Sunscreen -Shiseido - Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen AA SPF 50+ PA+++
isshevital 5/11/2012 12:16:00 AM
I have just used this for the first time today and will update at a later date. I bought this because I am going on vacation soon and will be outside a lot. But honestly I will probably start wearing sunscreen daily now that I have found this, assuming it doesn't break me out. My skin is pretty normal, just a little oily in the T-zone, especially if it's hot out. I applied this VERY generously (1/4 tsp seemed skimpy since the formula is so thin) after moisturizing with a thin layer of mineral oil and it basically disappeared, leaving my skin feeling moisturized and comfortable. It seemed to somehow even out my skin tone and/or make me look radiant and well-rested. It's neither matte nor dewy, just sort of neutral. There was no physical sensation of a "layer" sitting on my face. I'm a little fair-skinned and a makeup counter lady once suggested that I might have rosacea (I blush somewhat easily, and people often think I'm blushing out of embarrassment just because I'm smiling and my cheeks turn pink). Sometimes getting sunlight through the car window for 15 or 20 minutes will leave my cheeks and nose kind of pink and warm to the touch! I noticed today that I didn't experience the usual flushing/slight sunburn that I get otherwise. My only complaint is that it really changed the application and end result of my Make Up For Ever Face & Body for the worse. Without this (or any primer) underneath it, the coverage is sheer and dewy. After applying this and giving it 15 minutes to sit, the MUFE goes on with more coverage and looks quite matte. Basically, I looked like I was wearing makeup which is what I try to avoid. I think it's just hard to spread a thin layer on a primed face because the formula tends to "stick" more. It's not worth taking off lippies though, because I think my skin looks great with nothing but this sunscreen. The price ( ~$40) is comparable to other HE sunscreens and is hardly a bargain, but feels worth it for a product that performs like this. UPDATE: Just as I expected, I am now back from vacation and plan to use this every day. I still fall asleep wearing it at least 1-2x a week and the resulting problems are very minor. I sometimes get small whiteheads on my chin, but they're the kind that go away in 2 days and are minor enough that I don't bother picking them. Mostly it dries me out if I sleep in it 2 or 3 days in a row or if I apply it to skin that's a bit dehydrated. All problems are so minor that I maintain the 5 lippie rating. I eventually found slightly better results from the F&B after experimenting with the amount I was applying, but I have mostly stopped wearing it. The coverage is quite sheer so it's not like it makes a huge difference, and it's one less layer to have on my face in the hot, humid summer we're currently having.
I don't use 'cones on my hair, but I still need to clarify every once in a while to remove buildup. I use a lot of stuff in my hair as leave-ins (babassu oil, aloe gel, and super-watered-down, cheap, 'cone free condish like Vo5 or Suave, to name a few) because my natural texture is somewhere between wavy and curly and tends to look poofy without something to weigh it down a bit. I usually CO-wash, which is gentle and wonderful for my wurly hair, but definitely not adequate to prevent buildup! I use this whenever my curls start to look less defined and my hair starts to feel a little damaged despite going about my regular routine the same as always, two telltale signs that it's time to clarify. For me this is about every 1.5 months. Anyway, as far as the actual product, it is a clarifying shampoo! Which means that it makes my hair look fluffy and even more damaged afterward. But I know that it has done its job when I go back to my regular CO-wash and my hair falls in perfectly defined, impossibly soft ringlets. It would be nice if I could skip the bad hair day immediately afterward, but I've come to accept that that's just par for the course when it comes to clarifying. That being said, I really don't find this any less stripping than any other clarifying shampoo, so I have to say I'm pretty surprised that other reviewers have found this to be the case. To me this is just harsh sulfates with minimal other ingredients, just like Suave or Vo5 clarifying shampoos that cost 10 dollars less. I'm gonna try diluting it with water to make it more gentle but I don't plan to repurchase.
I love this stuff! Even if it never corrects my skintone, I will continue to buy it because this is exactly what I was looking for from a foundation. My skin is generally very clear, but with a little unevenness and redness. The coverage is moderate but looks extremely natural, the finish is not too shiny or too matte, it feels like nothing on my skin, and is a wonderful match for my NC15-20ish skin (I use the shade Alabaster). It's weird, something about the thin consistency and how lightweight the formula is, you don't expect it to cover much. But it evens me out so nicely without looking like a mask. If you like the feel and look of tinted moisturizers but are looking for more coverage, this is a wonderful option! There's quite a bit of variety in terms of different undertones, and in fact the SA had a couple other shades on my jaw that looked like good matches as well. Somehow it's sheer enough that it's kind of adaptable. Unfortunately, you're out of luck if you're much lighter than N-15. Seems to be that way with a lot of Clinique foundations, I match the lightest shade in their perfectly real makeup whereas I usually use the second or third lightest in most other brands. But other than that I thought the variety of shades was pretty impressive, lots of different neutrals to choose from! Overall I'm super satisfied, and relieved that the search for my HG foundation is finally settled!
I was interested in trying this because I had mostly been using light-coverage foundations and tinted moisturizers, both of which tend to have dewy finishes that don't go very nicely with my already oily t-zone. I also wanted a little more coverage than a tinted moisturizer. I walked into my local MN boutique and the sales assistant was very helpful, I went in looking for foundation but she gave me a lot of advice about my skincare routine. I had been exfoliating about 2x a week with an Alba scrub, which she explained was too harsh for my sensitive skin. She told me that I needed exfoliation, but that I should be using a gentle serum with exfoliating ingredients rather than manually scrubbing my poor skin to death. Anyway, then she proceeded to SLATHER this foundation on my face with a foundation brush after matching me to L5 (I think I'm approximately NC15-20ish). She applied at least 3x as much product as I would have used on myself and it looked pretty horrifying, but I figured that any foundation would look bad applied that way, and for whatever silly reason I had my mind set on buying this and so I went ahead and purchased it anyway. I'm very surprised that previous reviewers found this to be overly sheer, but I guess that goes to show how the same coverage can feel very different to different people. I have large pores on my nose and a fair amount of redness through my forehead, nose, and cheeks, but overall I don't need a ton of coverage from my foundation. I find this to be so pigmented that it easily veers into mask-like, which the semi-matte finish certainly doesn't help. I mixed it with a little moisturizer to make the coverage more sheer but still found it too opaque and fake-looking, I might have to try this again with more moisturizer and less foundation. Applying with a damp sponge and a very light touch has turned out to be the most natural-looking result, although I kind of hate to do it because I lose so much product (the sponge ends up with more foundation than my face!) I still didn't give it a bad rating because I don't think it's necessarily a bad foundation, just not quite what I was looking for.
Lip Treatments -Jack Black - Intense Therapy Lip Balm spf 25
isshevital 11/23/2011 2:43:00 AM
Ok, I love this stuff. I've always had to constantly apply chapstick, but then recently as the weather has gotten colder, I realized that my lips always seemed kind of pale and thin just from being so dry. Even my old favorite, strawberry Rosebud salve, would only temporarily leave my lips looking nice and moisturized but wear off really quickly and leave them looking sad and parched again. I don't wear lip color because I never feel like it looks right on me (accentuates my small lips) but love the healthy flush of my moisturized lips' natural color. This stuff makes my lips look more plump and feel so healthy. I love that it isn't very shiny at all, because I feel like that also contributes to my lips looking more full. I use shea butter on the keratosis pilaris on the backs of my arms, so I'm not surprised that it works similar wonders as the main ingredient of a lip balm. Speaking of which, the ingredients list on this is so simple that it makes me feel like this stuff is pretty overpriced. If I could find something similar for about half the price I wouldn't continue to purchase this, but until then...!
Well, I used this for about a week before returning it to Sephora. I really wanted to like it, but couldn't stand my face being so shiny. The thing is, most foundation looks kind of bad to me when I first put it on, because I hate the way I look with a perfectly matte face. But then within 45 minutes the makeup starts to soak up oil from my face and I look great to myself (until 3-5 hrs later when I have to blot, of course). Well, with this foundation, I skip the window of looking a little sick/dead, and immediately start off with a nice glowy radiance. The effect is really stunning, I have to say. I look 3 or 4 years younger than my 21 years, and like I've just gotten back from a long, restful vacation in paradise. Or something. Unfortunately it only takes about an hour for my face to start feeling oily and gross and looking greasy. Theoretically I could fight this with blotting and powdering, but I'd rather find a foundation with a finish that better suits my skin type. Really though, this is a wonderful product and other oily-skinned girls might find ways for it to work for them. Otherwise, I found that Tarte smooth operator had very similar coverage, and took my oily-ness and turned it into a nice, healthy glow that didn't need to be touched up with blotting until about 6 hours. Unfortunately it made me break out, but it may or may not have that effect on others. According to cosDNA, this foundation has only one comedogenic ingredient (butylene glycol) in it, which is almost unheard of for any foundation, high-end or drugstore. To boot, butylene glycol only has a rating of 1, with 0 being non-comedogenic and 5 being extremely comedogenic. In fact, when I bought this product, I was dealing with a mild breakout from the smooth operator, and my breakout subsided despite wearing F&B every day. Pros: -Wonderful, glowy, doll-like skin (almost like highlighter and foundation in one) -Won't clog pores -Nice amount of coverage, somewhere between a tinted moisturizer and your standard medium coverage foundation -38 dollars isn't cheap, but that's for 1.7 oz (whereas most HE foundations are similarly priced for 1 oz) Cons: -Gel texture makes application with fingers the only feasible option, which I find to be a little time-consuming and tedious compared to using a brush or sponge -Sorta limited color selection. I found shade 20 to be just a little too light, but 32 was waaaaaay too dark -Dewy finish = hot mess on my oily-combo skin after just 1 hour :( EDIT: Well ladies, after a long-overdue skincare overhaul, I am now able to use this! I was the typical case of someone who thought they had oily skin because I didn't moisturize or exfoliate properly, so my skin was a hot mess! I do still have to break out the blotting sheets after 5 or 6 hours, but I don't consider that to be a hassle or a deal breaker. Always remember: skincare first, makeup second! AHA, BHA, and/or mandelic acid does so much more to control oil than any primer or powder could ever dream to! Oh, and one last thing--other reviewers have mentioned it already, but I found that warming this up between my fingers before applying makes the finish less shiny. You can feel the texture change as you rub it between your fingers, it gets slightly thicker and almost tacky. I apply it thinly and really rub it into my skin, just like if it was a skincare product (as a previous reviewer also mentioned.) Hope that helps!
Not moisturizing enough for my combo skin in the colder months. Certainly the dimethicone makes my skin feel silky and moisturized, but if I apply this in the morning, wait 10 minutes for it to sink in, and then apply foundation, my foundation tends to look chalky and obvious on the drier patches of my cheeks. I'm kind of a beauty nerd and get a real kick out of experimenting, so I took the little free travel size lotion and scooped it all out, and mixed in a little less than a half teaspoon of jojoba oil into it. I was at Sephora the other day looking at the ingredients of a lot of the lighter-weight moisturizers, and saw that the Korres pomegranate moisturizer for combo/oily skin was mostly jojoba oil. For a while I was using pure jojoba on my face at night as my night time moisturizer, so I know that it doesn't break me out. Anyway, this turned out to be a perfect solution and the resultant moisturizer is my new HG for daytime wear under makeup. I might have to reformulate (hah!) when the weather gets warmer, but we'll see.
Didn't think it was possible for this to live up to the hype. I was skeptical mostly because this brush looks really big and fluffy. I had tried using a blush brush to apply my foundation before getting this, and it didn't blend very well and would leave my foundation looking thick and chalky in random areas. But the bristles on this brush are very dense, so I've had no such problems while using it. I apply my Tarte Smooth Operator with this and it comes out looking flawless.
My electrologist told me to use this on my peach fuzz every day for a few months. Her instructions were to wipe it on gently, and wash off as soon as it starts to tingle (45 seconds max). She told me that on very fine, light, blonde peach fuzz hair, this will actually damage the hair follicle enough that it won't grow back anymore. I've not been at it long enough to know whether or not this is working, but it is a fantastic solution for peach fuzz either way. I'd never leave it on my face for 3 minutes as the package says to. Doing a few short applications for 3 or 4 days in a row will leave your skin with absolutely no irritation. And yes, it does smell horrendous, but since your hair is being burned off by caustic chemicals, it's hard to say that I expected much different.
Bought this on a whim, figured it didn't matter much if it sucked since it's so cheap. At first I found the formula very thin and a little annoying (that wet sensation on my lashes tends to make my eyes water, but I'm weird) but found that overall it was still a really nice mascara for the price. Now that I've had it for a couple months, it has dried out a bit and is basically perfect. Not sure how much longer it's gonna last before becoming unusably dry, but once again, for the price what does it really matter? Anyway, I don't ask for much out of a mascara, because my lashes are decent enough. They just need a bit of "oomph" and that's what this does. I may or may not purchase again, but that's only because I'm addicted to trying new makeup.
Cleansers -L'Oreal - Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser
isshevital 11/6/2011 12:27:00 PM
I was telling my mom how I'm so frustrated looking for a good face wash. I love acne.org cleanser for the warmer months, but it started to be a bit harsh. She mentioned that she had been using this and was very satisfied with it. She had an extra and told me to try it for a week or two and see how it agreed with my skin. I have to say, I was really not expecting to be so satisfied with it. It's amazing because it is creamy and yet it cleanses really well. I believe the benzyl salicylate is the "exfoliating" ingredient mentioned on the packaging, which works wonders keeping my skin clear and the blackheads on my nose under control. I almost never get a full pimple with a whitehead, so for someone with more of a problem with breakouts this cleanser may or may not be enough. But for me it is truly perfect. It also does a really nice job of balancing my oily t-zone without drying out my cheeks. It's a little weird to me that people say that this takes their makeup off really well, because that hasn't quite been my experience. I usually only wear a tinted moisturizer or a light coverage foundation, but I still see a bit of makeup residue on my cotton pad when applying toner. I've not tried putting the cleanser on my face while dry, so maybe that's the problem. Either way it doesn't bother me too much, so I still give it 5 stars. In fact I suspect that this cleanser might continue to work for me into the warmer months, but we'll see!
I was very confused and skeptical when this came out onto my finger looking like water. I thought it would be a thin cream like most other primers. The wateryness of it is actually a little annoying, because combined with the kind of dropper bottle that they have it in, it's difficult to get a precise amount. If you get too much it just drips right off your finger and is wasted. Anyway, I use this on basically my whole face except for my cheeks, and it's cool to see the difference of how my makeup applies so much more smooth and even on the areas it's been applied. In terms of keeping me shine-free... well, it doesn't, but it definitely reduces the amount of oil I have to deal with. Usually I have to use 2 blotter sheets but this keeps it down to one, with room leftover to spare! My face still gets a little shiny but I don't think it looks bad, just kind of glowy or dewy. Overall this isn't a miracle product but it was cheap-ish (about 6 dollars) and does about as much as I would expect. The real test of whether or not I will repurchase will be how long it takes me to go through the (teeny-tiny!) bottle.
Tinted Moisturizer -Wet 'n' Wild - Ultimate Sheer Tinted Moisturizer - Natural
isshevital 10/14/2011 9:15:00 PM
I wear this in 181A Beige, which matches me perfectly. I apply with a damp sponge and the coverage is beautiful--just the right amount and my skin looks glowy and healthy. I have to use oil blotting sheets at least once a day, but my skin is rather oily. I've had it come off onto oil blotting sheets before, although I'm unsure if that was the fault of the cheap ones I was using or this makeup. Either way, very satisfied with my purchase and will definitely buy again assuming I can find my color! Edit: Spoke too soon. This seems to be something that my skin can tolerate every once in a while, but not every day. Luckily I didn't break out in horrible cystic acne or even white heads, but I got weird little bumps in weird little places (my skin is usually super clear except for the blackheads on my nose) and eventually I started to realize that this just feels gross on my face. After a few hours I can feel it just sitting there like a gross mask and I want nothing more than to wash my face and feel clean. I'm glad that this works for other people, because it's a great price, but I guess my skin is a little too finicky for it.
I've been searching for the perfect cleanser for a while now. I've probably gone through about 10 different ones trying to find one that worked for my skin. I have a very oily forehead and nose but occasional dryness in my cheeks. Every cleanser seemed to be a decision between either drying out my face really badly or making it oily within 30 minutes. The balancing cleanser by Ren was perfect for me but way too pricey to really justify. Anyway, this cleanser isn't a miracle worker, and ultimately doesn't do much to my skin at all. But that's all I wanted in my cleanser, something to freshen up my skin without causing breakouts or excessive oil. That it's a great price just makes it that much better. I actually use this as body wash sometimes just because the price is so fair for the quality. Update: Now that the weather is cooling off, this is way too drying on my skin. My skin is vastly different in the summer and winter, so it would be asking a bit much to expect one cleanser to do both jobs. Not a deal breaker, but I still took off one lippie.
Cleansers -mark - That's Deep Purifying Gel Cleanser
isshevital 4/30/2011 12:56:00 AM
I'm pretty confused by all of the glowing reviews for this. The price is good but I find this stuff super drying, even for my oily skin. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise, considering that SLS is the second ingredient after water. This stuff gets really foamy, which some may like, but for me it's just a sign that my skin is going to be dry and tight for about an hour after washing my face. I don't wear makeup, so perhaps that makes it more drying for me. I will say that it isn't quite as harsh and drying as drug store brands like clean & clear. Also it hasn't made me break out, so I still gave it 3 lippies. I suppose I'll just have to dilute it with water to make it more gentle, but I probably won't repurchase.