Moisturizers -St. Ives - St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer
KatieLynn 11/12/2012 8:15:00 PM
I kept reading about this moisturizer here and there, and after seeing it at Walmart for $4.67, I decided it was worth giving a shot. Turns out, this is a pretty great product. It makes my skin a little pink the first time I put it on, but wasn't uncomfortable. My skin is a little sensitive at times, so I'm not surprised. It can also be a bit on the dry side, and the St. Ives isn't an incredibly hefty moisturizer, so when I need a little more hydration I add a bit of my Cetaphil cream, which is really thick and hydrating. The smell is ok---I'd prefer totally unscented, but the slightly herby scent is much preferred to an overly perfumed, floraly stench. I love how soft it makes my skin feel--very soft and smooth. I can't say for certain what it does on the anti-aging side, but I enjoy using it and will keep buying it. Thanks, Dr. Oz, for recommending this, lol. :)
Even though I have roughly a million neutral eye shadows, this palette is still a winner in my collection. The quality of the product is top notch--buttery, and super pigmented. They're shimmery, but not ultra frosty. I'm one of those people who, when traveling, has a heckofa time paring it down to a bare minimum. I have a trip coming up, and this is all I'll need. I can get a casual day look, or smoke it up for night. Is it a mindblowingly unique collection of shades? No. But if you want a no-fair quad of high quality shades, this is it.
I used this one night when my husband I and were staying over at my in-law's. I'd forgotten to take my own bottle of face wash (Philosophy Purity) into the shower with me, so I used a pump of my BIL's cleanser, the Neutrogena OFAW. Oh my goodness. My face felt like it was on fire, and it peeled and flaked for a week. (My skin is a little on the dry side, but fairly normal--just adding this so you'll know I'm not some fool who used this knowing she has really sensitive skin) My BIL has terrible acne, hence, I'm sure, the reason he thinks he needs to use this cleanser. I'd put money on the fact that he breaks out so badly because his face is trying to fight back against the damage this wash does. There have got to be better (better meaning "gentler") cleansers for acne prone skin. My face hurts just thinking about this stuff!
Eyeliner -Maybelline - Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
KatieLynn 9/8/2012 7:47:00 PM
This stuff is good, not great. I'd probably give it 3.5 stars if MUA allowed. I'd used MAC Fluidliners forever, but recently tried out L'Oreal HIP gel liner. That stuff is fantastic and 5 stars, for sure. However, after having an eye infection, I needed to toss my L'Oreal and replace it. I only had time to pop into Ulta, and they were out of the L'Oreal in brown. They had the Maybelline gel liner, and having heard good things about it, I picked it up (brown). The color is very nice. It's a good rich, deep brown--not quite as dark as L'Oreal's, but it's still a good color. However, it smudges pretty easily and just doesn't hold up throughout the day. Wearing it on your lower lashline is pretty much out of the question, if your eyes tear at all. (It also gunks up my eyeliner brush moreso than any other gel liner I've used---a little weird, but I figure it was worth noting). It's not terrible, and I'll continue using it, but I think I'll keep my eye out for some L'Oreal sales and make a point to stop at the drugstore to pick up the HIP liner.
Hair Styling Tools -GHD - Original GHD Hairstyling Iron with Ceramic Technology
KatieLynn 6/25/2012 1:54:00 PM
This was an incredibly disappointing purchase. Over the past decade, I have alternated between my HAI convertible and a CHI. Wanting to upgrade, I did my research and determined that the GHD was the "best of the best". I lucked out and found some sales and codes to use on folica.com, and got the GHD for "only" $140. I was so, so excited to use it, but when I finally got the chance, I cannot describe how underwhelmed I was. It's not a bad flat iron, but it is no better than my 9 year old HAI. It did not work any faster, it did not make my hair more sleek, it did not make my hair more glossy. It did heat up faster than the HAI or CHI, but that's the only check-mark in the winning column. I expect a lot out of a product that retails for $255, and I don't think I'm wrong for that. Fortunately, folica.com has an amazing return policy and I was able to send that disappointing flat iron back with no problem for a full refund. I may try again with another brand, or I may just purchase a new HAI. I suppose the purpose of my negative review is to remind people that spending more does not guaranty better quality.
Eyeliner -Wet 'n' Wild - Mega Liner Liquid Eyeliner
KatieLynn 1/6/2012 4:02:00 PM
Did I get a bad tube? I chose the plum/purple shade, and I'm quite disappointed. I'm as fair as fair can be, but even so I get no color payoff from this. It's a liquidy, runny, watered down purple that just barely shows up on my lash line. I wish it looked like the swatch shown at the top of the page!
I had heard that Illamasqua blushes were top notch, and given my screen name you can imagine why "Katie" caught my eye when I looked at them on Sephora's webpage (who doesn't love finding a great product that shares their name?) It seemed Katie was meant for me--someone with very fair, cool toned skin. I ordered it during Sephora's F&F sale, and it has turned out to be a perfect purchase. While the color looks chalky in the pan, it is anything but when applied. It's very smooth and mineral-like. It gives a great glow to my face, and the color stays true all day (I do wear a primer). The only drawback is the packaging, which I find incredibly difficult to open.
All in all, these are fantastic. I'm pretty good at doing my own nails, so I would probably never buy these in a regular/solid color (unless, maybe, I was going on vacation and didn't want to worry about chipping nails.) For the patterns though---this product is wonderful! I bought the silver/black spiderweb design for Halloween, and I am impressed. I will have worn them for 7 days when I remove these tonight, and I'm sure I could have extended their longevity by taking better care of my hands in the last week (I'm constantly washing bottles and never remember my gloves). For having never used anything like these before, I found them very easy to use. I'd say it took me about 20 minutes to apply all 10 fingers. Their only major negative is that they're pretty darn pricey, but for a once-in-a-while thing, they're the perfect choice.
If this brush came with the "Big" formula mascara, I bet it'd be fantastic. The brush itself is pretty darn good. Granted, it takes me much longer to apply my mascara with this brush than with a standard one, but the trade off is that I can get every single lash. It takes some work though. Unfortunately, the mascara's formula is that of regular Great Lash, which I don't think is so great. It tends to clump on me, and just seems heavy on my lashes. It's cheap though, and a lot of people do love regular GL. If you're a fan of it, I'd recommend checking this out for the brush.
This is pretty much everything I want/need in a lip balm. I picked up the cherry version. It's moisturizing enough (there are better, but for regular daytime wear when my lips are in good condition and don't need extra TLC, this is fine) and lasts as long as you can expect it to. I love that it has such a high spf, and I really love that it doesn't have the funky taste so many spf balms have. The cherry scent/flavor is not very long lasting (fine with me) and reminds me of fruitpunch and/or starburst candies. Being so pale, I like to have a little color on my lips even if I'm 'just' wearing balm, and this gives the best hint of color.
I am so surprised that I like this fragrance, I have to say. I am NOT a fan of sweet scents, so I had ignored VLJ for a long time because I have heard it described as "sweet" so often. I avoid anything labeled sweet, overly fruity, or gormand. They're usually instant headaches and smell cheap/juvenille to my nose. VLJ, however, is different on me, and is proof that "sweet" can mean a lot of things. I couldn't describe a perfume if my life depended on it, so I can't tell you exactly what it is about this fragrance that makes it "good" to me. Even after reading the scent's description, I can't really pick out the notes listed. After drydown, it mainly ends up being "vanilla and something extra" (how's that for a pro description?). It's a sophisticated take on vanilla, not like those icing-type scents. I keep reading in the reviews that people think it's a perfect summer scent, and while I think it'd be nice year round, I especially see myself wearing this often in cooler months.
Treatments (Eye) -Garnier - Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller
KatieLynn 9/1/2011 3:03:00 PM
Surprise: another bad review. I didn't expect miracles from this product, to be clear. All I really wanted from it was a little moisture and the cooling feeling from the ball applicator. The ball was nice, but the product itself burned. Badly. I usually feel guilty about returning products, but for the price ($15 at Walgreens, definitely not cheap for the drugstore) I am not hesitating to bring this one back. I love Garnier haircare, but my first experience with their skincare was certainly dissappointing.
Gosh I love this thing. I bought it last November during Sephora's F&F sale, and after using it for 9 months I am still very happy with my purchase. I'm glad I went with the Mia instead of the more expensive models, I can't imagine the other models doing more/better than the Mia. I have sensitive normal-to-dry skin. I'm not terribly breakout prone, but I do get a pimple out of the blue from time to time. This isn't a miracle product, but it does make the texture of my skin so much nicer. It exfoliates in ways other products just can't. My skin is very smooth, and I truly think my treatments absorb better because of it. Had the Olay version been out when I was shopping for a Clarisonic, I may have purchased the knock-off, but as it is I am incredibly happy with my Mia. Edit 10-26-11: I've recently switched from the sensitive head to the regular head, and the results are much better. Good enough to bump it up to 5 lipsticks for me! The sensitive head is very, very gentle and was probably a good place to start, but I like the bit of extra exfoliation the regular/normal head provides.
I must have ended up with a dud. 5 duds, actually, since I bought a few of these to try the last time Ulta had them on sale for $1. I cannot understand the hype. These are dry and tug like mad. It doesn't matter how long wearing they are if they hurt to apply. They offer a nice color selection, for sure, but that's about the only positive I can see. I will be sticking with UD 24/7 and Milani LiquifEye pencils.
This product came so close to being a perfect go-to, easy lip color, but it fell short. I had no idea, based on how it looked in the tube, that it'd be so frosty! Shimmer? I love a nice shimmery lip. But this is over the top frost. You know how overly tan (orange) women look when they put on a pale pink gloss? That's how I felt---but I'm super fair (NC15ish). The color itself is lovely, underneath the frost. I love the feel of the lipstick, and it wears reasonably well for being so creamy and lightweight. I'll definitely try other NYX lipsticks, but I'll be certain to consult these reviews before purchasing.