This is a very pretty shade for summer! No, it doesn't have the "kick" of juiced-up corals and berries, nor does it have the edge of bolder, neon shades. However, if you're looking for a great pinky-sheer color with a summery sheen, this is IT! Nude Beach has a "mother-of-pearl" feel to it; it's a sheer, glowy pink (YNBB) but with an iridescent, light-teal/gold glimmer to it (just like the inside of a seashell). It plays wonderfully off of tan skin and it's a fresh, subtle way to wear shimmer and incorporate punchy color and a pearlescent sheen. I wear two coats of this when I want a subtle, glowy, summery sheen to my manicure or pedicure.
This eye cream is OK. It's expensive, and I don't think it has really lived up to its claims. I have finished one tube, which I used as directed (one application in the morning, and one at night). It didn't diminish wrinkles or fine lines even remotely noticeably. I don't recall its claims regarding puffiness or under eye circles. I don't have the dark circles, but I do have some puffiness, and this cream didn't really help with that. It moisturizes nicely, it doesn't sting or cause millia or irritation. After the morning application, my makeup went on more smoothly and this formulation isn't so emollient that my makeup broke up. Also, there was a bit of a reduction in some of the crepe-like texture I've been noticing since I hit age 36, especially near my upper lash line, so that was a pleasant discovery about this product's efficacy. It's probably a bit expensive for a re-purchase, and it's also a little light in the "promises fulfilled" department. If you've got a $20 burning a hole in your pocket, and you're near a Target or a CVS, and you're not sensitive to Retinol, it's worth a shot, I think
I received Stila's "Kitten" Lip Glaze as a free GWP from the Beauty.com website. I've used the "Kitten" shadow pan (awesome) and I've used the "Kitten" liquid shadow "wash" (pretty good, but the shadow-pan is best). My conclusions: "Kitten" is a great shimmery-champagne neutral that can look pretty on a lot of different skin tones and may be layered at varying intensities to achieve different effects, which makes it a versatile product for eyes. As a lip color, "Kitten" leaves a lot to be desired. This gloss is more opaque than usual, it's slightly thick (but not uncomfortably gloppy), and it's fairly shimmery. In fact, its shimmery enough that you'll need a primer on your lips, lest the shimmer settle unattractively into the natural folds and creases of your lips. This color is ideal if you're trying to achieve a nude, champagne colored lip as a foil for very smoky and/or colorful eyes. It probably works well over a more opaque nude or neutral lipstick--you know, to add some 'dimension' and keep a nude lip from becoming "chalky" If you're looking for a sunny, golden "lit-from-within" lip that radiates some of your mouth's true color while burnishing it with a peachy-golden gleam, this is NOT the color for you. Unfortunately, the latter is the look I tend to favor, so Kitten Lip Glaze won't be on my "favorites" list. The packaging. Stila. Oh, Stila. Stila, Stila, Stila....I've never been a big fan of the way any of Stila's products are packaged, and this gloss proves the rule rather than the exception. The click-to-dispense applicator is maddening. The brush that is integrated into the wand permanently, rendering it impossible to clean is unsanitary and unappealing and worst of all, not even of good quality. All in all, it's a nice component for assembling a nude lip, Stila has kept the "Kitten" shade very faithful to every other iteration of "Kitten" in the line, making it consistent and dependable in hue, but I would never spend money to own it.
For me, Cethaphil has always been a facial-care staple product: the ingredients are few, straightforward, and non irritating. It id pretty much the only cleanser that I could use at all while I was doing a course of Accutane therapy, and it's the only thing I can use when I'm on prescription retinoids (for me, this means Differin 0.3 gel, and Tri Luma hydroquinone/retinoid/steroid for melasma). While I have always relied upon Cetaphil's dependable gentle cleansing, and the fact that it has never irritated me (those results have never wavered or varied) I have discovered that when used with the CLARISONIC facial cleansing tool, my good-old Cetaphil becomes phenomenal! The "sudsing" cleansers all caused redness and irritation when used with the CLARISONIC (I have a Mia, and a sensitive brush head), bar none. I also noticed some dry, flaky skin when I used the Mia with a sudsing cleanser and did my retinoid regimen. However, Cetaphil used with my Mia and the retinoid creams imparted a beautiful, fresh and rosy glow to my skin. My facial skin felt soft and balanced, not blotchy or irritated or even the least bit dry. Cetaphil doesn't contain any ingredients which can interfere with any topical medicines, and I can't help but repeat, it seems like the CLARISONIC tools were born to be used with Cetaphil. I use he formulation for all skin types, and I have had the best results. People now ask me what I wash my face with, and they're so surprised to discover that it's this simple, tried-and-true drug-store staple, as opposed to something high tech or expensive from a luxury brand cosmetics company. Cetaphil is absolutely worth re-visiting (or trying out for the first time) if you use any of the CLARISONIC line of facial tools. Excellent, straightforward staple beauty product. This is one everyone should have by her sink or in her shower....
The Clarisonic Mia is marketed as a travel-sized Clarisonic facial brush with the same benefits as the Clarisonic Classic model. Currently, it seems to only be available for purchase on Clarisonic's own website, and not at national retail stores which means you'll be able to take advantage of certain freebies such as the free personalized engraving, and the free carry-case. It works well, the pLink charger doesn't take up quite as much space as the charger-stand of the Classic model. I believe that a Clarisonic is a beauty staple. It's quite expensive, but one of the few machines that's worth the price. Instead of using this for travel, I think it's better used as a great introduction to this product line. It's not as much of a financial outlay as the Plus or even the Classic, and it works with the same brush heads as all the other models. It's pared down, there's no timer function and only one speed. It works very well, as do all Clarisonic products. It's a great tool for exfoliation and the results closely mimic professional facials. It takes time to see full results: six to 8 weeks, basically, but the benefits of the excellent exfoliation start pretty much immediately; your facial products will work better and you'll need less of them because they're absorbed so readily. Your face will feel clean, but not stripped or irritated. The one caveat with this appliance is to be very carful using this if you're on retinoids or Accutane, and only use the type of exfoliant that contains smooth, round exfoliating beads, not salt crystals or crushed shells (skip the St. Ives Apricot Scrub with this brush). The included Clarisonic cleanser doesn't do much for me, I prefer to use my own, but it's worth a try. It isn't irritating or drying. I do wish they'd find a way to minimize waste when it comes to the packaging. The box/plastic combo seems wasteful, so I gave it a 3 for packaging. I have consistently liked the results from Clarisonic's products, and I'm pleased to see that Mia upholds the line's standard of excellence.
Currently, I'm going through a course of Accutane therapy which is making my lips dry. That's an understatement, actually....my lips are decimated: cracked, bleeding, chapped and raw. I picked up a tube of the Berry version at Target on a whim, because I couldn't locate my go-to container of Rosebud Salve. Wow! I'm impressed! No greasy petrochemicals like the Rosebud, but this is every bit as emollient. It's so soothing, no irritation at all....and my lips are beginning to feel NORMAL AGAIN! No cracking and bleeding if I smile or yawn. The packaging has one-up on the rosebud Salve or the Aquaphor that I had been using; namely, I don't have to dip my fingers into this and grease up my hands. So, it's much more convenient for my lifestyle. It just feels good: it's a soothing, simple balm that works very well...no muss, no fuss. I think I'll skip the mint version for the time being (I don't want to take the chance on the sting while my lips are so sensitive and sore from this medication) but I'd love to try the Melon and Carrot version....nice find!
This is a pale, matte creamy apricot-beige shade of suede textured, full coverage lipstick. It's the perfect antidote to the sweet, sheer and glimmery glosses that have dominated the marketplace for a few years now. I've had the best luck with application when I exfoliate my lips well, use a lip primer, and apply with a lip brush. It's a great foil for a smoky, dramatic eye. It yields a very, very pale apricot hued lip, without looking too chalky or opaque (again, though...play with the application technique until you're satisfied). It's fairly versatile, too. If you like shimmer and gloss, but you want something more punchy than a sheer, layer some Nars Greek Holiday lip gloss over it. If you want to move from a 1960's opaque effect and go a little bit 1970's disco-glam, layer it with Nars "Orgasm" lip gloss. If it's too pale for you, or you feel you have "dead lip" put a little Neutrogena MoistureShine Gloss in "Chic" on your finger and apply over this shade by dabbing and patting instead of running your finger over the lips. You'll still have a creamy (as opposed to shiny glossy) finish, only now the "Chic" gives it a hint of life, via a small shot of YLBB color, and all without ruining the "nude, neutral tawny" lip effect. At $9 it's a little steep for what it is, but I will concede that the packaging is nice, and the formula lasts a good amount of time. Overall, I have to say I'm pleased.
Lip Gloss -Revlon - Beyond Natural Cream Lipgloss, all colors [DISCONTINUED]
HelenaZee314 3/22/2009 2:51:00 AM
The makeup artist I hired for my wedding gave me a suggestion at my makeup trial: Buy my own tube of the lipstick she was using so that I could touch up my lips throughout the evening. The only issue was that the "look" she's creating for my wedding is a dark, smoky eye with lots of false eyelashes for drama and a pale, neutral lip. This isn't my usual look, obviously, so I felt that the $45 for product (lipliner and lipstick) was way too steep. I was thrilled to find Revlon's "Beyond Natural LipGloss" in Nude (color 130). I was able to recreate the look perfectly, and due to the fact that I bought this for less than $5 USD on sale, I saved about $40. I like the fact that it isn't sheer, it has a creamy consistency that isn't sticky or tacky or glue-y, and it lasts for a good amount of time. I squeeze this onto the back of my hand and use a lip-brush to apply. I found out via trial and error that this makes for the most even, long-lasting application, and the brush is more precise on the cupid's bow and in the corners of my lips. Good on Revlon for keeping the price low by keeping the package simple: just the tube. No boxes, brushes, mirrors, no extra junk, just the gloss in a simple squeeze-tube.
It's too expensive for what it is, and that's a slightly gloppy shimmer lip gloss. It's formulation is pretty much your standard-issue 'lip gloss.' It's kind of sticky, it doesn't last all that long. Gooey is a good word. The color is nice, but it's a little more opaque than most glosses, so it ends up looking a little bit to thickly applied if you're not careful. I probably would never apply it straight from the tube with its wand. I usually tap a tiny bit on with my fingertip. That generally helps with the opacity and goopiness. It's got a nice sheen, and when you get the thickness right, Orgasm is a great, glowy golden peachy pink color that radiates over your natural lips. It's quite lovely when the application is perfected. Overall, though, if you truly enjoy the look of a sheen-y, slightly pearlescent, delicately shimmer y, glowy-gold-peach-pink, go for Stila's Lip Shine in Sun Shine. The formulation is a little less gloppy, and less opaque, but the trade off is that the Stila can feel a little gritty. The packaging here is nothing special. The usual cheap doe-foot applicator, the standard-issue plastic tube, the basic cardboard box (which, at least, is pitch-black to keep the product's color true while it awaits you eventual purchase. I probably wouldn't buy again, if only because i like my gloss less expensive, and more sheer.
Hair Styling Tools -Sedu - Ultrapower Professional Hairdryer
HelenaZee314 2/14/2008 4:31:00 PM
So, I bought the Sedu Ultrapower Professional Hair dryer after my T3 died (after 4 years). The company markets this item as an "Xtreme Tourmaline Ionic" (XTI) dyer. What that supposedly means is this: The dryer is crafted using tourmaline gems which have the electrical property of taking on a negative charge when heated. The negative ions split large water molecules into smaller droplets, making them evaporate more quickly. This machine also utilizes infrared heat to dry hair from the inside out. This double-bang-for-the-buck approach makes for REALLY fast drying time!!! It's a1750-watt MONSTER, too, so it's pretty potent. I have VERY long (almost waist length) VERY thick hair that is naturally a little bit wavy. I love the way this blowdryer zips through my hair in 15 minutes FLAT. I use a large-barrel round brush for the front of my head, and a big paddle brush for the length in back. This dryer leaves my hair shiny, smooth and dry from root-to-tip. It really does a GREAT job of making quick work of what is usually a back-breaking task for me. The negatives: the design is a little wonky. You will end up tripping the 2 switches as you move through your hair drying routine, and those control the heat settings, and the airflow, so it gets annoying. This thing also blows VERY hot, so don't use any natural bristle brushes, or any nylon bristle brushes. They'll melt. Stick to the ceramic styling brushes with this machine. It's also quite LOUD in your ear. I suggest ear plugs, especially if you're a daily user of blow dryers, because it could affect your hearing after a while. This unit comes with two concentrating nozzles (no diffuser) and a cool shot button (great for adding some shine to your finished style) . All in all, this is a GREAT instrument if you have thick hair, long hair, or unruly hair, but if your hair is thin and fine or short, this much heat/airflow power could simply be overkill. The price is right at $140 (at Folica). It's not exactly cheap, but it a good quality, sturdy unit that works well. It's not $300 like some of the other tourmaline/ionic dryers out there, either....so it's a fair price for what you get. I like this tool, and I'd buy it again. But, judging by how long it's lasted me, I probably won't need a new one for a long time.
If you love the fragrance of Gardenia, but you don't like some of the older, oilier-smelling formulations, chances are you'll really enjoy Marc Jacobs. It's a classic, feminine floral. Not a lot of musk, no leather, not a whole crazy lot of vanilla or green notes, either. It's lovely and classic without being the sort of fragrance that Grandma would wear, which is the impression a lot of the pure florals give (think of anything with top notes of pure rose). The package is fairly boring for a designer fragrance: rectangular glass bottle with a black rectangular plastic top. It's a little off-putting for a designer fragrance, but there's always the chance to buy the black bottle with a white gardenia screen printed onto it; it's stylish, but you pay more for the same amount of perfume. Marc Jacobs is quite lovely for when you want something classic, ladylike and romantic. It's fairly priced, but don't expect to be blown away by the cheap, drug-storish bottle.
First of all, it's great stuff. Simply put, it does what it says. Although i can't speak for anyone else my (generally reactive, sensitive) skin didn't suffer from this. It works very well, and to kick up the effect of the hyaluronate (the ingredient which binds to water molecules) try drinking plenty of water (like, a gallon per day) and THEN using this stuff to see a REAL bang-for-the-buck effect. I mean, WOW when you up your water drinking. Just...WOW!!! The bad part is the PRICE! OUCH, man! $50!!! I mean...just...ouch. It's ridiculous. It's lipgloss, man, lipgloss. The packaging leaves something to be desired as well. I mean, if this stuff costs $50, the LEAST they could do is provide us with a wand that can effectively scrape every last precious drop of the stuff from the container, right? Sadly, this isn't the case. It comes with the same cheesy little applicator that $10 lippies come with. VERY disappointing. Here's another little interesting factoid: I've noticed this through personal experience, and it kinda annoys me.....the FusionBeauty HQ is in Boca Raton, Florida. I live in Miami Beach. When I buy this product here, at home, in Miami....it's effective for a MUCH longer time. I bought a tube when I was living in San Francisco for work for one year, and it just did NOT have the WOW that the two tubes I've bought at home have. I don't know if the formula is unstable during shipping or what, but my South-Florida-Purchased tubes all last longer and have more of an effect (no matter how long I keep 'em) than my CA tube ever did. Bummer for those living outside the tri-county area from the factory, no doubt!
Self Tanners -L'Oreal - Sublime Bronze Tinted Lotion in Deep
HelenaZee314 6/24/2007 8:27:00 PM
Faaaaaaabulous!!!! This is one of my all-time favorite drugstore "discoveries" and my HG self tanner.... Me: I live in Miami Beach where the perfect tan is de riguer, and fake tans are scrutinized mercilessly, especially when people bring their orange, streaky little terra-cotta palmed selves out into the full, unforgiving sun out on the beach..oh, man...it's what the locals call "comedy." I never tan. Let me repeat I NEVER TAN. Oh, I can..I'm half-Greek and half Puerto Rican, so I get very very dark...BUT I have melasma, which turns my face into a patchy, blotchy mess when I get sun. I also have a very young (26 y/o) friend who's had 2 melanomas removed already! So, I stay out of the sun, and I practically take a bath with waterproof SPF 70 when I do spend the occasional afternoon at the beach (hey, how can I live less than a mile from the shore in famous South Beach and NOT go to the ocean?). Which means that I look like I've been dipped in mayo, I'm so dead-pale. I'm so pale, you can see blue veins, and I don't have varicose or spider veins. Yikes. Wednesday Addams for sure. I tried this on a Sunday night, fully expecting a fake, orangey, smelly tan. I figured, hey, I have to work all week, whose gonna see the screwed up tan? Oh, MY!!! How wrong I was!!!!! I woke up the next day with the most gorgeous, perfect, nut-brown tan. I thought it was a trick of the light, so I went out onto my porch in the sun! WOW!!! and I do mean WOW!!!! I wore a skirt to work that Monday, and received many compliments. Everyone at work thought I finally came to my senses and started spending my weekends on the sand, like everyone else in town, ha ha! You have to be careful with application, make sure not to miss spots, watch your knees and elbows, watch your feet, etc. For the backs of my hands, I put a small blob of this on one hand and rubbed the backs of my hands together AFTER I'd finished my bod and scrubbed my palms with a nail-brush, soap, a salt scrub and rinsed in a bowl of water cut with an eye dropper full of bleach (yeah, I take NO chances on orange palms). Use a q-tip over your knuckles and right by cuticles for "detail" work. The formula is stinky like fake tan, but not as bad as some! Also, use this when you have a few hours to hang around naked, or better yet, do it before you go to bed. Don't sleep on light colored sheets, though, or in light colored clothes (if any at all) The "tint" will come off on everything til you take your first post-application shower or bath. So, this lasts only 3 or so days on my legs because I shave daily. It also wears off unattractively, so be SURE to re-apply often or use a fake-tan extender or tan-enhancing moisturizer...I simply re-apply this every day, because the intense dark tan looks fine with my natural coloring: I have dark brown hair, eyes and black brows, so it looks pretty "natural" Saturday was the REAL test: going to the beach with my friends...... ...I passed with flying colors!!!! NOBODY thought it was a fake tan, they only thought I'd finally decided to lay out more often, and they thought I'd been doing it all week after work!! Ha ha ha! They were very shocked to lean the color came from a tube. A DRUGSTORE tube, no less!!! This stuff has even convinced a few of my hard-core lifelong beach-bunny tan fanatic friends to stop destroying their skin with the tanning beds and the sun! I had a few friends who even gave up their standing airbrush-tan appointments in exchange for this stuff, because it's cheaper and JUST as effective as a $75 airbrush tan session at the local high-end salon where J-Lo and Britney do their airbrush tans when they're in Miami Beach!!!!!! I love this! It fools everyone, and I come from a very tan-centric, tan-obsessed place that's also obsessively image conscious, so the fact that I can fool 'em on the beach here is a HUGE endorsement!
I own the "Parfum" version of this. When I bought it I felt SO PICKPOCKETED!!!! It was $100 for a quarter of an ounce. Yeah. The bottle is itty-bitty. BUT It's perfume, not the watered down "eau de..." or cologne fromulas so a little goes a very VERY long long long way....literally, I only dab this on my pulse points and it lasts all day. I dries down differently on my when I don't rub it it. Just spray and leave...don't rub wrists together, don't smooth it in with the hands: it will bruise the scent and give you a funny dry-down. This works well with my natural chemistry and it dries down subtly, but stays TRUE. I love that. The bottle is everything you'd expect from a Chanel Parfum: It's crystal, with a stopper and a tiny metal authenticity plate with Chanel's Paris address engraved onto it, along with authentication serial numbers. Very elegant, very luxurious. This is my signature fragrance. For those who are overwhelmed or given headaches: It's the Citron in this perfume that probably bugs you....in fact, the Sicilian strain of this fruit is where they get the oil for "Citronella" candles which repel insects (and give some people nausea and headaches) The Ciron in this formula, combined with hyacinth, gives the scent its fresh, youthful topnote amber of Patchouli and Jasmine give the fragrance its spicy warmth and sensuality. The combo gives this scent a tendency to "evolve" from fresh and bright to sophisticated and sexy.....very very very pretty if it works with your chemistry. It's your classic, romantic fragrance that will make someone remember you forever. When you imagine fragrances that a might be sprayed on a love letter, old fashioned style...THIS is that perfume....
Styling Products -Pantene - Texturize - Sculpting Wax
HelenaZee314 6/24/2007 6:56:00 PM
Not bad! Not bad at all!!!!! I have very long hair, with lots and lots of layers in it. I have the back razor-cut into more of a "V" shape instead of blunt and straight across to alleviate the problem of heaviness (I have thick, heavy hair and lots of it. It's naturally wavy). I bought this to control the "flyaways" that occur at the ends of the back of my hair. It gives my hair a nice finished, styled look. It's very piece-y and modern looking, it separates my haircut from those fluffy, "big-hair" late-1990's layers. The styling product I used prior to this was Real Puala Dry Wax.....but it's not sold in stores, and ordering online became prohibitively expensive considering how often I went through the stuff....So I bought this as a new option. I'm very satisfied! It's easier to clean out of my hair than the heavier waxes (like Dax or John Frieda Sheer Blonde Spun Gold Shaping and Highlighting Balm) it's not shiny like gel, and it's not stinky like M.O.P's Pomade. It also doesn't cost an arm and a leg like Real Puala or Supremo Magic Move, plus it's available ANYWHERE there's a Drugstore or a supermarket. HASSLE FREE SHOPPING!!! I'm all about that. The package is crap. Crap crap crap. But I can get over that since I'm never paying double-digit prices(plus shipping) for hair gunk ever again! Yay!