Tinted Moisturizer -Laura Mercier - Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 - Oil Free
loriyu 4/19/2012 11:11:00 PM
For everyday makeup, I am a tinted moisturizer girl. My two favorites were both from Smashbox (one is discontinued), but I wanted to try something new and gave into the hype of Laura Mercier. I have combination skin, and though I lean towards oily, if I wear no makeup, my face is pretty normal by the end of the day. My biggest gripe with this TM is that it makes my face pretty greasy by the end of the day (I blot with powder after applying the TM as well). I don't generally have this problem with other foundations or TMs so that's a major bummer. I found that the colors are pretty forgiving because I found a couple shades that work for me. I know others mentioned oxidation, but perhaps it's just the mix of the TM w/my natural oils, it doesn't oxidize on me at all. The coverage is fine for a TM and generally does a good job of evening out the skin tone, although dark discoloration will definitely still show through. I think the TM does a good job of giving a clean look to the face while providing minimal coverage. I found that with this TM, I have to use a lot more product than with previous TMs that I've tried to get the same coverage (pea sized amount from Smashbox; need almost double with this TM). LM gives a good amount of product (more than the standard 1 fl oz of most foundations), but is still pretty pricey.
Polishes -Sally Hansen - Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish
loriyu 4/11/2012 8:05:00 PM
I am a total nail polish junkie and lean towards using higher end brands. i was looking for a coral and saw the sally hansen complete in coral fever (it's not listed here on makeup alley or in the pictures above...not sure if it's discontinued). As for the formulation of the nail polish in general, it is VERY thick. Though it is supposed to be an all-in-one product, I still use a base and top coat with it (a ridge-filling base coat for my horrible naiils...and a fast-drying topcoat). Despite the fact that I used a ridge-filing base coat, you could still see EVERY ridge in my nail, despite how incredibly thick this polish is, even after multiple coats. I don't know if it's because it's so thick that when you drag the brush over your nail every time, it pulls the polish too much. Either way, seeing my ridges is very disappointing. I also use top coat because otherwise it would take WAY too long to dry. Not to mention, the finish is very dull. It almost looked like straight-up acrylic paint on my nails and didn't have much of a gloss. Also, though it takes a very long time for this polish to dry fully w/out a topcoat, you don't have much time to work w/the polish before it gets tacky on your nails...30 seconds at best and then it BEGINS drying and then you'll have a mess if you try to continue to work w/it afterwards. I generally like wide brushes, so I don't mind the brush, though it is a big thick. However, it does make covering each nail a much faster process. I like the packaging; nice and sleek, hefty bottle. As for the color Coral Fever, it is straight up orange on my yellow-toned skin...very unflattering. I don't think I'll be repurchasing any of these nail polishes...it's just too high maintenance and finnicky for my taste despite the fact that it's supposed to be all-in-one.
i REALLY wanted to love this liner knowing that it's HG for so many people. it just didn't work for me. i have monolids that completely fold underneath so after i applied the product, i had to keep my eyelids stretched to allow the liner to dry and even after doing so, it was a complete mess...got all over my eyelids. ok...perhaps i have to wait longer...fixed it w/some eye makeup remover and went about my day. it didn't last on me AT ALL. i dont think i got even 4 hours w/primer. it was so disappointing for me cuz it's definitely not cheap. i just don't think the formulation works for monolids bc it takes too long to dry and rubs off against the constant rubbing from my eyelids, but i can see that it would work for others w/"normal(?)" lids. w/that being said, i do love the felt tip. it's not rock hard so that it pulls on the eye nor so flexible that it's hard to have a steady line. i love that it's tapered and how evenly it distributes the product. i've tried stila's waterproof liquid liner that also didn't work for me. so far, the only one that has lasting power on my lids is the hourglass calligraphy liner.
i LOVE this nail polish. i am a nail polish junkie and wasn't really interested in trying drugstore polishes, but purple is my favorite color so when i saw this polish, i wanted to try it out. i have to say that i'm very impressed with revlon nail polishes. i know some reviewers were saying that it's not opaque enough, but i never wear glitter polish on its own. i start with a colored base color and put the glitter on top. with that being said, if you use this method, you will only need one coat of the glitter for opacity. it's strange, bc the polish itself is very watery and i can see why people were having problems when applying directly to the nail and not getting the color payoff. however, when paired on top of another color, it doesn't even matter what base color you use (i've tried black, dark purple, light purple, beige) it consistently gives me the color in the bottle. i love the different size particles of glitter...who needs deborah! this definitely needs a top coat to speed up the drying and lasting power. and all glitter polishes are a pain to remove...i haven't tried a single one that wasn't, so i can't blame revlon for that (using 100% acetone definitely helps) but seriously...i love this!
Lip Treatments -Burt's Bees - Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm
loriyu 3/13/2012 7:38:00 PM
I. HATE. THIS. STUFF. i have incredibly dry lips and always have different lip balms EVERYWHERE. i love the original burts bees lip balm...it's thick and waxy w/the minty taste. it really feels like it is moisturizing your lips and lasts a long time. i figured this ultra conditioning balm would do an even better job of moisturizing the lips. it definitely does not have the waxy feel of the original burts bees (like chap stick, eos lip spheres, etc), but rather, more of the water feel (soft lips, blistex, etc). however, as you let the product sit on your lips, it starts to feel greasy and has absolutely NO staying power. this product has dried off my lips w/in 5 minutes of application, leaving my lips even dryer than when i first applied. the formulation is too soft and even gets smashed in the tube. the worst part is...i have no idea why, but after about a week of using this...i started to notice that my lips were feeling gritty...like there was sand stuck in my lip balm. i ran my finger over the top of the balm and i felt the same grit. i thought it had somehow gotten dirty (even w/the cap intact) as it was in my purse, so i actually cut a chunk off the top (probably a centimeter in length..i know it's wasteful, but i wasn't enjoying it at this point anyway)...even deeper down, this lip balm has pieces of grit in it! the quality of this lip balm is NOT what i expect from burts bees, whom i normally love. don't get this stuff. it's a waste of money.
Eyeliner -Stila - Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
loriyu 12/13/2011 9:17:00 PM
i have pretty oily lids and this didn't work for me. in general, gel liners work best for me, but wanted to find a liquid liner for the precision. this liner draws a really great line, i love the long tapered tip and it's really easy to get a clean line w/a nice wing....it just doesn't last....at all. i guess that it's waterproof in the sense that if my eyes tear or i'm caught in the rain, it won't melt off, but the liner flakes off and does not last for me, not even a few hours. i found that the hourglass calligraphy liner worked really well and it lasts all day...the tips are different, but if you have monolids and can't find a liquid liner that will stay put, give that one a shot.
Top/Base Coats -Sally Hansen - Mega Shine Top Coat
loriyu 5/24/2011 8:26:00 PM
i have been a faithful user of seche vite for years, but was frustrated by how quickly it chipped. this review will mostly be a comparison of the 2 products. i have the newer packaging of the mega shine - mirror shine. 1. drying time: seche vite > mega shine. nothing beats how quickly the seche vite top coat dries. the mega shine does take just a bit longer, but much faster than normal nail polish on its own. 2. shine: seche vite > mega shine. seche vite gives such a glossy finish...i think it is one of its highest qualities. the mega shine is pretty dull and not as smooth as the seche vite. the whole "mirror shine" aspect is definitely lacking. 3. texture: mega shine > seche vite. the mega shine is much thinner in terms of consistency, which makes it much easier to spread over the nail. 4. scent: mega shine > seche vite. i have no idea why the seche vite smells so strong. the mega shine doesnt smell good by any means, but it is typical for nail polish and not so severely offensive as seche vite. 5. packaging: mega shine > seche vite. i LOVE the wide, flat brush that the mega shine comes with. i can coat my entire nail w/2 swipes. 6. price: mega shine = seche vite. i'm a little confused here since seche vite is supposed to be "high end" and sally hansen drugstore, but they are both $9 wherever i go. sure, there are always coupons for sally hansen in the sunday paper, but ulta also has sales on seche vite from time to time. neither top coat has the clear advantage here. 7. durability: mega shine >>> seche vite. when i use seche vite, my polish chips probably starting the 3rd day...with weird shrinkage towards the tips of my nails on the first day. i have had the mega shine last on my nails for a full week without ANY chipping (and i am a notorious cuticle picker). i don't know about 10 days, but i have has my polish last a full week. i know that the seche vite gets incredibly thick and goopy once it passes the halfway mark, but i don't know if this is true of the sally hansen just yet. i've used this for about 5-6 manicures so far, but i'm not at the halfway point. it's something to consider cuz previous reviewers have mentioned it. bottom line: mega shine > seche vite.
Yes...I was suckered in by the packaging...which never happens to me, but the price justified the buy. I love how this blush looks when mixed together. On my Asian skin, I generally tend to stay away from a lot of pink blushes bc they're too cool for my warm skintone (i stick to plums and peaches), but this has a good mix of pink w/peach. I love the soft glow it gives you w/just the slightest sheen. Yes, the product is super powdery, but I guess I got lucky and got a box that actually closes. I think i was expecting the worst out of the brush, so I was actually surprised and use it in a pinch, though i prefer to use a separate brush. I know people are comparing this to Benefit's Sugarbomb, but when comparing the cost, you have to realize that you only get half the amount of product (0.2 oz for $6) in comparison to Benefit (0.4 oz for $28), but it is still good value for the money. I wouldn't say the blush is extremely long lasting, but I don't really expect that from a drugstore blush. I don't know if I'd try the other colors cuz I don't think they'd go well w/my skintone, but I like this one!
My skin is generally pretty normal, but leans towards oily. However, I have hormonal acne so during that time of the month, I break out. I have a cleanser that works for me during the off times, but I needed something a bit harsher to help control my breakouts and extra oily skin. I got this based on reviews here on MUA and am glad I did. I generally don't like to use benzoyl peroxide bc it is pretty harsh and bc it stains clothing, but I figured a cleanser was OK (I would not use a spot treatment w/bp in it). This cleanser controls the oil on my face and I have definitely had decreased breakouts. I haven't had any cystic pimples since I started using this cleanser, although I still get a few bumps here and there. But again, it is greatly reduced and much smaller in size. I use this with my Clarisonic and activate the "mask" portion by leaving it on my face after I cleanse while I clean the brush of the Clarisonic. One thing I don't like about the packaging is that the flip top is very hard to open/close. I've chipped nail polish trying to get it to open and I pretty much have to slam the thing to get it closed. Other than that, I think this is a good product, although I wish a drugstore cleanser didn't cost $9 (although there are always sales/coupons you can use at various drugstores).
I got this at the CCO (regular packaging...not the Liberty of London). I've been looking for a nice, deep, plum-colored blush and thought this would be perfect. To be honest, it wasn't exactly what I expected, because it appears more pink on my cheeks than purple, but it still looks really nice. You definitely have to use a light hand with this (Bobbi Brown powder brush or stippling brush are my top choices). I like that it's dark enough that I can contour with it and don't have to wear a bronzer w/it. Though it was not what I expected, I really like this blush, though I recognize it won't work for everyone (fair-skinned girls beware). The only reason why I wouldn't repurchase is bc I use so little, I don't think I'll ever run out.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Stila lip glaze. I actually got mine on sale at J. Crew for $10, but would not ever pay the full $22 for a lip gloss. The texture is very thick and sticky, which is awesome for it lasting all day. I notoriously bite my lips and smack my lips together all the time. It's a wonder for any lip product to last even a full hour. However, the lip glaze definitely lasted me a good 4+ hours. The color (I forgot which one I have) is nicely pigmented and love that it has a nice shine. The only thing I don't like is the packaging. The click bottom clicks in my makeup bag so that I have a glob of gloss already on the brush when I open it, most of the time too much. However, the quality of the gloss is great and would happily buy one again (as long as it was on sale for $10 again).
I really wanted to love this. I have some acne scars and some pores I'd like to cover and am trying to find a good full coverage foundation. I can see why people compare this to MAC's studio fix fluid, which I have also tried and did not like. Both foundations just felt too heavy on my face and left me pretty greasy at the end of the day (which I do NOT normally have problems with...if I'm not wearing any makeup, my face stays matte all day). It didn't really cover my acne scars and ended up accentuating my pores. The color selection is great, it's great quality for a drugstore foundation, although could be cheaper, but it just didn't work out for me.
I've been using the Mia for a few months now. I have to say that it is the best exfoliator I have ever used. I use the sensitive brush head and it is gentle enough to use every day, which means I don't have to use a harsher scrub (scrubs with the microscrubbing beads don't work for me, so I need to use something more abrasive like St. Ive's apricot scrub). This really does wonders in terms of improving the tone and texture of my skin. The outermost layer of my skin feels fresh and supple. However, for those acne-prone girls out there, this is not going to be the miracle tool for you. This hasn't helped clear up my acne, but I knew not to expect that. I did go through a 3 week purging stage when I first started using the Mia and I broke out quite a bit, but thank goodness that passed. I use this once a day and despite the fact that I still have a couple break outs here and there, I think the Mia is well worth it. I know it sells for around $150 at Sephora, but I actually got mine for $120 off of Amazon. I leave the Mia in my shower; I love that it's waterproof. And the magnetic charger is genius. The Mia does hold a charge for a long time and I only need to charge it every 2 weeks or so. I'll just plug it in right after my shower and bring it into the shower w/me the next day. It is expensive, but I do love my Mia!
Makeup Brushes -MAC - 224 Tapered Blending (Windshield Wiper) Brush
loriyu 3/15/2011 7:18:00 PM
the mac 217 brush is my FAVORITE brush for blending...i heard good things about the 224 so i wanted to try it out. i'm asian with no crease, very limited lid space. this brush is entirely too big for my eye. when i try to blend w/it, parts of the brush overflow into my eye bc there are so many bristles and i just don't have the lid space for the brush to be effective. it ends up muddying all the colors. however, the brush is very soft and i haven't had problems w/shedding or anything like that, but i will stick to the 217 just bc it is smaller. i think this would be a great brush for those w/more lid space; it just didn't work for me.
Moisturizers -First Aid Beauty - Ultra Repair Cream
loriyu 3/15/2011 7:13:00 PM
this moisturizer SAVED my skin this winter! i have pretty oily, sensitive skin with the occasional zit, but my skin gets incredibly dehydrated in the winter time. i needed a moisturizer that wouldn't break me out, but would give me the intense moisture i needed for the harsh winter. this was exactly what i needed. i love how this is so incredibly rich, but doesn't feel heavy. it feels like any other face moisturizer and isn't atypical in its texture, but for some reason, is able to moisturize superbly. even though i specifically bought this for winter, i think it's light enough that i would still be able to use it when it gets warmer. there really isn't a scent, not one that i can notice anyway (if there is, i'm not bothered by it). as for the packaging, i actually have the smaller version that comes in a squeeze tube, not the tub. i don't think i would like the tub, but am very happy w/the squeeze tube. this moisturizer is great and doesn't cost as much as its counterparts at sephora. great deal! love it! edit: Now that it's no longer winter, I can no longer use this since my skin is no longer so dry that I need such a rich moisturizer, it started to break me out slowly. However, I will use it again next winter and still think it's a great product.