Cleansers -Philosophy - the microdelivery exfoliating wash
Girlfit 10/4/2011 1:28:00 PM
I have to preface this review by saying that Philosophy items are really hit or miss for me. But this one is a real WIN in my opinion! This cleanser includes diatomaceous earth which is what is providing the grainy scrubbing texture. Its very fine and not at all too overly abrasive so you could feasibly use it every day. If your skin can handle it, try this with the Clarisonic--amazing! I would say the price is pretty fair considering this is more of a higher end line and the size of the bottle is generous. Would buy this again and recommend to others!
I am on the fence about this cleanser. I'm pretty "meh" about it. This is a non-lathering cleanser and its very very thin so its a bit like putting a runny lotion on your face and trying to cleanse it with it. I use a seperate eye makeup remover so I can't speak to how it takes off eye makeup. I can't image it working well for that though. The scent of it is rather strong. It has a lot of essential oils in it so it has a very "essential oily" smell to it. I can't really speak to the price because I got mine in a swap but I can say that if I was left to buy this, I most likely wouldn't. I know that Jurlique can be rather expensive and from what I can tell from the ingredients, I can get a cleanser similar to this for a third of the price at any Whole Foods. Speaking of ingredients, a couple of things. This would not be safe for people who are either celiac/wheat or gluten allergy or who have a Balsam of Peru allergy. There is wheat in this and also a couple of ingredients that would set off a very serious reaction if you had a Balsam of Peru allergy. Linalool and Geraniol, for specifics.
As much as I hate to admit it, I actually kind of like this. Kind of. I can use the lightest shade which by looking at it in the pan I thought it would be too dark for me, but when its applied, it goes on lighter and matches quite well for me. I like that its not a yellow undertone but more of a true pink porcelain shade, which many brands do not do. The base of this product is mica, which I have a love/hate relationship with. The Mica is going to be extremely reflective, so I wouldn't use this if you are going to be photographed. Its a shiny particle, so since I lean towards very oily, I don't really want to look shinier than I already am. I can usually get past this by just doing a dusting of a rice powder or something of the like on top. They use shea butter as a binder to keep everything in the pan. If you have dry skin, you will probably really love this. But for me, I simply can not wear this product in the summertime. I feel like it starts to feel greasy on my face within about 20 minutes. The problem with the shea butter is that its melting point is between 89-95 degrees Fahrenheit. The average temperature of human skin is about 91 degrees and thats just in a normal climate. Meaning, the shea butter in this is going to go soft and squishy on your face at the first sight of any body heat. Let's speak to the size and price. The price of these is $26 for 8 grams, which on the surface seems like a pretty reasonable price. Making this $3.25/gram. Let's compare it to other powder foundations who also use shea butter as their binder and are basically the same type of product. NP Set Pasarella Powder Foundation is $30 for 11 grams (or about $2.72/gram). Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation is $28 for about 9.6 grams (or about $2.91/gram), but you still have to buy the compact to put the refill in for an extra $14 (however having a reuseable compact reduces unnesessary waste). If you compare size to price, its actually more expensive than the other two. My only other comment is regards to color selection. They could do a better job in the darker shades, which are all very red in tone. I wish companies would get it through their skulls that not all women of color are RED. They could do a bunch better by having darker shades that are neutral or olive in undertone. But Pur is no better or worse in this regard, every other brand fails in this respect as well.
Crème -Urban Decay - Surreal Skin Cream to Powder Foundation
Girlfit 7/11/2011 3:49:00 PM
This review is for the color "HAZE" which is described as "very fair with pink undertones". I bought this on the Urban Decay website, sight unseen, when I was told by an Urban rep that this color would match me, when I lamented that the colors that are sold in store are not fair enough for me. However, upon receiving it, one look at it and I could tell this was no where near fair enough for me, and not a pink undertone whatsoever. For reference, I am too fair for MAC and MUFE Face and Body #36 is a perfect match for me. I swatched this once on my cheek and it was 2 shades darker than I am and looked yellow compared to my cool undertone. So Urban needs to get a reality check. If they think for one minute this is "very fair" and "pink undertone", they need to expand their circle of test subjects to include women who are much paler so they have an accurate representation of what "very fair" looks like. My next complaint is the texture of this. This is marketed as a cream to powder, but I assure you, this is not a "to powder" product. Its more like a cream to cream. You will need a setting powder on top of this. It does not have a dry down; it stays quite squishy and soft feeling on the skin despite the formula having silica in it. This formula has no wax in it, which is a problem. Waxes are not water soluable which means that stick foundations containing natural waxes hold up MUCH better in humid situations (or in instances where you'd be getting wet or sweating), than those that are water soluable. The base of this product is Isononyl Isononanoate. Good news, its not water soluable. Bad news, it MELTS AT SKIN'S TEMPERATURE. Add a lot of body heat to the mix, and you have a product that will slide off at the slightest bit of heat. Waxes like candellilia, on the other hand, has a melting point of 68.5 C (about 155 degrees Fahrenheit). The average skin temperature is 32 C (about 89 degrees Fahrenheit), which is not warm enough to soften up a wax based product. Beeswax is also commonly used, but its melting point is not much lower than Candellia. In my opinion, if you want a good long lasting cream foundation, one that will withstand hot temperature and humid conditions, you're much better off buying a stick or cream foundation formulated with waxes. Science aside, lets talk about the size of this. The pans of these are quite shallow. These only have 8 grams of product and are $34. That's an average of $4.25 per gram. By comparison, I could buy a solid stick foundation for say, $39 that has 14 grams, which is about 1.5X less per gram than the Urban Decay one (or the Smashbox one, for that matter).
I bought this without having the luxury of trying it on first. Boujois was all very deeply discounted at Ulta and the testers were missing on many of the items. But these were only around $3 so I bought two, since I use a liquid pretty much every day. But unfortunately, that was a big waste of money. These just do not compare to other HE ones I am used to using (Napoleon Perdis, LORAC). The pigmentation on these is TERRIBLE. These are supposed to be black and they are a runny grey color, no opacity whatsoever. Learned my lesson about buying something I've never used before just because it was on sale. UPDATE: I left these pen side down in my caddy and it seems like all they needed was a bit of time to mix the pigments up again. Its still not as great as the more expensive ones I have used and even when compared to pen liners from Wet and Wild or Essence, these still aren't up to par. But I'm at least happy that these won't go to waste for me.
I bought two of these at Ulta because they were BOGO 50% off. I had been looking for a cheaper alternative to the Napoleon Perdis Neo Noir liner (and previous to that, the LORAC liner). But after swatching on my hand once, it was clear that there was absolutely no comparison. These NYX ones are ok if you just need something cheap and don't care about things like pigmentation but the black pigment on these are crapola. You can tell they used blue dye to make the black in this, which results in just a blue black liner, not pitch black like the other ones I have been using. Sorry, but if I buy a black liner, I want it to look BLACK not BLUE. Waste of money.
Let me count the ways that I love thee! I have been on a hunt for the perfect brush cleaner. The Ulta one makes me cough every time I use it (what does that tell you?), the Parian Spirit smells like orange cleaner and leaves a film on my synthetic brushes, the Napoleon Perdis one is just gaggingly strong of lavender, the Vincent Longo one is OK but smells TOO strong of vanilla, the Smashbox one also makes me cough when I use it. I was going to the Makeup Show in Chicago and set out to buy the Cinema Secrets one as I had heard it was the best one. But Cinema Secrets had problems getting their product to the show and therefore had none to buy! But my girlfriend told me that the Monda Studio one sold at the Nigel's booth was the same thing so that is actually what I bought. But since the two are indeed the same brush cleaner made by the same manufacturer, I feel its fitting to review it under the Cinema Secrets listing. I have found the holy grail of brush cleaner and I am not even joking. The Parian Spirit guy at the show tried to talk trash about this one saying it was nothing but "drycleaning fluid" to get me to buy his instead. Well buddy, yours smells like oven cleaning fluid so touche. I don't care even if it IS drycleaning fluid because it cleans my brushes very well, leaves my natural fiber brushes soft, doesn't leave a film on my synthetics, dries fast and smells good. I put mine in a spray bottle and use it that way. I spray my brushes with it and then wipe on a towel. Even my concealer brushes and foundation brushes that have heavy wax based makeup in them, it takes it out of them EASILY when normally I have to wash them with dishwashing soap to get all the crap out of them. The bright blue color is a bit off putting because it just screams "CHEMICAL" so if you're a freelancer and using this on set or at a wedding, I think it might be wiser to put this in an opaque spray bottle like an aluminum one. It leaves the brushes smelling so nice that one of my clients actually remarked on how nice they smelled! A 32 oz bottle costs $35 which your average hard working freelancer will go through probably very quickly. I've only been using mine for a week and I'm half through one bottle. So in that regard, its pretty expensive. But if you get the Cinema Secrets pro discount, at least you can get a discount on it. They do sell 12 packs of the 32 ounce bottles for around $300 or something. I wish I knew what the ingredients were that's in it so I could make my own.
Eyeliner -Tarte - EmphasEYES waterproof clay eye shadow & liner
Girlfit 5/29/2011 11:23:00 PM
I wanted to like this, I really did. The black was super pigmented, the dry time was pretty average to other gel liners of its ilk. But I really have a problem with brands claiming that something is "waterproof" and clearly never field testing prior to its release to ensure that the product is what it claims. Did anyone at the company actually check to see how this liner holds up UNDER WATER? I put a good amount on my hand, let it dry and spritzed my hand with water. This definately was not waterproof and in fact, started to crack and peel off my hand easily. When compared to other gel liners (Stila, Napoleon Perdis, Smashbox, etc), when I did the water test with those, even after spritzing my hand heavily with water and rubbing at it, those would not budge. So the Tarte ones for sure fall short in the performance aspect. And trust me when I say, I have field tested a LOT of so-called waterproof eye products when I was preparing for an underwater photoshoot I was working on. And there is no way I would ever buy these to use as they would probably disinegrate and flake off the minute water hits it. And yes, I do realize that the average person is not going to be wearing makeup under water, but there ARE a lot of women who DO wear some eye makeup while on vacation, while at the pool, at the gym or just someone like me that NEEDS waterproof eye products because I have to put in eye drops 4 times a day because of dry eye. And since it disinegrated so much with just a little water spritzed onto it, forget wearing this on the waterline. Totally disappointing.
Stick -Kevyn Aucoin - The Radiant Reflection Foundation
Girlfit 5/28/2011 12:36:00 PM
Woah, what can I say about this? First of all, this is probably the absolute WORST foundation I have ever used in my life. And coming from someone with nearly 8 years cosmetics sales experience and makeup artistry experience, that is saying a lot since I have used a gajillion products in my time. I am quite an expert on stick foundations as they are are my favorite medium to use for complexion. I use Becca and Napoleon Perdis sticks pretty much exclusively in my kit but I have tried others from Kryolan, Vapour Beauty, Benefit, MAC, Smashbox, Max Factor, MUFE pan stick and others. Seeing as I had never tried any of Kevyn Aucoins complexion products before, when some things went on sale on Haute Look last month, I decided to buy this in the lightest shade (Shalom) sight unseen. I am lighter than most brands make, quite honestly. So I really wasn't expecting this one to even match me. And it didn't. It was pretty fair (still darker than I am though), mind you, but it was really really yellow. So if you like yellow (which I don't), you might like this color. Color aside, I figured if it didn't match me I would just add it to the rest and use it eventually. Well, sad to say, I wouldn't even find this fitting to put on a corpse let alone myself or a client. When I first used it, I put it on top of my Urban Decay primer. And the stick would not blend well and it literally PILLED OFF my face as I was trying to blend it. I thought maybe it was the primer or maybe my skincare moisturizer that it wasn't compatible with, so I started again with a completely clean product free face and it PILLED AGAIN. It literally looked like I had face dandruff as I started to work it in with a sponge and it just had the worst DRAG on the skin! As for the price, this is EXPENSIVE! At full price, its $45 and .32 ounces. My Napoleon Perdis ones are $39 and .50ounces and WAY WAY WAY superior. Even the crappy Benefit Play Sticks are better than this product. Heck, I could buy a huge Kryolan stick for about $10 and that is a better product. DO NOT BUY THIS. Thank goodness I only spent $15.75 on it. If I had paid full price, I would be pished off beyond belief. The only nice thing about it is the interesting cooling sensation it has when it goes on. Which is short lived when you start to try to blend it onto your skin and it rolls and pills right off of you. WORST foundation EVER.
Treatments (Eye) -Peter Thomas Roth - Lashes To Die For
Girlfit 4/13/2011 12:00:00 PM
Um, no. Waste of money. I received this as gratis when I worked for a retailer that sells PTR so thankfully I did not pay for this or I'd be seriously pished off because this did jack squat nothing. I have been using mine pretty regularly for WEEKS now and sometimes even 2x a day. I know the packaging says to use at night but honestly, I don't think its is going to make one difference on if you use it at night or during your morning routine. I have more time during my day routine so that's when I have been doing it. This one HAS a progestiglandin, but it isn't bimitaprost like what is in Latisse. Which might be why its not doing anything. For the same price, I can GO GET LATISSE! Or at the very least, LiLash which I have personally seen people I know use and have GREAT results with. I still have some left so I will use it through but no way would I buy it and no way would I recommend this. It just did nothing for my lashes whatsoever!
Treatments -Philosophy - Miracle Worker Retinoid Pads
Girlfit 4/13/2011 11:55:00 AM
I received a 7 day trial of this and have just completed using this 7 days in a row (more or less, I might have skipped one day). WHAT A FAIL! I have used high potency retinoids in the past, including prescription strength Retin-A and my skin is just far too sensitive to use them so I thought I would give this a try. Not only did I think this did NOTHING to improve my skin, I actually think it made it WORSE. And I'm not talking about the usual skin purging that you might have with a retinol, I think this actually CAUSED blemishes. I'm nursing a bunch of small non-inflammatory papules along my jaw line and a huge nodular one next to my nose. There is quite a bit of silicones in the solution and believe me, when you put this on your face, its feels like you are just slathering on straight up cyclomethicone all over your skin. And yes, I do know what pure cyclomethicone would feel like as I buy lots of different raw materials to make my own body and bath products. Not only would I never use this again, I would tell people to run away from buying this as much as possible. My recommendation is that if you sensitive to retinoids but want the same type of skin benefitting product is to get a high potency peptide serum which will give you the same benefit of a retinoid but without the irritation.
I love this stuff! It is by far one of the best lip lacquers that I have used and honey, I have used a lot. I bought my clear one back when the tubes were double in size (and double in price as well) and I've yet to put much of a dent into it and I've had mine for well over 2 years. I keep the clear one in my freelance kit and besides the MUFE Super Lipgloss (which is very similar in texture and performance), its the only one I will use on top of lipstick. A lot of lipglosses, if you apply it on top of lipstick, will actually cause the lipstick to separate on your lip but not this one. Just high shine and a little goes so very far! Yes, its sticky and tacky. But on a professional photo shoot, I can also be assured its not going to go anywhere either. Because of it having a higher amount of silicone than most lipglosses, this lipgloss is naturally very water resistant (silicones are not water soluable) which makes these an absolute must for underwater shoots. Used it on a UW shoot a couple of months ago and it was amazing. A definate must!
Foundations -Sally Hansen - Natural Beauty inspired by Carmindy Airbrush Spray Makeup
Girlfit 12/28/2010 12:42:00 AM
Wow, I have no idea why this is getting such great reviews. I have used both the Dior Airflash, the Napoleon Perdis Boudoir Mist AND a professional airbrush gun, just so you know what my point of reference is. I was doing a gig where I really didn't want to haul my airbrush gun, I needed to do 2 model's foundations quickly but didn't really want to use up my expensive spray foundations. So I went to CVS and bought these figuring that one aerosol foundation is just as good as another one that costs more. Boy, was I wrong. I am used to both the Dior and the NP ones where you can comfortably spray the face straight from the can at about 8-10 inches from the face no problem. Sure, you do get a bit of product that aerosolizes and wasted but for the most part, the majority of what you spray hits the face. The product comes out at about the same strength as any Evian spray water. This stuff is WAY different. Having never used it before, I though I could use it the same as I used the other two. WRONG. The foundation shoots out of this so strongly that I kid you not, it was literally akin to taking spray paint to the face. It was similar to trying to spray out of an airbrush gun with the PSI on your compressor set WAY WAY too high. There is absolutely no graceful way to spray this onto the skin. I had to spray this SO far back from the model's face that the majority of it just went into the air and not on the skin. It took me about 20 seconds to realize that this stuff was NOT going to work well that I ultimately just grabbed my Napoleon Perdis stuff that, thank god, I did pack with me "just in case". I always saw Carmindy spraying onto a sponge first and then applying it to the face from the sponge so maybe that is how this is intended to be applied. If that's the case, how stupid is that. What's the damn point of buying a SPRAY foundation if you aren't SPRAYING IT ONTO THE FACE? If I wanted to sponge apply something, I'd just use my standard liquid foundations! Isn't the whole freakin' point of a aerosol can foundation to mimic an airbrush application? Thank goodness CVS has such a great return policy. I returned all three that I bought (the one I used and the 2 I didn't open) the very next day. I can't really speak much for the color selection. It shot out of the can so violently, I didn't give the product much chance before I bailed on it.
Concealers -Unlisted Brand - Luminess Air Concealers: ALL
Girlfit 12/27/2010 1:40:00 AM
I have played with these in person quite a bit and even though I have not purchased them, I do feel quite qualified to comment and review them. These are currently sold on HSN and at many Ulta stores (where the Luminess Air airbrush systems are sold). To be honest, I likely would not have paid these much attention but I was bored and picked them up. Holy cow! These have CRAZZZZZZZY coverage, but there is a but. A huge BUT. BUT the colors are super specific and I think are really more color corrective specific than to match a particular skin tone. Let's start with the lightest one, Ivory. It is SUPER FAIR. And by that, I mean, its basically almost pure white with a pink hue and that is not an exaggeration. I am a very fair skinned person (MAC does not make a shade light enough for me and I have a hard time finding foundations to match) but even this one was TOO light for me. So unless you are bordering on having a complexion that looks transparent, its going to be too pale. But dayum, if you are the fairest of the fair, THIS is the concealer to buy! Next up is the Light Beige. Please do NOT pay ANY attention to the color names of these. They are NOT indicative of the ACTUAL color they impart! This shade is straight up yellow. And by yellow, I mean DENSELY pigmented and verging on jaundice yellow. Now this can be a good thing or a bad thing. Its a GREAT thing if you have a very stubborn red mark on your face and you can not find anything with enough corrective pigment or opacity to cover it. This will absolutely do the trick! But I wouldn't recommend putting this under the eyes. I have no idea why brands think using yellow under your eyes is a good idea. Unless you want to look ill. So I would recommend this one really only for someone who frequently has red blemishes they need to cover extremely well and no one else. The last one I'm going to review is the Warm Beige. Do not be deceived, even if you are on the fair end of the spectrum, you CAN wear this. But it is so distinctly salmon in color, I can't see this matching anyone's skin as a skin-tone type concealer. But as a neutralizer for blue/purple under eye circles? YOU BETCHA! Put the color of this one in the same ilk as other salmon colored concealers from other brands (Benefit Erase Paste, Eve Pearl, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Tarte). Like I said before, I'm pretty fair and this was not that bad under my eyes. It was a bit dark though as is under my eyes, but I layered a bit of the Ivory one underneath. This leads me to how it performs as a concealer. Will it cover? Oh yes. But because none of the first three shades really are going to be fitting as a true skin color type concealer and they are more corrective in their pigmentation, you will have to layer your own flesh toned concealer on top. And they are a bit thick and not the most forgiving under the eyes, so be careful there. The $30 bucks seems quite steep considering how much you get in the product. I almost bought all three but them I slapped some sense into myself. I'd be more likely to buy them if they were half the price.
Moisturizers -Lancome - Primordiale Skin Recharge Moisturizing Cream SPF 15
Girlfit 11/27/2010 11:50:00 AM
I received this as a deluxe sized sample (half an ounce) and I have to say, I am sure glad I never bought this. I HATE IT. The full size product in a jar (terrible packaging for creams due to contamination/hygenie reasons). I also used this 3 times and the product PILLED on my face terribly. It just simply wouldn't penetrate and just rolled off. I even tried it just on bare skin (thinking maybe it was something else in my skincare routine affecting it) but no, it still pilled right up on my skin. And I don't buy the "you used too much" argument. It has sunscreen in this and therefore, you need to use sufficient amount of product to effectively COVER your face with it. So if the product formula is that testy, they need to go back to the drawing board on this one. It does have a very strong fragrance scent to it. Which I actually do not mind as its a pleasant scent. But must they INSIST on dumping fragrance in their face creams? What benefit does perfume have in face cream? Nothing. I can't say I'm really surprised. Its Lancome. Which pretty much sucks across the board.