Moisturizers -Alpha Hydrox - Enhanced Lotion - 10% AHA
LaFemmNoir 5/8/2012 11:07:00 PM
I have been using this almost 3 months now, so I think I can leave a credible review. Verdict: I LOVE THIS. It has made such a difference in my skin. For context: my skin was oily, olive complexioned, with mild acne and general unevenness of skin-tone, with acne scarring. It has done wonders for scarring and unevenness in particular. This is an unscented lotion with 10% glycolic acid. If you have highly sensitive skin or can not handle acidic skin-treatments this may not work for you, but most people I think can find benefit from this if they are patient and allow their skin to adjust to the lotion. I was impatient to try it at first but did a patch test on my jawline (please do the patch test, just to be safe) and 3 days later, began applying a small amount of lotion to my skin before bed. This lotion makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight so it is prudent to acclimate yourself by applying this at night, where sunlight can not aggravate your skin.First of all, it really does moisturize. Secondly, when you are first becoming acclimated, it may sting or itch a little. PLEASE hold fast, because it really works. By week two, I saw a noticeable improvement in skin-tone. By week 3 I was getting compliments on my skin. I go home from college for a week and leave the lotion behind, my skin feels gross and grimy and starts looking dull. I come back and go back to the lotion and all is well again. Like a dummy I was lazy with my sunscreen. WEAR SUNSCREEN. I was finding redness across my cheeks and nose, it was distressing. I realized it was the lotion so I stopped using it. My skin calmed down but it didn't look or feel as nice, so I re-acclimated myself to the lotion, this time, I was religious with my sunscreen. My skin was back to looking smooth and even and feeling clean. and this time, no redness! I wear this everyday, applying once in the morning and once at night. While I owe a large part of my current complexion to hormonal birth control pills, my skin never looked this good until I started using the AHA lotion, and I'd been using the BCP months before I found this. My skin is now a bit less oily, my scars completely faded out, my complexion more even, and my acne has improved too. Even with BCP I'd get pimply or get whiteheads in tandem with my prescription's scheduling, and so long as I use this lotion I no longer have to worry about it. It really is a great feeling to not have to worry about acne anymore. I also recommended this to a friend and she too has reported glowing results. If it doesn't work for you facial skin try applying it on your arms and legs, it also really helps with Keratosis Pilaris, and prevents ingrown hairs.
Buy this at Indian markets. Or Iranian food markets. Whatever. Rosewater is frequently used in recipes in the middle East and Indian subcontinent. The rosewater you buy from these stores is SO MUCH CHEAPER than buying it at Target or a beauty store. And what you buy will be guaranteed food grade, so no synthetic rose oil. I won't say it is miraculous but it smells a lot nicer than regular water and I don't have to worry about mineral deposits like I do with tap.
I use this as an eyeshadow primer. It really, really works and is much cheaper than TFSI or UDPP. While it won't make your eyeshadow more vibrant it will hold your eyeshadow in place all day, every bit as well as TFSI or UDPP. You shake the bottle and put your finger over the dropper, and tilt the bottle to get a drop onto your fingertip. Apply across eyelids. Maybe you'll need more or less, it will vary. A nice thing about it is that even when applied to the eyelids, you can apply eyeshadow with a wet brush and it doesn't affect the calamine lotion's ability to keep your eyeshadow in place. I do recommend applying eyeshadows wet because unlike UDPP or TFSI the calamine lotion does not make them look vibrant; otherwise use a neutral cream base over the calamine lotion. If it is too pale for your skintone you can wear foundation over it and it won't minimize its effectiveness much either. I wish there was a more convenient packaging solution but considering how cheap it is I can not complain too much. I use Humco brand, which although quite runny, has the shortest, most natural set of ingredients I can find.
For my skin type, this product rates at a 3, perhaps even a 2, but I think it could work for a lot of people. The coverage is fantastic, doesn't look mask-like, gives a matte finish, controls oil, thins out well with lotions, is fairly inexpensive, comes in a variety of colors, lasts FOREVER, and provides a smooth canvas for blush. Unfortunately, the packaging sucks, it doesn't spread easily (hence why I mix it with my face lotion) and worst of all, it seems to pull my skin in this really weird way. It looks fine so long as I am not making any facial expressions, but as soon as I burst into smile you see this awful crinkly texture comes to the fore all across my facial skin.And blending it down with lotion does nothing to help it. It is far more noticeable now that I live beachside (where it is cooler, windier, saltier and a bit dryer) so perhaps if you lived in a different climate or had really oily skin it would work. I used to live elsewhere where it was warmer and more humid and I only chanced upon this crinkly-texture problem in the winter months or when I really packed the foundation on like an idiot. Back then it was my HG foundation but since I live someplace new it is time to move on.
I love this, HG concealer finally! I have hereditary dark circles so concealer is my only respite from them. It takes a while for the product to start oozing out the tip when you first buy it but be persistent. 5+ minutes of clicking but it is worth it. Afterward, it is easy to control how much product oozes out and it is easy to apply onto the skin (remember to blend it out with your fingertips or a soft brush). I quite like the consistency and creasing is minimal so long as you apply it carefully. I recommend swiping a finger out from beneath the lashline where creasing tends to happen to move excess product out of the danger zone, Otherwise set with a bit of translucent powder and you won't have any problems. It lasts well and blends well into foundation or bare skin but best of all I think it provides a good amount of coverage. It could be more pigmented but I am not complaining, it does a fantastic job considering its somewhat thin, gel-like consistency.
Skincare - Body -The Body Shop - Exfoliating Gloves
LaFemmNoir 1/17/2012 6:34:00 PM
AWESOME. The Body Shop frequently holds sales so I got these for free. They don't lather up like regular fluff loofahs but they exfoliate quite well, particularly if you are using them with a body oil or other emollient type bath-substance. They are a little too rough for facial use but excellent for everywhere else. Highly recommend.
This doesn't do anything for my acne and if not vigorously rubbed into skin or is over-applied, starts to pill up. HOWEVER, it does moisturize oily skin, doesn't look shiny, has a nice smell and consistency, is inexpensive, is easy to find, and is excellent for cutting thick liquid foundations and makes them easier to spread. It may not be fantastic or do what it claims to do but it does all these other things right so it gets high marks from me.
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Lily of the Desert - Aloe Vera Gel
LaFemmNoir 10/8/2011 2:55:00 PM
NOT A MOISTURIZER, BUT A MOISTURIZER-SEALANT. On it is own it will be too drying, however it seals lotions very well, particularly oily lotions that can take a while to sink in; somehow it makes the skin absorb the oil faster and without a slick texture or residue. Also, it makes your skin feel soft. I also find it wonderful post-waxing, it cools and soothes the skin. I honestly enjoy that cool sensation very much. It doesn't irritate or break my skin out (though it did not help my acne either). Another thing it is good for: REMOVING EYE MAKEUP. It just picks it all up. Whenever I break an eyeshadow I tip q-tips into the aloe and just lightly touch the eyeshadow to the aloe and . . . it just all sort of clumps together and leaves nary a speck behind. Even on fabric! It isn't a completely 'organic' product but I can live with that. Raw aloe smells and just does not keep well. I also like that they changed the packaging; the snap lid no longer snaps so loudly, though it smells a bit plastic now too. Highly recommend.
A superior dupe to Nars Orgasm, because it doesn't look like your cheeks have been glitterbombed. It would suit all skin tones, like Orgasm is supposed to, except the pink actually shows up and the gold looks like a nice glimmer instead of glitter. It lasts well throughout the day, will last forever before you hit pan, doesn't make me break out and is reasonably priced. The only knocks against it are the flimsy packaging.
Utterly fabulous, I haven't bought a blush since I bought this one. It is a lovely pink shade that I feel would flatter most if not all skin tones (I am Hispanic and olive-skinned bty). The creme is wonderfully pigmented and spreads easily with a bit of heat. If it feels stiff you can breath on it a little, or with the lid snapped shut, pass over with it using a burst of hot air from a blowdryer and the creme will loosen. It applies much nicer with a brush, I personally use a wide concealer brush and it looks great. Best of all: Does not break me out Does not feel greasy Lasts well on top of foundation It will take forever to hit pan, so it is reasonably priced. The only thing I don't like is the packaging, which broke. That has been my experience with all my MAC blushes.
Eyeliner -L'Oreal - HIP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner in Black
LaFemmNoir 5/16/2011 7:20:00 PM
Not excellent, but fabulous in many regards. This was my first creme liner (I didn't want to spend a lot on something I was unsure about applying). It applies smooth and opaque, so it is a shame it dried up so relatively quickly. I still have so much left :( Still, if you can get it on sale or have a coupon, it is a great entry into the world of creme liners.
It was okay. The lines cracked a little bit and there was smudging in the warmer months (and I already contend with oily lids) and the applicator felt rough and unpleasant. In the cooler months it looked fantastic though. If you are curious to try it, see if you can snag it on sale or use your own liner brush instead.
Before I moved onto creme liners (much gentler than pressing against my eyeball) this was my favorite liner. Smooth, dark lines that hold up fairly well without smudging too much. Not fantastic but I hadn't worn anything better. It sucks if you lose the little sharpener though.
Makeup Brushes -Sonia Kashuk - Bent Eyeliner Brush
LaFemmNoir 1/15/2011 9:40:00 PM
This funny looking brush makes applying cream and gel eyeliners a snap. I'd never had much luck with pencil or liquid and was forced into creating thick lines in an effort to hide the fact that my hands were shaky. The first time I used this however, I was able to create a very fine, neat line. I do not regret this purchase at all.
I'm sorry to ruin the party. It just didn't do anything for me. It didn't make my skin look any worse but I didn't see any improvement either. Sea salt is so cheap I would recommend that one try it; if it doesn't work out it is still a wonderful addition to the kitchen cabinet and if you take the time to look online you will find that it has several other useful applications as well. In terms of health and beauty I think we all know it is lovely in bath water.