Moisturizers -La Roche Posay - Hydraphase UV Intense SPF 20
katy42 4/13/2013 7:50:00 PM
This is a fantastic moisturiser for dehydrated skin. I have had very dry skin all winter, and was layering facial oil, rich cream, Day Wear, foundation for daytime but my skin still felt tight. This product comes in a pump and is somewhere between a lotion and a cream. I didn't think it would be rich enough but I was wrong - a few days later I bought the La Roche Posay mineral water spray (having read the reviews on MUA) for use under the cream, and in ten days my skin felt more hydrated and comfortable than it had been for several weeks. I also didn't have to use the oil/cream/SPF cream layers. Now my skin is back to normal I'l use up my Day Wear but I will be going back for more from this excellent brand. Update: the review above was for the Hydraphase Intense Riche UV20. Yesterday I bought the Hydraphase Intense Legere UV20 version because my skin has now gone to dry/oily combo and again very dehydrated, feeling uncomfortably tight. As this is the lighter version of Hydraphase I used about 3 pumps of the product this morning but 2 would have been sufficient. My skin has felt soft and comfortable all day and it really does feel as if it's doused in water. The appearance is more even - my cheeks look less dry and papery andmy forehead is less oily. I have also been using the La Roche Posay Thermal Water Spray after reading some of the reviews here and I think that the two products really do work together. I love this range!
Treatments -Estee Lauder - Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator
katy42 2/3/2013 5:06:00 PM
This really didn't do anything for me. I got a 15ml sample of the Even Skintone Illuminator in a gift set and used it for four weeks continuously although I didn't think I really needed it - I have been using Advance Night Repair at night and Idealist Pore Minimizer by day for about 20 months and the two together have improved the clarity and tone of my skin - but it was a generously sized sample and being an EL fan I thought it would make some improvement to my skin. My skin didn't feel as smooth as it did with the original Idealist (or using no serum at all), and my pores started to look larger. The gold shimmer is pointless and although it's largely invisible I found it really annoying when I did catch sight of it. I did read somewhere that these EL products are described as repair serums but they don't work to improve the skin in the long term - the benefits only last for as long as you're using the product. (Not true of the ANR though, which is just fantastic!) I've stopped using the Illuminator now and have gone back to the original Idealist, with which I noticed a difference after a couple of days. Reading other reviews it seems that one or other of these products works for most people, not both, and that's certainly true for me. I have two of these 15ml sample bottles and am reluctant to throw them away so may try them when my skin is less dry in the summer, or layer it with one of the other EL serums. I'm glad I didn't spend money on this. I'd recommend anyone to get a sample from an EL counter before buying, as it's quite expensive to purchase.
My beloved Lancome Hypnose Precious Cells started smudging on me so I rummaged through my Clinique GWP samples and found High Impact Curling Mascara. Finally, no smudges! I tried it out for a couple of days to make sure it wasn't a fluke. Couldn't believe it! I found it a little too high impact for my fairly long and thick lashes though, so after some research on here and the Clinique websites I decided to buy High Power. I'm loving this! As other reviewers have said, it's not massively lengthening and volumising but I've found it's ample for me particularly after two coats. The formula is quite thin so it doesn't clump on application, and it's probably the only mascara I've ever used that I could wear without a comb through with a dry brush. The colour (Black Onyx) is darker and has a slightly glossier finish than the High Impact Curling, and doesn't have that spidery look. The narrow brush makes the mascara easier to control and less likely to go onto your eyelids (another of my mascara problems). I love not having to worry about panda eyes by mid-morning and I now don't have to skimp on concealer and eye cream to stop my mascara smudging. I have found it comes off very easily with water - nothing left behind, no pulling or dragging on the eyes - but you might need a minute or two to get it all off carefully and gently. I haven't lost any lashes yet with this mascara and I hope I don't...The removal technique for this type of mascara does take a bit of getting used to, but if mascara smudges are a problem then it's really worth it. Also want to say a big thanks to all the reviewers here for this product. I came across a Clinique sales rep who had never heard the term "tubing mascara", had little idea about the properties of the brand's mascaras and asked me if I needed eye makeup remover to go with my purchase (the instruction leaflet inside the box tells you to use warm water). Just as well that I knew exactly what I wanted!
Lipstick -Guerlain - Guerlain Rouge G Le Brilliant in Bella (B63)
katy42 6/15/2012 1:40:00 PM
This is an expensive lipstick but I bought it today at half price plus an extra 10% off so it turned out to be cheaper than the Clinique Chubby Stick I had originally planned to buy, and I am really pleased that I did! The formula was described to me by the SA as halfway between a gloss and a lipstick which is about right. I often fall into the trap of buying a "natural" lip colour which turns out to be too light when I get it home but this is a lovely warm berry with brown undertones which works on my pigmented lips and medium olive complexion. When I got home the gloss had worn off a little but left a nice stain on the lips, and I noticed that its one of those shades that makes your teeth look brighter and wakes up the skin. I think this lipstick will work equally well on dress down days or to balance out heavier eye makeup. I had never looked at Guerlain lipsticks before and would definitely buy another one of these again. The case is lovely - you take the lid off and a little mirror flips open - the kind that makes you feel ladylike when you're putting on your lipstick. Squeezing lip gloss out of a tube can get boring...
I bought this in February when my skin was very very dry and soaking up layers of moisturiser every morning. This foundation worked brilliantly as an extra layer of tinted moisture. Recently though my skin has been less dry and I've found like other reviewers that it can cake over moisturiser. It works best if you use either a lighter moisturiser or spot-apply sparingly over your regular moisturiser. I think I'll keep this for the winter months and go back to Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation for now.
MAC has a fantastic range of eyeshadow colours, this one included, but having tried a few different shadows I find that they are not the best for dry skin. After a day of wearing a MAC shadow my eyelids look crepey and the whole eye area feels dry and tight. Perhaps it's just me...would suggest though that if you do have dry skin perhaps try out an application at the MAC counter before purchasing.
Masks -Clarins - Pure and Radiant Mask with Pink Clay
katy42 4/30/2012 10:45:00 AM
This is one of the few clay masks I have ever tried which doesn't dry completely hard although I agree with an earlier reviewer that is is best removed with a damp flannel to make sure it's all off. I have really dry skin in winter, dry/combo in summer, but like to use this mask whenever my skin feel like it needs a really deep clean. I does the job without drying out my skin and leaves it looking brighter and clearer with less visible pores. Like all Clarins products it smells gorgeous and a tube lasts quite a while as I find I don't need more than a fairly thin layer. I don't think it's a mask for oily/problem skin but great for other types that need a thorough clean. For a home facial I follow with an oil (usually Clarins Blue Orchid) massage and then use a leave-in moisturising mask. Next morning - skin like butter!
Sunscreen -Elizabeth Arden - Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face SPF50
katy42 3/30/2012 6:02:00 PM
Being a long time fan of the Eight Hour Cream, I found this product in a special value kit with the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Intensive Moisturiser SPF 15 and decided to try them out. Sun Defense is the FIRST high factor sunscreen I've ever used which doesn't leave an ashy cast on my tan/olive skin which for me is fantastic - I usually have to wear foundation to cover the ashiness and then powder, which is really not what you want on a hot day. I can just wear it with powder over the top if I need to but it looks perfectly natural on its own. This cream is quite heavy, as you might expect from a product in the Eight Hour range, so great if you have dry skin but probably not for oily/combo skins. It does absorb easily though and makeup goes on over it just fine = best to wait about 5-10 minutes. I love this product - I've just bought another SPF15/50 duo kit which takes care of my sun protection all year round. Elizabeth Arden probably isn't the most fashionable of brands these days but if this is anything to go by there must be a few other unsung hero products tucked away behind their counters!
I have been using Tawny blush since it was first recommended for me - about 15 years ago! - and I keep buying it because it's just totally foolproof. I'm NC30-40, Bobbi Brown 4.5, and on my skin it does what blush is supposed to do which is just give a natural glow. From reading some of the many reviews of this product, it's one of those magic shades that performs on all complexions from fair to deep. I've also used Brown Berry - a deeper shade - and Rose - brighter, and good for the BB "pop" of colour - but Tawny is my go-to shade. Because it's a medium pink-brown, it will go with just about every shade of lipstick. Unlike so many other brands, BB powder blushes work so well because they are completely matte and also very sheer, and are very easy to apply. You can put this shade on in the dark and still look great!
Pressed Powders -Chanel - Poudre Universelle Compacte
katy42 2/7/2012 5:37:00 PM
I bought this on impulse a few years ago in Dore at a duty free shop when my flight was delayed. It's gorgeous! A yellow based matte golden tan powder with a lovely soft, sheer texture. In the winter I bought Naturel, a shade lighter.Chanel powders might seem expensive but this is a whopping 15g size - compare that to Clinique's 7g and Bobbi Brown's which I think is around 11g. The Chanel compact works out much cheaper. I used up a whole tub of Naturel loose powder and the only thing that stopped me repurchasing was that it was a tiny bit less yellow than I normally like (I'm MAC NC30-40 and BB Warm Natural). I am still using the Chanel compact for touchups during the day with a retractable brush and Clinique's Invisible Blend to set makeup in the morning (used to like Bobbi Brown's Soft Sand but that's now way too expensive) and will carry on using Dore loose and pressed in the summer months. I haven't had any problems with the packaging which seems very sturdy and of course, could there be anything more classy than a Chanel compact? (comes in a cute little velvet protective pouch)
I ran out of mascara on a business trip so bought this instead of my usual Max Factor 2000 Calorie, which I had been using for over 10 years. I was attracted by the lash treatment aspect of the product. At the same time that I started using this, I started to dab a tiny bit of oil (Vitamin E, olive or avocado) on my lashes a few times a week. Now, I don't know if it was the combined effect of the two or the mascara itself but my lashes, which were already quite thick (but not as thick as they used to be) became noticeably thicker, stronger and more dense over several weeks. I also noticed that I was losing fewer lashes. I'm currently using Estee Lauder Sumptuous but have bought some more Hypnose Precious Cells to go back to next. The brush is flat compared to most mascara wands so you need to make sure that you hold the flat side to your lashes (I think there's instructions inside the box, or perhaps on the Lancome site) and the wiggle-at-base-of-lashes-then-pull-upwards technique does work to reduce clumping. Would also suggest using an old, clean dry brush to separate lashes after applying mascara. Leaving the treatment aside, this mascara doesn't flake or smudge and is a good, dense and slightly glossy (or at least not matte) black colour. Definitely worth a try!
Moisturizers -L'Occitane - Shea Butter Ultra Rich Face Cream
katy42 10/26/2011 5:50:00 PM
I have just ordered my third jar of this product. As many other reviewers have said, it is excellent for protecting and nourishing the skin in the cold winter months, or if you have very dry skin as a result of hormonal changes. I use it at night over a serum and on very cold days mayalso put a thin layer under a SPF15 moisturiser. It stops the skin from feeling tight and dryafter a day in an air-conditioned office. The texture is quite thick and waxy (contains 25% shea butter) so the best way to apply it is to take rub some between the fingertips to warm it up and liquify it; pat all over the face and in a few minutes come back to it to massage it in if you prefer. A bit time consuming but worth it for smooth, supple, perfectly moisturised and comfortable skin. It's not the cheapest of creams but I find that I might use half a jar during the winter months and then put it away for next year.
My last Chanel phase was about 15 years ago and I bought this lipliner back then. I use it for a while, move on to something else and forget I have it, then find it and start using it again. I came across these reviews now that I have rediscovered Chanel and went and found mine again...it's as good as it ever was. Yes, Chanel products are expensive, but they are also excellent quality. I've had makeup pencils that dry out and get brittle, or become too soft and unuseable, in much less time. This is one of those products and shades that is almost an investment. It'll blend with anything, go under glosses for a longer lasting sheer look and line just about any lipstick you have or are likely to buy in the future. But of course that won't stop me splurging on another one....
Treatments -Clarins - Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil
katy42 1/13/2010 7:18:00 PM
A Clarins therapist described the aroma of this oil as "chocolate orange" which is exactly what it smells like! I have been using this for years and purchased another bottle yesterday as it is perfect for winter skin. For best results it should be massaged lightly over damp skin - Clarins suggest after use of their Toning Lotion but a splash of water will do, as the purpose is to use the oil to lock in the moisture. Despite being an oil it is very hydrating and after a few nights use my skin becomes brighter, smoother, more supple and moisturised, and generally able to behave better in cold weather. Yes, it's expensive but one bottle lasts me 2-3 years, as I find I need it more in cold weather when skin is dehydrated, using it for a few nights in a row at a time and then occasional use through the rest of the year. Great as a massage oil as part of a home facial, for soothing irritated itchy skin or when you just want to indulge your senses as well as your skin by inhaling that gorgeous aroma! Update: have been finding my skin is getting drier (an age thing); winter and air conditioned workplaces mean that by the end of the day my skin can be very dry, tight and parched. I tried using a few drops of this oil in the morning (yes, really!) under my day moisturiser. If it's really cold outside I'll layer another moisturiser over it too. It really does work - my skin is more comfortable and still radiant at the end of the day. Water freezes in the cold so it make sense to use an oil based product to protect the skin. It's worth a try if you have extremely dry skin; if your skin needs it, it will just soak up the oil and I've had no problems putting makeup on afterwards. I hope this helps.
I use GiGi Brazilian and Honee microwave waxes and find those really effective. Creme Wax is more hit and miss. It is difficult to spread a thin layer of this wax and a lot of hair gets left behind, requiring a second or even third application. It is gentle on the skin though, but if you want really clean results then I would suggest going for GiGi Honee.