Treatments (Eye) -Sisley - Sisleya Eye and Lip Contour Cream
serrabird 4/2/2013 2:17:00 PM
I used a whole jar and waited until I finished to review the product. What a load of crap for that kind of price. It moisturized well, however it also made my puffiness worse on both the upper and the lower eyelids. I also noticed it did nothing to help with the fine lines and creasing. I know full well that I should not bring a rich eye cream very close to the eye socket and that's exactly what I did. For 6 months. It did nothing other than staying great under makeup but that's just about it. I never liked Sisley very much, as with most French skincare brands it was style over substance, but a friend of mine raved about this eye cream and I got suckered into the whole hype around this eye cream. The jar packaging ruins the ingredients and you only pay for the brand.
I am a huge believer in facial oils. Not the aromatherapy sort, but cold-pressed non-volatile ones like rosehip, almond, hazelnut, kukui, etc. I've been using Trilogy's rosehip oil on and off for a few years and each time the difference in my skin is incredible. I started using the +antioxidant version 3 months ago and it is a fantastic product. I mix it with all my serums, creams and the improvement in moisturization, the glow and texture is superb. It looks and smells like the classic rosehip oil, but they have added some really good antioxidants such as tomato seed oil (lycopene), cranberry seed oil and acai fuit oil. I am blending 5 drops into my mix of serums (I prefer layering and mixing a number of serums rather than use one) and whatever the base, it blends without spoiling the cream or serum. No problem of separation with makeup. Because it is winter, I use it twice a day, but in summer I think I'll just use it at night and reduce it to 2-3 drops.
I think I found my HG under-eye concealer. I am 37 and recently developed quite bad under-eye circles and puffiness that make me look really tired and sad. I started looking for a higher coverage as my Clinique Airbrush concealer was not cutting it anymore. I tried high coverage stuff from Lancome, Estee Lauder, MAC, Vichy Dermablend, Soap and Glory, Bobbi Brown. etc. All of them vanished within a couple of hours. I love eye makeup and especially quite dark smokey eyes and it really looks not quite right with a weak concealer. Enter NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. It is the best, most long lasting concealer I've ever had. Very pigmented but not at all cakey or patchy. Stays on without creasing or budging or fading until I remove it in the evening. I played with it until I found the best application: * It requires a fluffy blending brush to work the product in. Circular blending motions and no dragging or patting. Fingers somehow don't work with this concealer. It is better if the hairs are natural. Synthetic brushes don't work as well. I use Smashbox blending brush or MAC 224 and use the tip of the brush only. * You need to start with the least amount possible. Only build coverage in the area where you need it most. * Don't powder it over with a setting powder or highlighting powder, etc. It looks horrible. * If it is too drying for the under-eye, blend it with a very small amount of eye cream and apply with the brush.
This is a beautiful apricot blush that looks really great on my NC30 skin. It came out with the Chanel Spring 2013 collection and I am writing this review after a month of continuous use. Mine is the original baked formulation that has an inherent glow and goes on sheer as the pigmentation is not strong but it is buildable. It stays on all day without budging or fading and keeps the makeup looking really fresh. HOWEVER... After a month of use I found that the product hardened up and I can't pick up any colour with neither my brushes nor my finger. The only brush that picks up any product is the one that it comes with. It happened with cheap Bourjois blushes before and because you pay a fraction of what you pay for chanel, you don't really mind, toss it away and get a new one. However when I pay so much for a premium product, I expect it to perform to justify its cost.
Eye Primer -NARS - Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
serrabird 3/8/2013 11:59:00 AM
Finally, I found my HG in eye primers. Having a wide range of products that disappointed me over the years, I was highly sceptical at first but I'm blown away. This is THE ONE. I have the gamut, UDPP, TFSI, Mally, Chanel, Mac, Illamasqua, Revlon, blah blah. The famous UDPP goes on patchy and the base eyeshadow goes on patchy as well, also the makeup becomes really difficult to blend no matter what you use as a base colour. TFSI is way too drying so that my eyes look puffy and 15 years older. Enter Nars PP. It is how an eyeshadow primer should be: Silky, never drying, very easy to apply, sets easily, blendable onto the skin, the color adheres but can still be blended, doesn't smudge or budge or crease or gather in patches.
Liquid -Bourjois - Healthy Mix Foundation ] [DISCONTINUED]
serrabird 2/13/2013 7:26:00 PM
HG. This is the foundation that reinstated my confidence in the wonders of drugstore makeup and started a whole new love affair with affordable foundations. I am a NC30 with golden undertones and 53 is a perfect match. (In the summer months, I get very tanned so I gradually change to 55 and even 58 at my darkest. All of them are perfect, seamless matches.) Although I have combination skin that can get shiny around my T zone, I find Healthy Mix stays on beautifully and doesn't get patchy or shiny. I apply it with whatever comes handy that day, a BeautyBlender, Boots No.17 foundation brush, Sigma F80 or 84 or plain fingers and although all of them yield different coverage, the end result is always a unified, seamless, glowing complexion. I would say it has medium to full coverage and you need to start with a really small amount and build up as necessary, otherwise it tends to weigh down the skin a bit. I found that BeautyBlender and Sigma F84 give the most flawless yet natural looking coverage. I usually set it with Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Real Sand and just love, love the result. Recently I switched to Healthy Mix Serum for daily use, which is also a truly amazing product and will review that as well.
Blush -Chanel - Les Tissages de Chanel - Blush Duo Tweed Effect in Tweed Brun Rose
serrabird 11/24/2012 9:00:00 AM
I bought this on a complete whim at the airport duty-free before boarding a flight. I was very deeply tanned then and the blush was actually lighter than my natural cheek colour, but I bought it anyway. I'm back to my natural colour, NC30, and it is now my favourite blush and I prefer it over countless other JC blushes I own. I have warm undertones and it leaves a beautiful natural blushed peach effect on my skin, without no overtly brown or pink tones. It is not heavily pigmented, just the perfect amount, and the texture is very fine, so it is great for people who are usually heavy-handed with their blush application, unlike Nars, Tom Ford or Sleek. It is fantastically buildable and layerable. The product itself is exquisite to look at when you first open it, with delicate gold overspray striking through the tweed texture. I find the little brush very useful and carry no other blush brush with this.
Blush -Chanel - Blush Horizon de Chanel - Soft Glow Blush
serrabird 2/4/2012 12:04:00 PM
My new love affair with Chanel... This is beautiful. I have a good number of JC's and similar limited edition items from Chanel and this became my favourite so far. It is now my favourite blush ever, putting all things Nars, Dior, Mac, etc well behind. I am NC30 with golden undertones and anything too pink looks like I've tried too hard. I was therefore sceptical about trying BH on, however it took about 2 seconds to fall in love with the colour and decide to buy it. It is the perfect lit-from-within luminescent pink with a very subtle gold infusion. I apply this with a Nars Yachiyo brush, drawing an X across the pan to pick up an even amount of colours. It applies very evenly and gives your cheekbones a smooth, silky, translucent quality. The product looks gorgeous in the pan and the packaging is beautiful and chic, as with all things Chanel. Not any of that tacky contrived-cute cardboard stuff. It comes with a slanted brush and it repeats the trait of including applicators that work best with their product. Although I prefer applying it with a tapered Yachiyo, I found that the brush works perfectly on the go. I first used it for a night-out makeup with quite strong eyes and nude lips. BH gave me that wonderful healthy glow and balanced the washed-out look strong smokey eyes can give. It stayed very well and also photographs beautifully. I tried it with a I'm-not-actually-dead makeup after a long flight and I loved how it made my face look healthy and rested. I guess anyone with darker might find this too pale but it is perfect for all with medium, light and very fair complexions.
Treatments -Sally Hansen - Instant Cuticle Remover
serrabird 9/10/2011 9:06:00 PM
My absolute HG! I think it's one of these products that if discontinued, I'd start sending hate mail to SH. I started using ICR a couple of years ago and it's changed my manicure entirely. I cut my cuticles on a regular basis for the past 20 years and I'm therefore seriously practiced in it, but this is the first time ever I can do it in HALF the time! It literally halved my manicure time and also helped extend the time between manicures. I file my nails, soak them in warm soapy water for about 1 min and then apply SH ICR, wait for about half a minute and clean around the nail bed with a manicure stick (I never push the cuticles back, never) After soaking my nails for a further 3-4 minutes, I trim the cuticles. It has been so much easier and quicker. I notice that the cuticles grow back much smoother and also somehow slower. I always keep a good stock of it because I'm paranoid about running out of it and finding that it's discontinued. This is the only cuticle remover I've used that actually works and the bottle lasts well over a year, although I use it every week and for my pedicure as well.
Skincare - Body -Unlisted Brand - Egyptian Magic Healing Cream
serrabird 5/22/2011 6:33:00 AM
Such an amazing product. I had read about this at a blog and was thinking about buying it. I got this at Whole Foods in London for about £25, which is OK considering the prices I have paid for over-hyped over-priced stuff such as CDLM... I started using Retin-A twice a week and homemade vit C serum and Cellex-C Advanced C Eye Cream, the combination of which proved a bit harsh, especially around my eyes and neck. My eyes got so itchy and dry that they actually looked droopy and older and my neck looked like it had a rash. That night I applied a thick coat of EMHC all over my eyes, face, neck and decolletage. It stopped all irritation almost instantly and there was nothing left by the morning. There was no oiliness or filmy residue from the cream, either. Since then I have been using EMHC over Trilogy's rosehip oil every night and the result is amazing. I get a pea-sized amount of the balm, warm it between my fingers and press it on my face and neck. When I wake up there is no filmy residue or any surface oils on my face. I realize that together with rosehip oil, it balances my combination skin and heals my acne scars faster. The pores look much smaller, I get less shine during the day. I had feared that the balm would make my eyes puffy in the morning, but quite to the contrary. It makes the skin silky soft and look well-rested and firm. I don't know if you can easily make this balm a home, considering the difficulty of obtaining bee pollen, royal jelly and propolis extracts and getting the correct concentration. I would much prefer buying EMHC. Awful tacky packaging, though... For that price it should be in a glass jar or something more attractive, at least. And what is that blessings, peace, love, LordPharaoh ImHotepAmonRa, etc crap? This is just a skin balm not Scientology 101...
A work of art to look at and admire. Quite nice bright coral blush to use on my NC30 skin. Highly pigmented, the only colour from MAC that looks similar when applied is Frankly Scarlet, however the formula isn't as finely blended and creamy as some other MAC blushes such as Peaches, Fleur Power, Peachykeen, Blushbaby etc. The hibiscus overlay (not overspray as in Marine Life) is a thick crust of gold shimmer that you can hardly avoid when dipping your brush onto the product, but it doesn't come up heavily and look uneven in shimmery patches. I applied it over Too Faced Chocolate Soleil and the strong orange coral didn't somehow work well with it. When applied on my naked skin colour however, it looked very beautiful and natural. Already sold out in UK and selling for twice the price on eBay but the regular selling price is very reasonable considering the huge size. I absolutely dislike all the tacky Surf Baby packaging and this is not an exception. It does huge injustice to the product inside. If it were Chanel or Guerlain, this exquisite powder would be packaged in an ultra-chic black, gold or tortoise compact, not this awful cheap white plastic thing.
A. Ma. Zing! Having read the consistently glowing reviews here, I was hunting down this brush for a very long time and Boots only recently started stocking it. MUA wisdom is spot-on as usual, this is the HG of bronzer brushes. I have quite a selection of brushes to apply bronzer: Trish McEvoy Bronzer (which was my absolute favourite until this), Bobbi Brown bronzer and kabuki, MAC 182 kabuki, Chanel kabuki, Smashbox 19 F&B brush, and the list goes. The closest is Smashbox 19 which is a similarly shaped densely packed brush, but with natural hair. Ecotools brush is big, fat, very densely packed and incredibly soft. The unique structure and material of the brush helps it lift an even amount of powder and it gives an unsurpassably even, streak-free and uniform application even with heavily pigmented bronzers. I don't use bronzer for contouring but as an overall tanning colour and this is the best tool I have ever come across for this. One thing about the packaging, though... The usual Ecotools plastic package squashes the hairs of this brush to an irregular shape and it takes a few uses to bring it back to the intended shape. Also the zip pouch tends to tag at the hairs and damage them when trying to take the brush out. I would not use the pouch to store the brush, therefore. I haven't washed it yet, so cannot comment on how the quality holds or how it dries, but I spot-clean with MAC Brush Cleanser and it stays perfect. This is an incredible find, all thanks to MUA and I have already bought backups to try for different applications - foundation, powder, etc.
I love Benetint. It gives a very natural and amazingly durable flush to the cheeks but it is a pain to master the application. I used to absolutely hate it as the suggested X application method is a pain in the rear and tends to ruin the rest of your makeup as it makes blotches of foundation and powder on your face. However recently I started applying it using a MAC 130 stippling brush and the result is AMAZING! I put a good few drops of Benetint on the back of my hand and stipple the brush into it. Then, starting from the high point on the apple of my cheek I stipple it with very light strokes, holding the brush at a straight angle to my face to avoid it sliding on my makeup. I also carry the remaining liquid on the brush onto the bridge of my nose to give that freshly tanned look. You can build up the colour to whatever you like with this method and it looks perfect. I also found that with stippling the tint onto your cheeks helps it dry quicker, avoiding the liquid blush changing the texture of your makeup in a bad way. I use it over tinted moisturizer, setting powder and bronzer and it stays put all day and doesn't change colour. It is ridiculously expensive and the crappy nail polish packaging leaves a lot to be desired but the product itself is great. Just don't apply it the way BeneFit tells you to, stippling it makes all the difference.
I saw One by One mentioned in a Youtube review and wanted to give it a try. It came as a total surprise: This the best mascara by Maybelline that I've used. I used and hated their over-hyped mascaras such as Great Lash or Volum' Express or The Falsies. I was expecting another sticky, non-existent, clumpy, smudgy, under-performing mascara that would turn my lashes into pathetic spider legs. I have long, thick, curly lashes that can make me look like Chucky's Bride with a poor mascara. That's why I keep shelling out a fortune to high-end mascaras such as GA Eyes to Kill, YSL Faux Cils, Givency Phenomeneyes, Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen, etc. One by One performed no less than any of these mascaras so far. 1- The brush is very well-designed. It's not actually a brush as it is, but a spiky rubber stuff. It reaches every single lash in the innermost and outermost corners without smudging the upper lid. It coats, separates and lifts the lashes. Causes no clumping even on my very thick outer lashes. 2- The formula is much better than other Maybelline mascaras. It isn't gooey, shiny or sticky like their other stuff. In two coats, my lashes are huge, soft and curled. It coats up very well without clumping and sticking lashes together. It holds the curl very well and doesn't weigh the lashes down. 3- No flaking whatsoever. I use contact lenses and flaking mascaras almost turn me blind with pain. This stayed on for 17 hours without any flaking or smudging. 4- The finish is a very good soft matte black texture. I absolutely hate the other wet sticky lashes I get with other cheaper mascaras... There was a 3 for 2 offer at Superdrug and I stocked up on it. This is the first drugstore mascara that I bought backups for. I don't yet know how long the tube will last but I've got the summer covered with so many backups. I really liked this mascara.
aaah. Chanel. Love. They nailed it yet again. This is one of the most beautiful blushes I have used. I have many other JCs and this immediately became my absolute favourite. For reference, I am NC30 and have light-medium golden tones. I though this wouldn't show up at all and the colour payoff would be poor but quite to the contrary, it is much more pigmented than I expected from JC, applies like butter and stays during the day. It looks like a flat light pink in the pan but it has a very fine gold sheen which looks very natural and gorgeous three-dimensional finish. Some days I apply it over Vitalumiere Aqua straightaway, some days over VLA plus Suqqu translucent glow powder, some days over VLA plus bronzer. It looks perfect with either, never cakes up, moves or oxidizes. I have read some people complaining about the smell, but I've always loved the rose scent of JCs and actually it suits this rosy pink colour beautifully. The packaging is classic Chanel. Recently they replaced the little black brushes with another and the new one somehow works with Espiegle. I normally use it with my Bobbi Brown blush brush, but I prefer to use the little brush when I'm applying it over bronzer as it picks up more colour. I guess it looks perfect on paler women but it looks amazingly good on medium gold or olive complexions, too.