Treatments -Desert Essence - Dessert Essence Blemish Touch Stick
MsLove 2/25/2010 9:09:00 PM
I stalked this forever. I finally bought it, simply because I liked the packaging. Lo and behold, it works. I washed my face, rolled it on two painful zits, and went to sleep. I was ready to pop them when I woke up the next morning...and what did I find but smooth skin. I couldn't even find a slight bump under the skin, it was like it dried up and healed completely. I am rarely wowed like that. So I'm sold, at the price of $6 a stick. Funny thing is, the regular tea treat oil didnt work that way for me? I even use the Tea Trea Oil Facial Cleansing Pads, which I like, but they never spot treated like this. Oh well. I'm not complaining, I will definitely continue to use and purchase. ;o)
5 Lippies to the 5th power. I have been using this product consistently, at least weekly if not daily, for over 3 years now with excellent results. I absolutely love that it does just what it says - moisturizes, without protein buildup or silicones. As another reviewer said, perfect for fellow Curlies! It is safe for frequent use for my dense slightly wavy hair. I can say that this conditioner workstried and true, regardless of anything else I may change in my regimen. Bonus: No harsh proteins. Contains Wheat Protein, which is repairs damaged hair through covalent bonding. It builds body, reduces porosity, and improves shine, luster and smoothness. It is an extremely pure protein produced from natural wheat gluten. It consists of the two subunits gliadin and glutenin, which are capable of repairing damaged hair through covalent linkage. Wheat Protein conditions hair with its moisture retention and film forming properties, which will greatly improve the body, shine, and smoothness of hair. I have used this successfully for co-washes (lathers very easily!), daily conditioner (if you have curl or texture, may be too heavy for fine straight hair), deep conditioning treatments w/ and w/o heat, and even overnight conditioning. This conditioner is very thick and emollient coming out, but melts into hair. No cones, no buildup, just soft, detangled, well moisturized hair and ends that have been saved from trims! I currently have shoulder - arm pit length hair, and with weekly washes I will probably use 1 liter every 6 months. You can stock up @ Trade Secret during their liter sales, and if you get two for $30, it averages out to $2.50 a month for the entire year at that rate. A cheaper imitation version of it is Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration - but that causes build up over time with the cones and I don't think its quite as emollient. However - Kenra's MC and Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose have beat many other moisturizing brands I've tried and remain my top two moisturizing condtioners. And I've tried a LOT of great ones!! I.Value is good since other products can cost the same for half the price, and even deep conditioning treatments at my old stylist used to be $15 bucks for 15 min. :) UPDATE 3/2013: Still in rotation. I still love this conditioner, and there is no change from my original review. However, I can add one more moisture only conditioner that is on par with the quality of Kenra and Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose: Matrix Biolage Ultra Hydrating Conditioning Balm is another alternative that may work well for those that like this type of moisture. Sally's beauty sells a perfect knockoff under the GVP name brand for $5 a bottle, or you can get the Matrix original version for $25. Happy hair!
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
MsLove 2/21/2010 8:57:00 PM
I use this as a pre-poo treatment for hair. I have tried the other uses, but my hair is the only way I really liked it. Too heavy to style or leave in, but it does a nice job of nourishing my hair shaft. I transfer into the applicator bottles with the tip (like what salons use for coloring), and apply to scalp and length of hair, massage, and sometimes sleep overnight or wear for a few hours before washing in the shower. Works well as a pre-poo treatment before co-washing too.
This shampoo will strip your hair of all dirt, residue, and cones. Great for that purpose. It smells fresh too. However, now that I am cone-free and don't really have buildup from styling products or silicone-based conditioners, I found this to unecessarily strip moisture from my hair that I had to put back in with extra deep conditioning after use. There are other clarifiers that work better without being so harsh. I stopped using this about a year ago and switched tor Trader Joe's Nourish Balancing Shampoo (Competitively priced at $2 Bucks a bottle ) or Jonathan Product Detox Dirt ($22) a luxury splurge. Both are vegan and sulfate-free and leave my hair sqeaky clean. But this does work, and I would use it again if I had to - just don't prefer it anymore. Definitely not the worst, but not the best either.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - EXTRA VIRGIN Coconut Oil (All brands)
MsLove 2/21/2010 8:27:00 PM
I heart coconut oil. I buy big tubs and transfer them into smaller bottles that I keep in different places (bathroom, tub, kitchen, etc). Here are a few of the ways that I use it: HAIR - Apply to dry hair. Concentrate on ends. Leave it in, sometimes add heat or mix with Aubrey Organics HSR (which also has a coconut fatty acid base). When I co-wash my hair, its very soft and shiny. I have also used CO successfully as a heat protectant when blow drying hair, and as a sealant when wet bunning my hair. It gives a beautiful finish, doesnt weigh hair down, and still leaves it light and bouncy. Note, use this in moderation if you are protein sensitive - coconut oil has protein/strengthening products and daily or frequent overuse without adequate moisture can make your hair too strong, leading to breakage if you don't moisturize. But its perfect if you are a heat lover, helps keep your hair healthy. Prevents split ends! MAKEUP REMOVER - When I get home from work, I just rub oil all over my face. It gets really emollient and takes EVERYTHING off, event Le Guerlain mascara. I tissue oil off. Then continue with my face wash and routine as normal. I have acne-prone/ normal-combo skin, and using this oil as the first step to remove makeup has not caused any problems or breakouts at all for me. And skin feels very soft afterwards. SKIN - Keep it in the shower, and right before I get out of the shower, I rub this everywhere. Locks in moisture, smells good and leaves my skin very soft. Sometimes I will even apply a bit to my hair ends after washing too, to help protect from heat styling and lock in moisture when bunning. NAILS - Hands down best cuticle oil EVER. I've tried shea butter, L'Occitane cuticle oils, Nailtiques, Olive Oil, Jojoba, Moisturizers, etc...this is the only thing that got rid of jagged cuticles. And by accident! I looked down and realized my cuticles were benfiting from me using the oil for so many other things. BATH -- Add a few drops in, skin feels very soft and if you like the smell of coconut, its very relaxing. ANTI-BACTERIAL - I have drank 1-2 tsp before when I felt my immune system running slow, and thought I might be coming down with a cold. It helped within hours. Also a good cure for colds, flu, viral infections - you can take therapeutic doses. Google it for more info. LUBRICANT - Applying a little as a lubricant works very well, no friction and it blends with your body's natural lubrication, unlike other lubricants that feel sticky. I've read that it can cure athlete's foot, remove gum from hair - oh, and who can forget the benefts of actually cooking with it! This is a household staple.
This was gifted to me a year ago. I would not have picked it out originally, because for the same reason as the reviewer below, I thought it was too heavy for my liking. However this perfume has a zillion notes. Strawberries, floral notes, fruits, and citrus. My original bottle was the regular size, and I went through it in a year wearing it almost daily. I repurchased a larger bottle, and it is well worth the value. This is one of my new favorites, along with Miss Dior Cherie. Bonus points for the pretty Juicy bottle.
This was one of my first perfumes, I wore it during my junior and senior year of high school. I think that this was an appropriate smell for me during high school, but now I would not wear it, it is way too heavy for my liking and it kind of makes me get a headache when I smell it in the department store. It is overwhelming like the smell of an Abercromie & Fitch store. I prefer more expensive colognes that hold multiple fresh notes, right now my favorite is Juicy Couture and Miss Dior Cherie which have zillions of sweet notes and blend well with my natural body chemistry. I give it 3 lippies, not the worst but not the best. Very affordable, but you get what you pay for - I say this smell is perfect for teenagers that need affordable scents too. I would gift it to one for that purpose. :)
Conditioner -Queen Helene - Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream
MsLove 2/20/2010 8:40:00 AM
So many people swear by this. I just wanted to swear at it. I purchased this with the intent of using it as a Deep Conditioning treatment when I used to relax my hair (with Affirm). My hair at that time was very fine, very dense, bone straight, and fragile. I used it with heat and it left such a heavy film on my hair, without offering any moisturizing or strengthening properties. My hair looked duller and had less body and movement than before. It would probably be better to use plain mayo than this IMHO. There is the same if not more cholestorol in it, and it is probably easier to rinse out. After that, I tried to use the rest of the jar to protect my oldest hair ends when I would touch up a relaxer. I would slather this waxy residue conditioner on my relaxed ends of hair, touch up, so that the relaxer that rinsed off my roots didn't re-relax my hair as it slide down the shaft. It worked fine for that purpose. But I would use it for not other. Way too heavy. Bottom line - While many people love it for providing moisture and a smooth finish, it left my hair feeling coated, waxy, dry and with a very dull finish after styling. I will not repurchase - except to protect hair during a chemical service.
I have been alternate this mask with the Mint Julep for years. A staple. I will repurchase as long as they make it.
I've used Mint Julep and Mud for years, a friend passed this to me. I tried it twice and wasn't impressed. I was thinking it would soften my skin and maybe help with brightening the complexion because of the grapeseed. All of the other products work so welll. Maybe I needed to give it more time and I would have a different view. Still, you only need one experience with the Mint Julep or Mud Mask to know that it works. Anyway, my skin is in good condition and I frequently exfoliate and give deep treatments, so I didn't expect miracles from this product to exceed other efforts I've made. 2 lippies, it wasn't the worst, but I can't say its the best either.
I have been using this mask since I was about 16. It is a great staple item for your bathroom. Helps clear up problem skin, and is a nice refresher to tighten skin before heading out int he evening - or refresh it after a long day or night. The active ingredient that helps to target the oil and causes the "tingling" or "burning" sensation for some is the active sulfur. Also goood for spot treatments. Bonus that its only $3 a tube. No matter how many other masks I try, this always remains and I will always come back to this. usually I alternate between the Mint Julep and the Mud Mask when I am doing weekly deep conditioning treatments. I think using this more than 1x weekly would be too drying for my skin.
I have purchased Bobbi Brown and MAC brushes and thought I was a loyal fan for life. Until I ran across one of these brushes. They are amazing. I only bought one at first because I felt it and it was so smooth, and only $4. Once I got home and used it and saw how great it was, I then went on a hunt to collect them all. They feel VERY soft, give great makeup application, and handle cleansing well (I like to clean my brushes with soap or facial cleanser, not just makeup brush cleaner, it helps prevent breakouts for me). An EXCELLENT value. Each brush I got was o/a $5 each at TJ Maxx. But it is well worth the full price of $20 or less if you search online for them. Highly recommended.
Makeup Brushes -MAC - #187 Duo Fiber Face Brush (Stippling, Skunk Brush)
MsLove 2/11/2010 7:00:00 PM
Works well for applying MAC Skinfinish. Also works well applying foundation to your face with a finger, then brushing REALLY fast with this. I have also used successfully for finishing powder or bronzer. A nice addition to any makeup set. 1 lippie off for packaging quality since the brush fibers began to "shed" after a few years of purchase. EDIT 1/05/2012 I stopped using this brush years ago. Once the fibers shed, it became worthless and had to be thrown out. What a waste of money. I have since found knock offs with better quality. I like the style of the brush, just not the brand anymore.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Organic Root Stimulator - Replenishing Pak
MsLove 2/8/2010 9:25:00 PM
UPDATE 05/18/2011 - Still using this, and still loving it!!! I also still use Aubrey Organics HSR as my Moisturizing Conditioner. ******** I have used this consistently for years. Good strengthening treatment that has some moisturizing properties. This product contains collagen, which helps to bind hair proteins and prevents damage caused by hair stress, heat styling, chemical treatments, etc. It also has a few moisturizing agnets (glycerin) and carrier oils (orange) that help to nourish hair and seal in moisture and repair. For that reason, some classify this as a moisturizing conditioner. I truly believe that it replenishes where you are lacking - adds moisture and protein, which your hair needs both of. Even with the moisturizing agents in this formula, for those that have protein sensitive hair, it rarely hurts to follow with a deeper moisturizing treatment (e.g., Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, Aveda Dry Remedy, etc.) After each application, my hair is left bouncy and full. It is my opinion that too often we classify our hair as "dry" when it is sometimes damanged, or "damaged" when it is sometimes dry. If it is DRY, you need MOISTURE (no keratin, proteins, collagen, etc.) - protein/damage treatments wont resolve the major issue. If it is DAMAGED, you must repair the strands with PROTEIN + MOISTURE to provide strength and allow for flexibility. Frequent use of this or any protein treatment can lead to your hair feeling "dry" - I would NOT recommend as a daily conditioner. But as an occasional deep conditioning treatment to strengthen (not moisturize) healthy hair, it is excellent. I deep condition weekly alternating between Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose and GPB for moisture/protein. And I usually use ORS RP about once a month, before or after flat ironing. One of the few drug store brands that is actually a staple for me. And it detangles very well. And its cheap ($5 for the bottle, $1.29 a treatment pack).
An excellent remedy for helping to dry blemishes, brighten skin complexion through light exfoliation. The active ingredient that makes this work is the salicylic acid in it. Crush 2 o3 plain cheap dollar store asprin in a small bowl. You can apply with water if you want it a bit stronger .. or mix it with plain yogurt to tighten your skin, and mix it with honey to help in a less drying application. It can also be mixed with avocado, oatmeal, or a natural oil that is good for skin (coconut oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil). Aspirin is great to keep in a travel bag. Has multi-use purpose, and doesnt count against airport liquid carry on restrictions. :)