I used to *REALLY* love MAC products, especially their eyeshadows up until a few years ago. I had three 15-Shadow Palettes (completely filled), most seasonal quads, and every single holiday eyeshadow/lip palette offered since 2000. MAC shadows use to glide on and blend so friggin' perfectly. The powder itself was smooth, light and finely milled. It took forever to crease (even without a base!) and stayed on until you decided to take it off. The pigment intensity and color options were the stuff of legends. Then something happened - I don't know what exactly - but I found that the formulation of their powders had changed quite a bit. While they are still pretty good shadows, they are no longer the best IMO. The powder has gotten kinda chalky and more shadow is required to get the desired intensity. The powder is also feels heavier which seems to make it crease more quickly. They just seem cheaper in quality than they used to be. I know many people will disagree with me, but I really think they changed something in their shadows a couple of years ago. Don't get me wrong, I still buy a few MAC shadows every once in awhile but there are better brands out there.
Don't let the super scary neon pink coloring fool you. Mango Fluo is stunning. It adds just the perfect amount of pink and it really brightens up whatever you're wearing underneath it. The shine factor is to die for because it's just so slick and beautiful. The texture is cool and gel-like and doesn't feel heavy on. I really love it because it adds extra an extra layer of oomph to a variety of other lipsticks and glosses. This on top of Chanel Glossimer in Sundress is one of my favorite lip looks. Definitely go check this out at a Chanel counter.
I really like Cargo's PlantLove line - good for the earth, GREAT for St. Jude's & the kiddies, and good for my lips. I have three shades (Courtney Cox & Maria Menuonos are the other two) and they are all creamy and soft. The color goes on semi-sheer, but it layers well so you can punch up your color if you want. The staying power is pretty decent, too. Lindsay is my favorite of the bunch. I just love the color. I was surprised that such a creamy pink would look good on me because I usually stick to nude-caramel lipsticks. I think this works because it's quite pale. Lindsay looks great by itself (two coats) or topped off with a gloss like Chanel's Mango Fluo or Fresh's Damask Lip Shine. I think it's pretty versatile. One lippie off because Lindsay Lohan designed it...
Just kidding, one lippie off because of the tube packaging. I know it's supposed to be good for the earth, but it feels cheap and the cap is kind of loose. Also, I realize I sound like a total snob for saying this, but I think the hippie-esque design is a bit tacky. I think they could have made it look a bit more chic for $20 bux a pop.
This was, quite possibly, the worst product that I have ever encountered. This product was expensive, poorly made and completely ineffective. As countless others have said, this product is DRY, DRY, DRY - which makes it useless. The cap for the lip primer was busted and wouldn't go down all the way despite being brand new. The lip primer was way too matte and didn't prime properly - it blended into my lipstick creating a nasty lip color. I couldn't get the lid primer across my clean eyelid because the product was too hard, even after running it (covered) under warm tap water twice. A third attempt resulted in...teeny tiny primer chunks over my eyelid. It is not a matter of figuring out how to use it like, say, some of Kevyn Aucoin's products. It is a CRAP PRODUCT. Thank god for Sephora's return policy.
Would I ever purchase this again??? HELL TO THE NO!
LOVE this blush. While on the hunt for a new NARS blush, I got suckered into having my makeup done by the Pout MA at Sephora. My makeover was almost done when she pulled out Apricot Totty in all its bright, pigmented glory. Clearly she saw the panicky look in my eyes because she assured me that she'd only use a little bit. Imagine my surprise when I saw how beautifully fantastic the color had turned out - soft, glowing & sexy. Needless to say, I ended up putting back the NARS Deep Throat I was going to buy and purchased Pout's Apricot Totty instead. Now, I use it more than any of my other blushes. While the product itself looks kind of scarily pink, it imparts the perfect shade of coral-peachy-pink that's neutral enough to be used on both cool and warm complexions (I'm neutrally cool - NC30). It's just that good. Because it's so pigmented, use with a light hand - it will last forever.
Oh, and the packaging is brilliant - simple, fun & THIN. I'm such a sucker for pretty packaging.
This is my one MAC favorites. I went in to MAC to get Enchantress. The SA recommended this as well and I'm forever grateful. Love the color, love the shine & love that it's not nearly as thick as standard Lipglass. It's the perfect peachy nude with just a dash of pink & a hint of shimmer. Great for daily use but also a fantastic complement to smoky eyes.
Teint Innocence is only the third liquid foundation I have ever tried and I'm glad I found it. It's blends like buttah and it really feels like you've got nothing on. It's slightly moisturizing and not too matte, which I was worried about because my skin can be dry at times. It evens my skin tone and imparts a subtle luminosity without overdoing it (MAC Hyper Real, I'm looking at you) so your skin looks like your own, just better. The coverage is buildable and lasts all day. The best part is that it doesn't break me out. I will admit that I am confused about whether this product is oil-free. Two separate sales associates told me that it was NOT an oil formulation, but others below say otherwise. So, who knows? As many others have stated, my only complaint with this product would be how it is dispensed. It would be more hygenic if Chanel would add a pump dispenser. I know they can do it because, when I bought Teint Innocence, the testers for it were in a different bottle with a pump. Other than that, I highly recommend Teint Innocence if you want light to light medium coverage. Just make sure you go to the Chanel counter so you get the proper shade because matching can be difficult. I use a lighter shade called Cameo for paler days and Shell for days when I have more color (I mix them occasionally for thos days where I'm in between).
NOTE: This foundation is supposed to look as natural possible. This is not a heavy duty foundation. If you're looking for spackle, keep searching.
CE Ferulic was my first vitamin C topical and it seems to be a pretty decent product. I was surprised that it didn't cause any breakouts or adverse reactions because: my skin + SkinCeuticals = badness. It's rich in antioxidants which are great for the skin and help protect against free-radicals. The dropper in the bottle packaging is seemingly way more hygenic than most things out there. Unfortunately, I am not going to repurchase because it is slightly tacky (and it stays that way all day) yet drying, really expensive ($100+) and it STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN! It is just the most repulsive smell and it lingers. After my first application, my SO walked by me, took one whiff, and screamed, "The power of Christ compels you," before flinging tapwater on me and blessing himself. Yes, my SO is weird and associates smelling bad with demons, but it really was the worst smelling product I've ever encountered. UPDATE - 4/26/07: Learned that the dropper bottle is not the best idea for a C serum formulation as it can cause the product to oxidize and go bad quicker than a product with a sealed pump dispenser. There are better (and cheaper) things out there.
HydraSkin Rich is my HG Moisturizer. This is Darphin's best product, period. When I use it, my skin just looks fantastic - subtly dewy and really friggin healthy. It just sinks perfectly into my skin without leaving a greasy residue. Even though it's a cream, it's gentle enough that it doesn't give my sensitive, reactive skin any problems. The moisture lasts and lasts so my skin feels soft and silky all day. It seems the more I use it, the better my skin gets. I really can't rave enough about this spectacular moisturizer. Go out and snag a sample if you can. It is a little pricey, BUT the jar will last you forever because a little bit of this cream goes a long way.
Just as a disclaimer: This isn't an anti-aging cream so don't expect this to lessen wrinkles or function like botox. But if you are looking for moisture, look no further. Or, if you want something that assists with anti-aging, just use a good serum before using this and/or an antioxidant sunscreen. You won't be sorry.
I was looking for a cheaper alternative to Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatment when I stumbled upon Jane Iredale's Lip Drink. After glancing at it's natural ingredients, I was sure that this was going to be just as good as Fresh's lip stuff. It wasn't. It was fairly moisturizing, but no more so than any standard drugstore lip balm. The texture is slightly grainy and not soft at all so I hated putting it on. Honestly, Lip Drink is no better than Burt's Bees. Thank goodness I got this at a place that accepts returns.
Moisturizers -Darphin - Arovita C Cream [DISCONTINUED]
darknessa 3/30/2007 6:08:00 PM
Darphin has the best product textures of any skincare brand I've ever tried and I've tried several expensive & moderately expensive brands - La Mer, Natura Bisse, Z. Bigatti, Sisley, SkinCeuticals, Phytomer & Kinerase. The Arovita C cream is no exception. It's thick and creamy without being too heavy and it just melts right into your skin. I have normal skin with sensitive tendencies and Arovita C did not break me out or irritate my skin in anyway. The cream has a fresh scent that can be strong but goes away a little while after application.
But, I did take off two lippies for two reasons - 1) price & 2) dehydration. The $150 price tag is just hard to swallow for any product and I feel like there could be more anti-aging ingredients added. What's more is that they have split the Arovita C into two separate creams that are each $110 and I hope that doesn't mean both creams will need to be purchased to get the same effects as the original Arovita C. Also, I'm surprised that so many people indicated how moisturizing the Arovita C cream is (by itself). Perhaps it's just me, but I find Arovita C to be slightly drying or, at the very least, not moisturizing. While my skin felt softer right after applying the cream, my skin became slightly dehydrated a few hours later. But, I was using this cream twice a day and the SA at Bergdorf told me to use it only as a night cream and to use a serum/aromatic oil before applying it. I have since started using Arovita C only at night and using Darphin HydraSkin Rich over it (or Chamomile Aromatic Care under it) with wonderful results. It's just a bummer that I am REQUIRED to use something else along with the Arovita C so my skin doesn't look parched. I love the feel of this cream, but I wonder if there may be something better out there
UPDATE - 4/19/07: I added an extra lippy because my skin has definitely gotten smoother and plumper with nightly use of this cream. Also, I've recently learned my skin type is slightly dry so that may account for why I thought this cream was dehydrating. I just use the Camomile Aromatic Care every other night with this and my skin looks wonderful.
I've had this product for awhile and it's simply fantastic. You can use it anywhere - brow bone, cheek & orbital (eye) area, bridge of the nose, cleavage - and have it be subtle and sexy. A little bit goes a long way and it feels cool and lightly creamy on. The tube it comes in is very minimalist and it travels really well because it's fairly compact. I also think this would be a great product for luminizer newbies because it's easy to apply right out of the tube and can be blended with fingers or a brush. I love it. I hope the discontinued rumors aren't true!
I've purchased this mascara a few times and while it isn't my HG, I do like it for the "wow" factor. Let me say, without trying to sound like a lash-elitist jerk, that this mascara and its large, spindly wand are meant for people who already have long, full or otherwise substantial lashes (which is kind of ironic). So, if your lashes aren't naturally blessed, go look elsewhere (Shu Uemura's Fiber Xtension is really quite good and really buildable for all lashes) because this isn't going to cut it. Otherwise, this mascara can really make your lashes thick and it will enhance whatever length you've got. Despite being a drier formula, it doesn't actually dry too quickly which makes it easy to add extra coats and comb out clumpies. The finished product can be really fantastic, dramatic lashes. On the negative side, it definitely flakes after a few hours (so this is probably best used to go out at night) and has a strong rose-scented smell which lingers and can irritate. It is also quite expensive. That being said, the pros outweigh the cons for me because it makes my lashes go KABOOM.
This cream has a fantastic consistency - smooth, slightly irridescent, whipped creamy - and is supposed to be quite moisturizing for normal to oily skin. Unfortunately, my (normal) skin didn't agree with that assessment. Whenever I would apply to my face, it would just sit on top of my skin and never actually sink in. I always felt greasy and because it didn't sink in, my skin wasn't getting properly moisturized and it started to show after a couple of weeks. On the plus side, I looked really dewy (despite feeling greasy) and it never caused me to break out. As such, I really tried to make it work for me and I told myself, "Self, maybe you are putting too much on!" So, I tried using less, but no matter how little I used, it refused to sink in. It's kind of a shame because I can see how this would be an HG cream for some. I gave my mostly full jar to my sister. It works wonders for her and people keep telling her that her skin looks fantastic. Go figure! Oh, SkinCeuticals should repackage this product to be a little more hygenic. This cream is definitely fluid and light enough to be used with a dispenser or pump instead of the tub they currently use.
My skin type is normal with sensitive tendencies and the best way to describe myself is LLMM (lovely light-medium madamoiselle...not quite light, not quite medium so somewhere in between). I purchased the B5 Gel to help with dry patches on my cheeks and to add an extra layer of moisture to combat winter dullness. Well, I don't think this product is for me. When I used the B5 under my moisturizer (either Z Bigatti Skin Treatment or Darphin Arovita C), the results were less than pleasant. I broke out in places and where there wasn't a pimple there was dehyrated, flaky skin. I thought that maybe the AHAs or Vitamin A in my moisturizers were causing a reaction, so I tried it alone. It seemed to moisturize and soften my skin almost instantly, but after a couple of hours my skin looked dry. On the plus side, it didn't seem to break me out when used alone. So, the results were better when used by itself, but they still weren't good enough to continue using it (my bottle is still 75% full). Though, I could see how it would be a great light moisturizer for someone with oilier tendencies.