I hesitated on this eyeshadow for at least six months before taking the plunge and purchasing it. Years ago I used a similar shade from a now-defunct company and it was gorgeous, really made my blue eyes pop. That eyeshadow is long gone. Since then I've figured out (pitiful trial and error experiences) that I'm allergic to the carmine used in many copper eye makeup products. So I was unsure about this color, given its name. I use it only in the crease of the eyelid since I'm not even curious about a reaction on the actual eyelid (eyeliners w/carmine cause them to swell and I wasn't about to test the lids). The color is a mid-tone peachy copper which is gorgeous and truly brings out the blue and bright tones in my eyes. I've paired it with neutrals but also with dark sage green, grays, and cool burgundy and it is drama at its best, at least for someone my age. The formulation is veluxe pearl which means the powder glides onto the skin and stays there. One swipe was all I needed for my crease and to get the effect I wanted, along with some blending. The packaging is wonderful. I look forward to using this shade a lot in summer; it goes beautifully with my Chanel Imprevu blush as bronzer,
Makeup Brushes -Sonia Kashuk - Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush
novelist 2/16/2010 7:23:00 PM
This brush is a high-quality one from Sonia Kashuk. I have the philosophy supenatural brush which is similar and much more expensive, probably due to the density of the bristles, but this brush seems more usable. It's soft and yet it does a wonderful job of buffing in my Lancome Dual Finish powder. It washes well. I might buy another to use for blushes since I prefer it to the philosophy one being used for blush. It's a good buy and a keeper.
My honey blonde hair has "matured" into a dark blonde with very red to copper undertones. The problem for me was that the undertones did not fully reveal themselves until after a hair disaster. On the surface, the strands looked medium ash blonde. After the blonde dye was applied, my hair came out carrot orange. So five years ago, after my last and worst hair color/hairdresser disaster, I took matters back onto my own hands and started to color my hair again. I went through various products and Natural Instincts (NI) proved to be the most successful and natural. The shades for auburn in NI are somewhat limited (though I love the Hot Cocoa) and so I decided, after careful study and even hair board discussion, to use the Medium Auburn. The results are fantastic, nearly identical to the gal on the box! What more can you ask? The price at $3.99 a box is about half of NI but that's because there is about 2/3 the amount of product. It's not a complaint, just a statement of fact. I used 2 boxes of this hair color which was still a tiny fraction of the cost of any hair salon job, and I ended up with shiny, soft, medium auburn hair with coppery highlights. The "goop" is thicker than the NI "goop" which for me was a plus. There was less mess and virtually no odor. I left the dye on my hair (just below chin length bob with bangs, and I have a lot of hair) for 30 minutes. The only grays I've got (knock on wood) are a few silver strands in the sideburns so I can't attest to the product's ability to cover gray (once the hair comes in gray, it's bye-bye auburn and hello ash blonde), but the shade from this product is extremely natural-looking. The conditioner with it is strongly fragranced but I always use the supplied conditioner because I think that it somehow helps to process and lock in the color. I'll wash my hair next week and will update if the color fades significantly. The nicest thing about this product is that it dyed my hair evenly; Natural Instincts tended to grab the ends of the hair more. Any gal trying to color her own hair and intending to do it every 8 weeks (my present timeframe) ought to try this product. My husband commented that the color is a lot like the l'Oreal Copper Penny which I used a time or two in the 90's. Maybe an older copper penny, but I love it.
This lipstick is LE as are all of the MAC lippies which I've owned and now own. My skin is NW20 and it seems that only LE from MAC look good on me; this lipstick is no exception. It's a mid-tone mauve which leans more toward the berry side than plum or the dreaded dead-of-night shade which I found in BB mauve shades (except for the pale mauve one). It's creamy and while it doesn't last very long, the look is very natural so that it wears gradually. It's a very good basic for me since I have pigmented lips but, as the previous reviewer said, this shade bumps it up a notch. It has shine to it, not shimmer. I can wear it for dress or casually. It didn't get much fanfare in the new Spring Forecast Collection but I'm very pleased with it, quietly pleased, I guess.
Now that my face has recovered from a previous exfoliating disaster, I wanted to try another exfoliator and St. Ives seemed to call to me. It's not the most gentle scrub because the walnut shell powder is a bit "piecey" but I only use it once a week and use gentle strokes. It's creamy so there is a tendency to really "scrub" with it, but I don't and I keep the product away from the eye area. My face feels soft and clean afterwards. I've used it for a month now, which is four times, so I am pleased with the results. It's my basic "scrub" (philosophy exfoliating wash is the other very mild product which I use a couple of times a week). I can see where sensitive skin would find this scrub too harsh but I'm very gentle with this product and for now it works for me. It's also a very good buy for the size of the tube.
I believe I may have ended my never-ending search for a hydrating cleanser to use in the dry heat of summer where I live. Usually, I use a glycerin-based soap or J&J baby wash but I know that in summer my skin will need more moisture a few times a week. I've "skin-tested" Cerave hydrating cleanser twice a week for the past three weeks, and I'm pleased with the results. Unlike Cetaphil, this cleanser does clean and it also does hydrate. In other words it does what it says it will do. My face feels soft and hydrated but not oily. There is no residue. It's a keeper.
This lotion is one of the many J&J products I've re-discovered this past year. I'm talking about the pink stuff in the pink bottle. It's cheap, it lasts on my body, and the scent is soothing. It's about to replace the lemon Watkins lotion in my supply of lotions which is usually one - 1 - because I've learned that if I lotion legs and elbows every other day, instead of every day, they are less dry. Sometimes I'll use a light layer of the J&J baby oil, and then apply a small amount of the baby lotion. I'm through with heavy, thick lotions which wind up drying my skin and carry a hefty price tag. In some ways, life can be simple.
Makeup Brushes -Laura Mercier - Pointed Eyeliner Brush
novelist 2/10/2010 12:41:00 PM
I purchased this brush a few years ago when I was using BB gel eyeliner and the BB brush for that purpose was too thick and stiff. I've since stopped using the gel liners (faded on me) but I'm using this brush and it is one of the finest I've ever used for eyelining. It's pricey ($24) but it keeps its shape, has not shed, and works very well for lining lids. The shape is a bit domed but it comes to a fine point and I can use powder shadows to make a very fine line or I can apply more product and make the line thicker. This brush really allows you to control the work you're trying to accomplish. It's soft, doesn't scratch or show any flyaway hairs. It really is a very good investment if you like to line lids precisely. I'd buy it again but it is a high-quality brush so I don't think I'll need to.
Blush -Bobbi Brown - Sheer Color Cheek Tint - Sheer Lilac
novelist 2/9/2010 5:24:00 PM
The price of this cheek tint is the most I've ever paid for any product which is so small - $22 for .13, that's point 13 oz. I marked it down one lippie because of the price. However, this is one product which I will re-purchase because I'm sure to use it up! Seriously, this cheek tint is unlike the pot rouge (which dried up on me) in that it is quite sheer and luminous and has a good slip. Other reviewers found it oily. I don't but I only use it on the upper edges of my cheekbones which tend to be dry and can become dry in the summer. I plan on using this product in the spring and summer and so the added moisture will work for the dry air in my region. For gals with oily skin, this little thing may be a huge disappointment. The color is a cool pink with a purple undertone. It is sheer, quite sheer and may not work for some skintones or for what some women expect from a pricey product (not enough color "payoff"). For me, it's nicely subtle and I can layer it over another blush (or combine with NARS Copacabana). I rub my clean fingertip on the product and apply to my cheekbones, usually adding a second swipe. I will admit I was a bit stunned at the size. I'd re-purchase, however, because I've looked high and low for this shade of sheer blush and couldn't find one (Chanel has eliminated cool tones from their JC blushes; Imprevu is an exception and I've got it.). Most pale blushes vanish on my NW20 skin and this one doesn't, so it earns the current price.
Eye Shadow -Bobbi Brown - Long Wear Cream Eye Shadow in Navajo
novelist 2/9/2010 5:04:00 PM
Spring allergy season has arrived and I've got a new weapon against red eyelids: BB Long Wear Cream Eye Shadow in Navajo. I already have and use the powder Navajo, all over the lid and just on brow bone. But I've been using the cream eye shadow in Burnished and it is a great base (for my oily lids), so I thought I'd try Navajo in the cream formulation. Whoa! What a huge surprise this product was for me. I brushed it onto my lids and into the crease with a small synthetic brush and the reddish woe-is-me stressed-out lids were masked by a very natural but sheer tone of this pinkish-white cream shadow. For reference, I'm NW20 and the Burnished pretty well matches the healthy color of my eyelids. This product is amazing. I used the powder Navajo on the browbone and then applied a matte dark grey powder eye shadow over the lids, and I was able to sheer it out into the crease so this cream eye shadow is an excellent base/primer. Just to see how it would look, I brushed a bit of this shadow on the hump below the waterline, and then applied MUFE 23L (Champagne) to the waterline. Quite astounding, I looked really wide awake. This little pot is gonna get a lot of use year-round and probably on a daily basis. By itself, this cream shadow on my lids looks very natural, not weird or pale. It's a great product.
Vaseline, my first true beauty treatment product. I use castor oil on brows, but for my lashes I use Vaseline, and I've been doing so since I was fourteen (which is over 40 years ago). My lashes are straight and long and they have always been full and furry -- EXCEPT for the 2-3 years when DD talked me into foregoing the use of this product because I'd become milia-prone. I'm back to rubbing my lashes and tops of lids with a small bit of this stuff. To be honest, until I was about 47, all I used around the eye areas and mouth was good old Vaseline. I don't recommend this "beauty" routine, but gosh, they were the good old days. Then I started needing AHA's and glycolics for very mild (but persistent) acne and products to even out skintone. Happily I'm past that phase of life and I'm able at night to just moisturize (Nivea) and use, sparingly, Vaseline. Other reviewers have stated the multiple other uses of this product (burns, abrasions, chapped skin, eye makeup remover, etc). I just wanted to weigh in on one of the oldest products around, and it's still good, at least for me it is.
I didn't purchase this liner; it was given to me by someone who bought it and just didn't like it. I use liquid liner less than eye pencil but when I do there are certain things I expect from it. This little bottle didn't do many of them, but I'm finicky. First off, my eyes have epicanthal folds (though I'm not Asian) so I don't line the upper lid all the way or the eye closes right up. I do have lids, not huge ones but adequate to normal sized ones, and I try to smudge the liner into my furry lash line to avoid the dreaded space between the mascara and eyeliner. This liner dried so quickly -- almost as I put it on -- that I couldn't smudge it. Then that little space between lashes and mascara showed, so I re-lined. Too thick. I tried to smudge again. The stuff was like a Sharpie pen dried onto my lid. The look was not what I wanted. The color is amazing, though, a brassy-bronzey-olive green which brought out deeper colors in my bright blue eyes. I used BB Rock shimmerwash before the liner and the result was good enough for me to wear it all day. The liner faded, however, so it doesn't have great staying power. I think that UD's schtick is a range of colors not found anywhere else (and grotesque names), so if those aspects appeal to you, this liner is worth the price. For me, the quality just isn't there and the brush is a bit thick (had to wipe product off on a tissue several times while using). It's more work than I want to go through for lining just up to the arc on my upper lid (trick from Raquel Welch for almond-shaped eyes). I probably won't use this product again. It was a disappointment.
Lip Liners -Lancome - Le Crayon Contour des Levres, Caramel
novelist 2/4/2010 6:05:00 PM
I'm no longer a use of lip liners; I've tried them and they make my small mouth (a modest rosebud) look farcical. But I ordered some products from Lancome online and this Crayon Contour des Levres came with it, so I decided to try a technique I'd heard about and read about and just hadn't done because of not owning a lip liner. First, the quality of this pencil is excellent. The price for a full-sized liner is $22.50 which seems grossly overpriced but, as is the case with Lancome eye pencils, there is a substantial amount of product in this pencil. My GWP liner looks to be about 3/4 the size of a full-sized liner, so Lancome is generous with their "freebies" (a lippie GWP was also about 3/4 a full-sized one). The color is Caramel which looks more like a rosy toffee. On my pigmented lips it looks like a mauvey nude. The pencil feels a bit hard upon application but when I looked at my lips in the mirror, they did not look dry, just matte. Then I applied Fairest Nude from L'Oreal (CR), and the result was gorgeous, a sensual rosy nude which goes so well with my NW20 skin. I know that this review doesn't explain how this pencil works as a lip liner or what the color is on my skin because I can't bring myself to line my lips. But it is a nice shade, perhaps even universal because if I can pull off the color of "caramel" on my lips without looking ill, then it's probably more a neutral than a brown.
After a lengthy absence,I have returned to Lancome products and this Crayon Kohl Black Coffee is a wonderful product. It is $24.50 which sounds pricey, but here are the facts: it is a humongous pencil, 1/3 longer than the ones from MUFE Aqua Eyes and UD 24/7. (I've got ones from these competitors and compared the sizes.) As for qualty, it is quite good. I lined upper lids and lower lids, including the waterline on the lower lid, and the drama queen effect was so purely evil (Disney evil) on the lower lids that I smugded it out. Hours later, I did not need to re-apply to my normally allergy-wet waterlines. A truly amazing discovery. The color is a true brown-black, like the richest black coffee bean. My eyes are light blue with lavender flecks and rather thick black rings, and the intense color of this pencil brings out every hue and contrast in my eyes. It is true that deep cool browns work best for light blue eyes. I'll repurchase but from past experience with Lancome eye pencil liners, I know that this magic "crayon" will last years.
Powder -Lancome - Dual Finish Versatile Powder Makeup
novelist 2/4/2010 5:32:00 PM
Back in the 1980's I was a Lancome gal. Sometime in the 1990's Lancome changed and so did I, and it's taken me a very long time to try their products again. I've been eyeing Dual Finish for at least six months, researching the powder, reading reviews. I'd been using NARS pressed powder in Eden as a finishing powder and while it's good, I wanted something more than just a finishing powder. Finally I bought the fragrance-free Dual Finish online along with another goodie and got the GWP and free shipping. I engaged in a rather limp "live chat" online to try to determine the shade, but lost patience after 15 minutes and went with Matte Buff II. For reference, I'm NW20 and tan in the summer. When the package came (by the way, the cute little "makeup" bag holds only my tweezers and nail clippers), my DD said, "Oh, your skin oughta love this stuff, it's got mineral oil in it." Indeed, my skin loves this stuff and I love the way I look in it. The soft-focus effect is akin to the Maquimat foundation I used 20 years ago (d/c of course). At the present time, I use a fluffy round blush brush to apply and it's working fine. But a SK skunk brush is on its way from Target and I'll probably work with that one. There is one area of hyperpigmentation on the uppermost part of my left cheekbone, a nice target for the sunlight, which I usually put concealer on to mask. I no longer have to do it. when using Dual Finish. And the amount of blush I need is greatly reduced since I've got a nice subtle radiance. You can use this powder wet but I am sticking with it dry as a finishing powder. Ahhh, it's been a long time, Lancome. Welcome back. One last note, the "live chat" gal e-mailed after my order was placed and agreed that I'd selected the best color for my skintone.