Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why do you love makeup, and what do you look for in a brand?

I saw these questions on Beauty Look Book, and I thought it might be fun to answer these questions myself.

1) Why do you love makeup?
This is actually a strange question to me, because it's like asking why I like curry, or why I love warm covers.  I just love them/it.  I think of makeup as more of art supplies than anything, and use them about the same.  Makeup isn't about age, sex, color of skin to me; it's about playing, having fun, and showing your personality.  If you want to wear purple eyelashes with bright red lips, I might think that it doesn't look the greatest (unless you rock it), but why does what I think matter?

Basically, I love makeup because it is a method of expression.  You don't need the most expensive stuff, or the latest colors, you just need to have fun, and show who you really are inside.

2) What do you look for in a brand?
I look for quality, quantity, and truth.  A brand that does what it says it does is great.  A brand that goes above and beyond what they claim is the best.  I love NYX, MAC, Giorgio Armani, NARS, Jane, Maybelline.. basically, the whole range of brands, because every brand has something to contribute.  NYX has great lipsticks, Giorgio Armani also has great lipsticks, but they are completely different animals.  Should I just exclusively use one or the other?  My answer is no, but yours might be different.

Oh, and packaging matters.  I hate crappy, going-to-break-at-any-moment packaging.  I don't care if it's a cheap screw top container, it needs to work.

So what about you?  Why do you love makeup, and what do you look for in a brand?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I happen to be gone for the holidays/birthdays, so I didn't get a good post written before I left.  No, I didn't forget you all, I just didn't have time.

I wish you all a Happy Holiday, Happy New Years, and all that jazz ^_^.  Be good while I'm away, and don't resort to eating your lipsticks when the feasts take too long getting on the table!

--righteothen

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

shu uemura Cleansing Oil A/O



image from Sephora.com


Price: $32 for 150ml, $72 for 450ml (15.2oz)

What they say:
"For aging concerns

Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O is the #1 selling shu uemura Cleansing Oil in the world. A premium anti-oxidant skin purifier that thoroughly cleanses the skin while protecting it against the internal and external aggressions associated with skin aging."

What I say:
While this isn't love at first sight, this is love at multiple glances, and with second thoughts.

I first came across shu uemura Skin Purifier High Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O (man, that's a mouthful) after many online bloggers and review communities convinced me that oil would, in fact, not destroy my face, if I was careful, and that this stuff is basically gold in a bottle.  With these thoughts in my mind, I stalked up to a shu uemura counter in Nordstroms, and asked about the oil.  Not only did they give me a pamphlet, they also gave me two samples to try (each one, with how little I use at a time, lasts me about a week, if only used at night).

Samples in hand, I headed home, and tried this.  Now, I knew how to use it, since I had read the reviews: dry hands, dry face, rub in, little water, emulsify, rinse off.  That's what I did, the first time.  It left a film.

I hate film.

So I put this to the side, and was glad I hadn't paid for a full bottle.  Reading more reviews, though, it turns out that even those instructions were wrong (Side note: don't do what the bottle instructions say.  Too much waste, and it doesn't work as well).  You put a little water on your hands, emulsify, repeat, and when the white is mostly gone, then you rinse.  I tried this, and it worked.  Still a little film, but nothing I can't handle.

So, I went to step 2, the makeup test.  Does it remove makeup?  Yes.  Does it remove waterproof?  From what I can see, yes.  Does it do all this without the watering eyes of doom?  Again, yes, but a small note, this can cause your eyes to get... cloudy, I guess is the word I'm looking for.  Doesn't hurt, but it can be annoying.

Last thing I noticed, it does, in fact, help clear my pores.  Since the oil can get into the pores, it can cause the stuff in them to come out.  And since it emulsifies with water, it doesn't remain in them when you're done.  Gross, when stuff is coming out (TMI, I know), but still, whatever helps.

Scent: I haven't really noticed one, since I'm not looking, but I have been told there is one.

Bottle: Great!  No leaks, you can see how much is left, and the pump is very handy.  I kept my small bottles for travel, and the nozzle fits perfectly inside, so that's a bonus.

So there you have it!  This stuff is quite good, and I have since bought a full bottle of it.  Now, the downside of this is that it is pricey.  That's why, in my lemmings post earlier, I said I wanted to try the NYX version, to see how it stood up against the titan.  Is it worth it anyway?  Personally, that really depends on your budget and how often you are planning on using it.  I use it maybe a couple times a week, and I can say that my bottle will last me for at least a year.  When you break it down, that's really cheap, and so I would say worth it.  If you are using it twice a day, though, and are using the full recommended 4-5 pumps (I'm using something like 1, maybe a little less), then even the big bottle will be drained quickly.

Regardless, if you are interested in trying this, or any shu uemura, oil out, I really recommend going to the counter.  I can't say for certain you will get as much as I did, but even one sample should last long enough for you to see if you will react.  (Maybe that's why they gave me so much, is that I told them I was worried about breakouts... hmm..).

4/5

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sephora Sale

www.sephora.com
20% OFF CODE : EXTRA
When: 12/23-12/31

Word on the street is that Sephora is having another sale.  The above information is all that I know about it, and whether it is authentic has yet to be seen.  Still, either way, I felt that I should pass this information on, on the off chance that this is true.
 
If this is true, this will be the third 20% off sale that Sephora.com has had in the past few months.

I hope I get a gift card for the Holidays, otherwise, I can't really see myself spending money yet /again/ at Sephora, since everything that I wanted I have already purchased, and all that is left are maybes that I don't want to spend money on, at the moment.
 
Any case, good hunting if this is true! ^_^

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NARS: Multiple in Orgasm



image from sephora.com

Price: $37 for .5 oz

What they say:
"What it is:
Uniting its most celebrated color with its most sought after multi-purpose must-have, NARS introduces The Multiple in Orgasm.

What it does:
Featuring the same universally flattering hue as the original Orgasm Blush, The Multiple in Orgasm imparts the radiant peachy pink with shimmer to the eyes, cheeks, lips and décolletage.

What else you need to know:
Designed and packaged for easy application, The Multiple in Orgasm can be applied with a finger or directly from the stick and then blended into the skin. The lightweight, creamy formula blends effortlessly to provide sheer, all-over color as well as subtle, shimmering accents, contours, and dynamic highlights."

What I say:
This is a good product, but I wouldn't say it is the greatest thing ever.

The color is much like the NARS Orgasm blush, but I would say it's a little.. lighter?  It's hard to describe the difference.  Part of that is because of the difference in the textures, which always affects the color.  The shimmery-ness of the color is more apparent, and the initial color is a little more subdued.  Because of this, I find it to be a better highlighter than the original powder blush, but it still has enough color to be useable for a light blush look.

The case is the usual rubber that NARS likes to use, and some of you might not like that, since it does get messy quite easily.  While I don't like the mess, I do like how it feels in my hands, which I think it more important on a product that you aren't going to be whipping out in public often (unlike lipstick or gloss).  The lid does stay on well, and I haven't had any problems with it opening for me, but I wouldn't be surprised if it tried to in a purse, since that is a much more harsh environment than my travel bags.  I did notice that the stick doesn't like to go back into the tube if you over extend it, so you do need to be careful about that.

Orgasm the Multiple's texture is like the other multiples, from what I've felt.  It is kinda like a cream blush, but I think a little more dry than that.  I find that using my fingers doesn't get much product on my cheeks, but it does layer well, so that isn't much of a problem.  Putting it dirrectly on your cheeks from the tube can lead to overkill, but as long as you are careful, it shouldn't cause clown-face.  I have also tried this on my eyes and lips, and while the color looked okay, I didn't like the texture that much on either part.

Overall, I would say this is good for those who travel a lot, since it can't shatter like a power blush, but I don't think it is that great beyond that.  I might try the multiple in some other color, since it might work a little better, and I have heard that not all the multiples have the exact same texture when used.  If you are interested in this product, I really do suggest playing with it a little in person, especially because it might not show up that well, depending on your skintone.

3.5/5

Saturday, December 12, 2009

fresh: Sugar Lip Treatment



image from sephora.com

Price: $22.50 for .15oz

What they say:
"Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 blends reparative oils and waxes together with real sugar for delectable and dependable moisture with maximum sun protection. Sweet and tart blackcurrant oil cushions the lips with essential plumping fatty acids, while antioxidant grapeseed polyphenols and vitamins A, C, and E provide extra protection."

What I say:
This is my favorite lip treatment, and I keep coming back to it again and again.  This isn't cheap, so I don't use it all the time (like during the day, when I use Nivea instead), but this is a great night treatment, even though it has SPF in it.

The smell of this reminds me of lemon bars, if you know what I mean.  Lemony, vanilla-y, sweet, but not overpowering, and mouth-wateringly good.  The smell goes away quickly after you put it on, so for those who don't like the smell, don't worry, it doesn't linger all day (or night).

The case is metal, with a screw-on top.  I have put this in purses, my pocket, thrown it across the room, my cats have played with it... Well, you get the picture.  Anyway, it has not opened on me once, unless I want to open it.  No screwing up your purse or pocket with this one.  Also, the case can take quite a beating, to the point that I'm thinking of reusing it as a pill case for vitamins when traveling, since it is compact, and strong.

The texture of this is what makes it such a great treatment; it is thick, a little greasy feeling, but not like after you eat something greasy, and it stays put.  I put this on right before bed, and there is still some on my lips when I wake up the next morning.  During winter, that is the difference between nice lips, and zombie, skin coming off, apocalypse lips.  The texture is also part of why I don't use this all the time during the day.  Unless I really need the extra thick layer on my lips, this is overkill.  Still, even though I don't use it during the day all the time, it is nice to know that there is some SPF in it, in case.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is not a cheap lip treatment.  A tube of this lasts me, well, practically forever, so I wait until a sale to pick up a tube or two, which will last me more than a year.  If this is extremely outside your price range, though (or if you lost yours, and you can't find it, like what happened to me once...), I suggest something like Nivea/Labello (depending on where you live), which is much cheaper, and also quite nice.

5/5 HG Night Treatment

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Night Formula


image drugstore.com

Price: $14 for 1.4oz (40g)

What they say:
"Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream is a dermatologist recommended Retinol anti-wrinkle cream clinically proven to visibly reduce fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging.

This patented formula contains Retinol, Vitamin A in its purest form, to work deep within skin's surface where wrinkles develop. A combination of Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E and special moisturizers work with skin's natural mechanisms to even out skin tone and build moisture levels. Lightweight and non-greasy, it absorbs quickly into skin.

Skin is softer and smoother. Fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging are visibly reduced.
  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic (won't clog pores)
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Fragrance-free"
What I say:
This is okay, and cheap for what it is, but it is not that great.  I originally bought this because of the Retinol that it has in it, since you can never be too young to start the fight against wrinkles, but have not found it to really do anything.

The scent is basically non-existent, to the point that I can't really remember if it has a scent (good enough for me, it has no scent!).  The texture is a little more soft than most creams that I have used (including La Mer, which I got a sample of once).  Actually, I prefer the texture of this to thicker creams, because it is so easy to spread.

I have never had a problem of clogged pores from this on my face, but I have gotten a couple on my neck, and can only assume this was the culprit.  Given that I have only gotten a few in the year that I have used it, though, I would say that it is indeed non-comedogenic.

Overall, decent, but not great.  I purchased it again because there was a buy one get one on Neutrogena skincare, and I was getting more of my cleanser.  I may or may not purchase again, depending on if I find a better night cream when I run out or not.

3.5/5

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish Cleanser


image from drugstore.com

Price: $7.49 for 5.1 fl oz (150ml)

What they say:
"Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish Cleanser fights blemishes and the signs of aging every time you cleanse.

This unique anti-aging cleanser is formulated with a combination of the #1 blemish-fighting ingredient and a wrinkle-fighting ingredient to help give you clear, younger-looking skin. Salicylic Acid treats and helps prevent blemishes by penetrating deep into pores to remove dirt and oil. Alpha-Hydroxy Acid works to help smooth fine lines. Formula rinses clean, with no pore-clogging residue.

Skin is clearer, softer and smoother. Fine lines and wrinkles are visibly reduced.
  • Salicylic Acid"
What I say:
What can I say but that this is a pretty good cleanser, and lasts a long time for the amount that you pay for it?  Some might argue that the salicylic acid and AHA in this does not stay on your face long enough for it to really help, but I find that if you spend a little time putting/rubbing this on your face (gently!), it does help quite a bit.  I have noticed a good bit of reduction in my blemishes using this, and so I keep using it.

Note about the active ingredients:  AHA works for both blemish fighting, and supposed reduction of fine lines, even though it doesn't say that on the package.  Just thought you might like to know ^_^.

The scent is very mild, just kinda a soapy background scent that is easily ignored.  This does cause my face to be more taunt that I would like, so I only use this at night, since my face gets quite oily during the day.  A little of this goes a long way; about a pea size is more than enough for my face, so this tube lasts forever.  Speaking of the tube, you will have a lot of product at the bottom of it when you reach the point where you can no longer squeeze any more out.  Be sure to cut it open and transplant the remnents.

One last little thing, this does not work well with a Clarisonic.  I find the best cleansers for the Clarisonic are ones that are more slippery, and this is definitely not one of them.

Overall, great product, and will probably keep repurchasing, since it works well, and is cheap.

4.5/5

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

End of the Month Lemmings, November

A couple days late, but better late than never ^_^.

1) General lemming, a power eyeliner.  I don't mean just a regular eyeliner that is in powder form, like Illamasqua Eye Liner Cake, but just in general.  I've been thinking about getting some NARS eyeshadows (darker than what I have), since I have heard good things about them being used as eyeliner.  Also, NYX eyeshadows in blue, black, and brown.  I already tried a red one that I own, and using it wet didn't destroy it (like it does for some).  This will seriously help in the travel department, since they aren't liquid, and the fact that they are powder means that you can use them regular for a less strong liner, wet for strong liner, or just as an eyeshadow.

2) Shiseido Mascasa Base


image from Sephora.com

I have heard good things about this for a really long time, but just can't seem to justify spending $23 on a mascara base, when it has to be thrown out in 3 months anyway.  Doesn't stop the lemming, though.



image from sephora.com

For when I use my eyeliner/eyeshadow power, and want it to be waterproof.  I have used the Too Faced and Urban Decay ones, and didn't like either.  I did hear that this is much better, though, so I definitely need to try this out if I ever do get those powder eyeliners.

4) Makeup Remover & Cleansing Oil In One w/Green Tea Extract


image from nyxcosmetics.com

This lemming is not only for myself, but also for my readers!  I have not heard anything about this product yet, since it is so new, but the ingredients look similar to non-other than shu uemura Skin Purifier High Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O.  Not exact, and not in the same order, but still, similar enough that it peaked my interest.  A cheaper cleansing oil (this only costs $10 online), that is not hard to get?  That would be great.

5) A new perfume.  Specifically, Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs Bewitching Brew The Black Tower.  Known for their perfume oils, that they only make when an order comes in, so it is always the freshest possible, these little beauties cost about $15 for 5ml, or $3.50 for what they call an "Imp's Ear," which is 1/32oz.  Yes, you read that right, this is expensive.  The cost is totally worth it, though, since they contain the highest amount of actual perfume oil (regular eau de toilette is about  4 - 10% perfume oil, this stuff is about 15 - 80% perfume oil, depending on the blend).

The one that I have an eye on, The Black Tower, is described as "white sandalwood, ambergris, wet ozone, galbanum and leather with ebony, teak, burnt grasses, English ivy and a hint of red wine" (note, ambergris in this is actually not the real stuff, it is a vegan blend that is made to smell similar).  Leather?  Wet ozone?  Ivy?  I /need/ this.  What's holding me back?  The holidays.  Once I'm certain that no one has bought this for me already, it is so mine.

So there you have it.  I hope everyone is having a good holiday season, and that the Holiday Muzak is not driving you mad yet.  Just remember, breath, and have a nice piping-hot cup of tea nearby ^_^.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

L'Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream




Price: $10 for 1oz, $26 for 5.2oz

What they say:
"Enriched with Shea Butter and vitamin E, this lightly textured and non-greasy cream nourishes and protects hands from daily aggressions. They are soft, moisturized and delicately perfumed with Cherry Blossom's enveloping flowery scent. Contains a cherry extract from Luberon, France. "

What I say:
This is indeed a non-greasy cream.  I use this on my eczema riddled hands/wrists, and not only did it absorb, it didn't aggravate my sensitive skin.  This works especially well during the colder months, since it is thicker, but still absorbs.  I haven't tried this during the summer, but given the texture, I think it would melt off quickly, so I don't think this would be good for those of you who live in more humid, warmer climates. 

The scent of cherry blossoms was there, but fainter than I expected, and faded before it got really annoying.  It was more of a perfume scent than a natural one, but it wasn't horrible, and my husband thought it smelled nice.  Because the scent of this one wasn't over the top, I'm interested in trying more scents from this company.

The price is a little high for the amount of product that you get.  I got the 1oz "travel" version, so I expected it to be higher per ounce, but it still is steep.  I could see this being $7, but not really 10.  The 5.2 ounce one for $26 is a decent enough deal, considering how long it should last, but it's too big for travel.

The tube for this is metal looking (aluminum, if anyone cares, hehe), but when you really look at the top, you can see that it is plastic.  Looking closely at the tube, it looks like there is a thin layer of metal surrounding a plastic tube.  Whether this is for aesthetics, or if it actually helps protect the product, I can't say.  The cap is just plain black plastic, in a octagonal shape to allow for easier opening and closing.

Overall, quite pleased with this lotion, but wish it was a little cheaper in travel form.

4/5

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Burberry London for Men


 image from sephora.com

Price: $55 for 1.7oz, $70 for 3.3oz

What they say:
"A timeless signature scent for the modern gentleman who exudes natural confidence and a sophisticated manner. This understated and refined amber woody fragrance is fresh and masculine on top, creates a seductive, natural sexiness at its heart, and combines unique base notes to create a timeless, signature scent.

Notes:
Bergamot, Lavender, Cinnamon Leaves, Black Pepper, Mimosa, Leather, Port Wine, Guaiac Wood, Oakmoss, Tobacco, Opopanax.
Style:
Elegant. Refined. Timless.
Woody Oriental"

What I say:
I originally bought this for my husband, who hardly ever wears it, even though I beg him to *hint hint honey*, but ended up falling in love with it myself, and kinda wished I had kept it for my own (my only... my precious).  The cinnamon leaves, tobacco, and leather are the strongest parts of the scent in my mind, and when it goes into its heart, and finally base notes, it leaves a nice warm lingeringness, like a fire on a cold day.

Speaking of a fire on a cold day, that's kinda what this scent reminds me of as a whole; a workshop in the next room, with the door open, and a fire warming everything inside up, so the scent goes throughout the house...

Opps, didn't mean to get all... emotional, or whatever you would call it.  Scent is an emotional, and personal thing, though, so one person's favorite scent will make another person gag.  Still, I think there's a moral to this story; just because it is says "for men" (or "for women" for you men out there), does not mean it cannot work for you.  Sure, this scent is more masculine, for lack of a better word, but with the right outfit, maybe a little metal, maybe a little goth (heck, even a sundress with black heels), you can make it all your own.

5/5 (my preeeccciiioooussss)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jane Iredale Magic Mitt





 image from janeiredale.com

Price: $15 for one mitt

What they say:
"Magic Mitt quickly and completely removes makeup using NO cleanser
• This cleansing process promotes the health of the skin because it does not affect the skin's natural acid mantle
• When this beneficial barrier is intact, it aids the skin in protecting itself from harmful and invasive bacteria
• Not only will your skin thank you for using Magic Mitt, but you will also save yourself minutes at the beginning and end of each day"

What I say:
This is indeed a "magic mitt."  I have used this to take of mascara (non-waterproof), liquid foundation, primer, and also cream foundation (with cream blush!).  While it claims that you can use it with just warm water, I always pair it with my usual nightly cleanser, since I'm lazy, and doing it in two steps just adds more time.  I tried using a cream eye makeup remover afterwards when I tested the removal of mascara, and nothing more came off, so it must be doing something right!

How you use this is you take the mitt, get it wet with warm water, and gently rub in small circles all over you face, like you would do with an exfoliator, or when you are normally cleansing with a washcloth.  The little "hairs" or fibers of the cloth break through the barrier of oil that makeup creates, and allow water and cleansers to get through.  Since the surface tension of the oil that bonds the makeup is broken, it just comes right off.

Now, here's another great part about it: to clean, you just clean it like a washcloth!  Brilliant!  Why so brilliant?  Because you can clean it on the go, and since it's not a liquid/gel, you can bring it on a plane with you, no problem.

I got mine at a local beauty supply shop, but I know drugstore.com and dermstore.com carry it.  It is normally $15, so I say, unless you are buying really expensive makeup-remover, it is probably a good idea to wait until you can get this on sale.

I still haven't tried this with waterproof mascara, since I hardly ever wear that, but I do know it took off my waterproof sunscreen, so it might work well with the mascara as well.

5/5

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Max Factor: 2000 Calorie Mascara


image from drugstore.com


Price: $4-6

What they say:
"Here's the mascara that delivers the sooty, smoky look everyone loves for evening. 2000 Calorie fattens up each lash for a dramatic, lush effect that washes off easily with cleanser, or soap and water (but still manages to be smudgeproof, so you don't have to worry about raccoon eyes). This rich black shade is a makeup-bag classic."

What I say:
9/28 So, so far, so decent.  For the price, I quite like this.  I did notice some light smudging, and maybe a little flakes on my undereye, but I wear cream concealers, so the oils might have blended.  Going to try this more to see how it works.

10/6  Still liking this.  Do notice a bit of smudging under my eyes if I'm using a cream concealer, and didn't push powder up to under my lashes.

11/10 This is not really started to dry up, but I have noticed more flakes then when I started using this.  Also, it is clumping a bit more.  At this rate, when it reaches the 3 months mark, it is going to be really hard to use.  Started having to use a lash comb to get clumps out with only one coat, and I always wipe off excess before using.

So, I guess overall I think this is okay, but just not for me.  The flaking only gets worse the longer I use it, and I hate having to constantly check to see if I'm sporting the black eye dandruff.  For its price it is okay, but I'm not going to be crying when I can't find this one in the stores anymore, after Max Factor leaves these shores.

3/5

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kiss My Face miss treated


image from kissmyface.com


Price: $8-9 for 11oz each

What they say:
Shampoo:
"Treat your mistreated hair to a life-enhancing experience. Bring back shine and bounce with organic herbs and extracts while soothing the scalp with pure essential oils. Kiss My Face Miss Treated shampoo gently cleanses without drying or stripping color. It's nourishing, effective and aromatherapeutic®, to leave your locks luminous, and your spirits uplifted.
- replenishes moisture to dry/damaged hair
- nourishes color treated and permed hair
- calms overstressed hair
GOOD FOR YOU BECAUSE...
Wheat Amino Acid: helps lock in moisture for the hair
Nettle: stimulates hair growth and improves the condition of the scalp
Rosemary: promotes hair growth and cleanses hair and scalp"

Conditioner:
"Kiss My Face Miss Treated conditioner works in combination with our Miss Treated shampoo to enhance dry, damaged, overstressed hair. The organic botanicals and pure essential oils moisturize and nourish while their scent-uous aromatherapeutic® qualities will leave you uplifted and exhilarated.
- enhanced moisture for dry/damaged hair
- nourishes color treated and permed hair
- complete therapy for overstresssed hair
GOOD FOR YOU BECAUSE...
Wheat Protein: helps lock in moisture and smooths the hair shaft
Horsetail: adds shine and elasticity
Thyme: promotes a healthy scalp"


What I say:
These are okay.  Not horrible, but not that great.  The smell of these is quite nice, kinda earthy, not too strong.  Both the shampoo and conditioner claim to be for dry/damaged hair, and to be moisturizing.  While I can say they would be good for damaged hair, since they aren't that strong, they are not very moisturizing.  If you use a moisturizing treatment often, or use oil on your ends, these would probably be a better fit than for someone who is looking for an all in one product.

Still, decent.  The price is a little stiff for how well it works, but that's the price of good smell and organic ingredients.  The conditioner is one of the strongest natural type I have found, so that's something, and it might be worth looking into if you are looking for something like that.  I finished off the bottles just this afternoon (of the writing of this), so now off to try something new!

3/5

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CARGO Botanical Lipstick


image from Sephora.com


Price: $20 for .14oz

What they say:
What it is:
A sheer, creamy lipstick formulated with natural and organic ingredients.

What it does:
"CARGO PlantLove™ Lipstick provides sheer color that is completely natural and contains a high-organic content. The innovative formula is infused with rich added-care ingredients and is housed in eco-certified packaging. Smooth and silky, it conditions and colors your pout to pucker perfection.

This product is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Synthetic Fragrance
- Synthetic Dye
- Petro-Chemicals
- Phthalates"

What I say:
I got this in color Muir Woods (looking online, this is a North America only shade?) as part of the Sephora Favorites Lip Service Box.  It was honestly one of the reasons I got the box, since I had had this particular shade of lipstick on my wishlist for so long I don't even remember when I put it on there.  I was ecstatic, thinking that I had found a great deal, and a good lipstick for a cheap price.

I was right; about everything but a "good lipstick."

I would have a swatch for you, but the lipstick is so waxy, so hard, and so lacking pigmentation that I can't even get a proper swatch off for you guys/gals.

I used this lipstick, and the end was still smooth, barely looking used at all.  What little I did get on my lips did not last even an hour, and I had to really look hard to see any pigment at all.

I am so glad I got this at such a good deal; I would have sent this back so quickly otherwise.

1/5  Don't waste your money on this one.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Smashbox Emulsion Lip Exfoliant


image from smashbox.com


Price: $18 for .75oz

What they say:
"Got cracked, dry lips? EMULSION is the perfect solution for you! This sugar-based, peppermint-infused lip exfoliant is packed with vitamins and soothing conditioners to smooth and soften lips. Poppy seeds and sugar granules gently exfoliate while cocoa and shea butter, grape seed extract and jojoba deeply nourish. Lips instantly feel soft and kissable!"

What I say:
This is a nice treatment.  I normally just use a toothbrush to exfoliate my lips, since, like the rest of me, gentle exfoliants just don't cut it (my skin doesn't like the flake off).  I had heard good things about this exfoliant for your lips, so I decided to finally take the plung and pick it up.


It didn't make my lips overly dry (though I would still say use a lip balm afterwards, since you did just forcefully remove the dead layer of skin). The exfoliator was hardish, like a petroleum balm, when first squeezed from the tube, but warmed up quickly once on the lips. A little of this goes a long way.

The scent was a mild peppermint, not over the top, and the taste (yes, I did accidentally get some in my mouth) was not unpleasant.  It was a little sweet, a little pepperminty, and a little... other, I guess would be the best way of putting it.  I have heard it claimed that this is perfectly edible, but I wouldn't suggest just licking your lips off when you are done, instead of wiping it off like it tells you to in the instructions.

To use, you just take a little of the product, place it on your lips, and rub.  I like to do a combination of small circular motions, mixed in with just placing my lips together and rubbing them together.  This wasn't very harsh, and was not very irritating, either.

Highly recommended for anyone who, like me, suffers from flaky lips.

4.5/5

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Korres Guava Lipstick in Wine Red



 
 Top picture is without flash, bottom with flash.


Price: $22 for .06oz

What they say:
"What it is:
Longwearing, creamy, antioxidant lip color with antiaging benefits.

What it is formulated to do:
Korres Guava Lipstick lavishes your lips with highly pigmented formulas that deliver intense, enduring color. Fall in love with the pure, vivid shades that pamper your pout with an infusion antioxidant and vitamin C-rich guava extract.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Petro-Chemicals
- GMO"

What I say:
Color: 58 Wine Red (burgundy wine)
Swatch:

it rotated it again.. bah!

I got this in the Sephora Favorites Lip Service Box.  This was a full size product.

Pros: This is a lovely beginners red; it's not too pink, not too brown, layerable, and not over the top.  The formula is moist, without being a grease bomb, and did not feather/bleed on me, or show lip lines.  It was easy to layer, faded gracefully, and didn't stain.  Also, it looks lovely on pale skin (I didn't try this on other skin tones, sorry).

Cons:  It was very easy to take off, meaning it didn't last very long.  The size is minuscule (this is .06oz, a normal lipstick is .1-.14oz).  The price is very steep for so little product.

Overall, it is decent, but I'm glad I didn't pay full price for this.  The color looked good and applied well, which is good for how often you would have to apply it during the day.  The small size is a big deterrent, and I would not suggest getting one of these unless a) you get it in the Lip Service box (a really good deal if you are interested in trying new things, and it comes with 3 full sized items), or b) get it on sale either through Sephora or Korres.  Even then, I would only suggest b if you really like the formula and color.

I know I keep bringing up the price for the product, but let's do a little math:
Guerlain - Rouge G de Guerlain Jewel Lipstick Compact
   $45 for .12oz, $375 per oz
Korres - Guava Lipstick
   $22 for .06oz, $366.67 per oz
NARS Lipstick
   $24 for .12oz, $200 for oz

Yes, that's right, it costs nearly as much as a Guerlain Rouge G, without the lovely packaging, and the getting to feel like a snob (in a good way) factor.  (Come on, you never bought anything expensive to supplement your cheaper stuff with glam?)

3.5/5  Liked it, but too steep a price.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

End of the Month Lemmings, October

Another month, another post of lemming-a-tude!

1) Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Shadow Duo

image from Sephora.com

It's the powder tool but in eyeshadow form!  Seems like it would be really awesome for people who do makeup, since it would be really easy to sanatize.



image from Sephora.com

I almost bought this during the Sephora F&F event, but I just couldn't do it to my wallet.  It looks like a great traveling palette.  Maybe I'll ask for it for the Holidays.  Someday I'll own a NARS palette.  Someday.


 

image from Sephora.com

Do you have any idea how evil it is that Sephora got this the /day/ after I placed my once a year major damage haul?  Yeah, I'm sad/angered.  Oh well, I guess it's just not meant to be.  Still, just look at that picture and tell me you don't have some measure of want?

4) Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE VOLUPTÉ Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick SPF 15



image from Sephora.com

Another thing I almost got, but was told that it was greasy.  The lemming still remains, but is fading.  I was going to get one of the nude shades, since I have a lot of reds and pinks already in my collection.

5) ChapStick Fresh Effects, Invigorating Green Tea Mint


image from drugstore.com

The Muse posted about this, and the wanting began.  I also think that regular chapstick is too waxy, and usually use a more expensive lip treatment that just sinks in.  The problem is, it's expensive, and I'm not made out of money.  I really want to try this out to see if it would make a good substitute for daytime use.

So there's my lemmings.  What are yours ^_^?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DuWop: Private Red


image from shop.duwop.com

Price: $22

What they say:
" DuWop has unlocked something new! Private Red, a color-changing lipstick that morphs into each woman's personal red, is the first of its kind to transform a single red shade into an endless variety of hues. This silky lipstick goes on smooth, and the rich pigment changes within five minutes to leave behind the ultimate perfect red.

Private Red's proprietary formula includes a blend of three naturally derived pigments - annatto, hibiscus, and henna - and the technology behind the classic “mood lipsticks” of the seventies to provide a vibrant red shade that adapts to suit each individual's coloring. Annatto lends a rich pigment base, while hibiscus flowers offer gentle antiseptic properties, and henna leaves behind a long-lasting stain. Additional hydrating ingredients such as beeswax, caster oil and Vitamin E keep the lip color lightweight and emollient.

Red is a stunning classic, but it can be the hardest to wear. Private Red offers a provocative answer to the question, “what is my best shade of red?” without the hassle of selecting the perfect shade from amongst an endless sea of choices.

Private Red is available in an ENDLESS variety of shades."

What I say:
I got this item in Sephora Favorites Lip Service Delux Sampler box, and actually liked it more than I thought I would. They claim that it morphs itself to your individual color. I don't think it does, I think the "morph" is really just your natural lip color messing with it, and the color of your skin next to the lipstick altering how it looks. This is true of almost all lipsticks, so that's not a problem for me, I just don't see how they can claim it changes colors because of chemistry (if this is actually happening, it is happening so fast, and is altering to the same color for all the people I have seen wear this. Kinda like O-Gloss).

The color is a Cherry Red color, kinda pinky, not too warm or cool, brighter red. It is nice for me, but I can see how many people say the color looks off for them. This is not a color for everyone (unlike what they claim).

The formula is a little drier than a lot of lipsticks that I own, but it didn't dry out my lips. I would recommend making sure you don't have tons of lip flakes before wearing, both because of the formula and because of the color. There was no bleeding for me, but my liplines were noticeable (I tried this without gloss to see if this would happen or not). The wear is great. I ate my entire lunch, and drank 2 glasses of water, and while the color is a little faded, there is no ring of doom, and the fade is even. I didn't even use a lipliner, and it lasted hours for me.

Overall, a good product. If you are in the market for a bright red, you might want to check this one out. It might not have the mood ring effect of changing to suit you, but it is a nice color, and it really does last a really long time. The price is a little steeper than many people might be willing to pay, so I wouldn't call this a must have, but it was fun to try.

4/5 A little expensive, doesn't change color like they claim, nice overall.

Edi: Sorry for the invisible text, blogger decided to mess with my code on this post. All's well now ^_^.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief


image from clinique.com



Price: $34 for 1.7oz, $46.50 for 2.5oz

What they say:
"Enjoy rapid refreshment and a full 12 hours of soothing moisture with an addictive by-a-waterfall feel. Advanced hydration boosters and a new botanical blend hold skin's moisture in balance through stressful shifts in humidity, indoors and out."

What I say:
I have combination skin, and this stuff is HG (holy grail, meaning cannot be without) for me.  It is a common mistake for people who have oilier skin to skip moisturizing or hydrating their skin, thinking that they don't need it.  You do, and your skin might be oily because you aren't hydrating it.

That said, this is a hydrator, not a moisturizer.  Use this under your moisturizer, or as a mask.  A little of this goes a long way, but I am still am already on my second jar (and already ordered a third).  I have been using it for months, and my face is clearer, less oily, and softer than it ever has been.

Give this a try; get a sample, buy it, anything, but you have to try this.  The worst that happens is you give it to your SO for their face (this is the only facial thing my husband will use.  He won't even use real facial wash).

Thing to note:  Do not get this at a CCO unless you are certain of its age!  I purchased one a couple months before I needed it at a CCO (Cosmetic Company Outlet, Estee Lauder's outlet store, which sells MAC, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, and other subbrands at a discount) since I was in the area, and don't get to go to a CCO often.  By the time I opened it, it was too late for an exchange, and the smell was off, like it had already gone bad.  20% off is not worth risking your face over.

And to give your an idea of how popular this stuff is, it sold out at Sephora's during their friends and family event in one day.  Both sizes.

5/5 HG

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Max Factor Pan-Stick


image from drugstore.com



Price: $6.50-8.00 for .5oz, depending on seller

What they say:
"Get full coverage with a soft, dewy finish. Pan-Stik Ultra Creamy Makeup uses a high-tech formula to cleverly conceal pigmentations and skin imperfections while giving you maximum coverage for a flawless complexion with no caking."

What I say:
Day 1.5 (I actually tested this before for color, and didn't break out from it, so kept going):
So far, so good.  I used a MAC 187 to swipe some out of the container, and then blend it on my face.  The coverage was great, did not look fake, and blended quite well.  I topped with MUFE (Make Up For Ever) HD Microfinish Powder, also with the same 187, which had almost no product on it after using such a light coating.  While it does cover wonderfully, I still needed Bobbi Brown's Corrector in Light Bisque (dark circles of doom), but the two layered beautifully.

By the "end" of the day (I put this on at 7am, and took it off at 4pm, so 9 hours... really? o_O) I did not notice any creasing, fading, flaking (except my eye, but that's a whole 'nother story, and nothing against this at all), or transfer to clothing.  I took this off with a combination of Jane Iradale's "Magic Mitt" (which I am also testing, seems to work so far) and my usual nightly cleanser.  Seemed to come off easily.  Now to play the waiting game...

Day 3(of wearing, not total) Still no breakouts.  I waited a number of days between applications in case breakouts would be caused by inadequate cleansing, or other factors (ex, that time of the month).  Still covers well, and still need a transparent powder on top.  I don't really mind this, since it helps control oil, and makes it last longer.

Day 5  Loving this still.  Had to travel with it, which is where this foundation shines.  Being just a larger than lipstick tube, it handles travel like a champ.  Since it is also opaque, it really cuts down on how much you have to bring, since it can double as concealer.

Overall, I'm still liking.  Usually I break out from things that have too much silicone, or too many petroleum products (blame my genes on those).  This has no silicone, but the first ingredient is mineral oil.  I have combination skin, and had absolutely no problem with it (very rare).  Even though it is a cream, it can accentuate dry skin, so exfoliate if that is a problem for you.  The color selection is a but meh.  I was able to find a very good match with Natural, but Nude Ivory might be a better bet in the Winter (I'm actually not sure of that, since the number is higher, but I have heard that Nude Ivory is lighter from some people).  A lot of the colors learn towards cool/pink, but some of them are warm.

I really wish Max Factor wasn't leaving the US in early 2010.  This is a great product, but I don't think importing it would be worth it, because of shipping.  Maybe it would be, though, if you got a CP, and bought some other stuff along with it.

4.5/5  Took off .5 for mediocre color selection.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

MAC Brush Cleanser


image from maccosmetics.com




Price: $11.00 for 233ml

What they say:
"This one product will clean, disinfect and condition the brush fibers so that brushes will last longer. It is convenient to use and is specifically designed to extend the life of high quality brushes. Brush Cleanser leaves your brushes smelling fresh and clean, and helps shorten their drying time."

What I say:
You know, I was surprised at how much I like this.  I had heard so much about it, I just assumed the people who said it was good were hyping it because it was MAC, and the people who said it was bad were either right, or hating it just because it was MAC.  Eventually, enough YouTube videos won me over, so I decided to try this out.

First off, this isn't a usual brush cleaner.  It has alcohol, and apparently can be a pain to remove if you follow their instructions.  The way that I use it (and saw a lot of others online use it) is not the way it tells you to use it on the packaging.  First, take a tissue (or in my case, a papertowel) and fold it in quarters.  Take the side that can flap open, and pour some of the cleanser on that side until it is wet (and soaked all the way through the layers, this is important).  This leaves you with a mostly dry papertowel, and a wet corner.  Take you brush, and work it back and forth, or even circles, into the corner, occasionally wiping it off on the dry parts.  If the wet or dry part gets too dirty, switch to a new "sheet" in your "book" that you made.  After the brush is clean, reshape it, and lay it on its side to dry (which shouldn't take long, the first one I did was dry by the time I was done with the last one).

Using the above method, I was able to clean all the brushes that I usually use, and still have enough clean sides to clean some more.  What I cleaned was: two eyeshadow brushes, one foundation, one concealer, two eyeliners, one blush, one slant brush (white, so really hard to clean normally), and a skunk brush that was covered (lightly) in cream foundation.  What really amazed me was the skunk brush.  Those who own them know how the bristles can stain easily, even if clean.  Mine came out like new.

Overall, I am really happy with this product.  I have heard people say that you still need to clean your brushes the normal way (baby shampoo, brush cleaner and water, etc), and I can see how some people might if you are really working product deep into your bristles, but for me, this method should be more than adequate for my needs.

For the price, you get a generous amount of product.  I can see this lasting for a long time before I need to get more.

This is one of the best brush cleansers I have ever seen, and also one of the easiest to use, and fastest drying.  I highly suggest checking it out if you don't already have a HG method of cleaning your brushes.

5/5

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Avalon Organics Hand and Body Lotion


image from avalonorganics.com

Price: $11.45 (though you can often find it cheaper) for 12 fl oz (350 ml)


What they say:
"Product description: A triple dose of rich lipid sources -- certified organic sunflower, flaxseed and coconut oils -- restores the skin's lipid balance for long-lasting, easily absorbed moisturization and silky, supple skin.

Features and benefits: Formulated with our special Triple Lipid System and beta glucan for fresh, healthy skin, our certified organic herbal blend of organic peppermint oil and moisturizing glycerin leaves skin soft and refreshed."



What I say:
This is a really good product, and I could not easily live without it.  This is one of the few products that I have found that I can use on my eczema that doesn't cause it to act up.  It isn't the most moisturizing, or the cheapest, but I think it's great (great enough that I have gone through several bottles of this stuff).

The smell of the one I get is real peppermint, and dissipates quickly enough that it shouldn't give people a headache.  The consistancy is pretty standard: not really runny, not really that thick.  I would say it's a little more on the thick side, but not by much.  I have not noticed a buildup of product on my clothes from using this (for.. years now, I think), nor have I noticed my skin getting used to this, and needing more moisture.


So, yeah, I love this stuff.  You can find Try Mes at Whole Foods, and perhaps other places, though I haven't seen many places that have this in person.  Drugstore.com does carry it (for a decent price, as well), and you can also get it from avalonorganics.com.


HG 5/5  

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oscar Blandi: Pronto Dry Shampoo


image from sephora.com
Price: $11 for 1 oz, $19 for 2.5 oz

What they say:
"What it does:
Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo is the ultimate time saver. It refreshes, revives, and rejuvenates the hair in a matter of minutes—no water or blow dryer required. Voted Best Dry Shampoo and Best Quick Fix by Allure magazine, it effectively soaks up oil, removes product build-up, and boosts volume. Hair looks, feels, and smells freshly shampooed with a clean, lemon verbena scent. Go ahead, hit snooze!

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petro-Chemicals
- Phthalates
- GMO
- Triclosan"

What I say:
This stuff tries hard, and kinda makes it to the goal, but really kinda fails along the way.

What do I mean by that?  Well, let's start off with what it does.  It does get rid of the oilies, for the most part.  It does leave your hair with some volume, and it does leave it smelling nicer.

What does it fail at?  First, it's a bugger to get out.  It doesn't spread easily enough to really get all your roots, so you end up using too much of it.  It leaves a whitish cast to your hair, that no matter what you try (towel, more rubbing in, brush, brush with boar bristles) won't go away.

So would I say this is a complete failure?  Not really.  For lighter haired girls (I have light brown hair, btw) this would work better, since the white cast of the powder would be harder to notice.  For hikers, this is great, since you only need this and a brush to get your hair less greasy (I hate that feeling when hiking).  For people stuck in airplanes, and don't care, it would work, too...  Basically, it works great, /if/ you don't need to worry about the white cast.

I have tried this 4 times now, and unless I'm just missing something basic (which is entirely possible) this is just a no-go for me.  I have heard there is another type, from a different brand, which is the same thing, but darker powder, so no cast.  I might try that one out in the future, but in the meantime I'll just stick to my shampoo and conditioner.

2/5  Will not rebuy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hair removal: Epilating

I decided to write this review mostly because of how obscure this topic is:

Epilating.  Some of you have heard of it, others of you have no idea what I'm talking about.  Epilating is the act of removing hair by pulling it out by the root with a mechanical device that is easier described as a lot of tweezers that rotate.  This is not a pleasant way to remove hair, but it has its ups and its downs, so let's talk about those, shall we?

Pros:
Epilating, once you have the device, is very cost effective.  The epilator itself is about $33-$70, depending on brand, features, and speeds, and should last you several years (or at least mine has lasted that long).  The one I have has a trimmer, so it can cut longer hair (or to keep some hair at a constant length), an epilating head, and two clip-ons that you use with the head; one is for quick work, the other helps raise the hair, and massage the skin, so it's better for beginners.  Mine also has two speeds: destroy you fast, and really destroy you fast.  Since you buy the device once, you can do this as many times as you want, without having to think about cost, unless your epilator dies.

The hair that is removed comes back more slowly, and "finer."   I say "finer" because in actuality, the hair is just as thick, it just comes out tapered.  This is like waxing, so however long it takes your hair to come back after that, this is similar

For those of us who have "shadow" as soon as you shave, this is a must have.  I suffer from the dreaded "pit shadow," and even if I don't have time to do the rest of me, I still try to keep up with my underarms.

Cons:
This is painful.  Some claim that epilating is just as painful as waxing, others more, others less.  I say it is less painful, mainly because no heat, no stuck skin, and no ripping all out at once.  Also, the more you epilate, the easier it gets.  At this point, I don't really feel it all that much (I still feel it, mind), and since hair comes in sparser, there's less to get every time,so less pain.

This takes time.  A lot of time.  You start, and watch a show, and you might still be epilating when it is done amount of time.  Granted, on the other hand, it takes less time than shaving every day or two, if you add the time up.

You need a power source, and the epilator is not water proof.

It does not remove all the hair.  Shocker, really, but what really does?  I epilate once a week or two, and then shave when I'm done to get the rest that I missed.

You need to clean it when you are done.  This is the same with razors, though, so *shrug*.

So there you have it.  Epilating, the not-so-heard-of art of hair removal.  Do I suggest it?  That's a matter of preference, now isn't it?  I think it is great, but my mother despises it (she says it's too painful).  If you are interested, I say try it, or at least look into it more.  Oh, and Braun, the maker of razors, make some decent epilators.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Haul Post: Giorgio Armani Lip Wax


My samples on the left, #2 and #7

So my order from the 20% off sale arrived, and of course, I am in love!  I love how Giorgio Armani gives out 2 samples per order.  That's a great way to get people to buy try something they normally wouldn't, and possibly buy it if they like it.  For something as expensive as their foundations, this is a big deal.

I only picked up 2 more lipwaxes, bringing my total up to 4 now.  I love the formula so much, someday I might actually own them all, but for now, I'm happy with what I have.  I picked up the colors #2 (Antique Rose) and #6 (Deep Chianti).  I have heard a lot of people say that #2 looked odd on them, but it looks great on me.  It must be the opposite of the effect that makes most roses look bad on me, and good on other people, hehe.  Deep Chianti is a stunning red, and I can see why so many people raved about it.

Swatches!  Please excuse the quality, it is hard to get good lighting where I live.  The colors are in reverse numeric order, so #7, #6, #4, and #2 for both pictures.

In shade (for some reason it won't let me have this horizontal, so the colors are 7, 6, 4, 2 downwards):




In sunlight:




Hope you enjoyed the makeup porn ^_^!.

Please do not use my images without my permission.  If you want to link something, feel free, just give credit where credit is due ^_^.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

End of the Month Lemmings, September

Just a few things I want, but am not sure I will actually get.  I enjoy reading others writing these, so I thought I would try it out myself ^_^.

1) 500-point reward from Sephora: Kat Von D Rock 'N' Roll Eyeshadow Palette


image from sephora.com


I have heard mixed reviews about Kat Von D, mostly things like it is just repackaged Sephora brand stuff.  I have tried Sephora brand things (eye makeup remover, a couple eyeshadows, some brushes), and can't say that is a horrible thing, but the price is a little high if that is true.  I have enough points to try this out, but am wondering if it is worth $500 of past purchases to get it.  I might want to keep those points for deluxe samples instead.


2) Speaking of Sephora, I also am lemming their Lush Flush Wine Lip & Cheek Stain.


image from sephora.com


I actually meant to pick this up the last time I was in there (months ago, now), but forgot it ;P.  I liked the texture, and the color was great for my NW20 (when tannish) skin.  For $10, it's a good deal, especially when compared to Benefit's Benetint, which I just didn't like, since it was too watery.

3) Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Concealer


image from sephora.com



The applicator for this is mainly why I want it so badly.  I mean, I bet they make a good concealer, but just look at it!  No brush, no doe foot, it's like one of those Japanese lipglosses with the silicone applicator (which is probably where they got their idea, honestly).  I have to check this out in person.

4) NARS Artist Palette, Essential Eye and Doucers de Paris


image from narscosmetics.com


I love the few eyeshadows that I have from NARS, and would love a palette to get the most for my money.  These are definitely some high priced lemmings, though, and most likely will never actually own one *le sigh*.

5) L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Explosion Mascara


image from .loreal-paris.co.uk


I have been wanting this one since I heard about it months ago.  Basically a cheaper version of the Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Mascara (or their new Phenomen'Eyes Effet Extension Mascara, I haven't heard which one they are trying to imitate).  I've heard the formula is not as good, but for something that costs a fraction of the price of the original, I would say it might still be worth it.  Word has it that this item is arriving on this side of the pond come November, so US people, keep your eyes open!
Edit: Apparently this is already available at CVS online and Walgreens online, just no one has it in person (in my area, and I've checked a lot of stores).  Either they got early stock online, or this is coming out sooner than I heard!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Biore DETOXIFY Daily Scrub/Daily Recharge


image from drugstore.com

What they say:
"Biore DETOXIFY Daily Scrub combines gentle cleansing ingredients with spherical exfoliating agents to deliver the ideal amount of daily exfoliation, removing surface toxins from skin and revealing a fresh glow everyday.

Dematologist-tested and non-comedogenic (won't clog pores)
Hypo-allergenic and oil-free"

What I say:
This is a wonderful scrub, but very very mild (at least for me).  When I first got this, I thought that it would be much more abrasive, and able to, well, scrub more.  Don't get me wrong, for an everyday scrub you don't want a lot of abrasiveness, I just had it in my head that I would be able to feel it at all.  So what did I do when I couldn't?  Took my Clarisonic to it, hehe.  This is the scrub that I pair with my Clarisonic, to acheive my once a week-2week exfoliation of doom.  To say it's awesome at that is an understatement.  Not only is my face cleaner, but it is soooooo smooth when I'm done.  This also foams up quite a bit when paired like that, so it can get in your nose if you are not careful....

The smell reminds me of prickly-pear and apples, or something like that.  It smells fruity to me, but I really like it.  It has a creamyish texture, and is white with little spots when you squeeze it out.  Also, sqeeze tube!  I am always a fan of convenience, and not having to worry about getting water in your tube of exfoliator is a good thing.  When it comes time to rinse it off, like all scrubs, the little scrubbers can be a bastard to get, but the rest of it just comes right off, no residue.  This cleans well enough on its own that I don't use a facial wash when using this (except if I'm wearing makeup).

Until I find a better weekly scrub, this is my HG.  For a daily scrub though, I think you can find better.

5/5 weekly if paired with a Claisonic brush (or toothbrush), 3.5/5 daily scrub

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MAC: Style Black is live!


image from maccosmetics.com


I know, I know, MAC collection, like that's something interesting anymore (I swear they mate like rabbits), but I did find this collection to be interesting, in at least the sense that it isn't the same old Deep Truth and pink lipsticks that they normally release.

This collection is about black in all its various forms, including the much anticipated re-release of their Volcanic Exfoliator.  Still, it is a little bit disappointing of a collection, since everything is so sheer, and I really didn't think that was the point of this collection.

BTW, if you are looking for a black lipstick, I say skip Black Knight from this collection, and get Penelope from NYX instead.  Black Knight is $14, Penelope is $1.50-$4, depending on where you get it, and looks to be just as pigmented, if not more so.

The glimmerglasses, while sheer, do look interesting, since they can darken lipsticks/glosses that you might already own (or are planning on owning).  The eyeshadows, on the other hand, are just the same old mineral, baked eyeshadows with too much glitter and fallout to really work with unless you wet them down, not really interesting thing MAC has been releasing lately (run on sentence of doom! Imagine a rant, with fast talking).  Don't get me wrong, I like MAC, but really, the collections are becoming just a blur, and the product I didn't like before just changes colors and comes back again (with a vengeance!... Sorry...)

What to get from this collection, in my opinion:
Blackware Glimmerglass (plain black, good for layering, not really opaque enough, though) ($18)
Blackfire Glimmerglass (black with pinky-red glitter)
Volcanic Ash Exfoliator ($19.50)
Volcanic Thermal Mask ($19.50)

Maybes:
Black Greasepaint stick (if you are into that sort of thing, it looks gorgeous) ($17.50)
Bat Black Cream Colour Base (again, if you are into that sort of thing) ($16.50)
Midnight Media Mattene (burgundy undertones make this not a true black, and a little easier to wear)  ($14.50)

Skip:
Bling Black Glimmerglass (too sheer)
Black Knight (NYX is cheaper, and just as good, if not better) ($14)
Black Cream Colour Base (unless you really really need a just plain black base)
Night Violet Mattene (seriously, you can dupe this with a better formula, for cheaper)
All the mineralize eyeshadows (fallout, looks like colors you can create or dupe (Blue Flame looks too much like Deep Truth... again!)) ($19.50)

Sorry for the collection recap, but I had been looking forward to this one since they announced it, and to see how mediocre it was after all that time, I just had to write something.  Seriously, not one plain, opaque, black lipgloss out of the entire collection?  I thought this was your answering call to YSL and others for the Fall season?!

Collection score: 3/5.  Interesting enough to look at in person, but not something to pine over if you miss out.