Unfortunately I found this a big disapointment. I tried a sample before I bought the jar, and liked how the sugar crystals made the skin smooth and feel thoroughly cleaned. I've often mixed Lemongrass oil with my cleansers and found this a good natural remedy for battling spots (although it can be harsh, so you have to be careful) - so , overall I had positive expectations that this cleanser would work in harmony with my skin and I'd be on my way to a smoother, clearer complexion. However, after two weeks of use, my skin has even more spots, and compared to when I started using it as my main cleanser, my skin is in worse condition than ever! I feel like my skins reverted back to its teenage era! (note- at 26yrs old, I now have few but persistent random spots mostly due to blocked pores and oily skin). I've tried to persevere with using this cleanser but have now come to the conclusion that the sugar crystals - although they do a good job at exfoliating the surface of my skin - seem to aggravate my pores (regardless of whether I lather it in my hands), and spots have formed in areas where this has been massaged in. At £28.99 a jar, this is a very expensive disapointment! So, I've switched to Neutrogena again (Spot Stress Control line) with which I have instantly seen an improvement 3 days on. Also, I'd like to say that Sanctuary Warming Microbrasion Scrub (sold at Boots for £9.95), is so much better at exfoliating the skin - it doesn't leave the skin red or kick-start blemishes, and is ideal for oil or constantly blocked skin.
This is a very soothing cleanser that is great for soothing and healing sore, dry and flaky skin (the dreaded after effects of using too many anti-acne products!). It I'm going through a dry-spell, I will use this alone after taking my makeup off. I have also found that this makes an excellent mixing cleanser - I currently mix a bit with my Acnisal anti-blemish face wash, and it prevents my skin from drying out and turning red, but still lets the Acnisal do it job at preventing and getting rid of acne. I have used this cleaner mix for months, and it works so well I don't think I have an excuse not to buy this product! That said, it only gets 4 lippies because I'm sceptical of its use to remove makeup alone (doesn't quite get that 'clean' feeling from me).
What a disaster. The shade (180 Sand Beige) suited me like no other and made my skin looked flawless. But I stopped using this a little over one week because it caused the most horrendous and painful bumps under my skin. Not to mention the countless spots it seemed to magic up! A week of not using this and my skin is behaving again and the lumps have gone. It's a set-back though; I'll be nourishing my skin for weeks because of the damage its caused, grrrrrr! Be very careful if you're considering this foundation if you have oily, acne prone skin. I'm sticking with my pure mineral powder.
I really love this colour. This liner hits the middle ground perfectly with its "just-dark-enough" pigments for a defined eye, but keeps things softer than black with a smokey brown finish. Goes on waxy. Easy to layer if a little hard to blend when first applied. It is marketed as non-smudging, so fudging the line is best done quickly before it settles. It looks great when smudged-out with a cotton bud. The richness in colour only slightly fades after a day of wear. After a hard sweaty workout at the gym, a little lower-lash transfer does occur, but in all, this is truly the holy grail of eyeliners. The ratings on this board certainly do not lie for this liner!
Sadly this didn't work for me. On the plus :- the shade range is very good - all shades seem to be yellow-based, making them look 'naturally' adaptable to skin tone. It was easy for me to settle on a shade without a trial sample (I chose 010 Ivory, which applies lighter to the skin than it does in the bottle). It goes on silky smooth, almost like a tinted moisturiser. No streak in sight. Wore pretty comfortably throughout the day...... On the negative :- .....until after the second week of daily use I noticed a significant decline in my skin tone and clarity. My skin's got better with age (oil production thankfully slowing down!), but while this 'glowed' freshly during the morning, it made my skin look very 'dull' and in need of washing towards the end of the day. After cleansing, I realised how bad this product really looked/was when left on the skin for the day. I think the only reason I didn't experience horrendous acne-backlash from using this is because of my strict exfoliation and deep cleaning regime. But I can still honestly say that I got more spots from using this. My conclusion:- I love the shade range and young "tidy" packaging. However, I'm still not convinced about the quality of Maybelline products. Everything I've tried turns out to be a disappointment. A poor performance for me, sadly. UPDATE - Switched to Revlon ColourStay Foundation (combination/oily skin) with Softflex in 180 Sand Beige - this stuff is truly amazing! If you have oily skin and want something that *doesn't* break you out, Revlon wipes the floor with Maybelline!
The colour looks scarily dark in the pot, but when applied looks an amazingly natural just bitten dark red. It's pricy, but you get a massive heavy, glass jar full, and as it's so pigmented and you only need to use a tiny bit, I'm guessing you're not going to get through these in a hurry. When used as a lip stain: the colour does fade on the lips after a while, and I found it wasn't moisturising so my lips did get a little dry. Yes, it has 'oil' ingredients, but in no way is it shiny or slippery as it's a dry cream in texture. Which is excellent, as you only need a tiny bit to build up colour and it looks really really natural. People will be fooled that your lips do look that good! To combat the dryness, I've mixed some together with plain lip moisturisers (carmex and blistex) in little pots, and carry them everywhere! Moisture and colour for top-ups - simply perfect. As a cheek stain: I was sceptical about using this as a cheek cream because I thought it would be greasy, clogg my pores and break me out, but when i finally did, boy was I surprised and pleased with the look. A tiny bit blended onto cheeks gives a georgeous fresh, rushed-flush look. And, contrary to what i thought, there was no greasyness whatsoever, and the colour lasted true from day to night. And best of all: no breakouts or cloggs in sight. In fact, this has made my cheeks feel really soft so I'm guessing the oils really do have some conditioning effect on the skin. Verdict - a definite must buy, but try samples first to find the shade that suits your skin tone. I've sampled Dahlia, and loved it also, but they do have very different looks on the skin. The downsides: sticking your fingers into the pot and the glass jar is cumbersum and heavy. But speaking as a clean freak myself, you can use brushes and clean fingers and transfer the creme into smaller pots for traveling (it's a set mixture, like a thick paste, so it doesn't run everywhere). The packagings amazingly sturdy (indestructable frosted thick glass - I've dropped mine so many times and not a chip), and the smell is herby and pleasant. I'm planning to buy the Nectar and Dahlia shades before everywhere all sells out - it seems I'm not the only one let on to the wonders of this stuff!
Moisturizers -Korres - cinnamon and echinacea gel-cream
nephine 1/23/2010 4:42:00 PM
I'm pleased that some people found this worked for them, but for me this was a disaster! I was sold on the natural ingredients and claim to 'regulate oil production'. Out of the tube, it smelt herby and seemed a fresh a light gel texture. On the skin it completely refused to absorb and remained a horried sticky, tacky film on my skin. It made my skin just look so awful with and without makeup over the top, and as a result, I only used this for three days. Not the most expensive disappointment I've suffered (Yon-Ka, why!), but a disappointment all the same.
I have used this for over a year and my beauty routine just doesn't feel complete without it! I apply it before bed and in the morning and it's help to lengthen my lashes to an almost unreal length (think bambi lashes!). The trick is to ditch the mascara (which tends to make lashes brittle not to mention fall out during makeup removal) and use black eyelash dye once a month instead (lasts longer, looks more natural but really defines your eyes). Once dyed, apply this gel to your lashes before curling with a warm eyelash curler and your lashes will hold the curl, look glossy, healthier and longer in a few weeks time. I use this on my brows too, and it does fill them out a bit. Buy the large size (£20) because this lasts for ages (I'm on my second tube in over a year!), and is better value than the £12 tube (which is so tiny its a rip off).
Lipstick -BeneFit Cosmetics - Silky Finish Lipstick in Dessert First
nephine 10/2/2009 3:44:00 PM
This is an amazing wearable shade - it makes lips look bigger (thanks to the moisturising), the colour is soft but pigmented enough to look noticeably natural (lovely creamy, balmy texture), and it really pulls a neutral day-time face together. I love the packaging too - really sophisticated, slim-line and sturdy. My only gripe is that the colour wears off easily, although I shouldn't complain about this because I'd rather have plump, soft lips anyday over the wrinkled and parched alternative (MAC lipstick makers take note - your shades are fab but you destroy my lips!). Plus, I've found that if you layer this colour, it leaves a delightful hint of a stain. I keep going to the counters to buy another shade for a variation, but always return empty handed because no other colour performs as well as this one!
I really thought I was going to love this shade. Reds usually look great on me, but sadly this shade just looked really unnatural and remained a horrid tacky shade of red no matter how little I used or how I applied it. I even tried to use it as a stain, but no joy. This is the only red shade I haven't made work on me! Definately try before you buy. (I love the 'Blush' shade though)
I have this in Champagne, and it blends so well into my light-medium skin. After a swatch test at the BeneFit makeup counter, I bought this, despite getting no clear-cut answer from the counter ladies about whether or not this powder is non-comedogenic. I'm a huge fan of mineral makeup - I wear nothing else as base, but I wanted something a little more 'flawless', a little more coverage, and something different than my usual mineral dusting for special night outs etc. This powder certainly provides more coverage for a powder, and is so finely milled it's so silky and far from chalky. I applied sparingly to areas with a small brush, and immediately found it was most useful, and gentle enough, as a concealer around and under the eyes. When I use this, people think I'm not wearing any makeup its that natural looking! However, it seems a few blemishes start appearing when I use this more than infrequently, so I have this stored away for the odd one-off. I'm guessing its not non-comedogenic, which is a great shame. Hence, I won't be buying again. * UPDATE* Since I wrote the above review, I used this as a foundation consistently, albeit sparingly, for a few months and have come to the conclusion that it does not contribute to my occassional breakouts. I have placed this as a permanent stay in my elite-ist makeup bag, and am currently pleased to flaunt a naturally luminous and matte complexion that itsn't caked in makeup :)
Toners -Boots - Traditional Skincare Range Glycerin and Rose Water
nephine 9/20/2009 5:02:00 PM
There are two Glycerin & Rosewater toners made by Boots; one from the "Original" range that comes in a Victorian style glass bottle (approx £5), and one called "Traditional" in a plastic bottle and is less expensive. I thought the only difference between the two (including the price) would be the bottles but I was wrong. Overall, I found both products fantastic for sensitive,dry and acne sore skin, but I use both in two different ways: The "Traditional" toner has a thicker texture, which leaves a tacky residue on the skin. It reduces redness like nothing else I've tried, but is just too sticky to wear underneath makeup (I use mineral powder). So I use this at night instead of a moisturiser to prevent dry skin and soothe sore blemished areas. It's also hydrating and non-stinging around the eyes, so I use this as a eye-makeup remover too. The "Original" toner is less thick in texture, and almost immediately dries on the skin. It still moistures and soothes the skin (but not as much as the Traditional brand), and as it leaves no residue, I use this under my mineral foundation. Both are fantastic skincare essentials for the price, and I recommend you try both so you can see which one works best for your skin. Nb. I'm going to use this over the winter months to test whether is prevents the sore and flaky skin I always get over the winter months (cold weather and radiators are a nightmare for me!).
This was a disappointment. Yes, it's gentle on the skin and smells nice, but coming to the end of the bottle (which is small for the price), I have not seen any benefits from regular use (no skin-texture difference, or reduced blemishes). A major down-side is the runny thin formula, which means you use alot for one cleanse - and it doesn't remove makeup and dirt easily in one wash! I wouldn't buy this again, even if they reduced the extortionate price.
Primer/ Corrector -Boots - Mattifying Make-up Base
nephine 7/14/2009 3:50:00 PM
The performance of mattifying primers seems to work best on my skin when I rotate my use of different brands throughout the week, I currently have three on the go, and I have wasted quite a bit of money finding these top performers! This Boots version ended up in my bin pretty soon after purchase because it didn't do anything to curb the shine throughout the day. It had an old-fashioned, thick, chalky white appearance and texture to it, smelt funny and caused my skin to break out wherever I used it. If you're after a good shine-stopper, try my main-stay top 3 instead, and I hope you find one that suits you - 1. Clinique Pore Minimiser Instant Perfector in Light £12.50 - my ultimate favourite and secret 'skin-like-a-models' weapon! This completely melts overlarged pores, blurs blackheads on the nose and keeps my skin remarkably fresh and shine free for hours. Plus, no breakouts. 2. Dermalogica MediBac Clearing Mattifier, around £30 - don't be put of by the price. This multitasks to reduce shine, clear congestion and calms red areas. With this my skin texture improved drastically within two weeks ie. I was less spotty and had fewer blackheads! Sometimes I use this as a night treatment around my T-Zone as a 'pore-cleanser'. 3. Cosmetics a la carte Matte Miracle in Light £30 from their website - again, slightly tinted, and great on the T-Zone. Contains Tea-Tree & Lavender. Best feature is the cooling gel texture. When I use this, I don't even bother with powder.
Skincare - Face -Yon-Ka - Lotion- Normal to oily skin
nephine 7/1/2009 3:16:00 PM
Love love love this! Comes in a huge glass bottle with the best spray nozzle I've ever come across - sprays a long fine mist evenly in one go. It smells herby and looks like watery milk. I've been applying this on my face with a cotton wool pad (spray over face first, then blott the excess into the skin as directions suggest), and my skins noticeably softer, smoother and less oily too. I still get the odd blemish here and there, but it definately has done the job of refining my pores, hence my blackheads are retreating. It is expensive, but the bottle is the queen of quality.