Sunday, 24 February 2013

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover - review

The last thing most of us feel like doing after a late night or a long day at work is spending a long time cleansing off a full face of makeup - epecially if it's the early hours of the morning.  My head can't hit my pillow soon enough!  However, the aftermath of sleeping with makeup on can last for days - clogged pores, breakouts, dull and sluggish skin...that in itself is incentive enough to make the effort to remove it before going to sleep.  And I'm all for anything that makes the process quicker and easier.  

There are two products that help me do this, and I am never without them in the bathroom cupboard - makeup removing wipes, and an eye makeup remover.  I have been using makeup removing wipes for a few years now, as a "pre-cleanse" before my regular cleanser, to remove the majority of the makeup from my face.  I have found that no matter how great my face cleanser is, even a double or triple cleanse sometimes isn't enough to remove all the makeup from my face.  And I prefer to not waste my cleanser trying to get through a couple of  layers of makeup before it reaches my skin.  This is particularly the case when I am trying to remove makeup after going out, or where I've wanted many hours of wear with minimal touch ups, as the makeup I wear in these circumstances tends to be more long-wearing and full coverage.  And this is where makeup removing wipes come in, to cut down that time significantly.  

Additionally, a good eye makeup remover that is non-greasy, and easily removes eye makeup without tugging or pulling is also a must, because I'm not sure what is worse - having the panda eye look, or trying to remove eye makeup from a light coloured pillowcase!

I have tried some other brands of makeup removing wipes and eye makeup remover, but hadn't yet tried Neutrogena's Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes, and the Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, so I was keen to try them.  

NEUTROGENA® Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes  

All the info from Neutrogena:

A simple, one-step makeup remover that dissolves 99.3% of your most stubborn makeup, even waterproof mascara.  The ultra-soft cloths leave skin thoroughly clean with no heavy residue so there's no need to rinse.  Opthalmologist, dermatologist and allergy tested.  NEUTROGENA® Makeup Remover Towelettes are gentle enough to use around the sensitive eye area, even for contact lens wearers.  
RRP: $7.99  

My Review:

These makeup removing towelettes did a great job of removing the makeup on my face (foundation, powder and bronzer).  They are generously moistened, and easily covered my entire face area without drying out.  I didn't use the wipes on my eyes, as I prefer to use a specific eye makeup remover for my eyes.  Sometimes, I also find that makeup removing wipes can be a bit too heavy for my eye area, as they leave behind some residue.  

These towelettes did leave a layer of emollient on my face, however it wasn't as greasy or heavy as other makeup removing wipes I've tried.  For myself, this isn't too much of an issue, as I always cleanse after using a face wipe.  However, for those who can relate to having oily/combination skin, they might not feel comfortable going to sleep without a rinse or a cleanse after use.  

The scent in these towelettes is quite distinct, and they smell very similar to other makeup removing wipes I've tried.  It's a floral/fresh cucumber scent, but it is very recognisable and lingers on the face.  Again, since I cleanse after, it's not a great issue for me.  However if I was to go to sleep straight afterwards, I would prefer to have no strong scent on my face.   I would probably just do a quick rinse of my face before going to sleep.

The verdict: Overall, these wipes are very effective at removing virtually all makeup on the face, including long-wearing and fuller coverage foundations.  Apart from the noticeable scent and some residue, these are quick and easy to use, and make makeup removal much more effortless. 

NEUTROGENA® Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover  

All the info from Neutrogena:

The 100% oil-free liquid activates when shaken to gently whisk away even waterproof eye makeup without any tugging, pulling or stinging.  Aloe and cucumber extracts soothe skin which is left soft, smooth and clean without the oily residue that some makeup removers can leave behind.   RRP: $10.89

My Review:

I recently wrote a blog post comparing a few different brands of eye makeup removers I've tried.  One of these removers was a brand which can be purchased at pharmacies and supermarkets, and is quite affordable.  Unfortunately, it failed to perform, so I didn't have high hopes for another such brand.  However,  I was pleasantly surprised when I tried the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover.  

I thought I would give it the ultimate test, by applying eyeshadow, liquid eyeliner on the upper lash, pencil liner on the lower lash, and a thickening mascara. The Neutrogena Eye Makeup remover is a biphase remover (two different layers), so requires shaking before use to combine.  I then applied the remover onto a cotton pad - just enough to moisten the centre of the wipe.  I find that with any eye makeup remover, this is a sufficient amount, otherwise if there is too much liquid soaking the cotton pad, it just ends up inside the eye.  

In terms of results, the Neutrogena Eye Makeup remover worked very well - not only did it remover my eye makeup easily without tugging, it removed the makeup effectively without leaving panda eyes.  And the positives don't stop there - it didn't leave any greasy or oily residue at all, didn't irritate my eyes, and as I wiped the cotton pad over my eyes, it provided a refreshing and soothing sensation.  What I also love about this eye makeup remover is that the opening of the bottle is wide enough to fit a cotton tip, which I like to be able to dip into for precise removal (such as along the lash line).   

The verdict: Overall, this is a really impressive eye makeup remover - it meets all of my requirements of a good eye makeup remover - effective/thorough removal, non-tugging, non-greasy and non-irritating.  And I love the cooling, refreshing sensation.  It's a relief to know that I now have an affordable eye makeup remover option that actually works.  

For further information about NEUTROGENA® products & stockists, visit the official website

Disclosure: The products in this review were provided for consideration.  All thoughts and opinions expressed are the author's own, and are in no way influenced.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

OPI Skyfall Collection - Magnetic Laquers - swatches & review

As mentioned in my OPI Skyfall Collection blog here, the James Bond themed release by OPI was not just limited to the usual 12 polish collection.  The release also included Bond themed Pure Lacquer Nail Apps, an 18k gold foil-flecked top coat (The Man With The Golden Gun), and three magnetic effect nail lacquers.  I have two of these - Bond, James Bond and Is That Silva?  Each nail lacquer comes with its own magnet, which produces a unique pattern on the nail.  

Bond...James Bond
'Bond...James Bond' is a pewter and gold toned polish which produces diamond shapes of these colours, against a silvery background.   I found the formula of this one to be a bit unpredictable, because although I would get a strong pattern initially, it would slowly dissipate over a few hours.  I tried applying in different ways and in different thicknesses, but ended up with the same result every time.  I'm wondering whether there is an issue with either the magnet or the particles in the lacquer.  

Initial pattern (natural light)

Initial pattern (flash)

After a few hours wear...

Is That Silva?

'Is That Silva?' is a dark silver/gunmetal toned polish that produces diagonal stripes of that colour across the nail, against a lighter silver background.  There are also fine holographic flecks dispersed throughout.  This magnet produced a strong, distinct pattern, which unlike the previous one, actually stayed like that.  Really love this one.  

Natural light (taken after a couple of days wear, no top coat)

With flash

These are the recommended application instructions, which come with each lacquer:

It does say to apply 2 coats, which is definitely needed, but I find that it works best if you apply the first coat on each nail on one hand first, then go back and apply the second coat and magnetise each finger upon application on the second coat.  I've done a bit of experimenting since, and found that even working two nails at a time (in the same way) works even better in getting a strong pattern.   And doing a relatively thin first coat, followed by a generous second coat helps with the development of the pattern.  If the coats are too thin, then they will semi-dry before you get to them with the magnet, and the pattern won't turn out as well.  Also, I find that holding the magnet for more than the recommended 5 to 6 seconds is better for pattern strength (around 10 to 15 seconds works well).  

Holding the magnet over the nail.  The edge of the magnet
holder should touch below the cuticle.  The magnet itself
should NOT touch the nail.

Overall, these magnetic nail lacquers are a great, easy way to apply nail art, which is really popular right now.  It might take a bit of practice with a couple of nails, but it generally produces a great result.  'Bond, James Bond' was a little disappointing for me, and possibly it may be that there is an issue with the lacquer or the magnet that I've received.  However the initial pattern it produces is really great.  And I aboslutely love 'Is That Silva' - it produces a strong pattern which stays on the nails until removed.