Great cleansing oil that easily removes pore clogs, dry skin and asian sunscreens (be sure to massage for at least a minute). TEXTURE: lighter, thinner and slightly runnier than Kose Softymo Deep and Whitening CO's, Shiseido Ultimate Cleansing Oil, DHC, and Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Premium A/O EFFICACY: removes all makeup and sunscreen; found that if I didn't take the time to massage for a full minute, I'd still have sunscreen residue (can smell residue reacting with my toner and skin would feel tight if I didn't remove all the sunscreen); does not dry out the skin like DHC or Shu cleansing oils NOTE: this contains no preservatives and I've read that some people had issues with the product going rancid before they finished using the product... one way to counter this would be to purchase the smaller 60 ml bottles/pumps CONCLUSION: out of the cleansing oils I've used, I prefer this or the Kose Softymo ones; both are effective, but Kose is cheaper while Fancl's deep cleans a bit better if you take the time to massage thoroughly...
Sunscreen -Bioderma - Photoderm MAX Fluide SPF 50 PPD 35
Decadence 3/9/2011 7:11:00 AM
MY SKIN: combo/dry (winter); combo/oily (summer); prone to breakouts and surface dehydration TEXTURE: runny, yet thick lotion PACKAGING: convenient tube with flip-cap; however, due to the runny nature of the fluid, it's easy to spill out too much and waste excess product around the cap's pour-opening WEARABILITY: this was great on my winter dry and dehydrated skin; no burning even if I over-did acids on my face; will never dry to a matte finish and leaves a distinct shine on my face; while waterproof, this is definitely not sweatproof (white rivulets on my face and neck during workouts); makeup does not apply easily over this since it remains tacky on my skin; product ran into my eyes by end of day if I didn't set it with foundation and/or powder CONCLUSION: this is great for sensitive, dry or dehydrated skin; I liked this for days when I knew I was going to be home all day and didn't need to put on makeup; this is definitely a winter sunscreen for me and not one I'd consider a favorite or something I'd use everyday MY USAGE/TIP: to combat the drying effect from the Sofina Lucent sunscreen and to combat winter dryness, I've been applying slightly less than the 1/4 teaspoon of this suncreen followed by almost a 1/4 teaspoon of the Sofina (wait a few minutes in between at least for max absorption). I found the alcohol would dry out the tackiness and after waiting a few minutes, the Sofina would dry to a smooth, semi-matte finish...
MY SKIN: combo/dry (winter); combo/oily t-zone (summer); prone to clogged pores and surface dehydration TEXTURE: liquidy, light, milky fluid, almost watery, thinner than Shiseido USP Lotions SPF 55 and 60, LRP Anthelios XL SPF 50, and Sofina Lucent EFFECT: dries quickly due to high alcohol content; makes my skin flake (both hands and face) even if I put on a moisturizing toner and a moisturizer underneath; matte, smooth, primer-like finish; does not dry with a white-cast on me, but this probably depends on one's skin-tone...; will still dry to matte finish over heavier moisturizers, but does take a little longer to dry WEARABILITY: this dried the heck out of my skin! (you can smell the alcohol content much more compared to Sofina's sunscreen); by the end of the day I'd have small flakes around my nose and mouth; lasts during 1hr+ sweaty workouts; foundation did apply smoothly over this (as opposed to Shiseido USP Creme SPF 55 and Bioderma sunscreens), but makeup still looked better when applied over Sofina Lucent sunscreen (both are comparable but I prefer the smoother look I could achieve with the Sofina sunscreen) CONCLUSION: if you have really oily skin or live in a humid environment, this will probably work great since it'll act as a sun barrier as well as a primer; for those with sensitive or dry skin, skin barrier or surface dehydration issues, this is definitely not the product for you.
My eyelids: dry but tend to get oilier near the lash-line by the end of the day Packaging: standard pencil with cap; b/c the pencil is so creamy, you'll need to sharpen frequently Application: easily applies onto lid Formula: very pigmented, creamy, but definitely not long-lasting Durability: does not last and has creased into folds by end of day; how long it lasts depends on what sunscreen, foundation and powder I've applied to the skin around my eyes (e.g., wears better over Revlon Colorstay Foundation without any powder to set compared to over MUFE Face&Body with no powder; last longer over Shiseido SPF55 Creme but over the euro-sunscreens, forget it lasting even 2 hours...) While I love Oil Slick (perfect grey/black with not-over-the-top glitter) and 2 other colors, these eyeliners' performance absolutely do not warrant re-purchase.
My skin: combination that's decidedly drier in the winter months as I get older and breaks out if I don't moisturize enough... suffer from surface dehydration again when I fail to moisturize enough... Method of Use: I double-cleanse first with an oil cleanser followed by a foam cleanser. Lather: minimal foam Scent: light fragrance but not so heavy that it deters me from using Cleansing Ability: Purpose alone does not clean well (especially waterproof mascara) but works great after an oil-cleanser: cleans any left-over oil-cleanser residue without stripping the skin. Rinse-ability: Rinses off more easily than Clean & Clear's Sensitive Skin cleanser Misc Notes: I used to use Clean & Clear Sensitive Skin cleanser but have found it too drying as I get older. Purpose is similar but has a runnier, thinner texture, and is gentler than C&C. Cleansing-wise, CCSS cleanser cleans a bit better than Purpose...
Conditioner -L'Oreal - EverSleek Intense Smooth Conditioner
Decadence 2/19/2011 9:17:00 PM
My hair: long asian hair damaged from digi-perms Packaging: dispenses product easily (better than the EverStrong tubes) Texture: creme that emulsifies easily once applied to wet hair making it easy to comb or finger through hair Scent: nice, light clean/herbal, non-floral smell Detangling: easily detangles hair when applying conditioner, but, depending on how much of the conditioner you rinse out, makes my hair feel rough if I rinse it all out, and coated if I don't General Effect: My hair feels soft but looks dull/matte (non-shiny) and frizzy no matter how much conditioner I leave in and the shampoo gives me oily roots by the next day despite its cleaning ability. This product also makes me breakout at random places along my hairline, which I've never experienced before... I know it's this product because I stopped using it for a while and then went back to it to re-test it and the same thing happened. I would return the products if I could...
Shampoo -L'Oreal - EverSleek Intense Smoothing Shampoo
Decadence 2/19/2011 9:13:00 PM
My hair: long asian hair; damaged from digi-perms; need to shampoo at least every-other-day to avoid oily roots Packaging: better than the EverStrong line which seemed to have too much air in the tubes making the products difficult to dispense; easily dispenses product Fragrance: not too floral; more of a clean, herbal scent without being too granola-y Lather: cushiony, easily building foam Cleansing: cleans hair better than the EverStrong, but leaves hair feeling rough and tangled; def need conditioner after this shampoo In general, I liked this at first because it seemed to clean well, but my hair feels so horrible after shampooing and it gets so tangled just from shampooing! I also get an oily scalp by the next morning. I would return this if I could but Target no longer accepts returns on used products... *sigh*
Sunscreen -La Roche Posay - Anthelios Xl SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme (for face)
Decadence 1/31/2010 3:47:00 PM
About me: combination/oily in summer; combination/dry in winter Texture: runny, light fluid Absorption: if applied over anything w/ cones or before allowing your moisturizer underneath to absorb completely, the sunscreen will pill; applying this on bare skin works the best Finish: I initially purchased this in the summer and had to stop using it due to the shine it left on my face; this winter, when I was searching for a sunscreen less drying than my usual Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 55, I rediscovered this in my cabinet and found to my delight that it absorbed much better on my drier skin although it was never fully matte like the Shiseido Usage w/ Makeup: on me, during the summer, this never really seemed to dry and even after an hour, I had a slightly tacky finish so makeup did not sit as well; during the winter where my skin seemed to absorb the product better, I had no problem w/ makeup on top Water-Resistant: b/c this never seemed to absorb fully in the summer months, I felt paranoid that it was simply melting off my skin or that it was being removed/diluted when applying makeup; in the winter, I was more confidant that it had absorb fully so was not concerned as much with how long it lasted on my skin Conclusion: I wouldn't buy this again b/c I found it very similar to the Vichy Capital Soleil Micro-Fluide Visage 50+ which dried more matte and absorbed more fully no matter the season. Plus, the VIchy is not only water resistant, but sweat resistant as well. For ease of usage with other skin products and makeup, my favorite for the past couple of years has been and still is the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 55...
Mascara -L'Oreal - Waterproof Voluminous Carbon Black
Decadence 10/24/2009 12:27:00 PM
My Lashes: stick straight thin asian lashes Stick with the original Voluminous waterproof. The Carbon Black version smudges a bit, yet strangely does not remove as easily despite double cleansing with an oil cleanser and follow up foaming cleanser. This removes the curl from my lashes and does not apply evenly - I definitely have to comb through. The black is not as intense as I thought it would be; in fact, I don't really note that much of a difference (if any) between this black and the original Voluminous WP in black. It's not the worse mascara I've tried, but it definitely does not perform as well as the regular Voluminous waterproof version (the mascara I return to without fail for the past couple of years). In every aspect, depth of color, holding curl, volumizing and lengthening effect, the original version far outperforms the Carbon Black version. *sigh* now if I can only find my receipt to return the darn thing...
Liquid -Almay - Almay Truly Lasting Color longwear makeup
Decadence 8/3/2009 5:46:00 PM
Last summer, my sister, trying to be helpful, mistakenly purchased this for me in 2 shades, rather than the Almay Nearly Naked liquid foundation I was then using at that time. I ended up using both bottles of the TLC b/c 1) I was too lazy to research and find another foundation to try, and 2) the colors while not a perfect match, were blendable enough that I could easily wear either. It's been a year and I've finally used up both bottles of TLC. My skin: asian (korean) w/ combination skin that's oily in the t-zone and drier on the cheeks; as i'm getting older, i'm finding that my skin is less oily both in the summer and winter (e.g., I never used to have to wear moisturizer in the winter but now I do otherwise it feels like the sahara desert!). Now that it's summer, I do end up having to blot about 2-3 times/day in the t-zone area. in the winter, I can get away with blotting once a day if at all... Application: - in the morning, I always apply my Shiseido SPF55 sunscreen (lotion, not the cream) and wait for it to dry. - After it dries, I pump (1/2 pump) a 1/2-pea sized amount of TLC into my palm and then use my MAC 187 stipple brush to stipple/buff it into my face. - I wait about 1-2 minutes, (in the meantime, I usually go on to curl my lashes, brush teeth or other morning stuff...) and then blot my face gently with toilet paper before applying a dusting of powder. If I feel I need more oil control b/c I'll be running around on errands as opposed to sitting in an AC'ed environment, in front of a computer, I'll pat on powder with a puff Likes: 1. I like the fact that it comes in a pump so I can control how much I put on. 2. I also like the fact that I can sheer this out using my stipple brush so that I get a natural look. 3. Although both the colors I got (Beige and I forget the other color) were never a perfect match (Beige was slightly too dark even for my summer skin), I was able to wear both colors and use only a light dusting of powder to make the colors a better match as long as I applied a light layer of foundation. 4. It has decent UVA/UVB protection to supplement my sunscreen (note: one shouldn't rely on foundation alone to provide sun protection since applying a 1/2 tsp amount of foundation needed to get the SPF16 protection to one's face would make one look like a freak) Dislikes: 1. I thought Almay's Nearly Naked had a more skin-like, natural no-makeup finish on me 2. both TLC and Nearly Naked come off easily -- e.g., even when using TLC, if I used a tissue to blot, I can see the color on the tissue as opposed to Revlon's Colorstay which seriously stayed put with very minimal transfer 3. This has a thicker consistancy than I'm used to so I do wish it was more liquidy since too much of the product on me (i.e., more than 1/2-pea sized amount) can make me look overdone, cakey/makeup-y... Although I stated that I wouldn't purchase this product again, I would actually consider going back to this if I can't find something better. As there are many more for me to try, for now, I'll be moving on... (unless I get sick of looking up/researching foundations ^^)
Makeup Brushes -MAC - #187 Duo Fiber Face Brush (Stippling, Skunk Brush)
Decadence 7/1/2009 4:51:00 AM
I've been using this for about 2 years now thanks to MUA'ers' recs! I use this brush to apply (stipple then lightly "buff") a 1/2 pea-sized drop of foundation. Seriously, whereas prior to using this brush to apply foundation, I would need a full pump or two of whatever foundation I was using, now I only need a 1/2 pump or less to apply a sheer layer to my face. I also use the same brush to stipple my blush and swirl powder over my face. In between uses, I'll just swirl the brush lightly over toilet paper or a paper towel to remove any dampness (from foundation) or pigment. Every once in a while, I'll double-cleanse the brush to get it back to its pristine-whiteness... For those of you who are having less luck getting the result you'd like, check out the tutorials on youtube and just play around with it until you get the hang of it...
Cleansers -Clean & Clear - Foaming Facial Cleanser - Sensitive Skin
Decadence 7/1/2009 2:41:00 AM
I thought I'd already reviewed this product since I've been using this for years! I'm all about saving my money for treatments and purchasing cheap basics/staples. This cleanser foams easily, removes makeup relatively well except for waterproof/sweatproof sunscreen, and waterproof mascara & eyeliners. I normally double-cleanse anyway(any cheap japanese drugstore oil-cleanser followed by clean & clear's sensitive skin cleanser) so I haven't had any problems with makeup/sunscreen removal. I also double-cleanse my makeup brushes with an oil-cleanser + this facial cleanser. I've found that this gets my MAC skunk brush looking white again...
Mascara -L'Oreal - Extra Volume Collagen Mascara (waterproof)
Decadence 7/1/2009 1:16:00 AM
My lash type: typical thin straight asian lashes My review: Multiple coats is a no-no unless you want spider lashes. This held a curl slightly better than my fall-back Voluminous WP but despite combing through, I could not get this mascara to apply evenly. I tried multiple thin applications, repeated applications while product was still wet, combing while wet, combing while dry, rotating the brush, wiggling the brush, removing excess product prior to applying... all to no avail. As for being waterproof, this didn't last quite as well through my sweaty runs/spin classes (compared to Voluminous WP). Post-workouts would leave me with smudges under my eyes and flakes speckled around my eye area... Definite return!
Note: I never tried the original ANR Protective Recovery Complex so I wouldn't know how this reformulated and renamed product compares... I love this stuff! Although I've been told by many I look young for my age, I'd recently been obsessing over the single fine lines that had appeared right under my eyes as well as my skin's increasing lack of youthful glow, so I went through 2 bottles of Skinceuticals' .5% retinol treatment, 1 bottle of Skinceuticals 1.0% retinol, and 3-4 bottles of DDF's C3 Plus serum as well as trying and returning various other anti-aging/retinoid products in an attempt to remedy the aging process... I've been using this product for a little over 2 weeks and I've been noticing that the fine lines have seriously diminished, my face looks more luminous (not quite the youthful glow you see on high school/college age girls but getting there) and my skin looks more even-toned to the point where I've considered leaving the house with only sunscreen and a light dusting of powder rather than my usual light foundation... I'm not crazy about the price but this seriously works. I will definitely keep using this again (and again and again). I'm so impressed with the results that I'm considering buying this for my mom, my sister and my bro-in-law! I know it is this product that is working because it is the only thing I've added to my skincare regimen (and my skincare regimen has stayed the same with no new skincare products for almost a year). I only apply this at night: first I double-cleanse (usually any cheap japanese drugstore brand oil-cleanser + clean & clear sensitive skin cleanser), then apply a light layer of MAMA lotion, and then apply a nickel-sized amount of the ANR to my face (including eye area) and neck. Even my neck area looks better!! Since I have combo skin, in these humid months, the serum is enough; when it's less humid, I do apply a lightweight moisturizer on top as needed. I'm sure when winter comes around, I'll definitely need something heavier on top of this...
I've given up trying chemical sunscreen on my face so this review pertains to how well it performed on my body: waterproof/sweatproof: although marketed as a sport susncreen, this is definitely not something I would use when working out/running outdoors -- halfway into my run I noticed the product had run and creased into my inner elbows due to sweat moisturizing ability: this is where this product excels over Aveeno and other Neutrogena sunscreens -- most other sunscreens end up making my skin feeling and looking dry regardless of reapplication; however, applying this sunscreen felt as if I was applying a regular, non-sunscreen moisturizer and my skin looked better hydrated after application slip: this applies more easily like a moisturizer compared to other chemical and physical sunscreens bottom line: if this just performed better during physical activities, this would have been my HG sunscreen for the body, but as a daily regular moisturizing sunscreen for the body, this is definitely a favorite by far (compared to other Neutrogena DT/Age Shield, BullFrog, Banana Boat Sport, Coppertone Sport, Avene, LRP sunscreens) *sigh*