Cleansers -Equate - 3-1 Facial Cleansing Towelettes
nothingreally 10/28/2012 11:22:00 AM
Can't describe how much I'm in love with these things. Even if they were 3 times the price, I'd still buy them...(knock on wood). But they really remove makeup well and are the least irritating of makeup wipes I've ever tried. I use Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser in the morning, but I noticed when I use it night and day it makes my skin more oily. My skin is very sensitive, so I can't comment on that too much. BUT when I use this at night to remove my makeup, my skin is pretty oil free for most of the day and I don't get the terrible redness under my nose/above my mouth(which I HATE with a passion and get all the time). I also can't begin to describe how clear this makes my skin. I think a combination of Cerave, Coconut Oil, and these Equate wipes have been great for me. The equate wipes don't get rid of acne persay, but since my skin is less irritated, my skintone does seem more even. One thing to mention, I do not like using this around my eyes. It's great in a pinch, and is probably the most effective makeup removing cloth, but I much prefer using Almond Oil as a makeup remover(mentioned in another review if you're curious at all). The area around my eyes gets too dark and red if I use these every day to remove my makeup. They don't make my eyes sting like the Olay Sensitive wipes, at least. But these are still fantastic wipes and amazing if you're just running around all day and need a refresher. That's if you're not wearing makeup of course. These are also available in 15ct travel packs for dirt cheap, probably around 2$ or less. Try these out if you can, you really have very little to lose. On a side note, I think they changed the formula from a few years ago. First time I tried them I didn't like them too much,but they revamped the packaging and added some ingredients(I think), and they are much better. Packaging is now super convenient as well.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - EXTRA VIRGIN Coconut Oil (All brands)
nothingreally 10/28/2012 10:45:00 AM
It's funny how coconut oil reviews can get me excited about an oil I've been using for about a year and a half now. Nonetheless, I started using it for just my skin, and man was that amazing. I wish I was one of those people who can apply this to their bare skin and not break out everywhere, but unfortunately I am not. BUT I use this as a pre-cleanse instead and it is great, still works, and does not break me out. I first remove all my makeup with a makeup wipe(I only do this at night). Then I apply a generous amount to my face, because I'll be washing it off in a bit. Then, once I've thoroughly rubbed it in, I wash my face with hot water and still kind of rub it in, kind of like a steam treatment. Once I do this for a little bit(2 minutes or so), I wash my face with a gentle cleanser. I use Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser, which is very mild. I don't recommend using an anti-acne cleanser for this, as it will likely negate the coconut oil. I always found anti-acne cleansers to worsen my skin anyway. Once I do that, my skin feels very moisturized, and in the winter, I'll still apply moisturizer after that. Then, when I wake up in the morning, my skin feels as good as new. I used to do this every few days or so, now I just do it once every one-two weeks as a refresher. I don't break out so much anymore, though I don't know if it's because I stopped abusing my skin with a million products or I'm just growing out of it. But when I first started using it, all of the acne scars I thought would *never* go away were all gone within the month. I used a bunch of those skin refining scar-removing treatment products and they barely made any difference. Also, when it's that time of the month and I start to see cystic pimples popping up(that's the only kind I get), a pre-cleanse of coconut oil will stop them right in their tracks. Not to mention coconut oil is much cheaper. I highly recommend this oil to anyone with sensitive skin and thus have trouble using a lot of skincare products. For those who are afraid of breakouts or have combination/oily skin, try using it as a pre-cleanser first. Afterwards, if you think you can, you can try applying it to your bare skin. I don't think it's a good idea to judge it by trying it first on dry skin, since I know personally that will give me a ton of whiteheads and make my skin really oily(all day). On a side note, this does not make my skin more oily throughout the day when I use it as a pre-cleanse. On the contrary, my skin is much less oily for the following days afterward. Using it every day is a bit much though. I haven't given using it on my hair and the rest of my skin yet, though I will after reading all of these reviews again. Oh yeah, and I have tried eating some, and it tastes better than butter on some things. I use it to cook sometimes, though, and I know this is probably in my head, sometimes it feels like it's making me gain weight. I want to use it more though after reading these reviews, since I'm probably not following a suitable diet for coconut oil to help. Admittedly I tend to eat high carb high sugar food, which I can only blame myself for. So don't listen to me, other than if you're following a low carb diet, coconut oil will help immensely since it is very filling and has good saturated fat. It's like avocado, for example. And by low carb diet I don't mean Atkins or whatever, more like less wheat and gluten products. I'm a bread fiend, so it's tough. You can downvote me for that last comment if you want, I just thought I'd put it out there. Anyway this is an amazing oil with an immense amount of uses, and I can almost guarantee that you will find a use for it in some way :) I'm also now very interested in oil pulling....I'll give an update when I've given using it on my hair and including in my diet a try.
Foundations -Unlisted Brand - Lucy Minerals Foundation
nothingreally 7/4/2012 3:54:00 PM
I've been on the look-out for a new mineral foundation ever since my HG UD Surreal Skin started to just flake out, or they changed the formula(my suspicion). Anyway, I was attracted to this because of the good reviews and the great/cheap sample sizes they offer. Just 2.50 each for a decent sized sample, and I got free shipping on them too. To start, I tried the normal formula first. I'm really impressed with it so far. I've found a great match with Pale Olive, although I'm thinking of mixing Creamy Olive and Pale Olive since it's a bit too light. Overall, the coverage is great and has a semi-matte finish. I don't have much acne anymore so I'm not the best opinion on that matter, but powders often look ashy or cakey, and this doesn't, which is good enough for me. I'm probably a bit biased since I'm so syked(sp?) to find a foundation that offers such a great light olive shade. The Pale Olive is a true olive, no yellow, pink, or 'neutral' tones. It is difficult to get right, for whatever reason. It looks kind of flat, to be honest, but that's my skin and I'd rather go with what looks natural than having to put makeup all over my neck for a more 'lively' shade to match. Anyway, if you have olive skin and have a ridiculous time trying to find a match, I recommend Pale Olive or Creamy Olive. My only complaint, as I see others have had as well, is that my face does get super oily with it. Granted, this is after 10 hours of wear but still, it is more oily than my other mineral foundations. I wouldn't say it wears as well, you'll probably need to touch up halfway through the day, unlike my UD. Not a big deal but for those who are out and about or live in hot climates might want to try the oil control formula they have. I just ordered samples of that right now, so I'll update my review when I get to try those out. I'll leave it at 5 stars and somewhat leave this review unfinished until I can try the Oil Control, but overall I'm impressed with Lucy Minerals and recommend the normal formula for those with dry-normal skin. UPDATE 10/28: So I'm sad to say that I no longer use this. Having to reapply just got to me after a while as I don't like carrying makeup around, and it just made my face too oily. I tried out their oil control formulas and got about the same results, honestly. I'm only going to knock it down to 3 because their CS is so amazing. The woman who runs it(Annie I think) really cares about her customers, ships fast and often includes freebies. Overall I can't badmouth Lucy Minerals, it's just not for me. I might revisit it soon since I haven't used it in a while, and will update if I've changed my mind.
Moisturizers -Trader Joe's - Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion
nothingreally 4/20/2012 4:35:00 PM
When I saw the few people who complained of a reaction to an ingredient in the moisturizer, I thought 'nah, not gonna happen to me, what are the odds, etc. etc' Well, I didn't get a severe reaction, but some ingredient in this doesn't agree with my skin. It was great at first, upon application it moisturized well and wasn't oily. I did notice some initial redness and my skin felt kind of weird at first, but nothing major. However, throughout the day my skin got more irritated and the redness below my nose was so aggravated that it looked like I had a sunburn. I didn't break out or have a terrible reaction; this is just a situation where something in it is irritating my skin. I did use this a few more times and the same thing happened. I was disappointed because I was sure it would be fine since I use Olay Complete, which is what this is based on. I like Olay Complete, and the only reason I sprung for this is the fact that Olay is 3 times more expensive. I got this for $3. I'm gonna give this a 3 since I'm sure it's a good moisturizer and I do seem to be in the minority with this issue. But I thought it was worth posting a review, and recommend checking out the ingredients before you use this even if you've used Olay Complete in the past. I'm just going to stick with that for now.
Loose Powders -E.L.F. - Studio High Definition Powder
nothingreally 4/17/2012 10:28:00 PM
I have to say that this is the best setting powder I've ever used. I haven't tried the MUFE HD powder, though, since I can't really justify spending that much on a setting powder. I think it's an acceptable price for foundation but definitely not just translucent powder. So I can't compare the two. That being said, someone mentioned something along the lines of a bulletproof base for makeup, and I have to agree. What amazes me the most is how well it controls the oil on my face. I can go 8+ hours without my face getting shiny at all. After that I start to get a little oily but it's much better than my other powders in the past, which would be a couple of hours, give or take. What I *love* to do with this powder, even when not wearing foundation, is to set concealer or just brush over my eyes before I put on eyeliner. I have watery eyes and oily eyelids, and normally my eyeliner and mascara would be smudging after a few hours. With this powder; I applied my makeup at 6am this morning and at 10pm right now, there is absolutely no smudging. My eyeliner/mascara has not budged. I would normally be raccoon eyed by now. I even have my contacts on and there's still no smudging. While I agree that this can cake easily and lighten your face if you use too much, I rate this powder a 5 for just controlling oil so well, which is all I'm looking for in a powder. I don't use much because I'm afraid of a white cast, so I haven't seen anything like that in photos. If you tend to go heavy handed with setting powder, though, I recommend not using a translucent finishing powder in general. I do want to note as well that this is the only finishing powder that does not break me out *at all*. Normally mattifying powders break me out like nothing else, but this does not have a negative effect on my skin. For those looking for oil control and not spending a lot of $$$ for just finishing powder, I highly recommend this.
Concealers -E.L.F. - Studio Line Concealer Pencil & Brush
nothingreally 5/13/2011 3:03:00 PM
I purchased this knowing that this concealer will either be a hit or miss because I can't even test the shade(ordering online), but this concealer may have the worst shade selection I've come across. I bought this in Fair expecting it to be too light, and it ended up being several shades darker than my skin; it's more of a tan-medium tone. Even though I've forgoing foundation(less protection from the sun) recently and tan easily; this was way too dark, and had a bit of an orange undertone. So I honestly can't really give an unbiased review of the quality of this concealer, but buyers beware that the shade selection on the ELF website is very misleading for this particular product. I'm going to keep this and try again towards the summer when I tanner, but I don't think the orange-y undertone will pass even then. Still, the picture on makeupalley makes the light shade look more neutral/light, I'm tempted to try that shade but there's no returns for the ELF website and it's not one of their 1$ 'why not' products. So I don't know if I can recommend this, just know that the odds that this concealer will match your skintone aren't that promising. I do like the packaging though, a pencil type concealer is great for on-the-go makeup application; no liquids involved. The coverage did seem pretty opaque on my skin, but I still can't give much of an accurate observation of that.
Moisturizers -Olay - Complete Moisture Cream Sensitive SPF 15
nothingreally 2/28/2011 3:30:00 PM
This review is for the bottled version. I was using this about a year before they changed the formula and was actually afraid to try the new formula after they added all those terrible sunscreen ingredients, so I can't comment on which is better. But I bought the 'new' gentle classic formula about 4 months ago and have been using it daily ever since. This won't perform miracles, but sometimes it's really hard to find just a basic moisturizer that doesn't try to do anything more than just moisturize skin(no extra potentially irritating ingredients). The SPF is not quite enough for the summer and this may not cut it for some with dry skin in the winter and might be too oily in the summer; it's really just for normal/combination skin. It's fragrance free which is very welcome to sensitive skin, but the sunscreen smell is very apparent with nothing else added to cover that up; this is something that doesn't bother me personally but it might be unpleasant for some. I love it simply because it doesn't irritate my face at all and I wear this alone comfortably; I haven't worn coverup in months and I wouldn't do that if I had a moisturizer that irritated my skin a bit(which would spur me to wear foundation), one unlike Olay complete. This doesn't break me out at all, doesn't make me overly oily(this time of year so far), and gives basic protection from the sun if I'm just going about my daily routine, and that's really all I ask for for a daytime moisturizer. I would definitely recommend getting a separate one for the night, this is only adequate enough for the day but I don't mind since my night moisturizer satisfies all my dry skin needs. For those who need a simple moisturizer this is the go-to product, and for those that have a nighttime moisturizer that is enough for the skin this is a great alternative for the day.
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Liquid Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Formula
nothingreally 8/17/2010 10:03:00 PM
I was tempted to try a fragrance free product after I heard that sensitive skin may be bothered by fragrance. I always have trouble finding a non-irritating skin product. I'm not sure if fragrance was my problem, but this fragrance-free cleanser is fantastic. My skin finally isn't all bothered and flaky, and in the summer I could even skip moisturizer. This removes makeup VERY well, and I can use this around my eyes without any burning. I use this to clean my makeup brushes as well; it gets rid of all makeup/oils so well, better than baby shampoo, and always leaves my makeup brushes clean and soft. I recommend this to those with skin that gets irritated easily by facial products. You're hard-pressed to find anything fragrance-free nowadays, so you never know if that's the issue; even products that don't smell strongly usually have 'fragrance' in the ingredients list somewhere. It's worth a shot. UPDATE: 4/20/12 Unfortunately, I do not use this anymore. This removes makeup and dirt really *really well*, but I think at a price. My skin started to feel very tight after I washed my face and my eyebrows were falling out. I noticed it doing so after every time I washed my face, and the days I got lazy and just used an Equate face wipe, they didn't fall out. I didn't make the connection until I switched face washes; ever since I did so my eyebrows stopped falling out. I can't recommend this as I did before, and am disappointed because this kept my skin so clear, probably because it cleans so well. This is still a good face wash, but maybe better for those normal - oily, not sensitive.
Mascara -Maybelline - Full 'N Soft Mascara Waterproof
nothingreally 7/20/2010 2:16:00 PM
Full n Soft waterproof knocks my old HG max factor mascaras(both 2000 cal and volume couture) right out of the park. I actually hated this mascara at first because it smudged yet was a pain to completely remove, but I gave it a second shot recently because I still had it lying around. I don't know why, but I really like it now. The w/p formula thickens and lengthens but still looks natural, as promised. This makes my lashes look longer and doesn't weight them down; it's just a no frills but reliable mascara. The non-waterproof Full n Soft formula is heavy and too wet, takes a few minutes to just dry and smudges in 30% humidity; I prefer the waterproof formula. I can deal with some smudging and use oil to get this off, it's worth it.
This mascara has definitely grown on me; I've been using this for the past year and a half and I keep on coming back. I can honestly say that this mascara makes a HUGE difference with my lashes, definitely in the visibility factor(my eyelashes are practically invisible naturally). I find this to be a very dramatic looking mascara, but that might just be me since I can't resist layering this mascara. One thing I've never experienced with other mascaras is I can put layer upon layer of Lash Blast and my eyelashes are still seperate and defined. It's not like a natural look, but there are times when a very mascara-ed eye compliments eye makeup well, in a fake lashes sort of way. I'm not making this sound too pretty but mascara enthusiasts can decipher what I mean. I like this after the formula 'dries' a bit after two weeks or so, it builds much better. I especially like that it curls my eyelashes, since my eyelashes aren't really long enough for a lash curler. I honestly detest the brush; Max Factor mascaras came with this same rubber brush but in a small cylindrical tube, so I definitely don't think the huge handle is necessary. I got used to it, but I have to take care applying it and I get mascara on my brow bone more often than I'd like. Because of this, I stick to Full n' Soft for quick application. The packaging is not exactly subtle, but you definitely can't miss the bright orange tube in a makeup bag; I always(emphasis on the always) lose makeup but I've never lost this. What I do love is it NEVER flakes, ever. It lasts for the majority of the day before it smudges a little and the non-waterproof formula is long lasting enough for me to wear in the summer(heat, not water.) I despise the waterproof formula, though; it clumps like you would not believe and is ridiculously difficult to remove. I would often end up with a four eyelashes look, which is not attractive. Overall this is my go-to mascara and the price is right, though it's been getting pricier in my area recently. The tradeoff is drugstore makeup is stepping up and I see I'm not the only one who would pick this over high end mascaras :)
Terrible mascara. Given, I have watery eyes and I wear contacts, but this would smudge within half an hour, ten minutes in hot weather, even if I applied just the lightest coat. Actually, if you wear contacts then skip this altogether; even when I wore glasses this smudged in an instant. Unless I did the quickest flick of this over my eyelashes, this would clump into 6 or 7 monster lashes. The shade selection isn't too great either; the blackest black is too black to be good for a natural mascara(even for someone with near black eyes like myself) and I found the brownish-black to be an unflattering, muddy color. I'm pretty realistic about mascara, it's obvious that eyelashes were not part of my genetic package, a natural looking mascara suits me best. So it's not that I'm let down for the lack of a fake-lashes-in-a-bottle effect, it's the clumping and smudging that make Great Lash so bad. The ONLY plus I can find with this mascara is that it comes off easily with soap and water, no makeup remover required, but that comes with the easily smudge-able territory. I wouldn't even recommend this to tweens trying out makeup, because during that particularly self-esteem crushing time, it blows to be off to a raccoon/spider eyed start. Those who are new to makeup, I'd recommend a good natural looking mascara like Maybelline Full n Soft. The low price of Great Lash is a plus, but full n' soft is usually only a buck or two more, and well worth it. I found GL went bad on me after 2 months anyway, not even with daily use. Countless number of mascaras better than this.
Lotions/ Creams -Eucerin - Aquaphor Healing Ointment
nothingreally 6/30/2010 4:53:00 PM
This is incredibly sad, but this irritates my skin. I tried this a few times around my nose and cheeks which get very dry in the winter, but it made those areas inflamed and red, and it had no effect anywhere else on my body. To me it felt like Vaseline with a few more ingredients added, but Vaseline really works for me. I wanted to try this because of the rave reviews but I guess that doesn't give Aquaphor a 100% guarantee. But seriously, my skin gets irritated by almost everything so I wouldn't caution people with sensitive skin not to use this, I'm obviously in that very tiny percentage of people who don't like this. Try a patch test if you're worried, though. I'll just stick to Vaseline and Neosporin for healing/moisturizing purposes, both of which don't irritate me a bit.
Primer/ Corrector -E.L.F. - Mineral Infused Face Primer
nothingreally 3/23/2010 1:58:00 PM
My go-to when I want my foundation to last all day. I'm not a big fan of primers because most break me out and make my skin more oily than matte. This, however, doesn't bother my skin at all and does the job. It keeps me matte for the better part of the day, maybe about 8-9 hours, and then I only have to blot my t-zone slightly. It helps my mineral foundation go on a lot smoother and last all day. I've never had any issues with the pump not working or leaking, I actually like it because one pump dispenses the perfect amount of primer necessary. I got this for $3.00 during one of those 50% off studio products sales that come every so often.
I thought Redken All Soft was my one and only, but this shampoo+conditioner combo is no comparison. This gives my hair great volume and shine without coating or weighing it down. I always get complimented on how shiny and frizz-free my hair is, and without this that would not be the case. I used to avoid moisturizing shampoos like the plague because I have oily hair, but ever since I started using this my hair is thicker and so much less oily. My hair is much easier to deal with and I don't need extra moisturizing treatments. To me the shampoo smells like candy and the conditioner more like coconut, but it's a very light scent and I don't notice it much after I dry my hair. A couple of months ago my hair was getting really brittle and dry and I thought this wasn't moisturizing enough, but I realized I'd been using a lot of heat protectant and mousse lately. I read somewhere that product buildup makes hair feel dry, so I used a clarifying shampoo(Neutrogena Anti-Residue) followed by 3 Minute Miracle, and my hair was back to normal. Aussie Moist is the only shampoo+conditioner I will ever use, and what an awesome deal; I get this for $2 on sale.
Eyeliner -Wet 'n' Wild - Mega Eyes Creme Eyeliner - Black
nothingreally 3/13/2010 8:07:00 PM
The only creme liner I will use! I usually stay away from creme liners due to a terrible experience with L'oreal HIP(smudged like crazy, irritated my eyes, dried up in about 2 weeks), and I usually stick with liquid liners because they're the smoothest to apply. But after I saw this for 1.99 on sale, I figured what the hell. This liner caught me by suprise; it is incredibly creamy(unlike HIP) and smooth enough to get exactly the line I want with no tugging. I have shaky hands and usually have trouble applying eyeliner, but this goes on so smoothly that it's easy to do a quick sweep to get the perfect cat eye. This lasts for the better part of the day and smudges after 12hrs or so, but I have oily lids and this smudges the least of all the other liners I've ever tried. I've had this around 2 months and it hasn't dried yet, but if it does soon, it's cheap so I'll let it slide. :)