I love this sunscreen. I'm usually really picky with sunblock because I prefer natural brands with physical blockers, but the problem with a lot of physical sunscreens is that they tend to make me look pastier than I really am. This has a light tint in it, so it actually makes me look livelier, and it's dark enough to cover minor imperfections so extra makeup isn't necessary. There isn't a scent I can detect, and once you apply it, it basically stays on all day. The only drawback is that it's a bit difficult to take off, and there's a weird chalky feeling left on my skin after I apply it.
This stuff works fast! I actually got the Tabula Rasa pads as a sample, and I had a huge pimple on my nose that just wouldn't go away. It was the kind that sits under your skin until you get impatient and poke at it- then the next day it decides to swell three times it's size and get really pus-y. I didn't get to the poking part since that usually leads to scarring, so I just swiped the pimple with a pad at night. Next morning, pimple gone. True story.
I don't know what's in here, but I know it works. On the nights that I use it, my skin gets extra pampered and the next day it looks so much more glowy and smooth. It smells strange, and it's actually a bit sticky when I put it on, but the payoff the next morning makes me happy.
This was the smelliest product in the basic five kit. But! It really does seal in moisture. I like to pump it once in my palm, and then take my middle or ring finger and swipe it across my skin. Don't rub it in- if you do, it takes longer to dry and it might get tacky so it feels sticky. If you put it on with a swiping motion to spread it across your face, you won't have any issues with stickiness. I feel like this really does work- in the beginning the magic white ice wasn't moisturizing enough for me and the desert mist provided that extra hydration. Now, I feel like this the last step helps seals the moisture in my skin. I know it works because I don't get any more dry patches around my nose and between my eyebrows like I used to.
When I first used this moisturizer, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. I'm used to thick lotions, and the texture of this is really runny, and serum-y. I have dry patches in winter, and when I first started using this I wasn't sure if it helped, but after a few days I loved it. In conjunction with desert mist, it really seals in moisture and I love the scent and have learned to love the texture. It smells really light and fruity; throughout the day I get whiffs of it but it's not an overpowering scent. Overall, if you're used to thicker lotions like me, the texture takes a little getting used to, but afterwards you won't be able to go back to regular facial lotions after you've tried this since it does the job so well.
I was a little scared when I first used this scrub. As other reviewers have stated, the grain is HUGE. It's kind of awkward as I'm used to facial scrubs that are more fine, but I think the best way to use this one is to use it while you're in the shower. Wet your face, apply and gently scrub in circles, then leave it on for a few minutes as you wash the rest of your body. After you rinse, your skin feels soooo soft and smooth. I don't know if it's just me, but I also feel like my skin looks brighter? In any case, the scrub is really expensive, but since you're only supposed to use it 2-3 times a week, it's going to last for a while.
I love this bar because it's not drying, and since it's winter I need all the moisture I can get. I use the basic five line for normal skin, and my daily routine also involves the Arcona reozone 40 sunscreen. My only complaint is that I'm not sure just how effective this is at removing the sunscreen- when I wash once, I can still see the reozone stuck in the pores on my nose, so I have to go back in and use the bar on my face again. Besides that, the herbal scent takes some getting used to. To me, it's bearable because the scent goes away but it might bother some others. I'm just not sure if I would repurchase this bar- I love it because it's not drying, but having to go back and wash my face again just to remove the sunscreen makes me ehhhhh.
I bought this kit at the suggestion of one of the skincare specialists at the Nordstrom's in Santa Monica, and I'd have to say that this changed my skin. When I first started college, I had hormonal acne that eventually went away- I'm in my fourth year now and the breakouts gradually stopped at the beginning of my third year. Now I just get the occasional pimple, but I still have to deal with the redness and old scars from before. This kit completely changed my skin. You're supposed to use the products according to a schedule that comes with the kit. For the first three days I didn't see anything remarkable. I didn't feel like the magic white ice was moisturizing enough, the desert mist was a little bit weird and hard to get used to, but on the fourth day, something happened and everything just clicked together. My roommates commented on how glowy and bright my skin was, and I noticed that my old acne scars were slowly fading, and there was hardly any redness. Honestly, I'd say give this kit a try. It's a bit pricy, but in my opinion it's totally worth it. I mean, who doesn't want clear glowy skin? It's $87 for the half size regime, and if you don't like it, just return it. I'd say give it about 2 weeks to kick in before you decide whether to keep it or not. The great thing is that ever since I started using Arcona products, I haven't broke out, and my skin's clearer than it's been in a long time.
Cleansers -C.O. Bigelow - Gentle Oil Absorbing Clay Cleanser
elaineraino 6/29/2009 1:40:00 AM
I got this for $3.75 at BBW (on sale) and although this saps oil off your face, IT BURNS!! I think it's the rosemary oil...it has a sort of numbing effect, but other than that, this cleans your skin really well, if you don't mind the smell. It hasn't caused me to break out; if anything, it's cleared up my skin. But I wouldn't recommend overusing this, it's pretty harsh, and probably has the potential of drying out your skin if used more than twice a day.
Cleansers -C.O. Bigelow - Oily Skin Foaming Facial Wash
elaineraino 6/29/2009 1:35:00 AM
I got this at a BBW sale for only $3.75. It smells great, sorta like lozenges?? It cleans off really well, though it doesn't have great sudsing power, which I heard dries out skin anyway.
I figured it was time to try out drugstore brands, and I only bought this because it was on sale at Target for $6. The shades are relatively easy to pick, and from looking at the bottles I was able to pick a shade that matched me easily. I bought shade 1, Classic Ivory. I was surprised at how easily it blended in and how well it matched my skin. I didn't have high standards for a drugstore foundation- It covers slight imperfections rather well, making my skin appear smoother than it actually was, evenly toned, and just perfect. I use a foundation brush to apply it, and I don't have any problems with blending. The packaging is very hygienic, as the foundation pumps out, and the formula isn't drying at all. I only wish it had some form of SPF, but that's because I'm lazy. I would repurchase this again, because I could pay a fraction of what a department store foundation costs for the same product.
I bought this at Sephora as a trio, but I ended up giving all the other shades away except for Starfruit, which is a pretty your-lips-but-better shade. I think the packaging is the stupidest thing they've come up with. Honestly, a click pen? It doesn't work half as well as it should for the price they want for their full sized pen. For people out there as impatient as me, you'll end up with more gloss than you need from overly clicking the pen. It's also very sticky, which I understand is an aspect you just have to deal with in lip gloss, but I've had better glosses that were less uncomfortably sticky than this. However, despite the stickiness, or perhaps because of it, the gloss does last a while. I've learned not to use this when I have my hair down and loose, because strands of hair will stick to my lips.
I got this as a deluxe sample from a Sephora order. I actually like this mascara- for years I've only used Maybelline's Great Lash mascara, but then I decided to give this a try. I think it works just as well as the Great Lash; it extends and thickens my lashes, and it doesn't clump- at least, it doesn't clump as long as you care to wipe off the excess mascara that comes on the end of every brush to the side of the tube. It separates eyelashes pretty well, better than the Great Lash, I think it's the way the brush is. My only gripe is that sometimes it flakes, but that might have been from me rubbing my eyes. All in all I'd continue to buy and use this mascara, I like it more than I do the Great Lash.
Moisturizers -Boots - Expert Sensitive Hydrating Moisturizer
elaineraino 2/8/2009 7:03:00 PM
This isn't a bad moisturizer, it just felt kind of weird compared to the night version. Since the night treatment worked pretty well at moisturizing, I figured that the day version would be fine too, and it is, minus the chunky feeling. It feels like they switched the consistencies around- shouldn't the day version be lighter and the night one thicker? Anyways, once again, this stuff doesn't clog pores or cause breakouts, and my only problem with this stuff is that its a bit thick for something to put on in the morning.
Moisturizers -Boots - Expert Sensitive Restoring Night Treatment
elaineraino 2/8/2009 6:55:00 PM
I got this at my local Target- I was looking for a regular moisturizer to use at night since I felt like my Aveeno sunscreen moisturizer was drying out my skin, and I got this since it was pretty cheap, at $5-6. It appealed to me since it felt light and it moisturizes pretty well. I didn't get any breakouts, and eventually, I began using this day and night.