Monday, November 10th, 2008

Origins’ Modern Frictionicon ($37.00) is a super citrus-scented exfoliant that uses rice starch to help slough off dead skin cells. You might remember I posted about this product a few months ago, as I bought it for my younger sister after she fell in love with the difference it made on her hand (she tried it in-store). Being a beauty addict, I figured she couldn’t have all the fun, so I had to get my own jar to try, too!

The product leaves me a little torn, because sometimes I find it seems too acidic that my eyes tear/sting a little just from the scent (because I definitely don’t use this near my eyes–at least not deliberately!). I think I must be particularly sensitive to an ingredient in there that causes that problem, so it probably isn’t something the average person would experience. Also, I do find it can be too harsh/abrasive when used dry (I find myself having to use water to soften it a bit). Origins says it is “nature’s gentle dermabrasion,” but it doesn’t feel that gentle to me. I love to exfoliate–and I have a whole slew (err, bin) of exfoliants and scrubs for face and body–so I’m no stranger to the feeling!

But on the other hand, my skin feels ridiculously smooth and instantly brightened post-use. The product is designed to be used over dry, clean skin two to three times a week. They do mention to use it over damp skin if you have more sensitive skin. After you’ve rubbed the product in, work it into a lather with a splash of water, then rinse. It really can be an amazing product to help soften, smooth, and brighten skin, so I definitely suggest stopping by your local Origins’ counter/store and getting a sample if you can.

It’s easy to use, but I know a lot of people are going to be put-off by the packaging, which is a large 4 oz. tub of product, which you scoop out product of. It’s just not the most sanitary way of doing things, so be sure to wash your hands before using to minimize contamination. Personally, I wash my hands thoroughly before I start my AM/PM skincare regimen, so it’s not a huge deal, *but* the jar contains so much product you’ll have this on-hand for at least a year. You just don’t need much to get the job done (especially if you use it with water rather than just dry). So while it helps stretch out the product’s cost, it is longer than I’d like for this kind of product. I do think this is a product better off in a tube and sold in smaller sizes (obviously at an equivalent price).

Overall, I still use the product regularly, but I wouldn’t say it’s my holy grail, just because it’s a bit harsher than I’d like on my skin in particular. The results definitely make it worth checking out, and like I said, I still find myself using it periodically, because I love the way it makes my skin feel afterward. If you find it’s too harsh for your face, it does work just as excellently as a body exfoliant, too!

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Friday, October 24th, 2008

Kings & Queens Sultan of Granada Lemon Flower Showergel ($9.00) pulled me in with its citrus-lemony scent dusted with a woodiness. It’s not the lemon scent of your dish-washing soap, but something gender-neutral and reminds me a bit of fading summer and the beginning of fall. It’s hard for me to choose between using this and Philosophy’s Caramel Apple in the morning these days, but lately I’ve been reaching for this. At $9.00 for 10 ounces, I feel like I can definitely indulge on this, whatever the economy may be at the time. This particular product is vegan (all of the Kings & Queens line is supposed to be vegan, except the body butters, which contain beeswax), and it’s mineral-oil and paraben free. I’m not too picky when it comes to shower gel–I want a good lather and a pleasing scent. I love perfume-y scents as much as food-based ones when it comes to my shower gel. This one nailed the scent, but what about lathering? Oh, yeah, it does that, too. No problems on that front! So all in all? An affordable shower gel that I love. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Sunday, October 19th, 2008


Available at Sephora

Philosophy’s Haunted House ($30.00) is a three-piece set of three perfectly fall scents: Pumpkin Spice, Black Licorice, and Caramel Apple. I love, love, LOVE Philosophy’s shower gels (which also double as a shampoo and bubble bath). I prefer to use them as shower gels personally, but they definitely work well as a bubble bath, too! My favorite scent was Pumpkin Spice, because nothing reminds me of the descent into fall like pumpkin pie. (Funny enough, I just polished off a Pumpkin Spice Latte!) Caramel Apple is also a nice scent that’s sweet without being cloying or overwhelming. Like most shower gels, these scents won’t pervade the rest of your day. They’re fun to enjoy in the shower and fade away afterwards. If you love the scent, it’s a good idea to layer it with a body cream or lotion. Black Licorice isn’t my personal favorite scent (I can’t stand licorice, actually!), but it really does smell just like the candy–so if you’re into it, you’ll adore it. I love Philosophy’s shower gel formula because they lather up with little product and smell just like they’re named. These didn’t disappoint!

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Lavanila Healthy Body Wash in Vanilla Coconut ($20.00) is providing customers with a 100% natural and sulf-atefree body wash option. You can choose from four scents: Pure Vanilla, Vanilla Grapefruit, Vanilla Blossom, and Vanilla Coconut. These body washes are new products to their Healthy Body line, which already includes coordinating fragrances and body butters.

The company lists the key ingredients as: coconut oil (to cleanse), oat protein (moisturizes and adjusts skni’s pH), pomegranate (gently exfoliates), Goji berries (antioxidant), Willow Bark extract (acts as an astringent to tone), and Vanilla Planifolia Fruit extract (anti-inflammatory). You won’t find SLS, mineral oils, parabens, silicone, or phthalates in this product.

Vanilla Coconut reminds me of the beach–it’s just got that heavenly scent of coconut and the beach scene. If you liked Bobbi Brown’s Beach scent, you’ll love this, too. The scent doesn’t linger prominently once your shower is over, so if you want to smell like the beach all day, try layering the scent with the body butter. I find it lathers really well for a product tagged natural, and even against more chemically-created lathers, it lathers well. This is best used with a puff sponge, because it helps the product lather and gently exfoliate and cleanse your skin.

You can find this at www.sephora.com, or you can learn more at www.lavanila.com.

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Soap & Glory is my new favorite budget bath & body line. In my shower product post, I told you how I adore their Flake Away Body Polish. It’s an awesome salt-based scrub that works wonders on your skin, gently exfoliating and sloughing off all of the dead skin cells. I also tried their Righteous Body Butter Lotion, which has the same scent as their Flake Away scrub. I often will apply this rich body lotion after my shower, because it’s quite moisturizing, and it reinforces the scent and smell of the scrub. I actually got my boyfriend to use this on his rough spots (elbows, mostly), who would have thought? I like the products I’ve tried from the brand, and I hope to try out more in the future. I know many of you expressed an interest in more drugstore reviews/coverage, so consider this in that direction :)

Soap & Glory is available exclusively at Target. In-store may offer more product selection than online, FYI!

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Lancome Resurface Microdermabrasion Body ($46.00) is my newest addition to my shower regimen. I love exfoliation; it just feels like I’m getting clean, my skin is always incredibly softer post-exfoliation/scurb, and if I could do it every day, I would.

For my body, while I do sugar scrubs once a week or so, I do find that they can be a little rough from time to time. Enter Lancome Resurface Microdermabrasion! They use aluminum oxide crystals and finely ground pumice stone as their exfoliators of choice, which is a very, very fine mixture that you smooth over your skin, massage into it, and come out with gorgeous looking skin.

It is such a fine/small exfoliant, so it is ideal for anyone who has sensitive skin, exfoliates regularly, or may be fair skinned and stronger exfoliants leave tell-tale redness behind. You get a pretty decent sized tube of the stuff for the price, and you really only need a pea-sized amount for each leg. Another thing I like about this is that unlike a lot of my sugar scrubs, this doesn’t have any oiliness to it, so I can use it right before I shave without getting film and residue in my razor afterwards. I’m so in love with this product, and it is the perfect addition to my body care–just in time for summer!