Gels/Soaps -L'Occitane - Amande Cleansing and Soothing Shower Oil
philosophin 8/5/2012 5:04:00 PM
I'm rating this as a shaving oil because that's all I use it for. For shaving, it does a good job. I generally find that shaving creams and foams don't work as well as they should for promoting a close, smooth shave with no nicks. I'm pretty sure I've never nicked myself using the Amande shower oil, and I can get a fairly nice smooth shave with it. I would buy this again if it weren't for one thing: the smell. It is so ridiculously strong, and it reeks IMO. It's so strong, in fact, that I can't wash the smell off my hands after it's been on my hand for the few seconds it takes to apply to the areas I want to shave. I have sensitive skin and don't want to be rubbing fragranced hands all over my face while I'm doing my skincare routine after I get out of the shower. If they reduced the amount of fragrance in this, I would be willing to buy it again. Otherwise, probably not.
This is actually the first multichrome nail polish I have ever tried and I'm so pleased with the quality. Ozotic polishes are not cheap--I got mine for $17.50--but IMO they are worth every single penny, unlike, say, Deborah Lippmann, who has some not-so-unique glitters that cost $18. I layered this on top of black. This multichrome glitter flashes so many colors--I swear I saw emerald green, fuschia, blue, purple, orange, and even a little yellow over the 5 days I wore this. The application was great. The polish is on the thick side but I think it's meant to be that way--no need to use NP thinner. I'm looking forward to trying it over different colors. Buy this, you won't be sorry, I promise!!! lol
I never write reviews after using a product only once, but in this case I couldn't help myself. I'm not super-skilled at polish application and last night I painted my toes with a neon pink polish which ended up looking quite streaky. I just happened to buy the Navy Shatter yesterday and thought it might be a good way to sort of cover up the streakiness. It worked like a dream! I did my best to use a thin layer (which I think is important with crackle polishes like this) and instead of starting in the middle of the nail I went from one side to the other, pausing to reload the brush with polish partway through. It started to crack immediately and looked like the swatches I have seen of it. I was so pleased because I was afraid I would botch the application and it would look crummy. I read a tip about using shatter polish on a blog that advised waiting until the next day after applying the base color and I think that is wise advise. I applied this over a base coat, three coats of polish and a topcoat. Very happy with this polish, well worth the $8.50 I paid for it. If anything changes I will update.
I've been using GoW's hydrosols as a toner for about a year now. They're great because they're totally alcohol-free. I would say Heli is okay--not great, not bad. I have rosacea and acne, with skin that is dehydrated and oily at the same time. I've tried a handful of different hydrosols and this one just doesn't feel very hydrating, unlike my beloved Frankincense Hydrosol. It also doesn't help with acne, and on top of that it stinks. There's just nothing remarkable about it that would make me want to buy it again.
Cleansers -Garden of Wisdom - Almond Milk Papaya Enzyme Cleanser
philosophin 5/18/2011 2:43:00 AM
I like this! I have rosacea and acne and skin that is pretty chronically dehydrated. This cleanser has exfoliating enzymes and is a quite gentle exfoliant, so it will probably work well with most skin types. I use this about once a week when my skin seems extra flaky. I massage it on my face for about a minute before rinsing. It is only mildly exfoliating but because of my skin's tendency toward irritation I prefer something gentle. If I use it more than once or twice a week my skin does start to get irritated.
Cleansers -Garden of Wisdom - Soothing Creamy Cleanser
philosophin 5/18/2011 2:35:00 AM
This cleanser is formulated for rosacea, which I have. (Also used for sensitive skin and dry skin--I think this might be good for someone with painfully dry skin because it is so thick and mild). The best thing about this cleanser IME is the smell. It is the most authentic, divine coconut smell I've ever inhaled. Unfortunately, I also have acne, and I think it broke me out. I got through about 3/4ths of a sample size before I had to stop because the breakouts just kept going and going. I think it's the coconut. Coconut products can be very problematic for some people with acne. Therefore, if you have acne, I would recommend trying a sample before you commit to the full size. The cleanser is also very thick and you can feel it even after you wash it off, so if you're looking for a cleaner feeling you might try something else like Jen's Green Tea Cleanser (also from GoW).
This could be a nice, convenient product for those that don't have sensitive skin. It's a good way to remove makeup and clean if you can't/ don't want to wash your face. However, it definitely irritated my rosacean skin, which made it pretty much a waste of 10 dollars. You get 50 moist pads stacked on top of each other, much like Noxzema pads. It's too bad they don't offer a sample size of this, although I understand why that might be difficult. BTW, I think it is the Soapnut Liquid that irritates my skin b/c I have used other GoW products containing at least one of the ingredients from all of the rest of the ingredients in the Cleansing Pads, and none of those ingredients have irritated my skin AFAIK.
Cleansers -Garden of Wisdom - Castor/Castille Cleanser
philosophin 5/18/2011 2:00:00 AM
Great cleanser! I have easily irritated, rosacea and acne-prone skin. This is the mildest cleanser I have ever used--no irritation or drying whatsoever, and no breakouts. It's very simple: castille soap, castor oil, and citric acid. That's it. If I could use it at night I would; however, it can't remove my makeup, so I have to use something else for that. I use a toner after using the Castor/Castille cleanser because it isn't really the type that gets your skin really clean, but it's nice to use if you need something gentle.
Love this stuff. It saved my skin during my last flare. My skin gets irritated and even itchy as well as dehydrated and red. This has helped so much and gotten things down to a tolerable level. Since some people said that this helped their acne, I should add that I have acne as well and this didn't do anything for it. But I suspect that my acne is a separate issue from my rosacea. The only real drawback is the price, with .5oz ringing in at 20 dollars. But I'll gladly pay for it as long as it helps keep my skin under control.
Cleansers -Garden of Wisdom - Jen's Green Tea/Shea Cleanser
philosophin 8/31/2010 10:43:00 PM
I use the "gentler" version of this product. If you are looking for a cleanser that will remove your mineral makeup, this is it! If I were ranking cleansers by what removes makeup the best, this would be #1 BY FAR. In spite of having rosacea it doesn't seem to irritate or dry my skin. I think my skin responds well to products with tea in them b/c of their anti-irritation properties. I'm loving it so far! I'm probably going to only use it when I need to remove makeup though, as I think Castor/Castille Cleanser is more hydrating and perhaps gentler.
So disappointed with what happened to me after the many, many raves of this product. I used the waxless version. My skin type is "nightmare." It's very oily but very dehydrated at the same time, zitty, and rosacean so it gets red and irritated. My skin was starting to dry out and I was using no moisturizer so I reached for this sample. It only took me a week to go through most of this very expensive sample ($10 for .25 ounces!). My skin seemed to get even drier and it was even a bit irritated by it. I've noticed that the majority of GoW products that I've gotten any irritation from (3 out of 5) have fruit extracts in them (bump it up to 4 out of 5 if including products containing fruit-derived oils), if that helps anyone. Also, I noticed a handful of blackheads and whiteheads sprouting up. This is something I almost never see with a product. Glad that it works for some people, but consider yourself warned!
This hydrosol was recommended to me to use as a toner after cleansing based on my skin type. My skin type is complicated and annoying to deal with: acne, rosacea, very oily but at the same time a lot of surface dehydration. It made my skin feel soft and hydrated, and seemed to help reduce the redness on my face a bit. If you order the 1oz size of a hydrosol, it comes with a spray pump so you have the option of directly spritzing it on your face. (I just used it w/ a cotton ball, though.) Right now I am using the Frankincense Hydrosol Gel and I could be wrong, but it seems like the plain ol' watery hydrosol does a better job. I went through the 1oz pretty quickly so it's hard to tell, but I would definitely order this again.
Masks -Garden of Wisdom - Hydrating/Soothing Mask for Sensitive/Rosacea Skin
philosophin 7/17/2010 3:38:00 PM
My skin type is very oily but very dehydrated in spots, and I have rosacea and non-rosacea acne. Here are the basic claims for the product, as per the GoW website: "Blended fruits work synergistically to heal and soothe irritated, sensitive skin. Seabuckthorn extract repairs damaged skin and fights rosacea mites (skin redness), while Marshmallow root soothes, hydrates, and moisturizes." I tried this twice. I smoothed a thin layer over the face and waited for 15 minutes before splashing it off with lukewarm water. The mask dries really fast. I really couldn't discern any difference from before. No healing, no soothing, maybe a liiiiitle moisturizing, no reduction in redness. A week later, I tried it again. This time, I only left it on for 5 minutes. This time, my skin looked redder and felt slightly irritated after I rinsed it off and one cheek even felt warm/flushed. I'm afraid this product is just not for me, but I gave it 2 lippies because it wasn't horrible and I know there are other people that really like it. At least you can buy a sample first before buying the full size. The sample does cost $4.70, though.
Mascara -Yves Saint Laurent - Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils
philosophin 6/22/2010 10:11:00 PM
Much of this is kind of a rehash of my review of the grey color of this mascara, so look at that particular review if you're interested in that color. Although I would not buy the grey color again, I really like Faux Cils' formula. It doesn't really flake and smears less than other mascaras--even if you accidentally rub your eyes, it will smear, but not as dramatically as others would. It also doesn't clump and has excellent staying power. Its primary effect is lengthening of the lashes--I wasn't really seeing any volume changes. Interestingly, it seems to make my lashes feel softer. I'm really interested in the blue color and may buy that one in the near future. A very expensive mascara, though, so you have to wonder if there isn't something comparable at a lower price. Still, I would buy it again.
I like this mascara, but this particular color is too subtle for my tastes. I got it in the fall, when grey mascara was supposedly a makeup trend, and I was intrigued by the idea. It has the effect of a soft black mascara. Unfortunately, for someone that already has dark lashes it may be a little bit too subtle of an effect. Even 3 coats doesn't get anything approaching dramatic. Faux Cils in general, however, seems to have a pretty nice formula. It doesn't really flake and smears less than other mascaras--even if you accidentally rub your eyes, it will smear a bit, but not as dramatically as others would. It also doesn't clump and has excellent staying power. Its primary effect is lengthening of the lashes--I wasn't really seeing any volume changes. Interestingly, it seems to make my lashes feel softer. I would purchase Faux Cils in a different color, but not the grey.