Hair -Wen by Chaz Dean - Replenishing treatment mist
jtg1968 12/3/2012 12:16:00 PM
I received this as part of a set, and it sat in my cabinet for months before I started using it. Chaz Dean markets this for use on days you don't shampoo to revitalize and restyle "bed hair." Since I wash my hair every day, I really didn't see the point at first. Once I began experimenting beyond its intended use however, I realized this is truly a multi-tasker that doesn't need to be used on hair at all. For instance, my favorite way to use this is to set makeup. I spray one or two pumps on my face as a final step, and it takes away the dry, powdery look without adding shine. Helps my foundation to last longer. I also spray some on my skin after a shower, to seal in my body lotion. If my hair gets frizzy, I spray it on my brush first and then run it through from mid-shaft to ends. Also great to spray on your hair before using a curling/straightening iron to prevent breakage. Find a scent you like, and spray on your pillow before bedtime. Use it to refresh dress pants and blazers in between trips to the dry cleaner. No kidding. Just a pump or two does the trick; one small bottle will last forever.
I wear this blush every day and have all three colors. Blossom is a beautiful muted pink that looks great on porcelain to fair skin. In spring and summer Blossom does not show up on me, so that's when I use either Petal or Rosey. Petal is definitely pinky, but much brighter than Blossom, so it shows up great when I have a tan, as does Rosey. I do not understand how they came upon Rosey for the name. It is definitely a peachy-coral, much more warm-toned than Petal, but just as bright. It would look great on medium-tan skin, although it's sheer enough that someone more fair could pull it off also. The texture is sheer, but buildable, and wears well for the price. I like to put these on with either my fingers, RT stippling brush or a small foundation brush after my TM/foundation and before finishing powder. After powder, I often top with a coordinating powder blush for added staying power.
Concealers -Laura Geller - Real Deal Full Coverage Cream Concealer
jtg1968 6/12/2012 4:12:00 PM
I think concealer is one of those products that is very difficult to formulate well. The Real Deal is just about as close to perfection as I can hope to find. I use the medium in summer, and light in winter, each looking very natural and pairing well with her foundation or tinted moisturizer. For under the eyes, I mix a pinhead amount (seriously, that's all you need) with a little Spackle primer before application, tap it in and set with powder. It looks very natural and lasts all day. Doesn't cake or settle into my fine lines. Mixing it with the primer seems to be the trick to using underneath the eyes. It's also great as an eyeshadow primer, and to cover up areas on the face that need more coverage, like around the nose and on the chin. It's very versatile and one tube will last me a whole year. Highly recommend.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - RESIST Weekly Resurfacing Treatment
jtg1968 5/26/2012 7:24:00 AM
I get the same results from this as I do from a professional glycolic peel...at a fraction of the cost. If you are one of those people who routinely uses AHA products, you will be very pleased with this. It may be only 10%, but I swear this is more powerful than any AHA product I've tried. I use it at night, once a week: apply a quarter-sized amount with a cotton pad after cleansing and toning and let it sit overnight. Each time I use it, I can see a difference in the morning. Don't think you can use it every day, however: it'll irritate and burn like heck, and your face will hate you. It's a tiny bottle, but should last three months or so if used 1-2 times a week. Great when paired with the Resist 5% daily smoother.
I ran across this powder when raiding my sister's makeup stash, and immediately went to Ulta to purchase my own. I'm NC25, and I chose the Fair shade, which matches nicely. I have used this both as a finishing powder and on its own as a foundation, the latter of which I prefer because I find it looks more natural--not to mention quicker. Using a primer underneath is essential, and Laura's Spackle works best with this foundation. I don't use her brush to apply--use a Real Techniques stippling brush--, but I find it lasts all day and doesn't feel like foundation (as all liquids do) or end up all over my vanity like BM. I put a little on a retractable blush brush to take with me for touch ups, but find I rarely need it. Even covers up the redness on my nose and doesn't settle into fine lines around my eyes.
Skincare - Face -Philosophy - When Hope Is Not Enough - Serum
jtg1968 12/3/2011 8:49:00 AM
Advertised as a "facial firming serum," this does exactly what it says, albeit not overnight. It took close to a full bottle before I noticed results. I am now on my third, and on auto-ship to avoid ever being without. What it is: a lightweight, super-absorbing, hydrating, antioxidant-packed serum that is wonderful for restoring balance and elasticity. Packaged in a dark brown bottle with a dropper, ingredients are sure to remain stable--unlike creams in a jar, which compromise integrity by exposure to light and air. What it is not: there is no retinol, hydroquinone or exfoliants in this, so you will not erase wrinkles, freckles, acne or dull skin by using only this serum. However, using it consistently will likely prevent all of these things from occurring. It's the only moisturizer I use in the morning, and the first thing on my face in the evening. Since adding WHINE to my skin care regimen, my husband has said more than once: "You look younger today." Good enough for me!
Eyeliner -Bobbi Brown - Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink
jtg1968 8/20/2011 7:31:00 AM
I have tried all of Bobbi's gel liners, as well as countless pens, pencils, liquids and powders from other manufacturers. My eyes are my best feature, so I'm a little obsessed with liner. BB's black ink is my favorite. Some might think it's too bold for daytime, but I think it's classy, especially when paired with a neutral taupe eyeshadow.( I'm partial to BB's wheat or woodrose eyeshadow for daytime.) For some reason, the black ink is also the only color I have found in BB's line that doesn't dry out. Not sure what that is all about, but I really like that the gel consistency is maintained. Makes application so much easier. I've applied this with all sorts of brushes, including BB. For me, a flat eyeliner brush similar to smashbox works best with jet black liner, since it allows you to really get in close to the lashes without creating a bold, thick line. The staying power is excellent. I do follow with a powder liner on top during the summer. If I do so, then even when it's 97 degrees outside, the look lasts through a 12 hour shift, with dinner afterwards. Absolutely a must have.
I love BB shimmer wash eyeshadows. They don't settle into my fine lines and add a touch of luminosity without being garish. This shade is probably one of my favorites, and I have dozens of BB eyeshadows. The other reviewers are right, this is a golden, bronzy brown, and it looks great in the crease for daytime. I use it with Bobbi's cream eyeshadow in shore on the lid and sepia eyeliner. Great shade to prevent the neutral eye from being too boring.
Eye Shadow -Bobbi Brown - Metallic Eye Shadow in Velvet Plum
jtg1968 7/23/2011 7:42:00 AM
This shade is one of my favorites for work. I use it in the crease with BB Woodrose as a base and Navajo on the browbone to highlight. If you are looking for a plummy-bronze twist to the smoky eye, it will work well on the lid also. Use a light hand, however, as this shadow is especially well pigmented. It doesn't settle into my fine lines as some might expect, but then again I only use this as a crease shadow.
This is without a doubt, one of the best foundations on the market. I do dislike the glass bottle packaging, and wish the SPF were higher, but the range of colors is impressive, the coverage is buildable, and the wear is phenomenal. I have tried long-wearing drugstore foundations, and failed with all of them--mainly because the guesses I made on shades were wrong. I was color matched at the Lauder counter and given a ten-day supply. While I was wary of the cool shade she gave me (Dusk), I put it on one half of my face the next morning and saw it matched my skin exactly. Not too pink, not too orange or yellow. I will say, however, there are tricks to making this foundation work for you and avoid looking like a mask. First, you must use a primer. If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer first, then apply the primer, letting it sit on your skin for a couple of minutes. If your skin is combo/oily, skip the moisturizer but still apply a primer. It will create a smooth canvas for the foundation. Second, use a damp sponge to apply. This will give a sheer, natural-looking coverage and will help avoid that caked on look. If you prefer full coverage, use a brush--but it's easier building coverage than taking it away, hence the damp sponge. After I apply with the sponge, I spot apply with my fingers in places that need more coverage: nose, chin, areas of hyperpigmentation. If you use powder blush, apply a very small amount of a finely milled loose powder over the foundation. This will help the blush go on smoothly. I prefer Double Wear to Double Wear Light, only because I only use a tiny bit of DW and the bottle lasts for ever. With the Light, I had to use more product, so the tube didn't last as long. But boy, I love that tube packaging. Wish DW would come in a tube also. At any rate, if you haven't tried this, you MUST go to the Lauder counter, get color matched and go home with a ten-day sample. If you're like me, you won't even use the whole sample before going back to purchase.
Well, if you're looking for next to zero conditioning, this might be ok. I have fine yet dry hair and it was definitely NOT ok. Don't let the name fool you, "silky" is not what your hair will become with this conditioner.
I assumed that since the brand was Biosilk that the shampoo wouldn't dry out my hair. Luckily, I only purchased a trial size. There is nothing "silk" about this shampoo. It left my hair like straw. Stay away.
Conditioner -Redken - Extreme Conditioner [REFORMULATED]
jtg1968 1/26/2010 6:05:00 AM
This whole Extreme system is the best on the market in terms of strengthening your hair. I use this three times a week, in conjunction with the matching shampoo and Iron Repair blow-dry treatment. Twice a month I will use Deep Fuel followed by Butter Treat. It is true, this is a protein conditioner and really not meant to be used every day. Too much protein will make your hair like straw. I alternate with the All-Soft, and my very fine, wavy, delicate hair is long and strong. My hair has never been this healthy, and Extreme is the reason. I LOVE the smell! In regards to this specific conditioner, though, I will say that I have not gotten great results unless I use the shampoo with it. If your hair is weak and damaged, this conditioner will help. Remember, though: every other day max, alternate with All-Soft, and use the whole Extreme system. If your hair is healthy, try it once a week or so to maintain.
Primer/ Corrector -Rimmel - Fix and Perfect Foundation Primer
jtg1968 12/15/2009 6:22:00 AM
Turned my skin orange, did NOT reduce pore size at all, and my skin was an oil slick by the end of the day. I have tried high-end primers and was avoiding sticker shock by getting this one at Wal-Mart, but in the world of primers, I guess you get what you pay for. Back to Smashbox Light.
I used to be a huge fan of the Amazing Lasting foundation, until that was discontinued. I like this just as well. I blend it with my sunscreen and then apply like a TM for a sheer, natural look. I then follow by dotting the fountation "full strength" on places where I want more coverage (t-zone). Many times I don't even need to follow with powder. This foundation is ultra-matte, so if you do use powder, make sure it is super-finely milled. The only thing I do not like is the glass packaging. I stress everytime I travel, thinking it might break. Other than that, it's a great foundation. I use the 04/natural, and it's a pretty good match for summer. It will last 8+ hours even in heat/humidity, so on work days, this is my go-to.