A little background - I have very thin, very fine and very oily hair that is the bane of my existence, it was also beginning to shed a little due to weight loss. It is genetic and I realise there is little I can do about it, despite what Youtube folk will tell you no amount of Biotin will change your genetic makeup. It will go from fluffy to flat in 2 hours. I have tried a whole array of "volumising" shampoos from both high end and low end brands with mixed results, but so far I think Nioxin is the the winner. I normally have to wash my hair every day and asking for a 2nd day out of a wash is really pushing it. There's a LOT of dry shampoo involved and it's best to stay indoors, let's put it that way. So that being said, I have been using Nioxin religiously for two weeks now and have definitely noticed less shedding - from a scary amount of hair lost in the shower to normal levels. It really does makes my hair feel a touch fuller. While it is no miracle worker, today was the first day ever I have woken up and noticed my 2nd day hair has body and looks clean, no washing necessary. Obviously it will take a few months to decide whether this has any hair-retaining properties, but for now I rate it as a very good volumising system for fine/thin/oily hair.
Moisturizers -Shiseido - White Lucent Protective Moistuizer SPF 16
gribble 8/15/2011 11:57:00 PM
(Reviewing the stupid glass bottle version - I believe they may have changed the packaging but correct me if I am wrong. The glass bottle is just ridiculous and difficult to use.) A decent moisturiser that is light enough to work with my oily/combo skin and leaves my face feeling smooth like a baby's bottom. I really can't say for sure if it has a long term whitening effect, but the initial application leaves a sort of temporary "glow". Something about the consistency of this lotion works for me, I find it very easy to spread and easily absorbed with no stickiness. It works wonderfully under any foundation I use and the little bit of SPF can only help. Not a HG but I will use it till I discover something better.
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - rosehip seed oil
gribble 8/15/2011 11:49:00 PM
Mixed review here from an oily/combo skinned person. I started using this for acne scarring and found it worked really well to fade scars or help dry patches of skin, however to echo other reviewers here: be very cautious when using this on oily/combo skin. I could not figure out for the life of me why my skin stopped improving and started becoming impossibly congested, despite regularly using exfoliating products. I mean, I had blackheads and little bumps going totally rampant all over my face, it was uncontrollable! I finally realised it was the RHO when I went on holiday for a week and left it at home. I was only doing a very bare bones skincare routine, if any at all, and yet returned home with a face clearer than I have had for months. Lesson learnt!
Mascara -Almay - One Coat Nourishing Mascara Triple Effect
gribble 4/18/2011 8:42:00 PM
Not very impressed with this one. I think I prefer a more traditional brush to get into and separate my lashes, which are fairly long but need a bit of definition. This brush is an odd "half" brush with bristles on one side. I always seem to apply unevenly on each eye due to how I hold it. Not a fan of the formula either, I don't find it particularly remarkable in lash lengthening. It does not flake on me, but I came in from a few drops of rain and had it pooling under my eyes (I know it's not waterproof, but a little bit of water tolerance would be nice). Would not bother again.
Skincare - Face -Skinceuticals - Phyto+ (previously Primacy Phyto+ serum)
gribble 4/13/2011 7:16:00 PM
Recently, I was extremely naughty/stupid and picked at my face/used a few overly strong products and left myself with the worst patch of post-acne pigmentation I've had for quite a while. I mean like mutilating almost my entire right cheek, I felt like a miserable teenager again. Started using this on a particularly bad patch of red/brown, unbroken acne scars and although it has only been a few days I am incredibly impressed with the way my skin has cleared up. These scars take easily 1.5 months - 3 months to fade and the rate they are fading over the last few days after using this product is really impressive. It feels nice on the face, very soothing. It is a cooling green serum, a tad sticky on the dry down but nothing too extreme. I will certainly update over the next few weeks but I think I've found a real winner. UPDATE: It has been just over a week now using this twice a day, and frankly the results are flabbergasting. A huge patch of pigment scarring that would normally take weeks to fade is now barely visible - and the texture of my skin is so much more refined I cannot believe it. Honestly, this has made me feel like a human being fit for public appearance again. I cannot praise this enough, HOLY GRAIL.
Got this in a gift box, would not have touched the stuff myself as brown lip colours are not my thing. I won't comment on the colour as that is pretty subjective, all I can say is that it is gritty, drying, stings a little, and totally hideous on my lips. As other reviewers mentioned it dries to form a crust on the top and you have to "break" the surface to get to the smooth part. And do not think about applying without a mirror unless you are looking for the "Toddler who found the chocolate bars" look...
(For the Rose Silk Finishing Powder) I have had this quiet little performer in my handbag for a while now and have completely forgotten to praise it on here. Of course, loose finishing powders are a dime a dozen and normally wouldn't catch my attention. This one, however, is just divine and always a pleasure to use. I keep it in my handbag for shine blotting purposes and I can't live without it. Doesn't cake, smells like roses, and the packaging is kick ass. I never would have thought I could carry a loose powder in my handbag successfully, but this is one excellent container. The lid clicks tight with the sponge-puff and travels well (if you have the handbag space for a whole loose powder container, of course). Mine is also embarrassingly old (it expired in May '09, I hate throwing perfectly good things out) and is still going strong, with plenty left and no texture/smell change at all. Would I buy again? For sure, no other loose powder packaging has made itself so convenient.
Add me to the dislike list. Sort of. This stuff worked OK at first, I used it only when I had a breakout for a few days and it seemed effective enough. After a few months of this occasional usage it totally stopped working, no effect at all. After my latest bout with a breakout - I now have extremely flaky, rough, dry cheeks and clogged pores/inflamed bumps under that. Charming. In this case, I am not going to completely blame Pro-Activ, rather the fact that my type of acne/skin doesn't respond well to benzoyl peroxide products. They are also a pain in the bum to use because you have to make sure you do NOT touch any fabric after using it, I have ruined so many towels out of absent-mindedness. Not going to miss that.
After all the great Youtube reviews, I was suckered in. I figured I could spare the $20AUD or so on this, as I don't really wear eyeshadow and wanted to play with it a bit more. So not worth it. Just save whatever $$ you were going to spend on this and put it towards 3 or 4 really good quality single eyeshadows from a reputable brand. Most of these are chalky as hell. If you want any sort of colour payoff you will have to layer a single colour for 20 minutes (or until your hand goes numb), which will inevitably be a waste of time as they blend into one big disgusting mud colour anyway. There's maybe 2 or 3 colours on here with useful pigmentation (the black, a highlight shade, one of the purpley plum things), but the staying power is pretty miserable. At least I've learnt from this - that hand swatches do not always equal what will happen on your eyelid. (I bought this one from ebay.)
Moisturizers -Avon - ANEW Rejuvenate Night Revitalizing Cream
gribble 11/28/2009 9:52:00 AM
I am in love with this cream. I initially received a few sample sachets from an Avon rep at work and decided to skip my usual night cream for a week or so to see how this stuff worked. I was so impressed with the results I had to buy the full size tub the next week. I have very oily, clogged skin with largeish pores on my cheeks. Being that it is now summertime, and I usually suffer from atrocious breakouts this time of year, my skin is looking and feeling amazing and the only thing I can attribute it to is this cream. After several weeks my overall skin texture is noticeably smoother with less under the skin bumps, the indented pores on my cheeks have "flattened out" visibly, and my skin feels like it has a lot less gross, summer-induced buildup. It doesn't totally appear to be marketed towards oily skin on the Avon website, but I can't imagine it really helping someone with dry skin too well, doesn't seem moisturising enough. It really is more of a 'resurfacer'. As for the look and feel of the product itself, it is a very thick gel-cream with an awful synthetic/plastic smell. There's no denying it - this is no organic, natural skin care folks, so if that's more your cup of tea you might want to totally skip this. It really does smell like a plastic factory and I can totally understand why you would hate this if you were sensitive to smells. For me, it made an almost overnight improvement to my skin so I can live with the scent.
Big thumbs down from me. I was given a generous sample of this by a sales assistant when I mentioned needing something for my breakouts, and was told to use it in place of a moisturiser, even though it doesn't seem very moisturisery to me. So I gave it a good test, I really did. But I have come to the conclusion that it is utterly useless for me, whatever it is (something I still don't really understand). It feels like a thin, slightly sticky clear lotion going on, and spreads fairly easily. However, it doesn't moisturise or leave my skin feeling hydrated - but it leaves my skin a shiny, sebum soaked mess after an hour or two! It has not helped with my breakouts whatsoever, maybe even made them worse. I'm a big fan of the essence so I expected a lot more, but would never purchase this.
Treatments -Origins - A Perfect World White Tea Skin Guardian
gribble 10/11/2009 9:52:00 PM
I got given a sample of this by an SA just out of the blue, because she said she loved it so much she thought I would. And initially, she was so wrong, I absolutely hated it. It was thick and siliconey, and it stunk like rotting oranges. But over the last 2-3 weeks or so, forcing myself to use the sample, I have grown to love it (well, not the smell). I use it after my toner and before my moisturiser. I only need maybe half a pea sized amount for my entire face, which is what I was getting wrong in the beginning (using far too much feels really gross). This small amount spreads to a nice thin layer which seems to soften my skin and absorbs after a few minutes leaving it lovely and smooth. And apart from feeling wonderful, I can say that my skin is looking (post-nasty-breakout a few weeks ago) much improved. I have very uneven skin with pigmentation from zits and large pores on my cheeks, and this seems to make everything a little more "even" and glowy. This was the only change to my skincare since then so I am happy to attribute this improvement to that. My only issue? Actually purchasing the full size product! The store I got the sample from is out of stock, and no one ships to Australia. Sigh.
I've tried a variety of Lush products from their various bath, skincare, and haircare ranges with mixed reactions. So I tend to shop there for only specific things, and avoid others entirely. The facial skincare is for the most part (IMHO) - atrocious. I'm sure it means well and probably works for people with naturally beautiful skin anyway, but to go all Lush left my oily, acne prone skin a clogged mess after a few weeks. The haircare is also terrible. The conditioners just aren't strong enough to detangle and smooth my hair, the shampoos (both liquid and solid) left my scalp with a nasty dandruff. I find a lot of people go through a Lush "honeymoon period" where everything they buy is lovely and amazing and OMIGOSHLUSH4EVA. You usually find most of these people have switched back to their usual skincare after a few weeks.
On the other hand, the bath & body stuff I love. Dream Cream is wonderfully soothing and one of the best body moisturisers I've used. The bath bombs, despite being ridiculously overpriced, have beautiful, unique and strong scents and are always relaxing. The soaps I can live without, very overpriced. Plus, I know several e-tailers who make far superior, creamier soap for cheaper. So Lush for me...is eh, take it or leave it. If I happen to pass a shop I sometimes go in for a bath bomb or two, but I can leave it at that.
Scrubs -100 Percent Pure - Organic Blood Orange Body Scrub
gribble 10/6/2009 9:42:00 PM
Nothing but love for this scrub. The sugar crystals are fine grains but do not dissolve too quickly, they are the perfect consistency and give a great scrub without being too scratchy. This scrub also has a great "spreadability" to it so a teaspoon or so could do a fair bit of surface area before I needed more. And the smell! Like freshly squeezed orange juice. I was so impressed. I bought it here in Aus slightly overpriced but I would still buy it again. It left my skin feeling lovely and softly moisturised. Oh, my BF loved the smell so much, he ate some straight out of the jar - apparently, it tastes ok.
Moisturizers -Shiseido - The Skincare Night Moisture Recharge
gribble 9/28/2009 12:12:00 AM
I wanted to like this, I really did. But it's not working out. I find it goes on fairly smoothly, and leaves my skin a bit greasy, which I don't mind at night. The problem is I often wake up with bone dry skin. It just doesn't really feel like it absorbs to me. And the main reason I won't repurchase - the scent. It smells extremely strong, something like frangipanis, and I absolutely despise frangipanis. It's just too much for a face cream and makes me feel ill. Do like the pump bottle though, I wish more facial cream was packaged like this.