Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer. I. Just. Cannot.


Look, I’ll be the first to admit that I can tolerate a lot of smells and tingles on my face for the sake of seeing if something might actually work well for me, but I just can’t with this crap.

I got it in a Sephora Play box, and I’m tossing it after seven or so uses.  There’s still a good bit of product left in the jar, but ugh.  The smell is so strong and pervasive, which is a gripe that I had with the GlamGlow Illiminating Moisturizer.  As soon as I removed the cap from this jar, the smell of cheap rose perfume filled my nostrils, and, as anyone who reads this blog knows by now, I freaking hate that smell.  I genuinely find it repulsive.  The smell lingers, too.  Rub it on your face, and you get the opportunity to smell old lady perfume each time you inhale for a breath for the next five minutes.  Sorry, but that’s not my cup of tea.

So, yeah, there’s that.  If it worked really well, I would almost be willing to tolerate the smell, but there’s one other problem that, when coupled with the noxious fumes, is a deal breaker.  This stuff stings.  No, not stings.  This stuff stright-up burns.  It makes my face burn in random places.  I pop any zits that crop up on my face, so a stinging around those areas wouldn’t really surprise me, but this crap made my whole face burn.  Forehead, cheeks, chin–everywhere.  And the stinging doesn’t go away quickly.  After ten minutes I still felt it.  At first I thought I was acclimitizing, but it didn’t go away.  Days later, this still burned when I would use it.  I can’t imagine how anyone could tolerate this.  In the garbage it goes.

And the price?  Sixty-nine dollars for two ounces!  They have to be kidding, right?  There’s no way in hell I would pay that for a moisturizer that smells like old-lady perfume and leaves me unable to tell if it actually, you know, moisturizes because my face is on fire.

No, no, no, no, no!  Spend your money elsewhere.

Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer:  This is a flaming pile of sh*t.


Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser. We are in Like with One Another.


I’m pretty devoted to Origins Checks and Balances face wash, so something big would have to happen for me to buy something over it.  Something big did happen one day when I went to the Oculus to buy my favorite face wash.  The Sephora there had only recently opened and they hadn’t stocked all of the products yet.  They have Origins when I go in now, but it wasn’t available four months ago.  They did have Clarins, so I got this instead of going to my usual store at Columbus Circle and dealing with rush hour subway traffic on the way home.

This stuff is good.  It’s gentle, and doesn’t break out my finicky skin.  It removes makeup well enough.  Foundation and day to day eyeshadow don’t stand a chance, but mascara and heavy eye makeup will stay behind.

I LOVE the way this smells.  I think it smells like cotton fields in the summer.  It smells so clean that I just adore it.  I would almost buy this over and over because I love the smell so much.

This retails for $26.00 for 4.4 ounces, which is a bit more expensive than my preferred face wash from Origins, but not so much that I wouldn’t purchase this again.  Overall, it’s just a good, gentle cleanser, and I feel like you can’t go wrong snagging this if your usual happens to be out of stock.


Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara. Meh.


If anyone spends thirty dollars on this mascara, they need to have their head examined.  It’s completely forgettable.  The length I got from this was just OK.  The volume I got from this was just OK.  It would smudge after only a few hours.  And talk about smudge, I would end up with raccoon eyes by the end of the day.

It’s mediocre at best.  Virtually anything you could pick up at the drugstore would work as well if not better (Maybelline Lash Stiletto, I still love you).

I couldn’t imagine Bobbi Brown would intentionally design a product this average.  I mean, I LOVE Bobbi Brown makeup.  I kept using this thinking it was just user error, but nothing ever improved.  After ten or twelve times, I gave up.  It’s just nothing special especially for the price.  I mean, if you’re looking to spend this much on mascara, go out and buy Diorshow.  You’ll get length and volume with no clumps.  That’s what this is going for.  At least I think that’s what this is going for.

Now that it’s been established that I don’t like this at all, it’s time to say something nice.

This mascara is VERY black.  It’s got kohl in it, and it shows.  (I think the kohl is part of the reason why it smears so badly, but I’m being nice now.)  It doesn’t make your lashes clump together when you start piling it on, but…

…but I cannot get any length from the application.  I’m sorry, I’m not spending thirty bucks on this.  Seriously, go to the drugstore and pick up L’oreal Lash Paradise (or just about anything for that matter), and you’ve got something just as good or even better.

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara:  No, just no.  I’m not getting this ever.


Lipstick Purge. Heaven Help Me.


Okay, I finally did it.  I finally sat down, dumped all of my lip products (and nail polishes and eye liners) on the floor and asked myself if I would ever actually wear them.  This led to a one of the most aggressive makeup purges I’ve ever undertaken.  The above picture was what I had to start with.  I keep my makeup in stackable boxes, and the lipstick was starting to take over one of them.  I vowed to be rid of half the colors, and I mostly succeeded.  There were tubes I’d never worn.  There were tubes I had only swatched.  There were tubes I hadn’t so much as swatched.  There were multiple tubes of the same shades.  I had nineteen different shades of RED.  I don’t even wear red that often.  What on earth do I need with nineteen different ones?

Needless to say, I hope I have some happy friends soon.  I keep Beauty So Clean at home and regularly sanitize my collection.  The bulk of the tubes I’m getting rid of are still perfectly wearable.

Here’s a picture of what I’m getting rid of:


Y’all there’s Chanel in there…that I’ve worn once.  Why on Earth did I throw my money away like that?

Anyway, here’s what I’m keeping:


I can’t help it with the stuff from Bite.  There’s a ton of similar colors in there, but the formula is just so good that I can’t manage to part with any of them.

I’m actually going to break out the big lights and do proper swatches of all the shades I’m getting rid of and explain my reasoning for omitting them from my stash.  I said at the beginning of the year that I would account for everything bought or disposed of, and I’m sticking to that promise.  This is going to take some time to type everythig out, but it feels quite liberating to finally be rid of things.

I moved to New York eight years ago with three suitcases, a backpack, no clue where I would live and a week to find an apartment.  Everything worked out for me, so since then my joke has always been that I could move with three suitcases and a backpack.  In recent years, though, this makeup collection has begun to feel like it has taken over my life.  I had invested so much time and money into it that I couldn’t imagine ever leaving it behind.  Getting rid of the products I don’t need is the first step in proving to myself that I can leave stuff behind, and it’s okay to not buy things purely for the sake of buying things.  I don’t need most of this.

I hope that I can eventually work up the nerve to do an eyeshadow purge by the end of the year.  That’s going to be the hard one.  I’m so attached to those shades, but I have so many, and there are so many duplicates that, deep down, I know I need to do something about it.  Lipstick is the first step.  I’ll get through the entire collection eventually, but I feel like that was the first big step in the right direction.

Here’s to you guys seeing many, MANY lipstick swatches in the coming days and weeks, and me getting back to the point that I could REALLY move with three suitcases and a backpack again.


Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream. Good, but Nope.


This stuff got me through a pretty disastrous winter a little over a year ago, so I’m not about to speak ill of it.  All I am going to do is question if it is actually worth the price.

I suppose this is a product of getting older, but I’ve started to get dry skin around my eyes in the winter.  It can get quite irritating right along the outer edge.  I had never had this problem until that winter, and it is annoying to say the least.  I tried a couple of the anti-aging eye creams I had lying around the apartment, but they only seemed to make things worse.  After that I headed off to Sephora in search of a solution.

I remember that day quite well.  There was a really pushy Philosophy rep there that tried so hard to sell me on the Hope in a Jar eye cream.  I grabbed a bottle and walked away from her just to get away even though I didn’t really want to buy it.  I didn’t feel like spending fifty bucks on something I was almost certain would make the problem worse.  I held onto that stupid, little jar waiting for the Philosophy lady to wander away from the display so that I could put it back while I continued to look for an eye moisturizer.  I despise just dumping things back in random places and am a complete nut about putting things back exactly where I found them.  This extends to every area of my life.  Yeah, I’m neurotic.  I’m also pretty antisocial and was doing my best to avoid having to go back over there and tell her that I never wanted that stuff in the first place and ask her to put it back on the shelf.  I waited and waited for her to move away, agonizing over what I should do about that Philosophy jar, and I found this in the meantime.  It was $41.00 for a half ounce and it appeared to be a moisturizer and only a moisturizer.  I hoped it would be the answer to my prayers and decided to buy it.

I walked around for another few minutes waiting for this lady to move away from the display and then finally ended up dumping the Hope in a Jar by the Boscia products.  That was painful, but not as painful as human interaction at that point.  I was getting sweaty, and I could feel my heart starting to pound.  I headed to the checkout, paid for the Fresh eye cream and fled.

I knew it was going to smell like rose when I bought it so I mentally prepared myself for the offensiveness to my olfactories, and broke open the jar.  The skin around my eyes was red and raw, and if this stuff worked, I’d be willing to deal with smells.  I worked entirely too much product into my eyes until I couldn’t see it anymore.  To my great happiness, it worked, and it worked well.  It was instantly soothing–like a wave of relief.  The skin around my eyes felt great for hours, and within a week, the redness and irritation was gone.  At some point I decided to keep it in the fridge to add to the soothing factor, and that’s where it lived for months.  Jared would occasionally ask why I was keeping eye cream in the refrigerator and go back about his business.

It does smell like roses, but I don’t find it to be a total put-off.  I usually loathe the smell of roses, but I could deal with it in this cream and not just because it’s a total god-send for dry skin around the eyes.  It actually smells decent, and it’s not totally overwhelming.

I kept using it because I actually like it.  It isn’t designed to be an anti-aging product.  There’s nothing in it that irritates my eyes.  It’s just a moisturizer, and it performs wonderfully in that regard.  I got a little over a year out of a half ounce jar, and I used this almost every night.  It was totally worth the upfront cost if you’re worried about how long it will last.  A little bit of product goes a long way.  The smallest bit of product on the tip of a finger will cover my under eye area, and there’s a bit left over, so I just bring it into the socket.

I was ranting about eye creams to a friend of mine back in January when she told me that she finally got sick of looking for one and had just started using coconut oil.  I thought it sounded like an idea with a ton of potential, so I vowed to give it a try once I was out of this little jar.  I kept my promise, and, to be honest, coconut oil works basically as well as this at a fraction of the cost.  When the skin around my eyes gets dry these days, I just reach for the coconut oil.

I’m not going to buy this because coconut oil seems to be working as well as any eye moisturizer for me, but I wouldn’t tell anyone else to pass it up.  This is one product from Fresh that makes a real difference.  I will never forget the relief I felt when I started using this on that crappy winter day.  I have not clue what I would have done without it at the time.

I can’t recommend it enough if you have painfully dry skin around your eyes, but I would also just suggest trying coconut oil first.  You may find you’ll save a ton of money and you’ll have a vat of product that you can use on areas other than your eyes (or you can cook with it, if that’s your kind of thing).

That’s my take on this.  If you want it, buy it.  It’s a great product.  Just be aware that there are more affordable options that perform just as well.

Fresh Rose Hydrating Gel Eye Cream:  Thank you for your service, but I don’t need another one.


Dr. Jart Black Label Detox BB Cream. Goodbye Old Friend.


There was a time not all that long ago when my skin was pretty bad, especially given that I was knocking on the door of thirty years old.  My makeup routine started with primer, then I applied a layer of this BB cream, then I put foundation on over that and finished with concealer on my pimples.  It worked for me, but it was time consuming, and you could definitely tell I was wearing a ton of makeup.  This created a good bit of noticeable texture around problem areas like my chin.

When my skin finally started to clear up, I kept this around for days when I just didn’t feel like bothering with foundation.  This doesn’t offer a ton of coverage, but it was enough to even out any redness.  I liked that it was a perfect match for my skin tone, and I liked that it had moisturizer and sun screen already in it.  I like to keep things simple when I can.

Then one day came when I just sort of stopped using this and it has just been kind of sitting around.  It’s certainly not a bad product, but as my skin has continued to improve, I’ve just kind of moved onto things like tinted moisturizers on days when I feel like being lazy.

It’s a really good BB Cream.  It’s on the thicker side.  I find that there is a distinct difference in Asian and American BB creams.  Specifically, Asian-developed BB creams are thicker than American ones.  American BB creams just feel like a tinted moisturizer to me.  Dr. Jart is a Korean brand, and it shows here.

I don’t find that the sunscreen oxidizes too badly as the day wears on.  It provides just enough coverage to even out areas that I want to cover, but not so much that it looks like I’m wearing a mask.  This is still the best BB Cream I’ve come across.

Back in the day, this marketed itself as self-adjusting, but that is a total lie.  It’s for fair skin, and maybe, MAYBE, medium skin.  If you put this on dark skin, you’re just going to look ashy, and there’s no way around that.  I think Dr. Jart has since dropped the self-adjusting claim.

I found this recently and broke it open certain that the sunscreen in it had expired.  Was I ever right about that.  The smell coming out of the tube was the smell of Cheetos.  I knew it was time to toss this.  I don’t feel bad about it, and we’ve had a very good run together.  I’m glad that I found out about this stuff when my acne was giving me a terrible time.  It definitely made my life much easier then and made it even easier when my skin was clear.  If anyone is looking for a BB cream, this will always be my top recommendation.  I just don’t need it anymore.

This retails for $36.00 for 1.5-ounces, and if you’re looking for a good BB cream, this is the only place I would tell you to put your money.  It’s like an old friend to me.  We’ve had our run together, and it’s time to go our separate ways.


Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. It’s a God-Send.


If you don’t already own a tube of this, then stop reading this, and go buy some.  You may not think you need it, but you do.  I’ve always had problems with eye shadow creasing on me, so buying my first tube ten years ago was a no-brainer, and I’ve used it every single time I’ve put on shadow since then.

This makes creased eye shadow a thing of the past.  Really, when I put this on, my shadow does. not. move.  It took my shadow wear time from about three hours to all day.  It lasts as long as my foundation lasts.  It’s really a miracle in a tube.

I also find that it helps shadow stay a bit truer to the color it is in the pan.  They look brighter when I apply them.

This doesn’t fix the problem of fallout when working with glitter shadows, but it does help.  You’ll still need a glitter glue.

My only gripe is that they went back to the wand applicator.  For all of the long-time UD followers reading this right now, come along with me on a bit of time travel:

Ages ago, this used to come in a hard plastic container with a wand applicator, and you could NEVER get all of the product out of the tube unless you felt like doing surgery on the bottle as it approached the end of its life.  Then one glorious day about five or six years ago, Urban Decay launched this in a squeeze tube and all my prayers were answered.  Then when I went to buy this a couple of years ago, it was back in a package with a wand.  Yes, this is a soft package and is easier to work with than the old-school hard plastic container, but I just miss the squeeze tube.  I do not, however, miss the squeeze tube enough to stop buying this.  It’s a miracle worker.

I honestly can’t think of anything to say about this that hasn’t already been said, and if you haven’t used it at this point in it’s long production history, I can’t think of anything that would pursuade you to use it, but you really should.  Even if you don’t think it will help your eyeshadow out, you’d be wrong.  This is one makeup product that is truly a game changer.

I already have a tube to replace the one in the picture.  I’ll never be without it.