This is absolutely the most beautiful foundation I have tried. Seriously. I can't stress it enough, and I have reviewed 3 pages of foundations here on MUA. This blends in so easily, and looks like it has become your skin. It makes the texture of the skin look velvet smooth, radiant, and poreless. Yet, it is not heavy coverage so some skin texture shows through. It does not cake up around my nose, accentuate pores or fine lines. It does not highlight dry patches. It wears incredibly, incredibly well. After 12 hours it is still going strong - no sliding around, no pooling in pores. The color 03 matches me well, though I suspect I could wear 02 also (I am between NC 15 and NC 20). It also has no parabens. However, I am not certain of the safety of this product and for that reason probably won't buy it. (I had sample packets). It uses nano-particles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (I wrote the company and asked). I am hesitant to use nanoparticles as there is a chance they can absorb right through skin and into the blood stream. Until science proves nanoparticles are 100% safe, I won't be using it, as much as a long to :-(
After trying dozens of tinted moisturizers, I've decided this is my favorite! Yes, this is definitely a tinted moisturizer and not a foundation (in my opinion). It is very moisturizing and very sheer. It is much sheerer coverage than Laura Mercier's TM or Tarte Smooth Operator for instance. This is the reason I like it - it lets my real skin texture show through, instead of looking like foundation sitting on top of my face - it's definitely a "my skin but better" look. It does even out skin tone (for instance part of my face that are redder) and it does smooth over and cover the pores on my nose nicely, but still lets my skin show through. It gives a dewy look so if you don't like that you may want to set with powder. It wears very well - after a full day out, it does not slide around or evaporate. And it does NOT puddle/pool up in pores - this is a miracle, since almost every TM I have tried did! The color match is perfect for me (I am between NC 15 and NC 20, and I wear Light Linen), and I really like the light fresh scent. Finally, the ingredient list is impressive - and no parabens! I will definitely be loving this product this summer!
Sunscreen -Avene - Eau Thermale Tres Haute Protection Emulsion spf 50+
ashleydutta 5/1/2011 9:03:00 PM
This review is for the new 2010 version with avobenzone. Fabulous sunscreen. Of the Avene bunch, it is my favorite (even better than the Hydrance Optimale UV 20 Riche)! BUT, I wish it did not have avobenzone. I am uncertain about avobenzone because it is highly unstable - it would be better if they would just take it out! I cannot wear this sunscreen with so many foundations, because titanium dioxide and zinc oxide cannot be combined with avobenzone (it destabilizes it). Other than that, this sunscreen is perfect - light weight, non greasy, sheer, no bad sunscreen smell, and high SPF and UVA protection. I'll definitely get a bottle of this before any beach holidays!
Sunscreen -Avene - Very High Protection Emulsion SPF50+ (2010 FORMULA)
ashleydutta 5/1/2011 9:02:00 PM
Fabulous sunscreen. Of the Avene bunch, it is my favorite (even better than the Hydrance Optimale UV 20 Riche)! BUT, I wish it did not have avobenzone. I am uncertain about avobenzone because it is highly unstable - it would be better if they would just take it out! I cannot wear this sunscreen with so many foundations, because titanium dioxide and zinc oxide cannot be combined with avobenzone (it destabilizes it). Other than that, this sunscreen is perfect - light weight, non greasy, sheer, no bad sunscreen smell, and high SPF and UVA protection. I'll definitely get a bottle of this before any beach holidays!
Moisturizers -Avene - Hydrance Optimale Riche UV SPF 20
ashleydutta 5/1/2011 8:58:00 PM
Beautiful product - effective UVA protection, light weight, sheer, no sunscreen smell. It is so sheer that I cannot tell where I have already put it on - it is invisible upon application! It also adds just the right amount of moisture, making my foundation apply nicely. If anyone is wondering - no, it is not heavy or greasy in the least (with the name "Riche" I was afraid it would be). There's really only two problems with this: if I do not use an oil cleanser to get it off at night, I break out every single time. I can deal with that, though - just use an oil cleanser! The other problem is the price. To order it in the US & make sure I have the European Tinosorb version, i have to order it from Skin-beautiful.com. It is almost $40, plus shipping, for a tube slightly over one ounce that will only last me a month and a half to two months. That is just way too much for me :-(
This is a wonderful product if you are looking for a light, sheer sunscreen for oily skin. It actually absorbs oil. it feels like nothing on because it is so light. It leaves no white cast. it does not have a sunscreen smell. the sunscreen is stable and provides good UVA protection (uses Tinosorb). sounds perfect, right? Well, it wasn't for my skin type. I need some moisture, and this made my skin too dry. The Hydrance Optimale UV 20 Riche is perfect for me though! And, the other draw back from these Avene sunscreens is that they are SO expensive! I ordered mine from skin-beautiful.com because she imports them from Europe (so you know you are getting the effective Tinosorb formula). but at nearly $40 for a little over an ounce..ouch! that is too much.
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Naturals Cleanser + Makeup Remover
ashleydutta 5/1/2011 8:48:00 PM
Editing my review. After a few weeks' use, this dried my skin out. Better than any other Neutrogena cleanser though. If you live in a hot, humid place and have oily skin, this may work for you. Otherwise, I think it will dehydrate your skin.
I always gravitate back to this fragrance, no matter how many other ones I try. It is so soft, warm, and feminine. Some are saying it is heavy and a winter frgrance...that's odd because on me, though it is "warm" it is a light scent that is beautiful in spring, even summer. I also do not think many people wear this - at least not where I live - I have never smelled it on anyone. So I actually do feel unique when I wear it. Also, I get good lasting power from this - the EDT stays on me all day. Now, on to the description: I swear I smell coconut in this! I don't know why - it is not listed as a note, but I defintely always smell coconut. With the sweet lime & pear opening, it's no wonder that I find this a tropical spring/summer fragrance. I find this more sweet and soft than fruity or florally. The vanilla & tonka definitely come out on skin. So, a combination of sugared pear, sweet lime, coconut, tonka & vanilla - yes please!! that is exactly what I smell, and it is yummy!
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - IQQU - Advance Sunscreen SPF 35 UVA/UVB
ashleydutta 4/14/2011 2:19:00 PM
This sunscreen is not photostable; that means it is not providing you with any sun protection after a few minutes; it breaks down in sunlight, and causes free radicals (which damages skin). The reason is that avobenzone by itself is unstable. It is further destabilized by octinoxate. Both of these are in this formulation, with nothing to stabilize it. (the ingredient list uses their formal names, but look them up & you'll see it is octinoxate & avobenzone). So, for sun protection I would not buy this. I like Michelle Phan's videos though - she is very talented, but she does not know anything about cosmetic chemistry.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - EXTRA VIRGIN Coconut Oil (All brands)
ashleydutta 3/30/2011 2:27:00 AM
I use this stuff for so many things! it is a staple for me. I totally disagree with the reviewer below who says this should not have a smell - it should! if you are using coconut oil with no scent you are using a highly refined coconut oil that will not have as many nutrients for your hair and skin. Get extra virgin UNrefined oil. it has a delicious coconut smell (of course, it is pure coconut oil)! :-) I use this to : - clean my makeup off at night. rub it into my face, then cleanse off with warm water and a cleanser. - moisturize after my shower, like a lotion - as a hair mask before shampooing, once every other week. makes my hair shiny and bouncy! I also love cooking with it and eating it on toast, YUM! :)
Deodorants -Unlisted Brand - Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
ashleydutta 3/22/2011 10:31:00 PM
This does NOT work. I tried this for over a month and had SO many embarrassing moments. There were times I couldn't face people I was so embarrassed. I think I smell worse with this than with nothing on. The other problem - this IS aluminum, and when wet it IS small enough to penetrate your skin --- so why use this? it's no safer than normal antiperspirants. you can check out the facts on the website called Chemical of the Day, where Stephanie, a chemist explains how this breaks down into small alumnium ions. Also, like the reviewer below me said - the crystal rock itself will absorb your body odor, so then it is like rubbing B.O. on yourself. it is pretty nasty. My husband and I threw it out. I am now using Jason Tea Tree roll on deodorant, and it works very well (for a natural deodorant that's not an antiperspirant, that is).
Deodorants -Unlisted Brand - Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant
ashleydutta 3/22/2011 10:23:00 PM
Meh. it's ok. actually it's the best non-aluminum natural deodorant I have found, but that's not saying much. I still get stinky with this relatively quickly if I am doing any excercise or wearing a sweater or something. That said, it keeps me from stinking more than any natural deodorant so far...but that's just not good enough for me. I do NOT want to smell, or have to be paranoid about others around me smelling me. Until I find a natural deodorant that makes me confident I am not smelling and won't smell for the whole work-day, I will have to use those bad old aluminum antiperspirants. That said, if you are bound and determined to use only aluminum free - this may work for you - try it. You will probably have to keep a stick in your purse and definitely in your gym bag, in case you need to reapply. The reason this works better than others, I think, is the combination of baking soda and triclosan. A good combination...but overusing triclosan is bad too, as bacteria become immune to it so it won't work forever...(that's my theory anyway).
Deodorants -Kiss My Face - Active Enzyme Deodorant
ashleydutta 3/22/2011 10:14:00 PM
Worst deodorant EVER! I have tried lots of natural deodorants, and this was by far the worst. I smell worse with this than if I don't wear deodorant at all! Half an hour after my shower, if I wear this, I smell terrible and am wet & sticky. Yuck!! The best non-aluminum deodorant (not antiperspirant) I have found is Arm & Hammer, but it's not great either. the search continues.
Deodorants -The Body Shop - DeoDry Dry-Effect Deodorant
ashleydutta 3/22/2011 10:12:00 PM
This is ok for a natural deodorant - but that doesn't mean it's a good product. I don't think any natural deodorants are. I have tried worse though. Kiss My Face was much worse. Tom's was about equal. Arm & Hammer a tad better. So, this deodorant has a VERY strong fragrance. So strong that it overpowers my perfume - it is terrible. The scent is a generic flower smell...(my Body Shop only had one scent to choose from, the one with the pink cap). Upon application, it makes my underarms a bit sticky. If I am going to a cool dry place with a well ventilated shirt, this keeps me from getting smelly for a few hours - definitely not all work day though. I always smell by the time I come home :-(. If I am wearing something like a long sleeve shirt and sweater and walking a few blocks..I will be smelly within half an hour. Ugh. With normal drugstore anti-perspirant, I am NEVER smelly. Ever. But I fear that using aluminum is dangerous for health so I am searching for a natural alternative. I have obviously not found it.
Scrubs -Unlisted Brand - Haus of Gloi Bubbling Scrub
ashleydutta 3/13/2011 3:11:00 AM
Another hit from Haus of Gloi (see my reviews for the pumpkin butters and whipped soap). The scrubs have enough sugar to exfoliate really well and they don't dissolve too soon. The scents are so yummy, and they stay on the skin a long time! When I use them in the shower, the steam activates the scent so my apartment smells lovely for a few hours - it really lingers in the air! Also they are paraben free!