Treatments -Avene - Diacneal Acne Treatment [DISCONTINUED]
Clareo 2/28/2010 1:58:00 AM
So far I'm very pleased with this. If you look at my review for the Clarisonic, you'll see how much I've struggled with hormonal acne (high DHEA-S). I refuse to mess with my hormones further by taking any type of birth control, so I have to try and control the symptoms. I've tried other retinol products before (Green Cream, Retin-A Micro), but they didn't seem to do much. I've never tried anything with glycolic acid before, and this seems to be the thing in combination that's having an impact. My skin is slowly clearing up. I'm going to update this review in a month.
Misc Beauty Tools -Clarisonic - Pro Skincare Brush
Clareo 2/28/2010 1:56:00 AM
I've had this product for less than a week, so this review is kind of an "initial impressions" sort of thing. I will definitely update as time goes on - I like it a lot when people do that! My skin is exceedingly acne-prone. I have struggled with adult acne since I turned eighteen (made it through the teen years smugly, with clear skin, while my peers suffered - Fortune is cruel!), and no product has worked...and I've tried them all. I've used (I apologize for misspellings here) clindamycin, duac, differin, doxycycline, tazorac, retin-a micro, brevoxyl wash, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid...umm...green cream, mandelic acid...and accutane. Accutane worked for a few months after I was done with it; the acne came back...I don't want to take it again. My acne is definitely related to hormones; I have high DHEA-S, which is an androgen. I've been using Paula's Choice BHA 2% liquid for a month now; I think I'm purging because all of the comedones have opened up and I've broken out all over my entire face. I stopped using that and am now giving glycolic acid (the one thing I haven't tried) a shot. MD Forte Facial Cleanser II in the morning with Facial Lotion II; Avene Diacneal at night after Clarisonic. So far, the bumps seem to be dissipating. I LOVE the way the Clarisonic makes my skin feel. Very soft and smooth. I haven't had nice-feeling skin for awhile, even though I've still got bumps. I notice the blackheads seem to be coming up and out of my skin, so I think there's something happening here. I did have a couple of papules come up, but they seem to leave very quickly, so maybe it's purging...they were comedones to begin with, so I'm fairly certain one of the products I'm using is behind quickening their cycle. At this point, I wouldn't keep it for making my skin feel nice ($180 is a lot for a nice feeling), but if my skin does clear up I'd pay any sum. I will update after a month of use.
I believe that this is the right place to post this review . . . I'm talking about the kit that comes with pre-waxed strips and a cooling spray - it's in a yellow box.
Warming between the hands is lame. I turn my blow dryer on it for a bit and it's good to go. Rub it in the direction of the hair, and make sure to rip it off close to the skin. Don't pull it off too quickly; I rub the strip over my skin about ten times before I pull it off to give the wax time to cool just a bit.
These work really well for me. They won't get tiny, fine hairs, but they'll get the other ones well enough - for $7 a box, what do people expect? If you want a salon wax, go to a salon and pay at least seven times that amount.
To cut down on bumps, I use a homemade Tend Skin mix right after waxing. Also, you can pick up residual wax left on your skin by using the back of the used wax strip - like picking up the remains of a pulled-off price sticker on something.
The cooling spray is alright, but relatively pointless. I also can reuse the strips if I do it quickly - up to three times, usually.
It's an art, really. It also helps that I've waxed my legs before (gotten it done professionally) and epilated, too: so this didn't hurt that much and was pretty effective on my not-so-coarse (due to the waxing and epilating) hair.
Mmmm. I received this in a swap after having wanted to try it for quite awhile - it's lovely! I tested it out on my boyfriend tonight and he loved it. It starts out sweet and then settles into a warm, spicy vanilla scent that isn't fake-y or childish at all. Very mature, very sexy. The scent stays rather close to the skin - not like other fragrances where walking by alerts everyone within a ten-foot radius of your perfume. I catch a whiff now and then, and the bf said that *ahem* he had to get close to smell it very well. Perfect, in my mind. It's lasted for well over five hours now, which is good enough for me, since I think it has a bit more staying power in it. I might have to buy a bottle of this one, and it might replace Escada's Magnetism as my "going out" scent of the moment.
I bought this after reading the positive reviews here at MUA . . . I don't really wax (I've done it once or twice with those pre-waxed Veet or Sally Hansen strips, but I always get irritated with the process and quit halfway through), and I can't wax even if I wanted to now because I'm on Accutane.
I have very, very pale olive skin with dark hair, and like others here hate going out in the summer without pantyhose because even if I've just shaved closely, you can still see hair or at least bumps on my legs. My underarms are even worse. Thick, dark hair that leaves a shadow . . . I hated wearing tank-tops for that reason. My bikini line gets out of control, and shaving just left razor burn/bumps.
I picked this up from Drugstore.com for only $56 with free shipping and they threw in a Conair personal trimmer, too.
That being said, this thing is a MIRACLE. I was getting ready to head to Florida with my family and whipped out this product a few days before I was scheduled to leave. Please note, I have an EXTREMELY high pain tolerance. And I mean that in the sense that no amount of pain particularly fazes me; I just grit my teeth and get on with it.
Lower legs: not so bad at all. The back of my calves hurt a bit, and you have to make sure to turn it in the right direction and hold it at the right angle, but it was effective and only stung a bit.
Knees: A bit more sensitive. Thighs: Ow. Make sure to follow the instructions, otherwise it won't pull out as much hair. I did this in portions.
Underarms: At this point, I got a big glass of wine and drank about half before diving in. Make sure that the area's clean and dry. My hair was a few millimeters high, and it's thick. It hurt. It also took several swipes to get it all. At first, it seemed like I wasn't getting anywhere, but after about four passes, it all seemed to disappear. No bleeding, thankfully. I washed the area gently and didn't put any deodorant or antiperspirant on that night.
Bikini line: Hurt more than the underarms. It took a lot to get it to remove hair, and some blood rose to the surface, but I survived. I washed this area gently, too. After two days, it was smooth and neat, with no remaining bumps or ingrowns.
I made sure to exfoliate regularly in those areas and moisturize, usually with jojoba oil. I also swam a lot, so the chlorine in the pool probably killed a lot of the bacteria that can cause little bumps. When in doubt, I've heard people suggest spritzing the area with alcohol right after epilating/waxing. Ouch. I also used a razor on my legs to get any fine, tiny hairs I might have missed - I didn't have to do it again for a week.
Overall, I am SO satisfied. I feel like I've found some sort of freedom that I haven't had since before puberty, to be honest. The thought of settling my bare legs on my boyfriend's lap doesn't gross me out anymore. My underarms don't have a shadow and I can go for days without shaving. Even if I could wax, it's so expensive and this is a one-time $56 cost. I might even write Braun a pleased customer letter. Thank God for technology and human innovation!
UPDATE: I've had this product for a couple of months now, and I'm still in love. I took off the part with the rolling massagers on it and use the Pro Clip now (I think that's the name) to get hair that's very, very short. It doesn't hurt nearly as much and the re-growth is sparse and finer - not stubble at all. I still do a cursory shave after I epilate (not directly after - ow) to catch hair I might have missed, and then I'm pretty much set for the week. Same with underarms, which never hurt as much as they did the first time. If your skin isn't too sensitive, you can do them at the first sign of re-growth so you won't have to pull out as much hair all at once ever again. I've done my underarms, taken a shower, and then applied antiperspirant (after applying a cold washcloth for a few seconds) and gone out the door right after without any redness. I still can't bring myself to do more than my bikini line; maybe if I got a wax I'd use it for maintenance. I hope all of this helps someone!
Lotions/ Creams -Olay - Quench Therapy Body Lotion
Clareo 3/5/2007 9:49:00 PM
This was relatively inexpensive (like most Olay products) and has excellent packaging, but I'm afraid that I'm allergic to it. I'm one of those people who is never allergic to ANYTHING, which is why I decided that I really needed to write this review. I've had extremely dry, patchy skin due to Accutane, and needed something while I was away on vacation to heal the patches. Needless to say, it did the job. My skin became smooth and soft, the patches disappeared. Unfortunately, tiny bumps appeared all over my arms, neck, chest, and back - anywhere I had applied the lotion. I gave it two/five for the effectiveness . . . try a test-patch of this for a few days to see if you experience any problems; I would hate for someone else to have to deal with what I did! Like I said, I've never, ever reacted to a skin product before, and I've tried hundreds - so I felt the need to warn people before they slather themselves. I wish I could use it, though, because it was doing such a good job!
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original (UDPP)
Clareo 3/5/2007 9:43:00 PM
Amazing! Does exactly what it promises to do. I bought it after reading the great reviews here. Apply it right after you wash your face, BEFORE your eyelids start to get oily. The bottle is a bit goofy, but I get it, primer *potion,* cute. Not a big deal. I tend to dab some on and then blend it over my eyelids with a clean finger rather than trying to do so with the wand. I haven't had issues with eyeshadow blending - I usually use my finger or a brush to do so, I tried it using a sponge-tip applicator and that was a disaster. It's great to go a whole night without worrying about creasing, oily lids, especially when you're on a date (or in bed and not planning on taking off your makeup...).
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - Eyeliner Pencil - Stray Dog
Clareo 3/5/2007 9:40:00 PM
A deep, rich brown shade that worked well on both my sister and I (I have darker hair and brown eyes, her eyes are green-blue and her skin tone is much pinker than my light olive skin), so I think it would be good for many different skin types. It goes on smoothly, sharpens well, and has great lasting power without smudging over the course of a day. I will repurchase, although I mostly wear black eyeliner so it might not be for awhile. By the way, it looked stunning on my sister with her green-blue-brown-ever-shifting eye color (lucky girl!), so if you have coloring like that, give it a shot. It compliments well.
This is an alright product . . . I have thick, curly, long hair and I use this in conjunction with Paul Mitchell's Sculpting Foam (my HG!) before blow drying in the morning. No matter what I do, blow-drying is going to produce some frizz, but this settles it down a bit and does add some shine if I apply a bit after. I'm not sure if I'll buy it again . . . I feel as though there must be a better product out there. For $5, it's still a good deal. I think it would be really effective on those with straight, thick hair.
Lip Treatments -Bath and Body Works - Wet your whistle lip balm
Clareo 3/5/2007 9:32:00 PM
This is pretty good stuff . . . I don't think it's particularly good at healing lips; it's much better at softening lips and maintaining moisture. If your lips are cracked and peeling, buy something to treat that first and then move on to this stuff. And don't buy anything with menthol or camphor in it! That stuff is meant for folks with cold sores, not chapped lips. I digress. Wet Your Whistle goes on smoothly and feels nice on lips, not sticky or greasy with a very light cucumber scent.
I got this as a gift . . . it's nice, but nothing special. A nice day fragrance, especially for work. On me, it's not very complex, just the single floral note. It's very, very strong on me, too, which is unusual - one spritz and that's all or it's overwhelming. I once sprayed three times thoughtlessly and ended up nauseating myself! It's what I reach for when I'm just going for casual, but feminine.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Roberto Cavalli - Serpentine
Clareo 3/5/2007 9:25:00 PM
A new favorite! I bought this unsniffed at a TJMaxx and was hesitant to open it without first sampling it, but my local Sephora didn't carry it and the curiosity eventually won the battle. I'm so glad I caved! I would agree with the "floriental" classification; it's very warm with definite floral notes. The mango flower is strong initially, and it goes through one note on me that is a strictly floral note (not sure which . . . I haven't actually smelled most of the flowers listed as notes), but that quickly dies down and settles into a warm, amber-y scent that's a bit spicy. The sandalwood is not overpowering at all. Lovely. A great date/evening fragrance - very sophisticated. You could wear it during the day, but I wouldn't wear it to work unless it fits the setting - classy and elegant. Also, the bottle is very pretty - love the serpents winding across the front of the bottle, like a miniature bass relief.
Love it! I wasn't sure if this color would be right for my skin . . . but it's perfect! I have VERY fair mediterranean skin, so it's often hard to find something that works well with a light olive complexion. This looks so much better than any blush I've ever tried before. It blends smoothly on over my powder foundation; so far no breakouts at all; and it's moisturizing. (I'm on Accutane right now, so my skin is screaming for hydration . . . this definitely helps.) It's not greasy, either. It looks like a true natural flush - which for me is hard to achieve, since my skin really doesn't blush unless I've really exerted myself. As others have noted, the tube is huge for the small amount of product you need for each application, so it'll last forever. I would highly recommend this product! I'm going to get myself to Sephora and test out some of the other colors and see if there's a tint that will work well for evening-going out use.
Fragrances -Thierry Mugler - Angel Garden of Stars Peony Eau de Parfum
Clareo 12/24/2006 12:29:00 AM
Gag moi. I'm not typically a floral fan, so keep that in mind, BUT it's only because I don't think they suit my personality, not because I think they all smell bad. This one does. The first scent that hit me was a blast of a plasticky floral - it reminded me of the fragrance that came with dolls and My Little Ponies and such in the late 80s. After that, it settled down into what might have been a delicate floral, but only lingered there for a few minutes before morphing into a body-odor, unclean, disgusting smell. Thankfully, I had only spritzed one wrist and it wore off in an hour so I didn't have to scrub my arm. Yick. I suspect that either: A) This scent just altogether sucks; or B) This scent works with only a few people's skin chemistries. Basically, try a sample before you buy it - from the number of negative reviews, I suspect that it's the latter of the possibilities.
Lotions/ Creams -Bath and Body Works - Four Butter Mega Butter Body Butter
Clareo 12/22/2006 2:30:00 AM
This product definitely fooled me - I expected something very thick, but it's actually rather thin - someone said the consistency of yogurt, and that's about right. So of *course* I didn't think it would be an effective moisturizer: WRONG. This stuff sinks right into your skin and doesn't leave a sticky residue. Lovely. I don't mind the smell - it's a nice, buttery (no pun intended) coconut, and it disappears after a few minutes. I'm on Accutane right now, which has dried out my skin to the max; the med dries up sebaceous glands - imagine having barely any oil production and that's what I have to deal with - so dry, flaky patches everywhere. This stuff does the trick and is soothing, too. I picked it up at the B&BW Outlet for $5 and would spend twice that much easily.