Eyeliner -NARS - Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner - Via Veneto
USCgirlie 1/7/2013 10:30:00 PM
I had high hopes for this pencil as I was looking for a deep black eyeliner that wouldn't smudge. I had already purchased NARS' Larger than Life eyeliner pencils in other colors, and had good success with them in terms of their color payoff and longevity, so expected the same of Via Veneto. However, Via Veneto smudges horribly on me, which is unfortunate as the colors Madison Ave. (gray) and Via Appia (brown) from the same line do not. It's too bad that Via Veneto doesn't have the same smudge-free qualities that other colors in NARS Larger than Life eyeliner line have. Wouldn't repurchase, and in fact, returned the pencil back to Sephora as the raccoon eyes left from Via Veneto were too pronounced for me to keep this pencil.
I had very high hopes for this mascara given its mostly promising reviews on the blogosphere. I purchased this mascara soon after it was available, and I've been using it for more than a month now. First, some background on my lashes -- it's difficult for me to find a mascara that works well for my short, thin, Asian lashes. What I look for is a mascara that will volumize, define, lengthen, and somewhat hold a curl -- but by far one of the biggest things I look for is a mascara that will not smudge on my combo/oily skin. Unfortunately, many popular mascaras often don't work for me given their tendency to smudge on me (e.g., Armani Eyes to Kill, all versions of Diorshow, YSL Faux Cils, Lancome Hypnose, etc.). Therefore, somewhat surprisingly, the only mascara that has met all my above criteria thus far is CoverGirl's LashBlast Mascara. However, I must admit that all my other makeup is department store/high-end, and I often am still looking for a department store mascara that will perform just as well or better than LashBlast's, thinking that there must be one that exists. So, after reading promising reviews about Le Volume de Chanel online, I was greatly anticipating using this mascara. I think it's a mascara that will work well for many people, but it definitely has some cons that will make it an incompatible mascara for some. Please see below for more specifics: PROS: -Volumizes my sparse/thin Asian lashes -Good deep black color -Also lengthens my very short lashes -Somewhat holds a curl on my very-difficult-to-curl Asian lashes -Can be layered for a more dramatic look; however, one would have to layer very carefully (see below in the cons section) CONS: -The biggest con for me is this smudges pretty badly on my combo/oily skin after about 5 hours. I then have to wipe away the smudges or else I have rather noticeable raccoon eyes. -It's difficult to fully remove the mascara quickly at the end of the day with a standard eye makeup remover (probably would be easier with a dual-phase eye makeup remover). I often find the next morning after waking up that I still have traces of mascara around my eye area. -It has the tendency to clump if you're not careful with application, especially if you're trying to apply several layers. Given these negative points, I unfortunately do not plan to repurchase Le Volume de Chanel after I use up the tube. Smudgy mascara is a big no-no for me, given that I already have dark circles and do not need a mascara that further emphasizes them. Unfortunately, a cheap $6 drugstore mascara (LashBlast) has outperformed Le Volume de Chanel on me, so I cannot justify repurchasing. However, I would recommend this mascara to someone who doesn't have an issue with smudging, and someone who doesn't mind taking extra time to carefully apply the mascara to avoid clumping.
Burberry Lip Mists are by far my favorite lipsticks. I like the look of gloss but don't like how they're often sticky and wear off quickly. I'm not a fan of heavy, non-moisturizing lipsticks that settle into lip lines. Therefore, I tend to gravitate towards lipsticks that offer some moisture along with a sheerer and somewhat glossy finish. Prior to Burberry Lip Mists being available, I purchased a few Chanel Rouge Coco Shines as I liked how they offered sheer color with some moisture and glossiness. However, I much prefer Burberry Lip Mists to the Rouge Coco Shines given that they last longer, are much more moisturizing, and feel much more comfortable on the lips. These Lip Mists also do not settle into my lip lines, unlike some other lipsticks such as the Coco Shines. Like many of the reviewers have said, these lipsticks glide on so smoothly on the lips -- almost like a gel finish. I have these Lip Mists in Field Rose (#213) and Pink Heather (#210), and both look like "my lips but better" on my NC30/NARS Punjab Sheer Glow/NARS Alaska Tinted Moisturizer/MUFE #120 skintone. I also purchased the Lip Mists in Feather Pink for my Mom, and Copper for my sister, and both love how these lipsticks look and feel on their lips. Highly recommended -- the only downside is the price.
Lotions/ Creams -Kiehls - Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
USCgirlie 4/12/2012 11:30:00 PM
I've used this hand cream on and off for the past year along with Jack Black's Hand Healer cream, but never realized just how effective Kiehl's hand cream is until my recent business trip to NYC. Whenever I travel to non-humid places, my skin has the tendency to get very dry from the hotel soap. To make things worse, I tend to wash my hands a lot and use hand sanitizer, so my hands were extremely chapped and dry, to the point that they felt sandpaper-like. In desperation, I looked up where the nearest Kiehl's store was in NYC, and went to buy the hand salve. That evening, I used the hand salve several times, making sure to massage the salve well into my hands. Miraculously, the next day my hands weren't chapped or dry anymore! I used the hand salve throughout the rest of my trip and thankfully it worked extremely well. I will remain faithful to this hand salve now that I've seen just how effective it iis.
Tinted Moisturizer -NARS - Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
USCgirlie 2/14/2012 9:12:00 PM
UPDATE: Still really enjoying this tinted moisturizer. No breakouts, good sun protection. A few caveats: those who have fair skintones may not be able to find a color match easily (so definitely swatch before you purchase!), as only Finland can be characterized as a color match for fair skin, and Alaska for light-medium skintones. Also, I find that if I layer on the tinted moisturizer for additional coverage, my skin looks a bit lackluster. It looks best if I apply just one layer of tinted moisturizer rather than putting on more for additional coverage! Original review: Being a fan of NARS products, I was extremely excited for the launch of this product, so as soon as it was available at Nordstrom, I rushed to purchase it! I've used it for about two weeks now, and am very pleased with the tinted moisturizer. -At first, I was a bit concerned about the shade selection for my NC30/NARS Sheer Glow Punjab/Make Up For Ever HD 120 skintone. I knew Finland (the first shade) would be too light, and after swatching St. Moritz (third shade), I realized that shade would be too dark. I was hesitant about Alaska since it is classified as a "Light 2" shade, but my normal foundation shade, Nars Punjab, is classified as "Medium 1." However, Alaska has proven to be a great match for my light-medium yellow-toned skintone. -The coverage and texture have been excellent for a tinted moisturizer. I've tried a number of tinted moisturizers, including Laura Mercier's and Smashbox's. While I loved the convenience and low-maintenance factors of those tinted moisturizers, I wasn't a fan of their sheer coverage or how after a number of hours, the TM would feel slightly gummy and look shiny on my oily skin. With NARS, the coverage has been just as good as what I'd get with their Sheer Glow Foundation (which, to those who aren't familiar with Sheer Glow, isn't really sheer), but the TM looks more natural (doesn't settle into pores or lines) and feels absolutely fantastic, like second skin! Depending on how much you apply, I would classify the coverage as light-medium, and it can certainly be built to medium without looking unnatural. -The lasting power of this tinted moisturizer has been impressive too. Besides its lightweight and comfortable texture, its staying power on my oily skin has been excellent. After a long workday, the tinted moisturizer is still intact. -No breakouts on my acne-prone skin after a few weeks of using this. I am very happy with this tinted moisturizer and am so glad to have switched from using foundation to this product. Sometimes, my skin will feel heavy after using foundation, and it takes more work -- I have to be careful to fully blend in the foundation. WIth this tinted moisturizer, I love how I only have to use one product (rather than a separate sunscreen and primer), and it feels and looks seamless on the skin. I highly recommend this product!
Mascara -Yves Saint Laurent - Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils
USCgirlie 1/23/2012 1:42:00 AM
I'm a bit of a mascara fanatic, having used many mascaras ranging from high-end to low-end. However, I hadn't yet tried Faux Cils and was extremely curious to see how I'd like it. Unfortunately, Faux Cils smudges horribly on me. It was fine for the first 5 hours, but at the end of the work day, the mascara had smeared all over the undereye area. Faux Cils also took the curl out of my just-curled eyelashes as soon as I put the mascara on, which was another negative for me. I did like the intense black pigment of the mascara, in addition to its lengthening properties, but the lack of longevity made me return this mascara.
I like the original Lash Blast Volume (in the orange tube) for its volumizing and lengthening properties on my short, thin Asian lashes. However, the original Lash Blast doesn't hold the curl well...my curled eyelashes would droop after applying the mascara. When I saw that there was a 24 Hr version of Lash Blast, I thought it might help to hold the curl better. I also thought that the 24 Hour Lash Blast would have a similar formula to the original Lash Blast, albeit in a longer-lasting version. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same volumizing, thickening, and lengthening properties of the original Lash Blast. Even after multiple coats, my lashes look thin and not much longer. It is also extremely difficult to remove...it took several rounds of Lancome Bi-Facil and patience to get it completely off! However, the one redeeming quality which makes me give this product 3 stars is that it holds a curl extremely well. My eyelashes were curly all day. It also didn't smudge much, although I must say the original Lash Blast doesn't either. I will not repurchase since this mascara doesn't do much for my lashes other than its curling-retaining properties. I also lost a few lashes during the mascara-removing process!
I recently purchased Chantecaille's Lip Chic in Camellia and quite enjoy this lipstick! Like other reviewers have mentioned, the Lip Chic is extremely comfortable on lips. My lips tend to be dry, and Lip Chic moisturizes incredibly well and feels like a luxurious balm on. On me, Camellia is a beautiful my-lips-but-better subtle pink with a nice, never over-the-top shine. I first became interested in Camellia when I looked on Chantecaille's website and saw a picture of the model wearing Camellia (it's in the "Looks" section of their website, and it's the Wedding look). While it's a little pinker on my lips compared to the model, Camellia gives me the same moisturizing and shiny look that I see on the website! The only negative is the price ($32), but I'm willing to spend for such a comfortable, high-quality lipstick.
I have short, sparse Asian eyelashes and am usually drawn to mascaras that claim to really lengthen and volumize lashes without smudging! That being said, this mascara was a disappointment for me. It lengthens a bit on me, but does not volumize my puny eyelashes. When I add a second coat, it ends up clumping on me very noticeably. For the positives about this product, one thing that I experienced with this mascara is that it's extremely long-lasting and does not smudge on me. Additionally, the color is extremely black, which is what I like in all my mascaras. Unfortunately, given its poor volumizing and subtle lengthening effects, along with its tendency to clump majorly on my lashes, I have to give it a pass.
I was extremely excited to try this foundation after seeing a number of good reviews on blogs and on YouTube. I had high hopes for this after reading that the foundation would leave a beautifully natural, yet flawless coverage on the skin. Unfortunately, on me, Perfection Lumiere accentuated the flakes on my combination skin, did not cover well, and also looked unnatural and streaky on my skin. I tried different application methods -- fingers, using my BeautyBlender sponge, and a brush -- in hopes that a different application method would be more effective, but alas, the different application methods didn't help. I also tried building up the coverage to see if I could get more of a flawless finish, but it started to cake on me, especially on the drier areas of my face. I ended up having to return this foundation, and much prefer my NARS Sheer Glow Foundation. For reference, I'm MAC NC30/NARS Sheer Glow in Punjab/MUFE HD in 120, and the closest match I was able to get in Chanel Perfection Lumiere was Beige 30, which was still a bit too dark and orangey on my skin. I would recommend those interested in trying Perfection Lumiere to get a sample first!
I purchased the Coco Shine lipsticks in Boy and Evasion. On me, the Coco Shine formula is amazing -- extremely moisturizing, smooth in texture, and pleasantly light on the lips. I typically have very dry, chapped lips and therefore don't like wearing non-moisturizing lipsticks as they accentuate every flake and feel tight on my lips. With the Coco Shines, I don't even need to apply lip balm under; I can simply swipe on the lipstick and my lips are soft, smooth, and hydrated. 'Boy' doesn't settle in the fine lines/grooves of my lips either (while the other color I purchased, Evasion, settles a little bit). Finally, like others have mentioned, Boy really brightens up the complexion. Initially, I was hesitant about buying this as I wasn't sure how Boy (which is more cool-toned) would look on my warm, light-medium MAC NC30/Nars Punjab/Make Up For Ever HD #120 skintone. However, it complements my skintone well and makes me look more well-rested. I'd recommend anyone interested in Boy to try it out for themselves!
While the price is steep ($50), this is an excellent light moisturizer for oily, acne-prone skin. Since my skin is very oily and easily susceptible to breakouts, it's difficult for me to find a moisturizer that's not too heavy or that doesn't break me out. I also like the fact that it doesn't leave my face feeling tacky or sticky. I've had good success with this moisturizer, and just repurchased since I ran out! It doesn't leave me shiny, and I find the light scent pleasant as well. Highly recommended for oily skin!
Lip Treatments -The Body Shop - Lip Care Stick - Cocoa Butter
USCgirlie 9/4/2010 5:32:00 AM
I love this lipbalm and can't do without it. I constantly had chapped lips before finding this lipbalm and was on the quest to find something that would consistently moisturize my lips. I ended up purchasing this based on the reviews and am so glad I found this! It keeps my lips soft and moist, without being greasy. It also has a pleasant chocolate scent. I keep one at home as well as one in my purse!
Mascara -Anastasia Of Beverly Hills - Lash Lifting Mascara
USCgirlie 3/29/2010 7:57:00 PM
I had high hopes for this mascara as I read that this is what Kim Kardashian uses. (Silly me, she probably has lush lashes naturally!) Unfortunately, this mascara did nothing for my short, thin Asian lashes. I did not notice much of a difference in the thickness or the length of my lashes after using this. Also, my lashes fell flat and stick straight after using this mascara, despite its claims to curl and lift lashes. I returned this mascara back to Sephora. Very disappointing, would not recommend.
I knew that there were mixed reviews on MUA for LashBlast, but I figured that I might as well try it as it was only $4 at CVS, on sale. I didn't have very high hopes for this, as I read that other Asians did not have success w/ this mascara. Well...I have now been using this for three months now, and I LOVE this mascara! Over the years, I have tried many, many mascaras on my short, thin Asian lashes -- everything from Dior to YSL to Anastacia, to Max Factor and Maybelline. I did like Dior's Diorshow and Max Factor's Volume Couture, but Diorshow would smudge on my oily skin and Volume Couture made my lashes feel dry. So, imagine my surprise that something so affordable could work really well on my lashes -- even better than high-end mascaras have. LashBlast makes my lashes much thicker and longer, and I do not find the brush awkward. I was a little worried reading the reviews that the brush would be too big for my small eyes, but actually it has not been an issue for me at all. What might help those who find this brush too big, is to tilt your head up while applying your mascara -- this should prevent the brush from getting on your eyelids. The best part about this mascara -- besides the results I get and the price -- is that this does NOT smudge on my super oily skin! Usually, mascaras smudge like crazy on me after a long day, but I have not had any smudging w/ LashBlast. Additionally, LashBlast gives a very slight curl to my lashes. I highly recommend this mascara and encourage those who are on the fence about this product to give it a try!