Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Mango Body Butter
bossanovaville 7/11/2012 3:52:00 PM
This was my first TBS product. I live in north central Texas so weather can be pretty dry at times. I used to have fairly balanced skin but as I get older, my skin becomes more and more dry. This body butter is a nice little indulgence that's very reasonably priced. I was pleased with the quality. A thick cream with a nice smooth texture. Moisturization was good and lasted almost all day. The product can feel greasy if you apply even just a little bit too much, so use sparingly as a little goes a long way. As a result, one tub will last a long long time. The packaging is simple but decent quality. Lightweight plastic that won't shatter or break like glass can if dropped. The lid goes on easily and I don't have to fight with it to screw it back on, even with my hands still slick from an application. I get the best results if I apply to towel-dried skin directly after a shower or bath. The scent is lovely but a bit too strong for my taste. It's sweet and fruity with a nice tropical quality but in addition to being a little overpowering, the scent doesn't quite agree with my personal chemistry. But no matter. I limit its use to my hands, knees and elbows. I get to enjoy the scent this way without it being overwhelming. Can't wait to try some of the other scents.
I am quite pleased with this product. It's actually much better than I anticipated. When I see the word "balm", I usually expect the product to offer very little. Other tinted balms I've tried have been too dry, too matte and/or undetectable. I didn't find those challenges with these (except for one). I've noticed some reviewers stating the pigments are too sheer or non-existent. They are very sheer and subtle but I find some shades are more pigmented than others. I purchased Nourishing Nude, Tender Mauve and Heavenly Berry. The first thing I noticed was the texture. It glided on smoothly, felt comfortable and provided more moisturization than I expected. I would compare the feel of it to a soft chapstick but with more moisture and a lighter feel. I also like the level of shine. Certainly more shine than one would get from a chapstick, not as shiny as a gloss. Rather, I would describe it as a subtle sheen. The scent is not perfumey but faintly sweet, almost vanilla-like and very light. These balms also do not taste perfumey either. We inevitably ingest tiny amounts of lip products and I am personally very turned off by those that have a "perfumey make-up" taste to them. These do not taste like anything. As for the color, while Tender Mauve surprisingly had more pigment than it would appear to, it was just a bit too cool for my skintone. Heavenly Berry was the sheerest of the three, which surprised me since it appeared to be one of the more intense shades. The color was almost undetectable, making it a $7 chapstick/lip moisturizer. Nourishing Nude is my favorite of the three. It has a nice neutral tone that gave me a sheer wash of color. So flattering and subtle. These are great for everyday. Application is quick, easy and not messy. You could whip one of these out almost anywhere and quickly apply without really even needing a mirror. I'm not crazy about the packaging myself. I've never liked L'Oreal's lipstick tubes with the little notch in the lid. But the quality is good. I can toss these into my black hole of a handbag and not worry they'll crack or break. I would love to see a redesign of just the tube itself with a round fitted lid, similar to Clinique's Almost Lipstick tubes. Would make them less bulky and a bit more aesthetically pleasing, I feel. Overall, I really like these. The look is very natural. When I look in the mirror, I don't see a coat of lipstick or the patent shine of a gloss. It just looks like my lips, only better (if that makes any sense).
I have found some pros and cons to this product but I do like it overall. I was hoping to try the fragrance but the department store I was at was out of the perfume, so I decided to try the body oil instead. I generally love body oils, my favorite (so far) being Rice Dry Oil by Fresh. I was sick of all the cozy/spicy/candy scents that accost me every holiday season and the thought of a warm, beach-y scent lingering on my skin was very appealing to me, so I pulled a "to me from me" and bought the oil along with the rest of my Christmas gifts! I would consider the texture to be mid-weight. After showering and patting myself dry, I applied the oil all over. I'm not too thrilled with the packaging. As others have said, the mouth of the bottle is too big and I was afraid of dropping it. One must also be very careful not to pour out too much, as a little goes a long way. The scent is much more sophisticated than I was anticipating. It did remind me a bit of the Neutrogena body oil I used to buy as a teen but much more refined and subtle. With my chemistry, this wasn't a plastic-y, coconut, coppertone scent. Rather than smelling like suntan lotion, thoughts of tiare flowers, sand and salty ocean air came to mind. As for staying power, I got dressed immediately after and the scent lingered all day long. I am not a fan of highly fragranced oils so the subtlety of the scent was perfect for me. However, this oil was not as moisturizing as I would like. I wouldn't say I have dry skin but toward the latter part of the day, my skin felt on the dry side and not as though I had moisturized with a higher quality body oil. Overall, I do enjoy this oil and the sophisticated, beach-y scent but as a body moisturizer, I wasn't thrilled with it. I do love the scent and the soft sheen it gives my skin but I will probably end up using this over a body lotion. I don't think I will repurchase but if I do, it would be for the way it fragrances my skin and nothing else. I haven't yet decided if I find the price worth that. We'll see.
I have a love/hate relationship with this SS. The fact that I use it daily under my make up furthers this feeling. I love that it protects like nothing else I've found so far. A high level SPF with physical sunscreens. I use products with significant levels of acids in them from time to time as well as bleaching products, so I have to have a high level of protection. This certainly protects and does so all day. I love that it stays put, even through swimming and sweating. Maybe it's a bit more performance than I need from a daily SS, but the level of protection is what keeps me from straying.
As for the the things I hate...*sigh*...I also hate that it's long lasting. This stuff doesn't budge. It goes NOWHERE until you take it off. And this stuff does NOT come off unless you use an oil cleanser. I have tried everything, acid cleansers, grainy exfoliating scrubs, heavy cream cleansers, none of those worked. The only things that do work? Olive oil and the Shiseido oil cleanser. Not even my Shu Uemura oil cleanser workd on this stuff! Olive oil is a cheap option but so horribly heavy, once you have the sunscreen removed, you now have to cleanse repeatedly to remove the olive oil. Shiseido's oil cleanser is effective, light and surprisingly rinses away clean, but it's expensive and I don't like feeling like I'm railroaded into using a brand's product in conjunction with another one from its line.
Also, the formula has changed. The very first bottle I bought a handful of years back was amazing. It was much lighter in weight than I anticipated and blended in effortlessly. Now, the formula has been modified to be a bit more "beneficial" or "nourishing" as someone earlier stated. I didn't need this nor want it. I don't expect a SS with such a high level of protection to also offer me added benefits. I want it to do what its mainly supposed to do and do it well. "Nourishing" benefits are great, but not at the expense of the products performance or by sacrificing traits I do like.
The product now goes on feeling like a heavy lotion. It leaves a white cast if I don't blend it very very well. It also leaves my face feeling a bit sticky and tacky. That eventually goes away but it makes things difficult when applying make up. I have to wait a good 20 min. for the stuff to dry before putting anything else on my face. On the flip side, it has never made me break out and it doesn't feel overly suffocating on my skin.
With all of this in mind, I do realize I might fare better with something that is meant to be used everyday. This SS is excellent when I'm outside, on the lake, at the beach, etc. But until I can find something that protects just as well, that doesn't break me out but isn't like applying shrink wrap to my face, I feel compelled to stick with this.
Tinted Moisturizer -Wet 'n' Wild - Ultimate Sheer Tinted Moisturizer - Natural
bossanovaville 3/13/2011 12:13:00 PM
I have officially reached the point where my skin doesn't look or behave like it used to and I need a little more than just a light dusting of powder like I did in my 20's. I'm asian with fairly sensitive, combo skin that tends to be dry, fair to light complexion with yellow undertones, some mild discoloration and very slight redness on the cheeks. Powder now looks dry and dusty on me and just doesn't offer me any coverage. I didn't want the coverage of a foundation so I'm now on a TM quest. I wouldn't really call this product a moisturizer and it's certainly not as sheer as I was expecting. I actually bought this product in Beige, which seems to match, but only moderately so. Not a very good selection of shades. I dislike the packaging, as the plastic tube doesn't allow you to see the shade of the product. I found a tube already opened and tried it on my hand to feel consistency and texture and to really see the shade. It's very lightweight, but it dried quickly and appeared matte. What pushed me to buy it, aside from the price, was that once the product was blended into my skin, it practically disappeared. I have issues with products like these being too obvious, so I was surprised to see this. Even outside, sitting in my car, I found no perceptible traces of the product on my hand. Wearing it on my face was a different matter. It dried so quickly I didn't have time to blend it. I tried blending it anyway and the product didn't really budge, so I applied more in an effort to eliminate this streak on my cheek. It was a bit humorous watching myself squeeze a little bit on my finger and then rush to blend the stuff before it dried. I still wasn't quick enough. Although it's relatively sheer, I had swipes of the stuff all over my face because I just couldn't blend it in fast enough, so I had to use a wet foundation sponge to blend it all. Afterward, I saw no traces of it on my skin but did notice some coverage. Even outside, I couldn't tell I was wearing it but did notice it offered a little more coverage than I was expecting. I'm pretty "meh" over this product. The difficulty in blending it was a turn off. It was matte enough to where I didn't need any powder and stayed looking natural throughout the day but was a little too drying for me. I may hang on to this and try it again in the hottest days of summer here in Texas where most other products end up melting off. But even so, this product doesn't really offer any benefits. It doesn't protect hardly at all and doesn't moisturize. So this was not what I was looking for. On the flip side, despite not being moisturizing or really sheer, it did offer a bit of coverage, stayed looking natural and wasn't perceptible outside. Not bad for an inexpensive drug store item. However, I'm looking for something that will offer a higher level of performance, so under my bathroom sink it goes until summer!
Fragrances -Narciso Rodriguez - Nr for Her Musc Collection
bossanovaville 2/10/2010 9:05:00 PM
I am completely smitten with Musc EDP Intense (metallic purple bottle), a soft and sensual, powdery floral. Notes include ylang ylang, jasmine, orange blossom, musk, amber and woody notes. I usually do not care for powdery scents, but the powder here is very refined and doesn't come across as baby powder to me. The floral top notes are just lovely. Softly feminine and delicate. My chemistry pulls the warm and/or sweet notes in fragrances, so the amber and musk are VERY prominant on me, especially the amber. The top notes fade pretty quickly letting the musk and amber take center stage, but everything flows together so effortlessly I barely noticed. There isn't a lot of development with this scent. It's fairly straightforward and uncomplicated, but the subtle nuances are there and I greatly enjoy this. With my chemistry and personality, more complicated fragrances are difficult for me to wear. As for staying power, this doesn't last much more than about 4 hours as others have stated. However, I don't find this a negative. After 4 hours, one might not be immediately conscious of the scent, but it hovers like an aura. Once that has faded as well, this becomes a "skin scent", lingering on the skin and clothes for someone to come in close to experience it. Overall, I find Musc Intense to be a sensually soft and feminine fragrance, done in a sophisticated way. Like Narciso Rodriguez clothing line with its clean and simple shapes, feminine edge and quiet sensuality, I feel this scent accurately corroborates that.
I tried my sample of this and absolutely love it! A soft, powdery floral, I typically do not care for powdery scents, but I like this one. I agree with previous reviews that state this scent adapts to each person's chemistry. My chemistry tends to pull the warmer notes, so Essence worked really well for me, as the warm notes were very soft. My first impression of this is fresh milled soap, rose and white musk. Descriptions mention an iris note. I don't detect the iris individually, but feel the powdery element it lends here serves as a nice counter balance to the rose. The white musk lends a comforting warmth to the whole composition and the dry woody base note creates a nice finish that doesn't complicate or compete with the rest of the scent. For me, I've found that simple base notes work better with my chemistry. I love the simplicity of this scent. It contains fewer notes than many fragrances, yet still has some depth. It started out very powdery and rosey on me. On the dry down, the musk and benzoin come forward with the powdery floral notes still lingering in the background. In its final stages, this becomes a "skin scent" on me. Overall, I would describe Essence as a softly sensual and sophisticated fragrance. Wearing this makes me feel like I should be rolling around in bed with some handsome stranger nuzzling my neck. Undoubtedly, he would leave with my scent still lingering in his senses. I can't wait to purchase this!
Treatments -L'Occitane - Immortelle Brightening Serum
bossanovaville 12/7/2009 2:11:00 PM
I made a bad gamble purchasing this product. I didn't realize I'm sensitive to citrus oils until after using this only 4 times and I had a reaction. I can't attest to how effective it is because I had to discontinue using it. First, the packaging: the bottle comes with a dropper in the lid with a little button on top that you press to release the product. I greatly disliked this, despite the fact that it's more sanitary. The instructions say to place the product precisely where you need it with the dropper and to use only 2 drops. Well, I needed more than 2 drops. The pump dropper was not easy to use, especially after getting some of the product on my fingers, which made it slippery and I dropped it on the floor. As for my reaction: after using it just twice, directly after application, my face turned bright red, my skin began to sting and then burn, my cheeks grew inflamed and hot to the touch...and then the dryness came! I'm still combating the dryness, irritation and flakes. When I emailed L'Occitane about it, they said I could return it for a full refund and to include a printout of the email. I sent it back a few days ago, so I'm still waiting for my refund. Maybe this might work for some people that don't have sensitive skin, but it really messed me up for a while.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - True Religion For Women
bossanovaville 3/16/2009 3:16:00 PM
I'm actually giving this more of a 3.5. This is a light, citrus-y floral with woody base notes, the woody base being a bit more predominant. While neither complex nor unique, it's still pleasant and wearable. Very laid-back and casual in that "hanging out with friends, wearing jeans and a tee" kind of way. On first sniff, I get zesty citrus top notes for a nice little kick. As the citrus notes fade, the sweet and fruity middle notes come through. The fruit, however, isn't the sugar-coated juicy/fruity candy variety. I was surprised by how subdued it was, tempered nicely by the freesia and plum. A less obnoxious middle than I had anticipated. The fruit gave way to the freesia before edging toward the interesting base. The types of base notes used here make for an easy transition. This is also where one might (depending on personal chemistry) interpret a slightly masculine angle. The lemon-y hinoki wood, amber-y musk and cedar are a nice combination of lighter base notes, keeping the scent from becoming heavy on the final dry down. The lingering freesia acts as a soft veil atop the woody base notes for me and I personally enjoy the base quite a bit. Although, the bottle is atrcious. Greenish tinged glass textured with a delicate leaf impression. A brushed silver "crest" and cheap rhinestone on the front and an engraved silver cap with the name carved into it. A simpler cap and no crest/rhinestone on the front and the bottle would have been tolerable. Overall, nothing here truly wows me, but I do find this easy, laid back and enjoyable. A strong 3, I added the half-lippie for execution. For a less expensive and casual scent, this was actually pretty well thought out, IMO. What could have been citrus, sticky sweet fruit and musk thrown together haphazardly became something a bit more orchestrated. I'd say a step up from some of the other fruity florals out there. Notes listed via Sephora are: Bergamot, Mandarin, Violet Leaves, Granny Smith Apple, Red Currant, Freesia, Pear Tree Blossom, Amaryllis, Plum, Hinoki Wood, Ambrette Musk, Blond Cedar Wood.
WOW. I guess it's a fierce love/hate thing with this one. I almost feel like people are bickering back and forth through their reviews! Well, I didn't even get to cracking open the cellophane when I realized very quickly I had to return this. I had sampled it on my wrist, liked it, purchased and was euphorically bopping out to my car with it in the bag. No sooner had I reached the door, I immediately turned around and returned it. Notes listed are: Plum, Mace, Rose de Damas, Egyptian Jasmine, Orange Flower, Orchid, Ylang, Tuberose, Cedarwood, Wormwood, Cashmere Woods, Burnt Amber, Madagascan Vanilla, Sandalwood, Orris Root. The notes that killed it for me were the mace and wormwood. I don't care for spicy scents with notes like anise and such, so the mace note was strike one. The wormwood was strike two and was what made me turn on my heel and return this. Next to anise, licorice is a note I just can't deal with. It's the only note to my knowledge that actually turns my stomach. I can usually say I don't care for something while still appreciating a good quality fragrance. With Secret Obsession, I don't know that I can be impartial since I have such a strong reaction to licorice. So on that note, I can only say I don't like this scent on me and leave it at that.
I should think about being less fickle. I scoffed when this was released, immediately dismissing it as a run-of-the-mill fruity floral for the younger crowd and feeling a bit disappointed that Chanel would hop on that bandwagon. In addition, all of the other Chanel frags I've tried dried down to a weird metallic smell on me. To my surprise, Chance does not do this and I found this scent to be rather appealing. Notes are: pink pepper, lemon, pineapple, hyacinth, jasmine, iris, amber, patchouli, vetiver, and white musk. Rather than shifting from top to middle to base, this starts off as one complete composition with each stage trailing off as it develops. The round bottle is ironic for me, as I find this scent to be well rounded. It starts off citrusy and spicy for a nice little refeshing kick in the beginning. As the top notes fade, the middle becomes the focal point, with it's sweet fruity notes and soft, sophisticated florals. And finally, when the base is revealed, it is woody and warm, a nice sensual finish. Definitely a surprise. I do enjoy this one.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - John Varvatos for Women
bossanovaville 11/16/2008 1:22:00 PM
This is definitely unlike anything I own. Yes, there's a lot going on in this scent and I love the bottle. With all of the unique notes, I had hoped this would meld with my chemistry, being the kind of scent that develops differently on everyone. But the more I wear this, the more I feel as though this wears me. Notes listed are : Coriander Flower, Apricot, Plum, Mandarin, Grappa Accord, Lily, Rose Attar, Jasmine Grandiflora, Narcissus, Tolu Balsam, Oakmoss, Styrax, Patchouli, Honey, Tonka Bean, Hibiscus Seeds. The first sniff is sweet, I definitely pick up on the fruity top notes, but they dissipate quickly. The middle notes are the standout with the grappa and floral notes. However, the grappa overpowers the florals, making them barely detectable and destroying their balance and nuances. I can't help wondering where this "grappa accord" came from. Was it just thrown in for the sake of being different?? For whatever reason, I think this note has a lot to do with the chemical smell many reviewers detect. I don't care for the grappa note myself. It isn't bad, but it lends a sharpness that I could definitely do without. I mean, who really wants to smell like mega-strong Italian brandy that's distilled from the leftovers (grape skins, stalks, seeds) of winemaking? For that matter, who wants to smell like alcohol at all? Because it's such a distinct and prominant note, it's detectable from start to finish. It's distracting. Trying my best to smell beyond it, I come to the base notes, which are warm, mossy and rich. I WISH I could try this frag again without the grappa note. I'm willing to bet this would be an amazing scent without it! *sigh*
I'm not really sure how I'd describe this, maybe a sweet, powdery floral. I bought this in a duty free shop and paid a bit less than it retails for. The first spray is very strong, all chemical and sweetness. After letting the initial punch settle down, it starts off smelling like orange candies. The top notes listed are orange zest and grenadine. Whether that means the sugar syrup or pomegranate, I'm not sure, but either way, the two combine to form orange candy for me. As the top dries down, I smell rose, synthetic florals, some sort of powdery vanilla-like sweetness and amber. When the base finally shows up, it's sheer musk and cedar, which causes it to end on a lighter note than I anticipated. It's different. I don't think I hate it, I don't think I like it, I'm not really sure what I think. What I do know is that Jean Paul has a major thing for Agyness Deyn. The scent is supposed to convey "androgyny...for edgy rule-breakers, who overturn established codes and reinvent fashion, unfettered by social and aesthetic taboos", but it's way too flowery and sweet to be androgynous and a tad too annoying to be a "rule-breaker". Rather, I'd describe it as girly and for the quirky sort. What this scent is really about is Deyn herself. Androgynous rule-breakers?? C'mon...can you say smitten? I feel this scent lacks direction or a solid concept. The scent feels underdeveloped to me and lacks any real depth or intrigue. The sweetness combined with some of the synthetic elements just make it seem immature, if that makes any sense. And the bottle is horrendous: clear glass with hot pink creeping up along the sides, the familiar Gaultier female figure embossed on the back, and a black ring that clamps on under the atomizer, presumably to resemble an o-ring collar or choker. It's not completely terrible, I'll wear it when I'm feeling or dressing funky, but I won't buy this again.
I'm a little surprised by how strongly hateful the reviews are. Code Sheer worked very well for me. I avoided Code because it smelled very peppery to me and I was leary of the woody base notes. I've found that Code Sheer works very well because of the absence of the woody base notes and the lighter interpretation. Notes are: Orange Blossom Petals, Cyclamen, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Honey and Musk. The notes listed are quite different from what's listed for Code, so despite both of them smelling very similar from the bottle, I imagine they wear very differently. Code Sheer is unique to me in that I don't detect the individual notes, but rather it's a shifting composition from start to finish. It starts off sweetly floral with just a hint of the spiciness I found more prevalent in Code. As the scent developed, the florals became headier and the sweetness grew a bit more seductive. The final stage of this scent was softly sensual with the floral notes lilting away like an echo. I can't shake the feeling that this would make a good date scent. Rather than bringing images to mind, this scent actually conjures up feelings for me: cool evening air on my skin, a cold cocktail in my hand, a sexy dress swishing around my legs, those goosebumps and stomach flutters that happen when you're deep in lust. I don't usually go for similes like that in my reviews, but with this scent, I just...can't...help it!
My favorite bath/body product hands down! It's a bit pricey at $48 for 3.4 oz., but worth the splurge. As others have said, a light and dry oil, no greasy feeling after applying, sinks in quick and leaves skin silky and sweetly scented. The scent is like sweet fuzzy peach skin to me, rather than a juicy peach sweetness. A little goes a looooong way. I like to use this after a shower. I place my index finger over the top and tilt the bottle like I would with a perfume and the same with the middle and ring fingers. I work that into the skin, stretching it as far as it will go and repeating the process when neccessary (yeah, I'm a little anal retentive!). I find this gives me just enough to work with without making a mess or wasting the product. I don't use this everyday. I consider it more an occasional pampering rather than an everyday method of moisturizing. For me, using it this way ensures I get the most out of one bottle.