I bought this product based on some good reviews saying it gave a very natural coverage and a dewy finish. It does do that, but only if you already have very good skin. I have oily skin with minor blemishes and quite some redness. This foundation tones down the overall redness of my skin but does not succeed in covering up blemishes or smaller red spots. I also have oil breaking through after a couple of hours, even when I use mattifying powder to set it. I think I will try to use this up on holiday trips and such occasions when I would normally not wear any make-up, for looking slightly better :). Pros: - lightweight formula - easy to apply - natural, dewey looking finish - good colour selection for pale skin, better than most department store foundations Cons: - gives no more than light coverage, hardly buildable - not good at keeping oil at bay - not long lasting, at least not for oily skin
I have always been someone who changes shampoos every couple of months. But finally it seems like a have found 'the one'. I have repurchase twice already and the bottles are quite large, so that means something. Why I love this? For some time now, I'd been looking for a more natural shampoo to reduce my ecological footprint. I'm not a hippie who believes all chemicals are bad for you, but the amount we get into the sewer system each day in the name of personal hygiene was weighing on my conscience. Unfortunately, most 'ecological' shampoos left my hair an unmanageable mess. Until I found this one. I don't feel that 'yes to cucumbers' does a lot for my hair colour. But it leaves my hair soft and healthy, and even has an unexpected bonus: it's the first shampoo to really reduce oiliness (I can go two days without washing now) and ... itchy scalp! I had tried different anti-dandruff shampoos in the past but none of those seemed to help. Now I still have some left but it hardly bothers me especially since the itchiness is gone! Mind you, this is no miracle product: you definitely have to follow up with a good conditioner (the yes to cucumbers conditioner is perfect for daily use) or your hair will be too dry. But for me, it's the best.
Eternal optimist is a gorgeous neutral. On my nails it does not look very nude (as some people call it), but that may be because of my pale skin. It's more in between salmon and baby pink (on the website they call it tea rose), a creamy colour that is still very lively because of the glossy finish. In my opinion, it's the perfect everyday colour for a twentysomething like me. It's serious and toned down enough for office wear but at the same time it's a unique tint with a hint of girliness that's never dull. Love it, can't stop looking at my nails when I'm wearing it. Only took of a lippie because it applies a little streaky (rather thick consistency). Generally however, it's opaque in two coats.
I don't like this concealer. First of all, way to much comes out of the pump then you'll ever need especially for under eye concealment. With stuff this expensive, that's just really frustrating. Secondly, it doesn't stay in place. It conceals dark circles quite well but after a couple of hours, I find it suddenly shows me lines underneath my eyes which had never shown before! (I'm 27 - I see no lines even when studying my face up close in the mirror when I'm not wearing makeup or when I wear my cheaper Rimmel concealer.) Good thing I bought it together with the Pro Longwear Foundation, so now I can use it up mixing it with my NW20 foundation to lighten it :p. Yay, a way to make one okay product out of two underperforming, overpriced buys.
This foundation seemed right when I bought it, but turned out rather disappointing. I have to say I did some research online before going to the MAC store and was actually kind of predisposed to buy it. Maybe that's why I overlooked the fact that NW15, which for some reason doesn't exist for Pro Longwear, is actually my right colour for most of the year. I got the NW20 because the SA told me it worked and because it seemed to work when applied to my cheeck. But in daylight, when I have a full face on, it just doesn't look right. It probably will during those two months of the year when I am tanned. But for now I lighten the colour by mixing it with my Pro Longwear concealer in NW15. Which makes it even more expensive stuff. But moving on. The lasting power, one of the reasons I wanted this, is actually quite good. Only on my nose does it gradually disappear during the day, but then again I have allergies so the stuff would have to be like glue in order to keep from transferring into my hankies. But apart from the colour, the reason why I wouldn't repurchase is actually the finish. It looks pretty natural and soft-focus when viewed in soft light or from some distance. But up close it gives me that heavy makeup look and it emphasizes the irregularities in my skin. Even though I apply it quite lightly and really buff it in. That's obviously NOT what I want. Another small con is the smell. I has something acidic in it, smelling as if some ingredient in it has gone bad ... Not a dealbreaker for me, but not very pleasant either. So pro's: - long lasting - looks good in pictures Cons: - looks far from airbrushed up close - no NW15! - bad smell - pump bottle (always dry clumps at the pump & I imagine it will be hard getting the last bit out)
This is absolutely not what I had expected. I went to the store and on an impulse bought this nailpolish, knowing that Essie has such nice, often unique shades of colour. I picked it out from about ten shades that were very close, based only on the plastic 'swatch' that the sales rack provides. On that swatch the colour was exactly like the colour in the pot. Unfortunately, on my nails it turns out almost completely transparent, even after several layers. I wish I had done my internet research before picking out a 10 € shade that looks like any cheap transparent polish. The only thing that kept me from giving this product the lowest rating, is the fact that the consistency of the polish is really nice to work with and I also like the wide brush.
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Spa Wisdom Polynesia Monoi Miracle Oil
vloterbiegje 12/23/2011 9:50:00 AM
I bought a sample bottle of this oil on a whim, so I can't complain about the price. But I do not find this a miracle oil. Of all the uses described on the label, it only serves me as ... an oil. It's better smelling and slightly less greasy than kitchen oil, but for all other purposes it's sort of identical. Some people use it in their hair as either treatment of styling, but for me neither works. As treatment, I have to use tons of shampoo to get it out and there is no visible effect on my hair. As styling: even the tiniest amount just makes my hair look ... oily! You could probably use it instead of a body lotion if your skin was really dry, but mine isn't and I don't like a greasy layer on my skin. Also, the smell (jasmin or something?) is too strong to apply all over. The only use if have found for this is as a treatment for my hands in the cold months. The skin on my hands is currently dryer than usual, so I rub this in fervently in the morning and lather it on more richly before bedtime, and it does make my hands look a bit better. I am glad I will be able to use it up now but will not repurchase - will find a good hand cream instead.
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Soft Hands Kind Heart Hand Cream
vloterbiegje 12/23/2011 9:41:00 AM
I bought this mainly because of the good cause associated with it - without the sales pitch I would probably have gone for the tried-and-true almond oil hand and nail cream. Luckily I got the smallest tube. I do not understand the good reviews here. This lotion disappears on me in no time. It feels nice and moisturizing at first touch but does not change either the appearance or the feel of my skin for more than half a minute or so, then it's gone. Actually the only thing that lingers is the sharp smell of olives (does this serve to convince me that there actually is some nourishing olive oil in there?). My hands are not that dry so the only plus is that the lotion does not actually do any harm to my skin. So next time I will seperate beauty-buying from charity again; after all selfishly buying a hand cream does not stop you from donating (maybe even more than, say 4 dollars) to a charitable cause of your own choice.
This was my first MAC foundation, and although I have already repurchased it (in a lighter colour for winter), I am not sure I will stick with it. I bought it when I wanted a long lasting foundation with a natural finish, to be honest, for my wedding day. And it did look very good that day! In summer I am an NW 20, in winter an NW 15. The foundation stays put quite well and had a nice glowing (but not greasy) finish. With my oily skin, I have to blot after about four hours. It seemed to work well with my skin and definitely did not break me out. The only problem is, I am starting to prefer lighter formulas. This creme foundation goes on pretty heavy; it gives good and natural looking coverage but it does feel sort of sticky on the face and remains so. Also I have come to the conclusion that I do prefer liquid foundations, in application as well as in how they feel on my face. If you consider this, just let a SA try it on your face at the counter. Next time I want to splurge on a MAC foundation again, I think I'll try something else though.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant
vloterbiegje 7/28/2011 2:51:00 PM
I started using this product maybe two years ago, and have repurchased it once. I usually buy drugstore brands so I find Paula's Choice products quite expensive, especially with the shipping included. But at least this one just works! In the morning I use a mattifying day cream with retinoids from a different brand. In the evening I use the 2% BHA gel. And this combination generally keeps my skin under control! After years of dealing with acne, not horrible acne but never free of zits, I finally found a good skin care regime. If I stop using one of both products or replace it with the other, the zits reappear OR my skin gets too dry. So yeah, I am impressed with this product. That is not to say it does everything that it promises. According to Paula, the formulation should improve shape and function of the pore or something like it, and thereby clear your skin of blackheads. But the shape of my pores seems unaltered after two years and I still have to use my fingers from time to time to keep the blackheads under control. I just purchased the 'balancing toner' and maybe adding this to my regime will make a difference, but if not I will just have to resign myself to the fact that I will never have perfect skin. Anyhow, after years of experimenting with tea tree oil, garnier products, and the more expensive Normaderm line, all in vain, I am just very pleased that now my skin looks acceptable and I don't have to look like a hormonal teenager anymore now I'm in my late twenties. From time to time my skin still acts up and decides to start flaking or produce a small zit anyhow, but that is always quickly fixed without the use of aggressive products. And if I do want that perfect skin, I'll just use a good foundation.
Bronzers -The Body Shop - Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder
vloterbiegje 7/28/2011 2:33:00 PM
I never used bronzer before because I have very pale skin and live in Belgium, where the beach babe look only works for a couple of weeks a year. But when The Body Shop released this bronzer as part of their new product line based on community fair trade honey, it got so many good reviews out here I thought I could give it a try. And I like it. I got the lightest shade, which is strangely called light matte 02 - they only have one darker shade btw. The SA said it was hard to overapply the light one and I could very well choose the darker one too, but that I felt was too tricky. In the shop the light shade did look very subtle. But luckily I didn't cave, when I got home I found it IS possible to overapply even the lightest shade. (My neck is very pale and when I just slap on the powder it makes my face look too tan for my neck, blah.) But it is great for getting a nice glow or for shaping. You can apply it on the cheeckbone for a typical bronzed look or to replace your blush. Because it is completely matte, you can also use it to contour. It is very flattering and easy to apply. I only have to use very little of it and will probably only use it in summer; but if I ever run out of it and they still make it, I would probably repurchase.
Liquid -Bourjois - Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation
vloterbiegje 7/28/2011 2:03:00 PM
Oops I did it again. I read so many good reviews online on this new Bourjois foundation that I went to the store, tested the lightest colour on my jaw line and bought it. The problem with testing a foundation on your jaw line in artificial lights is you can still have the colour wrong. And as it was with my Bourjois Matte and Lovely foundation, here again the lightest shade was a little too ... peachy for me. Not really orange, but actually peachy. I still wear the foundation though, the bottle wasn't that cheap and when I self-tan, the colour isn't too far off. Still, I know my face colour and when I apply this foundation generously, it just looks a tad wrong. Anyhow, I won't repurchase because Bourjois doesn't have the right shade for me. Other than that, this foundation is quite nice. I have oily skin and this doesn't make it worse or break me out. It has light to medium (buildable) coverage, and a natural finish. Not matte, not satiny, just natural. Which, I discovered now, I quite like, especially for summer. Also, this stuff holds up pretty good. If you blot once in a while, it might even stay on for 16 hours like it says. This foundation feels really comfortable on the skin. It does not change the condition of my skin in a good way, but I had not really expected that and overall I'm just happy that it doesn't change my skin in a bad way and doesn't seem to interfere with my skin care regime. So I guess next summer I'll start searching for something like this but with better shades.
I just bought this lipstick in Rose Scintillant, which is a beautiful, subtle pink with a nice satiny shine to it. I usually don't wear lipstick because I like a natural look and also because it easily comes off or gets messy. Also, my lips get chapped so fast. This colour, however, I can really see myself wearing to any type of party as a finishing touch, or it could work for the day-time too. The lipstick itself is thick and creamy, it felt very comfortable and did not seem to dry my lips (and I left it on for a couple of hours). Also, because it is so thick it lasted really long. There's just two things I'm not too fond of: the packaging (the lipstick is in a large, square container that looks fancy but I don't find very practical) and the price, about 12 € in Belgium. Then again, in my opinion all drugstore brands are getting more expensive... so much for experimenting with make-up.
Ideal Finish is my day-to-day foundation, especially in winter as the lightest shade (nude) is a near perfect match for my winter skin. It has medium coverage and a silky matte finish. PROS - easy to apply, with a sponge or with fingertips - for a matte but still natural look, perfect for work - practical packaging, the plastic tube makes it easy to squeeze out the right amount of product, it seems to last forever (about six months for me) and you can squeeze out the last drop - when my skin gets oilier during the day, the product still remains somewhat in place and does not turn a darker shade - it does not worsen my oily, acne-prone skin CONS - it also does not help my oily, acne-prone skin - but I've stopped expecting that from a foundation - my face never looks as perfect in the afternoon as it did in the morning after I just applied my make-up, even with blotting and re-powdering (again, I haven't found a product that wonderful yet) - it accentuates flakiness, so when it freezes outside and even my oily skin gets dry it doesn't work very well any more CONCLUSION I would say that this is pretty fool-proof product and a decent day-to-day foundation for the price you pay.
This is a muted pink powder blush which is very suitable for pale, cool-toned skin. Since that's my kind of skin, I like it very much. I'm not a fan of shimmer or a pearly/satin finish in a blush cause somehow that looks very fake and unflattering on me. This blush is very matte, with only a few sparkles in it that I doubt will ever show up on your face, so that's good (for me). It's highly pigmented so don't overdo it. If you apply too much, the result is a pink dot or stripe on your face. If applied carefully however, the result is very natural and the pink is softened with brown/mauvish undertones. All in all, the essentials of this blush are okay: I love the color, and the texture is fine. I took off one lippie for the packaging: though it's cute, the little case is kind of hard to open and I can imagine it breaking after a while (i've only purchased just recently). On top of that the powder itself forms a little hill in its case, making it harder to pick up an even amount with your powder brush. But those are minor inconveniences. And by the way, unlike most other reviewers I actually find the tiny brush that's included surprisingly handy. I would definitely repurchase, though I'm quite sure this blush will last me a couple of years seeing how little you have to use.