Meh. As others have said, it looks fab in the bottle, but really only works as a topcoat. The photo above is over OPI Eurso Euro. I like it as a sparkly topcoat, but this will not work on its own. The packaging is ok. I love the rubberized grip on the lid, but the brush is very thin.
I'm adding another rave review for this stuff. I prefer oils to lotion for my post bath/shower moisturizing. I find that the moisturizing effects of oil last longer than lotion, and never feel sticky to me. I've long been a devotee of Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse, and this is similar, but slightly better, in my opinion. Caudalie's oil is roughly the same price, but a bit thinner and more apt to sink in quickly. Additionally, Caudalie's oil is a wee bit more fragranced. If one is a fragranceophobe, the Caudalie oil might be too strongly scented. I like my body product fragrance turned up to 11, so the Caudalie is a winner. Interestingly, the respective fragrances of the Nuxe oil and the Caudalie oil are quite similar, but the Caudalie fragrance has more of a pronounced fresh white flower note, where the Nuxe oil is a bit more vanillic. My only complaint, if it can be considered as such, is that the bottle is long, glass, hefty, smooth, and cylindrical. A hefty, oily, glass bottle in the bathroom may pose a risk for the accident prone. The Nuxe bottle is also glass, but square and palm-sized, so therefore less likely to drop and break. However, it's the contents that matter, and these contents are superior.
I actually wasn't crazy about this as a conditioner. It's one of the solid bars, so you can't expect it to have any slip or detangling properties. It does add a bit of moisture, and my fine hair is not weighed down afterwards. I love that it has no packaging, though. I'm currently obsessed with trying to reduce my contribution to the global trash heap, and package-free is better than recycling! So why 5 lippies? It excels as a body moisturizer. Before I towel off, I smear this all over, and my skin is smooth as a baby's. It smells like heaven, too! It's a soft vanilla, coconut, and jasmine melange, and it's just indescribably beautiful. I still use it as a conditioner, but I do need to use some type of detangler after, or I need to be extremely patient and careful while combing my hair out. I'm super happy that I can use something that smells so good for two purposes. Ingredients: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera) , Fine Sea Salt (Sodium Chloride) , Glycerl Stearate & Peg - 100 Stearate , Propylene Glycol , Glycerine , Fresh Organic Lemon Juice (Citrus limonum) , Cetearyl Alcohol , Bladderwrack Seaweed (Fucus gardneri) , Fresh Lime Juice (Citrus aurantifolia) , Cold Pressed Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis) , Fragrance , Cetrimonium Bromide , Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia) , Vetivert Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides) , Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum grandiflorum) , Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia) , Candelilla Wax (Euphorbia cerifera) , Titanium Dioxide , Methyl Ionone , Geraniol , *Linalool , *Coumarin , *Limonene Green ingredients = Natural ingredients Black ingredients = Safe synthetics
I received a small spray vial of this in Paris last summer and didn't give it much thought. Why create a flanker to an 80s aldehyde powerhouse in 2011? Since I quickly ran through my travel-sized fragrance I brought with me, I gave Un Air de First a whirl, expectations low. Holy galbanum, Batman! I love galbanum, especially the galbanum in Maison Martin Margiela's Untitled. In addition to this heavenly green sweetness, I get a soft jasmine and understated, effervescent aldehyde combo, with a touch of light, ethereal musk. Color me surprised! It falls in the SFW category; not exactly avant garde, but what do you expect from VC&A? Nevertheless, it's got *something*, and that something is mighty nice. It's perfect for someone like me, who likes a touch of aldehydes, but not the shoulder pad aldehydes of No. 5, Arpège, or the original First. I started hoarding the little spray vial, feverishly watching it dwindle. I hate paying retail for flankers, as I almost always end up seeing them at Marshall's or some similar outlet for a fraction of the original cost. I've trolled all the discount stores to no avail. Neiman Marcus no longer carries it online, so I bit the bullet and bought the 3.3 oz size from Saks. I fear that this may be discontinued very soon, and that's a shame. It seems that it was never widely distributed, so it may never even make an appearance at US discount stores. One can only wonder if this would have done better as an original fragrance in its own right, and not simply a flanker to a fragrance of days gone by. We may never know.
I was very curious about this product after reading the favorable reviews on the Sephora site. I take those reviews with a grain of salt, however, as I find them to be less candid and more likely to rave needlessly about mediocre products. I have fine, bleach-treated, damaged hair, and haven't had much success with other protein conditioners. Although this is designed to replace lost keratin from Brazilian keratin treatments, it worked wonderfully to smooth out my breakage. For the first time in ages, my hair feels healthy, silky, and is very light reflective. I use this along with the It's a 10 leave in treatment, which is great, but wasn't enough to hide the damage in my hair by itself. I'd definitely repurchase this conditioner, despite the price. In a perfect world, I'd like this to be paraben-free, but it performs so well, I'll overlook the ingredients. Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Behentrimonium Chloride, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Glycerin, Panthenol, Methylparaben, Poloxamer 184, Citric Acid, C11-15 Pareth-7, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Laureth-9, Tetrasodium EDTA, Trideceth-12, Fragrance.
Fans of the original Philosykos EDT might not like this. The original, like most Diptyque fragrances, didn't have enough heft for me, being altogether too pale and fleeting. I wasn't really in the market for another creamy fig scent, as this has been done into the ground (but if you had to have just one creamy fig, Philosykos would be the one, for sure). The new EDP concentration ramps up both the lasting power of the top notes, and turns the cedar up to 11. The result is a perfect scent memory for me of summers spent on my parents' friend's ranch in central Texas. There's the odd coconut note (sunscreen) mixing with the sweetness of soap and insect repellent, all filtering through Texas cedar trees. Outstanding. Now, if Diptyque would only release ALL of their fragrances in the EDP concentration.
I'm on my second mammoth bottle, and this is my favorite natural ingredient moisturizer. It is fragranced, but I happen to love the scent. It's a warm, vanillic, yummy sort of smell, and seems to mesh well with multiple perfumes. It's very emollient, but sinks in quickly, and isn't greasy at all. The price is a little high for drugstore/Target lotion, at $9.99 USD, but I won't argue because the product is well worth it. The packaging is a little iffy, the pump on my first bottle cracked, so I replaced it with the pump from another Shea Moisture product (bottles are all the same size). I think the pump is also a little short, because it's a bit of a pain to get the last bit out. Still, I haven't found anything better, so I imagine I'll purchase again and again. Ingredients: Deionized Water, Raw Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Olus Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Nut Oil, Centhera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Borage Officinalis Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Rosa Rubiginosa (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) Oil, Chamomile Extract, Myrrh Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract *Certified Organic Ingredient
I originally bought this looking to replace a freebie Lancome lipstick I received in a gift with purchase, Crushed Rose. Sephora doesn't sell this anymore, so I swatched until I found the closest thing; Exotic Orchid. There are MUA reviews for Crushed Rose in the Rouge Sensation line, but I don't think this exists anymore. There is a Crushed Rose in the L'Absolu line on the Lancome website, but I didn't want to risk $30 on something that might not be what I was looking for. Anyhow, this is my perfect MLBB lipstick. My lips are fairly pigmented, but this gives them a very natural 'oomph'. The texture is very nice and creamy, non-drying, and the scent doesn't bug me. It's a very nice, neutral to cool mauve-y berry color, and would probably work on many skin tones. I have fair to medium neutral skin and blonde hair, and this is very flattering. I can't say I love the packaging; It's very plain Jane, and there's no YSL decadence with application. Still, the product inside is well worth it. The tube has a magnetic closure, which I guess is nice. There are extremely fine shimmer particles in the stick, but you can't really see them on your lips. I don't think the name Exotic Orchid really fits; there isn't really anything exotic about it, and I usually associate the word 'exotic' with bright or strange, and the word 'orchid' with purple. This is none of those things.
Eye Shadow -Sonia Kashuk - Instructional Eye on Neutral Palette
A88A 2/16/2012 8:49:00 PM
I've been scouting out a nice matte neutral palette for a while now, and I'm happy to say I've found that this is it! The colors are all perfectly neutral, and the pigment payoff is pretty good. Staying power is excellent. I suppose in a perfect world the texture would be a little softer, but these are by no means chalky. For the price, I stand by the 5 lippie rating.
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Cyclic Nano Silver Cleanser
A88A 12/22/2011 8:36:00 PM
I have to add my rave to the list. I can't seem to go 3 days without a zit cropping up on my face, but after only 2 weeks of using this, ALL of my zits have dried up, and I haven't gotten a single new one. Amazing! I don't have cystic, disfiguring acne, but my zits were annoying and visible enough that I didn't feel comfortable leaving the house without a liberal amount of foundation. Now I feel fine with a light dusting of mineral powder (over sunscreen, of course). I follow the directions with this; lather, apply to face, wait 6 minutes, rinse, in the morning and evening. I keep my bar in the fridge, and slice off small pieces that I keep in an airtight jar in my bathroom cabinet. No word yet on whether this fades age spots or refines skin texture, but I wanted to post a review that this clears zits with lightening speed. It's quite spendy, even on Amazon, but I don't mind paying extra for a product that actually works. I'll definitely edit if I notice anything improving further or if it stops working for me, but for now, I'm in love. EDIT 2/10/12: I'm still loving this stuff. I've gotten a small zit or two here and there, but not a single hormonal chin or jawline breakout, which used to be regular fare. Any zits I do get seem to heal far faster than usual.
Styling Products -Got 2 Be - POWDER'ful Volumizing Styling Powder
A88A 10/9/2011 9:07:00 PM
This stuff works very well! I have baby fine hair that tends to fall flat at the roots, and I really like the bulk this gives me. I especially like that I can rub it directly onto my scalp, rather than being at the mercy of wherever an application of spray dry shampoo ends up. There is no white powdery fallout either, although I'm blonde. It seems like this disappears fairly well, though, so I bet this would be fine for dark haired lovelies. It will dull shine somewhat, so I'd recommend applying it as closely to the roots as possible. Ingredients are as follows: Aqua, Silica Silylate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Octylacrylamide/Acrylates/Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer. I have no idea what those last things are. They appear to be a fine plastic powder of some sort, so definitely not for the all-natural hippie types. The following website suggests that these may be banned in the EU, so I wouldn't use this stuff every day, but for a night out it sure makes a fantastic base for a gravity-defying bouffant. You probably would want to wash it out ASAP to avoid any potential health concerns. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient.php?ingred06=704229 Should we be concerned about that? I don't know. I knocked off a lippie because of this ingredient's nebulous health status. The EU bans a lot of things, sometimes with good cause. I'm not extremely worried. If anyone knows more, feel free to pipe up. Until then, I'll be continuing to use this. Here's another link to other products that include this ingredient: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/browse.php?containing=704229&showmore=products
Styling Products -Redken - Body Full Volume Amplifier
A88A 7/31/2011 12:15:00 PM
I'm not sure if this is a new product, as I was somewhat surprised to find there was not already a review for it. I bought it on impulse, while shopping for shampoo and conditioner (also Redken Body Full, which I would similarly give 4 stars). The reviews for this on Amazon are pretty scathing, but I suspect that people may not be using this product as intended, or they have unrealistic expectations. I have baby fine, chemically lightened blonde hair that is a bit shorter than a bob. Folks who have long hair must realize that a light spray is probably not going to counteract the sheer weight of long hair. I always use this on CLEAN, DAMP hair, as folks with fine hair should know that there are only two products you ought to be putting on fine dirty hair: dry shampoo and/or hairspray. I like that this product isn't overly thick or sticky. Many volumizers achieve their thickening powers by coating the hair in a glue-like substance, that while does make hair look bigger, also renders it pretty untouchable. I find that this spray adds a very slight 'oomph' while maintaining the lovely silkiness that only fine hair has. Another word of advice: don't spray the heck out of your hair with this. I think that might be the main reason folks on Amazon don't like this spray. If you have fine hair, ANY product is going to weigh it down and grease it up if you overdo it. On my length of hair, I find 4-5 spritzes is about right. It also maintains shine really well. More heavy duty volumizers often dull the hair. It smells good, but not amazing or anything. I think the only thing holding me back from 5 stars is the price. I believe I paid about $15 USD for a 5 oz bottle of it, which for that kind of money, I expect a larger size or an absolutely intoxicating fragrance.
I really love this color! It's got a great glittery sheen that borders on duochrome. (It only seems to pick up the duochrome effect in certain lighting) This looks nice on my fair skin, but I'd bet it would look great on just about any skin color. Two coats will get you a smooth even application. This looks to be a limited edition, as it was on a small seasonal display with bronzers and other similarly funky colored nail polishes.
This will be a circuitous review. I live in Texas, and because I'm totally insane, I ride my bicycle around in the summer. Naturally, I get insanely sweaty. Sometimes I reach my destination and obviously am not at my freshest. Enter Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mentafollia! I realized I'd never reviewed it, so I corrected that before writing this. In that review, I explained that I likened the drydown of GAAM to 'the illusion of a shower.' I picked up MJ Biscotti at Marshall's for the rock bottom price of $22. I was expecting a cookie or cake gourmand, and that is not at all what I got. Instead, I got a salty skin scent with an oddly familiar fresh note. It hit me: the mintless yet still fresh drydown of GAAM! In short, now I can smell exactly like I smell after riding my bike somewhere while never actually getting on my bike. Weird, and possibly completely unhelpful, but I call 'em like I smell 'em.
This begins with a sweet and fresh peppermint. Somehow, it manages to avoid any gum or toothpaste connotations. Shortly thereafter, there is a distinct citrus zest smell, maybe orange, could be lemon.Underneath, there is an herby crushed fresh leaf smell that is not unlike tea. If it could stay there, it might just merit 5 lippies, but alas, it dries down to a shower gel smell, which while not unpleasant, is more suited for cleansing the body. I like to spray this on when I need the illusion of a shower.