Toners -Neostrata - Toning Solution Level 2 (10% Glycolic Acid, 2% Salicylic Acid)
vaigai 2/26/2013 4:38:00 PM
This stuff is..amazing. I stumbled on this after using basically everything in the world to fix my acne: antibiotic creams, retinoids, oral antibiotics, natural stuff (tea tree, tamanu, turmeric, lemon juice, rosehip, lavender) - and it works. I have the "level 3" toner now (worked up from level 2) and use it in combination with the "level 3" oil-free smoothing lotion (also AMAZING). Use twice a day on a cotton pad and yes, it totally stings super bad..but you can see it work. Hyperpigmentation spots just peel off, have way less clogged pores and basically no blackheads. I started using this stuff while travelling a LOT for school interviews (12 places in 2 weeks), wearing tons of makeup for these interviews every day. I usually break out like crazy (adding the stress and bad diet and travelling) - this made my skin somehow look BETTER after all that. The cons? It is costly, and not "natural" at all. Bottom line: worth every penny.
I wanted to love this, I really did! It was my very first MAC lipstick, and I purchased it after reading all the reviews. I'm a woman of colour and I thought it would particularly suit my skin-tone. I saw that the lipstick in the tube looked "strange" in the store, but wasn't deterred. It applies really frosty - too much, and the frost is a "cool" not a golden one, which doesn't suit my skin tone. The berry undertones are barely visible - though pretty obvious on the make-up wipe when you remove it weirdly enough!! The lipstick itself is dry dry dry, and while it does have pretty decent staying power, only putting a clear balm or gloss over it makes it feel tolerable. It feels like a straight up lip pencil. The pictures look gorgeous, so maybe this is a lipstick that looks different on everybody. BOTTOM LINE: see if you can try on a sample before you purchase this, because it isn't for everyone. It certainly wasn't for me!
I first got this product a while ago for my KP and didn't use it diligently. I was a bit put off by its sour smell and stickyness and wasn't in the habit of using any product diligently anyway.. I rediscovered it in my closet about a month ago and have been using it once a day (at night time after showering) on my arms and also on my legs for stubborn in-grown hairs from shaving. It has worked WONDERS but it takes time and regular use. The KP on my arms is basically gone! I combine it with a scrubby cloth like salux and basic Dr. Bronner's lavender soap as bodywash. My legs are rapidly improving (though not perfect - had really bad in-grown hairs). THEN recently, I got the idea to try it on my face. I have pretty bad acne and clogged pores, am using a retinoid/BP combo and am mostly improving. All the breakouts are gone, but tons of clogged pores and dull skin, plus dry and flakey from the retinoid. I was scared of using this because it has parabens and other stuff, but it worked like a miracle! I slathered some onto a clean face at night, and in the morning my face was smooth, breakout free and flake free. This stuff is a miracle. CONS: -I wouldn't put this on your face unless your face is "bullet-proof". My face isn't sensitive and can tolerate most harsh stuff pretty well. This stuff still stung. -It does not smell nice. It has a lingering sour-ish scent. -This stuff is sticky and takes a while to sink in. Kind of gross. Overall: Would 100% recommend to anybody with KP and people with dull dry facial skin/clogged pores/acne that don't have sensitive skin. Maybe they can try the 5% first? This is totally worth the money!
I usually love LUSH products, and have used almost all of their solid shampoos... but this time, I got talked into buying a liquid conditioner by the sales attendant and regret! regret! regret! it. For reference, I asked for a moisturizing conditioner with a 'light' scent that wouldn't weight my hair down. I bought the smaller bottle (to try, because I wasn't sure I would like it). My hair is usually wavy, thick, dark, and gets washed every other day. I used the conditioner with the "trichomania" solid shampoo. Pros: -I honestly...can't think of any. This isn't even great for shaving. Cons: -THE SMELL IS AWFUL! I like "herbal" scents a lot usually, but this was sold to me as "smells like strawberries and vanilla.. like a cake". The scent is NOTHING like strawberries and smells like some sort of intense.. spicy.. herbal mish mash. Cloves? Either way, it overpowers the gentle scent of trichomania, I constantly get asked if I am wearing a "new" perfume (not in a positive way) and it barely fades. I almost thought the bottle was mislabelled.. -Not moisturizing, just greasy. My hair looked better when I used VINEGAR as a conditioner. It weighs my hair down, but it doesn't feel or look particularly soft. -Expensive for what it does (mostly nothing). Bottom line: Sorry LUSH, this one was an utter fail for me.
I love these wipes!! I actually decided to try them on the strength of their MUA reviews and I don't regret my choice! Background: I have oily, clog-prone skin with previously really bad breakouts that have slowly been getting better over 4 months. I'm on a lemon juice and retin-a/benzoyl peroxide regime and mostly my skin has tons of residual scarring but not any new breakouts. I usually use no-name wet wipes (I knoooowww) to take my makeup off. Pros: -these exfoliate (somehow) better than my clarisonic. LEGIT. -fragrance free, if some of the "liquid" gets in my eyes by accident, doesn't even burn -gentle but highly effective at getting off makeup, everything except waterproof mascara (which I rarely use) -25/pack isn't bad if you use 1 a day -no harsh chemicals Cons: -would (like the others already stated) prefer a plastic closure, but I store the wipes lid side down and am careful to close them properly, so they work fine. -a bit pricey (more than.. store brand wet wipes!) but worth it if you can afford them -they aren't great for the environment (obvs) and are a disposable product.. but useful in travelling Overall: BUY THESE.
Lip Treatments -The Body Shop - Born Lippy - Pomegranate
vaigai 6/26/2012 12:44:00 AM
I got this product as a freebie in a "buy 2 get 1 free" offer at TBS, and I'm very pleasantly surprised! I had a satsuma "born lippy" pot gloss before and it was.. not very good. The smell was amazing, but it was sticky, goopy, didn't moisturize, the packaging was gross, and it was overpriced.. So when I saw the new 'chapstick' packaging by the register, I thought I would try this out. Pros: -smells exactly like "sunkist" fruit snacks from when I was a kid!! I love this but some people might hate it -generally doesn't have a taste -applies super smoothly (slick almost) , isn't greasy, has reasonable (4-5 hours with no eating) staying power -barely barely noticeable tint (this one is a bit orangey red, but definitely transparent) -the solid packaging eliminates any goop factor -the packaging in general is cute, really functional, and doesn't come apart in your bag Cons: -no shimmer, but this isn't the worst thing, shimmers can run gritty sometimes! Summary: I was pleasantly surprised by this reformulation and I will DEFINITELY repurchase! Really really liked this!
Primer/ Corrector -Urban Decay - De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray
vaigai 6/18/2012 7:04:00 PM
I wasn't sure about this product initially - I wanted to get MAC's Fix + setting spray, and the reviews for that product were good, while the reviews for this were mixed... However, my main "problem" with my makeup isn't that it slides off per se, it's that I constantly have to deal with a grease slick and blot/powder all the time. I have a really active work/life style and this doesn't fit with me... I followed the directions from here - spray on a clean, lightly moisturized face before primer. I use smashbox's photo finish light primer, followed by MUFE HD foundation, MUFE concealer and Laura Mercier translucent pressed setting powder. I spray on after I powder over the my whole face, let it dry, and lightly powder one more time. I wore this to a wedding - put my makeup on at 2:30 in the afternoon - where I danced until 2 AM and was literally DRIPPING sweat (gross I know!). I went to the bathroom around 11:30 *sure* my makeup and face were a disgusting mess, and I was barely shiny. I didn't even really have to powder. My makeup was *flawless*. My eyeliner had run a slight bit from the sweat, but everything else held. Even in regular environments, my makeup is never flawless - about an hour after putting it on, its shiny and gross. This is nothing short of a miracle! Pros: -I have incredibly break-out prone skin and this didn't break me out -Sets makeup beautifully, doesn't prevent ALL oil, but does a magical job nonetheless -No strong smell, good misting action of the spray bottle Cons: -Expensive (~$30 CDN at Sephora) (but worth it?) -The bottle is FUGLY. Not the most important thing but the label looks like.. a dollar store odour removing spray label? The bottle looks hideous on my vanity, and I actually put it back in the box to store it.. -UD tests on animals now? Soon? Something, but that is lame. Bottom line: If you have grease-slick skin that you need to constantly repowder/touch up/blot, this is a miracle product that will make a huge difference. I would buy this again and again unless I find something cheaper that works just as well, or a different same price brand that doesn't test on animals.
Eyeliner -L'Oreal - Carbon Black Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner
vaigai 6/10/2012 2:10:00 PM
Love liquid liner, and this stuff has a .. unique formulation? Other liquid liners I use are more like paint... thick and forming a layer almost... This stuff is more watery and the colour isn't as dense. The greatest thing about this eyeliner is its brush. Pros: -I would recommend for first time liquid liner users, the brush is flexible enough to allow for control, but not a real "brush" so less chance of mistakes -Applies very smoothly and precisely -Packaging is pretty elegant -Decent staying power -Maybe b/c of its more "watery" formula, NEVER flakes or crumbles and is very low irritation Cons: -Colour isn't that buildable or strong -Runs out fairly quickly... as the eyeliner starts running out the colour weakens a LOT -Not that cheap, for a drugstore brand -THEY TEST ON ANIMALS Overall: -Consider if you want a low-fuss product for figuring out how to use liquid liner or want a low-irritation product that isn't *super* bold
Eyeliner -Maybelline - Line Works Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
vaigai 6/10/2012 2:04:00 PM
I rotate between a few liquid liners, but this is my HG. I used to use liquid liner almost every day - broke the habit while I was living in a tiny Ghanaian village for four months, but I still LOVE liquid liner. I'm also a dancer in a touring company: we do all of our makeup and this has been our go-to product for over 12 years!! The formula is thick, opaque (a single stroke will not have "bald" patches or see through areas), applies beautifully over other makeup or on its own, has >18 hour lasting power (I'm a doctor.. I wear this stuff on call!), is basically waterproof, and the felt tip makes it easy to apply a thin or thick line. You can build the thickness and even draw some simple designs. Packaging doesn't leak or break and this stuff lasts (with daily use) at least 2 months. Also I'm a contact lens wearer and its fairly non-irritating, doesn't flake or crumble off, and comes off easily with soap and water. CONS: -maybe not the best for first time liquid liner users because it doesn't wipe off that easily if you make a mistake -MAYBELLINE TESTS ON ANIMALS AND THIS IS SUCKS!!!! Summary: -I will buy this product again, and again and again. BUT: I'm actively on the lookout for an eyeliner this good from a company with better ethics, and when I find that eyeliner.. I'm bailing! Meanwhile, gonna keep writing Maybelline letters...
Weird to see glowing reviews on here.. I received this product in a luxe-box and I love liquid liner so I was eager to try it out. I'm also a veteran liquid liner user and wear it almost everyday - this stuff SUCKED. The product was goopy and thick and applied well in short (<1 cm) lines on the back of your hand but when you try to apply it to your eyelid it starts drying ON THE BRUSH. It is somehow dry and dense but simultaneously offers horrible coverage with patchy spots. The brush was too pliable and while it let you make a fine enough line.. it was hard to build. Basically, I've never really heard of NYX before but based on this product it seems like a horribly cheap and awful drugstore line...something they would sell in a dollar store. Would not buy again. Ever.
Blush -Wet 'n' Wild - Color Icon Blush - Berry Shimmer
vaigai 6/10/2012 1:49:00 PM
This is my HG blush! The first blush I ever owned was a Rimmel berry colour with the lightest shimmer, and i used that till I hit pan and basically it was empty.. But because I had worn off the label/they stopped making that kind, I could never find it again! I bought this on a whim and the colour/packaging looked unimpressive in the store, but it was cheap. This blush applies beautifully, there is a really delicate gold shimmer that doesn't have huge flecks of glitter and isn't unflattering. SUPER PIGMENTED so apply with a light hand, or you'll look like a clown. I use this for everyday or apply more heavily for night time - its my summer blush, for winter I use something more matte and toned down. I've swatched many NARS colours and I would still prefer this - an almost perfect blush for WOC or olive undertone skin. Only complaint is the packaging sucks and I'm still figuring out how to 'depot' stuff... The brush it came with (long since lost) is huge and takes up tons of space.. wish they made this with just a square of blush and a plastic lid! Will DEF buy again!!
Found this in the sale bin for about $2 (which is pretty good for a L'oreal e/s) and the colour didn't look that impressive in the pan, but I figured.. why not? I've had it for 2 or 3 years, and forgot about it. I noticed this today while cleaning out my stash and tried it on dry - looked okay (a good neutral eye) and applied pretty beautifully. Tried it on with my favourite eyeshadow "primer" (contact lens solution) and the colour was a lovely shimmery copper that suits darker skin tones perfectly. With some smudgy black liner this creates a really nice exotic and simple look! My only complaint is that the packaging is awful: the plastic 'window' in the lid fell out five minutes after I opened it, and the eyeshadow has gone to bits in the pan.. Great colour for darker skin tones overall. Might look great with blue eyes too!!
This stuff is awesome! I got a sample-size in a luxebox and at first, I wasn't too enthused about the 'tubes' concept. I have fairly long and thick eyelashes and I hate wearing non-clear mascara because it looks clumpy and gross on me and doesn't do much. This stuff though.. amazing. It subtly thickens and lengthens my lashes - they look dramatic and beautiful like falsies - but NO CLUMPS. This formula is super smooth and the brush doesn't look like anything special, but it works. My only complaint with this mascara is that I don't actually notice the "tube" effect - it comes off in little.. speckles.. which can be irritating to my eyes. And it takes a TON of effort to get this off (which is good..ish..). It is definitely "better" than waterproof. I'm not sure how much it costs full size or in store, but when this runs out.. I will definitely repurchase unless it is crazy expensive.
Pressed Powders -Laura Mercier - Pressed Setting Powder - Translucent
vaigai 5/31/2012 11:39:00 AM
Got this along with my first foundation (MUFE HD in 170) on recommendation from the SA at Sephora. I think I have the oil-free kind? I don't use the puff that comes with it, but instead use the Ecotools retractable kabuki. This powder has a greenish cast in the pan, applies a bit whitish/greenish (not the worst I have seen) and settles out about 10 minutes after application. It sets my makeup and concealer reasonably well.. I'm saying reasonably, because this is the first "real" powder or foundation I have owned. I have really oily skin and no matter what, 2 or 3 hours after I put my makeup on, I'm a shine fest. This stuff helps, but it isn't perfect. Over all: I like that this is a pressed powder (portable, minimal mess), it didn't break me out or irritate my skin, it sets my makeup well, and I would buy it again. **However** if there was a powder somebody recommended that is "amazing", I would buy that instead.. cause this stuff is.. alright.
Got this free in a luxe box and wasn't too excited initially. I mean, okay... A topcoat... Woohoo? I usually don't wear nail polish on my hands bc I can't for work but also bc it always chips/smudges/gets wrecked in the first day. I had basically given up. This stuff is awesome!!! It's like gel nails... At home!! Apply to polish while it's still wet, wrap the tips, and let dry. Smells nasty, prob full of frightening chemicals, but this stuff dries and glosses polish to rock hard shine :) I didn't "purchase" the first time, but I'll buy this again!!