Toners -Clean & Clear - Deep Cleaning Astringent (orange)
anniele 8/23/2012 3:33:00 PM
There are two things, and only two things, that have kept my skin clear for the past 7 or so years. One is the Dove Sensitive Skin beauty bar and this is the other. If I go without one or the other for more than a day, I will get breakouts, but with the combination of both of these, a blemish is a rarity. I believe that we are supposed to stay away from toners with alcohol in them - dries out your skin, bad for your skin, etc etc. I DON'T CURR. This is the only thing that works for me. I battled with my acne for years - my skin was perfect up until I turned 18 and then it went crazy. I never was without at least two deep cystic pimples at any given time, and I don't even want to get started on the war zone my face looked like after dozens of acne scars. This went on for years and I tried soooo many different things for my skin, including prescription medications, and some of them worked for a while, but the problems would always come back. The combination of the Dove beauty bar and this astringent is the only regimen that works for me to keep pimples at bay on a pretty much permanent basis. I can actually go out without foundation now without feeling super self conscious. I get frequent of compliments on my skin, which honestly still amazes me after having had such TERRIBLE skin for years. The only thing that makes me a little sad is that I'm basically chained to Dove beauty bar and Clean & Clear astringent for the foreseeable future hahaha. Sometimes when I go out of town I've forgotten one or the other and I'll have to find a drugstore nearby to purchase since whatever the hotel/friend I'm staying with has won't cut it. However, I should consider myself lucky because a) neither of them are expensive b) both are easily accessible, stocked by pretty much any drugstore or supermarket and c) they work. I guess that's all I can ask for!
I was lucky to get these half off at the BBW sale, but I have to say that I don't think I would ever buy these at full price - it's OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive for a blush, especially a blush that is "unstable" in that it could potentially just dry up before you could use all of it, which is the one reason that I took a lippy off. GENERAL IMPRESSION: Cost aside, I ADORE this blush. I own it in Swan Lake (cool, true ballet pink), Morning Tender (a medium rosy color with a tiny hint of peach) and Aqua Crimson (also a medium rosy color). Each color is absolutely gorgeous and I plan on going back to BBW to get more colors (Clover Mist being next on my list). MY SKIN: I'm an NC 37-40 and all the colors that I own look wonderful - fresh and natural yet can be punched up with some layering for a more dramatic nighttime look. I have fairly oily skin, and this stuff stays on despite that. APPLICATION: When I first bought these, I tried to use my fingers to apply. The actual colors looked beautiful on my cheeks, but unfortunately also looked streaky, uneven, splotchy...you get the idea. I was so sad because the colors were lovely, but I just couldn't get it to apply correctly. I also tried my MAC 190 foundation brush, but that didn't help much either. Enter my MAC 187 - I used this as a last, desperate resort to make this blush work for me, never expecting any real results, and *angels sing* it worked!!! I simply swiped the brush lightly on all sides over the product and stroked it onto my cheeks and immediately my cheeks had a perfect, even, beautiful and natural application of color. I don't know who invented the MAC 187, but I owe him much. These are now my new favorite blushes to wear. I use a 187 to apply all of my powder blushes, and while it's usually dependable, sometimes it can take a little work to keep my blush looking even and natural. If I'm applying makeup in a hurry, my blush can turn out looking a little too much....like blush. However, using the 187 with the WC blush is absolutely foolproof. You would really have to WORK to make your blush application look bad. Also, I have no idea why they call this a cream-to-powder blush because it neither looks nor feels like a powder once it's on. The best description I can come up with is like it's a light, sheer stain somewhere between a gel blush and a cream blush, but without any stickyness whatsoever. It's neither matte nor glowy - when applied, it looks like the color is actually part of your skin. WEAR: Depending on what foundation I use, this blush can last all day. I have had good luck wearing it with Revlon Colorstay, Tarte Smooth Operator, Tarte Peaches and Cream, Stila Pivotal Skin (discontinued foundation, but I stocked up on it). Strangely enough, this doesn't last when I pair it with the Water Canvas Foundation. FINAL THOUGHTS: There is nothing that I don't love about this blush, other than the price. The colors are gorgeous and unique, they feel like nothing when applied, have pretty great lasting power and the application (with the 187) absolutely could not be easier. I feel like they would probably last me a good while but am still a little worried about the stability of this blush and wondering when/if it will just dry out on me. All in all, I am extremely satisfied with my purchases - complete love.
Wow, this product is amazing! I've had my eye on it for about two years, but couldn't bring myself to shell out $52+ on this, so when it went 50% off at BBW I was all over it! I vary from NC35-40 depending on my tan and Warm Beige is perfect for my NC35 stage and Golden Tan matches me in NC40. btw, I do have to say that finding a match for my skin when I'm tan was a hell of a process because looking at Golden Tan in the container, I thought there was no way that it would match my skin color because it looked WAY too dark. I could probably wear Honey Pecan as well without a problem.
APPLICATION: I apply with my MAC 190 Foundation brush. The first time I tried it, I couldn't see a thing when I swiped it on my cheek but I continued to do the rest of my face and figured I'd put a second application on once it dried. However, within a few seconds of application the foundation "set" and my skin looked flawless without having to put on that second coat! It was weird, one minute I couldn't see any difference with my skin at all and the next I had perfect skin! Application couldn't be easier, I had absolutely no trouble blending, no streaks, nothing. It only took a few seconds!
WEAR: This is the most natural feeling foundation I've ever used. When I touch my face after applying, it feels like my face is still freshly washed and bare - amazing. This foundation wears like iron - it is one of only two foundations that has passed my cell phone test, the other being Revlon Colorstay. When I talk on my cell phone, I always have this visible beige tinted film of foundation residue on the screen after I take the phone away. Only this and Colorstay do not leave the residue on my phone! It lasts and looks fresh all day, doesn't turn color. Also, I have problems with foundation going blotchy if I don't use a good powder over it, and this is THE FIRST foundation where I actually can go without powder. I do put powder on anyway, to make my face look just a bit more airbrushed.
MY SKIN: I have quite oily skin and I have two or three spots every month like clockwork (DAMN YOU HORMONES!!!), and the very visible scars to go with them. This foundation completely covers all the old, light scarring, and a little dab of some light concealer will cover the newer, darker scars. With this foundation on, my face looks completely and NATURALLY (key word here) flawless.
CONCLUSION: I love this and am pretty sure it will be my new HG foundation (a REAL HG not just "I love it but am still looking for something better) but I am holding off on awarding five lippies on this only because the testers at Sephora look SCARY - the ones that are not dried up are mashed and balled up and look insane. I'm hoping this is only because people who test stuff out at Sephora are really rough with the makeup and not because this is just what my foundation will eventually look like. Will update after a few months use!!!
Blush -Kevyn Aucoin - The Pure Powder Glow in Shadore (Soft Pink)
anniele 10/15/2007 12:59:00 AM
I can't believe I almost swapped this one away! I had been looking for a light, true pink blush that could work on me for a long time - I didn't want anything nudey, or dusty, just pink. And I found it! After trying Cargo Catalina and Pout Pearly Queen, both of which looked awful on me, I was beginning to think that pink just wasn't for me, but Shadore saved the day! I LOVE the fine, fine, sheer and silky texture and how buildable it is, without EVER looking cakey, powdery or unnatural. It definitely imparts that "glowing from within" look. It looks very cool toned in the pan, but works very well with my tan, NC40 skin. I absolutely adore this blush and I reach for this more than any of my other 30+ blushes. It really works with whatever look you are going for - whether you are doing a natural, neutral face, or a glamorous night on the town look. I'm going to be very sad the day I finish this up - I was lucky enough to snap this up at 75% off when Nordstroms stopped carrying KA and sent their entire stock to the Rack. I should have stocked up on this color, but I didn't know at the time that I would like it so much :( But this blush is so amazing, that I would definitely pay full price for it - and I am CHEAP! haha. It lasts all day on my oily skin, too! So it's fabulous all around :)
Eye Shadow -Alima - Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow in Glow
anniele 9/10/2007 6:12:00 PM
This is THE perfect brow bone highlighter that I have searched high and low for. I tried so many that just didn't work, including the popular ones like MAC Shroom, Stila Kitten, etc, but nothing I found worked. They either had pink undertones, or were too stark white or too yellow. Glow is a pure, pale light gold/beige with absolutely NO pink undertones at all (yay!). A very true champagne color. It's very versatile and I can use it for a beigey, neutral eye or a dramatic black smoky eye. I have a pic in my profile of this paired with MAC Black Tied. No problems with fading if you pair it with a primer and lasts all night! Love this and will continue to buy it again and again, especially at such a reasonable price!
Eyeliner -Tarte - Indelible Wink Liquid Liner and Shadow Set
anniele 8/15/2007 1:19:00 AM
I have always been a little wary of liquid liners and this is the first that I have used in at least 7 years or so, and I'm happy to say that I love it! I got it in brown, and I think they must have changed the color of it or something, because the brown I have is a very very deep brown that is almost black, but I was in Sephora yesterday and swatched the brown on my hand and it was a much lighter brown than what I have. Anyway, this liner is basically impossible to smudge or smear once it has set on your eyes. The formula is such that when it dries down it is "sealed" on your eyes and won't come off until you wash your face, and when you do it kind of comes off in strips - a little difficult to describe but once you try it out you will know what I mean. On the day I bought this I already had makeup on so I didn't get a chance to put it on my eyes, so I tested out the color by swiping a tiny dash on the back of my hand. I put it on in the afternoon and that dash was still there at midnight and looked exactly the same as it did when I put it on. I was so shocked, and started rubbing at it and was delighted to see that it still stayed exactly the same! It later came off VERY easily with just a little Dove soap. This liner is perfect for pairing with eye makeup, but is a little harsh for using on its own, and if I'm only planning on using liner on my eyes that day I will turn to gel liners for that. I don't really use the smudging end, but the few times I have used it, it seemed to do whatever its supposed to do :) It's a little expensive though, at $22.
Concealers -Kevyn Aucoin - The Sensual Skin Enhancer
anniele 6/21/2007 2:35:00 AM
Wow. Wow. wowowowowowowow.
I have known about this product for at least two years and have read all the reviews and hemmed and hawed but I never got to try it until a few days ago when I bought it from my local Nordstrom Rack (for $17!!!!). Nordys stopped carrying this brand nationally in their stores, so if you noticed KA popping up at your local Rack, that's why. Anyway, reading the reviews for this item, I was hiiiiiighly skeptical about it. I mean, all you need is product the size of a grain of rice to cover your ENTIRE FACE? How is that even possible? Well ladies, it is possible, and it WORKS. All I have to do is take a brush (and for this product, I use a full, soft but stiff eyeshadow brush - the All Over Eyeshadow brush by Tarte, which works like a dream for this because it's a great size and shape), and I dip the verrrrrry tip of the brush into the SSE, stipple it evenly in dots all over one area of my face (which has been moisturized, but no primer), and then start blending with the brush - I don't use my fingers. I do cheeks first, then nose, then chin and forehead, and then finish it off with a very light dusting of powder. I think I MIGHT use a little more than a grain of rice sized amount....maybe a grain and a half ;)
Now onto how it looks. It. Looks. Amazing. This product totally binds to your skin and your skin looks smooth, flawless and perfect, but best of all, it REALLY doesn't look like you are wearing foundation!!! I have tried and rejected MANY full coverage foundations (Laura Mercier, Giorgio Armani, Vincent Longo, and Dior to name a few) because while my skin did look beautiful and perfect and airbrushed when I used them, it also looked totally obvious that I was wearing foundation. The SSE, however, has a gorgeous satin-matte finish that looks exactly like real skin. It feels exactly like real skin too - the other foundations I mentioned always felt heavy on, but you need so little of the SSE to cover your entire face that "heaviness" isn't an issue in the least. I never thought I would ever find a full coverage foundation that looked 100% natural on me, but this is it. This is PERFECT.
Now about my skin type and coloring - I am an NC 35-40, and I bought SX 07 because it looked pretty close to my color. However, it was a tad too light to use as anything except concealer, so I went back to the Rack and the only other color they had left that looked close to my color was SX 11, which looked much too dark in the pot, but actually matched pretty well - when I get my summer tan it will be the perfect color. For now, I think I will be able to mix 07 and 11 together to get a good match for my skin, which actually makes me happy because between the two pots, this will last me for AGES.
Also, I have pretty oily skin and this does not budge at all once it sets. It lasts all day on me no matter what I'm doing. I have a feeling that this isn't a great choice for dry skin though. It is not at all moisturizing, and I have a hunch that it might emphasize flakies if you have them, so be sure to moisturize and exfoliate if you want to use this.
btw, I did try to use this as a tinted moisturizer by mixing it with my regular moisturizer (Dove), and I did NOT like the way it looked AT ALL. So I will stick to the brush-and-blend method, even though it does take kind of a long time. But it's worth it!
I smelled this out of the bottle in the store and it smelled so divine that I immediately picked it up to go to the checkout counter with it. However, I didn't want to be TOO hasty and buy it without even having tried it, so I went back to the tester display and actually put it on my arm - and almost immediately started to gag. It smelled like vomit. I'm not even exaggerrating, vomit is the closest smell that I can liken this to. I was so shocked because it smelled amazing in the bottle, but the SECOND it touched my arm it just morphed into this wretched aroma. So glad that I didn't buy this and thus do not have to go through the trouble of returning it.
Pressed Powders -Tarte - All Pressed Powders [DISCONTINUED]
anniele 6/4/2007 3:31:00 PM
This review is for the pressed powder in the square tin that has been discontinued for a while now. Although you can't find it in stores, it can be easily found on ebay for a pretty good price - I believe I paid around $25 for 12, so that's several years supply of (a high end) powder at $2 a pop.
On to the review - this is definitely, and without a doubt, my HG pressed powder, although I didn't even realize it until I stopped using it. I had been using this powder for two years and was happy with it, but I decided that I wanted to see what else was out there. For about a four month period I stopped using Tarte and instead tried Armani, Kevyn Aucoin loose powder, Alima, Laura Mercier, as well as drugstore loose powers that get a LOT of raves on MUA (NYC, Jane). I use powder to set my liquid foundation, and they always looked good first thing in the morning after I had just applied my makeup. However, with almost every single one of the powders that I tried (with the exception of the LM foundation powder - that was decent) my foundation would look like an oily mess after just a few hours - blotchy, orangey, and I would honestly get a pretty big shock when I looked in the mirror and saw what my makeup looked like. At first, I didn't even realize that the powders I was using were the culprit, until after a few months I whipped out the Tarte again and by midday my makeup still looked as fresh as I did when I put it on! No blotches, no strange orange cast, just beautiful natural coverage that lasts all day, from morning until night with no touch ups needed (just some blotting film does the trick for me). It looks great over all my foundations (I have about 4 or 5 that I rotate) - very natural and not powdery or cakey at all, and it also looks great as a foundation on its own when used wet.
The only thing that bugs me about this powder is that I don't have a compact to put it in. I like my makeup to look nice, so it kind of bothers me that that this is just knocking around my makeup table in its inconvenient plastic cover, but I may be able to solve this problem if I can find a cute magnetized tin. Also, this powder seems to break VERY easily - every single one that I have used so far has had pieces broken off somehow, and that's kind of annoying. However, small price to pay for such a GREAT powder!
For reference, I'm an NC35-40 and I can wear both Disguise and Covert (when I'm tan).
I know a lot has been written about how great this is for dry, cracked feet, but I found an even more important (to me, anyway) use for it on my face. I had two pimples on my face that I had (regrettably) picked at, and for some reason they were taking ages to heal. They were both very painful and red and raw and no amount of Neosporin or aloe vera were making them any better. One of them even bled when I washed my face, even though I use a very gentle face cleanser. I could forget about trying to cover them up with makeup because they were both so scabby and dry and irritated that any attempt to try and conceal them would only draw even more attention to them. Finally, out of desperation, I remembered my tin of Bag Balm that had been sitting neglected for a while now, and I dabbed a bit of it on both spots, kept it on overnight, and by the next morning, they were MUCH better and I was able to put concealer on them, and by the end of the next day after another coat, they were both basically healed, and I don't think there will be any significant scarring (i.e. the scarring will be so light that it will be easily covered with my normal makeup, without using a concealer). This is amazing because the one on my cheek definitely looked like it was going to leave a very dark mark (and believe me, I know by now which pimples are harmless and which are going to be a problem). I am amazed at how well and how QUICKLY this worked to heal my blemishes, and as an added bonus it really softened my skin. I've been using it on my undereye area at night, which tends to be very dry, and it works like a dream. I have oily skin and this has done nothing but good things for it.
p.s. btw, my dog's underbelly was getting kind of chapped and red for some reason, but I slathered this on her and it went away! :)
Oh dear. I was so excited to get this after all the raves on the board. I had been looking for it for a while and every drugstore I went to was sold out of it, so when I saw only one left at Target, I nabbed it - even though the compact was cracked! But it's no good for me :( I dusted it on with a skunk brush over my BB Nectar blush, and it just looked AWFUL. I have an NC 35-40 complexion, and it really did nothing to brighten of "luminize" it. Instead, it just sat on my cheeks being shimmery and making my small-to-normal sized pores look ENORMOUS. I can imagine how this would look good on lighter complexions, however, because the silvery shimmer wouldn't have as much of a contrast against fairer skin. So sad, I really wanted to love this.
Makeup Brushes -Laura Mercier - Cheek Colour Brush
anniele 5/3/2007 2:18:00 PM
I have owned this brush and used it regularly for probably five years, maybe more, and it's still in amazing shape. Never sheds, and is still as soft and full as the day I got it. I don't use it for blush anymore ever since I bought my MAC 187 about a month ago, which deposits blush in much more sheer layers that you can build up, which makes for a more natural look. It's a great brush, and I will probably never go back to the Laura Mercier brush to apply my blush again - there is simply no brush that can compare to the MAC 187 in terms of blush application. HOWEVER...this was not the end of the road for my Laura Mercier :) I now use it to apply mineral foundation, and it is PERFECT for that purpose. It picks up powder so easily, and just as easily deposits it onto my skin for the natural, creamy look that mineral foundation gives. I got the idea to use it for mineral foundation because it seems like it's a similar size and shape to all of the other brushes out there that are made specifically for mineral make up (e.g. Bare Escentuals, Alima). It feels wonderfully soft and luxurious on my face, and I couldn't be happier with it, and I do not at all feel left out anymore when people rave about how soft the Alima brush is ;) This little gem is serving me very well and I wouldn't trade it for an Alima for anything!
Clarification: My 5 lippy rating is for its use as a brush for mineral powder foundation. As a blush brush, I would rate this as a 3.5.
My favorite pink lipgloss EVER - the consistency is very light and doesn't feel sticky at all, yet stays on for absolutely ages. My favorite way to apply this is to spread a thin coat over my lips and then dab at it with my finger to make it look natural and balmy. I love how even though I apply it very sheer, it still imparts a very pretty kick of color to my lips. I was applying this in the restroom the other day, and two ladies who were at the mirror with me remarked on how pretty it looked! :) This gloss costs an arm and a leg, though...$26, and it's the most expensive gloss I have in my collection. I managed to find it at a good deal off ebay for around $17, which is basically the average price point for a lot of other HE glosses. I'm pretty sure that my DuWop Venom gloss in Tulip is the exact same color as this - like #7, Tulip looks like a very bright red/pink in the tube, yet comes out as a sheer berry pink on the lips. I'll have to do a comparison with one on my upper lip and one on my bottom to see if there is a marked difference, but I don't think there is, color wise. Texture wise, though, I much prefer Armani, because DuWop glosses are much stickier. However, at $9 from the Victoria's Secret sale, the DuWop is a much better value, especially since when applied the two appear to be nearly indistinguishable.
I absolutely love this gloss - it is without a doubt my HG for a natural lip, and this is coming from someone who doesn't hand out HGs wily nily - in fact, other than my BB Nectar blush, I don't think I consider anything else in my rather extensive makeup collection to be HG. Nude is a gorgeous, dusty nude color with a kick of peachiness and the texture is very balmy (NOT sticky), which I love. This gloss is a great compromise for women who love the way lipstick looks, but don't like the way it feels. What I love the most is that it's just so NATURAL. I don't like the color of my lips and if I don't have some sort of colored chapstick/balm/gloss on them, I look very very washed out. I love that when I put this gloss on, it doesn't look obvious that I'm wearing lipgloss. It looks like I'm just wearing a clear lipbalm and my lips just happen to be a pretty color underneath :) It also has great staying power. Love it, and I'll be buying more off ebay. btw, just a little anecdote, I wore this lipgloss to work one day, and my boss actually buzzed me from her desk to ask me what lipgloss I was wearing, haha! So, definitely a great purchase :)
I received this from a wonderful swapper, and I'm really glad I did because I don't think I would have picked this up on my own had I not seen it in a swap list and taken a chance on it. In the pan, it looks unappealingly dark and muddy, but on my NC40 complexion it turns into a beautiful warm, deep peach that really brightens up my whole face. It's a gorgeous color and unlike any other color cream blush that I have seen. I also like how the finish is soft and matte without being drying. What I don't like is that there seems to be very little product for the price - it's the same price as Stila CCs but you get about a third of the product, if that. Also, I seem to have to use more of this than I do with any other cream blush - normally it takes only about a single pat on a Stila CC for each cheek, but with this blush I have to dab several times before I'm satisfied with how it looks. However, the color is so pretty and unique that I won't take away a lippie for it.