I love this product to a point where I'm so scared that my face would get used to it and the product will stop working one day. I can't exactly put into words what this product improves and does for my skin but it seems to be working because I am getting less redness around my cheek areas, even skin tone, very soft skin the morning after application, and overall brightened complexion. I naturally have pretty clear skin but had some problem with uneven skin tone and slight redness in certain areas of my face. This product worked for me and I bought it. It's definitely expensive. But since no other product on this planet can bring the same result, spending $100 on a bottle isn't extreme. If I didn't have this, I would still be spending more than $100 on other face products that won't deliver the results I expect. So all in all, I am so glad that Lancome launched this product. It is definitely a luxury product. I can live without it. Like other reviewers have mentioned, I use this under my daily moisturizer or cream. It doesn't work miracles overnight. You have to use it on a consistent basis and give your skin time to regenerate with the product. Minimum 2 weeks, although I think even 2 weeks isn't enough. You need to be patient with this kind of stuff. It's science, not magic.
You can't tell something is good unless you compare it. I have all the good things to say about this product. Honestly, I bought it because it's been hyped up in every magazine and wanted to see what made this foundation so special. But I really couldn't find anything special about it for awhile (few months) until now. It is a good high quality foundation -- no doubt about it. MY SKIN and what I look for in a foundation: I have pretty good skin with very few small blemishes here and there on my cheek, forehead, etc. I am always looking for light coverage and spot concealing. So this foundation is being reviewed from a light coverage opinion. PROS: 1. Very fine yet highly pigmented so you only need very little if you're looking for light coverage. Don't try using a brush. Brush does give you more coverage than using your fingers for application in my opinion. I use 1/2 pump on average (a small dot) and sometimes full pump if I feel like I want to cover a little more. I really haven't found any foundation that I can use so little product and get the same result. 2. Luminous yet not glowing, greasy finish. It sometimes looks slightly matte but it's luminous. Good finish which photographs incredibly well. It makes my skin look like it's been airbrushed in photos -- not in real life obviously. 3. Pump bottle -- thank you! Love this pump bottle and good design of the bottle. It's pretty to look at. The pump is rather easy to control for me. Some reviewers seem to disagree.
I've been using Shiseido sunscreen line for a long time until recently I bought this sunscreen at duty free during my trip to Asia. It seems to be very popular so I decided to give it a try. I wasn't hesitant to purchase because majority of my skincare products are from Lancome anyways. This product was very weird to be as I was used to using a runny, lotion like Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion. But as I got used to this, I can see why it's very popular in Asia. Asians seriously HATE white casts that sunscreens often leave upon application. That's why Shiseido Anessa sunscreens are so popular in Japan, China, Korea etc. Lancome UV Expert does leave a slight white cast but it's very minimal. Also the consistently is light and easy to apply on your face. But this sunscreen seems to SET. It's a weird word. Foundations set. But this sunscreen sets too in a similar way. After 1-2 minutes upon application, it seems to take on a non-budging, non-greasy but very tacky texture. It is NOT STICKY. And if you're applying a foundation on top, it applies and acts like a base (at least for me). I am not a fan of silicone based primers because they are too slippery for my preference. I actually like this tacky texture which helps my foundation stay put on my face for a long time. I personally find that this sunscreen acts like a base for foundation. SPF 50 is a great protection and I do not mind the fragrance at all. It doesn't linger around for too long. Walk it off. So all in all, I would repurchase this sunscreen. I actually use this and Shiseido sunscreen depending on my daily preference and needs. Good Good Good. Try it at a counter!
Masks -Paula's Choice - skin recovery hydrating treatment mask
jchoi128 4/10/2013 11:03:00 AM
I gave this product 5 lippies with a slightly different perspective. This so called, "hydrating treatment mask" really doesn't work well as a mask. So I would give this product a horrible rating if I were to rate it as the sole purpose of using it as a mask. It's a bad bad mask. But Read On. Why do I love this product? TEXTURE: It's a light textured, not so heavy, ever so slightly thick lotion like texture. If you have all used Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion, it's lighter than that but not a runny consistency. No breakouts, no whiteheads, etc. No fragrances, no harsh additives, Non-greasy. Love this aspect. PRICE: $16? You'll definitely get your bucks out of this product. Here is why. I live in Toronto Canada and it gets very cold and dry in the winter. I am 24 years old, have normal to dry skin which was pulling in every direction as soon as I landed in Toronto a few months ago. I was looking for a solution so I initially searched for a mask until I ordered this product accidently. I apply a very thin layer of this mask over a cream or daily moisturizer if I feel like I need something extra, depending on the weather and the condition of my skin. It seems to work, it really hydrates and my skin absorbs it. Recently, I have been getting more creative and used this mask by mixing a pea size amount with 1-2 drops of face oil (Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil or Darphin Rose Aromatic Care) and applying directly to my face at night. I've always found applying face oil a difficult task for me. I seem to have a heavy hand and I can't help myself. But this trick actually seems to help the face oil to absorb into my skin faster, thanks to this Paula's Choice mask. This helps to relieve my skin for the night and my face is so soft in the morning when I wake up. FINAL VERDICT: Although this product doesn't live up to its true purpose as advertised, I think they should just change the name to "Multipurpose Cream" and sell sell sell. At $15 a tube, it's a bargain in my opinion. It's just a simple moisturizer that doesn't do any harm to your skin and you can mix with other products or layer it depending on your needs. I sometimes even apply some on my hand if I see it. Try it, and if it doesn't work for you as a mask or even as a moisturizer I'm sure you can figure out a creative way to use this product, ONLY because this product doesn't have any complex ingredients.
I have combination skin that is dry and tight around the forehead and the cheek area. I have only tried two different types of face oils - 1) Darphin Rose Aromatic Care, 2) Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil. Darphin is twice as expensive as the Bobbi Brown because of the size of the bottle. The price is about the same whereas Darphin is only 15ml and Bobbi Brown is 30ml. You get a better deal for the Bobbi Brown Oil. However, there are specific differences in the two oil. Darphin rose aromatic oil is very light and you can tell during the application that it spreads on your skin easily (hence the 'light oil') but Bobbi Brown oil tends to have a more thicker/heavier consistency which isn't easy to apply evenly and distribute in a very very thin layer. You can still do it, it just isn't as easy as applying the Darphin rose aromatic care. So it seems like to me that I'm using less product when using Darphin and more when using Bobbi Brown. I like the smell of both oils but Darphin smells more flowery (like a rose) and Bobbi Brown oil smells more aromatherapy-like.
How I apply this oil: After I wash my face, I use a toner to wipe off any excess dirt and cleanser that may be left on the face and then mist my face using a facial mist (Avene, Evian, Shu Uemura facial mist, MAC mineralized charged water, etc). Before the mist dries off completely, I apply this oil on my face evenly with my fingertips and lightly massage it into my skin and patting it in. The oil gets absorbed into the skin with the facial mist which helps for more faster absorption I believe. Wait 3-5 minutes. Then I apply my moisturizer on top - you don't need to use a lot; A LOT LESS than you would wear just a moisturizer alone because you've already got the face oil and the mist locking in the moisture. This method seems to work perfectly for me, giving me a glowing, hydrated skin after application and the next morning.
Personally, If I had to choose between the bobbi brown oil vs darphin rose aromatic care, I would choose the darphin. Simply because I really like the light texture and consistency of the oil. Despite the pricey aspect of this item, I really have nothing bad to say because it really is a good face oil worth it's money.
Highlighters -MAC - Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish
jchoi128 4/22/2012 6:24:00 PM
It's not a mineralize skinfinish for sure. It's a totally and completely different texture and finish. It's the first and the most unique skinfinish that MAC has come up with so far. The average MSFs are very soft and silky to the touch but this feels soft, silky, VERY smooth, and I would personally consider it not to be powdery at all. It just sticks to your skin and lasts a whole day. It really feels like something that has moisture added to it - as if you were wearing a regular MSF applied with a wet brush. Great pigmentation so you really don't need much at all. Just a light sweep is enough for the average gal. I also love the unique design in the pan, you can't just miss it, haha.
There have been several reviews by ladies saying this is a very similar product to the Estee Lauder and Laura Mercier - especially this particular shade in SUPERB. It really is a nice color, leaning slightly more bronze but a very pretty peachy color that is suitable for a lot of skin tones I think. I really love this shade, looks great on my NC20 skin which gives off a lovely sheen (not sparkly or glittery or shimmery), that GLOW you get and doesn't emphasize any pores (for me at least). I will definitely repurchase this over and over again, considering MAC doesn't come up with other shades in a different collection made of the same texture. =) Definitely worth checking it out at a counter~
Cleansers -Shu Uemura - Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O
jchoi128 4/19/2012 5:17:00 PM
Just got my first Shu Uemura cleansing oil today. I've been a loyal user of the MAC Cleanse Off Oil for more than six years and decided to finally try the best cleansing oil in the market. And I really wish I had tried it earlier. I want to throw away my backup bottle of the MAC cleanse off oil because the shu uemura cleanse off oil is so much better. The thing I love about this oil is that it gets off makeup better than the MAC cleansing oil. I used to use about two pumps of MAC and I only need one pump of shu uemura oil. Shu Uemura oil smells better than the MAC oil. Also, when you emulsify the oil by adding water to your face, the MAC oil doesn't seem to come off completely. I always need to cleanse again with a foam cleanser to feel CLEAN. Shu Uemura oil doesn't need another foam cleanser after. I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT!!
WHY HAVEN'T I TRIED THIS BEFORE?!
This is a miracle working top coat. OPI Rapi-Dry Top Coat should be ASHAMED!!!
I just tried it for the first time last night, trying to finish painting my nails half asleep and obviously I was in no mood to wait until my nails dry (which takes couple hours to dry completely). BUTTT!! WAITTT! This top coat smelled funny as soon as I opened the bottle. I knew it wasn't like your normal top coat or nail polish. It smelled like strong chemicals but DRIED MY NAILS in 5 MINUTES(two thick coats of OPI Samoan Sand). Not just top layer dry, bottom layer wet and prone to marks, etc. COMPLETELY DRY. I can go to sleep immediately and move around and not a single mark was left the next morning. Seriously, who invented this? Why isn't everyone using this?! =) JUST THAT GREAT. Love it and will repurchase forever and ever, will never use another OPI top coat again!!
I have been using the shiseido sun protection line for five years and never questioned my decision on using it. They say "you can't hit'em all" when it comes to makeup and skincare products, but this is THE holy grail sunscreen for me. You may not like it due to personal preferences but definitely test it out at a shiseido counter if the PROs and CONs you see at the bottom meet your requirements!! =)
WHY I LOVE THIS PRODUCT: -very light, incredibly smooth when applying -watery texture and leaves a minimal amount of white cast -my skin has not broken out NOT EVEN ONCE using this product -high spf protection -has a pleasant scent (I don't hate it, very tolerable) -quite waterproof and sweatproof (which means you must cleanse with some sort of oil cleanser to remove it off completely) -because it is very light and sheer, it's perfect to use under makeup. Some of the thicker cream-like texture of sunscreens I tend to have a huge problem with the foundation moving around my face because sunscreens do not get absorbed into your skin unlike a lotion or a moisturizer. The sunscreen sits on the surface of your skin so if it's a heavy cream-like texture, the foundation almost always moves around the face. THIS SUNSCREEN MINIMIZES ALL OF THAT!
When it comes to the cons, it is quite pricy for a sunscreen for 100ml. Shiseido is not a drug store brand (of course), but it really is worth the price in my opinion. You really can't find a sunscreen at the level of this quality for $20 at a drug store. Also, there is no marked expiration date on the bottle for this sunscreen. From my years of using this product, it's usually two years from the day you open it OR once the scent has diminished sigificantly inside the bottle, it's time to chuck it and buy another one.
Lastly, I want to mention the difference between Shiseido sunscreens sold in Asia (Anessa) and the ones sold in the U.S. and Canada. They are different products and some ladies prefer to use Shiseido Anessa sunscreens because it is literally 'like-water' and leaves NO white cast (even less than the product I'm reviewing now). The watery fluid gets absorbed into the skin very nicely, can be used as a makeup base under foundation, matte finish, etc. BUT - Shiseido Anessa sunscreen is a CHEMICAL SUNSCREEN, not a PHYSICAL SUNSCREEN. There is a difference and there are pros and cons in using a chemical sunscreen.
The ingredient in sunscreens that leaves the white case is zinc oxide which is a physical ingredient that protects your skin from the UVA&UVB rays. Since a chemical sunscreen doesn't contain any zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, it does not leave a white cast. Also, chemical filters in chemical sunscreens are a better protection against FULL SPECTRUM UVA rays whereas physical ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide does not provide protection against full spectrum UVA rays. It provides partial UVA protection but just not full spectrum. UVA protection is so so SO important because the damage it causes to your skin isn't immediately visible to the eye and it is a slowly and gradual damage deep inside your skin, destroying collagen and elastin which will cause ageing. So it's not the redness that you can visibly see on your skin after going out in the sun so it's more disguised and hidden damage which will show up one day. And chemical filters are a better protection against such full spectrum UVA rays.
HOWEVER! There is almost twice as MUCH chemical ingredients replacing the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in a chemical sunscreen that may cause irritations, allergic reactions, breakouts, etc. Also chemical sunscreens almost always has alcohol as an ingredient (check the box), used as a solvent to thin-out the solution to achieve that watery consistency for easier and smooth application.
Personally, I am not allergic to any ingredients in chemical sunscreens and tolerate it very well but I prefer to use physical sunscreens with minimal white casts. Only because I don't think anyone in this world has used chemical sunscreens long enough (30-40 years) to really know what side effects those chemicals bring to an individual. Short term, yes - chemical sunscreens may sound like the answer to all our prayers (no white cast, easy application, full UVA/UVB protection) but I don't want to risk any additional complications further down my life (30-40 years later) by introducing a greater range of chemicals to my skin. That's just my personal opinion and preference. I cannot possibly protect my skin 100% of the time from the sun so I don't even bother being picky about full spectrum UVA protection that the chemical sunscreens offer. For me, the UVA protection that the physical sunscreen offers is plenty and will live on in peace :)
Primer/ Corrector -Yves Saint Laurent - Touche Eclat (Radiant Touch)
jchoi128 4/16/2012 7:28:00 AM
It's expensive but I am willing to open by wallet for the effect that the YSL Touche Eclat gives off. I gotta admit that this is not a concealer. It is not a creamy texture to cover undereye circles. But what it can do is reflect light off of the undereye circles so that it is significantly less visible. You can't really compare this with a concealer. It's a different category because this is a brightener that works like a magic to me. I mean, it doesn't magically just erase your undereye circles like photoshop but if you compare other undereye brightener products, you'll notice immediately how the YSL touche eclat surpasses all the other brands in its category. I've tried the chanel, bobbi brown and clinique but I find the touche eclat to be the best in its class. If you're looking for an undereye brightener, check it out for sure. You really might find yourself in the situation thinking, "where was this all my life?!"
The famous MAC Strobe Cream. It's so unique but I don't use this product as a everyday moisturizer 'cream'. I personally don't find this cream moisturizing at all. Despite all the "good stuff" in the strobe cream, I don't think it really does much for my skin when it's tired and dull other than brightening with its super-fine micro opal pearls. So it's a perfect highlighter or a base for me. I usually like to use it after foundation just on the high planes of my face (cheekbones, t-zone) which really gives a beautiful glow to the skin. Not too noticeable and yet gives a GLOW. I can use it underneath my foundation all over the face but that really gives a shine all over so I prefer to use just as a spot highlighter. I've tried a lot of different highlighters and similar products to the MAC Strobe Cream but I really think this is a UNIQUE product. The one and only, MAC Strobe Cream. Nothing comes close, really. I would have to buy it over and over again :)
HOLY HOLY HOLY~~~~~~~ GRAIL CREAM. hahaha I love this cream. I love how it's so light, and it doesn't have any other ingredients that would otherwise make this cream 'anti-aging' or 'sun protection' or 'whitening' etc. It's just a simple moisturizing cream. Love the simplicity and how it does its job so well. It really moisturizes, I don't break out no matter how much I may pile this on my face, and I can use it day and night. It absorbs into the skin quickly, very light so it can be used underneath makeup. No fragrance so it's perfect. One thing I would have to pick at would be the JAR CONTAINER. I hate it, why couldn't it be in a squeeze tube or something?! Very unhygenic so I have to be very self-aware while I'm around this product. But otherwise, HOLY GRAIL!
It's my favorite foundation from MAC without a doubt. I've always loved to wear MAC foundations but seemed to be allergic to something because I had an itchy feeling as soon as I wore it. But not with the face and body foundation. I have pretty good skin so I don't need a heavy coverage and this was the perfect match for me. Yes, I do have blemishes and this foundation doesn't cover everything (in fact, it hardly covers anything). But it does even out the skintone for those who just need very light coverage and then I can use a concealer to spot conceal small areas. It works very well for me. I also appreciate that the colors are not as "yellow or pink" as the other MAC foundation shades. I mix N1 and C2 for my asian skintone. Plus, since this is so sheer you can get away with wearing a shade darker or lighter than you. It works in a lot of ways which makes choosing foundation so much easier. I haven't tried this on the body just because I have heard from other ladies that this transfers onto clothings even after it dries but I can't comment on it because I haven't really tested it out myself. But for the face, it is definitely a KEEPER!! You get a great deal for only $33!! Just make sure you shake a lot before use :)
Blush -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish - Porcelain Pink
jchoi128 4/16/2012 6:55:00 AM
MAC Pink Porcelain MSF is my absolutely #1 favorite MSF of all time. It's so pretty that I have two backups in my shelf already. Obviously, it's not part of a permanent line but it's well worth stacking one or two of these MSFs when they're repromoted. It's a very sheer, light pink that leans on towards to light peach which I think is very 'everday wearable' shade. You can't go wrong with this color. You can just use it on your cheeks for a sheer pink glow or layer it over another blush for a different effect. I personally like to use this as a highlighter on my cheeks. It doesn't necessarily pop out of my cheeks but it gives that lovely pink glow (all girls want, right?) during different angles of the light. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Highly recommended.
Blush -Le Metier de Beaute - Creme Fresh Tint in Poppy
jchoi128 4/16/2012 6:51:00 AM
I am so thankful that I came across this cream blush. It's the best I have used and I am so satisfied that I have stopped looking!! The word "creme fresh tint" is so perfect in describing the texture of the blush. It's so soft like a cream (think fresh creme on a cake!). It blends effortlessly and because it's so creamy and blendable, it definitely is a 'multi-task' item which you can use on the lips as well. It leaves a gorgeous sheen on your cheeks too. I've tried other lip/cheek products like the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge but the texture is so hard to blend and doesn't work for both the lips and the cheeks. It only worked for one or the other (lip or cheek), not both. But LMdB Creme Fresh Tint works perfectly for lips and cheek!! I love this color too, Poppy is just a pretty pink color. Very wearable and despite its price, I would repurchase over and over again!! Highly recommended.