I have a pixie faux hawk and this is my second favorite product (the first being Bed Head Manipulator) for it. Gives great separation and texture, so it doesn't look like I have Ken hair, and the hold is reasonable, even when the cut starts to grow out some and my very thick, curly hair becomes supernuts. I'm giving it 4 lippies because, although it's very flexible and easy to fix throughout the day, I do wish it had just a weeeeeeee bit more hold. Love that it doesn't feel stiff, dusty, dirty, waxy or greasy like so many other waxes/pomades that fill a similar niche. Have repurchased and will continue to do so--lasts a good long time (which is why I wind up alternating with Manipulator: even though it's more expensive, per tub, ReWind lasts a much longer time and is a much better value.
Love this. Pretty much black on application, but smudges out to a great, true grey. I love MAC Smolder, but I don't always love that it feathers to an obviously blue black. Phone Number has the same great, smooth texture and easy application but none of the blue undertones. Looks great with pretty much any shadow combination, and can be perfect for every day (whin line, well-smudged) or evening (heavier line.) Really brings out my green eyes. Would repurchase, but their Kohls seem to last forever, so I won't have to do so frequently.
Happy accident! I went to the MAC counter on my lunch hour (slogged through horrible suburban traffic and denied myself feed) specifically to acquire the Prunella Kohl. Imagine my consternation, then, when only way home I discovered that the SA had given me the Permaplum Powerpoint. With no time in the forseeable future to exchange it, I decided to just . . . try it. PERFECTION! It's a true, dark, blue-leaning purple--the perfect color to bring out my dark green eyes. Glides on every bit as smooth as a Kohl, smudges out beautifully, though not quite to the extent as the Kohl, and STAYS PUT. Barely any transfer when I inevitably itch my eyes. Looks amazing with Woodwinked and Satin Taupe, and also with Juxt (thanks to whoever suggested that!) and Greensmoke. It's dark enough that you can use it almost interchangeably with black, but with the little bit of purple, it brings out my eyes much more. Love it. So happy that the SA goofed! Would definitely repurchase; I've been looking for exactly this color but have failed to find it anywhere else.
I would say I have a love/hate thing with this mascara, but I don't think I'm even that passionate about it. I grabbed it because it was cheap, and I'd never tried Rimmel mascara. I have to say that I have very long, very thick lashes naturally, and this makes them absolutely *insane*, but it's too finicky for me. The wiper in the tube is insufficient, and the wand comes out overloaded with product, which is an oddly thick liquid. If I'm very careful to wipe the wand against the tube as I pull it out--or if I wipe it off on some tissue--it's great: not clumpy, lengthens and thickens dramatically, feels light, if slightly waxy, on lashes. If the wand isn't tended lovingly, however, it goes on way too heavily and practically turns lashes into one giant uni-lash. The other issue I have with it is removal. Even when applied sparingly, and taken off with an oil-based eye makeup remover, it seems there is *always* some left, especially on lower lashes, unless I rub much more than I'd prefer to. Despite the flaws, I keep going to it, day after day, so I obviously find it passable. I do really like the dramatic results it gives--I just hate all the finickiness. For that reason, i'll finish but will not (likely) repurchase. Also: asymmetrical brush is gimmicky and useless. Flat side always over-applies, fat side is ok.
Lotions/ Creams -St. Ives - Oatmeal and Shea butter
OmToast 7/4/2011 3:23:00 PM
I absolutely love this stuff, but I really wish they'd just be honest on the packaging and, instead of espousing the awesome natural-ness of the contents, flat out tell you that it's soothing and moisturizing because of mineral oil. Shea butter is about midway through the ingredient list, and oatmeal is *dead last*--after all the red and blue coloring used to turn this lotion a creamy white. That's how contributory it is. I'm not the biggest fan of mineral oil in theory, but this lotion is amazing on my reactive, dry skin, so I overlook it (and pretty much everything comes in plastic cartons anyway, so how picky can I be?). It's non-greasy, smells amazing, and leaves my skin soft and comfortable. It's also amazingly cheap for the quantity. And they have formalized their anti-vivisection policy. I will repurchase.
Lotions/ Creams -Eucerin - Daily Skin Balance Skin-Fortifying Body Lotion
OmToast 7/1/2011 7:56:00 PM
I generally love Eucerin lotions for my sensitive, frequently itchy skin. And this one certainly performs well--it's light, non-greasy, leaves my skin so comfortable . . . and stinks to high heaven. I also love Nivea--Beiersdorf, the parent company, does not conduct animal testing and makes excellent products. But their fragranced products are, I swear, all pulled from the "rancid old floral" bin. They are hideous! And for that reason alone, despite loving that it keeps my skin calm, I won't buy this particular lotion again. I will note, however, that I do like Eucerin's packaging -- very straightforward and always very sturdy. Not something that's going to look charming on your dressing table, but can stand up to packing, pumps don't break, etc.
Sunscreen -Mustela - High protection sun lotion 50 - bebe/enfant
OmToast 5/30/2011 8:35:00 PM
I think I didn't believe all the "casper" reviews of this stuff -- I mean, how white could it really be? I've use Dr. Hauschka Sunscreen for Children . . . Zomg. White. *WHITE*. This is sort of appalling to apply, it leaves me so white. So I massage it in for ages and eventually get to the "sallow glow" stage. And if I've the patience to sit around for another 20 minutes and let it absorb, it does eventually lift to a nice "sleepy pallor" stage. And if I put powder on (because I got this for my face) then I can achieve the best case scenario "Person Who Is Exhausted But Trying Desperately Not To Appear So." Pros: feels good, if heavy, and protects like the dickens. All of this is to say that this will not be my daily sunscreen, but I will at least use the remainder of the tube for dedicated outdoor days in the Southeastern US summertime sun. I may repurchase, though I'd more than likely continue on the quest for a sunscreen that can fulfill both roles.
Moisturizers -Korres - Yogurt Cream (Yoghurt Cream)
OmToast 5/19/2011 6:49:00 AM
A good, very basic, light moisturizer for my normal (oily when irritated) skin. I picked this up because I needed a lighter, non-spf, moisturizer to use under the higher spf (Neutrogena Dry Touch) that I use during the summer. My HG moisturizer is Origins Brighter By Nature, but it's a bit too heavy in the hot, humid summers of the southeast. The Yogurt Cream is very thin and light, and has a weirdly off-putting milky-perfume-y smell that (thankfully) disappears almost instantly. Very little product is required, so I don't mind the relatively steep price because it will last me ages. There is some slight stickiness upon application, which I found to be worse if I used more product than necessary, though it only lasts a few seconds, so I don't mind it. YC has done nothing spectacular for my skin, save for keep it moisturized without being heavy or greasy as the day wears on--which is precisely what I wanted, so I'm quite pleased with it overall. And unlike some others I *love* the packaging. The jar feels fabulous and heavy; lovely, inert glass is my favorite container material. I would definitely repurchase this, although I can also imagine myself just trying something else. Pitfall of a good basic product though, I suppose: works very well, but can probably be duped (likely for cheaper.)
Lips -Korres - Raspberry Antioxidant Liquid Lipstick (ALL)
OmToast 5/6/2011 8:05:00 AM
Amazing. I will preface this by saying that I avoid "liquid lipsticks" like farking plague. Actually, I would snuggle a plague flea-infested rat before I'd pick up "liquid lipstick" and that remains true to this day. I may, however, fling said rat into traffic (no I wouldn't) to get my hands on this stuff because this is not a liquid lipstick the way you're probably thinking liquid lipstick. This is the World's Most Amazing Lip Gloss. It is hyper-pigmented; that's about the only thing lipstick-y about it. It gives full, lipstick-worthy coverage. But it does so with a moisturizing, healthy (rather than glassy) shine, and no stickiness. I repeat: ZERO STICKINESS. It feels beautiful--like a balm, does not creep, wears glossy and bright for ages before fading gracefully and leaving lips soft. The color is phenomenal: a bright pink-based . . . raspberry. really lovely and punchy, yet effortless. Great for every season. Application is a breeze with the doe foot applicator, which surprised me. Just a very thin coat is perfect--too thick does nothing to improve color payoff, and only makes lips superslick (which I don't personally like). Will definitely re-purchase, and will pick up some additional colors.
For reference, my skin is mildly sensitive and, if irritated, can be oily-dehydrated. Origins Clean Energy is my HG, and I've been happily OCM-ing for several years, but I live in the US southeast and there is *nothing* less appealing than smearing room temperature oil on your face after a long, hot day. Fed up and desperate for something refreshing, I sought out the Korres Milk Proteins foaming cleanser but, needing instant gratification, I settled for this when Sephora proved to be out of stock. Fail. I have loved all things Korres, but this is a no for me. The wash itself is a thin gel with minimal lather and a heavy perfume-y "green tea" scent which, although pleasant enough, is surprising. A dime-sized puddle applied to a wet face produces a fine lather, initially, which lessens dramatically over the wash. Nevertheless, my face still feels clean after rinsing (though it doesn't necessarily feel like it's getting there during the washing, if that makes sense) and it removes even stubborn eye makeup. Leaves my skin soft enough, and hydrated--not dry, taut or stripped feeling--and is definitely more refreshing than oil. After a couple days, though, my face looked irritated (some red splotching) and I was developing those weird little subdermal bumps which do not seem to be proper zits and cannot be seen, only felt. By the end of a week, my skin felt noticeably rough. Yet I persisted, attributing my skin's decline to acclamation. I stopped after another week and a half, when I began to actively break out (hadn't had a non-hormonal blemish in ages). I also noticed that my nose was beginning to look cloggy. So I threw in the proverbial towel and went back to my Origins CE and, within 2-3 days my skin was much improved--waning splotchiness, and so, so soft again. I think OCM just suits my skin better, and that this cleanser is not for me, BUT, I do think it could be a decent, mild cleanser for someone else. I would not repurchase (I'd actually return it, if I had the receipt), but I also wouldn't warn people away from it.
Hair Removal -Unlisted Brand - Schick Quattro for women Trimstyle
OmToast 4/17/2011 1:16:00 PM
This is a fabulous concept, poorly executed--presumably to keep it cheap. If you are used to using a plug-in dry trimmer + conventional razor for overall right-setting and maintenance, this may not be a direct routine replacement. For me, this is very minimal maintenance, only. Daily touch-ups, if you will. If your, erm, situation, gets a bit behind in upkeep, this will not, alone, get you back to perfect grooming. The trimmer is all but useless with the guide-comb, and rather than cutting cleanly it seems to annoy the hair off, occasionally resulting in unpleasant (though by no means dire) pulling. The razor is just a regular Schick Quattro, which I've always disdained, because the shave it gives is exceedingly comfortable . . . but only because it's nowhere near close. I'll keep it because it is handy for minimal touch-ups, and I like having a dedicated bikini razor on hand, but I'd not buy another. It may be slightly less convenient, but I find that a good dry trimmer is much more effective.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF45
OmToast 4/8/2011 8:30:00 AM
update 5/2011 -- Downgraded this from 5 stars to 3 because it simply cannot hack a day at the pool. I don't burn very easily, and have never, ever gotten a sunburn on my face when I've remembered sunscreen (my nose gets pink from repeated, daily exposure, but the rest of my face is typically fine). 2 hours at the pool with 1 reapplication and I have an intolerably pink face. Great as a daily running around sunscreen, but I've used much better SS's for dedicated outside time, and none have been more than SPF 30. I'll use this up as a daily summer sunscreen, but will probably hold off on repurchasing on the off chance I can find something that works well both daily and when I'm out in the sun for prolonged periods. I've been using this for several months as a regular, daily, out-and-about sunscreen, on top of my Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 moisturizer. I live in the US southeast and, particularly in the summer, need a higher SPF, lest I go through the season with a perpetually red nose. The only other sunscreen I have ever been able to use, comfortably and without eventual greaseface, while going about my normal daily activities, was the Origins Out Smart. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch reminds me of Out Smart, only you get more product with a higher SPF for less money--and it's locally available. I love it. I will say that it does make my t-zone a weeeeeee bit shiny, but that's typically at the end of long day, and after getting innumerable hours of excellent wear out of it. It is slightly mattifying on my mostly normal (oily when aggrivated) skin, though not excessively so. It just has a really nice finish. So nice, in fact, that I usually don't bother with a tinted moisturizer when I use this, because although it (obviously) does nothing for redness, it just gives such a nice finish that I don't mind being a bit more pink than normal. I will say, however, that on the rare occasions I have used my TM, it wore normally--no pilling or sliding around. I generally don't like dedicated sunscreens because they almost always cause a pinchy, red reaction on my very sensitive skin. With this, there is no pinching, no redness, no excessive oiliness, no breakouts. And it just feels nice--like I've got nothing on my skin. I'll definitely repurchase.
I love many of the Tokyo Milk fragrances, because they are generally interesting, pretty quiet in terms of wear/sillage, and extraordinarily cheap. La Vie La Mort is no different. I *love* tuberose (Fracas is an all-time favorite fragrance) and I'd definitely say that is the dominant note here (others listed include jasmine and cardamom). Ironically, though -- given that this is part of the Dark collection -- there is a freshness that tweaks the tuberose/jasmine. I wouldn't say there's anything particularly "dark" about this, at least not in the sense I'd presumed prior to sniffing, but it's definitely a bit . . . off--in a good way. It wears pretty close to the skin, so I don't have to be as careful with it as with, say, Fracas. The bottle is *fabulous*: opaque, matte black rectangular glass with white botanical (thistle? dandilion?) graphics and text. And at $36USD for 2 oz, it's a steal. Definitely a fun, slightly (but not too) different interpretation of tuberose/white floral that's extremely affordable. I'd definitely repurchase, and I look forward to trying more from this collection (arsenic was a close second favorite, and I'd love to get my hands on Bittersweet and Tainted Love).
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
OmToast 2/8/2011 8:28:00 AM
I use Olive Oil as both a year-round body moisturizer and as part of my nighttime oil blend, with jojoba, grapeseed and a bit of frankincense EO. I also use it on my hair--as a deep treatment on its own, mixed with coconut oil, and mixed into my henna. I love it in all applications. Softens and moisturizes my hair, softens and moisturizes my skin. Also helps keep my face balanced and calm, especially in the winter. I will say, however, that I use "regular" light olive oil--there is no reason to use EVOO from a "purity" standpoint. EVOO is just the first pressing. Subsequent pressings are no less pure, they're just lighter in aroma and flavor. Since my hair isn't exactly a gourmand, I save a couple bucks buying light. Will always repurchase -- works so much better for me than chemical-laden formulations, and is extremely cost effective.
I have thick, super coarse, wavy/curly hair that's also quite dry, made worse by a currently raging thyroid issue. None of my go-to products were touching the dryness, and most of my curl had fallen out as a result. I'd heard a mixed bag about the Mane 'n Tail shampoo and condish -- everything from the raves to people who claimed it made their hair a greasy mess. Fear of the latter prevented me from trying this for ages, and the proverbial joke is on me. I *love* this condish. I wash with the shampoo a couple times a month, but I use the condish daily to CO-wash and rinse thoroughly. For the first time ever, I *don't* need to use an additional rinse-out. Every other day, I top up with a moisturizing treatment as a leave-in, and my hair has been big, wavy, soft, bouncy and shiny. The consistency is very thick, and there's minimal slip--just enough to ease a comb through. It rinses clean, but leaves my hair soft, silky and detangled, even the following day, when I re-wet. Gives great volume, does not seem to build up on me, definitely doesn't weigh my hair down, or make it greasy--actually, I'll say it's the only condish I've ever used that makes my hair feel moisturized/conditioned *without* feeling product-y. And at $7USD for a liter bottle, it's definitely a good deal. Will repurchase.