Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Flourish Bath & Body - Saltwater Perfume Oil
luv_bug 5/21/2011 3:21:00 AM
As I get older, I find that my sensitivity to smells increases, and a lot of the perfumes I used to enjoy bug me now. I knew I wanted something subtle and natural (I get nervous about all the chemicals in regular perfumes), but I also wanted something more complex than just the regular "Rain" vials and essential oils. The woman behind Flourish seems to be a real perfumista--she even confesses that she loves the CdG "Rose" perfume--and you can see the influence of brands like L'Artisan behind her work. Saltwater perfume oil comes in a roller ball. It feels light and absorbs almost immediately into the skin. Although I can definitely smell it on myself, it doesn't cast a wide reach. Someone would have to really nuzzle into your skin to smell it. The scent itself is fresh without being aquatic. It actually reminds me of a faint, watery anise. I walked into a tea shop in Seattle once that had the exact same smell, and I find it very calming without being boring. It's a lovely line. I have the body lotion in the same scent, and it's an interesting formula--whisper-light and still surprisingly effective. The whole shop is intriguing, and I'll definitely order from Flourish again.
Lip Gloss -Philosophy - Kiss Me SPF 20 Lip Balm Red
luv_bug 7/2/2009 4:35:00 PM
This product is definitely different than the original Kiss Me red lip balm. If you are in love with everything about the original, you might be a little put off, but for people like me--who had an issue with the old version's smell and texture--the changes are pretty awesome. This version's texture is much softer, without being oily or sticky at all. It tastes and smells minty. In fact, the peppermint is *exactly* like the one in the CO Bigelow lip glosses (only without the goopiness and shimmer that I hate). This has spf 20 and leaves a sheer wash of raspberry pink, and I've been using it for about two weeks without any lip flaking or irritation. The packaging is clean, cute, and very portable. Hmmm...tastes good, smells good, feels good, looks good...I think it's the perfect lip product for a low-maintenance summer. I hope they keep this one in their line-up.
I have a warm complexion, and this is a nice, sheer, shimmery gold on me. You can definitely still see your own natural lip color through this, which is either a pro or a con, depending on what you want. For me, personally, it's just what I want on days when I want to seem polished but casual. (Which is most days.) I've tried most of the other lip shimmers, and this is my favorite. Nutmeg was too orange, and champagne was too white. Caramel is just right. And, of course, I love the Burt's Bees formulation and ingredients.
This is an adorable little product. I have the solid--it also comes in a spray--so it's portable in its pretty tin and easy to reapply without annoying anyone else. It's very close-to-the-skin, but I can still smell it at the end of the day if I press my nose to my arm. The other night, my husband kissed my neck, sniffed, and offered an unsolicited, "You smell yummy." But, no, if you're looking for sillage, this isn't for you. The scent itself is earthy, clean, and a little sweet--with notes of fig, sandalwood, and coconut. It would definitely work for men or women, and it's perfect for warm weather. This is my favorite scent in the line, but they have quite a few options. I gave my grandmother a little gift set of their gardenia scent, and she immediately called and asked if I would buy her NINE more. (I'm still not sure why she wanted so many!) But the price is right at about $8 at Whole Foods, and you really can't beat the natural ingredients list.
Gels/Soaps -Dr. Bronner's - Baby-Mild Unscented Liquid Soap
luv_bug 6/1/2009 3:04:00 AM
I've been trying to replace the majority of my personal care/cosmetics/housecleaning products with things that are organic, simple, versatile and as chemical-free as possible. This soap is a great find. I use it for shaving, as a face wash, on my body, to wash my hair, and even to scrub the tub out when I'm done! It's very gentle, and I like that it's fragrance free. I also really think it's helping to clear up a rash that I've had on my arm for ages now, in combination with a nice, natural body oil from Burt's Bees. After my bath, I feel clean and glowing, and it's nice to know that I'm not depositing a bunch of garbage into the environment or on my own body.
Moisturizers -Clinique - Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
luv_bug 6/1/2009 2:54:00 AM
The truth is, no product will work for every single person, especially when it comes to skincare; everyone has their own needs and sensitivities. But this works very well for me. It does contain silicone, which usually breaks me out, but, for whatever reason, this moisturizer only does great things for my skin. It's lightweight, makes mineral foundation go on smoother, gives my oily skin just enough hydration, doesn't have any weird smell, and works with more powerful anti-aging and acne treatments. I sometimes dab it under my eyes, and if I need a serious moisture treatment, it layers nicely on top of heavier creams. I have a lot of girlfriends, and almost all of them use this product--I think because it's so versatile. Unless you're allergic to something in it and really can't use it at all, there are so many different ways you can apply it. Plus, it just feels nice, and the color is pretty.
Treatments -RoC - Retinol Correction Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
luv_bug 6/1/2009 2:44:00 AM
This is excellent. I use it every other night (the other nights, I use an anti-acne treatment), and it helps keep my skin smooth and clear. I've been using it for about four months now, and I can't see going back. I do wish that the tube would stand up on its own, but other than that, no complaints, because the product inside really does seem to soften my fine lines and keep the pimples at bay. You need to wear spf during the day if you use this product, because it makes your skin very sensitive to sunlight, but we should all be doing that anyway. (I use Blue Lizard SPF30 in Sensitive, and I've never had a problem with burning or rashes with it.)
This is a great product when used correctly. I have oily skin, and I've had a problem with acne since puberty. (My mom has always battled it, too, so I figure it's hereditary.) With this product, I've been pimple-free for the past four months; my old acne marks have almost all faded, too, so it's the smoothest I've been since I was a girl. I apply a very, very thin layer of Persa-Gel 10 underneath an oil-free moisturizer every OTHER night--I alternate this with RoC's retinol night treatment. Then I just use a gentle soap in the mornings (Dr. Bronner's baby soap) and apply a chemical-free sunscreen with spf 30. I also only use mineral makeup, which I think helps keeps my pores clear. The Persa-Gel is very powerful (it does bleach my pillowcase), so there was a period of about three weeks after I first started using it when my skin was extremely dry. But switching from every night to every other night helped bring my skin back to normal. It was worth the three weeks of embarrassing texture, anyway, because my skin is truly bump-free now, and I can even go without makeup if I want. If your skin is already dry, you might be better off with a salicylic acid treatment, but for oily skin types, this might work as well for you as it did for me.
I was really pleasantly surprised with this product. It's cheap as dirt, comes in a dark black, doesn't clump, doesn't flake, and layers really well. I agree that it's not great at volumizing, but it does lengthen. I didn't experience any raccoon eyes. In fact, I thought it held up better throughout the day than a lot of high-end brands. The formula is a little bit "wet", but combined with the plastic bristles, it keeps the mascara from clumping and--as I mentioned before--lets you pile on a few layers if you choose. Maybe it's not a miracle product, but if you want a good, solid mascara for everyday, you could certainly do worse than this.
I only bought this on a whim during a BOGOF sale, because I thought it looked too pale in the tube for me. But this turned out to be a really pretty shade of peachy-nude pearl. I have an infuriating little freckle on my lip that I do not find cute, and I usually have to spackle on lipliner and lipstick to fully cover it, even though I prefer a sheer look. This is the perfect solution! The pearliness covers my freckle, and it actually works better with only a sheer layer. This gloss has definitely made my life easier. The color looks modern and clean, it's shiny without being sticky, it moisturizes and doesn't leave flaky skin, and it doesn't leave that weird line on the inside of my lip. I'm willing to put up with the few seconds of weird Baby Asprin-scent.
This scent just totally won me over from start to finish. It is very similar to Infusion d'Iris, but with less powdery iris-butter and more incense. It's very pale, with a smoky/milky quality that balances out the opening soapiness. Surprisingly long-lasting and very close to the skin. It really does smell as if you've bathed with Infusion d'Iris soap and the scent is just radiating off your bare skin. It equally appropriate for men or women.
Conditioner -Kiehls - Conditioner and Grooming Aid
luv_bug 6/29/2008 7:36:00 PM
I had a problem with conditioners either drying out my hair and making it frizzy or making my hairline break out in very painful cysts. (I think silicones were the culprits.) This stuff is amazing. It totally turned my situation around, and now my hair is soft, frizz-free, and perfectly wavy. Best of all, no breakouts! It's expensive, so I had to switch to drugstore shampoo and mousse to make up the price difference, but my hair STILL looks better than it ever has before. I use this as a regular rinse-out conditioner, and then rub a little more right onto the ends just before stepping out of the shower. I add a little mousse, let my hair airdry, and that's it. I will never, ever, ever buy any conditioner but this one.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I love this lipgloss so much that I wait for sales and buy a handful of them at a time so that I can stash them in my purse, my desk, my bathroom...everywhere. The color is a light, natural mauve, with a smooth consistency and semi-opaque coverage. There is a little shimmer in it, but it's so fine it doesn't read as shimmer when applied. I've had a problem before with lipgloss either drying out my lips or making my lipline break out in little whiteheads. (Gross.) This never gives me any problems, and it wears off evenly. The real secret to making the product look truly natural is to apply with the wand and then use your pinkie finger to "push" the color into your lips.
Fragrances -Jo Malone - Nectarine Blossom and Honey
luv_bug 6/29/2008 7:15:00 PM
EDITED: I originally wrote that I *liked* this fragrance, but I had to upgrade it to *love*. This is just one of those scents that's always appropriate, in any situation--it's fresh, young, and clean, without ever being overwhelming. It lasts longer than you think it does...I'll get compliments on it hours after I thought it had disappeared. And people just seem to love it. I layer it with Annick Goutal's Honeysuckle, and I get at least three compliments a week. My friends hug me and say, "Wow, you smell so good!" and my husband just says, "Mmmmm" when he kisses my neck.
Fragrances -La Maison de la Vanille - Vanille Noire du Mexique
luv_bug 4/27/2008 8:54:00 PM
I picked this up on a whim, because it was just too cheap to resist at Sephora. ($10) I'd actually sniffed it a few years ago, before I got into perfumes. At the time, I thought, "This is pretty, but it's too weird to really wear." What was I thinking? This is one of the mellowest, prettiest, kitten-soft vanillas I've ever sniffed. It doesn't seem like anything special until you compare it to other vanilla scents; everything else is too sour or sugary-sweet next to Mexique Noire. It's really converted this former-gourmand-hater. I've worn it every day this week (quite a feat for me), and it's great as a base layer if you like to mix your perfumes. EDIT: Try layering this with Narciso Rodriguez for Her. You won't be sorry.