Lips -Yves Saint Laurent - Volupte Sheer Candy Glossy Balm
carcas 11/11/2012 8:35:00 PM
Gah! I wanted to dislike this because of the price, but I love it. It's so natural and easy to wear- this is an HG for me. The first tube I bought, I was literally scraping out the very last bit of product (which NEVER happens to me with lipsticks/treatments, aside from Fresh's Sugar balm) because I kept forgetting to repurchase. I'm only glad (well, my wallet is) that there's just one shade that really works for me- Dewy Papaya (#2, a very sheer peach-pink with no shimmer). I would like if it were just a *little* longer lasting, but that's a minor complaint as the color is just so lovely (MLBB), and the texture is luscious and moist- not sticky at all. The pleasant scent reminds me of the peach Bonne Bell lip stuff I wore as a kid. The packaging, of course, is as luxurious as they come- elegant, hefty, and expensive-looking. This is something I always have in my bag, and wear nearly every day. Definitely my go-to lip gloss!
Concealers -Make Up For Ever - Full Cover Concealer
carcas 11/11/2012 7:47:00 PM
Let me begin by saying that I use this primarily for covering blemishes and dark spots, and that I have repurchased many, many times. I'm of South Asian descent, with medium-light olive skin, which tans easily in the summer. I use #7 or #8, depending on the season (and occasionally will mix, if needed). I will use it under my eyes only when I need something more heavy duty (for lack of sleep, for example), and in that case ONLY after having applied sufficient eye cream. If your under eye area is not moisturized, this is going to be a disaster. Some things I have found, many of which have been mentioned by other reviewers: -the texture is somewhere between creamy and sticky -it dries quickly (to a matte finish) -it is absolutely water and sweat-proof, so it really doesn't budge -it does oxidize, so keep this in mind when choosing a color I like the versatility of this concealer-it blends well, and it it also buildable. I've found that what works for me is this: I dot it onto the areas that need to be blended first(dark spots or uneven patches or what have you), then continue onto whatever individual blemishes might need covering. I then go back with a brush (I use Sephora's Professionel Platinum Concealer Airbrush #57) and blend out the first areas. Next, I go to the individual spots- since the concealer has had a bit more time to sit and set on these, it won't move as much when you manipulate it now. I'll usually pat it down lightly with my finger, and then finish by softening the edges with the brush, again, very lightly. If I want to go all the way, I finish with Bare Minerals foundation all over (or set with a finishing powder).
It is with deep sadness that I write this review because I love what this product does. However, the cost has been far too high for me because the number of facials I've had to undergo in order to undo the damage that it has done is killing my wallet. I've been using it for about 3 months and doing everything else possible to deal with the bumpy congestion it's causing. I even ignored my facialist's initial advice to stop using it because I've never found a product that gives such a perfect amount of sheer tint and coverage, with SPF, and a great texture and application. If anyone has found an alternative, I'm all ears!!
I've been stressed for the last couple of months and my skin has been scary. Lots of clogged pored that would improve after a facial+extraction, but then go right back to pre-facial status. Most recently, I got a facial right before an international trip and by the time I got back my face was even worse than before, with a combo of tiny little bumps on my forehead and lower cheeks, plus larger red bumps on my jawline and under my chin. It was the worst I've my face in my whole life, honestly. And of course this is the kind of thing that cannot be disguised by makeup, due to the texture. Enter the tamanu oil (from aura cacia) that I had in my cabinet that I has forgotten about. I remembered it was supposed to help acne, so I thought why not. After washing my face at night, I used about 2 pumps, warmed it up in my palm, and massaged it into my face and neck until mostly absorbed. On bigger blemishes, I used a dot of Mario Badescu drying lotion. In the mornings I applied it very sparingly only on affected areas, under my moisturizer. One week later my skin is 95% clear- no joke. I am blown away. Nearly all of the tiny bumps are gone- only a near-invisible smattering remain on my forehead, only two or three of the larger blemishes remain but have flattened out and are nearly gone. The improvement is nothing short of miraculous. I. Addition to this, I have seen a major improvement in the older acne scars I had. All in all, if you are facing a skin crisis of this nature, try this method before reaching for meds, becoming overly dependent on facials, or slathering on traditional drugstore remedies.
Cleansers -Dermalogica - Age Smart Skin Resurfacing Cleanser
carcas 10/17/2010 6:50:00 PM
I have been using this product for about a month, and thus far I'm impressed with it. I never would have picked it up on my own- instead, it was recommended to me by my facialist. After a deep cleansing and extraction which worked wonders on my previously congested skin, I wanted to maintain the smooth, glowing results. She prescribed a particular method of use for best results: massage into damp skin, taking more time for problem areas, and then instead of rinsing right away, wipe off the excess with a tissue, THEN rinse. And repeat once more. It should be noted that a half pump is enough for the whole face, so for both washes, the equivalent of one pump is enough. I had nothing to lose, so I tried it. The first two days my skin felt great: super clean, bright, soft. After that, horrors- dryness and tightness set in. I consulted MUA and was convinced to stick it out, and I'm so glad I did. After about a week of those unpleasant side effects, I was rewarded. My skin looked just as good as it did after the facial, and I saw nary a blackhead and certainly none of the weird bumpiness I had from the congestion. Even as my period came and went, my skin remained calm. I can see how this might not work for those with very sensitive skin (as it is indeed strong), but for everyone else, this could be just the thing you're looking for. Glad I found it!
Moisturizers -Desert Essence - Jojoba Oil - 100% pure
carcas 6/29/2010 11:21:00 AM
This is definitely a product I keep on hand as an essential, even when I travel. It is just a great multi-tasker. As others have said, it is both gentle and effective as a make-up remover, and makes an excellent moisturizer for both face and body. I use this as a nighttime facial moisturizer and I find it softens my skin, and clears pores. It also works well as a styling product for hair- a little goes a long way to impart shine, and smooth out dry ends. I think the fact that you can do so much with it makes it a good value for the price.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Coppola- Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy Treatment
carcas 3/11/2010 6:39:00 AM
I just had this done recently, and I'm very impressed with it. I started out with long (mid-back), thick, very dense, 3a/3b hair. To begin with, it was uncolored, unprocessed, with lots of natural shine - overall, very healthy. The problem, of course, has always been frizz (and therefore an ingrained fear of humidity), poor manageability, coarseness, and thus the inordinate amount of time and effort needed to achieve a salon-quality blowout. Normally, it took me an hour, using a CR134-PR brush and a pro dryer, and I had to be very patient and focused. When I started going to the gym on a daily basis, I quickly realized that I did not want to hang around the locker room for an hour styling my hair, and that I did not like having to wear my hair curly (and often back, for this reason) every single day. After getting the treatment, my hair is now 2a/2b, it air dries soft and silky (like a little kid's!), and a 60 minute blowout now takes me 20 minutes, tops, with minimal effort and perfect results. I'm happy to have retained the volume and fullness, while eliminating the frizz. I have much more flexibility, style-wise, and when I let my hair dry naturally it doesn't lose 3-4 inches to curl anymore. Honestly, my hair is 100% more manageable. People who do not have naturally curly hair might find proclamations of "This treatment changed my life!" to be dramatic, but it really can make a huge difference. UPDATE: After a 10 minute walk in a drizzle with blown out hair and no umbrella - no frizz! I'm in disbelief!
In a word: results. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this stuff really transforms my thick, wavy, frizzy, hair. A lot of products deliver shine, but this really makes my hair more manageable (and that alone is worth the price). To be honest, I rarely need a finishing product when I use it (when I do, a little Brilliantine pairs nicely). And, as others have said, the scent is terrific.
Deodorants -Fresh - Roll-on Sugar, Deodorant and Antiperspirant
carcas 9/26/2007 9:14:00 PM
I'm a major sweat-er. In the past, only Certain Dri has worked for me. This stuff works as well, and smells very pleasant. It's true- you emanate a nice scent from your pits for hours. It passed the silk shirt test over a 10 hour day! It does take a minute to dry, but it is totally worth it.
Treatments -Nelson's Homeopathic Products - Acne Gel
carcas 4/17/2006 2:26:00 PM
I've been using this for about a week and it's really been working well. I've noticed marked improvement in my skin, and it is very gentle. Yes, the smell is strong (I don't mind it so much) but it dissipates. I'm irritated that I bought the $45 PTR Sal/Gly gel (did nothing for me) out of desperation before trying this, which I found on sale at Whole Foods for $4.99. Hurrah for Nelsons!
My mom got a deluxe sample size of this (in Medium) included in a BB GWP and passed it along to me. I've been using this for over a year, and am very pleased with it. The color looks totally natural (and not at all orange-y) on my light/medium olive skin, and I love that is completely shimmer-free! This bronzer, paired with a little mascara and gloss, makes for a perfect, effortless, summery face any time of year. I'm going to purchase a full size tomorrow!
This product has become a regular for me because it just works so well. Even with my long, thick, dry, curl/wavy hair a little goes a long way, so it lasts forever. I comb this through post-shower and air-dry. It really leaves my hair manageable: soft, shiny, and de-tangled, with no dulling residue.
Skincare - Body -Johnson & Johnson - Head to Toe baby wash
carcas 4/25/2004 2:05:00 PM
I tried this for the first time last year and have been using it ever since. This product is no-nonsense: its a mild formula with great cleansing power, and a light, pleasant scent. I usually use it with exfoliating gloves, but even without them it leaves my skin feeling very soft and moisturized. I also like that it is multi-purpose: I can wash my hair with it in a pinch, its safe to use on my cat (on the rare occassions when he submits to a bath), and I clean my make-up brushes with it. I get the 15 oz. pump bottle for $3.50 here in brooklyn, so I consider it a steal. A definite staple!
Styling Products -John Frieda - Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Finishing Creme
carcas 4/3/2003 2:46:00 PM
I was thrilled to find an inexpensive product that does exactly what it says! This product is a staple for me because it keep my thick, frizz-prone, wavy/curly hair under blessed control. Secret Weapon smooths and separates/defines the waves. Some find this product heavy, but I like how it weighs my hair down just slightly.
I agree with other that have said this is a staple for them- this is definitely my HG conditioner. I discovered it in 8th grade, and though I have tried others, after 11 years I buy this stuff in the big ol' pump bottles. I've found that this just works the best for my thick, frizz-prone, curly hair. Humectress keeps my hair shiny and moisturized- it smooths the texture and keeps it manageable.