Beauty Product Reviews

Why Scrub? (Ouch!)... When You Can Gently Rub (Aaah!)

I have rosacea, so I am not allowed to use any harsh scrubs or chemicals on my face or else it will immediately result in redness that won't go away! BUT....I have dealt with dry flaky skin on a daily basis for nearly my entire life without a cure until I found Cure! haha! Actually, I started out by using another brand (Onsen), but the price was 4x (~$80) more expensive than Cure and came in a 4x smaller container (~2oz)! I never replenished my Onsen for years because of the price, but then I saw a review of Cure on youtube and thought "ohmygosh! I must get it!" I purchased 2 bottles off of ebay for $12 each last year and I'm still not even halfway through my second bottle!

Anyway, so little product is required to remove all the dead skin cells from your face. Maybe less than a pump, and your entire face is left squeaky, it's so soft and supple and without a sign of dry flakes!!

To use, you just pump a tiny bit onto your fingertips and place on any area that requires exfoliating. Wait for 5-10 seconds and then start gently rubbing and watch as your skin gently falls off. It's like a suppppper light chemical peel and yields results I've never seen any scrub accomplish!

This product is perfect for prepping chapped and flakey lips for makeup. It removes all excess skin off the lips in seconds and leaves them plump and supple.

The formula is gentle (no stinging or harsh sensations. It literally feels like water on your face) and gosh darn is it effective!

Just hurry up and try it, you won't regret it!

Take your lashes to a whole new level!

Not to be taken lightly, these lashes are super-glamourous & intense!! I love them for weddings because they can be seen from a mile away and do very well in photos.

They come with what I like to call a built-in eyeliner because the band is very thick at the base. The thick band make them very durable (I have saved them and used them several times, making sure to clean the band in between uses and being careful not to apply any product to them directly).

They are also super easy to apply because they are very sturdy and once you shape them to your eye, they stay that way.

In terms of the look they give you, the name says it all. Some lashes give an innocent doll-like look, others a very natural flirty look. These are super sultry and smokey. If you pair them with a smokey eye, they will definitely enhance the smoke x10, and maybe even take over your entire eyelid. So if you are trying to show off your eyelid makeup, forget these lashes. But if you want to easily bump up your quick smokey look a notch or 10, definitely pair with these!

Please note that in the photo I am also wearing bottom lashes!

An Essential in my Beauty Routine!

I use it as a toner to prep my skin for moisture and also as a sealer and refresher for my makeup.

In terms of toning my skin and prepping it for moisture, I think it does an excellent job of that. My skin feels amazing when I spray this stuff on and keeps my skin supple throughout the day.

I've been told it is also great for sealing makeup, but I'm not sure how well it does because I haven't paid much attention, frankly. Sorry :(

However, for refreshing my makeup it does wonders. Sometimes, when I am doing a bit more with my skin makeup like using a couple of powder blushes in addition to transparent powder or powder foundation, my skin can look and feel a little too powdery. When i spritz on MAC's Fix+, it does a great job of bringing my skin back to life and improving the dry sensation on my face after applying powder!!

Love love love. Must have!!!

I'm a Believer!

So I'm approaching 30 and I figured I better invest in my skin already so I picked up Lancome's new Genifique serum to add to my skincare routine which goes something like this: 1) Face Wash (haven't found the right one yet, so I won't recommend anything here) 2) Hydrating Toner (MAC Fix Plus - this stuff is awesome for prepping skin for moisture) 3) Concentrated Serum (>>Insert Lancome Genifique here<< ) and finally 4) Moisturizer (also still haven't found the perfect product but Giovanni's D:Tox System Step 3 Facial Moisturizer has been doing the trick which it's all natural organic ingredients thus far)

Anyway, it's difficult to isolate the effectiveness of a product without noting what I am using in n combination with this stuff, but I have to say that after a life-long history of extreme dryness with flaky skin every day, discoloration including dark circles, redness, blotchiness, and bumpy texture, my face finally feels back to it's highschool days! Incredibly soft, smooth, no more flaky skin and the tone has improved a ton. For yeeeeeears I felt so uncomfortable without face makeup in public, with my friends, even while home alone. With this new combination of products (especially Lancome Genifique and an all-organic natural ingredient moisturizer) I am seeing a world of difference and I'm super comfortable with my face in the buff!

The only curiosity I have is with regard to the fact that I cannot for the life of me find a published list of ingredients for this product. I think it might have something to do with the 9 patents-pending ?? I will update if and when I get the info!

Not-So-Hopeful

Hi ladies, I'd like to start by saying that my skin is an excellent litmus test for moisturizers because it is incredibly sensitive. I have a history of dryness and rosacea, so my skin will often immediately let me know if a product isn't right for me.

I had been recommended Philosophy's Hope in A Jar at Sephora, so I decided to test it out by purchasing a 1/2 jar for $15. First of all, the price was outrageous for a 1.2 oz amount of product! Downfall #2 is that it didn't really moisturize my face very well. And downfall #3 is the surprising number of harmful ingredients. I have to admit that I didn't research the ingredients ahead of time like I usually do before I purchase. But what led me to do so was the fact that every time I put on the product, my eyes would water and my skin would experience some stinging.

So here are the ingredients listed in the product that I typically avoid and why: 1) Dimethicone: Simply put, dimethicone is a form of silicone, which is a form of rubbery plastic that is used in silly putty, and breast implants, etc. This usually gives cosmetics that really slippy feeling. While the FDA has deemed it "generally unharmful for cosmetics," most critics disagree and, more importantly, my skin indicates otherwise. Putting silicone-based products on your face, while making it appear smoother, does so by filling in your pores with tiny bits of silicone--essentially clogging your pores on purpose. If your face builds any oil throughout the day, you are likely to experience breakout and, undoubtedly, I always do. 2) Panthenol: Similar to dimethicone in behavior, it also clogs pores and causes breakout 3) Parabens: Suspected to be linked to Breast Cancer, and also when applied on the skin may react with UVB, leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage . 4) Diazolidinyl urea: used to release formaldehyde which is highly toxic to humans, and many people have a contact allergy to diazolidinyl urea causing dermatitis.

Why do cosmetic companies use these type of ingredients? The first two listed make the product feel incredibly slippy which causes a mis-guided perception of moisture and hydration to the skin. And the last two are preservatives to give the product a longer shelf-life, which save the big companies tons of bucks, allowing them to produce in bulk and make higher margins on the sale of each individual product.

To learn more about harmful ingredients, Google "Ingredients to avoid in cosmetics" and read all the articles you can handle. Each has something to contribute...but the main lesson here is to look for cosmetics with only natural ingredients like water, aloe vera, lavender, coconut, avocado, and olive oils, coffee, etc. If you can't pronounce it, forget it and if you experience any discomfort at all, don't be afraid to return it or just dump it.

My latest natural alternative is the Giovanni D:Tox System Facial Moisturizer which retails for only $9.95 and it can be found at most Target Stores or online at http://www.giovannicosmetics.net along with the rest of their organic skin and hair lines of products.

Philosophy has done an excellent job of branding itself with it's fantastical naming and marketing strategies, but don't be fooled ladies! As pretty as the packaging may be and as cute as a name my sound, always check the ingredients to verify that there is truth behind the claims and names :)

Good luck!

With only 1 coat, achieve what other mascaras do with 2-3 coats!

Diorshow Black Out is amazing for me because I have naturally long-ish lashes but they are too light and thin to see without mascara on.The Benefits that are 4-fold: 1) With any other mascara brand, I would have to apply 2-3 coats in order to achieve what 1 coat of Dior Show Black Out achieves. 2) It lasts much longer without drying out. And here's a tip - even when it does start to dry out a bit, I leave it in a glass with hot water while I do the rest of my makeup and by the time I'm ready to use it, the warmth of the water melts the formula for ease of use. 3) It is the blackest mascara on the market. 4) With a gel-like consistency instead of fibrous, it doesn't fall out and leave weird black chunks on your cheeks by the end of the night like some "lengthening" mascaras. **Note: If you have sparse lashes, stay away from a formula like this because it can appear too clumpy for you. Try Smashbox DNA or Maybelline Great Lash instead.