My entire life I have had very good skin. I only had a few times in high school where I had acne outbreaks, but that was usually on my forehead and cleared up in a few months. Other than that I only had some minor occasional breakouts. In the summer of 2010 I was put on Seasonique and almost had an emotional breakdown from it. I stopped taking any form of bc to get myself back to normal. That's when my skin changed drastically. What started out as a cluster on my cheek soon spread all o er my face. I had whiteheads, cystic acne, and "strawberry nose". I also suffer from hyper pigmentation and scarring. I went to a dermatologist who did not really look at me and prescribed me antibiotics and a few different topical creams which made my face even worse. I found a tube of the Mexican brand of the retin A in my moms drawer and started applying it every other night as a last ditch effort... All I can say is stick with it. It is winter here and my skin is dry and sensitive. I did not notice it irritating it any further than a few flaky places and a stinging feeling when I cleanse with my cetaphil. The first few weeks I did not notice much of a difference. The second month in I bumped it up to every night and a few nights ago I am finally seeing results! My skin is a lot smoother, all my active acne seems to be quickly diminishing, and what blackheads haven't gone away on their own are very easily extracted. Every day I wake up with a slightly better complexion. It is definitely worth every penny just STICK WITH IT.
I am usually an NC20, but for some reason this foundation is a bit darker than the other ones from MAC I have used... or maybe I am just paler. The latter is very possible. I have dry, peely, acne prone skin and it is even more dry from acne medications. Maybe I am just used to putting on too much moisturizer (Kat Von D Lock-It is my HG right now, but requires a heavy-duty moisturizing) but I thought it just didn't "sit" right on my skin. I was dewy to the point of looking oily which is very strange. Also, I could tell that it was one of those foundations that was going to make my acne come out and party. I will say the coverage is very nice, but I think I will send it back and try something else.
BB Cream -Maybelline - Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream
emilyannh 8/16/2012 4:15:00 PM
I have been searching for a good foundation alternative for a while. I have tried multiple tinted moisturizers and they have all broken me out... Meaning I need more coverage now. So I started looking at BB creams. Garnier got so-so reviews, covergirl got awful reviews, and I am but a poor cosmetology student so ordering a pricier one was out of the question. This BB cream seemed like a good bet so I picked it up. The coverage leans more towards tinted moisturizer. It evens out my skin and feels really good on my face. Definitely a "your skin only better" thing. While my skin isn't at its clearest I dust a mineral foundation over the top and it looks pretty and natural. I can't wait to be able to wear this alone. I may never go back to regular foundation again.
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Cosmedix Benefit Clean
emilyannh 7/25/2012 11:55:00 PM
Best cleanser I have EVER used and I have tried a million (proactive, clinique, drugstore brands, etc.). It has completely changed my skin. I have been using it for nearly a week and the cystic acne that has been on my cheeks for the last year are basically gone. It is expensive, but I would rather pay the extra $$$ and not have to spend money trying a hundred different products to heal and cover my bad skin. So really I think it evens out. It is slightly drying. If I don't moisturize I'll get some flakies... But that could also be caused by other products I'm using as well since it tends to happen around my healing acne. Either way, cosmedix makes an amazing moisturizer (the purple one) and it fixes that issue. Basically this is one amazing cleanser. It smells citrusy almost and gets my skin so clean without being harsh. My skin has never improved this quickly before. I'd buy again in a heartbeat.
Styling Products -Beyond The Zone - Turn Up the Heat
emilyannh 7/23/2012 2:57:00 PM
If I could give this a 0, I would. I picked this up at Sally's on a whim because I didn't see alcohol in the ingredients. I wanted an alcohol free heat protectant spray to make my bleached ends as non-frizzy as possible. I sprayed this on before I flat ironed my hair and was immediately turned off by the overpowering sweet tart smell. It was ridiculous and clashed with my shampoo and body spray. That scent may be fine for teens, but not for me. The next thing I noticed was that it made my hair SO greasy. I looked like I hadn't washed my hair in weeks. My hair is still nasty looking today after washing it. I will never buy it again.
My mom works at a salon and is friends with the esthetician and she recommended the CosMedix line to my mom a while back. My mom has oily skin, prone to occasional breakouts and I have dry to combination skin that is sensitive and acne prone. I also get clogged pores and blackheads on my nose and chin which are the only places on my face that can get oily. I used the purity cleanser a few times, but it was too much for my skin. I am a bargain hunter as well, and I could not justify spending that much money on a face wash. (The sample kit was like $80 I think? Not including my mom's employee discount.) Well, in the last few weeks my skin has become HORRIBLE. I have had clusters of acne on my cheeks and I can't even wax my brows anymore because even that will cause a huge breakout. My Cetaphil is not doing a darn thing for me anymore at all. Insert CosMedix. This is what I have tried so far... Benefit Clean- I have been using this for TWO DAYS and my skin is drastically different. I use Ponds cold cream to take off my makeup and follow it with this cleanser. I also use it in the morning. All my zits including the big cystic ones are completely dried up and quickly fading. My skin feels so smooth. If I had to pick only one product from the line it would be this. Clarity Serum- I think you are supposed to use it on your entire face, but I have just been using it on my trouble spots. It's a yellowy gel consistency and it goes on clear. I wore it under makeup no problem, just give it time to dry and use a good moisturizer. Seems to really be speeding up the healing process with my acne. Purity Clean- This is what my mom uses that I used for a few days when she first purchased it. Is great for oily skin... too much for my wimpy skin. It broke me out and was drying. However, her skin LOVES it. Would definitely recommend this for oily skin. Purity Balance Exfoliating Prep- Just started using this and I don't have much to review on it yet, but I do like this. I only use it once a day. I spray it on a cotton pad and wipe it over my breakouts and my clog proned areas. Stings a bit, but I have noticed that the crazy amount of clogged pores and blackheads on my nose and chin look better. Rescue Balm- GREAT if you are having an allergic reaction to a product. I was really dried out and peeling and I tried it a few months ago. No more dry patches and it soothed my skin instantly. Opti Crystal Chirally Correct Eye Serum- Apart from being a really cool color it was way too thick for me. My mom is in her 40's and swears by it, though. I didn't really notice any change... but I am also 20. haha. CosMedix Emulsion Intense Hydrator- I LOVE THIS STUFF. This has not broken me out and while it hydrates extremely well, it is not too much for the Tennessee humidity. No clogged pores, either. I use it twice a day. So overall, this will probably be my HG skincare line. My skin just loves it, and I think every skin type would as long as you are choosing the right products. Would purchase again and again.
I don't get all the hype over this product. The first time I had used it was after my face had gotten dried out from the Garnier gel moisturizer and it burned so badly I had to wipe it off immediately. So, don't use it on dried out or irritated skin or else your face will melt off. ;p... Once my skin was normal again I gave it another go. No burning this time, so I was expecting to wipe it off and be amazed at how wonderfully soft my face was and whatever else everyone is saying about it... nope. Nothing happened. It didn't do anything. Tried to use it as a spot treatment. Nope. Maybe when I get more mature skin I will appreciate this more, but for now I am not repurchasing.
Moisturizers -Simple - Kind to Skin Vital Vitamin Night Cream
emilyannh 7/8/2012 10:24:00 AM
I LOVE THIS. I had been using that garnier gel lotion stuff that everyone has been raving about (I raved about it too.) and I happened to not use it for a day or two and I realized it had caused my skin to almost have a dependency on it. My skin was so dry and miserable. Insert Simple. I have combination skin leaning towards the dry side, but very prone to breakouts. The first night I used it I could almost hear my skin thanking me. The next morning my skin looked so much better. It had toned down a lot of my redness and I looked almost glowy. I have been slathering it on at night and then using significantly less during the day until I can find a decent daytime moisturizer and my skin looks really good. No breakouts. Just happy skin. -Pros- -Did not break me out. -No harsh chemicals. -Feels really nice on my face. -Makes me look glowy. -Evens out skintone. -Not expensive at all for such a good quality product. -Cons- -Could seriously be in a pump. Not thick enough to have to be in a tub.... but I am really not that picky about that. I know some people are, though. -Can feel a tad greasy... but it's a night cream so I don't mind. Can be a problem if you are trying to wear it during the day as well, though. Just don't apply too much. Edit- While I still think this is a great moisturizer, I am having to put it away until winter time. Once it got my face back to "normal" after it became so dry, it moisturized too much and my face broke out. I am guessing due to clogged pores because of my face being oilier. This is definitely great to keep on hand during the humid months just in case you need the extra moisture, but it is too much for every day use in this humidity.
I love love love this mask. I have combo skin and lately I have had some issues with a bit of cystic acne around my cheeks and such. I had read reviews on here months ago and decided to purchase some. It feels so good on my skin. I feel like it is pulling all the gunk out of my pores and it dried up any existing zits I had. My skin looked calmer as well and felt really soft, although a bit dry. I use it once or twice a week and at night as a spot treatment and it is truly a wonderful product.
Moisturizers -Garnier - Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream
emilyannh 6/4/2012 11:14:00 PM
I have just slathered this on my face for the first time and I am pretty positive this will be HG status for me (if it doesn't break me out, of course.) I put it on right after I got out of the shower, and since I am going to bed I used a bit more than I would usually use... I absolutely love the texture. It is like a thin gel consistency. Does not feel heavy or greasy on my skin at all. There is a scent, but it is kind of like a natural "cool" smell... like cucumbers. Not like a heavy perfume that is going to make my face erupt in cystic acne like most scented products. While it absorbs it feels cool on your skin. Afterwards my skin felt ridiculously smooth and soft and I felt like it wasn't as blotchy as it usually is. I can't wait to see how it acts under my makeup tomorrow. As far as the packaging goes I think it could stand to be in a pump, but as long as I can get it for around $8 I am not complaining. As far as all this freaking out over the ingredients... you can read the ingredients in a ton of products and find reason to panic. For instance, the bread they use on the McRib sandwich is made out of the same materials they use in yoga mats. You can't escape it. I think if the alcohol were that bad someone on here would have had a reaction. There are too many good reviews. My skin feels sooooo soft. Not drying at all. Edit: Scratch everything I said. I used this night and day for a few weeks and, while my skin felt baby butt soft after each use and I never had any breakouts, I didn't use it for a day or two and my skin was SO dry. I started peeling even. Now, I do have combination skin leaning towards the dry end of the spectrum, but other than some flakies around my nose and some tightness right after I wash my face it is not that bad. Especially in the 108+ degree Tennessee summer. No. My skin was like dead-of-winter-can't-smile-without-my-face-bleeding dry. Ew. This is now sitting under my bathroom sink with all my other "failed HG" products that I can't seem to throww out.
This stuff is great. I had a huge ugly zit that I had been fighting with for days. I had been putting some expensive "all natural" mask that my mom had got from the spa she works at on it as a spot treatment and it still would not go down. I dug this out of my makeup drawer as a last resort as I had never really used it before. The next morning the zit was completely dried up. Great stuff. The only thing is I don't feel like the little roller ball thing gives out product sometimes.... and I feel weird about the germs from my face being rolled back into the tube.... or maybe I am just weird. I don't know. Anyways, great product!
THIS BRUSH IS AMAZING. I love it. It is so soft. It makes my mineral makeup go on flawlessly. There is zero shedding. I will buy again and again and again. HG status for sure.
Primer/ Corrector -E.L.F. - Mineral Infused Face Primer
emilyannh 5/17/2012 8:15:00 PM
I have had this for a few weeks and so far I like it for the most part. I did break out the day after I wore this the first time, but I think it could have been stress related. I have been trying to keep it away from the places that broke out and just spreading a bit under my eyes and on my cheeks where I get a little oily, but the pump makes it really hard to control how much comes out. I feel like it puts out more than what I would use on my entire face really. However, it does seem to do it's job. My makeup is still in place at the end of my work day and it still looks fresh. My concealer looks better under my eyes than it would without it. And it is so affordable that I don't get too heartbroken about a little extra product getting wasted. I would definitely purchase again.
Eye Primer -E.L.F. - Studio Line Eye Primer Liner Sealer
emilyannh 12/16/2011 12:56:00 AM
The primer is great. Especially for the price. I worked an eight hour shift and my eyeshadow hadn't faded or creased hardly at all when I got home. Definitely a great buy since I try not to use my UD primer every day. The liner burns like heck if I get it in my eye, which is often, but it does hold my eyeliner really well so I don't mind. I have yet to try it to make an eyeliner out of eye shadow, but I plan to try that soon!
Personally, I love this. I use their eyeliner sealer and it stayed put all day. My only complaint is I definitely see the pen drying out quickly, but... Meh... It's a freaking dollar. I can deal with it.