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Here are all my reviews:
  • Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum
    6.0

    Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum

    Sophisticated and pretty but a little too strong for me

    As I said in my Birchbox review, this one is a little strong for me, so I'm on the fence. The floral notes are sophisticated, deep, and long-lasting. On me I don't get the hit of Mandarin; I get more patchouli and floral. That said, it's not a "hippie" scent at all; even though it's Juicy Couture, which I think of as a casual brand, on me this fragrance comes across as more "elegant evening out"-- I'd probably wear it to the symphony or a black tie event. But I'd apply it very, very sparingly!

    June 12, 2012

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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  • the Balm Stainiac Tinted Gel Blush
    9.0

    the Balm Stainiac Tinted Gel Blush

    Really liked this as a lip stain! (Shade: "Beauty Queen")

    I've purchased other gel lip and cheek stains, as well as other lip stains, with mixed results so I wasn't sure about this one. But I'm so glad I had the opportunity to sample this in this month's Birchbox! Being super-fair-skinned the color "Beauty Queen" looked frighteningly bright in the tube, but it went on sheer and was the perfect pink. Not a baby pale or beige pink, but a fun, fresh pink with just enough fucshia to make it kicky (but not in the least bit garish). I liked that the product is buildable and is easily blendable with a longer drying time than the other brands I'd tried...It made the product feel more controllable. On my lips it left a matte finish as expected--"Beauty Queen" gave my lips the color I might get after eating beets or cherries, which was nice but a little too matte--so I topped with a little clear gloss by Smashbox and it was perfect. This will be one of my summer go-to's, especially for lips.

    June 12, 2012

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15

    As a sensitive-skinned user of the green cap Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer spf 30, I was thrilled when this product was introduced....and was extremely disappointed by it. It has a fragrance that smells of roses and chemicals, which should have been my first clue. When I applied it, my skin turned red, burned, and itched so badly I had to wash it off, which I've never actually had to do before. The redness remained for more than a day. I was shocked by this, because I've never had any problems with the regular green cap Positively Radiant, so I expected this formula to be even milder. I was wrong, If you're super-sensitive, avoid this one like the plague.

    June 7, 2012

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John Frieda Radiant Red Color Captivating Shampoo
    6.0

    John Frieda Radiant Red Color Captivating Shampoo

    Drying, but brings out the highlights

    My natural color is auburn that tends to fade out to brown and lose the red highlights at certain times of year. I color to punch it up, and I thought maybe this shampoo might help hold onto the red (natural and helpers) .While it does bring out the highlights and help me hang onto my added color, I find this shampoo extremely drying. (We have extremely hard water, which doesn't help.) I'm not crazy about the odor --it smells like a salon chemical I can't identify--and it gives my hair a strawlike feeling until I apply my conditoner. Because it does bring out my highlights, after some experimentation I found it works better when I lather once with this, rinse, and lather again with a really good conditioning shampoo for dry colored hair and use a really good conditioner. This combo seems to be the ticket, but it would be great if this shampoo actually did that without extra assistance from another shampoo!.

    June 4, 2012

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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  • John Frieda Precision Foam Colour
    10.0

    John Frieda Precision Foam Colour

    Easiest at home hair color I've ever used, and great results!

    I've used this twice to punch up my natural color, which gets a little dull and brassy sometimes. I go a shade or so darker in the winter for richness, and two weeks ago I moved to a color a shade lighter than my natural color to brighten things up. The color is easy to apply and distribute through my long, thick hair, and it's nice that with this I only need one box instead of my usual two. I also love that it doesn't make a huge mess, so cleanup is really easy. The odor is about the same or slightly less than other at home permanent color, so having good ventilation is important. (I open the window.). After applying the included conditioner my hair was in good condition and not overdry (the conditioner that comes with it is fantastic). After coloring, conditioning, and rinsing out I follow the late Vidal Sassoon's advice of letting my hair "live with" the color for a couple of days before shampooing or using styling products. This seems to produce a more even, natural looking result that lasts longer and leaves my hair in better condition than when I don't take the time to do this, because it allows the natural oils to come back. The final result (the first shampoo and style after the "settling in" period) looks natural with good highlights and shine-- My most uberhonest friend and I thoroughly checked out my hair in strong sunlight and it passed inspection. If you follow the package directions and don't expect a home haircolor to do miracles (meaning, don't try to go up or down more than 2 shades at home-- you need a colorist for that) it's a fantastic product.

    June 4, 2012

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
    7.0

    Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

    Not quite as good as Smashbox but a close 2nd

    I bought this to compare to Smashbox Cream Liner, which is one of my favorites. The Maybelline shade I bought is "Eggplant." Texture-wise, the Maybelline is a tad drier than Smashbox, (which may actually be a help for those with oily skin), and although it doesn't drag at all, people who love the buttery texture of Smashbox will notice a bit of a difference. Color-wise, the pigments in Maybelline's Eggplant shade gave good color payoff, though it doesn't look as inky as Smashbox. Also, compared to Smashbox it's not as true to color out of the jar vs. in the jar. In the jar "Eggplant" looks much more purple, but out of the jar it lives up to its name and is a true eggplant...more of a dark plummy wine than purple. (To be sure it wasn't just my skin I put some on a cotton swab, and it 's definitely eggplant on the swab.) Staying power is good, and I didn't have any problems with smudging or running even after applying rewetting drops to my contacts. 24 hour wear is probably a stretch, though. My favorite aspect to this product came as a surprise, though: I love the brush that comes with it!!! The short handle makes for great control, and the tapered dome shape of the bristles is perfect for getting really close to your lashline. In fact I love this brush so much I bought another jar of this product in a color I rarely use just so I can use the brush for my everyday Smashbox! On the minus side? Smashbox has spoiled me with their clear plastic lids that make it easy to see the color inside. But overall this is a great liner at a great price, and the brush a lot better than any of the other liner brush styles I've used. (Come to think of it, it would be a great lip brush too. Hmmm...)

    June 4, 2012

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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  • Smashbox Cream Eye Liner
    8.0

    Smashbox Cream Eye Liner

    Like buttah (but success depends on your undereye moisturizer)!!

    I've been using this eyeliner for a couple of years and find success with this product depends on a lot on the other products I use around the eye--particularly moisturizer. If the moisturizer contains mineral oil or other ingredients that break down the product, smudging is a lot more likely to occur. When I'm careful with my moisturizer or use a good primer, I get good results and staying power. I love the texture of this product-- silky, buttery, and glides on so well it's easy to get heavy-handed at first. The fact that it doesn't drag makes me happy, because I wear contacts and hate it when applying liner to the upper lashline knocks them out of focus. The color variety is nice, with good color payoff and decent staying power when I'm careful with the moisturizer. I'm fair skinned and have this in Caviar (a great shade of black for night), Deep Mauve (a reddish brown I mix with a little black to make my brown eyes pop), and Khaki (my favorite--a dark, smokey gray with hints of olive and gold tones in it that doesn't read glittery metallic after I apply it). This product is a lot of fun to play with, and I love the versatility I can get by using different brushes for different looks and smudging with different tools. (ELF's smudge brush is my favorite smudging tool for a rock n roll look.) You have to work fast because it does dry quickly, but once you get the hang of it this eyeliner is a lot of fun to use. Also, this is a small thing, but I really like Smashbox's see-through plastic lids and rubberized packaging, which is especially handy on klutzy mornings or when jockying for space in front of the mirror!

    June 4, 2012

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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  • Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss
    9.0

    Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss

    Illume and Crystal are great toppers!

    As another reviewer pointed out, in Smashbox lingo "enhancing" has nothing to do with plumping. But having super-sensitive skin, I'm OK with that! I have this in Illume and Crystal, both of which were originally gifts with other purchases. Nice texture--not as nice as NYX, as Smashbox is a bit stickier, but not nearly as sticky-tacky as most of my other lip glosses...just enough to grab onto the lips or lipstick. Illume, a golden nude-ish color, has just the right amount of sparkle without going Vegas and will look great this summer with a golden-brown eye. It has enough opacity to stand on its own while still being sheer enough to use as a topper for lipstick, so I like this color's versatility. As for Crystal, I wasn't expecting to like this, but I do! Despite its name, it's not a super-shiny wet-look gloss. What it is instead is moisturizing with just enough shine to give a nice finish to a lipstick without sending it into adult film star star territory...just a really pretty finishing touch. I especially like that this clear gloss doesn't migrate like a lot of clear glosses tend to do; it's slightly tacky enough to stay put without being obnoxiously sticky, and it gives a nice cushiony feeling to the lips. It also doesn't have a heavy scent or taste; it's a very faint vanilla-ish flavor which I prefer to the fruit flavors other brands try to do. Bonus: the small, skinny size of the tube fits in my tiniest evening clutch too; making it just the right size to cram into a wristlet. As for the price, the Smashbox website Tuesday and Thursday feebies and Sephora Beauty Insider points have done a lot to help ease the potential sticker shock, so a well-timed purchase when I need another product usually ends up being a really great deal. .

    June 4, 2012

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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  • NYX Cosmetics NYX Diamond Sparkle Lip Gloss
    10.0

    NYX Cosmetics NYX Diamond Sparkle Lip Gloss

    Lovely texture and color and so moisturizing!

    A friend gave me a tube of this, because while I'd heard good things about NYX, I'd never tried it before. Pardon my gushing, but...I love the texture of this! As another reviewer said, it's almost more of a liquid lipstick because it has more pigment than most glosses, but it doesn't dry out and stays moist and supple on the lips. It's not sticky at all, and it's so moisturizing that when I throw it into my bag I don't bother bringing lip balm. Despite the moisturizing, it doesn't migrate, and as far as lip gloss goes it has really good staying power. I wore the rosy red one to dinner (edit: it's called Copper Sparkle, but is more like a beautiful soft rose red) and came out with a hint of color still on. A really excellent product at a super-low price!

    June 4, 2012

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminee Eye and Lip Cream
    10.0

    Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminee Eye and Lip Cream

    Great for contact lens wearers in hot dry climates! My summer go-to!

    I demand a lot from an eye cream: I stay out late a lot (dark circles), wear contact lenses (sensitive eyes), I live in the hot, dry climate of Los Angeles, and I have super-sensitive combination skin. This stuff checks off all my requirements. It hydrates and plumps up the fine lines that are starting to appear from 15 years of wearing contacts, it gives a great canvas for my concealer, and it doesn't budge in the summer or sting my eyes. I also like that it sinks into the skin quickly and that a little goes a long way. After a few weeks I noticed my eye area looked brighter, which was a nice bonus. For extra dry days in winter I alternate this with Shiseido Benefiance, especially at night, but for daytime and in the spring and summer this is just right. As for the lip benefits, I use it when I need light, non-greasy moisture, such as before applying lip gloss. For that it's perfect, but if you have super-dry lips it probably wouldn't be enough.

    June 4, 2012

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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