After using this for about two or three weeks I started noticing that my skin seems smoother/softer and looks more even. I also see a small difference in a fine line I'm developing on my forehead. The changes aren't huge and life altering, but it does improve my skin quality. I use this only in the morning and I like that this isn't one of those silicone-y greasy serums since I have oily skin and I don't need that. If you have dry skin you will most certainly need a moisturizer afterwards because this serum is not at all moisturizing. While this does make a difference in my skin, the difference isn't as great as what Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair does for me (that serum gives me way more noticeable results especially in brightening my complexion). Overall I think this serum is decent and worth trying, but make sure to give it some time. I didn't start to see any results until a few weeks after starting it.
Cleansers -Simple - Kind to Skin Refreshing Wash Gel
YellowLantern 10/2/2012 5:17:00 PM
I've been using this for a month and I have no complaints. I would recommend this for dry to combination skin. This removes makeup without leaving residue or drying the skin. It doesn't lather a whole lot, but I don't really care. I just spread this around my face and rub gently. Afterwards my skin feels refreshed and not greasy or tight. I think for summer this would not be cleansing enough for me, but for fall and winter it's been a great fit for me.
I think this foundation will best suit dry to normal skin that does not need very much coverage. This will also work well for situations where you don't need your makeup to last more than a few hours. At first Naked Skin reminded me of Guerlain's Lingerie de Peau, but less expensive and with more color options and I was initially quite excited by it so I'm doing a little bit of compare and contrast for this review. This is a low coverage formula that feels weightless on the skin (it really does feel like you're wearing nothing, sort of how Guerlain's Lingerie de Peau feels like nothing on the skin though LdP has a little more coverage). I like that this looks really natural. This gives you that look of having naturally glowing skin (once again this aspect reminds me of Guerlain's LdP). But that's where the analogy stops and UD's Naked Skin transforms more into LdP's low rent cousin. I have oily skin and find that this does not stand up to oil the best even with blotting powder. This also does not last very long on me I usually get about five hours till I see the foundation breaking down and looking patchy. These issues for me are deal breakers since I'm not one to spend time during my work day in the bathroom fixing my makeup.
Eyeliner -Maybelline - Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
YellowLantern 9/30/2012 4:04:00 PM
I really wanted to love this because it's so much cheaper than other gel liners, but every time I wear this it smudges in 3-6 hours depending on the weather. No matter if I line the lash line or my waterline this smudges. I've had this liner for about 8-9 months and it hasn't dried out so that is good. I say this is worth a try before trying pricier brands, but it just didn't work out for me.
If you were one of the people complaining that the Revlon Lipbutters were too pigmented then these are for you. Despite the name "Colour Riche" there is definitely no richness of color in this balm. I bought the color Pink Satin hoping it would tone down the color of my naturally reddish-pink with a hint of mauve colored lips and add a little more pinkness to them. However this is pretty much a clear gloss with a very fine and subtle pink shimmer (the shimmer does not feel gritty on the lips). In terms of its ability as a lip balm this is just okay. It feels a little more moisturizing/comfortable than the Revlon Lipbutters, but I still don't think it's moisturizing on the same level of an actual lip balm. Like the Lipbutters this has pretty poor longevity and I have to reapply every hour at least. These have a very subtle, sweet scent though after ten minutes on the lips the scent fades. Overall I don't think this is terrible, but it just seems like mediocre quality lip balm that wears off quickly since there isn't much color to speak off. To put it another way, I get more noticeable color from cherry chapstick and since chapstick is cheaper I see little point in recommending this.
Eye Shadow -Wet 'n' Wild - 8-pan Palette "Comfort Zone"
YellowLantern 4/8/2012 6:47:00 PM
I hesitate to write this review because I've seen nothing but raves for this palette, but my experience with this palette is nothing like the reviews I've read so I'll write this just to diversify the kinds of reviews out there. The pigmentation of this palette is superb and for that I give it credit. However, and you knew there was going to be a 'however', no matter what kind of eyeshadow brush I use (I also tried the included sponge applicator) to apply these with I always get tons and tons of fallout. It's actually kind of amazing how much fallout there is with these eyeshadows I've never used anything before that will cover my undereyes and upper checks with this much powder. I've also noticed how the four darker shades on the lower half of the palette are extremely powdery and even when I try to delicately touch my brushes to them a lot of extra powder gets kicked up and gets all over the other shadows (it's so annoying when the light highlighter shades get dark shadow all over them). In terms of the colors offered I think the four shades on the top of the palette are good neutrals. The shades I think could work for both warm and cool, but I think the colors are most suited to neutral to warm toned skin. I'm not crazy about the three darker colors on the bottom of the palette (excluding the lowest right color/the MAC Club and UD Lounge dupe) these seem different in the pan, but swatched and and on the eye the differences are fairly subtle which was disappointing. I think for the price these are worth checking out, perhaps I got a crap palette that shouldn't have gotten through quality control or something. I don't regret getting it, but my experience with these are that they have major fallout issues and are way too powdery.
Makeup Brushes -Sephora - Professionnel Platinum Air Brush #56
YellowLantern 3/25/2012 3:59:00 AM
I purchased this brush because I'd heard how great it was in applying liquid foundation for a smooth and flawless application. I've tried this with two different foundations, one with a thinner/runny consistency and one that is thicker (though it is still a liquid, not a cream foundation). In both cases I've been a bit underwhelmed with the performance of this brush. First things first I will say that yes this brush can give you a very nice end result: even and smooth application of foundation that covers imperfections well and makes skin look better than applications with just fingers. Despite this, the reason I give this brush 3 lippies is because I find it rather frustrating to use this brush to apply foundation because the bristles are too soft and floppy. In order to buff in my foundation I really have to press this brush into my skin causing the bristles to splay everywhere (not permanently, once I stop trying to buff the bristles thankfully go back to their original shape). This causes foundation to get into the ferrule (causing the brush to soak up more of the foundation which causes me to have to use more foundation to get the coverage I want and all that splaying gets foundation into the ferrule which means it's hard to wash the foundation out of the brush completely) and finally all that splaying making precise application around the nose and eyes a real pain. This brush seems to work slightly better with my thinner foundation over my thicker foundation, the thicker foundation requires even harder pressing to get it to apply evenly instead of streaky. As you can see the it's the floppy bristles that are the progenitor of that long chain of cause and effect. I think if either the bristles were shorter or a bit less flexible I could see this being truly great for foundation. For the application of liquid foundation I give this product a 2. For the application of powder and blush however I give the product a 5. Powders look great applied with this. The application is so even, soft, and never overdone even when I'm packing on the powder. Even cheap powders/blushes look so much better, less cakey and powdery when applied with this brush! Overall I've decided to give this brush a 3 instead of an average of 4, because I know many are interested in this as a liquid foundation brush and not a powder brush and it seems wrong to give it a better grade when it's just not that great for the task most people want it for.
Cleansers -Aveeno - Positively Ageless exfoliating cleanser
YellowLantern 3/25/2012 3:29:00 AM
This cleanser reminds me a lot of Clean and Clear's Daily Pore Cleanser because of the very small exfoliating beads (reminds me a lot of when I mix baking soda into a cleaner to make it a light exfoliating cleanser actually) but with a slightly more moisturizing creamy gel base than the Clean and Clear. This is a good basic cleanser that cleans without stripping (for most skins anyway, the extremely dry may disagree) and leaves skin feeling clean, fresh and very, very lightly moisturized. Personally I wouldn't trust this to remove makeup by itself, but I usually wear long-wearing makeup so I'm always concerned with making sure every last trace of makeup is removed. There is a floral scent to this that to me is a little stronger than I'd prefer (I prefer for there to be no scent to my cleansers being honest). I'm not enthused about the price though, $10 seems sort of pricey for only 5 oz. of a drugstore cleanser. The only reason I even tried it was because I found it on sale and saw the good reviews here. Overall I recommend this cleanser to others for daily cleansing if you can find it on sale.
Sigh. Here we have a classic case of "they changed it, now it sucks". This is the only shampoo I've ever repurchased. The name hydrating shampoo is sort of a misnomer in my opinion as I think people with really dry hair probably would not find this very moisturizing, but for my fine, yet dry hair (a sort of frustrating conundrum since most moisturizing hair products are too heavy for my hair type) it works quite well. The old formula seemed to just hit that sweet spot for my hair, not drying like volumizing formulas meant for fine hair and not too heavy either. Now all I can find in salons/stores is this new paraben free version. I figured the performance would be the same so I just bought it without thinking about it. Unfortunately that didn't turn out to be the case. This new formula makes my hair feel like it's coated in buildup and junk that makes it harder to brush my hair and makes my hair less shiny. Now for the phrase I never thought I'd say: I want my parabens back!
Gels/Soaps -Alba Botanica - Sparkling Mint Bath & Shower Gel
YellowLantern 3/25/2012 2:39:00 AM
A decent body wash with good ingredients, but with some drawbacks that keep me from repurchasing. First of all if I don't use a shower puff/pouf with this I hardly get any lather. So on days when I'm running late and just put this in my hands, mix with water and rub on my body I get very little lather and I end up using more of it because of that. Secondly, I would not buy this again is because the name states that it is "very emollient", but to me it's probably more accurate to say that it not drying. And the third reason...not to get all TMI on you, but this makes certain areas sting/burn if this comes in contact with it sometimes. I'll give this body wash the benefit of the doubt and say that it's probably the mint that's causing this and not the body wash formula itself.
This is a great MLBB shade for me. I have fairly pigmented lips and this is just a tad lighter than my natural lip color. Great for a natural, polished look that doesn't scream "I'M WEARING LIPSTICK". Lasting power on me is only about an hour and a half. Not drying, but isn't moisturizing either. I think for many people Patisserie can work for a good natural lip look.
Before trying this and looking for it online (and having a mini heart attack after seeing the price) I had no idea this product had so much hype surrounding it, I stopped reading magazines when several years ago I saw one talking up how ~*Amazing*~ Maybelline Great Lash supposedly is (LOL!). I was given a sample of this as a gift with purchase and never touched it for months. To be honest I had sort of reached a state of zen regarding my under eye circles. I've had under eye circles since I was at least 11 years old and nothing ever seemed to have enough coverage while looking natural and without creasing so I had given up trying to improve the way they looked. All I usually did was pat some extra foundation on the area and call it good. One morning I pulled it out and decided to try it out on my epically dark under eyes (I only had about 3 hours of sleep that night on top of the fact that genetically I always have purple-ish under eyes regardless of how much sleep I get). I gently patted this on after applying my sunscreen moisturizer and was shocked at how well it covered up my circles while still looking utterly natural. Now I'm not normally shocked by the efficacy of makeup products (usually exactly the opposite) and I can't even remember the last time a makeup product surprised me with how great it was. I also applied this to a blemish and this worked like a champ at covering that too. This has a nice creamy consistency that feels like nothing on the skin. Which amazed me since usually concealers feel very heavy to me and sometimes even feel sticky especially when they're a creamy consistency like this one. I was surprised at how little I needed to cover my under eye area. After putting this on I thought "I bet this creases like crazy in a few hours". Well no creasing. Ten hours later my under eyes looked just as fabulous as they did when applied. Bottom line: If you can afford this and need serious coverage that still looks like real skin and not makeup give this one a try. It delivers.
Liquid -Make Up For Ever - Mat Velvet PLUS Matifying Foundation
YellowLantern 2/19/2012 4:04:00 PM
This is a medium coverage foundation that applies very nicely and smoothly to the skin. Coverage is good and the foundation lasts all day on my oily skin. This looks good applied with the fingers, but in my opinion looks even better applied with a MAC 130 brush. Finish is true to the name, it's a semi-matte "velvet" finish which I really like. I'm an NC20 and I bought the color 40 which is confusingly lighter than shade 35 and the color when freshly applied is a hair darker than my natural color, but it's really not noticeable and there are no hard lines between my face and neck. This changes throughout the day however and after a day at work I my face is many shades darker than my neck. Not a very attractive look. While the coverage, lasting power, and finish are great, it's not worth it to me considering how much oxidization occurs through the day. I tested this foundation during a time with I was also testing many other foundations and I've found MAC Pro Longwear and Dior Diorskin Forever to be far superior to this foundation.
At first I wasn't sure this was giving me any results at all, I had bought a bunch of skincare items all at the same time and I couldn't be sure which one was responsible for which benefits I was seeing in my skin. But then I went on a vacation and decided not to bring this with me (but some of the other products I bought I did bring with me) and I definitely started seeing the difference in clarity and brightness in my skin. After a week without this toner I started seeing clogged pores all over my chin and a few more black heads on my nose coming back. After that experience I feel confident in saying that this toner has made a huge difference in preventing acne, fading acne scars, and helping me to maintain an overall even skin tone. This toner does help with blackheads, but it doesn't get rid of them completely for me (I find my Clarisonic Mia to be more effective for those). I use this after cleansing at night only focusing on my T-zone and apply moisturizer on top of this and wake up with glowing skin. Before this toner I used to use Neutrogena's Pore Refining Toner because it also has glycolic acid in it, but I didn't really see any results from that toner (I didn't see much difference in my skin if I went on vacation without it) even after using an entire bottle of it. I had heard of how great this toner was, but I didn't want to bite the expensive bullet and just get it (because damn this is pricey for a toner) so I got the Neutrogena hoping it was dupe. Well I can say at least for my skin the Neutrogena definitely isn't a dupe. If you have problem skin that clog easily I wholeheartedly recommend giving this a try. A few notes, I want to reiterate what others are saying and mention that this toner does not smell like a bouquet of roses. In the beginning the smell bothered me, but now I hardly notice it, now I just notice how much better my skin looks. I also just want to say I absolutely love the packaging on this product. Usually I don't have much to say about packaging, but I love that this has a cap to protect the spout from being bumped open and spilling everywhere when traveling. Why can't more of these high end brands think of good packaging like this?
This is a very good medium coverage foundation, it stays looking freshly applied for a long time (even on my oily skin) and does not accentuate oily skin. I think the name of fusion wear is a very good description, as this really does meld with my skin and looks extremely natural while still providing coverage to my acne scars. Frankly this is probably the most natural looking, long wear foundation I've tried so far. The consistency is sort of like a liquid-y serum and is easy to blend in for an ultra natural look. Two issues I've run into with this foundation are what is keeping me from giving this a '5' is that it is not transfer resistant and that this foundation settles or creases into fine lines somewhat. Although not all of the foundation comes off with blotting, if I blot I do end up with a beige tissue which is something I do not like. I'm not sure how this would wear on someone with mature skin and more prominent lines as my skin isn't mature yet, but I've noticed that after a few hours if I look closely under my eyes (I do apply this to the under eye area) I can see this foundation creasing a bit into the fine lines I have under my eyes. If I take my finger and gently smooth the area out it removes the creases, but I would prefer for this not to happen at all the rest of my face however looks fantastic. One thing I have noticed is that for my oily skin this foundation wears much better on bare skin rather than on skin that has been moisturized. And since this foundation has SPF 25 (a major pro!) I feel more comfortable wearing this alone without an SPF moisturizer underneath. I think it must be said about this foundation line that the color selection is not the best. I actually feel pretty lucky that I managed to fit into Dior's limited color selection. I'm an NC20 and I wear Linen 021, which is for "light complexions with a yellow undertone", and is a good match for me, but if you're paler than that there is only one color option lighter than that: Ivory 010 (Light Beige 020 is the same color intensity as Linen but is for "light complexions with neutral undertones"). Bottom line: This one if worth looking into for those looking for both a natural finish that lasts a long time.