This gets HG status for me. I think people that prefer stronger, more dramatic and layered fragrances might not go for this. However, I'm in the category of people who almost without fail gets a headache from whatever new perfume I try. I have actually never (I think, before this, though I'm worried I'll jinx it) found a scent I like enough to use an entire bottle of. Balenciaga Paris is smooth and warm. It's sweet in a really sexy, sophisticated way that is not at all cloying. Maybe it just works with my chemistry, but after sitting on my skin, it just turns into pure, creamy violet, almost with a vanilla-like quality, with a tiny bit of a woodsy backdrop. I think the fragrance notes include patchouli, but I really don't get any patchouli from this. I do get the cedar, oakmoss, carnation, even the pepper a little bit if I think about it, but I'm not sure I would have been able to put a finger on any of those had I not read the description. If you want a very natural, creamy violet with that almost musk-like ability to blend in with your skin, you will probably like this. I can smell it on my skin all day, but I'm not sure it's strong enough for others to notice unless they are up close. Personally, I prefer that, but some folks won't. Packaging is not my favorite. The bottle itself is pretty and looks almost architectural. Too bad it's got a cheap looking top. Not that this would stop me from buying it again, but it's my only real gripe. For the price, it could be better.
Skincare - Body -Aveeno - Skin Relief Shower & Bath Oil
GetFat 8/19/2012 10:54:00 PM
LOVE this. I shower as usual and right before getting out, apply it all over my body, briefly rinse (without thoroughly trying to remove all traces) and towel off. I have pretty dry, itchy skin and while I wouldn't say this would be a substitute for body lotion, it at least allows me to get out of the shower without feeling like my skin is completely dehydrated and itchier than before. I am not sure any other product has ever done that for me. I haven't tried it in a bath yet because I don't often take baths (and the reviews commenting on it being difficult to clean turn me off - hate cleaning the tub) but I may try it out in the winter if needed. It also smells AWESOME. I generally prefer less fragranced products because they make me sneeze and/or irritate my skin. But...this smells almondy and delicious. I didn't realize it would have this scent when I purchased it, so it was a really pleasant surprise - for whatever reason, most body products I buy that are supposed to smell like almond don't really end up smelling like it at all. This product doesn't even have fragrance added as far as I know, but the oat flour (?) must give it this scent? Anyway, it smells great. I think this bottle will last me a while but I will absolutely repurchase in the future and plan to stock up when Aveeno is on sale!
I don't think it is fair to give a product low ratings for great color that just happens to not work with your skin tone! I would say that applies to me - I am very fair and this just wasn't the greatest with my coloring. However, the color was really beautiful and the finish is one of the easiest and most even to apply I have ever picked up at the drugstore. I'm not sure if Revlon is still making any in these formulas - I don't think so? - but I wish they would. I'd like to pick up a more true gold polish like this! The quality is FABULOUS for the price you can get these Revlon polishes on sale, and it's a huge shame that, as far as I know, it's not in drugstores anymore.
I keep coming back to this product despite some flaws. Cons first - The smell is a bit worse than some other DS products. I find that it takes maybe two showers to totally go away, and it is worst when I sweat. The color is also a little bit more yellow than some other STs. Pros - VERY few products I've used give me good, even application on my legs. Even after exfoliating and shaving, most lotions, gels, foams, sprays, you name it leave my legs looking streaky, pores accentuated (who would have thought you could notice leg pores before sunless tanners were invented?) and just really rough and uneven. That really doesn't happen to me with Natural Glow. I think gradual is the way to go for those of us with really difficult skin on our legs or anywhere else. I have very fair skin and I don't really notice a difference in results using the lotion for light skin vs the medium skin product. Maybe I just haven't been paying close enough attention. I've used NG Express and the foaming tanner. I don't care for Express and still think the gradual Natural Glow beats both products, except maybe that the foam is so quick to apply and really dries better than almost any other self tanner in drugstores IME. As far as the difference between the firming and revitalizing formulas, I flipflop between the two and don't really have a major preference between them. The firming can feel a little bit stickier I think.
Self Tanners -L'Oreal - Sublime Bronze Luminous Bronzer Self-tanning Lotion
GetFat 6/14/2012 10:47:00 PM
EDIT: Keeping 4 stars, but changing to YES, I'd buy this again. I mixed this 50/50 with lotion (alba very emollient for ultra dry skin, which also exfoliates) and got MUCH better results. The color deposited more evenly, the shimmer was completely tolerable, even attractive, and I could actually enjoy the light bronze tint after application and go out in public with a light tan immediately after application! Completely changed my mind, though I do find it a little irritating that I have to alter the product just to make it more useable. Will buy again! (1) While the bronzer helps with even application, it looked incredibly fake and over the top on my pale skin. WAY too shimmery to be worn out in public, even for going out, and no matter how much I rubbed it in, it was streaky and uneven. And I gave myself a serious workout applying this to my entire body. No amount of hard work could make it look good. (2) I used it at night, maybe 45 minutes before bedtime, but stood in front of a fan for 5-10 minutes to speed up drying. While it dried fairly quickly, it left a sticky feeling. I was worried it'd come off on my clothes and bedding and leave me with uneven skin, but I didn't really have an issue with this. Regardless, it's a little uncomfortable having a sticky-feeling lotion all over your body. Tolerable though. (3) This is one of the best self-tanners I have ever used as far as the stink goes. After taking a shower, I could not smell anything at all. With other brands I've used (including the older formula Sublime lotion) the gross frito-like smell has persisted well after showering, sometimes even after showering twice, and especially when I sweat. (4) Overall, I was pleased with the color. It looks pretty natural on my entire body except maybe my legs. This product seems to sink into my pores a little more than some other tanners I use, leaving very tiny darker spots on my arms and especially my legs. My skin is on the dryer side of normal, but I really thoroughly exfoliated and shaved before using this, and it still was not very even on my legs. Not quite straeky, but just not a nice, even, saturated look either. Next time I will follow the advice of others and mix it with a moisturizer for sure. I typically use Jergens, maybe because it was the first ST I ever used so it is just habit to go back to that brand, and I find this lotion to be a little more on the orange/brown side wheras Jergens can make me a little more yellow. This one looks slightly more natural to me. (5) Only other complaints I think would be remedied by mixing with lotion; it stuck to my fingers and palms worse than most other self tanners I have used. Typically I have no problems simply washing my hands after I apply a tanner, but this left me with some orange palms. That hasn't happened to me in a long time, even with lotions with greater color payoff. Not sure what happened, but I do think it's something with the product itself and not my application, unfortunately. (6) For reference, the color payoff was a little more than a gradual tanner like Jergens natural glow, but not quite as intense as some others on the market. I expected a bit more color considering the really intense bronzer and shimmer. I like to apply Natural Glow pretty thick and find I can get more even and pleasant results this way; that would be hard to do with this lotion because of how difficult it is to rub in and the bronzer/shimmer. (7) I don't like the packaging at all. It gets really slippery to hold during application, and the hard plastic seems like it will be impossible to get the last bit of product out when I get toward the end of the bottle. I also think it looks kind of cheap and unattractive. Not a major factor, but since self tanners always seem more expensive than they should be, it's irritating to have packaging get in the way of all the product you pay for. I wouldn't buy this again because I don't really care for the bronzer and shimmer. The difficulty getting even application on my legs is also a drawback. I'll probably use this up on my arms, chest and back and go with one of my old standbys for my legs. I typically apply at night, but having to shower in preparation for this and then shower less than 12 hours later to wash the makeup off is not a system I would be able to maintain on a regular basis. HUGE points to them for the smell factor, though. I'm impressed and hope other similar products can follow suit.
I am so glad I am now at the point where I have gone long enough using deodorant-only products to realize how much these clinical-strength deodorants screwed me over! From maybe 6 straight years I thought I actually had a sweating problem. If I forgot deodorant, within an hour or two I'd have somewhat serious BO and sometimes sweat stains. There's only so much you can continue to do at this point when you're already using clinical strength deodorants! I made a weird move and actually switched to the new formula of Old Spice - yes, Old Spice. That's somewhat irrelevant; the important part to note is, I made the switch from clinical strength antiperspirants to deodorant-only sticks and within a month witnessed a really remarkable change. I was sweating far, FAR less than before - really, maybe a quarter of what I was at before - and I only had noticeable BO when I really forgot to use the product for maybe a minimum of 36 hours. I don't mean to specifically point the issue here on Dove; I just particularly hated this deodorant, so this is where my half-review, half-rent will end up. These deodorants smell foul. For a superbrand like Dove, are these really the best scents they can come up with? Awful, synthetic and sneeze-inducing. And it goes without saying I was not pleased with the performance either. I only give this two stars because it's certainly not the worst drugstore deodorant I've used, but I will absolutely never buy it again.
Gels/Soaps -Aveeno - Active Naturals Hydrating Body Wash
GetFat 6/7/2012 11:44:00 PM
LOVE this body wash. I really need to preface this saying I'm unimpressed with Aveeno as a brand, just overall, and maybe even more importantly, that I've never before, even once, used an entire bottle of a drugstore body wash. In that context, here's my review. This is the first body wash I've ever use that actually has the capacity to make my skin feel somewhat moisturized. I typically wash and condition my hair first, wrap it in one of those turban towels, shave, and use this body wash last so I can hop out of the shower before my skin dries out further from the heat. I try to do it in this order because my skin breaks out from conditioner very easily and I go through stupidly great lengths to try to not have conditioner residue on my back and shoulders. Anyway, this process really leaves me with noticeably soft skin. I have dry skin and could absolutely not use this product in place of a moisturizer, but I would never expect that. I love the packaging - it is really attractive for a drugstore brand. I also like the smell. I honestly can't really say how authentic it is to fresh figs because I think the most I've really eaten of them was in a dried up form, soaked in liquor or inside a Newton. But it smells good; it's a fresh, slightly green scent, and not overly fruity. I wouldn't say it's a "natural" scent, but it does lack an offensive, artificial smell that so many DS body washes have. You also need to use very, very little product to wash your entire body. This makes me want to give a few more Aveeno products a try. The smell of many of their products is, to me, prohibitive, and besides one of their decent face lotions, I've really disliked everything from the brand. So this is a special find for me. I was hoping they had an accompanying lotion with a matching scent, but we're SOL on that one. Highly recommend it, especially when it's on sale - check your circulars often and you can probably get a great deal!
Lotions/ Creams -Alba Botanica - Max Dry Skin Formula w/ AHA & Antioxidents
GetFat 6/7/2012 11:35:00 PM
This lotion does everything I want. It is moisturizing, soothing, only lightly scented and exfoliating in an attractive, functional package. I have dry, very fair skin that sunburns easily; my skin is ALWAYS itchy and needs seemingly endless exfoliation. My arms and chest get incredibly dry after showers, even with cooler water. Typically by the time I'm toweling off, my upper arms and chest have blotchy red patches and look bumpy and rough. Not attractive. I shower 2-3x weekly to try to avoid over-drying my skin. This lotion really helps smooth my skin out and just makes it looks healthier and smoother. I think for those of us with dry skin, making skin both LOOK healthier and feel more comfortable requires that really careful balance of intensive moisturizing and the constant removal of dead skin. I've had trouble finding many lotions that do a great job with both. I try to avoid using scrubs and physical exfoliators, so to me, this is ideal.
Lotions/ Creams -Dermalogica - Body Hydrating Cream
GetFat 6/7/2012 11:27:00 PM
It's fairly likely I'd buy this product again, but I would not say it satisfied me as a complete package. Pros: It smells great. I am someone who prefers unscented lotions for overall body use and to only use scented products on very small patches of skin. Strong scents often give me headaches. This is a very "natural" smelling product, very true to Dermalogica's aesthetic. It is obviously a mix of essential oils, yet something about it in a weird way reminds me of those candy dots, but don't let that scare you away because it is probably just a weird case of nose deja vu. The bottle is nice - convenient pump, and a tall/narrow design makes it take up little space on your countertop. Cons: The lotion is too thin! For the price of this - and Dermalogica seriously robs its customers, IMO, coming from someone who does like their products themselves quite a bit - a lotion this thin is just unreasonable to me. I have to use twice the quantity I do of some other far cheaper products because it just doesn't go far enough. You should not go through a bottle of lotion this price as quickly as I did! I also like exfoliating lotions because I have dry skin that gets itchy and dull; I also still break out somewhat often on my shoulders and back, and find that a good exfoliating lotion tends to help. Not so with this...didn't notice a change at all where I break out. I say this in comparison to products like Alba max dry skin formula - love it, had great results, and a fraction of the cost. Not to mention I probably use half the amount of product. I also found this lotion average in its moisturizing capabilities, at best; honestly, no more moisturizing than a drugstore lotion. That's just unacceptable at this price bracket, especially when it's advertised for dry skin. Maybe it'd be good enough for someone that does not have dry, uncomfortable skin, but for those of us that do, meh. It feels so thin going on and does not leave a smooth, luxurious or comfortable feeling at all. In short, I'd probably buy it again for the smell. It's soothing. But the rest is disappointing. I'm just a sucker for the brand.
This is my HG mascara. I've used this, the waterproof formula, the "fusion" (purple tube) and the luxe (pink tube); all four are good for drugstore mascaras IME, but this is by far my favorite. WP formulas are very rarely upgrades IME, and the luxe formula is a slight downgrade in texture/effect that, instead of having any real noticeable colored shimmer as advertised, just seems to look like a weird gray-black - and I've used the brown, "green" and "purple" varieties. Quotes are really deserved there because you would have no idea after applying that any tint was involved. Anyway, I have average-length lashes, medium-dark brown, with a tiny bit of curl, but nothing to write home about. I typically look for thickening mascaras over lengthening, and this does it! It is easy to apply and dries quickly without making my lashes crunchy. Never smudges or flakes on me. I've also never been able to apply any other mascara quite as quickly as this one because my lashes never seem to clump together with it. Though I mostly notice the thickening, with two coats my lashes are long enough that they can touch my eyelids sometimes without even using a curler. This will sound very weird, but I've gone through maybe at least four tubes of this and have found that the product works better after I've had it a week or two than when I first open it up. Maybe it has something to do with the amount of product that gets on the brush, or maybe as it's exposed to air over time it thickens or changes a bit. Whatever it is, apparently Lashblast ages like a fine wine. The only real con LB has going for it, at least to me, is the ugly packaging. The brush is great though. This is really the only product I've ever loved from Covergirl, and I've bought maybe 10 different tubes of this mascara between all of the different LB varieties. I don't think I've ever bought another drugstore product more than maybe three times, so it says something serious about my dedication to this product. I love it, and I will be very upset if it is ever DCed or changed! For reference, I've also used CG Lashexact and Volumexact and was not impressed with either.
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Eden
GetFat 6/7/2012 10:51:00 PM
I like the original PP, but a little meh on this one. I'd give it 2.5 stars if possible. Pros: Does help eyeshadows stay put, especially shimmery shadows. I am very fair and cool toned and have a lot of purple-ish shades hidden in my eye area, including some noticeable but relatively small veins. The yellow tint in this shade covers the purpleish tones up with no problem at all. It's also lasted me a pretty long time because it takes very little product to get pretty serious coverage. I squeeze out just about as little product as possible and really rarely don't have enough. I've had mine for about a year now, maybe even longer, and it has not dried out or cracked. Cons: Does slightly change the tone of your shadows! I do side-by-side application with and without this primer underneath on my arm sometimes and I almost always prefer the color without the primer, which is a shame. I much preferred the original color in this respect, and though the original lacked the yellow tone, it still covered the purple tones in my eyelids pretty well, so the yellow tone just seems unnecessary to me. Only other complaint is that the packaging starts to look a little rough over time and some people have complained of cracking...no experience with this yet personally; packaging also makes it easy to accidentally squeeze out too much, and you obviously can't do anything with the excess, unfortunately. Not a terrible product, but not at all tempting to rebuy either. I'll get the original shade or switch to another brand next time, not sure which.
Eyeliner -LORAC - Front of the Line Waterproof Eyeliner
GetFat 6/7/2012 10:41:00 PM
I don't typically buy liquid liners, but I got this in a set and have really enjoyed it. For me, holding a pen-style brush is far easier than the standard liquid liner design, but this will vary by person and if you're a pro with the typical style, you may not like to switch. I love that the tip is somewhat similar to a felt-tip pen; it holds its shape well and has a taper that is gentle enough to easily adjust the pressure you apply and get different thicknesses. Sometimes after doing one eye, if I don't give it a second upside down, I will go to the second eye too quickly and it won't "write" quite as smoothly. Just give it a second for the liner to flow down again. I also store mine with the tip facing down so it doesn't dry out or anything, though it seems to be designed with enough care that this is unlikely. The packaging is sturdy and the cap stays on tight. I would feel comfortable throwing this in my purse without worrying about leaking, though I haven't put it to the test. $23 seems a bit high on its own. I bought this as a set with 5 full-size LORAC items for $39 and I would still consider buying it on its own when or if I run out, but hopefully it will continue to show up in their sets.
Mascara -LORAC - Multiplex 3D Lashes Volumizing & Thickening Mascara
GetFat 6/7/2012 10:33:00 PM
Terrible mascara? No. But whoever at LORAC decided this was volumizing should lose their job. Maybe they just don't sell as many mascaras with lengthening in the name, but this is about as far from a volumizing mascara as I've ever seen. My lashes look thin and spidery. Slightly enhanced from my natural lashes, but for a $22 product, nowhere near enhanced enough to cut it. Really hate this, unfortunately. Packaging is great though. I like the curved brush and the reflective silver. Luckily, I got this as part of the Close Up set for $39 and really love every product in it besides this. If I had spent $22 on this outside of the set, I'd be returning for sure. Overall, just one more expensive mascara to convince me high-end brands simply can't do anything with mascara that drugstore brands can't also do. I'm sticking with my <$10 drugstore brands that at least actually thicken my lashes. Will not buy again!
Pros: Color would be wearable on most skin tones, I think. It doesn't really look the same on as it does in the pot; I have never had a blush quite like it, so I can't list any dupes, but it is the kind of shade you can use for that not-quite-blush-not-quite-bronzer face contouring look that seems very sought-after these days, maybe similar to Kim Kardashian's, at risk of scaring folks away. Slight shimmer, but not over the top. It is very small, not a chunky, noticeable glitter like NARS or some other highly pigmented brands. I typically get matte blush and like this one a lot. Packaging is simple, attractive and functional - twist off top with a clear window on the cap to show the color off. Seems to last a pretty long time on my skin. Cons: Only that it is so densely pigmented I find it a little difficult to apply sometimes; I have very fair skin and have to barely tap my brush onto the pan or I get way too much product. For this reason, I really prefer blushes to actually not be quite as pigmented...easier to apply and build the depth you want without accidentally making one cheek too dark and having to start over. So use with caution your first few times. I got this in the $39 Close Up set (includes this, a nice pink-nude gloss, an amazing liquid eyeliner pen, a beautiful eyeshadow trio and a really terrible mascara) so I think the price is absolutely amazing. The blush is $20 outside of the set, so I'd really recommend the set to any of those reading this when it's still available. However, if this is a color you need, $20 is still fairly reasonable considering how pigmented it is - I can't even imagine how long this would last me even with regular use since it takes SO little product to get a bold effect.
This is my first Illamasqua nail color and I think I will be hooked - I really have never before used a polish that was so easy to apply. Or maybe easy to apply at all. I'm really clumsy with polish application and if a product is too difficult to work with, it usually is given away because I just don't have the patience. I'd rather have unpolished nails than a messy looking manicure, and I can't afford getting them done professionally. I applied three coats of this in MAYBE five minutes and it looked perfect. I think you could get away with two just fine. No lumps, bubbles, completely even - just perfect. The color is great for summer. It's not a super glossy color (I think it says satin finish on the website) but I'm sure a topcoat would fix that if you would prefer more shine. I haven't tried it yet, but probably will soon. Some people think this price is pretty steep because so many nail colors are cheaper, but personally, I NEVER use up all of the product in my cheaper polishes. I seriously think it has not once happened before. So to find a color so pretty and effortless that I think I could actually use often enough to finish the whole bottle - that is worth a few extra dollars. Illamasqua makes really beautiful colors and I have my eyes on Baptise and Ruthless. I wish they made a few plummy colors. Maybe in the fall! So glad Sephora carries these!