Hold your noses girlies! Korres Jasmine Body Butter stinks. Indeed, it pongs, it gases, it gives me a damned headache. The smell is cheap, cheap, cheap. Nothing offends me so much as this artificial, bubble gum, sickly poser calling itself something so proud, so exotic, so unique as the flower known as jasmina officialinis. It's funny, would you know this smell as jasmine if you were blindfolded and prompted to identify it? Someone said something about the rose and its name, Shakespeare, I think, and he doesn't speak false. If you think this is jasmine, it's pitiful (because the real thing is so much better!). It just proves, princely ingredients commands a princely sum. You simply won't find jasmine on the cheap. I urge, go smells Neal's Yard Jasmine Body Cream. A cream worthy of its namesake. Butter base may be good formula, but pass this over for Quince, Fig, or whatever. This is terrible. Nothing for it - this is tyre grease.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - Champney's Vitamiracle Body Butter
bellaspots 3/1/2010 4:27:00 PM
Surprisingly a sweet find, I'll be renewing my supply soon having just finished my 250ml tub. (I'm bored, heh, tis the way of the fickle-oh-so-fickle beauty seeker, that is, moi.) It was just my luck to find this in Sainsburys half-price. Who cared? 'Twas on sale for less than a fiver, so what's a girlie to do, but chuck it in with her basket full of micro meals? Given a cursory test under the harsh lights of a 7-10pm supermarket, it was lightly buttery and softly, softly fragranced. Now I realise why it enraptured me so much. Believe me, when I say, this smells just like Guerlain's Shalimar. You do Shalimar, or you don't. And Shalimar is the ultimate in femininity - it smells just like babies, it's a scent for mommies, real or yet to be realised. To be vivid: a creche full of sweet babies, babies when they're freshly washed and dusted in Johnson powder. Happy sleepy babies, gurgling in the mornings when they haven't been sick overnight or pooped their nappies. It's in a word: sweet. Okay, three words: sweet, soft, and comforting. But with the best things in life, they're letdowns. So what's a thumbs down for this Shalimar imitation in a jar? One, it's a 'body butter'. It's not, it's a light lotion. Don't expect Body Shop thick balm type textures. And as it's in essence lotion light, it sinks so quickly no rubbing is required. Not so bad in balance. Two, it's not organic/natural. But hey, we all need some parabens to keep things fresh. This isn't LUSH. Besides, some chemical barriers are needed to lock in moisture right? Three, it's not "oooh lala, spaaaaah me" queenly luxury (if they applied this on my body in one of their spa treatments, I'm afraid I'd turn up my nose....). Thumbs up for efficacy, it works - Abracadabra! It lasts a good 3 months used daily. Its a cool blend of nut and vegetable butters. It's also been rated as a Beauty Bible winner. (It's always neat to have confirmation your nose and judgment is ticking over smoothly). And it's a steal. Good, all rounder. Now go buy it!
Moisturizers -Neal's Yard - Neal's Yard Organic Orange Flower Facial Oil
bellaspots 2/6/2010 4:55:00 PM
You know what, this fatigued beauty knows Neroli. I don't say this lightly either. I know what Neroli is, and I sure do know what Neroli ain't. And this ain't heavy on the Neroli. Sure, there's a pathetic amount inside, but read the list, it's relegated to bottom. I've much love for Neal's Yard, they do some great stuff and, naturally, they make some real stinkers. What compelled me to fork out £20 for 30ml of face oil? (It's not a bad price actually but for this quality, it's shoddy.) Well, you see, they're clever, those masterminds at NYR HQ in Somerset, or in whatever Shire they're based. They run beauty-cum-holisitc this-and-that courses you see. And at these courses, those now enlightened beauties are given a discount - usually 10-15 % in the shop below - that, like glorious, dazzling Cinderella at the ball who'll turn back into the poor serf at the stroke of midnight - this discount too is limited to an hour once the course finishes. I did such a named course at Covent Garden. I did the DIY Facial course. It was only £10, and I got to massage my face for an hour with all their products. lovely, right? Did I learn anything? Sure. There was talk about elastane, tissue, stroke pressure, energy lines, layman stuff. Do I practice my holy knowledge. Erm, let me get back to you on that one. So, my verdict? Suckers. That included me. Yes, it was promotional tactics disguised as a lesson. No other brands were dared mentioned. It was a nervous atmosphere. "Let the countdown begin. Go buy, beauties! Buy and be OFFO beautiful!" Cried my tutor. Okay, I lie. He didn't say that, but he may as well. Cue the stampede like some herd of wilderbeest as we all filled up our wire baskets. So I got this cheaper than RRP, but who cares? Who cares when it's not so-so-forgettable! Ugh, I'm incensed by my folly. They promoted, and I so wanted to live and believe the OFFO dream. So to go against these other raving reviews, what's so pathetic about it? I need to say, this sat on my shelf for 6 months - I've a glut of face oil that would make me blush - to offset the guilt. But once opened, on the 1/1/10 - yes I like my skincare to work with nature, a new month, a new season, a new year, a new decade, you can't get more bio-rhythmic than that guys - it's lost all it's sparkle and excitement. I've had a month to give this fair go, and let me conclude: If you spend 60 minutes massaging your skin with oil, wouldn't you be all 'glowy' and 'relaxed' and 'line-what-lines?' Even if you've used kitchen oil. But at home, my impulse has cost me. I spend 2 mins applying oil. That's my maximum. Any more, and that's saying something. Do you spend more? Then consider the quality of your product. Do you spend a lifetime? Well yes now actually, for the OFFO is fit for massage, not everyday slap-and-dash application. It's not advanced, it's a mix of organic oils, and the meanest dribble of Neroli is lurking somewhere in there. It's "orangey" as the others have noted, but it's not potent. Sure, overnight, skin is 'supersoftened', but radiance comes from within, doh right? But if you've a good 15, 30, 45 minutes, sure that's great. Treat yourself to a massage with OFFO. If you've a life, this isn't so hot. So for slovenly ones like me, this is a pass. A poor sinker, it sits and sits some more on the skin. That's it. That's my piece. I'll keep using it - for now. But there's nothing special or baraginalicious about it. It'd be the same as investing in Neroli EO and DIY-ing it. Also, for real connoisseurs of the Neroli, go smell Balance Me's Super Moisturising Body Oil. Do, I urge you. It's like these beauties have dunked an entire bottle of EO in there. Ah-maz-ing. Honestly, from one beauty to another, I was dead impressed. Pluses + The decent dropper and super-lovely blue, recyclable bottle....
Eye Shadow -Unlisted Brand - Barbara Daly for Tesco -Eye Shadow in Antique
bellaspots 2/2/2010 4:01:00 PM
Pass! There's a reason why supermarket makeup is not worth the "cheap splurge", and this, as with the other shades, is why. It appears a "superfind" - the current six basic colours in the 'range' are fail-safe, suits-all shades; there's just a slight shimmer (read, not glitter); the packaging is stylish and not too cheapish looking, and finally, the price is an eye-watering snap-me-up-quick £4. But pray, don't waste those four gold pound coins. That's a ludicrous sum to pay for something that you'll never use. Mark my words beauties, you won't use it. At home, you'll die a death of fatigue, ruining your Ecotool brush as you apply wash after wash of 'pigment' (pigment here, is contentious), just to achieve a semblance of the "Yes, I am, indeed, wearing eye MU, thank you" look. If you persist with this, prepare to smile politely as foolhardy beauties compliment you and say, "You look okay, but then again, you're not wearing MU right?" (How annoying, when you've made the super-duper effort). So too, don't be suprised if you resort to using your finger, poor thing, which will ache from the workout as it gets digginig into the pan with gusto. It won't last - on your eye, nor on your shelf. These are for nobody, washes of watercolour - light, barely-there-or-not-at-all, near invisible colours. Go designer eye shadows, you pay for pigment, and time-saving. So for four of the Queen's gold pounds, I suggest picking up some organic avocadoes, bananas, papayas, honey, oats, and the like, going home and whizzing up some face and body treats fit for a queen, but if you're not bothered, simply to eat them. It'll have more use than this miss.
Lotions/ Creams -Burt's Bees - Beeswax & Banana Hand Creme
bellaspots 1/16/2010 5:38:00 PM
Oh! No, no no! The poor bustling busy beeties at Burt's Bees have made a real dud here with this Banana Hand Cream. As with all their jars, it's pretty as a picture, charming for your mantelpiece. It's tiny but as we know, their formulas are waxy, so 50g of this solid stuff will last you into your pensioning age and could even embalm you without trouble. (Something to consider unless you want to die a death hand cream boredom) The, ho hum, only good thing going for this pomade like wax is the nostalgic fragrance. It smells like all your comforting childhood dreams: creamy 'nana milkshake with cookies, hot mashed 'nana with peanut butter, hot 'nana buttermilk muffins, and more. But, boy, it doesn't last. You're all dizzy massaging a dollop of this glue into your palms (ick, sticky), and voila, within a jiffy your sweetened palms are left with a sickly, beeswax, marzipan-like pong. At this point - don't touch anything! Nay, don't touch your freshly washed hair, your squeaky clean cleansed face, nor rub your tired peepers. Why? For fear your palms will stick to your skin - and stay there - for dear life. This stuff is sticky as superglue, talk about a 'nana supergloop attack. To give you an idea of texture, this stuff doesn't move. One couldn't blame artistic or baking beauties using this stiff glop for sculpture, cake decoration, or anything else that takes their whims. It's playdo in a jar. Not worth the money, not worth the nostalgia. I gauge they're banking on the success of the big yummy sister aka le Almond Milk Hand Cream, but this is a hit and miss. Some will love it (um, Why? I scream), some will hate it (I concur, sisters!), some won't care (that's the worst, indifference....). Now, why would one use beeswax to make a hand cream? Bad recipe, fellas. Unless you're a gardener, or cleaner, this is not for everyday beauties who, erm, need to use their hands. Pray, stick to lush nut butter bases beauties, they're far superior to the beeswax that's best for lips and soles.
A new muslin cloth that frays at the sides after a few uses is downright annoying, isn't it? Ho hum, a bete noire, don't I know it.... A traditional beauty raised on cotton flannels and facial soap (I know, the horror!), today I'm a committed devotee to hot muslin cleansing - no facial wipes, cotton and cold creams, nor fancy vibrating gadgets for me thank you very much - and so it is, I've used and binned a good number since. You could say I'm quite the cotton connoisseur (I say that with with pride!). A mother's staple, if muslin's good enough for babies, it's good for our skins.... So it's a good thing I'm an addict of the Liz Earle's Hot Polish cleansing system (cream cleanser removed by muslin cloth), otherwise I may have never known the goodness that is her muslin cloth (£2.50 for 2 when bought separately). Seriously geeky though it is to review, ahem, a square of material, you'd be quite amazed how good value these are, so bear with me. What's going for it? Well, generously sized, they're superb value since there's simply more of it, and they're just so 'softly rough' - not too harsh, not too soft for crocodile skins. The perfect colour, a bright white, you can easily gross yourself out with the buildup collected there. (Dr Hauschka's and Spiezia's are close seconds, despite their coffee-creme colour). Oooh, and the best bit for smart beauties? The price is bang on the money, unless you prefer premium muslin with designer logos or fancy stitching of course. Oh, and they're seriously pretty with tight green hems - crucial since that prevents fraying with heavy daily use. If you're a muslin baby, you can't complain, if you're a muslin newbie, you'll be pleasantly suprised. If you're a fella who shaves, you'd find this just the trick for combatting dead skin and pesky ingrown hairs. If you don't cleanse, shame on you! The results? You'll see the collection of debris (skin, hair, and all manner of ickiness) in your cloth and rejoice - so satisfying. Once thoroughly squeaky and scrubbed, your skin will be fresher in a flash (no magic required) and all manner of your topical wonder creams can be maximised on this smoother, prepped surface. It may take time to get used to the muslin's gentle buffing sensation but it's ideal for lazy exfoliators like me. Oh how I wish I'd known the beauty that is muslin as a ravaged hormonal teen! What's nicer, friendlier, and neater than muslin compared to scrub gel washes for blocked pores and blackheads? It'd adore young ones. Be wary of buying singles and thus paying the premium when muslin is, erm, muslin. Buying in bulk, as you can with these in packs of 8 is smart because they do enjoy incredible wear, used twice daily. A single cloth will last a few months before it becomes redundant - as soft as cotton wool and less effective - so they require frequent changing. When it's a case of monthly replacement and not quality, like Egyptian cotton vs. bog standard linen, go for 'wholesale' beauty buys. You'll soon find yourself with a basketful of old muslins, and they are cool recycled into bath bags filled with herbs/petals and essential oils, or scrubs filled with rolled oats. Treat them as flannels, so be vigilant washing them in 60-degree hot water, or it'll be ironic case of buffing collected bacteria back into your skin. Mommies know best as is the usual case, so for seriously frugal beauties, you can bag basic muslin cut to size at your local department store for a song, but if you can bear to part with a few more pennies, do! These winners are a no-brainer, scandalous thrify and good, the only fault? A eco beauty only wishes they were organic and fairtrade.....
Lip Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Balm Balm - Lip Balm Rose Geranium
bellaspots 8/25/2009 7:04:00 PM
Bliss! What lip essential can buy for £2.99 that's 100% organic (UK Soil Association-certified)? Not much, huh? Well, certainly not much that's effective, and generous with the essential oils. The pink Balm Balm is just that: a soothing blend of butters, romantic (that's the rose geranium) and potent (they don't skimp on quality), but for particular beauties or babies, go for fragrance-free. There's a Tea Tree option, so unless you love the smell of this, erm, medicinal scent, leave it. On my third 7ml pot this year (it's my cuticle rub too, but for lips only it'd last a good 6 months at least) - that's plenty for a balm non-addict - you must check out their super website for smart multi-purposing tips. (The best tip, for lazy aromatherapy buffs like me, is for customising a different balm for every mood by stocking up on the fragrance-free Balm Balm lip pots, zapping them in the microwave, and adding a drop of your favourite essential oil, then leave to re-set - neat, huh? No mess, no fuss.) With a solid organic base of shea, jojoba, sunflower and calendula oil beeswax, for all their balms, this is congenial for even the most parched of skins (oily skins ought us the Tea Tree), penetrating the uppermost layers within minutes, unlike cloying petrolatum-based vileness. Once you've proved an addict, invest in the 30ml Rose Geranium Face Balm tube to recycle your empty plastic pots, and have one for every handbag (and erm, future handbags). To make a lip-tint, add some beetroot juice. I've blended an array, and it's cheap fun with girlfriends over a bottle of cheeky wine. What's divine is a drop of mandarin, or grapefruit essential oil in rose geranium Balm Balm. Give a gift of green beauty, and make some for your female circle. Not many thrifty organic buys stirs me enough to eek out a review, but this trumps them all as lippie steals go.
A year in, slightly peeved, I'm still pondering what Prolagene actually does (£28). Erm, is there some trick at the bottom of the tube? Nearing its end, and feeling a bit foolish for persevering this long, suffice to say I've no great expectations for a miracle. It promises sluggishly slow (oops, gradual) results with daily use. So, just a tip, Decleor peeps, because I know you care: we don't have a lifetime to wait. We have just the one. Just something to keep in mind... So when I heard about Decleor's wonder product for sagging, damaged, acne-scarred and porous skin, I ran the marathon to the beauty counter. Was this to be the secret weapon to solve all manner of skin problems? (It's one of their best-sellers.) How had it sprinted past my beauty-dar? Huh, no matter, we'd finally met, I soothed myself. That's what I thought anyway, and reveled in the Prolagene promise: the multi-purpose product for heavy-handed spot-pickers overly liberal with the fingers or those blackhead instruments of torture, for open puddles-like pores as a primer, for use as an soothing after-sun to counter the effects of sun exposure, for 'womanly' areas such as hips and breasts, those best friends of gravity. All this I excitedly confirmed, and reconfirmed some more with the Decleor assistant, all aglow with rude vitality. I should've known better, because dazzled by the purity of Aromessence Neroli and others, quick as a flash thus went the plastic into the Mastercard reader. I'm not generally so easily sold, but my love for Decleor was true. Who'd want to believe your hardest-working brand can, erm, make duds? Who'd have thought the apple of my eye had fallen short? Ho hum, I'm not as starry-eyed today. It's no loss, some things in life aren't meant to be, right? Some things work, some don't. Don't expect that usual aromatic romantic rendezvous with a Decleor product, the formula's unscented, a blue gel that's 'maximised' or 'layered' with other products (as they say). Based on the curious ingredient Osmanthus, I'm still none the wise what that does exactly (that's another mystery altogether). Worth mentioning too is the 50ml visage and 150ml corps sizes that are the same formula, because silly, overawed me bought the larger size for facial use. So be warned, a150ml gel for the face spells a prison sentence of use and something worse than death - boredom. Lesson now learnt, like some bad relationship masking as a happy marriage, 'tis due time we parted, I think. After all, you beauties deserve nothing but glorious truths, so a spoiler for happy-go-lucky Decleor devotees: this will be harsh. It does nothing. Nothing, nought, nil, zero, zap. Pathetic, does nothing discernable to the naked eye. A year in, goodbye Prolagene! Au revoir! Nice to meet you. Not. From now on, I'll stick to good old concealer, aloe vera gel and control panties thanks, because, erm, they actually work. Only for so long though, the hunt is back on...
It's with uttermost gravity that I declare: Myth means serious business. And with over 200 reviews, I see it's of some common importance for us lippie-loving beauties. You're no doubt on the hunt, foraging for that one ultimate shade of nude to out-nude all others, sagely comparing formulas, shades and finishes, holding onto your pennies until you meet the one that will romance your lips like no other lothario, but if you've zoomed in on Myth online - Stop! - I pray, because Myth mayn't be your perfect nude. My quest for that everyday natural-nay-not-invisible pout may be over (oh, how boring has life been since...), but is it Myth? Sorely not. Apart from Christmas '08, it's been nothing more than a handful of one-night stands. The poor thing sits forlornly in my drawer, shiny and rejected. Why? I sense you wonder, well, as perfectly peachy as it may be (texture, shade, and price are spot on), my Myth-ened lips do something myth-ical, and may do similar to yours. The lipstick, a magician's baton, washes away all colouring and, voila, the lips do a disappearing act. Suffice to say, I'd need to muster more strength wearing Myth than emboldened, "Look at me!" Mac Red a la Dita Von Teese. I concede, a most splendid colour on porcelain and Scandinavian colouring with true oyster-pink pouts (ugh, you undeserving lot), but on rosy like mine or darker, Myth shouts, nay, screeches: 'I am doing lipstick, and wrongly'. Not natural, not desirable. No biggie if you've erred like me, the shade is delightful for powdery dolly cheeks, so do with it as a sheer blush for a girlie flush. Very Barbara Cartland (minus her garish pastel blue peepers, of course). What's more, BB's Beige (Creamy Lipstick) loves me measurably more, creamy and loving for warm undertones. Go seek there, it's frightfully wearable. How does one describe its colour perfection? Well, seductively nude, Myth is a mesmerising nude pink-cum-beige, fleshy-toned and for the fearless. Not as daredevil as MAC's Blankety (only for fashionistas and vampires, the colour is, erm, blank), this is a good compromise for nude-lovers who don't do theatrical makeup. On dry lips (be more vigilant with the balms, beauties!), do toothbrush-scuff and prep the lips beforehand or better yet, go for luscious Mac's Creme de Nude, a colour-match and lip-nourishing alternative. The Satin finish troubles me - greatly (embarrassing, but c'est la vie). Difficult to apply though the texture is a smoothie, it's not creamy so prepare to do lots of buffing with a quality brush.You can't apply straight from stick and smack your lips on-the-go with this beauty, this is for die-hard beauties willing to buff, blot, powder, buff, blot, powder etc., that old mantra, seems the only solution for all-day wear. (Oh Mac, I sigh, we don't have the time....) Skip the Lip Fix too, gloss would be Myth's ruin. (If you so desire glossy nude, their Lacquer in Babied is the one) Myth, a grand fashionable lipstick, but natural enough for shy porcelain beauties.
Whoa, despite expectations exceeded, I'm not sure that me liketh - this works but to what detriment? Skin Buff, a spa favourite, is true to namesake and ought be dispensed with a disclaimer: "Avoid facial use". Even the meanest measure of the runny, opaque liquid is crammed with the finest of abrasive particles, so stay well away sensitive beauties with a tendency to pinkness. Promising a facial sand-blasting experience, it's easy to use - and abuse. Granted, the result matches the promise - skin to rival silk, but do be gentle I urge, or better still, save it for the spa professionals or dare you buff away too many top layers of skin, your battle-armour against everyday stress. Suffice to say, my sample was demoted to a body scrub, and 'tis genius for the driest areas of the body. Sound botanical ingredients - beeswax, shea, chamomile, hops, meadow-sweet and something mystifying called phytoplankton - cannot exonerate this overpriced tube (£21). Give yourself over to fruity Enzyme Peel, an Elemis winner for many, that needn't come with a caution. Safe, just as effective, but skin-kind. A starry product.
It's so ooh la la, do let's keep quiet before too many newbies catch on.... Masterpiece mascara, what's to criticise? It's a beast. If my praise seems too forthcoming, trust me, I have reason. So onto specifics.... The price? Very purse-friendly (£8 UK), check. Formula? Not too clumpy despite regular pumping action, a definite check. Range? The standard, plus a waterproof version. Colours? Basic, because who'd even want hot pink mascara? So check. And for the big question, the finish? Well, it coats evenly, thickens just enough, lengthens shamelessly, and separates like a dream, oh, a capital check. Lastly, packaging? Who cares? (See above checks) Erm, yeah, that's about it. Criminally good, all that for a price we can all afford, what a rarity, gold dust stuff, really. I hear you, but no, there's nothing more on offer. So don't expect any funny business. No promises of lash-conditioning, a curling formula (hence curlers recommended), or proteins to stimulate growth, just fluttery, fuller lashes for the lash-compromised like me. Removal is as simple as application too, always an important factor, but the waterproof version will require an industrial-strength remover. If you've dumped a shameful number of cheap buys in disgust in the past (oh, what lady hasn't?), and held onto high-end mistakes in shameful regret, I think you'll understand just how amazing finding that magical one mascara will be, that will work hard for you for years and years like your favourite Tee. Boring but true. Let's pray, oh do let's pray that the designer houses don't push Masterpiece off the radar with their fancy formulas that mightn't work or high-tech wand innovations, because I, like many of you I suspect, simply needs something non-faddy that works. Simply what could be worse though? It's be like a thunderclap, world's ending moment. For if mascara is your ultimate feel-good, desert-island and 'face the world' weapon, it'd be a life without morning caffeine, or Cadbury's chocolate. Oh perish the thought! For lazy beauties who just can't get their fingers around fiddly false lashes, or that shy away from lash-dyes and shudder at lash-implants, or have zilch faith in lash-growth formulas such as Lash Food and one-a-day pills, this is the business: traditional lash makeup for everyday wear, even one to carry you breezily into evening because it's a subtle, natural look that's definitely not drag-queen territory. Compliments guaranteed, men will be charmed, women will wonder, 'tis really like that secret you really won't share despite how delighted that you've finally found it, the one.... But also, one big fat Boo! to advertisements that now so often trick and charm using falsies as lash inserts, but at least with Masterpiece, those spiky lashes are in one word: achievable, with just a lightening flick of the wand. Three seconds required, crazy huh? No lies, no false promises, no false hopes, now how masterful is that? Oh, and as for the new Masterpiece Max version. Leave it, the difference is no more 'max-ed out' lashes. This is the original and the best.
Scrubs -Liz Earle - Liz Earle - Gentle Face Exfoliator
bellaspots 8/6/2009 7:32:00 PM
Charmed by the range, natural beauties will be less than charmed by the finish since not even the botanical ingredients can save this forgettable product. Next. Okay, why the neutrality, you ask? Well, I concede 'tis as gentle as its namesake (so important), also thankfully non-fussy or messy (so important), rather refreshing (that's the eucalyptus, a nice touch) and quite economical (70ml, £11.75, somewhat important). But, alas, can an exoliator be too gentle? Yes, that's exactly what I found myself wondering. So, short of using nothing, Gentle Face Exfoliator is just that, gentle as a whisper on the skin. Better suited to your pubescent teen who oughtn't use those nasty cheap scrubs, or normal-skinned beauties with healthy shedding (or in science-speak, cell-renewal) who require the bare minimum of exfoliation, for average skins like mine with a healthy dose of annoying problems (sebum, blackheads, fine lines, etc.) there's much, much better for your spend. Luckily, it was a free gift with my usual online order (they're always so generous), so no loss. When it finally came to that rare evening high-lighted as 'Facial Night' in the filofax, that is, leisurely cleansing, toning, exfoliation, steam, extraction (tsk tsk, naughty me!) and 'masking' (or whatever order that's now in fashion), I was sorely disappointed (but my skin was far from sore). With a sudden urge to exfoliate - okay, I admit, I got lazy - the horrors from years bygone (harsh Aapri scrub, anyone?) rose in my mind like high-tide, so you can understand my delight in receiving this botanical alternative. This is all but an antidote to powerful microdermabrasion, that dangerous skin-enemy should you spend cheaply. Nonetheless, made entirely of jojoba beads in a base of beeswax, cocoa butter and almond milk, this recipe reads scrumptious and gentle but scrubs poor. Although the spherical, non-scratchy beads give slight friction to the skin, it's a dissatisfying piecemeal scrub (that's simply corrected by using more, and more, and some more - you get the idea.) So if you like your scrubbing hard and mean (perish the thought), this is, like so many B-list-and-lower celebs, entirely forgettable. Pass. The range has enough hero products for this non-star to make a dent to its shiny reputation, so stick with her muslins and Hot Polish Cleanser if you're not already, at least that has some discernible effect. Verily disheartening, a genteel poser in the world of scrubs for Liz Earle fans.
Tinted Moisturizer -Dr. Hauschka - Toned Day Cream
bellaspots 8/6/2009 6:14:00 PM
I adore my little sample of Toned Day Cream from Wholefoods. It's the cutest little thing (since my niece was born, natch) and a thorough steal for £3 in the UK (10ml). If you can't justify a measly few pounds, forgo your Starbuck's Latte Soy bucket (oops, I meant Grande), this will inject more temporary bloom to your skin than water-zapping caffeine. So be warned, for such a terrific price Dr Hauschka doll-house mini's are terribly addictive, indeed, collectible for thrifty beauties like me, forever wanting to try everything under the bright lights of beauty counters. Humph. And to the dismay of my poor skin..... So, delighted with such a find, you can gamble I snapped this up, sharpish too before my automated voice of reason told me better. Why? Because, like many of you, tinted moisturisers have never really found a place in my makeup bag - well, not since I was an experimenting teeny-bopper. And who knows, kinder, though sheerer, makeup may be just the trick for 20-something skin like mine, after all, my skins not 'so' bad, as I'm wont to chant religiously. Generally though, as one who'd crazily invest a in skin-insurance package from Bupa, I'm justifiably fussy about makeup as simply colour, full-stop, cheap or not, with no skin-caring properties. So with this in mind, tinted moisturisers ought be my, and your, salvation. And they're wonderful for us who've never fallen in love with foundation... In regards this offering from Dr Hauschka, like my first crush, I'm still starry-eyed months later. 'Tis my first organic tinted cream, and as with bad chat-up lines from roguish suitors, it's with smugness that I can demure, "I'm taken, thank you verrrry much", so, I'm taken with this, well, before I get bored.... So be gone icky foundations! Be gone! With the same aromatic rosiness that characterises his Day Rose Cream, don't be frightened by its cappuccino-coloured cream. Like the fair-skinned newbie using bronzer, I was more than sparing at first. This shade colour adapts to all skin-tones, although if you're on extreme ends of the colour spectrum - deathly pale, or very dark-skinned - do try it first despite their claims. With a few too many scars from boredem-induced spot-picking, I'm inclined to layer it with concealer. The finish is dewy sheer thanks to its oil-rich base, with a whisper of colour, so for sun-shade seekers like me, it gives an illegal warmth, and for medium/darker skins, an appearance of even colour. Tinted creams are about simplicity, so forgo the primer and finishing powder (trust me, it's impossible). Best for lazy bees, busy beauties, or mommies with endless errands, or generally 'low-to-no-maintenance' ladies, this is as easy as baking cookies. Not enough coverage for Oscar-style evenings, it's strictly a day affair for au naturel beauties. For a combination/oilier skin, or simply summer option, see his Bronze Concentrate (a bronze emulsion) - a smarter buy since personalising your perfect finish is possible by adding it to a fluid, SPF base, or whatever is your seasonal choice of cream.
What's the big fuss? Cheap 'n' simple, lacking character and charm, I'd hazard a guess that us plain Jane's would prefer something more the gentlest of bottled Fairy liquid (washing-up liquid for you Americans). Why make the tired routine of cleansing an even greater thumping bore? See the label - non-irritating and supra-gentle. Jolly, but if you've few sensitivities/allergies like me, Cetaphil's a washout. Cleansing is no comedy of laughs, but ought it be this boring? And as for it's 'model's fave' cult status, nay I say, aren't these professional beauties (oh, such poor things) subject to a daily bombardment of products on single shows? So, unless you're in a habit of changing your makeup several times a day (celebs, actors, I'd daresay.), don't be blinded by the hype. It cleans, but there's no magical extra (unless my specs are failing me.) But don't despair, opaque, white, creamy in texture, and fragrance-free, it's happily versatile and economical. To my surprise, it makes an efficient hand-wash (and sanitiser) to rival Dove, Pears et al., so it'll be excellent for hard-working hands, gardeners and cooks alike. (Amazing but true, I even did the garlic test with some sucess...). But as for facial cleansing, I'm stumped. Because the offerings for the everyday beauty is lost on me. Where's the the target-specific actions, be they anti-ageing, purifying, soothing, etc? What's the attraction? A cleanser is a cleanser, there's no mysterious purpose but this is as basic as toilet paper. And therein lies Cetaphil's greatest flaw for it compromises, in L'oreal speak, 'advanced ingredients' of a highly-desirable cleanser for its target market (sensitive-prone) and alienating the rest, like me (bored). Hence, with a formula as pared-down as this, stripped of all-known irritants from perfumes to sulphates, it's most congenial for skins conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, acne, etc. If you're so diagnosed, Cetaphil will love your skin, and I daresay, you'll fall in love too. So where praise is due, it does indeed deserve its cult status as some kind of Official Unofficial Treatment for such conditions. Still, it's not a complete loss. Even if you've managed to de-tangle yourself from the fray and get a bottle only to discover with frustration that it's no miracle, nor will it take gold at any beauty awards, it's still handy. As a die-hard beauty addicted to water-cleansing myself, Cetaphil makes a welcome alternative on lazy mornings where I can 'swipe-and-go' with a cotton pad. Also, to my delight, it easily shifts heavy eye-makeup, no tears, nor scrubbing action required. And I imagine men would adore this product - the packaging is for a better word, unisex (not that packaging matters, as I tend aver weakly) and mommies wouldn't have issue using this on babies bottoms. It'd even be preferable to water, and - shock horror - a bar of soap for that day, you know, where you ever run dry of cleanser (what are the possibilities of this happening?). It has a shelf-life longer than Carnation milk (24 months), and so it sits today, unloved at the back of my drawer with all my other samples.
Shame on you, Mac, usually such quality and value, your NO. 129 bestseller is hairy, face-rough, and feels like buffing straw onto skin (although the 'hand-test' fooled me until I took it home). A spherical head, long handle, and and solid size is compromised by your goat hairs - too rough, too bristly - a disappointment. For my money, there's worthier, softer, skin-loving brushes out there.