Lip Treatments -Fresh - Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15
snake_hips 6/20/2012 2:20:00 PM
Ok, seriously? I got this as a b-day gift from Sephora. This is not even as good as a $3 Nivea balm. It moisturizes okay, but it smells like lemon pledge and it is so soft that halfway through each tube, it has broken off at the base. The kicker, though, is that the full sized product is $25. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? $25 lip balm that melts in an air conditioned house and breaks off at the base. That is highway robbery.
Oh my gosh! I am in love with this foundation! I am a 40 year old (MAC NC15) and I usually wear MAC Studio Sculpt in the wintertime. I need that kind of coverage for my acne scars and red nose. In the summer, though, I have always had to rely on Colorstay Oily/Combo to get through the hot, humid NC summers. I have worn it for years, even though the Ivory is a bit too pink and has somewhat of a mask like finish. I tried this on the advice of MUA and it is absolutely great for my skin. I use a clean MAC 190 foundation brush with it every day, so the jar packaging is okay for me and I like that its easy to get a brush in there. This stuff gives you longer to blend, unlike the liquid, which dries very fast. It is medium-buildable and the finish is more skin like, so very appropriate for daytime. I use a moisturizer with SPF 15, so the lack of sunscreen doesn't bother me and if I go out at night, I can skip the SPF and have pictures made where I don't turn crazy flash white. I have very acne prone, clog prone skin and this has not broken me out. The salicylic acid is a tad drying but I use moisturizer so it hasn't been an issue. It looks brilliant over primer such as Tarte Clean Slate or Hard Candy Sheer Envy. I love this stuff so much, I'm taking my Target coupons and getting a backup. WIN!
Moisturizers -Olay - Complete All Day Moisture Cream SPF 15 (Normal)
snake_hips 1/14/2012 12:26:00 PM
I wanted something very basic with a little SPF for hanging around the house. Now, I realize that sounds insane, BUT I have been doing 18% TCA peels and I work from home near a very large pair of sliding glass doors. I don't think the average person needs SPF at home, but in this case I need at least a little. I save my Avene SPF 50 Emulsion for days I'm actually going out, so this product helps me save money. I'm combination leaning towards the dry side, so this is nice for me in the winter. I may not love it during a humid Southern summer, but we will see. It sinks in and feels quite nice. I don't mind the fragrance at all, after all the other products I use are Regenerist and BOY do those products have fragrance. Anyway, this is not going to protect that well if you're in direct sun for a prolonged period of time, but it should be fine for incidental exposure. Very basic moisturizer and a great price. I got it on sale at CVS for $4. Not bad.
Skincare - Body -Booths - Original Bath and Body Oil
snake_hips 12/29/2011 4:15:00 PM
I just bought this at Ulta to help with the winter dryness I get from the lack of moisture in the air combined with my heating system, which also dries my skin out terribly. I am totally IN LOVE. This has a light vanilla musk scent that is so relaxing and just divine. It's a very light fragrance that does not clash with my of my perfumes. The oil is very lightweight and yet very moisturizing at the same time. I used it today after shaving my legs, on damp skin, then blotted myself dry with a towel and my skin is so soft and moist but NOT greasy. At this price and for this experience, I think this just became a staple for me.
Lipstick -Maybelline - Color Sensational ~ Red Revival
snake_hips 12/21/2011 8:50:00 PM
HOLY GRAIL RED! I am an NC15, well I would be an N15 if they made it. Everything I mean EVERYTHING turns either orange or fuscia on me. This is a deep blue based TRUE RED that does not change. I had searched for an entire YEAR for the perfect red and had settled on Delux Beauty's "Chili." But, as we all know, they went tits up. I was SO HAPPY to find this amazing replacement and not at high end prices. FABULOUS. My go to clubbing "retro face" lippie.
Moisturizers -Olay - Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
snake_hips 11/15/2011 4:37:00 PM
I have been using Clinique skincare for years. I use the 3-step, which gets a lot of haters, but it keeps my skin clear which is amazing since I'm prone to breakouts and reactions to stuff. I did notice that the DDML was just not enough moisture for me. I also wanted to start using something more anti-aging since I just turned 40. I was about to plunk down $60 on a Clinique moisturizer when my bestie and I were in Target. She swears by this cream, so in order to save some bucks I bought it. I am SO GLAD that I did! My face is more hydrated, more toned, it's tightened yet more hydrated than its been in ages. My redness and scars are evened out more already in just one week. I have not had any initial reaction or breakouts, if anything my clogged pores are less so. My large pores around my nose are smaller too. I HATE the fragrance, but for this sort of performance, I will put up with it. If they come out with a fragrance free version, I'll be a lifelong user. By the way, I don't care about sticking a finger in the jar, after all, I wash my hands, then my face, so it's clean fingers going in there anyway. I can't imagine that anyone would put dirty fingers in a jar of moisturizer, but ok...
Moisturizers -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - Argan Oil
snake_hips 8/31/2011 9:36:00 PM
I have been using this product from MUAC since last year on both my face and hair and it is just now running out, so it's a great value because you use so little! To those who say you can get argan oil cheaper, you get what you pay for - I got a $20 bottle (4 oz) of no-name argan oil off Amazon and not only was it rancid, I'm pretty sure it was mixed with another cheaper carrier oil. Accept no substitutes! This has balanced my combination skin and makes my hair silky and moisturized. I love this stuff SO MUCH and I will keep buying it from MUAC as it is very pure and the real deal.
I use this product in 2 different ways. I use it as a deep treatment by doing a heavy oiling before I shampoo. I also use a TINY amount on clean, dry hair and then smooth it through with a boar bristle brush. I must be in the minority because I think it smells heavenly! I probably won't keep buying this since it's pretty pricy and I have learned to make my own oil blends, but for those who want their products already made, this is a great one.
Conditioner -Giovanni - 50/50 Balanced Remoisturizer
snake_hips 8/8/2011 5:05:00 PM
I buy this at Marshall's in the large pump size for $12.99, so it's a GREAT value. This conditioner is wonderful for hair like mine that is dry on the ends and oily at the roots. It has no silicone to build up on my hair and the matching SLS-free shampoo is a good complement to it. If I feel I need more moisture, I mix some in a deep moisture recipe I got from the long hair community (snowymoon's moisture treatment, google this, it's AMAZING) and it works wonderfully. A really nice product that makes my thirsty hair soft and shiny, but not heavy and lanky.
I get this in the large pump bottles at Marshall's for $12.99. GREAT value! This shampoo is great for combination hair like mine that is oily at the roots and dry at the ends. I do not use this every day - I use the Smooth As Silk until I feel I need a clarifying shampoo and then I use this (probably once a week, maybe more if I have oiled my scalp as it removes oils really well). I use the matching conditioner which I am about to review, as well.
Conditioner -Giovanni - Smooth As Silk Conditioner
snake_hips 8/8/2011 5:01:00 PM
This conditioner is FABULOUS on my dry hair. I use the matching shampoo and then when I need a clarifying shampoo I sometimes use the 50:50 Balanced. I absolutely love Giovanni!
Hair Styling Tools -Sonia Kashuk - Bristle Hair Brush
snake_hips 8/8/2011 4:24:00 PM
Holy HONK. This brush is incredible! I am growing my hair long and I like to distribute my natural oils through my hair with a boar bristle brush, but it's a huge pain because with a regular one I have to section my hair because it's so thick the brush can't get through. With this one, it penetrates all the hair so the boar bristles can polish all the hair equally. It also does not create static and the nylon pins give such a stimulating scalp massage without being painful. The handle is a lovely glittery charcoal and a good shape to grip. Great brush! Eventually, I may get a Mason Pearson, but this is what's in my budget at the moment so I am so glad I found the youtube reviews on this.
This is a really great product! I think perhaps some of the negative reviews are either from people who have oily hair and would be better off using the Tea Tree Triple Treat or the 50:50 Balanced lines - OR - people with long hair who don't really know how to care for it. For combination hair that has oily scalp and dry ends, wash ONLY your scalp with a very small amount of the shampoo diluted with water so it can rinse through and get to all of your scalp - do not wash the ends. Allow the suds from your scalp to run through your hair as you rinse and this will be enough to get your ends clean. You can also try conditioning the ends first and then washing your scalp and then rinsing the conditioner and shampoo out together and if you're *still* dry you can follow with a heavier conditioner or even a few drops of oil such as shea or coconut oil (I'm using argan). I use this shampoo a couple times a week and then once every one or two weeks I clarify with the 50:50 Balanced shampoo. This has worked great for my hair with oily scalp and dry ends. As for the price, you can get the huge pump bottles at Marshalls for about $13 which is a much better deal than the little bottles at Target and they're easier to deal with in the shower, too. I can even refill my large bottle at my local co-op, so that's something else to look into to reduce waste.
I used to use that St. Ives mud mask back in the 80s and 90s that came in the great big tub - remember that? Back then I had oilier teens-twenties skin and it was great for that. However, it was pretty drying and I couldn't use it too often, even when I was a grease pit. It was also hard as heck to rinse off and the tub was completely unhygienic. This stuff is hands down twice as good as the old dark green formula! I don't know if it's because it has glycerin in the top ingredients or if it's all the lovely herbals or what, but this just feels so good. It doesn't sting and has a great cooling sensation. I'll use this all summer! I had noticed yesterday that my nose was getting really congested and the pores on my cheeks were looking larger. I used this mask and the difference was incredible. I really layered it on and it dried in about 10 minutes. My pores look clean and smaller today after using this last night. And it's really easy to rinse off, especially with a hot wash cloth. The old stuff was a real pain to remove and felt much more harsh. This is a great bargain that I intend to always keep on hand.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock spf 70
snake_hips 4/20/2011 1:40:00 AM
I absolutely love this sunscreen. It's the only sunscreen I can get just about anywhere in the US that is just as cosmetically elegant as the Japanese and European sunscreens that I have to order online. This means if I run out or I'm out of town, I can have sunscreen for my face that looks and feels great. It works wonderfully under my Colorstay foundation and I stay pretty matte all day. HOWEVER, the PPD for this sunscreen is only 11 and when I used the Ciba BASF sunscreen calculator, it listed the SPF as only 30. I wonder what basis Neutrogena uses for the SPF rating it lists. Since Avene Tres Haute Emulsion SPF 50 is cheaper per ounce and has a PPD of 20, I will use this during the summer; however if I can't get hold of it I will definitely run back to the Neutrogena in a pinch. It's just that I know that PPD has a bigger effect on aging and pigmentation in the long run, so this matters to me since I'm about to turn 40 and I'm extremely fair complected.