I have this in Brownie Chocolate, which unfortunately looks like it is discontinued. It's by far the darkest of their colors, and PERFECTION on me. Yes, this is my HG gloss. And wouldn't you know it that it's discontinued??!!!?! BUT OF COURSE! It is wonderful, a true my lips but so much better color - a little lighter than my lip color and harmonizes perfectly with my skin. Just... perfect. The formula is also lovely, and sticks around for just about 3 hours with luscious shine. It gives some dimension to my lips, making them seem larger. I LOVE THIS GLOSS SO MUCH. I bought a backup, of course. I think I should actually buy a couple more and stash them in the fridge... Yes. I think I shall do just that...
Eye Shadow -Tom Ford - Cocoa Mirage eye color quad
Maureen 6/5/2012 5:19:00 PM
I have two palettes that have severe dips from frequent use and love - Chanel Kaska Beige and this lovely thing. Kaska Beige imparts a slightly mauved, dusty-diffuse brown haze that brings out the gold and tiny traces of green in my brown eyes. The Cocoa Mirage is more a straight-up neutral brown, not a reddish brown nor goldy. I can see this ending up muddy on some skins, but on mine (extremely goldy-green NC37 skin), this is gorgeous. I used it very often since purchasing in December, and have been using it exclusively this whole past month and a half, and have happily worn it. Every. Day. It's my skintone's version of warm neutral, and utterly appropriate no matter where I go, no matter what I'm wearing. YES, you could call me boring. But you could also be kinder and call this palette a workhorse. 3 of the shade are matte; a warm bone white, a slightly-darker-than-nc37 tan, a chocolate brown, and a then a lightly shimmered, slightly-more burgundy brown. I admit I hardly ever use the bone and burgundy, though I have before and like them just fine, it's just that I'm in love with the tan and chocolate. Extremely pigmented, stay put shadows. I wear the tan on the inner portion of my lid, closest to my nose, with the darker chocolate smoked out on the outer third and into the socket and slightly above. I mix the two colors and shade heavily in the outer third of my lower lid. Brown liner and very very black mascara, and that's one damn fine eye. I love this palette! It's so worthwhile when you use it every stinkin' day. Because I use it each day, I cannot fault the price - not when the wear is so good, the results so consistent, and the application so simple. Gotta tip my hat to a winner when I meet it.
Tinted Moisturizer -Unlisted Brand - Miracle Skin Transformer
Maureen 6/4/2012 5:43:00 PM
I do have pretty good skin, remarkably, and it's not very oily, so I'm using this as a foundation-ish evening-out thing without anything on top of it but concealer where I need it. I'm using Medium Tan, which is a very good match for my skin coloring (nc37). I'm not used to primers, so I'm really not liking the feel of this when I first apply it - feels so thick and non-breathable. After I rub on it a bit, that feeling goes away. I haven't tried layering the product because I don't actively try to build up coverage that actually *hides* any skin imperfections, because I sense this stuff can't. But what it does do is allow me to trick the eye in full sunlight -- it gives me a poreless look, and blends my skintone together without being noticeable at all. Like, at ALL. This has become my day-to-day "foundation" because I can get as close to anyone as I like, and all you see is very good skin. Like the equivalent of a Pilgrim's clothing - looks plain, but it's actually fine stuff, on closer inspection. That's the look my skin gets with this; just finely spun and... effortlessly younger. I've worn this successfully (not in any great heat) for about 5 hours and garnered 3 compliments about my face and one person asked me out, and was surprised when he found out how old I was (he was younger than me, and figured me to be even younger than that! Nice.) And really, as I get up in age and become all Elizabeth Báthory, that's what I want, is to re-create the lily in an imperceptible, guileless way. In the evenings I will for sure wear something more substantial, like Dolce & Gabbana's Creamy or powder foundation or MUFE HD, but for those work days and days when I want the skin equivalent of admonishing someone's skin compliment with "what? This old thing?" I am so far reaching for this. I was scared I'd get acne from it - seems so heavy at first! - but so far, so good. I'll likely flit to something else over time, but my attention's captured with this stuff and I am enjoying it. UPDATE: It's merely aight with more use. I get the same effect from wearing concealer under my eyes and nothing on the rest of my face. So this current method of nude skin is what I'm sticking with! I've stopped using this product - it feels heavy on.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Betsey Johnson Too Too
Maureen 2/5/2012 12:35:00 AM
I don't know how to describe fragrances, I'll be honest. But I know I like this one. I spritzed it on my wrist about 5-6 hrs ago and it's still with me, though not strong, and I LIKE what I smell here. Kinda shocked I actually like it -- and I don't tend to like what I spritz a while later. I may have to get a bona fide sample. It's a little pedestrian, like I've smelled it before, but it doesn't hit any notes I *don't* like, which surprises me. I apologize - can't describe fragrances well, but I dig this.
Hair -Nuance by Salma Hayek - Quinoa Smooth & Shine
Maureen 11/14/2011 7:41:00 PM
Perfectly adequate performance. KILLER AWESOME FRAGRANCE. I'm one of those Kerastase-believers who go to any lengths for lovely hair, because I choose to relax it, which means all other care has to be thoughtful and extremely beneficial to hair, given that deadly relaxer blow I deal it about twice a year. This shampoo and conditioner did nothing to harm my hair that I can tell. Just keeps it status quo. But that SMELL! That SCENT! Oh my gosh, it's amazing. So amazing that I've been using this set exclusively for the past month (that's also how I can tell that it hasn't harmed my hair - gave this stuff a good run). No WAY that scent can have an organic or natural origin, it's too complex and lovely. Remember the way the old, original Pantene smelled (in your nostaligic mind?) Or how Revlon Fabulous (or was it Outrageous? I forget the name) smelled? Like above and beyond "normal" shampoo smell. I find myself with the most gorgeous-scented fingertips, and sometimes my old mind forgets from whence the scent came --- then I remember, it's from my HAIR! I've had a couple men comment on it, too, that I smell so good. Hell yeah I do. No complaints here, but this set is not spectacular, either, as in I haven't seen a marked improvement, just no harm. That's assez bien, in other words. So 3 lipsticks for performance, and an extra one for OMG, THAT FRAGRANCE! You know, if WEN had that scent, I'd so be a WEN girl. Like, with the quickness. Ah well.
Lip Gloss -Nuance by Salma Hayek - Ultra Shine Lip Gloss
Maureen 8/4/2011 4:38:00 PM
Seconding the previous reviewer, NYX does a MUCH better job at a much lower price point. Odd lingering sparkles after the unimpressively weak color has gone. And the scent! Uh uh, give it a miss.
Eyeliner -Nuance by Salma Hayek - Lasting Wear Gel Liner
Maureen 8/4/2011 4:35:00 PM
Not impressed by this one. I got brown, and although the initial delivery is smooth, the color is not very deep and the staying power is not beyond 5 hours of wear, which for an eyeliner nowadays is not very good. For the price and money behind this brand, I'd expect better.
What is the softest thing in life? Quadruple-milled flour? Allison Krauss' voice? Down from a baby pegasus? YOUR OWN MOTHER'S LOVE? Nay. I now know what the softest thing in life is, and it is this: the SUQQU Face Brush. I got it by accident, and what serendipity that was! This brush is incredible, which is silly, because it is quite credible - it is here beside me. Real as day. This brush is so viscerally real - it has a pelt, not just bristles. You can see the ends of the hairs ending naturally - no cutting. And the hairs are graduated up so that it ends in a pleasingly, slightly-pointed tip that can swirl in luxuriously tiny circles in use. Although it is super-soft, there is sufficient snap to the bristles. The price is WICKED. Truly evil. But heck; I make a lot of money, and I rather like me, so sometimes... you know... I splurges. But this has set off alarms. I will not be satisfied until I possess the cheek brush from SUQQU, as well. That one's price is evil and doesn't love you or me, either. But if it's anything like this beauty, like Gollum says, I wants it.
SUPERLATIVE UNDEREYE CONCEALER! Seriously. I have moderately dark circles, and lines as well (I'm not a young'n no more) and this does very very well. The Medium is teh same color as Erase Paste #2 and #3 mixed together. This peachy color does an excellent job of negating the dark brown/purple of my undereyes, and it does a good job of tackling my blue vein under my eyes, too. It is too much of a lightweight to handle acne or dark spots on my face (I use something heavier for that, like cle de peau or Erase Paste for my face). This gets a thumb's up for undereye concealing from me. And it photos well, too.
This is a fantastic brush - but not for what you'd think; I never use this for my crease, it's way too soft and big and a tad floppy for that. But where it absolutely excels is as a blending brush. Doesn't seem to be the usual shape for blending (bristles aren't as long, and it doesn't seem floppy enough), but stay with me: the softness is key. With this, the blending is perfectly, angelically soft (both in effect and feel) AND the control is exemplary. It splays like a good blending brush, but the bristles aren't so long so it's wonderfully controlled splaying. That's all I gotta say. Hope that helps someone!
Of these I have tried 4 colors so far, and none of them are particularly flattering on my skintone (Sundown - death in a tube, Pure Impulse - too pinky cool for me, Tender Love - a tad darker than mlbb yet somehow translated as blah, Natural Seduction - does-nothing brown). So I feel I gave the neutrals a shot, and all were a miss. I have a feeling these were not at all made for someone with my undertones. Hmm. So a flower off for that. Another flower off for the scent. Horrid scent. Keep-away scent. Strong old-lady scent. Really not something I want under my nose for any length of time. Now the formulation is lovely. The pigment level is lovely. The time they last is lovely. All these warrant the other 3 flowers.
I'm sold. Yep. That's it. My hair is relaxed, so I must be extremely careful with it. No coloring, no razor trims, no flat-ironing (well, I flat-iron about once a quarter, so that's not often at all), and 90% of the time I wet-set with old fashioned rollers and sit under a medium-heat drying bonnet. I sleep on satin. I wear my hair in a bun most days (not tightly, just so the ends are tucked away). Yeah, I'm committed to my hair being gorgeous when I want it to be. So this stuff intrigued me. And that intrigue is WARRANTED. Hot damn, this is good! My hair feels substantial, yet it's not weighed down. It's glossy, luscious and the ends are not crispy. Even with all my precautions, my hair didn't look or feel like this before. Bouncy-luscious and full-bodied. Even after using Aphogee and then series of Masquintense masks, this stuff trumps it. I do use the full amount recommended (I haven't the guts to slight it - it's kind of not a matter of just getting more beautiful hair for me. It's more like preserving what I have and preventing breakage. My hair grows at a snail's pace and I've so far coaxed it into bra-strap length, after, like, 6 years). I haven't yet left it on longer than 10-15 minutes, but I will try that on subsequent occasions. I wash my hair once a week, and each week, I've been using this. The results are cumulative. Very glossy, feels fantastic, ends are nice. Bouncy. SMELLS INCREDIBLE. Seriously. But my color has not been affected. I don't mind shelling out extra for this stuff. It deserves the accolades. I don't know about how it's effecting my scalp (at the slow rate my hair grows, I'll likely never see any effects), but I *can* say that I am extremely happy with how my hair is looking and behaving. Thrilled. Oh! I got my hair blown out this past week (3rd time in my life!) and the hairdresser couldn't believe my hair was relaxed. It seemed too healthy, too glossy. It shone like glass when she was done. I normally wear my hair a little curly/wavy, and the shine is strong there, too! I'm impressed. If it works, I'll buy it. I'll just save up more to get it.
Eye Shadow -Christian Dior - 5 Couleur Eyeshadow - The Browns
Maureen 2/13/2010 10:46:00 PM
A thousand times YES -- I would buy this product again and again (if it were still around). I swapped for it about 2 years ago and thank goodness it's a powder, so it lasts indefinitely. There isn't another color like the center color anywhere. I've looked. I first saw this palette in action on this remarkable DVD called Lips To Lashes, by the makeup artist who does Leona Lewis' face. Extraordinary DVD, by the way. Anyhow, she uses this palette on a woman who's skintone is close to my own, and holy crackers, did I HAVE TO HAVE this palette! But I was 10 years too late if it weren't for swap! And now I have it, and I use the center color very often to darken my crease and the creamy lightest color to brighten my brow and the mustard (on my skin, it's skintone - yeah, I'm plenty yellow) on my lid to make a classic contoured eye. Extremely lovely, perfect perfect perfect. Stunning. WHY don't they make this palette anymore? It's BROWNS, for goodness sake! How hard can that be to sell? And they have a winner with that center warm chocolate brown. It's perfection in color and silkiness and wear.
Treatments -Aphogee - Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer
Maureen 1/17/2010 1:22:00 PM
I have relaxed hair and use this before I wet-set each time, and it makes a HUGE difference! It swings, it has body, it has monster shine, all the good stuff one would want. It moreso now resembles my sister's hair, which is also relaxed, but is a stronger grade of hair (not so fine) that is simply gorgeous. This stuff is amazing. (I also use the Aphogee 2 minute reconstructor and the protein treatment - but that stuff only once every 3 months). I LOVE my hair now!
Baseline - Expensive as hell. Second baseline - if you already have good skin, it'll look better with this. Bad skin? No. I have been using this for a week and a half now and have had bad and very good skin in that timeframe, and was VERY disappointed in the result when with bad skin - accented what was wrong. Exfoliate, moisturize, THEN use this beauty on a good skin day, and perhaps buff a little bit, and it'll look great. This looks about as good as a very good, properly based- and buffed-in application of MUFE HD. This works well with my concealer (Benefit Erase Paste) and I suspect it'd likely work with any, though Temptu does make their own silicone-based concealer wheel, which I don't have, and thankfully don't need now. It lasts well through the day - I have normal to slightly dry skin and this lasts me til nighttime washing, if I refrain from touching my face. Takes about as much time as putting on regular foundation. No real time savings. The finish is satiny, which if you're oily may be an issue for you. For color, it's eh. I wear Natural and that's slightly deeper and not quite olivey-yellow enough for me, but it works ok - I don't need much at all to even me out, the thinest veil. Nice thing is you can easily carry it down to match the body, but that's a lotta money for the product... I dunno. I like not having to clean a little airbrush, but I am not too keen on the price of this foundation. Over time, this'll add up pretty badly. I'm thinking maybe I'd better get off this train while I can... I mean, right now this is about as much as a full traditional airbrush system - fine. But as time goes on and I drop 27.50 for a MONTH OF FOUNDATION (that month is in theory, may make it stretch longer than that), this costs way more. And if the finish is only as good as a (very very well-executed) application of MUFE HD, which costs much less. Well, you know. I mean, don't get me wrong - I have got the hang of application now, and really like what I'm seeing. I really do look like a 25-29 year old at 34.5 with this, but I can do this with MUFE HD too. IT IS FUN to play with a machine, and I love gadgets. But at what cost? My un-ethical suggestion? Take advantage of the return policy to test for yourself. And take your time, switching from your current product to this one and back again. Mine is coming up even against my current fave. But your mileage may vary. I hope this helps someone!