This is for the new professional Sonia Kashuk black handled powder brush: Although it is probably the most I've spent on a facebrush ($19.99), I think it was worth the money. I usually get the brushes that come in a set or are gifts with purchase, but I really wanted a good face powder brush, which in most travel sets or gift sets, they never include a face brush. The brush hairs are a lot softer than the white handled one (review below), and distributed my MAC mineralize skinfinish natural powder very smoothly. I haven't noticed it shed. I think this will last me quite a while! Buy the black handle Pro Sonia Kashuk line instead of the white handle one.. it's an extra 9 bucks but I think there's a significant quality difference! White handled wooden powder brush: I bought this first thinking it would replace my purple handed one (circa early Sonia Kashuk 2000s), and I was shocked when I rubbed the bristles of the purple and my new white handled powder brush and my old purple one was actually softer. I think the white handles was a replacement for the purple handles that she had in her old line of makeup brushes. So anyway, it is rough on your skin, the shape is similar but no where near as soft as the black handled powder brush. Don't buy this. I could find cheaper softer powder brush for $10 like Ecotools powder brush. Purple handled wooden powder brush: I LOVE this brush--but I figured I've had it forever and I wanted to just replace it. The new white handled version quality is worse.. atleast with the powder brush. I felt the other white handled eye brushes and they seemed fine. I love love love this brush, and I think the quality is inbetween the white and the black handled powder brushes--hair is soft but not as soft as the pro sonia kashuk black handled powder brush, but still in good form and Ive had it for almost 10 yrs!
This one ALMOST takes the cake! My all time favorite mascara is Lancome Hypnose Waterproof--it curls my stick straight lashes without a curler, and volumizes and lengthens! FYI: I have short sparse, stick straight downward pointed lashes that uncurl even when I use a heated eyelash curler. This mascara definately gives some oomph to my lashes, curls somewhat, and lengthens lengthens lengthens without clumping!! (which is amazing!) but I don't think it volumizes that much. It comes in this cute black tube and the handle has texture on it with glitter embedded into the plastic. It is half the price of Lancome's mascaras.. if it builded more volume without clumping it would win over my beloved Hypnose Waterproof. I didn't have any problems with it smearing around my eyes even after a long day then a plane trip. It comes off easy with regular makeup remover. I think I will have to use it more and see if it grows on me. Definately one of MAC's best mascaras!!!!
I am not a lipstick person... but I LOVE this lipstick. It comes in the regular NARS black outside tube, and it goes on like a dream. The color is your lips but rosier.. a very nice day color to wear everyday. I actually have been reaching for it more since I rediscovered it in my makeup bag. I have the NARS dolce vita lip gloss and it is not the same color.. This is a lot more wearable and natural looking. I will repurchase if I ever run out!
Makeup Brushes -Ecotools - Bamboo 6 Piece Brush Set
wslam00 11/29/2008 7:55:00 PM
UPDATED~~~This is really called a 6 piece brush set since they include the hemp roll as 1 piece. I don't really know what to think of this set-- nothing all that positive to say about it! I'm just glad the set was $10-12. Blush brush - B/c of the size, I use it as a powder brush. I think it doesn't apply blush as well as my regular blush brush from Sonia Kashuk Angled eyeliner brush - would be great to use for cream eyeliners as long as you want a thin line. I like to create a thicker line because of my monolids, and I am not good enough at using this shape liner tool to get it to look good. I actually get a nicer line using a small eyeshadow brush from Sonia Kashuk Concealer brush - good standard concealer brush. I don't use a brush for concealer very often, but will keep this. Eyeshadow brush - deposits eyeshadow especially DARK eyeshadow really uneven! I think the brush fibers are too close together and don't fan out.. or the material. Disappointing but you can use it as a concealer brush or paint pot eyeshadow base applicator. Comb/Brush tool - it's a standard comb/brush tool.. I don't really use these! Overall, I think the set is ok. If you can't tell, I love Sonia Kashuk's line of brushes and I think buying one of her sets with similar tools to these would be a better deal. Her brushes aren't bamboo but they are comparable to higher end brushes and definately better than this line!
This is one of the few MK products I do like. It makes your skin super smooth after use. I'm not sure if the step 2 lotion makes much of a difference but the microdermabrasion part works great. I will keep using....although I think avon has something similar for cheaper!
Cleansers -Shiseido - The Skincare Gentle Cleansing Creme
wslam00 11/27/2008 9:09:00 PM
This is my favorite cleanser! I have dry skin all year round and this cleans well without drying! The cleanser smells heavenly, and you really only need a pea sized amount. I don't know if the other reviewers are just using too much or trying to lather it on their face instead of in their hands first, but I think this cleanser is one of my all time skincare favs! I put it in the palm of my hand and rub it with my fingers until it lathers, then I apply it all over my face. It washes off clean and not tight. I follow with the benefiance softener and emulsion (moisturizer). The cleanser is wonderful. It will take me forever to go through this. Shiseido has wonderful skincare..esp if you have sensitive skin or asian skin which seems to always be sensitive. I will repurchase!!!
Cleansers -Shiseido - Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Foam
wslam00 11/27/2008 8:43:00 PM
I've tried all of the shiseido facial cleansers (except the white lucent since I'm not getting age spots yet), and I think they all perform similarly. When I first heard of the line, and saw a lot of them said "foam" on them, I was thinking it would be too drying for my skin since foam reminds me of those weightless cleansers that makes soap like bubbles for oily skin. The shiseido cleansers are fabulous.. no matter what line!! I agree with the last reviewer--the smell of this cleanser is a little strong (rich old lady smell?), but once you rub it in your hand and it foams into this thick lovely lather (almost like shaving cream lather!) and then put it on your face and massage it in, it smells more like soap and the scent dissipates. I like the Skincare's cleanser smell the most. It is heavenly. Anyway, this cleans really well and has little beads in it, but you can barely notice it. It cleans off with a squeaky clean feeling, but not tight at all-- and I have DRY skin all year round! I think I prefer TS cleansing foam over this one, but it would be great if you had more ageing concerns and wanted a nice cleanser for aging/dry skin. I use shiseido softener and moisturizer with this.. it is fabulous!
Liquid -MAC - Mineralize Satinfinish SPF 15 Foundation [DISCONTINUED]
wslam00 11/17/2008 2:08:00 PM
I'm not really a foundation kind of woman, but I really like the mineralize skinfinish powder so I thought I'd give this a try to get more moisture on my skin for wintertime. I'm an NC25 in MAC mineralize foundation and also in their regular select pressed powder/concealers. I don't know if it is just me, but I put it on with my fingers and it dries fast. I should try using a foundation brush, but I get good coverage without it. I usually then layer on the mineralize skinfinish powder and put on the rest of my makeup. I like that there is no shine like there is with other mineral foundations/powders. I like the design of the pumping bottle.. it prevents contamination and it locks for easy travel! I will have to see how long it takes me to get through this bottle, but so far I love it!
I like Lancome mascaras in general--they have the best, but I don't get the hype with this mascara used by itself. I can see if you had thick short lashes how this would lengthen, but if you want volumizing and lengthening I'd go with Lancome's Hypnose Waterproof. I live near a CCO that sells Lancome sometimes the mascaras are about $10 a piece with a promotion....I will say that it lengthens my thin sparse lashes but it does not add any volume and my eyelashes look weird unless I use another mascara with it to thicken it up! I have very difficult short straight downward sloping asian lashes and after I use my eyelash curler heated, adding hypnose and definicils together make my lashes look fabulous!
Scrubs -Kiehls - Ultra Moisturizing Buffing Cream with Scrub Particles
wslam00 11/2/2008 8:16:00 AM
This is also another great scrub from Kiehls! This works best in the shower.. but mainly because the little buffing particles are hard to completely wash off unless in the shower. I love how Kiehls can combine moisturizing cleansing with buffing to get those dead skin cells off! I have sensitive skin that is very dry, and Kiehl's has solved all my problems! It is known to be good skincare for people with sensitive skin. It is fragrance free and I haven't had a single Kiehl's product cause a breakout or redness/irritation! My face no longer burns when I put on lotion from the dryness because of Kiehl's face washes and moisturizers! Yep, that's how dry my face would get in the winter. The tub is huge! I still havent finished my jar from 2 years ago but I don't use it everyday. I still reach for it every once in a while when it gets cold and I still want some exfoliation! It is wonderful!!!
I LOVE this facial scrub. It is a very light exfoliation, and I use it in the shower while I'm waiting for my conditioner to do it's thing. I take a small amount and rub it into my face and wash it off. It is a great daily exfoliator and it is moisturizing since it has the oatmeal, nilk and honey. I love Kiehls. There havent been any products I've disliked, although it is pricey which has stopped me from trying more of their awesome products!!! The tub will last you 9 mo to a year.
Treatments -Mary Kay - Day Solution/ Night Solution
wslam00 11/2/2008 8:04:00 AM
You get the day and the night solution when you purchase the miracle set--otherwise, you have to buy it separately and they cost an arm and a leg! I am a little confused on what actual data there is on the effectiveness of the product, especially there are no ingredients listed unless you buy the product and then its on the box. My skin looked parched, more wrinkley because it was dry, had a nice rash on it for weeks, and pores were larger!!!! NOOO!! Anyway, I can't use the horrible Timewise products because it caused this awful pore clogging and raised white bumps all over my face (my face was flawless prior to using this whole line) and I still don't really know what either one of these products really did--it didn't help the moisturizer go into my face faster or hydrate better. The day solution had spf but it was really thin, and the night solution felt like water but the pump jars is the only positive about this product. I wouldn't buy it unless you are a devoted MK fan. I'm really disappointed with the whole line. This stuff is EXPENSIVE for what it is--glorified water/diluted sunscreen.
Pressed Powders -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - Medium
wslam00 11/1/2008 7:38:00 PM
This powder is a great all purpose face powder! I have had this for almost 9 months and I've used about 1/2 of it! It comes in the normal black MAC packaging but the lid is see through and the powder is in the shape of a dome! Surprisingly, it has less product than studio fix or the select pressed powder but has lasted longer than either one! It must come very pigmented so you use less! I love it! I am usually a NC25--I think I could even go with Light Medium in the winter time! My only gripe with this product is that the compact doesn't have a mirror! It has become my regular powder and replaced my MAC pressed powder and concealer.. It covers as well as a concealer and powder separately, and leaves a nice even finish and diffuses larger pores on my face after a couple hours when it has settled more on my face. I do find myself slightly oily in the Tzone region after a 12 hr day, but the color match and the coverage is beautiful! I will repurchase!
Eyeliner -MAC - Fluidline Eye-Liner Gel in Blacktrack
wslam00 11/1/2008 7:25:00 PM
Overall, great product for the price! I had a MAC MA show me how to put it on with a slanted eyeliner brush (266) over my pre-existing eyeliner of the day to show me how to use it but when I went to do it the next day I found it hard to control without smudging since my eyelid contour is different than most (monolided and the skin folds under and back when my eyes open) and I have a steady hand! I think it is the intimidation of having to use a brush over a pencil that scared me away originally but I am always in a rush in the morning and work 9+ hrs/day and I don't have 5 mins to just spend on eyeliner. I have been trying with a different brush that is probably similar to the 209 and it goes on more smoothly. I've noticed people say the color payoff is a nice dark black, and while it is black, it is not highly pigmented with the first stroke. I actually have to dip in again and redo the line maybe 2-3 times to get the darkness I want--but I also have dark brown eyes, lashes, and hair with light skin so maybe it just doesn't look as normal to me that it isn't as dark as my other "black" pencil eyeliners. I definately am either not experienced enough with it yet to try to use it every day or I am doing something wrong because I am not getting a dark black line with one glide of the brush. It's a good non-glossy moderate black color and it stays well esp with painterly paint pot underneath..so it beats most liners just with it's staying power! It does smudge occasionally on the lateral aspect of my undereye area. I will probably go on and try bobbi brown's gel eyeliner......
My all time favorite MAC eyeshadow! Go out and buy it!! It is this pretty medium brown shimmer eyeshadow that complements my NC25 skin and dark brown eyes/hair. It makes my eyes sparkle and when I wear mascara, it's looks glamourous! It "dresses up" my eyes yet is not too dark that it can be a good natural every day color! I can't even count how many compliments I've had wearing this color! It must accentuate dark brown eyes!