Conditioner -Dove - Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner
swtxos 1/19/2013 6:06:00 PM
I only used this once last night so it may be too soon to write a review, but I was just so impressed with this conditioner that I felt compelled to say something. It's a very thick conditioner that smells like something you would get from a box of hair dye (everyone knows box dyes have the best conditioners!). Once my hair was blown dry, I was very glad to see how shiny and silky my hair was. There are other conditioners that leave my hair softer than this, but I like this best because it doesn't weigh my hair down. I will definitely continue to use this and update my review with my afterthoughts in a couple of weeks from now.
Treatments -Kiehls - Midnight Recovery Concentrate
swtxos 11/23/2012 2:11:00 AM
It's a little expensive, but totally worth the money. I purchased a 50ml bottle for $70CAD, which is probably the most I've paid for any one skincare product. I treat this as a moisturizer and a serum because I feel like it does hydrate my skin really well. I have normal/combo skin that depending the weather can be quite dry and dull. I love that this serum helps my skin look luminous and healthy from within. The lavender fragrance is divine, it smells so good that I look forward to applying it before bed. It really soothes me. I love the way the bottle looks, tres chic. I have been using this product for over a year and I have only positive thoughts for this product. It has become an essential product in my skincare regime.
Shampoo -Dove - Refresh+Care - Invigorating Dry Shampoo
swtxos 11/14/2012 12:49:00 AM
I have tried 4 dry shampoo's to date, namely Batiste Big & Bouncy XXL Volume, Salon Grafix Invisible, Tresemme Fresh Start and Dove Refresh+Care Invigorating. My favourite of them all is the Dove. THE BAD: I've read many reviews on this shampoo-both the good and the bad and am so surprised by all the hate on this product. I understand that the majority of the hate is due to the packaging defect which is causing the product to escape and deplete within the first few uses. I am sorry you have experienced this and if it had happened to me I would be angry with Dove as well. I think Dove needs to recall this range and rectify this issue. I read a very helpful review here suggesting that you fiddle with the nozzle to make sure that it's air tight before you walk away from the can. On one instance I did notice that air was escaping the nozzle even after I had put the can down so I moved it around and held it up to my ear to make sure that I don't hear anything coming out of the can. It's quite tedious, but I do like this product so I put it up with it in that sense. MY MISTAKE: I learned from another helpful review who said the trick to using dry shampoo effectively is to use it when your hair is NOT yet too oily. In the past, I made the mistake of waiting for third day hair before I start to spray on some dry shampoo and in every case I found the dry shampoo made my hair feel even dirtier than it was before I used any. I think the problem was there was way too much oil in my hair for the product to handle and so when you have a lot of oil mixing in with the product you get a paste which is why my hair felt even more weighed down and sticky. Initially I thought that I got bad results because the product I bought wasn't good so I continued to experiment with other brands (failing to read reviews on makeupalley of course). Finally I read up a few reviews and found out that I am supposed to use it on second day hair when my hair is only very slightly oily. I figured that my hair is lightly oily by the morning of the second day, mildly oily by the evening of the second day and full blown oily by the morning of the third day (which is when I usually wash it). For the health of my hair, I want to incorporate dry shampoo into my hair care so that I only need to wash every 4th day. I can do that now with Dove dry shampoo. WHY I LOVE IT: The product smells amazing--I tried spraying it on my hand at the store and was at first turned off by the floral baby powder scent, but later I found that it smells wonderful in the hair. It doesn't leave too much of a white residue unlike the Batiste and doesn't take away the shine from my hair unlike the other three types of dry shampoo listed above. The product feels very light weight and doesn't leave behind any gritty weird residue when you run your hand through your hair so long as you begin to use it when your hair is only lightly oily. My hair is left feeling so fresh and clean and it passes the "I run my fingers through my hair in slow motion" test lol. HOW I USE IT: On the morning of the second day, I part my hair to feel how oily I am and if I feel a little bit of moisture in my scalp I will part my hair, shake the can, hold the can about 6 inches from my head and spray short bursts on my scalp and focusing only on my scalp. I make sure that I part my head in different areas around my head so I don't miss a big spot while being careful not to use too much. Just be cautious because it's easy to add more to your hair if you need it but it's impossible to take away. I then leave the product in my hair for 2 minutes so it could soak up the oil in my scalp and I flip my hair upside down and start massaging my scalp with my fingers. This process will disburse the product to remove any visible white residue. That's it, easy as that. I repeat this process again later in the evenning--on average I do this twice a day until I wash my hair in the morning of the fourth day. I hope someone finds this review helpful. Personally, I am so glad I finally learned how to use a dry shampoo properly.
Tools -Sally Hansen - Strengthening polish remover
swtxos 11/2/2012 6:55:00 PM
I have always used Sally Hansen polish removers since I started wearing nail polish. I have ventured to try other brands and have always gone back to SH because I thought all polish removers performed the same and SH was, in my view, fair retail value & effective as any other. That is, until I started using a non-acetone polish remover from the Canadian brand Joe Fresh. Here is my comparison of the two polish removers under the headings which I feel covers the most important aspects of the products: (a) Effectiveness in removing dark nail polish: Both brands perform equally well. The JF takes a wee bit more effort to dissolve the polish because it is non-acetone and for that fact I think the JF is the healthier choice. (b) Effectiveness in removing glitter polish: This is a surprise to me, Joe Fresh removes glitter polish better than SH. Woah?! (c) Smell: Joe Fresh stinks less, another plus for non-acetone! (d) Effects on my natural nails: Here’s the biggest kick…my nails have stopped chipping and peeling since I switched over to JF. All these years I’ve been complaining that my nails are too weak and brittle, that I can’t grow nails any longer than 4mm and have marvelled at women who can grow amazingly long and strong nails. I’ve tried supplementing by using growth inducing/enhancing nail serums and the likes, but none have actually made a noticeable difference in the health of my nails. On top of my biological predispositions for thin weak nails, I often used them as staple removers at the office (this is not advisable by the way). 3 weeks after I switched over to JF, my nails feel noticeably thicker, stronger and have grown much longer than it has ever been. I just cannot believe the answer to my problem all these years had to come down to a measly polish remover! Some of you might be thinking, “No duh, everybody and their mother knows this fact”, but I never thought of it because I thought all polish removers were the same. In conclusion, I highly urge you to try changing your nail polish brand if you feel like your natural nails are in bad condition and need to be nurtured back to health. In my case, never knew that my nails were so sensitive that the SH polish removers made the conditions worse. I hope this review and insight helps somebody.
Liquid -L'Oreal - True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup
swtxos 8/15/2012 3:24:00 AM
Most expensive drugstore foundation ever. O_O I paid $21CAD (including tax)!! I mean, I know it has a fancy glass bottle container and a pump, but come on, it's still a drugstore product. I let this one slide because it's a newer product and they may mark it down in the next few months. I think L'Oreal is taking a huge risk with putting out a product with a dewy finish such as True Match Lumi because I feel that a majority of women have oily/combo/normal skin and would appreciate foundations that are more oil-absorbent. Lumi is definitely made for normal to dry skin ladies who want to add life/luminosity to their skin (without the glitter particles). The dewy finish is absolutely beautiful and I do find that it radiates the face, almost like a glow from within look --albeit, I always top my foundation with Guerlain Meteorites powder in Tient Rose 01 so that may have something to do with it as well. Just keep in mind this does not absorb oil at all which means you must dust a light film of powder over your face to set it if you want it to stay and touch-ups with powder throughout the day is necessary to keep the oilies at bay. I have dry skin so I don't usually need to touch up when I'm out. I felt like the coverage was medium, and that it was easily buildable. Lumi blends so effortlessly, reminiscent of high-end foundations. It has an SPF of 20, which is pretty high for a foundation (normally I see SPF between 8 and 15 in drugstore foundations). The colour selection is fine at the moment, but they can come out with more yellow-based foundations as I find the "W's" still slightly pinkish. I wear W5 at the moment (slightly darker than my skin, but W4 was PINK!) and as I get darker throughout this month I think W5 will suite me fine. I'm contemplating to go back and get W3 in case I want to mix the two colours for a better match. I do like this foundation, it wears comfortably on me. I have not worn it long enough to see if it breaks me out, but I will certainly update if it does.
It sounds like I'm the minority for actually loving this fragrance. The box says the notes consist of bergamot, freesia, vanilla, magnolia and musk. I love the bergamot/vanilla combo because it creates a warm and dreamy mood for me. Being a fragrance mist, I don't find it too overpowering for work or bed. The one thing I don't like is the packaging. I find the bottle design extremely juvenile. I generally love Soap & Glory's package designs for its pretty vintage feel, but strictly speaking in terms of package design, this bottle is flimsy plastic which collapses on itself when I try to hold and press down on the nozzle with one hand. Let me make myself clear, I may play piano, but I should not fear crushing my mist bottle every time I go to use it. I think the plastic is far too thin which reminds me a lot of water bottles. The shape of the bottle looks attractive to me, but the pink pearl finish of it some how screams 12 years old to me. Considering that it costs $18 at the drugstore, i expected the bottle container to be a lot sturdier. Mist You Madly does in my opinion emit a flirtation vibe, but not overtly flirtatious--it's more of a coy flirt, something mysteriously beautiful and leaves one wanting to learn more about it.
Mascara -L'Oreal - Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Black Lacquer
swtxos 8/1/2012 3:09:00 AM
I have purchased and tried all of L'Oreal's False Fiber variations such as Voluminous False Fiber, Voluminous False Fiber Waterproof and now the subject of this review False Fiber Black Lacquer, which is distinguished by its black tube and gold lid as oppose to the all gold tube predecessor. I enjoyed the original VFF, and especially preferred the waterproof version because it can hold a curl, however, my biggest gripe with both of those versions was that the stopper in those mascaras did not do a very good job and caused too much product to accumulate on the brush when you pull the mascara out of the tube. The brush on all of these versions is long and slim with short bristles, which is excellent for catching every last baby lash (works amazing for the lower lashes). The black lacquer version doesn't appear to have a different brush, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the brush is not packed with product. There could only be two explanation for this: (a) either they had redesigned the brush or (b) they had put in a better stopper. The brush of the black lacquer definitely made it my favourite of the VFF line. The false fibers are clearly visible to me when I apply it onto my lashes. I can see little strands of fibers that attaches itself to the ends of my lashes to extend its length as well as make it look like I have more lashes than I do. Now, it goes without saying that you will probably get better results if you already have naturally full/long lashes, but coming from someone who has pretty sparse bottom lashes and short upper lashes, I think this mascara is the best there is in the Canadian drugstores at this moment. I give it a 5/5 and yes, I will repurchase.
Masks -Freeman - Dead Sea Minerals Facial Anti-Stress Mask
swtxos 7/18/2012 1:11:00 AM
I have been using Freeman masks since I was a preteen and have always liked its products (i.e. cucumber peel-off mask and avacado oatmeal clay masks). Freeman's clay masks really do purify the skin. It absorbs all the gunk and leaves the skin feeling so clean and renewed. I always find that it soothes irritated skin and minimizes redness. I was able to purchase a new bottle today for $2-something CAD, which is even cheaper than it is normally sold at Walmart. The dead sea clay mask is new to my routine, and I am currently using it interchangeably with the avocado oatmeal clay mask. I like them both and would highly recommend that you incorporate a clay mask of some sort into your skincare routine no matter what skin type you have. Current skincare routine (for the summer) includes: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-cleanser Freeman clay masks (any) Sage Bliss Mist Harmonizing Facial Toner (spray) Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate.
Lipstick -Revlon - Moon Drops Lipstick (all shades)
swtxos 6/12/2012 2:43:00 AM
What a blast from the past seeing this lipstick again. It's readily available at every drugstore, but not a popular choice. It's often stowed away in a dark corner of the Revlon display section. The only colour I purchased from this line many years ago was called Persian Melon. It remained one of my favourite bright shades for the first little while when I just got it. I gave up on it due to one unattractive feature: its old lady fragrance. I could look over that feature had the fragrance dissipate with wear, but it doesn't! The smell and taste absolutely lingers until you remove it. I really wished Revlon would make this unscented, but alas, I can't recommend it even if the colour payoff is amazing.
Eyeliner -Maybelline - Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
swtxos 6/7/2012 10:36:00 PM
I don't understand why this product smudges so badly on me. I don't even have that oily of eyelids! The first hour of wear is fine, then it happens... every. singly. time. I've given it 2 weeks and even tried to wear primer potion beneath it. ARGGHHH! It smudges all around the area above the line and even onto my bottom lashline a la raccoon face. I think I'm going back to liquid liners which seem to wear much longer than cream, gel, or pencil liners.
Lotions/ Creams -Bath and Body Works - Into the Wild
swtxos 5/31/2012 1:29:00 AM
I like BBW lotions in general for how quick the product absorbs and how soft it leaves the skin. This scent makes me think of walking through a warm exotic jungle and feeling happy. I will enjoy finishing this bottle in a month's time.
Self Tanners -Banana Boat - Summer Color Self-Tanning Mist
swtxos 5/7/2012 9:55:00 PM
This product develops much faster than any other gradual self tanning lotion or mousse I own. I use to think my St. Moriz tanning mousse and Nivea Summer Touch lotion are the best at giving the most colour with the least amount of application, but I have to say that the Banana Boat Tanning Mist has them beat. The colour it gives, although dark, I feel is slightly orange. My skin is light-medium so it shows up slightly orange in white light but I'm sure if someone with fair skin tried this on it would look unnaturally orange on them. I don't necessarily love the colour, but in a pinch if I need to get dark fast in order to wear shorts/skirt then I'd reach for this. I didn't have an issue with streaking because I made sure to exfoliate beforehand and applying lotion on the areas prone to streaking (i.e. ankles, elbows, knees and wrists), but I did learn that with the mist dispenser, you have to make sure you cover all angles of your body or else you will miss a spot and end up looking uneven. I have learned that I need to hold the nozzle about a feet away from my body and spray in circular motions all the way down my front, my back, AND my sides. It's quite difficult to keep track of how much product you've applied because its not tinted--i wish it was! Drying time was average, I find this mist didn't dry any faster than my lotions so if you worry about damaging your clothes I would suggest you wear something dark to bed. I only apply self tanner on in the evening so the product develops overnight and I can wash away the stinky self tanner smell in the morning. This leads me to address the STINK. BOY does this product stink. The fresh citrus-y fragrance only lasts 5 minutes before it is replaced by a fried noodle/biscuit-y smell. This is, hands down, the stinkiest self-tanner I have ever used, even more so than Jergens Natural Glow. To sum things up, this product has its pros: dark colour fast, quick spray on applicaiton and inexpensive, and its cons: orange colour, uneven finish if you don't spray every angle of yourself, spray nozzle can sometimes be difficult to hold down, a little bit of orangeness and majorly stinky. It sounds like the cons outweigh the pros, but I would still repurchase because this product is perfect for the lazy girls who hate to wait 5 days to achieve the colour they set out for.
My review is for the Hydraphase Intense Riche - Intensive Rehydrating Care Long-Lasting Eficacy, which I'm sure is the same product just slightly different packaging (my tube is blue with clear cap). I tried this upon recommendation by a SA at Shoppers here in BC and initial swatch. I love that this moisturizer is an "intense riche" formula that actually feels rather light and lotion-like when rubbed into the skin. The second highest ingredient listed next to Aqua is Glycerin. This is not a surprise as I can feel a slight sticky residue that Glycerin normally gives. I don't mind the little bit of residue as I know it helps attract moisture from the air and locks it into my skin. Putting up with a little bit of stickyness is never a problem for me as it is a small price to pay to ward off dry, flaky, irritated skin. Although this product doesn't absorb into nothingness on the skin, it does not leave the skin shiny or heavy feeling. It makes my skin feel intantly softer and plumper. After 2 days of continual use daytime and nighttime, my skin looked and felt normal again! Good bye dry patches! I haven't stopped using it since I got it 3 weeks ago and have even purchased a backup when I saw it on sale (for $24CAD it really is great value). It has a fragrance reminiscent of baby powder. If you are sensitive to fragrance, you may want to give this a whiff before you purchase it just to be safe. As for the packaging, it comes with a pump... nuff said. Come on, what more can you ask for? I can't think of anything seriously wrong with this moisturizer and would highly recommend it to ladies with dry to extremely dry skin.
I had a gift card I wanted to use at Sephora so I purchased Dior's Addict Extreme lipstick in 486 Cruise. I was contemplating on either Dior or Guerlain, but Guerlain's packaging isn't as attractive nor does it have as much colour selection as Dior's. I asked the MA what the difference is between the "Extreme" version and the regular Dior Addict and she basically said it was colour intensity. I didn't clue in that the packing promised "Lasting Lipcolor" becuase I would disagree with it. I enjoy the moisturizing feel and glossy look of this lipstick and I love the colour and colour payoff, however, I would expect to reapply as often as I would any normal lipstick that doesn't claim to be long lasting. I take pleasure in whipping out my lipstick and reapplying--especially when it feels so wonderful on the lips--so all in all, I rate this lipstick a 3/5. If it wasn't for the gift card, I don't know if I would splurge on a Dior lipstick because I would much rather purchase an YSL Rouge Volupte.
As a concealer to cover dark circles under the eyes, it's terrible. It doesn't have enough opacity/pigment to cover anything. I actually like it a lot as an illuminator or highlighter because it contains the prettiest golden sheen that definitely reflects in the sunlight. The golden sheen seems to grow more visible throughout the day when I wear it. Reminds me a lot of Benefit Moonbeam (only less intense) and would recommend it as a highlighter/illuminator instead! I give it a 3 for it failing as a concealer, but will give it a 5 as a subtle highlighter.