Thursday, July 30, 2009

Review- Arrojo Volume Foam


When it comes to hair, my philosophy tends to be the bigger, the better. And this Arrojo Volume Foam did not disappoint. Usually whenever I try volumizing products, my hair often ends up much flatter and heavier instead. Not so with this Arrojo foam. It is light enough to uphold even the flimsiest of hairs, and does provide the fullness, bounce, and volume as promised. Be warned though, because you will get big hair. Which is in many ways a good thing! I do have long hair, and the more I used the product to cover all strands, the more it lifted all areas.
And if it works on me, I have no doubt it will work for others, as I have very, very stubborn hair. My only concern is that it seemed to have dried out my hair a little, so I had to add a small layer of hair silkener/serum to smoothen out my locks. For the volume itself, I will say it is definitely worth it. Big hair and all!

Review- Shea Moisture Raw Organic Body Lotion

Historical references to Shea Butter, a staple of African pharmacology, date back to the reported Shea Butter caravans of Cleopatra's Egypt. Frankincense, known for its toning and anti-aging properties, also as aromatherapeutic benefits, promoting mental strenght. Myrrh, a superior cosmetic ingredient in ancient remedies, can be dated to an Ebers papyrus (circa 1580BC) recipe for a facial mask.

I bought a bottle of this frankincense and myrrh scented body lotion off the cuff from Duane Reade (the major drug store chain in NYC, for those that don't know) without knowing anything about it, or having ever heard of the company. I have tried all natural raw shea butter in the past from street vendors with good results, but I found it hard to store/use (or, if I found a suitable organic version in a store, I found it to be WAY too expensive!). I'm really impressed with the body lotion so far and now plan on going back and trying a few other products by the Shea Moisture company that I also saw on the shelf. The lotion absorbs really fast with no sticky/greasy feeling and has a beautiful natural scent that lingers just long enough to sooth your senses. I've been putting this on all week before bed, especially on my beat up feet, and other than the faithful almond oil I use on my skin, this is the best moisturizer for my feet and hands that I've found to date. I highly recommend it for sun-affected skin also.

From reading the product bottle, it seems the company has a long family history in the beauty and natural body product business and I like to support small businesses and those that create products in balance with the environment and the world in general! For those interested, their website has the whole story of the businesses' humble beginnings.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Review- Hair Date Salon in New York City (East Village)

Packed among high priced/high end salons in the East Village is a great spot to have a very satisfying high end experience at a very low price! I have never written about a salon or stylist on Beautifile before because I have bounced around from place to place trying to find the right combination of customer service, attention to detail, expertise and price. Let's put it this way, in the past I've paid four times the amount elsewhere and received about one-fifth of the service at best... sadly... But now I am a dedicated client of Hair Date. My boyfriend has been to see Veronica (proprietor of Hair Date) on many occasions, even before she opened this salon. He has consistently returned to her for every hair cut since he's moved to New York, and I can see why.*

I spoke to Veronica several weeks ago while she cut his hair about wanting to do something drastic with my look. I've spent the past five years with jet blue-black home-dyed hair and I was ready for a change. What I really wanted was something close enough to my natural color that I could grow it out with no roots. Several master colorists told me this feat was impossible, that I would either have to grow my hair out (and suffer the nightmare of two-tone hair for 6+ months) or cut it brutally short. They told me horror stories of bald patches and hair with the consistency of a brillo pad. Needless to say, I was really depressed about being stuck with black hair. On top of this, in the past I'd had a bad salon coloring experience that left my hair bright orange and my brain SHOCKED, so I was feeling stuck. I decided to talk to Veronica about my dilemma and she was so knowledgeable! She suggested stripping as much color as possible and using a semi-permanent dye to reach as close to my natural color as possible, and assured me that it could be done with minimal damage. After talking this over with her I felt confident in her work, and as soon as some roots showed, I made my appointment.

I really wish I had a great camera to show everyone some amazing before-after photos (and maybe I can update later when I get some good outdoor lighting to show the detail), because while I spent a good few hours terrified my hair would fry off my head, I left with a nice natural looking highlighted brown color. What I was told was impossible by others came out fantastic, I couldn't have asked for a better outcome. My hair is even touchably soft, when I thought it would end up being as dried out as bale of hay. Not only was the color work great, but Veronica also trimmed my hair (and my super fussy bangs-from-hell) and gave it the exact amount of body I wanted.

There are so many fun/cool/awesome things about this salon that I can't possible cover them all in this little entry. For a few, the shampoos are amazing and sudsy and feel grrrreat. The space is insanely clean and organized. It's also aesthetically beautiful and crisp looking inside with an awesome birch branch accent in the manicure area. The space is quiet, comfortable and relaxing. Every employee is extremely friendly, no pretentiousness or snobbery. When I candidly told Veronica that I have a skin condition that sometimes causes my scalp to blister and peel, they took amazing extra measures to protect my scalp and to painstakingly work around the delicate areas on my head that could be damaged. The prices are ridiculously reasonable (see below) and the attention you receive is amazing (you even get a little shoulder massage!). Everyone came in with a smile and left with a bigger smile. I felt like I was fawned over and well taken care of. I would recommend this salon to anyone, you'll leave as a dedicated client and with a wad of extra cash in your pocket to spend on other fun things!

See below for the Hair Date website for full information and prices, but for now here is a brief list of the prices for a few select things they offer:
Hair cut: $45-60
Bang trim: $10
Color retouch: $75
Single process: $85+
Gloss: $30
Body perm: $85-150
(these are obviously subject to change over time)

Hair Date is located at 329 Bowery (between 2nd & 3rd street) in Manhattan. (212)228-8381 website here
Business hours: 7 days per week, 11 am - 9 pm

I highly recommend anyone looking for a new cut (or dye, or perm, or manicure!) stop by Hair Date and give them a try. I don't think you will be disappointed. This is a true find in NYC.

(*if you dig carefully, you will see his picture on their website!)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Review- Jack Black Lemon & Chamomile Lip Balm

Not just any lip balm! Field-tested in extreme conditions and containing ultra-moisturizing shea butter, this is the formula if you want the best all-around lip balm in the world. $7 for a 0.25oz tube.

I first discovered Jack Black's lip balm after greeting my boyfriend one day after work. After a big huge and kiss, I noticed he smelled curiously lemony. "What were you doing that made you smell like lemons?" I asked. He replied cryptically, "Making lemonade." Well I later discovered that his real secret was Jack Black's Lemon & Chamomile Lip Balm, with SPF 25. The rich lip balm is chock full of super moisturizing agents like shea butter, and Vitamin E, and the SPF really protects your lips from harsh sun rays. Jack Black's products are usually marketing towards men, which is why I had never heard of this amazing product, but I absolutely love it. And at only $7, its a tiny investment for a quality product. A little bit goes a long way, and keeps your lips super soft all day. It also doesn't compete with your regular lip gloss or lipstick, so you can layer it underneath for added moisture. Needless to say, my boyfriend's tube has mysteriously disappeared, wink wink.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Review - Three Custom Color Frangipani Sheer Lipstick

Vivid fuchsia with gold sparkle that can be worn soft or bold. The award-winning sheer lipstick formula delivers buildable coverage and rich moisture in a smooth, balm-like texture.

Sooooo....If you live in the North East you have had a really rainy summer. Like, everyday for months..... My only redemption this summer was getting this Three Custom Color Frangipani Lipstick. It is like a breath of Warm, balmy, summer air, when there isn't any anywhere else! It is sheer, and bright and in your face! It lasts a really long time, which for me is probably four hours at most, and luckily when it wears off it does it evenly and smoothly. Really I loved this lipstick, and I am 100% a lipgloss kind of girl! The only tiny tiney little problem I have is that it smells and tastes weird. Kind of like a vitamine E stick, but old. I sound like a complainer, I'm not. I love the lipstick, everything about it but that! Actually it does make it easier not to eat it off your lips, so I guess thats another plus! Anyways, get it. I love the company, I love the concept, I'm so jealous of Hillary for getting to meet them, just be aware the lipsticks might smell kind of strange.....

Review- Three Custom Color Specialists Clarifier Eye Pencil

Our one of a kind Clarifier pencils are used on the inner rim of the eye to brighten and widen. As a rule, Light is great for fair-medium skin tones and Dark is great for medium-dark skin tones, but many of our clients have both - Dark for subtle definition and Light for more drama. Clarifiers are also great for highlighting under the brow and as a spot concealer in a pinch! $16.50

Oh, how I love this pencil! Please, don't get me started. I tried to show the amazing difference it makes in one's eyes to some non-makeup friends & they totally ignored me until I later cornered one and made her look at the before and after & even she was impressed. This pencil makes you look like you got the perfect amount of sleep and you are alert and on the ball. If it's possible for a pencil to make me look more attentive and less my A.D.D. self (yes, I really have it, no need to write in) I am %100 for it. And this pencil doesn't give you that weird newscaster look like when they line newspeople's eyes with white or light blue, line the inside of your lower lid with this baby & no one will be able to put a finger on why you look at your perky best. Seriously- I recommend this pencil for absolutely everyone! Only bad side- they're out of stock on the dark & don't know when it will be back for sure. Even if you don't ordinarily line your lower, inner eyelids (I generally don't) this adds a special something to your eyes and even with contacts I've experienced no discomfort or problems. All you fair to medium toned girls- order this now! You'll find it to be one of the best $16.50 purchases you could make with your beauty dollar.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Review- Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves! Shampoo and Conditioner

Not straight, not curly... Your wavy hair is totally unique and can have a life of its own! Wave goodbye to ordinary shampoos -- now, introducing the first unique collection for wavy hair from Garnier Fructis: Wonder Waves! With Active Fruit Concentrate and lightweight moisturizers, Wonder Waves Shampoo tames frizz for controlled, smooth waves. Hair is up to 5x stronger, up to 5x smoother and so much shinier.* The result? Beautiful, full flowing waves that keep frizz away with all-day wave definition. $7 each for 13oz.

Oh Garnier, you smell sublime. I didn't notice anything in my waves that looked "wonderful" or "wondrous" (though I did notice less flyaways at the crown of my head) but this combo smells like a dream. And not just in the shower but after my hair dried and even a day later. I hear my stylist in my ear whispering a reminder that shampoo and conditioner can be purchased at the any price point and be fabulous.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Review- Arrojo Frizz Control

Moisture-rich and anti-oxidizing to leave all curly hair frizz and tangle free. Adds smoothness, control, and shine to all hair types. 1.7 fl. oz.= $7 4.2 fl. oz.= $15

The other day I was listening to the news on the radio in the shower and the weatherman said it was %95 humidity out. I was sure I was going to look like a poorly groomed Pomeranian. I decided to put Arrojo Frizz Control to the ultimate test. I put about a nickel-sized amount through my long hair, concentrating on the frizziest bits. Much to my surprise, my hair looked as in control and smooth as if it were %0 humidity. And the best part was that the effects lasted all day- no midday pony tail to look half human. The only drawback I saw is that I must have used too much in my bangs because they looked- not oily, per se- but not washed at the end of my long day. For that reason, I would recommend going easy with this product if your hair tends to get oily, but I still think you could use it sparingly. Since this is perhaps the wettest summer in NYC history, I will be turning to this product again and again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Meeting w/ Chad of Three Custom Color Specialists

I recently had the great opportunity to get a tour of the offices of the cosmetics company Three Custom Color Specialists. Needless to say, I was psyched. I got to spend some time with Chad Hayduk who is one of the "3" in Three Custom Color. As we stood in front of a desk holding a huge array of make-up on a department store type display, he explained to me that it only represents a small fraction of the colors that TCC actually makes. They actually make over 300 color cosmetics not including the thousands of custom creations in their repetoire. If you want it, they've got it. Honestly, I didn't know that any one company made that many colors. I also found out that in addition to making custom blended lip color, they can also make custom blended Eye Shadow, Tinted Brow Gel, Brow Powder, Creme-to-Powder Blush, Pressed Powder Blush, Creme Concealer, Pressed Face Powder and Loose Face Powder. I was salivating just at the thought of it! Chad was nice enough to let me have some fun and we made a custom blended lipstick just for me! The photo above is of the raw colors before we started mixing.
I had originally wanted a new tube of a discontinued lipstick I brought with me, but Chad thought it was too "greyish" for me and wanted to make a whole new color. We ended up with a gorgeous black cherry color; not too cherry, just enough black. It may sound dramatic, but for some reason it's totally wearable. It is, however, on hold until it's fall unveiling. It is not really a summer color (yes, I'm chomping at the bit. I visit it in my makeup drawer every so often). The best part- ok one of the best parts- is I got to choose the finish. It's perfectly matte. My favorite!When you have a lipstick made at Three Custom Color, not only can you choose the color, but you can choose the finish. "This must cost a fortune" you're saying. Not so. It's only $55 for 2 tubes of lipstick (plus shipping). Break it down & that's $27.50 per tube for your very own favorite color. You can't beat that. And I had my creation in about 3 days. This is something that everyone should do at least once. But much like the chip ad says, I can't just have one and I can't wait for my birthday to go back and make a new shade! I have to say thanks so much to Chad and Tess for giving me this special treat!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Review- Sonya Dakar Green Tea Mask

For scarred skin, this refining mask helps smooth skin while absorbing impurities. Formulated to meet eco-friendly principles, this mask is free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances and dyes. 2.25oz. for $72

Did you ever go through that adolescent phase where you were applying St. Ives Mineral Clay Firming mask religiously? I was 15 when I fell in love with that incredible blue fairy. Moving along! This mask smells exactly like that and one deep inhale once Sonya was on my face transformed me back to my parents' house with my dad's sweatband holding my bangs off of my forehead inspecting every teenage pore in my bathroom mirror preparing to apply that potion for the second time in as many days. This is a lot lighter than the other, BTW and so comforting to have on for the reco'd 10 minutes. I didn't see until later that it was for scarring which I don't have a lot of on my face so I can't speak to whether it's miraculous on that tip but my skin was really healthy and glowing for a good day afterwards. I could get religious with this one!

Deedlejuse Says: My only complaint about this mask is that there just plain wasn't enough of it in my little tube. Instead of trying a sample just go for it! You'll be glad you did! The minty freshness of the smell is wonderful, the consistency is perfect (not too thick and not too thin) it is easy to apply and easy to get off, aaaannnnddd it leaves your skin with a beautiful glow. I also don't have too much scarring, or enough of this mask to really do anything about it, but I did notice that my pores were MUCH smaller and tighter looking after my 10 mins. I was really happy with this mask, and generally masks tend to make my face burn and feel pretty uncomfortable, but this just soothed and healed. Like I said, don't bother with a sample, just grab it now!

Trish Says: Anything with green tea makes me thrilled! Even better when the benefits of green tea show up immediately. And so it is with this cleansing and soothing facial mask. Even with my first try, I noticed tiny scars noticeably lighter and my skin much smoother and softer. For me, it does not take much for a pimple or skin irritation to leave a mark on my skin for weeks, but with this mask, it speeds the healing time and regenerates the cells producing a healthy and beautiful glow remarkably. A definite skin repair must for those who scar easily and want to restore the skin to its natural healthy, vibrant, smooth, and clear condition. Results are almost instantly visible, but mostly likely will require regular use to fully see benefits.

Sultana says: I agree that there was not enough of this mask to go around, however I saw quickly that a little went a long way. I have lots of scarring from acne and I try a lot of different products that claim to reduce marks. This one did what it was supposed to. The smell was very refreshing and you can feel a very subtle tingling when its on. After I washed it off, my face was vibrant. It looked like I went to have a facial in a salon and they scrubbed it thoroughly! If it did that in one use, imagine what it would do long term. So the price tag is a little hefty but we know that when you find a good product that works, you have to buy it. This is also good if you have sensitive skin as well. I didn't have any irritation or redness the next day and just about everything makes my skin irritated. I could see myself using this at least once a week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Review- PUR Universal Marble Mineral Powder

The rich, earthy pigments of Universal Marble Powder in Spice add an all-over definition to the face, enhancing eyes, lips and cheeks while nourishing skin with shea butter and vitamin E. The mosaic blend of copper, cinnamon and pearl is ideal for women of colour. Pür Minerals does NOT test its products on animals. For $22.50

The shade of the compact on the site is not quite what it looks like in person, IMO. It's more orange and rusty in the flesh. I was turned off by the color thinking it wasn't going to blend well into my coloring. But as luck would have it, mineral-based formulations are so soft and easy in the pigment department that with a fan brush I was able to apply the color and keep it light. It doesn't look amazing but it's nice and pretty chill. The write-up does say that it's ideal for women of color so I'll save it for that, primarily. BTW, the directions straight up say, "...with the appropriate brush" and I think this is code for fan brush (AKA guaranteeing the lightest application available). Ha!

Sultana says: I tend to not wear blush but I will try anything at least one time. Although this is a blush, it is suitable as an all over face color as well. The color is very light but flattering at the same time. I have a darker skin tone and it blended in very well. I really like the diversity of it. Some blushes are way to rosy to wear all over your face. I would say this is soft and subtle but with a hint of color.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Review- Burt's Bees Fabulously Fresh Body Wash

Brace yourself for a fresh burst when you lather up with the rejuvenating scent of peppermint and rosemary in this sulfate-free body wash. Formulated with a gentle plant-based cleansing complex, this natural wash leaves skin feeling clean, smooth and refreshed. It's an energizing boost for body, mind and spirit. $8 for 12oz bottle.

I recently started using natural, chemical free products at the suggestion of my super green best friend. At first I was skeptical, but now I gotta say I'm hooked, particularly on Burt's Bees products. They somehow manage to be naturally made and chemical free, and have all the best attributes of luxury products at drugstore price points. Burt's Bees Fabulously Fresh Body Wash is one of my favorite products. The refreshing scent really gets you going on the morning, and after showering with it at the end of a hot, summer day, it leaves your skin feeling fresh and cool. Since it is sulfate-free it is not supposed to create a huge lather like other body washes, so don't waste the product trying to make it foam up. And while you're showering with it, try taking a few deep, slow breaths to really breathe in the stimulating peppermint and rosemary aroma.

Amanda S. Says: I saw this product last week in Duane Reade (of all places!) and picked it up, honestly, because Burt's Bees products are super cute and the packaging was adorable. I'm really glad the product met all my expectations. I've never used anything this 'natural' that smelled so delicious and fragrant without smelling fake or forced. I want to live on this stuff, and if I could eat it, I totally would. I can see this being extra great in the winter when my skin does it's yearly freak-out-from-dryness attack, because the sulfate-free composition makes it about 50x less drying than other products.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Review- RUSK Gleam Lusterizing Creme

Rusk Designer Collection Gleam Creme is infused with a formula that protects against thermal damage and contains UV protectants. Gleam Lusterizing Creme detangles and leaves hair frizz-free and smooth. Apply Gleam to wet or dry hair to provide instant, reflective shine. Gleam can be cocktailed with any other Rusk Designer Collection product. $14 for 3.5 oz.

I attempted to be as unbiased a jury as possible by using this on both wavy "non-blown-out" hair post airdry, as well as, before and then after a blowout to fully analyze its 'gleaming' properties. In terms of the amount I used, and this is key, I rubbed a tiny amount on in both cases when my hair was already dry and a bit more when it was wet. It worked best pre-blowout since the product is fairly thick and heavy and the heat was able to burn a lot of the weightiness off. I feel confident that it could roll with the changing needs of your daily hair regime if a judicious amount of the product is applied accordingly. It smells like other RUSK products, clean and woodsy, and the shine it imparts is true to it name. I should admit that I have a soft spot for this brand. I think they're really classy. This one definitely measures up.

Trish says: My hair can be so high-maintenance sometimes. It seems to work with some products and simply fall flat on others. Unfortunately, for me, I don't think my hair can handle the richness and thickness of this RUSK Lusterizing Gleam Creme. It did take the frizz out as promised, but after a nice small lather of the cream, my hair just sank, frizz-free, but floppy. I'm sure this is a nice cream to use for frizz-control and shine purposes, but with hair so delicate and fine, this cream might be just a bit too bold and strong for me. It is probably most beneficial for someone with thicker hair and a stronger hold. I have a feeling this is a great product, just not for the likes of me and my fussy hair.

Hillary says: This gloss looks really good in my hair. My hair should have been as dull as dishwater today with the myriad of products I had to put in it to make it behave, but the Gleam made the final blow-dry reveal a lustrous head of hair. Honestly, before we got these products to review I hadn't given RUSK a second look in the haircare aisle. Now I'm thinking maybe I should get the whole line up. I'm really impressed with both the Gleam and my favorite new product- the Primer.

Deedlejuse says: I totally agree with all of the above. I don't often blow dry, so I tried this products both ways and was impressed with the effect each way. Of course the shine was more pronounced when I blew-dried, but still noticeable when I didn't. All in all I liked everything I tried from Rusk, and like Hillary am seriously contemplating the addition of more of their products to my arsenal!

Amanda S. Says: I wish I could agree with everyone, but I feel sort of let down by this product! It makes me sad too because I am usually such a huge fan of Rusk items. I have to admit, I am really hard on hair shining/anti-frizz products and put them to serious tests. But today was the second big test I've given the stuff and it didn't work that well for me. It's been raining on and off all day and it's also pretty humid, and by the time I got back at my desk from lunch my hair was a fuzzy insane mess on the top and little awful flyaway hairs were going everywere. This is something I've been able to fight off fairly well, even in this abusive NYC summer, with other products for less money. So I can't give this a 100% seal of approval. I do admit though, it did make my hair extra soft.

Sultana says: I have frizzy, dry & color-treated hair. I haven't liked one cream so far. I usually use serums because they tend to tame my frizz better. When I tried this cream from RUSK, I was blown away! It instantly detangled my hair and made it soft and shiny! This deeply impressed me and like Hillary, I will take a better look when I come across RUSK in the hair care aisle. This is definitely worth the money. It is around the same cost of some of the serums I usually buy. To top it off, its very light weight and it does not leave a residue on your hands. This is my new favorite!

Review- Avon Solutions AM/PM Total Radiance Day Cream SPF 15 and Night Cream

This protective cream contains a unique light-activated deslivery system that releases a cosmetic ingredient as the expsoure to light increases. It enhances skin radiance and improves texture, tone and clarity.
$17.50 for 2.6 total fl. oz.

After two weeks of steady and thoughtful usage, I'd like to report that this daytime/nighttime lotion neither improved nor negatively altered the current state of my skin. I did have to layer SPF under the daytime lotion since it only has a 15 SPF and I am in the sun enough to justify more (perhaps in the winter this would be an all-inclusive daytime lotion) but I was commited to using this product as my only one for 14 days. As a day cream, it goes fine under makeup and provided enough moisture to last throughout the day. The night cream is really thick and quite nice. After my usual 6 hours, my face still has a considerable coating that I'm not mad at. I am disappointed to say that I did not notice any improved "texture, tone and clarity" although I reiterate that this product is benign and perfectly fine and that's not altogether a bad thing. The packaging allows for just one jar to occupy one's cabinet space which is great in a small space, big style kind of way. It is split down the center and each side holds the am/pm version, respectively. Finally, I won't pursue this product madly when I run out but I will use the rest of it.

Deedlejuse Says:
I really liked this Facial Day and Night Cream. I found the packaging to be handy, since there is less excess waste and less clutter in the bathroom. The smell is quite light and sort of citrusy, which I enjoyed. The price is right, which is always a plus. And both creams were a perfect amount of moisture for my face. I did recently get a facial, which could account for my skin looking stunning (yes that's right stunning!) but I think part is this wonderful cream. I rarely wear a concealer on my face. At the most I'll wear a tinted moisturizer unless I'm really dressing up, so it isn't unusual at all for me to go au naturale on the face. With this moisturiser I actually feel 100% more comfortable doing it. Not that I think I look bad with other moisturizers, just this one adds a glowy radience that is, in my opinion really nice. I have also gotten more compliments wearing it than others. So I feel that I am basing this on reality (hopefully!) and not just my own vanity.... If your a gal that likes to go bare faced occasionally I promise this is the cream for you, and even if you don't 100% love it, it was $17, and at least you can use the night cream! I didn't really notice the same effect with make-up, although I still liked the consistency and the moisture level of the creams. I probably will repurchase, if I ever use up the whole container!

Trish says: Having such sensitive skin, I can absolutely appreciate a true and solid, gentle moisturizer that is easy to wear, as well as super soft on the skin. I am happy to report that Avon Solutions AM/PM Total Radiance is a real safe product for sensitive types! This moisturizer, color-coded white for day and cream-orange for night, (how cute!) applies lightly on the skin, without any clogging or heaviness on the pores! (Thank goodness.) As Deedlejuse mentioned, you really can wear this moisturizer alone and/or maybe add a quick dust of powder on your skin and you're set for the day. The moisturizer works well to smooth out any dry patches, while adding a nice, clean moisturizing finish on top. I think I even noticed a hint of a light-reflecting, soft glow on my skin. This is the perfect moisturizer for the summer because it's so lightweight, as well as a nice one for people with sensitive skin or for those who really want to avoid clogging their pores at all costs. If you're like me, and need to be selective when it comes to moisturizers but don't want to spend too much, this is a solid, decent choice.

Review - Sony Dakar Blue Mask (Irritation)

For normal to combination skin, this cooling mask helps calm skin while absorbing irritating impurities. Formulated to meet eco-friendly principles, this mask is free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances and dyes.

I put sunscreen on the other day, I swear. But I was out and about a bit longer than I anticipated, sweated a lot, and ended up with a slightly pink nose and ruddier-than-usual cheeks. So I figured the Blue Mask from Sonya Dakar might help, since it's intended to assist with irritation and has some cooling properties. I slathered it on, looking slightly ghoulish, but hoping for good results. After a few minutes, I felt a slight warming sensation, something I attributed to the fact that my face had been pelted with UV rays all afternoon. But when I removed the mask, I was horrified: my face, formerly only red on the parts that get the most sun - my nose and cheeks - was completely red. Everywhere. Well, not quite everywhere- just the places the mask had been.

I freaked out. "What happened! This is supposed to be cooling! This is supposed to stop irritation, not create it!" I shrieked to my roommate, who was just trying to enjoy an episode of Kendra and a beer. "It's probably fine," she said, barely looking up. "Maybe it's, like - it makes it worse before it makes it better. Just go to bed and worry about it in the morning."

I took her advice and lo and behold - it was totally fine in the morning. Better than totally fine, actually - the redness had gone away and was even reduced from my previous day's foray into skin cancer territory. Moral of the story: if you try this Sonya Dakar mask, don't try it right before a big event like the Oscars or the Truckasaurus Rex Showdown. And if you react badly at first, give it a bit and see if it doesn't clear up.

Deedlejuse Says: So, generally speaking Amanda S. and I have really similar views on many products. Unfortunately, this one is not the same. My skin is pretty sensitive, so this mask really was pretty noticeable while I was wearing it. When I took it off (it did come off really easily and apply like a dream) my skin was literally screaming, bright red, and looked really angry with me. The irritation I was tring to get rid of were a few pimples I have gotten recently from stress, and seriously, so not worth it! I did notice the next day that my skin was back to its normal color, and the pimples had really diminished, but I would say that if you find that you have sensitive skin leave this mask for others..... Or if you have intensely irritated skin, I guess.

Review- Arrojo Curl Creme


With all of the talk about Arrojo, I think I should cowboy up with my review of their curl creme. The curl creme profiles just as elite as their other products but for totally different reasons. It's not just that it smells great or performs better than the average hair product but the curls it imparted to my 'do were so bouncy and defined that I could easily have been mistaken for a ringlet-haired girl. I mean this may not be the look everyone needs from their curl creme but that sheer fact that I went from annoyingly quasi-wavy to this polished of a curl is kind of remarkable. One small addendum: As with all of the their products, it seems that less is more.

Review- pürminerals Pür Intensity Gel Eyeliner

Ocular-tested and free of tar and fibers, these pür-ly innovative gel eyliners are also safe for sensitive eyes and contact lenses.
Pür Minerals does NOT test its products on animals.

This is a good eyeliner- not great- good. True, it does make a very clean line, although you can easily wear it smudged if that's your preference. Also the Carbon color I have is as black as night, but ultimately it lacks the staying power of my regular liquid eyeliner. The pürminerals Gel Eyeliner did stay on for several hours, but not all day. But again, for those of you who smudge, my liquid liner fails in that arena, so it does come down to personal preference. Basic rundown- if you are a smudger, you can't go wrong with this gel. For clean line girls like myself- stick to the liquid.

Trish says: It's been a while since I've rocked the dark eyeliner look...and wow, have I been missing out. Really, suddenly my daily make-up routine went from soft and subtle to dramatic and daring. Thank You, Pür Intensity Gel Eyeliner. Hillary is right, though, this gel eyeliner is great for smudgers or people (like me) who prefer a thicker line. I found it very easy to apply and to create a near perfect line everytime, which is something I couldn't always achieve with liquid eyeliners. Also I tried the Coffee Quartz shade which is a gorgeous, rich, deep brown. The color doesn't so much jump out at you, as it draws you in, much like a sultry, sexy gaze. Hillary is also right that the gel eyeliner doesn't quite last as long as traditional liquid eyeliners, yet it still stayed on for much of the day for me without any running. The purmineral eyeliner also does an excellent job of opening the eyes and defining them. I love this gel gem and think it's perfect for newbies of gel eyeliners or for others like me who want to play up their looks and add a bit of glamour and sultriness back (in a very easy to do way)!

Movie Maven says: Yep, I'm a clean line gal myself, as well as someone who a) is constantly messing with her eyes and b) sweats more than a hooker in a Baptist church in Georgia in July. For those reasons, I had serious problems with this liner. I put it on to go out for a friend's birthday at around 8:30pm one night, and when I got home at 1am, I looked like I'd been knocked around - a lot. This stuff smudged everywhere on me. Raccoon eyes everywhere. Maybe it would have done better with a base; maybe I applied too much of the stuff; in any event, this is definitely not my favorite product. I'll stick to liquids.

Josephine says: Maybe it's because I used the best 'one-inch or less' nylon bristled brush in the history of makeup (the Ben Nye #12) but this stuff glided on with ridiculous ease. I set it immediately with a loose powder and even after I rubbed ginger (or hot pepper, it's unclear) into my eye when I was cooking Indian food earlier tonight and thus wept for a good four minutes out of my left eye alone, my perfect line hasn't moved a millimeter. I haven't worn it for hours on end yet but I suspect the powder set is the key. BTW, I have the brown shade called coffee quartz and it's a really pretty deep brown that looks great on a dishwater blond!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Review- Solutions a.m./p.m. Total Radiance Refreshing Day Cleanser and Makeup Removing Night Cleanser

Perfect skin for less than 65¢ a day! Customized to your skin's day and night needs, uniquely packaged in one...making skin visibly healthier and life much easier. Provides total radiance for normal/combination skin.
Refreshing Day Cleanser:Energizing creamy gel removes overnight buildup and deep cleans, while refreshing and toning skin. Brightens complexion and gives skin a healthy glow.
Makeup Removing Night Cleanser: Cleansing gel gently and effectively removes makeup and daily buildup, as it smoothes and softens skin. Leavs skin with a luminous, healthy glow.

This is a cute idea: a double package of one cleanser for morning and one for night. Now, as a very lazy woman who barely has time in the morning to put her pants on right-side-out, the morning cleanser was not as useful to me as its nocturnal companion, but I've been using both, and have really liked the results. My skin is naturally a little more "luminous" this time of year (read: greasy from humidity), but I think it's actually having the effect it's supposed to! The night cleanser is really gentle and you only need a teeny tiny bit (something it took me a bit to get used to) as it foams up pretty well. It effectively removed my (occasionally intense) makeup in the shower and left my skin clean without feeling dry or tight. As for the morning version, I didn't feel all that "energized" after using it, but it too only takes a bit to create a nice lather for your whole face.

The main problem I have with this cleanser duo is the packaging. I get that Avon is trying to be clever in making a "dual" bottle, but I have found that as you use more product, it becomes very difficult to extract it from the bottles. For once, my main complaint is not about the price! (It's very reasonable, especially since as of right now, it's $7.99 on the Avon site.) Other than that, this is a nice, gentle cleanser that will probably work better for ladies with more dedication to their beauty regimen than a night showerer who can't be bothered to brush her hair in the morning.

Trish Says: I think this cleanser alone is okay - though for the price you really can't top that. It is much better than drugstore options I've tried in the past for a higher price. I prefer to use this cleansing wash with the Avon Total Radiance Moisturizer for a full lightening and glowing experience. And keep in mind that a little bit does go a real long way with this cleanser as it suds up super easy and washes off make up with success. My only small complaint is that the soapy buildup does leave my skin feeling just a bit sticky afterwards, and without the moisturizer for the glow effect, the cleanser does not really improve (nor harm) my skin. So, if you're looking for a cleanser that is inexpensive and gentle, this is a good choice, but if you're happy with your current cleanser, this may not make much difference in your routine.

Melissa says: I’ve been using this product religiously for the past three weeks. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it. Honestly though, I’m not sure I see the difference between using a day and night cleanser, but I do like how it’s been working. I think the best part is that it doesn’t dry out my skin or make it tight after using it. Especially since both the am and pm cleansers lather up pretty well. Also, I’ve noticed that the pm cleanser does a great job at taking off my make up without stripping my face. The smell is light and a bit fruity, but not overpowering and it leaves my face refreshed and clean!

Review- Arrojo Hydrating Mist

Hydrating Mist provides a galvanizing pep up, anytime, anywhere, and restores vital moisture to the skin. Scented with a blend of bergamot, daisies and white cedar wood fragrance.

You might have noticed that a few of my reviews of the Arrojo products have been less than stellar. This will not be one of those! I found this hydrating mist exceptional, and charming. In fact when (if ever, it lasts so long!) I use this up I will definitely be re-purchasing. The smell was delightfully light and airy, with some citrus and a light floral. The sensation of the mist on your face is wonderful in the hot summer months, but I bet would be just as great in the winter during stressful times. It is very refreshing and even a bit moisturizing. I used it as both a facial spray and a general body refresher. It worked really well for both. The only recommendation I have is give yourself a few minutes for it to dry in, it is quite noticeable on your face, and can cause some curious looks when customers come into my store when I have just sprayed!

Melissa adds: I’m a fan of this hydrating mist because it’s light, refreshing and does the job. Summer has finally hit New York and I’ve been using this daily for a pick me up. The smell, like the Arrojo Body Wash is kind of sweet, but has more woodsy notes. I’m guessing because of the bergamot and cedar wood. So, if you're like me and want a change from the girlie sweet fragrances, try this. My only wish is that it came in a travel size pack so I can take it on the go! Other than that, this product is a winner.

Josephine says: Amen to the whole hot time summer in the city proclamation, Melissa. Anyway, I have no less than five moisture sprays in my 'big box of beauty' (this is a free standing piece of furniture in our bathroom at the request of my husband to at least make it look like this room is not as out of hand as it is in reality). This one smells great, refreshes on contact and gets absorbed quickly into the skin. From here, I am anxious to try it to set my makeups at the makeup trailer.

Amanda S. Says: agreed on this being the perfect time to try out this product! What a sticky hot mess the city is lately, right ladies?? I gave this a shot to set my make up as Josephine mentioned and it held up well. It has a really cute smell and is fun to use. This is definitely at the top of my list for the Arrojo products!

Review- Arrojo Detangling Foam


This foam is sort of the standard type of deal one would expect of a detanging foam. It isn't really special, and I think that a $15 price tag is a bit over the top. I'm not trying to be mean, I just didn't think it really knocked my tangles that well. I didn't find it particularly moisturizing, and my hair really didn't look that good after I used it regardless of what I used after. The smell was really nice and fresh though, so thats a plus. The thickness of the foam was ok, but again pretty standard. You can find really good, much less expensive, detangling products than this very easily. So all in all I can't say I loved this foam, I wouldn't buy it again.

Review- RUSK Priming Creme

It's a Resurfacing Texture Creme. Lightweight priming creme that smooths the cuticle for instant styling control and is the perfect primer for porous and chemically-treated hair. Hydrating properties leave hair silky soft with incredible shine. Humidity-resistant formula protects hair from harmful UVB rays. Contains Thermplex that provides thermal protection from heat stress caused by daily use of styling appliances.

Doesn't just the description above make you want to go out and buy it? And it's true. It's as good as it sounds. Ok, I can't actually tell if it's providing protection from heat stress yet (I'd have to use it every time I washed my hair for quite a long time before I could come to that conclusion) but I enthusiastically tell you that this stuff is great for hair like mine- wavy to straight, dry, too soft to be manageable, etc. This gave my hair just the texture it needed to make blow dry effortlessly with a round bristle brush. True I said something similar about the Arrojo hair creme, but I feel like this one is a little more goof-proof. Also add in the UVB protection and I'm sold (God am I a sucker for SPF). I honestly didn't know this creme had any protective qualities before I used it and I still came away with a wonderful opinion of it. All the rest is just icing on the cake. Additionally, my hair still looked good the next day. I can't wait to hear what our curly haired reviewers have to say about it, but I highly recommend it for anyone with dry hair who is blow drying it straight. Oh, one last thing: my tiny travel tube is going to last forever. You only need to use the slightest bit.

Deedlejuse Says: I totally agree with how wonderful this product is! I only had to use it once before I knew how great it was. Like Hillary says it leaves your hair silky smooth and so beautiful, even until the next day, which is great for me since I don't have so much time for styling. I (also) love the SPF, I am also trying another SPF protectant for one's hair and I have to tell you this summer compared to last I have seen a vast improvement in shine and the overall health of my hair.... So don't just think its a silly addition to the arsenal, its important and worth it! The smell is really nice, feminine and slightly musky, but not in an earthy way. More like a perfume smell than anything. This product, and Rusk in general, gets two thumbs up from over here!

Josephine says: I can't decide if I like the Gleam creme or this one more. This worked amazingly with wet hair set to airdry. My curls had a very interesting quality to them once they dried--they weren't bouncy looking or even particularly clean. Instead they looked totally rock and roll and insouciant. The potential hair looks I am prepped to roll out with this quality of curl are kind of awesome.

Amanda S. Says: I was decidedly NOT a fan of the Gleam creme by Rusk, but I will give a high five to the Priming creme for sure. My hair felt awesome the entire week I used it, and I was given extra complements about how well behaved my hair is considering I'm trying to grow it out a bit and it has straggly awful pieces fighting me every step of he way. Reasonably priced and really awesome stuff, I am definitely going to pick up a bottle at Ricky's.

Trish Says: If there's only one hairstyling product to have on hand, this is the one. I'm a wash and go type of hair care gal. My routine consists of showering and then putting it up in a bun to dry. The results at best are usually unpredictable. But, with this Priming cream, I can get the look I'm hoping to achieve with the least amount of work necessary. For thin/fine hair types - this cream is so very lightweight and sculpting at the same time. It works as a primer, smoother, corrector, disciplinarian, therapist, etc...a must have for all hair-care types as well as the less inclined - your hair will be so thankful!

Sultana says: I too cannot decide if I like the Primer or the Gleam better. They both are absolutely great products. I will say this, I used the Primer alone almost as if it was a gel. I crunched my hair to create waves and the Primer helped keep them wavy. At the same time, I didn't feel the need to put anything additionally. This is good if your hair is semi-wet and you are in a rush. It creates shine but it also has some hold which is perfect. I am totally smitten with Rusk at this point. Their products smell so good and after I am done applying, there is no sticky residue. I have longer hair, so I require a good quarter size dollop to get this to work for me. This one is a keeper!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Review- Privé Thermal Protection Detangling Spray

Enriched with cactus, bamboo and kelp, Herbal Blend #30 deeply penetrates the cuticle to deliver excellent conditioning and detangling, while protecting against hot tool damage. This unique, lightweight spray imparts exceptional sheen to the hair, which brightens haircolor and makes hair easier to style.

Let me start out by saying I love me some thermal protection. It's one of my "can't live without" products. Now I may sound like a broken record or a total defective, but as happens with many things I use, the first time I used this I overdid it. Thus, next day- oily looking hair. If you read yesterday's review of Arrojo Hair Crème, you will see a pattern. So at this point I feel the mention that a little of this spray goes a long way. Unlike many other detanglers I've used, you don't have to drench your hair in this spray in order to get a comb through it. Simply spay enough to put a fine mist on your hair and you'll be able to put a wide tooth comb through your hair no problem. Now when I use it it simply adds sheen to my hair and surely spares me many a split end because I don't have to tug on my hair to brush it. Thermal protectant is sort of like my imaginary childhood friend, Stanley. They are both invisible but serve a big purpose. (My mother used to give me a cookie for myself AND Stanley). My haircolor lasts longer and my hair is definitely less dry since I started using thermal protectant and I have to say, this one is in my book of favorites because it does the double duty of detangling to boot.

Sultana says: I agree with Hillary 100%! I've spent tons of money on various detanglers that have never worked on my hair. They usually are so heavy that they weigh my hair down or they feel too watery. The first day I used this spray I was in love. Not only does it take out all those pesky knots, but it protects your hair from heat! I curl my hair 5-6 times per week and I need the extra protection. I put this on after I wash my hair at night. In the morning when I wake up, my hair is shinier; softer and way more manageable. I would not normally pay $21 for a detangler but as Hillary stated, a little goes a long way. Therefore, this is definitely worth the money!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gift with Purchase- Free Travel Arrojo Color Save Duo w/ Purchase in July

Get a FREE travel-size (1.7 fl. oz. I believe) ARROJO color save shampoo & conditioner with all purchases this July, from Plus free shipping on all orders $50+ withing the lower 48 states.

Review- Arrojo Hair Crème

1.7 FL. OZ.= $7.00 4.2 FL. OZ.= $15.00

The first time I used this product I got it wrong. How you might ask? Well let's just say the words "liberal amount" are open to many interpretations. My idea of liberal is obviously more liberal than Arrojo's. So this time I scaled back and it worked fabulously! I honestly didn't think that I would be giving this product a positive review after my first experience, but right now, my hair looks great and it blew dry perfectly straight and frizz free. Considering it's going to storm later today, frizz free is nothing to balk at. I have hair that is past my shoulders and I used a little more than a rounded quarter's worth of product for my whole head (I had previously used about a half dollar's worth). This crème also gave my hair some "grip", making it easy to maneuver with a round bristle brush. That is key for hair like mine which is sometimes too soft to style easily. I highly recommend this creme for light to medium hold and easier manageability. It's excellent for blow drying your hair smooth without weighing it down- if you use the correct amount!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Review- Arrojo Daily Shampoo and Conditioner


Earlier, we tried and reviewed Arrojo's Moisturizing and Color Save Shampoo and Conditioners, now in this third installment of the Daily Shampoo and Conditioner set, all I can say is that I really, really love this brand! My hair has never looked so full and lavish and have felt this clean in a while! (And I have tried everything under the moon from regular drug-store brands to expensive salon lines.) The Daily Shampoo and Conditioner line delivers a very clean wash with zero build up, in a lightweight formula, leaving my hair looking its very best. Although, on the downside, the basic daily conditioner - while super gentle and light on the hair - does not moisturize or detangle as much as I normally prefer. As a test I went back to my normal moisturizing conditioner, but noticed my old brand weighed much heavier on my hair than Arrojo's daily conditioner, so I quickly switched back to the Arrojo line. However, the daily shampoo works wonders on my hair! (If you have thin or fine hair, you definitely understand how less is more and every bit of a lift helps!) I have a feeling I'm going to stick to this product for a while because it really works! Almost everyday is a good hair day! As for the daily conditioner, currently I have to make up for the lack of silkiness by using an additional hair serum on top. Otherwise, my hair turns super dry and frizzy on its own! So while lightweight, the daily conditioner could use a little more moisturizing and silkening. I may have to mix up the Arrojo daily shampoo with their moisturizing conditioner, because when this combination works, it truly works!

Review-Chi Silk Infusion

Chi Silk Infusion serum is ideal for protecting hair from damaging chemicals. This leave in, alcohol free reconstructing treatment is enriched with pure natural silk, wheat and soy proteins for soft manageable hair with incredible shine and no build up. Protects the hair against thermal styling and environment. Also for use on skin. 6oz for $20.99

This serum adds shine to your hair like nothing else, but sadly, it doesn't last too long. Just smooth a few drops onto your hair after styling and its instantly left with a natural radiance without weighing your hair down. It could be all the silk and soy proteins, but no other serum has given my hair such a natural looking shine. However, like most silicone based serums, the effects of the shine are short-lived. By the end of the day my hair was looking pretty dull; I tried reapplying, but a few hours later it lost its shine again and started to feel gunky. They say it doesn't build-up, but I think that means if you only apply it once a day. The company also says you can use it on your skin, but that wasn't exactly my cup of tea. Overall, I would say this stuff is okay but considering the price tag (and the fact that it smells a little bit like my boyfriend's cologne) I wouldn't spend my money on this.

Josephine says: It took me the longest time to figure out the usage for Chi Silk on my skin as the bottle suggests. You have to admit, it sounds intriguing that you could use your hair serum on your body. I tried applying it to my rough spots, i.e elbows and heels but it basically slid off. I rubbed it into my face in hopes that I might suddenly appear like I was 25, again. But I just succeeded in facilitating a necessary yet impromptu microdermabrasion to remove the sheen off of my face. Finally, it occured to me that my legs, still damp post-shaving, could glisten and gleam and not be ridiculed. As it turns out, the bottle does not falsely advertise. The Chi is as loving to my skin as it is to my dry-ish highlighted head of hair!

Amanda S. Says: I had a sample of this, but before reviewing I wanted to get a larger amount to try because I am a SUPER stickler for hair shining products and want to be sure a stamp of approval is not haphazardly handed out. I would say this Chi product is right up there at the top of the list, and is relatively well priced also. I do love all of the Chi products I have tried so far, which is A LOT by the way, and I recommend their line to anyone wanting to try something new and fun but not wanting to blow their money on a product that's going to be a total disappointment. Any Chi product seems to be rigorously tried out by the company before marketing, because they haven't had a 'miss' yet with me.

Review- Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash

Bare Escentuals Buxom® Lash Mascara - Blackest Black holds the style of your lashes for a continuous 12 hours with no flakiness. The silky, vitamin-rich formula darkens, lengthens, and thickens from root to tip without ever clumping. Its patented, hourglass-shaped brush is designed to lift and separate every lash while delivering the perfect amount of antioxidant-rich mascara needed for bigger, fuller lashes. 1 tube for $18

For reasons not interesting enough to detail, I have not been a supporter of the mineral movement. I cannot lie, Bare Escentuals has been a dirty word to me. For this reason, I wasn't that geeked about trying their mascara but I am pleased and humbled to say that this product is pretty much flawless. It's all in the brush, people. I am an old school cake mascara girl, all the way, when I do other peoples' makeup but when it comes to my personal preference, I need something durable, non-flaky, great-in-any-weather, non-clumping and lightening quick to apply. (Hey, I never said I wasn't high maintenance.) Buxom provides a great eye look that doesn't move until my lashes see a cotton ball and eye makeup remover at the end of the day. The brush, as I was saying, holds so much quality product yet the bristles are short enough to control the application of it with complete ease. The only thing I am only sorry about is that this was a sample size tube!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Review- Arrojo Color Save Conditioner

Formulated with Vitamin B5 and an advanced Moisture-Plex formula, Repair Masque de-stresses dehydrated locks with Coconut Oil, while hydrating and smoothing the cuticle with Silk Amino Acids and Hydrolyzed Oat Proteins. Perfect to restore vitality and make styling easy.

I felt that I needed to review the Arrojo Color Save Shampoo and Conditioner separately since I found one very helpful and the other quite the opposite. If you noticed my post yesterday, you will be able to tell the product that looses out of these two! I literally had to stop using this conditioner because not only did I need to use almost half the container for one use, but it left my hair straw-like and not conditioned at all. If I hadn't been sent the Arrojo Detangling Foam I would have cried after the first use! If you use the three (Shampoo, Conditioner, & Foam) products together you will be MUCH happier with the end result All in all though, I found cutting the Conditioner out of my routine was best for me. I do have chemically processed bleach blond hair, which needs like a ton (seriously) of moisture for it to even think about brushing, so for those of you who have shorter/darker hair you might be happier with this product.

Review- Arrojo Shower Gel

"Featuring mineral-rich formulas, our three body washes all smooth, mousturize and rejuvenate the skin." 10.1 fl. oz. for $14

"This smells like Europe," I said to my friend after I opened the bottle of Arrojo Floral Citrus Body Wash to take a whiff.
"What? That doesn't make any sense."
"No, it smells like Europe. Smell it."
"Fine, but I still say - OH MY GOD. It does smell like Europe."
Nick Arrojo, best known as the strange, hairstyling elf on TLC's What Not To Wear, has produced, for some reason, a line of products - not just for hair, but also body washes and other skincare items. I suppose expanding your brand is important - I mean, even Lindsay Lohan has a self-tanner, and she's barely even a celebrity anymore - but why Arrojo decided that body washes, in particular, would be a good idea is beyond me.

This is not to say the Floral Citrus body isn't fine. It is. It smells great (like Europe; specifically, like a hotel I stayed in in Spain), it lathers fine, and gets me clean. But there's nothing particularly amazing about it to explain or excuse the price point ($14/10 oz) - that's like five bucks more than Bath and Body Works, and I already think they're overpriced. So if you happen to be an Arrojo client or you really like him on WNTW, go for it! You won't be disappointed. But if you're just a regular gal looking to get clean and smell nice, there's bound to be a drugstore brand that will work just as well.

Amanda S. Says: Major points for caring enough about rhubarb to make a rhubarb scent of shower gel... because this is definitely my favorite scent that is 'fruity' in nature. And sure, it is a great shower gel, it lathers, it cleans squeaky and nice, rinses off, clean clean clean... But that's about it. I do love using it because I love the smell (although not like Europe, it does remind me of pie I think I once ate in the Berkshires).

Josephine adds: I, too, experienced the ambience of a Parisian boutique hotel clawtub bath with my Arrojo Rhubarb Shower Gel. I kid you not, I literally thought to myself, "How European" when I first flipped the cap open. And, really as far as shower gels go, I mostly just look for a pleasant scent that does not either change my life or ruin it and this one satisfies. I have to add though that I also have the Arrojo Sweet Pachouli Shower Gel and if I am honest here, I was fearful that by using it I would be forced to relive my sort of violent distaste of this essential oil circa my college days in the early 90s. However, after just one use, I like it better than the Rhubarb. The shower gel's combination of scented notes comes together like some woodsy forest-y fantasy where I could suddenly imagine what it might be like to be a tiny woodland creature playing under the canopy of trees early in the morning. Seriously, the scent is really that divine.

Trish Says: I have to agree with Josephine completely! This scent is divine. I really liked this shower gel. A lot. I know it is on the pricey side for body cleansing products, but I try to make up for the price and think of how much I'm saving on not needing additional body lotion, oil and sprays after using one product from Arrojo. I tried the patchouli scented gel and with such a strong fragrance as patchouli it takes a delicate touch to pull it off. Arrojo Shower Gel seemed to have done it remarkably! Their patchouli scented gel is light, earthy and sensuous. It really doesn't come on too strong or offensive, but instead it provides a secondary whiff of aromatic bliss. The best part of the gel is feeling super clean after a shower, no soapy buildup, or extra residue - just a silky finish leaving your body feeling soft, light, and smelling sensual. Even on a humid overcast day in the city, I didn't feel sticky at all after using this cleanser and was especially glad that I had used it earlier.

Hillary says: This shower gel has all the components I feel make a great shower gel: it lathers nicely, it smells wonderful, it doesn't compete with my perfume and it leaves me feeling clean without drying me out. I have the gel in Refreshing Rhubarb which may not sound too appealing to anyone who knows what a stalk of rhubarb looks like, but the smell is super although it's hard to describe. The Arrojo website says it is a mix of rhubarb and honeydew melon and it is their signature scent. It is also good for your skin as it is enriched with lots of minerals. You only have to use a tiny amount for each part of your body, so this bottle is going to last me a while (it's a generous 10.1 fl. oz.). This quality for this price is usually hard to come by and as an added bonus, throughout June get 14 free sample sachets of Arrojo products with any order from Great shower gel with a great bonus!
BTW, I just read that everyone else finds this shower gel pricey. Ok, it's a little high, but when you take into consideration how little you are using each time, it's like the equivalent of a bottle and a half of another shower gel.

Melissa adds:

How could you not get excited about trying this product? Like all the other reviewers mentioned, it comes from Nick Arrojo’s salon from What Not to Wear so it already starts off on a good note. The packaging is simple but has a luxury feel (I’m really big on packaging).

I tried the patchouli scent and absolutely love it because it’s not too girly, but not too manly either. When I put it on, I could tell that this would be a great bodywash for summer because it was light and refreshing. There are some products that are so potent and filled with the bad stuff that you can feel the toxins, despite all the smell-good scents that are added in. This was exactly the opposite and I was pretty impressed with this shower gel.

Deedlejuse says: I seven, I guess, really enjoyed this body wash. It suds' wonderfully, smells great, leaves your skin moisturized and refreshed. Simply it is exactly everything one could want in a body wash. I had the Floral Citrus flavor and really loved it. I guess I will disagree with Movie Maven about that, it is expensive, but is also a real treat to use. I think it would be a perfect gift to go into a basket or something, or a little extravagance for yourself. So far I have been more than happy with many of the products by Arrojo, but this would be top of my list!

Malikah says: I actually adored this stuff! I've been a huge Arrojo fan since he started on WNTW, and was pleasantly surprised he had ventured info body products. The smell is absolutely divine - light, pleasant, but not overbearing. You certainly don't see rhubarb popping up in too many beauty products, but hopefully Arrojo will make it the next big thing. I was a bit turned off by the price, especially since other than the smell there were no remarkable features about it. But it would make a great gift, especially since it looks super fancy.