Polishes -Unlisted Brand - Nutra Nail - Gel Perfect UV Free Gel Color
possum 1/23/2013 3:08:00 PM
I do my nails every 5-7 days and wanted a product that lasts at least a week. Bought Fire color because I thought it would be nice to have a red that last longer than a few days without chipping and also with a high shine as described on the package. The product sounded great as I do not want to spend a lot of time in a salon getting Shellac nor time in removing gel polish. Application was easy but the bottles are so small and flimsy they almost tipped over a few times during application. The shine was pretty good. Chipped in two days. Removal was a nightmare and I ended up sanding off the top layer of my nails to get the remaining traces off. My nails are definitely weakened by the removal. You have to use 100% acetone and that also damaged my cuticles and surrounding skin. This is the worst manicure product I have ever used and I have been polishing my nails for 30 years, every 5-7 days!
Eyeliner -Maybelline - EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner - Brown
possum 11/20/2012 1:43:00 PM
Recommended by the saleslady at Ulta who told me it is her favorite gel eyeliner. Throw away the brush. It doesn't seem to stay on at all on my dry lids. But the weird part is if I swipe it on my waterline five or six times until you can actually see a non-streaky line, this gel liner stays for hours. No liner can do that except some Japanese liquid liners but usually those colors are too dark. So I am going to use it when I need a soft brown waterline look. However, I will not repurchase any of this line again. Prefer Stila or Mac gel liners for staying power.
Skincare - Body -Unlisted Brand - Egyptian Magic Healing Cream
possum 11/17/2012 5:31:00 AM
It's a great cream for the one thing I have been needing. After doing an overnight AHA treatment or even overusing tretinoin, my skin has small peeling patches all over that no amount of exfoliation, Clarisonic or microfiber cloths can remove. Started using EM because it is supposed to heal skin so figured it couldn't hurt the peeling skin. But what I found is that it actually loosens up the peeling layer after a few hours of soaking in and allows me to just sort of lift it off without tearing the skin underneath - yeah, I know that sounds incredibly gross but if you have dry peeling skin like me then you'll understand the significance of this treatment. Seems unsanitary to have a jar packaging maybe they can make it more creamy and put in a tube or at least in a stick form. Otherwise, it's reasonably priced and works well. Works better than Decleor Balms for this one purpose and a whole lot cheaper too.
OK, I have been wanting to try these out so got 6 of these at the last Ulta sale (along with some NYX pencil liners and liquid liners). I had high hope for this line as have read so many glowing reviews. However I was very disappointed in almost all of the shadows except for one. The dark colors have a lot of fallout and the lighter colors are chalky and powdery at best. I mean it is almost like you caked drying talc onto your eyelid. Two of the pans depotted themselves or the lid cracked within the first two weeks (and not even daily usage - just by being in my makeup kit). I did like the color Frosted Lilac but it has only so-so staying power even with UD Primer. I also love the color Lap Dance and it is matte so it would have been great as a blender color. But it is just too chalky to work this way. Would I recommend these? Maybe if you wanted to try a really extreme color just for a few times wear or were really on budget. Otherwise, try Revlon Colorstay for a lower priced alternative or wait until the Urban Decay sales. I just find that it takes so long to go through an eyeshadow that I prefer to spend more on a really great pigmented product with buttery smooth application rather than struggle with fallout and chalkiness to save a few bucks.
Masks -Paula's Choice - skin recovery hydrating treatment mask
possum 11/10/2012 4:19:00 AM
I have been using this when I travel - it's a fantastic moisturizer on the plane. It is not really effective as a mask but as an occasional overnight moisturizer and a spot treatment for dry patches, this product is excellent. The price is very reasonable and I keep a little container of this cream in my purse at all times. Use it on my face, hands, neck - anywhere I want a quick boost of soothing moisture.
Polishes -Sally Hansen - Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish
possum 11/10/2012 4:03:00 AM
I generally shy away from drugstore polish because it doesn't last long, poor pigmentation requiring too many coats, and splayed brushes. But I really like this Complete Manicure line. I have 4 polishes and they are all good. When you apply the first coat, it is nearly transparent. But the second coat turns the whole nail opaque with color. I find that the polish lasts ALOT LONGER than other SH polishes. It does take a long time to dry even with Seche Vite on top. So that is a big downside and I would use this SH polish for a pedicure only if I was going in sandals for the next 48 hours. I'm not kidding, I wore boots the next day the first time I used this polish and had sock imprints on my toes - that never happened before with any polish. I do like the brush and find it picks up the right amount of color and leaves a very smooth edge at the cuticle. One last thing, I love the rubber edge on the brush cap - that is my pet peeve how OPI and some other brands make it near impossible to open the bottle. With a base coat of Nailtiques #2, two coats of basically any brand except the most cheap polish, and a top coat of Poshe or Seche Vite, my manicure lasts about a week with minimal chipping. And I do a lot of biking and washing dishes (with gloves of course) as well as typing. After years of experimenting to fix my weak but long nails, I find this is the perfect solution for a lasting manicure.
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Microfiber cloths
possum 10/28/2012 9:32:00 AM
Tried many different versions from the 3M one in the beauty stores meant to cleanse the skin to the super cheapy all purpose ones. Find the ones with the waffle weave are the best for facial skin as it takes off all flaking without over scrubbing the skin raw. I am on Obagi and still gets lots of flakes and even peeling patches. The best way way is to cleanse with the Clarisonic and then, while my skin is still soapy, gently wipe away the excess cleanser using small circles with just the lightest of touch. Nothing else will remove the remaining flakes.
I heard so much about NYX that I went crazy at an Ulta sale and got 15 items to try out the line. I have hooded Asian eyes so DEEPEST DARK BLACK and no smudge are a must. I love UD liners as well as a few Shu Uemura ones but am always searching for a blacker or newer color. First, the color is very deep black so had high hopes for this liner. Goes on creamy and easy to push into the base of lashes. But even though I set it with NYX, MAC, UD, or Nars shadow, this liner smudges nonstop. I even blotted underneath the lashes and heavily powdered under my lower lash line to try to prevent becoming a racoon intermittently throughout the day. No such luck. Even Skindivania setting spray doesn't prevent the fading and smudging. I do like the color and it's so affordable that I am loathe to give up on them. But having tried Black and Gunmetal colors, I can say I have to retreat back to UD. May be a good liner if you have more "upturned" lids. By the way, I have permed lashes so I know it's not creeping down my lashes like eyeliners tend to do on straight lashes.
Review is for the NuDerm system for dry skin. I have been on the system for 20 weeks. I am in mid-40s, Asian and my skin was dehydrated even though I have a healthy diet and take fish oil and other supplements. I'll start by saying that I got great results but it is like boot camp for your skin and I basically looked FUUUUUUUGGLY for months. Strangers were asking me if I needed to sit down because I looked so red like I was going to faint (especially if you exercise - you look beet red). I am using the most aggressive regime meaning 1 gram 0.1% tretinoin and 0.5 gram of Clear, Exfoderm and Blender daily. Not using the Sunfader. Use distilled water mixed with apple cider vinegar (diluted 4:1) instead of the Obagi Toner as it accomplishes the same purpose - to bring down the ph level so that other products can be better absorbed. Use any cleanser as long as it is ph balanced with no alcohol and doesn't leave any moisturizing trace. I also use Skinceuticals C & E Ferulic before Clear for extra sun protection. Let all layers absorb 5-15 minutes before applying next product. Never stopped being bright red or peeling even on the 20th week. Skin is tighter and melasma patches on the cheek area have almost faded. Crows feet definitely worse and skin looks very dry. Have not used any moisturizer except on eyelid (otherwise eyeshadow won't stick to the scaly skin). I can tell my skin is less dehydrated even though it looks drier than before I started Obagi. I am sure my skin will look good once I go on maintenance and can use some moisturizer. The Healthy Skin Protection SPF 35 pills like crazy over NuDerm products. I use Skinceuticals Sport 45 as is not moisturizing and works well with no white cast. Don't buy on eBay as there are a lot of fakes. I was sold two fake items and you don't want to stop your progress just to save some money. The bottles looked EXACTLY like the real Obagi products but the products themselves were clearly fake. I called Obagi and they said they see this all the time. WARNING: Be sure to apply sunscreen liberally. Even with sunscreen, mineral sunscreen powder and a hat, my melasma returned slightly after just one day outside. I was applying mineral sunscreen every 2 hours and it still didn't protect me fully. 20 weeks of effort gone in one afternoon!
I am on the full Obagi NuDerm system and this sunscreen pills like crazy. No idea how others make it work with NuDerm. Sometimes if I apply the sunscreen over other non-Obagi products such as a creamy moisturizer then it works fine. However, it often pills with other moisturizers as well. I also don't understand how this is supposed to work with NuDerm as it has a chemical sunscreen yet is is applied last. How can the chemical sunscreen bind with the skin through the Clear, Exfoderm and Sunfader layers? Wrote and called the Obagi company but no reply.
I've been using Sage off & on for over ten years. After finishing my Skinceuticals Exfoliating Cream Cleanser, I thought I'd give the Sage cleanser a try again. First I had to get over the sticker shock - for that price you can buy pretty much any brand but get beautiful sterile packaging. In any event, I bought the big bottle. This cleanser isn't as good as it was five years ago, Doesn't take off makeup that well and needs a lot of rinsing. The customer service at Sage is the reason I stopped using their products a few years back along with my sisters and Mother. Well if it's at all possible, they seem to have gotten even worse. Bad attitude and lack of communication. Yep, with all the good choices available, I'll spend my money with good companies and great products. Back to Skinceuticals for me during the day. At night I found a nice combo with removing makeup with jojoba oil and then Cetaphil Cleanser. That leaves my skin clean and dewy.
I have Asian monolid eyes with stick straight lashes, live in a humid environment plus I insist on wearing eye cream with sunscreen. All of this adds up to major mascara melting. Fiberwig is excellent for its staying power and my lashes even hold a semi curl in the most humid weather as long I use an eyelash curler after applying Fiberwig and let it dry. Love that when I remove my eye makeup that no stubborn mascara residue remains entrenched under my eyes so it looks like I have bags. Bought Fiberwig for $13 in Hong Kong, where they sell it in brown and black. No volume though so only 4 lippies. Better than Kiss Me Blinc for lengthening.