Liquid -Maybelline - Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Makeup
dascha 6/4/2010 9:14:00 AM
I've been experimenting with drugstore foundations for a couple of months. Generally there is *something* wrong with them. However, I feel the same about most of the high end ones as well. So far I am very pleased with this. Most importantly, the buff beige color is a terrific match for my difficult-to-match light yellow tending to redden complexion. Nearly everything out there is too pink/orange for me, of if pale neutral enough it looks chalky. Buff beige looks too dark in the tube, but lightens on the skin to a near-perfect match for me (worth it's weight in gold). The texture, too, is very nice. Light and silky, it blends into skin very quickly and relatively seamlessly. The finish is a touch too matte for my tastes, but does help with the oiliness of my t-zone. Really like the spf and nutrients added as well. On the controversial "eraser" applicator front, I actually think it's a decent idea. Ideally you should use it to buff the product into the skin bit by bit, which is very nice if you can get it to do that as the sponge tip is very soft and goes around nose and under eyes like no other tool I've used. However, the product tends to flow out unevenly, so you must use your fingers to blend it, which is kind of a drag. Good idea but needs work, or just package the stuff in a nice glass pump bottle.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Auric Blends Egyptian Goddess
dascha 7/14/2009 9:31:00 AM
I bought another bottle of this on ebay for five bucks, after getting one that I think was old or "off" somehow. Anyway, I couldn't smell it. Perhaps my nose has gotten better, because I do smell this one, and I really like it. The nearly universal raves are justified, I think. I've been looking for a very unobtrusive, non-perfume-y, clean but not laundry-detergent-smelling "work scent." It's been tough going. The other musks I've tried have been vetoed by my musk-hating husband. This one is technically a musk but it has a woody-resin-lead pencil quality that is quite unusual. The scent in general is difficult to describe, and I suspect, like most musks, it interacts quite a bit with one's body chemistry, so it's very subjective. I do not detect much sweetness or vanilla. On me it's quite dry. There is a touch of something softly fruity to my nose, but nothing overt. Seems like this one would be great for layering. Very nice and just what I was looking for.
Hey! This stuff save me $80! My stylist actually does highlights the "paint on" way instead of foils, and about 70% of the time it comes out very nice. The other times, however, it is uneven and brassy. But he was charging me $60 to do it, so... Anyway, last time it came out gorgeous but he charged me $90!! Uhhh... no way I'm paying that again! So after debating all-over color versus attempting to paint on my own hilights, I chose this as the more difficult, but less risky choice. Starting out, I remembered trying to do this before and WHY I paid the $60 to have someone else do it -- applying this really is a pain in the a**. The product gets grainy and is hard to figure out exactly where the color is going and how much to put on. My hair right now is a mixture of dark blonde roots, old medium blonde all-over color, light blonde highlights, and faded/brassy medium blonde "lowlights." I applied this in half-inch streaks, about 10 or so, a little distance from my roots. I preferred the "mascara" wand as a tool as it had a comb-through function. It took a long time to do, and I let it process 30 full minutes after finishing my entire head. Possibly 35, as I did not want the color to be brassy, and it was not. The color came out perfectly cool pale champagne blonde, just like the box. I was actually really surprised at how well this turned out, in spite of my clumsy application. Actually, I think it's kind of better than some of the times my stylist did it.
Fragrances -The Body Shop - White Musk Perfume Oil
dascha 6/13/2009 10:52:00 PM
Like most "white" (or clean, soapy) musks, this oil is initially brash and strong, but softens considerably as it melts into the skin. Unlike Kiehl's Musk, which is more floral and slightly dirty-smelling, this musk remains "good" all the way down, but is never too sweet, insipid, or screechy-soapy. Perfect for summer daytime wear or a nice subtle comfort scent. This is unchallenging, but nicer than some other white musks I've tried.
After many misses on toenail color this sandal season, I drove across town to buy "Kreme de la Kremlin," which looked and sounded like the perfect darkish/neutral/ mauvish/pinkish brown. However, Ulta didn't have it so I picked the closest thing, to my eye. I have no idea whether they are remotely similar (colors on the internet are always so wrong) but I'd describe this as a brownish/pinkish neutral red, which is very hard to find in drugstore brands which seem to be either purple/black, dirt brown or bright red. It has a creamy finish and goes on smoothly with full opaque coverage at two coats. I've never tried OPI before but my Revlon toenail color chipped off after one day so I'm willing to spend extra.
I have very light-colored brows and am always trying to figure out what to do with them. I used to have them tinted but that's a pain, so I've been shaping them myself as best I can and looking for a good means to subtly darken and shape them easily. "Easily" is the key word as I'm 8 months pregnant with a 2 year old.) I like the idea of brow gels but I haven't found one that really does what I want. Powders are okay but a little troublesome, and don't give me any shape. Pencils tend give me too hard a line. WAX pencils are a great thing for people like me, and this one, in Blonde, works really well. The color is perfect and goes on very light, so no difficulty making a good "line." Also, the wax helps keep them in shape without being heavy like most waxes in a pot. It also seems to last all day. The only problem I have with this is the highlighter side. I don't see any use for sparkly highlighter on my browbone, so I don't use it. So I wish this was just one-sided and had more of the wax product.
This is the first bottle of an Ava Luxe fragrance I've purchased and I must say I'm impressed. This is a unique and lovely, well-composed woody/musky/amber scent that feels both sophisticated and natural. I've had a lot of problems with fragrances just disappearing after 30 minutes or so on my skin, but this lingered for many hours, and in a very nice way. It begins with an astringent, but not too medicinal oud, pepper, and juniper berry note that lingers for a while, then the softer, warmer woods come forward along with a not-too-sweet amber and subtle musks that form the long-lasting base. This perfume reminds me of SL's Ambre Sultan, which I find interesting but sickly sweet. Biba gives a similar impression but is dry-woodsier while still delicious. Also, it is far less expensive.
Arpege is one of the big old classic scents, not worn very much nowadays but well worth trying out. Actually, it is probably more accessible than some of the more recent vintage scents as it sweeter, warmer, and fruiter than many others. In some ways it is a warmer take on the classic Chanel No. 5, with it's aldehydic opening note (which fades very quickly) minus the somewhat "poopy" jasmine note. Although I like Chanel No. 5, I do not wear it myself as I honestly feel that it wears a woman, and not the other way around. Arpege seems to meld into the skin much better. This would make a great black- dress- and -pearls alternative to No. 5 and feels even a tad more casual and sexier, as there is a musky note on the bottom that erases any of the soapy/old lady connotations aldehydes might carry. The other fragrance it reminds me of is Habanita, probably because of the strong, very pleasant peach note, but without the tobacco. It's like Habanita's square older sister, and I mean that in a good way. Probably best suited for cooler weather, this stuff really should be tried by a new generation. I like the black bottle with the lovely gold mother and daughter image as well.
The original White Linen, released in 1978, has a justifiably "difficult" reputation. I can understand why so many people hate it and even the dreaded "old lady-ish" slur, because this stuff is about as out-of-style as a perfume can get nowadays. In an era of fruity florals, exotic ouds, and syrupy incense this strongly soapy stuff seems, well, just plain odd. Seriously, this is so soapy-smelling, it positively SQUEAKS. And yet I'm finding myself liking it because it is so different from nearly everything else out there. Most of the "clean"-type scents made lately are too blatantly floral for my taste (like the Philosophy Graces, the new Chloe, and Pure White Linen) yet this one, after the initial blast of aldehydes, has a distinctly smoky woody quality I find quite pleasant and interesting. It would make a very interesting masculine if any man dared it. It fades into a slightly sour but inoffensive soapiness after about 30 minutes, but that woody part is really nice.
Just a terrific, non-sparkly neutral blush for pale skin. The packaging is especially good, as it doesn't contain a worthless brush, mirror, or anything you don't need. Not too orange, not too pink, and very very natural-looking.
After returning my Diorskin compact because it made my skin feel greasy/weird at the end of the day, I decided to try this. I got it in the Petal, which looked suitably yellow, although a bit dark for me. I was skeptical about this, but when I buffed it on, the color blended damned near seamlessly into my skin. I had some reddish, peely spots on one cheek and this covered them very well. I wore this makeup to my anniversary dinner and in the bathroom my face did, indeed, look "flawless." The real test, for me, will be how it wears during a full day at work, but so far, so good!
I liked this powder foundation better when it was more simply packaged in a little oblong oval-shaped thing, very nice to slip into your purse. This newer, more complicated compact takes an hour to open, although I suppose the separate compartment for the sponge is more hygenic, which might be a plus for some people. I've been happy for a while using only Clinique's mineral anti-redness powder over sunblock on my pale, yellow-toned skin. However, I'm due to give birth in 7 weeks and I want a compact to take to the hospital and to use for traveling this summer (it's impossible to travel with loose powder or mineral foundations imo). The main reason I chose this is because of the color choices. Most powder foundations are too pink or peach for me. "Cameo" is a perfect match for my skin. Also, this stuff is very fine-milled and glides on smoothly. It never looks powder-y and the coverage is suitably light. It just does what I want it to do -- evens out my skintone a bit and provides spf protection during the day. However, I wish it were less pricey. Edit: I ended up returning this as I felt it really did feel a tad heavier on my skin at the end of a day than I would prefer, and I felt for the money I could do better. I really did prefer the old formulation.
I agree with most of the complaints here -- the packaging is crappy, the blush comes off in a mess, and the tiny brush is a joke. However,the shade itself is pretty good for pale, yellow-toned skin. It goes on very sheer so it looks pretty natural, if you don't mind a bit of sparkle. Actually, I do so I returned it.
Powders -Clinique - Clinique Redness Solutions Instant Relief Mineral Powder
dascha 2/13/2009 12:34:00 AM
I'm not quite sure how this works, or what is really IS exactly, but I've been totally fed up with mineral foundations, and foundations and powders of all kinds, for a while now (or ever since Clinique discontinued my HG City Stick in Creme 4 years ago). I've been trying a new one every couple of months and nothing seems to do what I want, really. I have oily, now getting slightly drier with age (finally!) very pale skin with a distinct yellow undertone. Any base with peach or pink in it (and they all do) tends to make my face look too pink against my neck and chest. Thanks to microdermabrasion and regular glycolic acid peels, my skin is thankfully clear and relatively pigmentation-free, but still I like something to even it out and neutralize the redness. So I bought this, not expecting much. But for some reason it's really working out! It's a very soft, fine yellow powder that puffs onto my face flawlessly. It doesn't leave any clumps of pigment nor does look "powdery", dry or weird. I like the idea of mineral powders but they can look weird and too shiny and leave me feeling oily by the end of the day. I apply this on top of sunscreen with a soft mini kabuki brush. Like I said, I don't know why but this seems to control my oil during the day, doesn't turn my face orange or peach, and seems to smooth out my skintone. To top it off, when I touch my skin during the day it feels incredibly soft. Is this stuff amazing, or is it too good to be true? eta: I really love this stuff, so 5 stars. It's working for me. Controls oil beautifully during the day as well. Goodbye, foundation! I just wear this on top of sunscreen with a swipe of concealer under the eyes.
Deodorants -L'Occitane - Purifying Roll-On Deodorant
dascha 10/27/2008 12:52:00 AM
I'm really desperate to find a good deodorant that doesn't have that weird fruity smell all the drugstore one's seem to have, nor is a completely unscented (no fun and doesn't really do much for odor.) I'd love to do a completely natural one, but none of them seem to work for me. So I had high hopes for this. A very nice clean natural rosemary smell, non-whitening formula... HOWEVER, this stuff made my armpits itch like crazy!