Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review: CVS Bow Headband

Product's website description: None [website - not available on website]

Color Purchased: one in Black and one in Brown

Price: Bought these in a pack of 4 with the black and brown in separate packs, mixed with plain headbands. Purchased with a buy one get one 1/2 off promotion. I spent probably $5 to get 8 headbands but the ones with bows are the main reason I got these.

Review: 5 Stars

I heart headbands. Mostly because I have a cowlick so my side-swept bangs are unmanageable at times without a headband.  When I saw these bow headbands, I knew I had to have them, especially since there was a sale going on.  The headbands are nice and soft so I don't get a headache wearing them, even after a whole day at work. The bows make me feel like Blair from "Gossip Girl," but I think adds a nice touch to any outfit. If they had these in every color, I probably would have bought them all.

Review: Lush Fresh Face Mask

Product's label description: "Blueberries rich in beneficial antioxidants and full of vitamins and minerals reduce inflammation and have an antiseptic effect. Soothing chamomile, Irish moss and almond oil with the same gentle cleansing action of calamine save the day." [website -- item only available in stores however]

Item Purchased: Catastrophe Cosmetic (the blueberry one)

Price: $6-ish (can't find my receipt)

Review: 3 Stars (No Repurchase)

I have sensitive skin so I was limited to which face mask I could try out.  The other one for sensitive skin was this banana oatmeal mask and, while I like eating bananas, I can't stand to smell bananas.  I was really tempted to try their chocolate one because it smelled amazing but my brain told me that it would probably make my skin go crazy.  I asked one of the very helpful workers, and she recommended the blueberry Catastrophe anyways. Since we were out shopping, she warned me to make sure to put it in a fridge within 5 hours. What she neglected to tell me was that its shelf life was less than 3 weeks.  Good thing I didn't just throw it in my fridge and forget about it.

The chunks of blueberries mixed into the mask on your face are kind of off-putting. And don't expect this mask to be blue, it's actually green.

The label says to leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes but that is not enough time to let it harden. I don't know if I'm using it right, but since most masks you leave on until it hardens, I just follow that rule of thought.

I've used it 4 times so far (it's currently on my face as I type) and I don't notice any difference whatsoever to my skin.  On a positive note, my skin did not have an adverse reaction to it at all, which is why I gave it 3 stars instead of 2.  It definitely is appropriate for sensitive skin but I don't know how much effect it will have on "catastrophic" skin.  For the price and the number of uses (probably can get one more out of it), I wouldn't repurchase it. I'll stick to Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque for more bang for my buck.

Tip: Save the pots because you get a mask free when you bring back 5.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Contest: A Full Beat

Beauty guru Beverly from A Full Beat is having an awesome giveaway that ends next Friday. Her eye makeup is vibrant and awesome, so even if you don't sign up for the giveaway, you still have to check out her site.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Review: L'oreal Paris Go 360 Clean With Scrublet

Product's website description: "The Deep Cream cleanser is a soap-free creamy, foaming cleanser, which removes impurities to leave skin feeling both clean and comfortable" [website] 

Purchased: Deep Cream Cleanser

Price: $6.99

Review: 1 Star

I am on the search for my HG (holy grail) face wash and have not been able to find even a half decent one.  I have had good skin all of my life until recently.  Now that I've hit the big 3-0 (ha!), all of a sudden my skin wants to react weirdly to certain products.

When I first purchased this item, I thought I found what I'd been searching for. My skin felt oh-so-soft and I loved the idea of the scrublet (it even goes tucked into a hole in the bottle).  With the scrublet, I could see really see all the makeup coming off my skin before it went down the drain.  The day after I used this, I even told my boyfriend to touch my skin to see how soft it was.

Dum, dum, dum... Then a huge problem occurred in the form of zits popping up all over my cheeks and chin after a week of using it. I had a worse reaction to this than I've had to any other face product (I'm looking at you Neutrogena Advanced Systems & Yes to Cucumbers).

My boyfriend is now the proud owner of 2 Go 360 Cleans since I had bought him one at the same time.  Since most of his face is covered by a beard, he hasn't had the same side effects as I did, so I gave him mine as a backup.

At this rate, I might as well fall asleep with my makeup on since washing my face is apparently driving my skin crazy. All kidding aside, I ordered Paula's Choice skin care system online yesterday, so we'll see if I have better luck with that.

Review: Yes to Carrots/Cucumbers

Product's website description: Carrots: "Nourishing - Perfect for skin that needs a bit of moisture." Cucumbers: "Soothing - Perfect for skin that needs a gentle touch." [website]

Purchased: Yes to Carrots Can You C Me Eye & Face Makeup Remover ($9.99), Yes to Cucumbers Facial Starter Kit ($19.99), Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Mask ($14.99)

Review: 1 Star

I really wanted to like this brand because it's made with natural products.  The problem is that my skin didn't share the same excitement for the "Yes To" products.

The carrot makeup remover left residual makeup on my face, even though I used my scrublet to make sure that I was getting deep in there.  I also used the cucumber facial cleansing gel to make sure it was extra clean before I used toner.  Given that I used two different cleansing agents, I did not expect to see as much makeup as there was on my toner soaked cotton ball. Fail!

Ironically, my skin turned bright red as soon as I used the cucumber facial cleansing gel. The cucumber line is supposed to cater to those with sensitive skin who are prone to having redness caused by beauty products, which is exactly what happened to me using their products. I felt left down because I was expecting great things from this brand. I would have ignored the redness as temporary side effect if it left my skin feeling glorious, but sadly it just felt itchy.

Because of my disappointment in the first two products I tried, I didn't even bother to try the rest of the products that I purchased...I don't think my skin could have handled it.  I wouldn't mind trying their hair products, but I'll pass on their skin care line.

Freebies: Sephora and Bath & Body Works

Sephora is offering a free deluxe sample (.2 oz) of Bare Escentual's Buxom mascara. Coupon can only be redeemed at a Sephora inside JCPenney. Expires on October 23, 2010. I've been wearing this to work because it's natural looking and not clumpy. Not something I would wear on a night out though because it's not dramatic enough. [Coupon]

This weekend only, Bath & Body Works is offering a free 2oz Body Lotion in their newest fragrance Secret Wonderland. Offer is only good until October 3rd, 2010. [Coupon]

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Review: Neutrogena Advanced Solutions

Product's website description: "Clinically Proven To: Reduce blackheads, whiteheads, redness, and inflammation; Reduce oiliness; Kill acne causing bacteria; Improve skin texture/reduce bumps; Visibly reduce appearance of acne; Provide SPF sun protection. An easy 2 step regimen twice a day. " [website]

Contains: Skin Polishing Acne Cleanser, Oil-Free Lotion, &  Overnight Acne Control Lotion

Price: $20

Review: 1 Star

I do not have acne prone skin, but I was looking to clear up some persistent spots to the side of my mouth.    The box that I got said that it's proven to work faster than ProActiv, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I tried this for the whole summer and my skin got worse and worse by the day. Had I known that the official product site has a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee before the 90 days was up, I would have taken them up on their offer. Instead I gave them the benefit of the doubt, thinking it's one of those products that might take a little while to kick in.

The first few uses I was fine until one day my face was on fire and started peeling, but those side effects went away pretty quickly.  However, this product did not work at all to get rid of any acne.  I'm almost positive that it was the Skin Polishing Acne Cleanser that caused the bad reaction, but it did do a good job cleaning my face.  The Oil-Free Lotion has SPF 15 so on its own it has its merits.  But as a whole the product did not work for me. Maybe you have to have a lot of acne for it to work??? Everyone's skin is different and they did have just as many positive reviews as they did negative. This is just one girl's opinion!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Haul: The Beauty Sampler

Product's website description: "[W]e are in the process of adding and expanding a product line of our own, aptly name CrAvE.  CrAvE will be an exclusive, full line of mineral products that not only look and feel great, but are actually great for your skin as well.  Of course, we will continue to provide our full line of authentic, professional-grade MAC samples as always." [website]

Colors Purchased: See photos below

Price: $1.74 each w/ promo code. No S&H.

Review: I found out about this site from Youtuber xsunshiine and I knew I had to try it out. I sent an email inquiry to Beauty Sampler and they answered it promptly, so it gave me more confidence to order from the site while they're remodeling.  But what impressed me even more is that once I ordered I received an email a few hours later stating that my order had been shipped. That was on Wednesday and I received my package on Friday! I got my 14 MAC pigment samples (1/4 tablespoons each) in two cute little Hello Kitty ziploc baggies.  I haven't tried them yet, so I'm merely reviewing the Beauty Sampler service rather than the product. The size of the product didn't bother me because having had full-sized MAC pigments, I knew that a little goes a long way. I still have a Deckchair pigment from 2-3 years ago that looks like I've never even used it even though I use it all the time. I would have spent $24 on one full-sized MAC pigment, but instead I got 14 different ones. I'm sold without even trying them on yet!

Brash & Bold - Reddish fushia
Dark Soul - Dark gray
Platinum - Silver

Antique Green - Brownish (?) green
Golder's Green - Golden green
Teal - Teal ;)

Pink Pearl - Purplish pink shimmer
Push the Edge - Dark purple (grape)
Violet - Light purple
Cornflower - Purplish blue (My fave)

Dusty Coral - Darker version of Melon
Rushmetal -Golden brown
Chocolate Brown - Rich brown
Blue Brown -  Brown with blue flecks

Warning: Bare Face Ahead

Step 1 (Left): So this is what I look like without a stitch of makeup on. except I do have moisturizer applied.  As you can see, I have VERY pigmented eyelids that look like I have brown eyeshadow, and dark circles under my eyes...courtesy of my insomnia. People often ask why I wear foundation if I have good skin and I tell them that they're only saying that because they haven't seen me without foundation. My skin is splotchy and I do have acne scars around my chin.
Step 2 (Right): Added Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Double Face Protector (Concealer + Highlighter) in Light on eyelids and under eyes, only using the concealer side. Bye, bye brown shadows! Dabbed some concealer on my acne scars as well.
Step 3 (Left): MAC Studio Fix Fluid (NW25) using a Sonia Kushuk foundation brush. After seeing this picture, I have a feeling that I didn't put very much foundation on knowing that I was going to be applying the powder foundation right after.
Step 4 (Right): First time using the MAC Studio Fix Powder + Foundation (NW25) today, and wow what a difference! I applied it over the fluid foundation.  The powder foundation really did cover up all of my imperfections and took away the shininess from the shimmer in the fluid foundation. I thought the fluid alone looked good until I saw how Step 3's photo dulled in comparison to Step 4's photo.

Step 5 (Left):
Cheeks - NYC Blushable Creme Stick in Berry New Yorker & Plaza Pink (blended). Very bright until you blend it. Only use when I want natural cheeks.
Lips - Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm in Twilight. Product is drying out so doesn't look like when I first bought it. Looks pink instead of berry now.
Eyes - Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Pop Collection for Hazel Eyes (Trio #2: Playful).  Applied wet, and used as shadow & liner. I haven't been able to get good coverage if I use this product dry.
Mascara - Maybelline The Falsies. Oh, look, I have eyelashes now!

OVERALL: The MAC products combined together were A+ in my book.  The Physician's Formula Pop Collection looks super bright in the box, but it blends together nicely.  I was looking for a very muted look today, with just a little bit of color.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Review: Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm

Product's website description: "*Kiss-proof color with soft shine *Nourishing balm for supreme comfort *Lipstain and balm in one convenient, dual-ended package *Lipstain marker provides precise application *Color does not smudge or streak *Contains vitamin C for for anti-oxidant protection *Creamy, lightweight balm perfectly melts on lips for smooth, glide-on application *Translucent balm provides instant moisture and soft shine *Available in 10 lightweight shades " [website]

Color: Twilight (2nd from bottom in photo)

Price: about $7

Review: 2 stars

As much as it pained me to buy something called Just Bitten in the shade Twilight, for obvious reasons, that was the color that stood out to me the most. It's a nice berry color.

Since it is a lipstain, it does create a problem by accentuating cracks in your lips. The balm does help soften the look, but the color remains looking a bit flat. There is no shine, even with the balm. As the day goes by and the lipstain starts to wear off, you're left with patchy colors on your lips.

I've only had this product for two months and don't use it regularly, but it seems to be drying out already. It doesn't even resemble the same shade as when I first bought it. That is the main reason why I won't be buying this product again.
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