So, here it is. I am definitely not as familiar with niche perfumes as many of the reviewers at MUA. I have tried a few different things from a few niche brands. Also, I don't really have a problem with buying a $30 perfume if that's what I like...but the sample I received of this made me purchase my first Bond. I love this stuff. I don't really get coppertone from this (if you want that go for the less expensive Bobbi Brown Beach, which I also like...but find it much more synthetic) but I get warm beach...neroli and warm east coach beach breezes is the best way I can describe it. I'm not usually a patchouli person at all either, but it somehow works for me in this. It is terribly expensive, and I want to take a lippie off for that, but really I love it so much I don't care. It also just works with my chemistry, I can spray FI on before work and still smell it at the end of the day (which I have a short list of perfumes for which I can say that). I also get more compliments on this (from both sexes) than most any other perfume I have tried. So yeah, I'll cringe when I fork over the $, but I'm sure I'll be buying this again.
Lipstick -Estee Lauder - Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Tiramisu
AmandaHW 9/10/2012 2:06:00 PM
First off, let me start with the smell. Yes, this has that typical Estee Lauder Pure Color line smell that is in all of their Pure Color lipsticks and glosses. It is hard to described, but to me it smells a little fruity with an undercurrent of a bit of waxy smell (waxy as in it reminds me of those plastic fangs you get at Halloween time). I am sensitive to some scents in Lipsticks, but this one does not bother me. The texture of the Pure Color Line is great, very smooth and hydrating. Not a long lasting lipstick by any stretch, but as long lasting as any other on me (2-3 hours). I have found a couple other colors in this line (some of the newest ones that came out with the luminizers) that are almost gritty, but most of them are not and Tiramisu is no exception. As for the color, it truly is gorgeous. A beautiful peachy sheer with pink undertones. It is a great "everyday" color. This won't be the color that will knock your socks off, but it will be the color that you notice yourself wearing all the time. Overall, I highly recommend this lipstick. At $25 it isn't super pricey, but it isn't exactly cheap either...still for this gorgeous color and formulation if I ever run out I would definitely repurchase.
This was my first purchase from the La Creme line and I have gone on to purchase two more colors, so I think that says a lot about how much I love this line. Nude Beach is described as Nude Peach. To me it is the perfect peachy nude with an ever so slight pink tone as well. I have this one, Naughty Nude and Naked Dolly and of the three this one is definitely my favorite. I am not typically a lipstick person because I feel like so many of them either dry out my lips or wear off in an unflattering way, leaving a weird lipstick ring in their wake. These are quite moisturizing and wear off evenly and beautifully. The formula is very creamy and has a nice shine to it, although it is not as shiny as a gloss. If you want a real mirror finish, you will need to apply a gloss over this one. My lips stay moisturized and it doesn't creep into my lip lines. The smell is nice, to me it smells faintly of orange creamsicle. I am sensitive to smells and I really can't smell this one for more than a second or two after it is applied. Lasting power isn't the best, but it works for me as my preference is for moisturization over longevity. The weight of this lipstick is 3g/.11 oz and the price is $21 USD so I would call this midrange as far as value goes. So...would I buy it again? Absolutely. I have 3 already and will be purchasing a couple of the darker shades for wear this fall. Truly a big thumbs up IMO.
Lipstick -Too Faced - La Creme Lipstick - Naked Dolly
AmandaHW 8/31/2012 12:40:00 PM
Naked Dolly is the lightest of the nude shades, and is a pink cool toned nude. I feel like I really need a liner with this one to keep me from looking washed out. Still, I find it more wearable than many other nudes. I bought this as my third purchase in the La Creme line, I think that says something about how much I like the formula. I am not typically a lipstick person because I feel like so many of them either dry out my lips or wear off in an unflattering way, leaving a weird lipstick ring in their wake. These are quite moisturizing and wear off evenly and beautifully. The formula is very creamy and has a nice shine to it, although it is not as shiny as a gloss. If you want a real mirror finish, you will need to apply a gloss over this one. My lips stay moisturized and it doesn't creep into my lip lines. The smell is nice, to me it smells faintly of orange creamsicle. I am sensitive to smells and I really can't smell this one for more than a second or two after it is applied. Lasting power isn't the best, but it works for me as my preference is for moisturization over longevity. The weight of this lipstick is 3g/.11 oz and the price is $21 USD so I would call this midrange as far as value goes. So...would I buy it again? Absolutely. I have 3 already and will be purchasing a couple of the darker shades for wear this fall. Truly a big thumbs up IMO.
Mascara -Laura Mercier - Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara
AmandaHW 8/7/2012 4:15:00 PM
This was a real sleeper hit for me. I don't buy a lot of Laura Mercier. I love her mineral foundation but that's about it. I got a sample of this from sephora and I cannot believe how wonderfully it held up. My wimpy lashes were volumized without being clumpy, the tube took a long time to dry out and it consistently worked really well for me. This is very unusual for me and this is one of my favorites. I ended up buying the full size and had the same experience. I am surprised that this mascara isn't more talked about, it is really good.
Overall, as far as MAC lipsticks go I think this is a nice color for someone a little darker than me (NW15). In general, I find MAC lipsticks (and many others) to be a little drying, so I admit to being hard to please in the lipstick category. The color/texture overall was good for a MAC lipstick, but I just feel like it wasn't anything particularly wonderful...hence the 3 "middle of the road" lippies.
Scrubs -Mario Badescu - Almond & Honey Non-abrasive facial scrub
AmandaHW 7/25/2012 1:35:00 PM
I'm not a fan. It is this weird cream which does nothing in terms of "scrubbing" (and I am to assume they mean to use this as an exfoliator?) but yet has these weird large intermittent pieces. It sort of feels like rubbing moisturizer with tiny shards in it on your face. Its bad and I really wish I had not lost my ulta receipt or this would be going back. I guess from the reviews some people love this, but I just don't see it. I gave it 2 lippies only because it does smell nice, it doesn't hurt to use it or anything and some people do seem to love it...just know that if you are looking for a hard core exfoliant this is NOT it.
Moisturizers -Cerave - Facial Moisturizing Lotion - PM
AmandaHW 7/25/2012 1:30:00 PM
Overall, this has been a great product for me. My skin is usually oily combination, but since reintroducing Retin-A I started having dry flaky places too. This and La Roche Posay have really been the only things that have been able to make a difference in my face. This is very inexpensive and works great. I gave it 4/5 lippies because it contains parabens, whereas LRP does not.
Lip Liners -Jordana - Easyliner for Lips in Rock n' Rose
AmandaHW 7/25/2012 1:24:00 PM
I literally cannot believe how great this is for the price. And, honestly, even not considering how cheap it was this is a great product. A perfect nudey pink, with a retractable style pencil that goes on as creamy as a Dior lipliner and costs 1.99? Now, that's a crazy deal. I always keep backups of this liner as it is one of my faves...and I don't use very many drugstore products.
This is my favorite mineral foundation. I have tried many. (Bare Minerals, Jane Iredale, Everyday Minerals and other big names as well as smaller etsy type sellers). This is nicely milled and leaves a beautiful finish. I especially love to use this over my BB creams or TMs for a flawless finish. The price per unit is higher than Bare Minerals, but if you do the math ounce for ounce this is actually CHEAPER than BM and it does not break me out or cause itching like BM would for me. This is a staple.
Overall, I really like this mascara. It gives my lashes nice volume, and I don't have any problems with flaking or clumping. It doesn't really "wow" me, but it is a great daytime mascara for me. I would purchase again as part of a kit, or in multiples, but I probably wouldn't pay full price for a single. There are just other cheaper mascaras that perform as well.
Overall, I feel sort of "meh" about this. When I first put it on, it looks great. But, after a few hours it flakes horribly on me (which I have only had that problem with a couple of high end mascaras), which then irritates my contacts. Also, the tubes dry out SUPER fast. Overall, this is not worth the purchase price for something with no staying power that dries out so quickly. I gave it 2 lippies because if you just want something "wow" for a night out or event, this could be a nice one.
Chanel JC blushes are some of my favorites, and I find this color great for my NW15 skintone. I will admit to preferring my Rose Petale to this one as I mostly prefer pink tones, but when I want a nice peach this one is great. It does have that perfumed Chanel blush smell, and although it quickly dissipates, if you are sensitive to scents you may want to skip the JC blushes.
I really like this mascara. It isn't my absolute favorite, but I am always happy to get it in kits. It is a midrange as far as price, and I love that tarte is an earth friendly brand. I feel like this mascara goes clumpy on me a little faster than others, hence the 4 lippies. Overall all though, it gives nice length and volume to my wimpy lashes and I would buy again.
Shampoo -L'Oreal - EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner
AmandaHW 7/25/2012 1:08:00 PM
My perspective is I was looking for a lower cost alternative to wen. If that is what you are trying to do, look elsewhere. Wen leaves my hair clean, but not stripped. This left my hair greasy. The smell was also fairly overwhelming. I would not buy again.