Archive for May, 2010

Eminence Organic Anti-Blemish Kit

Posted in Health and Beauty on May 17, 2010 by sbulletforever

My mother, a complete sucker when it comes to makeup/skincare, was talked into buying a sample acne kit from the Eminence line. One of her friends works at a spa nearby and wanted me to try it out and review it. I was a bit apprehensive about it, but ended up giving it a try. Here’s my take on it:

The acne kit from Eminence is INSANELY expensive. We got it at a discount price, seeing as my mother is good friends with someone at the spa that sells it, but even with a great discount it was still INSANELY expensive. We paid $65 for this mini-kit, and I don’t know how much you would have to pay for it.

The kit comes with an Herbal Spot Serum (high potency serum for problem skin types), Mineral Cleansing Concentrate, Tomato Oil-Control Gel, Pear & Poppy Seed Microderm Polisher, and Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment. The Mineral Cleansing Concentrate is for twice a day use, along with the Tomato Oil-Control Get. The Herbal Spot Serum can be used up to three times a day (as long as you use a thin layer). The Pear & Poppy Seed Microderm Polisher and the Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment are for once or twice a week use only.

A little goes a long way with these products. You’re only supposed to use a tiny amount on your face, but I’ve found that I need a little more than the tiny drop they recommend you use. I don’t feel I can get enough product all over my face and use probably double or triple the amount you should. But, in all honesty, I don’t care. I’d rather waste product than not use enough of it.

The Mineral Cleansing Concentrate is…okay. It hasn’t made me break out or get oily since I started using it, but it hasn’t done any wonders on my existing acne spots/black heads/scars. I have noticed a bit of a natural glow on my skin, though. And my skin feels a bit tighter (which is also making it a bit drier than usual). So the face wash isn’t amazing or anything, but it’s good for acne-prone skin.

The Tomato Oil-Control Gel is…okay as well. I don’t have oil problems anymore since I started birth control, but I was told it should replace my moisturizer in any case. The gel gives me decent moisture, but not enough. This regiment has been drying my skin out a little, and the gel hasn’t imparted any great moisturizing benefits. Also, (as stated before) I’m noticing a bit of a glow on my skin. The gel has, I think, actually increased my oil production a little (on my nose area especially). It’s not a greasy, oily look, but a fresh, dewy glow. And that’s fine for now, since it’s still winter/spring around here, but I’m afraid it just won’t cut it for summertime. NOT good for people with truly oily skin. This won’t make you matte.

The Pear & Poppy Seed Microderm Polisher was nice. The smell is pretty horrible once it dries on your skin (you need to leave in on your skin for 5-10 minutes), but it’s fine if you can survive it. It wasn’t terribly intensive, so it should be safe for any sensitivity of skin. Is it the best microderm/exfoliant ever? I don’t know. Probably not. Is it worth buying a full-sized jar? I’d say yes. I’m rather fond of it.

The Herbal Spot Serum is nice as well. Not horribly intensive, so any sensitivity of skin can use it, but it still works well to clear up spots. It doesn’t burn when you apply it, and you can apply it frequently throughout the day as needed. I’d definitely recommend this for clearing up acne. Most of the spot treatments I’ve used burn like the devil and leave skin red and splotchy from irritation. This serum, however, WON’T irritate your skin. Gentle, but effective. I’d probably recommend going for the full-sized version of this product.

I can’t tell you from personal experience how the Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment is simply because I refuse to use it. I’ve been told repeatedly that using the mud mask will make me break out horribly, since it brings dirt/bacteria from the lower layers of your skin to the top. And apparently it takes weeks to make your skin settle down again. Quite frankly, I don’t have the time or patience to deal voluntarily with break outs. Who does? BUT, my mother used it and said she liked it a lot. Her skin is much older than mine and much less prone to break outs so I let her be the guinea pig. It heats on contact with your skin, and apparently it’s a pretty intense heat. I’ve notice an improvement on her pore size and the black heads on her nose. So, I’d say this is better for old skin since she hasn’t broken out from it. But this mask would make oily/acne-prone skin go haywire.

All-in-all, I wasn’t impressed. The prices are insane and it’s very hard to find a spa that sells the Eminence line. Eminence does not have website where you can buy it- you have to search for it elsewhere yourself. ALSO, Eminence is in trouble for not telling the truth about its organic ingredients. It claims to be organic-certified, but its skin care products are not certified by the USDA or any other official board. And the company refuses to give a full list of ingredients on any of its products. It’s impossible to tell whether all the ingredients are truly organic, and it would be dangerous to use if you have a skin allergy of some kind because you can’t get a full list of ingredients. The company is being held in a lawsuit with a number of other ‘organic’ skin care companies for false advertisement.

I wouldn’t mind trying other products from the Eminence line. I rather liked the microderm polisher and the herbal spot serum. But this kit in particular is just…blah. Not really worth that kind of cash.

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Tarina Tarantino Gem Gloss

Posted in Health and Beauty on May 14, 2010 by sbulletforever

“An ultralight, high-shine, low-tack gloss that delivers true, even color,” so says the description on Sephora’s website. Tarina Tarantino is supposed to be the new “it” product of Sephora stores, if I’ve heard right, so I decided to at least give the lip gloss a try.

Gem Gloss comes in 13 pretty colors and a girly, pink-and-bow design tube. You get .14 oz for $19, which is an average price. This gloss is supposed to have a delicious sorbet flavor/scent to it as well.

I loved the color. You get mostly true color (only a little sheer) and a decent amount of shine. I tried it in “Carousel”, a magenta/violet with irridescent shimmer, and thought it looked amazing. You don’t find glosses with this kind of color/coverage every day! But I hated the taste/consistency/lasting quality. The Gem Gloss indeed tastes like sorbet, but it also tastes like plastic, and it smells like sweet plastic. Not a ‘kissing’ gloss by any means. The consistency was semi-thick and sticky- not a smooth gloss like the tokidoki Prisma Gloss. And the lasting quality wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either.

All-in-all, I would pick this up if you’re taking some smoking pictures and want an oustanding gloss. But for everyday wear or dates or nights out? Probably not. It won’t last terribly long, it might get everywhere considering it’s sticky consistency, and it tastes pretty bad. I’ll stick to my tokidoki Prisma Gloss for now.

Benefit Cosmetics’ High Brow

Posted in Health and Beauty on May 12, 2010 by sbulletforever

A highlighter under your eyebrows is always a good idea. It really emphasis your arch, making your eyebrows look more groomed and beautiful, and it brightens your eye. I decided to give Benefit Cosmetics’ High Brow highlighting pencil a try, and here’s what I thought:

High Brow ($20) is basically a crayon. The color is a VERY highly pigmented soft, oyster-pink, and it draws onto your skin like a cream pencil. You have to be careful about how much you put on your eye- too much will simply overwhelm your eye, nestle in your eyebrows, and cover up your eyeshadow. A little goes a long way with this stuff.

The oyster-pink color is…I don’t know. It’s definitely not a natural color, but if you blend it in really carefully and only use a little of the pencil, it looks like a super bright highlighter. Like someone put a tiny LED light under your brows to light it up. The pink color actually catches the light and has almost a pearly finish to it. It sure is bright!

The best way to apply it is to apply a thin line from the end of your eyebrow to about the middle, and not directly against your eyebrow. Use your finger to blend really well and pull the color all the way across your eyebrow. This should be enough to cover the entire underside of your eyebrow without being too much, and it should keep it from settling in your eyebrows and looking cakey.

Do I like it? Sort of. It’s great for my pin-up style I adore so much. For every day? Not so much. The pink color doesn’t compliment every eyeshadow color- it really clashes with a lot of the colors I wear. It’s like having a fully pigmented eyeshadow underneath your eyebrow. I’d rather have a more subtle highlighter, and one that isn’t a pearl-finish pink.

The Holy Grail of Salt Scrubs

Posted in Health and Beauty on May 6, 2010 by sbulletforever

The Body Shop has, at long last, come out with a salt scrub worth buying. The new ‘Spa Wisdom’ line includes products styled from Japanese, Moroccan, Polynesian, and African natural ingredients. The new salt scrub is part of the African line, called “Spa Wisdom Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub’ ($28).

The jar is huge, and the product is thick. A little goes a long way, so the jar should last you a long while. Most people would use this scrub once or twice a week for regular exfoliation. However, I have keratosis pilaris (a.k.a. arm acne), back acne, chest acne, dry skin, ingrown hairs, and general not-so-clear skin on my body. I use my scrub every other day and have no problems with it. The scrub conditions and exfoliates my skin, making it SUPER smooth, soft, and clean. In fact, my skin has never looked so good! I feel much more confident showing off my body for the summer.

This particular salt scrub, unlike a LOT of salt scrubs, doesn’t have oils in it. 90% of the salt scrubs out there are salt mixed with heavy oils that float on the top of the scrub. Sound familiar? This salt scrub is pure, organic ingredients only. No more oils floating on the top of your scrub! It’s a nice paste. It contains organic beeswax, shea butter, salt grains, and ximenia extract to soften, condition, and heal the skin.

One thing I love most about this is that the salt helps heal my acne. Ooooh yes, you heard right. This stuff has done wonders for my occasional back breakouts, chest breakouts, and clears up all the dead skin on my arms. My keratosis pilaris has truly discolored my arms over time and left permanent scars, but this salt scrub makes my arms feel smoother and clearer than ever. HOWEVER, I still recommend KP Duty Body Scrub for treating severe k.p..

There are no salt scrubs that compare, and really no body scrubs I like better. It’s thick, powerful, gentle, and makes my skin feel healthier and more beautiful than ever. I can use it once a day if I feel like it, or once a week. Be sure to pick this up! In fall and winter, this scrub helps brighten and nourish your dull, lifeless skin. In summer it will keep you exfoliated and make you skin positively glow in a bikini, dress, or tanktop.

Super Juicy Pin-Up Worthy Just-Bitten Red Lips

Posted in Health and Beauty on May 3, 2010 by sbulletforever

I love red lipsticks, and boy am I picky with them. I simply won’t stand for dry lipsticks, color that smears too easily, or anything that wears off in half an hour. And in my great search for red lipsticks I came across a combo SO SEXY, I just had to share.

First of all, I use DuWop Reverse Lip Liner ($19) to line the outside of my lips. This keeps everything inside the lines, so to speak. You don’t need a lip primer with this, since it’s such a great quality lipstick, but you can throw some powder on your lips before applying your lipstick just to make things neat and tidy.

I usually hate Benefit products, but they sell the best red lipstick on the market. Use Benefit Full-Finish Lipstick in ‘Flirt Alert’ ($18) and apply two coats. The tip of the lipstick is rounded, so it’s hardly even possible to apply directly to your lips without making a mess. Just pick up a lip brush and use the brush to apply it- it’s a much simpler way to deal with it. If you can’t get ‘Flirt Alert’, Urban Decay sells a similar shade called ‘Revolution’ ($22). But I far and beyond prefer my Benefit lipstick.

Once you’ve got your lipstick on, it’s time to apply the gloss! You absolutely MUST pick up Urban Decay XXX Shine Gloss in ‘Guys Love Betsy’. It’s a shade that was specifically created for a Besty Johnson runway show. Apply liberally!

The combo is stunning. The red lipstick (a candy apple red) is eye-catching a sweet, and doubly so with the sheer red gloss overtop. Your lips end up looking edible! Best of all, the Benefit lipstick stays on for hours and hours of wear, even through eating and drinking. The XXX Shine Gloss will give you fresh, minty breath and make you feel fresh all night long. Such a stunning look!!!!

‘April Showers’ Makeup Look

Posted in Health and Beauty on May 2, 2010 by sbulletforever

In honor of it being the last month of spring, so very close to summer, I decided to create a sweet, simple look. My previous post, ‘A tokidoki Summer’, shows you how to create a natural bronzed look for summer. ‘April Showers’ is going to be light, sparkly, and full of cool-toned colors. I wore it yesterday and got a ton of compliments!

As always, apply some kind of primer to your eyelid. Sparkly/glittery shadows and eyeliners are especially prone to smudging, and the coming heat will make you makeup melt. Brush your eyebrows very well, pluck a few strays, and use a wax pencil to set their shape. Don’t have a wax pencil? Use some hairspray or gel on your finger, apply, and brush it well to keep the shape. Having groomed eyebrows will make this look POP.

When you think of rain, you think of clouds. So grey will be our main eyeshadow color for this look. I chose tokidoki Cromatico Eyeshadow ($15) in ‘Samba’ as my base color. It’s a very light and shimmery grey that really highlights my eyelids. For a light, natural look, just apply it with a brush. For a slightly deeper look, apply with a clean finger. For super pigmentation, wet your finger down and then apply. You’ll definitely get a huge color payoff, and since it’s such a light and simply grey, you won’t look like a clown.

If you want a very light, natural, daytime look, just skip your crease color. However, if you want a little more color and contouring, use Urban Decay Eyeshadow ($17) in ‘S & M’. It’s a very pretty, shimmery, medium-dark grey that goes very well with ‘Samba’. Use a light hand- you don’t want it to overpower your makeup look and have it become the main focus of your eyes.

Glitter gel liner truly makes ‘April Showers’ a spectacular look. You might think that sounds like a very pre-teen sort of thing to use, but it’s definitely an underrated product. Glitter gel liners add a little extra boost to your eye makeup, one that regular eyeliner just can’t provide. And it’s gentle enough to use at work (especially if you have a  light, natural base shadow like ‘Samba’). Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner ($18) and Too Faced Starry-Eyed Liquid Liner ($17.50) are PERFECT. Since we’re using light, natural grey colors, I’d suggest sticking to a blue color, but feel free to experiment and use whatever color suits you best. Any color can go with grey, really. I use Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in ‘Air Guitar’- that’s my total favorite.

Finish with an eyelash curler and two coats of mascara after the glitter gel liner dries. If you want to add a little more emphasis to your eyes, use a black eyeliner pencil and gently line underneath your gel liner and right along the lash line. Use a neutral lip gloss, like tokidoki Prisma Gloss ($15) in ‘Donutella’, so you don’t take away any emphasis from your eyes. Remember to use a LIGHT HAND, not a heavy hand when applying your eyeshadow. You want to the glitter gel liner to be what really stands out, so just keep your grey shadow neutral and muted. For cheek color, just keep it light. It doesn’t matter if you use a blush or bronzer, so long as it only adds a hint of color.

For extra brightness: use a white eyeliner pencil above your lower lashes, on that little shelf of your eye. The white liner will brighten your eyes and add emphasis to the blue glitter liner without taking any attention away from it.

In the end, you have an ‘April Showers’ look. Light, shimmery grey base to represent clouds, a slightly darker grey in the crease (optional) to represent storm clouds. The blue glitter gel liner represents bright, glistening raindrops, and muted lipgloss looks like a glossy, wet puddle. How cute is that?

A tokidoki Summer

Posted in Health and Beauty on May 1, 2010 by sbulletforever

Horrible haircuts, such as the one I got a few days ago, can be downplayed. With the right makeup, hair accessories, nail polish, and clothes, you can turn a horrible mistake into an edgy and cute look. And who knows cute better than tokidoki? NOBODY.

When I first heard of tokidoki’s new makeup line, I was both excited and nervous. I figured such a high-fashion brand name would create expensive makeup. But lo’ and behold! It’s inexpensive, amazing quality, super cute, and doesn’t jip you on product. In fact, tokidoki eyeshadows are better quality than Urban Decay eyeshadows, are a few bucks less, and contain more product. How can you go wrong with that?

For my summer look, I picked up tokidoki Cromatico Eyeshadow in ‘Choco’ and ‘Donutella’, Brilliante Glitter Eyeliner in ‘Savana’, Inferno Bronzer in ‘Royal Pride’, Punk Lash Mascara in ‘Cactus Rocker’, and Prisma Lip Gloss in ‘Donutella’. I’ll break it down for you piece by piece.

The Cromatico Eyeshadows ($15) are wonderful. They go on smoothly, have good pigmentation, and make less of a mess than UD eyeshadows. ‘Choco’ is a bronze suntan pearl. Very highlighting and shimmery with a warm milk chocolate coloring. I wear this in my crease and under my eyebrows, since it highlights so well. Adds a little extra drama to my look! ‘Donutella’ is just like the new UD Stardust Eyeshadow in ‘Space Cowboy’. It’s a nude color with gold and irridescent glitter, so it gives just a hint of color and a lot of pretty glitter and shimmer. Glitter fallout is VERY minimal- less than UD’s Stardust and regular eyeshadows. It can totally replace ‘Midnight Cowboy’ and ‘Midnight Cowboy Rides Again’, which are staple Urban Decay colors. This I throw on my entire eye and just put ‘Choco’ overtop. Looks bright, summery, and really makes my eyes pop!

The Brilliante Glitter Eyeliner ($14) in ‘Savana’ is nice, but not perfect. It’s a beautiful warm brown with gold glitter. I like the color better than the UD 24/7 Eyeliner in Bourbon (which it most closely resembles), and it’s even a couple dollars less then the UD. However, the tip keeps breaking off when I sharpen it. It’s annoying, but liveable.

I love my Inferno Bronzer ($22) in ‘Royal Pride’. As I’ve said before, my problem with Too Faced Bronzers is that they contain insane amounts of shimmer, and the matte bronzers they sell are SUPER dark. UD Bronzers are…eh. I wasn’t impressed. But the Inferno Bronzer in ‘Royal Pride’ (the lighter of the two shades) is perfect. Very light shimmer, no glitter problems like with Too Faced. Gives better color and coverage than the UD Bronzers. And it looks natural! Just be sure to use a light hand when applying it. But, in the end, I love it.

Punk Lash Mascara ($18) in ‘Cactus Rocker’ is a nice mascara. Deeply pigmented, no flakes or smearing, and the brush keeps your lashes from clumping. Not as great as my NARS Volumizing Mascara, but better than most.

Oooh, how I love my Prisma Gloss ($15) in ‘Donutella’. Super sheer with super high shine! No stickiness at all, thank God. Makes my lips feel super smooth and kissable. Most of the glosses are so sheer, you can’t even tell there’s color in them. Only a few (Devil Girl, for example) shows up, and even then it’s light. But the shine is outstanding! And my oh my, do they smell and taste great. Reminds me of strawberries and cream- so sweet. My boyfriend got a huge shock when he gave me a kiss, he asked me if I’d just eaten strawberries!

All of these products together create a sweet, bright, natural summer look. And it’s the cheapest makeup collection you’ll find at Sephora, with great quality and quantity. You really can’t pass it by. And the packaging is SO CUTE!! This totally replaces my Urban Decay fixation!!