Moisturizers -Ren - Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream
sprite26 4/30/2013 9:24:00 AM
An expensive product that doesn't really do much, this moisturizer is entirely too greasy to use as a day cream for my combo/oily skin. As a night cream it's perfectly fine but nothing special. Doesn't really absorb into my skin, hydrates ok. Scent is a bit herb-y. Just unimpressive. I will say that the texture is nice, has a luxurious feeling to it. But I prefer Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream to this. Would not repurchase, I just don't feel it's worth the price tag for what it does.
I feel like this is Kiehls' answer to La Mer. It has a super-rich and thick consistency, provides extreme healing and hydration, and it's also quite expensive (although only a fraction of CDLM's price). I only use this as a night cream as it's far too thick for day use. Now I don't think this cream is up there with La Mer, but honestly it's almost just as good. It calms down any irritation I might be dealing with (especially around my nostrils during cold & flu season) and it hydrates my skin like crazy. Plus it's not too heavy for my combo/oily skin. One of Kiehl's best- a definite repurchase!
This stuff is ADDICTIVE!! The glowing reviews did not let me down. If you'd like to wake up looking younger, give this a try. I am not exaggerating. I've only ever used 3 or 4 products total that have delivered results this impressive (and that's out of a lifetime of being an utter product junkie). I'd give this product a million stars if I could. I apply a thin layer at night after cleansing & toning (there is a sticky texture to it), go to sleep, and wake up to seriously radiant, plump, hydrated skin. Every single time. This stuff is amazing. And it doesn't cost a fortune either. Which is great because I absolutely have to repurchase when I run out- this is a real find! Thank you MUA!
Skincare - Face -St. Ives - Scrub Free Exfoliating Pads
sprite26 4/29/2013 9:38:00 AM
If these little pads are doing anything for my skin, I don't see it. I realize they are gentle, but perhaps they are TOO gentle. I see no difference in my skin when I use these vs. when I don't, disappointing with all the rave reviews. On the plus side, they don't irritate or cause problems for me. I'm just disappointed that they don't seem to do ANYTHING. I much prefer First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, more expensive but in this case you get what you pay for. I ended up throwing away what I didn't use, it was taking up space.
Dodgy Barnett is from BL's Fall 2012 Collection. It's a light pearlescent grey (not quite silver) with a blue-ish tinge and holographic shimmer. This is a slightly edgy neutral, just-this-side-of-conservative. Not a "hey look at me" color even with the holo, but it certainly is pretty. I'm loving this shade. Opaque in 2 coats, no problems with application or wear. As always with BL, it dries super-quickly. Recommended and would repurchase.
Checks and Balances is a thorough but gentle foaming cleanser that I like to use as a back-up when I run out of my Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming. This lathers up really nicely, removes all traces of makeup, never irritates or dries my oily/combo skin. My only complaint about this cleanser is that it doesn't seem to rinse off as completely as my Clinique does, sometimes it feels like I still have product residue on my skin. But that's okay because I use toner afterward. Great product overall though, recommended.
I love a kaolin mask for extra cleansing once in a while. Also, I have strong, somewhat oily skin that can put up with a lot of harsh products. Well- somehow- this mask had a weird, pro-aging effect on my skin. Once I washed it off I saw I had all these new lines on my face, especially on the skin between my eyes. And also near the corners of my eyes where the "crow's feet" would be. Horrified, I moisturized like mad and hoped for the best. The effect wore off after a few hours but I will never use this particular mask again. I almost want to say the mask is too strong and that's why it did what it did to my face. But I've definitely used stronger masks than this one before. There was no tingling or burning, my face didn't even feel particularly dry after I rinsed. Very silky application, dried quickly. I did feel as though all the gunk had been pulled out of my pores, but I have other kaolin masks that will give me the same result- without making my future facial lines more pronounced! Besides, even without that weird thing that happened I didn't find that this mask did anything special enough to justify the price tag. Going to stick with Queen Helene Mint Julep.
What's With the Cattitude is a discontinued color from the OPI Spring 2010 Shrek Forever After Collection. This is one of those HTF shades that costs $$$ on EBay or Amazon now, which is a shame because it is such a lovely pastel blue creme. Very cute and feminine, also perfect for spring and summer. Four lippies instead of five because it requires 3 coats to achieve the opaque Easter Egg color in the bottle. As always with OPI, excellent quality of application and wear. This polish is so beautiful it's easy to see why it's a coveted shade. Lovely!
Polishes -Unlisted Brand - Nails Inc - Baker Street
sprite26 4/8/2013 8:49:00 PM
The color didn't impress me in the bottle, but it knocked my socks off when I put it on. Baker Street is a super-bright cobalt blue creme, and words do not do it justice. This polish is GORGEOUS. If you like blue nail polish, then it's a must-have. And if you don't like blue polishes, give this one a try- it might make you change your mind. There are a million blues out there, this one reigns supreme. Recommended- would definitely repurchase.
Fruit Machine is from Butter London's Sweetie Shop Collection (Spring 2013). This is BL's answer to Barbie Pink. It's super-cute, dupe-able for sure, and yet it stands apart. Put 3 coats on to match the color in the bottle and this candy-pink lacquer dries to a super-shiny plasticky finish. Reminds me of Essie's Splash of Grenadine but without the lavender. It'll probably remind you of a lot of polishes, it's not the most original color ever. But 4 lippies for the quality of application and wear. And this kind of pink is always fun to wear, so perfect for spring and summer. Recommend this one- you NEED it!
Moisturizers -Philosophy - Hope in a Jar - for all skin types
sprite26 4/5/2013 10:30:00 AM
This cream gets hated on a lot, but I've been using this off and on for 10 years and I keep coming back because it works for me. I will say that the scent is inexcusable, it smells exactly like rotten milk. But the active ingredient is lactic acid so maybe that's why. At any rate, I only ever use this as a night cream because there's no way I'm going to let anyone catch me with that smell on me. That's why I give it 4 lippies instead of 5, because other than the scent, I think HIAJ is a 5-lippie product. This delivers RESULTS. After only a few uses it gives me bright, even, glowy skin that people compliment me on. Provides the right amount of moisture too, hydrating but not greasy. Doesn't break me out. Doesn't cost a fortune either. Have repurchased many times and will continue to do so.
Cleansers -Algenist - Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser
sprite26 4/5/2013 10:07:00 AM
Possibly my new HG. I have been using this in place of my regular cleanser for a couple of months, trying to decide if it was worth the price tag ($25 for 4oz) or if it's just a basic foaming cleanser. Because it really does seem very basic and straightforward, but over time I saw my skin was getting softer and brighter and smoother. Lathers up nicely, rinses off easily, and cleanses without drying. It is very gentle. In fact, I think this is one of those products that would work well on most skin types. As for removing makeup, I only used this for makeup removal a couple of times, and I really don't think it's up for the job. Especially if you need to remove strong waterproof eye makeup, something different should be used for that. So I only use this as my "wake up" cleanser, and it's been great. I have been enjoying glowing, healthy, happy skin. I am so impressed with the improvement in my skin's overall appearance that I've decided to buy another tube. This one's a winner- recommended!
My FAVORITE basic moisturizer! This cream is wonderful. Rich and hydrating without being greasy. Never irritating. Never clogs my pores. And it's lighter on my skin than the Ultra Facial Moisturizer, weird but true. I hate running out because it's a little bit pricey, but worth it! This is one of my staples. Have repurchased many times and will continue to do so in the future.
I have been subscribing to Birchbox for one year. Here is a list of what I think are the most noteworthy items they have sent me so far: -Essie LuxeEffects nail polish in Set in Stones (full size) -Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Amused (full size) -Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue -DiorShow Extase mascara -Algenist Lifting & Firming Cream -theBalm Stainiac -theBalm Hot Mama -Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in black (full size) -Pixi Beauty Blush in Purest Peach (full size) -Schick Hydro Silk Razor with coupons for refills -Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara -Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre -Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream -Eve Lom muslin cloth Not only have they sent me things that I was interested in and eager to try, they have also sent me things that I never would have bought or swapped for in a million years on my own. And that's why I continue to subscribe. For instance- before Birchbox, I had made up my mind that I did not like glitter nail polish. Well then I fell in love with the Essie glitter that they sent me, and now I own many. In fact some of my favorite polishes in my collection are glitters now. And theBalm Stainiac? It worked out so well for me that now I have it in all 3 colors. These are things I never would have branched out and tried without Birchbox. But they definitely send out a lot of "filler" too. There have been tea bags, mints, a LUNA bar, an emery board, many random fragrance samples, a piece of chocolate- yes, ONE lone Ghirardelli chocolate square. But for $10 a month it can't be an all-out, full-sized, high-end extravaganza in every box. They'd go broke! Overall, I love Birchbox. The price is right, the products are great, I'm glad I signed up.
Treatments -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - Radiance Peel
sprite26 4/2/2013 4:41:00 AM
My 2nd peel from MUAC. I tried it because I loved the glow I got from using the 25% Mandelic Acid peel so much and wanted to see how this one would compare. I find that the Radiance Peel doesn't have quite the same "wow" factor that the 25% Mandelic does. However I find that the results last longer. I last used the Radiance Peel about 10 days ago and I'm still enjoying the increased brightness and clarity that usually fades 3-4 days after I do a 25% Mandelic. So that's a big plus. Also, I find I have fewer issues with peeling and irritation as well. I want to try some other peels from MUAC until I find the one that works best for me, but I could see myself buying this again. Great product!