Moisturizers -Desert Essence - Jojoba Oil - 100% pure
Mikeswife 10/25/2012 11:35:00 AM
This is a new addition to my HG product list. I suffered from adult-onset acne in my early 20s and while it's gone now, I have since been super cautious about trying new products on my skin. My normal routine for the past few years has been Pond's Dry skin cream in the morning (which is fairly thick, inexpensive, and moisturizing but does not irritate or break out my skin at all). At night, I use Ponds Cold cream with a makeup cleansing cloth, followed by Mario Badescu eye cream and night cream. While the night routine was working fine, and my skin was pretty hydrated upon waking, I also have to shower every a.m., and during the last few months (even in the summer) I was noticing that my chin and around my nose were starting to look a bit flakey by midday. I first tried to combat this by doing a double application of my morning moisturizer (once right after showering, and then again before applying my makeup), but this didn't seem to be working. I read and researched moisturizers out the wazoo on MUA, but was really hesitant to jump to a high-end moisturizer that would cost a ton of money (in a tiny jar) that would not combat the dryness issue, or worse, inflame or irritate my skin. I read about jojoba oil on here, saw the price on Amazon and figured for $6 it was worth a shot, even despite my nagging reservations about new products contributing to skin irritation or acne flareups. And while it may seem counterintuitive to add oil to skin that had fairly severe acne problems in the past, I can honestly say that after a month of using this, I don't think I could ever again go without it. I pat on a few drops of this on my chin, around my nose and under my eyes after I get out of the shower and give it a few minutes to completely absorb, then do my regular moisturizer, then makeup. I have had zero issues with flakiness or dry-looking skin since beginning to use this product. At night, I still use cold cream to take off all of my makeup, but then a use a few more drops of this all over my face and eyes before I go to bed. I feel like my skin is glowing when I wake up in the mornings; it doesn't feel greasy or slick at all. My only complaint (if there is such a thing, I truly am so happy to have found this stuff) is that I think the bottle design would be a bit better if it had a dropper-style top, as the squeeze top can drip a little.
Tinted Moisturizer -Cover Girl - CG Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer Fair to Light
Mikeswife 10/18/2009 6:36:00 PM
I generally don't feel that this TM really provides all that much coverage. It completely disappears into my skin. I haven't used any other TM's though, so I don't know how this would match-up against a similar department store product. I use it only because my everyday moisturizer (Ponds) contains no SPF. No complaints about it really; it goes on smooth, it's inexpensive, and it gives a nice base for other makeup.
I LOVE this moisturizer. There's a reason this has been around since our grandmothers were young! I have a long history with acne (cystic and otherwise) and was scared to death to try it, fearing it would be too heavy, oily and greasy for my face. However, the prescription acne medications I use on my skin leave it super tight and dry, so using a thinner moisturizer really did nothing for me--my face would begin flaking and feeling stretched not even 1/3 through my work day. For $6, this is a lifesaver. My face looks instantly refreshed and glowing after I put it on. I have had ZERO problems with clogged pores or breakouts from this, and have been using it for almost 2 years. My skin feels soft and moisturized, and it provides an excellent base for any other makeup I put on. Fabulous. My ONE complaint is that this has no SPF in it, but I use a foundation with to take care of that. I will never change.
Liquid -Clinique - Superfit Foundation [DISCONTINUED]
Mikeswife 10/18/2009 6:25:00 PM
I bought this to wear on days when my face needs a real pick-me-up (otherwise, I use a tinted moisturizer). I am not big on foundation because I've had a hard time finding one that looks natural, and have also been sorely disappointed by other, $$$ dept. store brands (BB, for one). This foundation is pretty good though. My skin tends to be dry, and it doesn't flake up on me or deposit in the creases of my face. It also does a good job of covering my skin's natural redness on my cheeks and around my nose. I need to follow-up on what kind of long-range wear this gets.
Eye Shadow -Bobbi Brown - Nude on Nude Shimmer Wash Eye Palette
Mikeswife 10/18/2009 6:19:00 PM
I really wanted to love this; it came recommended by a family member who is an all-around makeup guru. And while I'll admit that the palette has a range of nice neutral colors for my skin tone, I'll echo the previous reviewer in stating that three of the four lighter shades are really not all that different from each other. I also found that I really don't like wearing a shimmery eye for work every day, so this is really my biggest issue. The darkest eyeshadow in this palette works great as an eyeliner though, and the brush and her packaging are fantastic.
Eyeliner -Rimmel - Glam Eyes Professional Liquid Liner
Mikeswife 10/18/2009 6:14:00 PM
I bought this in black and brown. It's okay, but I don't love it. The brush is on the long / thin side, so it usually takes a few swipes to get a decent application, and the formula is kind-of thin, so it can look watered down unless you do a few coats. It does last throughout my work day though, and in a pinch, it's better than any pencil I've used. Update: 11/7/12: I saw a picture of tighlining on (where else?) Pinterest and decided to try it using this and a Lancome Artliner on my upper lids. Although this needs a bit of cleaning up on the lower waterline after applying, I think this is a great product for learning. The brush is small and maneuverable, the product applies easily. The Lancome was totally awful for this purpose--I couldn't get the product to adhere at all.
I bought this many years ago, probably when Sephora first started appearing here. I was pretty exited to try it, but found over time that it really did not do too much to add to my overall makeup look. It gives a slight flush, but my cheeks are usually pretty pink naturally. I'm kind-of meh about it.
Brows -Maybelline - Expert Eyes Twin Brow & Eye Pencils
Mikeswife 10/18/2009 5:59:00 PM
My brows are wide, but a little on the sparse side. I searched high and low for something to fill them in that looked natural, but most of the things I tried were completely the wrong color and looked very artificial, especially anything that was a powder. (My hair is very dark brown). I picked this up and thought I'd give it a try for $4 and am so glad I did! I use charcoal, which is a mix between a chocolate-chip brown and black, and smudge it in with the side of the pencil every day to fill in where my brows need help. I think it makes my makeup look more finished. Update--this product is discontinued. Maybelline Define a Brow pencil in Dark Blonde is a good color replacement. Not so crazy about the packaging though.
I picked this up after I saw a magazine article in In Style where they did two looks on the same girl (Alexis Bledel from Gilmore Girls); this was the product they used on the "steals" page. For a $4 blush, it's a great every day color and it looks very natural on my light skin. My one complaint is that the packaging isn't very resilient--the blush starts crumbling in the pot as soon you wear through to the bottom in even a tiny spot, and once it breaks, the blush is pretty much useless. Other than that, I like this product better than some of the higher priced blushes I've tried.
Maybe I'm missing something with all of the negative reviews on this product, but it's one of my hall-of-fame makeup products. I put this on at 7 a.m. and it's still there, unsmudged, when I take my makeup off at 10 p.m., even on days when I'm sweating at the gym after work. I've found it's less clumpy and more stay-put than mascaras that are 3-4x the price. For $4 you can't go wrong.
NARS has a nice color line, good packaging, decent prices for a higher-end makeup brand, and the product lasts through my work day or event. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another of their blushes, but this one is slightly too dark for my skin tone. I picked this color up on eBay on the recommendation of a family member, and while it looks great on her more-olive skin, it looks a little unnatural on me. I will not give up on NARS blushes though!
I have read many, many magazine reviews calling this one of the best colors out there. And although I agree that NARS makes a great blush (I own their Madly), this color really didn't do anything for me. I found it to be a little too orange for my complexion, and really pale. Adding more only made me look peachy. I also wasn't sure the amount of sparkle in it was great for an every day look.
Other reviewers have already commented on the product's weird smell; I'll agree with that. But I will also agree that this is a perfect everyday color for me, a brown-eyed brunette with fair / light skin. Apply with a brush for the best results (yes, it's sticky), but the color lasts longer than most other glosses I own; it looks great with either dramatic or everyday eyes. It's no more pricey than other brand-name lipglosses, but I'd love it even more if they made it with a wand. I was so disappointed to see that Sephora no longer sells this color, but it's still on the NARS website.