The reason I'm writing this review is that this new shade is a great product, provided you're informed about what you're getting. If you look up a swatch of the Sinner Scarlet Red (lipglossiping currently has the best one), you see the color, scarlet red. So, it would be understandable to think that the Saint version is also scarlet-yet-still-true-red. However, because the pigment in the Saint version is less and with a much sheerer application, for me, it reads as a reddish pink. So, if you want BAM! scarlet red shade, go for the sinner. As a hardcore BAM! red lover, when I first tried the Saint version, my response was "Whah?" But, I did Saint Scarlet Red an injustice. Much as I love hardcore red, good portions of my daily life need a quieter statement. With my cool, fair complexion, this lipstick has enough pinkness to be natural, while the touch of red enlivens/brightens so my lips look healthy. While I enjoy Saint Pink and Pink Sinner, a neutral pink works for the fair skinned as a nude. Nudes tend to be a dramatic, look-at-how-pale-my-lips-can-look aesthetic, better for a 60's Mod-style look than a polished-yet-natural look in everyday life. With roses, if you're tired, they can lack enough oomph to enliven, be it ever so subtly. So, with Saint Scarlet Red, for me, I have found my favorite go-to pink lipstick, thanks to its balance. (Before I had carefully guarded my beloved Viva Glam Cyndi, but much as I love Cyndi, I find LQ Saint Scarlet Red outguns Cyndi in the balance of natural pink and healthy reddishness.) I have noticed a change with the Saint formulation. With this Saint Scarlet Red, I noticed it seemed creamier than previous Saints. Fortunately, although it's creamier, it has the same amount of pigment and eventually fades into an even, more stain-like finish after extended wear. I had heard that they were making Sinners more creamy, but was not aware of any announced changes for Saints. So, I don't know if it was a slight quirk with the batch I got or it can be found throughout the Saints now. If you're looking a scarlet true red with hardcore statement pigment, get the Sinner version. If you're looking for a sheerer true red, get the Saint Red. If you're looking for a balanced reddish pink that won't be too dull, Saint Scarlet Red is worth investigating.
The main reason I'm reviewing this is to share some useful insights gained from the boards regarding product application with dehydrated skin, which I'll have at the bottom of this review. Why one lippie off? While it's a five for me, there are a couple nitpicking things I think should be acknowledged. This has glycerin in it--an ingredient that serves many of us well (and is the ingredient that I suspect allows younger reviewers to use this in lieu of moisturizer). However, there is a small subset of people who get nasty facial reactions from glycerin; so if you have this problem, find a diy supplier and make your own version of ha serum. Also, if you require hardcore moisturizers like me, this may slow the setting time of your moisturizer for later makeup application. However, I have remedied this by having breakfast and getting dressed after I moisturize to allow enough time before I apply makeup. There, negatives out of the way. Impressively, there are a number of days now when I forego makeup thanks to this stuff. When your skin is plump and hydrated, remaining facial flaws don't scream out as much. This is a real team player product that is about making sure your other products perform at an optimal level. I love my moisturizer, but even a great moisturizer has a tough time fighting the blast of dry air found in office buildings. With this product, my moisturizer is protected from the blast of dry air and works longer and better. I've also noticed other products penetrate more deeply with the use of this product; I use a Boots peptide serum at night and I've found it penetrates more deeply with hadalabo. The first three days I used this product, I wasn't sure if it was doing much of anything. Then, by the fourth day, I noticed that my skin didn't have its usual desperately thirsty sensation when I applied moisturizer, no more dryness or tightness found with dry or dehydrated skin. Having mild rosacea, this is a wonderful product because dryness and dehydration exacerbate rosacea (especially as you get older), and rosacea in turn makes your skin drier and more dehydrated--so this product helps stop the vicious cycle. I also love that there's no dyes, no fragrances, and unlike Reviva Labs ha serum, no sillicones that can start pilling. On an aesthetic note, the hollowing out of my undereyes (which has been steadily happening with age and increased dehydration) is gone, thanks to my skin being plumper and hydrated, unlike eye creams that left it hollow AND caused milia. I've also noticed that my makeup (a dot of rms concealer, a swipe of mascara, and lipstick, the end) has a smoother look to it due to the softer texture of my skin, but at the same time, this product has not caused my mascara to melt or flake. My major piece of advice is to remember this is a team player product that's about protecting and enhancing your other products. So, if you have poor performing moisturizer,a too-harsh cleanser, or your general regimen is in free fall (I've been there, my sympathies), there's only so much hadalabo can do with poor team mates. Lastly, I'm sharing the wisdom of the boards regarding application for very dehydrated skin. If you have very dry and dehydrated skin, with any ha serum or lotion, if you apply directly after cleansing, your skin can be so dry that there's not enough moisture for the ha product to lock in and you end with an "egg white effect". If you've suffered the egg white effect, consider the following. So, here are three steps to try: you don't necessarily need to use all of these steps; instead, experiment to see which steps serve you best. 1) After cleansing, apply any creams/lotions (emulsions) you use. 2) Then, spritz with a thermal water mister (I currently use LRP, but Avene or even a homemade misting concoction could be used). 3) Then, put in your palm a few drops at most of a reliable oil, like sweet almond, grapeseed, jojoba, whatever you favor, and then put a drop of the hadalabo in this oil and rub your hands together before patting the mixture on your face, with any excess then patted on your neck and chest. Remember, these suggestions are for people with hardcore moisture needs; people with more typical skin profiles will be fine following the official directions for application. For sake of strict accuracy, as lovely as this product is, it will not magically make you look like ella343.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Phyx Intensitve Hair Repair Masque
wiseowl 1/16/2013 2:27:00 PM
Thankfully, I did not buy this. It was sent as a free gift when I was repurchasing my beloved rms concealer. As far as my hair goes, I have natural waves, loads of natural highlights, a high propensity for frizziness, and tendency towards drier ends if I'm in places with lots of dry air blowing (office buildings, etc.). When I tried this product, I had already been using a Redken shampoo that had gotten my hair into great shape--waves were more defined, no tangling, softer texture, and my natural highlights were very vibrant. However, I was looking for something that would cut down on my frizz: this stuff sure did not help my frizz. With all my uses of this product, following the instructions, I got the same results: lank hair devoid of my usual waves--yet with frizz in spots, and a general dull color. I was very conservative in my applications, but even with the smallest amount, after washing it out per the instructions, lankness prevailed. It would take two additional shampooings to get rid of the lankness. My husband actually noticed the lankness. Also, on a side note, the fragrance to this was rather strong, so those with sensitivities to scents, be forewarned. Looking at the list of ingredients, it is jam-packed with ingredients that used on their own previously have worked fine with my hair. But, it is an insanely long ingredient list: I suspect the lankness was due to ingredient overload on my hair. It would be the culinary equivalent of trying to eat in one sitting all of your favorite foods at the same time. Speaking of the ingredient list, looking over the ingredient list, I really don't see anything that warrants the ridiculous price tag. I don't enjoy writing harsh reviews, but given the Kronos Phyx msrp, I expect something this expensive to really deliver.
Lips -Revlon - Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain- Romantic
wiseowl 11/21/2012 7:38:00 PM
One of the two reasons I'm reviewing this product is that I have an application tip that I think others might find useful. On to my review. The reason I took off a lippie that is the presence of peppermint, which means people like my mother with lip sensitivities would have issues with it. Otherwise, I am really impressed with this product. It has competed, and won, with my pricier lipsticks when I need an everyday product with few touch ups as opposed to my statement lips lipsticks. In the past, I had wondered about the Clinique chubby sticks, but now, I'm not going to bother trying the Clinique when I can get this product for less. So, while like many Revlon products it's on the pricier end of ds products, this product makes an attractive alternative to the even pricier Clinique and Tarte options. It has my husband's approval: it really is kissable. While the gloss and remaining stain last the day with normal meals and activities, I find the stain is at its most even distribution if I re-apply after lunch. By itself, the product starts out as wearable neutral red and leaves behind a natural cherryish stain. However, I experimented and found a really useful application with this product. Wanting SPF, I first apply EOS balm with SPF protection. When I then apply the Revlon balm stain, the effect is less pigmented. Instead, it's more natural reddish--like Lipstick Queen Medieval, only lasting much longer. When the gloss fades, I still manage to have a stain, but the stain is much more even--no fading into lines or needing touch ups. I think the EOS balm acts as a primer that keeps the stain even. Also, with the EOS balm making the Revlon pigment less dramatic, the color is more work-appropriate. I'm presently getting certified to teach and film noir lips aren't exactly appropriate or feasible while spending the day in a classroom. I had thought I wouldn't be able to wear something reddish while teaching. With product combined with the EOS, the color is more of a natural MLBB, healthy lips not makeup, and I can get away with no touch ups. (Teachers are lucky if they can get a single bathroom break.) So, if any readers have similar practical challenges, consider applying a balm first with a texture that can act as a primer.
I have a soft spot for Revlon lipsticks. Let me get out of the way the reason for deducting two lippies. Compared to Julie Hewett, Revlon's lipsticks don't have the same moistness over an extended amount of time, due to the fact JH lipsticks having a bit of camellia oil unlike Revlon. In terms of color choice and leaving an even stain as it wears away, I find Lipstick Queen outperforms Revlon. But, when you think about it, it speaks well of Revlon that it does as well as it does compared to brands costing over twice as much. I do get what people mean about it sometimes "pulling fuschia". With me, I've found Cherries in the Snow is borderline on me: with certain outfits, it looks redder and with others pinker. But, I'm not actually faulting it for being like that; if you eat as many ripe cherries as I do, you realize that ripe cherries are a shade of red that has a tinge of pink or purple. But, when it does pull pink on me, it's still very wearable. The main reason I'm reviewing this product is to offer a tip to people who have found Cherries in the Snow too bright pink or fuschia when they try it. My favorite way to wear this lipstick is to put a dot of it in my palm, then get a dab of clear balm (I do Smith's or Perfumeria Gal, but even plain Vaseline would work), and mix the balm into the dot of lipstick. Then, I apply the mixture to my lips with my finger. Doing it this way sheers it out enough that the shade is rendered a juicy, more natural shade--like cherry stained lips or a girl who has just eaten a popsicle, while at the same time, offering a little more pigment than a lipgloss would. So, if you've applied this lipstick straight to your lips and not liked the results, try my method. For that matter, people who like to apply it straight should consider experimenting with my method--it's nice to know a product's versatility. Anyway, I have a definite affection for this lipstick and understand why it has such diehard fans. I like that it's the kind of color you can wear in warm and cold weather. Yes, I will buy this product again.
I so wanted to like this product. (I have dark auburn hair, cool, fair skin, and greenish hazel eyes. I purchased Ginger Auburn.) The idea behind it is great: that's why I'm giving it two lippies. But, it has seriously smudged every single time I've used it, no matter the weather. I'm not talking about smudging from a hard day's night kind of wear; I'm talking about smudging during sedentary activity in climate controlled buildings before it's lunch time. Also, the opening on the tube is too big, thus excess mascara is not pulled away from wand--which is such a useful feature when it comes to avoiding clumping. I will say this: the color options are decent. I HAD found an auburn mascara that had none of these problems, Max Factor, but Max Factor is no longer sold in the US. So, it is indeed possible to produce an auburn mascara without the annoying problems I've experienced. I'm saying no on buying this again, but if I ever hear that JFR has seriously improved the formula and packaging, I might reconsider.
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Complex 15 Therapeutic Face Cream
wiseowl 1/9/2012 7:40:00 PM
I was really torn between rating this 3 or 4. However, I will keep buying it again. I'll go over why it's a 3 and then tell why I was tempted to rate it a 4. I have mild rosacea and my go-to products remain Avene. However, I'm on a tight budget and wanted to stretch out my supply by supplementing it with Complex 15. It was under five dollars; I figured if it didn't work out, it wouldn't be a major waste of money. Compared to Avene, Complex 15 does not have the same soothing action, though it does not irritate my skin. Also, even in the South's mild winter, Complex 15 is not moisturizing enough on its own for me. But, I find that if I first apply a couple drops of grapeseed oil, then apply Complex 15, and then apply a small amount of Avene Cream for Intolerant Skin in my rosacea-prone sensitive area, I'm in good shape. As a result, my Avene supply is lasting extra long and I've even gotten compliments on my skin with my Complex 15-Avene combination regimen. One word of warning: Complex 15 contains myristyl myristate. It does not cause problems for me, but I have read comments suggesting some people have problems with myristyl myristate. So, if you know for a fact that this ingredient disagrees with you, avoid. However, here's why I was tempted to score it a 4. I'm having to supplement with grapeseed oil in the winter, but I suspect in warmer weather I may skip the oil and just do a Complex 15-Avene regimen. Living in a hot, humid climate, I appreciate a gentle moisturizer that does not feel too heavy in 105 degree weather. Also, I discovered that Complex 15 works great as a mild, wipe-off cleanser after I remove my makeup with Albolene. It does not have the same soothing action as Avene's Extremely Gentle Cleanser, but it does get my face clean with no stripping; in fact, my skin has a nice texture after using it as a cleanser. I do make a point of not getting it near my eyes, given that the directions say to avoid the eye area, but my eye areas don't need serious cleansing--Albolene suffices. So, having a product that's under five dollars that can be used as a gentle cleanser and moisturizer, I feel I'm getting a fair amount of bang for the buck: a lot of drugstore lines now cost more than that. Cetaphil products have never worked for me; I feel Complex 15 delivers what Cetaphil claimed it would give me, but never did for me. So, if you're considering purchasing this and you have my kind of skin type profile, you might want to take the route I've taken, using it as a supplemental moisturizer to help stretch out a pricier product or use it as a gentle cleanser. One last thing--I actually quite like the packaging, an easy to squeeze out to the last drop plastic tube. With metal tubes, they always end up tearing with me, causing product to leak and the sharp edges cutting me if I'm not careful. Edit: I never do this--I'm changing my score of three lippies to four. While Avene's Gentle Cleanser remains a winner in terms of soothing, I've found that Complex 15 as a cleanser long term keeps my skin supple and needing less moisturizer. When I was using Complex 15 just as a moisturizer, I felt it wasn't moisturizing enough. With sustained use of Complex 15 as a wipe-off cleanser followed by a bit more as a moisturizer, I'm finding I don't need to add grapeseed oil. Of course, I'm still using a couple of drops of Avene Cream for Intolerant Skin strictly for my rosacea zone (my nose and the cheek area near the nose), but that has more to do with that area needing soothing than the Complex 15 not being moisturizing enough. I've even gotten a couple really nice compliments on my skin. So, while I still love Avene products for soothing, I love how Complex 15 lets me stretch the Avene out, and if anything, seems to maximize Avene's effects. Lastly, Avene had DRAMATICALLY gotten rid of the majority of my visible capillaries, but it seems like since using Complex 15 as a cleanser, the few remaining visible capillaries seem a little less prominent. (I can't say this conclusively, but it seems like it.)
Cleansers -La Roche Posay - physiological micellar solution
wiseowl 11/23/2011 6:08:00 PM
I totally agree with the previous reviewers' comments about its abilities as a makeup remover. However, I use it in the same fashion as Lisa1000--as a morning cleanser. Using it this way, a bottle lasts long enough to make the price easier to swallow. I got my current bottle in July and I still have one third of the bottle left in mid-November. I apply a couple "swigs" to a cosmetic pad and that's enough to cleanse my face, neck, and upper chest. It's vaguely entertaining to see all the dead skin cells it can sweep off, leaving my face with a fresh, clean feeling, but at the same time, no stripping, leaves my face feeling soft--kind of reminds me of Asian softeners, only with true cleansing action. This product does not irritate my mild rosacea. I also use this once and a while as a toner after a long day exposed to loads of pollutants. The main reason I'm taking off a lippie is the availability of this product, the pricing (though it's a much better price than Bioderma and other micellar water options), and the shipping costs. If you're on a budget, using this as a makeup remover, even if you're a light makeup user like me, the rate of consumption would make it cost-prohibitive. For makeup removal, I use Albolene or even grapeseed or sweet almond oil in a pinch--all much cheaper. However, if you purchase it to use as a morning cleanser(most people just need to get rid of dead skin cells and remove any excess oil in the mornings, rather than aggressive cleansing), this is actually pretty do-able, given the much slower rate of consumption. I tested rinsing my face with water afterwards and no rinsing and my skin seems fine either way(if for psychological reasons you need to rinse after using this, your skin will still feel nice afterwards). Though, after extensive testing, I've found my skin really does not miss the rinsing and I usually skip rinsing--I'm that confident in the micellar water's cleansing powers at this point. To mothers who have to do the morning school rush and often have to compete to get at the bathrooom, the no-rinse-required aspect means you don't have to cleanse near a bathroom sink. I myself have an eight o'clock class and using this as my cleanser means my morning time is freed up a little more. While I'm now in my late thirties, sigh, I would have loved having this product in my teens and twenties. For teenagers and early twenty-somethings, who often prefer a more aggressive cleansing process due to higher oil production, I might suggest using this as a toner--it will sweep away dead skin, but it won't irritate skin, which can often be counter-productive for dealing with oiliness or acne. On a final note, I really wish micellar waters were more widely available in the US: it's a true multi-generational product.
I love this cleanser. When I started using Avene's cream for intolerant skin, my un-budgeable capillaries around my right nostril started fading within ten days. However, when I added Albolene for makeup removal, followed by Avene's Extremely Gentle Cleanser in the evenings, there was even more serious fading of my capillaries. Now, I just have 3 small capillaries spots present, as opposed to a full ring around my nostril, and I can easily hide them with whatever rms concealer is left over on my finger from concealing inner eye darkness. My mild rosacea has never been calmer. I still have pinkness on my cheeks and heat still can irritate, but the Avene regimen means my skin feel comfortable, my skin gets soothed when irritated by heat, and my inner cheeks are more of a pink than my previous angry red. I get stress hormone-induced pimples when studying for a big exam. While this doesn't make the pimples go away magically, I have noticed the pimples seem to go away more quickly. I still have some product left in mid November and I bought the bottle in July(though I only use it at night). I use a nickel-quarter size amount to cleanse my face, neck, and my upper chest, wiping off with a Costco cotton pad. Just for context, let me add that in the morning I use La Roche Posay Micellar Water for Sensitive skin because I don't need major cleansing when I wake up. Here is why I took off a lippie. I have "combination" skin along with mild rosacea. So, I really like how after wiping it off, my face doesn't feel tight or stinging, but does have a matte feel, yet soothed at the same time, no stripping. So, I suspect sensitive skin types with much drier skin might prefer Avene's Tolerance Extreme Cleansing Fluid or one of A-Derma's cleansers (though both are more expensive). I suspect that I myself would really like Avene's Anti-Redness Cleanser, but it costs more, and frankly, I'm quite happy with Extremely Gentle Cleanser and think both it and the Anti-Redness are good Avene lines for mild rosacea (Tolerance Extreme might be better for more severe conditions). Actually, my real problems with Avene are a) the costs in the US can be ridiculous, b) it can be hard to locate outside of the internet and c) Avene does not do a good enough job with their English language market/education for the US to help potential consumers decide which is the right product to try. Let me add more to my long winded review. The term "sensitive" gets thrown around a lot and individuals mean different things by "sensitive". When I recommend this for sensitive skin, I'm talking about skin conditions like rosacea or eczema that have been diagnosed by a dermatologist. If someone has fairly robust skin that has become sore, stinging, or generally red due to the irritation of retinol-based products, peels, and masks or scrubs containing acids,he or she might not like this product. Such a person might feel this product isn't "cleansing" enough. Also, for younger women with rosacea or eczema who still have some serious oil production going on, you might want to start out with La Roche Posay or Avene's micellar waters and then see if you want to add a cleansing fluid like this down the road. (If I had a micellar water available to me in my teens and twenties, I would have been so happy.)
Asian cleansing oils had gotten too much for my budget. (Not to mention, when my mild rosacea is flaring up, cleansing oils are a little too good at what they do; I've learned that as I get older, being squeaky clean w/stripping cleansers doesn't help my rosacea.) The fragrance in Pond's had become too much for my mild rosacea. Then, I stumbled across Albolene. I don't get why this isn't better known. Love that it has no fragrance--makes such a difference. I'm able to wipe off all my makeup without it feeling too stripping on my skin and then I follow with a gentle cleanser. I get why some might think, "hey, this is glorified Vaseline", but the truth is it's not. When you rub Vaseline on your face, it stays thick--acts like a barrier, which is why you see it used around the hairline for coloring hair with henna to prevent henna staining your skin. Albolene, on the other hand, turns into a liquid-y oil and you're able to move makeup off your face. In fact, I even use Albolene on no makeup days prior to my gentle cleanser: it gets off my Shiseido sunscreen, as well as all the grunge of pollutants. Because I'm a very light user of makeup, one to two fingertips' worth of small smudges of Albolene are enough to remove my everyday makeup(undereye concealer, talc-free powder on my t-zone, a coating of mascara on tips of lashes, and some lipstick). But if you use a little more makeup than me, I'd suggest dabbing a second application of Albolene and doing a second sweep just to get a feel for how much Albolene you'll need to use in general. I'm not going to criticize the fact it comes in a pot/jar because I'm already an obsessive handwasher who washes her hands before she applies anything to her face. Though, I do think Albolene's jar is a much better design than Pond: you can fit your whole hand in and reach the bottom unlike the Pond's jar. Oh, if you need to avoid fragrance like I do, be sure you get the Albolene with the blue lid. The one with the red lid has fragrance in it. But if you're a germaphobe, here's a good option. Ben & Jerry's and Hagen-Daaz both do these individual sized, dixie cup style ice creams, coming with little plastic paddle spoons. Treat yourself to ice cream and then save and wash the paddle spoon for dipping into Albolene. There, I just gave everyone an excuse to buy ice cream, aren't I nice? Here's why I'm taking off one lippie. This is not for people with oily skin. In fact, Albolene says this on their website, though they don't mention this on the jar! I have combination skin, but my skin is happier with less stripping products due to my mild rosacea: anything with foam causes me to run to the hills. Also, if things like mineral oil, petrolatum, or paraffin clog your pores, don't use this product. The very chic blog Ars Aromatica has a great article on mineral oil if you get confused about mineral oil. Cosmetic companies love to play on women's fears and get us to shell out loads of money for products because the items are "mineral oil-free". Here's the thing. If mineral oil clogs your pores, a product like Albolene will seem hideous. If mineral oil doesn't clog your pores and you have something like mild rosacea, Albolene will seem like a great budget option for makeup removal. This stuff costs more than Pond's, but there's a lot of product per container and it seems to last me way longer than Pond's and gives me way more bang for the buck than Pond's. Teenagers with hormonal, highly reactive skin should maybe hold off on trying this. I remember back in the day it was hard for me as a teenager to figure out whether mineral oil clogged my pores or not thanks to all the surging hormones--sometimes tricky at that age to figure out when it's an ingredient or your hormones responsible. One last thing, people in performance art-related stuff should really consider this product: the way Albolene liquifies would be really great when you want to break down and cut through greasepaint, tv sticks, etc.
Moisturizers -Avene - skin recovery cream (US name: cream for intolerant skin)
wiseowl 7/14/2011 2:58:00 PM
Oh, how I love this product. I have mild rosacea. Due to stress and the heat outside(it stays over one hundred degrees from late May through August where I live), my mild rosacea has been really hard to control this year. I realized I needed to upgrade my rosacea care regime and I invested in some Avene. Immediately, on contact, this cream soothes the burning, stinging of my cheeks. It doesn't magically erase all the pinkness of my cheeks, but it does tone down the redness of my cheeks so my skin looks calmer. Through continued use, applying some to my cheeks and nose morning and night, I've noticed my skin seems less sensitive. Despite the mineral oil in this, I've had no breakouts or clogged pores from this. In fact, the cystic pimples on the sides of my chin that I'd had the past eighteen months due to stress hormones have gone away. I've used this all over my face and it's been fine for me, though I suspect some might find it a little heavy all over the face; however, I generally just use it on my rosacea-prone areas to help stretch out my supply. It immediately moisturizes, but at the same time, there's enough moisture in the cream to last me all day, my skin won't suck it up leaving me bone-dry in my rosacea patches like with some products. If your particular sensitivity comes from using overly harsh acne products for regular acne (not acne rosacea) and you know for a fact mineral oil breaks you out or clogs you, I might suggest starting out with Avene's Thermal Water for soothing purposes rather than this cream. I hesitate to mention the most dramatic result because I suspect such results won't necessarily happen with everyone. I've had for over ten years visible capillaries around my right nostril. I had just accepted I'd have to use concealer/foundation there. Within ten days of starting Avene, I noticed a section of the capillaries had disappeared and each week since a little more of the capillaries have faded from view. After switching over to Avene and La Roche Posay cleansers (Extremely Gentle Cleanser and Micellar Water for Sensitive Skin, respectively) in addition to the Avene cream, it seems like the capillaries have faded even more and my skin seems clearer and less sensitive. It should be noted Avene has a whole line of Anti-Redness products focusing on the appearance of rosacea and capillaries, but my main concern has been getting rid of the physical discomfort rather than aesthetics so I chose products from Avene's "Intolerance" line for soothing skin. (So, the fading of the capillaries, and in general less redness in the cheeks, is just a nice bonus.) Alright, here's the big flaw to Avene, the same flaw I've noticed in all French "parapharmacie"/ds products--scanty marketing/education for the English language market, especially in the US. The best information I got on French parapharmacie brands was from beauty blogs (A Model Recommends, We Heart This, beaut.ie) rather than the brand's own English language website. As a result, I think it's very easy for an American consumer to buy the wrong Avene for his or her needs. Avene will include a decent pamphlet with a purchase, but that's not much help if you're trying to decide which product you should first purchase. So, I urge people new to French parapharmacie brands to really research before initial purchase--ask beauty blogs where the blogger has the same specific condition and has used French brands, asking MUA reviewers with the same condition and have used these brands, asking French MUAers familiar with these brands, and of course, asking a dermatologist you trust. Lastly, I really wish Avene was available at American drugstores, at drugstore prices. However, even with the jacked up price I paid for this ordering online, it's still cheaper than seeing a dermatologist and getting a prescription. (I've found the better online prices have been at Amazon, for those looking for the best deal.)
Concealers -Unlisted Brand - RMS Beauty 'Un Cover-Up
wiseowl 3/4/2011 1:47:00 PM
Wow, wow. I have a cool, very fair complexion and have mild rosacea, so finding concealers and foundation have always been a major headache for me. I was afraid this product would be too dark or yellow for me (I got the lightest shade, 11), but when I put it on, it somehow managed to cover up the areas I wanted covered, yet matched with my coloring, sort of melted into my face when I rubbed it in. It is an expensive product, but given that it's meant to be used as a concealer and replacement for foundation, it gives a lot of bang for the buck. You do not need much: a little goes a long way. I use it for the darkness in the inner corners of my eyes and the redness around my nose and chin. Not only does the color melt in with my coloring, the texture looks natural as well. Also, this product definitely doesn't irritate my mild rosacea--impressively natural ingredient list for the ingredient purists out there. I haven't found this product causes any breakouts. Now, I'm going to point out the little nitpicking stuff. I'm not sure if this is a perfect fit for super oily types(I have combination skin). I have this one spot around my right nostril that produces too much oil and causes a bit of "melt" with any type of makeup, whether it's rms concealer or Everyday Minerals pink pick me up concealer, even if I use UD primer. The "melt" with rms in this spot isn't too bad--it doesn't all melt away or disappear, I just have to use an oil blotting paper and then rub this oily spot with my finger when I visit the ladies' room and then it looks fine. But, I could see this concealer being a tad tricky for true oily skin types, thus my scoring this as four lippies instead of five. But excepting that one oily spot on my right nostril, I've gotten away with not putting finishing/setting powder and everywhere else on my face where I applied it staying put all day. Also, when I mentioned this as a replacement for foundation, I'm talking about a nearly naked, very natural look--just rubbing in a few dots of it in spots that need concealer, not a full coverage effect that someone with severe scars or severe acne might be looking for--in situations like I'd recommend using one of Everyday Minerals' color correcting concealers. The one area regarding this I'm uncertain on is the darker shade range: I'm really unsure whether the darkest shade of this concealer works or not for women of color. The lip and cheek products for rms look like they'd be pretty flattering for both fair skinned types like me and warmer toned women of color, but I can't honestly say with the concealer. This is the best concealer I've ever used. As a former nanny, I'd say this would be a great product for mothers of small children who don't have time for an elaborate cosmetics ritual--I think you could look pretty nice in a couple of minutes by rubbing in a few dots of this and then adding some Korres lip butter to lips and cheeks. While I love trying out new lipsticks and tinted lip balms, having reached my mid-thirties, I'd gotten pretty tired of trying out the different foundations/concealers with the futile hope it might match my super pale skin. And while I deeply appreciate both the price and the performance of my EM pink pick me up concealer which I use like a foundation, there are some weeks where I get tired of the hassle of mineral makeup, all the brushes that need cleaning, the time involved in applying it, etc. So, I love how rms concealer helps me streamline and simplify things, all the while I get to look way more natural, which my husband likes a great deal. I know germaphobe types disapprove of the pot and finger application required(the slight heat of your finger means you pick just enough concealer for application), but I honestly don't mind--I make a point of washing my hands right before application. Anyway, this form of packaging means it's a great option for traveling, no fears of spilling--I saved the little cardboard box it came in and put it in the cardboard box when I pack it for travel to prevent the glass pot hitting something in my travel makeup tote. Sorry for this being such a long review, but given that this is a pricey concealer, I really wanted anyone with my skin profile to have all possible questions answered before plunking down her money. Edit: On my second jar and still loving it. Because I am now firmly in the dry skin category, there is less of a "melt" issue around my nostril. I've also learned that using even less of the product ensures less melt and an even more of a natural look. However, for women on the opposite end of the skin shade spectrum, I just wanted to mention W3LL People's Narcissist Foundation stick has a couple of shades for dark skin. So, if you like the idea of rms products, but they're not dark enough for your skin, check out W3LL People.
I was going to give this a grudging "Yes" answer to the would you buy this again question, but stubborn traces of my standards won out against budget concerns. I don't think anyone honestly buys this with expectations of it repairing damage and/or signs of age. I think basically most women buying this are budget- and time-strapped and need to find affordable, easy-to-locate sun protection for the eyes and a light moisturizer for the eyes. I don't really have a dry eye area, but all the same, I don't really find this stuff delivers when it comes to moisturizing my eye area. Also, it clogs really easily and often and I lose a fair amount of product unclogging it. I think Garnier gets away with such a poor performance because there are so few to none inexpensive products that offer sun protection for the eye area on the market. I truly hope the other brands at last get a clue and put out some sun protection for the eye products. Although I'm dead broke, I'm putting aside money for the pricier Kiehl's eye stick with an SPF of 30 and will switch to it when I at last have enough to purchase it. So, final words on this: if you're broke and can't afford the pricey sun protection for the eyes options like Shiseido(my favorite), Clarins, Kiehl's, etc., yeah, buy this, but if you can afford the pricier options (which all have higher SPFs), sun protection is one of those things where it's worth shelling out the money. Update: I found an eye product with an SPF 15 that is cheaper than Garnier and also has better moisturizing qualities than Garnier, Reviva Labs Vitamin E Stick. (There's a brand new all natural supermarket in my area that stocks this, thus my discovery.) It costs $4.19. If you're dissatisfied with Garnier, but on a tight budget, I'd recommend checking out Reviva Labs. If you can't find Reviva Labs products in your area, you can purchase the products online for a decent price. Boy, I'm glad I spotted this before spending a pile with the Kiehl's option.
Lips -Lipstick Queen - Jean Queen lipstick & gloss duo
wiseowl 1/29/2011 4:48:00 PM
While I love Pink Sinner and Saint Pink, I think Jean Queen would be the way to go for someone wanting to try out an LQ pink without access to real life swatches. (One of the few negative things you'll hear an LQ fanatic like me say about the brand is that the images/swatches of the lipsticks on the LQ website are ridiculous.) For someone already familiar with the brand, Jean Queen is a darker pink than Pink Sinner and Saint Pink. I never buy into the idea of "universal colors", but I will say that I think Jean Queen would work with a wide range of skin tones. I also think this set would work with any age group. Sidenote: for people who found Medieval too red for a natural look, I think Jean Queen might be the ticket. This is a pleasantly moist lipstick; it being such a moist lipstick in such a natural shade of pink, it's very forgiving in terms of rushed application. I know this is billed as a lipstick and gloss for a casual look, and indeed it does work as such, but I think this lipstick and/or gloss would be a good option for work for women who want a very natural makeup look at work. As everyone has noted, the gloss is more pigmented than the lipstick. I'm always more a lipstick person than a gloss person, but I actually really like this gloss. With it being such a natural shade of pink gloss, I never fear it looking inappropriate at more solemn functions the way I would a lip gloss in a more vampy shade. I'm taking one lippie off for the brush applicator; it's very easy to either squeeze out too much gloss or not have enough. The strange thing is, LQ's Big Bang glosses feature doe foot applicators so one would think they'd know better. One thing really nice about this set is it lets the wearer rather than the products take credit for its effects: an onlooker is liable to think the wearer has nice, healthy lips rather than think, "Oh, so-and-so is wearing nice lipstick." This is not to say either the lipstick or gloss are lacking in pigment. It's just that pigments are such natural shades.
Lotions/ Creams -Neutrogena - Body Oil with Sesame
wiseowl 11/18/2010 11:42:00 AM
I totally love this product. It's only the fact that I'm broke that keeps me from becoming a crazy lady hoarder type with a stockpile of this stuff. So, why only three lippies? I'll tell what I see are negatives of this product first and then I'll tell why I dig it so much all the same. First off, ridiculously inconvenient packaging--very easy to waste product or make a mess. Secondly, I've always thought pricing for this product was ridiculous, given what they charge, one would think they could afford to package it in a more sensibly designed bottle. To put it in perspective, Fenjal Creme Bath Oil is unabashedly pricey, but when you try Fenjal, you can understand the pricing: luxurious smell that can take the place of perfume and so moisturizing you can skip lotion afterwards. Here's the thing, with all these negatives regarding this Body Oil, I still happily use it every night after showering. While I respect lavender baby oil, I prefer this stuff when I can afford it. This has a lighter weight feeling than baby oil and absorbs more quickly. So, a great thing for me in the summer time. In cooler weather, I need to use a bit of lotion afterwards, but I rather like how the body oil makes lotion application very smooth--no drag as I'm rubbing in lotion. As for the fragrance, I really like it on me and so does my husband; it smell nice, but doesn't interfere with my perfume. However, please keep in mind how individual body chemistry affects fragrance with each person. So, if the fragranced version doesn't smell right on you, remember that there's a fragrance free version. I find this stuff works best if I put it on right after I've dried off, not before, despite what it says on the bottle. It's also works nicely for shaving legs. Unfortunately, I'm in a situation right now where I can only shower, not bathe, but I suspect this would work well as a bath oil. I think this product well represents the mysteries of taste--it has a fragrance and texture that can inspire loyal devotion despite its price and packaging, but at the same time, a percentage of people will be left puzzled at why others like it so much. PS: One final thought to add a little more context. Sweet almond oil is far more multi-tasking than Neutrogena Body Oil. So, if you want to play it safe in terms of purchasing a body oil to be used after showering, sweet almond oil is the safer bet because even if the sweet almond oil doesn't work as a body oil, it has so many uses that it won't go wasted. Me being me, I have bottle of the sweet almond oil AND the neutrogena body oil(in theory, being a minimalist sounds great, but it never seems to happen in reality for me).