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Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments (1) - October 27th, 2013

Whoa, is that name long enough? ANYWAY. Olay is trying to get in the game with younger consumers with their Fresh Effects line of products. The Fresh Effects BB Cream Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen seeks to capitalize on the BB cream trend, while also calling itself a tinted moisturizer. Influenster sent me a tube to try out. Here are my thoughts…

First, I haven’t tried a true Asian BB cream. Everyone I know who has says this Olay product ain’t even close. So let’s just get that out of the way. My review is based on my experience with this product only, so let’s just forget about the whole BB cream name. Feel free to go yell at Olay for co-opting the BB cream trend.

In Western makeupland, tinted moisturizer generally refers to a sheer foundation type product, which in my experience, isn’t very moisturizing. This Olay product also isn’t a tinted moisturizer, as those things go. It’s basically a moisturizer with tint. It’s quite moisturizing, and the tint is sheer.

I like this product quite a bit, for what it is. I don’t need a separate moisturizer with this, and I like the sheer tint it provides when I don’t want to wear makeup but want my complexion to look more even. I think it would be perfect for anyone who doesn’t usually wear foundation, but maybe wants to have a little bit of of complexion enhancement. It’s not great for oil control – I do get a bit shiny with this moisturizer, but not any worse than any other moisturizer. Expect to blot if you have oily skin, or maybe use a mattifying powder for extra oil control. It also has a pretty strong floral-y scent to it that I don’t love. It has SPF 15, which is decent if you aren’t planning on spending a lot of time outdoors. It contains niacinamide, which is a great anti-aging ingredient.

Overall, this is a good product, if you want a complexion enhancing moisturizer with sunscreen. I’ll be finishing the tube. I don’t love it enough as a moisturizer to want to use it as my daily moisturizer under makeup, although it looks okay under the powder foundation I usually wear. For that reason, I probably wouldn’t buy this product (I just mix a dab of Lush Colour Supplement in with my usual moisturizer if I want some tint). The market for this product is younger women who aren’t into heavy foundation – and I think it’s probably excellent for them!

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Shiro Custom Lipgloss Is Awesome
Hot Lips, Reviews - Comments (2) - October 25th, 2013

When Shiro Cosmetics started doing custom lipgloss, where you can order lipgloss in any lip-safe Shiro eyeshadow color, I squealed. I really did. The real conundrum was which ones to order first? I want so many…

I ordered two colors, Cake! and Fullmetal. I wanted a sheer gold-y color, because I’m kind of addicted to sheer gold-y colors. Cake! is described as pale cream with soft coppery highlight and red cherry sparks. The pictures really aren’t doing it justice – this color is really fantastic as a lipgloss. The red cherry sparks catch in the light, which you can see in my fabulous out of focus picture (I was having a terrible time photographing this, sorry!).

I also wanted a really dark color, and I’m pretty obsessed with Fullmetal, so I figured it would make a great not-black lip gloss. Fullmetal is a complex charcoal base with a strong golden shimmer and red highlights. The gold and red shimmer is so pretty when it catches the light!

The formula is lovely. It’s moisturizing, not sticky, and pretty long-lasting for a gloss. I’m totally addicted, and can think of at least 10 more colors I want to turn into gloss now. If you want to see some other shades, you can go here and here and here. On my short list: Heart Attack, Baker’s Boy, and A Regular Bears’ Meeting.

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Freeman Chocolate & Strawberry Facial Clay Mask
Cheap Thrills, Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments (1) - October 19th, 2013

After trying the Avocado & Oatmeal mask, I decided I needed to branch out and try some more Freeman masks. I picked the Chocolate & Strawberry Facial Clay Mask, because I figured it would probably smell good – and I was right!

The Chocolate & Strawberry mask contains cocoa and strawberry extracts, kaolin clay, shea butter, and cocoa butter. It’s got the oil-absorbing and purifying qualities of the clay, but it’s also not super drying thanks to the butters. It smells chocolate-y, as promised. Don’t leave this in reach of little kids – it smells like food! My face feels soft and smooth after use. The directions say it’s good for normal to dry skin, but if your skin is quite dry, I wouldn’t use it. Oily to normal to slightly dry skin? Perfect. I like clay masks because they seem to reduce how oily my skin feels, without completely stripping my face (which is counter-productive). Clays are deep cleansing and the minerals are good for your skin.

If you are in the market for a nice clay mask that’s ridiculously affordable, this one is worth checking out. Two thumbs up.

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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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Origins GinZing Moisturizer Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments (1) - October 11th, 2013

After I got totally hooked on Origins’ GinZing Eye Cream, I tried a sample of their (then) new GinZing Moisturizer. I was pretty much sold on it after one try. As moisturizers go, it’s pretty fab.

The GinZing line is Origins’ “radiance” line, which usually translates into skincare for folks in their early 30′s. It’s advertised as being like a shot of espresso for your skin, and contains ginseng and coffee bean. It has a really lightweight texture, what I tend to think of as a cream-gel texture. It’s recommended for all skin types.

What I like about it is that it provides an adequate level of moisture for my oil-rich skin, without being greasy or heavy. I loooove the lightweight texture! That it has a bright and refreshing citrus aroma is a total bonus. At $26.50 for a 1.7 oz. jar, it’s definitely on the low end price-wise for a department store brand.

If you are looking for a lightweight moisturizer (that’s still pretty hydrating), it’s worth checking out Origins’ GinZing. I give it two thumbs up.

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The Body Shop Eau de Toilettes: Cheap & Cheerful
Cheap Thrills, Perfume, Reviews - Comments (4) - September 1st, 2013

The Body Shop is often my go-to place for fun smelling stuff that is a step up in quality from drugstore, but not too pricey. They started carrying eau de toilettes in fragrances that matched their ever-popular body butters, like Moringa, Brazil Nut, Strawberry, etc. At only $14 each, they’re a fun, cheap thrill to wear simple, yet pleasant scents.

I recently snagged Brazil Nut and Mango, two of my favorite body butter scents. The Brazil Nut EDT smells like waffle cones! It’s a yummy, gourmand scent. The lasting power isn’t great (about 2 hours at most) but that’s about what I’d expect for under twenty bucks. It lasts a little longer on clothing.

The Mango EDT is tangy and fruity and fresh, almost a bit pine-y, just like a real mango. It also is light on the lasting power.

Overall, I think these are a fun addition to The Body Shop’s fragrance lineup. I suspect they would last longer if you layered them over the body butters.

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Carthusia 1681 Eau de Parfum Review
Perfume, Reviews, Splurge Worthy - Be the first to comment! - June 26th, 2013

Oh man. Another perfume that makes me SWOON. I have a serious THING for warm, woody fragrances, and I’ve met a new favorite. It’s Carthusia 1681 Eau de Parfum, and I’m in love.

Carthusia is a perfume house from Italy – specifically, Capri. All of their perfumes are inspired by the landscape and history of Capri. 1681 in particular is a unisex scent (leaning masculine, however) inspired by the historical herbs and spices used by the Carthusian monks to make scented waters. The notes include tangerine, bergamot, coriander, thyme, rosemary, iris, neroli, lavender, petitgrain, black pepper, sandalwood, cedarwood, frankincense, ambergris, vanilla, and musk.

I really wish I had better skills for describing fragrances, especially ones that are as complex as this one. It opens with the sparkling tangerine and citrus notes, which quickly give way to the spicy bite of black pepper. The iris and lavender give it a very velvety feel. The cedar and incense provides a wonderful base, and linger the longest, along with the black pepper. This is a woodsy fragrance that actually reminds me of being in the woods.

My husband actually smelled this first, in the little perfume shop we were visiting, and drew my attention to it. It was love at first sniff. This really is quite a masculine scent (by American standards) but women can wear it too. It smells DEAD SEXY on my husband, and he likes it on me too. We sprung for the big bottle since we both wear it.

This is such a beautiful scent. I highly recommend it, despite it being so pricey!

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You Smell Good: Lavanila Fresh Lemon Vanilla Perfume Review
Earth Friendly, Perfume, Reviews - Be the first to comment! - June 1st, 2013

Lavanila’s newest fragrance is Fresh Lemon Vanilla, and it’s pretty much the bomb, yo. I bought the rollerball on a recent Sephora trip, and have been wearing it almost non-stop since then. Citrus scents are so great in the summer, since they’re light and fresh.

It’s described as a bright, juicy lemon, with lush watery fruits (huh?), fresh bamboo and pure Madagascar vanilla. I dunno about the lush watery fruits, but it definitely smells lemon-y and vanilla-y. It’s fresh and warm at the same time, but doesn’t smell particularly food-y. It’s not a dessert lemon scent at all. The wear time is not the longest, as to be expected for a perfume that doesn’t contain a lot of synthetics. The lemon burns off after about an hour, and the vanilla lasts for an hour or two after that.

I really like the rollerball format because it’s convenient for touching up the scent, since it doesn’t have the longest lasting power. It’s also pretty affordable, at $19 for 0.32 oz. The larger size is a better value, but I like the portability of the rollerball.

Fresh Lemon Vanilla also comes in a stick deodorant. I love Lavanila’s stick deodorant formula, but it’s soooo pricey. If I get a super-awesome job, I’d consider splurging for it, though.

Overall, if you like citrus scents and vanilla, I recommend checking out Lavanila’s Fresh Vanilla Lemon perfume. It’s perfect for summer!

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