I was a bit hesitant trying this after having some issues with the Rhassoul Clay and Yoghurt complexion soap, since this also contains clay. I really should not have worried - my skin loved this. It must contain a good bit of rose EO because my skin felt moisturised and soft, and the strong smell of roses lingered for a bit. I think the soap cleans very gently (has a very silky, fine lather), and while not the most moisturising CV soap, it's still quite hydrating. I don't know if it's the clay or something else, but this is one of the softer soaps of Ida's that I've tried, so take extra precautions storing this one between showers so that it lasts longer. That said, however, the sample I purchased lasted me a good 2 months or so of daily use. I already bought a full-sized version since then :)
Lotions/ Creams -Chagrin Valley - whipped shea butter
gandiko 10/7/2012 6:05:00 PM
I got the Lavender Geranium version. I initially only used it on my body because the EO in this made the smell very strong, and I was afraid the high concentration of lavender EO would irritate my skin. But then I got a pretty bad sunburn, which was later aggravated by windburn (I'm such a genius, I know), I thought, eff it, I doubt this can get any worse. And I'm so glad I did. The whipped shea is very creamy and smooth, and melts right down to your skin. The smell is pretty strong, but it hasn't irritated my eyes or my skin. In fact, whenever I have a patch of angry skin, this helps a lot. I've even spot treated with it during the day because of that. You will look like a hyper shinny disco ball at first, but the butter definitely absorbs, it won't stay on top of your skin all day. I positively smear my face in this at night (and it only takes a teeny tiny bit to do that, because it's THAT emollient) and wake up with fresh, moist, plump and incredibly smooth skin. I want to try out all the other versions now :) CV is the best. Go get a sample of this and be wowed :)
BB Cream -Skin79 - Vital BB Cream SPF50++ Hot Orange Label
gandiko 7/25/2012 8:57:00 PM
I have such a love-hate relationship with this Vital Skin79 bb cream. On the one hand, the yellow undertone matches me a lot lot better than the hot pink and gold labels (I have gone through a bottle of each). My huge problem is that this label is way way lighter, as has been mentioned here multiple times. Hate Mac foundation and haven't been matched, but I'd say I'm between nc-20/nc-25 and this looks pale on me. Pros: + Better coverage than the Gold or Hot Pink labels + Will suit neutral to warm undertones, but will probably still look a bit off if you pull very yellow :( + Great SPF :) + Oxidises the least out of all the Skin79 bb creams I've tried, so if it matches you out of the bottle, you can chill the rest of the day and not worry about anything else you might be wearing on your face +Transfers a lot less than the Hot Pink/Gold labels Cons: - The colour match range is a lot smaller than the Hot Pink/Gold labels (I'd say people up to nc-15 could still wear this alone; if you hover around nc-20 you'll need powder, and if you're any darker just forget about it) - Hard to blend - It doesn't look as natural as the other two. It might be my skin (combo-dry and extremely finicky), but it almost looked like separated powder on my face. It looked better over primer/hyaluronic acid, but not smooth and perfect like I wanted it to :( - Creased very badly under my eyes, which is a shame because it lightened up my under-eye circles pretty nicely - This applies to all three bottles: I hate that you cannot see how much product you have left. You're gonna have to guess by weight. It also irritates me that there's no easy way to open the bottle to see if there is any way to salvage product that isn't coming out. - Found it a bit drying on my cheeks, yet my nose got oily in about 4-5 hours (in the summer, but still, I normally never have a problem with oiliness). The real pisser was that it also gave me flakies around my nostrils which just blows my mind - Looked awful under my bb compact powder, which I used hoping to correct the colour. I'm still rating the Vital bb cream fairly high because I'm using it in combination with my Hot Pink label to warm up the tone. I use a ratio of 3:1 (Hot Pink to Orange) and I get the smoothness of the Hot Pink bb cream, with the nicer coverage and yellower undertone of the Hot Orange. I will probably buy this again to keep mixing the bb creams, but it would be much more convenient to be able to put this on as quickly as other bb creams and just be out the door. Still, decent product, and I wish more bb creams pulled yellow and not so much pinky gray.
Deodorants -Almay - Clear Gel Antiperspirant & Deodorant
gandiko 6/18/2012 12:50:00 PM
I HATE this crap. I normally love gel deodorants because I find them refreshing, especially after a shower post-work-out, but this belongs in the garbage. The one thing I like about it is that it supposedly does not test on animals, period. It failed at everything else as a deodorant - it stained my shirts, it never dried completely (yeah, I like the gel to be refreshing but having gummy armpits all day? No thanks), and worst of all, I could smell myself after a few hours with this! The fuck? I NEVER EVER have BO issues, ever, no matter what deodorant I use. Useless product. What a waste of plastic. I'm throwing it away, and getting something - anything - else.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Cure - Natural Aqua Gel
gandiko 6/18/2012 1:58:00 AM
If you use a retonoid or are on any other treatment that may thin out your skin, be VERY careful if you try this product! I'm so disappointed I can't use this on my face, because I really liked it as an exfoliator because most of them irritate the shit out of my skin. There's no way I can tolerate this while being on Retin A though, because while gentle, the gel literally breaks my skin open - I get long, thin and incredibly painful almost paper-cuts on my face. It's frankly scary. I also think this was the culprit for my face breaking out a bit after I used it. I tried cutting it down to once a week, then every other week - no dice. Boo :( I'm using this on my feet now, the dead skin sloughs off really fast and with minimum irritation. I'm going to try it on my legs too since I want to use a self tanner and don't wanna look streaky. Oh, and the product DOES indeed work. My face splitting open aside, I tried this on different skins, on different surfaces and this thing absolutely did not ball up on glass or wood or freshly scrubbed/exfoliated skin. It balled up incredibly fast on skin that wasn't clean or had calluses. In that sense, do believe the hype, because it lives up to it. Also, I ordered my bottle form the official site for around $40ish bucks (it's been a few months so I can't remember). I think it's worth it because it shipped from Japan via Fedex, and the company included a bunch of Natural Aqua Gel samples which I gave to my friends. They also included a handcream which I used all up during the winter (super moisturising and gentle, I'm so sad it's not for sale :(). Order from them, or on Amazon or almost every single Asian cosmetics online store. I don't see why people complain that this is so hard to get. The company itself will ship to any country on earth.
I've used up a bottle of this, it lasted me around 7 months using it and average of 5 days a week. I got my bb cream from seulglamour on Amazon for around $15ish USD or so. I'm general, I like this bb cream. I hate looking made up, but I do have some hyperpigmentation and redness on my face which I like to cover up a bit. The gold label bb cream 'blurs' the imperfections enough that my skin looks better, without looking like I've caked on the make up or looking like a freak porcelain doll. It also disguises large pores and pick-axe acne scarring pretty darn well. I have very sensitive skin that reacts to everything, so when I saw the huge-ass list of ingredients I just sighed, figuring something would break me out horribly especially since it has fragrance. In spite of that, however, I've had less problems with this bb cream than most other make up I've tried. When my skin is being finicky I do break out from the combination of heat/AC/ugly weather and bb cream + powder, but my skin's never been perfect, so I'll take what I can. Here's my experience regarding some of the common concerns that keep popping up re:bb creams in general - COLOUR: This bb cream is grayish-pink coming out of the bottle, but it DOES oxidise. If you don't pile this on (trust me, less is more with this) it should adjust to your skintone in 15ish or so minutes unless you're darker than NC25ish or lighter than NC10. I have yellowish-neutral undertones and this can look a bit pinkish on my skin sometimes, but it's not awfully noticeable. I put an even (thinish) coating all over my face and then pat more on on spots that need more covering. I apply this using clean fingers and patting motions, which I've found works best for me. Play around with techniques before giving up on the bb cream - a friend of mine uses the same bb cream and she says circular motions work best for her, so to each their own. WHITENING PROPERTIES: There seems to be a lot of misinformation about this. Unless you're bleaching the shit out of your skin, you won't ever do a Michael Jackson. Whitening means fading of spots/scars. I did notice my red scarring fading MUCH faster using the bb cream (a week or so?) for fresh blemishes. It hasn't done much for old hyperpigmentation, but I wouldn't expect it to. I don't know if it's the SPF (I do use additional sunblock though) or if it's the whitening agents (or combination thereof), but my skin tone definitely is more even, and smallish blemishes don't scar as noticeably. I do also use Retin-A though. FAKES: There are a ton of videos on youtube with comparisons between fakes and the real deal. You'll also find plenty of bloggers tackling the same issue. Make sure to note which version of the BB Creams you're using, because Skin79 recently revamped a bunch of their products and their packaging changed considerably. The US Skin79 website is pretty overpriced imo, but there are reputable sellers on Amazon and some on Ebay. If you do your research you should be fine, but the official Skin79 store is always an option if you're afraid of being duped. Overall, I've had a pretty good experience with Skin79. The Gold Label is marketed for dryer skins, and I did notice it didn't emphasize dryness at all (I'm having issues with the Orange Label :/). The cream did transfer to clothing sometimes, and came off some when I blotted. You also have to be super anal about removing the stuff if you have acneic skin - I use Softymo's oil cleanser and then use Pond's cloth wipes. I usually then use a mask or something if I'm going to fiddle around for a bit, or jump directly in the shower. So that's oil+wipes+soap to get everything off for sure. I'm sure that's a bit overkill for most people, but it makes it possible for me to wear the bb cream on a nearly daily basis so I don't mind it. Hope this info helps!
I love this soap. I was afraid the cocoa was going to break me out, but it didn't! This is fairly gentle and not too drying, which is important for my hypersensitive, reactive, problematic skin. I might buy another sample to use during the summer, because for now I've fallen in love with Ida's Olive & Shea soap for my face. It's even more moisturising than this one, and even gentler. I'll be sticking to that for a while because my skin has been very raw recently. I'm definitely repurchasing the Honey Butter at some point though! Highly recommend this soap bar! If you store it properly, even a sample will last you a good 4 months. This soap creates a gentle frothy lather and smells really, really nice. It makes your skin feel ridiculously soft, and washes clean off - no need to rub at your skin. It's also one of the harder/firmer soaps, so it lasts forever and doesn't go gooey on you. Get one!
Cleansers -Chagrin Valley - Rhassoul Clay & Yogurt Complexion Soap
gandiko 4/23/2012 9:26:00 PM
I have been using Chagrin Valley soaps for seven months now, and there are a bunch of them I love love love and will use forever as long as they're still available. Like the reviewer below, this is not one of those products for me. I have very sensitive, highly reactive dry/combo skin and this soap broke me out, and gave me blocked pores. I think I'm just not able to use clay, which is too bad because I also bought a sample of the other facial soap with clay and rose and I'm afraid to try it. This isn't very moisturising either. You should be fine if you have normal/oily skin and have previously used clays with no problem in your cleansing routine before. If you haven't and/or have dry/sensitive skin, do a patch test before using this soap all over your face to test for any reactions.
Lip Treatments -eos - Lip Balm Sphere - Summer Fruit
gandiko 4/22/2012 2:07:00 AM
After reading some of the comments here, I'm starting to wonder if maybe the lack of preservatives in this might be screwing people over when they buy products that aren't working their best. I personally love my balm sphere. I have a problem with lots of balms, especially the ones with SPF because I get a really raw uncomfortable, bad tasting feeling at the back of my throat if I apply to much product on (and no, I don't eat it). It doesn't matter how moisturising the balm is, because if I can't wear it because it hurts my throat, I'm not gonna put it on. Another thing I hate is when my lip balm melts off my lips and smears all over my mouth like I'm a 2 year old applying my mom's lipstick. I have this problem a lot. I think this is why I love the eos balm so much. It's true that at first it doesn't feel as emollient as some other products, and might even feel waxy - at room temperature, most of the oils in this are ACTUALLY wax. Don't worry though, because if you apply enough of this and take your time, the waxes will melt into very thin and moisturising oils that actually stay where you put them and not migrate all over your face. It also lasts forever. I apply this about twice a day when it's not too cold/windy out, and my lips are comfortable. I can eat and drink with this and now feel my lipbalm is sticking to everything but my lips after. I place the sphere against my lips and let it melt a bit and go over everything a few times. Maybe that'll help other people. I'd buy this again even though it's more expensive than other brands. Give it a go, if this works for you it's really very nice. Make sure you give the ingredients list a look before you buy this though, to make sure you don't react to any essential oils this might have. Oh, and the flavour is fresh and lovely, and doesn't make my throat uncomfortable. :)
These are pretty good wipes that get the job done. I use these after I take my make-up and sunscreen off with my cleansing oil, just to make sure I've got everything off. I usually also wash my face after I'm done with that. I like these better than some of the other wipes I've tried for two reasons - a) they don't smell or sting, and b) they stay wet till the end, and the price is reasonable. They do tend to dry my skin out and I do find them a bit rough, but then again I have ridiculously sensitive skin. I'm sure most people would find these as gentle as can be. Recommended.
I used this just once and it was enough to make me regret it for a very long time. I went to visit a friend and the face wash I took with me (Cerave Hydrating Face Wash) exploded all over everything, so she told me to use this. Oh the pain. I assumed this would be alright for a few days because it's marketed towards troubled skin (mine is ridiculously sensitive, acne-prone, dehydrated and just generally awful) but it really wasn't. It burned the top of my cheeks, it dried my skin out and it irritated everything it came into contact with. I slathered on the moisturizer afterwards and it still didn't help. I woke up with angry, red, peeling skin. I went out to CVS that same day to get myself another face wash even for just a few days. One of the top ingredients in this SLS. I can't use that shit even on shampoo because it will break my scalp (and facial skin if I'm not careful rinsing) out, and makes my hair fall out in clumps. I guess this cleanser could work for people with less sensitive skin - but honestly, for the price, you can get much better cleansers that are both better for acneic and irritated skin. Even my friend, who loves using this, said there was no way in hell it would come anywhere near her face when she was using products to treat her breakouts.
I love this cleansing oil. I bought it because I suspected my regular cleansing method wasn't getting rid of my physical sunblock completely and that it was clogging up my pores. I haven't used any of the fancy expensive oils, and I don't see the need to - I like Softymo's ingredients, it's not hard to rinse off (comes out as an oil, but emulsifies to a milk on your face and cleans off by just splashing water so you don't even irritate your skin by rubbing at it), it hasn't broken me out, it smells like the orange oil extract it contains, it's not horribly expensive especially because you get a good amount of it and only need one pump to do your whole face. You can probably get this cheapest at a Mitsuwa or any other Asian supermarket. I have to get mine online now because there are none in the whitewashed middle of nowhere town I'm in right now, but I still feel the price is reasonable, especially if you buy in bulk to save on shipping. I do want to mention that after I use this cleanser I dry my face and use a make-up removing cloth just to make sure everything is off (I usually still have some foundation near my hairline, but that's my fault because I don't want to get the oil in my hair). I then either hop in the shower or rinse again, and this method works for my sensitive, combo-dry skin (which hates everything under the sun, so yippie for it tolerating this!). If you experience problems with this breaking you out you might want to follow up with a cleanser to see if that helps, because this really makes removing make up and sunblock really fast and easy, it's worth giving it another chance. :) Highly recommended!
Moisturizers -Desert Essence - Daily Essential Moisturizer
gandiko 11/12/2011 5:22:00 PM
My skin loves aloe so I was glad to find this, and eager to give it a go. Unfortunately, I had the same problem as a few other people - this made my skin itch as I applied it, and within minutes my whole face was bright tomato red. I immediately washed this off and spent almost 10 minutes splashing cold water on my face, but the discomfort wouldn't go away. I have since smeared a huge glob of my good old trust Vanicream (I SHALL NEVER CHEAT ON YOU AGAIN!) and taken antihistamines, and my face still looks like a very bad sunburn. Horrible, I've never had such a bad reaction to a product before. I'm glad I have the rest of the weekend to try to make it go away before I have to show my face in public again. Stay far far away if you have sensitive skin. Don't be fooled. I wish these damn stupid companies would get it through their heads that just because something is 'natural' it cannot translate to harmless. In the hysteria to stop using parabens they turn to more 'natural' products that are highly irritant and less stable (not to mention less studied) for no reason. Ugh.
Lotions/ Creams -Eucerin - Aquaphor Healing Ointment
gandiko 10/23/2011 7:35:00 PM
I have sensitive skin and I use a retinoid. I also recently moved, and the dryer/windier/colder climate really did not agree with my skin. Just walking in the coldish wind for 15 minutes made the dryish areas around my mouth and nose start to flake. I also got wind burned. My face hurt like hell after I washed it like I normally do, and even my trusty, thick Vanicream wasn't making the stinging go away. So I smeared some Aquaphor on the places that hurt the most and were flaky, and the relief was almost immediate. My skin was much healthier and plumper in the morning, with just the thinnest of flaky skin (I'm blaming the retinoid for that). The price IS a bit steep, but I got the tube version when CVS was having some sort of sale, and it's gonna last forever. It's so emollient that even if you wanted to smear your whole face in this, it will still last you a god long while. Highly recommend. It's also wonderful for the lips and the corners of your mouth if they're chapped. :)
Skincare - Body -Dr. Bronner's - Lavender Liquid Soap
gandiko 10/2/2011 1:44:00 PM
I have very finicky skin and Dr Bronner's soaps are just way too harsh for me, but I use the lavender version to clean my makeup brushes and it works great for that. I bough a small travel bottle and since you literally need about two drops to clean the biggest fluffy brushes, this is going to last me forever. I wet the brush, put two drops on my hand and then just swirl the bristles until there is a lot of foam, which I then rinse and repeat once, and then I'm done. Easy and fast. The soap foams up very easily, it gets rid of all the grime in the bristles, it washes out completely and it smells nice to boot. :) I recommend this highly for your makeup brushes!