I have the powder version of this in Light/Medium. It provides lighter but decent coverage (I usually wear it with a tinted moisturizer underneath, but it's passable on its own on good days). The package is a pretty rose gold metallic compact, with the application sponge separated from the actual powder to keep it clean. Positives: Easy to use with nice coverage, natural satiny finish, good ingredients, didn't break me out. Negatives: High price point, definitely oxidized, no oil control (in winter even), is very softly milled so powder flies everywhere and pan is hit really soon. Seriously, it usually takes me a year to finish a pressed foundation, but I'm almost totally done with this 2 months after purchase. That + the high price + oxidation are the real buzzkills. It's a nice product, but I won't repurchase.
I am so glad I found this. It is extremely similar to my favorite lip balm (Dr. Hauschka in the tube). However -- it's about half the price, and lasts a lot longer on the lips to boot. Creamy, thick, and soothing, without being too waxy. Light herbal smell and taste. Chock full of great ingredients that I feel good about possibly eating. It makes your lips look really plump and rosy and soft. It's really getting me through this winter!! 5 LIPPIES.
This was cheap (about $15 on Amazon) and shipped quickly. The weird gray-ish color actually smoothed itself into a very flattering shade and didn't oxidize on me at all. The formula was smooth, incredibly easy to apply, and definitely blurred most imperfections, leaving a soft-focus glow that lasted all day. I loved it! Aaaaaaaaaaaand it eventually ruined my skin. Insane breakouts and clogs that wouldn't go away. Still dealing with the aftereffects months later. It's probably all the silicones.
Lipstick -Bite Beauty - High Pigment Matte Pencil in Rhubarb
isavella 12/11/2012 10:32:00 AM
In my opinion, this is one of the best lip products on the market right now. I can't wait to get more shades.
This has been the answer to a huge makeup problem for me. (I know, super serious makeup dramz.) I have spent a lot of dough on nude palettes and eyeshadow duos/trios/etc. without fully realizing my goal of looking like Morena Baccarin on Homeland. Part of that is genetics, let's be real, but I also just haven't found the right product for the job. The end game is to look like a dewy fawn on the daily, with the option of upgrading to that sorta smoked-out yet not too heavy Penelope Cruz thing. I have a specific vision, don't judge me. The high end palettes I have tried have mostly provided a wide range of going-out looks. They just didn't have the *right* colors. Some, like Naked 1, are too warm-toned and provide too much variety. I know this sounds silly, but I want just the one specific look. And the more cool-toned ones didn't have that cozy baby deer quality. Ironically, I have found the exact colors I need in a few drugstore palettes, but the quality and pigmentation just wasn't there. A couple of Nars duos were almost right, BUT WHY GET THOSE when this bad boy is PERFECT for $4 less and 2 more shades to boot. I avoid Bare Escentuals. I just do. I don't like their foundation or their branding. I also don't like loose shadows. So I was super surprised at the amazing quality of their pressed shadows. The Truth is a quad (they have duos too, $20): warmish, not-too-frosty highlighter shade; medium satiny taupe; slightly darker, more bronze-y taupe/brown; slightly darker than that brown. I realize the shades sound very similar to each other, but this is a plus for me: the darkest shade doesn't translate into smoky when applied, which was my problem with many similar products. The highlighter shade is amazing - it absolutely does not translate as overly "done" or frosty and it's not too icy-toned for my medium olive skin (another gripe for many similar shades for me). The real standout though is the satin taupe. It's buttery, gleams without glitter or frost, and is just extremely flattering. Together, they create exactly what I've been searching for. Not to mention, they wear like iron. I have another quad (The Possibilities) from a QVC Christmas collection, and that one is fabulous too. Well done, Bare Escentuals.
Hair Removal -Olay - Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo
isavella 12/4/2012 1:17:00 PM
I have the one for darker, coarser hair. I apply the balm and only have very minor irritation. My skin is really hardy though, not usually sensitive at all. I will say that I doubt I will repurchase, simply because this is incredibly overpriced. It works well enough, but while the Olay is more elegant to use and probably of slightly higher quality, facial Nair works just as well for 1/4 of the price. HOWEVER - the balm is an excellent lip gloss. Just saying. I keep it in my purse.
Conditioner -LUSH - R&B Revive & Balance Hair Moisturizer
isavella 12/4/2012 9:54:00 AM
This is marketed as a more natural alternative to a silicone serum - for smoothing down frizz, sealing split ends, improving hair condition, etc. I really like this product. It has a gorgoeus scent that I love, but like everyone else said: SMELL it first, because it's scented heavily. I bought this from the Lush store in the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas...this is relevant because it smells EXACTLY like the hotel. Anyway, the salesperson wasn't as pushy as a regular Lush-person and when she told me this is her HG-for-all-time, she had this look in her eyes that made me believe her. Ha. It effectively shapes my waves and betters the condition of my hair. In general, this is the only styling product I use. I never use a lot and the tub will last me a long time. This is relative - I have medium textured hair of medium thickness. If you can justify the $$, I recommend this stuff. Also, it's just fun to use, which is something we all need in the a.m.
This rather nondescript palette is becoming indispensable to me in my new life as mother to an infant. The shades are of good variety yet work well independently and together; the quality is buttery and blendable. The name is NOT misleading: the eyeshadows are definitely soft & sexy. Sometimes a bit too soft. The palette leans cool, but it's not too bad if your complexion is slightly warm. Lasting power is superb with a primer.
The good stuff: Several of the shades are standouts, while a couple are merely "meh." I am in love with all the darker colors - they're great as crease (rock it in the socket!) and liner shades. Stiletto (matte deep black) is making my life SO much easier. I use it wet as my daily winged liner and 1) having it right there in the palette is super convenient, and 2) I don't have to wash my liner brush every time I use it. (Gel liner can be gummy and messy to remove and turns your brush rock solid if you forget. The powder just rinses right out.) This liner situation is almost (not totally) as dark as my gel & liquid liners, but it looks good, really lasts all day, and the ease of use and application (much smoother to apply for me) is worth it. I like the ratio of matte to shimmer shades, too. I haven't been into looking like a glitter-bomb lately. Sad, but true.
The merely OK stuff: The lighter base shades (you know, the bigger pans that dominate the palette) are pretty sheer. You can pack it on and it won't look chalky/cakey, but it's still kind of annoying to get them to show up. I'm better off using Pillow Talk (the medium satin taupe shade on the top row) as my allover lid shade. Birthday Suit works for me, though. This probably won't be an issue for the more fair-skinned (I'm an olive). I'm also not a huge fan of the pink shades. I get why they're included, and Satin Sheets especially is a gorgeous golden-pink, but they just don't look that great on me. I still find small ways to use them, though. The other minor downfalls include: powder fall-out (can deal with this, but I hate when the shadows get dirty) and NO MIRROR. That one, I hate. Otherwise, the packaging is cute and sturdy, if slightly bulky.
Some cute instructional cards are included with the palette, but they basically explain the obvious: brow, lid, crease shades. Hope this helps y'all in the increasingly diverse world of "natural" eye shadow palettes...I am discovering that the key is really just finding the one with shades you love.
I received a sample of this mascara a few Birchboxes ago. I'm pretty disappointed...it takes many coats and many minutes to even see a difference in my lashes, and removal is a big chore. The little tubes slipping off totally creep me out. It does have lasting power, I'll give it that. The fact that it doesn't look like I'm wearing mascara is the dealbreaker, though. (Not that I like looking too made up. But I would like my lashes to look longer, thicker, and darker if I'm going to put forth the effort.)
Deodorants -Tom's of Maine - Natural Long Lasting Deodorant in Wild Lavender
isavella 9/10/2012 2:43:00 PM
Garbage. This actually made me smell WORSE (after an hour or so, upon application it has a lovely lavender scent) than not wearing any deodorant at all. The roll-on liquid crystal is a lot better, but I'm still looking for an epic natural deodorant.
Toners -Unlisted Brand - Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
isavella 9/6/2012 11:26:00 AM
I use this on my face, straight up (not recommended for sensitive skin), I drink a teaspoon full each morning, I mix it into clay masks, I spot apply on emerging zits, I create "health tonic drinks" with it, I put it in my salads. The healthful effects are plenty: my skin loves it and I think it's helping with weight loss, too. Plus I genuinely love the taste, even undiluted. What's not to love??!!!!
Lipstick -Maybelline - Color Sensational - Totally Toffee
isavella 9/4/2012 2:29:00 PM
I bought this because it is a close dupe for MAC's Hug Me. I love the texture of Hug Me but the color was a little darker than what I wanted - Totally Toffee fit the bill, color wise. It was only 5 bucks at Bed Bath & Beyond, btw (obsessed with their makeup section). I actually really like this one. Finding a good nude is hard - undertones play a huge part, in addition to the regular lipstick issues of texture, wear, etc. Totally Toffee wears evenly for a fairly long time, and the color stays true and flattering on me (olive skin). I think it's cooler with just a bit of warmth to combat dead-lips. It's not very drying, BUT it has this heavier texture that can look cakey. If you're not careful, it has that "pulled-in" effect, like it sucks in your lips so that they don't look as pouty and luscious as possible. So a lipstick off for that, but the color makes up for it.
This is a really cool little palette that I never reach for. The compact packaging is made of incredibly sturdy cardboard, with a secure magnet-type closure, but why no mirror for the love of God??!! So, that's annoying. The real reason I don't use it that often though is the color selection. The shadows are a beautiful, non-chalky, buttery matte texture - they blend with no effort whatsoever, which is hard with matte shadows! The light shadows (coincidentally, the ones with larger pans...) are too light and sheer for me. Even Chinchilla, the medium brown, doesn't really show up. The darker shades are really pretty, with great depth of color (especially London Fog, a deep navy), and nice when used as liners but I rarely take that extra step. IMO, the standout shade is Vintage Violet, which looks 100x better paired with Pebbles (medium gray) than the matching colors in its row. That combo looks REALLY great lined with L'Oreal's Voluminous Smoldering eyeliner in Violet (an amazing dupe for Laura Mercier Black Violet liner). In conclusion, I think this palette is of great quality but the color selection leaves much to be desired.
Shampoo -Unlisted Brand - Renpure - Argan Oil Shampoo
isavella 8/16/2012 11:00:00 AM
I have been waiting for someone to create an entry for this!!!! So good. This shampoo is sulfate- and paraben-free, and as someone that has run the gamut with these kinds of shampoos, I can safely say that it lathers and moisturizes exceedingly well, and rinses without the tangles and overall rough feeling many other sulfate-free options can create. In addition, it's chock-full of good stuff, a pleasure to use, smells like the beach, and leaves my hair clean, shiny, and bouncy. I do use the matching conditioner, and that's just as great. I will, and have, repurchased. I got the set PLUS a surf spray for ten bucks at Bed Bath and Beyond, BTW. Even so, each is about six bucks on its own. (And I have been paying out the butt for Pureology.) I feel like I'm shilling this stuff, but I don't care; I even love the cute little family story on the bottle, and can only aspire to achieve the glorious tresses of the girl pictured.
Powder -Cover FX - Powder FX Mineral Powder Foundation
isavella 8/16/2012 10:23:00 AM
This is the unsung hero of my makeup bag. It is SO easy to use, covers smoothly and effectively and doesn't make me break out or emphasize flakes. Wear is pretty long, but not iron-clad. It is perfect for new-mom me, who is finding herself applying her makeup at red lights nowadays. I use a flat-top brush to apply, but the puff it comes with is amazing and offers even more coverage. A little expensive (it goes fast) but worth it. Packaging could be prettier, but whatevs.