Monday, October 12, 2009

Random reviews of various products.

As would be obvious given the theme of this blog, I am something of a skincare and make up junkie - although I saw my friend J's make up collection yesterday and I now feel that mine is completely under control, thank you very much.

Anyway, I am going to now give my opinions on some of the things I have bought or used in recent months. If you have the slightest interest in hearing about such things, read on:

Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+ Wrinkle Lifting Serum
This is probably the best serum I have ever used (and I have used a lot). I'm not sure that it is really doing anything about wrinkles (I don't have that many, but the ones I do have come under much scrutiny), but it makes my skin feel soft and smooth and lovely.

CONS: Ridiculously expensive. Cheaper on strawberrynet though.

Joey New York Correct-A-Line
Currently my absolute favourite thing in the world. When I first put this on, my make up BFF J and I were astounded. The lines in my forehead completely disappeared and I looked like I'd had (good) botox! The effect only lasts a couple of hours, but you can touch it up easily. This is an amazing primer and I love it to death.

CONS: Joey New York appears to be either going under or pulling out of Australia, as their products are disappearing from our shelves and websites. I am going to buy as much of this stuff as I can find before it is all gone!

Skinn by Dimitri James Orchid Gel Mettefying Day Treatment Primer
I saw this guy on the shopping channel last week and found him immensely entertaining. Usually it's the host babbling on and on and the person spruiking their product doesn't say much beyond the well-rehearsed sales spiel, but this guy was a riot. The babbling hosts couldn't get a word in edgewise. He did a demo of this product and the effect was instantaneous and amazing. The lines on the girl's face disappeared. So of course, I had to have it, even though I make fun of people who buy things from the shopping channel. I AM SECRETLY ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.

The product itself smells lovely and does exactly what it showed on TV. I've only just played with it and not worn it for real out and about, though reviews I've read state that the effect doesn't last long. That's fine, I don't mind touching up.

CONS: I do think the Correct-A-Line - which is the same kind of thing - is slightly better, and also cheaper.

Neostrata Bionic Eye Cream
This is my Holy Grail eye cream. It really does seem to reduce the crows feet and fine lines, and it also reduces fine lines around the lips. It's fantastic, and the only reason I haven't bought any more is because I am determined to use up all the other eye creams and treatments I have first.

CONS: None. It's brilliant.

Sally Hanson Hand Resurfacer with Micro-Crystals
I bought this on a whim in Priceline a couple of weeks ago. I didn't even know such a thing existed -it's a granulated scrub for your hands. My hands are trashed - they are the one thing that could possibly give away my age. This is because I wash them all the time, and use a lot of that anti-bacterial gel. I slather them in hand creams, but they're still pretty dry and wrecked. This product makes them look and feel much smoother, and helps the moisturiser sink in better.

CONS: None. I love it, and I would definitely buy it again.

Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme
I've been using this for a few weeks at night, and in combination with the Perfectionist Anti-Wrinkle Serum. I wake up with soft, smooth skin every morning - it's lovely.

CONS: Heavily fragranced, and ridiculously expensive. It has an SPF so presumably it's meant to be used as a day cream, but it's much too rich to put under make up.

Olay Moisturising Lotion
I have used this on and off for over 25 years - it's the original pink lotion that used to come in a glass bottle and be called Oil of Ulan. It costs $8 at my local IGA, and it's brilliant for Summer when you don't want a heavy cream on your face. I use it all through the hot season every year.

CONS: None at all. It's cheap, light and makes my skin feel soft and fresh. One of my favourite products of all time.

Paula’s Choice 1% Beta Hydroxy Acid Lotion
Apply this under moisturiser in the morning and you will have beautifully smooth, radiant skin. It's a very practical product that really works.

CONS: Paula's Choice products are effective, more so than most, but they're also kind of boring. She is very much against the bells and whistles (she is an industry whistleblower, after all), and even though we beauty junkies know deep down that it is all for show, we still like the pretty packaging and the nice fragrances. It's all part of the fun.

Chanel Mat Lumiere Long Lasting Luminous Matte Fluid Makeup SPF15 Cendre
Finally, after many, many years of searching, I have found my Holy Grail foundation. I flirted with minerals for a while, and I do like them, but I hate the mess, and when it comes to foundation, I much prefer a liquid than a powder. This particular one gives excellent coverage, but doesn't feel like you're wearing make up at all - no horrible mask feeling. I adore it.

CONS: Expensive. However, I do believe that when it comes to foundations, you get what you pay for. And given how much money I have wasted over the years buying the wrong ones only to have them end up thrown in a drawer after a couple of wears, it doesn't seem like that much money to spend on THE ONE.

Everyday Minerals
This is a fantastic range. It is much cheaper than other mineral make up, but still good quality. They have a huge range of colours - the eyeshadows in particular are lovely - and they ship to Australia. You can also get sample kits to try (they used to be free and you could choose which colours you wanted, but I'm not sure if they still are). I had a major love affair with this brand earlier in the year. The eye shadow sample pots last for ages - I've yet to use one up.

CONS: Messy. As much as I love them, I can't stand the mess - it does my head in. Their blushes also tend to be quite orange-y - there are only one or two that I really like.

Australis Eyebrow Pencil Dark Brown
I am obsessed with my eyebrows. I over-plucked and over-waxed and they looked like shit for about a year, and it's only been in the last month or so that they have finally started to come good. This little eyebrow pencil has been very helpful in bringing them back from the brink. I buy a lot of eyebrow products, but I always come back to these pencils - I have about four or five of them in various places around the house and at work. They're $8 in Priceline. Gotta be happy with that.

CONS: None. They are perfect.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Garden Party
When I wear this, people tell me I look "pretty". It's an eyeshadow quad with two pinks and two greens, and it gives a toned-down, Springtime 80s effect on the eyes. I adore it.

CONS: It is pricy (I paid about $70 on strawberrynet; it's a bit more than that in department stores). I'd buy it again, though. I love it.

Chanel Inimitable #10 and Exceptionnel De Chanel Mascara
Mascara is the one thing I always wear, even if I wear no other make up. I can't live without it. These two are my Holy Grail products, the Inimitable because it's easy to apply, gives great depth and length, and doesn't flake, and the Exceptionnel because it gives great length and comes in beautiful colours. I have the Smoky Noir (greyish-black), Smoky Violine (a violet colour that you can't even really see on the lashes, but it makes my eyes look super green), and Smoky Marine (a dark navy that also makes my eye colour stand out). I don't think I'd ever bother getting a different mascara now that I have discovered these ones.

CONS: Pricy. But you can get them on strawberrynet for a few dollars less than in department stores, and they have free shipping.

And some products I wouldn't bother with again:

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed
This has an uncomfortable tightening effect on my skin. I use it in the shower sometimes when I feel a bit grimy, but I always have to put moisturisers on immediately afterwards.

Clarins Pure And Radiant Mask with Pink Clay
This made me break out. I love Clarins - it's one of my favourite brands - but I don't have much luck with their masks. The Extra-Firming one really irritated my skin as well.

Garnier Ultra-Lift Pro-X Double Action Eye
I'm using this at the moment just to finish it and get rid of it, but I am convinced it's actually making my eyelids look more crepy. This is one of those gimmicky things I am a sucker for - it has a cream tube on one end for wrinkles and lines, and a gel tube on the other for under eye circles and bags. It doesn't really seem to do anything, though.

Eventone Capillary Repair
For the first week or so, this product was amazing. I get flushed in the cheeks a bit, especially at work where it's always a bit hot in our office, and this reduced the redness dramatically within a couple of days. And then all of a sudden it just stopped working. Weird.

Clarins Younger Longer Balm
Again, as much as I love Clarins, I've never been a fan of their moisturisers. Almost all of them are vastly over-priced and quite mediocre (though the Multi-Active Day Cream is good). This one in particular is horrifically expensive ($142 for 50 ml on Adore) and it feels sticky. A couple of times when I have used it, it's annoyed me so much that I've ended up washing it off.

Bourjois Light Reflecting Concealer Eclat Beige Rose
I used to love Bourjois, but lately everything I buy of theirs is a dud. I don't know if their formulas have gotten crappy or if I've just matured and outgrown them (heh). This concealer is rubbish. It's thin and doesn't conceal anything, and the brush is cheap, nasty crap that gets all bent and horrible after the first use.

Bourjois Mineral Matte Mousse Foundation #81
Another rubbish Bourjois product. This immediately went into every fine line and pore on my face and looked awful. No matter how well I prep and prime it does the same thing every time.

Bourjois Volume Glamour Ultra Curl Noir
And again! At first this mascara was great. It made my lashes look really long and thick - it made them look like false lashes, to be honest. But it went gluggy after a few weeks. Makeup BFF J had some and hers did the same, so it wasn't just me. I do have another Bourjois mascara called Coup de Theatre which is still working quite well after a couple of months (fingers crossed), so maybe it's just the Volume Glamour one that's a dud.

L’Oreal Telescopic Explosion Black
I am a sucker for anything with a gimmick. I saw this in a magazine - it has a teeny little brush shaped like a ball, which supposedly reaches all the little inner lashes. I rushed out and bought one - didn't bother to read reviews, think about it or anything. I just had to have it right then and there. And it's SHIT. The formula is much too wet - it goes everywhere. I also poked myself in the eye with the ball (why does it have to be a ball - couldn't a smaller brush do the same thing?). $27 I spent on this piece of rubbish. J is still laughing at me.

Clarins Bright Plus Total Brightening Serum
This feels lovely on my skin, but does absolutely nothing. There are tons of other serums out there that are cheaper and just as good at doing nothing.

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