This is an absolutely gorgeous warm, jewel-toned purple. It applies beautifully and is fully opaque in 2 coats. I couldn't stop staring at my nails for the week I wore this. I don't know if it was the formula or the fact that I layered Orly Bonder between each layer of color but I didn't get chipping until day 5. If I ever use up the bottle, will definitely re-buy!
This is a sophisticated mauve nude creme - my DH even commented that he liked this color. Why the less than stellar rating? It was streak-tastic and needs about 3 layers to be fully opaque. To make the top layer non-streaky, I put on a slightly thicker top layer, wait 10 seconds and then apply seche vite on top. As SV self-levels beautifully on top and underneath, this gets rid of the streaks. For $16, I feel the formula could be better.
Now THIS is what I imagined dry shampoo to be. I originally got Klorane's non-aerosol dry shampoo (thought I would be eco-friendly) but while using it, I didn't understand the big deal about dry shampoos. The Klorane left white clumpy patches in my black greasy hair and never made it feels less greasy. It almost felt dirtier. I came across the Batiste dry shampoo at TJMaxx & thought I would give dry shampoo another try before writing them off. Wow - This takes the greasy look out and doesn't leave a white residue. I spray it from about a foot away, tousle my hair and I'm done! I have the can with the Union Jack on it and love the lightly perfumed smell but the smell doesn't last for too long in my hair. I use this about 1-2 times a week, when I don't have time to wash my hair and after 3 months, I still have plenty of product in the can. This is an amazing product that I can't recommend enough.
After using it twice a day for 1 month, I definitely can see that my lashes are much longer and I'm losing less lashes than usual. It doesn't do much to thicken my lashes though, just lengthen. With mascara, my lashes sometimes hit my sunglasses. As another reviewer noted, if you get it in your eyes, it does sting. The only other lash serums I've used are: 1) Rapidlash ($100) but after 1 use, it stained my upper lid purple (this wore off after a week) and I've heard this can happen with latisse, too. 2) Talika lipocils - I noticed mild lengthening but not noticeably enough to rebuy. So, for $30 from Dermstore, Smartlash is great if you want more length for your lashes.
Mascara -Shiseido - Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus
changja2 8/13/2012 5:17:00 PM
Ok, this is my HG mascara. Mascara has been one of my least favorite cosmetics. I have short, sparse asian lashes. All other mascaras would make my lashes droop so that they stick to each other on the outer corners, flake, or smudge like crazy. Plus, even with other mascaras on, you can still barely see that I have lashes. I curl my lashes with the Trish McEvoy curlers (they are my favs), use the Majolica mascara, then run a Tweezerman lash comb through to get rid of clumps. Wa-La! I look like any fluttery-lashed gal. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I look like a Kardashian, but I have a nice set of lashes. It's totally waterproof, doesn't flake at all, holds a curl, and only smudges a teeny-tiny bit on my outer lower eyelids. It gives better length than volume but is still pretty good on the volume. The only con: the application can get clumpy, even on one coat - hence the lash comb. So, it's not perfect, but the pretty darn close. As for removal - I find this method gentle on my lashes: I dip a q-tip in Sonia Kashuk eye remover (I bet Lancome's Bifacial would work well, too) and hold it parallel to the ground. I then gently run it across my eyelashes in one direction (from the inner corners to the outer corners) with my eyes closed, turning the q-tip head as you see the mascara coming off. Once the Q-tip is gray/black all around, I use the other side (without mu remover) to wipe up any residue on my lower lid and across my upper lashline. I need to use 3 q-tips per eye. Yeah, it's not quick to remove like my Clinique tubing mascara but hey, it's worth the trouble at the end of the night. I just wish this was sold in the States.
I overall like this product except that it flakes. The brush is perfect for my thin, sparse asian lashes that I use it on my top lashes (my bottom lashes are practically non-existent). It gives pretty good length, so-so volume and keeps my curl halfway in place. Removal is a breeze. As for rebuy, I am sitting on the fence on this one. I may try using the Clinique wand with the L'oreal double extend tubing mascara as I can't remember if that one flaked on me or not.
Primer/ Corrector -L'Oreal - Magic Lumi - Light Infusing Primer
changja2 7/14/2012 3:18:00 PM
I love this so much that I never put foundation on without it. I mix a VERY small amount (1/8th of pea size) with my foundation, Lancome Teint Miracle, and pat it all on with my fingers. With this product and technique, I find that my face looks more luminous - which I love! You have to be careful not to use too much, lest you want to look like a pearl. If I accidentally pump out too much, I'll use half in my foundation and the other half as a highlighter. I will buy this as long as they make it.
My review is on the older product - I've had the portable retractable brush and am still currently using the shaker can - both in the color Perfectly Clear. I just checked the website out and found that they have changed the color formulation to fair, medium and tan and do not offer the shaker can but a jar. I initially liked the brush version because it was portable. However, it often became clogged or dispensed the product unevenly, especially after I would clean the brush per instructions. With the shaker can, I sprinkle some onto a tissue and use a large fluffy brush to pat it all over my face - just like using setting powder. My shaker can has lasted me over 1.5 years with almost daily use. I like that it mattifies my face a little (I have quite an oily T-zone) and that because it's a physical blocker, I don't have to reapply it during my normal day ( vs a chemical sunscreen that needs reapplication every 2 hours). It's easy to cover strange areas like my ears and reapplication is a breeze. It doesn't clog my pores. This product makes it easy for me to enjoy my beach vacations and still stay fair skinned. Someday when I have to buy the new formulation, my attitude may change. As I managed to get ahold of another shaker can, so it won't be for awhile.
Lotions/ Creams -Nuance by Salma Hayek - Dark Cacao & Coffee Firming Body Cream
changja2 5/23/2012 8:46:00 PM
So, I absolutely love the "My Secret Super Moisturizing Body Cream" and decided to try this out, especially since CVS is having a buy one get one 50% off. But I returned this after using just a dollop of it. I love both the smell of coffee & chocolate but this scent was soooo sickeningly sweet and the scent lingered that I had to shower my legs 30 minutes after application. So, I can't tell you about it's moisturizing or firming properties as I can't even stand to smell it.
After reading the mostly positive reviews, I went and got a 10 day sample. The SA matched me with 2CN2. I think it's a little yellow on me. However, my low rating is not due to color matching. It's because because no matter how I apply it (fingers, wet sponge, foundation brush) - the foundation always sticks to dry patches and makes them look worse. I rarely have this problem after my other two foundations - Lancome's Teint Miracle and La Prairie's Caviar foundation. Also, my oily skin gets greasier with this foundation than the others. Even though I was quite excited to try this out, it's a fail for me.
Lotions/ Creams -Nuance by Salma Hayek - My secret super moisturizing body cream
changja2 5/17/2012 1:55:00 PM
This is the first lotion or creme that has kept my legs moisturized!!! My legs are usually super dry and have a fish scaly pattern/cracked desert look to them (apparently common in asian people). I've tried plain olive oil, coconut oil, baby oil, Jergens, various Aveeno lotions, Kiehl's body corps, shea butters - none of them have helped. My legs were always scaly & dry. With this Body cream, my scaly pattern has disappeared by 80%. The cream's fragrance is light (I can't stand strong fragrances) and the cream itself is not greasy or tacky. I also like the packaging - it makes getting the last bit of cream easy. The only minor con for me is the price and how fast it gets used up. It's $15/tube and I go through one tube a month. I guess that I'm used to products lasting me 4-8 months vs one month. But since this is the first body cream/lotion that actually moisturized my legs, I'll continue buying it.
Liquid -La Prairie - Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation SPF15
changja2 3/2/2012 10:35:00 PM
A friend who works at a cosmetics counter gave me the full-sized counter sampler. I always thought $180 for a foundation was just ridiculously overpriced and gimmicky. I normally use Lancome's Teint Miracle foundation and thought it was great. This is a lot nicer than TM as far as the foundation part goes. It really makes my face look silky soft, doesn't settle in pores or fine lines. It just looks like I have super even, smooth skin. I've gotten compliments on my complexion multiple times by strangers since using this. With TM, it can stick to dry patches and without careful blending, sometimes it can be seen that I'm wearing foundation. I still think TM is a good foundation but La Prairie's really is that much nicer. The reason I didn't give it a 5? 1. I don't like the concealer in the cap - at all. I love my La Prairie brightening pen but this concealer doesn't even match the foundation and is extremely cakey. I can't use it to conceal my dark undereye circles (total reverse raccoon) or cover blemishes. 2. I prefer the pump dispenser like in Lancome's Teint Miracle. It seems that contamination can be an issue with this foundation. 3. Although I usually like the way LP skin care lines smell, I don't really like the way this foundation smells. However, I can only smell it right when I'm dabbing it on. Afterwards, I don't notice it. So, what to do when I run out (which will take awhile as I only need a small amount each use)? I actually love this enough to spend the $$$. This is a big deal for me considering I normally find spending more than $40 on makeup a waste. I'd rather spend it on skin care.
Sunscreen -Aveeno - Active Naturals Positively Ageless Daily Moisturizer SPF 30
changja2 1/17/2012 2:35:00 PM
This is the first drugstore moisturizer I've bought in a long time and I'm impressed. I was previously using La Prairie's daytime moisturizer for many years but still felt that my face turned greasy after a few hours. Hearing great things about Aveeno in general, I though I would try this out. It goes on slightly matte & my face gets only slightly oily mid-day (usually I would have to break out the blotting papers by then). It moisturizes quite nicely & has SPF 30, vs most other moisturizers have SPF 15. It layers well under my makeup and doesn't pill on my face. The only cons I have are the packaging. While I like the pump, the actual package is probably 1.5-2 times longer than it needs to be. There is 1.7 oz of total product - so why the big, bulky package? Overall, I like this product a lot and have already bought it again. Yes, at $17/bottle it's not cheap for a drugstore moisturizer but it's 10 times less than my former moisturizer.
I owned the Clarisonic Pro for 3 years before getting the Mia for travel purposes. The Mia I bought only has one setting (vs the 3 settings on the Pro) and I find that setting is a bit rough on my skin, even using the sensitive brush head. I prefer the gentler setting on the Pro. I only use the Mia while traveling cause it's smaller to carry.
My face always breaks out after I fly (which is a lot) due to the crappy dry circulation. I use this before bed the day I land and it really helps prevent all the little white and black heads from forming. If I've already broken out, it seems to calm everything down. Also, my face is glowing the day after. But like most reviewers before me, the fabulous glow is short-lived - 2-3 days. That said, after a $100 facial, my face doesn't glow for more than 2-3 days. Given that the masks are $12.50/piece, I think it's actually very reasonably priced per use. I pour the excess liquid into a small empty vial and use that as a night serum treatment for about 10-14 days. I dunno why but I don't get as much of a glow using the extra liquid as with the mask. Perhaps it's because with the mask, your skin is soaking up excess liquid for a prolonged period. I plan on soaking some Shiseido cotton pads (they are super soft and pliable) with the excess liquid and seeing if I can make a second mask. That would double the use of each package :)