This was the first "real perfume" I owned, given to me as a gift nearly a decade ago by my parents. At the time, I was only familiar with two categories of perfume, "regular" and "grandma". The former was primarily comprised of the generic fruity floral blends favored by my peers, and the latter consisted of anything that deviated from it. Hypnotic Poison was the perfume that seemed to break this mold. It was far less straightforward and darker than the scents favored by my peers, yet was light and sweet enough to avoid falling into the category of old lady. It seemed to project mystery. One sniff and I was hooked. For years, this was the sole perfume I owned. I would douse myself in it before heading to school. Initially, it would be perfume perfection- a mixture of almond, sandalwood, musk and vanilla that could perhaps be best described as an adult root beer. Inevitably, after a few hours I would be left with a dry down not unlike the coppery smell of blood. Yet I persisted in wearing it for some bizarre reason, to stubborn to admit the perfume didn't work on me. Eventually, I wound up giving it up to my sister. I was at a shop this past weekend and they had this perfume on the counter. Nostalgic, I decided to give it a try for old times sake. To my nose, it smelled quite different-there was no obvious changes is notes, the whole thing seemed to have a different feel (for the lack of a better term). Previously to my nose Hypnotic Poison possessed a slightly nostril stinging, faintly metallic effervescence-giving it an almost carbonated feel. Now it's much more quite-still and straightforward. The mystery is gone. That being said, I still think that this is a good perfume for people looking to branch away from the typical fruits and florals marketed to women. This is due to the familiarity and comfort provided by the vanilla, with none of the heavy feel that sometimes comes with orientals.
Shampoo -L'Oreal - Hyaluronic Power Moisture Hydrating Shampoo
itsmek 2/16/2013 12:35:00 PM
I have loosely curly hair that is baby fine, but I have a lot of it. It's also naturally really dry,something that is only exacerbated by the fact that I get it colored and highlighted. Generally I shy away from sulfate and silicone containing shampoos, but I decided to give this one a shot. First of all, the packaging kind of sucks. The lid is made of super thin plastic (so thin its almost transparent), and one of my cats knocked it over shortly after getting it. It broke right off, and as a result I'm stuck with an open bottle of shampoo. Not cool. The actual shampoo itself is pretty nice. It's a semi transparent cream that lathers nicely (thanks to the sulfates it contains). I do find myself having to use quite a bit more shampoo than I would have use normally in order to get my hair clean. Also, this shampoo kind of smells. Its not super strong, but it smells similar to the scent that many hair dyes use in order to cover up the smell of ammonia (that vaguely floral-ish scent). This shampoo definitely left my hair feeling clean-so clean in fact that it almost squeaked. Which usually is a sign a shampoo is super drying, but this one isn't. While it doesn't really moisturize my hair,it doesn't leave it feeling stripped. It also wasn't weighed down, and was quite a bit shiner and smoother than it usually looks after I wash. As much as I love sulfate and silicone free shampoos, they do make my hair look dull by comparison. There's also no mention of this being color safe. Thus far their has been no major changes in my color, but this is cleansing enough that those with colors that fade easily (red, etc.) may be a bit cautious about using it. The only real drawback with this shampoo is that it leaves my hair feeling kind of coated. However, it has yet to cause my roots to get weighed down or cause build up. As a result I can still continue to wash it every other day. I think that this shampoo will work well for people with normal to dry hair, as the label states. However, those with very dry or damaged hair may find it to be a bit too strong.
BB Cream -Unlisted Brand - Holika Holika - Petit BB Cream - Clearing
itsmek 2/9/2013 1:51:00 PM
I purchased this BB cream because I read it was one of the lightest ones available. I really like the idea of BB creams, but unfortunately most of them are far too dark for me (NC 10-15ish here). While it is definitely lighter than most bb creams, it was a touch too dark for me. Also, it wasn't as yellow as I was hoping for. It was quite peach compared to many of the BB creams I've tried. As a result I looked slightly orange. My skin is really dry. So I fully expected this to dry it out even more. However, it is also acne prone. I chose this cream in an attempt to avoid irritating my acne as most bb creams contain ingredients that clog my pores. Luckily, it doesn't seem to clog my pores. While it does dry out my skin it isn't nearly as terrible as I expected- which to me is a sign that it doesn't have much in the way of oil controlling properties. So it may not be the best fit for very oily skin types. Finally, I was actually hoping for less coverage. The coverage is similar too that of a medium coverage foundation. I'm going to try mixing it with moisturizer to see if that will tone it down a bit. All in all, I don't think I'll buy this one again. However, due to it's low price, it is definitely worth giving a shot if you are having difficulty finding a bb cream to match your fair skin tone.
Shampoo -Shea Moisture - Organic Coconut & Hisbiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo
itsmek 2/9/2013 1:26:00 PM
First, a bit of background. My hair is super dry due to a combination of genetics, coloring my hair, and developing hypothyroidism. It's also super fine and wavy/ loosely curly and is very thick- my hair dresser claims I have the hair of three people. My hair generally dislikes sulfates, and definitely doesn't do well with cones. This is probably the best drugstore shampoo I've used.I was nervous about trying it due to the fact that my hair is baby fine and it is marketed towards women of color-I was afraid it would leave my hair weighed down. But this shampoo leaves my hair with amazing body- it accentuates my hairs natural texture without stripping it. It also makes it very shiny and not at all greasy. It also has a nice texture to lather up with. It's an almost runny semi opaque cream- it kind of reminds me of the texture of dial soap. It doesn't suds all that much but cleans my scalp without it feeling stripped. It does have a very strong scent. I can still smell this strongly in my hair well into the next day, and I'm the sort of person who usually cant smell shampoo in my hair after taking a shower. However, its a rather non offensive clean tropical smell. The price point is fair- it seems to go for 10 dollars or so where I am from. Washing every other day, I get several months of use from it. In comparison a bottle of herbal essences or something similar would only last me a few weeks, so you actually get a much higher quality shampoo for the same price or cheaper when buying this. The only really caveat I can think of with this shampoo is that the protein in it can leave my hair a bit crunchy after weeks of constant use. So rotating while using this is a must for me. Also, it's becoming more and more difficult for me to find this shampoo in the pump bottle in my area. But that's really just splitting hairs. Simply put, this is the best drugstore sulfate and cone shampoo that I've used thus far.
In most ways, this product is a typical lip stain. Drying by nature, and a pain to apply evenly unless lips are both perfectly exfoliated and moisturized. As that's par for the course in this sort of product, I didn't deduct any points. I liked the idea of having a balm attached to the pen, as it makes for one less thing to toss in my purse and is definitely required with any stain. What it fails on is being at all colorsafe- it removes a surprising amount of the stain (it turns the balm red) and isn't very emollient. My 50 cent avon lip balm did a better job on both aspects with this stain.. It also broke off of the second use. But definitely a point for common sense innovation there with there with the balm. The big deduction is on the color. I realize that color-especially lipstick is different on everyone, but the color I get on my lips is nothing like what I get on my lips. Or even swatched on my skin for that matter. When I bought this I was expecting a bright coral red. What I got was a bright red, but was quite purple. Definitely cool toned. It was so differently looking from the color advertised that I initially thought I had grabbed a color other than flame. After checking the label to see it was indeed flame, I swatched it on my skin. Not purple on the skin, but not warm. Just kind of a cherry red. Since normally anything slightly warm pulls quite warm on me (I'm on the warm side of neutral/ can only wear warm toned foundation), I was surprised. I have very pigmented lips- so I don't think lip pigmentation is so much of an issue as is undertones. I think you'd need to be very, very warm for it not to go purple.
My lips are very pigmented/ pink. On me, Night Out is a pretty much the color of a mid toned berry stain. It is definitely cool toned on me, yet seems to have a brownish base so I can still pull it off- I'm very, very fair (barely a NC15) and most cool lippies look terrible on me but I can pull this off just fine. If you have gray or blue eyes, this lipstick will really make them pop. It's not at all drying either, and the lipstick is not nearly as glittery on as it looks in the tube, nor is it super glossy. Its just looks slightly wet and fresh, which I like. On the downside though, the color wasn't exactly what I was hoping for- I wanted something a little darker/ closer to what it looks like in the tube. The formula, while very mosturizing is quite sheer- the lipstick is very gel like. This also means it tends to slip around a lot- not something you want with a darkish color. It also tends to settle into the lines on your lips and will cling to any pits of dry skin and be darker in these areas, leading to uneven pigmentation. Be sure to exfoliate your lips before applying. Honestly, I think the biggest problem is the formula. I loved the feel of it because its so light and non drying, but it simply isn't suited to the darker colors in this range because of the pigmentation issues. I plan to buy some more of the lipsticks in this formula in lighter colors, but I plan to avoid the medium to dark shades from now on-shame because some of them are gorgeous.
Gorgeous Gold is a strange color. In the pan it is very yellow and shimmery, not at all gold looking. It's a bit softer than most of my other MAC shadows. On me, this shows up as a pale shiny yellow. I don't get any of the green undertones some others seem to get but I'm a NC15 with pretty strong yellow undertones . It is not very pigmented as others have stated, and I find that I need to use quite a bit of shadow to get the look I want. However, it is totally worth it. It makes my blue eyes really stand out and is an interesting color without it being too out there. It's also an extremely versatile shadow that can be paired with most anything- I often find myself layering it over darker shadows to soften them up and give them a frosted effect. Out of all the MAC shadows this is the one I use the most. My favorite combination is this on the lid with Trax in the crease. This shadow looks especially beautiful with any purple shadow.
I bought this color when I was in the midst of a bright color buying phase a few years ago. Even though I am not a fan of the color pink, I was drawn to the shadow ever sinces the first time I visited a MAC counter. I eventually caved and bought it. This is a warm toned pink. It's definitely a bright color, but wasn't nearly as bright as I expected from in the package. It is surprisingly wearable on me.I thought I'd never be able to wear pink shadow because cool colors look horrible on me as a NC15. The only other warm toned pinks I have found have been very dusty and boring looking. In order to steer away from the possibility of looking like you have pink eye I'd avoid using colors with a red or burgundy tone with this shadow. As others have suggested, oranges and yellows look great with Sushi Flower and help avoid the pink eyed look.
I've had this shadow for a couple of years. I was going through a phase of buying as many unusual and bright colors as possible so I snatched this up when I saw it. I would describe this color as a light lime green- its definitely a very bright, yellow green. It is a satin but on there is a decent amount of shimmer there, I really feel its more like a lustre. The texture is nice and it applies quite smoothly, but is noticeably less pigmented than most MAC shadows. It also fades quite a bit-so a shadow primer is definitely recommended with this one. Also when it fades on my NC15 skin, a lot of the green seems to go and it definitely appears fairly yellow-I've worn this with old gold and by the end of the day it looks quite similar to it. This eyeshadow had the potential to be a great color, it's just not pigmented enough to last as a green color on my skin. As a result I haven't gotten much use out of it.
The perfect highlighters for my NC15 skin. The texture is great, silky smooth. The pigmentation for a highlighter is perfect-most are too sheer and don't show up on my skin or are too heavy leaving me with a very obvious drag queen look. It's shimmery but doesn't have the extremely frosted look that a lot of MAC highlighters have. I prefer the green side as sometimes I feel the purple tone of the lavender one is a little too apparent and I'm generally just not a fan of lavender. I hate the packaging of NARS singles- I feel like the mirror inside is just a waste as its to small to be used. However it's a nice touch in the larger duos and I find myself throwing it in my purse to check my makeup with. The compact is very slim and the rubberized outside makes it very durable. I don't think I'll buy again though, because of the price. It's just out of my price range.
My favorite black shadow, and I've tried several. Most wind up showing up as a dark charcoal and not a true black, or have a green or blue base that becomes very obvious when blending. It's highly pigmented, much more than MAC's black tied or carbon. So far, it is the only black shadow that shows up as a true dark black on my NC15 skin. The down sides to this product is the amount of fallout you get when you apply it- definitely apply this before your foundation and qtips handy for clean up. The amount of fallout is very similar to urban decays glittery shades. The packing is pretty annoying too- they need to get rid of the mirror and lower the price of the shadow or give more product instead. It's too small to be useful and just gets dirty.
Nothing really special about this eyeshadow. I bought it off the net so I couldn't swatch it on my skin. Otherwise I wouldn't have bought it. Not because it's a terrible eyehadow- it just doesn't show up at all how it looks in the pan on my very fair, yellow toned skin. Instead of a bright magenta it shows up as a semi sheer purple-think like a purple crayola. The staying power is pretty average, thankfully it doesn't crease but it definitely fades over time. Like others have said I wish nars would eliminate the worthless little mirror inside of the compact and either give more product or lower their prices. For what turned out to be a very run of the mill purple shadow, its definitely overpriced.
Eyeliner -Physicians Formula - Felt Tip Eye Marker in Black
itsmek 11/10/2009 3:55:00 AM
For people that want the dramatic look of a liquid liner but can't apply it with a brush to save their life this is the way to go. The felt tip design of it makes it pretty much idiot proof. If you are already quite comfortable applying liquid liner with a brush there's no real point in it.With this product, you're just paying a premium for ease of application. I wear contacts and have relatively sensitive skin, and have had no problems with it. I find it more comfortable to apply than pencils.The only time I have experienced slight discomfort is when I've applied it when it was pretty much dried out. And these suckers dry out pretty fast, I only line the out third or so of my upper and lower lid and I've gone through 3 in the past year. Considering they are about 7 bucks a pop, it gets a little pricey for drugstore liner. However, since I am liquid lining impaired it's a HG for me and a price I'm willing to pay.
I have waist length, dry, loosely curly hair. It's baby fine but I have a lot of it. I tried this shampoo when I was visting my parents over the summer. I have dry hair and since it was for colored hair, I assumed it would be the least drying shampoo out of the ones they had. Needless to say I was horribly wrong . This shampoo is hands down one of the worst I've ever used. My scalp was even dryer than the time I used dishwashing soap to get rid of a bad dye job years ago. It left my hair with absolutely no shine. My hair looked matte. And the texture it left my hair in was bizarre. It wasn't that it left it dry or coated (it was both) but the fact that it had somehow transformed my hair into feeling like plastic. It felt exactly like a dolls. Which makes me wonder what crazy sort of chemicals they put in it. I usually wash my hair every other day, but after using this I had to wait several days to wash it again as I was afraid of irritating my fried out scalp further.The weird plasticy feeling disappeared the next time I washed it but it took quite a while for my scalp to settle down.
I have waist length, loosely curly hair. It's fine but I have a lot of it and it's pretty dry. This is quite possibly the best shampoo I've ever used. It gets my scalp clean without drying it out, moisturizes the length and manages to not weigh my baby fine hair down at the same time. I used this shampoo almost exclusively for 9 months straight and it still worked effectively. The only real downside is the smell- some weird sugary pineapple thing but thankfully its don't very strong. I also feel the price is a little high for a Nexxus product. It is very similar to Therappe, even sharing the same scent though Theratin's is not quite as noxious as Therappe's. Theratin is much easier to work with, it still has the gel like texture but it spreads easier and lathers better. Therappe did not clean my scalp very well and coated my hair without moisturizing it. However, I don't have either of those problems with Theratin.