Eyeliner -Clinique - Quickliner Intense All Colors
nakeeyark 4/4/2013 2:48:00 AM
(Note: this is the same review as the one I wrote for Quickliner Intense in Intense Midnight.) After reading so many rave reviews, I decided to try Clinique's Quickliner Intense in Intense Midnight. The color is a gorgeous deep navy blue, perfect for complementing my brown eyes. Sadly, the reason why the rating is so low is that this product will not work for people who wear contact lenses. I wear RGPs (hard lenses), and within five minutes, they'd smeared and left a film on my contact lenses. I took them out and rinsed them and put them back in, hoping that maybe it would be a one time thing, but no -- the smearing and subsequent film occurs again and again throughout the day. Although I dropped it to one star for that reason, I love the color so added another star. For people who don't wear contact lenses, I think this would be a great eyeliner alternative to your basic black. Alas, it's not for me and will be returned to Sephora.
Eyeliner -Clinique - Quickliner Intense in Intense Midnight
nakeeyark 4/4/2013 2:47:00 AM
After reading so many rave reviews, I decided to try Clinique's Quickliner Intense in Intense Midnight. The color is a gorgeous deep navy blue, perfect for complementing my brown eyes. Sadly, the reason why the rating is so low is that this product will not work for people who wear contact lenses. I wear RGPs (hard lenses), and within five minutes, they'd smeared and left a film on my contact lenses. I took them out and rinsed them and put them back in, hoping that maybe it would be a one time thing, but no -- the smearing and subsequent film occurs again and again throughout the day. Although I dropped it to one star for that reason, I love the color so added another star. For people who don't wear contact lenses, I think this would be a great eyeliner alternative to your basic black. Alas, it's not for me and will be returned to Sephora.
I got this as part of my Sephora 500 point perk that included a luminizer, lip gloss, eye liner and mascara. While Buxom Lash is a solid lengthening mascara and holds a decent curl, it does nothing to thicken or volumize my lashes, which is what I'm always looking for in a good mascara. I won't be buying this mascara for myself, but I can see why people with already thick lashes, or people who are looking for a mascara that gives a natural look, would like this.
Tinted Moisturizer -NARS - Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
nakeeyark 3/25/2012 5:52:00 PM
I went to my local Sephora to purchase this in St. Moritz, and the SA told me very apologetically that they were all out (this seems to be a really popular shade for those of us in the NC30~ range). However, he gave me a very generous sample, enough for at least two weeks, and I scampered home a happy, happy girl.
For the first five days or so, I was really pleased with this tinted moisturizer which matched my skintone very nicely. I haven't used the Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier ones, which a lot of reviewers seem to have experience with, but I've faithfully used the one from Tarte. In comparison, I found that NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer had a lot more slip to it -- as other reviewers mentioned, this feels very much like a serum and has an almost silky, gel-like texture. This made it very easy to spread onto my face with my fingers. After application I'd let it sit for a couple of minutes before applying concealer where I needed it. It didn't diminish the redness in my cheeks completely, but my skin looked much more even and dewy. I tend to be combination/oily, and while this didn't have a matte finish, it didn't make me look like an oil slick either. Even my friends commented on how great my skin looked (for reference, my skin is usually fine, a bit of redness in the cheeks and a pimple or two during hormonal times of the month but nothing else). I thought I'd found my HG for the upcoming spring and summer months.
Then, as some others have stated, came the cystic acne. I haven't had something like this happen in years; the last time the culprit was DDF Glycolic Toner and it was so bad I had to go see a dermatologist. This is the only change I've made to my skincare/makeup routine, so I can only deduce that this product is at fault. I now have a huge, throbbing and painful lump on my chin that I need to calm down.
Oh NARS, I'm not sure what it is (maybe it's that you're not silicone-free? Or so I've heard), but I can't buy this product. For those who are enjoying it, I'm super jealous! While $42 seems expensive, I can vouch that a 1.7 oz.-ish tube of tinted moisturizer lasts about 6 months for me with daily use, so it works out to be pretty cheap. And I've got a big face! Lots of area to cover! NARS, why don't you like my big face? :( I guess I'll just have to limit myself to your eyeshadows, blushes and Multiples. *EDIT ON 03/29/2012* It's definitely this tinted moisturizer that caused the cystic acne. I went back to my Tarte one and the bump has diminished considerably. Nothing else changed in my routine besides that. I'm bummed as I really did like this a lot.
Cleansers -Boots - No 7 Beautifully Balanced Purifying Cleanser
nakeeyark 12/20/2011 1:17:00 AM
I got a 5 GBP voucher from Boots for a No7 item, and decided to try this cleanser. It usually retails for 8 GBP, and around $10 at Target in the States. I really like this cleanser -- it feels smooth and slick on my skin, is non-foaming, non-scented and non-drying. In fact, it even helped calm down some of my breakouts, which were being caused by my old cleanser (Cetaphil Cleanser for Oily Skin, which usually works okay for me). It's 200 ml (or around 6.7 oz), and I use about four pumps to wash my face, so I think this bottle will last me quite a while. The only thing that knocks it down to four instead of five lippies is that it claims to remove all of your makeup, and I've found this not to be true. I usually use a separate eye makeup remover anyway, but out of curiosity, I tried a Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Facial Wipe after washing my face with this cleanser, and was disappointed to find myself wiping away the last few traces of my foundation. Bear in mind that I only use a concealer and a light powder foundation, so for those of you who wear something heavier, this cleanser will not do its job. This is also why even though I really like the cleanser, I won't be repurchasing -- I feel like there are other cleansers out there that will remove my makeup much more thoroughly.
Blush -E.L.F. - All Over Color Stick in Pink Lemonade
nakeeyark 9/18/2011 2:17:00 AM
I love this product in Pink Lemonade! The color applies a shimmery bright pink and blends really nicely into my skin when I use my fingers. I find the staying power excellent (about 3 hours, which is less than my more expensive cream blushes but still respectable in a product that cost me $1), and the scent is a synthetic candy-like smell that is inoffensive. I'm not in a hurry to rush out and buy backups or anything like that, but this is a nice treat to have. It would also be practical for traveling, as it eliminates the need for a brush and if lost, you won't need to spend a fortune to replace it. As other reviewers have noted, it IS really tiny, so don't expect to get a giant tube of makeup for the price. However, I do like that it is so small because it ensures that I will use it up before it goes bad. As much as I love NARS Multiples, I find it frustrating that they are so expensive and give you so much product when the shelf life is shorter than powder products. I'd much rather pay less and get less product.
Blush -E.L.F. - All Over Color Stick in Golden Peach
nakeeyark 9/18/2011 2:12:00 AM
Alas, Golden Peach is the one All Over Color Stick I've tried that simply does not work for me. The color is really pretty -- a shimmery apricot that applies slightly lighter and peachier than my NARS Multiple in South Beach. However, the color is also infused with GLITTER, which makes my pores look huge and my skin uneven. This is a departure from the other All Over Color Sticks that I've tried -- Toasted, Pink Lemonade and Spotlight -- that contain shimmer. Mind you, it's not the finest shimmer in the world, but for $1 it is fine enough. The scent is the same as the others, a synthetic candy-like smell that is inoffensive. I do like the staying power and the portability, but I won't be repurchasing this particular color.
I really want to like Brazened Honey, because it just sounds like it's so great for your skin. As per the LUSH UK website, it has almonds and honey in it to provide exfoliation. On my oily, sensitive skin, however, whenever I apply it, it makes my skin itch. Nothing too drastic, but I can tell that underneath the hardening mask, my skin is starting to tingle. Once I wash it off, there are three negative effects: 01) my skin is so so so red and irritated looking, and this does not fade quickly; 02) the smell lingers on my skin forever -- I don't know how this happens but seriously two days later I can still smell this mask!; and 03) it breaks me out. It's unfortunate as I usually love LUSH's face masks, but this one just not seem to work with my skin chemistry. If you want to use a LUSH mask for exfoliation, I suggest Love Lettuce which I really love.
Treatments -First Aid Beauty - Facial Radiance Pads
nakeeyark 8/7/2011 3:06:00 AM
I can't believe no one has reviewed this product yet! I have what most people would consider relatively good skin -- very few breakouts, small pores, no wrinkles. The two minor things I'm always trying to improve, however, are the couple of dark spots and the evenness of my skin. I did some Google-ing, and found out that lactic acid helps with brightening and evening out skin clarity. When I searched for products containing lactic acid, I got a hit for First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. After reading a few beauty blogs that I trust, I found that most bloggers really liked this product, not for giving them overnight, miraculous results, but for a gradual improvement that was noticeable yet subtle at the same time. My local Sephora was out, but the SA was kind enough to give me about 2 weeks supply (so 14 pads) to try at home. The pads are the size of your regular cotton pads you get at CVS, Target, etc. They come housed in a round jar and are thoroughly soaked with lactic and glycolic acids, cucumber and Indian gooseberry, and lemon peel and licorice root (or so the packaging claims). One side of the pad has little bumps for exfoliation, and the other side is smooth. After cleansing, I use the exfoliating side first and swipe all over my face. I then use the smooth side and repeat. There is always some residue left on the pad, so I use that on my neck. The scent is not unpleasant, but vaguely milky smelling; I can't quite think of the right word. I'm not a huge fan of it, but it's by no means overpowering or floral or anything like that. The directions state that you should use a pad once or twice daily; because the product is expensive (you get 60 pads for $28, which, if you think about it, is quite a chunk of change for essentially portable toner, at least for me), I use it only at night. Afterward, I follow up with a spot treatment of acne cream and Clinique's Even Better Dark Spot Corrector as needed, and my eye cream. After using the product for 2 weeks, I noticed a definite improvement in skin clarity. My skin looked and felt smoother, and, as an added bonus, looked so glowy! I rushed out and purchased the full product, and have been happy ever since. It is more expensive than I would like, but for the results, I will fork over my money and just use it once a day instead of twice. Some reviewers on the internet also stated that they were cutting the pads in two -- that way they were getting 120 uses, as opposed to 60. I only gave 3 lippies for packaging because I wish I wasn't opening up the entire jar every time I take out a pad; I'm a bit worried that this will dry them out quicker than I'd like.
Treatments -Clinique - Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector
nakeeyark 8/7/2011 1:10:00 AM
I went into Sephora and asked the SA for a sample of this product, and she gave me a pretty generous sample. However, she warned me that in order to see significant improvement, I would have to use it steadily for about a month, and that she was only giving me a week's worth to try out. She also added that if I liked the results, it would mean at least a 12 week commitment to get full benefits. Feeling stricken, I asked her if I was meant to slather it all over my face, or just on my dark spots. She leaned in conspiratorially, and said, "I have customers who do it both ways, but if you want to be as cost conscious as possible, then just use it on your dark spots." I thanked her for her honesty and left with my purchase and the sample. That was a month ago, and I've managed to use the week's worth of product for the past four weeks. As you can probably figure out, I did NOT put this all over my face. Rather, I dotted and blended in tiny amounts on my dark spots (caused by acne) every evening after cleansing and toning. I had about three pronounced discolored spots: one near my lip, one on my chin, and one on my cheek. After four weeks, I am pleased to say that all three spots have faded. I am not saying that they've now returned to the color of my skin, but they are significantly lighter than they were a month ago, and with some concealer, are nearly unnoticeable. The reason I give this product 4 lippies instead of 5, however, is that it causes me to break out a bit. No huge zits, but I think my pores are a bit clogged and thus I get tiny little bumps in the area where I apply. It was never enough to make me stop applying, but if you are sensitive to the ingredients in this product, then perhaps it would be best for you to use as a spot treatment, as opposed to an all over serum. I'm very pleased with the product, and while the price is exorbitant in my opinion, I will most likely make the commitment and buy the smaller size. However, I think Garnier made their own version of a dark spot corrector, so if the reviews for that are good, I might try it out to see if it is a cheaper alternative.
I hesitated over purchasing this because I thought it was way too similar to MAC Up the Amp lipstick, but to my delight I realized that they do look quite different -- Up the Amp skews a bit more pastel, a shade more soft. It's like Violetta's younger sister who hasn't quite matured yet (but make no mistake, it is a lovely shade in its own right!). Violetta is a BOLD lipstick, a shimmery and rich bright purple with just enough pink undertones to keep it from looking like costume makeup. Due to its Amplified Creme formula, the coverage is very opaque and the wear time is good, if I apply with a lip brush, blot, and reapply until I achieve the desired intensity (to touch up, I just apply straight from the tube). I tend to wear it with very simple eye makeup, usually nothing more than a soft grey eyeliner on the upper lash line, a very neutral eyeshadow (if you can find it and are similar to my coloring, Milani Classic Beige is fantastic), and black mascara. Because of how bold the color is, I don't wear it with a lipgloss over it for fear of blinding people with a combination of in-your-face color and shine. Trust me, you will get noticed wearing this lipstick -- on the first two days alone of wearing this, I got everything from "Where did you get it?" to "I love it!" to "That is SOME lipstick," which I hope was a compliment, to "WTF are you wearing?!" I'm a huge fan of bold lips, and Violetta is definitely one of my favorites (the others in this entourage are MAC Ruby Woo, Morange, Up the Amp, and Girl About Town). This will be my default lipstick of the fall and winter seasons. NOTE: This is the same review I wrote for Violetta lipstick when it was released with the MAC Villains collection, minus information on the raised price and different packaging.
Eyeliner -Sephora - Jumbo Liner 12HR Wear Waterproof
nakeeyark 8/2/2011 3:08:00 PM
I had such high hopes for these after reading reviews, and for the price point I thought they couldn't be beat. I bought them in 10 Green (a bright, vibrant grassy green) and 14 Violet (an almost duochrome purple that had the faintest undertone of blue). The Green I used to line my lower lash line, adding a pop of color to an otherwise neutral, bare eye (Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencil in Sin smudged as a cream eyeshadow and tons of black mascara). The Purple I bought to wear as a cream eyeshadow under Urban Decay Flash, lending an even brighter hue to an already electric color. For the first hour or so, the product performs admirably. I got complimented on both looks. And then, after the first hour or so , disaster struck -- the pigment somehow got into my eye and smeared all over my contact lenses, blurring my vision. This happened with both. I'm not quite sure how, as there is no glitter in either product, but it happened no matter what I tried: a thinner layer, outside of my waterline, over a base, etc. I had to return them, because it wasn't like I would blink and my vision would return to normal. No, the smearing was so bad I would have to take out my contacts and re-wash them. And then the smearing would just happen all over again! I know the Urban Decay version is double the price, but this never happened with the colors I tried (Midnight Cowboy and Sin), so for contact lens wearers, may I suggest you try these instead? I still give 2 lippies for the absolutely gorgeous and vibrant colors, and because perhaps for those who don't wear contact lenses, this might be a dream product. I would not repurchase (although I very much wish I could).
Treatments (Eye) -Elizabeth Arden - Perpetual Moisture 24 Eye Cream
nakeeyark 8/1/2011 3:32:00 AM
I received this eye cream as a gift from my partner, and have been using it steadily and sparingly every night for the past 3 months or so. This eye cream does not promise any miracles -- rather, as per Elizabeth Arden's website, it works to retain moisture so the skin around your eyes feels and looks smooth. I give it 5 lippies because it does exactly that. I apply it after cleansing and toning at night; it absorbs quite quickly, and I wake up without any eye irritation or stinging. Now that I am firmly in my late 20s, I am grateful to have started wearing eye cream from a relatively early age (around 21 or 22, if I remember correctly). Continuous use of soothing eye creams, religious application of SPF and cross-my-fingers-hope-they-last genetics have all combined to prevent any sign of wrinkles, fine lines, or dark circles around my eyes (I remember jumping on the undereye concealer bandwagon and then realizing that there was absolutely no need for it). I wouldn't repurchase as I'm quite sure I can find a no-frills eye cream like this at a much lower price point, and if/when I do shell out big bucks for eye cream, it better be for one that also wins me a Pulitzer or something.
Eye Shadow -Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-on Shadow Pencil in Midnight Cowboy
nakeeyark 7/31/2011 5:27:00 AM
I really wanted to love Midnight Cowboy, so badly. I loved the portability, how blendable it is, and the color: a perfect, neutral golden beige that made my eyelids look so smooth and daytime appropriate -- a powder equivalent is Urban Decay's Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, NOT Midnight Cowboy (which is significantly pinker than the shadow pencil of the same name). However, what I could not love was the overabundance of silver glitter. After seeing myself in the sunlight, I sadly had to return this to Sephora as I just sparkled from my lashline to just under my eyebrows. It is important to note, though, that there is VERY MINIMAL glitter fallout; this is an improvement from this line's glitter eyeshadows. Hence, I am still giving it 4 lippies because 01) the base color is beautiful and 02) for those of you who want the color of MIdnight Cowboy Rides Again without the pesky glitter fallout, this will be ideal for you. Oh, and when I returned this, I exchanged it for the Shadow Pencil in Lit, which is more gold than beige, but has no glitter.
My partner bought this for me as part of my birthday gift. I really do like this peel; it is very quick and easy to apply. I use the enclosed sponge and apply the product evenly on my face, avoiding my eyes as instructed. There is no unpleasant or tight feeling as it dries, nor do I get the tingling sensation that other reviewers have mentioned. I let it sit for about 20 minutes, and then peel off. And then peeling off is so fun! I know it's a bit childish to say so but I really enjoy trying to peel the mask off in one piece :) The simple things in life, right? I knocked off half a lippie because of the slightly chemical smell -- the Elizabeth Arden website says that that there is cabernet grapeseed extract, I'm not sure if that's what makes it smell like this, but something is just a bit plasticky. The other half a lippie is knocked off because I don't think the effects of this peel are long-lasting. I definitely have a glow after using it but it doesn't linger. All in all this is a relatively effective and fun product to use, but does not warrant a repurchase for me. Still, even just for the fun of trying to peel off the whole damn thing in one go, I suggest you try it!