I had heard great things about this, and was very excited to find it. It's extremely inexpensive (I believe I paid less than $4 for my tube), and I loved how it looked on my lashes. It definitely lived up to the hype in that department. However, I have never tried a mascara that flaked as much as this did (I have had some that start to flake when they dry up, but this was a brand new tube). Every time I looked in a mirror during the day, I would have to wipe an unacceptable amount of black flakes away from under my eyes. It happened immediately after application, and never stopped. Needless to say, I will not be purchasing this again.
I really thought that I'd like this because of all of the hype surrounding it, but I am not a fan. I can see why some people like it, but it's not for me. It flakes, and my lashes look clumpy and spidery (not really the look I'm going for, ever). I do like the packaging, its lengthening abilities, and the fact that it doesn't smudge on me at all, but these qualities aren't enough to make me want to purchase it again.
Powder -Wet 'n' Wild - 100% Natural pressed powder
megathon 1/23/2011 7:28:00 PM
I definitely did not think that I'd be saying this about this product, but this is the best pressed powder foundation I've ever tried. Although it does provide enough coverage to work as a foundation on its own, I apply it after I put on my liquid foundation and concealer in order to set my make-up, add extra coverage, and control oil. It does each of these things better than any other powder I've tried before. I am especially impressed with how well it mattifies--I have an extremely oily T-zone and am used to blotting every half hour or so no matter what I do, but I have been going three hours without having to blot since I started using this. Also, it stays on evenly and for a very long time, never looks cakey, doesn't accentuate any dry spots on my face, and appears pretty natural. I love it and I don't really have anything negative to say about it, so I will definitely repurchase it.
I'm thrilled that I decided to buy into the hype around this. It's fantastic, and was definitely worth the wait and the price. I'm pretty frugal and usually can't justify spending money on high-end make up, but this is an awesome deal and will save me from having to buy eyeshadow again for a very, very long time. Every shadow in this set is gorgeous, pigmented, creamy, easily blendable, and wearable. Most of the colors are pretty shimmery, but they aren't over-the-top, and there's no chunky glitter in them (this is coming from a girl who wears matte or satin finish eyeshadow almost exclusively). The two matte shades ("Naked" and "Buck") are the most creamy, blendable matte shades I've ever come across, and I don't think I'll ever be able to do without them now. This blew my expectations out of the water. I've never tried Urban Decay eyeshadows before, and I'm super impressed. I like these better than any other eyeshadow I've ever tried, be it high-end (including MAC!) or drugstore. I can't imagine that I'll use this up anytime soon, but when I do, I will definitely buy it again!
Concealers -Physicians Formula - Concealer Twins Yellow and Natural
megathon 1/14/2011 11:04:00 PM
This product is a definite miss for me. The coverage is sheer at best, and it doesn't blend very well (I've tried patting it on with a flat concealer brush, blending it with a fluffy brush, and patting it on with my fingers), so it ends up looking uneven (oh, and it creases, too). I saw that someone else commented on how light this is, and I had the same issue--although I'm pretty pale during the winter months, the "natural" side is almost white, which makes it very obvious that I have concealer under my eyes. It's not a good look. My biggest gripe with this product, however, is how drying it is. My undereye area is quite dry anyway, but this product makes it even worse. I can't really think of anything redeeming about this, and I won't be repurchasing it.
Skincare - Body -Dr. Bronner's - Lavender Liquid Soap
megathon 1/3/2011 10:49:00 PM
I use this to take my make-up off before using my regular cleanser, as well as to clean my brushes. It's fabulous. It takes absolutely everything off of my skin and leaves no residue behind. I can see how it would be drying for some people as my pores feel tighter than usual after I use it, but I haven't had a problem with it. Also, I have acne, and I have noticed that my skin is much clearer since I started using it (I am assuming that this is because it takes my make-up off better than anything else I've tried, so my cleanser can actually reach my skin and do its job). The fact that it's vegan on top of everything else makes it an HG product for me. I will buy this again and again.
This quad is great. As many people have said, the colors are super pretty, decently pigmented, not too shimmery, and they last a pretty long time. I've used the taupe color in the upper-right-hand corner up already, because it is the perfect brown smokey eye color for my skintone. The cranberry shade is gorgeous as well. The only color that I could really do without is the light gold color, but for $1, I'm not complaining. I will definitely buy this again.
Cleansers -Clinique - Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam
megathon 12/30/2010 5:07:00 PM
After using this for about 3 months in conjunction with the lotion and the moisturizer in Clinique's 3-Step Acne Solutions system, I have to say that I am on the fence about it. I like the system as a whole. While my skin hasn't completely cleared up (I have small breakouts mostly on my chin, still, but I think that that's hormonal), since I've started using it, I no longer get huge pimples like I was getting before, my breakouts heal faster, and I seldom break out anywhere on my face other than on my chin (before, I was breaking out on my cheeks and jawline, as well). So, while it hasn't exactly done miracles for me, it is definitely effective. That being said, I don't think that this cleanser is really contributing to the effectiveness of it--I feel like all of the work is being done by the other two parts of the system. It comes out of the container as an airy foam, and then disappears completely once I start massaging it into my skin. I'm used to cleansers doing the opposite--foaming up when they're mixed with water--and I don't like that this one doesn't do that (it makes me feel like it isn't "working," which may or may not be true). I don't feel any residue or anything once I rinse it off, but my face doesn't feel as clean as it has with other cleansers in the past. Also, this is pretty expensive. It's $18 for 4.2 fl. oz., and while it lasts quite awhile (I've been using the same bottle for the past 3 months, and it isn't done, yet), it's active ingredient is salicylic acid (2%). I've seen cleansers with the same concentration of salicylic acid, for much cheaper (Avon makes one that I've seen on sale for under $5, for example). Before I buy this again, I'm going to give one of these cheaper cleansers a shot (while using the other two parts of the system). Right now, I'm not totally sold on it.
Misc Beauty Tools -New York Color - Eyelash Curler
megathon 12/19/2010 12:23:00 AM
I love this. It's inexpensive and works like a charm for me. I had one with black rubber pads that lacked a spring for at least two years, and it still curls my lashes. I have the one with the purple pads and a spring now, and it's even better. As far as inexpensive eyelash curlers go, this is it. I will repurchase them forever.
I broke down and bought this because I was at a breaking point with my skin. I have been dealing with acne for over ten years now, and have tried almost everything to get rid of it, to no avail. I was hesitant to spend as much as I did on this, and skeptical of whether or not it would work for me. I've been using it for 2 months now, and while it hasn't cleared up my acne, it has otherwise changed my skin completely, and I couldn't be happier with my investment. Almost immediately after I started using it, I noticed that my T-zone, which is usually extremely oily, was slightly less oily. The difference here hasn't been dramatic, but it's definitely noticeable, and I'm happy with it. It's winter, and I live in New York, so my skin tends to get dry and flaky. On top of that, I am using the Clinique 3-Step Acne Solutions System, which is notoriously drying. Since I've started using this, I have experienced only minor dryness and NO flakiness at all. I could skip moisturizer altogether if I wanted to (I don't, but I could), and my skin would still be flake-free because of this. Two months ago, I had a lot of blackheads and whiteheads. My whiteheads have disappeared completely, and while this hasn't made the pre-existing blackheads disappear, very few new ones have come up since I started using this. As a result, my skin feels smoother and softer in general. While I still do break out, my blemishes are smaller than they used to be, and they heal about twice as quickly as they did before. I hadn't expected that at all. Also, I have discoloration from acne scars on my face, and this has helped to minimize their appearance immensely. So, in that way, this is great for people with acne-prone skin. Notably, I did break out horribly within the first 1-4 weeks of using this. While it was unpleasant, I expected it to happen, and my skin has calmed down since. I've read many other reviews on this product that talk about pores shrinking, lotions sinking into the skin easier, make-up lasting longer, and skin that glows. I haven't experienced these things at all, but given all of the other things that this has done for my skin, I think that this is a great product, regardless. Needless to say, I would definitely make this investment again if I needed to. I absolutely love it.
I got a sample-sized tube of this as part of a gift with purchase package, and I'm in love. It goes on smoothly (with minimal clumping occurring only sometimes), lengthens, volumizes, and looks like a true black. It also doesn't smudge at all, although I have noticed that it does flake very slightly. It doesn't hold a curl great for me, but I haven't found a non-waterproof mascara that does, yet, so I won't hold that against it. I wear this everyday, and I love that the look that it gives is dramatic without being inappropriate for daytime. I don't think that my lashes have ever looked better. I am impressed with how easily this comes off, since it does stay on so well during the day. All I have to do is rinse it with warm water a few times, and it's gone. While I do love this, I don't think that I'd actually buy it on its own, because I just can't justify spending $14 on mascara when there are good alternatives for a better price. That being said, I'd be thrilled to end up getting this as part of a gift with purchase again.
This is the best moisturizer I've ever used, period. I picked it up because I have been looking for a truly moisturizing oil-free moisturizer for the winter months, when the dry patches of my combination skin get flaky and difficult to apply foundation over. I've been using this for two days, and already it has solved all of my problems with dryness. My make-up now goes on smoothly (no more clinging to dry patches and accentuating them!), and my skin is flake-free and soft. Since this is a very thick cream and petroleum is one of the main ingredients, I only apply this at night (but, I find that it's so effective with that one daily application that I don't even feel the need to apply more in the morning). It's also great for sensitive skin--I've been using it under my eyes, and it doesn't irritate the skin there at all. As an added bonus, it doesn't seem to be breaking me out (my skin is very acne-prone). When I picked this up, I thought that it was a little pricey at around $10 per tub (until now, I've been buying the St. Ives Collagen Elastin moisturizer in a tub that is about the same size as this one, and that cost about $4 but wasn't very good). After using it, however, I think that that price is fair. This stuff is super effective, and a little bit goes a long way (I need about a dime-sized amount to cover my entire face), so it will last me forever. I would recommend this to anyone, and I will definitely buy this again. EDIT: I started using Clinique's 3-step Acne Solutions system, which is notorious for drying skin out, about a week ago. As I said, I have dry patches on my skin to begin with, and pretty much any acne medication makes that a lot worse. Unbelievably, I haven't had a problem with dryness, at all, and I attribute that to this. I'm still only using a little bit of it, and only at night. Still, my skin doesn't have a single dry patch. I'm shocked, and I can't even describe how good this stuff is.
Eye Shadow -E.L.F. - Non-Stop Eye Color -- Butternut
megathon 10/26/2010 7:49:00 PM
I'm in shock at how good these E.L.F. eye quads are. I've tried the E.L.F. studio line eyeshadows before and I think that they're awful (chalky, tons of fallout, minimal color payoff and lasting power, full of chunky glitter), so I was expecting even less from these (given that they are cheaper and all). These are fabulous in general, but especially for $1. The colors in this quad are very pretty and, in my opinion, very pigmented. I do get some fallout with them, but not very much. They also last all day with a primer and a base (I don't wear eyeshadow without these two things, so I can't speak to their performance on their own). This quad is shimmery, but there's no chunky glitter and, especially with a matte base, I think that it gives a subtle enough shimmer that it's appropriate for daytime (I would wear it to work, for example). I will definitely repurchase!
Liquid -Revlon - ColorStay Makeup with SoftFlex SPF 15 Normal/Dry Skin
megathon 10/23/2010 1:40:00 PM
I decided to try this version of the Colorstay foundation because, although I have combination skin with an extremely oily T-zone, I wasn't happy with how the combination/oily formula looked cakey on me and accentuated the dryness of the areas of my skin that were more normal. As it turns out, this is a much better formula for my skin. It doesn't dry certain areas of my skin out so much throughout the day that they end up looking flaky (as the combination/oily skin formula does), so it provides a more natural-looking finish for me. I also find that it is easier to blend than the combination/oily formula, as it doesn't seem to dry quite as quickly. What I don't like about this stuff is that, since I do have an oily T-zone and this isn't made for oily skin, it tends to slide right off of my face when I get shiny. Since Revlon does make another formula for that problem, I'm not going to take any lipsticks off for that, but it is worth noting. I've noticed that I have some of the same complaints about both formulas of this foundation. First, as everyone has said, Revlon absolutely needs to start packaging this with a pump so that this isn't so messy and wasteful to dispense from the bottle. Secondly, both formulas do settle into my fine lines (and I'm only twenty-three, so I really don't have any, but if I'm not careful, this settles into them and makes them look obvious). The dry/normal formula doesn't do this as much as the combination/oily skin formula, but it still does happen. I don't think that this is the best foundation for me, but for now, I feel stuck using it because it's the best drugstore (affordable) foundation that I've found that is produced by a company that doesn't test on animals. So, I will buy this until I can find an alternative that is even more suited to my truly combination skin. EDIT: I recently started using a different foundation, and my acne-prone skin cleared up immensely. When I ran out of the new foundation, I tried this again, and instantly broke out again. I've had acne forever, but had been using this for years, and it hadn't occurred to me that this could be making it worse. It obviously does (as does Revlon's Colorstay powder foundation, I've learned). Now that I've figured out the problem, there's no way that I'm putting this stuff near my skin again.
I used the ProActiv three-step system a few years ago, and while it did clear me up completely at the time, my acne came back with a vengeance shortly thereafter. As a result, I decided to throw in the towel and try other products. However, recently, I began breaking out badly once again, and decided to try some of this (unopened and unexpired) product that I had lingering around a second try. I've been applying it at bedtime only for about two weeks now (after removing my make-up, using a salicylic acid cleanser, and witch hazel toner--the same routine I'd been using for months) and I don't think that my skin has ever been so dry! Seriously, my face feels chapped, and although I'm currently using a foundation for dry skin and a heavy moisturizer, I can see how dry it is under my make-up. I want to keep using this for another week or two in order to give it time to see if it actually clears up my acne (I'm still breaking out, so, at this point, it isn't clearing up my skin, either), but I can't stand feeling this uncomfortable much longer. This has the same concentration of benzoyl peroxide (as well as many of the same main ingredients) as the third step in the Clinique Acne Solutions system (the Clearing Moisturizer), and while that product is also really drying, I found it to be more effective and SLIGHTLY less drying than this product. I'm going back to that, and I'd recommend it as an alternative to this.