The formula and application of this polish were great as with other Zoya polishes but this color just wasn't for me. The pale purple base was fine, but the gold shimmer overlay was slightly too warm for my NC30 skin. It made my warm toned skin look a little jaundiced and just wasn't flattering at all. I like Zoya polishes and will try more colors, but this one was just a dud for me.
I was a little worried that this polish would make me look like I had corpse nails, but this is surprisingly flattering. This was my first foray into Zoya polishes and I think I'm in love. The formula applies well, the brush is nice, and the colors (this one in particular) are beautiful. Harley is a somewhat cool-toned pale gray with some lavender/silver shimmer. On my nails the shimmer is barely noticeable, it just keeps the polish from looking too flat. I'm a warm toned Asian with roughly NC30 skin and this color isn't too cool for me. I wouldn't hesitate to repurchase this if/when I run out even.
Initially I really loved this fragrance and purchased a bottle from Sephora. The scent is peachy and sweet, but after a while it becomes somewhat cloying and too fruity. For me, Maybe Baby was very 'flat' and didn't develop much of a heart or dry down, it was just fruity through and through, staying true to its first notes. It has a decent amount of lasting power, the price is reasonable, the bottle is nothing special, but it's just not for me. I'll probably spritz it once in a while, but it's not something I find myself reaching for regularly. I imagine that this would be a good first fragrance for a young girl since it's so sweet and innocent smelling.
I had such terrible luck with the Giovanni Tea Tree oil shampoo, I don't know why I decided to pick this up. I figured that this was all natural and sulfate free, it might do my hair some good. In any case, this felt nice lathering up and smelled refreshing (citrus) but once I rinsed it out my hair felt squeaky clean which is never a good thing in my book. I followed it with my usual conditioner and my hair still felt a bit too clean. After blow drying, my hair was a rough poufy mess. My hair literally looked like straw on my head and all the ends were sticking up in weird directions. Even cheapie $1 shampoos don't do this to my hair! The only slight benefit was that my hair felt somewhat soft to the touch, but it just looked so horrible. I've used other silicone free shampoos and nothing leaves my hair as rat's-nest-like as Giovanni's shampoos. Needless to say, I will not be repurchasing this shampoo.
Absolute HG lip balm.
I've literally tried dozens and dozens of lip balms, both high end (Nuxe, Dr. Hauschka, MAC) and drugstore (Neutrogena, SoftLips, Avon, etc. etc.), but this beats everything hands down. The consistency is more cushy than regular stick balms and feels less solid, but this manages to make it feel more moisturizing on. It's nowhere near a gloss or liquid in consistency, instead it's somewhere between a salve and a cream. I have very dry lips and this is the only thing that keeps them soft and without those unsightly lines. If my lips are feeling dry or cracking, I just slick this on and my lips feel better instantly, although it takes a little while for them to become actually smooth and soft. The twist up tube is basic, the scent is inoffensive (maybe even scentless), and it's pretty cheap. It's a shame we can't get it in the US.
I bought this around 7 months ago and am almost done with the tube. This is the only lip balm I have ever used up and know that I definitely will repurchase it.
Gels/Soaps -Soap and Glory - Clean On Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel
laru 10/25/2009 9:18:00 PM
After reading all the rave reviews, I had to check this out for myself. The scent is very pleasant and it doesn't dry out my already dry skin (but I still need to follow up with a moisturizer). This shower gel is fairly thick and on the creamy side, producing a rich and silky lather which feels pretty luxurious. It comes in a convenient pump bottle to boot. All in all, there's nothing bad about this shower gel, but it's not HG status for me. I would consider repurchasing it if I ran out, but there are so many other shower gels out there to try. This is nice, but it didn't wow me in any sense. And while there are a lot of more expensive shower gels out there (this one is $10), I'm not sure that this is worth the price. I feel like I could get the same effect with a cheaper regular drugstore shower gel.
I received a sample of this from Sephora, and while it's nowhere near offensive or foul smelling, it's simply nothing special. Upon spraying, it's a bit fruity and very fresh smelling, but after a few minutes it settles into a very soapy smell. It literally smells like you just upended a bottle of dish soap or neutral smelling body wash on the ground. I can see some people liking this, but I would prefer something with a bit more complexity. After the soapy smell appeared, the scent also did not linger and faded away completely within an hour. I'll use up my sample, but I wouldn't purchase this on my own.
BB Cream -Skin79 - dermaRX BB Cream [DISCONTINUED]
laru 6/26/2009 11:37:00 AM
Me: Asian NC30-35
This is my first BB cream, so I can't compare it to other BB creams. From my understanding, BB creams are pretty much synonymous with tinted moisturizers, but they are touted as having a whole host of beneficial properties. That said, even though they may have plenty of healing/rejuvenating properties, they aren't skincare and still need to be removed at the end of the day (like a light foundation).
Now onto Derma RX: I researched a whole bunch of online blogs before finally deciding on Derma RX (it came down to this or Missha Watery) because of its noticeably darker tone. Most BB creams come in only one (or maybe 2 at most) shade, and these shades are generally very, very light. They claim to magically adjust to your skintone but frankly, I don't buy it and I don't want to look like someone with makeup five jillion shades lighter than my skin. I'd heard Missha Watery was too sheer so Derma RX it was.
When I first squeezed it out the tube, I was appalled. It was SO grey and just....so grey. I had never seen face makeup that color before. It seemed simultaneously too light and too dark all at once. In my mind, a little voice was saying 'See, this is why you don't buy things online, untested!' But since the money was already spent, I spread some on my face. And yes, it did not seem to match my skin. But I persevered, I smoothed it on with my fingers, sheering it out and lo and behold, it really DID blend seamlessly into my skin. I was amazed. My faced looked luminous, as if lit from within, something that it has NEVER looked like. I saw my mother later that day and she (whose only comments on makeup are 'You're wearing too much') remarked that my skin looked great. And there you have it.
NOTE** If you have anything that you need to cover up, you WILL need an additional concealer. This luminizes and makes my non-problem skin flawless looking, but I have a pinkish scar from an accident and still needed concealer for that.
As for the technical details: it comes in a flat silver squeeze tube and comes out feeling somewhat like a gel. The scent is mildly tea tree oil-like, but it is inoffensive and dissipates quickly. There is a slight cooling sensation upon application (could just be the effect of applying any liquid to face), but this also fades fast. Derma RX goes on matte (but a natural matte, not flat), feels weightless, and becomes slightly dewy come evening. I have combo-dry skin and it lasted fairly well on me.
Would I repurchase? I'm not sure. It's a good product and makes my skin look great, but it's somewhat of a hassle to apply. You almost have to buff it into your skin, and I try not to fuss too much with my makeup, so that's sort of a pain for me. I checked that I would repurchase though because I like it right now, but it's not a HG and I'll still be on the lookout for other BB creams.
I like how this blush gives me a very natural, innocent glow. It's quite pink on my NC30 skin and I use this when I'm not going for the peachy 'hot' look of NARS Torrid. It's very finely milled and lasts all day, and there is a fair bit of pigmentation. Because it looks so natural initially, it's easy to keep applying and then suddenly end up looking like you have a fever. It's pretty pricy and I'm pissed that after literally having it for 3 days, one of the tiny dowels that keeps the blush hinged disappeared, so now I have to keep my blush and lid together with a rubber band which is pretty unattractive. If I ran out, I would consider purchasing it again, but I'm not sure if there are cheaper alternatives out there.
I really wanted to like this, but this stuff left my hair a dry, poufy, coarse mess. I have pretty normal hair that generally responds well to drugstore products, but I thought I'd spend a little more on this (which is sort of pricy for a ds shampoo at $8). I like the packaging, it looks sleek and expensive and I enjoyed the minty smell although I didn't feel any tingliness or any other out of the ordinary shampoo experience. I guess I have an insensitive scalp.
It lathered okay, but just dried out my hair far too much. My hair has never looked this bad (not even after dying and perming) so I just had to return this. If I wanted a clarifying shampoo, I would buy a cheapo Suave or Alberto one for 1/4 the cost and it probably wouldn't strip my hair as much. And oddly enough, I feel like this shampoo made my hair greasier faster. Obviously, I would not repurchase.
I like this more than my MAC Fluidline which was more expensive (but also gives a bit more product). But in Kate's favor, there's a brush included, a very nice brush I might add. I now use this brush to apply my MAC Fluidline when I choose to use it (which is not that often). I bought the basic black after reading some negative reviews of the glitter irritating the eyes, since I wear contacts, I didn't want to take the risk. I am very pleased with this gel liner. It produces a very crisp and clean line when I want it to, but can also be smudged a bit when just applied to create a softer look. In comparison, my MAC seems to only be able to draw a soft, smudgy-ish line. And if I do manage to get a line crisp and sharp, it inevitably smudges into a soft shadowy look. The staying power of Kate's liner is also superior to MAC's. I have slept in my makeup on a few occasions, and when I wake up, MAC's is always mysteriously gone. Not under my lids or anywhere, just gone. On the other hand, my Kate is always still perfectly where I applied it the day before. The texture in the pot is a bit firmer than that of MAC's, to which I attribute its staying power and clean line. I would definitely repurchase this in black, and maybe different colors as it's roughly $10. This is probably my HG gel liner, and I will not go back to MAC unless they release some super gorgeous color unavailable in Kate's line.
EDIT: I've had this for about 4 months and it's gotten sort of dry and hard. It still lasts a while on my lids, so I like it, but it's become more difficult to draw a clean line with it. I'm not sure I would repurchase this liner, although I probably will for the brush because it's just that amazing.
I like this medium peachy pink on my toes, but not so much on my tips. On my warm toned and tan hands, the color is just a bit too bubble-gummy for my tastes, but oddly enough, it isn't a problem on my toes. To my eye, it's a neutral toned pink with a bit of silvery shimmer, I don't see any of the gold that everyone else sees. This was my first Essie polish, and I'm not sure that I like the formula that much, it always manages to chip on me within a few days, a problem I have yet to encounter with other polishes (CND, OPI, ChG, and even cheapie ones like NYC). It also takes quite a few coats to achieve opacity. While I like the color on my toes, I feel like the color is not that unique and I could probably find it in a more agreeable formula.
This is probably my HG of all nail polishes. It's suitable for all occasions and goes with everything. It's not too red, not too brown, and not too purple, just right. It's dark without being goth and just looks classy and sophisticated. The formula is standard OPI, lasts fairly long and applies well. I can't wait until bottles of this come with the Pro-Wide brush though, because the current brush is a bit narrow and makes application a tiny bit harder. No real complaints though, I love this color and it is constantly on my nails. It's the only bottle of nail polish I've even come close to finishing, and when I do, I definitely will repurchase. Oh, and a random tip: I find that with darker colors, application is a bit gloppier, so I add a few drops of thinner in to ease application each time I want to do my nails in this color. It hasn't diluted the color yet and it applies a bit smoother IMO.
Eyeliner -Shiseido - Majolica Majorca Automatic Eye Liner
laru 10/29/2007 7:22:00 PM
I didn't want to love this, but I do. I have terrible hand/eye coordinating, but eyeliner application was a cinch with this. It takes literally no effort at all to apply a smooth and even line with this handy dandy brush. There's no mess like with liquid eyeliner in the little pots, and there's no brush to clean after (like with gel eyeliners). The color I got (a shimmery black, I forget the number) is pigmented and while you can't really see the shimmers when applied, it's definitely less harsh than the straight up black. This stuff lasts on my lids for most of the day, there's a little migration towards the end of the night, but nothing near raccoon eyes or anything like that. The only liner I've found that lasts longer is Kate's gel liner, but for days when I don't want to deal with a pot and brush, I love this little gem to death. The bristles are soft and perfectly shaped for me, I can draw a thick or thin line and it's also super easy to create a cat eye with this liner. Definitely would repurchase. It's around $10-12 but I think it's well worth it.
I have normal/dry skin and am constantly on the hunt for a good moisturizer, sadly, this wasn't it. The consistency made me feel a bit greasy and it just kind of sat on my skin in a sort of silicone-y layer. I also felt that it was a little hard to spread, I had to tug at my skin a little in order to spread it on my face. I'm guessing it was so silicone and primer-like because MAC is after all a cosmetic company and less of a skincare brand. In my opinion, it just covered my skin instead of actually hydrating it and it did nothing for my flakies. The scent was not offensive, and the tube packaging was hygenic. It was a bit pricy (for a poor student like me) and I've since found a moisturizer that I feel actually penetrates my skin and hydrates for less than half the price of MAC.