This seems to be the finicky type of fragrance that blossoms when it interacts with some people's body chemistry and fizzles when it comes into contact with others'. On me, it's drop dead sexy! The initial blast of fragrance is overwhelmingly woody, very pleasantly so. True to its description, the wood notes conjure up the impression of a mysterious, exotic forest. A curl of smoke rises from the midst of that forest, followed in short measure by a whiff of orchid and the promise of warm vanilla goodness, rapidly increasing in intensity. The vanilla sweetens, gets sweeter, sweeter, sweeter...and just before I start to panic about what candied confectionery this perfume is going to morph into, the bottom drops out and it mellows. The end result - individual results may vary, of course! - is Warm Vanilla Sugar with a backdrop of exotic woods and a hint of smoke. It's like the femme fatale version of WVS. Comforting, yet mysterious. Delicious and exotic. Several hours later, a subtle and warm ambery vanilla remains. Sexy? Absolutely. If you ask guys what they want women to smell like, they never choose the fancy shmancy $200 freshly squeezed juice from a deer's anal gland that's been dressed up in a cacophony of incongruous notes and hand-cut crystal- you know, the kind that only appeals to perfume snobs. Guys think it's hot when you smell like a warm, sweet comfort food. That's it. No need to over-complicate things.
Skincare - Body -Unlisted Brand - Egyptian Magic Healing Cream
pinkandblack 6/17/2012 3:38:00 AM
This is a miracle product for oily, clog & acne-prone, dehydrated skin! Apply a thin layer, allow it to absorb, apply MU. Skin is moisturized, calmed, pimples shrink, whiteheads and blackheads disappear. My skin is radiant, less oily, pores are tightened. I am *thrilled* to have found this magic elixir after throwing out countless jars of clogging, dulling, ineffectual low *and* high end moisturizers. A caveat: I experienced minor purging when I began using this product, but it was a very short-lived phase. Give it a couple of weeks before making up your mind.
I'm giving this a tentative 4 stars because I've only used it a couple of times. For reference: I have oily, easily dehydrated, dermatitis and clog prone skin. I've tried virtually every physical SS available in the U.S., the latest failed experiment being Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 (occlusive and irritating), so I was pleased to discover that not all physical SSs have a white cast, mask-like finish, etc. My initial impression of Physical Fusion is that it applies like an airy gel lotion, practically disappearing into the skin except for a light satiny finish that is easily mattified with a dusting of finishing powder. The pale beige tint blends well with my fair neutral complexion. (It doesn't mesh well with Physician's Formula mineral powder, unfortunately. Unless you're going for the oompa loompa look :-/) The only downside that comes to mind is that the matte formula emphasizes the tiniest flakes. But regular exfoliation is a small price to pay for such a cosmetically elegant SS :-)
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46
pinkandblack 6/14/2011 1:14:00 AM
Sadly, another SS fail for me. It left a waxy film on my skin and never dried. My face was super shiny and sticky, then it became red and irritated and my eyes stung like crazy. This surprised me since I generally don't have a problem with chemical filters. On to the next SS!
Hair Color -Garnier - Nutrisse Permanent Creme Hair Color
pinkandblack 4/6/2011 12:28:00 AM
I had wanted to lighten my virgin medium golden brown hair that's approximately 25% grey, so going on the recommendation of two other reviewers, I chose the dark beige blonde shade (Sweet Latte). Whatever you do, do NOT use this shade if your hair has any red undertones whatsoever. I was confident that the violet base would counteract any red tones, yet it pulled red. Lots of red. My natural hair color is a dull brown with gold highlights - you cannot see a hint of red. But now it's a washed-out light/medium auburn, and there is still plenty of grey. I could've taken a bottle of Sun-In to my hair and gotten the same result (youthful experimentation taught me to stay far away from Sun-In). My ordinarily oily hair is looking a little dry, too. This stuff is harsh...and fumey. Heed the warning to use in a well-ventilated area.
Cleansers -Cellex-C - Betaplex Gentle Foaming Cleanser
pinkandblack 7/31/2009 11:04:00 PM
My oily, clog-prone, sensitive facial skin does not impress easily. Color it impressed with Betaplex Gentle Foaming Cleanser. If I had to sum up this cleanser in one word: soooooothing. It contains multiple anti-inflammatory ingredients and lactic acid. It calms angry skin instantaneously, fades acne marks, and cleanses thoroughly without stripping. Don't let the SLES scare you away. I've had many allegedly "gentle" detergents wreak havoc with my skin. It's the overall formulation that determines how gentle or harsh a cleanser is more than the individual ingredients.
I'd experienced nothing-short-of-miraculous hair regrowth (my hair had been thinning for a while) with BioSil capsules, then I switched to Flora Silica because it was half the price and lost all that new growth )= I've just restarted my BioSil regimen and will update in a few months.
So far I'm really enjoying Marliss's fragrances; there are more stand-outs in her line, IMO, when compared with the offerings from other popular B&B etailers. On to the winners... Sexy Sandalwood guarantees a scentgasm with every application (I have this in the body powder)...it is the dreamiest, creamiest, most seductive sandalwood I have ever encountered. Sweet, cozy, and just WOW. You *must* try this if you like sandalwood. Another TDF scent is Sonoma Blush (perfume sample). SB is a chameleon on me, opening like a trip through a lush, exotic forest in summertime...it's earthy, a little wild and untamed, eventually mellowing into a mildly exotic, woody, meditative fragrance. Some fragrances take you on a journey and this is exactly how SB makes me feel. Little Pink Dress (body powder) is like delicate candied flowers with an underlying hint of sexiness...it's the perfect girly concoction (but not "little girl") for ultra-feminine moods. Pillow Fight! (body powder) is a perfectly done fresh, clean laundry fragrance, and Feng Shui WATER (body powder) creates a "cool" mood with the perfect balance of florals, green tea, moss, and citrus. Strawberries N Cream (shaving cream) smells exactly like what you'd expect -- it's scrumptious! The fragrances I didn't take to were Sweet Seduction (I detect a hint of caramel in it, and I'm not a caramel fan), Silky Underwear (sugary sweet and fizzy jasmine and honeysuckle combo...almost like floral soda pop, if you like that kind of thing!), and Tropical Fruit Slices was too "candied" for my taste. I imagine that what I didn't like about these fragrances will be the selling point for someone else, though (=
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Oil Cleansing Method OCM
pinkandblack 4/6/2009 3:46:00 PM
I don't think I could ever get my sunscreen off without oil, but I've learned that it's vital to select oils that are appropriate for my skin type (oily/acneic/sensitive). My two favorites are grapeseed oil and safflower oil. Safflower oil rinses clean in my experience -- no emulsifier required. Grapeseed oil melts my make-up and sunscreen upon contact, which I'm really grateful for when it comes time to remove my Bioderma Max Fluide (this stuff sticks to skin like glue!). A microfiber washcloth soaked in very warm water will remove most of the oil, and then I follow up with a gentle cleanser to remove the last traces. I get my oils from mountainroseherbs.com. ***EDIT*** I've discovered that safflower oil has to be refined in order to be used successfully without an emulsifier. Unrefined safflower oil leaves a stubborn residue behind.
Cleansers -Garden of Wisdom - Skin Friendly Cleanser
pinkandblack 4/6/2009 3:20:00 PM
It might have worked for me if not for the Optiphen, which I've since discovered is a major irritant for sensitive skin. If you want to try it, email Markey and request a sample with her new preservative, Cosmocil CQ.
Treatments -Garden of Wisdom - Mandelic Acid Serum
pinkandblack 4/6/2009 3:11:00 PM
I'm reviewing the Mandelic 10% Marine (no alcohol) Serum. This is a very lovely serum, it soothes while it exfoliates. The scent of the red rooibos is a tad overpowering, but nothing intolerable. Some people may even like the natural fragrance. I found the % of mandelic acid a bit too much for my sensitive skin, but I love how it feels and therefore I'm giving it four lippies even though I can no longer use it.
Cleansers -Garden of Wisdom - Jen's Green Tea/Shea Cleanser
pinkandblack 4/6/2009 3:04:00 PM
Waaaaaaay too much decyl polyglucoside. It stripped my already dehdrated skin, so I would advise anyone with semi-dry skin to stay away from this cleanser. My mom (who has normal skin) is in love with it! ***EDIT*** Just tried the newer mild formulation and it is *very* mild. My skin still didn't like it, but I'm sure it would be well-tolerated by most sensitive skin types.
Moisturizers -Garden of Wisdom - Immortelle HA serum
pinkandblack 4/6/2009 2:57:00 PM
It didn't do anything for my skin -- no redness reduction or anti-inflammatory effect -- aside from the typical plumping and moisture retention from the HA.
Sadly, this hydrosol didn't do anything for my skin. I've also tried the Immortelle HA serum without success, so I guess my skin just doesn't appreciate the medicinal properties of helichrysum. If you should decide to try it, be warned, it has a skunky odor that lingers for a while.