Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise Body Creme

A Bedtime Indulgence with Vanilla & Anise

Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise Body Creme ($75.00 for 5.9 fl. oz.) is a decadent scent indulgence for the body.  It’s expensive, but it’s a definite luxury.  Vanilla & Anise is new for spring, and it is delicious!  It’s times like these that I wish I had a more sophisticated sniffer, because I’ve been bumbling over how to describe this scent for the past week!

Top Notes: Sicilian Bergamot, Tunisian Neroli, Wild Fennel Flower, Star Anise
Heart Notes: Oleander, Tuberose, Frangipani, Purple Vanilla Orchid
Base notes: Clove, Tonka, White Amber, Creamy Musks, Vanilla Bourbon Absolute, Vetiver Haiti

Initially, it has a spicy, lightly vanilla scent mixed with a sharper citrus taste, which is pleasant and enjoyable, but the dry down is fantastic.  It’s like a heady, seductive mix of tempered vanilla and amber with an almost woody feel.  The vanilla notes you find in this scent is not the vanilla cupcake scent you’ll find at a bakery.  It has a definite sweetness to it, but it’s not cloying or sugary-sweet.

Though the scent is the most important part of the product, I was particularly impressed by how well and long it wears.  I’ve been using this before I go to bed on my arms and legs, and the scent lingers beautifully.  I find a lot of scented body lotions and creams don’t last long and often have a stale smell, if they do last a few hours.  Vanilla & Anise stays with me until I wake up and take a shower, though it has gently worn over through the night–but I can still smell it on me without trying.

The Body Creme also does a bang-up job keeping my dragon-lady legs at bay, which I was surprised at as well.  I just imagined that, despite enjoying Jo Malone products in the past, it wouldn’t be a truly rich and luxurious body cream, but it was and is.  The texture of the Body Creme is certainly rich, but it’s creamy without being too thick or stiff.  You don’t need much (which is good, ’cause you don’t get much!), and despite being a richer cream, it absorbs within minutes and doesn’t leave behind any greasiness or stickiness.

Last night, I walked into the office, and my boyfriend instantly took notice and was like, “Mmm!”  It’s always a wonderful thing when you and your significant other can agree on your beauty favorites!

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

Recommendation:  If you’re a Jo Malone fan and haven’t yet tried a body creme, you might want to try a sample if you’re able to–you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.  A supreme indulgence but a very much worth it indulgence!

Availability: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Bliss Softening Socks

Happy Feet with Bliss Softening Socks

Bliss Softening Socks ($48.00) are a real treat for dry, cracked, and tired feet. These are an indulgence, not a necessity, but those with brutally dry or cracked heels will find these a nice way to get a little at-home spa treatment.

The socks can be worn as they’re bought, or you can lotion up your feet with any shea butter-based product (I used Bliss’ Lemon & Sage Body Butter) and then slip on the socks. The socks are lined with a “self-activating gel lining,” which is supposed to release olive oil, jojoba seed oil, grape seed oil, and vitamin E for hydration. On my foot, the gel lining goes up to my ankle, while the sock itself extends up a few more inches (but I have big feet–size 10). The gel kind of clings to your feet, and to be honest, the feeling is weird (not bad, but it is an odd feeling!) at first, but once your feet have warmed up the gel inside, they’re pretty comfortable.

I usually will slip these on when I know I’m going to be at my desk for awhile, because I feel like you probably shouldn’t walk a mile in these, though nothing indicates you couldn’t (but it feels funny, ha!). I will wear them for about thirty minutes or so, and my feet come out feeling soft and smooth. For reference, though, I don’t have the most beat up feet. I have baby feet in the sense that I pad around the house in socks on the regular, so walking on pavement makes my poor feet cry.

You can use these without lotioning up and still get a nice softness after twenty to thirty minutes of use, which is nice for those days where a thick body butter just won’t do. Those who just want an indulgence and general softening will find that enough, but for those with cracked heels, I definitely recommend using a body butter or Bliss’ Sock Salve to really treat your feet.

For those who can’t afford these socks, I recommend using a body butter (if you want to stick with bliss, I like Bliss’ Lemon & Sage Body Butter) to slather on your soles and then slip into a pair of thick socks and leave on for an hour (or overnight) for softened feet.

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

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

Recommendation:  With the price tag of these socks, they are definitely a luxury to own. They’re good for those who want to make the softness of a pedicure last and last or for those with extremely dry heels and toes. If you have fairly happy feet, you may want to try moisturizing with Bliss Sock Salve ($28.00) and slip on a pair of thick socks as a less expensive alternative.

Availability: BlueMercury

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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 10th, 2009

Soft & Smooth: Philosophy Hope is Not Enough Replenishing Body Lotion

Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough Replenishing Body Lotion ($35.00 for 8 oz.) is a lightly scented hydrating body moisturizer.  I find it hard to describe the scent beyond light, softly sweet, and that it disappears within an hour.  The lotion itself is light to medium in texture–definitely not a heavy cream–and applies evenly.  It sinks in within five minutes, and there’s no sticky residue left behind, which is a huge plus for me.  The lotion kept my legs and arms moisturized and smooth all day long, and it really helped my scaly legs look more like glam gams in just two days of repeated use (just ’cause my legs can be really dry).

Overall, I really loved the way this product worked–it delivered on all it was advertised to do–but I find it short on value.  Philosophy products tend to give customers good value for their dollar, but this one doesn’t.  I just feel like I’m running through this product faster than the average body lotion.  For the price tag, I’d expect it to last me more than a few weeks.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: This product is amazing for anyone who needs to sooth and hydrate dry skin–legs, arms, what-have-you–but it doesn’t come cheap.

Availability: Philosophy.com, Sephora.com

Have you checked out Philosophy’s body lotion? What was your take?

Monday, July 6th, 2009

True Blue Naked Cotton Dress Shea Light Body Lotionicon ($15.00 for 6.7 oz.) is a lightweight body lotion that keeps moderate-to-dry skin well-hydrated and feeling silky soft. In a market saturated with body creams and souffles, a body lotion is always a welcome addition. The product absorbs into skin quickly, and it is easily spread over each part of your body–you don’t have to keep going back for more.

One of my favorite parts about this body lotion was the clean, lightweight scent. It is light enough to be able to layer it with your favorite perfume without a funny combination, but yet it is still detectable if you choose to wear it alone. If you know what B&BW’s “Cotton Blossom” smells like, it is similar with the same soft cotton-ish scent, but it is much, much lighter and more subtle smelling. I’m a big fan of clean scents myself, so this one is a keeper!

Slowly but surely, I am becoming a big fan of B&BW’s True Blue Spa line.  (Hello, anyone remember their Just a Minute Manicure Scrub?!)

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