This is an excellent product for the woman who doesn't want to smell like baby powder, fake flowers, or burnt sugar, all scents that are FAR to prevalent in female deodorant these days. The smell is quite soft and similar to the perfume. I have had *no* skin problems with this deodorant (and I'm prone to both very dry under-arm skin and dermatitis in general). Sophisticated, works well, and not *too* expensive. A definite repurchase for me. Me: 45, favor herbal/floriental/oriental fragrances. N/d skin, not any known allergies but prone to dermatitis when stressed.
Me: np amateur, generally short nails. I don't own many polishes and this one made it into my teeny (less than 10) stash based on the lovely blue color and great name. Easy for me to apply-- I used a base coat and only one coat for a pedicure. It's creme-y and opaque rather than thin, which is a plus for me. Worth the cheap price and the trip to Sally's!
Me: n/d skin, like minimalist makeup. Pros: Very finely milled. Settles well on my skin over a moisturizer/sunscreen combo. Northern Light is a good match for my NC15/NW15ish skin. Lasts most of a work day with minimal touchups. Can be applied lightly with a brush or with a sponge for more coverage. Cons: Ridiculously expensive. Packaging is not great-- screw top makes it impossible to use quickly (say at a desk or w/out looking in a mirror). Sponge is only okay-- I'd like something a little bit softer. Would I repurchase? Yes, b/c I think it's worth spending money on a good looking face product (foundation, powder, etc.). It's a lot easier to save when you're buying a blush or eyeshadow.
Liquid -Korres - Ginger and Vitamins Foundation, SPF 10 [DISCONTINUED]
Draper 1/16/2009 3:17:00 PM
Pros: a foundation for "real" looking skin. I'm an olive NC15/C2, and thought I'd try Korres with the idea that the undertones in a product made in Greece might be right for me-- as it turns out, a good idea, as I feel this foundation in the lightest shade is a good (but not perfect) match for my very yellow olive skin tone. Applying this is easy, wears well but not overly so (I don't like long wearing foundations as I think they look aging), and comes in a sanitary container that seems as if it will allow for getting out all of the product (tube style rather than pump). Price is moderate and packaging is not fancy- maybe why this hasn't been reviewed much? Cons: I'm not super pale, and I'm using the lightest shade. I'd also guess this would not suit people with truly pink skin tones as I'm definitely olive. Probably wouldn't suit "irritable" skin either, with the number of natural ingredients listed in on the packaging. (A caveat- I've had mild dermatitis and this doesn't aggravate it, but my skin prefers natural oils and natural products when it is unhappy.) I'd probably buy this again, but I'm fickle and don't wear a lot of foundation- there will probably be a zillion other new things out on the market when I run out of this one.
Moisturizers -Burt's Bees - Marshmallow Vanishing Creme
Draper 1/4/2009 7:06:00 PM
me: n/d, 42, slight sensitivity to products but skin loves essential oils Lovely sweet smelling creme with a La Mer like solid to oil texture- use a tiny bit, warm b/w fingertips, and tap on where you're dry/tight. Mango butter (an ingredient) is probably why this smells like bananas to some people and why those with n/oily skin find it to be too much- mango butter products are often marketed to people with very dry skin. My essential oil loving skin likes this a lot- enough that it isn't irritating the extremely slight problem with dermatitis that I sometimes have. Repairs my skin barrier and works over a weak retinol serum (Neutrogena's otc). I've bought several times and had gifted several times, so I'd buy again. Cons: in a jar, so not perfectly sanitary, and hard to find. Many BB displays don't have this item. (I live sort of near a Whole Foods which does carry it). Don't overapply and you may also like this creme- but probably only if your skin is parched or already dry.
Gels/Soaps -Philosophy - 3-in-1 Double Rich Hot Cocoa
Draper 1/3/2009 12:07:00 PM
Bought for sister in a large size, myself in a teeny one. Smells just like Jello chocolate pudding, my sister's favorite after school snack when we were growing up. I like that the scents of these are strong but evaporate quickly- no problems mixing these with other lotions or fragrances. Good lather, also easy to rinse from the tub (I have a cat that likes to play with a rubber ball in the tub, so I like to keep the floor of the tub super clean.) Philosophy packaging is striking in a minimalist fun way imo- kind of like Dr. Bronner's, but more "girly". I'm a fan of this line and would buy this scent (and others) again.
So, here's the back story on Angel: I got married in Lou Lou, DH loved it on me. It was one of those perfumes that made him look at me like I was Angelina Jolie. Now that I'm older or that Lou Lou is discontinued, it doesn't have the same affect on him. I/we have looked a LOT and at many different scents. Some were close (Sensuous), some were pretty good (Halston) and some I loved but he did not (NR for Her). I wanted to see that same look on his face again! (We've been married for 18 years and the man is MY Brad Pitt, of course!). While we were shopping for gifts, he said "try Angel, I liked how that smelled on a coworker". Sprayed on a tiny bit (I know it's strong). He liked the opening-- to me a very musky smell-- about 20 minutes later he thought he could smell plastic burning! We thought it was a no go, but about an hour after the first spray, when it really had settled down, bingo! (What I'll call the AJ look). We tried it every 30 minutes after that for about 3 hours-- still there! Obviously this is a very sexy scent to him; I'm not sure what it is about Angel that puts it in the same category as Lou Lou, but it works for him, so it works for me! I get a lot of musky patchouli from this-- different for around here in this semi rural area as florals and very sweet perfumes are more popular. Will I get to the point where I wear it every day? Maybe. I think you have to give "odd" perfumes a chance to see if they are right for you, and Angel definitely qualifies as odd to me. Even the small star shaped bottle is odd- the perfume lays flat on the vanity rather than standing straight up! I'm not sure if I'll feel differently about Angel in warmer weather- although I'd really pay a zillion dollars to see that look on my beloved husband's face. Have a husband or significant other who loves strong scents? Angel might be for both of you!
Pros: wide color range, easy to blend, easy to find, affordable. Studio Tech provides my n/d skin with moderate coverage w/out drying my skin or looking masky (doesn't settle in my pores). For those of you breaking out from MAC foundations, I might suggest trying to double cleanse-- I do this myself because of strong sunscreen I use daily and notice that MAC foundation days generally result in more foundation being left on my washcloth. I don't think you can remove this product without an oil based cleanser. Cons: Definitely oxidizes, not goof proof in application-- look carefully as you apply or you may discover light streaks later on. I think this streakiness is true for most creme foundations, however, except those that are really balms (like BB). Moistureblend spf 15 is also nice for a more dewy finish-- but again, cleanse carefully! Buy again: yes, or the moistureblend version. I'm a C2/NC 15 and the 15 is very good on my pale olive skin tone.
Tinted Moisturizer -Olay - Definity Color Recapture with SPF 15
Draper 10/7/2008 11:20:00 AM
Me: n/d, 41, MAC C2/NC15. Pros: lovely texture, dries to a dewy but not overly oily finish. Good amount of foundation coverage-- not super sheer like some or as thick as true foundation (Tarte and LM oil free tm fall into this category for me). Some beneficial ingredients in the formulation. Pump is hygenic and the clear plastic, in addition to being "cool" looking, lets you see how much product is left. UVA/UVB screen but I can't imagine that the CIBA rating is all that high. I did successfully apply some down my neck without it looking mask-like. Price is medium/moderate high for drug store, but it's really superior to any drug store tinted moisturizer I've tried. May sometimes be on sale (Olay is frequently on sale at Target/CVS around here). Cons: the fair/light shade is definitely neutral pink. I'm yellow olive, so while it's good in terms of coverage, the shade's a bit off. I've been setting it with a tiny bit of Alima mmu to help even out the shade issue. I've also added a dab of LM Nude (too dark for me, but yellow enough) to help with this. I'd say that anyone in the NW15 to NW20 range in MAC might really like this. The medium/dark (might be marked med/deep) seemed more yellow in the store but looked too dark for me. Buy it again: probably to yes. I'm trying to "price down" whenever I can and the formula is really good even if the color isn't quite perfect. Edit: removing one lipstick as I've decided that this is too pink for yellow olive me. Also, I believe something in this made me break out-- a problem I've had with some, but not all Olay moisturizers.
Treatments (Eye) -Perricone - ceramic eye smoother
Draper 10/5/2008 10:29:00 AM
Me: n/d, dermatitis prone, 41. Tried several generous samples over several weeks. Pros: very thin texture (like water) makes this easy to apply without getting it in your eyes- a real problem if you're applying something over eye cream as this suggests. A tiny bit sticky but works well under mmu after just a short time to sink in. I have not noticed that this is especially smoothing, but I'm more dry from retinol use than from age/sun damage under my eyes. Price: waaaaaaaaaaaaay too expensive. I think Perricone makes a lot of nice products but I can't rationalize spending that kind of money on them. Packaging quality is good- dark brown glass/plastic is better than clear to keep active contents in good shape long term. Cons: I think the jury's out on whether or not DMAE is safe to use long term. Maybe that's why there aren't many reviews? I would not recommend this product personally.
Me: n/d, 41. Nars Sin or Lancome Cedar Rose are my favorite blushes. Pros: excellent, densely pigmented blush. A 187 is excellent for most NARS blush application and Zen is no exception. Reads as a peach nude on my pale olive (C2/NC15) complexion and has the added advantage of minimizing some light sun damage I have on my cheeks. Matte, so very appropriate for work. Can also mimic a bronzer without making my pale skin look dirty. Dense texture also means that you can apply quickly without shooting a shower of blush particles all over your bathroom vanity counter (I love mmu blush but it can make a serious mess!). Packaging: NARS minimalist black. I own a lot of NARS (favorite line) and don't mind that the shadows and blushes are similarly packaged- space in a kit/makeup bag is definitely minimized. Price: moderate to expensive. Cost per wear will probably be very minimal. I have a Sin blush that's over a year old and it shows very little wear. Cons: This is a nude blush and takes a bit of getting used to if you're looking for brightness on your skin-- I've actually wiped this one off and put on Cedar Rose (similar texture from Lancome, but with a dusty rose undertone) on days that I'm feeling really pale. I've also had the experience of having a bit more trouble blending the matte formulas of NARS blushes-- probably because I generally apply over very dewy moisturizer/sunscreen.
Me: n/d, 41, Alima Olive-0, MAC C2/NC15. Pros: Lovely muted warm rose, matte textured without being chalky. Similar in depth/shade to Bobbi Brown pot rouge in blushed rose. Mineral makeup formula is soothing on my slightly dermatitis prone skin; matte color makes it appropriate for me and my age (imo) and shade is great on my pale olive coloring. Packaging quality is fine- not ott. Price is moderate- this isn't the cheapest mineral makeup out there, but I believe that the product is superior (at least for me) to other "shinier" formulas. Cons: this is a warm color and may not suit very cool complexions- this is also a fairly pale color and might not show up well on medium to darker skins. (I could see it being a lovely highlight shade for darker complexions, however.). Mineral makeup isn't for everyone, of course- if you're looking for speed of application, go for a pressed product as opposed to loose-- it is easy to make a mess on the counter/on your clothing if you don't buff and apply carefully. Azalea also makes a lovely lip color combined with Alima's very nice lip balms (none of those are especially pigmented). A great shade for work/those of us looking for a muted look and one worth sampling if your coloring is warm/olive like mine.
Me: n/d skin, dermatitis prone, 41. Pros: all natural, soothing, great smelling oil based serum. Easy to apply- a few drops over a wet face really sinks in quickly. Drops patted into a dry face are more moisturizing and soothing- you can also mix the two and add more where you may have some irritation (some of the oils in this are especially good for soothing the skin, ime). I've also successfully mixed a drop or two of this into LRP sunscreen, both the spf 15 daily moisturizer and the "stronger" spf 40. Brightens without irritating-- I'm no longer able to use aha/retinol at the moment and this is filling the gap nicely (I believe there may be some natural vitamin c in the oils). Not too expensive at $25, and often on sale at Target/CVS. Fairly easy to find- even my semi-rural grocery store has a BB display. Packaging: I'm "meh" on the glass. I think the dropper is a good idea, though, as it avoids over application. Also, you can get every bit of oil out of this bottle- pumps are sanitary but wasteful. Cons: Might irritate oil-sensitive skin; may be too moisturizing for very oily complexions, although I know that some essential oils are useful for this. An excellent product and vastly superior to many of the silicone serums out there. I will buy this- the older attar of rose serum-- or the new radiance serum again.
Moisturizers -La Roche Posay - Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15
Draper 9/23/2008 7:59:00 AM
Me: n/d, dermatitis prone, 41. Pros: Easy to find (CVS is here everywhere, even small towns). Hydrating, creamy sunscreen that does not ball or pill. I am dermatitis prone and this is a "safe" one for me to use- no itching or rash afterwards. Dries to a creamy finish, excellent for my combo oldish skin. Excellent also as a makeup base- superior under both mineral make up and "regular" tinted moisturizer like LM. Packaging is appropriate for this product- I want to have sunscreen on everyday, so portability of the tube and the no-nonsense labeling is a plus. Price is moderate, in my opinion- there are other US sunscreens with meroxyl available now but the LRP tube is bigger and the product is superior. Cons: If you want a dry finish, this one isn't for you. (The Lancome may work better, it's drier in my experience). Also, CVS isn't everywhere-- I live near a state line and one state has tons of these stores, the other has none. You may need to order, which isn't a plus in my opinion-- I'd like to always be able to get the sunscreen I love. I'd also add that the spf isn't super high, although I'm not often outdoors. I think the spf 40 version of this is also fine- no pilling for me-- and I also plan on reviewing that. Big thumbs up and since I've already gone through multiple tubes I'll definitely be buying this again.
Me: n/d skin, 41. Don't use BE foundation but do like mmu. Pros: nice deep purple mauve- very, very pigmented on my C2/NC15 skin. Blots well without smearing-- doesn't seem to creep or become uneven as some darker lipsticks can. Not terribly drying, either- I also have NARS Damage (a somewhat similar shade) and Fig is more opaque and creamier. No discernible scent or taste. Packaging-- matte black, sort of curvy, for lack of a better word, like an hour glass. I'd like something more elegant in a lipstick, but I just discovered the Rouge Allures by Chanel. Case does close easily, a plus if you store lipsticks loose in a purse. Cons: cool toned. Good if you're looking for a teeth-whitening shade but may not flatter some skin/lip tones. Also extremely creme-opaque- I haven't figured out a non-time consuming way to sheer this out. I like this color on me but pink may be more flattering to my oldish skin-- this is a lot like many of the Clinique berry shades I favored when I was younger. I'd buy it again, but probably won't as I tend to try more lip products than anything else.