Eye Makeup Remover -Koh Gen Do - Cleansing Spa Water
abfabjeanius 4/10/2013 2:24:00 PM
Koh Gen Do's Cleansing Spa Water is absolutely perfect! Prior to discovering it, I was using Lancome Bi-Facils, which seemed to be the only thing that would remove my eyeliner and mascara... but, it left my eye area oily.
Enter this product by KGD. There is no fragrance, no oily residue, no stinging, and it leaves the skin soft. It easily removes all of my eye makeup without tugging, and I also use it on my face to remove foundation/blush before I do deep oil cleansing to get the rest. (I also wear SPF50 sunblock that has to be removed thoroughly or else I get clogged pores.)
Cleansing Spa Water is phenomenal, and I would recommend it to everyone.
I usually stay away from BeneFit mascaras because they have always smudged like crazy on me, and I don't have oily eyelids. They're Real is no exception.
I received a mini of this as part of the Sephora birthday set, so I was eager to try it to see if it lived up to all of the hype. For reference, I have short, thin eyelashes, so I was intrigued by the dramatic before-and-after pictures BeneFit featured on their site.
This did give decent length and held the curl, but it did start to clump a bit with more than one coat, so one lippie off for that. However, the worst thing was that it flaked and left me with raccoon eyes. At first I thought it was my eyeliner, but I tried it just by itself and still got the same results.
Overall, would not repurchase, and I think the "3" rating I gave it was quite generous.
Not sure why the Chanel mascara base is not so popular on MUA... I decided on a whim to purchase it when I got a new tube of the Inimitable Intense mascara, and I really like it.
About my lashes: Thin, short, straight, puny. I don't have much going for them, so I am always on the hunt for a good mascara.
About this base: It comes in a similar tube to Inimitable/Inimitable Intense, and the brush is similar (plastic bristles.) It goes on white, but dries clear.
I've been using it for about a week, and noticed that my lashes feel much softer at night after I remove my makeup, so I decided last night to apply it before bed, too. (I'm always wary to do this, because the Dior primer says you should/can apply before bed, too, but it flaked into my eyes.) I woke up without any eye irritation, and my lashes felt so soft.
For those of you who are complaining about this base taking the curl away... make sure you coat both the top and the bottom of your lashes. I usually close my eyes first and coat the backs of the lashes, then open my eyes and coat the fronts. Doing this seems to really help with the curl.
Also, this is not like those traditional fiber extending mascara bases. it does add a bit of length, but I think the main purpose is to nourish the lashes and help keep the mascara on the lashes. Just keep that in mind when trying.
Overall, very pleased with this mascara base, and will definitely repurchase.
Lip Treatments -Jouer - Lip Enhancer - Conditioning Lip Treatment
abfabjeanius 3/19/2013 3:40:00 PM
I initially had received a mini of this from Jouer customer service when I inquired about a lipgloss color that was sold out. I was quite impressed by it, so decided to purchase the full-size for $15.
As others have mentioned, this is rather sticky. It has a bit of a clear lipgloss consistency, though not as tacky, and the viscosity is slicker. There is a shiny finish, and the slight pink tint doesn't really show up on the lips. It actually reminds me a bit of a similar product by Nivea, except without the fragrance. The Nivea also comes in a squeeze tube with a slanted tip.
Jouer claims that if applied 3X a day for 29 days, it will plump up the lips. I've not tried it that way, as I use other lip products during the day,. I use this at night before bed, and when I wake up and wipe off the excess, my lips are very soft, and though they don't feel plumper persay, the lines are definitely smoothed ou (which gives the illusion of plumper lips.)
Overall, I do really like the Conditiioning Lip Treatment, and will likely purchase when I run out.
Tinted Moisturizer -Jouer - luminizing moisture tint
abfabjeanius 3/19/2013 3:32:00 PM
About my skin: Combination with a very oil t-zone, and some enlarged pores/blackheads on and around the nose. Very dark undereye circles, and a few dark spots on the face from sun damage. Light-complected with neutral undertones (think NARS Deauville). In MAC, I usually wear NC20, though sometimes have to wear NW20 depending on the formulation.
I normally don't wear anything with shimmer, as I find that it accentuates my pores, but this Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint has been calling my name for months. I kept ignoring it because I wasn't sure what color to get (whether Opal or Pearl), and I didn't want to be disappoointed. However, I decided to take the plunge,and picked up Pearl.
The first time I used it, I think I used too much, because it looked overly shimmery. There is definitely quite a bit of shimmer and sparkle in this product, so if you use more than a dime-size on your face, you will look like a disco ball. I toned it down the next time I used it, and got better results, though in some lighting, you do see a lot of sparkle.
The coverage is light (it IS tinted moisturizer after all). I find this wears well with my Urban Decay 24/7 concealer pencil. There is not a ton of moisture to it... if you have dry skin, you will still need to wear lotion underneath.
I did, unfortunately, get super oily in the T-zone, which is why I took off a lippie. I know it doesn't purport to control oil, but I feel like it made me oilier than if I had used nothing at all.
I like the SPF20 factor, although I imagine to get the protection level, you would really need to apply a lot of this product, and the shimmer would just be overkill. Also, just to note, this is NOT paraben-free, so if you are picky about parabens, just bear that in mind.
Overall, quite a nice product, and I will probably try it mixed in with some other foundations just to add more luminosity, rather than use it all over the face. ( read in an ELLE magazine a few months back that this, mixed with Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk, gives the most beautiful, glowy complexion.
Comes in a sanitary squeeze tube, and is also available in a pack of 4 travel sizes.
Foundations -Bobbi Brown - Long Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation
abfabjeanius 3/19/2013 3:20:00 PM
About my skin: Combination with a very oil t-zone. Smooth texture, uneven tone with dark circles and a few dark spots. I am light-complected, and picked this up in Warm Ivory (which is typically the Bobbi shade that I use.) It's maybe a hair lighter than my face, but the Sand was a tad too dark. In MAC, I am about NC20.
Long Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation comes in 20 shades. It is housed in a round compact that comes with a sponge in the bottom compartment (though I've only used the sponge once or twice.) The compact closes tightly and seems to seal in the product (unlike some MAC compacts I've had in the past.)
This can be applied with a brush (there is a dense "full coverage" foundation brush that they are promoting with this foundation), which gives quite full coverage; for lighter coverage, I like to pat on with my fingers or use the sponge that came with it. It doesn't seem like there is an awful lot of product in the pan, but you don't need a lot for coverage. On "good skin" days, I don't even need a concealer with this. I just pat a little extra under my eyes to cover the dark circles, and it layers nicely without fading.
The finish is fairly natural - a satin finish - and there is no need to set with powder. The best thing about it is that it stays that way for most of the day, and I only have to blot in the afternoon. As others have mentioned, this is really geared towards oilier skins, so if you are dry, this may not be suitable for you.
Additionally, it will cling to any dry patches you have (which is why I took off a lippie.) I exfoliate regularly, but still get dry patches sometimes in the winter, and this foundation accentuates them.
This is oil-free, and contains shea butter, so it feels quite confortable on the skin. For a compact foundation, it really doesn't feel heavy at all. Also, there is no SPF, so it should photograph well (have never tried) - but bear that in mind if you will be wearing it during the day.
Overall, one of Bobbi's better foundations. Not HG material, but definitely very good.
Concealers -Giorgio Armani - Maestro Eraser Concealer
abfabjeanius 3/7/2013 3:46:00 PM
I have this in #3 and in the Maestro foundation, use either #4 or #5.
As the previous reviewer mentioned, this is for the *undereye* area, not for any sort of spot concealing. It comes in a squeeze tube, is pretty watery, and there is a little bit of "light-diffusing" pigmentation to it (aka shimmer, but not crazily so) that helps to brighten the eye area. The colors that it comes in are also more peachy/pink, which is meant to help counteract the tone of dark circles. Additionally, it is supposed to have some sort of skincare ingredient that actually helps with dark circles over time (which I've not noticed any effects of, but hey...) There is a slight tingly feeling when you first apply, but that goes away.
As mentioned before, it is very watery, and you only need a drop or two for each eye. There is no creasing or smudging, and this stays on all day without interfering with my eye makeup. I typically use the Eraser Concealer first, then layer the foundation on top, and this results in my dark circles going away, while still maintaining a very natural and lightweight look.
If you have dark circles and are tired of heavy undereye concealers, do give this one a try.
My skintype: Normal, with oily t-zone. Decently clear with some blackheads around the nose, and a few dark spots. Have dark undereye circles. My skintone: Light neutral/slightly golden. Can usually wear NC20 in MAC, though in some formulations have to wear NW20. Usually wear NARS Deauville.
I initially purchased this in November, but have waited all these months to review it because I had a love-hate relationship. I think the problem was that the MA said I should use #3, which, in all actuality, is a bit too light for my skintone once it "sets." Interestingly, the colors in Maestro run a bit differently than Luminou Silk, and seem to get lighter as they set, rather than traditional foundation that tend to get darker as they oxidize.
The #3 is a nice neutral - probably best suited for skintones no darker than NC/NW15. I found that because it was too pale for my skin, it seemed to actually accentuate any dark spots/imperfections. After doing some research online (The Beauty Professor blog has a great review on this which shows all of the swatches), I later picked up samples of #4 and #5, which made me instantly love this foundation.
The #4 would be perfect for NC20'ish skintones. It has a slight yellow tone. The #5 would be great for NW20'ish girls, as it runs slightly more pink. On the skin, however, both work quite well and seem to blend in.
A few notes on the packaging and texture... you definitely have to shake it up, and yes, the dropper bottle is annoying... mostly because as you're putting the dropper back in the bottle, it seems to push out the excess on the outside of the dropper. (Kind of hard to explain, but if you see the package, you will understand.) It feels like a lightweight dry oil, and all I use is 3-4 drops on my entire face. I basically start in the middle of my face and pat/gently rub outwards. It literally takes 10 seconds to apply. Because it is so lightweight, I don't have to think about blending or stippling. I usually just do one layer, but I've tried layering another layer on top, and it seems to be ok/doesn't get cakey.
As mentioned before, I have an oily t-zone, and Maestro does not set into pores or make me super oily through the day, which is a HUGE deal for me. Addtionally, it does not make me break out, and is easy to remove at night.
Just a few tips... make sure your skin is well exfoliated and moisturized before applying Maestro, as other MUA'ers have noted. For me, I like to use Bobbi Brown's Vitamin Enriched Face Base first, then layer on my Shiseido Urban Environment sunscreen and then use Maestro. I've also used it over the Josie Maran daily sunblock lotion, and it works wel with that, too. Also, you will need concealer with this if you have super dark spots or dark circles. I use the Maestro corrector *beforehand* on my dark undereye circles. For acne scars or other things like that, I use Urban Decay's 24/7 concealer pencil.
Overall, I love this product!
Liquid -Cle de Peau - Refining Fluid Foundation SPF 24
abfabjeanius 7/13/2012 10:55:00 PM
Ahhh-mazing! I don't know why I have waited so long to try this foundation. Erstwhile, I've tried the majority of both high-end and drugstore brands, only to find that nothing was really perfect. If I found a good formula, I couldn't get a good color match, and vice versa.
About my skin: I have combination skin with a very oily t-zone. For the most part, my skin is clear, but I have a couple of dark pigmentation spots and underye circles that need coverage. My skintone is light-neutral, sometimes veering on the more golden side. For reference, I am about NC20 in MAC, though it is a tad yellow for me. Other shades that are a decent match are Chantecaille Alabaster (though a hair too pale), and Chanel BR23. (In Chanel's "B" line, B10 can be too ashy for me, and B20 too yellow.) In Armani LSF, I am between #4 and #4.5. In MUFE HD, I am between 117 and 118.
Anyway, I've been a big fan of the CdP concealer for years (use it in Ivory), so when I stopped by the counter to get a replacement, I decided to look st their foundations.
Refining Fluid Foundation comes in 8 shades. I was matched to O10 which is a perfect match for my skin - really blends right in. The extremely fair as well as those who have more tan and chestnut complexions will not be able to find a match, unfortunately.
The bottle is a dark blue plastic with a pump, and there is a small window in the back so you can tell when you are getting low. The packaging is both sanitary and ideal for travel, so thumbs up on it.
The texture is good - feels very lightweight and non-greasy, and really melts seamlessly into the skin. The coverage is about medium, so I still need a bit of concealer on my spots and undereye circles, but it really evens out the complexion on its own. I use one full pump (about dime size) on my entire face.
The finish is a natural satin - not dewy, and not matte. It seems like there may be some reflective particles, but they are very fine and not noticeable, so you won't feel like you're wearing glitter or the remnants of a disco ball.
This foundation features SPF 24 with a part titanium dioxide sunscreen, so it probably would not fare well in flash photography, but I have not yet tried that. In natural and fluorescent light, it looks very natural.
My favorite part of this is how long-lasting on the skin it is, while not feeling like you have anything on your face. The first time I tried this, it was 95 degrees outside and humid, so I expected it to melt off my face or at least leave me looking like a greasy mess, but after several hours of sweating, my skin still looked fresh.
Overall, this is a must-have for me, and even though it is super pricey ($120 - gulp!), the results are so phenomenal, I can't imagine being without it!
Lip Gloss -Le Metier de Beaute - Lip Creme - Peche Creme
abfabjeanius 5/24/2012 5:26:00 PM
I wanted to see what all the hype about this product was, so I picked it up at Neiman's after studying swatches on beauty blogs. Here is my take:
Color: Peche Creme is a warm, true peach. In the tube, it looks quite sparkly, but on the lips, the shimmer is not obvious, and just makes the lips look plump. The Lip Cremes can be layered, so Peche Creme can also add warm and lightness to other darker/ brighter colors. On its own, it just looks like the perfect nude peach.
Consistency: Goes on creamy and smooth, and doesn't cake up. It is neither too thick not too watery, and feels very comfortable in the lips. It does not bleed outside of the lipline, so you do not need a lipliner. It is not opaque opaque as a liquid lipstick, so it does allow some of your natural lip color to show through. The finish is shiny, but not in a plasticky way - more understated glossiness.
Packaging/Price: Like other Lmdb products, Lip Creme is not cheap. One tube will set you back $36USD. It comes in a clear rectangular tube with a black plastic top, and features a doe-foot applicator. I admit for the price, they could have done better with the packaging and made it more upscale.
Other: This has a vanilla cake smell that quickly fades upon application. The lasting power is decent for a non lipstick, and my lips feel moisturized when I wipe this product off (must be the lanolin.)
Overall, I would purchase this again if I ran out, and am interested in trying some other colors.
Eyeliner -Le Metier de Beaute - Precision Liquid Eyeliner in Noir
abfabjeanius 5/17/2012 6:28:00 PM
Total HG liquid eyeliner! For the record, I hate liquid liners and generally go with pencils or gel, if I want a more precise line. However, having to deal with a separate brush with the gel liners gets a bit tedious, so I've been sticking to pencil.
After reading reviews online about how great this liner is, I decided to treat myself and fork out the $42. Here is my overall take:
PACKAGING Small black plastic pen with a marker-like tip. The very tip of the pen is fine enough that you can get the thinnest line possible, or use the side to apply a thicker line.
TEXTURE/COLOR Applies super smooth without skipping. It is not too "wet" like some other felt tip liners I've used in the past, so there is no need to to fear it transferring to your eyelid while it dries. The finish is matte, so there is no dreaded plastic lacquer effect. The Noir shade is a rich black that is not fake looking or too OTT for the daytime.
WEARABILITY This liner lasted all day without flaking or smudging, and it removed easily at night.
Overall, a winner, and I would definitely recommend and repurchase.
I got a large sample of this with the last Bonus Time. Did not have high expectations because the original version did absolutely nothing for me. My skin is oily, but being pregnant, have experienced dry patches. I found this product to really hydrate without being greasy. As other reviewers have mentioned, there is a slight silicone texture to this gel-cream, and it does sort of "sit" on the skin more than absorb. However, I find that by doing so, it really seals in the moisture on my face (I apply this at night after showering), and I wake up with very soft, supple skin. I have not experienced any breakouts and am quite happy with this, and will probably purchase the full size for the remainder of the winter months.
Eye Shadow -Chantecaille - lasting eye shade - sesame
abfabjeanius 1/17/2012 5:54:00 PM
This shadow looks so darn boring in the pan... basically, Sesame is like a lightly-toasted sesame-seed shade, which is about the color of my skintone. I would never had reached for it on my own, but once I tried it on, I realized it was the color that I've always been looking for.
Because of its exceedingly smooth texture, it works well as an all-over base shade to smooth out the eyelid. It also functions very well as a brow shade, or to blend out other colors when doing a smokey eye. If you find some shades too ashy or frosty, then try Sesame. I'm really glad that I did, and am happy to have it in my collection.
For reference, I have dark brown eyes and black hair, and my light-golden beige skin.
Lovely shade! It is a silvered tauped with a hint of lavender. The shimmer in the Chantecaille iridescent shadows is really quite subdued -- rather than a full-on shimmer, you get almost a crushed-pearl effect, and for this, I am appreciative. (I am in my 30's now, and like to look polished.)
Basalt looks beautiful to highlight the browbone, or as an overall shade. When used all over the lid, it pairs well with purples and blues (really like it with Tanzanite), and I find that it really brightens my dark brown eyes. I think it would also look stunning on blue-eyed or green-eyed girls.
Good lasting power - don't need a primer - pigmented, and just pretty!
Eye Shadow -Chantecaille - Iridescent Eye Shade in Sel
abfabjeanius 1/17/2012 5:45:00 PM
Sel is a gorgeous shimmery taupe with gray undertones. Like the other Chantecaille iridescent shadows, this has almost a "pearl" finish to it, where the shimmer is not glittery, but rather looks like crushed pearls, if that makes sense.
Sel pairs well with navy blues, with purples, even with pink and bronze shades. It is neither too warm nor too cool, and the pairing possibilities with it are endless.
Great lasting power - no creasing or fading, even without a primer - pigmented, and doesn't irritate my eyes. Overall, a winner, and a color that I would recommend to everyone, especially taupe lovers.
For reference, I have light golden skin with dark brown eyes and black hair.