I'm usually the type who really isn't blown away by all of the hype; especially on what seem to be expensive purchases. But I have had so many issues with hyperpigmentation, dry flaky skin, and a rough texture to my face that I was desperate to try just about anything. After all, Amazon has a wonderful return policy and what could I really lose? Here is what I noticed with the Mia after roughly a month of use: Firstly, when I was doing my research and watching videos, this thing looks so rough on the skin... especially when you watch people scrubbing away with what appears to be a thick and bristly brush. I was afraid to try this because my skin is so sensitive and acne prone. Everyone promised it was definitely okay, but I had a hard time believing that. I bought this with a sensitive brush and I use it in small circles along my face without pressing down or applying a whole lot of pressure... and it really is what they say: gentle and effective. I am not sure about any other brush than the sensitive, but so far I have been surprised at just how much gentler it is than it looks. Also, many say they broke out within two weeks of using this and then their skin cleared up again. I didn't experience any phase like this. My skin went from consistent breakouts to a perfectly smooth face despite my hyperpigmentation. I have ALWAYS had issues with acne on my chin and some along my cheekbone, and for the first time in so many years, my skin is smooth and soft. The exfoliation on this is amazing. As I said, it makes your skin very smooth and soft; I did notice it a bit after the first use, but you really do have to give it a week or two before you REALLY start to notice just how much softer it can make your skin. My flaky patches and rough texture slowly melted away. My moisturizer not only seems to soak in much easier as well, but my makeup goes on much smoother. There is no longer anything dry or rough for my makeup to cling to and the texture of the skin really improves. For those of you who may have the same question I did in the beginning: I use currently use Clinique's cream cleanser, which is meant to be applied to skin when dry. The Clarisonic instructs users to wet the skin and brush, and I had to ask a Clarisonic rep if my cream cleanser would be okay for this. The answer is yes; it can be used with anything that doesn't have exfoliating beads or shells. What I tend to do is apply the cream to my dry skin and then wet the brush. This helps me rest easier knowing the brush isn't moving against dry skin, and it seems to work well for me. As far as technical details, this little magnetic charger is very compact and very neat, in my opinion. As far as noise, the Mia is pretty quiet. I think it's nice that it goes off after one minute, and yet at the same time, sometimes I need it for a little longer. And the timers on the Pro version? I don't even miss them. Also, if you use this to remove or wash off makeup, even after a makeup remover, be sure to scrub your brush with soap at least once a week. This will help minimize stains on your brush, if that bothers you. So happy with my investment. It really is an amazing buy!
Foundations -Make Up For Ever - HD High Definition Foundation
DearSherry 10/21/2012 12:58:00 PM
I am extremely grateful for the wide array of color selections and undertone choices that MUFE has to offer. Their shades are also very forgiving, meaning you can be a little "off" with your shade and it will still blend relatively well. I currently have 120 Soft Sand. I find this makeup is a bit difficult to layer without losing that flawless finish. Therefore, I'd consider it a medium coverage, not completely "full". For those wanting more coverage since this makeup doesn't always layer well, I'd recommend a tinted finishing powder like MAC Skinfinish natural, or for a cheaper choice, perhaps Maybelline Dream Matte. Despite this, I find that even with extreme redness and splotchiness, this makeup does very well to even out my skintone, and I just apply one coat, sometimes with a little bit of concealer. It blends beautifully onto my skin, although if you have dry patchy skin this formula might cling to to imperfections and blemishes. One thing I would like to note from experience for those complaining about "cakiness" is this: If you spot-clean your brushes between uses like I do, or even spray them with water thinking it will assist with that airbrushed feel, do keep in mind that if the brush is even slightly damp, I have noticed that this will actually take the makeup from "airbrushed" to splotchy. It will not blend well and it will cling in patches. I think this might be because of the silicone, but that is only my assumption. And when it comes to the silicone, also remember that this ingredient in makeup often makes it a more dense formula, which means less is certainly more. If you continue to build and build and build with a silicone-based makeup, it tends to just look cakey and not really improve. For those worried about oiliness at the end of the day, I do have oily skin, although I can't say it's quite as bad as others I know. I will say that although the makeup does stay on my skin, I do notice some oil start to peek through in the later hours of the work day. I, however, hate the completely matte look, and tend to expect this in any semi-matte to natural finish makeup. Others, though, who have a lot of problems with oil, might find they have a bit of trouble with this makeup staying put or looking really shiny after a while. As I am also one with very sensitive and acne-prone skin, I have found that this makeup does not break me out. Silicone and fragrance, however, are two ingredients that can often set off acne prone and sensitive skin, so the only thing one can do is try samples first, as only you know what is best for your skin! All in all, I love this makeup. It is the best I have had so far in regards to my own personal skin type and shades.
Foundations -LORAC - Natural Performance Foundation
DearSherry 10/21/2012 12:48:00 PM
I purchased this foundation from my local Ulta during my mad hunt for the perfect shade. While I did like this foundation, I found that NP2 was too light and NP3 was too dark. However, I love that this foundation has beneficial ingredients (as advertised, xyleine, premier olive leaf extract, and vitamin A to help protect, nourish, and soothe sensitive skin), and it is true to its name; it really does look as natural as a medium to full coverage can look. For the amount of coverage it gives me, I find this foundation has a beautiful, smooth, and semi-matte finish to it when applied with a flat-topped kabuki foundation brush. I have not tried to apply it using any other method, although I am sure a damp sponge or normal foundation brush would work equally well. It is a nice enough consistency to go on with your fingers, and I don't find that it dries too quickly, either. I am able to work with it without getting streaks. I have light and yellow-undertoned skin and find that this foundation is more on the yellow side than many others I have used. For me, this is a good thing, although some may find it too yellow. I have splotchy redness and acne scars that I have to cover, and have to build a bit with this foundation to really cover all of it, but it does do a great job of evening my skin tone without getting too cakey. It does have a habit of clinging to dry patches, however, even before powder - so just be sure your skin is exfoliated or that you don't have an issue with it being really dry. I also find that I look a bit oily by the end of the day, but that is inevitable with most foundations, especially if you don't want to be completely matte and have a more natural finish to your skin. Although I didn't find my perfect match with this foundation, I was happy with the quality, the coverage, and the formula. I would have repurchased if it was a match!
Concealers -Bare Escentuals - Correcting Concealer
DearSherry 10/21/2012 12:44:00 PM
I spoke with a woman at Ulta who recommended this product as a concealer for both over and under makeup. I have tried both, and would seriously consider returning it if I hadn't misplaced my receipt. I hadn't noticed it when she demonstrated its consistency due to the awful lighting in the store, but after a while I began to notice a cakey look under my eyes and especially when I applied this over red areas in my face. I have tried this with a concealer brush, patting it in with my fingers, and even attempting to blend it with a damp brush as one Youtube guru suggested. This product doesn't seem to cover much (the dark areas under my eyes and on either side of my nose). It's almost as though it just disappears, and leaves a noticeably cakiness in its place. It also does absolutely nothing for the redness on my cheeks and chin, either. Not only that, but by the end of the day, it has settled into creases under my eyes and around any blemishes I have. All in all, I can't wait until I've used this up and can move on to something else. I might even just accept the loss and replace it with something that actually works for me. Hopefully others have had better luck with this product than I have.
I got a deluxe sample of this in my ipsy glambag for October. I currently use Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes, which is an amazing jet black formula, but I actually preferred this to the Hypnose when I had a chance to try it. This formula seemed to be a better fit for my particular lashes. My lashes are VERY long and very straight, and even after a curl and two coats of most other mascaras, they always sink and straight back downwards again. I think that because this is a waxy, faster drying formula (as a past reviewer explained), I found that my lashes for the first time in my life have actually maintained a curl without me having to heat up my curler with a blow dryer! I experience no clumping with this formula, but perhaps this is because I apply the mascara all at once and don't wait for it to dry/go back again after. I don't think continuously building upon this formula is necessary, as it seems to look great with less as it is. I have experiencing no smearing, no black dots under my eyes. It stays put and looks natural. Overall, very pleased. So glad I had the opportunity to try this. I may get this after my Hypnose runs out, although I have been hoping to try Benefit They're Real! mascara. I am not sure how the formulas compare.