Primer/ Corrector -Clarins - Instant Smooth Line Correcting Concentrate
APaleBlondeSpeaks 12/10/2011 9:13:00 PM
I have not bought the full-sized version, but got a sample that I've used several times. I'm not a fan of Clarins, but this diminished my forehead lines significantly enough that I felt compelled to write a review. I've tried Neutrogena, Estee Lauder, and Cetaphil cream and have seen no difference, but after four applications saw a big difference with this. Now, I can't say that the lines are going away - they may be simply filled in - but considering the noticable difference, I am going to purchase the product and will report back. This has a rather thick consistency (to be sure, its brightening effect is most likely due to its make-up quality), and I could see how it wouldn't blend well with makeup as the previous reviewer states, though I didn't have a problem blending it with foundation. I read at Sephora that the jar version gives you more for your money, but considering how well this worked, I'm going to go for the pen. UPDATE: I just found a special package of both, so I'm going to get both, and will update.
Thank you, MakeupAlley, for your advice on NARS lip gloss!! Normally I would not pay this much for lip gloss, but I have to say, the Larger Than Life line of NARS gloss is well worth the money!! (I recommend trying on different shades until you find ones that suit you, but I intend to buy this in at least one more shade so this is a general review.) The color I bought in this line is called Piree. The gloss is shiny without looking greasy, just a natural moist look. It lasts much like lipstick but is moisturizing. I've had problems with lip gloss that dries my lips out, looks unnatural, or doesn't last, but this gloss lasts and makes my lips look a lot healthier for wearing it. (For example, I got some Buxom glosses as a gift and thought they were good at first, but after an hour my lips looked all shriveled and dry, so I went searching again.) FYI, the NARS color I ended up choosing is extremely flattering for pale blondes. You can go with a natural-looking color, like Piree, or a more fashion-conscious color for a more "made up" look. You can also wear a little or a lot - it will layer a bit for more pigmentation. I highly recommend trying different colors until you find what you'll wear most and then shelling out for this one, ladies! It makes your lips look fantastic - not tacky or greasy - just fresh and lovely. I'm so glad I listened to the advice here and tried it!
Thank you, MakeupAlley, for your advice on NARS lip gloss!! Normally I would not pay this much for lip gloss, but I have to say, the Larger Than Life line of NARS gloss is well worth the money!! (I recommend trying on different shades until you find ones that suit you, but I intend to buy this in at least one more shade so this is a general review.) NARS makes all kinds of gloss, but I got the Larger than Life gloss in Piree. It is shiny without looking greasy, just a natural moist look. It lasts much like lipstick but is moisturizing. I've had problems with lip gloss that dries my lips out, looks unnatural, or doesn't last, but this gloss lasts and makes my lips look a lot healthier for wearing it. (I got some Buxom glosses as a gift and thought they were good, but after an hour my lips looked all shriveled and dry, so I went searching again.) FYI, the NARS color I ended up choosing is extremely flattering for pale blondes. You can go with a natural-looking color, like Piree, or a more fashion-conscious color for a more "made up" look. You can also wear a little or a lot - it will layer a bit for more pigmentation. I highly recommend trying different colors until you find what you'll wear most and then shelling out for this one, ladies!
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Eden
APaleBlondeSpeaks 10/6/2011 5:39:00 PM
The Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer is the one product I never knew I needed but I look so much better since I've started using it, because my eyeshadow stays put flawlessly all day with it! I got a sampling of the colored versions, and I have to say, all of them were suprisingly flattering, but if you're a pale blonde like me, Eden is really beautiful on and goes with all eye shadows since it just basically evens out your skin tone. I think it's better than the original because it covers up imperfections. My eyes and even my face look a lot brighter with it on. It would look awesome even without eye shadow! Really a beautiful shade, and I feel like a newborn wearing it. Just like with the original, it keeps eye shadow in place all day. I didn't think this product could get better than the original but it really did! The price is bad and so is the packaging, but the product is worth it. I would highly recommend trying on the colors before you purchase, but they're all worth a try for sure!
Powder -Neutrogena - Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation SPF 20
APaleBlondeSpeaks 10/6/2011 5:31:00 PM
Ugh! I thought this looked kind of powerdy and weird on but didn't realize how awful this product was until one day I had on one of my other foundations and put this one on as touch-up. It looked NASTY yellow compared to the other foundation, and made me look like I had a bad case of jaundice. This looks really cheap and dusty. I don't want to seem like an ad by telling you about any other powder foundation, so I'll just say save your money and DON'T buy this! If you can't afford a better foundation, you're better off without any makeup at all! No one's skin looks like this!
Skincare - Body -Murad - Firm and Tone Dietary Supplement Pack
APaleBlondeSpeaks 9/6/2011 10:40:00 AM
I can only comment on the Firm and Tone Serum, which does not appear in its own category on MUA. I've tried several creams/serums, including Clarins and Nivea and this one works the best by far. Yes, it does work, very well. When I use the same massage, diet and exercise with other products, I can definitely tell that this one improves my skin a lot, and the others don't seem to do anything at all. I don't know about 80% improvement, but at least 50% or 60%. My recommendation is to exfoliate in the shower, massage, and dry off completely before applying at night before bed. The definite bonus to Murad is that it does not contain caffeine. It is also ridiculously expensive. Good for special occasion prep, but too expensive for every day use.
Lotions/ Creams -Clarins - High Definition Body Lift
APaleBlondeSpeaks 9/6/2011 10:29:00 AM
I've tried many creams - some work, some don't - and this one most definitely does not work at all. First of all, any time you put something creamy/wet on your skin, you will feel a slight cooling sensation. That doesn't mean it's "working," only that it's wet, and in this case, minty. The serious downsides of this particular product are not only that it's very expensive and makes as much difference as massage, no more, but also that the level of caffeine is so high that you should only put it on in the morning, when it would be least effective even if it worked. The one time I wore this at night, I had trouble sleeping. And since I exfoliate/shower at night, it was annoying to have to take a mini-shower in the morning just to prep for applying this product. Before Clarins, I was using a product that works very, very well, and I think we all know what that one is (if you don't, just check the reviews at MUA), so I could tell the definite decline in my skin when I switched to Clarins, but since the one I was using is ridiculously expensive, the search for a cheaper alternative continues! Ladies, save your money; a drugstore variety like Nivea works just as well as Clarins (not very well, but encourages you to massage, which is good).
Treatments (Eye) -Garnier - Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Eye Cream
APaleBlondeSpeaks 3/24/2009 3:33:00 PM
My undereyes tend to be puffy with bags, but this cream firms and lifts beautifully: I noticed a difference after only one day. I'm over 30 but don't have wrinkles so I can't evaluate the "anti-wrinkle" claim; however, this product moisturizes and absorbs just as well as other eye creams I've tried. For its firming results, I would rate this product far above Oil of Olay, Neutrogena, and L'Oreal as well as Clinique, Avon, and Mary Kay. I have tried many eye creams and samples, and this does the best job firming. Next I will try the Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG eye cream since it's gotten good reviews here, but I'm positive I'll return to Garnier in the future if only to rotate with a more expensive cream that also works well for firming under my eyes (Boscia's is $38; Garnier's on sale is $15). Almost every eye cream I've ever used comes in a package twice as big as the actual product amount, so while I was disappointed not to have more cream in the jar, I wasn't surprised. *** Many eye products moisturize with ingredients that "plump" your wrinkles to make them disappear--that's fine if you're older and/or don't have undereye bags or have puffiness, but gals like poor me look like we haven't slept in a week or we've been crying all night when we use those creams--they turn us into blowfish. On the other hand, eye creams that "firm" instead of "plump" will most certainly tighten up the undereye area, which yes, could creat itty-bitty wrinkles since the skin is tightening (pulling tighter). So you have to figure out what makes you look younger and healthier: fewer wrinkles or a tighter eye area. I suppose you could try using one cream to tighten underneath the eyes and then another cream to plump your crow's feet, but I found that Garnier's cream doesn't pull too tight on me, that it still moisturizes very well. At the price, I think it's certainly worth trying unless you really don't care about firming at all. I hope this review helps!
My review is for the eye cream. My undereyes tend to be puffy with bags, but this cream firms and lifts beautifully. I'm over 30 but don't have wrinkles so I can't evaluate the "anti-wrinkle" claim; however, this product moisturizes and absorbs well. I would rate this product over Oil of Olay, Neutrogena, and L'Oreal as well as Clinique for its firming results. Next I will try the Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG eye cream since it's gotten good reviews here, but I'm positive I'll return to this cream in the future if only to rotate with a more expensive cream that also works well for firming under my eyes (Boscia's is $38; Garnier's is $15).
Treatments (Eye) -Boscia - Intensive Eye Treatment
APaleBlondeSpeaks 3/9/2009 1:08:00 PM
Claims to "lift, firm, and brighten" and reduce "fine lines and wrinkles." I used this product every morning and evening for almost 3 months. The pros: 1. It moisturizes. I did not have fine lines before, but during a harsh winter it kept my undereyes moist. 2. It brightens--my undereye area is now the same color as the rest of the skin on my face The cons: 1. At $48, it's pricey 2. It does not absorb easily, leaving a white film under the eyes which is not visible alone but gunks up horribly with concealor. In other words, this product is impossible to wear with makeup. 3. I saw no lifting or firming benefits Overall, I do not recommend this product unless you're willing to pay $48 for a brightening effect because other products moisturize just as well.
This product erases wrinkles and acne by stimulating collagen production; old skin peels away, and new skin emerges. It is derm recommended and prescribed, but can be ordered online, too. ___ Because of the reviews here, I began using it in ROC's cream 3 months ago, then switched to pure Retin A (.01%) a month ago every night on my neck with a moisturizer; the wrinkles on my neck have all but disappeared. Sometimes my neck itches--my skin is still adjusting. I have to use it every OTHER day on my forehead and chin because otherwise it causes old skin to peel away too noticeably. However, it has kept acne away very nicely. I exfoliate every day with Queen Helene's Honey and Oatmeal scrub which helps the new skin emerge. I will continue use and update this review in a few months. ___ Tips for using this product: 1. Begin with .01% (a low dose) and apply every other night until your skin adjusts 2. Wear moisturizer at all times and SPF during the day 3. Google this product for more tips
Conditioner -Aveda - Damage Remedy Restructuring Conditioner
APaleBlondeSpeaks 2/8/2009 4:02:00 PM
I rate this a 3 because a small package of it costs $24, and it doesn't deliver for that price; I have been using the product 6 months and see little difference in my hair.
Shampoo -Avalon Organics Botanicals - Rosemary Shampoo
APaleBlondeSpeaks 2/8/2009 3:57:00 PM
Smells nice and adds volume to my long hair (I don't use it daily). I took off a lippy because it is pricier than brands like Suave.
I'm a slim gal with a little cellulite around the bum, so I've tried a few cellulite creams (Nivea Goodbye Cellulite, Murad, L'Oreal), and compared with the others, this oil is divine. First of all, I love putting it on, and it doesn't leave a sticky, gross residue like the others do. It smells wonderful (slightly citrus, very natural, smell fades within minutes), unlike the others. If you're going to rub something into your body twice a day, shouldn't it be a pleasant experience and leave you feeling pampered? For the smell and consistency alone I give it five lippies. I used to hate putting gel on my body, but I love this stuff, and so I know I will use it twice daily; in any cellulite treatment, the massage is what really works the most above any ingredient (for drainage), so I think this will work the best--since I love it so much, I'll massage longer with it (the packaging recommends five minutes) and ALWAYS twice a day. Since I just bought it yesterday, I will have to update my review in a few weeks. For 20 bucks, though (compare 70 bucks Murad or similar price Clarins), I think I've found my favorite treatment. I also love the fact that it does not contain caffenine, unlike many other treatments (L'Oreal, FatGirlSlim), so it won't keep me up or have bad side effects like addiction. My skin looks better after putting it on, unlike many other treatments which use ingredients like cayenne pepper and have a reddening effect, which works, but doesn't help when you'd like to wear a swimsuit or look better without clothes! I am sensitive to smell and the smell wasn't too strong for me, but if you're worried, try a bit on your hand before you buy. Update: I bought the oil in January and now it's September--my cellulite now is barely visible, but Welleda does not make a miracle oil: I eat well and exercise, and the action of massaging the oil in twice daily makes all the difference. I recommend using only a little and really rubbing it in, twice a day for a few minutes. As with anything, if you use too much it won't absorb and then will come off on your clothes. Yes, it does work, and I still recommend this oil for the budget-conscious.
This product is worse than any drugstore makeup, and please let me explain. I went to the Bare Escentuals store and their regional makeup artist from New York made me over. Unfortunately, I'd bought into the hype and didn't notice that the makeup made me look ten years older by settling into my fine lines and accentuating pores I didn't even know I had until the friends who I went with told me afterwards. When I got home in different (brighter) lighting, I saw that my friends were right even though a BE professional put it on me! But I'd already bought the "good for your skin" hype (hype that has no scientific basis), so I decided to try it out. ****On a practical level, the makeup is sorely lacking. The application of the makeup added ten minutes to my makeup time. The tops of the jars aren't labeled, so you have to turn the jars upside down to read what product you're using. And the "swirl-tap" method is messy (powder all over the counter) and time-consuming. The price is appealing until you also have to buy the brush cleaners, and all the rest of it. The marketing is genius because they essentially convince you that you need a foundation, a blush, an all-over face color, a mineral veil, and on and on, a lot of made-up make-up to take more of your money. Glee looks like mud, plain and simple. It adds another layer of corn starch to your face. The hype surrounding this makeup is unbelievable. Can you tell me the difference between the all-over face-color, the radiance colors, and the blushes? They want you to use all three, so how are all three different from just one? I'll tell you the difference: $44 dollars is the difference! Instead of just getting a blush and using it lightly in some areas, heavier in other areas, they get you to buy three different products. Bare Escentuals are also highly inconvenient to travel with because of the holes in the tops of the jars (the makeup shakes around and leaves a fine powder over everything). When you are putting it on, take a listen. It's going to annoy anyone you live with - tap-tap-tap! ****Now, of course, if you put enough makeup on (ANY kind of makeup), your complexion will look better. But be warned: this makeup is no more natural or mineral-like than any other makeup, and that's a fact, just read the labels. According to the ingredients, THIS MAKEUP IS NOT ANY BETTER FOR YOUR FACE THAN ANY OTHER MAKEUP WITH SPF. Many consumers of BE report a drying and aging effect. Upon inspecting the ingredients at home, I found that corn starch was one of the main ingredients, and I imagine there are better things to put on your face than corn starch. Within a week of using Bare Minerals, my skin broke out horribly. Right now, their blemish formula is one of their bestselling products, and now you know why. I strongly believe that Bare Minerals is all hype--an infomercial phenomenon that is the equivalent of selling you beach-front property. I saw many women around me on that Make-Under event day in the Bare Escentuals store look horrible and get taken for a lot of money. I have never seen anyone look good in this makeup, just my opinion. I have been complimented on my skin a lot and I take good care of it, but this makeup made it look terrible. ****Ladies, most commercials are under 2 minutes, but BareEscentuals has a commercial that runs much longer: the long commercial full of nothing but promises and enthusiastic accolades with no proof but well-doctored photos and well-lit models is designed to make you think that it is the ONLY worthy makeup, the savior of makeups. Consumer loyalty is created by the commercials, but the product is NOT better for your skin than other oil-free brands with SPF. ***Update, 2011: I have yet to meet anyone who looks good in BareMinerals makeup or who uses it long-term. I have also tried some drug store brands, including Neutrogena and Cover Girl, but wasn't really that impressed, and though I really love my Aveda foundation powder, I needed more moisture, so I sampled more of the higher end foundations like Too-Faced, Tarte, and the High Definition FX foundation. Out of all the ones I tried, I am happiest with Lancome Teint Miracle. I recommend going to the Lancome counter and trying it on in a lighter shade than you think you need, because it goes on lighter and then settles darker. It is light-weight, with SPF and some other moisturizing properties, and it didn't make me break out, which is a minor miracle. It looks really natural, and that's the point in my book! The Lancome worker will give you a sample to take home and wear a few days. I know it's inconvenient to come back to the mall, but it's worth it. :) It may not be the best foundation for everyone, but it was for me. I hope this helps!