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5 Things: Facial Cleansers
5 Things, Complexion, Skin Care - Be the first to comment! - October 15th, 2013

Facial cleansers fall into the category of things which I want to blog about, but things which don’t usually merit an entire dedicated review to each one. I mean, when it comes to cleansers, either they get your face clean or they don’t. Either they’re too drying or they’re not. That’s pretty much my criteria when it comes to cleansers. Bonus if they remove eye makeup. It seemed like facial cleansers were the perfect subject for a new 5 Things post. Without further ado, here are five cleansers that I deemed acceptable.

1. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. This gentle cleanser cleans well, doesn’t strip the skin, and gets most eye makeup off. It rinshes easily, and there isn’t much scent. I especially like to travel with this one. It’s not especially lather-y, so a decent choice for dryer skins.

2. Eclos Anti-Aging Facial Cleanser. Cleans? Check. Doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry? Check. Removes eye makeup? Mostly check. (Mascara is stubborn.) I like the pump for ease of use. This one is more lathery than the Fresh one.

3. L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam. Cleans? Yes. Dryness? No. Removes eye makeup? Not really. I love the foamy texture of this one, and it’s my other travel standby because the travel size bottles are just SO HANDY.

4. Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash. Cleans? Yup. Dryness? Nope. Removes eye makeup? Better than the others. Bonus points: smells like coconut and Pacifica is a local company to me. I like this one a lot.

5. Lush Let The Good Times Roll. Cleans? Pretty good. Dryness? No. Removes eye makeup? Not a chance. Bonus: smells A-MAY-ZING and it’s gently exfoliating. I actually reviewed this last year, but I’m mentioning it again because Lush just made it a permanent part of the line! Woohoo!!

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5 Things: Eye Creams
5 Things, Best Of, Skin Care - Comments (1) - June 11th, 2013

For as obsessed as I am with eye creams, I realized that I really don’t give them any love on my blog. I guess it’s because people tend to expect miracles from their eye creams, and that just doesn’t happen. I have yet to find The Miracle Dark Circle Treatment That Really, Really Works, for example, and honestly? It’ll never happen. There is no topical product out there that is going to give me skin I just wasn’t born with. HOWEVER. I do have way fewer fine lines around my eyes than people my age who’ve never used eye cream, so I know they’re doing something for my skin. Eye cream can also make a visible difference on that just-woke-up-shouldn’t-have-had-so-much-wine-last-night eye puffiness. So, this is my list of eye creams I tried, that I really liked, that I would (or did) buy again, and that I recommend to friends. As always, your mileage may vary.

1. Origins GinZing Eye Cream is here at the top because it’s my most recent discovery. It claims to brighten and de-puff, and lo, it does! It has a mega-slew of plant-based ingredients in it, and it does indeed brighten up the eye area (thanks optic brighteners!) and de-puff eyes.

2. L’Occitane Divine Eyes. The price of this product just kills me, but I can honestly say it’s amazing. It does help with fine lines, it does help with firming the skin around the eye area, and it helps with puffiness. It didn’t do much for my dark circles, but people with “tired eyes” dark circles (versus my genetic ones) will see a difference. If you want serious anti-aging, this will deliver.

3. Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash is pretty great. It’s supposed to hydrate, de-puff, smooth fine lines, yadda yadda (they all say the same thing, right?). Interestingly, the ingredient list has some crossover with the Origins product (ginseng, horse chestnut, optical brighteners) so it makes sense I’d like them both so much. The Clarins product is more expensive, but the tube is a little bigger (and it’s a tube, more hygienic). Don’t bother with Clarins Eye Contour Gel or Eye Contour Balm – they did not excite me. This one is great if you’re travelling, it’s an instant pick-me-up for your eyes.

4. Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream is lovely. De-puffs, brightens, softens fine lines, blah blah blah, and it feels so very soft and soothing. My first “favorite” eye cream.

5. ShiKai Borage Dry Skin Therapy Eye Cream, the first eye cream I tried that convinced me that eye cream was worth using every day. It’s also what I recommend for anyone with sensitive skin/eyes, as the formula is pretty simple. It’s not an anti-aging miracle, but it will certainly hydrate and I think it’s great as a preventive measure against fine lines. Good eye cream for young people!

There are a few honorable mentions, including the others I’ve reviewed on the blog. These here are the standouts based on bang for your buck, and overall results.

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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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EOTD: Sinister Poseidon
Eyeshadow - Comments (4) - October 12th, 2012

Are we tired of Halloween collection colors yet? I’m not! Today I used another new Black Rose Minerals color, this time from the Not Another Zombie Collection. I really love the top labels to the full size jars in this collection.

Sinister Urge, the Zombie color, is a light blue with a red sheen. This is a great color! I love pale blues, especially pale blues with cool stuff going on. I used it with more blue, but it would look great with pink or purple too. The crease color is Poseidon, a teal with turquoise glitter. Poseidon is one of my favorite blue colors! I used Poseidon with a damp brush to line the upper and lower lashlines as well. The highlight color is a discontinued L’Occitane color called Mousseline d’Argent, a white color with silver sparkles.

The blush is Lascivious, from Detrivore Cosmetics. The liploss is Nars Turkish Delight.

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L’Occitane Bonne Mere Gentle Body Wash Review
Body Care, Reviews, Splurge Worthy - Be the first to comment! - August 23rd, 2012

I’ve been using L’Occitane’s bar soaps for years because I like how mild they are and I like the fragrances. The Bonne Mere line of soaps are a particular favorite of mine, so it’s really cool that L’Occitane has expanded the line to include body wash, hand wash, and lotion. I got to try out the body wash, and it’s really nice!

I tried out the Bonne Mere Gentle Body Wash in the Milk fragrance. First, the bottle is HUGE. This is going to last for a while. It’s also probably the most economical of the L’Occitane body washes, at $34 for 20 fl. oz versus $20 for 8.4 fl. oz. I still consider it a splurge-type product, but it’s a good value for sure. The milk scent is a clean, fresh scent, and should appeal to most everyone. The formula is also really nice – lots of soft lather, and it leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturized. I like the pump bottle, it’s very easy to use.

In addition to the milk scent, there is also a honey scent which I’m sure is great. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve always liked L’Occitane’s honey scents so I’m sure it’s great. The new Bonne Mere products also include a hand wash and a gentle cream. I really want to try the cream!

The new Bonne Mere Gentle Body Wash is totally splurge-worthy! I give it two thumbs up!

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L’Occitane Angelica Cleanser & Scrub Review
Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Be the first to comment! - June 28th, 2012

When I’m feeling splurge-y, I really like L’Occitane’s face care products. The Angelica line is newer, introduced last year for dehydrated skin. Basically, it’s for anyone who needs hydration but not emolliency. I’ve used the Angelica Cleansing Gel and the Angelica Exfoliating Gel. I like them both!

The Angelica Cleansing Gel is a foaming cleanser. It contains angelica extract, and some peppermint. It’s made to remove makeup and cleanse the skin without being too harsh. It has a nice lather, and does a decent job removing makeup. While it’s supposed to be good for all skin types, personally I think it’s better suited to normal/combination skin. I didn’t find it drying, but I have really oily skin. I think drier skin types might find it a bit much. A little bit goes a long way, so while it is pricey, a bottle is going to last a while.

The Angelica Exfoliating Gel is a real winner, especially if you have sensitive skin. It has a fascinating texture – it’s soft, but still exfoliating. If you like a really SCRUBBY scrub, this one isn’t it. But if you have sensitive skin that just can’t take something with really scrubby bits, you’ll love it. It really reminds me of gommage-style product, which uses the rubbing motion of your fingers combined with a softer texture to do the exfoliating work. It’s still quite effective, my skin feels really soft and smooth after using it. This product is definitely splurge-worthy.

The Angelica Cleansing Gel and Exfoliating Gel get two thumbs up!

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Sunscreen: Eyes, Lips, Hands
Body Care, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy, Sun Care - Be the first to comment! - June 23rd, 2012

Most of us are pretty good at using some kind of sunscreen on our faces on a daily basis. After all, using sunscreen daily is probably the easiest and most effective way to slow down the signs of aging. Remembering to put sunscreen on the delicate eye area, on your lips, and on your hands is another matter entirely. Today I wanted to mention some sunscreens specifically for those areas that I’ve tried (and some that look good, although I haven’t tried them yet).

L’Occitane’s Immortelle Brightening Hand Care SPF 15 is a really nice daily hand care product that is basically anti-aging for the hands. With regular use, your hands will look smoother and if you already have age spots, they’ll diminish. I really like the texture of this hand cream. It’s a bit splurge-y, but otherwise it’s great.

I haven’t tried this one yet, but for a more budget friendly option, Boots’ No 7 Protect and Perfect Hand Cream SPF 15 looks interesting.

I’ve revised my opinion of Lavanila’s The Healthy Lip Screen SPF 30. It’s luxe, but I really like it. It’s the texture – I like it better than other mineral-based sunscreens I’ve used. It has a much more weightless feel on the lips than other products I’ve tried.

I haven’t tried this yet, but a very budget-friendly option to check out is Nivea’s A Kiss Of Protection, SPF 30. It’s really inexpensive, and combines chemical and mineral sun protection. It’s also readily available in drugstores.

I liked this L’Oreal Revitalift Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream quite a bit. It’s a two-fer – it has an SPF 15 day cream and a non-SPF night cream. Considering it’s two products in one, the price is pretty reasonable. I liked that the SPF 15 cream didn’t sting or irritate my eyes. I don’t have much in the way of deep wrinkles, so I can’t comment on that, but overall I was pleased with the product.

This Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care SPF 30 is more splurge-y, but their products are always so nice. I haven’t tried it, but if I was going to a sunny place for vacation or spent all day in the sun regularly, I totally would.

What are your favorite eye, lip, or hand sunscreens?

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EOTD: Baker’s Mew
Eyeshadow - Comments (2) - June 18th, 2012

I haven’t used my Shiro Cosmetics pretties enough lately, so today’s makeup uses Shiro! I had a doctor appointment, so I kept it on the more neutral side, with a hit of pink to keep it fun.

The inner corners are Baker’s Boy. Baker’s Boy is a shimmery light golden brown with blue sparks. It’s so pretty! It’s definitely a great neutral color. The outer corners are Mew, a pretty pink color that’s discontinued. (Awww.) The crease is There Will Be Cake, a shimmery chocolate brown with cherry sparks. This is a great brown color! The cherry sparks are fun, and it ties well with the pinky Mew. I forgot to use a highlight (derp!). The eyeliner is VS Makeup Eyeliner in Dark Chocolate.

The blush is Detrivore Cosmetics’ Indecent. Indecent is a deep vivid pink matte blush. I felt like being sparkly-ish today so I brushed a little bit of green hilite on top. The lipgloss is from L’Occitane, a discontinued pomegranate color.

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