Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Verilux Clear Wave Phototherapy System for Acne
Tamathy 10/29/2012 5:09:00 PM
This thing is pretty self-explanatory as far as assembly and charging go. Let it charge for 12 hours before you use it, and whatever you do, don't drop the little screw that holds the battery compartment closed. You will never find the screw again if you drop it, but you can tape the cover in place if you do. Assuming you don't die of boredom or frustration during use, you may want more than tape holding the battery in place. The indicator light may go off, but that doesn't mean it isn't still charging. Let it go the full 12 hours. You will probably lose at least the first one of your 600 uses trying to figure out how to hold it on your skin evenly. The whole head has to be in contact with your skin to activate, and it seems to be very sensitive. 600 uses may sound like a lot, but it's 600-3 minute sessions. Divide your face the way they recommend, then add in places they don't count, like your neck or chest, and every time you put it on your skin, that's a 3 minute session. I can easily see doing 12 sessions on my face and jawline alone. If you commit to this, you can see how it will eat away at your time and your wallet at $35 + shipping & tax for replacement heads. The head on this is small enough that you have to use multiple sessions to cover your face and maybe one other area, but large enough that you can't get it into corners like around your nose, or on some areas like your temple, or on contoured areas like your jawline. If you break out around your nose, good luck making the light stay on long enough to do any good. It might be a good idea to get a small light for the little corners and use this one for larger areas, but that's assuming this thing actually works, and we are not done agonizing through this just yet. Keep the manual on hand because you will get strange messages on the display. HP does not mean that Harry Potter has arrived to zap your acne. It means the device is in Heat Protection mode--you need to allow a device designed to generate heat to cool off. It can also be too cold to operate. This thing puts the mental in temperamental. People are wiping the head down with rubbing alcohol between uses. I don't get it. This thing kills germs on my skin, but it allows stuff to prosper on the very area which claims to kill the bacteria? None of this makes any sense. 592 uses left, and I still haven't reached my forehead. I have hit HP twice and the battery ran low once. The max I seem to be able to get is 3 sessions before it goes into HP mode. I want to make Verilux eat this, but they probably all live in Kenya and are already eating exotic food products with President Obama's cousins (WOOF!). I'm too tired to swim across the ocean and you should not submerse the device in water. Why am I bothering at this point? Oh yeah, it cost way too much to just use as a flashlight and I have these unspeakable breakouts. Is it working? It's too soon to tell, and in corners, like the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop, the world may never know. Well no one said it would be cheap, easy or endurable. It certainly isn't refundable, at least not through Amazon. So we must plod forward even in the face of certain doom. This reminds me of Victorian medical devices. This kind of malarkey is what I thought of when I first looked at LED skin lights. Most Victorian medical stuff did not have any science to back it up. It was a dark and smelly time, and there was no internet. A lot of it would be considered torture devices by today's standards (I think I saw a copper-plated waterboard in there someplace) and most of it didn't even begin to live up to outrageous claims. Of course these people believed in the regular use of opioids as a soft drink flavor, so we can't completely write off everything they did. We have no idea what the long term effects of this thing will be. In 10 years if you are reading a review I am writing whilst in the midst of a brave battle with skin cancer, refer back to this review. Of course we don't know the long term effects of staring at a computer monitor on eyes desperately seeking an acne treatment that works, either, so I think it evens out. It is FDA approved, but these are the same people who approved thalidomide, so keep that in mind. I have a Thermaclear, and it works on those nasty huge ones that sit on your face for 6 months, hurt, and they leave a mark that lasts forever. There also does seem to be research that backs up the claim that this blue LED light will kill acne bacteria. The red claims to reduce wrinkles and jowls and stuff like that. I'll try a red if I can ever get this thing to work, but it sure won't be from this brand. I am getting this sneaking suspicion that I should have just bitten the bullet and bought the Quasar. This thing did make an immediate dent in the acne, especially the stubborn patches on my jawline. New ones are not emerging, ones already swollen appear to have stopped in their tracks, and the red patches seem to have gotten a healing boost. The problem is that this is the short term. Will light therapy stand the test of time, or will I move on to other voodoo products? It's kind of hard to tell when this thing keeps choking on its own heating sensors and uses a battery that has ADD. Will it work on my forehead? I'll certainly report back if I can ever get this thing to stay on long enough. No one can afford to waste money like this. I will update on results with this thing as events warrant. LET IT BE KNOWN that I will not hesitate to amend this review and shred this product if it doesn't work. I think if you are on the fence about a light therapy skin device, you should take the plunge, but not with this product. Ansr is next on my list, and after that, I may go on to MIT for experimental radioactive treatment that will make me have babies with nine heads, or possibly to a good old-fashioned snake oil salesman. At least they knew when to shut up.
Treatments -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - 40% Glycolic Peel
Tamathy 8/20/2011 1:09:00 AM
I've been using the 20% gly-luronic serum on my face daily for quite some time now with great results nearly eliminating breakouts. My forehead, however, needs something extra. I decided to step up to the 40% after draining the 30% sampler I had, and have mostly been using the 40% to get the stubborn blackheads off of my forehead. It does the job great. My forehead hasn't been this smooth since I was 9 years old & the acne first set in. Since I stepped into it graduating from 20%, to 30% and eventually to 40%, I only had some minor tingling, even on the rest of my face. I like to top it off with Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair whether preparing for bed or getting ready for makeup during the day. (I've been trying some Asian skin care but will review those later.) My skin feels calmed and smoothed when I wake up and looks better when I wash off my war paint at night. Since I've been using it for a while now I occasionally experience mild peeling & flakling on my chin & nose after a couple of days of using 40% all over. That's when I go back to the 20% gly luronic solution for my face and keep up the 40% on my forehead almost daily. Less experienced users might want to start off with a milder solution or a different type of acid. MUAC has great customer service so don't hesitate to call or email them with any questions you might have. This product certainly does what it says, and i look forward to graduating to 50% at some point down the road. The smoothness and clearness are well worth the tingling. And be sure to sign up for their emails newsletters; they have a 20% discount off the entire store about once a month.
These things have the consistency of a crayon. I'm not kidding; they color paper better than they do my lips. Hard, dry, and not a bit of color deposited. Very surprised since everything else EM makes is so good, but avoid this one-- unless you need some new crayons for back to school. :-P
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Tec Labs - Staphaseptic Gel
Tamathy 7/27/2009 8:06:00 PM
OK, all you folks out there who have been putting Neosporin on pimples for years, it's time to lay that product aside for a bit and try out Staphaseptic. Don't get me wrong; I still love Neosporin, but I don't know if I've developed a resistance to it or the occasional hormonal breakout I still get is just tougher than what I had when I was younger... Anyway I ran across this on Amazon and decided to give it a try on acne as a spot treatment. For regular breakouts it accelerates healing, and for those monsters that start deep on the skin and hurt like billy-oh, it's fantastic. It shrinks those nasty deep ones and brings them to a head so it can drain. If you're not having luck with the heat-based appliances like Thermaclear or Zeno on the big nasty ones, give this first aid gel a try. The only bad thing I can really say about it is that mineral makeup kinda sticks to it and won't blend over it; you'll need a liquid foundation when you use this on your face. Not to mention I think this has been far better at healing not just acne spots but cuts and scrapes, and it's something you will want in your medicine cabinet anyway. I've had incredibly good luck with this and am tickled at how fast it worked for me. UPDATE 11022012: Staphaseptic has been repackaged and sold under the name Tecnu First Aid gel. Do not pay inflated prices for Staphaseptic-- get Tecnu & get the same results.
Cleansers -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - Green Tea Cleansing Bar [DISCONTINUED]
Tamathy 7/27/2009 6:48:00 PM
I have to say I was skeptical about this bar, but it really does soothe skin after a peel and helps keep redness to a minimum. I have to use tepezcohuite soap most of the time to keep acne away, but when I've done a peel or just want to start off the way without my face being so red this stuff helps. Doesn't cure redness, but does help with it. I got this as part of a MUAC peel kit but will buy it again separately when the time comes.
Treatments -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - Radiance Peel
Tamathy 7/27/2009 6:44:00 PM
I bought the .5 ounce size of this at the same time I ordered a 30% glycolic peel kit. Frankly, I'm a little afraid of the 30% peel, and the TCA peels just plain petrify me. This sounded like a bit of a milder peel since it says you can use it once a week, and at $14 the .5 ounce size was at least affordable. Five minutes on max and 2 or 3 days later you can feel the dry layer on top starting to come off with minimal discomfort, IMO. It tingles a LOT but it doesn't burn. I would expect that the feeling would dissipate over time as one built up a tolerance to it. I use the 15% Gly-Luronic serum daily so that might have something to do with my sensitivity. I wash, then use a clean q-tip to dip in the bottle and apply it, dipping in a fresh q-tip each time I need more & never double-dipping. By the 7th or 8th day the dry layer has totally come off & I have nice looking, fresh skin showing. I cannot stress enough follow the directions on your peels, rinse with cool water & neutralize immediately if you're in pain and do the patch tests! I do this once every 2-3 weeks right now & am happy with it; all I can say is YMMV. If you're a peel veteran this may not be enough for you, but a beginner may find this the best place to start.
DO NOT get this product in your eyes, ears, nose or mouth, and read the bottle for other precautions. Use it in a way that you can control how and where it drips. It's a thin liquid-- not thick like a liquid soap or shower gel, so you need to use extra caution. I wouldn't recommend using this on your face in the shower; use it at the sink, again someplace where you can control any possible drips. I use a buff puff single to control it & to de-flake my skin (thanks to urstandingonmytoes and her review!). They seem to only come with cleanser pre-loaded, so I just rinse them out until they're white, and squeeze out the excess water. Then I put on a few drops of Hibiclens and start washing my face. You can work it into a thin lather, adding a couple more drops of water & Hibiclens as needed as you move around your face, or whatever area you're cleaning. This is not a wax on, wax off kind of process. You need to leave it on for a few minutes to give it time to kill the bacteria, or else it's pointless to use this at all. Massage it in with your fingers, or gently keep going over it with a buf-puff, or just let it sit while you do something else. It not only eliminated acne, but it also helps with healing. It got me through my last hormonal breakout with minimal marks, and they're fading very quickly. Run, don't walk, to your nearest drugstore and pick up an 8 ounce bottle for about $11 to try it out. Use it with care and it really will change your skin!
I saw this at Wal-Mart after having read the reviews here, and I had to get some in blackest black. First, it does have the printer ink cartridge smell of Colossal, but it's not half as strong, and it fades quickly. I get a soft, natural look with extra length with this one after 2 or 3 coats. I tried more coats, but it seemed to just get messy after 3. It dries quickly, and I found that as long as I used a comb on it wet my lashes separated nicely. Combing when dry just pulled on my lashes and made a mess. It stayed put all day with no flaking, and came off completely with warm water-- no makeup remover or rubbing! This is a great everyday mascara & I'll definitely buy it again.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Anita Grant Organic Copaiba Oil
Tamathy 12/2/2008 2:07:00 AM
Anita Grant is in the UK, and I'm in the US. From the time I ordered to the time I got my package, it was over 2 weeks. I buy stuff from the UK all the time, so the wait didn't bother me, but I wanted to mention it for those who might not have international buying experience. I ordered 3 other items with it, and one arrived shattered. The bottles are glass, and frankly, the packaging was grossly inadequate for shipping fragile glass items from the UK to Indianapolis, IN USA. there was one layer of bubble wrap around each item, packed directly against the inside of the box. Something like this needs to be shipped in individual ziplock bags, wrapped in bubble wrap and packed in foam peanuts, with cushioning around the edges. Ideally this should then be packed inside another box with peanuts all around the side... then it might have a chance. I'm surprised only one bottle was broken. The box was soaked in papaya oil when I got it. I was just glad it wasn't the main thing that I had wanted, and unpacked. The smell of copaiba oil is exactly like the smell of a wooden cigar box-- not the smoke, just the BOX... it's like cedar, but it has a certain I don't know what... I worked in a cigar store for ten years, and I still have dozens of empty cigar boxes around. This duplicates the smell perfectly. If you're on the fence about this, find a local cigar store and ask them for an empty wooden cigar box to smell. If you like it, or can tolerate it, you'll be OK with the smell of this oil/ When I used it as a toner, the smell faded somewhat throughout the day, but was still noticeable to me. I mixed the toner exactly to the specifications on the Anita Grant site, and it ended up irritating my skin. 2 days later most of the redness is gone. I had a coulple of small spots on my forehead, and tried dotting it directly on just those. This got them to heal, as well as getting one of them to purge and heal. I never had that kind of luck with tea tree oil & think that it's worth having just for that. Anything that can accelerate healing is a winner in my book. I *might* buy it again, but I don't know when. MUAC's Rosehips Hibiscus Scar Cream gives me the same results without bringing back the good old days I spent in the walk-in humidor at the store. I would say overall, excellent for spot treatments, but if you need something for all over your face, this may not be the remedy. And you may want to try to find a source a little closer to home.
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Tamathy 11/29/2008 12:31:00 PM
I use this for shaving and for removing stubborn makeup. I can shave every day with absolutely no irritation with EVOO! I take baths rather than showers... I'm not sure I'd recommend trying to use this to shave your legs standing up. I get my skin damp, smooth on a thin layer, and then shave it off. When I'm done shaving I wash off the excess with soap or shower gel. I don't need any lotion or cream for dry skin after using it. It's also perfect for removing waterproof mascara, although you do need to let it soak in for a couple of minutes. There are many other great uses listed here in the reviews, it's cheap, and you probably already have it in your kitchen! It does get all over the container no matter what you do to prevent it. I think the only solution is to make sure it's sealed, then wash the outside of the container with a good grease-cutter like dishwashing liquid. Make sure you wash the tub/shower often to prevent accidents! All in all, a great beauty product-- and also tastes good on a salad!
Treatments -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - Gly-Luronic Acid Serum
Tamathy 11/29/2008 4:12:00 AM
I switched to this for the 15% glycolic content after 6 weeks or so on Alpha Hydrox 12% souffle, and I haven't regretted it. It's a very lightweight, clear liquid packaged in a clear flip-top bottle. I squeeze out a couple of drops onto my fingers and put it on my face and neck. This stuff dries quickly, so don't dawdle about getting it on. One note about the flip-top lid-- I don't know if it's getting clogged or what, but I'm not even 20% of the way through, and it doesn't come out as easily as it did at first. I end up squeezing out too much. It's not so much that it's wasted, but as I noted, it does dry quickly, so you end up in a rush to get it on. Other than that, I really couldn't care less about how it's packaged... with results like this who cares? Anyhow, you're ready pretty much immediately to put on moisturizer, primer or makeup. Using has cleared my skin, along with tepezcouhite soap and MUAC's rosehips hibiscus scar cream. I've had a little bit of peeling, but nothing like you would see with one of their peel products. This is great if you want a product that isn't a cream, if you want to step up slightly in strength from Alpha Hydrox (which is still a wonderful product BTW), if you want daily exfoliation or don't have the moxie to try a peel... and what else can I say about the results? It's working wonders on my oiliness, acne, fine lines... it's a miracle in a bottle. Don't hesitate to order this and try it for yourself. EDIT: YES the nozzle was clogged. You'd think that would be obvious. :-P To clean it, you can't just run it under hot water. It won't run through the opening that way. I had to screw it onto another small bottle filled with hot water, then squeeze the water through several times. The product comes out as easily as it did before now. I still don't care about the packaging, though! Go get yourself some!
Moisturizers -Philosophy - Hope in a Jar - for all skin types
Tamathy 11/28/2008 12:08:00 AM
Can't understand the appeal of this product. I tried it several times, and it broke me out every time-- not acne, either... little white bumps that took about a week to go away, like an allergic reaction or something. I've read through the reviews on this one here on MUA and on a few other sites, and many seem to experience breakouts/reactions to this. Get a sample if you must try this, and beware!
Do yourself a favor and pass this one by! Do not waste your time, money or any other resources on this shoddy product. I wanted to try a Beautyblender, but being the cheapskate I am, when I saw this at Target I said "Eureka!" and bought it on the spot. This did absolutely nothing for my makeup application-- it didn't make it better, but it didn't make it worse either. I used it wet, which is inconvenient for me since I don't do my makeup in the bathroom. However, I don't see how this could be used effectively dry. As if strike one and strike two weren't enough, I washed it with water and the tiniest bit of liquid soap, and it started to crumble. Seriously-- I GENTLY squeezed it out and it was tearing all over! This product is a disaster. Buy yourself a pack of $0.99 sponge wedges. You'll get the same results, and THOSE sponges will last you a lot longer! Kashuk is right up there with Revlon on my "never again without anesthesia" list.
Whoever said this stuff smells like printer ink is right on the money. It's too bad that I can't USE it as printer ink, because I got this as a BOGO and have 2 tubes to use up. (I took the other one out of the package by mistake, so no swappie either-- GRR!) The aroma fades significantly, but I could still smell it two hours after applying, so you've been warned. This is good as a one-coat wonder for people who don't mind the smell. If you want more than one coat, you're out of luck. It just gets nasty with more coats, like all tarantula-looking, and forget about combing. It's also one that melts if you use a heated eyelash curler. Overall it's useful for a more dramatic day look, so it's not a total waste of money-- but it's sorely lacking in versatility. L'Oreal's Voluminous is a much better product.
Foundations -L'Oreal - Quickstick Foundation [DISCONTINUED]
Tamathy 11/16/2008 6:07:00 PM
Get em while you can, ladies. These were marked half price at Walgreens with big "last chance" stickers just last week. I didn't even know the Quicksticks were back in production, and already stores are dumping their stock. :-P This is probably one of my favorites since it goes on and blends quickly, stays put on oily skin, is very lightweight, breathable, travels extremely well, and you can build up coverage where you need it. Not to mention that the soft ivory is such a great match for me. Just rub some on directly from the stick and blend with your fingers. It's probably not sanitary, though! It does smell faintly like a crayon when you first put it on, but that fades very quickly. One thing I noticed about these sticks when I used them before is that they seem to last only half as long as a regular one ounce bottle of liquid foundation-- for the same price. You're paying for convenience with this. If you're short on time, or if you want coverage without fuss, this is a good one to try if you can find it. I would buy it again, but since this appears to be L'Oreal's second time trying to market this p[articular foundation, I have to wonder if we'll ever see it again.