*Image above via Dylan Parienty…whoever did her makeup needs an award! Love!
I’m back with more candid reviews of hyped beauty products today!
+Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara. I went into this product thinking — “for $72, this mascara better change my life.” Unfortunately, it did not live up to the heavy hype for me. It does deliver a gorgeous, long lash but I found it flaked easily and left me with a little ring of black under my eyes more often than not. One day while testing this product, I used my Giorgio Armani mascara on one eye and Chantecaille on the other and frankly they delivered similar results in terms of lash lengthening, separation, etc, but my Armani did not smear/flake/etc. I say you can save your money and skip this one! I still think Armani makes the best mascara of all time, and you can get it on sale here.
+dpHue Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. Per the site: “This shampoo substitute will gently cleanse and remove impurities without stripping the natural oils that are essential to the health of your scalp and hair.” ACV is supposed to be excellent for hair strength and luster — something to do with balancing the scalp’s pH — and is safe (encouraged!) for color-treated hair. My mom and I tested the rinse separately and then compared notes. We both agreed the applicator is kind of difficult to get the hang of – you can’t really tell how much you’re applying and I could never tell whether I’d adequately coated all my hair/scalp with it since it doesn’t “suds” up, you’re applying in a little stream, and your hair is already wet. Over time, I realized you have to apply quite a bit of this product to your hair — I swear I use almost 1/8th or 1/10th of a bottle per treatment? — to get the full effect, or at least it felt that way to me. For that reason, I went from applying every few days to every week or every other week so that it’s not quite such an expensive treatment. I love (!) how my hair and scalp feel after applying — clean, cool, thoroughly cleansed. My hair absolutely looks shinier and happier afterward. I do feel that my hair looks dirtier more quickly after using, though — I usually wash my hair every 2-3 days and my hair still looks great up until the moment I do so. With this, I am dying to wash my hair by the second day. I’m not sure if that means I need to use this for longer so my scalp adjusts? I’m not sure. For now, I think I’ll continue to use until I’ve finished my rinse bottle and then evaluate whether I miss it after not having it for a few weeks. This may also be the kind of thing I buy and use once a month when I feel my hair looks dull. I would say it’s great if you’re having a case of the blahs with your hair but not sure it’s worth the expense for regular use.
+dpHue Apple Cider Vinegar Leave-In Therapy. I absolutely love this stuff (!). I find it more effective than the rinse, and a far better value at that, though I suppose they do very different things. This therapy is a primer you spritz on your hair after showering. I swear my hair has never been softer, more detangled, or more lustrous — I swear it gives me Veronica Lake hair, i.e., shiny with a kind of halo effect? It’s incredible! My mother did not have as strong of a positive reaction to this as I did, so it could just be well-suited to my hair type (I have fine, straight hair but a lot of it). The site claims it speeds up drying time. Not sure about that claim — I’m more impressed with the way it coats the hair to detangle, shine, and give a great hand-feel. I’m in love love love.
+Follain Hydrating Mask. This is a solid mask for dry skin. I find I reach for my other masks first, mainly because I usually want to a use masks to brighten, clear, revive my skin versus hydrate it, but when my skin has been feeling tight/dry from the cold winter air, I apply this at night and sleep in it and sometimes even use it a sub for a daily moisturizer if really in need. It’s scent-less, gentle, and has a nice lightweight viscosity to it. I liked it for what it was but it’s not the kind of thing I’ll be sending to all my girlfriends in a flurry of excitement. (Clarins’ mask, on the other hand…AHHH! Holy grail. Clarins generously sent me a gift box in December and I usually try to give away any cosmetics/skincare I already have to sisters/friends/my nanny but I absolutely, selfishly kept everything in the box, including this mask and HRH The Double Serum, because I use them myself religiously.)
+Clarins Total Eye Lift. In that Clarins box, I also received their new eye lift cream. Unfortunately, the search for an eye cream that does anything but hydrate continues…! I mean, hydration in the eye area is critical, and I do notice I look more tired when I skip that step (plus, eye makeup/undereye concealer does not go on as well) — and Clarins’ eye lift does moisturize the area beautifully. It has a nice formula that blends well, and I like the applicator — a tiny pump delivers just the right amount. (Can we all agree that applicators/bottles can totally change/improve/destroy your opinion of a product?) But for $90? I would frankly go back to my $30 Olay pot, which achieves a similar effect. I do think Olay is a bit greasier/harder to absorb than some of the eye creams/treatments from prestige skincare brands, but not sure that a difference in grease level is worth 3x the price.
+Billie Lip Balm. I threw this on to my latest Billie order (I have a subscription for their razor blades and their vitamin c wipes — and adore and strongly rec both) and would say it’s a decent, inexpensive, tinted balm to keep in your purse. I’d liken it to Fresh’s Sugar Rose Balm, but less than half the price. I like the way it feels going on (velvety soft) and the tiny bit of color it applies to my lips, but I don’t think it solves chapped lips in any meaningful way. But really does any lip balm really work for more than maybe an hour? (I read somewhere that we don’t really need lip balm and that it just tampers with your natural ability to moisturize your own lips? I don’t know.)
+Biossance Vitamin C Oil. I’ve written about this in dribs and drabs in other posts, but wanted to include it here for reference/ease of access in case you’re looking for it in the future. I love (!!) this product. I am obsessed with Vitamin C for skin — I swear it has been the key to unlocking brighter skin for me over the past year or two. I have had great results with almost every vitamin C product I’ve used, but I’ve been on the hunt for ages for one with a great application/formula. I’ve had ones that feel a bit sticky, ones that feel runny, ones that smell weird, etc. This is far and away my favorite formula I’ve tried to date. This is an oil, not a serum. That startled me at first, but I’ve come to absolutely love it, especially in the winter, when I find it doubles as a hydrating skincare layer. I apply this directly to cleansed skin, applying a drop or two to my forehead and a drop on each cheek, and then blending thoroughly with my hands. Oh joy! My skin looks immediately so much brighter and happier and illuminated! Unlike other oils, this absorbs fairly quickly and has a nice, light weight. (It’s not dense like olive oil or something.) I have found that a bottle of this stuff is lasting me forever and I use it daily! I found that I ran through other brands (especially Ole Henriksen) so much more quickly. All in, a solid value, a great formula, and incredible results. Very strong praise for this product. I noticed that Biossance is selling a special value mini kit where you can try their oil and their popular moisturizer in mini sizes for $25. A good way to evaluate whether the oil will work for you and also test another product!
+French Girl Rose Lip Scrub. Can’t remember if I’ve reviewed this but just rediscovered this when sorting through my cosmetics the other day. I would say this is neck and neck with sara happ’s formula — you can’t go wrong with either, but you need one. This is the antidote to red wine lips — ugh! I use this to scrub off red wine residue at the end of the night and then slather with Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour cream, and I also use this before a big night out when I want to apply lip color. Simply a MUST for winter lips. Either brand is great! I perhaps slightly prefer the sweeter/fruitier flavors Sara Happ has (kind of weird to taste rose?) but truly both are excellent.
+Slip Hair Ties. I wrote about this yesterday and I know this must sound so frivolous, but — seriously, where have these been my whole life? I am…strangely infatuated with these. I find them so much easier to use to tie my hair back with than standard Goody’s (easier to stretch, no risk of having them snap on your fingers) and they actually hold hair in place and leave no crease. Great for washing hair before bed/throwing hair up while putting on a mask. I seriously…! I love these!? Treat yourself!
+Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. If I let my hair air-dry over night (my favorite indulgence: going to bed with wet hair), I curl it into loose waves in the morning and set with this texturizing spray. It smells like heaven and holds hair in place, but never makes it crispy/crunchy. Frankly, though, I think this is just about the same as Ouai’s spray in terms of results, but Ouai’s formula is about half the price, so would start there.
A couple of beauty products I’ve purchased/plan to purchase to review over the next few months…
+slopehill hair dryer — people claim this is the best Dyson dupe on the market.
+Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil — I need another step in my skincare regimen like I need a hole in my head (and I already apply an oil and a serum in the morning!) but I keep hearing fantastic things about this oil, which “brightens, balances, and restores skin while locking in moisture for a soft, youthful glow.” Also, Chrissy Tiegen uses it.
+K-18 Molecular Hair Mask — if Courtney Grow’s enthusiasm on this matter is to be trusted (and she’s not yet led me astray on the beauty product discovery front — still deeply grateful to her for introducing me to this oil cleanser, which I use every morning and will never quit), this mask is the bees knees for anyone with color-treated (especially bleached) hair.
Last but not least, two inexpensive products I now buy on subscribe & save using Prime (i.e., I love them so much and know how frequently I go through them, so I don’t even want to think about having to order): Differin (a retinoid — I use this every other night before bed and think this has also been a key to brighter, clearer skin) and Nyx’s eyeliner. I actually wear eyeliner most days — just a tiny thin swipe along my upper lashes to help define the eye a bit. I rarely wear color on my lids or lips on a daily basis but I do like a defined eye. I slick on Nyx (so easy to apply with the pen-like applicator) and apply a few coats of mascara! I’m never ever without mascara!