), and this has been perfect for me. It is suitable for all skin types- it's very gently and effectively cleanses skin. I don't usually pay much for beauty products, but am willing to make an exception for this.
Polishes -Sally Hansen - Complete Salon Commander in Chic
royas784 12/24/2010 2:44:00 AM
I gave into this year's fall/winter trend, and bought the gray-ish shade, that I surprisingly like now. Gray may sound dull, but Commander in Chic is the perfect shade of grey/lavendar (almost light brownish), that I love wearing. The formula has a creamy consistency, and with the wide brush, application is a breeze. I use two coats for a perfectly opaque, pigmented finish.I use this along with a base and top coat. I haven't ever used the Complete Salon line polishes without a top coat, so I cannot comment on staying power without it, but with a top coat, it easily lasts several days. Supposedly this is a base/top/color in one, and perhaps it is, but I use Sally Hansen's Quick Dry anti-chip top coat, so my nails dry faster. But I imagine this would be just fine without the top coat, and still last for a decent amount of time without chipping. I really like this line of Sally Hansen polishes- the formula and quality are very good, particularly since this is a drugstore brand. Commander in Chic has quickly become one of my favorite shades- it's perfect for fall/winter. Love it.
Blush -Clinique - Blushing Blush Powder Blush - Smoldering Plum
royas784 12/20/2010 4:53:00 AM
LOVE it. I have medium/beige toned skin with yellow undertone (NC30), and find Smoldering Plum to be the perfect shade (recommended to me at Sephora).The right shade of blush makes all the difference between looking fake/clownish to having a flattering, natural flush- which I have quickly found to be true in comparing the look I get with Smoldering Plum to some other blush colors I've tried in the past. Smoldering Plum is sort of plummish, with a very slight shimmer (definitely not noticeable or glittery once applied). I can imagine that it is flattering on many skin tones. I definitely steer away from bright pink/red blushes, so Smoldering Plum is great, when used with a light hand. My makeup looks better whenever I use this-it is subtle (when not piled on), but still very flattering, and lasts all day. I lightly dust it on my cheeks, and a little on my forehead and nose, and am left with the perfect, "natural flush" look every time. A little goes a long way, and a light hand should be used when applying, as it is quite pigmented.This particular shade is great, and is definitely worth the $19. You get a decent amount, which lasts. I'm so happy with this shade, it makes me blush :)
Moisturizers -Clinique - Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
royas784 12/20/2010 4:11:00 AM
I've been using Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (combination oily to oily skin) for a few months now, and am very pleased with it. I have combination skin (oily t-zone, normal cheek area), so I need to use a light moisturizer. I knew I could not use a heavy moisturizer that would contribute to the oilies and make my face glow in the wrong way. This has a very light consistency, that is somewhere in between a lotion and gel. It does feel like there's a light gel-like film while applying, but it is absorbed into my skin right after I finish applying it. My sister used to use this years ago, and I tried it before and liked it, so I was not apprehensive about buying my own bottle. This has not irritated my skin or caused any breakouts, and although I still get oily t-zone (especially nose), I noticed that this helps normalize my skin for longer than some other moisturizers I've tried, which were just not made for my skin type. It definitely does not prevent oiliness, but does help keep it somewhat at bay, and certainly does not contribute to it. Clinique is one of the more affordable department store brands- I adore their blush (Blushing Blush powder blush, in Smoldering Plum), which gives me a beautiful, natural flush, and am a big fan of this moisturizer- these two are the only Clinique products I own. The moisturizer costs $24-and is worth the price, as you get a good amount of product that will last. I bought it at the Macy's counter, and have also seen it sold at Sephora. Overall, this is a great, basic moisturizer that I can imagine most with combination to oily skin will enjoy.
Misc Beauty Tools -Anastasia Of Beverly Hills - Anastasia Tweezers
royas784 9/25/2010 2:50:00 AM
HG tweezers- I will never go back to using mediocre, cheaper ones again. My mom has been using the Anastasia tweezers and highly recommended it. I bought it at Sephora for just under $ 30. The price is pretty steep for something so small, but considering how well they work, price is not an issue. I feel that paying a bit more for a quality product-when there is no match- is okay. Tweezerman tweezers go for around $20, so not that much cheaper, and perform quite well, but I really feel that the Anastasia ones do a better job of easily and effectively grabbing little brow hairs The cashier I bought them from explained that he gets his brows done by someone who uses Anastasia tweezers, and that it grabs every little hair, without the need to pull, since they are calibrated at the perfect slant for grabbing each brow hair with ease. He wasn't just talking- I had used my mom's pair before and know how great these tweezers are.. I also have a pair of Tweezerman tweezers, so admittedly, those could have made do, but I was looking for something that was even better. I am picky about anything dealing with brows- I go to threading, and do touch-ups in between visits, and during those times when my eyebrows are pretty messy, and I would just rather clean them up than make the trek over to get my brows professionally done. I highly recommend Anastasia tweezers for anyone- people like me who just clean up brows, as well as professionals.
Treatments -Modern Organic Products (MOP) - C-system Conditioning Mist
royas784 6/7/2010 11:44:00 PM
I've been using MOP C-System Conditioning Mist for a few years now...I'm surprised I haven't reviewed it before. I have healthy, thick, wavy-ish hair, that I sometimes straighten. My hair stylist used this while flat ironing my hair, and highly recommended it. It adds just enough control while styling, while adding moisture without weighing hair down- it's almost like having two products in one. Also, the scent is light and slightly citrusy- it definitely does not smell strong or linger in your hair all day. I never flat iron my hair without using this, since it adds a little bit of texture and control, while controlling fly-aways and conditioning hair. It really adds life and radiance to my hair...i am left with healthy-looking, shiny, perfectly tamed and conditioned hair-- no need for excess styling products, as long as I use this. I have also used this on damp hair, and let it air dry... my hair feels a bit more conditioned afterward. The bottle states: "A vitamin rich conditioning spray to enhance softness and manageability while providing a hint of control." (Directions): "Mist lightly through damp hair and finger style or blow dry." This is the one hair product I come back to time and again- it's one of the few that makes my hair feel healthy and manageable. I imagine it would work well for most hair types, since it does condition, but not too heavily. It works well for various styling needs-- blow drying, straightening, or simply air drying. I bought mine at a beauty supply store a while ago for $16 - it isn't cheap, but definitely not as expensive as some other high end hair styling products. It's HG for me.
Summer is around the corner, and I am so happy to finally be wearing flip flops all the time. I looked down at my toes and realized I have a stash of nail polish that I hadn't worn in the longest time, and it was about time I put it to good use! I am a fan of OPI polishes, and Fiji Weejee Fawn is one of my favorite shades ever. It is a pearly, taupe-ish shade that is so pretty and flattering. It's perfect for when you're in the mood to wear a pretty, subtle shade. It is subtle, but definitely not boring. It matches everything, and would probably flatter most skin tones. It has a kind of seashell-like sheen to it- it's looks very pretty on, especially when wearing flip flops or sandals. What I love, is that it is not sparkly and tacky, but has a very nice pearl-like quality. And I really love taupe- eyeshadow, and now nail polish. I use a base coat first, then two coats of polish, followed by top coat, and am left with the perfect look. Fiji Weejee Fawn is the one polish I will keep coming back to.
I really like Ecotools makeup brushes.. I have the retractable kabuki brush, as well as the blush brush (which I reviewed before). The kabuki brush is great- it applies powder and mineral makeup very evenly and effectively, and feels very soft. It can also be used to apply blush. The quality is great, especially for the price. I am sure it's just as good as higher end brands, at a fraction of the cost. Yay for Ecotools!
I love LORAC eyeshadows- they are so buttery smooth, and blend beautifully. Pewter is one of my favorite eyeshadows. It's a taupe-ish color, with a sort of brownish-purplish undertone. It's slightly shimmery, but in a very good way. You can get a nice, smokey-eye finish with this, and easily, since it blends so well. I use it to contour, mainly at the eyelid crease. This pairs nicely with a shimmery, toffee-ish shade. I also highlight my brow bones, and am left with a great look that lasts through the day, especially when paired with Urban Decay Primer Potion. It's a versatile shade, that can be used to define eyes for a variety of looks. You really can't go wrong with LORAC shadows- they are great. The price is pretty steep ($18 at Sephora), and you don't get very much, but the quality and pigmentation is awesome. LORAC rocks!
Skincare - Body -Unlisted Brand - Parissa Studio Warm Wax
royas784 3/15/2010 3:37:00 AM
I highly recommend Parissa microwavable waxing kit (for coarse hair) for all waxing needs. You get a decent amount of high quality cloth waxing strips, a good sized tub of wax, and a small tube of soothing oil. I have tried various brands of body wax over the years- some good, some not so great- and find this to be among the most effective, even for very short upper lip/facial hairs. I hardly needed to go back and re-wax areas, since most of the hairs were easily removed the first time; it makes waxing a lot more tolerable. I do agree with other reviews- the wax is very sticky. But it works very well. Another very good brand of wax is GiGi, which can be found at many beauty supply stores. Parissa wax, however, can be found at some drugstores too, and is more affordable. I bought the kit at Target, and know I will be using it for a long time to come. Finally a body wax that delivers!
Cleansers -Neutrogena - All-In-One Makeup Removing Cleansing Wipes
royas784 2/27/2010 5:59:00 PM
I am not too happy with this product- I was looking for something that would help easily remove makeup AND cleanse my face effectively. Although these work well for removing makeup, they do leave behind a film, and i have to use toner afterward (which removes the dirt/oil left behind).. so basically, they do not completely deliver. Also, I do not use waterproof mascara, and still had a hard time removing mascara--this has caused some lashes to fall out, and now they're not as full as they were before. I have stopped using these. You're better off sticking to your usual routine- do not waste your money on these- look for something more effective and gentle.
Skincare - Body -Palmers - Cocoa Butter Formula with vitamin E-Swivel Stick
royas784 12/27/2009 10:05:00 PM
Palmer's Cocoa Butter formula swivel stick is my all time favorite lip balm. It can be used for other things as well, but I only use it on my lips. The tube it comes in is very big- the product lasts a long time, even with repeated use. Its consistency is buttery and smooth, and application is easy. I like how it feels very smooth and not at all sticky on my lips, and lasts a long time. It helps protect chapped lips, and is perfect for nighttime use as well. When I use this consistently, I notice that my lips are a lot less dry and far more healthy looking. An added bonus is the slightly cocoa/vanilla-ish scent. This is definitely a big step up from your generic chapstick. If your lips feel generally dry and chapped, or even if you just want to keep your lips healthy, the swivel stick is for you. The cocoa butter formula- which is the exact same thing in a different form, comes in a tub, and can be used for all over moisturizing (another great Palmer's product). If, however, you are looking for a portable product, to be used primarily as a lip balm, you cannot go wrong with this.
Although a bit on the pricey side ($10), I would dish out the money for this eyeliner. It works just as well as most high-end brands I've used (only samples, but still). I used to use Revlon wet/dry pencil eyeliner, which has been discontinued for some time now. It is very similar to that, but I find it actually has better staying power. There is minimal smudging, even in high heat/humidity, so it will last a long day at work or school (or long night out). I have the black color, which I use on my lower lids, and a thin line on my upper lid (usually). The pigment is rich, and the eyeliner glides on very smoothly. HG.
I don't know if a conditioner could possibly get that much better than this. My mom has been using this line for a while, and I tried both the shampoo and conditioner when i ran out of shampoo. My hair is now hooked, and I don't know how I can go back to using ordinary shampoo and conditioner. I love it, even though my hair is not color treated. The Hydrate conditioner is very luxurious and thick- much thicker than the average conditioner...more like the consistency and feel of a deep conditioner. I leave it on for 2-3 minutes, and am left with very healthy, hydrated hair. The shampoo also works very well- it is creamy and has a nice, rich lather. The scent is a bit herbal...both the shampoo and conditioner feel very refreshing and minty on the scalp. You can find this at some salons and beauty supply stores. It is expensive, but I find it to be well worth the price for a number of reasons: - the formula (both shampoo and conditioner) is very concentrated, so a little bit goes a very long way...you won't be using much, and the bottle lasts way long. -your hair will feel very healthy, nourished, and manageable. I find my hair behaves when I use this, and does not feel damaged or weighed down at all. -quality cannot be beat- it is a really great line of shampoo and conditioner. -no animal testing, 100% vegan. Bottom line: this is SOUL FOOD for your hair!
Absolutely, without a doubt, THE BEST moisturizing ointment I have EVER used, and I've tried plenty. I thought Aquaphor was amazing til I used this, and now i realize Aquaphor is pretty much glorified vaseline. I have never used anything this effective on dry, chapped skin and lips. It is very thick and emollient, and relieves the driest of skin...I mean, it was meant to be used on cow udders! I use this mainly on my lips- it puts chapstick to shame. It leaves my lips incredibly hydrated and soothed. Not only does it keep lips moisturized, I find it actually keeps them softer even after use- my lips were much drier than they are now, thanks to Bag Balm. I slather this on at night, and wake up with the softest lips ever. I even use this when going out, as it gives a nice, glossy sheen. I also started using this on my heels and elbows- my heels are no longer too dry and cracked, and my elbows are far less dry and ashy. I am so glad I checked out the reviews. I was so tired of having such dry heels, elbows, and lips, and was ready for something that actually delivers. This delivers, period. And you get a huge amount of product, so no need to repurchase for a very, very long time. 5 lippies!