I'm NC40 and I like this as an everyday matte brown eyeshadow. I have blue eyes so I wear a LOT of browns, and this is just a nice, basic staple. It blends well and can be layered easily with other colors and formulas.
Moisturizers -Alpha Hydrox - Enhanced Lotion - 10% AHA
beautycalls09 5/16/2013 12:04:00 AM
Ok, so I've been using Retin-A daily for years and still have some dark spots from acne that haven't faded to my liking. A friend suggested I add an AHA product. I've been using this for about a week and am very pleased with the results. I apply this at night after my Retin-A. After about a week, I think my dark spots are lighter, but it could be my imagination (I don't believe anything can work so efficiently in just seven days! But maybe I'm wrong.) My skin is definitely noticeably brighter, though, which makes this product worth it. I apply this anywhere I need to--neck and decolletage for anti-aging and to my back to fade old acne marks. I think it's important to point out that my skin is EXTREMELY tolerant of retinoids and I'm assuming that that tolerance applies to AHAs as well (I haven't experienced any initial breakouts or irritation with this product.) Unless your skin is really up to it, I STRONGLY advise against mixing this or any other AHA with retin-A or any OTC product containing retinol. AHAs and retinols can cause redness, peeling, sun sensitivity, irritation and discomfort until skin "gets used" to them. Also, make sure you use sunscreen while using this! Anyway, that said, if you tried this and it caused you irritation or made you break out, try using a product containing citric or malic acid instead. Their molecules are larger than those of glycolic and lactic acids, so they don't cause such severe side effects because they don't penetrate the skin as deeply. LASTLY, this product cost me ten or fifteen bucks, I can't remember exactly. I saw it at TJ Maxx the other day for $8. Compared to other brands, this is a STEAL! The bottle will last a few months at least and I will definitely repurchase when I run out. I'm very glad I decided to try this.
I bought this because I tried and loved Sunbasque but wanted to experiment with a new MAC shade rather than repurchase the same color (they last 3-4 years! I get bored!) This is deeper than Sunbasque but I love it just the same. I'm NC40 and both give me a gorgeous glowy look--Peachtwist is just darker and I have to be careful to apply it with a lighter hand than with Sunbasque. If I had to choose between them, I think I'd pick Peachtwist, just because it is a deeper peach shade and is more suited to my medium skin. (Also, I exchanged Margin and got this instead--Margin was just not impressive on me and I found that it faded abnormally quickly for a MAC blush; Peachtwist lasts all day long.) At any rate, I will definitely repurchase one of the two! This is an HG product for sure.
I've actually repurchased this so many times I've lost count over the years. I used this back when I had teenage acne and haven't had a need to replace it--it contains 2% salicylic acid which helps keep breakouts and oily skin at bay. I use this once a day before my Retin-A and do not find it excessively drying; I used to use it twice daily, now I just use it at night and use a good moisturizer in the AM. It's just a good basic face wash for me--no fancy scent, no extra ingredients promising wrinkle repair or perfect pore less skin, just a good way to remove oil and makeup without getting too fancy. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is because I just opened a new bottle and it smells strange--I'm trying to figure out if they changed the ingredients because it doesn't smell like the same product ive been using for the last ~6 years.
Styling Products -A/G - Curl liquid effects extra firm styling lotion
beautycalls09 5/10/2013 1:19:00 AM
I bought this when I stopped using silicones and sulfates in my hair...this does contain a water-soluble silicone for you CG's reading this, so it's safe to use if you're sulfate-free! This is not a lotion. It has the consistency of liquid soap, but don't let that weird you out...it's holding power is AWESOME. It is crunchy when it first dries but it quickly goes away leaving you with soft, defined curls. This is one of the only products I've ever actually been impressed with (most products just get the job done....this is quite impressive.) I just use this+leave in conditioner and I've had more good hair days than I've had combined in the last 10 years. This is also great for second day hair! Just scrunch some in after misting with water and my hair looks great. Will def repurchase if Ulta has another sale.
Iced Mocha is a shimmery, gold-bronze color (lighter and less orange than their Bronze pencil, and less intense than their Gold.) I use this all over the lid and blend out with a brush--using your fingers just wipes it off. The color is gorgeous, and it does fade throughout the day, but it fades evenly into a lighter version of itself. It does crease a lot, but fixes easily with your fingers or a brush. I LOVE the jumbo pencil--so easy to use as an all-over lid color, an eyeliner, or to apply very precisely to smaller areas. You CAN sharpen these, which many people don't realize because they don't look like your typical wooden pencil casing--NYX sells a sharpener big enough to accommodate this.
I tried Margin because of the raving reviews it gets from people with NC25-35 skin tones. This is labeled a frosty peach shade, but compared to other peach shades from MAC, this is pretty muted. This didn't look bad, but I prefer brighter shades. I also thought the frost was annoying. I'm NC35-40 and applied this moderately heavy (def not light handed but I wasn't piling it on either) and the frost just builds up to be way too much. Also, out of the several MAC blushes I've owned, this was the only one that faded completely after a few hours. The rest all stayed put all day. Not sure why this is, maybe it's just too light for me? I really wanted this to be my new HG blush, but I exchanged it.
Did some research and found that this is the only mexoryl-containing product for sale in the US. (Mexoryl (ecamsule) is the ingredient that blocks UVA rays responsible for photoaging--it's also way more photostable than comparable sunscreens which is why it is so popular outside the states.) This contains a 2% concentration, and I'm not sure how much that is in comparison to other LRP products in Europe, but I am only looking for a daily moisturizer with some sun protection and not a heavy-duty sunscreen, so it works for me. I've only been using this for two days but as a moisturizer I think I can safely say I like it. It is a bit heavier than other moisturizers I've used and it does take a few minutes to sink in completely (I apply my makeup over this so I want it to be totally absorbed first) but once absorbed I forget i'm wearing it. It doesn't leave a white residue at all. This is pretty expensive (for me) costing around $35 dollars for a 3.4 oz tube. I bought it at CVS when they had a $10 extra bucks rebate. It will also last quite a while as I only use a dime size for my entire face. Overall not a bad product if you're prioritizing sun protection in your search for a daily moisturizer.
Luckily I did not purchase this, only sampled for a few days. I really wanted to find a HG Chanel foundation, but all of them give me a strange, powdery look. I was given a shade much too light for me, but it was the texture that bothered me--like I had gone overboard with the loose powder. I think this would be very pretty on very fair skinned women with nothing to hide--I feel like the finish and texture would look more airbrushed, more perfect on lighter tones--but really then, what's the point of foundation?
This has been my winter blush for a few years now. I'm NC35 and I have to use a light hand when applying, because this is very pigmented. It's a nice plum color, I think it'd look better on warmer skin tones, but I'll use up what I have gladly. Only reason I won't repurchase is because they last SO long and after so many years I want to try a different shade.
Sightly shimmery peach, gorgeous on my NC35 skin tone. This has been my daily spring/summer blush for years now. I wouldn't call this a bronzer, but it gives you a very natural and healthy glow, as if you'd been out sunbathing (just realized how perfect the name is!) Apply with a lighter hand for day; use a bit more for evening, neutral enough to pair well with dramatic eyes or lips. I've been using this for 3 or 4 years at least and have yet to see it look clownish. Wear time is excellent, lasts all day with no need to reapply unless maybe you're in the heat and sweat it off. I think most MAC products are of very good value. You pay maybe a third more what you'd pay at a drugstore, but you're getting a quality product that will last you YEARS. Of the MAC blushes I've owned, the quickest I went through one was 3 years (with near-daily wear.) I don't know if I'll repurchase this because on one hand, I love it, and my makeup philosophy is if it ain't broke, don't fix it, But on the other hand, I don't want to commit to another 4 years of the same color when there are so many more MAC shades to try!
Treatments -Burt's Bees - Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
beautycalls09 4/22/2013 4:18:00 PM
I'm OBSESSED with this and I've only been using it for 3 days. My previous HG nail cream was Hard as Hoof nail cream, which was the only thing I had ever found that helped my nails, which seem to flake/chip/break /rip no matter how well I take care of them. THIS, though. Burt's Bees nail cream is all that, but better. For one, it's not really a cream. It's more of a waxy balm. I like it because it's not as messy as Hard as Hoof--you don't have to worry about getting cream everywhere or wiping it off on everything you touch. Also, the scent is amazing, much better than cherry-almond (which was nice but it kind of reminded me of Robitussin.) This has a lemony scent that reminds me of lemon custard, not Clorox. The container is much more purse-friendly (though I'm not sure I'd trust the lid not to come off, be careful) you can easily slip this in a small bag. Also, I'm pretty sure it's paraben free--Hard as Hoof is not, and while I won't go out of my way to avoid parabens, if I can find a comparable product that leaves them out I'll gladly replace it. This goes for around $6 at drug stores and will last quite a while. I'm thinking of buying another so I can keep one in my purse and one in my bedroom. My nails look more moisturized already, and it's only been 3 days (granted, I've probably put it on at least 15 times.)
Blush -Maybelline - Dream Bouncy Blush - Coffee Cake
beautycalls09 4/22/2013 3:59:00 PM
I was not expecting the texture of this to be so much fun! Also, I love the color on my NC35 skin! Unfortunately, it was completely gone two hours after applying. And I hadn't even ventured outside of my house, so it wasn't because it was hot or humid out. Twas quite a letdown.
This wasn't taupe on me at all--more like a matte blue-gray. It applied really patchy and I couldn't get it to blend to save my life--it ended up flaking off like dry skin. I'll try it again with a primer under it, but this one's a fail. I did buy this in Bad to the Bronze and the application is MUCH better, so maybe it's something to do with how matte this shade is.
Conditioner -TRESemme - Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
beautycalls09 4/21/2013 1:13:00 AM
This just failed to impress me at all. It's quite a runny conditioner, it gives excellent "slip" in that it makes hair very easy to comb when saturated with this product, but that's the only good thing I can say about it. My hair did feel smoother after rinsing out but dried into frizzy, undefined curls. This is also a very lightweight conditioner, which might work well for fine hair, but I need something to weigh down my thick, curly hair.