Mascara -Dolce & Gabbana - Secret Eyes Lengthening Mascara
carolynrelihan 6/10/2012 12:35:00 AM
This is completely and utterly my favourite mascara - I bought it originally because it's hard to find a decent brown mascara (cannot stand black on me). I didn't have much in the way of expectations, but it's wonderful. I've tried them all, having average lashes and always looking for a combination of added volume AND length. From drugstore brands to high end, nothing was really great (always looked thick, gloopy, ran, flaked, whatever) so l was still looking when I came across the d&g one. It goes on without clumping, doesn't flake, run or make my lashes stiff, and my lashes look thicker and longer. AND I also don't have to spend time scraping the brush against the rim of the tube to get rid of all the extra mascara before applying it. Can't recommend it highly enough. Love it.
Liquid -Givenchy - Photo'Perfexion 100% Natural Complexion 0 Flaw
carolynrelihan 2/22/2010 9:34:00 PM
I tried this several times in Sephora (testing for shade match), looking for a replacement for my Nars (in discontinued Budapest) Oil Free. I also wanted a slightly more moisturising foundation as I'm using Retin A and my skin is drier than it used to be. I liked the texture (light and pleasant smelling) and 7 (Perfect Gold) was just the right shade for yellow toned medium skin like mine. And that's as far as the love affair got. Within 2 hours my skin was a mess - not just oily but almost luminously so, and the foundation seemed to have disappeared by the 3rd/4th hour of wear. I usually blot once in the morning but when using this I have to do it three times. Very disappointed and won't be buying again.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 30
carolynrelihan 6/8/2009 10:22:00 AM
I have fair, freckled skin which has taken quite a beating due to sun worship in my youth. I now wear this on my face most days, even in winter, and regardless of the weather forecast, and I love it (I alternate it with the 85SPF version for very sunny days - that's also great). It sinks in quickly, and makes an excellent face primer for my foundation. It's not greasy or sticky. It really works well and has good staying power. This really is my HG for sun protection. As an aside, if you have children who hate the feel of normal sunscreen, then this might work for them - both my nephews had to be wrestled to the ground to get them to wear sun cream, but slather this on cheerfully.
Primer/ Corrector -Yves Saint Laurent - Touche Eclat (Radiant Touch)
carolynrelihan 4/29/2009 10:34:00 AM
I have bought or been given the Touche Eclat pen three times, and each time the horrible smell (like mold) that appears after a few weeks of usage forced me to throw it away. (I still don't know why this happens - I was careful always to recap, making sure the brush was clean and dry). I found it quite useful as an "evener", applied after foundation under eyes, along naso-labial lines, etc, but it's definitely not a concealer (won't cover redness or spots). And the brush+pump is not particularly good for precision work, so it was altogether too fiddly to use. I also found it way too pink (even the 02) for my yellow toned skin. For me, it wasn't the wonder product its reputation makes it out to be.
Foundations -Kevyn Aucoin - The Dew Drop Powder Foundation
carolynrelihan 4/23/2009 10:53:00 AM
One of my favorite foundations for the following reasons: 1) looks great on my difficult skin, which has both light age wrinkles/sagging AND oily t-zone (how attractive...), unlike mineral powders which make me look caked and liquids which tend to pool and settle. It makes my skin look naturally even and slightly luminous. 2) wears well, lasting all day with one or two blots on the t-zone. 3) DW08 is wonderful color match for my NC25 skin (my skin is quite yellow, and I find most foundations are just a little too peach). Only complaint is that the little sponge loses shape and needs squishing back into its compartment. I actually prefer using a brush, anyway, but find the sponge useful for travel.
Liquid -Revlon - Beyond Natural Skin Matching Makeup SPF 15
carolynrelihan 4/23/2009 10:29:00 AM
Revlon's gimmick here (that this is a reactive foundation that "adjusts to your exact skin tone") is simply color micro-beads, suspended in a carrier liquid, that break down on pressure. Nothing magical about that, and nothing magical about this foundation either. I got the light-medium, which was a fairly good match for my NC25-ish skin (still a little too peach for my liking). There's nothing great or horrible that I'd say about it, but for better color, look, and staying power I'd rather pay more and get a foundation I love. (After much searching, I've settled on and use Kevyn Aucoin Dewdrop 08 and Tarte Age Rewind 06). Excellent packaging, though - small, convenient, hygienic.
Lotions/ Creams -Jason Natural Cosmetics - Rosewater and Glycerine Lotion
carolynrelihan 2/24/2009 4:14:00 PM
I bought this in a 12 oz pump action bottle from Wholefoods when they were selling it off at around $6. I wanted a pleasant but lightly scented body lotion that would go on smoothly and sink in quickly, and I did not want to pay silly money for it. And this fits the bill. It moisturizes well but is not greasy, and as another reviewer said, it turns out to be almost unscented. Will definitely buy again.
Moisturizers -La Mer - Creme de la mer moisturizer
carolynrelihan 2/19/2009 1:02:00 PM
I bought this several years ago and it did nothing for me then. The consistency is awful, and although it did a decent job of moisturizing, it also gave me spots (for the first time since adolescence). Furthermore, the packaging is ludicrously old-fashioned and unhygienic. A friend recently gave me a jar as a present. I've been using it for a month now. I thought things might be different with my older skin, but the same criticisms apply. Won't be using any more and will definitely never buy it again.
Liquid -Vincent Longo - Liquid Canvas Healthy Fluid Foundation
carolynrelihan 11/17/2008 11:46:00 AM
One of the best color matches for my skin I have found, it also blended beautifully and looked very natural. However, it was hopeless for my oily skin - I was unbelievably shiny within a couple of hours of application, no matter the season or the various methods of application I tried (brush, fingers, sponge, with/without primer, with/without powder).
I have fine, colour-damaged blonde hair which has a delightful tendency to snarl up, break off, AND become oily quickly. Just lovely. The beauty of this stuff is that it sorts out the snarls and dryness from the damage I've done, but it doesn't turn my head into an oil-slick after use. I love it: I put it on once a week at night, cover with a shower cap, and rinse off the next morning. The only downside is the irritating packaging (a pump on a squat ungainly plastic bottle), which is not particularly effective or ergonomic. It's not cheap, either, but since it works so well and it lasts a long time, that's not really an issue.
My dermatologist suggested I use the Eluage cream and serum rather than go for dermabrasion, and it was one of the best product recommendations I've ever received. By nature a sceptic about face cream hype, I was so pleased by the results of this one (I started using it a year ago). I use the cream and serum nightly, and the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunblock (SPF 45) during the day. My skin looks smoother, is clearer (fewer freckles and more even skin tone) and the deeper lines in my cheeks (where I used to have just dimples, alas!) are less pronounced. The packaging is very good too: no waste and well protected from light and bacteria. For reference, I have pale, combination skin (very oily T zone) with mild sun damage.
I have several liquid foundations for my 40something oily skin, and I wanted to try a powder one. I'd seen Paula Begoun's listing of this LM foundation as a 2007 top product, and having used and liked most of the LM foundation range, I reckoned I couldn't go wrong with this one. On the plus side, the packaging is ingenious, avoiding both waste and mess. The coverage is excellent, it blended beautifully, and the colour I got (Real Sand) was pretty good for my yellow medium-light skin tone. On the negative side, my skin shone like the proverbial beacon. There is no way this could be described as a "natural, healthy, youthful glow" unless I had been aiming to look like a sweaty cheerleader. To add insult to injury, I paid the UK price for this (i.e. 30gbp or nearly 60usd) - this will teach me to buy without testing properly! Back I go to my LM Oil Free Foundation...
Cleansers -Shu Uemura - Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O
carolynrelihan 9/19/2007 9:42:00 AM
This is one of the best makeup removers I have ever used. I have combination skin, often wear waterproof mascara, and was looking for something to replace my very expensive Eve Lom cleanser. This does the business quickly, efficiently, and painlessly, without making my skin break out / turn oily / dry up. Although at first it seems expensive, one large bottle (450ml) lasts me a year, so it's good value. Highly recommended.
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original (UDPP)
carolynrelihan 6/14/2007 10:22:00 AM
Excellent results - eyeshadow has always faded or run on me, but this really does make it last right through the day until I take it off at night. Older women like me may find that if you put too much on you get a slightly crepey look, so go easy with the application - it will still work. Other than that very minor quibble, it's wonderful.