Moisturizers -Alpha Hydrox - Enhanced Lotion - 10% AHA
HunterGray 6/12/2012 6:39:00 PM
I've been using this for about a month now and couldn't be happier. After graduating high school, my acne started going out of control. College was probably the worst my skin has ever looked. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide both just irritated the mess out of my skin, and left me dried out and flaky. My skin was dehydrated, and overcompensated oil production, so not only was my skin rough and flaky, but it was an oil slick. Worst combo ever. I started taking birth control a little over a year ago, and it completely cleared up my body acne, and significantly decreased the amount of breakouts on my face. But I still had deep, painful breakouts along my jawline. They seemed to happen around my period, but they'd linger for weeks, and then leave a mark that stayed for months. My skin also became much drier, the oiliness is gone now. I came across this lotion while browsing makeupalley, and decided to pick some up. Best decision ever. I've been using this twice daily, and the results are fantastic. After two days, the breakouts I had on my chin had come to the surface, and were easily extracted (so shoot me, I'm a picker. I know, I know.). I noticed within one use that my skin was much, much softer. Even with meticulous physical exfoliation, I'd almost always have a rough patch on each cheek. After one use, I had baby soft skin all over, and it had only gotten better every day since then. After one week, I could definitely notice the lightening of post-acne marks. And now, at the one month mark, an unintentional but welcomed side effect: my fine lines are disappearing. I know this is sold as a wrinkle treatment, but I was so focused on the acne that I had completely forgotten about that aspect of it. I'm only 20 so I don't have any serious wrinkles, but I've had fine lines around my mouth since I was 18 or so. Since using this, the lines on one side of my mouth are gone completely, and on the other side, they're extremely faded. My skin hasn't been this smooth and glowy, well, ever. It's the greatest feeling in the world to not have one single pimple on my face. It's been years since I knew what that felt like. After I wash my face at night, I put a thin layer of this all over, wait a couple of minutes for it to sink in, then follow up with my moisturizer (a few drops of jojoba oil). It stings and prickles a little bit, but I'm a huge baby when it comes to pain, so if I can handle it, anyone can. Besides, it goes away after a minute or two. I think your skin builds a tolerance to it too, because sometimes now when I use it, I don't feel a thing. In the morning when I wake up, I rinse my face off with water only, and then apply another layer of this, then jojoba oil, then sunscreen. Spf is important. The second day I used this, I took my dog out for a quick walk (ten minutes, tops), and came inside to find my cheeks and nose bright red. In a way, this lotion is incentive to not be lazy, and remember to wear my sunscreen every day. I'm going to keep using this for a long, long time. It's so nice not to NEED foundation and concealer anymore. Honestly last week I teared up when I saw my face in the mirror without any makeup on. Happy tears. It's a big confidence booster.
I am in absolute LOVE with this foundation. I've been using it about 10 days now, and it might be too early to say HG, but I'm loving everything about it. My skin is NC15 (quite pale, but definite yellow undertones), and in the original Colorstay, Buff matched me perfectly. I figured the shade Buff would work for me as well in this whipped formula. It worked, with a little blending down the neck. The issue I had was that it was a little more yellow, and a tiny bit darker than the original formula by the same name. Over the past week or so though, I've gotten a little sun and it is a great match now. When you open the container, it looks like a liquid. But when you press you're finger into it, it has a bouncy feel to it. My skin is more on the dry side, and generally responds very well to cream types of foundation, and this is no exception. I've applied it with my fingers, a brush, and a beauty blender with great results each time. It doesn't accentuate my dry patches, or dry completely matte. The finish isn't overly dewy either though, it's just really natural looking, like real skin. The coverage is medium, but definitely buildable to full coverage. Staying power is great. I wore it this past weekend at my inlaw's lake house. It was hot and humid, and there was a ton of wind coming in off the lake, but I didn't find myself having to touch up. I just put it on in the morning, and set my t zone with silica powder. There were also a lot of pictures taken, and I didn't have the dreaded ghost-face flashback effect, since this doesn't have spf. I wear a sunscreen under my makeup daily, so this isn't an issue for me, but may be something to consider if you don't wear one. I think it's also worth mentioning that this is the first foundation I've ever tried that doesn't settle into the fine lines on my face by the end of the day. I'm only 20, but the lines are definitely there. Everything I've tried so far has settled in them after 8 hours or so, making them more prominent. I had just accepted that as a fact of makeup, but now I can see that I don't need to deal with that. I've heard people say they don't like the packaging, but I actually like it a lot. It looks sleek and classy on my vanity and has a nice weight to it. Is it unsanitary? Maybe, but then aren't all cream-type products? I suppose if they could keep the same consistency, but package it in a tube, I wouldn't be fully against that. I'd miss the look of the jar, though. Revlon, PLEASE DO NOT DISCONTINUE THIS, EVER. I have finally found the foundation that will last through my wedding without drying the crap out of my face. The many months of searching and testing products is over. Pros: -works well on a variety of skin types -very long wearing without being drying -natural finish -layers very well to build up coverage -no white cast in flash photography -a decent variety of shades -affordable (about $10 when I picked mine up at wal mart) -attractive packaging -has not broken out my sensitive skin -doesn't smell nearly as paint-like as original colorstay Cons: -no spf -unhygienic packaging -difficult to guess shade by looking at the pot -must blend quickly, sets pretty fast
Top/Base Coats -Unlisted Brand - INM - Out the Door Top Coat
HunterGray 6/4/2012 1:52:00 PM
I have been using Seche Vite for the past couple of years. I loved how fast it dried, but I always had shrinkage and tip wear on a few nails. Maybe it had more to do with my lack of skill than the product itself, but still, it was annoying. This top coat takes a little longer to dry, but it doesn't pull and shrink on me like SV. I'd buy, it again, my manis last 3-4 days without chipping with this stuff. For someone who does so much with her hands, I find that quite impressive.
This is such a lovely wearable nude. It's slightly sheer, and has some shine to it, so you don't get chalky looking lips. It is a little bit pink, and is the perfect neutral lipstick to wear with just about any look. Its a great everyday color for me. It is very comfortable on the lips. I'd buy it again if it weren't limited edition.
Mascara -Jordana - Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
HunterGray 3/20/2012 4:56:00 PM
I really like this. My lashes are naturally pretty long and thick, but they are quite light, so I feel like I need a mascara. This, for me, does everything that mascaras 15 times the price does. It gives me black, long, and full lashes that do not clump, flake, or smudge. I like that on days where I want to look very natural, I can just lightly swipe this over my lashes to tint them black, or if I want more drama, I can easily build up very full and noticeable lashes. It works a lot better than any other drugstore mascara I've tried, and better, or at least as well as the high end ones I've purchased as well. The only negative thing I have to say is that it is a little more difficult to remove for being a non-waterproof mascara. I remove my eye makeup with EVOO, so for me, it just means letting the oil soak into the lashes a little longer. But for mascara that doesn't flake or smudge, I consider it an even trade off.
As far as eyelid oiliness goes, mine are pretty average. Dry in the winter, a little oily in the summer. So I don't need a super heavy duty primer, and this works just fine for me. When I wear this, my eyeshadows do not crease, ever. The consistency also works well under the eyes to help your concealer stay in place, so that's a great bonus. However, when it comes to making your eyeshadows super vibrant, this is just not going to be as good as, say, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, or Urban Decay Primer Potion. It's a dollar, what do ya expect? It does make your eyeshadows a little brighter than they'd be on their own, but the texture of this isn't sticky enough to really grab the pigment and make it pop. So is it worth it to pick this up? Sure, if your expectations are realistic. For me, it gives me long lasting, easy to blend, creaseless eyeshadow. But glitter doesn't stick to it very well, and if I wanted to wear a bright matte yellow for example, I'd reach for something else. The applicator and thin consistency makes this quick and easy to apply and blend though, so I reach for this on a lot of days over pricier primers.
Hair Styling Tools -Conair - Infiniti You Curl No Clamp Curling Iron
HunterGray 3/12/2012 8:36:00 PM
I got this as a gift this past Christmas, and I'll admit I was somewhat skeptical. My hair is naturally wavy, thick, and curling it usually takes FOREVER. Not to mention that I have to load it with products to get it to hold a curl. All of that being said, the first time I used this, my mind was blown. I was used to those traditional clamped irons, and I've never been particularly good at using them on myself. I find them awkward. This, however, was a dream to use. I got beautiful bouncy curls in about 20 minutes. I used a small spritz of hairspray, and they lasted all day. Even after sleeping on them, my hair looked great. This wand heats evenly, and can easily be used to create tight curls, or loose waves. My favorite way to use it now is to reshape my natural loose curls into slightly more structured ones. It gives my hair such amazing body. I can honestly say that I'd never go back to using a regular curling iron. The only negative thing I have to say about this is that it's easy to bump the power button while you're using it. But since it heats up so quickly, its not really a huge deal.
This is my favorite gold eyeshadow, easily. It's perfect on it's own, but it also blends into others shadows really nicely. I really love to pair it with Smog. Half Baked is a gorgeous summertime shade, in the warmer months I find myself wearing it almost every day. My skin is pretty pale, about nc15, and this shadow adds a certain warmth to my face. It also looks beautiful worn on the lower lashline for a pop of gold. It's soft and buttery, and because of that, there can be fallout if you're not careful. Tapping the excess off of my brush takes care of the issue for me.
Moisturizers -Desert Essence - Jojoba Oil - 100% pure
HunterGray 3/5/2012 6:42:00 PM
Jojoba oil is my secret weapon, I use it for so many things. I use it as an oil cleanser, a moisturizer, a hair treatment, and it adds a kick to whatever product you mix it with. When I massage it over my face, it removed even the most waterproof, long wearing makeup. When I rub it long enough, I can feel it dissolving the blackheads around my nose and chin. I use a wash cloth wet with warm water to wipe it away, and I'm left with skin that is clean, but not stripped. I have skin that tends to be normal/dry in the cooler months, and combo/oily in the warmer ones. I find that this does a great job of balancing out my skin and keeps it looking healthy and radiant. I have even been able to get rid of my nighttime moisturizer altogether and just use a couple drops of this. It absorbs very quickly for me,and doesn't leave a greasy residue. This does wonders for my hair, too. My hair is thick, wavy, and coarse, and I don't do it any favors by dying it at least once a month. After every shower, I rub a little bit of this through the ends, and I have seen a significant improvement in my hair's health. For daytime use, I like to mix a drop of this with my Netrogena Oil-Free moisturizer, especially in the winter. I like the non greasy feel of this moisturizer, but when my skin is drier, I need a little more oomph. This gives it to me, again, without the greasy feel.
This is the perfect soft rosy lip color for me. I'm NC15, leaning more towards neutral undertones, and this is so flattering. I think it would look great on anyone with neutral to pink undertones, if you are very warm toned, it might not be for you. It's one of my most used lipsticks. I almost always have it in my purse because it goes with every outfit, every look, and it even makes a great cream blush in a pinch. Staying power is good, but it's not too dry. The perfect balance, in my opinion. It looks great on its own, or with a gloss on top. I would definitely repurchase.
One of my favorite every day mascara. I've repurchased several times already. One of my pet peeves is a mascara with a really thick, goopy, formula. Sometimes I like the spider lash look, but usually I don't. This gives me a really natural look. One coat tints my blonde lashes a deep shade of black, and gives a little length. My lashes look so much better without looking like they have mascara on them. Two coats gives me a little volume, and a quite a bit of length. It doesn't flake or smudge on me, which I really appreciate. It also comes of easily. I also really like the brush, it does a great job of separating my lashes. Add that to the fact that this is only $3, and it becomes a near-perfect mascara for me.
Foundations -Make Up For Ever - HD High Definition Foundation
HunterGray 3/1/2012 5:52:00 PM
I feel like I have been using this long enough to write a decent review now. I have normal to dry, acne prone, NC15-20 (depending on the time of year) skin, and I really love this product. I wear 118, and it is just ever-so-slightly too dark for my face. However I tend to wear it very sheerly, so it actually perks up my face nicely. I think that in the summer time, it'll be a perfect match for me. I like the versatility this product has. On its own, it is medium coverage, but buildable, I find. However, it also plays well with other products. I often mix this with my moisturizer for a more sheer coverage, and the finish is gorgeous. I have also had good luck mixing it with other foundations such as Revlon Colorstay. That gave me a long-wearing foundation that didn't flash back white in photographs. I find that when applying this foundation, the best way to go is either with a stippling brush or a damp sponge. I have tried it a few times with my fingers and it was somewhat on the streaky side. This foundation wears really well on my skin and doesn't break me out. I usually just set it lightly in my t zone with a silica powder, and it doesn't get cakey throughout the day. I'm sure it'll require something a little more heavy duty to keep it in place in the summer months, but I'll adjust my routine as needed. The only negative thing I have to say about this foundation is that it will emphasize your dry patches if you aren't properly primed and moisturized. It'll look great from 5 feet away, but when you get close to the mirror, you'll see flakes and patchiness galore. I've found that silicone-based primers don't help much, and that ones that sink more into the skin seem to help this foundation not to cling. Just a good moisturizer will do the trick though. Overall, to me it is worth the price, and I'll be repurchasing when I run out. Pros: - wide variety of shades/undertones - looks great in photographs, no spf - can be worn sheerly, or built up for more coverage - doesn't break out my very acne prone skin - has a convenient, hygienic pump - wears well throughout the day without breaking down and looking cakey - does not emphasize the larger pores on my cheeks, even after hours of wear Cons: - $40+ price tag - can emphasize dry patches if not properly exfoliated/moisturized
I have an addiction to matte tan shades. This one is just deep enough to use in my crease for subtle definition (I'm NC15-20 for reference), but also light enough to use all over my lid as a base shade. When my hair is lighter, it works great in my brows. During the winter months when I'm palest, it's a great contour shade for my nose. It's not overly warm or bronzey, so it doesn't give my face that muddy look when I use it as a contour shade. This has so many uses for me, and is by far the most used shade in my Naked Palette.
I've been dying my hair for the past five years or so, from black to blonde and everything in between. Every time I try a box dye other than Revlon Colorsilk, I'm disappointed in either the color, or the way my hair feels after using it. The only issue I've run into with this brand is that the medium to deep colors run darker than shown, at least on me. I don't usually mind because I go for reddish browns, and they lighten up pretty quickly, but it's just something to keep in mind. My local WalMart has a massive selection of these to choose from, and they are extremely affordable. And even after coloring my hair for so long, it still feels just as healthy as ever.
I have this in porcelain bisque as well as light peach, which I use depending on the type/severity of dark circles I have. They both cancel out my circles very well, but they crease on me like crazy. Most undereye products do, but these are especially bad. I've tried using a little, using a lot, layering with powder before I put concealer on top, wearing them alone, absorbing extra oil with a blotting sheet, everything. It drives me nuts. I hang onto these in the hopes that I'll find a way to use them that looks decent, because they really do banish those circles.