Both physiobebe and the unfragranced version from the stelatopia line are fantastic, and in my opinion, the best micellar waters you can find. I like the packaging of physiobebe, but prefer the lack of fragrance in the stelatopia (it's easy to transfer it into another bottle. Foaming hand soap ones are good.) physiobebe runs about $14 for 10 ounces, stelatopia $16 for 14 ounces. Vichy, LRP, h2o, bioderm, I've tried so many micellar waters, and this one is my favorite. It gets rid of every. last. bit. of my makeup, and doesn't leave a sticky film, is freaking affordable (bioderm knows they are gouging their customers with those prices, seriously,) and its easy to find. I ran across mustela at toys r us (I was buying a humidifier, and it was in the same aisle.) I have nothing but wonderful things to say about it, seriously. i clean my bulldog's wrinkles with it, and his tear stains look so much better (plus he doesn't flinch when I use this, like some other cleaners.) If I want to go out after running around all day, with no time for a shower, mustela is my savior. I have repurchased and will continue to do so. I just wish I had it at bonnaroo last year...
Hair -Clairol - Herbal Essences Smooth Collection Shampoo
tricyclesinskirts 4/24/2013 1:37:00 AM
There are no silicones in this shampoo--it absolutely has sulfates. Conversely, the conditioner has silicones and is sulfate-free. This is absolutely misleading to the average consumer, who likely won't realize that it's shampoo that should be sulfate-free, not conditioner (honestly...what conditioners have sulfates?) and vice versa. Compounded by the fact that the commercials blatantly say "sulfate free, silicone free", you can't help but think its a purposely jerk move by the company. I bought it anyway, cos I don't mind sulfates in my shampoo, and I read the scent lasts all day (I gave it a 2 based solely on the amazing scent, actually.) Sadly, the scent did not last all day, but the straw-like feeling in my hair did. the silicone filled conditioner did not cure the dryness, nor did either product seem particularly "smoothing" so much as "nostalgic". I let my boyfriend finish the bottle.
Cleansers -Boots - Botanics Organic Face Soothing Cleansing Balm
tricyclesinskirts 4/20/2013 3:14:00 PM
I'm reviewing the new formula, which comes in a small round tub, and is a solid, balm-like consistency. In contrast, the old formula was a thick white cream that came in a pump (much more sanitary, though the packaging isn't the main reason I dislike the new formula.) I adored the old stuff--perfect for days when my skin felt particularly clogged or I wore a full face of makeup. It was like an improved version of ponds cold cream. This new stuff, not so much. The balm doesn't seem to sink into my skin so much as hover on top of it, leaving an uncomfortable film behind that suggests its not doing its job. A swipe of toner confirms this suspicion--there's always makeup left behind when I use the new formula, so I have to use another cleanser afterwards. I do love the organic ingredients, and the tub, while small, is packed with product and compact for easy travel. I think I'll use it up as an eye makeup remover, but for the rest of my face, I've moved onto micellar water. I would only buy this again if boots reformulates back to the original.
Moisturizers -Desert Essence - Daily Essential Moisturizer
tricyclesinskirts 4/14/2013 11:57:00 PM
Sometimes a girl needs some moisture, no frills. Check this one out, promise ya.
I can't remember where I read about this brush, but if I did, I'd thank them profusely. It's been my frustration in the search of a brush to use for gel liners that they quickly lose their appeal post-wash, regardless of whether they're angled, bent, or flat, cheap or pricey. It's hard to get all the gel gunk out of a brush and still keep its shape/keep it from losing any hairs. Essence has defied the odds and managed to stay precise in the harshest of conditions (i.e., the depths of my makeup bag,) and costs mere pennies. I've bought 2 and plan on getting a third when I replace my essence gel liner, which is also apparently made by fairies (it's equally amazing.) Backups are a must with this one.
I used to work at kiehl's, and new employees are given 5 products gratis in addition to being allowed to take home products to try. Kiehl's wants employees to know their stuff, which is great! I chose this toner as one of my gratis partially due to the fact that it was $60 (big bottle, few years ago--not sure on price now,) but it also was suited to my combo, clog prone skin. It's very gentle, and the lack of alcohol is awesome. So why only 2 stars? First of all, I've found a much better alcohol-free toner that is way cheaper, easier to find, even more gentle, and multi-use. Thayer's witch hazel, with rose. The most aggravating thing about this toner, for me, is how grossly inflated the price is. My manager said it costs about $0.30 to make the calendula toner. Thirty freaking cents, and they charge $60 (again, this is the big bottle and price from a few years ago). I understand ALL companies do this, I really do, but really! It doesn't even contain any active ingredients, like glycolic or even plain old salicylic acid, to justify the cost. It's a very basic toner with a very high price, and I encourage you to check out thayer's alcohol free toners instead (I get mine from vitamin shoppe for about $8, but it can be found cheaper online quite easily.)
Shampoo -Finesse - Finesse Touch of Yardley Lavender
tricyclesinskirts 3/30/2013 1:53:00 AM
This is the first preemptive, "I'll update you on my results", etc...kind of review--but this shampoo is geared towards making your hair smell amazing (not just performance.) I feel okay with basing my initial review on the fact that my hair smells divine post-wash, like baby magic lavender chamomile lotion, or mrs meyer's lavender detergent maybe...just some sort of delicious, cozy lavender, not a musty, off-putting one. It lathers particularly well, maybe leaves hair a wee bit dry (mine is dry anyway,) and performs about like finesse moisturizing shampoo. I LOVE IT!
Amaze balls! Eons ago my mom had a pretty fantastic lip exfoliator from body shop, but it's since been reformulated. That one wasn't as awesome as elf's, however, which vaguely tastes of brown sugar, and is gentler, more convenient, and much less messy than my homemade version. I'm really tickled with this buy--a real standout in the elf line.
Skincare - Face -St. Ives - Scrub Free Exfoliating Pads
tricyclesinskirts 2/21/2013 2:56:00 PM
Lactic acid is the second ingredient on the list. There's an incredibly generous amount of product (flip the pads over if you find yours drying out.) Easy to find, effective, and affordable (last jar I got was $2-3 at target on clearance, so I bought them all.) I really can't find a fault with these--even if I grab more than one, I'm happy to swipe the extra over my chest, feet, knees, wherever...they're so freaking cheap, you know. Glad I skipped buying First Aid Beauty's version of these, which were almost $30 at sephora. EDIT: upping this to a 5 due to the fact that I found out that it is PH effective for an AHA treatment (best results are seen between 3-4.5, the st. Ives pads land around a 4.) really can't beat em!
Eyeliner -Rimmel - Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Taupe
tricyclesinskirts 2/1/2013 1:47:00 PM
I am positively mad for this eyeliner. I quit lining my lower lashline with pencils eons ago in favor of powder liner, but this is fantastic--looks as if it would be too light to make a difference, til you step back from the mirror. This and the nude scandal eyes are two of my favorite finds in recent memory! Easy to use, easy to find (Walgreens for me,) and easy on the wallet.
I've been waiting for a reasonably priced alternative to MAC chromagraphic NW20, stila topaz, or nars Bonaparte. I did not expect rimmel to be the first brand to do so, but I'm sold. Besides being cost efficient, it applies very smoothly, does not disappear instantly off the waterline (not to say it lasts forever, but I'm not of the mindset that an eyeliner is required to do so in order to be considered great,), and is completely matte, which looks much more natural than all its shimmery drugstore predecessors. I'm generally underwhelmed by rimmel, but this one is definitely a winner.
One of those, "if not for MUA..." gems, you know what I'm saying? Particularly in regard to the reviews explaining how to properly use this product--there's a definite learning curve with TJ's shaving cream, IME. I bought it, went through it quickly, was unimpressed. Bought it again, determined to impress myself, and figured it out: read reviews. Less is more! Emulsify! (In the palm of your hand, til it lathers up fully--you'll know when,) and make sure wherever you shave is wet! Not just damp. Wet! Do all your shower things first, then shave. Exfoliate (those scrubby gloves are rad as hell, and way better than any manual exfoliant, IMO.) Finally, I like a Gillette Mach 5 fusion razor over anything marketed to women (they stay sharper longer,) but YMMV. I do not have any luck with the cheap ones mentioned by the top reviewer (I tried, I nicked, I failed.) TJ's beats kiss my face, and every single popular shaving cream on the market-my HG. I do revert to EVOO or baby oil now and again, but they are so messy, it's not really worth the hassle. Seriously HG material.
Treatments -Lumene - Vitamin C+ Energy Cocktail Intensive Care
tricyclesinskirts 11/6/2012 10:27:00 PM
I've purchased this product no less than 4-5 times, which may seem normal, but is nothing short of strange in my book, due to my fickle nature. there are few products i repurchase, and those i do are truly difference-makers...this is one of those. I adore it, and would be at a loss if it discontinued--not only does it make it difference, it shows immediately, kid you not. Of course, this isn't to say everyone will experience the same results, but I'm continually astonished by how lovely my skin looks post-application. Rosy, with that elusive glow you'll hear referenced time to time (I reckon it's the vitamin c working its magic.) my qualms with the serum are few, but do exist: I wish the packaging were in an amber or blue glass bottle to extend its lifespan, and the pump dispenses the product a bit too quickly for my taste. I run through this stuff hella fast, but honestly, that's likely my fault. I could do with using less. BUT I LOVE IT SOOOOO MUCH!!!! If you find it a bit pricey "for a drugstore product" (the amazing ingredients, glass bottle, and overall excellent quality of lumene should make you rethink that statement, however,) wait for Walgreens to put it on sale. They do 25% or better frequently.
Essentially bought this cos 1. I was in a horrific mood, 2. Had extrabucks to blow, and 3. Seriously only wear cream polishes. Seriously. Basically, i bought penny talk for no good reason...I just wanted a polish. luckily, penny talk is fecking fantastic. I'm in love with rose gold as of late (like everyone in the world,) and penny talk is like melted rose gold on the nails. I'm lazy as hell as far as dry time and clean up go too, but no worries--it lasts ages. Even on my destructive hands. I was very impressed. I'm very surprised that folks are saying it chips easily--possibly this is due to using seche vite, which must be used on wet nails. This polish dries much too quickly for seche. I used out the door, which is quite a bit thinner and easier to work with on this polish. I was also pleased with the shade on my NW20 skin tone, as was the guy I was seeing at the time. My mom, however, thought it was unflattering. Honestly, rose gold in general flatters cool skin tones like mine due to its pink undertones though, so go get it anyway. My mom is nuts.
I am a lover of "clean" fragrances (my signature scent is clean ultimate,) and thus often use j&j products on myself even though I'm 26. However, I never thought the typical j&j lotion in the pink pump bottle had *quite* the pleasant, chubby baby scent I was searching for--couldn't place my finger on why, it just doesn't smell the way I wanted. I always passed by baby magic, but browsing Walgreens late one night, I noticed that baby magic carries a thicker cream with 100% organic shea, and gave it a shot. Mother of god, this is the scent! The second I opened the bottle, I knew baby magic products would be a staple in my bathroom for years to come, if only for the scent--but it gets better. The cream and the lotion are both wonderfully moisturizing, yet sink in with the quickness. I despise feeling greasy post-shower, and this solves that problem. I also highly recommend the dustless baby powder, which comes in a wonderful two-compartment compact (one side for cotton pads) is talc-free, and does the job all baby powders do with NO MESS! The only places I've seen this line of product are Walmart and walgreens, but both places have excellent prices. Oh, and my 32 year old boyfriend adores (seriously adores) this lotion as well--on me, cos of the smell, and on himself! Who knew baby magic was so universal?