Monday, December 28, 2009

Review- KohGenDo Maifanshi Moisture Foundation

Introducing the Paraben Free Moisture Foundation. A 3D Real Skin Foundation, the next generation High Def foundation is here now.

I think this may be my current favorite foundation (ever)! I can absolutely see why it won a Shecky's 2009 Beauty At Its Best Award. While being ultra moisturizing for the skin, the coverage is surprisingly amazing and as a result my skin looks super smooth and completely flawless too! The best part is that it feels so lightweight and unbelievably clean, and it still somehow provides maximum coverage at the same time. If you're a fan of tinted moisturizers, but also need little more coverage (hey, who doesn't from time to time, right?), look no further this is the stuff. It wears like the best tinted moisturizer ever, but provides coverage like a super foundation! How completely dreamy.

Hillary says: I too, love this foundation. Unfortunately they sent us a shade that I can only wear when I'm tan (which is practically never), but when I did have a tan a while back I absolutely loved it. Talk about moisturizing! This foundation is full coverage and entirely moisturizing. You could easily mix this with a moisturizer to make a tinted moisturizer. Another bonus about this foundation is that they have a lot of shades which are perfect for Asian skin. So few cosmetics companies pay attention to that entire segment of the population. This is one of those moisturizers I would recommend for, say, your wedding or that important interview. It's just that good. Combine it with the Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Natural Lighting Powder & your face will look flawless!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review- Satina Handheld & Desktop Mirror

Our ingenious folding mirror is fun and practical and was created for use as a handheld or for your desktop. This high definition mirror is perfect for your precision application of your makeup and beauty needs. It unfolds to reveal a 3x magnification mirror for detailed use. It’s certain to be your favorite mirror for all occasions.

This mirror is as practical as it is adorable. You can use it as a hand-held mirror (perfect for checking out the back of your hair) or fold the handle and prop it up on your vanity. The mirror is just large enough to see your entire face and the magnifying side allows for great precision when applying makeup. I wish it were just a tiny bit bigger for styling because I had to move it around a bit to see my entire hair style, but overall its pretty handy.

Trish says: This really is a cute and functioning mirror. Not to get all vain at the office, but this mirror would be perfect to have tucked away in your desk drawer. It sits up perfectly on its own, and has two sides - one for regular use that is really clear and without any funny distortions. On the other magnifying side, you get an ever better close up just to make sure everything happens to fall in the right place. So for a quick touch up or a nice beauty check whether at home or at the office - this mirror provides the perfect tool for a small and convenient job. A definite purchase especially for those quick beauty fixes in the office, when no one's looking!

Sultana says: I agree! This mirror is so functional and just plain cute! I keep this right in my beauty drawer at work (yes I have a beauty drawer at work, don't judge me!). Some mirrors don't show you all you need to see. This one does, in two different ways! Keep it at home, work or on the go!

Hillary says: This mirror came in the nick of time for me as my husband broke my other 2 sided mirror just about the same time I got this one. It's small enough to take with you, but big enough to do your whole face with. I find it indispensable for doing my eyebrows as the magnifying side works really well. Oh, and like everyone has said, it's awfully cute.

Josephine says: So pretty I stuck one in my kit and one in MakeUpMania's makeover drawer for people who want to see their eye makeup up close. I have the hot pink ones, btw. For those who really love the color pink, you must pronouce it like this: "peeeeenk." It should also be noted that my toddler threw this mirror across the room mid-tantrum and it came away unscathed.

Review- Brush Lab Fresh Curls Round Ceramic Brush

The Fresh Curls Round Ceramic Brush evenly spreads and absorbs heat longer allowing for faster drying hair and the locking of curls and body. Eliminates frizz and creates silky, smooth and conditioned hair.

This brush will give you a salon quality blow-out, if of course you know how to use it. The brush is round with vents to help the air circulate and provide bounce. Its pretty big, so its best for medium to long hair. Unfortunately, I’m a novice at blowing out my hair. I could barely manage to run the brush through my hair and control the dryer. My roomie had to help me perfect my style, but once we were done it looked shiny, bouncy, and almost like a pro had done it. I bet once I master that one-handed curling motion that all the stylists have down-packed I'm sure this will be my go-to brush for blowing out my hair.

Deedlejuse Says: I adore my Fresh Curls Round Brush! It is by far the best round brush I have tried for blow drying. The bristles are spaced so far apart that your hair is really given lots of attention while your blow drying so your hair really looks super shiny and full of volume after a quick blow dry. It also takes me a little less time to finish off my shoulder length hair when using this brush, and that is a definite plus for me!

Sultana says: Over the past two years, my hair has grown super long. I can't bring myself to cutting it. So I've just been maintaining it. I try to keep blow drying my hair to a very minimum because it takes too long. This brush gets your hair super straight and dry, but for me its just to hard to operate. Its a little bigger than I am used to. If you want a lot of volume and you are used to working with bigger brushes, then this is the brush for you.

Review - Liz Earle Superskin Body Cream

Formulated with 25% pure plant oils, this divinely aromatic, ultra-rich body cream is our most intensive moisturizer ever, helping mature or very dry skin look and feel rejuvenated and replenished.

I wanted desperately to love this cream. Its Liz Earle, for goodness sake, and everything she comes out with is sooooo up my alley. Natural, organic, cool list of things that are good for you (including a ton of anti-oxidant rich essential oils) and she really seems to think about the products that she puts out. All of which I love! This cream, however, I just couldn't get into. I love the way it hydrates. I love the way it smooths in completely in seconds and you aren't left with ANY greasiness. I love the way it smells as you apply (sort of like really high quality cranberry or pomegranate essential oil), but after wearing for a number of hours it totally turns on me. I smell like a dirty powder puff, and like LOUDLY smell like a dirty powder puff. I work in perfume, so I'm super sensitive to things like this (hopefully someone else whose skin doesn't tend to make things smell weird has this too and can completely disagree with me!) But I honestly could not get over the way it makes me smell. Oh, and yes, people: $55 for 6.7 oz is so totally worth it! Unless of course you have skin that tends to change things into not so good smells. I would recommend trying the 1.6 fl oz tube first, or maybe even going to a store and slathering yourself and wearing it for the day to make sure the dirt/powder thing doesn't happen to you! I will say again though, I don't think you can go wrong with Liz Earle products. I have never been completely disappointed, and even this issue is hopefully my skin doing things. Give her a try, you will love her!

Sultana says: I used this after taking a bath at night. When I wake up in the morning, the smell kind of a fades a bit but its still there. I have no problems with this whatsoever. It moisturizes really well. I suggest you try in the evening after a bathe so you can really see how well it soothes your skin.
I tend to get really dry skin, especially in the winter. I used this until there was literally nothing left in the tube. Liz Earle, you have done it again!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Noah's Naturals All Day Moisture

Provides all day moisture with SPF 15. Donates 1% of sales to various environmental organizations. $8.99 for a 2.5 fl oz bottle.

I wasn't sure if this product was solely a moisturizer, sunblock or a mix of both. The lotion is thick and has that sunblock-like smell. Not a bad smell, but that "out in the summer" type scent. It felt like it weighed down my skin a bit too much. Also, I have very sensitive skin and it started to make it burn. I think it's just me because Noah's Naturals prides itself on not having any parabens, sulfates, propalyne glycol or other items that aren't good for your skin. Although this product didn't work for my skin type, it may for someone with less sensitivities. I also tried their Brazilian Body Polish and
love it!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of our readers that Celebrate Christmas a joyous one!

From all of us here at Beautifile

Monday, December 21, 2009

Review - Yoga Toes

Ultimate Freedom After Shoes
relax & refresh overworked feet
stretch & strengthen foot muscles
help improve & prevent foot problems
soft, flexible & hypo-allergenic

One Pair:$49.95
Two Pairs: $39.95 each
Three Pairs: $33.00 each

CitySlicker Says:

Why did I buy these?? Well, I kept on seeing them in the back of just about every magazine I read. I finally jumped and got a pair. I picked them up in the fall and I got them because some nights after work, and especially after working out, my feet are killing me. I had a little trouble fitting my toes in at first - they seemed too short, but since this is a gem material, they totally bend and easily move. I couldn't wait to try them out. I popped 'em on, and I swear they really do stretch out the foot. I am not sure about them strengthening my foot though. I started out wearing them every night for a short time - I can't really walk around in them then it faded to when my feet were really bothering me. They do relax and my feet and they aren't in pain - it's like a little spa experience for the tootsies. I will continue to use them.

Also I wanted to mention that as for the yoga toes straightening out the phalanges that hasn't happened.. I do like to wear the pointy shoes and my big toes does point a bit to the smaller toes, over all of this time, I don't see a difference.. When I take them off, I notice but shortly there after they go back to the normal position.. My feet feel good after taking them off, like a serious stretch.. I stretch everything else so why not the feet too.. All in all they are a fun product!

Deedlejuse Says:

Sooo.... I guess I might have to second all above about my Yoga Toes. I think they are marginally over-priced for what they are, and I really didn't feel any straightening going on. I have a HUGE bunion though, and I strongly believe that the only real relief for it will be surgery down the road.....The feeling is quite satisfying after a long day, but just sitting and working on flexing those muscles does the same trick.

I agree that Yoga Toes are a fun product, I just wish they worked better!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Review - Nick Chavez Volumizing Hairspray

Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Volumizing Extra Hold Hairspray is perfect for any type of hair, from fine to heavy, from curly to textured.

Sometimes I think maybe I was a Texan pageant contestant in another life. I love sparkly dresses and fake eyelashes and big, big hair. So, Texan pageant contestant or drag queen, possibly. In any event, none of these things are really suitable for everyday life, so I have to make do with quotidian alternatives. Sparkly dress? No, just a really insane necklace. Fake eyelashes? No, but I will pile on that mascara, child. And big, big hair? Well...that I do try to get. My poker-straight hair loves to just lay limply on my head like overcooked fetuccine, so I do what I can to get it to fluff up. This Nick Chavez Volumizing Hairspray certainly helps. Now, I know it looks like it might be a fancier version of the infamous AquaNet (which, truth be told, I ain't mad at), but trust: this stuff is much, much better. It will provide volume without all the sticky ickiness of that classic purple can. It's not the best at holding, however, so if you're using this for an updo, you might be better off with something more intense. For adding fluff to your regular style, though, it's great. So if you're a Texan pageant queen, a drag queen, or just the queen of your own domain, try this stuff out.

says: I've never actually used a volumizing hairspray so I wasn't quite sure to do with it. Other than holding an updo in place I never wondered what else hair spray was capable of. It did do a decent job at boosting the volume in my hair, especially if I used it along with my curling iron. But it pretty much had zero hold, while my curls were full and bouncy post-styling, they pretty much fell flat in a few hours.

Review - Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash

Infuses skin with hydrating emollients, Deeply moisturizes dry skin. Leaves it soft and smooth.

This Dove Body Wash is really lovely. Its rich, thick and creamy and really hydrates the skin nicely. The smell is classic Dove, soft and soapy and clean with a hint of floral undertones. For the price this body wash is definitely worth it and a little goes a long way, but it foams very nicely and doesn't really leave any residuals, which I like. It does leave a powdery smell on your skin, but nothing offensive or even that noticeable. I would say that if your skin needs some moisture from the super-dry winter air look no further for a very inexpensive solution!

Trish says: I've always loved the classic Dove moisturizing wash. It has been my solid standby choice forever, as far as body cleansers go. So, trying the new Deep Moisture Dove with Nutrium, I was sure that I'd love the new modifications too without a doubt. Well, sad to say, not exactly. The scent was too perfumey for me - so here's one example where the original exceeds the upgrade. I still love Dove products in general, but the new brand had too strong of a perfume like fragrance for me to fully embrace. If you like the new scent, you won't be disappointed with the overall cleansing and moisturizing of the body wash, but if a strong floral scent is too much for you to handle, the original Dove is still a winning classic!

Malikah says: my biggest beauty sin is taking too hot showers. For some reason, I just can't stand it if the water isn't almost scalding hot. Yes, I know that dries the skin. Yes, I know this is really really bad in the middle of winter. But that is one thing that will probably never change. To help me deal with this bad habit, I'm always looking for an ultra-moisturizing body wash that will help replenish some of the moisture that my shower heat burns off. Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash smells great, and develops into a rich gently cleansing lather. It doesn't quite leave my skin moisturized the way I'd like, so I guess because of my shower issues I need something crazy moisturizing. But if you're a girl who doesn't like to torture her skin with scalding water, I bet this would work wonders for you.

Review- KohGenDo Moisture Concealer for Professional

New moisture concealer with a perfect texture for application and a gentle formulation for your skin that includes pearl powders for great coverage, a soft texture that allows easy application and ingredients that are gentle to your skin. Refresh your skin with a new sheer feel and natural look. Cover your areas like a pro! Gentle moisturizing botanical ingredients take care of areas prone to dryness, such as under the eyes, where concealers are usually most needed.
The compact also contains extra room to mix the two concealer tones in order to create the perfect shade for you. $48 for .14 oz

You know how a good concealer is second only to a good pair of jeans? I mean I have gone through so many brands, consistencies and styles of applicator (pencil, tube with sponge wand, synthetic-haired brush) ending up looking behind at a well-traveled road littered with dashed hopes and deflated possibilities. It wasn't until I became a makeup artist that I finally realized that creme concealers are the way to go no matter what (with the exception of the elite Alison Raffaele True Concealer but that's another story altogether). KohGenDo has clearly embraced this formulation, too. Not only that, but they are professional enough to allow someone the chance to conceal dark circles (lighter than skin tone) AND blemishes/discolorations (darker than skin tone). I guess that's all to be expected when they boast that the result of using this concealer could previously only be achieved by sitting in a makeup artist's chair. So we've covered the "professional" part of the name, let's touch on the "moisture" thing. This stuff is moisturizing not in that greasy, slippery way but in that luscious, good-for-your-skin way. For instance, there's shea butter in it. It doesn't get shiny or fall into creases throughout the day and only needs your usual setting powder applied after you put it on to keep it working well. Can you tell that I highly reco this product? Particularly if you feel the same way about the value of an impeccable concealer.

Trish says: I really love this concealer! It does feel like you're using a product that is very professional grade and performs just as well as any expert's tool would! The best part (besides working better than most concealers available) is that typical concealers usually make my skin look ashy or the spot I'm trying to conceal ends up looking a lot more obvious, but with the KohGenDo concealer, it blended so well that it really did conceal and smoothen at the same time. It's a great tool to have and with such a fine, silky finish, I'm not so worried about needing to use concealer anymore- because it really works that well and makes the spot not only disappear, but also look seamless. This stuff really rocks!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review- Embryolisse Exfoliating Cream

Crème De Soin Exfoliante (Exfoliating Cream) is designed to delicately exfoliate the surface of the skin, respecting its natural balance. A luxurious cream with exfoliating micro-beads that gently resurfaces, soothes and nourishes the skin with vitamins E and F.

When I first tried this exfoliating cream, I barely noticed all the tiny grains. The rich cream is soooo gentle and hydrating its perfect for keeping skin smooth, but not dry, in harsh winter weather. It doesn't even feel like a scrub, more like a slightly grainy moisturizer and when you rinse it off, your skin is left super silky and baby smooth. I totally adore this product, and think it would work as great on sensitive or dry skin as it did on my combination oily.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Review - Alcone Makeup Remover Cloths

These luxuriously soft cloths are soaked with mild makeup remover to gently remove all makeup including mascara quickly and completely. You don't need water and there is no need to rinse. Just wipe away all of your makeup. OK Magazine called them the lazy girl's answer to soap and water. $6- $200

Look, I am a busy woman. I have things going on, people. And sometimes, those things get in the way of me removing all of my makeup before bed. Yes! I know it is wrong. And yes! I know it is bad for my skin. But sometimes you get home at 4am and the thought of doing anything except drinking a 1-liter bottle of seltzer water in your bed is too much to handle. TOO MUCH, I SAY. This is where Alcone's Makeup Remover Cloths come in. They are sensitive, they are effective, they smell nice, and they are bigger than any other makeup remover cloth I've used (which is a few). But the best, best thing about these cloths is that they are individually-wrapped. Now, I am not a fan of making more garbage than is necessary, but typically with these types of cloths, I always seem to end up throwing away half the pack because they dry out. No worries on that front with the Alcone ones! Hooray! Plus, it makes them easy to stick in your purse for those nights when you wake up somewhere other than your own bed (for those of you who do that kind of thing. I wouldn't know.

Josephine says: The convenience is irresistible, it's true! I would like to add something about the pleasant scent that Movie Maven ref'ed. It's like a hint of cucumber carried on a springtime breeze. I think the individual packaging also allows for a deeply soaked cloth that does not then require subsequent cloths for one's stubborn eye makeup, for example. These little dollies are the most benign yet hard-working makeup remover cloths around from what I have seen.

Trish says: Finally, a makeup remover wipe that works and allows me to skip that occasional facial wash for whatever reasons - mostly passing out after a fun night out or taking a short nap which somehow turned into a deep sleep which then turns into I just can't be bothered at 3 am. This takes the "guilt" out of the equation and lets me get back to sleep easily or drunkenly! The best part being that I feel that it truly does remove all that makeup and eyeshadow, mascara, blush and who knows what else I put on during the day. Each individually wrapped cloth is soaked with cleansing goodness and it left my skin feeling rather fresh and clean and make-up free no matter what the circumstances were...perfect for travel, or on-the-go situations, or plain old good times and sheer exhaustion from work or play. I love these wipes and my favorite part being is that there is no rinsing required. The perfect product enabler to skip a night of cleansing or two without the guilt required!

Malikah says: I've never used a makeup remover wipe before - I'm usually pretty religious about my cleansing routine. But Alcone's individually wrapped makeup remover wipes will make my late-night routine so much easier! I stashed these on my nightstand, and when I came home last night and plopped into bed, one little wipe removed all my makeup, including my heavy Friday night smoky eye. No moisturizer needed either, as my face was baby smooth in the morning. These are perfect for travel too, especially if your fave cleanser doesn't come in a travel size.

Sultana says: I too have been guilty of going to bed without removing my makeup. Sometimes I am just too tired and other times I am just too lazy! In comes Alcone wipes. WOW. Let's just say my skin is super sensitive and I used this and had no kind of reaction. One wipe, front and back took off all my makeup for the day. Mascara, powder, lipstick and eye shadow. With such simplicity, how can you go wrong?

Hillary says: I am a bit of a connoisseur of make-up remover cloths as I use them all the time. I really like these cloths in particular because I feel like they leave minimal-to-no residue on your face. If you've ever used make-up remover wipes you know that you can sometimes end up with a tight feeling on your skin from what's been left behind. Not so with these wipes. They also have a very light, cucumber scent which is refreshing and does not linger. One wipe can clean my entire face and neck and that's with moderate amounts of liquid eyeliner, full mascara and generally, red lipstick. But the best part is I don't have to rub at all with these wipes. I've used others where you had to put some force behind them to remove your make-up and the next day my eyes were raw. These are gentle and effective. My only concern is the packaging. True, they stay fresher longer and they are a make-up artist staple because they are individually packaged, but I wish they made a multi-pack do I didn't have to waste a plastic wrapper for each wipe (hint-hint Alcone). Other than that, I love them.

Melissa says: I really love these make up remover wipes. First, they smell really good, almost like they have a hint of cucumber or something refreshing. I was so happy that the wipe didn't burn my skin because it's sensitive. The directions say that there's not need to rinse and I have to admit that they are correct. Your face feels fresh and make up free after a wipe or two (although, I did have to rinse out of habit). Next time, I'm going to put them in the fridge for an extra blast of freshness!

Deedlejuse Says: So, guilty: I have already repurchased. I got about 14 of these little gems, and on day 10 I had to bite the bullet and invest! Nothing is better for me the super-lazy-about-removing-the-day kind of person than a beautifully scented wipe that takes everything off in about 30 seconds. I am a believer, without a doubt. 80 packets can be purchased for $30, and for me thats a total bargain!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Review- La Roche Posay Effaclair AI

The first and only product to combine a derivative of Salicylic Acid with Benzoyl Perozide in one effective formula. Effaclar AI has been rigorously formulated with: 5.5% benzoyl peroxide acne medication to target acne deep in the pores to help control and correct breakouts. 0.4% LHA to micro-exfoliate the skin and stimulate cell renewal to help prevent residual marking.

This product is amazing for us girls that worry about breakouts. Just one dab on an emerging pimple in the evening, and that thing is long gone in the morning! It works just as well on those big scary fully blown pimples. The formula is super gentle, not at all irritating, yet works so effectively. If you're looking for a new spot treatment for your skin care regime, this one would definitely top my list.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Review - Foot Petals Sweaty Pedi

Keep feet feeling fresh and silky smooth, while helping to absorb perspiration and protect your skin against blisters. For best results, apply after Foot Petals Pedi Fume cooling gel. $9.48

OK, so its a bit weird for a woman (or anyone for that matter) to admit they have sweaty feet. I don't care what anyone says, how can you not have sweaty feet in 90 degree weather or when you are wearing a pair of Uggs in your office that is over heated in the winter for no reason? I happen to get sweaty feet sometimes. I used to always spray stuff in my shoes. Not really because there was a smell, but more because I didn't want there to be one.
I was so happy to find Sweaty Pedi. The lovely lavender smell mixed with wasabi & vanilla really make your feet smelly pretty.
It also has bacteria fighting ingredients and helps fight blisters. This is truly a great product that you will want. So you might not have smelly feet, but aren't you glad there is something out there that will ensure you never do? I am!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Review - Brushlab Pretty Pink Dual Mirror Brush

Ultra-fashionable dual purpose hand mirror plus nylon ball-tipped styling/detangling brush. Great size for travel.

You know that commercial for some sort of body wash that's two things in one that has a hot centaur taking a shower, and he's like "I like this body wash because it's two things in one," and you are like "wow, that guy is attractive, but he is also a centaur. I don't know how I feel about that." That's how I feel about this brush. It's great - very cute, totally serviceable as a brush you keep, say, in your office drawer for midday touch-ups, pink, and it has an attached mirror - but the mirror is on the back of the brush. How am I supposed to brush my hair AND look at myself at the same time?! I guess I should be grateful there's a mirror at all. I also really enjoy the handle; it's quite comfortable.

Malikah says: How could you not love this brush? It’s a super feminine hot pink hue, with a mirror on the back. I always love multi-use products, and this one is especially travel friendly. The round bristles are perfectly spaced to allow for detangling in a jiffy, and keep your mane looking smooth and shiny. Just make sure you don’t drop it or you may end up with 7 years of bad luck!
Josephine says: I want to praise the good first: The color is among my all-time favorites. The brushing experience is gentle yet thorough. The handle is indeed comfy. With that said, I am with MM on this one. I can only assume that in this specific case, the brush and the mirror "just happen" to be occupying the same space, not that they are meant to combine to make brushing one's hair any easier, per se. I like the potential that if you want to save space in your desk/purse/whathaveyou this would be a good thing. But it gave me pause and the the fairy of discerment visited me and invited me to redefine the whole "two-in-one" thing. This is not like a body wash/in-shower lotion but rather like an ottoman that also has storage. You just can't put your feet up while you're routing around it looking for the remote. You know?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review- Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar

A stunning new innovation in lip color, OCC Lip Tar combines the longevity of a lipstick, with the ease of application of a gloss. Goes on slick and moist, and dries down to a satin finish. Ultra-saturated in color, OCC Lip Tar contains an unprecedented amount of pigment, so a little goes a very, very long way.

I have OCC Lip Tar in NSFW (Not Safe For Work) and I originally had a love/hate relationship with it. We were off to a rocky start, but I think we've resolved our differences and now it is a staple in my bag. It is a great (we are talking AMAZING) product, but I have issues with the delivery system. It comes in a tube with a slanted top with a hole in it. The problem was that it kept gushing out without any prompting whenever I took off the cap. I finally decided that the best way to remedy the situation was to empty some into a little pot and now both original applicator & pot work brilliantly. And the color is just to die for. It's my new favorite red; it's just a bit over the top but not so bold as to make one self-conscious. I always apply it with a lip brush for extra control because it is so heavily pigmented it's just safer to apply that way. I think that this is the gloss you are going to be seeing on everyone's lips this summer. As added insurance, I use a clear lipliner around my lips to prevent bleeding. This is a definite re-buy product. Now it's just a question of whether I'll branch out from red!

Amanda S. Says:

I have the color "melange" and love it. This tar is so... unbelievable. I usually HATE lipstick because it goes on all weird, and gloss just wears off and bums me out. This stuff is like the beautiful stepsister of both, it stays on long like a *good* solid lipstick, but doesn't fade in color or bleed around all crazy (and it stayed off my teeth!). I think, honestly, this is my FAVORITE lip product... EVER. All I can say is, if you wear gloss/lipstick, ever, anytime, even just once a year, this is worth the investment to try. Just try it, you're going to love it!

Movie Maven says:

I have the lip tar in Rx, which is described on the website as "a bright, vibrant primary blue." Yes, you read that right: blue. Obviously, both Hillary and Amanda have this in colors one might actually want to wear around town, but the's not very versatile. It's intended primarily for editorial work and costumey stuff, but honestly: it's so awesome and cool that someday I'm going to be brave enough to wear it out. My adorable roommate, thus far, is the only one who's worn it outside the house, and that was only because I'd just gotten it and she was a little drunk:

this is, like, her fourth beer
FASHION, right? In any event, the highly pigmented nature of this tar means that if you want blue lips, YOU'RE GETTING BLUE LIPS. It's a great color for a cool-undertone gal like me (if I wanted to look FASHION). In any event, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics gets beaucoup points from me just for having this color - it's costume-quality makeup at drugstore (well, almost) prices.

Josephine says: Amazingly, this gloss is more of a stain than many stains I own. Not only that but it's a stain with the thickest most opaque high gloss finish that I have ever seen in a lipgloss. Once the gloss has dissolved, what's left is a striking resemblance of the color that might just take turpentine to get off. You see the paradox here, right? The colors are exactly what you see in the tube (I have the hilarious yet accurately named "Grandma" which is a quasi-coral and day-glo orange blend), ridiculously highly pigmented and thus, somewhat of a challenge to get off. I think I might be in love.

Sultana says: So, I got this in "Fondue" as in chocolate fondue. If you have a very vivid imagination, picture a chocolate fondue fountain. I wanted to eat this before I put it on my lips!! Unfortunately, this is just a strange color. I cant think of one skin tone this would look good on. It definitely did not look good on me. However, this is a great product. If I had the right color I know I would be wearing this everyday. It stayed on all day (in the privacy of my own home of course). It has some great staying power. Some of the colors are very true, but if you are bold and like to experiment then this is perfect for you!

Malikah says: I got this in "Conquest" which is an opaque white shade. And it goes on your lips white! The whole nude lip thing was a really big trend on the runways last season, and I'm imagining on someone with really fair skin it would look awesome in a Paris couture kind of way, but on me it was just downright weird. See exhibit A:
I was definitely not going to go out of my house rocking this look, but I have to admit it did feel really smooth, and as dry as they look, my lips actually felt moisturized. I adore the formula, and would use this again in a different color of course!

I got this Lip Tar in Hush, they say the shade is "Pale, Antique Bridal Pink" and that, I'll say is the truth. I will begin by saying that I have very pale skin, and blond hair. I can totally rock the nude lip, except when it exactly matches my pink skin tone! It was just too nude, too pale, too something. I think when using this product (and you should definitely use this product!) you should really get a deeper shade (if your my coloring) and assume that its not going anywhere. Its too opaque to wear a nude shade, if you want to take yourself seriously, but it really stays on and has the nicest feel to it. Its really a product that outperforms itself!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Review- Dove Sensitive Skin Nourishing Body Wash

Gives you soft, smooth skin all day. Contains hydrating emollients that sink into your skin. Soap-free formula, unscented. $5.29 for 24 oz.

First of all by "unscented" Dove means "it-smells-like-our-traditional-oval-soap-unscented." I am not sure how this works as a shower gel specifically for sensitive skin because weirdly enough, I started to get some rash-like bumps on my arms and legs (I do not identify as a sensitive skin person, btw). All of that said, this stuff is creamy and thick and the scent is subtle and it's foamy and at the end of the shower, your skin feels really nice. So aside from my suspicious reaction, I do like this shower gel and I will use the rest of the bottle in some capacity with pleasure.

Sultana says: I love Dove. My mom always used Dove's Sensitive skin version. I never tried the body wash before. Even though it is for sensitive skin, it doesn't make you feel any less clean. The smell is nice and light and oh so right! I will continue to buy Dove for my family.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hey L.A.! Pixi & POP Beauty Warehouse Sale- All $5 or Less!

You West Coast Girls may feel neglected by the number of NYC events we list, but here's one just for you (& it's a Doozy).
Pixi & POP Beauty Holiday Warehouse Sale
Dec. 15th from 8-8
Pixi/POP Beauty Offices
6065 Bristol Pkwy Suite 100 Culver City, CA 90230
Everything is $1-$5!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Review - Alcone Fast Lash

Fast Lash is a unique makeup product, that when applied properly, makes lashes dramatically longer. It gives the look of false eyelashes without the hassle. Fast Lash is a micro fine polyester fiber used in conjunction with regular mascara.

Generally I love Alcone products. Their eyelash curlers and tweezers are really the best on the market, or at least I have never found anything better. This product, however, is just kind of weird, and difficult. After many attempts to apply the fibers in the correct fashion, and reapply my mascara afterwards I was left with red irritated and teary eyes. I was particularly not in the mood to go out and show off my amazingly long eyelashes! I gave up, but my eye lashes are very long anyways, and they are pretty dark by themselves, so I really didn’t feel the need to put myself through torture for eyelashes that were honestly just too long. I think that if you have eyelashes that you would like to pump up to a bulk that you (probably) haven’t seen before, and have a steady hand and lots of perseverance than give this stuff a try. You will need to practice, but I think you will be excited by the results.

Malikah says: I was totally freaked out when I first opened the tube and a whole bunch of white flakes fell all over the place. After precisely following the directions, I was left with pretty long, dark, and still natural looking lashes, but the process was just too much for me. Compared to my usual high-end mascara the results were pretty comparable (hey, I'm a drama girl). If you usually wear a more natural looking mascara and just want something to jazz up your look for a special night, then you'll love this. It is a bit diffucult to apply, but waay easier than dealing with falsies.

Review- Marini Hair Revitalizing Conditioner

Marini Hair dramatically improves the appearance of aging, and environmentally and chemically-damaged hair, and gives it renewed body and bounce. Results are visible from the first application. This unparalleled hair rejuvenation product immediately gives hair a renewed appearance of body and bounce. Hair will appear significantly thicker, fuller, lusher and dense and results will become progressively more pronounced with continued use. $170 for a 4 oz. spray bottle.

Warning: I'm about to sound like a cheesy infomercial right now. This stuff really works, and works amazingly. I've been guilty of chemically treating and heat styling my hair for years, and the result is thinned out, dry, damaged locks and a hairline that has started creeping further and further back. I tried Marini Hair with my usual skepticism, but have never been more impressed with any product. Ever. I applied it each night, concentrating around my temples and scant hairline, and after 6 weeks the results are incredible. The hair around my temples and front hairline has almost completely grown back, as if it had been there all along. Now I know this stuff is pricey, but here are two reasons why I think its a totally justified expense: first, after 6 weeks of daily use, the bottle still looks completely full and at this rate it will last forever; and two, if you're like me, you've wasted a lot of money on products that didn't really work, so take comfort knowing that you will not be disappointed with this. And I'm just thrilled that I can pull my hair straight back into a ponytail without worrying about my over-exposed forehead!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Review-PCA Skin Purifying Mask

PCA Purifying Mask is a highly effective red algae and French red clay mask for ultimate skin purification. This nourishing mask is formulated with antioxidant vitamins A and E, as well as red wine extract to help soothe and feed the skin while removing impurities. Its exfoliating texture stimulates cell turnover, helping to boost clarity and radiance. Designed for weekly use, the Purifying Mask detoxifies, smoothes and revitalizes all skin types.

This stuff is amazing! I had been looking for a face mask that would keep my combination-oily skin smooth, nourished, and blemish free, without harsh, drying chemicals. Enter PCA Skin Purifying Mask. Apply the mask to clean dry skin, let set for a few minutes, then dampen your fingers with warm water and massage your skin. This lets the tiny pumice grains work their exfoliating magic, leaving your skin soft and refreshed. I’m telling you, this kept my skin glowing all week, even through a pretty nasty cold. None of my friends even believed I was sick! I'm officially in love with this multi-tasking face mask, and would enthusiastically recommend it to anyone!

Review- Cosmedix Define

A unique blend of gentle acids and 2% AGP Complex, Define is designed to push the activity of the skin to a very dynamic yet well-tolerated level of remodeling. This powerful vitamin A resurfacing treatment exfoliates and remodels the skin’s layers, stimulating collagen and elastin production while mildly hydrating. $74 for 1 oz.

Yay for Vitamin A! I am in love with Vitamin A treatments since I have seen the most visible change when using it in my regime. The Cosmedix rocks like any other and is even a bit more gentle and loving than most. I used it liberally (and did slather sunscreen on during the day with more consideration) every night for several weeks and spots are brightened, (I have this maddeningly annoying freckle attached to my bottom lip that is practically negligible) pores are smaller and my crow's feet and eyebrow wrinkle have softened. The scent took a second to get used to since it's not a typical moisturizer scent (whatever that means) and neither is it medicinal but just kind of tart or pungent. I went from the Avon Gold Emulsion (see review if interested) right to this and feared a little bit for the state of my skin with two heavy-duty things back to back but that's where this stuff pleasantly surprised me the most. It's as gentle as it is effective and even though I withstood the slight, ahem, "tingle" after applying it, that was the extent of my suffering for beauty!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Review- Heidi Klum for Victoria Secret Lip Gloss

Introducing the limited-edition Heidi Collection 2009, Exotic Jewels. Inspired by Heidi's life-changing trip to the spiritual city of Varanasi, India, it's her most personal creation yet. The collection interprets her exotic discoveries into a sparkling and rich palette of irresistible shades in packaging as beautiful and precious as Heidi's favorite jewels. Domestic. $14.

This lip gloss is like having Heidi in a tube. No it won’t give you her amazing legs or perfect bone structure, or the miraculous ability to sprout a six pack days after giving birth. But it will keep your lips bold and shiny, soft and glamorous. The formula is slick, but not at all greasy, so you can toss your hair and strike a diva pose without worrying about strands sticking to your lips. The only thing I didn’t like about the gloss was that it has a sweet, candy like smell to it that reminds me of those flavored glosses that were all the rage in junior high. It doesn’t have a taste, but I’m just not a fan of scented glosses period. But the color was gorgeous, moisturizing, and pretty long-wearing for a gloss, so I think I can live with the scent.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Review- KohGenDo Aqua Foundation

We have combined the best of skincare and color to create Aqua Foundation. A skincare-based foundation to fully moisturize skin as it smoothes and covers imperfections.
The Secret? Water Strobe Technology, taken from nature, keeps skin looking translucent as if it had a special moisturizing spa treatment. $55 for 1.01 fl. oz.

KohGenDo has lover-ly products from what I can tell. The liquid foundation, for example, is really moisturizing without being the least bit greasy. The color I was given to test was a shade darker than my skin tone so I couldn't get an amazing idea of how great it was because it needed to be blended with something lighter just to wear out of the house but the consistency and the quality of the color are both better than most and that I could tell right off the bat. I don't use a ton of liquid foundation in my life in any capacity, but I will use this in my kit. The price is worth it, too, btw, because a high-quality liquid foundation isn't that easy to find.

Trish Says: Josephine's review of the KohGen Do Aqua Foundation is pretty much right on target for me. I don't usually like wearing thick liquid foundations either, but once in a while my skin needs a little more help and coverage than I'd like to fess up comes in KohGen's foundation. I've tested it a few times, but on this day my skin was not looking its best and the foundation quickly transformed that. I went from blah and splotchy to high gloss and smooth in an instant! I really liked the consistency and how well it blended with my skin. I tried the shade in OC-2, which happened to be the exact match and I'm impressed with how well it performed. Labeled as a High Definition foundation, I noticed that my skin looked even better under super bright fluorescent lights as well as during normal sunlight hours. Being that it's not too heavy nor thick, the foundation provides great coverage without feeling like you're wearing much at all. I think I'm upgrading my perspective on liquid foundations to a much needed necessity - especially if it's the Aqua Foundation by KohGen Do!

Review - KohGenDo Fresh Face

Natural cheek colors made from natural color ingredients rather than composite pigments. To maintain a beautiful face for a long period of time, Fresh Face uses the concept of skincare.With the three emollient oils unique to Koh Gen Do, experience a long-lasting softness and moisturized skin.This exquisite powder is a combination of a smooth and moist disc shaped powder and soft round powder.The disc shaped powder adheres itself to the skin while the round powder smoothes the skin creating a natural shade that is long-lasting.

As a robust German maiden, I don't find myself really needing blush on a regular basis, as I tend to be a bit on the ruddy side. But it's winter now (supposedly...61° on Sunday doesn't really seem that wintry, though) and we all need to punch up our color. This KohGenDo Fresh Face, which is a cheek color, is exceptionally easy to use. At first I was like "what huh what how do I use this?" but once I figured it out (it's not hard, you just have to get it started), I was all in for KohGenDo. The thing I really like about it is that it sits somewhere between a cream blush (which I generally find too greasy) and a powder blush (which I find usually make my skin look overdone). I got this in the Caramel Bronze color, which, were I shopping for myself, would not be my first choice, but actually looked really awesome! I looked beachy-tan instead of crazily-blushed. The one complaint I would have about this product is the high price point ($38), but if you're already spending that kind of money on a blush-type product, this is definitely worth checking out!
Deedlejuse Says: I also have Fresh Face by Koh Gen Do in "Caramel Bronze" and seriously, Hillary should just choose all my colors. ( just so you know she has never actually seen me, so that is REALLY impressive!) I have to say as soon as you finally get the little pod to work it is a very useable little bronzer. It is much nicer looking on than a lot of other bronzers I have tried. I can't wear bronzer well a lot of time, I'm super pale so a lot of bronzers look very heavy on me, not this one. I absolutley reccomend it, even though it is expensive. It will last a good long time, you don't need to invest in a blusher brush, and the application is super easy. Well worth the expense imo!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Review- Noah's Naturals Brazilian Body Polish

Age defying Brazilian Body Polish with acai berry. A 5.5 oz bottle is $12.99.

I was so excited to use this body polish because I was in need of some serious exfoliating. The line prides itself on using high quality ingredients and having no parabens, sulfates and not being tested on animals. The smell is great…think someplace warm in the tropics. The kernels are really small so when it mixes with water, it gets tough to exfoliate. If skin isn’t fully wet, then you can get a good amount on and really slough away. I did use the polish a few times a week for about two weeks and I did notice a difference and it did make my skin softer. This product is a keeper!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Review- Nurturing Force Clean Sweep Spray Makeup Remover

Removes eye, face and body makeup without oils, residue or smearing. $12 for 1 oz./$15 for 2 oz.

The Good: Makeup remover in a spray bottle--hmm, it's so crazy it could work! Smells clean. Feels refreshing when applied with a cotton ball/sponge. Does not contain any ingredient under fire in the product community at the moment (i.e. parabens, synthetic oils). Aloe vera is the #1 ingredient which has short and long-term benefits for the skin.

The Bad: It didn't take off my eye makeup without some elbow grease which meant some pulling and tugging on that delicate skin. You need a fair amount of the product to work on bigger jobs (i.e. temp. tattoos, heavy creme makeup, powders blended with liquid set). And the spray bottle idea starts to crumble when you see on the directions that you need to rinse this off. Huh.

The Ugly: My spray bottle didn't work. Mreh.

Malikah says: I have to agree with Josephine here. The spray bottle doesn't really give you much product so you have to spritz several times to get enough out. It did a pretty good job of getting off my foundation and face makeup, but wasn't too effective on my eye makeup, especially my mascara. And I was reeeeeaaaally annoyed at having to rinse this off - I mean isn't the whole point of makeup remover spray/wipes to keep you from having to wash your face? I did however love to use it as a quick way to clean up makeup mistakes. If you usually smudge your liner or spill shadow underneath your eyes, a little spray of this on a cotton swab makes fixing those problems simple.

Hillary says: I agree with what the other two are saying on this product, but I totally soaked my cotton round w/ this stuff & it did get my eye make-up off. However, I had used half the bottle. I am a big fan of Nurturing Force's Blot Out Offensive shine & oil control cream (review coming next week), but I would find this cleanser more convenient if it was one thing or another, i.e. a rinse off cleanser or a waterless spray make-up remover. It's sort of a combo & I'm missing the point. The first time I used this, I didn't rinse as I didn't read the directions & nothing bad happened, so at least it's mild. I really wanted to like this and I don't hate it. I just don't get it.

Trish says: I agree with Hillary - I just don't get this. I will say it does work somewhat to remove a little make-up, such as eyeshadow, blush, some powder here and there, but to me, it feels like a whole lot of prep work just for a normal facial cleansing. I can see how if one is wearing tons of makeup and need the first swipe to remove layer one, this might come in handy, otherwise it reminds me of a pre-cleaning before the actual cleaning. I'm sure there are multiple uses for this makeup removing spray, but for an ordinary wash, this spray seems a lot like an extra step. However, if I happen to cake on some heavy make-up one day for a special event or occasion, I'll likely use this to help me clear some of those layers away!

Review - Body by Brigitte Wax Strips Kit

Body by Brigitte™ wax strips gently and effectively remove unwanted hair from face, brows and bikini area leaving skin satiny smooth and sexy for up to eight weeks. These wax strips leave virtually no residue for a silky finish and are luxuriously formulated with aloe vera and vitamin E that nourish the skin.

Let's be real here, ladies: some of us be rockin' a 'stache. No shame! We are mammals, and mammals have hair. It's just a fact of nature. Sadly, none of us is Frida Kahlo (who looked fierce), and the modern fashion just doesn't allow for the LadyStache™. So we are inundated with option upon option to rid our faces and bodies of fuzz. I'm not going to get all political on this topic (although I could), because that's not why you're here - you're here to find out if this one option -Body by Brigitte wax strips - will work to remove your LadyStache™.

You know what? They work PRETTY WELL. The thing I really like about these wax strips is that they truly do not need any heat to work. I have tried the "heat the wax up in a tub and then spread it on your body and then put this cloth thing over it and rip it off" system, and not only does that hurt like a mofo, but is also extremely messy. My kitchen was covered in wax for days. I have also tried another wax strip from a different brand (I don't remember which, so I won't disparage any brand unnecessarily here) that required you to use the HEAT from your HANDS to, like, melt the wax or something. What? That's silly, guys. But these? You literally just stick them on, press briefly, and rip off. It's like using duct tape to wax, except far, far less painful. I didn't get all the little fuzzies the first time, but eventually I was good to go. It's probably not as thorough as your salon could do, but it's a nice in-betweener product when you don't want to drop the cash.

The other nice thing about these strips is they come with an "anesthetic" pre-wipe and a "soothing" post-wipe. (Note: do not mix these up. Nothing bad will happen, but you just won't get the full benefits of either if you do. Learn from my mistakes, y'all.)

The weird thing is that I can't seem to find anywhere to purchase these strips! They are apparently exclusively retailed at Ulta (according to their Facebook page*), but they do not appear to be anywhere on the Ulta site. Boo!

*really? Does everyone need a Facebook page?

Hillary says: I got the leg version of these wax strips and I can tell you they do work. There's only one problem- the box only had enough strips to do the fronts of my legs! I would probably need at least 2 probably 3 boxes to do my entire calves & my feet (yes, I'm a hobbit. I have to wax my feet. Giggle away, I can't hear you.). They are surprisingly effective, I just wish they came more to a box. That's not to say that I have especially big calves either. I'm only 5'2". So give these strips a shot, but keep in mind you'll need more than 1 box. Oh, and they are sold exclusively at Ulta Stores.

Trish says: I may have to give this waxing system another go, because on my first try my results were tricky at best and completely disastrous at worst. Really, it should be very simple to use - all you have to do is peel the waxing strip from the sticker, press it on the skin and pull, and you're done! No heating or plucking or other steps required. So I'm not sure where I went wrong, I pressed and pulled as directed, and what I got was a sticky, waxy mess! Afraid of rocking the 'stache as Movie Maven called it, I was excited to give this convenient system a try. Yikes, I made a sticky mess of said 'stache instead. And to remove the extra residual wax, one will need a cotton ball and baby oil on hand (which I didn't have but used olive oil instead, which worked!) So perhaps my skill level is at a super low (which is highly possible) or I didn't press firmly enough (which could very well be). Because, if I can find a way to make these strips work - then hair removing maintenance just got that much easier and simplier! For now, it may take a few more practice tries to get it right!

Sultana says: OK, so here is the thing, I am a big baby. I can't even get my eyebrows waxed. I don't like pain, but pain likes me. What the heck was I thinking with waxing at home?? The strips itself do work, but OUCH. All the little hair follicles on my skin immediately started to swell up. Keep in mind, that I have extremely sensitive skin.
I do like that this comes with before and after wipes. Sadly, they were not enough to soothe my skin.
If you don't have super sensitive skin and you are used to waxing, this is a good system. The area that I used it on, pulled all the hair off as the box said it would.

Malikah says: I followed the package directions exactly as described but sadly these were not a success. I used one of the medium strips on my bikini line, pressed it down firmly and pulled off - and nothing. Every hair was still intact. I went over that spot 2 more times with the same strip, and again with a new strip, but it barely got off any of the hair (and there really was not that much hair to begin with, so I know it wasn't a matter of there just being too much). I might try them again because I so desperately want to find the perfect waxing system, but my first attempt was a big flop.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Review- Reversital 3-in-1 Microderma Stick Body, Elbows, Feet

Cleanse, resurface, moisturize. A revolutionary patented formulation stimulates collagen production, combines a cream, a brush and after-care product in one amazing dial-up applicator. An affordable alternative to expensive chemical and laser peels. A concentrated repair system providing uniform surface tension for safe and more effective results. An immediate reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, age spots and damage from UVA/UVB rays, skin discoloration and dry skin will be observed after only one treatment. $80 for 3 oz.

Reversital has definitely made the task of microdermabrasion at home an easy no-excuse-for-flaky-skin process. The entire experience can be held in your hand in this substantial stick capable of erasing dry skin like the opposite end of a pencil. The first time I used this it was in the bathtub. My 2 year-old was in there with me and within a few minutes, it felt like we were sitting in a sandbox because this stick's exfoliating capabilities are so hardcore! There was a huge difference in the feel of my skin immediately and I was not only freshly scrubbed but also wonderfully silky. You see, that's because this product delivers a moisturizer activated by water so powerful that you can skip yours. Being completely blown away by the very tangible effects, I have been using the stick every few days on my heels and elbows as well as light application all over. My skin, which tends to dry out in the winter pretty fiercely, has been a joy to be in and here we are in late November. Bring on the dark depths of winter, I say, I am armed with a wickedly great product!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Review- TaUT Perfect Brow Control

A clear liquid designed to keep brows in place all day. A makeup artist must-have. 10.95 for .5 oz.

TaUt Perfect Brow Control (pictured above, in front, on the right with TaUT's other products) is a bare-bones minimalist eyebrow shellac that holds unruly brow hairs in place. It does not disturb any makeup on the brows and acts as a setting liquid for brow powder/pencil, too. A lot of brow sealers come with what looks like a nailpolish brush as its applicator but the brush attached to the lid picked up too much product to disperse it evenly over your brow so have a clean mascara wand near by to use this most effectively! Otherwise, it works great and lasts a long time without being stiff or sticky.

Hillary says: Effective?! Try bullet proof! I am so happy that I have this stuff to take on my first photo shoot this weekend (I'm doing the make-up, not the modeling of course). I only wish they made a hairspray in this strength! Like Josephine said, you are going to want to use a clean mascara wand to apply this perfectly because then you can coax your eyebrows into shape with it on the spoolie. Then wait a minute for it to dry & Voila! Your brows aren't moving if there's a monsoon. I'll admit it takes a little getting used to, the stiff eyebrow feeling, but in an hour you won't even remember it's on. This is a must-have for every make-up artist and also for your wedding day photos. We all know one false swipe of the face can make eyebrows go everywhere (especially with pencil), but use some of this clear liquid and your brows will be perfect through the last dance.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review- Eyecurl II Professional Heated Eyelash Curler

Slim, lightweight and unique design. More effective than an ordinary eyelash curler. Absolutely safe with no pain, pulling, crimping or damage to eyelashes. As used by Kate Moss and many other celebrities, it is the safest and most effective way to make eyelashes curled, long and lush all day long. Eyecurl may be used anytime, before and after using mascara. Simple to use instructions are included. $16.95

If you figure people are willing to take a lighter to their metal eyelash curler to make it hot before using it then there is a demographic group for whom this product can cater. But I can't see this as anything more than a tiny curling iron for your lashes. It's true, this is fool-proof, safe, there's no chance of burning your eyeball or anything macabre like that but after a half of dozen uses I am not convinced it trumps a regular curler. But as the consumer market gets more saturated with lash growth serums, rotating mascara wands and the like, I don't think this tool is a necessity in one's arsenal.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Review- Casa di Francesca Home Diffuser

Tiny fragrant Strawberries grow wild in the woodlands and hedgerows, lining the paths and stone walkways like a beautiful crimson carpet. A delightful treat for all of the senses, their deliciously inviting fragrance brings a ray of sunshine to any room of the home. $39.50 for 200ml

The description above references woodlands and strawberries growing wild and free in nature. That's all well and good but on the really real? This fragrance oil smells straight-up like Bubblicious Strawberry Splash gum and that's that. Please don't misunderstand though. There is absolutely NO shame in anything smelling like bubble gum, in fact, I'd take a faint whiff of Hubba Bubba Blueberry over any super-flowery scent, so I am a big fan of this diffuser set. It's a beautifully packaged bottle subtle enough to fade into the fabric of the decor of any room but pretty enough to sit prominently on a table. And as an aside, my toddler is obsessed with the bell on the ribbon around the bottle's neck. He has asked, "Why is there a bell there? Why? Why?" about a gazillion times. I figured it out though--it's to alert an adult when your child or cat has impulsively tipped over the bottle. Heh.

Hillary says: I received this diffuser set in Deep Lilac & it is gorgeous. It's almost gone now thanks to a mishap initiated by a curious cat, but for weeks I would smell fresh lilacs each time I walked into my apartment. I highly recommend the diffuser, so long as you keep it away from any pets or children. Mine is currently on top of my bookcase. It works just fine from there, but when it spilled earlier this month, it took the varnish off of my hardwood floor! That aside, so long as you keep flipping the reeds, this diffuser will continue to let off scent. The fragrance oil is highly concentrated and although it's powerful enough to scent my large living room, it's not so strong it makes you sick of it. All in all, I would buy another one of these diffusers and simply put it where it is now- out of reach. On they are having a sale on certain scents and they carry some beautiful Murano Glass diffusers which would make perfect Holiday gifts.

Deedlejuse Says: I received this diffuser in Orange Blossom, and let me say it is scrumptious. I love the idea of the reed diffuser, and this one does not disappoint. I love that they are marginally less expensive than many you can find around. (this one runs for $40~, while others of the same size will cost you $60 plus!) The amount of oil you receive will definitely last you a couple of months at least (I've had mine for about two months and you can't even tell its been there for that long!) Its still as strong as the day we unpacked it. The trick is you have to flip the reeds ever week or so, whenever you need to enhance the smell. The bottle is also really pretty, but you could conceivably switch it out for something you prefer.
The fragrance is wonderful. Have you ever seen an orange tree (or other citrus tree) in full bloom? It is a wonderful rich round floral with buttery notes. It is not a citrus smell, if you are looking for a citrus look elsewhere! But if you have ever spent time near an orange tree you might need to go out and get this diffuser! I'm really enjoying this and I'm sure you will too!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Review- Avon Ultimate Night Gold Emulsion

What have you got to lose, except years of visible aging? Transcend time with a rare skin-strengthening fusion of patented Pro-Sirtuin TX and Gold Polypeptide technologies. $29 for 1.7 fl.oz.

My first thought when I looked at this jar was, "Am I going to sparkle in the sunlight ala Twilight?" Anything with a gold sheen is appealing. But, as I have now learned, gold is meant to sink into the deeper layers of the skin 'instantly.' This treatment, however, never really did sink in. Yes, I felt like I was more moisturized than perhaps ever before and yes, I saw visible changes in only three days but I determined that this emulsion is best suited for someone older with extremely dry skin. Also, after four days, paradoxically, the skin around my nose started to feel irritated and dry and it was uncomfortable enough for me to consult the back of the box which reads: This product may not be for everybody. So, alas, I did end up discontinuing use before the promised "results in 14 days" but since gold never changes its properties, I am going to cross my fingers and hope this jar keeps for 10 years from now and see what's what closer to my 50s!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Review- Nick Chavez Plump 'N Thick Leave In Thickening Creme Conditoner

Leave in conditioner that leaves hair plump, thick and full of body. $22 for an 8 oz bottle. Current special- get free S & H @ on lots of Nick Chavez.

This product does exactly what it is supposed to do. When I say thicken, I really mean it too. You can really feel the difference after shampooing. Unfortunately, the last thing that I want is my hair to be thick! I have African American natural hair and I made my stylist put it in my hair. She could feel the difference right away when she started blow drying it. I flat ironed my hair and got it straight, but the conditioner made it so thick that it lost the bounce and silky smooth feeling that I like. I just felt that it weighed down my hair too much. I could see that if you have flat or limp hair and want to add body to it, this conditioner would be perfect. I just don’t think it was right for my type of hair and the look that I like. Even though it doesn't work for me, I do recommend the conditioner that wants thick hair and body.

Deedlejuse says:
This is the perfect leave-in formula for my hair type. I have blond hair, by no means limp, but as most people who have straight hair always looking for something yummy to slurp up. This conditioner really stands alone, it thickens without leaving weird feeling build-up on my hair. Which is hard for lots of leave-in conditioners in my opinion. I really like the smell too, which is always a plus, but it doesn't really stick around for long. I really like it, and I would definitely repurchase!

Hillary says: This is one of those products that I really wish they had sent us full size bottles of! This cream is perfect for conditioning and adding thickness when I've used a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner & my hair isn't quite comb-able. It works great as a leave-in conditioner and really turns out a great looking head of hair with 1 simple step. I think the coolest feature is that you can use this as an afterthought. Stay with me here. It's a day when you need to look your best. You go through your normal shower routine, you wash and condition your hair. Then you get out & look at your products. Well it doesn't matter what you plan on doing to your hair, you can use Nick Chavez Plump 'n Thick with any styling product and you didn't necessarily have to plan ahead to thicken your hair because you use it after you shower. For me, convenience is Queen & this product does it's job both well & conveniently.

Trish says: A hair-care product that thickens and conditions at the same time? What more could I ask for, right? That's like hair heaven! True to its claims, it really did plumpen my hair enough to give it the beautiful amount of body and waves and movement. I love it. Something like this is exactly what my fine and delicate, ok wimpy, hair needed! The leave-in conditioner part worked nicely enough as well- at least to tame my wild frizzies and give my hair an overall manageability and shape - but I found that I also needed to use hair gloss and/or a silkening serum to add that extra bit of smoothness and shine. The best part though is that none of these products (when used in appropriate amounts I have learned) weighed my hair down, so in the end, I had the best of all worlds - manageability, body, and shine! I will say that I'm glad the Nich Chavez Plump 'N Thick works well with other products and that it delivers such wonderful body and curve we all so crave!