Zoya’s 2008 Winter Collection is called Flourish and contains six excellent shades of polish perfect for the season. Zoya’s formula is one of my favorites, because I always find their colors are rich and pigmented and two coats is always enough. Their Color Lock System is my go-to for keeping my nail color long-lasting, durable, and chip-free. I’m so happy to say that Flourish doesn’t disappoint in the least. In fact, Zara stands out so much amongst the pack that it is almost back-up status worthy. (If I didn’t have seventy some-odd polishes and did my nails more often…) Mieko is this delightful strawberry red color–there’s just something about it that really draws me in. I anticipate wearing it beyond winter–probably summer–as well. You can get their sampler platter featuring all six polishes for $36 at zoya.com.
What’s your favorite?
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Essie’s Winter 2008 Collection features six stunning shades of rich jewel-toned polishes. Each polish goes for $8, but you can snag all six as a set for $45. My favorites were Sexy Divide, a gorgeous, deep dark royal purple; and It’s Genius for its softer, lighter magenta-purple tone. Essie polishes have always worked well for me, and this set is no different overall. All of the polishes are pigmented and go on smoothly with the exception of Shifting Power, which I’d probably do three coats of. Because Shifting Power has a more metallic finish, it’s easier to see the stroke lines, too.
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Green by Nature Banana Shea Body Butter ($11.99) is a tropical treat for your skin. It’s 97.6% natural and 100% paraben free (you can see that right on the jar itself). Green by Nature is a brand where every product is 100% free of Parabens, Sulfates, DEA, petroleum, Propylene glycol, Sacchrine, Dioxin, and Phthalate. No product is less than 95% natural, and they deal primarily in body products (lotions, scrubs, etc.). There are three main scents: Almond Cocoa, Banana Shea, and Mint Green Tea.
I’ve only tried and sniffed the Banana Shea scent, which smells exactly like a perfectly ripened banana (not too sweet, not too sour!). The body butter itself is rich and thick, just like a body butter should be, and the moisturization properties keep my legs scale-free all day long. I find the drying time isn’t quick, but I haven’t found that body butters sink in particularly fast. I’d say you just need to stand around doing your hair or makeup for five minutes or so before slipping on your pants/skirt/shorts/what-have-you. Besides, the best time to soften up your bod is immediately after you’ve toweled off!
You can browse Green by Nature products at www.greenbynaturebeauty.com or at Target (psst! this product is on sale for $9.99 right now!).
Philosophy First Snow Set ($26.00) is a three-piece set featuring Snow Shower exfoliating shower gel (4 oz.), Snow Body Shimmer Lotion (2 oz.), and Snow Kiss Lip Shine (0.5 oz). The Snow Shower is a glittery gel that exfoliates and sloughs off rough skin without being rough. I’d consider it a gentle body exfoliator. The Snow Body Shimmer Lotion is adorable; it’s such a fun product to use when you want to pamper yourself. The shimmer went on subtly, which is great, because while I love some body shimmer, I don’t want a glittery hot mess either! I love, love, LOVE Philosophy’s Lip Shines (you know how some people obsess over Juicy Tubes? Lip Shines for me!). It’s not surprising that Snow Kiss is a nice low key choice. It’s a sheer, shimmery gloss with blue-toned glimmer. It’s kind of like frost/ice in a sense. There’s a scent/flavor to it; I’m not exactly sure what it is… reminds me almost of raspberry lemonade.
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Ojon Tawaka “The White Ball” has launched just in time for the winter season (only available at Sephora)–that’s right, it’s white. Be sure to read my original review of The Ball here for insight on what I thought about the original (so you have a point of comparison). ”The White Ball” produces a creamy lather designed to help moisturize skin, often prone to dryness during the winter time. Unlike “The Ball,” this version has no real scent. I would say you might notice a starchy, rice-like scent if anything–but that’s really only if you’re trying to find a scent.
“The Ball” has Ojon’s signature cocoa-rich scent while “The White Ball” lacks any identifying scent. “The Ball” is designed to be more of a body buffing product, while “The White Ball” adds moisture and leaves skin feeling clean and smooth. Both the consistency and color of the product while being used is milky. It’s easy to get confused between the two, but they are distinctly different products that do different things. They might have the same shape and come with the same wooden bowl, but otherwise, don’t lump them together!
Like the original, I find this to be an indulgence. It’s a product you splurge on, something to use when you want to prolong your shower by pampering and rolling away every stressful thought. The ball shape is meant to be rolled over the skin, which simultaneously gives you a little massage while you clean! Bonus points for this one not leaving any residue on your shower!
Find yours at Sephora.
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LUSH Rub Rub Rub & Yummy Yummy Yummy ($8.95 to $23.95) are two shower gels that recently came out. Rub Rub Rub’s scent can be compared to Lush’s Sakura bath bomb (which is a fresh, spring-blossom-day kind of scent). RRR is not just a shower gel, but more of shower gel meets shower scrub. It’s not a full-on shower scrub (it’s just not gritty enough), but the sea salt in it helps make this gel give you softer, smoother skin. I actually like that it’s got the lather of a shower gel, but some of the grit of a scrub, because I can still use my bath poof to lather up and get some extra exfoliation in.
Yummy Yummy Yummy is comprised mostly of strawberries, honey, and almond oil. I definitely can sense the strawberries in the product, but I wasn’t as impressed with the actual product. It is runnier than Lush’s other shower gels (and I’ve tried several!), and it doesn’t lather up as nicely as their other ones, either. I have seen some murmurings about the product separating, but I’ve had mine for over a month with no separation whatsoever. So as a shower gel, you’re better off with one like Flying Fox, but I found a better use for it–my hair. If you want a touch of strawberry smoothie scent in your hair, just shampoo your hair a little with this instead!