Lip Treatments -Burt's Bees - Nourishing Lip Balm with Mango Butter
toastedlembas 2/13/2013 9:04:00 PM
Ah, Burt's Bees. The standard of readily available natural beauty products. This is a self-explanatory product. It's a lip balm in a tube. The tube is of the same quality as pretty much any other lip balm tube. My only complaint about it is that the plastic on the outside eventually peels off and leaves your little tube looking like a mess, but maybe I am handling it too roughly. This balm feels thicker than some of Burt's other creations, and I looooooove that. If you want something lighter, go for pink grapefruit or the rejuvenating balm. But if you like feeling the balm on your lips and having the satisfaction of knowing it's gonna make them feel great, pick this up. I've strayed, but I always come back to this lip balm. And yes, it does smell vaguely like mango.
Lip Gloss -Burt's Bees - Super Shiny in NECTAR NUDE
toastedlembas 2/13/2013 8:56:00 PM
Bought this on a whim, because lip products are really easy to pick up like that when you're in the drugstore! It wasn't tooooo expensive and I thought it could be a good summery lip color for me. The tube is sturdy, if a bit tacky-looking. I'm not worried about it exploding, which is good. Its firmness makes squeezing product out difficult, but I'll deal. I like the smell of this, kind of grapefruit-y. I don't think it's that strong of a scent, but it does linger. The gloss is kind of gritty from the sparkles in it, I almost feel like it is supposed to be an exfoliant! This does go away as you wear, but it's still a little weird, and not something you expect from a lip gloss. I find it a little sticky and not particularly long-lasting. Not super hydrating, but not drying either. The color is fine. This really is nude, though, and I don't love the look for myself. The sparkles make it look almost frosted, which is another look I don't like. So: not terrible natural gloss with a nice scent and some sparkles. Personally, I'll buy another color of the new lip shine before I buy another tube of this.
Giovanni 50/50 shampoo was my standby for a while, but I decided to experiment with some cheaper alternatives for a bit. When I made up my mind to go back to the Giovanni, my Target wasn't carrying 50/50. Hoping it would work just as well, I grabbed the Smooth as Silk. I have wavy hair that tends to frizz and be a bit dry, so I figured the moisturizing shampoo would be a better choice than Tea Tree. I have 2a/2b wavy hair, tending towards 2a these days, much to my dismay. This doesn't perform as well as the 50/50 did for me (old formulation). I like to co-wash between shampoos, and this doesn't seem to get my hair clean enough the first time for co-washing to work well, especially near the scalp. This has made me more chronically reliant on shampoo, which I don't like! To add insult to injury, I don't think it's really doing much for my ends either; I don't think I would say that the issue is that it's too moisturizing. I've been trying to make it through the bottle and switch up my other products before I give up (I'm trying to go super green with my products, so I need to anyway), but nothing is really making this awesome. It does have protein, so that might be an issue for some people. Keep that in mind and watch out for build-up! I think that is part of my problem with it. It smells good, consistency is nice, doesn't clean your hair enough or really moisturize it! Definitely a no-go for people who don't want to shampoo all the time. I didn't try the matching conditioner, so I'm not sure if that would magically make this system work. I'm going to check out the new ingredients on 50/50 and probably go back to that, or just try a shampoo without protein or all of the surfectants in this.
This is for the Yes to Carrots Color Balm, NOT the C Me Smile Lip Tint (that's the minty one similar to Burt's Bees lip shimmers, d/c). I'm surprised this hasn't been reviewed yet! There are three colors of this: Soft Plum, Rosy Bloom, and Peachy Keen. I own the first two, haven't grabbed Peachy Keen. The tubes are slightly longer than a regular lip balm tube, but a similar width, and the packaging gives a good idea of the kind of tint you'll be getting from the balm (although to me Rosy Bloom isn't quite as light as the packaging would have you think). They're a little pricey, coming in around $6, but there aren't many comparable natural tinted lip balms around, so I'm cool with it. This is a simple tinted lip balm from a mostly natural line that's available in drugstores, which I appreciate. Burt's Bees does not have a similar product; I would say their tinted lip balms are more pigmented than these. The YTC color balms give a nice wash of color without being overpowering, perfect for mirrorless applications. Rosy Bloom is a great color that I can wear all year, just giving me the bit of extra pigment that my pale lips need so I don't look washed out. Soft Plum is a bit darker and slightly cooler-toned to me; I don't love it as unconditionally as Rosy Bloom, but it's good for fall and winter. They feel good going on initially, but dry fairly quickly and generally aren't super moisturizing, so you might want to put a layer of something else on first. That applies more to Soft Plum than Rosy Bloom; I don't feel the need for a second balm as much with that one. I'm not sure how long the color lasts; you'll probably have a slight tint for a few hours if you aren't eating and drinking. I'm a little worried that they're discontinuing these, as I grabbed Rosy Bloom on clearance at Target last week, but they're still full price on the Yes to Carrots website, so I'm hopeful that it was just that particular Target deciding not to carry them anymore. Buy them if you can find them, especially on clearance!
I've been looking for a natural moisturizer with physical sunscreen to be my double-duty morning product (I'm too lazy for two separate products). I tried Yes to Cucumbers SPF 30, and it was fine, but I figured I would try something new when it ran out. I picked up Avalon Organics after testing a few options at Whole Foods. It smelled good, spread fairly easily, and seemed to be the best bang for my buck. I wish the SPF was a bit higher, but I don't spend a lot of time in the sun, so it's probably a non-issue. First things first: if you don't like smelly lotions or the smell of citrus, you will not like this. The scent isn't too cloying, but sometimes I get a whiff of it later in the day, especially if I have put some on my chest or shoulders. I find this lotion easier to work with than the other physical sunscreens I've used, and it spreads out easily. I don't think it washes me out as much either (if you're wearing makeup over it, that shouldn't matter!). In fact, I think it's been helpful in making my skin tone a bit more uniform; that probably won't be the case for people with darker skin. It is a bit tacky after you first apply it, but it dries fairly quickly and makes a good base for my mineral make-up. It isn't very moisturizing, and I usually end up spritzing a hydrating toner on before or after I apply it to give my skin that extra boost it needs in the morning. If you have dry skin, you won't get enough moisture just from this. I tried a light layer of sweet almond oil under it one day, which helped with the moisturizing but turned me into an oil slick by mid-day. I will definitely need a moisturizer under it for winter, but for summer it is fine as-is, and the dry finish is even helpful. Pros: Smells good, is natural, isn't too expensive, easy to work with, good under make-up. Cons: Not all that moisturizing, SPF could be higher. I'll probably try something else before coming back to this immediately, but I'll consider picking it up again.
Everyday Minerals has been my staple for about four years. I used matte and semi matte before they added lauroyl lysine (and probably after, too...I honestly didn't notice, and it didn't make me break out), IT base, and just was thinking I would try something different. I have been looking around at other foundations, tried some TMs and just used my remaining EDM base as my powder. After liking a product with nasty ingredients, I've decided to get pickier and have been testing a bunch of more natural foundations, mostly cream, and not really loving any of them. I checked out Everyday Minerals again on a whim, and they had this new base on special pricing. I'm a sucker for that kind of thing and the short list of ingredients looked good, so I bought samples and then sprung on two colors: Bare and Shell Blanc. For previous EDM users, the shade names are different, so you probably should sample. I previously used Fairly Light Neutral (might have been a bit cool on me, but not terrible). I sampled neutral and warm shades in the fair to light category for Jojoba base. I think Bare or Vanilla are the best bets for Fairly Light Neutral users: Bare is a bit darker (looks great for my summer skin), but Vanilla is a bit pinker and lighter than FLN. I'll be using Shell Blanc to lighten up Bare when the time comes, bur Vanilla might be a good choice if you have a truly neutral skin tone. There is a list on this ad categorizing the shades into undertones: http://www.everydayminerals.com/emails/NewJojobaBases-Email.html Jojoba base is probably most comparable to the old semi-matte formula, I think. I don't use a lot of product, but it covers pretty well, and my face is not an oily mess by mid-day at the office when I use finishing dust; I didn't use finishing dust today, and I look pretty glowy after a few hours of wear (but it's also hot and humid). My skin looks natural and nice, coverage is buildable (but maybe not enough for someone with a lot of imperfections, I can't tell you), and it hasn't creased on me or made me break out. My face isn't perfectly matte, I just look like I have good skin. Basically, the Jojoba base is my favorite Everyday Minerals base, even compared to past formulations. If you loved their formulations before they added lauroyl lysine, come back and try this! No lauroyl lysine anywhere to be seen, and a more natural effect than the IT base. I'm not sure if it will give truly full coverage (I doubt it), but it gives me the look of glowing good skin that I was after!
Liquid -Vapour Organic Beauty - Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation
toastedlembas 6/7/2012 3:29:00 PM
I got a sample of the Soft Focus for fun when I was trying out the Luminous formulation. I didn't want to like it because of how expensive it is but...I like it more than Luminous. Not by a lot, but enough. I sampled it in shade 115, and it's a pretty good match. I think I need to try 110 before I commit to one shade or another because, like Luminous 115, I think it makes my face look pink, which is bizarre. I'm probably the only person who notices, though. This provides light coverage with fingertip application, which I appreciate. It diffuses my red cheeks wonderfully, and I can use it in my t-zone without turning into an oily mess (not the case for Luminous). I feel less comfortable wearing this without powder than with Luminous, and I feel like I have to use a bit more, but they both accomplish similar things. This feels like less make-up than Luminous to me, and it's definitely better for summer. Smells pretty good, doesn't settle into lines or pores, stays put through the work day...this is a good foundation. Be warned that samples of this are a mess, though; they come in a little paint pot and the oil in this product just sweats through the packaging. You can mix it back in, but it is a little gross. I haven't committed to it, but it's still an option.
Foundations -Vapour Organic Beauty - Atmosphere Luminous Foundation
toastedlembas 6/7/2012 3:17:00 PM
I've been looking for a good natural foundation and had heard some good things about Vapour, so I decided to order some samples of their foundation. Their selection chart recommends Luminous for my skin type, rather than Soft Focus, and the price point makes me lean in its direction as well. I sampled 110 and 115, and I have to say that neither color really looked better than the other. I have a fair, neutral skin tone that leans slightly warm, and I don't think either of these colors really matched me. 110 makes me look pale, 115 makes me look a bit pink (which is odd, considering it is supposed to be for warm toned skin). The samples themselves have lasted me for a few weeks, so I can at least say that this doesn't make me break out! It also has great coverage for me; my main issue are some red patches on my cheeks, as well as some bumps on my jawline. This diffuses the redness beautifully without making me look like I'm wearing a mask. It makes my skin look velvety and lovely throughout the day with only a bit of powder. It also didn't settle into creases or pores for me. I use this more like a concealer than a foundation; I really can't put it in my t-zone, because it does turn into an oil slick before the end of the day. It might be alright to use all over in the winter, but not right now. I'm still testing foundations to see if I can find something that works as well as this for cheaper, and I'm definitely considering getting a tube of this for winter.
Treatments -Sally Hansen - Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition
toastedlembas 5/13/2012 8:57:00 AM
This is for the Green Tea + Olive Growth formula. I bought it when I was doing a stint at a retail clothing store; the work was wrecking my nails, giving me peelies and splits. My nails are usually pretty tough, so I was horrified. One coat of this improves the looks of my nails instantly; they still look natural, but a bit shinier, and the formula is opaque enough that the peeling parts are masked. It's perfect if you want natural, neat nails. It also helped my nails peel and break less while I was wearing it. I'm not sure how much it actually improved them after the week-long treatment, though. The directions say to apply one coat to bare nails every other day for a week. This I do not like so much. Even two coats of this is enough to give your nails a white cast that I am not fond of. Additionally, if it chips off, it's a lot more noticeable; if you're only on your first coat, chips won't be noticeable (and it will chip a bit). It does say to apply it to bare nails, so I wonder if I am supposed to take off the previous coat and then apply the new one? But how can it possibly be healthy for your nails to use nail polish remover multiple times in one week to take off a nail treatment? Even if you continue to paint over it, you definitely need the remover at the end of the week. This I just find confusing. I am probably overthinking it. It's okay as a base coat, not my favorite. If your nails are in bad shape and need protection/strengthening, it might be kinder to them than your usual. It's always good to take off your nail polish and see healthy nails underneath!
Lip Treatments -eos - Lip Balm Sphere - Lemon Drop SPF 15
toastedlembas 5/11/2012 11:16:00 AM
I bought this because I know I need to start protecting my lips from the sun, and I didn't have a non-petroleum lip balm with SPF. It was a good excuse to pick up a cute new lip balm! The spherical packaging on this is cute, although if you are the kind of person who likes to keep lip balm tucked in your pocket, this will not be a plus for you. Since I only apply it when I am outside, it isn't a huge deal for me that it has to stay in my purse. The shape and color makes it easy to find in there! I'm not a huge fan of lemon, but the scent of this lip balm is nice and refreshing. It goes on smoothly and feels good on my lips. I think my Burt's Bees balms penetrate better, but they don't have SPF. When I am outside, this protects my lips and makes them feel nice, which is pretty much all I want from it! It also wears well under my tinted balms and lipsticks, which is important. This is a good SPF balm, but it won't heal your dry lips. If you demand more moisture, alternate it with a more penetrating non-SPF balm or take a look at Jack Black Lip Therapy. I prefer this for the price and the fact that it isn't a liquid (I don't think goop on my lips in the middle of the day is practical). This has also lasted me a lot longer than my Jack Black tube did. I probably won't grab any other eos balms, since this is the only one I've seen with SPF, but I will definitely come back to this for my sun protection when I run out!
Lip Treatments -Eucerin - Aquaphor Healing Ointment for Lips
toastedlembas 5/11/2012 10:49:00 AM
This is a good, petroleum-free product to keep lips soft and healthy. It's a bit thick for me to want to use it during the day, but I love it as a night lip treatment. I put it on before I go to sleep and wake up with soft, comfortable lips. The applicator is fine. I know the slant tip is a plus for some, but I prefer using my finger for a more even application. I just think it's too messy with the tip (and that's another reason I won't use this during the day). It's hard to get the very last bits out, but possible. I originally bought this back when I was having a dry lip crisis in the winter. My lips were cracked and peeling, just generally unhappy. The formula felt good on them, but it didn't do much to heal my peeling skin cycle or my general tight-lips feeling. The product definitely sits on top of your lips rather than really penetrating very much; that's what makes it good as a nighttime shield, but not so good to heal already unhappy lips. Based on what others are saying, if you are having a real lip crisis, you should probably get regular aquaphor healing ointment. If your lips are fine and you are looking to keep them that way, Aquaphor Lip Repair will do the trick.
Lip Gloss -Wet 'n' Wild - Natural Wear Lip Shimmer
toastedlembas 5/10/2012 11:37:00 AM
I've been buying a lot of lip colors lately, in the hopes of finding one that is a good color for me, not drying, and doesn't contain petroleum and parabens (and really anything else that might kill me...the skindeep database is now my friend and my greatest enemy). There aren't a lot of inexpensive/drugstore-available options, so when I heard about these, I hunted them down. They're not even $2 at my grocery store. That alone should make them worth a try. I picked up 105 Maple and 108 Cinnamon. Cinnamon is a ridiculous color on me, a weird deep pinky-red with too much blue to it for my taste. It made me think of the 80's a bit. I might see how I feel about it again in the fall, but for spring it is completely unsuitable. The plus? It is really pigmented, so if the color turns out to be what you are looking for, pick it up. Maple, on the other hand, is lovely. It's a warm-toned berry with a bit of sparkle, almost a little bronze. It kind of reminds me of CG Bronze Goddess Lipslick, but a little more pigmented. I feel like a lot of the shades of this product are cool-toned and not so great for warmer-toned skin, but this one is spot-on. I got compliments from my friends the first time I wore it, and they pretty much never notice my make-up. I haven't worn it enough to comment on how my lips react to it. It does have peppermint oil in it, so if you know you react to that, use with caution. The day after my first wear, I thought my lips had a weird dry, red patch on them, but it went away by the next day. It might just be me being paranoid because I have heard of someone having crazy lip problems after using these, but I probably still won't make this an everyday product. I prefer the feel of Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balms for everyday, but these are good for when I want more pigment.
I've been using Purpose for a while, but decided to try something new. I grabbed this and the vital vitamin night cream to give Simple a test run. I have some facial redness and KP bumps along my jaw line that get more pronounced when I react to something, although make-up is usually more of a problem than other facial care products (or at least what I notice). I've just kind of accepted that I have a slightly red face and some bumps. Well, this and the night cream changed that. I've been using it for two months. My bumps are pretty much gone and I think my face is less red! Simple worked for me. I did develop a pimple when I first started using it, but just the one. I think my skin was just used to being dried out by the Purpose cleanser and just needed to get used to this. This product does a great job of getting rid of my make-up without drying my face out. Sometimes I get a little worried that it isn't cleansing enough because of that, but I've only had a few break through pimples since I started using this cleanser, so I'm not too concerned. I might add a toner for the summer, or alternate this with an Aveeno bar. One bad note: My bottle does not always like to close all the way. I have to be very sure that it snaps firmly shut, or else I will find a pool of product in the cap the next time I open it. It's thick enough that it stayed in the cap, but still, pretty annoying. That's not going to stop me from buying it again, though!
Moisturizers -Simple - Kind to Skin Vital Vitamin Night Cream
toastedlembas 5/6/2012 11:10:00 PM
Having used some products from this brand while I was studying in the UK, I was excited about seeing them on the shelves in the States, and I knew I had to try some of their products when I ran out of something. I have some non-rosacea facial redness and KP-like bumps around my jaw line; they become especially prominent when my face is reacting to a product it doesn't like. I tend to stick to inexpensive night creams, and I hadn't found anything that made the bumps go away. This pretty much has! I've been using it for two months now, and I think it gets most of the credit for the fact that my face is less red and less bumpy. My skin looks GOOD. And this stuff is still pretty inexpensive, so yay! I had one pimple pop up when I started using this, though I'm not sure if it was due to this cream or the simple moisturizing facial wash that I started using at the same time. Either way, it was the only one, so no big deal. My skin was just adjusting. I'm not acne-prone, so I can't comment on the breakouts that other people are having with this, but it didn't happen to me. I'm a bit worried that this might be too thick for summer, but we'll see. I might just need to use a lighter hand!
Lip Treatments -Burt's Bees - Pink Grapefruit Refreshing Lip Balm
toastedlembas 5/1/2012 10:57:00 AM
I'm fond of Burt's Bees lip balms and grapefruit, so I had to try this flavor when I saw it at Target. I was kind of hoping for a tint like the pomegranate replenishing balm has, but no such luck. The texture is fairly similar to that balm, though, slick rather than creamy. I wouldn't go to this to solve an existing dry lip problem, (choose the mango instead!), but it's the perfect summer balm. It lasts a while, gives you a bit of a shine, and tastes and smells GREAT if you like grapefruit. Don't use it before eating anything, though, because it will make your food taste funny. I'm not kidding. Coffee and this is a no-go, and I probably wouldn't use it right after brushing my teeth either! Yuck. Overall, definitely a good buy for the coming summer, but make sure you put some SPF on those lips too!