Styling Products -TRESemme - Instant Heat Tamer Spray
caramel87 5/6/2011 7:30:00 PM
Can't say enough good things about this. I'm so glad MUA introduced me to this heat protectant! My hair is so much healthier and shinier now than it was before using this. It also serves as my pre-heat product to tame frizz, and it's excellent in doing this too. My hair stays sleek, smooth, and shiny, even with humidity and a bit of rain. I like the scent. Most importantly, NO STICKINESS! I hate any and all hair products that cause stickiness and/or stiffness- this spray results in neither. Also, the spray bottle design is awesome because it sprays evenly, easily, and never clogs up. Last but not least, I've had my bottle for months, and I have insanely thick hair- so definitely great value for the money. Love it!
Why does this have such a low rating!! I LOVE IT! It's an awesome quick fix for oily hair when you don't have the time to wash and style your hair. The effect only lasts for about 6 hours, and that's just enough for me to go to a class or two then return for a shower. Has saved my always late butt on several occasions. Can't live without it!
In the pan, Catalina is a bit scary. It's a cool-toned, bubblegum pink shade, but upon application it turns into the most natural flush I have ever seen. Once I apply it, it looks a bit cool and unnatural. 3 seconds later, it transforms into this amazingly flattering shade of natural, warm, glowing pink. For reference, I have a medium golden (i.e. yellow undertones) complexion (NC35-37). It's the same color as the natural flush I see in my cheeks after a good run. I imagine it would react a little differently on cooler skin tones, but I believe it would still look stunning. The fact that it starts out cool makes me feel like it would stay cool on cool skin tones, so it wouldn't clash with the skin's undertones or any of that nonsense. ***I've uploaded 2 pictures of arm swatches. You can see how the unblended start of the swipe looks a bit cool-toned, while the rest of the swipe appears much warmer against my skin.*** Catalina has a beautiful satin finish. There are no shimmers or glitters here! Just a perfect glowy, satin, natural finish. This is by far the best finish I have ever seen on a blush. It looks amazingly healthy and radiant on the skin, without ever having to worry about looking like a disco ball. The texture is just heavenly! When I first received this blush in the mail, I thought it was a cream blush. It looked so smooth and soft. After lightly tapping my brush into it, I applied it to my cheeks and noticed that it blended in effortlessly. It just melted into my skin rather than just sit on top of it and look fake. The finished look was stunning; no trace of powder-iness. Very natural and ultra smooth. In the tin, you get a generous amount of 8.9 grams, which retails for $26 USD/CAD. The price might initially scare off some people, but the quality AND quantity are well worth it! This blush has become a daily staple for me, so I would personally pay even more than $26 to get my hands on it. It is truly unique, and undeniably stunning.
I really like this concealer. I'm NC35-37 and I wear shade 04. It's yellow-based, which I love! There's another shade (03?) that's fairly neutral, more pink-based. This is my 2nd favorite concealer (and possibly a cheaper alternative) to Cargo's Blu-Ray concealer. I use it mostly on blemishes and random redness on nose and cheeks, but it can also be used under the eyes with great results. It's creamy, smooth, pigmented, and doesn't settle into fine lines. The packaging is OK; wish it was a twist-pen rather than a click-pen. I also don't use the brush tip for the entire application. I apply the concealer straight from the tube onto desired areas then use my own fluffy brush (EcoTools blending brush) to blend/smooth it out. Doesn't cake, fade, or irritate my sensitive skin. I love it!
I love this concealer! It is one of only 2 concealers that I can use for the under-eye area AND blemishes. It's very smooth and creamy, but doesn't settle into fine lines. I powder it minimally and it stays put and looks fresh until I take it off. I have extremely sensitive skin, and this has never caused any problems for me. I like packaging a lot because it's very easy to control the amount of product that comes out, and I can throw it in my purse or luggage without worrying about it leaking. I'm NC35-37 and shade 2 works well enough for me. I don't think it would suit darker skin tones, so Cargo definitely needs to expand on their shades here! Overall, stellar product if you can use one of the 2 shades they currently offer.
This mascara is as close to HG as I'll probably ever get! I love it! I have a medium golden complexion and black hair, so I always like my mascara to be SUPER BLACK! I picked up this mascara in Black because it was the darkest one I found, and was a bit worried b/c I usually use Very Black or Extreme Black in other brands. To my surprise, this plain Black was more intense than any other Very/Extreme Black one I have from other brands (and I have A LOT!). I can't possibly imagine a richer black, but reading the reviews informed that this actually comes in Extreme Black. The Max gives good length and volume, and can easily be built up for the faux-lash look. It doesn't flake on me at all. No smudging either. No clumps, no spider legs. Doesn't dry up quickly in the tube, yet it's not runny - perfect consistency IMO. The result is super lush, ultra black lashes! Wonderful mascara overall.
Lipstick -Maybelline - Color Sensational Let Me Pink
caramel87 4/1/2010 3:29:00 PM
I've been wearing this nonstop since I purchased it 2 weeks ago. I love it! It just lights up my face (yellow/golden undertones), even if it's the only makeup product I have on. The color is a bright medium to medium-dark berry-pink with no shimmer. Of course, as with all of the other Color Sensational ones I've tried, the formula is amazing - opaque and creamy. Definite staple!
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - TRIA Laser Hair Removal System
caramel87 3/4/2010 12:26:00 AM
** This is for the latest (2nd) version of Tria** I freakin' LOVE this gadget! It has seriously changed my life, and I can safely state that it's one of the best things (if not THE best) I've ever purchased. I'm not going to get into details of operation and usage b/c I see other reviewers have already done so. This review will cover my results etc. I also rebelled against Tria's warnings and bought this primarily for my face. I've inherited wonderfully abundant and coarse chin and upper lip hairs. They were so brutal and grew back so quickly after every tweezing session, that at times it was emotionally painful. Anyway... I've done 4 sessions so far, about once every 3 weeks on levels 1 and 2. I can't stand anything higher than 2 (I have a very low pain threshold). I'm noticing a DRAMATIC difference. Seriously, dramatic! The hair is much less, much finer, and the ones that do grow back are extremely slow. I'll update later after a couple more sessions. I started using it on my underarms recently and my, oh my! Magic :) .. I could honestly see a difference right after the second session! Crazy, huh? I use it on level 1. I've only done 2 sessions so far and will update later. For the price, Tria is AMAZING! You're removing/reducing hair at the comfort of your home and for a lot cheaper than what you'd pay at a laser clinic. I hope the makers will release another gadget with a slightly bigger laser head to cover larger areas more easily, BUT I do love the small size of this one when it comes to treating small/narrow areas like the upper lip and such. For reference, I'm golden-tan, NC35-37 depending on the season. One charge covers my upper lip, chin, and underarms 2-3 times and a bit more -- I think this is pretty good! UPDATE 7/18/2010: Did the 8th treatment of facial hair 2 weeks ago, ~90% hair reduction. 4th treatment on underarms 3 months ago, 30% reduction. LOVING IT! UPDATE 3/18/2011: A bit over a year now. Still loving it for small areas. I do not have the patience for larger areas with such a small head, so I'll probably go to a pro for those. But honestly, I'm so glad I bought this! My upper lip hair is down by 95% after 10 treatments. I didn't have time to continue with underarms, but after 4 initial treatments and months of just shaving I see a stable reduction by about 30%. I'm sad to say that although Tria initially worked brilliantly on my chin, the results after a year aren't as impressive as I had expected. I only did 9 treatments on the chin on settings 1 and 2, so it might be that the hair is very stubborn and I didn't keep up, or it might be hormonal - YMMV. Overall, still very satisfied b/c the results I've already achieved have more than made up for the price I paid.
Liquid -Sonia Kashuk - Perfecting Liquid Foundation
caramel87 7/7/2009 8:26:00 PM
People with yellow/golden undertones, rejoice! Seriously. This is the best foundation ever for people with true yellow/golden undertones. I've tried a million others and most are either too peachy or too pinky, and the slightest peachiness or pinkiness really shows against my skin and makes me look really really strange. Only some high-end brands make true yellow/golden shades (MAC, Bobbi Brown). The shade "Bamboo" matches my NC-35/37 skin tone very well. PROs: - Pump dispenser (mine works very well, never spurts out or plugs up) - Bottle looks sleek - Wears well for 8-12 hours on my normal-combo skin (doesn't settle into pores, lines, etc.), even in hot weather (100 *F !) - Doesn't highlight dry patches - Easily buildable without looking cakey - Washes off easily w/ regular face-wash - Doesn't break me out or clog pores (everything, and I mean everything, else does!) - NO SPF!!!!!! I hate foundations that have not quite enough SPF to protect skin, but just enough to give a horrific white cast w/ flash photography. - Gives a natural, satin-y finish. - Feels nice on skin after it dries (very light, non-sticky) - And once more, it's yellow-based. NOT brown, gray, peach, or pink -- YELLOW =D CONS: - Has this weird chemical smell that's not really all that pleasant, but I can't smell it on my face after it dries.. so it's really not that big of a deal, but it's there - $10 for ~0.6 FL OZ... most foundations are 1 oz, so this is more expensive than other "drugstore" foundations out there, but still less expensive than mid/high-end ones. I love it! Definitely HG. ETA (1/24/2010): I still love this, still HG. Haven't even been tempted to try anything else!
Foundations -Sonia Kashuk - perfecting liquid foundation in bamboo
caramel87 7/7/2009 8:21:00 PM
People with yellow/golden undertones, rejoice! Seriously. This is the best foundation ever for people with true yellow/golden undertones. I've tried a million others and most are either too peachy or too pinky, and the slightest peachiness or pinkiness really shows against my skin and makes me look really really strange. Only some high-end brands make true yellow/golden shades (MAC, Bobbi Brown). This shade (Bamboo) matches NC-35/37 very well. PROs: - Pump dispenser (mine works very well, never spurts out or plugs up) - Bottle looks sleek - Wears well for 8-12 hours on my normal-combo skin (doesn't settle into pores, lines, etc.), even in hot weather (100 *F !) - Doesn't highlight dry patches - Easily buildable without looking cakey - Washes off easily w/ regular face-wash - Doesn't break me out or clog pores (everything, and I mean everything, else does!) - NO SPF!!!!!! I hate foundations that have not quite enough SPF to protect skin, but just enough to give a horrific white cast w/ flash photography. - Gives a natural, satin-y finish. - Feels nice on skin after it dries (very light, non-sticky) - And once more, it's yellow-based. NOT brown, gray, peach, or pink -- YELLOW =D CONS: - Has this weird chemical smell that's not really all that pleasant, but I can't smell it on my face after it dries.. so it's really not that big of a deal, but it's there - $10 for ~0.6 FL OZ... most foundations are 1 oz, so this is more expensive than other "drugstore" foundations out there, but still less expensive than mid/high-end ones. I love it! Definitely HG. ETA (1/24/2010): I still love this, still HG. Haven't even been tempted to try anything else!
Cleansers -Pure Luxe Cosmetics - Soothing Calamine Facial Bar
caramel87 5/26/2009 5:59:00 PM
Ok let me start out by describing how my skin classifies as "troubled": - pretty much everything breaks me out. Including but not limited to: 'cones (silicone, dimethicone, etc.), glycerin, most oils, many foods, weather changes, etc. I also break out from excess dryness or oiliness. - I have mild rosacea. - My skin forms milia around my eyes for no apparent reason. - I have combination skin leaning more towards the dry side most of the time (at least that's how it was when I lived in the mountains, which are normally a bit cooler and dryer than average). With that said, I LOVE THIS STUFF! I have tried several, and I mean SEVERAL, facial cleansing agents and methods. Oils were too oily and clogged my pores which then broke me out and left me with redness and dry patches. Foam and gel cleaners were too drying, which also hurt my skin. Glycerin soaps were, well, made of glycerin which I'm allergic to! .. This is honestly the only cleanser that has ever worked for me. It cleanses very well, taking off all make-up and dirt etc., without stripping my skin of its natural oils and leaving it dry and patchy afterward. When I go to dry my face, my white towel stays white, no eyeliner or foundation remains in sight. I also don't feel that tight feeling followed by those dry patches that I get with pretty much all other cleansers. It does not irritate my rosacea at all and keeps my skin very clear. Also as an unrelated plus, it doesn't really sting my eyes as badly as other cleansers do. The only downfall is the price, hence the 4/5 instead of 5/5 lippies. The bar is $6, which is OK, but add shipping and it goes up to about $9 -- just for a bar of soap! Come on now, it can't possibly be that expensive to make, Pure Luxe owners! I'm still willing to pay though b/c it's the only cleanser that plays so well with my skin. Can't wait to see how it'll treat my skin in the following hot summer months! I will update if I see any major differences. P.S. You can get a sample (lasted me for about 1-2 months with almost daily use) for around a $1.
Lipstick -Revlon - Super Lustrous in Almost Nude [DISCONTINUED]
caramel87 2/11/2009 2:37:00 AM
I absolutely love this l/s! It's the nicest nude l/s I have ever owned (and that's saying a lot!!). First of all, I agree with the reviewer who said that the creamy appearance is a refreshing change from the usual glossy (can feel heavy and/or slippery at times) or matte (too drying and highlights the tiniest of flaws on the lips). I don't feel that the formula is overly creamy (slippery), though. It sticks to my lips quite well. Color-wise, it's a warm (very slightly peachy undertones) nude, and a beautiful one at that. Really flatters my true golden skintone (med-tan, yellow undertones) and does not mimic the dreaded "concealer lips" look. I also have VERY pigmented lips and this l/s neutralizes them completely in 1-2 swipes, no lipliner required (I usually use a nude l/l first to neutralize my lips). If applied with a light hand and blended with finger or brush, it can be sheered out easily. The only thing that somewhat upsets me is that I got this on sale at Rite-Aide (75% off) and I'm not sure if it's being discontinued or if it was just getting old at the store and they wanted to get rid of it?? It was the very last one in the display though, so I'm hoping they just wanted to get rid of that very last one... We shall see :/
Moisturizers -Desert Essence - Jojoba Oil - 100% pure
caramel87 6/13/2008 4:11:00 PM
UPDATE 6/7/09: I've stopped using this about a month or more ago b/c it just stopped working for me and was actually making my skin worse (hence it's down from 5 to 3 lippies). Oily in some parts with dry patches in others, increased milia - everything! I've moved on. ORIGINAL: I'm blessed with skin that's basically sensitive to everything! I break out when using any 'cone derivatives, glycerin, or oils. Jojoba oil is the only product that moisturizes my face and keeps the pimples away. It still clogs some of my pores and stirs up a bit of milia under my eyes, but seriously, this is the only thing my face tolerates. I love that I can control the level of moisture/thickness/oiliness by adding some water to a drop or two of Jojoba oil before smoothing it on my face. So I don't need a moisturizer for summer and another for winter, I can use this year round and control how heavy it is as desired/needed. I don't think this particular brand makes jojoba oil that's better than what any other brand makes, but it's the one I find all around town and that's why I buy it. The bottle may seem expensive at first (small bottle for about $10) but it lasts forever. Thanks MUAers for introducing me to this great product! ... P.S. It's also wonderful when used as an oil-based makeup remover!
Makeup Brushes -Unlisted Brand - Loew-Cornell AMM brush
caramel87 6/11/2008 2:16:00 AM
Love love love this! I use it to blend my eyeshadows, and it does so beautifully and easily. It's soft and fluffy, so it blends well without taking off lots of color. It's smaller than most blending brushes I've seen, so it can be used for precise blending that doesn't wash out everything (hate brushes that do that!). Last but not least, it's soooooooooooooo so so cheap. I got it from Michael's, and with a 40% off coupon, it ended up costing around $2-3.. can't beat that! If the long handle bothers you, you can easily snap it off with a good pair of scissors or saw it off or something.
This is, hands down, the best mascara ever! Definite HG for me. I have medium length, medium thickness, medium curl, black lashes (overall, a little above average). I use the darkest shade of this mascara, and it is SUPER black, which I love! I bought MAC PlushLash at the same time, compared the two, and liked LB tons more. LB gave me more volume and length, and of course it's a bit cheaper and easier to get from most drugstores (versus making a trip to the mall to buy PL). I use the non-waterproof version and it holds curl well. I love dramatic lashes, and I usually go for that look daily, and this mascara builds wonderfully! I usually apply 2-3 coats, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't clump even after a million. Love that! No flaking, no smudging. It also gives very nice depth and definition in one coat when I'm in a rush or going for a natural look. It's so black that sometimes I skip the eyeliner (some "black" mascaras give a charcoal-y shade that does not suit my coloring at all, especially that my hair is nearly jet black).