I purchased this product after reading positive reviews about it on DHC's website, and it went on sale so I ended up purchasing 2 bottles. Who knew that lactic acid was such a powerful exfoliator? I used Retin-A as a teenager for acne, but I still remember the burning and stinging after application. I wouldn't say that my reaction to DHC's Renewing AHA Cream is as bad as the Retin-A, but there's definitely strong tingling and even a bit of itchy feeling, both sensations subside about 15 minutes after application. It does leave the face feeling a bit sticky as some other reviewers have noted. It's been a month since I've been using the Renewing AHA Cream. I started out using it 2x/week -- only at night -- for the first two weeks, and now use it 4-5x/week, again, only in the evening. What a difference it has made in my skin. It has really evened out my skintone by lightening, if not eradicating my sunspots, and my skin texture is smooth as a baby's bottom. I'm 40 years old, and the only significant wrinkle I had was the beginning of a frown crease right in between my brows. The Renewing AHA Cream has really exfoliated and smoothed out the crease. I don't even need to wear foundation anymore to even out my skintone, although I still give my face a dusting of sheer Mary Kay Mineral Foundation to mattify the Mary Kay Timewise Day Solution SPF 25. By the way, daily sun protection is a must if you're using this product; however, as another reviewer pointed out, you should be doing that anyhow.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Spectrum+ Face Advanced Sunblock Lotion SPF 55
sunlee 6/8/2010 2:30:00 AM
I purchased this because I have been spending more and more time outdoors with a new energetic puppy who needs at least an hour/day of off-leash exercise. Previously, I was using Mary Kay Timewise Day Solution SPF 25, which I really like because it's light, soaks in right away, doesn't leave a whitish cast, doesn't make me break out, and best of all, doesn't sting the eyes. I decided to try the Neutrogena because of the higher SPF factor -- 55 -- hoping that it would still have all the advantages of the Mary Kay, but with a higher SPF. I'm sorry to report that I'm disappointed. The Neutrogena goes on thick and shiny, and despite a lack of zinc or titanium oxide, it definitely leaves a whitish cast. I have oily skin, that is also olive-complected, so those attributes are a no-no in my book. Plus, after a couple days of using this sunscreen (and no other change in my skincare routine, and it's not that TOM), I'm also noticing some pretty major blackheads on my nose, which I can only attribute to the sunscreen. I'm going on a trip soon to Niagara Falls/Toronto region, so I'll bring this tube of sunscreen to use it up, but I will definitely not be repurchasing. In the meantime, I'm going back to Mary Kay SPF 25, but will be reapplying often throughout the day.
Lip Treatments -Mary Kay - Timewise Age Fighting Lip Primer
sunlee 3/1/2010 5:57:00 PM
After some of the negative reviews for this product, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I've been pleasantly surprised at how much I like this. I don't find it drying, and I like that it goes on clear so it doesn't change the color of the lipstick. It does make my lipstick last longer, although I wouldn't say that it makes it transfer-proof or anything. The lip primer will last a while, so even at the price of $22, I think it's a good value. Oh, and another great tip from a beauty blogger, who in turned picked up this tip from a makeup artist, Diana Carreiro, at a Mary Kay launch in Canada: The lip primer makes a great makeup eraser! Say, that you had an "oops" with your mascara or eyeliner. Coat the tip of a q-tip with the lip primer, and -- voila -- the lip primer lifts off your oops without disturbing the rest of your makeup. I've tried it and it works beautifully!
Previously, I had used Porcelaine from Aromaleigh for oil control, and while it worked at keeping me shine-free longer, I hated that it was so light that it left a white-ish cast on my face (and this was the medium-deep shade, their darkest shade). Since I had been having such good luck with the rest of the Mary Kay line, I decided to try their Oil Mattifier, but I really wasn't expecting much, as my usual experience with lotion-type mattifiers is that they don't do a single thing to prevent oil-breakthrough. I have very oily skin that starts looking very shiny in the nose, forehead, and cheeks after only a couple hours. If I'm wearing lotions, such as sunscreen, underneath my makeup, then the shininess sets in even sooner, about an hour after applying makeup. Mary Kay's OIl Mattifier goes on clear, but I have noticed that if you don't do a good job of rubbing it in, then you can find white-ish streaks on your face when it dries, however, these same streaks also rub off easily. The Mattifier definitely makes a difference. It doesn't keep me shine-free for 8 hours, but definitely longer than if I wasn't wearing it at all. I'd say that I start to show some shine after about 3 hours, but then some light blotting takes care of it. At this point, I guess that's really the best I can hope for with my very oily skin.
Skincare - Face -Mary Kay - TimeWise Even Complexion Essence
sunlee 1/17/2010 4:14:00 PM
Like almost every woman alive, I have some hyperpigmentation that I'd rather not have, so I've tried various skin-lightening products. I know that hydroquinone is supposed to be the most effective, but I can't stand the way it smells, or the way the product darkens after a short while, making me wonder if it's still effective. However, with all the recent concerns about its safety, and the fact that it also irritates my skin after a short while, I decided to look for hydroquinone-free alternatives. I was interested in the Even Complexion Essence because it was hydroquinone-free, and I've been having great results using the rest of MK's "Miracle Set" (for combination/oily skin). There was a local MK consultant who was getting out of the business, and was liquidating her stuff at cost (50% off), so I purchased a bottle of the Even Complexion Essence. Right off the bat, I noticed that the texture was very light, and it absorbed quickly. I used it in the morning, after cleansing, and before applying the SPF 25 Day Solution. In the evening, it was applied after cleansing, and before the Night Solution. I knew that any results could take weeks to appear, so I kept at it, and applied it faithfully every day, 2x/day. I was also super-diligent about daily sunscreen usage (SPF 25 Day Solution), which I haven't been as diligent in the past. I just finished my first bottle after 6 weeks of 2x/daily usage. It was only in the 5th week that I noticed the most noticeable hyperpigmented spot on my face -- a quarter-sized patch -- on my left cheekbone was finally starting to lighten. I have also noticed that the overall tone of my skin is brighter and more even. The quarter-sized spot is still there, but much lightened, at least by 50%, thus the 4 lippies, rather than 5. I've just ordered my second bottle on ebay, and will continue to use it to see if it works to lighten the spot to invisible.
This is a very pretty color: it's blue-gray color; the gray undertone neutralizes it enough that it doesn't look like you're wearing tacky blue eyeshadow. It looks great with my dark brown eyes. Very wearable and versatile.
This is a gorgeous color. It's a little peach, a little pink, a little golden -- it's beautiful!
This is a very good mascara. It goes on smoothly, makes your lashes look long and thick, doesn't clump, or smudge. It is a bit on the "wet" side, though. I took off a lippie because I wish MK would make a smaller size for their compacts for ultimate all-in-one portability, especially with the larger Pro compact.
I also feel compelled to write a review after the first reviewer bashed the MK compacts. I'm not a MK rep, either. I've read pinktruth.com, read all the other negative reviews about MK's sales tactics, etc. Since I'm not a MK rep, I don't have any first-hand knowledge of their questionable selling tactics, but I do have first-hand experience with many of MK products (read my review of MK's Shell lipstick for my first experience with MK). I have been very pleasantly surprised by the quality of many of MK products. I think most of them are effective, high-quality, and I love that they are fragrance-free and cruelty-free (verified thru PETA). I purchase the vast majority of my MK products from ebay, simply because that's where I find the best prices. I purchased the small compact from a MK rep. I was so impressed by all the different options you have in customizing it, that I was soon scouring ebay for the larger "Pro" compact. I've had no problems filling up either compact with my other MK ebay purchases. I really like that the Pro (larger) compact can hold just about everything that you need for a complete face. I have mine filled up with: 1 pressed powder; 6 eyeshadows; and 1 "limited edition" blush which combines 3 colors swirled in 1 pan; 1 lipgloss; and 1 lipstick. I also have room for 2 pencils, both of which are eyeliners, and 2 eyeshadow applicators, 1 blush brush, and 1 powder brush. Since the larger compact doesn't come with a protective carry bag (unlike the smaller compact), I was able to find a modified knitting bag from a seller on etsy.com. I emailed her the dimensions of the compact, and in the fabric of my choice, she sent me a really stylish-looking drawstring bag which has all these nifty interior pockets, which is where I shove a small mascara tube; a small double-ended eyeshadow brush; clean mascara brush (to brush my brows), and my eyebrow pencil. So now, I truly have a complete makeup-kit-to-go -- I love that! This doesn't mean that I'm going to be throwing the Pro compact into an evening bag (that's what the small compact is for), but I do like the portability factor, and the Pro fits nicely in my purse (a medium-sized hobo-style bag). It's true the MK compacts aren't as slim as some dept. store palettes, but you really can't compare them because those palettes are not customizable, and they don't hold nearly as much as MK's Pro compact. Where else are you going to find a compact that can hold foundation/powder/eyeshadows/blushes/lipstick/lipgloss/pencils/applicators/brushes? When you're carrying everything but the kitchen sink, you can only go so far in miniaturizing it. I just looked at Bobbi Brown's "Eyes and Cheeks to Go" palette at Nordstrom. For $60, you get a palette filled with non-customizeable colors consisting of 8 eyeshadows and 1 cream blush. There's nothing for foundation or powder. There's no room for applicators or anything else. I'm not dissing Bobbi Brown or any other cosmetics company, but all I'm saying is that if you're going to compare apples, then compare apples to apples. As an aside note: for those of you who are interested in purchasing a protective bag for your Pro compact, check out etsy.com, click on the drop-down menu, and select "Sellers". Type in "Ruddawg" in the blank search box. I measured the box that the Pro compact came in and gave the seller, Brenda, the dimensions as 7.25" x 5.75" x 1.25" . Based on those measurements, the seller, Brenda recommended the "Mini KIP Bag", which she modified for me in that she changed the orientation of the bag to "horizontal", just like the compact, versus the original vertical orientation as a knitting bag. The bag comes with satin cord drawstring, 2 cord locks, and 6 nifty interior pockets sewn into the lining (4 narrow pockets on the sides, 2 large pockets on the ends). The price was $7.50, plus $2.50 shipping. And, no, I'm not in any way affiliated with Ruddawg, other than being a satisfied etsy customer.
Cleansers -Mary Kay - TimeWise 3-in-1 cleanser C/O
sunlee 12/3/2009 11:49:00 PM
This is a good, basic, fragrance-free cleanser. It removes makeup well, and my face doesn't feel overly dry or tight afterwards. I do notice some dry flakiness around my mouth and just under the inner arch of my eyebrows, but as those are naturally the only dry areas in my otherwise very oily face, and just about every other cleanser I've tried for oily skin dries out those areas too. The instructions for the cleanser state to keep away from around the eyes, but when I wash my face, I rub cleanser everywhere and I haven't noticed any stinging, and it removes eye makeup well. I wish the packaging was different. I really don't care for tubes all that much. Much prefer pumps or squeeze bottles. I don't think the beads are meant to be exfoliating; rather I think they're supposed to be filled with beneficial ingredients for the skin, just like the Nightime Moisturizer (but those beads are "popped" with each pump). I have noticed that my skin has been better since using the TimeWise line in that it takes my nose longer to develop noticeable blackheads. I've had blackheads since puberty, and think I always will, or until my skin stops being so oily. Typically, I wait until the blackheads are noticeable (and I always notice them before anyone else), and then I attack them with Biore Pore Strips and manual extraction. The TimeWise has been a blessing in that I can go longer between attack modes. Another substantial side benefit to using the TimeWise is that I don't have any clogged pores on my chin. I don't get inflamed pimples on my chin, however, I used to see tiny whitish "quills" sticking out of my chin. These were impossible to extract manually, and just about the only way to get rid of them was to apply Biore Pore Strips to my chin area regularly. The tiny whitish "quills" have all but disappeared, but now I do have to deal with dry, flaky skin around my mouth and chin area, which is easily taken care of with generous applications of the TimeWise Moisturizer.
Moisturizers -Mary Kay - Timewise Age Fighting Moisturizer w/ SPF
sunlee 12/3/2009 11:38:00 PM
Previously, I had been using MyChelle's SunShield SPF 28, which left a slightly whitish cast on my Asian, olive-toned skin. It was also kind of drying, even for my very oily skin. I've heard all about Mary Kay from Pink Truth, etc., and yes, while it does make me leery of the company's sales tactics, it can't be denied that they make pretty good products overall. Everything I've tried from Mary Kay, I've been really pleasantly surprised at the quality, and the prices are quite reasonable compared to dept. store prices, and I would say that Mary Kay is definitely dept. store quality, especially their makeup. Since Pink Truth made me scared of dealing with a MK rep, I ordered trial set of MK's TimeWise for combination/oily skin from ebay (where you can also find the best prices), and have been so impressed with the line overall, that I just ordered a full-sized set. The daytime moisturizer was one of the things that won me over. It's light, non-irritating, even in the eye area, absorbs quickly, but is not drying, and best of all, doesn't leave a whitish film. I'm really happy that this product doesn't make me break out. I've avoided sunscreens/sunblocks in the past because they've made me break out or get a really nasty case of nose blackheads. My skin is pretty clear overall, but I have been getting noticeable blackheads on my nose since puberty, and they are the bane of my complexion. Matter of fact, I've noticed that it takes me longer to develop nose blackheads since using Mary Kay's TimeWise line. I still get them, but it takes longer to get to the noticeable stage whereupon I have to use Biore Pore Strips and manually extract the blackheads that the pore strips don't pick up. I really like the consistency of the daytime moisturizer: fluid, but not too thin. I also love the pump feature. I feel this is more sanitary, somehow.
I have never before used Mary Kay products, until very recently when I entered a $50 gift certificate drawing on a whim -- never expecting to win -- and I did! The consultant, Becky, was very nice, drove 45 minutes to my house, and was not at all pushy. In the end, I ended up spending $100 out of pocket, after the $50 credit, and all on makeup! I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the makeup. The eye shadows are gorgeous, very highly-pigmented, and really reasonably priced for the quality. The "Shy" blush is a dead ringer for Nars "Orgasm" but at a fraction of the price. What really surprised me, though, was the Facial Highlighting Pen. For years, I'd been hearing about YSL's Touche Eclat, and I really didn't see what the big deal was. I've tried concealers, but never found one that didn't look cakey or fake. I don't have bad undereye circles; probably what most people have, just a bit of darker skin coloring underneath the inside corner of my eyes. When Becky, swiped a bit of the Facial Highlighting Pen (in #2) under one of my eyes and blended, I really wasn't expecting it to make much of a (flattering) difference. When she handed me the mirror, I could see an immediate difference in that eye looked a bit brighter and more "refreshed" looking. And, it didn't settle into any fine lines. I haven't found the Facial Highlighting Pen to be too dry to use underneath the eyes, perhaps because I have oily skin? Overall, I'm really happy with Mary Kay's makeup; there are definitely some great items. I'm really liking the new compacts. I purchased the smaller compact with the consultant, and just purchased the larger Pro compact on ebay. I like the endless variations in terms of filling up the compact, and the Pro compact is definitely an all-in-one compact that would fit everything that you need to make up a complete face. I like that!
This color is very unique and gorgeous. It's shimmery with gray, taupe, silver, bronze, colors. It makes a beautiful lid color. I've been really impressed with the quality of MK's eye shadows: they're really concentrated and intense, but go on silky-smooth.
Wow, this color is gorgeous. I've never tried any Mary Kay products until very recently, when I won a $50 gift cert. in a random drawing. I ended up spending $100 in makeup even after the $50 gift cert. was applied. One of the things I purchased was the Golden Olive eye shadow. It's just like it's name: a shimmery olive with a golden undertone. It looks gorgeous on the lid, or as a contour. I'm really really impressed with Mary Kay's eyeshadows. The colors are really intense, very concentrated, go on silky-smooth, and a little goes a long way.
Whoa, where have Mary Kay eyeshadows been all my life? This color is gorgeous, a really matte, and a deep deep blue. I'm really impressed with the concentration and color intensity. It goes on deeper than any MAC eye shadow that I've ever owned. It makes a perfect liner color, a little goes a long way, and it lasts a long time. I have very oily lids, so I use eyelid primer which makes it last even longer.