Lotions/ Creams -J. R. Watkins - Apothecary Aloe & Green Tea Hand & Body Lotion
MissK4012 5/11/2011 10:11:00 PM
Overall a good, light moisturizer. I found it to be very soothing after shaving my legs. I dislike the strong fragrance though - I had expected it to smell like actual aloe vera and green tea but it pretty much smells like cheap, drugstore body sprays. Overall: OK. I'd buy again in a pinch, but wouldn't seek it out.
I just recently started using honey as a facial treatment and, so far, my biggest complaint is that I did't try it sooner. I always have raw, organic honey on hand anyway, so that's what I've been using. I dampen my face and apply a small amount of honey like a mask. I've been doing this about 3 times a week, about 30 minutes (more or less) before I shower, and just rinse it off in there. My results so far: After the very first use I noticed the pores on my nose, which have looked large and clogged for as long as I can remember, seemed to look cleaned up a bit. With each use since I have noticed them getting smaller and less clogged every time. My skin also feels extremely soft after my honey-pack. It makes applying makeup later easier and my skin looks and feels smoother all day. I have had fewer breakout since I started using honey (I've been following it up with jojoba oil, by the way) and that in itself is enough reason for me to continue using it. Bottom line: Recommended.
The gel has really helped improve the clarity of my skin. The first few times I used it, my face felt uncomfortably dry and tight and I was afraid I had wasted a lot of money on another useless product. But then I READ THE DIRECTIONS. Lo and behold, when applying this moisture gel "while skin is still damp from toner" is works wonders! I have oily, acne-prone skin, so I haven't been using additional moisturizer with this gel (except my TM) unless it's extra cold and dry outside. Then I mix it with a few drops of jojoba oil and I'm good to go. I have had fewer breakout since I switched to this product and fewer issues with flaking where my skin gets dry, so overall, it's a winner for me. The only downfall is the price. I think it's generally worth it, but I also know I can make a similar gel, with fewer unnecessary ingredients, at home for less. But I would still buy this stuff on sale, or in a pinch. Overall: Highly recommended!
Toners -Thayers - Alcohol-free Witch Hazel toner with aloe vera
MissK4012 5/11/2011 9:16:00 PM
This is the second Thayer's witch hazel variety I have tried (the first was the peach). I love this one even more and will definitely continue to purchase - although I do intend to try out the medicated superhazel next. Pros: Alcohol free - I have finished a bottle, using twice or more daily and experienced no dryness. Effectively takes of my makeup. Though I don't think it would remove waterproof or particularly stubborn eye makeup. No scent! Like any witch hazel product, this helps immensely in keeping my skin clear and soothing it when it's red and irritated. Cons: Something about this alcohol-free formula causes this product no to go as far as other Thayer's products. It works great, but I feel like I have to apply A LOT more to my cotton ball to get it onto my face. Also, it's a very simple product. While that is one thing that I love about it, it also means that I could mix aloe and undistilled witch hazel to make it myself quite easily and inexpensively.
Mascara -Unlisted Brand - Suncoat - Natural Sugar-based Mascara
MissK4012 1/9/2011 3:13:00 PM
I have trouble applying this mascara - it's very thick and sticky. Once applied it looks very nice and natural but one coat is all it can do. It doesn't so much clump when you try to add another coat as just comes off. I also find that it flakes toward the end of the day and ends up getting in my eyes, which is not only irritating physically, but also because I have to completely wash off all eye makeup in order to reapply. It's not a terrible product, but there are equally natural products out there that work a lot better for me.
Mascara -Unlisted Brand - Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara
MissK4012 1/9/2011 3:10:00 PM
I have only been using this a few days, but so far, so good. It goes on easily and layers well for a more dramatic effect. I haven't had any eye irritation while using this either. It's definitely better than most natural mascaras I have tried. For a comparison, I'd say it's extremely similar to Origins Full Story Mascara (my former HG), but more natural AND about half the price. Note: I have this in Chocolate Truffle. EDIT: I still love this mascara and will definitely re-purchase, but I need to add a note about the packaging. On the third or fourth day that I used this the wand detached itself from the cap. Now every day when I open it the cap comes off but the wand doesn't come with it. I don't know if this is a common issue or not and it's nothing that can't be remedied with some super glue, but I'd rather have a sturdier package that doesn't need fixing. ANOTHER EDIT: I don't know if they changed the formula or what but the last two tubes I have purchased have not worked out well AT ALL. I start getting flakes within an hour of application, my eyes are irritated about halfway through the day, and the product (in the tube) seems to dry out much more quickly than before making application much more difficult. Oh well... Time to resume the mascara search. In the meantime, I would still buy again in a pinch. MORE UPDATES: Having little to no luck with other mascaras I am trying, I came back to a tube I had of this. All of a sudden it works like a charm again. This doesn't give it any more lippies, simply because it's so frustrating that the product is so inconsistent. Very strange. But when it works as well as it has been this week, it's my HG... again.
I am not a huge fan of the peach scent, but we keep it around because the boyfriend likes it. I intend to try other varieties next time I make a purchase. Pros: *Works well as a gentle toner and light moisturizer simultaneously, even with the alcohol content. * Keeps my skin clear (when used in combination with my other natural skin products) without drying it out. * Makes my skin feel soft to the touch and helps my makeup go on smoothly in the AM and come off completely in the PM. * I've been reading other reviews and it seems like as good a multi-tasker as other witch hazel products - so I look forward to trying it for other things. Cons: * The peach scent is really overwhelming and lasts a long time! * Contains alcohol, which can be drying/irritating. UPDATE: Have not had this stuff around in ages but do still enjoy Thayer's. Having found that my skin was drying out from alcohol in a lot of the products I was using, I've switched to all alcohol free. When I do not make my own toner, I use Thayers Alcohol-Free Unscented and it's great. (Have also tried the alcohol free rose petal, lavender and original varieties - all are nice but I prefer no frangrance).
Toners -Aubrey Organics - Mineral Water Sparkling Herbal Facial Mist
MissK4012 1/9/2011 3:01:00 PM
I received this as a gift a while back and, honestly, had no idea what to do with it for a while. I been experimenting lately and am starting to think this is going to be a product I can't do without. I don't like to use too much moisturizer in the morning because my skin gets oily later in the day, so I spritz this on after toner, then again after applying my face makeup - I don't know which ingredients do the work, but I find I rarely need to set my face makeup with a powder any more, especially if I toss this spray in my purse and spritz on a little refresher once or twice during the day. Using this spray even out any redness my tinted moisturizer doesn't cover up, so I get to wear less makeup and the combination of the two sets in a semi-matte but still natural/dewy look. I'm not positive that I am using this product as it is meant to be used, but it works for me and I will definitely keep buying it. Cons: I can only find one place in town that sells it, and they're pricey. Also, it's not available at the website where I order most of my beauty products (and it smells oddly like brown sugar, but the scent doesn't stick around too long). UPDATE: I have found that basically any gentle, natural toner works as well as this for setting makeup and refreshing skin throughout the day. Plain witch hazel, witch hazel+aloe, Thayer's, homemade herbal teas, whatever. So, down 1 lippie overall now that I have learned this is nothing special - just quite expensive toner. I WOULD still buy it on sale though if just to support a company that in general, I agree with :)
Conditioner -Avalon Organics Botanicals - Lemon Clarifying Conditioner
MissK4012 1/9/2011 2:53:00 PM
I have been using this, along with the shampoo, for a few weeks now (I also reviewed the shampoo). At first, this conditioner seems to thin, I didn't feel like there was enough in my hair. If you have the same problem though, ignore it. It's thin but it works. My hair doesn't get greasy throughout the day like it used to and I have little to no issue detangling after I shower (it used to take me a good 30 minutes or more to get a comb all the way through my hair every day). This may not work for everyone, but it definitely is one of the best combinations of shampoo/conditioner I have used. My hair is nearly waist length, straight and relatively thick - and pretty damaged from past abuse. Cons: Expensive and hard to find in my town.
Shampoo -Avalon Organics Botanicals - Lemon Clarifying Shampoo
MissK4012 1/9/2011 2:49:00 PM
I've been using this shampoo, along with the conditioner for a few weeks and my hair hasn't looked better in as far back as I can remember! I have almost waist length, thick, straight hair, and I don't use much product in it so there isn't much to "clarify" to begin with. When used with the conditioner, I have found that my hair gets less tangled/more manageable every day. It also looks thicker and healthier in general, and dries naturally without looking as frizzy as it used to (still some frizz, but I've mistreated my hair for a number of years and can't expect it to look perfect). I will definitely be buying this product again, though I am planning on trying the peppermint variety (nothing wrong with the lemon, but I love the smell of mint and, as mentioned, don't need much clarifying). Only cons: It's expensive and hard to find where I live.
Cleansers -Burt's Bees - Garden Tomato Complexion Soap [DISCONTINUED]
MissK4012 1/9/2011 2:43:00 PM
I have been using this soap for about a year and the results have been very impressive. Also, you can't really beat the price: I use it twice daily and so does my boyfriend and one bar lasts us about 2 months. Pros: *Helps clear up an oily, acne-prone complexion. *Not as drying as other products I have tried. *Light fragrance and the scent doesn't stick around long. *Great value. Cons/ Advice: *Can be drying if you don't moisturize after washing. *Not good for body. As this soap is meant for oily and problem skin, that's not surprising, but I have noticed some reviews saying it dried out their body, so I would suggest not using it anywhere but your face unless you have oil/acne issues elsewhere. EDIT: Discontinued :(
Tinted Moisturizer -Kiss My Face - Tinted Moisturizer [DISCONTINUED]
MissK4012 1/9/2011 2:30:00 PM
I have been using this product for a couple years now and I don't plan on stopping any time soon. The only problem I can see someone having is that calling it a "tinted moisturizer" is a tad misleading. I get moderate coverage, like a light foundation but no real moisturizing from this. Pros: *When used in combination with the rest of my skin care/makeup (all either natural or organic), my skin stays clear of both acne and redness/irritation. *Can be layered for more coverage, applied without moisturizer for a matte finish, or after moisturizer for a more natural, dewy finish. * Cheap. * Thin and very easy to spread. Cons: *Only SPF 8. *Not really much of a moisturizer. *It may take quite a bit of trial and error to figure out which color works for you (I use beach, which surprised me as my previous foundations have always needed to be the lightest shade offering). *Hard to find (at least where I live). I have to order it online. Luckily, it's available where I order every other beauty product I can't get here. EDIT: Another con - it's discontinued now :(