Lip Treatments -Fresh - Sugar Rose Lip Treatment SPF 15
olelala 6/28/2012 11:15:00 AM
I feel horrible that I will be one of the sole detractors on this cult classic, but I must. I received this as a birthday gift from Sephora, and I was really excited to get it. After all, I've heard tons of reviews, and most of them positive. Plus, I love Fresh as a brand. I love their cleansers, and lotions, and their Sugar Lemon perfume. I thought this one would be a shoo-in.
Unfortunately, it is not. The formula is REALLY creamy and feels heavy and waxy on my lips. It really sits on top of your lips like lard, and I couldn't forget it was on like most other lip balms I've tried. It melts at the slightest warm temperature, and did I mention it just feels gross on my lips? It does. I can't stress that enough. I also don't really care for the odd taste. Retail price, this thing will kill you. I'm all for splurging when a product is worth it, but this just isn't.
As a positive, I love the screw-on packaging - it'll prevent it from uncapping accidentally in your purse and coating everything in rose-tinted wax. I guess it's Revlon Lip Butters forever.
LOVE. I absolutely love this product!! It is for anyone looking for:
- a natural-looking, light foundation (which I thought was an oxymoron until I found this)
- something that will stay on your face during inclement weather, an accidental fall into the pool (yes, that happened), and even a swim in the ocean
- compliments. Just oodles of compliments.
After dozens of attempts at other foundations/concealers, I have found my HG foundation. First, the color selection is amazing. I actually found through trial and error that I am a 50/50 mix between 34, and 18. Being the clumsy fool I am (referencing the accidental fall into the pool), I am also prone to knocking glass things off high places. I found a small plastic bottle, bought both foundations, and mix my foundation in the small bottle. It's genius. In the summer, I add more 18. In the winter, more 34. This keeps me looking natural all throughout the year. With such a large color selection, I'm pretty sure you'll find your color match, even if you have to do some mixing like I do.
Second, the formula is amazing. It's a weird, globby gel consistency that is unlike anything I've ever felt in a foundation, but feels like water when spread across your face. I use my fingers, and use just a dime size for my entire face. It dries to a slight sheen, which is why I set it with Maybelline Dream Matte pressed powder. It stays ALL DAY, doesn't become oily, and doesn't oxidize like a lot of foundations I've tried. Even my picky bf, who hates makeup, thinks I never wear foundation. Even my sister asked me (knowing my enormous makeup collection) "are you wearing makeup? It doesn't look like it. It just looks like nice skin." The reason for this, which might turn some people off, is that it is very lightweight. It can be built up if applied in layers, but for the most part the beauty is that it lets natural skin show through. If you blush, it'll show you blushing. If you're sick, it'll show a pallor.
Yes, it does have a scent, but now I don't even notice it. It definitely fades after a while, and no one I know has ever complained about my "lotion smelling".
Highly highly recommend. I will use this one forever. =)
I REALLY wanted to love these, but unfortunately, these just have way too large sparkles. I agree with all the other reviewers however, that it has amazing packaging, you get quite a good amount of product for the value, and it doesn't budge on your eyelid, or even the wrist you swatched it on. If you are more of subtle sheen kind of gal, or you're into more microscopic shine, then this cream shadow is unfortunately not for you. I also tried the Asphalt color, and it was the same deal with the large sparkles. Wish I liked it. =(
Cleansers -Phisoderm - Phisoderm Deep Cleaning Cleanser
olelala 8/12/2011 12:38:00 PM
I have very normal/combination skin, I use Retin-A every other night and succumb to the occasional dry patch because of it. I love this cleanser, because it helps alleviate those dry patches when they do pop up. In my search for the perfect normal cleanser, I've gone through:
a) DDF Gentle Non-drying Cleanser
b) Cetaphil cleanser
c) That free gentle cleanser that comes with Duac
Phisoderm beats them all. It is a very thick white cream, and it just feels so soothing when it goes on. It leaves my skin baby soft, and well moisturized. The price is perfect, and I usually have back-ups in stock because this cleanser has to be ordered online. The packaging is ingenius - one simple quarter turn shuts off the pump mechanism so that you can travel with the bottle without fear of it letting loose in your luggage. Will keep buying this, for sure.
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - No-Ad SPF 30 Ultra Sunblock Lotion
olelala 8/12/2011 12:28:00 PM
I adore this SPF. I was looking for an SPF to use on a daily basis, because I tan very easily. I am South East Asian, and usually a stroll down the block garners instantaneous comments on how tan I've become. I also hate how SPFs usually smell, and how greasy they are. Those qualities don't usually bother me at the beach, but when you're just trying to get to work or bike around your neighborhood and your skin is gleaming like oil, it's just not good. I used to use Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry-Touch because it didn't have much of a smell, and it dried non-greasy, but I went through bottles and bottles and it eventually became too expensive for me. Enter No-Ad... I heard a lot of good things about it on TV, so I decided to order it through Drugstore.com, and was instantly blown away! The smell is actually somewhat good, and fades away after 5 minutes. Best of all, it dries to a non-greasy - and might I even say - MOISTURIZED finish! It's incredible, no more ashy legs, no more accidental tans. On every level, this blows more expensive competitors out of the competition. Sure, the bottle is huge and bulky, so on vacations or short trips I fill a small bottle and carry it that way. Will never stray from this brand, and I'm surprised more MUAers haven't reviewed it. As for me, it is <3. =)
Oh wow. Didn't think I'd like this one, because I hated MUFE HD foundation on me (as a note, I love F&B though). I am NC35, and this is such a naturally beautiful flush of a blush. After putting on my foundation, I get about 1/4 pump of the color and quickly blend it on to both cheeks. The formula is a soft cream that blends REALLY easily and dries to a matte but radiant finish, which I love, and it doesn't become oily or fade during the day. The application I put on at 730am has lasted for 13 hours now! I was a die-hard powered blush but will never use it again since this is much easier much more long-lasting. I got a small tube as a generous 100 point redemption at Sephora, but when I run out I will certainly buy this again. This one is a win for me!
I'm on a pretty strict anti-aging program, with includes rx retinoids, Vitamin C serum, a niacinamide. At times, AHA serums as well. My skin used to be very oily and problematic, but is now clear and combination with dry patches and flakes. I haven't found a moisturizer I love completely, but hated all the cleansers that are drying. Enter DDF Non-Drying Gentle Cleanser - my favorite!!!
Word of warning: for the lather fanatics, this stuff does not lather at all. It's similar to Pond's Cold Cream, but not as oily in my opinion. It feels like a thick lotion when rubbed on, I really enjoy taking a few seconds to massage it in for its moisturizing qualities. Then I rinse it off, and I have to take a few more seconds longer than normal because all of a sudden it feels like a soft and silky film. After that's washed off, my skin feels quenched and very soft, without any weird after residue. In the summer, I can actually get away without a moisturizer and just this, which I love!
I cannot speak for its makeup removing properties, because I *always* use a cleansing oil to get that stuff off, and this one after. It has not clogged my pores, it has no smell I can really determine, and it makes my skin feel really fresh and clean after I rinse it off. Definitely a step above Cetaphil and CeraVe (which either caused breakouts and wasn't moisturizing enough). It is pricey, but the bottle is HUGE. You only need to use a little bit at a time, so I've had my current bottle for 3 months and I'm not even halfway through (yes, I use it twice a day).
Verdict? If you have combination and sensitive skin, don't like using a moisturizer but need something for moisture, already have a makeup remover, then definitely do not hesitate to try this.
Love love LOVE this. Getting a mani/pedi is normally such a waste for me, because even if I patiently wait 2 rounds at the drying booth WITH that darn spooky blue light, I always manage to smudge/chip my nails within 30 minutes of exiting the salon. It's almost guaranteed. I bought Sephora drying drops and they help, but they're expensive and I think a ghost must be unscrewing the cap at night while I'm asleep because it evaporates mysteriously. No good.
I bought this on a whim one day when I needed to do my own nails, thinking a cheapy might be okay in a pinch. Lo and behold, in less than a minute my nails were dry to the touch! No more smudged/chipped nails, and my manicures and pedicures now last and last through this layer of uber shiny perfection. I know bring it to every single salon I go to and insist on it as the top coat, I will be loyal til the very end.
Polishes -Unlisted Brand - Confetti - 061 Get The Party Started
olelala 7/5/2010 5:22:00 PM
While wandering around CVS last week, I came across a new nailpolish brand called "Confetti". They had an entire rack of colors, all for $1.99, so I thought, why not? I spotted a gorgeous deep pink with maybe a very slight purple undertone named "Get The Party Started (061)", and grabbed the clear bottle called "Glass Slippers" too.
I'm SO GLAD I made those spontaneous purchases, because this is THE summer pink, ladies. I am NC35, and this compliments my skintone perfectly. It's the kind of wondrous, awe-inspiring, head-turning color that will make grown women weep. I've never gotten so many comments on my nailpolish before, and friends are asking to borrow it. Though cheap, the varnish applies so smoothly and 1 single coat is very very opaque, making a 2nd color merely optional. Not streaky in the least, and has withstood 4 days without a single chip (Essie and Orly should be ashamed of themselves, as none of those brands ever last more than 3 days with me). The brush isn't the best, but it works fine, and I can't stop looking at my nails.
I'm normally a neutral/pastel/buff girl, but this is hands down the best pink I have ever seen. I cannot wait to look at their other colors now. Definitely try this shade, ladies. =)
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Vivite Vibrance Therapy
olelala 5/16/2010 11:33:00 PM
Loving this so much!! As a background, I finally got rid of my hormonal acne thru Spiro and BC, but I still have the lovely post-pigmentation. Ugh. Using Ziana alone wasn't cutting it, and I could only use Obagi Clear HQ 4% for a while since HQ is bad for long term use. I'd heard great things about Vivite Vibrance Therapy, but because so many so-called "amazing" products have just jaded me, I was reluctant to shell out another chunk of cash for yet another false prophet, but I luckily managed to swap for a brand new bottle from a wonderful MUAer.
Let me tell you - HG! I've been using it every other day all over my face for more than a month now, and my skintone has evened up to the point that I just need light spot concealer instead of full coverage foundation all over. I'm sure it had a hand in evening skin texture and helping quell breakouts too. I am SO pleased! The company say this is supposed to have same if not better results than hydroquinone anyway, and I am now a firm believer. It has a potent combination of lightening/brightening ingredients like 15% glycolic acid in it, licorice extract, and mulberry extract, and the combination is a total win in my opinion. I love that it's made my Allergan, a well-known and fantastic pharmaceutical company that churns out well-loved rx products too, so you know there was legitimate research behind it and excellent ingredients in it.
Cons are that it is expensive (although admittedly this large-ish bottle does last forever), it smells a bit strange, is an unattractive brownish color, and it stings for a dozen seconds (which is shocking since I have rhino skin - even the strongest rx retinoid Taz doesn't hurt for me) then itches for the next 5 minutes, but these are all minor things I will bare forever and ever if this little baby keeps my skin even. A definite repurchase if I ever saw one. Don't forget to wear sunblock though in the daytime to ward off potential rebound pigmentation, because this stuff does make your skin a little more sensitive.
COMPANY PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: "Vibrance Therapy uses botanicals, antioxidants and glycolic compound to diminish the appearance of hyperpigmentation. The hydroquinone-free formula also smoothes fine lines and wrinkles, promotes the production of collagen and epidermal growth factor, and increases hydration within the skin. Licorice, mulberry, retinol, green tea and methyl dihydroxybenzoate reduce the appearance of brown spots, sun spots, melasma and other forms of hyperpigmentation. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals to prevent the formation of visible signs of aging. The complexion becomes bright, evenly toned, gorgeously translucent and youthful in both tone and texture."
Mascara -Maybelline - Full 'N Soft Mascara Waterproof
olelala 5/16/2010 12:05:00 PM
This mascara is pretty good for everyday use. It maintains a curl, doesn't flake, separates well, and lengthens decently enough. Doesn't irritate my eyes, and I can't detect a chemical smell either. It's also nice to not have the crunchy feel when I do happen to rub my lashes.
However, it's DEFINITELY not a night time mascara, and no amount of layering is going to change that. It's just for that doe eyed fresh look. To be honest, I bought this mascara with such high hopes and practically expected butterflies to come flying out of the tube to coat my lashes themselves because of the cult following here on MUA, but in the end I have no idea why such an above average daily mascara/average all-around mascara has such consistently stellar reviews. I suppose it's for the all the bad qualities (smudging, no smell, no crunchy feel) that it DOESN'T have.
Bottomline ladies, it's like the MUFE Face & Body foundation for lashes. (meaning you can't go wrong with this mascara if you have decent enough eyelashes to begin with).
Sunscreen -Peter Thomas Roth - Uber Dry Sunscreen SPF 30
olelala 3/23/2010 5:13:00 PM
I started using this after my disastrous experience with the new Shiseido SPF 60 lotion (see my separate review). I was looking for a fairly decent SPF, one that left a matte finish, was light and invisible on my skin, controlled oilies, acted as a makeup primer, which wouldn't break out my acne-prone skin. Sounds like a tall order, but basically these are all the qualities my old staple Shiseido SPF 55 lotion had. After reading the great reviews on MUA and loving several PTR products already, I couldn't resist buying the PTR Uber Dry.
My opinion after 2 months? It's a decent s/s. A solid 3 1/2, if MUA gave half lippies, but definitely not a 4. Here's the low down according to my original conditions:
PROTECTION FACTOR: While the formulation is no where near as strong as Shiseido's sun protection, it is good enough for the mostly-indoor-person-navigating-only-the-urban-jungle (me).
TEXTURE: It isn't the milky, thin, runny texture of Asian sunscreens like Shiseido and Sofina, it has the usual thick creamy texture characteristic of US and European formulations. FINISH: Once smoothed over the skin and left for 1-2 minutes, it leaves a nice matte finish as promised. Does a fairly decent job at controlling my raging oilies, and it isn't as drying as Shiseido SPF 55 lotion (PTR is better for combination/dry skin types).
PRIMER QUALITIES: It just doesn't cut it if like me you're looking for a dual-purpose sunscreen/primer. It had a minimal to zero effect on keeping my makeup on.
SUITABILITY FOR ACNE-PRONES: Didn't break me out, so that was a major plus.
VALUE: 4 oz at $26 at Sephora, a definite win over Shiseido which is 3.3 oz $34.
It's definitely a great s/s, but unless you have chronic dry skin, it just isn't as good as the Asian sunscreens like Shiseido and Sofina. I've tried 'em all too. Hopes this helps!
Oh dear. As a beloved fan of the classic Shiseido SPF 55 lotion, here goes...
I was initially extremely excited about this new product, since I figured more protection could only be better. Unlike other users, the texture of the product has not changed THAT MUCH in my opinion. The old 55 was very thin and milky - and this one is too. The old one absorbs right into the skin and 1 minute later creates a nice matte invisible canvas - this one does too. The only difference texture-wise is the new formula might be slightly lighter (a positive) due to the new ingredient Ensulizole.
Before I continue, more about this new ingredient: According to Wikipedia, ensulizole is mainly a UVB protecting agent that provides only minor UVA protection. For better protection, it must be combined with avobenzone, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide; or Mexoryl/Tinosorb. (it's combined with zinc in this case). It is water soluble and leaves a light, non-greasy finish which is why it's very popular nowadays.
Back to the new formulation - for all it's lovely higher protection, non-greasy, (relatively) lighter finish, my skin HATES it. Within a week of using it, my acne-prone but now clear skin was breaking out again. I gave it another week, and I just broke out more. Not only that, but I feel like it didn't hold onto my make-up as well, and I got oilier much faster in the day too. It was the only product I changed in my routine... needless to say since stopping SPF 60 I've gone back to clear skin. I returned my SPF 60.
Try it if you're not acne-prone or oily-skinned, but definitely keep that receipt.
Very pleased that I swapped for this. It's a huge tube (8.5 oz) of a pink lotion/cream, and says on the front that it has AHA callus softeners and green tea extract. A quick peek at the back, and the ingredients are VERY GOOD - glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid - all supporting the AHA claims to soften. These acids won't only soften, they'll brighten too!
It says to apply to lean, dry feet, and allow it to penetrate for 5 minutes. I doubt the concentration of this lotion is so potent as to be harmful to thick skin, so what I've been doing to get the utmost advantage is rubbing it all over my feet, waiting a few minutes, then applying something thick and creamy to moisturize over it like True Blue Shea It Ain't So. On its own it is slightly moisturizing but certainly not enough (it absorbs right into the skin), which is why I follow it off with a thicker moisturizer. Normally NE harsh winters leave my feet absolutely disgusting, but they're sooo soft, bright and fresh because of this routine! This tube should last me a few months, but I'd definitely repurchase when I run out.
One lippie off because 1) it's pricey, and 2) it seems the lotion/cream is a bit too thick for the tube, I need to squeeze with both hands to get it to come out. Other than that though, this lotion is pedicure perfection, and I highly recommend it.
Makeup Brushes -Kevyn Aucoin - Super Soft Buff Powder Brush
olelala 2/18/2010 12:09:00 AM
Okay, being a huge fan of flat top brushes, and EDM flat top brushes in general, I had to wait a little while to review this well enough. Initial verdict was "ehhh". Bristles aren't as soft and silky as the EDM ones, but after a first wash it was MUCH better. Final verdict? I really love this brush. First of all, it's frigging gorgeous. Makes my MAC brushes look like nothing! Secondly, it's got shorter bristles than the EDM flat top, which allows more coverage and buffing control. The bristles might not be as soft, but I think that's what allows it to pick up and retain loose powder much more than the EDM one - with the KA you're not losing half the powder to an unnecessary dust show.
PROS: Sooo pretty and well-made, gives light to full coverage if you want, can be used for foundation, blush or bronzer, does not shed whatsoever, does not make you lose half your product to the air as dust particles. I'd rebuy this again and again, although I do fear that KA is officially going out of business as it's been on sale everywhere.
CONS: Not as soft as EDM brushes, requires a first wash to get to the nice soft feeling, a bit of dye came out with that first wash, pretty wide head meaning you'll need another brush to buff out the nooks and crannies. Expensive normally (good thing I got mine for less than $20 on sale at HL).