Moisturizers -Clinique - Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
happynappy1 5/2/2013 6:32:00 PM
I don't know why it is that when a product works for EVERYBODY else, it still breaks me out. Backstory: I've been acne-prone since age 10 (now on the verge of my 43d birthday). I'd always been very oily but after years of BP, and retinoids and now aging and living in a desert climate, my skin has become extremely dry. The problem is that ultra-rich creams are still too cloggy for me and lesser, more lotiony products aren't hydrating enough. Also, for the price, I'd expect something just a tiny bit more cosmetically elegant. There's nothing fancy in here at all. I had high hopes for this product given the good reviews. It did moisturize nicely but it never seemed to really sink in. I felt it left sort of a sticky film on my skin. After a few weeks of use, I noticed A LOT more clogged pores in my problem areas (cheeks, chin) and as of this writing, I'm not using this any more.
I'm still on the fence on this product. I am happy that MAC has added a moisturizing, cyclopentasiloxane-free foundation to its lineup but this one didn't deliver as I expected. I am NW50 and NW50 in this foundation made my complexion look ... muddy. There was no glow (though coverage was very nice.) When I went down to an NW47, the color was too yellow. I stuck with the 50 but needed a good deal of brightening blush to make it work. Wearing power is nice. I blotted ... maybe once over a four-hour period. Ultimately, I just don't love it ... I'm keeping it in the event I want to switch things up in my routine because it didn't break me out. Otherwise, it's just meh.
I am always on a hunt for a bargain and while I love the smell of the original Morrocan hair oil, I just wasn't willing to pay the list price for it. The Suave version is mostly silicone and while my skin hates that, my non-chemically treated African American hair loves it! It seals my ends, gives my hair just enough moisture and can be used before other styling products without weighing my hair down. And for the price, I can keep going back for me! Suave delivers again. (I'm also a fan of their coconut conditioner and Humectress knockoff.)
Treatments -Clarins - Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate
happynappy1 4/16/2013 6:39:00 PM
I don't know why I keep allowing myself to get suckered by the beauty industry! This product promised to hydrate and even skin tone and for $90, that's what I was expecting. Instead, this very heavily fragranced product did nothing. I still needed to add my regular moisturizer after using this in the evening. After a few days, I broke out on both cheeks. I was really disappointed that this wasn't more moisturizing. Also, each time I pumped, only one side of the dual-pump bottle released any product. The directions said to mix the two serums together but there was nothing to mix! Donated it to the family "product pile".
Edit: HG status for me. I'm doing a course of Accutane and this works perfectly over flakes. And when you have deep chocolate skin, you need something that will give you a bit of glow. This does just that without making me look like a greaseball. Before you use this foundation, you really need to understand Bobbi Brown's beauty philosophy. She is not a "cover every single flaw you have" beauty mogul. Rather, she, like my grandma, believes make up should enhance what you have. (Easy for her to say! Her skin is flawless.) Once I learned to embrace this philosophy, I learned to really like Bobbi's foundations. This one is light to medium coverage with beautiful colors (I am NW50 and wear Walnut in this one. NO one, not even MAC, makes colors for women of color as well as Bobbi.) I like that it's buildable without looking cakey and really does leave my dry/sensitive/acne prone skin looking healthy and hydrated. But don't expect long wear! You get maybe four hours out of this stuff. ( I just carry my Bobbi Brown stick with me if I need to touch up.) Also, I skip the hefty store price tag and buy this on Ebay. Love that!
These ELF brushes are fine for say, a teenager or college student on a budget but to me, they are scratchy and feel like really poor quality brushes. It's worth saving up an extra few dollars and splurging on or two multipurpose brushes. I gave mine away.
Liquid -Cover Girl - Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation
happynappy1 3/15/2013 1:18:00 PM
Dear Covergirl. I am black, not gray, not pinkish. Please plan your products accordingly. (NW50. The Sable in this looked almost precisely like the putty my contractor uses to fix the bathroom.)
I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said. This product works. The whole line. An amazingly gentle, no-frills cleanser, effective BP and moisturizer that doesn't cause breakouts. At 42, I have tried EVERYTHING for my acne. Two weeks before writing this review, I dropped 85 dollars at the derm and left with a bunch of stuff that did nothing more than irritate my skin. I put all of that away, pulled out my Acne.org products and my breakouts began healing in days. Nothing works like this. I have no idea why I stray because this is it. Packaging is great. Shipping is fast. No animal testing.
Foundations -Clinique - Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfecting Makeup
happynappy1 3/7/2013 12:37:00 PM
I'm almost afraid to review this product but ... it is kind of awesome. Let me start by saying that I generally HATE Clinique foundations. Their colors for dark skin are always flat and tend toward ashy. However, after trying fiftyleven other foundations that didn't work for me, I thought I'd give this one a shot. Pros: -- The colors are warm and rich .... Love it. I bought the color Pecan (I'm NW50) and while it initially went on rather reddish, it dried down to an absolutely perfect match for my skin. -- Though the bottle is small, you need very, very little to cover your whole face. -- Coverage is FANTASTIC. I have some serious hyperpigmentation and this covered everything. -- Dries down so that you do not need a powder. I dusted a bit on my face to set the foundation but I really didn't need it. -- I don't know how this can be but somehow this stuff looks ... better ... as the day goes on. I don't know how but it does. -- One blot in four hours. Cons: -- It's a bit drying. I'm 42 and don't need the whole "matte for days" look so I need to hydrate well before applying this. -- It easily looks cakey. Be very careful how much you apply. Will come back in to let MUAers know how this affects my sensitive, acne-prone skin but so far, I'm loving it.
I absolutely hate the salacious names NARS thinks will get people to buy a product but I have to say this slightly sheer, pinkish color is close to perfect on my DDD skin. Coupled with MAC's chestnut liner (or the espresso dupe from NYX), this makes my lips look dressed up without being too shiny. I love the little glitter in it. I am already planning a backup. DDD, NW50.
Of all Iman's products, this and the Afterglow bronzer are my favorites. Unlike her oil-control powder (which controls oil about as well as a bowl of shortening), this powder is velvety, covers very well (I can wear it alone or with concealer) and doesn't oxidize over time. The lasting powe is minimal but it's portable for touchups. It's best to throw away the nasty powder puff and use a brush. I do wish Iman would do something about her bulky, outdated packaging which does NOT fit well in a makeup bag. Otherwise, fine, inexpensive product. Me: NW50 (Earth Deep in this powder).
Powder -Make Up For Ever - Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation
happynappy1 2/4/2013 11:05:00 AM
I have been on a desperate search for a simple foundation routine. I love my Meow minerals but as I get older, I find it increasingly drying … and it’s very messy. Enter MUFE’s Pro-Finish. A pressed powder. Yeah!!! Sigh. But that’s where the positives end. I purchased the 185 (I’m generally a 180 in the line’s liquids but one shade down from 185 was too light for me.) It went on beautifully. It wasn’t at all chalky and gave a nice finish. I bought it right away (Hard to get a sample of a pressed powder.) I wasn’t thrilled with the packaging: Difficult to open the case and not a lot of product for the price but oh well. One hour later: I’m bit shiny in the t-zone but nothing too bad. 90 minutes later: Hmm … Looking sort of greaseball-ish. I blot. Still looks … OK. 2 hours later: It’s oxidized more and I look a bit muddy. The glow is gone. 4.5 hours later: It's time for bed. I go to do my nightly routine and …. Three lovely under the skin bumps have appeared. Two on my cheek, one fairly large one on my chin. This is a faster (and even worse) reaction than I had with Studio Fix powder. This goes back to Sephora next Saturday. For reference: I'm DDD, NW50, combo/dry, acne-prone
BB Cream -Iman - Iman Skin Tone Evener BB Creme SPF15
happynappy1 1/24/2013 11:03:00 AM
Edit: Just as I suspected it would, this broke me out and still didn't provide enough "oomph" to my complexion. A real disappointment. This is a preliminary review after using this product for only four days. I know everyone is happy because Iman launched a BB cream for women of color but to me, the whole BB cream craze is so out of control. It's nothing special. So far: Pros: Great packaging. Simple. No fuss. The color range is nice. I'm Earth 7 in Iman's stick foundation and the darkest BB cream shade (Earth Deep) is perfect for me. You need very little to cover your whole face. Now on to the cons, which are many: It is just too thick. I know BB creams are supposed to be multi-purpose so there are a lot of ingredients but this is just like .... spackle 2. Despite it's thickness, it really doesn't cover the darkest hyperpigmentation, which is a primary concern for many women of color. I am 42 so I don't mind not having perfect skin but I think many women are going to be disappointed by this product's lack of coverage. 3. It's not very hydrating. I am wearing it today and even though I applied a moisturizer before the BB cream, my skin still feels dry and tight ... My skin is combo/dry. 4. The ingredients are going to be problematic for those with sensitive/acne-prone skin. At least one of the ingredients rates a 4 on the comedogenicity scale and all those botanicals can be irritating. 5. Price --- So much more expensive than other drugstore BB creams. I haven't used it long enough to determine if any of the ingredients will help with dark spots but it's so drying that I doubt I could wear it every day or often enough to see any noticeable skin changes. Overall, this is OK under some pigmented powder but I'm not wowed by it ... Which is pretty much my impression of Iman's entire line. For the price, it just doesn't offer much. Very disappointing.
Foundations -Mary Kay - TimeWise Luminous-Wear Liquid Foundation
happynappy1 9/19/2012 4:01:00 PM
Taking down a lippie because it broke me out. It's still a great foundation but I just can't tolerate cyclopentasiloxane in any form. Sad because I loved this finish and color match. I don't want to even think about how much money I've spent on foundations over the past year. For reference, my skin is: acne-prone, sensitive and aging (40 plus). I am sensitive to many of the popular 'cones in high concentrations. I am NW50 in Mac, with both red and yellow undertones. Sunscreen in foundation makes me look ashy and photographs horribly on me. I have tried literally every foundation available in a brick and mortar store and a couple of mail-order mineral foundations. They all left me wanting. Timewise Luminous in Bronze 8 is working for me right now. I love, love, love the shimmer on my dark skin. I actually like the richness of this color much better than the colors in Mary Kay's Medium-Coverage foundation (with that one, I had to mix two colors to get the (almost) right shade. I mixed Bronze 607 and 708) This one is a pretty flawless match. It seems most of the complaints are about the staying power but I don't seem to have a problem with that. I set it in the morning with a loose powder and then use Mac Blot during the day. I blot a lot less than I do with say, a cream foundation. I don't wear primers because they break me out. Cons: I wish this was a bigger tube and I wish they would have left out the cycolpentasiloxane on this. MK was one of the last companies to include that ingredient. It doesn't seem to be irritating my skin though and I haven't had any breakouts on the beginnings of under the skin bumps. I also wish this was available in stores but I order from Amazon.com so I don't have to go through a salesperson. I want to try the matte one also, just to do a comparison. If you've tried everything else with no luck, give this a shot.
Edit: Bumping up a lippie because this came in handy on a particularly bad skin day ... But only after several layers and lots of Mac Blot. Dear Bobbi Brown: Really? Bobbi's stick foundation is heralded by many in the dermatology community as non-comedogenic. That is where the good attributes end. I am NW50 and was matched with Walnut (8). It is red. Like the red hills of Sedona red. Now that does tone down a bit once you blend this (if you can blend it. I find it difficult to spread properly) and add a powder but it's still just meh. I don't like the coverage here. Even after several layers in my most hyperpigmented areas, I still see spots. I'm at the office now and just looked in the mirror. It looks almost as if I have nothing on ... except maybe some grease because despite my skin being a bit dry from aging and desert living, this stuff still looks like tinted Crisco on me. For the price, which is dear for a stick foundation, I'm very disappointed and will not repurchase.