Thursday, June 17th, 2010

SpaRitual Summer 2010 Colleciton
Nail Lacquers: Lustress, Love & Happiness, Solaris, Golden Gleam, Optical Illusion, Dreams Becoming Reality

SpaRitual Nail Lacquer in Summer Hues

Just in time for summer, here are six fun shades from SpaRitual that are truly representative of the season.   Each shade retails for $10.00 and is vegan and free of DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Resin.   Lustress, Solaris, Golden Gleam, and Optical Illusion are from the summer Kaleidoscope collection.

  • Lustress is a deep red-tinted pink with flashes of pink shimmer. It almost looks like glass flecks to me. Just two coats for complete color.
  • Love & Happiness is a coral-orange cream. It’s not quite neon, but it’s almost there. Two coats for opaque color.
  • Solaris is a bright, neon orange cream. Super, super pigmented — two coats shown, but you could almost get away with one.
  • Golden Gleam is a bright yellow gold with lighter gold shimmer and a near metallic finish. Some brush strokes were noticeable, but it wasn’t too obvious. Two coats for opaque color.
  • Optical Illusion is a deep olive green base with lighter olive green glitter-shimmer. Just two coats for opaque color, though it was nearly opaque with one coat. Truly a stunning shade!
  • Dreams Becoming Reality is a shade from an upcoming fall collection, so I’ll have swatches and more information on it then.

SpaRitual knows how to make a good, consistent formula.  The application on all six of these was absolutely superb–smooth, rich color that wasn’t too thick or thin.  No streaking, fussing, or dragging.  Drying time on the brighter creams seemed a little speedier, but otherwise average and nothing noteworthy either way. Optical Illusion stands out something fierce amongst these, though — a really unique shade that just sparkles in the light.

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:  LOVE Optical Illusion!  I also really love and appreciate SpaRitual’s formula consistency–it’s a good formula and it’s found in all six.

Availability: Skinstore.com, SpaRitual

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Aveeno Positively Ageless Daily Cleansing Pads

Not Quite Travel Friendly:  Aveeno Daily Cleansing Pads

Aveeno Postively Ageless Daily Cleansing Pads ($8.99 for 28, $0.32 each) are pre-moistened, dual-sided cleansing pads that are approximately 3″ in diameter. One side is smooth, while the other side is textured to provide gentle exfoliation.

I liked the way these felt on the skin, and the scent was pleasing to me (smelled like Baby Shampoo), though it didn’t linger. I just have some issues about the practicality of this particularly product. Each pad is very, very saturated–I’d almost say overly so–and while it means you’ll get plenty of moisturize and cleanser on your face to clean it, it seems like overkill. It lathers and foams up a little but not excessively, and it does leave skin feeling clean. I experienced a smidgen of tightness, but it was very, very subtle and barely noticeable.

Based on using these for a week or so, I’d recommend cutting the pads in halves or even thirds to maximize your purchase–but it doesn’t sacrifice quality or anything; there truly is plenty of moisture and cleanser even when cut into thirds to clean your face!  Otherwise you’ll be running through a jar in less than a month!

I’m concerned at the enormous container compared to the contents inside it. As you can see in the photo above, it comes about 2/3 to 1/2 full, but the pads themselves don’t take up the entire diameter of the jar, let alone the height. I’m not sure why it’s so big. It seems like it’d be a better idea to minimize excess air inside the jar to maintain the moisture of the pads (but these were plenty saturated, not even a hint of dryness). I think because I really can’t see the purpose behind such over-sized packaging, I find it particularly wasteful and almost a turn-off from the product overall.

These are more expensive than some makeup removing wipes, which work as well, and come in more economical packaging to boot! You’ll also need to rinse your face after using, so it’s not as convenient as makeup removing wipes (which shouldn’t need you to rinse). I guess I’d rather just use a regular cleanser (and though I have not tried it, there is Aveeno Positively Ageless Daily Exfoliating Cleanser) and use my hands rather than a small pad.

I could see some utility out of these as a nice travel option, but because the jar is mammoth, I don’t see myself traveling with it–it’d take up way too much room for what it’s worth. If I actually have that much space, that means I’m checking luggage and can just bring my regular ol’ cleanser–and if I’m just carrying-on, there’s no way it could fit!

They do their job — they do cleanse, remove the majority of my face makeup (but I wouldn’t use this on the eyes, so it’s a no-go for eye makeup), and didn’t dry out my skin. I’m just less than impressed by the glaringly wasteful packaging.  If you cut the pads into halves or thirds, I think you’ll be able to stretch the usage out where it’s much, much more in line with affordable skincare.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

Recommendation:  If you’re often on the go and would love to have a pre-moistened cleansing pad help keep you and your skincare routine on track, you might find these a more practical investment!  Or if you have particularly sensitive skin and find most scrubs and exfoliators too harsh on skin, the textured side of this pad is very gentle and may be a better fit for your skin type.

Availability: Drugstore.com

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge
Nail Lacquers: No More War, Diddy Mow, 360

Rescue Beauty Lounge: Hello!

Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Lacquers ($18.00) are a big splash amongst nail polish fanatics, and I didn’t even realize that they’re the same brand that does all the soaps I have in my house! (I love that they have a hand soap with the word Pamplemousse in its name! One of my favorite French words ever–say it ten times and you better be giggling!)  Last week, I purchased several shades from the website to give ‘em a spin for myself…

  • No More War is an olive green cream. You could say it’s camouflage green or army green as well. It’s rich and goes opaque in two coats for me.
  • Diddy Mow is a muted, gray-green cream with subtle silver micro-shimmer. The shimmer almost looks like grains of sand in the “water.” RBL describes it as “a putty green, the color of sand through sea water.” It was opaque in nearly one coat, though I swatched it with two.
  • 360 is a played-down bluish teal cream with subtle silver micro-shimmer. Opaque in two coats for me — it’s pretty pigmented in one, but I find I need two for a good, overall result.

This was my first time trying the brand’s polishes, and I really liked the formula. It’s rich, pigmented, and applies smoothly. There is no streaking, bubbling, or dragging. All three were nearly opaque in one coat, but I still preferred doing two coats for a completely opaque, smooth look. These colors seemed unique to me–perhaps its the subtleties of each one, where they’re not the typical shade and yet wearable.

I just wish they weren’t so pricey.  The quality is excellent, but $18 a pop is hard to swallow!

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:

AvailabilityRescue Beauty Lounge

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Aveda Golden Jasper Eyeshadow Duo

Aveda Does Eyeshadow

Aveda Golden Jasper Eye Color Trio ($22.00 for 0.08 oz.) is an unexpected, but entirely pleasant, surprise from Aveda. I don’t know about you, but I always forget that Aveda actually has a full range of products–I always think hair when I think about the brand.

There is one really fabulous characteristic about Aveda though, that spans their entire range, it’s that they really are eco-conscious. And they don’t make you hunt around for information on whether they’re truly looking to be a greener, more earth-friendly company. The eye trios are packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled clamshell and paper sleeve–it’s something that reader Dusty pointed out about EcoTools: the brushes are packaged in plastic yet there is no information on whether that plastic was recycled or not. Additionally, the eyeshadow trio doesn’t contain talc, mineral oil, or parabens.

The trios are available in several other varieties: Blue Dawn, Plum Mist, Earth Rose, Aqua Pearl, Black Tulip, Sweet Grass, Copper Haze, and Gobi Sands.

Each trio features three complementary shades, arranged from lightest to darkest, and it pretty much makes using them a no-brainer. Lightest on the lid, medium or darkest on the outer lid/crease. Golden Jasper consists of a soft, light beige with a satin shimmer; warmed up medium brown with a soft sheen; and chocolate brown with warm undertones. The eyeshadow is soft, smooth, and pigmented. It melts when applied to lid, and I actually wore them without a base, just as a test, for several hours (I’d say around six), and I didn’t encounter any creasing. (But to be clear, my lids are on the drier side, rather than oily!)

I’m definitely interested in trying out some of the other shade varieties (perhaps Blue Dawn, Aqua Pearl, Sweet Grass, or Copper Haze), to see how those hold up. But so far, I’m impressed by the spirit and story of Aveda and the delivery on the eyeshadow formulation based on Golden Jasper. You can either use your own palettes, keep them in their plastic sleeves, or pick up one of their Environmental Compacts (made of 30% post-consumer recycled and 20% post-industrial regrind aluminum).

Have you tried Aveda’s eyeshadows before?

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Next time you’re near an Aveda counter, you might want to check out their makeup range. I so infrequently hear about the range’s makeup and skincare, and maybe it’s time we check them out!

Availability: Aveda

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Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Zoya Remove+

A Love Letter to Zoya Remove+

Dear Zoya Remove+,

I doubted your prowess once, but I never will again. I thought, “Surely, there are other polish removers that can do just as good of a job… maybe even better… and more readily available.” But no, I was wrong. So, so wrong.  Why did I stray?  Why did I try to fix something that wasn’t broken just to save a couple of bucks?

I did not realize how gentle you were on my cuticles and nails and fingers.  You never dried them out, but you always took care of business–you removed every last bit of polish without me having to exert much effort.  You made my life easy, and I didn’t even realize just how easy!   I would have people ask me, “What do you do to your nails? They are so healthy!” and I always answered so cavalierly… “Nothing!”  But it was you… all along it was you!

But I did stray, and I discovered how harsh other removers can be.  How cruel and cold and unloving!  They may remove the polish without much fuss, but they sure do leave a disaster in their wake.  Scaly, dried out skin, tortured cuticles, and the harsh scent of chemicals.

My dearest Remove+, you hold my heart, and I’ll stay true to you.  Know that you reign supreme in my heart of hearts!

All my love,
Temptalia

Zoya Remove+ is available in several sizes, depending on your polish removing needs. The bottle pictured above is their largest size at 32 oz., which retails for $25. I actually took advantage of Zoya’s deal where you can pick up their Color Lock System (which I love) PLUS the 32 oz. Remove+ for $40. (Which really means you end up with 40 oz. of Remove+ for the win!)

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

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

Recommendation:  In a convenient flip-top bottle that pumps out just enough remover, Zoya’s Remove+ does an excellent job at not only removing your polish but keeping your nails, cuticles, and fingertips soft, conditioned, and prepped for the next manicure/pedicure.

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Rimmel Glam'Eyes Mono Eyeshadow

Beauty on a Budget:  Rimmel Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadow

Rimmel Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadow ($3.99) come in several shades, but I recently tested out three shades:

  • Royal Violet (400) is a lightened lavender purple with subtle white shimmer.
  • Sapphire (450) is a nearly matte, periwinkle blue.
  • Posh Peacock (500) is a gorgeous shade of blue with an aqua-teal shimmer-sheen.

These are definitely some of the better textured eyeshadows from mass that I’ve encountered recently. They’re also quite pigmented without having to maneuver in certain ways, like packing it on, using sponge-tip applicators, etc. Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadows work best with brushes, as the eyeshadows are quite silky. I found a sponge-tip felt a little rough on the shadows–like it was causing the shadow to break apart a bit.

Posh Peacock (500) was definitely my favorite, because it was richly pigmented (more so than the other two I tried), and it was just stunning when swatched. It was vibrant and had depth when I’ve come not to expect that from a lot of eyeshadows on the market these days.  The other two shades were decently pigmented, but they were a little more on the powdery side, which is due in part to their more matte texture.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: They’re not the best eyeshadows I’ve tried, but they’re very good. For $4, they’re a great entry point for those looking to play around with eyeshadows or even just brighter colors in general, without breaking the bank. And for those who get a little thrill out of brilliant drugstore scores, you may want to pick up one of their new Mono shades.

Availability: ULTA

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