Lip Treatments -Alba Botanica - Un-Petroleum Vanilla Lip Balm
jiney17 4/14/2013 12:38:00 PM
This is one of my favorite lip balms. The texture is perfect: thick enough to offer lasting protection from the elements, but smooth and creamy instead of waxy and stiff. The scent is a mild, sweet vanilla and there's no real taste. This is not a glossy lip balm and it provides a nice base for lip products. My lips always feel soft and moisturized after wearing this. It has SPF and is inexpensive at around 2 USD per tube. I just wish Alba expanded this range a bit with more scents, an unscented option, an SPF-free option, etc.
I have long, virgin, slightly wavy hair, normal texture, prone to some frizziness and dryness. I avoid silicones and harsh detergents. The surfactant used in this shampoo is gentle and won't strip or dry out hair. The shampoo itself is a thick, clear gel. It lathers up reasonably well, though I personally need to use more shampoo than normal to get a good lather going. It rinses cleanly. It is a straightforward, basic shampoo. The price is reasonable. I have zero complaints.
I have light skin with yellow/olive undertones (approximately NC25). I found Medium to be too warm and about 1.5 shades too dark for me, but if I use it very sparingly (mixed with regular moisturizer), I can get away with it (especially since my sunscreen whitens my face a little bit anyway). I tried Light next, but it was was also too dark for me, though not as bad as Medium. Both are definitely on the orangey/tan side, though, which means these tinted moisturizers don't really work for me. If you have a cool undertone, then this TM definitely won't work for you. Warm-toned and tanner women would probably like these TMs better. No detectable fragrance. Nice texture, not too thick nor too liquid. Provides a very nice, even, slightly dewy finish (not as shiny as Murad's TM) and more coverage than I expected--like a light-medium coverage foundation. So it's much more coverage than Murad's tinted sunscreen, slightly less than Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer. Wears pretty well with loose powder (I use pure silk powder) on top and provides a nice canvas for the LM concealer I use for places that need more coverage. It feels nicely creamy and hydrating too, which is nice now that the weather is so raw. I'd recommend getting a sample satchet or two before committing to a full bottle. Kiehl's samples are really, really generous so one should last for quite a few applications.
An interesting color. It's a light, grayed putty color with a faint, pearly shimmer. It is a neutral-to-cool color and not the most flattering shade ever on me (I have light, yellow-olive skin, but my hands are more peachy). I imagine someone with cooler skin would find this to be a "mannequin hands" shade. Typical Revlon quality (good). Nice, creamy texture and good coverage even with one coat. I ended up swapping it away because it just doesn't look that great on me.
Cleansers -L'Oreal - Hydrafresh cleanser for normal to dry skin
jiney17 12/8/2010 12:29:00 PM
I adore the subtle, fresh lemony scent and thick creamy texture. However, this cleanser is very drying, despite being supposedly formulated for normal to dry skin. Even when I had oilier skin, it made my face feel very tight after cleansing. Over time, it led to flakiness and more oiliness because it was too stripping. Would not repurchase or recommend.
Patisserie is a pretty neutral, nothing that knocks my socks off, but a good basic to have around. I really think they ought to incorporate this color into the permanent line. Viva Glam V is similar, but a little darker and browner. Patisserie is a mid-tone slightly mauvey pink, but I think it must be a bit warmer than that description suggests. My skin tend to amplify cool tones in lipsticks that look neutral on other people, so if Patisserie were a true mauve-pink, then it would look cooler, purpler and less flattering on me. It's neutral and kind of blends into my natural lip color.
The texture is nice. Smooth and somewhat sheer. There's no glitter or frost, thank goodness, so it looks pretty natural. It's a decent MLBB-type shade, but not that impressive overall. I probably won't repurchase.
ABOUT ME: Normal-combination, sensitive, prone to seborrheic dermatitis, acne, and hyperpigmentation. Currently using Tazorac to control acne.
SCENT & TEXTURE: No real scent, which is good. The texture is surprising. It looks like Crisco, but it does not feel greasy. In fact, despite looking, er, fatty, it's actually kind of a 'dry'-feeling cream that absorbs quickly and leaves a matte finish (it may make you oilier later in the day if it's warm or you have combination or oily skin). I think it's easiest to use on damp skin. It has not clogged my pores, caused any breakouts or irritated my skin. It will not be moisturizing enough for dry skin. I use a separate eye cream and sometimes mix in a facial oil for dry weather.
PERFORMANCE: This won't lighten your skin dramatically, but it will help fade a tan. I've been using it for about a month and am pleased to find that my face now matches my neck. It also has faded a few dark post-acne marks slightly and generally evened and brightened my complexion. It also hasn't clogged any pores, broken me out, or irritated my dermatitis. Very pleased. I've started using it on my elbows and knees to lighten those areas up a bit too.
PACKAGING: Simple plastic jar. I would prefer if they put this in a squeeze tube, but it's not a big deal. I just make sure my hands are clean before dipping into it.
PRICE/AVAILABILITY: Relatively inexpensive, though not cheap. I got mine for about 16 USD on iherb.com. You get 2 oz. and the ingredients are pretty good, so it's a fair deal.
INGREDIENTS: Water (aqua), caprylic/capric triglyceride, stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, silybum marianum (milk thistle) extract, titanium dioxide, ascorbyl palmitate (c-ester), glyceryl stearate and PEG-100 stearate, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), panax ginseng root extract, sodium hydroxide, dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin.
ETA: Well, I've used this moisturizer nearly everyday for almost 4 weeks. My skin is overall much more even and brighter. I've received compliments from several people, which is surprising to me since I never hear compliments about my skin. I will definitely keep using this cream!
Eyeliner -Christian Dior - Crayon Eyeliner in Elegant Taupe (Spring 2009)
jiney17 11/10/2010 4:16:00 PM
ABOUT ME: Light, yellow-olive undertones, dark eyes and hair. Dry skin around my eyes so I rarely need to use primer.
COLOR: A neutral light taupe with a golden sheen. It is about as light as Urban Decay's 24/7 pencil in "Underground" (which looks a little rosier next to the CD) and lighter than Laura Mercier's "Black Gold" kohl and MAC's "Orpheus". MAC's "Powersurge" is probably the most similar in terms of finish and tone, though it is more bronzey than Elegant Taupe.
Elegant Taupe doesn't really show up on me, except as a subtle, pretty gleam and a hint of darkness. This makes it perfect for the lower lash line. It just looks odd on my upper lash line given how dark my hair and eyes are. Though a fair woman might like this smudged all around for a softer way to emphasize light eyes.
PERFORMANCE: Smooth texture, but takes a few tries to get enough color.
PACKAGING: Elegant striped pencil with a capped smudger at the other end.
PRICE/AVAILABILITY: About 28 USD, which is nuts. Swap or troll eBay or makeup discount sites instead.
REPURCHASE?: Probably not. This is nice, but there are many similar colors out there at lower prices that can be used the way I use this.
This polish definitely lives up to the hype. It's a black jelly base with amazing chunky red glitter. The glitter is large and irregularly shaped and catches the light constantly. There's also quite a bit of it, so you get excellent glitter coverage with 2-3 coats. Ruby Red Slippers is a definite eye-catcher and probably not good for conservative work environments.
A good top coat is necessary to really bring out the fire of the red glitter and to keep the surface from feeling rough. You also have to be careful when applying it to not get glitter on the very edges of your fingernails. The polish is expensive at 18 USD, but I think it's worth it. Of course, getting it for a few bucks cheaper on eBay or through a swap is even better.
Given the reviews, it seems this mascara works best for women with moderately thick lashes that are naturally curly. I have fine, short, thin lashes that are very straight, so I'm not impressed. It does thicken lashes and give a dramatic look, but it can seem a little doll-like if your lashes are sparse because it clumps so easily and gives spider lashes.
The formula is rather wet and thick and can be hard to comb through with a lash comb (which is necessary to prevent clumps). It is also a somewhat heavy mascara. It's even heavier than Volume Express, which means The Falsies will slightly weigh down fine lashes and de-curl them without major interventions with a heated curler. I only use my tube now to top off my Full 'n' Soft at the corners and base of my lashes for a more dramatic look. I won't repurchase.
I snapped this up when I saw it at the drugstore. It's a great bargain. The color is a pretty, creamy mint green, soft and vintage-looking, with subtle shimmer. The texture of the polish is somewhat thick and goopy, but it's nothing a bit of thinner can't fix. I needed two coats for the best coverage. I was expecting this to chip off my nails immediately, but it was surprisingly durable for such a cheap polish. It stayed on my fingernails for about a week and a half without major chipping, just some tip wear. I really like this and would definitely repurchase it.
This is a really fun summer color. It's a very, very bright coral (not neon), a bit too light and orange to be red, but it's not an orangey color (at least on me, it's not). Very flattering if you have yellow/olive undertones. Glossy creme finish and typical OPI quality. Would repurchase.
Black jelly polish with chunky orange glitter in various sizes and shapes. Three coats for the best coverage. I love that there's a lot of glitter so you get an even amount across the nail with one stroke. The color is really funky and cool--perfect for Halloween, in particular. I'd love if China Glaze released more black jellies glitters.
This is a unique color. It's a plum (more red than blue) jelly with a touch of brown to make it more neutral and lots of fine pink shimmer that looks copper at certain angles. A rich, complex and unusual color. I'm saving this one for the Fall.
This is a pretty duochrome that's not too wild. The base color is a satiny, neutral pinky peach and the flash/interference is an ethereal pale green. That sounds like ti would look strange, but it's actually very pretty and subtle and reminds me a little bit of pearls or seashells. No problems with application, wear or the price.