I got a sample of Murad's AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser with an Ulta purchase I made sometime last year. I must admit, because it was labeled (or, in my opinion, mislabeled) as a product for use on aging skin as part of Murad's Age Reform line, I didn't really think much of it. I threw it in my shower caddy and used it here and there in an attempt to make some use of it. I've always had oily skin - like, extremely, tremendously, forget-the-blotting-papers-go-get-a-paper-towel-instead oily. And to be honest with you, I still do, and I probably always will - the AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser didn't fix that, of course. But at the point at which this product entered my life I was also suffering from roughly 10 years of persistent hormonal acne as well. And to top it all off, my skin was, and is, very sensitive. Because of those three factors, everything I tried just made matters worse. After a couple of weeks of using this cleanser off and on in the shower, I noticed my skin began to clear up. It happened gradually. And my skin stayed oily the entire time. But the pimples all went away, one by one. And the blackheads on my nose all vanished too. Because it happened slowly, I wasn't even entirely aware of it, and I certainly didn't attribute my skin's improvement to the use of this product alone. But after my sample tube ran out, I realized that it was indeed this product which had nursed my skin back into health. While I was out of this cleanser, I didn't experience any sort of rebound acne from not using it. I just saw that the improvement stopped. A couple weeks later, I finally realized the connection between the improvement in my skin and the use of this cleanser, and broke down and bought a tube and committed to using it faithfully, in the shower, every other day, like it says. Sometimes I used moisturizer afterwards, like the instructions suggest; sometimes I didn't. Now that a year has passed, my skin is completely clear except for the odd pimple here and there once in a great while. I still buy the sample size tubes of this for 10 dollars, and I use it whenever I feel a pimple coming on or I just want to get my face super clean without irritating it. But I don't believe I truly need it anymore. For me, this product has performed its function and is therefore no longer truly needed. If that's not success in its finest form, I don't know what is. And I'm not just stumping for Murad either. After this cleanser worked so well, I got excited and tried a lot of their other products and was (mostly) disappointed. But this cleanser, by itself, is truly amazing. Now that I don't truly need Murad's AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser anymore, I've switched to using only very gentle facial cleansing creams, like L'Oreal 360 for Sensitive Skin, or Murad's face wash for Sensitive Skin. And that's enough for me. If I had to apply a theory to what happened, I would say that, while most of my acne was hormonal in origin, its persistence was the result of irritation and congestion. So, I found a product which cleared the congestion without causing irritation, and my skin was able to return to baseline. I would say the complete process of fixing my skin took about 3 or 4 months. I only have one complaint, for which I have removed a star from an otherwise 5 star product: the marketing here is all wrong! The combination of salicylic and glycolic acids plus gentle exfoliating beads in this product makes it perfect for acne-prone or oily skin. Maybe it has some beneficial effect on wrinkles as well. But from most of what I've read and all that I have experienced, this product seems designed to fix acne. And what's even sillier than the mislabeling? Murad has an entire other line of products designed to treat acne which almost everyone agrees is a total waste of money, while this product sits unknown and unrecognized on the wrong side of the display. Anyway, I definitely recommend giving this a try. Chances are you're going to get a tube of this free at some point anyway if you shop at Ulta frequently. And if you don't get a free tube, you can try a slighter larger sample tube for 10 bucks. For that price I say give it a shot. Follow it up with a little bit of oil for moisturizer (I use Argan, personally), even if you've got oily skin. And see if it works. It did for me and that's all I can say.
I can't really remember why I bought this shampoo. Maybe it was the pH factor or maybe the seriousness of the packaging. I'm not sure. Anyway, I've got greasy hair. I've also got greasy skin. Everything about me is just very, very oily. So my biggest concern was that this shampoo wouldn't clean enough. But after using it awhile I see that it cleans a perfect amount. It's not stripping my hair but it's not leaving it oily either. And, possibly because it's not stripping my hair completely, I've been able to start shampooing my hair every other day, rather than every single day. So my scalp has settled down somewhat. I've also noticed my face being less oily and acne-prone as well since I've begun using this. I've noticed I don't have to use conditioner after using the Sebamed. It doesn't lather particularly well, so the ends of my (long) hair don't get particularly cleaned from using it. I can still feel the slickness at the ends after I shampoo. Only my scalp is clean. At first I thought this was a problem and a sign that it wasn't working. But now, after using this shampoo for around a month, I realize that that's actually ideal; I don't need to be shampooing the ends of my hair every day. Consequently my hair has been splitting less and I'm losing less hair when I shower. I'm also using less conditioner, and some days it even seems as if I don't really need any conditioner, but I always use it anyway. It has a slight smell but nothing that bothers me. And it leaves absolutely no smell in my hair. But I don't care about the smell anyway. The most important thing for me is that this shampoo lets me keep my hair's oiliness under some semblance of control without causing it to break or fall out. It's a perfect balance. Word to the wise, I've found that no shampoo can be used "daily" in hard water. Even this shampoo stops working for me if I use it continually. But it's about as good of a daily shampoo as could be expected under the conditions. What I have to do to keep it working is mix it up with Redken's Hair Cleansing Cream about once a week, to remove mineral deposits from my hair. As long as I do that, the Sebamed keeps working. But if I don't use a clarifying, chelating shampoo, this shampoo stops working in about a week. But I don't blame the shampoo for that. I blame the shower water. Anyway, if your circumstances are anything like mine I suggest giving this shampoo a try. I'm happy to have it around. It does what it's supposed to. And I do feel that my hair is healthier and less prone to falling out since I've begun using it. I have to intermix it with something clarifying here and there, but it's worth it. I'm also using less conditioner. And I'm satisfied with the slight scent. This shampoo is a bit expensive, maybe 13 dollars US? I don't remember. But it works and it lasts a long time. If you're on the fence I say give it a shot.
Lip Gloss -Physicians Formula - PH Matchmaker Lip Gloss
mymelody87 3/23/2012 8:17:00 AM
Yeah I gave this 4 stars. Don't judge me. lol Let me explain. I normally don't like to buy "crap" and if something looks as if it may fall into the category of overpriced, gimmicky nonsense, I actually experience some embarrassment buying it lol. Naturally this was something I was embarrassed to be seen either buying or using so I put off my purchase until I hit a really good sale last night at the Rite Aid, and then I bought this gloss in Pink. I tried this on in several different types of lighting, and every time, I got the same beautiful shade of deep fuschia. It sounds unappealing, I know, and yet, it matched me well and seemed to last forever. I simply can't imagine someone on whom this would look ridiculous. It's also so pigmented that it could probably be classified as a lip "stain". These are the positives, therefore I've given this product 4 stars for performance. I can't imagine anyone buying this who does not hate the color pink and wants a long lasting gloss/stain finding anything bad to say about it. I'll probably be buying another the minute this tube gets anything close to low, and I'll be on the lookout for the Light Pink version as well. While I like this product, unfortunately I have some misgivings about it as well. Exactly what "pH-powered" means remains unknown to us all, even those of us who have purchased this product, and the company clearly isn't telling. Perhaps, as I believe, there's nothing to tell, because the claims are false. I believe that's the simplest and most plausible explanation. Therefore my rating on the level of truth in the marketing of this product is a resounding 0, which I can't give according to makeupalley's scale, because makeupalley doesn't ask. But I find this important, so I add my rating myself typically. If you read my other reviews you will find that, in certain circumstances, I have analyzed the claims of a product to death. I guess it's in my nature. Either way, I believe it's very important that companies be truthful to the consumer about the mechanism of action by which their products perform. Physician's Formula is usually very good about being truthful, but in this particular case, their vague explanation arouses my suspicion and has caused me to take a lippie off what would otherwise be a "5 lippie" product. . For my part, I have a theory, a very simple one, which I humbly submit for consideration. Again, this is all conjecture, but I believe that, when exposed to air, the pigments in this gloss simply darken. That would explain why the color deepens from clear to deep pink when applied, and why we all seem to get the same basic color from application, and (I think) why it's so long-lasting and behaves like a stain. (It would seem that, when one layer of the gloss gets wiped/licked away, the next layer is there beneath to deepen in color and take over. Did I mention that this gloss is THICK?) Now, in pHysician's Formula's defense, perhaps it is the slight acidity of the skin which partially precipitates this reaction, but I can't imagine this being anything besides a carefully concocted universal chemical reaction. Anything "individual" about this process which the company would have you believe is simply impossible. And if they choose to make the claim that this is somehow powered by individual pH levels, and that those levels have anything to do with the outcome of the pigment, then let them back their claims with careful explanations and evidence, which they have not. So I'm forced to conclude that this "pH-powered" bit is a piece of brilliant marketing nonsense. Please note, it would seem that in order to further back up their claims that each tube provides a universally-flattering individually-tailored shade match is the fact that the company has clearly taken great pains to select a shade for their gloss which is in itself universally flattering. So nobody is going to really complain "this doesn't match me," because the color has no underlying tone - it's not warm, it's not cool. It's not even really neutral. The color itself is a mishmash of every possible tone all at once, from what I can see of it, and so is going to suit everyone to some degree, some more so than others perhaps. The worst objection I can imagine that could be raised by anyone is that this color may be too dark on certain people. (And guess what? The good people at pHysician's Formula must have read my mind, or I theirs, because to address this claim in advance Physician's Formula has also produced, you guessed it, a LIGHT Pink option. See the careful marketing here? It's beautiful to behold, albeit a bit sinister.) So everyone has a color match, whether warm, or cool, dark, or light. Anyway, back to reality - keep in mind please that just because I like to dissect marketing strategies doesn't mean I'm knocking the lip gloss itself. I really suggest everyone give this a try, because I believe that it will match everyone, either in its light or its regular formulation, and that many people are going to be extremely impressed with its staying power. Also, the packaging is well-designed; it has a small but useful side mirror and it lights up quite nicely. Word to the wise: if you're pale, I'm fairly certain Light Pink is going to be a more appropriate color for you unless you like bright lips.
I normally love Redken products. I'm totally committed to their Extreme line, and I like to mix that with all the Fresh Curls products. But, having tried this on my curly hair, even I have to admit, this is nothing but glorified oil sheen. It's the exact same thing as the spray oil by Cantu, or Motions, or Proclaim. Only because it's Redken it's around 17 dollars. Not a bad product. But way too expensive for what it is, hence the two lippie rating.
Styling Products -TRESemme - Instant Heat Tamer Spray
mymelody87 2/7/2012 7:26:00 PM
As others have said, the spray pump top on this product is genius. It locks and it also has a wide spray range. Originally I bought this not because I was looking for a heat protectant, but because I wanted the bottle it came in to use for my own spritzers and leave-ins. Right now I've got some pretty big Texas-sized curly hair and the little spray pumps on most products are cumbersome for me to use. Anyway, I had a bottle of ApHogee's Leave-In product, which anyone who uses it knows is a great protein-based leave-in with the consistency of water in a, therefore, completely useless flip-top bottle. I tried putting it in those little travel bottles from Sally's, but it took literally 30 or more spritzes to even begin to coat my hair, so I went looking for a better spray bottle, and saw the Tresemme at the grocery store for cheap and bought it. So I did not necessarily intend to try the Tresemme, but, of course, feeling bad about wasting product, I did end up trying it, and liking it. I'm giving this product 5 stars, which means I think probably everyone should buy this and would discover a use for it. Since I don't heat-style my hair in any way, I can't judge this on its ability to prevent heat damage. But I can say this: it's a wonderful leave-in conditioner, an even better detangler, and an even better second-day curl revitalizer. I discovered this when I went to use it, instead of water, on my "morning" hair, which, being curly, usually has product in it from the night before but is out of place, frizzy, and flat from a night of me grinding my head into the pillow. Water is enough to "wake up" some of the product already in my hair and quickly restyle it into something socially acceptable for work, but I found the Tresemme did a much better job at taming frizz than water alone. I also needed much less of it to revitalize my curls than water. That was the first use I discovered for this. Next I tried using it as a detangler, for when my hair gets matted at the back of my neck, which happens all too often because of the lab coats I have to wear all day at work. It worked wonderfully for this purpose. It gave my hair just enough slip so that I could work apart the tangle without tearing any of my hair. If I put enough of the Tresemme on that spot, I could even run a wide-tooth comb through the hair that was formerly tangled, reapply product there, and restyle, and it was like nothing ever happened! If you could see how tight my hair is, you would realize how remarkable that is. This is the only product I've ever found that I could ever do that with. That's when I looked at the ingredients and realized that this was basically a leave-in conditioner, and could serve that purpose as well, and began to use it for that, too. At this point, I would compare this product to Matrix Pro-Solutionist Spray, a professional use only product designed to even out porosity and prevent cuticle damage before chemical services. Remarkably, the two products are suprisingly similar. Both are essentially lightly conditioning spray in treatments designed to protect hair from abuse of some sort. The difference? Tresemme cost me 4 dollars, Solutionist costs me around 16. The next time I do a perm, I may just use the Tresemme instead and save myself the money. So, as you can see, I've discovered more than a few good uses of this product, and that was quite a surprise to me, as I bought it for the sprayer alone. By the way, the sprayer turned out to be everything I was hoping. I keep these bottles now and refill them with my other products. It's much easier to keep things organized and fitting in my closet this way, too, since the Tresemme bottles are generally taller, thinner, and sturdier than the original bottles of whatever I'm transferring. I have repurchased and will continue to repurchase this product.
Conditioner -Palmers - Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Protein Pack
mymelody87 2/6/2012 7:57:00 PM
This is my go-to deep conditioner now that I have tight kinky-curly hair. My hair loves protein and coconut oil, and every time I use this on my hair, I end up with super soft, well-defined, frizz-free curls. It smells like coconuts, but it isn't overpowering. I have a complaint about the packaging; I believe this ought to be bottled, since I, and a few others I know, tend to buy this in bulk and squeeze all the packets into our own bottle. But, on the positive side, each packet is only about $1.50 USD and has enough product in it for two or three applications. I can't say enough about the positive effects this has on my hair. It's difficult to describe; curly hair can be so finicky. But I can say that so far, nearly every time I've used this conditioner before styling my hair, I've gotten complimented on my hair that day. For the price, and the fact that so many people have had success with this, I say it's worth a shot, even if you don't have curly hair. Coconut oil is supposed to have a beneficial effect on all hair, not just curly, in that it supposedly aids the hair in holding onto protein and providing a light, protective moisture barrier to the hair shaft. I've seen this sold at Target, CVS, and Wal-mart.
Powder -Physicians Formula - Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Loose Powder
mymelody87 2/1/2012 8:01:00 PM
I decided to give this loose mineral foundation a try after PurMinerals reformulated my shade and it didn't match me anymore. I was a 'porcelain' in their old formulation, and in Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Mineral Loose Powder I use Translucent Light, which, despite their extremely limited shade options, I find matches me perfectly. My biggest skin issues are mild redness across my cheeks and nose and a general appearance of oiliness. I'm very shiny. This product fixes both of those products quite nicely. I also have slightly sensitive skin; occasionally I've found mineral makeup makes my face itch. But Physician's Formula does not. I've even slept with it on and simply reapplied it the following morning, and, try as I might, I can't seem to irritate my face or cause a breakout. I forget what this cost, but I believe it was in the area of $12. Much cheaper than BareMinerals or PurMinerals, but more expensive than average drugstore makeup. On the other hand, this product is clearly superior to average drugstore makeup, despite its being sold in the drugstore. After getting used to this product, I would actually choose it over any higher end product. That's how happy I am with it. It's worth mentioning that I doubt this powder can provide full coverage. Since I'm looking simply to even out my skin tone and texture, I find this works beautifully, but when I have a true blemish, I have to go use some cream concealer. That said, this product sets more nicely than most, and doesn't streak or run, but just blends, simply and evenly, so I believe those with most skin types will find this makeup suitable and beneficial on some level, assuming they have a shade match. My mom, who has dry skin, tried some of this product after putting some argan oil on her face as a moisturizer, and she was happy with the results it gave as well. Since it's talc-free, I think it may, in certain situations, be appropriate for those with dry skin, and not just oily skin, like myself. I have only one gripe about this product, and while it's not a deal-breaker, it is something that I believe the company ought to address: the packaging. I have to store mine in the box it came in because I can't keep the lid on top of the jar, and when the lid pulls up, it pulls the top of the sifter tray up along with it, and makes a horrible mess. They could solve this problem so easily; just add a hinge to the lid, on the opposite side from which the sifter tray hinges, and nothing would come apart unexpectedly. This is a complain I have about many Physician's Formula products, however; while I love the product, I find the packaging bulky and hard to manipulate. Oh well, I'll keep buying this anyway.
I have nothing new to add to this discussion as I love this product for all the reasons everyone else has mentioned. I own six of them, some light and some dark, and I love them all. There really isn't anything else like this on the market; the new L'Oreal version doesn't begin to compare. And these are so moisturizing, even after the color wears off. I don't often wear lipstick because I dislike how quickly it fades. But these are a good middle step between lipstick and chapstick, and even the darkest color they make fades evenly and nicely on me. I'm hooked and keep buying more. Note: some of the lighter colors will require a few layers to really show, while some of the darker colors are extremely vivid, depending on how much you pile it on, so there is some differential in pigmentation here, but nothing more than I believe you would anticipate by looking at the color of the tube. And thankfully, the tops of the tubes are clear, so you can preview what you're buying. A quick breakdown: Gumdrop - When layered onto the lips, this gives a beautiful light purple color. It's the exact shade of purple I can't get away with wearing in lipsticks, but which I always want to wear, since it truly does make my teeth appear whiter. Rasberry Pie - A vivid, cool red. It wears to a magenta on me after awhile. Not my favorite. Red Velvet - A warmer, vivid red. This wears true to color on me, and is the closest I can get to a 'true' red without looking ridiculous. Anything lighter than Gumdrop doesn't appear on me without a ridiculous amount of layering. I've also learned that the shades which come in the orange tubes tend to either clash against my cool-toned skin (Tutti Fruity) or just not show up (Peach Parfait). I have very pigmented lips naturally though, so I may not be the best tester of these shades. Anyhow, just my two cents.
I guess since Revlon's new line of lip butters were doing so well, L'Oreal felt the need to jump on the bandwagon and produce a similar competing product. Since I own 6 of the Revlon and love them so much, I felt compelled to also try out one of the L'Oreal, which I recently picked up in a pinkish-coral shade (I forget the exact shade name). I love the Revlon lip butters because they manage to be both extremely tinted and extremely moisturizing, at least for me. (Some of the lighter colors, obviously, are less tinted. But the darker colors, such as Red Velvet, are generally extremely vibrant and concentrated.) By comparison, I'm disappointed with my new tube of Colour Riche Balm because I feel that the color payoff is too slight; what it looks like in the tube, and what it looks like on my lips are two entirely different things. Maybe I need to try a different, or darker, color. But so far I'm not impressed. On the other hand, this may be a plus for those who felt that some of the Revlon Lip Butters were too dark. So it's all a matter of preference. Also, I can also still smell the trademark L'Oreal lipstick odor in these - the same odor that keeps me from buying their traditional lipsticks - although it's not quite as bad as usual, and it's partially hidden by a fruity, sweet smell. As far as being moisturizing, however, I have no complaints. I can't speak on this with any authority as I don't have dry lips, but I feel that this product performs adequately to protect your lips from exposure and chapping, even after it has worn off slightly. I gave this product a 3, since I feel no urge to repurchase and frankly am quite happy with my stack of Revlon Lip Butters and will be sticking with those. I can see that someone looking for something more along the lines of a tinted lip balm would probably be more impressed with the L'Oreal. But the way I see it, tinted lip balms are everywhere, therefore what makes the Revlon lip butters so unique is that they are basically a lipstick /and/ a lip balm, with all the qualities of both and none of the disadvantages. By comparison, because of the lack of color payoff, I would place L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm farther towards the lip balm end of the spectrum. Not a fail by any means, but not that great either, just somewhere in the middle...
Since other reviewers have said just about everything there is to say about this product, I'll keep it short and sweet and just throw in my two cents. Aphogee Two-Step Treatment is the only hair product I've ever used that actually did what it said it was going to do and more. It doesn't smell as bad as some people make it out to be, in my opinion. It's not that great, but it dissipates as it dries, and it's worth it for the results. Personally I'm more concerned about the smell of the Aphogee conditioner provided as the second step of the process. I think THAT stuff is pretty bad, like old perfume or urinal cakes, and unlike the Step 1 product, that smell stays with me until the next time I shower and shampoo. So now I just use my own deep conditioner, and it works just fine. Bottom line: I recommend this product to anyone looking for an at-home protein treatment that works. UPDATE (01-August-2011): I felt it was worth adding, especially for those who say that this product did nothing, that I've now used this product exactly 3 times, waiting the recommended 6 weeks in between uses, and every time I did it, my hair came out better and better. It's so much stronger now. I have no split ends, even without having had a trim in months. So for me, the results have been cumulative. I do not notice immediate improvement, in the sense that my hair feels super silky or shiny right after use, but I also shampoo it out before using the conditioner, which is not recommended; you are supposed to simply rinse it out and apply the conditioner for the best results, and then shampoo it a day later. It still works though. And after this last time doing the treatment, about a week ago, even my mom noticed how much healthier my hair is looking. I honestly think I'll keep using this forever, because it seems to build my hair up to a state at which it resists damage of all kinds. UPDATE (27-January-2012): I thought it worth the additional update to mention that I have found another incredible use for this product. I've recently started perming my hair kinky, after years of having boring straight, flat hair, and I've found that using the ApHogee treatment about 4 to 5 days after having gotten a perm causes my hair to return to almost the exact same condition it was in before the perm. The difference is both obvious and immediate. For the first few days after a perm, before I have a change to use the ApHogee Two Step Treatment, my hair has that roughed up, just permed feel to it, but the minute I use ApHogee that feeling goes away and my hair feels soft and beautiful again. It's really amazing the results this product can give when you truly have need of it. I should mention I always wait at least 4 days after a perm to use it, and also make sure I use a spray bottle to coat my hair and scrunch it through, rather than comb it, as I don't want to disturb the curl pattern. I then proceed as usual, and it gives me my old hair back, except curly now, obviously. I knew ApHogee was great before, but now I've really seen it in action and I'm even more impressed. I'm keeping my rating at 5 stars, of course, but if I could I'd give this 10. This is something I believe anyone who chemically processes their hair in any way ought to have in their arsenal. Lastly, I noticed that the company has changed their ingredients recently; this treatment used to contain animal protein as the active reconstructing ingredient; now it appears they have decided to substitute that with a vegetable protein. I noticed that a couple months ago and I was concerned that it would change the action of the product, however, I can't see that this change has had any negative effect. On the contrary, I've noticed this product working better than before lately, although that could of course be because my hair now needs it more.
As many have noted, and I myself agree, there is nothing special about this mascara. I've tried it, of course, and it was just fine when I was, like, 13 years old, but now that I'm an adult I know there are better things out there. But I think I understand the hype, or how it began; please correct me if I am wrong. One of my favorite mascaras is Ulta's Lash Extensions, and the reason I love it so much is because of the brush, or, rather, the lack thereof. The "brush" is nothing but a stick with notches in it that drags the formula out of the tube. I actually thought something was wrong with it when I got it home and opened it. I thought I bought a bad one but I looked up reviews on line and realized that that was how it was supposed to be. So I tried it on, and to my surprise it worked spectacularly. The formula wasn't the greatest, but the notched stick type brush was excellent for applying it. I still use that mascara for that reason, although sometimes I use the brush in other mascaras after cleaning it off, just for the effect. For a while I assumed that the different wand was an innovation, but it turns out, after some research, that back in the day all mascaras were like that. None of them had brushes. When the mascara BRUSH came out it was a fairly big deal. My guess is that the invention of the mascara brush traces back to Maybelline or the parent company, probably L'Oreal, and that Great Lash was the first brand offered which had one. That explains the hype to me. It must have sold tons, and probably still is in other developing countries where these sort of things are still relatively new commodities. So that explains the hype; people wanted to try a mascara with a brush. On the other hand, nothing explains to me why the formula has remained the same for so long. The brush is acceptable in a mediocre, outdated way. But, as another reviewer said below me, this stuff really is shit in a tube. This could be such a good product for Maybelline if they'd only take the time to update it. But as this a review and not an essay contest I'll take a moment and mention that I of course, don't recommend Great Lash in any capacity. It's just terrible and, by modern standards, the brush is just as terrible as the formula it distributes. There's no length, no definition, certainly no volume, and tons of smudging on every side from an overly wet formulation. I'd give an alternate recommendation but it isn't necessary. I'm pretty sure that any other mascara in Rite Aid is better than this one.
Pressed Powders -Nuance by Salma Hayek - Mineral Powder
mymelody87 12/18/2011 6:27:00 PM
I recently purchased (and subsequently returned) this "foundation" after hearing good things about Nuance. I bought the shade 220 Light, and I was surprised at how good of a match it was to my super pale cool-toned skin. Probably the best match of any drugstore makeup I've tried, which tend to run too yellow for my complexion. Besides the excellent color-match, however, I have nothing positive to say about this product. It has no coverage. So it can't be used as foundation. But I doubt it would work as setting powder either, because it doesn't reduce shine at all, at least not on me. So I found it basically useless, especially for $15, and decided to take it back. Something else worries me about using this: it made my face so itchy and irritated. I left a light layer of it on my face overnight and woke up and my skin was super irritated and red. Someone else has complained about this before me. So I have reason to believe it is something in the product that has this effect, and not just my own sensitivities. It's worth noting as well that I very rarely have skin sensitivities to any products I try. So this was truly odd. Also, it didn't help in my decision to keep it or return it, that the container is ugly and cheap, and comes with no sponge, mirror, or applicator, yet is fairly large, so by the time I fit it into my purse makeup bag along with the brush that I would need to use it I'd be basically out of room for anything else. I don't recommend you bother trying this. It's just a major fail all around, and it's far too expensive for what it is. Save your money and get Physician's Formula or something.
Styling Products -Unlisted Brand - One 'n Only - Argan Oil Curl Cream
mymelody87 10/23/2011 5:20:00 PM
I bought this curl cream recently after having gotten a tight spiral perm, and I've got to say I'm very satisfied with it. Back in the day (10 years ago, when I was still a teen) I had a perm which I took poor care of. I generally used gel to scrunch my hair and walked around with that "wet" look as a result. I haven't tried much in the way of curl creams as this point, so I'll update if I find something that blows this out of the water, but so far I love it. I scrunch it throughout my hair while it's still pretty damp after a shower. It dries true to form, in the sense that what I see when my hair is damp is pretty much what I'll have when my hair dries. It leaves curls shiny, defined, and, most importantly, NOT crunchy. On the Sally Beauty Supply website I see a lot of complaints about Mineral Oil being one of the first ingredients in this product, but I fail to see the problem. It's not drying out my hair as a result, and I think the mineral oil leaves me hair with the shine that I love so much. It also has the signature fragrance that all these products from this brand have, but it's not overwhelming at all. The heavy, solid packaging makes it easy to use with one hand as well. When my hair has dried I finish it off with the new Spray Treatment which One 'N Only has introduced and go my way happily. I'll be buying this for a long time to come.
IMPORTANT UPDATE PLEASE READ (10-23-2011) : I loved the colors of the palette but wound up having to make an exchange on it. I began to notice over time that the shadows in mine were not what I had expected; they crumbled, and clumped up in the pan, and had to be scraped off with the brush. Then I heard on line that my palette had most likely been produced during the "rush" period of production when the company was struggling to keep up with demand, and other consumers were noticing the poor quality their Naked Palettes as well at that time. (This lapse in quality is estimated to have occurred roughly 3 months after the palette was modified to include the Karma brush instead of the eyeliner pencil of the original palette.) So after 2 weeks I took it back and exchanged it for a new one. MY NEW PALETTE IS INFINITELY BETTER. So, from what I have heard, if you purchased your Naked Palette around the end of summer, as I did, it is possible you were victim of lousy QC as well, and that may be the reason you dislike the quality of the shadows. Now that I have gotten a better replacement, I love my purchase, but for the hassle of having to return it, plus the damage this has done to my trust in Urban Decay as a quality-focused company has caused me to take away another star from my original 4-star rating. Urban Decay's shadows are commonly recognized as top of the line and should not give you any trouble, otherwise something's not right. So if you think something may be wrong with your eyeshadows, take them back and get another. Especially if you purchased yours at Ulta; the SAs there have heard this complaint before, understand, and will gladly make the exchange. :) And if they give you trouble, and this palette is not that important to you, I say make a full return. For $48 of hard-earned cash in the middle of a recession I believe it is your right/obligation as a consumer to draw the line and let companies feel your dissatisfaction where it hurts them the most - their wallets. My original review from 9-26-2011 follows... Well, I finally caved and bought the Naked Palette. (If you check some of my other reviews you'll see that I tried several other cheaper products first with limited success before just giving in and succumbing to the hype.) I've spent the last two days playing with it nonstop in my free time. (No lie, lol.) And so far so good. Some people have called the colors boring, and I'm tempted to agree with them. The colors are boring. But that's not the point. The point is that with these shades you are able to create a perfect "no makeup" look with ease, as well as some soft looks for everyday use. Pale as I am, none of the colors looks too dark or ridiculous on me, including the two darkest, gunmetal and creep. When blended properly and used in a stylish manner, everything just looks nice, soft, and beautiful. And the options for looks of this type (I believe it's called "your eyes but better") are really limitless with so many shades to choose from. So I'm happy with my purchase. I answered "yes" to would I buy this product again, not because I will be buying it again, as there's a lot in it and I'll probably never really run out of most of the colors, but to keep the ratings consistent. Some cons: the Karma brush is okay but far from multi-purpose. I use the Ecotools 6 piece eye shadow brush set to apply the shadows and that works infinitely better. In fact, when I first tried out the palette I used the included brush rather than my own Ecotools brushes and thought the shadows didn't look good at all. So the Karma brush is useless for me. I would put a dark brown automatic eyeliner pencil in there instead. Also, use the primer potion. Without it I find some of the colors are too light to show. WIth the primer, however, the colors are just right and stay put, while still blending beautifully. The primer's a real necessity here, especially if you're using the lighter shades. I'm probably going to buy a full size primer eventually, since the little sample tube is so small and hard to dispense product from. I thoroughly hate the "doe foot" applicator and wish they had included the tube version instead. Bottom line: I recommend this, for all skin types and all ages. It's perfect for that subtle, beautiful, daily look everyone wants so badly to achieve. Before writing it off, try it the way it ought to be used - with eyeliner, primer, and proper shading brushes. Don't just stand there like me and stick your finger in the pot and touch it to your eye at the store and see if you like it, because that really won't give you any kind of idea what you're really getting. Best of luck! I hope more people post pictures of their creations with this palette. I've tried all the obvious combinations at this point and now I'm on the lookout for new "recipes".
Because of the hype and the cheap price I picked up both a tub of this facial masque (Mint Julep) and the other comparable English Mud Masque, both by Queen Helene. Upon trying both several days apart, I've decided I prefer the Mud Masque hands down. Both masques work. Both cleanse and shrink the appearance of pores, make my skin super smooth in texture, even in tone, and cause my make up (I use PurMinerals btw) to apply evenly and perfectly. For $3.99 USD each these are such bargains for such lovely results. The key difference between the two products is the harshness. Mint Julep causes my skin to burn and turn red in the process. The Mud Masque burns a little too, but only for a minute, and it still gives me the same results. I have the kind of confusing, annoying, oily skin which needs some serious deep cleaning, but can't handle irritating products. If you have sensitive skin like me, therefore, I strongly recommend you go with the Mud version instead. I gave the Mint Julep Masque 4 lippies at any rate, for its wonderful effects, minus one lippie for harshness.