Wednesday, October 19th, 2011


LUSH Pumpkin Soap

LUSH Halloween: Pumpkin & Demon in the Dark Soaps, Ceridwen’s Cauldron Bath Melt Reviews & Photos

Pumpkin Soap ($6.95 for 2.5 oz.) is warm and spicy; the clove and cardamom co-star in this autumnal-themed soap. I personally think it’s adorable; it’s the happy Jack o’ lantern, not the creepy kind. LUSH likens this to the “sweet and spicy scent of pumpkin pie.” I get a wee bit of pumpkin pie coming through on the tail end, but it’s not a scent I’d describe as gourmand. I think it’s the lack of sweetness that allows the spiciness of the clove, cardamom, and cinnamon to rise above the pumpkin aspect. It’s a subtle scent, too, and it disappears quickly after washing (which may be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferences).

Demon In The Dark Soap ($7.95 for 3.5 oz.) is described as a mix of spearmint and apple juice. The scent is more mint than anything else, but there is an underlying earthiness to it. I found the minty freshness more apparent when just sniffing the dry bar, but the sweetness of the apple juice did come out when used and lathered. Overall, it has a more masculine edge, which makes it great to give to the dirty boys and men in your life, though I have no problem using it as a female! It’s a lower lathering soap compared to other LUSH soaps I’ve tried, but it gives me the same clean skin (without being drying). The scent does not linger for more than a half hour post-shower.

Ceridwen’s Cauldron Bath Melt ($7.95 for 2.8 oz.) is a perfect melt to choose for a decadent and ultra-relaxing bath, because it’s rich and herbaceous with lots of lavender. LUSH’s Bath Melts are nice, because they provide a milkiness to the bath water without making it feel oily or greasy, so your skin gets the hydration without the slippery tub afterward. It comes wrapped in muslin, which is a nice touch, because there is also oatmeal and herb bits and bobs, so the cloth keeps everything from getting into the water while still giving you the aromatic experience. After I emerge from a quick bath (I am actually not a bath person; I think it’s because I suck at relaxing), my skin feels soft and moisturized. There’s a lavender scent that lingers for a few hours afterward.

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Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Philosophy Rainbow Sherbet
Philosophy Rainbow Sherbet

Looking for Rainbows with Philosophy

Philosophy Everything’s Coming Up Rainbows Set ($28.00) includes a 4 oz. Rainbow Sherbet Shower Gel, 4 oz. Rainbow Sherbet Body Lotion, and 0.5 oz. Rainbow Sherbet Flavored Lip Shine. It pulls more like orange sherbet but it has that sweetness from pineapple, too. I loved the scent in the shower, because the getting a sniff of citrus was invigorating in the early morning.

The body lotion smelled exactly the same, but it’s a product that works best for someone who moisturizers daily or doesn’t suffer from dry skin–it’s a lotion, so it has a thin consistency. (My dragon scales need a body butter or cream!) It did absorb quickly, and the scent did not overwhelm me at all but still detectable after a few hours. Similarly, the Lip Shine shared the same scent, and it’s pretty much just a clear gloss with white shimmer. They’re fun and always give me an urge to lick my lips.

It’s a cute set, and I’m glad I bought it so I could try out a new scent. Even though it’s a fun set, it’s not a value set. Full-sized shower gels retail for $16 (for 16 oz.) and body lotions retail for $24 (for 16 oz.), while Lip Shines retail for $10. The set comes with $4 worth of shower gel, $6 worth of body lotion, and $10 worth of Lip Shine–$20 in sum but will set you back $28.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Depending on what product you like most, you may just want to grab that one (as all three are available separately in full-sizes).

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Illamasqua Volt Illumine Oil
Illamasqua Volt Illumine Oil

Less Bronze, More Galactic

Illamasqua Volt Illumine Oil (£32.00 for 100ml) is the same lovely formula as Pulse, but it gives off a very different look. This look is less sun goddess and more moon goddess–it’s a mix of iridescent blue and violet and white shimmer. I think this would be especially beautiful on those with cooler skin tones, because it will really set them off. Less coconutty scent, more general tropics feel–again, doesn’t seem to linger on me.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you find golden body oils to be too unnatural on you, Volt may be a nice way to give you the same shimmer-sheen look with a more natural look.

AVAILABILITY: Illamasqua

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Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Illamasqua Pulse Illumine Oil
Illamasqua Pulse Illumine Oil

Go Golden Bronze!

Illamasqua Pulse Illumine Oil (£32.00 for 100ml) is a quick-drying, fast-absorbing golden bronze shimmer-sheen oil. This is an excellent product to use on legs and shoulders for an extra glow on a night out on the town. A little goes a long way, and I love that it dries down and still gives off that soft sheen but doesn’t feel oily or slick. The shimmer is subtle that it doesn’t look like you’ve bathed in body glitter, and it’s as natural as shimmer is ever going to look. There seems to be a very subtle coconutty scent, but it’s barely there and doesn’t linger for more than a few minutes on me.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you love glowy, slightly sunkissed legs, I think you’d love Pulse. It’s not going to be a self-tanner or bronzer, but it is going to accentuate your natural tan and skin tone.

AVAILABILITY: Illamasqua

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Bronze Body Oil

MAC To the Beach Collection — Bronze Body Oil Review, Photos, Swatches

To the Beach certainly gives one many options for faux sunkissed skin. New to MAC (and limited edition, of course) is To the Beach Bronze Body Oil. This is, essentially, a body oil that dries down quickly with lots of bronze and golden shimmer suspended in it. In the swatch, you’ll see how one pump comes out, but then you’ll see how it gets blended out. I didn’t find it really added color to my skin tone (the inside of my arm being around NC20), but it does add some nice shimmer. I also didn’t detect any scent to it – no chemical-smell, nor is it distinctly fragranced with vanilla or the like.

I think this is nice for legs, arms, and shoulders when you’re going out on the town for a night. The shimmer itself is very thin and smooth, not at all gritty (it’s not glitter, it’s definitely of the shimmer variety!). It’s subtle–indoors, in my office, I don’t really notice anything, but when I go outside, it’s lovely. I don’t think this is a must-have, period, but for those who love products like these, I think it’s a good one.  Drying time is fast, and there is no greasy residue or slickness left behind.

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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Philosophy Raspberries & Cream Lotion

Philosophy Raspberries & Cream Body Lotion ($24.00 for 16 fl. oz.) smells EXACTLY like raspberries and cream.  It’s just ripened, perfectly sweet raspberries with the milkiness of cream to temper it.  Smells delicious… makes me want to hunker down with some dessert!  Philosophy really has a knack for nailing the scents they’re after.  You may not love the scent, but you can’t say it isn’t true to its name.  I picked this up at Nordstrom last week, because I couldn’t resist — I’m a sucker for raspberries.  They’re my favorite fruit!  But nevertheless, I’m glad I did.

It’s a lightweight lotion that feels creamy and absorbs in about five minutes.  You get a giant bottle (at least, it seems giant to me, I don’t know when I’ll finish it, if I ever do!), and you really don’t need more than a two pumps for a leg.  It’s not an ultra thick, ultra rich body cream–it’s definitely a lotion.  I like it for summer and as an everyday lotion, because it doesn’t take forever to sink into skin.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you love the scent of sweetened raspberries, you may want to give this a whiff next time you’re at a Philosophy counter!

AvailabilityNordstrom

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