Shampoo -Unlisted Brand - Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy
smarteepants712 7/10/2012 12:34:00 PM
I bought the Men's Dry Scalp 2 in1 version for my husband who has suffered with dandruff for years despite trying different shampoos designed for dandruff. He doesn't really like to talk about it, so I just forced him into it when he was running low on his current shampoo. OH MY GOSH. If you have dandruff, run out and buy this now. I pray they never discontinue it. I cut his hair after about a week using this shampoo, and it's like he never had a problem to begin with. His head was red and flaky everywhere before and there would always be flakes in the comb while I was cutting and all over the cape. There was not a single red patch or flake on his head. It smells amazing (and manly) which is a huge plus for a dandruff treating shampoo. I actually prefer this scent over other regular shampoos he has used. It's an average drug store price. Go. Buy. Now.
This shampoo is a god send. I have scalp psoriasis and have been hunting for a good shampoo for close to ten years. Some things have worked better than others, not really related to sulfates vs sulfate free, but even the best (Paul Mitchell Lavender and Tea Tree) was never what I was hoping for -- I'd still be itchy and flaky and some were expensive. About a year ago I read how beneficial coconut oil is for hair, so I've been doing coconut oil masks a few times a week since. The days I use it, my scalp would feel amazing. I would leave it on overnight and wash with any shampoo in the morning and the results were stellar. However, it became a bit time consuming and messy to melt and appropriately distribute the oil. Don't get me wrong, it was worth it, but frustrating to have to do it so often and take the 15 minutes or so at night, sleep on a separate pillow case, etc. I began searching for a coconut oil shampoo. My searches popped up this gem. I bought it at Vita Cost for about $6 for each for a 12 oz bottle. This is sulfate free for anyone looking for a non SLS shampoo. It actually lathers wonderfully (due to the palm/coconut oil surfactant), smells amazing, although I don' t notice the scent lingering during the day which I would prefer, and cleans very well. Every time I wash my hair, the way it feels in the shower makes me doubt how clean it will be once dried (I also use very little of the companion conditioner b/c I don't need much with this shampoo). It is always shiny and healthy looking. My only gripe is it weighs my hair down a bit I've noticed (read: not dull or flat, just not a lot of body - which may be a lack of poof from the SLS's I'm used to). However, a volumizing mousse takes care of that no problem. For me, with my dry scalp, the bit of weight is well worth it. If you've got a similar issue, please give it a try!
Everything about this is just "OK." I am a former Seche Vite believer, but once I got halfway through the bottle (like everyone else) I found out it was worthless because of how gummy it got ASIDE from the fact that its near impossible to reach the bottom of the bottle. I think its ridiculous that I can't use half of a product especially when that wasn't all that cheap . Also, I finally realized the nailpolish I lost on the tips was actually from SV "shrinking" the polish. I then bought this b/c of the great reviews and the stream of SV converts. Well, first I bought the quick dry liquid on accident which I will get into later. After experiencing the immediate dry with SV, it was really difficult to transition to this. Those polishes that I had to use more than 2 coats... forget it. I would put this on 2 hours before bed and still wake up with marks the next day. It only helps drying time if you use 2 coats. Additionally, it doesn't do anything to extend the life of my polish. I just felt really indifferent to this product. It's better than nothing, but not by much. Incidentally, the quick dry liquid actually dries my polish much quicker, but I was really looking for a topcoat/quickdry in one (so I could also reapply daily to extend the manicure) -- so this didn't work for my purposes (especially b/c it also leaves oil behind, on purpose, like a cuticle oil) so I really didn't like using this as a polish finisher.
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original (UDPP)
smarteepants712 2/27/2012 1:14:00 PM
I got so angry with the end of this product, I finally have to write a review. I am still using what's left of the old packaging, so I can't comment on the new one (butI hear it's eliminated the waste issue). Although I did cut the bottle to get the extra out, storing it in 2 airtight mineral jars, I've found that I can't go through it fast enough to keep it from drying out (again, this doesn't matter anymore, but I'm going to end up throwing away almost all that I scraped out of the cut bottle). Does this eyeshadow prevent my eyeshadow from creasing? Yes. However, if I don't hit that "sweet spot" of both application method and amount, I end up with this weird filmy mess over my eyelid, that clearly doe not absorb or blend into my skin. it ends up looking as though I put a nude colored glue on my eyelid when I do it "wrong." It ends up patchy and I can't get it to blend no matter what. I am forced to either wash it off and start over, or rub it off. When I rub it off, it pulls off in sticky disgusting-ness and never gets to a point of looking like my skin. It's just strange. Although some may think this is due to it drying out, I've had this problem since I first bought it and didn't realize that's what it was. I just bought the NARS primer, and am hoping the lighter texture will not look like i just forgot to rub it in properly.
Lotions/ Creams -Alpha Hydrox - silk wrap body lotion
smarteepants712 2/24/2012 12:13:00 PM
I wanted to add a new review for the improved version of this lotion. I've been looking for a good AHA body lotion due to icky texture on my arms, and dry elbows no matter what kind of torturous process I put them through to soften them up (I've been in pain many-a-time from taking a pumice stone to them with only one-day of softness to show). I was hesitant b/c the reviews below talked about the awful sour smell which I am familiar with from other AHAs. However, the new scent is great. It's VERY light, something I would almost classify as unscented. It smells almost identical to CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion IMO. In addition, the product itself works great. My skin texture has been steadily improving, and my elbows are actually soft now, and not dry and scaly anymore. I wish this came with a pump b/c I don't particularly like the squeezy bottle for a lotion generally, and this one is a bit stiff to squeeze...you either use a lot of force and get a ton of product or nothing; but I can always transfer it to a different bottle I suppose. Product is definitely worth it, and its much cheaper than other high quality and high % AHA lotions out there.
Cleansers -Philosophy - Purity Made Simple (Real Purity Cleanser)
smarteepants712 6/22/2011 11:18:00 AM
I don't know why it took me so long to write this review, but I have a lot of insight to offer, so please be patient. I began using this cleanser a couple years ago in preparation for my wedding. I've had consistently sensitive, oily skin. When I was using this, I loved my skin, but attributed the greatness to other things. I ran out and never repurchased because I felt like it was too expensive and went back to using baby shampoo as the gentle and effective cleanser I had trusted over the years. My skin wasn't spectacular, but not bad either. A few blemishes a month, mainly around my cycle. About a year ago, I decided to give the acne.org method a try, thinking that I didn't have bad skin to begin with, so this should stop those pesky few blemishes a month. Well, I bought the acne.org products, including face wash, treatment (BP), moisturizer and AHA, including a bottle of jojoba. Many of the products were cheaper than the store anyway, so I didn't figure it would hurt. After faithfully using this method for a year, my skin really wasn't any better. Again, nothing terrible just the same as before. After bleaching out every pillow case I'd slept on and many tshirts, I decided to rid myself of the harsh chemicals and stopped all at once (not a good idea). My skin went crazy and was the worst its been in years...reminiscent of when I went off BC. It was oily and broken out everywhere (not deep cystic types, just unhappy - I probably should've weened off it). Enter Purity. Since using this, my skin has cleared up so well. The oiliness has subsided and it looks even and smooth. It always removes my makeup and after rinsing, it leaves my skin feeling like nothing else ever has - clean but not stripped, not tight and not uncomfortable. When I put my makeup on now, it goes on smooth, stays on all day, and I don't have oil coming through within an hour like before. It's a cleanser that doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles (it doesn't foam if that bothers you), doesn't smell particularly wonderful (although I don't think it smells bad) and has a yellowish boring color. However, it makes my skin happier than anything else so I will continue to use it. I have a 32 oz. bottle in the mail now. At night I use it with a Dermalogica face brush I have and love the way it works the product into my skin. I think anyone trying this should give it a reasonable length try before deciding (maybe 2 weeks).
Pressed Powders -Urban Decay - De-Slick Mattifying Powder
smarteepants712 9/29/2010 12:06:00 PM
I have fairly oily skin, so I've tried many of the mattifying products out there and found none to live up to their promises (with, perhaps, Mac Blot being an exception). I have had success with Lancome Primer for oil control, but don't like to use it every day because it's fairly expensive, so I save it for days I know will be 10+ hours for me. I opened my Mac Blot a couple weeks ago to find it crumbled (admittedly, it was almost empty anyway, so just the outer ring had come apart). When thinking about the replacement, I really did not want to get Blot again (see my review for details); for summary purposes, it was too chalky when applied, got cakey and felt gritty even though it did absorb oil when applied. I also noticed it whited me out in pictures horribly. Anyhoo...I had borrowed a fellow bridesmaid's UD De-Slick during a 93 degree wedding and was happy with the results. I purchased this as my replacement. Although it can go on with an ever so slight (and I mean very minimal) white cast, it fades rather quickly (within 5 minutes). Mac Blot left me with that chalky cast until my face was in need of reapplication (and I bought medium even though I'm only about an NC20-25 and it still did this...the SA at Mac rec'd I get the Medium Dark, but I didn't feel I should have to do so). I did not, however, notice a white film on me in pictures even though I took some within 2 minutes of applying this product. The description says it contains tea tree oil (which is evident in the minty smell which I enjoy) and a lavendar color (not apparent to me...it looks white in the pan, but may merely because it is placed next to a purple casing). What I really enjoy about it is the look I get with it. It unquestionably absorbs oil, although will not keep me matte all day (the only reason for the 4), but I have no problem pulling out this convenient and cute compact to reapply as necessary with a travel kabuki brush. Aside from the fact that it doesn't leave the white cast like Mac Blot (a huge plus) the second biggest pro is that it really leaves my skin looking airbrushed. It seems to melt into my skin and never leaves it feeling dried out. It never looks cakey regardless of how many times I reapply throughout the day. It also feels nice and cool on my skin (likely because of the tea tree). I can't comment on the value as I've only had the product for a couple weeks, so I have no idea how long it lasts, but I did feel $30 was a bit steep. It is the best thing I have tried thus far, so I will definitely repurchase.
I know there are like 15385 reviews on this already but I felt it was necessary to add my two cents. I have relatively oily skin so a touch up during the day for oil absorption is absolutely necessary for me. I don't always like messing with blot papers so I like to have another option around to give me more of an airbrushed look. Overall I would give this product a 3.5. Translucent? No way. I'm about an nc25 and got medium and definitely leaves me looking chalky. It does, however absorb all my oil without getting cakey which is nice. After my oil has had some time to break through that chalkiness does subside, but essentially its bc it isn't actually absorbing new oil. then I have to apply more after awhile. So basically it absorbs but doesn't prevent new oil from coming through so you get stuck with the cycle. I do prefer my mineral finishing powders ability but my hg was discontinued so I save that for days I really need it. It fits the bill so I will repurchase until something better comes out but it is by no means perfect....just convenient.
Shampoo -Sexy Hair Concepts - Volumizing Dry Shampoo
smarteepants712 3/20/2010 12:41:00 PM
Hands down best dry shampoo on the market. It blows away all the competitors I've tried and managed to fix the problems other dry shampoos have. #1 It is a spray thus so much easier to use than the loose powder cousins (I'm looking at you Oscar Blandi). With the loose powder squeeze bottles, I can never get all the oil out. I either get white streaks in my hair or it all concentrates only at the roots...and when my hair gets oily, it tends to spread about 2 inches down my root. That makes combating it difficult with the loose powders. This sprays exactly like a hairspray. #2 I have also not had the problems with the cap clogging up like the other sprays. I've used it about 6 times or so and there is no residue buildup on the cap. #3 It also feels like there is a good amount left (at least 85%). The bottle is a smallish 3.4 oz but it seems to last pretty well. #4....NO WHITE POWDERY mess. It looks like you put nothing in your hair. I even have natural shine left to my hair after using this (although someone with dryer hair may feel this is too drying). The smell is perfect...like hairspray...so no telltale "I didn't wash my hair" signs. It even works good to perk up the smell of my hair. #5 My hair actually looks nice when I use it. It doesn't fall limp like it sometimes can when it's not freshly washed. My husband even commented on how it looked like I just washed it. It had body to it so was very easily styled into a voluminous ponytail like I like to do on non-wash days. I personally didn't feel the price was bad. I paid $10 when I searched google products for it, and got 2 bottles so shipping cost was reduced a bit per product. I will stock up and hope they never discontinue this because it's the perfect dry shampoo.
Primer/ Corrector -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector
smarteepants712 1/28/2010 9:39:00 AM
I purchased this on a whim when I saw it at the drugstore. I'd been seriously considering giving the $38 to BB for her Tinted Eye Brightening Product (the exact name escapes me at the moment), or possibly the YSL one (although did not really care for the shimmer). This cost $13.99 at Walgreen's which is a bit expensive to me for a drugstore brand, but not near the price of the one I'd been eying so I figured I'd give it a try. I wish I could give it a 3.5 b/c that's really what it deserves. I actually liked it. It's a click pen product, which I actually enjoyed b/c I would apply it then blend with my finger. It blends in incredibly easily, with just gentle patting of the product. For me, it did what it was supposed to in terms of brightening, but as I have read on a couple blogs, lacks the pigmentation to give it the extra oomph as a concealer. Granted, I am 25, so don't have a whole lot to cover up in terms of dark circles, etc, so it worked well for me. However, I can see that someone with prominent dark circles, redness around the eyes, may not care for this as much. Even though it can't conceal that well on days I show my lack of sleep, there are some other benefits that will keep me using the product.... UVA/UVB SPF 25 (which I love....I use this on days I don't even wear makeup b/c it gives some brightness w/o the made-up look and still protects my eyes with a good amount of SPF). It's also moisturizing so I don't have to worry about that dry eye with little wrinkle emphasized look that happens with chalkier products. All in all, I will use until I run out b/c I do enjoy it, but b/c it does not deliver on the full promises, I will probably give other products a try after this. Until then, wearing Benefit Eye Bright, or some other eye concealer underneath does the trick.
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Daily Cleanser
smarteepants712 12/15/2009 10:32:00 PM
Really it's just ok....I generally like Neutrogena products, but this did nothing for me. I really like a cleanser that removes all my makeup, plain and simple. This does not do the job. There are little "cooling beads" in this cleanser that give a nice feeling to it while you're using it. However, the flip side of this is that it really burns if you get it in your eyes (i.e. trying to remove eye makeup). I feel like it does an adequate (not great) job of cleaning my face, but I've used better cleansers for $7-8. Additionally, it is a gel, but you really need a couple pumps to get enough to wash your face....I went through the 6.7 ounce bottle using approximately once daily in less than a month.
I broke down during Sephora F&F and bought this. I have, what I consider to be anyway, very oily skin. By that I mean when I wake up in the morning, my face (mostly T-Zone) is covered in a layer of oil and usually I blot about 3-4 times throughout the day (this is consistent across different brands and formulas of foundation). When using any primer I have tried thus far (Cover FX, SB Photofinish [regular and light], MUFE HD, Philosophy The Present, Laura Gellar Spackle) I have to blot in about 2-3 hours. The worst of the bunch was MUFE HD for me and I had to blot in about an hour and a half; the best was SB Photofinish Light which allowed me to make it almost 3 hours. Then F&F came along. I wasn't going to buy anything, but then started reading these reviews. While those with dryer skin didn't seem to care for it, the oily gals seemed to love it. At $42, it was a little more than "why not try it" thought process, but I can't relay how glad I am I decided to get it. It comes in a pump bottle and the consistency is similar to SB PhotoFinish Regular - a clear gel which feels slippery to the touch and makes skin feel really smooth and silky (Ingredients: Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer). The primer is oil-free and noncomedogenic (I have had no breakouts from it thus far). The first day I tried it, I used it with Face Atelier Foundation. Generally a matte foundation, but contains dimethicone so usually makes me oily after awhile. I set with EDM Finishing Dust (as I always do). I was pretty active that day (mostly consistently walking around in a hot building) and I did not have to blot ONCE during the day. I applied my makeup at 6:30/7 a.m. and came home about 3:30/4 p.m. I was amazed! I've never had a product finally let me leave me face alone during the day. I figured a more moisture rich foundation would ruin my new HG. The following day I did the same routine, but switched the foundation to Korres WRF.......SAME RESULT.....no blotting the entire day. Those oily skin girls, please try this! Don't be scared by that silicony feel the primer has....it works wonders! I did find a second bottle on ebay for $30...and it was authentic, so perhaps look there as well. Definitely worth the price for me though. :)
Scrubs -St. Ives - Renewing Collagen Elastin Body Polish
smarteepants712 6/29/2009 11:54:00 PM
I was looking for an inexpensive body scrub, only to find out that there aren't really any. I went to Walmart on my quest (not wanting to spend $20 on one). There were a few upper end drugstore brands that cost $15 for a body scrub which I didn't want to spend.
I came across St. Ives as I was scanning and saw this sold for around $8. There were 2 different types - a moisturizing and this one, the renewing, although I think they might offer one more as well.
I was looking for a scrub that wasn't oil based. I get those yucky little bumps on my arms which I tend to pick at (gross I know, but its either a bump or a scab, and I'd rather get it out). Every oil based one I've used just didn't help exfoliate the way I wanted, and seemed to be more desirable for winter or those with dry skin.
This is perfect. I get about a half dollar size out when I use it and rub it wherever I want to exfoliate. It really makes my skin feel super soft but not oily. Exactly what I was looking for. Also, I use it whenever I think of it, maybe 3-4 times a week, and I think my bumps on my arms are finally starting to go away. I have had them as long as I remember, so I'm really excited.
As an aside, it can double as a cleanser, although I wouldn't really want to rely on this as my only means of cleaning, so I use it just as a polish, but after being rubbed in there is a slight lather.
Can't say enough good things about this blush. I picked up Pink Lotus at CCO which I'm pretty sure based on other reviews means its being d/c. Too bad! Beautiful rosey pink with no shimmer. The blush overall is amazing, its soft and smooth, almost feels creamy. It applies lightly at first, but is definitely buildable and very easily blended. The way they apply give you that natural flush no matter the color. I will definitely be picking up the spring rose and pink bliss. I've heard these are often on sale at Kohl's but picked up at CCO for $10 (usually $15). The whole line is created by dermatologists which I really trust (maybe I just buy into the hype but it seems to feel good on my skin) and the site lists the product as dermatologist tested, fragrance free, non-acnegenic (not sure how this differs from non-comedogenic) and ophthalmologist tested. Some people have complained about the white packaging, but I think its kind of cute and the brush that comes in the package in incredibly soft and actually useful on the go (its basically a half-moom brush about the size of a half dollar)
I bought this cleanser as a cheaper alternative to Neutrogena One Step Gentle Cleanser. I use a foaming wash to take off all my facial makeup and I usually only have to take eye makeup remover after to clean up what's left behind. With this cleanser, I would take toner to my face afterward and the cleanser did not remove all my foundation (this should be pretty simple b/c I have oily skin and not much remains for me by the end of the day). It really felt like taking nothing to my face. Everyone else really likes this, and maybe those reviewers use something else to take off makeup or have dry skin. It doesn't really do anything good for my skin either (probably as a result of not thoroughly cleansing my makeup from my skin) and really feels like foamy water to me. Perhaps one of the most bothersome aspects is the packaging. I leave my cleanser in the shower generally b/c that's where I use it most often. Water seeps into the bottle and I didn't really notice for a few weeks until my bottle was full again. I don't keep it where water directly drips on it either, just incidentally. Its not worth the $6 I paid for it. If it was $3....I'd consider it again, but for now I'll stick with the Neutrogena which is the most effective gentle cleanser I've tried so far.