Treatments -NIA 24 - (NIA24) Rapid Exfoliating Serum
phillykate16 4/7/2011 4:24:00 PM
I agree with the previous reviewer that this product is one of the better skin care investments I've ever made. It isn't cheap, but (sadly!) it's still nowhere near the most expensive skin care product I've purchased (I'm looking at you, Obagi and Skinceuticals). I have only been using this for roughly 2 weeks, but I already notice a brighter, more even skin tone, a smoother skin surface, and tighter pores. As opposed to the Obagi system, this product doesn't make you peel conspicuously throughout the day; at the end of the day, when I use an oil cleanser to remove my waterproof sunscreen, I am surprised to find that a fine layer of skin sloughs off along with my makeup--I never see any peeling from it throughout the day. In that sense, it's a relief. One of the things I like best about this product is that, as I read on the Nia24 website, you can use this product in conjunction with tretinoin and products containing hydroquinone. This is helpful for me, because the Raid Exfoliating Serum doesn't have any acne-fighting properties on its own, and I can still use Retin-A for that (I apply the Nia24 first, let it dry, then add Blender/Retin-A). During the day, I use a small amount of Nia24 under my Finacea, and this combination seems to be working fine so far. I love that it has no added fragrance! It always annoys me when products marketed for sensitive skin have fragrance, which often causes breakouts and irritation for us sensitive-skinned ladies.
Lip Treatments -Christian Dior - Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm
phillykate16 4/7/2011 4:11:00 PM
EDIT: 07/13/2011 Recently, I've noticed that this product isn't as great as I thought it was initially. The color payoff really isn't too good, I realized after I caught a glimpse of myself in natural light. I really recognized the lack of color payoff when I was getting ready for a date, and a friend of mine looked me over and said, "Do you want to borrow some of my lipstick?" -- even though I had already put on this lip balm. Oh well. More recently I've been smearing on a dab of a pink Korres lip stain instead - that definitely has good color payoff! ----- Original review: 04/07/2011 I had such low expectations for this product, but even if I'd had much higher expectations for it, I still would be impressed by how well it performs. There were a couple of reasons why I thought it wouldn't live up to its hype: first of all, stick balms (or really, anything non-Aquaphor) are rarely ever moisturizing enough for my lips, regardless of the season, and, second of all, the stick looks like one of those pale pinks that is shows up clear on your lips--and my naturally pale lips need color! Imagine my surprise when, assuming it would be clear, I swiped it on with a heavy hand, then looked in the mirror and saw that it was a bright fuchsia! Darker skin tones might be able to get away with that color, but I'm so pale that I had to tone it down by wiping some off and dabbing on a clear moisturizing balm. Now I glide it over my lips very gently, and still get a pleasant pink color. My only complaint is that (probably because I have to use such a minimal amount due to the high color pay-off) it really isn't very moisturizing for my perma-chapped lips for very long, so I often use a clear balm over it. But I am so impressed with the color pay-off, and with the fact that (now that I know how light a hand to use) I can swipe it on without a mirror, that I will definitely repurchase!
Aaagh! I was so happy to be able to purchase this powder (especially since I got a GWP at Clinique), but this is my second day wearing it and I literally want to claw my skin off, it itches so much. I keep looking in the mirror, expecting for my face to be red and blotchy from this reaction I'm having to it, but it isn't really -- I guess that's a plus :). If this product worked, I really wouldn't mind paying the price for it, even though it's definitely the most expensive powder I've ever purchased. I had a similar reaction to a Physician's Formula mineral bronzer from the drugstore, but had expected that a Clinique product marketed to those of us with sensitive/easily-irritated skin would have a better formula--no such luck. :(
I bought this product in the winter, when I was afraid that my hair-straightening habit was causing dryness and split ends. Surprisingly, I didn't see any real improvement in the condition of my hair when using this. The product smells wonderful, but, in my experience, Queen Helene's jojoba oil hair treatment or 100% jojoba or coconut oil far exceeds Aveda's Beautifying Composition when it comes to adding moisture and strength - and at a fraction of the price. I won't repurchase, but I am finding the product good at moisturizing when I add a few drops to my body lotion, and it's an excellent masking fragrance when I add a few drops to my body sunscreen. I don't use it on my face, because, for me at least, it would most definitely cause breakouts.
Skincare - Face -Obagi - Exfoderm Skin Smoothing Lotion
phillykate16 6/27/2008 10:01:00 AM
This was a definite no-go for me. I started the Obagi system using only Retin-A, then added Blender a week later, and finally added Clear about a week after that to give my skin time to adjust. My skin was glowing and, for the first time since age 10, clear. I tried to add Exfoderm, too, but with horrible results--namely a bunch of cystic acne spots. I've cut this product out of the regimen now, since cystic acne always ALWAYS ends in scarring for me (and was the reason I turned to Obagi in the first place! Oh the irony). I get the importance of exfoliating with this system, I just don't get what is special about THIS exfoliant. To get some exfoliating action without Exfoderm, I use a cellulose exfoliating facial sponge from Sephora when I'm cleansing my face in the morning, and have added my old stand-by, a yogurt mask, back into the routine for about 10-15 minutes on most days after work. I'm on my way back to clear skin- hopefully no scarring will be left from these zits to remind me of this mistake! EDIT: (04/07/2011) So, after a three-year hiatus, I decided to give this product another shot, since the Blender, tretinoin,and Clear products have worked so well for me. I actually haven't had the bad experience that I had last time, and I've been using it for a couple of weeks now. I bumped this product up from 1 to 3 lipsticks. Maybe because my skin is so used to 0.1% Retin-A, though, the Exfoderm doesn't cause my skin to slough off as well as I'd hoped it would, but it does so well enough that I keep using it. For better exfoliation and brighter/more even skin tone, though, I use Nia24 Rapid Exfoliating Serum, which is really one of the better skin products I've used. For similar prices, I'd go with that over Exfoderm. (use Skincarerx for 20% MUA discount).
I bought this at Sephora a few days ago in spite of the hefty price tag ($22 for a lip balm? oh my heavens). When I sampled it on my hand, i liked how pigmented it was; a lot of balms are sheer, but this one went on as pigmented as a lipstick. In the past, I've had so-so experience with Benefit - neither the lipstick nor the bronzer I've tried from them has been particularly good - but I was lured by the promise of sultry, moisturized lips and gave this one a shot. What a mistake! The balm's red color, which I'd liked in the store, looked clownlike when applied, and what's worse, the product dried my lips out so much that now, after a few days of slathering on the balm hoping things would get better eventually, my lips are like sandpaper. Repurchase? Hells no. This baby's going back to Sephora tomorrow.
the first time i tried this product as a hair treatment ended in disaster: the oil stiffened in my hair and not even three rounds of 'industrial strength' clarifying shampoo would get it out. my hair was an oilslick for a day and a half. since then i've changed my technique a bit and have found that doing so makes the mask work almost as well as nexxus emergencee, which i've sworn by for the past few months. i'm using nature's way extra virgin coconut oil ($11 at the vitamin shoppe) and have had the most luck by doing the following: 1. take a little time to liquify the oil first by putting the oil tub in a basin of hot water. i've had much better luck starting with the oil in liquid form than taking a glop of the solid stuff and rubbing it between my palms. i've also found it better to start with dry hair than with wet hair, although i need to do a little more experimenting with that. 2. use a veeeery little amount --this was my big mistake the first go-round. less is definitely more here; i don't use more than one tablespoon for my shoulder-length hair. 4. make sure to avoid applying the oil to the roots. while you're rinsing the oil out later, you can massage it into your roots and scalp, but doing so at the application stage will make you into a greaseball. 5. use a shower cap after you've applied the oil. if you don't have a shower cap on hand you can take a plastic grocery bag, flip it upside down covering your hair, and tie the handles under your chin. 6. take off the cap/plastic bag before rinsing the oil out and blowdry your hair for about a minute. this converts the oil back to a liquid so that it comes out easier. also, in my experience, doing so makes the hair smoother afterwards. 7. when you shampoo and/or condition afterwards, let the shampoo/conditioner sit on your hair for a minute so that it sinks in before you wash it out --more oil comes out this way. even though i guess it technically isn't necessary to both shampoo and condition after the treatment, i've found that it helps the oil get out by doing so better than it does when i shampoo twice instead of conditioning. 7. if you don't get 100% of the oil out in the shower, just be sure to brush it out well. doing so will soften the oil and make your hair shiny, not stiff and oily. this is a sweet hair mask --thanks to mua for introducing me to it!