For a while now, Iíve been a loyal and happy user of Max Factor mascaras, which to me, are close to perfection (namely Masterpiece Max and False Lash Effect). However, I casually happened to stray to the Maybelline counter, and the new Rocket Volumí Express started screaming my name. I had to give it a go. Easy decision, since Iíve had good experiences with Maybelline mascaras too.
First of all, I love the super-bright, almost 80s style colouring - bright blue and pink. But itís whatís on the inside that counts. The large rubber-bristled brush is pretty close to that of False Lash Effect, my favourite. So I mastered it instantly. Rocket provides an amazing amount of length on first application. Volume follows with subsequent layers (no more than 2-3 though, otherwise it gets clumpy). It stays and stays without smudging or flaking. I do have one negative comment though, and thatís about the removal process. This mascara gets VERY messy during removal, and spreads all over. Thatís a drag. But otherwise, great stuff!
Conditioner -Aussie - Miracle Moist conditioner for dry/damaged hair
mapn 3/10/2013 1:27:00 PM
I have no complaints about how the conditioner works: it does a decently good job in smoothing and hydrating my long thick dry hair. But, as with all Aussie products, the smell is intolerable. I bought a travel-sized bottle to take with me in a hand luggage when flying, and I swear, my whole bag smelled like the conditioner. It didnít leak, and it was in a sealed bag, but itís just SO potent. Instant headache material.
Powder -Lumene - Touch of Radiance Matte Powder Foundation
mapn 11/8/2012 7:09:00 AM
Here's something Lumene got right! This is an excellent, light powder foundation that goes on like a dream with a large brush. Gives only a hint of coverage, leaves skin nicely matt, and never chalky. Doesnít keep me matte for ages, so I need to re-apply or use blotting paper later on. But it works just fine for everyday office wear.
However, Iíve learnt not to get too excited with Lumene. Renewing and re-launching is something they do faster than any other cosmetics brand on the market. Every time I find a product that I love, they soon replace it with a ďnewer and more innovativeĒ (read: worse for me) product.
I finally got around to trying the legendary Cerave moisturiser Ė something Iíve been meaning to do every time Iíve visited the States. Itís not a highly popular product for nothing Ė it contains excellent ingredients to replenish and hydrate skin, absorbs fast, and performs great all around. However, I can find similar moisturisers where I live, so itís no use ordering this with huge postage costs. Otherwise I would definitely buy again.
Conditioner -Aubrey Organics - Primrose Tangle-Go spray conditioner
mapn 11/6/2012 1:51:00 PM
Just as the original reviewer said, the smell is unbearable. No matter how good this leave-in conditioner would be ingredient and performance-wise, I just canít get past the headache-inducing old lady perfume.
This is a very decent conditioner for dry hair! Itís very thick in texture, just the way I like it. Does everything a good conditioner is supposed to: hydrates, detangles and leaves my hair soft. And almost naturally! I wish it smelt more like mangos. The scent isnít bad Ė very fresh and herby Ė but the promised mango part is missing.
Moisturizers -Paula's Choice - RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 25
mapn 10/1/2012 7:00:00 AM
I tried this moisturiser on my whole face and was left with mixed feelings Ė mostly about its consistency. On one hand, it doesnít seem moisturising enough for dry skin. On the other hand, itís not mattifying enough for oily skin. My skin type is combination and sensitive, and the moisturiser leaves a slightly waxy feeling, and clogs pores. Plus, my skin gets oily pretty quickly.
The best part about it though is its pure titanium oxide sunscreen, which is why itís suitable around the eyes. Sure, because of the high titanium dioxide content, it leaves a slight white cast. But when used around the eyes, the brightening effect is only a plus!
All things said, I ended up ordering a full-size tube after having used a few samples. I use it as a daytime eye cream, and it works just beautifully for that.
Sunscreen -Vichy - Capital Soleil SPF 50+ Sun Milk for Face and Body
mapn 9/9/2012 10:13:00 AM
I used this sun cream on my whole body (not face) throughout my summer vacation, and it kept my skin looking healthy and free of sunburns. Active ingredients are a mixture of both physical and chemical sunscreens: titanium dioxide and avobenzone (donít know the exact amounts, because itís not compulsory to report them in Europe). However, as expected with a sunscreen this high, the feel tends to be quite heavy and sticky. Iíve tried much worse, and this feels light enough, but you will notice youíre wearing sunscreen. Iím hoping to find something that feels even lighter, but this is definitely one of the better sunscreens Iíve tried. Itís fragrance-free and also paraben-free, if you find that important. At 300 ml and around 24 euros, itís a pretty good deal too.
Ingredients: Aqua/water, glycerin, propylene glycol, octocrylene, diisopropyl sebacate, ethylhexyl salicylate, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, titanium dioxide, isocetyl stearate, alcohol denat., ethylhexyl triazone, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, stearic acid, triethanolamine, potassium cetyl phosphate, synthetic wax, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, aluminum hydroxide, bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, caprylyl glycol, dimethicone, disodium edta, glyceryl stearate, glycine soja oil/soybean oil, palmitic acid, PEG-100 stearate, phenoxyethanol, silica, sodium hyaluronate, terephthalylidene dicamphor, sulfonic acid, tocopherol, xanthan gum.
Iíve tested this toner a few times and every time it burns and tingles my skin. And after using it, I break out in rash that disappears with a change of skin care regime. Canít figure out which ingredient is the one that's problematic for me...
Solid 3-star mascara Ė its lengthening and thickening effect isnít much brag about, but it applies smoothly and feels light. Staying power is decent too. Wouldnít buy again, but using it has been a pleasant enough experience.
Primer/ Corrector -Paula's Choice - Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish
mapn 8/26/2012 11:28:00 AM
I got a few complimentary samples of Shine Stopper with my Paula's Choice order. Iíve only tried a few mattifying primers before. Unfortunately, Shine Stopper just isnít effective enough for my combination skin, which gets shiny quite quickly with or without this product. So no big difference either way. The inclusion of Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride puzzles me, since itís a thickener, which Ė at least to my understanding Ė doesnít really have any shine absorbing qualities. Probably works for someone who doesnít have as problematic skin as me.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Balancing Antioxidant Concentrate
mapn 5/8/2012 2:35:00 AM
Iíve really enjoyed the Resist Serum, although its consistency felt slightly too thick (the only gripe I have about it). I was hoping the Balancing Serum would be a great alternative. But unfortunately not.
Surprisingly, the consistency is one thing I really like about the Balancing Serum: it feels light, and spreads and absorbs well. As the other reviewers have stated, you have to shake the tube before. I have no problem with that, but since Iíve only been using a sample, shaking isnít really viable, and I have ended up with partly dry, partly too runny formula.
Also, the smell is pretty awful. It does fade quickly, but alongside Paulaís HydraLight Lotion, this smells quite off-putting at first whiff. I canít comment about the effects in the long run, except that itís slightly clogging my pores. Bottom line: Resist Serum is the one Iíll be sticking to.
Moisturizers -Paula's Choice - Skin Balancing Moisture Gel
mapn 4/28/2012 9:00:00 AM
Iíve been using several samples of the Skin Balancing Moisture Gel, and Iíve been very pleased. Enough to consider purchasing the full size tube. While Iím not the biggest fan of the gel formula, which feels very silicone-heavy, it does absorb well leaving my skin feeling very comfortable. It also contains niacinamide, which my skin loves. Perfect for both night time and day time use (under SPF). My sensitive, acne-prone skin hasnít showed any adverse reactions. For my eye area I need something more emollient (Iím using the PC Resist moisturizer for that, at the moment).
Treatments -Paula's Choice - RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
mapn 4/16/2012 6:26:00 AM
First of all, I dislike the consistency of this serum: itís a very thick silicone goo that feels quite heavy on my face. That said, the serum works like a charm. It provides a good amount of antioxidants on my skin without clogging my pores, which is surprising (I get breakouts from practically everything). My poor hands, which the winter and eczema have treated badly, love this stuff too. The product contains no noticeable scent whatsoever. Iíve used several sample sachets, but will most likely purchase the full-size tube. Iím also experimenting with the mattifying serum at the moment. Will update on that soon.
Lotions/ Creams -Lumene - Sensitive Touch Body Cream
mapn 4/6/2012 3:44:00 PM
This is a rather interesting product: it pops up in stores selling Lumene every now and then, but doesnít seem to be in their regular product assortment (not even listed on the web site). Pity, because itís turned out to be an excellent body cream overall. Iím on my second tube, and itís perfect for my sensitive and dryish body skin. First of all, itís fragrance and colorant free, but it also does exactly what a good body cream is supposed to do: hydrates well and leaves my skin soft. Itís quite emollient and creamy (not a lotion), but absorbs quickly without a residue. I also love the squeeze tube packaging; Iím a huge fan of products which I donít need to turn upside down and shake around in order to get something out. I know, it saves like half a second of my time, but still, itís a perk :)
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Betaine, Petrolatum, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium Edta, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Ceteareth-25, Cetyl Alcohol, Behenic Acid, Ceramide NP, Ceramide NS, Ceramide EOS, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide AP, Hexanoyl Phytosphingosine, Hexanoyl Sphingosine.