I took this prescription drug for 6 months and while it did clear up my hormonal acne, the side effects were just too much for me. I started on a rather low dosage (50mg/day) and my TOtM was arriving sporadically about every 12-14 days. Ugh. I thought my body just needed to get used to the medication. I suffered thru this for three months. After discussions with my dermatologist, we cut the dosage in half... down to 25mg/day... and then my TOtM was arriving sporadically every 40-45 days. Ugh. Sure, my skin was looking nice and clear but getting this "surprise" TOtM was not worth it. After 6 months, I went off of Spironolactone completely. Luckily my TOtM went back to a normal monthly cycle. This was the only medication I've ever taken in my life that caused side effects. Yes, it did clear my skin and keep it clear but it was not the right drug for me.
For reference I'm NC40 and Wheat matches me best. Overall, this is a nice foundation. The problem is, at this price point I expect a helluva lot more than "nice". It goes on very smoothly (especially with the Shiseido Perfect Foundation brush) and looks extremely natural. My skin is normal-to-dryish but I got a tad bit shiny on my forehead and nose. It's a nice foundation but it doesn't beat Tom Ford Traceless liquid foundation.
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Salux Nylon Japanese Bath Towel
amyfarrahfowler 4/26/2013 10:24:00 PM
Not sure what I can say about this that hasn't already been stated in the 300+ previous reviews but I do love it immensely. It allows me to reach every square inch of my body and leaves my skin feeling super soft. It lathers up nicely, is wonderfully exfoliating, rinses cleanly and dries quickly. Nothing but high praises - I recommend and will definitely repurchase.
Treatments -Peter Thomas Roth - Camu Camu Vitamin C Brightening Serum
amyfarrahfowler 4/26/2013 9:02:00 PM
Over the course of 4-5 weeks, I went to various Sephora stores in my area to get samples of this product. Having fallen into and OUT OF love with a number of PTR products in the past I wanted to be sure I liked this before I handed over my hard earned cashola. I like this serum so much it's unreal. My skin looks brighter and the texture is improving. I apply to dry skin immediately after cleansing. It absorbs super quickly and feels like there is nothing on my skin at all... and that is exactly what I wanted. I hate vitamin C serums (or serums of any kind for that matter) that leave my face feeling sticky or slimy or coated or anything of the sort. The scent is pleasant, kind of citrusy but doesn't not linger. Yes, the packaging could be improved - it isn't the best but it's far from being the worst or even anything worth complaining about. I purchased the full size finally since I was (and continue to be) very happy with this serum. I'm picky about my skincare products and this one, for me, is an absolute winner.
Primer/ Corrector -Hourglass - No. 28 Primer Serum
amyfarrahfowler 4/24/2013 1:11:00 PM
For reference I have normal-to-dryish skin and absolutely love love love love this primer!!!! My skin just drinks this in and my foundation goes on beautifully. When my skin is dry, I like this a whole lot more than a typical silicone-based primer. A single pump is all I use, I wait just a few minutes for it to "settle" and I don't end up greasy or oily at all - just dewey, fresh and ready. It provides a great canvas and my foundation simply glides effortlessly over my face not settling or pooling or dragging or catching. Foundation is like silk over this! I bought the small 1/3oz size, used it every day on a 6 week vacation and barely went thru 20% of the bottle! I think that's fantastic and shows that while it may be rather expensive, it's a very good *value*. I definitely recommend this to anyone who has dry skin and I will repurchase.
Looks gorgeous in the bottle... and anything positive I could say ends right about there. Simply stated this did absolutely nothing for me. Didn't make my skin look better before foundation/TM... and it didn't make my foundation/TM look better or wear better.
Sadly, I'm not understanding the love of this product. I've used it several times now. With heat. Without heat. Overnight. Just seems to do absolutely nothing for my hair. I'll go back to my Ouidad Deep Treatment.
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Nadinola - Fade Cream
amyfarrahfowler 4/21/2013 8:08:00 PM
So far I have used this cream, nightly, for 4 weeks. As a point of reference I'm NC40 and have a few areas of hyperpigmentation that drive.me.NUTS! I have a quarter-sized stubborn melasma patch on one cheek, another stubborn "mustache-like" melasma patch and then a few old dark marks from acne breakouts that I should've left alone but didn't (hey, no judging allowed LOL!). I've tried everything... mid-priced over-the-counter fade products from Clinique, Philosophy, Murad, Peter Thomas-Roth etc and I've also used very expensive, custom-compounded prescription creams from dermatologists and I've also used Obagi (alright, in all fairness Obagi IS the bomb-diggity but the stuff is pryyy-see!!! oy!). On a complete and total whim, I bought the Nadinola cream at Walgreens about 10pm on a Saturday night after reading some very encouraging reviews on the internet (and we all know it can't be on the internet if it's not true... bwaaaaaaaaahahahaha!). That was 4 weeks ago yesterday and after using this cream 1-2x/day, every day, my melasma-moustache is almost gone! It's faded dramatically and I know in another month or so, it will be completely gone. My other dark areas are definitely faded too. I read that people were getting faster results by combining with Retin-A. I don't have that, I have Tazorac which is pretty much the same thing so sometimes instead of applying the Nadinola cream to my whole face (hey, I'm not lookin to bleach myself like Michael Jackson, k??) I will apply my Tazorac and then on top of that I will apply this Nadinola cream ONLY to the areas I'm looking to fade. I have dry skin and do not find this cream to be too heavy... HOWEVER... your mileage may vary and if your skin is not dry it might be too heavy for you to use in the daytime / under makeup. If that's the case, just use it at night. Regardless of how often you use it you must... MUST.... ABSOLUTELY MUST... wear a good sunscreen during the day. If you don't, you're wasting your time, energy and money because the sun is just darkening back up those hyperpigmentation marks you say you want to fade. Nadinola contains 3% hydroquinone which is the strongest amount available over the counter in the U.S. without a prescription. It also contains a ridiculously small level of SPF but don't let it mistakenly lull you into thinking you don't need to wear sunscreen during the day... YOU... DO!!!!!! Anyway, if you're looking to fade some melasma and/or post-acne hyperpigmentation, pick up Nadinola cream and give it a try. It's pretty inexpensive - I think it was like $12 at Walgreens and would've been cheaper if I'd been willing to order and wait. Hey, if you're like me, when it comes to fading your dark spots, there's no way in hades you wanna WAIT for anything. Get to the drugstore... pick up the Nadinola cream and START USING IT! I definitely recommend and will certainly repurchase if necessary (though I'm sure my spots will be gone before the jar is empty!). Are you still reading this? Get! Go on! Head on out and buy your own Nadinola cream and then come write YOUR review :)
For reference I'm NC40 and this is the perfect natural lid color for me. Just a quick swipe is all it takes. It blends super easily and never creases. Sometimes I find myself wondering if I put lid color on because when applied sheerly this matches the color of my own eye lids so perfectly. Evens everything out and works as a great base for other colors. I have no complaints about this at all and the packaging makes me happy. I hate the small size of the Bobbi Brown cream shadow pots - total pain to get my finger in it - but I have zero issues with MAC Paint Pots. I have several different colors but this is my mainstay, my staple, my most-reached-for. Would repurchase for sure!
Powder -Hourglass - Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light
amyfarrahfowler 4/19/2013 10:02:00 PM
For reference I'm NC40 and after trying each and every one of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders, I felt Luminous Light was the most perfect of the lot. I use a fluffy brush to apply this silky powder across my forehead, over my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose and I just look luminous. I don't know how else to describe it. I've seen countless swatches and photos on different blogs and websites and none can do justice to the effect this powder has. I love bronzers and highlighters in general... and own quite a few... and still can't imagine any other product producing such a subtle, but no doubt THERE, glowing effect. Love this, wouldn't hesitate to repurchase and I highly recommend.
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Topix Replenix Green Tea CF cream
amyfarrahfowler 4/19/2013 5:48:00 PM
Overall, this has done some great things for my skin but the packaging drives me nuts because I can't be sure how much is left! I worry I'll go to use it "next time" and it'll be empty :( I should invest in a backup because I don't want to be without it. I've been using this daily for about 3-4 weeks now and my skin is super happy. Just a single pump covers my entire face and the cream is not heavy at all. My skin drinks it in immediately and I can move on to other things. My face looks brighter and the texture is smoother. I purchased the cream specifically because Dr. Cynthia Bailey said it was "the best skin care product made today". I'm pleased, have no regrets, would repurchase and highly recommend.
Primer/ Corrector -Guerlain - L'OR Radiance Concentrate with Pure Gold
amyfarrahfowler 4/16/2013 12:00:00 PM
I got a deluxe sample of this primer and had high hopes. Based on what, I don't really know since having flakes of gold seems rather irrelevant to a makeup primer's purpose and more of a "look at meeeeee.... buy meeeee" marketing ploy. Anyway, the product is packaged in a glass bottle. I'm not a fan of glass bottles for my makeup primarily because they're typically used in a bathroom and glass can shatter if dropped. Secondarily, they're really just too heavy to be practical for traveling these days (especially air travel). The primer itself is nothing special and certainly not worth the $70+ price tag. My foundation didn't apply better or last longer. It was actually worse when worn alone because if you ask me the worst thing about this primer IMO is the actual flakes of gold. Do I really want glitter-sized specs of gold randomly scattered on my face? In a word, no. I don't recommend and I would not (re)purchase.
First and foremost... the price. At $110, this is *by far* the most expensive brush in my collection. That said, however, it is *by far* the softest brush I've ever experienced (gotta be Unicorn hair). The bristles are somewhat longish and rather densely packed while the brush head is quite large and rounded so it's very good for powder. WIth respect to bronzer, t's easy to overdo it and pick up too much product if you're not careful so if you're wanting to get just a little color onto the brush and onto your face "easy does it" is the rule of the day. After every use, I clean this brush with Clinique's brush cleanser (spray the tissue NOT the brush) and weekly I use Dr. Bronner's bar cleanser. This keeps the brush as ivory as it was upon purchase. If I could justify owning two, I would do it in a heartbeat but it's nice to have one uber-special item in your collection :) I would recommend this and would repurchase.
Foundations -Clinique - Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30
amyfarrahfowler 4/12/2013 11:11:00 PM
For reference I'm NC40 and wear the MediumDeep shade of this product. Straight out of the tube, these colors run d-a-r-k but once applied they sheer out very nicely and are quite forgiving. To be fair, I've only worn it one day so I don't want to jump the gun and remark about performance. I know many women have been waiting to try this and are questioning what shade to get so I wanted to rush post a preliminary review which I will update when I have a better feel for how it holds up. Stay Tuned! UPDATE: 4/19/13 - I've worn this CC cream several times over the past week and gotta say that I love it. The color match is really pretty good - maybe a super teensy smidge dark but the shade lighter than this is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too light so this is the correct shade for me. This CC cream looks natural, holds up beautifully and I get a full 10+ hours wear without any noticeable fading or oxidation (though to be fair, my skin is on the dry side so I can't speak to how this will be for oily/oilier skin types). I also love Bobbi Brown's BB cream just as much (see separate review) and don't know if the benefits of one outweigh the other. This is a solid performer!!
Tinted Moisturizer -Bobbi Brown - Extra Spf 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm
amyfarrahfowler 4/12/2013 10:46:00 PM
For reference I'm NC40 and wear Medium-toDark in this product. This product is for the driest of dry skins. If you have normal skin, combination skin or oily skin... do NOT buy this product. If you do, I guarantee you will be disappointed. All that being said, however, if you have very dry skin, you will LOVE this! My skin is wacko and changes from very dry to dry to normal to combination to oily. Hormones, yanno? Anyway, I don't wear this all the time - only when my skin is feeling super parched and dry. When it's in that "mode" and I want to protect my skin and nourish it while evening out the color, THIS product is the one I reach for. I apply using the Buffing Brush from Real Techniques and it provides a hint of color which evens out my skin tone and gives me a "glow". Once my skin recovers and becomes more balanced, I don't wear this or I will look shiny and feel greasy. For the right skin type (DRY skin) this product is wonderful.