I have combination skin-oily T zone with blackheads and large pores. My cheeks are very dry, and I live in New England. Our winters are long and brutal, and my cheeks become very dry to the point of flaking and chapping around my mouth and cheek area. I'm also 35 years old-I get hormonal acne (breakouts related to my period) and I'm trying to prevent aging skin. Since I'm on Retin A (for acne, but it also have anti-aging benefits)-my facial skin is getting more dry but I don't want to break out. I youtubed "Tanaka facial massage" and followed the Japanese facial massage techniques each night while using this cream. I use this cream not only to deeply and thoroughly remove makeup (waterproof mascara, waterproof gel liner) and waterproof sunscreen-I also this as a nightly regimen to do my facial massage. I read part of Chizu Saeki's "The Japanese Skin Care Revolution" and she also recommends facial massage as a way to tone the facial muscles, for lympathic drainage (addressing puffiness, excess facial fat, dull skin tone) and to prevent wrinkles. I am not Japanese, but am Asian American and tend to trust Asian beauty secrets and products. I use Ponds as a cheap way to deeply remove all makeup & to massage my face for 3 minutes each evening or several evenings a week. In order to prevent breakouts, I do not sleep with this on though I know of other ladies who use it as a rich night cream. After massaging my face with the Tanaka facial massage method, I go over my eye area where most of my waterproof makeup is and lightly massage it gently with my ring or third finger to avoid applying harsh pressure. Then I use a facial cleanser such as Cetaphil, Olay Face Wash, Aveeno, or a Korean foam cleanser from the Face Shop (which I bought for $5.00 on sale). Whenever I have used toner-there is absolutely no residue after completing my regimen. I follow up with Retin A or another night cream. This regimen makes my face very smooth, clear, and there is a glow to my skin that people notice. Youtube Tanaka facial massage, and check out Chizu Saeki's Skincare Revolution. Ponds is filled with mineral oil which people seem to really be against-and I fear it will clog my pores also, which is why I don't leave it on for long periods. However, mineral oil also has occlusive properties of sealing moisture, and the process of massage and sometimes a warm washcloth seems to exfoliate the dead skin also. I have noticed that blackheads that were very deep are softening from the process, and these clogged plugs are coming to the surface-making it easier to remove. In winter, this regimen has diminished the look of flaky, dry, red and/or inflamed skin-even when I go outside in 20 degree weather on a regular basis for extended periods.
I hated every Maybelline Great Lash I tried, until this mascara. In every magazine, Maybelline Great Lash wins "Best of Beauty Awards." Supermodels, beauty editors, and famous movie stars talk about how it's the greatest mascara in the world. I kept buying it again-in different forms. Regular, curved brush, the color Royal Blue, the limited edition Teal, waterproof, Blackest Black, and Great Lash big. I literally tried Great Lash at least 7 times. Every time I bought it-it would suck. The formula was running, thin, too wet-would smear & smudge. It would do very little lengthening or thickening. All it seemed to do was darken my lashes. I have short, sparse, stick straight Asian lashes. The hair on my head is thick and long-my eyelashes are awful. I need a dramatic mascara, I am not blessed with long thick lashes that only need to be darkened. The brush was tiny, and would clump the lashes I had together so it looked like I had 5 spikey lashes together. It was awful. But marketing, the cheap price, the rave reviews in magazines and by celebrities, and the cute packaging (it's hard to miss a pink and bright green iconic tube), the #1 mascara in America hype-it's said that a person buys Great Lash every 1.7 seconds or something kept me coming back. So why did I got for one last try? Well, I am a mascara junkie and I give everything a try. Cover Girl Lash Blast, Maybelline Colossal, Maybelline Full N' Soft, Maybelline Falsies, Revlon mascaras (they tend to suck-though Revlon does great lipsticks), Loreal Voluminous, Loreal Double Extend and Beauty Tubes, Loreal Collagen mascara, Prestige My Biggest Lashes, my beloved Max Factor mascaras that discontinued (2000 Calorie and Volume Couture were awesome!), Rimmel mascaras (Sexy Curves, Lash Accelerator, Glam Eyes), Almay One Coat, and expensive mascaras: Dior Show, Lancome Deficinils, Lancome Hypnose. I don't think this list is complete-and though I have tried bad and good mascaras- I went for one more last try with Maybelline Great Lash. Partially because it was on sale, and I read a good review on "Clumps of Mascara" (the largest mascara blog on the internet, or one of the largest) and on MUA. This mascara is not the best I tried-but for its regular prices (around $5.00)- it lengthened my lashes considerably, it didn't smudge at all, I can reach all the tiny lashes on the inner corners, the wand is small so it's easy to manipulate and not get on my lid (a problem with huge wands was that even if they gave me volume, they were messy and smeared on my smaller Asian eyelids), and I get some volume. The color is extremely black (I bought the darkest shade), and my lashes stay curled (a huge problem with my stick straight Asian lashes-I even tried heated lash curlers to help). It's more about lengthening, long wear, a very black color, and curl than about volume for me. When I want more volume, I layer a voluming mascara like the Falsies over it. It's what Great Lash should have been-rather than a legendary marketing hype from beauty editors who are paid for advertising, and movie stars/models who may be using them on false lashes for film, or women who have long, thick lashes to begin with. Buy this. The rest of Maybelline Great Lash sucks. Okay, the royal blue gives you a cheap way to have blue eyelashes. That's about it. The waterproof can't be removed, and the regular Great Lash is quite possibly the worst mascara I tried. The Lots of Lashes is a big improvement. It's not the best mascara in the world-but it's a huge improvement and delivers beautifully fanned out, curled, longer, and slightly thickened lashes that won't smear or smudge. And I am a girl who always buys waterproof-the regular didn't smudge in heat and humidity. I will keep buying this. Even at regular price, it's a steal. It can be layered over other mascaras, and it gives you the iconic Great Lash with actual results. About time. 40 years of women buying crap, being sold inky black water with a small, horrible brush. Some things need a makeover, and this mascara is not only cute (heart shaped brush!) but actually delivers.
Moisturizers -Meaningful Beauty by Cindy Crawford - Night Fluide
greenbird 2/18/2011 6:51:00 PM
I didn't want to get locked into the Guthy-Renker auto-shipping policy, because I keep reading bad reviews about customer service. People who were charged unnecessarily, having bad customer service, or having difficulty cancelling their account. But I liked the infomercial and wanted to try the products-so I got them at JC Penny Sephora. I figured with my receipt and the Sephora policy-I can return if I don't like it. The sizes are very small-and it is not clear how much product is really in the packages. There are some things I did learn-Dr. Jean Sebagh is not an "anti-aging expert" as touted in the infomercial. He is apparently famous in France for doing Botox, restylane, injecting other fillers, and injecting with vitamins in a way that looks natural. I find it hard to believe that Cindy Crawford's youthful glow is only from this skincare-being born with supermodel genes, and regularly visiting a doctor who is known for using cosmetic procedures years before he created a skin care line is suspicious. Moreover, this "mysterious" melon extract they keep talking about. When I finally bought the product-there were MANY ingredients and this melon extract was way down the list. So though much was made in the informercial about this melon extract-it seems like most of the softening properties are from almond oil-which is one of the highest listed ingredients. There are many products with antioxidants-and Meaningful Beauty is in jar packaging. So even if there was more of this melon extract-the packaging of the product may render the antioxidants unstable. I will say that my skin is noticeably softer with a smoother texture. But I think there are is a lot of almond oil, and other skin softeners in this product. It is not clear what-besides preventing aging by antioxidants-is in this product that will actually help with fine lines, age spots, and wrinkles. My pores have not gotten smaller-but my skin is noticeably softer in texture. I think that having a rich moisturizer that softens skin (such as deeply moisturizing skin oils, hylauronic acid, etc), and an antioxidant in stable packaging to combat free radicals will do a similar trick. I don't see anything else in the ingredient list that actually targets signs of aging. But Cindy Crawford, Sebagh, and some other celebrities/excited consumers of this infomercial won me over. I would not repurchase. Particularly if it means dealing with auto-shipping hell and difficulty negotiating accurate charges on your credit card. Update-I had to return this product. I started breaking out and I don't break out regularly. Although I sometimes break out in my T zone (particularly during my period)-I started breaking out on my cheeks where I am actually dry. Though my skin was noticeably softer-I was starting to erupt in pimples on areas of my face I never break out in. I also felt that the cleanser wasn't deeply cleansing my face-it was more of a mild cleanser that softens your skin. With makeup or more oily skin (my T zone is oily, my cheeks tend to be dry)-I felt like I wasn't deeply cleaning my skin of dirt, makeup, and excess oil. Product returned.
Moisturizers -Shiseido - Benefiance Daytime Protective Emulsion
greenbird 1/2/2011 6:44:00 PM
For the price and prestige brand name-I was disappointed with this product. The texture of this moisturizer is somewhat sticky-I do rub it in to my skin to avoid the lotion "sitting" on top of my skin unblended. I try to wear at least SPF 30 everyday-and because the price is so high-people may want to use this product sparingly. Dermatologists say that we need to use a lot of sunscreen to get its full benefits-so a product that is SPF 30 applied thinly and sparingly may work like a product that is SPF15. I see no difference in the texture, tone, and firmness of my skin. I just see this as a basic moisturizer with added sunscreen, which can be easily found at drugstores-such as Olay Complete, Aveeno moisturizer with sunscreen, etc. Any antioxidants in this moisturizer are rendered useless with its packaging-antioxidants are highly unstable in jar packaging. For a daytime moisturizer with sunscreen, the packaging is also fragile-so it could break if you carry it around with you. The packaging may be beautiful to look at-but it's impractical, and the product inside is rather basic for such a high cost item.
I wear waterproof sunscreen, a mineral or liquid foundation, waterproof liner, eyelid primer (UDPP, or other brand) and waterproof mascara everyday. I have oily skin-so I need primers to keep sunscreen & makeup on my face and not need constant touch-ups. I follow with a loose or pressed powder. I have tried so many cleansers to remove these products and the excess oils from my face. I have tried drying, too harsh cleansers that did not properly remove makeup but made my skin more oily as it tried to "compensate" for being stripped of moisture. I have tried mineral oil based cleansers such as Ponds only to emerge with breakouts. I used olive oil from Whole Foods-the organic, pressed kind-but the texture was not nearly as light. This cleanser removes all of my waterproof sunscreen & makeup. I also found that "oil lifts oil" (but be careful of which oils you choose), and the stubborn oily plugs/blackheads on my nose were softening and becoming easier to remove. Following up with a gentle cleanser, nothing shows up on my cotton pad when I tone. A great, deep cleanser that offers a luxurious cleansing experience-it feels like a light facial massage as you work it into your skin. It's a great way to relax, soften and deeply cleanse skin, and prep it for other skin care products if necessary.
Cetaphil is an excellent cleanser for sensitive, dry skin. If you have rosacea, eczema, or very dry skin-this product is ideal. If you don't wear a lot of foundation and your skin is sensitive or dry-this cleanser will cleanse and moisturize your skin gently without stripping your skin of its natural Ph balance and moisture. That said-it doesn't work my skin which is oily in the T Zone, and i wear waterproof sunscreen, and a liquid or mineral foundation everyday. It does not remove makeup sufficiently-although I rely on an oil-based eye makeup remover to remove waterproof mascara and liquid liner. Yes, it's gentle, mild, and non-irritating with very simple ingredients-and a dermatologist/celebrity favorite (Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, and others use this)-but if you wear makeup, if you have oilier skin-your skin will not be clean. Wipe your face with toner/cotton pad afterwards and you'll see makeup, dirt, and oil that this cleanser has failed to remove. Yeah, my skin is softer and not irritated-but it doesn't help if my pores are clogged.
An amazing mascara. A Dior Show dupe without the hefty price tag. This mascara actually provided as much fullness as my Lancome Hypnose mascara-and was similar to my Lancome Deficinils for length. It is better at lengthening my lashes than Lash Stiletto-which already improved lash length, but had a strong perfume that irritated my eyes. It adds more volume to my lashes than Lash Blast. I have tried so many mascaras: Maybelline great lash, Maybelline Full N' Soft, Loreal Voluminous (love it-but its clumpy), Max Factor Volume Couture (I adore this mascara also), Max Factor 2000 Calorie (love the original non-waterproof), Clinique mascaras, Lancome Extencils, Givenchy Phenomenon Eyes (smudges but makes lashes stand out), Loreal Double Extend (good for length, not for volume), at least 2-3 Cover Girl mascaras, Revlon Lash Fantasy (crap), Maybelline XXL curl (good but messy primer), Maybelline Colossal Volume (thickening, moreso than Lash Blast but clumpy), and even more than this. I cant even name them all. Prestige My Biggest Lashes and Max Factor Volume Couture are the best mascaras for the price-to get something in the same league-you need to get Lancome or Dior mascaras. But thats expensive for something you throw out every three months. Length, volume, separation, definition with no smudging and minimal clumps-Love this!
There are pros and cons with this mascara. What is good about this mascara is that it adds buildable length-so if you have shorter, stubby lashes like mine-you can build a lot of length in 2-3 coats. That said-the formula is very strong smelling. It irritates my contact lenses and the strong perfume started making my eyes turn red. It also is not a volumizing mascara-so you will be left with longer, thin lashes. if you can handle the fragrance and it doesnt irritate your eyes-then I would recommend curling lashes, putting this on as a lengthening base-then a volumizing mascara on top of it. I would put on a waterproof volumizing mascara on top (like Loreal voluminous, Lash Blast, Maybelline Colossal Volume, Max Factor Volume Couture or 2000 Calorie) to set the curl and have thickness and length. on its own-this mascara will give you long, thin lashes (I dont see a difference in patent shine or anything), although the black is noticeably black.
Mascara -Max Factor - 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper [DISCONTINUED]
greenbird 11/12/2009 5:30:00 PM
There are a lot of reviews that this brush is the same as Lash Blast. The brushes do look similar (I have both mascaras)-they are both huge and bulky with similar shaped bristles. However, I have done a side-by-side comparison of Lash Blast and MF 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper and the 2000 calorie mascara makes my lashes noticeably thicker and longer, but clumpier. The Lash Blast is better at separating lashes0but the 2000 calorie extreme makes my lashes much fuller and longer. I prefer a more dramatic look-so if I pair my lashes with a lash comb-the 2000 calorie extreme gives me the length and fullness my sparse, thin, short lashes need. My eyes look much more dramatic with the MF 2000 calorie extreme mascara. Love it!
This product offers a lot of coverage. It covers sunspots/freckles, acne, acne scars, and dark circles with ease. But if you are not careful-this foundation can get very cakey. In low or indoor lighting, your skin will have a beautiful, luminous appearance from the smooth coverage. The texture is such that application is very smooth. But in daylight-if you are not careful, you will look overly made up. I use it more as a spot concealer than an overall foundation. The texture is a plus though-superior to liquid foundations I have tried, and less dry than powder foundations.
I am obsessed with the smokey eye look paired with nude lips. It's my signature going out look-so most of my makeup is composed of different black eyeliners and dark eyeshadows. Among the smokey eyeshadows I have tried include-MAC dark grey shadows, Revlon quads, Loreal quads, Maybelline Smokey eyes palette, Urban Decay palette. But this is my go to palette for: high pigmentation, beautiful satiny feel to the shadows, versatile colors that could be used for a day or evening smokey look. I have brown eyes-purple works well with brown eye coloring and this palette has a deep, glittery purple that is fun and wearable. The black is matte-blends well with other dark eyeshadows for a gradation of smokey eyes. The brown is my go to brown among my stock of brown eyeshadows-including all kinds of brown shadows from MAC. Even the crazy yellow color is beautiful as a highlight. I even rock the light green with a dark grey eyeshadow for a grey smokey eye with light green in the inner corners and center of my lid. VERSATILE, HIGHLY PIGMENTED, LONG WEARING, GREAT FOR DAY AND EVENING LOOKS. BUY IT.
Retin-A has a long history of proven anti-aging benefits. Drug store and department store skin care with "retinol" often have a retinol derivative that is much weaker in potency than a prescription. It unclogs pores, stimulates collagen, and reduces fine lines. That said-doing this takes patience. It can be hell-I am on 0.050% and my mild hormonal acne has erupted to serious breakouts, and flaky/dry/irritated skin. Your skin will dry out and literally flake-so you need to manually exfoliate these flakes off with a washcloth or a gentle scrub from time to time. Don't go crazy since you're already exfoliating so much-wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF. And switch your cleanser to something very gentle-my cleanser is hypoallergenic, without fragrance. When I first used this, my blackheads were diminished and my pore size was smaller-then MY SKIN GOT WORSE-DRIED OUT, IRRITATED, RED, AND BIG BREAKOUTS FROM PURGING. Keep at it-your skin will thank you. You will have porcelain, smooth skin with smaller pores, finer texture, and reduced fine lines.
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
greenbird 10/6/2009 1:11:00 PM
I have combination skin-.oily T-zone and normal to dry cheeks. My T zone can get very oily. I use waterproof sunscreen, a medium coverage liquid foundation or a mineral foundation, waterproof eyeliner, and waterproof mascara everyday. I use waterproof eye makeup since my eyelids are very oily and i have Asian eyes-non-waterproof eye makeup tends to smear with my thicker/flatter, oiler eyelids. Oil melts waterproof makeup, foundation, and sunscreen without drying out your skin-my former cleansing method dried out my skin to such a degree that my skin was over-compensating and actually producing MORE OIL. I also found that OIL MELTS OIL-for my own skin-water-based cleansers don't effectively dislodge congested oil from pores. So this is what I do-I take olive and a little bit of castor oil-massage it all over my skin-take a hot towel and let it sit for 30 seconds to a minute-then wipe off excess. I follow with a foaming cleanser, then tone with a gentle, rose-water and glycerin based toner. I have noticed that nothing is left on my cotton pad-no makeup, no dirt-which is not true when I only washed my face with a regular cleanser and then toned. My blackheads have diminished and my drier cheek area is more hydrated, without breaking out the rest of my oily skin. Highly recommended-but REMOVE ALL THE OIL AFTER YOU CLEANSE IF YOU ARE OILY. Olive oil also makes an amazing deep hair conditioner (wrap your hair in a shower cap, leave on, shampoo thoroughly and condition normally), cuticle and hand softener (I use it to maintain manicures and to soften hands during the drying winters), and as a softening oil added to your bath.
This mascara has gotten rave reviews, press, and women bought it in droves. So I bought it several times-thinking I MUST love this mascara, because everyone else does! I am Asian, with short, straight, thin eyelashes. My head hair is thick and long-my eyelashes suck. It has caused me hundreds of dollars in department store and drug store mascara hunting. This mascara adds volume, a little bit of length, and good separation since the bristles on the brush are so defined-but I get more volume from: Maybelline Colossal Volume (but clumpier), L'Oreal Voluminous (much more volume!), and Max Factor Volume Couture and Max Factor 2000 Calorie mascaras. I get more length from Max Factor Volume Couture mascara. I did a side by side comparison-and L'Oreal Voluminous and Max Factor Volume Couture left my eyelashes significantly thicker and longer than Lash Blast (but the Loreal Voluminous left my lashes a bit clumpier, but thicker). What Lash Blast does do is that it separates, thickens, and lengthens with minimal smudging or clumping -but there are other brands that will make your lashes thicker or longer. The brush is so large-that it is difficult to maneuver on smaller/Asian eyelids, and I can't brush my lower lashes without smearing since the brush is so large and difficult to maneuver. It also takes a lot of room in my purse. Good, but not great mascara-if you have longer, thin lashes-this will give you good volume. If you're looking for significant length-this isnt it. But i havent tried the Lash Blash length which is more specifically for lengthening lashes.
Mascara -Max Factor - Lash Perfection Volume Couture [DISCONTINUED]
greenbird 6/15/2009 9:27:00 PM
I have short, thin Asian lashes that are stick straight. I have tried one mascara after another to see what will make a difference: 1) Great Lash-liquidy, very little effect, smudges easily, 2) Maybelline Full N' Soft-nice mascara, 3) Max Factor 2000 Calorie-good, volumizing mascara, 4) L'Oreal Voluminous-great mascara but can get clumpy with multiple coats, 5) Maybelline Colossal Volume-very thickening, perhaps more than Lash Blast but can get clumpy, 6) CG Lash Blast-good mascara, but a bit overhyped-the separation, volume, and length are good-but the brush is difficult to maneuver on small lids and I actually get more volume with some other mascaras, 7) L'Oreal Telescopic-good lengthening, but very little volumizing, 8) Revlon Lash Fantasy-clumpy, 9) Maybelline XXL Curl-good for lengthening-but the primer can get messy, 10) Almay One Coat-good mascara, 11) Maybelline Volumin' Express-lots of volume, but also lots of clumps. Then there are a couple of department store mascaras I have tried-Lancome Hypnose, Lancome L'Extreme, Lancome Definicils-great mascaras but expensive for something you replace every 3 months. So in the end-(and I am not even done, I have tried more mascaras than this)-Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture is my go-to mascara for separation, length, volume, with less clumping and no smudging. I dont even have the waterproof version but it never smudges on me even in humidity. Damn Max Factor for discontinuing in the U.S. soon-stock up while you can.