Lotions/ Creams -Neutrogena - Body Oil with Sesame
hesperia 5/13/2013 8:21:00 PM
I absolutely DETEST feeling gooey and sticky all over (especially in summer). No, really. I have zero tolerance for that sort of thing. That's why I never use body lotions or even sunblock on my body. However, what with aging and living in a desert-dry climate, I must admit that my skin has become so dry, I creak when I walk. I remembered I had once used this old classic and I liked it so I decided to give it another try. My memory didn't deceive me. This fits the bill brilliantly. I slather it all over my wet body and then pat it dry. No stickiness, no greasy residue, no feeling gooey all over, and my skins cries "Thank you!" I do recommend it.
Lipstick -Clinique - Almost Lipstick - Black Honey
hesperia 4/28/2013 7:41:00 PM
On my last trip to Sephora I managed to actually have some money left in my wallet after my purchase (miracle of miracles, once-in-a-lifetime events). I had been wanting to get this old classic for a long time, but my meager budget always forces me to prioritize. Anyway, I decided to get this. And I am glad I did. On me, this is a lovely berry color, not too blue, just right. I can apply it sheer or layer it for deeper color. It's shiny enough, but it's not porn-film type glossy, as someone so accurately and hilariously put it a few comments below. I have a fast-dwindling tube of Guerlain's Kiss Kiss Lip Lift (primer) from my 'gratis' cache. I adore that stuff, but because it's so absurdly expensive ($32, if you please), I save it for "special occasions." One of those occasions is when I pair it with Black Honey. The combination of the two gives me plump, soft lips, and tones the color down a bit. My lips but definitely better. In short, this is a great prod. No, it doesn't last long, but it's not supposed to (and what's with people wanting their MU to stay on forever? Old MU looks so tacky and yucky). IT fades to a nice berry stain, and reapplying it is a breeze. I love this stuff.
On my second bottle of this. I am devoted to oil cleansers. My all-time fave is DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. I don't love this as much, but considering it's a good $10 cheaper for more or less the same size, and that I am on a tight budget ... Unlike DHC's, this has to be emulsified before the final rinse. No prob for me because I wouldn't DREAM of going to bed until my skin is squeaky-clean so I always wash my face with a mild cleanser (a scrub twice a week) after removing my MU (thanks to that I didn't have any ghastly "purge" problems when I went on Trentoid treatment). I'm pleased with this prod and I would recommend it.
Fragrances -Bulgari - Mon Jasmin Noir L,Eau Exquise
hesperia 4/16/2013 7:04:00 PM
SO terribly disappointed in this scent. I adore Bulgari scents, so I wanted to try this one to see if I liked it better than YSL, Manifesto (which I plan to get for my anniversary gift). I love Jasmin Noir to bits. I liked Mon Jasmin Noir, though the sample I got barely had any staying power. But this one I don't like at all. It smells like Jasmin Noir's little mall-rat sister. I don't smell jasmin anywhere. It reminds me more of Bulgari Coral Omnia (which I love) than of the Jasmin Noir series, but it's nowhere near as good as Coral. Not for me. If I have the ability to splurge I'll get Jasmin Noir. A much better scent.
BB Cream -Dr. Jart+ - Blemish Balm Cream (black label)
hesperia 4/16/2013 6:37:00 PM
I got a good-sized sample of this from the lovely Sephora SA. This one is more for pink-undertoned skins. I have yellow undertones, but I'm pale so I still can make it work (I asked hubby's opinion - in natural light - and he could barely detect a difference in color). Wore it today, dusted with powder (something I will never give up). It's OK, but nothing groundbreaking. I like that it's not greasy as most bbc, that leave you looking like you basted your face. Yuck! Still, it's certainly not something on which to waste $36. I guess I'll just never become a bbc convert. The more I try them, the more I go 'meh.' I have Garnier's BBC for oily skin and I'll just settle for that. I'd much rather save my money for a new foundation (not that I need another one).
I never owned a BB cream because I tend to become almost instantly sick to death of trends and fads. So after being surrounded by the unrelenting BB cream hysteria for so long, I've gotten to the point where I don't even want to hear the bloody things mentioned. And now we have CC creams. Can't wait for the DD installment (rolleye). Out of curiosity, I tried a few samples of different brands at Sephora and hated them all: too greasy, too sheer, absurd shades, and just to add insult to injury, ridiculously expensive. I was at Walgreens on Saturday, and a lady was doing some sort of promotion about different products suitable for the coming season. One of her suggestions for oily skinks was Garnier's BB cream (for oily skins, of course). I told her about my BB cream phobia and she spread a bit of this on my hand. Looked pretty good. Decent coverage and all that. Anyway, being the product junkie I am, I finally gave in and decided to give it a try, with every intention of returning it if I didn't like it. Well, surprise, surprise. I did like it. As I said, very nice coverage - unless you have really bad acne, or dark scarring, or things like that - lovely satiny finish, stays on well. Light-medium is a very good shade for me. It works better than a good deal of sheer HE "foundations" I could mention (like Bobbi Brown's whole line). It also has SPF. Yes, the consistency is runny. So you just store it standing upwards and dispense it carefully and you won't have any problems. There. Wasn't that easy? Of course, for special occasions I will still go to my full-cover fdts. But this is going to be very handy for the coming hot days, when I don't have to go anywhere special and I just want to look polished. But I'm still sick of the BB cream fad.
I was fooling around at Fred Meyer and I stumbled upon the Essence counter. Since I read so many good reviews on this brand I thought I might check it out. I looked at the l/s, the nude shades. I tried the light shades (yes, they had testers, bless them!), but they were all the dreaded concealer shades. Glamour Queen is the darkest among the nudes. Mind you, the color has nothing nude about it. It's more of a cool pink. But it's beautiful. I tried it on and fell in love with it. It's not really dark, but has enough color to make a difference. And it makes my lips look so pretty. It is shimmery, but not the awful 60s frosted type. Adds nice depth. Very creamy and comfortable to wear. I don't usually go for the 30+ Hours Wear l/s, in the first place, because the idea of wearing MU of any kind for 24 hours or more is utterly disgusting (c'mon, nobody's day is THAT long). In the second place, I find that long-wear l/s ends up looking too cakey and rather unpleasant to look at. So yes, you'll have to re-apply this. But hey, it's $3. I must confess I like it better than my uber-expensive Chanel Rouge Coco.
I got a sample of this and I can't make up my mind whether I like it or not. Someone here said it smelled like soap. Not just plain soap but something more. That reviewer hit it on the head. Yes, this is a bit soapy, but not just generic soap - like the rip-offs in the 'Clean' series - there's something more. I smell a bit of citrus and a bit of suntan lotion. Citrus-floral, I'd say. At first spritz it's, Ouch! LOUD! Sort of like Agent Provocateur's Maitress. Then it dries down to something more wearable. Would I buy it? Well, first I would have to decide if I like it or not and by the time I make up my mind it'll be discontinued.
This is not a moisturizer. I use it with Tarte's Maracuja Something or Other Concealer, which is very emollient, and the two go wonderfully together. I agree with posters who said that this is less shimmery than it looks. Under the Tarte concealer I can barely detect any shimmer at all.
Liquid -Korres - Quercetin & Oak Antiageing Foundation 05 Bisque
hesperia 3/25/2013 3:47:00 PM
UPDATE: had to knock off a couple of lippies. I'm afraid my initial review was a bit too optimistic (never review anything after just one use). Today I put it on top of my Neutrogena Oil-Free SPF 35 moisturizer, which is not oily at all. It went on thickish, but the coverage was inversely proportional to the thickness. I HATE thick fdts. that barely cover anything. What's the point? Again, took forever to set. In fact, it only did when I out powder on top. Also, the color it too light for me. I would have to buy two shades and mix them, and at $40 a bottle it's just too expensive. Cover Girl's 3-in-1 is a good deal cheaper and suits my needs much better. I got a good sized sample of this at Sephora. - TEXTURE: creamy, spreads very well. Thickish, but not spackle-like. - COVER: depends on what kind of moisturizer I use underneath. The more emollient the moisturizer, the sheerer the cover (of course). If I wear this on clean dry skin (no moisturizer, no primer) this has a nice, very effective medium coverage. Buildable? I never "build" layers of fdt. I always end up with it building only in my pores (and they aren't even big). W/o powder it feels slightly tacky to the touch. Doesn't really "set." I put NARS new setting powder on and I get a beautiful, natural, as-airbrushed-as-my-skin-will-ever-look finish. However, this is my experience. I'm sure other reviews will vary from 'too full-cover for me,' to 'oh, it's so sheer.' Especially those posters who idealize products according to what they want them to be, rather than on said products' pros and cons (in a blog allegedly about consumer reviews/advice; brilliant). - LASTING POWER: Again, I use powder on top so it lasts a pretty good time. I don't know how long this would last on my oily skin w/o powder. Probably not much. I got this in 05 Bisque, which is the lightest color with a good yellow undertone. A bit too light for me, but I can make it work. And anyway we all know that to get the perfect match (if such a thing exists) one must try sample it first. Don't know about the anti-aging properties since I used it only once. I said I would not re-purchase only because I don't have the 'Maybe' choice (I wish we did). At $39.00 it's too pricey to buy just to "have it." This comes in a pump so the pump cult followers will be pleased. No biggie for me. So far so good. I'll update as necessary.
I got a good sample of this at Sephora. According to their site, the composition is this: Jasmine, Wood, Vanilla, Tonka Bean. I definitely smell the jas and the vanilla, and it's a match made in heaven. Sweet but not so much as to resemble candy floss. It's a greener, more grown-up sweet. Not as entrancing as the Maison de la Vanille stuff, but still, a very nice frag. I might ask hubby to give me this for our anniversary. I too was a bit dismayed at the bottle. Then I looked at Niki Minaj, MJ's Dot, Betsy Johnson's black and pink tutu, and other similar bloody sacrifices made to the gods of bad taste and vulgarity, and suddenly the Manifesto bottle did not look too bad.
Fragrances -La Maison de la Vanille - Vanille Divine des Tropiques
hesperia 3/21/2013 6:30:00 PM
I was rummaging through my cosmetics/fragrance drawers the other day and came across this incredible scent which I got as gratis when I worked at Sephora. I usually stay away from vanilla because I detest the overly-sweet, birthday cake, candy-like stuff that usually goes under that definition. But this is sweet w/o the candy floss approach. And it's got jasmine, too, which I also adore. On me this is a grown-up, sophisticated vanilla. I cannot stop smelling myself. I found this description for it: "Divine des Tropiques Eau de Toilette with a warm, happy scent followed by jasmine and tuberose, amber and a flowery, tropical vanilla." Whatever. All I know is that I find this totally bewitching. I never wear perfume when I stay home, but I cannot resist the temptation to spray this after my morning shower. Lasts very long, too. "Divine" is the word for it. I also have Vanille Grivee des Antilles, which I bought for - you won't believe this - $5 way back when Sephora had it on sale because they were discontinuing it. I wish I had ALL of the scents from this wonderful brand.
Loose Powders -NARS - Light Reflecting Setting Powder
hesperia 3/21/2013 5:47:00 PM
This is for the loose powder. I got this because I read somewhere that it's not drying. I need something like that because I'm on retin-A treatment and that dries my skin like nothing else. I like this a lot. It holds shine at bay for a looooong time, but it does not make me look powdery. I like it better than MUFE HD powder because that one is somehow very slippery (sounds goofy, but that's the best way I can explain it). I have to pile blush on to get any color. Don't get that with NARS's powder. No color at all and no smell. No glitter, either. Expensive, but worth it.
Makeup Brushes -Unlisted Brand - Renewal Powder Brush
hesperia 3/17/2013 4:29:00 PM
My faithful Sephora powder brush, which I've had for ages, finally started to shed and give its last gasps, so I decided it was time to buy a new one. One of the reasons I take such good care of my brushes is to make them last as long as I can because brushes in general are so absurdly over-priced it's like buying a mink coat for your makeup. I mean, seriously, $30 and up for a brush? What do they make them from, the Golden Fleece? And don't give me the excuse of "quality". For those prices they should work magic. They don't. Anyway, I was at RiteAid and they were having sales all over the place. I looked at their brush section and found this wonderful powder brush for only $7.99 (take that, NARS, Bobbi Brown, Smashbox and all the rest of you, highway robbers!) It's a nicely-sized, dome-shaped very fluffly synthetic brush. Picks up a good amount of powder and it feels like a whisper on your face. I am truly pleased with this and would definitely recommend it.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose
hesperia 3/17/2013 3:41:00 PM
Forget all the chi-chi, absurdly over-priced rose niche perfumes. If you want to smell like a genuine tea rose this is the scent you should reach for. The most important thing is ONE spritz between your boobs is all you need. Seriously. That will last you the rest of the day. And you're getting this from someone who likes to spray perfume on like it was air freshner. But with this any more than a small spritz is overkill and it will ruin it for you. It will be too strong, too harsh. Pretty much goes for a song online, these days. I used to wear it ages ago, and I wouldn't hesitate to wear it again.