Fragrances -Stella McCartney - Stella- Eau de Parfum
amnahp12 4/22/2013 8:43:00 PM
I love a good rose, but this smells exactly like tbs rose. Sugary, heavy, unoriginal. Save your money and buy any other rose perfume, this one is too one-note and indistinguishable from any other to spend the money on.
For the amount you get and need to use - typical of Lush products - this is abhorrently expensive. That being said, I will certainly buy it again. [funny how I'll balk at a ten dollar shampoo at Wal-Mart but fork out thirty for half as much at Lush] The first thing you will notice about this shampoo is the smell - what I think is a wonderful spicy, creamy concoction utterly different from other hair and bath products and always leaves me looking forward to using it. The second thing you will notice is the thick, creamy texture and completely unappetizing color. It's a yucky pink/brown that to me screams nutritious ingredients and oils, so I look forward to dumping it in my hair, but not everybody will. I would most certainly dig into this with a spoon if it were a dessert. Some oil settles to the top of this, which I absolutely relish and love seeing, because I know that it will transfer to my hair. No matter, I mix it in and take out a scoop. Usage: you will need a little more than your usual amount of shampoo for this, although a smaller amount will also clean. In order to work up a creamy, luxurious lather, pre-shampoo with a pea-dime sized amount of shampoo [any] and then follow up with Blousey. I use more than I would like on account of my long, thick, tangly curly dry hair. This makes it considerably less affordable. Despite all the creaminess and oils, it rinses clean and leaves my hair full of volume [even though I condition right up to the scalp] and light and fluffy. You could get away without a conditioner, but I wouldn't recommend it for anybody with already dry hair.
I tend to be on the positive side of neutral with Live Clean products - I like their philosophy, even if their execution is oftentimes lacking [with ingredients, packaging and performance.] That being said, I haven't yet found a Live Clean product I hate - nor one I love and can't live without. In the hunt for a good, at least mostly natural ish, conditioner for my hair, I stumbled upon their new line of 'Monoi' oil products, meant to strengthen hair. Since my own is the weakest and driest and breakage-y-est it's ever been, and in dire dire need of attention, I thought it would be a good cheap try. First impressions: smell is almost nonexistent. I can't speak for the shampoo [I have a few Lush shampoos I am getting through still, so no extra buys for me] but the conditioner has almost no fragrance whatsoever - and what little is there, is very light and delicate. Perfect for sensitive noses and scalps! As for a conditioner, it has loads of slip, which is wonderful in my stubborn, long, thick, curly, dry, tangly hair. However, I also have to use quite a bit of conditioner to get through my hair - this is just because I have so much. Therefore, that small bottle will not last particularly long. Overall: almost fragrance-free, reasonable slip, reasonably moisturizing; time will tell about it's ability to moisturize delicate hair and prevent further breakage and damage. I can see myself going through quite a few bottles of these. ps, I hate Lush conditioners. No slip, no moisture, no coverage.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Dsquared2 She Wood Golden Light Wood
amnahp12 4/9/2013 12:57:00 PM
An addition to Dsquared's 'Nature Always Wins' collection, this time accompanying the masculine counterpart 'He Wood Silver Wind Wood,' Golden Light Wood is a fragrance meant to evoke the rays of sunshine filtering through leafy branches onto a soft forest floor. To me, it does precisely that [although how much of that is the marketing, we'll never know] - soft golden rays illuminating the soft sparkles of mist from a morning washing away, promising a warm afternoon with a crisp breeze, inviting the woodland creatures out of their holes to forage through a still moist, mossy forest floor, delicate blossoms opening their petals to drink in the warmth. Although the SA at Sephora mentioned that it smelled like the beach - IT DOES! Not of salty sea air and algae, but again the sunshine warming up wood - I see in my mind a wooden port or deck at a body of water, with a bright sun and all the promise of a memorable summer. Fragrantica says "She Wood Golden Light Wood is a fresh, vivid and intense floral - woody fragrance. It opens with the golden notes of lemon, neroli and orange blossom, followed by the light heart of musk and heliotrope. The base is wooden, made of cedar, vetiver and amber." And I believe somewhere that ever-apparent and so-called 'solar accord.' In realistic terms: this is light, fresh, but grounded with touches of woody musk and a splash of florals. If the original she wood is a darker, mossier, violety woods meant for rainy spring and summer days, this is my go-to for sunshiney summer days. It can be a tad sharp, so I think it needs warm days to soften up. Overall, seeing as how I intensely dislike overly soft/delicate or fresh/citrusy perfumes but love this, it's a winner in my book! MUCH better longevity on my skin than the original She Wood. Overpriced [as I usually consider perfumes to be] at full retail price, but available at a ridiculous bargain online [especially for American buyers].
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Roberto Cavalli - Roberto Cavalli EdP (2012)
amnahp12 4/9/2013 12:18:00 PM
For some reason, a few summers ago the first time I smelled it it seemed delicate and flowery to me, and a friend of mine [male] LOVED it. Now when I smell it - bottle or skin, all I can smell is the cloying, thick, heavy, resinous benzoin. Gross. GROSS. Screams cheap, despite Cavalli's attempt to brand it as something more elegant. I can definitely see the references to Amarige/Envy/80s perfumes. Did I mention gross?
Ok. I do not understand WHAT went wrong here. Every time I took a whiff of Grass in the store, it smelled like freshly cut grass - heavenly! It's a scent I love. Yesterday I decided to ask for a sample, and taking a sniff when I walked out, suddenly wondered why it smelled rotten and moldy instead of ... well, like the fresh-cut grass I expected. Okay, maybe it was the fact that I was in the middle of perfume hunting and my nose was tired. So I decided to test it in the shower. Where it became absolutely repulsive! I almost gagged lathering up, but gave it ONE last try and thought maybe the scent would change if I actually washed with it. [What was I thinking?] NOPE. I don't know what the Lush SA gave me, but the 'Grass' that I had smelled before was not it. This was the definition of stench.
There is nothing to dislike about this product. I am truly amazed, and don't know why I held off buying it for so long! Every penny (except tax) paid for this product goes to help grassroots organizations, charities, fundraisers etc. This in itself amazes me, and it is such a brilliant move on Lush's part. The little pot I just bought has a sticker for Heaven's Wildlife Rescue [which I picked out, although realistically I understand these organizations are hand-picked and given grants by Lush, not so much a direct donation]. So it's just just the profit, not just a portion - it's everything, monetary donation on the customer's part and a materials donation on the company's part. The second thing that amazes me is the formulation! You would expect a product the company loses money from to be a cheap, crappy thing, but it's just as high quality and amazing as any of the rest of Lush's products. If not more so. I feel that it is creamy and much more moisturizing than their other body lotions, with a warm, chocolatey floral marigolds/oranges smell. I held off buying this for years because it didn't have the best reviews, and for some reason I thought it would be watery and lackluster. On a whim I tried it, and although at first I found it entirely headache-inducing, I'm inclined to think it was mixing with all the other products I was smelling and testing, because when I went to buy a mini-pot anyway [you can't feel guilty about spending money on this!] and tried it again, it is strong but not nauseatingly overwhelming. And now I'm finding myself sitting in front of the tv applying it over and over again even though it is highly unnecessary just because it feels nice :) This product is so intensely, wonderfully guilt free. Or what should feel like a guilty pleasure good deed? and my hands are baby butt soft.
This is a good product, and certainly wonderful for those it has helped with varying skin conditions, but was nice - not miraculous - for me. I used it for a year in the hopes that it would help with my breakouts (which I tamed anyway with Retin-A) but alas, aside from moisturizing WONDERFULLY, it didn't magically fix anything. And yes, I used this on my face. The first thing I'll say is that heaven forbid I ever mention that to the Lush sales associates - they would ALWAYS, inevitably, gasp in horror! VERY off-putting, particularly as the rest of their heinously overpriced face moisturizers did not react well with my skin and didn't seem to do anything special. And one good reason that, although I think they are very nice otherwise (albeit pushy), I order from Lush UK instead of buying in store (the ridiculous cost savings is another story ... ). The smell is okay - slightly herbal, slightly plasticky, with the most prominent note being lavender [I don't like lavender]. That being said, I didn't mind it, it was almost nice in its way. When applied, it is slightly too greasy - the palms of my hands never quite recover, but it sinks in gorgeously everywhere else, and my hands feel very moisturized. It does leave a bit of a satin-greasy sheen on my face. I'm moving on to Sympathy for the skin because I prefer the consistency, and it smells very nice, and seems to give the same performance for my face while leaving my body slightly less greasy. I can see where Dream Cream would be heaven-sent for sore skin. It is a perfect medium between watery to the point of uselessness and a thick, obnoxiously greasy butter (cough TBS cough). Something in the ingredients [likely the oat milk, tea tree oil and lavender] is almost cooling and certainly soothing to dry, chapped skin. One last thing - it has never broken me out, face or decollate (which, sadly, Lovely Jubblies does, every single time!) It is certainly worth the price if it dramatically soothes existing skin conditions; otherwise, Lush has nice alternatives.
Accessories -Unlisted Brand - Solotica Hidrocor Mel contact lenses
amnahp12 11/24/2012 1:59:00 PM
I'm torn on these. I bought the Hidrocharme Ice and liked them, but thought it was time for something more natural, and these had great reviews. I don't know what happened to the opacity of these, because they are a VERY dark green on the eyes, almost imperceptible. Might as well not wear them at all! Nothing at all the way past reviews/pictures depict. Also, dry and uncomfortable.
Moisturizers -Neostrata - Ultra-Smoothing Cream (10% Glycolic Acid)
amnahp12 9/18/2012 2:01:00 PM
This stuff is fantastic. I used the daytime smoothing cream [with an SPF of 15] in the pump bottle, level 3 [10% glycolic acid]. I had never used GA before, but it only stung - minorly - for a few minutes at the first application, and then never again. But most bizarrely, after only a few days it made my acne-prone, bumpy skin, REMARKABLY smoother one one side [after nothing else had worked!] I was shocked, but the price tag was just not cutting it [CAD$40 before tax], and I only used it for a few weeks before starting Retin-A and ordering the MUCH bigger bottle of 10% AHA+ by acne.org, which I now use on my body and sparingly on my face [don't want to overdo it!] Point being, it did something when nothing else did - for acne and clogged pores, at least try it. Sensitive skinned individuals, ramp up from a lower concentration. Highly impressed, definitely recommend.
So I realize this is a premature review; I wanted to track progress! Won't say what's been said. I suffer from mild-moderate acne that had gotten increasingly, exponentially worse since it started two years ago. I'm finally at that point where I feel so terrible in my skin and have tried so many things (mostly natural and dietary remedies) to try and remedy this stupid hormonal mess up and nothing is working. I recently started using neostratas aha and for the first time within a few days it seemed to be making a dramatic difference in the clarity and smoothness of my skin. Then I finally received the tretinoin 0.025% I've been waiting for. based on all the reviews and feedback I started slow -pea sized amount, every other night, buffered, applied well after washing and waiting. Week 1: mild breakouts. shucks, I had been hoping to not have a breakout period by taking precautions, alternating nightly with aha; but the increased breakouts could also be linked to bad diet and dehydration (I moved and still haven't quite settled) or any number of factors. no irritation, burning or excessive peeling; I did notice dryness on one side of my chin when I neglected to put on lotion (otherwise I haven't noticed since I always keep my skin well hydrated). No stinging on application; almost seems to not be doing anything but I'm keeping it up and hoping for the best! Also no sun sensitivity yet. Considering moving into nightly or two nights on one night off, but I don't want to rush and screw up my skin. Week 2: Started flaking after writing the first update, but in just a few days, the only minor flaking is on my nose. I have a dry skin type so my face feels pretty much like it regularly does when I let it dry without a moisturizer. I had an increase in gross whiteheads 2-3 days ago, but today they are mostly gone [granted, I've been bad and have been extracting them when too close anyway] and my skin is surprisingly smooth. I still have some big under-the-skin rounded pimples, and there is still a bit of roughness/raised skin from old pimples, but overall it feels better than it had been several weeks ago. Hyperpigmentation worse than ever, of course, since EVERY little blemish leaves a big mark. I think it's my imagination that my blackheads have faded ever so slightly. Week 3: skin improving daily, which is a big surprise to me. It's almost completely smooth, with only a few itty bitty places with raised skin and healing blemishes - nothing active, hyperpigmentation less dramatic (need much less concealer, job done well enough with just foundation) and ironically enough face is oilier (ie feels fully moisturized in the morning) when I don't buffer with moisturizer first. Very strange not waking up dry! Not sure if this is completely attributable to the tretinoin or zinc I started taking simultaneously (although I hadn't expected any good to come of it) or a combination or even the weather turning cooler. Face is still not dry/thin/irritated/photosensitive. Absolutely no change to a patch of clogged pores that appeared almost overnight and slowly work themselves one by one into volcanic pimples. Dec 3, 2012: hello hello, a sudden and suspicious lack of any blemishes! I've still had a few lingering ones at all times - particularly the last few weeks of travelling - but this week, nothing more than fading scars. It'll come back for sure, but I'm still crossing fingers hoping for the best. Flaking and dryness nonexistent. As for routine, I apply most (not all) nights after dream cream with no buffer time (I come home late and leave early) which doesn't seem to have a negative impact. April 7, 2013: Few breakouts here and there, every 'month' ahem ahem. Nothing monstrous, on the whole my skin is so much nicer than it had become, and scars are fading! Always a disappointment when my face decides to go on a breakout spree though, as the retin-a doesn't do a whole lot to heal much faster. Moved up to the 0.05, which immediately caused dryness and flaking after 2-3 nightly applications, so scaled it all the way back. Other than that my skin had completely acclimated to the 0.025 long ago, but was sensitive to the wind/cold.
BB Cream -Garnier - BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector - Light/Medium
amnahp12 7/2/2012 9:43:00 PM
This stuff is a joke. First things first: this is not a 'blemish balm' by the traditional definition of the product type [nothing to help/aid the skin, etc] - it seems like a VERY gimmicky tinted moisturizer, minus the moisturizing properties, trying to hop on the BB cream trend. Very tacky, garnier, very tacky. I got a sample of this in medium in the mail for no reason whatsoever, and despite it being much too dark for me, gave it a go out of curiosity and to rate it only on the basis of its formula. It glides on like there is nothing there - seriously, if you wanted to use this, I hope you had perfect skin already. That being said, with a considerable amount of work you can kind of 'layer' it. I am not sure how well it REALLY did hiding blemishes and scars [of which I have tons] seeing as darker foundations only superficially appear to conceal better than their better matched counterparts. It is a very thin formula - useless, in my books, even for a tinted moisturizer. It's also really shiny. So unless you enjoy looking like you work in a back alley kitchen hovering inches over a hot deep fryer, this is not the look most people go for. Okay, you argue, you can combat that with powder. Fine. How about longevity? I didn't even get there to test that bit. It was annoying me on my face, feeling like it was slipping everywhere and sliding/transferring onto everything. So I went to wash my face - started by splashing my face with water, and looked up in the mirror - LO AND BEHOLD, it had all disappeared. Keep in mind the shade was so dark for me that it was very easy to tell when it was and was not there anymore. And with just a few mild splashes, it was GONE. I wasn't even rubbing my face! I soaped up anyway but had a good laugh at how ridiculous this product is. The slightest amount of liquid washes it away? Are you kidding me? With almost no coverage? Or benefits? And close to [more than?] twenty bucks in Canada? A hearty, resounding, LOL.
Dear Maybelline: Almost nobody of the human race is either pink or orange - it's time to figure that out. That being said, I like the texture of this foundation, surprisingly. Probably because I'm reviewing a newly opened package [I imagine it dries out a LOT with time, like my old old old Maybelline mousse concealer], or maybe because I applied it over a freshly washed and moisturized face. However, finding a color match in either this or ANY of Maybelline's foundation is a nightmare. I should be on the darker end of the 'Light' spectrum, but everything in the 'Light' range is super pink. Immediately after that, everything is hideously orange. Including Medium 0, which made me look like an oompa loompa [legit]. I am a weirdly translucent fair-medium yellow-olive. COME ON. There are lot of us with yellow undertones, why do so few [drugstore?] companies seem to realize that? And no matter what, each shade will leave it's accompanying person looking ruddy rather than bright. So, no, another failed experiment in the bin.
Someone must be kidding me. This stuff is a joke. This is basically a tongue brush with soft, rubbery bristles, and comes with a tongue foam [basically what you do for your teeth, but for your tongue]. The idea is great: remove those pesky bacteria your tongue harbors and be on your way to fresher breath! Problem is, it fails in execution. I ordered the brush and foam online for about 10-15 bucks after seeing rave reviews on YouTube, particularly from youtubers I trusted [sigh]. This isn't an uncomfortable product to use. If you're accustomed to brushing or scraping your tongue, whatever. However, that would be useful if the brush actually PICKED UP anything. I've tried it many different ways, so I know I'm not doing it wrong - but it actually does not pick up anything off of my tongue; this is probably because my brush is doing an excellent job cleaning it up for me [I ALWAYS brush my tongue, with an electric toothbrush]. My mistake - the reviewers seemed to base their use on an unwashed mouth. Commence pre-brushing test: nope, still nothing ...except some saliva. But I saw it first hand on the videos! Okay that's a fail ... try the tongue foam. AND OMG DISGUSTING. It could be grosser but UGH, just not something I want on my tongue and back of my throat. But maybe I'll magically have super fresh breath in the morning? In a word, no. None of the above. No magic clean kiss me morning breath. No amazing gunk being removed from my [apparently sparkling, immaculate] tongue. No seeming benefit to using the foam, whatsoever. Talk about a gimmick.
I was soooo excited to try this. So imagine my surprise when it came out of the tube and walked right into every line on my lips, looking a goopy mess, never dried or set, and worse, made my teeth look unbearably yellow [the hot pink color. Cool fuschias look great on me/with my teeth]. It is pigmented but not enough to go on in one opaque swipe - I never really got an even application of color, and although the formula smells delicious [yay! more chemicals/synthetics!], it is coming out of the tube GOOPY and clumpy and disgusting. In short, a disappointment, and not an experiment I'll shell out good money repeating.