This is an inexpensive way to brighten and smooth your skin. I have breakout prone skin. My cheeks are usually the most clog prone and when I use bad products, I will usually develop whiteheads and my cheeks will feel like reading Braille on my face. I tried lemons a while back but I think I used too much if the lemon juice. It did sting and I got dome minorirritation bumps. Well, fast forward to a month ago, I decided to try it again but this time, I used a few drops of pure lemon juice, not the bottled one and two slices of cucumbers. I diluted this concoction with about 70% distilled water. I took some cotton rounds and drenched it into the mixture and patted onto my face. I left it on for about 7 minutes and rinsed. Wow. It was smooth and my complexion just seems better and less oily. I've been doing this mixture once a week as a special mask treat. It feels very refreshing. I don't think I would use lemon juice on it's own due to the high acidity but diluted really helps and I like it very much. As a bonus, I've also been drinking lemon water first thing in the morning and my digestion and just overall well being seems to be better. Oh, but please drink with a straw. Hope this helps! :)
BB Cream -Dr. Jart+ - Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 PA+++
bonstamonsta 5/13/2013 5:58:00 PM
For reference: I'm Asian and NC35. I know many people said that this is geared towards pale and pinky undertones. I still went ahead and tried it. The verdict? Well, I admit it's a bit too white for my complexion, but when it sets after a few minutes, it kind of melds into my skin. I don't really see a ghostly or ashy face. My skin is normally combo oily and this does make me a little oily after 4-5 hours. I'm not crazy about that but I have to say the coverage is nice. It covers most if my past acne scars and a few sun spots. I like the creamy texture. This formula is very much like a foundation. I typically use a sponge to blend. I absolutely love the SPF 45. My skin is very finicky. I am breakout prone and I have acne scars on my cheeks. Im the type that will check ingredients before buying products. I noticed that this BB cream contained stearic acid and soybean oil so I was a little worried but you know what? My skin did not get irritated nor did it cause a bad breakout. I'm impressed with the BB cream, considering it's my first too. I have already bought another bottle for backup. Like I said, it's a great product except it can make my face oily after a few hours and also the hard case is hard to determine how much product is left. But I love the pump. Overall, I like this product. Great for outdoor events and just a natural, glowy complexion. If you are fair and pinky undertones, is definitely try this. You won't be disappointed. :)
I wish I could love this product... But I don't. The first time I used this, I applied it under my eyes to conceal my dark circles. It did not do a great job. Why? Well, I found that it creased after a few hours and I looked tired. Not something that's too attractive. I then found a YouTube video about mixing some of this concealer with a little moisturizer to create a tinted moisturizer. I liked the idea and I really wanted it to work. The first day, I was so excited to try it out. I mixed one pump if the mac and some moisturizer and swirledthe concoction and applied. I won't lie, it felt good going on and it really did cover my acne scars and hyperpigmentation. I didn't use any powder and just went on with my day. It stayed put all day but after a few hours, some oil would peek through. Nothing serious. I did this mixture for another few days and then that's when I noticed some clogged pores and breakouts. I had to stop and reevaluate what I have been doing and I came to the conclusion that it had to be the MAC pro longwear. Now, I love the MAC studio finish concealer but I think the pro longwear may have just been a bit too heavy. I usually use one makeup wipe to remove my makeup before I cleanse, but when wearing the pro longwear, I had to use two wipes just to make sure I got everything off. I'm typically an NC35 but with this product, I used NW25. Don't gasp. It was totally ok. I think the pro longwear runs darker and a bit more on the peachy side. The NW 25 matched my medium Asian, yellow undertones just fine. I know MAC products may break out some people but I think it depends in the individual because YMMV. This concealer really does conceal those hard to cover spots and scars pretty well and this doesn't budge until you remove it. There are a lot of shades to choose from too. Ok. As everyone has mentioned, the pump can be a pain. For those looking to conceal eyes and blemishes only, you will find that one pump can be an overload of product. I've tried pumping s l o w l y while my fingers were shaking a bit but it worked. If using as an all over tinted moisturizer, I think one pump is plenty. I paid $18 for a small, glass tube at the MAC counter. Not the cheapest but to me, I think this is an industrial strength concealer for those looking to hide blemishes and flaws. As for the eyes, it didn't work out for me even after I moisturizer but again, to each their own. Not a bad product overall. I'd give this a try.
Where do I begin... I heard so many good raves about this gel liner and since I had a Sephora gift card, I figure I would splurge on this bestseller item. First off, I have oily lids and I don't prime my lids unless I am wearing eyeshadow. Normally, I am an eyeliner gal and maybe some mascara. I chose caviar ink because I didn't want a stark black color but instead, I wanted a softer and muted black. This color does deliver that. I can wear this during the day and the color is great. Not too bold at all. The texture is very smooth and creamy. I use my small eyeliner brush with a flat top and it applies effortlessly. I usually like to tightline too. Well, here is where my troubles began. I put this on at 7am and by noon, I could see smudges near the corner of my eyes. Not a good look. Also, I find that the gel liner will begin to smudge off on my lashes which then smudges onto my bottom lashes. Overall, I have smudges everywhere. Not like raccoon eyes but it is noticeable. Also, color has faded some as well. Not too thrilled or impressed. My pot did not dry up like some other reviewers mentioned. But I have been capping it tightly and storing it into the original box. I love the texture but despise the performance. It's not cheap either. I think I'm going back to my liquid liners. Perhaps if you don't have oily lids, this may work. Overall, I will save this for special nights.
Loose Powders -Smashbox - Photo Set Finishing Powder SPF 15
bonstamonsta 1/30/2013 12:59:00 PM
I must be in the minority here but I found out that using this powder caused a lot of clogged pores and even cystic acne. I normally have combo skin with some dry patches on my face. I used a whole jar, not knowing or even thinking that this product could be the culprit of my breakouts. I realized that most mineral makeup does not agree with my skin. Since Mica is the first ingredient on the list, I figure that most Mica based products will cause some issues for me. As far as performance goes, I'm an NC35 and this powder will cause that white, powdery effect. I think those with fair and pale skins will see the best results. This powder seemed to blur fine lines but after a few hours, my face did seem a bit shiny. Overall, I cannot use this product but I think some people may find this powder helpful. To each their own.
Concealers -Estee Lauder - Double Wear Stay-in-Place Concealer
bonstamonsta 12/1/2012 1:41:00 AM
I've been using this concealer for about 7 months now. This concealer is great for covering dark circles and purple/blue hues. I use this on top of Bobbi Browns corrector in Peach and it does wonders. I have some serious bags and dark circles so I do have to use more than one product. But ELDW concealer works like a charm. BTW, I don't know how well this concealer would perform on blemishes or other imperfections since I only use this for my under eyes. A few things about this concealer: -comes in a tube with a wand applicator -offers a multitude of shades, ranging from very light to deep tones -has SPF 10 -really does last all day -ranges between $20-22US I would definitely recommend using an eye moisturizer before applying under your eyes because I could see this turning cakey and dry. I wear contacts but this formula doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes. The way I use it is to swipe a little of the concealer with the wand directly under eyes and then tap. It blends seamlessly. For reference: I'm NC30-35 and I use the shade Medium. It's a good match for me and I have yellow undertones. I will continue to buy this because it does a good job for my dark circles.
Blush -Kevyn Aucoin - The Pure Powder Glow in Dolline (Apricot)
bonstamonsta 11/15/2012 4:41:00 PM
Kevyn Aucoin cosmetics really are nice and high quality. I was first introduced to his blushes when I saw the color 'Myracle' which is a hot pink. I love this blush and a little goes a looooong way. I was looking for a peachy apricot color and when I saw Dolline, I knew I had to try it. After applying the color with my ELF powder brush, I noticed that the color really didnt show up on my face, UNLESS I applied a heavy hand. I'm NC 30-35 and this color was just OK. I guess the color didnt really stand out on my skintone. I believe this color would compliment fair skin tones nicely rather than medium/olive. In case you are wondering, the blush is housed in a sleek and slim, red plastic case. It comes with a mirror and a small brush. There is no shimmer in the blush. Keep in mind that his blushes are very powdery so make sure you have a good base to work with prior to applying. Yes. It is expensive ($35-37) but I like the fact that there are few ingredients and great quality. Highly pigmented and finely milled. All in all, I say give his blushes a try!
Concealers -Shiseido - Natural Finish Cream Concealer
bonstamonsta 11/10/2012 12:59:00 PM
Maybe I got the wrong shade. I am an NC 30/35 typically and I bought this in Medium. I used it for two days and I think I'm going to pull the plug and return this. First off, I'm asian and the color does not have yellow undertones. At least not for my skintone. Instead, it goes on gray, almost like brown mud. Eww! I applied this to some blemishes and it looked like I got beat up because the blemishes look like purple bruises. I gave this 2 star rating because I think the consistency is ok. It is not creamy but instead liquid. But the formula is thick. Also, I like the tube. It's more hygienic. But this did not live up to my expectations. I usually use Mac Studio Finish and I think the color and the creamy texture works out better for me. I have not tried the Shiseido under my eyes. I would think it would be a little drying. But all in all, I think I am gonna return this.
I received a generous sample of this moisturizer in my VIB clutch from Sephora. It claims to be an oil free, intensive moisturizer. I should say that almost ALL moisturizers clog me or break me out. I was quite hesitant to try this but I looked at the ingredients and it seemed OK. I tried this moisturizer for 3 nights in the evening. I have to say, I like the texture a lot. It's a creamy consistency and it simply glides on your skin. Personally, I love the scent. It smells very floral yet clean. But those who are sensitive towards fragrance should steer clear. It can be over powering for some noses. I felt that while this moisturizer did moisturize, it also dried out my skin. It moisturizers when you first put it on but after a while, I think it dried out my skin, specially on my cheeks and forehead. Weird. This is the reason I gave it a 3 star rating. But I do like the scent, and it didn't cause breakouts. I think this would be great for oily/very oily skinned guys and gals. But for combo and dry, I would opt for something creamier. All in all, I would say give this a try. It comes in buy a tube for $12 or a jar for $20. Good price. I would ask for a sample.
Oh the beloved Estee Lauder Double Wear...The notorious long-lasting foundation that every women adores. Where do I begin? I've used DW for almost 5 years. When I initially bought this foundation, my main issues were covering up some hyperpigmentation, long-lasting formula and one that wouldn't turn me into an oil slick after a few hours. Guess what? This little baby addressed all the abovementioned things. And it performed beautifully. I never used a foundation quite like this. I was amazed and astonished that something like this existed for us! Well, fast forward a few years, I noticed some things about my face. I did notice some consistant clogged pores on my cheeks, a rough texture (almost ruddy) and it dried my face alittle. I didn't like seeing my face like this. Yes, this baby is long lasting therefore you have to use some super magic makeup remover or cleansing oil. Even after using MAC Cleanse Off Oil, I noticed that my face was still rough in texture and dry. And like some reviewers here, this foundation can look cakey and age you in appearance. One thing I should mention is that this foundation did not cause breakouts for me. YAY! Also, I remember walking in NYC heat and when I got to work, I barely made a dent with this foundation. My face was still matte. I stopped using this foundation as my daily go-to. I will save this for special occasions and nights out. Again, I don't want to bash this foundation because I think it does a good job. Here's my breakdown: PROS: Oil-Free Long-Lasting Few Ingredients Does not Transfer Sweat-Proof Good Color Selections Matte Finish SPF 10 Does not feel heavy once it's set Easily Available at all dept. stores CONS: No Pump (USE MAC's PUMP. It fits) Difficult to Remove Dries out Skin Looks Cakey Can cause white cast in flash photography Dries fast so better buff onto skin quick If you're going for the au natural look, don't look for it here. This is a full covergae foundation that has great potential to camouflage acne, acne scars, hyperpigmentation and all imperfections. I really don't dislike this foundation but I do feel like daily wear would not be good for the skin. I once saw my face in natural daylight and I was like, OMG! It looks like I have a ton of makeup. Didn't like that. For women looking for a full-coverage, matte and long lasting foundation, this one is for you. It works despite the cons mentioned. I would recommend using a moisturizer beneath this foundation because it can show dry flakes. For Reference: I am an NC 30/35. In the winter, I use SAND and in the hotter months with a tan, I use TAWNY. Retails for about $32-35US.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant
bonstamonsta 10/24/2012 5:08:00 PM
I was looking for an exfoliator for my dull and rough complexion. I am already using PC AHA 8% which I really like to use at nights. I wanted a little more so I tried the BHA 2% Gel. I started slow- once every 2 days, then moving to once every night. At first, I noticed my skin felt smoother and pores did seem smaller. I really liked that aspect of this gel. However, after a few uses, I did breakout. Small, red pimples in places where I don't usually get breakouts. I thought it was "purging" so I used it a few more times but the breakouts did not get better. In fact, some new crops of whiteheads and pimples started to form next to existing blemishes. Weird! But, I have stopped. I think I am going to stick with Paula's AHA instead. I know some people just cannot tolerate BHA. I have tried BHA a few years ago and I think my skin just does not like the concentrated form of BHA. My current cleanser contains slight amounts of Salicylic Acid and it seems OK, I gave this a 2 rating and not a 1 because it did smooth my face, despite the breakouts. =( Also, Paulas Choice has a great return policy. But it's OK. At least I tried it and I think many of PC products are very tolerable and great. I know there are other mediums of PC BHA such as lotion and liquid, with formulas of both 1% and 2%. I dont think I want to try any more BHA. At least not now.
Treatments (Eye) -The Body Shop - Wise Woman Eye Cream
bonstamonsta 10/24/2012 4:56:00 PM
What can I say? I love this eye cream for both day and night use. I have dark circles and puffy eyes. Ugh! I was looking for an eye cream that would address these issues as well as hydrate my under eye area. I came across The Body Shop Wise Woman Eye Serum on MUA (where else?!) Now, its not your typical drugstore price. It comes housed in a small bottle (15ml) with a pump for $24. The claim is that they use "cotton" fillers to fill in lines. I love the pump. It squirts outs as much as needed. I hate the ones where it shoots out an unnecessary amount. This one does not do it. Whew. But moving on, this eye cream has some good ingredients such as aloe, olive oil, marula oil, shea butter and witch hazel. I honestly can't say that my dark circles are diminished but I can say my eyes always feel hydrated and just fantastic. I use it in the morning under my concealer and it does wonders. The little crepey lines are slowly disappearing. I have tried other eye creams in the past that would cause slight irritation, milia or swollen eyes. I can say this eye cream does none of those things for me. Also, this little bottle really lasts a loooong time. A little pump is all that I use for both eyes. if you are looking for an eye cream that is deeply nourishing and has contour and lifting and all those benefits, I would not look here. This to me is a very good basic moisturizing eye cream. I would definitely give this a try.
Cerave is a line created with dermalologists. Sounds good, eh? Let me first tell you a little about my skin. I have combo, very clogged prone skin with some hyperpigmentation and acne scars. I was looking for a gentle skin care line and I saw all the raves on Cerave. Plus, its readily available at most drugstores (CVS, Target, Walgreens) and the price is pretty good too (under $13). I picked up the foaming cleanser, hydrating cleanser and the Cerave PM lotion. I noticed a lot of good ingredients like Niacinamide, Ceramides and Sodium Hyaluronate. I thought I might have stumbled upon my HG skin care. Here are my thoughts: Foaming Facial Cleanser: I think this is a great, solid foaming cleanser which for me, effectively removed my makeup with one wash. You may need to do a double-cleanse if you use longwear or waterproof. One to two pumps is enough to create an abundant lather with water. I admit, this cleanser did not irritate my existing pimples or any cause any additional redness. I used this cleanser for a month. I initially loved the results. It made my face feel squeaky clean. For those who like that squeaky feel, this is for you. For me, it did dry my face out a little bit. But the one thing I noticed was an increase in clogged pores around my jaw area, sides of my forehead and chin. It didnt happen overnight but it did happen eventually. Nothing major but again, my skin is very prone to clogging and this and the other Cerave cleansers seemed to have increased my whiteheads. It was very annoying and even now, I still have some stubborn whiteheads that wont go away. Grrrr... I am sure I can use this for washing my makeup brushes. I wish I could love this wash because it is gentle and effective at cleansing but to me, I just couldnt stand the clogged pores. Also, I noticed my hands were often very dry and itchy too. I have since gone back to my old cleanser and I think my face is a little better. For those that can use Cerave cleansers, I am so jealous. But again, I dont want to bash this cleanser because I do think it will work for many. Just not me... =( PS. Tried the Hydrating Cleanser and that one is not effective for makeup removal but good for morning washes as it is really gentle. Lotion-type consistency and very little lather. Also caused clogged pores but worse for me than the foaming. As for the Cerave PM lotion, strangely, I can use this lotion along with my AHA lotion and it seems OK. Moisturizes without a greasy feel and I do notice softer skin. YAY! We'll see. what happens with continued use... Thanks for reading =)
So ladies, if you love a little color on your lips with a sweet taste (for those who cannot stop licking their lips), then this may be a fun little product to add to your lip stain collection. I bought the color, Tangelo, which is a coral peachy color. I instantly fell in love with the color when I saw it on Sephora website. I am a NC35 and this color shows up quite bold and just plain wonderful. Adds a nice flush of color. There is a letter "B" in the center of the lip tint (for Bite Beauty, what else?), perhaps for some added pearly shimmer? Supposedly, these lip tints are packed with lots of good stuff including Argan Oil and resveratrol (the equivalent of the antioxidants in 10 glasses of wine). How cool is that? I seriously do LIKE this product but I am not in love. Reasons? For my lips, it actually made them a little drier which then caused some peeling. Ugh! I thought this could have been my HG lip stain for everyday wear but I was wrong. Its not cheap either. But the packaging and the quality is real nice. It comes in a 3 inch metallic, grey tube. Very sleek. But due to the moisturizing performace, I will not be re-purchasing.
I love this corrector! Did I mention I love it?! For reference: I'm NC35 and I use the color PEACH. <3 I use this corrector as a concealer base. Its perfect. if you have any dark circles or purple/greenish hues under your eyes, this will instantly cover and counterbalance the discoloration. I have dark circles, and it looks purple some mornings. After I moisturize my eyes, I apply this corrector and voila! The purple hue is gone! My undereyes seem brighter and just overall more awake. I use this every morning. If I am not doing the whole makeup routine, I will just dab a little of this stuff under my eyes and I'm good to go. But as a concealer base, its truly fantastic. No cakiness and concealer will go on very smooth and even. This corrector comes in a little black pot with an enclosed mirror. I know some people don't like dipping their fingers in the pot and find it unhygienic but, really, the warmth from your fingers will make this product glide perfectly under your eyes. I simply tap underneathe my eyes and its set. Don't rub, just light taps. It's not the cheapest but in the long run, it's totally worth it IMO. I bought my corrector almost two years ago and I still have a lot left. You really dont need to use too much. All in all, I love this product. if you want to hide/correct those dark circles, I would give this a try.