Friday, June 11th, 2010

Philosophy Gingerbread Man Shower Gel

Philosophy Shower Gels:  The Good, The Bad, The Delicious

The Tech Guy Shaun, aka The Tech Guy, aka my boyfriend, continues to enjoy his romp here on Temptalia! He’s twenty-seven with normal-to-dry skin and suffers from no more acne (much to my envy!).  Since I have a thing for Philosophy Shower Gels, inevitably, he gets into them and goes through them in record time.  (No, seriously, if it was just me, a bottle will last me half a year or more.  I don’t know, I’ve never gone through one before moving in with this guy!)

Shaun enjoys long walks on the beach, vegging out on the couch watching chick flicks, and cuddling with Mellan. Or maybe not! He handles all the behind-the-scenes action here at Temptalia, from tech support to server woes to being my shoulder to cry on.

Guess who’s back, back again, Shaun is back, tell a friend. No, seriously tell a friend! Right now!@$

After tackling extra-terrestrial life in my last review, it is time to get back down to earth. However, I will stick with the same brand and take on Philosophy’s Shower Gel Collection.  This is definitely not a Man’s product. With flavors like Raspberry Sorbet, Unconditional Love, and Orchid Blossom, I don’t recommend walking onto the job site smelling like Cherry Angel Food Cake.

I guess what I don’t understand about these body washes is why you’d want to torture yourself with these delicious smells. Every time I find myself half asleep and taking a whiff of Classic Fudge Cake, I find that half of the bottle has gone missing and my mouth tastes like soap. I don’t really know what happened, but I’m sure it’s not good. Next thing you know I’m sneezing, and bubbles are coming out of my nose! What’s with this product?!

You also have to be careful around your dog when you are using these. He starts to get this look in his eye like he’s debating whether he can take you down without too much trouble. If they come out with steak-flavored body wash then I’m for sure going to be dog food.

Some smell exactly as the packaging states. Others, however, do not smell at all as what they advertise. We have one that’s called Gingerbread Man, and let me tell you, it doesn’t smell at all like gingerbread. In fact, it smells exactly like diet cola! And I can’t tell you how awesome it is to smell like diet cola. I wait until Christine is looking the other way and then I take a deep inhale of my forearm. It’s like heaven in a bottle! I cut soda out of my diet so long ago that I had forgotten how awesome soda smells. Oh, you bubbly fiend how I miss ye.

Onto the good! These soaps lather very well and that is basically my one criteria when it comes to body wash. If I don’t look like Mr. Bubble after lathering up then you don’t have any business being on my loofah! Yeah, I use a loofah. What’s the big deal?

However, a big gripe of mine is the packaging. After using up some of the bottle, it becomes increasingly difficult to squeeze the sweet smelling liquid out of its container. I’ve nearly popped a blood vessel trying to get the soap out of these darn bottles. We went as far as getting a pump for the bottle, but the pump has to be pumped twenty times to get a decent amount out. They use a different type of softer plastic on the smaller versions of these soaps, which is much easier to manage, so I don’t really get why they don’t use that on all of their products.

RECOMMENDATION: Great lather but not great for any man unless he really likes Classic Fudge Cake. Be weary around animals and any other hungry people that aren’t offended by cannibalism.

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

True Blue Spa There's the Rub

Oh, the Scent! NOW, There’s the Rub…

True Blue Spa There’s the Rub ($24.00 for 24 oz.) is a salt glow with natural sea salt–basically, it’s a sea salt-based body scrub to help slough off dead skin and all that fun stuff in the shower.

Where’s the Rub? IN THE SCENT. I’m sorry, but I found this product really, really difficult to test just because I found the scent so appalling. I’m not that prone to disusing a product purely based on scent–I can get through some interesting scents (chemical, synthetic, weird, whatever), but this smelled like I was scrubbing with household cleaner. It smelled exactly like the bathroom would after my Dad finished giving it a good scrub from floor to ceiling (when I used to live at home).

Anyway, I wanted to get that out of the way, because scent is inherently a personal experience, so you may not find it as cleanser-like as I did. I used it three times, and I really did like the product itself. Despite being a salt-based scrub, it didn’t feel overly coarse or harsh against skin. Each time I used it, I was in the shower, so I applied it to wet skin, and it was creamy and easy to scrub into skin. Sometimes a scrub will dissolve, disperse, or otherwise not allow you to really work it into the skin.

It gets the job done and leaves behind soft, smooth skin. It just smells terrible (to me) while in use. I didn’t notice any lingering scent post-shower, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned with a scent like this. I’ve used other True Blue Spa products, and I haven’t had any issues with the scents in those, so I was a bit surprised here. (One of my favorite products is their Just a Minute hand scrub, which has a nice orange-citrus scent.)

Because scent is personal, I don’t want my nose to dictate that this is a no-go purely on scent alone, particularly when the product performs well otherwise.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Smell before you buy, if you can. It may or may not be the right scent for you!

Availability: Bath & Body Works

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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.

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

  • 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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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!

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

  • 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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