Hair Styling Tools -Mason Pearson - Pure Bristle Brush
Plinko 3/30/2013 11:34:00 AM
I'll start by saying that I don't have the kind of hair anyone would envy. My hair is baby fine, and I don't have a lot of it. I'm not balding, but I don't have a luxurious waterfall of locks. My hair was a mess of static in the winter, and it tangled like mad the second I stepped outside. My hair had to be washed daily to avoid greasy roots, which resulted in dull damaged hair. Over the years I discovered that it didn't matter where i had my hair cut or colored, what I described above didn't change. Measurable improvements were made when I discovered a sulfate free shampoo at Costco, and Batiste dry shampoo at my local beauty supply store. Redken Satainwear blowout lotion also helped. I began to wash my hair less, and my hair began to look better, but I wasn't until i pulled the trigger on this ridiculously expensive hairbrush that I began to love my hair. I figured I could splurge since I cut my hair at Greatclips and color my own hair, but I did feel guilty about the purchase..... but not anymore. This brush is the single best beauty purchase I've ever made. The bristles are just firm enough to penetrate to and massage the scalp, but soft enough that it feels absolutely luxurious. The brush seems to not only spread the oil through the hair, but also absorb excess oil. The result is shiny, bouncy hair that is full of body. I can now wash twice a week. What a revelation... what a time saver....etc. Some people spend over $100 dollars for a cut and color that lasts eight weeks. I'm not judging those people. My point is, why not spend $100 dollars on a hairbrush that will last forever and outperform any hairbrush at the drugstore X 1,000. I wish I had known about these brushes years ago, it would have saved me years of hair heartache. On a side not, packaging is not usually a concern of mine, but I was delighted with vintage packaging of my brush. I could imagine strolling into a mercantile circa 1890 and buying the same brush.
Pressed Powders -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - Medium
Plinko 3/2/2013 10:01:00 AM
First of all, I'm not really a powder person, and I'm generally not a MAC girl. I like their lipsticks, but I've pretty much bypassed the rest of their line over the years. I have dry skin, so I'm reluctant to use powder because I thought all powders would dull the luminous finishes of my favorite foundations (YSL Touche Eclat and Lancome Photgenic). For years I've used BE mineral veil on my forehead and chin only (that's where I tend o be the most oily). My favorite foundations in terms of texture and color match tend to wear off after about six hours exposing the ruddiness around my nose that I so badly want to hide. I decided that I had to find a setting powder that would help my foundation last longer and not compromise the finish. After an extensive search, I found Skinfinish and I'm blown away. The SA recommended Medium, and I was skeptical because I'm very light skinned, but I decided to trust her judgement and I'm happy I did. The color works perfectly with TE BR30 and Photogenic Buff 4c. I'm very pleased with the color. The product itself is so soft and buttery and not at all chalky. It doesn't settle into pores or creases and it seems to blur any minor imperfections. Best of all, it does not dull down the glow of my foundation! My skin does not look like I've added any product, yet my foundation lasts much longer and I can get about 10 hours out of my foundations. I never thought I'd love a powder so much! The only reason I didn't rate this powder a 5 is because of the packaging. I don't mind the lack of a sponge as this product should really be used with a brush. However, I do think that a compact, especially at this price point, should have a mirror.
I have dry skin, and I love cream blush. I have always used Bobbi Brown's pot rouges as I have found two great colors (Pale Pink and Powder Pink) that work great on my NW 20 skin. The consistency, color payoff and finish were unmatched, in my opinion, until now. The Flower version appears quite small, about the size of an ice cube. Don't let that deceive you. The Flower version actually contains more product at more than half the price of BB's. I bought Primrose and Proper, and it is such a fresh, neutral, pinch-cheeked pink. I find it to be easier to blend than the pot rouges with a much easier slip. I also prefer the finish which is quite luminous. In terms of length of wear, I get a full eight hour day, just as good as my Pot Rouges. In terms of color, it is like Laura Mercier's Oleander, but with a more luminous (and prettier, in my opinion) finish. Now that I've found an affordable and beautiful drugstore cream blush I feel like I've found a pot of gold.
Truthfully, I tend to find celebrity fragrance and fashion lines eye-roll inducing. However, it's not far-fetched to me that a celebrity who has spent her life in front of cameras and in the makeup chair would develop an interest in makeup. So, when I heard Drew Barrymore had a new cosmetics line, my curiosity was piqued. Even though I have no need for a new foundation, I could not resist picking up her About Face makeup base. If you are fair skinned, you'll have a lot of color options. I picked up LF5, and it is a good fit for my NW20 cool-toned skin. I would break down the fair/light colors as such: LF 1 is porcelain, LF2 seems to be a warm tone-option for fair skin, LF 3 seems to be a option for cool-toned fair skin, LF4 a warm option for light skin, and LF5 a cool-toned option for light skin. From there the colors get deeper, but there is not a lot of choice for women with darker skin. This claims to be "illuminating", but I don't find that to be the case. It's not flat, either. I'd say this gives medium coverage that is very natural and skin-like. It does not feel heavy or greasy, it doesn't settle in my pores, and it doesn't cling to dry patches. It does not spread as fluidly as my favorite Lancome foundation (Photogenic), but it's not hard to blend at all (I use my fingers). It's one of the few foundations I've come across that I think dry and oily skinned women could wear successfully. If you're dry, wear cream instead of lotion underneath and I think you'll be good. If you're oily, set with powder and plan to touch up at least once during the day and you should be fine. It comes packaged in a substantial glass bottle with a pump that works. The packaging does look very high end, even if I actually prefer tube packaging because I travel. That's not a deal breaker as I can always pump some into a travel bottle. Although this is on the pricey end of drugstore foundations, I think the performance of the product as well as the packaging more than justifies the (appx. $14) price.
I can't stress enough that a little goes a long way with this product. The consistency is so thick and creamy, but once you begin to pat it under your eyes it spreads and covers so beautifully. It hides dark shadows under the eyes, and covers broken capillaries wonderfully. It is extremely hydrating which is great news for those with dry, crepe-y skin under their eyes. The "light" shade is perfect for those with a lot of pink in their skin. Previously I was using Josie Maran's "Sand" concealer. The consistency was perfect for my dry skin, but I new I needed something a little more pink, and Tarte's Maracuja concealer fits the bill without sacrificing the hydration I need. Though I wouldn't exactly call this "creaseless", it's certainly damn near close. On the rare occasions that it settles into one of my pesky line, I just press my finger against it and it looks good as new. This is a must-have in my kit for a bright-eyed and rested look.
Liquid -Yves Saint Laurent - Teint Touche Eclat Foundation
Plinko 1/26/2013 3:49:00 PM
Honestly, I was hoping that I'd hate this product. I really, really did not want to pay upwards of $50 for a foundation. But, I committed myself to finding the perfect foundation for my skin and its needs, and I must say, along with Lancome's Photogenic Lumessence, this is the the best foundation that I've ever used. My skin is dry, and can thus look very dull if I use the wrong type of foundation. My skin is light and cool-toned (NW20), and I don't care what anyone says, I look jaundiced and half-dead if a foundation has too much yellow in it. Beige Rose 30 is an absolute perfect color match for me. My skin is thankfully pretty clear, so I don't need heavy coverage. I"m not sure of the science of this, but it really does seem to attract light to all the right places. The finish is absolutely stunning. It's very skin-like, yet ethereal at the same time, and I'm not even sure how that is possible. I would say this provides light coverage, but it is the most buildable coverage I've ever experience. It can be built to medium coverage that is still skin-like and not mask-y. However, If you build a second layer, it does loose some of that luminosity that makes the foundation so special. One layer is enough to even my skin tone and cover minor imperfections. I use a separate concealer to cover broken capillaries and blue veins under my eyes. Just an aside, on three separate occasions, three different people asked me if I lost weight recently because my face looked thinner. Again, I won't pretend to know about the science behind the product, but it does somehow seem to make the face look more sculpted.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
Plinko 1/26/2013 3:23:00 PM
I only added this to my skin care routine about a month ago and I am blown away by the results. I switched to this chemical exfoliant after an esthetician suggested the the broken capillaries under my eyes may have been caused by the exfoliating scrubs that I've used in the past. I purchased this one because the reviews were good and the price point was fair. I thought it was a good place to begin my search for a new exfoliator. Honestly, it was the beginning and the end of my search. It's that good. Not only is my skin smoother and more luminous, the dark pigmentation that developed on my jawline during my last pregnancy has virtually disappeared. I have dry, sensitive skin that is prone to redness, and this product has significantly reduced my redness. It has done all of this without ever once drying me out, breaking me out, stinging or burning. I use it faithfully every night after cleansing and toning. Then, I slather on my night cream and wake up with a fresh, hydrated, even-toned face.
Shampoo -Unlisted Brand - Kirkland Signature Hydrating Shampoo
Plinko 11/16/2012 3:52:00 PM
I'll admit I'm one of those Costco nuts. I love their Kirkland Signature in-house brand. Nearly every Kirkland item I've tried is equal to or better than it's name brand inspiration. This shampoo is no different. I'm not exactly sure which shampoo this was supposed to mimic, but it met and exceeded my needs. I have fine, color treated hair that is hard to handle in the winter. If I don't use the right products I walk around looking like my finger is perpetually in the electric socket. Until now, Redken All-Soft shampoo was the only product that stood up to the toll each winter takes on my hair. All-Soft is pricey, and I always wished I could find a less expensive alternative. During my last trip to Costco I found myself intrigued by this hydrating shampoo and conditioner and I plunked them in my cart. The shampoo was $10 for over 33 ounces. My bottle of All Soft was only 10 ounces and I think I paid close to $15. First, this shampoo smells great. I hate synthetic floral/citrus/herbal scents. Kirkland shampoo smelsl like pudding, or cake batter. I love it. The shampoo Iathers through the hair easily and rinses out cleanly without residue. I use it with the companion conditioner and blow it out with Redken Satinwear blow dry lotion and the result is soft, smooth, silky hair without any annoying straw-like fly-aways. I am kicking myself for not trying this sooner.
Styling Products -Redken - Satinwear 02 ultimate blow-dry lotion
Plinko 11/16/2012 3:20:00 PM
I have fine, color treated hair, and not much of it. Winter weather really does a number on my hair if I don't care for it with just the right products. This blow-dry lotion really seems to "turn straw to silk". Without this product, by hair is much duller, drier and prone to static. With this product, my hair is smooth, silky and bouncy. There's no noticeable smell to speak of, it does not weigh down my hair, and it never gives me "the greasies". So, if your hair needs a pick-me-up this winter, I highly recommend this product.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
Plinko 11/9/2012 9:37:00 PM
I loved Grassroots Pomegranate Anti-Oxidant serum, but I needed a replacement once it became impossible to find. My research lead me to this one by Paula's choice. Although I prefer the texture of my old serum, I can more than tolerate the Paula's Choice. I had no reaction to the difference. I like that it is fragrance-free, as I don't love putting fragranced products on my face. It seems to calm any redness, and brighten my complexion as well as my old serum. I also think it is a fairly priced product. I have not found a decent serum for less.
Liquid -Lancome - Photogenic Lumessence Light Mastering & Line-Smoothing Makeup
Plinko 9/21/2012 12:10:00 PM
I had promised myself that I would not buy another bottle of foundation until I ran out of the ones that I already owned. Then, I was approached by a Lancome representative at Macy's who offered me a ten day sample of any of their foundations. I'm a foundation junkie, and I couldn't refuse. I told her that my skin tended to be dry, that I liked light to medium coverage and that I wanted a foundation that would tone down my redness and give me a glow. She sent me home with as sample of Photogenic Lumessence in Buff 4c. I've learned the hard way to never call something my HG, but after using up my supply, I ran out and bought a bottle and have been using it exclusively since June. This stuff makes me look radiant. Bye-bye dull skin! The color match is spot-on, the creamy texture blends so well, it seems to melt into my skin and float over all of my fine lines. It gives me such a youthful look. Since I began wearing this I've been asked about my skin care on a daily basis. I've used the same oil cleansers and moisturizer for ages now, so it must be this product. I don't see this product mentioned much here, but if your foundation needs are similar to mine, you'll probably be happy with this product.
This is listed in the liquid foundation category, but it is really a liquid highlighter/illuminizer. I am finding spectacular gems in the most unlikely places these days. Borghese is not a hip and trendy line, but a line of which I was only vaguely aware. After discovering and falling in love with their Creme Finish Foundation, I was given a generous sample of Splendore. After using Smashbox highlighter for years, I recently switched to Joie Maran as I preferred the more fleshy color of hers. Borghese's Splendore is more flesh-toned like Josie Maran's, but I find it much easier to work into the skin because it is not as thick. It imparts a really healthy and natural glow without any distracting glitter. The consistency is perfect for mixing into foundations, concealers and moisturizers. It also works great atop foundation. It is packaged in a pump, but the pump does not have a cover, which is potentially problematic for travelers. Other than that, a stellar product.
I think this is a wonderful offering by Estee Lauder. I loved the look of Chanel VA and Lancome's Teint Innocence, but I didn't purchase either due to my concerns over their alcohol content. I had read that this was alcohol free, so I requested and received a generous sample in 1cn1. The color was a perfect match for my skin (NW20). It wears about as long as most of my foundations (8 hours). It did not oxidize, it was buildable, and provided a "glow" without being "dewey". It really did feel like I had nothing on, and I would describe the overall look as "polished" rather than "covered". I have dry skin, but this does not accentuate any dryness, but my skin is in far better condition than usual this winter. If you have flaking issues, stay away, or stay on top of your exfoliating. If you are the type that likes full coverage, you won't get it with this. It provides just a tad more coverage than a tinted moisturizer. Concealer over or under this base works very nicely. I conceal under my eyes, on the sides of my nose and chin, then finish with this for a "polished" look. I don't need powder, but oilier ladies might. I find the effect very fresh and modern and much less aging than some of the other foundations I've tried. Keep in mind that their is no SPF in this. I wear mine over moisturizer and sunscreen.
Crème -Borghese - Hydro-minerau Creme Finish Makeup
Plinko 3/10/2012 8:12:00 AM
This is another one of those hidden gems. I stopped by the Shisheido counter for my mother the other day and struck up a conversation with the SA. I told her that I've been experimenting with foundations lately. I've been looking for something with light buildable coverage, and a glowing but not shimmery finish. I want something that will hydrate my dry skin and minimize my pores. The Shisheido SA walked me over to the Borghese counter and handed me a tube of this. She told me that a well-known plastic surgeon recommends this foundation to his recovering patients, and that they all become hooked on it and continue to buy it long after their surgery. She offered to "fix me up", so I said "Sure!" Honestly, I was floored that a Shisheido rep would show me another company's product. She was not at all pushy, and in fact had me try a Lancome (Tient Miracle) and a Chanel (Vitalumiere) foundation for comparison. The Borghese blew everything else out of the water. The coverage was light and buildable. The shade (#2 Latte), fit the bill perfectly. For those who feel most foundations are too yellow and make them look jaundiced, Borghese has shades for us pink ladies! The formula was very hydrating without being greasy. The finish is what I would call "glowy". No shimmer particles, no dew, but "lit from within". The tube packaging is hygienic and practical for travel. The only drawback I can think of is that it does not have sunscreen, but for me that is not an issue because I cover that base with my moisturizer. I really can't rave enough about this. There are so many unsung companies and products. I'm happy I was introduced to this jewel.
Liquid -American Beauty - ULTIMATE DIAMOND Luminous Mineral Makeup SPF 15
Plinko 3/10/2012 7:43:00 AM
I tried this at Kohl's and loved the texture, coverage and finish. My color match in "Fair" was excellent. My skin looked flawless and ethereal. It was on sale, so I pounced. I got to my car, took one look in the review window and headed right back into the store to return the tube. Glitter everywhere! Maybe I should have assumed by the word "Diamond" in the name, but I swear I didn't see any glitter under the store lighting. Broad Daylight told another story entirely. Funny how a review mirror can be a woman's worst enemy and best friend all at once. Such a gorgeous foundation spoiled by glitter. I looked like one of my son's art projects. For those interested, I agree with the reviewer below who compared this to Tient Miracle. I thought the same thing. Imagine a more hydrating Tient Miracle with glitter.