Thursday, July 24, 2014

L'Oreal Mousse Absolue reusable hair color

What?  Reusable hair color?  Yes, it's true.  L'Oreal came up with a little miracle.  Thanks to the new grey-detecting lights in new office, I had to color my hair immediately.  I don't usually like to color all my hair, just the roots.  I honestly don't mind if there are a few greys, it looks more natural to me.  So, I figured I would get some Root Touch Up again.  While browsing, I came across this.  The word "reusable" caught my eye so I shelled out the $14.99 and went home excited to try it.

It comes with two tubes of color and developer held together by plastic wrapping with a protective cap on top, an applicator top, 2 sets of black gloves, and conditioner.  I was not impressed with the gloves and highly suggest that, if you often color at home, you buy a box of latex gloves.  You can use them when applying the color and use the ones in the box for rinsing your hair.  The biggest thing they stress in the directions is to shake it, shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture.  You shake it with the protective cap on and then, with it pointed away from you, attach the applicator cap, making sure it clicks into place.  I didn't really hear the clicks but made sure it was on.  Then you just apply it to your hair where needed.  You have to shake it often and not tilt it too much or the color won't mix properly.  It came out pretty light and I was worried that I wasn't getting enough color until I spilled some on my new toilet seat.  Trust me, there was plenty of color.  Leave it on for 30 minutes, rinse in the shower (or wherever you care to do that sort of thing), add conditioner, rinse that and voila!  Now, I like to wash my hair before adding the conditioner, making sure I use a color-friendly shampoo.  I don't know if it makes it less effective but they do it in the salon and the instructions from eSalon tell you to wash it.

So, is it worth it?  I believe it is.  It didn't completely cover my grey but, as I said, that's not really my point.  It turned some of it a lighter brown, which is what I guess it's supposed to do.  I know that when I look in the mirror at work I'm not shocked and horrified.  And I have enough left for one or two more applications.  All in all I think this is a huge advancement in hair color and I think L'Oreal stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bare Minerals MATTE Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15

I've been using this for some time (because I've been lazy in posting) but it gives me time to know if I really like the product.  And I do!  I had never tried any Bare Minerals powder until a salesperson recommended Bare Minerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen two years ago.  I'm not even sure why I stopped using that.  My guess is either because there weren't enough shade options or, I just wanted to try something new (most likely).  I got a sample of this and liked it right away so bought the full size when it ran out.  I still keep the sample container in my make up bag for touch-ups on the go and leave the full size at home.

It is a loose powder but has a plastic cover that only lets out a small amount at a time.  You put it in the lid and then apply with a brush.  It would be great if they put all their foundations in a portable container like the sunscreen (this has spf 15) but then we might not believe there is an actual difference between the  The color is nice and blends in and is layerable.  I usually use it over my Philosophy A to Z cream but you can use it alone as well.,en_US,pd.html

Friday, May 9, 2014

Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel

I have mentioned before that, while I no longer have many blackheads or whiteheads, I still have problems with acne "bumps," especially on my chin and beside my nose.  This new product had great reviews so I thought I would give it a try.  The first thing I noticed is that it dries very quickly.  And I mean VERY quickly.  You have to dab on spots in quadrants of your face because it dries so fast.  At first I used it in the morning and night but, after a few days, I started only using it in the morning and went back to using my Algenist at night.  (I have this weird thing where I don't like to layer on too many products.)  I think it would be extremely drying to use on your whole face twice a day.  It has now been a couple of weeks and I still can tell any difference.  I still have just as many bumps on my face as I did before and my skin is a bit drier now.  I think this may be a good product for someone who has serious whitehead breakouts and some reviewers said they used it only as a spot treatment.  In the end, the main acne fighting ingredient is 1% salicylic acid which is the same thing that is in my Dr. Brandt moisturizer.  I'm not sure why you would add an extra step.  If there are other ingredients that help, it would serve them well to list them instead of "Clinique’s four-in-one Clearing Complex" which means nothing.

If you have severe acne, I would think anything is worth a try and you can get a half an ounce for $17 which isn't so bad.  Otherwise, I would look for a multi-tasking product that will help with acne.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Philosophy hope in a jar a to z cream - Updated!

Update: after trying another BB Cream then going back to an old one that were both unsatisfactory, I decided to give this another try, mainly because I find the color to be very natural.  I've been using it for a couple of months and it's been pretty good.  It doesn't do a lot for shine control on its own but works well under my Bare Minerals loose powder.  I think it is great for a daily moisturizer to throw on most days to give you some sun protection.

As much as I love Philosophy's Purity Made Simple, many of their other products fall short.  I love most of their body washes (the Cinnamon Buns smells so real I almost tasted it) but their face and eye creams have been disappointing.  And the other two products I really like, the Supernatural and On a Clear Day primer, have been discontinued.

This BB cream falls somewhere in the middle.  It only comes in 3 colors but the medium blended nicely into my winter-pale skin (sometimes new products only come in limited colors when they are in the "trial phase").  It seemed a little thicker and harder to apply at first but, for some reason, after a week it was easier.  It gives a nice tint of color and has a20 spf sunscreen.  Like many BB creams, it is supposed to replace moisturizer and primer as well.  It does keep my skin hydrated all day and is a nice base for my Bare Minerals powder.  It stays on through the workday and into the evening.  It also hasn't caused any breakouts which is very important.  All in all it is a decent product.  So what is the problem?  The price.  It's $38 for one ounce.  That's a little surprising as I consider Philosophy to generally be reasonable for a non-drugstore brand.  If it was even 10 dollars cheaper, I would consider using it regularly but I believe there is something out there that is either cheaper or works better.,en_US,pd.html

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

earth science Azulene Eye Cream

I've been keeping a secret but only out of laziness.  One of my favorite online shopping methods is to sort by ratings.  I came across this while searching on for a new eye cream.  As I've mentioned in the past, my biggest problems are dark circles and cross-hatching (which I like to refer to as the nicer sounding "fairy trails").  This product had mostly good reviews and was very wallet-friendly at under $15.  Ignoring the woman who likened it to "a thick, blue paste," I went ahead and ordered it.  This was at the end of July and I've been using it since.  The best part is that I'm only halfway through the jar.  While this is not a miracle worker as far as fairy trails (you'd think fairies wouldn't leave such heavy marks), it is a good eye cream that definitely helps with my dark circles.  It is a little think, and blue, but I have no problem patting it in with my ring finger.  It gives moisture all day long and, while it looks a little greasy when you first apply it, it quickly absorbs. 

I'd never heard of azulene before.  It is a compound that is found in some plants including chamomile.  It has been used for a long time for it's soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.  I came across it again in a wax hair removal kit as an after-application oil.  So it seems chamomile is good for your insides and your outsides.

I really appreciate a decent product that does what it says it will at a reasonable price and I plan to continue using this (at least in between testing others with more radical claims).

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rimmel The Max Volume Flash waterproof mascara

A friend of mine who is familiar with my issues with mascaras that smear sent me this to try since it is waterproof (it doesn't come in a regular formula).  Even though I don't like having mascara rings around my eyes, I usually shy away from waterproof formulas because they tend to make your lashes too stiff and aren't build-able.  Maybe I've stayed away too long because this is flexible, build-able and stays on through sweat and tears (hey, what can I say, the holidays are an emotional time).  Unfortunately there are some downfalls that will keep this from being a new favorite.  Although you can't tell from the picture, the brush is very large and the head barely tapers at all which makes it unwieldy.  It also doesn't give enough volume.  Two coats is not enough for even the daytime.  For e, volume is key. 

If you're looking for a subtle, smear-proof look, this might just me worth a try.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Algenist Retinol Firming & Lifting Serum

This was a tough one for me to review partly due to my bad habits.  I'll explain.  I received a 10 day sample of this from Sephora.  It claimed you would see results in that time.  I used it for about 6-7 days but, going against one of my cardinal rules, I used another new product.  One of the two made me breakout so I stopped using both.  I used the last few days once my skin cleared up and it was the other product that was the issue.  I thought my skin looked a little better but I still wasn't sure.  Luckily they were still having the promotion so I ordered another 10 day sample.  I used that for several days and then didn't wash my make-up off one night so didn't use it, then had a trip and skipped several days.  By the time I got back on it, I still had 5 packets.  They say each packet was for one day but you could get almost two days out of each one so I started again and this time used it religiously.  At the end, while the results weren't spectacular, there was definitely a difference.  My skin was smoother and brighter and, well, just nicer in general.  I don't have very deep wrinkles that I could use to judge and it was hard to pinpoint specific things.  I just know that a couple times after washing my face, I would look in the mirror and think, "wow, my skin looks really nice."

The downfall of this product is the $98 price tag.  I will not be buying the full-size anytime soon but if I had the money, I would give it a shot.  The active ingredient, in addition to Retinol, is called Alguronic Acid and is said to have anti-aging properties.  Maybe it does or maybe it is the Retinol but this is one of the few products where I could see a visible difference.  As with any Retinol product, there was some minor redness especially the first few days but it was nothing bothersome or overly noticeable and it went away with continued use.  Also, as I mentioned, a little goes a long way.  I would bet it would last you quite some time which may help reduce the sticker shock.  If anyone does try it, I would love if you would post a comment about your experience.