Concealers -Estee Lauder - Double Wear Stay-in-Place Concealer
NativeNewyorker 4/21/2013 1:24:00 AM
I decided to switch from the Lancôme Maquicomplete Concealer that I have been using. I had issues with the product drying out and also the shade I was using didn't seem to be covering my dark circles well enough. I checked out Estee Lauder's Double Wear Concealer last summer, but the SA's at the store didn't really seem to know the colors or what would work for me. This time I went to Nordstrom, but reviewed the colors online again. I was pretty sure that it would be either Light or Warm Light for my NW20/25 skin. I knew that Light/Medium would be too dark. I didn't wear any concealer, just eye cream and tried the two colors under each eye. The Light shade is a neutral with just a hint of yellow, but the Warm Light is more yellow based. They both looked good on my skin, but after discussing it with the counter manager I decided to go with the Light shade. What I really like about this product is how easily the wand comes out of the tube with enough product after just one time. With the Lancôme Maquicomplet Concealer I had to wiggle the wand and try a few times to reapply to get enough product. I think the design of the Estee Lauder Double Wear is much more user friendly. I use the wand to apply the color and then use my Sephora Pro Airbrush Concealer to blend. I get a perfectly seamless, smooth look and this product does a great job of covering up the purply reddish discoloration and puffiness as well as dark circles. This shade is a great match for my skin and the staying power is excellent. I don't have to worry about reapplying. I use less product because the wand is so efficient and provides just the right amount. I have been kind of going back and forth with a few concealers recently, but for now this is the one I will be using.
I went back to my old hair salon to get my brows dyed and tweezed and asked one of the long-time hairdressers about a good leave-in conditioner. The one I was using was for dry and damaged hair, but my hair is now in better condition. This hairdresser recommended It's a 10. I asked a lot of questions, because I am cautious with what I put on my hair. As I have gotten older, my dry hair has become even more dry and delicate. Not only did this top notch hairdresser recommend it, but the woman who has been doing my brows for four and a half years, also said that she uses it on her hair and loves it. It's easy to use and that's also a plus. I like having a spray bottle, because the ones I used in the past had to be squeezed out of a bottle. When I get out of the shower I just spray a little on wet hair and comb it through. Then I proceed to style my hair. I have been using this for a few weeks now and am very pleased. I love how it leaves my hair feeling soft and shiny. I take good care of my hair and have always tried to use the best products recommended by professionals that I trust. The only negative for me is that this is such a small bottle with a high price. Since I don't need much product, I hope that this will last a decent amount of time. I try to keep an open mind and am always willing to try something new if it will be good for my hair. For now I am happy with this product.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Blush Brush
NativeNewyorker 3/1/2013 12:57:00 AM
This is my latest purchase in my collection of Real Techniques brushes. I have to say that I bought this hoping that it would work as a bronzer brush. I have been looking for the right one for some time. I think it's kind of big for a blush brush. I love the tapered shape of this brush and the softness of the taklon bristles. I am spoiled forever by these synthetic brushes! I did use this brush to apply my bronzer. Sam Chapman did a tutorial video showing how to use this brush for both bronzer and blush. It picked up just the right amount of bronzer and worked beautifully. I used it to contour just below my cheekbones and then around my temples and forehand for a perfect dusting of color. Now I have found my bronzer brush! I also used it for blush, but I prefer the contour brush from the Core Collection for that purpose. I did not like the contour brush for applying bronzer. It's like the mini version of the blush brush, but works better for blush and highlighter. I am impressed yet again by the versatility and flexibility of these brushes. You can find so many uses for each one. The blush brush is the biggest one I have and it took longer to dry than the Expert Face brush and the Buffing brush. There was no shedding at all. It did hold its shape after washing very well. I think this is a great addition to my collection. I am so pleased with how this brush applied my bronzer. I got a soft, natural look. I got a great deal on iherb.com with a discount. I paid $9.99 total, including shipping!
I have been so pleased with my purchases of the Expert Face Brush and Starter set for Eyes, that I decided to add the Core Collection. I love these synthetic brushes that are so soft and not scratchy! Such a pleasure to use. I love the buffing brush. I use it to apply my liquid foundation. It's not as dense as the Expert Face Brush, but it provides a very smooth, seamless application. I think both brushes work equally well for liquid foundation, with the Expert Face Brush edging out as my personal favorite. Both give a very polished look. My skin never looked better! I use the contour brush for bronzer, blush and highlighter. I think it's great for shading and contouring along the cheekbone with bronzer. I also love it for applying blush and highlighter. I love the domed shape. You get just the right amount of color, so you don't apply too much. I use the foundation brush for concealer under the eyes. I thought it would be too big, but it worked quite well for applying concealer and getting a smooth, even finish. The detailer brush can also be used for concealer under the eyes. I find that the foundation brush is more effective for that purpose, but this tiny brush can also do a decent job. It's excellent for spot concealing on the face. It's also great as a lip brush. When you think that there isn't a use for a particular brush, you realize that these brushes are so flexible that they can be used for a number of different purposes. I think that is one of the most appealing things about these Real Techniques brushes. I have been very pleased with all of the brushes that I have purchased. The Real Techniques brushes have set the bar high for synthetic brushes. I was so pleased with this latest purchase that I decided to buy the blush brush. I can't wait until I get it and then have a chance to use it and write another review. These brushes are simply great value for the money. Again the case is the weak point. It's very flimsy and not well made. I did find it good for travel purposes.
I wasn't sure that Paint Pots would be for me. I have done a lot of reading and watched youtube videos using Paint Pots to create any number of eye makeup looks. Finally I decided to take the plunge. I chose Constructivist because of a few great looks that were created in youtube videos. I could see that using something like Constructivist as a base for eyeshadows, added a whole new vibrance and depth and intensity to the colors. This shade is very flattering to my complexion and green eyes. It is a true chocolate brown, a bit on the cool side with a wonderful sheen. I also think this is a versatile product that can be used in many ways. Constructivist can be used on its own to create a quick smokey eye. I have used it under MAC's Antiqued eye shadow and it really adds so much to a color that I already love and use all the time. I have also used it under Mulch and Bronzed. I use my fingers to apply it to my eyelid or apply it with a synthetic brush and then blend out the edges. Not only is my eyeshadow more intense, but the staying power is so much better. I think this color would be flattering to just about anybody. On my NW20/25 skin, it works amazingly well. With Constructivist I have been able to enhance my eye makeup and make the most of my eyeshadows.
Lip Liners -Boots - Perfect Lips Pencil in 20 Nude
NativeNewyorker 1/21/2013 6:02:00 PM
I had a difficult time finding this lip liner. I happened to be visiting my family in Florida and got lucky on a routine visit to the local Target. They had only one! In L.A., my local Target stores all said that they won't have any more stock until March. I saw this in one of Lisa Eldridge's videos. I thought the color would be perfect for me. I have been searching for a lip liner that would work with my coloring. It's harder than you think! I had just about given up altogether, when I saw Lisa Eldridge using it in her video. I have been trying to find this color for more than a month. I am so happy with this lip liner! It's perfect for my skin tone and works beautifully with my nude lipsticks. It's so natural. Many nudes are too brown in tone. Some are too pink or reddish. This one has such a unique color. I wouldn't call it a true nude. It's like a warm natural peachy color. I love that it's automatic and no sharpening! Sometimes I line my lips and then fill it in all over my mouth. Then I put my lipstick on over it. That's something Lisa Eldridge did in one of her videos. I really like that it looks so natural. It doesn't look like you are wearing lip liner. It's subtle and that is something I really love. Staying power is very good. Now I just have to make sure to head to Target in March to get more! But I am happy that I finally found the right lip liner. It completes my look. The price is reasonable, too.
I wanted to weigh in on reviewing Paula's website. I found out about it from this site. I thought it would be good to check out her reviews about skincare and makeup products. I must say that I was quite surprised to see some of my favorite skincare products receive very poor reviews. She basically trashes whole skincare lines, like Lancome, La Mer, Chanel and too many others. I do have concerns about bias since she is also promoting her own product line. I think it's naive to think that she can be totally objective. Of course she is going to rate her products very highly. I am not saying that she can't do it, however I am saying that it gives me reason to question her overall objectivity. I will say that she does a good job of pointing out potentially harmful products in skincare that can cause allergic reactions. I have dry, sensitive skin with mild rosacea and have had more than my share of bad reactions. In that regard, she is providing a valuable service. I must say that I was shocked to realize that Lancome's Genifique line contains a large amount of alcohol. I have used the serum and eye cream in the past. I never got a reaction, but when I found about about the alcohol content I decided not to buy these products anymore. Fragrance is another source of concern for me. Sometimes I can tolerate a certain amount in a product. I check out the ingredient list to see which ones come first. I have learned that the ingredients are listed in descending order according to which are contained in the largest number. I do think she debunks some of the myths that cosmetic companies use to sell their products. But I also believe that the consumer is smart enough to see through many of these claims. The bottom line is that if a product gives results and makes your skin look and feel better with no adverse reactions, that is what is important. I make the ultimate decision as to what I will buy and what works for me. Suffice to say that I strongly disagree with her reviews on many skincare lines. With makeup I find her reviews somewhat more reasonable. When all is said and done, she is one source. I can read her reviews and then check out this site and other sources, youtube videos and comments on other sites. Then I can hopefully make an informed decision. I think it's good to have this kind of site, but I don't take her comments as gospel. It's good to get more opinions and then rely on your own good judgment as to the reliability and performance of products.
I decided to buy ten Inglot eyeshadows and the palette after reading the raves on youtube from so many people. The closest Inglot store is in Newport Beach, California. I live in L.A. and this store is about 50 to 60 miles one way. But they do take orders and deliver. I placed my order with them on a Thursday and it was delivered the following Monday. I heard some negative comments on youtube from those who ordered on the Inglot web site. They had to wait a week, ten days or longer to get their order. I also think their web site is not user friendly. So be advised. As far as the pallet, it's sturdy and good quality. The magnets are extremely strong, so make sure when you put a shadow in its place because it's quite difficult to get it out. I tried sticking a little toothpick in one corner, but ended up puncturing the eyeshadow. Also be careful when taking the cover off the pallet. Don't let your fingers get caught. Just slide it off. My initial challenge was how to check out shadows to make sure that I got the ones I wanted. I watched swatch videos on youtube until I thought my eyes would fall out. Also, there were links posted to some blog sites that were extremely helpful. These eyeshadows have different finishes. There is Matte, Pearl, AMC or Advanced Makeup Component, Shine and D.S. or Double Sparkle. My favorites are the pearls followed by the mattes. I look for colors in a specific range, so I wasn't overwhelmed by having to choose from about 160 total colors. I love browns, coppers, rust or warm toned shadows, peach and bronze. I think the best way to find eyeshadows is to go to the store and test them. However, after watching videos many times I felt comfortable choosing my shades. I knew that I would get the deep brown mattes. I have been looking for these for some time. Shade #327 and #329 are absolutely perfect. The #327 is a cooler dark brown, while the #329 is a true dark brown matte that I have been looking for a long time. They are buttery smooth, highly pigmented and apply like a dream. There is one range of brown pearl shadows, #402, #406, #409, #421 and #422 that are simply gorgeous. I ended up getting #406, a golden bronze and #421, a medium-dark coppered brown. I can use them on my lid and then apply the matte brown eyeshadows in the crease. I also got some warm rust browns, a dirty taupe matte, an intense red brown and #452, a medium-dark-burgundy-red with a pearl finish that was a bit out of my normal shade range but ended up looking amazing with my green eyes. If I could give these eyeshadows a higher rating, I certainly would. The quality, the amount of product you get, the color payoff, the range of finishes and colors, the staying power is simply amazing. If you bought ten MAC eyeshadows, the refill pans would cost $12 apiece for a total cost of $120 plus the pallet. I paid $60 for ten eyeshadows and $16 for the pallet. Since my order was over $50, shipping was free. Also you are getting a lot more product with the size of these eyeshadows. Inglot has definitely raised the bar with their product. I do integrate my MAC shadows with my Inglot shadows to create so many different, beautiful combinations and gorgeous looks. I have the best of both worlds. If you don't have an Inglot store near you and must rely on swatches, I would suggest checking out youtube videos and the links to blog sites. I know that there were stores scheduled to open in the L.A. area soon. I thought that ten eyeshadows would be a good wardrobe and a good start. But I was able to jot down about seven eyeshadows that I would still love to get. So I do see another ten palette in the near future! I don't even have enough superlatives for these eyeshadows. I have become more cynical as I have gotten older, but in this case the hype is totally justified. I am thrilled with mine and love experimenting with so many different looks.
I took a long time to come around and buy the MAC 217 brush. I tried so-called dupes that really didn't work very well. I think the most expensive brushes I bought prior to this were from the Sephora collection. I realized that I wasn't even using them the right way. I did research, watched youtube videos from those I like and trust and read reviews. I learned which brushes you need for shading, blending, smudging or packing on color. I got educated. I finally realized that buying this MAC brush was an investment. That is how I justified the cost. However, it was when I first used it that I realized what a great tool it was and the difference it made in how my eyeshadow looked. The amount of color this brush picks up and deposits is unbelievable. There was nothing wrong with my eyeshadows. I just didn't have the right brush. In this case there is really no substitute for the real thing. The brush is soft and application is so easy. I can pack color on my lids, apply and blend shadow in the crease, dust color all over the lid. This brush has so much versatility. My eye makeup has never looked better. My eyeshadows are beautifully blended and the color is vibrant and intense. I saw for myself the difference a great brush can make. I was so pleased that I busted my budget and bought two more! This way when I am applying a few eyeshadows, I can have a clean one to blend out color or apply another shade. I have the MAC brush cleaner and use it to keep these brushes clean and in great condition. So far they have held up beautifully. They keep their shape, no shedding. I decided to purchase the 239 and the 219 brushes. I am thrilled with the results. I decided that this would be one of those indulgences that I would give myself. There is really no substitute for the 217. If I had to choose just one brush, this would be the one.
Lotions/ Creams -Eucerin - Aquaphor Healing Ointment
NativeNewyorker 12/26/2012 4:08:00 AM
After trying every product on the market for dry, severely cracked and chapped lips, a friend told me to get Aquaphor. I will be eternally grateful to her for telling me about this amazing product. I take allergy and asthma medication that can be very dehydrating, so dealing with dried out lips is an ongoing battle. I already have dry skin, so this product is a godsend! I slather it on my lips every single night. I also use it on my cuticles and heels of my feet. I use Eucerin body lotion all over, but Aquaphor helps in extra dry spots. My lips have never felt this good! It's really like a miracle. I buy the litte tubes, the ones that are similar to Chapstick or other brands. At Target, they sell them two to a box. I have one at home on my night table and one that stays in my purse at all times. My lips are softer, smoother and moisturized now. I just cannot say enough about Aquaphor and how well it has worked for me.
A former hairdresser started using this hair product on me in the late 1990's. It was one of the best things she ever did. My hair tends to do funky things with product. But this product is like magic on my hair! I love the light consistency of this product. Unlike so many other hair care products, this one is not grease at all. Some products tend to make my hair go limp and strip the body. With this product, my hair has all its wonderful body. There is no greasy feeling at all. After I get out of the shower, I just squeeze out the excess water from my hair, then pull it to the side and rub no more than a dime or nickel sized amount of product on the lower half. You really don't need much product at all. That's another thing I love. Even a small bottle of this will last me a really long time. I always set my hair in big velcro rollers, since I don't have anywhere near the blow drying technique to master my wavy, curly, sometimes frizzy hair. Then after a few hours I take out the rollers one by one and blow dry each section. At the end I go over my whole head to make sure it's all dry and then put my hair up in a ponytail. This product gives me shine and protects against frizz, but most important of all - it leaves my hair feeling like real hair. I have had too many products used on my by hairdressers over the years that have given me static, made my hair greasy and heavy or stripped it of volume. That's why I have stayed with this product for so many years. It has never failed me. I will stick with this for life!
Eyeliner -MAC - Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Stubborn Brown
NativeNewyorker 12/25/2012 6:11:00 PM
This has been my dark brown eye pencil of choice for about ten years. This is my ideal warm dark brown color. I have looked high and low to find just the right shade of brown and this is it. Some dark brown eye pencils are more like black/brown. That's not the look I want. I also don't like cooler browns. This eye pencil has good staying power. I always put a dark brown eye shadow over it to make sure it stays put. This is a good, solid eye pencil that gets the job done and gives me the exact color that I want. I also have the Cover Girl Liquiline eye pencil in Brown Blaze. It's another great dark warm brown color. I like to interchange these two and really can't tell the difference between them. You pay less than half the price for the CG Liquiline, but it's a smaller pencil and won't last as long. This MAC Powerpoint eye pencil is my ideal color and gets the job done with solid staying power. I haven't found anything better.
I allowed myself to be talked into buying this by a Benefit SA. I am not one to be easily convinced or coaxed into buying something, but I have used some Benefit products that have worked well for me. Unfortunately, this would not be included in that group. The idea is to use this as a highlighter under the brow, on the inner corners of the eyes and even under the lid. I thought this would brighten up my undereye area. But the product is not easy to apply and goes on chalky. I also noticed that it doesn't have much staying power. You have to keep reapplying it during the day. I was convinced that this would be a good undereye brightener, but I cannot recommend it for that purpose. It's not creamy enough and doesn't blend well. This was a real disappointment. By contrast, I have been using Ooh La Lift under my eyes for a number of years. I use it after applying my concealer. It's kind of a last minute touch to give a little pop of brightness under the eyes. This is a creamy pinkish liquid that goes on smoothly with the felt tip applicator. I can blend in with my fingers or my Real Techniques Deluxe Crease brush. I think it does a great job. This was a waste of money, because I just didn't use this Eye Bright much at all. I really didn't need that. Oh well, live and learn.
Eye Makeup Remover -Lancome - Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Make-up Remover
NativeNewyorker 12/17/2012 4:23:00 PM
This has been my go-to eye makeup remover for about ten to fifteen years. There is simply nothing better to take off eye makeup efficiently. You have to shake the bottle to combine the ingredients and let it do its magic. I have always worn a lot of mascara and eye makeup. I need a serious makeup remover that can take it all off without a lot of pulling and tugging. I learned a great technique from Lisa Eldridge in one of her videos. She uses Crealine, which is water based. It's more affordable, but I am sticking with Bi-Facil because it's oil based. She took a cotton pad and soaked it with the product and then pressed it on her eye and let it sit. Then she rubbed slightly and took it off and the eye makeup was gone. I tried this myself and it worked so well. This way you aren't rubbing your eye or the delicate skin around it. I have sensitive, dry skin that can get irritated very easily. I also use a cotton swab dipped in the product to get at my eyeline and any lingering makeup that might not have come off with the cotton pad. This way I make sure to get it all off. The one negative with this product is the high price. I never thought that I would be paying this kind of money for an eye makeup remover. However, this is still the one that works best. If you are someone who doesn't wear that much eye makeup, then maybe you can get away with a cheaper product. Sometimes I have been fortunate to get samples of Bi-Facil when I make a Lancome purchase. That's always a good thing. For now I am sticking with this product because it gets the job done. ETA: The issue of residue left over after using this eye makeup remover has been brought up in some reviews. I wanted to weigh in on how I deal with it. After I have made sure to get off all eye makeup with the Bi-Facil, then I take a cotton ball and wet it with lukewarm water and gently smooth it all over both eyes. I find this is a good way to get rid of any residue. Then I can wash my face and apply my nightime skincare routine.
Eyeliner -Cover Girl - Liquiline Blast in Brown Blaze
NativeNewyorker 12/16/2012 11:03:00 PM
I was suprised to see some of the negative reviews for this eyeliner. I was looking for a good drugstore brand that I could interchange with my more expensive higher end eyeliners. I wanted a dark brown, but not the brown/black ones that I found with UD, MUFE and Too-Faced. I think this eyeliner has great staying power. I put it on and then set it with dark brown eyeshadow. I don't use the smudger tip. If I want to do any smudging, I have great brushes that can work very well. I also don't use this on my waterline. That's not to say that it can't be used on the waterline. It's just that I use the MAC Kohl Feline eye pencil for my waterline. This is like my every day top and bottom lid eyeliner that does its job. I do wish that the pencil was bigger. It's a small eyeliner, so it won't last as long as full size eyeliners. That is my only complaint. I have only used the Brown Blaze shade and think it's the perfect dark brown color. I got tired of paying so much money for higher end eyeliner pencils. I do have MAC's Powerpoint eye pencil in Stubborn Brown. That was my go to eyeliner until I bought this one from Cover Girl. I like to interchange using both of these products. That way my MAC pencil lasts longer. Both eyeliners work well to give me the look that I want. I would also like to add that I have had no problem with sharpening this product. I bought a very inexpensive little sharpener at Sephora that works beautifully to sharpen my eyeliner pencils. This Cover Girl liquiline eyeliner can be purchased at Target or Wal-Mart for just under $7. Even if it only lasts a few months, I feel that I have gotten my money's worth and honestly can't tell the difference between this one and the MAC pencil when I have it on.