After using four bottles of Lady Caron, and half of a bottle of parfum, this fragrance remains in my top five all time greats. I love chypres and I love big full white floral blends, and in Lady Caron I get both! And throw in another one of my loves, the Statue Of Liberty, and this is as close to perfection, perfume AND bottle, as it can get for me! I'll give you a little Caron history of this scent and how it came to be, and then more about the fragrance itself. The House Of Caron was already very successful here in the US when the founder, Ernest Daltroff, came to America. When he saw the Lady in the harbor, he had a desire to pay tribute to her and his new country, and the freedom he found here. But he never got to do it. In the year 2000, Patrick Ales, director of perfumes for Caron, decided to complete Daltroff's dream, and made Lady Caron. The bottle is sculpted with the image of the head of Lady Liberty, which some may call cheesy and corny, but I love it. I love what it contains even more. The notes for Lady Caron are magnolia, jasmine, orange blossom, neroli, rose, raspberry, peach, oakmoss and sandalwood. When I first smelled this scent, there was that moment of complete knowing that said to me, "this perfume is so me." I can't think too many of my many bottles that have ever had that effect on me. Deneuve was one, Chinatown was another, and perhaps Quelques Fleurs Royale, and Lulu Guinness Pink Pearls. That makes five out of all the scents I own. Lady Caron's fruits just lend a sweetness to the florals, nothing dominating or taking over to obscure other notes, it's a perfect harmony. What I find especially interesting about Lady Caron is that all notes seem to be present from beginning to end. There are very few perfumes that can perform this feat! I'm getting the woods and moss right away, not having to wait for the base notes to appear. Jan Moran calls this scent a fruity floral, and MIchael Edwards classifies it as a mossy woods. These big florals don't seem to be very popular right now in the face of the gourmands and fruity-citrusy scents that seem to be coming fast and furious these days. I like many of them, too, but wearing Lady Caron parfum today inspired me to write. When I put it on, it just felt right. It was like coming home.
I could not be more pleased with this new foundation from the Carmindy line!! Rave rave rave! Finally, a drugstore foundation that works so beautifully on my dry skin, looks fresh and luminous, not matte or dry, and lasts all day! I found the new display of all the Carmindy products at the local CVS and I decided to try the foundation. There is no indication on the display or bottle that says "oil-free" so I was eager to try it. I don't wear any oil-free products because my skin just looks better in foundations that contain some oil. I am about an NW20-ish or so in MAC, and I just eyeballed and chose Ecru Beige. I brought it home and have tried it every day this week, and now I am ready to toss most of my other foundations with very few exceptions. There is finally no need for me to spend for foundations at department stores. This product rivals any fine foundation I own, including Chanel Vitalumere and La Mer. There, I said it. I use my usual skincare underneath (a serum and then Borghese Prima Viso primer) and I used the beautyblender sponge to dot on and stipple the foundation onto my face. At first it looked like the color I chose was too light. Within a few minutes I could not even see that I was wearing foundation and I had to go check in a magnifying mirror! It just melted into my skin, but totally covered any freckles and uneven skin tone, and it was glowing but not with any particles or shimmer that I could detect. Just a healthy, good-skin, glowing, luminous look. I did not need to use a powder over top of it, because there was absolutely no greasy look at all, just natural skin! The foundation lasted all day on me and was easy to remove with either a Boots wipe or my usual facial cleanser. If you have dry skin and you have been frustrated as I was, trying to find a nicely priced foundation at the drugstore, this is it. The ingredients list is printed on the shrink-wrap. Even with my reading glasses on, it's very hard to read, but water is the first ingredient, followed by many 'cone type words, and corn oil and fruit extracts. The sunscreen comes from titanium dioxide. I'm not prone to breakouts in the least, so I can't address any breakout issues, but it is entirely possible that this formula could cause problems with people who are prone to breakouts, or acne. This formula isn't for everyone, but it's great for my particular skin type. I'm just so happy to find great foundations at the drugstores right now, All I can say is, it's about time! Between this, and the new Lumene that I reviewed also, two fabulous choices for dry skin. The foundation comes in a glass pump that is easy to use, you can just pump out the exact amount you need. Five lippies! Will repurchase (especially if and when I see a sale!) Rave rave!!! Added on 4-10 - ingredients list: Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Ethylhenyl Palmitate, Pentylene Glycol, Trimethysilosilicate, Butylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Glyceryl Ethylhexanoate/Stearate/Adipate/ Ethylhexyglycerin, Methicone, Disodium EDTA, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Polysorbate 80, Retinyl Palmitate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Xylitol, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Edtract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Quercus Suber Bark Extract, may Contain Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Zinc Oxide. Please excuse any typos, the list is on the shrink wrap and I had to use two pairs of reading glasses stacked in order to read them! If you are in the Northeast Ohio area and you can't find the Carmindy line, page me for the location of the only two CVS stores I have found that carry it so far.
Lotions/ Creams -Estee Lauder - Re-Nutriv Intensive Smoothing Hand Cream
cavewoman 3/24/2008 9:19:00 AM
After a long, hard, bitter cold Ohio Winter, my hands were looking like those of a Lake Erie stevedore's. I've never seen my hands in such bad conditon, with the texture of coarse-grit sandpaper, flaking, cracking, and dry cuticles that were catching on my clothes and actually hurting. I was desperate. I put the word out to some buddies, and instantly I got a recommendation and a rave about this Lauder cream. The next day I was out running to the mall to buy. I found out that only a few Macy's stores continue to sell the Re-Nutriv line, so I ran over to Dillards to buy. I took a dab from the tester unit and it felt thick and serious, and I bought a tube (3.4oz, $45) and brought it home with eagerness, hoping for a miracle. That night, I squeezed out about a half-inch of product onto my hands and started to work it in. At first, it feels almost too thick. But then it begins to liquefy and it's easy to work it into the cuticles and knuckles. It immediately started to comfort and soothe. Within ten minutes it had disappeared into my skin, no sticky residue and no greasy feel. In the morning, I could see the most amazing, visible, touchable difference in the condition of my hands. My skin looks fresh and healthy, the flakes are gone, the cracks are smoothed, and my cuticles feel moist and they look much better. I've been using this cream every night before bedtime now. I cannot rave enough. It is the best hand treatment product I have ever found, and I won't be without it ever again! If you've tried every hand product out there and still have dry, cracked, rough hands, I urge you to give this product a try. I'm raving and writing to Lauder about it. It's wonderful to find a product that delivers what it promises, and this one lives up to, and exceeds its promises! A big thanks to my friend who recommended it, and a bigger thanks to Lauder for a solid, performing product.
Since I am always looking for the fastest way to get fabulous lashes, I tried this Cils Booster XL. On the plus side, it did seem to help me to get length (but not much volume) with my mascara, but on the minus side (and the reason why I won't purchase again) it seemed to weigh down my lashes and take away any lift at all that I had gotten from my lash curler. I actually could see my lashes lose their curl as I was using it!
I found this on the Milani display while I was checking out the rest of the line at the local CVS store. I'd never heard of Power Lash but I always try every single new mascara from the drugstores, so I bought it. What a fabulous surprise! This is a great mascara that goes on fast and shows up without much effort at all! I'm so lash-challenged that even with my HG Diorshow, it still takes me five minutes or more to get visible lashes. Just a few strokes of the Power Lash gave me long, thick visible lashes and best of all, not a clump in sight! This mascara comes with a huge traditional-style bristle brush applicator, which I seem to prefer over the new plastic bristle styles. It is a wetter formula than the Diorshow, which gives good work-time. After a day of wear, no flaking! I will definitely buy again!
Treatments (Eye) -L'Oreal - skin genesis daily treatment eye serum
cavewoman 3/7/2008 12:49:00 PM
I have to shout from the rooftops! Finally!!! The most amazing eye treatment product that actually does what is says it will do! After years of spending, testing, trying, from drugstore to high-end, testing samples from just about every known cosmetic line, nothing else I have ever tried can compare to this new L'Oreal Skin Genesis Multi-Layer Cell Strengthening Daily Treatment Eye Serum. What a long name! I bought this product a few weeks ago and did not want to review prematurely. I've been using it every day and giving it a fair chance to show its stuff. And today I declare that it is one of the finest skincare products I've ever used, and by far the best under-eye product I've ever used. This L'Oreal makes good on its promises. First of all, it comes in a pump (a half ounce) and it is easy to pump out just the exact amount wanted. The tiniest dab is all you need under each eye. The product is a combination it seems, of a gel and a lotion, it is rather thick, and it does seem to have some light-diffusing qualities. It smooths on without any tugging or pulling at all, and it feels so comfortable on the skin. It leaves the skin luminous and feeling nicely hydrated, and when it dries there is no stickiness at all. I use it under my concealer every day, and it helps the concealer to stay on and not crease at all. But it's a treatment product, so that is really why I am writing. I am noticing that the little lines under my eyes have diminished, there is less puffiness, and the entire area appears younger (really!) and tightened and refreshed. I did not have an issue with darkness so I can't really say if it lightens dark circles. Last year, after a month of using Fresh Lotus Eye Gel (at $85!) I had gotten no results at all, and here is this little drugstore product that has delivered fabulous, visible results, for a quarter of that price! I will definitely repurchase. Results like this have me inspired to be consistent with skincare, because I saw immediate results with the smoothing and brightening, and then long-term results here a few weeks later, with the lessening of lines and wrinkles. Ingredients start with water and also list plenty of 'cones. I am delighted that there is no sunscreen in this product, since there is adequate sunscreen in my concealer. Watch for the drugstore weekend flyers and snag this when it's on sale. I will be stocking up during sales, too. One of the finest products I've ever reviewed on makeupalley!
Liquid -Lumene - Premium Beauty Rejuvenating Makeup
cavewoman 3/4/2008 10:12:00 PM
I saw this new Lumene liquid foundation at CVS recently, and noticed that it is targeted at women over 50. I chose color 200 which was the next-to-the-lightest shade. The foundation comes in an elegant frosted glass bottle with a nice pump and clear overcap. The sunscreen is spf 20 and is a combination of oxycinate and titanium dioxide. The ingredients list plenty of 'cones, but that didn't worry me, and it isn't oil-free, which pleased me. There are some interesting herbal extracts and peptides. It all sounded wonderful. I brought it home and tested it out. I had chosen the perfect match to my NW20 skin. The foundation smoothed on like silk, gave a medium coverage -- just enough to hide the freckles but not too much so as to look thick. I loved the comfort and the texture. At first it appeared to look just fine, and then it darkened into a very weird orangey shade. So I removed it, put on some serum and my Borghese primer under it, and tried again. At first it matched perfectly, but it did darken again. Other than this weird darkening, it was a nice, comfy, dewy finish, when I used the serum and the primer. I don't usually have problems with my foundations changing color on me -- the only other one that did this was the Dior Capture -- but it's a problem that people should know about before trying. I like the fact that this foundation was designed for mature skin, but I'm disappointed that it changed color. I returned the 200 shade for the next lightest one, which happens to be the lightest shade that was offered. I'm glad I did. Ordinarily this would be too pale for me, but since I already knew that it would darken a bit when it was on my face, I brought it home. The shade is 100 and now I have a perfect match! After it darkened it matched my skin beautifully, stayed on all day, remained dewy and glowing, and felt comfortable. Visually, it is glowing, luminizing and looks like candlelight! Beautiful!!! This foundation runs about $20 at some but not all CVS stores. That's a high price point for a drugstore foundation, but there are almost no drugstore foundations for seriously dry skin, and it's nice to see that there's at least one, and it is of very fine quality. I would buy it again.
Foundations -Prescriptives - Anywear Multipurpose Make Up Stick
cavewoman 3/4/2008 8:55:00 AM
It is no secret that I am a huge Prescriptives fan. When I heard about these little stick foundations arriving at the local counter, I ran to see what they were like. My wonderful SA zeroed in on the perfect shade for me (for reference, I'm about an NW20) and she chose R Cameo 18 for me. It is absolutely perfect. I am usually B/R in PX foundations, but the B/R Anywear Stick was just a tad too pink for me. I am in love! This foundation goes on so smoothly, it's so easy to blend out, and it's buildable! I think it would be a great concealer, too! The finish is satiny and glowy, it did not turn matte on me, and it even seemed to diminish the appearance of pores, too, especially on the nose and nose-cheek area where I do have large pores. I did not even use a primer under it the first time I tried it! It has a lovely, luminous appearance, like healthy skin. It did not turn color on me all day long, and it did not clump or cake or collect in fine lines or pores. The ingredient list shows bismuth so just be aware, in case that is a problem ingredient for you, but it's far down on the ingredient list. There are silicones in this formula, too. None of these ingredients are a problem for me. I have always loved stick foundations, from Max Factor to Shiseido, and I used to use Cliniques and the old Prescriptives too. This is the best of any I have ever used. And I love that you get two of them! They come in a little clear plastic tube packaging. The ingredients list is on the tube. I would definitely repurchase! Rave rave rave!
Mascara -Rimmel - Eye Magnifier - Exact Definition - Extreme Black
cavewoman 3/2/2008 8:43:00 AM
I'm not really very fond of the new style mascara applicators, these comb-brush plastic types, but I need to build length on my stubby lashes, so I thought I'd try this one. I was impressed with how fast I was able to get nice, visible, longer lashes, and the extreme black shade is very very black! How black can black get! It was a nice surprise. I did not need an extra lash comb, it did not clump, and I did get a nice lift out of the mascara, too. My lashes did not feel crispy or dry. The best thing I can say about this mascara is that there is absolutely NO flaking whatsoever. I put the mascara on in the morning, spent the entire day away from home, and when I got home I washed my face but I forgot to use eyemakeup remover. I know, I know, it's terrible to not remove mascara before bed. When I woke up the next morning and saw that I hadn't removed my mascara, I expected to see it down around my cheeks! But there is not one single flake! I will be trying to layer a volume mascara over this one to see if I can get some thickness (this mascara does give a little, but it is not meant to be volumizing.) I may try another Rimmel over top. I should mention that the second time I used this mascara, I was able to remove it very easily, just a few swipes with Benefit Gee That Was Quick on a cotton pad. In the meantime, four lippie rating, I docked it one lippie because the applicator has that flex effect that I personally don't like.
Second in the Andy Warhol series by Bond No. 9 Fragrances is Andy Warhol Union Square, which could not be more opposite in style from the first one, Silver Factory. Silver Factory is a huge avant-garde, audacious scent filled with incense, woods, amber, and big florals, as flamboyant as the Factory itself, and the public persona of Warhol as most people would think of him and his art. Union Square is the shy side of his personality. Soft, light, and delicate, Union Square notes are lily of the valley, green stem, sweet blue freesia, white birch accord, amber, and silver cloud musk accords. This is the Warhol who sat on the sidelines of his famous parties and soirees, observing his guests and taking inspiration for his art from them. Beautifully balanced green notes without any sharpness or dominance give way to light florals, almost like a bouquet of wildflowers. This scent has the breezy feeling that I got from Bryant Park. I like the amber note in Union Square because it's not the least bit powdery like some amber perfumes are to me. The musk and woods anchor the base but still stay soft and delicate. I hardly get any musk at all on my skin, and the woods is more of a cedarwood note to me. Fans of cedarwood will love the drydown of Union Square. This is a close-to-the-body scent that will be perfect for warmer weather. And for a lighter scent, it has amazing staying-power! It lasts all day and long into the night, and I can even smell it the next morning! What makes this scent fascinating to me is the way the notes seem to come and go and come back again. I don't know of any other scent that I have that does this. I'm thinking of the notes as if they are a playful swing on a park playground. Lasting power is amazing considering most very light scents seem to fade quickly. Union Square lasted all day on me and well into the night. I could easily imagine one of the Factory girls, dressed in a Mary Quant mini-dress, dancing away the night, wearing this perfume!
Finally! A concealer for those of us who have some serious dry skin! I'm so impressed with this concealer! I wanted to try it because the Resilience Lift Extreme cream compact foundation is a winner with me and I had a feeling the concealer would be as well. My issues are aging dry skin, crinkles under the eye, and a tendency for even the most emollient of concealers to crack, settle into lines, and look terribly dry. I use Prescriptives Vibrant Eye under all of my concealers, so I put that on as usual today before trying this concealer. For color reference I am about an NW20 or so, and I chose the concealer in Light/Medium. It's a perfect match. I applied it by running my finger across the tip of the product and then dabbing the concealer under my eye with my finger. I tapped it on and it blended easily, no tugging or dragging and it gave me a little 'work time' before it set. During the day, I checked how it was wearing. It stayed put, looked natural, not dewy and not glowy, just natural like nice healthy skin. Lines were definitely appearing to be diminished and I was pleased to see that the concealer had not turned dry, it had not cracked or settled into lines, and it had not changed color. At the end of the day, it looked as fresh as when I applied it, it had not dried out my eye area at all, and it still looked perfect. No settling, no cracking or creasing, no flakes or dryness, no wearing off. Estee Lauder has answered a real need for women who have very dry skin but still need to use a concealer under the eye. If you like a stick concealer and you are finding that Cle De Peau is too drying for you any more, or you need a moisturizing concealer, this is so worth a try. It's around $20 and I will definitely buy again. I did not powder over it, as I usually do, with the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, because I wanted to see how the concealer worked on its own without any 'help' or altering how it would work. Now I see I don't even need the LM powder with this great concealer. It is definitely not for oily skin. Dry skin people, this is definitely worth a trip to the Lauder counter!
This is the second of two Jane mascaras I recently tried. Max Lash 2 Precise is the Jane version of the newer plastic-bristle applicator brush mascaras. The brush has shorter plastic bristles than some of the newer types like Cover Girl and Maybelline, which would be just great if the product itself would work. But it doesn't. Stroke after stroke showed nothing on my lashes. I honestly think I had more visible lashes before I even tried on this mascara! The package reads "6x the volume and 60% longer" -- I would have settled happily for half that amount! Please do not waste your money (even though these are only $5) on any Jane mascaras. Wait for a good drugstore mascara to go on sale, like L'Oreal!
This is one of two Jane mascaras I recently tried. After working the #1 side into my lashes for about three minutes and seeing no lashes developing, I knew it was going to be a dud. I stroked on the #1 side a few more minutes, switched to the other eye, and couldn't even get my lashes to show up at all. Then I used side #2 which is blue, thinking that the black side was just more of a black primer and it wasn't really supposed to show up. The #2 side was so thick and gloppy that it had my lashes sticking together before I could even reach for a lash comb. The blue barely showed up at all. The formula of this duo feels heavy on the lashes, stayed sticky, and made my lashes droop horribly. I'm returning it tomorrow.
Mascara -Maybelline - Define A Lash Volume Mascara
cavewoman 1/1/2008 12:28:00 PM
I bought this mascara because I wanted to try yet another volumizing mascara, but I was pleasantly surprised to see added length as well! I was able to get decent thick lashes with nice length, too. I can't say I like the shape of the brush because despite it being designed to coat all lashes at the same time, it didn't. I had areas that I had too much mascara on, and other areas where the lashes did not get coated at all. So it did take a bit of work to get it on evenly. Clumping is minimal and can be removed just by continuing to work the brush through the lashes. However, what I found was that the formula dries so fast, that I couldn't go back to the first eye after I did the second one. There was no adding to the mascara after it dried, and it dried too quickly to suit me. Just for my own 'research' I tried to comb through after drying, with the Kashuk comb. I could not get the come through my lashes after the mascara had dried. So, if you try, work fast! Not bad, not fabulous, just pretty good for drugstore, and I would buy it again unless I found a good deal on it or a bogof. I did not notice any flaking at all during the time I had it on. Removal took a bit of time with two cotton pads (using Benefit Gee That Was Quick.) I was surprised at how much mascara I had applied, seeing how much came off on the pads! What I really like about this mascara was how it coated my lower lashes.
Mascara -Almay - intense i-color volumizing mascara - purple amethyst
cavewoman 1/1/2008 11:22:00 AM
It appears that the brush for this product is now one of those spikey-plastic brushes like Max Factor introduced with its Lash Perfection. I found this mascara on a separate new display at CVS recently, and the idea of using a purple mascara to enhance brown eyes was enough to get me to buy. Plus, I really liked the brush with Lash Perfection, it's one of the best drugstore mascaras I've ever tried. So, I was eager to see what results I would get on my puny, sparse, straight lashes. I wanted to see if the "300% fuller lashes" would happen to me, and what the color would do to enhance my dark brown eyes. The color swatch on the package shows a very dark dark purple-black. Don't be fooled. The actual color of the product is ashy and not as dark as I thought it would be. I did get visible lashes with many many strokes of the wand. However, despite the applicator, the mascara started to clump almost immediately and I had ashy Tammy Faye lashes before I could reach for my Kashuk comb to try to get rid of them. When I did comb through the lashes, almost all of the mascara came off in the comb. What remained turned even ashier in color within a few minutes. This mascara did nothing to "enhance" my brown eye color, and it's going back to CVS tomorrow. Removing the mascara from my lashes was a task. I used Benefit Gee That Was Quick and it wasn't quick at all. At least I did not lose any lashes (that's a very good remover, btw.)