Highlighters -Physicians Formula - Mineral Glow Pearls- Translucent Pearls
dibbun 2/22/2013 8:44:00 PM
I'd been lemming after the super expensive Guerlain highlighter but just couldn't pull the trigger for something that's only supposed to give you a glow. This is a little expensive for drug store make up but I had a coupon for 3.50 off at Ulta and snagged this for around ten bucks - not bad. The packaging is stupid, and the brush is a waste, depositing a huge gob of glitter in one misshapen sweep. I wish they would have done away with the bottom half and made the whole thing slimmer with a sturdier lid. I would not drop this; it would shatter. The half pearl on the top of the lid looks gimmicky and cheap and foolish. I really don't like it; it's as if they're marketing to someone who's five and likes Barbies. Anyway! I use this all over, on top of Clinique City Block Sheer and MAC Prep Prime setting powder. In addition I pat a little Benefit Moonbeam on my cheek bones and eyelids. It does not - like I was afraid it might - settle into every crevice and scar and make my face look like the moon. Nor does it look oily, or are there huge chunks of glitter. Everything looks glowy and fresh; especially with Benefit highlighter well blended I feel like I look like I have "good" skin! (Which I normally do not. By far.) There is no color pay off - there's not supposed to be as it's translucent of course. I feel as if you don't actually notice you put it on; there is just an extra glow that you can't put your finger on. It seems to bring out the curves of your face nicely without screaming "I contoured and highlighted just for you." My friends have commented that I look "different" but they're not sure why. One thing I'm not sure of is how it will photograph, and how it looks in those super bright overhead lights they have in doctor and dentist offices. But for an everyday skin pick me up, this is great!
Mascara -Cover Girl - Lash Blast Clump Crusher mascara
dibbun 2/3/2013 11:36:00 AM
I've been loyal to Maybelline for years, but after Volume Express started to flake on me I picked up CG Clump Crusher. I knew it from the commercials and, frankly, they didn't really make me want to buy the product. No one really wants pink (or P!nk or whatever), anything really that "crushes", or stilettos stomping around in association with their eyes like in their commercial. But I had had CG mascara in the past that had stayed put all day and not clumped, smeared, or gone raccoon, and so I gave this a shot. The brush is fantastic: gets every lash, and, if applied the right way, does NOT clump. The mascara its self (for me) lengthens more than it adds volume, so if you want volume, try something else. The length holds their own with falsies! I wear cluster lashes frequently and the problem I had with other mascaras is that they would flake off during the day and leave my lashes short so that the the falsies didn't blend in anymore. This stuff doesn't! I take it off at midnight and everything still looks great! There was a tiny bit of raccooning but it wasn't bad; not nearly as bad as others I've tried. After years of avoiding Covergirl like the plague I'm back!
Masks -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - 25% Mandelic Acid Peel
dibbun 8/27/2012 12:44:00 PM
I have used the 30% glycolic acid peel for a few years and like it pretty well for degunking pores, but it didn't really do much for my acne scarring or freckles like I hoped. After the reviews here I decided to try the Mandelic acid, and after getting a 20% off code (sign up through their website and never pay full price again!) I got this, more glycolic, and the Jessner's peel. For background, I had cystic acne for about ten years straight, all through my teen years. Seven years after going on Accutane, I still have dark purplish dots, some pock marks that are skin colored and others are dark, and freckles from a trip to Hawaii. (Not the cute kind of freckles either - the weird, amorphous ones.) I now have oily skin that is super sensitive, and fortunately I don't break out much anymore (knock on wood). I'm super careful about what I put on my face or else I break out in hives. Back to the Mandelic: It doesn't come with it automatically, but the prep/prime pH stuff that comes with the glycolic makes a difference, I think. I started using it after the first peel, and it seemed to do a little more work after using the prep, just three drops on a cotton ball. During the first use I noticed some frosting, or bits of skin that turned white. There were also some places where little white heads cropped up but went away in a few minutes of washing it off. I didn't notice this reaction as much during the next two peels. Right after the first peel I noticed everything looked lighter. Everything! Dark scars and freckles alike - there was even one freckle that looked like it was being "scratched" off, like a fleck of paint when you scrape it with your finger nail. However, I have not noticed a huge difference in the pitted scaring. One thing that it did not help much for me was black heads on my nose. I just put glycolic acid around my nose, and put mandelic around the rest. No problem. I've only done three peels now - spacing the first two a week a part as per the directions and will now do them four days apart, at four minutes a session. There's a little peeling after, nothing terrible. I do use ANR after and it gets soaked up like crazy, and of course use sunscreen religiously, everyday. I can't WAIT to see how they continue to go. I hope very much this will continue to erase what was a very terrible decade for my face and ego.
Styling Products -Redken - 15 Spray Starch Heat Memory Styler
dibbun 8/16/2012 6:09:00 PM
This stuff works well for top layers of hair for me. It keeps it pretty shiny and holds a loose curl through the day. Used sparingly it doesn't make things crunchy, and isn't too sticky that I can't run my fingers through my hair. I need three spritzes on each section of hair before I curl it for it to work. However, it does not work (for me) on bottom layers of hair that lay close to the body, layers that are also a bit thicker and less chemically damaged (truth be told). This isn't a holy grail, and a bit expensive for as much as you have to use. I'd probably buy it again, but am still looking for something that will work all over my head. To be fair, I have pin straight, coarse Asian hair that does NOT want to be curled.
I have coarse, straight hair that will not hold a curl on it's own for anything, falling flat within an hour. I got this stuff to use on the most stubborn layers that lay at the nape of my neck - the ones that go back to pin straight by the time I've curled my top layers. I don't use it on top layers, as it IS a super strong hold. I use three half sprays - a small squirt at the top, middle and bottom - comb through, and curl, holding the hair on the iron for about 10 seconds. It doesn't make things crispy if I use a half pump, but if it does it combs out well enough. This stuff does make a small difference - a slight bend holds through the day. Overall, I'm not terribly impressed. I'll use the bottle up, and maybe try something else.
Hair Styling Tools -Unlisted Brand - Hot Tools - Curling Iron Spring Grip
dibbun 8/12/2012 10:40:00 PM
As a background, I have super straight, coarse, Asian hair that has never, ever held a curl. After no success with the Remington wand, I ordered this off of Amazon for about thirty bucks, versus the forty something I've been seeing in places like ULTA. I got the 1.5 inch one for loose waves. I crank the heat all the way up to 430, and it seemed to heat up in about a minute or two. Not as fast as my CHI flat iron, but that gives you time to put heat protectant in your hair. I found the curls on my top layers relax into nice, loose waves, so this is not what you're looking for if you want curls. (In all fairness, your hair may hold a curl much better than mine.) On the bottom layers, however, I find a curl will not hold, even with hairsprays, Redken, and so on. I'm still trying various combinations with no luck. It IS the middle of summer and it's very humid here, plus I have stubborn hair, so maybe come winter I'll have better luck. However, if this thing dies I may try something else, CHI or maybe Babyliss, or maybe another Hot Tools the next size down. We'll see how cheap I'm feeling at the time. The clamp is very tight and I pulled out a few hairs on the first try. With a screwdriver and following the instructions that came with the replacement springs, I took it off. I put the two lateral screws back in to re attach the kick stand, and now I have a curling wand, which I like much better.
Hair Styling Tools -Remington - T-Studio Pearl Curling Wand
dibbun 7/30/2012 1:01:00 AM
I wanted long, loose, waves and NOT something that would make tight ringlet curls, and I got this in the 1.5 version at Target for $30. There is a bit of a learning curve for this. I found the back of my head the hardest to do as you loose depth perception and everything is backwards when you're looking in the mirror. I didn't use the glove but didn't burn myself either. Right off the bat, it produced really nice bouncy curls that relaxed into full bodied waves, but then they just kept relaxing. In an hour I had nothing. This was with the heat all the way up to 410, and I held it on the wand for about 8 seconds. Tried it again the next day, and got the same result. Having no clip is nice as hair can't get caught in it, but I did have a couple strands get caught and pulled out at the base where the wand attaches to the handle. I do wish it wasn't tapered at the end. It is hard to get your hair distributed evenly down the wand, and I feel like if the curls are slightly different diameters, your hair will not "settle" as well and can look frizzy and big. In all fairness, I didn't use any hairspray, and I have coarse Asian hair that won't curl - ever - for anything. I'm hoping if I find the right tool I'll find something that will work - probably will try Hot Tools next! I can see this working very well for some people, however, this just didn't work for me.
Oh these are great. I used to have only good results with the ultra ones, but when I went to the store I could only find the original. These work best after a shower and a light peel with glycolic acid. I don't get good results if I don't do the peel first. I stick these on a very wet nose, wet down my fingers with hot water, and push it into the sides of my nose, and blot gently with a towel. It gets all the stuff out even on the sides that I can't get with an extractor, and they work even better on DH.
Upon first smelling this in a magazine, I literally salivated. I suppose that's why they call this a "gourmand" fragrance. I'm not entirely sure what gourmand entails and am too lazy to Google it, but I'm guessing by the name this is they reaction they were going for. Vanilla scents usually make my teeth ache, and I avoid them at all possible costs because they're too sweet and too fake. So my reaction to this surprised me. I rubbed it on my wrist and couldn't stop smelling it. I intended to get a sample of this before going all out - this stuff is rather pricey. Not exclusive high end ect, but when it comes down to it, this kind of thing is luxurious. Then the sales lady said she had one last gift set - a full size, a mini, and a body lotion. I am a sucker, and I bought the whole thing. At home, at first I was disappointed when trying it. The musk comes through first on me, and much less caramel candy goodness that I liked so much out of the magazine. As time wore on I kept catching whiffs of vanilla, then caramel mixed in, and my disappointment went away. The lasting power isn't bad. Not as good as an oil of course, but not as bad as gardenia ones I've used. As an aside, the body lotion smells a little more candyish to me, but for 50 bucks for a bottle there's no way I'd buy it by its self (unless I was hemorrhaging money, which I am not).
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original (UDPP)
dibbun 4/20/2012 8:43:00 PM
I got a big tube of this in addition to the mini that I got at the same time in the Naked package. As background: I have monolids, which don't have a tendency to smudge as all the eyeshadow I wear is above the fold. To be honest, I don't "need" this stuff as I never had a problem with eyeshadow fading/smudging but got it to see if it would act as a nice base to make blending easier and colors brighter. Result: not necessary. It actually, I think, made it more difficult to blend stuff over as it made my lids slightly tacky and sticky. I have better luck brushing a base of light colored eyeshadow over my whole lid and putting eyeshadow on over that (my sister actually uses bright white eyeshadow as a base and swears it makes everything pop.) There was no noticeable color boost, to me at least. I'm sorry I spent the money, and will probably give this away. That said, my mother, who has a regular fold but hooded eyes, really likes this stuff.
Mascara -Maybelline - Volum Express The Falsies Flared
dibbun 4/20/2012 8:08:00 PM
What a nice surprise! I accidentally grabbed the non waterproof version of this (I normally buy only waterproof as I have oily monolids). Being much too lazy to exchange it I gave it a chance and did not have high expectations in the beginning (bias...anyway). The brush is good in that it distributes without clumping and gets every lash. It did not seem to be so much lengthening as thickening, like others have said, so I layer Black Drama over it. No smudging, super long, thick lashes that don't budge through the whole day and stay curled. I do use cluster clashes on a daily basis, and with these two combined they blend in for an extra oomph - so in all fairness, they hold their own against falsies. I've used Black Drama (WP) and liked it very much, while intensely disliking the other formula for it's flaking and smudging. The other tubes I've gotten of BD required a week or so of "drying out" until they didn't budge and applied perfectly. But when layered over Falsies Flared it goes on great every time.
The price put me off for the longest time. I'd use this whenever I visited my sister - she's a cosmetologist person and always has the best, most expensive hair stuff and didn't care if I used her things. Out of all the stuff I sampled I kept coming back to this. I have thick, coarse, damaged hair from being colored multiple times and generally being neglected. I think it's prone to build up, and can get frizzy (which is unfair, because I don't know any other Asians that have frizzy hair). After shampooing I wring out as much water as I can, slather a little of this on, and leave it for as long as my attention span holds. (This usually isn't very long.) After rinsing out and towel drying, a comb slides right through, which doesn't happen with other products I've used. Once it dries my hair is untangly, shiny, and smooth. No frizz, and no overwhelming smell! The tub packaging is stupid. I like the tube far better, but want a larger size. If I weren't so lazy I'd just put it in a dispenser, but instead I just complain about it.
I have and love Sin and Orgasm, and this one seemed like a nice medium in between the two. Upon first glance I actually thought it would be too similar to Sin and for years I passed it by until seeing a review on here. The color is very, very natural, super close to what I look like when I flush (except a little less purple, so a little less ugly!). However, it's kind of touch to apply, even more so than Exhibit A. It's very, very easy to apply way too much, and if your skin is slightly tacky (moisturizer, sunscreen) it will blotch like crazy. I try to be sure to put extra powder over my cheek bones and use a super fluffy blush brush versus the relatively dense tapered one I have for Sin and Orgasm. Bottom line: the color is great, but it's a PITA.
Treatments (Eye) -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - Vitamin K Cream
dibbun 3/5/2012 5:51:00 PM
I should have not been shocked see broken capillaries crop on my cheeks as that was where a majority of the acne was, but when they did, I FREAKED. They were not very noticeable - you really had to look close in bright light to see them, but I'm only in my late 20s. Google said that topical Vitamin K is also supposed to help get rid of spider veins, and MUAC was the quickest, most findable choice. It's also a great deal cheaper than laser surgery, but you already knew that. After one month the caps are almost gone. A MONTH! It also cuts down on redness, absorbs fast like others have said, and didn't make me break out. You may want to use a moisturizer over this because on it's own I was still dry. Yes, the packaging is plain and utilitarian, but this stuff works!!! ETA: This didn't do anything for my under eye bags, which I have since I was in utero (probably from the moment of conception). I don't have dark circles so I can't attest to that.
I am cool toned and like this much better than the first Naked. If they had come out at the same time I would not have bought the first and just gone with this one, though there are colors that I use a lot in the first that aren't in the second (Buck). I will say I am very glad to have both, even though no one NEEDS them together. YDK, Verve, and Pistol are my favorites. The packaging and mirror are SO MUCH BETTER. If I had to (and I've had to) do my face in a compact mirror (because the 1 bathroom on vacation was being hogged by someone else, say) I could totally do it. It's a nice feeling. Naked 1 and the Ammo palates are flat out crummy and cheap feeling compared to this. It feels like it was worth 50 bucks when its being held in your hand! The lip gloss and brush are nothing special, but useable. If you drop a bunch of money on a eyeshadow, chances are probably good you have brushes that are much better than these. I liked the brush in the first one better, but didn't need that one either. Like other people have said, I'd much rather go without the lip gloss and brush for a cheaper price. Hustle and Busted are the exact same thing, from what I can tell, and it literally makes me mad that Half Baked is in there twice. I wished they did another couple greigy shadow like Pistol instead of those instead.