I always have a bottle of this in the house. Tried using it as a toner at different dilutions and it's a bit too acidic for my skin. The thing I LOVE about this is that it's raw and has the mother as stated on the label. Too much sugar, caffeine, non raw dairy products, medicines and other things can mess with the gut flora in our stomach. Our gut flora when healthy helps our body fight off sickness and absorb vitamins and minerals better. There is a stomach and brain connection as well and when the stomach is not doing well then the brain is not either and you can have brain fog and emotional imbalance along with other things. There is also the intestines to keep healthy. Very simply raw vinegar, and raw things like kombucha tea and fermented foods like raw sour kraut, help the stomach not only have the afore mentioned healthy flora but having a healthy stomach and intestines means the body absorbs vitamins an minerals better. It also helps the body start getting rid of the toxins stored in body fat and in the blood. When the stomach and "the pipes" are clean then your body can operate properly hence the weight loss and energy that people experience. Drinking raw apple cider vinegar is a quicker, and less harsh depending on your stomach, way to do the raw thing. On the Bragg's ACV bottle there is a recipe for what they call 'Bragg Vinegar Health Drink" and where it doesn't taste amazing it does get the job done. Will always have this stuff on hand!
Conditioner -Acure Organics - Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Conditioner
staci01 2/12/2013 2:01:00 AM
I am in serious love with this conditioner. Washed my hair with Giovanni's Triple Tea Tree shampoo and then this conditioner. Was disappointed at first cause after drying my hair it felt a little stiff and ratty like it does when I use Dr. Bronner's castile soap alone. Then the next morning I awoke with the softest hair ever. My hair was so smooth and had a healthy sheen. During the day I kept touching my hair as it felt so nice! Looked even better the next day! Am especially thrilled since the conditioner is made from natural ingredients and most of them are natural oils! The scent of this conditioner is nice as it smells, to me, like marzipan and I do love marzipan. Thankfully the scent doesn't stick around for long so I don't end up smelling my hair all day. Great product!
After sniffing every candle on the Diptyque display at Nordstrom I made the difficult choice of deciding on the Ambre candle since everything Diptyque makes smells amazing. I've been in love with Diptyque candles and scents for years and for some reason have felt intimidated enough to stay mostly away from them. The prices on these candles are the first big hurdle as $60 for a standard size candle is a lot for, well, a candle. There is also a lot going on scent wise in a Diptyque candle, layer upon layer of notes and all of them rich and and some heavy, an ADDer's nightmare (but also in a good way). You do get a bang for your buck though as when unlit there's enough fragrance in the wax to scent the entire room that they're placed in. The scent of Ambre candle is wonderful and very earthy and warm and not at all the usual tree sap amber. The notes in this are : grey amber, woods,vetiver,patchouli,anise seed,incense,citrus,tonka bean and spices. Being a lover of patchouli I'm happy that the note is not a headshop mess but a clean and cozy patch that doesn't stand out but lends itself to the mix evenly. The scent of this candle reminds me of a cozy wool sweater that's absorbed a man's fragrance chosen from far off travels. The scent creates a safe space that is calming and helps one focus on ideas and creativity and keeps any self induced, or outwardly induced, pressure at bay. In short the fragrance is earthy and grounding. Love it. Will always have one of these on hand from now on. I'm sorry Diptyque that I avoided you for so long. Would give this a 10 if I could.
Loose Powders -T. LeClerc - Loose Powder in Banane
staci01 1/14/2013 7:17:00 AM
The first time I learned about this powder was in the early 90's in the pages of Vogue. As a teen just learning about makeup the idea of very expensive French powder didn't click. I'd see or read about it here and there over the years and as I knew I wanted a tin I didn't seek it out for some reason. Fast forward to last week I discovered, by accident, where I could purchase this in Seattle and I was so happy a little part of me cried. Read some MUA reviews and then very quickly bought a tin the next day. For $50 , and after years of powders that don't work for my moody acne and clog prone skin, I was overjoyed that my skin gets along with this powder! Doesn't clog pores and melts into moisturized skin evenly almost immediately. The yellow tint doesn't make my skin look washed out and it tones down the pink on my cheeks and chin enough that my skin looks even toned and problem free. I make sure to set this with a spritz of Epsom salt water, or toner, and blot with a paper towel. The ingredients in this are : talc, rice powder, fragrance. Very basic. Twenty five grams of powder seems like not a lot of product for the amount they charge but it's worth it as so little is needed if you use a fluffy brush. The packaging is also very simple and gorgeous. Looks very nice on the vanity or bathroom counter and, if I read correctly, the design hasn't changed since the 1800's. My only complaint is that though there is a plastic lid on the inside of the tin, when removing the lid some of the powder poofs into the air. There is a little cardboard sifter that sits on top of the powder , that you press down onto the powder and swipe a brush over, but this moves around a bit and squishes the powder up the sides of the tin which lends to the poofing out (aka wasting money) when taking the lid off. It can't be helped as the sifter ring doesn't fit tightly to the edge of the tin. Still though I'm thrilled to finally own one of these (!!!) and also very pleased that the ingredient list is so simple and I don't get breakouts from it. Will always have this stuff on hand. I finally found my perfect face powder! YAY! ; )
Deodorants -Unlisted Brand - Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
staci01 1/9/2013 10:34:00 PM
This stuff DOES work but there's a trick to it : you have to apply it like you're thickly painting your underarm or it does not work. Your underarms also have to be pristinely clean, void of any regular deodorant residue or other deodorant film. The way I remedy this is by using a scrubbie soap holder (it's like a pouch made from rough cotton with a drawstring) and putting a squirt of bath gel and baking soda and scrub/polish the deodorant film off of my skin. After my shower I apply this crystal deodorant, I wet my underarms with the Crystal lavender white tea deodorant spray and then swirl the stick all around until it starts to dry and it sticks to my under arms which lets me know I'm done. This takes like two minutes per side but it's worth it as I am totally odor free for two days.
A woman at the place I work wears this and every time she walks by I always think she smells amazing. One day I ran after her to ask what that amazing frag she was wearing and turns out it was this. NOT AT ALL the Obsession I'm used to smelling on other people, good body chemistry I guess. This past Christmas my SO bought a bottle for me per my request and upon first spritz I was transported to my middle school/early highschool days when an ad with a scent strip seemed to be in every issue of Seventeen, Mademoiselle, and Sassy. I can't say that I was happy about this as those years were miserable for me and scent has that amazing ability to transport one back in time so quickly. When I first applied this it smelled a lot plasticky and I was really concerned as I knew that the frag had changed hands and had been messed with (some investigation told me I was correct). I suffered through the day feeling like I'd wasted money but thankful it wasn't much since the bottle was so tiny. Then at the end of the day I checked my wrist again and was pleasantly surprised to see that the plastic note was gone and I could smell a lovely bouquet of spices, vanilla and warmth. Now THIS is what I was smelling as the co-worker walked by. Now the question is whether I can suffer through the day smelling like weird plastic to get to the good stuff at the end of the day? I think I can but I won't be wearing this often because of that fact. Something I learned accidentally was that if I put my wrist under running warm water I can get fragrances to wear down to the base notes on my skin. Yes, it is a waste of fragrance but really it saves the sanity of my nostrils and mind. So it's a nice cozy fragrance but I won't be buying another bottle unless I can get my hands on a vintage 80s bottle.
Skincare - Face -Dr. Bronner's - Dr.Bronners Tea Tree Soap
staci01 1/4/2013 2:20:00 AM
I've been using Dr. Bronner's products since 2007 and can never be without it. The liquid soap has so many uses and it saves a lot of money in the long run. We got a large jug of this last January and we have about 1/3rd left. I use this for many things from the shower to laundry to cleaning the counters and my pets. Here's a list of what I use it for: Handsoap : three TBS of the Dr. B's soap, 1 TBS of olive oil, 8-10 drops of tea tree essential oil. I add this to a air pump soap dispenser and shake well before each use. The olive oil keeps my skin from drying out as the soap can be very drying on the skin after awhile. Shampoo : 1/4 c soap, 1 TBS olive oil, 1 c water - I put this all in a plastic bottle and shake before each use. Apply 1-2 tsp to hair. ( Adding a natural oil will keep your hair from getting that dreaded waxy rats nest hair you get from using Dr. B's soap straight.) Pet wash - Mix a little with some baking soda and wash yer pup! Rinse well. Counter spray/wash - 1/4 c of soap to 3 c water and 10 drops tea tree essential oil. Pour into a spray bottle and shake before each use. There is a list of uses on Dr. B's site, under Lisa Bronner's blog, that is really helpful. She posted a use chart last fall and it's so great that they finally did that. No more guessing and being a guinea pig! She has a recipe for HE washers too! Great stuff!
Styling Products -Unlisted Brand - epsom salt spray
staci01 1/4/2013 1:58:00 AM
Looking for reviews on epsom salt lead me to these reviews on the spray. Holy cow! This stuff is great for volumizing hair! Followed the directions from the very first post below and the past two days my hair has had nice volume and is very soft. I've been eyeballing Bumble & Bumble's Surf Hair for years but just couldn't bring myself to buy it. Thanks to this spray I saved a nice chunk of change. There is no scent to the epsom salt which is great since many hair products are too heavily scented and clash with any perfume I'm wearing. I also love the fact that epsom salt is good for the skin and that I won't get any breakouts from this spray like I do from regular hair products when they get on my skin. It's a win win for me! Thanks MUA!
Lip Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Balm Balm - lip balm Tea Tree
staci01 1/2/2013 1:02:00 AM
Got this as a stocking stuffer and had never heard of the brand till now. This is a plain and simple multi purpose lip balm with added tea tree oil. The box says it can be used on dry skin on the body and not just as a lip balm. The ingredients are simple and easily read, meaning nothing chemical, which is great. I noticed the past few months that my under eye area looks nice when applying plain shea butter over a natural oil like rosehip or argan and is deeply moisturized with fine lines softened. Decided to use this as an under eye treatment and I can report that the skin around my eyes looks great! Soft, fine lines lessened and no oily greasy look. Also no breakouts which is nice. Hope this keeps up as it would be the cheapest under eye treatment I've ever used! Nice little item and will keep using until a problem arises. Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Oil), Cera Alba (Beeswax), Calendula Officinalis (Calendula Oil), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil) and Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil
I bought this due to it's claims of calming "... redness, sensitivity and irritation". This did do what it claimed and my moody easily irritated and clog prone skin got along with this cream very well. My main concern though was after two days using it I was having a hard time breathing. Every morning I awoke feeling like I had pressure on my chest and feeling like I'd breathed in a lot of smoke or cleaning chemical. I stopped using this after four days and it took a week for me to feel better. I looked at the ingredient list and did some online investigation and think the culprit was either the niacinamide or the chlorphenesin. The latter I discovered is used as a muscle relaxant in some products and as a anti fungal and anti bacterial in other products. One of the bad side effects is difficulty breathing. Very creepy. So because of the breathing problems, which stopped when I stopped using this cream, I returned the cream to Sephora. Giving this a 2 for the fact that it calmed skin but would give it a 0 for the breathing problems I experienced from using it. Definitely would not buy again.
I bought a tub of this earlier this year for my acne spots and stopped using it as it didn't seem to really be working. Recently I started applying EVOO to my skin and then a thin layer of Sudocrem and that seems to be the best thing. The zinc really dries out my skin so I have to apply it over a moisturizer. Last week I was suffering from a horrible hormonal breakout all over my face and oil with Sudocrem over it calmed everything down, it was amazing! Still working with this to find the perfect moisturizer/oil to Sudocrem ratio. Giving this a 4 as it is very drying.
My skin has dried out a bit from using treatments for acne. One night I noticed it had started getting flaky which is a new thing for me. So in an act of emergency I applied some HydraPhel Intensive on, from a sample EL sent me this past Spring, and I woke the next morning with smooth,greatly calmed and pretty even toned skin. Very pleased that this cream did not clog my pores or cause break outs. Now will I be buying a jar of this stuff any time soon? Not unless I win the lotto or I find a pot of gold in my back yard. Great stuff if you're in need of intense healing moisture.
Got a sample of this from the company. Love how this deeply moisturizes my skin AND it doesn't cause my moody clog prone skin to break out! My skin stays smooth, even and baby butt soft and it's great when the heat kicks on in cold weather. Just wish it wasn't so pricey. Will buy a jar if I win the lotto soon.
EEEEEEEEEEP!!!! That'd be how I felt when applying this to my skin. The alcohol content in this toner is so high it should be illegal! This stuff is so harsh and drying to my skin and I cannot figure out why EL thinks this stuff is helpful in any way to skin. Yes it strips off any soap residue but it also strips the skin of any natural oils or moisture. If you have sensitive or acne prone skin I'd suggest staying away from this.
Love this oil! It has many great moisturizing and anti-inflammatory oils in it that are great for acne prone, dry and sensitive skin. I use this with the sea mud soap and it keeps the bar from drying out my skin and also keeps my skin clean and leaves no film. My biggest and only complaint is that the first ingredient is mineral oil, which is a cheap oil and the same thing as baby oil. But I guess it's needed to get all makeup and SS off the skin. There is also a foaming agent in this that works with the soap to get the skin really clean and also stops a film from staying on the skin. I hate how much this stuff costs but it really is a winner in the EL line when used with the Black Sea Mud soap.