Cleansers -Korres - Milk Proteins Cleansing & Demake Up Wipes For All Skin Types
sara942 11/6/2012 10:04:00 AM
These are okay. I like the scent and the way they didn't leave any film or residue on my face but also didn't dry out my skin. The wipes themselves are a little dry and the seal wasn't great; it tore easily and had trouble staying shut towards the end. I found them at TJ Maxx so I bought them for half price but I don't think I'd pay full.
I needed something to re-balance my scalp because I was suffering from flakes, buildup and itchiness. This fits the bill. It has a very faint herbal scent; lemon/rosemary/lavender; I can barely smell it when I'm using it in the shower, and it doesn't linger. It's not as harsh or drying as some of the others I've tried (Seanik, Godiva, Squeaky Green), but it doesn't do anything special to improve the condition of your hair (no added shine or bounciness). A few swipes over your scalp produces good lather, which helps spread it around your hair. If you have a dry scalp/hair and you're trying to pick a shampoo bar from LUSH, I would suggest New!, Ultimate or this bar. They still leave your hair very clean, but they're gentler and don't dry it out. I also don't think the shampoo bars are that expensive when you consider how long they last (my hair is medium length and it takes me 4-5 months to use one up). UPDATE: I've been using this for months now and it works especially great with a nice rich conditioner like Suave Professionals Shea Butter & Almond. The duo leave my hair clean but very soft and shiny; not at all frizzy or dry.
At first I was worried that this would exacerbate breakouts because chocolate tends to do that to me. However, the first ingredient is Rhassoul mud, which is great for gently absorbing oil and detoxing the skin, and I can really feel this tightening my pores when I use it. The scent is addictive and worth mention. It's a mouth-watering but refreshing minty vanilla-chocolate scent. It is not too sweet or cloying, but it reminds me of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. The scent lingers on my face for a couple of hours after taking the mask off, which I love. I use this mask during breakouts and while it certainly doesn't make them worse, I don't know if this can really clear up your acne or not. But because it's so fun and refreshing to use first thing in the morning, I will continue to repurchase. This is one of my fave LUSH masks!
I love LUSH face masks! They're really effective; I can always see a difference after just one use, and I've tried almost all of them. I store mine in the freezer and just defrost in the fridge the night before I'm ready to use them so they don't expire so fast. My favorite was Crash Course in Skincare so I was super bummed when they discontinued it. The Sacred Truth is similar enough that it's become my replacement, however. It has the same cooling feel and buttery texture because it also has avocados and yogurt in it. It also smells very fresh and grassy; a little less citrusy than Crash Course but still very nice. After a really long, tiring day this is really relaxing and refreshing and picks my complexion right up!
Mascara -Korres - Abyssinia Oil Mascara - Volumising/Strengthening
sara942 6/25/2012 10:54:00 AM
This mascara is pretty mediocre. I got it in a value set and after using it, I would never have purchased it full price. I'm using it up as a daytime mascara to wear to work as it looks natural, doesn't clump and it's not too wet so I don't have to worry about smudging it on my face while applying. It doesn't really volumize like it says, but it does define and darken. Korres mascaras also don't smear or flake throughout the day which is another plus worth mentioning. Honestly, had this been available at a drugstore price I would have been more impressed, but I have much higher expectations of high-end products. Korres' Provitamin B5 & Rice Bran Mascara works way, way better so I'm just going to stick with that.
Like all the ELF Studio brushes, I love this. It's perfect for applying my translucent face powder to set my tinted moisturizer. It's super soft, sleek, and holds up well through washes. It blends out powder beautifully across the face and picks up the right amount out of the pan. My roommate who swears by MAC brushes was impressed with the quality of these and her jaw dropped when she found out they were only $3 each.
Cleansers -Josie Maran Cosmetics - Argan Cleansing Oil
sara942 6/21/2012 10:17:00 AM
I tried this in the store on my arm and wow that was a mistake. My arm started itching and burning and when I realized Sephora doesn't have sinks to wash off in (d'oh!) I had to leave it on my arm for a few mins and I started getting hives! I had to beg the saleslady to let me go to the back to wash off in the employee restroom because it was so irritating. And my skin is not easily irritated. What surprises me is that I had just finished off a bottle of Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil that has many citrus-y essential oils and I never had this problem. My skin is not easily irritated and I don't have any known allergies so this cleanser must be super irritating! I can't speak to how well this removes makeup because I was too scared to try it again. Sensitive skin types should definitely skip this.
Masks -Yes To Carrots - Yes To Tomatoes - Skin Clearing Facial Mask
sara942 6/18/2012 4:03:00 PM
Whenever I'm breaking out, I apply a thin layer of this mask for 5 mins every third night, using the Yes to Tomatoes spot treatment on the other nights until my skin has resolved. I prefer this to applying a thicker layer less frequently because it's harsher/drying and very difficult to wash off that way. This is a very potent mask with a paste like consistency. It tingles and burns but it's nothing unbearable, and to my surprise it doesn't leave my skin irritated after I wash it off. It definitely tightens pores and noticeably shrinks acne right away. It's a small, cheap-looking container for the price but the mask spreads very thinly and evenly over the face so you can get many uses out of one jar. It has a lovely floral scent that's not too strong but if you're sensitive to scents you may want to pass this up.
Treatments -Yes To Carrots - Yes To Tomatoes Acne Treatment Spot Stick
sara942 6/18/2012 3:58:00 PM
This isn't a miracle worker, but I like it because it's not harsh or drying, doesn't smell terrible (I actually really like the naturally herbal-floral scent but there's no added fragrance in this product!), disappears into the skin quickly and does make my zits a bit smaller the next morning. The only super annoying thing about it is that the roller ball frequently gets stuck and doesn't dispense any product unless you shake the tube vigorously before applying. I also am not terribly fond of roller balls as a concept because they seem a little unhygienic. But for the occasional breakout, this is fine. If you're severely acne prone you should definitely use something else, but I have dry and sensitive skin so I can't use anything too harsh (this only has 2% salicylic acid and the rest is botanical ingredients like witch hazel, ginger and tomato lycopene). This is gentler on the skin than the Burt's Bees treatment stick and smells a lot better. The Yes to Tomatoes mask is much more effective, however, and I use these two products in conjunction. Whenever I'm breaking out, I'll put on a thin layer of mask every third night and use the spot treatment on the other nights until the breakouts are gone.
Lip Treatments -Fresh - Sugar Honey Lip Treatment SPF 15
sara942 6/16/2012 1:13:00 PM
I love lip colors but I have dry lips that tend to peel, and most lipsticks just settle into my lines, are too drying, and are just uncomfortable for me. Lipgloss can be very moisturizing but the stickiness is really annoying. Lip butters are nice, like the one from Korres, but those little tubs are so impractical and messy that I never end up using them. I like the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment because it strikes the perfect balance between all of these products. The texture is super smooth and moisturizing, making it comfortable to wear. Honey is a wonderful MLBB shade for my pigmented, dark pink lips-- it doesn't clash with or wash out my natural color; it enhances it seamlessly. It doesn't settle into lines and is the perfect semi-sheer nude that makes me look more polished, yet still natural. It also gives a healthy-looking dose of non-sticky shine. The result is all-around enhancement. My lips just look smoother, healthier, fuller and not bare. It also has a lovely but grown up sugar-lemon scent and comes in a beautiful twist-cap metal sleeve that makes me feel elegant when I take it out to put it on. I love wearing this to work or on the weekends to look more put together with minimal effort, as it's the only lip product you really need. It is overpriced, but it's one of the few lip products that I actually use up because it's so elegant yet easy to wear.
Got a .68oz sample from Sephora. Lasted me about a week, so a little goes a long way. It has a thick gel-like consistency, reminiscent of the Burt's Bees Orange Oil face cleanser. Left my face soft and clean without drying me out. Has a very herbal/woodsy scent; it's a love it or hate it scent. I personally like it. But.. For the insane price, ($38 for 5.1 oz?!) I really expected better quality ingredients. This cleanser has a long ingredients list that is loaded with parabens and artificial fragrance, among other nonsense. Fresh touts itself as a natural brand, yet this cleanser is far from all-natural. Sadly, many of their products don't live up to this claim. I just can't understand why they're so expensive.
Lotions/ Creams -Yes To Carrots - Yes To Cucumbers Completely Cool Body Butter
sara942 6/12/2012 2:44:00 PM
I tried the Yes to Carrots (orange tub) version and found the scent kind of heavy and powdery-- it gave me a headache. So I switched to the cucumber version and I LOVE the scent. It's very natural, like fresh cut cucumbers, and this one's got all the buttery richness of the carrots version. In the dry down it slowly transforms into an elegant and feminine floral-type scent but it's very faint; you can only smell it if you're very close. It takes a little longer to sink in though, so I took a lippie off for that; you really have to use a small amount or else it's too heavy. But considering the very natural ingredients list and the fact that it's much cheaper than any of the natural body butters at Sephora ($13 for 8.45 oz), I will continue to use it.
I really wanted to love this. I love the JM Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 and when I put this over it at Sephora, I instantly fell in love. My complexion looked more even, my acne scars looked less prominent. Mostly I loved how light-weight and silky smooth it felt on my face -- no stickiness, greasiness or heaviness. My skin could breathe easy. I used the lightest shade and it didn't turn me orange like many other people (though the medium shade definitely did--be careful not to go too dark with this.). The color of the light one blended seamlessly with my complexion and right there I had to buy it. However, for some odd reason, I haven't been able to replicate the results I had on my first try. It flakes between my eyebrows and around my nose -- places where I need coverage for redness. I didn't notice any fine lines beneath my eyes before --until watching this product settle into them! It also flakes on my chin and upper lip. I can't suggest this for anyone with dry skin, even if you moisturize liberally underneath. It generally gives you a satiny, radiant glow but the flakiness in any dry spots totally negates this effect. I did like that it never got shiny despite hours of wear, though, but I must mention that the coverage is light-- good for mild dark circles and fading acne scars but not for much else. Perhaps this would be a hit with oilier skin types.
Eye Shadow -TheBalm - Shady Lady Eyeshadow Palette
sara942 6/8/2012 2:38:00 PM
Another vote in favor of these eyeshadow palettes!! I own all 3 volumes and they're the best eyeshadows I've ever used. All of these shadows are super pigmented and have a buttery texture that applies evenly and blends easily. None are matte; most have a satiny shimmer to them, to varying degrees. The darker shades also transition well into eyeliners if you wet them. Volume 1 - neutrals and darker shades. Volume 2 -taupes, highlighters, base shades. Volume 3 -lots of playful springtime colors. In terms of shimmer: Vol 1 < Vol 2 < Vol 3. Only 3 shady lady shadows are actually glittery: Caught in the Act Courtney (Vol 1 & 2), Feisty Felicia (Vol 2), and Guilty Gwen (Vol 3). The pan sizes are very generous; each one is easily as big as a full-size UD or MAC shadow, so it's a great deal! I also love that each one comes with an over-sized mirror and protective sleeve; great for travel. Love!
Another vote in favor of this -- and all -- theBalm eyeshadow palettes. I own all 3 volumes and they're the best eyeshadows I've ever used. I also love that the palette comes with an over-sized mirror and protective sleeve; great for travel. These are super pigmented and have a buttery texture that applies evenly and blends easily. Volume 2 is great for people who like taupe-y colors but also has a few good highlight and base shades. All are soft shimmers; no mattes and no crazy glittery shades. All of the colors are beautiful and the darker shades transition well into eyeliners if you wet them. The pan sizes are very generous; each one is easily as big as a full-size UD or MAC shadow, so it's a great deal!