I want to like this more than I do, but ultimately, it just doesn't work for me. A couple of stand-out details: the black is *really* black, and Almay doesn't animal test. But this formula does flake on me throughout the day which is the deal-breaker.
I vacillate on this mascara, hence the middle-of-the-road rating. On one hand, it's a lovely pitch black. Application is mostly smooth (make sure you've rid the excess on the end of the wand). I haven't noticed much, if any, flaking or smudging. But it does seem to fade by the end of the work day which gives me pause. I tend to need to wear waterproof formulas so for a non-waterproof formula, this one is fairly reliable.
This sneaked up on me as a favorite. At first, I would only use it at night after exfoliating my lips. It goes on thickly, but without feeling particularly heavy. Which is basically to say that you can kiss your sweetheart without them wondering what the hell it is you have on your lips! A fantastic balm. Looks like amazon has the best deal at 3 for <$14?
I love this lipstick! It's incredibly versatile - wear as a stain (lightly or more intensely) or apply straight from the tube for a wearable bold fuchsia lip. In warmer weather, I have noticed a tiny bit of migration in terms of feathering/bleeding, but a clear lip liner should do the trick. As a stain, it seems to stay put really well.
Eyeliner -Laura Mercier - Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Black Ebony
kbabyd 5/23/2012 10:36:00 AM
This eyeliner is pretty fantastic. I use it with water only (not the tightline activator) and while I sometimes have to do slight cleanup under my eye right after application (and that's likely because of me, not the product), it truly does not move once set. The pigment is really fantastic - a true deep black. There was a tiny learning curve for me in terms of how much water to use, and there is a tipping point for sure. But other than that, this is great. I much prefer this for tight-lining over bobbi brown's gel eyeliners. The gel eyeliners were not as long lasting for tight-lining (great for regular lining).
Toners -Thayers - Rose Petal Alcohol Free Witch Hazel
kbabyd 5/23/2012 10:31:00 AM
This is a product I use so frequently that it's easy to forget about. I typically don't stick to one product because I assume there's always something better out there. But this! It's just simple, wonderful stuff. And for my dry skin, if I pat it on it seems to add just enough extra moisture for my lotion to lock in. I think I've used this consistently for 5-6 years now. No need to use anything else, IMO.
Don't bother trying to find a drugstore dupe for this - just buy it! It's totally worth the extra $$ b/c what you get for that is: 1. better consistency of product. it glides on smooth & doesn't clump up or get gloppy. 2. easy to clean off both the brush and your eyes! 3. LONG lasting! 4. NO transferring or smudging. I think this is a classic, staple product for anyone who wants to wear eyeliner. As someone who set out to 'master' eyeliner this year, I must say that which product I used made a HUGE difference and the BB eyeliner is practically foolproof, so long as you're relatively steady with a brush. Awesome stuff.
Sometimes you neglect to review something because it is such a staple that you overlook it. Such is the case with this lipstick. When I bought this, I wanted a lipstick that was subtle, lacked shimmer, and could be applied without a mirror. This hits my criteria and then some. It is quietly build-able and works with a number of various lip pencils to create slightly different looks. It's also a joy to wear - moisturizing and pigmented. I don't feel a need to apply lip balm before wearing this. The only con with this (yet I keep my rating at a 5 out of 5) is that it isn't the longest wearing lipstick. I think there's a bit of trade-off due to the fact that it is so moisturizing. I'd rather have to reapply more often than have it dry out my lips. At the end of the day, this is my perfect, everyday lip color. The one that is ALWAYS in my purse.
Top/Base Coats -Lippmann Collection - Rehydrating Base Coat
kbabyd 10/25/2011 11:39:00 AM
Do NOT buy this as a base coat. As a base coat, you would do much better with just about any other base coat out there. This did nothing to preserve my manicure, not even my pedicure (which seems to endure a lot even with sub-par products). When I applied a regular base coat over it, it caused my nail polish to peel off. As a re-hydrating treatment - who knows?! Cuticle cream or oil is better than this.
This was my first Nars eyeshadow and the MUA knew what she was talking about when she recommended it to me! This is fantastic - wet or dry - as an eyeliner. I think for that purpose alone, it would be worth a purchase. The color is very intense and highly pigmented. As a shadow, it doesn't sway cool or warm but sits prominently in the middle - a platonic ideal of dark brown. I use rather sparingly in my crease and a very light 'dab'll do ya.' Although I would buy again, I find it hard to fathom the day I will need to since I use this so sparingly! I haven't experienced any fallout with this at all, though I do use with an eyeshadow primer. I would categorize this shadow as a great basic to have in your collection.
Blush -Bobbi Brown - Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks - Powder Pink
kbabyd 10/25/2011 10:59:00 AM
I think this is a great product. While some powder blushes leave a powdery trace, this blends into the skin quite nicely giving my cheeks a natrual, healthy tint. I find that this color lacks white pigment, which is to its great benefit. I have used other cream blushers which have too much white pigment which, in turn, looks very cheap and pastey. I find this product rather long-lasting as I have not noticed the color fade during a typical 8-9 hour workday. As a lip color, I have found that it works best on VERY moisturized lips. Otherwise, it seems to accentuate any cracks or bits of dry skin. When my lips are adequately moisturized, this looks great. The BB pot rouge is a great solution for a light-skinned someone looking for 'just enough' color to pull off a 'no makeup makeup' look.
Treatments (Eye) -StriVectin - SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles
kbabyd 10/25/2011 10:53:00 AM
I am a skeptic when it comes to claims products make about helping wrinkles and dark circles and the like. Despite that, I made the switch to this eye cream after giving birth to my son. Previously, I was using more "hippie" products (aka natrual) and the lack of sleep drove me to try a product with 'helpful' properties. Throw in the fact that I found this in a 2-for-1 pack at Costco, and I was game. When I first put this cream on, my skin 'drank' it much better than other creams I had been using. It felt good on my skin. I should say that neither my under eye wrinkles nor dark circles are terribly prominent. I am probably the only one who really notices such things to begin with, but I feel this cream honestly helped both to an (again, only by me) extent. It's certainly not a miracle product (I still use concealer on most days), but I think it has plumped my skin up enough to make a bit of a difference in the wrinkle area. I even dab it on along my brow bone/upper lid and I think it's helped my crepe-y eyelid. Is that crazy? Maybe. As for dark circles, it's hard to give the cream much credit since my son did start sleeping through the night so I'm sure the simple act of getting more sleep has helped alleviate that issue. But we can toss this eye cream a bone.
I bought this when I read in a magazine that it makes a great liner. Then I kind of forgot about it (despite not being in the habit of buying expensive eyeshadow) b/c at the time, I hardly wore liner but knew I wanted to. Now that I'm actually using it, I get what they were saying! It looks just lovely brushed along my lower lashline - anything darker looks too obvious to me - and it lacks any red undertones which would only emphasize my already pinkish skin. On its own, the shadow can veer a little in the "bruised" territory of purples, but I found that layered over another shadow (I have specifically loved the way it looks over MAC's Vex shadow), it transforms into a beautiful, subtle, wearable, more-eggplant-than-royal, smokey, purple-ish. I do wear primer (UDPP) on my top lid but nothing on my bottom lid and it lasts beyond my normal 8-9 hour work day.
I was initially drawn to this because I have veiny eyelids and felt the corrective properties could help. This product did nothing to diminish my veins. Additionally, this primer caused creasing and it is sparkly. I prefer my primers matte. Now I'm back to UDPP which I never should have deviated from in the first place!
Who knew cotton could be so awesome? This cotton is so soft (wonderful for delicate and/or sensitive skin) and utilizes product more efficiently than any other cotton I've tried. I also believe these cottons remove makeup more thoroughly than regular rounds and do not leave little stray cotton shards behind. I most often use these to remove eye makeup and one pad (actually, even 1/2 a pad if I'm feeling frugal) will thoroughly remove makeup from both eyes (and I wear waterproof mascara). When I use regular drugstore cotton pads, I end up using way more makeup remover b/c they soak up too much of the product & there isn't enough left to do its job. I think you could also easily use these cottons to distribute product to your face (toner, serums, etc.) without worrying about wasting product. I honestly did not realize how wonderful these cottons are until I was in a pinch & bought drugstore cotton rounds (and I thought I picked up nicer ones!). I think they are absolutely worth the extra price, especially since I wear makeup every day.