Terrible, terrible shampoo. It is drying and does not smooth or hydrate the hair. I bought this on a whim, having success with prior Biosilk products. Big mistake - should have checked MUA reviews first. Now I'm stuck with getting my hair back into the shape it was before I started using this shampoo. Save yourself some time, money and grief - Pass on it if you see it on sale, throw it out if you currently own it.
Sex on the Beach is a frosty, shimmery peach-pink that has both lavender and brownish undertones. It has both gold and silver flecks, which are tiny in comparison to most polishes. This color gets raves and deservedly so - it goes with SO many skin tones. It's a mid-tone color that's a true neutral and it's neither too warm nor too cool. It also has some bling but is toned down enough to wear to work. So, yes, Sex on the Beach is one of those hard-to-find "blingy" neutrals that works well for most. My only issue, and this is my issue with the entire China Glaze line, is that the brush is tiny and doesn't give coverage without lots of strokes. I prefer a wider brush that covers in three strokes - unfortunately, ChG is not one of them.
Polishes -Sally Hansen - Diamond Strength 3k or More!
awesomeness2 4/22/2013 7:55:00 PM
2 more thumbs up for Sally Hansen 3k or More! I have medium Caucasian skin with yellow-ish undertones. Finding the right "nude" color in lipstick or in nail color is extremely difficult. However, "3k or More!" is a winner for me. The color is very difficult to capture on screen, so this is one you really must try in-person. I did today and purchased it immediately. The base is a opaque+, opalescent rose-peach nude and the flecks are gold. It tends to the warm side of the spectrum, but with the rose & peach flashes, I'd say the color works as a true neutral. The tone matches my skin almost perfectly. However, the gold gives it just the right bling - a step down from glitter, so I'd say it's work appropriate. Two coats give me the coverage I want, although some might want to build up one for full coverage or knock down one for a sheerer look. I'm a big fan of the Diamond Strength line, although it often takes me awhile to find a color that I can live with. 3K and More! is the fifth SH DS in my collection. It wears like the others, meaning extremely well. However, unlike the others, this particular color needs a well-prepared nail bed, otherwise the texture is uneven and coarse.
Decadence may have been a limited edition release. I have a 5ml bottle purchased on etsy. I get oranges & cinnamon straight away, but neither are strong or overwhelming. It seems to be a vanilla & cream scent in an almond carrier oil. Feminine but not sweet or sugary. It's a tad soapy, a tad powdery - it has a "clean" feel to it that doesn't seem to be intended. Maybe not so decadent after all?? Nonetheless, I like it - it makes a good bedtime scent and lasts in the 4-range on me. One of the better BPAL scents that I have sampled but not one of the best. I think I could have safely passed on this - won't repurchased but will likely use it up anyway.
Long lasting !!! I'm not expecting this polish to last 10 days, but I think maybe it just could! I am on DAY 6, and I am only starting to see wear at the edges. I'm wearing a soft color, so a darker color might show the wear just a bit more, but this is a nice surprise, for sure! I like the brush which is wide enough to cover in three strokes yet small enough to not make a mess. The biggest downside with this polish is dry-time. I applied my usual 2 light coats of OPI Nail Envy, then two coats of RIMMEL LYCRA 10-DAY, then a liberal coat of SECHE VITA. Usually, I am dry to the touch in 5 minutes with SH or OPI polish, but with the RIMMEL I was dry to the touch in the 1-2 hour time frame. Definitely slow to dry and easy to nick, but I think the results are worth it. I picked up several colors on a blowout sale, and I am quite happy that I did. Here's a run-down - # 358 HIPPY CHICK - looks peach in-bottle but on me it's a near-sheer opalescent cream with pink flash - needs three coats for total coverage - looks almost pink in low light # 283 PURE SIN - looks pink-mauve in bottle but on me wears more like a soft pink-beige nude with a little flash. At 2 coats it is still sheer & might make an interesting french mani if the tips were applied first. It's a cool (not warm) color. If it had a bit more flash, it would be less boring. Definitely work-appropriate and more of a girlie color. # 305 CASHMERE - looks rose-mauve in bottle and that's pretty much what it is, yet it's got a warmth to it - another work appropriate color - probably the most "mature" color in the lot # 366 BEIGE - what a misnomer - this is a chrome bronze if there ever was one - one of the younger colors in the lot but not my thang # 414 INSOLENCE - Silver polish with sparkle but without glitter or chrome. It's more than SH Diamond (05). Very nice but best reserved for three coats & worn during the holidays & at parties, in my opinion - another younger color in the lot - for those into nail art, this is one to look into - would also be good for an accent nail - just not my thang
I don't get the positive reviews on this one. Initially, all I get is grape bubble gum, which eventually morphs into grape bubble gum with some soapy flowers sitting on top of an earthy under-current. I found it pretty disgusting. I after about 20 minutes, I scrubbed, figuring that if it wasn't going to dry down to patch & incense by then, it might never. Not a pleasant experience for me, and definitely among the least favorite BPAL that I have sampled, and I have tried many. Not recommended.
Fragrances -Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - Old Morocco
awesomeness2 8/16/2012 3:22:00 PM
This review is for MOROCCO, which is formerly known as OLD MOROCCO per the BPAL forum. "The intoxicating perfume of exotic incenses wafting on warm desert breezes. Arabian spices wind through a blend of warm musk, carnation, red sandalwood and cassia." Based on the description, it's not at all what I expected. There is something very comforting about this fragrance, and I'd call it a comfort scent. I get a bit of powder, then it morphs into the carnation, which is warm, lovely & just a tad spicy. It's a bit sweet, maybe with vanilla? Definitely more vanilla than sandalwood or musk. It feels like a soft blanket, rather than an dry land. Definitely reminds of Cavalli's Oro by Maurice Roucel, but a bit simpler and softer. Definitely one of the best in the BPAL range. I still think ZOMBI is my favorite because it is unique, but MOROCCO is a close second, that;s for sure. Highly recommend it for sampling, which I would say is a MUST lovers of soft carnation scents.
Fragrances -Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - The Red Queen
awesomeness2 5/22/2012 10:47:00 AM
The Red Queen (from the Alice in Wonderland line) - Deep mahogany and rich, velvety woods lacquered with sweet, black-red cherries and currant. My first impression was red cinnamon heart candies. Then the woods come in, with sweet cherries. I get some tobacco-ish scent once & a while. It's still a little too candy-like for me, almost syrupy - not my style. Unusual though. I got a sample with order, and I gifted it in a swap to someone with a sweeter tooth than mine.
Good for a floral fruity, but not earth shattering. Hot Couture is similar & much better imo. Pass.
Luxe & Lush is my secret weapon to extend my pedicure a week or two. When I start to see a chip or a nick, on this goes over my color. In the past I have used a combination of sheer shimmers, glitter flecks, & opaque shades, but this summer I went all out - my extender of choice is Luxe & Lush. Overall, Luxe & Lush has an incredible amount of depth & reflection. There are some blues but it's primarily pink & gold. The glitter pieces are large ... too large, in fact. They are more like mylar confetti. As a result, the coat does not go on smooth, so it is not something I would wear on my hands. But I love them on my toes, when I am wearing sandals all summer long. Dries hard in minutes. I've worn Luxe & Lush on top of a pale lavender opal, and it give a fairy dust-like look and the blue in the Luxe is visible. In fact, it looks a bit like an opal. I've also worn Luxe & Lush on top of my go-to OPI Seniorita Rose-Alita (a pink-red with gold shimmers) and the gold in Luxe & Lush just pops but it needs a 2-3 coats at least to make it look right. I prefer the subtleness when using Luxe on lavender but the color on top of the rose is lovely too. Pedicure extender. That's what this is. :)
The old formula of Insta-Tox -- the one in the blue tube with white lettering -- was worth having and really worked. The consistency was gel-like and it was easy to apply, even if it went chalky on occasion. I loved that product and used several tubes. The new formula of Insta-Tox -- the one in the white tube with blue lettering -- is not worth having and a major disappointment. It truly does nothing ... absolutely nothing. Aside from the change in formula, I think a large part of that has to do with the consistency. It's more of a liquid than a gel and is difficult to control, apply, & assess. For just a tad of firming and lifting, try Serious Skincare Total Youth Recall All Over Face Firmer. It doesn't work on deeper wrinkles and lines like the old Insta-tox. It also doesn't lift like the old Insta-tox. However, it does minimize pores and fine lines. Works like a mattefier and is a good base for mineral make up.
Lipstick -L'Oreal - Infallible Never Fail Lipstick
awesomeness2 2/25/2012 8:47:00 AM
There are a few lipsticks that I gravitate to over & over again. The L'Oreal Infallible Lipstick is one of them. There are a number of reasons: - Color actually stays ... lasts for hours. Apply color, let set, apply balm. Easy. - Nice range of colors, all of which seem to work on my light-medium white skin. I've bought at least 5 different colors over the years, all blind buys. No regrets. - Packaging. The big pluses here - the caps never come off, the container is clean & stays clean, easy to use & open. The mirror-like surface is meh, but better than nothing. - Price. Can found at 75% off at drugstores. Can be found nib under $5 shipped on fleabay. On the down-side: Yes, the lipstick can be a bit drying. However, the fresh, sealed lipsticks are not. I've decided that when this lip stick is drying, it's time to toss it and re-buy. As a result, there can be some wasted product if you don't use daily. My favorite color: 87 WALNUT, which is a perfect medium nude brown.
Eye Shadow -Estee Lauder - Pure Color Eyeshadow in Mocha Cup
awesomeness2 2/25/2012 8:11:00 AM
MOCHA CUP is a gorgeous color. I would describe it as a medium gray-brown with lavender tones. It's more of a MUSHROOM color with a bit of purple than a MOCHA color. It is much darker in the pan than on the lid. Although the color is lovely, the shimmer is not appropriate for older eyes - this particular color with the shimmer accentuates lines and wrinkles. When I test make-up, my first test always is no make-up (one side) compared to make-up (other side). My appearance is better off without wearing eyeshadow in this shade, than with wearing eyeshadow in this shade. I gave it 1-lippie but would give it a 0-lippie if I could. I'm looking for this color in matte, perhaps a tad darker. In shimmer, it's a no-go. In fact, any of the Estee Lauder shadows can safely be passed by women 40 & over. There are better products out there for aging eyes.
Overall, I highly recommend the L'Oreal Colour Riche lipsticks. This brand can frequently be found on ebay for just a few bucks, or on discount upwards of 75% off retail. At this price, I can get more than just on a few and be OK with a couple of stinkers. LINDA'S BEIGE #809 - Linda's Beige is a true neutral. It's a medium tone beige without a warm or cool cast. The color swatch at the L'Oreal website makes #809 look like a peach-brown - the color in person is actually a bit darker and does not have an orange cast. On my light-medium white skin, #809 looks like a dark nude or a light brown. I think #809 might make a nice nude on darker skin than my own. Glides on smooth. Just a touch of shimmer. Has a bit of gloss bit its not overdone. I am looking for a shade lighter than this one but am still happy to have this in my collection. I purchased an extra for back-up. DUNE #875 - Dune is a peach-brown with some shimmer. It is slightly lighter than Linda's Beige and highly wearable. Although I tend to gravitate to mauve & rose lip colors, DUNE is a color that I can easily wear. On my light-medium skin, it's just right for a natural look that doesn't scream nude makeup palette. BELLA DONNA MAUVE #202 - Bella Donna Mauve gets rave reviews from the make-up community. However, I find it to be too pink & too orange to be a true mauve or rose color. Based on the reviews that I had read and the swatches that I had viewed, I expected to love this color but I don't. I like it but don't love it. CASHMERE #854 - This is a neutral, go-to color that serves me well as a back-up. I keep a tube of this color in my office desk & another a home. It's a nudish rose-brown with ever so slight gold flecks. Goes with everything. I would buy it again. LAETITIA'S CHAMPAGNE #114 is a pink-rose shimmer that is unlike swatches. Not brown enough, not nude enough to be a color that is contemporary. Probably my least favorite.
Note Parfumee Tiare is cloying, common, soapy & artificial. Run away from this one, no matter how inexpensive, run far away.