Sunscreen -Biore - UV Aqua Rich Watery Mousse SPF 50+
ScoutJ 2/1/2011 4:41:00 AM
EDIT - I`m updating this and downgrading to 3 stars, because after a few days I had a reaction to it. Face got really hot, and then popped out in little whiteheads. Gross. Still a good product - still matt throughout the day, and can`t feel it on skin - but not for me. I`m too sensitive for it, I think. - Is this the long awaited HG replacement for Sofina Lucent SPF 50? I think it just might be. I live in Japan, and so there are lots of SPF 50 options, but this one has beat them all, as far as I'm concerned. I'm even tempted to say it beats the Sofina, just because that had a tendency to settle in fine lines during winter months. It's a relatively new product - last year - and it's supposed to have a "water base". The texture is unlike any sunscreen I've tried before; it's more like Maybelline mousse foundation. It smooths in superquickly, disappears when you touch it on your fingers, it's not greasy AT ALL, and within a minute you have a totally matt finish. Better than a matt finish, actually: it works as an amazing primer for foundation (and I think it's supposed to: this is part of the marketing angle anyway). It evens out skintone, and it makes foundation look really good. Like, REALLY good. Like, so good I actually considered wearing it out at night, and then realised that was ridiculous. It also is supposed to have hylauronic acid in it and some kind of vitamins (can't read label properly, it's all in Japanese), so it's supposed to be helping skin at the same time. I hate suncreams generally, because I hate anything rich on my skin, and really I should give this a four because I still wouldn't choose to wear it if there was no sun in existence. But there is, and so I'm giving it a five because I can't imagine a suncream ever doing better than this. Overall, I prefer it to the Sofina Lucent. It goes on less greasy, and dries a little less powdery. Word of warning though; there is also a "watery jelly" option, with an SPF of 30. I went for that initially because I assumed it would be lighter on the skin, but it isn't: it's gunky and sticky and I won't even use it on my body. This is a TOTALLY different product, and not even comparable.
Masks -Unlisted Brand - Dead Sea Spa Magik Aligmud Active Seaweed Mask
ScoutJ 1/31/2011 11:01:00 PM
This is the HG of all face masks, and I can`t believe that this isn`t on here already. Actually, I can: it`s like the best kept beauty secret ever, and none of my friends have ever heard of it either. Until I force them to try it. This is a UK brand, I think, and it`s in all the health food shops (I`ve looked and you can get it online too). It`s even in John Lewis, so I can`t believe nobody has tried it! It`s made of seaweed and mud, and it comes in a sachet of green powder. It`s probably tempting to get the ready made mask in the tube, but DON`T - they are not the same product at all, and the reason this is so amazing is the same reason you have to make it yourself. Something to do with the freshness of it. You mix the powder with a bit of cool water, and you have to do it fast: in a couple of minutes. Mix it into a smooth green paste with a spatula or whatever (I use a butter knife), and then apply it to your skin in a thick layer. It dries really fast, and it dries into a rubber like consistency: thick and green and bouncy. If you wanted to use it at Halloween it would be very effective, although you can`t move your face at the same time so you`d have to be a non-speaking witch. ANYWAY. It`s a bit of a pain mixing it, but I kid you not: this is the best face mask I have EVER used. It is literally magic. From the first second it touches your skin it feels cool and soothing - like the coolingest and soothingest it has ever felt - and when it`s on your skin tingles, but not in a painful kind of way: in a hydrating kind of way. I have SUCH sensitive skin it`s ridiculous - some foundations sting me - and I have used this on sunburn, on retin-a burn, the works, and not one ounce of sting or pain. You can put it right under your eyes, it`s that gentle. Peeling it off is fun - it comes off as a bit thick layer - although if it gets stuck at all around the edges here`s a tip: just throw water at your face for a few seconds before you peel it off. It`ll come straight off. Yes, it`s been known to make a bit of a mess of my bathroom - my ex used to refer to it as "that green sh**" but seriously: for how good it is, it doesn`t matter in the slightest. When you take the mask off, it`s an AAAAAH *light shining* moment. Skin is soft soft soft and totally hydrated: it feels like brand new skin. And I mean: it gets rid of ALL dryness. All of it. It also cleans deeply, severely reduces\kills pimples and evens out skin tone, and gives an AMAZING glow. If I`m going anywhere important I use this the hour beforehand and my skin problems clear up. It has saved my bacon before many dates. Oh, and there`s enough powder in the sachet for at least two thick masks, and if you just want to do "problem areas" (like if I have a dry chin etc) then it`ll go even further. Tip: DONT GO TOO THIN. mix to paste consistency of thick, thick yoghurt, or you won`t get the hydrating qualities. I don`t know what else to say about this mask. Yeah, it can be messy. Yeah, you have to mix quickly. Yeah, if you`re lazy like me you can end up with green bits of rubber around your sink (it doesn`t smear, though; once it`s dried it`ll come off anything. there`s no staining). But for clear, soft, bright, hydrated (and i don`t mean MOISTURIZED: i mean full of water) skin?? Totally worth it. Once you get the hang of mixing it to the right consistency, you`ll never have to use another face mask again (now and then I use aspirin and yoghurt, if I`m very spotty or poor, but that`s it). Plus if you want to get creative and waste product you can build it to make bit bumps and change the shape of your nose. Really funny. :) The rest of the range is fine, but nothing compares to this little gem. Enjoy!! :)
Worst shampoo I`ve ever used. Stank, and made my hair sticky and brittle after I`d rinsed it out thoroughly: literally glued it to my head as if I`d covered it in gel. I was in a rush so I put it in a ponytail and when I took it out, the pony stayed in the same place. Not joking. And the ends were crispy: they made sounds when I touched them. Ugh. If you want crispy, sticky, smelly hair that doesn`t move, this is the shampoo for you. If not, stay WELL away from it.
I used this for ages, when I was younger, but I don't like it that much (I was young so I just stuck with what I had). It comes in a stick, but it dries really quickly into a sort of solid block: it can be difficult to get colour from it and you have to rub with your finger quite hard. It's a matt texture on the skin, and it's difficult to blend properly. However, as previous reviewer said: stays true to colour on packet, so at least you know what you're getting. Wouldn't purchase again.
This is fine. Not amazing, not terrible: fine. It covers, and leaves a relatively natural finish, with a bit of 'glow' (read: oiliness, if it's that time of the month). Sticks around if you're going out for a few hours, but no chance at all if you're out for the full day. Hasn't made me break out, but doesn't make my skin look amazing either. Saying that, it's cheap, so I'll keep using it for unimportant events until it's finished. There are definitely better foundations out there, but there are worse too.
Not a big fan. Really keen to find a moisturiser that actually whitens skin (ie: gets rid of blotches and pigmentations and makes it much clearer), but this was no good at all. Like the smell but it`s far too strong for a face cream: I really hate putting anything on my face that smells of much at all. This stuff was a nice consistency (esp the night cream) but stung a little, made me greasy and stank. Rather than throw it away I used it on my hands which have been drying out in all the cold weather. Nice for them, because the scent is quite sweet from a distance (NOT ON FACE), but no whitening, and not even that hydrating: have gone through the pot in a month, just using on my hands. Won`t purchase again.
I love Sesame Oil and use it in cooking all the time, but going on so many great reviews I thought I'd try it on my skin. Had a bottle in my kitchen already, so thought there wasn't much to use. Yuk. Goes without saying that it was oily, but not in a moisturising way: just in an oily way. Left it on for a few minutes, and couldn't bear it any longer: washed it off. Skin was still oily and starting to sting a little, so had to wash again with face wash. Plus, it stinks. As I said: love the smell of it IN FOOD, but on my face? Gross. My entire bathroom stinks of it now. Wouldn't say it's a disappointment as it didn't cost anything, but I won't be trying it again. I don't like oil on my face very much at all, but this is my least favourite so far. Going to stick to putting it in my stir-fries. :)
Skincare - Face -Sana - Nameraka Foaming Face Wash
ScoutJ 1/22/2011 11:48:00 PM
Like this, although don't love it. As other reviewers said: can leave skin a little dry, BUT also leaves it clean feeling and doesn't irritate at all. Can use it on sunburnt skin and not feel any tingling. Will probably buy it again, just because it's non fragranced and doesn't irritate and so many of the other products on the shelves hurt my skin. But it's not an HG by any stretch of the imagination, and you definitely need moisturiser straight afterwards (like, before your skin dries).
Moisturizers -Sana - NAMERAKA Honpo Soy Milk Lotion
ScoutJ 1/22/2011 11:44:00 PM
Really like this. Strange consistency for a moisturiser: sort of gunky and whilte and a little bit stringy (would make a gross comparison but not going to aha). BUT: very nice on. Hydrating, light and really gentle: I'm at the beginning stages of Retin-A (ow) and it doesn't hurt at all. Prefer to use facial stuff without fragrance and colours etc, so this is really good. Plus pretty cheap: maybe five dollars from my local Japanese beauty shop.
This is probably the first MU product I ever bought, as a teenager (fourteen years ago? Ugh). I loved it obsessively purely, on hindsight, because it was my first step into the Grown Up World Of Makeup, and I thought the fact that it was so expensive was marvellous because it meant I was Adult. My little sister poured it over her face as fake blood one Halloween and I hit the roof: she used half a bottle in her attempt to look like a vampire. Sadly, Benetint isn't actually any good. I tried it again more recently and realised that I had loved it for the wrong reasons: hype and branding. It's too strong: both colour and consistency. It must have alcohol in it because it stings like hell, it doesn't rub in well, and it sinks into pores which means that on pale, large pored girls (yeah, that would be me) you end up looking like you have teeny tiny red spots all over your face. As a liptint it doesn't work either: stings (again) and sticks to any dry bits so it emphasises flaws on your lips. I love a nice bright, strong blush and lip - I'm pale, I flush easily and so I can get away with really bright colours - but this is nasty. Will always be fond of it because of nostalgic memories, but that's where it's staying: well out of my makeup bag, now I'm actually an Adult.
Mascara -GOSH - Mascara - Amazing Length'n Build (Waterproof)
ScoutJ 1/22/2011 8:00:00 AM
Ugh. What a terrible mascara this is. I bought this because the Gosh waterproof extreme art eyeliner is my HG eyemakeup, and I thought this would be as good. It's not. It gives no length, and NO volume: three or four coats and you still look like you've just tinted your lashes. It's sticky, and while it doesn't flake it also doesn't stay on: you end up with grey smudges under your eyes. Nasty packaging, nasty product, nasty nasty nasty. Such a shame, when the eyeliner is so amazing. I guess they put all their money and research into that. :)
The only reason I wouldn't buy this again is because I won't have to: four years in, and it's still going strong. Or it would be if it wasn't in a different country (different voltages in Asia *sob*). AMAZING. Absolutely amazing. I'm British and this is a British brand, I think, and every hairdresser worth their salt has one in the UK. Has done for the last eight or nine years, as far as I know: everyone I've been to anyway. And every single one says "this is the best hair straightener in the world". So: heats up quickly, leaves hair smooooooth and shiny and STAYS that way until the next wash. BUT BUT BUT - and here's the best bit. My hairdresser taught me how to "style" with it as well, and you will honestly never need curlers again. To make "beach waves", run the straightener down the hair to make it smooth. Then run it down again, slowly. After an inch or so, bend the barrel 180 degrees and slide it down another inch, then bend it THE OTHER WAY and slide it down another inch. Repeat to the end. If you want BIGGER waves, leave it two inches or three inches before you bend it. Smaller waves? Less. I tried this SO many times - just bend my hair with it and coming out with nothing at all - before I realised you have to PULL it along the hair while it's bent at 180. That's what gives it the curl. Gives you perfect, wavy, smooth, shiny hair. And curls? Does them too. You know how you get a bit of ribbon, and then the blade of a pair of scissors, and sort of turn it on the edge and slide it along the whole of the ribbon and it curls? Do the same to your hair with the GHD. Hairdresser showed me this one too. Curls it exactly the same. And it's smooth, controllable curls: bigger or smaller depending on how tight you do it (as with the ribbon). Honestly - you actually never need another styling product again (apart from a hairdryer, and if you want to you can use this on natural dry hair. Wouldn't advise it on wet hair though because it gets REALLY hot and will snap it). Straight, waves, curls: all of the above. Lasts forever, looks amazing. Light and easy to travel with. Worth every penny. Oh, and I don't know what the deal is now in the UK but they have seasonal specials. Normally it's black, but they did a gold one a while ago, and a pink one for Breast Cancer. It upsets me hugely that it won't plug into the voltage levels in Japan. :(
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Dead Sea Spa Magik Black Mud Soap
ScoutJ 1/20/2011 10:39:00 PM
Used this religiously for years and then moved away from UK and stopped and forgot how good it was. Mum sent me a pack on a whim ("that weird black stuff you leave in the shower") and I've just remembered why it's great. This stuff REALLY makes you feel clean. It's no frills (and as previous reviewers say: it foam white) but it leaves skin clean and glowing.
My skin is supersensitive and very fair (redhead skin), and there hasn`t been a day in the last 12 years when I haven`t had spots. I`d sort of given up and have been relying on make-up, but now wrinkles are starting to form and I thought: goddammit, I`m going to do whatever I can to try and stop them BOTH for just a couple of years (and if it works: great, continue forever). I have scars from years and years of spots: not deep (not textural), but pink discolouration. I also have a deep(ish - I`m only 29) line between my eyebrows from frowning at a computer screen. I want clear skin: less wrinkles, no need for makeup! Day 1-4 Surprised that Retin-A 0.025% doesn`t burn on application, as almost everything does. Little bit of pinkness, little bit of dryness. Put it round eyes and it REALLY hurts. Swollen and lined and dry: look like I`ve been crying for years. Using it every night as no noticeable reaction. Day 5. Noticeable reaction. Skin is pink, raw and the faint pink discolouration/spots under my skin have become bright red. Dryness, although little peeling. Eyes - really bad. Stopped using it under eyes after two times, but still look swollen up and wrinkled. Am leaving that area alone until I`m used to Retin. Quite embarrassing: my colleague told me "I look really ill". On the upside: bumps under skin are reducing significantly. Day 7. Gave it a break for a couple of days, and skin healed quickly. Little bit pink, pretty crusty and dry but treating it gently and not scrubbing away as tempted to do. Already starting to see potential: bumps are clearing, peeled skin feels softer. Day 9. Using every other day and trying to suppress intense excitement. Apart from a couple of humdinger zits, my skin is looking clearer and softer than it has in.... a decade. No redness/very little peeling. HG? God, I hope so. Day 11. Skin peeling like whatnot, and redness going in and out: very strange. sometimes pink, sometimes not. Leaving skin alone, though, because scrubbing the hell out of it just seems to be hurting it. Reckon it'll stop cracking up when it's good and ready. Going to up this to four stars already, because my skin - the bits that aren't cracking - is soft soft soft and my spots are disappearing completely. :) 2 weeks. Went REALLY red all of a sudden, so stopped using it for a few days. skin normal colour now and very soft/clear(ish: still marks from previous spots). nasal-labio folds have gone suddenly much deeper though, so think it must be drying them out. will leave RA off them for another day or two. Nearly 3 weeks: My skin is getting used to it, I can tell. No longer tingles on application, no longer redness the morning after. Have been using it every other day but may start upping to every day with breaks if there is dryness/redness. THIS STUFF IS AMAZING. No dryness anymore at all: baby soft skin. seems to be controlling my greasiness too. had a reaction to new suncream yesterday, and last night RA went to action on the little red spots: this morning, seriously reduced. starting to feel - and i can`t believe i`m saying this - SOOTHING. upping to five lippies because my skin is so soft and zits reducing.
Very weirdly, I actually went out to buy Virgin Olive Oil - unbranded - because I wanted something to gently remove makeup and suncream (I've just started on Retin-A, and so I need something to get rid of the suncream I'll have to wear every day). Wanted to try it after rave reviews on MUA, but I live in Japan and it turns out that Olive Oil is unbelievably expensive. On the contrary, DHC Deep Cleansing Oil wasn't only about a third of the price, but it was 30% off, so I ended up getting a bottle for 5 dollars. Thought it was worth a bash. Not that impressed. It didn't take my eye makeup off: I ended up having to rub hard at it which was sort of the point of getting the stuff in the first place: not having to rub at it. Gave skin quite a nice softness and cleanness, but nothing I wouldn't get with a yoghurt mask. Liked the smell, because I like Olive Oil, but still: overall, didn't really do what I hoped it would (ie; remove make up without all the damaging rubbing). Will carry on using it now that I have it, and will update if I get a reaction or it improves. Don't think I'll be buying again though. UPDATE - Serves me right for writing a review after one go at a product (I try not to do that - naughty). Upping this to four lippies. Actually really like it now: gives my face a nice thorough cleanse and doesn`t sting. Still isn`t great for removing full-on eye makeup, but makes skin nice and soft before using face wash.