This mascara is highly underrated. I found this at Ulta one day while browsing, and liked the packaging. The brush is rather strange - thin in the middle and thicker at the ends, but I understand the design. It's to help get at the tiny lashes at the inner corners! The formula is outstanding. I can see my lashes lengthening dramatically and actually enjoy putting on this mascara. Will keep purchasing. Am very happy with this product.
Pressed Powders -Senna - Glistening Shimmer Powder - Rose
Viesha 12/3/2009 4:00:00 PM
This was a neat little online impulse buy this past weekend. This is a fun powder, and I can definitely see getting some mileage out of it, especially with the holidays in full swing. When I first received it, I did a finger test, and saw the beautiful pale pink powder with a hint of sparkle. My first thought was that this may be too much of a sparkle powder, rather than a powder with shimmer, which is what I look for. However, I'm happy to report that the powder goes on sheer and delivers that little bit of shimmer. It's not too much for work, so I will be able to add it to my daily makeup routine if the moment strikes me. I can also see adding this to my fancy dress routine for going out, and possibly layering it on thicker, which is totally possible given the sheerness of the product. The compact is thin, light, and simple, which is what I look for in all my powders. The more I carry in my makeup bag, the heavier it will get, so I appreciate its simplicity. It's also a decent size that delivers a generous helping of happy. I can use my own powder brush rather than a powder puff, because I like to control the application.
Foundations -Sephora - Mineral Double Compact SPF 10
Viesha 12/1/2009 2:22:00 PM
I use this product as a touchup powder during the day. The coverage is excellent and it applies easily. I use shade D25, as I'm really fair. It doesn't make me break out either. The downside is the packaging and the sponge. I hesitated to buy this because the packaging is so bulky. I don't like carrying it because it takes up a good portion of my cosmetic bag and makes it heavy along with the other things I carry. I do like that there's a mirror included, but don't like that it's on the bottom of the case, and that I have to flip it up to get to the mirror. Very cumbersome and not well thought out. Also, the sponge included with the compact is decent, but I have to be careful not to apply it to heavily because the sponge will drop product on my face in a heavy clump, and my skin instantly gets the orange-peel look. I then have to wipe the excess product away. Not pretty or effective, and when I'm rushing to a meeting or to a presentation, I don't have tons of time to keep fixing my face. I now keep it in my drawer at work for quick touch-ups and have replaced the powder in my cosmetic bag with a much thinner compact. I'm not sure I'll repurchase.
I've been using this as a setting/finishing powder for several years. Bare Escentuals is an excellent brand, and their marketing campaigns can't be beat. Leslie Blodgett is a doll and I love her no-nonsense presentation on QVC. Also, this year, I just started to wear some of their eyeshadows because I had a sensitivity to any purple eyeshadow, and BE mineral eyeshadows don't cause that sensitivity. I love their brand. Still, I have to say that recently, Mineral Veil has fallen short in its ability to provide a decent finish on my skin over my foundation. The Mineral Veil is starting to make my skin look pretty dry and I completely avoid putting it under my eye area for fear I'll look like a corpse. Also, it seems to vanish mid-day, and I look like all my makeup has worn off. I don't mind doing touch-ups. It's what we girls love about makeup. However, I present for a living, and if I forget to touch up or if I don't have time, I don't exactly feel confident and put together. I think it may be because my skin is aging and is becoming drier, and this powder may not be the one for me anymore. I may need something a little more finely milled and softer. I recently bought a really small container of the BA Feather Light Mineral Veil off of eBay, so I will finish and will probably not repurchase. Plus, at $19 for only 12g, this may no longer be real cost-effective in these challenging times. I was reading about NARS powder this evening as well as my old favorite, Coty Airspun, which might be worth a try.
I hesitate to say anything is my HG, mostly because I like to try different brands to see what products out there are brilliant versus those that are just...meh. Also my hair gets used to certain products and I usually have to go searching for a replacement. I actually used this shampoo many many years ago before I started coloring my hair. It was good then, and I'm not sure why I stopped using it. I was lucky enough to be re-introduced to it because there were travel sizes available at the hotel I was staying this past summer. For the past 2 years or so, I've been searching for a really nice moisturizing shampoo. I had used Paul Mitchell's Shampoo One and Biolage Color Care shampoo. While both products are excellent, they didn't exactly leave my hair in terrific condition. I even tried the brand sold exclusively by the salon I go to, but was left with less-than-stellar results and a high pricetag. With that said, this shampoo is the closest thing to a HG I have found in a long time. My hair has had tons of processing and I get it colored and trimmed every 4 weeks like clockwork. Usually by week 3, my hair shows signs of being like straw, and I have to use extra measures to pull me through to week 4. My hair is not stick straight, but wavy/curly if I don't blow dry. And, if I don't blow dry completely or if there is moisture in the air, I get treated to a nice bout of frizz on the sides of my hair which makes me look like a crazy woman. I have been using this for almost a month now. This shampoo gently cleanses my hair and leaves it incredibly soft, manageable, and dare I say, conditioned. It does not feel weighed down, either. At some points during the past month, my color actually looked somewhat brighter and not as faded as red usually gets over time. When I'm ready to blow dry, I don't have to put tons of product on, and the blow dry is a breeze. The hair on the sides of my head is soft, straight, and sleek, much like it is when my hairstylist does it. And it stays put all day with minor touch-up brushing. My hair stays soft all day, without feeling crispy on the ends, which is usually what happens by week 3. The smell of the product is absolutely amazing, and is a wonderful wake-up during my morning shower. The shampoo itself is a medium thick pearly green. If you have overly processed hair and are in need of a boost of softness and gentle care, get this stuff!
I bought a trial size of this hairspray while on a business trip last month. I was close to running out of my usual Tresemme hairspray and had pretty much run out of patience with how dry, crispy, and fried it was making my hair. So, being on the lookout for something new presented me with the perfect time to switch. The first thing I noticed about it was the scent. It smelled very retro and heavy. I wasn't sure how well that would fare with me. Still, I decided to give it a try. It helped keep my hair calm and happy throughout the day and the smell disappeared quickly. My hair stood up to the ultra humidity of Boston as well and stayed soft. That, in itself was impressive. The true test, I thought, was how well it would behave when I got home to SF. I used the trial-size for a few more days to make sure it worked well, and ended up purchasing the full size which I now use daily. My hair doesn't feel the least bit dry or crispy. In fact, it feels soft and manageable, and at the risk of sounding like a cheesy commercial, I can happily say this is my hairspray of choice.
Conditioner -Nexxus - Humectress Luxe Ultimate Moisturizing Leave-In Spray
Viesha 9/7/2009 4:26:00 PM
I honestly didn't expect this product to work as well as it did. For me, my hair behaves decently during week 1 and 2 after a color touchup. There's enough of the conditioning left from the color on my hair, and it doesn't feel dry yet. Week 3 and 4 are when things get a little dicey, and despite my best efforts to retain my hair's softness post salon visit, I usually end up with straw. I was using Redken Anti Snap interspersed with a leave-in that is sold at the salon I go to. Those 2 products were decent but I wasn't thrilled with them. Plus, my salon no longer carried the larger container of their leave-in and seemed to charge an arm and a leg for the smaller version. This wasn't cost-effective for me, so I set out in search of a better option. After doing some research on MUA and reading multiple reviews, I decided to try this stuff upon recommendation of several people. As mentioned above, I really didn't expect this product to work. The consistency is very thin and I didn't expect it to coat my hair or moisturize for that matter. I'm happy to report that it did both, and thensome. I'm now at week 4 of my color and am scheduled to visit the salon in 3 days. My hair is uber soft and manageable and there is no evidence of a straw-like existence as there usually is prior to my color visit. The product sprays on nicely and I can direct it just where I need it to go. It also smells terrific without a lingering odor that some products can leave behind. Best of all, my hair doesn't feel coated or heavy, and when I shampoo, I don't feel like I've got buildup. We have a winner.
From the looks of the earlier reviews on this product, the SPF version has been around for quite sometime. However, I just found it this past spring. Perhaps I had been looking in the wrong place. I had avoided buying Bonne Bell Lipsmackers for a long time because I kept saying that they needed to come out with an SPF version. I won't wear lip balm outdoors or in the office (flourescent lights can damage skin, too) unless it contains an SPF. I've long been a fan of these little gems. My cousin bought me my first full size Lipsmacker in Dr. Pepper when I was 14. It was one of the huge containers that you could hang around your neck. It tasted and smelled yummy and lasted forever. I eventually graduated to the smaller sizes, delighting in each and every one. Sadly, this particular version comes with tons of flaws. Instead of having a flat cap like the regular version, Bonne Bell decided to make the inside of the cap pointed so that the top outside portion can hang on a necklace. When the product is pushed up even slightly, something about the opening and closing mechanism of the unit creates a strange airlock, and the exposed product gets stuck and 'molded' inside the weird cap. When I open the unit to get more product, the airlock breaks the product inside the cap, leaving it a mushy mess for me to fish out with either my little finger, nail, paperclip, etc. I don't like pot lipglosses, so I'm not about to take the whole thing and squash it into a container. I like being able to apply on a whim, and I keep a stash of lippies in a basket at my desk at work. Grab and go is how I work. Also, when I actually get the top back on the container, what's left around the edge of the cap squirts out the underside of the cap. I have to wipe it off with a tissue every time. This wastes product. Also, for some reason, the formula for this particular SPF version tends to crumble into pieces really easily, thus creating an even further mess. Perhaps I just bought a really old package - I don't know. This is mostly happening with the Power Punch flavor, but it is also happening with the Strawberry Splash flavor. I gave my friend the 3rd one in the pack so that when she went on her cruise, she would have sun protection for her lips. I think that one was Kiwi Berry. I hope she had better luck with it. I don't plan to buy more of the SPF Bonne Bell products. I think that in designing the SPF formula, they had to compromise on quality and softness. Also, the cap's design needs to be thought out a little better. I will probably throw out what remains of the ones I have. If I do buy anymore Bonne Bell, it will be the ones without SPF and I will use at bedtime.
Conditioner -Rusk - Sensories Smoother Leave-in Conditioner
Viesha 8/11/2009 12:01:00 AM
I really want to like this product. It's the first leave-in that actually calms my hair after I shampoo and condition it, and right before I blow dry it. I am careful not to use too much - only a dime size amount. Still, the buildup is pretty noticeable. I can feel it when the shower water first hits my hair in the morning. I worry that the product isn't washing properly out of my hair and I really can't use a clarifier because I have colored hair (red) that fades quickly. Since I get my hair colored every 4 weeks, this is a concern. I once tried a cheap brand of shampoo that coated my hair with a silicone-like feel, and my color didn't turn out right. My stylist claims that she thinks she didn't mix the proper color, but I wondered if it was due to the buildup from the shampoo I had used. I have the same worry with this stuff. And, if the color doesn't come out right, it means an extra 1.5 hours at the salon AND more damage to my hair because color has to be taken out and added back. I'm not willing to take that risk again. Today I purchased 2 other products that I read reviews of here, and will post reviews once I've had a chance to use them for awhile.
Fragrances -The Body Shop - White Musk White Hot Summer
Viesha 7/19/2009 12:39:00 AM
Wonderful! The pink pepper, bergamot, and violet leaf are responsible for the burst of brilliance. As time goes by, the fragrance dries down nicely and morphs into a spicy musk/rose mix with a hint of carnation. The sandalwood, musk, and vanilla give it its staying power throughout the day. It stays light, fresh, and invigorating as well as feminine. Definitely a wonderful summer, or anytime scent.
The salesgal gave me a sample of the body butter sometime in late winter/early Spring. I put it on my arms and loved it. I used it the next day at work and noted that the fragrance morphed into something yummy that stuck around throughout the day. I normally avoid wearing scented lotions to work for fear of the 'scent police'. However, this was light and lasting, without being cloying or headache-inducing. After I finished my sample, I vowed to get some but forgot about it for awhile. Fast forward a few months, and I found myself on eBay looking for the body butter. I ended up winning an auction for the body butter, EDT, and shower gel. On me, the scent is a fresh, sweet, spicy, interesting rose - not cloyingly sweet like some versions you might find in other brands. It is the perfect summer scent and it lasts all day.
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original (UDPP)
Viesha 7/19/2009 12:10:00 AM
My friend gave me hers because she bought one that she liked better. I'd been interested to try it outside of just swatching it on my hand at Sephora. I normally wear Mac's Painterly Paint Pot as my lid primer, but on days when I'm not wearing browns, peaches, or golds and am wearing purple/pink combinations, this is my go to primer. It blends beautifully on the lid to create a slightly tacky base for either regular pan eyeshadows or loose shadows, and makes the shadows last all day without fail. The packaging could be done a little differently though, as the doe-foot applicator makes me wonder just how much product is being picked up, and how much is being left in the container. Once the applicator dries up, there won't be a way to squeeze anything out, and if there's product left at the bottom, there won't be a way to tell. I may repurchase, as it is a good product. It depends on how long this one lasts.
Primer/ Corrector -Rimmel - Fix and Perfect Foundation Primer
Viesha 7/19/2009 12:02:00 AM
I purchased this product on the advice of a beauty blog/tutorial I viewed. At first glance, the peachy color is a bit alarming. I thought there must be different shades to this, as it's listed as 001. I'm naturally pretty red most days without foundation, so it had me worried. I tried a little on my hand, and was amazed that it really added no color at all. In fact, it diffused the redness on my always red hands. Keep in mind, though, that any activity that circulates blood on the hands will do the same thing. However, I figured this product was worth a try. I'd used Rimmel mascara for years as a happy customer, so I figured I'd have nothing to lose. And, since the price (about $7.59) is amazing, this is a must try product. The formula adds a little bit of extra moisture under foundation, smells wonderful, and didn't make me break out. As mentioned earlier, the peachy tone was fine, and didn't add unwanted color. It helps to even out my foundation and make it look even better. I gave a small sample to a friend who's just getting into makeup. She's also going to buy some for herself. I will definitely repurchase. I'm a happy customer.
Primer/ Corrector -Clarins - Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch
Viesha 7/18/2009 11:53:00 PM
I purchased this product on the recommendation of a makeup video I watched. The product feels like it has quite a bit of silicone in it, and that made me worried about breakouts when I first tried it. To my surprise, I had no breakouts, and was able to use this product until it ran out. Most days, I would use it under makeup. Sometimes, I would use it by itself on weekends. It really does even out the skin tone and add a little extra moisture. At $30 a pop however, it's a little pricey. However, I look at how long a product lasts, and with this, a little goes a long way. I didn't repurchase because I found a much less expensive alternative with a little more moisturizing properties.
Foundations -Clarins - True Comfort Foundation [DISCONTINUED]
Viesha 7/18/2009 11:43:00 PM
I've been using this foundation for a few years now. I received a sample in a Sephora order, and, oddly enough, the shade (04 - Latte) was perfect for me. I've never looked back. The coverage is excellent without being too matte. Depending on the day, weather, occasion, I can use more or less. The formula is emollient without being greasy, and not chalky at all. It doesn't make me break out, either. Works wonderfully with Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil, and my Rimmel concealer. I've not ventured into any other shades, because I've found my perfect one. The tube is an odd shape, and when the product begins to run out, I have to fold the tube up in sections and be very careful not to squeeze too hard otherwise I get too much product. It tends to be a bit pricey but a little goes a long way and it lasts several months with daily use. The only negative, at least in my area, is that Macy's and Nordstrom are the only local stores that carry it, and sometimes either or both are out of my shade. I hate having to ask for it and be told they're out because that indicates poor planning/purchasing from their buyers. Therefore, my most recent purchase was from Amazon.com which is probably how I'll purchase going forward.