As an "overall cleanser" this is average, but if you use this for a very specific purpose, then it becomes a great cleanser, IMO. In other words, it's not great for all-purpose, 1-step use to take off all your makeup, and thoroughly clean your skin. However, it is AWESOME as a morning cleanser. I only use this in the morning when my face is already clean. Its great at putting moisture and suppleness back into the face. I don't use it every morning...I tend to use it once a week or more if my skin is starting to feel a little dry and need some hydration. I love it because it exfoliates gently, but has properties that seem to soothe and relieve the skin. I especially like to use it when I feel that I also need a little more radiance. I don't use it at night at all because I prefer my regular cleanser, which is used to remove the traces of makeup residue. For those who prefer or want to, you could use this after using a make-up specific cleanser. My guess is it would help to moisturize the skin and prep it even more for the nightly moisturizer. Overall, I think its great for a specific purpose. A little goes a long way. Some people said it can be messy, which it can, but if you are able to do it in the shower, that should help but down the messiness. I love this cleanser and would definitely repurchase. The only reason I gave it a 4 is because its not a HG cleanser that can do everything.
Cleansers -Boots - Botanics Skin Brightening Cleanser
suzyorchid 9/21/2012 11:04:00 PM
I really wanted to love this product because 1) the Boots line seems to be a good value, 2) it smelled great, 3) had good ingredients, and 4) there was a lot of product for the price. However, this cleanser didn't work for me -- I actually had a bad reaction to it around Week 2-3. I started getting clusters of small little bumps (I think they are called milia?)...I know I got it from this cleanser because it was the only product I switched in my routine. I did like several things about this product though: 1) the smell was great, 2) I felt that it cleansed properly, 3) you could feel some of the products working, and 4) lastly, the bottle probably would have lasted a long time because I didn't have to use much of the product at each wash. Others may have better luck with this, and for the price I definitely think it's worth a try. I bought this at Target for about $7 and the sales clerk let me return it due to my bad skin reaction. In addition, I had not used very much so they were fine with the return (YMMV since its not a Target policy).
I have been using this for over 6 months now and I really really like it, though I am not in love with it. I would definitely purchase it again because there are more pros than cons. Positives: 1) The scent is nice, not overpowering. 2) At first I didn't like that Origins sells the pump separately from the cleansing oil, but now I agree it is better. You end up using slightly less waste (less plastic), its not a huge amount of waste, but its well-intentioned. 3) This bottle lasts A LONG TIME. I have used it for over 6 months and I have only used 20% of it. Maybe I'm not using enough oil, but my face feels clean afterwards so I don't feel I need to use a whole lot. 4) I don't wear a lot of makeup in general, so maybe others' experience will be different, but I find it to be decent at removing makeup. I sometimes cleanse twice if I feel I need to, but there is so much product in this bottle, I don't feel guilty doing so. 5) Great price for the amt given in the bottle. Negatives: 1) I actually wish the oil was a little thicker. I find it to be a bit too slippery so end up pumping 3-4 times per wash. This is a preference, however, so maybe this would be a positive for some people. 2) The pump dispenser could be better. It has a travel- lock mechanism which works fine. But the problem is it doesn't stay/click in and stay open. Each time after I use the pump, it always shifts a little towards the travel-lock position. So when I go in for the 2nd pump, I have to move the pump back to open it. I think it should stay open and I shouldn't have to keep moving it to open every time I want to use it. (Not sure if this description made sense, but I tried). Lastly, I use Jojoba oil as a cleanser too, and decided to add jojoba to it. So far its been great - I only added about 1/5 of jojoba to the oil, and I hardly smell the jojoba. It still smells like the original cleansing oil and it feels slightly more moisturizing to me. I would definitely purchase this again, but I don't know when that will be because I still have soooo much of this product. Love that! I gave this a 4 only because its not yet a HG for me, but maybe in another 6 months it will be!
Makeup Brushes -Sonia Kashuk - Pointed Eyeliner brush
suzyorchid 4/30/2012 2:51:00 AM
This is really a great eyeliner brush. It allows for a lot of control, and is very soft. The shape seemed weird to me (as another reviewer commented) at first, but I picked this up on a whim, and now really love this brush! I use it for my Bobbi Brown gel eyeliners and find this is so great at creating a thin line. I even thought about purchasing another one just in case! Retail is $5.99
This color is SO gorgeous and multi-dimensional! I think its really unique and am not sure if I've ever seen anything close to its unique color. Only problem, and its a big one, is the formula is so creamy that its a bit hard to work with. Not impossible but requires more time and care when putting on. Also because the formulation is so soft, it can break very easily. Mine broke off because I clicked it up far too much and then realized I couldn't click it/wind it back down. I recommend only clicking/winding it up as much as you only need, otherwise the pencil may break. I said I would re-purchase, but I'm not 100% on it only because of the softness of the formula. If I can find a dupe or a color similar I wouldn't get it again, but I really haven't seen anything on the market that is close.
Fragrances -Viktor & Rolf - Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb
suzyorchid 9/8/2011 3:09:00 AM
I absolutely love this fragrance!! But this is definitely not a mainstream fragrance I think. I can see how some people would find this too sweet or overpowering. It is an intense and strong scent and definitely needs to be worn/tested for a few days before purchasing. This fragrance is very multi-dimensional, with 3 different layers of scent (at least on me). So far, this is the longest wearing perfume that I own (although I don't have a ton of fragrances so can't speak too much on this). The other expensive, brand perfumes I own are Burberry, Prada, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Caleche (just one of each). Compared to those my Flowerbomb lasts much longer, pretty much all day and night with just a few sprays. Its very feminine, floral, and pretty so if you like those type of scents, you may like this one.
Eye Makeup Remover -Boots - Organic Face Nourishing Eye Make up Remover
suzyorchid 9/8/2011 2:57:00 AM
I am happily surprised by this product and would definitely purchase this again! I bought this on a whim at Target because I wanted to try out the Boots line. I like that Boots lists the % amount of natural products at the very top right of their products. I feel this is very honest and not misleading for consumers. The other reason I purchased this is because I have been looking for an effective, natural eye makeup remover but haven't been able to find a good one. I read online that Olive Oil is an effective remover and came highly recommended. In addition, the price was decent, although the amount of product isn't very much. Regardless, this has become my #1 eye makeup remover, my HG. To me it is FAR superior than many non-natural removers so why not stick to more natural removers? Pros: - Extremely gentle and works quickly. I never tug at my eyes, I just let the product sit and it does its magic. - I swipe about twice and most of my eye makeup is removed - Is very moisturizing and my eyes seem to drink it up - No need for a cotton pad! You can just use your fingers... I find this especially convenient when I use it in the shower! And this helps to save money on cotton pads (yaaay...not that these are expensive but I feel its wasteful sometimes). - Takes off my waterproof mascara without a problem (I'm currently using CoverGirl) Cons: - Takes a little getting used to. Some people may not like using their fingers but I kind of think this may be more gentle than a cotton pad if you use light fingers - Not a whole lot of product I think, but this kind of depends on what your reference point is. I haven't used the whole tube so not sure how long it will last, but my sense is it will last me a few months (maybe 3-4?) I absolutely LOVE this remover and never thought I would actually say I love an eye makeup remover. I definitely think this product is worth the cost to try it.
Eye Makeup Remover -The Body Shop - Chamomile Eye Makeup Remover
suzyorchid 9/8/2011 2:45:00 AM
I gave this a 3 because I think its an average product. Pros: - It takes off eye makeup quite well and quickly - The price is very reasonable for the amount that you receive. I think this will last me a while. Cons: - I find my eyes to be a bit dry right after it. The consistency of this product is in liquid form (not a gel, nor oil-based) which may explain the dryness. - I don't find it to be gentle at all. I don't have to rub it in my eyes but it doesn't leave a clean, moisturized feel afterwards. I actually feel like I need to rinse my eyes after using this. - This stung my eyes a little when it got into my eye. It wasn't a sharp stinging but it hurt and my eyes watered for 5-10 seconds - This isn't a natural product at all despite the name suggesting Chamomille. This is my BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT with this product. I thought The Body Shop sourced natural ingredients but when you look at the ingredient list, you will see that are some bad ingredients in it. Very disappointing and misleading I think Despite giving this a 3 (because of its effectiveness and price) I definitely will not re-purchase this at all. There are many makeup removers out there that offer more at the same reasonable price point I think. UPDATE: I took off 1 lippie (for a total of 2 lippies). Found this does NOT take off certain waterproof mascaras. Pretty disappointing.
I bought this at Target which had a travel version for $1.99. This was my first Yes to Carrots purchase so I wanted to try it out first before purchasing a full size product, which I am very glad I did. I will not be re-purchasing this product. The good things about this product is: 1) the smell. Some people won't like the smell but I definitely did. It was very sweet, and kind of strong which I loved. 2) The cream is very rich and moisturizing. It takes a few minutes to completely sink into the skin, which I don't mind since its a "butter" type of lotion. After it sinks in, my skin felt smooth and hydrated as if it just took a drink. :) The reason I will not be re-purchasing is because of its shelf-life. I haven't had mine that long but it began hardening, turning thick on the top layer months after I opened it. Its possible this may have to do with the container - the travel size comes in a twist container - but this shouldn't be an issue since I close it tight each time. Over time I feel the product's texture or consistency (or lack of consistency) seems to deteriorate over time. IDK, maybe this seems picky but I don't like having to scrape off the top layer of the product because it hardened - its a waste of product. I will still try Yes to Carrots products but will make sure to read up on reviews first.
Generally I really like Ecotools brushes (I think I have 6 of them or so) but this is the first Ecotool brush that I have to give a bad review on. I got this blush brush as part of the Alicia Silverstone set about 1.5 years-ish ago. At first I really loved this brush and thought it did a good job. However, over time through numerous washes, the effectiveness of the brush has gone down. I don't know why this happened since its a synthetic brush so it shouldn't have this problem. To be specific, the main problems I have with it is 1) inability to retain its shape and 2) scratchiness/ or lack of softness. Regarding problem 1), I would wash the brush and then use it to sweep on blush on my face but the bristles would not move back to the center. In other words, the bristles would remain slanted in the direction that I brushed the powder across my face (I hope this description makes sense). Usually my other brushes would shift back. Its almost as if there is too much product on the brush making it greasy (as when hair becomes greasy over time). As for the problem 2), it just doesn't feel as soft as some other blush brushes I have been using. I don't know how likely this is, but perhaps one possible reason it seems more scratchy is that I have become more accustomed to softer brushes and have less tolerance for slightly stiffer brushes? Maybe I'm more sensitive? Anyway I think MY brush at least has run its course and it is time to get rid of it. I will not be re-purchasing as there are many other brands to try.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Blush Brush
suzyorchid 6/9/2011 4:41:00 AM
I have used this brush several times now and felt the need to review it. I got this at Ulta for the $8.99 retail price which is so inexpensive for a blush brush! I wasn't planning to buy Sam Chapman's brush (though I am a fan of PixiWoo), I was just browsing around. I actually was going to purchase a Sonia Kashuk brush (which I love!) I should note that I do use high end brushes too, but I find not all expensive brushes perform necessarily better - some lower end brushes IMO perform the same as higher end ones - it just depends on the brand and the specific brush. I have been using a Lancome blush brush, prior to this I have used a MAC blush brush and Ecotools blush brush, but I am really liking/ almost loving Real Techniques blush brush. I won't describe the brush construction as another reviewer has done that. Here are the things that stood out to me: 1) The bristles are synthetic, not ultra soft since its not real hair, but I think they are soft enough. They don't feel scratchy at all and I think the brush is quite good at dispersing powder evenly. 2) The handle is a good length. Not too long so that you can't travel with it. Not too short so those with different sized or bigger hands would have trouble holding it. 3) I like the flat bottom and think this is a well-thought out detail especially since most make-up lovers store them in a jar/cup/etc 4) The BEST part (IMO) is the black and white contrast of the bristles!!!! Others may not find this important or useful, but I like the contrast because you can see exactly how much powder is being picked up at each swipe. I thought this was pretty neat. I haven't washed my brush yet, but this contrast also serves as a great indicator for when you need to wash your brush. I'm not sure this is what Sam intended, but if she did, its "brilliant" - as the Chapman sisters would say! :) 5) Oh, and the price - it is very difficult to beat $9 for a blush brush!! Real techniques really had the consumer in mind and I love that! I'll try to update after I wash to let others know about how it sheds or not and the dry time. UPDATE: 11 months later. I still like this brush, but don't love it. It washes well and dries quickly. However, its not as soft as before, and because its synthetic hair the brush doesn't move back to its original shape/form after each use. I've found this to be more of the case with synthetic brushes than natural hair brushes. Would I still buy this? Probably, the price is great, and the brush delivers. For the price, we can't expect it to be perfect, but it does the job (though not ideally).
Lip Treatments -Burt's Bees - Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil
suzyorchid 3/23/2011 5:23:00 PM
At first I really disliked the pomegranate smell (maybe because it was new and unusual from previous lip balms). Because of this I didn't want to use it but since I purchased it I just wanted to use it up as soon as possible. However, after using it continuously I now really like it (wouldn't say love however). It is moisturizing and the smell is now pleasant to me. But the best thing is it really is a good lip balm, glides on nicely, doesn't dry out over time (unlike some other lip balms like Nivea). And there is a little bit of tint to the balm so it gives my lip a little bit of color which is a nice little bonus. Would re-purchase. P.S. I actually go this on clearance at Target months ago so it was a bit cheaper than retail.
Love this scent but like other reviewers said, it has no staying power. Because of that I don't wear this scent anymore. On me, it would only last 4 hours maximum. I don't see the point of having a scent sprayed on in the morning if by the afternoon it is gone. I think this shows how its really just a simple scent (vs a complex scent with different dry-down scents and more quality ingredients). I'm disappointed that Burberry has its brand on this...I expected more. I gave it a 3 rating because it has a beautiful, IMMEDIATE scent but I would not buy this again.
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Eden
suzyorchid 3/23/2011 4:37:00 AM
Really didn't like this at all and ended up swapping it. Really dry and didn't feel comfortable on my eyes. It almost seemed to dry right in front of my eyes as I was applying it. As for eyeshadow application I actually thought my eyeshadows looked worse after using this. Just didn't work for me.
Treatments -Lumene - Vitamin C+ Energy Cocktail Intensive Care
suzyorchid 3/23/2011 4:31:00 AM
I actually bought this product based on the reviews here and was ambivalent about writing a review. I have used this on and off for 2-3 months now and I can't say I have seen a huge difference in my skin. I generally like Lumene products overall but sometimes there are a few misses in their products line. I think the contents of this product may be a 3.5/5 lippies but the packaging is what really bothers me. At first I thought it was really cool that you have to shake the bottle to mix the two ingredients together and loved how you could lock the bottle so easily (just slide clockwise). The lock mechanism is great for travel (though the glass bottle isn't). However, after several uses I realized that there is no point in shaking up the bottle since its a pump dispenser. The red and yellow ingredients do not mix (and therefore do not turn orange) inside the skinny tube that brings the product up to the opening. In other words, even after you shake the bottle and it looks mixed up into its orange combination, in actuality, the red and yellow ingredients have remained separated in the plastic tube that is connected to the pump (similar to a soap dispense for example). I think this defeats the whole purpose of having a "cocktail" product and leaves me wondering if this was just a gimmick. I have tried several ways to get around this but I will say it was kind of messy. If other MUAers have suggestions please share them! :) Otherwise I think a possible solution that I haven't tried is to use a shorter plastic tube (or cut it) but this can be problematic when you have less product. I think if Lumene found a way to change/solve this packaging product they would have a happier consumer.