I've used Clinique's City Block for about 10 years. When I was first using it, they were making this in SPF 15! After so long, and some dalliances with other sunscreens, this is still the best choice for me. My combination, oily skin gets clogged and breaks out easily and this one has the least amount of interference with that. It goes on smoothly and doesn't burn my skin the way that chemical sunscreens will (zinc oxide can be horrid!). I love the light tint that it has, which allows me to skip tinted moisturizers or foundations all together. I can't count the number of tubes I've used, but I know that I'll be buying countless more.
Treatments -Clean & Clear - Advantage Acne Spot Treatment
emysiu 1/9/2013 10:56:00 PM
This is a great option for Salicylic Acid treatment. I use a moisturizer with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, but despite that, I still get pimples and clogged pores. I have been using this as a spot treatment in the evening and I mix it in with my moisturizer in the morning. The combination has been doing wonders for my skin, healing acne scars, making pimples go away faster, and getting some persistent clogged pores clear. I've been doing this for about 1 week now and I am pleased with the results. I will be integrating this product with my regimen for the long term and will update this review in the future.
Lip Treatments -Carmex - Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm
emysiu 1/9/2013 10:51:00 PM
This is by far the best lip balm that will battle chapping peeling lips. I am a lip balm fanatic (Blistex, Neutrogena, Chapstick, you name it) and have tried almost every one out on the market. Since Carmex came out with this lip balm, I've been going back to it continuously for the past year because it really is that good. It keeps my lips soft and supple with a light sheen. I refuse to bother with other lip balms anymore. I keep these stowed in my purse and some extra in my drawers. I don't want to run out!
Cleansers -Estee Lauder - Sparkling Clean Purifying Mud Foam Cleanser
emysiu 1/9/2013 10:45:00 PM
Wow! This makes my skin so squeaky clean. I had been searching for a better cleanser because of my chronic clogged pores. I've been using this only in the evening and following with some light exfoliation. Together, they have done a good job of getting my skin clearer and all of the makeup/sunscreen off of my face. For $20, this is a reasonably priced cleanser that will do exactly what it says. I follow up with a heavier moisturizer in order to assist with the dryness that this cleanser can cause. Definitely not for dry or sensitive skin types.
Lips -Revlon - Just Bitten Kissable Stain Balm - Crush
emysiu 1/9/2013 10:39:00 PM
I've had this lip stain for about a week now. It was the darkest shade out of the lip stains, so I went with this. I'm NC35 and with tannish lips. I normally just use cherry lip balm to brighten my lips a bit for a more natural look, but I was getting really tired of reapplying all day to get that color. This lip stain is nice because it is moisturizing, so that it is easier to spread and control the intensity of the color. I first apply a very thin layer of lip balm to my lips and then just apply a bit of this to my bottom lip. After I press my lips, it looks really nice, like MLBB, but a bit brighter. I applied it in the morning and didn't have any issues with reapplying (through a meal and a coffee) until the late afternoon. A caveat: be sure that your lips are nicely exfoliated, or this will make those flakes come out more. If Revlon can make a darker shade than this, then I'd be all for it!
Primer/ Corrector -Paula's Choice - Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish
emysiu 10/23/2012 6:56:00 PM
Every primer I've tried (Smashbox Photofinish, Monistat, Milk of Magnesia, etc.) has always caused clogged pores for me. This is the only exception so far. It goes on smooth, no clogged pores, even if I fall asleep with it. It does a fine job of minimizing my pores. Though in terms of shine control, it does quite a poor job. I get shiny within an hour of application. I don't even wear much makeup. I just put a layer of powder over this. However, because I've had such a hard time finding a better primer, I think that this will be my go-to for now.
Lip Treatments -Carmex - Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Tinted Lip Balms
emysiu 9/22/2012 7:12:00 PM
Great tinted lip balm. I'm NC35 and I bought this in Plum. It's a lovely dark wine color. I just do one swipe on my lower lip and that's enough to give my lips a little color. Like some other reviewers. it can be more dramatic by adding more. It's nice and moisturizing. Everything you could ask for in a tinted lip balm!
UPDATE: After using this for more than 3 months, I found that this has been the culprit in causing clogged pores and breakouts on my cheeks. I really wish that this didn't because I actually like it more than MAC's Matte Bronzer. I've downgraded this rating by a lippie. Unfortunately, I've got to go back... ORIGINAL REVIEW: I had been using MAC's Matte Bronzer and I have to say, this one beats MAC way out of the ballpark. This bronzer is much more pigmented, better priced, and has cuter packaging. In terms of the color, I bought this in the shade Deep, which is extremely similar to MAC's bronzer. However, with MAC, I had to mash my brush in to pick up enough color. With NYX, I just need to barely dab my brush in the pan and it already picks up tons of color! I haven't had any issues with breakouts in the past weeks I've used this, so I think that this will be my new go-to bronzer.
I've been using this for a month now and wow! What a great cleanser! I have combination skin that is on the oily side, but it doesn't dry out the drier parts of my skin and never increases my skin's sensitivity/redness. It does a good job of cleaning my makeup and when I skip a night of using this, I've been noticing that my pores gets a bit more congested. I had been using Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser and I have to say this one is the much better product for that job. For a drugstore product, this is on the expensive side, but to me, it's definitely worth it. The bottle I've been using probably has a good 2 more months worth of use before I need to go buy another. If you have sensitive skin that is prone to acne, I think that this product is a great option to try!
Somewhere halfway between 4 and 5 lippies, to be accurate. I bought this mostly because of the grinding! You twist the top part and it grates powder of the block, which you can dust off with a brush/powder puff. I'm MAC NC35 and went with the Soft Beige, which is a tad bit on the pale side for me, but blends in with my complexion quite quickly. It smoothes out imperfections really well and looks very natural. I wouldn't apply this with a heavy hand. It's not meant for that. My skin is on the oily side, but this has really smooth application and doesn't accentuate any dry parts of my skin. As for absorbing oil, don't depend on this to do so. I layer with MAC blot powder for that. It hasn't broken me out or given me any skin irritations. It also has a really nice vanilla lotion smell. I really have no complaints about this powder, except that it is a bit expensive. I would buy this at Cherry Culture with a coupon code, because it's not worth the retail price. Overall, this is a nice powder that is worth a try.
Conditioner -Aveeno - Nourish + Condition Leave-In Treatment
emysiu 8/8/2012 11:16:00 PM
This isn't the most moisturizing leave-in treatment I've used, but it's not bad. It's lightweight and non-greasy. I really like spraying it through my hair before I blow dry my hair. It does a great job of protecting my mane from the harsh heat and makes it look shiny and finished. I wouldn't recommend this for someone with really damaged hair, but as a light treatment or to protect your hair from heat styling, this is highly effective.
Not a bad cleanser at all. While I don't wear a lot of makeup, it does a good job of cleaning my face without stripping it. I had been using Burt's Bees Acne Cleanser, but found that it was not cleaning my face well enough, particularly during these hot summer months. This has been a good step up. The small exfoliants are a nice addition to the cleanser, which has a light, not offensive, soapy scent. All in all, I think this is a good basic cleanser, especially for the price. I'm finishing my second bottle of this stuff and I really have no complaints about this product except for the packaging. It lets the product spill out really easily!
UPDATE (30 July 12): Just purchased my second bottle. I really love this stuff. In conjunction with the acne fighting treatment from Paula's Choice, they've done a great job at keeping away clogged pores. No complaints, except that I do run out of this toner much faster than I do with the treatment. ORIGINAL REVIEW (5 July 2012): I'd been using Clean & Clear's Pore cleansing toner for sensitive skin, but it was just not doing the trick. This is far more effective, with a higher percentage of salicylic acid, but still not drying. It cleans my face of anything leftover from cleansing, without stripping it completely. It's only been a few days, but this along with the Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment from Paula's Choice, my skin looks really clear and smooth. The prices are reasonable, comparable to Clinique. I definitely will repurchase!
I had been using Clinique's Acne Solutions Clearing Moisturizer for the past few years and it was great, except I was still getting some persistent zits, on and off depending on the weather and stress. It wasn't enough to bother me, until I noticed that they started getting worse recently. This is stronger than the Clinique, which has only .5% benzoyl peroxide. Though I was worried about irritation, this actually didn't inflame my skin. I bought this and the Salicyllic Acid Toner from Paula's Choice. It's just been a few days, but the combination of the two products have wiped out the whiteheads and pimples from my face. I'll definitely be repurchasing.
Mascara -Kiss Me - HEROINE MAKE long and curl mascara (black)
emysiu 5/9/2012 3:47:00 AM
Wow. I'm happy to say that the reviewers on MUA has pointed me in the right direction with this one! My main criteria for mascara is good staying power and keeps the curl. I'm not as preoccupied with volumizing and lengthening. This mascara fits precisely that bill. You're not going to get terrific volume or length, but what you will get is UNBEATABLE staying power. Really, I have not used a mascara that exceeds the staying power of this. I can put it on in the morning, pull an all nighter in the library, clean up my under eyes, and go another day in school without removing this mascara. At the end of that second day, it still looks great. That is amazing! Though it isn't readily available at stores except some Japanese and Korean stores and online, it is well worth the shipping time.