Toners -Avalon Organics Botanicals - Hydrating Toner Lavender
nebulus 4/12/2010 10:47:00 PM
I've done an ingredient check on this product and everything in here is safe. The only preservative that this toner contains is Phenoxyethanol, which is fine for me since it's not one of the much-hated parabens. One thing to note is that it contains salicylic acid and allantoin, which is quite nice since allatoin can reduce the chance of the skin being sensitive to the salicylic acid. It also contains Hyaluronic Acid which traps moisture. So it lives up to its "hydrating" claim ingredient-wise. However, the percentage of these ingredients are not disclosed so I have no way of knowing whether the concentration is actually strong enough to make an effect. I've only used it twice, will return later to update.
Shampoo -Aubrey Organics - Green Tea Hair Treatment Shampoo
nebulus 4/10/2010 12:59:00 AM
I have been on a hunt for shampoos that don't contain SLS or ALS. This one has a watery consistency, there's nothing bad about the smell, easy to lather, rinses clean, left a grabby hair feel when wet, but shiny smooth hair feel after drying. It does clean out oily scalp to a decent degree without being too drying. The soaping ingredient in this product is coconut oil/soap. I haven't tested its pH level yet; I hope it's not basic.
Masks -Unlisted Brand - Aztec - Indian Healing Clay
nebulus 3/19/2010 9:16:00 AM
After reading all these rave reviews, I decided to give it a try. My main concern was enlarged pores; I thought this product would suck out all the gunk in my pores so that overtime they will diminish in size. But unfortunately this didn't work out for me. Not only did it dried my skin (gave me a few wrinkles on my forehead even though I am an oily-skinned 20-yr-old), it actually made my pores more apparent--areas that didn't have enlarged pores now have pores. I originally only have pores on my nose, now I can see the pores on the front of my forehead and my whole two cheeks! So beware, it might have an adverse effect on you! Now I have a whole 1lb left which makes me wonder what to do with it.
Eye Shadow -Maybelline - Expert Wear Eye Shadow Single: Linen
nebulus 2/8/2010 12:41:00 PM
Got this at RiteAide for 40% off. It's a nice cheap highlighter for people with medium/dark skin, however, this product didn't show on my light olive asian complexion. Also, it feels a bit chalky; the pigmentation of the powder is not great. It didn't show through for me. It's also very dry so after I put it on all I could see were dusty dry patches on my face. Had to return it. Well, you get what you pay for.
Eyeliner -L'Oreal - Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner
nebulus 2/2/2010 1:33:00 PM
This eyeliner has a very smooth texture that glides on easily; it didn't tug on my skin. I got the Black one and the color intensity is liken to a liquid eyeliner, but I did have to apply pressure so the line could come out evenly. The black has a navy undertone to it because when I smudged it and took it off, it appeared dark blue.
Eyeliner -Prestige - Waterproof Eyeliner - Granite
nebulus 1/26/2010 3:39:00 PM
This is not the right color for me; I am Asian with olive skin and Granite has a blue-tone to it. The pigmentation didn't come through on my fair-medium skin, so it looked smudged and "racoonish." I imagine it would be better on people with a lighter/fairer skin tone. It didn't make a shimmery finish on my eyelids but when I did a swatch on my hand, I did saw tiny silvery sparkles. The texture was fine but not amazing. I was testing it out (the weather was cold) and it wasn't as smooth as my L'oreal HIP Chrome eyeliner and Ulta Kohl Eyeliner Pencil.
This is just a silicone spray that contains alcohol. It didn't produce shine on my hair, nor did it help retain any moisture--it did absolutely nothing on my hair. Then I tried spraying more and it just made my hair damp but still drying looking. This product is cheap but useless. Don't bother. I had to throw mine away; I didn't even use it for two times. Such a waste.
Skincare - Body -Dr. Bronner's - Lavender Liquid Soap
nebulus 1/1/2010 1:52:00 AM
All of Dr. Bronner's soap products are great: natural and organic without added chemical. It has everything you ask for in a traditional simple soap. The only thing that not many people are aware of, is that, like all simple soap, its pH is a lot more alkali than our pH4-6 skin. I put a few drop in fresh pomegranate juice (a natural pH test) and the juice turned blue! We all learn from school that blue indicates that it is basic. Using it alone will break the natural acid mantle barrier of our skin. Therefore, always follow it with a diluted apple vinegar rinse to balance the pH. Also, don't forget to dilute the product to at least 3 parts of water!
Gels/Soaps -Dr. Bronner's - Peppermint Castille Soap
nebulus 1/1/2010 1:43:00 AM
All of Dr. Bronner's soap products are great. I use the peppermint for impending acne. Peppermint is also good for alleviating itchiness in my private area. Ladies you all know sometimes after period your area might get a bit itchy. This is a great soap to disinfect. You'll feel a special sensation after application, wait a few seconds then rinse it out thoroughly. Only apply it to the outer area. It works every time.===>in responding to the previous comment, no I am not a masochist, it's the peppermint oil that will disinfect and get rid of itchiness. It is as strong as disinfectant like rubbing alcohol but so much more friendly on the skin. If you rinse immediately a few seconds after you feel the sensation, it won't "strip" the skin. But a word of advice, since this basic soap has a high pH (as in any other traditional soap), it would break the acid mantle barrier of our skin. So only use it for your occasionally itchiness. Continued daily usage not recommended.
Cleansers -Jason Natural Cosmetics - Aloe Vera Satin Soap for Hands and Face
nebulus 12/31/2009 12:39:00 PM
I got a trial size version of this from CVS on clearance for 10 cents. What a great deal! I bought it because it advertises "no Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates." I tried a few times and it does smooth and soften my skin after use. It's not harsh at all. The only down side is its smell. My bottle smelled like it's on the verge of rottenning (it's not expired), which makes it hard to tolerate. EDIT: I did a research on the ingredient list and they listed sodium myreth sulfate as a main ingredient. SMS is structurally similar to SLS, they are cousins of each other. And yet "no SLS" is their tag line. I felt like they just cheated me with false advertising and dishonesty. Won't purchase again (even the 10cent ones).
Moisturizers -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream (Night)
nebulus 12/25/2009 3:49:00 PM
This is a basic moisturizer with just a tiny % of retinol. Good for introducing and testing your skin out for retinol; but nothing fabulous will come from prolonged use. I've been using it for a few months now. The moisturizing quality is barely there but I still use it because it doesn't break me out. I think it helps with reducing my acne scar when applied on inflamed acne. However it doesn't improve the texture of my skin whatsoever, so the acne scar is the only pro about it. I have a few wrinkles on my neck and it doesn't do anything for those neither. Recently I realized that it contains BHT (a preservative), which is thought to be toxic/carcinogenic (forgot which) with long term use. Will not purchase it again.
Toners -Thayers - Alcohol-Free Lavender Witch Hazel
nebulus 12/20/2009 1:50:00 PM
I have oily scalp with clogged hair follicles; my hair falls out easily because the clog cuts off the delivery of important nutrients to my hair. Ideally I should just get a guy's short hair cut and wash my hair/scalp everyday, but I am too much of a girl to do that. I wanted something that will help cleanse my scalp. I decided to try this product because it is the only witch hazel that I've come across that doesn't have any drying alcohol in its ingredients. I don't like the packaging. The cap top has a hole in the middle and it tends to drip and goes into waste whenever I pour it out on a cotton swab, mostly because the design of the bottle made me forgot that it's as liquid as water. This toner doesn't have a strong lavender scent; I don't know how witch hazel is supposed to smell like but it smells more like witch hazel than lavender to me. The smell goes away shortly after application, so it should not be a main concern to anyone. I have only been using it for a week; it does help me reduce and get rid of excess oil on my scalp to a certain extent. Now I can skip a day not washing my hair, but nothing more than that. I also tried it on my face after shower; I did feel that my skin had a sticky residue after it dried, so I guess that's because of the moisturizing aloe vera. Therefore as advertised, this toner is not drying in anyway. In fact, it contains more aloe vera than the Thayer proprietary witch hazel extract, so this toner is more like an Alcohol-free Aloe Vera Toner Enriched with Lavender and Witch Hazel than what it's being advertised.
I purchased this after reading Paula Begoun's book. I use it as a 2% salicylic acid (BHA) exfoliant. It does help with my occasional minor acne (I like to call them "background" acne), but it won't help if you have big hormonal ones or cystic acne coming up. It has a nice cucumber scent to it. The texture is like a watery gel. The only downside is that it works like a serum: if you put too much, it dries your skin out and actually makes it stiff and red. A thin layer is all you need.
This shampoo is one of my favorites; it is clear (no color), gel-like, and smells great (not too perfumey). Compared with other shampoos, this one doesn't have that much chemicals in its ingredient. It's nourishing and not harsh. It's a nice basic shampoo if you just want to cleanse your scalp and hair. The bottle is big; it will last a long time.
I purchased this from Walgreens b/c it was on clearance for about 75% off and Paula Begoun gave it a good rating in her book. This foundation is so light that it gave NO coverage on my skin whatsoever; it didn't show at all. Since I couldn't use it as a foundation, I tried to use it as an undereye and acne scar concealer; it didn't work. The only good point about this is its liquid texture, which felt nice on my skin. I imagine this might be a good foundation for girls with absolutely PERFECT skin. It's useless for me and I returned it.