Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Foam Wash

Price: $9.87 from Walmart

What they say:
- Clinically proven to effectively remove excess oil, impurities and make-up that can clog pores and lead to breakouts
- Gentle enough for everyday use
- Formulated for acne-prone skin
- Calming formula won't over-dry skin

What to do:
Massage foam onto damp skin. Rinse.

What's in it: Water, Zinc Coceth Sulfate, Glycerin, Peg-75, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Zinc Gluconate, Peg-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palate, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sodium Benzoate, Masking Fragrance, Disodium Edta.

The good stuff:

  • Pump dispenser
  • Gentle foam
  • Leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed
  • Does not dry out my skin
  • Definitely helped control my oily skin
  • Helps cut back on shine
The low-down:
  • None!
My take: I bought this because (as I've mentioned previously) I'm battling with terribly oily skin and breakouts since being off BCP for the past several months. In an attempt to get my skin back under control, I've been actively seeking out oil/shine-controlling products and I came across this at my local Walmart!

I cannot stress enough that I am SO glad I came across this product. It has worked WONDERS for me. Before, not even a 2 hours after applying makeup, my entire face would be a shiny mess. After using this foam wash for a few days, there was an IMMEDIATE difference in my skin. The oilyness was dramatically cut back and I was no longer shiny after only a few hours. As long as I set my face with powder, I have little-to-no shine all day. I have been using this for the past month or so and it has really helped my skin!

I use about 1 1/2 pumps of this face wash. It's nice and foamy and lathers well. After using it, my skin feels clean and refreshed. It also leaves my skin feeling a bit "tightened," but not stripped and dry. Even after continued use, this does not dry out my skin or have any other adverse effects. One thing to note though is that although it says it is formulated for acne-prone skin, I cannot say it helped decrease my breakouts though. But I think that is just another thing I'm going to have to deal with until my hormones stop fluctuating :x

Would I repurchase/recommend?
I would without a doubt repurchase this face wash! I absolutely love it and it has made such a difference in my skin. I would highly recommend this cleanser to people with oily skin and who want to control shine.

The Rundown:

Packaging: 5/5
Easy pump dispenser bottle.

Worked excellent for me! Definitely helped control my oil and made a difference with the condition of my skin!



click here to read about my Review & Rating System ]

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homemade gelatin pore mask VS pore strips

I've touched a few times upon the chaotic state of my skin lately -- VERY oily, clogged pores, breakouts all over, etc. -- I recently started a new BCP, which I'll probably share my thoughts on later... It's my (I think?) 4th or 5th attempt at battling my PMDD (see this post for more info about PMDD) and I'm hoping it will start helping with clearing up my skin soon :x

Anywho, I just wanted to share my experience with a homemade gelatin pore mask. I had seen various youtube videos and read posts on this method of unclogging pores, and decided I'd give it a shot since I had Knox gelatin at home. When it comes to food-stuffs for your face; I'm pretty willing to try just about anything as long as it doesn't seem dangerous :P

All you need for this is:
  • 1 tbsp powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tbsp milk
You're supposed to mix the aforementioned ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, throw it in the microwave for 10 seconds, then apply to your face in the desired areas with a brush (preferably one you don't mind getting gunky and/or throwing away). Then leave on for 30 minutes or until dry, and peel off.

I've read numerous reviews saying warmed milk is absolutely rank smelling and other people said they substituted plain water or green tea for the milk. So I opted for green tea since it has antioxidant properties. Unfortunately for me, IT STILL SMELLED TERRIBLE :| I'm not sure if it's just how it combines with the gelatin... but Idk, it smells grossss :( In hindsight, I think I should have waited awhile longer for the tea to cool down after I brewed it (I only waited about 10 minutes so it was still pretty warm -- figured it would be the same as if I had used cold tea & microwaved it) before I mixed it in. The gelatin pretty much instantly started to congeal and I had sort of a hard time evenly spreading it on my face.

Once on my face, I had to deal with the smell :x I got used to it but it was still not pleasant. I put the mask on/around my nose, on my chin, and on some problem areas on my forehead and cheeks. A lot of it was sort of clumpy and not evenly applied but it did dry relatively quickly, faster than 3o minutes but I just lounged around with it on anyway :P

Now peeling it off was the traumatic part. IT WAS SOOO PAINFUL!!! I think if I had a better consistency to start with, I would have been able to apply it more evenly and would have had an easier time pulling it off. But it was still really sore.

The "good" thing is that it feels like it ripped out every single baby hair on my face, so my skin was really smooth and clean looking afterwards. Surprisingly, it did not get red or itchy like I usually get with pore strips. The disappointing thing though, was that it did not seem to pull anything out of my pores!!!! When I use regular pore strips, I don't get a lot of gunk coming out; but at least I get SOMETHING. I couldn't seem to detect anything at all on the peeled-off gelatin mask. A bit bummed because the "fun" (okay maybe that's kinda gross but it is interesting!!!) part about doing peel-off masks is seeing all the stuff it takes out of your skin!

So overall I was pretty disappointed with my experience with a homemade gelatin mask. For the amount of pain involved in peeling it off, I was sure it would have really cleaned out my pores. But it seems that it didn't do anything.

On a whim, I decided I'd try to use face strips right after and see if it could pick anything up. I had one last Biore face strip so I cut it into pieces and put one on my nose, forehead, and chin. The forehead and chin strips came out clean, but the nose strip did in fact pull out some gunk!!!! I put it in the same area as the gelatin mask, so I KNOW the mask was not effective at pulling it out.

So overall I'm under the impression that the homemade gelatin mask is NOT as effective as actual pore strips. The biore pore strips are less painful also. I think I'd rather spend the extra cash and get actual results rather than waste gelatin and not get any results. From what I read of others experiences, it seems to work for some people, but just not effectively enough for me. I'd say it is worth a shot though if you have clogged pores!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Charm & Precious

These seem to be all the rage lately! Unfortunately, I've come to find out these lip stains just aren't my thing :( I got these in Charm and Precious.

Left to right: Precious, Charm

Price: around $8 from stores like Walmart or Target

What they say: It’s a pampering balm fused with a lightweight lipstain in an adorable chubby crayon. Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain gives softer, smoother lips with a perfect flush of color that lasts hour after hour. The gel formula comes in 12 vibrant shades that match any look or mood.

-Lightweight Lipstain + Moisturizing Balm
-100% of women who tried it felt their lips were instantly moisturized with a soft stain of color
-Retractable chubby crayon, no sharpener required

What to do:
Step 1: Apply Just Bitten Kissable™ Balm Stain evenly to clean, bare lips. Build color and coverage as desired.
Step 2: Reapply as desired for moisturizing shine throughout the day.

What's in it: (Will update w/ ingredients)

Charm is a peachy-nude shade and Precious is a pinky-beige nude shade.

The good stuff:
  • Lots of shades to choose from
  • Not nearly as drying as I thought they would be
  • In fact, slightly moisturizing at first
  • Decently pigmented nude shades
  • Has a hint of glossiness
  • Nice minty smell
  • Does stain your lips & lasts long
The low-down:
  • Settles into lip lines... doesn't look good over dry lips
  • Ends up drying out my lips after an hour or so
  • These nude shades stain rather vibrantly... AND NOT NUDE!!!
My take: I wanted to like these, I really did! They start out very pretty but after an hour of wear, things start to change...

Here's Charm:

On my lips it starts out as a pretty nude peach pink shade. I like that these lip stains offer some glossiness. I was also surprised because I was expecting them to really drag across my lips -- my lips are really dry and my lip lines are really visible. However this lipstain was more on the glossy side than I anticipated so it does offer a tiny bit of hydration and glides over my lips without dragging. It does however visibly settle into lip lines. After several hours of wear, my lips also became rather dry. But still, not nearly as dry as I had expected... and my lips dry out from practically any lip product I use anyway. It's just nice that this lip stain does retain a bit of balm-like properties.

The disappointing part was the actual STAIN effect. I had got these NUDE shades specifically because I was under the impression that they would stain NUDE. However, they do the EXACT OPPOSITE! Charm stains my lips a very bright pink-coral-peach color. Definitey not my cup of tea!!! Way too bright for my tastes :/

Charm after 4 hours:

Precious fared a little better on me than Charm. It is a beige-pink nude shade.

Precious after 4 hours:

However, it still stains my lips a rather pinkish peach shade. More subdued than Charm, yes. But it's still not the NUDE that I wanted!

Overall, I really love the concept -- it IS a good lip stain -- but this was just a really disappointing buy because of the stain effect with these particular shades. It's weird because I read a handful of reviews that said these nude shades didn't have any stain effect at all on them. But I also read reviews from people who had the same color-changing issue as me. So maybe it's something to do with our individual body chemistry reacting to these shades? I dunno. I just don't like it.

Would I repurchase/recommend?
I would not repurchase these shades nor any others, as I only was interested in the nudes. The other darker shades seem good as a stain from what I've seen in other reviews though. I would not recommend this to anyone looking for a NUDE lip stain. It seems pretty likely that it will a) either not stain at all, or b) stain your lips a vibrant not-at-all-nude color. I would recommend this to anyone who likes lip stains and doesn't mind if it stains your lips a bright shade since it does have nice balm-like properties which would fare better on those who don't have dry, chapped lips like I do.

The Rundown:

Packaging: 5/5
A cute chubby twist-up stick.

Product: 2/5
Nice concept, but rating solely based on these nude shades... it's just not what I expected nor wanted. Has balm-like properties but stains way too vibrant for my tastes and dries out my lips.



[ click here to read about my Review & Rating System ]

Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light/Medium

It's been awhile since I've bought/used any BB creams, so when I came upon this at Walmart, I just had to pick it up! It doesn't hurt that the packing is super cute colors :P After using it though, I was a bit disappointed in the way it's marketed... I must say, a BB cream, it is NOT.

Price: $7-9 from stores like Walmart & Target

What they say:
BB creams combine skincare + makeup in 1 simple step
8-in-1 Skin Perfector:
• Blurs imperfections
• Brightens
• Evens skin tone
• Smoothes
• Hydrates
• Enhances
• Protects with SPF 30
• 0% oils and heavy ingredients

What to do: Apply smoothly and evenly to your face and blend with your fingertips.

What's in it: (will update w/ ingredients)

The good stuff:
  • Cute squeeze tube packaging
  • A little goes a long way
  • Smooth and easy to apply
  • Not heavy, sticky or tacky feeling
  • Dewy finish
  • Helps even out skin tone
  • Has SPF 30
The low-down:
  • Does not cover blemishes
  • Does not hold up against oily skin
  • Doesn't cover redness very well
  • Too sheer to be considered an actual BB cream
  • Properties make it more of a tinted moisturizer than a BB cream!!!
My take: Similarly to Maybelline's Dream Nude Airfoam which I reviewed here, I feel like this product is a good one but only for those who already have a good complexion and just want to even out their skin tone. Unfortunately, my skin has been in a state of chaos lately, and this "BB cream" just didn't cut it for me.

I mainly use asian BB creams, and I'm used to their thick formulations which mask imperfections but have a flawless finish and brightening, smoothing properties. This American version of BB cream just doesn't have those same properties. I do feel like the texture of this BB cream is on par with Asian BB creams I use -- it is on the thicker side, yet glides on and is easy to smooth and blend in. But that's about where the similarities cease. Maybelline promises that this BB cream will do a lot of things. Here's my take on the list:

Blurs imperfections -- NO. As mentioned above, I really feel like this product is mainly for people who already have good skin and just want something that will even it out. As shown in my pictures below, this BB cream does NOT cover acne well at all, and it just barely makes a difference over redness.

• Brightens -- NO. This honestly doesn't have any brightening effect on me IMO. On the back of the tube, it says it "adjusts to skin tone" anyway, so why would it brighten? It just matches my skin tone like any other foundation would.

• Evens skin tone -- BARELY. It does have a sheer tint so it helps even things out, but is just too sheer to give a flawless finish.

• Smoothes -- BARELY. It has some smoothing effect, but I think it would only look especially nice if it was applied over already smooth skin.

• Hydrates -- YES. The one thing about this BB cream is that it is really moisturizing. It is actually too moisturizing for my currently-oily skin. It has a really nice dewy fresh finish at first, but throughout the day (if not set with powder), it doesn't hold up to oily skin and gets very shiny.

• Enhances -- BARELY. Again, as mentioned previously, this BB cream isn't for those with uneven skin tone. It will HELP with minimal blemishes/redness but WILL NOT cover them. It offers some smoothing and a dewy finish, but NOT the way that asian BB creams do.

Overall I can use this BB cream if I set it with a loose powder that absorbs oil. Then I can get at least 4 hours of lasting power from this BB cream without it getting oily/fading. However I just don't like the way it looks over my blemishes so I don't find myself reaching for it very often. I think this honestly more of a tinted moisturizer than a BB cream... the name is misleading.

Would I repurchase/recommend?
I personally would not repurchase this unless my skin starts to clear up. I would rather stick to Asian BB creams. I might try using it again later if I can get rid of my oilyness/pimples though. I would not recommend this product to people with uneven skin tone, acne, and oily skin because it will not cover blemishes and will not hold off shine. However I think this product would be a good choice for people who just want something light and sheer to quickly even out their complexion.

The Rundown:

Packaging: 5/5
Cute squeeze tube.

Product: 3/5
Not exactly what I'd call "BB Cream." Too sheer for my liking, doesn't cover flaws. But good if you have an even complexion and just want to even out skin tone.

Price: 5/5


[ click here to read about my Review & Rating System ]

NOTD: Revlon Whimsical over Hard Candy Sky

My sister from another mister Serenie gifted me with Revlon Whimiscal polish! It looks so pretty and cute in the bottle but it's very VERY sheer and the glitter comes out really sparse so it requires a few coats to get a nice distribution of glitter.

Whimsical is made up of a super sheer milky blue base with pink and blue chunky hexagonal glitters and blue microglitter. I layered it over Hard Candy's Sky which is a pretty pale baby blue with very fine shimmer. I love baby pink/blue combos so I think it came out pretty cute with some added deco :)

On another note, I need new topcoat! Definitely going to pick up a bottle of Seche Vite. The topcoat I have now has a lot of bubbles :(

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sophie & Toffee 10% OFF coupon for all your decoden supply needs!

Here's a code for 10% off any order from Sophie & Toffee! They are my #1 recommended decoden supplier for their huge variety of cabochons, fast shipping, and excellent customer service!

Click the link below to get the code!
(code is only valid if the website is accessed though the click-through link!)

This offer expires on 7/23/12. Happy shopping!