Treatments -Nailtiques - Formula 2 PLUS Nail Protein
mischa 5/2/2012 9:00:00 PM
Finally, something that actually works. My nails constantly peel and break, despite taking the right vitamins, using gloves to wash dishes, etc. Usually, I get at least one nail that breaks every few days, even using some super expensive pink gel stuff I got from Sephora that everybody seems to swear by. I started using this as both a base and top coat (sometimes applying the Nails, Inc. Kensington top coat on top of that in case I'm in a hurry to get out the door) and it really, really, really works. It's been 2 weeks and I haven't had a single nail break on me. My nails are getting long without breaking for the first time in ages. I only wish this came in a full sized bottle...
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat
mischa 5/2/2012 8:56:00 PM
I think this is super expensive for what it is, especially since it's not the miracle-in-a-bottle I was led to believe it was. My nails still broke, chipped, and peeled. After going through a half bottle, I realized it was no better than any of the far cheaper options out there. In fact, if you compare the ingredients side by side with a similar pink formula that Sally's Beauty Supply sells for far less, they're pretty much identical.
Eyeliner -Physicians Formula - Shimmer Strips Gel Creamliner - Brown Eyes
mischa 4/10/2012 9:19:00 PM
Finally, a cream liner that doesn't transfer to onto my hooded, oily lids! I've tried the more expensive gel liners from Bobbi Brown and Mac without much success. No matter how many different eyeshadow primers I've used, gel liners just wear off or noticeably transfer onto my hooded lid, which looks ridiculous. On a whim, I picked the PF on sale for about 6 bucks. It might not be as pigmented as the more expensive versions, but it actually works. I've never actually tried to use the brush that came with it. I instead use it with the angled eyeliner brush from Sonia Kashuk. I recently discovered, however, that the brush that comes with it works really well for lipstick. Go figure.
These rival some of the more expensive polishes I own. Smooth application, opaque in two coats, and dries reasonably quickly. I layered a coat of the clear bluish glitter 810 Bold as Brass over 2 coats of the really pretty royal blue, 710 Gem-stone. Super cute. I often have trouble with dark blue polishes across a lot of different brands--in my experience they are often either too thin or too thick, or streaky or runny or gloppy, and you have to be really careful applying it because, like red polishes, they stain the skin, making cleaning up mistakes a bit tedious. This polish pretty much went where I wanted it to go, and even when I did make a minor mistake, it didn't stain the way other blue polishes have done. I wasn't able to get a very clean line of polish near the cuticle (partially the brush's fault, partially my fault), but it wasn't anything a cheap angled eyeliner brush dipped in polish remover couldn't fix. I'll be buying more of these in the future.
I went crazy and bought a bunch of these, plus the matching base and top coat. So far, I've tried Stiletto, Cafe Pink and Coastal Surf. While I like the colors, I'm pretty disappointed by the formula. I don't know if it's the polish or the base/top coat, but all three colors I've tried so far have had pretty noticeable shrinkage (not to be confused with tip wear--I'm aware of the difference) at the tips as soon as they are dry. In fact, the shrinkage is worse than any other polish I've ever tried (and being a nail polish addict, I've tried plenty). I had slightly better luck with Cafe Pink since it's a lighter color and therefore the tipwear is slightly less obvious, plus I was careful to wrap the tips with both the polish and top coats, but it still had a bit of shrinkage as soon as it dried. By day 2, I had a small chip on my thumb and really noticable tip wear. I'm on day 3, and now I'm noticing that some nails have these weird "fault lines" where the polish is cracking down the nail. I've never had happen with any other polish before. I'm not particularly hard on my nails either so it's nothing I'm doing. For these reasons, I won't ever buy from this line again. I haven't tried the color with another base/top coat yet, so maybe I'll have better luck then? I'll update this review if that's the case. On the plus side, I do like the double-tuft brush, and although it's on the thicker side, the formula seems to apply well with 2 coats. It dries to the touch reasonably quickly but even though I let it dry for hours, I still ended up with a couple of knicks.
Lip Treatments -E.L.F. - Studio Conditioning Lip Balm SPF 15
mischa 10/23/2011 4:55:00 PM
I got this in Blissful Berry. It is much more opaque than your the usual tinted lip balms out there, so it goes on as more of a sheer lipstick than a balm. It's very creamy and feels nice on the lips and all that good stuff, but what I like best about it is the color. It's a really neutral berry that is very wearble and it actually seems to make my teeth appear whiter. The only thing I don't like is the packaging. It's a big pot, so I end up using a lot of disposable lip brushes or Q-tips to apply the product to keep it as clean as possible, but that makes it a huge pain to carry around. Wish they would have put this in a tube instead of a pot.
Best fast drying top coat EVER, and I've pretty much tried them all. This is the ONLY one I've used where I can actually go to bed within minutes after applying, and I don't wake up with smudges or sheet marks. This is the one I reach for when I'm in a hurry to get out the door. I can't speak to how well it holds up as far as chipping goes since I change my polish so often, but I'll definitely be stocking up on this.
Pressed Powders -Josie Maran Cosmetics - Argan Pressed Powder
mischa 10/20/2011 1:35:00 PM
I was excited to get this because it was sold out for a while and everybody seemed to rave about it. I'm sure it's a nice powder, but I didn't keep it on long enough to find out because it turned me bright orange!!! Returned it immediately.
I think the trick with this mascara is to make sure you wipe off the brush with a tissue before you let that wand anywhere near your eyes. The formula is extremely wet, and I ended up getting way too much on and it smeared everywhere. Even with wiping the brush off first, you still have to be a bit careful when applying it or you'll end up smudging it before it has a chance to dry. This won't give you any volume, but it will lengthen and separate your lashes nicely. It's also nice not to have to struggle to get it off, although the flakes of the tubes as they come off can be a bit weird... All in all, I wouldn't spend the money on this again, but as long as I'm stuck with it, I'm going to use it.
Mascara -Lancome - Definicils Pro (High Definition Curved Brush Mascara)
mischa 10/18/2011 3:36:00 AM
Horrible. Wish I would have read the reviews before buying this. This makes my eyes water like crazy, and since it's not at all water or smudge proof, I end up with racoon eyes. This is one of the worst mascaras I've used. Sadly, I bought it from a store out of town, so I can't return it or I would.
It's okay as far as makeup removers go, and I like that it's not greasy feeling, but I think the "waterproof sensitive eye cleanser" claim is a bit misleading since it actually makes my eyes sting quite a bit. Honestly, I find plain joboba oil works as well without stinging, and it is far cheaper than this. Sure, it's oil, but it doesn't make me break out, and I generally wash my face afterwards anyway.
Top/Base Coats -Lippmann Collection - On A Clear Day Top Coat
mischa 3/25/2011 9:31:00 PM
Did a manicure with this using a Zoya polish and the Lippman rehydrating base coat. Usually, I can get at least 2 days out of a manicure before it starts to show signs of wear. This is the first time I've used this top coat, and I noticed my manicure chipped after a day. I didn't have time to redo it and the chip wasn't super noticeable so I let it go. Today (day two), I woke up and noticed a huge chip on my thumb, and throughout the day, more significant chips on 4 other nails. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary. I'm going back to the Mavala top coat.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Nailclear Nail Clarifying Liquid
mischa 3/16/2011 9:32:00 PM
Even though I use a good base coat religiously that is supposed to prevent staining, I haven't had bare nails in easily 6 months, and now my nails are stained noticeably yellow. I read all the tricks to get nails white again (soaking in peroxide, lemon juice, whitening toothpaste) but I couldn't seem to find any actual evidence from people supporting the claims. I went to the store in search of Develop 10 Yellow Buster because it seemed to get decent reviews, although it seemed like it was more of a trick to camouflage the yellow rather than an actual treatment to get rid of the yellow. I spotted this product on the shelf and decided to give it a try. You brush this on, leave it on for 5 minutes, and then scrub it off with a nail brush, which comes with it. It specifically says that you might have to reapply it several times to get your nails whiter, so I wasn't expecting miracles on the first try. I actually repeated the process 4 times. While my nails weren't 100% back to their normal healthy hue, they were, at least, quite noticeably less yellow. I don't honestly know if they would have gone back to normal if I'd been patient enough to reapply it several more times before I decided to try out a new polish color and redid my manicure. Curiously enough, I noticed that a couple of nails that were peeling really badly and on the verge of breaking seemed somehow not quite as damaged. I'm not sure if it was just my imagination or not but my nails did look healthier. I was able to buff the remaining peeling bits out before redoing my manicure and the polish went on beautifully. My nails look great today if I do say so myself. I'll update this review after I've used this product a few more times.
First off, let me just say, "I hate you, Armani, for charging so much for mascara!!!" Ok, now that that's out of the way, I love this mascara. After trying several other brands, I grudgingly went out and bought a new tube of this in the gunmetal color (I think the MUA that sold it to me called it "silver" but it's really more gunmetal/charcoal.) The brush is awesome and the mascara applies without clumping and gives me lots of volume. It also stays on all day without flaking or smudging. Best of all, it doesn't irritate my eyes like a lot of other brands. I also like the fact that there is a noticeable "click" so you know when the cap is on tight. I know you're supposed to toss mascara every 3 months for sanitary reasons, but I'm a bad girl and held onto my last tube for over 6 months, because it's so expensive. I didn't use it every day, either.
I've been using this for a few days now as a primer and I'm really liking it a lot better than my usual go-to eye primer by Urban Decay. Bare Canvas creates a smooth base with no creasing, and it dries quickly to a powdery finish, which is perfect for either cream of powder eyeshadows. So far, in conjuction with MAC and Armani shadows (I haven't tried other brands with it yet), it helps the shadow stay on pretty much all day. I found that with UDPP, I would have to add a touch of translucent power on top of it or else any eyeshadow would stick a little too much and not blend very well. Bare Canvas eliminates the extra step. My only (minor) complaint is the packaging. You have to unscrew the cap very carefully while making sure you aren't adding any pressure on the tube itself because it can come shooting out pretty quickly. Also, be very careful not to squeeze too much out of the tube. On the plus side, it's more sanitary than a a product that comes in a pot. It's slightly cheaper than UDPP, and I'm guessing that as long as you only use exactly as much as you need each time, it will last as long as a tube of UDPP, if not longer. A little goes a really long way. A tip that works for me: To minimize waste, instead of squeezing the product onto the back of my hand, I instead very carefully squeeze a tiny amount onto a metal lid (like from a mason jar) or artist palette, and use a flat concealer or synthetic flat eyeshadow brush to apply it. I don't squeeze any liquid or cream based product (foundation, face primer) onto the back of my hand anymore because I find I waste more product that way because it absorbs into my skin. As an added bonus, I don't have to scrub my hands extra hard to get the product out.