I've been searching for a long time something that would be a miracle for that tiny area under my eyes. I've tried Clarin, Chanel, Kenzo, etc...countless (that's less than 70 dollars) and even buy a separate cream for puffiness and dark circle. Finally, I got to try issima samples by chance. I figured it won't hurt to give it a go and I'm convinced this is it! I don't have fine lines problem, just occasional puffiness and regular panda eyes. It decreased my puffiness about 35% instantly without tight feeling. And it noticeably reduces my panda eyes. It's so much easier to put on concealer now I don't have to pile it on to hide them. Ask the counter for samples, I'm pretty sure you'll be impressed.
Very minty. Scrubs and moisturizes well eventhough the texture is a bit runnier than gingerbread man and margarita salt scrub. It also has a cooling/tingling sensation effect. Great for a hot day!
Scrubs -Philosophy - guru (world-class hot salt, tub and shower scrub)
essensual911 6/8/2007 10:10:00 AM
The guru set is back. You can find it on Philosophy web or amazon. I just bought a set 'cause I ran out of my gingerbread man scrub and could not find it anywhere but in this set. Personally, I prefer the scent of gingerbread man but margarita scrub is invigorating especially for a hot day (though it tends to be somewhat artificial). The texture is also thicker in gingerbread man. Both smell the way you would expect them to smell, a pleasure to use for sure.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Mont Blanc - Presence d une Femme
essensual911 5/28/2007 9:25:00 AM
Feminine yet not overly heady like Kenzo's Jungle. It's different from other gourmand perfumes out there, it's only lightly fruity unlike escada clones or grapefruit/apple frenzies out there; and it exudes sensuality. I normally prefer aqua/green/citrus or candy/fruity type of perfume but this one is so sexy, I cannot pass it up. The spray lingering in the air can be heavy but after skin contact and drydown are absolutely gorgeous. Must try. Notes: A sophisticated, oriental floral, it unfolds with fresh pineapple leaves and sweet tangerine before a heady rush of cyclamen, orchid, vanilla, patchouli and sandalwood.
I bought this after Urban Decay 24/7 glide on pencil in Zero bled on me in heat and humidity. I'm allergic to most liquid liners but this gel formula is very comfortable and easy to apply. Staying power is the best so far even though it's not waterproof. Granite is soft black. It's elegant without being severe. Too bad they don't carry wider range of colors. Real gray and other fun colors would be nice. Nevertheless, I will definitely repurchase when I ran out.
Dry down is elegant and seductive but the initial spritz and an hour or so it takes to fade totally kill me. It's just not worth an hour of a headache for me. Thank goodness I bought a sample size bottle. Too bad, dry down is like-no-other unique and regally exotic.
Mascara -Maybelline - Lash Stylist Mascara ] [DISCONTINUED]
essensual911 2/3/2007 8:01:00 PM
I'm Asian with average eyelashes that need both volume and length work. When Maybelline Lash Discovery came out I thought that was it for me...until Lash Stylist. On special occasion I have to use 3 different mascaras to achieve the effect Lash Stylist gives me, 1 base + 1 volumizing + 1 lengthening. Out of 16 mascaras I have (including Diorshow, Magnasopic, and MaxFactor 2000 calorie), I use Lash Stylist most often and even have a back up (no. 17) in case I finish the current one. It's that good! Maybelline outdid itself splendidly. Bravo!!!
Highlighters -Clarins - Forever Diamonds compact powder
essensual911 2/3/2007 7:16:00 PM
I'm so robbed by Clarins! I wish I had read the reviews before going out of my way to get one just because the case looks gorgeous in the photo. (I should have known when Clarins waterproof eyeliner pencil tugs, clumps and then smudges in a few hours...and the kit sold in airport promising radiance but it's just expensive oily film for me). This compact powder comes in silver/metal looking plastic case topped with multi-facet plastic dome. It looks pretty at the first glance but at closer inspection it just looks dissappointingly cheap. The packaging is far inferior than Chanel, Nars, M.A.C. No luxury feel and my case came pre-scratched. The compact has weight to it, my co-worker said it should double well as a paper-weight and that is probably where this compact will end up. The powder itself is light and very shimmery at first, then the thin shimmering coat dissappears within a few days and it becomes almost like a translucent powder with sheen. It's a decent finishing powder but nothing to squeal about especially if you were expecting a pretty shimmering hilighter. Try Benefit's Moon Beam or Becca powder, if you want a real deal and not a wannabe.
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24-7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero
essensual911 1/27/2007 11:22:00 AM
Best companion to liner addicts! If I don't use liquid eyeliner, I have to use UD Zero. The pigment is intense, one stroke and it's done. The texture is light and velvet. It is definitely glide-on as promised and lasts well. No need to reapply or wipe off the raccoon blur mid-day. Very happy I found this. Better than other high-end brands I have tried at twice the price. My search is over, this is definitely a winner. EDITED: I went on a vacation where daily heat and humidity are inevitable...and sadly, UD Zero just melt on me mid-day. I guess it worked only in cooler climate. I ran out and tried a whole bunch of other liners and ended up with Bobbi Brown gel liner in Granite (less severe than black but still elegant). I tested it one day befor going back to buy it. Still, I love using pencil when I can, just more practical.
This review is for Clarins Waterproof Eye Liner Pencil. I'm one of those people who are crazy about smokey eyes to the extreme. Even work days I cannot resist lining lash lines and corners of my eyes but I use liner pencil instead of liquid eye-liner so it's not too dramatic. Clarins Waterproof Eye Liner Pencil comes with its own sponge tip on the opposite end of the pencil. It's ok if you want to smudge it with the sponge tip but the texture of this pencil just doesn't allow that. It's also impossible to draw a line. It TUGS majorly. I have to connect the dots and the dashes to make it work. It's sticky and heavy...very irritating right when applying. As far as waterproof...in only a few hours sitting in my office, I have raccoon eyes. So dissappointed. Urban Decay 24/7 glide-on eye pencil in Zero has much much better texture performance and pricing.
Liquid -Bobbi Brown - Oil-Free Even Finish Foundation SPF 15 [DISCONTINUED]
essensual911 1/27/2007 10:48:00 AM
Finally a match! My skin have yellow and slightly olive undertone. I have tried so many drugstore and high-end brands...even mixed my own liquid foundation to achieve that perfect match. Luckily I stumbled upon Bobbi Brown Natural 4. While I was testing it at the Bobbi Brown counter, a passer-by commented on how it just blends into my skin and she couldn't see a trace of it. (I think she's more excited than I was). It's a good daily foundation with SPF 15. The texture is light and glides effordlessly. I still need to use concealer on dark spots but I am not complaining since the foundation is just like my own skin. With its incredible blend and velvet finish, I always got compliments on my complexion (and not on foundation). Never got one until Bobbi Brown! Definitely a keeper. However, if you are looking for more coverage and staying power you might have to go for cream foundation or something like Urban Decay Surreal Skin liquid foundation instead.
I'm Asian with yellow and olive undertone (NC 20-35 depending on seasons) and I find most foundation out there either too brown or too pink. I gave UD Surreal skin a try since love their other products so much especially eye primer. Supernatural is very close to a perfect match and it evens out my complexion perfectly. Very happy with its yellow undertone also; it doesn't make my skin look ashy. It has better coverage than Bobbi brown oil free even finish liquid foundation in Natural 4 that I use when wanting to look more polished. I have to take off one lippy for UD's rubbery-feel texture. However I have combination skin so I don't mind its rubbery and slightly dry texture (for better coverage and staying power). It's not light like some highend brands but it's also not heavy like drugstore liquid foundation such as L'Oreal. It works well with my skin type and it does stay on. No need to worry about touch up. Great!
The packaging is nice but the smell...Bleh! Mac promises "an oriental floral fragrance with lush fruity notes, orchid, voluptuous woods and gourmand notes" (Top note : Golden Peach, Raspberry Middle note : Chocolate, Orchid, Jasmine, Lilac Base note : Amber, Vetiver, Patchouli, Macaroon) The first burst was full of alcohol...then quickly dries down to woods, a hint of chocolate (need to put your nose on the skin) and mildly mute floral with notably masculine edge to it. There is neith Peach or Raspberry to be found...so dissappointed I was so looking forward to polished fruity-mixed macaroon! It's quite unisex and probably smell good on guys in their 20's. I don't smell any lush fruity notes that could be easily noted in other gourmand fragrances like Escada's Island Kiss or Baby Doll. I did smell a bit orchid and woods but the combination reminded me of Chinese medicine. Thank god the staying power is not so good like all other MAC fragrances. I like Oriental fragrances like Kenzo but this is out of my grandma's medicine cabinet...that brown powdery stuff they put in hot water to drink when they feel faint or weak. If you are asian, you probably know what I'm talking about. Guys can pull this off since their chemistry blends differently with this. I think it would actually be quite promising on them so 3 lippies instead of 1. But there is no way I am using this on me again.
I'm on my third bottle. I live in a tropical climate so heady winter fragrance is a no no. MAC Turquatic is what winter going into spring should smell like. It's like after a cold gray day, you wake up and it's suddenly sunny and crisp outside. It's breezy so it doesn't last long but it's so fresh I don't mind reapplying at mid-day. It's almost unisex but with faint feminine basenote. Great for Spring and any hot humid day. It's also handy for mixing with heavier fragrance to add airiness.
I tried the sample and thought it was floral breezy but a full spritz from a bottle tells a different story. It reminds me of tropical island, yes, I'm from there, and also reminds me of its white flowers I like so much. However, the smell of white flowers is quite strong, it overpowers the breezy aspect in the end. It's like someone put a bouquet up your nose and it stays there...not pretty picture but you get the point. Too feminine for my taste. I prefer grapefruit or clean green airy smell. So I use this around the mid section of my body just to get a sniff of flowers once in a while and top it with MAC turquartic all over to make it breezier. I will not repurchase this.