A magnificent eyebrow pencil, among the very best in terms of appearance (looks very natural if you apply it correctly, not creamy like some other brands) and value for money (lasts for years, I would even say it's inexpensive considering how long you'll be using it). My only gripe is the color. First I had it in a too dark Seal Brown and hunted online for Acorn until I finally came across it, but it was still a tad dark. I am a pale ashy brunette with some natural golden highlights, even the lighter and warmer Acorn seems slightly too severe on me. It's not an ideal match but I make it work.
If you like gel eyeliner, buy this. If you'd like to try gel eyeliner, buy this. If you like versatile products with unbeatable value for money...yeah. This. Buy it. A very cheap yet quality product which will last without drying out as long as you remember to close the lid on the pot properly. I have it in black (Midnight in Paris) and the sadly discontinued grayish, seal brown (London Baby). The latter is a peculiar color between dark shimmery taupe and brown which is excellent for eyebrows as well! It looks very natural on ashy brunette eyebrows! So glad I tried this affordable wonder before going for pricier alternatives!
On the bright side, this (i'd rather say tinted moisturizer to be more precise) bb cream with light coverage gives a nice glow that doesn't seem greasy and it looks almost like second skin. Doesn't break out my sensitive combination skin. The cons: the palest shade 001 is very pink (yellow toned skins will certainly notice it doesn't match their neck), too pricy (practically as expensive as the Nude foundation). lots of ALCOHOL. It reeks of alcohol, dries out like alcohol does, bringing out all the flaky dry areas you didn't know you had. I exfoliate and moisturize regularly. This cakes and brings out every flake. I have had similar experiences with alcohol in western bb creams, the asian bb creams never dry me out, illuminate giving a soft focus finish... yet clog my pores. This, while noncomedogenic, doesn't come close to an asian bb cream in terms of blurring out imperfections or moisturizing. Also, asian formulas provide better coverage, no additional concealer needed. Nude bb cream cannot cover up acne or undereye circles. The SPF is almost insultingly low for a bb cream. I felt insulted. SPF 10 in this day and age, Dior!! Certainly won't repurchase because the alcohol makes my skin feel tight and it's a bit too pink for my coloring. I expected this to be closer in shade to the Nude liquid foundation and certainly not so drying. The Nude liquid contains alcohol as well but seems to be a bit more moisturizing. So perhaps this would work on oilier skins with pink undertones and no significant imperfections that would require stealthier concealing. A pity, my hopes were high.
LRP never ever suited my skin. never. i don't know what is it about their products because i love Avene, another thermal water based line. you might say: sheesh, what an unhelpful review. should have known better you LRP incompatible time waster etc. but i got suckered into this little experiment thanks to (being gullible) Lisa Eldridge. she uses this as a primer. and there are quite a few others who had a reaction similar to mine, so i figured: might as well write something. i have Avene's Cicalfate which has the consistency of a nappy cream and well...doesn't do very much. it sits on my skin. suffice to say i am done with LRP for all eternity. oh the PAIN. the redness. the burning PAIN and redness this caused. it was INTENSE. i have had peels that hurt less. Avene's Triacneal caused a less intense reaction than this. this warrants the use of caps lock. my skin can handle ahas and Avene's retinaldehyde. but Cicaplast....oh me oh my. both the pain and the redness subsided after half an hour but why put myself through this ever again. luckily i got a free sample, no money lost.
Now, I loved the effect (a male friend said "has something happened? you're glowing!") and the price, even the color somehow worked. But, this dried out my combo skin horribly, until it started flaking in places where it never peeled before. I was sad to let it go, tried different moisturizers under it to no avail. Apart from the terrible feeling of tightness and dry skin, it almost gave me a chemical burn. When I went back to my old moisturizer + foundation combo, my face became red and tingly and it took two days to restore the barrier. Never again.
Pleased as punch so far (been using it since June). Eluage Riche was my gateway retinoid and it became too mild after a while. Perhaps it always was; while Eluage evened out my skintone, it did nothing for menstrual acne and my skin looked slightly dehydrated even though I buffered it with oil. My skin is basically thin, pale, combined and easily dehydrated, acne prone. I tolerate AHAs very well and loved using Peter Thomas Roth's Unwrinkle Peel Pads (still a firm fave). Triacneal shocked me at first, it was so strong. My first application felt like a chem burn for a few minutes; I was beet red and my skin stung a tad more than with usual AHA peels. Nothing that wouldn't subside by morning, mind you. I soldiered through and after a week, all was well and tolerable. What amazed me the most was how effective this was on cystic acne. I did experience a purging (on one side of the face), it lasted roughly two weeks. This was when I started using Avene Thermal water spray - it helped a lot. So: I always apply on dry skin, after roughly an hour I spray lightly with Avene's Thermal water and apply/buffer with argan oil. SPF is a must. I feel more sun sensitive than before but all other benefits considered, it's manageable. My skin is noticeably clearer, more even, scars fade faster than ever, nothing dries out acne like Triacneal. I'm on my second tube now. What surprised me the most was that Triacneal reversed some of the sun damage around my eyes (crows feet, now much more shallow, with skin seeming firmer). EDIT: please, consider buffering with avocado oil - I find it helps calm the redness far better than argan oil. It is not as moisturizing as argan or rosehip oil but truly soothes and calms irritated skin.
Skincare - Body -Unlisted Brand - Mr. Pumice - Pumi Bar
frostbites 7/25/2012 4:28:00 PM
I am forever grateful for this. Trust MUA on this one. It is THAT good. It saved me a lot of money I otherwise would have had to spend on pedicures. This way, I buy my cheap Mr. Pumice and get to splurge on other, more interesting makeup purchases. Just wanted to add another 5 star review because I felt I owed it to MUA. Thank you, lovely reviewers of MUA for taking the time to rave over products that fully deserve it.
Treatments -Vichy - Aqualia Thermal Hydrating Concentrate
frostbites 7/19/2012 5:10:00 PM
After having gone through 2 bottles of Advanced Night Repair, I wanted to try something equally moisturizing but - you got it - cheaper. This was touted as a decent and affordable alternative and I never shop without consulting MUA reviewers anymore. So I gave it a shot. What a waste of money this was! My skin is combined, slightly acne prone and slightly dried out from nightly use of Avene's Triacneal (for acne and anti aging purposes). Vichy's Aqualia Thermal serum completely under performs in comparison to EL's Advanced Repair (which is not a magical potion by all means, just something that works well enough). ANR soothes, plumps and moisturizes; Aqualia Thermal gives me a glazed, overly polished look and appears to moisturize very superficially and ever so lightly. I suspect it's not moisturizing enough for me. After two days of use, dehydration lines and a few breakouts showed up on my face. I used it on damp skin, applied quite generously...to very little effect. How I wish this worked for me. The search continues...
Treatments -Estee Lauder - Advanced Night Repair (Serum)
frostbites 7/22/2011 4:38:00 PM
EDIT: so i did repurchase. in the meantime, i tried the concentrate version too. the regular ANR doesn't clog my skin. the concentrate version does, but its healing powers surpass the regular version by a mile. wish there was some sort of middle ground for this initially, i was over the moon about this serum. it is terribly terribly beyond my budget. but it worked like magic for the first month. calmed my acne, brightened and moisturized (very important for my dehydrated combined skin) . after a while, however, it lost that remarkable effect. it is still quite moisturizing but i doubt i'll repurchase. no antiaging effects.
EDIT: this is so much better when fresh! i had a slightly expired bottle and the difference is astounding. i find that with oils, expiry date plays a bigger role in the quality of product than with creams. take note and caveat emptor. i would recommend this to anyone. nothing to add, excellent reviews by those before me. just a word of warning: with this, less is more. if you don't feel like it's working, try using LESS. i don't think this is HG for me (doesn't lift or plump my skin like some other oils, ie Weleda Wild rose capsules), but when i tried putting on a few drops less, the results were better.
i am just so underwhelmed with this. this set isn't at all what i expected for that much money. the compact doesn't dazzle me, the much coveted Chanel logo doesn't do it for me. the velvet pouch simply attracts dust and dirt when in my bag so i don't use it. the little brow comb is of no use whatsoever to me. the usual brush on top of eyebrow pencils surpasses this by far. the tweezers are alright but not better than my regular ones, because they sometimes break the tiny hairs in half. the little brush for the powders scratches the skin underneath my brows, which is an unpleasant sensation. it is already a bit twisted and i think i will need to buy a new brush soon. scooping the brush and the comb out of their compartment isn't easy and it's annoying when in a hurry. the powders, however, are of good quality, long lasting when applied and probably won't run out for a long while. however, my eyebrows are not finished and polished enough with the powders alone, and still require a bit of penciling. thoroughly disappointing. all in all: good but not better than my Shu Uemura H9 eyebrow pencil, or the one by YSL. still on the hunt for the perfect eyebrow pencil/set.
Eyes -Unlisted Brand - Careprost~Generic Brand Latisse
frostbites 4/6/2011 1:54:00 PM
This is a good product in the sense that it did deliver what i hoped it would: longer, thicker lashes and i noticed results practically during my first week of use. However, please have in mind that this is also a dangerous product with some very unpleasant side effects. You do need to be extra careful not to get it into your eye and you should discontinue use if necessary. Please inform yourself as much as you possibly can and try to be aware and monitor how you feel during the treatment. Today, on my week 6 of use i am sad that i have no other option but to quit using Careprost because i can't tolerate the side effects any longer. In my case: headaches (mild, yet constant feeling of pressure, especially on my temples) and damaged skin. Applying Careprost (as prescribed, above the upper lashes using one drop per both eyelids, very carefully) has dried out the skin around my eyes terribly. I've got two deep wrinkles on both sides now, which i dearly hope will decrease somewhat. As for the pain, i'm a bit ashamed that i endured light but unsettling headaches and feeling of pressure on a daily basis just for the sake of having longer eyelashes without mascara. I hope there is no long term lasting effect on my health and that my natural lashes don't suffer because of this and do grow back after my Careprost lashes fall out, as they undoubtedly will. I have encountered reviews online that talk about damaged eyelash follicles and women who are terrified because their natural lashes look much worse and are very fragile after discontinuing treating them with Latisse/Careprost. Good luck and please be safe! EDIT: less than a month later, my skin is recovering (curiously, the wrinkles underneath my eyes are less deep and the skin on my face is more elastic and less dry. seemingly i had an allergic skin reaction), the headaches are subsiding (i still get a 'Careprost headache' which is different from anything i ever had earlier but they are fewer and fewer) and the feeling of pressure is gone. no serious or abrupt shedding of eyelashes although there is no new growth, seems they are falling out gradually. i can say that i'm glad i discontinued using Careprost and wouldn't go back unless i absolutely had to.
this is perfection - for my coarse, thick hair which hated Ciment thermique and punished me with many a bad hair day before giving up on it. if your hair is wiry and coarse like mine, and you heat style often (i flat iron every two or three days) - this is it! Ciment thermique made my hair even rougher and more disobedient than usual, Nectar thermique fed it, made it shine and sealed a few split ends. i had a bad run lately, ranging from my Ciment thermique misfortune to the Moroccanoil mishap /the latter doing more damage than anything else/. this made it all better again. curiously, if i don't heat style, hair doesn't look as good. good price value as i need very little to provide for my big needy head of hair. nourishing, protecting and glossifying without weighing down or taking away that amazing bounce healthy well styled hair has. as for the scent, different strokes. i love it. if you won't, it fades away swiftly. i can't say any Kerastase scents bother me, Oleo relax serum being my fave.
Moisturizers -Weleda - Wild Rose Face Oil Capsules
frostbites 12/2/2010 8:03:00 PM
hell. i love this, even though it's not tailored to my needs. my (seasonally seborrheic, blotchy, combined and dehydrated acne-prone) skin glows after this. it glows, people, glows like i never thought it could! it takes a lot to make my skin look that way. i had given up on hope. after a few hours' sleep with this oil on, i can experience first hand what 'english rose skin' means. i look rosy, peaches-and-cream fresh, like i don't need not a tiniest drop of my otherwise unskippable Dior Nude foundation...like someone who won 'lovely skin' on the gene lottery. but after a while...i grease up and my pores clog. the magic disappears. Weleda's Almond oil is much better suited to my skin, and it clears up what Rose messes up - but Almond seems to work more slowly and without the astonishing overnight FX effect Rose has. so i use Almond nightly and Rose on special occasions, still hoping i'll train my skin into accepting it. must say, that i get less clogged pores as time goes by. and since i started using Weleda products, my skin is noticeably firmer, more elastic and less dehydrated, with fine lines a bit less noticeable. will repurchase. - just a word of warning, don't underestimate what reviewers before me said about getting fresh product. very important! if buying over eBay, demand that the seller provides you with expiry dates of the Weleda oil in question. EDIT: best thing in my skin regime. stopped clogging my pores, unbeatable for rosy plump skin even after a sleepless night. one thing needs to be repeated: buy it fresh, i have tried expired capsules (kept them in the fridge with little to no effect) and the difference is noticeable. 2ND EDIT: almost three years later, i'm still besotted with this product. now that my skin is producing sebum with less fervor and in need of more pampering, the Almond oil isn't moisturizing enough anymore. i have moved on from quite a few Weleda products since my first review (too much alcohol in their moisturizers) and incorporated moisturizing serums and retinaldehyde in my daily regime. however, this little encapsulated treasure is still as reliable year in, year out. every time i reach for it my skin looks firmer, softer and juicier and i actually apprehensively enjoy the dreaded morning reflection in the mirror. the makings of a lifelong essential. wish this worked for everyone, it's truly worth trying! hope Weleda doesn't tinker (or cheapen the ingredients) with this or their Skin food cream, which i find uniquely effective for healing and lightening acne scars. oh, its heady, slightly pungent scent? the only thing i'm not a raving fan of. not clouding our horizon in the slightest though.
Many rebuys later: still love the Cacas. This, imho best product by Lush has accompanied me through many colour changes, from brunette to black and back, always replenishing and giving unbeatable, uncomparable shine and conditioning, the sort that makes people stop in tracks when the sun hits your gorgeous head of hair. Sadly, through the years the price got a bit higher but it's still very affordable for its many benefits. The colour always looks nuanced and natural, the conditioning is amazing, and it gives you the opportunity to heat style as much as you want because it repairs and coats the shaft acting as a heat protectant. It definitely helps a great deal with straightening and getting the kinks out of wavy, unruly hair. I won't go into details because there's not much to add* to the awesomely thorough reviews before mine. Yes it's a bit of a hassle and the smell may be a bit sickening if you dislike it, it's that strong, but it's more than worth it because it gives you CGI, Pantene ad hair and it's nothing that can't be mastered after one use and a few minutes of reading other users' reviews - so don't be a wuss! In a nutshell: Caca Brun develops into (when unwrapped) a lovely deep rich brown with coppery highlights, washes out evenly and i didn't notice any drying out attributed to henna, not following many months of use. If you're not so crazy about the red undertones, try mixing Brun with Noir. *a word of warning: if your hair is porous and light, you might get uneven colouring after your first application (I had lighter outer and darker inner layers). This can be corrected by repeating the process after 3 days, after which you can use it monthly and the colour will be even.