Oh, shazzam. I read the reviews on this product and was skeptical that this would do anything at all, other than condition my lashes (which, if this was all this did, would be fine by me). Surprisingly, this works really well for what it is. I've been using it every night for the last two weeks, and I can see a definite difference in the length and condition of my lashes. I am half asian, so I have rather short lashes that I must aggressively curl and then coat with waterproof mascara in an attempt to look like I have lashes at all. I have semi-decent lashes from the outside to about 3/4 of the way into my eye, but the other 1/4 was nonexistant. After two weeks, I can include roughly 1/2 of that previously nonexistant 1/4 when I use my curler, and the rest of my lashes look longer with mascara. I can't compare how this works vs. Careprost or Lattise as I've never had the lady bits to use either, what with the darkening of irises and sunken eyes and whatnot, but I'm totally fine sticking with this every night. I coat my lashes using a clean flat liner brush instead of the mascara wand it comes packaged with - it can't reach my inner corner lashes, and the wand doesn't seem to pick up product except at the base of the wand. Will buy again.
Makeup Brushes -Philosophy - The Supernatural Brush
aphelionyx 6/28/2009 8:55:00 AM
I own two of these brushes because I love it so much! I've used JI PurePressed mmu for 6 years, and I've tried so many brushes during that time (mostly because I just like brushes), including the JI flat top mineral brush, UD powder brush and the SK flat top brush. The brush itself is very well constructed - no shedding at all, bristles are all even, and the handle is a very nice length. It is still soft after repeated washes. The brush hairs are made of synthetic fibers, which I prefer because it's cruelty free and I feel that they require less maintenance and work better with mmu. The birstles are fairly short and don't really I had problems with the other two synthetic brushes - UD's powder and SK's Flat Top - in which the stack of bristles actually fell out of the casings and had to glue them back in. I haven't had any issues with these brushes. Some people complained about the brush head being too small, which I would have agreed with at first. However, while it takes a tiny bit longer to completely go over my face, the size allows me to get under my eyes and around my nose easily, or apply powder in a more concentrated area without it getting everywhere. I don't really use the "buff" technique, but this will allow you to do so easily. But my favorite part of this brush is because of the size, when I use it with MMU it picks all of it up without displacing a bunch of product into the air, which I appreciate with the rocketing price of JI. Just an FYI, the SK brush is similar, but definitely not as good - it's probably just as densely packed but the brush bristles are longer and not as stiff so you loose some of the precision and waste powder. Plus, I hate that stupid handle. Overall, this is definitely my hands down favorite mmu brush.
Oh, snap, do I hate this smell. I love food scents, and I love getting all up in a plate of carrot cake and I would go so far as to consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur (but only because I've consumed so much and in such variation), and sadly, this is not carrot cake. To me, it smells exactly like the Eggnog 3 in 1 with that off, burnt, plastic eggy smell - like semi-rancid egg laden icing with spice - nothing like carrot cake. I don't know if I got a bad batch, but I bought it from Sephora during their FF event, and it's going back. So sad!
Makeup Brushes -Sonia Kashuk - Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush
aphelionyx 11/17/2008 7:14:00 AM
I've had this brush for about 8 months, and it's a nice brush. The flat head buffs on MMU nicely without overapplying, and I like that the brush is synthetic and cruelty free. Not crazy about the shape and look of the handle and I wish it wasn't plastic, but for the price it's a brush worth having in your collection. edit - 4/09 - I don't use this brush that much because I love my UD powder brush. I used it the other day and the entire stack of bristles fell out. I glued them back in, bit that's kind of shady.
Hair Styling Tools -Sedu - Ionic Ceramic Professional Flat Iron (Original)
aphelionyx 11/16/2008 8:55:00 AM
I've had my 1 inch Sedu for 3 years, and I loved it. I say loved, because it finally died on me. I have a horrible habit of leaving it on the sink where it gets wet (I know...bad for the Sedu and potentially bad for me), and today it made a sad "poof"ing sound and then stopped working. Each time I tried to turn it on, it made the same noise. I pulled out my backup flat iron - an old Futura model - and used it instead, and the results made me think about why I loved my Sedu so much. One pass did a fantastic job of straightening my coarse curly hair without making it look limp and dry. I was able to get my ends stick straight and it was super fast, both to heat up and use. I loved the temperature control because I could ratchet it down so I didn't fry my hair. The durability was awesome - I've dropped it on the floor, the cord snagged on stuff and it fell to the floor, my cat has pushed it off - this thing took a licking and kept on ticking. I can't lie - it often got wet and then dried out and still worked. I didn't have issues with it not heating up, like some others here did. I know that a lot of people are going wild for the ghd flat iron right now, but I don't like that the ghd doesn't have a temperature control and costs over 2x my trusty Sedu. The only 2 things I wish I could change was the cord - it doesn't swivel and thus I have to hold the flat iron a certain way so as not to tangle it - and that there's not auto off, so I have to check to be sure I won't burn my house down. As a testament to how much I enjoyed my Sedu, I went back to folica.com tonight and ordered a new one. It's that good.
I have to admit that I am an Aveda girl for the most part and there haven't been many products that I've used that I didn't like. And this one isn't any different. I've used this on and off for a couple of years, and I enjoy putting it on each time I use it. I only use hand cream in the winter, when my eczema flares up, and this semi-thick cream moisturizes well and coats my hands without disappearing quickly. My skin feels really soft for a couple of hours without having to reapply, which is nice considering the price per ounce. I alternate with Weleda's Skin Food as this sinks in faster than the SF. The smell is a little weird - kind of like sugary lemons mixed with vaseline, but it's not too strong and it has grown on me.
This has been a staple for me for 10 years. I use this when I don't want to flat iron my naturally curly hair. I used to use this on it's own, but I've discovered that this is phenomenal mixed with a dime sized drop of Universal Styling Creme. It defines my curls without weighing them down or making them crunchy or greasy. The smell is strong, but I like Aveda smells. The only thing I wish they would change is the top - I'd prefer some sort of squirt top instead of the pop up top it has as it would control product flow better. Will continue to repurchase, and I hope they never discontinue it!
I've had my bottle for years, but couldn't figure out how to use this without either using too much or not using enough of it, but I wouldn't get rid of it because I love the smell - and it's STRONG - typical Aveda smell mixed with ginger. Every time I spread this on my palms, it was too sticky to get into my hair without causing fly-aways or over-use of product. I finally figured out how it works best for me: on days when I don't flat iron my curly hair, I mix a dime sized amount with a squirt of Confixor, which causes the Universal Creme to liquefy completely. This combo tames any frizz, gives me enough hold without being crunchy, makes my hair shiny, and smells fantastic. It's the perfect combo! l continue to repurchase.
I love Lip Saver! It has the perfect texture - a little waxy but not overly so, smooth, and thick. This stuff will stay on your lips for hours, and it does a great job of moisturizing. It leaves a matte finish, which I prefer in a balm. I have really dry lips that often crack, and I wear this to bed at night because it works better than almost anything else I've tried and doesn't slide off onto pillows, etc. It may seem a little spendy at $8 for "chapsitck" but it's so much better and the tube is completely full, not halfway like some other lipbalms. I like the scent, but wouldn't mind if it was a little stronger (I love Aveda scents). Will continue to repurchase.
Moisturizers -Desert Essence - Jojoba Oil - 100% pure
aphelionyx 11/3/2008 6:45:00 AM
Back in the day when jojoba oil was all the rage on the skincare board, I figured I would give it a try since it seemed to work so well for people. I was in the process of searching for a moisturizer that didn't break me out, was cheaper than my usual TBS moisturizer, provided enough moisture for my Taz ravaged skin, was natural (or close to) and not tested on animals - all of which is ridiculous to find together. Well, this fit the bill perfectly until it started wrecking my skin a week or so later. I stopped using it, and it sat on a shelf until I read somewhere that someone added tea tree oil to it when they used it as a cleansing oil to disinfect the skin. I broke out my bottle and mixed in some TTO (about 20:1 parts TTO) , and 3 months later, I am still happy with it. My face doesn't dry out from the TTO and it helps keep my skin clear. I put my mix in a glass bottle with a dropper for easier dispensing, and I only need 2 drops for my entire face. I wear MMU, and haven't hand any problems putting it on over the oil since I do my eye makeup while waiting for it to adsorb. I like that I know exactly what I'm putting on my skin and one bottle lasts forever.
In the winter, I get horrible eczema on my hands - the kind that blisters and itches and cracks - and this has been phenomenal for keeping it under control. I also handle a lot of cardboard at work which sucks the moisture right out of my hands and this forms a barrier and keeps them soft and moisturized. I always prefer to use natural products where possible, and I love that it's free of petroleum products and parabens so I don't feel bad about putting it on my skin. Personally, I don't mind the smell but I could easily see how some people wouldn't like it as it's fairly strong. I use this primarily on my hands, but it's great for any dry patches on the body, and awesome on dry heels; however, I wouldn't use this on my face. I use a pea sized drop for my hands, and rub it in well to my cuticles and nails (which, incidentally, have never looked better). If it's not sinking into your skin at all, then you're probably using too much. However, it also doesn't sink in immediately, so if you're looking for that, this is not the cream for you. Not wild about the thinness of the tube, but it makes sense to package it this way as the cream is so thick (I'll take it over a jar or a plastic bottle). I carry the travel size in my purse and have a tube at home and at work, and will continue to repurchase.
Gels/Soaps -Philosophy - Spicy Pear Cobbler 3-in-1
aphelionyx 10/27/2008 8:09:00 AM
Eh, this is okay. I bought it without smelling it fully because Nordstrom had only gotten 2 in so there was no tester. I usually like pear smells, and when I opened the bottle at home and took a whiff, I thought, "Jackpot!" It's pear with a spicy undertone, but IMO not a very strong scent. That first time I used it, it smelled like pears (good), but after that, I found there's a kind of plasticy, off scent (bad), and it makes me feel a bit nauseous (kind of like the "eggnog" 3-in-1). Staying power is like other 3-in-1's (thank goodness) and doesn't linger on skin, and it lathers very well. Can I also mention that it's a bit disconcerting to put a glob of bright opaque green gel on a bath pouf, even if it's only green for a second? I understand green=pear, but it's a little discombobulating. Squeamishness aside, I'll use up what I have, but I wouldn't buy a backup.
I would buy this only for the smell, but luckily it does something good for my hair, too. I use a few drops on my ends after I flat iron to restore some moisture. It doesn't weigh down my hair or make it look oily. I use this as a treatment oil as well, using more of it to saturate my dry ends and then leaving it in for a couple of hours. Yeah, this is kind of just glorified jojoba oil, but the fantastic smell makes the price worth it for me as it's a sensory experience when I use it. Overall, I'm on my 3rd bottle, and I will continue to rebuy.
I bought this to apply gel e/l, and it does a nice job. Because it's talkalon, it's really easy to clean after with some MAC brush cleaner, and I don't have to worry about what that will do long term to the brush like I do with regular animal hair. The weighted handle allows for good balance during application and doesn't feel weird at all. While I only use this for e/l, I could see it being fantastic for concealer and lipstick. Would definitely repurchase.
I bought this brush recently during the FF sale, along with 2 others. I use it to apply my pressed MMU, and it does a really nice job. I own a lot of brushes, but am trying to get away from animal hair brushes in general due to both the animal issue and because they often get scratchy with my slovenly brush cleaning habits (I wash about once a week with antibacterial soap, which strips natural hair, to kill bacteria that would contribute to acne). While it's not as stiff as any of the animal hair brushes I'd normally use, it does not have a problem picking up powder. It provides a sheerer application because it's softer and more flexible, but that's not a bad thing as it allows me to build where I need to and not overapply where I don't need much. It took a couple of washes to get rid of the smell that it arrived with, but I've not had any shedding or issues with the brush. Very soft and fairly dense. The weighted metal handle is a nice change from wooden ones, and it feels comfortable in my hand. Would repurchase. One side note, though - every time I use it, I feel like I am applying my makeup with Barbie hair. Edit - 11/17 - the brush handle is glued together where the handle meets the casing of the brush itself, and the glue on that part has broken so that the brush head wobbles. I will glue it back together, but I am disappointed that the brush isn't constructed in one piece. Water also gets into the seam when I wash it, which I suspect contributed to the breaking of my brush. Wish it wasn't like this. Edit - 3/09 - the stack of bristles has come out of the casing. I love this brush, but why won't it stay together!?