The description is correct in that these pans are VERY small. As to being "cool" colors, I find that the "rich plum" has a reddish tint and is too warm for my cool-toned skin. I've also found that although the "pink pearl" is almost colorless on my very pale skin, I can't substitute the next darkest "lavender pink" because I then look too made-up. I've tried wearing only the lightest three colors, but that effect is just boring because all except the "rich plum" are very poorly pigmented. They're all difficult to apply because they they fall off the shadow brush onto my cheeks, and then, because they are glittery instead of just shimmery, there is glitter all over my cheeks, especially when I use the lightest color. The strangest thing about this palette is that it is very strongly SCENTED. I have no idea why anyone would want to put scent in eye shadow, but Stila has done it. I can't find any attractive way to wear this, nor do I want to smell this scent all day. In my opinion, this palette is not at all, in size, quality, look, or scent, worth $38.00 or even $18.00 or $8.00.
"Strobe" Converts the Unbeliever! I've always hated metallic shadows. However, I bought "Strobe" because each color complements my pale-as-a-ghost, blue-toned skin, and because I love each color individually, as well as together, thus justifying spending so much money on rather-impractical-for-me shimmer shadows. These feel as silky under my fingers as does as a silk dress. I've found that when I use the ocean blue on the lid, the golden brown in the crease, and the shimmering pearl on the brow, the combination really makes my eyes look larger and brighter. These are the best quality shimmery eyeshadows that I've found. They aren't glittery, so there's no annoying glitter fallling under my eyes, but just quietly shimmery with the intensity depending on how heavily they're applied. Very nice. My only complaint is the beautiful, lint-attracting case. I wish that Smashbox could do something about that problem. I would buy this again.
I don't usually wear colored polishes. Too much trouble with repairing chips, streaking, etc., and I just don't have the steadiest hands while applying it. But this color just "jumped" out at me last week at Ulta. Last night, on a whim, I decided to apply a coat. It was beautiful! Just one coat, and it was perfectl; no streaks or show-through. A first for me. How did this happen? My conclusion is that the two coats of OPI Original Nail Envy which I constantly wear to prevent my nails from breaking or peeling had acted liked a wood primer does for wall paint. It gave the polish something to grab onto. I keep looking at my nails and marveling. Even the area around the cuticles is perfect; possibly because the Nail Envy had been on for about 5-6 days and the nails had grown out at the cuticle. The edge of the primer seemed to stop the polish from flowing past it to the cuticle. Amazing. Of course, it will be even more amazing if I can purposely replicate the timing and reproduce these "perfect" nails when I need them. Oh, and I love the color of the polish. It's the darkest pink I could possibly wear with my pale, cool-toned skin.
I want to mention one problem that I haven't read about in previous reviews of Ulta. In my local store, the computers there often are "down", so that I don't get the points earned by my purchases. Previously, I'd either been told that the points would automatically be added when the computers came back up, or I'd assumed so. However, during my last purchase, during one of those "20% off one item + 6X points for 5 days" promotions, and which was a rather large purchase, the computer was once again down. Since there were so many points involved, I asked the SA when the points would be added to my account. She told me that I HAD to bring the receipt BACK to the store to have the points added! I can only think of one other time when I took the receipt back, so I wonder how many points I've lost in the past. Furthermore, I wonder if I would I bother to drive a long way back just to claim those points? Other mentions: 1.) I ONLY shop at Ulta when they offer some type of coupon or promotion. If I can't get that $3.50 off a $10 purchase or 5X or whatever multiple of points, I shop elsewhere, because the prices at Ulta are higher than other stores in our area. In addition, we have stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond & CVS pharmacy which carry many of the same drugstore brands and have their own coupons and promotions. 2.) The open box problem so many reviewers have noted is due to something that irritates me every time I go to Ulta: no applicators! Please Ulta, let us have access to a supply of disposable mascara wands, lipstick applicators, plastic sponges, . . . and, yes, tissues and makeup remover for wiping the eye shadow swipes off our wrists! Maybe someone from Ulta should go to Sephora and see how they do it. 3.) I prefer the local Sephora store for high end makeup. The local Ulta store recently changed the high end lines they carry, but the end result was that they are different but not much better. They have only a couple in which I'm at all interested; some of Smashbox & Urban Decay. 4.) Finally, if there's anyone like me who was previously unaware that unspent points from the past 1 1/2 years disappear on June 30, just don't do like I did and fail to spend them before leaving for two weeks in the middle of June. I only lost about 500 points, but I was unpleasantly surprised to find that they were gone when I returned. I think that Ulta purposely makes this policy too confusing. Maybe the fine print could be enlarged?
Lipstick -BeneFit Cosmetics - Silky-Finish Lipstick
Isabella05 9/29/2008 12:48:00 PM
Until I found this, I've never worn lipstick because it was too dry. However, this feels creamy and moist. In addition, I thought that most colors would be too dark for my extremely pale (with blue undertones) skin. However, I love the sheerness of "Party Crasher" and "Breathless" as well as my favorite, "Dessert First". This is the only lipstick for me!
Primer/ Corrector -Smashbox - Photo Finish Primer SPF 15 with Dermaxyl
Isabella05 9/29/2008 12:46:00 PM
Although this does feel soft and silky on my skin, that's the only positive effect that I notice. I haven't noticed that it is absorbed at all or fills in any scars or small lines. It doesn't make my foundation adhere and/or look better. This product simply adds another step to my makeup with no benefit.
I was really surprised to find that these tweezers are really worth every penny. They can get every hair, no matter how short or how fine, unlike the cheap drugstore tweezers that I'd been struggling with for years. These make tweezing my brows quick and easy. I've also found that the Zebra print tweezers are so much easier than stainless steel to find in my makeup drawer or in my makeup bag.
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original (UDPP)
Isabella05 9/29/2008 12:39:00 PM
This is BY FAR the best primer I've ever used. The packaging is annoying and too cutsie by far, and I never am sure that I've used all the product, but the product is superb. (I have used the technique of using forceps to remove the white plastic inner top and then using cotton swabs to get to the last bit, but the manufacturer should redesign the package to make this unnecessary.) With a little practice, I've learned to dab on a small amount of primer, spread it with my ring finger on my entire upper eye and just below the eye, let it dry completely and clear, and then apply eye shadow for nearly all day perfect wear. I couldn't wear eye shadow without this product! NOTE: I'd heard that some people use a knife to cut open the bottle and get to the potion remaining in the bottom. Not wanting to ruin a knife blade, I asked my husband to use his bandsaw (for woodworking, you know), and it worked beautifully. He cut off the bottom inch of the bottle and scooped out the remaining HALF TEASPOON and used the applicator to transfer the remaining potion to a small Dior lotion sample pot. Now we'll see how long this rescued potion lasts! I'm amazed at how much I'd have been wasting.
Both the regular and the magnifying mirror are nice, if nothing special in appearance, and and they come at a bargain price. Strangely, this mirror comes in a cheap fake velvet bag that collects and shows white lint quite easily. However, it's a practical, no-frills mirror for the right price.
I had hoped that Laura Mercier Eye Basics in "Linen" would cover the blue veins visible in my inner eye area. Indeed, it does cover that area, but it's very difficult to apply this primer without it being a bit outside the eye shadow application area and showing at the shadow's edges. Most disappointingly and most importantly, my eye shadow neither adheres as well nor stays on as completely as when I use other primers. I also find this product to be quite drying on even my very oily lids, so I can't imagine it working for someone with dry lids.
Treatments -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Intensive Serum
Isabella05 9/14/2008 6:19:00 PM
I think of this as a "starter" anti-wrinkle treatment. I began using it after using Glytone gel wash for about two years. My cheeks were a bit dry for a few days, but then my skin seemed to adjust to it and I no longer had to use a moisturizer afterward. That rapid adjustment to the retinol in this serum might not have been possible without the long exposure to the glycolic acid in Glytone. I used this for several months and then "moved up" to a treatment with a high glycolic acid content. Thus this product fulfilled its purpose for me, and I would definately buy it again.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 70
Isabella05 9/14/2008 5:43:00 PM
I would never use this on my face, because it's too thick for that. However, this is a much better sunscreen than the "Age Shield SPF 45" for other uses. Its somewhat thicker than the lower SPF Ultra Sheers, but about what I'd expect for an SPF 70. I prefer the lighter feel of the lower SPF versions, but any added sun protection benefit (if there is any) from the SPF 70 is a positive. I was surprised that this sunscreen is lightly scented. I usually dislike scented products, but this sunscreen is pleasantly and lightly scented.
The only good thing I can write about this sunscreen is that it is only very lightly scented. It's feels so oily that I can't tolerate it on my face or neck. I can't tell that it provides better or worse sun protection than any other sunscreen that I'm currently using, and that oily feeling has made it my least favorite. Therefore, when the package is finally completely used, I won't buy it again.
After using this for three weeks, I've been very pleased with the results. I've been using retinol-containing Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream and Intensive Serum for the past year with the result that my skin has apparently adapted to less-concentrated exfoliating agents, and thus I only experienced a couple days of dryness on my cheeks after beginning to use this product. After only a week, my skin feels softer and smoother and some very persistent post-acne pigmentation has lightened. I'm especially pleased that I can also use this under my eyes and that I didn't need to apply a moisturizer to any part of my face after applying Pure Perfection. Thus even though this is a quite expensive product, it is an effective and absolutely non-greasy moisturizer containing glycolic acid for exfoliation of my entire face. . . thus eliminating the need to purchase a separate eye treatment or moisturizer. One product that does everything at night! My only reservation is about this cream's slight fragrance. I try to avoid products with any fragrance, but this is tolerable because the fragrance seems to dissipate so that after five minutes I no longer notice it.
This is the only shampoo, expensive or cheap, that completely eliminates my husband's dandruff. He's tried nearly everything else on the market, with either only partial or no result. When Garnier began selling this product, he tried it, and "poof" the dandruff disappeared, never to return. , , except when he runs out and can't find more for a while. Then the dandruff starts to creep back. Yes, this was the magical solution to his dandruff problem. Best of all, it smells nice, much better than other dandruff shampoos. I even use it occasionally when nothing else is handy, and I like the fragrance and how my hair feels afterwards. Our cat even seems to like it; she licks my husband's hair right after he's finished washing it with this shampoo!