Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

JOICO Skin Luxe Golden Shimmer Gradual Self-Tanner feels like a luxury product at a bargain price. For $15.95, this is a subtle self-tanner with a nice, golden sheen/shimmer that accents and highlights both your natural and faux glow (from the self-tanner). It smells of tropical coconuts, and it is even moisturizing on its own accord (probably because of the coconut oil and aloe vera).

The brand is actually a division of Shiseido, in case the connection gives you a better sense of familiarity and not, “What is this brand?” kind of a feeling. I personally prefer subtle self-tanners, more often than not opting for gradual ones, because I’m fairly tan on a regular basis. I also tan up really quickly once the sun starts shining (really, one day is all I need in the sun–despite high SPF–to come back tanned). Gradual self-tanners also work in my favor, because it means I can add a little glow, shimmer, and moisture instantaneously. I have had a thing for lightly shimmered lotions, just because I love the way they make my legs look in skirts. You can find a JOICO near you at www.joico.com.

Do you use self-tanners? Which ones do you like? Do you use them year-round or only in a particular season?

Monday, July 28th, 2008

A month or so ago, my body wash of choice was Travertine Spa’s Botanical Body Wash in Citrus ($22.00). Unfortunately, it was so popular in my shower, that my boyfriend got his hands on it and went through it in two weeks. This body wash contains jojoba oil, chammoile, calendula, and other essential oils, making it on the “natural” side of the beauty spectrum. What I particularly liked about it was the soft citrus scent that lingered in the shower, but faded by the time you moisturized your body. I also liked how easily it foamed and lathered (a must for any body wash for me!), so I could use a little and make the bottle stretch. My boy does not understand this concept at all, and he’ll use several squeezes of any body wash he likes (and yes, he steals the ones I love all the time! boo!).

I always enjoy trying out at-home spa products, because I can’t fit regular spa trips in my budget (and a part of me feels like they aren’t worth the money–at least not at my current income level). So being able to check out and use products that will give me my own personal “spa experience” at home and for a fraction of the cost of a true spa experience is always something I’m on th elook out for. I tend to be able to stretch out my shower products, so I don’t mind splurging a bit if it’s going to make me feel relaxed and enjoy using the product.

Have you tried at-home spa products? What has your experience been like?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Schick Quattro For Women Razor ($9.19 @ Drugstore.com) puts the disposable razor to shame. The head of the razor has two conditioning strips that contain aloe and vitamin E, and it is probably one of my favorite parts about this genre of razors. You just know your legs will feel just that much smoother when you’re done. I’m sure you figured out that “Quattro” refers to its four blades, which are positioned closely together. But you know why I really liked this razor? Because it comes with a shower hanging doo-dad. There’s a suction cup on one side that you attach to your shower wall, and then the razor hangs in it. Awesome, so awesome. No more razor on the tub sides, precariously positioned! I use this kind of razor on my legs, underarms, etc. (I save disposables for bikini area–only because you want to have a super sharp, brand-new edge all of the time, so disposable is way cheaper). My legs are lovin’ it. By the by, that $9.19 price includes two replacement cartridges, so it’s not a bad deal at all. If you’re a tech geky, check out www.quattroforwomen.com for all the goodness on it.

What razor do you use? Do you just wax? How do you keep your legs smooth and non-Chewbacca-like?

P.S. I know it’s “Friday” for a lot of people, so if you’ve got the Friday jitters, send a friend (or yourself) a dream date courtesy of Shick.  Just head over to www.schickdreamdate.com.  Or enter to win their Dream Date II Sweepstakes!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

I recently tried a few products from Verikira Naturals, a new brand I recently learned about. First, let me give you a background on the brand. Verikira Naturals was founded by Kira Peterson with a vision for being an advocate of healthy choices. Founder Kira was diagnosed with a complex muscle illness, and through her journey of learning to manage her health, what she discovered is what she shares in Verikira Naturals. Verikira “never uses synthetic fragrances, unnecessary chemicals, or animal byproducts and only the purest essential oils are used to create the most pleasing of natural aromas and the deepest of therapeutic values.” Every sale of Verikira Naturals results in a donation of a portion of all profits to various non-profit organizations throughout the world.

I tried three products in particular, two of which I enjoyed, but the third I didn’t like in the least bit. The one I liked a lot was their Cucumber Hand & Body Wash, Sink-side ($16.00). The last time I tried anything with Cucumber in the title, it was B&BW Cucumber Melon, which I detested (the scent, at least). However, this is strictly cucumber, and it smells just like it–the scent I tend to associate with salad. So every time I use it in the shower, I feel like I’m making a salad, LOL. Which isn’t a bad thing! What I like about the Sink-side version is that it has a pump, so you can easily get the amount you need. One pump onto a loofah is plenty to keep you cleansed from head to toe. I don’t want my boyfriend stealing this, so I told him it was an exfoliator! (The word “exfoliator” will keep him far, far away.)

The next product I tried from this line was their Soothing Muscle Gel ($16.00). When I am able to con my boyfriend into giving me a massage, I love it when I get a little added bonus through using oils, bars, etc. In the past, we’ve often opted for Lush’s massage bars (love them!). Since I had this on hand, we decided to try it out on some achy muscles. It kind of does this thing where it feels warm, but then not… I know this thing is filled to the brim with essential oils, which presumably are good for you.

The final product I tried was their Honey Bath Body Polish ($38.00), and it is something that will never find a place in my shower. What turned me off of this product was its smell–it reminds me of Chinese Sesame-Honey-Something-Rather Chicken. It’s not really a sweet smell, it’s tangier, and it just doesn’t work for me. I felt like I was in the back of a kitchen over a hot stove. My second issue with this product, which may or may not be consistent across the board, was that the salt (Dead Sea Salt, to be precise!) was stuck and hardened at the bottom. It was more work than I anticipated, because it was a pain in the butt to attempt to mix the honey mixture with the salt whilst showering. Perhaps, if I mixed it in the kitchen using a spoon, it would have gone easier. To be honest, the scent is not one I can jive with, so I didn’t even bother. I do feel that perhaps the salt falling to the bottom may be the result of the product I was sent being too old or something. The texture of the salt, the grit of it, is fine, and I think would work well as a body exfoliator. But give me a different scent, please! (They do, for reference, have two other scrubs, Peppermint & Grapefruit Coffee and Spicy Citrus Walnut.)

Despite my bad experience with the body polish, the other two products I tried keep me having faith in the brand. Like I said, I’m hoarding my Cucumber Body Wash away from my boyfriend!

For more information, visit www.Verikira.com.

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

In a world of technology, and being a bit of a product geek myself, when bliss/philips sent over Bikini Perfect (Deluxe Spa Edition) ($59.99), I admired it first in awe, because it looked sleek and practical. Then I admired it because it looked like it could quite easily be a modern day torture device. Seriously, some of those attachments will leave the less hair removal savvy running!

The Bikini Perfect is an at-home grooming system. It features a cordless, rechargeable, shower-friendly trimmer with six attachments. The kit also comes with trial sizes of their body butter & an ingrown-hair exfoliating pad.

  • Precision Trimmer: grooms bikini ilne
  • Precision Comb: ensures even grooming results (5 length settings)
  • Eyebrow Comb: trims entire eyebrow to a uniform length
  • Micro Trimmer: shapes/defines/removes brows or a single hair
  • Micro Shaver: extra smooth and safe shaver
  • Epilator: removes hair by the root

So what did I do? Being the not-so-hair-down-there savvy (hey, I don’t mind the disposable razor technique–gives me the results I want and keeps me bump free!), I went straight for the Epilator attachment. Now, let me tell you that I imagine the epilator attachment is the most painful of the six, because let’s face it, it’s plucking hair entirely, not just trimming or shaving it.

When you first turn the device on, the speed it is spinning/whirring at is downright frightening. I was like, “OH GOD!” when I turned it on, and I looked at myself in the mirror thinking, “Can I really do this? Aww, what the hell!” For as daunting as it seemed, it wasn’t that bad when I was going around the bikini line and whatnot. This is not to say that it was painless. I think my pain tolerance is decent for down there, so the epilator and I got along fine. However, there were a few hairs that got pulled out that made me go, “GOOD GOD!” The pain is akin to plucking out the hair with tweezers–just not as painstakingly slow. I’m trying to build up some courage to try the eyebrow comb, but we’ll see!

For the pricetag, this is a worth-it purchase if you’re into at-home shaving. If you’re a little terrified of having someone else see (or muck around with) your naughty bits, this is a less embarrassing method. If you’re into Brazilians, you’re probably better off getting a wax, since it’s faster (and the pain is probably about the same as with the epilator in THOSE areas). But for those who just want to trim, neaten, and take care of the bikini line–this does a fine job of keeping you looking your swimsuit best!

Learn more about the kit at blissworld.com.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Olay Total Effects Touch of Sun Moisturizer ($18.99) is an anti-aging daily moisturizer with subtle self-tanning properties. This is good for those who just want to slightly brighten and tan the face, but do not want an actual self-tanner. I find gradual and subtle self-tanners to have a great effect on brightening up the skin, and they do not require nearly as much maintenance as regular self-tanners need. You should see a noticeable color difference within three applications, and after a week, you will get to the darkest you will get. Similarly, Olay Touch of Sun UV Defense Regenerating Lotion ($18.99) works like the moisturizer does, only this has SPF 15 in it.

Olay Touch of Sun Daily Body Lotion ($7.99) comes in light/medium and medium/dark, depending on how deep and dark you want your tan to be. For those who do not want to apply a regular self-tanner after a shower (which can take an hour or two from start to finish), try this moisturizer with just a touch of self-tanner that works while you sleep. Within two or three applications, you should notice that your skin tone has deepened slightly. From there, you can control how dark you want to be or how dark you want to stay. If you want to go darker, apply nightly. If you want to maintain your current color level, apply every other night or less.

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