I have this in Blueberry (206) and I like the lip mist formula much, much more than the lip cover formulation. Both are slightly slippy and highly pigmented, which is great for my occasionally dry-ish, dark-mauve lips. This formula, in comparison with the lip cover, has a cushy base that seems to include gel which gives me extremely lush, moisturized, and plump-looking lips. It's glossier than Guerlain's Rouge Automatique but not shiny, and applies smoothly and accurately, unlike full-on gel formulations that slide all over and outside the lines. The color is beautiful on my olive-pinky NC25 skin, a purply tint with a bit of red.
This is a ridiculously priced eyeliner, but there are a couple reasons I will continue buying it, even though it does dry out comparatively quickly. For reference, I've used a number of Japanese liners, including Kate, majolica Majorca, and lavshuca. 1) it is completely transfer proof for me. I don't have monolids but when I laugh or smile, liner typically smudges like crazy. Even the Kate waterproof, transfer proof liners smudged. This one is incredibly tenacious. I can wear it all day, and after twelve hours it may be slightly faded, but there are NO SMUDGES. Having a nice clean makeup without having to paranoically check a mirror every few hours is definitely worth $30 every four months. 2) yet it is easy to remove -- the Kate, which I was previously devoted to, would resist even cleansing oil, leaving me with shadowy under eye circles. This, on the other hand, washes clean off. 3) the tiny tiny tip, which is even sharper than the Kate super sharp liner, allows for the most delicate tracing of the lashline at the roots, giving the slightest bit of definition, or can be used with more pressure for a thicker, heavier line. And it is a nice deep black. for lots of people, this is probably a skip, but for those of us greasy lidded and smudge prone, I can't recommend this highly enough.
Mascara -Kiss Me - HEROINE MAKE long and curl mascara (black)
golightly 6/28/2012 11:44:00 PM
I've repurchased this at least 5 times. It's simply the best -- holds curl, feathery lashes, doesn't dry out lashes, and adds length. No transferring at all on my super smudge-prone eye shape.
This isn't a foundation, really -- it's a giant touche eclat that uses reflective particles to subtly perfect the skin. There's basically no coverage at all (for buildable coverage I like Koh Gen Do). Without the expectation that this will act like a true foundation, this product is amazing at basically photoshopping skin (such as freckles, sun damage, and unevenness) while leaving skin looking real and unmasky, just realistically even, well moisturized, and satiny. I'm an olive-pink NW 20/25 and use #2, apricot. An added benefit is that it is slightly moisturizing and creates a nice smooth canvas for other makeup. Wear time isn't the greatest, probably about 5-6 hours. Others have mentioned how annoying the brush is, but at least it's better than the delay on the Ellis Faas brushes; I need two pumps for the whole face and apply with my fingers. The fragrance is mildly offensive, but it fades. A woman on the subway was doing her makeup and she had a brilliant routine: she squeezed some MAC face and body onto the brush head of this, which she had primed, and applied it with the brush, which probably naturally mixed upon application.
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Intelligent Nutrients Skin Care
golightly 5/20/2012 7:49:00 PM
I've used several products from this brand over several months. If I had a different skin type, I would certainly purchase again. As it stands, my experience with Intelligent Nutrients taught me *a lot* about my sensitivities.... even if it was a bit of a painful, scarring experience! Overall, the products improved the condition and health of my skin, turning it into beautifully glowing, hydrated, smooth, and supple skin. In short, results were exceptional. The quality is excellent, well-considered and produced, cosmetically elegant; it is a company that I can consciously support. Packaging is bulky and chintzy, but very hygienic. Sadly, most of the products are not suitable for acne-prone skin or those sensitive to coconut derivatives, as most are extremely clogging, but if they ever manufacture products that aren't based on coconut, I'd happily try Intelligent Nutrients again. cleanser: thick, unguent, caramel colored, smells of a forest floor. It takes off a bit of makeup but not much, definitely leaves residue, but does leave the skin feeling very hydrated and plump. moisturizer: sinks in beautifully, hydrates wonderfully, leaves a dewy-matte (is there such a thing?) finish, excellent base for makeup. no extra oil emerges, and over time skin hydration really improved. lovely herbally scent. layers well. mist: great for extra hydration, good to prepare skin for serum. serum: a lovely mix of quality oils. really active ingredients, skin visibly improves overnight with use (brighter, more clarity, plump). however -- for acne-prones, this line is a no-go. The moisturizer is chock full of coconut oil and broke me out with serious cystic acne, which I didn't realize for months on end. The serum is fine for occasional use, but it is very active, so used successively over a longer period it will cause some surface irritation. Every two weeks or so, I like to do a mild peel and use the serum overnight.
Foundations -Giorgio Armani - Face Fabric Second Skin Nude Makeup
golightly 5/20/2012 7:27:00 PM
I had high hopes for this product, but it wasn't the finish I was looking for. I tend to prefer slightly more dimensional looking finish, blurring imperfections rather than flattening them out. If you have oily or shiny skin and are hoping for a matte look, this should really deliver. I found it a bit flattening and dull looking -- like badly photoshopped skin. Oil breaks through, or oil production is encouraged, due to the high amounts of drying silicone. Am NC20/25 and used #2.
Conditioner -John Masters - Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner
golightly 5/16/2012 5:18:00 PM
For me, the results of this conditioner are atypical of organic and natural haircare products. I get super shiny and smooth hair that has a bit of bounce two days later, even though I have very fine and limp hair. Smells good, but I do have to use two dollops to really untangle and conditioner the length of my hair. I alternate between this and the detangler. I'm a really big fan of John Masters products -- although mostly natural products don't work on my very sensitive skin, I'm really impressed with how this line leaves my hair in healthy condition that seems only to improve. The results are cumulative, and definitely worth the slight expense over "organic" brands like Giovanni or similar.
Finally I have found a deeply moisturizing, richly pigmented lip balm with great ingredients in a bright red shade that actually shows up as a non berry, true warm ish red on my really pigmented mauvey lips that pull all colors pink or fuschia. A great alternative for me from a stain, many of which also pull cool. Moisturizing, glowy but not shiny, easy and precise application due to the tiny tube, little shimmer but not too much to be frosty. I've also used rhubarb but that is more of your standard berry red shade -- this one is a great, summery red that I am super tempted to stock up on just in case, evn though it's a new color. And I never stock up on things, believing that half he pleasure is the hunt. Major adoration.
I rarely, if ever, review products after one use, but wanted to add to the chorus of BUY THIS NOW, especially if you have congested, clog prone skin. One spoonful of mask and enough water to make a nice sludgy paste draws out impurities and a little surface purging for me, which is *great* as those plugs would normally become huge, problematic, and painful hormonal cysts later on. Skin texture is totally refined, tightened, and smoother. I don't know why even esthetician facials haven't been able to do this. A great value given that the clay is almost indefinitely good, the number of facials possible, and the purity of the ingredients. addendum: I mix one heaping spoonful of powder to about a spoonful of water. It's pretty important to let the mask dry entirely before removing to get the maximum benefits of extracting/stimulating blood circulation. I've also noticed a thick sludgy layer extracts better and results in greater radiance/luminosity than a thin layer. Results last for a couple of days.
Cleansers -Ren - Rose Centifolia Facial Wash-Normal skin
golightly 1/12/2012 4:41:00 PM
I don't know why I can't seem to find a gentle cleanser I like under $30, but so it goes. I might buy this again, but I might not. It smells pleasant, is pleasant to use, and leaves my face smooth and not overly stripped. I use it as the second step in a double cleanse with Softymo cleansing oil, so I can't attest to the makeup removing qualities. A gentle cleanser, along the lines of Avene soapless cleanser and Fresh soy cleanser. It has nice ingredients (including aloe vera), especially nicer in relation to the soy cleanser, and is mostly pretty soothing. Not holy grail status, but isn't bad either. Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Coco Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Aminoacids, Rosa Centifolia Flower Juice, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Parfum* (Fragrance), Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Geraniol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Lactic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin.
I made a three pan out of this, African Violet, and Twilight Grey. I often line with Twilight Grey and do a wash of Stellar with a Shu Uemura 8h brush. On the hand this eyeshadow is not very impressive and even a little boring. On the lid, however, it's a perfect, perfect champagne wash, just enough to bring softness and glow to the area (i'm NC20) without being frosty or overly shimmery. Gorgeously refined texture and purely pigmented. I've looked and looked for a cream shadow equivalent, without avail. Great color density and complexity -- the other reviewers have described it well -- which is only apparent on comparing it with other highlighters. Excellent wear, great to be able pop it out for a three pan, and I'm happy not to pay for a silly brush I won't use anyway.
Cleansers -John Masters - Bearberry Oily Skin Balancing Face Wash
golightly 10/4/2011 1:22:00 PM
I'm surprised there are no other reviews of this product. This is a great, non drying but foaming face wash that cleans gently. It doesn't get all eye makeup off, but it does clean off most everything else. There's a great fresh scent to it; the foam isn't runny so it's easy to spread over the face, and it is a lot more reasonably priced than the Fresh soy face wash without the parabens. I'm on the second reorder. Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera), Decyl Glucoside (*), Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Leuconostoc/Radish Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi (Bearberry) Leaf Extract (Bearberry), Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract (* Bilberry), Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract (Sugar Cane), Acersaccharum Extract (Sugar Maple), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract (Orange), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Extract (Lemon), Oryza Sativa Extract (Rice), Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract (*), Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Oil (Peppermint), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil (* Lavender), Mentha Spicata (Spearmint) Leaf Oil (Spearmint), Citrus Limonum (Lemon) Oil (Lemon), Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Leaf Oil (Cypress), Backhousia Citriodoria Leaf Oil (* Lemon Myrtle), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Peel Oil (Pink Grapefruit), Litsea Cubeb (Litsea Cubeba) Fruit Oil (Litsea Cubeba), Cymbopogon Martini (Palma Rosa) Oil (Palmarosa), Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil (Geranium), Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil (Carrot), Citric Acid (*), Potassium Sorbate
Shampoo -Unlisted Brand - Serge Normant-Meta Silk Shampoo
golightly 2/24/2011 11:30:00 PM
My hair is very fine, slippery, not color treated and very rarely heat styled, but my scalp gets greasy pretty easily. Previously, I could use any shampoo -- although I preferred Giovanni shampoos for an inexpensive sulfate-free wash -- and my hair would be decently bouncy, naturally shiny, and happy. I moved a year ago to an extremely dry climate with terrible pollution, drier than Boston or Los Angeles, both places that I've lived before, and my hair turned straw-like, unmanageable, and just terribly awful. I tried using a ton of leave-in conditioners, including Kiehls, Phyto, straight camellia oil, to no avail. Previous shampoos like Shiseido's Tsubaki and Pantene in an Asian formulation that had worked in the direst of situations didn't really work here. In another situation/city I'm not sure I would be impressed with this shampoo, and I'm not a huge haircare junkie, so I can't really compare to other salon products. Nonetheless, this shampoo, along with John Masters zinc and sage shampoo, really saved my scalp and hair and I will definitely continue to use and buy them, in spite of their ridiculous price tags (this is $24 for 8 fl oz), while I am living in this awfully dry, awfully polluted city. I chose this over the Oribe line because the ingredients seemed better (at the bottom of this review), but the packaging is just your standard plastic squeezy bottle. I like that the shampoo is paraben free. I use about two quarter-size amounts each time I wash my hair, and the formulation is very runny, so it's a bit hard to control. I use this in conjunction with the conditioner and now my scalp is clean and hair is positively silky, shiny, bouncy, and smooth, with great volume. The scent is pretty great and with some Oribe styling products, my hair/scalp is back to normal. A huge sigh of relief, and no more searching. Ingredients: water, sodium cocoyl sarconsinate, potassiu, cocoate, cocamidopropyl betane, glycerin, peg 8, emulsifying wax, glycol disterate, fragrance, hydrolyzed vegetable protein ph-propyl silanetriol, camellia reticulata seed oil, acrylates/beheneth-25 methcrylate copolymer, cedrus atlantica (atlas cedar) bark extract, lactobacillus/rice ferment filtrate, cocobetaine, peg-9 dimethicone, polysorbate 20, citric acid, phenoxyethanol, sucrose, peg-150 pentaerythrityle tetrasterate, tetrasodium edta, polyquaternium-10, methychloroisothiazolinone, methlyisothiazolinone (typed this in myself so hope there aren't any huge mistakes)
I actually wrote 10 reviews just so I could review this Koh Gen Do foundation. When I was back in the States I visited Barneys, which resulted in a bounty of products that I'm completely in love with. The aqua foundation comes in a solid, weighty glass pump bottle with a cap and you have to shake it to get an equal distribution of pigment. One pump disperses enough for the entire face. The texture is a quite slippery and thin fluid, but creamy when applied to the face. Coverage is light-medium, enough to even out skin and minimize sun spots, but not covering everything entirely. I like foundations that are light on the skin (such as Chantecaille Future Skin) and this fits the bill. It's also pretty moisturizing, which is important for the super-dry city I'm living in now. This does not have a great shade range, with only four shades, but doesn't change color while wearing either, which is a problem I had with the Armani foundation. I'm PK1 in this (Chantecaille Future skin in camomile, Laura Mercier TM in nude, Armani LSF in 5). I can see it lasting for a while, since it doesn't require a lot to get the evening-out effect that I'm looking for. It's not a lot of foundation for the price -- $55 for 1 fl oz. There's also sunblock in the formulation, SPF 15 or PA++. I use Skinceuticals sheer physical block underneath, so it doesn't really matter for me. The reason I felt so compelled to write about this product is that the effect of this foundation is astounding. I've tried Chanel Teint Innocence (mask like, bad color match), Armani Face Fabric (looked flat and not great coverage); Armani LSF (turned orange and felt weirdly silicone-y); Chantecaille Future Skin (in rotation, but requires a pretty good skin day and better for summer/more humid environments); Laura Mercier tm (good for luminosity but maybe a little too luminous, and a bit heavy on the skin). With this foundation, I get the perfect balance of texture, weightlessness, and coverage for me. And the plus is that my skin looks just like my skin -- that is if my skin was luminous, had smaller pores and a wonderful glowing, satiny quality. It's this inwardly glowing effect that makes me feel like I have the skin of a model, and I definitely do not -- having grown up in California, with pretty bad breakouts, I now have lots of sunspots and enlarged pores, plus definite loss of glow, or "bloom," as Jane Austen would say. With this foundation, I get this wonderfully translucent effect, brightening, skin I didn't even have as a teenager. I really, really like it. I hope this relationship works out. Update 3/7/2011: I was wearing this at a lunch out, and someone said that I, of a group of 16 people, had the best skin. I've never had a compliment on my skin before.... INGREDIENTS (BE-1, PK-1, 0C-1, 0C-2): Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Sea Water, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Mica, Glycerin, Phytosteryl / Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Sodium Chloride. Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Acrylates Polytrimethyl Siloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol. Dimethicone. Phenoxyethanol, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Dimyristate, Silica, Zirconium Dioxide. Talc, Isostearyl Sebacate, Alumina, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Squalane, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Betula Alba Juice, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Glucosyl Hesperidin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Betula Alba Bark Extract, Kjellmaniella Gyrate Extract, Algae Extract, Alpinia Speciosa Leaf Extract, Iron Oxides
Sunscreen -Skinceuticals - Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50
golightly 2/24/2011 10:56:00 PM
I was looking for a physical sunblock after reading about the disadvantages of chemical sunscreens, and ended up with this. It's not a holy grail, but it is extremely serviceable. There's a faint floral scent, which I do not like in skin care products, and the texture is slippery and fluid like the Anthelios sunscreens. Unlike Anthelios, however, the texture is a tiny bit gritty and there is, as other people have pointed out, a bit of a white cast left over after application, especially if you apply enough to get proper skin protection. I like that this leaves a slight matte effect and I'm pretty pale, so the white cast doesn't really bother me. It makes a great foundation primer. The bottle seems tiny for the price -- 50 ml for $30! -- but the paranoia-freak in me wins out, and rationalizes away the price in favor of the excellent protection and paraben-free formula.