Totally works! I have really dark brown-black hair, strictly gold undertones with no hint of red. I'd try to dye my hair red, and I wouldn't even get a red tint in the sunlight. :/ So I tried the Madder Root Conditioner on a whim. IT WORKED! :D Within just a few uses I had gorgeously rich, red tones in my hair, resulting in a warm, dark auburn in natural light and this awesome crimson-tinted brown in direct sunlight. MRC does smell kind of weird but that's due to the henna, I'm sure. My mom dyed her hair with henna for years and it always smelled weird too, lol. Also, it REALLY stains. EVERYTHING. Hands, tile, shower curtain, window... So please make sure you have a good tile cleaner. Also, while the color was what I was most concerned about, it could have been more moisturizing. :/ It left my hair a bit tangled and dry.
Treatments -Peter Thomas Roth - Max Complexion Correction Pads
siminims 4/21/2013 6:18:00 PM
This is the ONLY thing that has consistently taken care of my hormonal teenage- and young adult-acne. I despise the packaging as it leaks all crazy-like if I'm not careful to keep the jar level. I do however keep it in a drawer, which helps. (It had a tendency to fall out of my medicine cabinet so I became too afraid to keep it there, lol!) My skin is fair-golden-olive, which is so hard to color-match, and therefore I'd rather just have good skin so I don't have to layer on foundation (ha, don't we all). When I get acne, which is all the time for the past ten years save my two bouts of Accutane (yes! TWO!), my skin instantly gets dark after the acne heals. These pads clarify my skin so super quickly that by the end of the week I already look brighter and smoother--and cleaner, you know what I mean? Like the way I expect to look after a facial. Not only do my darkened spots lighten, but these pads also successfully heal my blackheads and cystic acne :D Hooray! They burn a bit at first, but don't turn my face red. I assume it's the witch hazel and aloe acting as anti-inflammatory agents. These are a bit pricey at $36/60 pads, but I use one side of the pad in the AM and the other side in the PM. I also use them on my neck, chest and back. They last long enough to make it a good deal, and are bursting with ingredients that both feed and heal your skin! I always repurchase, because these are gold. There are some reviews where people are complaining that there is too much alcohol in this, it burns like hell, dries out their face etc. These are the MAX correction pads! MAX! There are GENTLE ones that are, in fact, gentler. The gentle correction pads have the more soothing ingredients in a higher concentration, half the alcohol content of the max correction pads, and 0.5% salicylic acid as opposed to 2.0%. Before people hate on these, I just wanted to point that out. I do also find that the higher alcohol content helps cut down on the stickiness factor that some topical treatments have--however I have fairly resilient oily skin. So think about your skin sensitivity and type before you buy! These things are serious business!
Conditioner -Ouidad - Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner
siminims 4/16/2013 12:45:00 PM
I LOVE this stuff. My hair is thick and prone to frizz, and when it gets too dry it gets very tangled. Typically after washing my hair I put in the GVP straightening serum, blow dry my roots and let the bulk of my hair air-dry. (I don't usually blow dry my hair as I'm growing it out for a friend who needs a wig made, and I want to keep my hair as healthy as possible.) I got a HUGE sample of this from Sephora and HOLY COW. I towel dried my hair, finger-combed this leave in conditioner through my hair and let it dry. My hair dried to a silky soft, detangled, smooth finish. And it STAYS that way for DAYS. I will definitely, definitely repurchase this when my sample runs out. I think what makes this work so well for me is that I have really thick, wavy hair, but also that I let it air-dry. I can't really understand all the bad reviews for this product.
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Perversion
siminims 2/22/2013 8:59:00 PM
Chiming in with everyone else: super pigmented, creamy, the blackest black I have come across. The smudging isn't the deal-breaker for me. No, the problem is my contact lenses. Sigh. This pencil RUINED a brand new pair of lenses for me. It may not matter at all to people who wear daily disposable contacts, but I wear toric lenses (for astigmatism) and my lenses are mad pricey--in the $100 range--and I only get one pair per month. I tried every c/l solution I could, even the hydrogen peroxide based one that fizzes--NOTHING could remove the UD. So, yeah, the staying power is great....just not where it SHOULD be.
HG mascara! I have thick lashes already, and they're fairly long, but they don't tend to stay up very well due to the weight. I do actually like wearing mascara, but I want it to be NOTICEABLE. This stuff does EXACTLY that--draws out every single one of my lashes, root to tip, and makes them stand out. I love this brush, it's really very good. Not crunchy at all for me, my lashes are still soft after application. Tip--I ALWAYS make sure to curl my lashes before mascara. And with this, if you find it doesn't give quite enough volume, do what I do: lift your upper eyelid just enough so you can see that you've properly got the brush placed at the base of your lashes, and then move the brush side to side as you sweep from root to tip. Quickly, mind you, or it isn't quite as effective. This works with ANY mascara, but with One by One, it REALLY brings out the volumizing effect, and holds a curl MUCH better.
Lip Treatments -Burt's Bees - Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm
siminims 2/11/2013 11:48:00 PM
I loved this product...at first. Two weeks later and I'm also stuck with dry, chapped, even CRACKED lips. They almost bled today! It was awful! But just fyi: symptoms like these, for me, are always indicative of a mild allergic reaction. I've only had this happen with one or two other products, but it could be something a lot of people are mildly allergic to, especially if it's something unique to this chapstick! So maybe look the ingredients, see if there are any components that may set you off. And in the meantime, I am using up a very boring but very soothing container of Vaseline. Sigh.
Primer/ Corrector -Urban Decay - All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
siminims 2/3/2013 3:16:00 PM
Reviewing just because I wanted to refute that this is not for combo or oily skin! :D I have super duper oily skin that is also acne prone with some scarring and I NEVER would have tried this, ever. But I got it as a sample a year or so ago... And I never looked back. I use about five sprays in total--left cheek, right cheek, forehead, nose, chin. I also keep the bottle about 6-8" away so the spray covers a broad range. (Tip: spray directly onto a cotton ball and lightly press over closed eyelids to keep eye makeup on all day; works a charm!) I use NARS Sheer Matte because it's the only perfect match to my skin I have ever had in ten years of wearing foundation (acne hit me hard with puberty, lol, if you're thinking I'm not old enough for that). I use Tarte Maracuja concealer under that, but it's not the best match so I only use it sparingly. The "sheer" aspect of the foundation usually looks just like that if I don't use primer and setting spray. But this spray makes a WORLD of difference. My thought is this--if it takes me 30 minutes to look like I've never had a skin problem in my life, shouldn't it last all day? This spray, as I said, was a sample I used on a whim. But WHOA, was I surprised. This stuff keeps my face makeup and eye makeup on ALL. DAY. Even blush! I do blot every now and then, but I would've been doing that anyway. And this spray kinda makes me more dewy than oily. Even weirder is that after I blot, I get this sort of soft-focus airbrushed effect. It IS a little heavy feeling, yes, but to me, it's completely worth it. I've had one bottle for about six months and I use it every day, so the price isn't really too bad.
Powder -Rimmel - Stay Matte Pressed Powder - Transparent 001
siminims 1/31/2013 8:50:00 PM
I can never really find a matte, portable powder to keep my acne-prone skin from being oily without caking up. I picked this up the night before a Disney day with my friends, and it works a dream! My skin currently is super oily, pretty hormonal, and a bit red. I blot every two-three hours, but I like to follow up with powder when I can. Everything else I've used in the past (NYC, CG, Maybelline) made me VERY cakey VERY fast. I have the Tarte Micronizing Finishing Powder at home, but...that's at HOME. No way am I taking something that pricey around with me day to day. I have the lightest shade in this powder. Let me now explain--I have a light-medium, olive-yellow Indian skintone. I was never matched up successfully to MAC, but I wear Nars Sheer Matte in Fiji if that helps. I'm in that category where I sort of look darker than the makeup most people would choose for me (i.e. I LOOK like a Sand, Buff, Nude etc. but I tend to be more of the Beige or Light Bisque category.) I chose the sheerest shade because, well, it said "transparent". And that seemed the safest bet! It shockingly, actually does cut down on my oil, without oxidizing, getting caked up, or looking ashy. I think the key is the transparency--it blends very well with my already heavy makeup (primer, full coverage concealer, foundation, matte powder, setting spray--I swear when my skin calms down and my dark spots lighten up more, I will be so happy). I can apply it MULTIPLE times a day without looking like I did. The packaging? BLOWS. I keep it in a clear zippered makeup bag, so the lid doesn't twist off. IMO I think that's the best way to go, as I also carry lens-rewetting drops, lipstick, blotting sheets, hair pins... I also keep a cheapo powder brush in my bag to use with this. Mine's from some long-lost Forever 21 kit I got for free with a purchase. Anything fluffy will do. I will say that I ALWAYS blot excess oil away before putting this on, be it with an oil-absorbing sheet or one-ply tissue paper. I think that's the key to getting it to really work. I do find the color selection to be kind of limited and not very true-to-pan, so this is kind of a hit-and-miss product, which is a shame as I believe it's quite good for a DS powder. Any questions, feel free to PM me! :)
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Naturals Cleanser + Makeup Remover
siminims 1/26/2013 12:26:00 PM
LOVE this stuff. I went through some pretty awful hormonal acne, and even though my skin is oily and pretty resistant, too many medications and chemicals throw it entirely off balance, leaving me with angry red bumpy skin D: which is awful! I wear full makeup every day when I'm breaking out (and yes, I have a cleansing brush so my pores aren't clogged etc etc, lol) and I needed a good makeup remover just for that purpose. Most makeup removing cleansers are WAY too thick and creamy for my skin. They don't do much, and even with a cleansing brush, I had a lot of residue left on my already unhappy skin. Enter this cleanser. It's just between thin and creamy, a happy medium that I can definitely work with. At any rate, this cleanser left my skin soft and smooth, not irritated at all, not red AT ALL which was a shocker. My acne treatments can be MAD strong, and I already have a scrub, so this is perfect for a mild yet highly effective cleanser for problem skin. Even when I was at home wearing no makeup, I would use this. My acne didn't get any WORSE, and being hormonal needed time to go away, but this cleanser helped my skin become incredibly soft, healthy, and a bit smoother. I say a bit because obviously...I had acne. Bump city. Just saying cleansers can really only do so much, and for me, it did exactly what it promised: "...cleans skin and removes makeup in one step without stripping skin's natural moisture." Thumbs up from me!
I. Love. These. I found the Revlon Colorburst to be WAY too drying and thick on my lips. I've been looking for an affordable drugstore colored lip balm for a LONG time, with no real results...until I stumbled onto the well-hidden Color Whisper display at my local CVS. :D And then I knew true joy. I have the colors Rose of Attraction, Made It Mauve, Berry Ready, and Cherry on Top. I don't normally pick such pigmented colors, as my lips naturally are about a shade or two lighter than my skin [I wear NARS Sheer Matte in Fiji, if that's a good reference; if not, I'm a somewhat light-medium olive-yellow tone]. However, with these I did notice that I needed the extra color for them to show up noticeably. Rose of Attraction: a light watermelon-pink. Not cool-toned, but neutral enough for those of us who can't do blue-based pinks. Made It Mauve: a VERY neutral plum-brown-pink. It is all those colors, really! This can go with anything. ANYTHING. Cherry on Top: my random, "I'm still young so who gives a--" purchase. VERY vivid pink. If your warm-toned skin can never handle a strong blue-based pink, BUY THIS. It's just barely on the cool side, but the sheerness helps make the color payoff both bright and manageable. Berry Ready: deep, somewhat dark raspberry. This is definitely a darker berry color [think plum, or raspberry, as opposed to cherry or strawberry], but again, contains just a hint of brown so as to keep it from being insane. It yields a very gorgeous stain of color, and it's strong on me, yet not SO dark as to be vampy. [Which has its time and place, of course! Don't get me wrong.] Final Verdict: Definitely veer towards a shade or two darker than what you would normally pick up. You can pile these on, and they won't cake up. They're very sheer, which is why the darker colors work so much better than the lighter ones, but IMO they're SUPER moisturizing. Yes, they disappear when I eat or drink--but they're a joy to reapply, so I certainly don't mind! The packaging is a silver twist-open bullet, with a somewhat-accurate color top that locks nicely into place. I paid about $8 for each, which I kind of balked at initially, but they were completely worth every penny. Frankly, if you try one and hate it, you're not out that much money. :)
Eyeliner -Cover Girl - Liquiline Blast- Violet Voltage
siminims 10/20/2012 7:47:00 PM
I must be the only person lately who likes this. o.O I had a coupon for CG eye products, so I picked this up at the store. I already have awesome blues and greens from UD, and I have a really good gel-pencil liner in black, if you're wondering why I didn't pick up the others. Swatched on my hand in the car, it was less blue-purple and more of a plum. I was mildly put out, but whatever. I put it on at home--and it didn't tug or anything to me, so I'm sort of baffled--and put a few layers on to up the pigmentation. Still a pretty normal medium plum color. By medium, I mean it didn't turn out super dark even with a few passes. So THEN, curious person that I am, I decided to try it on my lower waterline, "what do I have to lose?" were my infamous words. Nothing special happened, but I could tell that it made my eyes subtly more defined (for reference, I have SUPER dark black lashes, and dark gold-brown eyes). Y'know, "that's fine" I thought. And then I went to bed and forgot all about it. I NEVER DO THIS. That is because 1) it's begging for an infection and 2) I don't adore waking up with eyeliner on my pillow, my cheeks and my hands (wtf??). But the kicker is--I didn't even REMEMBER I had the eyeliner on until I brushed my teeth, washed my face, put in my contacts and I was like, "Hey, my eyes are--" "HOLY CRAP I FORGOT TO TAKE OFF MY EYELINER" and yet there it was, perfectly intact. Sitting on my waterline, just chillin', like it was no big deal. It didn't end up on my soft contact lenses, and to date I have had no signs of any infection. I do not know what this pencil is made of, but whatever it is, it's amazing. ***Albeit, yes, to ME, it's a subtle, work-appropriate plum shade. Bear in mind I typically wear hot pink or teal eyeshadow on a daily basis. I don't understand the concept of "subtle" when it comes to my eyes. XD
This stuff is AMAZING. I had tried using some other 'brightening' products from the drugstores, and none of them really did anything...besides break me out and give me more hyperpigmentation and blegh. Not fun. I got my mom to pick this up for me on an overseas trip (seems to me you can only find this stuff in Asia, but I may be wrong), figuring hey, it can't really be any worse than what I have used, and certainly doesn't cost that much when converted to USD. It comes in a pretty normal-sized jar, not the most hygenic but just wash your hands before you use it :P I use this at night (it's in the name but sometimes people overlook that!), and use a topical benzoyl peroxide in the mornings topped with PLENTY of sunscreen, just mentioning. I have oily hormonal skin but it can be a tad sensitive, so if you're using topicals in conjunction with this, just keep an eye on it. :) Anyways back to the point. After about four nights, I woke up with a noticeable difference in the dark spots and patches on my cheek. It's been two weeks now and it's....almost GONE. And I've had this problem for about two YEARS. And it's DISAPPEARING. I'm just in shock. Good shock, lol. I want to add also that despite my oily skin, I somehow wake up with miraculously NORMAL skin in the morning (you know how sometimes you can wake up all greasy and whatnot, which might I say is SUPER attractive), plus it's REALLY soft. I only use this on my cheeks currently and I'm SUPER pleased! Usually nothing works on my skin so this is a life saver! ******SERIOUSLY, DO NOT FORGET SUNSCREEN. Otherwise you'll just create more damage! And your face will be like "UGH YOU JUST TORTURE ME ALL THE TIME, THIS RELATIONSHIP IS SO TWISTED." It won't be fun.
So after I managed to get my skin cleared up to the best it's been in ten years or so (with the help of Clinique's Clearing Moisturizer and Olay's Oil-Free Toner with Witch Hazel) I wanted to get to work on clearing my dark spots. I have light olive skin and am prone to hyperpigmentation. After only two weeks, my most recent spots are fading, so I can say this is definitely working. The scent is nearly nonexistant, the packaging is wonderful as the metal tube keeps the Vitamin C from degrading from light exposure, and the consistency is nice. However, and for me this is a big however--it is SO. greasy. I know, everyone else here says it is not, so I can't really explain it. I do have really oily skin that hasn't been tamed by really any product ever, but MAN, when I put this on, about an hour later I have insanely oily skin--it makes my skin feel almost dirty and sticky. :C Weirdly despite this I have had only the tiniest of breakouts in one area of my whole face while using this--and I use it all over my face and my neck. So I'll probably use the whole tube but after, I'm not sure I'd want to purchase again. I mean great, no dark spots, but having makeup slide off my face in just an hour?! Jeez.
I love this eyeshadow SO much it's kind of ridiculous. On me, it shows as a bright orange-gold (when applied wet or over Pixie Epoxy) when hit by direct light. It goes to a sort of darkened bronze when in shadow, and if applied dry or without any sort of sticky base, is a multi-tonal grey with flashes of orange. This, at least, is how it showed up on me--black eyelashes, dark brown eyes, light-olive skin tone. I'd definitely recommend this if you're into "autumn" sort of colors--the burnished gold along with the grey kind of screams campfire or autumn leaves changing color--or if you're into one of those shadows you can brush on that look like two or three colors blended together. It really is an easy effortless way to have stunningly beautiful eye makeup :)
Treatments -Clinique - Acne Solutions Clearing Moisturizer Oil-Free
siminims 11/30/2011 12:56:00 AM
This was the only thing that's cleared up my decade long battle with acne, and I've tried Proactiv, expensive kits from the derm, OTC washes and treatments, you name it. It isn't really a moisturizer, but I have really oily skin and this helped mattify it. Within a week I saw results. A WEEK. It's been almost three weeks now and my skin is almost entirely clear and smooth. The mattifying effect sadly wore off around two weeks after starting to use this, but it cleared up my skin so well I don't really care. It didn't dry me out and leave marks like 5% or 10% BP and didn't smell bad to me. A little odd but the smell disappears within a minute or two. I will definitely recommend and buy again.