I have just reviewed the shampoo. I have been using this line in conjunction with each other so I'm not sure how they stand up on their own. Together, though, my hair has never looked nor felt better. I love the Aveda scents, and this one, which seems lightly herbal and lemonadey, does not disappoint. You don't need to apply a lot and for me, at least, I am left with sensational hair - I can't believe how glamorous it looks as a result! Since this makes my hair look so nice, I'm not too worried if it has silicones or any other superficial additives to coat hair. I would counteract that by using a clarifying shampoo every few washes. That seems fine to me.
I have only used this in conjunction with the other products in the line, so I can't speak about its stand-alone properties. With the other products - the conditioner and the Style-prep smoother, my hair feels amazing as a result. I have blond, highlighted hair, which is naturally medium blond. I can get away with quite a bit of root growth before it becomes noticeable, but sometimes this is messed up by hair products that inject moisture in a heavy, greasy, darkening kind of way. My hair can appear almost brown with such products, and I don't like it. Somehow, using this line, my hair is moisturised but light in feel and look. Regarding specifics, this lathers up nicely, but when its rinsed it feels untangled and soft. It's a real joy to use. The scent is herbal and fresh. When I use this line, I am asked if I've been to the hairdresser. I have only used these in sample sizes, so my opinions may change with prologued use (I most definitely plan to buy full sizes!) but I can honestly say that I have never experienced such sensational results from a haircare line.
Eye Makeup Remover -Boots - Organic Face Nourishing Eye Make up Remover
pennypencil 2/6/2011 5:40:00 AM
Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous! This is the very best eye make up remover I have ever used. Typically, when I make statements like that, the product then goes and turns on me. I hope this doesn't because right now I think it is absolutely perfect and I am thinking of buying three hundred tubes just in case it gets discontinued as tends to happen with products I rely on, like LUSH's Baby Face, RIP. I have incredibly reactive, sensitive skin, which looks fresh and clear when I'm not putting many products on it, but quickly becomes red and blotchy when I attempt to have an unguent-filled regime. How I love the feeling of rubbing things in and washing them off! But woe for me, there are only a handful of things that keep my skin in top shape. I don't use much foundation - just on nights out - but I love eye make up and don't hold back. Typically I might wear concealer, powder eye shadow, liquid liner and lashings of mascara. Though my eye area doesn't tend to be sensitive, I am picky about eye make up remover products because of a fear of getting lines. I am a touch suspicious of duel-phase removers as I noticed my fine lines being slightly more prominent the morning after using them. I'll still use them from time to time, making sure I rinse off the residue and apply an eye cream, but anyway, I may not need to as this product blows any other make up remover I've used out of the water. The Organic Face Nourishing Eye Make up Remover works similarly to the cleansing oils I've used - starts off rich and slippery, and turns into a wash-off lotion on contact with water. Unlike cleansing oils, which are so thin they can get in your eyes and blur vision, this remover is thick, and the consistency of lemon curd, or Burt's Bees Orange Facial Cleanser. I massage this into my lids and lashes for a few seconds and then rinse with warm water. This removes all make up. I then take a wet cotton pad and just clean off any drips that have made their way down my face. Skin is left completely, and I mean *completely* clean, and importantly, plump, moisturised and comfortable. My lines are not noticeable after using this, there is no redness - it is just perfect. The reason for its perfection is the simple ingredients - olive and jojoba seed oil, glycerin, sucrose stearate and sucrose myristate. That's all! And yet this is the first product of its kind I have come across. Don't hesitate to try this!
Fragrances -Gucci - Gucci by Gucci (new release 2008)
pennypencil 2/6/2011 4:39:00 AM
Gucci by Gucci eau de parfum straddles two fragrances I know very well Ė Tom Ford Black Orchid and Narciso Rodriguez eau de toilette. The Guava is the most prominent note on first spray, and like Black Orchid has that overripe fleshiness that seems to drip with juice. The pear is less noticeable, but it is there Ė the fruits meld together in a warm cocktail. Prominent too, is the patchouli base, which whilst somewhat clean, retains an earthiness that is especially nice once you focus on it. The musk seems to cling so closely to the guava itís quite difficult to spot where one ends and one begins. Gucci is a sexy, dark scent, but the absence of woodiness makes it more translucent and light than many other sensual and honeyed offerings. The tropical flowers are barely there for me. I suppose they are white and just bulk out the middle. Once the guava has receded, Iím left with a gentle, plummy musk, which has far less sillage than Narciso Rodriguez. I like this because itís friendlier than Black Orchid, which whilst being a conversation starter, can be cloying and a bit too loud. Gucci is refined, elegant, modern but pungent enough to have balls. Its sweetness is about right Ė sweeter than most, but not in the realm of Flowerbomb or Britney Spearsí Fantasy. The bottle is sensational Ė heavy brown, square glass dressed in gold. Itís very glamorous and 1970s. On my skin, Gucci does not have the lasting power of Narciso Rodriguez, or Black Orchid, which are tenacious scents. It doesnít have the throw of Gucci Rush, nor the originality. However, I think fragrances that are as well-behaved as this are thin on the ground. Iíve just thought of another very scent comparable to this Ė the original Badgley Mischka. I prefer the Gucci, though, which just seems more grown up. Since it seems to be an amalgamation of existing scents, rather than something completely unique, I couldnít give it a five-star rating. However, as they say, Ďit is really well doneí. Iím endlessly annoyed by the name, which is difficult to google because of Gucciís habit of calling all of their fragrances, ĎGuccií.
Mascara -Estee Lauder - Double Wear Zero Smudge Lengthening Mascara
pennypencil 2/3/2011 12:20:00 PM
I'm reluctant to give this mascara a four or a three, because I firmly think this deserves a rating of 3.5. I have never used a mascara as infuriating as this one, because whilst it is perfect beyond belief on my bottom lashes, it has an annoying way of making my upper lashes look thin and spindly. It clumps them together - not making them 'clumpy' as such, but sticking them into long and black spiders' legs. Coupled with the fact this mascara is as black as black could be, it isn't an altogether unattractive look; but it's not perfect. One wants lashes to be lush and thick as well as long. On the bottom lashes, it really lengthens, for the wide-eyed doll look. Removal is harder than with many other mascaras. Rather than melting off with cleanser, this sheds fibre flakes, and not incredibly easily. You need a good make-up remover. On the plus side, and the reason I may repurchase, it doesn't smudge, it lasts for hours, and doesn't irritate.
Treatments -Boots - Botanics Intensive Wrinkle Reduction Serum
pennypencil 2/2/2011 4:20:00 PM
This is a tease of a product. The fine lines on my forehead seemed to disappear over the first night of using it, and the pores of my skin shrank. It prickled a bit on application but wasnít unbearable. By the third day I had resigned to just using it on my forehead and neck Ė two areas I rarely experience irritation. By the fourth day, burn-like patches had begun to form near my hairline. I had to give it away. I can see that if you have tolerant skin, this might work wonders, but for me, no way.
Skincare - Face -Boots - Botanics Purifying Face Scrub
pennypencil 2/2/2011 4:14:00 PM
I thought this was a perfectly good scrub, with just the right amount of particles to slough off dead skin cells. Using this infrequently Ė once a week Ė my skin is free from irritation, and left feeling very soft. I donít use physical scrubs that often, but I had thought my favourite was Cliniqueís 7 Day Scrub. I now find that an annoying scrub to use, with residue and blotchy skin left in its wake. The Botanics product, which is very cheap, does a better job for my sensitive, hyper-reactive skin.
Cleansers -Boots - Botanics Sensitive Skin Soothing Cleansing Lotion
pennypencil 2/2/2011 4:07:00 PM
Whilst I absolutely adored using this product, after a few days my skin began to sting on contact. Such a shame because the clarity of my skin did improve during this period. I know two people who use this very happily Ė one who claims to have sensitive skin. I guess my sensitive skin is even more sensitive! I really wanted this to work because the % of Ďgoodí ingredients in Boots Botanics products is impressive, if good means plant extracts, vitamins and other active fodder. Unfortunately these good things tend to be the very things that irritate my skin.
Fragrances -Bath and Body Works - Japanese Cherry Blossom body splash
pennypencil 1/29/2011 9:03:00 AM
Having tried the LíOccitane and Body Shop takes on cherry blossom, I was expecting something soapier from Bath and Body Works. I only have Japanese Cherry Blossom in the mist formulation, and it didnít smell how I had anticipated. Far from it. I suppose the majority of people reading this review will be from the states, in which case you are likely to try before you buy, but in my case, in the UK, I bought blindly. I love the idea of Bath and Body Works Ė the ubiquity of the brand, the fact teenagers love it, how High Schools in America are most likely thick with these mists. Bath and Body Works offers me some kind of otherness, and I look to fragrances for such thrills. My first comment about Bath and Body Works mists, and also those from Victoriaís Secret, is that you donít know how good these are in comparison to the body mists and sprays available in the UK. The selection of cheap sprays available to us is very thin on the ground and nowhere near as good. I have one from Boots which is chemically, shrill and cheap smelling (masquerading as apple and lime) and one from Soap and Glory which smells of burnt sugar, body odour and cheap cologne. I ordered a selection of six body sprays from the US and was pleased with each and every one, though not all are masterpieces. Japanese Cherry Blossom smells very warm and fruity. The warmth and fruitiness was a shock. Itís fuzzy on the nose, like nuzzling a peach. I donít altogether like the fuzziness and find the scent more preferable a few inches away. The base of this fragrance is very similar to that of Twilight Woods, which I found first. Iím not sure what the notes are, but there is a signature smell, like Guerlain and their guerlinade. Itís a little cheap, plasticky. Itís very dense and powdery. There is something dirty about it, and yet, itís good. The fruitiness, which is apple, pear and plum (but predominantly plum on my skin) abates after about twenty minutes. Iím glad it recedes, because the powder plus fruit is a bit aggressive. I detect a tiny bit of tuberose and rose, and then some other light white floral notes that may be mimosa and cherry blossom. The cinnamon and sandalwood are pretty prominent. Itís sweet. Itís not as sweet as Twilight Woods, or Sensual Amber, but itís still a touch childish and foody. I wanted this to be a daytime signature but the absence of the soap, creaminess and elegance I was expecting makes it more of a frivolous pick-me-up than something I'd want people to associate with me. You could wear this to work, but I think I prefer Victoriaís Secret Dream Angels Heavenly for this ilk, and probably the LíOccitaneís Cherry Blossom for a cherry blossom concoction. The muskiness is passable, but the thick powder just notches the score down. I'd give it 3.5 if I could.
Urban Decay is my favourite brand for eye shadows, as Iím allergic to MAC, and the Naked Palette is by far my favourite Urban Decay buy of all time. It might actually be my favourite makeup buy of all time. Whilst I love the concept of the UD <3 NYC book of shadows, itís the Naked Palette I reach for every day. The consistency of the shadows are buttery, they complement my skin tone (though I do concede they are a touch warm) and to top it off, the palette is fantastic value for money. My only disappointment is that my duo eye liner had a defective lid, which could not be removed, even with pliers and a man. Since I have the same liner already, it wasnít such a big deal. I am over the moon with this palette and it is versatile and fabulous.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Max Mara Kashmina Touch
pennypencil 12/31/2010 10:51:00 AM
What a lovely fragrance this is. I received this in a swap and I am over the moon with it. Though comparisons could be made (and will be), I havenít found anything quite like this before. Firstly, the bottle is weighty and a comfortable shape in oneís palm. The brown gradient is attractive, and nicely 1970s. I know nothing about Max Mara, except that itís Italian, and I do somewhat appreciate the ferocious femininity of Italian scents, which tend to be womanly and powdery Ė think Dolce and Gabanna Sicily, or Fendi Palazzo. This is not like those scents, but it does have a dryness I find quite Italian, rightly or wrongly. Kashmina Touch is nearly gourmand, but has a pepperiness that prevents it from being cloying. Rather the whole composition is quite transparent and light. My boyfriend says it smells herbal, but itís sweeter than, say, Comme des Garcons Kyoto, which I can connect to this, in a tenuous way. Believe it or not, itís a bit like a blend of Kyoto and D&G Light Blue, then watered down to be light and airy. A burst of gentle mandarin on first spray disperses to become woody and a touch milky, not a million miles away from Kenzo Amour. I donít know how this scent manages to be simultaneously milky and dry, but it does.
This is my favourite MAC lipstick so far, and the one to reignite my interest in the brandís lip products. Usually I find MAC bullets ridiculously drying, zapping all my pleasure in the wonderful colours of them. Syrup is Ďyour lips but betterí on me, being just the tiniest bit darker than is natural. Almost imperceptible. My boyfriend has cocked his head at me inquisitively when I wear this, unsure whether he can see lipstick or not. He doesnít like the tacky feel of gloss, so this is a good compromise for me, if I want to be kissed. The colour itself lifts my face, which is warm but very fair, with blond hair framing dark blue eyes. Iím listing that in case it helps someone. I was surprised this one suited me so well, as there is a tinge of mauve to it. Both I and the MAC sales assistant exclaimed when I applied it at the MAC counter, so surprised were we how well this seemingly unexciting colour worked. The lustre formulation is fairly moisturising, but I still wear it over balm.
A truly lovely set of highlighter creams with quality far exceeding the price. These look amazing on cheekbones, cupidís bow and in the corners of the eyes. This is my favourite E.L.F buy so far. The shimmer is very bright-white in all four colours, and I tend to use the pink and peach most often Ė the pink is especially pleasing for a pin-up look, having a similar finish to High Beam.
When I was growing up, in the UK, we all scented ourselves with aerosol ĎImpulseí sprays. This was in the early nineties. It was pre-Angel, and I canít remember fragrances being as sweet as teen picks now, and they were more powdery, denser, with a hangover of 80s heaviness to them. We donít have Victoriaís Secret or Bath and Body Works here, much to my frustration, so I canít compare Mist You Madly with those popular brands. Itís a lot nicer than Impulse sprays, but unlike the fruity effervescence favoured by Ralph Lauren, Harajuku Lovers, Paris Hilton and Escada, this body spray does have a certain old-school thickness to it that equally annoys and pleases me. Contrary to the notes listed (bergamot, freesia, blackcurrant, magnolia, vanilla, musk) this doesnít smell fruity to me. If I could guess the notes, I would suggest caramel, bergamot, amber, vanilla, praline, lavender, and most prominently, nutmeg. Itís fairly masculine, and if it wasnít packaged in pink I might suggest it to male friends, because itís rather in keeping with the new trend for male gourmands Ė Paco Rabanneís 1 Million, or Ghost. On the female side of things, it could be linked to Chopard Wish and Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy, though itís fuzzier and softer than those. I have recently realised there is a core to this scent reminiscent of Dior Dune, which I suppose is one thing that makes it feel a bit dated. You do have to use your imagination to make these connections, though. At first spray, Mist You Madly is rather alcohol infused, but it settles to be incredibly tenacious Ė far more like a perfume. There is a bad breath warmth that hangs around for the first few minutes, which wonít endear people to it. Itís rather nice as it settles, and I have layered it with other fragrances. There is something quite glamorous about Mist You Madly, but I donít know whether thatís a brand thing, rather than the scent. It's worth me mentioning that the Soap and Glory site lists ingredients on it, and those on the Mist You Madly page are different to those on my bottle - with parfum being the first on the site but the third on my bottle. I'm not sure if this is about reformulation, or deceit.
And so I return to Cetaphil gentle cleanser. I used to daydream about this product, which is still hard to find in the UK but was once virtually impossible. I had read it was a good, simple and gentle cleanser, similar, I imagined, to Kiehlís Washable Cleansing Milk or Dermalogicaís Ultra Calming Cleanser. I was right. I eventually located this when I was travelling in New Zealand, where the water, which has magic properties over there, made face skin look like peach skin. Now Iím back in the UK, where the water is heavily chemicalled, I canít use this all over my face because either it, or the water, is very slightly irritating. Now, I am a hawk regarding skin irritation, so not everyone might notice it, but for me, a cotton pad loaded with rose water and a dab of grapeseed oil will cleanse my face better than anything and is my preferred method. However, for the last few nights I have used a bit of Cetaphil on a cotton pad with some warm water, and gently swept eye makeup off in an upwards motion, and what do you know Ė it works brilliantly like this. Iíve followed this with a little rinse and so far so good. Maybe this will be the replacement for LUSH Baby Face, though Iím always leery of using products in outlandish ways.