Moisturizers -Givenchy - Hydra Sparkling Velvet Luminescence Moisturizing Cream
redcloud75 11/12/2011 8:49:00 AM
With my dehydrated, oily, acne-prone skin I have long been looking for a moisturizer that works for me, particularly after moving to the desert! I found this last week and, fingers crossed, so far so good. I am using the product for "normal to combination" skin, and it hydrates well. (I'm so glad that companies finally seem to "get" the difference between dehydrated and dry skin; I need water, not oil, in my skin!) My skin feels comfortable, fresh and pleasantly dewy (not at all oily) after I apply the cream, it does not break me out, and my skin seems to glow a bit more. I've been using it twice a day, both times over serum, to heal some seriously dehydrated skin, but soon I am going to cut back to a nightly application only. The smell is pleasant and the jar is pretty enough not to have to hide, but I wish that it came in a pump jar. I've been using cotton swabs to dig out a hazelnut-size blob each time so that I don't contaminate the jar. I think of perfume and makeup when I hear "Givenchy" - who knew they had a great skincare line?? I'm very pleased, and the price isn't even that outrageous when one considers that the jar will probably last one-two months.
I don't have any personal vendetta against this blush, but it doesn't work for, at all. I'm pale with neutral to rosy undertones, and it looked orange and sparkly on my skin. Not the look I'm going for, to be frank. Back it goes.
I don't mind this product, but for the price and reputation it fell far short of my expectations. I have long, fine, wavy hair and it cleansed it well without weighing it down, but for heaven's sake so does Trader Joe's shampoo -- and with far fewer chemicals, to boot. Many have raved over the smell, but I found it mildly pleasant. Basically, I found this entire product mildly pleasant - it cleaned my hair, and smelled fine. For the price of this however, come on. I feel like I'm a spectator at the Emperor's New Clothes parade.
I wanted to love this. I had heard great things about it from many friends who are happy with it, but this was dreadful for me. I found the texture to be just vile, like sticky velvet, and the product was difficult to distribute on my skin. My face did feel smooth and matte I have to admit but it felt as though -- and I guess I was -- wearing a mask that was floating on top of my skin. A very odd sensation. My skin did not feel comfortable and fresh but rather shellacked, which I guess is the point. Basically, if I were ever in a situation where my skin had to look absolutely flawless regardless of how creepy and uncomfortable it felt, I would endure this. On an average day in my life, however, why bother?
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - Underground 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
redcloud75 11/12/2011 8:32:00 AM
I got this in the "neutral" set of five Urban Decay eyeliners that I just bought, and surprisingly it has turned out to be my go-to eyeliner. I thought that the bronze-taupe would be too light for me (I'm quite fair, with blonde hair) but it's perfect. I've got dark brown eyes and I guess that's what creates the best pairing. It's so easy to apply, since it's rich and creamy it glides easily. Once it dries it does NOT budge, which I love. No migrating to fine lines! It somehow manages to define my eye while acting as a highlighter as well. I'm very pleased.
Sunscreen -Clarins - UV Plus HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40
redcloud75 11/12/2011 8:28:00 AM
This is one of my desert island products. I've got dehydrated, oily, acne-prone skin and live in a seriously dry, hot place. I'm also very pale and burn easily. I thought nothing could possibly work for me, but this does! It goes on sticky and white. Do not panic. After a minute or two it absorbs well into the skin, and my skin feels fresh and comfortable, not oily or all. (By the way I put this on over my day serum, after waiting one or two minutes for the serum to be absorbed.) I wait another two or three minutes before applying my tinted moisturizer, and there's no "balling" involved. Perfect. It lasts the whole day, is a great base for my makeup, provides great mineral-based SPF and does not break me out. The huge caveat is that when I used this in the States, it felt greasy and heavy on my skin. Only in the desert (with my newly dehydrated skin, perhaps) has it worked so perfectly for me.
I buy three or four cans of this every time I'm in London; it is my personal miracle worker. I spritz in on not just if I've skipped washing my hair, but also on clean hair days. I wash my hair almost every day anyway, so I use a spritz or two at my roots to add body, dimension and lift. It's perfect. I have blonde hair so I don't even need to brush it out, I just fluff my roots with my hands. The only downside to me (I buy the "Blush" formula) is that I'm not crazy about the smell. It's a little too reminiscent of cheap powdery perfumes aimed at teenagers. Oh well. The smell fades pretty quickly.
I love this perfume. Some of my friends have tried my bottle, after commenting on loving my scent, and have practically sprinted to the bathroom to wash it off them. It's one of those hugely personal, chemistry-specific things I suppose. On me, it works very well. The harsh upper notes fade quickly, leaving behind a complex, warm citrus scent with no hint of sweetness or cleaning product. It's just a rich, warm, fresh scent. It lasts for about 4-5 hours, which for me is a very long time, and also smells amazing when I spritz my hair with it once in a while. You'll just have to try it and see if it works for you.
I normally love Fresh's products. This however did not work for me. The texture, as other have noted, is extremely odd -- thick, grainy and somehow fibrous. Blech. The smell is fine for me, a light cucumber scent similar to their Soy Face Cleanser, but it only moisturizes very lightly. For the price, I've had much better. I'll finish out the (nice, glass, if rather unhygienic) jar, but honestly I'm mostly slathering it on my elbows now as I can't stand that texture on my face!
I love, love, love this product. It is very nearly my perfect blush. It is exactly the right shade of cool rose for me, blends beautifully, stays in place, and is non-sticky. It does not irritate my oily, acne-prone dehydrated skin at all, looks very natural and is so easy and hygienic to apply from its tube. I love the sheer wash of color that it provides. My one very tiny quibble with it is that it has to be the final step in my makeup routine, as I have to wash my hands immediately or I end up with pink fingers.
Gels/Soaps -The Body Shop - Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel
redcloud75 11/12/2011 8:01:00 AM
Are there more emollient shower gels out there, ones which moisturize better and are free of sulfates? Yes. However this product is like a drug for me: the smell is just intoxicating. I've tried other grapefruit products from lots of other companies, but none comes close to this smell. It's like my own personal catnip! I also find it moisturizes my skin well enough, and it does seem to last a long time. I buy the 750 mL size every four months or so, and also pump a few squeezes into the bathtub every now and again for a heavenly scented bubble bath.
Styling Products -Bumble & Bumble - Thickening Spray
redcloud75 11/12/2011 7:57:00 AM
Once I finally figured out how to use this on my hair, I'm happy with it. I've got fine, wavy long hair and spraying this on my roots was a mess - the product made my roots darker and straighter than the rest of my hair. I finally unscrewed the bottle, poured about half a teaspoon in one palm, and with the other hand daubed the product on my roots. I scrunched them, and let my hair air dry. Voilà. Works very well for me like that. On the rare occasions that I blow dry my hair, I skip this as when heated it makes my hair feel crispy.
Tinted Moisturizer -Bobbi Brown - Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer (Spring 2011)
redcloud75 11/12/2011 7:53:00 AM
The texture of this is great: it's non-sticky, melts into my skin, and feels comfortable. My oily skin feels fresh and slightly more matte. The problem is that even though I was color-matched and chose Extra Light, there is a VERY yellow undertone to this makeup. I know that works well for a lot of women, but I have a cool, rosy undertone and when I first put this on at home I thought I looked jaundiced. Not a good look, at all. I wanted to salvage the tube in some way - it's rather pricey, after all, and I moved abroad so can't return it - so I moisturize my skin and then immediately apply two pea-size drops of this to my face, blending it in very well. It reduces the yellow effect, but of course is just a (very sheer) wash of color. I'll use up the tube but then I'm not repurchasing. It's a pity because the product is great, but the color is very off for me.
Lip Treatments -Fresh - Sugar Rose Lip Treatment SPF 15
redcloud75 11/12/2011 7:47:00 AM
I love 99% of this product. The color is perfect for me, the texture is creamy but not at all sticky, the packaging is pretty great, it moisturizes brilliantly. The only drawback is that I have to reapply this almost hourly. It just doesn't stay on me. I have used the untinted Fresh Lip Treatment before and have not had this problem. I don't understand, unless I haven't noticed that I've turned in to a chronic lip licker. It's a pity but I'll just have to keep whipping it out of my bag at regular intervals. Sigh. It's only worth this constant reapplying because everything else about it is great; otherwise I wouldn't bother.
This is my everyday cleanser, and I was a massive fan. It cleansed my skin well without stripping it, removed my eye makeup without stinging, smelled nice and was all around a happy thing. Since I've moved to a desert climate, I find it a little drying - even with my oily, acne prone skin! It's probably the tap water here. Even so, I've changed my moisturizer and that has helped. I still love this product, but I'm using it only at night. I'm trying out different, more emollient but still oil-free cleansers for the morning ... Still looking for the HG cleanser...