Wow - I'm surprised by the negative reviews. Luckily, I have found what I hope to be an HG product. I got the BHA 9 to try and clear out stubborn congestion. My chin has very tiny bumps on it. They're slightly reddish and I'm not sure what to call them but they're definitely clogged pores; nothing seems to have worked on them so far. I also have some blackhead issues on my nose and I will get the occasional whitehead on my chin or above my mouth/below my nose (aside: is this weird or what?! I think it might be because of all the lip balms I slather on my lips??). So. The sample of the BHA 9 came in the mail on Friday. It comes in a little glass vial like a perfume sample would. Friday night I used it all over my entire face, and put a little extra dab on top of new blemish that was about two days old and still growing (I wouldn't go so far as to call it cystic but it was pretty deep and very angry). Normally, this thing would have continued to grow for another few days and maybe have come to a head. The BHA 9 stopped it dead in its tracks. Saturday AM, the thing no longer hurt and the inflammation was going down. I used the product again, but as a spot treatment only on the zit, during my Saturday AM routine. By Saturday PM it was again noticeably smaller and less irritated. I used the BHA 9 all over my entire face during my Saturday PM routine. It is now Sunday morning and this thing is nearly gone. I am so shocked. I normally give a product at least two weeks before I review it but I couldn't help it. I am that impressed. I plan to come back and update the review as to its efficacy regarding clearing out my T-zone congestion after a few weeks. This product is slimy and does feel a bit filmy on the skin, which is what other reviewers said who gave it negative marks. A product's texture is vitally important however I find I can easily deal with the texture of this because I use it at night. It does soak in eventually and since I go to bed immediately after I do my PM skin care routine I am not awake to worry about it (not that it bothers me so much anyway). I would not use this all over my whole face during the AM and you're not even supposed to. As a spot treatment in the AM, though, it's fine. My makeup went over it just fine. No pilling or anything annoying. Someone mentioned they returned this so they could just buy the BHA 2%. I like the BHA 9 MUCH BETTER than the BHA 2%. I didn't feel the 2% did that much. The 9 is far more effective. I got my BHA 9 sample for free from Paula's Choice. I contacted them on their website via their email form. I gave them all my skin care gripes and listed all the products I was using and what I was trying to accomplish (clear congestion, slow down line/wrinkle formation). A nice lady replied and asked for my address. Two days later I had samples. If you're confused about her products or what you should use definitely reach out to them. I was planning to buy completely different products from her website but will now buy the ones recommended to me b/c they're AWESOME! Good luck, everyone!
Moisturizers -Eucerin - Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Creme
GStelz 2/3/2013 8:56:00 PM
I've been using this cream every night for at least the past 5 years and realized I haven't written a review! I have sensitive, acne prone skin. I use 5% benz at night and sal acid during the day (and have used every other topical acne cream that exists). Luckily, my acne is under control but I still need to use products that can cause some dryness, especially in the winter. Also, sometimes my skin gets irritated in the winter when I apply these topical acne creams and it causes my skin to get red and itchy/burn-y. This Eucerin cream does not interact in any negative way with my acne cream, it doesn't cause more acne, and provides the thick, delicious surge of moisture my skin needs especially during the winter. This is not specifically designed to soothe (they have a separate soothing line) but when I am having a red itchfest on my face this cream helps it simmer down. During the middle of the summer I don't use cream at night (we don't have AC in the whole house so after I wash my face I spritz on Mario Badescu rose/aloe facial spray and that is sufficient. Any cream will sweat off - yuck!) but aside from those hot, humid nights I need this Eucerin!! My skin drinks it in within a few minutes and it doesn't feel heavy or gross. I wake up and my skin looks healthy. I even apply it around my eyes and it doesn't sting them. Someone complained about the smell but I feel like she may have gotten a bad batch. To me, it smells a little like butter and it even looks and feels like butter or margarine. It is a slightly odd smell but I wouldn't say that it is gross. I prefer it to a heavily perfumed lotion because fragrance in face products seems like one more thing to piss my face off. The jar isn't that hygienic so if it bothers you I recommend using a clean Q-Tip to scoop out what you need. So yeah. This is my HG night time face cream. No fuss, straight forward, effective. I don't have wrinkles yet, so I cannot comment to that point, but I am hoping this is helping prevent them!
I had such high hopes for this product! I use a gentle, non foaming cleanser at night. I had some clogging so I decided that the cleansing oil could be a nice addition to my routine to make sure every last bit of gunk was removed and also to help with some of the clogging. After scouring reviews I decided to make the leap and was so excited to get this at around Christmas (about 4.5 weeks ago). I began using this product immediately, exactly as directed. It removed all my make up, including my eye make up. The aroma was pleasant to me and it didn't irritate my eyes. After using the oil I still used my Mario Badescu cleanser with my Mia. Within a few days I began to break out. Refusing to believe that the Deep Cleansing Oil was the culprit I continued to use it. Tonight will be the first night in nearly five weeks that I don't use the oil. I am sad because I still believe in the idea of the product but, unfortunately, the past five weeks has left my previously-clear skin in ruins. My skin can be reactive to crappy products but if I stick to things that shouldn't make you break out I'm usually fine. Since introducing the oil I've had deep, painful pimples. Sometimes they come to a head and sometimes they linger deep in my skin and hurt. I haven't had acne like this in over 4 years so it was scary to have it return. The oil is the only change I've made in anything that touches my face so it has to be the cause. So. I'm sad. Hopefully my skin will clear up. I will report back either way to confirm if the oil was the reason for my break outs. Even though I won't buy it again, I still gave it two lippies because it does effectively remove make up and leaves my face feeling wonderful (albeit covered in painful zits). I plan to give the rest of the bottle to my sister. She has dry skin that never breaks out and she uses olive oil on her skin. I'll try to report on her results.
I was intrigued by the concept of a BB cream and since I love Jane Iredale's PurePressed Base foundation (in Natural) I figured I'd give her BB a try. I have combo skin that is prone to breakouts that's oily in the summer and has dry patches in the cooler months. These dry patches are usually not too visible when I use the PurePressed but are very apparent with the BB. I exfoliate and moisturize regularly but you know how it can be - sometimes during the winter you will get a small flaky area that reappears right after you exfoliate even if you slather on a thick night cream! For that reason when I have a dry patch I will avoid applying the BB to that area directly and instead blend toward the flaky area (the less BB sitting on the flakes = better look). When I am flake free, however, this BB performs really nicely. This BB cream doesn't seem to irritate my acne and does not clog my pores. The cream is a bit thick and I find it's best to use (clean) fingers and your skin MUST be well moisturized. I dab a few dots on my forehead, cheeks, chin, et cetera, and BLEND!!!! This part takes more patience than with a normal foundation. It looks kind of crappy at first but if you stick with it and build the coverage slowly it turns out great. A nice slippery primer helps (though since it's a BB, and the idea is to minimize the # of products, it's frustrating to have to moisturize + prime + BB. I like to use this over my PTR Clini-Matte All Day Oil Control SPF 20 then apply the BB. That gives me SPF + oil free moisture + a smooth surface for the BB.). The BB looks really nice on it's own but I like to lightly apply my PurePressed over it then spritz my whole face with my Mario Badescu facial spray. When I do this my make up will last all day long without sliding off or fading. If I want lighter coverage I'll use only the BB and the result is a glowy, dewy finish (sometimes I veer from dewy into an oil slick so that's why I usually use a little PurePressed). Overall, I like the stuff. The tube will last me a few months (esp. b/c I don't rely on it exclusively) but when it's gone I might be inclined to try another type of BB (a few new Japanese brands are supposed to arrive in the US which sound promising).
I began using this in the AM with the Effaclar Duo (PM). I really like the results I am getting. My skin has been clearer and smoother. I still get an occasional zit but it's with less frequency. The Effaclar Duo is an excellent zit-killing machine but I am not totally satisfied with the Effaclar K. It's like it's too weak and isn't clearing out my pores that well. I still have tons of congestion on my chin and it hasn't helped with black heads at all. My skin texture is nice - smooth, radiant. But again, not totally clear. This is a like but it's not an HG.
WOW! I finally have my HG foundation. My skin is sensitive, acne-prone, and combination oil level. I've really used almost every brand of foundation out there: Bobbi Brown, Bare Minerals, Chanel, Lancome, Prescriptives, Smashbox, the usual list of suspects most of us go through. I use PTR's Clini-Matte SPF 20 then use the JI Pure Pressed Base. Every time I go to apply this foundation I think to myself "I have no idea how this is going to even out my face". It just doesn't look like much when you're used to liquid. I use the Jane Iredale Flocked Sponge to buff this into my skin and it's like magic. If I have a blemish I use a concealer brush to work a bit of the foundation on to a spot and it's gone! Jane recommends setting the foundation with one of her facial mists as this foundation is VERY matte; I use Mario Badescu's Aloe and Rosewater Facial Spray. This makes the foundation melt into my skin and gives me the most amazing air brushed look I've ever been able to achieve in my years of using make up. It's so light and breathable and looks like I just have perfect skin, not like I am wearing make up. Also, this make up definitely does not irritate my skin in any way. It's considered a "skin care make up" and I believe it. My skin is healthy and happy when I wash my face at night. It's so reassuring to know I have this product in my arsenal. My husband keeps saying "your skin looks really good!" Considering he is not terribly observant and I typically have to prompt him with "how do I look?!" this is a big deal! One last point: I've heard people complain about the price. It was $49 to purchase the foundation in the lovely metal case. Going forward, refills will cost me $40. I don't believe this is expensive for a foundation. If you're someone who usually buys foundation at the drugstore, then yes, this is more expensive. But against foundations that I would consider to be competitors it is priced very fairly. It's also a joy to use. Its metal compact is very travel friendly and it feels glamorous, in a mid 1900's movie star sort of way. Tip: Find the product and have it applied before buying. Since the product is very matte, it might not be the right choice for dry skin types.
Moisturizers -Peter Thomas Roth - Clini-Matte All Day Oil-Control SPF 20
GStelz 9/11/2011 7:56:00 PM
My skin is sensitive, acne-prone, and oily in the summer. It can be very humid in the summer in Massachusetts and my make up would seem to melt off by lunch no matter what primer or foundation/powder I used. Clini-Matte changed that completely. The lotion goes on smoothly and helps minimize the appearance of my pores. It keeps my face matte all day and provides a wonderful base of my foundation. It will be interesting to see if this product is moisturizing enough for my skin during the cooler months. The product doesn't make me break out. I'll give one minor caveat. I use Jane Iredale Pure Pressed make up and this combo of Clini Matte/Pure Pressed is a holy grail combo for me. I use Mario Badescu's Aloe and Rosewater facial mist to set it is a miracle. Now, when I tried the Clini-Matte with some Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation it wasn't so great. The Clini-Matte didn't really let the liquid foundation seep into my skin correctly and it was just a bad look and felt gummy on my skin. So, keep that in mind...you might benefit from getting a sample of this product and experimenting with your foundation before pulling the trigger.
I was experiencing some strange, intense break outs. Over the past year it seems like my skin was slowly getting worse. Nothing I did helped in the long term. I love my Mario Badescu but the products were more to treat an existing zit, not so much to prevent new ones. I had clogging on my chin which resulted in small bumps (not quite fully formed white heads), white heads on my forehead from where I rest my face against my hand when I get stressed at work and deeper, red ones on my cheeks. Overall: a mess. Over the years I've tried tons of topicals (Retin-A; Azelex; Neo-Benz; Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic face pads, etc.). The results never seemed that great. So needless to say, I felt very frustrated and lost hope at ever having nice skin. I kept seeing Effaclar Duo at CVS in the acne aisle. Most things I've heard about La Roche Posay products are very positive but still - how could an over-the-counter product that I can buy at CVS help?! To me it just seemed like it would probably be overpriced Clean N Clear stuff. Well. I was wrong. I put this on at night and in the morning I had no new zits (I always would wake up to some new neighborhood of bumps expanding across my face). The zits I already had were less irritated. Within three weeks my skin was pretty much flawless. I have been getting a bit of dryness in some areas and believe that is a combination of the side effects of the product plus the suddenly cool, dry fallish weather we've been having. My skin runs on the sensitive side and this product doesn't seem too harsh. It's been over a month and my skin is luminous and smooth.
I used BareMinerals in high school and stopped during college in pursuit of my HG product. I found many great mineral foundations out there but alas, my favorite was discontinued. I ended up back with BareMinerals after seeing this new Matte formulation and I am happy...not elated, but happy. Background: I have combination skin which leans more oily during warm months that is sensitive to harsh ingredients (rash, itchiness, zits) and break out very easily. I use Cetaphil SPF 50 moisturizer in the winter and just plain oil-free SPF in the summer, followed by one pump-worth of Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation (0 Porcelain). I use a few light sweeps of BM to set my foundation and increase the opacity of my make up to hide the scars (red dots) on my face from older zits. Pros: - Much better packaging than the BM I remember! I can sift out as much as I'd like depending on if I am doing my whole face or just a few spots...and it travels well. - This will stay matte on my face *only* if I use an oil-free primer first. The product isn't oil-controlling enough on its own. (Also a con) I tested this both with and without using the BB liquid foundation first and the conclusion was the same...I need primer w/ the BM. - Color blends into my White-Out colored skin very well - Does not irritate/break out my skin. - I'll use the concealer brush to dot on a little extra over a blemish and this works great to hide the redness and stays put during the day Cons: - Need a primer first in order to keep matte - Coverage is only so-so (maybe I just need a new brush, though) and using it w/o a little liquid foundation first is too sheer for me. - Not that cheap, esp. since it's not sufficient on its own to be the only foundation in my cabinet - Need to wait a few minutes for my skincare products to completely set before putting on Conclusion: I like this product and while I am not head-over-heels for it, I haven't found anything better. I will continue to use this product but will try to find better deals for it when I run out. I would recommend this to someone with a normal skin type and likes a very natural finish and is willing to use separate products for concealment of blemishes. UPDATE: I started using Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base and will never use anything else again! I posted a review on the Jane Iredale product if you're still looking for your HG foundation!
Mascara -Peter Thomas Roth - Lashes To Die For The Mascara
GStelz 2/22/2011 10:51:00 AM
I got this mascara as a free gift when I bought the PTR Gentle Complexion Correction Pads at Nordstrom. I really like it! I have white-blonde eyelashes. They're a decent thickness and length but have no curve and obviously need a lot of pigment. A few coats of this mascara gave me excellent, defined lashes. One coat isn't enough for me but does look very natural (aside from the fact they're black and black lashes don't look natural on my face). I tried this over my Lancome Cils Booster XL (white tube) and had the best results I've seen in a very long time. My lashes were very thick, very long, very sexy! No clumping even when I sit there layering on mascara forever and ever. The combination is, dare I say it? Nearly HG material. I haven't noticed flaking. Someone mentioned that below but I have to disagree. I've worn this all day long for the past three days and have yet to see any fallen bits. It also took some effort to remove the mascara (I had to use actual eye make up remover...as opposed to have it just slip off in the shower with my creamy face cleanser). I expect that means this will hold up in humid months but it's only 14 degrees out today so I won't know for a bit of time! I gave this 4 lippies, not 5, because I do find I have to use several coats and spend time building up the lashes to obtain the volume. Not a problem when I have time but if I am in a hurry it's hard to achieve the look I like.
Toners -Mario Badescu - Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater
GStelz 1/31/2011 9:07:00 AM
I LOVE this. I use it to set my make up and give my skin a boost of moisture in the winter. I'll spritz it on before I go out into the bitter, windy cold and it keeps everything soft and I actually glow despite the fact it's the most horrendous winter in I can remember. In the summer I use this at night in place of my regular night time moisturizer and it provides exactly enough moisturizer for my combination skin when it's humid and hot. Try keeping it in the fridge in the summer for a cooling blast of moisture. It doesn't make me break out (I have sensitive, acne-prone skin) or irritate my skin. It smells lovely. I put this into my bridesmaids' goody bags and all three of them now swear by it.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Cane + Austin - Acne Treatment Pads
GStelz 1/18/2011 11:19:00 AM
I wanted to love this product so badly. I read a few good reviews online. I bought it to help exfoliate to keep acne bumps at bay, reduce black heads and increase overall clarity and luminosity. The website (www dot caneandaustin dot com) promises: 1. Quick results. I found: My skin became very angry and broke out badly for several weeks after starting this product (and the bumps weren't bad before starting). Only after a month of use have the zits cleared up. I bought this primarily to keep blackheads at bay and keep my skin smooth. It's doing an okay-job w/ the blackheads but my skin IS very luminous and healthy looking (one month into this). 2. No Irritation. I found: There was a strong itching sensation after application, which lasted for up to 5 minutes per use but stopped altogether after 3 weeks of product use. If the itch is very bad, fan your face with a magazine. In the derm's office they give you a mini fan to ease itching from a chemical peel. Also, it did p**s off my skin for a few weeks as mentioned above. I did not have any bad peeling or redness like I have had with retinols. Aside from a few minutes of itching and initial break out, the product didn't irritate me. 3. Easy to use. I found: Yes - wiping a pad over your face twice a day is very simple. I emailed them to ask how long I should wait before applying moisturizer and was told I can apply it as soon as the product dries (dries quickly). The product doesn't leave any residue that inhibits make up application. Face cream, primer, etc. go on perfectly atop the product which is a plus. 4. Affordable. I found: Eh. If this product blew my socks off I might shell out $60/month (2 pads per day) for this. Since it didn't, I will use what I have left and probably won't continue. Final impression: I had high hopes for the Acne Treatment Pads and was pretty disappointed. I wanted fewer zits, reduced # of black heads and to fade past scarring (from the once-a-month-volcanoes I get). I have very sensitive skin so it might be a matter of adjusting to the product but the price point is too high for a product I'd have to buy often. $720 a year is a big chunk of change for most people I know - especially in this economy.
Background: I am super pale, 25 y/o and I have combination skin that is reactive to harsh product (itchy, red) and will break out easily. I had this applied to my face during a wedding make up trial run and have used a sample of it twice. I did notice some new red pimples on my forehead the morning after I used it the first time. I will keep trying and update once I determine if it was the foundation that made me break out. The coverage is gorgeous on my skin. It's a bit thick and freaked me out at first but I got used to it. I find the key is to use a small amount at a time and layer it using your fingers. A brush or sponge would not warm this up and spread it out well and would spell disaster for your hairline. I found it to be a very blendable and buildable product. I used very little in some areas and built it up in trouble spots and the overall look was smooth, healthy skin. I used Smashbox oil free primer and set it with BM Mineral Veil (no tint). The finish was moist/dewy. I could mattify the finish with more powder but I like the soft look. Blush and bronzer look great on top (both powder and cream forumulas). I found this held up surprisingly well while I walked around in the hot August sun of Boston. It isn't ideal for my skin on very hot, humid days (but what really is?) and I look forward to testing this out in cooler weather. My favorite aspect of this product is the buildability. Lots of products say they're buildable but sometimes the more layers you add the more unnatural it looks and the goopier it feels. In the case of this foundation a little goes a long way and a few layers will cover flaws very well - for really bad spots I'd still recommend cover-up just on spots. It is a pricey product but, as I mentioned, a little goes a very long way. If you try this, start out with a pea-sized dollop and dot it over your skin. Blend. And add another dollop. One con: I don't really like jars but the thickness of this product would probably prohibit a pump-style package. I'll just have to remember to use a Q-Tip to scoop out what I need. I'll most likely add this to my arsenal for fall/winter if I rule it out as the cause of my break out. UPDATE: I have ruled this out as the culprit behind my breakout. I've been using this for a month w/o issues. LOVE IT!
When I opened this product and realized how liquid-y (read: hard to apply) it is I was nervous. How could something that basically feels like water do anything to affect a cystic horror show on my face? I was sure that unless something was thick and mask-like it would do nothing. I bought this four days ago because my hormonal breakout-of-the-month was kicking into high gear; I had a deep, red, painful cystic type of acne bump on my cheek. I'll never know if it would have been a full fledged cystic monster because it's healing! At this point I would have expected to still struggle with a painful bump that's hard to cover b/c it's so 3-dimensional and yet the infection seems to be fully gone. The bump is nearly gone; there is no pain; the redness is nearly gone; the skin around it is a LITTLE dry (it says to use this every other night but I was freaking out over the zit so I used it AM and PM two days in a row...heh.) but it is only noticeable if I stare at a mirror. I think the price is fair. $17 isn't "cheap" but a little goes a very long way. The product will probably go bad before I can use the entire bottle (it is more of a spot treatment than something to smear all over your face). Once you get over the consistency it's not a big deal; it's drippy but if you just squirt a little on to your (clean) fingers and dab it on, then repeat a few times, that does the trick. UPDATE: Alert the presses. This stuff is straight from the heavens. I had a painful, red, angryyyy zit on my face when I woke up Monday morning (my only zit, since I use all MB and my skin has been amazing but we all know zits are inevitable). I used the BL Monday and Tuesday...it's now Wednesday and it's almost flat, the pain is gone, it's less red and I am in awe.
I bought this yesterday to replace my Trish McEvoy concealer which I have used for years. I was reluctant to switch but thought I'd try something new (since the TM one wasn't really HG material and I was already at Sephora and didn't want to go to another store). Very glad I switched! I have some small, but very red and visible, acne scars. I dot concealer over the red areas and any spots I have after applying mineral powder foundation...then set with more powder on my concealer brush. It was a record-breaking 90 degrees and humid here in MA yesterday. I applied a full face of make up then I went to the animal shelter to do some volunteering. I was moving cats, cleaning cages, feeding them, and sweating my butt off...and when I left my face looked just as good as when I arrived! I didn't need to fix my make up before going out. I cannot think of a better test than that. I recommend a brush b/c you really only need a little and that gives you good control to pick up the product. Just dab it on the areas and use your ring finger to tap it into the skin and blend outwards. I am very pale and have color 01; it looks too dark in the container but it disappears! I will try it under my eyes to see how it does re: creasing, caking, covering dark circles and report back. I just cannot get over how easily this blends in and how completely it covers my skin. The TM stuff is thick and I almost need to "work with it" on the back of my hand first. The Boi-ing is HG for me. Only complaint: The screw-on lid. I like flip lids b/c I tend to be a klutz and lids get lost, or kidnapped by dogs when you're not looking, and it's just generally too much coordination in the AM. That's not really a complaint about the product though, as the goods inside are awesome. Just a suggestion for the future, if any Benefit employees are lurking!!