I have been using the nose strips since they first came out. I don't use them very often, maybe about 2-3 weeks or so? I've gone as long as three months between use, but it's only because I forget to use them... The strips work very well to remove blackheads (which appear when I've been lax about using the strips for longer than a month). The trick, as mentioned previously by other MUA lovelies, is to completely wet your nose. The strips work best after a shower + exfoliation + dripping wet nose (preferably warm/hot water to loosen the crap on your nose). I cleanse and exfoliate with Olay Daily Facial Cloths for Sensitive Skin nightly. Remember to let the strip dry completely hard before carefully peeling from the sides, working toward the middle. I find strange comfort in examining the gunk on the strip afterwards, knowing that crap is no longer on me. :) I'm not sure what kind of effect the nose strips have on my pores... I don't know if they would be larger with or without using the strips. I have not used the baking soda trick that others have mentioned, because I have so far not needed to. In any case, I will keep using them. They are a staple in my skin care regimen.
Sunscreen -Shiseido - Anessa - Perfect Smooth Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA+++
haneuli 7/14/2007 5:24:00 PM
I've been using this sunscreen for a year now. I bought mine in Japan at a friend's recommendation. I was telling her about how difficult it was to find a sunscreen that doesn't make my face look sweaty/greasy, and she said that Japanese sunscreens are the best ones out there. She was right on! There seems to be a lot of Anessa reviews, but they are all scattered and it's confusing. This plastic bottle is silver. And to be exact, it's "ANESSA perfect smooth sunscreen SPF 50+ PA+++." There were also gold and blue bottles I saw on display starting with "perfect...", each with different coverage and SPF. I was told that silver one is the easily removed with facewash while either blue or gold anessa bottle supposedly requires a special removal product. OK. Now that that's clear... this is the best facial suncreen I've used so far -- it absorbs fast without leaving any stickiness, never makes my combination, sensitive skin greasy or break out, and it looks like a primer/makeup base,so I don't even need a makeup base! I agree with everything the last reviewer said. it is light, white, and watery. I don't think the product has any scent at all, which is of course, a huge plus. This has become a part of my daily morning routine: wash, toner, serum (Estee Lauder Idealist or brown bottle), moisturize (cetaphil), anessa sunscreen, powder + makeup. A bottle (60ml) will last you about a year with daily application to face+ neck. It looks like Amazon is now offering this suncreen online... but if you know of anyone flying through or visiting Japan, make friends with them! It's *much* cheaper there. I'll be flying through Japan again, and this time I'm buying 10 as presents for friends + family!
Treatments -Neutrogena - On the Spot Acne Treatment Vanishing Formula
haneuli 7/14/2007 4:44:00 PM
I have very sensitive, fair, combination skin, and sometimes my whole face can get pretty oily. I used to get a 1-2 pimples at least once a week when I was a teenager, but now I'm in my mid-20's and it happens about once a month (PMS and when I eat too much chocolate. I'm a flagrant exception to all the research denying correlation between chocolate consumption and acne. I think it's a big fat lie and researchers were paid by candy makers). I wish I had known about 2.5% benzoyl peroxide in my teens! A couple of years ago I read about it on acne.org, and when I talked to my friends about it, I was surprised to find out that a lot of them (all with lovely skin) were already using it on a regular basis. So I've been using it for about a year and a half now and it has worked exceptionally well. I was at first wary of putting benzoyl peroxide on my face because I had used 10% concentration with about 30% success rate and 100% painful side effect of chemical burns. I only use 2.5% on spots where it looks or feels like I have a zit coming, and within 12-24 hours, the pre-zit would either completely clear up or never progress to full cystic acne and eventually clear up. I never experienced any burning or pain with use. For people with my type of skin, I wouldn't recommend using it all over your face... It tended to irritate areas that are usually dry (cheeks and jaw lines). I also don't want to smear my entire face with something that damages fabric. If you have pillowcases with color, this will definitely have a bleaching effect. This little tube has lasted me for about a year and a half and still there's about 1/3 product left. So I'll happily buy more. Those of you who use more than a dab per use, acne.org sells 2.5% BP in a larger size and at a cheaper price. I'm of the school that believes brand names work better than generics, so I'm sticking with Neutrogena.
I bought this item at a Sephora in Paris, and I'm sad to report that this was the only item I dislike that I bought there. Here's the lowdown: APPLICATION: The "Dior technique" instructs you to put 1 drop each at the tip of your index, middle, and ring finger and warm it up by rubbing it with your other hand, then apply to face. 3 drops are hardly enough amount to provide SPF 50, and this is probably why my face looks tanned when I get home. Oh, and let's not forget how it makes my skin greasy. Seriously, I don't know how it makes my already somewhat oily skin SUPER OILY. And the thing is, you won't notice it until a few hours later, because right after you apply it, you'll feel pretty good about yourself: it evens out your skin tone and does whiten your face without making you look ghostly. However, after ~ 5 hours, my face looked as if my pores retaliated against me for using this product. I had to use at least 5 oil blotting papers to remedy the situation quickly. So I thought maybe I should use more than 3 drops -- maybe it dried out my skin too much and my skin was screaming for more moisture... And lo and behold, my face ended up looking like I had spent an hour in a steam room. It looked sweaty, pasty, and just gross. CONS: I've said it all above. PROS: While it made my face greasy and pasty, it did not make me break out. I'm sure this product will make someone with dry skin + uneven tone very, very happy. It also provides excellent coverage for unevenly toned skin. In summary, I use this product in drier weather, along with another sunblock and loose powder. I probably won't buy it again, but I recommend it for those with dry, sensitive, unevenly toned skin.
Lip Treatments -Perfumeria Gal - Red Currant Lip Balm
haneuli 6/7/2007 4:40:00 AM
This pretty, plump, art nouveau (not deco, get your art history right, people) tin cost $6 when I bought it in Urban Outfitters. It looks like it's even cheaper on amazon.com: 2 tins for $8!... I saw 1 tin sell for as high as $9. I think that's ridiculous, especially since these are dirt cheap in Spain, where they are made! For what I paid, I think it does its job well. I used Burt's Bees for the past few years, but it was annoying to keep having to reapply every couple of hours. Maybe I have super dry lips? I don't know. But this vaseline-based lip balm lasts between meals, making my lips supple, shiny, and oh-so-kissable without making me feel like I'm wearing something heavy or sticky as I do when I'm wearing lipstick. This balm also gives my lips a slight pink tint, accompanied by a light, fruity scent that is not overpowering. I'll happily invest in other perfumeria gal flavors! You should see the envious looks on other girls' faces when I whip out my lip balm in public. Side note: I bought my friend a peach one, and she loves it, too. It smells heavenly... BTW, peach balm doesn't give any color.
I was a Blinc Kiss Me Mascara fan (I wrote a rave review for it in 10/2006), until Imju Fiberwig came along. This product is similar to KMM in that it does not smudge (Lancome, Estee Lauder, and Chanel mascaras gave me raccoon eyes) and it washes off easily with warm water and soap. The difference is that IF volumizes and lengthens my lashes A LOT. It's amazing how a simple application of eyeliner + mascara can make my eyes look bigger. It looks as if I really am wearing fake lashes, without the drag queen factor. For those complaining about difficult application -- have you tried bending the brush to ~30 degrees? Bent tip gives you more control. In terms of removal, warm water and soap did the trick, though not as easily done as it was with KMM. One thing I have to add is that my curled lashes straightened a bit after applying IF. So I curl my lashes with Shu Uemura curler before application, and after application I use Eyecurl II, a heated lash curler. Oh, and those of you complaining about clumping... that's what lash combs are for! Yes, IF is not cheap, but I think it's worth it. I'll be buying this for my make-up picky mom before I fly home to Korea this summer. (Although I'm sure it's probably cheaper there...)
I've been using this mascara for 2 years and I LOVE IT. I started using it because every other mascara I've tried (Estee Lauder, Chanel) always smudged around my eyes! As others mentioned, this mascara isn't volumizing. It never advertises itself to give you extreme volume, and it doesn't. It will define your eyes, but if you're looking for thick come-hither lashes, look elsehwere. Unlike other reviewers here, I've never had trouble with this mascara straightening out my lashes. It does just fine keeping curled lashes (I use Shu Uemura eyelash curler before applying). The best part about KissMe is removal. No fussing with greasy eye makeup removers! Just with facewash and warm water, you'll see tubes of mascara wash off. Don't worry, they are not your lashes going down your drain. I bought it for my mom, who is very picky about makeup, and she loves it more than I do -- I bring a few with me every time I fly back to Asia... until this past summer, when I saw Kiss Me mascara on shelves for cheaper in Korean makeup stores.