Cleansers -Ponds - Evening Soothe Cleansing Towelettes
seven12 5/16/2013 10:15:00 PM
I bought these towelettes because they were on sale and the scent sounded appealing. I have sensitive skin and Ponds is a brand that I somewhat trust. The first thing I noticed was that they are much thicker and more textured than other wipes. They do a pretty good job of removing most of my makeup, but they are very heavily scented and I really dislike the scent. They also broke me out in cystic acne along the side of my face. I do like the thicker, sturdier texture, but I would never repurchase these!
BB Cream -L'Oreal - Age Perfect BB Cream Instant Radiance
seven12 5/13/2013 9:47:00 PM
I am fairly surprised at all of the negative reviews that this BB cream receives. I got it on sale at Walmart, plus I had a $3 off manufacturer's coupon, so it was less than $10. I suppose if I'd payed maximum retail price I might be less impressed. My skin is NC20-25 and the shade I bought is Light-Medium. It comes out of the tube a ghastly whitish pink, but quickly oxidizes to a good match. For those unfamiliar with BB creams, this is pretty common. They typically come in 1 color, which will match or oxidize to match you if you're lucky. Also, like an authentic BB cream, this product seems to create a "whitening" aka skin-evening effect, which is something I really need. I have dry skin and I'm in my 30's, so this is a good formula for me. It contains both mineral oil and shea butter, so it moisturizes well. I don't find it to be greasy. I apply this BB, plus my normal concealers and set it with loose powder and a spritz of Urban Decay All Nighter spray. It evens and brightens my skin tone and I don't get flaky throughout the day. The coverage is surprisingly good, but natural, and wears well. It also photographs very nicely, despite the spf20. I really have nothing bad to say about this product. I've used several Asian BB creams, including a Skin79 BB sampler set, and this product reminds me of the authentic whitening BB's that are formulated for dry or mature skin. I really like it. If you are younger or have oily skin, you might not like this one.
I've become interested in brow markers and pens recently, so I decided to buy a bunch of them to find the best one and return whichever I didn't like. I discovered something interesting about MAC Penultimate in Universal, NYX Brow Marker in Medium Brown and Milani Brow Tint Pen in Natural Taupe... They are the same product!!!! I noticed they all had nearly identical packaging. They have the same size and shape tube, made of the same plastic. I checked the ingredients: all identical. They are all made in Germany. The felt tip looks exactly the same on all 3, and they all swatch the same color. As for the performance of the product(s), they all work the same. I find that if I apply this after my moisturizer has completely sunk in, but before any foundation, primer, BB, etc, it creates a very smooth, "clean" brow. If I put it on after foundation, it tends to smudge and look a little "fuzzy" around the edges. It's not as easy to apply as Laura Geller's 3-pronged brow marker, but it is easier for me to apply than a powder or most pencils. I like that it almost has a slight sheen to it, and it doesn't deposit anything that clings to brows. It doesn't look powdery or drawn on, which makes it look more natural to me. This will last all day and then some. The other day I applied it in the morning, removed it with waterproof makeup remover before bed and some was still there before my shower the next morning. For me this is probably the biggest selling point. As far as I can tell, this is exactly the same product as MAC Penultimate and NYX Brow Marker. It is absolutely 100% a dupe for both... The only difference is the price. You can pick up this Milani version at Walmart for less than $6, whereas the NYX version retails for around $10, and the MAC version is around $20. Obviously, Milani is the clear winner here (or whichever you can get cheapest). If this product came with a 3-prong applicator it would be Holy Grail perfection.
I went to the drugstore looking for L'oreal Translucide, but they didn't have it in my shade, so I bought this instead. It was one of those happy accidents, because I love this powder! In the past, I've used some higher end powders that I loved, including Fusion Beauty loose powder, and Laura Mercier Invisible Setting Powder. I can honestly say that this powder holds its own against much more expensive products! It is silky, lightweight and it just melts right into skin. I have dry skin, but I hate the feeling of sticky foundation, so I love the way this powder sets makeup without looking powdery or dull. I am peach-toned NC20 and I bought this powder in Light 100. My only complaint would be that the Light shade leans *slightly* cool. Yellow toned ladies might like the slight pink tone, however, as it could have a balancing/ brightening effect. Cool toned ladies will probably love this. The pink isn't really noticeable enough for it to be a mismatch for me. This is an otherwise perfect powder.
I received a sample of this foundation from Nordstrom in shade 5. I am currently nc25 (thanks to Clarins self tanner; normal shade is nc20). I hesitated to use it, because the color looked too dark. Shade 5 is actually a good match for nc25. This is a peachy foundation. It is not overly pink, beige or yellow. I find it to be very flattering to my complexion. I applied it using my fingers only where needed. Because the foundation is sort of thin and liquidy, it is easy to blend with fingers and sets quickly. It doesn't have much "slip" to it, which is something I personally love, because I am not a fan of silicone-heavy formulas. My skin is dry, and this foundation dries matte on my skin, without looking dull or ashy. What really sold me on this foundation is how well it photographs. It's "my skin but better" makeup. It's not a heavy foundation (it's actually extremely lightweight), so it doesn't give the appearance of poreless, airbrushed, mannequin skin. It looks like real skin, from far away and up close, but it makes skin look better: brighter, smoother, more even. I'm not sure exactly how to explain it. It definitely doesn't settle into fine lines or pores, but doesn't exactly make them disappear either. I would highly recommend this foundation to brides or anyone who will be photographed. Even at the end of the day, when my redness starts breaking through, this foundation still makes my less-than-perfect skin look amazing in pics. For that reason alone, I will probably buy this foundation, even though the price is ridiculous.
I have combo normal-dry skin and I meant to buy this foundation in the Normal/Dry formula, but I accidentally picked up a bottle of the Combo/Oily formula... Long story short, I actually really like this foundation, even though it's the "wrong" formula for my skin. I apply my moisturizer and then quickly apply the Colorstay with a stippling brush before the moisturizer has completely sunk in. The finish is matte, but it wears totally even throughout the day and I don't get dry patches. The coverage is heavy (actually a little too heavy for my taste) and gives a flawless, poreless finish. For everyday use, I do find it looks a bit better if I wet the brush before applying, to sheer it out a bit. I am NC20, but my best match is Nude. Buff is too grayish and light on me. It makes me look lifeless. Nude is a tiny bit dark and orange on my winter-pale face, but if I apply just a bit of self tanner or bronzer, Nude is perfect. My only complaints about this product are 1) I wish it came in a pump bottle or squeeze tube, as the open bottle can get a bit messy over time and 2) it does reflect a lot of light back with flash photography, giving you a white face in pictures. Otherwise, I think it's a great product. It's comparable to Estee Lauder Double Wear.
Self Tanners -L'Oreal - Sublime Bronze Pro Perfect Salon Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist
seven12 4/17/2013 12:26:00 PM
It's been so long since I've tried L'Oreal Sublime Bronze, I couldn't remember why I didn't like it. I thought I'd give the newly designed can a try. It was easy to apply and the color looked amazing after a few hours. However, when I woke up in the morning, it was orange and streaky all over. I think it's partly because it only comes in Medium or Deep. I am pale, so I chose Medium, but it's still too dark. I am not trying to look like Snooki, I just wanted a nice even glow. If they made a Light shade and added a bronzer, so you could see whether you were applying it evenly, this product would be greatly improved. This might work better for someone who is naturally more medium-skinned to start (like maybe N25-35). I won't repurchase it for myself, though.
I wanted to love this foundation. It has a physical sunscreen, it contains hyaluronic acid and I've had good luck with L'Oreal foundations in the past. Most of the reviews and first impressions I've seen were by oily skinned ladies who said this foundation would be great for dry skin. My skin has been super dry and flaky lately, so I thought this foundation might work out well. But, this is honestly the worst foundation I have ever tried. My "match" is not a good color for me. I purchased Light Ivory. I am NC20 with some redness and discoloration. This made me look super red/pink and it oxidized and looked orange all around my hairline and neck. It's not too dark; just a bad match. I didn't think it felt greasy at all, more just like a slippery (silicone)/ wet texture. However, it really dried out once I put it on my face. It made my forehead feel extremely tight and itchy. It really clung to any dry, flaky areas. It failed to cover any imperfections whatsoever. I tried the sponge it comes with, a beautyblender, a flat top brush and even my fingers. I struggled to get even, smooth coverage with all application methods. From far away it looks fine, but up close, it is a streaky uneven mess. Chalky almost. It sinks into and exaggerates any and all fine lines and pores. It made me feel super self conscious, because it highlighted flaws I didn't know existed! Sadly, I have nothing good to say about this foundation. It is just not for me. Technically, it should be a good foundation for me... I am in my early 30's with dry skin and I'm just starting to see some fine lines. I usually LOVE L'Oreal products. This foundation did nothing good for my skin and it looked horrendous. I plan on returning it, which is something I literally never do with drugstore products.
Eyeliner -L'Oreal - Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner in Bronze
seven12 4/14/2013 9:08:00 PM
I wear eyeliner everyday and I've used Revlon Colorstay pencils for years and years. I've never been a fan of this sort of creamy liner, like Fluid Line or Stila Smudgepot. I can't even remember what possessed me to try L'Oreal Lacquer liners, but I haven't touched my Colorstay liner since I've discovered these! I've already bought 2 of the Bronze color, and one each of the Black, Dark Slate and Espresso. I have light brown eyes and I find the Bronze to be the most neutral and flattering. It looks especially nice with the Infalliable Bronzed Taupe eye shadow. One thing I really like is that I can apply a thicker, darker line on my upper lashline and then use what's left on my brush to create a much softer line on my lower lashline. I would say with all the shades that the color is very buildable. If you want a softer, sheerer line, just use a *tiny* amount of product on your brush to start and then you can add more if you want it to be darker. A little bit goes such a long way. I also love that the liner glides right on and is easy to manipulate during application to get a perfect line (crisp or smudged). Once this liner is on, I find that it stays put until you take it off. No smudging! I don't have oily lids, though and I do use UD Primer Potion. Lastly, the little pot is heavy glass with a metal lid and the brush is not only soft, but functional and easy to use. The product and the packaging are really great quality for a drug store product. I am super impressed and I will buy any new colors that L'Oreal makes!!
This is the best lipstick- Holy Grail! Most of my lipsticks are from Dior and MAC, and I haven't been impressed with Revlon lipstick in the past, but this formula is fantastic. It has enough slip to not feel sticky, but it's not glossy or shiny. It has a luminous finish without looking glittery or frosted. This color swatches very brown on my hand, but it is so close to my natural lip color that it is almost undetectable. It just makes my lips look plump and pearly, without being obviously made-up. It's the ultimate neutral for people with pigmented pink lips!
I picked this up for around $6 at Target. I own 8 other shades of Revlon Lip Butters and this one is hands down my favorite!! Peach Parfait is a close second, but I like that this one is just a tad more coral and not glittery. I am NC20 with very pigmented pink lips, and this has the perfect amount of orange in it to create a flattering peachy shade for my coloring. I've been topping this with Revlon Colorburst Lip Gloss in Bellini, which is a pale, milky nude peach and together they are perfection!
I bought this blush in Coral Reef, after eyeing it forever. It wasn't what I was hoping for or expecting. I wanted this to be a bold neon coral blush. But it isn't... It's actually a very soft peachy coral, which is honestly much more practical. I apply it using a fluffy blush brush spritzed with Mac Fix+ and then I buff it onto the apples of my cheeks. The color is very wearable and flattering for pale ladies (I'm NC20), but I think it would work on almost any skin tone. My skin is dry, so I always prefer non-matte blushes, but this one doesn't have any sparkle or sheen to it, so I think it would work on combination and oily skin too. Don't let the bright color in the pan fool you-- this is a surprisingly wearable and versatile blush. I highly recommend it.
I purchased the shade Love Struck from Walmart for around $10. It is a bright pinkish red with no shimmer, very flattering to my NC20 skintone. It's supposed to be a creme, but because of the gel formula, it's not quite opaque with 2 coats and looks almost like a creme-jelly hybrid. I did not use the complete Nailene Kit, only the nail color. I have a 36w professional UV nail dryer from Amazon. My gel cleanser, lint free wipes, nail tip primer and base/top coat are by Orly. The acetone I have is from CVS. I didn't like the Nailene gel polish at first. I found it VERY difficult to apply compared to Orly gel colors. It slid around and didn't want to "stick" to the gel base. I wasn't sure if it was the polish formula or if that happened because I mixed brands. It was very thin and messy to apply, and because of the deep color, I found it hard to get it all off of the cuticle and surrounding skin using acetone. It was literally sliding off my nails onto my fingers. I do my own nails several times a week and I've gotten very neat/ careful with practice, so that was very frustrating to me. I found that I had to apply *very* thin, translucent layers, clean all around the cuticle with acetone and my giant orange stick from Sallys, and then cure each layer before it slid off. It took about 3 layers of color and over an hour to do, but in the end it looks fantastic. It's smooth and shiny and has been chip free for a week now. I have just minimal wear at the tips of a few nails that is only visible way up close. The Orly gel color I have chips after several days, so it seems as though the Sensational is longer wearing. This is the only time in my life that nail polish has lasted so long on my (natural) nails. I am very impressed and I love the variety of colors that Nailene offers and how accessible and affordable they are. In that sense, I highly recommend this product. However... I am an enthusiastic DIYer when it comes to all things beauty. I love taking the time to learn how to use professional techniques/ products at home.. even if it requires a good amount of money and patience. If you're like me, you will love this product. If you're only interested in at-home gel nails to save time or money, or if you're not that great at doing your own nails and don't have a ton of patience, I wouldn't recommend attempting gel nails at home. There's definitely a learning curve involved, the products are pricey, and it's a lot more time consuming than regular nail polish because of the way you have to apply it.
Lotions/ Creams -Vaseline - Spray & Go Moisturizer
seven12 3/29/2013 3:56:00 PM
I think this product is a great idea in theory, but I'm not very impressed with it so far... I got the Coco Radiant scent (brown can) for around $5 at CVS. I don't care for the smell. It reminds me of a stinky cocoa butter sunscreen: fine for the beach, but not something I want to smell like 24/7. The lotion is not heavy enough to moisturize well, although it is still very cold here and I do have dry skin. Hopefully it will work better in warmer weather. The nozzle does an okay job spraying. I was worried it would clog terribly, but so far it's just a little inconsistent-- sometimes it comes out heavier, other times a perfect light mist. Annoying, but not a huge deal. My biggest gripe is that you absolutely have to rub this product in after applying it. You unfortunately can't "spray and go," which the name, Vaseline SPRAY & GO, definitely implies. So in the end, it's a neat idea, but it's basically just a marketing gimmick since the lotion doesn't moisturize very well and doesn't save any time since it still has to be rubbed in. I can't figure out yet if I am just disappointed because I had high hopes for the product, or if I genuinely dislike it. Overall, I would say it's just a very average lotion in theoretically awesome packaging. It's not the worst, but I definitely won't repurchase.
This product is sort of odd, but I really like it. I hear its texture described a lot as "silky." To me it just felt slippery, like a sunscreen loaded with silicone. I have the shade Light, which is probably closest to NC25. Although the coverage is sheer, it really evened out my skintone and gave me a subtle glow. On the skin, this feels light as a feather, which I LOVE. It did not break me out, dehydrate my skin or cause any sensitivity. Since this is technically a primer, I used a heavy concealer with it (Hard Candy Glamoflage) and finished with a light dusting of Laura Geller Balance N' Brighten and Urban Decay All Nighter. This product wore evenly and kept a smooth finish. Overall I'm not sure this BB cream is worth $34/ounce, but I will probably repurchase in the future. I can see this being great in the summertime, when I want some spf and decent coverage, but don't want a bunch of heavy layers on my face.