Mild moisturizer. Doesn't irritate my skin or cause breakouts. It's great for mixing with my foundation to water it down and provide more sheer coverage. It's a perfect summer moisturizer.
Mascara -Elizabeth Arden - Double Density Maximum Volume Mascara
bluebirdmgc 6/17/2012 8:21:00 PM
It's mascara. Nothing particularly special. It does what it's supposed to, but honestly no better than the average drugstore mascara. It doesn't clump and it stays put. In all, though, I don't think I'll be re-purchasing. For twice the cost of drugstore mascara, I expect a little more.
Foundations -Make Up For Ever - HD High Definition Foundation
bluebirdmgc 6/17/2012 5:03:00 PM
Not a terrible product, but not great. I have a hard time getting it to blend smoothly without streaking and settling into every pore and crease (even though I always apply it over primer). The coverage is heavier than I like, so I mix it 50-50 with my moisturizer (Shiseido White Lucent Protective Emulsion SPF 15) to get a more medium, buildable coverage. Mixed with moisturizer, I love the texture and coverage it gives me. It's also nice to be able to decide exactly how much coverage I want on a day-to-day basis. The bottle feels sturdy and the pump allows you to pump out the exact amount of product you want. BUT you can't see how much product you have left, which I find aggravating. It also works best if stored upright when the bottle starts running low - I had to move it out of my shallow makeup drawer and onto the counter to be able to get the product out of the bottle. All in all, in my opinion, it's nothing special. It stays put fairly well on top of my primer and does even my skin tone and cover flaws (like the occasional zit). I didn't find that it made my skin look especially radiant, dewy, youthful, or anything else. If you have very blotchy, uneven skin and/or want the porcelain doll look, this may be just the product for you. I may end up coming back to this product (since it didn't break me out or cause any major issues), but it just didn't do anything special for me, either.
Sunscreen -Peter Thomas Roth - Instant Mineral SPF 30
bluebirdmgc 6/17/2012 4:42:00 PM
My everyday sunscreen (since I don't spend much time outside) used on top of SPF 15 moisturizer.It's fragrance-free, mattifying (very, very slightly), goes on without messing up my makeup. When I apply it, I always feel like there's nothing coming out but if I brush the brush applicator against dark jeans, I can see that there is powder being dispensed, it's just extremely fine. No whiteness, no change in the color of my face/makeup. No shine, no oil, no irritation, no acne. Great for on-the-go touchups, everyday use, or those days when you end up being outside longer than you thought (let's face it, the sunscreen you applied at 7am is pretty much useless by mid-afternoon). No issues with breakage of the tube/packaging after carrying it in my purse for 3 months. The brush is a bit scratchy, but it doesn't mess up my makeup so I can get over it. Still, having this in a compact might be better...
Primer/ Corrector -Smashbox - Photo Finish Primer SPF 15 with Dermaxyl
bluebirdmgc 6/17/2012 4:37:00 PM
I use this in combination with Smashbox Anti-Shine to create a smooth, all-day-matte base for my makeup. The silky smooth (silicone-based) texture of this primer makes the anti-shine go on without pilling and helps my makeup last all day, through sun, sweat and the humidity that only a Southern summer can provide. I wouldn't bank on the SPF, but overall it's a fantastic product. I deducted one lippie because I find it only does great things for me in combination with the Anti-Shine.
LOVE this product. I use it as a blush. The tiniest amount gives me a healthy, natural glow. I've been using it for 6 months and if you look at the container you can barely tell that it's been used at all! Use VERY sparingly and it will work wonders. Sadly, it appears to have been discontinued (I can't find it on their website any more).
I purchased this product as a replacement for benzoyl peroxide gel, which is not safe for pregnancy. Within days my acne was clearing, and my skin is dewy and soft. It no longer gets oily during the day. The dry areas are moisturized and the oily areas are soft but not oily. The texture is extremely light - once you apply it, you can't even feel it! The tube isn't the best (big tube, big hole, little control) but for the price, you really can't complain. Far better results than I got with retinol.
I was a bit skeptical at first, but I had a 30% off coupon so I decided to give it a shot. I had some problems in the first two weeks with over-drying, but I just skipped a day when my skin was feeling tight and the adjustment was pretty smooth. Week two and three I broke out in pretty nasty acne, but it cleared up pretty well by week 4. It caused a bit of dandruff right along my hairline, but nothing too severe. The metal tube makes it easy to get the product out, which I really appreciate! With how much this stuff costs, I don't want any wasted by the packaging! All in all my skin is softer, smoother, more even and relatively clear of acne. UPDATE: The acne returned a few weeks later, and went back to its usual cyclic hormonal-based pattern. I got more cystic acne as well. I switched to Alpha Hydrox's 10% AHA gel (since retinol is not considered safe for pregnancy and my husband and I are considering a child) and have been getting AMAZING results for a quarter of the cost and with none of the irritation.
Cleansers -Philosophy - Purity Made Simple (Real Purity Cleanser)
bluebirdmgc 1/13/2012 10:57:00 PM
All in all, a great cleanser. It doesn't break me out of over-dry, which is quite an accomplishment given my extremely combination skin. It leaves my skin soft and smooth. It works great with my clarisonic or alone. Highly recommended!
Cleansers -Philosophy - the microdelivery exfoliating wash
bluebirdmgc 1/13/2012 10:55:00 PM
I buy this in the giant sized bottles - I use it in the mornings and purity at night. I have used it with my clarisonic, with a wash cloth, and just rubbing it in with my hands. It's not a particularly powerful exfoliator, but it does a decent job and leaves my skin smooth. It doesn't break me out or dry or irritate my skin. I hate the smell (very chemical), but I'm willing to put up with it. The little beads to tend to clog the pumps on pump bottles (including the one included with the 32oz bottle), so I need to clean them out pretty regularly. A small price to pay for a good product.
Dries out the oily spots and zits without drying out the dry areas of my extreme combination skin. It seems to firm and tighten the skin as well. The packaging keeps the product fresh and clean. Expensive, but I was able to find a deal. It didn't work particularly well for me as a spot-treatment, but it does definitely seem to calm down any breakouts and balance out my skin. It has become a weekly staple. Not my HG, but not bad. Better than the average clay mask that I have used, but not dramatically so. I would only buy again if I can continue getting a good deal. Otherwise I'll be switching to making my own from pure clay. The bottle design is a bit odd - the small cap on the opening of the bottle won't stay put, so the opening tends to clog between uses as the mask dries up in at narrow opening. It creates a fair deal of waste with each use.
Treatments -Ren - Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask
bluebirdmgc 1/13/2012 10:38:00 PM
I got a bunch of travel-sized tubes on eBay to try it out, since $55 seemed like a lot for a mask. I have to say, I really like it! It's not as strong as I had hoped (I often leave it on for at least 20 minutes to get the full effect), but it does a pretty good job. It doesn't quite get everything, but it definitely does loosen a lot of the built-up gunk and dead skin cells. I wash thoroughly with my clarisonic brush afterwards to completely remove all of the gunk that the mas loosens up. I may move up to something slightly stronger later, but all in all I think this mask is great. It smells nice and feels nice. Do be aware, though, that this mask doesn't peel off, nor does it dry - you just rinse it off when you're done.
Lotions/ Creams -Bath and Body Works - Moisturizing Antibacterial Lotion- all
bluebirdmgc 1/13/2012 10:25:00 PM
I work in healthcare and I got this product to help keep my hands moisturized during the winter - cold air and lots of hand washing leads to hands that crack and bleed, making me vulnerable to infection. As a hand sanitizer, I can say that this wouldn't work for me in the hospital - it takes too long to sink in. That is relative, of course - efficiency is very important to me (I have things to do and patients to see!), so waiting a minute or two is just not acceptable. As a lotion, it just isn't moisturizing enough to keep my hands from cracking and bleeding, even when applied every 20 minutes or so. That being said, if you are a member of the general population and you're looking for a substitute for the little bottle of purell in your purse, I imagine this would work great. It smells nice and avoids the over-drying effects of alcohol-based sanitizers. That being said, I'm not sure I would trust it as much. When you're trying to kill nasty bugs, I want something as close to pure rubbing alcohol as possible! It didn't meet my needs at all, but I'm sure it's just right for some people!
Lip Treatments -eos - Smooth Sphere Organic Lip Balm in Honeysuckle Honeydew
bluebirdmgc 1/13/2012 10:17:00 PM
Very moisturizing - my lips crack and bleed in the winter and this protects them and keeps them wonderfully soft! The packaging is unconventional but makes the product easy to apply while keeping it safe. The smell (and taste, I suppose) is sweet but not overpowering. Highly recommended.
Overall, a very good lip balm. It moisturizes well and smells nice - not quite like milk and honey, but more like pure raw beeswax. The mechanism on the tube is smooth and easy to operate. You get a lot of product int here, too - far more than in traditional Chapstik brand. All in all I prefer EOS spheres, but definitely a quality product that I will gladly purchase again if I can't find the EOS.