Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Juice Beauty Green Apple SPF 20 Antioxidant Body Moisturizer

This thick lotion has all the makings of an essential. It has an SPF of 20, it's organic (if that's up your alley) it says it helps to smooth fine lines & firm, it smells clean and not like apple to me but a nice smell nonetheless. The texture and lemon, almost aromatherapy scent got me right away...loved it. But once I rubbed it in, I wasn't so impressed. It didn't keep me necessarily hydrated or smooth. Or am I just aging rapidly?

Palmer's Foot Magic

I liked this product. It really helped my skin.

Urban Apothecary

Urban Apothecary Kiss & Tell Lipstick

I love it!!!
Nice red, DEEP & dark (not color on this page).
Goes on smoothly, moisturizing, semi-matte finish.
The color LASTS. I put it on about 7 am, it is 11 am & I am still colorful--2 drinks & breakfast later!
Smells like lipstick, but I can live with that.

Palmer's Olive Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

From Eleasha:
Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Replenishing Conditioner
Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Smoothing Shampoo
I love them both. I got them to me at the perfect time because I was looking for a good shampoo. You probably don't know much about my hair type, but it can be tough to find a shampoo to really clean my hair since I have to add oil every other day or so, but with this shampoo my hair felt squeaky clean after just a couple washes. The conditioner leaves it feeling soft and moisturized.

Palmer's Lotions

From Eleasha:
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Lotion
I am a fan of Palmer's and this was no disappointment. It leaves my hands feeling soft for hours.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Body Gloss
I didn't notice much glimmer.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hand Sanitizer: EO--Organic Lemon

EO Hand Sanitizer
Organic Lemon
Smells like lemon bars!
Not sticky.
Leaves hands feeling & smelling clean, but not dehydrated.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jergens Natural Glow Express Body Moisturizer

Jergens Natural Glow Express Body Moisturizer promises quick, natural looking skin color. It comes in medium & medium/tan formulas. Well, I am pale-fair. Any sort of tan is not so natural on me, so the lotion really had it's work cut out for it. I used this on my shockingly white legs, which had not seen the light of day in about 6 months. I actually have non-white color now!
It works way better when you follow the instructions for self tanning (read May's Allure), and use it after showering/exfoliating. The 1st time I used it, I put it on legs that had lotion on them already, so it did not go on evenly (I have a brown spot near an ankle).
Nice color starts in about an hour, builds well. Not smelly or messy.

Soap: Pacifica Spanish Amber & Mediterranean Fig

Pacifica Soaps
The packaging is lovely. Very Art Deco.
Natural, vegetarian soaps. No animal testing.
Glycerin & vegetable oil bases with oils/fragrances.
Spanish Amber-- Amber with sandalwood. Clean & warm, masculine. The soap itself is strongly scented, but doesn't leave strong scent on skin. The way I would like a man to smell.
Mediterranean Fig-- light & fresh, almost citrusy. The fig base is very nice. It smells good. I would like to try the candle.

the great Pantene debate

Pantene-- good or evil?
I used to use the daily clarifying shampoo & random conditioner.
It felt like the shampoo was working, and my hair was always very smooth.
4 years ago, I went to get my hair cut, & the stylist could tell I had been using Pantene.
She then proceeded to run the blade of a pair of scissors down a lock of my hair. There was enough freaking wax for a votive! From one lock of hair!
Yet Pantene still gets the Allure's best every year.
I don't get it, am I one of the few who gets candle-head, or am I just the minority who is opposed to it?

Aussie-- Cleanse & Mend Shampoo & Conditioner

Aussie Cleanse & Mend Shampoo & Conditioner
says it will fix oily scalp & dry, frizzy ends.
My hair can get pretty freaking oily (travels from my skin), so I like when the shampoo feels like it really cleans.
My hair is thick & wavy, so I need to condition or it is a big ole snarly mess.
The Cleanse & Mend Shampoo & Conditioner work!
I am down to washing my hair every other day, and it doesn't look like I put a can of pomade on:)
Also, not feeling a ton of build-up- always a plus!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

GoSMILE Advanced Formula B1

The GoSMILE teeth whitening system seemed like a new cool application. The 3 step process of "flip, pop, whiten" was easy to understand and perform. I squeezed the tiny tube and brushed my teeth with the clear gel until it was empty. There are no trays, or strips involved so nothing sits on your teeth making you talk oddly or salivate like a bulldog. The taste is like most whiteners but not overpowering. You are not supposed to rinse it off, drink or eat for 20 minutes. That was easy enough. After 2 applications I saw no results. When I use Crest Whitestrips, I see results just after one use. GoSmile is a great idea in neat packaging but it falls short for sure.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Urban Apothecary Luxe Cream Liner

Urban Apothecary
Luxe Cream Liner
Midnight Opal

I am a big fan of cream eyeliner, so I was stoked to test Urban Apothecary's.
Midnight Opal is a dark navy with a very slight shimmer. It's a great alternative to black for more casual looks (sometimes black is just too intense, KWIM?). Easy application, long wearing and once set (give it a minute or two), non-smudge. I noticed a little flaking during application, but it cleaned up easily. My only bit of advice to UA would be to make it a little more moist/creamier to nix the flaking.
I'd love to compare the color with Smashbox's Picasso, which I believe would be a lighter, brighter blue.

Urban Decay Brow Box

Urban Decay
Brow Box
Brown Sugar

This is the coolest little thing! It's a pretty dark grey box with a light purple embellished metallic inset on the lid. Inside, you'll find two shades of brow powder, mini applicator brush and mini tweezer. Pop out the drawer below, and you'll find the brow wax. I love the mini brush - it's just the right size for applying brow powder - the size helps control the amount you are using (and if you read my previous post, you know that brow color can easily get out of control). There's a mirror on the underside of the lid, and the tweezers are good for the strays you missed during your usual pluck session.
I also really liked the colors of Brown Sugar. Having darker brows, the dark brown was perfect, with a light dose of the taupe for highlight (so it doesn't look too fake). The color is long wearing, even without the wax. Definitely a keeper, and a fave!

Lotion: Ciao Bella- Hand & Body Cream

Ciao Bella
Nourishing Hand & Body Cream
Cafe Latte
Scent: At first, I was deterred by the name. I don't like coffee. Not to drink, not to wear. But this grows on you. Cinnamon & other spices. Nice. Subtle.
Lotionosity: So, I made up that word, it's what I want to say. This is a nice, cool cream. It made my hands feel nice. My boss & I got addicted to it. It is now used up, and we are sad!
Luckily, the loverly people at Ciao Bella gave us a 15% off code to share: BELLA15. Now I'm going to order 2-- one for my boss so she doesn't use up mine;)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Palmer's--Olive Butter Cream

Palmer's Olive Butter Formula Concentrated Cream
Tested by Hope!
The great & wonderful Hope is on the older side, and works with her hands.
She tried this hand cream & fell in love!
Even her hard-working husband, Jay, had smooth hands after using this.
It's not heavily scented, very gentle, & has Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
I trust Hope & Jay, so I feel I can recommend this.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mario Russo Lavender Chamomille Hand Soap (Liquid)

Mario Russo
Olive Oil Chamomile Hand Soap

I love Olive Oil - both to cook with and to moisturize. I also love Lavender - clean and fresh. And Chamomille - warm and cozy. And I believe this product also contains lavendar - clean and fresh, what's not to like? But, the combination of all three is not a scent I love. In fact, it kinda stinks. That said, I do like the other qualities of the Hand Soap - it moisturizes while still letting you know that your hands are nice and clean. The moisture stays with you without being greasy. Good product, needs better scent.

Philip Kingsley -Take Comfort

I started working out this year, and ever since joining the gym, have noticed that the back of my head itches. Repeatedly assured by my mom/resident RN that I do not have cooties, I consulted my hair stylist. She was personally familiar with my little ailment, and said it was due to the sanitizer we use to wipe down the weight machines. The germa-phobe in me is stronger than my hair pride/vanity, so easing up on sanitizer is not gonna happen.
Take Comfort is a 3-piece kit consisting of Flaky and Itchy Scalp Shampoo, Moisture Balancing Conditioner, and Flaky and Itchy Scalp Tonic. I used them all over one weekend. My scalp itched a little less, but my hair was first greasy and limp, and then limp and too soft. I have a stylized bob and hair that has a natural wave, which I fight back with a flat iron. There is such a thing as too soft. The itch was diminished, but this time, hair pride won out. I'm back to good hair and itchy scalp. Thank Goodness - no dandruff.

Laura Geller - Baked Marble Eyeshadow

Laura Geller Baked Marble Eyeshadow
Blue Heaven

It truly is heavenly! I have medium brown eyes, dark lashes and brows. Following the ever-changing, oft-debated rule of opposites eye color to eye shadow, I took Blue Heaven out for a test drive today. Since I work in a professional office, I used a light hand. It's a nice wash of color, that doesn't look too blue. The dark graphite base grounds it, so I avoid the dreaded Maybelline Blue look of the 80's. I paired it with a black cardigan and dark jeans with black and blue applique. The eyeshadow rocks out my look quite nicely. This would be great at night, applied with more intensity. The shadow also is pairing well with my Smashbox Cream Eyeliner in Lava.


Thermaclear is literally a zit zapper! It emits a warm electric pulse/shock to your zit. But, not just any old zit will do. It has to be a red bump (no whiteheads or blackheads allowed) and not cystic acne. I had a contender, right on the side of my nose, up near the bridge. Thermaclear has 2 settings - I like to call them 'high voltage' and 'low voltage'. They recommend that you use the high setting. I decided to be a daredevil. On high, the sensation is like a really strong static electric shock. It wasn't too bad on high, but since my bump was close to my sensitive undereye skin, I decided to take it down a notch after the first two zappings. According to the instructions, you can zap up to 3 times per day. But, I have a job. So, I zapped twice a day on the low setting for 4 days. My red bump is still there. I honestly didn't notice a change - which means it halted the progression, but didn't clear up my bump. I'm hoping my Rx acne gel with take care of it.

From Kate: I did try this on one of the "wrong" zits! I have these little white bumps on my chin. I zapped the crap out of them. It didn't magically remove them, but they did start clearing up a week later. Coincidence? I don't care, I'm just happy they cleared up for a bit.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Philip Kingsley - Straight Hair

From Nicole:

Philip Kingsley
Straight Hair

Ok, so this is the second hair straightening product I was able to test. Philip Kingsley is known around the world as the "hair doctor" and is recognized as the leading authority on hair health. After reading more about his products I was definitely interested in testing this product. Again, I tried it last week before work. Straight Hair is gel in a thin pump tube. I had a little bit of trouble getting the gel out of the tube, but soon figured out the trick. The smell is a strong botanical odor. The first time I used it, I think I used a little too much. My hair was straight all right, but kind of limp and flat. I decided to try it again the next morning, and this time I used less. My hair was straight and soft. I have no doubts that it would stay straight in humid conditions, but I fear that summer may never come. My recommendation is that you do not use conditioner in the shower if you are planning to use this product. I felt as if it made my hair way too limp and flat. Without conditioner and with a small amount of Straight Hair, my hair appeared smooth and straight, just like the tube stated. Again, I will wait until summer to retest this product. Check back at a later date!

Redken - Ultra Straight Balm

Redken 5th Avenue NYC
Align 12
Ultra-straight Balm
Medium Control

This is the first of 2 hair straightening products that I recently tried. Redken's Ultra-straight Balm is a thick, creamy balm designed to tame unruly hair. Being that my hair is fairly curly, I was excited to test this product. My first trial was before work last week. It was easy to pump the balm out of its tube. The smell is not too strong and definitely not offensive. It reminded me of being in a salon. I applied it to my damp hair and went on a straightening mission with the hairdryer. It worked great. Not too greasy, not too limp, but fairly straight without the use of a flat iron. Since it has not been hot and humid in MI yet, I am unable to determine how humidity-resistant it really is. I will be sure to try it again once summer arrives.

Mary Kay - Creme Lipstick

Mary Kay
Creme Lipstick

I have to admit, I use a bunch of Mary Kay products but have never tried their lipstick line. This little, sleek black tube of lipstick goes on smooth and soft. It has a TON of color. Very creamy, very red and very noticeable. It does leave behind lip marks on your coffee mug, but remains a rich red color throughout the day. The other bonus is that is definitely does not bleed when applied. My suggestion would be to use a sheer lip gloss over it to give it some shine.

Tarte - Natural Cheek Stain

Natural Cheek Stain
Full Blossom

At first glance, this tube is a little intimidating. It looks like a crayola crayon push pop. I was afraid that I was either going to have a super dark streak of blush on my face, or not have enough on the sponge to put on my cheeks. That was not the case. The natural cheek stains are easy to use and apply evenly, but not too dark. Full Blossom is a swirly combination of 2 different shades, which makes a nice rosy color on your face. I found it easiest to apply to your fingers and rub into cheeks or apply directly to your face and blend. The best part about it is that every time you purchase this product, you are helping to preserve the Amazon Rainforest. Tarte supports Sambazon's Sustainable Acai Project (SAP), a member of the Organic Trade Association and the Fair Trade Federation.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Help from Redken

Redken has instructional web-videos!
I watched the three from the Spring/Summer 2008 runway series.
While I think the first style (up-dos redefined) looks a touch slovenly, I now understand how to back-comb (or tease, as we hair-plebes call it).
I recommend the Waves one- there's this tip on how to use hot rollers starting in the middle of your hair that would stop the finger-burns from trying to hold down the ends & twirl. I bet it would even work with curling irons.
I like that the videos are straight-forward & give clear instructions. I almost would consider waking up early to do something with my hair on a daily basis. Almost.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jonathan Hydrate & Shine

From Cat:
Monday, March 10, 2008

Jonathan Hydrate & Shine
Oh, Jonathan - really? This is the best you could hair-do? It's such a hair-don't!

You know him from the Bravo show "Blow Out." If you watched (I admit, sometimes there was nothing better on), you saw his struggles (i.e. temper tantrums) trying to get his own product line launched. The one thing I will compliment him on is a wise decision to go to QVC. And as a consumer, here's why I love the Q: 30-day return policy - for stuff you've already tried/used!
I ordered the Hydrate & Shine 5-piece Discovery Kit. I discovered I hate this line!
Each piece in this kit is strongly scented - but not with the same scent, and some of them kinda stink. The ones that don't are reminiscent of coconut. But, by far, my biggest complaint about this line is that it doesn't work - it doesn't make your hair look hydrated, and the only shine it delivers is what you get from not washing your hair - what American girl really wants to look like they haven't bathed in three days?!?! And it totally weighs down your hair - again the greasy, hair stuck to your scalp look that I am NOT going for. Granted, I didn't try the Volumizing option, but I don't need help in that department (unless of course, I've used the Hydrate & Shine products). As for hydration, the first few hours my hair looked more fried at the ends, not less...then the greasies took hold. Definitely not recommending this one. Definitely sending it back to my beloved Q.
Posted by Catherine at 11:03 AM

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo Spray

moved from lotions & potions
Thursday, March 20, 2008

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo Spray
So, you may not understand if you wash your hair every day, but this "dirty hair spray" is awesome. Spray it on, brush it out (I prefer to use a comb) and your hair looks and smells clean! I may be down to washing once a week! I would like to compare different brands, I know Bumble and Bumle make a similar product, but I really liked this.
Posted by Emily at 11:02 AM

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

TWEEZERMAN Go green mini slant tweezer

I consider myself somewhat of a tweezing aficionado. I tweeze my eyebrows everyday. Yes, everyday. So when I got the chance to use the much talked about TWEEZERMAN tweezers, I was more than happy. I normally use Revlon pointy tweezers so the slant that has become the TWEEZERMAN trademark was a little strange to maneuver at first. Yet after a few plucks, I loved them. They get even the tiniest little hair that is just coming to the surface. You see a hair once, go for it and you get it. No two or three tries to get that nasty little bugger.

Oh and a new tree is planted for every Go green tweezer purchased.

I think I'm a convert!

Monday, April 7, 2008

No! No! The Chronicles of Hair Removal, Part 2

So, I saved up a week's worth of leg hair (on my legs), and set out for North Myrtle Beach, SC. The night I arrived, I thought - okay, let's get ready for the beach and try out the No! No!
Well, with rain every day of my vacation, and the highest temp barely over 70 degrees, my beach dreams were a bust, and so was the No! No! I think I could deal with the singed hair smell, but I couldn't deal with the thought of purposely burning myself. Mind you, the No! No! doesn't actually burn your just feels like it! I only got in 3 brief passes before deciding that I am not as stoic as I thought. I just couldn't get good with the sensation of burning my own skin.
Back to the razor, shaving cream, and a 1/2 dozen knicks per leg. There must be something better than faux electric burn, ripping out hair by its roots (what sadist thought that one up?!?!), running sharp metal against your skin, and chemical burns for removing unwanted leg hair, but damned if I've found it yet!
The No! No! does work, but it's only for the brave (or masochistic) at heart. I'll stick to scraping metal across my skin.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Palmer's Products

From Jen, moved from
Palmer's Original Cocoa Butter Formula Lotion
Dark Chocolate & Cherry Lip Butter
Swivel Stick
Foot Magic
I tried the Dark Chocolate & Cherry Lip Butter first--not a good experience. It was very greasy, lasted a VERY short time (I'm talking an hour max) and did not taste good at all. I would've had to keep re-applying if I actually liked it. Definitely not a good product for me.
The Swivel Stick was a little better. It says to use it for marks, blemishes and rough dry skin--or--to moisturize dry, chapped lips. Living in this aweful, cold climate, my lips get dry very easily. This product definitely worked well. I put it on before bed, and woke up with soft lips. Not sure I'd use it all the time, but that's just me.
I've been using the original cocoa butter formula lotion, and so far the results have been good. My skin has stayed soft and hydrated. It's been recommended by one of my doctors to use anything with cocoa butter for the best dry skin results. So far, I agree!
The Foot Magic cream works well, although it's greasy! The directions suggested putting it on before bed, then wearing cotton socks over it. I did that, but then my feet felt like they were sweating. I ended up taking off the socks in the middle of the night, but my feet were definitely smooth in the morning. They have remained smoother than normal over a few days, so I'm thinking the product is actually working.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tarte-- Double Dose Berry Boost & Gloss

Health Couture

Coolest tube!
Very glossy.
Just a bit sticky.
Long lasting color (some color even after I washed my face)
The best part, it is SUPER moisturizing!
I don't feel the need to obsessively re-apply lip balm while I am wearing it.
My lips also appear smooth.
There's a nice mintyness to it.
Plus, there are all these extracts in it which make it good for you, and tarte helps the environment, so wearing it is like doing a good deed!

Pomegranate Punch
Pinkier red than I usually go for, but not so much color as to be overpowering. Lighter red, not a deep or dark color.
Acai Boost
Haven't tried the color in daylight yet, just had to tell this: put it on while sitting around before dinner. Completely forgot about it. Ate, drank, watched the Pistons beat the Timber Wolves... Went into the bathroom to get ready for bed-- lips still have color!!! I am a bit amazed. Will test further, want to make sure it wasn't a freak occurrence;)
Go Go Goji & Acerola Rush
I LOVE these sassy little lip glosses. Last weekend I brought my tube of Acerola Rush with me to a wedding shower. I think I have converted all of the VS Beauty Rush wearers to Tarte! As far as the colors go, Acerola Rush is more of a peach color. Go go Goji is a very sheer pink. Both colors are great for every day wear. I agree with everything Kate and Catherine stated above. By the way, did we mention that it has Vitamin C and Shea butter in it?

Acacia Boost
Love it! This is the best gloss I have ever tried! Ditto Kate's remarks on the cool design of the tube - not only does it look chic, but the applicator is a soft sponge tip - way better than those with the brush (e.g. Stila Lip Glaze). A gentle squeeze and you can see just how much gloss you've got. Acacia Boost is the perfect light berry color. And unlike Stila and others, there is actually noticeable color! Also, good moisturizing, way less tacky, and better staying power than other glosses I've tried. I'm definitely ditching my Stilas for more Tartes!
Pomegranate Punch
Obviously, we love the Tarte Double Dose Berry Boost & Gloss line, so this is just a color review.Pomegrante Punch is a light, cherry red. It's not quite the right color for me - a little too red/bold, even though the color is sheer and the coverage is perfect.
Edit: Okay, scratch that. I tried it again today, and I don't know if the sunshine is affecting my outlook, or what, but today Pomegranate Punch was perfection! I was careful not to over do it, and ended up with a nice, light cherry pink. Mwah!
Go Go Goji
The packaging is lurvely. It's very expensive looking and luxe. It's a nice weight and a substantial size. The color is a soft pink with flecks of iridescence. It goes on smooth and the minty taste made me feel like my limps were plumping. I'm not sure if they looked all that different but they felt that way. I really like the head of the gloss too. It's a soft fuzzy brush that absorbs the color well so it can be applied smoothly and evenly. Mama like!

Aftelier-- Chocolate & Saffron Body Oil

Chocolate and Saffron Body Oil
Here's a problem: I put this on my arm & now I want to eat my arm.
It's not overwhelmingly chocolate, like I dipped my arm in some melted chocolate, but it is such a delicious smell. I wish I could post the smell. I feel bad that you are reading this & not smelling the wonderfulness. Mandy Aftel & her team are brilliant.

Add to the beauty of the smell, this body oil absorbs quickly and leaves my skin ridiculously soft.

If I were dating, I would totally wear this if I really dug the boy. Actually, it'd be worth a bad date or two just to wear this!