Monday, August 10th, 2009

Soft & Smooth: Philosophy Hope is Not Enough Replenishing Body Lotion

Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough Replenishing Body Lotion ($35.00 for 8 oz.) is a lightly scented hydrating body moisturizer.  I find it hard to describe the scent beyond light, softly sweet, and that it disappears within an hour.  The lotion itself is light to medium in texture–definitely not a heavy cream–and applies evenly.  It sinks in within five minutes, and there’s no sticky residue left behind, which is a huge plus for me.  The lotion kept my legs and arms moisturized and smooth all day long, and it really helped my scaly legs look more like glam gams in just two days of repeated use (just ’cause my legs can be really dry).

Overall, I really loved the way this product worked–it delivered on all it was advertised to do–but I find it short on value.  Philosophy products tend to give customers good value for their dollar, but this one doesn’t.  I just feel like I’m running through this product faster than the average body lotion.  For the price tag, I’d expect it to last me more than a few weeks.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: This product is amazing for anyone who needs to sooth and hydrate dry skin–legs, arms, what-have-you–but it doesn’t come cheap.

Availability: Philosophy.com, Sephora.com

Have you checked out Philosophy’s body lotion? What was your take?

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Get Silky Smooth Skin with Lush Ocean Salt Cleanser

LUSH Ocean Salt Cleanser ($18.55 for 4.2 oz.) is an exfoliator that uses both fine and coarse sea salt to exfoliate the skin.  It also contains vodka and lime as well as avocado butter.  This scrub leaves skin feeling incredibly clean and smooth.  It smells kind of like a margarita to me, a little sour.

While the sea salt can be coarse, the best part about the product is you can always add a little more water to dilute the scrub and make it better for your skin.  I didn’t find I needed to do more than wet my face prior to using the scrub.  Do make sure you mix-up the scrub when you get it, though, as all of the salt mixture lies on top when you initially purchase the product.

For me, I feel like my skin looks and feels smoother, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been dried out either.  It’s soft, hydrated, and looks and feels smooth.  No breakouts or reactions, nor irritated skin in the least bit.  One pot of this stuff will last you quite awhile (I’d probably opt for the smaller size), because a little goes a long way.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you have normal skin and are in the market for a new exfoliating product, look into Lush’s Ocean Salt. I think the grit of the sea salt might be a bit too harsh for more sensitive skin, though adding more water will help to dilute it.

Availability: LUSH Cosmetics

Have you tried Lush’s Ocean Salt before? What did you think?

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Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Stay-Put Liner: Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner

Smashbox Navy Blue Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner ($22.00) is a gel eye liner that goes on creamy and then dries after about a minute.  I like that they designed it to stay blendable (wet/creamy) for a minute before it dries to a “smudge-proof, budge-proof finish that lasts all day.”  It does, in fact, stay on all day without smudging or budging or migrating onto places it shouldn’t be.  It’s available in five shades:  Bronze, Dark Brown, Midnight Black, Midnight Purple, and Navy Blue.

I’d definitely love to see Smashbox introduce more shades into their line-up — some fun shades would be awesome to see, but it is still nice tot have five easy, wearable shades.  I’ve only tried Navy Blue myself, but I love the soft bluish silver laced in the dark navy base shade.  Looks great even with a neutral look on the upper lash line!  The pot feels extremely tiny, but I don’t see myself going through this product quickly nonetheless.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: The product itself is fantastic, and even though the container is tiny, you don’t need much for an application, so one container will last you quite awhile.  I will say that I’d prefer a little more bulk to the packaging to make it easier to hold onto, less likely to be lost (since I lose everything), and all that.  Because it stays wet for longer, you have more time to work and don’t have to worry about drag.

Availability: Smashbox.com, Beauty.com, Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com

Have you tried any of Smashbox’s Gel Liners? What was your experience?

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Friday, August 7th, 2009

Matte Alert: Zoya Matte Velvet Collection

Zoya Matte Velvet Collection ($6.00 each) consists of three matte-shimmer polishes. What’s nifty about these is that they look matte, but there is still a healthy dose of shimmer in it, so while it has that flat look, the shimmer adds depth and makes them more interesting. Keep in mind that matte-based polishes have a lot shorter wear time, particularly because a lot of top coats add shine/glossiness (which defeats the purpose of matte). Without a base or top coat, you’ll get chips pretty quickly. (Of the three nails I did, Loredana is half gone, while the other two show minor tip wear, and it’s been about 12 hours.) But, but… there is a benefit to these… they dry incredibly fast. Like insanely quickly. No quick-drying top coat required, these babies dry down completely within a few minutes (so work quickly).

  • Dovima is a grayish-black with silver shimmer. I didn’t find it to be a true black, but more of a subdued charcoal. This one was my favorite of the three.
  • Loredana is a silver with silver shimmer shade. It’s not a light bright silver base, but it’s noticeably bright without being too much so.
  • Posh is a rich, jewel-toned ruby red. It has a beautiful jewel-tone ruby red base with soft, silver shimmer. I really love this shade of red, and being able to wear it matte is fun.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you’ve always been curious about matte-finish nail polishes, these are for you. If you don’t mind re-doing your nails after a few days, I’d strongly urge you to sneak a peek at these lovelies. They’re fun, hip, and definitely a trend for fall.

Availability: Zoya.com

Have you picked up these new shades yet?

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Friday, August 7th, 2009

shu uemura’s Primitribe Collection is a good mix of neutrals and color. I absolutely adored the Painting Liner, which was creamy, incredibly pigmented, and easy to work with. The Primal Color Sticks were interesting, but without testing them at-home, I can’t tell you if they actually last at all. Unfortunately, the U.S. launch of Primitribe doesn’t include everything — we won’t be seeing Spinel, the pink painting liner as far as I can tell.

Primitribe Color Stick

  • Rich Earth is a warm-toned, chocolate brown with golden shimmer.
  • Night Maroon is a satiny burgundy-wine with more of a creamy finish than a shimmer finish.
  • Blazed Gold is a warm-toned, yellow gold with lighter gold shimmer.
  • Misty Grove is an olive green with a creamy texture and light shimmer.

Primitribe Mix Blush

  • Echo is a blush duo of a pink-toned brown and a dark gold with gold shimmer.
  • Rhythm contains a large section of rosy pink and a smaller section of muted, warmed-up light medium brown with gold shimmer.
  • Soul is a combination of a satin-y medium-toned orange and a warm, medium dark chocolate brown with pale gold shimmer.

Painting Liner

  • Turquoise is a bright pop of creamy, blue-based turquoise with silver micro glitter.
  • Citrine is an insanely bright, creamy yellow with a slight sheen.

Rouge Unlimited

  • BG 942 is a creamy, mostly opaque peachy-orange.
  • WN 296 is a dark, vampy burgundy-red with a glossy finish.

Nail Enamel

  • P 980 is a pale, pastel peachy-cream with a frosty finish.
  • WN 296 is a bright, fuchsia-red with pink pearl.

Available: August 2009; currently available in-store at Nordstrom and online at NeimanMarcus.com.

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Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Introducing… Urban Decay Minx & Ecstasy Eyeshadows!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow ($16.00) recently had two new additions added to the line-up: Minx, described as a blue-green shift with glitter; and Ecstasy, described as a bright purple with slight pink tint.

Minx is a beautiful shade of aqua-green with a little taste of mint and lots of silvery sheen and shimmer. It has decent pigmentation, though it could have a bit more color pay off for my taste. I’d love to see it go on a little richer and deeper. It does, however, go on smoothly and blends easily with other shadows. Ecstasy is a vibrant shade of cool-toned medium purple with soft silver sheen. It doesn’t have a lot of shimmer/glitter either. I found the pigmentation on this shade to be better than Minx, which made me happy. It has the same smooth, blendable texture as Minx (as well as the rest Urban Decay’s eyeshadow range overall).

Each shadow is packaged in a silver, flip-top container. The shadows are the same size as MAC from what I know, so yes, you could depot these if you desired. (I also believe the depotting methodology is about the same with these.)

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10
  • Overall: 8/10

Recommendation: If you like smooth, easy-to-use eyeshadows and like color, these two shadows are for you. Ecstasy earns slightly more of a recommendation over Minx, just because Minx lacks the intensity of pigmentation I prefer. Both are soft, shimmery/frosty shades that are easy to work with. I prefer all my eyeshadows in pan/palette form, so the packaging is functional, but it doesn’t inspire me to purchase solely on that criterion.

Availability: UrbanDecay.com, Sephora.com

Have you picked up these two new shades yet?

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