Treatments -Garden of Wisdom - Light n' Brite Serum
mystryder 11/9/2011 9:04:00 AM
it's so liquidy!! so sometimes it can be a mess to apply, but even if it comes in a tiny, expensive bottle, it'll last me quite a while! so far, it's been a month, and i haven't noticed any lightening to any of my facial hyperpigmentation :( i use it 1-2 times a day and am also using AHA, mandelic, and marityme gel. i know it's relatively early to other users' results so i'll stick w/ it.. especially since it worked within a couple days for a spot on my body (fr an old injury) that hydroquinone did jack for. the said spot is still there but keeps lightening and lightening. it's awesome. and believe me, it was *super* dark--almost a pencil-eraser-sized dark gray. now it's like a taupe, and i only remembered to apply it to the body-spot 25-50% of the times i've applied it to my face. i'm still waiting for that to happen for my face :(
Treatments -Garden of Wisdom - Skin Buffet Oxygen Rich Anti-oxidant Gel
mystryder 11/9/2011 8:38:00 AM
not a bad product, but my skin seems to like the tea tree or anti-pop up a lot more. (or it could just be that my fingers like applying the latter more). i like the fact that if i want to attack my skin with some good O2, there isn't a chance i'm going to bleach my clothes or sheets or dry out/age my skin like w/ BP--so that's a definite plus. so far, though, my skin seems to prefer some other GoW products at the moment, so that's the only reason why it's not a repurchase at the moment. i didn't have any adverse reactions. perhaps if i my skin had been more BP-dependent prior to trying out GoW would i need the O2 rich gel.
i'm not sure if this is a re-buy for me yet. I bought other things for antiox qualities (sebum control, chocolate nutritive) and this to help boost the light n' bright for my stubborn melasma. the light n' bright did work wonders on some body hyperpigmentation... just not on my face after a month so far :P since i'm using the other antiox serums, i'm not sure how it's doing for that function, but it is nice that it's multi-functional. at first, i forgot it had antiox properties, so i was only spot treating my hyperpigmentation areas. my skin does look brighter than before i started using GoW products, but i think i attribute it a little more to the exfoliating products right now since i was only spot treating w/ this earlier. plus, it's *wicked* hard to squeeze this through the dropper cap, so anytime i want to use it, i have to pop the nipple off so i can dribble it onto my palm first. it's more liquidy than a lotion, but it still got stuck in the nipple the first time i cleared it out :P so the next time i get around to clearing out the nipple, i'm just going to toss it so i can stop popping it off every single application.
Cleansers -Garden of Wisdom - Castor/Castille Cleanser
mystryder 11/9/2011 8:15:00 AM
hmm... i'm on the fence with this one. i bought it along with these other cleansers: cleansing oil, soothing creamy, jen's green tea, simply tea tree. it's like a white lotion--not at all like a cleansing oil, which i thought it'd be like with the "castor" part of it's name. oh well! i can just add some castor oil to my cleansing oil routine. it does cleanse and leave a nice emollience so that i feel clean and unstripped afterwards, which is what you want a basic cleanser to do, right? i'm just not as motivated to use it like the simply tea tree (i can actually see my pores shrink!) or the soothing creamy (omg i suddenly love the smell and feel of coconut milk. yum yum yum + some slight exfoliating action going on!). so for now, it's not on my to-buy-again list, as there are already 2 i know i want full sizes of... and maybe some other GoW cleansers i want to try. i may change my mind later, though.
at first, i was massively disappointed b/c i was expecting to love this. however, the amount you use makes a huge difference. a dime size amount doesn't provide enough emollience and just makes it sink into your skin like a carrier oil (which is really what it's made of). prior to my first GoW order, i'd been mostly using Pur Minerals mineral melt as my main cleanser and i loved it--it has an awesome mix of oils... but it has parabens. so i've regularly used oil cleansers from DHC, Pur Minerals, and GoW now and they all have completely different textures. if it weren't for the parabens, Pur Minerals would still be my favorite (all the different types of great oils for your skin + the awesome lemony scent that *doesn't* come from perfumes!). but if you used a quarter-sized amount of the GoW, it's pretty comparable =) it does just smell like carrier oils, though... which is fine just not as enjoyable. rather than a regular cleanser, though, i feel more comfortable only using the GoW cleansing oil only right before a mask or another cleanser. if i don't follow w/ another cleanser, it's still okay by itself, but i just don't feel as clean as when i use the Pur Minerals melt on it's own.
Cleansers -Garden of Wisdom - Simply Clean Tea Tree Oil Cleanser
mystryder 11/9/2011 7:53:00 AM
love it! i got it along with these other gow cleansers: soothing creamy cleanser, cleansing oil, jen's green tea, and castor/castille. out of the 5, this one is my FAVE. it came in a little tub, and they said the regular size comes in a bottle, so when i order a regular size, i won't have to worry as much about the hygienic issue. actually--i may keep the tub just so i always have a little in the shower without having to reach over to my sink =) it's like a slightly yellow jelly texture that suds a bit. i think it might be perfect with a clarisonic, but i haven't tried it yet. as tiny as the sample size was, i didn't think it'd last me 2 uses, but it's already been almost a month! (though honestly, i've also been alternating it with my second fave--the soothing creamy cleanser--lately) I was very skeptical about whether i would like it based on other users' reviews.. However!! 1) the tea tree oil smell that people complain about is *nothing* at all like the PEO nor other tea tree oil products (like trader joe's cleanser. ew!), but is actually really nice! i have at least one other GoW tea tree oil containing product and it also smells similar: not too strong, but you know it's there. it's just slightly medicinal so that you feel like you're doing something good for your skin, but it's not too overpowering that it would deter me from using the product. it's the first time i have *ever* liked the smell of something that contained tea tree oil. 2) it hasn't dried me out at all over the past few weeks nor broken me out like it has for others. in fact, this is also the first time since maybe pre-pubescence that i'm seeing some pores shrink on my nose. that--by itself--is reason enough for me to buy the full size of this awesomeness =) i know it doesn't contain menthol, but something makes this feel very cooling after use! maybe it's the tea tree oil?
Cleansers -Garden of Wisdom - Soothing Creamy Cleanser
mystryder 10/26/2011 7:19:00 AM
aka SCC. i LOVE LOVE LOVE it. i was very hesitant to get this due to philosophin's review. However, i was very enticed by the active ingredients (below) but skeptical from the product description (also below)--esp since it said it might work for SOME people's acne. Plus, the mods in GoW's forum suggested their basic creamy cleanser (totally different formula, tho), as i was in search of a good/better replacement for Philosophy's Purity cleanser. it's white with a slight chunky, lotion texture. if i apply it dry, it just soaks into my skin like a nice lotion and i'm so tempted to just leave it there while i let the actives play around on my skin. applied to a wet face, it dissipates a little too quickly for me, but if ONLY my hands are wet, it's the PERFECT consistency (which also reminds me i'd better wash it off eventually). i don't have rosacea, but i tend to have non-inflammatory type acne (ie black and white heads; no cysts except very occasionally right before Aunt Flo visits). right before my order arrived, however, i was in the middle or start of a purge induced by a light degunk session and had a lot of tiny zits all over my forehead!! i haven't broken out on my forehead in 15 years!! it was itchy, ugly, and i was desperate. i had been really hoping to really like their Cleansing Oil (as a paraben free alt for my Pur Minerals mineral melt), their Castor/Castille (which would supposedly be good for my blackhead problem), and their simply tea tree cleanser (STTC) (which i was scared would be as astringent, drying, and awful as Trader Joe's, but this is another GoW HG cleanser for me!!). The STTC still didn't seem like it was helping my battle of the purge, but as soon as i introduced the SCC, my skin felt good, refreshed, and less itchy. almost like i treated it in some gentle way--which it should have, given its ingredients!!! it does leave behind a little more emollience behind than the castor/castille (which was the *perfect* amount of emollience), but it still feels good and not stripped--it tempts me to skip my post-cleansing routine!! DEFINITELY NOT an oily FILM like others might think from philosophin's post. it smells utterly divine, which encourages me to cleanse longer (ie a more appropriate amount of time w/o the need of a Clarisonic reminder... but oh that sounds like something good to use along w/ the SCC). that's saying a lot, too, since i'm from hawaii, and i don't like most coconut-scented things. but GoW's starting to convince me that it's artificial coconut scents i don't like. =] another reminder of how natural the cleanser is: the chunks (of coconut cream?) that just melt into your skin!! yum yum yum ^_^ anyways... while i was still battling my purging, other than the blemish serums i was experimenting with, it seemed like the SCC was the clincher for my cleanser category to finally rid myself of the purging. Note: keep in mind that people may mean totally different things by their descriptions. philosophin describes it as 'thick' b/c of the nice emollience it leaves (while i think it's too thin if you have too much water on your face before applying) and suggests Jen's green tea cleanser as an alternative, but i actually think Jen's is thicker. Jen's can be goopy and can be like a very concentrated liquid hand soap on your face if you put too much (which is very easy to do--kind of annoying). i'll have to play around w/ the latter more, but with the right amount, Jen's was just a basic cleanser... it didn't leave me feeling like i needed to buy it like everyone else raves. i would even prefer the castor/castille over jen's. *update 11.9.11* after a few more weeks of alternating this w/ the STTC, i still think--in general--my skin really likes it... but i'm not so sure about the areas where my pores are the smallest (ie my chin and temples). my temples are usually pretty clear, but i'm noticing some new stubborn visitors, and not just a few. but they're not cystic or painful. they're just pink, slightly raised, and just *there.* so as much as i really like the SCC, i'm going to give it a rest for a little while and see if my temples clear up again. note: it's that time o' the month (which has never triggered temple-acne) and i've also been cleaning my apt like a mad-woman for the last week (trying to rid it of supposed allergens), so they could also be factors. we'll see. Coconut Milk - hydrates - heals and soothes skin Sunflower Seed Oil - high in fatty acids, as well as vitamins A, D, and E. - conditions skin Niacinimide - skin lightening - anti-aging agents - stimulates circulation Mandelic Acid - gentle exfoliator - helps to reduce pore size Licorice Root Extract - lightens, and brightens skin Company Product Description: Our Soothing Creamy Cleanser was designed by a customer, and although this cleanser was originally designed for rosacea skin, we have found that it is wonderful for dry skin and sensitive skin as well. Some oily/acneic skin might also find this to be a very nice cleanser. Small amounts of mandelic acid allow this cleanser to be gently exfoliating and pore reducing. This cleanser is non-foaming and does not contain surfactants. : ) Although this is an effective, extremely gentle cleanser, it doesn't remove mineral make up very well. For this we suggest an oil based cleanser to loosen mineral make up for cleansing first.
THE perfect taupe for my yellow undertones. ** However, ** 1) this mofo takes forever to dry, 2) by the time it IS dry, it still feels slightly tacky in a really annoying way, 3) it does take 2 coats for a good, uniform finish (otherwise, a single coat isn't just slightly transparent--it's solid in some areas and transparent in others)--which when coupled w/ #1 could easily feel like it's a 2-day ordeal when you start your application at night :/ I originally bought it b/c the color AND it has the same packaging as Pure Ice (which got me more addicted to polish than OPI b/c the quality and the finishes), and i haven't been able to feed my Pure ICE addiction since there isn't a walmart nearby anymore--just Targets (weird, right?). anyways.. i thought maybe it could be manufactured by the same company, just under different names. Nope! ugh. without even touching my nails, they feel goopy and loaded. you'd think Pure ICE would be twice the price than this rather than the other way around. too bad, b/c i like at least half the sonia kashuk brushes. but this? never again.
Other -Vaseline - Petroleum Jelly with cocoa butter
mystryder 10/6/2011 12:46:00 AM
ohhhhhhhh who knew i would crave rubbing petroleum jelly all over me like a moisturizer?!?! i originally got this just to help keep hair dye from staining my skin along my hairline, but this smells and feels so good, i tend to use it all over my legs! so far, my skin's pretty happy!
Lotions/ Creams -Paula's Choice - Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA
mystryder 10/6/2011 12:42:00 AM
Read "weightless" as "this does not hydrate." I bought this b/c i get ingrown hairs on the back of my thighs if i shave instead of use of depilatory. but since i have dry skin all over my body, i thought it'd be great everywhere as well. nope. no noticeable exfoliation whatsoever. the skin on my body is definitely better off w/ manual exfo.
Lotions/ Creams -St. Ives - Cellulite Shield Advanced Body Moisturizer
mystryder 10/6/2011 12:37:00 AM
i really didn't see any diminished cellulite. but as an inexpensive, light, citrusy lotion, it works. it leaves a slicker finish than St Ives' Skin Firming lotion.
Lotions/ Creams -St. Ives - Skin firming body lotion [DISCONTINUED]
mystryder 10/6/2011 12:34:00 AM
I'm a Bath n Body Works junkie b/c i'm driven by scent. However, they don't have much in the way of functional lotions. This was really inexpensive and had basically the same ingredients as the "Cellulite Shield," so i got them both to see if there was much of a difference. Of course, i kept in mind that since it was so much cheaper than other brands, it probably didn't have as high of a concentration of active ingredients, but at least i would be able to see if this did anything for me. My conclusion? extremely unsure hehe. it lightly hydrates (ie not as much as Bath n Body lotions) and has a very clean scent and *maybe* i might sense a little tightening feeling, but it's so slight, i'm not sure if i'm imagining it. But you know what? it's nice that it feels natural. plus, the light scent also makes it feel great for summer =) the only real difference i feel compared to the Cellulite Shield is that the latter smells a little more citrusy and has a more slick finish. great for recession :P
i like the idea that i'm applying something that would make my lashes happier, but i definitely did not like the unnatural looking fibers that tended to flake throughout the night (and sometimes get in my eye). why did they have to add fibers? bleh. it looks like an unnatural mess. from afar, it might not look too bad, but i still wouldn't want to deal w/ the fibers falling in my eye when i least expect it.
I keep returning to this mascara b/c it just *works* for my short, stubby asian lashes. For a slightly more natural finish, i separate it a little with the FullnSoft. Voluminous, Clinique, Almay, GrowLuscious, Falsies and who know how many other mascaras i've tried just don't make my lashes look as good as this one =)
THE only way i manage to pull off the "completely natural" look. Plus, it layers perfectly w/ DefineALash for a little more drama. This combo looks WAY better than maybelline's Falsies.