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.

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

By Terry Bronze-Expert ($48.00) is a creamy, gel-based bronzer that clicks up and onto a brush. It comes in three shades Sun Beach (light), Sun Desert (medium), and Sun Tropic (dark). All three are on the sheerer side, so if you’re not sure about your color, don’t worry so much. Even the darkest shade is sheer enough to work on medium skin tones. What I particularly liked about this formula is how buildable the color is, which is what a bronzer should be. It is often too easy to go overboard with bronzer, which results in a fake-looking color that can be too orange or too dirty. The formula is very much like a gel, which gives it a great weightless feeling when applied and smoothed over skin. Traditionally, you’d use this on the face, but it can also be used to bronze cleavage and decolletage, too.

I was pretty satisfied with this bronzer (and I’m not a big fan of bronzers on myself), but the price leaves much to be desired. It’s hard to tell just how much product you use in each application relative to how much you get since it’s in a pen-brush applicator, so I’m not even sure if you at least get some bang for your buck. On the other hand, By Terry is more of a luxury beauty brand, so the price is in line with the rest of the brand’s products.

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, November 10th, 2008

pur~lisse is a product line created by Jennifer Yen utilizing science and Chinese beauty secrets to create products good for you. You’ll find most products have either Blue Lotus Flower or White Tea (antioxidant) in them.

pur~moist ($65.00) is a moisturizer that feels like a hybrid of gel and cream. It absorbs quickly, and it keeps skin hydrated throughout the day. What I particularly liked about this moisturizer was it helped calm any redness I had in my face (which, admittedly is not a major concern nor obvious). I couldn’t detect any noticeable scent to it–seemed non-fragrance to me. This particular moisturizer doesn’t contain SPF, so you’ll need to use something else to cover you on sun protection (though they have pur-protect, which does include SPF). The only downside to this product is the price; you should easily get two to three months worth of usage out of the tube, though. Also, since it is in a tube rather than a jar, you can worry less about getting bacteria in it and oxygen exposure. Always a good thing!

pur~delicate ($38.00) is a cleanser designed for all skin types, and it is a non-foaming milky cleanser. It uses soy milk (along with soy proteins) as one of its key ingredients. You’ll also find extracts of oatmeal and white tea in it. Because it doesn’t really lather or foam up, it doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils, so it shouldn’t dry you out. It does a great job of removing dirt and makeup and leaving your skin feeling clean (but not that squeaky clean feeling of tightness). As far as packaging goes, it uses an airless pump, so you can control how much product you need (one pump should do ya!) and keep it sanitary and out of oxygen’s reach. There’s no real fragrance to it, which further lends credence to its claim of being non-irritating for all skin types.

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Benefit Powderflage ($28.00) is a great product for setting your concealer, to further help diffuse the appearance of dark circles and minimize concealer settling into fine lines. I found it didn’t work nearly as well without a cream/liquid concealer underneath first — I don’t normally wear concealer since I don’t have too noticeable dark circles, so I figured I’d try it without first. You don’t need a lot of product, which is good, because the container only contains 0.11 oz of product–but it should last you six months or more, I imagine. The brush included with the product is really, really small. I actually liked using a fluffy shadow brush to apply this rather than the fan brush! I know I’ve heard several people rave about this over Laura Mercier’s Brightening Powder, but I haven’t tried it, so I can’t compare unfortunately. Overall, it helped to soften any darkness under my eyes, and I really liked how well it set my cream concealer (Kanebo) so it didn’t budge, migrate, or settle.

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Copper Diamond Shimmer Brickicon ($38.00) According to Bobbi Brown, there are five shades found within this shimmer brick: Candlelight, Gold, Copper, Beige, and Sand. I like the subtle glow it gave me; it’s very subtle, not too much color–more of a shimmer, highlighting effect. Some shimmer bricks give more color than others, but I’ve always liked the shimmer they’ve given, regardless of actual color (since I still consider these highlighters rather than blushes!). Copper Diamond is probably more suitable for warm-tones, just because it’s so warm itself. I still think cooler skin tones will enjoy this shimmer brick, because it won’t bronze you in a fake, orange kind of way.

Copper Diamond Glitter Lip Balmicon ($19.00) is a very subtle and sheer lip balm. It’s not sticky or tacky; it barely went on for me, to be honest. I saw a hint of shimmer/glitter on my lips, but the color itself was minimal. I haven’t tried the other shades, so perhaps those are more pigmented–otherwise, I’d skip these and head straight for the new, limited edition glitter lip gloss (the ones in the compact).

Glitz Metallic Eyeshadowicon ($20.00) is a new shade to the line’s existing metallic eyeshadows. The metallic eyeshadows have a more–you guessed it–metallic finish. I find they’re shimmery/frosty finishes, some of them do seem more metallic than others, though. Glitz itself is a soft, pale yellow-gold that goes on with a nice dose of shimmer and glitz (ha!). I think it’s a great shade for the holidays, as it’s a great all-over lid color to match with festive holiday-red lips! Oh, by the way? While they’re sold in their individual compacts, you can always pop ‘em out and put them in Bobbi Brown’s customizable palettes. Depotting without the hassle that comes alogn with MAC pots–awesome.

Ball Glitter Lip Glossicon ($19.00) is actually my favorite product from the two collections. It’s a thick, semi-tacky gloss that is full of glittery bits with decent color. I picked up Ball, which gives lips some warmth and golden shimmer. It’s a great gloss over reds, especially a red like MAC’s Port Red, because of the lipstick’s subtle gold shimmer.

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