I thought the concept behind Jean Queen was gimmicky and a bit silly but I ordered it anyway because it seemed like a pretty color. Well, Jean Queen is nothing special and is hardly a universal shade. I am a yellow-toned NC20 with dark hair and eyes and as another review pointed out, Jean Queen requires a little more work for some of us. It's a nice color, but I found both the color and formula a little meh. It's also almost as sheer as a tinted lipbalm, which is annoying. If I wanted a tinted lipbalm, I would buy a tinted lipbalm. If you like lots of saturated color and lipstick that lasts longer than an hour (without eating or drinking), look elsewhere.
Eye Primer -NARS - Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
pocky 6/10/2012 12:38:00 AM
I didn't think anything could beat UDPP, but I was wrong! I tried the NARS primer on a whim, not really expecting it to be better than UDPP. I find that the NARS works better under cream shadows than UDPP. I would prefer to use the NARS primer all the time but it is so incredibly expensive so I save it for my cream shadows, which blend so much better over the NARS. This stuff is simply amazing, but I wish NARS would change the packaging. I'm not looking forward to cutting the tube open, they way we all used to cute the old UDPP tube to get at the last of the primer.
Treatments (Eye) -Unlisted Brand - Latisse Lash Growth Drops
pocky 1/8/2012 3:05:00 PM
I got Latisse from my dermatologist in spring 2010 and used it for about 5 months. My dermatologist told me that you don't get maximum results until 4 months of daily use, although I did see results after about a month. Although Latisse really does make your lashes grow longer and thicker, the results vary from person to person and it's really up to each person to evaluate if the side effects are worth the results. Although my lashes grew noticeably longer, they really didn't get any thicker. The warning label even states that the length and direction of lashes can vary from lash to lash and from eye to eye, which was very true in my case. The lashes on my right eye grew out long in a nice fan pattern, but the lashes on my left eye were just crazy. Some lashes pointed downward and refused to curl, while some lashes were shorter than the rest. Every morning was a struggle with the mascara to make the lashes on my left eye look normal. I also experienced a couple of side effects that made me eventually stop taking Latisse. First, I started to grow tiny hairs on my lower eye area. They're really tiny and probably only noticeable to me, but they still bothered me. I also get a little darkening around my lower lash line, which looked a lot like undereye circles. I stopped taking using Latisse to let my skin and lashes get back to normal. I was not happy at all with my natural lashes so I decided to start Latisse again and be extra careful with my application. I still have mixed feelings about Latisse so I can't say if I will repurchase. I still have 4 bottles, which I got BOGOF from my dermatologist, so I'm good to go for a while. Honestly, I think Latisse should only be used if you have truly puny lashes that not even mascara will help. Otherwise, the side effects and cost just aren't worth the results and price.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Nfu Oh Cuticle Remover
pocky 2/21/2011 11:40:00 AM
Unlike a lot of cuticle removers on the market, Nfu Oh's remover actually works. I used to cut my cuticles, mostly because I didn't know any better but also because none of the cuticle removers I tried worked. Most of them just soften the cuticles, which is great, but I had very thick cuticles back then and I had to cut them off or else they got raggedy. Nfu Oh Cuticle Remover gets rid of all the dead skin and gunk around my cuticles and under my nails. What I did was cut my cuticles first and then I used the Nfu Oh to maintain my cuticles. With the exception of an ocassional hangnail or cuticle that doesn't want to behave, I never cut my cuticles anymore. I've been able to keep them thin and neat-looking by using just the Nfu Oh by itself. I also noticed that my nails grow so much fast now that I'm not cutting my cuticles, but I don't have any scientific evidence for that. It could be just a coincidence. As much as I love Nfu Oh Cuticle Remover, I think the packaging is terrible. The formula has a thin watery consistency that doesn't lend itself well to being applied with a brush. I got so tired of the useless brush applicator that I started decanting the remover into a glass dropper bottle. Not only is this more sanitary but I can get more remover onto my cuticles without any waste. I'm already on my second bottle of remover and I just order three more bottles because I can't live without this stuff. Some people might be put off by the price, but something that works this well and is so essential to me (I'm obsessed with well-manicured nails) is worth $12.
Like most of my OPI collection, I bought this color primarily for its name. Louvre Me Louvre Me Not is to Zoya Jacy and $OPI Ms. Can't Be Wrong what Mary Kate is to her sister Ashley--not identical twins but close enough in appearance that they played one role on Full House. LMLMN is a touch darker and more purple than Jacy and Ms. Can't Be Wrong, but the base color and even the shimmer is identical. Had it not been for the clever name and my compulsive need to collect nail polish, I would not have gotten LMLMN because it is actually not a very good polish. The formula is runny and streaky, making application very tricky. I'm pretty good at applying a neat gap between my polish and my cuticles but darn it if LMLMN made this nearly impossible. I also had serious cuticle drag so after the second coat, I had to go over my nails again with a third coat to cover up the bald spot near my cuticles. I am keeping LMLMN mostly to keep my collection intact but I doubt that I will ever wear it again, much less repurchase. If you like the color, Zoya Jacy is a much better choice even if it's not quite a dupe.
Eye Shadow -Christian Dior - 5 Colour Shadow - Mystic Jade 390
pocky 2/10/2011 11:56:00 PM
This palette is a piece of garbage. I loved the colors and tried so many times to get them to work but they have zero pigmentation. The colors don't show up at all. I never thought I would throw out a $46 dollar palette but that's exactly what I did. I'm so angry!
I have used both the original version of Lemony Flutter which contained palm kernel oil, as well as the latest version with coconut oil. I used the original version for a long time and I actually prefer it over the new version. The price of the new version was also increased by a few dollars. Boo! The original Lemony Flutter, henceforth referred to as OLF, was a just a tiny bit waxier and melted like butter when warmed up between my fingers. It was so rich and absorbed into my skin within minutes. I used to slather on some Lemony Flutter on my hands and when I woke up in the morning, my hands were softer and smoother than satin. The texture of the old balm was also a little on the gritty side and tended to separate, but I didn’t care. New Lemony Flutter, or NLF, is not as waxy and creamier. Normally, I wouldn’t mind that but the fragrance of NLF really makes me gag. OLF had a faint lemony fragrance, and while NLF has some of the same lemony fragrance, it also has a note of stank that makes me gag. Frankly, it reminds me of the smell of pig intestines. The smell dissipates quickly but the initial application never fails to make me fight back the urge to vomit violently. Right now, I’m kicking myself extra hard over my temporary fit of frugality in late 2010. I usually keep back-ups of Lemony Flutter in my refrigerator but I did not stock up on Lemony Flutter before it was reformulated and the price increased. So, to recap: I don’t like the new Lemony Flutter but stanky Lemony Flutter is better than no Lemony Flutter. The old version was HG material and gets 5 lippies from me. The new version gets maybe 4 lippies.
Top/Base Coats -Unlisted Brand - Olan Labs Quick & Slick
pocky 2/6/2011 9:36:00 PM
Olan Labs changed its name to Prolana so now this product is now called Prolana Quick and Slick. I have been looking for a fast-dry topcoat for my 3-free polishes since I discovered that Seche Vite causes horrible shrinkage on most of my 3-free polishes. I first heard of this topcoat when All Lacquered Up raved about it on her blog. I happened to find it at one of my local nail supply stores for $5 a bottle. ALU mentioned that Quick and Slick is comparable to Deborah Lippmann Addicted to Speed, but it's not even close to Addicted to Speed. Quick and Slick applied very nicely and leveled out my manicure, but it is no Addicted to Speed. Quick and Slick remains tacky to the touch for at least an hour after application and remains dentable for a couple of hours after that. ALU was right that Quick and Slick does not cause any shrinkage and doesn't get thick, but that's about all. Quick and Slick may be 1/4 the price of Addicted to Speed, but what's the point of saving a few dollars if you have to wait for 4-5 hours for your nails to dry? This isn't 60s, no one has that kind of time. Addicted to Speed is obscenely expensive but at least it works. My nails are dry to the touch in minutes, I get no shrinkage, and I can go to bed in a couple of hours after doing my nails. I also recommend butter London Hardware for 3-free polishes. It doesn't dry as fast as Addicted to Speed and can bubble if I don't let my polish dry in between coats, but it gives a nice glossy finish without any shrinkage and performs better than Quick and Slick.
Top/Base Coats -Lippmann Collection - Rehydrating Base Coat
pocky 2/6/2011 9:24:00 PM
I did absolutely everything recommended to prevent my nails from peeling (wore gloves when doing dishes, filed in one direction with a glass file, slathered on creams and oils daily, etc.), and yet my nails still peeled weekly until I started using Deborah Lippmann Rehydrating Base Coat in addition to doing all those things. After much experimenting, I've found that a coat of Rehydrating Base Coat directly on my nails before using my regular sticky base coat keeps my nails healthy and peel-free. This base coat is quite pricey at $16 a bottle, but I haven't found anything that actually helps with peeling nails so I gladly pay $16.
Tinted Moisturizer -Laura Mercier - Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
pocky 7/11/2010 9:00:00 PM
I tried the oil-free version a while back and it made my skin a greasy mess. My skin is now more dry-to-normal although it's slightly oilier in warm weather. Still, I tried the original tinted moisturizer and I absolutely love it. Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer has the best coverage of any tinted moisturizer that I've used, with the exception of Tarte Smooth Operator. Nude was a decent match for my NC20 skin, although I think it's slightly a little darker than my natural skin tone. I don't glop on the tinted moisturizer so I'm okay with the color for now but I think I might have to mix Nude with the lighter color in the wintertime if I want to wear this in the winter. I like how this tinted moisturizer evens out my skintone just enough without covering up my skin. If the weather is too hot and humid as it has been this summer, the tinted moisturizer will wash away with my sweat so this is not exactly sweat-proof and water resistant. Still, tinted moisturizer works best in the summertime for me because it's fairly low maintenance and looks the most like my own skin. I like to apply tinted moisturizer with my fingers. If I need a little more coverage, I apply a second layer on trouble spots and then I smooth over with a damp Beautyblener sponge. I like to set my tinted moisturizer with a sheer powder such as Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Powder or Too Faced Absolutely Invisible pressedpowder because I don't like dewy during the daytime for work. This is certainly a must-have for me even if I don't wear it year round so I will be repurchasing, even if it's $40. Wet 'n' Wild's tinted moisturizer actually also has coverage that's just as good as Laura Mercier's but the lightest WnW shade is still too dark for me so I will have to stick with Laura Mercier and my Tarte Smooth Operator.
After using dozens of this bath melt over the past year, I can say with confidence that this is my absolute favorite bath product of all time and definitely one of my top three favorites from LUSH. I love everything about it, from the subtle sandalwood fragrance to the creamy, almost milky bath water that is so luxuriously relaxing, to the way my skin feels after a bath. I have heard that Floating Island foams in the water, and while there is a little foam as the product melts, this is not a true foaming bath treatment. Another thing that I really like about Floating Island is that it's not oily and doesn't leave any residue on my skin or my tub. Floating Island is expensive but I cut it in half and then cocktail it with half a bath bomb. I suppose I'm really not saving any money this way since half a bath bomb + half a Floating Island = about $6-7. Still, I find that less than half a Floating Island is really not worth anything and I might as well just bath in plain water. I add the bath bomb mostly for fragrance since the fragrance of Floating Island by itself is very subtle and lends itself well to mixing with other fragrances. My favorite bath bomb to use with Floating Island is Sakura followed by Sex Bomb. A weekly bath is a winter ritual for me, and I find that it really helps to keep my skin soft in dry, cold weather. I always follow my bath with a generous slathering of body lotion. I've noticed a slight cooling sensation on my skin, much like the effects of menthol, after a bath using Floating Island but I can't figure out which ingredient would cause that.
I'm currently in the throes of a passionate love affair with Laura Mercier products so I eagerly bought the Body Bronzing Makeup because I just knew that it be fabulous. I was wrong. The coconut fragrance is heavenly but that was the only thing I liked about this product. The shimmery pinky-bronze lotion does not work for my skintone at all. I mean come on, pink bronze? Actually, the color was more pink than bronze. I was fooling no one into thinking I was tanned. I'm a yellow-toned NC20 and this lotion just made my skin look diseased, not to mention that shimmer on the legs is a big no-no if you don't have chicken legs. It's the same principle as shiny tights and pantyhose. Even runway models who have no fat, look like heifers with shiny tights. I finally found the perfect non self-tanning body bronzer in L'Oreal's Sublime Bronze One Day Tinted Gel. The color is absolutely perfect for me--a sheer yet buildable golden brown bronze--without any shimmer at all.
This is my new favorite bronzer. I had a hate-hate relationship with Laura Mercier for a long time but this past year, everything I tried has been an instant HG. I believe that Dune Bronze is one of her newer bronzers. It is completely matte and fragrance free. Some matte bronzers tend to be a little streaky or hard to blend but Dune Bronze is very silky and blends beautifully. It is not at all chalky or powdery and there is absolutely zero shimmer, which is a must for me in the summertime. A glittery face doesn't exactly look natural in bright sunlight. Dune Bronze is a golden, peachy bronze-brown color that is perfect for lighter skin tones. I am an NC 20 with lots of yellow tones and I was afraid that Dune would look orange on me, but it is perfect. If you find that brown-based bronzers such as NARS Laguna or Benefit Hoola leave you looking muddy, give Dune a try. Just remember to apply the bronzer properly and you can't go wrong with Dune. The packaging is the classic Laura Mercier square compact, which I actually find a little bulky. Still, I have no complaints. As with all Laura Mercier products, this bronzer is very expensive but I believe that the perfect bronzer is worth every penny.
Moisturizers -Trish McEvoy - Dry Skin Normalizer Hydrating Cream
pocky 6/27/2010 1:59:00 PM
This is a very nice rich cream for drier skin types. Unfortunately, the tube that I bought had either turned bad or this cream just smells rancid all the time. My skin tends to get dry in cold weather and I loved the hydration that this cream gave me, but I couldn't stand the smell so I had to toss the entire tube. It's too expensive for me to repurchase in the off chance that I got a bad tube, and the product is quite mediocre so I don't see the need to repurchase.
I loved the idea of this product--creamy, fragrance-free waterproof eye makeup remover--but it did not do a very good job at removing my waterproof eye makeup. The creamy lotion felt nice but I had to really scrub my makeup out and the lotion migrated into my eyes, which clouded up my contacts. My Lancome Bifacil and Mary Kay eye makeup removers worked 10 times better than Sens'Eyes, which is unfortunate because I love Make Up For Ever's products. Can't win thm all, I guess.