I did a google image search for "foundation brush" (this is how I often shop now) and this brush caught my eye as a beautiful object. I wasn't disappointed when I saw it in person- the size was perfect and the ferrule was a darkly gleaming metal and not your garden variety el cheapo aluminum.Happily, the brush works well too. And even though I haven't had it very long, I'm impressed by how well the shape holds up to a wash. I've probably never been so pleased with a brush purchase, ever. And I personally think it's quite a bargain at $40. I'm sort of tempted to go buy another one. Even though I'm not a backup buying kind of a person. And it will probably last forever. Hm, on second thought, I guess I'm just being greedy and shouldn't hoard stuff.
I really like the brush on this eyeliner pen. I generally find brush type pens to offer greater control and precision than felt tip marker type eyeliners, and find them to be more comfortable also. (Marker type tips are usually quite hard.)This pen was great at first. I ran around the various cosmetics counters at Nordstrom's comparing all the liquid eyeliner pens. This one offered one of the deepest blacks and had a nice thin brush point which made it easy to go from the thinnest of lines to the thickest. But then it seemed like it started sucking out in just a couple weeks. I'm not sure, *maybe* I got a month's worth of good use out of it. But way too soon it started giving weak bluish gray lines. But, I was just about to toss it, when it occurred to me to rinse the brush a bit, as I've always done with the Shu Uemura pen. It seems to have worked. It's making dark lines again. We'll see, I'm not expecting too much more life out of it, and it's definitely not a repeat purchase, but I guess it's worth something. Maybe.
Pros: This product is cutting-edge sunscreen. It's all ZnO and T20 and no preservatives (endocrine disruptors) or known carcinogens. It feels good - it's extremely lightweight and not at all greasy. It looks great - evens out skintone better than most tinted moisturizers and many foundations.Cons: There's just one thing I don't like about the Reozone, and it's the smell. It's not intolerable, meaning I would buy this product again, but I dislike it enough that I'll keep looking for similar options. If anyone else is in a similar boat, you might want to consider the EltaMD UV Physical SPF 41. I have never actually tried it, but reviews on the dermstore site suggest it is a similar product without any scent. That product, however, has a retinol ingredient, which is something one wants to stay away from if you're preggy or want to become. edit add: Found out that EltaMD UV Physical had been reformulated without retinyl palmitate. So I tried it and decided I liked it better than the Arcona. In comparison it is less chalky and bit darker (better for me). I would talk about it on its own review page, but that does not seem to exist. I may go back to the Arcona when I lose my tan though.
I should have known something was up when the salesperson showed me how the tip could be flipped when it wore out. (Wear out? What kind of eyeliner tip wears out?) Anyway, worked fine for a few weeks then stopped delivering product. Back to the trusty Shu Uemura, even if I have to order online now.
Eyeliner -Sephora - Jumbo Liner 12HR Wear Waterproof
skp 6/28/2011 1:35:00 AM
Hard to believe how great these pencils are! I've been looking for eyeshadows in stick form that I actually liked for forever. I've tried Mac, NYX, Laneige, byTerry... price was no object as long as it delivered... and here they are by Sephora for a mere $10 a pop.I prefer these over the UD because they have a sheen, but aren't full of sparkles. A pretty good assortment of colors. I like the brown, taupe, beige, grey and kaki (green). They glide on smoothly and easily, can blend/ smudge initially, but then set and then last and last. I'd prefer matte color sticks (please message me if you know of any!) and sticks rather than pencils (don't need sharpening), but for now these Sephora jumbo pencils are definitely rivaling my fancy ByTerry sticks and Ellis Faas pens.
Great review before me, especially the part about "the trick" of finding the right color. I hated my first creamy eyes shadow purchase (E103, black). The reason I chose it was because I was only used to powder shadows, and with powder shadows, the most pigmented black can be sheered out. This is not the case with liquid eyeshadow, and definitely not with E103. I haven't quite given up on learning to work with it, but I've only ever been able to make a huge mess with it.
So I had written off the product line, but then it occurred to me things could be different with a subtler color. E106 caught my eye as a very wearable yet interesting and flattering color. A subtle, muted, almost neutral shade of purple.
I actually don't love the packaging - I love the concept, but the pens feel kind of light and cheap IMO. And the inconsistency of the delivery system is pretty lame. Clicking ByTerry pens always get the job done, as does YSL, what's up Ellis Faas? However, the color and staying power are definitely worth something, and this one could really become a staple. And I'm probably going to go have to buy E104 now.
Sunscreen -Josie Maran Cosmetics - Argan Protect SPF 40+ Natural Daily Sun Protection
skp 6/13/2011 12:09:00 AM
Meh. I found it to take too long to sink in and dry. And it smells artificially sweet, like candy or bubblegum or something. Too bad, I like the idea of an argan oil based primer with spf for my JM matchmaker foundation. But, as it turns out, a primer is actually unnecessary for that awesome product. For sun protection, sticking with Devita for now. For moisture, Dr. Hauschka.
It's love. It's weightless and extremely natural looking and yet offers great coverage. It lasts all day and even through sweaty workouts. It's free of parabens and octixonate and other stuff I'd rather not put on my face.The only complaint *maybe* is that it's missing moisturizer and sunscreen. But actually, I like being able to use my own moisturizer and sometimes, I'd rather skip sunscreen (night time) so maybe it's just perfect that it is what it is.
Cleansers -Josie Maran Cosmetics - Argan Cleansing Oil
skp 6/12/2011 11:31:00 PM
I'd given up thinking I was going to find an oil cleanser I liked better than the Kose Softymo. I've tried so many, mostly because the Kose is so great and yet it's made from mineral oil, but hadn't found one yet that I liked as much. Not only because it's $9, but because I really enjoy the consistency, texture, smell, the way it leaves my skin, etc. I quite prefer it to Shu and Boscia and Nude and so on. Anyway, I spotted this Josie Maran stuff and thought why not ask for a sample of this biz, since you're asking for a sample of this foundation already anyway. So, knowing nothing about argan oil or Josie Maran, I tried this cleanser. I was kind of blown away. My skin looked so even toned after I washed with this. And also felt super soft and light- it's hard to describe it, but my skin actually felt light, as though it had lost weight. And it looked great. So I went back to the store and got myself a bottle, along with some straight up argan oil and other JM products. I sort of expected it wasn't the cleanser that was the knockout product, but maybe just the argan. Nope. I like the oil, but the cleanser is what's doing it for me. I have to qualify my review, though. I don't care for the smell of this product. It's not a bad smell (like grapefruit), but it's much too strong. I also think the consistency is less than ideal - too thick. And I won't clean my lips with it - the taste is atrocious. BUT the results are so awesome these aspects are just not dealbreakers. We'll see. I know I have a tendency to get overexcited in the beginning, and sometimes products can lose their efficacy over time. But, if you like oil cleansers, this one is definitely worth a check out.
I'm a little sad. The sephora salespeople recommended this product highly and sent me home with a sample. I tried the sample, and thought- I think this is it, my HG facial cleanser- at last! No sulfates, no parabens, subltle scent, rich lather, just pure foamy goodness. But then I check it out on skindeep, and on a scale of 1-10, it has a hazard rating of 10. It feels great, but hm, somehow I doubt it's worth risking cancer.
Misc Beauty Tools -Clarisonic - Pro Skincare Brush
skp 5/27/2009 3:13:00 AM
It might be too soon to rate this, I've only had it a couple of weeks. But I really, really, really like it. I like it because it saves me so much time. You see, ever since I quit smoking and my hormones went crazy and my skin then broke out worse than I ever imagined it could- I have been compelled to spend a long time washing and caring for my poor face, everyday, morning and at night. Now I get the makeup off with a little Kose, slap on some non-oil cleanser, and in one or two minutes, voila, all the dead skin cells are off and I am ready for teh topicals. I think also my skin gets cleaner than I can get it without. I can't believe I like it this much (following hype has steered me wrong), but I really do.
Makeup Brushes -Everyday Minerals - New Flat Top Brush
skp 5/27/2009 2:18:00 AM
I'm actually somewhat glad to see negative reviews for this product, because I've never been able to comprehend how anybody could rave about it. Since it was my first flat top, I thought I just didn't like flat tops. But then I tried Jane Iredale's Retractable Handi, and oh, that was love. Possibly it's the difference between synthetic and animal hair - sorry vegans, the animal hair just seems to pick up powder infinitely better, and deposit the right amount. The EDM Flat Top just kicked around the powder in the lid/pan. I do like EDM's LHK, but now I wonder if I would continue to use it after trying other kabukis. It's not really working really well with their pressed powder after all.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Bye-Bye Blemish - Drying Lotion
skp 3/6/2009 6:11:00 PM
It works quite well for me. There is a very noticeable improvement every night I've used it, especially with the cystic underground guys that would probably never come to a head. (And still haven't, for me, BBB just shrinks them.) I am using this over 2% salicylic acid, which also helps, but doesn't work fast enough on its own. Bye Bye also sells a treatment of 5% salicylic acid, which I've never seen in any other product, others seem to max out at 2%, I think I'll check that out. One lippie off only because I am still hoping for something better (faster) and because the bottle is too deep for a q-tip.
This product went on nicely, moisturized nicely, but broke me out by the end of the day. 6 monsters- thanks, Mario. So I can't give it a good review. I'm beginning to believe Octyl Methoxycinnamate aka octinoxate breaks me out. I've just started paying attention to ingredients, but I don't think parabens are very good for skin either. I did give it a 1 for Price because it was a free sample. Which,if you like free samples and don't mind a little spam, you should go to the site and fill out the questionnaire. Nice shipment of free goodies. Deionized Water, Peanut Oil, Propylene Glycol, Carnation Oil, Parsol MCX, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Pentavitin, Silicone, Gardenia Extract, Propylparaben, Methylparaben.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant
skp 6/1/2008 2:20:00 PM
I am definitely a big fan of BHA, and have tried various iterations of the Paula's Choice line. Was looking for the most convenient formulation, loved the idea of a liquid which could be applied with a cotton pad, but this isn't it. Does leave skin extremely filmy and shiny, and doesn't seem to ever sink in. So I'll use this on my back, and use PC BHA body treatment on my face. Which works great, the only prob with that one is the smell, but it is very slight. When I use both up, I may try a different line.