Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chesapeake Bay Candles - Mini Tin Garden

Chesapeake Bay Candles
Mini Tin Garden

These are the prettiest tin candles I've ever used - beautiful floral paper on lid and around base. And I loved the size - at approx. 1.5" in diameter they're not too big, not too tiny.

White Ginger & Ivy
This is a fresh, green, clean scent that will subtley perk you up in a refreshing and enjoyable way. Great for the mornings or when you need a little power surge.

Tuberose & Gardenia
I'm generally not a big fan or rose or gardenia, but there's something so appealing about this scent. You can detect both scents, but the harmony between the two is unique. It's a soft, slightly powdery, and romantic scent (and I mean old-fashioned romance, not gotta jump your bones now lustiness), slightly nostalgic. I burn this one in the evening and on weekends to set a comfortable, relaxing mood.

IsaDora Perfect Nail Polish

IsaDora Perfect Nail Polish
#130 Porcelain

Don't let the color name fool ya - this is a lovely, somewhat frosty, medium pink - gorgeous for a fresh spring look on toes! It may indeed be the perfect polish - it's goes on smooth - not too thick, not too thin, and you acheive excellent coverage with two coats. It dries fairly quickly for not being a speed-dry polish. And the bottle has a nice, sophisticated look, like all of the other IsaDora products.
Love it!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nick Chavez: Cello-Gloss

Nick Chavez

You probably don't know Nick unless you're an avid QVC watcher/shopper. A few years ago, my mom was hooked on Nick.
I finally tried his Cello-Gloss product, which is supposed to add shine and renew hair color, for those damaged (aka fried) or just looking a little worse for chemical indulgences.
Having recently gotten highlights - the first sign of spring - I thought I'd give them a little help in retaining their luminescent loveliness. Here's how it went:
Take shower, shampoo hair. Pour out shockingly dark product, consistency similar to runny conditioner. Notice a slight yet unpleasant smell. Massage into hair, as directed, creating taupe foam. Place shower cap on. Rinse off, get out of shower, wrap up in towel. Re-read directions and wonder who the hell is going to run their hair dryer for 15 minutes straight. I make it 10 before getting totally fed up and wondering if the motor on my dryer is going to burn out. Meanwhile, little trails of brown water are drippling down my neck and cleavage. Get back in shower, rinse out product and re-shampoo in cold water. Shivering ensues. Get out, don the ever luxe towel turban, get dressed, etc. After the usual 15 minutes in the turban, I blow dry.
Result: The dullest looking hair I've ever had! Cursing ensues. Thank God I hadn't planned on leaving the house!
Conclusion: I hate Nick and his stinkin' product! Later, I dumped the rest of the bottle down the drain and happily placed it in the recycling bin! Ba-bye!

Jonathan Silky Dirt

Jonathan Product
Silky Dirt Shine and Define Creme

I'm not a huge fan of Jonathan. I think he behaves like an ass and isn't as good-looking as he thinks he is. However, Silky Dirt is actually a worth-while product. With Spring, the humidity is creeping up around the Great Lakes, even if the temperatures aren't. So, seeking to get a handle on my hair before total chaos, aka the frizzies, begins. I was surprisingly pleased with Silky Dirt. But heed the directions - a little goes a long way. I have thick hair, naturally wavy and full, in a bob. I used a little less than a pea-sized amount and got smooth, tamed hair - wonderful! Another word of caution: I would categorize this as a defining and smoothing creme, not a shine product. If shine is what you seek above all, you'll need something else. I can't quite describe the scent, but it's okay - not yummy, not offensive.

Boscia Eye Treatment

Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment

I tried this out yesterday AM under my makeup. It was on the runny side, and took a little longer than I'd like to absorb. I checked my face in the car mirror later in the afternoon, and was horrified to discover that it had settled into my fine lines, dragging my concealer with it. I looked like I had white whiskering under my eyes - horror! As I was off to the dentist, I made do by smudging it away with my fingertip. What a disappointment!

Friday, May 23, 2008

IsaDora Pump 'n Plump Lip Gloss

IsaDora Pump 'n Plump Lip Gloss With Micro Collagen
Sweet Lychee #41

As with many glosses promising fuller pouts, I didn't see any change in my pucker. However, my lips are super glossy and super moist, and the slightly spicy, tutti-fruity scent was a nice, perk-me-up surprise. There is a tingling sensation upon application, which doesn't last long - a bonus in my book.
Sweet Lychee is pale,irridescent lavendar in the tube. On the lips and on its own, this color is practically clear, with just the slightest whisper of color. Micro sparkles are noticeable upon close inspection. I haven't tried it over lip color. I do like the brush applicator - a nice change from the sponge tip of most wands. The bristles are soft and smooth.
Given the choice for a clear lip look, my personal preference would be for a nice lip balm. But, if you are looking for high gloss factor, Pump 'n Plump is a good choice.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Be Beautiful & Help Fight Cancer!

The Power of Pink --Tune in to QVC on Tuesday, May 27th for an Exclusive Pink Ribbon Beauty Broadcast
Benefits go to the Breast Cancer Research Fund

6-7 pm EST

Exclusives from Laura Geller, Scott-Vincent Borba, Dr. Denese, Mally Roncal, Peter Thomas Roth...

Shop & be beautiful!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Weleda Skin Food for dry and rough skin

Weleda Skin Food for dry and rough skin
OK, this stuff is awesome! It's a thick ointment great for elbows, feet and hands (especially cuticles). The smell is a pleasant aromatherapy green. I put this on my feet after an at home pedi and then slid on socks before bed. My feet were still hydrated in the morning. I highly recommend this for those who wash their hands constantly and/or get really dry in the winter. Gardeners would love this too. It's so so great!

Wash:Be. Fine--Gentle Cleanser

Be. Fine Gentle Cleanser
I am VERY stressed right now.
Couldn't even begin to explain feelings.
However, skin is clear.
This cleanser works!
Very light, minty-smelling, but not like you are washing your face with toothpaste.
Only need a little bit, rinses well.
I like it very much!!!
Added bonuses (bonusi?): Cruelty free, and the Web site is great (

Weleda Almond Moisture Cream

Weleda Almond Moisture Cream
I am always skeptical about moisturizing products because I have terribly dry and sensitive skin and can't find The One moisturizer that solves these problems. I tried this moisture cream for four days. I like the texture. It's thin and smooths on to my skin easily. The almond smell is very subtle and clean. I like it it a lot and it definitely doesn't irritate my skin which I have to be careful of happening. Alas, I have to layer it over my usual moisturizer and apply it at least twice.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Essie Nail Color

I'm not an avid nail painter. I do my toes come summertime and get the occasional mani when something big is afoot. Afoot, get it? That said, I donned my pups with this two days ago and have yet to see a chip or scratch. I did use both a base coat and top coat but still. They are looking fab. The polish itself is a little thick but I like mine very thin. The color is the palest gray almost a bit lavender. It's one of Essie's new colors for Spring '08.

Catherine's Review:

I have fallen in love with Essie's Secret Affair! It is the perfect everyday color for your fingers! A very pale neutral pink, it gives you a quiet sophistication - you won't be complimented, but you're overall appearance will be elevated by it - you'll look confident, put-together, and polished (no pun intended!).

Kate's Review:

I am wearing Risky Business from the Summer 2008 line on my toes.

It went on easily, not goopy... A nice coral color. It's so very summer!!!

Nicole's Review:

I love the Bermuda Shorts and Short Shorts colors. They are very young, fun, and summery. Not too runny, dries in an adequate amount of time, and stays on your nails!

I also tried the Good To Go topcoat from essie. All of the girls in the bridal party last weekend LOVED it. Went on smooth, not too runny, dried VERY quickly, kept the color in, and didn't chip. I'll never paint my fingernails without it again!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Good Ol' Head & Shoulders

From Cat:

Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp

Back to my itchy scalp woes... It's driving me crazy. I find myself with a new nightly ritual - 30 minutes of scalp scratching - yuck! I tried fancy, and now I'm trying the "tried and true" - Head & Shoulders from the drug store. So far, so good. Much less itching, much happier girl. I got the 2-in-1, mostly because I was being cheap. My hair is pretty much the same, just a little more body. I'll trade a bit of sleekness for a scratch-free existence. I hate that the parent company is an animal tester though, so we'll see what I can find that works and isn't a torture device for our bunny friends. To be continued...

Caudalie Purifying Mask

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Caudalie-- Masque Purifiant (Purifying Mask)
One of the rules I have for myself include never trying a product without reading the ingredients. So, I threw that rule out the window tonight, now I'm paying the price.Put on the mask--thinner, creamy consistency. Spreads easily.I wonder if it smells like lavender. Directions say to leave on for 15 minutes.4 minutes later, I am gagging from the smell & frantically washing my face, which is burning.Yeah, did I mention I am allergic to chamomile? This mask is, of course, chock full of chamomile. I can't believe I didn't check the ingredients!!!So, now I have a headache, a sore throat, and an itchy face. I'm hoping I washed it off quickly enough to avoid getting hives. Red, bumpy, itchy rash rarely looks good.On the plus side, it did clear out my pores.If I weren't allergic to it, I'd use it again. Right now, however, I am going to put some ice packs on my face & hope for a good outcome.Moral: ALWAYS read the ingredients!!!
Posted by Kate at 6:46 PM 0 comments

MAC Oil Control Lotion

MAC Oil Control Lotion
Goes on light & easily Keeps the shine down Very nice! Interacts badly with my sunscreen, so I wear it after I wash my face after getting home from work, if I go out at night...

Zapping Zits.

Okay, I am a picker. It's cause I can't stand the nasty things on my face & I get such immense satisfaction from popping them. Yes, I know it's very bad. If it makes you feel any better, I only do it when my hands and face are clean, in the privacy of my own bathroom, sometimes with an extractor and a bottle of rubbing alcohol.
In an ideal world, I would never have to take these actions, but if we are going to start with ideals, this blog will explode. So I rely on various products to keep my face from looking like an obstacle course. Here are a few of my current favorites:
Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10-- a staple. Dries the heck out of the spots! Murad Acne Spot Treatment-- smells like dirt, but clears up the zits without over-drying. No flaking skin!
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser For Normal to Oily Skin-- washes off the ick without giving me mask face. Very nice in the winter, with the effectiveness that is not over-zealous.

Shiseido--The Skincare

The Skin Care
I have been using three of the products, a whole night time regime. My skin is more evenly toned, and my monthly breakout has been minimal! The products all have a good, minimal smell. Nothing greasy:) My skin is all glowy & clear right before I go to bed, not as glowy after my morning shower, but I think that has a lot to do with the very little bit of sleep in between those two events. Still looks pretty good considering!
Rinse-Off Cleansing Gel Cleans, for sure, but is super gentle. Non-foaming. I do wish it came in a pump, as opposed to the flip-top, as it is liquid and I am uncoordinated. No post-wash feeling of over-dry-mask-face, my face just felt clean.
Night Moisture Recharge Lotion in a pump, but with a cap so you can travel (not by air though, as it is a generous 75mL, 2.5 fl oz). Goes on smooths on easily & feels light. No gooey face or anything. Just feels nice, no bells or whistles.
Eye Moisture Recharge--Hello unpuffy eyes!!! The lack of puffiness also makes the dark circles look lighter. It's like magic, and all you need is a tiny dab. Does not irritate my eyes, which is great, because with these results I'd seriously consider using it anyway.

Protecting My Face

Neutrogena® Age ShieldSunblock SPF 30/45 with Helioplex is awesome. I use the SPF 45. It is a wide-spectrum block that stops the sun from giving me wrinkles, but it doesn't give me zits! It has anti-oxidants in it, so I don't even have to use a separate lotion. This makes my morning easier & my skin happy. It is so nice, I almost wish my office had a window;)

Intellegent Aesthetics: Balance Kit & Exfoliating Oatmeal Cleanser

Intellegent Aesthetics: Truth Based Skin Care
Balance Kit & Exfoliating Oatmeal Cleanser
I love the packaging, very minimal & straight-forward. Print can be too small, but that's life. Loving the tagline, "the end of false hope." After using the line for a week, I did notice a drastic reduction in the blackhead population of my nose, which is nice. The rest of my face revolted, however, and some not-so-pretty spots appeared around my temples & forehead. My oil production system does NOT like attempts at control & fights. Fights dirty, too. The Exfoliating Oatmeal Cleanser smelled nice. The creamy base is good, but the scrubbing bits were on the huge side. I am all about micro-scrubbers, and these were full-on granules. I know that my skin has a tendency to freak out, but I hurt after this. My face felt raw. Maybe this is really exfoliating? Maybe I have delicate skin? My dad (hey, real men exfoliate) is very happy with this, as he thinks micro-bead scrubbers are girly. He did not use the word "girly," but that it my best translation of the face he made. Refreshing Pore Cleanser- LEMONS! This is a fairly good cleanser. Salicylic Acid, antioxidants, rinses well. Not too harsh. Oil Control Skin Primer-- Yes, I am a product junkie who does not understand toner. Having come of age in the sea-breeze & oxy pad era, I think of toners as harsh & semi-evil. Toners that don't make your fingertips peel, I really don't get. So, you wash your face, then you put stuff on it, & that makes it cleaner? Yeah, I don't buy it. It is, however, grossly satisfying to see dirt on a cotton ball-- much like seeing the biore strip post-peel. This is a little Pledge-y smelling, yellow water. AM/PM Mattifying Complex-- This was cleanly lemony, and does help the clearing process. It has very little to recommend it to those of us who fear wrinkles, except the pomegranate extract. This was a no-harm/no-foul product for me. The line also includes the Intensive Oil Balancing Treatment, but it has chamomile, so I didn't try it (allergic). I don't know why, but this entire line has Ricinus Communis Seed Extract. That's Castor oil. Why? All told, this is a well developed line. I have come to the conclusion that it is meant for younger &/or less mercurial skin than mine. I am going to have my nieces try it, I do not doubt that it will work well for them.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mary Kay - Subtle Tanning Lotion

Mary Kay
Subtle Tanning Lotion

This self-tanning lotion is meant to give an even, non-streaky subtle color to your skin. If you read the directions, it tells you that maximum color should be reached in about a week. I used this product, according to the directions, for about 10 days straight. It definitely isn't greasy, goes on nicely like a moisturizer, and doesn't discolor your skin. No streaks, no orangy color. The only thing that I wasn't too keen on was the smell. It wasn't bad, it just reminded me of the smell of tanning salons. Apparently it wasn't strong though, because most people said they didn't notice it. I would have to say that I did get a little bit of color over 10 days, but I didn't feel like I was "tan." I think that is why it is labeled a subtle tanning lotion. Just enough to give you a little bit of a color and glow, but not meant for serious self-tanning.

EO - Hand Sanitizing Spray

Hand Sanitizing Spray
Organic Lavender with Echinacea

Fits great in my purse. Easy to use. Bottle doesn't leak or drip. Smells exactly like strong lavender. Sprays out the right amount and doesn't leave your hands sticky. Love it!!

I actually handed some out at dinner the other night. Everyone liked the spray versus the usual hand gel. It doesn't get drip or get too watery like the gel can, comes out easy, and leaves your hands soft and germ-free. I think I like this better than my keychain Purell sanitizer.

I have the Peppermint Spray in my car.
Love the SUPER Peppermint, but I find the spray a little awkward in the car.
Taking the cap off, spraying, replacing cap, rubbing hands & being in the car requires more dexterity than I have. It is great for restaurants, though!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cleanser: Herban Essentials--Towelettes

Herban Essentials
Lemon Towelettes
Real lemon! Not fake scent. Super nice.
Big, thick, cloth-like.
I felt clean after using, which is saying a lot, as I had just deboarded a nasty, germy plane.

Peppermint Towelettes
Holy sting! I never thought it was possible, but there is WAY to much peppermint going on here! IT BURNS!!! It was mostly the strength of the smell, but a couple of minutes after using, my skin hurt. I am almost afraid to try any more, but I did love the lemon...