Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Grandpa's Thylox Sulfur Soap
Klonophunk 3/5/2013 9:48:00 AM
I get hormonal cysts and pimples during PMS, but this cheap workhorse really seems to work! It's not the most cosmetically elegant formulation: it's soap and it is drying. However, the sulfur packs a whallop. I'm sold on sulfur as an alternative to benzoyl peroxide. I hate BP as it's very irritating to my skin. I'm using salicylic acid pads (Stridex Red and Green) in combination and this month has been the most spotless in a long time! I will continue to look into less drying sulfur products. But I won't be devastated if I never find one: this is the best $5 I've spent in a while!
I bought this cream in the 0.1% strength. I am pushing 30 and I've started to notice slightly disturbing changes in my skin since my teens: larger pores on my cheeks (particularly the area closer to my nose) and worsening of genetic hyper pigmentation (think Lucy Liu freckles, except much lighter and just on the tops of my cheeks), some fine lines starting to develop but not much wrinkling. General coarsening of my skin: this I wanted to improve. This cream has been delivering in all of the ways I had hoped for. My skin tolerates the concentration of retrinal and the formulation does not break me out. It is helping fade the horrendous breakout I developed when I tried Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair: for some reason, the two times I've tried any of Neutrogena's products with the "Accelerated Retinol SA" I've ended up with the worst skin of my life, with NONE of the benefits Retrinal gives me. I'd like to sum up by saying that if you want a cream in the $20 range, I recommend Neutrogena's Healthy Skin night cream with retinol. It's been around forever, and it is actually the reason I wanted to try a stronger vit A derivative: it gives me the benefits of Retrinal, albeit to a lesser degree. To me, it's worth the $40-$60 for Retrinal. My skin has really improved quite a bit in the past month. I also experienced some purging for the first time in my life: I used to think cosmetic and cystic acne such as that which I got with Accelerated Retinol SA was "purging": it is not. It's not inflammatory pimples that are caused by purging: comedones start surfacing because the retrinal is working its' magic. When the comedones do happen to get infected, they create a minor surface pimple usually with the comedone visible at the surface of the skin. Since Retin A micro (the only prescription retinoid I've tried) was much too irritating for me as a 22 year old, I'm not willing to risk the side effects again. For me, Retinal 0.1% is my new secret weapon (not a weak toy!), and I'm really excited about the upcoming months! One caveat to the whole Retrinal thing: I am experiencing mild irritation on my nose (esp from exposure to wind) and dryer skin. However, Cerave PM has solved that issue satisfactorily.
Powder -Rimmel - Stay Matte Pressed Powder - Transparent 001
Klonophunk 2/6/2013 6:43:00 PM
This is a dependable, cheap powder that has not caked up on me or given me any problems. I've owned expensive powders in the past, and they don't do much for me that justifies spending more than the $6 I spend for this powder. I've used it with MUFE F&B foundation, and it works very nicely together. Basically, this powder has worked with all my foundations and concealers. It doesn't last long, but no powder does unless it's primed with a spray. I'll definitely buy this again. Oh, the packaging is flimsy but at least it's not pretentious: it's a plastic disc of powder, with a crappy clear plastic top. Basic but my go to powder to absorb breakthrough oil and dilute super pigmented blushes!
I can't justify spending $65 on sunscreen. It feels nice on the skin, and it does protect but it's too heavy for my taste, particularly since it makes me look greasy. I have dry skin. This was a gift, and I will use it up particularly for my neck but other than that, I don't have much love for this product.
Mascara -Kiss Me - HEROINE MAKE volume and curl mascara (black)
Klonophunk 2/6/2013 1:23:00 PM
Not the most easy to apply mascara, I bought a Tweezerman lash comb after I got this mascara to be able to smooth out any clumps and help make my lashes evenly coated. I put the wand at the base of my lashes, and coat the tips of my lashes, and comb through. Once my lashes are dry (semi-matte and dark, dark black), they are SET for the day: this is the only mascara that does not cause any smudging under my eyes. This mascara costs twice what I usually pay for a mascara, but I think it's worth it. I love wearing this, and nothing else on my eyes: I don't have to think about my eye makeup all day long! Of course, as mentioned in other reviews, this stuff is a bitch to remove. I take it off with oil cleansing, and it definitely helps to manually remove this stuff with a towel or cotton to get it all off. I want to try the other varieties from this line! EDIT: one day this mascara smudged on me and I didn't check all day cause I trusted the mascara not to budge! It's not infallible and I have gotten panda eyes from this stuff: I'm not going to purchase it again, however. $20 is too expensive for a mascara that smudges randomly: I would only pay that much if it never smudged.
I love Storm! I'm too pale to wear strong black eyeliner so I like sketch in a softer, off-black line with a little wing. It does smudge a bit, but so does every eyeliner on me! The texture is on the dry side, but I like it for sketching in my eyeliner: I don't like bold lines. After I get the color on, it seems to intensify a bit with my oily lids and stay in place for the most part, but what makes me rate this product highly is that this is a really perfect color for those of us who want an off-black that isn't too cool (when it leans blue) or too warm (when it leans sepia). It complements my complexion well I think. I got it for $3 at a beauty supply store. The pencil itself is sturdy, and sharpens well because of its' waxy nature. Here's a pic of me wearing it: http://img.makeupalley.com/8/5/4/5/2374217.JPG I don't get the negative reviews on this, I will probably keep buying this. Prestige liners are my favorite cheapie ones; they are good quality. In this particular line of eyeliners, I saw a LOT of really beautiful colors. At a fraction of the price of MAC Powerpoint and Kohl liners (which smudge just as this one does on me: my eye shape is such that the color smudges and collects on my eye's outer corner!) which are my usual go to liners, these compare favorably. I will try other colors and report back! : )
In terms of nail polish, I love everything about the Xtreme Wear line: cheap, accessible, good quality, long lasting (even survives storage well in my experience without separating), and there's lots of fun, bright colors! Whenever I need a polish pick me up at CVS, I go to this line first! If you're into nude, natural colors, this line doesn't offer much: for those, I'll check out wet-n-wild, or Sinful Colors at Walgreens.
Concealers -MISSHA - Signature Extreme Cover Concealer SPF30/PA++
Klonophunk 2/4/2013 6:50:00 PM
This cost me grand total of $18.50 USD, and I got it in shade #21 (lighter of two) on Amazon. The product is housed in a pretty plastic container and comes with matching concealer brush, in a protective plastic sleeve. This is one of those products that one would want to display on their vanity, but it isn't as convenient as a tube. There's a plastic disk covering the product under the top and I'm going to keep it instead of tossing it because the product would probably dry out without it, especially in this dry winter weather! The color has a strong yellow undertone, and will be too dark for anyone in MAC shades 15 and under. I can wear some of the NC20s in MAC concealers, so I can pull off this concealer in #21. This is a buttery concealer that is very thick but with a bit of a slip to it: the brush that comes with this concealer is the perfect one for the job because it is not so dense, flat and smooth. I tried a denser concealer brush with this and it picked up too much product and applied unevenly. I use the flat brush to apply concealer to the areas I want to cover and blend with my fingertip. It's really important to use a thin layer of this stuff. It's very densely pigmented and looks best as a flat, thin layer over the blemish: I'm impressed with the coverage. I can use it under my eyes as long as it's not parched dry there. The concealer needs some emollience on the skin to marry with the shea butter in it. It is very heavily fragranced (fake floral) : I am not sensitive to fragrances usually, but I smelled this stuff for a long time after I applied it. If you are sensitive to fragrances, I would recommend against trying this. I'm not super impressed with this concealer's staying power, but then again I haven't been impressed with MUFE's Full Cover's staying power either, and that one claims to be waterproof. http://img.makeupalley.com/8/5/4/5/2385526.JPG I wrote on my hand :P From L to R: this concealer, MUFE Full Cover, and Dior Long Wearing Moisturizing concealer (discontinued one, in blue tube) In the $20 & under price range for concealers, this is the best I've tried. The only other ones that come to mind in this price range are MAC concealers, and I really dislike all of the MAC concealers I've tried as of now. Edit: I like applying this with my fingers because it melts the concealer! It's like butter!
A Kiss of Milk and Honey is a product I enjoy. It's on the dry side (very different from the dark blue Essential) and pretty waxy. I like it, but mostly because it's cheap, cute and maintains my lip smoothness, not because it has some magical natural beauty powers from honey or milk. It smells like fake floral, although I don't find it offensive. I think this is one of those balms that one can love or hate: for $3, there's little to lose! Give it a try! I'm glad I did, even though it's not to die for.
I'm a lip balm person: my lips are dry year round, and I love touching my lips and rubbing balm into them. So I need at least one lip balm with me at all times. I'm picky too, so if I dislike a balm, I'm not motivated to use it, and my lips get neglected. I love Lush's lip balms, but they're expensive and not easily accessible so I turned to the drug store. I recently started looking into the Nivea stick balms because I was dissatisfied with other cheapie drugstore staples like Chapstick, Softlips and Carmex. Burt's Bees reminds me of high school and I like it for its' familiarity but I was tired of the tingle, which seemed to be drying my lips out. Back to Nivea: I like the sleek dark cobalt packaging, I like the price, I like the mild smell and no flavor. It's a dependable, daily lip balm I can imagine buying again and again: if my lips are already in decent condition, this balm keeps them that way and enhances the look of my lips with the satiny finish. The texture/finish reminds me of Maybelline's Baby Lips, which I like. However, I will definitely NOT buy the untinted Baby Lips because they are double the price: I'll stick with Nivea in the dark blue tube for 'bare lip but still dewy and pretty" days! (sunscreen in my lip balm is a low priority for me because of all of the horrible experiences I've had with the taste) Now, I'll write about the light blue kiss of smoothness SPF 10 here in case you are choosing between the two options. The light blue one has a hard, more opaque texture. It's lighter as well. Nivea did a great job with the lack of sunscreen taste on this balm, but the wimpy film it leaves on my lips isn't wonderful. If I'm planning a day outside I'll use this but otherwise, I doubt I'll get the light blue one again. It's just not for me.
I am asian, and one or two shades away from PPP. Overall: texture is amazingly creamy for being truly matte without having any shine: it's my favorite matte lipstick ever in terms of formulation. The color is a pure red, mixed with a yellow-brown. This gives you a red lip that is still bright, but not in a neon way. It's a softened red for people who have yellow undertones. It might pull orange on some because of the undertone. I love this lipstick so much, I rebought it on Amazon for under $6, including shipping! I can't find it at CVS anywhere. I can't wait to receive it in the mail and be reunited with my 007. Indeed, this lipstick lives up to its' James Bond persona: this works for cheeks and lips! (it acts as a sheer red blush when I've blended it into my cheekbones.)
Moisturizers -Cerave - Facial Moisturizing Lotion - PM
Klonophunk 1/29/2013 11:54:00 AM
This is a great product to have around if you have normal skin that gets dry because of other products. My skin recently became much drier than usual because of a retrinaldehyde product I started. When I apply the lotion 30-60 minutes after my retrinaldehyde cream, my face really burns. When I apply it over clean skin, it doesn't burn in any way. I'll continue to use this, but I'm not yet convinced by all of the people who are raving about this. I do like it, but I'm not in love... yet. Edit: I had flaking skin from old blemishes and retinol use, and I am certain that this does not clog my pores. Some people's skin may not like the large amount (3rd on ingredient list) of caprylic triglycerides and become clogged, but triglycerides (also high up on Avene Retrinal .1% ingredient list) suit my normal/dry skin far better than silicones. Overnight, some of the large flakes were gone. I'm falling in love with this moisturizer! Having had normal skin my entire life, I never used moisturizer of any sort because they always seemed to make my skin worse. Now that I need a moisturizer (badly), this is the one I'll keep buying! My sister has oily skin and this also works nicely for her: she used it under her SS and makeup.
In terms of whitening, this does nothing for me. The whitening ingredient is derivatives of rice bran. This is mainly rice bran oil, along with mineral oil next on the ingredient list. However, as an oil cleanser, this is my first and it was cheap and I don't think it's breaking me out. One thing I would like to say is that the package states that one must not wet the face or hands while massaging into your skin (to remove makeup and SS). Following this instruction made a big difference to me: when wet, the oil becomes milky and is not effective as a makeup remover. So, I never use it in the shower anymore. I always follow up with a cleanser: either foaming or a light scrub. I'll continue to buy Kose brand because it's cheap and readily available. I think of Kose as the Neutrogena of Japan: the ubiquitous drug store brand.
Toners -Kose - Kose Cosmeport Moisture Mild White Milky Lotion
Klonophunk 1/29/2013 11:42:00 AM
I picked this up at the Japanese grocery for almost $20. I probably overpaid and you can get it cheaper online. However, you get a lot of product, and it was my first foray into vitamin C products. I like how the bottle is opaque. It states on the package to store out of the light, and it also says not to use it on irritated skin. With this product, use only as much as you need so the product soaks in: it also states to rub the product in. Indeed, I've ignored that part in the past and ended up with unattractive white crust in areas I had neglected to massage and where I used excess product. I use this in the AM under my BB cream or SS. If it makes a difference in my skin, then I'll rebuy. One thing about this lotion that has been stated already: it is not a toner. It is meant to be used AFTER toner. It does not affect the application of my makeup and I like that. It's a bit drying, but one of the ingredients is alcohol. The alcohol is probably what makes the finish matte. If you're looking for a moisturizer, look elsewhere. There's another product in this line (a small bottle with a pump) that is more rich.
I'm impressed with this product. Because of the shape of my upper lip and my habit of pressing my lips together, no liner has ever worked at keeping my lipstick (of any formulation) in place. I tried this with Ruby Woo today, and I can't believe it but my lipstick has not moved. Because my lips get dry easily, after 3 hours, my lips feel kinda parched. However, Ruby Woo has turned into a beautiful stain as opposed to a migrating mess! My lips love this product: it is most certainly NOT just another lip balm. It truly makes color stay! One coat seems to be enough: with more, the color of my lipstick gets diluted. I also like the packaging: the narrow slanted stick is the perfect shape and size to fill in my lips accurately and easily. Make sure your lips are in the best condition possible before you put this stuff on: it is not conditioning or hydrating. It is also not drying.