Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter
kragey 11/19/2012 1:38:00 AM
I absolutely love these and have repurchased them a million times. These are the only lotions that worked for my INSANELY dry skin when I lived in North Dakota! The formula is incredibly rich and soaks in to your skin quickly without feeling greasy, but it's also very "delicate," if that makes sense--it never bothered my uber-dry, sensitive skin, just softened it beautifully. A full-size jar will also last you for AGES, so the price and shipping are far lower than what they seem. Two full-size jars, used all over my body every night, lasted me for about 4 months (!!!). Now for the potential downside: excluding Aether (the scent-free version), these really carry a lot of fragrance. Well-blended, beautiful fragrances, to be sure, but they're definitely smell-able! The first time I rubbed Hearth on to my legs in front of my boyfriend, he commented, "Wow, that scent is REALLY strong." I like that about them, as the scent kind of "calms down" after a few hours and just lingers, but it will be super strong when you first apply. Also, I've tried a lot of Haus of Gloi perfumes, and I know which ones suit me. If you end up getting a scent you don't like, you'll be disappointed. My recommendation is to start out with a sample jar of the Aether formula and try some perfume vials on top of that to figure out what scents you like. My personal favorites are Hearth, Honeytree, Moon Dog, Peach Mama (the only peach perfume I like!), and Vice, but scents are very personal. ADDED BONUS: this is a vegan, cruelty-free company. :)
I think this mascara is very, very gorgeous, and it does some AMAZING things for my lashes, but it has a really big downside that makes it unusable for me in the long run. I received a few samples of this product from very lovely MUAers, and I didn't have very high hopes for it, as I usually don't care for thin, rubberized mascara wands. I was super-impressed with the initial results, however; the product applied beautifully to my lashes without tugging any out. It provided great length and thickness, and although it's not the blackest mascara I've ever used, it's certainly not that ashy grey color some mascaras are. I don't have a problem with the curl in my lashes, but I will note that this really "tightened" the curl, so I never felt the need to curl my lashes beforehand. It CAN be a bit clumpy/dry, so I often brushed through it after applying to keep my lashes from looking spidery. Unfortunately, what kills this mascara is that it flakes sometimes, and they're not harmless dust-y flakes. These are the big, sharp flakes that get in your eye and make them sting horribly. I had this happen to me several times, including one time when I was right in the middle of work and couldn't get away to flush the flake out of my eye for almost an hour. It was AWFUL! It's such a shame, because this is otherwise a wonderful mascara, but considering it's an expensive product that flakes and needs a bit of work to de-clump, I think I'll stick with my Prestige My Biggest Lashes for now.
Mascara -Jordana - Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
kragey 6/15/2012 1:29:00 PM
The Best Lash Volumizing mascara, which comes in the black and pink packaging, is NOT the same as the Best Lash Extreme Volumizing mascara, which comes in the black and lilac packaging; they have very different brushes, formulas, and results! I really hated the pink-and-black packaging formula and said so, but everyone told me I should try the tube in the lilac-and-black tube, and I am just hooked! This is an incredibly cheap mascara--I got it for $3.50, but I know some places sell it for as little as $2. It has a very standard wand with a smaller, thinner brush than what I've gotten used to. When you use this mascara--or any mascara, for that matter, but ESPECIALLY this one--you REALLY need to make sure you wipe off the excess product. Otherwise, you'll get way too much product on your lashes, and they'll clump horribly. This is one of two big ways I think they could improve the product: put an anti-clump ring on the inside of the tube. Beyond that, this product is just plain fantastic. Unlike most volumizing mascaras, it volumizes by separating and coating each lash individually; hence, it may not be the best if you have super-sparse lashes. The look, however, is super-dramatic while still looking kind of natural. It also lengthens like woah. The only other problem I have with this mascara is that it doesn't layer very well. You can keep applying it while it's still dry, but if you put too much on, it's going to start to look kind of dry and mascara-y. It also doesn't work well over my favorite lash primer, the DiorShow Maximizer, which makes me a bit sad. It's a good enough mascara on its own, though, that I don't entirely mind and would gladly repurchase.
Mascara -Christian Dior - DiorShow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum
kragey 5/28/2012 8:14:00 PM
Straight off the bat, if you want a primer to separate your lashes and make it look like you have more individual lashes, or you have extremely sparse lashes, what you need to do is wear some falsies--that's pretty much the only guaranteed way to get more lashes. If you want your lashes to look very thick, full, and lush--almost "fan-like"--and slightly longer, then this product will be right up your alley! I resisted purchasing this product for months after trying out a sample, but ended up getting it at an airport and haven't looked back since. The packaging is nice and simple, and the rubberized brush feels really nice on the lashes, but extra product tends to gather at the tip, so be sure to wipe that off. You also want to apply your mascara BEFORE this dries or it'll look really crusty, so do one eye at a time. I layer a good amount of this on to my lashes, then immediately top with Prestige My Biggest Lashes mascara, and the effective is REALLY dramatic. I always get asked if I have false lashes on when I wear this! Just be sure you're coating the entire lash, from root to tip, with the primer and your mascara, because the primer is white and very noticeable if you don't cover it. Also, I've found that some mascara formulas work better with this product than others; L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black, for example, looked pretty blah on top of this primer. If you have more than one mascara, you'll want to experiment and find which one plays best with the primer. I've also worn this at night a few times to get the "serum" effects. It will lightly condition the lashes and make them a bit softer, but if you have very dry lashes that need a lot of TLC, you'll want a straight-up serum. This product is $25 and has a shelf life of about 6 months. I think it's absolutely worth it. Just remember that everyone's tastes are different, so if you want that really separated lash look, this probably won't work for you!
I LOVE this foundation for my combination-dry, relatively clear skin! It's not for everyone, but for me and people who want the same things I do, it's a Godsend. First of all, this product is actually dirt cheap. It comes in a 4 oz bottle with a squeeze nozzle, which has never leaked for me and makes it really easy to control the amount of product dispersed. At $33 for 4 oz, you're paying $8.50 per oz--cheaper than most drugstore foundations. It can be hard to use that much foundation before it goes bad, though, so consider decanting some and putting the rest on the bottom shelf of your fridge. The actual foundation is incredibly thin and liquidy. It has a faint chemical-citrus smell to it, and it feels incredibly slick when you first apply it, which are two things that make me go "ick!" every time I put it on. After buffing it in to my face and letting it dry for a few minutes, however, I absolutely LOVE it! It looks like my skin, only better and more glowy. You can layer for more coverage without looking the least bit cakey, but you'll want to let the foundation dry between layers, which can take up to 5 minutes. After it's dried, however, I've found it to be super long-wearing and transfer-proof. Now, this is not for everyone. It's a wet, glowy, light-coverage foundation with some buildability, so if you have very oily skin or a lot of acne/redness to cover, I would pass. I have combination-dry skin and always powder my oily nose when I wear this foundation, and would recommend that anybody with combination skin do the same. The shade range is also a bit tricky--N1 is roughly NW20 or a hair lighter, so since I'm roughly N10-15, I usually have to mix 2 parts N1 to 1 part White. For me and my needs, however, this foundation is amazing. Nothing has ever made my skin look this good without looking like a lot of makeup! NOTE: this doesn't have SPF and photographs beautifully. It also works as body makeup, as the name suggests, but be sure to give it its 5 minutes to dry, or you'll get makeup on your clothes.
I love this color, but it's a big pain in the arse, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, and as soon as I run out, I'm going to look for a similar color in a different lipstick formulation. Cambon is a rosey-red that leans pink. You'd think it would be very easy to find, but when I press this on to my lips...well, I don't own any color quite like it. It's sort of satiny and looks best without lipliner, in my opinion, so it's such a soft color. The packaging is also very lovely and suited to my tastes: simple and black. My love stops there. This lipstick is one of the most drying things I've ever put on my lips, and I have to use Elizabeth Arden Lip Fix cream underneath, plus lip balm throughout the night, to survive wearing it. I can actually FEEL it drying up my lips, which is extremely unpleasant. Also, it has zero staying power; I don't expect my lipsticks to last all night, but if it's a drying formula and it barely stays on for 2 hours? That's just irritating. I will never purchase another Rouge Coco, and as I said before, I will search for a dupe for this lipstick. It's a beautiful color, but it's not worth the hassle.
Liquid -Revlon - PhotoReady Airbrush Mousse Makeup
kragey 5/28/2012 2:14:00 PM
This product isn't for me, but it DOES work in certain situations, so I'm giving it a 3 instead of a 2. This is a light to medium coverage foundation that comes out of the bottle like a mousse, but turns in to a very creamy liquid as soon as you touch it. It applies beautifully and feels really nice on the skin, but you will have to wait about 3 to 5 minutes for it to dry down completely. The wear time is decent on my combination-dry skin; I'd say it lasted for about 4 or 5 hours before I had to powder my t-zone. I also kind of like the bottle, as the nozzle acts sort of like a pump. It's hard to control the amount you get, though, so be careful! Now, the biggest problem people have with PhotoReady products is that they're "sparkly." Buy one and people will start cracking jokes about how you want to look like a Twilight vampire. Honestly? They're not THAT bad. Yes, they have microphone shimmer, but the only time I could see it was when I stood in direct sunlight, stared at my face, and held a mirror about 6 inches away from my skin. It also picked up a bit in one picture (see above), but nothing too crazy. Hence, this is really not a daytime foundation. I mean, really, don't wear it to your family picnic; you'll look like a pixie to people standing close to you. However, it looks like absolutely lovely, glowy skin in low light or on an indoors video. The biggest problem, for me, was the shade range: all of the shades are very yellow or very pink, and the lightest shade made my N10 skin look jaundiced. Overall, this is not the foundation for me. The shades are too pink or too yellow, it sparkles in the daylight, and it won't last through one of my very long workdays. However, it did look nice on video and in lowlight, and it was ok in pictures. If you want to use it as a going-out foundation, I say go for it.
Lip Gloss -Clinique - Long Last Glosswear Fireberry
kragey 5/28/2012 2:08:00 PM
This is a really beautiful sheer red gloss with microfine gold glitter. It's a slightly thicker, moderately sticky gloss that my boyfriend absolutely HATES the feel of (LOL), but that texture helps it last a bit longer on the lips--I'd say for about 3 hours. It also doesn't settle in to lines, and when it wears off, it wears off completely--it doesn't just leave shimmer stuck to your lips. Fireberry isn't super-unique or a must-have, but I really enjoy it, especially when I want to wear a softer red.
I love most of these and would buy several again, but I took a lippy off because they have some drawbacks and because some of the shades are, in my experience, just plain ugly. To start with the basics: yes, these are expensive, but a few of the colors are really worth it, and they apply and wear beautifully. All of these have a neat sort of "bouncy mousse" texture; it actually kinda reminds me of the Maybelline Bouncy blushes, but a bit more "wet." They're all shimmery and most are very multidimensional. You can apply a thin layer as a base or a subtle wash, or apply a thicker layer and get a more dramatic color that looks like 3 or 4 eyeshadows layered. I prefer to use an eye primer at all times, but I've worn Epatant and Emerville without one and only experienced minor creasing after about 5 or 6 hours. Now for the main drawbacks: the packaging is pretty, but a little oversized and clunky. Worse still, these ARE all shimmery and WILL give you glitter fallout. I mean, the shimmer is generally what makes them look so neat, and I love them even though I'm normally a shimmer-phobe, but I always have to do my foundation second or hold a tissue under my eye while I apply, and at $42-ish each after taxes, that's a little ridiculous. As far as the colors go, I found Ebloui downright blah and ugly. Maybe it's because I'm so fair and I have to be careful around brown shades, but it didn't feel as smooth, look as pigmented, or pop the way the other shades do. Mirifique is a super-sparkly black, so it's quite pretty when used lightly in the crease/outer v or as a liner, but it's not unique and will give you TONS of fallout. The same sort of story goes with Emerville: it's a beautiful peachy gold that will appeal to and flatter most people, but it's not unique, so you're probably better off spending half as much on something like Benefit RSVP. Epatant, a silver-khaki, and Illusoire, a silver-purple, are indescribably beautiful and utterly unique. I recommend them to everyone, especially Epatant; I can spot it on a Chanel SA from a mile away, I love it so much. :P I've also tested out Fantasme, which basically comes out as a large amount of microfine rainbow shimmer in a clear base, and while I would never buy a full pot of it, it's certainly pretty for different tastes. My drag daughter lusts for it, and a Chanel SA put it on her ear lobes in place of earrings, which I thought was very pretty. Overall, I would not recommend Ebloui. I would recommend Emmerville, Mirifique, and Fantasme only if they suited your particular tastes, or if you really just wanted those sorts of shades in this particular form. Epatant and Illusoire are absolute must-haves, and I will buy them for as long as they are available!
Straight off the bat, this is a VERY bright, in-your-face lipstick that WILL garner attention, so if you can't handle that, don't buy it! I, however, absolutely love it. I'm NW10, which is supposedly completely wrong for this lipstick, but I find that it looks incredibly striking. Most of MAC's matte lipsticks feel like pumice to me (cough, Ruby Woo, cough), but Lady Danger feels more like a satin: it's certainly not going to moisturize my lips, but it won't dry them out, either, and it applies smoothly as long as my lips are well-cared for. I like to press a thin layer in to my lips as a stain, then apply it full force, and it wears for absolute HOURS. It's so gorgeous, my friend went out and got one as soon as she saw me wearing it. It's not for the faint of heart, but for those of us who love a bold coral-red, it's at the top of the heap.
Moisturizers -Elizabeth Arden - Let There Be Light Radiant Skin Lotion
kragey 5/28/2012 3:05:00 AM
I sob over the fact that this has apparently been discontinued, because it's AMAZING! I'm still reviewing it because you can find it for $10-15 a bottle at a lot of TJ Maxx and Marshall's stores, so definitely keep an eye out! This is probably my favorite day cream ever. It comes in a really simple, beautiful bottle with a pump and a cap. The pump squirts out what may seem to be a tiny amount, but believe me, it's just the right amount for most faces. I might do a half pump more if I want to go down my neck to the top of my chest, but that's really all I need. This lotion adds a subtle, youthful radiance to the skin; it's not glittery at all, just...well, glowy! You can actually see the opalescent shine in it when you pump out the product. It feels very light and soaks right in to the skin. The moisturization is light, so it won't replace a night cream or a heavy-duty moisturizer, but it's fine if you're oily-skinned or feeling just a bit dry. If I'm in a rush and don't have time to put on makeup, I'll rub a small amount of this in to my skin and feel perfectly fine about my skin. One of the best things about this product is that it can multitask. I often mix a half pump of this with a matte or semi-matte foundation to sheer it out a tad and give it some glow; my favorite to do this with is Revlon New Complexion. You can also use it as a cheek or brow highlight on top of your makeup, although that's a little too subtle for my usual tastes. :) This is one of my HGs, and I'm so sad that it's not available anymore. I went out and bought 2 BU bottles, which is unheard of for me, and I keep them in my fridge. If you spot it, give it a chance!
I've gone through almost 4 tubs of this stuff and I absolutely LOVE it! First, to address the general concerns: yes, it has a bit of a smell, but it doesn't smell perfumy to me. Just...like face cream or soap? I can't place it, but I don't find it at all unpleasant, maybe because I associate it with this product, which I adore. It's in a tub, which is not absolutely ideal for sanitation reasons, but I always use it RIGHT after getting out of the shower or washing my face, so my hands are always clean. It's a very thick, very moisturizing cream without SPF, so I'd only recommend it for night time and for ladies with dry or combination-leaning-dry skin. If your skin is oily, this is probably too much for you. The big trick with this is to use it right after you've showered or washed your face and have just patted your face dry, so your skin is still supple. I use a nickle-sized amount all over my face, ears, neck, and chest; you could use half of that and get away with it, but I like a LOT of moisture, especially since I don't regularly use a day cream. This doesn't break me out or give me a sensitivity rash, unlike a lot of other rich moisturizers. It also leaves my skin feeling unbelievably soft, smooth, and radiant. Sometimes I use it on my elbows, hands, and feet, and because it's only $10 (and often on sale for $3-ish), I have no problems using a good-sized amount in a single sitting. If you're new to this cream, use it nightly for a week--that's about how long it took for me to notice the dramatic difference. :) It certainly won't work for everyone, but for me, it's been a Godsend!
Liquid -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup SPF 20
kragey 1/24/2012 12:17:00 PM
I absolutely ADORE this foundation, and I've been desperately searching for a cruelty-free product that matches it. Let me get this out of the way, though: this is NOT for oily skin. I have combination/dry skin with an oily nose, and after about 6 hours I definitely need to powder. If your skin is on the dryer side, however, this foundation is a dream. It's generally medium coverage, but can easily be sheered out for lighter coverage. It's very thin and there's no pump on the bottle, so be careful not to make a mess, but a little goes a long way and blends beautifully in to the skin. It feels weightless on the skin and looks very soft and glowy. It doesn't photograph very well--it can look a bit "greasy"--but in real life and in videos, it is BEYOND gorgeous. The shades CAN run a bit pink and yellow, so you may have to mix, but I'm N10 and can get away with the pink-ish #20 Natural Ivory.
I'm NW10 and I absolutely LOVE this product! Please note that if you're expecting a super natural look from something called "Hot Pink," you're probably setting yourself up for failure; however, it doesn't have to look clownish. The trick is to just tap or finger or brush in to the product, very gently, then split that product between both cheeks and blend well. It gives you a beautiful rosy flush! This is also great for darker skin tones. The product itself is super creamy, smooth, and easy to blend. It works well on my dry cheeks and lasts all day. The amount of product and the pigmentation means that this guy will pretty much last you forever. My one problem with it is the packaging: the plastic windows can be knocked out of place, and I've had to glue one back in before. Other than that, this is a fabulous product. NYX makes my favorite cream blushes, hands down!
Polishes -Rimmel - Lasting Finish Pro - Steel Grey
kragey 9/11/2010 12:21:00 AM
This is an okay taupey-gray color, but I just don't get the hype. First of all, the brush is awful, and the formula itself is really sticky and has to be applied thickly to look nice. Also, I find that this polish shrinks horribly and isn't very long-lasting, even with a topcoat. As far as price goes, I could've paid maybe $1 and gotten a salon-quality product that would've worked much better. I'll probably wear this a few more times because I kind of like the color, but as soon as I can find a similar gray, this guy's going in the trash.