Skincare - Face -Estee Lauder - Take It Away total make up remover
hrhirene 4/24/2012 2:35:00 AM
No comment on price just yet since I'm still on the (VERY generous) sample of it, but I'm liking it a lot so far. Smells fresh, takes off the foundation easily. Feels nice on the skin, too, and not all cloggy like Ponds Cold Cream (hello breakouts). Down side, it takes a significant amount of product to remove makeup. However, rinses off nicely. There is definitely a bit of grease/oil left over from it, but I always cleanse afterward, so I don't really care. Best of all does not leave my face red, irritated, or generally grouchy, which most products do... that alone is worth a lot. Out of interest's sake, I tried using this to take off Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua after sampling it, which is water based. That provided some amusing results. Definitely not for use with water based makeup!
Moisturizers -Ole Henriksen - Truth Creme Advanced Hydration
hrhirene 4/24/2012 2:24:00 AM
A home run by Ole Henriksen. It's rare a product does what it's actually advertised to do, and this delivers. Superb moisturizing capability, sinks in quickly, doesn't feel oily. Feels fresh, smells pleasant. There's nothing about this that I don't like. Along with a few other products from this line, this one is an absolute standout. My dry skin is in love.
I've been dying to try this for AGES and finally found a Sephora that had it. What to say? It lives up to the hype, plain and simple. A fabulous bright matte pinky-coral color that lasts and lasts. After some 16 hours of wear most of my foundation is gone but Hussy remains. Not thrilled with the packaging as I feel it is a bit bulky compared to, say, NARS. I travel a fair bit so that's important to me. I also find opening the compact to be a bit of a chore. This stuff is unbelievably pigmented. I merely suggest contact between the bristles of my blush brush and the powder and have more than enough for my NW15ish skin. It will probably last forever. Thumbs up, Illamasqua.
Primer/ Corrector -Laura Mercier - Foundation Primer Radiance
hrhirene 4/19/2012 3:28:00 PM
This stuff scared me when I first squirted some out, since it's pretty tinted and looked glittery and shiny. Even rubbed on the back of my hand I thought it looked a little too glitter ball-y. So I threw it in the back of my makeup drawer and ignored it until today. I got to thinking about it and decided to grab this in place of my usual primer which is a bit drying. To my surprise, when applied to my face the shiny-shimmery thing toned down a lot, and after I put foundation over it, I was incredibly pleased with the result. This really does add true, lovely radiance to my face without being over the top. My skin looks moisturized, well rested, and simply glows.... even AFTER being on a plane for six hours, and even in those horrible airport bathrooms with the world's worst lighting. I have this in a very generous sample size, which will probably take ages to run out since I tend to be too lazy to use primer most of the time, but will almost certainly purchase when I run out. Gave a four due to the darker tint (would not wear this on my skin alone, given how pale I am, but it doesn't seem to matter under foundation) and for breakthrough shine on the nose. Not a huge deal, and I'd rather have that than a matte primer that mattifies the nose and makes the rest of my face look like the desert.
Powder -Estee Lauder - Double Wear Mineral Rich Loose Powder Makeup SPF 12
hrhirene 4/9/2012 6:01:00 PM
I bought this on a whim ("oh, gee, I just need a few more dollars for free shipping... maybe I'll try this...") and am SO glad I did! I got this in Intensity 1.0 and am very happy with the color for my skin. I have never used the powder puff for application and probably never will. I use a kabuki and swirl it on to my face, and it's so fun to watch myself basically being airbrushed. The finish is so soft, fresh and pretty. I would say there is a slight shimmer/sheen to it... it's not sparkly, by any means, but it's not matte either. If you need additional coverage, it's easy to apply another light coat and erase redness or uneven skin tone. Best of all, this doesn't exacerbate any dry areas. I have some dryer patches that other foundations really pick up on, but this glides right over it and any dry areas are unnoticeable. That can be so incredibly difficult to find in a powder foundation! I've found the staying power is fine if I'm not doing anything taxing, and haven't noticed any oily breakthroughs in my t-zone. I wouldn't wear this during any kind of sporting event, or if you plan on getting sweaty. I do competitive show jumping, wore this while doing that one day, and was less than impressed with the results. My other favorite powder, DiorSkin Forever Flawless Powder, holds up much better in that regard. However, this is great for an everyday kind of makeup and didn't require touchups on my combination-dry skin, even with a generous coat of moisturizer under it.
For what this product is, I love it. If anyone is reviewing this and really wanted something more medium to full coverage... why did you waste your time with this? It's advertised as a light coverage foundation, and that's what it delivers. This is NOT a medium or full coverage foundation by any stretch of the imagination. It goes on very light, and disappears into your skin. However, it *is* (thank goodness!) buildable, and I've found different application techniques help with the coverage. My favorite mode of application is with a flat-top brush. I find you get the best coverage and a lovely finish this way. It's also easily applied with the fingers, but tends to sheer out a lot more with that mode of application. I would say that, if you do opt to layer it (as I often do), you will get to a coverage that's just under medium. This is a dummy-proof foundation to apply... I can basically throw this at my face and blend it in, no problem, where with other foundations I would apply much more carefully. For that reason, it's really handy to have around if I'm in a hurry. The finish is what I can only describe as being fresh. So fresh. It's polished, pretty, and EL are correct when they say "see no makeup, feel no makeup". This doesn't get yucky on my skin, despite prolonged wear, doesn't slide, doesn't get into any fine lines, and does what it's supposed to do. The transfer factor is somewhat high, but is solved somewhat easily if you set with powder. I typically set around my nose and t-zone and leave the rest, and it does very well that way. I like this stuff a lot - again, for what it is - but those with dry skin will have to watch out. Have discovered this recently. It *seriously* clings to dry patches and because of that I would only wear on recently exfoliated and well moisturized skin. This mystifies me a little because the finish isn't dry, and it doesn't *feel* drying, but it sure does exacerbate dry areas.
The first time I ever smelled this, I was at a rather nice hotel that used Bulgari products in their bathrooms. You could call that the gateway into Omnia Crystalline for me. Suddenly I equated this wonderful smelling substance with this hotel (which is something I'll probably never forget) and had to track down the fragrance. Omnia Crystalline is an interesting scent unlike anything I've really smelled before. There's definitely a plant base, but it's sweet, fresh, and I think another reviewer put it nicely - it's like the air after a summer rainstorm. But a little more heady. My skin picks up on nothing floral (which is perfectly normal for me - I always get the "darker" notes) and seems to bring the bamboo (if I had to guess) to the forefront. For what it's worth, I normally *loathe* floral scents and run away from them about as fast as my legs can carry me - the vast majority truly do smell terrifying on me - but this one works somehow. I would be surprised if I smelled this on anyone under the age of 18, but I started wearing it around the age of 21 and felt perfectly comfortable doing so. It's young and sophisticated. I don't pick up on "old lady" from it at all, but then, I was introduced to the scent in a young and very hip environment, so my viewpoint is obviously different from someone who wanders in off the street and gives this a sniff for the first time. Not a fan of the packaging, but it pumps well enough. Would repurchase if I ever run out!
Got this as a GWP at Sephora and was all excited. Supposedly it's a "more expensive smelling" version of Soap & Glory's signature scent. Cool. It smelled lovely enough in the bottle but is terrifying on me. Maybe if you can pull off a reeking floral, this will work for you. On me.. I tried to wear it but the scent truly made me feel ill. Pounding head an queasy stomach. I will give it marks for staying power- two hours later and the scent was still very obvious (and I only put a drop on my wrists). The only "up" side IMO.
I love this blush! It's the perfect color pink for my skin and adds such a nice, fresh pop of color. I am very fair-skinned, so it takes very little to get the optimal color. This was the first blush I ever bought, many years ago and in this exact color, and I just re-purchased it recently on a whim because I was sick of the sparkles and slightly orange aspect of NARS Orgasm and wanted something a little bit fresher. As a dedicated HE makeup user for a few years now, I was pleasantly surprised at the pigmentation and quality of this inexpensive blush! It goes on easily and smoothly, and leaves you looking like you've just come in from running around in the snow or strolling along the stream on a cool spring day. SO fresh. I typically apply with my Sephora powder brush, but the little brush that comes with it really isn't bad once you get the hang of it.
Got this as a sample at Sephora and decided to give it a try. I really have no strong feelings on this shampoo one way or the other. It has quite a nice, inoffensive smell that I enjoyed greatly, and I like that it's sulfate-free. However, I didn't notice anything miraculous or even particularly notable. My hair is short (chin length) and was already fairly shiny and healthy, despite being colored. I suspect over time it would weigh my hair down slightly, but then again this isn't exactly formulated for my hair type, so not really anyone's fault. I did like that it lathered easily and well (yay!) unlike some of the other sulfate-free shampoos I have tried, and seemed to leave my scalp feeling clean for the life of the sample (around 3 shampoos.) IMO, not quite enough time to really get a feel for it. It is important to note that, during that time, my hair and scalp felt clean, which is something I've lacked with other sulfate-frees. The sample did its job and acted as a gateway to Alterna for me... I decided to try some of the other shampoo/conditioners and am hoping they will work out! If this is something that you think will work for your hair type I'd definitely give it a whirl... not really for finer, naturally a bit limper (particularly on day 2) short fairly frizz-free hair.
The Lancome counter I went to was completely out of Ultra (and waiting on the new shipment of 24h) so wouldn't give out samples, obviously, but suggested I try Teint Miracle instead. With my skin type I wasn't completely convinced, but there have been some great reviews here, so I figured it might be worth a shot. Lancome foundations come with such a stellar reputation, right? So why not. The original application of 2C had me doing backflips with joy until it oxidized to orangey-pink. I've never seen a foundation oxidize so quickly. One moment the color was perfect and the next it had gone a bit scary. I tried other colors, but they were either too pink (which is a new one for me, NOTHING is too pink...) or too yellow. I got a few different colors as samples and eventually mixed them up, which gave me a color that actually worked pretty well even after oxidization - though still a bit on the orange side, so I was prepared to play around with the concentration of each color to get the perfect match, if in fact the foundation worked out to my satisfaction in other areas. The original finish is dewy verging on shiny/glittery and if you look closely there is quite a lot of shimmer. Something I didn't really know until putting it on. So of course, any skin imperfections are going to be emphasized because of this. That is definitely something to keep in mind if you have oily skin or larger pores. On me personally it looks as though someone dabbed oil on my face. My pores look HUGE and are very obvious. Coverage was OK - I have some fairly reddish and acne-prone areas and it covered them up reasonably well. They weren't invisible, but I don't mind that, since I find that a foundation that really covers up all those areas ends up looking too mask-y anyway. I sort of enjoyed the original finish until it settled into the skin 10 minutes later, and some two hours later there is simply no way this foundation is going to last. Being fair to the product, I didn't prime or set it with powder, wanting to see how it performed strictly on its own... I don't think I'll continue to pursue it, though, based on the color issues and the fact that this obviously does not work on oily skin. A disappointment, but not a huge surprise, I guess.
This foundation is impressive and currently ranks as my favorite. It hasn't attained HG status, though, and probably never will, in part due to the rather paltry color selection. I wear this in 010 Ivory and it's too yellow for my skin, which is rather pink. (around NW15-20) Dior definitely does not cater to the pink undertones. The match isn't great but I live with it, mainly because I haven't found anything better! With that out of the way, if you can match to Dior's color selection then you may have found quite a nice foundation. There's a reason this stuff is so well reviewed. I wore the old Flawless a few years ago, and absolutely loved everything about it but for the fact that it broke me out *badly*. For some reason I recall the color working far better for me in that formulation, too. Anyway, once I heard this had been reformulated, I was thrilled to try it out again. The finish is lovely; truly your skin, but better. My skin is sensitive, tends to go red when given the barest opportunity, combination and acne-prone. So the fact that this covered all of that up while managing to still look natural is nothing short of impressive. On occasion I will stop and admire areas of my skin that look so nice with this on. I've gone out without a setting powder and been *shocked* that the foundation didn't completely melt off. It easily has the best staying power of any foundation I've used, and on my skin that is not easy. True, it goes from being fairly matte to "regular" skin (my favorite phase, lol) to looking pretty darn shiny at the end of 7 or 8 hours, but it's within the realm of acceptability. Blotting and powdering seem to invite caking and sliding, though... so keep that in mind... That is one major down side to this foundation - it slides off (and around) and transfers SO easily. As a note RE application I do find that application with fingers works better (for me) than using any sort of brush. I tried with the Sephora Airbrush and a regular foundation application brush, and both left the finish looking notably cakier than it did when using clean fingers... something to keep in mind if you're not getting the application results you want. So far no major issues with breakouts... time will tell... I plan to continue hunting other foundations, so unless I can't find anything remotely as good as this, I doubt I'll repurchase due to color selection and various other issues. EDIT after more use... I've found what I believe to be my HG foundation (cautious optimism...) and frankly this stuff pales in comparison to it. As I continued using it, I noticed it settling into various areas of my face, and exacerbating dry areas. It has still lasted the longest in my t-zone of any foundation I've tried but it's almost like the oil builds under it or something, then explodes. I wore this for about 10 hours - not doing anything sweaty or physical - and my face felt pretty disgusting by the time I got home. You know that feeling you get where you just *cannot* wait to wash off your makeup? I will shelve this in favor of a foundation that better matches my skin and doesn't slide. There is an upside - it washes off very easily and doesn't stick around. The down side is, it's not sticking to your face, either. ;)
Moisturizers -Ole Henriksen - Nurture Me - Soothing Creme
hrhirene 3/4/2012 8:51:00 PM
I have extremely combination skin complete with rosacea and recurring breakouts. To top that off, my skin is quite fair, so redness and breakouts are a beacon of terror. While this doesn't fix redness and breakouts, it also does nothing to exacerbate the problem, and is consistently gentle and comforting to wear. After my face gets over the initial "OMGZZZ U TOUCHED ME!" and settles down a bit, I notice there is a difference between wearing this moisturizer and (insert other moisturizers here) as far as redness goes. Finding a cream that hasn't caused more issues than it's fixed has been a major project in my life to date, so suffice it to say I'm pretty thrilled with my results so far. On first application, I was a little freaked out that it might be too heavy. The moisturizer is a creamy-gel, emphasis on the creamy part, and is a bit heavier (yeah, really) than what I'd been using previously. The initial application made me leery, and I was convinced I would come back and see myself with oil all but dripping down my face in a few hours. However, the opposite happened. I don't really know how, because it seems like some kind of voodoo magic, but this adequately moisturizes my wicked-dry areas and controls (yes, really!!) my t-zone. My entire face, even multiple hours after application without using any type of powder or blotter, is still in a reasonable state. With other moisturizers, that doesn't happen. EVER. Possible HG status, but I'm going to give it a little bit longer just to be sure. I don't know if I can attribute this soley to Nurture Me, since I started using other products somewhat recently too, but I was able to leave the house feeling comfortable wearing *no* foundation/concealer/powder recently... something I haven't been comfortable doing for years. I've now used this product for about a month every morning and am less than 25% of the way through the jar, so it really lasts. The scent of this stuff is worth commenting on, too. In my opinion, it smells pretty darn good, and makes putting on moisturizer a little bit more fun. The fragrance doesn't seem to annoy my super sensitive skin at all. Only downside is the packaging... I hate jars... I wish Ole would move away from them. Edit: Two+ months of daily use and still absolutely loving it. This is my HG moisturizer. FINALLY!
Fragrances -Victoria's Secret - Sexy Little Things Noir Tease
hrhirene 2/24/2012 3:56:00 PM
One reviewer put the scent of this stuff beautifully: "I am a huge fan of sweet notes, only if they are balanced by something darker, more dangerous, more mysterious." They named this perfume aptly. It is seductive, smells a bit tasty, and is generally just pleasant with a kick of sexy and mysterious. As with most perfumes, my body chemistry really picks up on the vanilla/spice tones in this perfume, while toning down on the florals. It works. Really well, actually. The staying power isn't fabulous, but ah well. I rather enjoy the application of this perfume; the squeeze puff is kind of fun. Just be careful if you're like me and pick it up by the applicator at the top - I did this a few days ago and it went flying off, which more or less caused a perfume explosion. Oops. At least it smells good! I will definitely repurchase. It's not my #1 scent, but it comes close!
Once I heard this was discontinued I sprinted to eBay to stock up. This is my absolute favorite perfume, and I am SO upset they decided to discontinue it. I mainly wear this as a summer scent, because it just seems to go well with hot summer nights and it just seems more... summery. It's not a fruity perfume; the biggest notes I pick up, at least on myself, are vanilla/spice of some kind/a hint of musk/and something to sweeten it up and make it a little lighter - it's not particularly heavy, but nor is it light. Basically, it smells like delicious seduction. Wearing it makes me feel a little sexier, and what girl doesn't want that?! One bottle lasts for ages, even used liberally daily. Thank goodness for that. I hope they bring this stuff back, because it's amazing!!