Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat
kmichael 5/17/2013 3:06:00 PM
Almost exactly the same as Instant Artificials, with the same terrible staying power and ho-hum results for me. Peels off in sheets within hours of application, and the color looks bizarre in natural light. A qdtc helps with the peeling, but for $30 I expect more. I haven't noticed any improvement in my nails, either, and the product really isn't thick enough to protect any more than a regular topcoat. I'm sticking to Gelous.
Misc Beauty Tools -Tarte - Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler
kmichael 5/17/2013 1:02:00 PM
I swore for years I didn't need an eyelash curler. My eyelashes are long-ish and very curly. However, when you have naturally curly eyelashes, they don't always like to curl in the same way, which is frustrating (and a great way to get mascara all over your eyelids, yuck). After years of buying the heaviest, goopiest mascaras available to weigh down some of the crazier curly lashes and blend them with the regular ones, I tried a new, less-obvious method: enter the eyelash curler. I tried the Tarte curler on a whim as it came with a mascara for a pretty good price. While the mascara wasn't really to my liking, this curler gives me uniformly pretty lashes and calms the craziness! It perfectly curls the straighter ones and straightens the super curly ones into a smooth curve, with each lash going -- gasp -- the same direction! It's pretty intense, however: I have lower brows and very round eyes so if I squeeze too hard my lashes will curve up and hit my eyebrows, which is pretty bizarre looking. This curler gets bonus points for almost being long enough to get all my lashes while being curvy enough to fit my eye shape. I find that the flatter curlers, like Shu, don't really work with my face, and the curvy ones to be too short. Did I mention it's pretty cheap? Not outrageously so, but I've been using it for a couple of years without problems so I feel the 16 buck price tag is justified. Lasted longer than the Shiseido, which did nothing for me and broke after four fruitless uses.
This is a pretty good mask - not quite heavy enough for my dry, thick, coarse hair to really call it a mask, but doable as a regular conditioner. The packaging is mediocre, as with all these tub masks, but it lasts a long time even with weekly use. It doesn't suck all the moisture out of my scalp, either, like many conditioners with alcohol. It's not my perfect hair masque as far as performance, but the reason I've purchased this again and again is the scent. It's the most perfect, classic, fresh rose scent and it just screams summertime. For some reason, the Oleo Relax Masque has the perfect scent mojo for my hair -- the odor isn't too heavy, like I find a lot of other Kerastase products to be, but it lasts for a couple days after I use it. Just a perfect whiff of clean, flowery happiness that doesn't knock you over with overwhelming scent or disappear after you rinse it out. I've tried a couple of other Kerastase masques and the Elixir Ultime, but find the scents too heavy for hot weather. Nice in winter, if I'm not wearing other perfume, but nothing beats the Oleo Relax!
Mascara -Jordana - Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
kmichael 5/13/2013 12:27:00 AM
I love this mascara, and have bought it again and again. For me, it's the perfect consistency and adds volume without too much spindly length. Super-black, super thick lashes. It doesn't say it's waterproof on the tube, yet it's the only mascara I've used, aside from tubing varieties and DiorShow Iconic WP, that doesn't give me raccoon eyes during allergy season. Cons: I always use a lash comb with this, as it tends to clump, but I use a lash comb no matter what so that's not a huge deal for me. I have eyelashes that are a bit too curly, and this mascara weighs them down so that they look more normal -- again, this works for me but if you're looking for more curl this might be a bit heavy. The worst thing about this mascara is that it tends to be drying and hard to remove, resulting in a few too many lost lashes for my comfort. I used to use it every day without fail, but when I started noticing that I'd drop a couple lashes every time I removed it, I had to back off. Now it's my special occasion mascara.
Brows -Shu Uemura - H9 Hard Brow Pencil - Seal Brown
kmichael 5/2/2013 10:28:00 PM
Pros: Lasts a long time and is water-resistant. Perfect for light, natural brow filling -- I usually never fill in my brows but for photos I like to add a teensy bit of this pencil. Cons: Pulls very red on me. When I was a redhead it was my go-to brow pencil, but now that my hair is dark again you can really tell that the pencil doesn't really match my eyebrows. I am NC10 with very dark hair so you can really tell just how much it doesn't match. I have since switched to a light ash gray pencil with much better results. I'm shocked at how many other gals with black/dark brown Asian hair found this pencil close to black. On me it's a medium, warm taupe. Of course, if you're a darker auburn/redhead, then it't s great and you should give it a try!
I would love this brush if it wasn't a bleeding mess. It's a nice shape, it works wonderfully with cream blush and foundation, and it's the perfect size for my small-ish face. It never sheds. However, I've been using this brush for a year and have probably washed it a hundred times, but it has never stopped bleeding dye. I tried everything to fix this -- I've soaked it in a dilute vinegar solution 3 times. I've washed it way rougher and with more intense soap than anyone should ever wash a brush. I eventually stopped using it. I've never encountered a brush that just oozes dye forever - usually they stop after a few washes, but this is like...magic reappearing dye. But hey, if you need durable brushes, this thing is solid. I've tormented its poor bristles and it looks brand new. No loosening of the ferrule, no rust from the vinegar (though I pretty thoroughly removed it), not a single hair shed.
Powder -Make Up For Ever - Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation
kmichael 4/28/2013 12:16:00 PM
So far, I'm pretty impressed with this powder. I don't normally wear any powder at all, but I needed something to set a particularly crease-y concealer, so I decided to try it out. I have a hard time finding my shade (very very pale) in MUFE so I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this stuff in 110 and it was a good match for my summer skintone -- it won't work in winter, but it didn't oxidize either. I like it because it's sheer coverage and doesn't look like an obvious layer of powder. This is, in fact, the first time I've ever worn powder in the summertime, as I prefer a more natural look that's not too matte or heavy in hot weather. I've even been able to wear it all over my face at night as a setting powder at more formal, full-face-o-makeup occasions without any cakey dry grossness. If you're looking for something to replace Duo Mat, this probably isn't it. Duo Mat was so thick and powdery on my dry skin, and when the SA told me that this is its replacement I almost didn't try it at all. I still don't use it all over my face during the daytime but it's pretty good for setting undereye concealer.
This swatches SO differently in photos than it looks on my face. On my very cool NC10-15 skin, it's almost a slightly more shimmery, more pigmented dupe for NARS Orgasm. Very orange, very bright, very shiny. Blush tends to pull coral on me but this was insane. The texture is nice but that's about it. It also irritated my skin -- had a flareup of dermatitis where I applied it, and I never ever have spots on my cheeks with my everyday blush (Shu Soft Pink) so I know it's the culprit. The good news: this will probably look pretty on tanned, warmer skin tones (without sensitivity). Sadly, I am neither.
Nice, light moisturizer that I use for daytime underneath makeup. It's not quite hydrating enough to keep flakes at bay all day long, but nothing cosmetically elegant ever is. Calms redness quite well and doesn't break me out, so I will repurchase until something miraculous comes along.
Liquid -Yves Saint Laurent - Teint Touche Eclat Foundation
kmichael 2/26/2013 1:10:00 PM
Beautiful natural/matte finish on my dry skin. I usually buy a dewier foundations but this is sheer enough to layer a bit of liquid highlighter on top of without looking too "made up" for daytime. Can be built up to fuller coverage, but one pass with a beautyblender is a lot more coverage than I normally wear so I haven't really tried to do a fuller look yet. I thought the lightest color would be too dark for me, but it worked perfectly on my NC10-15 skin. The best part? It's a matte-ish foundation that doesn't dry me out! No powder needed so no cakiness. Finally, I can wear pretty mattes in winter without being uncomfortable! Worth the price - I fought for years with Chanel Mat Lumiere, and this is around the same price except much kinder to my skin. Texture is thick-ish and pigmented but it's not too scary, much thinner than my HG BB Cream Skin79 Pink. UPDATE: Took off two lippies because, first of all, this looks AWFUL under fluorescent lighting. In natural light it was perfectly fine, but when I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom it looked a bit heavy even though it feels light. I can't stand looking like I have anything on my skin, and since my skin is mostly OK and I'm just using it to cover redness, it's not really a good trade-off. I never even wear foundation all over my face, and I always use a damp sponge to blend, but it still just sucked all the life out of my face. I'm going to finish off the bottle by mixing it with moisturizer from now on, but I won't repurchase. I should have listened to the reviewer below who said it reminded her of Bourjois Healthy Mix - I had exactly the same problems with that fndt as I have with this one. UPDATE 2: Found the perfect moisturizer to go underneath this - I apply a thick layer of Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentree underneath, wait a while, apply the foundation and then remove most of the coverage with a Beautyblender and Fix +. It's a process but at least I won't waste this expensive product, and it looks pretty nice and lasts all day.
Really nice everyday palette. All of the colors work so well on my cool-toned skin, but honestly most of them would also probably be fine on warmer skintones too. Great pigmentation and nice texture. They layer nicely with each other but tend to fade when blended with other, denser brands - however, this can be remedied by using an eye primer. Did not irritate my sensitive lids.
Moisturizers -Ren - Omega 3 Nutrifying Facial Serum
kmichael 12/29/2012 2:26:00 AM
Sinks in right away and one pump is more than enough! Really nice texture, and cosmetically elegant to boot - sometimes I use it in the morning as well if I had a rough night, and it wears nicely under makeup. In addition to a moisture boost, I feel it's lightened a couple of hyperpigmentation spots from a recent breakout. I don't find the smell flshy at all, but there's definitely a scent to it. I can't decide if it's apricots or kelp. Kelpricot? Way too expensive, but if it works, it works. I doubt I'll need to repurchase anytime soon because a little goes a long way, but I checked the "yes" box in case that theoretical day ever comes.
Fantastic product, and much gentler than the Bioderma equivalent. Did not sting my eyes or dry my sensitive, eczema-prone skin like the Bioderma. Feels much smoother and silkier, preventing any tugging while I'm taking off my makeup. Removes my waterproof mascara and Shiseido sunscreen like a dream.
Completely forgot about this product until I saw a recent review! I alternate between this and Pond's for cold cream - oil cleansing sometimes dries me out in the winter, so I switch to cold cream for my makeup removal needs. This one is getting harder to find but I do love how it smells and how pink it is. :) No breakouts and very moisturizing, and I love the retro tub! Cute, cheap, and keeps my skin moist and clog-free in winter.
Yuck! Not a "veil" at all, more like a sticky wet blanket. Sat on top of the skin and somehow made me look both greasy and flaky at the same time. Lightest color was still too dark and came out orangey. Everything I put on top of it - blush and highlight - was gone within an hour or two, which is definitely never a problem with my dry skin. I don't know who this works for but it definitely wasn't me.