Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review - Clean Logic Body Wash

Nopal plants are indigenous to Mexico and have been used for centuries to cure an array of ailments. Most notably, Nopal is known for its deep healing and anti-inflammatory properties with antioxidants that can help neutralize the harmful effects daily activities and stress can have on the skin. Nopal can even help to prevent wrinkles, balance skin tone and moisturize to keep skin looking youthful.
Clean Logic Body Washes were developed using the finest ingredients to maximize our unique scents. Using refreshing, clean and calming fragrances, Clean Logic brings the luxury and decadence of the spa to your home
enjoy with nopal, sugar & rice extracts. 11.5 fl.oz $12.99

This is a very luxurious feeling body wash. It suds up beautifully while doing its great body cleansing. There are 3 choices, 'enjoy,' 'relax' and 'refresh.' I hate to say it but my 'enjoy' steals the thunder from the others. It is very relaxing and refreshing. I bet that they are too. However, this wash does leave your skin feeling very clean and refreshed. I do think the skin tone seems a bit better since using this. I will vouch for the healing properties they mention. I had a few little boo boos on me and they calmed down and feel better after using this. NO, I am not saying it healed them. It did make them feel less achey and more on their way to heal. I cannot define the scent but it is very pleasant and refreshing. It is far from overpowering and does not remain with you for long so there is no chance that it might collide with your choice of scent for the day. Some body washes have scents that linger too long. This does not. It does cost a bit more than I usually pay but it is efficient. You do not need much so it is going to last longer than my less expensive washes. In the long run this might actually work out to be less expensive since it is lasting so long. My opinion is that it is worth the cost even if it is a little higher as it does the job extremely well without drying the skin. As a matter of fact your skin will feel very hydrated and it requires less moisturizer.

Deedlejuse says:

Honestly, I'm kind of jealous of Sheba! The Enjoy sounds wonderful, the idea of sugar and rice extracts sounds super exotic and lovely. The flavor I tried was the "Refresh" with spearmint, and I must say it was very refreshing. Thankfully the scent was rather light, I don't think I could handle spearmint in the morning if it were too strong, this was just light and breezy. The feeling it leaves you with is sort of, I don't know, fortified. I don't know if that makes any sense, but I just feel like my skin is tougher (in a good way) and silkier. I have confidence in my healthy, vibrant looking skin after I use it. In my opinion that is really all that anyone can ask for in a shower gel. While $12.99 is really expensive for 11.5 ounces, I have to agree with Sheba again in how little you need to use. I have been using everyday for the last 2 weeks, and I would say it looks like I have used it for about 2 days. I'm a fan. Enjoy.......
Maria says:
I got the chance to try this in "Relax" a kind of citrusy scented lovely shower gel. It adds a silkiness and softness to the skin and I love using it on my legs before shaving - they feel super smooth after. Like the girls above attest, a little goes a long way - I will use the whole bottle, no question. The one caveat is that I wish shower gels came in a pump bottle. It's kind of tought to manuever in the shower - opening the cap, pouring some out onto your loofa or facecloth - I would love the idea of just pumping this - then it would truly be the perfect bottle of body wash!

Review- Chi Organics Olive Nutrient Shampoo & Conditioner

Olive Nutrient sulfate and paraben free shampoo and conditioner with Certified Organic Essential oils, Natural oils and a special complex of extracts will pamper your hair and provide extra gentle, rich, moisturizing care while nourishing, moisturizing, protecting and providing balanced care for your hair while preserving and maintaining color.

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical when I went to use this shampoo and conditioner. Their consistencies are a bit on the watery side. So I was pleasantly surprised when the shampoo lathered up nicely and thoroughly cleaned my hair without stripping it. Then the conditioner left my hair soft enough to run a comb through wet without a snag. The end result of my blow dried hair looked healthy and shiny. I've been using the shampoo and conditioner for weeks and they haven't affected my color one bit. I will definitely be buying this shampoo and conditioner again.

Deedlejuse says:

Until yesterday, I had ridiculously long (they cut off a foot and I still have "long" hair) chemically processed very dry hair. Needless to say it was pretty dead at the ends, so when I say that I had dry hair, I'm not kidding. So when I got this shampoo and conditioner combo I was excited to try it, but terrified at the same time. I thought that if it wasn't loaded up with hard to pronounce chemicals I would be left with a tangly, dry, un-brushable, mess of hair that would desperately need a straight shot of that silicone stuff they use to make a lot of products flow better. I was mistaken, thankfully and hopefully forever. I used this shampoo conditioner combo for about two weeks, every other day, and by the end of this period my hair looked so shiny and healthy, I was amazed. The shampoo is a little watery looking, if your grandmother ever made you use castile soap as a kid because "it is the best soap ever" you will feel right at home with the shampoo, but it does lather up well and it is just so gentle. The conditioner I have no complaints on at all. Even for someone like me with high demands on conditioner I thought it was thick and creamy looking, and had a little more backbone than other ones I have used. The smell is not classic olive oil, but it is a fresh citrusy smell that I liked, very natural and neutral. Basically I am very into the idea of going more natural with my products, and more green to save the world. Chi Organics just proved to me that I can still have beautiful hair while doing that.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Review - Make UP For Ever HD Microfinish Powder

A universal translucent finishing powder to be applied over foundation or worn alone. $30.00

This could be the best $30 I have spent in a long time, I have been hearing and reading the hype about this powder so I HAD to get some. Since this is silica powder, to the touch it feels different than anything else I have used, it's so light, you will be shocked. This goes on so light and sheerly that you won’t feel a thing but you will see the results. I get a wonderful finish that doesn’t look powdery or over-matte. My skin is matte and but it’s natural looking, this is not a china doll matte but a matte that blends with my complexion. I find that it helps in hiding the imperfections with a gentle glide of my kabuki brush. I will tell you that the container is small but you will only need to apply in small doses. For me, I wear sunscreen daily, I know I am protecting myself but the one and only downfall is that my skin can look oily, even though I wear oil-free sunscreen. This quickly remedies the situation and it lasts through the day. I am not popping into the loo for oil control & dabbing my face with more powder. This is also GREAT for the summer, it’s hot out there but you don’t have to look overheated. I am sensitive & haven't experienced any reaction, it’s very gentle...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Review- Nutra Luxe MD Plus Vitamin C

Nutra Luxe MD Plus Vitamin C - Super Serum captures the performance of the first encapsulated, PURE and ACTIVE L- ascorbic acid Cosmeceutical available on the market today. This Preservative, Stabilizer And Creme Filler Free Cosmeceutical is ready to use. $89

First of all, this facial...lotion? I suppose that's where it fits in the spectrum of skincare products, since you don't need to use a separate moisturizer (at least, I didn't). Well, it comes in a package that looks like it should be used for transporting dinosaur DNA to the mainland. (Credit to my roommate for that line.) So that's awesome. The label warned me that it would take a few minutes to soak in, so when I first applied it and it felt like an oil slick on my already-oily skin, I didn't get concerned. The claims were true! It did absorb into my skin, leaving it soft and supple without being greasy. I would recommend to my oily-faced sisters to use this as a before-bed treatment rather than a before-day treatment, because it does take a little time to soak in, and if you're like me, you don't have time in the morning to wait for it. I definitely didn't need another moisturizer, but again, people with drier skin might need to couple it with another moisturizer. I put it on last night and my skin is still super-soft.

Obviously, I can't speak to the efficacy of its claims that it firms skin or reduces wrinkles without a longer test period, but based on the inital times I've used it, I really like it. The one issue I have with it is the price. It's expensive, more than I would ever even consider spending on a moisturizer. That said, it's targeted toward a more mature demographic than I myself fit into (I'm 27), a demographic that might be more financially solvent than me (I'm a freelance writer and actor). So some women might be willing to spend $70 or so on a facial treatment that lasts a while rather than $5000 on cosmetic surgery. If you have the cash to drop, it's definitely an effective treatment.

Amanda S. Says:

I agree with Movie Maven, this stuff is expensive! when I opened the package I thought, wow what is this? Some inoculation against space flu? It looks really cool, clear with all these little beads floating in it. I am not someone with wrinkles, but I have my fair share of dark patches and discolorations on my skin around my nose and cheeks from the sun and a few scars, and after one and a half weeks, I did notice my skin was less flaky and those spots were less noticeable. I can't see how this stuff couldn't work to help someone tighten their skin, because mine even felt smoother and tighter after using for so little time.

Deedlejuse says:

I have to agree with the above on how well this moisturizer works. I have been using it for about 2 weeks, and my skin feels much healthier and softer, and looks really nice. The summer, of course, is the best time for my skin. My skin is normal to dry so in the summer it stays blissfully normal. Almost to the point of oily at times so I really can't moisturize using a thick cream, even at night it just makes me feel heavy and shiny. This is the perfect solution, the gel is very soft and like Movie Maven mentioned almost greasy, but on my skin it soaked in instantly. There was no need for any more moisturizer. I also have to agree that it is very expensive for what it is. The amount in the weird tube thing looks used already, and I have only been using it once a day for two weeks. If you can swing it, give it a try, you will see results!

Review- Frizz-Ease Curl Around Style-Starting Daily Conditioner

Developed for wavy, curly, frizz-prone hair *Reawakens, energizes and defines your natural curl patterns for soft, smooth curls with lasting curl definition *Specially developed with a curl-enhancing complex, hydrating conditioners and frizz-fighting silicone *Resists frizz in any weather *Curls look silky-smooth and glossy from root to tip *Gentle enough for everyday use *Safe for color-treated hair

Please see my review of the shampoo that goes with this conditioner. I never tried one without the other; and they work so well together, why mess with a good thing. My hair is wavy, but curls when the humidity rises. You'll see that I put this shampoo and conditioner to an extreme test (I didn't mention it in the shampoo review, but I don't have A/C--so I really tested them in an "extreme" situation). Another thing I'm doing now that I want to share with you (if you don't already do this) is 1) Make sure you thoroughly rinse out any shampoo so the conditioner can work properly 2) I rinse conditioner out with cool-cold water (comfortable) and count to sixty to make sure I get it all out. This helps to close the hair cuticle, as well.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Review - Monroe Margaux Brush (Petite)

THE MARGAUX BRUSH is built with the highest quality 100% natural bristles with a nylon quill to stimulate the scalp's blood flow. The boar bristles have a unique quality that allows them to distribute the oils through the hair strands, to give the hair that most desired shine.

I don't often brush my hair. At all, really. Partially because it's fairly short (right now sort of a chin-length bob), and partially because I'm very lazy. However, I know you're supposed to brush your hair to make it shiny, so when I got this little Margaux brush from Monroe brushes, I figured I should give it the old college try. The brush feels nice when the nylon quills actually reach my scalp, but the weird thing is: they didn't always get all the way down in there. If the whole purpose of the nylon quills is to "stimulate the scalp's blood flow," then shouldn't they actually touch the scalp? I seriously do not have that much hair, folks. The bristles should get down in there.

The boar bristles, however, did what they were intended to do, which is distribute scalp oils through the strands. As an oily-haired girl, I found that the best time to do this was not at the beginning of the day, since by the end of the day, the natural oils would leave my hair looking greasy, but rather right before I showered and washed my hair. The oils protected it and made it come out looking softer and shinier. Weird, but it works!

The other use I found for this brush is smoothing over styled hair, such as a teased bouffant look (yes, I rock vintage hair as well as vintage clothing). Give the hair a once-over with this brush before spraying it, and it will be smoother and neater.

Review - Skinn Dimitri James Sulfate Free Rapid Exfoliating Cleanser

This water-activated, detergent-free cleanser leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean, but never stripped. Because this cleanser is sulfate free, it can thoroughly cleanse without damaging the skin's natural moisturizing factors.

When you hear "exfoliating" in regards to a cleanser, you expect that there will be little scrubby beads or something in said cleanser. Not so with Skinn by Dimitri James Sulfate Free Rapid Exfoliating Cleanser (which I will now be calling "the cleanser," since that name is quite the mouthful). Entirely smooth, the consistency of other liquid soaps, this cleanser really lives up to the claims on the website - my skin never felt over-scrubbed like it can with other exfoliating cleansers. The cleanser foams up a bit with water, and feels tingly going on. (So you know it's working, perhaps?) The one thing that concerned me about this product is that it smelled startlingly like home hair color - in particular, Feria hair color. Boxed coloring has a very distinctive chemical smell, and I feel fairly certain that I smelled it in the Skinn cleanser as well. It's a bit off-putting, but honestly, this cleanser works so well that I don't mind, but folks with sensitive noses might be worse off than me. All in all, a great product that left my skin "more luminous than usual" according to my roommate...but hopefully they can figure out a better scent!

Deedlejuse says:
I couldn't agree more with Movie Maven. I really like this Exfoliating cleanser. It is so gentle, it definitely does not feel like any normal scrubs I have used in the past. It suds gently, which is also nice because sometimes the sudsing agent can be irritating for me. This cleanser on the other hand is so not irritating. I used it in the shower as a regular cleanser, but also tried leaving it on for a full 5 min. as recommended. I really liked it both ways, and I agree that my skin does look much healthier and more clear. The smell was distinct, and I could see how it might throw people off, but I thought it smelled more like tea tree oil. Not that tea tree is my favorite smell, but I kind of liked it in the morning. It was very refreshing, a great wake-up. The smell is definitely a personal preference thing, but regardless the results were great!

Review - M.B. Carey Scrub

There is, to be sure, a lot to like about Carey Ingredients' salt scrub. It's made with all natural ingredients, it's moisturizing, and it really does work to scrub away the dead layers of skin. However, the main issue I have is that it's extremely difficult to apply. Although it has natural oils in it, the scrub itself is the consistency of coarse sand, the sand right between the wet sand and the dry sand. Because it's relatively dry, you have to dole out just the right amount to make sure it actually sticks to your body and does its job. The other thing is the scent. It comes in three: Citrus and Spice, which sounds lovely, Lavender/Mint, which might be nice, and Patchouli/Pine, which I got. It smells like Santa's workshop, if all of the elves in Santa's workshop were hippies. Let's just say that you really need to like pine to like this scent. Like...REALLY. All in all, it's a fine product, and is, in fact, quite functional, but sadly the pine was too overpowering for me. Maybe a man would like this scent better?

Sheba says:
Why, oh why, didn't I pick the Citrus and Spice???? I have the Lavender and Mint - and to say I am not a Lavender fan is putting it mildly. I think the scrub does work wonderfully. I noticed that I had to hold it in my hand(s) under water for a few seconds to get it to the right consistency to really do its job. Once I had that down pat I found that it did exfoliate the dead cells very nicely and left smooth, silky skin. However, the fragrance was enough to knock me out. It is very strong -- perhaps I just thought it was strong as I do not really care for Lavender. I did get some of the mint but the Lavender just flooded my senses. I bet I would love that effect with the Citrus and Spice so I am not going to make a harsh judgement on the scent. The company cannot be blamed for me having the wrong scent for my nose. I realize I am an exception - Lavender is a favorite scent among a lot of the population and those people will probably fall in love with this scrub in the Lavender and Mint scent. I think I will remember that anything citrus is good for me. Now I need to track down the Citrus and Spice and I will be all set.

Deedlejuse Says:
I picked the Patchouli and Pine Scrub from this company. The smell was alright, it was super natural and very earthy. If you respect Patchouli for it's healing and relaxing properties, or you just love Patchouli (yes there are those out there who just love that smell) this is the scent for you. The pine adds a very nice acid, to make it super spicy. Honestly I also had an issue with how spicy it was, and I love spicy soaps, so just make sure your up for it. The salt itself was really just that: bath salts with essential oils added to them. I had a really hard time making it stick to me, and found it difficult to find how much exactly was the perfect amount. It did leave my skin quite soft, but I think I wasted a lot of product trying to get it to stick to me. On a side note: I tried using it on my face to see what would happen, and it was really abrasive and almost painful, and I don't have particularly sensitive skin. Stick to feet, elbows, and knees for this scrub!

Joyce says:

Review- I have the Lavender-Mint which contains oils, essential oils of lavender, peppermint, plus dried lavender. I like the spa-like scent and sensation of this coarse salt, and that I feel I just treated myself to something special when I use it. It left my skin feeling clean and tingly. I did not use it on my face; and I advise that if you intend to use the salt and shave your legs, use the salt first. I did it the other way around. Nothing drastic or long-lasting happened, but salt on such open pores is not the sensation most of us seek. When I want to make sure my skin is quite touchable, I make sure I use this product during my bath.

Review - Skinn by Dimitri James - 3 Minute Lip Party Rapid Volumizing Mask

A super intense 3 minute lip plumping-line smoothing mask treatment for the lips. The results are instant and last for hours. Now you can dramatically reduce the appearance of thinning, aging lips in just 3 minutes. $17.00

This lip plumper goes on like a balm, it’s smooth and soft. It got a light mixed berry scent with no taste what so ever... I put it on in the am after the makeup regimen then about 45 seconds into it the tingle and burn starts, it reminds me of a hot pepper the deep fire. It’s not uncomfortable but if your lips are sensitive then I would opt out of trying. My lips don’t look like Angelina’s after use but I can see a bee stung plump to them, I think the best benefit is lipstick goes my lips and looks smoother and doesn’t settle into any of my lip lines. For a mere $17 clams you could put a tiny bit on daily and this will last a LONG time. I am only using once in the am and feel the sensation for about 20 minutes and I would guestimate that the results last through lunch...

Sheba says:
Thank you City Slicker. I knew I got some type of berry smell but I couldn't put my finger on it. It is a mixed berry which is very fresh and pleasant. It suggests you put a generous amount on. I did and waited the 3 minutes as suggested before wiping it off. There was a bit of tingling but not enough to hurt or anything. I also did not see Angelina's lips when I looked. They did appear a little fuller and because of the fullness some of the lines seemed to be filled in a bit. Maybe I did not get maximum results as that is as far as I went with the Skinn products. They suggest that you next use the Lip 3X Volumizing Serum. Hey, that seems like it might just be an important factor that I missed. Perhaps I would be smart to get my hands on some of that so that I could give an accurate review. For the record, even without using the Lip 3X Volumizing Serum I was pretty happy with the results. After my first couple of uses I started using a little less than the generous amount suggested and I got the same results. So now I know it will last a bit longer. . . and that is something I can pout about!! My lips are in the pout position because it does work.

Review- Chi Organics Olive Nutrient Therapy Treatment Paste

Olive Nutrient paraben free Treatment Paste with Certified Organic Essential oils, Natural oils and a special complex of extracts will treat and replenish dry, damaged, overworked and color treated hair with proper elements needed to moisturize and reconstruct. Hair will feel soft with illuminating shine.

I’m completely in love with this product. My hair is color-treated. Because it grows so fast, I have to use color around every three weeks. The texture has been dry and even brittle, as you might imagine. From the first time I used this product, my hair not only felt like unprocessed hair, but looked great (full and shiny) rather than flat as you might think a product with olive oil might make it (thin, fine hair). I’ve even used it three days in a row and it still didn’t go flat. Word-of-mouth is important, and I started talking this one up with my friends immediately.

Amanda S. Says: Everything that Joyce said, and more. I am so addicted to this fantastic stuff. I just got this crazy new haircut with super super short bangs and it has about a thousand layers in the back, and this conditioner tamed it in this humid horrible weather and it's so sleek and shiny, I ADORE THIS STUFF! I have used it all week and I'm loving it so much I'm going to have to run out and get more, it's one of the best conditioners I've used and I love the texture of it and the natural ingredients.

Review - Frizz-Ease Curl Around Style-Starting Daily Shampoo

Reawakens and invigorates your natural curl patterns for shapely styling results *Specially developed with a curl-enhancing complex, targeted moisturizers and frizz-fighting silicone *Moisturizes and smoothes the hair cuticle *Keeps curls glistening and ready to resist frizz in any weather *Gentle enough for everyday use *Safe for color-treated hair

There's three components to this product line: shampoo, conditioner, and serum. I'll blog about each separately, but I used two of them together each time I tried the samples--the shampoo and the conditioner. On one of the hottest, most humid (73%) days of our heat wave, I used these two products then let my hair air-dry . . . then slept on it! I figured this was one way to see if they really did as promised. They did. I was amazed to wake with smooth hair under such conditions. My hair is fine, but processed from frequent color treatments and daily shampooing, blow-drying, and styling products. I'll share a secret with you: My friend convinced me to start air-drying only. What a difference. Naturally, I had to figure out how to shift my schedule for this, but it's worth it. My hair now looks fuller, shinier, and just looks good all day. A shake, finger-raking, or light brushing puts it back in order if it gets mussed. Combined with the Frizz-Ease products, my hair is looking better than ever.

Review- Nixie Mineral Eye Shadow

Infused with Italian cashmere talc to provide a silky, luxurious feel. Our long-lasting shadows are designed to glide on evenly and smoothly with superb blendability. There are over 200 shades that range from translucent highlights to subtle mattes with rich satiny texture.

This could very well be the most heavily pigmented eyeshadow I have ever used. I'm in love. My colors are Saffron which is a bright canary yellow and Desert, a rich chocolate brown. The colors are very similar to the colors I saw on the monitor (of course monitors vary). These shadows passed the ultimate test yesterday. I was at the eye doctor & he put drops in my eyes that stung. Of course my eyes started watering & my mascara and eyeliner ran, but even after wiping my eyes profusely the Nixie shadow stayed in place. I didn't even have to re-apply. The shadows are broken down into 4 categories: Matte, Matte/Suede with metallic flakes, Suede with some shimmer and Ultra Suede with intense shimmer. I will definitely be buying more shades of this eyeshadow as I haven't seen it's equal. And with 200+ shades, I'll never be bored!

Deedlejuse says:
I completely agree with Hillary, this is one of the absolute best eyeshadows I have found. I am a shimmer person: some people don't like to shine, I am not that person. Most of the make-up that I like best, and use most often tend to be shades with ultimate shine and shimmer in mind. Generally, I love eyeshadow with glitter in it, like Hard Candy or Urban Decay, but this eyeshadow might be a turning point in my eyeshadow world. I have the Ultra Suede type in two colors: Champagne, the absolute (for me) perfect off white/pink shade, this one is just so wearable, and Junior a rockin '80 baby blue- LOVE IT! The best part of this eyeshadow is that you can really control the look you are going for, one swipe is just enough for everyday and you can increase the intensity easily with layering. As Hillary mentioned above it really stays put. I tend to rub my eyes without thinking about it, which takes many mascaras out of the picture, and almost no shadows live throughout the whole day. This eyeshadow was still going strong at 10pm when I was ready to wash up for the night, needless to say I was shocked. Try it, you'll love it, I am an instant believer!

CitySlicker Says:
I have this in 2 shades also. I got Celebrity a perfect highlighting shade; it looks like a silvery, platinum & Harlow a very neutral shimmery muted taupe. I have been wearing them together. I sweep the Harlow over my lid and it really brings out the green in my hazel eyes then add a light swipe of Celebrity at my brow bone. If I make one comparison to the Nixie line I have to say they are very similar to MAC. The pigment is deep and the colors rich. I found that when I initially swept my brush over the shadows it releases a bit more than other shadows, it seems that once you pick up some shadow the finish is broken and the product is very soft. I won’t travel with these, I think they may be volatile and easily break. So now when I use I am not heavy handed. I think these do stay on but I did notice some fading throughout the day mostly on my lid. Overall, I really like this line and love the shades I got. They are FAB!

Sheba says:
Me four!! These eye shadows are some of the best I have ever used. The 'Everglade' is just absolutely perfect with hazel eyes although I can see it with almost any eye color. However, it enhances the hazel and really shows the eyes off. As mentioned by everyone the pigment is so deep. It works whether you use the one coat for the day or layer for the evening as Deedlejuse suggested. I have used that type of application for many shadows. I like to use this one on my lid and then just a tiny, tiny little bit for a highlighter at night. If it appears too dark for a highlight I just touch it with a tissue to take a little off. Sometimes I will dab the brush into a true highlight color and then into this. That gives me the lightest shade I can get of this to use as a highlighter. My other color, 'Starlight' is so alluring on. I wasn't really sure about the dark blue but it really does make my hazel eyes pop and it seems to actually give them some blue highlights. I love it. I am so happy with both of these that I know I will not be happy until I own some more. They do stay on my eyes very well. I might have to take a tissue and just brush the crease as some of the shadow does settle in there and I am used to that -- I think it is my application method. Who is Nixie and where have they been all my life? Their products are incredible and they are not too expensive. You definitely get your money's worth.

Amanda S. Says: Oh well, my two cents anyway! Even though I agree with everyone, this stuff goes on GREAT! I didn't have to reapply and the pigments are so true to what they appear in the compact and they go on so strong (but not overbearing, don't confuse the two). I would really recommend these for people that are disappointed by faded/untrue eye colors.

Joyce says:

Review- I used Everglade (deep moss green) & Starlight (earthy midnight blue). My hazel (gold) eyes really pop when I wear both. I don’t use these as eye shadows, though; I use them as eyeliners. With a small, thin-bristled brush, I put Starlight at my upper eyelid lash line and do the same on the lower with Everglade. I also put a dab of Everglade right over my iris on the upper lid. Pop! goes my eye color. If I need to make the line softer, I gently soften it with the edge of a cosmetic sponge. I’ve not only used them in the morning and found them still on at bedtime, I’ve left them on and wake with my “look” still on, just a bit softer. Hey, French women do this all the time to look made and unmade when they wake. Mais, ouis!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Review- Breath Palette Toothpaste

Experience the flavor. Enjoy the menthol finish. 18 flavors leave your mouth clean and fresh.

I love exotic toothpaste! My usual toothpaste is orange flavored, so when I got the opportunity to try Breath Palette, I was psyched. I'm currently using flavor #4- Freshness Yogurt. Yes, it really tastes like yogurt (which I love)! It starts out as pure yogurt flavor, then turns into a minty fresh flavor, but the flavors never clash. I would have never guessed you could mix yogurt and mint, but they work very well together. Although the tube is much smaller than a regular tube of toothpaste, don't be stingy. You don't get the full taste if you use it sparingly as I originally did. Coming soon- my review of the Strawberry!

I've tried the Strawberry Breath Palette toothpaste and I have to say I prefer the Freshness Yogurt. Although the strawberry is good, the strawberry flavor doesn't last long before the mint kicks in (not as long as the yogurt anyway). It does however taste like strawberry for about 10 seconds, then it switches to mint. Let's put it this way, I would have thought the strawberry was cool had I not tried the yogurt first.

Movie Maven says:

As a kid, I actually used strawberry toothpaste regularly (I lived in England...they are weirdos about dental hygiene), so I was stoked to try this toothpaste in the grape flavor. The flavor starts out very light and tastes like grape bubble gum, and sort of morphs into a minty-ish flavor. I'll agree with Hillary that you definitely need to be generous when loading up your brush; even when you do, this paste doesn't get as foamy as my normal one, which makes me feel like I'm not getting my mouth as clean as I could be. My roommate (who joined me in our small, small bathroom to try it out) said she felt like she needed to brush her teeth again to feel clean. Since it's relatively expensive, and not terribly effective in terms of minty-freshness, I'd recommend this little tube as a novelty item or gift (it comes in a bunch of insane flavors, like Pumpkin Pudding and Cola), but not as actual, regular-day toothpaste.

Amanda S. Says:

Wow, I didn't know what to expect when I tried these two toothpastes. The first was sweet salt and I LOVE IT! It really has a nice salty edge to it (not too much though) and leaves a super clean aftertaste. I also tried japanese plum which was really cool and delicious tasting. I thought my breath wouldn't feel fresh after using it, but it really does, maybe not in a minty way that standard toothpastes do, but it reminds me of Dentie toothpaste which is made organically out of charred eggplants. It leaves your mouth clean and kills way more bacteria than standard ADA approved pastes. It would take some getting used to for a lot of people, but it's fun to use!

Sheba says:

I enjoy my 'Japanese Plum' toothpaste and like the scent it leaves on my breath. My teeth and gums feel very clean when I finish. To be quite honest I was not sure how I would like it as I really don't care for plums -- what a very pleasant surprise I was in for. However, I have a mouth full of fillings and dental work that I cannot just leave to chance. I have to use my fluoride toothpaste as well. So I use that first and let it do its job and then follow it in a while with the Breath Palette to leave me with the different refreshing breath. Brushing twice each time cannot cause any harm and this way I ensure my teeth get their daily doses of fluoride. I am hoping this double cleaning each time might actually pay off at the dentist for my next visit. It certainly cannot hurt. I like the difference in my breath with this unique toothpaste. I had been using different fluoride flavors such as the orange and the vanilla mint but this is more exotic and I like that.

CitySlicker Says:

I have the Grape Breath Palette and I agree with Movie Maven that is reminiscent of grape bubble gum. I think it’s a new innovative approach to brushing your pearly whites but if I am to be completely honest, I didn’t think it left me with the same kind of fresh breath that mint flavored toothpaste does. If you are looking to try something different and can deviate from the norm then this is for you. My teeth were clean feeling but this is just not something I could get used to, I followed up with my regular toothpaste after using. I am just old school, I guess!

Joyce says:

Japanese Plum as a toothpaste flavor is, understandably, something of an odd concept in our mint-flavored culture. We feel if our mouths smell minty (and you know how many commercials there are trying to influence us about this), this is a good thing. What I noticed was that this toothpaste does what it says . . . not by artificially and temporarily making my breath have a certain smell, but by cleaning it so it has no odor or scent. That’s what I like about this product and why it’s the one I grab when I want my mouth to feel and smell fresh. I also noticed that when I use it at night, I don’t wake with “funk-mouth.”

Deedlejuse says:

This toothpaste is definitely a fun novelty. I have the grape flavor as well and even though I'm not a fan of artificial grape I really liked the taste. It does turn minty after a bit, which is sort of a relief. Basically I liked it, it felt European and cool, but I probably won't make a habit of it. I just felt like my mouth wasn't quite clean enough afterwards. It will be in everybody's stocking for Christmas though , Bitter Chocolate? I mean really. Too cool, I'm lovin' it!

Review- Smashbox Wicked Lovely Lip Gloss

This lip gloss is from the yet to be released Smashbox "Wicked Lovely" Fall Collection. My color is Sultry and it's a deep wine purple with a hint of shimmer. Now that may sound daunting to some, but I swear it even looks good on me and I'm ghostly pale! I would say any tone of skin with cool undertones could use this color. It's so perfect for fall and winter. I've seen the whole collection and it's all about smokey eyes and either very dark or very light lips. I didn't see any "in-between" lip colors. This gloss is rich without being goopey and stays on like a champ. And even my dry shriveled lips were moisturized with this formula. It's nice to wear a lip color and not have to worry about putting on lip balm every half hour. I got a matching lip pencil which I'll review after and the combination is great. When you see this at Sephora (or anywhere for that matter) this fall, try it on your hand. You'll be shocked at the wearability of the color!

Deedlejuse says:
The thing I love the best about writing for this site is I get to try colors and smells I would not necessarily choose myself. The color I was sent is called Coy, I absolutely adore it, it is not a color I would have chosen myself because in the packaging it is deceptively tan looking. In all actuality it is a velvety pink once applied to the lips, and one of the most wearable colors I have encountered in lip gloss. I am pretty sure it would work on just about any skin tone. The wonderful texture of the gloss is silky, and like Hillary said rich, but it doesn't feel sticky (a real pet peeve of mine). It lasts a long time, even without lip pencil. I would say this lip gloss really is "wicked" lovely. Please note I am from MA and up here wicked=awesome!

Sheba says:

Me, three. Their colors seem very adaptable to every one's face and coloring. Mine is Sweet and it is sweet but not ridiculously sweet-looking. It is a little difficult to try to describe a color as we each see something different in the various shades. There are just so many variations of pink and red. Okay, I will try to give my impressions but don't hold me to them. It is almost like a pink cotton candy but not exactly. It is a softer pink-almost a frosted look which is nice. It looks very nice on and it has an innocent appearance which can be appealing. I think it looks good on my light skin and will also look as well on my fake tan skin when I do apply tanning to it. It is very silky on and not too thick as some glosses tend to be. I find it has some staying power but I am able to make all glosses and lipsticks disappear after a short time. Accordingly I am never without a few to reapply as needed. This is a definite keeper.

Review - Sycamore Boutique 1899 Soap Company Products

I got a cute little bundle of products from Sycamore Boutique, and actually at this moment I am burning the delicious spring lilac soy candle and it's so cute and teeny but spreads a wonderful scent throughout our apartment (which isn't easy because it's a long long hallway with many rooms!). The candles are slow burning and all natural, so you don't have to worry about lead in the wicks and other gross things creeping into your lovely scents.
I also received an unscented shea butter lotion that is very natural smelling and not thick and difficult to absorb into your hands like some shea butter products. It cures dry spots like elbows and knees really great also.
My two REALLY favorite items I got though are the rose petals perfume oil and the cherries & chocolate car/closet/drawer freshener. The freshener is an adorable heart shape (and I love anything star or heart shaped) with a really pretty soft penetrating scent. I'm currently using it in our self-built closet in the bedroom and it's making a huge difference removing the musty weird smell that has sort of creeped into there from who knows where. The perfume oil is soooooo sooooo beautiful. It's not overpowering but has a strong enough smell to last all day (even through a strenuous gym workout, I could still smell it), and it comes in a cute little glass rollerball applicator bottle that is easy to keep in a purse/make up bag. It completely lacks any chemical, artificial or weird smell to it, it's just straight rose scent with no weird by products to muck it up.
What a great series of products with an impressive dedication to natural products.

CitySlicker Says:
I too got a little bundle from Sycamore Boutique.
Spring Tulip Candle – I burned this in the office and it carried throughout the area. It is a bright spring bouquet that is very pretty and enveloped all that came through. I then brought this tiny dream home to fill my living area with a fresh bunch of floral sunshine. This candle is small but throws a scent into the air even before lighting it. I really liked my scent!
Cotton Shea Butter Cream – This is a perfect scent for anyone who doesn’t really like scents; it’s light and smells clean. I used this after showering. It absorbs really quickly and left my skin feeling soft and supple. The moisture lasts throughout the day to.
Jessica McClintock Perfume Oil – This is a powdery musky scent that also has floral notes. I apply in the morning and found that it faded throughout the day, by the end of the day I could no longer smell anything at all. It’s a very pretty feminine scent.
Car Freshener in Juniper – This little freshener is very cute and in the shape of a vw beetle. It’s got a true juniper scent that really smells fresh. I put this in my car and have smelled the scent all week, it’s not overpowering in a perfumey way, and it’s like having a juniper bush in the back seat. The scent is beginning to fade but it’s still there and I am sure will be for some time.

Hillary says:
I got the perfume oil in Downy scent (yes the fabric softener) and it smells just like the real thing (one of my favorite scents in the world). I've been let down by fragrance oils before, I found the scent just wasn't strong enough, but that can't be said for this oil. I could still smell it hours after putting it on.
I also got she butter lotion in Downy scent. It smells wonderful! I love the fact that it moisturizes but it sinks in completely. If you wear layers of fragrance (body wash, lotion and perfume) the scent lingers much longer.
I don't recommend the Woodland Violet scent of candle because although it smells divine in the tin, once lit I could only smell it by holding it up near my face. From the looks of the other reviews, this is only the case with the scent I got.
The car freshener I chose is Violet as well and it smells divine. It is even strong enough to smell over my husband's smoking and is shaped appropriately enough as a car.Sycamore boutique has hundreds of scents to choose from and their prices are out of this world.

Maria says: Well, I burned my entire tin of the lovely Orange-Vanilla scent. Yum. Such a great smell. I will say that I could smell it much better in the bathroom - which is very small. When I moved it to my bedroom, I couldn't really smell it anymore unless I was very close to it (like you Hillary). When I opened up the rest of my little package from this great company, my daughter immediately took off with the star-shaped room freshener (in Downy) smells JUST like it - she hung it from her ceiling fan in her bedroom and when the fan is oscilating it smells just like fresh laundry in there - I got the perfume oil and body lotion in Blue Musk and it has to be one of the cleanest, softest, scents I've ever had the pleasure of wearing - it's so pretty and it's not like when you smell it you can say "oh this smells like ________" (insert perfume company name here) because it is unique. I wish the scent lingered a little longer on me. But that tends to be a problem with me - scents tend to fade quickly - who knows...maybe it's my skin's absorption properties! I can imagine that I'd have a field day with the amount of products to choose from. This is just an all around GREAT company.

Deedlejuse says:
This is a relatively difficult review for me to write. My job is for a company that is quite similar to this boutique, but their products are much cheaper. Unfortunately, my soy candle went the way Maria and Hillary's did. I got Lemon Verbena and I loved the size of the candle tin, and the scent before it was lit, but I couldn't smell it at all after it was burning. I let it burn a long, long time before I decided to just give up and snuff it. The car freshener I got in a scent called Mediterranean Fig; I wasn’t the biggest fan of this fig smell. I actually used it in the car, which was a bad decision. It got so strong the first day (probably because it was really hot) that it was difficult to breathe, and by the second had faded to nothing. My recommendation on the air freshener is: by in bulk to save on shipping, pick a smell you know you'll love, and please use them when the temperature outside is less than 90*. The lotion was nice, and of course it is cool that you can have it scented with your perfume. I got Angel Food, it was a very strong version of the desert. I really did like the smell I just found it strong. The perfume oil was Sandy Beach, it was a very accurate smell beachy flowers and maybe cucumber to make it sort of fresh. Not overly coconut, which is nice. Again, the oil, like the lotion is very strong. I think that they are both stronger than alcohol based perfume, which is quite unusual for oil. Overall I kind of think purchasing blind is risky, maybe have them send you samples of the smells first? I don't know I guess even if you hate it you have only wasted $7 for the perfume oil!
P.S. I just realized that I was also scent a glycerin soap which is useful when one is having a hot flash. I very much like the smell of the rose geranium, and the soap suds well and lasts a while. Unfortunately, I'm 24 so I cant report back on the hot flash thing......
Sheba says:
I can see why Deedlejuse had difficulty reviewing these items as she is associated with another line. However, these are in a completely different category completely. Nantucket Naturals is top of the line while Sycamore Boutique is a much lower priced alternative. Actually I probably should not say alternative - but addition. I would not leave Nantucket Naturals for just about anything however, I would definitely add Sycamore Boutique. I selected the Orange-Clove Candle and it is pure Heaven. I love it. . . and I did have it throughout our home but I put it out pretty fast as I do not want to use it up before I can replace it with maybe 10 more. It is addictive. That combination is one of the most pleasant ones that I have ever been surrounded by and they do an excellent job of capturing it. Then I chose the Cotton Blossom Perfume Oil which is one of my favorite scents. It is very clean without blanketing you in a Tide or detergent aroma. It is very refreshing and I enjoyed it. It is strong without being too strong. You might think if it is strong it will last all day. However, it fades as the day goes on but that is not a problem if you carry the little bottle with you. I often have to refresh my fragrances and am used to doing that. I decided on the Lemon Verbena Shea Butter Lotion and that was another good decision. Being a 'citrus nut' I love the fragrance -- it is very captivating. I feel that the lotion is absorbed into the skin very nicely and definitely moisturizes you and I love it on elbows and those other very dry area. The scent is not overpowering and needs a bit of refreshing once in a while but once again I wash my hands so often (due to my dog) that I always have lotion handy so I can freshen up frequently. My pick of the Fresh Linen Scented Ornament could not have been more on target. I love to keep something like a scented candle or sachet in the linen closet. This leaves such a pleasant and clean aroma in there that I love it when it I open the door and get this fresh scent instead of that stale scent you can get from a linen closet. I definitely have to stock up on some of these. . . they are wonderful. All in all I would say Sycamore Boutique is a winner with very affordable products that actually work as intended.
Joyce says:

Review: Blue Musk was the scent for my soy candle; shea butter lotion; scented ornament that could be a car, bathroom, or lingerie freshener; and the perfume oil. I love musk, and this one is particularly yummy. I had on the perfume oil and a guy caught a whiff of it (no, not a total stranger) and began nibbling on my neck. A woman caught the scent and went crazy over it (without nibbling, of course). This scent is both sensuous and innocent. Very, very nice.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Review- Three Custom Color Specialists Light Brights Lipstick

As unparalleled experts in the makeup industry, the former Club Kids transformed these outrageously bright colors into the Light Brights Collection - modern, playful and sheer moisturizing stains for the lips. All four of the shades are great for all skin tones and have names that evoke the nightlife of a totally awesome decade.

This collection consists of four colors of 80's inspired day-glo named after NYC nightclubs of that era. I have Palladium, a bright magenta color. I initially thought this would strictly be a "try" lipstick as I didn't see myself wearing it out, but when I put it on, I really liked what I saw. I'm not much of a pink girl but this goes on very sheer and wearable. It looks daunting in the tube, but it's much more natural on and complements my pale skin well. The consistency has got me interested in trying other Three Custom Color Specialists lipsticks as it is very moisturizing and doesn't cake up on my always dry lips. I'm not saying these brights are for everyone, but if you're feeling a little adventurous, these are worth a look.

CitySlicker Says:

When I saw Limelight in the pot, my thoughts ran back to the 80’s videos. Limelight is a shockingly bright fuchsia color. I was thinking “No way, Jose”. I looked at it in the pot for a few days before I actually applied. My initial thought was it feels more like a lip balm going on. It’s smooth and rolls over my lips. It’s completely comfortable and feels like I am wearing nothing. I was stunned at the look on my lips: it’s shiny but not overly shiny – a nice light gloss without the tackiness & the color actually transforms it’s a bright flushed pink on me. I think this is a great summer color too.The color stains my lips a little too so after eating it’s not completely washed away. I still show color. I swear my lips feel healthier since wearing to. I think giving them a break from my usual sticky gloss is a good thing. This is an amazing fun line.

Movie Maven says:

My reaction was similar to the other reviewers' when I first saw this bright lipstick in Area (that would be the electric tangerine color you see above): I thought, "someone has lost their mind." It's so bright and sort of terrifying in the package. But like the other reviewers, I was pleasantly surprised - more like shocked - when I put it on. It's not really lipstick in the sense that I normally think of it, but falls somewhere between a lipstick, a lip stain, and a lip gloss. It's really the best of all possible worlds. On me, it just sort of punched up the natural pinkness of my lips, without making me look clownish, which is always my fear when I wear bright lipsticks (though I love the idea of them). In short, don't be scared of these neon hues - they really are super-wearable on your lips, and they feel great, too!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Review- Abrione Honey Oatmeal Facial Cleanser

Our Honey Oatmeal is a wonderful facial cleanser and moisturizer for sensitive skin. A soap free cleanser often recommended for delicate or irritated skin. The combination of honey and oatmeal together will help keep your skin clean and smooth. 8 oz. $35

Amanda S. Says:
I have been using the sensitive style facial cleanser and I really like it. My skin tends to get easily freaked out and rashy and all sorts of spastic, this really helped to calm it down. unbelievably a few times after using it, I didn't even need to MOISTURIZE. And that is unbelievable.

Review- Abrione Clean Slate Facial Cleanser Normal to Dry

Not your ordinary facial wash, Clean Slate Facial Cleanser contains bioactive ingredients to help purify, clarify, exfoliate and revitalize your complexion. Aloe vera gel helps prevent inflammation and botanical extracts help brighten and protect the skin from the adverse effects of the environment. $24 for 4 oz., $35 for 8 oz. (bigger sizes available)

This is a really good, thorough cleanser for normal to dry skin. My skin is more on the "dry to dry" side, so I would only use this cleanser in the warm summer months. I really like the herbal smell of this product and the fact that Aloe is the first ingredient it lists. It has AHA's and pineapple extract in it to exfoliate. The cleanser took away any dullness and left my skin feeling clean. I generally use pre-moistened make-up remover cloths at night, but I will be using this every other time I wash. A dime sized amount of this stuff cleans my whole face, so it's definitely worth the money. I'm looking forward to trying other products in the Abrione line.

CitySlicker Says:
Clean Slate left my skin with a clean slate, without drying or any flaking. The scent is light and has a light herbal fragrance. It quickly washed away all of my makeup minus mascara. I have had no reactions or breakout since using. My skin is hydrated and plump after each use, if definitely replenished after a long day!

Movie Maven Says:
You know that gel they put in a tray at the dentist's office and then put on your teeth? The intense fluoride treatment stuff? Imagine using that as a facial cleanser, and you will get the approximate experience of Abrione's Clean Slate Facial Cleanser. It smells exactly like the mint flavor of that fluoride stuff, so much so that I wanted to have a suction tube in my mouth to get rid of the excess spit. It's a moderately-foaming cleanser, which is fine, but the main thing that happens after you use it is a weird, cool feeling on your face. It feels so bizarre, especially in the eye area, for about five minutes or so after washing. I don't know if that means it's working or what, but it's kind of amazing/disturbing. The best feature of the cleanser was that although it's formulated for normal/oily skin, it wasn't over-drying, which can sometimes be an issue. Overall, I liked it, but the dentist's office smell really got to me, so I don't know if I'd like using it on a regular basis.

Deedlejuse Says:
I'm gonna have to agree with Movie Maven on this one. This clean slate cleanser was a bit much. It worked as wonderfully as everyone else said, but it was just so strong. At first I thought I was just using it wrong, but unfortunately this cleanser makes my eyes burn and feel very uncomfortable for the next couple of minutes. I might just be sensitive, but it was not for me. If you can stand it though your face looks wonderful after use, and it does clean pores in minutes. I really wish it didn't hurt me so much, because it might be the best no no-nonsense cleanser I have ever tried. Hopefully you can try it first to make sure you aren't a wimp like me, because if you can use it you will be thrilled!

Joyce says:

Review- My in-her-50s skin found this cleanser a little drying, and it continued to feel dry after I applied moisturizer. However . . . here’s a benefit I didn’t expect (and demonstrates that it really is a good cleanser): it’s the best eye makeup remover I’ve ever discovered. I wear contacts (including in the tub). I’ve used soap to remove my waterproof mascara, etc., for years because, with or without contacts in, any product that had even a light amount of oil in it, got into my contacts. Not good. Soap takes mascara off my eyelashes, but leaves raccoon rings around my eyes that I use moisturizer to get off. So, for providing me with t.h.e. best eye makeup remover (even though this wasn’t their intention), I tip my hat to Arbrione. I did not experience the “strange” or stinging sensation around or in my eyes my fellow bloggers did.

Review- Nubar Skin Essentials Hand and Body Lotion

Rich with moisturizing, cell regenerating shea butter, antioxidants, essential oils, vitamin A, vitamin C and the healing power of vitamin E. All nubar lotions contain essential oils, vitamins A, Vitamin E and are NON-Paraben. Research into Parabens have found them to be carcinogenic. $4.99 for 2 oz., $10.99 for 8 oz.

So let me get this straight, now lotions are carcinogenic? Well not this one. Right on the heels of discovering that lots of nail polish contained cancer-causing agents, I read this. If you use a lot of lotion, it would be in your body's best interest to buy some Nubar Skin Essentials Hand and Body Lotion. The Hypnotic scent is deliciously fruity and citrusy. And the lotion glides on like a dream. The directions say use a generous amount (don't all directions say that?) but I've found that a little goes a long way. It's a very silky, emollient-rich lotion. Vitamins A & E are great Environmental Protection Factors, something I look for in all my creams and lotions.

Joyce says:

This lotion has shea butter and antioxidants A & E in it. Emotional Balance is the aromatherapy scent I’m using. It has citrus, primarily pink grapefruit to my nose, as its fragrance. I recently read that you can make people think you’re 10 years younger if you wear grapefruit as a scent. I don’t know about that; but I know when I use it, two things happen: there’s a big “Wow! Yum!” factor and it makes my skin feel the way I always hope a lotion will make it feel (but doesn’t always happen). It’s on my desk and is used often during the day, especially if I need a pick-me-up.

Amanda S. Says: I love this lotion, it has such a cute smell and is so relaxing. Like Joyce, I keep this at my desk right here, next to my computer, and put it on when my skin feels dry or even when I just need a little distraction. I too, was totally unaware that lotion could cause cancer, this stuns me and at the same time, I wouldn't put it past some shady ingredients to be unhealthy. So I'm glad to know using this stuff is safe!

Maria says: Sheesh, what isn't carcinogenic these days? This is a yummy citrusy smelling lotion that is perfect for those warm summer days and romantic nights. I like the fact that it's not sticky and is nice and emollient. Chock full of good ingredients just completes the picture. I like to use it right out of the shower to lock in the moisture - and what's this that Joyce is saying about Grapefruit Scent making people think you are 10 years younger? Sounds good to me!!!!

Sheba says:

Too much information can be harmful to a cosmetic junkie!!! I am so sorry to hear that some creams can actually be dangerous -- but how much would you need to use for the bad effects? There are so many things to worry about without scaring people who are addicted to these products. At any rate I can use this product to my hearts content without any fear and that is good as I intend to use it a lot!! I am a complete 'citrus freak' -- cannot get enough of the scent. This one is just heavenly and to know now that I might actually appear to be 10 years younger when using a grapefruit scent only makes it better. See, I do listen to the good news. I might actually run out and buy every grapefruit product there is. Seriousy, I do believe I read that also. It is such a great scent to use as it it clean and fresh and so enjoyable. As Hillary or someone mentioned do NOT pay attention to the directions to be generous. You do not need a lot to get the full wonderful creamy effects. I use just a little dab and it is absorbed relatively quickly and starts working immediately. My skin loves the soft and silky feel. It is a definite plus for your hands and body - you will feel the difference and the fragrance is an added bonus.

CitySlicker Says:

I love a light moisturizer and I think this fits the bill. I use it after showering, it’s got lovely light scent that isn’t to perfumy or overbearing. I love anything with a citrus scent and this is no exception, it’s got just enough crispness with a touch of sweet. I can get dressed soon after application and it not greasy. It absorbs and really holds in the moisture. Nice price and good results!

Movie Maven says:
Hear, hear to everyone else! I don't know if I'm the only one who thinks "Emotional Balance" is a hilarious name for a lotion, but...isn't it, though? That's not to say that the fragrance isn't lovely - it is indeed! I did find the scent to be a little more intense than I normally like, but I tend to favor the very subtle myself. As for the non-carcinogenic ingredients...parabens (the supposed "cancer agents" that Nubar lotions make a point NOT to contain) have long been (safely) used as preservatives in lotions and other cosmetics, and you'd have to put on a LOT of paraben-containing lotion for it to affect you. Like, gallons a day. It's probably the same amount of Diet Coke you'd have to drink to get cancer from it (which, again, is, like, A LOT). In any event, it's great that this lotion is paraben-free, but honestly, I wouldn't worry too much. However, if you're an alarmist, this lotion is for you.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Review- Lord and Berry Raincoat Mascara

Raincoat is a quick-drying mascara infused with nourishing active ingredients. LXB complex, to keep eyelashes soft and moisturized and nylon which creates a volumizing yet flexible shield of intense black color that is also 100% waterproof.

One of the perks of writing for this blog is that I basically never have to buy many of the basic items in my makeup bag - mascara being one of my Top Five Desert Island Products.* However, when such time arrives as I do need to start buying my own products again, I think I've found my mascara of choice in Lord & Berry's Raincoat Waterproof Mascara. I honestly can't say enough good things about it. Whatever "nourishing active ingredients" went into this thing are doing awesome work. Case in point: one of my biggest pet peeves about mascara is the "tarantula eyes" phenomenon that occurs with clumping, overly thick mascara. It just looks bad, y'all. But praise the lord and hallelujah, the Raincoat mascara avoids that issue completely. It goes on in a thin layer, but don't think that means you won't get an amazing look. Basically, I look like I'm wearing fake lashes, but not in a draggy way. My lashes are lush, but natural. And yes, it's totally waterproof (thank you, sudden summer storm, for the unexpected experiment). It might be more expensive than your drugstore brands, but I'm willing to pony up a little extra to look awesome.

*see: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby for an explanation of "Top Five Desert Island ____"

Joyce says:

Love at First Flick! This mascara goes on like a feathery dream, really lengthens and lightly curls, and stays on as it promises to. I haven’t experienced any flaking or melting. When I use non-waterproof mascara, I never put it on my lower lashes because it always smudges in summer. Using this one, I get to really emphasize my lashes. I love that summer heat and humidity can be dealt with properly when it comes to keeping my eyes a focal point.

Amanda S. Says:

OK, confession: I'm a mascara snob. I have to have perfect mascara. I rub my eyes, can't seem to get it to wash off right, it smudges all over me, and it gives me panda / raccoon eyes half the time. I have very light colored blue eyes, and I like to have subtle eye make up as to not over-extend my eyes weirdness and intensity. Super long clumpy lashes do the opposite of this. I am so picky about mascara I have been known to ask friends in other countries to send me brands I can't find here. Now... with Raincoat, I found a friend. I wore it all day yesterday, rubbed the heck out of my eyes, and didn't have flakes or smudges stuck all over my eyes and face. It also washed off with plain old almond oil on a cotton ball, and by that I mean, it *all* came off. And it's cheap! Yes, it's only about $15 compared to the $25+ I sometimes embarrassingly find myself dropping on imperfect mascara. I am definitely going to use this tube up.

Deedlejuse says:

Like Amanda S. I am particular with my mascara. I also rub, alot. It takes mere hours for me to look like a raccoon with many, many mascaras. A lot of the brands I have tried, as Amanda S. said, are not cheap and only get one use. For this reason I use one kind of mascara, and never venture into unfamiliar territory. Once used free samples from gift sets and presents from friends fill my bathroom cabinet, none making me feel the need or desire to use them again. And then I get this Raincoat Mascara from Lord & Berry. I tried it, of course, because thats what I'm supposed to do, and honestly I have found my new "THE ONE" mascara. My lashes are soft and feathery, but very full looking, a little bit curly and absolutely beautiful with two strokes of the wand. The problem with my other favorite is it takes a long time to dry, and leaves HUGE lines when you accidentally blink before the mascara has had it's one full minute. Not the case with Raincoat, it is dry the instant after you apply, amazing. AND it lasts through the day and night! 11 hours at work, and it was fine by the time I got home. I was intrigued, so the ultimate test? I wore it to the beach the other day, it not only didn't run all over my face after swimming for a couple of hours but it actually looked good. Yeah, I'm sold.

Maria says:

What IS it about mascara that I can never, ever, pass one up? If it's new, I'm on it. If it's praised, I'm on it. If it's on a front aisle in a store, I'm on it....I have tried virtually every company that's ever put out a mascara, no word of a lie....curly wand, straight wand, humungo wand, teeny wand, volumizing, lengthening, tubing, waterproof, water resistent - okay, have I made myself clear here? When I saw this mascara I was naturally all excited b/c I had never heard of it before. Yes, Maria needs to get a life. But cha know what? It's a t-riffic mascara. It's glossy, but not if you blink you'll be covered in mascara glossy - it dries quickly - but your lashes still look glossy - NOT clumpy or dry or brittle or TammyFae-esque. You get nice feathery un-weighed down lashes. The biggest test was the bottom lashes - I usually use a popular tube-brand mascara for bottom lashes because no matter what - I get raccoon eyes. Well, not only did I not get raccoon eyes, but it also gave better definition than the tube brand. I wear contact lenses, so I usually try to stay away from waterproof, but this also came off pretty readily with my DHC Olive Oil cleanser. No tugging or anything. Very nicely played, Lord and Berry. Very nice indeed.

CitySlicker Says:

If you like long thick black lashes this is for you. It goes on very wet to me but does dry quickly. I don’t usually apply to my lower lashes but I did wear this on the top and bottom, my one and only problem is I found the brush applicator to be very long, I did get a smudge on my face from the tip of the brush, just thought I would mention it. It also could be my technique too. My lashes got long, were separated with no clumping action and the mascara wears throughout the day with no flaking. I will be wearing to the tube runs dry... I wanted to mention I wear contacts and it wears well for me not irritation. Oh, yes I had to use eye makeup remover to get this completely off, it’s a very deep black. I found that with my normal cleanser alone it left some remains.

Review- Smashbox Wicked Lovely Doubletake Lip Color

A double-ended lip pencil and creamy lip color in a soft nude shade that perfectly complements a wicked smoky eye.

Amanda S. Says:
I have the worst of luck with lip pencils, they smudge and bleed on me and clump up on the edges of my lips looking gross like I have some sort of weird fungus! (gross I know). But this product didn't do that I'm very happy to report, and I've used it for a few days straight now and I'm more than pleased with it.

Review- e.l.f. Foundation Brush

Achieve an ultra smooth, poreless finish when applying foundation or tinted moisturizer. All e.l.f. professional makeup brushes have been designed and tested by professional makeup artist Scott Vincent Borba. Each brush has been ergonomically designed to fit perfectly into your hand and facilitate a flawless finish with every application. $1

As it says above, all of the make-up & brushes in the e.l.f. line were designed by the same man that brings you the Borba skin care line sold at stores like Sephora. I know what you're thinking, how can it be good for $1? But it is! It gives me smooth, streak-free coverage and is not too hard or too soft. I also have the e.l.f. flat eyeliner brush and it works perfectly as well. They sell the entire e.l.f. line at certain 99 cent stores in NYC (there is a store locator on their site). The only drawback is if it's not sold near you the shipping is a standard $6.95. There are often promotions on the site and elsewhere online like spend $20 and get free shipping so do a search. As far as the make-up goes, I feel it is good quality, you just get a little less than you would with your average cosmetics. I.e. the pans are smaller and shallower. All e.l.f. products are cruelty-free and they are partners with the Humane Society & PETA. You simply can't get better quality for the price!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Review- Skinn Dimitri James Olive & Enzyme Rich Balm Cleanser and Deep Cleansing Mask

Rich in Polyphenols and skin resurfacing enzymes, this water-free, super-rich, night-time cleansing balm is the ultimate skin luxury. First, it dissolves dirt, makeup, daily grime, pollution and dead skin cells. Orange oil works to purify, while a new high-tech bio-engineered enzyme resurfaces for the cleanest skin ever! Apply as a mask for the ultimate super smoothing, resurfacing, deep pore cleansing treatment. $15 for 2 oz., $24 for 4 oz.

I've used this balm as both a cleanser and a deep cleansing mask and I loved it both ways. My favorite thing about this cleanser is the smell. The orange oils make it smell like a Push-up pop from the Good Humor truck when I was a kid. If you don't know what a Push-up is, you haven't lived. As I've mentioned a few hundred times, I have very dry skin. It was totally soothed by this creamy cleanser. In addition to imparting moisture, it removed every trace of dirt and make-up. And the price is awesome. I have the 2 oz. size and from the amount you need to use, I'd say it's going to last me a minimum of 25 washes. The ingredients list is chock full of good for your skin things like calendula, olive oil, orange fruit oil and beta carotene. I recommend this as a PM must for anyone with normal to dry skin.
Joyce says:
After using this product as directed for a week, I was impressed. The texture of my skin has improved. It wasn’t bad before this product, but it definitely improved. My skin is softer, and has a more even appearance. When I put makeup on whether cream, liquid, or mineral powder, my complexion is one I’m pleased to show off. I like the menthol feeling and the tinier grains that exfoliate. I even spread it down my neck and d├ęcolletage and saw a difference in those areas, as well. I give Skinn a big thumbs-up.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Review- Nixie Natural Cleansing & Make-up Remover Cloths

All-in-one face, eye, and lip makeup remover towelettes are 100% oil-free and saturated with a soothing blend of vitamin extracts. Even the most stubborn makeup glides off easily, leaving your face feeling clean and extremely soft without a greasy residue. $9

I feel like I've been having really good luck with the products I've been testing lately. In recent weeks I haven't hit on any duds. These wipes are no exception. They do a wonderful job of removing make-up and dirt and leave your face clean but not at all tight. I usually use Comodynes pre- moistened cloths at night to get my make-up off. When I got the Nixie wipes they said they are natural. There are a few ingredients in them that I question their naturalness, but when you compare them with Comodynes there are like 15 less unpronouncable chemicals in the nixie product. Also they don't sting your eyes when you remove your eye make-up. They leave no residue which is very uncommon in the world of pre-moistened face cleansing towels. They also have very little fragrance (which is more than can be said for Comodynes). The price is a little more than I usually pay, but I'm considering switching due to all the natural ingredients in these wipes like aloe, cucumber, ginseng and vitamin e. These are a definite must for woman with no time on her hands.

Review - Plum Island Soap Orange Ginger Scrub

This body scrub will help remove dead and dry skin cells. Salts are antibacterial, draw out toxins and revitalize skin while giving you a healthy all over glow. Made with pure sweet orange oil, pink mineral clay & ground ginger. The scent alone will uplift your spirits.

This scrub, a delightfully large container of delicious orange and ginger coarse salt, is more salt than anything else. It's a bit drier than other scrubs I've used, which means it doesn't adhere very well to whatever body part (in my case, feet) on which you opt to use it. It was falling all over my tub and leaving semi-terrifying reddish splotches everywhere. Don't worry, they came out easily. The parts I did get to work on my feet really did work, though - the orange oil in the formula softens and scents, and the coarse salt, not for the faint of heart, scrubbed away at my often-tired feet. And the scent - ah, the scent! So lovely. Not too strong, but citrusy and spicy at just the right level. My suggestion: if you're planning on getting this, use it with some sort of glove or application method, as the salt tends to run away easily.