I'm reviewing medical grade UMF 12+ manuka honey by Activon. I paid 15 PLN (roughly 5 USD) for a 25 g tube. First of all, it is superb on cracked, infected lips. Not only it moisturizes, but also has a strong anti-inflammatory action. I used to struggle with cracked lip corners throughout the winter, but all I need to do is to apply manuka honey several times a day on the cracks and as a leave-in mask on entire lips before bedtime, and they fully heal within a day or two. Secondly, I use it on spots, burns and all kinds of wounds - they heal faster and cleaner with less redness both from inflammation and scarring. I find it is very reasonably priced considering how potent it is and comparing to cosmetic products. A must have!
Lotions/ Creams -L'Occitane - Cooling Powdered Foot Gel
agnareqc 4/16/2013 3:49:00 AM
A quick pick-me-up product rather than a long term solution. It feels divine on a hot day, after workout or a long walk, be it in the woods or the mall. And I love L'Occitane Verbena everything. But I wouldn't pay full price nor put into my carry-on luggage such a non-essential.
Lotions/ Creams -L'Occitane - Shea Butter Foot Cream
agnareqc 4/16/2013 3:06:00 AM
With 15% shea butter, the cream feels moisturizing and nourishing enough, but it's not very emollient. That makes it absorb rather quickly, but at the same time prevents it from being the pinnacle of foot solutions for extremely dry skin. The herbal/lavender scents stays on with additional effect of improved microcirculation and slight tingling procured by essential oils. That is fine on my foot, but left my hands red and irritated. And yes, I do need to use my hands to apply foot cream. What is a deal breaker for me is polyacrylamide and propylene glycol among the (supposedly) natural ingredients. I won't buy again for my sensitive skin, but if you are on search for a decent foot cream and don't mind the price tag, go ahead and give L'occitane a try - it even comes in travel size.
Polyester is basically a gel with a bit of a creamy, souffle-like texture. (It smells good, too.) When used before blow-drying, it certainly adds volume that lasts, but not that much shine and frizz control as I would like. I need to mix it with something with more substantial, like Design Cream, to get the result I want. It might suit someone with thick, normal or even oily hair better. The other way to use it is to scrunch in natural curls. It works pretty good this way, but keep in mind that unless you intend to brush it out, your hair might get a bit crunchy to touch. Overall, a solid product, which works well in conjunction with other styling aids, but no HG.
I really wanted to like it. The effect is nice, naturally looking but still massively enhanced "starry" lashes. Tha black (regular version) is pretty deep, too. Hovewer, it smudges badly on me. All I need to do is smile and I already have it stamped under my eyes, even if my makeup is set with a good amount of loose powder. So sad. :(
At first, I was scared to try it because I'm not really into exagerrated lashed, but the actual results blew me away. Mascara Singulier can be applied with a light hand for a wonderful, perfectly separated fringe of naturally-looking dense, feathery lashes. It looks like I have twice or three times as many lashes. A second coat takes it to the next level of defined, thick, long, curled look worthy of a Friday night date. A third coat really does the exagerrating, but still can be brushed to an impeccable false-lash look. The mascara lasts all day (16+ h) with minimal fallout at the end of the day and no smudging whatsoever. I sometimes take a nap in it and it's still going strong. It's easy to take of with gel cleanser and water, or micellar solution on a cotton pad. I've got it in Deep Violet and even though it looks loud on a wand, on the lashes you can't tell the difference from black, but the look is somewhat softer and more mysterious. Next time I'm definitely getting a black one for a more pronounced look.
Apart from 5% vitamin C, madecassoside, HA and Mexoryl, it also contains a small amount of LHA, which is yet another reason why I'm a LRP junkie. All that goodness in one cream that sinks-in in seconds, plumps-up but still looks quite matte, it's just to good to pass. I use in on my entire face, including lips and eyelids. It's one of the very, very few sunscreens that don't irritatte my eyelids. I also apply it on my neck and decollete. Suprisingly, I get even less irritation from it that I got from Active C, which means none whatsoever with a daily application (twice a day, it stings a bit). Normally I apply a proper SPF 50+ sunscreen on top of it, unless I feel like cheating, for example on a cloudy, winter day when I'll be outside for a total of 15-20 minutes early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
My puchase of this product was based on recommendations from MUA, and it's a bullseye! I originally intended to use it on my daughters' hair as they hate rinsing their hair but still need a good conditioner. But when I was in a hurry, I tried it and now I'm hooked. It actually works, as opposed to many no-rinse conditioner which don't condition at all, just make hair sticky and flat. What is more, Leave-in Protector provides just the right amount of moisture and frizz-control to support natural waves and curls. I don't even need any styling product for curl enhancement, which doesn't happen with other conditioners. The price is also good, for a L'Anza product, and it even comes in all sizes, from travel minis to huge salon-size bottles.
Shampoo -L'anza - Healing Strength White Tea Shampoo
agnareqc 4/11/2011 6:22:00 AM
I've used it for half a year and my hair has been amazing. I've got long hair and trim it every 3-4 months, and even my hairdresser was amazed that I have virtually no split ends. For an SLS-free shampoo this is totally luxurious, foamy and creamy but not sticky at all, just perfect lather. As I rinse it out, I already feel my hair getting smooth. My hair is naturally thin and frizzy and dehydrated, but with this shampoo, no one can tell. The hair feels smooth and perfectly moisturized, with just right amount of volume and natural wave (in my case), and shining from within. I find it great before wearing my hair straight or slightly wavy, but it doesn't work for natural curls that well. Apart from that, it's just perfect hair in a bottle.
Treatments -L'anza - Healing Moisture Moi Moi Hair Masque
agnareqc 10/8/2010 3:44:00 AM
It's so moisturizing! Moi Moi Har Masque makes hair incredibly soft to touch and adds real shine, not the artificial kind but kind of glowing from within. I've got very dry, frizzy hair and used it as a regular conditioner several times a week, leaving for a couple of minutes longer whenever I had enough time. Still the 125 ml bottle lasted about 6 weeks on bra-strap-long hair. There was no product build-up, and it didn't weigh my hair down. My hair was voluminous, bouncy, and much more managable. The mask is pricy, but gives great results so I'll definitely buy again.
Styling Products -Got 2 Be - Smooth Operator Smoothing Lustre Lotion
agnareqc 10/7/2010 6:12:00 PM
It is basically useless when applied before blow-drying. When used sparingly, it does nothing, and when used liberally, it only performs so-so, while severely weighing my hair down. After blow-drying and before straightening or curling, it actually does provide some shine and smoothness or slip to the iron, but I still need something to seriously tame down my frizzies and provide control to my hairstyle. At this point it is so unneccessary in my routine, when other products take over the job.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - URIAGE - Xémose Universal Emolient Cream
agnareqc 8/28/2010 1:14:00 PM
You might think this would be just another basic moisturizer, but it is not. It is formulated to improve skin barrier function with ceramides and sterols (Uriage calls it Cerasterol 2F complex). In addition, it's very soothing and calming for the skin because of the thermal water and shea butter. While there's nothing to get excited about the texture and scent, the product spreads well and absorbs fast (at least on the children's skin), and the pump bottle makes it easy for the kids to apply the product themselves without making a big mess. Although when I used it on my body, just a bit on the dry side, it took forever to sink in. I find performs very good on children's skin with atopic dermatitis, and I tried LRP, Ducray, Avene, SVR, Mustela and several other brands that were supposed to be formulated for atopic skin. No preservatives, no fragrance, no coloring and no irritants, plant extracts or whatever, makes it an excellent choice for babies. Personally I think it's downright scary what mass-market baby products contain.
Styling Products -L'anza - Art Elements Urban Molding Paste
agnareqc 5/22/2010 5:18:00 PM
I have long hair and use it on already styled hair as a finishing touch. I can finally accentuate single strands of hair, smooth out the frizzies, and keep the hair flowing in the desired direction. Very little product is needed. The amazing feature is that it's really remoldable. When my hair gets tangled in the wind, I can get it to look 'just styled' in a matter of seconds, just using my hands, without applying more product. A quick stroke with my hands to smooth straight hair or a quick rake with my fingers for separating curls and then scrunch a bit. It works both for straight, wavy and curly styles. Defininitely a keeper.
Cleansers -La Roche Posay - Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser
agnareqc 10/16/2009 1:54:00 PM
This cleanser makes a huge difference if you, like me at that time, are struggling with oily skin, blackheads, breakouts and fighting those with harsh, mass-marketed products that are supposed to strip your skin of oil, deep-clean your pores, kill bacteria and so on. Effaclar gel is so gentle: no essential oils, no plant extracts, no scrubbing particles, no acids. In truth, don't need those in your daily facial wash. You need something that cleans well and doesn't irritate your skin. That's enough. Effaclar gel does just that. It's important to lather it in your hands, and then apply on your face, let it work for about 30 seconds, rinse gently and pat dry. It leaves the skin clean, matte and brightened, not red, irritated or tight. It can also be used to remove water-soluble mascara - carefully, because it stings when you get some in the eye. I recommend it for oily skin prone to break-outs. At present, my skin is too dehydrated from acids and retinoids to use it, but in high summer, when I take a break from treatment, and my skin gets totally oily, I'm very happy to wash my combination skin with it once a day. I stated I'd buy again, but actually I get enough samples while purchasing other LRP products, I probably won't need to buy any.
Foundations -Yves Saint Laurent - Perfect Touch Radiant Brush Foundation
agnareqc 10/15/2009 10:27:00 AM
I'm very fair, thus my choice of foundation is always limited, as usually even the lightest shades don't even come close to my skintone. But Perfect Touch in 1 Ivory works for me. It is a very natural shade - not to pink, orange or ghostly white. The coverage is indeed medium and I use my ArtDeco Perfect Teint concealer under my eyes and on the wings of my nose as I have rosacea. This foundation provides somewhat more coverage than Givenchy Subli'mine that I previously used, whilie giving similar "smooth skin glowing from within" effect, as opposite of "made up" effect. Call me weird, but I actually consider applying with the built-in brush an easy, clean and economic way of doing make up. I agree with the statement that this foundation lasts for about 5 hours, but I need to use matifying base on my T-zone and use blotting paper at least once - I don't use setting powder as I yet need to find one that works for me. As expected with foundation that is targeted at dry skin, I find it great at moisturizing dehydrated skin and this is my winter foundation, as I tend to use powder foundation in high summer. What is also great is the fact that it doesn't darken or oxydize, even one bit! YSL claims they used coated pigments to formulate it, and I'm a living proof this works (and most foundations oxydize on my skin a lot). The color stays true till the end, before it somehow vanishes. No setting into pores, getting blotchy, or smearing with this one. In the evening when I remove my make up, I don't get even a hint of foundation on my cleansing pad - I don't know how it vanishes, but it really does. What is truly amazing, it doesn't break me out, and usually liquid foundations are too heavy on my sensitive skin. When it comes to price, it is significantly cheaper than than Givenchy Subli'mine when I consider how much product I get (40 ml vs. 25 ml).