Makeup Brushes -Everyday Minerals - Oval Concealer Brush
Andreangel 12/18/2011 8:59:00 PM
Wow I love this brush. I seriously had no expectation for it when I got this. Got this free in the $10 concealer kit along with a free $10 brow kit. Looking at the picture, I thought this would be a great lip brush. But no, this is GREAT BRUSH for MINERAL EYESHADOWS. Its a great shape for layering a sheer layer on your eyes without worrying about things going on too intensely or dropping powder everywhere. I finally found a a brush to apply mineral makeup. Will update and perhaps even buy more of this. As a concealer brush this is not the best, there are much better ones out there. The ironic thing is that their EYE KABUKI and EYE KABUKI JUNIOR are fantastic concealer brushes. I recommend those for concealer and the concealer brush for eye shadows ;)...how funny is that! I only had this for couple of days, hence the 4 star rating. If it lasts well I will bump to a five.
Eyeliner -Prestige - Waterproof Eyeliner - Granite
Andreangel 12/18/2011 6:55:00 PM
HG eyeliner for me. Bought this after seeing a rec on MUA 3-4 years ago and been using it ever since. This is the perfect dark grey and creates the perfect super fast, easy, and effortless smoky eye for me. On my fair medium skin tone, this looks better than brown or black. I used up probably 20+ such liners so far...lol... Regarding it getting hard after a while, I use it every day so I shapen it at minimum twice a month, so I haven't found this to be problem. If you lay this around though unused for while, especially in cold climate. Yes I noticed it can get hard. QUALITY: This is my HG liner, not only for the color, but the staying power. I find it last longer than my old standby - Revlon colorstay. Keep in mind I have oily asian lids. I find the best way to set the liner and avoid smudging is to top my lashes, especially close to the lash base, with a coating of smudgeproof mascara. I use Ecco Bella one in black. Whatever ingredients are in the mascaras (probably kaolin clay), I find it keeps my eyeliners from running. Using eyeliners by itself, everything eventually smudge on me. An odd thing I noticed was that Prestige waterproof liners, longlastingness and quality differs by color. One color can last super long on me, while another one can smudge easily. This is odd but worthwhile to point out. Granite lasts. WILL THIS COLOR WORK FOR YOU?: The true test for coloring is to ask yourself - do you look better in silver jewelry or gold? If silver, I bet this color would look great on you. If gold, then probably not and I wouldn't recommend it per reviews below. Try a bronze or warm brown.
Mascara -Estee Lauder - Double Wear Zero Smudge Lengthening Mascara
Andreangel 12/17/2011 12:48:00 PM
Great mascara, received it in a swap and absolutely love it. It definitely lengthened my lashes and gave me that fake eyelash look. I thought Tarte's Light, Camera, Action Mascara was good...but this is equally good in a different way. So why the 4 stars? Impossible to remove. I dont like spending extra $$$ for eye make up remover or the extra step and hassle, usually my cleansing oils does the job fine. This one definitely requires it...so I only save it for special occasions when I want that seductive long lash look. Would I buy it again? Absolutely!!! It definitely doesn't smudge...lol...or go anywhere..even when I want to take it off...
Makeup Brushes -Japonesque - Mineral Smudger Brush (BM-664)
Andreangel 12/15/2011 9:56:00 PM
This is a super cute smudge brush similar to Sephora Pro Natural Smudge Brush #11 or Classic Smudge Brush #14. I compared them side by side and seriously couldn't tell the difference between the shape or the bristles. Maybe the Japonesque one is 5% softer. The only difference really is the length. The Japonesque one is good for travel and super cute in a shorter length shape with bronze/gold handles. Quality is always top notch with the Japonesque brushes. Really a solid buy if you are into this shape. Price wise, the Sephora classic is $13, Japonesque is $15.50 regular price (although you can get buy two get one free deals at Ulta), and the Sephora pro is $18. MAC is more. However I wont buy it again, in fact I returned all 3 of this type. Because of my eye shape, I can't find a use for a smudge brush at all. However, for others I imagine it may be a necessity. If you are into this type, the Japonesque one is a solid buy.
This is the brush I use almost every single day, every time I wear any kind of eye shadow. I own 3 of them already - 2 full size, and 1 travel one to put in my purse. I even bought my mom one and converted her to it! After this brush, no other plain eye shadow brushes can compare. The beauty of this brush is three fold. 1.) The softness of the hair, squirrel. Never felt anything so soft against my skin. You'll throw away all the scratchy ones after trying this baby out. 2.) The shape and the way it picks up product. You only need one dip. Some swooshes back and forth on your lid, blend the excess, and it looks professionally done. Trust me, I am totally an amateur at eye make up. 3.) The construction is solid. The handle is nicely black, professional and bespokes quality. I've had the original one for 4-5 years and going strong. No shredding whatsoever and the Japonesque lettering is still on. Consider how much performance this item gives me, it is one of the best $18 I've spent! When Ulta has their sales again next time, I'll gladly pick up another one of those, along with the equally fabulous all over blender/crease brush - another HG item.
Lipstick -Estee Lauder - Pure Color Lipstick- Autumn
Andreangel 11/4/2011 4:10:00 PM
Also named "Autumn Shimmer." I first saw this as a gwp couple weeks ago at the Estee Lauder counter. Upon trying it on my hand, I knew this would be the perfect shade for me. I've been looking for a replacement for my discontinued color - HG bronze red Jane Spice as Nice and finally found it! I am incredibly happy. This is a rich beautiful medium bronze red color that can be layered to be rich and red or just a slight stain. This is perfect with a little black dress and neutral eye makeup. And wearable with my casual jeans, grey T shirt, lipstick blotted and lip balm over the stain. On my light-medium skin tone, dark hair; it makes my skin whiter, teeth brighter, hair darker and just makes me look like snow white :). Scored an NWT gold tube on ebay for only $10! I am in love with this color and value. Will definitely repurchase. Also, I don't know why everyone complains about the Estee Lauder scent, I don't mind it at all as it smells like Candy. For color reference I am a Winter who looks good in silver jewelry, bright or icy cold colors with no olive/brown/muted tones. However, this color looks fantastic on me.
I found this at Ulta couple years ago and pick it up on a whim. I am so glad I did. It has became a holy grail. This stuff does not fade, budge and last all day. It really does what it claim. Never heard of the brand prior but it gets results. I use the brown shade on my brows and love it. Super affordable and worth every penny. No longer available at Ulta but may be purchased on Amazon.com. I read below that an user uses this as an eyeliner..hmmmm...haven't tried this but now I will ;). I bet this will work as well as Prestige Waterproof eyeliner or Revlon Colorstay, if not better.
This is my favorite red of all time and the one I reach for time and time again. I like the satin shimmer finish, its not flat. Its the perfectly elegant, bright red. No hint of burgundy or ruby tone. Looks great with Asian skin tones. Lasting power is typical of OPI's excellent quality. Love the packaging too.
Fabulous soap! In the last two years I have been gradually switching from drugstore, chemical laden products...to paraben free, chemical free, and silicone free products available primarily at natural food stores and online. This soap is one of the best finds of the last two years. This item is available on Vitacost.com, or various other online retailers, and is only about $1.60 each! You have got to try this. Almost tempted not to share as I am sure there will be a boom of interest in this product once great reviews are shared. Hopefully the prices will still be under $2. Here is what is so great about it: 1.) I can use this to wash my face or other oily skin areas. It does not irritate, burn, or leave my skin dry. Rather it gets rid of the oils and leaves my complexion looking more balanced, clean and just even. Try GETTING THIS EFFECT in all the chemical laden face washes out there for $1.60!!! Super cost effective and it works! On the body, the soap will run out fast though as the bar is small (2.75 oz) and I find it dissolves in water pretty fast. I do use it for the back or chest and other oilier areas. 2.) The awesome ingredients. Full of herbs and natural products. Neem has a reputation of being good for acne prone skin. Here it is: Coconut oil, Palmyra oil, rice bran oil, alkali, water, need oil, caster oil, hydnocarpus (cactus) oil, rose petals, zedoary, tumeric, fenugreek, psoralea corylifolia (babchi seed), peepal (bodhi tree), alangium salvifolium, costus, indian sarsaparilla, shiva need, and hibiscus. An added plus, I don't know how they do it but the packaging is nice too for $1.60. It comes fully wrapped in white paper and in its own paper box complete with a paper line card of all their other products. I feel like I am getting an luxury or spa item. This bar smells very herbal as well in a nice way. This item has became a staple for me as I buy 3-6 bars at a time. Per a reviewer below, I am going to try this as a shampoo bar too to wash my hair and see how it does. If there is a one bar for all your needs - this may be it. Much better than Dr. Bronner's Castile soap as I can't use that on my face or hair, it strips. I am also trying out their other items such as toothpaste and regular shampoo :).
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - Devita Daily Solar Protective Moisturizer spf 30
Andreangel 9/14/2011 3:15:00 AM
This item is available online in vitamin retailers like Vitacost.com. Have not seen it at Wholefoods yet. This sunscreen brand was created because the owner of the brand could not find anything on the market that did not break her out. Here is what I like about it and the results: Pros: - Beautiful packaging - I have a purple glass bottle with olive colored leaf details on it. Pump style. This is gorgeous on the counter and looks much more expensive than the $15 or so I paid for it. - High SPF 30 with awesome ingredients - uses Zinc Oxide 19% as active ingredient, aloe vera gel, also Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E and Allantoin. Some really nice stuff in here! - Texture & comfort - feels comfortable, light, does not ball up. White of course because of the zinc oxide but that is to be expected. Anytime there is a high concentration of natural sun blockers like Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide its bound to be some slight white, or chalky cast. Cons: - Not truly non-comedogenic if you are sensitive to Zinc Oxide. After using this for a week, I noticed various white heads popping up on my cheeks. 1 star off. - After some research to what other users thought on different forums, it seems many acne prone folks cannot use this item. Take a look at the post below from Amazon.com. "1.0 out of 5 stars a nightmare, July 4, 2011 By mylady (Pearl City, Hawaii) - See all my reviews This review is from: Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+ -- 2.5 fl oz (Health and Beauty) I have oily/acne-prone skin. Nowadays, I'm not oily anymore thanks to Ren's mayblossom cleanser, but I still can be acne-prone (break out about 2-3 times a mo). I was using this sunscreen consistently when it was in it's old (jar) packaging and loved the new pump package thereafter. I was trying many new products at the time (having just got into skin care routines = bad idea). My skin broke out horribly. I changed everything in my routine except for this sunscreen, because I refused to believe that something that sank in so well and felt so light and dreamy would cause clogged pores. After 8 months of using this product (and now I finally have acne scars), I stopped. So did any major troubles with my skin. I still haven't found anything to greatly reduce all of the acne scarring due to this. If you have acne-prone skin in any way, I would stay far away. Seriously, biggest skin care regret of my life." Well, I have yet to find a SPF 30 sunscreen that does not cause clogged pores or break outs. My previous HG was Kiss My Face Face Factor, but they changed their formulations to include ingredients that no longer work on my skin. :( So 4 stars overall - 1 for packaging, 1 for ingredients, 1 for texture/comfort, and 1 for the natural concept. However 1 star off for causing clogged pores. I am going to save this one for those days I need a strong SPF 30 for after peels, laser treatments, and those days at the beach or outdoors where I need serious sun protection, etc. But not for everyday as I do not want to end up getting acne scars. This is not an every day item for those of us who are acne prone and very sensitive to topical skincare products. The search goes on and the market is still open for such a product to be formulated/launched.
Masks -Borghese - Fango Active Mud for Face and Body
Andreangel 1/13/2009 3:14:00 PM
This is also my HG of masks. Since masks usually dont irritate any skin types, I've tried EVERYTHING. Anything with 4 to 5 stars from clay, Aztec clay (the plain kaolin ingredient you mix with any type of liquid), to peel off masks, to moisturizing masks, to famed sulfur acne masks on the market. While some of the other items are great and good, I ALWAYS comes back to this. This product never fails to make me feel fabulous. It shrinks my pores and moisturizes my skin at the same time. I can feel the glowing effect for about 2-3 days afterward. Its pricy but totally worth it to me. EDIT 12/2011: I swear I am on my 3rd or 4th jar of this. I buy the huge jar and each one last me one year or sometimes 1.5 years. I just noticed the directions tell you to leave it on for only like 5 to 10 minutes and not to let it dry. If you have PROBLEM SKIN like I do, IGNORE THOSE DIRECTIONS!!!! Seriously, let it dry and pull out all the gunk from your pores and dry your blemishes out. I look like I got a mini facelift after I use this, everything is just firmer.
This is my HG of scrubs. I love everything about it. I love the smell, its got a blend of natural oils with salt so it smells luxurious to me, I know its not for everyone. I love the fact that it only takes a little do its job, I love the consistency. I love how it makes my body feel after I use it, just silky smooth skin. This is the scrub to wow the significant other in your life because you just feel fabulously silky from head to toe. I actually like the classic glass jar it comes in. Not the most user friendly but it also comes in plastic tubes. Only downside is the price, $38 for 16 oz. So I reserve this for special occasions. Never fails to transform my mood and perk me up.
I am writing this not only to document my own research/experience from taking and eating Omega 3s, but also to put a fair, countered perspective to the reviewer below who believed fish oil has a placebo effect. Q: Are there any scientific studies that prove fish oil improves skin conditions? YES!! I recommend “The Clear Skin Diet” by Harvard faculty member - Dr. Alan C. Logan, 242 pages of research and background. After reading the book, I am convinced our diet has a direct correlation to our skin (and health), ESPECIALLY for those who are genetically predisposed to certain conditions. Prior to this, I was a skeptic like many others - reluctant to jump on a fish oil fad without understanding the science behind it. (Read the book, it will feed your logical and investigative side). It transformed my understanding of the Western medical industry. Personally I begin taking fish oil after going off Spirolactone (the side effects just weren’t agreeing with me). I saw a benefit in my skin within 2 weeks in high dosages (I stress high dosages). Usually at this time of the month I always get cysts as my hormones inevitably fluctuate. This time combined with an understanding of a non-inflammatory diet, I didn’t have any noticeable ones! This was really amazing for me so I continue to take it for 6 month now with great results. I have also found cutting out diary products (milk, ice cream) reduced my outbreaks noticeably. Unfortunately, I love baked goods, chocolate and eggs, as well as a night owl lifestyle – which I have all experimented to be trigger points in breakouts for me personally. To completely cut those items and lifestyle changes out 100% is unimaginable. I’ve got to live a little sometimes you know! I would say fish oil provides clearance about 80 - 90% of the time, but not 100% as an antidote when I do indulge. So now I am also experimenting with GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid), found in Evening Primrose Oil and Borage Oil, which seems be an equally popular holistic avenue - on par with Omega 3 in the anti-inflammatory department. Q: How can one product confer so many benefits? Reviewers have documented benefits to heart, vision, skin and hair? To answer this question, you need an understanding of nutrition and how the Western medical industries currently operate. (A reviewer below’ comment on a placebo effect is unfortunate but understandable given the educational system we are fed today). Essentially, our bodies need a 1:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 to function in the utmost balance. Unfortunately our modern diet and lifestyle has catapulted this ratio to be 20:1, causing an inundation of inflammatory conditions manifested as acne, heart problems, arthritis, just to name a few. Fish oil contains EPA and DHA, omega 3 fatty acids that dampens and counters inflammation from a high intake of omega 6, as well as foods like walnuts and flax seeds. Essentially omega 3 in fish oil DOES NOT CURE those problems in the conventional sense in which the medical industry isolate a compound, patent it, and chemically transform ingredients into pills to be taken and sold. But rather by putting our bodies in balance, perhaps more so with the way nature intended and thereby alleviating many conditions. Again Omega 3 is not the only antidote to inflammation, there are documented other holistic avenues such as GLA from evening primrose oil. Given that our human body is born to function as one unit…and if you examine closely, the common root of inflammation plays a critical component in acne, arthritis and heart problems….are those many benefits from fish oil really such a wonder? Are they really such a miracle? Q: I am taking fish oil daily, but I am not seeing any noticeable benefits, why? There are two reasons for this – quality and quantity. Fish oil tablets are bottled from a variety of fish skin oils – salmon, anchovies, mackerel and from a variety of environmental water conditions, some more pristine than others. Manufacturers are jumping on the fad for obvious revenue reasons, thus it is up to consumers to become educated on what to buy. Omega 3 intakes should be calculated not in the number of pills (this is misleading), but in the mg of EPA and DHA it contains per pill (it is at the back of the bottle). A value size bottle from Wal-Mart versus a quality brand from a nutrition boutique will contain remarkably different levels of EPA and DHA. From The Clear Skin Diet (pg 72): “The editorial in the Journal of Rheumatology (2000) stated, ‘….Dietary fish oil supplements should now be regarded as part of standard therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.’…guidelines for arthritis suggest at least 2,000 mg (of EPA) daily… Check the labels and make sure your brand has enough EPA.” So what this means is that for a value sized brand that has about 100 to 150 mg of EPA per pill, 2,000 mg means 13 to 20 pills a day (yes per day!!!) to see much of a difference in a chronic condition. For a quality brand that has 500 mg of EPA each, 2,000 mg would mean only 4 pills a day. For skin problems I would suggest 2,000 mg of EPA to start as treatment, than gradually go down to 1000 to 2000 in maintenance dosages (adjusted per the individual). I have found both Carlson’s fish oil and Nordic Naturals to be highly reputable brands. I personally take the Carlson’s Very Finest Fish Oil in the 16.9 oz glass bottle. I do buy the pills for travel though. As it is highly concentrated with 800 mg of EPA per teaspoon, I prefer getting 2000 mg of EPA from 2-3 teaspoons daily, rather than having to swallow 8 – 10 huge pills. An added bonus is that the bottled format contains lemon extract, so there is no discernable fishy taste or burps. I hope this answers many questions about omega 3 and fish oils.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant
Andreangel 10/27/2008 10:12:00 PM
After years of trying different formulations I am not back to Paula's. This is still the best and in my experience, more effective than the DHC version, which has far too much ingredients and a bit of Castor oil. I also highly recommend Miracle Product's Pimple Eraser as a exfoliating Glycolic Acid product.
Powder -Unlisted Brand - Monave Mineral Foundation
Andreangel 6/1/2008 4:59:00 PM
I am reviewing the Monave Loose Mineral CONCEALER Foundation and my experience has been different from other reviewers. I did not buy the conventional Loose Mineral Foundation because it contained high concentrations of Mica, which was an irritant to my skin. : Loose Mineral Concealer Foundation (the one I like) Ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, micronized zinc oxide, iron oxides, ultramarine blue, mica, kaolin clay, may contain serecite, silica. Loose Mineral Foundation: Mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, ultramarine blue, May Contain: zinc oxide. I bought the sample packets and found Claire to work best for my light medium skin tone. I use this with a kabuki brush and followed some online instructions to make it work. I first swipe the brush in the powder, tap the brush couple of times, then "buff" on the face using a swirl action. The result was fantastic. I love it. The primary reason I rated this a 5 is the simplicity of the ingredients. There was no chemicals, "parabens", silicons, or additives that causes my face to react. I have extremely sensitive skin and only the purist products will work on my skin and do not cause a break out reaction. The company follows a natural philosophy. As quoted on the webiste " We do not use ingredients whose sole purpose is to improve the look or texture of the product in the jar; that is simply not our mission. So if our liners look handmade, or our powders not so silky as Brand X, that's okay with us!" Conventional concealers by Estee Lauder, Clinique, Mac, Chanel, Shishedo, Maybelline, Almay, Precriptive, you name it, cause my face to itch and I can almost feel it clogging my pores by the prevalent utilization of silicone (such as dimethicone and cyclomexicone) in almost all items. This was so comfortable, I didn't feel like I was wearing anything with this on and my face did not itch. All in all, the color match was good enough for me but not perfect. But hey, mineral powder companies recommend mixing colors together to achieve a perfect match and I am too lazy to do so =). So Claire it is, the closest to my skin tone and I'll live with the faint yellow cast. Coverage was excellent. This covered all redness bumps and everything. Packaging was nice but I prefer a larger pot for the kabuki brush to dip into. Staying power was good and lasted 3/4 of a day. I did find that it settled into my laugh lines so I have to wipe on those two areas with my finger so I do not look obviously made up and old ladyish. The trick to using this product is to apply an moisturizing lotion underneath, particularly an emollient cream on areas where you have blemishs or flakes. Dry lotions and sunscreens would not work under this product. I used Dove moisturizing cream with SPF 15 on spot areas and achieved good results overall. All in all this has replaced all my department store and drugstore foundation, concealers etc. It is safe on the skin, truly non-comodogenic (unlike most of products in the cosmetic industry loaded with silicones), covers well, Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are natural sunscreens, what more can I ask for? I am happy. I will continue to use unless I find anything better, which I doubt. UPDATE: I had loved this but found it broke me out like no other if combined with moistruizers I use. I have no idea why. On the first day skin looks great....then the following days was terrible. I must be allergic to one of the ingredients. Threw it in the trash and will not repurchase.