Top/Base Coats -Sally Hansen - Insta-Grip Fast Dry Base Coat
Prazzie 9/14/2012 11:30:00 AM
I am extremely impressed by this base coat. After buying it, I read the negative reviews and got a bit worried. I decided to test it out thoroughly before forming my opinion. It performed well for me through several manicures, preventing chipping and staining. Then I decided to really put it to the test. I painted two layers, because I was going to top it with a dark forest green polish. If you've ever painted your nails a pigmented green without a base coat, you should know how badly green can stain nails. And this was a serious green, a green so dark, one coat was enough. I did two anyway. By day five with no chips or even tip wear, I got bored of the polish and decided to remove it. No stains whatsoever. Incredible. Sally Hansen Insta-Grip did everything I could ask for in a base coat. It made my manicure chip-resistant and long-lasting and prevented staining. Absolutely fantastic. I will definitely buy this again. To obtain the same results each time, I am going to continue painting two layers of the base coat to my nails before applying polish.
I first used the Bioderma cleanser for sensitive skin (Sensibio) and loved it. When it was time to repurchase, I decided to try the Sébium version for combination or oily skin, as that is what I have. Performance wise, I found it to be identical to the Sensibio version. It removed all my makeup, except waterproof mascara. It does so easily and leaves skin feeling clean and without any residue. I didn't notice any skincare benefits with regards to combating oiliness or preventing breakouts. Perhaps this cleanser is slightly harsher than the sensitive skin version, but not so much that I could spot the difference. The drawback for me is that, unlike Sensibio, this has a strong floral scent, almost like perfume. While the scent is not unpleasant, it was a bit strong and I didn't like the idea of using perfumed liquid on my eyes. Since the only difference between Sensibio and Sébium was the scent, at least in my experience, I will go back to using unscented Sensibio. If you enjoy floral fragrances in your makeup remover, then by all means, use Sébium H2O.
Excellent liner. It's soft and pigmented, so it applies easily without pulling at the skin. It is very long lasting. Normally product disappears off my waterline very easily, but Tarnish lasted for five hours with minor fading in the corners before I removed it. I used it as a base for MAC Greensmoke eyeshadow, which worked beautifully. The liner itself is a very dark green, almost black, with a slight metallic shimmer. It worked well to enhance my green eyes. I was easy to remove and didn't irritate my eyes. It also didn't stain my white makeup brushes. I will definitely buy this again.
Using this cleanser was like spreading honey-coloured Vaseline all over my face and neck. I didn't find the consistency and texture pleasant, but that wasn't the worst of it. This stuff reeks! It smells oddly herbal-medicinal-dental. The smell was so off-putting to me that I was only able to use it once. Reading the ingredients list, it must be the combination of hops, clove, and eucalyptus oil that bothers me so much. Despite the smell, I wanted to give it a proper try. I massaged the stuff into my skin and over my eyelids. It says it removes all makeup, so I thought it would be safe. Then you have to soak the muslin cloth in hot water and place it over your face, three times. The heat is supposed to help with the cleansing process. I don't know how, because the muslin cloth is so thin, it doesn't retain heat. By the time it reached my face it had already cooled down considerably. But fine, on to removal. I folded the cloth into a square and starting rubbing my skin in circular motions to try and get rid of the cleanser. By now, the smell was giving me a headache. I found it quite difficult to remove the cleanser, as it left an oily residue on my skin. Perhaps that's supposed to be there, considering that you're not supposed to tone and moisturise after using it. I just don't like the feeling of a waxy film on my skin, so I tried to remove it all. Well, after scrubbing my skin with a piece of fabric for what felt like far too long, my face was certainly clean and exfoliated. But I believe I would have gotten the same result by using Vaseline, any other cleanser, or even regular soap. Faster than it took to remove the Eve Lom cleanser. I think using the cloth to remove the cleanser is what leaves skin feeling clean and soft. For me, my skin felt dry and tight from all the scrubbing. The cleanser also stung my eyes, a sensation which lasted long after cleansing. And the scent remained! I'm sorry to have to say that my experience with this cleanser was less than pleasant. I wish I could have tried it for longer to check for skin reactions or to see whether I too would get the healthy, glowing skin reported by others, but for me, the smell is an insurmountable obstacle. I also dislike the unhygienic jar the cleanser comes in. **Update** The day after using this I developed three painful cystic pimples next to my nose. I don't suffer from acne, nor do I have sensitive skin. I hadn't changed anything else in my skincare routine, so I am certain that it was this cleanser that caused it.
I purchased a 2-pack from Sephora, so that my friend and I could find out what the fuss was about. I have been very satisfied with my foundation routine, using various liquid foundations and applying it with a Real Techniques buffing brush (from the Core Collection). However, after hearing so much hype about the beautyblender, I decided to try it. After reading some reviews here on MUA, I was worried about the sponge absorbing too much of my expensive foundation. I have a bottle of Revlon Colorstay that I got last year and no longer use, because it oxidizes on my skin. I decided to try using that, so I wouldn't waste my good makeup. I dampened the beautyblender by squeezing it under cold running water. I squeezed out the excess and then dried it further in a towel. I placed two pumps of Colorstay on the back of my hand, tapped the big end of the sponge into it and started applying it to my skin in a rapid stippling motion. The foundation, which is slightly too dark for my skintone, disappeared, leaving my skin looking clean and even. I admit that I was very surprised by the effect. I had planned on only testing it on my t-zone, where I have some redness, but I didn't want to stop using the sponge. I pumped out two more squirts of foundation and covered my whole face, using the smaller end under my eyes and next to my nose. To really get into the folds next to my nose, I had to push my nose to the side with my finger, which I don't have to do when I use a brush. I was skeptical, I don't enjoy using sponges for applying cosmetics, but the effect was undeniable. The beautyblender had created an airbrushed effect on my face, effortlessly. It was even better than my beloved buffing brush, which I have described as "life-changing" in the past. So there you go, the hype is not unfounded, the beautyblender does what it says it does. It is not perfect, though. Cleaning it proved a difficult task. I spent a long time and used several products to try and remove the foundation stains, to no avail. I don't particularly want to spend more time cleaning my tools than I spent using them, so I gave up and will just live with a stained sponge. I massage some baby shampoo into it, then rinse it until the water runs clear and that's enough for me. The pink dye did come out during washing, but I saw no trace of it on my face, so I am not concerned. More points off for how expensive it is and for the plastic "pedestal" container, which I think can easily damage the sponge. I store mine loosely on top, so I don't have to push it through each time I remove it. I'm also worried about longevity, I inspected the sponge closely after washing it and I can see how little tears could start forming in the material. I know the company states that the sponge should last about 3 months, so I will see how accurate that is. Although I think that the beautyblender gives a better finish than any other method I've used, it does use a bit more foundation than my brushes would. It also took me longer to apply a full face than usual, but that might be due to my inexperience with using a sponge. I will not be using the beautyblender for all my foundation applications, simply to save product and extend the life of the sponge, but I will introduce it into my routine when I want the most flawless appearance. It somehow manages to apply a sheer, invisible layer of foundation that simultaneously provides ample coverage. It is very impressive and despite the price, I will repurchase this when mine becomes too tattered to use.
I was looking for a dark berry shade to wear in winter. I looked at photos of Rebel online and was disappointed, as it seemed to swatch quite red/fuchsia, instead of the deep purple it appears to be in the tube. However, swatches varied enough that I didn't trust the photos and decided to buy it and see for myself. On my lips it is a dark wine red. Adding more layers brings out the purple tones. Removing it leaves a bright fuchsia stain. I really like the colour, I find it very flattering despite it being quite dark. I would recommend applying this with a brush instead of straight from the tube, for more precision. Your lips need to be in good condition to wear this lipstick. I applied it straight from the tube to test it and it got stuck to little flakes on my lips that I didn't even know were there. To prepare my lips for wearing Rebel, I apply some Vaseline, leave it on for about 10 minutes, then buff it off with a damp washcloth. This leaves my lips soft and flake free. Whether you want to wear this shade full on or blotted off, the result will be dramatic. There is little you can do to tone Rebel down. The colour will suit all skin tones. It also makes teeth look whiter.
Cosmo is a very wearable muted pink with brown undertones. Rimmel's Kate Moss lipstick in shade 08 is almost identical in colour, although Cosmo has a softer, creamier texture. The lipstick feels moisturizing, wears well, leaves a rosy pink stain and looks very natural with my fair skin. To combat the brown undertones and create a pinker colour, I apply MAC Rebel, blot it away to leave only a stain, then apply Cosmo over that. I will repurchase this when I run out. It gives a nice neutral lip that can be worn during the day or at night paired with dark eye makeup.
All I want my toner to do is to remove any remaining makeup on my skin after cleansing. This product did the job. It smells very nice, I would repurchase it just for the scent. Another reviewer said hers was not perfumed, but my bottle lists "parfum" as one of the ingredients. DermoPurifyer toner didn't worsen my skin, nor did it noticeably improve it. It left my skin feeling slightly dry, but I use moisturiser after toning, so that wasn't a problem. I enjoyed using this product and although it was a bit more expensive than I would like, the bottle lasted about six months, making it worth the expense.
Shimmermoss has been on my wishlist for a while, so when I heard it was being discontinued, I rushed to buy it. The sales assistant swatched it on his hand in the store and I was stunned by how bright and glowing it looked. Back home, I tried out a few colour combinations on the back of my hand, to see how I could wear Shimmermoss. As soon as I swatched Shimmermoss next to MAC Club, I knew they were made for each other. I've added photos to the gallery above - I first use a white eyeliner pencil as a base, then I put Shimmermoss over the inner half of my lid. I add Club to the outer half and in the crease and then blend it upwards towards the brow. I think it looks lovely and brightens the eye without being overwhelmingly colourful. I don't have any pigmentation issues with Shimmermoss and it blends easily. I am so glad that I got this before it was completely out of stock.
Feeling Fresh is a grassy green shadow with silver micro-glitter. The shadow feels a bit dry and rough, likely due to the glitter particles. I think the colour is beautiful and suitable for all skin tones. However, the shadow does take a bit of work to allow it to appear vibrant on the eye. Applying it to bare lids will result in a sheer wash of colour that can look a bit sickly on fair skin. I have better luck using a primer or white eyeliner pencil as a base. When used in this way, the shadow is transformed into a glorious full-on glittery green. Three lippies, because of the slightly grainy texture and pigmentation issues when used alone.
This is my favourite black eyeliner to use for a winged liner look. It is so easy to use, I can make very thin lines or go as thick as I want. The colour (02 Black/Noir) is perfectly black. It dries very quickly and then doesn't budge, until I remove it at night. The pen also lasts a very long time. I keep expecting mine to dry out, but it just keeps on going. This is my second one in a year and a half. I clean my tip with an alcohol swab. Be careful when replacing the cap, as sometimes it seems as though it is on, but it hasn't clicked into place yet. I recommend this liner to beginners, as it makes lining the eyes so easy. This liner is not suitable for use on the waterline.
I didn't think much of this product initially. I felt that it was a decent scrub with a pleasant scent. It is gentle and creamy and the exfoliating beads aren't too harsh. Then I went on a beach holiday without it for a week. The return trip left me feeling hot and sweaty and my face felt oily. Since I hadn't scrubbed it all week, that was the first thing I did when I got home. I couldn't believe the difference this scrub made to my complexion. I really did look brighter, my skin looked radiant. It felt so soft and smooth. Like others mentioned, this product needs to be applied to dry skin and massaged into the skin before applying water and rinsing it off. Adding water changes the consistency and turns it into a creamy face wash. I think the fact that I was using it twice weekly made my skin look generally good, so I could only notice the difference when I had gone without it for a while. Now I love it and will definitely repurchase it.
This is my favourite nude polish. It is quite a neutral shade, that is neither too pink nor too peachy. Application is quick and easy, with very few streaks. I apply two coats for a flawless finish. It dries very quickly and has a high shine finish. This is one of the better Essie polishes I have used. I would repurchase this.
Lip Treatments -Vichy - Aqualia Thermal Soothing and Repairing Balm
Prazzie 6/8/2012 11:16:00 AM
This is a soft, white balm that lends a soft sheen to the lips. I notice a slight tingling sensation when I apply it to my lips. It feels a bit greasy on the lips and doesn't get absorbed. It doesn't improve the condition of my lips, but it doesn't dry them out either. It doesn't offer any sun protection. It is lightly scented with an artificial fruity perfume smell that I find quite unpleasant in a lip product. The reason I would never repurchase this, apart from the fact that it's the most expensive untinted lip balm I've ever bought, is because it leaves a disgusting perfume taste in my mouth. I still wear it, because I feel it is too expensive to throw away, but I put it over my most matte lipsticks to make them a bit more comfortable and then I don't dare to lick my lips. Also, the bottom part of the twist-up packaging keeps falling off.
MAC Carbon is just a good staple matte black eyeshadow. It is smooth and soft, easy to work with and has little fallout under my eyes. I have to say that it is not the blackest black, it reflects some light, turning it into a slightly ashy charcoal black. I find this eyeshadow very wearable, even during the day. I use it as a soft black liner, or to add depth to any look. It is buildable and can be worn quite sheer, turning it into more of a very dark grey than black. Worn this way, it allows shadows underneath to show through, so it can look like a dark blue, green, pink and so on. I find this eyeshadow very useful and easy to work with. I would definitely repurchase it. One lippie off because it's not the best true black eyeshadow on the market.