Friday, October 25th, 2013

Lush Holiday 2013
Lush Holiday 2013

For the holidays, Lush has plenty of offerings to tempt you. Here’s a quickie overview of some of the products I recently tried:

Melting Snowman ($5.95 for 2.1 oz.) is a bath melt, which are supposed to be used either in halves or wholes and tossed into the tub as you fill it with warm water. They’re supposed to add a hydrating element to your soak. He smells of chocolate, cinnamon, and orange. The “chocolate chip” eyes don’t fully melt and tend to float and smear on the tub (not so sexy to look at), and I did find myself needing to scrub those bits away post-bath. It’s definitely hydrating and makes the skin feel softer afterward.

Cinders ($4.95) is a bath bomb that also has “crackling vegan candies,” so you’ll actually hear it crackle and pop a bit once the majority of the bath bomb has fizzed away (about a minute). It smelled like spiced cider, not too sweet or too spicy, and it really was like splashing around in a vat of cider. You can hear the candies crackling here and there for about five to ten minutes. This was my favorite of the bath bombs I tried this season. It turned the water yellow, and I think this might have worked better if it turned the water orange or tangerine? in terms of aesthetics.

The Christmas Penguin ($7.45 for 3.5 oz.) is a bubble bar shaped like a penguin–and he’s a rather pricey bath bomb as a result! Crumble his little penguin body into a hot bath for some bubble action. When used, it will turn the bath water a light blue. It had a slightly tart, slightly sweet mix of citrus going on–a little fizzy and lemon-lime like.

Golden Wonder ($6.95 for 7.8 oz.) is a larger bath bomb that has a treat inside–if you shake it around, you’ll here something rattling inside. It’s golden and has gold glitter on the exterior, and it fizzes away in about a minute and a half. It had a very strong, somewhat synthetic, sweet orange. I didn’t love it–it didn’t give me a really fresh orange fragrance, more cloying and syrupy sweet. Spoiler alert: the portion inside is a vibrant turquoise-blue and did leave some bluish residue along my tub, so be sure to scrub and wash down accordingly.

Luxury LUSH Pud ($6.95 for 7 oz.) is supposed to be a lavender-scented bath bomb. When placed in a hot bath, it turned the water a muted, magenta pink with some foaminess. It took about two minutes for the entire bath bomb to fizzle away. It smelled like a mix of sweet vanilla and lavender.

Sandy Santa ($9.95 for 4.5 oz.) is a body buffer in the shape of Santa. It uses sand and sugar to exfoliate dead skin sells, plus it’s in solid form, so it also contains coconut oil and shea butter for softening and hydration. I wouldn’t say it hydrated all that much, and it really melts very, very quickly. I highly recommend breaking off just a small piece, going over the skin lightly, but then rubbing what you’ve melted off in with your hands, not the bar itself, as you’ll just waste most of it. It smelled primarily of orange oil with a little lemon, and for me, it read synthetic. Breaking him into pieces, I was able to get three scrubs worth of mostly legs and arms but not much else. I was surprised at the price point, given how few uses I was able to get out of him.

Let the Good Times Roll ($12.95 for 3.5 oz.) originally launched for the holidays but made it into the permanent range due to its popularity. It smells like incredibly sweet sugar cookies with a very, very subtle cinnamon spice. It contains maize flour and corn meal, so it is a gentle exofliator with fine bits that leave skin feeling soft but never raw, dry, or red. As a gentler exfoliant, I really liked it, and I’ve been feeling like there’s a void in exfoliators/scrubs in my routine lately, so this has been filling that void nicely. Of all the products I tried this holiday season, this was the only one I’d consider buying.

Celebrate ($29.95 for 7.7 oz.) smells of champagne and citrus–primarily orange–and has a slightly whipped consistency that makes it seem lighter than it is, but it is a rather rich product, because even after two hours of my legs dangling (open to the air!), my legs still felt greasy and slippery. I ended up toweling off what wasn’t absorbing so I could go to bed. I tried it again, and I used the smallest amount possible, and I still felt somewhat greasy after an hour. I would actually say it could make a nice massage lotion, since it never seems to really absorb, so there’s a lot of slip, which is great for massaging! I will also mention that my husband really didn’t like this scent–he found it overwhelming (and he can barely smell, I swear). Like his reaction is encompassed by this scenario: I take one step into his office, and then he says, “What is that smell?” with this face that says, “Please step back.” It had an almost medicinal quality to the orange/citrus in it for me.

The Glossover

product

Melting Snowman

The "chocolate chip" eyes don't fully melt and tend to float and smear on the tub (not so sexy to look at), and I did find myself needing to scrub those bits away post-bath. It's definitely hydrating and makes the skin feel softer afterward.

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Cinders

It smelled like spiced cider, not too sweet or too spicy, and it really was like splashing around in a vat of cider. You can hear the candies crackling here and there for about five to ten minutes. This was my favorite of the bath bombs I tried this season.

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The Christmas Penguin

Crumble his little penguin body into a hot bath for some bubble action. When used, it will turn the bath water light blue. It has a slightly tart, slightly sweet mix of citrus going on--a little fizzy and lemon-lime like.

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Friday, May 17th, 2013

Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser
Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser

Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser ($7.99 for 6.5 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a foaming cleanser that contains microbeads to “gently purify and lift away dirt … [and] softly scrub your skin.” A couple of weeks ago, I grabbed this cleanser to try for an evening cleanser for light makeup days, and I wanted something more budget-friendly. I’ve only used it a handful of times, because every time I use it, it’s like spraying a bottle of perfume on my face (and in my mouth, because it’s so potent, I feel like I can taste it, even though I’m not putting it on my mouth!). It’s extremely high in fragrance; it’s a strong, floral scent. I can’t recall coming across anything that was this strong in fragrance, where I felt like I could taste it (but I know there was a moisturizer, by another brand, that was so heavily scented, I didn’t test it for long either).

The texture is a thick, creamy consistency that squeezes out of the tube.  It lathers and foams well, and the beads are there but not in a high concentration, so it is very gentle and seemed suitable to my skin on a regular basis. It didn’t leave my skin feeling stripped or “squeaky” clean, which I liked, and it was able to cleanse away daily dirt and grime–but it doesn’t work well on makeup. It left noticeable amounts of eyeliner, mascara, and medium-coverage foundation when I tried it when I did wear light makeup (I will note, though, that it doesn’t call out removing makeup, but since I know a lot of us like double-duty cleansers, it was still something I tried it with in case it did).  I can’t speak to any long-term effects, because it’s really not something I wanted to keep using.

Ingredients

Water, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Oxidized Polyethylene, PEG 200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Acrylates Copolymer, PEG 7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Citric Acid, PEG 100, Titanium Dioxide, Fragrance, Lauric Acid, Polyquaternium 10, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Ascorbic Acid, BHT, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

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Saturday, December 29th, 2012

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator
MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator

Finally Permanent: MAC Volcanic Ash

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator ($28.00 for 3.4 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a “foaming, cleansing, and exfoliating scrub” that combines volcanic ash with sugar crystals that is supposed to “leave skin feeling soft and comfortable clean.”  I’ve been using this exfoliator on and off since it originally debuted in 2008.  Why any brand rolls out limited edition skincare (or other basics, like eyeliners) is beyond my comprehension, but MAC has continued to re-release this exfoliator since 2008 in limited edition quantities.  However, it is now part of the permanent skin care range!

It’s a great sugar-based exfoliator that spreads evenly, easily, and foams and lathers up as you massage the granules against the skin.  It definitely leaves skin feeling softer and smoother in a few minutes.  I prefer using this in the shower–still, even after all these years!–because it also has black ash that creates a gray lather, so it’s easier to make sure it all washes off and doesn’t stay on the counter in the shower.  I haven’t used it in awhile, but I used it last night, and it is really a nice exfoliator.  It’s simple, effective, and is fun to use.

I was looking back on my previous reviews, though, and I was surprised to see the price of this change $8.50 over the past three years ($9.00 over the past four years, plus after it re-released the first time and they put it in a new tube and did some reformulation, quantity went down by about 25%).  It’s more observation than anything else, as I so rarely repurchase skincare that I’m not certain how much other brands increase skincare prices year-to-year.  MAC says it can be used on both face and body, but at this price point, it’ll just be a facial exfoliator for me!

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Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Renee Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel
Renee Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel

Renee Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel

Renee Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel ($85.50 for 1.7 oz.) is, quite possibly, the most deliciously scented facial product I have ever come across–but I am a fiend for raspberries. It’s a sweet, deletectable berry scent (I caught a lot of raspberry myself, but it also contains several other fruits). It is a chemical exfoliant, so it doesn’t have any beads, particles, or the like, that will scrub off dead skin.

It looks like raspberry jam, including seeds, and the texture is rather jam-like, as well, but it’s a little looser than the average jam. But I tell you, if you don’t get the urge to taste it at least once… (I managed to resist, but I do wonder!) I use this peel every three to four weeks, and I’ve been using this for about four months now. I keep it on for about ten minutes, but it can be worn for less and be just as effective. Essentially, if it tingles a lot, you probably don’t want to keep it on for a full ten minutes–go with what feels right for your skin.

My skin always feels ridiculously soft–almost so soft that it has a plumper feel to it–after I rinse off the peel with water. It’s honestly like a super skin treat each month when I use it. I’ve had a couple of facials, which are always enjoyable, but this is the next best thing for those of us who don’t have a budget that allows for regular facials. I find that my skin looks and feels smoother, brighter, and glowy (and stays that way for three to four days after). I love that this doesn’t irritate or redden my skin post-rinse, which means I don’t have to plan ahead about when to use it. I do personally like to use it on a Friday night, an hour or two before bed, as an end-of-the-week indulgence.

The jar I purchased several months ago is still quite full, like 85%, (you don’t need much for each peel, and it’s a product that you only use a couple of times a month), but even so, when there was a deal for 50% off, I had to pick up another. I always think about having my mom try it, but I fear she’ll get hooked and I want my backup jar! It wouldn’t even surprise me, because of all the moisturizers I’ve given my mom, her favorite is La Mer.

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Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Kate Somerville

Oh, ExfoliKate, How I Love Thee!

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($85.00 for 2 oz., $175.00 for 5 oz.) is something I’ve been wanting to write about but have no real idea about how to go about doing it.  I just don’t know how to explain WHY I love this product so much, and it’s not exactly something you can easily show. I also struggle with what to say in regards to this product, because I love it, and it’s not cheap. While I worry about any recommendations I may make (I worry that you’ll hate what I loved!), I stress out over bigger ticket items in particular!  Anyway…

The product itself is a thin, green-tinged (think seaweed, perhaps–moss? anchovy paste… no!) mixture of enzymes and acids (which is kind of redundant, but whatever).  This is not a scrub–this is like a cleanser meets mask meets scrub.  To apply, you squeeze out about a pea to nickel-sized dollop onto fingers, then gently apply in circular motions to damp skin.  Let it sit for about thirty seconds (based on your tolerance), and then rinse off, towel dry, and enjoy the pretty glow it leaves behind.   I don’t think you need much, but considering the price tag, I still find myself ensuring I don’t over-use.  (Though my boyfriend suffers no such affliction!)  It’s meant to be used once or twice a week, depending on your skin’s needs.  I usually use it twice a week myself.

I love the ridiculously soft feel of my skin post-ExfoliKate.  It’s so, so smooth.  It’s not dry, tight, or red after using it, and it’s not rough against my skin at all.  I know that ExfoliKate also comes in a Gentle formula for those with more sensitive skin, but I really didn’t feel much tingling (from the enzymes!) even from the get-go.  When I had my boyfriend try it for the first time, he felt the tingling much, much more than I, but after two or three uses, he didn’t seem to have any issues with it.  My skin looks and feels renewed and refreshed after each use.

One itsy-bitsy tube has lasted me about four months (I bought my first tube back in October ’09 but didn’t start using it right away), but I’ve definitely had lapses where I’ve only used it once a week or less… but then again, the boyfriend has definitely used more than copious amounts in the time I’ve had it in the bathroom!  All in all, I do think the 2 oz. tube lasts a good while, so it won’t be as if you’ll run through a single tube in a month or even two.   Not to say it’s cheap stuff, though!

There is one thing I have learned after having acne-prone skin for several years now–good skincare is worth it.  If you find something that works, it’s probably worth sticking to, rather than hunting for something cheaper and just as effective.  That’s just my motto nowadays; it’s worth the investment in my skin.  A good product doesn’t have to be expensive, either, but if it is and it works (and obviously, you’ve tried more than just that!), I see no reason to go elsewhere.  Once you find a solid skincare routine, you can plan to stock-up during sale events or triple points or whatever.

I like that it’s really easy to use, and you don’t have to set aside a large chunk of time to get a nice, enzyme-based exfoliation session in.  I love masks and all those kinds of products, but too often I completely forget about using them, but I always have a few minutes to spare for quick and effective exfoliation.    The packaging is simple, but I’ve found it works.  It dispenses product without a fuss–you don’t have to worry about getting too much out–and it’s pretty hygienic.  I could see that a pump might work better, but given my recent experience pump-packaging, it’d likely dispense way too much.  And this isn’t a product I want to waste a single drop of!

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

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

Recommendation: I am always hesitant to recommend anyone to shell out so much for so little product, even if I’ve experienced good results with it. If you can, I’d definitely try a sample OR purchase from a retailer with a solid return/exchange policy in case you really don’t get any magic out of it. I still can’t commit to buying the big daddy size, though I’ve purchased this product twice now.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, January 18th, 2010

Temptalia is extraordinarily pleased to be able to bring you an exclusive review of the Clarisonic by renowned skincare esthetician and expert Renée Rouleau! It’s a very informative and thorough review and read with invaluable information for improving your skincare routine and ensuring it is doing the most for your skin.  You can visit her blog for more skincare advice and tips!

Is Clarisonic harmful or helpful? Renée Rouleau gives a review….

Let me start by saying that I normally don’t do reviews of other skin care products. I use my blog as a place to talk and share my thoughts on what I know to be true about skin from being an esthetician for 22 years, but I leave product reviews for all of the great beauty bloggers out there.

My reason for doing a review on Clarisonic is because I have observed changes in my client’s skin that use the brush, and some of the changes have not been beneficial to the health of their skin. Since my goal is to offer helpful skin care tips to allow you to become a smarter skin care consumer, I feel that this is important information to share.

Read all about proper exfoliation and how to use your Clarisonic to avoid damaging your skin! Continue reading →