I have to say this is one of the best drug store foundations! I usually avoid buying makeup at the drugstore, but after being in a pinch (ran out of my usual foundation), I just picked this up. I actually fell in love with it! I have tried both the Dry Skin and Oily Skin versions (picked up the latter on accident), and have to say the Dry Skin version is the best. I'll review both versions: Dry Skin version: It applies smoothly, doesn't dry too quickly so you have time to blend properly. Goes on with a nice satiny finish. Coverage is medium, but builds up without getting cakey and you can sheer it out to get less coverage if desired. Best of all it does NOT oxidize at all! No funky smells. Lasts pretty much all day, but does transfer a little if you've been wearing it for a while. Overall 4/5 Stars Oily Skin version: Applies smoothly, but feels much thicker than the Dry Skin version. Feels a little more like paint. Colors seem to be a bit lighter than the DS version as well. I had the same shade in both versions and this version made me look somewhat sickly...it made me look too pale. Dries down to a super matte finish. It highlights dry skin..makes fine lines in the face seem worse. I didn't notice any oxidization or transfer, but I only wore for about 4 hours. Overall 2/5 stars.
Blush -Maybelline - Dream Bouncy Blush - Candy Coral
cortneyrozell 9/26/2012 11:59:00 AM
I have to admit when I first tried it, I wasn't sure how to apply it...I wasn't fond of it and it sat in my 'dud bin' for a while. I recently picked it up again and applied it differently. Using my finger tip to pat the color onto my cheekbone, and then patting around in a circle to blend it into the skin. There is much more color payoff, I actually have to be careful and check my cheeks in the window before leaving the house because a few times it was wayyy too bright in natural light. The color makes me glow, I look healthy and younger. The only reason I would not purchase again is because for $7 I can find better blushes, and it's not really a cream...more like dry powder stuck together with gum adhesive. Also, the packaging feels and looks very cheap. My next purchase will be Mac's Cremeblend Blush in Something Special instead..
When I lived in Manhattan I used to shop here often, it was less expensive while still having nice, trendy clothes. The NYC stores are always huge and loaded...always walked out with something, even if it was just jewelry...and their kids line is great! Now that i'm in the suburbs, their stores here suck! Whoever does the buying/product stocking is awful, but maybe that's why I never liked H&M until living in NYC. All their suburban stores don't carry anything interesting, are extremely limited in sizes/colors, have terrible jewelry sections, and I have yet to find a location around me that sells kids clothes. Since moving the only thing I ever walked out of the store with is leggings, even if I spend 2 hours in there trying stuff on. Nothing ever fits right. I still think they're the only place that makes the best cheap leggings, but those too wear out after 2-3 months. Now I just shop at Marshalls (or sometimes Macys when they have sales), I always find good stuff, good quality, and decent prices.....but alas, none of it is as trendy or super chic looking as H&M has in the city.
Moisturizers -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream (Night)
cortneyrozell 8/31/2012 12:12:00 PM
FYI - I bought the CVS brand version of this which was $10. Neutrogena brand was $14.99! (There aren't any Walmarts in Manhattan unfortunately) I did research before buying this, lately i've gotten some serious skincare duds. A lot of good reviews, but I remained skeptical. I compared the ingredients between Neutrogena and CVS versions, both had exactly the same ingredients except for 1....which I THINK was Butylene Glycol (CVS brand was Coco Glycol). I used it the first night, just under my eyes, on laugh lines, and on my forehead between my brows. It didn't dry my skin out or irritate it at all. I used it again 2 nights later. The next day my friend asked me why I looked so fresh-faced (mind you I had only been sleeping about 4 hours a night due to being swamped with work). She said she definitely noticed my skin looked improved, much softer and vibrant. So far so good, will update as more time goes by. --UPDATE-- Terrible! I trashed this after my skin became so dry, and I actually think it did the reverse and aged me more! I only used at night, and washed my face in the morning to avoid sun exposure. I used a good moisturizer, and only applied this 1-2 times a week. Still, my under eye area became dried out and my tiny lines look 10x worse. It took 3 weeks of using a gentle cleanser and deep moisturizer and zero anti-aging products for my skin to go back to normal. This scared me away from using Retinol in the future....i'll wait until I hit 40 before trying this again.
Moisturizers -Garnier - Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream
cortneyrozell 8/28/2012 9:30:00 PM
I, too, do not understand all the good reviews for this. I needed a moisturizer...key word there is 'Moisturizer'. This is not hydrating at all. I thought the packaging looked nice, was sucked in by the marketing/advertising...and the fact it was a gel. I kept it in the fridge which made it feel amazing going on..nice cold gel. But that's where the positives end. It doesn't feel moisturizing once on, it feels more like I put toner on my face. Didn't soften, hydrate, improve appearance, or anything. After 3 days of using my face was SUPER dry and I ended up buying Olay Complete Sensitive Skin Moisturizer instead. The gel idea is interesting, but I really do not get how this is classified as a moisturizer...it's anything but.
Had a coupon for a FREE box of this stuff, so decided why not try it. I just want to start out by saying I have been dying my own hair for 10+ years and know the process and techniques very well...so well that people think I get my hair colored professionally. I've mostly used professional hair dye (dye + developer - different volumes based on the level of lift I need). So when I first opened the package it was nice to see professional gloves...I have always had to buy my own whenever using drugstore hair dye. I thought the foam mixing process was very different and interesting. It didn't go on very easily for me, it didn't really foam up at all at first and I was worried there wouldn't be enough to cover my whole head. After massaging it in for what seemed like a half an hour (and my arms were tired) it finally started foaming like the directions say it should. It felt nice, no burning, no intense smell, no dripping. However, it left my hair SUPER DRY, and the color was just blah. I used Light Ash Blonde and it came out very dull, flat, nothing great at all..and the worst of it, NO LIFT! I don't know if this color is deposit only, but my hair now looks terrible and I will need to go pick up my tried and true Wella dye with some 30 volume developer to get it back to the color I want it at. This is just not good at all, and if I had actually paid the ridiculous $13 for this i'd be super mad that I have to go and buy more dye to fix it. If you're in need of a good drugstore hair dye, go for L'Oreal Preference - it's a no-brainer...always good coverage, color, and leaves hair soft and shiny.
I tried NYX a looong time ago when they first came out, and thought they were hit or miss. After debating about ordering new MAC eyeshadows (I have a Pro discount), I decided to just pick these up and give them a try. I paid $7, which is about the same price as 1 Pro Pan from Mac after my discount. I have to say these are GREAT!! I love the texture, color, pigmentation. They're definitely comparable to MAC. The quality has improved since they first launched NYX. They lasted just as long too. (Note: I wear ALL my eyeshadow over MAC paint pot in Soft Ochre, so i'm not sure how they hold up without a base, but who wears eyeshadow without a primer anyways? lol) I really want to order more of these babies. I saw them on Amazon for $3 each... :)
Misc Beauty Tools -Olay - Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System
cortneyrozell 6/30/2012 1:32:00 PM
Love it! I have sensitive combo skin. This summer has wreaked havoc on my face...it's been so gross and oily in the t-zone and super flaky around my mouth and lower cheeks. I had used Booth's Green Apple Microdermabrasion scrub for years, it's rough but cleaned my skin SO well, balanced it out and left it so soft just on it's own...but it's discontinued and only available on Amazon now for triple the original price (+ shipping!). My esthetician told me to buy the Clairsonic, but I don't have $200 to shell out on a face brush right now. I have been eye-balling the Olay brush for a year now, and after asking for it for my birthday, Christmas, etc and no one ever got it for me...I saw it on sale at Walgreens and finally just bought it myself. I was a little skeptical at first, but i've seen my skin completely transform from gross to great. I use it with St. Ives Apricot Scrub, on the faster setting and scrub for about 10-15 minutes at night, and then use it in the morning on the lower setting with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Cleanser for a quick 5 minute cleanse to get rid of oil in my t-zone (i always wake up with a greasy t-zone). I follow with Stri-Vectin Instant Moisture Repair, or if my skin is really dried out I use Elizabeth Arden Hydrating Moisture Mask. I highly recommend trying it. Save your receipt...you can always return!
I got this after searching for a nail polish for my friend for her birthday (her fav color got discontinued). I was hoping that this was a fairly milky pink. It is actually is a sheer, elegant, shimmering champagne pink. At first I was disappointed, but I love this color now. It's so very pretty and feminine without being too pink and girly..and a nice break from my typical darker hues and neons. It just gives my nails this really nice glow to them, they look super healthy and natural (your-nails-but-better). I used 2 coats and they are noticeably lighter and more pink in color and shimmer a nice warm pink-gold. You can see the white tips of my nails still. I like that...it feels like an easy, quick manicure in a bottle. It dries insanely fast too, I have quite a few other bottles of Sinful nail polish and this seemed to dry a lot faster than the others, in about 2 minutes it felt dry and I continued my routine with no ruined polish afterward. The only reason I wouldn't buy another bottle is because I don't use nail polish often, so this will probably last a long time.
I have been using Studio Fix Fluid for years, and it always ended up looking cakey and oily in like 3-4 hours of wear. I tried SO many foundations, but always came back to SFF because it covered my redness, didn't break me out, stayed put for a long time and I get a Pro discount (ends up being about the same as drugstore prices). I just have to say I am SO HAPPY this came out. I bought 2 bottles in 2.0 the day they launched the line, and i've been using it for about a week now. My skin looks SO good...no gross cakey-ness or oxidization. It makes my skin glow, without looking oily (I have combo skin)...and best of all it doesn't feel like i'm wearing anything. It actually covers a lot better than I thought it would. Everytime I use a "medium" or "light" coverage foundation I end up having to cake it on because it never covers the redness in my face. This covers well and I don't have to apply much, and it looks natural. As far as how it sits on your skin, it really does "melt" into your skin. My skin looks soft and supple, and it hasn't broken me out. I am also using this with Banana Boat Summer Color in Deep Dark, which has done wonders for my skin...so maybe some of this is attributed to the combination of using the two, but I highly recommend giving it a try...definitely be wary of the color and check in natural light before purchasing! --UPDATE-- I stopped using this and now 1 full bottle has been sitting in my closet for months now. It started breaking me out, my face just felt gross, oily and it just didn't cover as well as I wanted it to after all. I took off 1 lippie.
Bought this as a cheaper alternative to Mac's Fling! Eyebrow Pencil (which seems like it doesn't have a lot of product..it runs out within 2 weeks and because you can't see when you're running low i've often ran out and had no back up). I was so happy when I came across this color! It has a slightly more reddish tone than Fling!, but on days when i'm just hanging out at home or running to the grocery store...who the hell cares. Especially for only $3.50! I still use Fling!, but I save that for when i'm going out or to client meetings because it stays put longer and is a closer match to my natural eyebrow color.
Self Tanners -Banana Boat - Summer Color Sunless Lotion Deep Dark
cortneyrozell 9/12/2011 11:16:00 PM
After using a few different self tanners with terrible results, I gave this a go. I love the fact that it blends nicely without streaking (last brand I tried was SO streaky it was embarrassing..I had to scrub off as best I could with a pumice stone and lava soap..ouch!). It gives you instant color, and it only takes 1 application to really get a tan going. I use it once every two days and it keeps me from looking washed out. I also have been using it on my face without any break-outs. It does smell..I notice the smell most on my hands if I haven't washed them thoroughly. I have a little trick to keep from smelling bad. Before applying I wash my hands, let dry, then apply a little lotion on them - as a barrier. I don't use lotion on my body or the tanner doesn't seem to absorb properly. I just use my hands and smooth it on in circles and then go back over and rub it in really well. As soon as i am done I wash my hands with Lava soap, making sure to clean the sides of the palms and in between fingers as well. (I tried gloves, it was a hopeless mess). This is slightly on the orange side. Use with caution. 1-2 applications of this stuff is PLENTY. Believe me, I went from an NC15 to NC25 after using it just once. Now I just use it to keep up the color. ---- UPDATE ---- I have been using this on my face (yes..FACE)...without any breakouts and best of all it has improved my skin texture and color SO much. I don't wear as much foundation as I used to...I can't get over how glowy and even my face looks. I will continue to use this as my face lotion!! I use it 1-2 times a week on my face and neck, and 2 times a week on the rest of my body to keep the tan going. It's my little miracle!
Lipstick -MAC - Sheen Supreme Lipstick - Gotta Dash!
cortneyrozell 7/29/2011 11:42:00 AM
I've reviewed this before, but i'm re-reviewing after discovering new ways to make it work. I bought it after seriously lemming for a peach lipstick. Unfortunately it really didn't suit me. It went on very gloopy-like, and was kind of neon against my NC15-20 skin. It sat in my "makeup duds" bin for several months. I only re-discovered it after having searched high and low for the perfect peach blush. Every peach blush i've tried either went on too brown or too pink, I was wanted a light, bright true peach. I had my eyeballs on Mac's Cremeblend Blush in Something Special....but stopped and remembered this lipstick. I pulled it out of the bin and tried it on my cheeks. WOW. This looks great as a blush...so bright and vibrant. It IS a gloss lipstick, so to combat the glossiness I use a Mineral Skinfinish underneath it. It takes about 3-4 minutes to dry down. No glossiness afterwards, just a nice glow. So for now this is my HG 'natural' makeup look....this as a cheek color and I also dab it on my lips. Dabbing on the lips works wayyyy better than applying from the tube. It ends up becoming a soft peach, but is surely buildable up to the neon straight-outta-the-tube color if you desire, dabbing it also eliminates the gloppiness you get when applied straight from the tube. I'm not sure if i'll buy another or not. This may just be a solution to use up the tube before purchasing the CremeBlend Blush in Something Special...but it's nice that it pulls double duty as both a lip and cheek and now I can finally get my money's worth out of it instead of it sitting in a bin for months.
I got this from my mom who accidentally bought the wrong self-tanner and didn't like the glitter in it. I gave it a try, and at first, I hated it. I'm super pale, and it looked so orange and streaky on me...and I couldn't get over the glitter. It looked like a glitter bomb exploded all over me. But I kept using it, and i'm glad I did. Once I developed a bit of color, it became easy to apply without looking streaky. It gives me a nice glowing, bronze color. Not orange looking at all. I have come to not mind the glitter so much. It wipes off easily once dried, and washes off completely in the shower, plus it's not that noticeable if you're going out for the evening. One problem I couldn't get past was the way it left my hands - orange and smelly. Yuk! However, I discovered a way around it. Apply regular lotion to your hands right before, apply the Sublime bronze, and then immediately wash your hands using a kitchen scrub sponge (an un-used one of course) and soap and gently scrubbing them. My hands don't smell at all anymore..and they're not orange either. I'm happy with this tanner. I especially love the tinted bronze color it gives off immediately. Everyone has been asking if i've been going tanning and saying I look great. Not sure if i'll buy again because I haven't been able to find it (only online), and i've gone through it a little too fast.
Makeup Brushes -MAC - #187 Duo Fiber Face Brush (Stippling, Skunk Brush)
cortneyrozell 5/23/2011 6:49:00 PM
After putting off buying this for so long, I finally caved in and bought it a few days ago. It makes my foundation looking amazing when stippling...however this brush is shedding like crazy. I've never had a brush shed so much, and i've used everything from crappy dollar store brushes to high end ones. I'm left with hairs all over my face that take me at least 5-10 mins to pick off and sometimes I end up ruining my foundation because of it. I'm going to try washing it again and hopefully it will stop shedding so much, otherwise I may just end of taking it back...cause this is ridiculous...to pay $50 for a brush only to have it shed worse than a $2 brush from E.L.F. --UPDATE:-- I washed the brush 2 more times and it's since stopped shedding. Every now and then I find a hair stuck on my face, but nothing like what it was shedding before. Thank God. In the end i'm very happy with this brush, my foundation always looks great and even though I think a lot of other stipple brushes come pretty close to the same results, I get a Mac discount so it's ok for me...but if you have to pay full price, you may wanna get Sonia Kashuk's Duo Fibre Brush ($10 at Target)..I used it for 3 years and had zero complaints and it worked just as well as Mac's 187.