Just a word to the wise: this oil isn't for everyone. 'Argan oil' has been such a huge buzzword lately in the beauty world, I wanted to try it for myself. I bought some of the Elma & Sana brand, which is 100% pure and much cheaper than designer brands. I don't have oily skin and have used other oils and serums (such as sweet almond oil) on my skin to great effect. I rarely break out, but I did quite a bit after usng this oil. Within days of using it, several pimples erupted--a few below my chin, one on my cheek and one high on my forehead. I don't think it's a coincidence since I rarely break out at all, certainly not this much all at once. I discontinued the argan, and my face rapidly cleared up. This is not to say this product cannot be good for the skin; the consensus here seems to be quite favorable. But you just never know what your skin will have a bad reaction to, and for me this was it! Since I have so much of the bottle left, I'll try using some my hair and see what happens there and post an update later to this review.
This is a beautiful shade, and for me disappears fast as it's of the eyeshadow shades I use most often. I had recently seen a screening of "Rear Window" with Grace Kelly, and in the beginning there's the iconic shot where she's seen for the first time in close-up, sporting red lips and a pale lavender hue on her eyelids. So of course I wanted to be like Grace! This one is of course not matte like what they used so often in those days, but has a nice subtle shimmer, which I prefer anyway. It's great for when you want a light, ethereal look.
I got a good deal on this because it was on sale and I had double coupons, so I'm glad I didn't pay more than about $4 for it. I was a big fan of VolumeExact mascara, and am disappointed that CG discontinued it in favor of this inferior product. As far as I can make out, it does a pretty good job of volumizing and is almost on par with VE in that. The problem is that the brush is so huge and unwieldy. The outside tube is very big, which doesn't make it that easy to hold and control. And the brush itself is so thick (the bristles are very short and tiny, but the plastic wand they're attached to is also thick, for no discernible reason) that it's difficult to apply the product to your inner lashes without getting mascara on your eyelids. I got the one with the Olympic rings on it because I thought it was cute, but that will not be enough to hook me on this product. The design of the applicator is so impractical as to dissuade me from ever purchasing this again. There seems to be no point in enlarging the applicator other than marketing--a large brush evokes the concept of "big"--big brush, big lashes! The CG marketing department is counting on people looking at the huge brush and equating it with the huge lashes it will surely give them. That's a major insult to people's intelligence. I for one prefer a nice thickening formula with a functional, smaller brush that helps keep lashes separated. That's pretty much exactly what VolumeExact was. Shame they had to give it the boot in favor of this junk. I'm glad I stockpiled a fee VEs, but will have to search for my new HG mascara once I run out of those. PS My former fave mascara was Volume Couture by Max Factor, but of course that whole line was discontinued in the US. I thought CG VE was a great replacement for it, and I only just discovered it this spring. To have to be on the lookout yet again--such a drag.
Hair Color -Clairol - Natural Instincts Rich Color Creme in #31 Coffee Creme
paulamarie 8/15/2012 11:31:00 PM
This is one of my favorite products because it's inexpensive and non-permanent. Plus, NI appears in the Sunday coupons more than any other hair dye, so if you use one and buy during a sale, you save big. My natural shade is your garden variety middle-of-the-road light brown, but I tend to prefer either a darker brunette or a deep auburn. So for part of the year, I like to go reddish, and lately my favorite shade for that is "Cherry Creme," also by NI. But when I'm in the mood to go "dark and mysterious," of course I want to cover up any of the remaining brassiness. I was very pleased the other day when I covered my old red with this shade, and it did just that--nice and dark, and the brass is gone. I have used this shade before and it definitely does come out a bit too dark, initially (so much that it washed me out quite a bit), but I know not to worry because it fades just enough to a nice deep coffee shade even after the first shampoo. If you're at all concerned about it being too dark, though, and have never tried this shade then I'd suggest trying the next lightest shade, which is "Nutmeg" or "dark brown," before deciding if you want to go darker. Also, it should go without saying (because some people do it anyway, against the recommendations on the box), but do not use on blonde hair; stick closer to your natural shade range if using NI. For someone with light brown hair, though, I've found my hair to be a good canvas for this type of demi-permanent dye and have liked all the NI shades I've tried. I haven't had any over-the-top results as some reviewers have had with some shades, I think because I don't go too far outside my natural hair color range. As for "Coffee Creme," it's one of my favorite shades. I like the deeper brunette with no real commitment (it eventually fades closer to your natural color).
I love this shade because itís edgy; but as opposed to pure matte black, the toned-down gunmetal shade and shiny finish softens it up just enough. I agree that the formula is somewhat thick, so you have to take care to apply thin coats. Other than that, it really is a pure dark grey shade; it is not blue-toned, as some reviews have opined. Like other black-grey spectrum shade, it can appear blue depending on the shade of your skin or when you hold it up to other colors, but it is in fact colorless. Itís sort of a dupe for Chanelís Black Pearl polish, for those of us who donít care to blow that much on a polish. Iím super bummed that this shade is becoming harder to find in stores; just when I find a shade I really like, they go and replace all the old shades with new ones!
Hair Color -Clairol - Natural Instincts in Cherry Creme (dark auburn), 30R
paulamarie 6/10/2012 1:37:00 AM
I've used this shade twice so far and I adore it. I used to dye my hair red all the time, but I like that this is more subtle: a deep, rich auburn. It took my hair color from washed-out to rich and shiny. Since it is only a demi-permanent, it does fade eventually, so I use color-protecting products including Aveda Color Conserve Daily Color Protect, which helps guard it from fading in the sun. I used to use permanent red dye, but have used NI for a long time instead, as I like that it's less damaging and doesn't give you major roots. This is one of my fave shades, a just-dark-enough tone with a nice reddish tint that looks nice against my pale NC30 skin.
I bought this (well, aside for the cute name, guilty as I am of being such a sucker for marketing) thinking that it resembled the greyish-lavender hue that was popular on the runways at the time (3+ years ago). It turned out to have a very sheer rather than opaque finish, however, so not so much. It's so sheer it's really just a subtle wash of lilac hue--it can almost look like it's just clear polish, yet it gives a subtle tint to your nail/skin color. So I did like it as that--you could use this in place of clear polish for a nice classy polished look that would do great in a job interview or wherever. I like sheers but was slightly disappointed that this color wasn't as fun as I thought it might be. I might purchase again, even though I have not yet since first purchasing. If you're into subtle tints/washes of color, this is great.
Admittedly, I'm a sucker for marketing. I'm a Beatles fanatic and just had to get this new shade. Luckily, it works pretty well on my pale (NC30) skin. It's a little more dramatic/opaque than what I usually look for in a gloss, but for a more dramatic look I go for this. It's a nice raspberry shade for my skin tone.
This isn't a very special shade on its own--as others have pointed out, it is rather sheer and barely shows up when worn alone. But it is a great layering shade, which is how I use it. For instance, I also have "Shale" by MAC, which is a satin greyish purple. Alone it is a nice, slightly purple-tinted neutral, but dust a layer of Trax over it to give it a deeper plummy hue with a nice shimmer. I have layered it over Satellite Dreams (also a satin shade) as well to intensify the purple. Even with Trax over it, it's not *too* purple, it just gives it a deeper, slightly more dramatic hue. I don't use it very often--I just repurchased for the first time in almost 5 years (don't follow my example lol, you should never keep an e/s that long). But whenever I'm in the mood for a purple look, I always top it with this.
Love this product, would (and have) repurchase! What I like about it is that it's almost a flesh tone (just kind of peachy, or, well, honey-tinted, as the name suggests) only it's a lustre. I guess you either are or are not a fan of the frosty texture of Lustre shadows, but I like them (I would *not* describe them as "glittery" as some here have. Glitter is tiny sparkly specks; Lustre is smooth; it's not the same thing as glitter at all). Anyway, I like to wear this as part of a Brigitte Bardot look--Honey Lust on the eyelid over Urban Decay Primer Potion, topped with winged black gel eyelilner. If your skintone is pale/golden (I am NC30 in MAC) then this shade is kind of like a your-skin-but-shiny shade. I think it's pretty and sexy; subtly dramatic.
Lovely color, and stays on well. Previous to owning this, I'd used L'Oreal Wear Infinitť Long Lasting Powder Eyeliner in "Emerald," which was a very similar shade, but it didn't last as well, and it was so soft that it was impossible to sharpen without breakage. MAC Minted is soft enough to apply easily, but solid enough to be able to sharpen it to a nice point. It's a little more of a bluish-green than the L'Oreal. Here's how I like to wear it: MAC Tempting shadow on my eyelid, upper lashline lined in Bobbi Brown "Chocolate Shimmer" gel eyeliner, and line just the lower lashline with Minted. Really brings out my blue eyes! Since I prefer a slightly greener shade, I also use a stiff angled eyeliner brush to go over the lower lashline in MAC "Humid" shadow. It helps to set it in as well as make it slightly greener. It's a dramatic eye look but not OTT. So glad I just found this under my bed! It had been missing for a few weeks. I don't use this shade as often as "Teddy," a bronze MAC eyeliner, but I will likely repurchase once I've used this one up.
This product really doesn't help much to mask undereye circles. I have moderately dark circles, and this is much too thin/lightweight to cover them well enough. One layer doesn't adequately cover (it's practically translucent, so you can still see the circles underneath), and if you try to apply it in layers, it will end up flaking or accentuating any slight lines. Definitely will not rebuy. It's too bad that my favorite undereye concealer, Physician's Formula Circle Rx, is so hard to find in stores now.
Moisturizers -Garnier - Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Night Cream
paulamarie 10/24/2009 11:41:00 PM
I usually use Olay Total effects, and was using Garnier Firming Night Cream only occasionally. Once I ran out of the Olay, I started using the Garnier every night and after a week or two, I noticed it was making my skin break out. I had a few slightly larger blemishes on my T-zone and chin, but also, when I ran my hand over my face, it felt like there were little bumps all over that were barley visible. So needless to say I am not pleased and will just go back to using what I was before, because I did not have the same problem with that.
I like the Moisture version of this product, but this one left my hair dull and staticky, Better to just use the moisture shampoo and conditioner instead, followed by some volumizing product. This takes all the shine and bounce out of hair. P.S. I totally notice what everyone else mentioned--it does give you dry scalp. I looked in the mirror later and, yes, there was dandruff! Ick!
Styling Products -Sunsilk - Daring Volume Spray-On Mousse ] [DISCONTINUED]
paulamarie 5/20/2009 2:34:00 PM
I am really loving this stuff lately. My hair is thin and fine, and I like to wear my hair more wavy in the summer. The only thing I'm not crazy about here is the nozzle--hold onto that thing; it falls off rather easily. The instructions on the bottle tell you to direct the nozzle right at your roots, but I don't have the patience for that. I think it's easier to get at the roots with your fingers, so I just use the traditional method--(after applying shine serum first) shake can, spray a small ball of the stuff into hand, and work through roots a section at a time, then spread small amount over length of hair, work through and comb. Then I flip my head over, blast my hair dryer, then flip back up and dry the rest while running my fingers through. I get great, full, soft volume this way, and it brings my waves out. Really thickens! This stuff is a keeper, despite the crummy nozzle that falls off.