I've had quite the rollercoaster ride with Miss Dior Cherie (aka Miss Dior EDT2012???!!!). Based on the pictures on MUA and Fragrancenet.com, it looks like Dior has changed the Miss Dior and Miss Dior Cherie formula (and packaging) more times than Lindsay Lohan spontaneously dyes her hair. Not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly makes it difficult for consumers, reviewers, and especially aficionados to figure out what it is that they're smelling and repurchasing. For me specifically, I am very sensitive to chypres (they smell like crap to me and on me), so changing one note in a fragrance will make me go from loving it to hating it. This is probably why when I smelled Miss Dior in 2009, I thought it was totally lackluster. In 2010 I thought it was gross. In 2011 I thought it was amazing, but then in 2012 I smelled it again and hated it. Turns out I was sniffing different variations of the re-formulated EDP and EDT, and it is CRUCIAL to read the notes on each fragrance because that makes all the difference. All the more confusing is that Sephora lists Miss Dior Cherie as "Miss Dior EDT" and then when the actual item arrives, it reads "Miss Dior Cherie." AGGGHHH! Can a girl get some consistency? . Sorry for the rant but it's kind of frustrating! All that said, the current (2012, cubic bottle with light pink fluid) Miss Dior Cherie is an A++ in my book. The presentation is flawless. As many have said, Dior's Miss Dior collection is similar to Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle, in scent and in the appearance. I agree that there are many similarities, but, having my own personal mishap with Coco Mademoiselle (I bought the EDP instead of the EDT, and the EDP smelled kind of linear and uninteresting on me), I find Miss Dior Cherie (the EDT!) to be better suited for me. MDC takes all the best points of Coco and gives them a light, girly, sparkly remix. I don't know if I smell strawberries and popcorn, but when I smell the bottle directly, I definitely feel something fresh and very lightly green standing distinctly separate from the rest of the sweet, floral, exuberant bouquet. When the scent is sprayed on, it's just heavenly. I can definitely see how others would find this to be the inferior (or at least the puerile) scent of the two, as Coco has beautiful spice notes that develop better on some people's body chemistry than others. On me, MDC almost smells like what Coco EDT used to smell like when I first tried it nearly 10 years ago. I often have a hard time picking up certain spices in my body chemistry, and the best solution I've found is gravitating toward gourmand orientals or florientals to fulfill my need to have spice in my scents. Often this means going with a classic scent's fruity/floral remix. (Opium, for example, doesn't smell offensive on me, but it's also kind of linear and tame. Belle D'Opium, on the other hand, smells cracktastically amazing on me and I can't get enough.) For me, this has worked well. And MDC is just what I was looking for: fresh, effervescent top and middle, with a creamy, spicy, developed, delicious base. For reference, my favorite scents in my daily rotation are D&G The One, Hanae Mori Butterfly, Brooks Brothers Madison (which I am dying to review, btw -- we need a BB review board option!), YSL Belle D'Opium, YSL Parisienne, and now MDC. (Yes. I am a fragaholic!) Yes, this scent is expensive, but my goodness, is it worth the money! I cannot recommend this scent more. I'm a 27 year old professional and I think that this scent sits perfectly on my silk scarves, suits, and cashmere sweaters. Hope my long-winded gushing review is of help to everyone who's on the fence about trying this scent. If you like a little touch of girliness with your classy floriental scents, definitely give this one a try! :)
When I was in middle school, my best friend introduced me to this product like she was showing me the real Holy Grail. Turns out, she kind of was. People who are blessed with super moisturized lips might not know how important lip balm actually is, but it's CRUCIAL for New York's dry winters! Bonus: I hate glosses and lipsticks (it's taken me a quarter century to realize that), and a good balm makes an excellent replacement for sticky, goopy and icky lip stuff. And, as we all know, a good balm is hard to find. Palmer's cocoa butter stick is absolutely amazing. It is hands down the best balm in the universe. It smells like a pacific paradise, it comes in a soothingly large white tube (people who aren't in the know think that you might be glue-sticking your lips shut, but the product is worth the teasing), and it is big enough to cover a lot of ground. I've used it for elbows, hands, and other parts of my face when necessary. Palmer's really gets the job done. My only problem is that the packaging can get kind of dirty, which makes the balm unpleasant to use (that's when I throw it out or pawn it off to my fiance), but it's a small inconvenience in the grand scheme of the greatness of the product. I highly, HIGHLY recommend!
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24-7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero
tborukhova 2/27/2011 11:11:00 AM
I love UD products: they're sparkly, easy to blend, and ridiculously cheesy (in a good way). The UD eyeliner was something that I always overlooked because it was so expensive, but last year I received the Show Pony set with the liner inside. Though I prefer dark brown and dark blue colors to black, the zero pencil is a solid alternative. Like other reviewers have said, the liner is creamy and goes on well. It is easy to blend, but I find that it stays on very nicely, especially if you are putting it over eyeshadow and/or over primed lids/lash lines. Sometimes the liner does get too smudgy, but since it's so buttery, it's easy to wipe off. My only beef with it is that it needs a lot of maintenance: I find myself sharpening it at least twice a week, which is not something that I've ever had to do with any other liner. (And I don't do the whole raccoon eyes look, either!) Other than that (and the ostentatious price), I definitely recommend this liner to anyone who wants thickness, smoothness, and staying power. If I decide to stop being cheap, I'll try out the other colors and review those as well :)
I wanted to like this perfume SO BADLY. Especially because when I smelled Mademoiselle (the edt) in a friend's bathroom cabinet, I was obsessed. Turns out, there's a VAST discrepancy in the olfactory presentation of the EDP (eau de parfum) and EDT (eau de toilette). While the EDT has a gourmand-like scent, almost a floriental, the EDP smells like rubbing alcohol with a side of rose and a hug from your prim mother. Seriously. It is clean and sophisticated, I guess, but that's about the extent of the scent's redeeming qualities. I'm sure it's well-liked because of its omnipresence, especially en France, but honestly it's meh at best. How I wish I knew that the EDT was the way to go. Usually you always want the EDP because it's a better bang for your buck, the notes are more pronounced and they last longer without dissipating into a sweet boozy mess 2 hours into the application. In the case of Mademoiselle, I think it's the opposite. Actually Mademoiselle, as I later learned, is one of the only frags where the constellation of notes in the EDP is so very different from that of the EDT. Uggghhh and I thought I had done thorough research before buying! All that said, I am sure that Mademoiselle the EDP would be a hit with many women over 30. I'm 25 so I am still drawn to slutty/delicious/fruity scents. Live and learn, right? :)
When I was a teenager, I used to be a sparkly kandyraver eyeshadow fan, always on the prowl for the brightest and sparkliest and most obnoxious colors ever. I'm sure going to school with a bunch of trendy Japanese girls who loved neon eyeshadow as much as I did only furthered my cause: I introduced them to Urban Decay and they introduced me to the most amazing, crazy, wacky, fun palettes that Tokyo had to offer! And then... I grew up a bit. I still reach for the neons from time to time, but since I'm a professional now, I really had to tone it down. Enter: LORAC. I was always kind of "meh" on Lorac because her shadows seem so overpriced, and if I really wanted a nice matte, I was more likely to reach for MAC or Bobbi Brown, master of the muted neutrals. However, 2 Christmases ago I saw a super deal at Sephora- a massive Lorac gift set for about $50, which I got for my neutrals-loving friend. She absolutely loved the set, so I thought maybe the brand was worth the money. THEN I came across a Hautelook sale which offered an 85% discount on the makeup ($4 per shadow. seriously.), so I went a little nuts ordering all sorts of colors. Innocent was one of my first picks because I have bright green eyes, and the gray/purple hue is very flattering, both as a brow highlighter and as a main color. The shadow is perfect. Very creamy, easy to apply, easy to blend, perfect saturation (and you can customize its appearance with ease!), and long-lasting. I have zero complaints about this eyeshadow! I am now a die-hard Lorac fan, and recommend all of her products to everyone!!!
I've received this mascara twice in the Sephora sample giveaways and a third time as part of the Sephora mascara gift set. Each time, the mascara tube might have been the "sample size," because I've never purchased it individually. The formula is definitely diesel. It's thick, it has microfibers which, when applied in a careful manner, can really add length and volume, and it sure does stay put. This is also part of the problem: you need some serious makeup remover to get your lashes clean at the end of the day. In addition, the formula is so thick that it has a tendency to goop, and because the brush is large AND short, it's extremely easy to get said goop on your face - and good luck washing that off. Since like most people, I prefer to apply mascara last, after primer, concealer, foundation and bronzer, I end up overcome with rage when the gooping incidents occur because I have to redo my under-eye makeup spiel all over again. I think a lot of the problems with this mascara can be avoided if you use a different brush, even if it's just a crappy disposable one from the store. The look is definitely dramatic and beautiful if you have a lucky application session. For me (and I'm a seasoned mascaraphile), the probability of having a good application (without clumping or dripping) is like 3/5. Not bad, but not great. Also, considering the horrendous inconvenience of the wand, I think this product is overpriced. Luckily, since I have THREE (!) of them, I probably don't have to worry about reordering in years!
As a lot of other reviewers mention, this is a pretty stark grapefruit with a manly cologne-y undertone. It is fresh, however, and I think the problem with this particular Jo Malone frag is that it HAS to be layered with something else. Some of her scents, especially the newer ones, are rangey enough on their own, and as such, do not require layering. This one, however, needs another scent in the mix. Mixing this with Pomegranate Noir (one of my faves) or with Nectarine Blossom events out its bitter citrus with some sweetness and creates a much more manageable texture. So if you're stuck with a sample of this and don't know what to do, you might be happy to find that it works nicely with some of JM's other scents. I'd repurchase, in the smallest size possible, only to use as a mixing base with the rest of the scents.
As I mentioned in my review of the Nars foundation, I like the coverage that this foundation provides (it's unbeatable in that respect, imo), but it can get cakey, itchy and a little overwhelming. Maybe this has something to do with the way I apply the foundation, but I know that I'm not the only one who has experienced this problem. My other big qualm is that of the 3 studio fixes that I've owned, each of them crumbled and made a huge mess in my makeup case. Because the product is good I have salvaged each one by putting it in a different powder case, but there should be a way to avoid this. Despite these caveats, it's a pretty good product that provides very good coverage, lots of options as far as tone matching, and some hope for people with oily skin (as it's so powdery that I would think it would be a good counterbalance.)
I just received my shipment from Sephora after getting click-happy (birthday presents to self...cheers to Sephora for brilliant marketing strategies, haha), and I had ordered the rollerball because this maximizes variety and minimizes spending. (I am a PERFUME JUNKY). The rollerball is great, cheap at $20 and will probably last me at least a few months. The downside, of course, is that you don't get as much power as in a spray, but then again it's pretty tacky to REEK of perfume, no matter how light and delicious it is. I first smelled Nina on my friend whose idea of a perfume library is picking up Victoria's Secret body splashes when they're on sale. It smelled great, and after she showed me the adorable bottle, I was intrigued. Because the scent is sweet but not crazy unique or particularly sophisticated, I had put it on the backburner for a few months. I also didn't feel like shelling out the cash for a full bottle when Sephora kept providing better options in smaller quantities and better prices. I have also been exploring Bond No. 9, as per the recommendation of a very knowledgeable friend, and as one might guess, that's not the cheapest habit to maintain. Then I noticed the Nina rollerball on the Sephora website and decided that I had to get it. The apple/moonflower/peony combo is magically delicious. Not DKNY delicious (a scent trifecta that I find boring, tepid and highly overrated), but fresh and fruity and with the right heart notes, perfectly balanced between girly and a bit more mature. It's like taking Light Blue, stripping a layer of its dry profile, and then infusing it with some fresh fruity goodness. Not my HG (I don't think that's possible...I am too indecisive and critical!), but definitely in my top 5 at the moment.
I love this sweet, gentle perfume. My mom got a bunch of samples at Bloomingdale's when it first came out almost 10 years ago, and I've been a fan since. The smell is light, and kind of in between simple and sophisticated (the notes don't really change at all throughout the day, but their combination is pretty unique). It works on both younger and older people (My boyfriend got me a bottle for my 19th birthday, and then ended up getting my mom a bottle for her 45th, and gift sets for my cousin and aunt, all of whom love it and rock it frequently), and it's great for work and a night out (particularly in the summer, I think). It can get boring from time to time (I go back to it periodically but over the last 5 years my tastes have changed pretty drastically) but it really is such a light and clean scent that it works with a lot of people. I am generally into slightly more bold scents (florientals), but this is a very sweet alternative when you're looking for something light and pretty. I definitely recommend checking this out if you're wary of crazy and intense perfumes. This product is also often found at discount retailers in a gift set, so you can't go wrong with the price, either. I also think it's a cute bottle (gotta love pink!)
I got this to replace my MAC fix (as another review here comments), and while this is a pretty great product (smooth application, decent coverage, good complexion match), it's a little too translucent than I generally prefer. My problem with MAC fix, aside from its inescapable tendency to crumble, is the fact that it can get cakey and even itchy (I have decent skin but it's kind of combo-esque around parts of my t-zone). I do prefer something more substantial than what Nars offers, but it is a great base, and it's excellent quality. Still on the hunt for the HG. I'm also a fan of the Bare Escentuals foundation, but as far as packaging, Nars is more convenient to use. I wish I could combine Nars, BE and Mac into one to have the ultimate foundation! I think most people prefer light coverage though, so this product will make a lot of girls happy, especially if they're after the "natural" look.
Hmmm... I, too, am a sucker for the HOT NEW MASCARA, especially if it costs less than 10 bucks at the drugstore and not upwards of $30 at Sephora or Bloomy's. I have light, thin and relatively short little lashes, so I have naturally been on the quest for the HG for years now. I've had some successes in strange places-- Maybelline Infallible was pretty awesome (or is it L'Oreal who makes that one?), L'Oreal Voluminous can be good (though when it starts to "antique" aka goop and dry too quickly, you're SOL), and Clinique High Impact has been a good find. I've tried super lengthening and uber volumizing from all sorts of brands (Benefit, UD, CD, Shiseido...)and they've all come up short. I know YSL has good results, as does Definicils, but those are exorbitantly overpriced. ANYcheapo, Stiletto is aesthetically appealing, though I wish it was a little bit smaller, but I like it. In my opinion that smell that most people are displeased with is honey, not floral, and it's probably due to the waxy composition of the mascara. I don't mind it. I think it's kind of amusing actually. The mascara does lengthen and volumize a bit. I don't like the fact that it (a) dries too quickly, which means that you can't really do more than 1 or 2 layers, and (b) it's glossy. I find that matte mascaras make your lashes look bigger, not the other way around. Anyway this is one of my top 3 from the drugstore. Maybe when I'm feeling adventurous with my spending habits (or find myself at Sephora while I'm drunk) I will get Definicils.
Hair Color -L'Oreal - Couleur Experte -hair dye / highlight
tborukhova 4/9/2009 10:19:00 AM
As a seasoned at-home-hair-dyer and highlighter (11 years and counting!), I have to disagree with the reviewers who claim that the product is hard to use. Granted, if you don't have much experience with at home hair dying and highlighting, I can totally see where everyone is coming from. That awful mascara wand is an incredibly useless piece of equipment--and I find that the little metal nub sticking out of it will ALWAYS catch onto my hair and rip it out = super irritating. My way of dealing with the highlighter is to pick out the strands with the skinny end of the brush, use the mascara side to pick up a little chunk of the highlighting goop, and then smoothly slide the bleach up and down the hair strand with your fingers, not the wand. You HAVE to make sure the strand is flat so that you don't wind up with tiger stripes or any uneven/unpleasant surprises. You also have to vary widths and locations of the strands-- if you do everything super symmetrical, you are going to look like you're wearing a trashy wig or that you got your highlights done by a SuperCuts trainee. The nice thing about these kits is that because the highlighter bleach only stays on your hair for 15minutes (as opposed to 25 min-1hr depending on desired effect and hair thickness with other highlighters), you can expect to have a more muted effect. Also your hair is wet when you are applying the stuff so it tends to blend easier. I DEFINITELY agree that the gunk can get all over your head and cause unsightly stripes and spots, but you just have to be careful and clean them off (or blend them through) the second you spot them. It definitely gets easier with practice. Another qualm is that they really don't give you enough powder-- only enough to cover the crown of your head really. Good news for newbies or short-haired girls; bad news for at-home "hair artists" who like to do layers and gradients of shades... Also the gloves kind of suck--if you can get gloves that are more form-fitting (standard latex), it might be easier to manipulate the hair. The dye itself is alright. I agree that the color usually fails to turn out as advertised, but with my fake red hair (natural dirty blonde), lightish complexion and green eyes, I am lucky in the sense that it's really hard for me to wind up with a color that does NOT look flattering. I have used Ginger Twist, Brioche, Toffee, and a whole bunch of other shades (golden blondes and reds) and they've all been pretty good. My major beef with the dye is that it's significantly thinner than other dyes (even others by L'Oreal), and thus it can drip all over the place. I had a whole post-dyeing fiesta of cleaning smears of red and brown goo off my white bathroom walls! (by the way, a great solution for that in case you're wondering is nail polish remover). For the minor inconveniences I am deducting a lippy. But, if you know what you're doing and you don't feel like spending an additional 12 bucks on a highlighting kit, this one's pretty good.
I have super thin, super frizzy/wavy/curly/partially straight hair. It defies the laws of logic and gravity. I'm talking Jew curls in the back, Ginger Kid frizz on the sides, straightness on top and ends which should not be spoken about in public because their appearance is that offensive. Naturally my hair is an odd shade of dark blond (thanks, shitty genes from the Russian heritage) so I compulsively dye it red/strawberry blonde to match my complexion and eyes. Said practice is obvi not conducive to healthy hair. Ah, the price we pay for beauty. When I was young I did not know that a blowdryer can make your hair straight (ish), so I had hideous hair until mid-high school. Later on I discovered the straightener, but never got around to buying one until after college. None of them were quite good enough. I've tried crappy pharmacy straighteners (needless to say, they are subpar), the CHI (biggest waste EVER), the T3 (ditto), and a slew of others. The results were tepid--either the plates weren't smooth or hot or cold enough or my hair just stayed frizzy or it got fried or all of the above... I had minor success with the Cortex (which I only bought because it was thin and baby blue, kind of precious), but it would rip my hair out by trapping it in the corners of the plates, which was a HUGE pain in the ass, so I was out on the hunt for THE BEST IRON. I read reviews all over the place, which claimed that Paul Mitchell, FHI, HAI, Sedu, Solia blah blah blah were the best (for some reason there was no mention of GHD--perhaps a marketing ploy?), but looking at the irons I could kind of tell that they sucked--the plates didn't close well enough, or they weren't smooth enough, or they seemed too industrial looking for home use. In mid-summer this year my best friend bought the GHD, claiming that it's a huge hit in England/Ireland. We tried it and fell in love with it. Unfortunately for me, the near-$300 price tag (MK-IV pink iron is a little pricier because of the cute packaging) was pretty much a no-go. I had to wait quite a few months before procuring my own as a gift. Anyway, although IMO this is the best straightening iron around, I do have a few qualms about it. 1. Hair still gets stuck between the plates, but the carnage is minor. 2. I still have iron crimp lines, though they're not as prevalent as with other irons. 3. While my hair is indeed straighter/smoother/less frizzy, parts of it still cannot be fully tamed, or tamed permanently. Walking outside in drizzle and having my hair survive? Forget about it. 4. Flips? Curls? Are you effing kidding me? Maybe I need to buy all of GHD's styling products or watch 4000 YouTube videos as the other reviewers recommend, because I can only get itty bitty flips and that's about it. And I consider myself a moderate hair/beauty guru. 5. Iron is indeed VERY hot and thus it's hard/impossible to grab hair once it's been under the iron, which is a pain in the ass when you're trying to layer/texturize in an OCD fashion. I'm thinking about buying an iron mitt to fix this dilemma. Perks: 1. Styling time slashed in half and it feels so smooth! 2. Iron heats up in like 5 seconds! 3. Straighter, softer, shinier hair by far, than other results irons 4. A hot pink iron in a precious little case with pink alligator clips?? Scooore! In the end I think this iron is the best on the market, but it could use a few tweaks. Maybe my freakshow hair is just a bad judge of products?
Being insanely busy all the time and having super thin, do-not-shampoo-every-day-or-you-will-regret-it hair, I was delighted to learn about this "dry shampoo" concept. Unfortunately, nobody said it would be easy to find one that works. I am usually pretty apprehensive of buying specialty products like this at the pharmacy, and there is no Sally store anywhere near me, so I am pretty much exclusively limited to Sephora. First I tried Oscar Blandi, which stinks like a cleaning product (though it's not too awful, esp if you like lemony scents) and leaves an almost inescapable white residue. While this problem can be mitigated by brushing, fluffing and shaking, your hair never really feels fully cleaned. Some of the greasies/gunkiness gets soaked up, and some of it is only exacerbated by the product. Blandi's formula is a powder with a very fine nozzle-perhaps this is why you only see moderate success with it. I decided to continue my quest. I had received the Ojon revitalization mist as a sample from Sephora, and after some deliberation, I decided that I liked the patchoilli/hippie/peyote-eating/rainforest-trippin' vibes that it produced. That scent is definitely an acquired taste--it's very strong, heavy and sweet that is pretty intense for something to put in your hair. It does air out after a while, though. In any case, because Ojon is an aerosol-esque liquid-turned-powder, it does tend to work better (the alcohol makes a better initial run at absorbing the greeeezzze than plain powder dry shampoos). I also found that generally, the white residue is not as prevalent with Ojon, and it is much easier to brush off than Blandi. The biggest caveat is definitely the breaking nozzle. It only happened to me once (I'm on my second mini bottle), but I was pretty livid about it. I think one way to keep the bottle from leaking or breaking is to keep it flat and steady and not carry it around with you everywhere you go. Though this kind of ruins the point of "travel size" stuff, it's a safer bet. In general I'd recommend this product, but I hope that there's something better out there. Until I find something better, I will keep repurchasing my $9 travel size edition.