emerginC Scientific Organics Kombucha Cleanser

I first became acquainted with emerginC’s Scientific Organics skin care about a year ago. I tried several sample packets of the products and gave some quick first impressions/mini reviews. One of those was this cleanser, the Kombucha Cleanser. At the time I just thought it was so-so, but now that I’ve had a chance to use it again (several more times since I have a bottle instead of a packet) I wanted to give you guys more of an in-depth review, and an update on how I feel about the product. [Read more…]

Review Update – Neutrogena Lip Balm

I wanted to get this update up and out as soon as possible…because I pretty much need to stop using this lip balm entirely. I’m fairly sure that it was actually the culprit of my dry, cracked mouth-corners. NOT COOL! If they weren’t the culprit, I think they were at the very least a contributor because I stopped using it and now over the course of just a couple days my mouth corners are feeling better and not looking dry and flaky. What the heck? This balm feels pretty nice on my lips so I’m bummed, but I won’t keep using it if it’s hurting me obviously!!!

Have you ever had this happen to you with a product? You try and like it…but then discover it’s actually doing more harm than good? Tell me!!!

Makeup Break-Up: Sigma Brushes

The Honeymoon Phase

We had some good times. When I first got my Sigma brushes, I loved them. I started out by purchasing the dupes of the MAC 165 and 138 (just called F165 and F138 – not sure their new names?). They were great and I loved them! Then I received the face & eye kit from Sigma to review. I told you all about it. I was a huge fan. I completely stand by that review because it is precisely how I felt about those brushes at the time. My opinion of them has since changed. 
The First Red Flag

Some time after my initial review, I also did an overview of my face brushes. At that point, my F30 powder brush was shedding regularly, but I was putting up with it. The F45 buffer and F50 were still going strong and working well for my purposes. My eye brushes from Sigma were still holding up just fine as well. So because one brush was giving me problems, I wasn’t willing to throw up my hands with Sigma all together yet. It could’ve just been that one brush was slightly defective.
More Flags, Lingering Denial

I hope you all saw my review update on Sigma brushes from the end of May, where I let you all know that my F50 and F45 had begun to shed as well. It was at that point that I got in touch with Sigma and let them know about the issues my brushes were having. They sent replacements free of charge, which is really nice of them and I very much appreciate that! Their customer service is fantastic, I will always give them that. But… that doesn’t change the fact that 3 of the 6 brushes in the kit were inferior and breaking down without much stress on them. So far so good with the new face brushes.
The Last Straw

I have a MAC 224 brush that I absolutely adore. That style of fluffy brush is good for blending shadow, contouring the nose, highlighting, and I also love it for applying and blending concealer. The point being, I use the brush a lot. So when I got the E40 blending brush I knew it would fit right in to my makeup arsenal. Except now it sheds like an absolute bitch. The hairs it’s shedding are tiny, too– about the same length as an eyebrow hair or shorter. And okay, picking a hair out of your foundation or blush is one thing, but I do not tolerate stuff shedding in my eyes. And it was many hairs. 
I was thinking to myself, okay, these are supposed to be professional quality brushes. What is professional about having to pick hairs out of anything?! What working MUA has time to deal with that bull while working on a model or client? I’ve used my Sigma brushes on clients before, before they started dying on me (the brushes, not the clients, thankfully) and I would have been really upset if they’d shed all over someone else. That’s when I got angry at the brushes. 
I threw my E40 in the trash. I won’t need to replace it because I have the MAC 224 and a couple of Stila #9 brushes. Now I’m just annoyed. I don’t like something that calls itself professional quality when clearly experience tells me it’s not. I don’t like feeling like an idiot for raving about something that later turned out to be inferior. I take my reviewing very seriously and now I feel dumb even though I couldn’t have known it would go like this. Even though the replacement brushes have been performing fine, the experience has left a bad taste in my mouth. I do not plan on adding to my Sigma brushes at all, and finding replacements for the ones I have as soon as possible because I don’t want to use products from a company that makes me feel dumb. 
Moving On

I’ve mentioned MAC and Stila brushes in this post as alternatives to Sigma, but let me also recommend some other great brushes. 
Crown – I’m sure you’ve heard of Crown, but they’re an inexpensive, oft-raved about company that I’ve never had any problems with at all. The brushes from Crown I have live up to their raves.
ELF Studio – For only $3, the flat topped powder brush is ridiculous. As in, incredibly awesome. I still use it on the daily.
Morphé – I believe the owner of Morphé is related to the owner of Crown? That’s what I heard. Anyway, these brushes are also really fabulous. I have several eye brushes from them.
Royal & Langnickel – Talk about luxe. Even their travel brushes feel like luxuries!
Edited to Add: I thought I should also mention a couple of things:

– Sigma did reach out to me via Twitter & Email to see if they could replace the brushes I’m having problems with. Nice of them to offer but I won’t be taking them up on it.

– The older brushes I have, the ones that had MAC numbers, are still holding up great and working just fine. 

Review Update – Sigma Brushes

Back in November I reviewed the Sigma Face & Eye Kit. If you missed that review, check it out. I have an update of sorts on the kit and it’s very important that you read it!

Just to re-cap, the brushes pictured above are the ones I received. Since my review, I’ve been using the brushes as normal. I’m not a full time MUA so these didn’t get worked super hard or anything, but they began to shed. It’s like it started all at once a few months after my review. I noticed it first with the powder brush (F30). As of when I reviewed it, I’d had it several months and it had not shed at all. Suddenly it seemed it started to shed with startling regularity. Every time I used it I had to pick a few hairs off my face. By this time, I estimate the brush to have been used approximately 8 to 9 months (I was using these for a while before I reviewed them, remember). 
Similar to the F30, my F45 buffer exhibited similar “symptoms”. It went from not shedding at all to shedding every time I used it. I’m not rough on my brushes, and I wash them regularly with an actual brush cleaner (Parian Spirit). 
And then, the last straw. My F50 duo fibre brush also started shedding. What. The. Hell? Something had to be done. I emailed Sigma. I was pleasantly surprised that their customer service responded right away. They sent me replacements, no questions asked. So far, so good. I have been using the replacement brushes without incident. I guess it’ll be a few months to see if this repeats itself. I really have no explanation for why the first set of face brushes started to shed.
I’m sure a lot of you out there have tried Sigma brushes. Did this happen to you? I want to know! 

Review Updates – March 2009

The lovely Recessionista over at Nouveau Cheap inspired me to do these ‘update reviews’. In other words, taking a look at some of my past reviews to see if I still feel the same way. I decided to go back to this time last year and see what I was loving/hating in March 2009 and see if I feel the same way. :) If you like these kinds of reviews, let me know! Comment below. :)

Last year I introduced you to DERMAdoctor Ain’t Misbehavin Acne Spot Treatment. I was very pleased with it. I am happy to report that ‘Missy’ and I are still in a love-love relationship, haha. I love this spot treatment. Not only does it contain 5% benzoyl peroxide to help heal the ugliess, it has calming herbal ingredients to soothe the skin which helps the inflammation that goes along with acne. Did you know that the inflammation is what causes the majority of acne scars (other than the pitted ones)? This helps with that, so I’m happy with it. Oh, and I still have the same tube from last year too. I only use a tiny bit at a time, so I still have about half the tube left. Not a bad deal since this product may seem a little pricey at $36. But if it lasts a year, that makes it a little easier on the ole’ wallet.

Last year I was pretty stoked on ELF’s nail polish remover pads. They had improved the formula and I really liked the improvements that had been made, including to the fragrance of the remover. I still think they’re a good value at $1, but these do not last very long and dry out quickly. I would probably still recommend them, but keep that in mind. I wouldn’t stock up on too many packs at a time because by the time you use one up, your extras might not be moist anymore.

I am also pleased to report that I still like Rimmel Sexy Curves mascara. I have even repurchased it since last year’s review, and that is saying a lot since I have a lot of mascaras. In fact, re-reading my review makes me think I should get rid of some of the others I have and just stick to Rimmel!

Do I Still Love It?

I’m going to go back to some of my older reviews and update you on whether or not I still feel the same way about the product now!

When I first tried this primer I thought it was decent. Not worth $25 but not bad. Whew my opinion changed when I tried to remove it. It burns. Bad. I took it right back to the store.
My review of the ped-egg made it sound like each time using it was a religious experience, and that this thing was the best thing to ever happen to feet. Well guess what? I still think so. If you’re prone to hard, cracked heels…this is your new best friend! Especially when I follow up with some Glowology The Balm. Ooohh. Love.
After using this several times I came to the conclusion that while it didn’t go on a bad color, it quickly became one after wearing for a while. I ended up giving this to a friend. I hope it works better for her than for me!
Well the honeymoon period is probably over, and guess what! We’re still in love. This ain’t no fly by night romance. This is the real thing. I still use this brush constantly, and still think everyone should own one. So go, buy one. Please? You’ll thank me.
Oh yes, I still really love this product. I use it almost daily on any spots I want to get rid of. I can definitely see instant results as this wonderful spot treatment lessens redness and irritation as soon as I apply it. I was skeptical of such a tiny little tube but I’m only half way through it and I’ve had it since March. When I do finish this I am definitely going to buy another tube, even at $36. Worth. Every. Penny.
There you have it! Any other product I’ve reviewed that you would like an update on? Let me know!