If you have dyed blonde hair, you need this product! I actually look forward to using this shampoo. No joke. When it's "purple shampoo day" I get excited. Why? Purple shampoos are supposed to make your colour look great- they're supposed to tone and maintain the colour and cut brassiness. And boy, does this product deliver. This system has really helped to keep my hair golden instead of brassy. After I dyed my hair warm blonde, the colour was a little "too" warm- but my stylist recommended just using the purple shampoo instead of toning at the salon to keep the look I wanted. It worked! After just a couple uses, my colour was just right- warm but golden! One time, I went in my mom's hot tub and the bromine turned my colour really brassy and orange-toned. I was a little worried, but after one wash with this system (I left both the shampoo & conditioner on for a good length of time), it was totally back to normal. And with regular use, it really maintained the brilliance of my colour between my salon visits, even when they were five months apart! A couple other great things about this shampoo: IT SMELLS AMAZING. This doesn't have a herbal scent like other Kevin Murphy products. The scent is kind of... sweet and floral? Hard to describe, but it's very pleasant. And it is a great hair care product overall: since incorporating the Blonde.Angel system into my routine, my hair has felt much softer and healthier in addition to the colour benefits. Also, if you check out reviews of other purple shampoos, you'll see they tend to stain your hands. THIS DOESN'T. The amount of pigment in it is just right to affect your hair but not your skin. Here's how I use the product: I only wash my hair every other day, and I use the Blonde.Angel system every other wash, working out to about 2-3 times a week. You only need about a nickel-sized dollop of the product (for thick, shoulder-length hair). Massage it in and leave on for a few minutes, like you would a conditioner. If you want to tone a lot (like with a new dye job or a hot-tub visit), leave it on for like 10 minutes. Then rinse well and follow with the conditioner! It takes a bit longer than other shampoo jobs, but it's worth it and, like I said, I enjoy and look forward to doing it! And the longer you've been using it, the less time you need to leave it on, since you're just maintaining the progress at that point. If you're skeptical about purple shampoos, try this one. Once you see the results you won't be disappointed.
Thank-you to MUA for helping me to discover this gem. Finally, a cruelty-free moisturizer that gives my skin lasting moisture. If I miss a day moisturizing with this, my face does not get dry. And my skin no longer feels tight after washing. This, in my mind, is how you tell if a moisturizer is really working to improve your skin. And such great value for the money! I love the pump- it also comes in a squeeze bottle, which I normally prefer, but it felt like the bottle would be awkward to squeeze so I opted for the pump instead. However, I might buy the squeeze bottles as "refills"- much less waste that way, in the long run! A little really goes a long way with this product, I wouldn't say "pea-sized" like others have but pretty darn close! Maybe a dime-sized dollop for face and neck...? So it will last a long time. Also love the scent! I find this wears well both day and night, under makeup and alone, sinks in well and doesn't get greasy. Just be sure you're getting your SPF with another daytime product and you're fine! I wish this was more widely available in my area- I had to go to Planet Organic which is kind of out of the way- but it's worth it. Will rebuy. If you can find this in your town, pick it up.
Pretty abysmal as an eye primer. Does not keep shadow from creasing. I don't know why you'd make an eye primer that creases like a cream eyeshadow... basically defeats the purpose of using an eye primer. The reason I gave it two lippies instead of one is because it's also marketed as something that can be used under your eyes, and it's pretty good at that as long as you set it with powder. I love the colour of this product, it has a slightly yellow tinge that does a good job at colour-correcting under eye circles (and fixing lid discolouration, if it didn't crease so much!). However, I would not buy it simply to use as an under eye concealer, it is not worth the money. That's just how I'm using up my bottle. I got a sample-sized thing of this in a Pixi value set so thankfully there's no wasted money. Also, the packaging sucks, at least of the sample bottle. It's got a wand and, in that tiny bottle, I can hardly get any product out. Pass on this one.
I'm sorry to bring down the ratings on this one, but I have gone through almost a full bottle of this stuff and will not be repurchasing. Yes, this base coat seems to prevent staining quite well and it dries very quickly, but that's only half of what a base coat should do. This does not extend the wear of my nail polish at all; in fact, it makes my polish peel off (rather than chip). This doesn't happen nearly as quickly or often when I'm not wearing the base coat. I don't know why, but it just doesn't bond to my nails very well at all. Also, while it can apply smoothly, I always get one or two nails that it bubbles on, creating an uneven canvas for my colour. I really wanted to love this base coat because I think OPI makes such good products, I love their brushes, and they don't test on animals, but this one is just a miss for me. In my experience, matte, translucent base coats are much better at filling in ridges, bonding to my nails, and making my colour last than shiny transparent ones like this. When I finish this up I am going to get one like that; I seem to remember Cutex making a good one years ago, so I'll check them out again.
Moisturizers -The Body Shop - Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream
SimplePleasures 1/6/2013 9:01:00 PM
The good thing about this product is that it does give a nice glow to your skin when you first wake up in the morning. However, as a moisturizer it is simply not very good. While it soaks in and works better than the Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream (see my review of that product for more details), it still has very little in the way of lasting moisturizing effects. After splashing my face with water in the AM (I only "cleanse" at night), my skin feels significantly less moisturized, like I need to slather on my day cream right away for some relief... although it's not as dry as the Intense Moisture Cream left me feeling. I'd like to see my moisturizer improve the quality of my skin gradually so that it won't feel tight or dry if I get it wet. I do not want to have to rely on a product that I have to constantly slather on my face to keep it feeling soft! Other cons include the jar packaging and the price. I'm happy to pay $20 CDN if it's a good moisturizer, but for what this is it's not worth it, especially since you don't even get that much. Even the glowing effect is temporary and doesn't make it past my water splash and makeup application. While I returned the Intense Moisture Cream, I will finish up the Nourishing Night Cream because it's slightly better and I lost the receipt (I got burned returning the other cream without the receipt; I was only refunded the current sale price). But I will never again repurchase and do not recommend it. I'm pretty much ready to give up on The Body Shop's facial skincare, since my first foray with these two highly-rated products has been such a disappointment.
These were on sale at Winners and when I first picked them up I thought they were face wipes. It wasn't until I was in line to pay that I discovered what they really were and figured I may as well give them a shot. I must say, I wasn't expecting very much... but I was very impressed. First of all, I love the scent. I'm curious what scent the reviewer who complained about the smell purchased, because they didn't say. I got the Vanilla Coconut scent and it's very fresh and not at all chemically or overpowering (I love both vanilla and coconut!). The cloths are loaded with moisturizing oils and liquids rather than creams, so it takes a few minutes to sink into your skin but doesn't leave a greasy after-feel (if you look at the label it's loaded with good ingredients like coconut milk, cocoa butter, aloe, and sweet almond oil!). At first it feels like a very light moisturizer that doesn't do much (probably because I'm so used to heavy creams) but... holy cow!!!!! The long-term effect is incredible; give it a few hours and you really start to feel the effects of the moisturizer. For example, if I put some on my hands right before bed, I wake up with baby-soft hands like I haven't had in a LONG while! It's also great for nails and cuticles. Most often I just apply this to my hands and elbows, and I can get about 4 uses out of each cloth this way. I just put the cloth back into the packet and use it again (I always apply right after washing my hands so I figure that's hygienic enough), but I suppose you could also cut the cloth into 2 or 3 pieces as well. I have also used these wipes all over my body. I can use one wipe for a light all-over moisturizing after a shower (just start at your driest places because obviously you start running out near the end). A few hours after doing this I noticed that my arms in particular were super soft and smooth. And it even keeps my super-dry feet moisturized and comfortable. The only thing is it is a little awkward to rub into your body because the wipe kind of rolls up in the process, but it's easy enough to make it work. I placed an E.L.F. order today and included another packet of these, this time in the Vanilla Sugar Cookie scent. I'll probably order more whenever I do an E.L.F. order, which isn't very often, or grab them when I see them at Winners. However, this isn't something I'm going to keep around all the time because E.L.F. isn't very available in my area and the product is sort of wasteful. I'd recommend you give these a try. It's a nice moisturizer that is light-feeling but effective, and it's very convenient. Don't expect amazing instantaneous moisturizing relief with this product, but give it some time to do its thing and you'll be very happy. UPDATE: I received the Vanilla Sugar Cookie and the scent is a little chemically and not as good, although the dry-down is alright. I don't necessarily recommend this scent and will probably not buy it again.
I like this conditioner. It's rich and moisturizes well without weighing down my hair. The smell is a strong-ish herbal scent that I am ok with but not crazy about, but it doesn't linger in your hair. The product is kind of expensive, but with Kevin Murphy products a little really does go a long way. When I first got this conditioner I would pile it on like I do with any other thick conditioner. DO NOT DO THIS. You will run out quickly and you'll get diminishing returns the more you pile on. The product is very concentrated, and actually works better if you use LESS and mix it with some water. Here is how I apply Kevin Murphy conditioners: 1) As with any conditioner, I wring the excess water from my hair so the product does not just slide off. 2) I apply about a nickel-sized dollop in my hand (for my thick, shoulder-length hair). 3) Here is the trick: I wet my palms while the dollop is still in my hands so that I get a small pool of water in my palm. I then RUB MY PALMS TOGETHER, mixing the product with water. This spreads the product out, giving it more mileage, and it then spreads very easily through my hair. 4) I comb it through with a wide-tooth comb. 5) Taking a smaller dime-sized dollop, I mix it with water in the same fashion and apply it to my ends, then massage whatever's left on my hands into my roots. 6) Leave on a couple minutes, rinse. Since using this method rather than applying it as I would any other conditioner, my hair is much more soft and has more body due to not being weighed down. My colour looks bright and shiny... and if I let my hair air-dry, it actually looks decent, not frizzy or flat or stupidly wavy (this is RARE for my hair!). My complaint is the packaging, it's cute and space-saving but I can see it becoming a pain when I start getting low, it will be hard to get it all out. I have not tried the Hydrate.Me system with the matching shampoo, I have only used this with a cheap Dove shampoo. However, I would love to try the system and other Kevin Murphy products (I have also purchased the purple shampoo and conditioner for blonde hair). And the brand is not tested on animals! I would buy again, but I want to try the Luxury Rinse next because I think my thick, bleached hair could even use a LITTLE more moisture. UPDATE: I take it back, the packaging is not a pain. It was shockingly easy to get all the product out. I had to turn it on its side and shake for a couple uses, but when I could no longer get any out that way and unscrewed the top to scoop out the remaining product, there was hardly any left in there at all. Weird, but true. I'm now a fan of the packaging concept.
Tinted Moisturizer -Tarte - Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer
SimplePleasures 12/24/2012 7:55:00 PM
This is an awesome product, with just a couple shortcomings. First, for reference, my skin type is combination leaning dry, and it's winter here in Alberta, Canada, so my face is even drier than normal. I'm also very pale and cool-toned. I purchased this product in the lightest shade, Agent 00. Canadian Sephoras jack up the prices, so at $47 it wasn't cheap. However, I'm inclined to say it's almost worth it for a good TM from a cruelty-free company. This has great coverage for a TM, it's comparable to a light-medium coverage foundation and has a thick, creamy consistency that spreads and blends in nicely. I have fairly clear skin, my breakouts are rare and usually just 1-2 zits. But I do have dark circles and some red eczema around my nose, both of which always require some colour-correction and concealer, and a bit of an uneven tone. However, this product does a great job at evening out my skin tone and giving it a nice finish. I do not have to use very much colour corrector and concealer with this product; I look SO much better with this even before I apply anything else. With a dusting of setting powder, it's perfect coverage for me. My skin looks clear, matte, and pretty, a "my skin but better" look where I don't appear to be made-up (I like a matte look. If you prefer a dewey glow, I wouldn't say this is for you). And you gotta love the SPF! However, I do think this product is better at oil control than moisturization (it keeps shine away pretty well and seems to stay on all day, even if I hit the gym!). It gives a nice boost of hydration, but it's not quite enough for my winter skin, especially once I put my powder on. For the price I would like this product to streamline my routine and replace my day lotion. However, as mentioned, it is winter here. If this product can stand alone as a moisturizer when the warmer months roll around, but I still need a day lotion in the winter, I'm willing to let that slide because my skin just needs a little more love in the winter. Overall, I strongly recommend this product. I am going to continue to sample different TM's and BB's to find the best value for the price, but I can definitely see myself buying this again and again! P.s.- I think Tarte just slapped the "BB" label on this product when BB's got big, but I wouldn't say it qualifies as a BB. It's thicker and has more coverage than a BB, and the finish is more matte than luminous- definitely a TM. UPDATE: Just FYI, I recommend stippling this on. I've been doing that the last two days with my E.L.F. Studio powder brush and it gives a perfect application and finish. It might sound weird to do that with a TM but try it, it works really really well!
Shampoo -Dove - Damage Therapy Intensive Repair Shampoo
SimplePleasures 12/20/2012 5:59:00 AM
This shampoo is pretty average. I haven't really noticed any difference in my hair since I've been using it; it certainly has not made my hair any softer, and it's hard to judge whether it's stronger at all. I do not think it has decreased breakage. I have not used the system with the matching conditioner, but I have paired it with an expensive Kevin Murphy conditioner and am still seeing nothing special. I got this in a value pack so it was a good deal, but I won't buy again when I finish the bottle.
Moisturizers -The Body Shop - Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream
SimplePleasures 12/17/2012 5:40:00 PM
I am unimpressed with this moisturizer. I was looking for a new night moisturizer and decided to try either this product or the Vitamin E Night Cream, which both have good ratings. I ended up deciding on this one. I agree with the previous reviewer who said that this product doesn't really soak into your skin, it just sits on the epidermis. The surface of my skin feels soft to the touch when I'm wearing it, and yet my face still has this sensation of being tight and dry. That's because the product is not penetrating. I only get the feeling of being moisturized for a few minutes after I've rubbed it in and that's it. I have also had a couple of experiences with this product that prove that it has no lasting effects, so far as I'm concerned: 1) I don't even wash my face in the morning, I just splash it with some water. Since I've been using this cream, as soon as I do this in the morning it's as if my face was never moisturized at all! There is no lasting moisture whatsoever from keeping this cream on all night! And 2) I have also tried it under makeup, and my face feels completely unmoisturized again once I dust my powder on! It's like the powder is able to absorb the cream even after I've completely let it soak in! Total crap! I really do think they called this an "intense" moisturizer just because it's a thick cream, but it does nothing for me at all. I am trying to get my skin to a place where it won't feel tight and dry if I've just washed it or if I don't wear moisturizer for a day. This is not the product to achieve that. I am going to exchange it for the Night Cream and see if that's any better.
I am very impressed with this lash primer. This makes my mascara go on so much smoother, easier, and quicker, and look so much better. I don't understand the claim so many reviewers have made that it "irons out your curl." I do not find that at all! Maybe if you have pretty short lashes this is not the primer for you, but mine are a decent length and I am able to cinch them in the curler in 3-4 spots, so perhaps that helps. I typically apply two coats of this primer and then just one coat of mascara, and it looks like I'm wearing two coats! It appears to add length and volume, but morseso length (especially if you put on two coats- it has a fibre-extending effect that you can really notice with the second coat). It also perfectly separates my lashes and locks them into place so that I don't have to comb through after I've applied mascara! I have "tangled" lashes in my outer corners that kind of cross over each other, and this straightens them out (without straightening the curl). No mascara has ever done that for me before! Even though I'm now applying three coats of stuff to my lashes instead of my usual 1-2, it takes me less time because I don't have to keep combing out to separate! I really like the brush, it coats all the lashes evenly and is small and precise enough to get the little ones in the corner. I also really like that the tube is square, although it could be prettier. Looks too "clinical" IMO. It seems to be very conditioning; my lashes feel softer now and I seem to be losing fewer of them. I am skeptical of the implied claim that it will help my lashes to grow or fill out, however. I will update if I notice anything. Also, Tarte claims it increases lash volume by "739%". What does that even mean? That doesn't even make sense, your lashes would totally block your eyes if that was true. I'm pretty glad this product doesn't live up to that ridiculous claim. All in all, this provides me with everything I would hope for in a lash primer. The only downside is the price, especially here in Canada. I will probably continue to research other lash primers to see if I can find a comparable one for less money (from another cruelty-free company), but it's good to know I can return to this one. I would definitely rebuy if there's nothing cheaper that fits the bill, this is worth it!
I am loving this soap! I received two bars of this in two different gift sets: a medium-sized rectangular bar, and a small star-shaped bar. I am currently using the small one to wash my hands and the large one in the shower. This soap smells sooo delectably good, and lathers very well! I find that when I wash my hands, the smell lingers for a little while, but not so much when I get out of the shower. I would love to smell like this all day, but I suppose it's good that it doesn't clash with my perfumes! This soap does not seem to dry out my skin. It's a little moisturizing, although not enough to skip other moisturizers entirely. I find when I rinse it off in the shower it feels like it leaves a soapy residue on my skin, but once I'm dry I can't feel it anymore. Maybe it soaks in and moisturizes? Either way, it's not a bad thing. Neither of these gift-set bars include the slab of honey comb, which I'm not upset about as I honestly don't see what that would add to the soap. It seems more decorative than anything. I do think I would rebuy this soap, it is one of the least-drying soaps I have ever tried (better even than Dove soaps, which I've always liked), it smells soooo good, lasts a decent while, and is $8 for a good chunk of it which I think is fair.
Best razor ever! I have used many women's razors, including those with five blades, and I always come back to this one! It simply gives the best, closest, longest-lasting shave ever! Compared to the Schick Quattro, I get prickly WAY less quickly with this three-bladed wonder. Who cares if it's for men, women's razors are nothing but different marketing and an increased price tag. This razor is kind of expensive too, but what razor isn't these days? I recommend buying the replacement heads on ebay. Upgrading to the Turbo was unnecessary, the original was good enough. However, Gillette appears to have discontinued the original, at least in my area. Nice trick on their part to start charging more money. Again, try ebay! It's way cheaper there!
Mascara -Essence - Maximum Definition Volume Mascara
SimplePleasures 11/11/2012 1:28:00 PM
I wonder if I got a bad, dried-out tube. Essence mascaras do not come in sealed packaging, so people can open them in the store to look at the brush (I certainly did!). However, this may have caused it to dry out. The mascara itself has potential, it certainly gives a lot of volume, and the brush catches every lash, but it is very dry and crispy on my lashes. Hard to build or comb out, because it dries very quickly and then I can't comb through it without little flakes falling off. Now, it doesn't flake off throughout the day unless I touch it, but I'd sure like to not have this problem at all. Because the reviews are so great and the product is a real steal, I'm going to give it another chance. I am going to buy another tube really soon, and pick it from the back of the display to decrease the chance of it having been opened. I'll update if my opinion changes.
BB Cream -Too Faced - Tinted Beauty Balm Multi-Benefit Skin Care Makeup
SimplePleasures 11/8/2012 6:05:00 PM
I really wanted this to be my new HG, but unfortunately the shade range is abysmal. Vanilla Glow is the lightest shade, and yet it is a little too dark and WAY too yellow-based for my cool, fair, pink-based skin. When I sampled this in the store I was worried that it wouldn't match well, but since it blended into the skin so well I thought I could make it work. I gave it a solid week-long trial period, and alas, no matter how little I apply or how I apply it (tried brush and fingers), it just looks wrong, and kind of orange. And then I have to put more on my neck and decolletage to make it match. I exchanged it for Tarte's Smooth Operator in Agent 00, which for $4 more is a much better skin match for me. There are lots of good things about this product. I like the consistency and sheer coverage. I love the vintage-look packaging, and the hygienic squeeze tube. If you don't put powder on top, it could be hydrating enough to take the place of your day moisturizer. However, I need powder, and once I add some my skin feels dry for a while if I don't use another moisturizer. For the price, I'd kind of like it to totally replace my day lotion. I give this three lippies because I think it's a good product, it just doesn't work for me. If Too Faced ever releases a lighter shade, I'll give it another shot. If you have pink-toned skin and you're in doubt about the shade, don't chance it. Skip this one.