Treatments (Eye) -La Roche Posay - Redermic for Eyes
Shryh1 9/27/2012 4:25:00 PM
So I've been a very inconsistent user of eye creams. I've used them on and off in the last 10 years, starting from when I was in college, but I'll be honest, it was more off than on. Now that I'm in my early thirties, my upper lids are starting to look a little crinkly and crepe-y, and I found myself panic-researching the best anti-wrinkle eye creams one evening, after which I panic-marched straight to the nearest CVS and panic-bought LRP's Redermic for Eyes. Having used the LRP sunscreens, I have a pretty positive impression of their products, as I think they're a pretty solid, no-frills kind of cosmetics company. After my dalliances with high end eye creams like La Mer Eye Balm and Chanel Sublimage, I'd resolved that it was ridiculous to spend a 3-figure sum on eye cream and I thought I'd try something from LRP--Redermic for Eyes seemed like the surest anti-wrinkle bet in the LRP stable of products. I used it twice daily, am and pm, until all that was left was a pitifully emaciated tube. All cosmetic companies recommend that you give a product 8 to 12 weeks to take effect, but I gave this eye cream a 6 month trial. 6 months. All that is left is a pitifully emaciated tube, but I have to say that it made no difference to my eye area in the slightest. It may have kept my lids hydrated, but it appears to have done nothing for the emerging wrinkles and fine lines, which were my biggest concern. If I wanted to moisturize my eye area, I could've gone with Clinique's All About Eyes or bacon fat, you know? That said, I believe I am younger than this eye cream's target demographic, and perhaps this is why it did not work as well, though I would have thought that it would be easier smoothing out young, shallow wrinkles and not deeper ones. I'm moving onto Shiseido's Benefiance WrinkleResist eye cream next, but I can't say I'm optimistic.
This is a very cost-effective alternative to the Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 gel and the SKII Facial Treatment Essence, and on my acne-prone oily skin, it works just as well. The only annoying thing about this lotion is that it doesn't sink in very quickly as you're meant to lightly tap or drum it into your face with your fingers. Not a dealbreaker for me as I've been trying to incorporate Japanese facial massage techniques into my daily skincare routine.
Sunscreen -La Roche Posay - Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid
Shryh1 5/31/2012 3:58:00 PM
This is a great, lightweight sunscreen that goes on matte and does not break me out, hence the 3 lippie rating. That said, this sunscreen leaves an annoying white cast on my Asian skin, and it's probably not the right sunscreen to wear in the early stages of an aggressive skin renewal regimen involving tretinoin and glycolic acids. I just put it on, and was aghast by how it brought out every single skin flake on the areas treated with tretinoin cream. I'll probably save this for occasions where I'll be outdoors for extended periods without any makeup on, and don't really care if I look like a flaky ghost.
Eye Shadow -Rouge Bunny Rouge - Matte Eyeshadow Papyrus Canary
Shryh1 5/31/2012 2:17:00 AM
I got suckered into buying a bunch of Rouge Bunny Rouge matte eye shadow singles after reading one too many rave reviews by several beauty bloggers, and while I was initially a bit disappointed by the overly dusty colours (nobody's fault but mine; should've done more research) I've come to love Papyrus Canary as an eye shadow base. It is expensive and easily dupeable, but the texture is cashmere-soft for a matte and goes on like a satin-finish shadow. I got 8 hours wear out of it without any creasing, a real record for my oily lids. Would love to see more shades from this line.
I would probably buy this product again, but not without some reservations. I was thrilled to find a purse-sized hand cream with a high SPF, but this works more like a sunscreen than a hand cream. I have pretty dry hands because I wash them very often, but despite repeated applications throughout the day, my hands still feel a bit rough and chapped. I'll probably use this in tandem with a richer, more emollient hand cream at night.
If you paint your nails regularly, Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat is a life saver. Within five minutes of applying this thick, super-glossy top coat to freshly-polished nails, I can go about my daily tasks without worrying about a ruined manicure. If my hand were to graze a hard surface, this top coat ensures that my nail polish goes undented. However, I would certainly advise waiting for at least 40 minutes after applying the SV Fast Dry Top Coat before attempting to put on a pair of snug-fitting jeans. This product is not without its drawbacks, however. For one, the SV Fast Dry Top Coat gets thick and gloopy very, very fast. For this reason, it is necessary to purchase polish thinner with a bottle of SV. Even so, by the time there was little more than half a bottle left, I had no choice but to add thinner to the top coat before *every* manicure. If I didn't, the top coat took on a glue-like consistency, complete with gooey threads that run from the lip of the bottle to my nails like spider silk. Alternatively, I've heard that the problem can be solved by purchasing a large refill and topping up the bottle every now and then. The SV Fast Dry Top Coat also tends to cause nail polish "shrinkage". As the top coat gets to work, it apparently constricts and pulls back nail polish from the tip, resulting in something that looks like instant tipwear. This can be countered by running the brush across the tip of your nail to seal it in after you've applied the top coat. In short, the SV Fast Dry Top Coat is pretty high maintenance, but the end results makes everything worthwhile. If not, there are many other fast dry top coat alternatives -- swing by the nail board and ask! The nail board ladies are infinitely wise and very, very helpful.
I received this mascara as a gift, and had little expectations for it as I had been using high-end mascaras. When I finally tried it on, I was pleasantly surprised and ashamed by my mascara snobbery. The mascara went on without clumping or flaking, and had an instant "fake lash" effect on me -- it injected length and volume into my straight Asian lashes in just one coat. Application was a breeze with the brush and it never smeared once. There were slight smudges on the outer corner of my eyes at the end of the day, nothing too horrid or embarrassing, and easily taken care of with a firm rub using my finger. To be fair, I use mineral foundation as undereye concealer, and I find that I get terrible mascara smudges when I use a cream concealer.
Lotions/ Creams -Jurlique - Rose/Lavender Hand Cream
Shryh1 6/26/2008 11:19:00 PM
The Jurlique Lavender hand cream is a very nice product -- it smells pleasantly, naturally herbal and it is easily absorbed by the skin in no time at all thanks to its light, non-greasy formula. Unfortunately, I have dry hands and cuticles that split/peel easily. While this hand cream does a decent job of moisturizing my hands, it lacks a protective, "glove-like" quality. Regular application of this hand cream throughout the day did little to improve the condition of my cuticles, and whenever I wash my hands, I feel as though most of the hand cream is rinsed off as well. I enjoyed using this hand cream and will end up emptying the tube, but I will not repurchase the product in the future.
For an Asian woman, my hair is pretty thick and slightly wavy. It frizzes in humid weather and flattens down on my head in cold weather; like my skin, my hair is also a combination type -- dry hair, oily at the scalp. I used Redken All Soft in college and as it made my hair really soft, I was very well-disposed towards Redken products. Thus, when the time came for me to buy a new bottle of shampoo last month, I decided to give my Pantene (of which I'm tiring) a rest, and Redken's Smooth Down a try. Redken's Smooth Down shampoo claims to "provide intense smoothing and a long-lasting, humidity-resistant, frizz-free finish". In my case, using the shampoo (with the accompanying conditioner) resulted in greasy, lank locks that were weighed down by the product, though I suppose you can interpret that as smooth, frizz free and humidity resistant hair. By mid-day, I felt like I had a crown of grease on my head and I could not wait for my next shampoo. I am trying to shampoo on alternate days, so Smooth Down isn't quite the product for me right now. It works as a super-conditioning shampoo, but in the end it was too much for me. I never thought a shampoo would be too conditioning for me, as Kerastase's Bain Satin products weren't silkening or softening enough for my exasperating hair, but it looks like I have met my match!
Lotions/ Creams -L'Occitane - 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream
Shryh1 3/26/2008 4:12:00 PM
This hand cream did a great job of moisturizing my hands, or rather, the back of my hands and my palms. There are a few trouble spots on my hands -- dry (but not ragged, torn and bleeding) cuticles, two callouses, and a rough spot on the side of my right index finger, which this hand cream did little to improve. In addition, I always feel like there is nothing left after I wash my hands despite allowing plenty of time for the hand cream to settle in properly before I do anything that requires me to hit the faucet. On the plus side, it has a creamy, luxurious texture which isn't exactly fast absorbing but sinks nicely into my skin after a quick hand massage. I love the scent which is neither medicinal nor sickly sweet like most Bath and Bodyworks products, but subtle and natural. I am also a fan of the packaging as I can squeeze as much as I can before I throw away the empty tube -- I hate wasting product!
Cleansers -Shu Uemura - High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Fresh
Shryh1 3/24/2008 5:10:00 PM
I don't think I'll ever go back to using a foaming facial cleanser ever again. My skin is incredibly prone to blackheads especially on my nose, cheeks and chin *sigh*, and while I've never been able to get rid of them completely, this cleanser is the only thing that keeps them at bay. When I don't use this cleanser, a crop of blackheads would appear at the corner of my mouth on my lower cheeks. These blackheads are deep and incredibly difficult to remove, but they disappear when I start using the SU oil cleanser. Cleansing oils take some time to wash off properly, but I take this as an opportunity to be more thorough with my face washing. I love that I can remove my makeup in one go with this cleansing oil, though the most stubborn mascara will require extra work. Sales assistants always assure me that I wouldn't need an eye makeup remover for mascara if I used the cleansing oil, but I find this slightly misleading because it's certainly not as easy as they make it out to be. I apply the oil onto my lashes, add water to emulsify and the mascara comes off, but even after I think I've rinsed off the residue, I'm left with mascara rings around my eyes and blurry, oily vision. If someone has mastered the technique of removing mascara cleanly while using any SU beauty cleansing oil, I'd love to hear it! All in all, this is a great makeup remover (I wash my face twice with it or follow up with Cetaphil if I'm wearing more makeup than usual) that will not dry out the skin. I've used this as a cleanser for the last four years, even during an awful year-long struggle with cystic acne (a prescribed anti-bacterial foaming cleanser didn't do much), and will probably continue to do so for many years to come.
I was really excited about this mascara and devoted my time to learning how to apply it properly. I experimented with wiggling the wand side to side, root top tip, one coat, two coats, ten coats, but the formula was rather gloopy so no matter how many times I blotted the mascara wand I would still need to use a comb to separate my stuck-together lashes afterwards. The Fatale also could not hold my curled lashes, and left me with black spikes. This mascara has significant volumizing properties, but the wand made it difficult to distribute the mascara evenly. On the plus side, it doesn't flake and it's a cinch to remove with just water. The Chanel Inimitable remains my go-to high drama mascara for now.
Palettes -Bobbi Brown - Stonewashed Nudes [DISCONTINUED]
Shryh1 3/13/2008 2:02:00 PM
On the days I don't feel like wearing a full face of makeup, I put on mascara, blush, gloss and, now that I own the Stonewashed Nudes palette, a muted wash of eye shadow. It isn't much, but it adds a little more polish to my "makeup-less" look. The shades in this palette are so inoffensive that it makes them extremely versatile -- it's office and holiday friendly, and when I reach for my liner for a more dramatic cat eye look, I pair that with one of the eyeshadows from this palette. That said, the shimmerwash shadows in this polish (Mica, Ash and Stonewash) are practically indistinguishable from one another, especially on my lids, and the matte Navajo shadow doesn't seem to show up on my skin at all. I love the Espresso on the outer corner of my lids or as liner, but I experience the worst fall-out with this shadow. The Espresso is densely pigmented and loosely packed, it seems -- no matter how careful I am, the Espresso makes its way next door to the grey Rock shimmerwash shadow and contaminates it. This palette is an appreciated addition to my stash and I'll have happy memories of it when it's gone, but if it were ever re-issued, I don't think I'll be getting a second one.
Gipsy is the Rose Red to Dolce Vita's Snow White. Brighter and bolder but, like its kin, sympathetic to the wearer. Gipsy is described as a sheer warm berry, but it shows up as a distinct but muted red on my lips. Gipsy helped me make the transition from glosses to lipstick because it is just so eminently wearable. I dab it on then blend a lip balm over it; when I feel bolder and more daring, I... dab it on a little harder. Unlike Dolce Vita, several coats of Gipsy actually increases the intensity of the colour so it is a good "baby's first red" for those looking to branch out of neutral lipcolours. I would love to carry off a strong red lip look, but I have wonky lips (fuller on the bottom), so my red lipstick of choice will be Gipsy for the timebeing.
I'm on my third tube of Dolce Vita lipstick and will continue to keep one in my makeup bag until the awful, awful day when it is discontinued. I have naturally high-coloured lips and despaired about ever wearing pink on my lips until I went out and bought my first tube. This is my HG MLBB lipstick -- its sheer formulation means that it is practically idiotproof, which allows me to put it on without looking at the mirror. The description of Dolce Vita as a "dusty rose" on the Sephora website is pretty spot on, in my opinion. As for its universality, I would really advise anyone to be circumspect about such claims. I'm Asian and so is my sister, but Dolce Vita looks good on me and terrible on her; she looks like a vision in yellow while I look like dried puke. Dolce Vita is most likely to work better on those with cool undertones, and even then it isn't the most dramatic shade. The lipstick imparts a soft, rosy gleam to the lips, but it is a lipstick after all and not a gloss, so be sure to moisturize your lips beforehand. I wear glosses for the most part so lipsticks take some adjusting to as they feel more drying, but this can be resolved by applying lip balm (Eve Lom Kiss Mix!) or a balm gloss (CO Bigelow Mentha lip shine!) on top. For the women who have been disappointed by Dolce Vita, I recommend that you look out for Lipstick Queen's Pink Sinner. It's a highly-pigmented and creamy pink, which oddly seems to work better on those with warm undertones (the autumn and spring-toned women). I gave it to abovementioned sister, who's now found a pink she can wear!