Saturday, November 28, 2009

L'Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream

Price: $10 for 1oz, $26 for 5.2oz

What they say:
"Enriched with Shea Butter and vitamin E, this lightly textured and non-greasy cream nourishes and protects hands from daily aggressions. They are soft, moisturized and delicately perfumed with Cherry Blossom's enveloping flowery scent. Contains a cherry extract from Luberon, France. "

What I say:
This is indeed a non-greasy cream.  I use this on my eczema riddled hands/wrists, and not only did it absorb, it didn't aggravate my sensitive skin.  This works especially well during the colder months, since it is thicker, but still absorbs.  I haven't tried this during the summer, but given the texture, I think it would melt off quickly, so I don't think this would be good for those of you who live in more humid, warmer climates. 

The scent of cherry blossoms was there, but fainter than I expected, and faded before it got really annoying.  It was more of a perfume scent than a natural one, but it wasn't horrible, and my husband thought it smelled nice.  Because the scent of this one wasn't over the top, I'm interested in trying more scents from this company.

The price is a little high for the amount of product that you get.  I got the 1oz "travel" version, so I expected it to be higher per ounce, but it still is steep.  I could see this being $7, but not really 10.  The 5.2 ounce one for $26 is a decent enough deal, considering how long it should last, but it's too big for travel.

The tube for this is metal looking (aluminum, if anyone cares, hehe), but when you really look at the top, you can see that it is plastic.  Looking closely at the tube, it looks like there is a thin layer of metal surrounding a plastic tube.  Whether this is for aesthetics, or if it actually helps protect the product, I can't say.  The cap is just plain black plastic, in a octagonal shape to allow for easier opening and closing.

Overall, quite pleased with this lotion, but wish it was a little cheaper in travel form.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Burberry London for Men

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Price: $55 for 1.7oz, $70 for 3.3oz

What they say:
"A timeless signature scent for the modern gentleman who exudes natural confidence and a sophisticated manner. This understated and refined amber woody fragrance is fresh and masculine on top, creates a seductive, natural sexiness at its heart, and combines unique base notes to create a timeless, signature scent.

Bergamot, Lavender, Cinnamon Leaves, Black Pepper, Mimosa, Leather, Port Wine, Guaiac Wood, Oakmoss, Tobacco, Opopanax.
Elegant. Refined. Timless.
Woody Oriental"

What I say:
I originally bought this for my husband, who hardly ever wears it, even though I beg him to *hint hint honey*, but ended up falling in love with it myself, and kinda wished I had kept it for my own (my only... my precious).  The cinnamon leaves, tobacco, and leather are the strongest parts of the scent in my mind, and when it goes into its heart, and finally base notes, it leaves a nice warm lingeringness, like a fire on a cold day.

Speaking of a fire on a cold day, that's kinda what this scent reminds me of as a whole; a workshop in the next room, with the door open, and a fire warming everything inside up, so the scent goes throughout the house...

Opps, didn't mean to get all... emotional, or whatever you would call it.  Scent is an emotional, and personal thing, though, so one person's favorite scent will make another person gag.  Still, I think there's a moral to this story; just because it is says "for men" (or "for women" for you men out there), does not mean it cannot work for you.  Sure, this scent is more masculine, for lack of a better word, but with the right outfit, maybe a little metal, maybe a little goth (heck, even a sundress with black heels), you can make it all your own.

5/5 (my preeeccciiioooussss)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jane Iredale Magic Mitt

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Price: $15 for one mitt

What they say:
"Magic Mitt quickly and completely removes makeup using NO cleanser
• This cleansing process promotes the health of the skin because it does not affect the skin's natural acid mantle
• When this beneficial barrier is intact, it aids the skin in protecting itself from harmful and invasive bacteria
• Not only will your skin thank you for using Magic Mitt, but you will also save yourself minutes at the beginning and end of each day"

What I say:
This is indeed a "magic mitt."  I have used this to take of mascara (non-waterproof), liquid foundation, primer, and also cream foundation (with cream blush!).  While it claims that you can use it with just warm water, I always pair it with my usual nightly cleanser, since I'm lazy, and doing it in two steps just adds more time.  I tried using a cream eye makeup remover afterwards when I tested the removal of mascara, and nothing more came off, so it must be doing something right!

How you use this is you take the mitt, get it wet with warm water, and gently rub in small circles all over you face, like you would do with an exfoliator, or when you are normally cleansing with a washcloth.  The little "hairs" or fibers of the cloth break through the barrier of oil that makeup creates, and allow water and cleansers to get through.  Since the surface tension of the oil that bonds the makeup is broken, it just comes right off.

Now, here's another great part about it: to clean, you just clean it like a washcloth!  Brilliant!  Why so brilliant?  Because you can clean it on the go, and since it's not a liquid/gel, you can bring it on a plane with you, no problem.

I got mine at a local beauty supply shop, but I know and carry it.  It is normally $15, so I say, unless you are buying really expensive makeup-remover, it is probably a good idea to wait until you can get this on sale.

I still haven't tried this with waterproof mascara, since I hardly ever wear that, but I do know it took off my waterproof sunscreen, so it might work well with the mascara as well.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Max Factor: 2000 Calorie Mascara

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Price: $4-6

What they say:
"Here's the mascara that delivers the sooty, smoky look everyone loves for evening. 2000 Calorie fattens up each lash for a dramatic, lush effect that washes off easily with cleanser, or soap and water (but still manages to be smudgeproof, so you don't have to worry about raccoon eyes). This rich black shade is a makeup-bag classic."

What I say:
9/28 So, so far, so decent.  For the price, I quite like this.  I did notice some light smudging, and maybe a little flakes on my undereye, but I wear cream concealers, so the oils might have blended.  Going to try this more to see how it works.

10/6  Still liking this.  Do notice a bit of smudging under my eyes if I'm using a cream concealer, and didn't push powder up to under my lashes.

11/10 This is not really started to dry up, but I have noticed more flakes then when I started using this.  Also, it is clumping a bit more.  At this rate, when it reaches the 3 months mark, it is going to be really hard to use.  Started having to use a lash comb to get clumps out with only one coat, and I always wipe off excess before using.

So, I guess overall I think this is okay, but just not for me.  The flaking only gets worse the longer I use it, and I hate having to constantly check to see if I'm sporting the black eye dandruff.  For its price it is okay, but I'm not going to be crying when I can't find this one in the stores anymore, after Max Factor leaves these shores.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kiss My Face miss treated

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Price: $8-9 for 11oz each

What they say:
"Treat your mistreated hair to a life-enhancing experience. Bring back shine and bounce with organic herbs and extracts while soothing the scalp with pure essential oils. Kiss My Face Miss Treated shampoo gently cleanses without drying or stripping color. It's nourishing, effective and aromatherapeutic®, to leave your locks luminous, and your spirits uplifted.
- replenishes moisture to dry/damaged hair
- nourishes color treated and permed hair
- calms overstressed hair
Wheat Amino Acid: helps lock in moisture for the hair
Nettle: stimulates hair growth and improves the condition of the scalp
Rosemary: promotes hair growth and cleanses hair and scalp"

"Kiss My Face Miss Treated conditioner works in combination with our Miss Treated shampoo to enhance dry, damaged, overstressed hair. The organic botanicals and pure essential oils moisturize and nourish while their scent-uous aromatherapeutic® qualities will leave you uplifted and exhilarated.
- enhanced moisture for dry/damaged hair
- nourishes color treated and permed hair
- complete therapy for overstresssed hair
Wheat Protein: helps lock in moisture and smooths the hair shaft
Horsetail: adds shine and elasticity
Thyme: promotes a healthy scalp"

What I say:
These are okay.  Not horrible, but not that great.  The smell of these is quite nice, kinda earthy, not too strong.  Both the shampoo and conditioner claim to be for dry/damaged hair, and to be moisturizing.  While I can say they would be good for damaged hair, since they aren't that strong, they are not very moisturizing.  If you use a moisturizing treatment often, or use oil on your ends, these would probably be a better fit than for someone who is looking for an all in one product.

Still, decent.  The price is a little stiff for how well it works, but that's the price of good smell and organic ingredients.  The conditioner is one of the strongest natural type I have found, so that's something, and it might be worth looking into if you are looking for something like that.  I finished off the bottles just this afternoon (of the writing of this), so now off to try something new!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CARGO Botanical Lipstick

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Price: $20 for .14oz

What they say:
What it is:
A sheer, creamy lipstick formulated with natural and organic ingredients.

What it does:
"CARGO PlantLove™ Lipstick provides sheer color that is completely natural and contains a high-organic content. The innovative formula is infused with rich added-care ingredients and is housed in eco-certified packaging. Smooth and silky, it conditions and colors your pout to pucker perfection.

This product is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Synthetic Fragrance
- Synthetic Dye
- Petro-Chemicals
- Phthalates"

What I say:
I got this in color Muir Woods (looking online, this is a North America only shade?) as part of the Sephora Favorites Lip Service Box.  It was honestly one of the reasons I got the box, since I had had this particular shade of lipstick on my wishlist for so long I don't even remember when I put it on there.  I was ecstatic, thinking that I had found a great deal, and a good lipstick for a cheap price.

I was right; about everything but a "good lipstick."

I would have a swatch for you, but the lipstick is so waxy, so hard, and so lacking pigmentation that I can't even get a proper swatch off for you guys/gals.

I used this lipstick, and the end was still smooth, barely looking used at all.  What little I did get on my lips did not last even an hour, and I had to really look hard to see any pigment at all.

I am so glad I got this at such a good deal; I would have sent this back so quickly otherwise.

1/5  Don't waste your money on this one.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Smashbox Emulsion Lip Exfoliant

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Price: $18 for .75oz

What they say:
"Got cracked, dry lips? EMULSION is the perfect solution for you! This sugar-based, peppermint-infused lip exfoliant is packed with vitamins and soothing conditioners to smooth and soften lips. Poppy seeds and sugar granules gently exfoliate while cocoa and shea butter, grape seed extract and jojoba deeply nourish. Lips instantly feel soft and kissable!"

What I say:
This is a nice treatment.  I normally just use a toothbrush to exfoliate my lips, since, like the rest of me, gentle exfoliants just don't cut it (my skin doesn't like the flake off).  I had heard good things about this exfoliant for your lips, so I decided to finally take the plung and pick it up.

It didn't make my lips overly dry (though I would still say use a lip balm afterwards, since you did just forcefully remove the dead layer of skin). The exfoliator was hardish, like a petroleum balm, when first squeezed from the tube, but warmed up quickly once on the lips. A little of this goes a long way.

The scent was a mild peppermint, not over the top, and the taste (yes, I did accidentally get some in my mouth) was not unpleasant.  It was a little sweet, a little pepperminty, and a little... other, I guess would be the best way of putting it.  I have heard it claimed that this is perfectly edible, but I wouldn't suggest just licking your lips off when you are done, instead of wiping it off like it tells you to in the instructions.

To use, you just take a little of the product, place it on your lips, and rub.  I like to do a combination of small circular motions, mixed in with just placing my lips together and rubbing them together.  This wasn't very harsh, and was not very irritating, either.

Highly recommended for anyone who, like me, suffers from flaky lips.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Korres Guava Lipstick in Wine Red

 Top picture is without flash, bottom with flash.

Price: $22 for .06oz

What they say:
"What it is:
Longwearing, creamy, antioxidant lip color with antiaging benefits.

What it is formulated to do:
Korres Guava Lipstick lavishes your lips with highly pigmented formulas that deliver intense, enduring color. Fall in love with the pure, vivid shades that pamper your pout with an infusion antioxidant and vitamin C-rich guava extract.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Petro-Chemicals
- GMO"

What I say:
Color: 58 Wine Red (burgundy wine)

it rotated it again.. bah!

I got this in the Sephora Favorites Lip Service Box.  This was a full size product.

Pros: This is a lovely beginners red; it's not too pink, not too brown, layerable, and not over the top.  The formula is moist, without being a grease bomb, and did not feather/bleed on me, or show lip lines.  It was easy to layer, faded gracefully, and didn't stain.  Also, it looks lovely on pale skin (I didn't try this on other skin tones, sorry).

Cons:  It was very easy to take off, meaning it didn't last very long.  The size is minuscule (this is .06oz, a normal lipstick is .1-.14oz).  The price is very steep for so little product.

Overall, it is decent, but I'm glad I didn't pay full price for this.  The color looked good and applied well, which is good for how often you would have to apply it during the day.  The small size is a big deterrent, and I would not suggest getting one of these unless a) you get it in the Lip Service box (a really good deal if you are interested in trying new things, and it comes with 3 full sized items), or b) get it on sale either through Sephora or Korres.  Even then, I would only suggest b if you really like the formula and color.

I know I keep bringing up the price for the product, but let's do a little math:
Guerlain - Rouge G de Guerlain Jewel Lipstick Compact
   $45 for .12oz, $375 per oz
Korres - Guava Lipstick
   $22 for .06oz, $366.67 per oz
NARS Lipstick
   $24 for .12oz, $200 for oz

Yes, that's right, it costs nearly as much as a Guerlain Rouge G, without the lovely packaging, and the getting to feel like a snob (in a good way) factor.  (Come on, you never bought anything expensive to supplement your cheaper stuff with glam?)

3.5/5  Liked it, but too steep a price.