I didn't expect this to be good and to be honest, I was half hoping it wouldn't be cos then I'd really kick myself for doling out all that cash in the past on Mac, Bobbi Brown, Lancome, Cle de Peau, Laura Mercier, etc etc. Turns out, it really is as good as the reviews here claim to be! It's creamy but not so creamy that it creases *ahemBobbiBrown*. It's super smooth and covers dark circles wonderfully without accentuating eye bags. I have to use a brush and then pat it in though, otherwise it doesn't spread as well. I use #2 and the colour suits my NC20/25 complexion pretty well. I would rate it as just under my fave concealer Becca, but for the low price, it's admittedly a superb buy.
Liquid -Calvin Klein - Infinite Matte Oil Free Foundation [DISCONTINUED]
monlim 3/18/2011 8:18:00 AM
I bought this sight unseen from Strawberry cosmetics cos it was heavily discounted. When I first got it, I was disappointed because it was so watery! It was like putting on a film of oil on your face. A day later, to my pleasant surprise, it came out thick. I think it's just the layer of oil that needs to be pumped out before you get to the real stuff. So anyway, this foundation turned out WAY better than I expected. I've not been into matte foundations since I turned 40 as it tends to look dry and lifeless. This one, I wouldn't even call matte - it provides light (not sheer) coverage and makes my skin look beautifully creamy, like I have naturally healthy skin. If you want a truly matte foundation, I actually wouldn't recommend this. If you have oily skin, you probably will need to blot a lot at the end of the day. And I scored on the colour match. I ordered Soft Beige 201 and it looks frighteningly peach on the bottle but it matches my NC20/25 perfectly. Seriously, this is one of the best colour matches I've had for a foundation and that's saying a lot from someone who has probably tried more than 50 over the years! Great find!
Crème -Bobbi Brown - Oil-Free Even Finish Compact Foundation
monlim 3/8/2011 7:11:00 AM
As others have said, this glides on like a dream. I use this esp when I want to use cream blush because it will blend beautifully. I also love the convenience - it's swipe and go, no fuss and it doesn't accentuate the flaky bits even though it's supposed to be cream to powder. The colour match is practically perfect (I think it's Sand for my NC20/25). Having said that, I'm a bit of a foundation whore and I don't like this enough compared to others I've tried to buy it again. First, the coverage is pretty light and doesn't cover acne well so I can only wear this on "good" days. Second, it never really "sets" so if you're going to be out all day, expect it to wear off. Or add some powder (which I don't do cos I'm laaaaazy). Price-wise, it's pretty steep considering the amount of product. I got mine off strawberry cosmetics at a discount but wouldn't pay full price for it.
Palettes -Sue Devitt - Starbrights Lip and Cheek - Electra
monlim 2/22/2011 5:30:00 AM
I've had this for a week and I love it. My skintone is NC20/25 and I've been looking for a bronze cream blush for some time now. Most of them either make my yellow skin look orange or unpleasantly brown. I decided to try this when it was on sale on Strawberrynet.com and it was a good call. The blush goes on smooth and gel-like, not as creamy as a cream blush but not as sticky as Tarte's (which is a horror in a humid climate, my hair starts sticking to my face!) It gives me a healthy glow without looking greasy and because it's sheer, you can easily layer it on. Staying power is ok but if you need it to last all day, I recommend applying a powder blush over it. The bronze lip gloss is wonderful as well, with just a teensy hint of pink so pale girls don't look sunburnt. I'm not crazy over the lighter gloss cos it doesn't have much colour payoff but I supposed it would look great on top of a lipstick. Overall, it's a great buy considering I paid less than US$15 for it but I think it's expensive if you have to dish out full price.
This has replaced my beloved Chicago Champagne Toast as my go-to neutral. It's the perfect polish for work and meetings. It's understated and says "I'm smart and serious" without being blah. With the new wide brush, putting this on is a cinch, no fuss, no streaking. If I could give this 6 lippies, I would!
Conditioner -Clairol - Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship
monlim 1/31/2011 12:03:00 AM
I'll be honest, as a conditioner, it's as effective as the gazillion drugstore conditioners out there. It's not even as good as Dove. The only reason I re-buy this product is because the scent is heavenly. My daughter loves it for the same reason. If you want something thicker, try the mask - it's slightly more conditioning and you get the same addictive scent. But if your hair is in serious need of conditioning treatment, my advice is to look elsewhere.
Moisturizers -Darphin - Arovita C Cream [DISCONTINUED]
monlim 12/11/2010 4:27:00 AM
I was having perfect skin thanks to my trusty Nuxe regime, then when I ran out of that, got tempted by the great reviews here and bought this. This had to be the mistake of the year. After a couple of weeks, the problems started - breakouts and worse, my skin started flaking and scaling like I was a reptile. My kids told me I "looked old" as the skin was red and raw, ewww!!! Had to go back to Nuxe and it was weeks before my skin recovered from that ordeal. What a total waste of dough. I've tried other vit C products without such a reaction, beware if you have sensitive skin!!
Liquid -Rimmel - Lasting Finish Enriched w/ Minerals
monlim 4/9/2010 11:00:00 AM
I'm ambivalent about this product. The colour blends in perfectly and it makes my skin look flawless. It's certainly not for those who want a sheer look, but if you want a more polished look, say for work or evening, it works pretty well. The not-so-good part is that it's very sticky yet dries quickly, if that makes sense. I can't use my usual Bobbi Brown pot rouge blush when I use this foundation because the cream blush just won't blend. It's like I'm wearing a layer of quick dry paint. Maybe that's the reason why it's lasting finish but for me, it's annoying because it means I have to wear a powder blush and since I can't brush powder on top of this sticky foundation without it becoming streaky, I have to use a layer of loose powder first. This gives me a very made up look which I don't generally like.
I usually don't buy hydrating masks as I'm afraid of breakouts and greasiness. I bought this as Nuxe was having a sale at the mall and I have had such great experiences with this brand. Well, it turned out to be a great buy! I couldn't believe it when after I used this, my skin was super smooth and soft without a single breakout. It was like touching baby skin and no oiliness which is a real surprise in Singapore's humid climate. Another terrific product from Nuxe.
Blush -Maybelline - Dream Mousse Blush in Peach Satin ] ] [DISCONTINUED]
monlim 9/13/2009 5:45:00 AM
I got this as an RAOK from a lovely swapper. I've been on a cream blush kick lately, it's so easy to put on and gives a more natural finish. I was searching for a cream blush that's the same shade as Nars Orgasm and this is a pretty good match. There's just a bit of sheen and it's super easy to blend, I love the mousse formula. Looks super natural on and for someone like me who generally can't wear peach blushes, this has just the right amount of pink to counter the orange effect. The reason I took away one lippie is that it's slightly under-pigmented. I'm Mac NC20/NC25 and I have to put on a few layers before it would show, I can't imagine this shade on anyone darker. And because it blends so well, by the end of the day, it has almost disappeared, I could hardly tell that I had anything on. I guess that's the trade-off with cream blushes, the durability just isn't there. But if you want an affordable, convenient pick-me-up item, this would be it.
Eye Shadow -Bobbi Brown - Long Wear Cream Shadow in Galaxy
monlim 8/12/2009 2:19:00 AM
I really wanted to like this. A lovely grey/taupe shadow that you can just smear on and go? Sounds heavenly! Unfortunately, it was not to be. The colour is great - a vibrant grey that complemented my colouring. But that's it. I don't know how others got it to apply well, maybe it's because I have oily lids but it kept leaving patches and sliding wouldn't apply evenly. The more I put, the more it slid and the more glittery it became, until my daughter told me I looked like a disco ball. Not cool! Tried this on top of UDPP, on its own, nothing worked. Considering the hefty price tag, I expected more. Up for swap :(
I'm reviewing the AHA-free version and it's seriously a godsend. I have sensitive, acne-prone yet dehydrated skin that reacts badly to AHAs. Many kinds of exfoliation is just too harsh for me. I used to use EL's Idealist but I find it has too much silicone. This serum goes on like a dream and if I put it on before bed, I wake up to find my skin super smooth and glowing. I couldn't stop touching my skin, it was so smooth! I kid you not. It comes in a pump bottle, unlike the AHA version, which is great. The only reason I'm taking away one lippie is it is expensive. Both the AHA and non-AHA version cost the same, but TAKE NOTE: the AHA version is 50ml and the non-AHA version only 30ml! I'll wait till there's a sale to stock up, otherwise it's pretty heavy on the wallet.
I'm revising this to 5 lippies despite the high price tag cos I've been using this for 3 weeks and my face looks like it's on a permanent soft focus lens! All my blemishes have retreated and my usual monthly acne breakout has NOT OCCURRED - something which has never happened in the last 5 years except when I was on oral antibiotics. This truly is a miracle product.
Blush -Bobbi Brown - Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Pink Truffle
monlim 1/6/2008 10:43:00 PM
I'd been trying to get hold of Pale Pink forever, but it's always sold out. So I got a sample size of Pink Truffle in a swap instead, to try out the texture. I've tried many cream blushes and I must say, BB's ranks among the top. It's creamy but not greasy and blends beautifully. Pink Truffle is a little dark for my skin tone (NC25) so I have to use just a smidgen or it will look like I smudged myself with my son's crayon. But as a lip stain, it's utterly beautiful. Not too brown or pink - a great neutral that has enough colour not to be blah. So it's one of my fav items for travel, as it has dual purpose and is fuss-free - don't even need to carry a brush!
Shampoo -Phyto - Phythéol Intense Anti-Dandruff Treatment Shampoo
monlim 10/20/2007 11:02:00 PM
I have coloured, curled hair but with occasional dandruff issues. It's tough for me to find an anti-dandruff shampoo that won't strip colour or curls. After reading the great reviews on Phytosylic, i wanted to try that, but they never have that in stock at my department store. Instead I saw Phytopheol which was also branded as an anti-dandruff shampoo. It's 1.5 times the price of Phytosylic but there was a sale and I was so desperate, I bought it. There are two types, one intense formula (in a smaller bottle) and one for maintenance. I bought the maintenance one. And guess what, I love it! I don't know what it is about the formula, but my scalp hasn't itched since I've been using it, and I don't see any flakeys either. The only thing that bums me out is that the formula is very runny, so I inadvertently always lose some down the drain when I pour it out. But I guess it's better than the thick, cheap formulas that are thick in cones and harmful lathering ingredients. In fact, I liked it so much I went out to get Phytopaisant and Phytocitrus. This is now my favourite hair brand!
Lipstick -Clinique - High Impact Lip Colour SPF 15 - Extreme Pink
monlim 9/20/2007 5:56:00 AM
First off, this is a hot pink. If you don't like bright colours, don't buy this shade! I think it's just silly to give a bad rating when you choose a colour that doesn't suit your tastes. For me, this is a great lippie. It's what I wanted Mac's Rocking Chick (from Barbie collection) to be. I found Rocking Chick to be too blue-based and too shimmery, so you end up looking honestly like the plastic doll. Not cool for a 37 year old professional. Clinique's Extreme Pink, on the other hand, is not too blue, yet doesn't have any tinge of brown which turns neutral on my pigmented lips. The effect is a vibrant medium pink that's not too shocking nor blah. I have many so-called "pink" lippies which just become rose or mauve on my lips. This one truly brightens my look (NC25) and the formula is great - creamy but not too thick and very comfortable to wear.