Masks -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - 25% Mandelic Acid Peel
XFOLI8R 8/26/2012 12:26:00 PM
So I tried this for the first time yesterday. Without meaning to, I ended up leaving it on for 6 or 7 minutes instead of the recommended 2 to 5, and because I started the application on my forehead, the mandelic acid was on there the longest.
I felt some burning toward the end. After rinsing the mandelic acid off thoroughly, my face was quite pink. (I immediately applied MUAC's EFA cream -- far better for this purpose than their aloe lavender gel IMO.) Also noticed right away that the "11" lines in the middle of my forehead were gone.
GONE. As in "disappeared."
I dismissed it as an optical illusion and/or wishful thinking. But no: today they're still gone, even after scowling at the mirror to see if the vertical forehead lines that appeared would stay. I've had no peeling or flaking, and my face is bright, smooth, soft, and even-toned. This mandelic stuff is freaking INCREDIBLE, or else it contains a hallucinogen that absorbs topically and makes me think my skin looks great.
I'm 48, and my 11 lines aren't -- weren't -- deep for my age, but definitely there and very noticeable to me. Not any more! I'm sure the improvement isn't permanent, but still ... forget Botox, this product is SHOCKINGLY good. Will I buy it again when I run out? Um, yes.
UPDATE: Two days after use, still no flaking, peeling, or breakouts; fine 11 lines starting to reappear, but face still looks several years younger. Unbelievable.
UPDATE 2: Two months later, I've used the 25% mandelic acid two more times. (I use AHAs for exfoliation regularly, so I don't need stronger exfoliants often.) The results haven't been as striking as the first time, but still good. I definitely don't want to overdo this, and I plan to use this product just once a month or so.
Please note: As with all skin care products, YMMV. I never expected this kind of result and you shouldn't either. Also, a 25% acid solution is pretty powerful. I intend to use it carefully, and not very often.
For me, the trick with this cleanser is to use a TINY amount -- about 1/4 of a pump, the size of a small pea. If I use more than that it's too drying, but if I put a tiny bit on my already-wet face and massage very gently for 10-15 seconds, it foams nicely, cleans well, and removes makeup (I don't wear foundation) without leaving my skin feeling tight. Of course I rinse it off very thoroughly. I sometimes use this at night before serums or other treatments, since active ingredients penetrate skin better when it's super-clean. This also works as a follow-up to oil cleansing if it feels like there's too much of a film left after rinsing off the oil. The light fragrance doesn't bother me. Good value, too -- I'll probably buy again if it's still available when I run out of my current bottle in 2014 or so.
OH MY GOD IT'S SO PURPLE I'M GONNA DIE! I LOVE IT! LAVENDER BLUSH 4 EVAAAAAAA *expires* *revives* Seriously, this is a wonderful blush, and the color -- lavender! -- is unique. I don't have much add to the previous reviews here, but if you're fair and cool-toned, definitely try Seduce (with a VERY light hand, and blend well)! And according to Fyrinnae's site, Seduce blush is both eye-safe and lip-safe. I plan to try it as an eye shadow and on my lips under a clear balm -- but not at the same time, and not when it's on my cheeks; that'd be too much even for me.
Okay, this blush is straight-up PURPLE in the jar. (The photos here and on the Fyrinnae website don't do it justice.) If you're light-skinned like me, best to apply it with an *extremely* light hand and blend well. Fortunately it's very finely milled and delicate in texture, with only a tiny hint of shimmer. On my face it turns into a beautiful, subtly violet-toned berry shade -- a stronger, deeper color than I usually wear, but flattering nonetheless. I'm looking forward to wearing this in the fall and winter. I'd prefer a pressed version for convenience, but the quality is undeniable and the price is unbeatable. P.S. This blush is "lip-safe" according to Fyrinnae. I've applied it to my lips under a sheer, cool-toned lip balm, and the effect was fantastic.
Fyrinnae sent a small sample of this with my order. I thought it might be too bright on me (I'm fair, NW20), but I love it. In the jar it's a VERY bright -- as in neon or fluorescent -- VERY cool pink, intensely pigmented and very finely milled, with the slightest hint of shimmer. A tiny bit on the brush is plenty for each cheek; blended well, it gives my face a perfect little zing of healthy, glowy color without looking fake or weird, and it lasts through a work day without fading or dulling. I'd prefer a pressed version of this blush -- it's easy to pick up too much loose powder on my brush or to spill the jar. I plan to buy it anyway after I run out of the sample, because of the beautiful color and texture. A pleasant surprise!
I have the Boots Botanics lipstick in Rose. The color is a near-dupe of MAC's Girl About Town -- a bright fuchsia-pink. Very pigmented, lovely shade (especially for neutral or cool-toned complexions), applies very smoothly, and not at all drying. Stays on reasonably well for a moisturizing lipstick; it really helps to blot it after applying. The texture is very soft -- mine went a bit melty inside the tube after several months. Still I'd repurchase it. Excellent quality for the price.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - RESIST Weekly Resurfacing Treatment
XFOLI8R 6/11/2012 11:20:00 AM
Whoa, this exfoliated the HELL out of my skin, and left me with an almost creepily smooth and shiny face for a 48-year-old. And I only left it on for an hour and a half! Strong stuff, for sure. The sample I tried didn't irritate or burn me (though it did sting when I put it on), or cause my skin to peel or flake; it was just terrifyingly effective. If you have dull skin or clogged pores, you almost certainly won't after using this. Definitely apply a soothing/moisturizing lotion or cream right after rinsing this off. This will likely be more useful when I'm a bit older; for now I'll stick with milder exfoliants (like PC's 2% BHA and 5% AHA) for regular use, and buy samples of this to use once a month or so. Edit: I'm giving it 5 lippies for freaking me out with its EXFOLIATING POWER without doing any damage. :D
EDIT: Since reading more about sunscreen ingredients on the Skin Care board here, I've found that this one is NOT photo-stable. In other words, exposure to sunlight degrades the effectiveness of the avobenzone in it (despite the presence of octocrylene as a stabilizer), so whenever you're wearing this it is gradually losing its power to protect your skin with every minute you're in the sun. Boo! Also my skin doesn't like all the silicones (cyclopentasiloxane, etc) in this, and it stained the collar of my white shirt after several hours' wear. Downgraded from 5 to 2 lippies; up from 1 lippie because it's better than nothing, inexpensive, and has some antioxidant ingredients. Would not repurchase.
Great MLBB color. Unfortunately not at all long-wearing when used as a lip liner; works fine as a lip color fill-in, though. Got it on sale for $6.99.
Skincare - Face -MAC - Prep + Prime Skin Brightening Serum
XFOLI8R 5/4/2012 11:22:00 AM
This is an antioxidant skin care product, rather than a foundation primer. I finally bought it and am not a bit sorry, despite the insane (to me) price, because it leaves my face feeling like silk. It's a clear-to-translucent-white serum that goes on wet and somewhat sticky, but I only need to use a dime-size puddle of it, and after absorbing it doesn't leave any white streaks, tackiness, or greasiness. (Obviously you can't put foundation on right after applying this -- it needs several minutes to sink in.) It has a slight fresh scent, it doesn't contain parabens or silicones or oils or irritating fragrances, the ascorbyl glucoside in it is apparently a more stable form of vitamin C than the L-ascorbic acid in some other serums, and the opaque black pump bottle should keep the active ingredients from spoiling. Most important, the texture of my skin is now the finest I've had in a few years -- this serum has smoothed and calmed my skin very noticeably, and gives no sign of causing or increasing any of the minor breakouts/bumpiness/roughness/redness I sometimes get. Overall this has improved the clarity of my complexion already. The one major drawback is the price. With that in mind, I'm only using it every other day, but it works well enough for me that the benefits are evident anyway. Excellent product.
Call me trapped in the '90s, but this is it, the One True Lipstick, for me anyway. I've been wearing it almost daily for a few years now (and the tube is still only halfway used up!). Although it looks milk-chocolate brown in the tube, when applied sheerly this is the *perfect* cool/neutral MLBB (My Lips But Better) brownish-red color for my fair complexion -- it's not orangey on me, unlike the pics here. More matte than satiny or creamy (no shine to it); good coverage with normal application; stays on well. Slightly drying, but I can live with that. Worn like a stain, it doesn't even look like I'm wearing lipstick; it just makes my lips look naturally redder/darker. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, MAC, DO NOT DISCONTINUE "PHOTO"! That is all.
Lovely stuff. I bought the Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Conditioner from Amazon a few weeks ago based on these reviews, and am very satisfied. It leaves my hair (which is wavy, dry-ish, below shoulder length, and frizzy-tending) very soft and shiny, and so far it doesn't seem to build up and leave residue on my hair. (Unfortunately this conditioner doesn't eliminate frizz altogether, but nothing really has for me...) There are lots of plant oils in the ingredients. I don't need a whole lot of it for each application, and only leave it in for two minutes, though I bet it would be great for badly damaged hair to leave it in for 15+ minutes. One small negative: I don't like the very perfumy smell of this conditioner, but it's not enough of a problem to really matter. Worth the money. NOTE: I haven't had my hair colored but am about to; I bought this to get ready. I'm sure this will be great for my hair after coloring.
Lipstick -MAC - Mystic Satin Lipstick [DISCONTINUED]
XFOLI8R 3/29/2006 5:36:00 PM
Just bought this today and I'm VERY happy with it. Perfect shade and intensity -- not too bright, not too dull -- for my dark brown hair, hazel eyes, fair & slightly sallow skin tone. Very lasting color. Seems a tiny bit drying, but nothing that can't be fixed with a bit of chapstick, and not nearly as bad as other brands I've tried, especially some mattes that didn't even stay on very well. Will definitely look at more MAC satin lipsticks, and probably buy this shade again too.
Nope. I wanted to like this because it's cheap and simple, but it was too drying for me and didn't clean all that well. Didn't even use a quarter of the bottle.
Moisturizers -Avalon Organics Botanicals - Vitamin C Renewal Facial Creme
XFOLI8R 2/12/2005 7:04:00 AM
Not bad, but not right for me. It doesn't make me break out and it does leave my skin a bit softer, but I don't think I need something this thick, even as a night cream. It feels kind of waxy and produces the "pencil eraser" effect, where bits of it sort of crumble off my face. Also, the jar packaging apparently doesn't preserve the effectiveness of the antioxidant ingredients. I've started using it as a hand cream just to use it up.