Hair Removal -Unlisted Brand - No!no! Long Term Hair Removal
Aiko_Aiko 3/31/2008 9:39:00 PM
I bought the no!no! for two reasons: 1) I cannot resist cute gadgets, and 2) I absolutely despise all forms of hair removal. Shaving, waxing, epilating - if I never had to resort to them again it would be a blessed day. I'm also too lazy to go all the way to a salon or a doctors office for something I can pretty much do at home. So I saw no!no! as a reasonable compromise. It wouldn't zap all my hair away forever, but it might reduce the amount of time I'd have to devote to getting rid of it in the future. As proof of my supreme laziness, I have to state that in the four months I've had the no!no! I've used it about four times. Three days in a row immediately after I got it, and once about three weeks ago. So why the review? Because it stunned me by actually producing some very noticeable results. Price and Packaging details: no!no! is available at Sephora for $250 USD. It comes with: 3 short hair blades, 2 long hair blades, charger, storage bag, cleaning brush, and a buffer. The unit itself is very small, approx. three inches long, but it's pretty solid and hefty for it's size as it is made of metal. It seems like it could easily survive a dropping, which I know I will eventually get around to doing to it. The 'blades' are actually small plastic attachments, housing either an extremely fine wire (for long hair) or a very thin strip of metal (for short hair). They fit into the top of the unit, and are spring loaded so that they activate once pressure is applied to them. Neither have to potential to cut you, but the wire/metal is delicate and can damage easily. The buffer is pretty much what it sounds like: a small buffer disc on a styrofoam backing with flaps you fold backward to form a handle. It would be really nice if more than one was included in the package (as I tend to get buffer-happy), but they aren't expensive to replace. The number of blades that are included is reasonable, it should get you through several treatments. The charger is basically just a plug, so it's quite easy to pack things into the storage bag and travel with them. Based on the results I've had, and the price of replacement blades and buffers, I think the cost is fair. Use: My no!no! is NOT cordless. The on/off switch for the device is located on the adapter, and therefore it must remain plugged in during use. The cord is fairly long, but can still be annoying if you want true freedom of movement. To use it, you snap in a blade and slide the no!no! over your skin. There is a little light on the unit that turns solid green when you are using correct speed and pressure, and flickers when you aren't. I don't concern myself too much with the light, preferring instead to watch the effect the blade is having on the hair it's passing over to gauge how it's working. When the blades zap the hairs, you will either feel a very mild tingle, or actually see the hair shrivel up, depending on it's length. The blade does produce some heat, but it's not enough to cause discomfort. After one of my treatments I did notice some tiny little pinpoint scabs in a few areas which I think were the result of using an old blade or perhaps too much pressure? They were minor and disappeared in about a day or two, so I wasn't bothered by them. I also did not notice any 'burning hair' odour during treatments. I suppose it might occur in an area with considerable growth, but I honestly don't think it would be very noticeable. You end the treatment by buffing off the shriveled little remnants of hair. A fair amount of pressure and repetition is required to get things smooth to the touch, but the buffing surface is so fine you'd really have to go overboard or have paper-thin skin to leave yourself raw. And bear this in mind: no!no! is not going to replace your normal hair removal method. You'll still need to shave to get rid of all stubble. YMMV, but that's what I've found. In my case, the initial treatments were fairly time consuming, I'd estimate forty minutes to an hour for both legs. I only have noticeable hair on my calves, and it grows in dark and coarse (lovely I know - thanks genetics!) so that was where I concentrated things. I used the long hair blade first, and followed it up with the short hair blade for good measure, so that definitely contributed to the length of time. The two treatments I did in rapid succession were much shorter, as there was very little to treat following the previous day's zapping and buffing. Effectiveness: Okay, here's where it got interesting for me! As I said above, I'm lazy, and have only used my no!no! about four times. I went back to shaving purely due to time constraints. I got even lazier recently, and went without shaving for a few days - hey - it's still winter! What amazed me was seeing that there were large patches of skin with little or no re-growth on them. Knowing that hair grows in at different rates, I went without shaving for about four more days (so for a week total), to see if this was just a fluke. It wasn't. I've been shaving long enough to know what a week of regular stubble looks like, and this was not it. The hair was really gone. I was so impressed. I'm traveling right now and did not bring no!no! with me, but when I get home, I will definitely be using it again, and much more regularly! Summary: no!no! is not cheap but it's upkeep is reasonably priced. Buffers, which last through many uses, are about $7 for a pack of two, and the blades are 5 for $21. (Overall, in my opinion, epilators still give the most bang for my hair removal buck.) It is time consuming, but doesn't seem to require constant use to do its work. Just the fact that it DOES work is amazing to me. I'm excited to continue using it (having vowed to do so more often) and I will try to update with my long term results!
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Tanda Skincare System
Aiko_Aiko 3/31/2008 6:32:00 PM
Tanda is an at-home light therapy device designed to combat both acne and aging. This will already be a long enough review, (google 'blue light therapy' and 'red light therapy' for more info) but suffice it to say that blue light targets acne causing bacteria, while red light stimulates collagen production, helping to heal and regenerate the skin. I saw Tanda profiled on my local news, and being the compulsive gadget buyer that I am, I went online and purchased it at the Tanda website. Having just come off birth control for the first time in years, I was combatting some ugly hormonal breakouts, and looking for something that wouldn't upset my sensitive skin (I am allergic to benzoyl peroxide, and have little success with Rx and OTC topical treatments). I'd say my skin is combination/oily, with mild to moderate breakouts. Price and packaging details: Tanda cost me $295 CDN. This includes the base unit, red and blue light treatment heads, charging unit, eye goggles (similar to the kind used at tanning salons) and a cloth carrying case. It was definitely not cheap, but I felt the price was justified by the number of uses I would potentially get from the Tanda. I've had the unit for about six months now and I feel it's quite a good value for the money. The base unit is about four inches long, very light, narrow and comfortable to hold. The treatment heads are triangular, each side is approx. 2 inches in length. They cover a decent amount of skin, and the design makes it easy to position against the sides of the nose etc. The charging unit is small and practical - it takes about an hour to fully charge and you'll get just over an hour of continuous treatment. It travels very well with everything packed into the included drawstring carrying bag. (As it is only made of cloth be sure to keep it away from liquids.) In general, the components are sturdy and compact enough to take just about anywhere. I drop everything I own at some point, and my poor Tanda has hit the floor more than once. It survived. If you're clumsy like me, just remove the treatment heads when you're done with it, as I think its much better to drop them separately than together! Usage: The basic idea with Tanda is to attach one of the treatment heads, and apply the device directly to your skin. The light comes on once correct pressure is being applied. Tanda comes with an internal timer that beeps every 30 seconds, and shuts off after 3 mins. I must confess, I was a bit confused about how to properly 'administer' the treatment. The instruction booklet was not clear - did I move the device around an area of my face, or leave it stationary on one patch of skin until the cycle was up? At first, I opted for the stationary route, holding it against one patch of skin for a full cycle. This quickly became annoying. If you're planning to treat your entire face this way, you would have to devote about an hour of your time to doing so, and then recharge the unit in order to continue treatment with the second head! So I soon switched to moving the device around during the treatment cycle. My usual practice became to treat each cheek, my chin/neck/jawline, my forehead, and then either side of my nose for one cycle each. At 3 mins per cycle, I'm looking at approx. 36 mins. for each full treatment (both red & bue light). Tanda can be used on all areas of the skin, not just the face, so if you have breakouts in another area (eg. your back) your treatment time will vary. You can also treat a single area for up to 15 mins per day, so again, time will vary depending on use. As the light is activated by pressure, I found the trickiest parts of the face to treat were the nose and temples. Keeping the light on there requires that you apply extra pressure or simply press the device head down with your thumb or finger. Not too difficult once you get the hang of it, but it is annoying at first. The pressure required is not excessive or uncomfortable, and keeping it up for half an hour (if you opt to treat the way I do) is not really that tiring. I'm now experimenting to see whether the treatments will work without the device touching my skin at all, as I get sick of cleaning the treatment heads after each use (totally optional, but I do it anyway). If it still works that way, I'll try to update this review! Be forewarned that the treatment heads tend to heat up after several cycles. I've never experienced anything remotely like a 'burn' or lasting irritation, but you may find there is a bit of redness if you leave the device in one area for a full cycle when the head is already warm. I didn't care for the goggles included with the unit. I tend to use Tanda while watching TV or at the computer and the goggles made it difficult to see the screen, so I gave them up. The manufacturer claims they are included in case the light bothers your eyes. They are not 'protective' in nature, as the light from the unit will not harm your eyes. Based on what I've read from independent reliable sources, that is true. However, please do your own research and decide what you feel comfortable with! Effectiveness: Phew - this part will be fairly brief! Yes it works. As I mentioned above, I bought this to help with acne, not aging. As an acne treatment, it's definitely effective. Especially if I concentrate one or more cycles on a single spot. I have consistently seen a reduction in the size and redness of spots in under 24 hours. Will zits vanish overnight? Sure, if they're small! But even the big guys will shrink noticeably. Spots also tend to heal much faster, with less 'marking' and redness. BUT - if you don't use it regularly, the results don't last. So it's not a cure, just a topical treatment like any other. Summary: Tanda works for me! My two caveats are treatment time and price, but if you're willing to invest them, I do recommend it. This is one 'impulse buy' I'm glad I made!
Treatments -Mario Badescu - Special Healing Powder
Aiko_Aiko 7/22/2007 5:56:00 PM
I recently came off the Pill (after several years of steady use) and my otherwise normal/combo skin has gone completely nuts on me. Whereas on the Pill I used to have one or two hormonal zits pop up on my nose, I am now finding it's possible to breakout absolutely everywhere on my face again, a gift I haven't had since high school. Even the painful under-the-skin cysts have returned! At almost 30, I'm too old for this crap, so I went on a mission to find some products that would help my now increasingly oily, breakout prone skin. This was my first purchase from the M.B. line and I selected it to use as a daytime oil/breakout control product, since I have an allergy to Benzoyl peroxide. It's sulfur based, and contains simple ingredients: Talc, Kaolin, Calcium Carbonate, Bismuth Subgallate. The first three ingredients are essentially chalk, clay and more chalk- effective oil absorbers but potentially drying - Bismuth subgallate has some astringent properties and the sulfur acts as an anti-bacterial agent. The powder itself is a bright sulfuric yellow, and while terrifying in the container it actually does help to counter-balance redness when applied. The key is to apply it sparingly! The powder is quite finely milled, so a thin layer should not leave you looking jaundiced. Forget about using the included puff - it picks up way too much product. Get a nice clean powder brush instead. If your skin has yellow undertones like mine (MAC C2, Stila 20 Watts, MUFE F&B #20), you may even be able to get away with lightly dabbing this onto red spots with a concealer brush or Q-tip if you aren't planning on using foundation. Having had this now for several weeks and using it as an all-over or spot treatment, I have to say I'm glad I purchased it. A light dusting after concealer or foundation acts as a nice finishing powder, and helps cancel out that last bit of redness my concealer or foundation doesn't. When used on it's own it will help to even out skintone (if you have small spots or healing marks). It does control oil well throughout the day, but be careful using this over dry or flaky skin as it will only highlight those problems - I always apply this on top of a sunscreen or moisturizer and find that really helps. And I do believe this has helped combat my latest round of breakouts - I'd dab this on spots with a Q-tip before bed and did find they were smaller and less angry looking in the morning. An unpleasant side effect I noticed after a few days use was a darkening of existing blackheads on my nose, making them more visible. Nothing else has ever done that before! Can't say I liked it either. The 'effect' seems to have gone away (although I have since added other products to my regime that may have helped with the blackheads) but I'll report back if I notice it again. Overall I like this product. It's a real multi-tasker - finishing powder, oil controller, anti-bacterial, color corrector, spot treatment - it performs all these tasks and performs them quite well. The sifter jar is sturdy, and should last several months to a year based on the amount of product needed per use. And it's reasonably priced at $16 CDN. I was pleased enough to want to purchase other products in the M.B. line, and I definitely recommend this if your acne control options are limited to sulfur-based products.
My favourite cleanser for the last year. It is a very basic cleanser, with a gentler detergent than most, and the addition of 0.5% triclosan, an antibacterial agent. It lathers well, and does not leave behind any noticeable residue. This does contain fragrance, but it's rather mild and unoffensive - I hardly notice it anymore. I love this for several reasons: 1) It comes cheap and plentiful, in a 450ml pump dispenser 2) It works beautifully at removing makeup, aside from waterproof mascara 3) It isn't drying to my skin, so I can use it twice daily 4) Before I had other antibacterial treatments to rely on, it did seem to help my monthly breakouts. The only possible downside to this cleanser that I can think of would be the packaging -- it's practical but not 'pretty'. It is quite a thin liquid though, so if pretty packaging is important to you, you could very easily transfer this into a dispenser of your choosing. This is easily found in Canada, and I'm pretty sure it's available in the US as well. For it's gentleness and all around practicality, I definitely recommend giving this cleanser a try.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Adult Acnomel tinted cream
Aiko_Aiko 7/28/2006 6:51:00 PM
I was so happy to find this product, as there are no reliable sulfur based treatment creams available to me in Canada (picked this up in New York). Clearasil does make something similar, but it contains Isopropyl Myristate, which breaks me out big time. Isopropyl Myristate rates a 5 for comedogenicity and 3 for irritancy on the Sage chart for those who follow that...interesting ingredient choice for an 'acne fighter'! Acnomel contains 8% sulfur and 2% resorcinol. Both ingredients have antiseptic/antibacterial properties and both help to unclog pores, making this an excellent choice for those allergic or sensitive to benzoyl peroxide (like myself). However, I don't think this cream will work for everyone. It is quite drying to the skin and can cause flaking and peeling. It is a very effective spot treatment, but I would not advise anyone to use this as an all over daily treatment without testing it first to see how they tolerate it. A little certainly goes a long way! The cream itself is very light in consistency and dries to a matte finish. It's slightly grainy and remains visible after it dries, so even though the tint is a fairly decent color, I would not be able to just slap this on and leave the house. I save this for use overnight. You receive a decent sized tube (1.3 oz) for about $11 US, and should be able to find this in any Stateside drugstore. My fellow Canadians might also be able to do that, but not anywhere in the Toronto region that I've found. ***UPDATE*** Remember what I said about this being drying?? Well, having read the ingredients on my tube again, I realized that this cream contains 15% alcohol. Which is about as drying as it gets. Those with sensitive skin have been warned. I'll finish up this tube for spot treating only, but my hunt for a BP substitute continues.
I stocked up on this after trying it in Europe. On my normal to dry skin, this has turned out to be the lightest feeling LRP sunscreen thus far. It's not really a gel (more like a very light cream), but it is extremely wearable, and works well under makeup and in hot weather. I've used it all summer with great success, but I'd really love for the protection factor to be higher if it's going to continue to be my summertime pick. Will definitely repurchase if no alternative formulas appear!
Sunscreen -La Roche Posay - ANTHELIOS AQUA LAIT spf60 ppd28
Aiko_Aiko 9/5/2005 7:28:00 PM
Just picked up two tubes of this in Europe, and I think I've found one of my two favourite LRP sunscreens. This is (on my normal to dry skin) the second lightest formula I've tried, Anthelios W being the first. I have no problems with irritation or breakouts, it goes on well under my makeup, and has already been lined up for daily use this winter (only because the W seems a little too light for this cold climate). Definitely worth hunting for!
Powder -Unlisted Brand - Cory Cosmetics Mineral Foundation
Aiko_Aiko 9/5/2005 4:47:00 PM
I've just realized that I've been using this foundation for over a year without reviewing it. I only wear powder foundations, because I find other formulas too heavy and annoying to apply and blend. Previous faves of mine include MAC Studiofix (in the end I found it too pore clogging) and Stila IPF (just not enough coverage during my monthly breakouts). When I tired of those I began sampling minerals. I ultimately ended up trying about 5 different brands. Cory came out ahead because it provides the most complete and natural looking coverage, and had the best color match (I'm a MAC C2, Stila 20 watts, Cory Fawn or Whipped cream depending on the season). The key to loving this foundation is mastering the application. As everyone will tell you - less is more - apply several sheer layers if you're going for complete coverage, don't try to pack the bristles full of product in one shot. I find that the really densely bristled kabuki or bronzer brushes pick up and hold the product better, but they make it very easy to overdo it. Once you have experience sifting out the correct amount however, these are my favorite for just buffing it on and running out the door. For more forgiving application, I prefer ordinary powder brushes (softer, looser bristles), just be prepared for more 'fallout'. My skin is normal to dry and experiences monthly breakouts. I don't notice any unusual oiliness using this foundation, and love the fact that it stays glued to my skin through all kinds of weather and activity. I really can sleep in the stuff without it rubbing off! I also find this fare betters than normal powder foundations when my skin is really dry, as it doesn't dry it out even further or accenutate the flakiness. And did I mention it's a great value? I've been using this daily for over a year and I still have 1/3 of the sifter to go. I plan to continue using this for the forseeable future, and only gave it a four because the application can be so tricky. Still, absolutely recommended if you want complete control over coverage and a finish that looks and feels like a second (flawless) skin. UPDATE: I never ended up finishing my jar! Don't know if it was my skin that changed, or the product itself, but this began to look way too heavy and even creased during the day, settling into neat little lines every time I smiled or raised my eyebrows. I wasn't happy about the constant creasing giving me the appearance of wrinkles I don't yet have, so I stopped using it. And I've dropped the rating from 4 to 3 to reflect this...
I'm another one who likes these! The size is actually quite decent in my eyes (since I almost never use anything up), and I really love the doe foot applicator. The colours are beautiful, and I like the look and feel of Lip Polish in general. Some of these can be quite sheer when applied, but I find the colours that go on the most sheerly happen to be the ones I'd probably never wear in a more opaque form anyway (eg. the bright pink). So that works out well for me! But if your lips are super pigmented or you prefer a thicker gloss formula - stay away. This set offers a great variety for a very reasonable price, and as I can't seem to find some of these colours in the regular line (like the plum and berry shades) I'm glad to have it!
A beautiful cherry red with fine gold and silver shimmer. This goes on sheerly, so if you're looking for major impact, you might want to look elsewhere! I personally love sheer glosses, and the fact that this is not sticky, can be glass-like or dewy (depending upon how thickly you apply it), and lasts well on my lips makes it a winner for me. I can even deal with the mild mint flavour, which I normally hate! I've learned not to press my lips together after applying if I want the colour to be as opaque as possible (the gloss is quite thin in texture, so it blends very easily), but whether I sheer it out or not, I love the subtle 'bitten' look it gives. Very pretty, and of all the Lip Polish shades, a new favourite.
It wasn't until I tried this that I remembered how much I used to love the little Lash Discovery brush. For a mascara klutz to be able to coat every lash from root to tip, without painting her eyelids as well, is truly a miracle. So many thanks to Pout for reuniting me with my ideal spoolie! This is an extremely wet formula, which does take longer than normal to dry. I run around frantically every morning, doing ten things at once, so the wait didn't bother me. I just tried not to look straight up or down (or fall back to sleep), and I was fine. :) After it dried, I wasn't pleased with the tiny bit of clumping going on, so I used my Tweezerman comb to seperate my lashes. This did cause a fair amount of flaking, but the results I saw when I was done were just amazing. My lashes are quite long and fairly full, so I really prefer a natural look from mascara. This was just perfect! It lengthened slightly, defined every single lash, and held a great curl. It didn't smudge on me either, and was only a *little* bit of a pain to remove. I'll try combing through it while it's still slightly wet to avoid all the flaking, but I really do like this. ****UPDATE**** This is now my everyday favorite. Once I got used to working with it I found there is nothing better or easier to wear. Awesome product!
If you really want a lip gloss that looks like chocolate, you've come to the right place! I can see just the tiniest bit of red in this, but it really does look good enough to eat. On the lips it sheers out just enough to let your natural lip color peek through and the red is slightly more noticeable. I happen to like brown lip shades, but if you don't, you've been warned! The packaging is quite cute with it's pretty stenciled tube, but I'm not crazy about the gigantic peach/pink fluted plastic top. Maybe it's just this shade, but it looks odd. The applicator is actually a brush, but the bristles are so tightly packed and so firm, I thought at first that it was a plastic spatula! It loosens somewhat with use, and is small enough to control the color quite easily. The texture of this gloss is light and moist, not thick and sticky, the kind of formula I've really come to prefer in my glosses. It has great staying power on my lips, and it eventually wears down to a sheer stain. My first P&J gloss, but thanks to this, I do plan to go back for more!
I love this. It comes in an extremely cute and highly practical little pot, which opens up to reveal what looks like a chocolately brown color with a hint of peach. On my lips this becomes a much lighter, and much 'peachier' colour. It's a beautiful shade in a very nice formula, that's light and creamy (not greasy or waxy) with reasonable staying power. This makes your lips look dewy and soft, as opposed to gleaming wet, and has a very comfortable feel. I really look forward to trying the other colours!
To me, this brush is indispensable. I love the look of cream/gel blushes, but I do not have the artist's hands necessary to blend them properly. This brush makes applying them almost foolproof. It's of excellent quality, very gentle on the skin, and has never failed to produce a natural looking, even 'glow'. I have used it to apply Tarte cheek stains, Stila CCs and rouge, Paula Dorf's own cheek creams (which are about as awesome as this brush) - and well, you get the idea. As long as I'm careful not too load up too much product at once (I find it better to start off lightly and then build the colour if needed), the brush pretty much does the rest! Definitely one of my favourite brushes ever, don't let the price scare you away!
This is looks like a deep peach/terracotta shade in the pot, and on my C2/20 watts skin it shows up as a very warm peach flush. The consistency in the pot is mousse-like, but solid enough to dip a brush in without picking up or moving too much product around.
I always apply cream blushes with my Paula Dorf cheek cream brush, which is juuuust baaaarely able to make it inside the rouge pot. The size of this product's container is truly, ridiculously small. As I'm sure has been pointed out elsewhere, the lip rouge comes in a pot about one and a half times the diameter of the cheek rouge. *looks at the size of her lip brush, then back to the size of her blush brushes. Shakes head.* If you really love cream blushes, and Stila's in particular, you'd do well to get yourself a nice brush. Otherwise be prepared to have some beautifully flushed fingers and nails!
Since I'm able to work around the challenge posed by the microscopic pot, I am rating this product primarily based on the color (which I like) and the texture and finish (which is easy to blend and looks so perfectly natural once it's set). If I start to find it difficult to get the colour out with my brush, I plan to come back and downgrade this. This will be my only rouge pot for the time being. This is a step up from cardboard, but still, bad packaging irks me.