Fragrances -Estee Lauder - Bronze Goddess Eau Fraîche Skinscent
impishnature 4/29/2013 2:03:00 PM
Depends on what you think of a beach-type fragrance. This is sophisticated, elegant and feminine brew; it is not wildly "beachy" or overtly suntan oil/coconut/tropical florals. I personally love sweet n' sunny coconut/tropical fragrances, as long as they don't overdo the gaggy tropical florals. Bronze Goddess lacks all of that and is really just a soft, musky skin fragrance. It's very nice, very unobtrusive and devoid of personality. Taking it back to the beach reference: if you thought original Bain de Soleil tanning oil was awesome, then you probably would like Bronze Goddess. If you're a Hawaiian Tropic dark tanning oil lover, then this is nowhere near fun enough for you. It reminds me of my disappointment with Azuree Soleil. Maybe it's the Californian in me and my entire youth was constantly inundated with wildly "tropical" smelling stuff when at the beach. I may be hopelessly UNsophisticated when it comes to my idea of a beachy-fabulous fragrance...I really do want to smell like a bottle of Hawaiian Tropic. ;)
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - The Coconut Hut-Beach Baby Perfume
impishnature 7/9/2012 11:19:00 PM
No, no, NO. I've tried several of CH's coconut scents (in a quest for a Hawaiian Tropic feel) and they're all fairly average to bad. Beach Baby = vague beachy coconut scent that quickly devolves to that dreaded cheap fragrance oil "blah" smell -- somewhere between a plastic hairbrush and a nylon doggy chew toy. Fake n' phony at its best, no personality dial tone at its worst. I tried two others (with Goddess in their names, I think) and they, too, quickly turned into blah...cheap, no personality, doesn't smell like what it's supposed to fragrance oil. I think what really got me is it's pricey... and since you're just getting what all the other zillion etailers offer, go elsewhere. I was hoping CH was special...like, magical special knowledge of beachy/coconut fragrances and I'd finally get that Hawaiian Tropic feel I soooo wanted. Nope. Shipping/communication was efficient. I tried the perfume (not oil) in all samples.
Treatments -Alpha Hydrox - AHA Souffle 12 percent Glycolic AHA
impishnature 3/31/2012 10:16:00 PM
Me: 40s/white/natural and sun "enhanced" freckles ha ha/normal-to-oily skin...no significant wrinkling (yet). I have some sun damage/uneven skin tone, blackheads on the sides of my nose, occasional giant elephant-sized single zit breakouts on my chin. Hate them. But hey! No longer!
I don't like using moisturizers/products on my face...I know! I l know! I just don't. I used to just wash my face in the shower and that's that. Even a scrub can whack my skin out; creams break me out. Best just to clean it and leave it alone!
After having my 2nd baby, my skin went through the usual hormonal shifts. When they stopped a year later, I was left with weird patches of dry skin on my normally normal-to-oily face and these monster hormonal single pimples from the depths of HELL that would appear on my chin that would last for weeks. *insert four letter word here*. I tried this just based on its fantastic/top of the pile reputation here.
It's amazing. I use it after I shower. It took about 2-3 weeks for me to actually believe the change on my face and not think it was just another phase. If you're trying this, give it time...not a few days or even a week.
PROS: Softens skin, brightens, evens tone a bit, completely nuked all breakouts. All. No period zits, nada. The dry patches are gone. I've never had skin this soft...wild. And the fact I'm rubbing a cream-like product on my face without breaking out? Absolutely unheard of. It makes my skin look more dewy, fresh, even -- abso - freakin' - lutely makes it appear younger just by giving it those qualities.
CONS: Not many. Packaging -- almost annoying (but not quite) to have to scoop out the cream with a plastic paddle vs. more hygienic tube.
Can't recommend this enough -- it feels light, doesn't grease up your face, it WORKS (softens/brightens/fades uneven skin/nukes acne and helps, but doesn't eliminate, blackheads), it's not pricey, easy to find online, etc. I use nothing else (no special cleaning/moisturizing, etc.). One jar lasts me about 3 months. I use it about 4x per week.
Treatments -Aphogee - Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor
impishnature 3/14/2012 9:59:00 PM
I have fine, wavy, salon-colored long hair (caucasian). Condition is good -- but hey, it's colored (brunette to red), so it needs some babysitting. This 2 Minute Reconstructor works wonderfully no matter where my hair is in terms of color, especially when it's a couple months out from the ends being done. The results: soft, volume, shiny, not heavy, feels incredibly healthy when dry. This nice result manages to stick around for a couple shampoos. Important to note (on me, at least): I leave this on in the shower for 5 minutes. When rinsing, my hair is NOT a super soft, easy comb-able sheet of hair. I certainly have a lot of regular conditioners that make it feel a whole lot nicer in the shower and when combing out. It's after your hair is dry where you can really see how this shines. Really fantastic results, and if you use it fairly regularly, you really CAN see a difference in the overall quality of your hair, even when you leave this reconstructor behind for weeks.
Lotions/ Creams -Eucerin - Dry Skin Therapy PLUS Intensive Repair Lotion
impishnature 7/30/2011 6:13:00 PM
Pro: It's an great, hardcore, after shower body lotion, probably the best I've ever used (including many lotions, butters, creams, oils like pure coconut, etc.) Once you use it, it'll keep your skin feeling and looking great all day. I love that as I don't like to apply lotion several times per day. Used for a couple of weeks (esp. while exfoliating 2x per week or more) you can SEE a noticeable difference in your skin...better texture, better everything. Another pro: it dries with virtually no scent. Will not interfere with perfume, etc.
Con: It's sticky EWWW ELMER'S GLUE STICKY when you first apply. Don't put in body creases, like where your arms bend, behind knees, etc. (too sticky), but that goes away very quickly (wipe or wash it off your hands). Another con: I do not use this anytime other than right after a shower to lock in that moisture. When applied any other time, it's way, way too sticky.
Just buy the biggest pump bottle you can find and leave it on your bathroom counter, use it after a shower, and you'll be happy if you need hardcore moisture. For me, this is a no no for a mid afternoon lotion or before bed moisturizer or whatever. Sticky, tacky, oily...it's all of those things, but none of them when used after a shower.
Hair Color -Ion - Color Brilliance - Demi Permanent Hair Color
impishnature 4/30/2011 8:22:00 PM
Performs no better/worse than other demis. My issue was with the color itself; I used 6RC ("dark copper blond"/6.4 which should have been screaming orange-based copper) to refresh the middle/ends my level 6 reddish brown hair. I knew it would be a level or two darker right away...that's fine, I'm happy to wait a couple weeks. However, like many have complained about this color elsewhere, it has a notable pink/violet base to it, which must be the red in it, a particularly cool toned red, which is completely at odds with what the swatch looks like and what I've experienced with other brands. I do not like fakey burgundy/cool toned dark reds so this wasn't for me. True to form, it did wash out after 2.5 months or so, so nothing lost.
Hair -Unlisted Brand - KIRKLAND SULFATE-FREE SHAMPOO
impishnature 3/14/2011 11:17:00 PM
I hate Purelogy's Hydrate but love Nanoworks...but even then, I only use Nanoworks every other shampoo or so. Costco's Moisture shampoo is definitely comparable to Nanoworks in nearly every way but it is a tad more rich, which turned out to be the downfall (for me). I have colored, long, semi-fine, wavy hair that's dry on the ends; it's finicky when it comes to moisturizing products, though; too little, and there's no benefit. Too much, and it's dull and lifeless. Unfortunately, this shampoo is "too much." My hair is soft and shiny but oh so limp and lifeless. This should be a must-try for non fine-haired peeps. Price is dirt cheap, nothin' to lose! The matching conditioner is worthless -- NO detangling. At all. Edited to add: I just read that it caused someone to break out...me, too! Base of my hairline (back of neck). Ewwwww! Big, hard lumpy headzit things.
Polishes -Sally Hansen - HD Nail Color in Opulent Cloud
impishnature 7/11/2010 12:48:00 PM
Stunning and unique. A medium steely gray meets an ultra refined golden shimmer...it's not pure silver, it's not a flat gray, the golden aspect is very refined and more of a reflection. The combination almost looks like a drop of lavender and silvered brown made it in there, too. It's modern, supremely original and versatile, too...it goes with practically anything (color-wise) you might be wearing and is suitable for any occasion. Definite fall or winter vibe. Pick it up if you find it...you don't have anything like it in your collection.
Best product for truly messed up heels...ever. And I don't mean, boo hoo, I have a teeny little patch that could almost be rough. I'm talking tear up sheets/scare people/catch on carpet insanity. Cracks that could be canyons, rough heel skin that feels 14 inches deep. AWFUL. I keep it at bay with regular pedicures (with the razor shaver thingy = legal in my state), a foot file and moisturizing...but I get lazy and want something easy sometimes...can't I just rub something on and forget about them, PLEASE?!?! I hate sleeping in socks. And I've tried it all....from every type of body butter to hardcore lotions and everywhere in between. Loaded with chemicals or just plain tree huggy fabulous like extra virgin coconut oil...after all these years, I was still hoping I'd find "the one." And Flexitol is it. Thick, yellow ointment that smells like a freaking green floored/blinky fluorescent lighted hospital from Stephen King's worst nightmare. Nobody will send your heels valentines over this smell...trust me (but it fades, so no worries). Works best if you've just used a pumice in the shower or have used a Diamancel file or Microplane file/PedEgg. Like the box says, you'll have (very, very) visible results in three days. That's it. I haven't touched my heels in a couple of weeks...just put this stuff on and voila. My heels are KISSABLE and even lickable. Seriously. It's like turning sandpaper into satin. Go ahead...break the thick hospital ointment/salve ewwww barrier and give in. You'll be stoked you did (and so will whoever has to sleep next to you at night, small children, and any living creatures at heel level who have to stare at your filth). edited to add: Mine is the "new" version -- but it's not white nor runny as another user stated hers was. Mine is thick and yellow and smelly and is now paraben free. Can't figure out why that's a bad thing! I love this junk. Previous ingredients: Aqua (Purifed) Water, Urea, Lanolin, Petrolatum, Decyl Oleate, Dicocoyl Pentaerythrityl Distearyl Citrate, Propylene Glycol, Microcrystalline Wax, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Oleate, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Aluminum Stearate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propyl Gallate, Citric Acid, BHA, Fragrance (Parfum) "New improved formula" (there's a red triangle on the corner of my box that says that): Water, urea, lanolin, cetearyl alcohol, mineral oil, glyceryl stearate, decyl oleate, PEG-20 stearate, paraffin, phenoxyethanol, sodium PCA, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), allantoin, centipeda cunninghamii extract, glycolic acid, panthenol, tocopheryl acetate, benzyl alcohol, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil, arginine, aloe vera gel, fragrance.
I love the name and the idea of a green flash on your nails is neat; but the reality isn't all that interesting. Fireflies is an opalescent frost...you've seen these a zillion times. Different colors flash like mother of pearl or an opal; with Fireflies, it's green in natural sunlight (whether indoors or out) and pinkish under incandescent lighting (that was my experience...not a trace of green). Worn on its own, one coat will do you...a barely there frost with a green zing. More layers and it becomes as other reviewers noted = yellowish and unattractive, and you don't get more flash with more layers. Over other polishes is where this is neat; when you're bored of a color, do a coat of Fireflies and have some fun and the darker the base coat of polish the better. Discontinued but still easy (and not super pricey) to find on auction sites, trade boards, etc.
Shampoo -ARTec - Color Depositing Shampoo in Hazelnut
impishnature 6/4/2008 11:40:00 AM
ARTec was purchased and is now known as L'Oreal Colorist Collection. See here for review of Hazelnut shampoo: http://makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/ItemID=106767
Shampoo -L'Oreal - Colorist Collection Hazelnut shampoo
impishnature 6/4/2008 11:34:00 AM
L'Oreal's Colorist Collection used to be ARTec. It's a line of color-depositing shampoos and conditioners that so far are my fave of any line (Aveda is good, too) as they just have a TON of pigment. So many of the other lines (Goldwell, etc.) look silly and light compared to the pigment-heaviness of these. The color: Hazelnut shampoo says it's for neutral light to medium brown hair but there is nothing neutral based about this pigment-heavy shampoo -- Cocoa Bean is far more "neutral" with grayish green tones to counteract warmth. Hazelnut is a super rich, deep, warm, red brown...kind of like the color of A1 Steak Sauce or deeper, or the color of Lindsay Lohan's natural deep red brown color. My hair is colored a medium level 6 brown-copper but tends to get brassy and show my brunette roots about 5 weeks into the color -- this flipping AWESOME shampoo completely and dramatically tones the orange/copper into a rich, natural deep red/brown and totally eases that line of demarcation between my hair and my color. This is not some squint-and-you-see it thing, it's VERY visible. Love! Application: use it twice in a row (two days) to see real results. Although the directions say to shampoo with something else first, then use this, I found that washing my hair twice ticks it off. So, I wet my hair, pour this in my palms -- it's fairly runny so fair warning -- then apply to my head, roots first, and very gently rub. I make sure it's spread well all over my head, then shave, etc., then I lather it up down to the ends and let it sit for another couple of minutes. Note: the lathering is pretty lame, so don't expect it to act like a normal shampoo. I think the key is really to let this sit on your head in a barely lathered form--just applying, lathering, rinsing all within a minute isn't gonna give you enough time for this stuff to truly make a difference. Shampoo vs. conditioner: the shampoos of this line are where it's at. I know that goes against what makes sense with other lines, but one look at any of the depth of the shampoos and you can see it right away -- they are RICH and pigment heavy. I'd try the shampoo before conditioner for SURE. Performance: the color deposit is KILLER. Wow. As a shampoo, it leaves something to be desired...it's very drying and it makes my wavy hair practically explode out of my head with body. A rich conditioner is definitely needed after letting my head soak in colored shampoo for five mins. Staining -- just don't fling it all over the tub when applying, rinse immediately if you do. No problems with staining palms, but it did manage to stain some old pale pink nail polish I was wearing to a lovely shade of tan. ;) I've used the conditioner and find the shampoo far outperforms it in terms of color deposit. You really need to check out the actual shampoo itself when buying -- open the cap and physically look at it, don't go by what's on the bottle or the description.
Conditioner -L'Oreal - Colorist Collection Mahogany conditioner
impishnature 6/1/2008 1:42:00 PM
L'Oreal's Colorist Collection used to be ARTec. It's a line of color-depositing shampoos and conditioners that so far are my fave of any line (Aveda is good, too) as they just have a TON of pigment. So many of the other lines (Goldwell, etc.) look silly and light compared to the pigment-heaviness of these. My hair is med. rich brown+copper and Mahogany turned out to be too cool-toned red-based for it. I think Mahogany would be very well suited to a deep redhead (with lots of primary red), a burgundy, etc. I applied the conditioner liberally after shampooing (regular, non-color enhancing shampoo) and left it on my head for 5 minutes or so then rinsed. The first time I did it, I couldn't be sure I was seeing a difference in my color. By the third time I did it, definitely saw the cooler toned red all over the place. FUN because you really DO see a change and it rinses away within one or two shampoos. It did not dry my hair out -- the conditioner performed fairly well in terms of leaving my long color treated hair feeling good and detangling. If you have overly dry hair, you might want to put a little of your favorite conditioner on the ends and rinse. Give it a good two or three applications before you judge it. I had no issues with staining the tub, my hands, or anything else. Just apply carefully, wait, and rinse. I've read over and over that the shampoos of this line are actually more intense than the conditioners, so I'm trying another color and will review that next and alter this review. I can say, without a doubt, that the shampoo seems even more color-dense.
Conditioner -Bumble & Bumble - Creme de Coco conditioner
impishnature 5/31/2008 4:54:00 PM
Taking it down a lippy for high price/no results for that price. The Creme de Coco shampoo is hands-down fantastic for my long, color treated, fine hair. A+ results, so if you're curious to try one of B&B's Coco products, I'd beg you to try shampoo first. The matching conditioner, sadly, is just run of the mill. This could be absolutely any average conditioner. It softens, sure. It does a VERY poor of detangling -- I'm not expecting to effortlessly run a comb/brush through my hair when wet, but I *do* expect a conditioner to do way, WAY more than this one does. I detest having to comb my long hair out small sections at a time and I dread hearing the ssssnap of a strand being broken. Although I don't usually prattle on forever about fragrance in my hair products (it just doesn't matter to me), this one is worth noting: it's the smell of an unused urinal cake, that weird, artificial chemical scent that's not repulsive, but it's distracting. I'd take an icky fake fruity conditioner smell over this smell any day...where a few people got "coconut" or "natural" in their scent descriptions is beyond me. And yes, when I was little I liked going up to the urinal cakes in the stores and smelling them. I liked the color of the cellophane they were wrapped in. Kids are weird. ;)
My hair: long, fine, medium thickness and color treated (medium/dark copper brown). Because my hair is somewhat fine and colored, it's picky about shampoos--too much silicones n' crud like that leave the ends feeling coated when it's dry. Not enough moisture and my hair feels like a hay bale on my head even when wet. B&B's Creme de Coco is fantastic -- wash once and my hair feels clean, soft (even when wet), but not gunked up and definitely no straw/rat's nest. The only thing I've ever found that gives such a perfect balance between clean and moisture is Frederic Fekkai's Protein Rx line. If you've had good luck with Fekkai, this one is a no-brainer. You'll love it (maybe even moreso). Scent is nothing special--artificial. Lather is excellent. Matching conditioner is a let-down, so if you're just looking to try this product, go for the shampoo and stick with your fave conditioner.