I use and like Chanel and Urban Decay eyeliners. I bought this (black) on the recommendation of a friend. I liked that it was an automatic pencil as the other ones I use are not, and I have to sharpen them. The consistency is very hard and waxy. Application was difficult. I had to keep going over the lid several times to deposit color, and the pencil tugged and pulled at my eyelid. The shade black isn't very black or dark, it is more of a dark grey. I ended up tossing it after using it three times. The only redeeming quality that this eyeliner had was that it didn't smudge. I would not re-purchase.
Maybelline Great Lash should be called Fisher Price My First Mascara. This was the first mascara I used (many years ago). I didn't know any better, and I thought that the look that this mascara provides was how any mascara would look. The formula is very wet. It doesn't provide any length and very little volume. It caused my lashes to clump and look like I had a total of three big stuck together lashes. It doesn't hold a curl, and it is one of two mascaras that I have used (out of many) that smudged. Every so often I would buy this again (cheap thrill) after seeing it in yet another beauty magazine winning yet another award for being the best mascara....I would try desperately to make this work and wonder what I was doing wrong (since it gets so many awards and is featured in so many magazines). It always looks the same...awful.
I am amazed at the quality of these E.L.F. studio line brushes. I own several $$$ brushes, and I prefer to use the E.L.F. These brushes wash well and have not shed. I have had issues using other brushes, specifically natural hair brushes, which have made my face red and itchy. I have not had any issues or problems when using these brushes. I use this brush to apply my finishing powder and carry a second one in my makeup bag for touch-ups. This is a fairly large brush, and my only complaint would be that I wish it was just a little bit smaller. It can be difficult to apply powder to smaller areas of my face with this brush. I still think that it is great, though, and I can't believe how much I use and love these $3.00 brushes.
Eyeliner -Rimmel - Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude
raenamercedi 3/31/2013 1:00:00 AM
This is perfect for lining the inner rim of your eye. It makes eyes look bright and awake. It lasts for several hours on the inner rim. Prior to using this to line my inner rim I was using Benefit EyeBright. The Benefit was too pink, and it lasted less than an hour on the inner rim. This is a great nude that looks much nicer than white, which is too harsh to look anywhere near natural. The texture is smooth, and it doesn't tug when applying. Also, I have no irritation when using this, which is a problem that I have had when using other liners on my inner rims. I will be re-purchasing this item and recommend it to others.
I have combination skin with occasional dry patches on my chin and around my mouth from Retin-A Micro use. I have tried many moisturizers from drugstore to La Mer. This is one of my favorites. It doesn't cause me to break-out and helps with the dryness from the Retin-A use. I have suffered redness and irritation with other moisturizers, and I have not had these problems with the Cerave. After cleansing I wait thirty minutes and apply the Retin-A. I wait a half hour or so and then apply a generous layer of the Cerave cream before bed. This has really helped with the peeling and dryness from the Retin-A. If my skin is especially dry I will apply the cream both before and after the Retin-A. This does leave my face feeling greasy, and I can't use it as a daytime moisturizer. I actually use the Cerave PM lotion during the day as it is far less greasy than the cream. I would recommend this as a nighttime moisturizer for someone using Retinol/Retinoid products or for someone suffering from dryness and/or irritation. I do not mind the jar packaing, I just use a little plastic cosmetic spatula to remove the product from the jar. The tub is huge and has lasted me over a year. This can usually be purchased on sale for less than $14.00. I wish I would have found/tried this before spending $$$ on creams like La Mer.
I have combination skin with occasional dry patches on my chin and around my mouth due to Retin-A use. I like both of the Colorstay liquid formulas. My friend uses the Whipped, loves it, and it looks amazing on her. I bought it hoping that it would work as well for me as it does for her. It didn't. I am NC-30 and bought Medium Beige, which was a good color match. I found it difficult to apply with my foundation brush. It applied thick, and it began to dry before I was able to spread it onto my skin and blend it. I tried my Beautyblender, and application was slightly better. I used my fingers and had troubles spreading and blending. I am 35 and have very fine lines beneath my eyes and little to no wrinkling of my skin. My main problem with this foundation wasn't the blending issues, but the fact that it made me look ten years older. It seemed to settle in every fine line and emphasize every pore. I noticed "cracking" on my smile lines and had to keep blending/smoothing the crack with my finger throughout the day. I have never had issues like this with any other foundation I have used. Also, any dryness was emphasized. As for the packaging, right when I realized it really wasn't working and decided to toss it, I dropped it on the bathroom floor. It is a heavy glass jar, and the jar shattered. Basically the heavy bottom broke off (luckily the foundation didn't spill everywhere) into a few large pieces and several sharp shards. I would not re-purchase this foundation. It just couldn't get it to work for me.
I have re-purchased this product several times. It is my favorite body butter. It makes my skin smooth and supple. The scent is soft and doesn't clash with my perfume (Chanel Coco and Chanel Allure Sensuelle), it actually compliments it. I purchase a few of these online when they have a sale, either in the regular sized tub or the jumbo tub (depending on sale prices). This butter is thick, not heavy, but thick. It is great for fall/winter, and I love to use it before bed. The only other butter I use is The Body Shop Satsuma, which smells like oranges, and I use this when it is really hot/humid as it has a lighter texture (or in the morning for a quick pick-me-up). Also, I have sensitive skin, and this butter has not caused irritation or body break-outs.
Moisturizers -Garnier - Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream
raenamercedi 3/21/2013 7:37:00 PM
I have combination/oily skin with occasional dry patches around my mouth and on my chin from Retin-A Micro use. I purchased this moisturizer to use in the morning. This moisturizer stung upon application, and it burned when I applied it the mornings after I used the Retin-A Micro. This moisturizer does sink in quickly, however, it left my skin feeling very dry and tight. I think that this moisturizer would be best for those with tolerant, oily skin. I didn't read the ingredient list prior to purchasing it (pharmacy impulse buy)...it contains alcohol, which is a skincare ingredient that I try to avoid as it is very drying and causes me to suffer break-outs. I would not re-purchase this item.
I was apprehensive to purchase the Beautyblender, because I typically do not like the finish that sponge application of foundations provides. This is unlike any other sponge I have used, and I am happy that I purchased it (on my third one now). I saturate the Beautyblender with water as directed and squeeze out the excess. I place the foundation on my hand, dab the Beautyblender into the foundation, and bounce the Beautyblender on my face to apply the foundation. The shape is perfect as the pointed end enables me to apply foundation to my nose and area between my nose and eyes easily. It is easy to clean using soap and hot water. With almost daily use one will last about four months (with daily cleaning). After four months or so they start to get cracks and begin to fall apart. I prefer the Beautyblender over my high-end foundation brushes. The only other thing I use to apply foundation is the E.L.F. Powder Brush, which I also prefer over the $$$ brushes I have purchased in the past. I will continue to buy the Beautyblender. Also, it is less expensive per Beautyblender if you buy the two pack. I have used the Beautyblender cleanser, and I would not recommend buying this as other soaps and cleansers work better at cleaning it. Right now I am using Tincture of Green Soap to clean my makeup brushes and my Beautyblender. It works amazing.
Foundations -Make Up For Ever - HD High Definition Foundation
raenamercedi 3/21/2013 6:06:00 PM
I really wanted to like this foundation and purchased it based on MUA reviews. I have combination skin with occasional dry patches around my mouth and on my chin frm Retin-A Micro use. While I liked the texture of this foundation, I was unable to use it if I had any dryness, even if I exfoliated first. I understand that this is not marketed as a matte or oil control foundation, however, within an hour of application my face was oily. Not dewey or a with a sheen/glow, it was greasy (when set with the HD powder). This foundation settled in every fine line and emphasized my pores, which is a problem I do not typically have with foudnations. I am MAC NC-30, and I purchased shade #123, which was a good match until it oxidized. It turned at least one shade darker and orange within one hour of application. I did like the pump dispenser, and one pump was the exact amount needed to do my full face. As far as how it photographs, I have one picture of me wearing it, and my face looks orange and greasy. I will not be re-purchasing this foundation.
I used an entire bottle of this which lasted over two and a half months (one pump for both eyes, AM only, before makeup application). This product claims that it is a "quick fix" and reduces the look of puffy eyes and under-eye shadows. After almost three months of daily use I saw no improvement in my undereye area (puffiness and dark circles). It also claims to provide a bright, natural radiance to the entire eye area. I did notice a very slight (temporary) illumination to the area that basically looked like I had applied a very thin layer of MAC Strobe Cream to the eye area. As far as being a primer, I don't think that it helped my eye makeup and undereye concealer last any longer. There were days (more often than not) that my undereye area was very dry after using this product, and it settled into fine lines. Also, sometimes the product would pill under my undereye concealer. I wasn't expecting a miracle, but I was expecting my undereye area to appear brighter and for my undereye concealer to last longer. This product didn't do either. If you want to "smooth out" your undereye area, try the MAC Fast Response Eye Cream, which I have had much better results with. My eye area looks much nicer using the Fast Response followed with my undereye concealer and a brightening finishing powder. I would not re-purchase this product.
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original (UDPP)
raenamercedi 3/21/2013 5:54:00 AM
I use this product daily as a base for powder eyeshadows and MAC Paint Pots. This primer provides a nice base for shadows and makes them last longer. I have semi-oily lids, and I have had no problems with shadows creasing since I started using this product several years ago. This primer helps powder shadows apply on the lid the shade/texture they are in the pan. Prior to using this primer I had issues with shadows not showing up or being too sheer. I find it works best when I do not wait for the primer to dry completely before applying eyeshadows. I have been buying this for several years, and the tube packaging is much more convenient than the older bottle style packaging. My only complaint is that the last time I purchased this I bought the XL tube. There is about 1/3 left in the tube, and it has begun to separate. Liquid comes out when I squeeze the tube if I don't kneed it with my fingers to mix the primer beforehand. Only a small amount is needed per application. When I re-purchase this I will be buying the regular sized tube, because I have never had any separation issues until I bought the XL tube.
After using $$$ high-end foundations for many years and never finding one I was in love with, I purchased Revlon Colorstay and Photoready after reading the reviews on MUA. I am quite pleased with the Photoready. I am NC-30 in MAC, and I purchased the shade Medium Beige. The shade suits my skintone, and it has not oxidized or turned colors (orange), which is a problem that I have had with several other foundations. I find that it applies best with a wet sponge (beauty blender). Coverage is medium, however, it can be built up to full coverage. I do not notice the "glitter" that others have written about in their reviews, but it does leave a nice glow (not too matte or flat). I have combination skin, but I have occasional dry patches near my mouth and chin from Retin-A use. This foundation does tend to emphasize the flaking areas, and I have to make sure to exfoliate prior to applying it. This foundation doesn't settle in or emphasize any fine lines, but I do not use it on my undereye area (I use a concealer for this). I set this foundation with a powder. Oil-control isn't the best, however, I notice that I blot much less often when using this foundation compared to others. I have received compliments on my skin, which is far from perfect, when I use this foundation. I would re-purchase this foundation. Also, I like the pump dispenser (it pumps the perfect amount). I wish the Revlon Colorstays came in a pump. The shades are not uniform...in Photoready and Colorstay Normal/Dry I wear Medium Beige. The Colorstay Combination/Oily in Medium Beige is a shade off and is slightly too fair.
Polishes -Sally Hansen - Complete Manicure Naked Ambition
raenamercedi 3/10/2013 10:01:00 PM
In general I like the SH Salon Manicure line. The brush fits my nail bed nicely and allows for easy mess-free application. The shades seem to be hit or miss, though. Naked Ambition is a milky peachy-nude. It is too fair on my hands (NC-30) to be a true nude, and it looks "off". Though the application is messs-free, it is a nightmare. After four coats it still isn't opaque. It streaks and looks splotchy. It has a shimmer to it that is more apparent in the bottle than on my nails. I can only detect the shimmer in bright light (if I look closely). For some reason this shade seems to take much longer to dry than other shades I own from the same line, even with SV topcoat. I think that the color would be better suited for someone that is more fair. I would not re-purchase this shade.
I do not have excessively chapped lips, however, my lips do get dry during the winter and after wearing long-lasting or matte lipsticks. I have been using this lipbalm for over two weeks, once in the morning and a thicker layer at bedtime. My lips are more chapped than they have ever been. At first I assumed that it was the winter weather, but I realized that this lip balm is to blame (the extreme chapping subsided almost immediately after I stopped using this product). At their worst when using this product, my lips were chapped to the point that they would crack and bleed. This did not "help" my lips in any way and did nothing but make them worse. This balm never really "sinks in" and just sits on top of my lips in a waxy layer. I am not fond of the scent (it does not smell like honey, it has a chemical citrus scent). The only redeeming quality of this balm is that it is matte and is not greasy. Also, some balms cause me to break out in small blemishes on my lip line, and this balm did not cause this. I do not mind the jar packaging for a lip treatment balm (I don't like pots for lipgloss, but I do not mind them for treatment balms as I only apply with clean fingers in AM and at bedtime.)