Lotions/ Creams -Jason Natural Cosmetics - Vanilla Hand & Body Lotion
jjff 4/9/2013 9:15:00 AM
These days, I seek out organic food and safer, more natural products to use on my face, body and at home, so Jason has become one of my favorite personal care brands. This lotion smells really strong at first, but quickly settles down to a comforting creme brulee scent. The best part is that it truly delivers. My hands have not felt this soft in many months after just one application. Holy grail-status moisturization, a product free of parabens and SLS, and only $4.74 at Walgreens...a 5 out of 5!
Lotions/ Creams -Kiss My Face - peaches and creme moisturizer
jjff 3/15/2010 5:34:00 PM
I love the idea of natural products, but the reality of this particular lotion is a disappointment. It takes quite a bit of effort to rub it in--there is something about its texture that makes it just sit on top of skin and work against me, rather than with me, as I smooth it on. I have a bottle of the same 16 oz. size of St. Ives Mineral Therapy lotion bought on clearance at a drugstore for $2, one sixth of the price of Kiss My Face Peaches and Creme. The cheapie, commercial formula sinks right in and moisturizes dry hands and legs like a dream, whereas the only redeeming quality of the indie splurge is its succulent peachy fragrance. Two lippies for the fabulous scent only, otherwise it's a nay. I would have been better off with a good peach fragrance.
Love the idea, dislike the results. Unfortunately, this deodorant simply does not work. Smelly armpits within a couple of hours of putting it on as if I hadn't used anything at all. Back to the store it goes--at $5.50, I'd like my money back.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 100+ with Helioplex
jjff 6/21/2009 1:46:00 PM
What a great find! Neutrogena outdid itself in creating a sunscreen with a high SPF that is comfortable to wear, moisturizing, non-greasy and non-pilling. Previous years' offerings from this line turned me off. SPF 45 with helioplex I tried a couple of summers ago pilled and left a shiny, suffocating white film on my face. I am so glad I gave Neutrogena another chance. SPF 100+ 2009 is a very wearable formula that comes in a convenient 3 oz tube, perfect for airline carry-on liquids size requirement when you are jetting away unencumbered by bags to check. I am back from Hawaii with a pale face and a happy smile and look forward to using this sunscreen through the rest of the season.
I fell for the novelty factor and brought Lip Twins as a souvenir from a recent trip to Paris. The packaging is charming, but the quality of the lipstick itself leaves much to be desired. I was hoping for a texture that would be creamier and easier to apply and wear. It's not so. I wish the lipstick had a lot more moisture and pigment. As a luxury product, the quality is unacceptable.
Lotions/ Creams -L'Occitane - 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream
jjff 12/26/2008 3:48:00 PM
What an excellent find for winter dry hands! I love the way this cream moisturizes instantly and thoroughly while the formula absorbs without residual greasiness within a minute or two. The effects last through several handwashings.
On the pricy side as it may be, its stellar performance justifies the expense for me. I work at a hospital and wash my hands again and again and again. Cannot afford them to get irritated and start to crack as it would be an infection control issue. I appreciate the soothing, protective effect of L'Occitane's hand cream where other creams and lotions came up short: they either don't moisturize well enough or tend to be greasy.
By the way, the scent reminds me of Frederic Malle's Lipstick Rose, a lipsticky-sweet mix of violet and rose that starts out rather strong, but fades quickly. As soon as my 1 oz tube started to look like it's about to run out, I bought a full-size tube and am extremely pleased.
Mid-January update: I've been carrying my big tube at work and using the cream after about every 4th-5th handwashing. It has absolutely saved my hands so far. No more grief at the end of a 12++ hour day at the hospital walking OTD with red, irritated, angry hands into the cold, dreading the thought of washing my hands again. A HG!
Moisturizers -Philosophy - Hope in a Jar - for all skin types
jjff 12/22/2008 8:28:00 PM
Pros: amazing whipped texture, moisturizes well. Cons: contains lavender oil which is currently reported to be cytotoxic. I don't feel like using this product long enough to find out the hard way whether it does damage to my skin. I'd rather stick with something mild and/or enriched with proven antioxidants. http://www.treatment-skincare.com/Lavender/Cytotoxicity.html Another con is the lavender scent itself. Very pleasant at first if you enjoy lavender, it morphs into something nauseating once it warms up on the skin. No thanks!
Lotions/ Creams -Valentino - Very Valentino body lotion
jjff 11/9/2008 12:17:00 PM
Very Valentino body lotion comes in a sturdy, squarish 6.7 oz tube. The texture of the lotion is perfection: it glides on so smooth and creamy, neither too runny like some perfumed lotions nor unmanageably thick. The fragrance reminds me of DK Cashmere Mist, somewhat abstract, soft-spoken, powdery with violet and a whisper of sandalwood, pensive, like an autumn afternoon with a light gray, pillowy low overcast. I have enjoyed this product as a comforting before-bed hand cream and as a body lotion when all I wanted was a soft, yet complex scent that stays close to my body.
I selected the lightest shade, 100, an ivory that's a near-perfect match for my yellowish PPP skintone. I am very pleased with my purchase. It provides the right amount of moisture to feel comfortable, blends right in when applied with fingers on freshly cleansed skin, and has SPF 15 which is fine by me on its own on days with brief, incidental sun exposure. Hours after applying, all I see in the mirror is an airbrushed version of my own skin. Love the light, breathable, yet lasting coverage, the feel of the formula, and the shade. An important caveat to mention is that I do not wear powder, skip moisturizer when using this product, and appreciate the youthful look of a somewhat dewy finish.
Lipstick -Mary Kay - Signature Lipstick Whipped Berries
jjff 4/26/2008 1:18:00 PM
I am surprised to see such positive reviews for this lipstick. I bought it mostly for the color, a seemingly universally flattering shade of berry, but it turned out to be too intense for my PPP complexion, with just enough blue to make my teeth appear less white than they look with a warmer-toned color on my lips. Some shine or a little sparkle would have helped, but the shade is flat and rather dull. Apart from its lackluster color, the formula feels heavy and waxy and is definitely not one of those wonderful smooth, intensely pigmented, lightweight, yet moisturizing and comfortable lipsticks that are now available at drugstores just as readily as in higher-end lines. It seems outdated and cheap, comparable to an old-school Covergirl lipstick and certainly not worth $14. Safe to say I will never buy another MK lipstick.
Fragrances -L'Artisan Fragrances - Vanilia [DISCONTINUED]
jjff 12/25/2007 8:29:00 PM
Many people, myself included, like photographs as the best kind of a souvenir of time passing by, from special occasions to chronicling our everyday lives. All the while, the past also lingers on in our minds in ways unseen, even more powerful than visual imagery as memories grow intertwined with scents. Their ephemeral testimonies are what takes me back in time, deliberately or unexpectedly, makes me relive a moment in the past, resurrecting the atmosphere of a day long gone whenever I reach for its echoes.
December of 2002. My then-husband and I were showing a prospective graduate student, his compatriot, around our mid-sized Southern college town frowning at the cold gloom of short days without snow.
I remember the three of us settled for an evening of conversation and hot cocoa at a quirky local coffeehouse in the Old City. My then-husband's and the girl's melodious talk in the language of Rumi and Hafez, two pairs of sparkling molasses-brown eyes, the coziness of the mismatched light fixtures and bookshelves lining the exposed brick walls. I remember my black wool sweater, so soft and warm, and the scent of Vanilia I had picked that evening, its rich, comforting ambery warmth with delectable smoky vanilla bean overtones.
Time has since gently claimed the particulars of the evening from my memory. Life changed as the visiting student moved to town to continue her studies here, my Persian with eyes like a starry night eventually became another's husband, the coffeehouse went out of business, and the beautiful sweater ended up in a Goodwill donation box. Still, a whiff of Vanilia is all is takes to conjure up the eroding memory of a pleasant evening somewhere in time when we were so young and full of hopes and dreams some of which were not meant to be.
This is an oil-free sunscreen lotion that promises to "gradually develop a healthy glow just by moisturizing". I ended up with a bonus 1 oz sample tube that came with the purchase of a feminine hygiene product. Active ingredients here are avobenzone 3%, homosalate 5%, octisalate 5%, and octocrylene 2.5%. The formula does not have much of a scent and is nicely moisturizing, albeit a bit greasy on the oilier parts of the face--it gives me a shiny nose :-) The tanning effect is quick--I saw it within a couple of applications--and believable, lasting for 2-4 days on me. It's a nice product, although I would need to test out more facial self-tanners/sunscreens to decide whether it merits 5 lippies.
Lotions/ Creams -Vaseline - Intensive Care Advanced Healing
jjff 9/15/2007 12:54:00 PM
The fragrance-free lotion has worked well for me as a nighttime facial moisturizer: it doesn't have much of a scent as its name implies, is not greasy, and sinks right into the skin. I like this product's gentleness: some facial moisturizers make my skin tingle/give me a burning sensation, but I've had no problems with Vaseline, even though it is marketed as a body lotion. Since I mostly bank on the proven track record of sunscreen usage and good nutrition for healthy, youthful skin, all I'm looking for my face at night is comfortable moisture and softening, and Vaseline delivers with no gimmicks.
Liquid -Revlon - Age Defying Light Makeup with Botafirm SPF30 [DISCONTINUED]
jjff 9/4/2007 12:20:00 PM
I was hoping for more of a tinted moisturizer than a foundation and was disappointed. The formula is on the thick side (does not slip right on the way a moisturizing lotion would). The result? Medium coverage, no different, in my opinion, than a foundation marketed without the words "light makeup" that lead me to the wrong expectations. Besides, "Fair" turned a very fake shade of orange on me. I'm giving this concoction a 3 for the fact that it could work as a decent foundation with SPF--again, not light makeup, do not be fooled--for someone with a different skin tone. For me, it's a no-go.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - sensitive skin sunblock spf 30
jjff 8/23/2007 11:14:00 AM
This product is working out great for me. I have combination skin, and I find the texture of this sunblock nicely moisturizing, no greasier than any number of other SPF lotions I have tried. It is easy to apply and spread evenly--the formula is pleasantly runnier than, for instance, Aveeno Baby sunblock, and when I remember the white cast and pilling of Neutrogena's own SPF 70 Helioplex lotion I had to return for a refund, this sunblock is much, much more user-friendly. With just a bit of effort on application, I have no significant white cast (a pale Caucasian here), no pilling, and nothing but a little youthful-looking shine. No tingling or burning going on the skin is another plus, and the best one of all: no tanning, no sunburn. Glad to have found this sunblock and will definitely repurchase.