I've been on a major hunt for natural products due to a new boyfriend with exceptional chemical sensitivities. The Keys line has been a godsend! Not only is it completely free of irritating, unhealthy, or questionable ingredients (including glutens, sulfates, sulfites, EDTA, etc.), but it's exceptionally effective in giving my reactive, breakout-prone skin a lovely, clear glow. I don't wear makeup on a daily basis anymore! The lotion IS rich, but I've had much worse results with other lotions (Olay, Murad, Boots, Aqua Glycolic, Alpha Hydrox). And like I said- I still wore makeup on my face every day while I used those products, and now I just wear eye makeup on the average day. I couldn't be more pleased with this product. My skin looks better than it has in my adult life. Yay, Keys!
I am a huge, enthusiastic fan of this product! My SO has extreme chemical sensitivities (phthalates, sulfates, sulfites, EDTA, BHT, glutens-- the list goes on), so I had to re-evaluate my beauty routine. In addition, I have sensitive, reactive skin prone to breakouts (e.g. the napkins in the cafeteria at work give me a fine rash). In the past, I've used Aqua Glycolic and Alpha Hydrox with a fair degree of success. However, both use sulfates as lathering ingredients, which was a deal-breaker. The pharmacist at the local apothecary recommended Keys, and I could scarcely be happier. Not only is it free of all of the chemicals and irritants that are so common in other cleansers, but it feels clean and fresh without over-cleaning. The one down side to this product is that it is NOT effective at removing eye makeup, but I just swab down with jojoba oil first, and it works like a charm. My skin has been clear, free of breakouts, soft, and glowing since I started using this product. In the interest of full disclosure: The BF still reacts to one of the aromatic ingredients in this product (clary sage)-- but our options are so limited and I've gotten such great results (I no longer wear makeup on my face, except for special occasions), that I'm willing to simply alter my routine rather than give it up. :) I've also recommended it to other friends who are interested in natural products or who have especially sensitive skin. Thank you, Keys, for producing a gentle, truly natural soap!
Lip Treatments -Soap and Glory - Sexy Motherpucker Lip Gloss
Dollface11 1/18/2009 2:00:00 PM
Like most of the reviewers, I found the name of this product so intriguing that I couldn't wait to try it. I wouldn't go out of my way to find products with the taste this one has (chocolatey-- not my favorite), but once I got used to it, it was fine. Initially, I wore this over lip balm, which diminished its staying power, but made it a little softer and the SMP seals the moisture in nicely. My favorite trick now is to use CoverGirl Outlast LipStain under SMP for a look that looks natural, but better: The lip stain gives my lips a nice flushed hue, and the SMP makes them plumper, smoother, and shinier. The net result is sexy, younger-looking lips! What a great side benefit! I first bought the three-pack of this product ($24), which came in the clear, a peachy pink, and a mauvey brown. I like each of them, and rotate them depending on the tones of my makeup. I will buy this again and again! It's the best lip plumper I've found, especially for the money.
I absolutely love this product! Granted, I would never wear it solo, and I'm not entirely convinced that is its intended use. I bought Outlast Lipstain in 415 (Teasing Blush) and 420 (Sassy Mauve); 420 looks more natural and casual, and 415 is more for formal occasions or when I'm wearing dark colors. 420 is such a soft, gentle color that it actually makes me look younger! My strategy is to wear the lip stain under gloss; it looks absolutely spectacular under Soap & Glory's Sexy Motherpucker: The stain gives my lips deeper color, and SM makes my lips smooth and glossy. The combination gives my lips a blushed, smooth, glossy appearance. I have also found the lipstain to be durable-- an A.M. application lasts until lunchtime, even after drinking my morning beverage. I fully intend to buy this product in additional colors! I love it!
Gels/Soaps -Eucerin - Calming Body Wash Daily Shower Oil
Dollface11 12/18/2008 8:51:00 PM
I have to wonder about the experience others have had with the scent of this product. The only explanation that comes to mind is that the base must go rancid, because my bottle of this product has virtually no scent, which is something I would be VERY sensitive to. Beyond that, this has worked really well in terms of keeping my skin more hydrated (although-- don't get me wrong; I still use lotion). It also works well as a shaving lubricant. It does produce a bit of lather-- just enough that you can tell it's there, which is fine for me. I wish it weren't *quite* so expensive ($12-15 is pricey to me, for supermarket stuff), but I will probably repurchase it.
Skincare - Body -Unlisted Brand - Egyptian Magic Healing Cream
Dollface11 2/7/2008 4:46:00 AM
I had some mixed feelings about this product (it was good, but was it great?) until I had a huge... something on my face (I think it was a spider bite, but it got all dry and nasty and cracked-- ew, I know). I put this on the spot, which seemed to want to take forever to heal, and seemed bound to scar. This stuff healed my face in a fraction of the time, and the scarring will be minimal if noticeable at all! My grandmother also loves it for when she has any cuts or abrasions on her skin. It's great stuff in an unassuming package.
This is a great, basic cleanser. I do not wear a ton of makeup, but this always takes my eye concealer and mascara off effectively, which satisfies me. I have been using this cleanser with AH 12% souffle twice a day, and the Sheer Silk SPF 15 during the day. During winter, when it is nosebleed-dry, I layer a moisturizer on top at night; lately, I have been using Philosophy Hope in Jar, simply because it's on hand. My skin has improved immeasurably; it now has a porcelain quality I used to only dream about and although my skin is very attitudinal, my breakouts have decreased vastly and shortened in duration. Naturally, it is worth mentioning that the use of AHAs means avoiding the sun like a vampire, but that also helps in the prevention of wrinkles and sun damage, so I view that as a win/win. AH FFW is every bit as good as the cleanser I purchased from my dermatologist for $30 (for a comparable bottle!) She will be so sad when she realizes that my skin is clear and that I don't need her overpriced products any more. Although I may trade the FFW for the Nourishing Cleanser out of curiosity, I am a devoted Alpha Hydrox fan. My only regret is not finding AH in the early 90s when they first hit the market. I could have had beautiful skin years sooner!
This is the worst conditioner I've used in memory. It's thin and runny; ironically, the shampoo has a nicer consistency than the conditioner. Granted, the point is to preserve volume, which is inhibited by a lot of emollients-- but sheesh! I couldn't use this by itself without my hair taking on a straw-like texture. Ick. As I mentioned in my review for the shampoo (which I didn't like much more), there are lots of other DS alternatives on the market that have left my hair clean yet attractive. This line just did not work at all for me.
Shampoo -Alberto Vo5 - Alberto V05 Vita Burst Volumizing Shampoo
Dollface11 1/9/2008 6:20:00 AM
Unfortunately, I have to be the naysayer on this product. It smells OK (like Hawaiian Punch), but I found that it dries out my fine, color-treated hair. Literally, after I am done washing, I have to condition 2-3 times just to get to all the hair, which is rat-nested together. This shampoo also did not keep my hair particularly clean. I generally wash every day, as fine hair does not stay clean well. However, I can skip a day occasionally with other shampoos. Not with this one; my hair is definitely dirty when I wake up in the morning. I will not buy this again; there are other cheap shampoos that do a better job (Garnier Fructis springs to mind).
Hair -L'Oreal - Feria Haircolor in Chocolate Cherry
Dollface11 10/18/2007 4:00:00 AM
People have literally stopped me on the street to compliment my Chocolate Cherry hair, and a number of (highly respected) hair dressers have given this color the thumbs-up. The best compliment I received was from a noted hair dresser in Washington, DC, who said, "I couldn't have done better-- don't ever change this color!" (Full disclosure: I did stop using Chocolate Cherry, after my ultra-conservative BF started calling me "Barney", in honor of the burgundy highlights that are prominent in sunlight. But I miss it! Nothing else has looked as good.) I love Feria-- I find that if you're kind to your hair (gentle shampoo, conservative use of heat/styling, good conditioning), it lasts as long or longer than other home kits, and I like the condition of my hair better using Feria than salon processing.
I am shocked by all the negative reviews; I have used several shades of Feria, and have always gotten raves from my hairdressers-- people have literally stopped me on the street to compliment my hair (most of all when I was in my "Chocolate Cherry" phase). My hair is extremely fine and delicate, and I have never had split ends or other damage with this product-- in fact, my hair is bouncy and shiny. With regard to fading: Red dye molecules are larger than other molecules, and therefore, precipitate out of hair shafts faster than other colors. Red is ALWAYS difficult to maintain, especially in a home coloring kit. Three things can help: 1. Do not wash hair for two days after coloring. 2. Do not use shampoo with harsh cleansers, especially ammonium lauryl sulfate (harmful!) and even ammonium laureth sulfate, the most common cleanser in shampoos. 3. Do not expose colored hair to sun, chlorine (including chlorinated tap water), or other bleaching agents. Also, use the right product if fading is a problem: Not all home hair coloring kits are created equal! Consult the box for the "number of shampoos" it is designed to endure-- also keeping in mind that your hair's porousness can affect that estimate WILDLY! Everyone's hair is different, and how you stress it via repeated coloring, blow drying, product usage, etc. will have a dramatic effect on your success with color. Most of all, if you find something that works with your hair's chemistry, STICK WITH IT! Feria is MY HG home coloring kit-- but everyone is different. Cheers!
Lotions/ Creams -Alpha Hydrox - silk wrap body lotion
Dollface11 10/17/2007 5:30:00 PM
This product is probably very effective, but I'll never know: The AquaNet smell is completely overpowering. I've even tried mixing it with better-smelling lotions, but what a hassle (and it doesn't work entirely well-- I just hate to think of wasting money on this abysmally stinky product!)
Gels/Soaps -Alpha Hydrox - Moisturizing Body Wash, Sea Mist
Dollface11 10/17/2007 5:26:00 PM
The scent is good, but the best part of this product is what it does to your skin. It evens out tone, and makes skin irresistibly soft. Unbelievable! My skin absolutely glows. I use it with Aquis' exfoliating cloth; it works like a charm, and feels great.
Treatments -Alpha Hydrox - AHA Souffle 12 percent Glycolic AHA
Dollface11 7/26/2007 3:55:00 AM
After using the Souffle for only two weeks, my skin looks better than it has since I was 12. Blemishes, freckles, and a nasty scar from a recent cyst are all fading fast, and that "AlphaHydrox glow" has taken hold. Before I used this product, I was ashamed of my skin and would not leave the house without makeup; now all I need is mascara and sunblock (maybe a little blush, because you really cannot afford to get any sun exposure while using AHAs). In just two short weeks, the "marionette lines" that were developing between my nose and mouth have significantly diminished. Not to beat a dead horse, but it is important to not rush to judgment until several weeks of use have passed. Everyone's skin reacts to AHAs slightly differently; the "purging" process my skin encountered included blackheads on my nose and pimples around my mouth. However, this process lasted only a couple of days. The main downside of the packaging is that I travel a lot, and jars tend not to travel well. Otherwise, my fingers are clean when I stick them in the pot, and I'd rather get the great value than use my skincare products as a design element in my bath. I very much wish I'd found this product years ago. I could not be happier. Update: After 5 months of using the Souffle, my skin is luminous, smooth, and breakouts are minimal. People routinely underestimate my age by 10 years. I rarely wear makeup anymore, and when I do, it's a light dusting of Philosophy's "The Supernatural" for a matte finish. Woo hoo for pretty skin- I'm a believer. One note on the folks who don't fare as well with the souffle: Not everyone can tolerate AHAs, especially in high concentrations. Most every resource will recommend that new users start at a low concentration and increase intensity and frequency over time. Please bear that in mind when you're first using these products!