I have two of these, in Wink of Pink and Bitten Berry. Wink of Pink is a lovely pink-raspberry shade, and gives a perfect 'just bitten' look to my lips. Bitten Berry is a true berry shade, with slight purple undertones. I really like both shades, and they compliment my fair skintone and green eyes beautifully. However, application is key here; both shades come out much darker than I expected and prefer. I like lipstains because I prefer a natural look, and use them to liven up my lips when I'm particularly sleepy in the morning or to polish a going-out look. These are definitely buildable, and you can get a lot of long-lasting color out of them, but you can also easily tone it down for a more natural flush. The color does last, and I only have to reapply every 5 to 6 hours. Once dry, I can apply a light coat of clear balm without the color rubbing off (kind of a pet peeve I have!). I like the marker packaging, and have had no problem with these drying out, even though I don't store them facing down. They are also cheaper than other drugstore stains. I have not tried the Revlon stain, as the colors seem too dark and garish, but I do know that these are much better than the Covergirl lipstains. They last longer, taste better, and apply more "smoothly". I would definitely recommend this product! But beware- those with dry lips may not like these, as they can accentuate the problem. I don't find that these specifically dry my lips out, but if my lips are already dry, I can see every flake.
I was looking forward to using this for a large cystic pimple that suddenly sprouted up on my chin a week into the new school year. I've been struggling to keep the acne on my chin under control for over a year now, but nothing had been helping. After three days of using this at night as a mask, I had three more cystic pimples, more than I've ever had at one time on my face. I tried not to use a whole lot of salt to avoid irritating my slightly sensitive skin, but it still stung. The pro, though, is that the larger pores on my nose did seem to shrink, but my chin is still plagued with all sort of blemishes and scarring (and I never pick at them, they just immediately scar to an unsightly purple-red hue for weeks and weeks). Urgh! Too bad my skin is so stubborn. I won't be trying this again, as I really don't want anymore bouts of cystic pimples if I can avoid it.
I adore this nail polish! It's so natural and lovely, with a slight pinkish tint that's very subtle. From the color in the bottle it does look more pigmented, but I'm very pleased with the outcome. I actually get a lot of complements on my nails when I use this. This is my HG nail polish for everyday natural, beautiful, healthy looking nails.
Skincare - Face -Clinique - Acne Solutions Line (all products)
NicoleAM 7/23/2009 11:56:00 AM
Usually I try to expect the worse of an acne product, simply because I'm tired of being disappointed by the fact that they seem do to nothing for my skin. But Clinique, with it's spiffy name, pretty packaging and high end prices, filled me with a glimmer of hope that, 'Yes! This may be the product that actually wipes out my blemishes!' But unfortunately, one month and $65 bucks later, I was left with the same amount of bumps and blemishes on my chin and the same amount of blackheads on my nose, albeit my face being drier allover. I purchased the starter kit of the cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, as well as the Emergency Lotion and Spot Healing Gel. I'll only review the first three here, though. For the first three days, I tried to wash my face twice a day, morning and night. This proved to be tricky. I'd been using Purpose cleanser for three weeks, which "oiled" up my dry, acne-product-ridden skin, but also left me with pimples alongside my nose, where I usually never get them. Cliniqie cleared those right up, but left my face tight, dry, and slightly ruddy, with blemishes still bouncing up on my chin. So I started using this once a day, at night, along with a separate moisturizer to keep some of the dryness at bay. Sadly, my skin just didn't change. The only product I really liked was the cleanser, which didn't leave my face too tight, but also didn't cleanse well, as the rather harsh toner seemed to pick up all sorts of ruddy things. The moisturizer shouldn't even be labeled as such, seeing as it provided zero moisture, and left my skin reddish in sensitive areas and very dry. The packaging is nice, though. Very clean and organized. However, I've never spent so much on products in my (short) life, and felt odd shelling over the big bucks just in hopes of banishing my stubborn acne. Overall, I was disappointed with this product and would not repurchase. The only upside is that I'm now sure that the persistent acne on my chin is purely hormonal, seeing as this line did clear up the blossoming blemishes that sprang up after using Purpose. I would recommend saving your money and seeing a derm, which is my next stop should bcp and my current routine fail to zap the zits.
Moisturizers -Olay - Complete Moisture Cream Sensitive SPF 15
NicoleAM 6/23/2009 10:14:00 AM
This is a definitely my HG moisturizer. It's light and fragrance-free, with a touch of SPF protection and the right amount of moisture. This doesn't overpower my skin, and when I pat it on, my face seems to "glow". Not from glitter or color, but from within, like my skin is happy. This moisturizer is now a staple in my skincare routine, especially in the winter when my skin is battered by the harsh chill but still needs a bit of sun protection. During the summer I mix this with my Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30, and it's just perfect. It hasn't caused me to have more pimples than usual (still looking for the miracle product that will banish my acne!), but it does seem to help in the healing process by not drying out or agitating the blemished area. I will repurchase this product when I run out, as it lasts a long time and works great!
Lip Treatments -SoftLips - Cherry Lip Protectant/Sunscreen SPF20
NicoleAM 6/19/2009 10:51:00 AM
My two cousins absolutely love SoftLips, and always purchase them in bulk. So when I was younger and my lips were chapped, SoftLips was always readily available. And then for a while, I didn't see it. At some point I'd gotten this urge to buy some, but alas, it was gone. About a month ago it reappeared, though, and I couldn't help myself. I bought two, and while this isn't the best lip balm (my Burt's Bees holds that honor!), I do like it. It doesn't last too long on your lips, but it does leave them soft, and it smells/tastes great. The tingly feeling is a plus as well. I have two of these, and since I tend to be a bit of a lip balm junkie, I'm pretty sure these will last a while as I'll be juggling them around with my other lip balms. I do like this, though.
Gels/Soaps -Unlisted Brand - Dial - Yogurt Vanilla Honey Nourishing Body Wash
NicoleAM 6/19/2009 10:44:00 AM
The Yogurt body washes are incredible. My favorite is the Apricot & Almond scent, but the Vanilla Honey is equally delicious! Not only do you get a lot of body wash for the money, but this is very moisturizing and perfect for those with sensitive skin. I definitely prefer this over Olay's, as those are more expensive (my mom only uses Olay body wash, I'll never understand it). I adore this stuff, I always step out of the shower feeling divine!
Scrubs -Queen Helene - Mint Julep Natural Facial Scrub
NicoleAM 6/19/2009 10:37:00 AM
Wow, I almost forgot about this nifty scrub! I purchased this when I lived in Arizona while on a hair dye run to fix my halfway-there-bleach-blond-from-black hair episode. The lady at Sally's was completely selling my mom on this skincare system, and though my skin was close to perfect at the time, I still had a few blackheads on my nose that I'd secretly been trying to convince myself were freckles. The saleswomen immediately shoved this scrub in my hand, and I have to say, for $4 it was a bargain. The tube is large, with plenty of the scrub in it, and is perfect for sitting in the shower. I had this for about a year, but stupidly left it when we moved to NC. I didn't use it every day, but at least once a week, and it was perfect for refreshing my face on those hot AZ days. I really feel a strong pull to go out and purchase this again once my Aveeno scrub is running low.
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser
NicoleAM 6/19/2009 10:23:00 AM
This cleanser was extremely drying. For the two weeks that I used it morning and night, hoping for some magical results, that by some miracle I could wake up and my acne would be gone, all it did was dry my skin out. And in turn, the blemishes kept coming. That was why I could only go two weeks, as my skin was in worse condition than before. Areas around my nose and chin were red and sensitive, and applying any sort of acne treatment afterwords burned. I gave up and ran out to purchase Purpose to give my skin a break from the harsh chemicals. In three weeks my skin was healthy and moisturized again, but still plagued by blemishes, so I was back at square one. Many people had an issue with the bottle, but I found it easy to open, and it never broke. The scent was pleasant, slightly chemically, but not bad. It did cleanse really well, removing my makeup and dirt, but perhaps it cleansed too well contributing to the dryness and burning that ensued. Overall, I did not like this product, and won't be repurchasing it. If the original Neutrogena Acne Wash works for you, then you may like this, or if you have very oily skin and your acne responds well to salicylic acid, then it may work for you. But for me, it just didn't live up to what it promised.
Loose Powders -L'Oreal - Bare Naturale Soft-Focus Mineral Finish
NicoleAM 6/14/2009 6:34:00 PM
There was little to be desired when it came to this product. I found that even when applied with a light hand and a small amount of powder, my face simply looked dull and ashy while still have a fleck of glitter here and there. This definitely accentuated my dry patches, but got oily in about 3 hours, much like the foundation. This also has an unattractive orange undertone that seems to become more apparent after a couple of hours of wear. The brush it comes with is pretty much pointless, very coarse and harsh on the face. I purchased the slightly smaller version of this product that came in a pack with the foundation, and I found that it was very difficult to get the powder onto a brush without making a mess. The full-size version of the product is pretty expensive as far as drugstore brands go, and even with the special pack that I purchased this was on the pricey side. From dry/dull to oily/orange in a matter of 4 hours, this isn't exactly what I expected from this product, and I will not be repurchasing.
This smells absolutely divine! It's thick and creamy while not being greasy, and soaks right in. I use this after taking a shower, and it makes my skin so soft, and it doesn't irritate my sensitive legs. The scent, though, is lovely. Not to sweet or heavy, very light, fresh, and soothing. I bought this on sale at Walgreens, and fear that they may be discontinuing it. Looks like I'll have to stock up!
Lipstick -Cover Girl - Outlast Lipstain #415 Teasing Blush
NicoleAM 5/23/2009 10:59:00 AM
I'm not a lipstick, lip gloss, lip color kind of girl. Any lip product with sheen, shine, and glitters or highly pigmented colors has always been a no-no for me. Generally, I only wear lip balm, and I always ensure that it looks completely unnoticeable. Honestly, I'm a little obnoxious about it sometimes, but my lips are already pretty pigmented, and I find that lip products make them look downright awkward. So when I spotted a coupon in my Sunday paper for $2 off of a Cover Girl lip product, I planned on giving it to a friend or just throwing it out. These lipstains, though, sort of sparked my interest. They promised a boost of long-lasting color that was light and comfortable, and they're the only stain available at my local drugstores. At only $5 with my handy little coupon, I couldn't resist. Teasing Blush seemed to be the most workable, tame color of the bunch. When I got home I gazed at the little marker in my hand (it really looks like one of those jumbo markers from preschool). The cap is designed to ensure that the product won't dry out, and while the color on the packaging isn't exactly true to the actual color, it is close enough for me. There is a pointed tip for precise application and longer sides for filling in. Overall, the product is very easy to apply. While many will opt for full coverage, I prefer to 'draw' a bit of stain in the center of my lips and pat it out to achieve a perfectly natural, bitten sort of look. The color is a subtle rosy raspberry blush color, true to the name. The product smells very sweet and slightly fruity, but has a bitter taste. Topped off with a light lip balm, that taste disappears. A lip balm also seems to lock-in the color, which lasts for at least 4 hours without budging or rubbing off. I'm not sure I'll purchase any other colors in the line, but I do really like this specific product, and will definitely repurchase this color! This is great if you're looking for a subtle, natural splash of color on your lips.
Lip Gloss -Clinique - Glosswear for lips in Air Kiss
NicoleAM 5/19/2009 9:32:00 AM
I got this as a free gift with my purchase of Clinque's acne system. Because of this, I am unsure of the price of this product. However, I love the packaging. This came as a duo, with mascara on one end and this on the other. I don't think they sell this duo regularly, which is a shame, as both products together in a handy on-the-go stick is perfect for summer! I just love the duo on days where it's too humid to wear a lot of makeup or I'm in a hurry, as I can just sweep on some mascara and a dab of this gloss and I look natural, pretty, and put-together! As for this specific end of the product I received, I really do like this lip gloss. I never wear any sort of glossy, tinted lipstick or gloss, and generally just go with my Burt's Bees Lip Balm or Soft Lips. My lips are naturally heavily tinted pink and slightly "puffy" as my mother would say, so I feel gloss, glitter, sheen or tints look awkward. This is the only lip gloss that I've liked. The color is simply gorgeous, a nice, light pink that lives up to the name 'Air Kiss'. I put a dab on the middle of my bottom lip and use my finger to spread it, which provides me with a pretty, slight pinky glow. This isn't too sticky for me, lasts for around 3 hours sometimes, and really brightens up my look. I'm really loving this for summer!
Powder -L'Oreal - Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation
NicoleAM 5/19/2009 8:40:00 AM
My skin has been plagued by blemishes this past year, and I've been on the search for a foundation with light, decent coverage since then. With the wacky weather here in North Carolina, I've also been combating dry winter skin as well. As for this foundation, it's pretty so-so. Because it's a powder, I need to moisturize really well before application. If I don't use a light hand or tap out the brush (I use my own, the one provided is very harsh) well enough this cakes like crazy around my blemishes. It also has a tendency to accentuate dryness. What's odd though is that after three hours of wear, my face is extremely oily. This also has a "shimmer" to it, and that combined with the oiliness takes away from the initial natural feel of the foundation. On the upside, the coverage is decent, and it doesn't seep into pores. I adore the airbrushed, natural look when I first apply it, but I can't take the oiliness! What a shame, but I simply won't be purchasing this foundation again.
Liquid -L'Oreal - True Match Super-Blendable Makeup SPF 17
NicoleAM 4/28/2009 1:06:00 PM
First off, I'd like to say that the color selection is amazing. L'Oreal really upped the drugstore ante by creating such a great range of colors. I got the lightest of the neutral shades, and it is a perfect match for my skin tone. Sadly, that is definitely the product's high point. My skin is prone to redness and acne, and in the winter that is made worse by ruddy cheeks and dryness on my chin and around my nose. Because of the perfect color match and smooth texture of this foundation, I was hoping to cover these imperfections perfectly. But alas, the dry areas of my face looked sandy, pimples looked patchy, and this sank into every ruddy little crevice and pore it could. This did, however, make the skin on my cheeks, which is pretty flawless compared to the rest of the skin on my face, look completely amazing and slightly dewy, just perfect. I really wish it would do that for the rest of my face! Now for some reason, there are days when this can look pretty nice and natural on my skin, it just depends on how my skin's behaving, and even then my chin always looks a little off since most of my acne and old scars are there. The only time I found that I really like this foundation was when I mixed it with Maybelline's Dream Liquid Mousse to lighten that foundation up a bit. In the end, I'm sort of indifferent to this product. I won't be purchasing again, but I will continue to use what's left of it.