Eye Shadow -Clinique - Colour Surge Eye Shadow Quad - Black Honey
lebon 10/1/2011 10:44:00 PM
I ordered this blindly because I so love the Black Honey lipstick and gloss. Admittedly, when this first arrived, I had a sinking feeling that I'd just wasted $25. (Let us pause for a moment of shocked silence to contemplate the fact that an eyeshadow quad could actually cost $25!). The matte cream shade (clearly intended as an all over base color) seemed well and fine, but I'm 37 so I avoid overly shimmery shades...and the second color is a definitely shimmery gold. Rounding out the quad are a burnt sienna-esque matte and a darker brown, neither of which looked remotely accessible to me on first (and second, and admittedly, third) glance. But I gave it a try anyway and was so glad that I did. The shimmery gold really settles in to a lovely warm shade without giving the dreaded "crepey" effect. The matte burnt sienna somehow deepens the warmth of the gold, toning it down and making it work for daytime and/or a professional setting. Bottom line: Much like the lipstick and gloss, this is a quad that I suspect would compliment an array of skin tones, offering a polished finish that's understated but unmistakable.
This is the perfect autumn/winter color, I think: Dark enough to be dramatic (and perfect for wearing shorter, manicured nails that are suited to a professional environment), yet not too jarringly goth; a lovely shade of brown balanced with a subtle but discernible red base. Two points of reference: 1) I bought a bottle of Wicked, but found it just too harsh and dark for me; this one was what I'd hoped Wicked would be. 2) I'm a big fan of Clinique's Black Honey (who isn't?) - have the lipstick, gloss, and even the eye shadow quad. This is essentially the nail color version of Black Honey, in my opinion (and in fact, when you compare the Essie bottle with the Clinique lipstick, the shades are very, very similar). Love it!
I find myself wishing we could somehow flag this product to show up under any search for "problem nails," because it's just that good. (Frankly, I'm surprised it doesn't have a higher rating than its currently impressive 84%.) For as long as I can remember, I've wanted long, healthy nails, but have always had paper thin ones that didn't grow much, and when they did, they quickly peeled or simply tore off. In my ninth month of pregnancy (with twins!) and the month following the babies' birth, I had strong, long nails for the first time in my life, and I was so delighted with them that even when I couldn't see straight because I was so sleep deprived, I took the time to paint my nails, try out different colors. ...But alas, about four weeks after I gave birth, my nails went back to their usual wimpy selves. I've tried everything over the years - from gelatin to OPI's Nail Envy to Essie's treatment to heaven knows how many Sally Hansen products - and nothing has made a discernible difference. After reading the reviews for Nailtiques here, I went on the hunt for it (and shockingly, found it not at a specialty store or even online, but at Publix, a grocery store chain in the southern states). Because I've tried so.many.products to no avail, I honestly didn't have high hopes for this. Let me tell you, after a month, I am astonished - simply astonished! My nails are long, strong, and healthy, to the point at which I may have to cut them soon just to keep them from looking too dragon-ladyesque! I've faithfully applied the Nailtiques every night for (again) about a month, along with either Sally Hansen's cuticle oil or Burt's Bees lemon cuticle cream; I've also taken care to wear gloves when cleaning or doing dishes. ...But it's the Nailtiques that has made the difference. Not only does it make your nails almost miraculously stronger, but it dries within thirty to sixty seconds and is a fantastic top coat for color (seems to really resist chipping). Plus when you wear it on clean nails or with a nude color (I'm fond of Essie's Mademoiselle), as other reviewers have noted, it somehow whitens your nails, leaving them looking so healthy and pretty. Honestly, I can't rave about this enough - it really is a miracle solution! EDIT (12/26/11): I've been using this faithfully since September, and I'm still thrilled with it! I've found that I do have to be consistent and use it every single day, but as far as I'm concerned, that's a fair trade off for having the strong, long, healthy nails that I've always wanted. (Plus it dries in no time at all - literally in about 60 seconds - so it's not a problem to apply every night.) As others have said: liquid gold!
Lotions/ Creams -Bath and Body Works - Cozy Autumn Vanilla
lebon 10/1/2011 9:41:00 PM
I agree with the previous reviewer: This absolutely is fresh vanilla repackaged, but as she noted, I don't mind, as I was also a fan of that scent. Having said that, I've always preferred "foodie" scents more for home than body, but this one is just so warm and lovely that I couldn't resist it. It's definitely a seasonal fragrance (in my opinion); I can't imagine wearing this in the summer, as the name ("cozy") really is apt. I find it calming and warm, and while it's good for work, it's also nice for slathering on after a bath. It's an unobtrusive scent, light enough that I can put it on shortly before bed, and I don't find it the least bit overpowering. Really lovely (if recycled/re-packaged) fragrance.
Lotions/ Creams -Bath and Body Works - Sinful Vanilla (Halloween 2011 line)
lebon 8/16/2011 8:42:00 PM
After sitting here for the past two hours delighting in the smell of this lotion, I thought I'd come on and post a review. This is one of four (I presume LE) Halloween 2011 fragrances that BBW recently unveiled. The website describes it as "an indulgent blend of vanilla bean, whipped marshmallow and vanilla cream," which is a description that - however lush - doesn't do it justice, in my humble opinion. This is definitely sweet, to be sure, with vanilla as the dominant note, but I catch a slight hint of something deeper and more sensual as well. In fact, what strikes me about this fragrance is that it smells (to me) like BBW's Black Currant Vanilla, but with the vanilla turned up and the currant dialed back slightly. While I'm a fan of the black currant vanilla, it's not a fragrance I ever wear during the day, as it's a little too strong for my taste, but I could definitely see wearing this lotion during the day (even to work), particularly as the weather starts to get cooler. As of right now, this only comes in the body lotion, and knowing BBW, it'll disappear after this season...but hopefully not. In any case, I'd definitely recommend picking some up! (It's $5 and only available in a travel size at the moment.)
My first exposure to this scent was in wallflower form. We were looking for a scent to use in our basement that was warm but not overly feminine, and both my husband and I fell in love with this! As a home scent, it's just perfect for fall and winter: warm, cozy, sweetly sensual, with a little hint of masculine musk permeating through. Then I got a free Twilight Woods shower gel, which gathered dust for months until the other day...then I used it and really loved the light scent it left on my skin. Again, it was a very sensual, earthy scent: touches of vanilla and blackberry, but with the faintest element of "woodsy" (if that makes sense). I've been desperate to find a new fall scent, so I checked out the reviews here for the rest of the Twilight Woods line -- seems the consensus is that it's a complex, rich scent reminiscent of some higher end fragrances. Well I took those reviews, coupled with my desperation to find a fall fragrance, and promptly rushed to BBW and bought lotion, body cream, and body spray. Here I sit two hours later with a headache and irritated eyes (and even though I have allergies, very, very few scents give me an actual headache!). On me, this is just far too strong and cloying (and I didn't apply it terribly liberally). In fact, as I let the fragrance settle in, I was glad to be home alone, because this strikes me as a very obtrusive fragrance - the kind that might bother co-workers. (I suspect this may be a body chemistry thing, as many reviewers complained about its staying power.) So my overall take: Love it in the home scent form, but find it far too obtrusive as a skin scent.
I received a mini bottle of this in a fantastic swap, and I'm really enjoying the fragrance! As others have noted, it's very, very sweet, but it isn't the least bit cloying; the sweetness dries down to a nice, soft floral. I also pick up the faintest hint of powder, but it's barely there (because I generally do not care for powdery scents at all, and I love this one). As a point of reference, this reminds me a lot of Cacharel's old fragrance Lou Lou, which I loved in the early 90s. I have to complain a bit about the staying power; this does seem to fade on me after an hour or so. It may well be because I'm using a small bottle (so I have to literally dab it on my pulse points); I suspect a spray bottle would distribute more of the fragrance.... All in all, love it!
I should begin by confessing that, as a fan of Chanel in general (who doesn't love that instantly recognizable logo that immediately conveys such style?), I've always wanted to wear a Chanel perfume - preferably No. 5 - because it just seems so glamorous. But alas, for the longest time, I hated every single Chanel fragrance I smelled, even Coco Mademoiselle - found them far too strong and cloying, much to my dismay. And then one day I opened a magazine insert for Chance Eau Tendre, not even really paying attention as I leaned in for a whiff because I fully expected to draw back with an, "Oouuf!" To my amazement, what I smelled was the most beautiful, light floral that just drew me in; I think I rubbed the scent off of that insert entirely because I sniffed it so much! I ended up ordering a bottle from sephora, and let me tell you, I've not been disappointed! The fragrance on me is as lovely as it was in the magazine insert (good thing, I suppose); it's the lightest, whispery floral that's perfect for spring and summer (really, any time of year; it's a classic fragrance). The bottle is, of course, to die for, and I love the fact that the perfume itself is pink. Fragrance whore that I am, I've got a tray full of various perfumes on the counter in my bathroom, but my Chanel bottle sits proudly on the vanity in my bedroom. As other reviewers have noted, there's something about it that just leaves you feeling fabulous....
Gels/Soaps -Johnson & Johnson - Baby Bubble Bath and Wash
lebon 7/8/2011 9:28:00 PM
*This review is for the Baby Bubble Bath and Wash in the blue bottle. I have twin boys who are nearing two years old, and for the longest time, we used the lavender scented bedtime wash (which is fantastic) because - as do so many parents - we liked the idea of calming our little guys before bed. We were happy with that product, but then I bought a bottle of this on impulse because I thought they'd love the bubbles (which they did). What I hadn't counted on was that this would be an amazing wash - after our first time bathing the boys with this, both my husband and I noticed that their hair looked discernibly cleaner. In fact, what got our attention was that both of their hair seemed almost lighter in color (even my husband commented on it); this wash left their hair so shiny and squeaky clean. This has a lovely, light, barely-there apple scent and lathers up significantly better than the other Johnson & Johnson baby washes (and again, I love their other washes; this one is just that good). This has become our go-to baby wash, and when we switch out to use up some of the other baby washes I bought when I was pregnant (the all-in-one wash in the yellow bottle, for example), we're always eager to get back to the blue bottle.
Lotions/ Creams -Johnson & Johnson - Melt Away Stress Body Lotion
lebon 7/8/2011 9:10:00 PM
While I'm not a fan of traditional lavender scents (like L'Occitaine's or Aveda's), I do love this and J & J's bedtime bath/lotion for babies. This is, as other reviewers have noted, a soft and subtle lavender scent; I think the vanilla really smooths out the edges of the lavender. The scent is also unobtrusive and gradually fades (as opposed to some lavender scents, which can become cloying after a while). It's definitely relaxing as well and as such is terrific to use before bed. As for its moisturizing properties: I'd say it's probably adequate for normal skin, but might not do the job for very dry skin. This is definitely one of those lotions that you use more for the scent (and the relaxation it brings) than for the moisture.
Though I'm just reviewing the lotion, this is actually a line that includes soap and exfoliating body wash (both of which are nice). A bit of background: I live in Georgia, where the summers are incredibly hot and humid; no more than a few minutes outside will leave the heat clinging to you, bringing with it that "outdoors" smell that overpowers perfume, styling products - you name it. This lotion, however, stands up to the heat and humidity in a way that few other products I've used can; at the end of the day, I can still smell this on my skin. The scent is a lightly floral one that's also very clean. (In fact, when I got out of the bath a few nights ago and used this lotion, my husband commented, "You smell so clean!") It's not an obtrusive scent, but it is one with staying power -- a good thing during hot summers when the humidity clings to you and leaves you feeling disgusting, but a bad thing if you want to also wear perfume, because this scent is distinct enough that it can compete. (I will say, though, that I've used this and worn Chanel Chance Eau Tendre, and the two seemed to work well together.) As a point of reference: This reminds me a lot of Johnson & Johnson's Ever Fresh lotion in the blue bottle. (I think it was discontinued.) If you're concerned about the scent competing with your perfume, you can always just use this on your legs and stomach and skip your upper body (which is what I do). It's moisturizing but not deeply so - enough for normal skin, I'd say, but I'm not sure how it would stand up to dry skin in winter months. Still, I would definitely recommend this.
As an uber-girlie girl who adores makeup and always has, I think this product is a stroke of genius from a marketing standpoint: An adorable compact decorated with shimmery, puffy hearts that not only promises a glow, but a mood boost as well? Yes, please! I actually got my blush for free with the purchase of the Happy Booster powder (at Target), and I'm glad I did. I find that this leaves a wash of natural looking color with just a hint of shimmer. (For the record, I'm not a fan of shimmery products; this one is definitely subtle.) I've only been using this for a week, but as others have noted, there seems to be plenty of product in the compact; I can't imagine running out of this any time soon. Also as others noted, I wasn't a fan of the brush that was included, but really, I never expect to use any of the brushes that come with the packaging; they tend to be far too small (understandably). Oddly enough, I don't pick up much of a scent from this at all, neither from the powder nor the blush...disappointing, since I'm a scent kind of girl. But I love the natural looking flush this gives me, so I can't really complain.
This is one of my HG conditioners, no question. I discovered it when my stylist used it on my hair, and even though I bought it that day, I was skeptical that it would make a huge difference in my hair (just figured my stylist had worked her usual magic with the round brush and flat iron). As it turned out, though, this conditioner really was the secret - it leaves my hair smooth and soft, with a lot of bounce. (I have long hair that's wavy in the back and tends toward the frizzy side if left to its own devices.) My hair is thick, and this conditioner never weighs it down. Regarding the scent: When my stylist used it as she was washing my hair, all I could think was, "That smell is so familiar...what is it?!" It drove me crazy for the longest time, and then I realized: This smells nearly identical to Philosophy's Falling in Love (which means it also smells like Victoria's Secret PINK: Fruity and Bright). It's a lovely blackberry vanilla scent that lingers ever so slightly on your hair - nothing overpowering at all. I'm definitely a hair product junkie and love trying out different brands, but this is a conditioner that I'm never without. Love it!
I swapped blindly for this (one day I'll learn not to swap or buy fragrances I've never smelled, but I swear it's a compulsion!) and found myself with a like new 3.4 oz. bottle. I'd smelled it in magazine inserts over the years and thought it pleasant enough, so I was excited about the swap. Having read the reviews here, I was careful not to spritz on much at all - just a tiny, tiny spray on my hand. (Thanks to all of you for the heads up not to spray it too liberally, by the way!) Oh my god - my first thought was that the fragrance had turned, because (to me) it had this sharp, almost cedar smell to it. After a few minutes, though, it became clear that this wasn't a case of an old fragrance, but rather, just one that does NOT work with my chemistry. I'm completely inept when it comes to articulating notes (and so many others have done such a great job of that already), but I will say that this reminded me of Estee Lauder's White Linen, which I also don't like because I find it too heavy. This was like White Linen amped up a few notches. While I've never been a fan of the term "old lady perfume," I have to admit that that's the phrase that came to mind as soon as I smelled this on me. (And my husband actually used that description when he caught a whiff - he hated this, too.) I'm glad this works on so many people, and really, given the overwhelmingly positive reviews here, I'd have to concur with some of the previous reviewers and caution that it's clearly an individual thing: Works well for some people, is disastrous for others, so definitely try it before you buy it - or swap for it. :o) ...And up for swap mine goes! EDIT: It turns out that I received a fake in my swap, which I found out only after I (unknowingly) swapped the faux fragrance to someone else (who was, thankfully, willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and believe that I myself had been duped). I'll not name names, in case it was an accident, but seriously, swapping fake fragrances and passing them off as authentic...? Not cool. Anyway, I wanted to clarify that here, as it obviously negates my review. (I've since smelled a magazine insert and was struck by how different it was from the scent I tried, so...grain of salt and all.)
Styling Products -Sexy Hair Concepts - Smooth and Seal Aerated Anti Frizz Spray
lebon 7/8/2011 8:27:00 PM
This review is for the smooth and seal product. I love this - as are so many of us who frequent this site, I'm a product junkie, so if I re-purchase something without trying another product first, I know I've found a HG. I'm on probably my third can of this (with a fourth stashed away), and it never disappoints. I've got long (bra strap length) hair that's naturally wavy, but only in the back. (I know - makes absolutely no sense!) I usually blow it dry and then roll it on large hot rollers, and I use my Smooth and Seal immediately after I've finished drying my hair. It seems to tame the areas that tend to be frizzy even after I've blown it dry. (My hair is thick, so I rarely have time to section and dry it properly.) After I take my hair down from the rollers, I give it a last light spritz with the Smooth and Seal, which leaves it noticeably smoother and shinier without weighing it down or feeling greasy. In fact, one of the things I love most about this product is that it does what it's supposed to do and nothing it isn't: Smooths the hair and seals out the frizz, but doesn't leave my hair heavy at all. I also love the scent - I find it very fresh and light, not at all overpowering or cloying.