I love the color, and have been wearing it for five days now. I always layer: base, 2 color, and CND Air Dry. CND Air Dry is 3F, doesn't thicken quickly, and doesn't cause tip shrinkage. I experienced those last two with SV over and over. Application of CG "Branding Iron" was similar to the experience of others. A little thicker and streakier than I might have expected (though I own few such dark colors). I always go too thin on one nail, which generally sticks out at the finishing line when comparing all the tips. But the second coat layered quite well with the first, and all nails are similar. I did have one bubble in this application, but it is not noticeable. Overall, the outcome is just as good as other polishes, and I'm starting to get tip wear and micro chips on this, the fifth day. Overall, I do recommend this lovely color: chocolaty brown with burgundy shimmer. It's nice to have a warm option (finally).
I have these in three shades: Treasure (bronze shimmer) - my mlbb shade, great neutral for anything Serenade (deep rose shimmer) - on those days when I want to go a little cooler in coloration, this is what I reach for; it is almost in the coral range for me, not too pinky. I thought about returning it, but ever once in a while I need this shade. Rendezvous (deep plum brown) - this is my red. It is a lovely deeper color that isn't too dark but isn't too light. I like the way these feel. I usually need to re-apply after eating or drinking, not a problem. I'd rather do the occasional re-apply than deal with the extreme dryness of other long-lasting lipsticks. This does not have an unattractive smell like so many lip coverings, but I'd rather have a short tube of lipstick than a long pencil of which to keep track.
This is my favorite day wear lip covering. I like the way it feels and the way it looks, very much mlbb. It is not sticky like many l/g, which I can't stand. The smell is more than tolerable (unlike Estee Lauder lipsticks that my mother passes my way) and it is not drying on my lips. It is one of the few lip formulations with an SPF, though Stila has just come out with one that I look forward to trying. I've started supporting only a handful of makeup companies: Vincent Longo, Urban Decay, and Stila. What do these three companies have in common? They put their ingredients lists on their website. Companies such as Bobbi Brown, that refuse to release their ingredients lists, are not worth my time and effort. I am sensitive to Ricinis communis, aka Castor Bean oil, a common oil used in cosmetics.
Brows -Paula's Choice - Ultra-Thin Eye & Brow Pencil
v70t5m 2/29/2008 3:35:00 PM
I've had packaging problems with a few products in the past: Revlon and Cover Girl eyeliner lids, and a couple of lip stick lids that split. However, I've never had so many product packages self destruct as I've had with Paula's Choice products. The lid of one and base of another Ultra-Thin Eye & Brow Pencil split. There is a great color selection for eyeliner use, but application was difficult due to the thinness of the pencil. Additionally, it migrates after a few hours. I can't recommend it. I've also had: a brush, a constant color lip paint, and several Moisturizing Lipscreen SPF15 break down packaging wise, long before the product was finished. I will say that Paula's Choice replaced a couple of the items, but not all of them. To conclude, if you need your makeup packaging to hold up under any kind of regular use, stay away from Paula's Choice products (because these items have been in my makeup box, not a purse).
Lip Treatments -Paula's Choice - Moisturizing Lipscreen SPF 15 (stick)
v70t5m 2/29/2008 3:28:00 PM
I've had packaging problems with a few products in the past: Revlon and Cover Girl eyeliner lids, and a couple of lip stick lids that split. However, I've never had so many product packages self destruct as I've had with Paula's Choice products. The lids of these, and I've purchased a handful, crack and fall off at a unreasonable rate. I'd say half or more. I actually like this product. I can't handle fragrance, but the scent of this is not unpleasant. I've never had it leave a white residue on my lips, the worst I've ever experienced was the old Clinique's Lip Treatment stick. Ugh. And it works. But I have to admit that I've switched to different products. For sun protection: Aveeno Active Naturals Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner SPF 15. For evening: Lip Vitamins Lip Balm in Vanilla Bean (apparently only available at $1 stores now). I've also had: a brush, several ultra-thin eye & brow pencils, and a constant color lip paint break down packaging wise, long before the product was finished. I will say that Paula's Choice replaced a couple of the items, but not all of them. To conclude, if you need your makeup packaging to hold up under any kind of regular use, stay away from Paula's Choice products (because these items have been in my makeup box, not a purse).
Lipstick -Paula's Choice - Constant Color Lip Paint
v70t5m 2/29/2008 3:12:00 PM
I've had packaging problems with a few products in the past: Revlon and Cover Girl eyeliner lids, and a couple of lip stick lids that split. However, I've never had so many product packages self destruct as I've had with Paula's Choice products. The lid of a constant color lip paint split, leaving smears of lipstick wherever it touched. I've also had: a brush, several ultra-thin eye & brow pencils, and several Moisturizing Lipscreen SPF15 break down packaging wise, long before the product was finished. I will say that Paula's Choice replaced a couple of the items, but not all of them. To conclude, if you need your makeup packaging to hold up under any kind of regular use, stay away from Paula's Choice products (because these items have been in my makeup box, not a purse).
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Juice Organics Nourishing Cleanser
v70t5m 10/1/2007 11:35:00 AM
I strongly discourage use of this product as a cleanser. It's main ingredients are juice, oils, and glycerin. None of these will actually "clean". You are adding oil to your skin, and my skin felt very oily after using this, and I just thought "it's not completely stripping the skin of its natural oils". Well, actually, it's just not cleaning, at all. I started to break out (having used this product three days in a row). I finally ran a cotton ball of toner over my face after using the Juice Organics "Nourishing Cleanser" ... AND ... PULLED THE REMAINING MAKEUP AND OIL ... OFF MY POOR ABUSED SKIN!!!!! It's not the ingredients in the cleanser that caused me to break out, but the fact that it doesn't work. It does not clean, and is a waste of money, product, and (of course) more plastic packaging. My partner is going to try this as a first step in cleaning up grease from hands, etc. I'll update later. Basically oils and grease are nonpolar and won't wash off easily in water (which is polar) so the "nourishing cleanser" may work as a first step in getting grimy stuff off hands. We will see.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Juice Organics - Antioxidant Serum
v70t5m 10/1/2007 11:26:00 AM
Meh. Waste of money. This makes no change in my skin. It feels heavy and funky when I put it on, and my Seborrheic Dermatitis does not like it. (I actually do better with diluted Tea Tree Oil.) I've seen no effect in the weeks that I've used it, and it makes me think that people are getting ripped off (yet again, continually?) by cosmetics companies. I don't recommend this product, their lip amplifier, or their nourishing cleanser (which made me break out). I do recommend Juice Organics Brightening Moisturizer. I put it on before bed just about every night. It is not too oily, nor too dry. Very good for my combination skin.
Tinted Moisturizer -Unlisted Brand - Juice Organics tinted moisturiser spf 30
v70t5m 10/1/2007 11:18:00 AM
Second review - winter update We had a mild winter, and the humidity never dropped that low. I have to repeat what I said below, this product just doesn't work in a humid environment, period. I'm foisting my bottle off on someone else. Anybody live in the desert? First review - summer I live in the humid south. I tried this several times before throwing in the towel until winter sets in. I've had the same complaints as other reviewers: odd scent that does go away quickly, some difficulty in application, and a bit too pale for me. My biggest problem is my humidity. My skin cannot breath around this foundation, and I suspect it is the titanium dioxide. It is resting on the skin rather than sinking into it like our "chemical" sunscreens do. So, basically, I've plastered plastic wrap on my face and go out to swelter. I start sweating immediately, and I'm sure that I've rubbed everything off in a fairly short amount of time. I plan to retry this in the winter, and will make an update then. For now, if you live in a humid environment, give this a pass. Juice Organics items recommended: Brightening Moisturizer - not too heavy, not too light for my combo skin Juice Organics items not recommended: Nourishing Cleanser - broke me out, badly. Has no ingredients to remove oily residue from the skin. It just adds oil to the skin. No cleaning. I took toner to my skin after using this cleanser, and removed all the makeup that this was left behind. Really, not recommended. Vitamin Antioxidant Serum - no effect on me. I would not recommend as I think it is a waste of money. Lip Amplifier - (don't expect any plumping in any way, shape, or form) is a fairly good moisturizer that I put on before I go to sleep. But Aveeno's Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner works just as well and costs less.
I would almost make a place for Divine's L'ame soeur in my fragrance collection. This is the closest I've ever come to liking a floral. My favorites consist of: Bvlgari's Au the Vert, Diptyque's Philosykos, Caron's Parfum Sacre, and i Profumi's Ambra del Nepal. I seriously dislike florals. They make me feel like Goldilocks: this one's too sweet, that one's too strong, this one's too heavy, this one's just wrong, etc. However, from the first time I tried Divine's L'ame soeur, I've been a little bit "in like" with it. The rose isn't overpowering, and the amber mellows it out just enough. I get a touch of powder, not too much. And I spend the day "smelling" myself. :) I won't be adding this simply due to price. It is too expensive a perfume for the occasional wear I would give it. So I will enjoy my sample and listen for the whispers of a lower priced duplicate.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Carthusia I Profumi - Ligea
v70t5m 9/30/2007 1:47:00 PM
I sometimes wonder if my samples are mis-labeled ... I get a slightly resinous (opoponax, obviously) ambery wood blend with this fragrance. No powder. No citrus. I like it. A nice summer combo for me. I will finish out the sample before I buy a bottle, but just like Diptyque's Philosykos I go around with my arm glued to my nose. There is something very enthralling about this fragrance. Recommended.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Carthusia I Profumi - IO 'Capri'
v70t5m 9/30/2007 1:40:00 PM
This is a softer fig in comparison to Diptyque's Philosykos. Not quite as green. I like them both, but would probably reach for Philosykos first. I'm going back and forth on whether I'd like a bottle or split of this. It's an interesting, light, soft fragrance. In a word, quiet. Subdued. I don't get a hint of mint. I'll definitely be working my way through the entire sample, and I can't say that about many fragrances. My go to Fragrances: Bvlgari Au the Vert Caron Parfum Sacre Diptyque Philosykos i Profumi's Ambra del Nepal
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Carthusia I Profumi - Fiori di Capri
v70t5m 9/30/2007 1:32:00 PM
Blech, ick, nasty, etc. In Carthusia and Fiori's defense, I have only found one floral I like so far ... Carthusia Aria di Capri ... and I've tried many. Floral and I do not get along for the most part. My notes on this fragrance are summed up by: old lady floral with a hint of incense. And I love i Profumi's Ambra del Nepal, but Aria never mellowed enough for me. If you are a fan of strong, but not too strong florals, this might be right up your alley. My fragrances are: Bvlgari Au the Vert Caron's Parfum Sacre EDT Diptyque's Philosykos i Profumi's Ambra del Nepal
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Carthusia Aria di Capri
v70t5m 9/30/2007 1:27:00 PM
I can't stand most florals, and Carthusia's Fiori is right up there with icky florals. However, Aria di Capri is a delightful floral. I think I can honestly say it is one of the only florals I've ever tested that I can almost see myself wearing. It is not too sweet, or cloying. It doesn't smell like Grandma's attic. If I end up buying a bottle, I will return and edit.
Copied from LusciousCargo.com "O-Piu opens with citrus notes of bitter orange, bergamot from Calabria and Sicilian Lemon. The heart of this gem is chockablock with flowers and spice: Damascus rose, lavender, Lily of the Valley, coriander, jasmine, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, white and black pepper, nutmeg, geranium and, blessedly, carnation. This bold and breezily confident brew of sumptuous notes segues into a bottom like no other: both Oriental and woodsy, notes include white musk, vanilla orchid, oak, red patchouli and vetiver. " I get almost nothing but Carnation in the opening (no citrus to be found). It is strong but not overwhelming ... i.e. no headache was induced. In the mid I start picking up a bit of vanilla and a hint of spice. And it segues into an incense for me. Quite a bit of patchouli, but not much else. Musks tend to twist on me, but I did not have that problem with O-piu. That tells me any musk in here is pretty well overpowered by other scents. Definitely more complex that most of the i Profumi's imported to the U.S. Being that I'm not a big fan of florals or incensey fragrances, I'm not running out for a bottle. But, if either of those describes you: floral fan or incense fan, you might want to try a sample. My fragrances are: Bvgari's Au the Vert Caron's Parfum Sacre Diptyque's Philosykos i Profumi's Ambra del Nepal