Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Mmm… Body Scrub:  Kiehl’s Lavender Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub

Kiehl’s Lavender Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub ($25.00 for 6.8 fl. oz.) is pretty much my new favorite body scrub.  A part of me is struggling with how to describe what exactly I’m loving about it in such a way that truly conveys how much I adore it, but obviously, I’m going to give it a shot or else this review wouldn’t be here!

This totally does its job!  I don’t know about “gentle” exfoliation, but it has a nice level of grit/abrasiveness that makes it effective without being too harsh.  I’ve used other scrubs touted as gentle/sensitive, and they are definitely much less abrasive than this one, so I just don’t know if I’d really call this gentle.  I’d consider it more of a happy medium between what I’d consider gentle (which I think of as more of sand-sized exfoliating grains) and the average body scrub (that likely has sugar or salt particles for exfoliating).  It’s for your body, and I personally find this to be a good level of abrasiveness.   I couldn’t tell you what exactly they use for their exfoliant other than they’re “natural exfoliation particles.”

Surprisingly, the body scrub was also really hydrating post-application, too.  It both exfoliated, but it didn’t take any moisture out, and I felt like it even added a little to it. I know Kiehl’s website does point out that one of the “key ingredients” is aloe vera, so perhaps that’s where the moisturized feeling comes from.  I do feel like the scrub delivers on its promise to “leave skin silky-soft, refreshed and primed for moisturization.”  It’s also a body scrub that is creamy and lathers up a bit, so it almost feels like both a body scrub and a body wash.  I am a little partial towards body scrubs that also have a more lathering base, because I do find that they’re more moisturizing on the whole and easier to use.

I’m satisfied with the pricing on this product, too, because you get a good amount that will yield plenty of usages.  I found about a nickel-sized dollop was a good amount per leg, and I didn’t feel like I was being skimpy, either–it was just enough to be rich and effective without feeling like I was trying to conserve the product.   There are, obviously, cheaper body scrubs available, but if you’re a Kiehl’s fan, it is a bit on the top line of  their price range, but it’s a solid product.  I’d say that after seeing the pricing on Kiehl’s other body washes and scrubs, it’s about where I’d expect–cheaper than Creme de Corps, but a little pricier than their Ultra Moisturizing.  (I haven’t tried either of those, but now I’m curious!)

The one I tested out has a very lovely lavender scent–there’s nothing to it, it smells exactly as lavender would smell, and I love that.  I do find the scent of lavender to be particularly relaxing, so I often use lavender-based products at night.  I’ve been using this in the shower at night, and then layering a lavender-scented lotion afterward.  It’s soft, not at all overwhelming, and smells very natural.  They also have the scrub in Coriander, Grapefruit, and Pear Tree if Lavender isn’t your thing.

Bottom Line: This is definitely one of my favorite body scrubs of all time, and it’s my new go-to since I started using it.  I’m going to take a sniff at the other scents next time I’m near the Kiehl’s counter, but I have a feeling Lavender is the best scent for me.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Body scrub buffs should look into Kiehl’s for a moisturizing, gritty scrub!

Availability: Nordstrom

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Philosophy Pumpkin Spice Muffin Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath Review

Philosophy Pumpkin Spice Muffin Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath ($16.00 for 16 oz.) is yet another fun, aromatic scent from Philosophy, just in time for the fall and holiday season. I already reviewed a few of their other holiday scents, but I knew I was going to fall in love with this one.

I am ALL about pumpkin spice. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte… Pumpkin Spice Creamer (now I can use my beloved Nespresso to make the BEST at-home pumpkin spice lattes!)… Panera Pumpkin Muffins… you name it, if it has pumpkin spice in the title, I’m all over it. Seriously. LOVE IT. It’s so cozy and homey and autumn. Philosophy totally nailed this scent in a way that really blows me away. I was like, “How did they manage to get that pumpkin spice WITH just a touch of muffin in it?” It’s just so on point. It has the exact scent of pumpkin spice, but as you take a sniff, you can totally detect that it’s more of a pumpkin spice muffin you’re smelling. I was just particularly amazed as I was really dissecting the scent last night in the shower.

I love Philosophy’s 3-in-1 Shower Gels, because they lather up quickly and easily, and they smell so good. (If you aren’t feeling pumpkin spice–how could you not?!–they have a variety of scents, mostly food-related.) I personally also love that the scent fills the bathroom/shower, but it doesn’t linger on the skin. This allows me to wear any body cream/lotion or perfume post-shower and not worry about mixing and matching scents. One 16 oz. bottle lasts me about three or four months (for two, maybe more like a month and a half or two), so I’m satisfied with the cost-per-use value I get out of each bottle.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love pumpkin spice, I think you’ll love this scent!

Availability: Beauty.com, Nordstrom, Philosophy, Sephora

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Philosophy:  Peppermint Hot Cocoa Shower Gel
Philosophy: Peppermint Hot Cocoa Shower Gel

Philosophy Peppermint Hot Cocoa Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath ($16.00 for 16 oz.) is a fun, holiday scent from Philosophy’s Holiday Collection.  The first time I lathered up with this product, I was instantly reminded of peppermint mochas from Starbucks.  It’s that chocolaty sweetness mixed with a pop of peppermint.  I think Philosophy nailed the scent, and the name is perfectly suited to it.  It’s a good mix of chocolate sweetness and richness and peppermint where neither scent overpowers the other.

Philosophy describes this scent as, “a minty spin on a chocolaty holiday favorite. this super-decadent, new peppermint hot cocoa shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath 16 oz. will surely become your favorite shower-time treat. the ultra-rich formula provides a moisturizing lather from head to toe to gently cleanse and condition your skin and hair. it even comes in a giftable holiday box.”

I am a big, and a long-time, fan of Philosophy’s 3-in-1 gels.  I only use mine as shower gels (I prefer other products for shampoo, and I rarely take baths), but I love these for two reasons:  1) sheer variety in scents available and 2) they lather up so easily and quickly and feel great when you’re using them in the shower.  I think these are affordable products, because one 16 oz. bottle lasts me about three or four months, easily.  You don’t need much to lather head to toe or to get the scent to fill your shower.  The only thing I don’t like about these is I find the bottle packaging to be of a very hard plastic, so it isn’t as easy as I’d like to squeeze out the product when it starts getting empty–requires a little strength!

Bottom Line: If you prefer shower gels that give you a lingering scent after the shower is over, Philosophy’s aren’t really designed for that purpose (they actually advertise them as scents that don’t linger past the shower/bath).  If, however, you want to enjoy a burst of scent in the shower in various fun scents like Peppermint Hot Cocoa, but don’t necessarily want to walk around smelling like that, these are amazing.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  As with most Philosophy shower gels… if you like this kind of scent or it sounds like one you might like, I urge you to give it a whiff!

Availability: Philosophy, Sephora

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Monday, August 31st, 2009

True Blue Morocco Cedarood & Spice Warming Body Scrub is a Bit Cool

Cedarwood & Spice Warming Body Scrub ($15.00 for 6 oz.) is a spicy, exotic smelling body scrub.  It’s designed to warm on contact with the skin to be both soothing and invigorating.

It’s a mild exfoliant with a very fine particles, actually feels fine enough to be more of a body polish than a scrub. I actually found that there was not enough scrubbies in it to really make an effective scrub, just because you either use a ton or you end up having them sparsely on your legs/arms. I did, however, really enjoy the warming sensation! I just wished the warmth would last longer or allow me to spread it out a bit more before the sensation began. I found it worked well in spots, but it didn’t work so well when I wanted to lather and massage it into a larger area of skin (e.g. a leg).

So, if it doesn’t do much scrubbing and the warming sensation is short-lived, what makes me like this product anyway? Because it smells divine! It is a fairly strong aroma of sandalwood, amber, musk, and cedarwood. It’s very spicy and woody–very masculine in a way. I like! I’m just a fan of some of these darker, woodier scents, and it actually lingers on skin all day long. I’ve found most body scrubs and gels to have great scents while I’m in the shower, but they fade shortly after I’ve toweled dry. That is certainly not the case here–the scent is noticeable but not overwhelming; you could layer with a similar scented body lotion, too, but even alone, it works as a very subtle, muted fragrance.

This product has so much potential to be amazing–I really would love to see the addition of more scrub particles so it actually exfoliates well. Even though it doesn’t feel like there is much scrubbing action, it does leave skin soft and smooth wherever you do scrub, and the scrubbing particles don’t disappear/melt away quickly, so you can massage it in a bit. I like more in my scrub, but perhaps there are others who like a much finer, lighter scrub.

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

Recommendation: If it weren’t for the heady spicy, woody scent, I might find this product pretty useless. Because I do love the scent and it lingers throughout the day, I do find myself reaching it for often. It can also be nice to use on specific, targeted areas like feet or on a strained muscle to take advantage of the warming sensation.

Availability: Bath & Body Works

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Scrub-A-Dub-Dub: Philosophy In the Tub

Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough Hydrating Body Scrub ($30.00 for 8 oz.) is a gentle, mild exfoliator for body that’s easily used in the shower.  Though many of us can use coarser scrubs like sea salt, some people find those too harsh either from personal preference or their skin just doesn’t take kindly to it.  Enter Philosophy’s When Hope is Not Enough Hydrating Body Scrub!  (They really need an acronym for this — WHNE, anyone?)

While I liked the Body Lotion from this line, I love the scrub much more. The major reason is the scrub holds a lot more value than the lotion, which I felt I’d run through too quickly to merit the price tag ($35). The scrub will last me anywhere from four to six months, easily, using it two to three times a week.

This scrub has gritty but tiny scrubbing particles that help exfoliate your skin without irritating it or over-exfoliating. I’d call it more of a body polish than a scrub, actually, based on the scrub’s texture.

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

Recommendation: If you’re into body polishes instead of coarser, grittier body scrubs, check this one out!

Availability: Philosophy.com, Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com

Have you tried the Hydrating Body Scrub? What was your take?

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

True Blue Naked’s In the Buff Body Polish ($17.50 for 8 oz.) is a creamy body exfoliator with tiny jojoba beads, shea butter, and vitamin E. The scent is kind of a soft lemon-y aroma; not floral, very clean and fresh smelling.

I’ve found most body scrubs and washes don’t have any scents that linger beyond the shower, but I could still detect a clean lemon scent when I sniffed my arm. This is to say that the scent doesn’t fade entirely, but it isn’t overpowering either. Personally, I’m a huge fan of clean scents, particularly lemon and citrus, so it works out nicely for me.

What’s interesting about this particular body scrub is how creamy it is. I took some from the tub, slathered it on my legs, and I found adding a little more shower water to it made it turn creamy and spread more easily. It lathered up a bit, and the jojoba beads are so fine/soft that it is a gentle exfoliator, too. I have some more abrasive sugar-based body scrubs in my shower, which have a place in my heart, but for more regular exfoliation, I definitely will be using this. I also like just putting some on my loofah and using it that way, when I’m a bit lazier, and it works just as well.

All in all, I’m pleased with the scent, performance of the scrub (well, polish), and I know it’ll last me several months.  This is a product I’d personally use 3-4 times a week, possibly less (again, if laziness kicks in…), and I know it’ll last me a few months, so there’s good value in it for me.

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