Blush -Wet 'n' Wild - Color Icon Blush 831E Pearlescent Pink
whisper 6/15/2013 10:13:00 AM
This is Benefit 'Coralista' for $2.99 at the drug store. I own both. I love both. Neither "wins" because they are virtually identical products. Nothing bad to say about the Wet 'n Wild.
Initially, like immediately upon application, this looks so gorgeous. I love the finish, which is what I'd call natural and skin-like--not dewy; more like a satin-matte. It gives that "perfected skin" enhancement that I look for in a base makeup. But about an hour later, the color (002) darkened to such a noticeable degree that I actually couldn't stand to walk around looking like I had a mismatched, odd orangey-pink-beige complexion, and I ended up cleaning my face (this is midday, mind you, and something I NEVER do!) and I just reapplied my usual makeup (NARS tinted moisturizer). Thank god I was at home where I could do this and not out and about. Really a pity, because as I said it does look amazing when first applied. I don't know. I'm not gonna lie, it really breaks my heart that this BB creme does that! As much as it pains me, this will have to go back to the store. The packaging is quite nice, too; a squeeze tube w/pump dispenser.
Lipstick -Revlon - ColorBurst Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti
whisper 6/13/2013 12:23:00 PM
I love this. This shade is totally flattering on my light-med, yellow toned complexion (I'm half Korean, for reference). I don't wear much makeup on a daily basis, but when I swipe this on, it instantly brightens up my face and, along w/mascara and a bit of under eye concealer, makes me look so put together. Creamy smooth formula, shiny but not overly glossy (which I personally hate in lip products), and lasts a respectable amount of time given that it's not claiming to be particularly long-wearing. I get a decent 3 hrs before having to reapply. And it's under $6. No complaints here.
HOW is this supposed to be a matte setting powder when mica is the first ingredient?!?? If you're not familiar, mica is extremely light-reflective; it's what's used in mineral powders to give an illuminating (let's face it, sparkly) quality to the skin. So, there's that. I looked it up, and this powder is darn expensive to boot! Luckily, I was gifted this by my auntie. I would've never bought it for myself, as I research products before I buy anything, and I would've steered clear of a so-called MATTE powder consisting primarily of mica. It does nothing to control oil production on my normal-combo skin. Adds radiance to my face, yes, but seeing as I only use powder down my T-zone (I prefer to only mattify the parts of my face that tend to get shiny and leave the rest naturally 'glowy'), the result is pretty much the opposite of what I'm trying to achieve; and the opposite of what this product claims to achieve! I gave it a fair run and not only did it not serve the purpose of mattifying the areas where applied, it also emphasized pores. (This is, again, due solely to the light-reflective mica, 'cause that's what mica does!) Gave it two lipsticks because it's super finely milled and feels quite nice when you brush it on. Sorry to have to be so negative, but this powder is costly and virtually useless, and therefore a massive fail in my book.Save your money.
Cleansers -Cetaphil - Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
whisper 6/1/2013 11:35:00 AM
This soap has been a tried and true favorite of mine for over a decade and a half. I have rather sensitive/reactive skin. I have to be careful with what products I use on not only my face but also my entire body. Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar cleans thoroughly, yet it's gentle; it doesn't strip my skin of its natural moisture. The fragrance is mild and pleasant. Sort of generic ("soapy") but clean. One bar lasts surprisingly long, especially if you take care to store it away from direct moisture (i.e. in a soap dish or shower rack w/drainage slots so it can dry in between uses). What I appreciate most about this product is that, way back when I first started using this (many years ago!), I felt a significant change in the softness of my skin. It was a literal skin transformation for me, all thanks to using this soap. I also keep a bar of this in my kitchen for hand soap, and it totally softens the skin on my hands; a must-have for frequent hand washers if you ask me. There's a reason why Cetaphil is the dermatological "gold standard." I actually have a dermatologist in my family, and he's recommended Cetaphil cleansers and moisturizers for as long as I can remember. If you're looking for a no-frills bar soap that cleanses without drying and leaves your skin feeling baby-butt smooth, then look no further. Apart from the odd hotel mini soap when I'm traveling (e.g. Molton Brown) I won't use any other soap. Cetaphil falls under the "if it's not broken, then don't fix it" category for me. I've repurchased this soap so many times over the years that I lost count a long time ago. I'm also a long-time devotee of the Gentle Skin Cleanser (liquid) for my face/neck which is equally superb. Been using Cetaphil to cleanse my face and body for about 15 years now, and my skin looks amazing. I see myself using these products forever.
I bought 3 of the angled blush brush from elf's studio line, they're that excellent (1 to use for contour, 1 for powder highlighter, and 1 for blush). The quality and design are so good, I can't discern these from my high-end brushes (Dior, Chanel, Shiseido...). This complexion brush is no different. I use mine for setting/finishing powder; it's perfect. Wish I'd purchased the elf ones before splurging on some of the others in my collection because, honestly, these elf studio brushes are something else. $3 at Target (in-store and online). You can also order directly from elf's website I believe, but I've never done it myself. Highly recommend.
Makeup Brushes -E.L.F. - Studio Angled Blush Brush
whisper 5/14/2013 7:15:00 PM
I bought 3 of these bad boys, they're that excellent (1 to use for contour, 1 for powder highlighter, and 1 for blush). The quality and design are so good, I can't discern these from my high-end brushes (Dior, Chanel, Shiseido...). Wish I'd purchased the elf ones before splurging on some of the others in my collection because, honestly, these elf studio brushes are something else. $3 at Target (in-store and online). You can also order directly from elf's website I believe, but I've never done it myself. Highly recommend.
One of the few polishes I've had to repurchase. (Does anyone else have the hardest time actually finishing a bottle of nail polish?!?) There are countless swatches of "Pool Party" on google image. Simply put, this is a radioactive-neon hot pink. Perfect for a festive summer pedicure. Opaque in 2 coats; dries to a matte finish. I use Orly Bonder base coat, then 2 coats of this, wait 2 min, then finish w/a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat (in the red bottle). Follow my method and your toes will stay chip-free and glossy for 2 wks plus. I promise. (I do my polish every time this way and it lasts so long in fact that I have to remove it solely due to regrowth -- absolutely iron-clad.)
This is a great formula. I actually do love almost everything about this concealer. It completely lives up to its name; it brightens/conceals under the eyes and around the nose & mouth. Lasts all day until I remove it. I'm half Korean w/very yellow-toned skin; I use "Custard" which perfectly suits my complexion. Full disclosure, I bought this because I tend to love NARS products and the launch of this newest "radiant" concealer sucked me in (not to mention all the YouTube-hyped reviews)! Anyway, it's a nice enough product, and I'm satisfied w/it -- I'll definitely use it up -- but I won't be repurchasing. Reason is that my previous standby, Maybelline's FITme concealer, works just as well. I truly can't tell any difference between the two. The Maybelline one costs a fraction of the price, so I will be replenishing the FITme concealer in lieu of the NARS (once I'm finished w/the NARS one). For reference, I wear the FITme in shades 10 and 20; winter/summer color, respectively. So, unless you have money that you don't know what to do with, I'd personally recommend the Maybelline FITme over the NARS Radiant. They are virtually identical in formulation and performance (and beyond that, even the packaging is identical).
My everyday blush – this is so flattering on my skin (light-medium, half Korean, strong yellow under tones). The 'Bare' color looks incredibly "blah" in the pan but applies a gorgeous, mid-tone neutral mauvey beige. The finish is like a sheeny satin; there is shimmer in this. I'm not sure why one of the reviewers below says that it's matte, because it's most certainly not matte! (For starters, it contains mica, which is a mineral that imparts a pearlescent fine shimmer when applied.) I'm a minimalist who steers clear of theatrical makeup, including bright cheek products that scream "hey I'm wearing blush!" So this blush is PERFECT for me. The fine shimmer in this makes my cheeks glow just enough without being over-the-top. It's beautiful. Packaging is a small black disk with a sliding mirror on the bottom. I do wish the lid opened farther than 90 degrees, but that's a minor complaint really. Oh, and I uploaded another pic above (it's the one that shows only the pan) where you can see the shimmer particles clearly. They do not transfer as glitter onto the skin but rather create a luminous glow as I said. At any rate, I love it so much; a definite repurchase for me. It retails for $24 USD.
I'm a long-time user of the Pond's Original Fresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes w/Vitamin E (blue/white packaging), so when I spotted these on the shelf I was intrigued. The pretty pink packaging lured me in a bit too, haha, not gonna lie! With my dollar-off coupon in hand, plus the store's sale price of $2.67, they came to around $2 and I couldn't pass them up! Been using them for the past 2 wks and I love them! These have Kaolin Clay added, which is supposed to help draw out impurities. To be perfectly honest, I don't notice any difference whatsoever in my skin between using these vs. the Originals. A side-by-side comparison of the ingredients list reveals basically the same contents, except they've replaced the chamomile and honeybush extracts, along w/ the white and green tea, w/the Kaolin (so the ingredients list for the Luminous Clean is actually simpler/shorter). The Luminous Clean towelettes perform beautifully, just like my tried-and-true Original ones; no complaints. Soft diamond-weave texture gently exfoliates w/out having to rub too hard. Fragrance is pleasant and mild. I normally hate using anything fragranced on my facial skin, and I'd prefer it if both varieties left it out, but that being sad, the scent has never bothered me or caused any irritation issues (I'm a contact lens wearer by the way). Size is perfect, about 6 x 7 inches. I use these to remove my makeup, which includes waterproof mascara and hardcore stubborn sunscreen, before cleansing my face w/Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. This combo has helped keep my complexion clear and glowing for many years now. Well, besides the inevitable monthly hormonal zit or two. (or four.)
Very soapy product. It's supposedly aimed at those with combination skin, which I have, but unfortunately this stuff strips my skin like no other cleanser I've tried. For that reason alone, I can't continue to use it. My skin felt so tight afterwards that it became itchy and uncomfortable. That's not acceptable in my book. A good cleanser should leave me with clean, supple skin, not a "pulling" mask-like sensation. I'm now using the remainder to clean my makeup brushes so that I'm not throwing my money away. (Incidentally, it's actually very good at getting my brushes squeaky clean). That being said, I obviously didn't buy it to use as a brush cleaner. I won't be repurchasing, nor would I recommend it––save your money.
Lip Treatments -Fresh - Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15
whisper 9/17/2012 2:13:00 PM
This is seriously the worst lip balm I've ever used. I feel like it doesn't even warrant a proper review because the main problem I have with this product is that it dries out my lips so incredibly bad that, by the end of the day, I have to do some major TLC for damage repair (which is to say that I sleep w/a petroleum jelly 'pack' on my lips – my fail-safe rescue for any lip disaster; literally heals your lips overnight). Anyway, I don't like this at all. I definitely won't be repurchasing it, nor would I recommend it.
Pressed Powders -Neutrogena - Shine Control Pressed Powder
whisper 9/17/2012 1:42:00 PM
I'm super impressed with this product. I bought it solely for the purpose of having a more travel-friendly powder I could take with me on trips in place of my usual everyday powder (I use the Make Up For Ever HD loose powder that comes in a sifter jar, which is not very ideal for travel). This Neutrogena pressed powder is excellent! I'm so pleased with my purchase. The compact is sleek, no-frills, black plastic casing w/mirror (typical compact, no need for explanation actually lol). A few blots on my T-zone and I'm shine free for like 6 hours straight before having to blot again, and without disturbing the rest of my makeup. I even use it directly over sunscreen, on days when I'm not wearing any makeup at all, and it's fantastic. It just takes down the shine from my SPF without adding a powdery appearance to my face. Worth mentioning perhaps is the fact that it contains mica; however, there are no visible sparkles whatsoever when applied to the skin – even in natural sunlight – I checked w/my 10x mirror next to my south-facing kitchen window, haha. I paid $8.50 for this at my local drug mart (had a $1 coupon, woo!), and I'll absolutely be repurchasing another once I'm finished w/the compact I have now. Love it.
This bronzer looks gorgeous on the skin and is especially flattering on my light-med, yellow-toned Asian complexion. I frequently get asked what I'm wearing on my cheeks, and it's nothing but this! (I don't wear blush in the summer months because I prefer a more glowy warmth to my skin; as opposed to the colder months when I like a 'just pinched' cheek look.) The fine, pearlescent gold shimmer in this bronzer imparts a subtle luminosity that makes all the difference. It's like my skin just come alive. The powder feels luxurious and silky smooth. And I love that I don't need a highlighter; one less step for me = bonus! If you have a similar skin tone to mine, and you have had a love/hate relationship w/bronzers in the past –– the dreaded muddy orange bronzer, we've all been there –– then I highly suggest you give 'Park Ave Princess' a try. It warms up the skin beautifully, sans the oompa loompa effect ;-) I almost forgot to add that I also use this as an eyeshadow, which looks totally amazing.