Moisturizers -Murad - Skin Perfection Lotion for Acne Prone Skin
mianga 6/4/2012 10:52:00 AM
This smells like a light version of the cleanser. Stinky feet light. I don't know if Murad is going for a medicinal quality? Are these active ingredients so awful that it would cost significantly more to disguise them? Other brands seem to be disguising them more effectively... I will tolerate a lot of strange smells in my products, provided they are my heroes. I don't mind Carmex at all. Or tea tree oil. 'Medicinal' is not an automatic turnoff for me as a descriptor. The fragrance does fade, admittedly. But not that quickly! So distasteful to apply, when the cleansing and treating ritual can be pleasant and luxurious. Stink aside, this texture is alright. Not as smooth as the Proactiv treatment lotion (which smells faintly of chlorine, and which I don't at all mind, for the record). Absorbs fine. Doesn't appear to be actually CAUSING me to break out. Ugh.
Sulfur-based. Creamy consistency that can be applied in a very thin layer, dries quickly, decent clarifying effect. Reminds me of Neutrogena's 2-in-1 cleanser/mask. But Neutrogena's smells better and is cheaper (though the active ingredient there is benzoyl peroxide). Not terrible as a spot treatment but doesn't begin to compare with Mario Badescu's drying lotion. Despite the sulfur, this smells the best of Murad's acne products (faint, faint praise). And Proactiv's sulfur mask is better (thicker consistency, more powerful, less prone to flaking as spot treatment). If you want a really fun mask, go for the Aztec benzonite clay mask. When it dries your face is a whole new shape.
This smells as if someone tried to cover up a faint smell of mold or stinky feet with menthol and eucalyptus. Nicely cooling if you leave it on your face for a while. Skin feels quite dry after using, definitely have to follow up with something or other as quickly as possible. Does cleanse so I would call it just short of fine... I have other cleansers that are cheaper, smell better, and are just as good. For $26 (at full size), you could do a lot better. Try Mario Badescu. Most cleansers are $15 for this same volume. I like the gel enzyme and the glycolic foaming wash.
The read dud of the Acne Rapid Response set. A witch hazel based toner that lists a bunch of fruit extracts in the ingredients. This stuff smells like tree bark vodka, and is really not what you want to smell when you are hungover. Didn't sting much but distinctly astringent. Not particularly gentle (most drying non-alcohol toner I have used, I think), so OK if you lean more toward that flyover bombing type approach to your face. I wouldn't even use this if I'd gotten it for free. Thayer's Cucumber Witch Hazel toner is much friendlier than this, if witch hazel appeals to you. Cheaper, too.
Skincare - Body -Elizabeth Arden - 8 hour cream Skin Protector
mianga 4/18/2012 12:51:00 PM
I love using this as a lip treatment overnight. A little on the expensive side but you get a lot of product for the money and it is going to last for ages. The smell is a slightly herbal grapefruit that I quite like. I use this depending on the state of my lips on a given day. Some days I will just use Vaseline or Rosebud Salve, or a good shea butter, all of which I love, but when the lips have had a rough day, I can feel the difference of using this instead. You know when you wake up in the middle of the night, and you are thirsty and your lips are dry, because you are addicted to lip balm and you need it on at all times? And you must apply immediately or else you won't be able to get to sleep again? Dear reader, I make it through the whole night with this stuff. Would like a little tube to fit in my bag but the price is not worth it to me. Better value getting the full size.
Lip Treatments -Elizabeth Arden - 8 Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick
mianga 4/18/2012 12:44:00 PM
I first got the lip protectant in the tube, not realizing that it was separate from the skin protectant (which had been recommended to me). As I am obsessed with lip balm, once I realized my mistake I got the skin protectant, too. I think that the tube lip protectant is excellent, moisturizing and absorbs well into the lips. That said, I prefer the skin protectant used as a balm. I think it lasts longer on the lips, doesn't need to be applied as frequently (better for an overnight treatment), and applies more thickly (so go for the tube if you want more sheer coverage). I think the cost of this is not bad if you look for a deal. I think I got this on Amazon for under $10, and I have definitely spent more on less useful lip balms (looking at you, Molton Brown lipsaver). The smell of both is a slightly medicinal grapefruit, and I like it. Liked it so much that I tried one of the tinted versions in Melon: a disappointment. A nice color but it applies in patches and only looks OK if my lips have been really well exfoliated beforehand. Very unforgiving. Also find it to be less moisturizing than either the regular tube or the skin protectant.
Lip Treatments -Jack Black - Intense Therapy Lip Balm spf 25
mianga 4/18/2012 12:30:00 PM
I got this in Natural Mint and, as others have mentioned, the flavoring is really strong. This has has a menthol quality and tingles for a while after applications, similar to the way some Burt's Bees lip products tingle only more so. I found this pleasant, and don't mind the flavor. Avoid if you are sensitive to things smelling a little medicinal. The consistency is very similar to Carmex, I think, a little more viscous than something like Kiehl's lip balm, absorbs into the lips better than something like Vaseline/petroleum jelly. While I finished the tube and was satisfied with the performance of this treatment (I think it was more a protectant than a treatment) for the price, I think this would be more appropriately priced at around $5. I would not repurchase as would rather try different products with the hope that they would be superior. I found using Elizabeth Arden's 8 hour skin protectant (just using it on the lips), to be the best of this type of lip treatment (this consistency of product), and high quality shea butters absorb better than something like this.
This is a pretty waxy product that I would characterize more as a protectant than a balm, as it doesn't absorb into the lips very well. The consistency is, as many note, similar to vaseline, but I think it most closely resembles Aquaphor (or Carmex), which is slightly thicker than vaseline. Basically Aquaphor with a nice honey scent. I like this product because I like Aquaphor and Carmex, but this is really not worth the price. IF you want a pretty thick, salve-like ointment for your lips I would recommend Rosebud Salve or, even better, if you were considering paying Molton Brown prices anyway, Elizabeth Arden's 8 hour skin protectant (and just use it on your lips). These both absorb better into the lips, last longer than the MB lipsaver, and are more effective as treatments (great overnight!).
This is a great product as long as you make it work for you. Don't use it as a mask, but as an overnight spot treatment. Don't buy it, just get a sample (it will last ages). This does a great job of drying out and treating all types of acne. I really only use the MB drying lotion on whiteheads, and for other stages/types of acne I will turn to this (and a bunch of other stuff, but sometimes this). I like it for those miscellaneous bumps that aren't really blackheads or whiteheads.
A very functional ointment-style lip balm, with the consistency of Carmex. Doesn't have any strong fragrance, though it is slightly medicinal. I don't mind it. Not phenomenal, but not at all bad. I like to use it on dry patches of skin when a moisturizer isn't going to be enough (especially when I'm out and don't have the resources I would have at home). I also (this is kind of odd, maybe) put it up my nose when the weather is really dry, to prevent nose bleeds and that itchy, dry feeling. I do the same with Carmex. If I hadn't gotten a good deal on it, I would not think it was worth the cost. Better to go with Elizabeth Arden 8 hour skin protectant. Really similar consistency but it smells great (like grapefruit, though it also comes in a fragrance-free version), and has much stronger moisturizing/treatment properties.
I found this patchy and overly scented. I actually threw it away, and if you knew how obsessed with lip balms I am that would mean something to you. I actually wish the application had been more sheer, and the product harder. I think the patchiness would not be very noticeable with the medium colors, but with the light and the dark I would steer clear of this product and save my money.
I am a lip balm junkie, so to make my cart tot up to the free shipping amount, I threw this in. No. No, no, no. This is a very solid lip balm, that you need to warm with your fingers slightly to use, and as you dip (I got the pot version) you get an extremely thin layer of oil on your finger. Much harder than something like rose salve (which I love, btw), more like beeswax, but more oily on application. Absorbs pretty quickly into the lips, as an oil does (if you've ever tried putting straight vit E oil or rose hip oil or something on your lips). The smell is strong and herbal but not really pleasant. I didn't like it, and the performance of the wax was not anything near what it would have had to be for me to tolerate the smell. I returned this, and would recommend as an alternative the Elizabeth Arden 8 hour lip protectant (a solid tube balm that leaves a thin, quickly absorbed layer) any Labello chapstick, shea butter (try L'Occitane's), or, better yet, the Elizabeth Arden 8 hour skin protectant, and just use it on your lips. This is the best overnight lip treatment I have found, with something like the consistency of rose salve (but it smells of grapefruit).
Skincare - Face -Mario Badescu - Hyaluronic Moisturizer (SPF 15)
mianga 4/6/2012 11:29:00 AM
I was unimpressed with this moisturizer. Feels fairly light and smooth going on, like so many silicone-based products, but doesn't give me that feeling that my skin is just sucking up the moisture the way some do, and I actually prefer a greasier moisturizer (more like sunblock). Smells like banana cream pie, which was a deal breaker for me. I returned this one.
I think it smells great, like raspberries, and I feel productive when I use it (about once a week). Feeling productive is very important when it comes to something I obsess about as much as my acne scarring. After 2 months, though, I cannot say that the results have been dramatic. Of course I don't have a control group to show how my scarring would look if I hadn't use it at all... So, not going to make your scarring disappear entirely, but I think it helps a little, especially with new scars. So, if you are the kind of person who likes to be proactive about their scarring, and you are happy with any kind of improvement at all, and you like masks, and you don't mind spending the money (the price is not too bad, I think, generally the MB products are reasonable), go for it. I think that within a larger scar-fading regimen (which anyone going for this mask would probably have?) it does its part and helps to make a difference. One note is that as you use the product up, it is best to keep the sides as clean as you can, as when the product is left in a thin layer on the sides (it is very thick and goopy, so the layer on the side can be quite thick) that layer becomes tacky and dry and cannot really be used.
The idea is to use this on impending cystic acne, to prevent. Basically this sometimes works for me, and sometimes does not. I would guess about half the time the blemish is prevented and half not. This is still pretty great, however, as previous to using this about zero of the time they were prevented. Cystic acne being the largest, most visible, most painful, most heavily scarring type of acne, they are the type I am most eager to prevent, and anything helps. Used as a spot treatment this goes a long way. The packaging leaves something to be desired. The dropper bottle needs a smaller opening, perhaps, as this tends to make a mess of the dropper and the threads for the cap no matter how neatly you try to use it. The consistency is really watery, and it can be difficult to get only a small amount out of the bottle. I would get this again if I cannot find anything to do what it can do. I did find it more effective than proactive, the dermalogica Bedtime for Breakouts, and (for cystic acne) the Origins spot treatment. The Origins spot treatment is great for those miscellaneous bumps that are neither blackheads nor whiteheads nor cystic acne, however, and of course I love the MB drying lotion.