I paid full Australian RRP of $50 for this foundation, hence my 4/5 rating for price. PACKAGING: I've given the packaging quality a 4/5 because I like the look of the matte frosted glass bottle, the white print, and simple font. To me it looks very sophisticated (I'm a bit of a packaging snob; I can't stand products with cheap looking packaging). However, not having a pump isn't very practical, like others have said. It is easy enough to tap the bottle and slowly pour out a small amount, though. FINISH: midway between matte and dewy, leaning closer to dewy. Didn't do a very good job of covering an oily t-zone (I have sensitive combination skin, FYI) COVERAGE: not enough! If you are needing decent coverage, avoid this foundation. The only coverage I really need is for the redness in my cheeks and nose, but Superbalanced is hopeless at covering that up. The more I try to build up (in thin layers) to cover my redness, the more uneven the texture got (ie kinda patchy, balled-up). I'd say this provides light to light-medium level coverage. SHADES: I was matched (not very well, I might add..) to the lightest shade, Alabaster. Alabaster has neutral undertones, according to Clinique, but it is actually quite a yellow looking shade. My regular foundation shade depth is Illamasqua 120/ Illamasqua Skin Base 6, and I have cool pink undertones. LASTING POWER: Not great. I gave my bottle of Superbalanced to a friend a few months ago, so my memory of its lasting power isn't great, but I do remember that I was never impressed by how long it lasted. Before mid-day (after applying it early morning, around 6:30-7) I'd need to blot my t-zone or touch up with powder. So, in conclusion - not the foundation for me! I'm not *completely* dissing Superbalanced here, I'm just saying that for me; as someone cool-toned and pale, needing redness coverage, and with a slightly oily t-zone; I wasn't impressed. My friend however (she is not as fussy as I am with cosmetics, nor is she experienced with quality or high end products) quite likes it - but she is slightly darker than I am, has neutral undertones and needs barely any coverage from a foundation (ie no redness coverage or blackhead/pimple coverage needed). She does have an oilier t-zone than me, but she doesn't seem to mind the dewy look.
I recently purchased Rouge in Love shade 106 Jolis Matins. If it weren't for the fact that I paid full Australian RRP (close to $40, from memory) at a Lancome counter in Myer, I'd think I had received a cheap fake - that is how poor the quality is. The pigmentation is fine with this (ie it does look orange on, not like some oranges which are sheer and end up looking dark orange/warm red) but the formula is awful! It is way too creamy and streaky - like when it is applied, it goes on leaving visible swipe marks all over the lips, and it seems to just sit on the lips, not feeling or looking natural. Even applied with a lip brush it still has that same swipey-streaky look. The lasting power of this is also pretty poor, which is obviously due to its creamy formula. I feel like this must be a dodgy shade - no one else has these same issues with other shades. Perhaps the pigments used to make the orange colour have caused this? I have no idea, but I hope that is the case. Either way, it's disappointing that a high-end brand like Lancome would release something of such low quality. I gave the lipstick to my mum, as she is not as fussy as I am with cosmetics, but she had the same results (however she didn't care about its poor application). I would *potentially* purchase a different shade from the Rouge in Love range, but only if I had heard numerous good reviews about it.
Lip Treatments -Jack Black - Intense Therapy Lip Balm spf 25
mairynB 12/25/2011 2:50:00 AM
I have the Blackberry one of this and it is awesome! I'm not going to repeat everyone else so I'll just be brief - it's slow absorbing and super moisturising. A good night-time lip balm. The first one I bought was the Original (mint) one, but I found the tingling sensation with that one wayyy too much for my liking, so I gave that to my sister, and she loves it! The Blackberry one is significantly better; the smell reminds me of a berry flavoured black tea (which is what it IS supposed to smell like) and the tingling sensation is way less. With the Mint one it was more of a stinging sensation, whereas this one is a gentle tingling.
I'm approximately an NW15 and on me, this gloss is a very natural looking colour - like someone else described it, a "natural rosy/dusty pink". I was initially worried about buying this online because in some swatches and photos I'd seen of this gloss it looked very mauve/purple, which wasn't what I wanted. So I waited to buy this in person at an Illamasqua counter - I shouldn't have worried though. I could have easily bought it online because it's a very nice colour, not too mauve-y or purple-y. Most of the 'intense gloss' range are very, uh, intense, in terms of the shades and their vividness. This isn't too over the top though, in terms of how bright it is; it does look like a natural MLBB colour. I probably wouldn't repurchase, purely because I think the tube will last me a long time, but I would definitely repurchase from the Intense Gloss range. I also own the Mistress and Belladonna intense glosses, so to anyone else like me who is super-pale and with pink undertones, they'd probably suit you too.
I'm about to purchase my third bottle of this stuff. Like what others have said before me, it's a great serum that moisturises without feeling heavy. 2-3 drops is enough for the whole face - and really the whole face, you can do the eye area as well without it stinging. I haven't tried it for stretch marks, because I don't have any, but I have used it on scars (surgical, from having moles removed) and I can say it may have helped a bit. I had a mole removed from my neck at the beginning of this year and since the scar healed, I've been rubbing rosehip into it and it is significantly faded now. The scar is just a faded slightly pink spot. I can't say if this can be attributed completely to applying rosehip, but it hasn't hurt it or done absolutely nothing, I'll put it that way. Also - a useful tip which I read a while ago (forgot where, but it was probably MUA) - this stuff can be used to remove eye makeup! I didn't buy it for this purpose but when my then-current eye makeup remover (which I didn't like very much anyway) ran out and the only substitute for it was Simple's makeup remover which irritates my eyes and skin, I decided to try this. It's not heavy or oily feeling on the eyes, and it leaves your lashes and eye area feeling moisturised and soft.
PACKAGING: I've given this a 3 because my bottle leaked a little bit as it made its way to me, and the polish dried between the inner and outer lid (if that makes sense) - so I'm unable to remove the outer lid. This means I have to paint with a slightly awkward square shaped lid. Oh well. PRICE: I've given this a 4 because if you're silly and you buy it in Australia (where I am) you'd pay $34. Pffffffffft. $14 in the US is still kinda steep, but definitely more reasonable than $34! FORMULA: a little thicker than I'd like it to be, but oh well. Its thickness means it takes a little longer to dry - for me this means I'd paint one hand, then the next, then need to wait another 1-2 minutes before painting another coat on the first hand. So that isn't bad. But, the thicker formula does mean it only needs TWO coats to get opaque. Better than other similar minty greens I'd tried previously, which needed 3-4 coats to cover bald patches. ACTUAL COLOUR: Mint/pastel green is my favourite colour. It's the colour my bedroom walls are painted. I'd been looking for the ideal minty green for some time, and I believe this may be it. I have cool undertones, yet this does not give me major "lobster hands" - hell, even if it did, I'd put up with it and wear it anyway :) I'd be a happy lobster. Sorry for the super long review! But anyway, if you're looking for a 2-coater minty green, go for it! EDIT: I now have Nubar's 'Vogue Vert' from their Polished Chic range. It's the same sort of minty colour as this, but a bit darker (in a good way!) The formula is very similar too, maybe slightly less thick though. It's also a two-coater. Vogue Vert is easier to find, cheaper and just as nice a colour, for anyone who loves these minty shades. I'm happy I own both Milf and Vogue Vert though.
Makeup Brushes -Meow Cosmetics - Short Handled Luxury Flat Top
mairynB 9/25/2011 6:40:00 AM
Price -- $18.75 Not very impressed by this brush. The brush is not necessarily scratchy, but it's not soft or "luxurious", to borrow from the brush's name. The bristles feel cheap and plastic-y. For $18 (which is pricier than the much better quality Sigma flat top, I might add) I expected better. The bristles on this are not dense enough so there is not enough control over the brush. It does shed a few bristles with every use and smells odd. Whenever I have used this (for the meow purr-fect foundation and the top cat finishing powder) I usually end up looking powdery and..not hot. Haha. Like the previous reviewer said, save your money for something better.
Top/Base Coats -Sally Hansen - Double Duty Base & Top Coat
mairynB 8/7/2011 12:05:00 AM
At the moment I'm still on my first bottle of this, and I have roughly a third of the bottle left. Using this prevents my nails from staining or turning yellow, even after having polish on for a prolonged period of time. I don't use this as a top coat, because most products like this (base + top coat) in my opinion, are good base coats but pretty average as top coats. So, as a top coat, I found this pretty average (that is, when I actually used it as a top coat) - it didn't dry super fast but it did a decent job preventing chips. But as a base coat it's awesome. Annoyingly, the polish itself, as I'm nearing the end of it, is a bit thicker and takes a bit longer to dry. The brush isn't very well designed - the brush itself is good, but the length is possibly a bit too short; it's a bit difficult to reach the bottle contents now that I'm near the end of it. So, I would repurchase this, because I can buy this easily at Priceline (for around $19.95, I think) but for when I don't need a base coat instantly and I can afford to wait for shipping, I buy the Nubar Foundation or Orly Bonder base coats.
I don't understand all the negative reviews for this! I love this lip gloss! I bought mine from ASOS.com for around $12, instead of paying around $20 at Priceline (I'm in Australia). To me that's pretty good value. Anyway, the actual product - PROS - Colour differs on every individual: I've tried this on myself, my mum, my sister & my friend and it was a different colour on all of them to what it was on me. - Long-lasting: lip gloss leaves a stain even after its lost its glossiness. - Brush applicator is easy to use CONS - Long-lasting: to some people the stain could be annoying.. - Difficult to remove stain: using a waterproof eye makeup remover I can't fully remove the lip gloss's stain. It fades away in its own time though (usually overnight) - Noticeable: I bought this thinking I might be able to wear this to school but it's too noticeable for that.. - Don't know what colour it will show up as when you first buy it (I wasn't able to test it when I bought it) On me this lip gloss is a bright darkened hot-pink with cool undertones. On my mum it's more warm toned, and significantly lighter. So it definitely lives up to its claim of being a different colour on every individual. If/when mine runs out I will definitely repurchase.
Like others have said, if you use this spray before you go to bed, even though nails are dry to the touch, you wake up with sheet marks on your nails. I find this product works best if used in conjunction with a fast-dry top coat. I use this with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri and I think it helps that dry faster, but on its own the spray does not deliver the same results as a quick dry top coat. I gave a 4 for price because if you buy this from the stores where I am (Australia) you'd pay somewhere between $20-$25 for a 4oz/120ml bottle. I got mine from eBay though.
Leaves nails perfectly matte. Not satin, but fully matte. I loved this initially, like for the first 5ish uses, but from then onward it would leave little white specks on my nails as it dried, which look crap and totally ruin a manicure. I'm not sure why it does this - I remember hearing about another polish that if you shake it heaps it fixes it, but I tried that with minimal success. I've worked out that to get next-to-no specks you have to brush the nail heaps, i.e. brush on then continue brushing, like you're sweeping specks off the nail. Keep "sweeping" until the layer of polish looks clear. Although I've found the solution (sort of) it still pisses me off that this happens in the first place.
Lip Treatments -Burt's Bees - Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil
mairynB 6/27/2011 9:02:00 AM
Awful smell. I love pomegranate, which is why I bought this lip balm, but unfortunately like a lot of other Burt's Bees products I've tried, it smells baddd. It seemed moisturising enough, but the lingering bad smell drove me crazy. I could smell it while it was on my lips, which I hated so I washed it off. After wearing it once I let my mum have it. I hate how Burt's Bees products are hit-or-miss in the scent department. They either smell awful, like this product & several of their hand creams, or they smell delicious like the lemon cuticle creme. Also - dislike the packaging. But then again, in my eyes most of Burt's Bees' packaging is ugly.
Liner effect? I guess the name 'smudgy-effect' doesn't sound as good. I found that this mascara was quite difficult to use - the wand sounded good, with its short stubby plastic teeth on one side and long skinny ones on the other, but actually using it is difficult! It's very easy to get smudges with this - smudges beneath the eyebrows and on the upper waterline. I guess at least it's easy to reach the roots of your lashes with it? Also, I found the formula of the mascara quite thick and clumpy. Definitely would not re-buy. I hope Bourjois work on this mascara's formula and wand, because the idea is awesome, but the actual product needs work.
I have dry combination skin so I thought I'd try this out for winter. Sadly I didn't realise until after getting my sample (yes, bought the sample online..) that it gives a DEWY finish and SHEER coverage. I want to emphasise this detail - I like a matte finish and moderate coverage, so I didn't particularly like this foundation. Also, it has shimmer in it, which I wasn't a fan of. I found it difficult to spread. It didn't dry my skin out, at least. My mum also tried a sample of it, and her skin is drier than mine, and she found that it emphasised dry patches - dry patches she didn't realise she had until after applying Supermoisture. So, in conclusion - avoid if you need decent coverage, if you have oily or combination skin and if you're not a fan of being noticeably shimmery.
Mascara -Max Factor - Lash Extension Effect Waterproof
mairynB 5/30/2011 4:36:00 AM
This is one of the few mascaras I've actually made a repeat purchase of. I've had about 4 tubes of this, all in waterproof black or brown, and I love it. The brush is great for defining and lengthening - it gives a bit of volume, but not much of a curl. It also allows you to put multiple coats on without it going clumpy. It's not going to give you a particularly bold night-time look, but it gives a good "enhanced natural lashes" kind of look.