I have tried this eyeliner in several shades, and overall I am very happy with it. It is waterproof, and when they say waterproof, they mean it! It stays on until you take it off, and no under-eye smudges, even in hot, humid weather. It is easily comparable to more expensive liners I have used, and at only around seven dollars, I will definetly be coming back for more. The formula glides on easily without tugging or skipping, and isn't as dry as some others I have tried-I have never had a problem with the tips breaking off when they are wound up. The only issue I have with these is that there isn't really any way to sharpen them-the first time you use them, you get this terrific clean line, but when the tip gets blunted, there's no way to get back that nice sharp point. But the tip is still so tiny, it doesn't present that much of a problem, just a slightly less sharp outline. I will definetly buy again. I found mine at Ulta, but you can also order them online.
Lip Liners -NYX - Jumbo Lip Pencil - Soft Fuschia 721
sopranowriter 9/24/2012 9:46:00 AM
OK, so it isn't really fuschia....but why complain? It's an almost-nude, beautiful soft pink color, falling into the "my lips only better" category for me. I have fair skin, with only slightly pigmented lips, and this is just right for days when I don't really want to look like I have a lot of makeup on. The formula is very soft and creamy, and there is a slight sheen to it-I haven't experienced any dryness at all when using it. The application is smooth enough to wear it alone as lip color, or as a liner with a matching lipstick-this is such a flexible shade, it goes with many of my pink lipsticks. I have also worn it with a sweep of Vaseline or clear gloss for a casual bare look-great for mornings when I'm in a hurry! I am very happy with this product, and would absolutely buy it again, but I do have two small quibbles-one is that the plastic cap seems to be very fragile, and gets crushed and splintered easily, even just riding around in a makeup bag. The other thing to be careful of is the soft consistency of this pencil-I have had a couple melt inside my purse on hot days. (Put it in the freezer for a bit when you get it home-it'll firm back up.) All in all, for the price-around three or four dollars-this is a great deal, and the color is just what I was looking for!
I have combination skin, leaning toward the oily side, especially in the t-zone, which is unfortunately where I need foundation/concealer coverage the most. Primer and I have had a love/hate relationship in the past-I have tried a few big-ticket ones that did absolutely nothing-I was shiny and makeupless within a few minutes of application, one midrange one that worked for an hour or two, and now, this-the cheapo that I decided on a whim to just try. And....it works. Not only that, but it works far, far better than the more expensive ones I've spent (well, blown) much more money on. It's in a little, flat tube that is small enough to fit easily into a makeup bag, and all you need to do is squeeze a tiny amount onto the tip of your finger and apply. Don't use too much, or it will ball up. A little bit goes a long way-a very tiny little ball about the size of a couple of bb's covers my entire nose and upper cheek area. If you get the right amount, your skin will feel very smooth and powdery-it will look matte and the pores will be much less noticeable. This effect only lasts an hour or two, depending on how active you are, but the shine stays away for several hours-I don't have to powder or blot my t-zone half as much as before, and it's summertime, in the high nineties here this week. This isn't a miracle potion that will leave you matte and flawless all day into night, but I am very, very pleased with this product. It was around $12, I think, and it will last me for a long, long time since it take so little an amount to be effective. I will definetly buy again. I found mine at Ulta, but I believe it can be ordered on the NYX website as well.
I have combination skin, leaning toward oily in the t-zone, and though this product will temporarily take care of shininess and appear to shrink pores, the effect is not lasting-I use it mostly to take care of blemishes. I do not suffer from severe acne, but I do get the occasional huge "underground" chin pimple that refuses to come to a head, takes eons to go away, and is terribly sore for the first couple of days. This product always seems to help-while I'm not ready to say that it actually makes zits go away, it does seem to lessen the soreness, the size, and the duration of the pimple. I use it as a full-face mask once in a while, but more often dab it directly on a zit and wear it overnight to bed. In the morning, there really is a difference. And....this may sound weird, but I have also discovered that applying this to mosquito bites takes away a lot of the pain and itch, and shrinks them quite a bit when left on overnight. (This is, of course, an at-home treatment-you wouldn't want to go outside with little green patches all over you!) I found this out by accident when I got unexpectedly covered with bites at a cookout, and found that I didn't have anything at home to treat them with. Gave this a try, and voila! It didn't get rid of them, but it sure helped. This has been something of a staple in my closet for years and I never knew it could be used for that purpose-I guess you learn something new every day! Very inexpensive, just a few $ per tub, and available at beauty supply stores all over the US.
Eyeliner -Revlon - REVLON COLORSTAY CRÈME GEL EYE LINER (all colors)
sopranowriter 5/29/2012 11:04:00 AM
Well, I went to the drugstore one day when I had a lot on my mind and wasn't paying attention, grabbed this in a hurry, thinking that it was liquid liner (derp), and found that I had the wrong thing when I arrived at home. Since I didn't feel like going back to the drugstore, and I'd noticed this before and been curious to test it out, I decided to keep it and give it a try rather than returning it. I am SO glad I did! It got up to the 90s here last weekend, complete with humidity, and I tested this out by wearing it all day, outside in the heat. It stayed on my naturally oily eyelids all day without budging-it looked just-applied until I took it off at night! It is creamy and soft in application, and not crumbly at all, like another, more pricey type I tried-it can actually be sort of dotted on, instead of having to drag the brush across your eyelid, and a very little goes a long way. I am thrilled, and will probably never shell out extra $$ for more expensive gel liners again. My only quibble with this product is the packaging-it comes in a sort of bottle shape, with a twist off cap, and the brush is part of the handle. Once used, you pop it back on the top-and that is what I wish was different, as it keeps coming off in my purse. However, the brush itself isn't quite as narrow as I would like either-makes a slightly thicker line than I prefer-so I may just let it go and use a separate one. In fact, I can probably afford to go out and buy a really good one, with all the $$ I save using this instead of something more expensive! Found in drug and grocery stores all over the place; can't remember the exact price but I'm pretty sure it was around $7-$10. Comes in black, brown, and charcoal (That was the color I got. Perfect if black is a little too harsh for you!) I will definetly buy this again.
Powder -Bare Escentuals - Mineral Powder Foundation
sopranowriter 5/7/2012 8:56:00 AM
I was walking past a Bare Minerals kiosk in my local mall, and didn't dodge fast enough to avoid the SA handing out flyers. Before I knew it, I was plopped into a chair getting my face washed, and she was applying the lightest shade of their powder foundation to me. I looked in the mirror, and almost burst out laughing. My face looked absolutely flawless, the color was a good match, but-I knew what I would find when I looked at myself under different lighting, and I was right. I was an opera singer many years ago, and in my makeup kit was a little circular container of powder base stage makeup. It was applied the same way, with a big kabuki brush, and had the exact same effect as this stuff-perfect complexion from a distance, visible lines, cracks, craters, and crannies up close, making the wearer look about 100 years old. And that's exactly what this product is-glorified theatrical pancake base-at about four times the price. Very heavy, very glittery, emphasized pores and tiny lines far too much, and I didn't like having to remember not to touch my face for fear of rubbing it off. And then, there was the itching-five minutes after I got this stuff put on, I felt like I'd stumbled into a beehive face first. I had to go speeding home to get it off, and there was so much of it on, it took four or five of those Pond's makeup wipes to get it off. Yikes!! Far too pricey to put up with that much discomfort-about $69, if I'm not mistaken, though that is supposed to be a 1-year supply. The liquid foundation I wear every day is about twenty dollars cheaper and last me the same amount of time. I don't have bad skin to begin with, and I don't feel that I need that much coverage every day, anyway, so even if this hadn't itched me to death, I probably still wouldn't buy it. Without the itch factor, I might wear it for a stage performance or for some of my headshots, or possibly for an evening event, but for every day? Forget it!
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Malibu C Un Do Goo clarifier
sopranowriter 1/19/2012 9:55:00 AM
This is an excellent clarifying shampoo by Malibu C, formerly the Malibu 2000 brand. It will remove just about any kind of gunk in your hair-I bought this with Malibu's Swimmer's Action shampoo and conditioner, and used it first. It really helped remove the built-up chlorine and mineral residue on my hair, and I noticed a change after the first shampoo. Afterward, I used the regular Swimmer's Action shampoo, and I have rarely been more satisfied with a product line-the results have been amazing! I will probably use this once a week, or maybe once every couple of weeks, or on an as-needed basis, because I don't use a lot of styling products and thankfully, the minerals and chlorine discoloration have been removed from my hair due to the use of this product line. Paraben and propylene glycol free. About $10-$12 for a 9 ounce bottle, sold all over the internet and I believe at some salons.
Conditioner -Unlisted Brand - Malibu C Swimmer's Action Conditioner
sopranowriter 1/19/2012 9:48:00 AM
This stuff is great! Please also see my review on the Swimmer's Action Shampoo for a little bit of the backstory, but I tried this because of the horrendous amount of chlorine in my water, and I have been absolutely satisfied with it. I have oily hair, and normally I don't need to condition it, but the Malibu shampoo tends to be a little drying, even on my oily hair, so I use this conditioner about once a week, just on the ends. It is lightweight, doesn't make my hair greasy, and lasts quite a while as I don't need to use much of it. The scent doesn't cling to the hair, and the conditioner doesn't dull it at all. Paraben and propylene glycol free. About $10-$12 for 9 ounces, and you can get a larger size too. Sold all over online, and I believe in some salons as well.
Shampoo -Unlisted Brand - Malibu C Swimmer's Action
sopranowriter 1/19/2012 9:42:00 AM
I live in an area with heavily chlorinated water-even the filter on my shower wasn't helping much-and then I tried this! I am so glad I did. This shampoo used to be known as Malibu 2000,but though the brand name has changed somewhat the quality has not. I have been plagued in the past with sticky, greasy areas that simply would not rinse clean. The chemicals in the water also discolored it, and even when washed every day, it hung limp and stringy by evening. This shampoo has brought my hair back to its normal brown color and taken all the reddish chemical staining out, and added incredible shine and softness-even my daughter noticed. My hair stays soft and very, very clean all day-no more greasy spots, even if I'm pressed for time and wash in a hurry! If you have dry hair, I would definetly recommend using the Malibu conditioner too-even with my oiliness, I need to use it about once a week-or you will get flyaways-this is really the only quibble I have about it. The scent is mild and doesn't cling to the hair, the price isn't bad-you can get this anywhere online for around $10-$12 for a 9 oz. bottle. There are larger sizes available as well. No propylene glycol or parabens. It took about a week before I began to see significant results, but stick with it-you will be happy you did!
In my search for a deodorant that doesn't contain aluminum, I ran across Tom's of Maine's Long Lasting deodorant in Wild Lavender. I am sorry to say that it hardly made a difference for me-I am not someone who perspires to a great extent most of the time, but if you are, avoid this like the plague! No masking of odor at all-since it is a deodorant and not an antiperspirant, I didn't expect it to keep me from sweating, but I had hopes that it would keep me from smelling as though I was! Oh well-back to the store, I guess. (Me, not the used deodorant. I'm not THAT upset with it!) The one thing that I did like about it is the laveder scent-very nice and natural-but I will not repurchase.
Well, I've been loving the idea of a lipstain for a while, but haven't managed to find one that works for me yet, and this one unfortunately is another dud-on me, anyway. I tried this in Instinct, which is a soft mauve-pink color, a little grayish. It is a tube that looks like a magic marker with lip balm at one end, and the applicator actually does feel like a felt tip-therein lies the problem, for me. The tip seems to absorb all the color instead of depositing it on the lips, and it wears away within minutes-no lasting power whatsoever. This color barely showed up on my lips-I couldn't even tell I was wearing any when I first put it on. It also does not seem to be capable of being layered to intensify the color, but rubs off the first layer underneath when you try. I did give it two lippies for the balm end, which is very softening and feels nice on the lips. Oh well-the search continues!
Gave this lip color/gloss a test run today, and I must say that if you are looking for a product that has staying power, this is definetly it! It is a double-ended tube with colored gloss at one end, clear at the other, and the idea is that you put the color on first, wait for it to set, and then add the clear if desired. It comes in a respectable variety of colors, and I chose Everlasting Rum, a good warm red fall color which can be layered to create a deep burgundy color with just a hint of sheen. The texture is very light, but extremely sticky, especially for the first five or so minutes that you have it on-it feels sort of stretchy at first, like a layer of latex drying on your lips-that takes a little getting used to. I also found it quite drying without a layer of the accompanying clear gloss. I tried adding some of that, it tended to cause the color to transfer to my teeth quite a bit-it didn't seem to have as much staying power with a layer of the clear gloss over the top. Next, I tried it without the clear gloss, and the staying power was fantastic-I drank a cup of coffee out of a takeout cup with a lid, and noticed very little transfer-the product crumbled a bit on the inner edge of my lip, but I didn't get the dreaded Clown Mouth effect either. Then, the time came to take it off. It took quite a while with a makeup remover wipe-this stuff is definetly on till you take it off, and I really had to make an effort-it's not just going to slide off. So-I will probably buy this again in another color, but I don't think it will be something I will wear every day because of how dry it feels. For special occasions when I won't have much opportunity for touching up, however, this will be priceless! UPDATE: OK, it's probably a little soon for an update, but I just bought this in another color, Endless Spice....same great staying power in a warm pinkish nude! A little more sticky in texture, but more of an everyday color for me than the other one I tried. I will get a little more wear out of this one, I think.
Primer/ Corrector -BeneFit Cosmetics - The Porefessional
sopranowriter 8/27/2011 1:05:00 PM
The tube describes this product as a "balm to minimize the appearance of pores." I have been using it as a primer under foundation, or just by itself, as it is tinted and gives light coverage. I have combo skin with a very oily t-zone, which is where I need the pore coverage, and unfortunately this has not worked well for me. It may suit someone with dryer skin, but on me, it becomes shiny very quickly, in spite of being oil free, and just slides around, without any stability. I wouldn't recommend it for oily skin at all, and I will probably not purchase it again, as I need more stable coverage in the t-zone area. It is very lightweight, so someone with dry skin who just needs a light coverage, or perhaps doesn't want to wear a heavy coat of foundation, would like it. I don't remember how much it cost, but I don't remember it being terribly expensive, and a little goes a long way-it isn't too thick in texture and blends well. I have a .75 oz. tube and that would probably last quite a while. All in all, not necessarily a bad product-just not for my type of skin.
Deodorants -Unlisted Brand - Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant
sopranowriter 8/26/2011 2:32:00 PM
For years, I have used one of those crystal stone natural deodorants, which works fairly well most of the time. However, during the summer I really need something a little stronger when it gets really hot, and so I tried Tom's of Maine and Kiss My Face stick deodorants, as I was hoping to stay with an aluminum-free formula. The results were not encouraging (in other words, STINKY), and I was prepared to have to sacrifice an aluminum-free formula for greater strength. But, it looks as though I won't have to! I got the unscented stick variety of this product-it DOES have a slight, sort of citrusy scent that I don't find irritating-it isn't heavy at all and won't be noticeable a minute or two after you have applied the product. The best part of it is-neither will your stenchies!! I have worn this for a couple of very hot and humid days, during which I was mowing the lawn, doing heavy housework, etc. and not once have I noticed any B.O. (yes, I checked). It isn't an antiperspirant, so it doesn't keep you from sweating, but it will keep you from reeking to the moon when you do. I have applied it right after showering and shaving, and have not found it to be at all irritating to my underarms either. Aluminum and paraben free, though it does contain propylene glycol and triclosan so it isn't really what I would call a completely "natural" product, but still a great alternative to the crystal stone for those of us who need a little more help, but still prefer to keep it as chemical free as possible. I don't remember exactly how expensive this was, but I don't recall it being overly pricey-you can find it at supermarkets, drugstores, etc. I will definetly buy this product again, especially in hot weather. It's a keeper!
This is my go-to everyday lipliner! It comes up a nice neutral nude shade on me-I am pale skinned with moderately pigmented lips, and this liner enhances their natural color. It is not an "in your face" sort of look at all, perfect for every day as I always like to have a finished lip, no matter how minimal the rest of my makeup is. I usually line and fill in my lips almost completely with this, then add L'oreal Tender Pink just to the insides and center, perhaps with some gloss. The two colors are a perfect match, and this liner seems to help the lipstick stay put longer. Instant pillow lips! It has a softer consistency-I do have to reapply after eating, and freshen after a few hours, but it doesn't pull on the lips when applied, and holds its tip shape fairly well-I don't have to sharpen every day. Packaging is about what you would expect-slim black pencil with a plastic cap, nothing unusual here. I wish I could remember the exact price-I think it is either $15 or $18-I don't remember thinking it was unusually expensive as it tends to last a good amount of time. Definetly something I would buy again!