Lotions/ Creams -Neutrogena - Body Oil with Sesame
toomuchfun 9/17/2010 3:37:00 AM
Ugh. I'm glad some people love this stuff, but I couldn't even finish the bottle. First off, the packaging is beyond annoying - the oil was constantly leaking out of the cap and getting everywhere. That would be annoying enough on it's own, but then: the smell. It's not an awful smell, but it's very synthetic and strong and I couldn't stand it. If you put this stuff all over your body you and everything you come into contact with will smell like synthetic soap/coconut/sesame/something the whole day. The scent was the deal breaker for me, but it also didn't seem to moisturize and it didn't sink into my skin at all. It did leave my skin with a glow, but so will slathering any other oil all over your body. The slimy feeling was intolerable in the Florida heat, and compounded with the smell...will stick with my Sephora dry oil thank you.
Scrubs -Neutrogena - Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power-Clear Scrub
toomuchfun 9/17/2010 3:28:00 AM
Acne products are always difficult to review or recommend to others because everyone's skin is completely different and a miracle product for one person sometimes does absolutely nothing for the next person. But since I have started using this cleanser I haven't had one cystic outbreak, and that's basically a miracle for me, having one product make such huge difference. My skin isn't perfect, but I only get small, non-painful blemishes now instead of huge, painful ones. I would say if you've had any luck with glycolic acid in the past, if you've never tried glycolic acid, or if you're looking for a replacement for the now-discontinued Neutrogena Pore Refining Cleanser (which also had a combination of glycolic and salicylic acid), definitely try this!
Lotions/ Creams -Palmers - Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula
toomuchfun 9/17/2010 3:22:00 AM
I know this product is a cult favorite of sorts, but I was not impressed at all. It smells vaguely like Reese's peanut butter cups (not necessarily a bad thing, but still) and felt great when I first applied it but the moisture didn't last all day like my Aveeno Daily Moisturizing lotion. It's not terrible, but it's not great. Can't speak for its stretch mark reducing abilities. Won't purchase again.
Lotions/ Creams -Aveeno - Daily Moisturizing Lotion
toomuchfun 9/17/2010 3:17:00 AM
This and Yes to Carrots Body Butter are my go-to daily body lotions. The Aveeno is less rich but still super hydrating - my skin still feels soft and healthy hours after putting it on. It's scentless, which is probably great news for people with perfume sensitivities or people who don't want something interfering with their other perfume, but for me the lack of scent is disappointing. I like all of my body products to smell good! Not a HG product for me, but I do buy it regularly.
This isn't quite a HG product for me, but this and Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion (the stuff with the beige bottle and green pump) are my favorite drugstore body lotions. It's rich without being greasy and really makes my skin feel quenched. It keeps my whole body (elbows, knees, feet, everything) soft and healthy even during harsh winters, and when applied liberally to a sunburn always heals it faster and keeps me from peeling. I hate that it's in a tub, though, and the scent is just...underwhelming. As other reviewers have mentioned, like a mixture of baby powder and sunscreen. It's not awful, but it's not sexy either.
Styling Products -Kerastase - Reflection Fluide Chroma Riche
toomuchfun 9/17/2010 3:00:00 AM
I'm really surprised to see such good reviews for this. I'm a huge Kerastase fan, but this stuff did nothing for me - it didn't seem to soften or add shine or anything. One thing I will say is that, unlike other glossing/shine serums, this is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to overapply. No matter how much you use, your hair won't look oily or greasy. That's great, but no matter how much I used, my hair didn't get shiny or soft, either. It just didn't have much of an effect. When Kerastase comes out with a "luminous softening serum", I expect luminosity and softness, dammit! I don't hate the stuff and I'll finish the bottle, but I wasn't impressed.
I'm usually a huge Kerastase devotee and their Nutritive line is one of my all time HG faves. I was seduced by the gorgeous packaging and the promise of "rich radiance" into switching from Nutritive to Reflection, but this masque (along with the shampoo and luminous softening serum) was a disappointment. It's definitely better than your average drug store product (one would hope so, for the price) but I didn't notice an increase in softness or "radiance". I'm still a Kerastase fan and I highly recommend their products, but I won't be purchasing anything from the Reflection line again.
One of only two conditioners I've ever given 5 stars - the other being Pureology Nanoworks. I find that it loses its effectiveness if you use it too often, so I always alternate it every month or so, but other than that it's one of the only haircare products I've ever used that WORKS. It makes my hair impeccably soft, manageable, and shiny, making my highlights pop and in general just making my hair look awesome. 5 stars for a product that does something noticeable!
Of all the shampoos I've tried over the years on my fine, color-treated, moderately damaged long hair, I've only found two that actually made an impressive, noticeable difference on the condition of my hair: Pureology Nanoworks and Kerastase Bain Satin 1. This makes my hair softer, more manageable, and beyond shiny - glowing. It brings out the highlights in my hair and seems to strengthen it against damage. Kerastase isn't cheap, but it's not often any product (drugstore or salon) actually lives up to its purpose - when it does, it's worth the price. My one complaint would be the scent - it's not unpleasant, very subtle, clean, and unisex, but I like my hair to smell better than "subtle and clean" when I get out of the shower.
I gushed about these products on the shampoo review section as well, but just to reiterate: the Pureology Nanoworks line is my HG of haircare. My hair has never been softer, more manageable, or shinier than after just one use of the shampoo and conditioner. My hair is long and moderately damaged from coloring and heat styling, but this actually makes it look healthy - like virgin hair, like I've never damaged it at all. It's nauseatingly expensive, but I'll gladly fork over the $100 every 4-5 months if it means I get perfect, "no I don't color or blowdry it just looks this way on its own" hair. Can't recommend it highly enough.
Like a lot of other product hounds, I feel like I've tried my share of shampoos and conditioners, both drugstore and salon brands. Pureology Nanoworks is, hands down, the best line I've ever tried, Kerastase Nutritive coming in a pretty far second. After just one use of the shampoo and conditioner, my (fine, past shoulder length, color-treated and moderately damaged) hair feels like velvet. I can't stop running my hands through it. It looks impeccably shiny and healthy, like a child's hair. Like perfect virgin hair that has never been mistreated - dream hair! It smells amazing - vaguely tropical, in a sophisticated unisex way (i.e. like Redken rather than Herbal Essences). The fact that it's sulfate-free, color-safe, and organic is also great. Having said all this, Nanoworks IS exorbitantly expensive. However, I've been able to find really good deals on ebay and I'd much rather pay more for products that really work than pay less for products that don't do anything.