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Review: Everyday Shea Moisturizing Shampoo
Cheap Thrills, Earth Friendly, Hair Care, Reviews - Comments Off - April 4th, 2013

Everyday Shea is line of shea butter products brought to you from the fine folks at Alaffia. It’s an affordable line of natural shea butter products, combining great value with great quality. I loved the lotion, so I decided it was time to give the Moisturizing Shampoo a whirl.

The shampoo comes in large 32 oz. bottles with pump tops, in Lavender, Vanilla Mint, and Unscented. I chose Vanilla Mint, because I liked that fragrance best. It’s still a light fragrance, not super-strong at all. The shampoo contains liquid shea butter soap, two surfactants, shea leaf extract, vanilla extract and spearmint essential oil. It’s a very simple formula. It doesn’t contain any SLS or SLES, if you ware avoiding those ingredients.

It’s quite low-lather. If you like (or feel you need) a lot of lather, you will not like this shampoo. I’m pretty accustomed to low lathering shampoos, so it doesn’t bother me. It’s pretty effective at cleaning, but not drying at all. It’s also not too moisturizing. After lightly bleaching my hair, I still only used conditioner once or twice a week with this shampoo, because I didn’t feel my hair needed it more often.

Now, I just (as in, two days ago) pretty thoroughly bleached my hair and colored it blue, and haven’t tried this shampoo on that yet. My hair is a lot drier now, having been more heavily bleached, so I will probably want to use more conditioner. I’ll update this review if that’s the case!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this shampoo. It’s a good value, it was around $10 for the 32 oz. bottle, and it’s gentle and effective. Two thumbs up!

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Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Treatment Review
Hair Care, Reviews - Comments (1) - July 14th, 2012

Beautiful Curls is sub-company of Alaffia, the shea butter company I’ve raved about on occasion. Beautiful Curls is a line of haircare for, duh, curly hair! I don’t have curly hair, so I can’t speak to that particular niche. But I do have really dry hair from all the bleaching, so I wanted to try a super-rich deep conditioner to de-crunchify the dried out ends.

Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Treatment contains shea butter (lots!), arnica, comfrey, and panthenol. It has a raspberry and ylang ylang fragrance that is really awesome. It’s super-thick, and contains no silicones. The lack of slippery stuff in it means it does take a little bit of effort to smooth it through your hair. Warming it between your hands first definitely helps! It rinses out really well from my hair, with no greasy residue left behind – just softer hair.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with this deep conditioner. I don’t need to use a lot, since I’m just putting it on the ends of my hair, so the tube is lasting for a while. I use it twice a week in place of regular conditioner and my hair is quite happy.

You can find Beautiful Curls at Whole Foods Market (I’m not sure if they carry it nationwide, or just around here because Alaffia is based in Washington), as well as locally (to Portland) at New Seasons Market. Or shop online! I give it two thumbs up!

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Alaffia Virgin Coconut & Shea Hydrating Body Lotion
Body Care, Earth Friendly - Comments Off - May 4th, 2011

I’ve been in a coconut mood lately, but not wanting fake coconut. I want a fresh coconut smell, and I’ve found it in Alaffia’s Virgin Coconut & Shea Hydrating Body Lotion. This stuff is sunshine in a bottle!

Alaffia is a company based in Olympia Washington that is dedicated to environmental, social, and economic sustainabillity, specifically in Western Africa. Spend some time on their website – it’s full of AWESOME information!

The lotion has a perfect texture, a mix of super-rich shea butter and hydrating yet lightweight coconut oil. It has lemongrass essential oil in it, and is paraben-free. It is very soothing, and smells amazing. The scent is like a non-fakey version of Lime Coconut Verbena from A Big Corporate Company. It lingers for a little while, but not long enough to conflict with perfume.

If you want a little bit of summer in a bottle, do check out this lotion. It’s heaven!

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Alaffia Skincare To The Rescue
Complexion, Skin Care - Comments (1) - October 15th, 2010

I have been having some thoroughly obnoxious health issues lately, which has really had a detrimental effect on my skin. I’ve got breakouts and redness and irritation. Blah! I’ve also had a cold this week, so my nose was very irritated and the skin was peeling off from being rubbed with kleenex. Since my skin is a little more needy, I’ve been using some products from Alaffia to try to calm things down. Success!

Alaffia sells pure Melon Seed Oil (Citrullus colocynthis) that contains up to 70% linoleic acid (Omega-6). There’s quite a body of research showing that topical application of linoleic acid is anti-inflammatory and also that it can help with acne. The oil is very light, has a bit of a nutty odor, and sinks right into my skin. I apply about 4 drops, massage it gently into my face, and apply moisturizer over the top.

The other product I’ve been using is the Neem & Shea Butter Skin Recovery Face Cream. This moisturizer contains neem oil, which has a long history of use in India. It’s great for the skin, and has some good anti-microbial properties. The moisturizer also has neem leaf extract and kpangnan butter, both of which contain anti-oxidants. The cream has a silky texture, doesn’t feel greasy on my face, and absorbs quickly. It does have a strong smell from the neem (neem is stinky, I’ve experimented with the oil before) and the essential oils in the formula. But the scent dissipates pretty quickly.

I’ve been using these two products at night and have been really pleased with how my face has cleared up. The raw and irritated skin on my nose also healed very quickly! If you are oily, you will probably only want to use these products at night. While my face doesn’t feel greasy after applying the products, it is a bit much for me to want to try applying makeup on top and I suspect I’d be totally shiny after an hour. Instead, I go to bed and let all the good oils and butters work their magic on my face.

Alaffia continues to get two thumbs up for their simple yet effective products!

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Everyday Shea Vanilla Lotion
Body Care, Charity - Comments (1) - November 1st, 2009

cb-sheaAfter seeing it pop up first at Whole Foods Market, and then at my favorite New Seasons Market, I finally broke down and bought a bottle of Everyday Shea Moisturizng Body Lotion in the vanilla scent. How fabulous is this stuff? Pretty darned awesome.

Everyday Shea is a sister company to Alaffia Sustainable Skincare, a company that makes products I really enjoy. I especially love Alaffia’s body care products, but because they usually come in smaller jars and I like to slather them on, I can’t really afford to buy them all the time. That’s where Everyday Shea comes in. It was created to offer customers a quality petroleum-free shea butter lotion (and body wash!) at an affordable price.

When it comes to affordable, you can’t beat the value on the Everyday Shea lotions. They come in giant 32 oz. bottles with a pump, in an unscented formula as well as lavender and vanilla.  The texture is light and creamy, but still has a richness that comes from all the shea butter. You can slather it on all you want, but you won’t feel greasy. The price? Just $14.95 for the giant 32 oz. bottle. Can’t beat that with a stick!

As with Alaffia, 10% of sales is given to community projects in Togo, like Bicycles for Education, maternal health, and school supplies and repairs.

Everyday Shea also makes shea butter body wash, and as soon as I find it locally I’ll be buying a bottle. For now, you can order directly from the company or use the store locator on the site to find a store near you!

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Springtime Fun
Makeup Fun, Perfume, Shopping - Comments (1) - March 20th, 2009

CupcakesToday was a day off, so I visited the MAC counter at the downtown Portland Nordstrom to check out Sugarsweet. The nice SA did my eyeshadow for me, and I decided that Aquavert eyeshadow and Lollipop Loving lipstick had to go home with me. Face pics coming soon.

I gave the new Rock Princess a sniff, and while I think I like it, I’ll have to actually go for a spritz on skin to see. I really like the original Princess (sometimes you just want to smell like cupcakes, ya know?) so I’m inclined to like it. I’m just not sure it’s worthy of purchasing a full bottle. Also the bottle isn’t as cute as I was hoping it would me. It was sort of a run-by sniffing though, so I’ll give it a second chance.

I also gave Diesel Fuel For Life Unlimited a run-by sniffing, and will also have to give it a second try to tell if I want to buy a bottle. It seemed a lot fruitier than the original, which is still a favorite of mine.

Alaffia is offering a GIANT 32 oz. bottle of their super-awesome Shea Butter lotion at Whole Foods Market. If I wasn’t already drowning in lotion I would have bought one on the spot. See the pics on Alaffia’s Facebook page.

Thanks to the fabulous pics that Decorative Diva puts up all the time, I decided I needed to try Fyrinnae products. I ordered  samples of Love Potion, Cupcake Sprinkles, and Nijiro eyeshadows, and Kitty Ears and Very Berry Happy lip lustres. I can’t wait to get them! I’m kind of obsessing over pastel colors right now, and I love the nifty J-rock references of the lip lustres. Neko-mimi! Happy Berry! (Go read Paradise Kiss right now!) Yeah, I’m a manga and anime fangirl.

What have you hauled lately?

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White Musk and Chocolate
Body Care, Cheap Thrills, Perfume - Comments (1) - September 18th, 2008

White MuskWhat do they have in common? Nothing, except I’m being lazy and writing about two products in one post. LOL. Anyway, I’ve decided to add a category called “Cheap Thrills,” to describe the fun stuff that doesn’t set me back an arm and a leg.

The Body Shop has introduced a new addition to their White Musk line called White Musk Intrigue. I bought the “spring” version, White Musk Blush, and was pleased enough with Intrigue to get it too. Besides, for under $20 a bottle, it’s cheap enough to purchase without much guilt. Where the Blush version was really fruity, the Intrigue turns up the cinnamon and turns down the fruit. What’s interesting to note is that I’m not really a fan of the plain ol’ White Musk – I’ve been much more pleased with the flanker fragrances than with the original. *shrugs*

Alaffia, the super-awesome shea butter company, upgraded their website! It’s a lot prettier now. They make two products that have been sending me over the moon recently: both cocoa butter lotions. First is the Cocoa Butter Body Cream. It comes in a jar, and is super thick but not greasy. In fact, once it hits your skin it gets really creamy and soaks right in like butter on hot pancakes. The scent… amazing! It’s basically like rubbing your skin down with chocolate. I recently scraped the last little bit out of the jar and decided to try the Cocoa Butter Intensive Lotion. It comes in a purple plastic bottle, instead of a jar, and has Avocado extract in it. As far as I can tell, those are the major differences. It’s maybe a *smidge* less thick than the cream, but has the same scent and that same hot butter on pancakes melt into your skin feeling. It’s a little bit less expensive, so I guess I’ll stick with it. Although there is something purely decadent about scooping the cream out of the jar and slathering it on… LOL, this from the girl who professes to dislike creams in jars. Anyway, I know Whole Foods Market in the Portland area carries the line, and I think that might be nationwide. Otherwise, hit up the website.

There you have it. Two cheap thrills that are definitely thrilling me right now.

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Another Skincare Post
About Claire, Complexion, Skin Care - Comments Off - November 12th, 2007

BottleI haven’t updated about my skincare routine since April, so I thought it might be time since I’m using new products.

In the am, I’m using Zia Natural Fresh Cleansing Gel. It smells like ylang ylang (I love it!) and leaves my skin feeling soft. I dig it.  I use the Zia Natural Sea Tonic Aloe Toner (for normal to oily skin) day and night. It’s alcohol free, and also smells really nice. I like the spray bottle, saves cotton pads. I’m using Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil-Eliminating Astringent on my t-zone and chin, and while I don’t love it, it’s okay for now. I really need a good beta hydroxy treatment – I’m thinking of trying Paula’s Choice. The site has $3 shipping during November, so maybe now is the time.

For day, I use L’Occitane Precious Fluid. I like the velvety finish, and it has nice ingredients, including my favorite borage oil.  I’m pondering switching to the Apple Velvet Concentrate, though, which is supposed to help with pores. Over the summer I used the Honey Face Cream and loved it, so really I suppose any L’Occitane moisturizer would do.

I’m still loving ShiKai Borage Dry Skin Therapy Eye Cream.  Best Stuff Ever.

At night I have been liking Beauty Without Cruelty 3% Alpha Hydroxy Facial Cleanser. It’s really gentle, but effectively removes makeup. I like the fresh scent (courtesy of lavender, rose geranium, and ylang ylang essential oils), and the pump bottle. It’s been good stuff. I’m really interested in the Renewal Moisture Cream with 8% Alpha Hydroxy Complex for nighttime use. It has some nice ingredients.

After toning, I use L’Occitane Elixir and Murad Night Reform Treatment. I really like how the Night Reform Treatment leaves my skin smooth, but at $65 a bottle it’s a bit pricey (hence my interest in the BWC Alpha Hydroxy moisturizer).  The Elixir is a dry oil that has borage and evening primrose oils in it. Since I’ve been using it, any acne blemishes I get heal without leaving marks on my skin – it has dramatically reduced scarring. Love it.

I top it all off with a light application of Alaffia Rooibos & Shea Butter Antioxidant Face Cream. This heavenly cream leaves my skin so soft, and hasn’t increased blackheads or blemishes (although I was afraid it would, with how rich it is).  If I don’t switch when I run out, it’ll be because I can’t give up how lovely this product feels on the skin (and how nice it smells).

I’ve noticed the biggest cause of blemishes for me is not washing my face at night. As long as I wash at night (or at least cheat with a Ponds Cleansing Cloth) and extract blackheads once in a while, my skin stays pretty clear.

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