I have this in black, and is belatedly looking around for other colours. Using the comb properly takes some practice, but once you can swipe it from the base to the tips, this is the best mascara ever! I and my sister have tried a range of mascaras (the full range of Maybelline, MAC and Lancome), and found out this is the best one to go for. It gives a Bambi-eye effect on lashes. To use it properly, you need to start from the base of your lashes, quickly wiggling the comb to the tips for an even coat. When I started off using it, there is a tendency for the comb to pick up too much pigment (making me have to wipe off some precious mascara with tissue prior to application), but after two weeks it dispenses the right amount of mascara. The packaging is your average simplistic mascara container, yet the patterns are hip! Price-wise, it retailed for slightly less than Lancome at [I think it was] AUD44. Will hunt down the last remaining SM combs.
I bought mine ages ago. It looked like you're getting just a *thin* layer of blush, but trust me, you wouldn't need to eke it out with a butter knife to get the pigments onto your cheek. Rather than being sloppy, it's more on the dry side, which means it's easily buildable and doesn't fade away as fast as other creme blushes. Mine is #1, which looks like some hot pink slab of butter on the pan. On my cheeks, it transforms my cheeks to look like I was hanging out under the summer sun for 30mins or so (that blushy look when your cheeks are warm). About the packaging, yes I do think a mirror can do us huge favours, and I don't like the fact my middle and ring fingers look like they were scalded with hot water. But then, this is a creme blush, and that's what I get for applying creme blush on my face. The pan lasts for ages, but keep it out of heat before it starts 'sweating'. To put it simply, this is the best creme blush I've come across! It's a pity it's discontinued, but I will stock up on it when the opportunity arises.
Price-wise, I didn't think this was pricey considering it's a high-end makeup brand. I got mine in Singapore's fab airport, which didn't dent my wallet badly. The small rectangular compact comes in a black velvet pouch - stylish YSL logo over gold background. This is the perfect size to carry around, even if I don't need to touch up on anything! Bought this in late 2005/early 2006. The pigments are blushing pink interspersed with some gold and apricot particles. It works well on my pale Asian yellow-toned skin, and it was love at first sight (and still is) since finding a powder blush that gives me that I'm-in-love-but-still-rational look is bordering on impossible. I tend to use this blush on its own, on top of Chanel's facial sunblock. It has a very subtle shimmer that doesn't look out of place during office hour yet goes well into the evening; it's a barely-there shimmer, so pretty! :)) Gives me an in-love glow better than NARS Orgasm IMO. To apply, I use MAC's #129 SH brush. I don't use the puff as puffs tend to streak powder across, but I keep the square plastic protector inside to keep the mirror side clean. Overall, I'm very happy with this powder blush, and I would repurchase again... but at my current rate of usage, I don't think it's going to be anytime soon! Yay!
My sister, who is a quasi-MA, applied this on me before I went on stage. When I came down to clean my face, however, I was surprised it didn't look clownish even though she packed quite a lot of the powder onto my lids! It was great for office use as well since it has only the tiniest bit of shimmer (if you're a shimmer fan you'd be disappointed to find an almost satin shade of pale pastel yellow.) This is the only yellow eyeshadow that I like. I keep looking to get one for my own, but MAs and SAs in Australia and Singapore keep telling me that it's been discontinued (ouch!) I would definitely buy this product or get it from a swap. In the meantime, they keep steering me towards MAC Nylon (which is more like pale shimmery ivory), which I don't like as I think it's too shimmery to my liking. I'm yet to come across an eyeshadow colour that's as good as this one :(( I'm hoping I'll come across one of these babies though!
COMMENTS: One thing I like about this product is you can adjust the amount of gritty things that goes into your personal mix. For an exfoliator freak like me, I personally think watered-down jojoba scrubs don't do enough of the job for me, so I shove loads of the powder into my cleansing cream. I wouldn't recommend using this with a high-foaming/drying cleanser though, as the kinetics may prove a bit too much on your skin. I scrub my clogged pores clean with this product. It shrinks my pores when I use it prior to applying pore strips on my nose. PACKAGING: Make sure you roll the bottle well prior to each use though, as the tea tree leaves may settle out first and you may be left with some weird green-ish powder (well, it's green and it's a bit powder-y to start off with anyway.) I wish it comes in a better packaging, probably a shaker type like Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant. SKIN-WISE: Fyi, my skin is combo oily/dry, and I moved last year from a subtropical/temperate climate to a humid, polluted and tropical city (yikes.) This scrub sees me through those two climates. PRICE: It took me three years and three months to finish the bottle, using it 2-3 times a week. So yes, an outlay of AUD55 in the southern hemisphere summer of 2003 did see me through three years. It's a good price overall. Will definitely buy again.
Lip Treatments -Badger - Chai Rose Lip and Body Balm
azzurro 5/16/2006 2:52:00 AM
I originally bought this for my lips and hands, thinking that the Chai Rose scent would be a different change to those overly sweet-smelling fruity balms. The tin size is generous; it is rather easy to open compared to Burt's Bees, and its edges are rolled (which means no more grazes when you're in a hurry.) It is a bit 'thin' compared to beeswax-based lip balms and sinks in gradually, which means you may need to reapply once every so often. Keep out of heat if you don't want to end up with a melted mess of balm. Nowadays, I'm using it on my cuticles and toes at night as the warm cardamom scent helps lull me to sleep. Will buy again, but want to try other scents as well.
Treatments (Eye) -Estee Lauder - Advanced Night Repair Eye Recovery Complex
azzurro 5/16/2006 12:37:00 AM
Why I bought it: (1) Had a good experience with the Night Repair serum (for face), so I thought this one would be good (2) tried this one out, along with Idealist eye serum. Observation: (1) Don't like the packaging and dipper. The amber glass is good but rather heavy to carry around on trips. About the dipper, it gets messy and it needs to be cleaned after each application! I wish it comes in an amber glass bottle, but with a pump fitted on top. Sigh. (2) it's silky when it goes on, then it turns velvety and gradually disappears into the skin. After a couple of minutes, you can feel your eyelids are dewy but not oily. I love how it feels on my eyes (3) my troubleshooter cream for early-setting smile lines (just about to turn 22 yet have lines already! my goodness... probably I should look for another career path.) It works the magic within 2 days. (4) since it does the line-erasing trick on fresh-setting lines, I tend to gloop out more than I need for my eye area... then spread the reminder to my smile/frown lines, neck area, and anything else that needs a little bit of TLC. Decision: I don't think this is the HG of eye creams, but it performs for its price, so I have nothing much to complain about. Still on the lookout for an eye cream that suits me best. Until then, will keep re-buying (hopefully it comes in a better packaging, though...)
Treatments (Eye) -Estee Lauder - Idealist Refinishing Eye Serum
azzurro 5/16/2006 12:11:00 AM
I bought this product because: (1) it had the 'Idealist' name emblazoned across it, and since my sister is a devout preacher on the virtues of using EL's Idealist, I thought I'll just give it a try and report back to her. (2) The packaging looked good, spill-proof and easy to use (squirt once for an exact dosage!) (3) it's a newly released item (try try try new items!) (4) Got a reasonably good deal when I went on a shopping trip to SG Observation: (1) no funny smell noticed (2) I was hoping this product would remove early-setting lines around the inner corner of my eyes; it softened it slightly but did nothing noticeable. (3) its texture is silky but it left my eye area a bit dry; I have now switched to her long-time heavyweight sister, the Advanced Night Treatment for eye (a bit of a fuss to apply but it softened my early-setting smile lines anyway.) (4) towards the end, the pump stopped squirting the right dosage. I ended up either with too little to apply over my lower eyelid or with more than enough product to cover my forehead. Meh. Decision: Will not buy again. If offered, I'd rather choose rosehip oil over this eye serum. The oil smells, but at least it works.
Skincare - Face -Jurlique - Daily Exfoliating Cream
azzurro 5/15/2006 5:45:00 AM
This cleanser is one of my favourites, putting it next to Aesop's facial cleansing creme (I don't know what's up with aussie beauty companies but these two seem to make good-quality cleansers.) Bought two huge tubes once, one is used up within about two months. Smells heavenly yum yum. The almond meal is a nice daily exfoliation treat for my skin, but as another exfoliator-lover girl posted... this isn't enough and I still need another industrial-strength exfoliator! (I'm the kind of girl who can cope with pressing on pure vit C powder to acne wounds in a manic attempt to heal them.) This is a good cleanser overall. My only gripes are its price (steep at AUD45 on int'l duty free in Melbourne) and its packaging. You always end up with more products squeezed out of the metal tube, and the tube needs to be crimped out in order to have all the product squeezed out (the crimps cost AUD44 a pair). Since Aesop's come in a glass jar, I choose Aesop hands down simply because I can scrape out more product out of the packaging. Price-wise, they're not that much different.
Did my skin favours when I was living in Melbourne - I hardly had any spots! My skin was great and all (I think the air contributes to something). Hated the glass jar, but Aesop now sells screw-on pump anyway. Lasts for ages, went along with my combo oily/dry skin better than Lancome's Mousse Controle, and was better-priced too (at least in Australia.) Now using Aesop's Purifying Facial Cream Cleanser due to a twisted logic of my mind - see my review on the Cream cleanser. To cut things short, I will spend my money on Aesop when it comes to face cleansers - either the Cream or this one!
Cleansers -Aesop - Purifying Facial Cream Cleanser
azzurro 5/15/2006 5:07:00 AM
I used the Fabulous Face Cleanser when I was in Melbourne, but decided to change my regime when I moved to a humid and tropical climate. Now it's the Cream Cleanser, the Bitter Orange toner, EL eye balm (the one in amber glass jar) and optional Mandarin Face Cream if I feel dry. It cleans well if you massage it on, and it leaves my skin soft - not too oily and not too taut. Still undecided on whether to use the Cream Cleanser or Fabulous, but my money for facial cleanser definitely goes to Aesop. P.S.: the SA was puzzled when I told her I used the Cream cleanser (meant for dry skin) in conjunction to the Bitter Orange toner (meant for oily skin), but I found I needed an astringent yet non-drying toner for my skin. It works though.
Treatments -Aesop - Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturizing Masque
azzurro 5/15/2006 4:48:00 AM
Tried leaving it on my hair for half an hour last weekend. Did soften my hair, but nothing too awe-worthy. It smells really good, though. Not recommending it as I know camellia oil is more concentrated and smells better for those craving for a floral scent hit! If I happened to have some spare money and no camellia oil in hand, I would repurchase the half-litre bottle.
Gels/Soaps -Aesop - Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser
azzurro 5/15/2006 4:46:00 AM
While I was living in Melbourne, I found this cleanser a bit drying on my skin during the winter months (one lippie off). But then, it's perfectly fine to use in humid climates. The scent is an added advantage... it's neither green nor overly fruity, I love it! I hope Aesop releases a perfume along this line instead of the profusely deep/spicy Marrakech. The scent lingers after shower, and is great when accentuated with either the rind body balm or the geranium body oil (in winter, and if your skin can cope with it.) Packaging USED TO BE NOT OKAY (I had qualms with putting a glass bottle on my shower rack), but now it comes in a half-litre pump bottle. If you have the Jet Set pack, it's even better as you can squeeze in little amounts as you need to - Aesop products have very little preservatives in them, and you wouldnt' want to leave the whole bottle in a hot shower.
This one is the third Aesop product I tried, and the third one I end up using for good. Who couldn't love the bitter orange scent - all other citrusy scent goes to waste when compared to this! It's moisturising yet not icky, unlike the DJs half-litre elastin moisturiser jar I took home with me last year. The packaging used to be bad (I started using this when it was sold ONLY in those amber jars), but it's getting better nowadays: half-litre pump bottle and 50mL bottle if you buy the Jet Set pack (I got mine for free :)) ) It's reasonably affordable in Australia (AUD100 for a half-litre pump bottle with lots goodies thrown in by the generous SAs), and I usually get mine from the QV store as I know the SAs who work in those stores for a long time (mind you I started using Aesop since I was in high school). I was shocked too when I saw how much it retails from hqhair.com... 24 pounds!! I better get my sister to bring me litres of these before I move to London... or else it'd be way too expensive to purchase. Girls in Europe, I do suggest you find someone who's coming to your place from Australia to stock up on the moisturiser, as it's lovely. If you do need heavier moisturiser, I think Relax will do it for you (I just feel Rejuvenate isn't doing what it needs to be doing). Unfortunately, Relax is more expensive (about AUD39 a jar) and comes only in the amber jar packaging... sigh... I keep mine in the fridge.
THE PRODUCT: I haven't been using this product for long but I'm finding myself falling for it. I have medium-long length, thick-stranded, poker-straight hair that is reasonably soft but has some 'resistance' when bent. I also live in a tropical and humid climate, which means frizz abounds! This product does nothing much to the frizz. I use any leftover on my hand to touch up the odd flyaway or two or ten. It does give some body to my hair without giving the "I-have-pruned-wedge-hair" syndrome; my friends at work complimented that my hair is geting thicker! (little did they know it's because of Phomollient.) I tried using three squirts the first time around, but found it was a bit too much it hardens my hair. I ended up using a squirt after light drying with a hairdryer, softly patting my hands together to make a little bit of liquid out of the foam (you should keep a reasonable amount of foam, otherwise you'd simply be slapping something along the line of hairsprays to your hair. Then run your fingers quickly and repeatedly on your hair's lower layers as it helps keep the top layer (the visible one) shiny. My hair feels soft even though I use this product on it. THE PACKAGING: Didn't leak when I brought it into a plane. I put mine into a plastic bag, then wedge the whole thing into a pile of clothes to keep it safe. When it was taken out, it had no 'stickiness' around the packaging. One tip is to keep the cap with you if you have any intention to travel with it - if it's not capped, it can start foaming around easily! When you run out of it and is planning to repurchase, make sure you keep the pump and the cap. The refills do NOT come with a pump and a cap (I sometimes see silly people who forgot to keep the whole packaging when purchasing refills - they're named refills for a reason.) THE PRICE: No complaints. The damage was around AUD35, I guess, but I've seen more expensive hair products (one of them being Kerastase's Aqua-Oleum.) If you've tried this product in person, then buy it on eBay unless you happen to get hefty salon discounts. PERSONAL NOTES: It does have this weird-ish honey smell, but it's livable with after a while. I think I might keep using this in the near future. I found almost no downsides of this product and will probably keep repurchasing.