I wanted to buy this product for so long, but didn't because of the price. It is freakin' expensive. I love the idea of a bar cleanser, but most are drying, don't clean my oily skin well, or leave a lot of residue. I did have very acne prone skin before going on antibiotics. My skin is much clear now, but I still have clog prone, oily skin. I bought this as a part of a kit for "Problem Skin". First, the packaging looks nice, but it is a hassle to screw & unscrew the lid, I just leave it open, and the excess water does not drain making the soap soft. It feels very luxurious when foamed up, a lovely creamy consistency. It does not strip your skin, but I can also feel the oil on my skin after I washed it off. I don't like cleansers that strip my skin, but also I still feel "dirty" after I use this. I always use a cleansing oil first at night, but in the morning when I try to use just the raspberry bar, I always end up washing with another cleanser. Has it helped with my skin? I have to say I saw no difference. Even though this is marketed as a cleansing bar for acne prone/ oily skin, I think it more for normal to dry skin types. I'm glad I didn't shell out $38 for the full size, the bar does last a while, but ARCONA says you have to replace them every 6 months or so, and that seems wasteful. I'd rather go with a cleanser with longer shelf life.
Sunscreen -MISSHA - All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45/PA+++
kims3142 6/17/2012 10:22:00 AM
This tube of sunscreen exceeded my expectations! It has taken over my former HG Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 55. As I age, my skin has gotten a bit drier. But I still have super oily skin. THe Shiseido lasts me through 6 months of backpacking through tropical climates in the summer & it stayed on through sweat & rain. Now I work in an office where there is just something about the air that dries my skin up even though I still get oily. I wear MAC P&P SPF 50 as well on some days, and both seemed to dry out my skin lately, in and out of the office, but especially at work. Both are excellent products, and I still use them, but I LOVE THIS MORE, way more. The consistency of the MISSHA is much more liquidy and lighter. It feels like a light lotion, not thick like the Shiseido, the MAC is thinner, but MISSHA applies and sets the best. This is also moisturizing enough so that I can skip moisturizer w/o getting all flaky. BUT MISSHA also keeps me matte and my makeup looks great throughout the day. It is probably not as mattifying as the Shiseido, but only slightly. MISSHA also feels smoother when absorbed, no sticky feeling, no thick-feeling. And the best part is that this stuff is so much cheaper. I got it on the US MISSHA website for $9.99. It is 50ml. THe same size tube for Shiseido is $36, P&P SPF 50 is $30, I also go through the MAC the fastest. I've repurchased the P&P & Shiseido several times, but the tubes that I have now might be the last ones since I found the MISSHA. The actual sun protection part works just as well as the Shiseido, although if I was trekking through the tropics, I'd stick with Shiseido for the sweat-proof factor, but for everyday city living with some sun exposure while commuting/ running errands, MISSHA wins hands down on texture, feel, wearability and PRICE. If you find sunscreen dries you out, you must try this. It does have fragrance, but goes away immediately for me and is a fresh light scent, like clean soap.
Makeup Brushes -Sonia Kashuk - Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush
kims3142 2/4/2011 5:45:00 PM
I bought this a month ago and it is my absolutely #1 beauty item. I have about 5 foundation brushes, including Armani, MAC and Sue Devitt. But this is my favorite, totally worth $17.99. I love how dense it is and it buffs in/ blends foundation easily & quickly & seamlessly. After I do my foundation, I also use it to blend the edges my blush & the bristles on this is perfect for it. The issue with my other foundation brushes is that some of them are too small, too long (hair) or too rough. This is none of that so it gives the control & blending we all want to achieve the max out of the foundation. ONE THING, I do not like the shape of the handle, I wish it was smooth, but it is still the best brush I own and I have about 30? I wash mine every time I use it & it dries really fast & holds shape very well that I don't even use the brush guards that I do with all of my natural hair ones.
Concealers -Revlon - Age Defying Spa Concealer [DISCONTINUED]
kims3142 1/6/2011 1:31:00 PM
I am currently NC30/35 and I bought this in Light/ Medium. I don't like to use concealer that's too light under the eyes, but I knew this was suppose to be a brightening item so I really wanted that effect so I went a little lighter than the MEDs I usually go for. But it is not light at all & it is definitely brightening. If it had a little more coverage & lasting power, I would have given it a 5. I have SO many undereye concealers & concealers in general. I have about 10 open at the moment. I wanted something that creased the ;east, brightened my dark circles and looks natural & this does all of them. Mine are pretty dark so it does not cover them completely, but this stuff is so light that I can layer & touch up w/o any caking. I'd say this lasts a good 4/5 hours, but I also have extremely oily skin & I am used to things like Colorstay & DW so it still pretty long lasting. Compared to other pen type, light reflecting concealers this is my fav. Especially since you get so little amount in these types & many are over $10, I really like the price. I also sometimes use this on top of other concealers for a highlighting effect & it works well. Well worth the money & it will be my go to for a pen concealer.
Moisturizers -First Aid Beauty - Ultra Repair Cream
kims3142 1/3/2011 8:30:00 PM
I have been using this for about 3 or 4 weeks now. I have very oily, cystic acne prone skin with a lot of dehydration from heavy chemical exfoliant use (retinol, glycolic acid). I read all the great reviews and wanted to find a moisturizer that would help with the flaking and the general lack of suppleness in my skin. I also am very wary of anything new because of my acne. The good things about this moisturizer is that even though it is thick, it absorbs nicely & it does moisturize well, but not as much as I had hoped since it was marketed to people with eczema etc. Although I don't think this has cause acne, it has given me more clogged pores around my problem areas; between the brows & around the nose & chin. I think this is a fine moisturizer, but should be used with caution for those who are prone to clogged pores. I bought the tube and have used quite a bit, I will use the rest of it, but I will buy something else when this is gone. I like it enough (gentle) to use up, but not HG for me. This wears very badly under makeup, but it great for the under eye concealer area.
Liquid -Rimmel - Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation
kims3142 12/30/2010 9:22:00 PM
I bought this in 2 shades, fist one was in 200 Soft Beige which was too light ( I am NC 30/35 & very yellow) and then I bought this in 202 Nude which is much better. Still a bit more pink, but more yellow than 200. I love that this is in a tube, although it squishes out a lot with even the slightest pressure. The coverage is a little less than medium on me. If you apply too much, it can get very chalky looking so I do not recommend trying to layer too much on. I have extremely oily skin, this does last better than regular foundations, but not as long as Revlon CS, but better than EL DW. DW has a weird waxy look after I wear for a few hours, I look like I have plastic skin, but this still looks pretty natural after 7 or 8 hours. No, it does not stay on for 25 hours, but about 10 hours before it starts to look really bad. That's still really good in my opinion and it does wear amazingly well on my less oily parts like my cheeks, it is very transfer resistant which I love. This for me looks best applied with a damp sponge or a buffing brush. I use blotting papers and blot less than I would with other foundations. A great find for $7, this kicks EL DW's ass.
edit: June 2012 OK this is HG now, only foundation I have ever bought 3 times, stays on great with NAC P&P Spf 50 & P&P Powder. Also the only non-pro foundation that comes in yellow/ olive tones for me. Fantabulous! I have been using this for about a year and I am about 60 - 70% through the bottle. I don't use it everyday, about 4 times a week. This foundation has the best finish of all of the foundations I have tried both high and low end. There's no apparent shimmer, but the finish is very soft focused, glowy and mimics the look of real skin. I gave it a 4 because of the no-pimp issue and it doesn't wear as long as I would like it. But I have industrial strength oily skin and most foundations do not wear well after 4 or 5 hours. This lasts about 5 hours depending on whether or not I have primer on, then it lasts a bit longer. What is great about this foundation first of all that is so lacking in other lines is the amazing color selection. I have very strong olive/ yellow undertones with my neck being almost 2 shades darker than my pinkier face. I wear this is Stromboli, I am currently about NC30 - 35/ C30 - 35. But I have worn this when I was more NC42 and it still looked natural. Even though this is medium coverage you get some leeway with the shades. When I was paler I did try Punjab which was a bit too peachy, but still worked from when I was NC 25-35. I tried applying this in all of the possible methods and I prefer it with either a buffing brush or a flat foundation brush that is a filbert shape. You can layer this, but I have never gotten more than a medium coverage out of this one. I don't think this makes me oilier, but it is a foundation more for normal, slightly combo to dry skins I think. If you want a foundation with beautiful texture, great yellow toned color selection and a candle-lit finish you should try this. I love NARS, but they need to put a pump on this. I did buy this in GOBI which is very pale on ebay and it has a pump because it is a tester! I use it to adjust the color of my other foundations.
Moisturizers -Garnier - Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream
kims3142 12/30/2010 8:51:00 PM
This is my 2nd HG find this week and I can almost cry. I am so thankful that this is so cheap. I do not like paying too much for so-so items, and if I find something I like that is a little too $, I do try to look for something similar but cheaper because I don't believe that a product has to be expensive to work well. I love gel moisturizers because I am very oily, but very dehydrated because I use a lot of exfoliants to help with my acne & scarring. This moisturizes so well because of the high glycerin content which is listed as the 2nd ingredient. I have had some break out issues with glycerin products before, but not with this. What makes this HG? 1) Moisturizes w/o any greasy feeling. Absorbs like that (snaps fingers) 2) Make up wears very well over it 3) Very affordable, around $7 4) Easy to find 5) Doesn't add to my oilliness or acne Does any remember L'oreal's Hydrafresh? It was a fav of mine before they stopped making it, but they had a gel moisturizer that looks and feels just like this. I think the light scent it the same too? Maybe it is a reincarnation, but whatever it is, this is wonderful stuff. I highly recommend it to those using a lot of chemical exfoliants, I use retinoids and glycolic acid. Those who wear makeup, with oily skin and anyone who wants a frill free moisturizer that makes your skin feel comfortable and gets rid of the flakes of dry patches.
I think I have done it. This is HG. And for mascara, that is just HUGE in my book as I have tried over 50 different types and this is as close to perfection for me as it could possibly can get. I have stubby, stick straight Asian lashes. I do use a primer with this by Canmake to hold my curl better, but I use this primer with every mascara and I have the best results with this mascara. My requirements for a great mascara is that; 1) be cheap, I go through them fast 2) easy to purchase 3) hold curl, be somewhat stiff after drying as this is how the curl is held 4) dry fast after applied 5) doesn't flake/ smudge 6) relatively easy to remove, as my primer makes any mascara stick a little too well Lash Mania does it ALL. This is $3.99 at my Ulta and although I will have to travel a bit to get this, the only Ulta around here is a bit far away, but I can always order online. I am so impressed with this. I tried HE, drugstore and a lot of the Japanese brands. With everything weighed in (i.e. cost, wear etc) this is the best. This is suppose to be a dupe for Dior Show and I tried Dior Show and this hold curl SO much better and the application is easier. It is quite wet, but dries quickly. Try this.
Primers I have tried: NP Korres Silicone Free Smashbox Laura Gellar Spackle Some Japanese brands I have extremely oily skin that I blot & touch up every at least 2-3 hours. None of the above mentioned primers have given me the wear that Eraser has. I have only touched up once today and that is a MIRACLE. I only found out about this through MUA and thank god! I also have noticed that my pores on my cheeks are getting larger with age and this has filled those in nicely for better foundation application. I wear NARS SG and although I love this foundation it does not last as long as I would like it to, but with this it wears super long and no color change at all. I wish this came in a larger size! I got the 5ml size and it is very small. It was only $8 or so I don't consider it expensive, but I'm going to have to buy 3 at a time. The color of this is a dark peach color that dries sheer and is translucent. I didn't notice any scent or weird texture. It feels very siliconey and velvety. When it sets on the skin, it has a completely different feel, really nice and soft. I can't describe it, but it is a texture that I have never experienced with other primers or face products. You should try this out. Shipping is very reasonable and it came fast. I use about lima bean size of this and smooth it all over without rubbing, like I'm trying to wipe something off my face. I find that this is the best application for this. So happy I found this, now I'm not always paranoid that I'm an oil slick!
I really love this compact. I also have the Glow Belle which I love although I only use them as eyeshadows. I bought this dirt cheap through Beautyticket and it was a deal. There are 8 colors ranging from a very NARS Sin-like plummy golden blush to a dark matte cocoa brown bronzer. All the colors are pretty pigmented and I love the packaging, but I do know that a lot of people have had issues with the shadows falling out / breaking etc. Yes, this happened to me as well with the Glow Belle. It is pretty fragile, but I hate screwing & unscrewing of caps and bulking packaging so this little magnetic book with 8 versatile colors is great. I will use all of the colors for cheek as well as eyes-they are that easy to wear. The texture is great as well, very velvety and no chunky glitter, smooth like buttah
Highlighters -NARS - Highlighting Blush Powder in Albatross
kims3142 12/2/2010 5:59:00 PM
I received this in swap and I never tried this in person, but I had to try it with all the hype. This is a white highlighter with a golden sheen, it is not glittery at all & the shimmer is low key and very sophisticated. Even though this was a swap, I buy a lot of NARS and know how much this costs & it is NOT expensive at all. It will take at least a year of VIGOROUS use to get through half of this & that is nothing when the cost is spread out. I don't think it is worth all the hype, I think it is a very good highlighter, but not like this WOW. But if you want a subtle, great highlighter this is a very good one.
I got this supercheap from beautyticket.com with a cybermonday sale. I bought this in Natural and I am currently about C30/NC30 ish, maybe with darker bits. I have very red/brownish undereye circles that is very difficult to cover. I tried LM Secret Concealer & didn't do anything. I also have tried the following concealers: LM Secret Camo MAC SF theBalm time balm Cinema Secrets Maybelline age Rewind NYX concealer in the jar and about 10 more This is by far the best texture for undereye and the coverage is pretty good for being so thin & creamy. I'd say it covers about 80% but it can be layered. I like this a lot, the 2 color combo is awesome, the lighter side in Natural is very light, like NW15, but the darker side is about NC30. I mix the two colors. You should get this one from beautyticket for $9 if you are looking for long wearing, creamy, opague concealer.
I generally like Maybelline mascaras, Full & Soft & Colossal are my 2 trusty stand-bys. BUT this one was no good at all. First the brush is wobbly, which it is designed to be, but this doesn't help in getting a good coat on the lashes. It "moves" too much & yes, if you drag it off the lashes a bit too hard, it will jump back to hit you back on the lids! The name is a lie, because although it is good at lengthening, there is no volumizing. It is also very stiff, but not in good it-holds-the-curl kind of a way. It looks weird, and for me kept brushing my lashes into weird directions and I had to keep brushing it out. If you want simple lengthening this will be good, but not for that falsies look that they promise. It does stay on though, no smudging, but there were flakes at the end of the day because this is a very dry mascara.
Good neutral color, cheap & serves its purpose. The color goes great with any tone blush & I wear it with MAC Sable or ST on the bottom lashline ( I use them as eyeliners) Color is a cool gray toned med brown in my opinion, I am MAC Studiofix C40/ NARS Stromboli and works well as a base/ lone color while adding a little depth.