I had high hopes for this product, especially since I really adore the alpha-Arbutin White line! However, I have to admit I am disappointed with the masks. I am a great fan of the Kanebo paper masks (Kose also makes them, as do other Asian companies). These paper masks have the same principle... paper masks soaked in a treatment solution. The Kanebo masks I have tried are soaked in a thicker solution, more of a gel. I've had good results with them, and really liked them, although the cost is a bit high and these masks are a bit hard to find in the US. I was excited about DHC coming out with these masks since now I would have easier access to really good treatments, and for such a great price. However, I was disappointed. The solution was very thin, and the mask dried out rather quickly. I noticed no change in my skin, not even a moisturizing effect. Since trying these, I've had the opportunity to try another line, from Singapore, Just@100, which is also a mask in a thin solution, but these masks gave quite a good result quickly. I was very impressed. And they were cheap too! However, it's hard to come by. Sigh. So... it's either cheap, but inaccessible, or expensive and sort of accessible, or accessible and doesn't work.
I am really, really behind on my reviews, LOL! I can't believe I haven't written a huge rave for this item, as it's really a wonderful cleanser. It has replaced my former favorite washing powder from Komenuka Bijin. Not only is it more affordable, but it also has better packaging. A little goes a long way, and it lasts forever! I make a foam before I use this on my face, but some people like to use the grains to exfoliate. My skin is rather dry, and this cleanses my skin thoroughly without stripping at all. My skin feels clean and smooth, without that tight feeling. No residue on my skin either. Just clean, fresh skin. I use this when I feel my skin needs extra cleansing after the Deep Cleansing Oil. The papain is supposed to lightly exfoliate too.
I've been through 5 of these. Yes, 5. I really love them that much, LOL! I've made my own facial mists many times (some of them have been really good too!) but I love the portability of the DHC Micro Skin Water, and the fact that spray is quite fine. I also like that the ingredients are quite mild and the scent is not overly fragrant as many mists can be. The green tea scent is subtle. Also, the mist feels somehow nourishing, rather than "toning." My skin is very dry, and I work very long hours... I get very tired and need a pick me up frequently and washing my face isn't always possible-- no time! This is the perfect solution for a person on the go. Also, it's perfect for airplane travel, another reason why I really, love this item. With humidity levels shockingly low at 40,000 feet above sea level, this is really a life saver for my skin. I also find that when I use a moisturizing mask, if I spritz this on, this will "recharge the mask" a bit too. Writing a paper? Keep this by the computer when your eyes are fatigued, and you somehow you feel a bit better. You see, I found so many uses for this baby!
The price is a bit high, I think it should be a couple dollars less, but the packaging and ingredients are much better than Evian mist and I feel much more refreshed and my skin feels so much better with this! I can't be without it!
Lip Treatments -Kenzo - Kenzoki Sensuel Sweet & Smooth Lips Duo
Marianne 12/14/2004 12:09:00 AM
Cost is $20. But, wow! I have never been an advocate of grainy scrubs. I have really sensitive skin, and have done permanent damage to my very sensitive skin from the days of my teenage years when I over-exfoliated. I now like a more gentle method to exfoliate my skin... and considering that the lips are a particularly sensitive and delicate skin area, the idea of using a grainy scrub on that area was not appealing.
Now my lips are dry, really really dry. However, my lips have been peeling much worse than usual. I had been using everything I could think of to moisturize them, all my tried and true tricks, and nothing worked. Finally, I did a search on MUA for ideas, and saw a post on the Kenzoki lip duo. It sounded neat... and since it was sugar granules, my usual fear was ameliorated, since I figured that it couldn't get tooooooo rough, since it would eventually disolve, right? The price was not so good... $20 for a tube of chapstick that might end up being like sandpaper on my lips? Well, I saw it at Sephora and after seeing the tiny granules of the tester (didn't actually use it on my lips) I figured it might be all right and happened to get the last tube at Sephora! I was really happy! The tube packaging is very modern. I like the translucent plastic, it's very "Kenzo" (reminds me of their Flower bottle). The smell is supposed to be "rice steam" which I can understand, it smells like sweet rice water, actually, with a hint of vanilla cream. The taste is not my favorite, I have detected a bit of a plastic-y aftertaste. Yuck! However the product itself is wonderful!! The scrub side really is addictive. I have to remind myself that moderation is a good thing, LOL. It's a very gentle scrubbing feeling, and it's still quite moisturizing. The granules disappear after a while, I am assuming it is from dissolving. After a couple uses, my lips were feeling much better, the dry flakes were nearly gone, and the dryness was much alleviated. The other side is the balm, and that feels quite lovely as well, so smooth and moisturzing, but not heavy at all. I really liked this!
I prefer lip treatments without a scent or taste, that's the only thing I'd change (besides the price, haha!). But I admit this is still a rather early review... I will be sure to update in a few weeks, but right now I feel like I will defn. repurchase.
P.S. I read on another site that other people who love the exfoliating side tend to break the stick from pressing too hard. So be careful! I like to think that if I press this very delicately, that should be enough exfoliation that my lips should get. =) Like it's a safety mechanism-- if you press too hard, it's too much exfoliation, so it self-destructs! My own humble opinion though! ;-)
$28. The Luminizer is nice, as it is safe to use on eyes, unlike most highlighters. Like the rest of the Marais line, "a dab will do ya," and just a little product goes quite a long way. The texture is very smooth, and deposits a good amount of pigment. The shimmer is not over the top, but quite lovely. I think of pearls when I see the glow it gives. In daylight, it is quite lovely.
The applicator is like that of a nailpolish brush. It seems like you get such a little amount of product, but as mentioned earlier, a little goes a long way. I had this in #2, the rose gold shade. It's a lovely warm shade, like peaches in champagne. I now have it in the white gold!
This little bottle looks so nifty in the magazines, but when I picked it up, I was daunted to find it was made of plastic. It was very light, and somewhat cheap looking. I am not sure I exactly like the applicator. If I use this on my lips... I don't want to put this on my eyes too! Cross-contamination! I just end up using separate one-time use applicators all the time... but I waste so much product this way. So... the entire packaging-- that's the one thing I'd change!
Crème -Stephane Marais - cream foundation [DISCONTINUED]
Marianne 11/2/2004 11:56:00 PM
$40. Aiya. I will preface this review with saying that I cannot give this a perfect "5" b/c I still am having the worst time with the shading system! I can't figure out where I lie. I have the cream foundation in O-1, which is not the right shade for me... it's too yellow. I am still trying to figure out... I think I am either a O-0 or a P-1. But I can't buy 3 jars of foundation, so that's where my dilemma starts, and why I am rambling... so moving right along...
Now, the best way I can describe this lovely foundation is to call it "the love-child of Giorgio Armani MSF and Chantecaille Future Skin foundation." Like Armani, it's got that wonderful "slip" of silicon, and that weightless feel. Like Chantecaille, it's a cream in a jar, with a wonderful whipped consistency. Like both, it gives you a not quite dewy, not quite matte glowy radiance. But like all children, it has its own character as well! This foundation is quite pigmented, a little goes a very long way! My skin is very dry and sensitive, and I was skeptical that a teeny amount would cover my whole face. The Cle de Peau disaster just left me quite cynical. But the feel is so nice and soothing, it really does spread nice and evenly! The finish can vary from sheer to medium. You can "build up" coverage with more applications. I still need to use a bit of powder, just to set, as I find it can leave even my skin a bit too dewy (like the Chantecaille). But just a small dusting of powder, and it's a wonderful natural finish. I love the weightless feel, I am not a foundation person, and when I do wear foundation, it's usually a special occassion, and I want to feel comfortable. Speaking of special occassions... here's the ultimate great thing about this foundation that I've found. While I find that the finish is quite nice, I think it's fairly comparable to Armani MSF. Also, it doesn't have that smell that Armani's foundations have. But... in photos... WOW. That's why I love this foundation and BOTHER to try to find the perfect matching shade. While wearing this for pics, my skin looks really radiant and smooth. I look air-brushed, really! I sometimes have a problem with "white mask" with some foundations in pictures, but not with this foundation! It was smooth and wonderful. Even the color in the pictures looks all right. (The color in person is quite off though.)
To Improve: I wish there was a better shading system, the jar annoys me (hygiene reasons, but I understand how it would be hard to dispense this otherwise).
Bottom line: Will update... if I do find the right shade... this will get a 5! Anything that makes you look airbrushed in photos deserves it. And the price is quite acceptable!!
$100. I am so glad I didn't purchase this... I received a really large deluxe sample from a sweet friend overseas in Asia. Now, Stephane Marais is the mind behind Cle de Peau, and I can see how his new line has some correlations with CdP. Like the Marais cream foundation, this is very highly pigmented, and a little goes a very long way. I read in a Japanese beauty magazine (translated for me) that it's best to place small dots of foundation in each "quadrant" of the face, and blend from there. Well... that's the problem! On my sensitive-dry skin, this just won't spread! Even with good moisturization, and the CdP primer underneath, it won't spread. I end up with five smudges of foundation on my face. Lovely. I was determined to make this work though. It's CLE DE PEAU, I kept telling myself. So I mixed a bit of moisturizer with the cream foundation, and that helped quite a bit. The finish was quite light and matte, and felt rather weightless. I was feeling pretty impressed! But then... as the day progressed, I felt like I had a clay mask on... my skin felt tight and uncomfortable. And the color seemed to be oxidizing, the already quite yellow-toned foundation was giving me a bit of a look of jaundice. Maybe I just needed a new color? I have a lot of pink in my skin. Anyhow, jaundice?? Not pretty! And it started to sink into my smile lines. Eeew!
I tried for two weeks to make this work. Admirably, the sample is still filled to the brim, it looks absolutely untouched, that's how little product I used! But... it just won't work on me. Since I moisturized and used the brand's own primer, and all the other primers I have and that didn't work... I gave up. Just not good for me.
$22. A lovely deep rosy-pink with a glossy finish. On the cool side, has a slight touch of plum to darken the rose. Too deep to be a YLBB color. To me, seems to be a darker version of the popular #4.
Creamy, moisturizing, weightless, and effortless! I can apply this color without a mirror, as I dash out the door.
Reminds me of a totally upgraded Stila Wendy, with a bit more oomph!
$22. I started out with the sheer lipsticks ($25) and was so hooked I completely overlooked the regular formula. Shame on me!
The color I have right now is #5, a deeper rosier version of the popular #4. It has the creamiest texture, is ultra smooth on application, and feels so light on the lips, never gunky! I feel like I am pampering my lips, not covering them up. Lasting power is decent, and seems to moisturize my lips. The finish is a lovely gloss, so pretty! No shimmer in the #5, that I can detect. There is a slight chemical taste, more pronounced than in the sheer formula, but it disappears quite quickly.
I love the packaging of the regular line. The red tube with the black art-decorated cap is just so cute! There are several different designs, so it's possible to sort of differentiate your colors, if they happen to have different art on their caps. (Not so for the sheer collection)
My head is turned... Stephane Marais, you are the Lipstick Deity!
I'd also like to add that I've been using Armani lipsticks exclusively for the past 2.5 years, and just can't go back! They are my second favorite. Chanel, K. Aucoin, Guerlain, and even Cle de Peau aren't near as nice IMHO, though some of them have some very nice packaging.
EDIT- 11/5/04- Ah, I've gotten to test even more of the regular line, and here's what I have found-- I found ONE color that wasn't as smooth and creamy as the rest-- #28, which is beautiful, and a bit more frosty than the others. I wonder if that made a huge difference? Anyhow, I find that Marais makes wonderful lipsticks if you want a creamy finish, a glossy finish, or a semi-shimmery finish. And of course, his sheers are wonderful!! He still needs to come out with more colors, of course. And he doesn't have mattes or shimmers. SO--- I am shamefacedly apologizing to my Armani lipsticks (the Matte Sheers and the shimmery ones, and the ones with unique colors!) and acknowledging them for their unique and lovely character, and realize that though I love Marais and he's pretty much my favorite right now... he's not the only lipstick in my life! I still love you, Armani! ;-)
$35. Yes, you read that correctly. I was having total buyer's remorse as I carried this home. But in the end, as you can tell from my scores, I am pleased with this purchase!
This is a mechanical type pencil. You can refill the lead, and each pencil comes with two refill leads. The pen has a good weight to it. You twist the top of the pen to advance the lead, and twist to bring the lead back down; no need to have a cap to lose. I don't understand the talk in the magazines about this "micro-fine lead tip." It's really NOT all that fine. When I saw it, I was pretty disappointed, I expected something akin to a 0.7 mm mechanical pencil lead. Not quite.
The first couple times I tried the pencil, I had an awful time... I don't know if the lead needed time time to be warmed up, or if I was pressing to hard and just needed to practice, but it was awful. I either drew nothing at all, or made huge thick lines, not the promised thin oh-so-natural hairs that would blend in with my brows. Very annoying. But I struggled on, and after a while, I realized I had to hold the pencil at a certain angle, just the right angle, and just "sketch" ever so lightly when drawing in the individual hairs in the brows. And after a while, it was perfect! Just exactly the way it was supposed to be. The lead gives a nice smooth line, doesn't tug as some pencils do. I find that when I started the pencil, it took some time for the lead to "warm up." But now I don't have to warm the lead up at all... perhaps the ends of the leads are a bit "dried?" The effect lasts all day, and no smudging. Removes very easily with my trusty DHC Deep Cleansing Oil!
I have naturally very blue-black Asian hair and eyebrows and #1 is the perfect matching shade. My mother has black hair with a brownish tone, and #1 is too dark for her, so just beware. I think she will need something with a bit more taupe.
I know that some Asian brands carry mechanical eyebrow pencils, but I havne't had a chance to try them since they are overseas. Also, the ones I could order online seem to always be a very taupe-brown color or a gray color, neither of which would work for me. So I am very happy with the Marais for now... beats a ticket to Asia! ;-)
UPDATE (10/31/04): I bought the #2 for my mom, it's a dark color, with a grayish taupe hue. It worked perfectly on her! So if you don't have jet black eyebrows, but your brows are quite dark, this is a great one!
My very first Marais lipstick... and what a lovely introduction! This review is for the shade #6 in the sheer collection. It looks to be a bronze color, very dark in the tube. However on application it's quite lovely and light. It's a warm, very sheer brown-based rose, with a hint of gold glimmer. It's what I call my "updated" Stila Luce, b/c it's like that color, but lighter, happier, and the sheer version. I love it! The lipstick is very creamy on application, and feels so smooth, and lasts a decent amount of time! Feels very pampering on the lips, and quite weightless at the same time. The packaging isn't as cute as the regular lipsticks, but I can live with that. $25.
This review is for the shade #4 in the Sheer lipstick line. The sheer lipsticks cost $25, while the regular lipsticks cost $22. Interesting, huh? Anyhow, these sheer lipsticks are my absolute favorites! The colors seems very dark in the tube, and I admit, I was very scared when the SA picked up the #4 and offered it to me. It's a deep plummy purple, and looks like it will come out matte. Actually, when I pulled it out of my purse the other day, my brother asked, "Are you going to wear a black lipstick?!" But, what a lovely color it is! On the lips it shows up a very sheer pretty color: a medium mauvey plum with a bit of rose. So pretty! This is defn. one shade you can't judge just by looking at it, you NEED to try it on! The color is very sheer, so you can build the intensity. The finish is a bit on the glossy side. Creamy, and sooo smooth, a pleasure to apply! Such a nice moisturizing feel, but still has that light weightless feel we all expect from a sheer lipstick, and with decent staying power. Slight chemical taste on application disappears quickly. The tubes aren't as cute as the regular lipsticks... the tubes are all the same, not individualized designs. Also, smaller color range. But these are so wonderful, I have to admit that my former loves (Armani Sheer and Chanel Aqualumieres) are much forgotten!
$39. I love the Marais line. It's very unique, and the product quality is excellent! The intense eye khol is an eyeliner gel in a pot, along the lines of Bobbi Brown and Stila. However, the colors are much more vivid and dramatic! That alone stopped me in my tracks. I fell immediately in love with the Violet (#4). I am a softy for any shade of purple! Anyhow, it's the most lovely color, kind of like the purple you find in a peacock feather. Beautiful!
The applicator is a sponge wedge tip. It is very interesting, and works quite well. Lasts all day long, through humid conditions, tears, etc. Very practical. I do like the Marais, and it will last forever, but... I find it a bit difficult to apply on my eyelids. But I have to tell you, my eyelids are really, sensitive. If a MA presses too hard with a e/s brush on my eyes, I get a bad reaction! So, anything that tugs on my lids are a no-no (which is why eyeliner pencils have always been a no-no for me). I love the color, though!
Woo hoo! I can finally wear black liner! Finally! Can you imagine how that feels for a 28 year old who has wanted to avoid the cute look, but can't wear black liner? hee hee! Anyhow, I am very happy! This is a wonderful product. Very true black, stays on all day, without smudging, and truly waterproof. I don't worry about looking like a raccoon with this! The texture is very creamy, and I have just enough time before it sets to smudge it, if I want. Takes a while to learn to make the different caliber lines you wish, but once you get it, it's so much fun! Yea!!
Wow! I gave up on eyeliner many a moon ago. Liner pencils were hopeless. They either tugged on my eyelids (and caused a bad reaction, b/c my skin is very sensitive) or they just smudged right off. I was doing the wet-e/s as liner for a while, but it would always fade by the end of the day, and if my eyes watered just a bit... bam! No more liner. Liquid liner was a no-go too. Then I tried the Bobbi Brown inks, and that was a bit better... but it was still a bit too "dry" for me, and i still tugged at my eyelids as well. The Marais intense khols tugged even more. I figured, if BB and Marais aren't going to work, well, no way is Stila. I was wrong! True, you have to get used to the technique, but hey, I had to get used to putting lipstick too. This is sooo smooth and easy to work with (IMHO) and no more tugging on my lids. I have just enough time to smudge before it sets. And when it sets, it stays on! yea! You might worry about removal... not a problem, as I have my DHC deep cleansing oil which melts everything off, a necessity, when you aren't allowed to scrub your face! I have this in black, a color I never could wear before! I love it! Will defn. get plum and gray later on!
Best of all... $16.00 for a glass jar of eye lining gel I will never ever finish. Talk about bang for your buck! And from STILA! I used to love Stila to death, until they raised the prices, but the packaging didn't get much better, the product sizes got smaller, and the product quality (IMHO) went down (the e/s are chalkier than they used to be, more of the l/s go rancid!) Then they come up with this well-packaged, high-quality item! Yea!