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Some Fresh Love
Body Care, Hot Lips, Reviews - Comments (1) - October 18th, 2013

The brand Fresh has been a favorite of mine for years, and lately I’ve been indulging in some of their products. Two in particular have been getting heavy airplay in my life recently. The Sugar Shine Lip Treatment and the Rice Dry Oil are awesome!

The Sugar Shine Lip Treatment contains cupuaƧu butter, mango butter, hyaluronic acid, black currant seed, and grapeseed oil. The lip treatment is hydrating, smoothing, softening, conditioning… it’s basically a glossy, high-shine version of Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment balm. It looks great alone, it looks great over lipstick, or, my personal favorite, over a lip stain. At $18.50 a tube it’s not cheap, but it’s a nice luxe treat.

The Rice Dry Oil is a blend of my favorite skincare oils – jojoba, rice bran, grapeseed, and borage oils, as well as white tea extract, arnica extract, and passionflower extract. It’s super-nourishing, promotes elasticity, softens and hydrates. It also has a great scent. I love to apply it while my skin is still damp after a shower. I love how it makes my skin feel, very soft and hydrated. I definitely have a thing for high end body oils, since this reminds me a lot of Aveda’s compositions. The price is similar – the Aveda oil is $23 for 1.7 oz and the Fresh is $48 for 3.3 oz. The only thing I don’t like is the bottle – there isn’t an orifice reducer or anything, so it pours out really quickly. I’m thinking I’ll decant it into a different bottle so I don’t waste any.

I’m also trying out an eye cream from Fresh – look for a review soon!

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Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel
Best Of, Body Care - Be the first to comment! - October 14th, 2013

When Lush introduced their Rose Jam Bubbleroon, I was immediately hooked. The scent… it’s SO GOOD. It smells exactly how you’d imagine a rose jam would smell like, which is to say, deadly good. I want to roll in it, it’s so good. When I saw they’d introduced a limited edition shower gel in the same scent, I jumped all over it, budget be damned.

ZOMG. The shower gel is EVEN BETTER than the bubble bar. It’s a serious scent-gasm in the shower every time I use it. I bought the largest size bottle, and will be going back for at least one more before it disappears. It’s a holiday limited edition, so hopefully it’ll stick around through December.

I heard a rumour it might be coming to stores as well, but I kind of want an excuse to order a bottle of Sonic Death Monkey, so I’ll probably get it online.

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Desert Essence Natural Roll-on Deodorant Review
Body Care, Cheap Thrills, Earth Friendly, Reviews - Comments (1) - April 7th, 2013

It’s not often that I write a truly negative review. Most of the time, if I didn’t like a product it’s because the product wasn’t right for me, not because the product wasn’t good. But sometimes, I run across a product that I just think isn’t going to be effective for anyone, which is the case with Desert Essence Natural Roll-On Deodorant. I had high hopes for this natural deodorant, but it falls flat.

I prefer to use deodorant rather than anti-perspirant if I can, just because I do think it’s healthy for the body to perspire. It’s one of the ways the body rids itself of toxins, after all. But I also work with the public, and let’s face it, body odor just isn’t socially appropriate, especially if you work in the beauty industry. So far, the only deodorant that actually worked was Lavanila’s Healthy Deodorant, and it’s $18 a tube. Finding a less expensive deodorant that really works has been something of a search for the holy grail for me.

Desert Essence Natural Roll-On Deodorant contains lavender, coriander, and tea tree in a roll-on base that also contains rice starch and corn starch, as well as aloe and allantoin. It’s defintely gentle. However, after about two to three hours I can smell myself. It’s NO BUENO. TOTAL FAIL. I do perspire a bit more than the average woman because of the medication I take (yay side effects!) but this is deodorant fail after two to three hours of non-strenuous activity. Like, sitting in a classroom activity. I shudder to think how it would hold up to actual exercise.

In the meantime, I’ll stick with Tom’s of Maine’s nice anti-perspirant, and continue my search for the holy grail.

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Love & Toast Honey Coconut Hand Creme Review
Body Care, Reviews, Splurge Worthy - Comments (1) - February 27th, 2013

I recently visited one of my favorite boutiques on the Oregon Coast, and my sweet husband insisted I pick up a little treat for myself while we were there. It was a tough call, since the shop has sooo many nice little things, but I settled on a Love & Toast hand cream in the delectable Honey Coconut scent.

Love & Toast’s hand creams come in little 1.25 oz. metal tubes. The ingredient list is quite impressive, with shea butter, green tea extract, aloe vera, and a bunch of other nice stuff. It doesn’t contain parabens or animal ingredients, and the paper packaging (it comes in a little box) comes from 100% annually renewed resources.

The Honey Coconut fragrance is quite yummy, with notes of honey, vanilla, violet, and sandalwood. There is a matching perfume and other body care products if layering is your thing. It’s a very edible scent, very sweet, and heavier on the honey and vanilla than on the coconut. In fact, I probably wouldn’t finger it as being coconut without the hint in the name.

The texture is pretty creamy and rich, although not as thick as some I’ve tried. It doesn’t have that awful slimy feeling that I HATE in hand creams, so the texture gets a win in my book. It absorbs fairly quickly, but not so fast that your hands feel dry again a few minutes later. (I hate that too!)

Overall, it’s a special treat. It’s not cheap, at $9.00 a tube, but I consider it splurgeworthy.

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J.R. Watkins Lemon Cream Hand Cream Review
Best Of, Body Care, Cheap Thrills, Earth Friendly, Reviews - Comments (2) - February 4th, 2013

It’s really hard finding a good hand cream. My gold-star favorite is L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream, but at $25 a tube, I have to admit it’s pricey. (In its defense, a full-size tube lasts for like six months, so it’s not that bad, which is why it’s still my gold-star favorite.) BUT ANYWAY. I’m picky about hand cream. I really, really hate that slippery feeling you get on your hands when a lotion or cream contains a lot of silicones. I don’t mind it on my body, but I hate it on my hands. I picked up a tube of J.R. Watkins Shea Butter Hand Cream to try out because of its IMPRESSIVE ingredient list and more reasonable price.

So, what does it have in it? What doesn’t it have in it? Seriously, this hand cream reads like a who’s who of awesome ingredients – shea butter, jojoba oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter, babassu oil, apricot kernal oil, aloe, calendula, chamomile… it goes on. It doesn’t contain mineral oil, petrolatum, silicones, or parabens. It’s pretty darn close to an all natural product. The scent is a delightful lemon frosting/cookie smell, very refreshing and very yum. Seriously, I almost wanna lick my hands, it’s that good. It is knock-you-down strong though, so if you don’t like a strong fragrance, steer clear. It’s more dessert-like, as opposed to fresh cut lemon juice.

The texture is quite thick. If you want a light hand cream, this isn’t it. It’s thick, it’s rich, it’s going to leave a feeling on your hands for a while after you apply it. It won’t be a slick, slippery feel though, which is why I like it. It definitely relieves dryness like a champ. A little goes a long way, so this tube is going to last for a while.

Overall, I’m quite pleased to have given this a try. The 3.5 oz tube is on the large side to want to carry in my purse, but it’s fine for the tote bag I drag to school every day. It’s also a perfectly good size to keep on your nightstand or on the bathroom counter. Price will vary depending on where you shop, but it should always come in under ten bucks for a tube. I give it two (no longer dry!) thumbs up!

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L’Occitane Shea Butter Honey Whipped Body Cream Review
Body Care, Reviews, Splurge Worthy - Be the first to comment! - February 1st, 2013

Back in the day, like WAAAAAY back, around 2007 or so, L’Occitane discontinued their straight-up Honey line of products. It was a terrible day. The Honey line was quite popular and the scent was fabulous. Now, those of us who loved that original Honey fragrance can enjoy it again in L’Occitane’s new Shea Butter Honey Whipped Body Cream.

The Shea Butter Honey Whipped Body Cream contains 10% shea butter, so it’s extra-moisturizing. The texture is probably my second favorite part (after the scent), because it’s just this mousse-like whipped cream kind of texture that just melts into my skin. LOVE IT. My skin is soft and lightly scented for a few hours after applying the cream.

Contrary to what you’d expect from the name, the cream doesn’t actually contain any honey. It just smells like honey, all warm and rich and yummy. I LOVE THIS SCENT. If you must have more, there is a matching body wash, hand cream, and pure shea tin.

As with all things L’Occitane, it’s not going to be the cheapest thing around, at $22 a jar. If you love this smell and have dry skin, however, it’s totally splurge-worthy. It’s also limited edition (WHY?!? SO SAD!), so scoop it up now if you want some.

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Gillette Venus Embrace: Still The Best
Best Of, Body Care - Comments (1) - December 14th, 2012

A couple of years ago, I reviewed the Gillette Venus Embrace razor and declared it my holy grail razor. I was devoted, until earlier this year when Schick introduced their Hydro Silk razor, and due to an excellent coupon, I was induced to switch.

I thought I had convinced myself that I preferred the Hydro Silk. There are two things about it that I like better than the Venus Embrace. The first is the blade refills are cheaper, usually like a buck cheaper for five refills versus a dollar MORE for FOUR Embrace refills. The second thing is the little suction cup thingy to hang your razor on kicks the pants off the stupid pod thinger that the Embrace comes with. I hated that pod thingy, it was really large and mostly just served to collect mildew in my shower.

Then, Influenster included a Venus Embrace razor in the Cosmo VoxBox which I received, and, well… Oh man. In a head to head test, I vastly prefer the Venus Embrace. Yes, it’s more expensive. But the Hydro Silk suction cup thingy works with the Venus Embrace, so that problem is solved. Also, it looks like some of the other Venus razors come with a better hanger, AND you can use ANY Venus refill on any Venus handle, so just buy the version that comes with the best hanger and you’re set.

My preference for the Venus Embrace can be summed up by three things. One, the swivel on the head is better, which means a more comfortable shave over my chubby legs. Two, the blade rinses easier and faster. Three, the blades seem to lie flatter somehow, which also means a more comfortable shave for me. Basically, in a head to head comparison, I fully remember why I loved this razor for three years. Sorry, Hydro Silk.

Moral of this story: stick with your holy grail. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

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When You Get Back To Back Colds
Body Care, Earth Friendly - Be the first to comment! - December 11th, 2012

I’m not dead, promise. I got a bad head cold right after Thanksgiving, and before I was fully over that one, I got an even nastier bug, courtesy of my sweet college student sister (her whole class got sick). Basically, I’ve been miserable for the last two weeks. Yuck. (Together, I think my sister and I have gone through like, a case of of Kleenex boxes. Good times.)

Needless to say, the makeup wearing has been basically NONE around here. But I can blog about some really awesome stuff to use in the shower to make yourself feel better when you have the head cold plagues of doom! I can’t smell much of anything, but I can smell peppermint and eucalyptus and they both are great in the shower.

I picked up a bottle of this Griffin Remedy Peppermint & Tea Tree Shower Gel at New Seasons Market, because PEPPERMINT. It’s a liquid soap, which means it doesn’t contain synthetic detergents. It has a lovely soft lather, isn’t drying at all, and it’s quite peppermint-y. It’s not as strong as say, Dr. Bronners Peppermint Soap (which actually makes my skin tingle a lot, it’s sooo peppermint-y), but it’s definitely minty. I don’t pick up a lot of tea tree, which is good, because I really dislike tea tree. Bonus: it’s pretty cheap for a high quality natural product, at under five bucks a bottle. SCORE!

The Aura Cacia Shower Tablets are a product I’ve purchased before, and just love when I have a cold. It’s like a bath bomb, except they’re flat and meant to dissolve slowly on your shower floor. Take a decently hot shower, and it’s like an essential oil steam tent while you bathe. The Peppermint ones are stronger than the Eucalyptus, btw. I hadn’t tried the Eucalyptus ones before, and probably won’t again. They’re a little spendy, almost $7 for three tablets, but totally worth it when you’re miserable.

I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so hopefully we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging around here soon.

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