I like the color in the bottle, looks like a gorgeous, perfect dark, vampy purple. Unfortunately, this comes out black on my (natural) nails. I see a bit of purple only when holding my fingers into very bright light, other than that - just black. Pity. Then again, I have the same issue with other "almost black"-colors, e.g. Royal Rajah Ruby. I won't repurchase. The quality, however, is great, as you can expect from an OPI polish, goes on streak-free, opaque in one thick or two thin coats. It deserves 5 lippies for quality, but 1 for color, so to be fair, I give it 3. Price is OK if bought in the US, I paid 8.50$ (even though I sometimes buy polishes at a place where they cost only 5$, which is definitely more than OK). I never buy them in Switzerland, where I live, as they cost 4-5 times that, which is not justified, even for OPI.
Tinted Moisturizer -Laura Mercier - Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
Dawn13 4/11/2012 2:19:00 PM
I've been using this for a few months now, I am NC25-30 in winter and use LM TM in Sand, and NC35-40 in summer where I use LM TM in Almond or Caramel. Using this product without another cream as a base doesn't work for me - I use only sunblock, all year long, so I put on a little sunblock (Avene or Clarins) and then a bit of this TM. It doesn't cover much, but that's not what you can expect from a TM anyway, but evens out the skin nicely, blends very well and gives a bit of glow, but not too much. It comes in plastic tube and it's easy to just take out the right amount. A downside is that it doesn't seem to agree with air travel and the pressure that probably comes along with it. I was interested to read that I am not the only one with this problem. I travel quite frequently and up until now, the tube has "exploded" a bit each time - not fully in the sense that the tube is broken, but once you open it upon arrival, quite an amount of TM dribbles out. Really not sure why. Still, other than that, I like the product, have repurchased it and will also buy it again.
Mascara -Yves Saint Laurent - Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils
Dawn13 5/21/2010 8:12:00 PM
Definitely the best volume mascara ever. Gives a wonderfully dramatic look - which I just love - and doesn't smudge and the black one is a true black for once! Nice package, price high-end, but OK. However, a waterproof version is definitely long overdue.
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Accutane (by prescription)
Dawn13 12/23/2009 3:18:00 PM
I have suffered from mild, but very persisent cystic acne for about 12 years. The acne was usually quite severe in winter, with several cysts on my cheeks that wouldn't go away for days or sometimes even weeks. In summer, my skin was usually quite alright. I have not suffered from blackheads ever nor even from small pimples or whiteheads - only the cysts were making my life miserable. For years, I tried every OTC cleanser, cream and non-prescriptive drug, every topical, BPO, BHA, AHA - you name it. I had it quite under control for several years by using antibiotics and differin gel. However, at some point, the antibiotics stopped working (obviously!) and my acne wouldn't go away for many months. It was horrible - after all, I am almost 30, have a respectable job with client-focus and the acne simply took away all my self-confidence in both business and private life; it really made me feel ugly and horrible. My dermatologist had wanted to put me on accutane for years, I always refused as I thought the possible side effects would not be worth it. But after suffering for many years and after having tried everything, with some success, however always only for a few months, I was convinced. I went on tane in July 2009, am still on it so far. The first few weeks were horrible. I had a terrible IB with more cysts than ever and I was close to tears a million times and even closer to throwing the stuff away. I'm glad I pulled through. After about 6 weeks, my skin cleared up drastically and within 10 weeks, I was completely cyst-free. That was around mid-September and I have not had a single cyst or even so much as a blemish since then. My skin is close to perfect. I have not experienced any drastic side effects. I am on 25mg/day, which is not a high dosage. My lips are dry and sometimes crack, but this is so nothing compared to the skin problems I had before (for the cracked lips: vaseline is a life-saver!). Sometimes, I have patches of dry skin, especially on my hands, but honestly, this too is so easy to handle. My facial skin is a bit drier, but without really dry patches - and combined with the Avene cleanser and moisturizer that are especially made for people on tane, I have it under perfect control. The skin gets a bit thinner, so where there were cysts, I still have a few red spots, but they are fading quickly and, in the meantime, can be covered easily by a light make-up or TM. Other than that: absolutely no problems or side effects at all, no hair loss, no mood swing, no severely dry skin, nothing. FYI: I also wear contacts (about 16 hours a day... *ahem*) and have not experienced any problems there either. I cannot comment on the price as I have health insurance that covers it. However, I know what it costs here and while it's not cheap, it's worth the price and seeing the success, I am sure I would have paid for it myself had I not had insurance. I also cannot make a statement on the mid- to long-term success as I am not finished with my course. However, up till now, I would definitely recommend it, BUT only if you have really tried everything else and nothing has worked. It is a quite heavy drug that indeed can lead to a few nasty side effects, so no one should think that it's just some smarties that you can take and it will do no harm. I think I will try to update a few months after finishing the course. My dermatologist and I are thinking about staying on a very low-dosage for quite another while (as long as I don't want to get pregnant, I don't see why I shouldn't), 5-10mg/day probably. Let's see...!
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
Dawn13 6/24/2009 5:14:00 PM
My skin: oily, acne-prone (or rather: cystic acne to be found in the same area on my one cheek pretty much all the time), no blackheads, dries out quickly. I tried the 2% BHA liquid and have it under suspicion to cause whiteheads - which is a pity as it has actually helped in considerably reducing my cystic acne - but as I wrote under the BHA liquid reviews, I do not want to trade cysts for lots of whiteheads. I was bound to throw all PC products away, but thought I'd give the AHA another chance. I had started using it a few months ago, used it together with the BHA (the latter in the morning, AHA in the eveningm, both of them each day). And what a surprise - AHA alone has better effects on my skin. It helps reducing the cysts and especially helps with the redness and red acne marks I have - they definitely disappear much faster. It dries out my skin a little, but not so much that it would actually bother me. Makes skin nice and soft. Looks as if I will keep using it, but will keep updated in case it causes problems after a while (BHA has, unfortunately...).
This is one of my favourite OPI colours. It's a subtle, pearly nude with a hint of gold - surprisingly, it goes very well with my neutral to cold skin tone. It goes on smoothly and doesn't leave any streaks. With one coat, it's quite opaque, with two it covers quite well, but still looks quite natural. I like it and will repurchase.
Switched from the gel cleanser to this and like this one better. The gel cleanser indeed helped with blemishes, but also dried out my skin, which protested with producing more oil and, eventually, more blemishes (note: I have really sensitive skin that reacts to anything and I have been through the blemishes-dry them out-produce more oil-produce more blemishes-vicious circle half a million times with all kinds of products). Admittedly, this cleanser doesn't do anything about blemishes or the mild cystic acne I have, but it doesn't make it worse either - which is exactly what I want as I can deal with the pimples seperately with other products. It also last a while as you don't need a lot. I like it and will repurchase.
I like it. Contrary to other OPI lacquers, this one wasn't streaky on my nails. With one coat, it's quite opaque, with two coats it's white enough, but not TOO white - which is perfect for me as I'm the as-natural-and-sheer-as-possible-but-still-with-a-little-colour-type. This colour fills my requirements quite well. I have a neutral-cool skin tone and it doesn't appear greyish. Would buy again.
I've been suffering from mild cystic acne for years and this is actually the only product that has ever helped me. I've been using it nonstop for 9 years and it's still the only product that doesn't dry out my skin and really helps reducing cysts. I use it at night, on my whole face, and if I have a cyst (I usually do, especially in winter), I put some extra cream/gel on it. The cysts don't disappear overnight, but the gel really helps reducing them and since it doesn't dry out my skin too much (compared to e.g. BPO which doesn't work that well for me), there's also no scar. I sometimes have a red spot for a while, but my skin generally heals very slowly, so I think the gel has nothing to do with it. I can definitely recommend it. It's a prescriptive, though. The price is okay, a bit on the expensive side, but it's worth it.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant
Dawn13 5/15/2009 6:31:00 PM
For some reason, last winter, I severely suffered from cystic acne - I still don't know where it came from and nothing helped. So I tried this. At first, it worked wonders - the cysts were gone in only a few days and didn't even leave a scar or red spot - which I used to have a lot and couldn't get rid of for months. I was very happy. However, after using this for about 10 weeks, the experiment went awry. At first, I had this one cyst - which was okay, I thought it may be hormonal, it happens, not a big deal. It disappeared quite quickly, a lot faster than it used to before I started using Paula's BHA. After the cyst had disappeared, I developed tons of small whiteheads, only few of them turned into real cysts, but still. I have NEVER suffered from these small whiteheads, so I had absolutely no idea where they were coming from. They even appeared in places on my face where I have never ever had a blemish or anything. I don't know what went wrong, but I fear I have to blame Paula for this. There is still a chance it may be something else (I'm thinking of a foundation I started using a few months ago) and I really hope I don't have to blame this on Paula - I think I'll see in a few weeks. But right now, my verdict is: I give it three points, good for short term, bad for long term, got rid of one problem, but created a whole new one, wouldn't buy it again. Edit: gave it another try, with the same result, only faster (within a week). It helps reducing the cysts, but leaves me with a lot of small whiteheads and blackheads. It's a pity, I so wanted this to work for me, but I don't want to trade cysts for small whiteheads, so I stopped using this product for good.
I've been using this for a few months now. I like the somewhat glowy finish (not a big fan of matte) and the color range is great anyway. I have oily combination skin - the foundation doesn't give me a greasier look, but it obviously also doesn't give me a matter look - this is fine, though, I don't have to powder more often than with other foundations or eben without foundation. The packaging is so-so, a pump is definitely missing and should be included at the price, but you can buy an extra one at the counter. I have been experiencing breakouts over the last couple of months and while it took me a long time to figure out what may have caused them, I get the feeling that this foundation may be it the culprit. I stopped using it a few days ago and will see whether my skin improves. But even if the foundation doesn't cause my breakouts, I still only give it a 3. It's an okay foundation, the pricing is just fine, but it's not HG material.
Highlighters -Yves Saint Laurent - Touche Eclat No 1
Dawn13 5/17/2008 9:19:00 AM
I've tried many, many, many concealers and highlighters over the years, but none of them comes even close to Touche Eclat. I've been sneaking around TE forever as it is VERY expensive, but couldn't resist in the end. I'll never buy another one again - this product works wonders. I have quite dark circles and the TE makes them all disappear and - I swear! - my eyes and the skin around them look A LOT brighter. I also find it easy to apply. Definitely a must-have. Update: unfortunately, after using TE for a couple of weeks, I have experienced severe redness and even swelling on my under eye area and stopped using it immediately. The swelling and redness was gone within a day or two. I only give it a 2 now. I would love it for the effect and results, but the swelling is certainly not acceptable. I do have sensitive skin, but not THAT sensitive and I have never experienced something like this with any other product. What a pity.