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

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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.

–Jackie

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads. No, I Do Not Need a Tan!

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Why does everyone seem to think they need a tan?  I have pale skin and red hair and green eyes.  Want to know what happens when I go in the sun and forget to wear sunscreen?  I burn.  I cook.  Usually, it takes as little as thirty minutes.  Want to know what happens when I use sunless tanners?  I end up looking some unnatural shade of orange.

What I’m trying to say here is that I’ve embraced the pale.  It’s worked well for me, too.  I recently saw a photo of someone I’ve known for years and who spent a lot of time in the sun when we were teenagers, and I found myself thinking, “Girl!  That sun damage!  WTF!  We are the same age!”

I don’t have sun damage.  I don’t have wrinkles.  I stay out of the sun, and I have accepted that I am not supposed to have a tan, so these showed up in a Sephora Play box, and my initial thought was just no, no, no, no, no.

I don’t care how much I like the regular Alpha Beta peel pads (a lot, actually).  I don’t care that the results of the tan claim to be “gradual.”  I wasn’t about to try this.  Given my skin tone, odds were good I would end up with an orange face and neck and white arms and legs after one use.  It just wasn’t worth it to me.

My best friend came into town, and I tried to pawn them off on him.  He has more of a medium skin tone and used to tan often when we were in high school, and if I’m being completely honest, I wanted to see if he would end up looking like a clown for the sake of my own amusement.  He took one look at the packaging and said there was no way he was trying them, so I tossed them in the garbage.

Look, you don’t need to have a tan.  If you’re like me, you probably look a little weird with a tan.  Just embrace the skin tone you were born with and stop trying to change it.  I mean, we all go out and get a little sun every now and again, and that’s cool, but I don’t need something that’s going to make me orange, and you don’t either!  Rant over.  Don’t buy this sh*t.

–Jackie

Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask. Garbage.

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I’m going to briefly go over my hair type for anyone new to this blog, but if you’ve been around since the beginning, you know the drill.  I have very thick, wavy, and super oily hair that I have to wash every single night.  If I don’t it looks a mess after 36 hours.  I don’t do hair masks because for normal people who wash their hair two or three times a week, the results of hair masks last a week.  For me, however, I’m lucky if I can get four days.

I’m also not blessed in the patience department, and the idea of shampooing my hair, putting this mask on, and sitting around for twenty or thirty minutes with drippy hair sounded like my own personal hell, so some actual planning had to go into when I would finally get around to using this.

I decided to give it a shot after I went out for a run and kind of overdid it.  You know the kind of workouts that you KNOW you’re going to feel the next day.  I got back to my building, thanked the powers that be for elevators, and crawled into my apartment with every intention of taking a bath.  Perfect, I thought!  I can finally use that stupid hair mask that’s been sitting in the bathroom for a month while I sit in the tub so I’m not dripping water and hair product all over my living room.

I had to use the entire tube for my hair–22 milliliters.  I combed it through, tied my hair up, and set to reading in the tub for thirty minutes.

It smells like eucalyptus, and I loved it.  “Hmmm, maybe this will actually be good for my hair,” I thought as I sat there enraptured with the smell.  It was heavenly.

At the end of thirty minutes, I got up, rinsed it out and waited for my hair to dry.  That’s when my confusion set in.

How does a hair mask manage to make your hair simultaneously stringy and dry?  I was at a loss.  The package purported to make my hair shiny and repair damage, but it just made the ends look like I neglected to cut and wash my hair for a couple of years.  I feel like I’m being dramatic, but my hair was genuinely gross.  By the time it had dried, it was too late at night for me to wash it again, so I just had to brush it and toss it in a ponytail.  I had work the next day, anyway, so it wasn’t the end of the world.  I couldn’t wait to get home and shampoo my hair.  Twice.

Fortunately, as I said earlier, the effects of hair masks don’t last long on me at all, so by the third day my hair was back to looking normal.  At $58.00 for 200 milliliters, there’s no way on Earth I would ever buy this for myself, but with the way it made my hair look there’s no one in the entire universe I would have the nerve to recommend this to.  It was awful.  So very, very awful.  I’m actually getting kind of irritated just sitting here thinking about it.  I hate this stuff.

Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask:  I actually hate you.  I would never buy it.

–Jackie

GlamGlow Glow Starter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer. Garbage, Garbage, Garbage, Garbage!

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I’m tossing this crap and there’s still product in the tube.  I just can’t with this for so many reasons.  I feel like GlamGlow has jumped the shark, like they’re just throwing crap at a wall to see what will stick, and all of it sticks.  They used to do a few  products, and they were all excellent.  Expensive, yes, but excellent and well worth the money.  Now I feel like they are just churning out crap to capitalize on their initial quality products, but the new stuff is total trash.  This is $49.00 for 1.7 ounces of total garbage, and here’s why:

Firstly, it makes my face look oily.  Not just shiny.  We are talking sixteen-year-old’s skin kind of oily.  Straight up greasy.  This is not “illuminating.”  It’s greasy.  There is a big difference, and the thing is that it takes so little product to achieve this result.  It’s not like I was slathering my face in this stuff.  Putting foundation over it lessens the effect a bit, but that brings me to the second problem.

This makes my foundation look like crap.  I feel like my foundation was really streaky when I applied it with a brush.  When I gave up on that and tried to fix it with a Beauty Blender, it started to look patchy, and don’t even think about being lazy and using your fingers.  With this on under my foundation, try as I may, with various methods on three occasions, I could not get my foundation to look good.  All three times I ended up washing my face and starting over.

The third problem is the smell.  Don’t get me wrong, this smells good.  It smells like a creamsicle–orange and vanilla.  The smell is so strong and so pervasive that I can smell this on my face for a good ten minutes after I apply it.  I am mostly indifferent to fragrances added to skin products.  I can take them or leave them, but this was entirely too much.  I don’t understand how the smell alone wouldn’t drive a person insane.  I put this on one night before bed, crawled into bed, and my husband could smell creamsicle wafting off of my face from a foot away.  This smell is no joke, and I hate how strong it is.

For all these reasons, I’m throwing this in the trash.  I have no idea how this could possibly work for anyone.

GlamGlow Glow Starter Illuminating Moisturizer:  This is useless.  There’s no chance I would ever buy it.

–Jackie

Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer. Good, but not Good enough to Buy.

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I got this in a Sephora Play box a month or so ago.  Straight away, let’s get one thing out of the way:  Clinique needs to remove the word “moisturizer” from the name of this product even though they claim it provides all day moisture.  This isn’t a moisturizer.  End of story.  Moving on.

It is a pretty decent primer, though.  It really sank into my skin, filled in some pores, and made a good base for my foundation.  It’s not as good as Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer.  I get twelve hours of wear time using that.  With this one it’s more like seven or eight.  With no primer, my makeup starts to go after about five hours, so this is a good primer, but not a great one.

I will say this about this stuff.  It’s awesome on days when you don’t feel like wearing makeup, and your skin is already looking pretty good.  I could smear this on and leave.  If I wanted to go crazy, I would put a tinted moisturizer on top of it.  It blurred pores and redness and made my skin look like my skin but better.  That was, honestly, the best way I found to wear it.  I felt like, at the end of the day, it didn’t quite know what it wanted to be, and it was best used alone.

It’s $29.50 for 1.7 ounces.  I’d say that was cheap for a good primer and in the range for a good, basic moisturizer from Sephora.  This isn’t a moisturizer, though, and there are better primers to be had, and, frankly, if I don’t feel like wearing makeup, odds are slim that I’m going to want to bother with this.  It’s an OK product in respect to a primer, but I still can’t figure out what it does because I don’t think Clinique knows what they wanted it to do.  There’s no room for it in my makeup routine because I don’t know what to do with it.  It’s just kind of there.

If I want a primer, I’ll use Smashbox.  If I want a moisturizer, there’s a million to pick from, and they can be found at Sephora and the drug store.  I didn’t detect any moisture from this stuff.  It’s just weird.  You don’t need it.  I don’t need it.  I’m not going to miss this at all now that it’s gone.

Clinique Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer:  I don’t need it.  I’m not going to buy it.

–Jackie

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment. Again with the Melty Lip Balms!

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Ugh.  Face meet palm.  I’m not going to rehash everything I’ve said about Fresh’s line of lip balms.  You can read my rant here as this year has already seen me use up one of the many tubes of this that I have lying around.

If you don’t want to read my tirade, I’ll give a brief recap below:

Does this work well?  Sure.  It works just as well as Blistex and for an impressive markup.  Is it stable in less than ideal weather conditions?  Oh, hell, no.  Is it worth my money?  I guess if you just want to burn a hole in your wallet, sure.  Why did I buy it if I’m so critical of this stuff?  I didn’t.  I’ve never paid for these, and I have no idea how I have accumulated so many.  It’s like they’re having little lip balm babies or something.

The regular Fresh lip balms are $24.00 each.  The “advanced” version seen above is $26.00.  There’s no color to this.  It is, literally, just a lip balm.  That can melt in your pocket in the summer.  This one claims to have anti-aging properties and will plump, smooth, and repair the look of wrinkles around your lip area.  It doesn’t.  It’s a lip balm.  There has never been a point in my using any of these where I have thought, “Hey, self, this is TOTALLY twelve times better than the medicated Blistex that you have in abundance.  You should definitely replace that stuff with this miraculous creation.  Blistex is for the plebes.”

It’s nice, but, at the end of the day, it’s just a lip balm.  Don’t waste your money.  Please.  I feel like we, as humans, should be smarter than this.

Fresh Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment:  I am still not buying this.  Do yourself a favor, and don’t buy it either.

–Jackie

Ouai Treatment Mask. What does this Do?

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I got this in my Sephora Play box in, I think, January.  I kind of just let it languish in my shower for awhile because I don’t really do anything special with my hair.  It’s oily.  I wash it every day not because I want to.  I hate washing my hair.  It’s thick and takes forever to dry, but it gets so oily, that I don’t really get much choice about when I want to wash it.  I need to wash my hair every day, and it sucks.  My hatred of washing my hair means I don’t do much in the way of masks or anything special.

I did, however, decide to read a book in the bath a few days ago.  Before I climbed in, I saw this on the counter by the sink and thought, “Eh, why not give it a go.”  I combed it through my hair.  I had to use the entire tube to get enough to cover my thick mane.  Then I put my hair up and got to reading (Mort by Terry Pratchett FTW).

A bit later, I drained the tub, washed my hair, annnnnd, nothing.  According to Sephora.com, this is supposed to be incredibly restorative and will leave your hair soft and smooth after just one treatment, which is a 0.3 ounce packet if you’re buying full-size, so I used almost double what was suggested, I suppose.  As best I can tell, it did, literally, nothing.  If I had paid for this, I would be kind of ticked.

It’s $32.00 for 8 treatment packs on Sephora’s website.  I’m not biting.  I’m sure this works for some people, but I’m not going for it.

Ouai Treatment Mask:  I’m not buying it.

–Jackie