Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Review - Mexitan SPF 30 Sunscreen

100% All Natural, No Harsh Chemicals, with GREEN TEA, a powerful antioxidant. Biodegradable Sunscreen!
For anyone needing added protection, including children, this lotion is healthy for the skin, providing high UVA and UVB sunblock protection when applied as directed.

So, I really love this sunscreen. My favorite part about it is that at my store (Nantucket Natural Oils in Newburyport MA) you can have it scented with your favorite perfume. My other favorite part is that it is all natural, it's first ingredient is Zinc Oxide, which Hillary just posted about as being super important in sunscreen. It has a slight smell of all naturally lovely things, sort of like cocoa butter with green tea infusion or something. It also soaks in sooooo quickly, and doesn't leave you feeling yucky after you get it on, it is more like a lotion than any other sunscreen I have used. The SPF is 30, and it protects for about 4 hours each application (if I remember correctly from last summer). It is only about $17 for 8 oz., um is that not the best price ever????? Seriously, sun protection is so important, give it a try.

Review- eSHAVE Shaving Cream

The main ingredient for our perfect shave: eShave Shaving Creams lather instantly, delivering essential conditioning ingredients to prime the skin for shaving. The rich, thick, warm lather helps soften the hair and open the pores therefore virtually eliminating shaving irritation each time for a close, comfortable shave. eShave Shaving Creams leave the skin moisturized and silky smooth. Each shave cream is formulated for different skin types to provide specific benefits.

This is a shaving product that is actually cream, not foam or gel. I used Floral which has a soft rose petal scent. I experimented with using the cream on one leg and soap on the other to shave with. The cream definitely made my skin smoother, which makes sense. I also used it on the bikini area and really appreciated the smooth, non-irritated results. It also seemed to truly help remove hair better than other products I’ve used. Wherever you shave, that’s a good outcome to have.

Amanda S. Says:

I really like that this shaving cream is so creamy and not foamy. For my taste it went on a little thin and I had to use quite a bit to get the lather that I'm used to, but that's probably my problem in assuming I need a ton of lather to protect from razor burn. I used this product (mine was lavender scented) for my under arms and legs and it worked very well for both. The shave was smooth and no razor burn in sight. I would say, however, this works about as well as the kiss my face shaving cream that I am used to using, although I'd be glad to give eshave products a try because I love the scent and the special creaminess.

Movie Maven Says:

I don't like shaving my legs for a couple of reasons - mostly, it takes time in the shower that I would rather spend in my bed, but the other big reason is that I have an extremely high propensity for cutting myself. Like, blood everywhere, 70s-slasher-film high. Consequently, I shave my legs far less often than my skirt-wearing habits would indicate (hint: opaque tights).

However, when I used this eShave Shaving Cream, whatever emollients or moisturizers or space-age polymers were in there apparently protected my legs pretty well, because I ended up with far fewer cuts than is typical for me. Sweet! Plus, the white tea scent was nice without being overpowering, so it wasn't competing with any of my other products' scents.

There is a major drawback to the eShave line, and that's that in order to use it most efficiently, you need to use a brush to apply it - yes, the old-timey shaving brushes dudes used in barbershops. Since we didn't get brushes to review, I used my fingers to apply it, which worked fine, but because the consistency of the product is much less viscous than your typical shave cream or gel, you have to work a little harder to lather it up. I feel like the brush would have helped, but the ones eShave sells on their website will set you back 90 bucks! Kind of a stiff tab, but I'm willing to bet that the shave cream will go farther and lather better with the brush involved. (A cheaper model, not related to eShave, can be purchased here.)

The bottom line is: although this stuff really does work better than your typical shaving cream from the 99 cent store, it's a serious investment.

Dermot says:

I've tried shaving with 'shaving-oil' before. I wouldn't say it was a complete failure so much as a bewildering experience for me. Maybe I'm old-fashioned but I'm just not down with replacing my shaving foam/cream with oil. Not to mention the instructions tell you to use a "couple of drops"! How would that be enough? I needed shaving counsel. Luckily, I found out on 'Queer Eye' that for a smooth shave, you put on a few drops of oil, then apply the shaving foam. This is what I did with the eShave oil and cream (use sparingly) both of which had a captivating almond aroma.

Now I used the eShave tools a few times. Once with a new blade and twice with a pre-owned model. I really enjoyed using the shaving brush. I don't think I had used one since I was a teenager learning the trade. There's really no need for a brush with aerosol shaving foams. A brush makes a big difference when you're shaving soap comes in a jar or a tube. The lather goes on thick and evenly and reminds you of your father shaving.

All my blades performed excellently thanks to the environment provided by the Eshave products. My face felt smooth, soft, moisturized, pampered and (very importantly) closely shaven. I had none of the nicks or redness which have long plagued me and stolen my joy of shaving.

I'm happy to say my faith has been restored in shaving products for we of the sensitive skin (even though the eShave Almond Shaving Cream is for "Dry to Normal skin"). For the even more sensitive skinned, use eShave's Floral or Lavender shaving creams.

Deedlejuse says:

I sampled the Eshave Shaving Cream only, like the other ladies above. I shave my legs, and I do so in the shower, probably about twice a week usually in the morning. The Eshave cream I got was scented with lavender, and I'm not whining, but I really think lavender is an overrated fragrance. Sure, it's pretty, but it is by no means the kind of scent I want to shave my legs with in the morning. Perhaps others will disagree, but I just can't figure out why they even make that fragrance for a shaving line. At least the fragrance doesn't linger on the skin.

But, I'm nit picking, I really enjoyed the way the cream lathered. Movie Maven is right there is a definite advantage to having a brush, I stole my boyfriend's and it worked like a charm. The lather was much less impressive before the addition of a brush, but it still worked in and was use-able. My legs feel considerably more smooth when I use this product instead of just regular shower gel but I really haven't tried many other fancy shaving creams so I can't really compare to those. Honestly, I haven't cut myself shaving in 4 years, not once, so I just never thought it necessary to expand the chore into actually needing another bottle of product. I was way off base on that one. My skin feels nicer and smoother and less irritated after I used the Eshave cream. I would definitely recommend giving it a try, even though it is rather expensive. The mini travel size has worked for me for probably 20 shaves, and it is still half full.

Justin Tyme says:

I must say I loved this product. The silky yet frothy texture made for smooth application and kept my skin (which is very sensitive) moisturized and calm. The scent is light and doesn't over power any other products in use. After rinsing there was a slight moist glaze over the shave area which I removed with toner. I very much enjoyed this product and am looking forward to more eSHAVE products.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Review- Aveda Men Pure-Formance Grooming Cream

Our modern styling cream adds pliable hold and control while maintaining a natural look. Its conditioning formula gives hair natural shine without unwanted weight or stickiness.

I am very picky about hair products and I must say this product does not hold up to the Aveda name. The scent is way too strong, it was almost like putting tea tree oil in my hair. There was next to no "hold" as the product claims to have medium hold and left both my hair and forehead feeling oily. I love most everything Aveda makes, but this product is a definite misfire.

Review- Y-SPA for Men Anti-Oxidizing Pre-shave

Soothe irritation and redness with aloe leaf juice containing the most potent component of the aloe plant. Aloe known to its exceptional healing properties is enhanced by sage, sesame, carrot oils which deliver complex nutritional benefits. Suitable for all skin types.

This is one product I was really excited about using. Anything that can add extra anti-oxidants to my face is great for me. The scent of the product is a bit strong and the texture reminds me more of a shave oil than a prep-tool, however. Since I never let my facial hair grow to more than a slight stubble, I understand that I am not the "bearded" man this product is intended for. I let my goatee grow out so I could properly use this product and I found that it did make for a cleaner shave. I will use this product when I grow out facial hair and need a smooth shave.

Review- Danielle and Company Manly Man Shea Body Wash

This moisturizing Shea Body Wash blends together Organic Botanical Oils, Organic Shea Butter and Organic Aloe Vera to create a silky luxurious lather. Leaves your skin feeling fresh, healthy, clean and moisturized.

Scent: An intriguing blend of musks and sandalwood with a hint of cedarwood and jasmine.

This is the first product of the Danielle series that I have tried. The sensual aroma's fill the shower as soon as the first drop is poured. It foams up nicely, however does not stay that way for long. I enjoyed mixing this product with various other non-scented shower oils and washes. It also didn't leave any moisture on the skin once rinsed off. I am reminded of the body washes you receive in upscale hotels. Over all I enjoy this product and am looking forward to trying more from Danielle and Company.

Review - Illuminare Fantastic Finish Foundation

Fantastic Finish Foundation"Dewy" Sunscreen Mineral Makeup - SPF 21
Get your glow back with this moisturizing formula. It provides a light to medium coverage to even skin tone and texture for a soft luminous finish. Helps to lock in moisture and hydrate the skin. *May be set with a translucent face powder for a matte look. 100% oil-free. .5oz (15ml)
I am one of those who truly believe in the concept of mineral makeup and over the past four years have tried, no word of a lie, at least 25 brands -- all loose powder types. With many, I would deem them HG status only to have my skin dry out and look parched and quite frankly, old --so I'd go back to a liquid until I'd read about new MMUs on the market that were supposed to address those with dry skin, so I'd try it, only once again to have crepey dry skin.....enter Illuminare....a liquid MMU foundation that not only applies like a dream, but it lasssstttttsssss all day on me but doesn't feel mask-y or cake-y and best yet - it doesn't dry out my skin. It also has the SPF factor which is always a bonus, especially now that the warm weather is here and glorious sunshine. You can try before you buy with their generous sampling program - I use the Fantastic Finish for my dry skin, but they do have other formulas as well - caveats? The color choices are very, very limited. I lucked out with Florentine Fair in that it matches my skintone perfectly. In my sample package, I received all four foundation shades in two formulas (Fantastic Finish and Extra Coverage), a complete sampling of ALL of their lip products (Gloss and regular -- to be reviewed in a later blog), their soft as all get out makeup applicator, a concealer brush, and a sample of their blush for $34.99. I still am using the sample nearly two weeks later (you need very little). The Fantastic Finish offers a nice dewy-ish finish that I adore. So far, I'm in love....

Review - Chanel Coco Mademoiselle perfume

This fragrance is a stunning oriental fragrance that truly brings one back to a walk through life. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle perfume is a more sophisticated version of the original Chanel Coco and includes notes of rose, jasmine, orange, bergamot, and vanilla.

I wanted to give a shout out to one of the most fantastic perfumes I have ever owned or worn. As a kid, my grandmother used to wear the classic
Chanel No. 5 perfume, and I used to think to myself that when I got older I'd be tall and glamorous and totally fashionably chic like her and I'd wear that perfume. (I however, am not as tall as her... she was almost 6 feet tall, I am sadly barely 5'4").

When Mademoiselle came out, I thought, here's my chance to wear something similar that's meant for a girl my age, and asked for it for christmas as an homage to my dearly departed grandmother. Luckily, I actually got it and... I have faithfully been wearing it at least 3-4 times per week without fail, and everyone that knows anything compliments me on how beautiful it is. It's sophisticated without feeling too granny, and subtle and sweet. It may be a bit pricey but the smaller bottles last forever, and a little goes a long way. I'd highly recommend this as a gift for a hard to buy for friend or relative, they won't be disappointed.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Beauty Advice about Sun Protection

I know I'm breaking format here, but I feel strongly that every woman who visits our site know this fact. There are only 4 ingredients that can adequately protect you from UVA rays (the aging kind) when used at the proper SPF level: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (also called Parsol 1789 or butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane) and Mexoryl SX. One of these ingredients must be on the active ingredient list. I tell you this because I recently found out the face lotion I've used for years was not adequately protecting me from UVA rays. Your skin cream or foundation may say it protects against UVA, unless it has one of those 4 ingredients, it may be doing a very poor job of doing so. The spectrum of UVA light goes from 300 to 600. My old face cream protected me from 300-340. Leaving me unprotected against the rest of the UVA rays. Yet it says SPF 15 UVA/UVB. I hope this helps everyone to protect themselves.

Review - Kiss My Face Active Enzyme Deodorant

Kiss My Face Active Enzyme deodorant contains baking soda and other botanicals to neutralize and eliminate odor - it lasts all day! Contains no artificial fragrances, is colorless and really works!

I'm always trying to find products that aren't tested on animals and that don't contain dangerous or unhealthy ingredients. I tried Tom's of Maine (I like their toothpaste a lot) but it irritated me a little bit for some reason. So, I love Kiss My Face's shaving products, and I figured I would turn to them to try a deodorant.

I have heard that the aluminum in some deodorants are bad for your body, and because I'm no heavy sweater, I thought I could try something that may be a little less severe. I chose the summer scent (there is a fragrance free option available), used it for 2 weeks, and found that not only did it work great, but I smelled good and I didn't have any of the annoying underarm irritation after shaving that I sometimes get from regular deodorants. I even used this deodorant at the gym and it worked fine. It's under $5 and it appears this stick is going to last forever, because I haven't even had to dial it up yet. It goes on non greasy, there's no color to rub off on your clothes, and there's absolutely no weird after-shower stinging or strong weird smells. I'm really starting to love this company's products, not only because they are nice to animals, but they're also nice to my body.

Review - Ballmania Lip Balm

Premium lip balm in a shape that's really easy to find in the bottom of a bag. Keeps lips healthy and moisturized with aloe vera, shea butter, and Vitamins A, C, D3 and E. Contains SPF 20.

I wouldn't care if this lip balm smelled like garbage, look how cute the container is!!!! It's perfect for rolling around in the bottom of my purse without popping open or collecting gross fuzz, and it's cute cute cute. The good news is, it's cheap (around $5) and is actually really great lip balm without weird scary ingredients (I read somewhere that some medicated lip balms contain LEAD, and ever since that I have been a lip balm ingredient hound) annnnd it is SPF 20 which is great sun protection. For $5 it's a cute little gift for someone, or for yourself. I totally love it.

Deedlejuse says:

I agree with Amanda that this is very nice lip balm. It feels awesome on your lips and I even loved the shine it gave. SPF 20 is awesome for lip balm, so that is another plus. At first I admit I could not take this little ball seriously, I mean it sort of looks like a mushroom or something, but it really was very convenient. There are very few things in my bag that are shaped like that so it was easy to locate. It closes very tightly and there is no chance of the top popping off, so I was never worried about sticky gloss getting everywhere. I would definitely give this as a gift, and I will keep mine handy in my bag, what an interesting idea, very clever!

Hillary says:

I love the convenience of this lip balm! My purse is so vast that I had to buy a purse organizer to wrangle all of my junk. I usually have at least 5 lipsticks/ lip balms on me at a time, so the shape of this lip balm, for me, is cause for celebration. It's a good lip balm, very hydrating and it stays on forever. As an added bonus, it tastes delicious. I'm not sure what it tastes like, but it's some kind of candy. Anyone that reads my posts knows that I am a stickler for sunscreen. I have to be honest, this lip balm offers the bare minimum of UVA protection even though it says SPF 20. I'm not so worried about the lack of protection as I never see daylight without lipstick on, but this is not for a day at the beach. For all other times I find it handy and effective.

CitySlicker Says:

I had a very different reaction to the Ballmania. I found that minutes after applying my lips felt like they were burning and irritated. I loved the sweet taste and light shine I got.. I couldn't keep it on my lips.. They literally looked like I was getting a red ring around my mouth. I couldn't risk it so I wiped it off. I thought it was a fluke but I have attempted to put it on about 10 times. I think the formula just isn't for me.. I am so in love with the packaging that I wanted to force my lips to love it but I have had no luck.. I am sorry but if I am going to stay true to myself, I want to share my thoughts. I also want to mention that the taste is a light sweet vanilla. I think it's dream but am totally bummed that I can't wear it.. I mean I am down in the dumps. My ballmania is mauve covered in handbags, lipsticks, shoes and jewelry I love it.. I am thinking since this didn't work out for me then I should look into their ball sachets..

Joyce says:

I love it! I love the feel, the way it smells, how much smoother and fuller my lips look, and the absolutely adorable decorative ball it’s in. I love a dual-purpose product─meaning, not just the lip balm but the container I intend to use for whatever once I use every last bit of the balm.

Sheba says:

I have been using one of these for about a month off and on. They are different - packaged as soccer, basket, baseballs, etc. Yes, the packaging is unique and clever, especially if you are into the packaging. The main thing is the balm and it is very good. It goes on very smoothly and has staying power, even for someone who constantly licks her lips. The flavor is NOT overpowering. I would say this is up there with my favorites. . . however, you do need to order a six pack. They are not very expensive but I am not really used to buying lip balms in quantity -- unless they are on sale. All in all I would say I am very happy with this lip balm.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Review - Skin By Monica Plump For Sexy Lips Peppermint

Apply SKIN by Monica Olsen™ Gloss to bare lips or over lip color for high shine. To keep its rich consistency, do not overheat.

So this Lip Plump is Vegan, and all natural. It is super difficult to find vegan cosmetics, and also those devoid of the long list of chemicals you can't pronounce and didn't really think were good to put on your skin in the first place. So thats a plus, in my opinion.
I know that lip plumper is supposed to tingle, I have even had some plumpers that tingle to the point of pain, but this one really hurts. Like, I kissed my boyfriend while I was wearing it and he literally ran to the bathroom and started scrubbing his lips. Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I didn't feel very sexy at that moment. The pouty look of my lips could not counteract that kind of reaction.
It really does work though, it makes your lips look much fuller and sort of rosy red. You don't need a lip color under this gloss, it makes your lips red for you! If you really want vegan cosmetics this might be a great option, or at least the product line is a great heads-up. The animals thank you!

Review - Island's Own Herbal Savior

An excellent multi purpose, first aid healer from head to toe. For cuts, scrapes and infected wounds as well as all kinds of rashes: eczema, diaper and the unknown source rash. All will respond well and will heal in days with an application of 3-4 times per day. Don?t forget your pet?s wounds too! Comes in three sizes.

So this salve is definitely on the earthier-crunchier side of wonderful-ness but it works so well I thought I should report. The company is based on Martha's Vineyard (off the coast of Cape Cod in MA) and all of the ingredients are grown locally and then made into their many wonderfully healing moisturizers and other body products. I haven't personally tried anything but the salve-which I will elaborate on- but they look really nice and even relatively inexpensive for hand-made goodness!
So the salve was given to me by a friend from the Vineyard who swears by it. Normally, I really do enjoy things like salve, and other more natural healing agents. So I was excited to try it. I have to say, hands down one of the nicest and most healing concoctions I have tried so far. It smells very natural sort of like the chamomile and calendula flowers and maybe also lavender. The most exciting part is it's ability to heal and sooth eczema and other little skin irritants. It makes burns feel better and even reduces heal time. I have used it on my hands when they are super chapped from the winter freeze, and on my lips in a pinch. If you like to try the natural route I would give this a try, it is wonderful.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Review - Sheer Blonde Lustrous Touch Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner

Sheer Blonde® Lustrous Touch™ Strengthening Shampoo wraps hair with fortifying Satin Finishers that contain silk amino acids and tea leaf extract, providing triple breakage protection.

I thought that I would give us blonds a shout out too. The John Frieda Collections really are amazingly wonderful products. They are more expensive, so they are usually a luxury that I don't allow myself, but it really makes your hair amazingly soft and shiny. The sample I received was too small for me to be able to use more than once, because I have really long thirsty hair, but I still noticed a difference in the brilliancy and the high-lights after that one use. I would recommend it fully, it lathers well, smells awesome, and makes you look like a super star.

Review - John Frieda brilliant brunette shampoo and conditioner

formulated with Satin Finishers to silken strands, make your color richer, and give your hair incredible all-day shine smoothness. Brilliant indeed.

I'm not exactly a brunette, I have jet black hair, but I figured a product for darker hair might be nice to try. I used a sample I got in the mail 3 times so far, and my hair is really super shiny, at least compared to the last (names left out to protect the not so awesome products...) shampoo and conditioner samples I got in the mail. I also really love the smell and definitely feel like the dark tones of my hair reflect pretty nicely after using it. It's super cheap, you can get it in any drugstore or big supermarket, and a little seems to go a long way. I'd definitely recommend trying it for something fun to use if you have brown/black hair.

Sheba says: I have used this shampoo and conditioner and it does all it claims. Your hair is left extremely shiny and soft. It looks so nice and healthy that I hate to then add my texturizing product on it. However, even after applying my other product(s) the shine and softness are still there -- only with a little added body. Your hair looks and feels very healthy when using this so I think it does improve the hair as well as add the shine, etc. Highlights seem more vivid and that is a great feature. As mentioned already the price is right and you can find these products on sale very often

Review- Nantucket Natural Oils Organic Spa Bath & Shower Gel w/ Oat and Apple

Pure, natural cleansers from moisturizing coconut and sugar are blended with certified organic aloe, lavender, verbena and orange, plus oat and apple proteins, in this ultra-hydrating gel that soothes and hydrates. Shea butter, vitamin B-5 panthenol and vegetable glycerin add an extra dose of vital nourishment for supple skin. Enjoy the rich lather and skin comfort in the shower or bath!
4 oz. $8.95
8 oz. $15.90
scenting extra
I smell delicious! I got out of the shower about an hour ago and I can still smell the shower gel I used. You can get Nantucket Natural Oils shower gel in almost any scent you can think of- literally- plus you can combine scents to create a new, unique scent. I got mine scented Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue (one of my favorite perfumes). I'm really impressed with the way the scent has lingered and yet remained subtle. The shower gel really adds moisture to your skin as well. This is my new favorite product!

Deedlejuse Says:

I love that this shower gel is organic. I don't know if it is because its organic (probably not) or because it is just really good but it leaves my skin super soft more like a shower cream than a gel. I actually work for this company, so I get to play with the scents a lot. Because of that I can make really fun scents in my body lotions and shower gels. My personal favorite is a combination of a perfume called Gaia (in the imports and house blends section) which is this awesome crisp fragrance with grapefruit and lavender, and Marc Jacobs Daisy which is a sweet flirty floral. The combination is just sooo good, in fact I haven't gotten any products with anything else for a while because I like it so much! Your wake-up shower will never be the same. The scents in the body wash are really fun because you can smell them in the shower and they are pretty strong. Unfortunately I don't think the smell stays too well after you wash with the body wash, but I work in a perfume bar so personal fragrance has to be pretty strong to get me to notice it!

Sheba says: I am a firm believer in these products. I received a heavenly fragranced oil as a present and that convinced me. I will do a review on that later. I have been using the 'Fresh Laundry' scented Bath and Shower Gel and it certainly resembles 'Clean' as claimed. It is definitely one of the best gels I have used and the scent is absolutely perfect for a 'Clean' perfume lover. It lathers up very well and leaves your skin feeling clean, soft, and silky with a slight remaining scent. That works well for me as it blends with my 'Clean' perfume. My skin is quite a bit less dry than it was. . . and that is not a benefit I get from most other bath gels. Some fragranced ones I have tried actually dried my skin. Hey, you can pick your own favorite scent. Their list of designer scents goes on and on and they are very true to the scent they are aiming for. The prices are very reasonable for the quality and quantity of the products. You can shower with your favorite fragrance at a minimal cost compared to what you would pay for the actual designer's gel -- and they are so close you won't be able to tell the difference, except in the cost. Do not think these are similar to the knockoff sprays you find everywhere. These are in a completely separate league. Those are cheap imitations while these are true resemblances worth the cost.

CitySlicker Says: I have this in the scent of Marc Jacobs Daisy. I honestly can’t think of a better way to start my day than showering with this. It’s got a great lather when I use with a bath pouf, it starts off light then froths into a great rich foam... The scent it so great, it’s fresh clean, lightly floral and wakes the heck out of me. My skin is definitely hydrated and not dried out at all. I do follow up with a body cream out of instinct but I really believe that it’s unnecessary. Common on?? The fact is, I want MORE, like in a gallon bottle! You can't ask for more!

Movie Maven says: I just wanted to weigh in here, since it looks like all the other reviewers got perfume-scented versions of this. I chose to get two essential oils, mandarin orange and clove, combined in one scent, which is glorious. It's so fresh and not heavy at all, and the spiciness of the clove with the sweet, tart orange works really well. Obviously, since you can choose your own combination, there are ample ways to create a scent that doesn't work as well, but this product is great for times when you want to recreate a scent you already like, but can't find anymore. Two sudsy thumbs up!

Review - Biore Pore Unclogging Cleanser

Help your pores breathe a little easier. With 50% more gentle exfoliating spheres, this creamy, pearly, oil-free formula exfoliates better than ever to give you the unclogging power you want without the irritation.

This is a really basic, fairly mediocre cleanser. It smells nice, works okay, is sort of on the thick side, and is pretty boring overall. My major issue with it is its claim that it's an exfoliating cleanser. This, simply put, is not true. An exfoliating cleanser should have enough exfoliant in it to make you feel like you've scrubbed your face. At all. The number of little beads in this product are - okay, imagine a big, steaming hot bowl of delicious oatmeal, ready to eat. Now imagine putting six raisins in it. That's approximately the ratio of exfoliating bubbles to cleanser. I can't imagine who would like this - if you don't want any exfoliation, the beads would be annoying, and if you actually do want exfoliation, there's not enough.

Review - Victoria's Secret Sexy Little Things

A fragrance so sexy, the box whistles when you open it. Tempt and tease with this fruity-floral blend of apple, exotic jasmine and sensual cashmere woods. Domestic.

Fragrance type: fruity floral
Top notes: apple, waterlily, osmanthus
Middle notes: jasmine, honeysuckle, lotus
Low notes: cashmere woods, musk, iris

Ok, people might notice that I am changing my original post. This perfume is seriously a chameleon, I love it. When I first applied I really, really didn't like the smell. Like I wanted it off me, and even though I tried it numerous times I repeatedly washed it off because I didn't want to smell like dirty fruit water.
Today I left the house before I could actually wash it off, and I forgot that I had it on. I applied it at 12 pm, it is now 10pm and I can still smell it in a delicate, but definitely there sort of way. Although it is still not my favorite scent I have ever worn, I like it much more than initially. It is soapy and fresh, still rather fruity but musky in a much more sexy than that initial over the top smell. Give this fragrance a chance, even if you hate it out of the bottle, because it will definitely surprise you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Review - Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

The original natural home treatment, developed by a dermatologist, that will actually dry up acne pimples, rinse away blackheads and even help shrink enlarged pores.Helps dry up acne pimples. Rinses away blackheads.

It really doesn't matter how expensive or special or foreign and exotic a mudmask is, it seems to all be the same except a lot of them smell weird or are too harsh. Queen Helene has been around forever, has pure ingredients, isn't tested on animals and get this, it costs like $4 at your local drug store/supermarket. How can you go wrong with that? I try to use this mask (or the queen helene regular mud masque) at least once a week. Usually once every two weeks. It just makes my skin feel cleaner, purified, and makes it really absorb moisture after I wash the mask off.
Sure we all like to pamper ourselves with expensive sort of things, but for mud masks, this is pretty much the best even though it's pretty much the cheapest too.

Sheba says:
I agree 100%, Amanda. This product has been around for ages and it would not still be around if it wasn't pretty darn good. So many beauty items come and go but this one remains on the shelf. They used pure ingredients before it was politically correct to do so. I have been using this off and on for years and it never fails. Amanda felt it works as well as some of the much more expensive ones and she is so right about that. I will treat myself to a much more costly one every once in a while . . . just for something different. This works as well as most of the ones I have tried. I love that I can just pick it up and not have to wait for it to be sent while also avoiding the shipping charges.

Hillary says:
I too love the Queen Helene Mask. It dries up pimples like nobody's business without damaging the surrounding skin. If you get blemishes, this should be in your arsenal. And at $4 a pop, how can you go wrong? This stuff will always have a place of honor in my bathroom.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Review - Vaseline Intensive Rescue Moisture Locking Lotion

Vaseline® moisture locking lotion triples moisture reserves instantly, then fills tiny gaps in skin to lock moisture in all day, promoting the proper environment dry skin needs to repair itself.

  • glycerin ~ instantly triples moisture
  • occlusives ~ help lock moisture in all day
I received a VERY generous sample of this Intensive Rescue Lotion the other day from walmart.com. I have used it for a week and I am impressed with this lotion. One of it's best attributes is the fact that it has literally no smell. It is wonderful for me, a person who is literally bathed in scent (I am a perfumer and sell perfumes for a living) all the time, for a lotion to be blissfully scent free. It works so well too, the moisture is "locked" in just as advertised. It is very thick, but works in in seconds. This is an awesome no-nonsense kind of lotion that I would definitely purchase a second or indefinite amount of times. It is really affordable too! This is a really good daily lotion that has no frills attached.

Sheba say: I was very hesitant to try this as I associated the name with Petroleum Jelly and did not want that feeling all over. Nice on chapped lips -- bad on hands. I heard that a dermatologist recommended it to a co-worker who had cracks in her skin on her hands from the dryness. After seeing her results I was no longer hesitant. This stuff is plain old lotion that works. Deedlejuse mentioned the importance of it being unscented - especially in her occupation. I love that feature -- it means I can use this with any other scent I choose for the day with no conflict. So in other words you are getting one of the best moisture lotions at a very reasonable cost. . . and you can get it just about anywhere.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Review - Rusk Being Sexy Hair Spray

Extra firm hold control for all hair types

Lock in and freeze any style with volume, extra-firm hold and control. Infuses hair with texture, natural shine and long-lasting, touchable hold and support. For all hair types

In days of yore, I would never, ever even contemplated straying from my once beloved Sebastian Shaper Plus. For me, this was hairspray perfection - everything I wanted from a hairspray from scent to hold to lasting ability to touchability...then a few years ago, things went horribly, horribly wrong. They changed the formula. (I have no idea why - but I have heard something about flurocarbons and they needed to change the formula to comply - the funny thing is if you call them, they act like you've lost your mind...."No, we haven't changed it". Tsk, tsk....not true!) My once favorite hairspray became ordinary and since that sad day I have searched and searched for a replacement but have yet to find one. Unfortunately, my search continues after trying the Rusk. I will say that I like it better than a lot I have tried, and let me tell you I have a graveyard of hairsprays from high end to desperate drug store purchases, but something is missing. I don't know if it's the way it comes out of the can - almost Aqua-Net -ish or something? Not misty enough...and it makes my hair a little crunchy and dry. Lastly, I'm not lovin' the fragrance. (I don't hate it either - just kind of so-so). I am going to continue to use it though b/c as I said it's better than anything I have in my bathroom closet at the moment, and perhaps it will grow on me, but for now, I'd give it a five out ten stars if I was rating.

Review - Way Out Wax Aromatherapy Candles

A refreshing herbal aroma with calming and cleansing qualities. Pure sage essential oil and 100% soy wax.

I picked up one of these mini tin candles at a health food store near my job a few months ago, I believe it was a lavender scented one, and I loved it. The tin was only $5 and lasted almost 25 total in burn time, and the scent filled the entire apartment. I recently went back and got a sage candle for myself, and think this scent is equally as great. The larger sized tin candles have a 50 hour burn time in all the great scents (click the header above to see how many there are), and I have bought two of those as gifts for people. What I love most is that they're soy candles, clean burning, contain no lead and no other B.S., just soy wax and essential oils and all natural materials. You can tell the difference.

Deedlejuse says: I got myself a Way Out Wax Candle just the other day. It is just as wonderful as Amanda S. says it is. The scent that I purchased is called Sweet Dreams, it is a combo of lavender, marjoram, and lemongrass. This is not a mix I would have associated with bed time, because I thought lemongrass and marjoram are both supposed to be invigorating scents. Not the case in this instance.... It is a really lovely, relaxing, earthy smell that is not overpowering in the way that normal candles can be. The soy and essential oils route is definitely the way to go in my opinion. The scent does fill up a room in a non-obtrusive sort of way. I opted for the Frosted Glass Tumbler variety, because I think it looks really nice in an understated less obvious sort of way. I would also get these candles as a gift, because they are an incredible quality for not to much dough.

Danielle & Co. Travel Size Ivy & Aloe soap

This skin softening Shea Butter Soap is a blend of Natural Botanical Oils, hydrating Shea Butter and moisturizing Glycerin to nourish the skin, leaving it soft and hydrated. Its silky lather amazes the skin and the senses. Scent: A clean blend of citrus and florals.

Confession: when I go to my family's house, their soap rips my skin apart. No names mentioned but it just feels very chemical and they have hard water to boot. I get out of the shower feeling tight and dry. This little soap is perfect to slip into my bag in a ziploc and bring along. It smells so great and lathers up, and fights the evils of hard water, leaving me feeling soft and smooth after my shower. I have reviewed other soaps by this company and they are top of the line, making wonderful products for great prices. I am 100% sure I am going to give these out as little additional gifts to people on birthdays and for holidays because I know they won't be disappointed and will love the great scents and benefits.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Review - Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet & Matifying Foundation

A shine controlling, oil-free, water-resistant, complete coverage liquid foundation. $34.00

I was on the hunt for a new foundation. I wear sunscreen everyday and need a foundation that can go over and stay on. I also get shiny / oily looking from the sunscreen so I decided to go with something heavier than I normally wear. I am finding that along with the sunscreen, this is providing me with a semi matte finish. I use less of this and blend more so I don’t feel like I have a lot on. It’s getting warmer and I want to have a natural finish also. I think this is a great foundation; it’s easy to blend and has a very smooth finish. I am finishing with a mineral veil to keep it light to. I totally notice a different the shiny throughout the day so this is working for me. It doesn't feel heavy on either.

Review - Mistral Foam Bath

This invigorating clean fragrance, with hints of mint, lime, marjoram and flowering jasmine, evokes the fresh radiance of summer. Verbena is one of the most energizing scents for a morning wake up.

I love the smell of lemon verbena, I used to have this great hand cream from somewhere I can't remember now... And the scent was really invigorating and awesome. This foaming bath and shower gel reminds me of that scent, it really perks you up when you're feeling run down. So far, I have only used this as a bubble bath and with my poop sponge in the tub, but it lathers really nicely, isn't too harsh and 'soapy' (in terms of making your skin feel tight/dry), and smells delicious especially for the spring and summer months. I imagine it makes a great shower gel also.
What I also love is that it's not tested on animals and comes in an easy to rinse and recycle glass bottle. The price is right too below $15 for a nicely sized bottle. This would make a great gift for someone that loves lemony scents.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Review - Archipelago Botanicals Soy Creme Milk No. 3

Archipelago Botanicals award winning Moisturizing Hand & Body Cream contains natural Soy Proteins, Amino Acids, Jojoba Oils and Aloe Vera, blended together to create a natural remedy for dry and rough skin.

This Soy Milk Creme is so light and moisturizing, I love it. The creme is very thin unlike a lot of creams that go on thick and stay feeling thick for a long time. It is the lightest feeling lotion, and it soaks in in seconds so you can always apply, no matter where you are or if you don't have time. It also leaves your skin incredibly soft and smooth, the lines on the backs of my skin instantly disappear and look healthy and younger. The nicest thing about this lotion is that it is not greasy even a little bit. It smells very natural and not perfumy, so it is perfect for hand or body. The tube it comes in really looks like a toothpaste container, which could be a draw-back if you leave it by the sink and your not a morning person...... But seriously it is very convenient because the 3.2oz container is just 3.2oz of pliable plastic surrounding your product so it isn't big and bulky in my bag, and I'll definitely be able to get every last drop out. Genius.

Sheba says:

I have been using this creme for about a week now and really enjoy its fresh, clean scent. It certainly does the job! It keeps your skin feeling silky soft and definitely moisturized. As Deedlejuse noticed -- it absorbs into the skin quickly and completely. I have to tissue off excess cream with other products when they are not totally absorbed. My skin just drinks this creme up: it seems to know what is good for it. Actually I notice that my skin does seem a little less dry with only a week of use. I usually don't catch any difference in such a short time. This is quite noticeable - so I will continue with this regime for a while longer to see if these results continue to improve.

Amanda S. Says:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cream. It is so smooth and moisturizing, I have been using it for a week on my feet and legs after shaving and it's doing a wonderful job. I wish I had a gigantic jug of this stuff so it would last forever, because I know I want it as a staple, especially for after sun exposure and when my skin feels super flakey.

Joyce says:

It says on the box that the product includes dried milk and soy proteins combined in a thick, luxurious and moisturizing crème. I’m impressed with the texture of this one. It’s like whipped cream made from really good cream, with just a little extra body to it. Translation: It goes on easily and I notice an immediate smoothing of my skin. I also like the soft “green” note in its fragrance. Makes me want to lie in cool clover and see images in the clouds.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Review - Wonder Care Shea Butter Lotion

To Soothe... Calm....and Nourish your skin.

I came across a little bottle of this shea butter lotion at the International Beauty Show, and have used it for a few days on my really dry skin, we're talking elbows, knees, on my feet, places that get dry and can turn ashy if you don't keep them in constant check. Other than a great price (under $7 for a jar of it), the scent is beautiful and the ingredients are natural and imported from Ghana. As well as working awesome on dry skin, for those that don't know, shea butter can stop blemishes, help heal sunburns, shaving bumps, heal scars, and do all sorts of wonderful things. That said, if you DO know all this great stuff about shea butter, you are probably paying someone else a lot more for a product that comes naturally here at a great price and from a family run business. A little goes a long way and the company backs up the product with a money back guarantee.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Review - Laura Mercier's Mosaic Shimmer Bloc

A bronzing/luminizing palette made of a unique, baked formula containing light-reflecting properties. $38.00

I am in love with this.. I picked it up last weekend and I am floored with the results. I got it in the peach. I am very pale so bronzers end up looking very fake on me so I have to really blend them in or go with a very light shade. This bloc is a wonderful luminizer, it really gives me a nice healthy glow without looking to glowy. I find that the color compliments and adds life to my face. I am done with the winter drabs but don't to look I am tanning either. It goes on

Review - Skin Abstract Blemish Potion

Blemish Potion is conveniently packaged to blend in with your natural skin color and/or foundation. As you are covering up your blemish, this fast acting potion will begin immediately to dry and heal skin breakouts.

I don't break out a lot, but when I do, it really bums me out. I'm vain enough where I don't even want to leave the house with one zit, I'll do anything to hide it, use my hair, wear a bag over my head, hide behind other people on the subway... whatever it takes. When I got a few little bottles of this stuff, I was skeptical. There are so many blemish creams that claim they can zap zits and make them disappear fast, but they really just dry out the top layer of skin and make them even harder to cover up. I don't know what the special formula of this product is, but it works really well and can blend in with foundation. It really does work, and seeing the size of the bottle you can get online for about $18, I imagine it will last forever, considering a small sample tube lasted me one month (the sample size was about that of one of those mini perfume sample bottles). If you hate zits, I recommend this stuff.

Review - L'Oreal Paris Infallible make-up

THIS, this stuff... this is my foundation. The bottle says "never fail makeup" and they mean it. When I just can't stand my skin, when it's got a rash (I have an illness that gives me an ugly red rash across my cheeks and sometimes my forehead), or even when I just feel blotchy or have a bad breakout, this foundation goes on easily and covers EVERYTHING. Not only that, it matches my skin perfectly (there are a lot of shades!) and it stays on throughout my entire day, whether I'm walking through the city in the sweaty summer, working out, or just going to work. When I use mineral powder over it, the cover up power is even stronger. So if you're having an unbearable breakout, or are just used to having foundation on and rely on it, this is absolutely the one to use. It has great sunblocking power to protect your skin from the sun, and a little bottle is cheap (about 13 bucks) and lasts forever. I am willing to try others out, but this is hands down my favorite, and has been for several years.

Review - NIA24 Intensive Recovery Complex

Another winner from NIA24. It is so nice to be able to hit upon a line that delivers and the family of NIA24 products that I have been using for nearly a month have done just that. I feel in the relatively short amount of time that I have used them that I have seen an overall improvement in my skin's tone, elasticity, and luminosity. The Intensive Recovery Complex hydrates, soothes and like the other NIA24 products, helps even out your skintone. Each product works harmoniously with the other - however you can still incorporate other products without hurting the efficacy of them (i.e. vitamin C serum or foundation primer). I am going to stick with this line as long as I continue to see these terrific results.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Review - Aveeno's Shave Gel

AVEENO Therapeutic Shave Gel is a rich lubricating gel uniquely formulated for sensitive or irritated skin and skin that's prone to razor bumps. $4.29

I picked this up for my hubby and in a crunch decided to use it for my own stems. I like to use shave cream but usually don’t since I am pressed for time so I just use a shower gel or soap and shave... I know it’s a no no. The hubby has very sensitive skin and a 5 O’clock shadow at 5:05 so he is always on the hunt for inexpensive creams. I love this stuff. It went on really thickly and was easy to shave with. I didn’t get any cuts and found that unscented is the way to go. My legs were super soft and smooth after shaving with no red bumps to be seen. I will continue to buy this for me, the heck with him! Ladies, this is just what your summer stems need!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Review - Mario Badescu Makeup Remover Soap

For gentle, daily cleansing this creamy, oil-free cleanser removes make-up and surface debris from all skin types, leaving it soft and smooth. Non-drying, non-soap formulation.

My skin is so sensitive that honestly, I often don't wash my face save for every few days and even then with something super super mild. If I am not careful my face can have a complete freak out/melt down complete with peeling, redness, hives and rashes. This cleanser is so gentle it felt like I was rubbing a moisturizer into my face rather than a cleanser, my make up slid off effortlessly without a fuss and there was no stripping of natural oils or required skin protectors. I've been using this product for two weeks (Along with two other Badescu products I will also be reviewing) and my skin is noticeably way more calm and collected, less red and flaky and less prone to zits/rashes. 16 oz is only $20 and will last forever, I highly recommend this stuff!