Thursday, November 13th, 2008

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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Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

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!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Jaqua Pink Buttercream Frosting Hand Soap ($14.00) is such a deliciously girly product in my bathroom arsenal! It smells exactly as it is named, like buttercream frosting. The scent even lingers a bit after you’ve dried off your hands. As the holidays roll around, I’m all about rich and delicious baked goods. And let me tell you, I’m a huge fan of buttercream frosting! As an added benefit, since using this as my primary hand soap, my hands haven’t been nearly as dry as they usually are. Living with a furry creature will have you washing your hands more often than the average person, which leaves me with parched paws! It must be the vitamin E and aloe, but whatever it is, I’m lovin’ it.

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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Monday, October 27th, 2008

Jergens Naturals has a line of daily moisturizers utilizing a natural approach. These moisturizers contain over 90% natural ingredients while still being effective. The moisturizers use vegetable-derived ingredients leaving them paraben-free. (As a side note, Jergens does not test on animals.) The new line comes in Hydrate, Renew, Soothe, and Refresh. All but Hydrate have 93% natural ingredients (while Hydrate has 92%).

I need me some ultra hydrating moisturizer come winter (especially for my dragon legs), so I opted for Hydrate ($8.49). It contains jojoba oil, agave and cactus extracts. What I like about it is how moisturizing it is without leaving me greasy OR taking ten minutes to sink in fully. I can apply it after my shower, blow-dry my hair (which takes about five minutes or so), and it’s already dry. It’s lightly scented with a scent I can’t quite put my finger on–it’s sort of a fresh, salad-y scent in a way. It’s not that yucky scent often accompanied by organic/natural products (you know, like a compost pile!), though, that’s for sure!

When it comes to keeping my skin soft all over, I often opt for drugstore brands like Jergens (they make one of my summer staples–their shimmer body lotion!). With the holidays coming up and the economy in a crunch, Jergens Naturals Moisturizers are an awesome budget-friendly option!

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!