Er, no. As mentioned elsewhere, this was a full-sized "bonus" in the latest iteration of the Sephora Lash Stash sampler. It is negligibly better than no mascara at all. Does not lengthen, thicken, curl, or do anything to lashes beyond a mild darkening. I will keep it on hand for two purposes: to use as a base coat for mascaras that actually do something, and to recycle the handy thin brush for detail work. Otherwise, rubbish.
Hair Removal -Gillette - Gillette Venus Disposables Spa Breeze
ocarina 1/8/2012 2:16:00 AM
This is the only razor in twenty-odd years of shaving my legs that has left me 100% nick-free. It is so gentle, it didn't even irritate the scars where my previous razor left me bloody. The soap/gel is a little bit slimy but that works in its favor, because it clings well to the area being shaved. The shave is nicely close and each razor lasts me for about 4 full-body shaves (full legs, full arms, bikini, armpits). I even tried the fabled Embrace five-blade razor and I like the Spa Breeze better. Big win.
This is a frustrating product. Half the time I use it, I get a fabulous fringe of thick diva lashes. The other half, I get a gritty clumpy spidery mess. I never use it unless I have time to completely redo my eye makeup if necessary. Also, don't use your best most expensive mascara with this. Keep one cheap tube exclusively to use with FastLash, because within a dozen or so uses the mascara gets completely clogged with the fibers and becomes impossible to apply cleanly. So, having said all that, why would I buy it again? Because when it does work, it REALLY works.
Curses. I have a friend with a similar skintype to mine (oily, breakout and irritation-prone) who told me that Gel de la Mer was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I dismissed her, told her she was being ridiculous, that there was no reason to spend so much on a mainstream-brand cream and decanted myself a sample to prove to her how ridiculous she was. Boy am I eating crow now. I'll use nothing else. The smallest dab rubbed into face and eyes soothes flakiness and redness almost on contact. It isn't oily and doesn't aggravate breakouts. And I may be dreaming but the crow's feet around my eyes are definitely smoother and less visible. I have a feeling I'll be hounding the duty-free La Mer counter quite a bit.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir
ocarina 4/11/2011 4:53:00 AM
This is old-school. A potent, complex spicy-floral-incense with the slightest hint of cuminy skank (but not too much). Amazing sillage and unheard-of lasting power. Drydown is balsamic, comforting and faintly sweet. If you like strong ambery-orientals like Lutens' Fumerie Turque and Parfum d'Empire's Ambre Russe, get your hands on a sample pronto. Be sure to apply with discretion because it is *quite* strong and could potentially alienate those in your immediate vicinity if oversprayed. Luckyscent places it more toward the "masculine" end of its masculine/feminine scale, which is incomprehensible to me: besides Fracas, I find it hard to think of a more bombshell-ish femme fatale fragrance than AplS. Love love love.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Global Keratin treatment
ocarina 3/30/2011 3:42:00 AM
I treated myself to a Global Keratin treatment on my birthday. It promised smoothness and reduced frizz but without the extreme straightness and damage) of a Japanese-style thermal reconditioning.It took about 2.5 hours from beginning to end. Get hair washed with a clarifying shampoo, have stinky GK paste painted on strand by strand, have hair blown straight, and then have hair painstakingly flatironed. You cannot wash your hair for 72 hours afterwards, and you must use GK's shampoo which is sodium chloride free (apparently, salt immediately leaches the keratin from your hair.). How does it work? Brilliantly! Hair that used to take 30 minutes to flatiron can now be air-dried STRAIGHT, no heat. For my wiry, wavy, frizz-prone hair that is a Godsend. From what I can tell, there is no visible hair damage, and my hair feels silky and shiny. It is not the pin-straight result achieved with other treatments but if I want it that way, it takes one 5-minute ironing of the ends and fringe to achieve. (I still use the iron on my fringe daily, because sleeping on my side causes scary morning head.) It's only been two weeks so I can't say how long it lasts, and it does cost $250 for my shoulder-length coarse hair, but if I could be guarantee the same awesome results for my hair, I would absolutely do this again and again. EDIT:Knocked off three stars because this only lasted a month, even though I used all the recommended products. Too expensive for that... was hoping for at least two months. Still stand by my description of the awesome initial results, but sorry they were so ephemeral.
Fragrances -Dolce & Gabbana - 10 La Roue de la Fortune
ocarina 3/13/2011 3:17:00 AM
Picture the label on a can of Impulse body spray: "If you like Bond No. 9's Chinatown, you'll LOVE D&G's La Roue de la Fortune!" Yep.
Fragrances -L'Artisan Fragrances - Traversee du Bosphore
ocarina 3/13/2011 1:45:00 AM
Traversee du Bosphore reminds me of two Etat Libre d'Orange fragrances that I have: Bendelirious and Encens et Bubblegum. It has Bendelirious' pale, cool iris married to a wretchedly sweet fruit note, and Encens et Bubblegum's solemn (almost masculine) dry accord combined with...a wretchedly sweet fruit note. Obviously something about both these fragrances induced me to buy them, but repeated use has not been their friend: they are on my shelf of stuff to be sold on Ebay. Thank Heavens I sampled Traversee before buying it, or that bottle would have joined their fate. The ghastly iris and the sad candy note that form the core of Traversee remind me of a room where someone has misted a Bath & Body Works body spray to cover up the smell of a sick person. Note to self: in the future, avoid fragrances that try to "modernize" classic fragrance genres with syrup. For shame, Bertrand!
Treatments -Joico - K-Pak Color Restorative Styling Oil
ocarina 12/16/2010 4:01:00 AM
I'll be darned. The claims of reduced drying time? 100% true. My massive head of thick, coarse hair usually takes 2+ hours to air dry after towel drying. This cuts that in half. I don't blow-dry my hair because I flatiron it every day, and goodness that's enough torture for my poor locks. This helps seal some of the damage and leaves my hair relatively smooth. Surprisingly for a silicone serum, not all that humidity-resistant. When I want to weather-proof my hair on a humid day, I'll cut this with a pea-sized puff of Ojon Tunu Elastik Hair Tamer, iron with B&B Holding Spray, and top off with the lightest possible coat of K-Pak Oil again. If that sounds like a lot, my hair can take it (and it's not even completely foolproof). But I digress. This is good (if expensive) stuff.
If you are looking for a replacement for the amazing sour-fruit nirvana that was the late Jus by Fresh, look no further. I was so transported by Pulp that I shelled out big bucks for the bottle within minutes of my first spray. My first impression is a blast of lemons, grapefruits, Granny Smith apples,and (maybe) unsweetened cranberries, served on a bed of leafy green notes. It settles down into a more straightforward berry/fig fruity scent after a while, but GAWD those first 20 minutes are phenomenal: the most puckeringly unsweet fruity scent since...well, since Jus, actually. Reminds me of a amplified sour version of Diptique's L'Ombre dans L'eau, heavy on fruit, light on greenery.
I take this product on business trips because it can perform the functions of eyeshadow, eyeliner, and brow powder. The rich gorgeusness of the browns accentuates even my brown eyes, and it's not too shimmery for day. The wear is exemplary even without a base.
Mascara -Bourjois - Coup De Theatre 2 in 1 mascara
ocarina 7/21/2010 4:09:00 AM
Disappointed. This mascara had no discernible effect on my lashes beyond darkening. No length, no volume, no curling. Even pairing this with my Lancome lash primer barely had any effect. Best thing I can say about it is that it doesn't clump and it wears well. Volume Clubbing is still my favorite Bourjois mascara.
I have purposely put off writing this review for several months, since I wanted to give this pricey gadget a while to work properly. And boy does it ever! I got the Mia since it was the least expensive option that had worldwide voltage. I use this twice a day (once on days that I exfoliate) and I believe it is responsible for reducing my pimples to near-nothingness. My TOM now passes with one or two tiny zits instead of a half-dozen monsters. I use it with any homemade soap and it works a treat. I just changed the brush after three months of use. Absolutely 100% worth the investment.
I have this in "Siren" which appears to be the loudest, most lurid metallic orange in history. But on my lips it is unbelievably flattering. The texture is soft, the brush is high-quality and doesn't splay, the packaging is elegant, and it tastes like butterscotch. With this colour, keep an eye out that you top it up regularly, otherwise the gloss will wear off and leave the metallic part behind--unattractive.. Pricey, but good.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - The Different Company - Jasmin de Nuit
ocarina 5/2/2010 4:57:00 AM
"Nuit"--yes. "Jasmin"--not entirely. This is a sweetly soft, balsamic, elegant floriental with a healthy dose of spices. The jasmine becomes noticeable after about five minutes, but this isn't a "death by jasmine" scent in the manner of A La Nuit or LUSH Flying Fox. It is, however, very noticeably natural jasmine and not a cheap synthetic, which probably explains the price. The overall feel is antique but not old-fashioned, if that makes sense. The bottle is satisfyingly heavy square glass with metal hardware and a screw-on lid (mine squeaks when I screw it in). Also, the juice is sunset-orange, so don't spray it on light clothes. I would firmly place this in the floriental rather than floral category, and it is exemplary in every respect except its brief staying power.