This thing changed my life (as much as a makeup item can change one's life...). My skin is the devil - I have a very oily t-zone with super dry cheeks and undereye area. The only thing that's managed to control the oilies has been Estee Lauder Double Wear liquid, but even with that my forehead would start repelling foundation after a few hours. It was totally hopeless. Enter Biore sunscreen - which I bought on ebay from a seller in Thailand for a very reasonable £10 including shipping. It arrived within two weeks (with a customs form filled out as an $2 gift, which made me laugh). I tried it on, the heavens opened, angels sang, etc. It spreads so well and smooths out my skin texture, probably because of the silicone in it. My skin hates silicone primers and retaliates with more grease, not with this one though. My makeup goes on amazingly smooth and even on top. The oil control is beyond this world. After a 12 hour work day and a pole fitness session, my foundation was still intact with minimal oil, my drawn-on eyebrows were still on (what a godsend for those of us missing eyebrows...) and there was no gross caking up on my nose. This is the most effective oil-control primer I've ever found and I'd buy it even if it didn't have spf. The only drawback I can think of is that my undereye area is way too dry for this, so I'm on the hunt for an eye cream with spf now. This changed my skin so much I've ditched the ELDW and only wear concealer and MSFN now - my makeup still lasts just as well. Everyone with oily skin needs this!
Treatments -Joico - k-pak deep penetrating reconstructor
solyacska 11/12/2010 7:41:00 PM
In the past year I've literally done everything you can do to completely ruin hair - daily flat ironing, extensions, black dye, then 6 rounds of bleach. Surprisingly I still had hair but calling it fluff is probably more fitting. Thin, crunchy feeling fluff at that. Enter an incredibly arrogant hairstylist who confronted me with the above facts and forced me to purchase the Reconstructor and the Intense Hydrator for an extortionate price. I took them home, tried them out and was pretty amazed. My hair felt like human hair again and lost the appearance of cotton candy, which makes this product a defnite winner for me. I wash my hair with a silicone-free shampoo first - this is important to remove buildup and prep the hair for protein. Then I towel dry, apply K-pak, blast it with hairdryer and leave it on for 30-40min. You're supposed to use the Intense Hydrator afterwards but I found that was a very mediocre product - any moisturising hair mask should do. As my hair is pretty damaged I find myself using K-pak weekly for now, I feel it washes out of my hair after 3-4 washes. If you have less damage, make sure not to use it too often because excess protein is not good for hair either. Oh, and for God's sake, this is NOT A CONDITIONER. It won't moisturise and detangle hair, it is a protein treatment and should be used accordingly. Can I just say I adore the scent? It's the most modern and surprising olfactory experience a hair product has presented me with. This is how a night out on a beach smells like, stale Pina Colada, worn-off perfume and the scent of your skin after dancing in a crowded club. Love it and love the product too.
I'm also after the white-pinky French mani look so many celebs seem to wear these days and Your Royal Shyness is awesome for that. The colour is a white pinky nude with a true pearl finish. That's so rare to find, most polishes contain chunky shimmer but this just gives that translucent pearly white sheen to nails, exactly like the inside of seashells. It does streak a bit because of the pearl finish so you need two coats for opacity. Two coats make it stark white though and I don't really like that, it would only look good on long nails imo. I just do one coat and then two coats of clear polish. The result is very fresh and elegant looking nails that are suitable for a professional environment. I never use a base coat for this polish because it's always the first coat that goes on the most even. I just buff away all the ridges before doing my mani. Oh, and if you find OPI too expensive, Maybelline's Forever Strong in Pink Shimmer is an exact dupe for Your Royal Shyness!
Everyone who says this is a nude lipstick lies. It's somewhere between YLBB and brown. It's a dark peachy brown with copper undertones and pearly shimmer. It doesn't have an opaque white base (like Pink Champagne from the Lasting Finish line, for example), so all it will do is add a browny shimmery hue to your lips. If you have very pale lips it will show up as a nude, obviously. My lips are quite rosy and pigmented so Birthday Suit only darkens them. It's a nice lippie, really, goes on smooth, stays relatively long and doesn't dry out my lips, it's cheap, available everywhere etc. But it screams 90s. Seriously, slather this on, colour block some mid-brown e/s on your lids, straighten your hair and voila, now you look like your standard 90s female sitcom character. For that alone I try to avoid using this lippie on its own. I usually prime my lips with some foundation, apply Birthday Suit, blot it, powder it and apply another layer. That way it's a nice nude shade but it doesn't last long enough to make all the work worth it. There are better and more contemporary looking nude lippies out there so no need to repurchase this, really. If you want a nice and cheap nude, try Rimmel Nude Delight.
I just wanted to throw in that I've found an exact dupe of Satin Taupe. :) If you have an Aldi near you, they carry this cosmetics line called Lacura, and the darker shade in their Orchid eyeshadow duo is exactly identical to Satin Taupe, both the colour and the quality. It also costs £1.49, so if you find ST too expensive, this is just as good (I actually found it smoother and more pigmented...) and ridiculously cheap. Apart from this ST is a lovely shade that I've been using on and off for years, I can't add much to the rave. It can look bruised and muddy if you don't blend it out perfectly. Using a light caramel/warm brown to blend it out makes it more wearable imo.
The Storm palette is probably my most loved makeup item ever. I have loads and loads of neutral eyeshadows (a MAC palette among them), and for the past 3 months I have not used anything on my eyes apart from this palette and Blanc Type. Itís just that good. The colours are incredibly pigmented (a lot more than MAC), look very very pretty on and last forever. Just a couple of highlights from the palette: Top row, L-R 1 is like UD Sin with a bit of beige thrown in, very pretty lid colour. 3 I use this as a lid colour, it goes with anything in the crease. Itís also awesome for blending out darker colours, this is probs my most used shade from the palette. 5 and 6 go so well together, makes for a very nice warm cranberry-pink eye that doesnít make you look sick. Bottom row, L-R 1 is a bronzey brown, awesome for a warm smokey eye and looked incredibly good when I had red hair. 2 If Knight Divine and Scene had a baby, this would be it. Very pretty steel blue-grey. 3 is a dark stormy green, would probably look really good with green eyes. 4 is a bit of a dud, the colour is gorgeous but itís very loose with massive glitter fallout and little pigmentation. Could possibly work foiled or over Pixie Epoxy. 5 is a cool dark brown, very pigmented and blendable and I love it. Itís my go-to crease colour with the caramel colour from the top row on the lid, makes for such a pretty neutral eye. Itís dark enough to use as a liner on the lower lashline too. 6 is THE BEST BLACK EYESHADOW EVER MADE. No joke, I donít even touch Carbon anymore. I also ditched my Fluidline and liquid liners for this, itís that pigmented and smooth and black. I use it with an angled liner brush as an eyeliner, it goes on blacker than Fluidline and itís easier to blend out. Iím totally in love. Storm has really grown on me, itís just so versatile and good quality. Iím kind of missing a matte highlight shade but oh well. Just looking at this palette kills my lemming for UD Naked, hope they never discontinue it. Best £5 ever spent.
Primer/ Corrector -L'Oreal - studio secrets - anti shine mattifying
solyacska 5/19/2010 6:15:00 PM
I haven't purchased this but I tested it in the store and I also checked the ingredients. Well, if I was L'oreal I'd kind of be ashamed of selling this as some sort of miracle product for the price they're selling it now (£9 in Boots). This is basically liquid silicone. It contains Cyclopentasiloxane and Dimethicone. It's in your shampoo, conditioner, pressed powder, foundation, body lotion, everything. If you put it on your face, it will act as a barrier between your skin's natural oils and your makeup as it doesn't get broken down by sebum very fast. Oh, and you can also purchase this from any wholesale cosmetics retailer for a fraction of the price. TKB trading sell a mix of Cyclopentasiloxan and Dimethicone crosspolymer, which is exactly identical to L'oreal's primer. It costs $4.50 for 2 oz. This doesn't mean that L'oreal's product is bad in any way - in fact, I find silicone-based primers very good for oil control and creating a smooth base for foundation. It just means that you can buy this stuff for incredibly cheap if you don't want to pay for the fancy packaging. I just wanted ti put this out here, hope it helps :)
I love that someone posted a review on tape :) I use scotch tape when I'm doing a heavy smoky eye. You know they always say you have to pile on loose powder under your eyes to catch the fallout from dark shadows. This, for me, equals instant under-eye wrinkles and awfully dry skin because powder just dries out the sensitive eye area. What I do instead is stick a short piece of scotch tape under my eyes. It catches the fallout from my dark shadows very nicely and doesn't hurt my skin. Winner. :)
I don't find this stuff sweet or fruity smelling at all. As some have mentioned, it definitely has a masculine, ocean-y bitter tinge to it. I was totally expecting a sweet, summery Escada limited edition style perfume judging by the packaging, but it's very far from that. It actually reminds me of Gucci Rush 2 - they start out on the same note, but Rush 2 somehow has a sweeter base so it's not as crisp and masculine smelling as Incanto Shine. Overall this is an interesting scent. It's not the most girly and feminine perfume out there, but I've interestingly received loads of compliments on it. I find it pretty unique and complex and tend to reach for it even though I prefer sweeter and fruitier scents. It's definitely office friendly and a nice scent for summer, and the bottle is quite adorable (albeit a little cheap looking).
I have this in 119 Baby Pink. The colour looks like a pale milky neutral pink in the bottle but on the nails it's a massive head scratcher. It reminds me of the colour of punch. It has a warm base but with 2 coats it gets this neon-y pop with a hint of lilac. Complicated :) It's opaque in 2 coats and creates a very pretty creamy mod look. This is one of thos polishes that make your hands and feet look extra tanned, I love it for the summer. To make it a bit more office friendly I apply one coat and a glossy topcoat. This creates a pretty French mani effect without the brightness of two coats - this is a versatile polish! Lasting power is average, it chips after 3 days (or a couple hot showers). It also dries a little slow, but for £3 I can forgive that. If Barry M came out with more conservative shades I'd definitely buy them :)
Me no likey. I have two shades from the Essentials collection, Natural and Pink, and they both have just that extra little thing that makes them unwearable in the everydays. Natural looked like a creamy nude peach but it's actually much brighter and comes off as an orangy coral on my lips. Pink would be a nice cool pink but it has golden shimmer in it and looks absolutely tacky. Both colours made me look like a slutty version of Malibu Barbie. I mostly wear nude or MLBB shades and the Lipfinity line has none of those. Beware because the tube is not completely translucent, it's milky white so the colours show up much much lighter than they really are. Make sure you pull out the wand and see the colour for yourself! Lasting power of this stuff is phenomenal. You put it on and it stays, which can be a really bad thing when it starts to crack or fade if you eat something oily. You can't just wipe it off and reapply like a normal lippie. It dries incredibly fast (about 2 seconds) so there's no time to spread and blend it well. I solved this by sweeping some product off the wand and blending it on my lips with my fingers. Overall if you want a super long-lasting lippie then get Maybelline Superstay. That line has much more wearable colours and is a bit less like liquid cement.
I've been looking for THE polish and this is it. I don't alternate polish to match my outfits or makeup, I just want a creamy, shiny nude shade that makes my nails look polished and elegant and lasts long. Tickle My France-y fits the bill perfectly. I can't really get my head around the colour. If you google it, it looks like a gazillion different polishes. I've seen it look brown, taupe, gray, dark purple and lavender on different people. Guess it depends on your skintone. I'm NC20 and this is only a tiny tiny bit darker than my skin, mainly because I'm warm and the polish is cool-toned. In natural light it is a creamy nude taupe with a hint of lavender. It's just milky enough not to look brown. I love that it's so cool toned - only cool shades make nails look clean. I wouldn't recommend this shade if you're anything lighter than NC/NW20, it will just look like corpse nails. This stuff never streaks on me, it dries absolutely perfect. My nails practically look plastic they're so even and shiny. I get perfect coverage with 2 coats (3 make the colour significantly darker). I use a clear topcoat and it wears about 4 days without chipping. I just love this polish, it's so unique *gazes adoringly at nails*. When my friend first saw it on me she said I had iced coffee nails. I was sold :)
Shampoo -Schwarzkopf - Schauma Silver Reflex Shampoo
solyacska 4/11/2010 3:30:00 PM
This shampoo is part of Scwarzkopf's Schauma range and is available in drugstores in Europe (sadly not in the UK). It's one of the purple shampoos designed for blonde or grey hair. It's an absolute HG for me and I'll keep buying till I die! I've been through a few high-end purple shampoos (Clairol, John Frieda) and this is by far the best and the cheapest. I had been dying my hair brown, then bleached red, then blonde and it worked awesome for all colours. When I had brown hair it managed to counteract the dreaded redness in dyed hair and kept my colour fresh. After that I got the brown bleached off and turned processed orange (not a pretty look, and this shampoo alone managed to tone it down to a really nice golden copper shade. I had another bleach session and turned strawberry blonde which clashed horribly with my skintone, and Silver Reflex saved me again - it turned my hair a cooler shade of golden blonde. The shampoo is dark purple and lathers very well. It cleans my hair thoroughly without drying it out. You'll see results after the first use but it tones down brassiness completely after 3-4 uses. Make sure not to leave it on for more than 5 minutes because it will turn your hair purple! It also stains white shower curtains, it just shows how effective it is. This stuff is just awesome, grab a bottle if you're in Europe. It's not only awesome for blonde or grey hair but refreshes any other hair colour as well. Oh and it retails for about 2Ä!
Polishes -New York Color - Polyester Pink Creme 108A
solyacska 3/13/2010 10:14:00 AM
This is the colour I've been looking for all my life. I'm obsessed about pale pink nails but the french mani pink shades don't give me enough coverage and that pale creamyness. The only thing that came close was Baby Pink by Barry M, but it was a tad too dark and warm for my skintone. Polyester Pink Creme is just perfect. It's a gorgeous milky pale pink on the cool-neutral side and it just screams 'SEXY' against my NC20 skin. It's definitely not a muted translucent shade though, it's a full-on opaque creme affair that gives those gorgeous 'porn' nails. The reason it gets 3 lippies from me is that it streaks like hell. The consistency is incredibly gloopy and uneven and no matter how hard I try I just can't get it to look professionally done. I threw away the brush that came with it, there is absolutely no hope of achieving an even finish with that. I use the wide pro brush of one of my old Rimmel polishes and it helps a lot with application. Still I get lots of streaks and unevenness :/ A++ for the adorable colour but the quality is just rubbish. I'll keep buying anyways.
This has to be, hands down, the worst foundation I've ever used. I bought it because I ran out of my beloved EL Double Wear and I wanted to believe the hype. There's not a good thing about this stuff. First of all, the colour selection is awful. I'm a very yellow-toned NC20 and I got Colorstay in Buff. It was way too dark and very pink and ashy, it made me look sick. I don't see how this would look natural on anyone. I would have been willing to overlook the bad colour match if the consistency wasn't so awful. I have the combo/oily skin version and this stuff has way too much slip and is way too sticky to be good for anything but dry skin. It goes on incredibly blotchy and uneven and doesn't cling to my skin at all. It also never dries properly. It leaves a disgustingly tacky finish and when I apply powder on top the foundation moves around (I let it dry for more than 10 minutes!). It did not cover up my pores, it emphasized pores I didn't even know I had. The finish is incredibly unnatural and uneven, no matter how you apply it it will look blotchy and caked on. The thing is, it seriously lacks pigmentation so you can't sheer it out like EL DW. I tried applying it with the MAC 190, 187 and a sponge and none gave me an acceptable finish. I think the reasons is just that it never dries on your face. This is one of the foundations that just makes me scream 'get it off my face, NOW!'. Lasting power is not any better than that of a regular drugstore foundation. I set it with CS silica spheres and it STILL transfers, which is pretty incredible. It feels greasy from the first moment it's on and it lasts about 4-5 hours on me before it disintegrates into a greasy blotchy mess. Additional problems are that it photographs horribly because of the titanium dioxide and it doesn't come with a pump. The MAC pump I have doesn't fit on the bottle either so I had to transfer it to another pump bottle. I'm quite baffled by the rave reviews on Colorstay. The only plausible explanation I can think of is that people who buy this mostly use drugstore makeup so they don't realise the difference between high and low end. Colorstay doesn't even come near to EL DW which is incredibly pigmented, goes on smooth, dries to a perfect finish, lasts all day and looks very natural. Seriously, if you're considering buying Colorstay, swatch it next to DW first and see the difference in coverage and consistency. DW might be twice the price but you need to use half the amount you'd use with Colorstay, and it is superior in every respect anyways. I completely agree with the reviewer below me that Rimmel Lasting Finish is much better than this - it's pretty sad. Colorstay is so bad I won't even give it a second chance, it went straight into the bin.