Misc Beauty Tools -Rembrandt - Advanced Whitening Strips
98gaucho 9/21/2008 2:33:00 AM
I decided to try this product after Real Simple Magazine featured it as the best whitening strips. I was impressed. I've used professional bleaching kits from my dentist (Opalescence) that did a terrifc job but really made my gums hurt. The Rembrandt strips came pretty close in terms of whitening my teeth but without the pain. I drink coffee everyday and this made a difference. I'm on my second box.
Basic Five for Normal Skin - I'm 31 years old and I have relatively good skin (occasional pimple, few lines). I've used Lancome, Clarins, Neutrogena, Aveeno, Kate Somerville, and Dermalogica in the past. Some of the previous brands make me break out but Arcona's products did not. I was impressed with the quality and the fact that they try to use "natural" ingredients. Here's a breakdown of what I thought about each product in the travel kit: 1) Toner Tea Bar: I am used to foaming gel cleanser so I was a little hesitant to use this stuff. But I'd have to say it cleans without stripping my skin and the scent is pleasant. 2) Golden Grain Grommage: the exoliating particles are rather huge in this product compared to others so I have to use a very light hand. But it smells great (citrusy) and does the job. 3) Magic White Ice: Allthough I love the creaminess and thickness of conventional moisturizers, this product did a fine job moisturizing my skin. I was surprised! It has a gel like texture and a nice light berry scent. I must admit I do miss the texture of creaminess though. Especially during the winter why my skin is drier so I switch back to La Mer in the winter. 4) Desert Mist: Okay...this product took some time to grow on me because it smells like soy sauce. There were times when I wanted to gag after applying it and the liquid consistency is somwhat hard to work with. But I've been trying to use it recently because I like the idea of environmental protection on my face. So far, so good. 5) Gentle Solution: I really like this gel liquid stuff. Again, I sorta miss using creamy moisturizers at night but I do think this does a good job refining my skin at night. I do wake up with a glow. Overall, I would say that I really like Arcona products and would definitely buy them again. One of the betters brands I have tried. ($87 USD)
Bronzers -Lancome - Poudre Soleil-Sun Kissed bronzing powder
98gaucho 8/10/2008 2:14:00 AM
I have this in Bronze Terre. I am an NC30 and I tan in the summer so right now, it doesn't really show up on me that much (I am using Nars Casino). But I think this color would look great in the winter, when my skin is back to light/medium. I also prefer a more subtle looking bronzer in the winter months. It isn't orange-y and the shimmer is very subtle. Doesn't make me break out either.
Liquid -Christian Dior - Diorskin Pure Light [DISCONTINUED]
98gaucho 7/17/2008 7:52:00 PM
I love this product. I have reasonably clear skin but it can be uneven. This product makes my skin look flawless. I mix it with moisturizer to give me even lighter coverage when I want a very natural look (however, this foundation is pretty sheer in the first place - if you are looking for heavy coverage, this isn't it!). It does seem to contain some reflective particles, which I like. My skin can be sensitive to some products and the wrong thing will make my face break out in a rash but this foundation was fine. I am a MAC NC30 (yellow undertones) and I purchased #301/Blonde in this product. However, I can't seem to find this color anymore. I found #300 but this looks really orange to me.
For reference, I'm a MAC NC30, BE Light. Stripdown is what I wished Spice would be. I've tried Spice so many times but it always looked too pink for me. I used Cork for a while but on me, it is way too dark for a nude lip. So glad I found Stripdown.
For reference, I'm a MAC NC30/BE Light. I like this lipgloss. It looks really bright (peachy pink sorbet, no shimmer) in the tube but it's actually fairly sheer. It gives me a light 60s lip without the frost. I use it with Nars Jilted Love lipliner so that my lips have a little bit of definition. I've tried this gloss with other liners but they were generally too dark or too pink. I just wish that this gloss were flavored like the ones from MAC.
Lipstick -NARS - Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Belle De Jour
98gaucho 2/23/2008 6:32:00 PM
I agree with the previous reviewer in that this reminds me a lot of concealer because of the color and the consistency (matte). I would never wear this lip liner on its own as a lipstick. However, I do like it as a lipliner to wear with my Belle De Jour lipstick. It glides on smoothly and provides a bit of definition on me. It isn't as long lasting as regular lip liner but the color matches almost exactly with the lipstick. I've tried other liners but they were either too dark, too bright peach, or too pink. So, I will be using this in conjunction with the lipstick. The price is completely insane though - $24. [MAC NC30, BE Light]
I really like this fragrance. The mandarin orange scent smells sweet yet energizing. I usually mix it with Exotic but I recently went to The Body Shop and they were mixing it with Strawberry. Both combinations smell great but Satsuma is also terrific on its own. I would repurchase.
On it's own, this scent is way too sweet for me. It reminds me of a hypersweet tropical fruity drink. However, as a previous reviewer mentioned below, it smells terrific mixed with Satsuma (which smells like mandarin oranges).
Fragrances -The Body Shop - Oceanus Home Fragrance Oil
98gaucho 1/25/2008 9:11:00 PM
I know I am in the minority here but I didn't like this b/c I generally dislike marine scents. Something about them smells more masculine than unisex to me. However, I do like the quality of Body Shop oils.
Other -The Body Shop - Home Fragrance Oil in Pina Colada
98gaucho 1/25/2008 9:04:00 PM
This is way sweeter than I thought it would smell but I still like it. My favorite car air freshner scent in high school was pina colada and it always reminds me of summertime and heading to Huntington Beach with my friends. Very nostalgic scent for me.
Fragrances -The Body Shop - Home Fragrance Oil Hit The Beach Party (ltd ed)
98gaucho 1/16/2008 10:45:00 PM
Oooh, this smells good. I thought it would have a unisex marine scent like Oceanus (which I don't like) but it doesn't. It smells sweeter, but still light and beachy. It smells like freesias. I wish it wasn't a limited edition. I had to buy this fragrance on Ebay. **Update 1/25/08 - Bought Pina Colada and Hit the Beach off of Ebay b/c they are no longer available at the store and they both smell great too!
Other -The Body Shop - Gingerbread Home Fragrance Oil
98gaucho 1/16/2008 10:39:00 PM
The quality of this product is good but I don't like the scent. It's very spicy and I wish it were a tad bit sweeter.
Other -The Body Shop - Home Fragrance Oil in Cassis Rose
98gaucho 1/14/2008 1:18:00 AM
I wanted to try this scent b/c I've always wanted Diptyque's Baies (Berries & Bulgarian Rose) Home Candle. However, I was not willing to shell out $55 so I figured this oil ($7.50 USD) will have to do. I actually can't remember what Baies smells like anymore so I am not sure if they are similar. But I do like this Body Shop oil. I usually dislike rose scents but this smells nice. I think the berries makes it smell younger and sweeter than a straight rose scent. It's very feminine. I also like the quality of Body Shop oils more than Bath & Body's b/c the scent lingers in the air longer.
I recently became obsessed with these oils. I've also tried the ones from Bath & Body but these are better in terms of quality and packaging. The Body Shop bottles dispense the oils more efficiently. I have: Tobacco Flower (my favorite), Satsuma (citrusy/orange peel scent), African Spa (light floral), Exotic (very sweet & fruity), and Very Vanilla (sweet foody scent). I mix and match them depending on my mood. I have a small apartment and these oils make the whole space smell terrific within a few minutes. I burn them in natural soapstone burners. Price: $7.50 USD. ***Update 1/25/08 - I just bought Pina Colada and Hit the Beach (Limited Editions no longer available at the store) and they both smell great!