Green androgyny. I voted yes on repurchase, but there's a single note in this that gives me pause and knocks this down to a four: juniper. Love the smokey wood. Love the vetiver. If you love a wallop of smoke, green, wood, and vetiver, this one's for you. The smoke is really earthy, sometimes dry, sometimes a little wet in the first five minutes, but always present under that megadose of vetiver. But then there's that single note that just rings too loud for me, because I really don't care for juniper. And it's not a kind of clean, subtle juniper that one finds in a good gin, it's all pungent and sloppy to my nose. Dries down eventually to more of a citrus, but I am not a citrus fan, either. I prefer Bandit over this for a wallop of bad girl, trouser wearing, cigar smoking femme chic .... however, the smokey wood in this is quite seductive, and will keep drawing me back.
Scrubs -Unlisted Brand - Lancer Dermatology Polish
bleuday 1/19/2013 3:33:00 PM
One of the best scrubs/polishes/exfoliators I've ever used. There are a handful of truly great exfoliators, most get the job done decently, but not all are created equally in terms of leaving skin glowing, conditioned, supple, luminous, prepped for treatment .... I would include Exfolikate by Kate Somerville in that group. This is one. Unlike anything else out there, you really need just a tiny amount, less than a dime, a little more if you decide to include your decollate (I wouldn't use this on my neck, it is pretty intense, and I think the neck area is too fragile for this one, because it is primarily a physical scrub, though there are "chemical" elements to it). Leaves skin glowing, refreshed, really polished, just like it states. Definite winner if you can treat yourself.
I am undecided about this product. Picked it up on a whim during a Victoria's Secret Tier splurge. Yes, when used daily it does exfoliate. Yes, it's a decent swipe and wipe peel type product. But their are so many of these products out there now, and with much more immediate results, I'm not certain this is a contender. I wrote "Yes" on repurchase, because if someone is new to the swipe and wipe exfoliation thing, they might find this product a good place to start .... but there's a lot of alcohol in this product, and it's really not appropriate for sensitive skin. Cane + Austin has a fanstastic glycolic swipe; Dr. Dennis Gross (see my other reviews, if interested); Philosophy's pads .... the list goes on and on. Overall, this is good, not spectacular. Probably more like a 3.65. I prefer pads with less alcohol, and I love the fact that Dr. Gross has individually wrapped his swipe and wipe treatments and completely eliminated these tubs. I used these as a toner, which seems to me, because of the alcohol content, closer to what they are, presoaked toner pads, more so than treatment pads, per se.
Cleansers -Ponds - Clean Sweep Cleansing and Makeup Remover Towelettes
bleuday 1/19/2013 9:14:00 AM
All these Ponds Towelettes are great .... I usually use the Evening Camomile, but this regular one is great too. I usually need two if I have worn foundation; first step in make-up removal in the evening. First, I use Lancome's Bi-Facil for my eyemakeup (mascara junkie, forget this for mascara), then these wipes to take off most of the gunk, eh, I mean, cosmetic products. Then I cleanse with whatever is in the rotation, depending on my hormones, needs, the weather, etc. Then the treatment product of du noir. Great staple product. Has cut time and waste down, down, down. Philosophy's Purity towellettes are a good choice, but these work nearly just as well, for a fraction of the cost, and can be picked up most everywhere for pretty inexpensive, if you travel a lot. I buy these in bulk.
Treatments -Estee Lauder - Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex
bleuday 1/19/2013 8:58:00 AM
I used one of the earlier incarnations of the Advanced Night Repair years ago .... eh, make that decades ago. Since then, skincare has been taken storm by the Doctors and all the various machination of the "pharmaceutical grade" types of products. Skincare just isn't what it was three decades ago. What was premier in the seventies is now pretty much junk "science." But, I got duped into repurchasing this, because I was reading positive reviews on the web. Even here, at the time of this writing, the repurchase rate is 75 percent. Huh? I really wanted to love this product. Really. Because compared to other stuff I use, this would have been a great investment. Save money on skincare, get more perfume! Get that jumbo bottle, save a good chunk of change, and get a million samples with every purchase (Lauder has the best business model in the industry, even if most of their products are wanting). I tried and tried. Bought the jumbo bottle. Used on my hands, face, neck, chest, just jumped into the vat and knew results were coming. Yep. 75 percent repurchase on MUA, this stuff is gonna rock. Gave it 30 days. Eh, not so much. Results were "okay." Nothing to write home about, but disappointed enough to write a two lippie review on MUA. With all the high tech stuff going on in beauty, EL needs to bring a better game in terms of results. Seriously. No offense, but this product would be like putting Joe Namath out on the field again. That's pretty much when this product was a star, too, imo. Obviously, Lauder's marketing is second to none.
Good solid product. Have purchased and used two bottles. Iman claims to use this product. Maybe Wexler gives her boxes of this stuff to say that, but I threw that in as a freebie. For myself, most everything with a decent dose of retinol works; this is no exception. Good night time treatment. Results the first night, with a few nights, most of the basic retinol results are present: luminosity, clarity, reduction in fine lines. Smells absolutely, positively ghastly. But it works decent for this price range, and the smell dissipates in a minute or so. Too heavy a hand will cause congestion and break outs. Can't speak to this MMPi technology that Wexler's made her money on .... but I do enjoy this product, so when Victoria's Secret is having a tier sale and I need to buy more to save more, very easy to throw it into the shopping cart and purchase without regrets. :-)
Treatments -Patricia Wexler MD Dermatology - MMPi Skin Regenerating Serum
bleuday 1/19/2013 8:26:00 AM
Actual rating, 3.5. I have purchased this product three times. It's good. Not amazing, but good. When I don't use it for awhile and come back to it, I am blown away by the results, but they seem to stop after about a week. Also, I am ambivalent about this product because I am not certain how much of the effect is simply that this applies more like a thick primer than a serum, so if applied at night, you go to bed and wake up with a "glow," and I still haven't decided how much of this is simply because there's probably a layer of dimethacone all over. However, there seems to be some decent treatment stuff buried in there, that keeps luring me. The price point is extremely good, so that coupled with the silicone, dimethacone, or whatever it is, keeps me coming back. I use it as a primer more often than not. A little difficult to drag foundation over it, but works great as an over priced "treatment" primer, and also is good for a soft-focus effect in the evening after taking off the makeup yet still having to "face" people. Too heavy a hand will cause breakouts if you're acne or congestion prone.
This scrub smells very lovely and feels quite nice on the skin; it's definitely a "high end" facial skin care item, and feels "luxurious." But is that all I want in skin care, the feeling of luxury? Not really. I prefer workhorses. So while this smells lovely and feels luxurious, for myself, it only offers moderate exfoliation. I suppose if you have sensitive skin, this might be useful. I need more horsepower, however. I prefer Philosophy's "Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash" for my daily, physical exfoliation. Yeah, it's much more modest. Doesn't smell like Neiman Marcus, doesn't have a pretty peach color, has rather cheesy packaging. But it gets the job done, every day. With my Clarisonic, it provides just the right amount of physical exfoliation, without stripping my skin. This is a lovely little pony; charming and pretty. But I need an adult breed that allows all my over priced anti-aging productsto get in and do their job. This isn't it.
Treatments (Eye) -Bobbi Brown - EXTRA Eye Repair Cream
bleuday 1/18/2013 9:02:00 PM
Probably the best eye product I have ever used, and I have used many, many eye repair products .... this has been a g-ddess send to my over 40 eye area. Extremely thick, will not absorb well unless you warm it up between your fingers. But the hydration that gives the eye area is second to none, in my experience. Again, used so many brands, so many prices points, so many claims. What else I love is how easily and effortlessly it can be applied to the lid area, without any eye irritation; causes absolutely no puffiness in the morning, simply a supple moisturized eye. Amazing stuff. Definite repurchase.
Tinted Moisturizer -NARS - Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
bleuday 1/18/2013 5:19:00 PM
I marked this as a repurchase, but I probably won't .... however, if you're a 1) brand buyer; 2) looking for a good solid tinted moisturizer, this may be your ticket. First, the finish on this is very good. I did have a few problems getting the correct color; however, once I got the right color, I was pleased with the product. Great finish. Great wear. Great packaging .... hey, it's NARS. However, I am much more happy with the finish on the MD Skincare (Dr. Dennis Gross) that I picked up. That's the one I keep reaching for. Over and over. Also, I found the color matching far more forgiving. Matched up first time around. There's something about the finish and overall treatment benefits that make that product my current go to. Really impressive and natural, which goes along with the color matching .... but, had I not discovered that one, I would be using my NARS. The NARS is a bit more 'make-upy,' imo. Not quite as natural. Not quite as easy. Not quite the treatment benefits I had wanted. I really don't mean this as a bait and switch; rather, not everyone likes to try something a little off the brand track. TM's I've used and enjoyed in the past (that I remember): Perricone, Stila, Bienfait Du Matin ... and, now, this MD SkinCare TM's I did not enjoy (off the top of my head): Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercia Good solid choice if you're not inclined to go "off-brand." :-)
Conditioner -Aveda - Pure-Fume Brilliant conditioner
bleuday 1/18/2013 5:03:00 PM
Great light-midweight conditioner with a singularly Divine scent. Probably not suitable for those who need daily intense conditioning. I rotate it with other conditioners, as I have color treated fine hair. I use this on a "lighter conditioner" day, usually after a heavier treatment with the previous shampoo. Pairs beautifully with the Pure-Fume Brilliant shampoo. Wonderful way to begin the day, the aromatherapy is incredible.
I don't know that this product is any better or worse than anything else in this price range ..... if you're a serious product s/lut, it takes some serious performance or lack thereof to stand out from the pack when you're in this price point/target market. That written, this is a very good shampoos, as it should be. But what does make this one stand out is the aromatherapy. OMGoddess, I seriously cannot get enough of the smell of this, just heavenly. So, yes, it does what it claims to do. Aveda's been in the biz a long time, and, seems to me, they have stayed in the game not just because Estee Lauder bought them out, but because they have offered consistently great products. The question is more a matter of matching individual needs to the appropriate product line, and less about the over all reliability and quality of the brand, which has been top notch for several decades. The Brilliant line is all about shine, which, if you have very fine hair, you probably can't use this line ever day, and you must use with a light hand, as must I. I simply can't use these products all the time or my hair gets flat. But the Brilliant line is also about the smell (Pure-Fume), from the glossing spray to every other product. And it breaks my heart that this is not a daily product for me, because the smell is absolutely, positively, DIVINE. To. Die. For.
Yes, have purchased many times over the years. I consider this less of a "conditioner" than a color intensifier. I have color treated hair, and this product, when used in conjunction with the Camomile Shampoo really do add an attractive depth of gold to my hair. Not brassy, just this depth of color (really nice when the color starts fadiing). I have never had success with the blondes need to use blue washes .... it makes my gold washed out to use blue formulas. This boost of yellow/depth of gold seems just the thing. However, it really isn't all that conditioning. Depending on my needs, I'll use some kind of leave in for detangling/smoothing .... but this is a great product that has served me well on and off throughout the years. Happy repurchase.
Hair -Aveda - Camomile Shampoo(for blondes/higlights)
bleuday 1/18/2013 4:34:00 PM
I buy this one in the 32 ounce size .... Good solid workhorse in my rotation. Many of the more expensive/treatment oriented shampoos are too much for daily use, for my fine hair. I love the "Damage Repair" line, but I simply can't use that much treatment. Yes, I color treat my hair. Yes, it is damaged. But is is also fine, and too much treatment leaves me flat. This is a solid shampoo. I do notice the blond effects, a kind of golden wash, when I use it with the Camomile Conditioner (I will often then use the leave in Damage Repair, as that is a lighter conditioner). Love the fragrance. Has been a great stand-by over the years .....
This product just fails on every level. The brush is useless. The product delivers nothing. What did it reveal? That skincare companies still don't bat an eye at selling empty promises that don't deliver ..... Please. Give me a break. Worst beauty purchase of 2012, hands down.