Best foundation I've found. I got this after Lisa Elridge mentioned it in almost every video she did, because she said that even with a 20x magnifying glass you can't see it- it blends completely. I was sceptical - my skin is mainly clear, but it can be dry and the pores are large. Foundation tends to "sit" there, no matter how much i blend, and i HATE getting close to a mirror and realising you can see a coating of gunk. Lisa was spot on. Literally, it is the first time i have ever worn foundation in the sunshine, in a zoom mirror, and NOT seen a layer of foundation. It gives a gorgeous, even colour, skin texture and a GLOW. i love it - not sparkly, not shiny. Just... glowy. Like im in love AND i have had a great night sleep. I normally go straight for the palest foundation but 51 is VERY pale. They are also quite yellow toned - im very pinky, and the 51 made me look ill. 52 is good though. Its not super heavy coveragw, but for good skin days when you want to look glowy, this is... the best out there. Thanks Lisa!!
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Accutane (by prescription)
storminateacup 1/9/2012 4:29:00 PM
I've been on this for 6 months, and my skin is the best it has ever been. Literally. I got my first spots when I was 14, and I just turned 30: that's a hell of a lot of years spent hiding behind my hair, obsessing about foundation, getting out of bed to put on concealer while Boy was asleep. I put up with it because.... I guess I got used to basically constructing my life around my skin. Last summer I had a MASSIVE breakout: I mean 20 or 30 boils all over my face. It wouldn't go away, and so I finally bit the bullet and went to see a derm, who put me straight on Accutane (in fact, when I started crying in the derm's chair because "i was sick of looking hideous" he told me I should have been to see him years ago). The first week was a nightmare. I was on a normal dose (40mgs a day) but it was just too much for me: within 24 hours, my whole face went beetroot red. Literally: flame red, all over. I panicked horribly, but tried to stick it out (I kept trying to weigh up nice skin eventually with a bright red face temporarily). After a week I couldn't hack it anymore - people were staring at me on the street - so I went back to the derm, who said I'd had an allergic reaction and we had to decrease the amount. SERIOUSLY, guys, all the people who say you should just "stick out the flame face".... that's your body saying NO. LISTEN TO IT. Anyway, went down to 20mgs a day, and within a week my spots had dried out. A month later, the red marks were healing. Six months in (I've got 4 months left), and my skin is perfect. Literally perfect. I don't even have to wear foundation anymore, and everybody - EVERYBODY - in my life constantly says: "wow, your skin is amazing". When my little sister's boyfriend said: "It makes such a difference, your gorgeous skin, it makes you look so much prettier", I knew it wasn't just me that saw the difference. Side effects? A few. I have dry lips, so I'm always carrying around lipbalm. For the first few weeks my skin was dry, but it levelled out and now it's absolutely normal. The main side effect has been occasional flushing - if i have a few drinks my skin will get bright pink and hot for a few hours - but honestly: I'll trade that any day for no painful spots. Plus I'm fair: it was kind of happening anyway as I've gotten older. If you've got a problem with your skin: please don't just suffer it. See a derm. I spent nearly 2 decades hiding, feeling embarrassed, skipping parties because of boils, constantly avoiding mirrors so i couldn't see my skin. And a visit to the derm and a few months have made such a difference. If it comes back again at the end of my course (it may well do: I'm on such a low dose it doesn't have the same non-recurrent rate) then I'll get straight back on it. Accutane has literally changed the way I feel about myself.
Love GOW, but it really is about finding the right products for you. This did nothing for my skin at all, and it`s incredibly expensive. In fact, sometimes it stung, which means I still have most of my sample left. Not blaming GOW at all, but it just wasn`t right for me. Loads of their other stuff is!
Moisturizers -Garden of Wisdom - Fruity Meow Meow! Facial Lotion
storminateacup 4/25/2011 6:55:00 AM
This stuff is my favourite moisturiser, of all time, ever. And I think I can safely say that now (touch wood) because I'm on my third sample of it, and I'm still loving it. I've tried the wax and non-wax version, and I can't tell too much of a difference, so I'm not sure it's too important. What IS important is that it calms my sensitive, acne prone, rosacea prone, skin down literally on contact: it's like my skin takes a deep sigh of relief as soon as it touches it. It's the perfect consistency: nourishing, but also leaves a not-there consistency that I've never had before with a moisturiser. It's less that it's "mattifying", for me, and more that my skin drinks it up so that it feels like skin. Supple, hydrated skin, instead of greaseball. I love this stuff. I love the texture, I love that it's purple, I love the ingredients (so natural), I even love the little kitten picture on the bottle. When I finish my third sample, I'm going to buy the full version. The most expensive moisturiser I've ever used, yes, but worth it? Hell yup.
Moisturizers -Desert Essence - Jojoba Oil - 100% pure
storminateacup 3/24/2011 6:35:00 PM
I'm jumping on the Jojoba wagon after reading all the reviews on MUA. Never thought I'd let an oil touch my face - esp after Olive Oil gave me cystic acne - but Jojoba is awesome. I use GOW jojoba oil but I don't think it really matters as long as it's good quality. Using it all over the shop. Have acne and rosacea so careful not to get too heavy with it on my face, but I've found that literally one or two drops in a wet hand, rub hands together and press into damp face is perfect amount. Doesn't just moisturise: it makes my skin less greasy. No idea how but it's like magic: normally at lunchtime my skin is literally slick, but using J oil it's.... pretty much normal. So amazing I keep running to the bathroom to look in the mirror and check i'm not imagining things. I've read some reviews here that say they have greasy skin and wouldn't put this on their face, but try it: mine is super greasy and sensitive, and my skin loves this. it totally balances things back out again. Also been using this as part of cleansing routine. I use GOW cleansing oil, but I've been mixing in a little jojoba too - about 30% - and it makes it a better consistency, and go further (followed up by cleanser). On my hair it's a bit too rich, but I'm still experimenting with amounts because it definitely moisturises: just a little bit too much! Best tip I've discovered by accident, and which I'm passing on here: it'll add new life to your lipsticks. Seriously, this stuff is amazing as lip balm - soft, hydrating, doesn't stink - and if you put it on your lips, leave for a minute and then dab on a high pigment lipstick and rub it in, you get a sort of beautiful lip tint. The pigment is still there, and - because Jojoba is a wax NOT AN OIL - it's MATT and soft and gorgeous. Seriously. I've been using it with a shocking pink lipstick, and I get this beautiful, translucent, bright-pink-but-wearable-in-the-morning shade, without craggy dry bits or nasty shine. Plus when you smack your lips together your lips feel amazing: totally soft. Jojoba: I think this is the beginning of a life long relationship.
I really like this. DHC wasn`t doing it for me: it was too thick, too chemically and it stung my eyes (which is never a good sign: it means harsh ingredients). I`ve tried straight Olive Oil, but it brought me out in cystic acne, but this is much better. As other reviewers have said: it`s lighter, it smells nicer, but it DOES get everything off AND rinse. leaves skin soft, although I always follow with a mild cleanser (the cystic olive oil experience scared me off doing straight OCM). All in all, really like it. best cleansing oil i`ve found.
One week ago I started using ONLY natural products on my skin, and now my skin is almost entirely clear. I have rosacea and acne - have had for 15 years now - and this is the best my skin has looked since I was 14. And all because 6 days ago I stopped using chemicals on my skin. Honey - gorgeous, amazing, wonderful honey - has been the cornerstone of this new regime. I also started cleaning with Olive Oil - which is also amazing, and has helped clean out my pores/blackheads etc and stopped greasiness (I know, sounds bonkers but it WORKS) - but it's the honey that has dried up the spots. I've been slapping it on my face for an hour or two every night, washing it off and then going to bed: without fail, every single morning my zits are dead. Any that started cropping up the day before are dead. And new ones are now failing to show up, which means my skin is looking better than it has in a LONG time. It made no sense to me to start with, because I've been totally brainwashed by the beauty industry into thinking that paying lots of money for something with a shed load of chemicals in it is good for me because they've paid a pretty model to be in their poster. Even for the first three days of using Olive and honey I was panicking. And then my skin started looking a million times better, and I stopped panicking and started looking forward to my new skincare routine because it gets better every day. The science is all there, but it's in all the other reviews. Honey has been used for centuries, because it's antibacterial and kills the bacteria that are in - and cause - the zits, which dries up the ones you have and stops the ones you would otherwise get. The bacteria can't handle it, basically: it stops air, which helps them multiply, and the conditions are too sugary/acidic for them to survive. Plus the rest of the skin is left soft, and unstripped (and stripping the skin makes acne worse). This stuff is so amazing I've invested in Manuka Honey, which is like Super honey; it's SO antibacterial that apparently surgeons use it in hospitals on open wounds. But even regular honey does the job. Honestly, I've spent 2 decades spending thousands and thousands on products that strip my skin of grease and sugar. If anybody had told me that grease and sugar would be the ONLY things that would fix my skin, I'd have told them where to spin. But it's true. Olive oil and honey: natural, cheap and healthy. AMAZING. EDIT - i forgot for a while about honey, and broke out in terrible cystic acne - worse of my life (stress of moving I think). plonked some manuka honey on and while i still have really bad marks the active acne seems to have gone down by about 75% in one night. very happy :)
Honestly, I don't know if this is better than any other mineral water because I've never bought a spray water before; I thought it was total nonsense. If I want to use water on my face, I'd go and have a shower. That's what I used to think anyway. Now this Avene spray is becoming pretty much indispensable. I've taken to spraying it heavily on my face when I get home from work, because the first time I did it I couldn't believe it; I sprayed it on, rubbed it in, wiped it off with a white tissue, looked at the tissue and nearly fainted. I don't wear makeup to work, on a day to day basis, and yet the tissue was coming off filthy: dirt and dust from the day that was just hanging out on my face, waiting to give me acne. So now I'm religious about it; it's the first thing I do when I get home. it means I don't have to wash my face three times a day too, which helps my skin. does it work better than normal water? no idea. all i know is avene feels nice, it seems to remove dirt and grease, it leaves my skin soft and calm and it feels good. expensive, yes, but i'll pay for all of those things. :) definitely encorporated into my cleaning routine. (I have the teeny bottle, but my best friend carries around the full on massive one in her handbag. that's how much she likes it.)
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
storminateacup 3/9/2011 12:41:00 AM
You can pretty much knock me down with a feather because I NEVER thought this would work - and it didn`t as a moisturiser. Greasy, slimy, didn`t sink in: ugh. But for cleansing? AMAZING. I`ve got bonkers skin (rosacea, acne, sensitive; you name it), and after using hardcore chemicals to try and get rid of open, blocked pores and uneven skin tone, my skin was red, shiny, painful, and my God: the pores were like meteor craters. I could see them from three feet away in the mirror, and my eyesight is crap. It never once occurred to me to put OIL on my oily, acne face, but I was desperate so I thought: it can`t get much worse, so I`ve nothing to lose. Honestly: my skin went crazy immediately. Literally, I was trying the OCM (rubbing oil into skin) and five blocked pores on my chin went red and hot and white in the middle, and I hadn`t even washed it off at that point. I tried not to panic and kept going, and then I wiped off as much as I could with wet cotton wool and rinsed face with warm water. I also put a teeny - less than a pea amount - of gentle cleanser to clear off excess oil, but I almost couldn`t sleep, because all I could think was: I`ve put OIL on my skin. I`m going to get a HORRIBLE break out. Next morning? My skin was less red, almost totally matt - no oil at all - and my acne had shrunk. The new ones had disappeared to red dots, and my GOD - the pores had shrunk by about 80%. I couldn`t believe it: I got right up to the mirror, and I was about 3 inches away before I could see any. I`ve done it three times now and my skin is improving by the day. I can`t get castor oil where I live, but Olive seems to be doing a good job: I`m going to try Jojoba too. But seriously: if you think your skin is too oily, the pores are blocked and too large, and your skin is inflamed (red, sore), this stuff is AWESOME. my skin looks more normal than it has in ages. I won`t go completely OCM, because I like using cleansers and moisturisers too, but if you want to clean out your pores, this stuff rocks. EDIT - this stopped working for me for some reason. was great for maybe 3 weeks, and then my skin started going weird - full of tiny whiteheads. think it must have blocked it up. i still think it works great but i'm too scared to use it again. Downing this to 2 lippies :(
I`m writing this review as a warning, because I think sometimes we all get a bit carried away in the pursuit for perfection and don`t do it as carefully as we should. DON`T prescribe yourself Retin-A. Yes, you can get it online without a prescription, yes, it does wonders for a lot of people. But it`s prescription for a reason: because only a doctor can determine if it`s right for you or not. I prescribed this for myself, stupidly, and bought it online. I had blotchy pink skin and acne, with the beginning of wrinkles, and after a LOT of research thought: Retin-A seems like what I need. Smooth out skin tone, get rid of pink scarring, sort out spots. I used it sensibly: once every two or three days for about six weeks. Yes, my skin went red, yes my skin was peeling, but not unbearably. I was patiently waiting for the side effects to die down. But they didn`t, and my face got blotchier and blotchier, and angrier, and hotter: to the point where I was icing myself in a restaurant with cubes from my drink. It was only then that I started researching Rosacea, and sure enough: rosacea was what I have. I went to a dermatologist, and I`d totally screwed my skin up: it`s two weeks after last applying Retin-A and my skin is still bright red. Far, far worse than it was before I started. THe thing is: the things a lot of us turn to Retin-A for are often symptoms of other conditions. My acne "scars" weren`t scars: they were broken blood vessels below the skin, and they are now significantly worse. My uneven skin tone was because of inflamed skin. The "acne" on my cheeks was rosacea pustules, (although sadly I also have proper acne on my forehead and chin so it was confusing). And my prescribing myself Retin-A without having the education to understand what was actually wrong with my skin, I`ve damaged it and now have to get laser surgery to undo it. Retin-A is GREAT for a lot of people, but please: go to a dermatologist and DON`T play doctor yourself. That hundred dollars to see a professional is much much cheaper than the money you`ll have to pay if you damage your face.
I swear there must be some kind of magic in this stuff. It's fantastic, and I have the most sensitive, stupid, acne-prone, crazy skin in the world. It leaves the skin soft, and radiant, and much calmer. I recently accidentally over-exfoliated (I'm using Retin-A and a little too much wash cloth action left my poor skin red, raw, dry and huge pored) and I slapped some yogurt on it and I swear: so much less red and painful afterwards. Probably a reduction of about 75% in twenty minutes. If anyone's wondering if it's just an old wive's tale (I was, before I tried it): it's not. I was curious so I looked it up; yogurt works because it's lactic acid. Lactic acid is in a lot of the posh face masks, and apparently it's far more gentle than the other facial acids. Yogurt's just a really gentle way of getting lactic acid onto your face without a) piling it up with other chemicals or b) having it too strong. When your skin is struggling, this is really amazing. I used to put aspirin in it, but my skin couldn't handle it, so now it's just pure yogurt all the way. LOVE. :)
I didn`t know I could feel so much HATRED for a product. I hate this stuff. HATE IT. I have super-sensitive, acne prone skin, and after looking on MUA I thought I`d give Dove a go because I wanted something really gentle. I chose the `EXTRA sensitive bar` and couldn`t believe that something for sensitive skin could smell like poison: this stuff stinks of chemicals. Going against every single instinct in my body - all of which were yelling "do NOT put this smelly **** on your face" - I thought: it says it`s for extra sensitive skin, MUAers love it, it`ll be fine. It was NOT fine. My face was tingling as I lathered up so I rinsed as quickly as possible, and as soon as I was out of the shower my face was red and shiny. A couple of minutes later, it started prickling all over - like tiny little needles - and I rushed to the sink to use my normal SANA cleanser but it was too late: my skin was a mess. This morning I woke up with clogged, angry pores all over my face: my forehead is bumpy all over. I`ve never had such a bad reaction to any product. I`m glad so many people like this, but if you have REALLY sensitive skin, be careful with this product. Not putting perfume in a product doesn`t mean it`s gentle on skin: this stuff is still full of chemicals, it just doesn`t smell very nice into the bargain. If you want "1/3 moisturising lotion," just use a moisturising lotion. Horrible. If they let me give it 0 stars, I would.
Moisturizers -Sana - NAMERAKA Honpo Soy Milk Lotion
storminateacup 2/15/2011 5:21:00 PM
I love this. It's SO mild, and it's great for dry skin. I was cautious at first, because I hate having shiny skin, but eventually I thought: oh, sod it, and piled a huge dollop on. I massaged it in for ten seconds, and then left it on my face, even though it was tacky and shiny. I thought I'd just rub off the extra in a couple of minutes. A couple of minutes later, there WAS no extra. It had totally sunk in, and there was no shininess or tackiness: just soft skin. Love love love. EDIT - don`t like this anymore. It`s not terrible in that it doesn`t break me out, but it also doesn`t help my skin. I realised that using no chemcials at all suits me better, so I`ve ditched this for all-natural products. I chose it because of the soy-base, so that made more sense.
Works great every now and then. But word of warning guys: I've been slapping on my face willynilly, not really thinking about what it contains. Two, mixed in with yoghurt, on my face for maybe half an hour. It was only when I ATE one for a headache two nights ago that I realised how strong it was. The next day I had stomach ache, my stomach swelled up really badly, I had such bad heartburn that I kept waking up at night and when I finally vomited - really badly - it was ACID. I don't mean bile, which hurts but is natural in the body to line the stomach, I mean ACID. Way way way stronger than bile, pure acid coming out of my stomach. It was so strong and hurt so much that I started crying, and my throat this morning stings like hell. And that was ONE tablet. So please- be careful about putting this on your face!!! It works, yes, but it IS ACID, so treat it with respect even if it seems pretty inert on your face. I'd definitely advise not to use more than one, and don't do it too often because if it can do THAT to a stomach then God only knows what it can do to delicate facial skin. Just thought I'd let you know!! EDIT - too strong for me, even weekly, and having seen what it does to my stomach I`m staying away from aspirin entirely.
UPDATE: this stuff ROCKS. I've been dabbing it on all day, to help with the pain of a flare up, and my skin has calmed down faster than I can remember it ever calming down before. I made a cup of strong tea (3 green teabags), put it in a squeezy bottle and put it in the fridge. The redness has gone, the pain has gone, the bumps are smoothing, and it feels lush. In fact, I don't even need moisturiser today, which is great because it ALWAYS hurts on a flare up. Yay! Green tea I love you!!!! Going to add a squeeze of lemon too when my flare up is gone to see if that makes it even better. --- I drink this every day, and I have rosacea so my skin was on a massive flare up (literally I've been dabbing cold flannels on my face in the middle of a restaurant because I was in so much pain). I had a cup of it next to me, cooled down, so I thought: I'll just stick it on my face and see if it helps. It seemed to!! I don't know about the long term effects - I'll have to update - but short term my skin burning has calmed WAY down, and the tightness has also diminished massively. still have red skin but it doesn't hurt anymore. very happy! Have made a toner of it and put it in the fridge: will see what happens over the next few days. With rosacea it's usually a good idea to use things on your skin that you can actually eat as well - it means your body won't react to it as much - so this could be a godsend. Yay!