Would I buy this product again? Hell to the yes. This is a mainstay in my life. I have a travel-size tub at work, in my travel bag, on my dresser. And if any of these go astray I shamelessly steal my mother's.
Sing the following to Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me", stretching syllables as necessary:
Chapped lips? Vaseline. Rough elbows? Vaseline. Cracked heels? Vaseline.
Also, not that I'm influenced by bloggers/magazine editors (I TOTALLY AM), I just read this:
"When I was in my twenties I had disposable income. I went to a dermatologist and asked her what fancy pants eye cream I should use so I could maintain my twenty-something skin elasticity. She told me on the down-low that Vaseline was a great choice, around the eyes, at night. She also told me that some people couldn’t tolerate it, but that if it didn’t bug my eyes, that’s her top recommendation."
So, if some strange woman on the Internet tells me to put Vaseline around my eyes, I totally will!
Hair Styling Tools -The Body Shop - wood wide-tooth detangling comb
kolwink 9/27/2012 8:39:00 PM
I was worried about hair loss, so I started reading up on anything that seemed tangentially pertinent. How about hair care tools? A couple sites recommended using wooden combs instead of plastic, and wide-tooth instead of narrow.
So, then, this wooden wide-tooth fit the bill pretty well! I've always liked The Body Shop's company narrative, so it was a bonus making this purchase from them. I now have a comb in my purse, on my dresser, and at my parents' house as well ... so I'll always be covered.
Gently using this comb feels like a scalp massage. The teeth are slightly rounded, and it feels a million times better than the cheap plastic combs I used to use, which could sometimes have rather sharp teeth.
On the whole, I think I have less hair breakage now, definitely due to switching to a wide-tooth comb. And I'd also agree with an article I found on the livestrong.com site, which says "Wood and horn combs help to spread natural oils found at the base of your scalp throughout your hair, thus providing a nice lubricating coat of natural oils that your scalp produces for protection."
Simple, well-made product (I know, it's a comb, how complicated can it be?) but I'm really a fan of the wood wide-tooth.
Polishes -Essie - Turquoise & Caicos (Resort 2010)
kolwink 9/27/2012 8:13:00 PM
For over a decade, I owned exactly 2 nail polishes- a clear and a deep red. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to expand my collection. So I started researching and obsessing.
I went to Target and tested about 10 different colors (conveniently, I have 10 fingers). The hurried application of Turquoise & Caicos on my pinky (the nail of which is abnormally small, like seriously, newborn baby size) was captivating. I kept staring at said tiny pinky while driving home. It was a little dangerous. The greeny-blue sheen was so magical, so alluring, so evocative of warm ocean currents, that I decided to go ahead and buy it.
However, despite reading many nail blogs and their warnings, I was not able to deal with Essie's thin, runny formula. The original look I'd managed to apply was a very thin layer. I couldn't replicate that, not evenly. I didn't like the look of the opaque color on my hands, convincing myself that it looked too startling and 'out there.' (I'm a fuddy duddy conservative when it comes to color, unfortunately.)
Since the polish dried so quickly, I couldn't figure out how to fix my application. Streaks, drips, too-thick layers ... all drying too fast.
After wrestling with this polish for a couple of weeks, I finally returned it. And bought another Essie ... which I have been dying to review. Coming soon, to a MUA near you.
Anyway, this is a pretty color, but I guess I would have liked it to be a little shimmery. Also, I can't handle the too-thin formula. However, tons of other people can, and make it look good.
Wow, I can pinpoint exactly when I bought this: right before high school prom. So ... April 2000. And it's still the only lipstick I own.
Since prom was coming up, I figure I should buy my first-ever cosmetics. I remember going to the MAC counter at the San Francisco Macy's, and a flamboyant man completely befuddled me (and was in turn befuddled). I don't think he'd ever met anyone so anti-makeup before.
Anyway, no matter what colors he painted my lips, I still thought I looked like a clown. I have full lips, and to this day I can't shake the thought that ALL lipstick makes me look ridiculous. I don't know what color looks good on me, frankly.
I remember that the MAC dude, finally desperate, steered me towards this "Sheer Plum" option. "Look, it's as if you're hardly wearing anything at all!" But ... you can totally tell that it's not my natural lip color. It's a little bit pinkishly plum, if I may coin words freely. And it is a little sticky. The husband has said that he is not a fan. So ... I would not repurchase. Instead, I will probably take another 5-10 years on an obsessive search for the perfect, natural, organic lip product that doesn't seem as if I'm wearing anything at all.
But, on the plus side, this lipstick always makes me think of cookies, candy, or just good old plain sugar, whenever I smell it. So that's nice.
Lotions/ Creams -Bath and Body Works - Aromatherapy lotion in Orange Ginger
kolwink 9/27/2012 7:53:00 PM
The Marriott in Times Square used to stock their bathrooms with this product (as of January 2011- more than 18 months ago). I like citrus (Elizabeth Arden Green Tea, Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Cleanser) so this was right up my alley. My makeupalley. HA!
New York in January was cold and slushy. I was in town for a business trip, working long hours at a consulting firm. Coming back to the Marriott, to my own private cocoon, and luxuriating in the posh bathroom with this warm, light, heavenly-smelling lotion, was very relaxing.
Google is not helping me out with the ingredient list, though. I've become more watchful recently, vetting products against the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetics database (which is still a work in progress), or just trying to figure out how many dubious molecules are in the formula. Given the scarcity of information out there for this product, I would shy away from buying it.
But I would totally nab it from hotel bathrooms.
EDIT: This review is actually for Jane's Eye Zing in "In A Jam" shade. Sorry for the mixup! However, since there are no existing reviews for In A Jam, and I can't even find a picture on Google Images, I'll just keep this review under the "Plum Perfect" section, because I think the colors are similar.
Haha. Ok, full disclosure. I'm trying to write 20 reviews, so I can review an as-yet-unreviewed product and soothe my pent-up soul. (That's why I've written 10 product reviews in one day- making up time for the 7 years I've been on this site with exactly zero contributions.) Now, casting around in my limited beauty box, I remembered this product.
Oh, Jane. For many years - from the age of, like, 13 to 28 - this little pot of eye shadow was the ONLY one I owned. Yes, seriously. I had the one eye shadow, in plum, which I probably bought because some magazine said that girls with brown skin should wear plum-family shades. However, I did not - until this year - have primer, so the color would never last. Or it would migrate to my eyebrow, and that would just look odd. So I rarely used it- once a year, I'd get ambitious, smear some Vaseline on my lids, and then try to pat on some Jane shadow with a Q-tip.
Can you say "total novice"? That period only lasted, like, 15 years.
Anyway, I now own primer, and a variety (3!) of brushes which supposedly are all eye shadow specific. Re-energized, I am now taking another whack at the Jane eye zing. It is such a pretty matte plum color ... it makes my eyes look smoky and mysterious and dramatic. Thanks to MAC primer, the eye shadow stays put. I'm so glad that I'm finally learning to use this product to the best of its potential. (Also, yes, I'm like 7 years late with this review ... most of you other folks wrote back in 2004-5!)
Wait, do they even make this any more?
I grew up with a mother who had one lipstick (usually misplaced), and who has phenomenal skin, considering she is 62 years old and uses only Nivea face cream and Vaseline on her lips. What I'm trying to say is, I had no guide when it came to makeup. (But, on the other hand, a living role model for the physical benefits of daily meditation and 2-liters of water.)
Anyway, as befitting any good sheep, I studied my friends' makeup bags and magazine 'Best' lists. I wear mascara like once every three months, so it took me years to get through a tube. Or maybe I read somewhere that the buildup of bacteria was kind of gross, so I finally decided to toss my Covergirl.
Then I read somewhere else that Lancôme and L'Oreal are, like, practically the same company. For real! And that there was no difference, practically speaking, in their mascara formula! I totally believed the 'unnamed makeup artist' who, upon being interviewed, swore that it was the backstage secret. My reaction: SOLD.
Upon trying to find that old interview now (turns out googling "L'Oreal mascara Lancôme makeup artist" is not as helpful as I thought), I came across a 2004 makeup message board which says the same thing. So there.
Anyway, actual product review alert: I use 1-2 coats of this mascara, with a fairly light hand. After each coat, I ... ok, this is kind of embarrassing. But many years ago- wow, probably over 15 years ago- I persuaded my mom to buy me some kind of "eyelash growth serum" from, like, a Skymall catalog. As far as I can tell, it did squat for my lashes. But I still kept the bottle, now filled with water. So after each coat of mascara, I then try to comb off the clumps, using my old lash serum brush. It does give me a cleaner look, but I've also never ever told anyone this before, because it sounds kind of daft.
Since I do not wear this mascara on a daily basis, I don't want to vouch for its lasting power. Still, I will say that it seems to hold up quite well. As far as I can tell, even after all day/night wear, I don't end up with mascara-induced raccoon eyes. I don't get the insane HAI GUYZ LOOKIT LASHES effect, but then again, that's not what I'm going for. I would prefer the "like my lashes, but better" effect, and that's what this product gives me.
For many years, I didn't know what makeup to use, so I didn't use any. All the trouble of finding something that would be good for my skin, make my face look good, the right colors ... I had no idea of how to start, so I took exactly no action.
Then I was bridesmaid for my friend's wedding. Two of the other bridesmaids used their Bare Minerals kits on me. I liked what I saw, and I liked what I read ... the idea of loose mineral powder, instead of heavy caked-on foundation, was immensely appealing.
So I toddled off to the Bare Minerals store and got that 3-piece kit. 18 months later, it is still the only makeup I own. I guess this review is for the Mineral Veil component.
I religiously follow the steps the salesgirl showed me. No inclination or aptitude for experimentation, sadly; plus I cannot ever shake the fear that I'm doing things the 'wrong' way. So: first the foundation, then the 'Warmth All-Over Face Color', and lastly, the 'Mineral Veil.'
The powder feels light and airy on my skin. It seems to brighten my face, and make me look a little less 'made up.' I always finish up with Mineral Veil, and have never had problems with the underlying layers (i.e. foundation or blush) rubbing off. I dunno, I guess it makes the mineral layers feel smoother, less rough. I've never had any adverse reaction. I like, I'm a fan. Two amateur thumbs up!
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Wild Rose Hand Cream SPF 15
kolwink 9/27/2012 6:44:00 PM
Hindu-Bengali wedding tradition is that groom's family gives bride gifts of clothing and cosmetics. Luckily, my mother-in-law is pretty damn cool, so she was all, "Look, buy what you want, buy stuff you will use, hopefully not drugstore stuff, and I'll pay you back." Combined with a Groupon, and my value-seeking self was set!
I wrote elsewhere (in a review of The Body Shop's Almond Body Butter) that I've been washing a lot more dishes lately (see: recent marriage, messy husband, who happens to be a phenomenal cook). Since I'm lazy about wearing gloves, I decided to try out a variety of hand creams and lotions.
This hand cream has a lovely smell. Really nice. A little product goes a long way, but the tube design (complete with tiny cap) means that there is usually a little spillage before I can close the thing off again. Nooo!
I don't know if I would re-purchase this; probably not. $20 for hand cream (3.3 oz) is kind of more than I want to pay. Also, I had assumed- I gave The Body Shop the benefit of the doubt- that their ingredient list would be pretty straightforward and easy to decipher. It's not (see above).
Maybe I should just moisturize with Vaseline or straight-up almond oil or something. Jeez. Maybe that would make my Luddite-self happy.
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Almond Body Butter
kolwink 9/27/2012 6:35:00 PM
Darn! I just looked up the ingredient list in order to write this review. And it has parabens. Granted, I didn't do very well in o-chem, and I don't know exactly why parabens are now kind of controversial. Still, I have a family history of ovarian cancer, and although our exposure to a variety of technically-carcinogenic compounds is so high/ubiquitous these days, I think I'll probably NOT buy this again.
DARN. Because I really like it.
Thanks to a Groupon, I got a 2-for-1 deal; otherwise, I probably would have balked at making a Body Shop item part of my regular personal care regimen.
Lately, I've been weaning myself off Elizabeth Arden Green Tea- scented body lotion, and casting about for a replacement. I settled on almond, after conducting a long sniff-test on all the body butters at the local Body Shop.
I like this product because a little goes a long way, and the sweet almond scent stays for hours. It gives me a luxurious feeling as I massage it into my hands.
See, I recently married, and have found to my dismay that my new husband has lower standards of cleanliness than I do. So, while I try out different cajoling/nagging techniques, in the short-term I find myself doing much more cleaning than I'm used to- particularly in the kitchen. And I rarely bother with wearing gloves. So, yeah, I know I'm kind of damaging my hands.
But: I have this jar of almond body butter! Until it finishes, and then I have to look for something else, paraben-free.
Lotions/ Creams -Elizabeth Arden - Green Tea Refreshing Body Lotion
kolwink 9/27/2012 6:26:00 PM
As I said in my review of the EA Green Tea perfume spray, *this* was the product that got me hooked on Green Tea. My college roommate had the body lotion, and I LOVED it. The fragrance was so fresh, so uplifting, so tangy.
I shamelessly copied said roommate and added the perfume and the lotion into my own beauty arsenal.
Twelve years later, it's time to take stock:
- the lotion seems more, I dunno, lightweight than I remember - sometimes it feels slightly sticky, lingering after the first application - the usual woe, that the fragrance disappears quickly - a stubborn clumpy bit that dangles from the pump - new-found determination to buy personal care items with a shorter, easier-to-decipher ingredient list ... possibly fragrance free - dubious as to how "good for me" this product is
So, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Refreshing Body Lotion, I feel the time has come for us to part. I do enjoy your scent, but that is fleeting. So is my nostalgia for my college days. Thanks to Facebook, I know my roommate finished dental school, and I guess I don't need any olfactory reminders of the days when she was a geeky little computer engineering student. She had the boys flocking round- whether due to Green Tea, or the fact that she was one of the rare females in that department, I don't know.
I *would* buy this product again, and *have* done so on several occasions.
Last year I decided to take a look at my daily-use products, particularly shampoo, conditioner, and facial scrubs. I tried to read ingredient lists carefully, studying them with all my fading recollections of organic chemistry. Did they contain alcohol? What were the first few ingredients? Did they contain fragrance? Were there way too many molecules whose character or purpose I couldn't even take a wild guess on?
I was conducting this test at Target, by the way. In the past year or so, Target has really stepped up their so-called 'organic' / 'natural' selection of cosmetics/hygiene products. Still, I didn't want to become hooked on something that would run into the double digits.
Burt's Bees seemed to fit the picture. I know they're owned by Clorox now, but I still liked the little I knew of their 'earth friendly' company narrative.
The ingredient list was low on "what the heck is THAT" and heavy on oils (see ingredients listed above).
I use about a dime-size amount in the shower; I like the rough feeling of the scrub on my face, and my skin feels smoother after I rinse it off. It hasn't prevented the random pimples (those seem most affected by diet, exercise, and water intake), nor has it reduced acne scars. All the same, I do like this product. The citrusy smell- and, I guess, the "sweet almond" and "oat flour" components always remind me of the holidays. My silly association is "I'm putting gingerbread on my face!" Plus, it's paraben-free.
The small glass jar is cute, I suppose, but I wish I got more than 2 oz for $8. Also, I'm perennially nervous about dropping the glass jar in the shower.
Lip Treatments -Smith's Rosebud Salve - Smith's Rosebud Salve
kolwink 9/27/2012 5:26:00 PM
I think I got this as a gift. I keep it in my purse in an outer pocket; it is my "crap! Where's my chapstick? ARGH this purse has so much junk in it! Never mind, at least I know where that round tin is!" option.
I like the faint, subtle scent. Doesn't seem very rose-like to me; however, I guess the "white petrolatum" smell makes me think nostalgically of my grandmother. (Odd association, I know.)
I like the small, simple, round, vintage-y tin. Never had any problems opening the tin. One time, I left my bag on the radiator, and although the salve temporarily liquefied, the tin held sturdy and didn't leak.
I like the fact that this simple, straightforward product keeps my lips soft- yet not sticky. A worthy companion to my reliable Vaseline and Chapstick.
Lip Gloss -E.L.F. - Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Maple Sugar
kolwink 9/27/2012 5:19:00 PM
I'm strictly a Vaseline-or-Chapstick girl. Still, when a former roommate started telling me about E.L.F., I loosened the purse strings. Actually I thought she was joking: "what kind of crap goes into cosmetics that sell for $1?!"
Still, it WAS $1, and I didn't have to go through the agony of figuring out which one "my" shade was: I just bought the same one she used. Bingo.
That is seriously my biggest fear- ok, when it comes to any beauty purchase- and the one that paralyzes me and prevents me from actually making said purchase. The fear of not knowing which color will suit me best, and the reluctance to buy MORE THAN ONE and experiment.
Anyway, I am now the proud owner of two Maple Sugars. My mother-in-law is not a fan, because apparently it does not look like I am wearing anything. So I guess this is "like my lips but better."
Things I like: - a pleasant minty smell - a pleasant tingly sensation - a "like my lips but better" color - easy to use tube - $1 price tag - general availability at Target
Things I don't like: - slightly sticky feel - short staying power - general availability at Target FAILED LAST TIME
For a decade, I owned two nail polishes: a clear by Revlon, and "Blackberry Wine Frost" by Sally Hansen. I rarely used either, because- thanks to my dad- I have genes that give me really small and oddly-shaped nails. Plus I tend to trim them *really* short, to the point where everyone accuses me of biting them, or wonders incredulously how they are not actively bleeding.
The point is, I don't think I have nails which are really worth showcasing. (Although, as yet another tangent, my introduction to MUA came several years ago. I could not find a new bottle of Blackberry Wine Frost ANYWHERE, so in despair I created a MUA account and posted a "help!" message. Later that same day, somebody awesome went out and bought 2 bottles from her local CVS in, like, Cincinnati. She mailed 'em to me straight off and wouldn't accept payment! I did end up sending her a couple bars of Ghirardelli chocolate from SF though. Anyway, that was my first experience with MUA, which is awesome.)
So, to continue my long story. I wear nail polish like once every few months, always the Sally Hansen deep red.
Then one day I started reading about how nail polish formulas have been changing. Essie and OPI seemed to be the most reliable in going "3 free" and ditching dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde. That seemed like a great idea, and I decided to switch.
However, I don't like buying things I won't use regularly, so I spent far too much time researching the perfect nail polish. In the end, I stuck to my conservative, unadventurous, follow-the-herd-or-at-least-magazine-editors, "Best of 2011 sez Instyle Magazine!" ways, and bought Mademoiselle.
Yeah, I'm finally getting around to reviewing the actual product in question!
What I am quite pleased with: - this polish makes my nails look like themselves, only better - they look rosy and polished and shiny and healthy - the whole "3 free" thing
This was my first experience with Essie polish, and everything I'd read- good LORD there are a lot of nail blogs out there, people take polish very seriously- prepared me for how runny, thin, and prone to streakiness the formulas were. Yup. Well, I was prepared, but still had some trouble, since I don't really know the best way for putting on polish, apparently. But I eventually figured out that one thin coat seemed to suit my needs.
Since I don't use (or, um, own) base coat or top coat, that could be the reason why the polish started wearing and chipping off within three days. That or the large number of dishes I had to wash after a dinner party. I distinctly remember scrubbing a large pressure cooker with wire mesh- do you think that could have shortened the life of my manicure?
Perhaps. Anyway, I am joining the chorus to say that Mademoiselle is a really nice, subdued, low-key nail polish. Truly the "like your own nails but better" option.