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Here are all my reviews:
  • It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Anti-Aging Lipstick Stain
    10.0

    It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Anti-Aging Lipstick Stain

    Treat Your Lips to Nurturing Color!

    I admitted in an earlier blog that I am totally hooked on Tangee's "Color-Changing Lipstick" (a classic, available online from The Vermont Country Store). The silky-smooth formula protects my lips from hot and cold weather, provides a most becoming shade on my pout, often lasting longer than I do! There's a new and noteworthy product in town: It Cosmetics' "Vitality Flush 4-in-1 Anti-Aging Lip Stain." It is available in four hues, including my favorites: "Pretty Woman," a lovely, burnished pink and "Love Story," a soft, true rose. Also noteworthy is "Je Ne Sais Quoi," which provides just a hint of a very natural long-lasting tint. This gem won awards from "Total Beauty," "Daily Glow," and "Beauty Entertainment." Plum. Sunflower, and Cherry Oils, Shea Butter, and Jojoba hydrate and condition for hours; these are combined with the anti-oxidants Green Tea, White Tea, and Vitamins A, C, and E. Hyaluronic Acid, currently all-the-rage in moisurizing, is included to keep your lips buttery soft and glossy. How can you resist a stain which enhances and nourishes? You can't! The $20.00 price tag is reasonable for the compliments you will receive from wearing this.

    February 23, 2013

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Origins Pinch Your Cheeks
    9.0

    Origins Pinch Your Cheeks

    A Gorgeous, Most Natural Tint

    I have been using Origin's "Pinch Your Cheeks" for years. It is one of the few stains to give a look like you just walked in from the cold or have been swept off your feet by a new love--completely natural and ultimately flattering! Since it is a true stain, blending takes some practice (it must be applied quickly and in a circular motion for best results). You may need to mix it with moisturizer or your foundation to achieve a natural flush. But you won't be disappointed--I promise! It comes in three enchanting shades ("Coralberry," "Raspberry," and "Brownberry"). One shade will enhance any complexion color. It lasts nearly forever--through long hours and all types of weather. I think you can't possibly go wrong with this for the mere price of $12.50. A small tube will last you a long time. Just enough product is dispensed through the opening to be useful. If you are lucky, you may be able to find Origin's "Bite Your Lips" online; it does the same as the accompanying item does for lips. It's you--only better and more radiant!

    February 23, 2013

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • StriVectin-TL Tightening Neck Cream

    Turkey neck. The awful, hanging, dreaded turkey neck. At one time or another, all of our formerly lovely and oft-neglected necks will become like the skin of a turkey. It is a key topic in the subtly hysterical book by the beloved, deceased, ever-witty Nora Ephron, "I Am Worried About My Neck." As Nora noted in that tome, she and her friends met often, each of them wearing turtlenecks, chunky jewelry, and scarves as "compensatory dressing" to conceal inevitable aging. She wished she had taken care of her swan-like young neck in years past, as she had no idea of what was to come. And she mentioned in her writing the discovery of "Strivectin-TL Tightening Neck Cream" as an aid in the battle against aging and gravity. As Ms. Ephron merrily wrote, "You have to cut open a redwood treat to see how old it is, but you wouldn't have to if it had a neck." Is Strivectin, highly touted as the "answer" to turkey skin, the key to turning back the clock? Sadly, very sadly and many dollars later, I haven't found it so. You see, I had genetic creases across my neck since I was a child. I recall posing for my fourth-grade class picture, pulling up the Peter-Pan collar of my dress around my neck to disguise the inherient creases (at age nine!). I've been using Strivectin for more than two years. It has its benefits, but at this point I don't believe they warrant the price of this product. At $89.00 for less than two ounces, Strivectin contains protein "tighteners" and a patented version of Vitamin B3--also known as Niacin--to improve moisture content, tighten skin, and fight sagging. Niacin is a powerful vitamin; my mother took it as an aid to her beauty regimen, only to wind up with skin so taut and red that she wound up in an emergency room (the symptoms disappeared by themselves over a few hours). My silly teenage sister mimicked my mother and found herself hospitalized as well. But don't expect an earth-shattering change with Strivectin's neck cream. Evidently the Niacin included is not enough. There is some disguising of lines and crepey tissue and a very slight firming feel. I've done better with products from the Perricone line, especially "Cold Plasma" ($135 for two ounces, but a better deal, all things considered). No, I do not have money to burn, but my wardrobe contains few turtlenecks and I don't wear many scarves. My best advice? Moisturize your neck from a young age and protect it well with sunscreen, summer and winter. As for "turkey neck?" If it happens to you, have a new procedure, a mini-facial called a "QuickLift." I haven't succumbed yet, but I do fear that in years to come I will be signing up for one . . .

    February 23, 2013

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum
    10.0

    John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum

    Applause for John Frieda!

    I despise dried-out, frizzy hair. At one time, my hair was lush, full, completely undamaged. I needlessly experimented with color, forever losing my gorgeous natural auburn. In my opinion, using hair dye--with its drying ammonia and peroxide--is a huge mistake unless you need to cover gray. Virgin hair is unparalleled in beauty, with multi-tonal highlights, healthy strands, and sheen. The color affected my hair's cuticle and I needed to condition more regularly. And then, to make a very long and convoluted story short, some medical mistakes left me taking large doses of Prednisone to control pain. What came next? Thinning, lifeless, parched tresses which nothing could seem to mend. The shine was a thing of the past; frizz increased incredibly. My frail hair would break very easily, especially after being compromised by washing. I increased the B Vitamins I take, as well as vitamins in general. I used a great deep conditioner regularly. I switched to the Nioxin System for thinning, chemically-treated hair. It worked as well as could be expected, but every time I went for a trim the stylist would look at me, horrified, and ask, "How did you fry your hair?" I was desperate. A tidbit on AOL about John Frieda's "Frizz-Ease Hair Serum Thermal Protection Formula" caught my eye. Evidently one woman had been trying to grow her hair for years with no success. She used the product regularly and eventually had her lengthy, lush locks. For less than $10.00, what did I have to lose? Frizz and delicate hair, for one! This serum is a powerhouse at shielding your strands against the heat of blow dryers, curling or straightening tools, and UV damage. It extends the life of color and imparts a new radiance. After washing (I've learned to use cooler water because it is less harmful), I towel dry gently. Then I pump a dime-sized amount into my palms and work it through my ends and any particularly dry areas, avoiding roots (it will weigh hair down). If more is needed, I adjust it accordingly. I've also invested in an ionic hair dryer to tame frizz with less brutality than a traditional one. My hair is bouncy and shiny; the fragility is less noticeable. A recent trip to the salon had the stylist's mouth agape, asking what had changed in my routine. "Frizz-Ease" uses Vitamin E, Mineral Oil, and Hydrolyzed Silk to bring about major results. Occasionally, I use it on dry hair to tame fly-away's. My hair is not greasy; it just feels like hair again, healthy hair. This is easily a ten-star product for me!

    February 22, 2013

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream
    10.0

    Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream

    Neutrogena to the Rescue!

    It seems like it was just last week that I would purchase clear Neutrogena anti-acne soap to keep teenage blemishes at bay. It worked well and I wondered why my friends didn't do the same. Now I'm relying on the same company to banish wrinkles as well (where DOES the time go?). It was the trustworthiness of the Neutrogena name which sold me on their "Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream;" with a promise that I would see results, I knew I could return it if I were unhappy. But returning this is out of the question--this cream works! Period. It has a sleek, satiny feel and seeps into skin quickly (a heavy, oily cream in the eye area can cause fluid to be retained and eyes to puff). Moreover, it is totally fragrance-free. The real beauty of this product lies in three key ingredients working together--Retinol SA, Glucose Complex, and Hyaluronic Acid. Retinol SA (an abbreviation for Retinol--Sustained Action, unique to Neutrogena) is used as an anti-aging component. This patented version of Retinol evens skin's texture and tone. With continued use, wrinkles do disappear. It has the ability to continue working up to twelve hours after application to mend skin damage. For some people, this ingredient can be slightly harsh. Initially I found a mild burning. I switched from using it every night to every other night. My skin became accustomed to the Retinol SA, and severity was no longer a problem. I went back to daily use. Beware, however: Skin exposed to any form of Retinol is much more vulnerable to sun damage. Thus, a good sunscreen is in order to protect delicate tissue (actually, a good sunscreen is always in order). Neutrogena claims that Glucose Complex speeds the effectiveness of the Retinol SA. I won't disagree here; within just a few days, the tiny fine lines around my eyes had gone. Hyaluronic Acid--another wildly popular name in skin care these days--adds moisture to hydrate, rejuvenate, and plump skin, further erasing the appearance of unwanted creases. For a cost of about $20.00, I find this a steal. Not only are lines no longer a problem, but there is a new clarity and brightness to my eye area. Thanks again, Neutrogena. You never let me down.

    February 22, 2013

    48 of 53 people found this review helpful

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  • Estee Lauder Perfectionist [CP+] with Poly-Collagen Peptides Correcting Serum

    How do you know when a moisturizer truly works immediately at improving your skin's appearance? When you apply it for the very first time and your husband says, "Wow, are you glowing! Are you wearing new makeup or something?" No, I was wearing Estee Lauder's "Perfectionist [CP+] with Poly-Collagen Peptides Correcting Serum." That's how quickly my face, already in pretty good shape, reacted to the incredible formula. The very silky, lightweight serum penetrated immediately, smoothing my skin, disguising tiny wrinkles, and leaving behind a baby-soft, luminous, yet powder-like finish. It was like magic. What does it? "Perfectionist" is replete with collagen-producing ingredients, so it works in the present and will continue to work in the future to repair skin damage and renew cells. Should I tell you this? Oh, well, you're paying for it anyway: The hydrolyzed fish included in the unique formula is one type of topical protein which mends tissue and enables skin to produce more of its own collagen. The formula is chock-full of anti-oxidants and sun protection, a must-have in any moisturizer no matter the season (keep in mind that winter sun is just as damaging as the sun you experience in the summer months). Silicone in "Perfectionist" works as a type of "shapewear" to tighten and "fill in" creases and hide lines instantaneously, while mineral pigments cast a flattering sheen. Root, fruit, whey, corn, and flower extracts feed skin. Caffeine (yes, think Starbucks here) is a currently popular ingredient which has been shown to dehydrate and constrict blood vessels, thereby reducing annoying puffiness and even facial flushing (temporarily). In the long run, it works as an anti-oxidant and enhances the performance of other ingredients. Some studies have suggested that caffeine acts over time to reduce UV damage and may perhaps be more potent than much-touted green tea. I extensively researched the ingredients in this because I am now addicted to it. I caught my husband applying it to some frown lines, with great success. He now shares my container. Even better, I buy him Lauder's concentrated "Targeted Deep Wrinkle Filler." It behaves like spackle to camouflage enlarged pores as well as furrows and grooves. We are believers! Don't even come near our "Perfectionist" products--we will never give them up!

    February 22, 2013

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
    10.0

    Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

    Shu Uemura Sets the Standard for Lash Curling

    I began curling my lashes at a young age. They are short and sparse, and curling adds the "oomph" I need to garner attention. An eyelash curler is an eyelash curler is an eyelash curler, right? They are akin to torture devices which pull skin and delicate lashes and leave your eyes watering, ruining all of the perfectly applied makeup which you just completed. WRONG! Not when it comes to a "Shu Uemura" genuine eyelash curler. It is ergonomically designed and sculpted to wrap around the eyelid with total comfort (in this case, one size does indeed seem to fit all). The hinge itself is engineered to provide the correct amount of pressure to crimp lashes, not destroy them. It is available at the main Shu Uemura site for $20.00, a bit pricey to be sure, but I find it more of a must-have than a splurge unless you are blessed with plentiful lashes (they are not being sold at Sephora right now and can be found only at Ulta stores, not online at Ulta). Be careful--there is one pad in the curler and an additional one in the box. Do not discard the additional one by mistake. I've been lucky to find less costly versions at ebay and Amazon, but buyer beware: The "real thing" opens and closes with ease and takes little effort to work with. It will never pinch or hurt in any way. The metal is heavy and covers your entire eyelid. "Shu Uemura" will be stamped on the tool itself as well as the rubber pads. I've been fortunate to gather a few at ebay for as little as $2.19; I took advantage of the price and gave them as gifts after squirreling away several for myself. The shipping time may be long as they may come from Japan, but the wait is well worth it. A few more tips: You may want to heat your curler with a blow dryer in order to give it more staying power (take care here not to burn lids). The pads do not last long (all good things must come to an end). Look for genuine replacement pads at the aforementioned sites. And never curl lashes which have already been coated with mascara. Despite the gentleness with which a Shu Uemura curler operates, you can pluck eyelashes which may never grow back--yikes!

    February 22, 2013

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Tarte Beauty & The Box Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Quad
    9.0

    Tarte Beauty & The Box Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Quad

    A Must-Try in the "Evoke the Smoke" Colors

    I doubt that there's a cosmetic brand I haven't tried, especially when it comes to eye shadows (one of my greatest weaknesses). Tarte Cosmetics ranks among my favorites. I savor their collector's kits, but this unexpected little boxed gem is also available in four luscious shades aptly named "Evoke the Smoke." The colors? A soft pink, an absolutely wearable grey/silver (no fear of glitter fall-out with this), an opulent, irresistible plum with gentle iridescence, and matte black. No matter how you combine the hues, the result is beautiful. Sometimes I swipe pink over my entire lid and use silver or plum as a contrast in the crease; it's a good look for daytime. To really "evoke the smoke?" Work with the entire set of four colors for all-out evening glamour, extending the black upward and outward for a "cat eye." Subtly smudge the plum or black under bottom lashes for a look that screams come-hither. These are finely-milled shadows, and thus they brush on effortlessly and blend just as well. Because of the Amazonian clay base, they stay put as well as the Tarte clay blush does, especially when used over a great eye primer like "Eye Insurance" from Too Faced Cosmetics or Urban Decay's "Eyeshadow Primer Potion." The small box is ultimately portable and allows you to toss it in your purse to take with you, something you obviously can't do with a large palette. One problem? A mirror in the lid of the box would definitely be helpful, but I'm not complaining. I paid only $8.75 for this at Amazon--twice. I was so pleased with the first quad that I bought another for when this is used (a short time from now). So why are you still reading this? At a price this reasonable, this amazing, they won't be around for long. You should be at Amazon already . . .

    February 22, 2013

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Stain
    9.0

    Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Stain

    My Mouth Waters for This Stain!

    When I first read Tarte's claim that their "LipSurgence Lip Tint" increases lip moisture by 6000% I laughed aloud! Did they think I was born the day before or that I had just fallen from the turnip truck? What lip tint could be so moisturizing? I don't have a homemade lip-o-meter to measure the difference, but it truly is akin to applying balm rather than color, yet you actually do both. Yes, lips are actually softened and remain so. The mint gives a gentle, most pleasant tingling sensation. The shades are delectable; I have several and grab up the occasional kits they offer at Sephora with a variety for a mere $28.00. "Charmed" is the ultimate in flattering light pinks. "Enchanted" is a fantasy rose. There is a zesty red hue, while "Moody" is a becoming berry--not too dark, even for the most fair-skinned. "Swank" is a sophisticated berry-red. It is essential to exfoliate lips first for the most even application. If you don't have a lip exfoliator, simply brush your mouth gently with a very soft-bristled toothbrush and a paste of brown sugar; be certain to hydrate well overnight. "LipSurgence" flows on sheerly and can be used as a wash of color on cheeks if blended well. The staying power is not as strong as with some brands (a hint of color remains for a long time), and so reapply as needed for a fresh glow and additional comfort. Applause, applause to Tarte for a product which exceeds its claims and is highly addictive!

    February 21, 2013

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
    5.0

    Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

    An Unhappy Surprise from Tarte

    Tarte can rarely do wrong in all things related to skin care and makeup. I can't recall what I did in the days before I discovered the brand. The eyeshadows, Amazonian clay blushes, LipSurgence tint, and SmolderEYES waterproof liner--oh, my! I had been told that I would fall hard for this mascara, and I didn't fall at all. My lashes were colored and separated, but there was no added volume or length whatsoever. Perhaps if you are blessed with a plethora of lashes, this will work well for you. For those of us who are lacking, this is not a mascara which will enhance your lashes at all. Hard to believe it's from Tarte!

    February 21, 2013

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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