I had been using Clinique's 3-step system for years, and although it worked for me as a teenager, now in my mid-twenties it was too drying. I found a great cleanser and moisturizer from Boscia, trying to go a bit more natural, but my skin was still out of control adjusting to the new products. This toner has made all the difference. I picked it up on a whim from the Bay, figuring I could always return it if it sucked. Pimples were dried out after one night (almost completely) but it doesn't sting or dry out my skin. Pores look smaller, my skin is less oily, and flaky patches are being erased. Even some clogged pores on my chin that were being SO stubborn have been gradually erased after less than a week of use (I think due to the ginger and papaya enzymes in the toner). Only problem? It's expensive. I'll try to wait for a salon size before buying again. I also used this with a sample of the Hydra Floral moisturizer on my cheeks and dry areas.
I got a sample of this from Sephora, after my skin had been flaring up and Clinique's dramitically different moisturizing gel was just NOT cutting it anymore. I needed something that would soothe my face (which occasionally breaks out in hives for no good reason). I had also tried a sample of When Hope is Not Enough by Philosophy, but it was too heavy for this spring weather. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ingredients list included no harsh preservatives (uses rosemary as a preservative) and that the product has an expiry date. I'm pretty well read about natural products and botanicals, and found that the ingredients list looked promising. So far (2 weeks) I'm happy with the product and plan to buy the full size this week (thanks 15% off Sephora beauty insider coupon!). I will warn you; it is a moisture treatment, and not a daily moisturizer, but I have been using it daily on my dry patches (cheeks, under eyes, crevices of nose) and having great results. Also nice under makeup, but takes a few minutes to absorb. Don't put it on your nose unless you want the shine to be visible from outer space. Update- I went ahead and bought the full size and couldn't be happier. This is great as a mask, but I've been using it (sparingly on the T-zone) on my whole face. I think the hives and occasional breakouts I'd been having were a result of dryness, not oiliness. I use it after a swim to soothe the chlorine patchiness, and every morning and night. Goodbye, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel!!
Toners -Unlisted Brand - Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
way2curlysue 9/29/2009 12:46:00 PM
Ok so I've been using this as a toner for two days now and I already notice a difference. I usually use clinique's Clarifying lotion number 3, and I love how it exfoliates (you can see the dead skin cells on the cotton pad), but I was still getting breakouts and clogged pores. I happened to see this at my local Loblaws and decided for 5 bucks, I'd give it a shot. It smells bad; no joke. My boyfriend will not come near me when I've used this, but the smell only lasts 15 minutes or so until it evaporates. I moisten a cotton pad with water, squeeze it out, and place the pad on top of the bottle. Tip it over for a second, and use whatever vinegar came out to wipe all over the face (except eye area), concentrating on the t-zone and chin. The first day, an annoying zit I had in the middle of my nose all but dissappeared, dried out, and flaked off. I think I will use this once a day (at night only) and see if it continues to have good results. So far, so good.
Bronzers -LORAC - TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer
way2curlysue 6/19/2009 11:04:00 AM
I got this product as a sample at Sephora. I let it sit in the bathroom for months, literally. Finally, I decided to use some on my face, and mixed it with my Make Up Forever HD Foundation...About 2/3 foundation to 1/3 bronzer, mix it around with a q-tip or hairpin (whatever you have that doesn't absorb) and apply as normal foundation with a MAC 187 brush. It leaves that JLo glow that I've been trying to acheive with other bronzers and highlighters. For reference I am mulatto with lighter skin, but golden undertones. You may want to add less bronzer if you're lighter. Overall, very impressed with this product. I don't know how it would react with other foundations.
Eyeliner -L'Oreal - HIP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner in Black
way2curlysue 6/3/2009 11:29:00 AM
So after hearing about all the great reviews on MUA and some other sites, I gave in and bought this. the brush that comes with this is actually ok. A bit rough though. I tried a few other brushes and ended up with a great inexpensive one from Joe Fresh cosmetics (Canada, Loblaws superstores) for 8 bucks. Its the perfect brush for this creamy eyeliner. Just thick enough to pick up the cream liner, but not too thick to make a big gloppy mess. This eyeliner lasts all day, even on the water line. I use it on my upper eyelid waterline (yes, pull your eyelid up and line just below the roots of your eyelashes). Just don't get too close to the eye itself, bc this shiz burns like a Mo&*(&(*&^ if you get it in there. It bothered my contact lenses one day, so be careful. Since then i make sure I'm right under the roots of the eyelashes and have had no problems. Next, I'll try the navy or midnight blue ones.
Ok so I used to use this, along with the soap and moisturizer as part of the the 3-step skin care regime in high school. I seem to forget that I had amazing skin in high school. The toner really does what it says; sweeps away dead skin cells and grime. That said, I also had oilier skin in high school, so now I have to HAVE TO moisturize right after using this toner. I use a natural moisturizer, or sweet almond oil right after and have very smooth skin now. Pros: really exfoliates with minimal effort; Try it, and check out a cotton pad after rubbing it over your face, neck, and chest. Gross, and totally gratifying. Cons: apparently it has a lot of acohol in it. My skin must be desensitized to it cuz it doesn't bother me, or burn. I used #2 in high school, and now i've moved up to number three. It used to burn a bit years ago, but just fan your face, or rinse it off right after, and it should be fine. Over all, great product that I keep coming back to.
I LOVE THIS COLOR. My boyfriend is more a fan of subtle color, but me, I'm always trying to get the lip color they use on taylor swift, or various models. It looks pinky-reddish, and like you just ate some pommegranites. I would definitely buy again.
I liked the Apple Stain from Joe, and of course their clothes, so I decided to try the make up out. A lip stain is a great item to have in your makeup bag, but i found that this color was not as flattering on my yellow-undertoned mulatto skin. It was too brown, but it's still ok. Apple is more reddish, and hot pinky at the same time, and gives that bitten look I was going for. I apply lightly, using the side of the felt tip, and then line the edges. Blot right away with your finger if you don't want a clowny look. Finish with some rosebud salve (or chap stick) for day. Worth it!
Makeup Brushes -MAC - Adoring Carmine 5 Basic Brushes set Holiday 2008
way2curlysue 11/24/2008 6:36:00 PM
I heard about this holiday brush set from MAC while watching DRBrooklyn730 on youtube. She is fantastic for tutorials on great makeup looks, and she also knows a thing or two about which products work! I'm not endorsing her, but for me (just learning to create more complext makeup looks) she is a lifesaver. So when I saw her review the brush set I went to check it out for myself. I prefer NARS makeup, and rarely visit MAC, but apparently both companies fall under the larger umbrella of Estee Lauder Cosmetics. The brush set is convenient because the handles are shorter. I have glasses, so getting nice and close to the mirror is no problem (no more stabbing myself in the eye with long handled brushes). These specific brushes in this set are decent quality, compared to their full size equivalents. They really do the job they're supposed to, and because they aren't face brushes (mostly eye) the coarser texture of the hairs doesn't bother me. The brush from this set that I haven't used yet is the blush brush (129). Other than that, I use all the other brushes daily and am pleased with the results I, a newbie, am able to create. Apparently you can get this from Nordstrom in the US, but for us canucks, it's still good quality at 50 dollars.
Makeup Brushes -MAC - #187 Duo Fiber Face Brush (Stippling, Skunk Brush)
way2curlysue 11/24/2008 6:30:00 PM
I love this brush! It works great with my Nars blushes which are extremely pigmented. I had been using a bare escentuals blush brush because I was at the end of my rope trying to find the perfect blush brush. This fits the bill, and best of all it can be used to apply foundation for a totally airbrushed effect. I don't use foundation daily, but it's nice to know I have a tool that can multitask. If you're like me, and just now adding good quality makeup brushes to your arsenal, pick up the SE Adoring Carmine Basic Brush set, and the mac 187, 217 amd 224 full size brushes. The small set is not as good quality as the full size, but they get the job done. They are short bristled brushes, so you can get away with the fact that they are machine made, and not hand made.
Moisturizers -Desert Essence - Jojoba Oil - 100% pure
way2curlysue 11/24/2008 6:26:00 PM
When I saw the reviews on Desert Essence Jojoba oil I had to see what all the fuss was about. I trust you ladies (and gents?) on MUA and was totally disappointed when I used it as a bath oil and broke out into a rash. I'm a lover of all things organic and natural so it was heartbreaking. A few months later I braved it again, and added a few drops of oil to my Clinique oil free moisturizing gel, and it was amazing. Totally cures winter flaky skin, and even pimples tend to relent when this soothing oil is applied. Total winner. You only need a drop or two, so this could last for months. Go get some!
This eyeshadow duo is great! I was looking for a brown that would go well with tan, golden-undertone, mulatto skin. I have brown eyes and hair, and this just adds the right about of shimmer. I prefer the lighter shade as an all-over color, but the dark color is also great around the lower lash-line and in the crease. This is one of the few duos that I feel actually can be used together! I don't know if anyone else has had problems with creasing, but the first time I wore this without a primer, I had also applied a very rich moisturizer to my eyelids, and then it creased. Since then I apply Urban Decay primer potion with my fingers to the entier lid and NO PROBLEMS! This duo also works great with the darker red-brown shade from the NARS surabaya duo. Give it a try.
Ok I admit it I'm addicted to NARS. I have a problem and the first step is admitting it. Ok now that that's over with I will continue living my life as I was before ;) This is the best eyeshadow for everyday wear EVER. Even my boyfriend noticed and he doesn't notice anything. The shadow has two shades, both of which look fantastic separately. I have brown eyes, so I tend to use the golden-beige shade on my lid and the pink-champagne shade on the browbone and to highlight the inside corner of my eyes. With a little mascara this is an excellent summer look. You get a shimmery, not glittery look on the lids that makes you look like a goddess. FYI I have tanned skin with a golden undertone, brown eyes, medium brown curly hair, and am mixed. If you have olive/latina type skin tones give this one a try.
Ok as usual NARS has me buying their ridiculously expensive but SO WORTH it products. Babe is a great color and on my tanned skin with golden undertones (mixed girl) it looks like my lip color but better. Try this with Torrid blush on cheeks, albatross highlighter and just a bit of mascara and its the perfect summer look. Plus, I don't know how but this makes my teeth look very white. Tanned ladies try this out.
I read all the reviews on MUA, and after testing Orgasm blush at sephora and not being impressed, I decided to try Torrid. If you have yellow undertones, or golden skin this is teh blush for you. Just a bit of sparkle, and the perfect "i just went for a light jog" color for your cheeks. I will definitely repurchase if and when I run out. I love nars with a passion.