Bought the ColorStay Lip Liner in Red in conjunction with Revlon's Really Red Matte Lipstick. The liner does an okay job, but I have the sinking feeling that it dries out my lips more than the lipstick does. I give this two lippies because every time I've used it, the lip liner breaks. The Colorstay lip liner is an automatic liner (you turn it up like a lipstick, as opposed to a pencil). The product is not very smooth on application and at least once during each application a chunk of lip liner breaks off. I try to let as little product come out of the tube as possible to minimize this breakage but it still happens. The texture of the liner is not very smooth and feels waxy and drying. I can't say that the lip liner doesn't do the job because I think it does (I haven't tried the lipstick without it), but it's annoying to end up wasting product every time I use it.
I bought this lipstick a while ago for a costume. I wanted a matte, retro red that wasn't going to break my budget. I looked on MUA and this shade popped up, and I snagged it at a drugstore with a $1 off coupon. I own more than a few red lipsticks/stains/glosses, but Revlon's Really Red is by far the best and my go-to lipstick for a dramatic lip. It's creamy, full-coverage, and completely matte; perfect for retro/pinup looks. The red is bright and clear, not red-orange or dark red-burgundy (both orange-tinted lipsticks and deep red/burgundy lipsticks look terrible on my super pale skin). I would suggest buying a matching red lip liner to preserve the color for an all-night event and make the edges precise (I have revlon's colorstay lipliner in red, but I wouldn't give that as high a rating as the lipstick because mine keeps breaking off in chunks). Also, make sure to set your lipstick with some translucent powder or a setting spray. And DON'T USE ANY GLOSS OR BALM! It will make your lipstick slide off, smear, and/or get on your teeth. So make sure to moisturize and exfoliate your lips really well *before* applying because if you want the color to stay all night, you won't want to use any kind of sticky product. As a consequence, the Revlon lipstick can be a bit drying, but if you take proper effort to exfoliate and moisturize beforehand and reapply/touch up your lips when you start to feel the dryness/flakies, it isn't much of a problem. In sum, I love love love this lipstick. Absolutely stunning color on my pale skin, full coverage, and a classic matte finish. What more could you want?
Hair Styling Tools -Sonia Kashuk - Bristle Hair Brush
MsScarlet 8/21/2012 11:53:00 AM
I've owned the Sonia Kashuk brush for about 2 months. I do not own a Mason Pearson brush to compare the two, but I have to say I really like this brush so far. The full size is nice for my short but abundant hair. This brush isn't designed as a detangling brush so it's not particularly good at wrestling through knotty hair; I detangle with a wide tooth comb anyway so it's not a problem for me. I use this brush two different ways: Pre-shower: I flip my head upside and brush my hair and scalp, concentrating on the scalp then moving down the hair shaft. The boar bristles really seem to loosen up the buildup so I get a really good shampoo. Post shower: I brush my hair with this brush after I blow dry and style my hair as a final touch. The brush does an excellent job smoothing down my hair and spreading the oils from my scalp to the ends of my hair. I've noticed that since using this brush every day my in-between shampoo days are far more tolerable. Because the bristles spread the oil from my scalp so well it helps to alleviate the "greasy scalp" feeling I used to get when I didn't wash my hair. Overall this brush is pretty great for what I use it for. However--I am knocking one star off of this review and warning fellow MUAers to exercise caution when washing/disinfecting this brush. I washed the brush for the first time using my typical routine: scrub the brush head with a mild shampoo, rinse with warm water, then soak the brush in a solution of vinegar and warm water for 20 minutes to disinfect. My other brushes came out fine, but following the vinegar and water soak I noticed that the coating covering the plastic handle was flaking off. Some of the black paint is flaking off as well. As far as I can tell the glue holding the brush together is fine and the brush itself is in one piece, but time will tell. So a word of advice: when you wash this brush don't use vinegar to disinfect and/or skip the disinfecting altogether if you want your brush to remain in good quality. Besides that minor setback, the Sonia Kashuk is my favorite brush of the moment!
Hair Styling Tools -Farouk CHI - Chi Ceramic Flat Iron by Farouk
MsScarlet 8/8/2012 9:40:00 AM
*this is a review for the original 1" Farouk CHI ceramic flat iron only* I used a CHI for the first time 5 years ago after asking a friend how her hair was always so shiny and smooth every day. She let me borrow her iron for a few days and by the end of my "trial" I didn't want to give it back! My hair is very thick, wavy, a bit coarse in the back and extremely prone to frizz. This iron changed all that. It made my hair smooth, shiny, manageable, and nearly frizz-proof. As soon as I could afford it (Chi irons were about 3-4x the price then that they are now-I think they retail for roughly $50 now) I bought one for myself. Thus a long love affair began. My first iron lasted about a year and would have lasted longer but I ended up killing it overseas using the wrong voltage. I broke down in tears when that happened-that's how good this iron is. I tried a few knockoff versions but they never worked as well so I bought a second one. My second Chi iron has lasted since 2009 and seems to not be petering out anytime soon. I use my CHI several times a week (usually on work days) and let my hair "rest" in between but I have used it daily in the past. While the glossy, mangeable hair I get from the CHI is addictive, too much heat styling can ravage your hair. It is super important to use heat protectant products to shield the hair from damage, and to never EVER use an iron on wet or damp hair. When I do use it, there is nothing easier and faster to get my hair looking tamed and professional. I only use it from midshaft to ends, flipping it a bit toward the end of my hair to get a curled end. My hair glides through the iron with ease and the heat is just enough to smooth my hair without frying it. Finally, a few cons toward the CHI: there is no temperature adjustment or varied heat settings, so girls with finer hair should use extreme caution. The iron gets very hot and it's infrared indicator light is inconveniently located on the inside of the iron; you'd have to look down a bit to see it and it's not very noticeable anyway. I knocked a lip off of my review for that reason; even though I am used to it and I love the iron, a newbie could accudentally burn themselves because the indicator is hard to see. Like all hair irons, the CHI takes some practice to maneuver to avoid burning your neck/fingers. Also like most hair irons it can leave creases in your hair if you use too much pressure clamping down, giving you a "pancaked" effect. The iron dramatically reduces volume and will leave your hair pretty flat, which isn't a problem for me because I have a lot if natural volume in my hair. Despite my qualms about the indicator light and safety, this is an exceptional product. I'm sure there are better/more high tech/$$$$ier irons out there but this one works great for me.
Shave Products -Aveeno - Positively Smooth Shave Gel
MsScarlet 8/8/2012 8:40:00 AM
Before buying this product,I hated shaving cream. I've tried just about every drugstore brand and they all worked the same: nauseatingly strong scent, too much lather and yet not enough moisture to get a close shave and avoid razor nicks. My skin was frequently in need of heavy slatherings of lotion post shave because the creams were so drying and I couldn't go a day without my legs feeling itchy, dry, and regrowth feeling like a Christmas tree. I had all about given up using shaving cream and was using cheap/unused hair conditioner to shave my legs (which does work fairly well) when I bought this product on a whim. My first shave with it and I knew it was different than other shaving products. First off, the canister is great. It claims to be "rust proof" and so far it's lived up to that claim. No rust rings in the shower yet! The scent of this shave gel is truly light; just enough to give you a hint of it while shaving but then disappears when you're done. It is somewhat vanilla-y, maybe a bit floral. Hard to describe. I could see why it might be polarizing;you either love it or hate it. Personally I love it. You're not going to get a whole lot of lather in this product; that's probably because it is so moisturizing. A little goes a long way here. This shave gel gets me a close shave and my legs feel super soft afterward. I rarely nick myself shaving anymore. I hardly need to put on lotion on my legs and they never feel dry, itchy, or tight. I can go a day or two without shaving because my skin is so soft and the regrowth is significantly less "prickly." I'm on my 3rd or 4th can of this stuff and I don't see myself switching brands anytime soon. So far I've only used it in more humid summer weather, so I'll update the review when winter and dry skin season comes. Until then, this product gets HG status from me!