I had the most horrible experience with this product. I bought the shade "Midnight Violet" I believe it is called. The picture on the box was a deep black with a purple tone/shine to it. OK: I KNOW that the color almost never works out the same as on the box. But this, oh my goodness! Not even close. I do have some gray, but even my brown hair was not remotely "violet black." My hair was a deep wine color. Now, I am pretty easy about hair. I don't freak out if a haircut doesn't work for example. I'm more likely to get a demi-crew cut and begin with a "clean slate, " so to speak. Once I got over the disappointment that the color was not a whit like the box, I kind of liked it: purple-wine hair! I love purple in general. It went over well at the school where I work. The children liked it. And then: in 3 days it started to fade badly. Within 2-1/2 weeks I had this awful faded pink hair. Again, I wasn't too freaked because it's only hair. I was just flabbergasted that the color faded so quickly. Also: the conditioner was just horrible as well. When I color my hair at home, I usually LOVE the tube of conditioner that comes with the kit. You know how silky your hair feels when you use it? Maybe I just got a bad batch of color and conditioner. The texture of the conditioner was actually grainy, and it left my hair feeling greasy and dirty. I used it twice and just threw it away it was so horrible. I have used L'oreal hair color before and have not had such a bad experience. Perhaps it is just the Feria line; I will not be using the Feria line again. Nope. I dyed my hair last night with a Clairol product--a deep ash brown and yeah! The conditioner has my hair feeling soft and silky, my hair IS brown again. I totally can not recommend this product at all.
I went to Walgreens today looking for Ultraswim shampoo (nobody carries it!) and feeling defeated, I browsed cosmetics of course. WNW was on sale! Ooh-la-la! Total splurge purchase: on sale for $1.99. I bought the second lightest shade (fair/light) because the lightest shade seemed too pink/cool for me. I'm about an NC15 or so. It seems to be a pretty good match, with enough yellow for my skin's undertones. I don't get too whipped up over packaging if I like the product inside. The package, yes, it's cheap. At this price point of course a person can't expect luxury. It would be nice to have a mirror in the compact. Maybe one is hidden: remember those 3 shade eyeshadows? with the teeny hidden mirror? And of course the sponge is throw away. Mainly it's too small and thin to be useful, though in all honesty the firmness/porosity/texture is actually first rate. The product itself is very lovely: finely milled, smooth, not too heavy. It is a bit dusty so you need a light touch with your brush. I probably would choose a powder that is more firmly pressed for an on-the-go makeup kit. On my skin it is not chalky or heavy, but I use it lightly over an already matte foundation. It keeps the oil at bay as long as any other powder, which is a few hours. I've paid more for powder that matched less and wore more fugitively than this one. It's a lovely little bargain if you can get the correct shade. That's always the problem with drugstore products with no testers. An added super bonus: there is no detectable fragrance which I just love.
Moisturizers -La Mer - Creme de la mer moisturizer
Meriel65 4/4/2013 5:47:00 PM
My sister was insane and bought this product and got a little sample pot to boot; so she gave me that. Honestly: I can't believe what charlatans can get away with. It's like: if it's expensive it must be good, and if it's SUPER expensive, well, obviously it must all be true, the promises and blah blah blah. What a bunch of bushwah. There is absolutely nothing special in the formula; what would have been about the only thing that could have some efficacy would be sunscreen but nope; doesn't have it. Worse still is the antiquated packaging. Any promising active ingredients will start to degrade the moment you open the jar and expose the contents to sunlight and air. Doesn't the story go something like some space guy created this? A "scientist?" Well, any scientist worth his or her stuff would do due diligence and find out about the stability of formula components and do what it took to make sure the precious potion was stored appropriately to keep active ingredients stable and, well, active. But I guess people who waste money like this (sorry sis) are desperate to believe anything, any improvements they see would be the same (or better!) with a far cheaper product with a better formulation and stable packaging; OR they have money to burn and buying a pot of this stuff is more for the ego--"I can afford to waste money on this." Honestly: extra virgin olive oil (kept in an opaque container!) would be a better skin care item than this junk. Consumers: start to read labels and learn about cosmetic ingredients and factors which degrade their quality and potency! And consider this: if just ONE miracle cream out there actually worked, why would we need any more than that? Well, there are different skin types, but the fact that there are thousands and thousands of lotions and potions out there, that's really telling a reasonable person something. And here the rant endeth.
Toners -Paula's Choice - Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner
Meriel65 3/31/2013 3:19:00 PM
I never thought I'd use a "milky" toner before; to me that hinted that I was, um, getting old. Well, the truth is, I am getting older; as are all the rest of us. I have used PC products for several years and have generally been very pleased with most of the items. Her toners are some of the very few that don't contain alcohol, fragrance, or coloring agents, so already there are many pluses to her formulations. I had started out with a different formula--the Skin Balancing one for normal to oily skin. But that has gradually ended up being a little too strong for me. That has been a kind of a shock to me, again related to the aging process and my own kind of humble vanity. This toner is very soothing to my skin. I always keep in mind that a formula that works for one person may not work for another, it all depends on individual preferences and literally the way a person's body reacts on a biological level, which we really can't control. I think that Ms. Begoun does pretty due diligence when trying to formulate products leaving out known irritants, but she can't cover every last base. So this works very well for me; it removes any last remnants of dirt or makeup, but leaves my skin feeling silky and slightly moisturized. My skin does not as yet require heavier moisturizers than the gel formulation that I use, knock on wood. I don't really care about fancy packaging; I'd rather it be sort of dull and serviceable, or that it keep active ingredients active/stable (you hear that, Creme de la Mer???? Jar packaging on something that costs a gazillion?). I can detect no fragrance though others report a faint scent. I think for the winter months I consider this essential here in MN. I go back to the Skin Balancing formula in the summer months. I am glad this product works well for me and will buy it for as long as it is made and can afford it.
This is so beautiful. In the pan it looks like an intimidating deep purple, but when applied, it is a lovely sheer purple/berry that you can build up. It also has a fairly dry finish; it doesn't stay moist or tacky like other liquid or semi-liquid forms of blush (I dislike Tarte for this very reason). No scent which is a bit plus. It's on the expensive side, but you don't need to use much so it'll last a long long time. I've even applied it to my lips for a lovely sheer tint. It doesn't last long, but if you want to lighten up on what's in your cosmetic pouch, this will do double duty. I don't get into packaging; the only time I ever comment on it is if something about it makes it troublesome to use the product, or if the package seems of a better quality than the actual product. I'd rather have a great product in a modest container. Now: I love this and of COURSE UD is discontinuing this shade. Eek! I am going to order some right away. I can't believe they are going to discontinue such a gorgeous gorgeous color. It's insane, it boggles the mind. Get it while you still can!
Blush -Vincent Longo - Lip and Cheek Gel Stain - Baby Boo
Meriel65 3/26/2013 2:59:00 PM
Baby Boo is a lovely plummy red that has been described well in other reviews. I would call it a cool color that would not suit someone who can wear warm colors well. You also have to blend on sheer and deftly if you have fairer skin, such as I do, or you do run the risk of looking rather feverish. I think this type of product generates strong feelings because it takes a while to find the best way to apply it effectively. You have to work fast, for example, if using it as a blush because it does dry and set quickly (but not as quickly as some other liquid formulas). If using it on the lips, your lips had better be in good shape, so you have to exfoliate and some people just may not want to bother; and then you end up with the product clinging to dry patches. But if you are willing to learn how to use it, and to prepare, it's really lovely stuff. This far surpasses the Tarte and Benefit stains mainly because when the VL dries, it is not tacky or moist at all (Tarte always feels sticky, and the huge container is cumbersome); and there are many lovely shades (Benefit: we are not a one or two colors fits all nation). At first the price seems somewhat high (though no higher than other HE brands); but you only need a tiny amount of product so it will last ages. The doe's foot applicator is OK for dabbing on. I don't know how you could improve on the applicator; a brush wouldn't work I think. So again: you learn how to work with it. It has the sweet scent which I don't mind, but I tend to prefer unscented items. I love this and the only thing that keeps me from giving it 5 stars is that no matter where you look on the Internet, the color swatches are always totally off so it is risky to order. I did a lot of research on MUA and beauty blogs before I took the plunge and felt I could order a suitable color with confidence.
Foundations -Revlon - Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup - Buff
Meriel65 3/26/2013 2:45:00 PM
I kind of climbed on the "band wagon" with this one after reading MUA reviews and lurking on Youtube a bit. My skin is changing as I age; it is still oily, but there is occasional surface dryness, a few--ahem--fine lines. I used the original Colorstay in Buff when it first came out. Loved the super durable matte finish, but yeah, did it ever look like makeup. The formula changed over the years but I moved on to my current favorite, Almay's TLC, also in buff. But we never stay loyal to just one foundation do we? We always stray in our search for The One True Foundation. I guess that I found this a compromise between a traditional Colorstay and a regular foundation, in that it is longer wearing than the average foundation; but much less enduring than the formidable precursor. It is also more natural looking because the coverage is light to medium. Removing any sunscreen actives also makes this a little less opaque, which some people like. I tend to prefer a mineral sunscreen in my foundation so I don't have to layer too many products. So I guess what I don't like--the light medium coverage, no sunscreen, not as tenacious--might make another person say: Holy Grail! And for some, it is. Just not me. Also, the shade is not quite right. The intensity is fine--fairly light. It is just too neutral; it has more of a beige undertone rather than yellow. So I can get away with it, but it ends up looking a bit flat. I might offer this up for swap since I can't return it. I've used it a few times, buffing it in with a brush and the finish is lovely. It feels very light and "flexible" if that makes sense (it will if you ever wore the real deal, Colorstay, or something like the EL Double Wear); but I prefer more coverage, sunscreen, and something that can endure a day at work, which means playground duty outside during the summer months and an occasional dash through the sprinkler.
The color is lovely: a deep cool red, tending towards a wine color. I read reviews for the liner in the same name and it appears the shade of lipstick is the same or similar. Full-strength it is BOLD. I don't particularly like the scent, and the packaging tends to make the tip of the lipstick bullet prone to getting knicked. But this is a great lipstick when compared to some out there for 10 times the price or more. The main reason I would not buy again is because I am changing over to sheer lipsticks, which work better for me these days.
Jordana is a lovely brand that has generally quite good products for more than reasonable prices. This lipstick is very pigmented, and fairly creamy. Not slippery at all. The color is lovely: it is a shimmery deep blue-based pink. It reminds me of a Max Factor lipstick I had once upon a time. I would call it a medium bright color. There are so many Jordana shades, I thought I would review each one I bought in a tiny "haul" from Cherry Culture to help others research shades and hopefully avoid making a mistake. It wouldn't be an expensive mistake but all those little mistakes add up! Plumwine is a very cool color, and the shimmer is not over-the-top, thank goodness. Just enough to add some dimension.
I suppose I had my first Walmart "haul" when I stumbled upon the Flower display. Sadly I have had to return most of the items because the colors did not work for me. That said, I find this product kind of odd and troublesome. It isn't a real BB cream (I lived in Japan for 10 years; all the balms there have sun protection, and usually some ingredient to help lighten dark spots of pigmentation). I'm not really sure what to call this except a dry-finish foundation with not nearly enough shades. I like the tube fine. The product is very thick so there is not threat of leaking out unless the formula should separate. I got the shade 1, which was VERY light, yellow-based (which is good for me) and very difficult to blend out. It has more coverage than the foundation (which I also had to return due to the "glow" factor) which was quite a shock. I had to put my beloved Paula's Choice moisture gel over my whole face in order to get enough slip to blend the cream into my skin. There is a touch of a satin finish--not as noticeable as in the foundation--which I suppose looks nice. I just don't want to have to struggle with the dry texture of this product. I suppose if I mixed it with my sunscreen, it could be workable, but any BB cream worth the name should already have a reliable broad spectrum sunscreen. Otherwise, it's just a tinted moisturizer going by another, for the time being trendier name.
I personally did not like this foundation, but the things I disliked about it might in fact thrill someone else. I had to return it, which is sad. I wanted to love this product line because it seems fresh and lovely, like... Flowers! This is a rare brand in that all the colors seem to have a strong yellow base, which works for me. Anyone with cool undertones will have problems. And there appears to be shades for really REALLY pale skin tones. I chose shade 3, because shade 4 looked more orange. It went on a little too light, but it did blend in fairly well. I would say it offers sheer to light coverage. Layering might eke out a medium but there is the threat of caking. It immediately creased in my eyelids--not a good look, so I knew that I would have to add powder to set the foundation. There is a luminous finish to the foundation, not way out there, but enough that I didn't like it. I have oily skin to begin with and a generally do not do well with a "dewy glow." Some people may love this, and bless your dear hearts. It also transfers like mad, which I didn't like. If you like a luminous, sheer-coverage, yellow-based somewhat fugitive foundation, this is for you. The packaging is hefty and seems durable; love the pump. It just didn't work for me, for the reasons stated.
In my rating, I said I'd buy again, but it's discontinued. That always happens when I find something I like. This was a steal on clearance. I have tried a few stick-type blushes but I generally have not liked their tacky feel (you there, Tarte!) or shimmer or what have you. This rated fairly high on both Avon's site and MUA so I took the plunge and am quite pleased. I like the little twist up container. It's exactly like Ulta's stick; but without a little extra interior cap to keep the product moist. I hope this won't be an issue. The color is just like the name: a pretty medium-toned rosy berry, definitely a cool shade. It is creamy and blends well but dries down to an almost undetectable finish. It is not really pigmented enough to wear as a lip color on my fairly mauve lips; but if you have very pale lips, this could work as a sheer tint. You'd have to apply with a lip brush or fingertip if you chose to use it that way. I apply it with the pad of a fingertip rather than stroke it over my skin. It is unscented which I love. I might pick up another shade if there is some sort of sale with free shipping. This is a lovely little product and it performs much better than similar items and many times the price.
Eye Shadow -NYX - Love in Rio: Barefoot in the Sand
Meriel65 3/25/2013 7:48:00 PM
I was excited to see the larger NYX display at Ulta; many new products, and so many have testers! Yeah! I oohed and aahed over all the new palettes, and then opted for this one, which is a trio of lovely neutrals. I had such high hopes. This trio contains a matte cream, a slightly shimmery pale brown/taupe, and a matte medium cool brown. I attempted to use the sponge-tip applicator to apply the product and the sponge was very firm so rather than pick up product, it scooped out little "divots" of product, if that made sense. It was also very difficult to apply and blend using the applicator, so in the trash it went. I had more success with my brushes. The cream shade is pretty pigmented but rather chalky and takes some deft blending. The shimmery pale color doesn't really quite "read" on my skin and didn't adhere very well. I am not a primer sort of person; perhaps if I used a primer the product would apply and wear better but I'm just not up to another step in the morning. The darker cool brown is beautiful. Fairly pigmented, a little chalky, but I love it. It's great as a brow color. There were a few other trios that are sufficiently neutral to appeal to me, but I don't think I would purchase them because the shadows just weren't all that special. Wet-n-Wild's Brulee is a fabulous product, and Physician's Formula Canyon classics has all around better quality.
Lips -Revlon - Just Bitten Kissable Stain Balm - Crush
Meriel65 3/25/2013 11:46:00 AM
These days as I age, I find I need sheer formulas with little to no shimmer to work with my lips' tone and condition. I thought this would be great; they rate fairly highly depending on the shade. I wanted to love this but there are some serious defects. First and foremost: the peppermint. Nope. Not a good idea EVER to put anywhere on your body. People seem to love the fresh-feeling "tingle" and thing it is good for them. NOT ON YOUR LIFE. Peppermint is an irritant (that's what the tingle is actually) and drying and photosensitizing. If you must have any of the mints, have it in a nice cup of tea while reading a good book. Second: the color. It started off lovely for me, a nice cool pink-berry, but as described in some other shades, the color morphed into this lurid fuschia that might be OK on a braver soul but I just hate it. Maybe the pigments react to a person's chemistry in some way, so that the color stays true on some, but on others, Bazinga! you get some weird neon occurance you totally weren't prepared for. So maybe I'll have to swap this or give it away. I'd consider another shade but for the peppermint. It kills my lips and I wish cosmetic formulations would just skip it entirely (Burt's Bees: I'm talking to you, you should know better).
Lips -Cover Girl - Lip Perfection Gloss Balm Plum Twist
Meriel65 3/25/2013 11:40:00 AM
This for me was indeed Lip Perfection. As I age, I have come to discover that cream lipsticks just don't work for me any more. My lips are small and lined and often chapped (I'm not big on maintenance... sigh) and creams just pool in the lines or cake. Sheer formulations work best for me these days. But: I am NOT a lip gloss kind of person. I don't like blinding shine or slippery lips! This is a great find: sheer color, a smooth feel that is not slippery or slick, leaves a faint stain as it wears off, easy to apply, no glitter. The particular shade I bought, the Plum, is a lovely cool purple. This is exactly what I had hoped for when I bought the Lipstick Queen gloss pencil in Mystery. That was so faint as to be undetectable on my pigmented lips, and very slippery. I got this CG product at Target with a coupon making the price very reasonable. I've played with the Clinique chubby sticks at Sephora and they are inferior to these: less pigmented, more slippery, and twice as expensive. I am thinking of trying another one of these in the Queen line, for bolder, yet sheer color.