Foundations -Unlisted Brand - Luminess Airbrush System
hoku 6/3/2013 11:48:00 PM
Overall: 4 Price: 4 (I bought ONLY the compressor/airbrush gun - $98.50 CAD) Packaging: 4 Buy again: yes ----------------------------------------------------- I am in my mid-late 20s, freckles, olive skin, combination-oily asian. Acne prone, sensitive skin. My review is only for the Luminess Air airbrush compressor/gun, not the makeup. I have seen the infomercials many times and wanted to try it, but I know that infomercials have a lot of hidden fees that they don't tell you about, so I never buy things over the phone. I have Kett Hydro airbrush foundation in 03, and I mainly use that foundation to mix with moisturizer to use as a tinted moisturizer, and for the most part I feel that tinted moisturizer is all I need for everyday. However, there are times when I look at my skin and wish it looked flawless for special events. I don't like to use liquid foundation that often, and mineral powder foundation can sometimes look bad on my skin depending on how oily I am and humidity and all. Anyway, I was watching TV late on night, and the infomercial came on and I thought to myself "well, I have airbrush makeup but no airbrush. I could probably get the airbrush compressor on ebay". So I did. Price: I bought my Luminess Airbrush compressor/gun for $98.50 CAD including shipping from a Canadian seller. I already have airbrush makeup, as mentioned, so I didn't want to spend extra money on a foundation that I may or may not like. Packaging: My airbrush system came with the silver "Hello bag", empty water bottle, Portable go-battery, and outlet plug. I love the white compressor - it's small, has an embossed butterfly, and the stylus is a matte silver colour. It also came with a plastic holster for the stylus when not in use. While I find the silver colour of the Hello bag to be a bit tacky, I appreciate that the bag is perfectly sized to hold all your airbrush equipment whether you're on the go traveling or leaving it on your dresser. Performance: It took me a few tries to get used to airbrushing. I initially tried to just layer on the makeup heavy to get it done faster, but I learned that you really need to use light layers to achieve the best result. First, I actually had to thin out my Kett Hydro Foundation with witch hazel to make it the appropriate consistency for the airbrush. I have a mix of about 2/3 Kett to 1/3 witch hazel in a little bottle that I shake up prior to using. ALWAYS shake your foundation well. I use about 8 drops for my whole face and it's remarkable how easy it is to use. I found that I never really saw the foundation go on until I would suddenly notice my skin looks amazing. I never feel like the makeup is heavy or wet, sitting on my skin. I have oily skin so I hate feeling products sitting on my skin. I do still set my foundation with powder just because I like the matte look, but you don't HAVE to set it. I find that when I wear makeup this way, I stay matte longer than when I wear normal foundation. Cleaning it is pretty easy - you just fill the bottle 2:1 with alcohol: water and then fill the reservoir with about 8 drops and back bubble for like 10 seconds to clean it. I dump out the dirty water and then repeat the process about 2 times, spraying the dirty water through the gun to clean it out. It doesn't take too long, but I can see how it would be a deal breaker for some people. Overall: I don't wear this foundation every day, but I do like it for going out or special occasions. I love the effect it gives, and I would never be able to achieve it with normal makeup. If you are hesitant about buying the who range of products from Luminess, you can use other brands of airbrush makeup with the compressor, if it works out cheaper for you. You also can keep using your other powdered products on top of the airbrush foundation - I still prefer to use powder and powder blushes on top rather than use airbrush blush and bronzer. I have not purchased the products from the infomercial or the luminess website, so I cannot attest to the customer service, but the unit itself is very easy to use and as long as you clean it well and take care of it, it will last you a long time.
Overall: 4 Price: 2 (~$10 CAD @ Wal-Mart) Packaging: 3 Buy again: yes --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I bought and tried out this foundation based on Missglamorazzi's review. I have the colour in 130 Shell and it matches my NC25-30 asian skintone fairly well (maybe just a tad too light, but nothing that bronzer can't fix). I had minor spots of discolouration from left over acne marks, so this helps to even them out a little without looking cakey or feeling heavy. I'm normally a mineral makeup kind of gal, but I've been finding that they don't always look natural throughout the day. Application: I've tried using this with my fingers and with a foundation brush, and both work well, but I choose to use my fingers 99% of the time because it's faster and blends everything really nicely. It feels so smooth and soft going on, I don't know how to explain it. I just put little dots of it where I need it and blend it out with my fingers and it just melts into the skin like it claims. It doesn't feel heavy at all or goopy or sticky. Coverage: I would say this is light coverage, maybe buildable to medium. I don't have a lot of stuff to cover, so this works well for evening out skin tone and brightening it up the skin. I use this also for under my eyes to cover some dark circles and it does a great job at that without drying out my under eye area, so it works as an under eye concealer too! It evens out redness really easily, and disguises some red pimples ok too. If you have a lot of things to cover, however, I would recommend that you get a separate concealer or try a different product. Wear: I work 12-hour shifts as a registered nurse in a busy ER and the weather has been a little wonky lately, so it's been humid and hot. I have oily, acne-prone skin too. This stuff lasts decently throughout the day with blotting. This foundation does not claim to last 16 hours, or have oil control, so I will not blame the foundation for not staying matte (I put Maybelline dream Matte powder on top). But it does last pretty well without fading significantly. Oh, and no breakouts! yay! I personally never aim for a 100% perfect airbrushed finish because I know my face will not last throughout the day with my job. BUT I do like to look put-together, and this foundation definitely helps to make my face look like I've gotten a lot more sleep than I actually have. It helps disguise little imperfections without breaking me out, and that's all I really want from it. I like the colour selections from this line better than ColorStay because I found ColorStay to be more pink, whereas Nearly Naked has more yellow based shades. Overall, I enjoy using this foundation and would repurchase!
Treatments -Kiehls - Midnight Recovery Concentrate
hoku 2/15/2013 12:37:00 AM
Overall: 5 Price: 4 Packaging: 4 Buy again: yes ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reference: mid-late 20s, NC25-30, light olive skin, combo/oily acne-prone skin. I am quickly falling in love with this serum! I received a small sample when I bought the Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion, and now I also have a deluxe sample. I have been using it for about 4 days continuously at night, and I love what it's doing for my skin. I have combo/oily, acne-prone skin that is prone to scarring after breakouts. I was recently getting over some breakouts due to a moisturizer that didn't agree with me, and I found that while the Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion helped, this serum has helped a lot with the scarring. It has helped to fade the appearance of the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and has also made my skin SO smooth that when I was in the shower today, I noticed that my cheeks felt like glass - they were just so smooth and soft. This serum hasn't made my extremely sensitive skin breakout, and while it does make my skin a bit oily, I only wear it at night, and I wear it for the hydrating purposes, so it's ok. This serum has also helped to make my skin tone less blotchy and sallow-looking; I actually don't mind walking around without foundation on sometimes now! I wear it at night after I've washed my face and applied 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide to my acne prone areas. I drip about 3 drops of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate to my fingers and quickly dot it all over my face and then massage it in. I tend to focus the serum on my cheeks and around my mouth and any leftovers go to my eye area. After that, I apply my eye cream and Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion. This stuff works for me; I know some of the reviews grumble about how it's a combination of "cheap, simple ingredients", but you know what? The proportion of these ingredients matter, and clearly they're on to something awesome. I will gladly pay for the full size bottle when I run out of my samples!
Treatments (Eye) -Kiehls - Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
hoku 2/15/2013 12:24:00 AM
Overall: 3 Price: 2 ($35/0.5 oz) Packaging: 3 Buy again: No -------------------------------------------------------------------------- I'm sorry to bring down the ratings guys, but hear me out. I am new to Kiehl's, but I am so far in love with the brand. I got a sample of the Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado to try out when I bought the Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion (love this! Buy it!) and I thought it would be a great replacement for my beloved Clinique All About Eyes Rich, but alas, it was not meant to be. Packaging: Packaging isn't a huge factor for me, so I don't care that it's in a plain looking white tub; very standard looking. All eye creams are packaged this way. Performance: Ok, so here's where this cream baffles me. I LOVE the texture; it's smooth, creamy, but spreads easily, so it's quick to apply. Upon first contact, the cream feels very rich and it absorbs quick, maybe about 3 mins and then eye makeup application can commence. I initially found that it hydrated my under eye area decently (much like Clinique All About Eyes Rich), but when I got to about halfway through my day (I work 12 hour shifts in a hospital) I noticed my under eye area starts to feel dry. At the end of my shift when I get home, my eyes definitely look dry. I normally have oily skin, and the under eye area is probably the ONE dry area I have, so I need to have a cream that hydrates. I tried to play around with it, like applying more, but I always found that the moisture didn't last. So, all that said and done, I love Kiehl's, but I just didn't love this eye cream, so I'm going to have to take a pass.
Moisturizers -Kiehls - Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion
hoku 2/1/2013 3:39:00 PM
Overall: 5 Price: 2 ($32 CAD/125 mL) Packaging: 3 Buy again: yes! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I don't understand the low ratings for this moisturizer! I absolutely love it. I am in my mid-late 20s, and am still struggling with sensitive, oily skin that is extremely prone to breakouts. I can get dry patches here and there depending on the weather, and most moisturizers do not work for me, just as a heads up. I never tried Kiehl's before but I was walking around the mall looking for a new moisturizer and I decided to stop by for a free sample. Originally I thought I needed the Blue Herbal lotion, but the sales associate assured me it would be far too drying for my face and recommended the ultra facial oil-free lotion. Let's talk about some of the things that make me love it so much: Price: $32 CAD/125 mL. I don't know about you guys, but when I see prices for facial lotions these days, it makes me sad. $50/50 mL is pretty standard for a decent lotion and while I can afford it, I don't see why I should have to pay that much. The Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free lotion isn't really fancy or anything; it's basic gel-lotion that has some botanical extracts and vitamin E to help skin look a little better. But it works. And I like that I am getting a good value of product for the money. Performance: I work in a hospital Emerg department doing 12 hour shifts, and I'm running around all the time so I get pretty hot, sweaty even. With other moisturizers, I need to blot pretty much every hour to avoid scaring the patients. With this lotion, it hydrates without making me shiny; I can actually go without blotting for about half my shift and not worry that my face will be ridiculously shiny. Yes, I'll have a little shine, but nothing compared to before. I have very sensitive skin that will break out the second it touches something it doesn't like. This lotion does not break me out, which in itself is a miracle. It seems to have helped my current breakouts go away too, which is always nice. I'm wearing this lotion in the winter, which surprises me, because it's enough to hydrate but I think it'll work equally well in the spring/summer if I mix it with some Witch Hazel or toner before applying. It absorbs quickly and wears great under any sort of makeup I'm wearing and provides a nice base for foundations. Packaging: Ok, I'll admit, packaging isn't the fanciest or nicest looking. It's a blue plastic bottle with a white flip cap. But, I still prefer it to an open jar. The flip cap and small opening mean I can easily dispense the amount that I want without spilling or wasting any product. I dunno, I'm rather smitten with this basic lotion, and I wear it both day and night. It gives my skin what it needs, and if I want more hydration or oomph at night, I can always put a serum underneath. I like that Kiehl's delivers on its promises, and puts more of the funding into the product, rather than the packaging. If you're frustrated with finding a lotion for combination/oily, acne-prone skin, try this one! I really recommend it :)
Moisturizers -Caudalie - Vinosource Moisturizing Matifying Fluid
hoku 12/29/2012 12:07:00 AM
EDIT 02.01.2013: I had to return this to Sephora - it was making me break out badly. Too bad. Down to 2 lippies. See my original review below. ------------------------------------------------------ Overall: 4 Price: 4 ($38 CAD/40 mL = $0.95/mL) Packaging: 4 Buy again: yes ------------------------------------------------------------- I actually received this product as a gift for Christmas this year; I'd read good reviews and I needed a mattifying, lightweight moisturizer because I'm running around work all the time and look so oily! (I'm an ER nurse) For reference, I am asian, ~NC30, oily-combo, in my late 20s, and have acne-prone skin. I have tried a lot of different moisturizers geared towards oily-skinned gals; Avene, Clinique, La Roche-Posay, Murad, Biotherm... the list goes on. I haven't really found one I loved yet, just ones that are "Meh, ok, but not great". It's especially tricky around this time of year because it's cold and the air is dry, so I need moisture, but my skin also gets oily, so I can't have too much. Makeup slides around when my skin gets oily so that's kind of a big problem for me, even with blotting papers and powdering. When I received this moisturizer I was so pleased! I read on other review boards that this moisturizer is perfect for oily skin like mine, and hydrates without leaving grease and actually helps to control oily skin. I was a little skeptical, since this is the claim that ALL oily skin moisturizers make, and none have actually met. I tried this out on my skin and it actually does help with my oilies and does what it says! Shocking. I normally have to blot anywhere between 3-5 times a day to look presentable. With this Caudalie moisturizer I blotted just once, and even then it wasn't really that necessary. My face looked just the way I left it, with a tiny amount of shine on my nose, which is totally out of this world amazing! I have sensitive, acne-prone skin and this didn't make me break out at all. The smell is light and unoffensive, and the texture of this lotion sinks in really quick, making makeup application a breeze. I don't wear primer with this; I just apply this lotion, some SPF, and then I can put makeup on. The packaging is nice; it's a slim 40mL tube with a tiny opening at the end. Personally, I prefer tubes as I find pumps never really allow you to get the very last bit of product out and I'm a bit of a scrooge when it comes to products, especially if you're going to pay so much for a small amount, I want every last bit, damnit! But yes, the tube is great because you can control how much product comes out as well. Overall: I love this moisturizer and the only tiny tiny complaint I have is that because it's winter, this is just a touch too light. But it's easily remedied by adding a little bit of a heavier moisturizer on top, but this is going to be great for spring/summer months!
Blush -E.L.F. - Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder
hoku 11/17/2012 2:00:00 PM
Overall: 4 Price: 1 ($3) Packaging: 4 Buy again: yes ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I bought this a couple of years ago, and I have just recently rediscovered it in my stash of blushes. I'm not too crazy about the bronzer portion; it's ok, not too orange, but I prefer matte bronzers (you don't notice the shimmer in it much, to be honest, but still). This review is mainly for the blush part. I've heard from others that this is a dupe for the NARS orgasm/laguna duo palette, but I cannot testify to that since I've never used these NARS products. However, the blush is perfect for my light-medium olive Asian skin tone. The product is pigmented, and has a fine shimmer in it that just translates as radiance, rather than glitter. It just looks like a healthy, natural flush. I'm a nurse in the ER so I am busy, get hot from running around, and don't have time to retouch my makeup. This lasts through my 12 hr days no problem, and doesn't oxidize and turn funky. Love it.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - CLEAR Anti-Acne 3-step System
hoku 10/10/2012 12:36:00 PM
EDIT 12.13.2012: I have bumped this system to 5 Lippies! It is seriously amazing at keeping my skin in check and not drying it out at all. My skin feels smoother and softer, and it's all thanks to this! Original review below. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Overall: 4 Price: 4 ($47.85 CAN + taxes + shipping) Packaging: 3 Buy again: yes (See explanation below) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- I have had acne for over 10 years, and for a while Benzoyl Peroxide was the only thing to help with the deep cystic acne I would get due to hormones. I was on the pill for a few years which helped tremendously, but I recently got off the pill and my acne came back! I'd tried ProActiv in the past, and while it did work, I didn't like the cleanser or toner, and found the products in general very expensive. I decided to try out this kit after reading good reviews. I really like this 3-step system. I got the 2-week Trial kit in Regular Strength and used it for a few days and I could tell the difference immediately. All 3 products, when used together, are supposed to help fade leftover red marks as well. The cleanser is great, it removes makeup (I don't wear heavy makeup, just mineral makeup) and deep cleans without drying my skin out at all. The Toner is FANTASTIC - it really does feel like water; no stinging or burning sensations, no alcohol smell... and it smooths the skin out and reduces pores and blackheads like nobody's business. The 2.5% BP lotion is great too. It's a lightweight, smooth (not grainy at all) gel that absorbs quickly, and isn't drying (I use 5% BP most of the time, so I'm used to it). It doesn't leave any residue marks. I usually apply a moisturizer on top though, just to make sure my skin doesn't dry out. I also wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or 55. I have noticed that my breakouts have lessened, and the hyperpigmentation left behind IS fading faster than usual. So, yes, these products live up to their claims, as long as you are consistent with them. I said I would buy again, because I really do like them, and I WOULD repurchase, if not for the price. The price of the products in a kit is a fair price. However, to get them shipped to Canada, I would have to pay $11.50 USD in shipping, PLUS Canadian taxes... so this kit ends up being as expensive as ProActiv, and not nearly as convenient, as I can only buy this online. It makes me sad because I really do like these products. If you live in the States or you don't mind paying an excess of $20 in other fees, I highly recommend this kit if you're struggling with acne. For the rest of us, however, I am going to keep looking for a decent drugstore (or more accessible) toner and Acne.Org 2.5% BP gel ($16.52/8 Oz). They may not be as good as Paula's Choice, but they are cheaper and effective. EDIT October 15, 2012: PaulasChoice.com is offering free shipping until November 6, 2012, so I decided to buy 2 kits to stock up for a while! I really do love the results that I can get with this product, so it's worth it to get it! Plus, I love all the free samples!
EDIT (October 10, 2012): I am still really liking this! I brought this and the rich day cream with me on a trip to Sault Ste. Marie, where the weather is cooler and drier, and both creams performed wonderfully! I didn't experience the usual tightness and dryness that comes with changing climates, so I'm loving both day and night creams! Original review (October 1, 2012): Overall: 4 Price: 4 ($51 CAN) Packaging: 4 Buy again: yes ------------------------------------------------------ My skin: combination, acne-prone, sensitive. Mid twenties, chronically sleep deprived. I bought both the day cream (Rich, by accident, see my review for that) and night cream because I am always running on very little sleep and my skin shows it. I'm not overly concerned about premature aging and wrinkles, so this line seems best suited for my needs. Also, the weather is changing and my skin is drier, so I needed something a bit more hydrating that would carry me through fall and winter weather. The night cream contains extracts of tea, buckwheat, ruscus, soy, and cranberry. It is mineral-oil free and free of parabens. The scent of the cream is light and pleasant, much like an herbal tea, and while it doesn't completely disappear, it isn't bothersome, at least not to me. I find it calming and relaxing. Let's talk price: not the cheapest night cream out there, but also not the most expensive I've seen. I give it a 4/5 lippies because it is pricey, no matter how you look at it ($51+tax). I don't mind to spend if I know a product is worth it, but even I have realistic limits to what I think is an appropriate price for a topical skin product. Packaging: As seen by the image above, the packaging for the Skin.Ergetic night cream is heavy glass, egg-shaped, deep purple jar. I like the look of the packaging and think it's classy and timeless. I don't have a hygiene issue with the jar, but I don't like the idea that the antioxidants in the product are exposed to air every time I open it, so 4/5. I like that the jar isn't overly clunky and huge. Performance: If you have dry skin, I don't think this will be enough moisture for you. I have normal/combination skin during the fall, and this is *just* enough for me. After I've cleansed my skin in the evening, I take a pea-sized amount of product and rub my palms together about 4 times to distribute the product evenly and warm it before applying to my cheeks, nose/upper lip, chin, and forehead and then spreading whatever is left to my neck. I find that applying the cream this way allows you to spread the product evenly, resulting in less waste (because you only need a pea-size amount) and your skin absorbs it faster. My skin doesn't feel heavy or clogged up when I use this, and my face doesn't feel sticky or oily. My skin just feels comfortable. I break out very easily and I haven't had any problems with this. When I wake up in the morning my skin isn't oily, and my skin's appearance has been improving since I've been using both day and night creams; I don't have as much pronounced redness and my skin tone looks more even and fresh (not as sallow and tired looking) after only 5 days. I will update if anything changes.
Moisturizers -Biotherm - Skin Ergetic Rich Day Cream
hoku 9/27/2012 2:28:00 PM
EDIT (October 10, 2012): Still loving this! I took this and the night cream with me on a trip to Sault Ste. Marie and the weather is cooler and drier up there, and these creams performed wonderfully! No breakouts. Love. If you're just starting with this moisturizer, try applying with damp hands to a damp face, it really does make a difference, and keep with it for at least a week or two! EDIT (October 1, 2012): I apply this cream with slightly damp hands to a slightly damp face and it thins out the product, so it spreads more easily, and absorbs faster. My face is less shiny throughout the day when I apply this way (But I think when I finish the Rich cream I will get the Cream-Gel meant for normal/combination skin). No breakouts associated with this yet. Bumped to 4 lippies. Original review (09.27.2012) Overall: 3 Price: 4 ($49/50 mL CAN) Packaging: 3 Buy again: yes ------------------------------------------------------------------- It is SO unlike me to review the day I buy a product, but I wanted to share my initial thoughts. I will update if anything (good or bad) changes. I love the idea behind this particular Skin.Ergetic line. It's a line targeted to those of us who are under stress and fatigue, which starts to show on the skin. I'm not interested (at the moment) at "wrinkle prevention" per se; I take fairly good care of my skin but the one thing I cannot really stave off, is the effect of night shifts and 3 hours of sleep. I'm an ER nurse so I am a perfect candidate for this line! The Day Cream contains extracts of Tomato, Grape, Apple, Pomegranate, and Bitter Orange. It's 100% free of artificial fragrances, and 97.5% of the ingredients are of natural origin. Just a note on this particular statistic: I would not, in any way, consider this an "all natural" product. Be smart; read the ingredients; it still contains lots of skin friendly, but artificial ingredients. This doesn't bother me, but if you're someone who cares about that sort of thing, this is NOT an all natural product. I have to admit I was hesitant to purchase this product because I couldn't find many reviews, and the ones I did find said it broke them out, which is something I absolutely do not want. However, I read the ingredients, and it is free of mineral-oil and parabens, so my major concerns are out of the way. I also have to say that I have the Rich cream purely by accident; I asked the Biotherm consultant for the Cream-Gel, and when I got home I realized she gave me the Rich Cream instead. I was too lazy to go back to the store, so I kept it. Application: It's smooth, and not at all heavy. Spreads easily, and I make sure to start with a little bit, adding small amounts at a time to avoid overloading my skin with too much, especially since this is the rich version. It feels light, and my skin just drinks it up! I'm surprised because I thought it would make my skin look shiny and oily, but it actually works well with my Combination skin (I'm a bit more dry/combo at this time of year). My skin feels comfortable, not heavy or greasy. I applied sunscreen over top (Shiseido Senka SPF50 PA+++; see my notepad for more details), and makeup applies nicely on top. It has a nice, light fragrance, not at all disruptive. I'm a fan of citrus smelling stuff, so I like this. I noticed after application my face did look brighter, fresher, which is something that doesn't happen often! Packaging: The shape of this jar reminds me of Easter eggs! It's really cute. I think the heavy glass jars are beautiful and look nice on my counter. I keep the plastic inserts in the lids just because I feel like it keeps the product fresher, somehow. Honestly, jar formats aren't a hygienic problem for me because I ALWAYS have clean hands any time I handle my face. BUT I do have a slight problem with the jar format for the integrity of the product; opening the jar allows the product to come in contact with air, which facilitates breakdown of the active ingredients. But majority of companies package their creams this way, so what can I do about it? Price: I don't mind paying the big bucks for a product if I know it works, but this is one of my more expensive purchases lately. This cream is $49 Canadian (plus 13% tax...) so it's by no means, "cheap", though I know there are more expensive products out there. I haven't used it long enough, but I'll update when I have a verdict of whether or not this breaks me out.
Eyeliner -Pur Minerals - Black Amethyst Mineral Eye Defining Pencil w/ Smudger
hoku 9/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
Overall: 5 Price: 3 (About $20 CAN) Packaging: 3 Buy again: yes ---------------------------------------------------------------- This is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE eye liner! I bought this as part of a set from the shopping channel, so I didn't pay full price, but I gladly would. I have recommended this to so many of my friends because I love it so much. Let's talk performance: I have asian eyelids. I have the double eyelid, but it's small, so regular liners smudge almost instantly. I also have oily lids, so I need something waterproof and smudge proof. I was using Revlon ColorStay liner before and it was "ok", but I would always end up with smudges on my lower lash line at the end of the day. I like to tightline my upper lids, so I must have something that can stay put. This liner TRULY is smudge proof, unless you smudge it yourself with the included smudger, it really will last all day. The ultimate test: I was doing my sister-in-law's makeup for her wedding and I used this liner on the entire bridal party. We all cried and it was humid, but everyone's makeup stayed put and perfect the entire day. If that isn't a testimony to performance, I don't know what is. I often wear this pencil at work; I'm a nurse and work 12 hour shifts and I don't have much opportunity to touch up my makeup or check that it's not smudging everywhere. It never smudges on me, and stays right where I put it. I love the colour of this liner; it's dark enough to be worn for formal occasions, but has just enough colour to make it appropriate for day time use as well. Packaging: I love that it's an automatic twist up product so I don't have to worry about bringing a sharpener. The sponge-tip smudger is a nice addition, though I have to admit I don't use it that often. The one thing I don't like about the packaging is the lids at either end of the pencil; when I'm in a rush, I often forget which lid goes on which end, so on a couple of occasions I've put the wrong lid onto the ends of the pencil, squashing some product (and wasting it). My own fault of course, but I wish there was a way to prevent that from happening. Even though it's a little pricey (in my opinion) at $20, it's such a good product that I don't mind to pay it. If you are looking for a good quality eyeliner, try this one!
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Lavender Essential Oil
hoku 9/17/2012 10:52:00 PM
Overall: 5 Price: 2 (Economical!) Packaging: 3 Buy again: Yes ----------------------------------------------- I bought Lavender Essential Oil a few years ago because I heard it was good for acne (like Tea tree oil). I forgot that I had it for a while, until I saw some reviews, so it made me dig it out and I have to say, it's really great. I've been using Tea Tree oil for a long time for some blemishes, but I find that sometimes the tea tree oil isn't very effective. When I use Lavender oil, I find that my blemishes dry out and heal a bit faster than if I use Tea tree oil. Lavender oil is my secret weapon for BIG under the skin cystic acne; after a few days it shrinks down to nothing without ever coming to a head! For both TTO and Lavender, I just apply it straight, undiluted with my clean fingertip to affected areas. Then I mix 1-2 drops into my skincare lotions to gently treat my whole face. The smell of lavender calms me (took some time to get used to though), so it's a great nighttime ritual. Packaging wise, I'm "meh". Mine comes in a dark amber glass bottle with a funny stopper in the top that makes it a little tricky to dispense 1 drop at a time; I find I'll usually get anywhere between 2-5 drops so some days I end up with more in my hand than I originally wanted. But otherwise, I don't really mind the packaging much; I like the dark glass, which protects the oils from light degradation. I am so glad I found this and tried it out. I highly recommend!
Moisturizers -Aveeno - Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer spf15
hoku 9/17/2012 10:41:00 PM
Overall: 2 Price: 4 (For a drugstore product, really expensive) Packaging: 3 Buy again: No ------------------------------------------------- I was really excited to try this at first; it sounded exactly what I was looking for, providing light moisture, light SPF, and helping with discolourations. I am in my mid twenties, and have combination skin that tends to be very acne prone/sensitive. Performance: It provides light moisture. The weather is becoming cooler and drier, so my skin craves moisture after washing. I find that when I apply this my skin initially feels better but feels a little tight about 5 minutes later. I've also noticed my skin feels a little warm and slightly itchy when I wear this, which suggests I might have some kind of mild allergy to something in this. Initially, I found this lotion did help with the uneven skintone around my nose and upper lip, and even helped a little bit with some freckles on my cheeks. But after continued use, I didn't notice the same benefits and of course the aforementioned tingling and tightness made me think maybe this is causing it (I haven't changed anything else in my routine). I also noticed lately that I've been getting several breakouts -- they go away quickly, but the point is I'm getting breakouts... which I try so hard to avoid! Price: for a drugstore product, this is really expensive. It was $20 CAN, but it came with a bonus full-sized matching Cleanser. For that price, I'm expecting a good product; for me, it's not really living up to expectations. Packaging: Meh. Standard plastic bottles that you can't really see how much is left.It has a pump with a twist-lock mechanism, which is handy if you travel. Summary: I don't know what I'm going to do with this product now, since I feel like it's the cause of my recent skin issues... but if you have sensitive skin, I would beware of this product!
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Balea Cleansing Cloths
hoku 9/16/2012 6:13:00 PM
Overall: 4 Price: 3 (Got these on sale; $7.50 for the box; $11.60 for 2x refills) Packaging: 3 Buy again: yes --------------------------------------------------------- I've used these for many years, and are the best that I've seen for the price. I use these usually only if I'm travelling or camping (I use the small 15pack for travelling), OR if the weather changes/cooler weather when my skin is intolerant of wash-off facial cleansers. I think the value is really great; most cleansing cloths only come in packs of 30 pcs, but these are 56! So it's great. And it comes in a box which really does help keep the cloths moist, and is refillable. I don't really trust the sticker seal after several uses (that's just me) so I usually keep the pack in a zip lock bag to keep it as airtight as possible. I have found that all the cloths are adequately drenched in the cleansing solution; as long as it doesn't take me too long to use up the pack or if I keep it in the zip lock bag, I never have a problem with them drying out. I've used these to remove eye and face makeup and it does a great job without pulling or scratching. I usually wear Japanese sunscreen, BB cream or mineral makeup, so I can't attest to the removal of heavy duty makeup (Like Revlon ColorStay). When I wear waterproof mascara I usually remove that first with an oil-based makeup remover. I have acne-prone, combination skin that can be sensitive at times, so I use the Sensitive skin version. They don't break me out, and leave my skin feeling fresh and not dry, which is great for me in the fall/winter months when regular face washing makes my skin SO uncomfortably taut. I still apply moisturizer on top though. These aren't exactly environmentally friendly, since you use a cloth and throw it out... but like I said, I only use these cloths for travel or winter months. Granted, Fall and Winter here in Toronto/Canada does occupy like 7 months of the year... but I try to limit these to once a day (evening) and splash plain water on my face in the AM. I would (and have) recommend these cloths to anyone who is looking for good, economical face wipes.
Concealers -Maybelline - Dream Lumi Touch in Radiant
hoku 9/12/2012 1:02:00 PM
Overall: 4 Price: 3 (~$9 CAN) Packaging: 2 (hate it) Buy again: yes ------------------------------------------- I have a love-hate relationship with this product. The product itself, I love. The packaging, not so much. I have mild-moderate dark circles because I don't sleep much, and this brightening concealer makes a huge difference in my morning routine. I was worried that the colour of this would be too light -- I am about NC30 with olive tones. The colour of this concealer is a light nude-pink with a tiny amount of shimmer. I apply to the inner corner of my eyes close to the bridge of my nose and under the dark circles, blending up to my lower lash lines with my ring finger. It blends in seamlessly, instantly brightening the darkness. I don't even need to add any other concealers on top! The slight shimmer helps with brightening and doesn't look like I sprinkled fairy dust on my skin. Lasts all day when set with a powder. Packaging: I really hate the packaging. The brush-tip application is just unhygienic; I cringe every time I open it. And, sometimes, the twisting clicker thing doesn't dispense product; so I tap the product (brush tip down) on my dresser a few times, and then too much product comes out. Now, I just store my concealer on its end so that the brush tip is down (I hope that gravity will help with dispensing). If they changed the packaging, I would give this product a 5. I would buy this again!