Styling Products -Organix - Nourishing Coconut Milk Weightless Mousse
akathisia 7/28/2009 3:50:00 AM
The fragrances of Organix products always draw me in, but so far, I've found the styling products so-so. I have fine, wavy hair, and a lot of it. I used two pumps of this mousse, worked it through from roots to ends, and let it air dry. I was pleased with the the way it brought out my wave pattern, and that it left my hair soft, not crunchy. However, I was disappointed by the complete lack of volume, which I expect from a mousse. If the delicious scent lingered, I think I might have overlooked some of this product's weaknesses, but I couldn't smell anything after an hour or so. That was a real let-down. Overall, I found this product pretty lackluster. There are more effective mousses out there in the same price range, so I won't be repurchasing.
Gels/Soaps -Giovanni - D:Tox System Purifying Body bar
akathisia 7/25/2009 5:06:00 AM
I'm very pleased with this soap. While I doubt that it's drawing out toxins, and am skeptical of some of the more trendy ingredients ("hand-harvested goji and acai, exotic super-antioxidants"), it leaves my skin very clean, and cleared away a mild body breakout. The black lather is surprisingly unmessy, and the bar is long-lasting. I've been using it nearly every shower for about 2 months, and the bar is still huge. D:tox isn't at all moisturizing, so I wouldn't recommend it for dry skin, but it's great when you're feeling grimy, such as post-workout. It's pretty unremarkable scent-wise. Overall, I'm very happy with this product, and expect to repurchase if I ever manage to use up this bar. It's going to take a while.
It seems to me that the Organix line's strength is the fragrance of the products rather than the performance. Silk Serum smells great, and application is easy enough: pump out a bit and evenly distribute it through the length of the hair. I get greasy roots, so I only applied the serum to the bottom 3/4 of my hair. Besides a bit of a film, I didn't notice any immmediate change. The label claims detangling powers, but my comb didn't go through any easier than usual. I let my hair dry naturally, and the result was... well, there wasn't much of one. My hair looked a little limp, was no shinier than usual, and felt no softer/silkier. It did smell lovely, though. I suppose this will come across as a pretty negative review, but really, Vanilla Silk Serum was just "blah" for me, not downright bad. I won't buy it again, but I won't swear off the whole line either.
Lip Treatments -eos - Lip Balm Sphere - Summer Fruit
akathisia 7/25/2009 12:15:00 AM
This is a red fruity sphere of joy. I'll admit it, I bought it for the packaging. It's a cute object that unscrews to reveal a solid ball of balm. You swipe it over your lips as you would with any stick balm. The balm is good. It's light, non-sticky, tasty (peach?), and affordable (mine cost $3.29 at Rite Aid). All in all, a good everyday lip balm that's fun to have around.
I think dry shampoos are an iffy lot, but this one does a decent job of drying out my "second day" greasy roots and adding a little bit of lift. It's definitely not a viable replacement for a proper shampooing. In fact, adding stuff to my wilted hair just made it feel dirtier. The fact that Baptiste Original closely resembles a can of spray snow doesn't help, and the white mess it shoots onto your hair is a little frightening. But, after massaging in as directed, it did blend into my light-brown hair fairly well. It soaks up oil, but diminishes shine as well, so you really must limit the product to your roots. Overall, I have mixed feelings about this product. The price (I paid $5.99) is reasonable, and it gives my fine hair a bit of a boost. However, it feels kind of gross and isn't *that* much less of a hassle than an actual shower, so I don't think I really need this in my life.
Scrubs -Queen Helene - Pomegranate and Raspberry Natural Facial Scrub
akathisia 7/8/2009 11:52:00 PM
This scrub is probably best suited for the body. It smells delicious and has a very thick consistency, but it feels too strong and sandpaper-like for facial use. For the sake of comparison, I'd say it's about twice as scrubby as St. Ives Apricot. As for packaging, I dislike the screw-on cap. It's the same one that all of the Queen Helene tubes have, and it makes for slightly messy use. I'll be happy to use up the rest of the tube as a foot scrub, but I won't be buying again.
Eyes -Unlisted Brand - Scarlett Cosmetics - Glamo-Glitz
akathisia 4/25/2009 1:25:00 AM
Scarlett's been making loose shadow powders since the mid-nineties, before you could find such products everywhere. The product that preceded Glamo-Glitz was Pixie Dust, but Glamo-Glitz is far superior because of the versitility of the powders. They are marketed as being good for everything from gloss to mascara by mixing the powders with various bases. I only like to use Glamo-Glitz as a shadow or liner. As shadows, sheer or very intense effects can be achieved, and they blend with each other beautifully used wet or dry. I prefer wet application using water. There's a great color range, and you can mix your own shades. They tend to be very iridescent. I particularly like the option to get the powders glitterless, as I love iridescence, but hate glitter. I have a ton of these, and each pot lasts a very long time, which makes the $15 price tag pretty reasonable. My only gripe is that the packaging is a bit flimsy: plastic, screw-on pots that spill easily. A sifter would be great addition.
Powders -Unlisted Brand - Scarlett Cosmetics - Chroma
akathisia 4/25/2009 12:45:00 AM
I've been using Chroma for years. It's a fantastic pressed highlighting powder that really enhances and amplifies bone structure and gives a buildable glow. I've been disappointed with other highlighting powders and creams that are too intense, especially for daytime wear, which is why I always return to Chroma. I sweep it over my cheekbones and up to my temples with my Scarlett contour brush, and use a medium eyeshadow brush to bring out my eyelids and brow bones. As you work your way through a pot, you'll find that the texture becomes grainy, but I've found this to have no effect on the ease of application, nor on the results. As far as packaging, my pans have come attractively wrapped in paper with a wax seal, but the pan itself is pretty plain, with a plastic lid. A more sturdy container would be nice, but it isn't really an issue for me. Overall, this is a great highlighting powder. It's not quite HG material, but it's close.
Eyes -Ben Nye - MagiCake Aqua Paint - Licorice Black
akathisia 4/24/2009 3:52:00 AM
MagiCake Aqua Paints are extremely compressed powders that are applied with a wet brush. They come in a huge range of vivid, theatrical colors, and are sold as singles or in palattes. This shade is a true black, and I've found it to be an excellent eyeliner. I use a liner brush, and glide it over the cake, or put a drop of water in the lid and mix some powder in to get the perfect consistency. It goes on like a liquid liner, but I find it easier to control than most liquid liners on the market because I can use the brush of my choice, such as Urban Decay's slanted liner brush or a bent liner brush. In this way, MagiCakes are similar to the gel and cream liners that come in pots. I've also occasionally used these as shadows, applied with a wet 1/4" flat brush. There isn't much blending/fussing time - they dry fast, so I think they lend themselves best to bold, graphic looks. The color is long-lasting and stays put, yet it is easily removed. The 6 gram container lasts ages since it's so strongly pigmented, and it retails for $4-$6. How great is that?!
The formula of the remover in this pen is too greasy; if you don't follow application with a good blot, you risk smudging off more makeup than intended. A fine tipped cotton swab moistened with a bit of oil-free remover is, for me, a superior and far less expensive solution.
This is my new favorite lip product. Rosewood is a simple pinky-nude, and it's a perfect YLBB shade for my NC20 complexion. Lip Slix is a fuss-free chubby pencil. The labeling ("ultra shiny lip gloss crayon") is a bit misleading because it's more of a lipstick than a gloss. The formula is very creamy and fairly opaque, with strong staying power, but not a whole lot of shine. When it eventually faded, it did so evenly. I'm so pleased that I gave this pencil a try. It's a wonderful lipcolor with a great texture and easy, precise application.
Hair Color -Unlisted Brand - Color Oops - Regular Strength Hair Color Remover
akathisia 7/12/2007 10:17:00 AM
A little background: I've been dying my naturally light brown hair at home for almost fifteen years. The color I used most often was permanent blue-black, but I also played around with deep reds. Eventually, I found myself craving my natural color, but felt discouraged by the length of time it would take to grow all of that dye out. Yesterday I saw Color Oops on a drugstore shelf, and thought I'd give it a try. I was torn between regular and extra-strength, but I decided to buy the regular, gentler formula. I bought 2 boxes because I have long, thick hair. When I got home and read the directions, I was discouraged to read that Color Oops works best on fresh dye jobs. I decided to give it a go anyway. A couple of complaints: the gloves are poor quality and the mixture is very runny and smells acrid. That's about all I can criticize about this product. After 20 minutes and a good loooong rinse, my hair was transformed. It was a little dry and a bit brassy, but I'm thrilled anyway. In conclusion, this is a must-have for any chronic dyer, but make sure you follow the directions to a T. ETA: After a few days, the brassiness faded, though I'm not sure why. The previously dyed hair is now uniform with my roots, and I'm amazed.
As far as I can tell, this one has not been discontinued. Neither has cocoa or honey. Like all the powders, Marshmallow is adorably packaged. It looks great prominately dispayed on a vanity or bathroom shelf. As for actually using it, I prefer to dust it on with a feather brush instead of the puff that comes with it. A little goes a long way. The first time I used it, I overdid it and looked like I was made out of platinum. It rubbed off on everything... the furniture, the sheets, the boy... It looks best on my fair skin if I just dust a bit on my shoulders, collarbones and bust. It can look a little tacky by light of day, but it's quite nice for evening. Oh yeah, it really tastes yummy.
I have shade #879, a straight-up silver. It's a highly pigmented, beautiful metallic in a nice large pan. The color pay-off is fantastic, and I highly reccommend it to anyone who likes to do a fierce silver eye. I find these shadows to be good quality at a reasonable price.
My makeup goes on smoother with this than any other primer I've tried. My heavy cream concealer glides right on over this. I love the way it feels on my skin. I'm concerned, however that, although the product is listed as oil-free, I haven't read anything that says it's non-comodogenic, and there's a big difference. Next time I'll go for the formula with sunscreen to eliminate an extra step from my routine, but overall, I'm so glad I gave this a shot. If you're thinking about it, buy one of the smaller travel tubes before you committ to the full-size.