It's just perfect. Deep enough to be dramatic, but not too dark.The slight gloss of the satin formula keeps it from looking too severe on my smallish mouth. I get really weary of the relentless barrage of "Limited Edition" collections MAC puts out. Not only because it's an obvious ploy to get an extra hand in the customer's wallet, but for reasons like this. Hot Chocolate is my favorite deep lip color for fall. And I can never get it again.
BB Cream -Skin79 - Vital BB Cream SPF50++ Hot Orange Label
ifthe 5/12/2013 3:17:00 PM
Being an old...err..."experienced" woman of 42, I've learned to be highly skeptical of trends. I don't know how many times I've rolled my eyes while reading emphatically glowing reviews of Korean BB creams. And oh my goodness, they HAVE to be KOREAN BB Creams to REALLY be called BB Creams...ugh! After sampling a few US made BB creams and finding them to be little more than tinted moisturizers, I really couldn't imagine that any BB cream could be anything special. I hate to say it, but there is a pretty darn big difference! And I REALLY hate to admit that this BB cream stuff is pretty darn awesome! The Good Stuff: Packaged in an air tight hygienic pump 50 SPF Sunscreen comprised of primarily Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide with ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate. Though the last one is chemical I didnít have any sensitivity whatsoever. It is worth mentioning that although the amount of SPF is awesome, considering it takes less than a pea size amount to cover (and I do mean cover!) oneís face, I do wonder about its ability to fully protect the skin from sun damage. There are several ingredients in this that are well documented as being highly beneficial for the skin. But again I must point out that it takes so very little product to cover the skin itís hard to know how much good itís doing. Very solid medium coverage, didnít settle into my pores or fine lines and did a great job of concealing redness and minor flaws without looking mask like. This has a slightly more yellow undertone as opposed to being more neutral like most BB creams. No grey cast out of the pump either. Lovely natural satin finish that provides a really nice brightening effect. Not really sure why, but for some reason this really helps with my rosacea flare ups. I also had no issues with break outs or irritation. The lasting time of this was quite respectable in my opinion. I can get a good 6 hours with the BB cream alone and about 8 with a dusting of setting powder. Even in warm weather. Bad Stuff: Like the majority of BB creams there is only one shade and this one is the lightest of all those I tried. Iím a MAC NC20/NC25 Bobbi Brown Warm Sand and I can just barely get away with this. I also find it doesnít self adjust as much as others. If youíre sensitive to silicones, forget it. The high amount of physical sunscreen in this will invariable flash back in photography. Although I find using a finishing powder that does not include sunscreen helps just a bit. This is probably best for Normal to combination skin types. Although this provided the most oil control of the 4 Skin79 BB creams I tried, I think combo skins will probably see the need for a touch of powder after about 5 hours. I donít think oily skins would last two hours without an oil controlling primer or powder. I donít think dry skin will find this moisturizing enough. Even with my combo skin Iím intending to break out the VIP Gold once the Winter months return. All things considered, Iím a huge fan so far. I havenít touched a traditional foundation since Iíve tried this.
Gels/Soaps -Olay - Ultra Moisture with Shea Butter
ifthe 5/12/2013 2:31:00 PM
This is the one I always come back to time and time again. I've tried what must be hundreds of body washes from Bath and Body Works and The Body Shop to L'Occitane and Kiehls and everything in between. This is the only thing that doesn't send me rushing straight from the shower into a vat of body lotion. In fact, during the warmer months I can be lazy and skip moisturizing altogether (though not for more than 2 days!). The one thing I don't like is the fragrance, but it fades quickly.
BB Cream -Garnier - BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector - Light/Medium
ifthe 5/3/2013 9:48:00 PM
I think I would've rated this a bit higher if I hadn't just tried several of the Skin79 BB Creams. Itís true that once you try a proper Asian BB cream youíll realize that most of what is on the American market is nothing but re-labeled tinted moisturizer! First of all, this has no coverage. The BB I tried from Skin79 had anywhere from light to a very solid medium coverage. You get none of the evening, brightening and smoothing effect you get from the Skin79 creams, either. The texture of the Garnier is smooth and gel like, but not nearly as nice as the Korean brand. They all had the texture of a luxury product. The fragrance is very strong in the Garnier product as well. The Skin79 creams all had fragrance too, but not nearly as strong. I wish they would all just leave the fragrance out, as we all know this is the biggest offender when it comes to skin irritation. Another big factor to consider is Garnierís low 15 SPF, especially considering none of the Skin79's went below 25 SPF. It's also worth noting that Garnier's SPF is primarily chemical (Octinoxate). Although I didn't seem to have any reaction I still prefer the physical sunscreens (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) provided by the Skin79 creams. My rosacea seems to be much more controllable when I use physical sunscreens. What cinches the deal for me is the list of ingredients. Admittedly, one is applying so little of either product it probably doesn't make much difference anyway, but Skin79 actually has many excellent ingredients such as Coenzyme Q10, ceramides, aloe, green tea extracts, vitamin c and such. Garnierís ingredient list is not nearly as impressive. I hate to jump on the bandwagon here, but skip this and buy an actual BB cream. I got mine on eBay for not much more than the cost of the Garnier! (I went through a wonderful seller on eBay. Both the full size products I ordered were fresh and authentic AND I got no less than 8 samples of various other BB Creams. The seller is located in the US, so it only took about 4 days for my order to arrive. I donít want to list the name of the seller in my review because I donít want to be accused of advertising, but anyone who would like the name of this seller is welcome to MUA mail me.)
I have to say that although the packaging for these lipsticks is ugly and looks cheap, the product itself is anything but. These are little pigment powerhouses! One swipe provides full coverage and the application is smooth. They wear quite comfortably and the color stays true throughout the day. Plus, there are some really gorgeous colors. Especially the red shades. Theyíve got you covered whether you like warm reds (Ravishing Rouge), true reds (Continuous Cranberry), cool reds (Enduring Ruby), or deep reds (Timeless Crimson). The colors I chose were Infinite Iris; a mid tone cool plummy pink, Consistently Truffle; a deep plum tinged cool brown , and Enduring Ruby; a cool, rich red. Both Infinite Iris and Consistently Truffle have just a touch of shimmer. The most Iíve seen these cost is $8.99, but I can almost always find either a coupon, or a place with a buy one get one half off deal. That works out to an average of about $6.75 per tube. Not bad! Although Iove all three, it has to be said that none of them last 14 hours. Not even close. I find the best way to make them last is use a lip brush and really work it into the lips. But even then I didnít get any more than 8 hours of wear, and thatís if I didnít have an actual meal. Plus Iím really not fond of the fruity smell these have, but it fades within minutes, so I wouldnít deduct any points for it. All in all, this product performs fantastically for the price. I would definitely purchase these again.
Liquid -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup SPF 20
ifthe 4/12/2013 7:51:00 PM
Since Iíve just purchase my 3rd bottle of this, I thought it was time for a review. Good Stuff: The Nude shade is a perfect match for my NC20-25/C2-3 Bobbi Brown Warm Sand skin. 20 SPF provided by titanium dioxide, which is great for those sensitive to chemical sunscreens. ĎCourse if you spend most of your day striking a pose, you might not appreciate that titanium dioxide so much. Lovely natural finish! Comfortable and light on the skin, Doesnít accentuate wrinkles or settle in pores Lasts quite well. I can go about 6 hours without touch ups. Bad Stuff: Fragrance. Iíve had no issues with sensitivity so far, but I prefer my foundations to be fragrance free. The bottle. No pump and the area underneath the cap can get downright grotty if Iím not careful! Not terribly buildable. At least not without sacrificing the light feel and the natural finish of the makeup. More than 2 light layers gets a bit suffocating for me. Whoís this best for: People with normal to dry skin, or the 40+ gals like myself with combo skin. Those who are oily probably wonít get an hour of wear with this. People who donít have too much to cover. I have Rosacea and it covers this redness quite nicely, but if youíve got a good zit going youíre gonna need some concealer.
Shampoo -Ouidad - Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo
ifthe 3/25/2013 8:15:00 PM
I live in the Pacific Northwest and the moist climate wreaks havoc on my curly hair. The Climate Control Line is a lifesaver! It really does what it claims. It only takes a quarter sized dollop to wash my slightly longer than shoulder length hair completely. And I actually like the clean, slightly unisex fragrance. The shampoo is sulfate free, so it's gentle and safe for color treated hair. I think this shampoo would be great for almost every hair type except oily or very fine as it is quite moisturizing and has synthetic waxes, which can weigh down fine hair. Awesome stuff!
I love the rainy Pacific Northwest, but my hair does not. Before the Climate Control line it was a constant struggle to keep my curls smooth and frizz free. This conditioner totally lives up to it's name. It keeps my hair calm and moisturized without weighing it down. The conditioner has a very thick texture, but still manages to glide effortlessly through the hair. I only need about a quarter sized dollop for my slightly longer than shoulder length hair. The smell isn't fruity or overbearing. It's a fresh slightly unisex type of fragrance. The only hair types I don't think this would work for are oily or very fine The synthetic wax it includes could weigh down fine hair and it is quite moisturizing. Huge thumbs up!
Ellis Faas has got to be out of her bleeding mind. How does she sleep at night? $65 for .23 ounces of foundation?!? Yes, that's less than a quarter of an ounce! There are no special ingredients in this whatsoever. None. Zip. Zilch. The formula has no truly unique properties at all. There is not one aspect of this product that warrants the price. It covers about the same as Nars Sheer Glow/Matte, Bobbi Brown Skin, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra Light, or Armani Maestro foundations. All of which provide more than 4 times the amount at a similar or lower cost!
And do NOT get me started on that pen thing. By the time I was finished with this bald faced rip off of a product I didn't want to just return it; I wanted to tie it to a brick to it and throw it through the window of the corporate office!
Beautiful semi matte finish.
Doesnít settle into fine lines or pores, does not accentuate dry patches.
Unique dry oil texture, but totally non greasy
Seems to last well, though the coverage is so light it can be hard to tell.
The price. This is far too expensive for what it is. I definitely feel like Iím paying more for the prestige of the name and less for the product!
The inclusion of fragrance, bitter orange oil, Linalool, and limonene. All of these have a potential to irritate skin. Bitter orange oil can cause photosensitivity which can cause collagen to break down.
Contains Alcohol denat. There is evidence to suggest that alcohol causes free radical damage, but there are also studies that believe the alcohol evaporates so quickly it has no time to cause any problems.
Contains TONS of silicones. Those who are sensitive will have to skip this.
The sunscreen is 3% Octinoxate. This is a chemical sunscreen that has been known to cause stinging and irritation in those with sensitive skin.
Coverage is very, very light. You can build to a slightly less than medium level of coverage, but those with more than minor skin imperfections will need to do some major concealing.
I think I wouldíve given this 3 stars if I hadnít discovered the new Paula's Choice Resist Instant Smoothing Foundation recently. It has an identical finish and better coverage (though it isnít full coverage by any means!). Though I admit it lacks the lightness, longevity, and color selection of Maestro, it more than makes up for it with its lack of irritants (in fact, it is full of proven ingredients that are beneficial for the skin!), and more palatable price tag.
If the only positive point the advertisers could come up with is that it's "the first black fragrance", you know you're in trouble. Alas, the empress has no meat dress.
This lipstick has been a staple for me for what seems like a million years! Syrup is described as a cloudy pink on the MAC website, I would add that it is a distinctly cool shade with a touch of pearlescence. Itís a lustre formula lipstick, so the coverage isnít fully opaque (but most certainly not sheer) and it does require frequent reapplications. Despite the lack of wear, the lustre formula is great if you tend to have chapped lips as it is nicely moisturizing. I also like the glossiness of this formula; it really adds some oomph to thin lips. This shade brings my NC20/25 complexion alive. Just enough color to make lips pop without being obvious; just enough shimmer to give my small mouth some dimension and fullness AND it makes my hazel eyes pop. I can just dust on a little mineral makeup, swipe on a bit of mascara, and pop on some Syrup and look more polished and fresh than if Iíd spent the whole morning painting, powdering, contouring, and blending. And it does this for almost anybody. My best friend (half white, half middle eastern) looks radiant in it. My little sister (pale skin, china blue eyes) sparkles in it. My mother (60, medium skin, dark brown eyes) rocks it. I can see myself wearing this color when Iím 80. Yes, itís that awesome.
Mascara -Bare Escentuals - Flawless Definition mascara
ifthe 9/4/2012 12:44:00 PM
The main thing I love about this mascara is that I can wear it all day without any smudging or flaking. I defines without clumping. My eyes are on the small side so the narrow precision brush really helps me get all my lashes. Personally, I find the $18.00 price tag a bit much for mascara, so I alternate with Cover Girl Lash Perfection, which defines just as well, but doesn't quite have the longevity.
All the positive reviews before mine are on the money.
Heure Exquise is vintage in the best sense of the word. Makes me feel like I should be sitting in front of a huge mirrored vanity with a satin robe and marabou slippers; dusting myself silly with a swan's down powder puff filled with expensive French talcum powder. It's one of those fragrances that works regardless of season or time of day.
It should be noted that I have the EDP, not the EDT.
If you've got fairly young, oily to combo skin that just needs a dusting of something to even out skin tone and control oil, this might be a good option. However, if you need the coverage of the original you will be disappointed. A single application covers about as well as a tinted moisturizer. And, at least on me, multiple applications are either ashy (Fairly Light) or orange (Medium Beige). I also had difficulty finding the proper shade. I wear Medium Beige in Original, but the same shade in Matte is darker and much warmer. Even custom mixing Fairly Light and Medium Beige doesn't look quite right. And frankly, this is not a "natural" matte on my combo skin. It's out and out MATTE.
My biggest gripe is the longevity. I'm lucky to get 3 hours out of it if I wear it on it's own. And god forbid I sweat at all, or it's gone immediately. On the plus side, if I use the Hydrating Mineral Veil as a primer, conceal any redness or blemishes with Summer Bisque, apply BE Matte, then finish with Skindinavia's 10 Years Younger setting spray I get a nice natural matte look, 6 hours of wear and a nice oil free T Zone.
I'll be sticking with the original. It takes much less product and effort!