I know very little about perfume or fragrance. I bought this on a whim because my mother in law wanted to buy me a gift, and perfume seemed like something of which we could both relate. I love it! It has tremendous staying power and a fun bottle, easy to hold, easy to spray and looks good on my dresser. When I spray it on, it smells very sexy, slightly sophisticated and I feel so hip. The Bond No. 9 websites describes its notes as "Jasmin, creamy vanilla, sheer patchouli". (Again, this means little to me, as I know little about fragrance.) I know that even with the vanilla, it doesn't smell like cookies. My hubby hates patchouli and loves this scent. So, I think the scents meld well together. The site also describes Nuits de Noho as "a new kind of nighttime femininity: Irreverent, unapologetic, favors a shot of icy vodka. A contemporary fruity-floral gourmand skin-scent that’s the ultimate in sexy avant-garde urbanity." Whatever. The price is ungodly and ridiculous. Even though it is a big bottle and will last me a long time, I would not have purchased, if my mo-in-law had not picked up the bill. It was over $250 dollars, and I recognize that this is about average for high end fragrance. And, probably the sole factor that will prevent me from re-purchasing, unless my mother in law continues to be so generous!
The gel came w my clarisonic so I can't comment on its price. I have aging, oily, acne-prone skin- very few cleansers leave my skin tight- this gel made my skin like sandpaper- no amount of moisturizer countered the tight, flaky, dull impact that this cleanser had on me. and my makeup looked horrible when i used this gel in the morning- as soon as I returned to my clearisil wash, the flakiness and scales went away- I tossed it and will never purchase or recommend- too bad, as I love my clarisonic brush!
I have been looking for a nudish, MLBB shade for sometime. And, most traditional lipsticks slide off my lips within an hour (except MAC Prolongwear lipcolor). For now, Forever Fawn meets my needs. I am really enjoying wearing it as my daytime pinky-nude. One of the benefits of reading MUA is that, with a little research, I can usually substitute DS cosmetics in place of HE makeup. MAC is now out of my price range. CoverGirl is not, esp. as CVS always has some sort of BOGO or BeautyBucks deal. PRO: Dries rather quickly Goes on rather easily and does not bleed - a little goes a long ways Very economical Has nice pink, nude undertones that compliment my NW15 skin Last much longer than any other DS lipcolor that I have found Does not transfer to coffee cups, forks, etc. Depending on how much I use, the texture is between sheer and matte Moisturizing top coat is fun and easy Last 3-4 hours on me, which is much longer than the Revlon Colorstay and Maybelline products I have tried CON: Even though I did a lot of research, the Forever Fawn color (on me) does not reflect what's on the CG website or even the packaged product - it is much browner on the website and on the package. (The other color I bought, Blossom Berry, 555, is much darker on me than it suggests on the website - borderline deep.) If I had gone solely by the packaging and marketing, I would have never purchased Forever Fawn. The smell is horrid, toxic waste horrid, and it does not fade until the lipcolor completely dries. Last 3-4 hours on me, even if my lips don't touch a thing in that time I will keep looking for a product that resembles this shade, smells better and has more staying power. Until then, I am very ok with considering this my MLBB choice.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Setting Brush
Princessngirl 7/25/2012 8:42:00 AM
I have had this brush about two weeks. This little brush has been so much fun for me. Like all RT brushes, it cleans up beautifully! It is a relatively small head, about 1.5 inches in diameter and v soft. It is dense and picks up a lot of product - I have tried it w powder and liquid cosmetics and have experienced the need for a v light hand. That said, because its tips are so soft, it creates a wonderful finish in a v short amount of time. I use it in many different ways: -to brush on eye shadow base or primer quickly and completely -to create a light swoosh of eye shadow over my entire eyelid -to powder over my undereye concealer -to use my foundation instead of concealer under my eyes -to add my highlighter -to hit those tight spots where I want an extra hit of foundation I have used this brush a lot over the past two weeks - I don't know that I would consider it a must-have brush, like a foundation, blush or powder brush - however, now that I have it, I am so glad I got it.
Blush -Wet 'n' Wild - Mega Glo Illuminating Powder - Catwalk Pink #345
Princessngirl 7/25/2012 8:32:00 AM
Wet n Wild Mega Glo - I mistakenly bought this thinking it was illuminating powder, possibly because this is what it says it is on the package. It is not. It is a gorgeous blush that has become my go to pick me up. It has four stripes that you can use individually or swirled together. I rarely use them individually. The first strip is a shimmery light bronze. The second strip is a shimmery light pink, almost highlight color. This third strip is a v slight shimmery rosy pink and the fourth is glossy copper. It super adheres to and blends with to whatever else is under it, be it my TM, liquid foundation, or powder base. We are having record a heat wave and this stuff seems to stay put. I bought this on an impulse and notice that this summer I am reaching for it before any of my HE foundations. A little of this goes a long way - I use it several times a week and have had it for months and haven't made a dent in the pan. The packaging is yuck and I am not too cranky about it. Wet n Wild is not known for its classy packaging - so it isn't the best - big deal - I have plenty of beautifully packaged blushes that cracked, dried out or changed color on me. I am not sure what other colors it comes in so I don't know how the colors would work for individuals who aren't NW15-20. However, if you can find a color that works for you, this blush or "illuminating powder" is a keeper.
Blush -Wet 'n' Wild - Silk Finish Blush 831D Pearlescent Pink
Princessngirl 7/25/2012 8:14:00 AM
Eccchhh! This blush was a complete waste of my money. I have had some success w Wet n Wild products and was looking (still am) for a light blush for my NW15 skin. This is not it. The color is gorgeous in the pan - a pinky, coral w just a slight hint of shimmer. The packaging is awful - it is in thin plastic and has a cheap, thin, slanted brush that I had to toss right away. Worse, the actual blush is a MESS to work w - it started flaking in the pan w my first brush sweep. The blush dust was everywhere - on me, the dressing table, the floor and it goes on very heavy, even w the lightest dusting and significant tapping, I still had a raggedy ann appearance and had to powder it down. I tried this w several different kind of brushes and finally determined that this blush is not for me. Disappointed and not deterred - the right blush is out there for me!
I use this in the brown for every day wear. Right now, this is my HG mascara, and I have purchased it over and over. I gave it a low rank for packaging because it seems to dry out pretty quickly no matter how careful I am to keep it tightly contained. Otherwise, I love this mascara. It goes on w great ease. I only brush it on my top lashes and they are full and rich looking for the entire day. I love how this mascara really increases the volume of my lashes and still looks incredibly natural. In fact, I stopped wearing eyeliner, because this mascara makes my eyes look so strong. I haven't experienced the flaking that some have. It is not water resistant and comes off easily w remover or in the shower. I only purchase this mascara (and I have probably been through 20 tubes of it) when it is on sale. And, between CVS, Target, Walgreens and Wal Mart, there is always a sale. Definitely a win for me.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Expert Face Brush
Princessngirl 7/25/2012 7:03:00 AM
I have only had this brush for two weeks and am still learning to use it. So far, I LOVE IT. I didn't find the RT video tutorial all that helpful, so I am learning as I go. The expert face brush seems to be the first brush I have owned that gives me a softer application of Jane Iredale (handi brush did nothing for me) Pure Pressed Base, which I occasionally wear. This brush allows my TM to go on w complete ease, for a lovely finish. I use it a great deal for buffing, which seems to be its original intent. I have had some blush errors of late and we are in such a heatwave that I have had to powder before I go out. This brush smooths it all out. The smallish head makes it easier to fit it into some of the dips in my skin texture. What I really love about this brush line is how easy it is to clean. Because they are synthetic (I think), makeup doesn't cling to the brush as deeply or heavily as others. It cleans and dries quickly. Definitely I recommend it.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Stippling Brush
Princessngirl 7/25/2012 6:29:00 AM
I really can't say anything that hasn't already been said. So far, this brush has been a v good buy. Pros: Smaller head than the 187 allows for better control of coverage Smaller head creates opportunities to use it w blush, highlighter and concealer - so this brush has many uses Creates a beautiful finish w my TM Cleans up beautifully and easily - dries quickly Price is low Cons: Because head is denser than typical stippling brushes, it may make heavier-coverage foundation more difficult to smoothly apply - haven't tried it yet Hard to find in stores in the midwest - sold out everywhere! I have only had this brush for a few weeks - if my experience changes, I will update
Another MAC lipstick that I am only mildly enthusiastic about. On my neutral, slightly yellow skin (dark hair and eyes), this looks plum w a big shot of fuschia. It is a v fun color and v bright, although it wears down to a soft pretty version of itself. I love the color and yet I always feel a little overdone in it. Pros Moisturizing The Color is charming Doesn't have much of a scent Layers quite nicely Nice finish - not super glossy and yet a little shiny Cons Tends to feather v easily so so staying power VERY transferable - teeth, coffee cups I bought this on impulse. I wear when I want to dress up just a little bit or on very grey days.
Concealers -BeneFit Cosmetics - Erase Paste #2 Medium
Princessngirl 7/12/2012 10:51:00 AM
I use Erase Paste only sporadically. I have v deep dark circles, and when I want to really hide them, I use Erase Paste in combination w another concealer. The consistency is v thick and gooey - a little goes a long way, and this stuff sticks. I don't use my fingers to apply because it is so hard to wash off! It is also v hard to get off my brushes. I have had this jar for over two years - I don't use it v often, and don't use v much when I use it. On me, the medium is a little orange - hence, I use corrector, foundation or powder to color it down. I like the packaging. It is in a small plummy pink jar and v easy to find in my makeup drawer. I love the idea of Benefit Cosmetics. I have yet to find a product in the line that works for me.
This is my go-to every day lipstick. I wouldn't quite characterize it as my HG, and it works nicely for day time, neutral makeup. Pros Good pigment Nice finish - on me, it doesn't have the typical 'satin' MAC finish Color is good on my neutral, borderline yellow, pale skin - neutral mauve w a touch of brownish pink- not for someone who wants her lips to be a facial focal point Cons Layering it can get messy Staying power (on me) is just fair It has a strange sweet scent - DH doesn't mind it when he kisses me, and it is strong enough to note Transfers onto everything! Because the color is good on me, I will continue to buy - in terms of the product's overall quality, I would say it is fair-good.
I can't say much more about this than has already been said. I LOVE this brush. I have two and may buy another, if I have a coupon. I use it for my liquid foundation, to stipple and buff. I find that no matter how much I tap out, this brush packs too much powder for me. The finish, no matter what type of liquid foundation, is always gorgeous. And, it is a v pretty brush. This brush has not shed on me, and I wash my brushes almost daily. My second brush's handle came unglued pretty quickly. I glued it back together w gorilla glue and have had no more problems with gorilla glue. This brush is definitely worth your time.
Misc Beauty Tools -Clarisonic - Clarisonic PLUS Sonic Skin Cleansing System
Princessngirl 7/10/2012 8:37:00 AM
I use my clarisonic at night after removing my makeup. I have yet to find another tool or potion that so effectively cleans skin. I tried the Olay dupe and found it to be scratchy and harsh. For me, this is my HG. I use my own generic cleanser and rinse my face several times after using the brush. I am in my late 40s, have struggled w acne and aging skin - two years ago, in pictures, I looked my age. I just saw some June 2012 photos of me and I look like I am 35 - even DH noticed. Pros Cute and fun to use very effective at cleaning skin and pores because your skin is so much cleaner, other products, such as serums and base, go on much more smoothly w consistent use, skin tone and inflammation significantly improve body brush is equally effective Cons expensive charge doesn't last more than a week to be truly hygenic, brush needs to be washed and blotted after every use does not replace exfoliation I got mine on ebay, which is a risk. I got v lucky and have heard horror stories about fakes and faulty systems, and bad warrantees. If you can purchase it from a licensed distributor, w points, coupons or another form of discount, I encourage you to do it.
Makeup Brushes -MAC - #187 Duo Fiber Face Brush (Stippling, Skunk Brush)
Princessngirl 7/10/2012 8:23:00 AM
My brush is over five years old. I bought it on a whim and have only really learned how to use it in the past year. Even though I wash it frequently, it barely shows any wear. I have never had any problems w shedding. It is a pretty big head, which is good for liquid and powder foundation, not so great for areas in which you want to work w a small section. It requires a v light touch, or else the product can get really packed into the brush and smooth on unevenly. If you decide to go w this brush, I encourage you to watch some of the you tube videos to learn about the proper technique. I see some folks using it to both stipple and buff. When I use it to buff, I get streaks. For stippling you want to use a v light, v patient hand and go w another brush to buff. This one really packs in the product, and I have yet to use it and create a nice finish. Because this brush is so expensive and because this brush is MAC, I think the expectations placed on it are really high. MAC 187 is a v good brush. However, for a lot less money, Kashuk, RT, even Sigma, make comparable brushes that do the same job.