Treatments -Unlisted Brand - ALDI Carino Professional Miracle Oil with Argan Oil
yum_yum 5/24/2013 8:02:00 AM
This is ALDI's version of Moroccan Oil leave-in treatment. They've even copied the packaging. 50ml costs Â£3.99. Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Parfum, Argania Spinosa Kernal Oil, Alcohol, Tocopherol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ascorbyl, Palmitate, Limonene, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid. (excuse any spelling mistakes) I tried this every day for a week. I have thick, long, curly/wurly hair, a bit coarse and prone to tangles/dryness. I shampoo / condition each day (with salon products). Dye at home maybe 1x every 2 months because there really isn't much grey. Generally a low-maintenance hair person - I don't blow dry, flat iron, style or anything like that. Moroccan Oil and Orofluido are my leave in serums of choice, followed by Kerastase Oleo Relax, which I haven't used for many years. In the past I used cheaper serums - but they didn't give the desired results - I prefer my hair to be soft, less prone to frizz, tangle free because I don't brush it, minimum build up, and I don't like the curls / waves relaxed. The cheaper ones didn't really do this. With my hair at least - Carino oil isn't as good as the higher-end products and I got what I paid for, possibly a bit more than I paid for. At Â£3.99 it was worth a try. The consistency is very runny - despite this, the dropper-top insert had to be removed to get the product out. It coated my hair instead of sinking in like higher end products. The result wasn't bad initially, but it didn't hold up well for an entire day, becoming crunchy / sticky after a while. After a few days, my hair felt tacky and greasy because of the build-up, it also clumped the hairs together. There was lots of build-up. My hair prefers mild shampoo but I occasionally clarify. With the Carino Oil, clarifying was necessary, to get my hair to feel clean again, and to allow conditioners to absorb. It performs about as well as high-street serums - in the past I've tried ones by John Frieda(?) L'Oreal etc. - even one by Kiehl's. But they weren't as good as the salon products. High street serums and Carino have pretty much the same effects /downsides on my hair. I won't repurchase, but suggest trying it if your hair is okay with high-street serums - Carino might be more cost effective than comparable brands, because a little bit goes further than most leave-ins.
Well, it's official: I'm now at the stage in my life when I like moisturising foundations. This one gives medium coverage and the NC42 is a perfect match (much like the Face & Body in C4+C5) and with more neutral undertones/less intense pigmentation than other formulations in the NC range. Very pleased! Nice, moist feel. I use my fingers instead of the sponge because it allows me to apply sparingly. I prefer to use Studio Sculpt under my eyes because of its texture/brightness, but this works for the rest of my face - and I don't use very much or take it out towards the jawline. I'm not sure I'd call the cover 'natural' - not much skin shows through, even used sparingly. For that (a more natural finish) I'd probably go back to a couple of pea sized amounts of F&B. I bought this because I like using professional creams like Ben Nye and RCMA, but wanted a nice compact version with a mirror, and also one where I knew my exact shade and didn't have to mix. Plus I trust MAC's formulations -- this is my favourite compact cream. I used Bobbi Brown's Cream Compact (dis/c) years ago, but it had a slightly grey look and gave my face a 'consumptive' quality. No such issues with Mineralize. Bright enough to match my skin and give it a lift, but not too heavy on the yellow. Whatever I try -- Bobbi Brown, Professional base, Prescriptives or Mercier, I *always* come back to MAC. They produce the correct formulations in the right shades for my skin type and colour -- and the price is pretty good.
I bought this in NC42, but it pulls very warm/yellow on me, and a lot brighter and pigmented than my skin tone (similar to Bobbi Brown Honey concealer, but easier to apply). It was bought for concealing and does a fantastic job. Sometimes thick cream concealers are difficult to work with because they require careful patting or a brush. Since Sculpt is liquid, it applies like a slightly thick foundation. It also sets nicely, which is something that cream concealers don't do - if you're overzealous, they smear. All in all, easier for spot concealing. I'll wear this with the Mineralize Cream Foundation (NC42) or Face & Body (C4+C5) because a full face of Sculpt is unnecessary, unless I want super-heavy coverage. Both the Mineralize and F&B are better matches for me, in general, because the undertones are more neutral and they look lighter when applied. But I think the brightness/colour of Sculpt makes a difference for concealing. I could use it on my entire face without looking strange, if I focus on the centre of my face and thin it out on the cheeks and jawline. The finish with light / spot applications of Sculpt is still quite 'full' and opaque. I'm keen on this look at the moment, despite having decent skin, because I go through phases of liking different finishes. It still matches my complexion, so I don't look like I'm doing theatre or anything. This product sets well with Careblend powder, but I also feel it will be fine with my Guerlain Meteorites or Mineralize setting powders. A new HG!
Skincare - Body -Johnson & Johnson - Johnson's Baby Extra Dry Powder
yum_yum 4/12/2013 11:48:00 AM
Very reasonably priced at £2.99 for 425g. Keeps you dry and fresh longer than the original J&J Baby Powder, in my opinion. According to J&J, it absorbs 60% more than their regular powder, because of the added cornstarch. The fragrance is also slightly nicer. I use this as an alternative to the extortionately priced, cornstarch-based, Baby Bees powder by Burt's Bees. Available at Boots and Sainsbury's. Ingredients: Zea Mays Starch, Tricalcium Phosphate, Parfum.
Good value for money. I decant and dab, I can't work it when sprayed, it's far too potent. It smells like what it is -- a very well-priced, pleasant scent with huge sillage and excellent lasting power. But the notes make it enormously 'perfume-y'. I'm not sure it's aldehydes, rather a bombardment of 'big' smells. Rubbing unscented lotion on where I dab the perfume softens it a little - but, wow, this projects! I've had my fill of well-priced, 'big' perfumes lately and although this is nice, it's hard to wear unless my nose is prepared for the onslaught - or I'm prepared to wait the full hour for the top and mid notes to settle. The bottle is ordinary, I doubt I'll repurchase. I can't figure it out: it has gourmand elements, floral elements, woodsy elements. Like Mad Scientist Dr Revlon just chucked it all in there and made 'PERFUME'. That said, I don't hate it; it just doesn't have any stand-out features that grab me. The first time I wore it I liked it. I like it less now but give it three lippies because, for the price, it's pretty decent, and the dry down is actually quite yummy...if you have the patience to wait for it. Some of the scents I reviewed recently are the opposite of top loaded; they make you wait half a life time for the best part. And I'm not patient.
Another one that I dab rather than spray. This is by Sophia Grojsman. What I get with this one is ylang-ylang, rose and mimosa. Not a young and fresh mimosa like Champs-Elysees, but a slightly more 'mature' one. The florals, as with some Grojsmans are not hugely distinct, it's more a melange. It's less 'fleshy' than something like Tresor and Diamonds and Rubies, probably because of a slightly higher pitched top -- slightly melon-y and green. Nice one if you're in the mood for a lot of flowers. I give it three and three quarter lippies; for what it is, it should really be the same price (discounted) as Diamonds and Rubies - which is by the same perfumer. Both this and D&R are less interesting versions of Tresor, which was one of Grojsman's better perfumes. With this one, I have to wait a bit for it to calm down. It's the perfume equivalent of suffering an attack of 'hysteria' and having to wait for the sedatives to kick in. Once they do (once the perfume settles down) life -- or the smell -- becomes easier... Nice bottle, will not repurchase in my lifetime because it goes a long way Dry down is feminine and...very floral.
Probably my second favourite from the Elizabeth Taylor offerings, Black Pearls being my favourite. In general with ET fragrances you have to like aldehydes and / or full-bodied florals / very rich perfumes. This will no doubt be classified as 'old-fashioned' in that it has a thick, multi floral feel. I assume this is by Sophia Grosjman, for no other reason than it smells like a Grojsman to me: she made YSL Paris, OdlR Volupte, Lancome Tresor and various other 'Grojsman florals'. If it isn't a Grojsman, it certainly emulates the style. This is potent, rose-peach scent, with 'orchid' and a slight 'plastic-y' feel (many cheaper floral scents have this, imo - doesn't detract from the experience, just an observation) there's a slight indolic note here, but it's hardly obvious and throws in a bit of interest. But I doubt most will catch this aspect. The base is sandalwood-y, and there is a trace of amber. But the overwhelming sense is that of a big, rosy, powerhouse floral. I can only wear this decanted and dabbed; spraying it is just too much. It's very pleasant, when used with discretion. The bottle design is terrible. It'll never be repurchased because I use it so sparingly. A big, traditionally 'perfume-y' rose and peach scent. Not bad. Three and a three quarter lippies, mainly because at discount it's great for the price. But I hate having to figure out how to apply it: Do I dab? How many dabs? How long will I have to wait until it settles down? etc.. A little high-maintenance. But, sure, the dry down is very pretty.
Wonderful perfume that smells of expensive soap -- and that's the most predominant feature, to me. This aspect reminds me of older versions of Ivoire, but the Van Cleef is slightly more complex, but also more linear in development. If I were to find a male equivalent of Ivoire, or even a decent approximation from another brand, this would be it. According to other reviewers, it's meant to be a leather chypre. The leather element is not obvious on me -- it's a green, somewhat coniferous chypre, soft on the chypre part (so, don't expect Mitsouko) but also soft on the typical male 'fougere' smell (when compared to heavy-handed fougeres). I like men's scents from the 1970s / 1980s -- especially on women -- this one was made in 1978. It's dry, deep, slightly dark but never oppressive because it's buoyed by graceful mid-note, not-too-sweet, soapy florals (jasmine, orris, carnation) none of which scream one particular floral smell. The juniper top note is lovely. Not too sharp, rather charming actually, mixed nicely with a herbal quality which could be marjoram (basil is also listed). I get the patchouli and labdanum in the base, but it's not overwhelming. Perhaps this makes some consider VC&A PH an animalic scent. However the overall impression is not animalic by my definition, probably because of the soap associations, the lovely freshness of the top, and the measured handling of woodsy elements / base -- and no really loud leather note, indoles or castoreum. Very evenly pitched -- basically: all the notes check in on application, stay checked in and wear equally well through dry-down -- the top doesn't really disappear and the base doesn't change hugely in character. In that way it's linear, but because of the nice blending of many scents, it's not a simple, one-note-wonder. Of course it does eventually fade after many hours, and at this stage a trace of base might be more obvious than the entire composition. But the middle phase is like an a piece of music where all the instruments sing with equal beauty and presence. I don't fully understand the parallels drawn between this and Antaeus; Antaeus is more powerful than this -- not necessarily in sillage -- VC&A has plenty of presence -- but the Chanel is more aggressive and not as complex. Longevity is good, strength is good since it's a men's fragrance -- so spray with caution. The bottle is functional and 'modern' in a retro way (!) and I'd repurchase. If you like men's perfumes from the 1970s and 1980s, try it. VC&A Pour Homme is classic, composed, wonderful on a woman. A real beauty.
Love this green floral. The standout notes for me are hyacinth, lily of the valley, jasmine and a galbanum type note (I'm not sure whether it's listed in 'official notes'). There's also a bit of musk and a very sneaky pineapple note -- look for it, it's there. The overall effect is metallic, cool (even cold), Spring-y and fresh. It smells like hothouse flowers straight from the greenhouse, shoved into a walk-in freezer. Very fresh and pretty, but not 'twee' like Diorissimo. It's not old-fashioned, but perhaps retro in the sense that the modernity expressed is more Wall Street and American Psycho than anything set in the present day. Well perhaps it has a bit of Margin Call. It smells of expensive flowers and money -- I guess that's the metallic smell, reminds me of coins. I associate this smell with city girls in sharp suits with conversation that sounds like an Aaron Sorkin script. Quick fire lines. Snappy. Cocaine and too much money. This and Rush are incredible at being utterly synthetic and modern, but very real at the same time. Envy is Rush's type A sister. Rush spends all her time in clubs, Envy spends all her time making money. The former (Rush) loves a few lines, the latter (Envy) drinks-- probably cocktails with pineapple juice. I wear it mainly because jasmine is one of my favourite notes and the high-pitched green frenzy of this, the lily-of-the-valley and hyacinth, really hits the spot when I want something fresh, but not too clean (Vent Vert is my other high-pitched green floral of choice). The pineapple note is not too sweet, and subtle enough to be interesting. The jasmine isn't indolic -- in fact I don't know how something this clean-smelling can smell so complex and interesting. Can't say I like modern cities, but -- if I were to compare this to cities as opposed to movies -- the architecture of places like NYC -- grand, impressive, city-of-the-future type places and huge pavements -- very much 'on the map' in popular culture, loud, grid-like street planning, constructed for functionality yet hiding an edge that captures imaginations of writers, film-makers and travellers. If I were to picture Envy as a city, that's pretty much what I'd see. I don't like Sorkin dialogue much either, but still... There's another great side to it: and that is -- it's really a very pretty perfume. Pretentious descriptions aside, this is a unique way to handle green florals. I haven't smelled anything quite like it. The EdP is a funny creature. Instead of playing up the notes, it's somehow more dusty and quiet. The EdT is the real masterpiece. It really captures what Envy is all about: hot flowers, green, cold environments and the synthetic. Brilliant.
Wow!! Was given this by a friend. According to her, it's discontinued. On my skin tone it's a wet-look, silvery taupe. Lasting power is so-so. When first applied, it really works -- it looks foiled, but I swear it was applied sparingly, dry with a brush. Might last longer with primer. I wore it with some Ben Nye grey eyeshadow in my brows, Lancome Hypnose w/p mascara and Guerlain black khol, for that smudge-y, sultry look. I've looked high and low for a dry shadow that gives this exact wetlook look. This is it. No shading, no fuss, this stuff has lots of dimension on its own. Easy glamour, ladies. If you can find it, go for it!!
Eye Shadow -L'Oreal - Couleur Infallible - All Night Blue
yum_yum 11/5/2012 5:34:00 AM
Great colour. Very vivid, shimmery, electric-navy. I have boring, dark brown, almost black eyes, A-N-B made them glam. It stayed put and didn't migrate. I wore it with a Voluminous w/p mascara and Bobbi Brown gel liner (a dark blue - either sapphire or cobalt) in and outside waterline. I highlighted inner eye corners and middle of lid with my ancient 'Pastel Shimmers' Quartet by Clarins. Easy to apply -- I used my finger instead of a brush. The powder feels creamy, not gritty or dry. Great if you like intense eye makeup. I'm sure I have other bright blue shades (the colour flatters my skin tone/ eye colour)- but the price of the L'Oreal was incredible, especially given the quality. Girls -- this stuff makes you a rock star. ; )
Mascara -L'Oreal - Volume Million Lashes - Luminizer (Hazel Eyes)
yum_yum 10/27/2012 11:28:00 AM
There is little discernible difference between this and the one for Brown Eyes. There is no volume, and no colour benefits. The wand is very average. My eyes look better with the standard Voluminous waterproof line. My own fault for being swayed by gimmicks. I should stick to what I like: Voluminous and Hypnose. This did nothing. And the staying power is terrible. On the upside, it's cheap at discounters, so if you like a natural looking, non-waterproof mascara, this might be more accessible than you think! Eh -- same old 'mascara debacle'; one man's food is another man's poison.
I bought Cicaplast Pro-Recovery to use as a makeup primer which wouldn't dry out / irritate my skin. The healing/ protecting aspect that LRP claims it has, was a bonus. It didn't dry out my skin and worked well / looked nice under makeup. It's lighter than other silicone-y primers, some of the ingredients absorb so it doesn't all sit on your skin - very comfortable to wear. For more protection and moisture, I prefer LRP's new Baume B5, which I reviewed. But Pro-Recovery is a nicer base for makeup, more lightweight feeling on skin, more 'slip' - but not too much, and comes in a slim tube like the ADerma repair cream so fits well in your handbag. One thing disappoints me: because it forms a barrier more than heals (in my opinion) it isn't as good for healing / smoothing slightly chapped lips before lipstick application; the Baume B5 and the ADerma are better at this. Weighing up uses and price (£13 for 40ml) I give it 3-4 lippies for price as a primer, but may be 5 as an all-purpose cream, because for the level of healing / moisture required by my skin, the Aderma is better priced. Packaging is great. I have repurchased. Not the best repair / protector I've ever used, but possibly the nicest *combined* primer / repair product.
ingredients: aqua, hydrogenated polyisobutene, dimethicone, glycerin, butyrospermum parkii butter / shea butter, panthenol, butylene glycol, aluminium starch octenylsuccinate, propanediol, cetyl peg/ppg-10/1 dimethicone, tristearin, zinc gluconate, madecassoside, manganese gluconate, magnesium sulphate, disodium edta, copper gluconate, acetylated glycol stearate, polyglyceryl -4 isostearate, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol, chlorhexidine digluconate, cl 77891 / titanium dioxide. LRP says: a Multi-Purpose Repairing Balm which soothes, protects and repairs sensitive or irritated skin. Can be used on minor injuries. Suitable for adults, children and babies. Non-perfumed, paraben-free, lanolin-free. Contains Panthenol 5% ( Vitamin B5) and antibacterial action, Madecassoside, which stimulates renewal of skin's cells and gives it a 'nourishing' texture, plus glycerin and shea butter. Some uses: chapped lips, dry/irritated skin, skin tightness, grazes/burns, irritated baby skin. My opinion: it's very thick and easier to spread on skin that's patted dry as opposed to damp skin, but absorbs well either way. It doesn't leave a gooey, greasy or sticky residue and does a great job at moisturising / protecting skin. Certainly no skin irritation or break-outs for me -- although some people do not like shea butter / glycerin. A little goes a long way, but must be worked into the skin because of the texture. You might find it too thick or emollient -- my skin loves moisture. Great for soreness caused by using actives, or if you live in a cold climate and need protection against nasty weather and central heating. It hydrates for a good while and is great for chapped lips. They say not to use it near the eye area, but I haven't had issues. I think it'd make a nice base for makeup, although during the day I prefer to use Avene moisturiser with UV protection. It isn't as silicone-y as the original Cicaplast Pro-Recovery Skincare (which makes a nice makeup primer/skin protector) -- this is a plus for me, because while Pro-Recovery is lovely and smooth, Baume B5 is more moisturising and (I feel) repairs /heals skin better, instead of just forming a barrier. It works better on chapped lips too. I love my purchase. A great multipurpose product. Not extortionately priced (RRP £15.50 for 100ml) given its versatility, but still more costly for us average folk than a basic cream, so I give it 3-4 lippies for price (I don't buy very expensive creams - LRP, Avene, Vichy and ADerma are as posh as I'll go!). Although different, I think this and A-Derma Epithéliale A.H. Repair Cream are two great multipurpose products, the latter being smaller and better for your handbag, in case of moisturising emergencies! UPDATE: I used Baume B5 overnight, on a small scrape on my face. It worked well to reduce redness and help the healing process. This makes me think it might work well for chaps as an after shave balm / shaving cuts. It seems to work well for minor injuries.
Cleansers -Vichy - Purete Thermale Waterproof Eye Make-up Remover
yum_yum 10/6/2012 2:23:00 PM
This is Vichy's answer to Lancome Bifacil. I've tried a few eye-makeup removers and duo-phase / bi-phase cleansers -- ones with an oily solution and a watery one in one bottle, which is shaken to integrate before use. Bifacil was the only one that removed every last trace of high-end waterproof mascara like Lancome Hypnose Waterproof etc. and hard to shift eye-liners like Bobbi Brown gels and liquid liners by MAC. I tried the Vichy after wearing multiple coats of the above mentioned mascara. Mascara came off as easily as with BiFacil and left less greasy residue. It also felt gentler on my eye area. Delighted -- 150ml of the Vichy is £10.50 -- half the price of about 120ml of the Lancome. Ingredients: aqua, isododecaine, isopropyl palmitate, cl 61565, potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, arginine, dipotassium phosphate, tetrasodium edta, taurine, hexylene glycol, decyl glucoside, polyaminopropyl biguanide. This is how I use bi-phase cleansers for w/p eye mu: soak thin cotton pad. Separate pad into two layers. Place a layer over each eye. Hold for a minute or so. Gently wipe away without scrubbing. You may have to repeat or soak your eye area for longer if you wear major eye make-up. I do the 'dramatic glamour eye' from time to time, and for extra removal power I just flip the pads over and use the other side for an extra minute -- this is effective and conserves product. The trick is to give the liquid enough time to dissolve the makeup without wasting product or scrubbing. In my experience with *very* heavy eye makeup / full-on, budge-proof makeup (which I like to wear) -- regular cleansers, oil cleansers, oil, and most micellar waters will not work as well as BiFacil or this Vichy product, even when used in the way described. After years of using BiFacil, I can tell if something has a similar efficacy, and this does. If anything, it's better. I found the packaging a bit sleeker and the flip top / opening a bit more user-friendly too. All for less money. Terrific!