I never thought I would say this, but here it is: my HG cleanser. This has been the only cleanser I have successfully used both by itself and with my clarisonic. (For my gripes about using cleansers with the clarisonic brush, read my clarisonic review). I don't wear makeup during the day because my skin is very acne-prone and oily. For oil removal, this thing washes my face like nothing else -- this thing plus the clarisonic brush makes my skin feel thoroughly cleansed instead of just having the surface cleaned. Doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped afterwards, though I still use a moisturizer. The bottle seems small (4.06 oz) for the price ($21 at Sephora), but I only need a little bit of product (the first time you use it, seriously pump a pea-sized amount). I'm currently using this everyday day + night, a small pump first for hand-washing my face and another small pump for coating my clarisonic brush head -- the bottle's lasting a good 2-3 months. This one is definitely worth a try!
Liquid -Fusion Beauty - BioActive Mineral Intuitive Soft Focus Fluid Foundation SPF10
happydaisy 11/11/2008 12:15:00 AM
Let me start by saying that I have had a VERY hard time finding a foundation. I have very oily acne-prone skin so I don't/can't normally wear makeup, except for special occasions. In MAC I'm an NC35, Bare Escentuals I'm a Light. The powder foundations have been somewhat too powdery for my taste -- I'm very picky about foundation looking like a mask. At one point, I went to Sephora and tried on every colored liquid/powder foundation I could find, but in the end I didn't buy anything because once I applied it to my whole face, I looked like a painting! Anyhow, I stumbled upon this product, whose official name is the "Fusion Beauty SkinFusion Bio Active Intuitive Soft Focus Fluid Foundation with SPF 10" (quite a mouthful if you ask me). Right out of the bottle, the color of the product is a light purple, but if you apply pressure to it, it turns brown and foundation-like. For example, if you dab a bit on a tissue and squeeze the tissue, you'll find that it turns brown. On the skin however, it's amazing! It really honestly for me looks like my skin but better. I have no idea how the color matches my own skin so well -- I got the Light/Medium -- but it does! For me it really looks like my Asian skin and not some mismatched or slightly mismatched makeup/paint. The coverage is light, so if you have dark acne scars, they will still show after this, although they will look somewhat less dark. I've found that the product covers redness pretty well -- I'm not sure it will cover an angry pimple entirely but for patches of red it covers well enough. I personally don't mind the light coverage because, as I said, after I apply this stuff my face still looks like my face. It also keeps my skin matte for a lot longer than my skin normally is, although my skin does get oiler throughout the day and I do have to blot the oil a bit. The color does not change/oxidize -- the color I start with is the color I end with. Also, unlike Bare Escentuals, it doesn't seem to aggravate my pimples (meaning I don't end the day with a bigger/angrier red pimple than when I started). The product only has SPF 10 though, so if you want more SPF it'll have to come from somewhere else. All in all I LOVE this product -- may be my HG foundation!!!
I not the type who wears a bunch of makeup all the time -- when I do wear makeup during the day, I still want it to look natural, as if I wasn't wearing anything. That's what I like about the Stila lip glazes. I like to apply a little bit of lip glaze when I look in the mirror from a few feet away and see that I look like I don't have lips. I usually apply a bit of gloss and blot away the excess on tissue paper. This way it doesn't look plastic or tacky. The result is a subtle bit of color/shimmer on the lips that look natural and pretty.
Let me start off by saying that I was not a fan of mascara at all until I used this one. I had first tried the waterproof version of Full&Soft, but that gave me raccoon eyes since I have oily skin. I then switched to this. I normally use this with my Shiseido eyelash curler, and WOW! I have naturally abundant lashes that I thought were fine. But this mascara coats them and makes them look thicker and darker (I am Asian so I use the Very Black). It gives my eyes more definition, doing what I had hoped eyeliner would do. The look for me is very natural -- it's hard to tell that I have mascara on but just makes my lashes look so much better. It does not add length, in my opinion, but I wasn't exactly looking for it. The brush is VERY densely bristled and so there are no clumps at all. No flaking as far as I could tell, and no racoon eyes after ~4 hours of wear.
Mascara -Maybelline - Full 'N Soft Mascara Waterproof
happydaisy 5/4/2008 1:47:00 PM
I didn't understand what the big deal was about mascara and eyelash curlers until I tried this on. The first time I used it, it made my lashes look really full and dark (I'm Asian and I use "Very Black"), so full and dark, in fact, that it made my downward pointing lashes cover up my eyes and my eyes looked 20% smaller! So _that's_ why women use eyelash curlers, I thought! Anyhow, this mascara really does what it claims -- full and soft. However, the waterproof version is very oil-soluble, so I get raccoon eyes within a few hours of wear, so I will not be repurchasing. I have, however, used the non-waterproof version of this mascara and let me tell you, that stuff rocks!
This thing is amazing! I bought this curler after reading the MUA reviews. I have Asian eyes and Shiseido's eyelash curler fits my eyes really well. I had purchased a shu uemura eyelash curler prior to Shiseido but had to return it because it didnt' fit my eyes at all. With the shu curler it'd always pinch the skin around my eyes, but not the Shiseido one! Also, I love how the curler makes my lashes really curl. I typically start at the base and repeat the curling as I move up my lashes. I'm somewhat paranoid about pressing down too hard, so I just repeat this over and over until I get the curl that I want. Add some Maybelline Full&Soft mascara and WOW! Definitely will buy this again, but I probably won't need to for quite a long time!
Lip Gloss -Christian Dior - Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect 347 Orange Raphia
happydaisy 4/26/2008 3:39:00 PM
This gloss is the newer version of the old #333, Hologram Coral. I purchased this shade because previous reviewers for Hologram Coral said it was a pretty, natural looking gloss. I am Asian and MAC NC35 / Bare Escentuals Light. Without makeup, my lips can range in color between pale coral and dark pink, depending on if I just licked my lips or whatnot. The color of #347 does not exactly match my lips, but when I apply a light layer it does give me that "My lips but better" type of look. It is *VERY* shiny, not glittery -- more like it reflects and scatters ambient light. A normal application of gloss (which is whatever comes out with the wand) actually is a bit of an overkill for me, since I want a more natural look, so I wipe a little bit off with a tissue. Even when there's only a little bit on my lips, there is still quite a bit of light reflection, so it looks a lot like my own lip color but glossy. This gloss feels like lip balm -- not waxy or slippery or sticky. It does not travel around the mouth during wear -- so it doesn't bunch up in the corners of the mouth or travel into my mouth. It doesn't last through a meal, but it also doesn't have an offensive or "lipsticky" taste, and I can take a drink of water without worrying too much about it. I actually think it's much better quality than a regular lipstick, despite it being only a gloss. Overall I really like it. If I ever need another color, I'll be sure to look at the Dior Addict Ultra Reflect glosses before I look at anything else. *UPDATE* OK, the color wasn't as great of a match as I had thought/hoped. It's just too light, probably better for Caucasian skin. However, I have found that if I apply a mixed version of this and the Dior Ultra Reflect Gloss in #757 Red Stockings, I get the most beautiful golden pink for Asian skin! I'll admit, two pricy lip glosses for one shade is ridiculous (I needed it for a special night out), but if you're ever at a Sephora, try it out!
I tried this on at Sephora to see what the hype was about. This blush gives me a very natural flushed look. Unfortunately for me, the look is so natural it looks like I just squeezed all the pimples on the side of my face I put this on. So, I won't be purchasing this product. However, if that's not an issue for you and you want that natural flushed look, give it a try.
This is a rewrite of my original review, since I think I was too harsh on this product when I first reviewed it. I will not use this as a day balm, even though it has SPF15, because to me it feels too much like a waxy layer. But when I use this at night, my gosh in the morning I get red, flushed, beautiful, soft lips (after I brush my teeth though, since a layer of skin usually comes off). The beautiful flushed lips last a few hours, but if I use this product every night then I get that flushed lips look all the time. Talk about a lip treatment! Sure, I'm still looking for the perfect daytime lip balm, but I will repurchase this for night time use.
Misc Beauty Tools -Shu Uemura - New Improved Eyelash Curler
happydaisy 4/19/2008 4:37:00 PM
Mixed reviews on this one ... For one thing, it really did curl my lashes. Like REALLY curled my lashes. After I used this thing, starting at the base and curling repeatedly up to the tips, my lashes were seriously pointing straight up at the ceiling. However, the shape is funny. I don't think it fits my eyes as everytime I use it, (1) I pinch the skin around my eyes (ouch!) and (2) it mostly only curls the middle lashes, rarely reaching all the way to the corner ones. Maybe that's why they came up with the mini curler. I returned this to Sephora, not sure if I'll repurchase. *UPDATE* I purchased the Shiseido lash curler and it fit much better for my Asian eyes. Both curlers work equally well, IMO, but if you have Asian eyes or eyes that aren't deep-set, try the Shiseido one. It's also about $2 cheaper.
Foundations -Revlon - Custom Creations Foundation [DISCONTINUED]
happydaisy 4/19/2008 4:14:00 PM
HORRIBLE! I was color matched at a CVS store by a CVS Beauty Advisor. I was stunned by the coverage because it was a beautiful rich yellow color for my Asian skin (in the CVS store lighting), covered my pores, and made my cystic acne scars less visible. I instantly paid the $13.99 and brought it home. I applied it the next day and I couldn't have been more horrified. First, the color was completely off. Even though I was matched to a shade 2 in the medium-deep combo, and even though it was a beautiful yellow match for my Asian skin in the store, it was positively ORANGE in real daylight. So I was disappointed and washed it off because the color didn't match, no big deal, right? I had used two different makeup applicators to apply this foundation, since I wanted to see which worked better. I used both a sponge and a foundation brush. I had used both to apply makeup products previously and was able to clean them off no problem. So now after using them with Revlon Custom Creations, I was cleaning my makeup tools again, and to my surprise, the darn foundation would NOT come off. The sponge applicator, which had my previous makeup sitting in it for a few weeks, which I had *just* washed clean right before applying this Revlon Custom Creations, was now a greasy mess. I couldn't clean the foundation out of it at all! Makeup removing cleansers didn't work, soap didn't work -- NOTHING worked. I had to throw it away. As for my foundation brush, similar thing. Shampoo didn't do it, soap didn't do it, makeup removing cleanser didn't do it -- in the end I had to soak the brush in a cup of rubbing alcohol -- that did it. I was positively horrified -- what the heck am I putting on my face?? I'd give this thing a zero if I could. Now I'm paranoid about how much of it is still left in my face, even after I've cleaned my face twice with makeup removing cleansers.
Treatments -Peter Thomas Roth - AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel
happydaisy 3/31/2008 8:28:00 PM
I love this thing. I bought it when I started getting pimples all over my face (got too zealous using my new metal-loop blackhead remover). I had little bumps under my skin and some were starting to turn red. I knew that if I didn't do _something_ about them, they'd flare up and turn into big red pimples. Within a week of using this thing, the bumps were mostly gone and the redness cleared up. I also noticed that my skin tone was more even-- probably due to the glycolic acid. I gave this four lippies instead of five for the following reasons: (1) This thing contains a lot of alcohol, and the first time I used it my face actually stung afterwards. However, if I immediately follow up with the Peter Thomas Roth Environmental Hydrator Repair Gel, the stinging went away immediately. So, if you're going to use this, pair it up with a good moisturizer because if you overly irritate your skin with this product it'll do you more harm than good! (2) So far this hasn't made existing whiteheads go away, although it does calm them down. I've found that this mostly works at preventing breakouts or preventing small pimples from turning into large ones. In short, I would definitely buy this product again. However, once again, if you're going to use this product, PAIR IT WITH A MOISTURIZER!
Foundations -SKII - Air Touch Foundation [DISCONTINUED]
happydaisy 3/30/2008 2:43:00 PM
OK, I haven't actually purchased this yet. I've tried it on at Saks and all I can say is -- after the SA finished spraying it on half of my face and gave me a mirror -- I absolutely could not tell I had makeup on my face (and I normally can). In fact, if it wasn't because I felt the spraying, I would have said that she didn't put any foundation on me at all! More details: - Color match: I'm close to a NC-35 and the SA tried the BR-6 on me. As far as I could tell, it's a dead-on match. - Coverage: very sheer. This foundation didn't do much for my dark acne scars, but then, only concealer can deal with them. The coverage is very light, although the yellow in the foundation covers redness pretty well. As for pores -- my pores are quite large, and this foundation looked like it might have covered them up somewhat, but not completely. In short, when I'm ready to chalk up $150, I'll buy this thing, but for now, I'm spending my money on skin care rather than makeup!
Moisturizers -Peter Thomas Roth - Environmental Repair Hydrating Gel
happydaisy 3/29/2008 12:07:00 AM
At the beginning I didn't know whether or not to like this product since I had purchased many different moisturizers and this was only one of them. Then when I started to get a really bad round of breakouts, I started using the PTR AHA/BHA acne gel. That gel had a surprising amount of alcohol and my face started stinging a bit afterwards. I then applied this product and my face all of a sudden felt SO much better. No more stinging, no irritation. And of course, no greasy residue. WOW. No way am I returning this to Sephora. ********* UPDATE ********** This thing is truly amazing. I once over-washed my face and my skin started to feel very very unhappy -- irritated and stinging a bit -- and I put this on and it calmed my entire face down, almost on contact. This is by far the very best moisturizer for oily skin I have ever used.
Cleansers -Philosophy - Purity Made Simple (Real Purity Cleanser)
happydaisy 3/26/2008 8:46:00 PM
This thing broke my skin out. I think it's because it has so many irritants in it. It even has black pepper (of all things...why would I want to rub black pepper into my skin...). However, it works pretty well as a makeup remover for powder makeup, so I guess that's a plus. I will not repurchase.