Treatments (Eye) -Philosophy - Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Eye Cream
LPomona 2/7/2013 8:49:00 PM
Run. Run quickly from this product! Hey, I rarely write negative reviews, but this product needs to be warned against. Like so many here, I picked this up for free w/a Sephora order. I read the reviews AFTER it arrived, and thought, "Hrumph with all of these negative reviews - I bet this is going to be really good." (How about that for a prize PollyAnna!) Within 5 minutes of applying this, I felt a strange sensation around my eyes. It was the feeling you get when all of the moisture is being miraculously sucked out of your skin. Not kidding. The skin under & over my eyes had tightened up, and the skin was left with an unhealthy, super-matt finish. Moments later, both eyes started tearing. There was no feeling of irritation, per se, they were just tearing because they were auto-rejecting this potion from hell. After a total of 10 minutes, tops, I quickly rinsed/patted this stuff off of my eyes with a fluffy facecloth & warm water. Even after it was washed off, my skin continued to feel tender, and abused, for several hours, and the tearing continued as well. I am not a sensitive-skin-type of person at all. So when I react to something - it has got to be some strong (awful) stuff. Heed my warning & stay away, or you will regret it for many hours - even if you act quickly!
I received a sample Eve Lom Cleansing Cloth along with a sample of her cleanser and mask from Sephora - maybe used 100 points to get it? Anywho, one try of the muslin cloth & I was hooked. (Not hooked on the cleanser at all & see it gets low reviews here.) I've since ordered a 3-pack of the cloths & am in facial heaven with them. They are magically smooth, yet offer amazing friction, so your skin is beyond baby-soft when you're done. Truly amazing. I do not wash them after each use, as I rinse them out well & hang them to dry - no bacteria issues, or any others. Yes, expensive, but everyone says they last forever, so I'm on-board big time. It's the most natural way to exfoliate that I know of, & I love it. An indulgence that's worth the cost IMHO.
I'm afraid I must disagree with the other reviewers on this one. This is Armani's take on a cool-toned brow pencil, and it's a fail IMHO. Why? First of all, it's not cool-toned! This is brown with RED - make no mistake about it. I used this on one brow, and used my Shu Stone Gray on the other. What a difference. The Armani pencil looks fine with my skin tone (~NC20) but it doesn't work with my hair at all! My hair is mostly silver, and this pencil screams red-brown. So that's the first problem. Second problem is that it's too powdery - not hard/waxy like the Shu Hard Formula. This means that you *do* get a good color payoff quickly (with the GA), but it's difficult to get any definition in your brows. I am not one for a hard-edged brow look at all, but with the GA pencil, I end up with blurry, powdery brows. (Another reviewer alluded to this phenomenon when she stated that she gets a clean edge on her brows by applying makeup remover on a Q-tip after she's used the pencil. You'd have to!) It does stay on all day, so I'll give it that. (Yes, I had one reddish-brown brow for a day so I could write a completely objective & thorough review.) I will stick with my Shu Stone Gray and Seal Brown pencils that I've been using forever. Both of these Shu pencils are completely cool - NO WARMTH at all! It does take some time to deposit color w/Shu hard formula, but IMHO it's totally worth it. The only reason I bought the GA pencil was to "up the ante" on an order for free shipping, and it seemed like a sure bet, based on the reviews. So, my advice for those looking for a high-end, cool-toned brow pencil is to go to Shu's Seal Brown or Stone Gray.
Yes, it's expensive, but I buy it again & again because it's better than *any* type of liner I've ever used - and I've used them all. "Smoke" is a gorgeous, cool-toned, steel grey that is very deep - basically one-off from black - but doesn't look harsh against the skin. It's not matte or shiny, but rather a satin finish that wears like iron. I found the learning curve to be pretty short, and now I can do perfect cat eyes almost every time. It lasts all day long, but washes off with ease. The brush is such that you can create a very thin or thick line. Net-net, you're paying for: a beautiful shade that is super-defining; all-day wear; ease of application. So you're getting a lot!
Wow! Can't believe the negative reviews for this product. In all my life, this is the best hair product I've ever used - by a very wide margin. My hair is incredibly THIN, and FINE, and PIN STRAIGHT -- a really bad combination, unless you're a fan of invisible hair. My hair is usually blunt cut at chin length & only looked good for ~30 minutes after removing rollers. At 31 minutes, it was flat & lifeless. I decided my hair would look better w/layers & I knew how I wanted it, but after months of looking for photos online, couldn't find any the way I wanted it. And I couldn't draw it, so I picked up the scissors & did it myself. So now it's a short shag. Enter B&B Styling Wax. When my hair is 99% dry, I roll it up in plastic rollers, then do my makeup, check my email, etc. After an hour or 2 I take out the rollers, put about 1/8 tsp (no more!) of the Styling Wax in my palm (very easy to get it out of jar!) & rub my palms & fingers together to distribute the thinnest film of wax all over hands, then I just scrunch my freshly-curled hair all over for about 30 seconds. MIRACULOUS. My invisible hair is now bold & stacks up on top of itself all over for a fabulous magazine look. And, the next day, the curls are more like soft waves, but they're still there. This product has given me so much confidence because I finally have wonderful, gorgeous, really full-looking hair. It looks thick!! I promise you. I cannot recommend this highly enough. If it cost twice as much, I wouldn't mind a bit. The tin will last forever & I finally have the hair I've always wanted. Happy, happy, happy.
Thanks to our own Miss Panties, I drank the Kool-Aid on this one & I'm glad I did. After years of using BB & BECCA concealers, and trying many others along the way, I bit the bullet & tried this one. The heavens opened & for the results you get, the cost is justified. That is to say, this is perfection. I am NC20ish - semi-light skin w/yellow undertones, and shade #3 - Beige is the one for me. It blends perfectly into my foundation so the skin under my eyes is the same shade as the rest of my face. No calling attention to that area with a reflective sheen, thank you very much. It is super creamy, and frankly, one pump dispenses much more than I need for both eyes, so that is a semi-drag. Anyway, I use a rather large concealer brush to apply it - the kind of brush that is meant for applying concealer to large areas, I guess, rather than the usual tiny concealer brush. This way I can just dip the tip of the brush into the concealer & make one or two nice, smooth sweeps under each eye & between the tear duct & nose. Takes 5 seconds per side & I'm done. Coverage lasts all day & looks just as good at midnight as it did when I applied it. Yes it is expensive, but it's so concentrated that it just takes a speck to do the trick.
Liquid -Giorgio Armani - Designer Lift Smoothing Firming Foundation
LPomona 11/17/2011 12:49:00 PM
Nov. 10, 2012 EDIT: OK, I decided to up the ante & give this 5 stars after all. Why? Because I'm about to buy my second bottle, in spite of the fact that I've tried to find a less expensive dupe. I can't find anything that looks as good (and is so easy to apply!). Sometimes I just top it w/a dusting of Meteorites. Other times a mix it with a tiny drop of Fluid Sheer #10 to add a lovely (very subtle) bronze glow. Net-net, for me, this foundation is truly worth the price. I love it. ALSO: You feel like you have nothing on your face! Too good to be true. _____________________________________________________________________ This is the first time Sir Giorgio has elected to create a foundation that matches my skintone - the FIRST time! I am referring to shade #4 which is a light, yellow-based shade. My other matches are Chanel Teint Innocence in Cameo, Clarins Skin Illusion in 110/Honey, CdP Skin Refining Fluid in BF20. These are all light & yellow - no pink & no peach. This new formula is similar in feel to the ever-popular Luminous Silk, (tho this new one may be a tad more watery) as it spreads silkily & has very nice coverage, despite it's runny consistency. It can be medium coverage if you sheer it out - which is easy to do - or you can put it on normally, with fingertips, for almost-full coverage that is so lightweight, you don't feel it on your skin. Its non-luminosity is what really separates it from the Luminous Silk. The GA website claims that "The Armani glow reaches its height: skin is cloaked in a matte and luminous veil." OK, another way to put that is that the skin is as close to matte as possible without being totally matte. That is to say that your skin will reflect light in a very muted fashion. To me, it's pretty much like your skin but a bit better. As a woman of a certain age, I am used to using foundations with a luminous finish, as I find they are most flattering. Therefore, I am still getting used to this finish, and it is taking some time. Of course it's easy enough to add a luminizer after the fact, or you could add a luminizer to the foundation prior to applying it, (and I'll probably add a drop or two of Fluid Sheer #10 at some point) but I'm trying to become accustomed to the finish as it was meant to be worn first. This did not oxidize on me at all. The pale yellow that I started out with is the pale yellow that remained. Also, it lasted all day & looked just as good at the end of the day. Another good thing about this super-thin formula is that you can actually use it instead of concealer under the eyes *without any caky-ness.* It won't give the full, opaque coverage that a concealer will provide, but in a pinch, it offers decent coverage, so I don't look like death. Or you could apply it under your eyes first, as a primer, and then use a lot less concealer on top of it, for a more real look than with concealer alone. Net-net, this is a nice addition to the foundation field, if only because it's in a shade that GA has never offered before, but also because it looks natural & it's easy to apply - I used fingertips & it spread beautifully with no streaks. I took off one star because I semi-resent it when companies try to have it both ways by stating that their foundation is matte & luminous & glowy. (Huh?) I guess that means it's perfect for everyone! What are we . . . stupid?
Moisturizers -Philosophy - Hope in a Jar - for all skin types
LPomona 11/15/2011 9:47:00 PM
Wow - I am totally blown away by the negative reviews. Totally. I've been using this off & on for many years. Sometimes I switch to something else just for the sake of trying the "next best thing," but I always return to Hope In A Jar because I love everything about it. I will never understand the number of negative comments about the scent. This is the real, natural smell of herbs, for crying out loud. Are the negative commenters not familiar with real lavender, for instance? This is not an "artificially scented" product. I could go on & on about this, but I'm going to leave it at this - from the very first time I tried this cream, the natural lavender fragrance is something that I've always loved! It has an unusual "slip" to it, and it slides onto your skin effortlessly. I use it on my face & neck & it keeps my skin glowing & lovely. I believe it's the lactic acid that does the exfoliating for the glowiness. Anyway, I feel that my good skin is lucky DNA, but this cream is keeping it looking as good as it possibly can & I'll keep using it forever!
Shampoo -Garnier - Triple Nutrition-EXTRA-Dry, Damaged Hair
LPomona 11/7/2011 10:11:00 PM
I know there is already a Garnier Triple Nutrition category, but the shampoo I am reviewing is a new entry in the line, and I feel it deserves a huge shout-out on it's own. It is called Triple Nutrition Extra-Dry, Damaged Hair, and I have never in my life used a shampoo that had such an immediately *amazing* impact on my hair. My hair is very, very thin and fine and pin-straight (pretty, huh?). Over the past few years it has become quite dry (mostly on the ends) as a result of aging, not from any abuse. I have used the Redken "Soft" line, & everything Kerastase makes, as well as Phyto. Because I can be brain-dead at times, I tend to think that the more you pay, the better it will be. Two weeks ago I was traveling & didn't bring any shampoo. The hotel's shampoo was Molten Brown & absolutely awful (drying & masculine smelling). With little time to spare, I dashed to a drugstore & grabbed this Garnier shampoo because I noted the "extra-dry" description. This shampoo has given me a new lease on life. It makes my hair absolutely gorgeous - loads of swinging body & it feels fabulously touchable - no dryness whatsoever. The shampoo is super creamy, yet it lathers up luxuriously (as opposed to Redken's Soft shampoo, which is akin to rubbing lotion into your scalp). I find the scent very pleasant, but frankly, with the results I get from this formula, I wouldn't care *what* it smelled like. I know how quickly these companies discontinue lines so there is always a new great thing on the shelves, so I am stocking up on several of the gigantic bottles of this while it's still around. I cannot recommend this shampoo highly enough for my friends out there with dry, lifeless hair. I promise you, you will love it :)
Foundations -Dolce & Gabbana - Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation
LPomona 11/5/2011 2:13:00 PM
I'd buy it again if I could find a shade that matched me better. Bought a tester on ebay (#100 - Natural Glow) and it's a tad too dark for me, so it's up for swap. (After researching this further, I think Beige would be my match.) My coloring is NC20ish, semi-pale w/yellow undertones, and my true matches are Clarins Skin Illusion in 110 - Honey, and Chanel Teint Innocence in Cameo. So if you are a tad darker than those shades, Natural Glow would probably work for you. Regarding the shades: Beige is yellow/neutral-toned. Next is Creamy, which is pinkish. After that is Natural Glow, which is yellow-toned. It is a silky, creamy, luxe texture and is medium to full, depending on your application (damp sponge or brush for medium; fingertips for full coverage). The finish is a "satin matte," which means it's close to being completely matte, but definitely does reflect light in a muted fashion. As someone with mature skin, I usually prefer a formula that is more luminous. It is super-concentrated / pigmented, so the tiniest dab goes a long way. Even though it is highly pigmented, it does not feel heavy at all. Once it's on you feel nothing, which is unique for a full-cover, creamy foundation. Edit Nov. 20th: I have found my shade - it is definitely Beige #78. It doesn't really work for me though, because it's not as warm as I like. Beige is a very neutral shade that just leans slightly toward yellow - no pink - and I prefer a stronger yellow presence. So now Beige is up for swap as well, though it has never been opened, as I tried a sample before my tester bottle arrived in the mail.
Brows -Anastasia Of Beverly Hills - Tinted Brow Gel in Granite
LPomona 10/23/2011 9:14:00 PM
I adore full brows, and this magical product add's gorgeous fullness to my brows & the shade - granite - is perfection. My hair is mostly silvery, but my brows are still dark, for the most part. The thing is, they've thinned out over the years, and the outer 1/4 has sort of faded out to an invisible blonde, at this point. So a few quick strokes with this wand, and I have rich fullness again that is really stunning. I still have to pencil in a bit of thickness underneath, as I detest the natural arch & much prefer a straighter fullness. If you use the Granite gel, as I do, you'll want to use the Anastasia brow powder duo in Ash Blonde, which is HG for me. I'm delighted that I found this tinted brow gel & plan to order a backup, just in case they discontinue the shade. That would be typical.
Conditioner -Neutrogena - triple moisture deep recovery hair mask
LPomona 10/10/2011 1:05:00 PM
This is the conditioner-of-life for dry hair. My hair has become terribly dry - especially the ends - over the past few years. This conditioner brings back the soft, supple, shining hair that I used to have. It is SUPER-concentrated & lasts forever. You know a product is concentrated when the directions advise you to "use a small amount." This is advice that should be followed, because I have sometimes failed to follow it & the results were not so good. (You know how when you use a product & the results are amazing, the next time you use it, you think, "I'll use even more product this time & the results will be even more amazing!" Bad idea. It weighed down my hair & I couldn't wait to wash it out.) So, do as you're told & use a SMALL amount & you will absolutely love your hair. I promise you that it takes very, very little product. And for what its worth, I also have a tub of Kerastase Masquintense #3 for Fine hair. I promise you that the Neutrogena is every bit as good as the Masquintense. It's that good. Yes, I would buy it again. I already have.
I've been using a cheapo EcoTools brow brush for quite a while & have been very happy with it. Then one day (recently) I was minding my own business, reading Product Reviews, and the reviews for this brush caught my eye. I added it to my NARS order & I am delighted with this purchase. As I said, I was completely satisfied w/my EcoTools brush, but this NARS brush is so much better. The brush head is very compact, and as everyone has said, the bristles are very short & stiff, and nicely angled. It picks up plenty of brow powder (I use the Anastasia duo) and it's a breeze to fill in your brows beautifully. The handle is nicely weighted and feels luxurious (hey, compared to my prior brush, yes, this actually feels luxurious!). This is the brow brush to beat & I would buy it again if I had to, but this baby is built to last!
I agree with KarlaSugar on this one - masky, masky,masky! And not the good kind of masky. I wore Dior Forever for the longest time & was so happy with it. Then one day I got a glimpse of myself while I was out and around, and WHOA -my face was too perfect looking, and in that sense it was masky. (NOTE: If you're in your teens, twenties, or even thirties, your face can look perfect & still be fab looking. But, sadly, in your mid-fifties, when your face looks *perfect* it just doesn't look realistic.) So that's a maskiness that's not awful; it's just unrealistic. However, on *me* this new Chanel foundation is a flat mask, as in no depth whatsoever, as in DEATHMASK. It is totally matte on me, whether I use moisturizer first or not. For what it's worth, my skin is normal & I never wear moisturizer prior to foundation, but I tried it for this one, but it did no good. Also, for the shades . . . I am always 20 in Chanel. In Teint Innocent, which I wore for years, 20/clair/cameo was perfection. So the SA told me to take a sample of B20 & B10, which is what I wanted, due to having read about the oxidation issues. Hah! I never even tried the B10 because B20 is soooooo light! (I'm NC20, give or take.) So in addition to being a total death mask, it's also too darn light. Oddly, this did not oxidize on me at all. It started out too light & it stayed too light. I picked up a sample of B30, just so I could do a thorough review. That, too, was completely matte, of course, but B30 was way too brown/dark. Lastly, I found the coverage very streaky & not very good, but when I tried to layer a bit more on, the mask became more frightening. So, for me, this foundation is a total fail. Actually, I gave it one star for the pump bottle and the clean/fresh fragrance. Call me demanding, but I am looking for more than a pump bottle & a pleasant aroma when I am selecting a new foundation.
OK, I need a new powder/blush/bronzer brush like a hole in the head. But because of this %#@* board, I happened to read the reviews for it, and you know how that goes. Suddenly I knew that with this purchase, true magic would happen . . . my life would be complete . . . and happiness would surround me for the rest of my days. Cut to the chase - I ordered it from NARS.com & when it arrived I was stunned at how small it was. For some reason I was expecting a fuller/larger brush. I planned to send it back, untried, but after it sat there, sadly, in its wrapper for a week, I decided to give it a try. Oh my, oh my, oh my. All of the good things that've been said about are true. It is as soft as soft can be. The precise shaping of the brush (the angle of the hairs) are what creates the magic. I don't ever drag it across anything; I just pat it sideways a few times & it picks up a perfect amount. I've used it to pat on NICO (also a recent purchase, but I'm not thinking it's all that. Much prefer Meteorites.) I've patted on blush & then blended it so it truly does give that "lit from within" look. And lastly, I've used it to pat the tiniest amount of Albatross across tops of cheekbones & down nose. And a really fabulous part of the way the brush is shaped - the way it comes to a narrow point at the end, means that you can even use it for a one-step eyelid wash, because it will fit right down to the tear duct & then gradually spread out over your whole lid. Again, I use the tiniest tap of Albatross for across the eyelids & it gives a subtle, angelic glow. Did I need this brush? No. Am I glad that I have it. Yes. And what's more, it was worth the dough. I WOULD buy it again.