Shampoo -Kerastase - Biotic Bain Bio Recharge Dry Hair
CombatWombat 7/19/2012 2:01:00 PM
As the two previous reviews have said, this is an excellent shampoo for a dry, itchy scalp. I purchased this shampoo this past winter when the itching became so severe that I couldn't stop scratching my scalp - I have the kind of dry skin that wakes me up in the middle of the night to scratch. This shampoo is gentle and moisturizing, more so than any other formula I've tried, even those geared towards itchy scalps and dandruff. I've tried to go a few days between washings, but that makes the itching worse, so now I shampoo every night and I'm no longer tempted to scratch my scalp open. This shampoo was about $40 CDN, which is really pushing the upper limits of my budget (I cut back on other things), but if it keeps me from going crazy, I'll gladly repurchase. I find myself needing it a little less in the summer, but will certainly keep it up once the humidity drops again.
Sunscreen -Avene - High Protection Emulsion 40 SPF
CombatWombat 7/15/2012 10:23:00 AM
I'm on my second tube of this sunscreen and I'm wondering why I ever repurchased it. This product is fairly unique in the Canadian market, as it's based on Tinsorb S and M, and it hasn't irritated my skin or significantly worsened my acne. I apply every day first thing in the morning, 1/2 teaspoon to cover my face, neck and ears. It is nearly impossible to apply the appropriate amount of product before it begins to smear into sticky white streaks, pill, and flake off. Adding a second layer doesn't work either, so it's impossible to achieve a cosmetically acceptable application of the right amount of product to achieve the spf 40. I also tend to get sunburns when I wear this, even if my exposure was not significant. I'm not sure how good the UVA coverage is, but clearly the UVB coverage is not as good as a regular spf 30. The product tends to separate, so even with vigorous shaking I still get a pool of yellow oil with my sunblock, which I either let dribble away or mix in with the cream. The tube does allow you to get everything out, but the opening is nearly flush with the rest of the cap so it gets messy almost immediately. So why two lippies instead of one? This sunscreen is very non-irritating as mentioned above, it removes easily with regular cleanser or with full-fat yogurt, and it doesn't burn my eyes as badly as an avobenzone-based product when it inevitably migrates into my eyes. Bottom line: buy from someone with a generous return policy.
Highly recommend, I will not use any other shaving products now that I'm so used to Moisture Shave. This cream gives a very smooth, close shave without any irritation, and rinses off cleanly. The only thing I've ever found to be more effective is straight aloe vera gel, but I prefer to use this product for convenience's sake. I prefer the Key Lime scent, and have repurchased several times.
A very nice-seeming product, and based on the reviews I had high hopes for it. The cleanser is thick and creamy because of the clay content. It has a strong but pleasant rose scent and rinses reasonably well. Unfortunately every time I use this my face turns almost neon pink. I'm a bit more reactive than someone with normal skin, but I wouldn't go so far as to call my skin sensitive, so I was very surprised by this result. I'm used to my face flushing after clay masks because of the increased circulation, but this was quite different, and felt itchy and uncomfortable. Because of this result, I won't buy the product again, nor would I recommend it to anyone with even remotely reactive skin. An electric pink face can't be a good thing! Additionally, I need at least one pump and usually two to clean my face, so the product is used up very quickly. It's not wildly expensive to buy, but considering how short a time it's lasted, regular repurchases would add up quickly. I like the philosophy behind the line and Ms. Healy certainly seems to have a strong background in skincare, so I would probably try other products from her range in the future, but I would not repurchase this cleanser.
What a spectacular color - shimmering green grey. The application is quite smooth and easy, and I get the effect I want in two coats. The finish does leave some brush strokes, but that has never bothered me. I found this color very easy to work with even though I'm not great at doing manis. As for the wear, it does chip after a couple of days, but absolutely everything chips after a couple of days, so I'm not holding it against it. If you can swallow the price, it's an awesome nail polish that I'm really looking forward to wearing on humid, sultry late summer days. I'm actually considering buying a backup bottle.
The color is awesome - a bright yellow somewhere between lemon and buttercup, with very fine gold shimmer. It looks surprisingly good on my super pale, always pink fingers and will be a lot of fun to wear this summer. Unfortunately, the application is awful, so it's nearly impossible for me to get an even, unlumpy coat with my normal base and top coats. It goes on sheer but somehow manages to form very thick edges, and it finds every flaw in my cuticles and grabs onto them for dear life, making it look like I've polished my nails with thick Crayola paint from kindergarten. I'm curious to try the two methods suggested below: applying over a sheer, pale color that self-evens well, or using Chanel's base coat, which I've been meaning to buy anyway. For now the best trick I've found is to start with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mellow Yellow, which is very close to the base color of Mimosa but without the shimmer. Once I've achieved opacity with the Mellow Yellow, I top with a coat of Mimosa. It's not perfect, but the Sally Hansen is a little easier to work with, and at least this way I'm not wasting three or four coats of Mimosa to get the same effect. I'll keep trying and definitely will hold onto this one, but I don't think I'll need a replacement once I'm out.
What a beautiful bright, cool green. Not much to add that hasn't been said before, but this is a beautiful color that I can see appealing even to those who normally avoid green polishes. It's opaque in two coats. I forget sometimes how ridiculously huge the brushes are on OPIs - this one was almost too wide for my nails, and I don't have unusually narrow nails. That's really my only complaint, and I know for most people a polish that's done in a single pass is a huge win.
As others have noted, this sunscreen does indeed go on pretty thickly. My skin is oily, congested and sensitive, and I'm able to wear this daily without worsening the state of my acne (and yes, I do wear the right amount of it too). It is goopy though, and it tends to eat any blotting powder I put over top of it within minutes, and it turns makeup into slush, so I've stopped using it for daily protection. Now I use Cliniderm on normal days and I save this sunscreen for skiing and beach trips. It protected my skin very nicely in Hawaii and Whistler this year, as it not only is an excellent sunscreen but it's also a very good barrier cream. I will certainly repurchase the next time I'm headed off on a sports trip as it's quite waterproof. I do recommend, and know that even if you can't use it daily for cosmetic reasons, it is fantastic for days when you need more tenacious coverage.
This is a very simple, non-drying (to me, anyway) bar soap intended for use on babies. I've been washing my face with it, and occasionally inviting it into the shower, for several months now and I'm very pleased with it. It has a light herbal scent and lathers well (I have to look into the review below that says it contains SLS - this would explain the lather), rinses cleanly and never leaves my face feeling tight or over-cleansed. It's always left the skin on my body clean and comfortable as well, including those *sensitive* areas. I think I paid around $10CAD for this bar, and it's lasted nearly six months with quite a lot of the bar remaining. It's kept me balanced in humid Hawaii and dry Toronto, and I'm definitely inclined to repurchase.
Absolutely gorgeous bright, opaque, glossy pink (not too far off from Pantone's 2011 color of the year, "honeysuckle;" imagine that) that has worn remarkably well on the nail I tested it on - no base/top coats, no babying, no chips. Ordinarily I find Chanel polishes to chip like crazy, but this polish has lasted for days and I've been sharpening knives, building Ikea shelves, roughhousing with my dog, you name it. Of course, I'm late to the game and this polish is totally sold out. I have no choice but to go looking on Ebay unless someone finds an amazing dupe. If you're lucky enough to try out or buy this polish, please do so - it's fresh, pretty and surprisingly sexy. If Chanel would make this part of their permanent collection, they'd have a customer for life in me. PS there is another bright pink in the permanent collection that, side by side with Pulsion, looks similar, but the regular is deeper and more blue. If Pulsion is too bright for you but you like the idea, this other pink might be perfect for you.
*sigh* I received this lotion as a lovely gift after I drove a prescription four hours round trip to a remote hospital. The scent is a lovely, true vanilla, not too sweet or foody. I was very surprised by the quality of the scent - I'm not a huge LUSH user and was expecting something much more synthetic. The lotion absorbed easily and left my hands feeling very comfortable. Then, about five minutes in, my head began to ache, and my boyfriend began to complain of a headache as well. He gets scent headaches all the time (although I think some of it is his little way of complaining about scents) but I rarely do, so this was quite a disappointment for me. I'm unable to use this lotion and left it up north. I'll try it again next time I'm up but am not going to get my hopes up. Perhaps another LUSH scent would treat me better.
Shampoo -Matrix - Biolage colorcarethérapie Delicate Care
CombatWombat 6/13/2010 1:38:00 AM
*EDIT* I forgot when I originally wrote this review that the product is loaded with silicones, and thus it leaves my hair limp and greasy by the next day. Two stars. I'm really of two minds with this product. I want to give it a fail b/c it's blatant greenwashing on the part of L'Oreal, the parent company. There's nothing especially natural about this product, even though it claims to have organic components. If you don't list the organization that has certified the ingredients, and this shampoo doesn't, the organic claim is meaningless. Yes, the bottle is recyclable, but are there any shampoo bottles still out there that can't be recycled? It's still a conventional product from a conventional company that tests on animals and is cynical enough to believe that by putting a picture of a leaf on the bottle we'll be dumb enough to believe that it's made of nothing but the love of Mother Nature Herself. This angers me enough to want to ruin the shampoo's good score. On the other hand, this is the best shampoo I've ever used, bar none. It's fantastic. It's gentle, lathers better than most sulfate formulas I've used, leaves my hair shiny and my scalp comfortable (no small feat), and it smells luscious. It's truly concentrated, takes only a small amount to coat my dense hair in the most luxurious lather imaginable, and I've definitely gotten my money's worth out of the bottle. It even looks nice in my shower. Perfect 5 on all the technical points. So, because I can't really reconcile these two sides, I'm giving this product a 3 for excellent performance and skin-crawling cynicism. I know I'll buy it again, but I'll hate myself for it. Maybe if we wrote Matrix and asked them even just to stop testing their Biolage range on animals, it would make a difference. I mean, obviously I need somewhere to direct my bile besides MUA.
Treatments -Matrix - Biolage - Delicate Care Organic Certified Oil
CombatWombat 6/13/2010 1:25:00 AM
A very nice blended hair oil comprised of olive oil, propylene glycol, argan oil, lavender essential oil and I believe limonene, which is part of the essential oil fragrance. So, it smells like lavender with grassy tones. I use this as a pre-shampoo treatment on lengths and ends and have found it to be very nice and moisturizing. I don't like it quite as much as a styler on damp or dry hair, although if used sparingly it can be done (smoothing, softening, adding definition, roping in strays). If I remember correctly, it's about $20 for a 3.4oz bottle, so it's pretty expensive for what it is, although you'll definitely get a lot of use out of it. The packaging is excellent though: a soft, easy to hold squeezy bottle with a twist open tip which makes it very easy to control where the oil's going on the occasions when I do actually apply it to my scalp. In light of this, here's my suggestion. Buy the original, use it, enjoy it. When you finish it up, buy some argan oil, lavender essential oil (or another EO if you prefer) and mix it up with some olive oil. Pour into Biolage bottle. Continue enjoying. I gave this product a 3 overall and said no to repurchase because, while it's a really nice product, I'd be a fool to repurchase something I could so easily make myself. But I'd definitely want the original bottle =) My hair: fine, dense, 1b (straightish to frizzy with very loose waves, straightens with brushing). Oily roots, dry angry ends, color-treated, just past mid-back.
Lotions/ Creams -Nature's Gate - Herbal Moisturizing Lotion with Papaya
CombatWombat 6/1/2010 4:32:00 PM
Aha! How is it that I haven't reviewed this creamy lotion yet? It's very fresh and rich, not too greasy (it does leave the slightest film, so it might be best at night), is pretty well-priced and smells lovely. The Body Shop used to make an aloe lotion that smelled just like this too, but this formula is more natural. I used to buy the small tubes and tuck them into my backpack - it's been so long since I've bought any I don't know if they still make the smaller tubes. Seeing these reviews has reminded me to pick up another bottle next time I see one. Definitely worth trying out!
My review is also for the "Oil of Love," in the glass corked bottle, Strawberry Champagne and Chocolate Mint flavors. These oils smell and taste *delicious* and yes, they really do warm up with a gentle breath (oh my!). Nice slip, but I can't comment on their lasting ability as they are usually ... ahem ... nibbled away within ten minutes or so. Only cons are the price and the cork in the bottle, which while elegant usually has to be pulled out with the teeth. Not so sexy. A pump bottle would be more conducive to intimate moments. If you spot these, do give them a try, especially the little trial sized bottles; I've yet to find anything that compares.