Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Korres Thyme Honey Cream ($32.50 for 1.35 oz.) is a daily moisturizer designed for normal and dry skin.

Korres is known as a brand that doesn’t use a lot of those “bad” ingredients like parabens, suflates, petro-chemcials, and synthetic dyes. My personal stance is I’m not overly concerned by them, as research hasn’t proven otherwise (at least not to me) — one of my favorite beauty blogs, The Beauty Brains, did a write-up on parabens. So for me, a “natural” product just has to be a good product for me, but I’m not looking for anything explicitly natural. (It’s totally fine if you are, though! To each their own! :) )

This is a medium thick cream that comes in a jar, but it actually feels lightweight and absorbs very quickly. I went through my entire jar in about four or five weeks. It definitely felt a little faster than normal (normally I’ve spent the requisite four to six weeks testing it out, and then I move on and there’s still plenty left). To be clear, though, I was using this both AM and PM and typically I do have a separate AM and PM moisturizer. I’d expect if you just use this as a PM moisturizer, you’d get about two to three months of use out of one jar.

This doesn’t have any SPF, which does make it usable at night (without feeling like you’re wasting the SPF factor!), but consequently, you do need to wear something else that does have SPF. I found it moisturized my normal-to-dry skin very well, and I never felt dry or had any dry patches creep on me.

I will caution some on the scent, which is kind of like an earthy honey scent. It didn’t read synthetic honey to me, but it’s noticeable when you first apply it. I personally didn’t notice the scent linger on after it absorbed, but if you’re not a honey person, I’d recommend you choose one of Korres’ other moisturizers. I liked the scent, though I didn’t love it, but it wasn’t an issue for my nose!

Even though Korres does recommend this for normal skin, I think it’s more suited for those with drier skin, because it is quite hydrating and rich enough to soothe drier skin, it may be too heavy on normal skin. I wouldn’t recommend this one for oily skinned folks, either. If you have normal skin but sometimes need an extra boost in hydration, I’d suggest checking out Korres Thyme Honey Mask instead, as an as-needed intensive treatment.

I’m not a big fan of open-jar packaging. I’m just not keen on using fingers to scoop out product (let’s face it, most of us are not vigilant enough about using a separate, sterile spatula every time we go to moisturize), so I’d rather an airless pump in some form myself. The packaging feels nice (I think it’s glass) and has some heft to it, and the way Korres’ labels their products is cute and functional.

Overall, after using this for over a month (’til I ran out), I liked it, but I’m still on the hunt for something else. I don’t typically use up whole jars of anything, so it is a testament to how much I did enjoy using the product while it lasted. It moisturized and kept my skin moisturized throughout the day without causing breakouts or clogged pores. That’s pretty much what the product is supposed to do, and it definitely did that! I’m trying out Korres’ Wild Rose moisturizer now, will let you know how that works out…

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For those with dry skin, Korres’ Thyme Honey Moisturizer will keep your skin hydrated and soothed!

Availability: Sephora

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Korres Materia Herba Toning Cleansing Foam ($27.00 for 5.07 fl. oz.) is a foaming cleanser that’s touted as being very natural/organic for you. Korres lists it as having 98.9% natural content, suitable for vegans, and doesn’t contain a whole slew of purported bad-for-you ingredients like mineral oil, silicone,s parabens, sulphyates, SLES, synthetic dyes, fragrances, or petrochemicals.

The cleanser is designed to use naturally derived salicylic acid to break up oil, bacteria, while providing mild exfoliation and controlling blemishes, according to the brand. As far as a cleanser goes, I like it, but I don’t love it. It’s a very no-frills kind of product. The packaging is simple, the product itself is simple. You pump the foam in your hands, apply to face, and massage the product into the skin to dissolve and remove daily build-up. The foam itself is white, and there’s no real scent to it – kind of reminds me of something light and airy but not fragrance-y. It just smells “natural” to me.

I like using this as a morning cleanser, because I only need a lightweight cleanser in the AM. It does a decent job at removing makeup, but it’s not excellent at removing heavy makeup (like longwearing eyeliner, mascara, etc.), so that’s yet another reason I use this in the morning rather than in the evening. It leaves my skin feeling clean without any tightness, though it can be a little on the drying side if you already have drier skin. It is great on combination and oily skin, though.

The packaging is functional, clean, and really just simple. The value of the product seems high to me, because I only need one pump of foam to cleanse my entire face. I suppose the only problem with solid packaging like this bottle is not having any idea when you start getting close to the bottom. I point this out because Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple (the foaming version) is clear, so you always have an idea of when you need to buy more.

All in all, it’s a decent cleanser, and if simplicity is your style, this may be more suitable for you. For a morning cleanser, it moves up to pretty good, because it just gives you that nicely clean and refreshed feeling without being more powerful than you need.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you like natural/organic lines and are looking for a simple cleanser, Korres Materia Herba may be something to consider.

Availability: Sephora

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Dragon Lady Legs vs. Korres Body Butter

Korres Guava Body Butter ($29.00 for 7.95 oz.) is a rich body moisturizer with a lightweight scent and heavyweight hydration with a sweet, tropica scent of guava and coconut (at least, that’s what I keep noticing).

The scent reminds me of tropical fruits, but I detect a bit of coconuttiness every time I sniff it. That’s just fine with me, since I love the scent! It’s a lightweight scent, though, so it’s not something that is cloying or feels overwhelming. Soft and subtle wins this race! :)

Surprisingly, a little goes a long way, because you only need a slightly-bigger-than-pea-sized amount for each arm/leg. This helps the price tag seem more palatable, because it does seem pricey at first. Since you can get a lot of usage out of one tube, I’d definitely say it is worth the money, and I wouldn’t say that you’re really indulging either. One thing that is nice is you can purchase it in a small tube, jumbo tube, or a medium-sized pump system. So it’s really a matter of your preference! The little tube is a bit bigger than a hand cream tube, so it fits easily in your purse for on-the-go hydration.

It’s unusual to find a body butter in a tube or pump, as most come in a tub. I really like the tube/pump delivery system, because I feel it’s more hygenic. The tub always feels a little yuck to me, and I’m always making sure my hands are thoroughly washed before grabbing any out of it. (Of course, you can always use a clean spatula to remove the product as an alternative to your fingers.)

Korres’ Body Butter does a thorough job of moisturizing dry, parched skin and keeps it soft all day long. After a week of consistent use (and for me, that is HARD! I always forget – bad me!), my legs felt like butter themselves. I really have the scaliness dragon lady legs you’ve ever seen, so any moisturizer has a very uphill climb with me! I’m so pleased that Korres’ Body Butter was able to meet the challenge. I’ve still yet to be disappointed by a Korres product!

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation:  If you like tropical scents, you’ll probably enjoy Korres’ Guava-scented body butter.  If not, but you’re still in the market for a heavy duty moisturizer, their body butters are available in several other scents.

Availability: Sephora, Korres

P.S. – 30% off code TEMPTALIA is still good at KorresUSA.com through 9/15. Just placed my order on Friday myself! :)

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Korres Vanilla Cinnamon Body Milk for Soft Skin

Korres Vanilla Cinnamon Body Milk ($15.00 for 8.45 fl. oz.) is a thin, highly liquid moisturizer for the body. It smells exactly as I would imagine vanilla and cinnamon to smell together. It has the softer, subtler sweetness of creamy vanilla melded with the spiciness and woodiness of cinnamon. Korres describes the scent as “a creamy touch with insistent woody tones.”

The body milk has the consistency of heavy, heavy milk cream, so some might even call it “runny.” I was actually surprised at how thin and lightweight the body milk was, because it quite easily poured out of the container (I have a sample size–just under 2 fl. oz–as the full size versions come with a pump–thankfully!). Despite being incredibly thin, it actually moisturises very well. It kept my legs and arms scale-free all day, and I didn’t feel the need to reapply throughout the day. It absorbs quickly (less than five minutes) and doesn’t leave any greasiness or stickiness behind.

I’m really pleased that the full-size packaging has a pump, because it’s extremely helpful with this product in particular, as the consistency is so thin, it is easy to pour/squeeze out more than you need. The pump gives you much more control over just how much you need, and I have always had a preference for pump-mechanisms for a lot of products. I feel like you can “measure” how much you need by how many pumps you need, so you can be consistent day-to-day. It is also very hygenic!

The price just right, too.  It’s not necessarily the cheapest way to moisturize your skin, but it doesn’t break the bank either.  For me, it is in that perfect position of being affordable but still feeling like I’m indulging–just a bit.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you like spicy/woody scents, Vanilla Cinnamon is fantastic. Smells very natural, not synthetic/perfume-y. The Body Milk is hydrating even on dry skin, and it never feels heavy or greasy.

Availability: KorresUSA.com (Don’t forget — save 30% off your orders with code TEMPTALIA, good until 9/15/09!)

Monday, August 17th, 2009


Korres #52 Red Cherry Lipgloss

Real Lip Gloss Color & Shine with Korres Cherry Full Color Gloss

Korres Cherry Full Color Gloss ($16.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a richly pigmented, glossy lip gloss formula. It is available in thirteen shade varieties from light pinks to beiges to reds.

I tried #52 Red Pink, which is described as a sheer cherry red by Sephora, though I’d completely disagree! It’s more of a semi-opaque, glossy red doused with pink to tone it down and laced with just a smidgen of gold shimmer. The gloss formula is moisturizing, non-sticky, and it has a bit of a cherry scent to it. I wouldn’t call this a particularly long-wearing lipgloss, but I get around three to four hours of wear without the product fading or migrating.

Again, much like Korres’ Eyeshadow pricing, the lipgloss comes in as an affordable high-end brand. For comparison, MAC Lipglass goes for $14.00 for 0.17 oz.; Benefit Lip Gloss goes for $18.00 for 0.17 oz.; Guerlain KissKiss Gloss goes for $29.00 for 0.20 oz.; and Smashbox’s Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss goes for $21.00 for 0.10 oz. As far as I can tell, Korres Cherry Full Color Gloss comes in as a great budget-friendly way to buy high-end without breaking the bank.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If a small but varied range of lipgloss that’s moisturizing and non-sticky is up your alley, check out Korres’ Cherry Full Color Gloss. If you like them sheer, be sure to research the shade or check it out in store to be sure it’s not too pigmented.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, August 17th, 2009

Korres Guava Lipsticks: Gorgeous, but are they worth it?

Korres Guava Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a slim-sized lipstick with carnauba wax, beeswax, and shea to keep your lips hydrated as you wear the lipstick color. It’s currently available in ten different shades ranging from nude to red. I tried #17 Pink and #55 Red.

  • #17 Pink is a shimmery shade of rosy pink with no real shimmer so much as just a silver frosty sheen. It went on fairly pigmented, though I’d describe it as semi-opaque. It was smooth and creamy, and it definitely felt moisturizing on the lips.
  • #55 Red is a semi-opaque shade of vibrant blue-based red with a subtle sheen. This one was a bit more pigmented and intense compared to #17 Pink, but it is also red, so I was expecting a little more pay off with this shade.

I actually really loved the feel of these–very soft and silky. I felt like these wore well, too, and they gave me about four hours of wear with minimal fading. Though they made my lips feel hydrated, they’re not ultra creamy or glossy–I don’t think they’d give chapped lips enough hydration to quench their thirst, but for normal lips, they do quite well.

My biggest complaint was the price of the lipstick, particularly relative to how much product you get. To put it in perspective, a MAC lipstick goes for $14.00 for 0.10 oz.; a Guerlain lipstick goes for $30.00 for 0.12 oz.; Cargo’s PlantLove lipstickgoes for $20.00 for 0.14 oz.; and a Urban Decay lipstick goes for $22.00 for 0.13 oz.

I’d be more comfortable paying $22.00 if I was getting a decent amount of product. Korres’ Mango Butter Lipsticks are $18.00 for 0.12 oz. product, so while the Guava Lipstick may have fancier ingredients, it still felt and looked like a lipstick on me, so the extra $6 for half the product is hard to swallow.  Next time, I’m going to look into their regular lipsticks instead.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: Love pigmented lipsticks? Korres give just the right amount of pigmentation for a nice lip color. The packaging is slim and compact, but the price is not nearly as palatable. At $22 a pop, it’s a bit more than a treat for some. From Korres, I’d expect a price a bit lower (probably around $18) or else double the product. One of the major reasons I love Korres is that they’re an affordable and consistent brand.  The Guava Lipsticks are a great product, but they’re certainly a bit of a splurge!

Availability: Sephora

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