Sunscreen -La Roche Posay - Anthelios XL Creme 60+ (Tinted)
starladear 1/19/2012 12:58:00 PM
Updated review: First, I am updating this review because I have discovered that this is actually a review for the 50+ tinted melt-in cream. After double- and triple-checking the first time to make sure I had the right product, it seems I still got it wrong. I first questioned it because someone said it was readily available in the US, but I've never seen it. I bought this while in London over the summer, about six months ago, and I've just ordered a second tube from Europe. Perhaps I am missing something? The other thing that threw me off was the mention of the dark tint. I am very, very fair--closer to NC5 than NC15--and this adds just enough color for me to have a glow. I don't think I have a mask, either! So I went ahead and reviewed this product, but the product is the LRP 50+ tinted melt-in cream. When I checked before, I didn't actually go upstairs to check the label--I checked the rest of the reviews, and this was the only one for "tinted melt-in cream." Then someone messaged me to ask me where I ordered this (ebay seller in Europe), and she was really confused because all she was finding was the 50+. All I have ever seen is the 50+, so I am leaving the review here. There is no review for the 50+ tinted melt-in cream, if this is a different thing--I haven't ever seen such a product. I know that they do change the European rules regarding the limits of how high they can say a product's SPF is, so maybe that is the issue. I don't know--maybe someone can solve this mystery? If I shouldn't leave this review here, someone just let me know and I'll take it down. Still, for people with hyper-pigmentation problems like mine, it is an important review, so until I find a better place I'll let it stay. Anyway, I was very worried it was going to break me out. I am very prone to break-outs, and this "reads" like something exclusively for dry skin. I had previously gone back and forth between Sheseido and the American-available LRP anthelios 60 ultra-light fluid, but when I was in London this summer I ran out and the melt-in cream tinted 50+ was the only Anthelios I could find. The finish is not matte but it does not make me overly shiny when worn under my makeup. The BEST thing about this product, though, is the protection. Now, I have read so many reviews of sunscreens that claim this or that one gave me good or not-so-good protection, and I've always wondered how, after a certain point (i.e. not burning or tanning), you can even tell! My own benchmark is my terrible hyper-pigmentation around my jawline. If I get the tiniest bit of sun it seems to suck it in, and with my pale skin it looks absolutely awful--brown patches. I developed this in 2003 after going on holiday after a series of glycolic peels, and I have been fighting it ever since. Every summer, though, despite using the American Anthelios and Sheseido, my hyper-pigmentation has gotten worse. I can't tell day by day, but one day I will look in the mirror and think that the patches are definitely darker. **This did not happen this summer as the result of using this Melt-in tinted cream Anthelios from Europe.** Now, in January, after six months of use, I can say for the first time in almost 9 years that I can barely see my hyper-pigmentation, and not really at all when my makeup is on. I never thought I'd be able to say this, because every winter I work and work to fade it, and it gets better, but by June/July there has always seemed to be nothing I could do to avoid the sun making it worse--then I'd have to work to correct this over the winter, and the whole cycle would be broken. Now, I won't say that this product alone made my hyper-pigmentation go away, but I know that no matter what treatments I've used, in the summer it would always come back with a vengeance--treatments are only as good as the sunblock with which they are paired, in my experience. So I was using Paula's Choice lightening BHA this summer. I love that stuff, too--but without this Anthelios, I think it would not have worked.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Age Shield Face- SPF 110 waterproof
starladear 1/19/2012 12:41:00 PM
I was so excited by the "110" that I bought this product over the summer, despite having enough of my favorites to last the rest of the season. Recently, I started to feel guilty for having purchased this six months ago and never used it (because during the summer, I didn't want to risk the unknown, so I stuck to either my beloved Anthelios or Sheseido). But now it was January, and surely I could use the cheaper stuff that would surely protect me well enough. I really loved the very matte texture of this--great for my oily skin. However, after just a week, I broke out--I got a cyst around my jawline, the mark from which I am still trying to fade. My skin has been pretty good for the past few months, and this was the only change I had made, so I had to blame this product. I threw it out. I have given it 2 lippies instead of 1 because I don't know if this will break everyone out, and it does have a wonderfully matte finish.
Cleansers -La Roche Posay - Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser
starladear 12/22/2011 7:39:00 PM
This has become my go-to non s/a cleanser. I usually use Murad clarifying, but sometimes I want something without s/a. This stuff does what it says: my face feels really clean when I use it, it keeps my acne at bay, and yet it is very gentle. I suppose it isn't my all-the-time cleanser because I feel like the s/a in the Murad is more of a treatment, but over the summer I used this exclusively for two weeks when I was overseas and ran out of my Murad, and I did not break out. Great stuff.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Gel Exfoliant
starladear 4/29/2011 2:02:00 AM
Fantastic stuff. To tell the truth, I have wanted to try this for literally years, after reading reviews and whatnot. I bought the liquid almost three years ago with a spray pump and lost it (no idea) within a few days. Never bothered to go back and order another one. The reason I have not, I think, is because I felt like ultimately "yeah, yeah, yeah, another bha body product." I have used Murad's much more expensive version, and it does help a lot, even if it is much pricier (and available at the mall at sephora instead of having to order it online). But now that I have been using the PC bha gel for a week, I am a total convert. The weirdest thing is that I expected at least a slight little sting when I applied it...nothing. It felt like nothing. And it has cleared my body acne and my face acne...I am in love. I must be honest to say that I have been using this on my face in conjunction with other new products (particularly dead sea mask by etre), but my back was really broken out very badly too. I was having terrible trouble with it. This stuff rocks.
Masks -Unlisted Brand - Etre Dead Sea Mud facial mask
starladear 4/29/2011 1:49:00 AM
Unbelievable stuff for me. This stuff really, truly helped to heal one of the worst breakouts I have ever had. Yet it is gentle enough that I don't mind my toddler putting a little bit on her own face (as she will insist upon doing). Right at this moment I feel like I will never live without this product again. I have bought from the kiosks at the mall before--the scrub, the body butter, the facial peel, and the eye gel--but stopped short of the mask because it was always more expensive. I loved all of the other products, and when I was having a really horrible breakout last month I remembered wishing I could try this mask. I got this from ebay for a fraction of what it would have cost me at the mall. Duh. Absolutely recommended. Update: six months later, I have not finished the pot of this mask, and I find it has dried up to the point where it is hard to use it. Last night I put some water in it to try to rehydrate it. I won't take a lippie away because perhaps that is a reasonable shelf life for such a product, but I thought I would add this information anyway.
I am always SO hesitant to say that a product broke me out unless I 100% know that it was THAT product and not some hormonal thing or stress, etc... It is easier, I think, to be able to tell when a makeup breaks you out due to some sensitivity, etc., than to tell when a cleanser is doing it. I am usually a dermalogica medibac or murad user, but I'm not a snob about supermarket brands at all. Last month I had run out of cleanser and I was REALLY short on cash. I looked around on the shelves at Wal-mart and compared ingredients and prices of all of the 2% salicylic acid cleansers there. There were quite a few. In the end, I went for this one. I had used it when I was a young teenager. I was sure I rememebered some dermatologist or other recommending it. It surely did seem to be drying my disgustingly oily (and not particularly product sensitive) skin out within a few days. But then somewhere along the line, maybe a week after using the cleanser, I started to break out--and the breakouts did not stop. My skin was as bad as it had ever been in my whole life, and in all of my teenage years (I'm 36 now), and I was miserable. I had to meet some of my boyfriend's friends for the first time while out of state, and I almost cried putting my makeup on because I looked THAT bad. He shook his head when he saw that I had actually parted my hair to the opposite side and put it totally into my face to cover my acne. Of course, he just said not to stress about it, but it was really that awful. Still, to be quite honest, I was not convinced that it was this cleanser causing the problem. And, quite frankly, I didn't have the money to purchase one of my normal cleansers for a solid month--so I stuck to it, partly out of curiosity and determination (surely it is not this product that is doing this to me), and partly because I didn't have a choice. I thought for a while that maybe it was harsh enough to cause me to purge...? I don't know. But the breakouts kept coming, and they have only just begun to subside, after a week of Murad (and, incidentally, some dead sea mud mask that I picked up--etre, I think, which has helped heal my skin tremendously). Oh, and some Paula's Choice bha gel. I feel like a different person. I am still skeptical about whether or not it was really the cleanser that was causing such chaos on my skin, but I am sure I will never buy the stuff again.
Moisturizers -Eucerin - Extra Protective Moisture Lotion SPF30
starladear 6/22/2010 2:05:00 PM
I'm surprised to see all the negative reviews for this product. I started using this as a staple in 2008, about exactly two years ago, and it only occurred to me now to check to see if I had reviewed it. For me, it is a moisturizer with a decent SPF (i.e. not 15, like most seem to have) that does not aggravate my oily/acne skin. This has never broken me out, and it is nice and light in texture. I haven't noticed a change in the formula in the past two years, but who knows what that is about. I will not give it a five because it is still ONLY SPF 30, and I simply don't feel like I am protected enough from about April onward through the end of the summer. I have highly sensitive sun damage, meaning that if my hyperpigmented splotchy bits are exposed to the sun for even a few minutes, they suck in the sun and turn a gross muddy brown on my pale, pale face. I have had these splotches since 2003 and have only just begun to tame them, and only with years of unhealthy hydroquinone. A few minutes of exposure will darken them enough that it will take me six months to tone them down again, so I have to be really careful. They are around my jawline, which is also where I break out, so I have to be extra careful what I put there. The Eucerin does not break me out, BUT IN THE SUMMER MONTHS DOES NOT PROTECT MY BLOTCHY BITS ON ITS OWN. I have yet to find a product that will do this on its own. At the moment, I'm using LRP Anthelios 60 over the Eucerin on my blotchy bits, but that stuff is slightly greasy so I don't like to use it too liberally. The great thing about the Eucerin is that I don't feel guilty about using it liberally, because it will not break me out; it does not feel greasy, and it does not feel heavy, even if I used quite a bit of it. This makes me feel like I've got a good, solid base of protection before I put on the heavier, greasier stuff. This way, I can just put the Anthelios directly on my blotchy bits, and so far, this seems to work.
Self Tanners -Unlisted Brand - Salon Bronze Airbrush Tan
starladear 6/22/2010 1:53:00 PM
I've got the package with two cartridges, and I know I am ultimately way too cheap to throw the other one out, like any sane person would do. I did like the idea of the "airbrush" dispenser, and I am hoping that with regard to the final result, next time it will be better. Next time--I can't believe I am saying that!!! In truth, I'm sure I will use the other one, if only because I do like the way that the color came out on my arms--AFTER THE GREEN WASHED OFF!!!! I mean, this isn't supposed to have a lime green guide color, is it?? The spray nozzle on mine did not work, and I had to hold down the back of the can to dispense. I used it in the shower, and in truth there was less mess probably even then when I use St. Tropez and apply it by hand. I just turned the shower on and rinsed the GREEN away. If someone else knows that this is supposed to be green, please correct me, but I searched the instructions and could find no such warning. Maybe it is because I am inexperienced with the airbrush (I'm pretty good at self-tanning in general), but here were the final color results for me: my arms are perfect--natural, not orange; comparable to St. Tropez, actually (which is what I normally use). My hands are fine. I applied lotion to my hands, feet, fingers, toes, elbows, knees, and cuticles, and my hands and elbows look natural. With regard to my legs, however, the product was very streaky and ultimately does not seem to have "stuck" very well--it just sank into my pores, and when I took a shower the next day, it just washed off white--not nicely tanned like my arms. My left foot is so horrible that three days later I still cannot wear sandals, despite the precautions I took. My face, like my legs, did not take the color--this has never happened before. But the worst: as I mentioned before, it came out lime green!!! I mean, my whole body, green! It was disgusting! When I use St. Tropez, in a pinch, and if I am careful enough, I can go out right after--the guide color of St. Tropez can be messy, but in and of itself is a nice bronzey color. Thank God I did not use this before I had to go out somewhere. And thank God it is summer and I am not teaching! I did a google search and found some reviews on other sites that showed up where people DID have to go out somewhere and didn't REALIZE that this had turned them green; I think one was a high school senior who used this before their school pictures, poor sod. I was surprised, then, that no one mentioned this on this site, which makes me wonder if, for some reason, this is supposed to happen. Surely not, though, right? With regard to the final color result, I know that some evening I am going to be bored and I'm going to try the other cartridge, knowing that I'll be green until I shower again, but I can't help but wonder if I didn't shake the canister well enough, mis-applied on to my face and legs, etc. In such a case, I will update.
Lipstick -Revlon - ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick
starladear 4/30/2010 2:09:00 PM
Love it. Yes, it is a little sticky, and I wish there was a better range of colors (isn't that the case with all ds lipsticks, though?). Lasts for hours, and I don't have to worry if I eat while wearing a dark shade (some "long last" lipsticks will wear horribly unevenly and I look like a complete fool after eating while wearing a darker shade). Takes a minute to dry. One of the best long-last lipsticks out there, imo.
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish Cleanser
starladear 12/19/2009 3:14:00 PM
I REALLY like this product. I don't get too much time to write reviews anymore, since I had a little one last year (maybe when she gets a little older I'll get my life back). I saw this on sale once at CVS and picked it up as a kind of "extra" for my summer house, actually. Then I noticed that it has sa AND glycolic acid--I don't see that very often, and I was so interested that I took it home with me. It has really helped me with breakouts. I've got to say that when my eczema flares up, my skin is too sensitive for it, so I'm not sure it would be good for sensitive skins, but for a drugstore cleanser, wow.
Cleansers -Eucerin - Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser
starladear 5/23/2009 11:16:00 PM
This is a really calming, soothing cleanser for me. I see that some reviewers have found it drying. I have not found it so. I should say that my skin is very oily, but that I get eczema, and wherever I get eczema my skin gets completely dehydrated and scaly. This cleanser cuts down on that, and when my skin gets itchy in places, I end up wanting to wash my face with this just to get some relief. That's great in my book. I would recommend it personally--it works for me. It is also great at removing makeup; my face feels very clean afterward, which is kind of unusual for a "sensitive skin" cleanser. It is reasonably priced (though not dirt cheap, about $10), so I'd say if you have problems, it is worth a shot.
Eye Shadow -Bobbi Brown - Shimmering Nudes Palette
starladear 5/21/2009 10:55:00 PM
This palette was a bit of a splurge for me. I love BB, and I really wanted an excellent nude palette that I could use for lecturing every day. I ended up regretting the amount of shimmer in this palette--I really hadn't considered the shimmer factor when ordering this, because I have never exactly been a shimmer-phobe. I probably just should have thought this through more carefully. I still use this regularly; I would not call it unusable for professional dress. I have never been especially conservative, though, and sometimes I find myself feeling compelled to blot this stuff down quite a bit with loose powder and a blending brush. Most of the shades really have enough shimmer in them to make one feel silly--well, at least me. It also might be because of my PPP skin. I'm sure that anyone who likes a lot of shimmer with their nudes would LOVE this.
I love this product. It is wonderfully buildable, and the lightest shade is pale enough for my pale face (not easy to find). To me, the buildability of this product makes me want to describe it as a "thinner" version of Laura Mercier's oil-free foundation, which I also love. Lately, I have been going back and forth between both products, I suppose for that reason. I have very bad hyper-pigmentation on a few areas of my face, which is so hard to cover, since I am really pale. I usually give a coat of this to my whole face, and then re-touch the darker areas of my face with another coat (using Laura Mercier's power concealer brush). Great stuff!
I bought this product when I was pregnant and extremely hormonal. I really, really liked it, though I should be careful to add that pregnancy cleared up my skin dramatically, so I wasn't struggling with my usual acne problems. There is one huge drawback to this product, however, and indeed to the whole Skyn Iceland line--the scent of these products is very strong. Now, I am not normally very sensitive to product scent at all. Until now, in fact, I have always wondered about reviews that mention the scent of a product, either as a positive or a negative. But the scent of these products is so strong that after using them during an extended and extremely unpleasant hospital stay, I literally can no longer stand to use them--as soon as I try a bit, it takes me right back. I have basically abandoned the line for this reason. I basically feel the same about the whole Skyn Iceland line, so in a way, I am reluctant to review the other products I have tried--the antidote, the oxygenating night cream, and the arctic facial spritz (or whatever it is called). I am also not sure how many lippies to give, because, as I've mentioned, in the past I have considered scent to be a minor consideration in evaluating a product. I have given the product four lippies because otherwise I really liked it. Oh, and this line is certainly pricey!!! So much so that it pains me not to be finishing the rest of the bottles!
Liquid -Laura Mercier - Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation
starladear 10/6/2008 6:28:00 PM
Love it. Eminently buildable. A bit thick, and I could see why some might not like that, but I would not argue that it is not blendable. Covers and lasts longer than most foundations.