Yet another good review for this brush! It's dense, soft (it feels so lovely buffing my mineral foundation on!), washes well and doesn't shed. Excellent price too. The only thing I wish was a bit different is the length of the handle - it feels too long to me. Minor problem really though. Would repurchase.
EDITED REVIEW: The packaging is just too annoying. The formula is good, but far too much comes out on the huge brush, and the silver paint comes off the outside of the tube and leaves glitter on your hands and face. I'd rather pay a few quid extra to not have these annoyances. ORIGINAL REVIEW: I'm quite impressed with this mascara. The application isn't the best - I don't much like the massive brush as I find it tricky to get to the corners of my eyes, and the brush often leaves smudges on my eyelids. I don't hate these things enough to stop me using this mascara though. On the plus side, one coat is enough for a decent daytime look, and 2 or 3 gives pretty good lashes indeed. It seems fairly smudge-resistant. It's very similar to Max Factor's Masterpiece Max mascara, aside from the brush. I don't think I'd mind which I picked up first, out of those two, which makes this a definite repurchase at 4 quid less than Masterpiece.
Pretty good mascara. Possibly the best one I currently own. The reason it gets a 4 instead of the full 5 is that it is a little clumpy on anything more than one coat, and it does flake a tiny bit. On the plus side though, it's a lovely dense black and one coat still looks very good if you're in a hurry (one coat looks like 2 or 3 coats of a cheaper mascara). It doesn't smudge too much, although all mascaras smudge a little on me. It removes easily. Masterpiece Max does make my lashes look quite full and a bit longer - in fact when I put my glasses on my eyelashes were brushing against the lenses! I am pretty impressed with this mascara. It's not *quite* amazing enough to stop me trying others, but I will definitely buy this one again.
Haven't been using this long but I'm impressed so far. My skin has become a bit difficult over the last couple of months - I got perioral dermatitis from some product or other that didn't agree with me, and it's made me very wary about what creams and things I use now. I'm going by the 'fewer ingredients is probably better' philosophy, at least until my skin is back to normal. Hence my interest in this oil. The oil comes in a tiny bottle with a really useful and hygienic dropper. I clean my skin thoroughly, leaving it damp (either with water or witch hazel) and put 2 or 3 drops of the oil into my palm, rub my hands together and spread it over my face until it sinks in. At first I didn't believe so little oil would be enough, but it really is! I don't tend to need another moisturiser on top of this as my skin is quite oily, but I may do when the weather gets colder. The oil smells a bit weird, by the way. It's not exactly a nice fragrance but it doesn't last, and anyway I'd rather put up with that than have added fragrance that might bother my skin. The results: calm, matte, happy-feeling skin. Seems to reduce redness a little, and so far it seems to actually heal spots rather than making me break out. I'm crossing my fingers that it will heal my dermatitis - it certainly hasn't made it worse. As I haven't been using this very long I'll update this review if there's any change.
I've had a few of these mascaras as GWP items - got to confess I've never bought one! They're 11 quid in the UK which (call me a cheapskate) seems a bit expensive for a Boots own-brand mascara to me. This is why I've said I wouldn't repurchase it - but I would happily use it if I was given it (which is NOT the case with a lot of mascaras). Its good points are a nice, good-sized bristly wand, a not-too-wet formula which holds my curl, it doesn't leave my lashes crispy and it doesn't smudge any more than most other mascaras. It also applies enough in one coat to do the job when I'm in a hurry, and removes easily. On the negative side, it can clump a bit so needs combing through with an eyelash comb sometimes. It doesn't provide loads of extra length or volume, just some. In the end it comes down to price - this seems really expensive for a mascara that doesn't do anything special. Boots sell a Natural Collection Waterguard mascara for TWO QUID which performs better than this - same look, but also waterproof and smudgeproof. So am I likely to buy this one instead for five times the price? Er.......
Guess I got one of the duds. My pen was brilliant for the first couple of uses - not BLACK black, but acceptable - but after that it dried up a bit and just isn't worth using now. It was stored upside-down with the cap tightly on. To be honest, it wasn't that great even for the first couple of uses - a bit pale and rubbed off easily. It costs 1.50 in the UK, so that was 75p per use. Won't be buying this again. ELF's Studio cream eyeliner is brilliant though, so I'll just use that instead :-)
Distilled pure witch hazel is a lovely natural toner. I buy it from Boots, Superdrug or any other chemist shop, usually for around 2 quid. Bargain. It contains no alcohol, which I hate in toners (yeah, CLINIQUE), and no added anything in fact, just pure distilled witch hazel. It's cooling, soothing and astringent. You will probably need a moisturiser afterwards but then I would always apply one after toner anyway, except when it's really hot and then this is just beautifully refreshing on its own. It makes my pores cleaner and a bit smaller, removes any last traces of cleanser and makeup, and primes my skin for moisturiser. Seems to discourage spots from forming and calm ones that are already there. It has multiple uses too - for bruises, skin irritation etc.
I've bought this scrub many times over (always with a £5 off voucher though!). It's the best scrub I've tried. You can make it work however you need it - gently, with little pressure and for less than a minute, or if you need a proper scrubbing you can apply more pressure and do it for a bit longer. The way I like to use this is to thoroughly cleanse my face of makeup etc, leaving my skin damp. Then apply just a little bit of this (you only need a bit because the crystals are so tiny and there are tons of them in the cream) and massage for a minute or however long you think you need. Rinse, then when drying with a clean towel, buff rather than pat the skin. This seems to get off all the dead skin that the scrub loosens up, and leaves me glowing. Then I use toner and moisturiser, and my skin is left SO smooth. I always do this the night before any big event. You can also use a masque right after rinsing off the scrub if you feel like it - the masque seems more effective when there's not a layer of dead skin in the way. I think it says to use this once or twice a week, but to be honest I can do it every other night so long as I'm gentle. It's a really nice change to find a product that properly delivers immediate results. Loads of other scrubs I've used have too few scrubby beads in to be effective at all, which is definitely not something you can say about this one.
Eyes -Ardell - Brow & Lash Growth Accelerator Treatment Gel
nosethrill 10/10/2010 11:50:00 AM
UPDATE: Been using it for about 3 months, twice a day without fail. My lashes hit the lenses of my glasses, which they never did before, so it definitely adds a bit of length. They look a bit thicker and more even, too. Still not dramatic results, but enough to make me repurchase, especially at such a reasonable price - and I'm still only halfway through my tube after 3 months! * I've been using this for 4 or 5 weeks, which is possibly not quite long enough to see proper results - I'll update after it's been 3 months if there's any change. The reason I'm reviewing it now, though, is that I think it has already had a beneficial effect on my lashes. I apply it like I would a normal mascara, onto CLEAN lashes after removing my makeup at night and before using my usual mascara in the morning (I think it makes a good base coat). It's important to only apply this to clean lashes or you'll contaminate the whole product when you put the wand back in. It occasionally makes my eyes sting a little at night if they're feeling particularly sensitive, but never enough to make me wash it off. The results I think I've noticed are a slight increase in length and fewer lashes falling out. Not much difference in volume so far. My personal theory is that this stuff only helps your lashes to be their best - if your lashes are already long and healthy you might not notice anything different (but in that case why would you be wasting money on this sort of product anyway?). My lashes are naturally a bit weak and spindly, and all different lengths, leaving them a bit gappy-looking sometimes. I'm fairly sure this gel has evened them out, and am encouraged enough by the results so far to keep using it. I have noticed that I try harder not to rub my eyes when I'm wearing this so I don't rub it into my eye, so maybe it's simply that that's making fewer lashes fall out! If this was expensive I wouldn't repurchase it, given the quite slight results. When I finish this tube I'm going to try using castor oil, but if that doesn't work I'll buy another tube of this.
Concealers -Everyday Minerals - Intensive Fair concealer [DISCONTINUED]
nosethrill 10/10/2010 11:00:00 AM
Love this concealer. Probably the best concealer I've ever tried (and I've tried a LOT). One of the very best things about it is its paleness - for us very pale, cool-toned people, finding a non-orange concealer is frickin hard work. I love that it's quite healthy for your skin, too, with no oils or weird ingredients. A tiny amount goes a long way and the coverage is brilliant. Too pale for under my eyes - I use the multitasking concealer for there - but great for everywhere else. The only thing that puts me off buying this forever more is the stupid import charges in the UK. I got charged tax (fair enough) but also a massive 'customs handling charge' last time I ordered, which meant I paid about 50 percent again of the value of my order, which made it not such a bargain. So I've been investigating UK companies to find something similar to this product, but so far no luck - this is still the best. It would be perfect if Everyday Minerals sorted out a UK distributor!
EDIT: I ordered another of these and it was faulty (glued-up bristles). ELF customer service was very good and replaced it immediately - with another faulty one. Again, customer service was excellent and they offered to personally check the bristles before posting the replacement. The brush arrived the next day and had been checked & wasn't faulty. However, it was a bit different to the very first one I bought months ago - the new brush had shorter and stiffer bristles and won't be suitable for around the eyes. So my point with this long story is: ELF brushes CAN be brilliant, but the quality seems to vary quite a lot. It's up to you if it's worth risking for an admittedly tiny price! ORIGINAL REVIEW: I love this tiny brush. It's brilliant for any precision work on eyes or little blemishes. I would happily own half a dozen of these (in fact I expect I will do sooner or later). The bristles are very smooth and soft, but not floppy at all, and haven't shed at all yet despite several washes. The brush dries immediately, with the help of a tissue, so can be used again right away. It is too small really to be used to conceal larger areas such as under the eyes etc, but is really useful for targeting anything small. I'd love it if ELF would produce a range of brushes more suitable for taking out and about - with a slide-up cover for the bristles, for example - as I always feel the uncovered brushes are a bit dirty after being stuck in my makeup bag for the day, and I don't want to carry a separate case just for a couple of brushes. Still, this brush is really useful IMO and fantastic for the price.
Meh. Very average mascara. I'm not very keen on the plastic wand - it doesn't seem to work as well as a normal bristly wand. The formula is quite wet so blinking a few seconds after applying made this mascara smudge everywhere. Didn't add length or much volume. It needs a minimum of two coats to be noticeable, which annoys me as my usual mascara gives better results with just one coat. I think for people who want a very subtle mascara this one might be ok, as I've found it not very clumpy and it hasn't smeared under my eyes yet, but if I'm bothering to apply the stuff I want length and volume! It costs 12 quid in Boots and I'd be really annoyed if I'd paid that (can't return used makeup in the UK), but fortunately I got this as a GWP. You can get a mascara this quality for about 2 pounds (Boots Natural Collection) so why waste an extra tenner?
This perfume is downright weird. An over-enthusiastic SA insisted on spraying it on me in a department store, and for a few moments I genuinely thought she was playing some sort of trick on me. It just didn't smell like perfume! It smelled horrible, chemical, toxic. I was so taken aback by it that I assumed I'd got a bad one, so tried it a week or so later. Same nasty result. The particularly weird part though is that I smelled it on a friend and, though I didn't love it, it did smell ok on her (she'd had it on for a while so the screeching top notes had gone). I think it might be a jasmine problem. I've started to realise that I truly loathe jasmine-heavy scents. So this jasmine/gasoline combo is just never going to do it for me.
Moisturizers -Soap and Glory - Clear Here Daily Moisture Lotion
nosethrill 9/15/2010 8:31:00 AM
This is a light gel moisture lotion which is supposed to control oil in your T-zone, mattify and prevent blemishes. It also claims to shrink pore size, which I would dearly love to believe it does, but even if it does it would probably take a while of using it for that effect to be noticeable. It comes in a small 50ml tube and has a light, pleasant fragrance very similar to The Fab Pore Facial Peel (also S&G). The gel is a pale blue and feels refreshing on the skin, and sinks in easily. It doesn't seem to be completely oil free, according to the ingredients, but it really feels like it is. So much so that I'm not sure it would provide enough moisture for dry skin, and as the weather gets colder I may have to add a heavier cream on my dry areas. It has had quite a nice effect on my skin so far - no miracles yet, but it has left my skin calm and reasonably moisturised, and I haven't broken out from it. Will update if I do. I did wake up with a very shiny nose this morning though so I'm not convinced it's a very effective mattifier! My Clinique Instant Pore Perfector (which I can't cope without!) went over it ok - it has trouble over some moisturisers, especially mattifying ones. Makeup goes on well over it too. The ingredients are: Water, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, C12-13 Alkyl Lactate, Squalane, Nylon-12, Sodium Polyacrylate, Fomes Officinalis (Mushroom) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Sodium Hydroxide, Acacia Senegal Gum, Salicylic Acid, Pyridoxine HCl, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Parfum, Zinc PCA, Buteth-3, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Limonene, Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Extract, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tributyl Citrate, Amyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Cl 42090 (Blue 1).
I think I find this powder useful enough to repurchase when it runs out. I like the coconut smell, it doesn't irritate my skin and I like to use it instead of harsher chemical deodorants on days when they're not necessary. Sometimes I'll add it over a proper anti-perspirant just for the nice smell. I don't sweat much normally, but on days when I'm going to be quite active this product wouldn't be sufficient on its own, so be warned - it's not an anti-perspirant! It's also useful for feet etc, and, weirdly, hair! The other day I had a cold and didn't want to wash my hair even though it needed it really, so I put a bit of this powder on my palms and ran them over my scalp a few times, then brushed any residue out. My hair felt nicer and my partner actually commented on how nice my hair smelled (he never even does that when I've just washed it!). Hurrah for laziness! The packaging is a bit crap. Leaks if you try to travel with it etc. Don't know what their problem is really; I've had plenty of powders that manage not to leak, so I know it can be done. It was a puzzle to apply at first, too - I think it would be improved if it came with a puff or something. In the end I found that tipping a bit onto my fingertips, then transferring to the pits works ok (I think that was suggested by another reviewer on here). No wastage of product that way either, as anything left on your fingers can be applied wherever else you fancy.