Treatments (Eye) -Unlisted Brand - Stye Sterile Lubricant Eye Ointment
RavenBeauty 6/11/2011 3:04:00 AM
This product is absolutely amazing! It soothes a stye, but that's not what I use it for. I have had this odd kind of rash or eczema that keeps appearing on my eye lid and under one eye in particular. It comes and goes for no apparent reason. I've tried to find a pattern or reason for it, but I can't seem to nail it down. I've eliminated eye shadow, eyeliner, and all eye products, and still it persists. I've tried every kind of cream or ointment you can think of, and the itching and redness is merciless. I googled and found others experiencing this odd type of rash under their eyes or on their lids. It comes and goes with them as well for no apparent reason (more frequent around that special time of the month). No cortisone cream helps. The itching is a nightmare. I read that people swear by this ointment because it is the only thing that helps with the itching! I was surprised as I have bought this in the past, but only for the occasional stye. I purchased a tube (very cheap) and when the rash began again, I put it on underneath my eye and on my lid, and within 5 minutes the itching disappeared! The redness was all gone in two days! I have never seen this before with any cream, ointment or prescription! This stuff really clears everything up pretty quickly! Who knew! I wanted to pass this on because I know that others have this odd problem, and this may help you as it has helped me. It's cheap, completely soothing, and very moisturizing! At first glance, this appears to be similar to Vaseline in nature, however Vaseline did nothing for me as I have tried that and Aquaphor as well. Major find! I can go back to wearing my favorite eye shadows again, and using this at night!
I know that many have been curious about the new formulation and packaging for Lauder's cult favorite "Maximum Cover" foundation. I felt this needed a new listing since they have reformulated, repackaged, and even renamed this product. It's going to take a while before all of the old tubes are sold. Finding reviews on the newer version would have been difficult to distinguish otherwise. Lauder admits that they have received many calls from panicked users who were under the impression that this foundation was being discontinued. Some very upset that their lightest shade "Creamy Ivory Very Light" was no longer available (it is still available, however it's been renamed "Very Light") .
The good news is that Lauder is finally showing a vested interest in this foundation for the first time in years (it's always been treated as the red headed stepchild at Estee Lauder counters in the past). Even seasoned make up artists admitted that nothing covered quite like this foundation, and they were absolutely correct (Dermablend looked like a tinted moisturizer in comparison). No concealer or foundation in the world could even touch this stuff. You could have the worst acne scarring in the world, and this would make you appear to have normal skin. It was an amazing foundation, however it was never pushed at the counters, and was available in 4 shades only until very recently. Lauder was discontinuing this product years back, but the outcry was so overwhelming that they appeased us by keeping it available in 4 shades only (still never pushing it at the counters).
Now for the bad news. This is the most painful edit I have ever had to make. I am so heartbroken right now. I have relied on this foundation in it's original form for years. When I heard that Lauder was reformulating this, I called them right away. They indicated that this was being repackaged, and that the new formula was similar (not true). When I received it, I tested it right away on my hand, and it looked the same (it even smelled the same). I breathed a sigh of relief. It did feel a little thicker, but the color was the same. I then applied some of the older formula on one part of my hand, next to the newer formula side by side. They appeared to be the same on my hand (sigh).
I still had a tube of the old formulation, and had no reason to reach for the new tube yet for a full application (and again I had tested it on my hand, and thought all was well). When I reached into my make up bag to begin my routine yesterday, I grabbed the new tube by mistake, and thought what the heck. I was going to get to it soon enough anyway. I began applying this to my face like I had done every morning with the older formula, and was completely horrified. It does not spread the same at all. In fact, it spreads exactly like Illamasqua's Rich Liquid Foundation (not a good thing for me). It looked like I had applied clay to my face (and clay is a new ingredient). I kept trying to work with it to get it to spread evenly, but it ended up looking as if I had applied cheap, colored, clay. To add insult to injury, it does not cover everything like it used to (especially if you were used to the old formula). If you are new to this product, and use a very slippery primer underneath, you may have a better experience, and think this stuff is wonderful (and your skin may not be as bad as you think it is). I never had to use anything with the older formula because it spread like silk (not even primer). Now I understand what one reviewer meant when she stated that this could be drying to people who have very dry skin. I thought that was an odd statement because this foundation has so much slip. All of that has changed. There is no slip in this anymore. It used to cover like a soft, silk, blanket. This filled in lines, pores, and blemishes like magic. The pigment has been cut down considerably. It looks like a clay mask on me (and covers next to nothing). It's thick and garish looking.
I could hardly believe my eyes! Not only was this thick and pasty, but you could still see a fair amount of the things I was trying to conceal (never happened with the old formula). I dabbed some extra on those area's, and it was so unnatural and pasty looking, that I had to wash my face immediately. I used to be able to use a pea sized amount to cover everything. Now a pea sized amount does not even begin to cover what it used to (and I break out from slippery primers). If I use more, it looks like a garish, clay, mask (and I need more). People with minor skin issues may love this. I called and spoke to a Lauder rep at Nordstrom's. She admitted that they are getting a lot of returns from old time users. At first glance, it appears to be the same, but it's most definitely not the same! She said they really tweaked the formula in a big way. I could hardly speak. When I did find my voice, I told her how shocked I was that EL would mess with something this unique and utterly amazing for nothing. To her credit, she let me get it out of my system.
For now, I am buying up as many old tubes as I can find. I am not finding what I was used to buying, which was called "Creamy Ivory Very Light." I couldn't find this anywhere (the original tubes lasted forever, and my last back up tube was purchased in late 2008 from Nordstrom.Com). I did order 4 tubes of what I was able to locate, which is "Creamy Ivory Light." This whole thing is incredibly depressing. What a shame. I am back to trying foundations that seem promising, but none can touch what this once was. If you feel as I do, PLEASE take the time to leave feedback at EsteeLauder.Com, as corporate really does read those comments carefully. I was also told to have people call their consumer feedback line (1-888-378-3359). This is how we got the product back the first time they tried to discontinue it, so please call! It does make a difference! How disappointing. Totally bummed here. :(
Cleansers -Cetaphil - Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
RavenBeauty 11/7/2010 2:14:00 PM
Where have I been! This soap is nothing short of miraculous. I have tried a bezillion cleansers, acne treatments, products for sensitive skin, products meant to help with rosacea, and nothing comes close to what this simple bar has done for my skin! I have super oily, acne prone skin with a healthy dose of rosacea to boot. I was beginning to think that I had run out of options, and must simply learn to live with my inflamed skin. Products meant for oily skin only seemed to produce more oil. Acne products did nothing but leave my skin red and scaly (even treatments aimed at rosacea). I was ready to pull my hair out. My dermatologist asked me if I had ever tried this soap, and I almost laughed out loud. After all, I had tried all the so called miracle treatments out there, and they did nothing to touch the problem (prescriptions didn't help either). Why would some silly bar of soap meant for dry skin help me (and I had tried enough soaps to open up my own store)!
At first I thought she was referring to that stuff that comes in a bottle, but she was very specific. She told me to get the bar meant for dry, sensitive skin called "Gentle Cleansing", and not the antibacterial bar, which I would have normally chosen. It was dirt cheap, so I thought what the heck. I added it to my cart when I was shopping at Drugstore.Com. I also took note of all the positive reviews there as well. When it came, I was a little disappointed because it smells exactly like Dove soap (almost identical). It took me a few days to get used to the smell because I never did like the smell of Dove soap, however it does fade a bit, and it is a little lighter than straight Dove.
Once I got past the scent, I was in love. The first time I used it, I had to keep staring in the mirror because my face looked so calm and white (no traces of inflammation). The part that really blew me away is when I touched my face a couple of hours later. It felt like normal skin instead of an oil slick The next day my face began to clear up considerably! I've been using this soap for a week now, and my skin is so calm, clear and beautiful looking! I'm literally amazed by this soap (it even cleared up a rash that comes and goes on my chest when I am near my period)! This soap is intended for dry skin, and yet out of all the products I've tried over the years in an attempt to normalize my super oily skin, this is the one product that finally works! Who knew! I'm stunned! Not only that, but for the first time in years, my rosacea is under control and my acne is finally going away! If this is a dream, please don't wake me! Love love love love!
Conditioner -Clairol - Herbal Essences None of Your Frizziness Conditioner
RavenBeauty 11/2/2010 10:50:00 AM
What a major find! I would have never looked at this conditioner had it not been for the reviews at Drugstore.Com. Those reviews initially led me to the leave in hair cream, and now the matching conditioner. I was so impressed with the leave in hair cream that I just had to try the conditioner, and I am so glad I did! I have a very long mane of frizzy, naturally curly hair that sucks up product like a sponge. I have tried tons of well known conditioners over the years, but this one may be the best yet (and that's saying a lot if you knew how many I've tried).
I can't believe how dirt cheap this line is! The conditioner instantly smooths out my hair, and makes it feel like silk. I'm also surprised at how little I need to work through my ultra thick hair (I usually need tons of conditioner). This stuff detangles and smooths like a dream. You can feel the difference even in the shower when you are running it through your hair. This left me with springy, bouncy, frizz free curls, and no itchiness either, as I have very sensitive skin. I use Garnier's Fructus Fortifying Shampoo for Dry, Damaged Hair (a shampoo that actually lathers like crazy the first time no matter how much product I use in my hair, AND leaves my hair perfectly primed for the rest of my routine). The leave in cream from this line is key for me. The conditioner and leave in cream work in perfect harmony together (and best of all no strong perfume scent to give me migraines all day long). No more Kerastase for me unless they want to provide me with a really good pain killer for the strong, fragrance induced headaches! This is an amazing conditioner if you have very dry and porous hair like mine. I will die if they discontinue this! Love love love!
Liquid -Clinique - Redness Solutions Makeup SPF 15 with Probiotic Technology
RavenBeauty 10/22/2010 12:32:00 AM
You surprise me Clinique! Most foundations in general are a complete waste of time and money (my recent purchase of MAC"s Pro Longwear is a good example). It's so hard to find a foundation these days that will actually provide genuine, full coverage without breaking you out. Most cosmetic companies don't know the first thing about full coverage, and offer up glorified tinted moisturizers instead. MAC's new Pro Longwear might last all day long, but no matter how much I layered and layered, it covered absolutely nothing for me.
This one got my attention because I do have Rosacea, and have trouble with most foundations breaking me out or offering next to nothing by way of coverage. I was surprised by all the positive reviews (here and at Sephora), as Clinique usually fails in this department. I had to order it in, and see what all the fuss was about. Well color me pleasantly surprised! First of all, it comes in a beautifully portable, hygienic tube. It's completely unscented and covers like a dream! It covered up all my redness and acne rather well (I had to use very little concealer).
I am disappointed that this is Clinique's palest shade, although I am not surprised in the least. This is a huge problem with Clinque. Like so many cosmetic companies out there, they have no real concept of what pale, ivory or fair really means. Ivory and fair are not beige! This is a bit too dark, and yet somehow it manages to work with my ultra fair skin. I kept looking in the mirror thinking it was a bit too dark, but I was just so wowed by the coverage.
Now keep in mind that I extend this beyond my face onto my neck and chest area, so that everything blends in beautifully leaving me with no demarcation lines. If you do this, everything blends so much better, giving you more of a flawless look. You can also lighten this with powder, which is an old make up trick that so many of us have been using for years anyway. I am impressed, however they need to realize that they are dealing with people who have Rosacea. People like us are usually quite pale, and should not have to alter anything to get a shade pale enough for us to wear. This problem gets really old. We are in the year 2010 where people are staying out of the sun more and more for their own health. The industry needs to embrace the beauty that is healthy, naturally, pale skin, and give us cosmetics we can actually wear. There are no excuses anymore. How hard can it be. Other than this, I am quite impressed!
Editing to say that I am returning this after all because it really is just too dark for me. I've tried to make it work by blending it down my neck and onto my chest, but it looks far too orange and muddy no matter what I do (and I am using Calming Alabaster, which is their palest shade). It also feels very heavy and mask like. It starts out too oily and dewy for my liking (almost looks wet when you apply it). The coverage is very impressive, however it's not enough to save this one for me.
Lip Treatments -Fresh - Fresh Brown Sugar Lip Polish
RavenBeauty 10/21/2010 9:50:00 PM
I have a feeling this is a cult product in the making here. I am very impressed with this new offering by Fresh. I pretty much gave up on lip scrubs after I realized I had a drawer full that never did anything for my lips. All of them were nothing more than jars of oil with maybe 5-10 sugar granules mixed in for exfoliation (what a joke)! I would laugh as I removed the oily mess from my lips each time, (and wanted to smack myself for getting sucked into yet another useless lip scrub). I've tried toothbrushes, buf puf's and all kinds of gadgets and scrubs. None of them left a lasting impression.
Because this just looked so delectable at Sephora, I had to try it. I love the smell and feel of Fresh's lip products already, so this was too hard to pass up. When it arrived, I knew right away this one was going to be very different. The jar is small, however a little goes a very long way! Inside of this jar is an intoxicatingly fresh, stiff scrub loaded to the gills with rich brown sugar crystals. The presentation alone is impressive. When you open the jar, it looks like pure whipped brown sugar. It smells absolutely incredible. The feeling is like no other scrub I have ever tried. This one is jam packed with rich, fresh, brown sugar crystals that truly exfoliate to actually do some real repair!
This is the first scrub that actually gives you enough crystals to make a difference! This scrub is loaded with intensely moisturizing ingredients that actually penetrate your chapped lips in a way that I have never experienced before. I could not believe how my lips felt after one 5 minute treatment! I do not exaggerate when I tell you that this is the one! My lips feel brand new! I cannot get over how smooth and soft my lips feel right now! Not only is this a complete pleasure to use because of the sheer freshness and smell of the scrub, but its like giving your lips a complete spa treatment. The only downside is the packaging, which is a tiny jar. It's actually a very cute little jar, however it gets harder and harder to dig the product out when you start to get low (especially if you have nails). I will need to get a little spatula or tiny spoon for future use. I think a tube would be much more practical and hygienic. This is worth every penny! I never expected this much out of a lip scrub. All I can say is double wow! Holy grail find for me! There is one common mistake that I think many will make with this product (leading them to throw the baby out with the bathwater), and that's to not use a good lip balm directly afterwards. This is a highly exfoliating lip scrub. If you use this and nothing else afterwards, you are going to dry out your lips. It prepares your lips for a really good balm to sink in and penetrate like it's never done before. Use nothing afterwards, and you defeat the purpose of this product.
Why do I always get sucked into the hype over MAC products. I just want to brain myself right now. The concept sounded wonderful. The reviews made this sound like a very promising product for me, but now I just have to pay to ship this back (we live out in the country, and have no MAC counters nearby). I have super oily, ultra pale skin. I do get breakouts, and have discolorations and things of that nature. In other words, my skin is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It can look pretty darn good with the right products.
I have tried more foundations that I can think of from drugstore brands to very high ends brands (even La Prairie's Caviar Foundation at nearly $200.00) to the obscure and back again. I've tried them all. The only foundations that give me any real staying power (with real coverage) are Estee Lauder's Maximum Coverage (blue tube), and Lancome's Tient Idole Ultra in Ivoire (I use Ivoire 1-not 2). I pretty much use Lancome most of the time because it looks more natural, and lasts longer than any other foundation I have ever tried thus far. It's not masky, and yet it covers a ton of imperfections, and actually color matches my super pale, porcelain, pink skin. It lasts longer than most, but I am always on the look out for another that might last longer, and offer even better coverage.
This sounded wonderful! I thought wow! A foundation that won't slide off my super oily skin, and has beautiful coverage to boot! I was told that I should buy the palest shade (which is NC15), and I did just that. The color is a little too gold and yellow for me, but it works OK. I can see that it would last and last by the way it felt on my skin after it dried. The problem I have with this foundation is that no matter how much I layered and layered, it covered next to nothing! I didn't want to keep layering it again and again because I realized it would start to look super cakey. This does nothing but even out your skin. If you have pretty decent skin, you will probably love this. I think people have very different definitions for what they feel problem skin is. People who have truly problematic skin will understand exactly what I mean. Yes this would most likely last longer than other foundations, and yes NC15 matches me OK, but I need real coverage. This is not even medium coverage to me. What good is it if you have to smear concealer, which is not long lasting like this, all over your face to compensate for the lack of coverage? Kind of defeats the purpose of this foundation.
I suppose I could try the matching concealer, but I get the feeling it won't have much coverage either (and I called MAC, and was told that the matching concealer was meant for the under eye area, and not for blemishes and spots). I expect a certain amount of concealment and coverage from the foundation I am using, and this offers nothing! This is nothing more than a glorified tinted moisturizer without the moisture. People who think they have bad skin, but really have only minor imperfections, will find this to be adequate. I'm not even considered as someone with severe skin issues, and yet no matter what technique I used, this covered absolutely nothing (and I know how to apply even the trickiest of foundations). If you read the reviews using the lowest to highest ratings method, you will see what others are saying in regards to this issue (coverage). I guess it's all a matter of interpretation. One reviewer said that this barely concealed the redness in her skin (so you can imagine how well this works on spots and blemishes)! If this foundation were more opaque, I think I would probably be quite pleased. I would need too much concealer with this (and the lightest shade is a bit too dark and gold anyway). Back it goes (sigh).
Styling Products -Clairol - None of Your Frizziness - Smoothing Leave-In Creme
RavenBeauty 10/15/2010 3:21:00 PM
This product is nothing short of miraculous. I can't get over how well this works. The fact that it's been under my nose all this time is mind blowing. I usually get all of my "great finds" from here, but this one came from the reviews at Drugstore.Com. I went there looking for the highest rated hair treatments, and this one came up (86-5 star ratings)! I had to take a closer look as I had never even heard of it before. It was so dirt cheap, and so highly rated, that I thought what the heck. I didn't get my hopes up as most drugstore products do nothing for my type of hair.
I have very long, naturally curly hair that tends to be super porous, dry and coarse. It can look beautiful with the right products, but frizzy and wild looking otherwise. I already have a great system in place that has done a pretty good job for years (and this is after trying hundreds upon hundreds of products by themselves, and in various combination's). One of the mistakes that women like me often make is in thinking that we can find just one finishing product for our type of hair. Many celebrity make up artists use two mascara's to get that "perfect" look, and I can see why. They call it layering, and layering is a powerful thing. Using one coat of your favorite lengthening mascara along with a coat of your favorite volumizing mascara, really does give you the best lash look ever! The same thing goes with difficult hair. You need to layer your products on. It doesn't even work the same if you try mixing one or more of your favorite finishing products into one bottle (which explains why I never could find it all in just one product).
I already use Curl Keeper which deserves all the awards and attention that it has received over the years! After I run that through my wet hair (you should never let our type of hair air dry too long before you begin putting on your styling products, otherwise your hair will not soak up the products correctly). It would be like trying to use a dry sponge to clean up something wet off your kitchen counter. Our hair is very dry and porous, and needs to be wet to have the product adhere to every strand, and really knock out the frizz. After using Curl Keeper (which is not the bomb all on it's own), I run a quarter size amount of "None Of Your Frizziness" through each side of my hair, using my fingers like a comb. I work it in very well on both sides. Then I finish with just a small amount of Bumble & Bumble's Calming Curl Creme, and my hair looks like something out of a magazine!! I do not exaggerate. I have never seen my hair behave like this ever! I was already using the B&B and the Curl Keeper, which work together in a very amazing way, but my hair was not quite as soft as I wanted, and it was still a bit frizzy by the end of the day.
When I add this product to the mix, my hair pops like crazy! This product should be called "Straw Into Silk" because it literally changes the texture of your hair while you're wearing it. I could not believe how tame and soft my hair was after it was done drying naturally (another VIP thing with hair like ours)! It was incredible! My curls were looser and perfectly formed, and oh so soft! The frizz was completely non-existent for the first time in my life! Everyone asked me what I had done to my hair, and said they loved it. My hair is soft and frizz free even at the end of the day, and this is the ONLY change I made to my routine! I have a feeling this would not be so incredible all on it's own (that layering thing again, which is crucial), but this is the product that makes my hair truly pop! I've been looking for something like this for years (and the scent dies down so that you don't smell anything once your hair dries, which is great for someone like me who is sensitive to scents). It's actually a pleasant scent, but it's a nice plus for someone like me, when it dies down to nothing once my hair is dry. This stuff is dirt cheap, and has truly transformed my hair! I am so stoked! I would have never even looked at this product had it not been for the reviews at Drugstore,.Com! I am so glad I did! You would never know that my hair is naturally an unruly frizz bomb! Products like this can really transform your hair! All I can say is wow (and talk about cheap)!
What a horrible experience. Never again! Not only was this stuff outrageously expensive ($50.00 for a small jar), but it was the worst hair product experience I have ever had. I remember reading a few reviews that spoke about the obnoxiously strong perfume scent, and they were not exaggerating! I'm not a smoker and am sensitive to scents and odors. I can handle most scents, but this is just crazy sickening. I thought it would fade after my hair dried, but it never did. It's florals on steroids with a truly disgusting chemical undertone. For a moment, I was beginning to think I had put an actual relaxer on my hair! It smelled exactly like that stuff you get a whiff of in the salons when people are having that procedure done. The scent was so dizzying that I got a migraine from it.
I guess because I hadn't suffered enough, my scalp began to itch like crazy. Between the overwhelmingly obnoxious scent, which never faded, and my itchy scalp, I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. I excused myself from work early just so I could go home and wash this crap out of my hair! I noticed another couple of reviews peppered in from other women who also had this type of allergic reaction, and they have my sympathies! I get it trust me! Oh and in case you are wondering, I bought this from an authorized dealer who was able to confirm that it was not an old batch. It came in a box that was completely sealed and had never been opened. A word of caution to those who might want to give this product a try. I would make darn sure to buy this from a place that allows returns of products that have been opened. This was a very costly lesson for me (and I got better results from Pantene's new Pro-V Curly Hair Series Deep Moisturizing Treatment, which costs next to nothing)! Ugh!
Lip Treatments -Olay - Regenerist Anti-Aging Lip Treatment
RavenBeauty 9/13/2010 10:46:00 AM
Very impressed! I had been looking for a product that could heal my chapped lips for years. I've tried just about every lip treatment, balm and exfoliator you can think of. It's been like a lip parade at my house for years. I was about to give up hope, until I found this, and Smith's Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm. I just returned La Prairie's Lip Renewal to Nordstroms after giving it a two month trial (and that cost me nearly $100.00)! I did talk to a La Prairie rep who enlightened me on a few things. She told me that any renewing product like theirs, is going to be drying. It's because it's main job is to promote cell turnover and to encourage peeling, shedding and eventually new growth. That a balm should always be used over it. A light bulb went off in my head, and I suddenly realized what I had done wrong (it would also explain people feeling that this was drying, and made their lips peel). It's supposed to do all of that because it's main job is renewal.
Instead of just moisturizing flaky, dry lips, it gets rid of the older skin, and promotes new layers, which will be smoother and healthier when all is said and done. I wasn't going to spend another $100.00, and reorder the La Prairie stuff in again (even though I did love the blood orange scent). I looked for lip concentrates that might have the same ingredients instead. I came upon this little gem, which has received plenty of nods from the beauty industry. It has many of the same ingredients, and is targeted at cell turnover. I noticed an improvement after just a week. Not only that, but it's more moisturizing than many of the more expensive competitors out there. It left my lips feeling wonderful for hours! I also learned a lesson from that rep, and used balm over it. She was absolutely right. The product by itself was drying after a few days, until I began to apply balm over it (I wanted to test it on it's own for a few days first). Once I did that, I finally struck gold. Smith's Rosebud Balm deserves its massive cult status. It is the most intensely moisturizing balm I have ever tried (and bargain basement cheap too). Using that balm over this product is a perfect marriage. This is dirt cheap when you look at the ingredients they are giving you, and compare it to many lip renewal treatments out there. Don't compare it to balms because it's not a balm. When I look at what I have spent over the years on balms and lip treatments, this system is a major bargain for me! For the first time in years, I am waking up with smooth lips! Big smile here!
Editing to say that I removed two lippies for good reason. Although impressive, this stuff only lasts a few weeks at best! The pen like packaging this comes in is awful. The stick moves around constantly so you have to keep lining it up to get it to fit the right way for application (you will know what I mean when you begin using it). I was very disappointed when I realized how quickly this gets used up! I only use it once or twice a day, and it's gone in less than three weeks! Not only that, but because of the bizarre packaging this comes in, the little chunk that is left falls out no matter what you do (so you don't even get the benefit of using all of it, and it doesn't last very long as is)! This was a very surprising and disappointing wake up call with this product.
At this rate, I would be spending almost $100.00 every 4 months on this stuff! I let the latest tube run out weeks ago, and found that cult favorite "Smith's Rosebud Balm" is the real deal anyway (cheaper, and feels like heaven on my lips)! I don't know why it took me so long to try those (maybe it was the tins, but I got past that rather quickly)! Smith's Balm keeps my lips forever drenched in comfortable moisture, and healed my lips completely (it finished the job). It keeps on working with no unpleasant surprises! I love the Strawberry and Mocha Rose versions best (The Mocha Rose smells just like pure coffee, and the Strawberry smells just like Strawberry Starbursts). I thought they were all just glorified versions of Vaseline or something, but I was wrong. My lips have never felt better, and they last forever! Very healing and so much cheaper!
Lip Treatments -Smith's Rosebud Salve - Smith's Strawberry Lip Balm
RavenBeauty 9/11/2010 3:36:00 PM
Absolutely amazing! This was a huge surprise! I've seen rave reviews for this balm over the years, but never tried it due to the packaging. They come in very unhygienic tins, and that doesn't sit well with a germphobe like me. They listed this as a new item at Sephora because it now comes in a tube (not the strawberry one I fell in love with, but the regular rose scented version). This caught my eye. I had a look, and noticed that there was a strawberry version (I am guessing that all versions of this balm will eventually be available in tube form). I was so close to ordering the regular rose scented version since it comes in a tube, however I couldn't resist getting the strawberry one instead (rose scented products usually give me a headache). The reviews were so positive, and everyone seemed to be saying the same thing. That this is a strawberry lovers dream, and they were right.
I just love the scent of sweet strawberries, and this is very reminiscent of strawberry Starbursts. Sweet, succulent and completely intoxicating. No strange chemical notes or plasticky background detected. Just pure, sweet strawberries, and yet it's not overbearing at all. It's not overdone. The thing that blew me away is that it really lives up to it's hype! I just got done spending $100.00 on La Prairie's Cellular Lip Renewal not so long ago (waste of money), and was about to give up hope on ever finding anything that can heal my chapped lips. I've tried every balm you can think of. Every treatment out there, has been on my nightstand at one time or another. No expense spared because I was that desperate to find something that would actually work.
I've been buying Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatment for years because that was the closest I had ever come to a real solution. It was the one thing that seemed to give me some relief, and felt really good on my lips. I guess I won't be buying any more back ups of that anymore after trying this little gem! Not only does this smell like heaven, it has already done a major job in healing my lips! I've never felt anything so luxurious and silky feeling on my lips before. It's rich, creamy, and has the texture of shea butter. It does not feel like Aquaphor or Vaseline to me (it contains petroleum, but it doesn't just feel like pure Vaseline, and I am very picky about stuff like that). If it's Vaseline, it's Vaseline amped up on steroids. Best of all, the feeling lasts and lasts and lasts. I don't have to keep reapplying it over and over again. I hate the cheap tin it comes in, but it's obvious that changes are being made. I'm sure the new batches of this balm are already being manufactured in tube form, so it's only a matter of time. I've also been using Olay's Regenerist Anti-aging Lip Treatment, which blows La Prairie's and others out of the water, but that's another review...another time. It's been great for actual cell turnover and renewal, but I needed something to complete the prcoess, and this is a perfect marriage of products. I use the Olay Regenerist twice a day (also very moisturizing), and use this over that, and in between. Using both products is still a heck of a lot cheaper than all the stuff I had been buying (and finally a system that actually works)! Can't believe how cheap this is! Huge find for me!
Editing to say that my lips have never felt better than they do right now, and that's nothing short of miraculous for me. Not only that, but I'm so incredibly impressed with the company itself. I called and actually got one of the Smith founders personally, which I found to be both surprising and delightful. She told me all about the products history which is richly steeped in tradition using very unique oils and ingredients brought over by her great grandfather in the 18th century. Also interesting to note....author Fannie Flagg who wrote "Fried Green Tomatoes" is a relative, and mentioned Smith's Rosebud Perfume company in her now infamous novel (one of my favorite tearjerkers of all time). I also wanted to pass on some good news. The Strawberry and Mocha versions will be available in tube form within the next 6 months or so (she wasn't sure if the mocha version would be available at Sephora or not). They will also be coming out with a special gift tin as well, which will include a tube of their original Rose balm, Strawberry balm and the newer Mocha balm! There will be three in each tin, and all in tube form! I may just buy the Mocha from Amazon to try it since it is available there now (love the scent of coffee and chocolate, and she said the scent is absolutely delectable)! They hesitated breaking with their signature tins which date back to the late 18th century, but they understood our concerns regarding hygiene. Glad they are making this change! Once again, very impressed on every level. This has been quite the find for me (and here this was under my nose all this time, and I never bothered to even try it)! It's the best balm out there!
This is an obvious attempt to trump Guerlain's infamous "LipLift." It fails miserably. I give it points for trying. Guerlain's Liplift is not that much more (another $11.00). This was far too waxy, drying, and uncomfortable to wear. Not only that, but it did next to nothing in terms of keeping my lipstick on the way Liplift does. Make no mistake, Liplift is also a bit drying, however it's not as drying as this product. This also doesn't cancel out as much pigment as Liplift does. This brought my lips down to a medium pink. Liplift cancels out most of your lips natural pigment, thereby allowing the color of whatever lipstick you're wearing, to be as true to form as possible. The pigment in our lips changes the color of the lipsticks we buy, often leading to disappointment for a great many lipstick buyers out there. If you cancel out all pigment (or most of it), you get the truer color of that lipstick. Guerlain's Liplift does this much better than Urban Decay's offering. This is not as creamy as Liplift either. This is extremely waxy (I could not wait to get this off of me). Gave me almost no lasting power either. Back to Sephora it goes.
Mascara -Christian Dior - DiorShow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum
RavenBeauty 8/8/2010 4:35:00 PM
This is a very interesting addition to the world of mascara primers. It looks like a typical primer (although this entry has a very plush brush), however that's where the similarity ends. I was really surprised by what this serum does for your lashes. It does not do much to lengthen them as most primers will, however it fans them out like you might see in a mascara commercial. The formula makes it impossible for your mascara to clump. I applied several coats of my favorite YSL's Faux De Cil, and no matter how many coats I added, it would not clump (usually I cannot go past two coats)! It looked as if I had grown all these lashes. They were separated and defined in a way I never thought possible. They were really fanned out and natural looking. I wasn't expecting that. I didn't get the length I usually get from my Lancome primer, but for the first time in my life, I got no clumping whatsoever. I even tried this underneath my other favorite mascara (Diorshow Iconic), and I still got clump free lashes, no matter how many coats I added! I even added another coat later in the day (and that's usually clump city for me, and time to get out the lash comb), and still no clumping! My lashes were so soft and fanned out all day long!
It takes the brittleness out, and gives your lashes moisture instead. It also kept my mascara from smearing, which was an added bonus. I have noticed that it is making my lashes healthier and stronger (although I have also been using Talika Lipocils at night for years). I won't go near Latisse. The only downside is that it does almost nothing for length. I have naturally long lashes, so this is not a deal breaker for me, but I miss the fake lashes look I had going. I think I will try using a coat of Lancome's primer over this, and see if I can get the best of both worlds. I've been using an old make up artists trick for years by using two different mascara's to get perfect length and perfect volume (you will never find both in one mascara). That's why make up artists usually use two mascara's to get that perfect look (I usually add Loreal's Voluminous to the mix to give me lots of volume). I think I will try this with primers by using both. I'll update on how that goes. In the meantime, this is actually quite impressive. Very nice!
Treatments (Eye) -Unlisted Brand - Elite Eye Serum
RavenBeauty 8/7/2010 1:24:00 PM
This is a wonderful eye serum! I had been auditioning so many lately, that I was beginning to feel dizzy from it all. I never thought I would ever have to go down this road again, but my favorite eye serum is no longer an option for me. I had been using Isomers One3000ForEyes for years, and the product really transformed my eye area. Like so many others out there, the serum also turn rancid on me as well (several times in fact) despite all efforts to keep the product in a cool, dark and sterile environment. I lost a lot of money over the years because of this problem until I found a solution all on my own (which was to refrigerate the serum). It was also very insulting to have the company deny that a problem even existed when they knew full well that it did. My solution to refrigerate the serum worked very well for years, but now they have altered the formula to the point where it burns my eyes (it never did that before ever). My recent purchase was a nightmare. I wanted to cry. My eyes were left red and irritated for days. After denials that a change had even been made (the proof was under my eyes, and not in a lab somewhere), I learned that a few changes had in fact been made by the company (I knew that something had happened)! It was like pulling teeth to get this out of them, but I finally got to the truth. That and a terrible customer service experience with Isomers directly, made me realize it was time to say goodbye.
I was not looking forward to all of this again. I had already tried every high end cream or serum you can think of. I've tried everything from the famous to the obscure, and back again. Drugstore brands, high end brands, and anything in between. I thought God not again. This time I was smarter. I took the cutting edge ingredients of my once beloved Isomers eye serum, and googled the ingredients to find serums that way. I knew it was the Eyeliss, Matrixyl, Haloxyl, Hyaluronic acid, and peptides that were responsible for performing the miracles I saw underneath my eyes. I just had to find something similar if that were even possible. Most eye creams and serums do not contain these ingredients because they are very expensive and cutting edge. I had my work cut out for me. I spent almost 7 hours online researching and cross referencing and so on. I finally found a small group of eye serums that contained one or more of these ingredients, and ordered them all in for testing. This and one other product blew the rest away. I returned all of the others, and decided to keep this lovely gem.
Elite eye serum has every big gun ingredient you can think of. This is a very potent eye serum. It's packed with anything you could ever want or need for your eyes. Not only that, but it didn't even slightly irritate my super sensitive eyes (that in of itself is a miracle). It's actually very soothing and nourishing. It has all the cutting edge ingredients I was looking for and more! It comes in a very nice pump that could last you months and months (I am guessing at least 6-8 months or more from my own usage, which is twice a day). You can also gauge how much you have left in the pump because of it's clear design. My eyes look amazing again. They had started to plummet after that experience with Isomers. They had gotten crepey, and a bit haggard looking. I was very upset. This brought my eyes back to the state they were in before, and even surpassed my expectations!
One thing to keep in mind, is that most serums by nature are VERY drying. Serums are usually more potent, and pack a more powerful punch than cream. They are absorbed more fully than cream. Their delivery system is better. The only problem is that they can be drying, which is why you should always seal your eyes with some form of moisture afterwards (that's the key). Once your serum fully sinks in, you simply apply some moisture over it. I've been using Dream Products Eye Lift for years (a cheap and wonderful eye cream all on it's own). It's packed with vitamins, caffeine and other ingredients not typically found in serums, so I get the best of the both worlds (and the added moisture I need making it a perfect marriage). My eyes look incredible again! I am thrilled to have found this product! The cherry on this sundae, is that it's completely unscented. This is exactly what I was looking for!
The only downside is that there is a restocking fee if you want to return this to the company. That put me off a bit, but not enough to keep me from trying this beauty (and I'm so glad I did). It costs $99.00 through Amazon plus free shipping. If you go through the company directly, it costs a bit more (Amazon is definitely the better deal, and it's shipped directly from the same manufacturer either way). The pump can shoot out a bit more than needed. The way to get around this, is to simply split that amount between both eyes and you're all set. This serum is absolutely incredible. Once you see the ingredients list, you will know what I mean. It has everything I've wanted to try, plus the cutting edge ingredients I was looking for. The fact that it doesn't irritate my super sensitive skin is such a bonus. Happy to have found this. Definitely worth trying.
Wow and double wow! This is the best eye serum on the planet earth! I'm still completely blown away by this product. If you have serious eye issues, you will probably fall in love with this serum. I had been using Isomers One3000ForEyes faithfully for years, but cannot tolerate their latest version. That and a truly dreadful customer service experience with them directly, led me on this path again (I never thought I would be looking for new eye products ever again). I had a perfect system locked in. I loved Isomers One3000ForEyes until they changed their formula VERY recently. It burned my under eye area, and left it irritated and red for days. I was almost in tears because I had already tried so many products before finding that one, and it had transformed my eyes like nothing I had ever tried before. I was already irritated at the money I had lost over the years with their serums turning rancid on me (and several other customers out there who had the exact same experience, only to be told that it was the natural smell of the serum)! If it were the natural smell of the serum, we would all smell that when it first arrived, and not exactly 3-4 weeks later each time when it turned (and we keep our home cool, dark, and very sterile)! There was also nothing natural about that smell! It was like a rotting corpse or something! I found a way around that by putting the serum in the refrigerator, but now the product's newer formula was burning my sensitive eyes. It was time to say goodbye. Oh how I dreaded this search. I knew it would mean hours of research online. Lots of money spent on shipping alone to try all the creams and serums that I hadn't tried before finding Isomers. Not to mention that wonderful return process that we all love so much.
I spent hours and hours online. I had already tried most of the high end creams, serums and everything in between (not to mention every drugstore brand you can name). From the famous to the most obscure, and back again. This time I decided to look for anything with the cutting edge ingredients that Isomers uses. I was so hoping for a dropper bottle like Isomers as well because you can keep things more sterile that way (and you usually get a lot more product). I found some that had a few of the ingredients, but they did next to nothing for my eyes. They were also a bit irritating, although at least they didn't burn my eyes like Isomer's new version of my favorite had. My eyes also began to plummet on the various ones I brought in, which is not a good sign. A new eye product should only add to or at least maintain the effects you loved from what you had been using. If your eyes begin to look worse, that's obviously a bad sign. I even brought in the Clarisonic Opal which is very cosmetic in nature with no real lasting effects (see review). You wash your face, and you wash away the effects of the serum, which is loaded with silicone. Very gimmicky.
I finally stumbled on this serum, which not only had every big gun ingredient that Isomers had, but even some others that I had always hoped for! Not only that, but it was simple, uncomplicated, and loaded with high strengths of all the major cutting edge ingredients that transform your eyes! This one knocked my socks off! It has Matrixyl, Haloxyl, Eyeliss, Hyaluronate, Cucumber, Hispagel, Urea (very soothing), and Seaweed! It's all in a reverse osmosis base of purified water, which is top notch all the way. I kept staring at the page thinking I must be hallucinating because this was just too good to be true. It not only had everything I could hope for, but it came in a HUGE dropper bottle, and was only $54.00! I had just ordered in several serums that had only one or two of these ingredients in much smaller sizes for $100.00 or more!
You should see this bottle! It is twice the size of the dropper bottles I got through Isomers (and those always lasted me at least 6 months or more, using generously two times per day)! This is huge! This is enough to last me for over a year or more! When you see it, you will know what I mean (and I also store it in the refrigerator to prolong its life just in case). I began using it, and even though I did find another serum that I also decided to keep and liked a lot, this blew even that one away! This is just so pure, simple and utterly loaded with every powerful ingredient you could ever want or need in an eye product. Because of it's simplicity, it never bothered my ultra sensitive eyes even remotely (huge plus)! Also, because it's in serum form, it sinks in and delivers like no cream ever could! My eyes began to pop after just a few days, and the transformation was quite noticeable. Not only have I found something that can equal my once beloved Isomers serum, but something that surpasses it (and a bottle that will easily last me a year or more)!
Not only that, but when I called the company to ask a few questions, the owner was such a lovely person to deal with. Very kind, considerate and helpful with every concern or question I had. One thing to keep in mind, is that most serums by nature are VERY drying. Serums are usually more potent, and pack a more powerful punch than creams. They are absorbed more fully than creams. Their delivery system is better. The only problem is that they can be drying, which is why you should always seal your eyes with some form of moisture afterwards. Once your serum sinks in, you simply apply some moisture over it, and you've got a fabulous system in place. I've been using Dream Products Eye Lift for years (a cheap and wonderful eye cream all on it's own). Major find for me!! HG all the way!!