I tried baking soda (using the finer grains from the Fridge & Freezer line) as an exfoliant twice last week. On the first try, my face felt smooth and slick! My face literally "squeaked" as I was washing the baking soda off. My face glowed, looked extremely smooth, my blackheads seemed to have visibly diminished and the pores on my nose shrunk. However, I also noticed that my face looked red, but I was too excited about being able to get rid of my blackheads that I didn't pay too much attention to the color of my face. About 2-3 days later, I decided to try it again with my Clarisonic. This time, I scrubbed it for about a minute and left it on for an extra minute while I rinsed off my conditioner in the shower. Big mistake! It burned my face and my face was noticeably redder than last time. Next day, my skin was drier, face felt "thicker", more course and bloated. Every bump and pore on my face looked irritated. That is because baking soda is a form of salt. Salt basically kills bacteria and retains water. While I would not use this for my entire face next time, I will admit that it is great scrub for getting rid of blackheads and reducing pore size on your nose - AS LONG AS YOU KEEP IT ON FOR A MINUTE MAX.
BB Cream -Skin79 - Snail Nutrition BB Cream SPF45 PA++
auramei 2/18/2013 11:18:00 PM
I received a sample of this formula after ordering Skin79's Gold & Pink BB creams. Out of all three, I liked this one the LEAST. Here's why: (-) Greasy after 4 hours. (-) Lighter than the Gold line. I am NC25-30 and I had a "white cast" even after a few hours. I would say this is for NC15-20. (-) Broke me out the next day. I received tiny little red zits within 24 hours and my skin has been great in the last 5 months and I know this because I only try (1) new product at a time. In conclusion, this is not for anyone who is acne-prone, combo/oily skin, and has a darker skin range than NC25-30 (MAC Standard).
I have had my Mia since 2009. I use it every other day. I love that it is gentle and has a waterproof case. It's a great way to clean, exfoliate, and relax my skin anytime of the day. Only problem I have is that it is a VERY expensive investment! If it were half the price, these would make great gifts.
BB Cream -Garnier - BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector - Light/Medium
auramei 2/15/2013 3:57:00 PM
I have owned this product for about 9 months and I can only remember trying it out maybe a max of five times. Here's why: (-) Fragrance is too strong and doesn't go away (-) Within minutes of application, my face was irritated and itchy, but no rashes. (-) Very little coverage, if any; more like a tinted moisturizer (-) Has a pearl-shimmery shine; I wouldn't recommend this product for people with combo/oily skin (-) I am NC25-30 and the light/medium shade was too pink and maybe a shade too dark (-) Broke me out with tiny little pimples EVERY TIME! My face has been really clear especially from using birth control so I maybe have 1-2 menstrual pimples a month. By the end of the night after washing the BB cream off, I had a few itchy red zits on my face. Like I said, I have tried this product about 5 times over the span of 9 months and it has irritated my face EVERY time. I usually like Garnier's skincare products but this one is a definite NEVER AGAIN for me.
A year or two ago, I picked up a bottle of 60 x 1000mg Biotin pills and started taking them daily for faster hair growth. To my dismay, I started breaking out on my chin with CYSTIC ACNE. Oh, those were so painful and ugly. I could not figure out why because I don't usually get cystic acne. I started researching what biotin does to some people and I learned that everyone can tolerate biotin differently. When I take multivitamins, where biotin is included in a much lesser dosage (maybe 1500-300mg), I am OK. However, anything over 500mg, and my skin freaks out. If you are getting unusual cystic acne, you may be experience the same thing. Stop taking biotin, and once your acne clears up, try it again in a much smaller dosage - only if you really need to. There are topical ways to improve your hair's health and growth, such as using natural essential oil masks.
Am I using the same cleanser as everyone else? The description and the picture match the product in my bathroom, but I am seeing mixed reviews here. I actually received the full-size for free along with purchasing my Clarisonic Mia a few years ago. I didn't decide to start using this cleanser until maybe a few months back, and surprisingly, I like it! It is a VERY gentle cleanser that complements my Clarisonic. My skin feels so soft after and my pores feel clean. I have not used this cleanser by itself before, always with my Clarisonic in the shower so I cannot comment on its functionality alone. I definitely don't use this for makeup removing, because I find that this is a GENTLE cleanser for a morning and/or mid-day wash, when you don't have makeup on, just extra oil from the night before. However, I am quite frugal when it comes to skincare and seeing as there are so many cleansers available for $5-10 in the drug stores, I would not purchase this again due to its higher price ($25 on Clarisonic.com).
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser
auramei 2/6/2013 7:35:00 PM
I have purchased this cleanser and its siblings from the Oil-Free Acne cleanser line a few times before and I find that it is better for the spring & summer seasons when my face is more oily because as others have said, this cleanser is drying. I love the gentle, grapefruit smell, and use this cleanser a few times a week when I feel like the blackheads and pores on my face feel really clogged especially in the mornings after using a heavy night cream. It hasn't broken me out, but at 25, I am only getting hormonal pimples here and there. I do notice that as soon as I have washed my face with this (and any other of its "siblings"), my skin gets that taut, tight, dry feeling and my cheeks are red so I have to put a moisturizer on within those 5 minutes. Would I use it everyday? No, because I have learned from experience that you should NOT strip the oils on your face on a daily basis. Use a gentle cleanser to get rid of the built-up grease, but maintain some of the natural oils because your skin needs that balance. For night time, I recommend a gentle, but effective makeup removing cleanser such as the Neutrogena Naturals Cleanser + Makeup Remover (my drugstore HG) and a creamy, gentle scrub and/or cleanser for the morning (one that doesn't give your face that over-washed, tight, dry feeling). The less fragrance, the better!
Moisturizers -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle SPF 15
auramei 2/6/2013 7:09:00 PM
As someone with combo acne-prone skin type, I am very picky with my daytime moisturizer because my standards are extremely high. My ideal daytime moisturizer must: be non-greasy, equally moisturize & balance all parts of my face (dry patches on cheeks during winters, oily t-zone, oily eyelids), have SPF 20, pass the overnight test, look great under foundation & makeup, and cannot irritate my skin or cause acne. This moisturizer have passed all of those requirements. Because I am only 25, I cannot attest to its anti-wrinkle function, but I have been using Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Intensive Night Cream along with this and have noticed firmer and tighter skin. Would I buy this again? YES! However, I notice that this line can be rather pricy ($20+) at local pharmacies, so I would suggest researching and buying it online (i.e. Amazon) for a fraction of the price. PROs: + Non-greasy + Firms & tightens my skin overnight + Doesn't break out my acne-prone skin + Calms & reduces my redness + Looks great under makeup + On Paula's Choice/Cosmetic Cop's TOP "Best Retinol Products" list + Affordable for an anti-wrinkle skincare product ($10-20), especially if you buy it online. Otherwise, local pharmacies usually charge $20+ for this skincare line. CONs: + Must be careful with extracting cream because it is easy to push out too much cream due to the traditional tube design
Moisturizers -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Intensive Night Cream
auramei 2/6/2013 6:56:00 PM
I have been using this product off and on since 2008, when I originally bought the tube for my husband. Fast-forward to 4 years later and I am surprised I have kept it this long, so I decided to use the remaining 75% of the tube, since my husband is not much a skincare kind of guy. I have been using this product almost every night for a year and find that it is non-greasy for my combo skin type (great because I hate waking up to my husband in the morning with the oiliest face - NOT attractive), I find it "calming" and reduces redness on my acne-prone face. For its anti-wrinkle properties, I do wake up with a tighter, firmer face and because I am only 25 and Asian, I cannot attest to this being a miracle product. PROs: + Non-greasy + Firms & tightens my skin overnight + Doesn't break out my acne-prone skin + Calms & reduces my redness + On Paula's Choice/Cosmetic Cop's TOP "Best Retinol Products" list + Affordable for an anti-wrinkle skincare product ($15-20) CONs: + Must be careful with extracting cream because it is easy to push out too much cream due to the traditional tube design
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Naturals Cleanser + Makeup Remover
auramei 6/8/2012 5:46:00 PM
Trust me, I have tried them all: oil cleansing, makeup removing wipes, cream cleansers, foam cleansers, makeup removers, etc, and this has been my FAVORITE. Here is my story: I accidentally found out about this cleanser in 2011 while visiting and staying at my parents' house. My mom had this in her bathroom and because I was half-way across the country, I totally forgot to pack a makeup remover cleanser. So I tried it and it removed ALL of my eye makeup and long-wear foundation (EL DW Light) in one pump! The BEST part was that it did not leaving my face feeling too dry and in need of moisturizer right away. Fast forward two years and several bottles later, my feelings have not changed. There is no funky scent, no drying residue, no eye-stinging chemicals, and no direct causes of break-outs. I can use this with my Clarisonic Mia (on the very few occasions when I feel like I have so much makeup on my face that a vibrating brush device would be necessary) or use it with just warm water. What more can I ask for from a makeup cleanser that does EXACTLY as advertised for a very inexpensive price? A bottle will last me about 4-6 months, considering that I mainly use this as a night cleanser to completely remove my makeup. No toner needed! Oh and another plus, is that you can travel with the bottle because the pump has a locking mechanism! No leaks and if I am only going on a weekend trip, this is the only cleanser I bring with me.
Liquid -Boots - No7 Intelligent Balance Foundation Mousse
auramei 5/31/2012 1:17:00 PM
With every foundation, the application and the tools really affect how it will look on your skin and how long it wears. With that said, I only apply this foundation with a brush (specifically ELF Studio Powder Brush). I am MAC NC 30, BE Light, NARS SG Punjab, EL DWL #3 and I wear this Boots foundation in Shade Blonde #20. When applied, it is actually a shade lighter (NC20-25) than my skin color (NC30), so it's not a perfect match but it does adjust slowly later in the day. It looks divine with a light bronzer and blush, but even when I don't pair it with any, I look very "awake." As for the wear, it feels lightweight, lasts throughout a 5+ hour work day. I do notice that by mid-day, it "gathers" around my nose so I often have to pat around the nostril area mid-day with a napkin. That usually happens with most foundations, so I won't punish this one for my excess oil around my nose. This is NOTa winter foundation. The mousse to powder effect is definitely drying, and any "flakies" will show through. But because I have combo (oily & dry) skin, it works OKAY. However, it may work better if you have REALLY oily skin. The packaging comes in a heavy, thick glass jar and a clear, plastic, scooper. I don't ever use my fingers, just the scooper and wipe it off after every application. If you are looking for a satin/matte finish in a foundation and have oily skin, I would recommend this product.
Liquid -Lancome - Teint Idole ULTRA [DISCONTINUED]
auramei 10/12/2010 3:29:00 PM
I tried a sample of this a few months ago in the summer and I really loved everything about this foundation. I couldn't stop looking at myself! It sounds conceited, but this foundation gave me a beautiful matte finish with a tiny bit of glow and for my combo/oily skin, that didn't exaggerate the oiliness later. In fact, my face stayed fresh throughout the day! I just have to finish my other bottles of foundation first before I can buy this because it really is worth it!
Powder -Everyday Minerals - Foundation Matte Formula
auramei 8/12/2010 5:46:00 PM
EDIT: Chalky. Winged Butter is so yellow that I look SICK. It will rub/melt off and leave me with "pink" spots on my face. EDM wasn't the reason I was breaking out. I had switched to another birth control the same month I started using EDM again. Now, the pimple-period has passed and no more breakouts with EDM! It's been 3 years since I've last used Everyday Minerals and I can't believe I have strayed away from their foundation line this long! I've gone through my usual makeup junkie cycles, having the need to try all the latest and "greatest" foundations that come out, but this EDM matte formula surpasses them all. As a SE Asian with peachy, pink, AND golden tones complexion for my face with a yellow-golden neck, I have an extremely hard time finding the right foundation shade. From what I remember 4 years ago, MAC matched me to NC25-NC30. Most drug store lines carry a multitude of pink shades (pink foundation does NOT counteract an already pink face) and very limited in golden tones. Even if the color matches, the next determining factor is how long does it last? I'm a busy girl. I don't have time to blot every 2-3 hours! Over the last 5 years, I came to the conclusion that except for a few drugstore brands, the best liquid foundation lines are found in department or makeup specialty stores. But wearing liquid foundation in 100 degree summer heat is unbearable and makes me very insecure. Categorizing myself under combination skin, I have tested between Matte & Intensive and came to the conclusion that Matte works best for me in the summer & spring seasons. I will have to give Intensive a second chance during the winter when I am more prone to dryness, but for now, I love everything that the Matte formula offers! On average, I can go 5-6 hours until I need to blot & reapply a layer of loose powder. That is a record for me! The coverage is naturally beautiful! I look radiant and glowy. It doesn't look cakey, like a lot of medium-heavy coverage foundations (I.E. Revlon Colorstay) and the makeup doesn't "melt" by the 4th hour. The best part is my pores can breathe! After the first blot, I don't even realize that I have makeup on. Yesterday, I had my makeup on from 11AM to 11PM. I blotted and reapplied a layer of loose silica powder by 6PM and by bedtime at 11PM, I had almost forgotten to take it off! Usually once I get home, I can't wait to remove all that gunk off of my face. With EDM Matte, I barely notice that I have anything on my face. For shade reference, I ordered sample sizes in Winged Butter, Golden Medium, and Buttered Tan (in order of lighter to darker) for my NC25-30 face. Golden Medium matches me very well and Buttered Tan gives me a "faux" (but not artificially fake) glow, perfect for summer. Winged Butter oxidizes and turns me golden orange :(
Works great as a mask and spot treatment! Reduces my zits & pimples drastically. However, I have to warn that this mask also works as an effective face whitener as well. Leaving it on for the directed 15 minutes will simple "brighten" your face, but leaving it on for more than an hour will lighten your skin 2+ shades. I left it on yesterday for 1-1.5 hours and even after washing my face 3x, I look like I am 2 shades lighter. I confirmed my hypothesis when I applied MUFE HD Foundation in 120, a shade that was 2-3 notches too light for me before. I even took pictures in flash and to my disbelief, the shade blended right in instead of giving a "masked" geisha result. Only problem now is my face is 3-4 shades lighter than my neck (it's always darker than my face) and the difference is drastic. I'll have to purposely try to whiten my neck to catch up with my face.
I'm reviewing the newest Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation. This is the third time I've tried Rimmel's line of foundations. All were no match for my combo skin. The Lasting Finish Enriched w/ Minerals was sticky for me. This 25 Hour one gives off a very "glowy" look but does not cover very well. Most importantly, it does not last. Within 4 hours of sitting at the office, I "glow." After 5 hours, it gets oily. My face looks greasy and A LOT of the coverage has worn off. Initially, I had medium coverage, but this is a buildable foundation from light-medium. Even after blotting at the 4th hour, I am greasy by the 6th hour. I also tried a camera test when I came home approximately 7 hours after application. It failed the camera test. All of my oilies came through and I looked SHINY everywhere! On top of that, say hello to clogged pores! I'm definitely returning this bottle to Walgreen's.