Hair Removal -Unlisted Brand - Braun Silk-épil Xpressive
ashleyanders 2/13/2010 1:02:00 PM
Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my body skin type! This is a review for the 7280 Easy Start Body System model. Overview: This is one of three models in the Silk-Epil Xpressive range. Each epilator has 40 small tweezers, two speeds, various heads and has a "smart light" built in. I find that the smart light is generally useless, and can sometimes be a bit of an irritation as it can get in my eyes. Designed to help remove hair from the root, it is a good alternative for those that dislike shaving and enjoy waxing, but want to remove hair without the mess and at a lower cost. Packaging: This epilator comes in a cute cardboard box, and inside contains the heads, epilator and a small carrying case. Ease of Use: Once you get the hang of it, it's very simple to use. For my legs, I like to either extend my leg out completely and slightly pull at the skin behind the epilator as I run it up my leg, or bring my knee up to my chest. I find that the latter helps pull the skin tighter, which often leads to better results. Exfoliating beforehand is important, but I can get decent results without exfoliating. It's easy to clean as well, the different heads come out without struggle and it's overall very easy. Bang for your Buck: Prices will vary, but I spent about $125.00CAD for this epilator. As long as you take good care of it, and do not use any force with some of the smaller pieces, it should last you years. I did end up breaking one part of the shaver head, the little coil, but because the shaver head caused smalls nicks and bleeding, this was not a huge loss for me. Final Consensus: I've owned this epilator for well over a year, and it really is the only hair removal product that I use. While it does take quite some time to remove all the hair (1+ hours for both legs, about 10 minutes for my underarms), it is convenient to use as it's not messy, is portable, and does not require to be used in the shower/bathroom. It is painful at first, but after a few times, the pain is barely noticeable. You do not need to purchase replacement heads, creams or any other product, which makes this much more affordable in the long run than shaving or waxing. The down side to this product is that because my leg hairs are quite fine (I'd say about 60% of my leg hair is fine, 40% is on the coarse side), my leg hairs start to grow back quite fast as the hairs are too thin to be grabbed properly. This is NOT the epilator's fault though, as epilators work best on coarse hair. That being said, I can easily epilate a few times a week to help remove the new growth very quickly. My underarms stay hairless for a few days before the fine hairs start to grow back. My body hair grows VERY fast; with shaving, hair starts to grow back in the day that I shave, or by the next morning if I'm lucky. So for me, a few days of being hairless and not having stubbly growth is definitely a positive. I've yet to try it on my bikini line, as I'm far too scared to put myself through that much pain. I would repurchase if it broke or if I wanted to upgrade models. Overall Rating: 4/5 Price: 4/5 Packaging Quality: 3/5 Would you buy this product again: Yes.
Treatments (Eye) -Mario Badescu - Hyaluronic Eye Cream
ashleyanders 2/13/2010 1:31:00 AM
Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my skin type! What it Claims: "Hyaluronic Acid formula helps lock in the skin’s own natural moisture without the use of heavy, greasy oils. Absorbent, medium weight cream for use day or night. Aloe based formula makes this cream suitable for all skin types, even sensitive." Claims - True or False? 1) Locks in the skin's natural moisture: True, I guess. I don't know what that would look or feel like, but I do know that my skin doesn't feel as though it dries out even by the next morning. 2) Absorbent: True. It does however depend on how dry the area is. I find that it absorbs better when my skin is more dry or irritated, or absorbs faster. 3) Suitable for sensitive skin: True. Although it always differs from person to person, it does not affect my sensitive skin. Packaging: Although I have only gotten this as a sample, the full sized product comes in a larger tub. Very simple, yet slightly unhygienic. I don't mind this however for eye creams. Smell: I've never really noticed a fragrance to the cream. Consistency: A very nice, light cream. In terms of thickness, I'd place it in the middle between thin and thick, and it is very spreadable and smooth. It has a slight oiliness to it, but nothing terrible. However, I would not see anyone being able to use this during the daytime, unless they had excessively dry skin. Ease of Use: No nonsense product to use. Just dab on lightly and let it soak in. I don't really like applying eye creams, as they never seem to really sink in or blend into my skin when I simply dab it on. Other than that issue for me, there are no difficulties to overcome with this product. Bang for your Buck: At $18.00US for 0.5oz, this is definitely on the steeper side. And considering that it is not a brand that is found locally in all countries, it can be even steeper when purchased online. As very little is needed, it can easily last for quite some time, so I would not say that the money spent would be a waste if the product works well for you. Final Consensus: Like many others have stated, this is a product that screams "meh". When I first tried it, I wasn't blown away, but I wasn't completely disappointed either. My eye area is naturally on the normal side, while dryness only occurs if I use drying products. When my skin is feeling very irritated, is burning or happens to be dehydrated, this cream really does work wonderfully. However, I think that it is still slightly too thick for my tastes, and I would never be able to use it on a daily basis. I've just spent the last two days testing out a new eye cream and discovered that it has caused VERY noticeable dehydration lines. I'm hoping that this cream will help return my eyes back to normal - and thankfully, it has! Dehydration lines are gone this morning, which caused me to raise my rating to a 4. Fragrance free, doesn't burn or string my eyes, and sinks in better than their Ceramide cream. I think that this would work great for someone with drier skin looking for simple hydration, and if it were locally available here in Canada aside from only a handful of salons, I'd consider buying it. But for now, I will not purchase. If anyone has used anything similar that is cheaper and widely available in Canada, please message me! Overall Rating: 4/5 Price: 3/5 Packaging Quality: 2/5 Would you buy this product again: No.
Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my skin type! What it Claims: "PUR Eye Cream hydrates the delicate skin around your eyes so skin looks smooth and radiant...Decreases the appearance of wrinkles. Helps prevent the appearance of wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness. Fragrance free." Claims - True or False? 1) Hydrates: False. My eye area did not feel any more hydrated than when I did not use it. 2) Skin looks smooth and radiant: False. I found that my skin started to actually dull in the area. 3) Decreases/prevents wrinkles: False. As I am quite young, the only lines I have are from slight dehydration and abusing the area when removing makeup. This cream actually CAUSED wrinkles to form. 4) Decreases dark circles: Undetermined. My dark circles aren't really that dark, but I would say that when applied, I was left with a slight sheen that helped brighten the area slightly. 5) Decreases puffiness: False. Again, I don't suffer from puffiness. I found that after the first night of using, I awoke with my eyes feeling mildly swollen and irritated. Packaging: The one positive aspect of this eye cream would be the packaging. It's simple, hygienic and aesthetically pleasing. It comes in a small brown tube with a twist off cap. The product itself comes in a box, which gives you the list of ingredients and directions. Overall, it's a very effective and practical packaging. Smell: As the box states, this cream is fragrance free. Consistency: While this is a cream, I find that it is quite light. It reminds me of a slightly thicker, possibly whipped, oil free lotion. It soaks in quite fast, but leaves a definite sheen to the skin. It does not however leave the skin with a sticky, greasy sensation, making it possibly work for daytime use. While I did compare it to what I'd imagine a whipped oil free lotion would feel like, it does have an oily feel to it. Ease of Use: I've never really understood the application method of eye creams, as the few that I have tried, regardless of how little I used, never seemed to really sink in. That being said, it's straightforward: dab on and let soak in. The packaging is simple to open and close, although I had issues with it dispensing far too much each time I went to use it. Bang for your Buck: At $8.99CAD for 15ml, this is definitely one of the cheaper brands that you can buy. It is only available at Shoppers Drug Mart locations however, making it a slightly less desirable purchase, especially if you do not live close to one of these drug stores or are visiting from the States. I can easily see it lasting a good deal of time, and Shoppers holds sales on all of their products on a regular basis, so it's worth checking out. Plus, it has a money back guarantee (although Shoppers itself has a 30 day return policy on all of their products either way). Final Consensus: Whenever I search for a good eye cream to try out, I'm bombarded with creams with a bunch of crazy claims. I've never been able to simply find a "vanilla" cream; I really don't need all the extra frills, as I do not have dark circles, my skin does not suffer from any serious lines and my eyes are rarely - if ever - puffy. While this cream does carry some claims to it, I decided to try it as it seemed a little more basic than some of the others I've heard about. Overall, I would say that I wasted my money. The cream irritated my eyes and actually caused some minor swelling, caused burning when I went to scratch the area near my eye, and worst of all it has caused some major dehydration wrinkles. I do have some minor lines in the area, sure, but nothing to this extreme. I'm hoping that it is reversible and have applied a bit of my heavier eye cream sample from Mario Badescu in hopes of rehydrating it. I was quite shocked that this occurred, as my undereye area isn't even dry. So, this simply was not for me. Give it a go if you live in Canada, but don't get your hopes up. Will look into Vichy and possibly Neutrogena to see what I should try next. Overall Rating: 1/5 Price: 2/5 Packaging Quality: 3/5 Would you buy this product again: No.
Scrubs -Vichy - Purete Thermale - Detoxifying Exfoliating Cream
ashleyanders 2/9/2010 1:15:00 PM
Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my skin type! ** EDIT: March 20/2010: Bumped my rating down to a 3, and would no longer repurchase. I believe that it causes my acne to become inflamed, thus making healing acne worsen. I'm unsure as to whether it actually breaks me out, but the fact that my acne seems more inflamed and the physical scrubbing always causes some irritation, I would no longer repurchase. It does contain a sulfate ingredient, which can be quite drying as well as comedogenic. I'd still recommend it for others to try, but I will not be finishing the tube on my face. ** What it Claims: "The rich formula contains Ubiquinone® and a high concentration of perfectly rounded jojoba pearls to be gentler on skin. Effectively cleans pores without causing dryness. Visibly smoother, the skin is left velvety to the touch and the complexion radiant." Claims - True or False? 1) Rich formula: False. My skin is combination and prone to getting oily on my forehead, but on the areas that are dry/dehydrated, this does not seem to really help. 2) Gentler on skin: True. I am quite sensitive to pressure, so while I do feel the beads on my skin, it's not uncomfortable. 3) Effectively cleanses pores: True! I was unsure whether it did or not, but when I last used it this morning, my skin looked much smoother, my blackheads did not look as severe, and I believe I saw a tad more radiance. 4) Does not dry the skin: False. I find that it tends to dehydrate my skin though more so than dry it out. 5) Smoother skin: True, although it does not always help to remove my dry spots. Still, it leaves my face VERY smooth. 6) Radiant complexion: True. Nothing spectacular, but a slight improvement. Packaging: Comes in a small tube with a flip-top lid. The packaging is transparent, so you can easily see how much product is left. Feels very smooth when using and holding, and works well when used in the shower. The packaging gives you all the information that you need, and aesthetically it is very simple and elegant, like all of their products. Smell: While I do not believe that it claims to be fragrance-free, I've never really noticed any strong or noticeable scent. Likely a good candidate for those sensitive to fragrance. Consistency: Like the name states, this is a creamy scrub. I love that it does not lather like the majority of scrubs on the market, as lathering scrubs often dry my skin out and cause it to look oilier/drier. It feels very light-weight, does not feel oily and is very smooth. The beads are small, but not fine like sand (the finer/smaller the beads, the more it irritates my skin) and is generously supplied in the cream. Ease of Use: This is definitely a very simple and easy product to use. The packaging is easy to manoeuvre, it does not automatically dispense too much product, and it is thick enough to not run through your hands. Rinses off without any issues, and because the beads do not dissolve, you can easily scrub away at your face for however long you desire. Bang for your Buck: While prices will vary, I paid close to $30.00CAD for a 2.5oz (75ml) tube. While this may sound expensive, I believe that it is a fairly good price, as scrubs are not designed to be used on a daily basis, nor is much product needed. I find that a penny-sized dollop works nicely at covering my entire face. I generally use this 2-3 times a week, and I can easily see this lasting for quite some time. Many stores that carry the line will often hold sales or place items on discount, so if you are able to find this product when the price is lowered, it would be a much better deal. Final Consensus: Overall, this scrub truly is the best scrub that I've tried to date. It does not cause (or worsen) my breakouts, it does not strip my skin of all moisture, it leaves my skin looking and feeling quite nice, and it's reasonably priced for what you get. However, it is not perfect. It does not seem to by hydrating enough for my skin, and the beads can be mildly abrasive. Even though it can irritate my skin while in use, the ingredients themselves do not cause any irritation; any redness from the scrubbing fades quickly after rinsing, and I do not sense any burning/itching. I will definitely continue using, and will see how it works once winter is over and the weather is much warmer. I will likely search for other, more hydrating, scrubs. If anyone has any recs, leave me a message! Overall Rating: 3/5 Price: 3/5 Packaging Quality: 4/5 Would you buy this product again: No.
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Spectro HydraCare Facial Moisturizer
ashleyanders 2/5/2010 4:56:00 PM
Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my skin type! ** This is a review for the Blemish Prone version of the three versions. ** What it Claims: "A facial moisturizer that provides light hydration specifically designed for your Blemish-Prone Skin. * Contains Safflower Oleosomes which deliver long lasting moisturization * Developed in consultation with dermatologists and is ideal for even the most sensitive skin * Non-irritating, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and colour free" Claims - True or False? 1) Light Hydration: True. However, I found that while it was light, it was also heavy at the same time. 2) Non-irritating: True. 3) Non-comedogenic: In my case, False. 4) Long-lasting hydration: False. I found that my skin did not feel any more hydrated hours later than with other products, and my cheeks often remained dried out. Packaging: As with all Spectro products, this moisturizer comes in a simple, white bottle with a twist pump. It also comes in a box, which has some information (such as ingredients) that are not listed on the bottle itself. It has a very smooth design and feels very comfortable in the hands. While not expensive, the packaging does not look or feel cheap. I adore the twist pump cap, as it's hygienic and simple to use, although I do still prefer squeeze tubes in order to get every last bit of product out. Smell: As the label states, this moisturizer is fragrance-free, so it is suitable to those that are sensitive to fragrance. Consistency: I would describe the moisturizer as being a creamy lotion. It's quite thick and not at all runny, yet spreads smoothly. I find that it has a slightly slimy feel to it when rubbing in, and it tends to leave my skin with a noticeable and unwanted sheen. Because of this, and regardless of how much or little I applied, it would leave my skin with a slightly tacky sensation. Ease of Use: Because the product is quite smooth and creamy, it spreads very easily, although because it is slightly thick, it can take some time to really work in as it does not seem to sink in properly. The pump allows for wonderful control when dispensing, and rarely ever did I find myself with too much product. Bang for your Buck: At 140mL for under $15.00, and considering how little product is needed, I'd say that this is a wonderful deal. As it does not contain SPF, it's a great product for those sensitive to chemical sunscreens (like myself) which is found in the majority of moisturizers with added SPF. Final Consensus: While this product is very promising and has a lot of positive attributes, it simply did not work great for me. It left my skin looking shiny in a way that I disliked, it did not hydrate my cheeks very well, and I believe that it actually caused breakouts to both worsen and form. I found that my cheeks were also more flaky when using, which I am assuming is due to the salicylic acid. My guess is that I am sensitive/allergic to this ingredient, as I've never had the best of luck with the ingredient in other products. For a light-weight moisturizer, I found it to be too heavy while also not moisturizing enough, and it would simply not sink in properly. Clearly I am the odd one out, but overall I was underwhelmed. Would recommend to others, but I would not repurchase. Overall Rating: 3/5 Price: 2/5 Packaging Quality: 3/5 Would you buy this product again: No.
Masks -The Body Shop - Aloe Protective & Restorative Mask
ashleyanders 1/14/2010 11:34:00 AM
Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my skin type! ** EDIT April 28/10: I am fairly certain that this mask breaks me out. Likely due to the lanolin. Even if it doesn't, it leaves a terribly greasy residue behind, so I will not be repurchasing. I will finish using it up on other areas such as under my arms and on my legs after epilating so as to not let it go to waste. ** What it Claims: "Strengthen your skin’s natural barrier with an intensive, creamy leave-on mask that softens and instantly cools." Claims - True or False? 1) Softens skin: False. My skin feels about the same after using as it does prior, and dry spots remain dry. 2) Cools skin: True, I guess. While my skin doesn't necessarily have an itchy/burning sensation like most sensitive skin can cause, I do get some redness, and I find that it helps calm my skin down slightly. Packaging: Like most of The Body Shop masks, this product comes in a tub. Which I really do not like, as it's not all that hygienic. Yes, I wash my hands before using, but that doesn't make it any better. Labeling is simple and practical, and other than the fact that it is in a tub, there are no real issues with it. Smell: I have no idea what aloe really smells like, but this mask does not seem to smell all that.. natural. I can't really identify the scent, but it is noticeable both in the tub and while it is on your skin, but it isn't too strong. Consistency: This mask is quite similar to a gel-lotion, with a slightly thicker consistency than many moisturizers. It has a white colouring and goes on slightly greasy. It is designed to be a sink-in mask, and for the most part, this does occur, but there is usually still an oily residue left behind on the face. Ease of Use: As this isn't a mask that dries, it's quite easy to use in terms of being able to do other things while leaving it on your face; drinking, eating, talking, etc. Although it says to wipe excess off, I prefer to rinse it off, otherwise an irritating layer is left behind. I find that rinsing it off though can be quite a difficult feat, as however many times I rinse, there is still some product left on my face. The tub is easy to open and close, and the mask itself spreads out on the face thinly and evenly with ease. Bang for your Buck: As masks are meant to be used 1-2 times a week, this mask can easily last a good 4-5 months or more depending on how often you use it. At $18.50 for 100ml however, it is still a pricey product. If you have very sensitive skin and if this product helps to soothe that, then I'd say it is well worth the price. Final Consensus: Overall, I'm quite underwhelmed. I was hoping that this mask would really help hydrate my skin the more I used it, would help soothe my minor irritations and would keep my skin looking and feeling nice throughout these drier months. However, it only slightly rehydrates my skin while leaving my with most of my dry patches in tact, tends to clog my pores (I just washed the mask off 10 minutes ago or so, and noticed that the blackheads on my nose and chin, and the two on my cheek seemed much more visible) and can often sting my lips and eye area. That being said, I will continue to use it on the driest parts of my face, and I will perhaps use it all over before another mask to ensure that my skin doesn't dry out too much. I would not repurchase, as it does not seem to be for my skin, nor does the line seem promising to me (had negative results with the scrub, caused irritation). Overall Rating: 3/5 Price: 3/5 Packaging Quality: 2/5 Would you buy this product again: No.
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Wild Cherry body butter
ashleyanders 1/10/2010 11:55:00 PM
Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my body skin type! What it Claims: "An intensive, creamy and fragrant all-over moisturizer enriched with tantalizing wild cherry oil. Absorbs easily into the skin to condition and soften. Leaves skin delicately fragranced with a light fresh cherry fragrance. Provides moisturization that lasts up to 24 hours." Claims - True or False? 1) Absorbs easily: True and false. It takes a long time to absorb, but once it does there is no real noticeable residue left on the skin. 2) Condition and softens: True. Works great on dry and normal skin to add hydration. 3) Lasts up to 24 hours: True. I've been applying this to my legs almost nightly, and I find that during the day I rarely feel the need to apply moisturizer. Packaging: Comes in a plastic tub with a very elegant and pretty label. The colours match up with the fragrance and is overall practical and aesthetically pleasing. Easy for travel as well. Smell: I do not know if different types of cherries have different scents, but I definitely recognize the cherry in this body butter. In the tub it's not too strong, but on the skin it does linger and can be quite strong. I find that on my skin, it does smell more artificial than I'd like, but it does not smell offensive in any way. Consistency: I would put the consistency at being an average thickness, not being too thin or too thick. It is on the thinner side, so it can be spread on larger areas without using too much product. While it is a little thin, it does remain greasy on the skin for even up to an hour, which means that I rarely apply it in the morning, but only at night. Ease of Use: As it isn't too thick or thin, it is easy to control and easy to spread out over larger areas of the body. Because of how greasy it is, it's a little hard to rub in completely unless you are okay with leaving it greasy after rubbing in for a few seconds. Tub opens and closes without issue, although might be harder to open if lotion gets onto the lid and makes it slippery. Bang for your Buck: I definitely think that this product should be priced better, but as an occasional purchase, I don't think that the price is that bad. I use it only at night on my arms, legs and stomach (as well as my shoulders and back if I can reach) and after almost 1 month of use, I'd used up about 1/3 of the product. So, I'd say that with regular use, it would last 3 months on average. At $20.00 for 200ml, I think that it's a slight rip off, but a nice indulgence either way. Final Consensus: While the scent may not be my favourite, I do love how moisturized it leaves my skin and how easy it is to use. I wish it came in a larger tub or at a cheaper price. It leaves my skin feeling fantastic, it's a nice refreshing treat before bed, and it's definitely something I will repurchase and will go into my rotation along with my other body lotions. Overall Rating: 5/5 Price: 3/5 Packaging Quality: 3/5 Would you buy this product again: Yes.
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Body Butter - Cocoa Butter
ashleyanders 1/10/2010 11:38:00 PM
Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my body skin type! What it Claims: "An intensive, creamy all-over body moisturizer. It absorbs into the skin easily, helping to condition, soften and smooth the skin. Once you get over the indulgent tropical scent, slick this on and be transported all over again." Claims - True or False? 1) Absorbs easily: True, but it can take some time to absorb as it is quite thick. 2) Soften and smooth the skin: True. It leaves my skin feeling really nice and hydrated. Packaging: Comes in a plastic tub with a very elegant and pretty label. The colours match up with the fragrance and is overall practical and aesthetically pleasing. Easy for travel as well. Smell: Unlike their body wash, this product has a very strong and long-lasting chocolate scent that can easily linger on the skin for hours. I wear this at night and after showers on areas with stretch marks, and when I wake up I can sometimes still smell it. I adore the scent though, and it does not cause any irritation or allergic reactions, so I'm a fan of the strength of the smell. Does not smell artificial, which makes it even more fun to apply! Consistency: This is a very thick and creamy body butter. Some of their butters are thinner and run when tipped over, but this one stays in place, making it a great travel-friendly choice. It applies smoothly and slightly greasy. Ease of Use: Because of how thick it is, it is very easy to control and apply to specific areas. Blends out nicely and is easy to massage into the skin, although it can take a few minutes to really get it nicely massaged in. The tub opens and closes without any issues. Bang for your Buck: Although you can easily buy the smaller tubs if you'd rather not use it very often, this product can become slightly pricey to repurchase on a regular basis. At $20.00 for 200ml, if used all over, it will definitely be used up within months, but if used only on certain areas of your body or used a few times a week/once a day, it might last longer. It's definitely worth a purchase though, but should probably be used with other products as well. I've had this product for less than a month, and I am at least 1/3 of the way through. So, I definitely think that the price should be lowered, or the contents should be raised. Final Consensus: While I adore the results and the scent of this product, I find that it definitely is far too highly priced for what you get. I am assuming that you can easily get other similar products for a cheaper price, but it's a wonderful butter to purchase as a Christmas or birthday present. I will repurchase, but will likely go to other brands to find something more affordable. Overall Rating: 5/5 Price: 3/5 Packaging Quality: 3/5 Would you buy this product again: Yes.
Skincare - Body -The Body Shop - Cocoa Butter Creamy Body Wash
ashleyanders 1/10/2010 11:11:00 PM
Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my body skin type! What it Claims: "Indulge your skin and senses in a moisture-rich, ultra-creamy body wash that creates a decadent chocolate-scented lather." Claims - True or False? 1) Moisture-Rich: True. I do not have very dry skin, so fro someone with drier skin than my own, it may not be hydrating enough. I am able to use it without moisturizing, but I do prefer applying some lotion afterward. 2) Creates a decadent lather: False. This product creates very minimal amounts of lather, but I do not mind, as I find that it works fine without the lathering. I think that some of these people below need to realize that even if the body wash doesn't lather, doesn't mean it's not CLEANSING the skin! Packaging: Much like their other body washed and some of their cleansers, this body wash comes in a squeeze bottle with a clip cap, clear plastic and a simple, elegant label. The packaging is the one thing that I truly detest from this product, as it has already broken off within the first month of having purchased it. It can also be a pain to use, but overall this doesn't bother me too much as I do enjoy the actual product. Smell: As the name of the product suggests, the body wash has a nice, light cocoa butter scent. I love that the scent does not linger, as I prefer using my body lotions/creams as a means of adding fragrance to my skin. Because it isn't strong, it will not likely offend anyone. Another bonus is that the scent does not seem artificial or sickly sweet. Consistency: The body wash comes out thick, creamy and smooth. It has a buttery yellow colouring and leaves behind a noticeable amount of hydration, but does not simply deposit a layer of slim or grease like some products can. It works great in conjuncture with other hydrating products because of this. Ease of Use: Lathering the body wash can be slightly difficult, but I generally prefer the fact that it doesn't lather. Washing off the body wash takes seconds, so it is a very simple product to use when in a hurry. As for the packaging, it can be irritating to squeeze the product out, although not as difficult as some of the other products at The Body Shop (especially when compared to their Shea Butter wash). I'd recommend switching to a pump lid, which may be purchased at other stores, or possibly at The Body Shop itself. Bang for your Buck: While this isn't the cheapest product on the market, there are often sales, and you can easily get a discount when purchasing with a Love Your Body card. At $13.00 for 250ml, I find the price to be reasonable. If used daily, I would say that this is not going to be a great deal for you, as it will easily be used up far too fast. Final Consensus: While I can easily get away with using any form of body wash, I've found that my skin benefits best from hydrating products. I got this product as a Christmas present, and since that time (about 3 weeks), I've used the body wash almost every time I shower, which is 4-6 times a week. With daily use, I can easily see this product being used up very quickly, within 3-4 months or so. Because of this, I would not recommend this product to men and women that like showering and washing their body every day. I use this solely on areas where I have stretch marks and about once a week on the majority of my body, as I'd like to make it last longer, and some parts of my body break out when cocoa butter is used. If you'd like to have a nice, hydrating body wash for an affordable price, I'd recommend looking elsewhere, but if you want to indulge in something a little more luxurious, definitely pick this up, but remember to buy a separate pump as the lid is of poor quality. Would definitely repurchase seasonally. Overall Rating: 4/5 Price: 3/5 Packaging Quality: 2/5 Would you buy this product again: Yes.
Lip Gloss -Philosophy - Coconut Frosting lip shine
ashleyanders 1/3/2010 6:07:00 PM
What it Claims: "Philosophy Coconut Frosting Lip Shine lets you spoil your senses with its ultra-rich, ultra-sweet coconut frosting-flavored formula. This Lip Shine is mega-moisturizing and provides a smooth, sheer shine. The super-sweet scent of coconut frosting smells so scrumptious, you'll want to frost your lips all day long." Claims - True or False? 1) Ultra-sweet flavour: True. Thankfully, it is not sickly sweet (to others it may), so it's a nice treat. 2) Mega moisturizing: False. While my lips don't dry out or feel dry when wearing, they do not feel any more hydrated once removed. Works best with balms. 3) Sheer shine: True. It does slightly lighten my lips, which I do enjoy, and works well combined with other glosses to lighten them up. Packaging: Simple, aesthetically pleasing and provides all of the ingredients. Comes in a clear plastic tube that is easily squeezed, has some cute directions and is overall a good design. Smell: While I loathe coconuts, I really do adore the scent of this gloss. I believe that this is probably one of my best smelling glosses that I own. I can't say how true the scent is, but it is quite pleasant. For those that dislike sweet scents, you will definitely hate this. The biggest plus, the flavour not only smells good but TASTES good! While I don't make a habit of licking my lips while wearing gloss, there are times when it happens and I do not regret it. Consistency: A little too sticky for my tastes, but nothing unbearable. I'd say that it's quite a thicker formula, fairly sticky, and can last a fair amount of time. There are fine glitter particles that are appropriate enough for many age groups without looking tacky, and the glitter itself shows only a hint of shimmer on the lips. Because it is sticky, it should not be worn outside as hair will easily get stuck to lips. Ease of Use: Tube squeezes easily and thus can be well controlled if you only want a small amount, lid comes off with ease and the smooth application tip allows for smooth application. Removal is slightly tricky, but can still be managed with some effort. Overall, about as easy to apply as any other lip gloss. Bang for your Buck: In my opinion, this is a steal. Because I rarely wear the same lip gloss every day (or even the same gloss in the same day for that matter), this gloss has lasted me well over a year with only a small dent in the product. With regular use, it will easily last at least 6 months, so at under 20 dollars it's a good product for a fair price. I paid around $16.00CAD for the gloss at Sephora. Also, because it is white, it can easily be used for various outfits, types of events and paired with other glosses, so it gets many uses! Final Consensus: Although not my go-to gloss, this is definitely one that when applied I enjoy reapplying throughout the day. Nice smell and taste, sheer colour and glitter, and can be used for many different looks. Definitely a gloss that gets ignored by myself far too often, and will be included in my purse daily. Definitely worth a try, and a great gift option for someone that may not enjoy anything too colourful on the lips. Overall Rating: 4/5 Price: 2/5 Packaging Quality: 4/5 Would you buy this product again: Yes.
Polishes -Sephora - Sephora by OPI - Under My Trench Coat
ashleyanders 12/29/2009 5:27:00 PM
** Edit June 24th/2010: Upping the rating back up to a 5. Just purchased a base/top coat, and used it alongside this polish. I've had it on for 3-4 days now, and other than minor tip wear on my right hand (either due to not having let the coats dry as long before applying the top coat as with my left hand, or that I am right-handed and thus use my right hand more often), the polish still looks freshly applied and hasn't chipped in any way. Prior to using a base/top coat, the polish would have worn away much sooner. Application was also SO much smoother with the base/top coat. So, definitely recommending, as long as you have a good base and top coat! What it Claims: "Sephora by OPI Nail Colour, a line of 54+ trend-setting shades, puts the final touch on fingertips and toes with a top-quality formula you have come to expect from OPI. The long-lasting, chip-resistant polish ensures flawless results with each application, and its green ingredient list excludes DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde." Claims - True or False? 1) Long-Lasting: True. It doesn't seem to flake off, peel or chip as long as a good base and top coat is used. 2) Chip-resistant: True. Again, this is only true when used with a base and top coat. 3) Flawless results with each application: True and false. It depends on how much polish is on the brush for each coat - after applying a base coat, I apply a thin layer, let it dry and then apply two more thick layers before putting on the top coat. With this method, it applied smoothly and evenly. Packaging: As the packaging is quite similar to the original OPIs, I will simply compare. The caps are a smooth, matte black with a slight grit for grip. The Sephora by OPI caps are rounded off unlike the original OPIs, and I find that this roundness makes for a more comfortable gripping. The shapes of the bottles are more or less the same, but the Sephora by OPI bottles are more rounded. The smoothness of the shape is similar to that of China Glaze polishes. The Sephora by OPI brushes are much smaller than the originals, which I find offers better control and less streaking. With the original OPI pro-wide brush, I always end up with streaks, and with the creams it's almost impossible to apply. Aesthetically, I find that it looks better, especially with the typography, and functionally, I prefer the Sephora by OPI bottles to the originals. Consistency: Like most polishes with fine shimmer, this polish is fairly smooth and creamy when applying. The polish is on the thin side, with an understated shimmer. In one coat, it goes on semi-opaque, and with a second coat it goes on completely opaque. You can easily leave it at two coats, but I prefer adding a third coat to really make the colour true. Overall, the difference in colour from two to three coats is almost non-existent, and in two coats it is true to the colour shown in the bottle. Unlike the original OPIs, I find that this polish dries quite fast; within two minutes, it is at least halfway dried on the nails, and a second coat can be applied within five minutes without fear of smudging the first layer. Of course, second and third layers will take longer to dry. Ease of Use: I find this polish to be pretty easy to use, but there are some instances where it does not apply evenly, meaning it must be removed and reapplied. I think that it does take some practice to really get the hang of it, but after a few tries, I got a fairly even and opaque application. The thin brush makes for a more comfortable application, and generally means less going on my fingers. The lid can be difficult to open if closed too tightly, but otherwise it's no issue. Because the shimmer is so fine, removal does not require a lot of work, and it can easily be completely removed from all fingers in a few minutes. Bang for your Buck: At $9.00USD for 15mL, I find that the price is quite a bargain when compared to other non-drug store brands. I paid around $12.00CAD for the polish, which is a few dollars more expensive than the original OPIS. However, I find that because the Sephora by OPI formula is thinner, less would be used up. I also prefer the formula of the Sephora line to the originals, so paying a few extra bucks really doesn't bother me. If there is a colour that you really want to try out, I'd say that it's a good price for a good quality polish. Try them out on clean nails in a Sephora location though, as not all of them will apply the same. Final Consensus: While I normally love bright colours, as I've gotten older I've started to be more attracted to darker and more neutral nail colours. While this colour is definitely a nice neutral, it is not a simple boring taupe. The website describes it as a "light grey khaki with gold shimmer", and I find that this description is quite accurate. In some lighting, it looks much more green, and in others it looks quite brown. On my fair and warm skin, it looks very nice against my skin tone - although I'm not very picky, I'll gladly wear a shade that I love even if it isn't as well-suited for my skin tone as others. Would definitely repurchase. Rated 5 out of 5 for being affordable, a gorgeous shade that I've been unable to find a dupe for, being easy to work with when used alongside a base and top coat, and having few application and wear issues. Overall Rating: 5/5 Price: 2/5 Packaging Quality: 3/5 Would you buy this product again: Yes.
Polishes -Sephora - OPI - Absinthe Makes The Heart
ashleyanders 12/29/2009 5:26:00 PM
What it Claims: "Sephora by OPI Nail Colour, a line of 54+ trend-setting shades, puts the final touch on fingertips and toes with a top-quality formula you have come to expect from OPI. The long-lasting, chip-resistant polish ensures flawless results with each application, and its green ingredient list excludes DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde." Claims - True or False? 1) Long-lasting: False. It does start to wear away after a few days, but I believe that it depends on how the nails were treated and what was applied before/after the polish. 2) Chip-resistant: True. I find that what is worn under and/or over the polish really determines how long it will last before chipping. When worn over my Sephora by OPI Nail Hydrator, it would chip that same day. When worn on bare nails, the tips only started to wear away after 3 days or so. 3) Flawless results with each application: True. I found this polish to be very easy to apply and I got gorgeous results. Packaging: As the packaging is quite similar to the original OPIs, I will simply compare. The caps are a smooth, matte black with a slight grit for grip. The Sephora by OPI caps are rounded off unlike the original OPIs, and I find that this roundness makes for a more comfortable gripping. The shapes of the bottles are more or less the same, but the Sephora by OPI bottles are more rounded. The smoothness of the shape is similar to that of China Glaze polishes. The Sephora by OPI brushes are much smaller than the originals, which I find offers better control and less streaking. With the original OPI pro-wide brush, I always end up with streaks, and with the creams it's almost impossible to apply. Aesthetically, I find that it looks better, especially with the typography, and functionally, I prefer the Sephora by OPI bottles to the originals. Consistency: This polish has fine yet prominent shimmer, and the formula is quite thin. It applies with sheer coats, and is easily buildable. In one coat it goes on quite sheer, and with three coats I found it to be perfect. Two coats can easily work, but I found that adding the third coat helped to darken the polish even more. Because this formula is thin, three coats did not cause any issues, it dried fast and it was not soft. Within a few minutes of application, a new coat can be applied. I found that I could apply the polish to one hand, apply it to the second and by the time I was done, I could apply a new coat to the first hand. Ease of Use: After applying this polish to a few of my nails, I found that the application was one of the easiest of all my polishes. The formula is thin, smooth and goes on evenly without having to worry. Applying second and third coats is a breeze and there is no need to worry about it causing the polish to go soft. Because the brush is quite thin, application is more controlled and I had much less product surrounding the nails on my fingers. Like the original OPIs with shimmer, this polish is quite hard to remove. I found that it took around 10 minutes to remove the polish, and quite a few tissues. Bang for your Buck: At $9.00USD for 15mL, I find that the price is quite a bargain when compared to other non-drug store brands. I paid around $12.00CAD for the polish, which is a few dollars more expensive than the original OPIS. However, I find that because the Sephora by OPI formula is thinner, less would be used up. I also prefer the formula of the Sephora line to the originals, so paying a few extra bucks really doesn't bother me. If there is a colour that you really want to try out, I'd say that it's a good price for a good quality polish. Try them out on clean nails in a Sephora location though, as not all of them will apply the same. Final Consensus: I adore dark eyeshadow, but the idea of using a dark polish on my nails has never really attracted me. And the thought of using something like black was completely daunting. I find that this is a nice compromise; it has the darkness of a black polish but with hints of other colours mixed with it. While I adore that it is not a straight-up black, I do wish that the green was more toned down, as I find that it can be slightly overpowering. Even so, I find that this is now my favourite polish, and looks gorgeous. The Sephora website describes it as a "smoky dark gray with green and iridescent glitter", but I would probably change that to say "a smokey charcoal combined with forest green, with bright green, purple and iridescent shimmer". If greens aren't your thing, then I'd advise that you choose a different colour, but if you like greens or would like to find a polish that includes some green to it, this is definitely worth checking out. Great colour, easy application and good quality. Overall Rating: 5/5 Price: 2/5 Packaging Quality: 3/5 Would you buy this product again: Yes.
Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my facial skin type! What it Claims: "Reveal softer, more refined skin with a gentle, creamy exfoliator that removes make-up and impurities from your sensitive skin. * Preservative-, fragrance- and dye-free aloe vera of the highest quality hydrates and calms sensitive skin. * Natural jojoba beads, which are round is in shape, glide smoothly against skin’s surface to gently exfoliate even the most delicate skin. * Dermatologist approved and clinically proven as suitable for sensitive skin." Claims - True or False? 1) Hydrates and calms skin: False. My skin remained the same as before using, and did not feel any more hydrated or calmed down. 2) Gently efxoliate: False, for my skin anyway. Reminded me of the Biore SkinPreservation scrub; I believe that the finer scrubs are simply too harsh for my skin. Packaging: This scrub has a very no-frills design. It comes in a calming green/grey colour, simple label sticker and includes ingredients and directions for use. Comes in a flip-top cap, meaning it can easily be stored in the shower without worry. It's very soft and feels comfortable in the hands. Smell: As stated above, it is fragrance free. I really did not notice any smell of any kind, which means it will likely be great for those sensitive to fragrance. Consistency: The scrubbing pieces are very small, fine and grainy. They are white in colour and blend in with the cream. On less sensitive areas of my body, it does feel quite gentle and smooth, but on my face it feels much more rough and irritating. The cream is very lightweight and has a white colouring, and spreads out on the skin quite nicely. Does not seem to be watery or thin, which will work great in the shower. Ease of Use: I find that it works nicely when worked through the fingertips and then applied over the separate areas of the face. It is quite light and smooth, making it easy to spread over the different areas of the face. I find that it rinses off quite quickly and easily, and I've never had issues with it sticking on my face. Bang for your Buck: At a price tag of near $15.00 for 75mL, it may feel somewhat steep, but when used once or twice a week, it may easily last a few months. In my opinion, it is reasonably priced when compared to some of their other products, but if you enjoy using your scrubs more often, it may not be the best deal for you. Final Consensus: I was definitely hoping that this would be my new go-to scrub. It seemed like a great candidate. However, I found it to be quite irritating. Perhaps it was an ingredient that caused the issue or the scrub itself being rough and not smooth, but the two times I used it, it seemed to almost burn my skin while using. While it did make my skin feel somewhat nice after use, it did not remove any flaking nor did it seem to help keep my skin hydrated. I did not notice any difference in my blackheads either. So, overall, I will not be purchasing. May have also broken me out, but chances are it was the aloe mask. I'd recommend getting a sample first, as you can clearly see that although it is designed for sensitive skin, it is no guarantee that it will be sensitive enough for you. Overall Rating: 2.5/5 Price: 2/5 Packaging Quality: 4/5 Would you buy this product again: No.
** This review is for the LUX Sheer glosses. ** What it Claims: "Easy to wear, Lux Gloss Sheer gives your lips that delicious wet look shine while also revitalizing them. Each shade provides the sheerest of coverage and the most brilliant shimmering iridescence. Exceptionally comfortable, Lux Gloss is infused with a unique Vita-Lip complex, a combination of lipopeptid-based amino acids proven to stimulate collagen production and provide optimum hydration. Your lips are fuller, smoother and plump. Hypo-allergenic and perfume free." Claims - True or False? 1) Sheer coverage: False. I'd say that it's more of a medium coverage, but could be toned town if some is removed from the brush before applying. 2) Hydrating: False 3) Fuller lips: False, however the glossiness can in fact make them LOOK fuller. Packaging: The one thing I truly hate about this gloss. It comes with a twist off brush applicator, and while the brush itself makes application more precise and soft, it means that getting out every last bit of product is impossible. The brush does not reach down all the way to the bottom, so there is almost no way of getting to the very bottom of the tube. Has a clear packaging, which makes it easy to see what colour you are picking out, but does not have much use in terms of allowing you to see how much is left. Does look quite cheap as well. Smell: While there isn't a fragrance to it, there is a slight odor to the gloss. Not unpleasant, but has a slight... "product" smell. However, this should be noted as a positive; some are quite sensitive to certain scents and fragrances, and some have a very strong sense of smell, so eliminating fragrance means that it is suited well for those that are picky or have allergies. Consistency: This gloss has a very high shine finish, along with some shimmer. The shimmer itself is quite fine, so you will not be stuck with pieces of glitter all over your lips, reminiscent of childhood products. The gloss is quite thick; applied on your hand, do not expect it to roll or drip down. When applied to the lips, it adheres well to the lips (when applied to the back of my hand and spread out with my finger, I could feel it sticking to my hand while spreading it out) without leaving you with a sticky finish. Because it is on the thicker side, the colour can appear more opaque than what you'd expect. Ease of Use: Simply pull out the brush and apply to the lips. Applies to the lips without any issue, but if you find that it applies too much at once, either wipe it off before applying or scrape it off into the gloss opening. One major gripe: Because the brush does not extend all the way to the bottom of the gloss, unless you get resourceful (q-tips anyone?), you will easily be wasting the bottom portion of the gloss. Although it does have some grip when applied, it is easily blended into the lips without causing them to feel sticky. As it isn't sticky, it is easily removed with a tissue without leaving any tissue particles stuck to the lips. Great for those wanting a quick change in gloss throughout the day. Bang for your Buck: For a drug store brand, it is a little steeper. However, these glosses can easily last you quite a while with regular use, so for me, it's quite a cheap price. That being said though, my price limit for gloss is quite high (30 dollars) simply because I wear so many different glosses, which means they generally last quite a while. At 0.18oz (or 5.5mL) for a price tag of around $10.00, I personally find it to be quite reasonably priced. If you are not one to purchase many glosses, and like to keep the number minimal (5 or less), these may not be as reasonably priced for you; compared to two other drug store glosses, the Marcelle glosses only contain about half the product of the other brands. Final Consensus: I've been a lip product junkie since childhood. So naturally, I am always on the lookout for a nice gloss to add to my collection. I've been using two Marcelle LUX Sheer glosses (Nectar, Mousseline) for a few years, and overall I am happy with my purchase. The colours offer sheer to moderate coverage, a nice shimmery finish, no stickiness, not watery, lasts a decent amount of time on the lips and feels nice on the lips. Like some, I dislike the packaging (I much prefer squeeze tubes) but it does not impact how the product works. Some have complained that there is no fragrance or taste; the role of a lip gloss is NOT to make your lips smell and taste good, it's to add colour, gloss, shine to the lips. I personally don't mind the fact that it is fragrance-free, as I generally don't spend my time licking off my lip gloss or smelling my lips. While not a perfect gloss by any means when compared to my HG glosses, it is a nice addition to my collection and I will purchase other colours one of these days. Overall Rating: 4/5 Price: 2/5 Packaging Quality: 3/5 Would you buy this product again: Yes.
Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my facial skin type! What it Claims: "Acne cream that conceals! Drying Cream is an effective treatment to dry up small under the surface bumps and pimples. Just a few dabs smoothed on the erupted areas prevent pimples from getting larger and spreading out of control. Aloe rich cream conceals and heals erupted pimples. " Claims - True or False? 1) Conceals: False. While it can help reduce the amount of redness that is visible, it in no way doubles as a concealer. 2) Dries up bumps: True, but not completely. It doesn't seem to be effective in the same way on every under the surface bump, especially when the bump is on the larger side. 3) Heals: False. I didn't really see any healing of the area. Packaging: While I've only used the sample, the full size comes in a tub. In my opinion, it would be best if it were sold in a tube, as the tub is quite unsanitary. However, you can easily just use a q-tip or a toothpick to remove the product, so it's not the biggest deal. Otherwise, just wash your hands with soap before using. Comes in a white tub with a simple design and label. Smell: Although I do not recognize the scent, I'll take a wild guess and say that the product smells like sulfur. It is noticeable, and I find that after I've used it, I can slightly smell it on my face. However, it isn't too strong and I don't find it overly off-putting. Consistency: *EDIT: I have two samples. The older one, which I received a month or so earlier, was slightly hard. The 2nd one was very creamy. I continued using the first, but it became too hard to use. I've used the newer sample, and I believe that the first one I got was either old or poorly packaged, as the newer one blends out with ease and is more whipped than thick.* Has a slight paste consistency that is on the tacky side. Does take a bit of effort to really blend it out, but it can be done. It comes in a tan colour, opaque and semi-thick. Will not work well on dark skin tones if used during the day. Ease of Use: I think that it does take some time to really get a hang of how to use it. I personally find that the best way to get it applied is by taking a TINY dot, placing it on the blemish and patting it in, much like you would with concealer. If worn at night, blending it really isn't optional. But it worn during the day, you will need to take caution as this will be visible on your skin if you are quite tanned. It isn't too obvious on my skin tone, but it is visible when used on areas where there are fine hairs, such as around my cheeks and hair line. I found it to be quite easy to work with overall, despite it having a tacky texture. Bang for your Buck: Although pricey, I can easily see this lasting for quite some time. However, I can also see it going bad or drying out before having used it all up. And while it wouldn't be a huge loss to repurchase, I do not like the idea of wasting the product or repurchasing when there clearly is product left. At $18.00 for 0.5oz, it sits at a middle ground when compared to other brands, both drug store and high end, so if you feel comfortable spending the cash or you have moderate to severe acne, I'd say it's a decent deal. Final Consensus: *EDIT: Once I started using the creamier sample, I did notice that it seemed more effective. Again, it isn't a miracle product, but unlike the traditional acne fighting products I've used, it doesn't leave my skin feeling overly dry or irritated. It really does help reduce the size of under-the-skin blemishes, or any blemish that has yet to rise to a head. I will use up my sample, but I will not purchase. I'd prefer using something that will not harden and go bad faster than other OTC products, because my acne is mild. I love using calamine lotion on whiteheads or blemishes with a head, as it seems to dry them out fast.* Overall, I'm really quite unimpressed. Yes, it did seem to alleviate a few of my stubborn spots, but not quite as well as I'd like. Because it really is only meant for blemishes that are under the skin (although I found it to be slightly effective on spots with a head), I really can't see how useful this would be in my skin care regime as I experience other types of acne as well. As my skin only suffers from mild acne, I can easily see a full-sized tub either drying out or going bad before being used up, and as it isn't as effective as I'd hoped, I will not be purchasing once I run out of my sample. There is a chance that it also causes me to break out slightly; I applied it over my eyebrow as I had a spot forming there and one above, and the one above seems to have gotten larger, not smaller. If this were effective on various forms of acne and clogged pores, was widely available here in Canada (there are only 2 salons far from my house carrying the line) and came in different sizes, I'd consider purchasing. Overall Rating: 4/5 Price: 3/5 Packaging Quality: 2/5 Would you buy this product again: No.