Toners -Dove - Essential Nutrients Alcohol-Free Toner
korres 6/5/2011 8:17:00 AM
This is the best toner I've found after Paula's Choice products, and it's much cheaper. It does a good job of taking off any foundation or concealer that remains after I wash my face (unless I'm using an extremely high-coverage matte foundation). And I find that unless the weather is really cold, this toner is moisturising enough for my face. The toner has a scent, but it's quite light. After using the product for several months, I don't even notice the scent any more.
Styling Products -L'Oreal - Studioline Hot Straight
korres 11/6/2010 7:21:00 AM
This is my new miracle product. I have wavy, frizzy hair that I blow-dry and flat-iron every day, and I live in a very windy, very humid country. So keeping my hair straight is a huge challenge. I used to rely on a lot of silicone serum plus hairspray (and hope) to keep my hair straight and silky. Now, I only have to use StudioLine Hot Straight, and it works so much better. I'm really amazed at how well my hair stays straight when I use it. Of course, if it's too humid, my hair will start to frizz up and curl a little, but much less now than when I was only using silicone serum. If I know the weather is really bad, I use Hot Straight and a tiny bit of silicone serum, but most of the time it's not necessary. The only downside is that there's no way I can go a second day without washing my hair after I use Hot Straight. There's just too much product in my hair and it looks pretty dirty. But I generally wash my hair every day anyway, so I don't mind.
This day cream is much thicker than I expected. Not necessarily a bad thing, especially in winter, but it's too thick for me to use every day. It did absorb well, and left my skin feeling very soft. It has a very strong baby powder scent, which will definitely keep me from using it again; it's just too strong to have right under my nose all day.
Conditioner -John Frieda - Brilliant Brunette Light Reflecting Conditioner
korres 8/12/2010 3:50:00 AM
I've been using this conditioner for several years now. I love it! It's not too heavy (I had a huge problem with over-conditioned hair previously, when I was using Garnier Fructis products) and the scent is pleasant but not too strong. I was sceptical of the claims that it would enhance the colour of my hair or do much to increase the shine, but I actually did notice a difference. The bottle is easy to open -- easier than the Brilliant Brunette shampoo, for some reason. The price is a little bit high, but not too bad for a good brand.
Shampoo -John Frieda - Brilliant Brunette Shine Release Shampoo
korres 8/12/2010 3:45:00 AM
This has been my "go to" shampoo for several years now. I was skeptical of the claim that it would enhance the colour of my hair, but I have to say that I really noticed a difference! My brother is a lighter brunet than I am and when he borrowed my shampoo once, he even noticed a difference in his hair. I use silicone serum every day (either John Frieda or Silk Therapy), so I need a good shampoo to cut through the silicone build-up and get my hair really clean. Brilliant Brunette works perfectly. The scent is pretty mild for a shampoo; it's a nice, clean scent that isn't strong enough to overpower your perfume. The price is a little bit high, but still, not bad for a good brand. My main complaint is that I can't open the bottle with the pad of my finger -- I have to use my nail, which can sometimes chip my nail polish.
I found that this product made my hair feel sticky and fuzzy. It didn't help smooth my hair and it didn't seem to add any shine at all, especially when compared to how shiny my hair can be when I use silicone serum. I continued to use it for a while because the scent is so great, but I won't use it any longer.
Silk Therapy really transforms my hair from frizzy and dull to sleek and shiny. It's by far my favourite silicone serum. I apply it to my damp hair before blow drying and straightening. It really helps my hair stay straight and silky during the day; I notice a huge difference if I blow dry and straighten my hair without the serum. My tip is to rub the serum on my hands and then start working it into the length of my hair, then the roots. Starting with the length means I deposit most of the product there, where I need it most. As with any silicone hair product, you have to be careful not to get too much near your roots, or you'll end up with a greasy look and feel. The scent is nice, although a little bit too strong for my taste. The product is fairly expensive but, unless your hair is very long, a bottle will last quite a while. I live in Europe, and I have to go to my local salon to buy it, but in the U.S. I've seen it at Target.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant
korres 8/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
This product has been a huge help for my cystic acne. As Paula Begoun describes on her web site, cystic acne occurs when oil glands become full of sebum that can't escape through the pores; they then rupture under the skin, creating incredibly painful, large, unsightly bumps. So one way to fight cystic acne is to keep the pores open and free of debris, oil, makeup, etc. that can clog them up. I've struggled with cystic acne on my chin for ten years, and consistent use of 2% BHA lotion has helped so much. It's not an overnight fix, but over time it improves the way my skin performs and helps keep it smooth and exfoliated. This product has also had a huge benefit for my boyfriend's life; he uses it after he shaves his face, to help prevent ingrown hairs. It is the first product that he has found that effectively prevents ingrown hairs, bumps, and redness caused by shaving. It's also an effective way to get him to consistently use lotion on his face, which tends to be dry in the autumn and winter. I love that this product is truly unscented; I hate using any scented product on my skin, as fragrances really irritate it. My only problem with the product is that it can be a bit difficult to rub in; I feel like it used to absorb more quickly, so I wonder if they changed the formula within the last two years.
Styling Products -John Frieda - Frizz-Ease Hair Serum
korres 8/8/2010 12:52:00 PM
This is a great product! I use it every day before blow-drying and flat-ironing my hair. It completely changes the texture and appearance of my hair, from fuzzy and dull to smooth and shiny. It helps my hair stay that way, too; for a long time, I followed the same routine but without the serum, and my hair frizzed back up the instant I met the tiniest bit of humidity. I do think Biosilk Silk Therapy works a bit better, but John Frieda is cheaper and easier for me to find in shops. My only complaint is that I can't tell the difference among the normal formula, the extra-strength formula, and the thermal protection formula. I've tried all three and they seem to perform the same.
I love this lipstick! I find it difficult to wear anything on my lips, but this lipstick is so comfortable. It's not sticky or tacky, and it really feels like it stays on through eating, drinking, and even kissing. Because of this, I think the Rouge Coco lipsticks are a great "transition" lipstick for anyone who is (like me) only used to wearing light, not-quite-lipstick products like Clinique Almost Lipstick or Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer. Perlé is a very classy pink-beige shade; it has just the right amount of shine, but it isn't sparkly. I'm a pale brunette with cool undertones, and I'm amazed at how good the color looks on me. The only drawbacks are the price and the scent. The fragrance does fade about about five to ten minutes, but it's somewhat strong if you're used to wearing unscented products.
Primer/ Corrector -L'Oreal - Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base
korres 8/8/2010 12:33:00 PM
I think liquid primers like Smashbox's Photo Finish are easier to apply; sometimes the solid L'Oreal primer takes a bit of work to spread around my face. Although I think this product smooths my face a bit, I don't find the difference to be very dramatic at all. In warm weather, my makeup seems to "slide" off more easily when I use primer. I'm continuing to use it for now, but I probably won't buy it again.
Lotions/ Creams -Nivea - Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme
korres 8/8/2010 10:32:00 AM
Nivea Soft is my favourite basic moisturiser. It has a light, slightly thin consistency, which makes it absorb quickly without any greasy residue. I like its almost-medicinal smell; it's a nice break from lotions that smell like fruits or flowers, and I can put it on while in the office without feeling like I'm bothering my colleagues. Even my boyfriend likes using it! The tub packaging is okay, if you don't mind using a tub; you can also find it in smaller tubes, perfect for carrying in your purse.