I can't believe how much I like this product. I'm not a huge fan of Avon products but this one has changed my mind. After using this for a week my skin has improved in all aspects. I look more radiant every morning, skin tone is more even and I haven't gotten any irritation or breakouts. This creamy textured serum also hydrates nicely without feeling heavy or greasy. The only problem I can see others having is the smell of this product. The first few times I used it, I could smell a faint fishy smell. The odor doesn't last and wasn't over powering. It shouldn't be an issue but you should be prepared for it. I'm glad I didn't stop me from using it.
I'm a mascara junkie and my favorites are Shu Uemura Basic, YSL Everlong Waterproof and Shiseido Perfect Mascara. However, I have to try every new mascara from the drugstore (and Sephora) and got 4 of these at drugstore.com (I shared 2 of them with BFF and sister). I love the brush, love the formula (the original Lash Blast was good but got dry and was a little too clumpy), love the price. It doesn't smudge at all with regular use and it comes off much easier then the regular Lash Blast, but has more volume then the yellow tube (which was nice, but got dry really quick). I really like it over a thin coat of my waterproof to hold the curl (which if you have straight lashes - Asian straight - is the only way to really retain curl). Good stuff.
This is the most fabulous beauty discovery I've found in a very long time. I happened across this soap at a Shirokiya store which sells Japanese goods here in Hawaii. I supposedly has some Korean herbs in it and is something a princess used to give her flawless skin. I noticed a small counter selling this product (which just launched that week) and was given a sample - but I bought the sampler set out of complete curiosity. It was supposed to be good for sensitive skin and since my skin was adjusting from having another baby, decided to give it a try. At first I didn't really like it. I thought it was making me break out and have more rash. But my Mom was having great success with it! And she has the most sensitive skin I've ever seen. It turns out that the Activator "serum" that they sell was the culprit. It has silicone in it - which typically causes me to break out. Still, I have a ton of other stuff to use, so this got shelved. Fast forward - on a whim I started using the soap again. I used it constantly for about 3 weeks and within the first week of morning and night use - my skin was glowing, smooth, had no bumps or rash and my pores were clear. My Mom continued to rave about it too. I thought it was a fluke and stopped - and my skin acted up again! I started and it was great! I rarely come across a product that amazes me - but this one does. Its super foamy, takes off makeup (I don't recommend it around the eyes though) and can also be used on other parts of the body. I gave a bar to my best friend and she told me tonight that she loved how easy it was to use - big plus. A bar retails for about $20 and lasts at least 4 or 5 months even with regular use. I don't think it a cure all by no means, but it totally helps with texture and keeps skin clean.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Skin Perfection Liquid Face Lift
jennstarr 3/18/2010 4:24:00 AM
I've tried several of the products with Swiss Apple Stem Cells (or PhytoCellTec/Malus Domesticus). 3Lab's M Cream and Emerge Swiss Apple Stem Cell Serum. I love them (especially the Emerge Serum - I actually used the entire bottle which I almost never do) - but they are expensive. $250 and $120 respectively. I was searching on eBay and came across this product. I almost over looked it because the packaging didn't have that clinical look I'm normally drawn to. But after further scrutiny (because at $66.95 - the price was right) their ingredient list is quite impressive! Let's compare ingredients with the AWESOME Emerge Product. Emerge:Purified Water, (PhytoCellTec™ Stem Cell) Malus Domestica, Glycerin, Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol Collagen, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, (Matrixyl 3000), Squalane, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propylene Glycol, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid. Skin Perfection: Organic Aloe, Argireline, PhytoCell Tec Malus Domestica, Matrixyl 3000, Pepha Tight, DMAE, Syn Coll, Organic Jojoba, Organic Rooibos Tea, Emulsifying wax, Organic Green Tea, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic White Tea, Vitamin E, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacin, MSM, Black Willowbark, Xanthum Gum,Alpha Lipoic Acid, Astralagus, Organic Blueberry, Organic Blue Green Algae, Cactus, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Organic Cranberry, Copper, GABA, Flowering Botanical Complex with Okra and Cucumber, Organic Goji (wolfberry), Gotu Kola, Organic Lemongrass,Lotus, Organic Marshmallow, Organic Milk Thistle, Organic Nettle, Organic Oat straw, Plankton, Organic Pomegranate, Retinol Complex (Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride and Tocopherol and Sodium ascorbate and Retinol), Silk Amino Acids, Organic Slippery Elm, Ceramide 3, Anti Aging Essential Oil Blend. Pretty big difference. The Skin Perfection LFL has 25% of the Malus Domesticus and the Matrixyl 3000 - which are the two main ingredients that make it more expensive. I also love that Skin Perfection uses lots of Organics and essential oils. I will update this review after I actually use the product - but it does sound very promising!
I'm a sucker for high def makeup - but after just about all of them have left me disappointed, I'm over it. I purchased this foundation and the matching powder. I have sensitive skin that likes to break out, get oily and yet have dry patches. This made me look like a mannequin. I tried several different applications and just could not get it to look natural. Great pump, possibly great for photos or t.v. because of the ability to get almost complete coverage (Illamasqua is better though).
Mascara -L'Oreal - Double Extend Mascara with Lash Boosting Serum
jennstarr 12/15/2009 4:42:00 PM
With all the hype about nourishing mascaras and serums, many of which are quite pricey, L'oreal just released two new products that target that market. With the success of the Oscillation primer, this seems to be the drugstore take on that product. The mascara is okay - but I'm going to judge it on its treatment merit vs. its cosmetic one. Its a double sided primer/mascara product. The primer is nice, similar to the Shu Uemura primer. It doesn't add any volume or fibers, but its meant to nourish the lashes. The color side is a thin mascara - so it separates and lengthens. But it doesn't provide a lot of volume. It also doesn't hold the curl - so I'll use it on days when I don't wear makeup. IMO, if this is going to give me fuller, thicker lashes naturally...its doing its job. The night time serum is nice, doesn't burn my eyes and the applicator is great. You can coat your lashes AND target the lash line with one applicator. I'm going to use it consistently over the next few weeks and I'll update on the results! UPDATE 1/14/10: After very inconsistent use of the serum (I forget to put the mascara on since I rarely wear makeup) during the last 4 weeks, I put mascara on today and was surprised to see a definite improvement in my lashes. I'm going to try using it over the next few weeks, every night and try to wear the mascara as often as possible. So far, looks like a winner! Ingredients: Topcoat: Aqua (Water), Paraffin, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Acrylates Copolymer, Cera Alba/Beeswax, Cera Carnauba/Carnauba Wax, Steareth 2, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acacia Senegal, Ethylenediamine/Stearyl Dimer Dilinoleate Copolymer, Methylparaben, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Disodium EDTA, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Ethylparaben, Simethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, 2 Oleamido 1,3 Octadecanediol, Panthenol, Soluble Collagen, Silica, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Atelocollagen. May Contain (+/-): CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), Mica, CI 75470 (Carmine), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroixde Green), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide) Primer: Aqua (Water), Paraffin, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Acrylates Copolymer, Cera Alba/Beeswax, Cera Carnauba Wax, Steareth 2, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxethylcellulose, Acacia Senegal, Rayon, Panthenol, Polysorbate 21, Ethylenedimane/Stearyl Dimer Dilinoleate Copolymer, Methylparaben, Madecassoside, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Disodium EDTA, Ethylparaben, Sodium Hyaluronate, Arginine, Serine, 2 Oleamido 1,3 Octadecanediol, Citric Acid, Glutamic Acid. May Contain (+/-): CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide) Serum: Aqua (Water), Alcohol Denat, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Polysorbate 21, Madecassoside, Acrylamides/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Methylparaben, Octyldodecanol, Isohexadecane, Sodium Hyaluaronate, Arginine, Serine, Citric Acid, Glutamic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hydroxide, 2 Oleamido 1,3 Octadecanediol.
$48 for 1.7oz (pump bottle)
I had such high expectations for this product that I ignored the fact that it has lavender oil in it...which I'm convinced I'm really allergic too. That aside, I can see this being a very comfortable serum/treatment for oilier skin since it left no residue. Drier skin will find it rather, well, drying.
It doesn't have any paraben or silicone which is a plus, and does have very good anti-oxidant properties and ingredients. Acai berry, orange fruit water, aloe vera juice, clary sage floral water, sunflower seed oil, and lavender, jojoba, and rosemary essential oils to be precise. This ended up being a bad thing for my poor skin. After a few days I ended up with one of the worse allergic reactions to a cosmetic product. My skin was raw, itchy and dry.
However, it may have been the sunscreen I used - but this seems more likely to be the culprit. I'll probably try this again on a small area just to be sure...and change my review accordingly. Until then, my opinion is that this promising serum will be a nice option for very oily skin that does not have an issue with botanical oils.
I still can't believe of all things, I'm allergic to sunscreen and lavender oil.
$55 for 20g tube
This foundation actually comes in 12 shades ranging in three ranges: ivory/pink, ochre, dark. You can request a sampler of preselected shades on their website to try. I used 113 which was a nice light-medium ochre shade that wasn't too yellow which is characteristic of asian cosmetics.
Advertised as a high-definition foundation that is used by makeup artists, I found this foundation to be very fine in texture, comfortable to wear for long periods of time with a medium coverage. It worked best when used with fingertips and then blended to perfection with a high def. sponge.
I did not feel the need to apply powder afterward, as it has a very nice semi-matte finish. However, when used with a light app. of powder, it stayed fresh for at least 8 hours. As far as the "high-def" qualities...I'm not sure if it works for the purpose...but it would probably photograph nicely.
Overall, this is a pricey foundation...but I liked the texture and finish much better that MUFE and Cargo High Definition products. If you require a foundation for such purposes, it is worth looking into.
Shade: Stromboli (medium yellow beige - no pink) I love the finish of this foundation. It gives just the right amount of coverage for a more natural look and texture. Even on my combination skin, it did not feel greasy or get cakey during the day. In fact, my skin felt very comfortable for the duration of the day (in humid weather). If you have very oily skin, this may not be the right texture for you (there is a sheer matte version). Just be sure to let this settle on your skin before applying powder (if you must) to prevent the powder from absorbing all the moisture from this formula. The shades are very neutral and skintone correct. This particular shade was a little TOO yellow and made me look sallow. I'm going to exchange it for Punjab and see if that helps. EDIT: Still like this foundation, although the salesperson gave me Punjab in the Matte formula which is also nice. I wouldn't say this is my HG foundation - I think EL Double Wear is better. But overall this is a nice foundation although a little pricey and could use a pump.
For $250 (for .5oz.) I expect a product to do miracles. This one barely lived up to its price tag. While impressive in concept, this is basically a good eye cream that belongs in the realm of say...$50. Aside from the very luxe packaging (which I appreciate) this cream did hydrate, firm and brighten enough that I wasn't completely disappointed. I liked the texture - it was neither too heavy and didn't disappear into thin air.
Shampoo -Philip B. - Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo
jennstarr 8/1/2009 4:58:00 PM
Retail: $140 for 12 oz.
After reading a raving review in Lucky Magazine, I had to try this extremely opulent and "royal" shampoo. I've always been curious about Philip B. products ~ I thought the White Truffle shampoo was expensive! ~ but this was the first time I was sincerely prompted to actually purchase such a luxury hair product.
Addressing the texture and packaging: Hate the packaging ~ although it does look beautiful in the shower. A tub is just not a convenient vessel for such a product. The texture is, well, interesting. Like a vat o' rubber cement, albeit lovely smelling rubber cement. The fragrance is a very warm amber, but not fake or overwhelming. I can see it lending a bit of depth to other fragranced products.
After following directions (I used a small amount, emulsified it in my palms before applying.) and following with a light application of Katira mask, my hair was super manageable and shiny. Big improvement ~ but short of a miracle. I have low-maintenance styled hair (which basically means an air dry pony tail). But my pony tail was smooth and pretty. I normally have to blow dry it to get such a pleasant texture.
It does have sulfates in it...but Philip B. addresses their use on his website. I haven't seen any improvement in my color or hair condition while using sulfate free products.
Final word: I think its worth the money considering the types of oils and extracts used ~ and the results are worth it. But its not an everyday indulgence...
Cleansers -La Roche Posay - Biomedic Purifying Cleanser
jennstarr 6/9/2009 1:01:00 AM
Yes! I think I've found my HG cleanser (at least while the temperatures are hot). I've been using this for about a week along with the Conditioning Solution and I would say 90% of my blemishes are gone! I don't have acne, but I always have tiny hard bumps on my chin, clogged pores and some blackheads. All of them are gone. I'm amazed. No burning, itching, rash, purging, nothing. This just may be my HG brand...I also love the Anthelios 40 sunscreen. So far everything I've tried from this brand has exceeded my expectations and results I've gotten from brands that cost 4x as much. I will say that I've been using the Estee Lauder new Advanced Night Repair in the AM and the Advanced Night Repair Concentrate in the PM (no moisturizer) and the RX for Brown Skin Radiance Serum in the t-zone every other night. I also have been using the LUSH Mask of Magnaminty every 3 days or so. My skin is very very happy. I purchased mine on eBay (try the sample sizes first) but otherwise this line (the Biomedic line) is only available through dermatologists.
Tinted Moisturizer -Laura Geller - Barely There Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
jennstarr 6/8/2009 7:40:00 PM
I love this tinted moisturizer. It doesn't make me look greasy or break out. There is a bit of shimmer, but in a good way. I wear my Thierry Mugler powder foundation lightly over the t-zone and where I need coverage and I must say my skin looks very natural, but perfected. I like that there isn't chemical sunscreens in this too...those always give me a rash. And the pump dispenser is really just the cherry on top. The shades are a bit odd...there really needs to be a slightly broader selection, but otherwise a great product. I have Medium (I'm a medium/tan yellow based skin...so I wish it were a tiny bit more golden). EDIT: Still like this foundation although it does get a little too sparkly sometimes and can make you look gray if you don't have the right shade. I think it looks better on lighter skin because as I get more tan, it looks too sparkly and heavy. I still like using it on my cheeks - more like a base or highlighter.
This is by far the best sunscreen ever. I normally can't use a sunscreen everyday because it either gives me a very bad rash, breaks me out or makes me greasy. This is the FIRST SPF product that does none of those things to my oily/sensitive skin.
I also noticed that I don't get as oily too. Makeup stays on longer as well. I don't use it around the eye area...its not meant for that. As for the white cast, I simply apply it like I would a heavier foundation...sparingly, a little at a time. I blend it into my skin until it disappears.
I'm just simply amazed. This is the must have in any anti-aging regime. I also use it on my daughter who has eczema with very good results.
EDIT: Still a go-to product for me for days when I'll be outdoors. Can be a little heavy feeling though.
I personally love this line of products (except for the moisturizers). The trick is to remember that while gentle, there are active ingredients and depending on your skin type and sensitivity, you have to "ease" into the regime. Even so, I did not develop my usual reaction (rash, dryness, etc) to these products.
I use the cleanser on 1x a day, and the toner as needed. I alternate the Botanical Brightener and the Radiance Serum every other night. I use a different anti-oxidant serum and SPF in the AM.
This product in particular is my favorite. It has kept my pregnancy mask to a bare minimum (in fact I think my skin looks healthier), doesn't give me a rash or breakouts. I wait at least 30 minutes after cleansing before applying this to allow my skin's PH to go back to normal.
I have to add that the cleanser, while wonderful, does NOT remove makeup and is not to be used around the eye area (like any other acid cleanser). So be sure you are removing all your makeup properly. Clean skin is key after all!
EDIT: This is a good product for those who can stick to a routine. Unfortunately this could not hold my attention.