Interesting thing about this product: . I have normal skin that doesn't really break out all that often (knock on wood). It just gets a little dull and dry--a sign, according to my derm, that I should exfoliate. So I tried this stuff 2-3 times per week and it makes my skin a little softer, and a little brighter. It's not life-changing, but for me, it doesn't have to be. Thus, I recommend it. . My husband has ridiculously problematic skin--cystic acne (still!) that never really appears as pimples, but causes all sorts of painful pressure beneath the skin. And oily to the hilt--like, white pillowcases are dingy within a week (I'm really sorry if you were eating when you read that!) ...And he's stolen my tube. I won't say that it cures his skin problems because his issues are probably the sort that only respond to Hail Mary professional measures, but he says that it seems to work "well enough" to keep things "at bay." . So there you have it--two hits, one bottle.
Conditioner -Aubrey Organics - White Camellia Conditioner
BothCoasts 12/13/2011 11:37:00 PM
I really wanted to like this one because I drive a Subaru and my other liberal car is a limousine. The packaging alone takes me back to my mom's 80s retro-hippie-yuppie days at the Nature Mart. I realized looking at the label that I have no idea what camellias smell like, which may have contributed to my surprise as to the fairly herbal woodsy scent that came out of the bottle. I wasn't enamored with the scent (I said limousine-liberal, not actual hippie), and would prefer something a little more floral-clean, but it wasn't particularly a problem. The real problem was that it made my hair flat and crunchy-dry somehow, despite the fact that the product is as thick as Crisco. And if I went a day without washing, my second-day hair looked like I dunked it in actual Crisco. . I do have baby-fine strands and a lot of them, which means that my hair looks thick, but it's not actually thick, if you know what I mean. So perhaps this conditioner was a little too heavy for my wimpy locks. The silver lining is, I gave it a fair shake for about 10 days and then my local Whole Foods took it back with a receipt. Yours will probably as well if the conditioner doesn't work out for you either. And if it does, well, hippie, rock on.
In full disclosure, shampoo is shampoo is shampoo to me. I'm much more of a conditioner girl--in my life, shampoo is just to curtail oil and grime and the conditioner does the REAL work in making me look good. . Soooo...I got this as a gift because someone like me doesn't pay $9 for shampoo and when I read the label, my first thoughts were "Antioxidants for my hair? Are we really doing that now? Didn't I learn in like, eighth grade that hair is comprised of dead skin cells?" Yes, yes, I did. You probably did, too. And if there was any question as to the necessity of antioxidants for your hair, look up the statistics on "adult-onset hair cancer" and "pediatric tress tumors." Riiight. Man, even dogfood can't quite match this sort of marketing pizzazz and your pup's actually ingesting that. . Among the other claims from Desert Essence is that this shampoo contains UV filters as well as a healthy dose of extra vitamins and minerals. Which is all very well if you go for that sort of thing, but like I said, you asked me and we're talking about shampoo. Did I notice my hair feeling noticeably softer, healthier, magazine-worthy after using this? Nope. But it didn't make me angry because it didn't make my hair like straw and it didn't disappoint me because I'm not out nine bucks. . In my view, the $9 pricetag all comes down to a few factors: 1. ECO-FRIENDLINESS: label says it's biodegradable; doesn't have parabens or laureth sulfate/sls; petroleum; silicone; not tested on animals; and made in the USA (with wind power, natch). However, label also says "Organic" and they're not certified as such by the USDA (hence why they don't have the requisite seal), so that kind of makes the label suspicious. 2. SMELL: It's strong, it's sweet and fruity and some people like it, but it's also synthetic: grape is sort of tricky because there's no way it can't have a hint of Jolly Rancher. And this stuff smells precisely like Dimetapp. Luckily, it seems to fade from my hair when I wash with it. ...or maybe it's my expensive conditioner that covers it up.
Lotions/ Creams -L'Occitane - 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream
BothCoasts 1/14/2010 6:54:00 PM
As most people will tell you, this is a great hand-cream, if we're talking about moisturizing your hands. It's one drawback is that it can take some time to absorb. But in the grand scheme of things, hand-cream is hand-cream and I'm sure that there's other stuff out there that's much cheaper which will do as good a job. Which leaves the rest for the price: the packaging & the smell. The packaging is nice (I have the travel-sized version) and has that apothecary-chic thing going for it, but I'm a busy girl and I don't really like the screw-top. It's kind of fussy when you're trying to creme your hands at stoplights or on the subway--much prefer a flip top or something. Plus, the smell of this stuff is a bit powder-grandmother-y. Don't get me wrong--I think L'Occitane has quality stuff, but they've got some nerve with the price for this product. I'd buy the Neutrogena hand cream for $5 and spend the remaining dollars on twenty new iTunes.
This sunscreen works as a physical barrier, rather than a chemical one; thus, it will probably leave a subtle white/ashy cast to the face. If you want a physical blocker, however, this is a very nice one that's not outrageously smelly. I agree with other reviewers, however, that this is the kind of sunscreen that you break out for the beach, not for your outdoor wedding because of the ashiness and shininess it will bring to your complexion. The jury is still out as to physical v. chemical sunscreens, but this one does rank very low hazard by the folks at Skin Deep database (which looks at cosmetics in terms of health and safety), fyi.
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Coconut Body Butter
BothCoasts 1/13/2010 9:57:00 PM
Alright, alright, I bought it because that adorable girl in Lucky said it was the best coconut scent. And she's kind of right--coconut tends to smell either too sugary or too artificial in beauty products, but this one has a freshness to it. I also liked that while I could smell the product when I put it on, it wasn't cloying and I didn't feel like I was walking around in a cloud of it all day. The lotion itself is quite thick and may take a while to sink in. I addressed that problem by applying it straight out of the shower--using it on moist skin seemed to help speed it up. I took away one lippie because I don't like the packaging. Dipping my fingers over and over into a tub of something that frankly, looks like Crisco, is not the most glamorous experience and after that virgin scoop, the tub always looks kind of, well, nasty. Go to The Body Shop, open up one of the testers and ask yourself if what you see really makes you feel fresh. You'll see what I mean. PS--a good compromise for me was to buy the travel sized version--yes, it's just lotion, but it did look a little cuter in a smaller tub.
As far as the blush itself goes, it's a nice product. Fine texture, not to chalky, and it deposits color nicely. So if this is representative of the line of blushes at Nars, it bodes well. However, let's talk about the color. Magazines have long said this color "works on every complexion" (a ridiculous statement to make for any product)--yeah, um, not me. My skin has yellow undertones and this is way too pink. Plus, as other reviews have noted, it shimmers worse than tinsel to the point that I can't imagine any person over sixteen would wear this without the cover of darkness. Try it before you buy it--it may look lovely on some, but on me it looks like Barbie on crack.
Moisturizers -Olay - Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 50
BothCoasts 1/13/2010 10:12:00 AM
Judging by the reviews, it seems that this product might be too heavy unless your skin is dry. My skin errs towards dry so, so far, so good. I don't have any problem with slickness or irritation--in fact, I'm looking pretty matte and healthy. My skin feels soft and smooth after using. I think, however, that while this moisturizes my skin just fine, with SPF 50, it's kind of more like a sunscreen that has moisturizing properties, rather than a moisturizer with sunscreen. I should mention, however, that it is winter, and I usually switch products anyway towards the summer--something like this might be too heavy in the warmer months (which kind of defeats the point of the high SPF since that's when I'm outdoors more often!). We'll have to see about that, but for now, I'm happy. Oh, I took away one lippie because when $30 came up on the register at RiteAid, I nearly choked on my chapstick.
Aside from the novelty of seeing one's own blackheads in all their glory, somehow I just don't think that it's necessary to remove skin layers to do so...And considering that my nose flaked for days afterwards, I guess I KNOW it's not necessary.
I'm not one for bells and whistles and I haven't yet used this to try and take off make-up--only as a cleanser. In addition, I don't expect miracles from a cleanser because hope as I might, there ain't nothing money can buy that's going to offset the effects of insomnia or stress on my skin. For me, hoping that a cleanser can combat/prevent the occasional outbreak is expecting that my multivitamin will stave off the flu: both are good practices for general health, but not cures. So, for my purposes, I need a good, basic cleanser that rinses clean away and is relatively inexpensive. Bingo, Neutrogena. This one may err a bit on the dry side (my skin also leans dry, but I use moisturizer afterwards and I'm fine) and does contain fragrance, but overall, it's a nice formula that's pleasant to use and I look forward to it in the morning and after a long day. It feels soft on the skin while using and doesn't leave a residue afterwards. The pump packaging is also great and convenient in the shower too.
Shampoo -Burt's Bees - Super Shiny Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo
BothCoasts 1/12/2010 9:16:00 AM
Balls, I really wanted to like this product. But it dried out my hair and made it the texture of straw, and tangled it worse than off-season Christmas lights--and while dryness can be a common complaint for non-SLS shampoos, conditioner didn't help either.
Conditioner -Fresh - Pomegranate Conditioning Hair Rinse
BothCoasts 1/12/2010 8:55:00 AM
Hair products can seriously work for some and seriously not work for others, depending on your hair. Case in point: I got a travel-sized bottle of this from a friend who hated it. She has thin, blonde, colored & heat-styled, slightly oily hair. I have thick, brown, virgin (no coloring, rare heat styling), slightly dry hair. And my hair loves this. It makes it shiny and soft. It's winter, so I can't comment on frizz, but otherwise I love it. The smell is also bang-up AMAZING--it's a fruity floral, but for grown-ups. I took away a couple lippies, however, because really, this is the sort of product that's for the following consumers: those ruled by their olafactory senses and those who can spend $26 on conditioner and sleep at night.
Moisturizers -La Mer - Creme de la mer moisturizer
BothCoasts 1/11/2010 4:45:00 AM
At best, this is a basic moisturizer. At best. It was fine for me, but no more effective than Olay. Or Pond's. Or Neutrogena. Or insert-moisturizer-here. That's looking on the bright side. The reality is this is consumer insanity. Those that really want to believe money can buy youth contribute to the hype, insisting that yes--it works!! It really, really does work!! At $130, it MUST work, it HAS to work, right?!! But the reality is that even if sea kelp were a magical ingredient (which it's not), the silicones in this product--which make it essentially Vaseline--are preventing it from penetrating the skin anyway--and, any change in texture to the skin is due to the mixture of mineral oil, petroleum, and various other silicones that consitute this product. Honestly, at that price, this is the beautyworld equivalent of the flea circus or the travelling peddler selling vials of tap water labeled "From the Fountain of Youth" in fool's gold.
Do they even make this anymore? As most of the reviews have implied, I think that this cleanser is best for people who have dry skin and/or don't wear a whole lot of make-up...which describes me. A lot of cleansers make my normal-to-dry skin feel stripped and tight; this one doesn't. The trade-off is, it will feel like you haven't quite rinsed it all off. The solution is either use it in the shower or wipe it off with a damp washcloth. I prefer the second method because my skin likes the exfoliation that the washcloth does. Otherwise, it's been fine for my skin; however, I skimped on the lippies because it's a whole lotta moola for "fine."
Gels/Soaps -Kiehls - Aloe Vera Biodegradable Liquid Body Cleanser
BothCoasts 5/10/2009 7:33:00 PM
I didn't buy it for Brad; I didn't buy it because it's biodegradable; I didn't buy it to support JPF Eco Systems. I bought it because I like the scent--it's cool and light with a hit of mint. And because it left my hands clean and soft without drying them out. I'm that shallow. The rest is gravy as far as I'm concerned.