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Here are all my reviews:
  • The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Serum

    This is what I used this winter to combat dry skin. It's very thin, but somehow it moisturizes my face better than the thick creams I've tried in the past. Yes, this comes in a teeny tiny bottle, but I only use a little pea-sized drop of it at a time, so it actually lasts for a while. I think once you get over the sticker shock, you'll actually like this.

    May 4, 2013

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  • The Body Shop Neroli Jasmin Body Lotion

    The Body Shop describes this scent as, "a captivating blend of jasmine with touches of warm vanilla orchid, sandalwood, and neroli." I bought a bottle of this last November, but I can't find it on the site anymore, so it may have been discontinued. Anyway, this is a really nice scent, though I was hoping for a stronger jasmine scent because I absolutely love jasmine, but the dominant scent here is the vanilla, which is still nice, just not what I wanted. And I have no idea what neroli smells like, and this scent has not enlightened me on that count. As for the body lotion part, it's pretty thin, like the other Body Shop lotions, but this would probably be nice for the summer nights. It's not super-moisturizing, but this dries quickly without a greasy residue. However, the vanilla smells is very strong, almost overpowering, so you should probably just limit this to a few areas instead of applying it all over.

    May 4, 2013

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  • Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

    So far I've tried this in three shades: Berry Smoothie, Sugar Plum, and Peach Parfait. I wasn't paying close attention, but both Peach Parfait and Berry Smoothie have shimmer in them, something I do not want. In any case, shade-wise, Sugar Plum comes first for me. It is a very beautiful color for my South East Asian coloring. It darkens my natural coloring while adding a nice rosiness, so I'm sure I will be using this all the time. Peach Parfait, on the other hand, blended almost completely in to my natural lip color, so I don't see the need in it if I could just use regular lip balm. Berry Smoothie I had to return, it made my lips look garish and unnatural and clashed with my skin. As for wear, these apply very nicely and last a while. I'm very compulsive about applying lip products, so I can't give any definite estimates about how long they last, but these are definitely very moisturizing. I've been shy about using lipstick because I can't apply it perfectly evenly and they have a tendency to dry out my lips, but I have definitely loved using the Revlon Lip Butter, so I will be picking up a few more of these. It is a little pricey, but it seems like there's always one drugstore or another that has a sale going on. Just for reference, for the other shimmer avoiders out there, from what I can cull from online reviews, the shades that do not have shimmer are: Strawberry Shortcake, Sweet Tart, Creamsicle, Candy Apple, Sugar Plum (as already mentioned), Raspberry Pie, Red Velvet, Fig Jam, Cherry Tart, Pink Truffle. Fig Jam seems to be getting a lot of rave reviews, so I hope to try that one next. Those WITH shimmer are: Peach Parfait, Berry Smoothie, Sugar Frosting, Creme Brulee.

    May 4, 2013

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

    Believe the hype, this pencil is worth every penny. It glides on smoothly (don't you hate it when makeup articles suggest you blast a blowdryer on your eyeliner before you apply so that it will soften?), and it is REALLY pigmented. When you first apply it, it's still malleable enough for you to smudge or remove if you've made a mistake (like accidentally smudging it all over your eyelid, not that I'm speaking from experience...). But wait a few minutes for it to dry (this is the annoying part, having to consciously keep your eyes from opening all the way), and it sets until you take it off at night (which is the other annoying part, it really wants to stay on). And they come in so many shades that are fun to play with. Hopefully they'll come out with a set of mini pencils in various colors soon, that would be an amazing gift or stocking stuffer.

    May 4, 2013

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • the Balm Hot Mama
    10.0

    the Balm Hot Mama

    Beautiful Blush

    I love this blush. I received a sample of this in my February Birchbox and have used this every day since. I still have a lot of product left, that's how pigmented this is. It is a great color for my skin (medium/light, South East Asian for reference), it adds a nice warmth to my cheeks, and I also apply a little bit on the sides of my forehead and jawbone to soften up the uniformity of my foundation. I don't know if I would buy a full size, though. This little sample has 1/7 of the product, and it's already lasted me 3 months and looks like there's still a lot more. You're supposed to throw out powder face makeup after 2 years, so not only would I have to make more room for the full size (and not be able to carry it around with me when travelling), I would wind up wasting product. When I run out, I'll probably look for another sample size (assuming I don't wind up with another one in a subscription box).

    May 4, 2013

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  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

    Definitely one of my favorites. It applies really smoothly and really evens out your face and shrinks the appearance of your pores. On some of my casual days, I just apply this without any makeup because it makes my skin look almost perfect and feel incredibly soft. It definitely does its job; no matter how sweaty I get or how long my day is, my makeup stays put. I've tried it as an eye makeup primer though and it wasn't very good, so you'll probably need a separate primer for that. I'm only giving it 8 stars because of the price, it is way too expensive for my student budget. I've found another primer that is almost as good as this (the same silky feeling, the same lasting power) -- The Body Shop Skin Primer Matte It, and it is much more friendly to my wallet ($7.50 if you catch it on sale for a tube that is half the size of the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer).

    May 4, 2013

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  • The Body Shop Matte It Face & Lips

    I've been using the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and enjoying it, but I was looking around for suitable alternatives since it is just so expensive. I don't have oily skin, so I can't vouch for whether or not it actually mattes skin, but this is the only one that I've tried that even comes close to what Smashbox delivers. it has that same silky feeling and it keeps my makeup on for my 12-hour days. I wait for The Body Shop to have their 50% off sales and then use my Love Your Body card to get another 10% off. Add some more coupons and my points bonuses, and I wind up paying only about $4 for this, so it really is a great deal for a great product. So if you're also a member of the Body Shop's Love Your Body program, you should pick this up on your next trip over, it's not a huge money commitment.

    May 4, 2013

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  • Essie Luxeeffects Glitter Top Coat

    I have this in both Pure Pearlfection (a pearly white) and Stroke of Brilliance (blue glitter). It's just the shiny stuff suspended in a clear jelly, so they make really nice top coats since they don't alter the color of your base. The formulas are very nice, and they're packed with glitter/shimmer, so the shine payoff is high without a lot of effort. Stroke of Brilliance does exactly what you expect, but I really love the Pure Pearlfection because it just gives the base color a nice wash of sheen. I usually use these when I'm tired of my current nail color but too lazy to completely redo it; just a coat and my pedicure gets interesting again. These would definitely be a good addition to any top coat collection. I'm still kicking myself for not getting Shine of the Times (the flakie) when it was available, but A Cut Above (the pink glitter) is still out there and I think it will be even more versatile than Stroke of Brilliance.

    May 4, 2013

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil
    3.0

    Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil

    Not up to Essie Standards

    I agree with deedles: this smells really nice and fruity, but it doesn't do anything special. I've tried this a few times, but I'm not seeing any results that I wouldn't be getting using a regular hand cream. The brush is a nice touch, I was hoping that I could just limit the oil to my nail beds, but the oil is so runny that it makes a mess anyway. Stick with your hand creams, don't bother adding more clutter to your life with this one.

    May 4, 2013

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  • Essie Nail Polish

    Essie is my hands-down favorite nail polish brand. No one does creme polishes as well as they do - the formula is the perfect consistency for doing your nails quickly but without a huge mess, they are completely opaque on the second coat (if not the first), they dry really shiny and glossy, and they have never chipped on me. And I have heard that people like the big brush that comes in OPI bottles, but I prefer Essie's thinner brush as it gives me more control over where the polish goes. Also, a tip: if you live in a big city, you probably have a few stores nearby that caters to salons. At mine, they have Essie for more than 1/2 off and they have the new colors as soon as they're available, so I can indulge in all the shades I want without breaking the bank. (And of course you can pick up bottles of other brands for a very good deal as well, definitely worth a trip.)

    May 4, 2013

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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