Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rosebud Perfume Co. Strawberry Lip Balm

image from sephora.com


Price: $7 for .8oz (22g)

What they say:
"Indulge your sweet tooth as you soothe dry, chapped lips with Rosebud's newest, strawberry-scented lip balm. Following in the Rosebud tradition of simple, easy to use products, this vintage-inspired tin contains a combination of rich emollients that lock-in moisture and banish dryness after only one application."

What I say:
I actually don't like fake strawberry flavored things, so keep that in mind when you read this review.

I originally got this is the "Three Lavish Layers of Lip Balm" set, which is a great deal, btw.  Anyway, since I hate strawberry the most, and I like to finish things from worst->best I decided to open this one first.

The smell is gross to me, but like I said I don't like fake strawberry.  Hindsight says that I should have just given this one away to my niece or someone else, but it's too late now, so I'll just use it up.  The smell thankfully does not linger, so it is tolerable for use on my lips.

The consistency is like Burt's Bees salve, or like a really hard lip balm.  To use I have to warm it up with my fingers, and then put it on my lips.  I think this won't melt that easily, so it would make a good summer lip balm for a handbag.  Once on my lips it is soft, but not too soft.  A thin layer spreads well, leaving a non-sticky coating behind.  It is not the most moisturizing lip balm I have ever used, but that is because vaseline-type products are not moisturizers, but instead moisture trappers.  If you really want moisturized lips, put on a moisturizer first, and then put something like this on top to trap the moisture where you placed it.  Anyway, it does a good job as a trapping layer, and it stays for a decent amount of time, so I would say it does its job well.

The price for what it is is okay, but not great.  This is basically just glorified Vaseline with flavor and scent added.  There is a little color in the tin, but nothing appears on my lips, so there really is no reason for the colorant being added to the batch in the first place.

The tin is a well made metal, not too hard or too easy to open, but the product along the sides looks like it would be hard to get out.  I personally don't like tins for lip balms myself, since the product gets all over your fingers when you try to get it out, but I know Rosebud makes a tube version of this product, so they have already addressed this problem.

Overall:
This makes a good gift if you like strawberries and like lip balm.  I can see why so many people rave about his product, but I personally don't think it is really that great for what it is.  The price for amount is pretty good but Vaseline, which this basically is, is cheaper and doesn't have unnessesary ingredients (like color) added to it.  Don't get me wrong, I think it is an okay product, I just don't understand the hype behind it, and think there are better products for better prices.
4/5 if another flavor, 3.5/5 because the strawberry was so fake.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hype Theatre: Yves saint Laurent Touche Eclat

image from sephora.com


Initial thoughts:
The tube that I got from Sephora appears to maybe be used.  The brush is was mostly clean, but some of the product was squirted out.  I cleaned the brush off, and it took 7 more clicks for more product to come out, instead of the 30 that the product claims to take the first time it is used.  I am weary that I used the product that came out of the brush afterwards without doing a full clean of the brush, but since most of the brush head was pristine, and the product did take 7 more clicks, I am currently chalking this mystery up to elevation changes or the product banging around in the box.

The product itself is creamy, thicker than I imagined it would be, but still more liquid in texture.  I would say it feels a lot like a liquid foundation.  "One click" (read above) was enough for both of my undereyes, my nose bridge, and a little on my cupid's bow and my chin.  While on first glance it appeared to do nothing, stepping away from the mirror and looking again a little later showed that it did in fact help my undereyes a little.  The rest was of course not noticeable, but a good highlighter should not be.  I used the brush to apply, and my fingers to blend.

Try numbers two and three:
Still taking about 7 clicks per time to use.  Starting to think that I have a defective container, but other than that it is perfectly use able.  Kinda nice in a weird way, since I know that banging around in my bag is not going to cause it to just come out on its own.

Still getting the hang of the product, but not in a negative way.  The consistency of this is way better than any dupe that I have used.  It really does not creep into lines, instead seeming to just absorb into the skin that it is pressed into.  This makes me sad in a way, since that means that all that money I spent on drugstore dupes was useless, and would have been better served being put into this.

Try number 4:
So I still think this doesn't do a whole lot, but am still really liking the product as a whole.  This is indeed great for travel, and does well in "oh crap, I look like death right now, and have a minute to get ready" times.

Overall:
Product: 4/5 - As a highlighter it doesn't do too much, but the consistency and ease of use make up for that.  It looks natural on the skin as long as you don't use too much, no creeping around, and doesn't break me out.
Packaging: 3/5 - I both like and dislike the click pen.  It is great for travel, and for quick applications, but cleaning the brush is hard, and not being able to tell the amount that is left in the container is really not fun.
Price: 3/5 - I think this product is too expensive for what it is.  On sale it is not as bad, but the amount that you get does not warrant the price in my opinion.
Overall rating: 3.5 - If you can get this on sale, you might want to give it a try.  Just remember, this is a highlighter, not a concealer.  I wish the pen came with more product, and that there was a way to tell how much was left in a pen.

Friday, December 24, 2010

An update 2

The total is now 5 this year.

Seriously?

On another note, I got some Holiday gifts to review, and am working on a new post right now.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, October 22, 2010

An update.

So, I guess you might be wondering what has happened to me (if anyone is still even reading this site).  In the last few months I have lost 2 family members, and am losing another one right now.  For those keeping score, this will make 4 family members in the span of 5 months.

Blogging is fun for me, but unfortunately takes time away from what needs to be done right now.  I haven't even been reading other blogs (if you knew me, you would know that is insane.  I normally open-all tabs in my blog folder, and then just read them all throughout the day).

I have no idea when, or if, I will be coming back.  I hope I will, since like I stated before, blogging is fun for me.  I never started this to get readers, I started this because it was a hobby, something to look forward to doing, a place to write down thoughts on products I liked, or hated.

Thank you for reading this, those of you who are still out there.

--kaoru

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Finally finally finally finally finally!





image from sephora.com

Finally Urban Decay is getting with the picture and offering their Primer Potion in a tube.  According to what i have seen, this is only the "professional size" of .85oz that will be available, and no word if they are going to just change over to this style exclusively, but at least it is something.  Personally, I think they should offer both styles, since the mascara like container that they have now does come in handy, and many people like it, but to actually offer a tube that you can squeeze it all out of... it was a long time in coming.

Thank you Urban Decay for finally listening to your fanbase and changing something that people have been crying out for for a long time.  Yes, I know you did that slanted doe-foot applicator thing, but seriously, you and I both know that was not enough.

Right now this is limited edition from Sephora, and I see no word on it from Urban Decay.  It says "online early access" in the email for beauty insiders too.  Hope this is testing the waters for the new packaging, and they decide to stick to it.

*Update 8/31*
Urban Decay's site just put up the Professional Size Eyeshadow Primer Potion.  I see nothing on their site that it is LE, so it looks like it is permanent!  Way to go UD!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ojon Rub-Out Dry Cleanser



Price: $24 for 4.5oz

What they say:
"What it is:
A dry cleanser that revives, refreshes, and recharges hair and scalp without water.

What it does:
Ojon® Rub-Out™ Dry Cleanser instantly "erases" impurities, toxins, excess oil, and product build-up. It increases hair volume at the root while treating the hair and scalp. Ideal between washings, as a hair pick-me-up, when you're in a rush, or when you overuse a styling product. The Dry Cleanser leaves hair cleansed, light, luminous, and healthy -looking.

What else you need to know:
Fortified with wildcrafted Ojon® oil, an ancient native secret to naturally beautiful hair from Central America's Tawira tribe, known as "the people of beautiful hair.™" Supported by clinical studies to instantly hydrate, strengthen, and restore dry or damaged hair, Rub-Out™ Dry Cleanser is appropriate for all hair types and is eco-friendly."

What I say:
This stuff is not worth the price.  Not even a little.

I bought a Ojon kit because I had heard a number of good things about this brand, and thought I would give it a shot.  Included in the kit was a To-Go size of this product, and since I had been looking for a good dry shampoo, I thought I would give this a shot.

There are a couple of things that I liked about this product, and I think I will get those out of the way first.  One, the product smell, to me, is not offensive.  I wouldn't say I would wear it as a perfume, but overall, I think it does a good job of covering up the dirty hair smell, and also not offend the nose when spraying onto hair.  Two, the powder that is in the product doesn't cause the white cast in my hair that a lot of dry shampoos can do.  I still need to try a shampoo for darker hair (I have light brown, but still dark enough that normal dry shampoos are obvious), but I think this is a good alternative for those.  I know if you use dry shampoo correctly you don't get a white cast, but there is sometimes that spot.  You know the one, that spot that you thought you brushed properly... yeah, that one.

Now the bad stuff.  This stuff did nothing for me.  In fact, every time I tried this product was on a day that I didn't need to wash my hair, but was just practicing for days that I might need this (last minute dinners, for instance), and not only did it not help my hair, I could feel it in my hair enough that I was compelled to wash it out!  Talk about counterproductive.  I mean, I might be able to see the slightest amount of matte, but overall I can still feel the oil, and on top of it I can feel the powder from this.  Not good.

Before you ask, yes I do know how to use dry shampoo.  I am getting the product out, but as you know, it is impossible to get something 100% out of your hair without washing it out.  This is why dry shampoo doesn't work against styling products, and you can't just use dry shampoo as your only cleansing source.

Next bad thing is the price.  This stuff is way too expensive for what it is, especially when there are supposedly better shampoos for a fraction of the price.  Sally's Beauty Supply, for instance, carries Batiste, which even marked up from importing is still only $7.50 for 5.05 oz, an even larger size than this Ojon one.  Granted, the powder is white, but from many reviews that I have heard, and seen, this comes out of dark hair easily (this is the next dry shampoo I will try, and I forgot to get it yesterday while I was in town).

Overall, if it works for you, it works for you, but for me this stuff was rubbish.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to wash this stuff out of my hair, again.

2/5 (Did like the smell, and the no white cast)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stila One Step Foundation

image from zappos.com


Price: $44 for 1oz

What they say:

"What it is:
A skin-loving makeup that combines the benefits of a primer, foundation, concealer, and powder in one long-wearing formula.

What it does:
This innovative, medium-coverage formula is energized with Stila's exclusive Ionic Mineral Complex™ that reads and reacts to skin zone-by-zone, visibly priming, balancing, correcting, and optimizing for a supremely flawless finish. Achieve a beautifully smooth look with this buildable, blendable, hydrating essential that minimizes pores, regulates oil, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Synthetic Fragrances"

What I say:
So far I'm liking this foundation/primer/powder/concealer product.  It's not the greatest, but I have seen much much worse (looking at you Revlon PhotoReady).

This product claims to be a primer, foundation, concealer and powder all in one.  While I wouldn't say outright that it is not any one of these things, what it is is a combination of an average one of each.  Average concealer, average primer, you get the idea.  So while you are saving time, and actually money (if you do use all of these steps each day), the overall effect that you are achieving is just okay, and could be done better with superior products.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not dissing this product.  In fact, for what it is trying to do, I would actually be praising it.  To be able to achieve so much in so little of an amount of time is really useful, and definitely has its place amongst the time constricted of us.

The texture of this product is whipped, like Maybelline's whipped blushes.  Personally, I think the texture of this product is the worst part about it.  Since it is whipped, it doesn't want to stay on a brush, making it hard to apply to your face without using your fingers.  So why don't you use your fingers, you might ask?  Because when I only have a minute to get foundation on, I don't want half of that time bring spent washing and drying my hands!  Once actually on the face it spreads out relatively easily, though because it likes to stick together, it can tend to all try and place itself on the same spot.  Something to watch out for.

The coverage of this is sheer to medium, I would say.  I could definitely see redness through it, and my undereye circles were ever present (though I always expect that one).  Basically, while I would say it conceals at all, it does a pretty bad job of it.  I had to apply a second layer around my nose just to cover the redness that I happened to have there.

This product is chock full of silicones, but so far I have not reacted to them.  I am waiting to see if I do or not, because depending on the product, and the actually size of the particles, sometimes I don't react.  The silicone is how this product achieves the "powder-like" part of the formula.  Once the foundation dries, what is left is a powder finish, which is quite nice.  I heard some talk about transfer being a problem with this product, but personally have not had a problem with that.

Lasting power was okay.  I only wear foundation for short periods of time, usually, and in this case it was only 5 hours before I took it off.  It definitely was still there, I didn't get oily through it (which means that the oil control must be decent), and it didn't slide.

Last couples things: colors, and price.

Colorwise, this product is meh.  I got both the lightest and second lightest shades of this, and both seemed to be okay for me (I guess I fall in between), but both were yellowish.  Whilst I do have a pink undertone, I can sometimes pull off a more yellow foundation, depending on the amount present, and what I was pairing with it.  With this, I had to wear bronzer with the lightest shade, which according to Stila doesn't even have a yellow undertone!  I definitely fear for women with more pink in their skin than I have, and really wish more companies would realize that yellow is not always flattering (looking at you Bobbi Brown).

Price for this is... not good.  While I did say that it was okay earlier, this was based on a "this is my only foundation/concealer/powder/primer" standpoint.  If you have decent skin that doesn't need a lot of concealer (which is the one thing I think this thing doesn't do even average), and you are thinking of just buying this, and nothing else, then the price is okay, since it breaks down to just $11 for each thing in it, and you aren't buying anything else.  If you are like most people, and you are thinking of using this as a sometimes, not always foundation, than the price is absurd.  For $44 you can get MUFE HD, and have change left over (and MUFE at least has a color selection than includes those of us who are not yellow undertone).  Also, this product claims to have a shelf of just 6 months after first use, according to the sticker.  This actually surprised me, since the product is in a tube, and it looks to be an airtight design.  Are the minerals just that unstable, and if so, than how does it last long enough on the shelf until someone purchases it in the first place?

I happened to get both of mine on a massive sale (one of them without a box, but new, and the other on an overstock site).  Total for both I paid less than the cost of one, but that was just luck and timing.  If I had to repurchase at the regular price, I would not even consider it an option.  If I found the same deal again, I would think about it, since the time I save would be worth it.

Overall:
Product: 3.5-4/5 (depending on the need for concealer)
Price: 2-4/5 (depending on if you are using this as a supplementary or a primary product)

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Body Shop Mango Body Butter





Price: $8 for 1.7oz, $20 for 6.9oz

What they say:
"Best if you want to: Pamper your skin with a rich, deliciously mango-scented cream that softens and moisturizes for up to 24 hours.

Best for: very dry skin
How it works:
  • Mango seed oil moisturizes the skin.
  • Community Trade cocoa butter is an excellent moisturizer that melts at body temperature, leaving skin soft and smooth.
  • Sweet almond oil provides essential fatty acids that help to repair skin’s moisture barrier, helping to restore smoothness and suppleness."
What I say:
This is a very nice body butter, but I wouldn't say it is the most moisturizing.  Maybe it's because my skin is not absorbing it all, but I think some of my other lotions/butters that I use are more moisturizing.

Speaking of absorbing, this stuff takes a long time to absorb into my skin.  It doesn't matter how long I rub, or don't rub, this stuff just takes a while.  This is okay at night, when I don't care anyway, but during the day this is a no-go for me.  Secondly, the normal idea of having your skin be slightly moist when you are putting this on does not work.  Any liquid that you have on your skin is just going to make this butter kinda filmy (you know, that white cast that happens), and make it take even longer to absorb into your skin.

The scent, in the tub, is really nice.  I would say mango, like they claim, but not really fresh mango smelling, more like mango candy.  On my skin, it doesn't quite smell the same, but since this is a body chemistry thing, I can't really fault the product.  For me, it starts to smell more herby?  Less like fruit, more like something else, and I can't quite place it.  Not unpleasant, but I really wish the smell in the tub would have carried over.

I put the price for both sizes in the price section, but would really suggest getting a small unless you really know you are going to use this butter up.  A little does go a long way with this product, and since the scent can be altered by body chemistry, the scent that you thought you would like might not be that good anymore.

The packaging for this is a plastic tub that screws shut.  The tubs themselves are colored to match idea of the lotion inside (I wouldn't say match entirely, since for instance the butter for mango is much lighter than the tub), which makes it easy to locate the one that you want to use.  Since the cap screws shut, the tub does well in travel, and can take a decent beating.  Not throw against a wall type of beating, but it shouldn't crack with a regular handbag toss.

Overall a decent product, and would suggest it for those who can absorb body butters.  Decent price for the amount that you get, and the smaller tubs are the perfect travel size.

4/5

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

All Vegan Palette Now up at Urban Decay!

Yay!  I've been waiting for this palette to come up.  I love the colors, and the fact that it's vegan means it can be used on vegan/vegetarian people (I try to respect things like that when doing someone's makeup.  Granted, that isn't often, hehe).

Besides that, the Guerlain Fall palettes are up at Nordstrom.  $85 is a lot of money for a palette, but I just keep telling myself that it is 6 eyeshadows, and the packaging is to die for.  If you haven't seen what they look like, temptalia has some good pictures.  Karlasugar also has some swatches, in case you are interested.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

... Bah

*Sigh* When it rains, it pours.  (No one passed this time, but serious amounts of RL stuff happened, and is still going on).

I'm going to change my blog to just random posts (as in random time, random subject, etc.).  It's the best that I can do at this time.  I just wanted to let people know that, no, I have not abandoned my blog, but I just can't write on it like I want to.

On another note:

Free shipping at Giorgio Armany with FSHIPPING code.
shu uemura is offering 2 deluxe samples of depsea facial mist with code DEPSEA
DuWop vintage sale from July 21st - July 27th (50% off vintage stuff, or something like that)
stila's new travel palette is up

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Urban Decay Sale!






Good deal, so I thought I would share it with you guys.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Estée Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick

 image from nordstrom.com


Price: $22 for .13oz (3.8g)

What they say:
"Sheer color, daring shine. We've got your shade.

Light Up Your Lips

    * Super shine finish.
    * Cool, crystalline, high fashion shades with sheer coverage.
    * Prismatic crystal effects create a dazzling brilliance and dimension.
    * Delicately fragranced with a delectable fresh fig scent."

What I say:
The color that I got was Tiramisu, which I would describe as a light pink rose, without the brown many rose shades often have.  This lipstick is super sheer, so more shades would suit many skin tones.  Estée Lauder says that this lipstick has a crystal effect that creates a dazzling brilliance and dimension.  To me, this was a shiny, but not too shiny lipstick, that looked more like you applied a balm over or underneath.  Not a bad look, and one that can fit any age, in my opinion.

Pure Color Crystal Lipstick's texture is very much like a balm, which is refreshing, since many lipsticks can dry out lips.  I did notice some flakes being accentuated when I first applied this lipstick, but that was because my lips were in particularly bad shape (air conditioning can do that to me).  While the lipstick applies, and feels like, a balm, the stick itself is not too soft, so I have no worries about the base wobbling if I use too much pressure, of it melting too easily in the heat.  Mostly, I think, it is your lip temperature that makes it apply so smoothly.

The smell is the typical Estée Lauder kinda perfumey fig, which while not entirely pleasant, does fad quickly, and isn't the worst smell that I have had a lipstick have.  I would prefer having no scent over the fig scent, but it isn't a deal breaker to me.

The packaging is really nice, and I like the NYX-style lipstick in the bottom of the tube for easy identification.  Having the cap be a gold colored metal that somehow isn't the fingerprint magnet that I thought it would be is also a nice touch.

Overall, this was a nice lipstick, and one that I can see myself using up, since the color is a nice work color, without being just another MLBB (though I would classify this particular color as that).  The scent is a little bit strange to me, but the texture more than makes up for that, since it applies smoothly, with no need for a mirror.  I can't say that the price is that good, but at least you get a decent product for what you pay.  May or may not purchase another one, since the color selection, especially with a product this sheer, leaves much to be desired.

3.5/5 (minus for color selection and price)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sonia Kashuk Travel Kabuki Brush




Price: $17.99 at Target

What I say:
This brush is so bad.

Back in the day, or should I say, a while ago, I had a great travel kabuki brush.  It was soft, it was compact, it was easy to bring with me, but it had a little problem; the glue for the ferrel was not the best, and eventually the brush head fell out of the brush, and while I could have fixed it, I thought I should buy another one instead.  The original brush was from an online mineral company, and the brush wasn't marked, and since it was a gift, and I had no idea who the company was...

Any case, this lead me to find another brush, but most companies charged quite a bit for a brush that I wasn't sure if I would like online, and not many companies sell decent ones in person.  Finally, I stumbled upon this brush at Target, and as there was a tester, I was able to get a feel for the brush before purchase.  The brush in person was soft, not shedding, not too stiff, not scratchy, and basically a good brush for the price.

New brush in hand, I headed home, and quickly lost the brush (if you have cats, you can guess what happened).  Luckily, being a tube, the brush was unharmed when I finally got it back, and so I started to clean, and use, said brush.

Hmm, a bit of shedding.  Well, even the most expensive brands can shed when first washed.

Hmm, a bit scratchy, well, that's not good.

Hmm, it smells funny, strange I didn't notice that in person.  Maybe if I let it air out a bit.

Hmm, still shedding, and now it is shedding when I use it on my face.  I never had a brush do that before.

Huh, still shedding, still scratchy, still smells, doesn't apply makeup well... bah!

Maybe I got a bad brush?  Or maybe Sonia Kashuk sends the best brushes, or superior quality ones, for testing.  Strange, because I have heard a number of good things about this brand's brushes before, and thought that after the reviews, and seeing it in person, that maybe I had found a good buy.

Overall, this brush is rubbish.  About the only thing that I can say it does even slightly okay is apply a layer of translucent powder (like blotting powder) during the day when traveling, and even that I have to be careful doing, since the application is sometimes messy from how this picks up powder.  You can try this in person, and maybe you'll be more lucky than I, but for the price, and how the tester was, I really expected a lot better than this.

1/5, don't waste your money (or hope you are more lucky than I was)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Update: new posts ^_^

No, this isn't an update to tell you that I am not posting.  This is an update to tell you about what!

Still waiting for my haul from Texas (almost all gifts, but still, a haul).  I had to ship it to me, and it still isn't here yet, so I can't do that for tomorrow, as planned *sigh*.

Posts about parts of the haul!  (Already have one ready to go, but first I will post a post that I had hoped to get done before I had to leave, so that's tomorrow's).

More skincare!  Being only able to take travel sizes of items really makes you travel light, and try new things.  For once, it didn't cause breakouts! (woot)

Nail polish review.

Hope I get my package soon.  Without it, I might just have to rummage around the house until I find something to review.  *Continues to stare out the window, waiting for UPS or USPS.... should have asked how they were shipping it*

And now, a rant!

/rant/ Okay MAC, I know you like to create hype about a product, but I tried last night after midnight to get Stereo Rose, but it didn't go up yet, and I tried again this morning, and it was already sold out.  If you know a product is going to sell really well, maybe you should make more of it?  I was going to order more from that collection, but decided I really didn't need any of it, and since the one thing I really ordered was sold out, I skipped (so basically, they lost money).  *Sigh*  Oh well, at least it's just makeup, not something like a vaccine, hehe. /rant/

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Finally Back!

Yay, I'm back.  I was hoping to write a review or two while I was gone, but I only got to even check my email once, so that didn't happen.  I hope everyone is well, and that my absence didn't completely bore you.

Glad to be back!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hiatus

I know I have been taking a lot of time off lately, especially for a 2 posts a week blog.  I'm sorry.  I write now to say that I am taking another hiatus, and to, this time, give a reason why.

My uncle passed away this morning.  In fact, for many of you, by the time you read this I will already be on a plane to go to his funeral, and to help out my family.  Normally, when I leave, I try to have some posts done ahead of time, so that people don't notice.  This happened so quickly that I was unable to do so.

Once again, sorry for the hiatus, I hope all is well in your lives, and I will be back soon.

--Kaoru

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Steamcream






Price: £10.00 for 75g from www.steamcream.co.uk


What they say:
"   * A multipurpose cream uniquely formulated using pure, unrefined steam for maximum absorption.
    * High quality skincare for all skin-types. STEAMCREAM Jar
    * Locally produced using fresh, natural and traceable ingredients.
    * Funky eco-friendly packaging designed in Japan and decorated with limited edition collectible designs.
    * Handy-sized tin for on-the-go lifestyles at an affordable price.

STEAMCREAM represents the latest concept in skincare. Using a revolutionary steam-infused manufacturing process, STEAMCREAM provides a long-lasting, intensive and effective form of skincare that can be used on face, body and hands.

STEAMCREAM have pioneered the use of a steam technique to create this unique, gentle and loosely-bound emulsion. This looseness allows each ingredient – including a moisturising and soothing oatmeal infusion, orange flower water and healing lavender oil – to breakdown and penetrate areas of the skin that other creams find hard to reach.

Packaged in a compact, flush-lid aluminium tin featuring unique and collectable designs, STEAMCREAM is a perfect on-the-go product – convenient to slip into your bag, take to work, to school, on holidays or to the gym. And it’s hand luggage friendly at just 75g!"



What I say:
I bought this cream a long time ago, actually, and when I went to throw out the now expired cream (and keep the packaging, of course), realized that I should probably write a review about it.


The texture of this cream is like that of a whipped, well, cream.  It's thick, but still light, and spreads very easily once on the skin.  I really would say that it is a loose emulsion (from what they say), because it does feel that the whipping is all that keeps this product from disintegrating back into a more liquidy, albeit fatty, state.


The smell, I would say, is a strong orange blossom perfume smell.  Personally, I hate it.  It is way too strong, and lingers way too long, preventing me from putting this anywhere near my face.  This is sad, because  it claims to be a multipurpose product, and that takes it back down to just one.  I have no idea why they would add that much fragrance to this product, and am a little alarmed, because many companies add fragrance to hide something, or use the term "fragrance" to secretly add preservatives and claim that they added none.  I am not saying this is what this company did, I'm just saying what I thought when I saw, and smelled, the totally over-the-top perfume smell.  Remember, fragrance is a personal thing, and you might love the smell of this cream.


I had no transfer or white cast problems when wearing this, but I did have "should not be worn while sweating" problems.  This cream would just melt, and become a slippery mess on my body when perspiring.  If you workout often, I don't suggest wearing this until afterwards.


Lastly, the packaging.  Love the packaging.  The tin is lightweight, a decent size, and screws closed, so no accidents from it opening in your bag.  The collectible designs are fun, and make it much easier to tell which one is yours if you live in a place where more than one person is using the same type of cream.  This is a perfect size for snacks, in my opinion, and am already planning to sanitize my tin to use for things like almonds, since I think this tin is about the standard "serving size" of them.


Overall, this is a good product, but the scent is just too strong for me to repurchase.  The cream did melt into my skin fairly easily, but it also melted out just as fast.  The texture is quite nice, and the fact that it is in a nice travel tin is also good.  Normally, if it wasn't for the scent, I could see myself using this quickly enough that the cost would be a little too much, so that's something to watch out for.  It is an okay price for just your face, but getting your body involved kinda breaks that deal.


3/5 - A few problems that might not bother others, okay.

Monday, June 14, 2010

DuWop LipVenom Sale

Just got this in my email:
 
Save 30% off our popular Mini Venom Trio for one week only (June 14th - June 20th).  This amazing deal ends on 6/20/10 at midnight EST.  Enter code TRIO to receive discount on original Mini Venom Trio only.
 
As always, free ground shipping on orders $50 or more!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Haul

So I'm back *dances of yay ensue*, and came back with a small haul, because really, when you are driving 5.5 hours to the airport and back, and that's without the rest of the traveling, there will be hauls.

My haul!



The lipsticks that are out of their boxes were actually Back 2 MAC, so I really did less damage than it looks like.  I barely remembered to grab my empties before I left, and have been meaning to take them for a while, so I didn't care about the extra baggage.

What I got:
Cornflower Pigment Sample (Thursday was the first day for counters to carry some of the pigments as a permanent thing, so I was able to pick this up)
Syrup Lipstick
Fast Play Lipstick
Lustering Lipstick (Originally supposed to be Impassioned, but they were sold out)
Cyber Lipstick
MAC 130 Brush
shu uemura P Brown 820 Eyeshadow
Givenchy 17 Island Lagoon Eyeshadow

That last one really surprised me, since I didn't think I would like it that much, and it was expensive for an eyeshadow, but I really loved the texture, and the shade when mixed.

Glad to be back.  Hopefully I'll be getting my own smartphone soon, so maybe (I say maybe) that won't happen again.  Just realized that the phone I am looking at has more megapixels than my camera... sheesh.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ahhhh! Sorry!

Last minute business meeting, and forgot my laptop to upload something.  (Yay for borrowed phones!).  Really really really sorry, normally I have posts ready, but like I said, last minute.

On another note:

Korres 25% off with free shipping on orders over $35, from 8th of June to the 16th of June.  Code FRIENDSANDFAMILY.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sorry!

Sorry there's no post today, but I'm currently feeling sick, and I have to go move my brother-in-law.  Postings should resume on Wednesday.

--Kaoru

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

O.P.I. Yoga-ta Get this Blue






image from binbin.net

Price: $4-$8, depending on source

What I say:
This is my go-to color for my toes during the summer.  I remember back in the day, when the India Collection came out, and this polish came into the scene.  It was love at first sight, and I ran (well, drove) to the nearest place that sold OPI to get this (in fact, that was how I found the place that I buy these polishes from).

Yoga-ta Get this Blue is a dark blue, almost navy, but brighter.  The closest color from their collection was Russian Blue, but I would call them sisters, not twins.  There is a slight amount of what might be called shimmer, but more fine, that is in this polish.  It reminds me of car paint, where is kinda shines.

I loved this polish so much, but unfortunately, it was limited edition, so I gently used my polish until it died from old age.  I never thought I would see it again, but recently found out that it was so popular that they brought it into their permanent line, where hopefully it will stay.

If you are interested in blues, and especially darker blues, I highly recommend giving this polish color a try.  I would say it is a cooler color, but it is one that anyone, from the palest of pales to the darkest of darks, warm and cool alike, can wear.  I have never seen anyone who didn't look good with this polish, and that is a hard thing to say about a blue.

5/5 HG

Saturday, May 29, 2010

End of the Month Lemmings, May

As this month was my birthday, I haven't had as many lemmings this month, since I got some as presents (yays!).  Well, I didn't get one thing...

1) Warmer weather.
Now, some of you may be having the same problem that we have been having here on the Northern California coast, but it is still cold.  Yeah yeah, maybe not Colorado in the winter cold, but seriously, we are having tons of rain, septic systems are failing because of the water intake is way above normal for this time of year, and heaters and fireplaces are still being used all day because we are 20 degrees below average.  (Right now it's only 54, when it should be 74+).  I'm not asking for much, I just want it to get back to normal temperatures.  (Yes, I do know that this sort of thing happens every 11 years or so, but it's still annoying).

2) New phone.
My husband and I qualify for new phones next month, and are thinking about getting smart phones for the first time.  We are thinking about getting Google phones, like the Motorola Droid, or the HTC Droid Incredible, since we have Verizon.  So far, the Droid Incredible might be winning out, but rumor has it that it might have either a faulty signal strength meter, or the antenna is not very good.  Hopefully I'll be able to find enough research one way or the other, before we buy the phones.  (More research update, it's a combination, but the majority of the problem lies in non-standardized strength bars, with Motorola showing 5 when HTC shows 3.  Combine with a slightly (very slightly) weaker antenna, and you get the results people have been complaining about).

3) The rest of my packages to arrive.
Yeah, a strange one, but true.  I have many packages that I ordered around my birthday (self birthday presents, and a couple birthday presents from money that people gave me, since it was cheaper shipping), and some of them have /still/ not gotten here.  *Sigh*  Ah well, at least I have stuff to look forward to ^_^.

4) Guerlain Fall 2010 Palettes
Yeah, months away, but still, just look at those and tell me you don't want them?  One of the few times I'm okay with being told months ahead of time about a release, because at least I can save up the money to get one (or two).

5) To pass my upcoming test.
Don't want to bore people, but I have a hard test coming up for a certificate, and I really hope to pass it.  Study study study.

Yeah, pretty boring, non-makeup lemming list.  At least it shows that makeup isn't the only thing I think about, hehe.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Julie Hewett Sale!

From now until May 31st, Julie Hewett is having a sale of 40% off with coupon code MEM40.

I know this code is good, because I just used it myself.

Happy shopping!  Her lipsticks are wonderful, and 40% off of them is a hard deal to pass up.  Also, try her Omit concealer pencil, good for the waterline and reverse lining, and her Cheekies, which are like Bobbi Brown pots.

She has matching lip liners for her lipsticks, if you are interesting in that.  Personally, I find that cheap lipliners would just as well for me, so I would say pass on that, unless you want to have a perfect match for your new red lipstick.

Few words of warning: juliehewett.net and https://cart.juliehewett.net/ actually have different pages, with the same products, and the code works on both of them, same cart, etc.  The difference is the page layout, and how much is said on each page.  Also, Scarlet, the Icon of Beauty Lipstick is not available right now.  It will lead you to a blank page on the juliehewett.net site, and the cart.juliehewett.net site doesn't even list it.  Also, Vampie Cheekie is only available through the cart.juliehewett.net site, the other doesn't list it.  I purchased this, and will update if they suddenly tell me it is out of stock, or discontinued.

Good luck ^_^.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hype Theatre: Lancome Juicy Tubes Smoothie

image from sephora.com



Good evening (or morning, whatever).  Welcome to Hype Theatre, where we examine the most hyped about products, and see whether they are worth the hype surrounding them, are just average, or are downright crap.

Today we will be examining Lancome Juicy Tubes Smoothie, the lipgloss that many women claim is their HG, the best of the best, and worth its weight in gold.

I originally received these as samples and gifts with purchase (and gifted gifts with purchase.  Thanks mom!).  While I did not receive full tubes of this product, I do have enough to make at least 3 full sized tubes, so this product has been thoroughly tested.  This product currently sells for $18 for .5oz (14.6g).

The color that I am mainly reviewing today is Coral Rush, what I would call a more coral watermelon flesh color, with subtle gold sparkle.  This particular shade shows as a light pink with a slight orange pull on my lips, very nice, and goes well with warmer weather, though it should work well in fall/winter.

The gloss squeezes out of the tube with no problem, and is not runny (think Bonnie Bell here).  Juicy Tubes gloss is more thick, and while more difficult to apply than many, is not impossible.  The color is sheer, but does show up, so a thick layer to see the color is not necessary.

The overall texture is not as sticky as, say, MAC Lipglass, but it is by no means non-sticky, like many claims want you to believe.  This is definitely in the category of "tie your hair back if it is windy, and you are wearing this gloss."  Like I stated, it is not as sticky as a lipglass, so there is less need to worry when, say, drinking tea, but there is transfer.  My lips do not stick together unattractively, and there is none of that tell-tale gloss threads when talking (you know what I'm talking about, they look kinda like spider-silk).  The stickier texture allows this gloss to stay on for a longer amount of time than it otherwise would, but it doesn't appear to have very long staying power, fading at about the 2-3 hour mark, depending on how much talking, eating, and drinking actually took place.

While there is no creeping into fine lines for me, there is a little migration that happens towards the outside of my lips.  Also, this gloss does not fade gracefully, getting stickier and more blotchy as time passes, until eventually it needs to be removed.  I cannot layer new gloss on top of old, and removal required something stronger than a paper tissue, and perhaps more elbow grease than I an comfortable exposing my lips to multiple times in a single day.

Overall, this is not worth the hype, and I would claim this is an average product.  The price is pretty reasonable compared to others in the same market (like MAC Lipglass at $14 for .17oz, Shiseido The Makeup Lip Gloss at $21 for .15oz), but compared to others in a tube (like philosophy at $10 for .5oz, Sephora Super Shimmer Lip Gloss $10 for .5 oz, Urban Decay XXX Shine Lip Gloss $16 for .4oz), it is a little high for what you are actually getting.  Those are just mid-high end glosses, as well; drugstore makeup, which I would consider to be of similar quality, is much cheaper.

Hype Theatre deems this:
Product: Not worth the hype, just average.
Price: Complete crap.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wanna Get to Know You

Saw this on Fuzkittie's blog, and thought it would be fun.

1. What time did you get up this morning? Noon, because I wasn't feeling well.

2. How do you like your steak? Medium rare, Filet Mignon with Bacon on the outside.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Iron Man 2

4. What is your favorite TV show? South Park

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Japan, since I love the food.

6. What did you have for breakfast? Nothing (noon, remember?)

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Japanese and Indian

8. What foods do you dislike? Peas

9. Favorite place to eat? Hana

10. Favorite dressing? Ranch, because I can use it on other food.  On salad, lemon juice.

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? Honda Civic

12. What are your favorite clothes? Jeans and T-shirts.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Don't know.  Anywhere.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Half empty.

15. Where would you want to retire? *shrug*  Where I live?

16. Favorite time of day? Twilight.  Love the colors, the smells, the sounds, and the temperature.

17. Where were you born? Texas

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Soccer/Football

19. Who do you think will not tag you back? I'm tagging someone?

20. Person you expect to tag you back first? This is nonsense.

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? Anyone.  I like reading about people (real people, not celebrities).

22. Bird watcher? Not in the book sense, but I like watching nature.

23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night.

24. Do you have any pets? Currently two cats.

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Might be traveling to Texas to visit family this summer.

26. What did you want to be when you were little? Archaeologist

27. What is your best childhood memory? Ummm... don't know, hehe.  Getting my first pet snake?

28. Are you a cat or dog person? Cat.

29. Are you married? Yes.

30. Always wear your seat belt? Always.

31. Been in a car accident? Twice, neither my fault (thank goodness).

32. Any pet peeves? People not washing their hands after using the bathroom.

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Pineapple, basil, pesto, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, olives (not on the same pizza, hehe).

34. Favorite Flower? Roses, since they are so easy to take care of.

35. Favorite ice cream? Chocolate mint, or chocolate peanut butter.

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Don't usually eat fast food, but Jack 'n the Box or Arby's, since they have curly fries.

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? 0.

38. From whom did you get your last email? A fellow student in my class.

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Nordstrom.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Bought a lot of mini chip bags, since I don't eat chips fast enough for large bags, and hate stale chips.

41. Like your job? Kinda.

42. Broccoli? Yes please.

43. What was your favorite vacation? Going to Japan in college.

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? My husband.

45. What are you listening to right now? Indica - Linnansa Vanki, Týr - Tróndur í Gøtu

46. What is your favorite color? Teal

47. How many tattoos do you have? 0, but I want to get two (still planning them).

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? Anyone who wants to take it.

49. What time did you finish this quiz? 3:59 PM Pacific

50. Coffee drinker? Nope.

Yep, that was kinda fun.  Though that whole tagging section...

So what are your answers?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Korres Lip Butter Plum


Price: $10 for .21oz

What they say:
"Ultimate lip treatment with intensely hydrating formulas, packed with a juicy pop of color
• Shea Butter’s anti-inflammatory and potent moisturising benefits cushion the skin and help to restructure it
• Rice Wax helps to seal in hydration, leaving the lips smooth all day "

What I say:
This is nice, but I think the best part about it is the smell (yum!).  It smells like plums, but a little more fake than that.  Maybe more like plum candy.  I like the smell, but I can see how others might think it is a little strong.  Anyway...

Let's start with the packaging.  This comes in a tub, as you can see in the picture, and I happen to fall in the "prefer tube" category.  This isn't a deal breaker for me, but I don't like sticking un-clean fingers into my makeup, so this product becomes an "only if my hands are clean" item.  I don't like those for travel, since I can't guarantee when I will be able to reapply.  That said, the tub is well made, lightweight, and doesn't open accidentally.  There is a plastic cover over the product, like what comes with many face products in tubs, which I think is a nice touch, since it makes it harder for the product to dry out.

The texture is lightweight, and feels moisturizing.  This butter is not moisturizing like a lip treatment, but it is moisturizing enough to keep your lips comfortable during the day.  I would have liked it being more moisturizing, but it wasn't drying, so that's good.  It feels kinda soft when you put your fingers into it, like a facial mask, or maybe more like room temperature butter, or body butter.  When placed on my lips, it is more creamy, and spreads easily.  It layers without problems, and doesn't settle into fine lines, or creep out onto the outside and corners of my mouth.

A little goes a long way with this particular color.  It is sheer when a thin layer is applied, but it can look a bit much if I apply a lot of it, since I am more pale, and this contrasts with that.  Still, the color is nice, and I would say it might lean more towards the cool side than warm, but not too much that anyone can't pull this color off.

According to Korres, lip butters can also double as cheek colors, making this a multi-use product like Stila's Convertibles.  Personally, I think the texture of this, while great for spreading and blending, is a little too greasy for my combination skin.  I haven't noticed breakouts, but without a powder, it looks a little... fake?  I guess that's the right word.  On more dry skin, this might sink in more, looking a little less dewy.

Overall, this is a good product, especially considering the price.  For $10 you get a respectable amount of balm (compare to MAC tendertones, that were $14.50 for .2oz back in 2008).  Korres also has sets, where you can get 3 of their lip butters for $19.50 (or $6.50 each).  Like I said before, I would like to see these in a tube instead of a tub, and would like to have them be more moisturizing, but these are little things, overall, for a product that does deliver.

4/5

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock, SPF 70

image from drugstore.com
Price: $13 for 1.4 fl oz.

What they say:
"New Neutrogena Ultra Sheer® Liquid Sunblock delivers powerful protection in a breakthrough lightweight liquid for daily protection from the sun. This water-light texture spreads easily over skin, absorbing instantly for an invisible, weightless feel. It also provides an even, non-shiny finish that works beautifully alone or under makeup and moisturizers.

This product features Helioplex®, a breadth of stabilized sunscreen technologies that delivers superior protection from the sun.

    * Helioplex®
    * Waterproof, sweatproof
    * Non-comedogenic (won't clog pores)
    * Oil-free, PABA free
    * 1.4 fl. oz. bottle"

What I say:
I really like this, and am so glad that I purchased it.  If you recall in my April Lemming's post, I mentioned that other countries have a more runny sunscreen than we do, and it was nice to see a company bring a liquid/lotion sunscreen to this country that was easy to obtain, and didn't cost an arm and a leg.

This sunscreen lives up to my expectations, which I am very happy about.  It is indeed a liquid/lotion, not that thick cream sunscreen that many companies try to pass off as being easy to spread, and fast absorbing.  The tip of the bottle looks a lot like an eyedropper, which allows the sunscreen to come out at just the right rate.  Believe me, you don't want a large opening on a liquid like this.  I actually like to take the bottle and run it across the area that I want to add sunscreen to, leaving a trail behind that I then rub into my skin.

This stuff spreads really easily, and doesn't leave behind a film once rubbed in.  I have to say, that besides BullFrog, this is the fastest absorbing sunscreen that I have ever seen.  Once you rub it in, it is gone, and you can barely feel it on your skin.  I can't say you can't feel it at all, but to me it feels about the same as a layer of lotion, so it is easy to ignore.  Honestly, after a few minutes, I don't even notice it at all.

The best part of a lotion type sunscreen like this is truly its ability to be layered on top of makeup, in my opinion.  Since the liquid is easy to spread, and has extremely fast absorption, you can spread a little on your hands, and then pat it onto skin.  Depending on your makeup and application, it may or may not disturb your makeup, but to even have the option is better than the majority of brands out there.  I have heard some people say that oilier skin can get away with this instead of moisturizer and sunscreen.  While I cannot say if I personally could, since I have oily dehydrated, I didn't notice any drying of my skin, so it might be possible.

I have noticed no slipping or greasiness because of this sunscreen, even when I exercised with this under makeup (for science!).  There is also no whitish cast to my face and body (I like to use the same sunscreen for both, since I travel a lot), but I do have fair skin.  I would guess that this sunscreen would leave no cast on other skintones, mainly because it disappears into skin so quickly and readily.  It claims to be waterproof and sweatproof.  From what I saw when exercising with this product on, it seems to be true.  I haven't swam with it on, since it's too cold here right now, but I would guess that it would hold up.  Just remember that all waterproof sunscreens still need to be touched up.

If there is anything I would say I didn't like about this product it would be the price per unit.  While still cheaper than most sunscreens on the market in the USA with this consistancy, it is still far more expensive than other drugstore sunscreens that are a different formula.  While this doesn't put me off too much, since I am willing to pay more for a superior product, and it often goes on sale, it would be nice if they lowered the price from, say, $13 not on sale to $10.  Maybe, depending on the market, they might, like Revlon did with PhotoReady.

Overall, I highly recommend this product.  It absorbs like a dream, layers well, spreads easily, is small enough for travel, doesn't cause breakouts, and can be used on both face and body.  Really, what more can one ask for from a product, let alone one that you can get at a drugstore?

5/5, highly recommended, possible HG.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Body Shop Tea Tree Gel






Price: $9.00 for .08 fl oz

What they say:
"How it works:
    * Lemon tea tree and Community Trade tea tree oil from Kenya contain properties that help fight blemishes and prevent new ones from forming.
    * Tamanu oil from Madagascar has a soothing effect and helps to calm irritation and redness.
    * Community Trade organic honey to soothe the skin."


What I say:
This is a good blemish fighter, but it isn't the strongest.

I got this because of a sale that The Body Shop was having, and since I needed a new blemish stick, I thought I would give this one a try.  The ingredients, while not being the most natural, are more natural than most, so that was a bonus.

Tea tree oil, an antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral ingredient, is the star of this particular gel.  Because it kills bacteria, which is often the cause of acne, it makes sense that this ingredient would be used for as long as it has.

The gel is completely clear, and is similar in consistency to a really light lipgloss, but without any stickiness.  It dries quickly, and I have not had any problems putting makeup on top of it.  Since this blemish gel is mild, you can use it multiple times a day, but it's not going to just get rid of the blemish overnight.  It does help with reducing the redness and inflamation, but, again, it is not a miracle worker.

The tube, as you can see, has a doe foot applicator at the end.  While normally I would say that this is not the most hygenic, since the key ingredients would kill anything that you put in there, and you are normally using this right after washing your face, it doesn't actually seem that bad.  Also, since you are not touching the product with your hands, it might actually be a little cleaner than normal.  The applicator itself does a good job of placing the gel where you want, and it doesn't get too much on the end of it, so you don't need to worry about waste.

The gel does not have a really strong tea tree oil scent, which is good for those of you who are sensitive to that smell.  Personally, it makes me think that it has very little of the key ingredient, but they might have just figured out a way to diminish the smell.

Overall, I think this is a nice product.  I wish it was a little stronger, but given what it is, and the fact that it is using more natural ingredients to do it, it works well.

3.5/5 (seems a little low, but 4/5 seemed too high)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Aspirin Mask



Ahhh, good old fashioned, cheap, awesome mask.  Chemical plus physical exfoliation meets ease of use, easy removal, and the cheapest per unit price you can ever find.

Now, many of you have heard of this mask, and this is nothing new to you, but for those of you that do not, this is a simple, easy mask, that does not take a huge chunk of money out of your wallet to have.  Warnings, though: If you are sensitive or allergic to aspirin DO NOT USE!  I cannot stress that enough.  Enough of the aspirin can get into your system, and your health is not worth the risk.

To do: Take 4-5 aspirin uncoated aspirin tablets, since these dissolve easily.  Take a little water (we're talking drops here), and place on the tablets.  Let sit for about 15 seconds, then help them along by turning and crushing them with your fingers until you get a nice powder.

Here's the fun part.  Mix the powder with whatever you want.  If you need a moisturizing anti-acne mask, mix with yogurt or honey (my personal favorite).  If you're lazy, like I am, just use more water, so that you get a paste.  Seriously, as long as it can go on your face, it can probably be mixed in with the aspirin powder.

Let sit until dry, or for as long as you can handle/need it.  I usually do 10-15 minutes, with the thicker parts of the mask on places like acne and my nose.

Wash off with warm water, using a little at a time, and messaging the leftover mask into your skin, which acts like a mild exfoliator.  This mask is also a chemical exfoliator, so don't over do it!  Use a cleanser afterwards if you need it (like after the honey mask), moisturize, and you're done!  Use at most once a week, since this is a strong treatment.

How this works:
Aspirin is made of acetylsalicylic acid, a salicylate drug (salicylic acid is the most commonly known), which is a beta hydroxy acid.  Beta hydroxy acids are often used for anti-acne and anti-aging cosmetics and skin care, like concealers and facial washes.  By taking the drug and mixing it into a mask to apply topically, you are placing a beta hydroxy acid that is a high concentration on a targeted spot on your face, which helps exfoliate, and helps clean pores.

While this isn't the most luxurious mask on the planet, it is a great mask for people who have acne, and also for people who travel; a bottle of aspirin in your bag becomes a pain killer, an exfoliator, and a mask, all without the liquid requirements that airlines enforce, and very little bag space.

I highly recommend giving this one a try (as long as you aren't allergic).  The worst that happens is you spend $1-$1.50, and get a bottle of pain medicine for your cabinet.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Korres Sunscreen Stick Face Watermelon

image from sephora.com


Price: $24.50 for 20ml (.68 fl oz)

What they say:
"What it is:
An innovative sun protection solution that doubles as a highlighter.

What it is formulated to do:
Korres Watermelon Sunscreen Stick SPF 30 shields sensitive areas of the face like the lips, cheeks, and nose. Designed for easy application, this double-duty essential adds a natural, iridescent touch to accentuate features and smoothes to silky perfection.

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

What else you need to know:
This nutrient-infused formula bolsters the skin's immune system and prevents photoaging. It is dermatologically and opthamologically tested, noncomedogenic, a full spectrum UV protectant, and water and sweat resistant. It is free of PPGs, MEA, DEA, TEAs, and formaldehyde donors. "

What I say:
First off, I think this product is being discontinued, since the Korres website doesn't list it anymore.  Still, I thought it would be worth reviewing for those people who can still find it online or in person.

This is an interesting product.  The smell is like watermelon candy, which I love, but many people might not like.  The smell does go away pretty quickly, but it is pretty strong in the tube.  The stick itself has a kinda whitish-pink color to it, which is what gives the slight highlighting effect when it is used on your skin.

The highlighting effect is there, but it isn't very noticeable, especially when the product finally dries.  Speaking of drying, though, this product takes forever to dry down.  When I first put it on, I looked a little greasy, which did not make me happy.  It does go away in about 20-30 minutes, and since 30 minutes is how long they say to wait before going out into the sun, at least you don't look shiny in direct sunlight.

Texture-wise, this product feel like a chapstick, but a little thicker, maybe a little creamier.  I would want to say how butter feels when it's cold, without the melting into liquid part.  You can definitely feel this on your skin, which I don't like at all.  I did one swipe on part of my face, like my nose, and then used my fingers to spread it out more, since I felt I was layering too much on when I just put it straight on my face.  Even when spread out like this, I felt like I had a mask on, and when I touched my face I could feel it on my skin, like a thin greasy layer.  The feeling goes down when it is dried, but it's still there.

This product does have some good points, though.  Portability is really high, which is good for people who travel a lot.  Since it's not a liquid, you can take this on airplanes with no problem, or at least in my area.  It has SPF 30 (it claims it is UVA and B), which isn't the highest, but it is much higher than a lot of products on the market.  The smell doesn't smell chemically to me, which is a plus, since I often dislike the smell of sunscreen.

Overall, I think this product is kinda bad for everyday usage, but would work well for certain people,in certain conditions, including:
Children - easy to use, easy to carry around, and they don't care about being greasy for a little bit while it dries.
Hiker - safe for body, face, eye area, and lips, it is an all in one product to carry, and it's lightweight
Travelers - I don't know about you, but I can care less what I look like when traveling, as long as I'm comfortable.  Being able to carry this onto an airplane with no problem is a plus.

A side note, I actually returned this product after a few uses (and lost the pictures I took, of course... bah).  I just can't get past the feeling of this, and for the price, it just isn't worth it for me.

2/5 - it has its uses, but it really could be a much better product.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

End of the Month Lemmings, April

1) Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock, SPF 70


image from drugstore.com

Many other countries have had the joy of a runny, more liquid SPF that is not horribly expensive for a while, and it looks like Neutrogena is bringing one to these shores (I don't count BullFrog, since that's more of a gel).  This price is kinda high for about 1 fl oz (I think it was $13 when I saw it online), so I'm waiting for a BOGO before I get this.  Hopefully this will be good, because a liquid sunscreen is a lot easier to reapply over makeup than a gel.

2) A new sundress.  Well, any sundress.  I think the only two that I have are both black, with one that has blue flowers on it.  Don't know how that one happened.  If the weather ever decides to get warmer here, it would be a really good thing to have a sundress to wear during the summer.  Problem is, with sundresses, they just don't fit in the bust.  If they do, they are too big everywhere else.  *Sigh*

3) Convertible pants for hiking and traveling.  When you have evil siblings, every little advantage helps.

4) Anastasia Mini Duo Angled/Spooley 7
image from sephora.com

I have been trying to get this for a while, and every time I'm in the stores, it's sold out.  I have only one travel sized angled liner brush, which I have been using for my brows, and really want a new angled brush, so I can use the original for liner instead.  I have a travel sized flat top liner brush... I hate those things so much.  They are just horrible for me.  Definitely replacing that thing with the angled brush I have...

Any case, a spooley on one end to tame your brows, and an angled brush for your brow powder, all in a convenient travel size.  Brilliant!

5) Dior 5-Colour Iridescent Eyeshadow - Ready-to-Glow 
image from sephora.com

Originally, I didn't care about this palette much.  It looks nice, but it didn't look Dior prices nice, you know?

Then I saw Fuzz's swatch, and man, that peach with that taupe... It's just stunning.  I have a couple pinks, I have browns, I have taupes (aplenty), but I have no peaches, and that taupe is unique...

This is going on my "please don't let it be sold out before I save enough, or someone gets it for me for a present" list.  Knowing my luck, it will be sold out, hehe.  Oh well, makeup is not life or death.  There's always another peach.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Korres Ginger and Vitamins Foundation



Price: $28 for 1.35 fl oz

What they say:
"Lightweight, water-based tinted moisturizer leaves skin perfectly hydrated while minimizing imperfections, boosting antioxidant protection and leaving skin with a healthy glow.
• Formulated for all skin types, Ginger and vitamins formula gives sheer to medium build-able coverage with a creamy finish and built-in sun protection
• Ginger extract improves skin tone and clarity while calming and soothing redness and irritation
• Vitamin C significantly diminishes fine lines, hyperpigmentation and resurfaces skin, revealing a soft and radiant complexion • Vitamin E, a potent anti-oxidant, defends skin against free radical damaging while also providing moisture "

What I say:
I really like this stuff!  I had been interested in buying this product for a while, but could not justify the price of $28 for only 1.35 fl oz.  While 1.35 fl oz is more than MUFE HD foundation, for instance, and the price is also less, at least MUFE I can test out in person, while I was flying solo with this foundation.  After reading many reviews online, and finding a nice coupon for a percentage off retail, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase this in color LF1, which sounded the closest to my skin tone (MUFE 115, MAC NW20).

First off, this foundation is more like a tinted moisturizer than a foundation, which is hilarious, because their Watermelon Tinted Moisturizer (which I also purchased, but am waiting for summer to use) is more like a foundation than a tinted moisturizer.  Basically, if you want something light, go with the foundation, if you want something more medium, go with the tinted moisturizer.

The color selection could be worse for this product, but I goes look like it runs more on the light side, and more neutral to yellow than a lot of brands.  This does make sense, though, if you look at the history of the company, and the fact that it runs more Mediterranean in its colors than other brands.  The foundation is so blendable, though, that a little color mistake should not be that much of a problem.

Ginger and Vitamin's texture is kinda runny, wet, blend-able, and smooth.  Applying this with your fingers is incredibly easy, and unlike Revlon's PhotoReady foundation, this did not accentuate my dry spots like a neon sign.  It does cover redness decently well, but areas that have a lot of red, like around the nose, and acne scars, will need a concealer to cover.  This takes a moment to sink in, but when it does, it stays put, and is hard to notice.


The finish is like skin, and I did not notice needing a powder to prevent fading, though it has been rather cold here, so I haven't been sweating.  This foundation stayed on all day with no problem, and also removed very easily.  The smell is not that pleasant, but it isn't horrible, and fades away really quickly.

The container for this is wonderful.  It doesn't look like you get that much, but remember, unlike many foundations, this doesn't have a large lid, pump, or a thick outer container.  This is a wonderful container for travel, since it takes so little room, so you can easily bring it with you for touch-ups.


I think the best thing about this foundation is how nice my skin felt after I took it off.  My skin was soft, the redness I have on my cheeks actually looked diminished, and my skin felt more... nourished?  Hard to describe.  I had heard other people say something along these lines, but I had not believed them.  I really should have, because I would have bought this a long time ago.  The fact that this also has SPF in it, though not a lot, is a nice touch.  I already use SPF in my moisturizer, so this is not a replacement, but every little bit helps.

Overall, I really like this, and wish I had listened to others and bought it before now.  The price is kinda high, but compared to other brands, I guess it's a mid-high end, and on par.  The container is nice, the foundation is great, but the color selection could have more pink and dark selections.  Still, with how sheer this is, the color selection could be worse.  I highly suggest getting a sample if you can.

4/5

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Boots No.7 4-in-1 wipes


Price: $6.99 for 30 sheets

What they say:
"# Be good to your skin even when you’re short of time with these gentle, fragrance-free wipes
# Cleanse and remove impurities, tone and moisturize skin, and even remove waterproof eye makeup, in one easy step
# Contains vitamin pro B5 extracts of witch hazel and fennel to help cleanse pores and moisturize
# They’ll leave your skin feeling smooth, clean and fresh
# Good for all skin types; 30 pk.
# Boots Facial Cleansing Wipes"

What I say:
These are a nice.  I originally purchased these after reading several reviews listing them as a nice, cheap facial wipe, that does its job, but doesn't leave a nasty film on your skin afterwards.  I would have to agree with that, which is refreshing, because that means I bought I product that works as it claims it does.

The wipes themselves are soft, and are a decent size.  One wipe cleans my entire face, and still can work on my neck, as well.  I don't know how well this works on mascara, since I haven't been wearing that lately, but I know it took off my minimal eye makeup with no problems.  It did take off my foundations and tinted moisturizers, as well, with no need to tug.

The best part about this wipe is the lack of film, and the non-stripped feeling when you are done using it.  Unlike some wipes, where I feel I have to use a moisturizer afterwards, these wipes don't leave that feeling, so I really can just use this one product when I'm really lazy.  The wipes are a little drier than I am used to, but they seem to be able to do their job okay.  Like I stated before, though, I don't know how these would work with mascara (I have heard that they do work well), since the lack of wetness means less formula to sit on your lashes.

If I were to change anything about these, I would change the packaging.  I like everything but the opening, which is just a resealable sticker, that doesn't seem like it's going to last that long.  Maybe it will last the entire 30 times of opening (one for each wipe), but I'm not really sure about that.

Overall, I think these are great for the price, convenience, and quality.  I actually like these a lot better than the MAC ones (that I am still using up), since the MAC ones leave a film when I'm done, and also are not really that soft feeling.  Right now Target is having a sale on these, making the total price $5.99, which is even better.

4/5, very good

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Revlon PhotoReady Foundation



Price: $13.99 for 1 fl oz (30 ml)

What they say:
"Revlon PhotoReady™ Makeup - for poreless, airbrushed skin in any light. Photochromatic pigments bend and reflect light to erase every flaw. Complete, yet undetectable coverage. Soft, luminous finish.

- Oil free
- Fragrance free
- SPF 20"


What I say:
Initial impressions:
I got this foundation during a Buy One Get One Free offer from CVS, and since I didn't have anything else to get, I got two shades: 002 Vanilla, and 003 Shell.  Both of them work, surprisingly, but what is strange to me is that Vanilla seems to be more sheer than Shell.  With Shell, my redness is just gone, with Vanilla it is lessened, but not completely gone.  Strange that Shell acts like a foundation, and Vanilla acts more like a tinted moisturizer.  So far have not noticed the "Cullen" affect, as some people call it, but it is so overcast today that it just could be because there is no sun out.  The foundation applied evenly with fingers, and dried to a nice finish.  Not dewy, not matte, either, just kinda skin-like.  It does show any dry patches easily, so moisturizing beforehand is a must.  Came off easily with my cleansing oil, but what doesn't?

Second attempt:
Man, do not apply this in a rush with your fingers unless you are really used to this formula.  This definitely looked like makeup when I did that, and I had to remove it and start over (which did not help the rush, hehe).  Definitely my fault, I think.  Shaking the bottle really heavily before application on 002 Vanilla seemed to help with the liquidy-ness of the product, something that I did not have to do to 003 Shell (I mean as much, of course).  Noticed the shimmers that people are talking about only at a certain angle while making an extremely stupid face, hehe.  I have heard some speculation that Revlon actually released two formulations of this foundation as a test, and that some areas got the more shimmery one, while others got a much less shimmery formulation.  This would explain the mixed reviews, and also explain why the colors that sold out faster and were replaced (most likely with the less shimmery formula that people liked) have been getting better reviews later in the release.

Later attempts:
The more I use this, the more it becomes apparent that this foundation is the mortal enemy of dead skin flakes.  Seriously, if you think you have no flakes, put this foundation on, and then give yourself a look in the mirror.  Finish is still nice, if it isn't putting a neon sign to dry patches, but I think it is a little cakey at times.  Tried to use a kabuki, fingers, and damp sponge.  So far, the brush seems to be the winner.

Final conclusions:
I wish I could find my receipt to return this product, but I think my husband recycled it when I wasn't looking.  I'm not saying this product is horrible, it just doesn't work for me.  The color selection is decent enough, and since it is so sheer, you can get away with a color not being perfect, as long as it is kinda close to begin with.  The shimmer effect that people talk about online seems to be a batch to batch issue, and personally I have not had a problem with either bottles that I bought.  Yes, I did go outside in full sunlight.  Yes, I did try flash.  Maybe I got lucky?  Who knows.

The finish is like a more matte foundation with an illuminator underneath it, or perhaps something like Vanilla pigment mixed in a little.  Like I stated before, I might have gotten lucky with the batch that I bought, but that's what it seemed like to me.  The foundation stayed on all day for me, but there was a little fading around the T-zone.  Layering blush, powder, highlighter, and bronzer, did not cause cakeyness most of the time, but I do highly suggest letting this foundation sit before doing so.  Layering concealer, on the other hand, sometimes lead to a nightmare situation where I would get a cakey problem going on, and smoothing it out just made it look worse.

I think the worst thing about this foundation is how it reacted to any patchiness or dry skin on my face.  It would gather onto that patch and look absolutely horrible, much worse than any other foundation that I have ever tried.  Using a damp sponge to apply didn't seem to help, and neither did using a sponge afterwards to blend it out.  Absolutely horrible.  Seriously, I almost feel like I should use this to find spots on my face that I didn't exfoliate, but I would have to rub my skin raw to get it to the point this foundation would work.

Like I stated before, I really with I could find my receipt, since $14 for this foundation (and remember what I said before, I bought two) is way, way too much.  In the meantime, though, I am probably going to give my mother the darker on, and use the lighter one under my eyes as an illuminator, since it seems like it would work well like that.  Maybe in the summer, when my skin seems to be in a little better condition, I will try using this again, but in the meantime, I think it is an overhyped foundation that the makers did not test correctly (shimmer), and that does not favor people who don't have perfect skin to begin with (dry patch gathering and sheerness).

2/5