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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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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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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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Murad Overnight Soothing Gel Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments (1) - December 18th, 2012

The timing on this couldn’t have been more perfect. This tube of Murad Overnight Soothing Gel arrived just as I was in the midst of the December Plague of 2012, and my face was really unhappy. My nose was all red and irritated (even with the best Kleenex), AND little tiny pimples kept popping up through the irritation. The rest of my face wasn’t very happy either, since my skin kind of freaks out when I’m sick. Overnight Soothing Gel to the rescue!!

Overnight Soothing Gel is a night-time treatment meant to soothe on contact and continue to help improve redness and irritation throughout the night. It’s for acne-prone skin specifically. Murad says:

Murad Overnight Soothing Gel is an acne treatment mask that works overnight to reduce the appearance of breakout-related redness and flushing. In addition to diminishing redness and irritation from acne breakouts, Murad Overnight Soothing Gel also works as a solution for redness caused by sunburn and irritation from skin care products or treatments.

It contains botanical ingredients chosen for their anti-inflammatory properties, as well as some minty extracts that provide a cooling effect. You apply a thin layer over your face after cleansing, and leave it on overnight, washing it off in the morning. It’s used in place of a moisturizer. I was worried that it might sting my irritated skin, but it really didn’t. If your skin is REALLY raw, it might be a little sting-y. The cooling effect felt really good, and overall I did notice an improvement after two treatments. (You can use it 2-3 times a week.) In addition, it really seems to help with healing up blemishes. Those tiny little pimples I get on my nose are crazy painful for how small they are (also ones between my lips and my nose, MAN THOSE HURT), and the pain and redness was both quite diminished the next morning after using this.

I’m totally sold on this stuff. It’s splurge-worthy, in my book. I use a generous pea-sized amount for my whole face, and it seems like the tube will last for probably 3-4 months using it twice a week at that rate. That’s not too shabby, really. It definitely gets two thumbs up!

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Pevonia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser Review
Complexion, Earth Friendly, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Be the first to comment! - December 16th, 2012

I really love splurge-worthy facial scrubs. Pevonia offers a Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, a scrubby cleanser that’s mild and gentle. Me likey!

The Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser contains soapwort, horsechestnut and chamomile, which Pevonia says will thoroughly eliminate dead cells, sebum, toxins and impurities without irritating your skin. It also uses jojoba seed powder and cellulose to get the scrubbing done – which is important because I won’t use products that contain plastic anymore, because they’re bad for the environment. Finding scrubs (both inexpensive AND splurge-y) that DON’T contain plastic (polyethylene) is kind of hard, so I’m pretty happy to promote them when I find them. The Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser has a gentle foaming lather, and the scrubbing is gentle but effective. The chamomile and calendula extracts it contains are also really soothing – I would say this is probably a good scrub for sensitive skin. It has a clean kind of fragrance, sort of spa-herbal. It rinses easily.

It’s pricey, at $33.50 for 5 oz., but a little goes a long way, and it IS a really nice exfoliator. I really like it!

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Pevonia Phyto-Gel Cleanser Review
Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Be the first to comment! - December 15th, 2012

I’m such a sucker for cleansers. I always like to try new ones! I had the opportunity to check out this cleanser from Pevonia, and I really like it! It’s the Phyto-Gel Cleanser, a foaming cleanser for all skin types.

The Phyto-Gel Cleanser contains a bunch of botanical extracts, including saponaria, burdock, rosemary, sage and lemon. It’s a foaming cleanser, but it doesn’t leave the skin dry or stripped feeling at all. It has a light fragrance, kind of a spa-herbal type scent, which I really like. A little bit goes a long way, and I like the squeeze tube packaging, since you can squeeze out really small amounts (unlike a pump, which would probably dish out more product than you need to get the job done). It takes off makeup (including most of my eye makeup) no problem. Long wear eyeliner and mascara still need eye makeup remover (which I’ve started using anyway).

It is pricey for a cleanser, at $30 for 5 oz., but since you only need a little dab, it works out pretty good price-wise compared to my usual $15-20 price range for cleanser. If you want to splurge and treat yourself, I really like Pevonia products, including this Phyto-Gel Cleanser!

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Lush Let The Good Times Roll Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments (1) - November 20th, 2012

Lush always makes the best smelly stuff, especially at Holiday time. This year is no exception, and I was suckered into buying their limited edition face cleanser called Let The Good Times Roll. It’s a delectably-scented corn-based slightly scrubby cleanser, and I’m totally hooked. Too bad it’s limited edition!

Let The Good Times Roll is a bit of a pun, since Lush’s fresh facial cleansers are called “Cleansing Rolls.” Let The Good Times Roll is basically a cornmeal and corn flour scrub with a sweet popcorn scent and a hint of cinnamon. You use a pea-sized amount and mix it with a few drops of water to make a paste, and then massage it on your face. It’s not so great with eye makeup, but fabulous for the rest of your face. It leaves my face soft and clean, and not dry or tight. And the scent! It’s so yummy, I just love it.

It’s not cheap, at $12.95 for 3.5 oz., but it’s good for a splurge – a nice wintertime treat for yourself, if you will. I’ll probably try to get another jar before it goes away because I like it so much. I really wish they’d make this one permanent!

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Murad Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Be the first to comment! - October 8th, 2012

Murad is increasingly becoming my go-to skincare line. I’m just about out of the Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20, which is still my favorite moisturizer with sunscreen. Since I am less concerned with sunscreen in the winter (I have it in my foundation), I wanted to try out the new Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator to see how it compares. I really love that Murad offers anti-aging products for people who are still dealing with breakouts!

The Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator is a lightweight lotion. Murad says it refines pores, plumps skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and provides essential hydration to soothe and help repair skin breakouts. It contains their Kombucha Collagen Defense to stimulate collagen production and inhibit its breakdown to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also has lentil seed extract and witch hazel to tighten pores and help control excess oil, and cinnamon extract to restore skin surface by reducing inflammation and optimizing oil production.

I REALLY like this moisturizer. It leaves my skin soft and smooth, with less visible oiliness, and fewer blemishes. If I do get a blemish, it heals faster and with less lingering redness. The moisturizer plays nicely under makeup as well. At $49.50 it’s a bit of a splurge, but I think it’s worth it considering how well it works for me. Overall, I give it two thumbs up!

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