I usually use a cake mascara, but every so often, I take this when I'm on the road and everything has to fit in a bag the size of my fist. It's fine. I don't want huge mega-lashes, just a little darkening and subtle enhancement. Packs well, works well.
Makeup Brushes -Sonia Kashuk - Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush
gudewife 11/3/2009 11:06:00 PM
I bought this to use with my Physicians Formula loose mineral foundation, and I love it. I can get much better coverage in less time than with my kabuki. I have to say, I also adore the feel of the handle and softness of the bristles. For the price, it's a great deal.
Eye Shadow -Wet 'n' Wild - Mega Eyes Trio - Island Blues
gudewife 11/3/2009 10:44:00 PM
For years, I stayed away from blue eyeshadow because when I was a teenager, everyone said "If you have blue eyes, you must *never* wear blue eyeshadow. Okay, so now I'm over 40 and felt like trying something different (and inexpensive), "rules" be damned. The first time I used this, I paired it with a teal/blue loose kohl on my waterline, and used the darkest shade to make a smoky-type eye. Everyone I knew kept asking what I'd done...lost weight? Dyed my hair? Got a facelift? I didn't know if I'd been wearing gray shadows so long that it was a shock or what...but I keep getting really great compliments from friends and even the occasional stranger. It really does seem to make my eyes pop, and I'm no longer afraid of blue eyeshadow, so I guess it's a success. The price can't be beat. Staying power is only so-so (the darkest shade seems to stay better than the others). The packaging is...average (not fabulous, not awful). I'd pop for this again because it's a fun and different look for a low price.
I have this in the black and teal, and like them both. I like the applicator better than the one on the Physician's Formula loose kohl, the sponge has been more durable than the PF's spiky brush. The black may be a bit more "glittery" than I'd like, but it's not a fatal flaw. Application is fine, no fallout at all using either the traditional method or using the sponge as a wand-type applicator. Stays well on the waterline. Though I'm currently having a love affair with the teal, black kohl has always, and always will be a staple, and this is fine for that purpose. But, like the teal, I knocked off a lippie for the price and the lack of a seal on the package. Neither would stop me from buying it again, though.
I like this. I really like loose kohls, but don't have the bucks to spend on Guerlain. The teal looks more like a deep, moody blue with my pale skin and blue eyes, but it really does seem to make them pop and I get a LOT of positive comments when I wear it with a blue shadow smoky-eye look. No messes at all, I worked out all the kinks with my Physician's Formula loose kohl...and I do like this applicator (pointy sponge) better than the PF applicator (small brush with a tendency to get crushed). It is a bit grittier than the PF, but also tends to make slightly less "eye boogers." I didn't think anything could come between me and black kohl, but this quickly became a favorite. I look in vain for BOGO sales so I can stock up on this. I do hate the lack of a seal on the packaging, though. For the lack of a seal and the price, it loses a lipstick, but I would definitely buy this again.
Gels/Soaps -St. Ives - Clear Pore Clarifying Body Wash
gudewife 5/27/2008 11:22:00 AM
I adore this stuff and was SO bummed when it was discontinued. I happened to find 8-10 bottles at a salvage store, and stocked up. This is a little drying, so I mostly use it during the summer and after heavy workouts. Mostly, I love the smell, which is very clean, invigorating, and un-girly.
I seem to be collecting all of KMF's patchouli-scented things lately. This is good...maybe not good enough to rave about, but it really does the job well. Lathers nicely, smells great, good glide, close shave, no razor burn and really does seem to help prevent ingrown hairs (I was very skeptical about that one, but yea and verily, it seems to work). I love the pump bottle, which is easier to use with one hand and more importantly, it's NOT a metal can and doesn't rust in 35 seconds...and yay for THAT! Update: whoever said to try this with a shaving brush is dead-on right. If you're not getting lather, try it with a cheap shaving brush and you will be amazed at the difference. Bumping this up to a 4.
Gels/Soaps -Dr. Bronner's - Peppermint Castille Soap
gudewife 3/12/2008 9:29:00 PM
Another must-have at my house. Over the years, I have used this for just about everything from dishes to laundry to tooth-brushing...all while camping...to housecleaning to handwashing. It's one of those "stranded on a deserted island" gotta-haves. A while back, someone gave me a foaming handwash dispenser filled with some gawdawful flowery stuff. I couldn't stand the smell, and my husband refused to use it or come anywhere near me after I used it. So I dumped the flower-soap, washed the bottle, filled it about a quarter full with Dr. Bronner's, and filled the rest with water. Voila...minty foaming hand cleaner! It lasts forever if you dilute (OK!), and isn't nearly so harsh on the skin...I can't imagine using it full-strength on my person. A must-have.
First off: it does sting my uber-sensitive eyes a bit, but so does every other mascara on the face of the earth, so I'm not going to mark it down for that. My cake came with two spoolie brushes instead of the brow-brush type applicator. It's a learning curve...for a while, I thought I must be the only person on the face of the earth who could make cake mascara clump. But perseverance prevailed in the end. I use it with the inexpensive La Femme cake eyeliner sealer, just a drop or two on the cake does several coats...and it does take several coats to look good...but it stays put well (applies as well, but more prone to smudging with just water to apply it). On the plus side, it's airline-travel friendly, and for those of us who aren't daily makeup-wearers and hate mascara tubes that go bad long before you're done with them, this stuff will last absolutely forever. The cake is enormous, which brings me to the downside: the compact is also enormous. My makeup bag is small enough to fit easily in one hand (I travel light), and this compact alone takes up half the bag. Guess I need to rethink my makeup packing...it's probably a fair tradeoff to use a bit larger bag and not have to replace a tube mascara every few months or deal with an overstuffed 311 bag at airport security.
Shampoo -Unlisted Brand - JR Liggett's Old Fashioned Bar Shampoo
gudewife 3/9/2008 12:40:00 PM
So far, I love this. Much easier to travel with (especially if you buy their cool plastic carrier, which comes with an attached carabiner clip for hanging off your pack...I tend to travel pretty commando - just a backpack - and love anything that lightens my load). Ecologically-friendly packaging and biodegradable formula makes it great for camping, and the bar form makes it great for airline travel. There's just no downside here. This seems to leave my long hair soft, full, and tangle-free (my hair tangles if you don't talk to it pretty). Even without a conditioner, the comb goes right through it after shampooing. I usually do a drop or two of oil on my ends before air-drying, but in a pinch, I could skip that step. I was very skeptical initially, because my hair felt kind of squeaky, clumpy and matted when I rinsed (it lathers well enough, no handfuls of SLS suds, rinses out nicely), but no tangling whatsoever on comb-out. If you require oodles of perfumed, luxurious lather and indulgence, stick to fancy shampoos. If you want clean, untangled hair in a package that travels like a champ and that's more environmentally friendly, buy this. EDIT: My husband also switched to this, and said it took him a week to really fall in love with it, so give it more than one go before you decide you don't like it. Also, our shower only needs cleaning 1/3 as much as it did when we both used "regular" shampoos. Not sure why, but an unexpected bonus!
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - Corn Huskers Lotion
gudewife 3/3/2008 7:39:00 AM
Another personal-care staple at my house that we will never be without. This is a good, solid, all-purpose moisturizer without a ton of fragrance, oil, and weird stuff in it. It works, if you have the patience to rub, and rub, and rub.
Bag Balm rocks...good for whatever ails ya. It's something that we've always got in the house (the huge, econo-sized tin), and it works on chapped and sore anything...hands, feet, lips...and udders. I actually like the smell (which I don't think is that noticeable), but I loathe flowery, girly smells anyhow, so camphor doesn't scare me.
This is one of those old standbys that survives every fad and product purge. I always have a tube of Potion 9 and a can of Rusk Blofoam in my bathroom cabinet. It's great stuff, and a little goes a loooong way, so it lasts forever. These days, I only seem to use it in winter when my hair is really spastic and I need a quick fix, but will never be without it, just in case...even though the tube leaks and I have to keep it in a ziploc bag.
First, I am not into using a ton of product, I prefer one or two things that work well...and this is one of 'em. I only use this directly on my roots, so a can lasts me forever. It does make a noticeable difference in the amount of root lift I get. I have very fine hair, but lots of it, so there's a tendency for my hair to go all flat after about an hour. It does a much better job with a bit of blow-drying...I hate fussing with my hair any more than necessary, so this works pretty well for me...most days, a little Blofoam at the roots, a little jojoba oil or aloe vera gel at the ends, a quick blowdry (mostly at the roots) and I'm done.
This does work well on me. Now that I have found a moisturizer and foundation that work well for me, I usually skip primers and correctors unless it's a special occasion...but this does a nice job of keeping the dry patchies away, and provides a good, smooth base for foundation. It also helped a bit to buffer against foundations that tended to irritate and burn my very sensitive, dry, red skin. But again, since I've found a foundation that works for me and doesn't irritate my skin, it's not as essential. I would repurchase if I felt I needed it, but when this bottle runs out, I may just skip primers altogether..