What I like about these lipsticks are how pigmented they are. I've swatched several in store, and they're all very true to color. I decided to purchase color #547 Pleasure Me Red. It's a very bright red with pink undertones. Since this was purchased in the UK, the price was about £7. These particular lipsticks needs a lip brush. Really, you will not get around applying it in any other way. It gets messy easily, and once it's there, it's hard to wipe off without smearing or ruining other makeup that was previously applied on. For me, this is slightly irritating, as I prefer my lipsticks to be an item I can use when I'm on the go and doesn't need the most anal precision ever to look good. You will most likely get a lot of excess on during application either way, so blotting is necessary. The staying power is relatively decent; It lasted me about 4 hours before fading became obvious. I do like how it disappears, though. It doesn't have random, uncolored splotches, but a gentle fading that leaves your lips with a nice tint. If kissing someone or eating and drinking, this lipstick will rub off. A big disappointment about this lipstick is the packaging it comes in. It's incredibly flimsy and cheap looking. It has this sheer, red plastic cap that looks like it'll break easily or slip off the tube when in your bag. It's not sturdy at all. If you don't have high expectations for your lipsticks, or if you're on a budget, this is something worth purchasing. It's so average, that it's neither a HG product or something you should totally discard.
Shampoo -TRESemme - Vitamin C Deep Cleansing Shampoo
ChristinaMarieT 4/25/2012 4:33:00 AM
I needed a deep cleansing shampoo in order to remove the grease from my coconut oil treatments, so I searched on MakeupAlley for a cheap, drugstore alternative, and based on the reviews, decided to purchase this one. To start with, here's some background information: I have thin, wavy hair. It gets dry easily and suffers from heat damage due to my love/hate relationship with my straightener. I'm trying to grow my hair to waist-length, and at the moment, it's a bit past my shoulder blades. I shampoo my hair every other day. In the spring/summer time, it gets more greasy in between shampooing. I use coconut oil and leave it in over night to make my hair healthier, softer, shinier, and all around better. My experience with Tresemme hasn't been the greatest. The only products I've really liked from them is their heat protectant and hair sprays. Although I was a bit reluctant to try this, I caved in when remembering the price and size of Tresemme's shampoo bottles (900 ml!). This does deep cleanse. It does a good job at removing gunk from your hair. However, using too much can suck the life out from it. I normally have soft hair. After using this twice in order to remove the coconut oil, my hair was noticeably drier, even though I used a hair mask afterwards to assure moisture and softness. It kind of diminished some of the benefits from the coconut oil. I think maybe using this only once will remove the grease without killing your hair, but for me, it still seems drying. I definitely do not recommend using this every day. Overall, this is a basic deep cleansing shampoo. It's average, and nothing special. It's cheap and gives you a whole lot of product. I suggest only using this when you need a crappy shampoo to just do the basics and when you're not expecting much from it. I'd buy it again, only to tide over my coconut oil treatments and because of its convenient price and size, but it's not something to applause at.
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Chocomania Body Butter
ChristinaMarieT 4/23/2012 5:01:00 AM
I love the smell of chocolate. I also love the luxurious feel of body butter. Combine these two loves together, and you'll get TBS's Chocomania Body Butter. This stuff is simply amazing. As a body butter, it's very moisturizing. It's creamy and thick, and claims that it gives 48 hours worth of hydration. For me, I found this to be nothing but the truth. My dry skin drinks this up like no other and remains satisfied for a while before needing some more again. When it comes to the fragrance, I find it lovely. It doesn't have the same deep, rich chocolatey smell that is associated with the shower cream, but it has this milk chocolate and peanut butter scent that's hard to resist. It reminds me of peanut butter cups. It's still delicious and decadent, but for those who are looking for a pure chocolate smell, you'll probably be disappointed. There is a perfume scent mixed within it -- the same scent used in the shower cream -- so the body butter still matches its shower cream. At £12.50, it's still a bit pricey like all the body butters sold at TBS, but to me, this is worth it.
Finally! I've always thought that The Body Shop should have had a range of chocolate products, and it's great to see they've submitted themselves to the idea. I'm very pleased, to say the least. This shower gel is very creamy. It's a milky brown color, but the lather itself has no pigment. It's definitely moisturizing. The scent is lovely; It's a deep, rich chocolate smell, similar to Godiva chocolates. There is also a perfume scent mixed within it, so your mileage may vary on how attractive the combination is. I personally adore it. The scent becomes more chocolatey on your body as you're washing yourself, but it disappears as you rinse it off. It's very subtle, and hardly any of it is left over. Again, whether that's good or not is another individual preference. It's £4.00 for 250 ml, so try away!
Mascara -The Body Shop - Divide and Multiply Mascara
ChristinaMarieT 4/21/2012 6:36:00 AM
This is quite expensive at the cost of £11.00, but it's so worth it. It made my lashes super long and defined, and it held curl easily. I had long, noticeable eyelashes throughout the day, so the staying power is awesome. There is no clumping at all, but the formula is surprisingly wet and takes forever to dry. Smearing is very likely, so if that's your biggest mascara pet peeve, don't invest in this. I have thin, short, and dark lashes, so wands that look similar to this one are key for extreme length and average volume. I love this mascara. If you have my issues when it comes to your lashes, do get this!
The Brow & Liner Kit is a small compact with two different shades of powder. It comes with a double-ended brush to help you fill in your brows and define them. The price is £10.00, which I feel is a bit expensive when you take note of how small the compact is. However, you only use a small amount of product, so it'll definitely last you a while. It comes in three different shades: Blonde & Auburn, Brunette & Brown, and Brown & Black. Since I have very dark eyebrows, I got this in Brown & Black. I find this to be so much more convenient than eyebrow pencils. The double-ended brush is more precise and gives you a very natural finish. There isn't really a possibility for using too much and making your eyebrows look crazy, since both sides of the brush are very small, and are meant for accurate defining and filling in. The eyebrow powder is very pigmented and true to color. If you accidentally make a concentrated spot, you can always fix it with gentle rubbing from a fingertip, spreading it out and blending it in. I've tried many products for my eyebrows, and I can honestly say this has worked the best for me. It's expensive, but wonderful, so I think I'll only be purchasing this for my brows.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - EXTRA VIRGIN Coconut Oil (All brands)
ChristinaMarieT 3/30/2012 3:32:00 PM
It's amazing how something so ordinary and common as coconut oil can turn out to be that one thing your body really needs to look beautiful. Seriously, forget all the expensive hair treatments, lip treatments, and exfoliators. I paid $5.99 for 16 ounces worth of product that I can not only eat, but use for multiple beauty needs. Really now, what's better than that? I use Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil primarily for my hair. I scoop out a generous amount of the flesh, and then proceed to heat it up in the microwave until it melts into oil. I make sure all of my hair (and my scalp, too! Coconut oil is great for dry scalps) is completely saturated. Then I put on a shower cap, blow dry it for some extra heat, and let my hair remain as such over night. On the next day, I shampoo the oil out and use a hair mask. The results are amazing. My hair is left feeling incredibly soft, from the roots to the ends. My waves are perfect ringlets. My hair is so shiny and practically frizz-free. Sadly, I do have to shampoo my hair two times to remove all of the grease, but that is a small price to pay when it comes to the awesome results I get. The oil that's not used for my hair, I place on my lips. It's definitely the best lip treatment for cheap. I get kissable lips in an instant. This is the perfect base for lipstick. It's been mentioned in other reviews that you can also use coconut oil as a scrub. I gotta say, that's true, too. Coconut oil naturally works to heal skin, so mixing it with sugar makes a gentle, yet powerful exfoliator that gets rid of all dead skin cells and works to hydrate new skin underneath. It can also be used as a simple moisturizer for really dry skin. Whether you like to spend big bucks on high-end products or prefer to be on a lower budget, either way, know that you can't go wrong when using mother nature to look beautiful. :)
Mascara -Maybelline - Illegal Length Fiber Extensions
ChristinaMarieT 3/29/2012 6:49:00 PM
When I first picked this mascara out at Walgreens, I wasn't expecting much. I'll admit it... I usually don't think highly about Maybelline mascaras. However, this one did end up exceeding my expectations big time. The mascara itself is $9, so if it fails to meet your standards, at least you can pride yourself in the fact that not too much money was wasted. It's a bit pricey for a drug store product, but it's not too much if you're used to experimenting with mascaras from high-end brands. First off, if you prefer dry formulas, don't purchase this. This formula is incredibly wet, and a lot of product is picked up on the wand. The bristles are very thick, but nicely separated out. Although the brush itself is quite large, it's shaped perfectly enough for capturing lashes at every angle. I experienced no smearing, even when using this mascara on my bottom lashes. If you look closely at the wand, you can see that the formula does create little wispy, "fiber-like" extensions that stick out from the bristles. These extensions do lengthen your lashes by a lot. It won't have that wispy effect once on your actual lashes -- which is a good thing -- but it will still manage to extend them out by a noticeable difference. I normally need a few good coats with lengthening mascaras in order to achieve what they claim, but with this product, one coat was good enough for both eyes. Also, the packaging is absolutely brilliant. The cap twists on instead of being snapped on, so this makes it sturdy for traveling. Really, Maybelline out did themselves this time. I'm very impressed! The only negative thing about this mascara is how there is a huge risk for clumping. But, tada, I found a way around that! When using the wand, put very little pressure on your lashes. Don't go strong when trying to coat them; The formula is wet enough to be able to transfer without heavy impact. Light pressure and very little coating applied will make your lashes incredibly long without them clumping and becoming spidery. Along with L'Oreal's Telescopic, this is certainly one of the best lengthening mascaras you can find in a drug store. I will most definitely purchase this again.
Tinted Moisturizer -Laura Mercier - Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
ChristinaMarieT 3/28/2012 6:54:00 PM
I tried this product out in Sephora so I could decide on whether or not to buy it in the future. Glad I did, because I don't think this tinted moisturizer is worth all the hype it receives. I thought because this one wasn't the oil-free version, it would be more moisturizing for my dry skin. Well, that wasn't the case. It felt very rough once applied, kinda like I had glued a mask onto my face or something. It's somewhat an indescribable feeling, but it's safe to say that this tinted moisturizer didn't leave any softening or hydrating effect at all. It felt like it only dried out my skin instead. Luckily, I wasn't left with any dry patches as a result because I applied a very good face cream on before hand. Still, this alone really did turn me off from wanting to purchase this product in the future. Tinted moisturizers should be nourishing to your skin, and for something that's $42 and 40 ml, and is still less moisturizing than the moisturizers I can find in a drug store, well... It's really not worth shelling out that much cash. There are some really good things about this product, though. The coverage is sheer, yet still strong enough to diminish the appearance of any skin issues you may have (I personally would have preferred it to be more dewy, though). It matched my skin tone excellently. Seriously, the color match was so spot on, that it made it look natural on my face. Oh, and for anybody who is wondering, my skin tone matches Sand. In the end, this didn't live up to my expectations. The price for the quantity given and how drying the moisturizer itself is made me really glad I didn't buy this.
Self Tanners -Jergens - Jergens Natural Glow Firming
ChristinaMarieT 3/27/2012 7:47:00 PM
This self tanner claims to reduce the appearance of cellulite in as little as 7 days. The actual tanning aspect starts to become noticeable within the week, but only if you apply the product daily. This is available in two shades for different skin tones: Fair to Medium and Medium to Tan. It's quite inexpensive, being around $10. It was sold at my local Stop & Shop, so that's where I purchased it. I got this product in Fair to Medium, even though my natural skin tone would be better suited for Medium to Tan. The tan I received was an obvious difference from my usual color, but was subtle in a natural sense. I didn't become orange at all. This really gave me a glow similar to the results I'd get from basking in the sun. However, since I choose the lighter option, I'm assuming that's why I was left with this natural effect. Another interesting fact I observed was that on paler skin, it does leave an orange tint; The palms of my hands were definitely orange after usage. Anyway, the lotion itself is thick and creamy, so it does moisturize. The lotion was not at all greasy, but nicely hydrating. Unfortunately, it's a bit hard to spread out onto your skin without overusing because of the thickness. There is also slight shimmer in this product, so preference on that will vary. The scent doesn't smell like your typical self tanner. As far as the cellulite claim goes, well, I'm pretty sure everyone with half a brain cell knows that doesn't work, lol. I gave this 3 lippies because it's annoying to constantly reapply the product in order to get the tan and to then keep it from fading away. I also didn't appreciate the false advertising with its firming abilities and being the magical cure to reducing cellulite --- it's the same as the pathetic gimmicks used for anti-aging creams. Plus, this does stain your hands and will turn you orange if you're quite pale. All in all, a very average product. What a shame, too. This self tanner could have been really great.
Foundations -Garnier - BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector Daily All-In-One
ChristinaMarieT 3/24/2012 1:27:00 PM
I've heard a lot about Asian BB creams, so I was quite excited when I learned that Garnier released an affordable, more commercially available one in America. Unfortunately, I've never tried any of the Asian brands, so I can't really draw comparisons between them. Regardless, I'm still quite pleased with the results I've seen so far. So, Garnier's BB cream is around $14 at Walgreens. It comes in two shades: Light/Medium and Medium/Deep. It's 75 ml worth of product, which is nice, because that's a bit more than the average 30-50 ml found in tinted moisturizers. It has the typical Garnier fragrance, but much lighter. In consistency, the cream is somewhat thick. The coverage can be built upon -- something I was pleasantly surprised with. It can range from very light to medium. It gives your complexion a shiny appearance, somewhere between a matte and dewy finish. The cream itself feels wet, but it dries almost instantly onto your face, so you have to blend quite fast. I don't recommend using a brush with this, so stick to sponge applicators or your fingers. This was lovely. It's very moisturizing! Your skin drinks this up. It doesn't accentuate dryness. The coverage looks natural on me. I got this in shade Medium/Deep, which was a only a bit darker than my natural skin color. It gave me a slightly tanned glow; It wasn't orangey at all. The best part about this product is how it evens out your skin tone so wonderfully. I think this is great for days where you want a quick touch up and minimal makeup. This does feel a bit heavy, so if you prefer lighter stuff, especially for summer, this probably isn't for you. Oh, and if you have oily skin, DO NOT purchase this! It will be horrible for your skin type, just horrible. The consistency and the finish will just wreck havoc for those with oil problems, so avoid it. I think this is more suitable for normal to dry skin types. My only complaint is the heaviness. I don't like that at all. You can really feel it on your skin. It's not pleasant, so one lippy off. Oh, and even on me, someone with dry skin, it's still a bit too shiny. BUT, all together, I think this is a great product. The pros outweigh the cons. Be mindful about your skin type and what you prefer in a tinted moisturizer/foundation before buying this.
I normally think MAC cosmetics are overrated. I'm a firm believer in the possibility of finding drug store products that rival high-end brands. However, after culminating so many foundations that only leave me disappointed and looking for more, I decided to invest in something from MAC. Honestly, this was the best decision I've made for my beauty regime as of late. I have dry skin that is prone to being sensitive. Most foundations I try either accentuate existing dry patches or end up stealing away any moisture I had to begin with. I'm often left with a cakey and flaky face. It's always been a pain to find my perfect shade (I have a light olive skin tone that ends up looking more beige and medium). I often have problems with coverage, too. I like looking natural and complimenting the features I already have. My skin is relatively nice despite its dryness; I don't have much discoloration, any acne scars I get will disappear quickly, and I only ever get the occasional pimple around the time of my period. Skin care is a high priority of mine, so I take face specific products seriously. If you have a skin type like mine, MAC's Face and Body Foundation is something you must try. Must. Seriously, you get A LOT of product with this, and I do mean a lot. There's 120 ml -- compare that to the average 30-40 ml found in foundations. You may pay around $33 - $35, but this will definitely last you. It's also water-based, so it feels very soothing on your face. It moisturizes, softens, and it doesn't even make your skin feel greasy or heavy in the process. The coverage allows room to build. It starts off light, but you can build it to medium. It also gives you a dewy glow that looks healthy and radiant. This doesn't melt off your face, either; Expect long-lasting staying power here. This is perfect for the warmer weather, too, being water-resistant as well. Overall, this foundation is my HG. No longer do I need to waste cash on the search for the perfect foundation. Even if the price turns you off from purchasing this, please remember the quantity you get, the quality it offers, and how much you usually spend when looking for the right foundation. I still believe you should always start looking in drug stores for the best cosmetics for cheap (especially for eyeshadows and mascaras), but I also think foundation is the one product worth splurging for. Dry skin, this is what you've been looking for. Get it, people! BTW, if anyone is curious, my shade is C2. I'll most likely be around C3 - C4 when I naturally tan more in the summer. :)
Lush is a beauty company that claims to be environmentally friendly. Their products are natural, hand-made, and vegetarian (they don't test on animals at all). Most of their products are paraben-free, but occasionally, you will still find some items containing parabens. They also make really innovative and fun products. For example, they've created shower jellies, which are wobbly, jello-like substances made with seaweed and can supposedly wash not only your body, but your hair and scalp, too. They also have toothy tabs, which are portable, solid tabs of toothpaste. Then there's the really adorable magic wands, which are decorative bubble bars that you wave in the bath to create the perfect bubble bath. And that's not the end of it, either. Really, in concept and quality, they're quite wonderful. However, they aren't without flaws. The most noticeable problem with their stores are the prices. Seriously, as lovely as their products are, it's not worth paying around $20 - $30 dollars for items that are either going to expire before you get the most out of them, or are going to be used up within a two week span. They are incredibly expensive, and the only places where the prices seem relatively decent are the stores located in the UK, which is where the company originates from. No joke, If you live outside the UK, expect the prices to be only affordable for when you have extra cash. Another notable issue is how the stores are overwhelmingly smelly. I don't necessarily mean they stink of rancid socks or something, I just mean you can smell them a mile away. Their stores have conflicting and confusing concentrated smells from all their products, and it can definitely make you feel dizzy and lightheaded. It's overpowering, and it's a turn-off for lots of customers. Oh, and like I've mentioned previously, there's the issue about some of their stuff still containing parabens. For a company that boasts about being friendly to the environment and having healthy ingredients, the items that still have parabens causes a lot of hypocrisy and doubt. Personally, my favorites are their hair products and shower gels. I also enjoy their face masks, but unfortunately, they've raised the prices on them so much, that for the quantity you receive, it's just not worth purchasing. Honestly, the prices are such a huge downfall, that they really do throw this company back at 3 lippies.
I love this mascara. It's so cheap, yet well-made. The bristles are perfectly created for separating and lengthening. The formula is not thin, but not incredibly thick, either -- a great mixture for providing some average volume without weighing down lashes. The formula is also wet, but the wand doesn't pick up so much product that there will be a fear of possibly smearing. I actually like that it's relatively wet; It has a longer shelf life because it doesn't dry out quickly. I don't experience clumping with this at all. Because of how the bristles are made, expect more lengthening than volumizing (if you're looking for a mascara to provide an astounding amount of volume, this isn't for you) Girls who are fond of lengthening, decent volume, and the natural look in general, this is for you. It's only $3 dollars, so if you're afraid about this possibly not working, don't worry about wasting lots of money. Go buy it!
What I tend to hate about creamy foundations are how unhygienic they can be. When using fingers, make sure to wash them or use hand sanitizer before. Gotta always make sure your brushes and sponges are really clean and reliable. Anyway, the packaging is irritating. It's hard to open up the lower part that contains the sponge without fear of breaking it or it flying out of your hands. The sponge tends to suck up a lot of product, so I don't recommend using it. The amount given seems to be small, but you don't need globs to apply onto your face, so it's actually a decent amount. I like the creaminess and smoothness. It gives light coverage that looks natural. I don't have any problems with it being orangey and cakey, which are common issues with Maybelline. I think it's very prone to melt after a few hours, or if you're sweating or in rainy weather. It's not super moisturizing or anything, but it's more than some foundations. Eh, to be honest, this is really average. So, I might buy this again. Not really sure. I said yes because I won't rule out the possibility. If I'm running low on things and need a quick fix, I'd probably get it. It's cheap, so not a total wallet-eater.