Mascara -Maybelline - Volum' Express The Mega Plush
onethousandcurls 9/7/2012 8:45:00 AM
I have never loved any mascara to be faithful to it long-term. And before you call me a commitment-phobe, know that I have several serious and long-lasting relationships with many of my other products. Packaging - yeah yeah yeah, they're mostly all the same. But I did note that I don't a ridiculous excess of product on the wand nor does it collect overly much at the tip of the brush. The stopper hasn't gunked up on me either like a lot of others. Brush - it's big, so if you know that won't work for you, steer clear. I have personally used even bigger in the past, but like this brush well enough. Formula - this is where this product shines. I truly don't give a fig for marketing ploys like "gel formulas" and other bs. But this formula is really good. It's a wet formula without taking hours to dry. But a lot of volumizing formulas are dry. The wetness makes it MUCH better at imparting some curl and KEEPING it. I don't use a curler but this gives me curl all by itself. Because it's wet, as it's drying I use the side of my fingers to push my lashes up into a curled position - and it dries and stays that way all day. Performance - I already discussed the fab curling above. But it also does a wonderful job FANNING out my lashes, and thickening at the base. I always ALWAYS get fluffy, thick, curled lashes with this bad boy. They're defined (not as well as mascaras purely meant to define, but then that's not what I bought so I'm happy), and really just very pretty. Lashes stay soft! Removal - easy peasy lemon squeezy. I don't use waterproof and haven't noticed that it sticks any more stubbornly than other mascaras. Bottom line: have already purchased 2 tubes and will buy another soon.
BB Cream -Maybelline - Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream
onethousandcurls 9/7/2012 8:28:00 AM
I have been on and off looking for a tinted moisturizer - before you get all disgruntled, yes, I know this is technically not ONLY that. It's better! Packaging - standard squeeze tube, durable, no complaints here. It's very often ended up at the bottom of the tote bag I use for school and has survived the crushing forces of my laptop, binder, etc. Quantity - I wish you got more product for the price, but honestly I like it too much to call it a "rip off." But yes, it's quite a small tube. Range of shades - afraid it's not all that stellar in this department. I think there are 5 or 6 shades? That said, the consistency of the product is thin enough that you can probably get away with it. I usually don't match too easily and I've found Medium to be perfect for summer and I'm pretty confident Light/Medium will be a great shade as my tan fades in winter. Quality - now this is where I was highly skeptical. I'll go through each of the "8-in-1" claims: Blurs imperfections - YES it does! This alone is totally worth buying it. The product is sheer and thin in consistency but boy does it work above and beyond in this area. Granted, you can still see that I have acne (very mild), but you need to pay attention to find it. That's without foundation (own it but never wear it) or concealer (own it but never wear it). Remember, it BLURS, not COVERS. Brightens - not entirely sure about this, as I've never noticed or received compliments to this effect. But my skin does definitely look smoother and more even. (Okay I just looked at the list again after writing this point, and the very next two claims were "smooths" and "evens skin tone" - just shows you how awesome it is). Evens skin tone - big YES. Smooths - another big YES. Hydrates - yes, and maybe it does this a little too well. I find myself just a tad, and I do mean just a tiny bit, oilier right after applying, but I blot and I'm good to go. However, it does impart that nice dewy sheen so it's not all bad. Enhances - this is such a vague claim I won't even go there. Yes, it enhances?? Protects with SPF 30 - I use this on top of sunscreen anyway, but obviously it's SPF 30. Use - what I love about this is that it's SO quick and easy to use. I don't use foundation or even concealer because I'm busy, lazy, and frankly have never developed the skill it takes to apply either in the most effective way. THIS little wonder I just apply with my hands like any face lotion, and it looks flawless every time. My only annoyance is that if I apply it early in the day, I may need to slap more on in the afternoon. But this is completely fine with me considering 1) the tube is small and easy to travel with and 2) it takes 30 seconds to apply. I've been using it for 2 weeks and haven't noticed additional breakouts or other irritations at all. It's very light going on. Bottom line: Would repurchase it again in a heartbeat.
I used this is blackest-brown, which I will try to ignore when I review this because I always prefer the blackest black possible (my lashes are actually black....). But this was given to me, so I had no pick of color. Price: Free for me, but based on what I remember seeing in stores and online, very standard and reasonable for drugstore mascaras. Packaging: I personally find the fat tubes ugly, but it doesn't affect performance or ease of use at all. Performance: I like the rubber bristles of the wand, makes avoiding clumps a breeze. This does tend to hold a lot of product on the tip, but you can scrape it off into the tube or just be careful applying. Application is pretty easy, this is one of those mascaras that you might feel comfortable "slapping on". Definition is great, thickening is average, lengthening is poor (although that is not its advertised purpose). Despite the lackluster (well, relatively) performance, I was okay with it until it flaked. I didn't even wear this all day, like I normally would with any mascara. Just 6 hours and it was flaking. No smudging at all. And what impressed me the most was how easily and completely it washed off (even among non-waterproof mascaras, this washes off like a dream). I wouldn't repurchase, but I wish all mascaras would wash off so easily (without smudging beforehand to boot!).
I had been using L'Oreal Million Lashes before this, so I thought since it's the same brand but promising more drama, it would be even better. I was disappointed. Performance: I am very meticulous and thorough when I apply any mascara, and that's probably the only reason this works for me. It seems a bit too dry of a formula, so it doesn't really "glide" on. It volumizes decently, I wasn't overly impressed with that. I was really disappointed in length and even more turned off in how bad it holds a curl. Million lashes creates and holds curl much better. The brush is pretty rough; it hurts when it brushes against my lids at the roots. The formula also dries out rather quickly; my tubes of Million Lashes (and other brands) lasted longer than this one, which only made it about a 3 weeks or so. Price: Pretty in line with other mascaras advertised as higher quality drugstore. Packaging: It's not an issue really, but I dislike how long the tube is and I don't like the brush, as discussed above. I would not repurchase.
I have a relatively large lid space and wanted a large eyeshadow brush that would cover my lid and crease at once. I use this for single shade wear, to brighten up the eye area. I bought this to apply single shades faster without worrying about evenness. PROS: 1. Easy to find at a local Sephora, where returns are always a cinch. 2. Soft but dense enough so that I don't spend 10 minutes packing on color. 3. Not expensive - about $15. I get daily use out of it, so that's fine with me. 4. Fluffy enough to grab enough powder quickly. 5. Handle is simple and a great length, brush shed one hair the first time I used it and none since. CONS: 1. I waited so long to get it! NOTE: This is perfect for a wash of color that's quick and even. I even use this to give the lashline some extra color by picking up powder on the EDGE and applying the edge to my lashline.
Blush -Wet 'n' Wild - Silk Finish Blush - Mellow Wine 833D
onethousandcurls 4/5/2011 10:02:00 PM
I am not a blush person. I use it, but I only ever go for a natural flush, so I don't collect blushes or own different colors. I was looking for something fitting those needs, since I realized the blushes I had were too pink/berry. I needed something with a little more brown in it. PROS: 1. Cheap. 2. Readily available on the ground(Walgreens or CVS, here in the Midwest). 3. Long-lasting (I've had more expensive that fade much faster). 4. Soft. 5. Pigmented. CONS: 1. I hate the packaging because it feels so flimsy, but I really couldn't ask for more considering the price. And I don't even know why they include that brush; it's terrible. How I use: I dab a dense blush brush once in the pan, then smile. INSTEAD of the apples of your cheeks, swipe it JUST ABOVE the apples (just above, not under your eyes). It looks much more natural than right on your apples, in my opinion, because at least for me, that's where I flush naturally. Usually one dab for each cheek is enough for my winter skin. The great thing about the brown tones in this is that it'll work well on tan summer skin, too!
This was absolutely gorgeous in the pan! Loved it the second I saw it and then realized it was the famous Expensive Pink. Love the veluxe pearl finish. Pigmentation is fine, though not as outstanding as I expected for all the MAC hype. The problem is that it just looks orange on me. In the pan I see pink and gold and some orange...on my lids it's a completely unflattering orange. Too bad.
I loved the color in the pan so much, but since this is a frost apparently that means very little color payoff. This was just too frosty for me; the color in the pan would have been so pretty had it actually transferred. There's just not enough pigmentation in this for me to see what's so exciting about MAC eyeshadows.
Treatments (Eye) -100 Percent Pure - Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream
onethousandcurls 3/20/2011 12:31:00 PM
I got this because I always have dark undereye circles, but no puffiness. PROS: 1. All natural. 2. Really moisturizing. 3. Smells absolutely DIVINE. 4. Does not cause milia or any other issues. 5. Will last a while. CONS: 1. Doesn't help with undereye circles. 2. A tad expensive, but based on the prices of other eye creams, apparently $20 is pretty good. 3. Online only. 4. Pump dispenses too much at once, but it's easy to just gently push until you get "half" a squirt.
Concealers -Make Up For Ever - Full Cover Concealer
onethousandcurls 2/7/2011 5:01:00 PM
I had mixed feelings about this product until I figured out I wasn't applying it right. For reference, I have somewhat clear skin, with the occasional few red spots. PROS: 1. I like the clear plastic tube. You can squeeze to get the last bit out, you can see how much is left, and you won't break it. Very easy to toss in your purse for touch ups. 2. Color selection is pretty wide. I personally could have probably gone with shade #6, but #7 is fine and will be a great match in the summer. 3. Covers well if you apply it right. 4. You really only need a tiny tiny bit. CONS: 1. Your skin needs to be smooth for this to work well. It can be red or brown or whatever, but not flaky or rough. It doesn't stick to rough skin, it seems. 2. It's expensive and only available online or at Sephora stores (Sephora at Jc Penney doesn't even have this and I think it's a pretty basic staple of the MUFE line). 3. This doesn't have the staying power I expected. Using foundation underneath (I use L'Oreal Magic Smooth Souffle) definitely helps it stick, but for days when I don't want to bother with the whole routine, this concealer doesn't really last all day. TIP: Do NOT "swipe" this on, either with your finger or a brush. I tried patting it on with fingers, that's also a no-go. Here's how I've finally had success making it look natural and keeping the coverage. Squeeze a TINY dot on the flat of a concealer brush. Use the brush to dot it on all the spots your need covering (use another dot of concealer if you run out). Then use that flat side of the brush to pat the concealer into your skin, patting ON the spot you need covered. Then pat gently around it to blend the concealer in. Let it dry while you move on to your other makeup tasks, then if you need another layer, repeat the process. This works well for dark areas.
I have always had a problem removing eye makeup (I don't even wear waterproof mascara). No matter what I tried, it either burned my eyes or was too inefficient for me to deal with (including the Sonia Kashuk Remove, which is popular around here). This is the first one that actually gets rid of my eye makeup! PROS: 1. Price and availability - this was $12 at CVS, but it's all over the drugstores in my area. 2. The amount - the tub is deep. Seriously, I don't think I'll be repurchasing for a long time. 3. No fragrance and doesn't irritate my eyes, thank the Lord. 4. Removes makeup effectively! I just massage this into my skin and eye area, and it removes all my foundation and eye makeup like a dream. 5. Great for use as a mask/treatment. CONS: 1. Greasy - but this is just the nature of the product, it's kind of annoying but I don't care. 2. Traveling with it is a no-go - but if you have time decant a little into a smaller container that you reserve for traveling. TIP: This is on the Albolene website, but here's the treatment. Following a shower (or place a hot wet washcloth on your face for a few moments), massage this into your skin. Keep massaging until you feel little gritty bits (I know, gross!). Then let it sit for a few minutes. Take something like a credit card and scrape the Albolene off. It removes a ton of dead skin and plugs of dirt/oil that it loosened out of your pores! When I did this, the Albolene I scraped off was GRAY. And I keep my face clean with a Clarisonic Mia. Enjoy.
Hair Styling Tools -Unlisted Brand - Croc -TurboIon Flat Iron
onethousandcurls 2/4/2011 3:34:00 PM
I really love this flat iron. For reference, I have very thick, medium-coarse ringlets. My hair is so tightly curled naturally that when curly it's at my shoulders and when straight at my bra strap. I previously owned a MaxiGlide, and while it did the job well, I felt that the little spines (combs your hair as you straighten) were breaking/pulling out hairs. I did lots of research and found this gem. It's used professionally usually, so I had to dig around online and find the best price (I think it was overstock.com). I purchased the wet-to-dry version so that I'd be fine if my hair was slightly damp, but mostly use this on dry hair. PROS: 1. I love that it's digital so I know with certainty what temperature I'm using. 2. Heats up quickly. 3. Hair stays straight and straightens relatively quickly (for me, quickly is about 2.5 hours for my whole head). 4. I use the edge to gently flip the ends when I get to the tips so my hair doesn't look so stick straight. CONS: 1. None! This is truly underrated! I would repurchase if it lasts. I've had it for about a year now (I'm not expecting it to die soon).
Polishes -Unlisted Brand - Pure Ice - Frosted Ice Peony
onethousandcurls 2/3/2011 8:25:00 AM
This is so versatile. The color is a shimmery, very sheer pink that can appear slightly lavender in the light. I like it as one coat buy itself, but it can easily be built up on its own or layered over another, solid colored nail polish. Very cheap and easily found at WalMart.
I guess this product does what it's supposed to do, which is define lashes. It doesn't do anything else. PROS: 1. Defines lashes without flaking, smudging, or clumping. 2. Available at the drugstore. 3. Inexpensive. CONS: 1. I don't like the flexible wand, makes application annoying. 2. Formula is a little too wet for me. TIP: If you like definition but want a tad more...try L'Oreal Million Lashes. It defines well, but with more volume and a little length (compared to this one).
This mascara was my first and only experimentation with high end mascara, and I have to say that the drugstore options far outdo this one. PROS: 1. It's a mascara? CONS: 1. The formula is too dry to accomplish anything. It gives a relatively natural look, but so do many drugstore mascaras for way less money. 2. Only available at Sephora stores or online. 3. Expensive. TIP: If you like the dry formula and big brush, try Make It Big Lash Plumping Mascara by mark. It's way cheaper and does the same thing (only better).