Masks -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - 25% Mandelic Acid Peel
dawnlois 4/5/2013 8:59:00 AM
Can I get a big HELL YEAH?!? As an older woman, I have been making a really conscious effort for several years to be kinder and gentler to my face - harsh cleansers and scrubs are out. I have done a couple of microlaser peels and IPL treatments, but I had no idea what to do at home to keep the results up - till I found MUAC. This peel is unbelievable - I am really impressed, and I mean overall, not just with some things about it. The price is right(!!), customer service is wonderful, and I frankly couldn't care less about the packaging. It's serviceable and doesn't leak - and I REALLY appreciate that I'm paying for a product that works, and not frou frou packaging and advertising. I have been prone to hormonal acne since I hit about 38 - so frustrating, I can't tell you. After a youth of clear skin that I was completely careless with, suddenly my skin started to dry up, wrinkle a bit, and break out!! In fact - I have almost always had at least one pimple every month for the last 11 or twelve years. And 3 or 4 times a year,I am gifted with a subterranean monster cyst that might hang around for a month or so, because they never come to a head. Now I don't want to sound like I have ever had severe acne, or that I know what that feels like. But constant small blemishes still bugged me alot - especially since I consider myself too damn old to have them! Not only that - but my skin has gotten progressively drier over the last several years - dry skin AND zits - whoo hoo!! So then I found MUAC - I was googling "at home chemical peels", and just decided to click on the website - and I was definitely skeptical. I figured I didn't have much to lose, and they included a newcomer coupon - and the sample sizes convinced me. I received my order within 3 days and used the peel that same night - and was blown away by the results!! I already use Retin A and amino acid products, but man oh man, did this stuff ramp up the results. I have used it about every 10 days or so for the last 3 months, and I can attest that results are cumulative - my skin looks better after every use. I have very little peeling now but the first month or so I had quite a bit - I cleansed with a castor oil/sunflower oil combo that I swear by, removing it with a warm, coarse wash cloth, and kept up a religious moisturizing schedule, and peeling is pretty much gone now, except for a day or two after each peel. I'm very happy with this product, and have since ordered several other products from MUAC - which just happens to now be mostly my only source for skin care. I also highly recommend the gly-luronic serum for maintenance between peels - but that's another review, right? For about 5 bucks or so ( I forget the exact amount) this is worth your while - I bet if you try it you'll like it.
Primer/ Corrector -L'Oreal - Revitalift Miracle Blur
dawnlois 3/3/2013 10:49:00 AM
Can you say "oh yeah"? I'm sorry for all the unfavorable reviews, and it sounds like a few MUAers had bad experiences with this. That means - MORE FOR ME!!! This is a fantastic primer - makes my skin smooth as glass, makeup goes on like a dream, and it lasts FOREVER. I really like Loreal's magic perfecting base, and this product surpasses it, IMO. It also has SPF 30, which I think is a huge bonus.There is no such thing as too much sun protection, especially for us older ladies, and thorough protection gives our skin the opportunity to work on repair as well as prevention. I do think this product is a good multitasker - and it's downright cheap compared to many high end primers.I apply vitamin C serum, then sunscreen (always spf 30) - then I dab & pat this product all over, concentrating on my t-zone. Allow a few minutes between each layer for absorption. Then apply makeup - and try to use more dabbing and patting motions rather than rubbing, which seems to set everything better. I love this - I hope others will, too, so this won't be another discontinued product that I have to scour the internet for!!
Once again - in the minority! I'm glad I bought this before reading the reviews, because I love it! Yes, it requires care to apply. You're basically painting your lashes with this product, then placing them where you want them. I use tweezers for that. It sounds strange, but the tweezers help me to grasp each lash and kind of nudge it into position. Anyway, I applied it this morning - my lashes looked perfect when I finished applying, and I shoveled the driveway, took my two dogs to the park for a mile or so walk - it's not too cold right now, but the wind was really blowing. Usually, that makes my eyes tear up, and as soon as any wetness hits my lashes (blowing snow, also) the curl falls out and my mascara smudges. Today I got home and looked like I did before I left. By then it was almost 2PM, so I had a sandwich and snuggled up with my pups to read, and ended up napping for an hour or so, too. When I got up to make dinner, I looked the same as when I laid down.I like rich moisturizers and use lots of sunscreen and usually I'm wiping under my eyes periodically throughout the day - I've been around the mascara block many, many times, and I pretty much accepted that that is just the way it goes. For seven bucks (seven bucks!!!) I've got long, perfectly defined, inky black lashes, and not once did I have one bit of smudging or flaking. I'm pretty damned impressed, to say the least. Now - tonight I will remove it, and start all over again tomorrow. While I love the idea of a stain that lasts for several days - something about it just sounds unhealthy, so I'm just going to treat this as I would any other waterproof mascara. If it turns out that removal is impossible, or some other weird thing happens, I'll be back to update. But as of now - I've found my new mascara, I give it 5 stars, and I will absolutely repurchase. I did take a point off for the packaging, which seems both excessive and wasteful - but on the other hand, Hard Candy is cruelty free, which I like very much, so all in all - extremely pleased with this.
Lips -Yves Saint Laurent - Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain (All Shades)
dawnlois 1/25/2013 5:06:00 PM
Here I come again, to throw a wet blanket over just about everybody's party... I AM sorry. But I can;t really find anything good to say about this! And I feel like a complete sucker, to boot! I initially thought "ooh, sheer, glossy and long lasting!!" when I first heard of this. The top three things we would love in a lip gloss, am I right? Well - this is none of those things, The shine is dull, they are extremely opaque, and I have had the extremely odd experience of having both colors I own (#15 Rose Vinyl and & #7 Coral Aquatique) go SUPER dark on me, even though they're just about the lightest colors in the lineup. I can't even imagine what the really deep colors would look like. As in, when I wore number 7 I almost fell over when I glanced at myself in the rear view mirror before getting out of the car - my lips were literally pumpkin colored!! I don't have to tell you all how this looked in the sunlight. That's when I found out how long lasting this is - it basically wiped right off. Well - after getting stuck in the corners of my mouth, and getting some on my tongue, which BTW tasted horrible, like old lady rose sachet or something. The packaging is very nice, substantial and not cheap looking. So freaking what?!? The stuff inside would be awful at any price, but this product adds insult to injury by being ridiculously over priced. Not impressed at all. And incidentally, both my mom and my daughter tried them also - with the same reactions. Oh well, live and learn, right?
I'm sorry to see so many negative reviews for this product! Especially since it's really good stuff. I think folks go overboard with it sometimes, and if you do - it's powerful stuff, and will dry your skin up like the , proverbial prune! I use this about once a week - maybe stretching it out to every 9 days in the winter, maybe twice a week in the middle of summer. Always at night, and always after cleaning my face with 35% castor oil/65% sunflower oil.I always make sure my makeup is removed first, and I either lather up with this and let it sit for a moment, or I use it with my Clarisonic Mia if I feel like I need extra exfoliation. I moisturize IMMEDIATELY after patting my face with a towel, and I don't use this on Retin-A nights.Salicylic acid clears clogged pores like nothing else, but do be moderate with this, especially if you're past the teen acne years. I definitely think skin care is highly individual, and what works for one person may wreak havoc on the next. I really believe that being cautious is best - and not falling prey to the "more is more" way of thinking. It seems like alot of women go at their skin like it's an enemy attack - bombarding it with too much all at once. Take it slow, respect and support the skin's natural barrier.In other words - moisturize, moisturize, and then moisturize some more. If the natural barrier is in healthy shape, skin will be clearer and fresher. I can't believe it took so long for me to figure that out - but once I stopped stripping my skin and started protecting it, all the issues I had with it have improved. And I'm talking adult acne, clarity, smoothness, fine lines - everything.It seemed to take maybe two weeks before I started to notice the changes, but I think it's going to be fine as long as I'm gentle and moderate. Sorry if I am long winded - I truly hope this helps someone.
Conditioner -Pantene - Expert Collection Age Defy Conditioner
dawnlois 12/2/2012 12:04:00 PM
SWEET JESUS!!! I have hair again!!! OMG!!! I rarely dole out 5 star reviews - there just isn't much out there that makes me that excited, as far as beauty products go, but I repeat, OMG!!! I have been looking for the Age Defy thickener since the October issue of Allure mag came out, right? I stopped in to Ulta periodically to check, and was met with irritatingly blank looks from salesgirls - the same at Target, Walgreens, etc. Finally I googled it the other day and found it available at Drugstore.com, so I ordered, and added the shampoo, which I wasn't aware of until then, frankly to bring my total up enough for free shipping. Then yesterday I stopped in at Target and found the whole collection available. Naturally, right? So I picked up the conditioner, thinking I might as well have all 3 products, and further thinking that they weren't outrageously expensive, and even further thinking that that is a damn good thing, because I've spent a fortune on my blah, drab hair in the last 8 years or so, with few if any results, and this wasn't likely to be much different. Well, drum roll, please!! WRONG!!! I shampooed with my usual John Frieda Brunette Illuminating (whatever!) shampoo, and then applied this conditioner all over my scalp and hair, and twisted it up, and went on with the rest of my shower, then rinsed as usual. I usually blot dry, then put my hair in a loose topknot, and go to bed, to avoid using any more heat than absolutely necessary. Well - I got up this morning and took it down and just combed through it with my fingers, and Holy of Holies - full, thick,soft, shiny - GORGEOUS!!! Is it possible to give a product about 50 stars? I am downright giddy. My hair has not looked like this in at least - like I said - about 8 years now. I literally am praying that it's not a fluke, a cruel trick of fate, a simple accident. In short - I am thrilled. And what a bargain!! I have spent 5 TIMES this much on similar products and been disappointed!I know I need to give it a little time - but I am seized by the most powerful urge to go back to Target and ask for their entire available stock - and then start hitting all the other Targets I can find! Sorry - I'm sure I sound completely silly - but I hope every one tries this and is as delighted as I am. Merry Christmas, all!!!
Eyeliner -Sonia Kashuk - Eye Definer in Iced Coffee
dawnlois 11/22/2012 10:58:00 AM
I like this liner very much all around. First of all, it cost me 6 bucks. It's firm but applies easily and smoothly. It has rich lasting color with just enough shimmer to be bright at night but also subtle enough for daytime. I apply a tiny dusting of mineral foundation to my lids prior to putting this on - that's one of my "secrets". I don't use any other powder makeup, but a little dusting of it smooths, provides hold for the pencil, AND provides a bit of sun protection, which I never used used on my lids, but I'm sure I need! Anyway - this is a great product, and I 'm looking forward to trying other shades, and other cosmetics by Sonia Kashuk, in general.
I bought this in For Keeps - what a beautiful color! That said - what a HORRIBLE, AWFUL, CRAPPY, CRUDDY product this really is!! I thought (foolishly) that it would be like an improved version of the drugstore longwearing lipcolors, like Max Factor and Covergirl. Not only does it cost about three times as much as one of those - it's more than three times less impressive than ANY OTHER longwear lip product I've ever tried. First of all - it goes on in a patchy, streaky mess. Then as it dries, your lips feel more and more as if they were shrink wrappedwith a really stiff, heavy plastic wrap. Then you apply the "gloss" over that - and it barely feels as though there's any moisture in your lips at all. Then, maybe you look in the mirror, and maybe rub your lips together a bit, thinking that will smooth the gloss and color together. What a mistake that is!! The gloss and color blend a bit, all right - into a sticky, disgusting mess that leaves your lips feeling as though you slopped syrup over them and then dipped them in sand.In the end, it's like a coat of old paint applied to a bumpy, peeling wall - even though I exfoliate my lips with brown sugar and oil a few times a week, and they are anything but dry. All in all - I don't think I have ever liked a lip product less than I like this one, and when I returned it, I expressed all the same sentiments to the SA that I've expressed here. Do Not Waste Your Money on this junk. BTW - on the same visit to the MAC store, I discovered Mac's Pro Longwear Lipglass, and if you're looking for a sweet, long lasting gloss with lots of moisture and lipstick opacity, try that one. I'll review it separately - it's really nice stuff.
Primer/ Corrector -L'Oreal - Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base
dawnlois 8/31/2012 5:30:00 PM
First of all - I absolutely agree with all the other older ladies (being one myself, and damned proud of it!) that all you younger ladies should probably give this product a pass. Not that primers aren't useful for everyone to bind makeup to your skin (once you've found the right one) but women with smooth young skin just aren't going to see the benefits of this like we do. I've rarely been so impressed with a product that can sometimes seem so superfluous. That is, until you find the one that really works for you - then it quickly begins to take on a "can't live without it" aura. Anyway - apply this correctly. Apply moisturizer (with sunblock, DUH!) and let it sink in for 10 minutes or so. Then dot this on LIGHTLY and pat - DON"T rub - onto desired spots. For me, that's my chin, around my mouth, the sides of my nose, my "I want" lines ( between my brows) and the tiniest bit on lines on my forehead. Then let THAT sit for 5 minutes or so, before applying whatever makeup you choose. I have experimented, and I think this primer works best with iny amount of liquid foundation or concealer, but that's just a personal dislike of powder foundations, since I have some lines and wrinkles for them to settle in, and I just don't think powder formulas are very flattering on older skin as a rule. If you have patience when applying this, and layer carefully, I believe you'll be impressed. Makeup wears all day, colors stay vibrant and don't seem to fade, and while I don't have oily issues, I also NEVER get dry, flaky, cakey spots throughout the day, which is huge. At the end of the day - take this off properly! I think that's a BIG reason why women in general get turned off by primers, because they break out or end up dull and congested, and I firmly believe that's because they're not removing this well enough. Think about it - it's meant to last all day and bind other products to your skin, so it stands to reason that just regular soap and water ain't gonna cut it (no pun intended!). I use a mixture of half pure castor oil and half pure sunflower oil that I mix myself. I apply it to my face and massage all over for at least 1-2 minutes, then remove with a warm washcloth and lots of water. If it's winter, or I just feel dry (from Retin A and other product use) I may call it good, and then apply nighttime moisturizer. Otherwise, then I wash with Glytone mild gel wash (another staple) and THEN apply just nighttime moisturizer or mix it with Retin A (3-5 nights per week) which keeps my skin bright and exfoliated, but not parched and dry. Sounds like a tedious amount of hassle, I know, but I have smooth, clear skin with practically no issues. All in all - I think this is an awesome product. It just takes a willingness to experiment to see what methods of application ( and most importantly, REMOVAL) work best for you. I've tried lots of different ones, and I mostly prefer department store brands, so this one is a happy departure for me. It may seem expensive for a drugstore item but really, come on! Compared to Smashbox? Which is probably the most hyped (overhyped?) primer out there. Compared to pretty much any department store brand? I really, REALLY like this - try it, you might, too. Oh and BTW - you're damn skippy, I'll be buying this again!
I wish there had been a way I could have said "oh hell no!" when asked if I'd buy this again! Oh wait - I just did!! And no joke - this is hands down the absolutely suckiest mascara I have EVER tried. Thank the good Lord this was a sample - in the BeautyBar Sample Society box, which I love with all my heart - but never mind that now. This horrible, dry, clumpy, dusty-gray-passing-for-black CRAP is the most awful mascara on Earth - oh wait, I already said that. I would have been monumentally pissed if I had actually paid money for this junk. And just think - Jane Iredale actually charges THIRTY freaking dollars for this! A tube of mascara!! Wish I could take out an ad in the paper warning vulnerable, gullible women (kind of like me sometimes!) to stay far, far away. I probably wouldn't be so vehement on the subject, except I actually wore this crap this morning - and here I am at my computer 10 hours later after having washed it off - what little that was on my eyelashes and not under my eyes - and I am still picking long disgusting fibers out of my eyes and off my cheeks, where they swooped and fluttered all the live long day. I will probably be paying for this till I wash my face a few more times - I could not be a whole lot more irritated that I am right now. Don't waste your money, ladies - just don't.
I wish I could say more good things about this - but I just can't. Granted, there are several formulas, and I only tried one - the SPF 30 Face and Body - but I can definitely say I am completely underwhelmed. The product sinks in, but leaves my skin very shiny. I think the sun protection is decent, but I felt greasy. The big problem, though, was how my skin behaved over time. I went through 2 bottles, wanting to give it a decent chance, and I'm sorry I did. I broke out some, but the worst was that my face just looked congested all over, with larger than usual pores and a definite loss of glowiness, mostly because I then overcompensated by over cleansing! Like I said - just not impressed. And the price is ridiculous. I went back to my usual Aveeno - half the price, twice the product, better performance.
Tinted Moisturizer -Jouer - luminizing moisture tint
dawnlois 7/19/2012 5:19:00 PM
I love this - and I am stunned. I am not a tinted moisturizer or foundation person. I usually use concealer on any spots and then pressed powder over the t-zone, and that's it. I do like a little more sometimes - a little more coverage, a little more polish. I got a sample of this in this month's Sample Society box, and I ordered a full size tube after 3 uses. The coverage is great without looking at all heavy and without the product sliding around and gathering in little lines, by the corners of the mouth, etc. This had very little oxidation in the course of an 11 hour day - in spite of wearing it in 95 degree plus weather. It also didn't move, but still looked good at the end of those long days, and never felt like so many foundations do - you know,like it's sucking your skin dry of any moisture. And, any extra SPF is nothing but a bonus,IMO. Yes, it is expensive,and I took one lippie off for that, because it just seems like beauty products just keep on creeping up in price - just slowly enough to let us get used to paying more, before they go up yet again.However, I do believe in that old chestnut " You get what you pay for". For a product that does as much as this one does - I'll choke on it, but I'll pay it. (Damn it!)
Foundations -Peter Thomas Roth - Un-Wrinkle Foundation SPF 20
dawnlois 7/19/2012 11:26:00 AM
Got a sample from BeautyBar - you know, the little blister pack with a bit of each of the 4 shades - and I'm glad I did, because I was completely underwhelmed with this stuff. Coverage is only so,so - blendability is pretty good. The problem is about 2 hours or so after you get it on and leave your house - all the while,thinking you don't look too shabby. Till you look in the mirror - then THAT notion will fly right out the window! This is the only foundation I've ever used that appears to LIGHTEN with time - and look powdery and cakey.It absolutely looks like it's sitting on top of your face - and God help you if you should sweat at all. Then it cakes up AND starts to crack.I had checked out the full size product at Sephora and was doubtful about the packaging, as well. Too heavy for portability - and what if you drop it in your bathroom? Yup - not impressed at all. And for 45 dollars? No. Just no.
I just bought this liner in jade and am very pleased. It takes a little work to get on the way I want it,but once I do,hell yeah! Lasts ALL day with no significant color fade,and doesn't smudge or smear. I haven't tried it on my waterline yet,but I very seldom wear liner there - usually just my top lash line. Forb that,this is a great product at a great price.
This stuff is great! I took 2 lippies off for cheapo packaging - but who cares about that when the product itself is so damn good? It's soft as butter, super spreadable,and extremely long lasting,without changing color. And what a color - light golden bronze,with just enough shimmer to catch the light in the most flattering way possible.Makes a great subtle eye color too,if applied with a small brush. And it has some SPF,which IMO is ALWAYS a bonus. Plus - can the price be beat? All in all,an excellent product - try it,you'll like it!!