Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Almond Body Lotion
eriven 2/18/2008 6:59:00 PM
This is a very nice body lotion! I love the warm, soothing scent of it. My husband is very sensitive to most scents, but he likes this one. This does a decent job of moisturizing my dry skin, although in winter I supplement it with Gold Bond Healing cream on the really, dry scaly areas (shins, etc.). For most of the year, the Almond Body Lotion is all I need.
Conditioner -L'Occitane - Shea Butter - Ultra Rich Conditioner
eriven 2/18/2008 6:54:00 PM
I have above-shoulder length coarse (wavy), dry hair. This did an OK job, but I wasn't thrilled with it. The runny consistency put me off a bit, and I ended up needing two applications to have it condition enough and get through all my hair. Frankly, I still prefer my Herbal Essences conditioner. It does a great job of conditioning and calming frizzies without weighing my hair down, and it saves me a lot of money!
Maybe my expectations were too high for this product, but I am disappointed. It didn't lather well and it left my hair feeling stripped instead of feeling soft and moisturized. The smell is fantastic, but it's not worth the exorbitant price! The scent reminds me of Aveda's Shampure, which is a better shampoo in my opinion AND a full-sized bottle of Shampure costs about the same as a travel-sized bottle of L'occitane's. I'll save what I have left of the Angelica Lavender Geranium shampoo for days when I have migraines ... more as a treat for my nose (and head) than for my hair.
Moisturizers -L'Occitane - Ultra Moisturizing Fluid
eriven 2/18/2008 6:30:00 PM
I have dry, sensitive skin. At the time of this review, it's winter where I live. Although I had high hopes for this moisturizer, it doesn't deliver. It barely moisturizes my skin, leaving large dry, flaky areas. On the good side, it does contain 20 SPF (from titanium dioxide) and it doesn't upset my skin at all. For this amount of money though, I'd expect something labeled as "ultra moisturizing" to be ... well ... ultra moisturizing. I will try it again this summer to see if it's moisturizing enough for me then. If you have very dry skin, don't waste your money on this. If you have normal or normal-to-combination skin, this might work for you but see if you can get a sample first.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Extra Strength Hair Color Remover - Color Oops
eriven 2/12/2008 9:03:00 PM
So you understand what miracles Color Oops performed for me, let me review my last six months of color woes. (1) I dyed my natural medium brown hair black with semi-permanent dye (Natural Instincts). It never faded or washed out, unless you count streaky greenish black as progress. (2) I went to a stylist who did a color lift to remove the horrible greenish black and then dyed it dark brown. (3) The dark brown was still too dark for me. I wanted my medium brown back. In desperation, I tried a light brown permanent dye meant to lighten dark hair. (Yes, it was a stupid move. I know that now.) I ended up with 2-3 inch light brown roots and the rest of my hair turned jet black ... again! I wore a hat for a few weeks while I did research on what to do next. There aren't any quality salons within about 75 miles of where I live, and I was hoping for a DIY solution. I finally settled on Color Oops Extra Strength. I ended up using two applications a week apart. It worked beautifully! The product does stink (like sewage gas) but after the first minute I didn't notice it as much. I think the first application was uneven (user error), removing color from about 70% of my strands but other strands remained black. The second application a week later sorted everything out. My hair did get a bit dry and frizzy, but I attribute that to all the washing required to get the product out of your hair (following the directions) and not to the product itself. Because I had used a lifting permanent color, my hair isn't back to its natural color. It's about a shade lighter and a touch more orange than my natural color. I was expecting that after the research I had done (and it is explained on the box). I haven't decided what my next step will be to get my hair back to medium brown (and to cover the greys), but I am thrilled to have my almost-natural hair color back! Anyone who colors her hair at home -- particularly those who like to experiment -- should keep a box or two of this on hand! Update: When I re-colored my hair after Color Oops, I chose a golden light brown semi-permanent shade (Natural Instincts) and kept in on my hair for half the usual processing time. I knew that it would go darker, and I was hoping for a medium brown. It went dark brown (but not black) instead. Now I know to go two shades lighter. After this shade washes out, I'll try a dark blonde shade and see if that gets it closer to a medium brown.
I hate the smell (and taste) of most lipsticks, and I went looking for a gloss or balm that smelled like the Aveda lipsticks I wore when I was younger (and wore more makeup than I do now). I hoped the C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine would come close to what I wanted, but it missed the mark. One the good side, it does have a nice minty smell and taste, and people will always think that you just brushed your teeth. It is very, very shiny. If you like a lot of shine, you'll love it. I prefer a more subdued satiny-type finish. Also, the texture was way too thick and mushy for my taste. At least it wasn't sticky. If you're into glosses, you just might love this. I prefer my standby of Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm, which has a nice sheen (not shine), texture and a minty smell.
Lip Treatments -The Body Shop - Pink Grapefruit Lip Butter
eriven 7/25/2007 5:37:00 PM
After reading all the fantastic reviews, I went out and bought one. I'm not as thrilled as everyone else seems to be. It does moisturize well, which worth at least 3 lippies. However, although I love grapefruit and citrus fragrances in general, I found the smell and taste of this one to be too bitter. The smell lasts too long for me to just ignore it until it fades, and the taste interferes with everything I eat and drink. After trying this, I cherish my Smith's Rosebud Salve even more. If that ever fails me though, I will definitely try a Body Shop lip butter in a different flavor.
Cleansers -The Body Shop - Aloe vera gentle cleanser
eriven 7/25/2007 5:29:00 PM
This is a very good cleanser and it does what it promises. It cleans well, rinses completely away, doesn't leave any traces behind, and doesn't dry out or irritate my dry, sensitive skin. The only reason I'm not rating it higher is because it lacks "luxuriousness" if that makes sense. Although it doesn't doesn't harm my delicate skin in any way, it also doesn't improve it either. That said, I will probably be buying this again and using it as my regular cleanser. It is hard to find a cleanser that doesn't upset my skin. If you have sensitive skin and are having trouble finding a cleanser, give this a try.
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Neroli Jasmin Body Lotion
eriven 7/25/2007 5:22:00 PM
I love the fragrance of this lotion! It's more complex than I expected and it reminds me a bit of Guerlain's Samsara. Besides the fragrance, the lotion itself is ok, but I can tell that I will need something heavier in the winter. For the summer, it's perfect, and the scent stays with me a long, long time.
Moisturizers -The Body Shop - Aloe Vera Moisturizing Day Cream
eriven 7/16/2007 8:15:00 PM
I have dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin. A number of years ago, my favorite moisturizer (from a different company) was discontinued, and I have been looking for a replacement ever since. This is the best I have found so far. It moisturizes well (for summer at least ... we'll see about winter) and leaves my skin very soft, with just a trace of residue. It's not heavy though. I haven't had any problems with breakouts or rashes. In fact, it seems to have improved my skin considerably in just under a week. It glides on my face easily, without pulling at the skin. I know a lot of you hate creams in jars. However, this one has very substantial inner lid. I only take product from the inner lid (not from inside the bottle). That was I can control what I touch and can wash the inner lid. If there isn't enough product on the inner lid, then I just gently shake the jar or store it upside-down.
Moisturizers -The Body Shop - Vitamin E Illuminating Moisture Cream
eriven 7/16/2007 7:45:00 PM
I have dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin. This product moisturizes my skin well, leaving it soft. I haven't had any problems with breakouts or rashes. However, I won't be using it on my face anymore because I don't like the "illuminating" effects. Instead of it making my (very fair) skin look dewy or radiant or anything like that, I just look a bit sweaty. Also, for me, this product goes on a bit waxy, pulling my skin a bit instead of going smoothly on. I have found a use for the rest of the jar though. It makes a nice nail and cuticle cream. My cuticles are usually rough, but this has been keeping them nice and neat. Because of the "illuminating effects," my nails also get a nice sheen. (Note that I don't wear nail polish.)
I got a sample of this. I usually like Guerlain fragrances and I also enjoy citrus fragrances. Unfortunately, this is a miss. I don't get the B.O. or cat pee notes others here have described. To me, it smells like strong soap (Irish Spring) and bug spray (hint of citronella). It's not subtle either. It does "stab the nose." Thankfully I didn't waste any money on this!
The smell of Carmex reminds me of my childhood summers. However, it does nothing for my lips. It just feels like wax sitting on the surface. I have to reapply constantly. Also, when I used Carmex regularly I had some nasty blackheads around my lip line. I've been much happier since I started trying other lip balms. I settled on Smith's Rosebud Salve, which actually keeps my lips moist and supple instead of just protected with a layer of wax.
I work out twice a day most days, but with several hours between workouts. Since my skin is dry and sensitive, I try to only wash it once or twice a day. I bought this to refresh my face and gently remove the salt and sweat from my skin between workouts. It does the job and it's not too drying. I was hoping for more of a rose scent, but I mostly only smell something else (witchhazel? could just be my imagination) The bottle is fantastic! Deep blue glass that looks like it came from the turn of the 19th century. However, I don't think I'll be repurchasing this. For my budget, it's too expensive for a toner I don't really need. I'll certainly keep that bottle though! Update: After using this a few days, I've noticed two things. First, my forehead's getting shiny, which is unusual with my dry skin. Second, my very fair skin now has a rosy glow. If I can take care of the shine, this might be a keeper after all.
Hair Color -Clairol - Natural Instincts Hair Color
eriven 7/13/2007 2:42:00 PM
I've only used this once, but I have a hunch it will become my favorite hair coloring product. I made the mistake of coloring my hair too dark, but that's not the product's fault. I'm a natural medium-to-dark brown but I've always wanted to see how my hair would look black ... now I know :) I hope it does fade sooner rather than later so I can try other colors. I know darker shades don't always fade in 28 shampoos. Pros: (1) The scent is not nearly as strong as most hair colors, even other semi-permanent ones. (2) Left my hair soft, silky and shiny! (3) The color results for my first attempt were dead on. Midnight (neutral black) turned my hair a soft, natural black. (4) I hate having noticeable roots, so I like that this product fades gradually, leaving no root line. (Unless you go too dark, as I may have done.) (5) A wonderfully short 10-minute developing time. Cons: (1) Because the dye is applied to wet hair, it can be difficult to tell what has been colored and what hasn't. As a result, my husband, who's now practically a pro at coloring my hair, missed a few spots. (2) It stained my skin around the hairline and neck, and I had to really work to get it all off. Even with permanent dyes, I've never had this problem before. I definitely plan on trying Natural Instincts again once the black has faded out enough that I can try a dark brown. UPDATE: The black dye never did fade and I ended up having a professional color lift to remove it. I have since used Natural Instincts in a medium brown (my natural hair is medium brown) and it worked just as I hoped. The second time around I didn't get the skin staining that I did the first time.