Just discovered this mascara @ Sephora & I love it! In a single swoop, mascara went on effortlessly, cleanly & w/o any mess whatsoever. I've tried many types of mascaras from drugstore brands (Maybelline Lash Stylist w/comb applicator was my fave, but now long discontinued - loss) to high end (I loved Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes innovative ball brush but hated that the formula smeared all over my eyes like ink - fail). My recent favorite has been Lancome Hypnose for ease of removal & relative ease of application...but there never seems to be much mascara in the tube, so it runs out quicker than expected (or dries out too fast). Finally I found this mascara & am loving it. Lancome Hypnose gave me enhanced yet still natural looking lashes - a little boring, when what I really want is more drama & thickness. Clinique High Lengths, in 1 or 2 easy swipes, puts soft-looking yet dramatic fur coats on my eyes! Love the exaggerated yet still realistic effect I get from this mascara. Does a great job of lengthening & adding fullness w/no clumping (or very minimal, depending on how much I'm trying to put on). The curved, sparse comb-style applicator is innovative & works w/my comb-applicator mascara preferences. Best of all, the formula dries quickly on lashes & stays put - I get no annoying flaking, smudging or smearing during wear. My lashes definitely get noticed & complimented. I wash this off w/regular face wash, but it takes a little elbow grease, so I like that it's really water resistant. Surprisingly nice find.
Awww, kind of meh, but I still like it. I love the new sand/sugar/grit/texture polishes that are exploding on the scene @ the same time that I've been searching for different versions of black polish, but initially Vesper (Bond Girls Collex) is a bit more disappointing & boring than unique or interesting. It starts a sheer purple base w/black sand texture that dries to a gently gritty finish which is otherwise pleasant but somewhat blah - the black texture doesn't sparkle in the conventional sense but it does subtley twinkle close up. So it's not truly matte nor really sparkly. With 2 coats for full texture effect, the polish is fully black. As a black polish, the texture lends a nice new dimension to a basic staple color. Applies like regular shiny nailpolish & as it dries you see the finish showing its grit & matteness. I like that it dries quickly, but annoyingly it seems to chip faster than other grit polishes I've worn. I don't know whether I'd buy this again. I bought it @ Duane Reade for $10. I bumped up my rating from 3 to 4 because it's grown on me in the past couple of wks (but Zoya Pixie Dust 'Dahlia' is still my #1).
Love this! Am enjoying the new textured-polish craze & this is my latest purchase. All winter I've been wanting a black base with fuchsia glitter that sparkles through & Forever21's version failed (too much black, fuchsia glitter hardly visible). Finally OPI comes out with this version - personally I'm not a Mariah Carey fan but I love this shade. Funny, I've heard the glitter color described anywhere from fuchsia to red to purple (!?) but to me it looks fuchsia (or magenta, if you like). I love how the black texture dries matte yet the colored glitter sparkles through. Looking forward to wearing it shiny w/topcoat in the future, but right now I'm loving the matte texture trend. I would buy this again.
I have this in sample size from the 'Love Yourself' sampler set. I'm new to Tocca fragrances & wanted to test out as many as I could since there's a large variety. I'm pretty much loving all of them, each evoking a different feeling & perfect for different moods & occasions. Wearing Stella today, I love how this fragrance is light & fresh....as most Toccas apparently are, but this is one of the lighter ones than the others....in the same soft, powdery vein as Violette rather than headier concoctions like Florence & Cleopatra. I love how Stella dries down nicely spicy & peppery on me (plus a touch salty). In that way it reminds me of Celine Dion 'Belong,' my longtime drugstore favorite....but this one's more luxurious & complex. It's a gentle scent that surprisingly starts out innocent & then turns mischievous - nice feat! Wearing Stella makes me feel more strong, self-assured & professional, rather than the usual feminine, girlie or sexy effect of traditional floral scents. To me it evokes a spirit of independence, singularity & maturity or seriousness. It isn't overpowering, stays close to the skin, & the peppery note softens down earlier than expected into a more creamy floral layer that adds a touch more femininity than it started. How does Tocca accomplish this w/all their fragrances? At this rate I won't be suprised if I eventually end up buying most (if not all) of the Tocca fragrances in full-size bottles (albeit slowly). They are all complex, develop beautifully in layers over time, & linger all day. If I don't wash it off @ the end of the day, I can still smell it clinging to my skin the next morning. Perfumes can linger in my clothes, but they never do on my skin. This is impressive.
This is 1 of those new sugar-textured polishes that are the latest craze. I love glittery sparkle so I was interested in this. Dahlia is very similar to Milani One Coat Glitter 'Silver Dazzle' & Butter London 'Gobsmacked' but I now prefer Dahlia & would certainly buy it again (I eBayed mine for $8). This Pixie Dust line comes in 5 other colors (red, beige, light grey, light periwinkle blue, mint green), which I'm now tempted to try based on Dahlia's beauty - it's an opaque black sandy-textured glimmery sparkle polish, truly like pixie dust on your fingertips. I love that it's darker than the other 2 polishes I mentioned above. Dries matte w/soft sparkle (no topcoat) & deepens into a shiny black+silver glitter sparkle with topcoat (2-3 coats). I love that this polish can be worn both ways & looks great either way, though I'm particularly loving it matte right now. The gritty texture initially feels a bit awkward when the surface of my nails brush up against fabric (similar to the scratching-on-chalkboard feeling) but you soon get used to it. Application is a dream - surprisingly easy to apply, non-messy, not goopy, easy cleanup as you go along, & only 1 coat is needed over a dark base color (2 coats if by itself). Multiple coats make the manicure too thick real fast. I can't attest to the difficulty of removing this polish w/acetone b/c I don't remove nailpolish the traditional way, so I don't have the usual difficulty getting it off. But applying it is a happy breeze & it dries very quickly too. Love the subtle texture! Looking forward to scoring the red & beige colors next.
Argan oil is nice but doesn't help me with my dry skin... I haven't used it on my dry hair yet, so I'll have to see if I get any benefits there... I bought generic pure argan oil in a dropper bottle from a vitamin website for $9 rather than trying Josie Maran's much more expensive version from Sephora for the same size. I read that all argan oil comes from a solitary quality-controlled source in Morocco, so paying higher prices for well-known brands wouldn't make a difference in quality or purity (hope that's true). I'm a formerly oily skinned person whose complexion dried up in the past several years with the creeping changes of advancing age & am now looking for relief of parched skin & wrinkles rather than pimples & shine (one curse is exchanged for another). I liked Tarte's maracuja oil but I'd never pay full price for a full-size bottle (I always bought sample sizes) & it's slightly rancid scent was off-putting & made me wonder if it passed its freshness threshold even when it was new. Maracuja is a light-textured oil & didn't clog my skin. I heard nonstop wonderful things about argan oil & I knew nothing breaks me out anymore, so I thought I'd try argan for its heavier, richer texture. The amazing thing about this argan is that it actually absorbs into skin without absolutely any greasy afterfeel - that's different from moist oils IME. But the disappointing thing is that my skin (hands & face) was still left uncomfortably dry after it would fully absorb. Upon application, it feels soothing & comforting, but it ultimately doesn't help my dryness problem. So on to trying other things... CeraVe cream (good but not enough)... Vaseline Repairing Moisture lotion (surprisingly much better)... Neutrogena Sesame Body Oil (good stuff actually)... & finally, pure hyaluronic acid serum (hello good relief response!). I wanted argan to be a good moisture sealer, the top layer to a nighttime skin regimen. But after it sinks in, it's like I never put it on. Perhaps I could better use it in the summer when air humidity is comfortably higher. This dry winter weather is killing me. I'll give argan oil a try on my crispy hair.
Lotions/ Creams -Neutrogena - Body Oil with Sesame
felgoj 2/5/2013 9:59:00 AM
Fabulous classic product to have on hand at all times. I like the unscented version, as I don't care for the floral scent of the regular version. Super-lightweight yet moisturizing, leaves skin soft & smooth. Non-irritating & lasts a long time, & surprisingly doesn't turn rancid easily like other oils I've used.
I got a sample spray of Be Delicious Intense, so I didn't buy a full bottle. I dislike the resulting scent on me - it smells creamy & fresh, but more like white Spring flowers (similar to Alfred Sung or Avon Haiku), not at all like the light, fresh, juicy green apple I expected to smell, as the shape & color of the packaging indicate. I don't get any apple from this. Since I already have & wear the other scents I mentioned, I wouldn't buy this.
I adore Milani 'Silver Dazzle' & have 4 bottles of it for backup...I hoard it in case it gets discontinued & disappears from store shelves (story of my life)....so I was curious to see how BL Gobsmacked compares to Silver Dazzle as an alternative option....but now I wish I didn't. You can save $15 by frankening your own custom-made Gobsmacked at home - in a 3/4-full bottle of Milani Silver Dazzle add some clear polish (to dilute the thick glitter density somewhat, as Gobsmacked is sheerer in density & needs to be applied in layers, whereas Silver Dazzle is pretty much a 1-coat formula), then add some black polish to darken the silver glitter base. Voila, homemade Gobsmacked dupe on a budget. Gobsmacked has beautiful sparkle, to be sure, but on me it looks way too close to Silver Dazzle or (worse yet) too similar to China Glaze 'Haunting' or Milani 'Charmed' (both of which I own), that I wish I could return Gobsmacked for a refund & save the expense. But now that I'm stuck with it, I'll use it up & won't have to buy it again. It's lovely but not quite unique.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - Skin911.com 32% DMAE Glycolic Acid Body Cream
felgoj 1/30/2013 1:58:00 PM
I didn't want to spend $53 for another bottle of my staple glycolic lotion Donell AHA 20 Body Tingle (which I use on my face only), so I searched for less expensive alternatives in the high-% glycolic range for creams & lotions (I dislike the liquid peels). Came up with this from Skin911 for less money in the same 8oz size, plus the glycolic % in this one is stronger. I worried that 32% might be too irritating or stinging on my face but it isn't - in fact, my face doesn't sting or burn at all when I apply it (barring any pre-existing abrasions), so I wonder if the formula is buffered to be comfortable on the skin...but its pH of 2.5 is pretty low. I love the fruity scent it has which makes it pleasant to wear on my face. Comes in a convenient pump bottle which I like & the texture is smooth & light, not greasy or thick. Absorbs quickly into my skin, does its work (to exfoliate) effectively & even actually gently peeled the delicate skin on my neck - though I started using a 1% retinol cream in conjunction with the glycolic acid, so I'm not too surprised at the peeling reaction...but I was still surprised, my neck had never peeled before. My nose doesn't stay as smooth for as long as when I used Donell (which is more of an acidic, watery gel-lotion that tends to sting & bite a little), but I like that Skin911 is more pleasant to use - I feel like I'm applying a soothing face cream when I use it b/c it leaves my skin comfortable, moisturized & pampered, which isn't something I'm used to when using glycolic treatments (they can tend to make skin feel tortured). Next time I would either buy this again or maybe try the stronger 42% Face & Body Peel Lotion...although that one is super-expensive at $85 for the same 8oz size, so IDK if I will. INGREDIENTS: Purified Water, Glycolic Acid, Ammonium Glycolate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerine, Safflower Oil, Squalane, PEG 100 Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Ceteareth 20, Shea Butter, Propylene Glycol, Mandelic Acid, Malic Acid, Lactic Acid, Sodium Lactate, DMAE, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Lecithin, Glycolipids, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Green Tea Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Aluminum Magnesium Silicate, Benzyl Alcohol, Apricot and Chamomile Essential Oils, PEG 16 Macadamia Glycerides, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinol Palmitate, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C AAP), Methylisothiazolinone.
What bothers me about Fairy Tale (& ALL of Milani's Halloween 2009 collection) is that the black base is so intense & the glitter so micro-fine & sparse that you don't get much of the blingy payoff that you see in the bottle. Two coats of this on my nails looks basically like black polish with a slight blue tinge (in normal lighting). I have to get real close to see the tiny glitter specks on my nails & only do they show up in spotlight or sunlight (which I don't have right now). Like the other colors in this collex (I have the red, blurple & silver) which all come out the same virtually black, I'll use this as a base color under other polishes & when the bottle empties out a little bit I'll add dense glitter polish in a corresponding color (I have tons in blue) to give it more glitter bling & color payoff. Milani One Coat Glitter would be good to add. It annoys me that right now my nails look like a super-dark navy cream. I'd like the payoff to be more like the bottle color.
Couldn't wait for this fragrance to hit the stores! I was carrying around with me a couple of magazine rub-on samples to whiff occasionally until I was finally able to buy a bottle yesterday. I love this newest edition of Chloe. As a younster I had a bottle of beautiful Narcisse but it's a powerful, spicy, serious scent, & I otherwise never used any of the other Chloe fragrances until this new one. This fragrance reminded me a little bit of Revlon's Downtown Girl from 1992 - peppery & spicy - but much less intense than the Revlon Version. It's peppery but very light & close to the skin, & has a fresh, bright top note of apple - making it reminiscent of apple pie or spiced hard cider (not in a bad way). It's a very light scent yet warm, great for winter. The bottle is very pretty - heavy sculpted glass in the shape of a birdcage, though I don't understand what message or theme the birdcage & odd name of the fragrance are supposed to imply. Comes in 1oz ($58), 1.7oz ($78 & 2.5oz ($98) spray.
This cream works 100X better than the CeraVe lotion, which was too light for me during this winter harshness of dry cold wind, parching indoor heat, irritating fabrics, & an agressive skincare routine I recently started of 1% retinol cream (new addition) & 30% glycolic acid lotion (longterm use). Lately my skin began getting tender, extremely dry, itchy on my neck & flaky around my chin (as expected from retinol), so I looked for as affordable product as I could find using ceramides or hyaluronic acid to improve & protect skin cell membranes against dryness - happily CeraVe has both & is readily available (& affordable) at local drugstores. With the 16oz big jar you get a lot for your money. This jar will last me probably at least a year. I don't like that the jar comes unsealed, however. I wish it came in a flip-top squeeze tube as well. The texture is lightweight yet rich, non-greasy, absorbs instantly & leaves skin refreshed, comfortable & soothed, not oily, slick or ultimately dry again after a short time. (But it doesn't last all day long for me, so I need AM & PM applications, as well as after any washing.) I don't like that this cream contains phenoxyethanol plus parabens (why both??), which was the reason why I tried the lotion first (no phenoxyethanol there) but the results of this cream are worth trying to overlook that flaw. Smaller size packaging for travel would be nice too. EDIT 2/8/13 - I had to knock this down 1 lippie b/c CeraVe cream alone isn't cutting it for me this winter. Accidentally, I discovered that Vaseline Repairing Moisture Fragrance Free lotion works even better at soothing, comforting & moisturizing my winter-challenged skin, except it doesn't contain the ceramides & hyaluronic acid that CeraVe does. I'll continue to use the CeraVe cream, as I trust its ingredients more, but I'll definitely be using this Vaseline lotion as extra insurance protection for my super-dry areas (neck, eyes & hands) for the long-lasting extra comfort it provides above & beyond CeraVe. Like CeraVe, it doesn't grease up my skin, but it does give it a comfortable touch of dewiness that CeraVe doesn't. (Also fantastic, so far, is Neutrogena Light Sesame Fragrance-Free Body Oil. I'm desperate! Argan oil sadly leaves me dried out.)
Lotions/ Creams -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - 15% Glycolic Body Lotion
felgoj 1/21/2013 4:01:00 PM
Hate to bring down ratings, but this lotion isn't strong enough for my exfoliating needs. I bought this for use on my face, but I have no wish to use MUAC's stronger glycolic peel kits - I've used them before & not only do I hate the routine but I absolutely despise the skin-crawling sensation it gives me. So instead I try to find as high % of glycolic as I can find in cream/lotion form - apply & leave it alone to do its job, no rinsing or neutralizing needed. I tried this brand because I'm reluctant to buy another bottle of my HG glycolic lotion, Donelle AHA 20 (now called Body Tingle). Like MUAC, it's also a body lotion that I use for exfoliating my face, but Donell costs more than double the price of MUAC for the same amount of lotion. I've given this lotion a good 2-wk try & found it to be very gentle on my face & actually quite moisturizing too (with a touch of baby powder scent, which I don't like but it dissipates quickly), however it still leaves parts of my face (nose, chin, forehead) rough to the touch, so I know my skin isn't as effectively exfoliated as my favorite brand. Donell makes my skin smooth overnight & requires much less frequent application. So, looks like I'll have to go ahead & order the Donell afterall. It's a lot more expensive than I'd like ($53) & have been trying to avoid buying it again, but since I use it only on my face & therefore need to use very little at a time, a bottle lasts me a good couple of years at least. I'm sorry to say I won't be buying MUAC 15% again.
I like this lotion for soothing parched skin, but it's quite light for me in winter. Outdoor air is cold & dry and indoor heat is hot & even drier, so I have to go heavier on the face cream. I spent my younger years fighting off a perpetual oil slick on my face, but ever since 37 (I'm now 40) all the oil my body manufactured has dried up, leaving me with uncomfortably dry skin & developing wrinkles. I started using a 1% retinol product recently (plus high-% glycolic acid), which only adds to the dry, tender skin problem. Natural topical oils (argan, maracuja, coconut) don't help to lubricate my skin, they only leave my skin & hands feeling dry after they soak in. So I started looking for products with either ceramides or hyaluronic acid & was happy to see that Cerave has both. I wanted the cream but am unhappy about it containing BOTH parabens & phenoxyethanol - seriously? The lotion has fewer ingredients (therefore probably a better balance of ceramides & HA vs. base ingredients), no phenoxyethanol, & minimal parabens (unlike the cream which has both), so I chose to try the lotion first ($15 at Rite Aid, $18 at Duane Reade). I like that it's light, non-greasy, scentless, seems fresh & natural kind of like Cetaphil cleanser (which I tried once but don't currently use). It makes my skin comfortable, especially my hands which feel tight & dry after washing & I hate greasy residue of creams on my hands but this lotion sinks right in & lets them feel normal. My legs & feet also love this lotion after I shower. It's just not quite emolient enough for my face & neck during winter, so I might try the cream version after all. The lotion surely is a fantastic summer item, but I'll continue using it even now. It's not perfect for dry winter skin, but it's still a good quencher with reasonably minimal harmful ingredients. I find it particularly useful as a hand lotion at work (medical office - frequent hand washing).