Moisturizers -Alpha Hydrox - Enhanced Lotion - 10% AHA
theopenwindowmaniac 3/28/2013 1:31:00 AM
Love this lotion! It has 10% glycolic acid and a pH of 4, which is a concentration and pH to be an effective exfoliant. If you are older and need heavier duty AHA, I would recommend the 12% AHA soufflé, but this lotion would still work well. I would definitely recommend this lotion to younger people and those with sensitive skin. People on a budget will also like the lotion better than the jarred creams because there is a lot of product (6 oz) in the bottle. I purchased it for about $8 at Walgreens, so it definitely isn't too expensive, especially for so much product. For best results, I recommend keeping the bottle stored in the box it comes in. Even though the bottle isn't totally see through, it's not totally opaque either. Exposure to light can break down small acids, so I would keep it in the box. Also, for best exfoliation + blackhead control, use this product in conjunction with a BHA. AHA is great for cell turnover, whilst BHA gets down into pores and removes the trapped dead skin and oil. A great BHA on the cheap is Clean & Clear's Advantage Oil Absorbing Treatment. It's free of irritants and has 2% salicylic acid, which is an effective concentration. The best part however, is that it's about $7. Anyway, I know this review is about the Alpha Hydrox lotion, but I just wanted to add that bit about using a good BHA as well for best results. As a final note, this lotion can produce a strong tingle. It can potentially be a bit uncomfortable, but it subsides very quickly. I highly recommend Alpha Hydrox 10% AHA Enhanced Lotion :)
As all other e.l.f. products, this primer is very budget friendly ($3). I actually really like this primer and it's great quality for the price. I did take off one lippie, however, because it does SLIGHTLY crease on me. But, it still makes a big difference versus no primer. I do have super oily lids though, so it could just be me. If you're new to primer, definitely try this out. Especially if you don't wear eyeshadow often. It doesn't make much sense to spend a lot of money on a product that won't be used very frequently.
Loose Powders -E.L.F. - Studio High Definition Powder
theopenwindowmaniac 3/28/2013 1:13:00 AM
Like basically everyone else on MUA, I love this product. I use it with the e.l.f. studio powder brush and press it on. It works great in setting my foundation and on me, it provides great oil control in my T-zone. The packaging is a little weird, but for $6, I really don't care. One other use for it that I love is using it as a dry shampoo substitute. Whenever I find my bangs or sideburns area is looking a little slick, I put on some of this powder. It works great.
My lips are probably my best feature, so needless to say, I have bajillions of lip products. This one is probably my new favorite. I like wearing bold lipsticks, but when winter comes and lips get all dry and peely, bold lipsticks aren't exactly easy to pull off. This product, however, not only tastes lovely, but will get your lips smooth and lipstick ready. And if lipstick isn't your thing, then you'll have the prettiest bare lips ever!
It's bitchin. It's $3. Enough said.
The only reason I have this mascara was because it's included in benefit's "Legally Bronze" kit sold at Sephora. That kit includes this mascara, hoola bronzer, high beam, and a gilded highlighter pencil. All full size for only $38. I was really only interested in hoola and high beam, but I thought I would like to try this mascara as well. I like using brown eye makeup, since I'm very fair and blonde, so I thought this mascara might be a good product to have. I first noticed that it's different than original BADgal. Which I thought was a good thing. I have deep set eyes, so large mascara wands don't work well for me. This mascara has a narrow, natural bristle (maybe not 'natural' but it's not rubber) wand, but it's also a spiral wand, like Maybelline Great Lash. No good. I thought the wand was kinda blah, but the mascara itself was even worse. It's like the thickest mascara ever and it just stays clumped up on the brush. It's not only thick, but almost sticky. Another reviewer likened it to honey. I'd say that's pretty accurate. After the initial try out, however, I added several drops of contact solution, and the mascara is now wearable. I was only going to give this mascara one lippie, but I added one back because I'm hoping I just got a bad tube. To me, a mascara in this price point shouldn't be even close to this lackluster. I mean, when do you ever need to add contact solution to a brand new mascara?
After looking around the web for several weeks on facial contouring w/ makeup, I began to look for a suitable highlighter. My only other benefit item in the past was dandelion, which is a bubblegum pink blusher with light shimmer. It looks great on pale skin tones. The way I got my high beam was in benefit's "Legally Bronze" kit. This kit is still for sale at Sephora, and it's $38 for a full size hoola, high beam, BADgal brown mascara, and gilded highlighter pencil. That's a huge bargain for 4 full size benefit products. I hate being on bandwagons, but I love high beam! It's a perfect pearly pink for my NW15 skin. It definitely adds radiance to the complexion, but it's not even slightly showgirl. No glitter in sight, just a beautiful sheen where you want to draw attention. I've heard people complain about the packaging and how it's unsanitary, but I couldn't care less about that. So if you're someone like me, who is probably the opposite of a germophobe, definitely get this product. Your cheekbones will thank you.
After looking around the web for several weeks on facial contouring w/ makeup, I began my hunt for a matte bronzer that wouldn't look uber dark on my NW15 skin. My only other benefit item in the past was dandelion, which is a bubblegum pink blusher with light shimmer. It looks great on pale skin tones. The way I got my hoola bronzer was in benefit's "Legally Bronze" kit. This kit is still for sale at Sephora, and it's $38 for a full size hoola, high beam, BADgal brown mascara, and gilded highlighter pencil. That's a huge bargain for 4 full size benefit products. Hoola is a nice matte bronzer that is quite concentrated, so if you have fair skin like I do, you really need to be careful not to get too heavy handed with it. It does run slightly orangey on me, but like I said, I am super pale. I know many people dislike the box packaging benefit uses for their bronzers and blushers, and I am one of them. However, paper is more environmentally friendly than plastic, so the box isn't a huge deal to me. When I first applied hoola to contour my cheekbones, I didn't like it much. It looked muddy and obvious. But! I learned that was definitely user error. I purchased e.l.f.'s studio angled blush brush, and it works like a dream. I now have perfectly contoured cheekbones. So tools matter, and practice is needed as well. Now, since I've said such good things about this bronzer, it may seem puzzling why I took off a lippie and said I would not repurchase. That's because I couldn't see myself spending $28 on a bronzer. Even this one. I know there are many other bronzers that would work just as well for my purposes, but for a lot less money. The only reason I have this bronzer, even though it is wonderful, is because it came in a kit that was such a bargain. If you don't care to spend the money, this is a great contouring bronzer.
Silk Naturals is PHENOMENAL! I got the heavy coverage starter kit in ebony and the value is amazing. I'll be able to use it for at least 4 months. What else is good is you can buy untinted base and the foundation tint separately. I'm very fair, so I know I'll need to buy lots of untinted base before I need more tint. There are also three levels of coverage, so you can choose the amount of coverage you need. I chose heavy because I have a lot of redness and freckles I like to cover, and Bare Minerals wasn't cutting it. The heavy coverage completely transforms my skin and doesn't feel like a mask whatsoever. One possible negative I noticed other reviewers commenting on was that mixing the foundation can be difficult. If you have odd coloration or problem skin, it could be a time consuming process to mix your shade, but definitely don't rule out Silk Naturals. However, I think the majority of people won't have a hard time mixing. Mine came out a little too pink, but it blends so well that you don't have to get it perfect for it to match. I would definitely recommend Silk Naturals to everyone who wears mineral foundation.
Eyeliner -Clinique - Quickliner Intense All Colors
theopenwindowmaniac 9/9/2012 8:14:00 PM
I bought this in intense charcoal as a replacement for my beloved and sadly discontinued bareminerals Big and Bright charcoal liner. Overall, I really like it. It's the same price as the bareminerals and it's a good shade of charcoal. Most liners I saw were still too dark or too silvery. I have pretty oily lids, and this liner stays put much better than most liners on me. The only thing I don't love is the amount of glitter. I can't speak for all shades, but the charcoal is a bit too shimmery. I can live with it though.
Very nice mascara! I normally wear my HG Lancome Definicils, but when I ran out one day and needed a backup, I bought Full 'N Soft. The packaging is decent, brush is a little big, but for $5, you forgive these things. I used this mascara until I ran out, then purchased it again. It isn't as good as Lancome, but for only one fifth the cost, it's a total bargain. I may have found a new broke college student HG.
I'm a total lip product junkie and I am a huge fan of the red lip look. However, sometimes red lipstick isn't totally appropriate to wear. The reason I love Medieval so much is because it's a friendly red. It makes your face look finished and works with nearly any outfit. It's so sheer and smooth and has a very moisturizing texture that is similar to Nivea lip balm. Many times I can't stand lip glosses because they're very sticky or gum up on your lips. Medieval doesn't do that. It glides right on, leaving you with the prettiest sheer red lips. The color can be built up some too by applying more coats if you're feeling daring.