Cleansers -Neutrogena - Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes
decatur 10/16/2009 12:30:00 AM
Having tried a few other brands (notably Biore, Ponds and MAC) with meh" results, I'd almost written off cleansing cloths altogether. I decided to give these a try after reading about the waterproof mascara removal properties and now they're a staple in my bathroom. I only have to massage gently to get my Prescriptives Here To Stay mascara off. The non-textured weave provides just enough exfoliation for my sensitive, rosacea complexion (I'm weaning off my previously vigorous exfoliating habit) and leaves my skin clean, not stripped. If it's an especially hot, humid day or if I've worn a primer, I sometimes follow-up with a mild cleanser and water or a gentle toner. Not always though. In the beginning, I wasn't sure about the glowy, moist finish that the towelettes left behind but now I feel it's simply light hydration. There's no greasy, sticky sensation and I haven't had any breakouts. I wear contacts and these do not irritate my eyes. Not having to soak my lashes w/a messy, wet remover makes me very happy, indeed. Great for travel. As for the seal not staying sticky, it's a problem that all these products share. I simply store my package label-side down to keep it from popping open. A zip lock bag does the job too. Good job, Neutrogena!
Cleansers -Clean & Clear - Makeup Dissolving Foaming Cleanser
decatur 10/13/2009 11:45:00 PM
Wow, such a good rating but for me, this cleanser just doesn't perform. It claims to remove waterproof mascara but even after two consecutive wash/rinse cycles w/2-3 pumps each, my Define A Lash WP hadn't budged. I don't care for the floral scent either. Was hoping for something more nose neutral. Great price, though - but I'm glad I have the receipt since it's headed back to Walgreens tomorrow.
Primer/ Corrector -MAC - Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50
decatur 10/8/2009 2:26:00 AM
My skin is still extremely oily and getting more sensitive as I age. I also get the occasional cystic pimple. On top of that, the climate here is hot and humid 70% of the year. I haven't had success w/other primers or sunscreens, mainly because I can't stand the way they feel under make-up... Suffocating and, in the case of the primers, ineffective (for me). Based on reviews here, I gave Prep + Prime SPF 50 a shot and got two generous samples that I've used over the past two weeks. What a pleasant surprise! The gluey-looking white cream seems to liquify on contact and acts as a very nice canvas for concealer and Studio Fix (or other) powder foundation. I probably am not applying heavily enough to claim the full SPF benefits, but am thrilled that my oil breakthrough appears to be reduced by about 50%. My redness stays reasonably well covered all day, too. So far, no break outs or reactions. I'm actually looking forward to buying a tube this weekend.
Lip Gloss -Stila - Pearl Shimmer Gloss - Ocean Currant
decatur 7/25/2009 9:57:00 PM
Impulse purchase at the front counter of my local spa... I tried it w/no expectations and immediately fell in love. The texture feels sheer but creamy, too, and definitely not sticky. This color looks fairly neutral on me but has a very subtle polished glow that's so pretty. A bit expensive at $22 but I think I will reach for this often. It has a brush applicator and oddly, the bristles seem like stiff plastic. Not that big of a deal yet. Maybe that will keep the brush from splaying easily like the ones in Bobbi Brown lip glosses.
Mascara -Maybelline - Sky High Curves Extreme Length and Curl WaterProof [DISCONTINUED]
decatur 10/26/2008 12:57:00 AM
My lashes are the typical, straight Asian variety that are neither very thick nor long. This product successfully lengthens and thickens them, and delivers a gentle lifting curl that is not as strong as using my Shu Uemura curler, but infinitely more convenient since I usually apply eye makeup in the car. (For the record, I like the Shu Mascara Basic as well - though the look is very subdued compared to this - because I never get raccoon eyes even w/my oily skin, but Sky High is less than a quarter of the cost and much easier to find.) IMO, all mascaras dry out too quickly and this one's no different. As far as mass market ds mascaras go, this one's worked for me.
I've spent a lot of money on $20 and $30 candles that smell great when sniffed unlit but have absolutely no throw when lit. Infuriating. Happily, Tyler is NOT one of those wastes -- and they are quite affordable, too! My favorite scent is Fleur de Lys (very fresh but also sexy) and the throw wafts throughout a space in seconds. We burn a large one in our office sometimes and can smell it come it up the stairwell from 100 yards away. Lovely. I also like the signature "Tyler" scent and "High Maintenance" but there are so many to choose from. If you can't find the brand in shops (I've had luck in one-off home boutique type places) they are sold from various online stores. The company's scent descriptions are very accurate, too.
Scrubs -Bliss Labs - Pore Perfecting Facial Polish
decatur 9/27/2008 7:53:00 PM
I'm on the fence about this product. Have had it for a while and every time I decide to try it (again) I have the same issue that turned me off the first time: it's difficult to rinse clean and my skin feels like there's a film on it. For me, the base just feels to thick. The light citrusy scent is fine and the micro cleansing grains feel thorough yet gentle enough... but the the stuff is just doesn't seem to rinse off the way I would like. It's OK if I follow up with a something like Philosophy's Purity but I've never had to do that with other scrubs. Doubt I'll buy again.
Powder -Prescriptives - All Skins Mineral Foundation spf 15
decatur 7/24/2008 9:54:00 PM
I don't have young, poreless skin by any means - grrr - but this product is working well for me after two weeks of initially skeptical use. Living in the humid South, my priority is decent coverage with minimal makeup-feel that won't make my already oily skin worse. That's why I like the idea of powder, mineral or otherwise. I purchased this on a sort-of-whim and am surprisingly pleased. Compared to Bare Minerals, this has much less of that annoying shiny *glow* that had a tendency to make my pores look like craters. I so wanted to love Bare Minerals but after years of on-and-off frustration, it's just not for me. Prescriptives All Skins Mineral Foundation applied with a light hand gives me a texture that almost looks darn close to what I wish my skin looked like w/o make-up. I'm still a bit oily looking after awhile, but nothing a quick fluff of Mineral Veil can't fix. The coverage, though shockingly natural, manages to take care of my red undertones and stays true all day. I can't say the same for any high or low end liquid or powder. ************************ Alas, I ended up returning this. The shimmer which didn't seem obnoxious in the beginning really began to bug me. And this sounds weird but the powder felt almost wet upon application. The more closely I inspected my face, the less I liked the way this stuff sat on my skin. Oh well, it seemed like a possible winner but, in the end, no love match!
Treatments -Aveda - Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother
decatur 6/7/2008 10:17:00 PM
I purchased this before the Allure review and was rather surprised by how effectively it softened and smoothed my coarse, wavy Eurasian hair. In fact, the first couple of times, I used a bit too much in combination with my other product (usually Kiehl's Straightening Cream or Bumble's Straight) and wasn't sure why my hair was flatter than I intended it to be (though not at all greasy). I figured out that I just need a lima bean size dollop of this which I mostly confine to the ends of my shoulder length hair to get the effect I want. The scent is fantastic but doesn't linger as long as I'd like. Used after towel drying and followed w/a small amount of Straight or similar, my blow-dry and flat iron lasts pretty dang well -- even in humid Mississippi. A real shock, frankly... this was an impulse buy that I didn't really expect much of. I guess my "eh" opinion of some other Aveda stylers (Hang Straight, especially) kind of tainted my expectations. Glad to be proven wrong. Only drawback: it would be nice if the bottle were clear so you could see how much is left.
Although recent reviews here seem mixed, I'm quite happy with this cream. My skin is oily w/occasional breakouts, yet somewhat dehydrated and prone to flakes. Normally, I avoid creams and prefer a lotion texture -- but this is the exception. No clogged pores, no pimples, no excess oil (not more than normal anyway)... and my skin feels hydrated, soft and clean. I apply it about 15 minutes before applying makeup and everything goes on smoothly. Feel like it's also a reasonable substitute for an everyday eye cream. Unfortunately, no SPF though. PS, when I had a really awful cold and began flaking around the nostrils from too much nose blowing, this was a terrific healing salve!
Great quality, like all Mac lip liners, but the color is just wrong on me. I wanted to like it and in the store, it looked like a nice, not dead, neutral/pink. In daylight, however, it's just too mauve-y pink and grandmother-y on me. Oh well!
Concealers -Physicians Formula - CoverToxTen 50 Concealer
decatur 4/21/2006 7:01:00 PM
Edit 4/25: I'm very pleased with this concealer. For the last several days, I've been using this in lieu of foundation (setting with a bit of powder) on all my blotchy areas as well as under my eyes. It does a great job of neutralizing redness without looking masky or like I've got a full face of makeup. I love that! Plus, the bonus... my skin actually appears smoother and more firm even after I've removed my makeup. Thought it was a fluke at first but nope, it seems to be doing something really good! And, no breakouts! Hmmmmm... I'm testing this out based on the initial positive reviews but haven't used it long enough to know whether it's a keeper. I've always had problems w/concealers (and thus abandoned them altogether) because of color match issues. The darkest shade of this is actually very good in that department for my MMM yellowish-but-ruddy Eurasian skin. I bought the darkest two shades based on reviews that the product tends to appear lighter on the skin than in the tube (and that's a correct assessment). So though I'm happy w/the color, I'm not wowed by the overall results yet. Of course, it's early days still but I've noticed no firming effect at all. In fact, like someone else said, my fine lines actually seem more noticable -YIKES. I'm trying this product as a neutralizer on my reddish cheeks and chin because if it works as a foundation substitute I'll be a very happy camper. Will update when results are more conclusive... Edit: I hate the fiddly packaging - a plain old squeeze tube, no brush, would've been more sensible. As it is, I stroke the brush on the back of my hand and use my finger to dab the product on.
Lip Gloss -TheBalm - Plump Your Pucker Tinted Gloss
decatur 3/3/2006 12:27:00 AM
Cherry My Cola (shimmery, sheer, warm nude/red/brown) is an HG for me. Not too dark, not too light, absolutely spot on whether or not I'm wearing makeup. I stumbled across it during an "I'm in Sephora, not seeing anything I need but gotta get something" moment and, boy, am I glad. This is one impulse buy that's not $$ wasted. In fact, it's so great that I went back the next day and bought 2 more in the same shade. The texture is probably my favorite of all the glosses I've ever tried (and I'm a glossaholic) -- heavy enough to last for a couple of hours without being the least bit sticky, and it's also very moisturizing. Plumping effect... eh, but then I wasn't really looking for it to do that.
Palettes -Stila - Perfectly Plum Fall 2005 Palette
decatur 3/2/2006 9:07:00 PM
Yay - my package arrived! I took the plunge on this palette during a fit of late-night Ebaying (new and untested for $16, which is pretty darn low) and have to say that I'm completely thrilled with it. Without the reviews on MUA, I probably would've liked but skipped these colors thinking they'd be too bright for my warm, MMM Eurasian coloring. Wrong! The combo of bright plum and warm bronze eye shadow, the peachy/plum blush, and the ultra white shimmery highlight eye shadow is ultra pretty on! Note to self: it's OK to stray from neutrals! I like that the colors coordinate but aren't "matchy-matchy". Both cool and warm if that makes sense. They look fabulous together and I think they'd work well individually with many other shades. The packaging is tiny - smaller than I expected, really - but lovely and not too cutesy like some others from Stila. It's definitely going to be a handbag staple for me.
A god-send. Have been using this for a couple of years and I alternate with Philosophy's Purity Made Simple. Really wish I could just pick it up in a local store rather than online ordering. At 40, my skin is still quite oily, with large-ish pores / occasional breakouts and though using an oil cleanser may seem counter-intuitive, it really performs. Removes all MU and leaves my face feeling clean and soothed. It's also wonderful when my skin's feeling irritated from exfoliating or treatment products. Be sure to massage it onto a dry face (with dry hands!) before adding water or it won't work very well. By the way, many years ago I tried the Shu Uemura cleansing oil and wasn't nearly as impressed.