Eye Shadow -Bobbi Brown - Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Nude Beach (2012)
Artbabe 9/1/2012 11:51:00 AM
Nude Beach is a lovely pinkish-nude-pale beige shadow. It has a slight shimmer, nothing over the top; very wearable even on mature eyelids. I have pale and cool-toned skin so this shade works better as a wash for me than Shore, which was just a little too yellow and dark. I generally just use Nude Beach as a "my-lids-but-better" wash. Looks good with BB's Malted and Stone. Also plays very well with other shadows, including powder (makes an excellent smooth base). Wear time is great and it doesn't crease at all on me. The texture, like all my BB Long-Wear Cream shadows, is a little stiff but I tap it on with my finger, smooth with a concealer brush if needed, and it's fine. I just really wish this wasn't a limited edition shade.
Foundations -Dolce & Gabbana - Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation
Artbabe 7/24/2012 12:54:00 AM
Gorgeous cream foundation. I have been using powder foundation (mostly mineral makeup) for years, and haven't been able to find a liquid or cream foundation that works as well and looks good on my skin until now. This gives an amazing, natural satin finish with terrific coverage, lasts beautifully, and once you get the application down, is quick and easy to use. I use very tiny amounts, apply with fingers and tap into skin with a damp BeautyBlender sponge. I also use a primer underneath (Rouge Bunny Rouge Metamorphoses), which allows me to use even less foundation and makes blending it in a snap. It has a light, non-greasy, very smooth texture. My skin tone is pale and cool (NW15 in MAC) and the shade Classic (the lightest) is perfect-- very neutral (I hate pink-toned foundation).
This is some seriously great stuff for my fine, below the shoulder 2a/b curly hair. My stylist gave me a very large sample (which lasted several weeks) and I just bought a full bottle. Gives me beautifully defined, full curls and reduces frizz. Has some hold but it isn't an all-in-one product-- I still need some gel on top. Leaves my hair in great condition, doesn't dry it out or weight it down, and can be used on wet or dry hair. Has a sweet-citrus scent (if you have Set it Free, this smells pretty much the same).
Highlighters -Unlisted Brand - Boom by Cindy Joseph Boomstick Glimmer
Artbabe 4/1/2012 1:13:00 AM
This review is for the Glimmer stick, a highlighter, and part of former makeup artist and model Cindy Joseph's minimalist cosmetic line. It's a sheer, pearlescent neutral beige shade which pretty much disappears into the skin, leaving a slight sheen. Lightweight, very subtle, non-clogging, no detectable scent. Can be used on cheekbones, eyes (as a very nice neutral cream shadow), browbone, or anywhere on the body. Easy to apply and good staying power, and comes in a very convenient small stick which clicks shut tight and is great for travel. I keep coming back to this highlighter. Since I'm fair-skinned, I use it sparingly, but anyone with a deeper skin tone could use it more heavily. Great product! Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lanolin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Lanolin Oil, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ozokerite, Ceresin, Tocopheryl Acetate, BHT. (May Contain): Mica , Titanium Dioxide , Iron Oxides , Bismuth Oxychloride (77163), Carmine (75470), Manganese Violet , Blue 1 Lake , Orange 5 , Orange 5 Lake , Red 6 , Red 7 Lake , Red 21, Red 21 Lake , Red 22 Lake , Red 27 , Red 27 Lake , Red 28 Lake , Red 30 Lake , Red 33 Lake , Red 36 , Red 40 Lake , Yellow 5 Lake , Yellow 6 Lake , Yellow 10 Lake.
Great stuff at a very reasonable price. I waited until I was nearly through my first bottle before writing a review. I often have positive responses to skin care and then something nasty happens-- usually clogs or irritation. This does neither, and leaves my skin feeling supple and smooth. It's not a heavy moisturizer, so if you have terribly dry skin it may not provide enough hydration. I have combination/sensitive skin, and Cremo sinks right in (though feels a bit sticky at first, but that goes away quickly). I can use this around my eyes without any irritation, too. Unscented. Chock full of nice ingredients that do the job in a light (but not watery) lotion. Water, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Jojoba Esters, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Pentylene Glycol, Algae Extract, Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris) Extract, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Xanthan Gum, Allantoin, Polyacrylate 13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Capryl Hydroxamic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Methylpropanediol, Farnesol, Linalool
I've used lots of eyelash curlers over the years-- everything from Revlon and Sonia Kashuk to Shiseido, Tarte, and Shu Uemura. Shu has long been my favorite, but I decided to try out Kevyn Aucoin's after Sephora stopped carrying Shu's. This curler performs inconsistently for me, at best. Sometimes I need to apply more pressure than others. Often one of my eyes looks good and the other set of lashes comes out crimped. I rarely get great lashes on both eyes with a quick, gentle squeeze (which is the way the Shu Uemura curler performs). Perhaps it's something about the way the Aucoin curler is balanced or the shape of the pad. It's not a terrible curler-- it does the job, and it hasn't ripped my lashes out. But I have to put lots of effort into squeezing the curler at *just* the right angle and for *just* the right amount of time. I'll be ordering a new curler from Shu pretty soon.
Primer/ Corrector -Koh Gen Do - Yellow Makeup Color Base
Artbabe 11/1/2011 11:15:00 AM
This is quite a good primer if you have surface redness in your skin that needs neutralizing. It comes in a tube and is a very thick cream that spreads easily. Very little is needed to do the job. It covers pores pretty well, and does a very good, if not spectacular, job on overall surface smoothing. My makeup lasted a pretty average amount of time. Where I ran into trouble was with the large amounts of hyaluronic acid in Koh Gen Do products. This is a humectant, and in most people plumps up the skin and keeps it hydrated without oiliness. However, it turns out that I am sensitive to this ingredient and got some irritation (which went away as soon as I stopped using it). If you have sensitive skin I'd strongly advise you to get a sample first. (The Koh Gen Do website is a good resource for getting samples, and they also have a pale green primer.)
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Christophe Robin Huile a la Lavande
Artbabe 10/1/2011 3:35:00 PM
I received this in a swap so I figured it might be fun to try. I really didn't have any expectations for this product. My hair is fine, curly, a few inches below shoulder length, extremely dry, and treated with a tinted gloss. I am constantly trying to add moisture back into my hair and get it to shine (generally not very successful; it's notoriously hard to get curly hair to be shiny). I have used this 3 times now as a pre-shampoo treatment, using about 2 T. and leaving it on my hair for at least an hour under a plastic cap. I then shampoo (currently Kirkland Moisture Shampoo), add my usual leave-in conditioner and styling products. It makes my hair silky and shiny but with fantastic body. I don't know how this stuff works the way it does but it works. It comes in an apothecary-style bottle with a narrow neck and screw-on top. It is a very thick cream rather than the "oil" I was expecting. On chilly days I have to run warm water over the bottle to get it to liquify a bit so it spreads more easily. The lavender scent is gentle and the texture is not greasy. It's lovely to use. I also find myself rubbing this into my hands and nails after I work it through my hair. The downside? Yes, there is one, and that's the price. But I waited for a sale code and just purchased a backup bottle (not something I usually do). Paraben, silicone, and colorant free if that is important to you. Ingredients: Combined natural oils: 95.10% Palm oil, Linoleamidopropyl, Dimethylamine Dimer Dilineolate, Lavendual Augustifolia oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ oil, ethylhexl methoxycinnamate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Olive oil unsaponifiables, Anise alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool.
I just started on my second pen of this concealer (the first one lasted over a year). Really love this versatile stuff! I mainly use it under the inner corners of my eyes and on red areas near my nose and on my chin. I dot it on (only need a little! It's very pigmented), and then tap it into skin with my ring finger (this is the recommended method from her website). Looks natural, doesn't cake, good wear time, quick and simple application. I don't have issues with the pen. I do shake the pen before each use and only click once or twice, waiting for the concealer to appear. Minor quibbles: This does require a bit of patience, and I'm hoping the pen applicators will continue to improve. I am quite fair and pink-toned, but I found 101 to be just a touch too light (which gives me reverse raccoon eyes) and 102 is *almost* too dark, although it melds with my skin and looks good. An ideal match would be somewhere in between these 2 colors, but I use so little it's not really an issue. Note: If you do have any issues, I have found Ellis Faas' customer service to be unequaled. They are very responsive and friendly.
Eyeliner -Ellis Faas - Eyeliner E502 Chocolate Brown
Artbabe 8/6/2011 2:05:00 AM
Ellis Faas appears to have solved the dispenser problems she was having with the eyeliner. I purchased a brown eyeliner last fall and unfortunately, the mechanism was defective-- I could not get it to work properly, though I kept trying everything I could think of. But at one point, the eyeliner came oozing out from underneath the plastic pen tip. I took a couple of photos and e-mailed EF customer service about the problem. They responded immediately. There was a problem with some of the caps not being airtight, so the product would dry out and clog the dispenser. They sent me a new eyeliner right away. I have had no problems whatsoever with this one, and in fact it's the best eyeliner I've ever used! Application is quick and easy, the narrow brush draws a thin line right where I want it. Once it dries, it stays put until I take it off. The chocolate brown color is just right-- not too dark-- I find it similar to BB's Chocolate Shimmer (w/o the shimmer). I wash the brush regularly, like any other eyeliner brush I use. Now I hope Ms. Faas will add a nice smokey grey shade, and I will be all set. :)
Cleansers -Avene - Cold cream ultra-rich cleansing gel
Artbabe 8/2/2011 5:17:00 PM
I bought a big tube of this when I was traveling in Paris and ran out of my staple Paula's Choice One Step for dry skin cleanser. At first it worked well, but something in this irritated my skin and it looked clogged and dull after a few weeks. So I put it away, tried it a second time a few months later with the same results. (However, this is fantastic as a shower gel-- cleans well, easy to use, and very moisturizing on my body skin. I happily used up the tube and would purchase another for body care if I had easy access to Avene. But for my face, no.)
Nice cleanser. I don't get the emotional reactions to the scent, though-- it's just cucumber, people! This is a non-foaming, gentle, gel-like cleanser that works well with my clarisonic. I use it in the morning (I use Bioderma Micellar cleanser at night) and get no dryness, stinging, irritation, or clogged pores. Yeah, like all Fresh products, it's expensive, but I use only a dime-sized amount so it's not that bad. It's a good option if you have sensitive skin.
7/30/2011 UPDATE: For the past 10 days I have switched to using Baltic Collagen in the morning and skip BHA (I wanted to go back to using an AHA with tretinoin at night). So far, WOW. I no longer need to use a primer (been using a primer for the past 5 years or so). This serum makes my skin look luminous and makeup just glides on smoothly! I also use it on my lips before applying lipstick and it's great-- seems to plump them up and definitely smoothes them. I have been using Baltic Collagen since May, and I have to concur with the other reviews. This is an excellent product-- it really does work. My lines are finer, red spots reduced, overall texture much smoother. There is a bit of a learning curve with it: use it on damp or wet skin; if you use too much your skin will feel very tight and some product will flake off; if you use too little you won't see much of an effect. Also, you can't use it with any acid products, so no AHA/BHA at the same time (retin-A is ok). My house doesn't often get very hot, but I keep the bottle in the fridge during the hottest summer months just in case. I use it at night only (I use BHA in the a.m.)-- wash my face, leaving it very damp. I put one pump of Baltic Collagen on my (damp) hands and rub my palms together, then apply it all over my face, eye area included, and neck. I let it all dry thoroughly before applying tretinoin. (How much you need to use will depend on your skin.) As I said, I've been using it for 2 months and am about 1/2 way through my first bottle. I already have a backup bottle waiting in the fridge-- and I never buy backups!
Another hit for me by Ellis Faas. I have and love several other Ellis Faas colors in the both Milky and Creamy Lips. I wasn't sure if I'd like the Glazed formula, as I'm not a fan of lip gloss. But this is much more like a sheer, shiny lipstick than gloss (though it is glossy). It has a very silky feel, not sticky, and lasts a long time. Very moisturizing formula. The color is a beautiful, natural, rosy-berry shade with just enough brown that it isn't bright, but is face-brightening. And I agree with qwendy-- these shades really do bring out your natural beauty! A perfect spring-summer color.
Since starting to use tretinoin, my HG (for years) Paula's Choice One Step for dry skin cleanser is too drying. I need to switch to something even gentler. So I used up an entire sample tube of this and really liked it. Very creamy, made my skin feel soft and smooth, no clogs, no irritation. Did fine taking makeup off. The only thing that's holding me off from buying another tube at this time is the price. I don't think the niacin is particularly helpful in a cleanser, but if I can't find anything less expensive that works this well, I'll re-buy.