Normally, I don't like to use moisturizers that come in a tub because of hygiene. But this winter my skin has been SO parched and nothing else has been working and when I saw this on sale at Rite Aid as BOGO I thought, why not give it a try? I am sooo glad I did. This cream is rich and soft and soothes my skin instantly. The fragrance doesn't bother me (in fact I like it) and it doesn't break me out. I don't even have to use it every day (although, before I started using Albolene as my cleanser, I WAS using this several times a day). I think this product would be far too heavy and rich under most circumstances but for winter... perfect! It feels like a very expensive cream to me... in fact, it reminds me of Darphin's Arovita C Cream (which I only used as a sample because it's so expensive it can't bring myself to buy it).
Lotions/ Creams -Yes To Carrots - Hand and Elbow Moisturizing Cream
dreamspice 2/9/2010 2:31:00 PM
When I first saw this product line at Rite Aid, I laughed. I thought it was the silliest name for a line EVER. But this winter has been really rough on my skin and the line was buy one get one free so I thought I'd give it a shot. I LOVE this hand cream. (Heh - I almost typed hand dream.) It feels great on my frequently washed hands and parched elbows and seems to instantly sink in. I like the scent which is pleasant and light. (Usually I can't stand scents of any kind.) This has replaced Neutrogena Hand Cream as my winter skin saver.
Ever since I heard about this product, I've been dying to try it. I've been getting a little sick of my Giovanni products all the time and wanted to try a different "green" shampoo (honestly I'm a little skeptical about how green these products are but I feel better buying them). Boy was I ever disappointed. Although the texture and smell of the shampoo and conditioner were both divine, combined they left my hair dull, limp and lifeless. Pretty much the opposite of Kate Hudson's springy locks. I tried using much much less product (which sometimes does the trick) to no avail. As soon as I switched to Giovanni again, my hair sprang back to life. This might work on other people's hair but not on mine. (For reference, my texture is thick and coarse and I have A LOT of hair... Silicone in my shampoo and conditioning products tends to weigh down my hair instantly leaving it flat and dull.)
Albolene has saved my skin! I'm experiencing my second winter in the mountains of Idaho (after Portland of all places) and my second has been even worse than my first. My skin has been so dry that it feels like someone pulled layers off of it. I was slathering on moisturizer several times a day and when face cream wasn't available, even slathering on aquaphor (!) and hand cream. I'd read a dermatologist raving about Albolene in Allure Magazine years ago but to me it always looked about as appealing as spreading Crisco on my face. However, since both cleansing oil and Cetaphil were leaving my skin feeling dry and overworked, I thought I'd give Albolene a go. I massage it onto my skin in the mornings (including my eyelid and lashes) and then soak a face towel in water as hot as I can make it and place the towel on my face for a little steam. After things have cooled down, I use the towel to wipe excess of my face and a cotton ball dipped in Almay's Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover on my eyelid. Now I can actually skip moisturizer sometimes! And the constant itchy, irritated eyes I've had all winter have calmed down, too. (I can stop using expensive eye drops - yay!) I don't know how this works on eye makeup because I haven't been able to wear any makeup at all but as a winter cleanser and skin protectant, I'm sold. I can't BELIEVE it hasn't broken me out AT ALL! My skin just feels soothed and sort of plumped. Highly recommend.
Styling Products -John Frieda - Frizz-Ease Dream Curls
dreamspice 7/14/2009 7:24:00 PM
I am really happy with this product. My hair is cravy - (somewhere between curly and wavy) but so thick and coarse that it tends to collapse and straighten itself out. Even when I curl it with curling iron, I have to heavily spray it with hairspray -before and after curling- to get it to stay (a process that takes an hour - even with short hair)) and even then usually have to start over on the next day. Thanks to the combination of a new a-line cut (not a complete a-line, since I had bangs), and ruthless thinning of my hair and this product, now I only have to scrunch my hair up to have it look adorable AND it lasts until the next wash!! Since this is my first scrunch product, I can't compare it to similar products but I can vouch for the fact that it works. Here's a link to see a pic of my hair (mind you this is with me doing nothing but spraying on Dream Curls and scrunching!) http://img.makeupalley.com/4/6/5/1/1347839.JPG
Hair Styling Tools -Conair - 1" Professional Ceramic Straightener
dreamspice 7/12/2009 3:22:00 PM
OK. This straightener did nothing for my hair. Granted, I have thick, coarse hair with lots of body and volume, but, still, I was expecting more. My last straightener was the 2" gold tone Hot Tools and I was expecting this to work at least as well as that did. (After all, it's ceramic, it's newer and it cost $40 - not that much less that my Hot Tools did ten years ago.) With the Hot Tools, I couldn't straighten my hair unless I'd first blown it straight (my hair doesn't get stick straight even when you blow dry it straight) - a process that took an hour when my hair was long. This straightener did not even work when I blow dried my hair first! I wrangled with my hair (which is now chin length) for AN HOUR, running this through multiple times, doing only tiny sections of my hair and... no joy. Maybe if this was $20 and I had thin, more easily straightened hair this might work but at $40+ it's totally not worth it.
For a long long time, I refused to buy this brush. Why would I need a brush if I can use my fingers?? But I started noticing that my Becca Creme blushes were going on a little splotchy and that I was having a hard time building coverage in a really controlled way. So in a fit of crazed late night internet shopping, I ordered this brush. I am sooo glad I did! I can't believe how beautifully, how smoothly, the blushes apply when I use this brush. I can really control exactly how much pigment I want on my face and it blends in so naturally that it always looks like skin. LOVE IT!!!
Recently, I've been trying to buy products that have a low toxicity rating from the Skin Deep website. I found this moisturizer at my Rite Aid and thought I'd give it a try. I've been using it for about a month and it's a good basic moisturizer that doesn't break me out. I love the fact that it's in a pump (so it's very hygenic). However, I will not be buying it again. For one thing, the smell. It is VERY strong to me - like bug spray - and it really irritates my allergies. Also, I haven't noticed any dramatic changes to my skin tone or texture since using it (which is true of most skin care products but if I'm going to spend the money, I want results). A good, not a great, product.
Skincare - Body -Molton Brown - Molton Brown Eucalyptus Shower Gel
dreamspice 12/31/2008 5:06:00 PM
OK, this gel has a *very* sexy scent. As other reviewers have mentioned, it does not have the medicinal smell that eucalyptus products can have, but still has the eye-opening, sinus clearing properties. It's a great pick me up if you haven't had a full night's sleep or are feeling under the weather. Unlike other shower gels, this does not dry out my skin at all. The best part is, when I take a shower with it, my bathroom smells awesome all day. Unfortunately, the scent does not last on my skin but it makes for a really yummy shower experience. If I had a man in my life, I would want him to use this.
I'm really disappointed in this product. I have thick, coarse hair that is only shoulder length and this did not, in any way, cut down on my hair drying time. I started with towel dried hair, "quick dried" it (with the nozzle off, head upside down, high heat, high "speed", quickly running my fingers through my hair) before actually starting the process of blow drying my hair straight. After an hour my hair was still slightly damp to the touch - damp enough to curl up again. The "higher powered" hair dryers (like solanos) would have gotten my hair dry within that same time frame. Disappointing.
Styling Products -Bumble & Bumble - Classic hairspray
dreamspice 5/5/2008 11:11:00 PM
This is the best hairspray I've ever used. Granted, I haven't used A LOT of hairsprays, because I have heavy, thick, coarse hair (and a LOT of it) and in the past, hair spray has done absolutely nothing for me. (At least not in the classic sense of enabling an updo to stay all day, for instance. Hairspray does help me hold a curl, but I like something softer and less sticky for that purpose.) A stylist recommended this hairspray to me recently and, on an impulse, I tried a small bottle. Normally, when I put my layered hair up in a ponytail, I have to use tons of bobby pins and even then, it falls out. My hair is so thick, bobby pins have a tendency to stretch out and become useless (actually, so do rubber bands and ponytail holders). But today, I put my hair in a ponytail and it stayed all day long with only two bobby pins to hold my shorter layers in place. Moreover, despite the fact that it was super sticky (almost fly-paper gross) when I sprayed it in my hair, it actually brushed out at the end of the day. When I took my hair out of the ponytail and brushed it, it was actually soft and silky - this has never happened with a styling product that claimed to have any amount of hold. At this point, it's a holy grail product for me. Not for everyday (because it is really sticky) but definitely for updos or polished ponytails.
Styling Products -Bumble & Bumble - does it all styling spray
dreamspice 5/5/2008 11:01:00 PM
I have heavy, thick, coarse hair and this product does nothing for me. I usually use hairspray when I'm using a curling iron to encourage my hair to hold curl. Whereas with Phyto's Phyto-laque, my hair actually stays more or less in the shape I've styled it into, after I use this product my hair slowly deflates until (if I'm lucky) it has a bit of wave. I went through an entire (large) can of this in two months. By comparison, a small can of Phyto-laque lasted me several months (at least twice as long). I think if you've got finer hair, it might work ok. I also think that the silicone in this (the heat-protectant part) really weighed down my hair as in the two months I used this product my normally cowlick-y, wavy-ish hair got straighter and flatter.
I have terrible allergy eyes - my eyes water all day long and absolutely no mascara or eyeliner has been proof against this... until I tried Liquidlast. It doesn't come off until I take it off. Yes, you have to get used to the application process if you're not used to the brush (and you MUST let it dry before you put on other eye makeup), but it's totally worth it. By the way, I've found that the really fine point cotton swabs dabbed in olive oil can fix egregious errors. This product has saved me from an eye makeup free existence! (Prior to this I was using Laura Mercier cake eyeliner.) UPDATE: After a couple of months, this formula turned so lumpy, I had to throw out the tube.
What a deal! I bought this on sale for $15 down from $30. $20 with shipping (the store was sold out). I wanted a set of brushes to travel with so that if I lost my suitcase or something it wouldn't be a major tragedy. I bought this set and a set for $23 at Sephora. I have to say that I actually prefer the Sonia Kashuk brushes - they're softer and the design of the brushes is fantastic. You get a big, fluffy powder brush, a blush brush, three eyeshadow brushes (which I use as a wash, "lay down" and smudge brush), a slanted brush you can use either for eyeliner or brow and a brow brush/lash comb. I even use the brow brush (I never thought I needed one... go figure). Comes in a cute zip around pink case although I will be taking the brushes out of it for travel. The only thing I don't like is the white handle. I wish she'd kept her handles periwinkle blue... I thought that was so much prettier. Oh well.
Lip Gloss -Chanel - Sirop Glossimer [DISCONTINUED]
dreamspice 1/9/2007 4:25:00 AM
I bought this because I wanted a lipgloss to go with my new favorite blush, Scott Barnes Samba. I honestly don't think I would have tried it on (it's a little scary in the tube) but I asked the MA for a peachy-pink and this is what she gave me. It's a really gorgeous, sheer (but still pigmented) pink gloss that is absolutely perfect for daytime. I pair it with a very thin layer of black cake eyeliner and Scott Barnes Samba for a sophisticated, yet natural, day time look.