I usually hate reviewing skincare because my skin is so fickle that at any moment it could change, but I've used this sunscreen since last May (not everyday as most days I'm indoors until sunset and not too close to windows) so I think I can finally review this. *knock on wood* My skin is the most acne prone skin ever. I've been dealing with severe acne since I was 9 and at 21, though better, I still deal with it. No medication or products seem to work. I look at my skin and it breaks out. I have not had any acne issues or pore clogging issues with this sunscreen! I have super oily skin so it's not drying for me. My mom uses it in the summer (and has VERY dry skin). She hasn't had any drying issues either! It would be too harsh for her to use during our bitter winters, though. It's very white at first, but once it sinks in, I can't tell it's even on. It's very lightweight and feels like nothing! It feels greasy when first applied, but that goes away within minutes. It IS fragranced. The classic Shiseido skincare fragrance. I dislike it, but have not had irritation from it and the fragrance seems to fade fast. Mineral makeup looks great over this sunscreen. I have not tested liquid foundation yet. BUT... big but ; YOU MUST use a cleansing oil to remove it. Sorry. It's true. If you skip this step, say hello to acne and clogged pores. Is it a pain in the butt? Yes. Is it another expense? Yes. Is it worth it to be able to use this sunscreen? YES. I like Clinique's Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm or MAC's cleansing oil to remove it. I use about a pea size of the balm or 2 pumps of the MAC oil, rub it in my hands, massage it over my face and neck and then let it just sit for about a minute. Then I rinse it off with water and a cotton cleansing pad and wash with my regular cleanser. Sometimes I need to wash twice to remove all of the cleansing balm or oil. Even though it adds an extra step to my routine, I still say it's worth it. The protection this sunscreen offers is amazing. A few things that may help some of you decide to buy or not to buy this sunscreen. 1) Even excluding the SPF and PPD, the reason this sunscreen is so protective is because it IS so durable. Unless you are dripping buckets of sweat and/or spending time in the water, there really is no need to reapply because it truly stays on all day. It doesn't budge, allowing it to retain it's protective quality. 2) My mom works outside 2 hours a day (about 8-9 am and 1-2 pm in the summer). She's tried a bunch of Euro high PPD (and high SPF waterproof) sunscreens. She used the proper amount and reapplied. Even standing in shade, she got color with all of them and more sunspots. Some people do best with PHYSICAL FILTERS. Shiseido is a physical/chemical combo, but the % of zinc oxide makes it an excellent option for a physical filter sunscreen. It's not 100% physical, but offers the great benefit that physical filters have (literally blocking the UV rays, rather than absorbing the rays like chemical filters). That is why it leaves a white cast. I'm pale so I don't notice and my mom is medium skintone and hardly notices it. 3) PA +++ means the PPD is AT LEAST 8. It could be 9, 10 or higher, but it guarantees a PPD of 8. A PPD of 8 blocks out 87.5% of UVA rays. That seems pretty good to me and not low at all. 4) The price : It's high. It really is. $37 a bottle for 100 ml. 100 ml, if used for the face and neck, will last you 40 applications, assuming you use the 1/4 tsp amount (1/4 for face and another 1/4 for your neck). If you apply it once a day, that's slightly over 9 bottles a year, assuming you wear it every single day. That comes to just a bit over $330, plus tax. That's under $1 a day. I'm sure most of us waste (yes, WASTE) $7 or more a week on garbage. I'd rather spend that money on protecting my skin. It's up to you. Finally, just a little tip. If you love this sunscreen, buy several bottles during Sephora's annual Friends and Family discount. Unopened, this sunscreen should last 2 years (if stored properly) so I plan to buy a one year supply each December. 20% off of $330 = $66 saved. That's almost two bottles free. Always remember to apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside! :) INGREDIENTS : Water, Cyclomethicone, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polybutylene Glycol/PPG-9/1 Copolymer, Dimethicone Copolyol, Dextrin Palmitate, Xylitol, Methyl Gluceth-10, Glutathione, Zinc Myristate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Thiotaurine, Scutellaria Baicalensis Extract, Ectoin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Isostearic Acid, Stearic Acid Disteardimonium Hectorite, Silica, Alcohol, Trisodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide.
Lip Gloss -Bath and Body Works - Liplicious Watermelon Sorbet
peasloveandhominy 10/23/2008 4:56:00 AM
This lip gloss is pretty cheap. $6 at regular price and even better on sale (and they usually are on sale). The staying power is great! I actually have had no issues at ALL. The gloss lasts for a few hours, even when drinking and eating. I've actually gone to bed with it on before and woken up with some still on. You pretty much control the color payoff. One light layer will give your lips a just-bitten look, with shimmer of course. One heavy handed layer will kick light to medium pigmented lips up about 1 1/2 notches and two layers will pretty much give you the color in the tube (this is all my experience, of course). The scent is fruity, but fake fruity. I don't like it and it does seem to linger. Slight fake fruity taste which again I find unpleasant. I'd prefer it unscented with no taste! This has a decent amount of shimmer, but it isn't overpowering at all. It's not drying at all! I love the slant-tip applicator of the tube. The reason I will not buy it again is simply because the color doesn't quite work for me. It's not bad at all, but it's not a gloss I'd reach for often enough to buy again. Just a personal preference, not something that is wrong with the gloss :) INGREDIENTS : Polybutene, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum, Huile Minérale), Silica Silylate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Flavor (Aroma), Polyethylene, Petrolatum, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Sodium Saccharin, Tin Oxide, BHT, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red 27 Lake (CI 45410), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Carmine (CI 75470).
Girlie is a perfect MLBB, only more pink. It goes on fairly sheer, but with enough color to make a difference. I apply a few coats for even more impact. The staying power is pretty good. At least 90 minutes even with drinking water. It's thick, but not too sticky. You can definitely feel it on, but it's not annoying at all. It applies evenly and smoothly. It has the tiniest bit of shimmer in it. I honestly didn't notice the shimmer until taking pictures of it on! The only downside is the price. I feel bad about spending so much (around $20 USD) being it's such a sheer color, but I love it so much. Texture, color, scent, how long it last, packaging etc. The scent is a light vanilla, not quite as strong as MAC Lipglass. Moisturizing, nice sponge applicator (hard, not as thick or soft as MAC glosses, but I like it). The gloss does not ooze out of the tube. It caps tightly. There seems to be a decent amount in the tube. I wear it often and don't seem to be making much of a dent!
This is a very good, basic balm! I got it for $1 at BBW on clearance (and bought a backup) but I'd pay $4 for it if I had to (which is what it retails for). It's very moisturizing but not too heavy. It is easy to apply (you don't have to tug on your lips). I love that it's unscented and just plain! Sometimes I don't want tint or scent or even the tingle of Burt's Bees. My lips are really dry and this helps a lot. Has a great, smooth texture and should last a long time since you don't need to apply much! You can order it online at http://www.savannahbee.com Bath and Body Works is no longer going to be carrying it. INGREDIENTS : Cocos Nucifera (coconut) Oil, Beeswax (cera alba), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (sweet almond) Oil, Carya Illinoenis (pecan) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (shea butter), Carthamus Tinctorius (safflower) Seed Oil, Propolis Extract
This is my favorite lip product ever! I like to look slightly polished, but pretty much a no makeup look. I don't like to fuss with makeup as I'm not very good at application, so I like products to be as easy to use as possible. I have this in SAKE and it is the perfect MLBB color! It's slightly pinker than my lips but not too much darker, but I look so polished when wearing it! I brightens my face right up. The staying power is around 2 hours for me if I'm not licking my lips or drinking and eating. I think that's pretty good for what is essentially a tinted balm. It's cheap. $3.99! The problem is finding it. I ordered it from cherryculture.com (they usually have free shipping with any order around Christmas time so maybe wait until then to give it a try). The scent is a pleasant minty one, not too strong. It tingles slightly when applying but I love that feeling. It's very refreshing! One word of warning : this is REALLY soft. It WILL melt. Don't leave it in your car and don't even take it out of the house on extremely hot days. This is my go-to color that I don't even have to think about and that I can reapply without a mirror! Here is a picture of it, but remember it applies sheer (but totally buildable)
Lipstick -Cover Girl - TruShine - Blushberry Shine 415 [DISCONTINUED]
peasloveandhominy 10/23/2008 4:49:00 AM
This is a gorgeous everyday color. I am very pale and don't like too much color but still like a little boost on my lightly pigmented lips. I was hesitant to buy a Cover Girl lipstick (I haven't had the best luck with Cover Girl in the past), but I had a BOGOF coupon for the TruShine lipsticks so I thought I might as well try it. After reading the reviews, I knew this would be the color for me and I was right. I have very dry lips and this does not dry them out further at all (most lip products do). The color is a nice rose-nude with a hint of coral (very slight hint). It's buildable coverage but no matter how much I put on, it never looks like too much. It stays on well over an hour which is pretty good considering the glossy texture and the fact I lick my lips a lot. The finish is a nice, smooth glossy look. It's a naturally glossy look, not overly glossy and goopy. It's not sticky at all which is why it surprises me that it has good (in my opinion) staying power. I find you need to use so little, so the tube should last a long time even with a lot of touch ups. My only complaint is the packaging. It's very soft and starts to melt a bit when I apply it, but it's not a huge issue. I just wouldn't take this with me in the warm weather for fear of it melting in my purse.
I am very pale (think Nicole Kidman) and I got this in Sherbet. For my under eye area, it was too light but it was the perfect shade for my blemishes. That's about the only good thing I can say for this concealer. I am only 21 years old with oily skin and this concealer made my under eye area dry and made me look old and tired. It settled into every tiny line I have and make them look ten times worse. It was cakey and flaky and within a couple hours, all of the concealer had settled into my "lines". As for my blemishes, it covered them at first and was a perfect shade match. When I got home (only about two hours after applying the concealer), it had all melted off somehow. I have never had this problem before. To top it off, after using it only once, I went to open it and one side of the palette fell out of the compact. I'm glad I got this during the Sephora clearance instead of paying full price. $8 was still too much.
Skin type : insanely acne prone (with active acne), prone to clogged pores and very oily Duration of use : more than a year This is no miracle, but I've long since given up on skincare miracles. I love using a raw honey face mask (I get my raw honey from the farmer's market in the summer. It's fairly cheap and very fresh.) once a week or more. I use generic Retin-A gel but still like the idea of doing a face mask. Clays are usually too harsh and everything else seems to sting and irritate my skin. Raw honey calms my skin and usually calms any breakouts I have. I don't believe it prevents breakouts or even treats them, but I believe it calms the irritation. I apply about 1 teaspoon of raw honey to a damp face and neck (when I try to apply it to a dry face and neck, it irritates my skin). I leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse it with lukewarm water. That's it. I don't add anything to it or leave it on for a really long time. I believe that perhaps some irritation that people get it due to their application. As stated above, when I applied it to dry skin, there was too much friction and it causes irritation and also when I would leave it on more than 20 minutes, I noticed irritation. I apply aloe vera gel after and call it a night.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - EXTRA VIRGIN Coconut Oil (All brands)
peasloveandhominy 10/23/2008 4:45:00 AM
I use coconut oil (the brand I use is Nutiva and I believe it is unrefined, but I am not 100% sure) for pretty much everything. I cook with it on rare occasions (studies that said coconut oil was bad for you were based on super processed hydrogenated oil which is bad no matter what oil it is), use it on my body as a moisturizer and most often I use it as a hair treatment. When I first used it, I experienced some drying from it. I was confused but I think it was the brand, because this brand seems do wonders for my hair. I put about a teaspoon in my hair (a little at a time). I melt a little bit between my palms and apply it like I would a leave-in conditioner. I don't do anything extra like put on a shower cap or leave it in overnight. I leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour and then rinse it out (I have to rinse about 3 times to get it out completely). The first day my hair looks a bit dry (from rinsing so much) but after 24 hours, my hair is like glass. I've never had such shine to my hair. It feels like silk and I get tons of compliments on it. I have read that it might not be good for dyed hair, but I dye my hair and have had no issues with it. If anything I feel it keeps the color from fading fast. For those who didn't like it for their hair, try finding a few recipes that use it or use it on your body. It's especially good on your feet. Apply some and then put socks on : leave them on overnight.
Skincare - Body -Aubrey Organics - 100% Aloe Vera Gel
peasloveandhominy 10/23/2008 4:43:00 AM
Skin type : insanely acne prone (with active acne), prone to clogged pores and very oily Duration of use : about 3 years I actually do not use this brand anymore, but I use one almost exactly like it from mountainroseherbs.com and my review is the same for both the Aubrey and the MRH brand. It's much cheaper. I pay around $5 for 16 oz I LOVE pure aloe vera gel. Most stuff that you buy from the stores is like a hair gel, full of gelling agents but pure aloe vera gel is more like a liquid with a slight stickiness. If used consistently at least once a day, AVG helps to fade my post breakout red marks faster than if left untreated. It's also great to have on hand for cuts and burns. I burnt my hands on scolding hot soup and with the help of cold water, aloe vera gel and sterile gauze, I had no permanent damage and the burns healed within days. If one of my cats scratches me or I slice my finger while chopping, I apply tea tree oil to disinfect and then apply alow vera gel to help it heal.
Toners -Unlisted Brand - Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
peasloveandhominy 10/23/2008 4:42:00 AM
I put "yes" when asked if I would buy this again, but not to use on my skin. I tried this years ago when it was the trend of the month to use it in a toner for acne prone skin. It was the rage of any acne support board. I tried it. At first I noticed a major improvement in my skin, but days after I noticed irritation (and I had a very diluted version of a toner) and my skin just looked awful. I think this winter I will try it on my back (where I also have acne) but I will not try it on my face again unless I go mildly insane and want to torture myself. So why would I buy it again? For cooking... and for my hair. I rarely use it on my hair anymore, but when I feel like I truly need to clarify my scalp and hair, I don't turn to a shampoo. I turn to this. I use a really strong version, a 1:1 ratio of water and ACV. When I am done with my shower, I leave the water on. I pour the 1:1 solution over my head (with a reusable water bottle so I can control the amount) and massage it into my scalp as much as possible. After that my hair feels like I poured grease into it, which tells me it's doing it's job. WARNING : Use a rubber mat in your bathtub if you do this! I keep my tub super clean and when I use this, it becomes slippery with I guess whatever shampoo and soap is built up. I almost broke my neck the first time. The smell is horrid of course. I use it on a day I will be inside. It really does a wonderful job of clarifying, so I put up with the smell.
Skin type : insanely acne prone (with active acne), prone to clogged pores and very oily I don't consider my skin sensitive at all (TCA peels never even irritated my skin) but this irritated my skin beyond belief. I tried it several different ways, and each time I'd end up with rashy red irritated skin and new bumps all over. It made my acne worse and did nothing for blackheads. I guess I'm just sensitive to Aspirin.
Treatments -Nelson's Homeopathic Products - Acne Gel
peasloveandhominy 10/23/2008 4:39:00 AM
Skin type : insanely acne prone (with active acne), prone to clogged pores and very oily Duration of use : almost a year Almost a year later and I'm still not sure if I like this. I have gone through many tubes of this. It does bring non cystic pimples to a head quickly, however, it stings a lot. I think perhaps due to that, the pimples it does treat leave a longer lasting red mark (due to irritation) so maybe it's best I use this only if I have a big event coming up. My red marks usually heal within weeks thanks to aloe vera gel, but since using this they last for months. The smell is strong and awful. A WORD OF WARNING : If you use retinoids, do NOT use this at the same time. Use this in the morning and your retinoid at night. I made the mistake of using this over an hour after my Retin-A (to spot treat) and had an allergic reaction. This only happened when I mixed the two. I'm fine using one in the morning and one at night. Active Ingredients: (Active ingredients are organically grown and processed): Extract of Arnica Montana Tincture (Organically Grown 2.5% V/w), Calendula Officinalis Tincture (2.5% v/w), Hypericum Perforatum Tincture 2.5% v/w Inactive Ingredients: Alcohol, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Water Purified, Tea Tree Oil, Trolamine
Other -Tom's of Maine - Natural Cleansing Mouthwash Cinnamint
peasloveandhominy 10/23/2008 4:37:00 AM
YOWZA! This stuff BURNS...but I like it. I use this every morning after I brush. I like it better than any mainstream mouthwash I've tried. It truly feels like it gets my mouth extra clean. When I first used it, my mouth was on fire. I guess my former mouthwash wasn't doing it's job! Now it's a mild tingle, but it still leaves my mouth feeling extra fresh. The cost is around $4.50 for a 16 oz bottle (which lasts forever) INGREDIENTS : Water, Glycerin, Witch Hazel (hamamelis virginiana), Aloe Vera Leaf Juice (Aloe Barbadensis), Poloxamer 335, Cinnamon, Peppermint Oil (w/ other natural flavors), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
Hair Type : Oily roots, normal/dry ends and scalp issues Duration of use : About 10 months I have gone through roughly 7 bottles of this shampoo and will continue to buy it. It's not very cheap for me, considering I go through a bottle so fast, but it works. I have scalp issues (not quite sure WHAT it is, perhaps dermatitis) and this is slowly helping me treat that. I apply it, massaging it deeply into my scalp (as much as possible being I have long hair) and leave it on for around a minute or until it tingles a while. Even though my roots are very oily (due to my scalp issues), I have started washing my hair every other day. Slowly the oily production is starting to normalize and hopefully within a few months, everything will be fine. Other than my roots, my hair is dry/normal and this does not dry my hair out too much (though if your hair is dry/normal, make sure you condition it well because then it WILL become dry from this shampoo). This doesn't do much for the look of my hair (it doesn't add shine if that's what you're looking for) but it has helped me treat something I was starting to think was not treatable. Just be patient. I pay around $7.50 for an 8 oz bottle, but Amazon.com has a three pack for around $16.