I love My Private Jet as a neutral for everything, but that is not a summer color for me; I have been wearing Designer Da Better for a lighter summer neutral. However, DDB shows up with a strong lilac tint against my skin so I was looking for something that was more of a pewter-toned metallic that would be versatile for my everyday pedi wear. In searching the boards I came across Graphite and thought it looked and sounded beautiful but thought "TWENTY-SIX dollars? Are you #?*! kidding me????" But I couldn't find anything more like what I wanted in swatches. Long story short I took the dive. The pictures online give a great idea of the depth of the color and the sheen in indoor light, but do not do this beauty justice in the sunlight. In outdoor, direct light, the finish of the polish has a luxe, special fire which I can picture on Coco Chanel's original customers sunning along the Riviera or on the deck of a cruise ship to the Mediterranean. I don't think I have ever seen anything quite like it. I wish I HAD seen something exactly like it that cost twenty dollars less. So far, no luck. If you think you are interested, you can swatch a nail at any Chanel counter-do a couple of coats and take yourself outside to judge whether you think it is worth the extra $$$. As it turns out, I do :)
I picked this up after reading all the raves, and this one absolutely lives up to the hype for me. It gives a thick, glossy finish and absolutely dries vite, vite, vite! Other reviewers suggested really glopping this on and that is working well for me. I have not experienced the problems others have reported with this pulling back. The smell is...frightening. It CANNOT be good for you. That said, I can't quit you, Seche Vite.
Fantastic deep pink with a purple/blue frostiness, really pretty for cool toned skin...bright enough to be summery but in no way garish. I originally bought this for my niece, but kept it for myself...shhhh....
Cool, deep raspberry with a hint of purply magenta. Really nice with cool toned skin. I did not have the application problems other reviewers mentioned...got a nice, even application with two coats.
Gorgeous, gorgeous red red red! I love the hot shimma. I have cool toned skin and this looked great, but the glitter is almost orangy, so I bet this would look great on warmer skin tones as well. A classic.
After a very long break in manicuring, my niece's interest in mani/pedis got me back on the hunt for nail polish. I love the look of gel nails and was considering those until reading the nail polish reviews read about Bubble Bath and other sheer neutrals. I looked at OPI but have been happy with the China Glaze polishes I've tried, so looked for a nude at Sally's. I debated between this and a more yellow toned polish (perhaps "Heaven"?) and landed on this since I have more of a blue/rose undertone. I could not be more happy with the results of base coat, just one layer of this polish (I tried two on my thumb and it was too opaque for me) and Seche Vite top coat (also rave!). Even though this is creamy, I had no problem getting a nice, even coverage with no streaks or weird glops. This is the look I've been looking for--for YEARS. I think it would probably be too pink if you have a more golden or olive tone, but for me... WOW! WOW! WOW!
If you like the MAC 219 (pencil brush) but wish for a smaller version...wish no more because this is it!
This brush is a great value because it is two ended--one end has the mini pencil brush (my go-to for doing a smoky eyeliner--if you don't have much lid, this is softer, yet allows more control than the 219) and the other end is a fluffy but slender brush that can function as an all-over sheer applicator plus a crease brush if you flatten it a bit. I also use it to blend.
Basically this is a great brush for doing a more natural look--the bigger end is soft and flexible so won't do a really concentrated application, and since the pencil end is small, it can function as a smudger or an applicator. If you need to lay down more intense color you'll want a denser brush.
A favorite--I have three (home, travel, backup)--and the one I always carry with me. Oh, wait...that's four.
I have been wearing false v-lashes everyday for over two years now, and have tried a bunch of the different brands and styles from madamemadeline.com. Andrea Permalash flare (aka flair) shorts are my personal favorites because they are slightly longer and more curled than the Ardell flare shorts. A brief comparison of styles:
Naturals: unknotted v-lashes; taper into a flat surface
Flares: knotted v-lashes; taper into a small knot that gives you a little more surface area to work with the glue
Individuals: single lashes, thicker than a real lash though--lash extensions are often individuals, but these are easier to use for fill-ins between v-lashes than to use on their own.
Generally the Andrea are slightly longer (in short and medium length--I don't use the long so haven't compared) than Ardell.
I thought I'd address a few concerns I've seen on the message boards.
1. You can't rub your eyes (probably for the best anyway).
2. Eye makeup application must be done with a gentle hand to keep from twisting lashes. If you have to fill in lashes, do the rest of your eye makeup first.
3. Eye makeup removal should be done with a non-oily remover (keep cleansing oil away from your eyes too). Oil breaks down the glue.
4. These do fall off (during sleep, during a shower) and you need to allow time to touch them up. I almost always lose the outer edges overnight.
5. You'll need to keep a towel close in the shower to gently blot your eyes when you get water in them.
I have not had any problems with my real lashes breaking or pulling off at all (though have seen lots of horror stories on the message boards so ya know as always YMMV). I do wear these every day, and plan to continue doing so...as long as I have something to attach these to I'm not worried about my real lashes.
I've considered getting lash extensions, but after seeing how they work, my lashes just plain grow too fast (about 1mm a week) to make it practical. I can't stand the flares if they've been on more than a week because my lash has grown out enough that they feel floppy and actually kind of hurt. I can't imagine how they would be if I left them on for six weeks. Plus these are easy enough to learn to do and maintain, so why in the world would I pay someone else $300 to do what I can take care of myself?
Andrea Permalash are cheap, and I buy them in bulk, so I don't feel guilty about doing a new set every week so they look and feel fresh. If I have these, a bronzer, and a lipliner I could get through the day. It typically takes me about 10 minutes to do a full set, and if I am careful about cleaning/de-greasing my lashes and eyelids before the full set application, most will stay on about a week. I count on about 3 minutes for touch-up/fill-in as part of my everyday makeup application. Oh and BTW, I don't use mascara over them.
1. Gently degrease your eyelashes and eyelids before a full application.
2. Pour a small drop of eyelash glue on a non-stick surface (I use the plastic lash box cover). If your lashes are naturally dark you may prefer the dark glue to the clear.
2. Turn the tray so the wide end of the v-lash is facing away from you. Pick up the v-lash with tweezers (you may need to tug gently to release from the tray).
3. Dip the base of the v-lash in the glue; if you are using a knotted lash, try to limit glue to the knotted piece.
4. Tilt your head back a bit so you can see the edge between your eyelid and eyelash. (I use a magnifying mirror). Till you get the hang of the spacing, start in the middle of your eye, and attach the v-lash to your real lash as close as you can to your eyelid.
5. Align the lash to the line of your eye by using your tweezers or fingers.
6. To avoid disturbing the lash and to let the glue set up, apply the next v-lash to the other eye using the same method. Alternate back and forth till you have the desired effect. 7. When you're ready to remove, it's best to use the Lashfree as sparingly as possible as it stings like mad if you get it in your eye (the tiny pointed q-tips work really well as they don't soak up much liquid). Take your time to let the glue loosen up.
I have normal/dry/oily skin...depending on a number of variables I've never entirely worked out. I was really dry last winter and tried this based on the reviews...and it works really well! Two things were very surprising to me about this stuff:
I can't believe how cleanly this rinses off--my skin is soft and not greasy. I did stop using it for a while this summer but have picked it up again and just use a cleanser after with the clarisonic. Holy baby's behind!
The smell of this stuff is instant "spa facial" for me--something about the scent (kind of cedar/rosemary?) just makes me feel very relaxed...luxurious...spoiled...
The one drawback is that I use Ardell lashes everyday and if I get it too close to my lash line it loosens the lash glue and I lose the lashes sooner. Once I figured that out I was just more careful around my eyes.
Since a sample is easily acquired from www.dhc.com I would think it worth a try for anyone. I am generous with this stuff and it is expensive, but who cares? It feels great to use and it seems to get all my makeup off. Done.
I have been using Excellence (both the drugstore and Sally's versions) for a couple of years now. Semi-perm no longer covered my grays and had gotten too dark. I tried the Couleur Experte, and though there wasn't enough highlighting product I really liked the base color. You can find the equivalents on the Couleur Expert website, so next time I picked up the Excellence in 5N Medium Brown.
Pre-color treatment: helps keep any color you pull through from taking so you don't get the "dark ends syndrome." It helps, but you still have to be careful with the color application.
Color: definitely covers my gray. I typically color my roots every 3 weeks--I feel the same about gray hairs as Joan Crawford felt about wire hangers! I apply to my roots only, leave it on 30-40 minutes, and only pull through my whole head for about 10 minutes every third application or so. I'm not a fan of the comb applicator, though I know it works well for the others on the board. However, I am completely in love with the brush that comes with the Nice & Easy Root touch up (see that review for my swoon on my beloved brush)--it has made it so much easier to keep my root-to-end color even because it makes the application so much easier to control and only hit the new root growth. Even after only three weeks I have plenty of roots.
Conditioner: really nice, very silky, and as much as I color I have plenty around. The tubes are great for travel. I alternate with other conditioners but do love this one.
The advantage to the drugstore version is definitely having the additional products (pre-color treatment, conditioner, and gloves). I've tried the Sally's Excellence version and really did not see a significant difference in the outcome of the color itself. But sometimes I like to mix things up, and Sally has plenty of conditioners, so I have used both. I have highlighted over both of them and both went fine.
Bottom line: Unless some miracle product comes on the market (like a pill you could take to make your hair grow out the color you want) I will continue to use this--it leaves my hair soft and silky and I like the color. That simple.
Hair Color -Clairol - Nice 'n Easy - Root Touch Up
missymisst 7/27/2007 8:52:00 PM
I hate seeing ANY gray--EVER--and my hair seems to grow really fast. Ideally I do a full head root touch up every three weeks (well, I'd do it every two weeks if I had the time).
But holy cow, I do have a life and I just can't always get to it every three weeks. This works reasonably well for a quick fix when that's the case.
Color: decent match in the medium brown. I think it fades faster than Excellence, though, which is what I've been using for a while (5N Medium Brown). Not sure if it is the length of time I leave it on (which is shorter than the Excellence, but I'm hesitant to leave it on too long for fear that when I do the real color it will take more and get uneven where I did the small touch up) or the formula. I wish there was an ash option because I also think it pulls a little more gold. But again, may be the length of time. Not a deal-breaker.
Gray coverage: decent, but I have to leave it on longer than the 10 minutes, though...about 20?
The brush: L-O-V-E IT! Seriously. I considered giving this 5 lippies just for the brush. I save every one of them and use it for my normal root touch ups. I have so much more control over the application with this brush and here's why: It is smaller and doesn't pick up as much color as the normal hair color brushes, so I don't get the color past my root line, so the color looks much more even when I'm finished. Also, since it is really stiff I can be very precise (remember, I normally touch up every three weeks) and really get the color down as close as possible to the scalp (remember, I don't want to see ANY gray EVER). It takes longer now to do the whole head application because it is more precise, but this has made a huge difference in the quality of my home color...it is much more even from root to end since I started using this brush instead of my regular hair color brush. I just do the roots with the Excellence, leave on for 30-40 minutes and only pull it through for 10 minutes every 3rd time or so. It takes my hair a while to take color, but when it's there it's on for good, so I've struggled for a long time with the ends (or sometimes other accidental pieces) being darker than the roots. The brush also is a great shape and the bend makes it more comfortable to handle. I love that dang thing.
Quantity of product: it's not enough to do a whole head root touch up. But if I had the time to do a whole root touch up, I would not be using this kit. For me, it is enough product to get most of the top 1/3 of my head and my temples. I hit the hairline/temples first, then start at the top middle and work down on either side till I've used it all. Since I'm using the kit just to get a quick fix till I can do my whole head, it's enough for me, and my hair is not thin. Also not a deal-breaker.
Packaging and price: it does "feel" more expensive because you get less actual color product, but it costs about the same as a regular box of color. An earlier reviewer mentioned that she had seen a combo pack with this and a regular hair color. I would think this a better value if available in two separate options: as a starter pack with the color and THE BRUSH, and a refill option without the brush and 3 separate color applications. Really, I don't need that many brushes. (I will still save every one of them, though) Again, I'm paying for the quickness and convenience, so the cost is only mildly irritating.
Overall, it's not perfect. Even with my big love for the brush I can't give it a 5. But it is a great stopgap--I have even considered switching to using this every 2 weeks then doing my whole head every 4 weeks--and I'm sure I will purchase again.
Treatments -Ion - Anti-Frizz Solutions - Extreme Moisture Nurturing Creme
missymisst 7/20/2007 11:41:00 PM
I have frizzy, color-treated hair past shoulder length, and really like this for once or twice a week use and anytime after I color. It's super-rich, so too much for everyday, but does make my hair feel really soft and lovely. Plus the Ion line is very reasonably priced.
I normally really like standup tubes with flip tops, but this stuff is so thick it really should be in a jar instead (or have a wider opening). I usually just unscrew the cap to get the product straight out of the tube. A minor quibble for a product I will definitely repurchase.
Styling Products -Garnier - Fructis Sleek and Shine Weightless Anti-Frizz Serum
missymisst 7/20/2007 11:13:00 PM
This has the closest texture and performance I've found to my favorite discontinued serum, L'Oreal Vive Smooth Intense anti-frizz serum. It smells more fruity which is fine with me. Packaging: horrible for travel--it's a terrible "apple" shape which takes up a ton of room and there is no way to close the pump. The Vive packaging was definitely superior for this--flatter and with a snap close pump--fortunately I saved one of the bottles and can reuse it for travel. The Garnier packaging is fine for home use though, as long as you leave it out on the counter.
I have frizzy color treated hair, relatively thick and past shoulder length, and normally use a couple of pumps on wet hair, then a tiny bit after drying on the special bad areas, maybe a little more if I flat iron as well. At this price point, I'll continue to purchase till I find something better, which I'm always looking for. :)
There are 3 different products in this line (in order from the least to the most moisturizing):
Delicate: Jasmine & Vanilla Scent
Creamy: Cherry Blossom & Almond Scent
Ultra Rich: Rosewood & Cocoa Butter Scent
My skin was unusually dry last winter and my usual Softsoap milk and honey was just not cutting it. I had been using the DHC cleansing oil on my face--worked great, no dryness there, so I was desperate to find a body wash that had some oil in it. I was surprised to not find much out there...till I came across these new Dove bodywashes. Ultra Rich sounded like the way to go, though I admit I did sniff them all.
The Ultra Rich scent is very strongly rosewood-y. I normally really like woody scents, but…it needs a little more sweetness to really win me over. The fragrance really lingers—because of the oil in the formula? Not sure. Not much lather—as you would expect from a product with oil as one of the first ingredients. Rinses well—I didn’t want the oil to rinse completely away, but I did not feel sticky or unclean after. My favorite kind of shower gel packaging, a stand-up tube with the cap on the bottom (I haven’t had problems with too much or too little coming out) . No complaints from a cleansing perspective—but I’m just not crazy about the smell. I would repurchase if my skin was really dry and itchy again (not the case in summer), but would not reach for it otherwise.
Ultra Rich Ingredients (from http://www.dove.us/your_skin/creamoils.asp) Water, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil or Helianthus Annuus ( Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Lauric Acid, Cocamide MEA, Fragrance, Polybutene or Hyrogenated Polyisobutene or Polyisobutylene, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Isostearic Acid, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, PEG-5 Cocamide, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Propylene Glycol, DMDM Hydantoin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Etidronic Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Red 4 (CI 14700), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow 10 (CI 47005).
Calyx the fragrance: some love it, some hate it.
Calyx the shower/bath gel: even if you don’t like Calyx the fragrance, worth a try if you like a soft floral/citrus body wash. Don't go by the smell from the tester at the counter--if you are not sure ask for a sample, or a smidge you can run to the ladies room and wash your hands with. This smells dee-licious foamed up.
From prescriptives.com: “The exhilarating top note of Calyx Exhilarating Fragrance includes a profusion of grapefruit and mandarin with a tropical blend of passion fruit, mango, papaya and guava. The refreshing middle note is a bouquet of freesia, muguet, neroli, rose, lily, jasmin and marigold. The deep sensual base note is a luscious weaving of oakmoss, orris, sandalwood and vetiver.”
I assume the shower gel has similar notes, but it is subtly different—softer, sweeter--a pretty, girly citrus. I don’t want to use the word “refreshing” but I couldn’t come up with anything better on thesaurus.com. It’s not sharp enough to be “invigorating” or “brisk”—and “exhilarating” sounds too much like Jean Nate. (BTW, the key to the fragrance is to not spray it an inch from your hand. Whoo, is that sour! Spray in front and walk through, or spray at least 6 inches from your wrist and run your arm through. Much, much nicer)
Here’s my favorite time to use it: in the summer, at the hot salty end of day. After a shower with this I feel cool and clean, fresh and sweet. Plus the bathroom smells great for a couple of hours. It’s not moisturizing, so if you are a little dry you might want some lotion. I tend not to use it as much in the winter for this reason as well.
Packaging: used to be terrible—a slick bottle with a shiny screw off top. Just bloody ridiculous to open with wet hands. Now: a shower-friendly tube with a snap top. Yay!
Cost: in the Clarins/Aveda range: $22 for 6.7oz. A teeny bit expensive + that I don't use it year round = the one lippie off. That said, I adore it in the summer and will continue to buy.