The packaging of this is crap. I don't mean that the brush is too short because after years of putting mascara on, I found that no real problem (though the eye corners are more challenging.) No, the problem is the flimsiness of the lid. Today I was getting ready to go on a first date. I had 20 minutes left, and wanted to use them to do flawless mascara. I had one coat on one eye before I put the lid back into the tube to get more product--and the brush bit got lodged in the bottom I figured I'd just screw the lid back on and when I screwed it back undone, the part would've fit back in. No! By the time I'd used needle-nosed tweezers to pull all the bits out of the bottle, I had mascara all over my hands and the guy was supposed to be t my house in 10 minutes. I tried to just use the loose brush, to apply the product, but because it needs the opening reducer to control how much product gets on it, it just got huge quantities of mascara out and even wiping the brush couldn't really fix it. Disaster. This mascara is actually really good. When the brush is able to function, the application leaves no clumps and gives the lashes excellent definition. The packaging is a huge problem, though. I don't care about having to put out a few dollars more for this product than for others, but if the packaging can't survive until the end of the use, there's improvement needed.
I used this shampoo last night with the matching conditioner. It was affordable, left my hair feeling clean, and smelled really nice--but it also left my hair looking flat and greasy, and that's not the worst of it. It took literally half an hour to get the knots out of my hair after using this. I know that it was that long because at the time I was chatting to one of my friends online and the things in the conversation I said related to it were all time stamped. I've had similar problems with other silicone-free shampoos, but this really took the problem to an intolerable new low. I'm giving this two starts because it cleans the hair, smells good, and is cruelty free. It doesn't volumise, though, and if you have find, wavy hair like mine, you're probably going to end up with ripped out, tangly hair that just makes you angry like I am now! I don't recommend this, but if your hair is thick and straight, you might hvae some success.
I'm astounded no one has had any problems with this product's application. It still gets 3 stars from me because the colour is truly beautiful, but the last time I had application this bad was when I used to use those crappy $2 nail polished from the chemist. So streaky and goopy that I needed 3 coats--but then about maybe two or three hous(!) later, my hand touched something and the polish got scooped off in places. If a polish isn't dry after a couple of hours, and isn't free of streaks after the first two coats, I'd say there's a problem! A day later I tried to fix the mistakes in the polish finish by going over with another coat--but again the polish was so streaky that one more coat wasn't enough. After 5 coats, still with streaks, I just thought I'd let it be. The colour was getting darker than preferable with all those coats anyway. The colour is simply divine. It's such a classy, luxurious shade. If you've tried silvers and golds and felt like they haven't really been what you wanted, give this a go. It's a lovely champagne colour, like gold, silver, and brown mixed together, with a lot of shimmer. I think it really tells you how good the colour is when, after using 5 coats and feeling like it took an unbelievable amount of time to dry, I'd still use it again and buy it again.
I have mixed feelings about this product. I don't know if I got a bad bottle or something, but this colour was nothing like what I thought it'd be. I Google Imaged it and it was a ver pretty metallic greeny-blue. On my nails after the required 2 coats, it's a flat warm navy colour. It still gets three because I like the colour anyway, but I have to admit that I'm surprised and disappointed that it was in no way like the bottle or picture colour. As well as the colour issue, the application was terrible. I don't know if this is a common Essie thing, because this is the first Essie polish I've ever used, but the texture was thick and sticky. All nails now have tiny bubbles in the paint (no one else would notice them, but it's not ideal for me), and the polish did that annoying thing where when you try to put the second coat on and use enough to make it opaque, it does that thing where the texture is like gum or something. For a polish that cost about $12, I found that pretty disappointing. Overall, I still like this product because the colour is like nothing I have had so far and is a nice vampy kind of navy, but just be aware that if you're expecting that metallic, duochrome colour, you may be disappointed. Perhaps keep it in the fridge first or something so that you won't have the annoying texture issue I did, too. Update: I became more satisfied with the colour over time as I saw it in different lights. It's pretty much a very deep, metallic teal. It's nice! Also, somehow the bubbles in the manicure seemed to go away, so all good. I updates my rating from 3 to 4 because of these developments.
This blush looks much darker in the package than the swatch on the website makes it look, but I'm pretty white and it still doesn't look too dark, so don't let that scare you away. For some reason, I don't seem to see much shimmer, so if you're looking for something quite shimmery, you'll probably be disappointed by this product. Maybe it's just that the shimmer gives an overall luminosity instead of any real metallic look. In that case, I do see it, because the blush really sets my makeup looks off. The main thing I'd like to pass on about this product is that it's a good looking product that is affordable and natural, but for the love of God, use a light hand to apply it! It is so heavily pigmented that for both cheeks, I need maybe a bit the size of a ladybug, perhaps less. In a way, it seems like it can also be a little bit hard to spread, but that could be my brush and the fact that I'm trying to get a tiny amount to coat a relatively broad brush evenly so that I can get a good application. When you think about it, the fact that this is the case probably just reflects how pure the products are and how much pigment they contain. I think that's a good sign. People started taking notice of my makeup more when I began to use this blush, and I think it's quite good. If you're looking for a nice, rosy pink. I'd recommend this. But seriously, do not overdo it with how much you use!
I'm surprised that someone commented that this doesn't "ball up" (if you don't know what that means, it's when you rub the product in, or rub more on top of what's already applied, and little bits of the product that are la bit ike eraser crumbs form on your face). For me, it certainly does. It does big time. Another complaint I have about this product, and this really annoys me since I use it every day of the week, is that even though it is a light, non-greasy lotion when you put it on, it makes your face look so shiny! It doesn't leave a white cast on my face and neck, but God, does it ever make me shiny-looking. Oh, and it smells like vinegar because of the AHAs, but that goes away and it's probably less annoying that the normal sunscreen smell anyway. One last bad thing about the product is that its thin, light texture can also b a downside: I think when you're sweating a lot (at a festival or while exercising, for instance), it doesn't hold to the skin as well as some heavier sunscreens I've used (like the Cancer Council blue package one) have. The problem is made worse because since it does ball up, when you re-apply, you can be left with tiny grimy balls of product on your face! When you first use the product, it will also sting, as will most AHA products. That's just the way they are! Sometimes it does get into my eyes, though (which is probably my fault for applying it around the eye area to be consistent) and that's just really not nice. So far, this sounds like a pretty negative review, but trust me, I do like this product. I think that even though another reviewer said the AHAs in the product may not be affective in this form, they are. My skin feels so soft after washing this off! Even I can't believe it, and I've never had truly rough skin. The softness is unbelievable. My skin feel like silk or something. It's really good! I think it does a pretty great job of sloughing off dead skin, because it also improves the clarity of my skin. This product can be a mixed bag, but I like it to the extent that I ordered 8 bottles of it online and had them sent to where I'm staying for student exchange in Germany. I think it's pretty great.
I wish I could find another mascara as good as this, because I know this one has beeswax in it and I've been vegan for a while. The truth is, for me, nothing has worked like this product has. It defines the lashes beautifully and garners so many compliments for me from both men and women. I don't know whether this product really lengthens the lashes, since I already have lashed that are kind of long, but it definitely defines them. It has a good brush that can get into the corners and none of that silly silicone/comb business that just causes clumps and makes the lashes look awful. I'm surprised that a few people have said that it's good for when you're looking for a natural look. I'll qualify this--it doesn't make your lashes look or feel crisp, crunchy, or clumpy, but it won't make you look like you don't have makeup on. If you have dark lashes, that MAY be the case. I have light brown hair and you can definitely see that I'm wearing mascara with this, but it defines them in a way that emphasises what I already have instead of making it seem artificial or anything. I use a lot of mascara when I apply this, and I really like it how you can build the layers on without causing clumping. I didn't notice it for a few years of use, but with the tube I'm on now, I've noticed that it does gradually dry. This my not affect you if you wear makeup every day, but I wear it at the most once every few days and someones as little as once every week or two, so mine has dried out a bit and gets kind of clumpy, affecting the extent to which you can build layers.
I can't believe the bad reviews of this product. I've been using it for like 4-5 years and I love it so much. I'm REALLY hoping it hasn't been discontinued as some people have suggested on here, because I am going to be in a whole lot of trouble if it has been. At the moment I already have 3 jars or something, but it's so good. Reviewers mostly have the same problems: cakiness, difficulty applying, and the like. I'll share what I do because I get compliments on my makeup and also because when I first got the product, it took experimentation for me. 1) Mix some of the product with a bit of moisturiser. I use oil-free sensitive stuff, but any that suits your skin would probably work (when I first started using this foundation, I put the moisturiser without any power in it on the skin and then brushed the powder on. Don't do that, because doing it this way works better) 2) Dab your brush into the mixture of moisturiser with foundation (don't use the brush provided--I used to do that and it's too small and short to work well. Use a large blush brush, a kabuki brush, or the great airbrush brush by Physicians Formula) and spread the product over your face (also your neck if you want/need to) 3) Rub the product in with the brush, and when that's been done and it's absorbed into the skin, either rub the brush dry with a towel or get another brush. Pour a little bit of powder on a piece of paper and dab the brush in that, then tap it off. Go over your face to build the coverage as much as you need. 4) Apply the rest of your makeup (don't worry--I don't use waterproof mascara and the next step doesn't make it run or smudge) 5) With your hair covered with a towel, hold a can of spray water (I use Avene. Evian also makes one, and a few years ago I also found a spray bottle of water worked) as far away as possible and evenly mist your face. Allow it to dry. No cakey makeup, no crappy application! It works every time for me. The downside to this product is that it has bismuth, which I've heard is not good for you. I don't really know much about that, and this has been a pretty important product for me, so for now, I'm just going to ignore that. Also, be careful with traveling if you don't keep the plug that comes with the product, because if the lid slips off (and I'm pretty sure it has for me before), you will have a huge mess on your hands.
This has been a bit of an unexpected success for me! Often I am sceptical of reds, especially dark ones, which often just make my slightly yellow hands looks dirty and bad. This would be especially disappointing when a colour is at the price point OPI products are. Not with this, though. Unlike with many colours this dark, when not in bright light, this colour doesn't appear black. It still has a clear warmth that shows it's colour and not black. Then in light, it really "pops." The best way to describe it is rich, classy, vampy and a metallic dried blood kind of colour. I'm really glad I got this now. I was also reluctant to because I bought it at the same time as another German line colour (Every Month Is Oktoberfest) and in their bottles, they look like almost the exact same colour. I think they aren't, though, because these metallic colours often do look different on the nail to in the bottle. I have yet to try the other, but if it is really too similar, I'll update on here so that others don't buy both too.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Urban Rituelle--Vanilla Eau de Parfum
gracep 6/11/2012 5:52:00 PM
I love this! I've just recently moved overseas and I'm sad that I don't have my bottle with me, because I don't know anything like it. It is soft, very feminine and quite floral I think. I don't think it's a gourmand scent at all, so if that's what you're hoping for, this won't be a good choice for you. The description on the box said things like caramel or something else food-y, but even though it definitely has sweetness, it's not a dessert kind of scent.
I love this so much! It's cheap and it smells so good. Just a warning, though: it's not straight-up vanilla. I don't know what the combination is, but I think it's some kind of musk mixture, perhaps with a tiny bit of sandalwood. I always put on clothes that I've sprayed it on and go "Mmm, what's that?" then realise that it's this that's left on my clothes. It's soft and feminine, and I find it can also be layered together with other vanilla scents for a fuller, more unique kind of smell.
Conditioner -Paul Mitchell - Lemon Sage Thickening Conditioner
gracep 6/11/2012 5:46:00 PM
I haven't actually used this conditioner without the matching shampoo, so I can't be sure how good its own effect is, but in combination, the products work REALLY well. Unfortunately, the shampoo is ridiculously drying and makes my skin feel scratchy and tight. I don't know what I'm going to do about this, because even though I've only been using the products for a few days so far, my hair has never looked better than this. Expensive, but the effect speaks for itself.
I didn't know how to rate this product, to be honest. It definitely makes my hair look more voluminous and in that way, it's the best shampoo I've tried, BUT it dries the life out of my hair, and my skin. It's so drying that I get tight palms after using it, which lasts into the next day (that said, I do tend toward dry rather than oily skin.) I don't know if I can actually keep using it in the long term because of this, but it really does get results. My hair has more volume and smoothness after using this with the conditioner, and unlike with other fairly natural shampoos, I'm not left with annoyingly tangly hair that gets into knots for no reason shortly after brushing. This is great because having thin hair means that when that does happen, hair inevitably gets ripped out. I have the driest skin on my hands, arms and legs from this shampoo, but my hair looks really good! It's a pricey product, but it's cruelty-free and made in America, so there are upsides!
Skincare - Body -LUSH - King of Skin Body Conditioner
gracep 7/15/2011 11:26:00 AM
I'm surprised that the ratings for this product aren't higher. Usually I try to buy potential products that have an 80% or higher rating on here, and so this is way off. Fortunately, it was an impulse purchase, so I didn't apply my usual rule. I have VERY dry skin and eczema on my arms and legs. As some readers may know, eczema is a chronic condition that nothing can "cure." Moisturisers do wonders, though, and for a product with scent, I'm happy to say that this didn't irritate my skin and that it softened it well. I cannot understand the complaints about the scent. I think it's beautiful, and so subtle anyway. Maybe in countries other than Australia the scent is different, but I don't know. I apply this outside of the shower, after it, and try to wear body hugging clothes to seal the moisture in overnight. It works, and yet it isn't heavy and greasy like cream body butters I've used. However, this doesn't last long for me, so I'd say overall it's pretty expensive. Good quality ingredients always make that the case, though. Oh, and buy the tin. I think you'd really regret not doing so, and in warm weather, you'd probably get a big mess.
Lip Treatments -Avalon Organics Botanicals - Vitamin C lip balm
gracep 5/31/2011 2:40:00 PM
I can't understand why more people wouldn't buy this product again! It's pretty much the best lip balm I've ever used. It has a very orange-y scent, just like fresh orange zest, which I like. It goes on smoothly with none of that weird grittiness of some other balms and it doesn't feel sticky or oily. Many other lip balms make my lips feel pleasantly moisturised, but this balm actually makes my lips feel softer and smoother even after the product isn't on my lips anymore. I love this lip balm because it does what so many others don't do, and as a vegan, I really value the fact that the balm is also cruelty-free, as well as being made of high quality natural ingredients.