I purchased this palette once I figured out I was really allergic to many brightly colored eyeshadows and liners. My skin tone is about NC-10. I know that Naked 1 is preferred for those with warmer tones, but I just liked the look of these colors better. This is a really good deal and it has a lot of colors that I use at least twice a week, if not every day (Bootycall, Half Baked, Blackout, and Verve come to mind). There are some duds for me though. For one, Foxy just doesn't show up on me at all. I've tried it several different ways but no dice. I was very excited about Tease (since it was a mid-tone matte), but it gave me a bit of bruised look. Chopper is a bit of a glitter bomb and too orange-y for me (it might have been cool to have a black or silver glitter instead). I don't think I'll be repurchasing this. It's not that I don't like it and I don't use it (I do), but I'm not so crazy about this palette that I wouldn't want to try others out there.
Lipstick -Wet 'n' Wild - Mega Last Matte 904B Rose-Bud
husserl 1/15/2013 3:13:00 AM
Wow! What a great day-time pink! I'm usually a total sucker for super hot pinks during the day (think MUFE 36, Chanel Super, MAC Candy Yum Yum) but I really needed something just a bit more conservative for work. I didn't want to throw down the big bucks while I was still experimenting to find out what kinds of daytime colors I'd like. I definitely didn't expect that this would be such a little gem in the process! Not only is this is a really a flattering color for me, I'm really blown away by the formula. How can something that costs the same as my cafe latte stay on so well, be so pigmented, and have a really pretty semi-matte finish? I don't need to know. It just works. I do find these about as drying as any other matte shade (maybe slightly less), so I like to top it with a bit of chap-stick or Aquaphor. One huge draw back is the packaging, though. There is a LOT to be desired there. Maybe that's how WnW can afford to keep the cost down. I don't feel too comfortable twisting these lipsticks up and down. I get the sense that they could just break off easily. Other than that, I think there's a really great product inside what is otherwise lame packaging!
I got this because I am extremely pale and I wanted a very natural-looking blush that wouldn't look muddy on me. Just to get a rough idea of how this compares to another sheer blush, Benefit Dandelion shows up on me as a definitively pink blush after a light application (even though it's marketed as a "finishing powder"). I was hoping for something of similar color-intensity that was significantly less pink. I absolutely cannot believe that I am writing to say that this is too pale for me. It barely shows up unless I pile it on. This is surprising to me since I'm in the NC-10 range. I can sort of tell when I wear it, but it is not quite like wearing a "natural blush." Maybe I got a dud. I'll keep this around but I can only imagine wearing this if I am wearing *both* a smokey eye *and* a bold lip. It is just THAT subtle. The blush has a fragrance to it that kind of hits you in the face when you open the package and apply the blush. This doesn't irritate my skin, but it's not a fragrance that I'm especially in love with. It dissipates after the first 15 minutes of wear. The blush doesn't break me out or ruin my skin otherwise, so I'm not going to get rid of it. At the same time I don't see this becoming the go-to subtle and neutral blush that I wanted it to be. I'm bummed because I really wanted to love this based on the reviews, but I just don't see myself re-purchasing this.
I had been breaking out at the corners of my mouth for over three weeks straight despite aggressive treatment. The lovely folks on the skin-care board suggested I might be having a bad reaction to my toothpaste. As it turns out, there are a lot of ingredients in "conventional" toothpastes that can make a break out go from bad to worse. SLS (sodium laureth sulfate) and Fluoride are two ingredients that can contribute to sensitivities and breakouts in individuals with sensitive skin. At the time, I was really desperate and didn't want to spend too much time figuring out if I was sensitive to one or the other, so I tried to find a toothpaste that was SLS and Fluoride-free. I still don't know which ingredient bothers me, but I got results with this toothpaste. As it turns out, it is somewhat easy to find a toothpaste without SLS but it is harder to find a Fluoride-free toothpaste. Fluoride shows up even in "natural" toothpaste brands too, so be sure to read labels carefully! I wanted to write a review for this one in case anyone is having the kind of trouble I had finding a brand that was "free" of these ingredients. About two days after I switched to this toothpaste, my breakouts started to finally heal up with proper treatment. It drastically reduced the irritation in the area which allowed my skin to heal. As a bonus, my lips are less chapped than they normally are at this time of year. This particular toothpaste is a bit more expensive than your average drugstore toothpaste. It tastes okay (I was bracing myself for something really odd and 'natural' tasting), it's not gritty, and it also lathers a decent amount. As an added bonus, it has a flip-cap which I like because I'm always dropping my toothpaste cap on the floor or down the sink when I'm groggy in the morning! I think it does everything I expect a toothpaste to do, but please be aware that it doesn't contain fluoride or any whiteners. If you need those kinds of ingredients in your oral care regimen, you will need to supplement accordingly. It's been suggested that the PM-brushing can be the most irritating to the skin surrounding your mouth because some people drool in their sleep and the additives in the toothpaste can contribute to irritation (gross, but it makes sense) so maybe this will be a good night-time toothpaste for some people. I use it AM and PM for now, but I'm considering switching to PM-only eventually since I really do love whitening toothpastes. Here's an ingredient list (as of the date of this review): Calcium Carbonate, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Carrageenan, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae Powder, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Extract , Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Seed Extract, Stevia, Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract, Silica, Sodium Bicarbonate
Skincare - Face -Johnson & Johnson - Purpose Cleanser
husserl 1/7/2013 10:57:00 PM
While I like this cleanser a lot, I prefer Acne.org's cleanser over this one. However, I always keep a bottle of this stuff around because it is a good, reliable product at an affordable price point. I use it when I travel or run out of my usual cleanser. There are three reasons why this isn't my number one choice. First, SLS is the main foaming agent here. The SLS in this cleanser leaves my face feeling a bit tight after I cleanse. Other chemically similar foaming agents don't do this to me. It's not huge deal since I always moisturize after cleansing but I could do without that squeaky clean feeling. Second, this cleanser is fragranced. I don't have a special sensitivity to fragrance but my skin is sensitive in general. Sometimes fragrance can contribute to overall sensitivity issues. Finally, the Acne.org cleanser is a comparable product in my humble opinion but the Acne.org cleanser is even more cost effective in terms of dollars per ounce IF you purchase the largest bottle size and a few bottles at a time to offset the cost of shipping. Maybe this seems excessive but I consider the cost per ounce when I consider the value of any given product. Still, this is a solid product. If you like this, you might also like the Clean and Clear sensitive cleanser if for some reason this is out of stock at your drugstore. It's very similar.
This is my everyday night moisturizer. I was very wary of trying an AHA at first, but I really wanted to take the plunge and switch to a chemical exfoliant because my physical exfoliant was wrecking my super sensitive skin. Since my skin is so reactive, I try to use as few products as possible in my routine. I am very happy that I can get both my PM moisturizer and my AHA in one product with this. Before I started using this lotion, I had lots of flesh-colored bumps/clogged pores on my forehead. After about 3 weeks of using this product, I noticed that my skin had an improved clarity and texture in all areas *except* for my forehead but I also noticed that I had an increase in whiteheads and I believed this lotion might be the culprit. I wasn't totally ready to give up on this product since it was a good exfoliant for me but I still needed to fix the clogged pores on my forehead and resolve the whitehead problem. Given my skin's history, I was nervous to combine this with a BHA, but I was feeling bold and I knew BHA's were better for clogs than AHA's. As it turns out, I tolerated the combination of the two exceptionally well. When I use this *in conjunction* with a BHA on a nightly basis, I rarely ever get whiteheads, my skin is well-exfoliated, and the clogged pores on my forehead are a thing of the past. For some reason, this product didn't really agree with me *until* I started using it with a BHA every time. Also, on a side note: I found that this lotion does a fantastic job of brightening up my tattoo during the winter when dry skin makes it look a bit cloudy. (Although AHA increases sun sensitivity, and sun exposure is especially bad for tattoos. I do *not* expose my tattoo to the sun at all if it has been recently treated with AHA -- I just like to keep it looking bright for my own enjoyment at home!)
I was pleasantly surprised by this mascara! I've been trying to slowly stop using high end products in order to save money. To date, only a couple brands of higher-end mascara have been smudge-proof on me *except* for this one! I thought Full + Soft might work, but once the climate started warming up, it smudged like the rest of 'em. I get all-day wear with this mascara meaning no flaking, upper-lid smudges, or 'coon eyes. This is true in both dry and humid climates. It layers really well if I apply it while it's still wet. Removal is fairly uncomplicated. Also, the black is a true black as far as I can tell. I'm really happy with this one, so, if you're on the fence about it, give it a whirl!
Shampoo -TRESemme - Vitamin C Deep Cleansing Shampoo
husserl 12/21/2012 10:27:00 PM
I've been using this shampoo for a few months now. I switched over to this from Paul Mitchel's Shampoo One because I wanted to save a few bucks. I actually think they are comparable products and I really don't miss Shampoo One at all. This is a great no-frills shampoo that cleanses well. I only wash my hair about twice a week and this removes all traces of product buildup. It doesn't feel necessary to wash more often than that. If anything, the shampoo almost cleanses *too* well since my hair feels a little stripped after I wash. Thus, a conditioner is a must. Oh, and if you have paper cuts or super dry winterized bloody knuckles...watch out! The citrus in the shampoo is sting-y. The packaging is a little bit clunky and awkward. While I'm thrilled that TRESemme wants to give me the most product for my dollar possible, the weight of the shampoo bottle has taken out a few shower caddys at this point. So, I decant a little bit of shampoo in a travel bottle every so often and that works much better than keeping the giant (and kinda ugly) bottle in the shower.
Foundations -Meow Cosmetics - Purrrfect Puss mineral foundation
husserl 11/29/2012 3:00:00 PM
This foundation is the cat's meow! See what I did there? :) Anyway, I highly recommend this product because it is both an excellent product AND an excellent value for the price. There is not much that I could say here about the product itself that hasn't already been said, but I will add that I used to be a die-hard liquid foundation user because I thought that only liquid foundation could conceal all of my skin "issues." What I didn't realize was that the liquid makeup often made my skin condition worse in the summer heat and whatever coverage benefit that was gained was lost due to poor color matching. I was having a tremendous heap of problems finding a shade match in both drugstore and high-end brands because most pale shades are too pink for me. When I finally found a liquid shade match (NARS Siberia), the product just slid around on my face and looked terrible. I was really saddened to think that I would have to spend about 45 bucks every couple of months for what was, essentially, a foundation that didn't even work for me. After some asking around on MUA about pale foundations, I decided to give Meow a try. Meow really changed my opinion about what mineral foundation can do. Also, the value is just unbeatable. I was able use the large size to make my own portable compact to take to work AND I'm still barely halfway through the big container I purchased in July (and it's nearly December now). I *almost* gave up on Meow because there were TOO many shade options to try and three different formulations of each with their own color payoff properties. Even though this one is the lightest coverage (I think!), it actually had the best coverage for me because it was the "blendiest" of the bunch. The only downside was that I had spent maybe $30 or so JUST on samples alone at first. I also had to try two rounds of samples because the first round was TOO pale for me -- that is a FIRST EVER and it was almost a welcome problem. The whole process of finding the right shade took between 3-4 weeks because the shipping is rather sluggish. But, if this happens to you, don't fret! I'm SO glad I stuck with it. Now that I know my shade, I will just re-order at my leisure because the sizes are so generous there's no way I could suddenly run out of foundation. I don't even regret that initial investment into samples because I normally would have repurchased foundation at least three times between July and now and I'm not even done with the first container. HG! =^..^=
Polishes -Milani - One Coat Glitter - Silver Dazzle
husserl 5/18/2011 11:10:00 PM
Wow! I never thought that I would ever write a nail polish review because I never thought I could find a perfect polish for me...but I think my search is over! This might be the first time *ever* I'm thinking of considering buying a back-up of something. This is the best glitter polish I have ever used. It is *almost* opaque with just one coat, but I think 2 coats really intensifies the color. To me, that in itself is impressive for a glitter. It dries down to a deep slightly blue-toned charcoal and the finish is almost matte which makes it look more mature than something that is just chock full of super shiny sparkles (don't get me wrong: I love sparkles!). With a top coat, I can get a slight sheen but it won't dry down to a high gloss for me. This is fine because this polish is beautiful. It sort of reminds me of glistening asphalt ... in the best possible way. My only slight issue with this is that it gummed up a little on the brush during the application of the second coat. Other than that, though, this applied perfect -- no clumps or bumps and a very reasonable drying time. HG material for sure!
Hair -Wen by Chaz Dean - Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner
husserl 2/24/2011 11:49:00 PM
I love this stuff! I have very damaged, processed hair and I wash my hair twice a week. I use this cleansing conditioner for one wash and a gentle shampoo for the other. This leaves my hair soft, full of volume, and clean without stripping my hair of moisture or color. I couldn't ask for anything better. One thing I do not "get" is why the directions want you to use so much product. I honestly just use this as I would a normal shampoo (which is about 4 pumps). I leave it in my hair for the rest of my shower and rinse well with warm water. I've noticed no difference in results if I follow the exact directions -- other than my hair is more weighed down and greasier the next day. When I do it my way, I can get about 3 days of clean hair out of one wash. Enjoy! :) EDIT: I ended up demoting this product two lippies and changing my mind about re-purchasing. It's been a while since I wrote this review and I never purchased another bottle of this stuff after I finished the first. I actually found that I can get the same results by just using a regular drugstore conditioner between washings. Search the hair board or google for a "conditioner wash" method and for conditioner reccomendations.
I just can't believe I've been shelling out so many dollars on Bumble & Bumble products ... especially the Gentle and the Seaweed shampoos. That was such a waste because this shampoo is so fantastic and it's so inexpensive (comparatively). My hair is VERY color treated (read: abused) and this cleanses beautifully without stripping. I use a lot of hairspray and wax in my hair and this gets every last bit of product out of my hair without making it feel like straw. My hair feels so soft and smooth despite the fact that it's been processed. I read some reviews that say that they didn't need a conditioner with this, but that's not my experience. I certainly need a conditioner since my hair is prone to tangles but I certainly don't need a heavyweight conditioner since this shampoo isn't drying. I'm sure if your hair is healthier than mine it would make a great daily shampoo, but right now, I alternate between this shampoo and a cleansing conditioner every other washing (and I only wash twice a week). One washing with this shampoo will leave my hair relatively clean for about 4 days, but I can only get 3 days max with my cleansing conditioner. UPDATE: While everything I said about this product is still true, I ended up downgrading this because I think there are shampoos out there that do exactly what this one does for a fraction of the cost with similar ingredients.
Treatments -Desert Essence - Dessert Essence Blemish Touch Stick
husserl 10/7/2010 5:16:00 AM
I feel so bad about raining on the parade here because I just returned this product today. I wish it could have worked for me because there are so many nice things about it: it has a short ingredient list, it has pretty packaging (yes, I care about the pretties! Even if it is not the most hygienic...I just use cotton applicators on the rollerball), and, compared to other spot treatments, it is reasonably priced. I felt I could not go wrong with this product. And, I suppose that is precisely it: I didn't go wrong with it but I didn't go "right" with it either. It did nothing to irritate my skin or cause breakouts. I didn't mind the smell, and it played well with my other skin care products and my makeup. Yet, I gave this a fair shot (4 weeks) it just did absolutely nothing to clear my persistent breakouts or any spots in particular. Perhaps I'm just not a person for whom tea tree oil is effective. This is truly a bummer because I really wanted to find a nice, simple, effective product. The one upshot to all of this is that Whole Foods has a wonderful return policy and I felt like I got $8 free dollars (which I promptly spent on groceries). My skin may be in the pits but at least I am well-fed! If you can get this at a place with a good return policy, I would think that it is at least a good attempt because I have very particular skin and this did nothing to aggravate it. So perhaps for another person, the experience can only be a positive one.
I can't wear this foundation simply because Chanel does not make a shade light enough for me. What I will, say, though is that I found the finish, wear, and feel to be roughly similar to Bobbi Brown's Long Wear Oil-Free foundation. The coverage is between light and medium, it is quite concentrated, and not exactly buildable. I found that it "settled" a bit too easily into my smile lines and fine lines near my eyes. One notable aspect of this foundation is that it has a slightly luminous finish. I wouldn't say that it has a "dewy" finish but it certainly imparts a particular "glow" to the skin. It is hard to describe but I think that is what makes this product distinctive. I think it is very nice to see a foundation that actually adds an effect to the skin rather than merely camouflaging the skin's surface. That said, I don't think that this product is exceptional. For me, despite the color difference, it felt rather heavy on my skin which was not what I expected from this foundation at all. I also noticed that it did not resist oil break-through as well as other foundations I've tried or owned in the past. In short, an improved color range and a slightly more sheer formula would do much to make this foundation more worth the money. In short, this does not feel or wear like a luxury product to me, although with some modifications in the formula, it is well on its way to becoming one.
Liquid -Bobbi Brown - Natural Finish- Long Lasting Foundation SPF 15 [DISCONTINUED]
husserl 9/25/2010 11:49:00 PM
Next up on my great foundation search was Bobbi Brown's Natural Finish. I always wear the lightest shade in foundations. Sometimes, there isn't one that's light enough for me but, this time, there was actually a shade below me! I tried a sample of this foundation in Porcelain. I think this was the right color-intensity for me, but at the end of the day, it erred slightly yellow on me (not a surprise considering it's BB). This has a relatively thin consistency and I stippled it on with the Sonia Kashuk flat top brush. The coverage is somewhere between light and medium but I didn't find the finish to be particularly "natural" looking. To me, it had that classic semi-powdery "foundation" finish. There's no other way to describe it -- but it looked like I was wearing foundation. Since I have oily skin, I need to wear a setting powder and I found that my powder gave me a very "made up" look when I wore it with this foundation. I don't necessarily mind that as a look, but it's not really what I want from a foundation these days. So, if you're looking for a "skin-finish" foundation, I don't think this is it -- or even close. I also didn't find this to be particularly buildable even though it is thin and doesn't give heavy coverage. I appreciated that this foundation was unscented and that it had SPF. The wear on this was quite decent -- my longest days are sometimes longer than 12 hours and this only started to quit at around the 8-9 hour point. That is better than other foundations I've tried but it didn't seem exceptionally wonderful in this regard. When I first tried this foundation, I was over the moon about it but I kept hesitating to pick it up for some reason. When I got a gift card to Sephora (this was before BB started being sold at Sephora), I finally realized that, ultimately, I didn't think this was special enough to buy when I could get a new foundation for free. Some products are unique and it wouldn't matter if I could get something else, but having that gift card made me realize how unremarkable this foundation is. Also, this *might* have contributed to a recent breakout. Call me picky, but this didn't impress me enough to put down the cash for it.