This is a great cost-effective alternative to high-end styling products such as Aveda's to achieve touchable volume.
As a regular cosmetic junkie, and a practical camper in Whole Body (Whole Foods' Lifestyle Store), I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try this slick packaged product. I was skeptical about an organic hair gel that touted itself as volumizing. My experience in the past with such products left me with straw-like hair that simply made me look like a drowned rat by the end of the day (and necessitated a quickly made ponytail to save the look).
The packaging is sleek and easy to use. I put a dollop of the gel in my hands and rub together. It then is spread evenly at the root of my hair through mid length. (No product is on my ends, as they require moisturizing due to color process). My hair is about 1/2 way down my back. I use John Master's Organics on my ends. After a quick blow-out with a huge rounded and vented boars hair brush, my hair looks fabulous. Its full of body and is touchable. It does not retain the quality of straw or look weird (as a lot of gel tends to make your hair look stringy and hard). I have yet to experience any flaking of the gel either.
Overall this is a great product for fine, processed, long hair to give it manageable oomph. While nothing is really a miracle cure, this hits close to the spot.
Shampoo -Avalon Organics Botanicals - Lemon Clarifying Shampoo
pallor 6/22/2008 5:18:00 PM
As a fan of the weekly product deep cleansing ritual for my hair, this all natural bottle caught my eye. I spent about 30 minutes in Whole Body (Whole Foods' Lifestyle Store) choosing an organic clarifying shampoo to replace my Bumble+Bumble Sunday Shampoo. For a paltry $5.99 I couldn't say no to the shiny lemon scented delight.
This non-SLS shampoo foamed more than most, and it did the job of ridding my hair of impurities, but the result was not on par with Bumble+Bumble. Perhaps for stripping your hair of gel, spray, and all things bad, organics are not the way to go.
While the main function of this shampoo fell short, I would recommend it for an every-other-day switch up to your routine, especially if you like the fresh smell. I rotate it with Avalon's Rosemary Volumizing Shampoo and it works decently. I cannot say my highlighted hair looks brighter or shinier though. Its a good shampoo, it just didn't perform up to par as labeled for me.
Masks -Jason Natural Cosmetics - Red Elements Red Clay Masque
pallor 6/22/2008 5:08:00 PM
Great all natural mask to compliment a beauty routine! I was at Whole Body (Whole Foods' Lifestyle Store) and decided I needed a mask to replace my beloved Kiehl's Rare Earth Clay Masque. For $11 I decided to foray into the world of Jason natural products.
Most masks that contain clay over dry my combination skin. I found that while this mask does remove impurities, it was not the most drying mask I have ever used. On the upside, the mask also did not burn when applied to my freshly steamed and washed face.
I normally use the mask on Sundays, after a steam bath and facial exfoliation. I wash my face with Desert Essence Sunflower Cleanser, pat dry, then apply the Jason mask. It gets left on for about 10 minutes and washed off. I follow it with Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream for the finishing touch. My skin is clear and looks better than a visit to the esthetician.
Cleansers -Desert Essence - Thoroughly Clean Face Wash with Sunflower and Kelp
pallor 6/22/2008 10:13:00 AM
This is a lovely all natural product thats easy to use and easy on your wallet. I ran across this in Whole Body (Whole Foods Market's stand alone lifestyle store). I was initially looking for a cleanser to replace my beloved Kiehl's Brightening Wash and Chanel Precision Cream Foaming Cleanser. I am on a revitalized natural/organic stint once again and reasoned if I only eat organic foods I should also be treating my largest organ (my skin) to the same delights.
Desert Essence cost about $7 for an 8 fl. oz. pump container. At that price I had to purchase it. The first two ingredients are castile soap and olive oil . I usually stay away from natural products because they can be too harsh for my very pale, sensitive skin. This product was not harsh in the slightest and it removed every bit of my makeup, including the ever difficult caked on mascara.
Some reviewers found the dispenser bottle to be troublesome. If you are used to a thick, cream cleanser, this may take a bit to get used to. Its similar to Boscia's cleanser in that its liquid that requires slight water to foam. Just remember the consistency is that of a liquid, not a gel or a cream, and you shouldn't ever over pump. I find that I can control the amount of lather better with this sort of product. The only real draw back is traveling with a product like this. I am about to head to New Mexico, and I will just pick up another one at a Whole Foods, rather than try to fly with it or put it in a smaller container. The pump does smash down and lock, if you like to travel with full size products.
Overall, I have been pleased with the purchase and recommend it for people with sensitive skin who need a good cleanse, without over drying. I would venture to say this is best as a spring/summer wash, as it has a potential to zap more moisture/oil and may make some users uncomfortable in the colder, drier, winter months.
Looking for an alternative to Bare Minerals? Want a mineral powder that doesn't cake? Laura Mercier has the perfect formula for those of us who are addicted to mineral powders finish, but haven't found the proper long-lasting formula.
Its difficult to find very fair foundations. I have almost china doll pale skin with some visible pores near my nose. I have used Bare Minerals for over four (4) years until last month when I noticed Laura Mercier also made a similar product. I use the lightest shade for rose toned skin (as the yellow tone tends to make me look like I lacked vitamins and was possibly suffering from jaundice). While it is not a direct match for my skin (as I am still paler) it does cover flawlessly and adds just the perfect amount of natural color so people do not confuse me with Casper.
The formula does not cake, as I found happened with Bare Minerals after several hours. And, if you apply even more powder after you start to get a tad shiny it does not smudge, cake, or cause unsightly build-up. It merely redusts the area and refines the semi matte finish. I did notice the powder contained a slight amount of opalescence, which assists in fending off the zombie corpse look.
The packaging of this powder product is wonderful and perfect for traveling. The container has a sifter with a swivel top (much like disposable salt containers) that prevents powder from leaking if the container is turned up-side down. It also allows you to control the amount of powder you shake out into the lid in a more effective manner.
The price is reasonable at $35 USD since it is larger than a Bare Minerals serving. I have not noticed any skin trouble or adverse reaction to the new makeup. I originally sauntered over to the Laura Mercier counter for their Fall Season Storm makeup (eyeshadow) and was delightfully guided to the foundation.
This is a perfect all season traveling companion for those of us that insist on natural finish skin (with imperfections perfectly concealed) that is long lasting. Laura Mercier strives for the Flawless Face and with this foundation, you too can have that Flawless look.
Sunscreen -Aveeno - Active Naturals Positively Ageless Daily Moisturizer SPF 30
pallor 9/19/2007 10:42:00 PM
Does the thought of summer and facial moisturizer scare you? It used to really make me worried until I found Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless SPF 30. This little bottle transformed by whole idea of summer.
The formula is deceptively creamy in texture. Once applied to the skin, it blends in quickly and smoothly. I prefer this texture to the more liquid-feeling sorts. It feels more like a makeup primer than what you think of a moisturizer as being. (I use Bare Minerals foundation and it has worked wonders with this as a base. Its a flawless canvas. Plus, together its 15 SPF + 30 SPF.) This is not your mothers Oil of Olay.
I have combination skin which tends to turn into oil slicks and arid desert patches after about seven (7) hours with makeup. Fortunately this formula has tamed the slicks and deserts on my face to even my complexion. Along with the even tone, I have noticed the worry forehead wrinkles decreasing in severity. I have been using this product every day for about six (6) months and those lines are barely noticeable (only prominent when I glare in a sinister manner at an appropriate subject). Its like botox, but without the nasty side effects, cost, or worry.
As my complexion is china-doll porcelain, I am very concerned with the effects of UVA/UVB rays. My family is prone to skin cancer, and I have tried my hardest to steer clear of any damage. This moisturizer is perfect with it SPF 30. Even indoors sunscreen is preferred. This really packs a punch the other products do not have. Even better is the fact it doesn't smell like it contains sunscreen, nor does it feel like it. My combination skin is undisturbed by the protective shield and has not flared up or broken out.
At $20 per tube, it is a steal. The only issue is you think you are getting the entire tube full, but it seems it is only half filled and due to the dispensing system it tricks the eye. A tube will last you about two (2) months. The system pump does ensure that you will not contaminate the product, and is neat and travels well.
For those of us with fair, sensitive, combination, acne prone skin, who worry about the effects of the sun, and have started to ponder the effects of aging, this is going to be your holy grail moisturizer.
Lip Treatments -Jo Malone - Vitamin E Lip Conditioner
pallor 9/19/2007 10:25:00 PM
Who knew Vitamin E could be this sexy? This little tube was purchased on a whim while splurging on Jo Malone fragrances. It was the best choice out of the whole order! This super emollient treatment pampers your lips with just the right thickness and delivers the perfect amount of moisture.
The packaging reminds me of Vaseline lip therapy circa 1995. Thankfully it is a lovely black color with signature Jo Malone crest and flair. Its simple, elegant, and gets the job done.
Because the formula in the tube is thick, some may even say hard, and it melts on contact with your lips, you need just the smallest amount to send your kisser to heaven. I use this every night after I wash my face and use C.O. Bigelow's Lip Buffer (the holy grail of lip buffers). When I wake up my lips are perfectly refreshed, plumped, and primed for the day. Its an instant soother to any windblown or sunburned day as well. I would not recommend using it immediately prior to the application of lipstick or lip gloss, as it is very emollient and will just assist in helping your color slide off.
While it is a tad pricer than most lip balms/treatments, at $20, my tube has lasted me well over 9 months and is still going strong. Its a great investment and your lips will thank you (as well as your significant other). Enjoy!
Flies on your eyes tend to make me think of Aeon Flux. Remember those lashes? Well, this mascara delivers those lengths of lashes. This is a great product for those of us who do not dare to be dramatic.
The formula is very long-lasting, smooth, and very high in pigment. This is a true pitch-glossy-black formula. The brush is uniquely designed to allow color to be deposited on every single lash and in every corner. In fact, you will probably find lashes you didn't even know you had after an application of this product!
Because I love high-impact eyes, I tend to use this formula and then layer Max Factors Couture Volume mascara or 2000 Calorie over it for extra thickness (think instant false eye lashes that you don't have to worry about falling off for those extra late nights when you need to look extra great).
The price is pretty steep in the mid-twenties. However, as a special occasion mascara and definitely something you need in your arsenal its worth the price. The formula is also long lasting in the tube and did not clump (or dry out) as so many other lower quality products tend to do. So, ladies, if you want dramatic drop-dead eyes, this may be your HG mascara.
Lip Gloss -Yves Saint Laurent - golden gloss 11 golden whisper
pallor 9/19/2007 10:09:00 PM
Looking for the perfect lips? This may do the trick. Of all the lip gloss formulations I have tried (MAC, Nars, Chanel, Dior, Aucoin, Mercier, VS, drugstore brands, etc.) this by far has the best staying power and delivers the most shine-for-the-buck.
This color is light enough to go with most business attire, and can be worn in most professional situations (including Court). It is light and sparkly, but it does not carry the twelve-year-old-girl aspect, nor does it scream "hussy." Its delicate, complimentary, and absolutely fabulous. Its practically mesmerizing in the mirror. I am constantly complimented on my choice by other women.
YSL has quality pigmented products. The packaging has a great brush that will not get smushed down into the packaging (like the Bobbi Brown design). The fibers are a tad more stiff than normal, but it allows precision application and preserves the shape. This formula is unlike any of the other "sparkly" types you will find. The scent is not overwhelming like Dior, and the formula isn't as tacky feeling as Chanel.
The price is more than you would expect to pay for lip gloss, but its really worth it. Its long lasting and full of impact. I can't go anywhere now without this product. Its perfect to wear alone, or to layer on your favorite lipstick for added emphasis. For a lip gloss junkie, or someone who just really wants an effective finishing touch on their fabulous face, this is definitely the lip gloss for you.
Moisturizers -Chanel - Age Delay Nuit [DISCONTINUED]
pallor 9/19/2007 9:50:00 PM
Night moisturizers tend to make me panic. However, this wonderful product is quite a holy grail for those of us with combination skin and a healthy beauty product addiction. I was not convinced the product would deliver, but I was sure at least it smelled divine. I was more than pleased after three days of using the product.
Tested on my hand, the formula produced an even, plumped effect on my skin. When applied to my face, it was great. The patchy skin on my chin and my cheeks miraculously turned into buttery-soft velvet. The oily patches never turned into oil fields. After cleansing with Precision foaming cleanser, and applying at night time, I woke up to drop-dead beautiful skin. It was even, imperfections were soothed, and my texture was improved. Its like getting a facial every evening (only without the cost and redness.)
The packaging of the product could be better. The large tub means you contaminate the product with your fingers. However, this is the only product I have ever used enough to warrant scraping the sides with my fingers (akin to licking icing from a bowl). If you travel a lot, the jar is rather cumbersome, so I suggest getting tester packets from your Chanel rep for weekend trips/flights.
This is definitely a must item for me and my beauty routine. The smell is divine, the product works, and while it is a tad pricey it does last a good three (3) months when used every night (which means it is economical). Its definitely a repurchase and I suggest it for those of you who think night creams and combination skin don't mix. This product will amaze you.
Scrubs -Olay - Regenerist Microdermabrasion and Peel Kit
pallor 2/25/2007 10:15:00 PM
I have tried many scrubs and peels. This by far delivers just as well as the more expensive brands such as Dr. Brandt and Philosophy. I was reluctant at first to try an Olay product. My experiences before were less than stellar (not made for 25-30 year old combination sensitive skin). My need for a better facial, absent the aesthetician and cost, drove me to try this product from reviews on MakeupAlley.
The scrub bit is orangy and fine in texture. The crystals are much finer than Neutrogena's system. Be careful, it can get a tad caustic if you rub too vigorously due to the size of crystals. Gentle strokes do better. The activator serum dissolves the crystals. In order for it to work properly, remember the crystals need to be spread evenly across the face. I tend to leave the serum on longer for a deeper peel. I wouldn't recommend this for most people unless you are used to the feeling from your aesthetician (you may damage your skin).
At $21 on sale at Target, this is a great purchase. I have used it once a week for 6 weeks and I am only 1/2 through my kit. My skin is soft, pores are reduced, and the surface is vastly improved. Its the perfect way to brighten up tired, blah looking winter skin.
Lip Treatments -C.O. Bigelow - Soothing Lip Buffer-Gentle Formula
pallor 6/19/2006 2:48:00 PM
This is my Holy Grail for lip buffers. After trying what seems to be an unseemingly number, I finally got it correct.
At first, the tube looks to be very small for the cost of the product. It really is not. I have had my tube for more than a year, and used a product every evening. The product is a gel-like form with small silica particles. Only a small amount is needed to produce amazing results.
The particles easily buff away pesky, flaky bits on your lips. The extremely emollient liquid soothes and moisturizes your lips. I tend to wash off the remainder with a damp washcloth afterwards, since the product is oil based, the particles are washed away not the softening cover.
My boyfriend constantly raves about my smooth, kissable lips. He has even taken to using it. Its minty flavor and non-girly packaging makes it suitable for all persons. I take this product everywhere when I travel, even just overnight. Its great to use on Trans-Atlantic flights as well when your lips tend to feel tight and dehydrated. I tend to follow it up with CO Bigelow's Rosebud Salve or the Original Rosebud Salve.
Hands down, this is the best moisturizer for your tender digits. I have been using Aveda products since I was about 12 years old -- almost 18 years. I fell in love with the Hand Relief when my Aveda stylist used it in the salon, and gave complimentary hand massages while you waited. I noticed that the other stylists used the lotion on their hands to soothe them. I purchased a full tube and used the entire thing! It was simply amazing.
The lotion is not too thick like most creams, yet, it is not watery as with most typical lotions. It holds its form once out of the tube and quickly melts into your hands as you work the lotion. It is very emollient and has a light scent. I often find myself reusing this just to smell its lucious scent and relax.
I always pack the travel size in my handbag when I fly. It helps my hands and is perfect for those pesky flaky patches often encountered in Trans-Atlantic flights. Its worked far better than Prescriptives Flight Cream and lasts longer.
I also used this over the Foot Relief to soothe my winter toes and get them ready for spring. Its a perfect compliment to a do-it-yourself at-home pedicure.
After using a myriad of shampoos, this one may in fact work on my fine, highlighted hair. As a self confessed beauty junkie, I have tried far too many shampoos for my liking including: Aveda, Frederic Fekkai, Molton Brown, Oscar Blandi, Jonathan, etc. I took a chance on this over the weekend at a Victoria's Secret for 3 products for $21. For $21 dollars, you practically have to buy items! After using the shampoo, nourishing conditioner, and shine serum I had instant sex kitten hair.
The shampoo, conditioner, and serum smell a tad strong in the bottle. Upon using, the scent fades nicely. It smells clean and somewhat close to the Body by Victoria line. It is not distracting, nor does it collide with your perfume.
I recommend the product for persons with long (past shoulders), processed extensively, and who need some oomph. This, coupled with the nourishing conditoner and shine serum turned my very expensive, splitting and overly dry ends with oily roots, into Catherine Deneuve.