Tuesday, September 14th, 2010


Body Luxury with Kate Somerville

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Body Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($65.00 for 5 oz.) is an enzyme-based scrub that utilizes both papaya and pumpkin enzymes as well as beads to exfoliate away dead skin.  According to Kate Somerville, the enzymes “digest dead skin cells” while the beads “buff them away.”  The visual I get of enzymes digesting dead skin is partially gross… and yet hilarious.  Moving on!

I love me some ExfoliKate (for the face), and I like ExfoliKate Body, but I don’t think I’d repurchase it at full price.  I picked up mine through Gilt, when they had a sale, so I think I paid around $40.   What I like most about ExfoliKate Body is how it seemed to help moisturize my skin post-shower.  By no means is this a replacement for a moisturizer (unless you have pretty hydrated skin already, then perhaps it might)–on my dragon-scale legs, it just helps.  They also feel ridiculously soft and smooth and stay that way for a few hours, even without moisturizer.

Ingredients:  Water, Lactic Acid, Polyethylene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Pectin, Carica Papaya Fruit, Lactobacillus/Cucurbita Pepo Fruit, Ferment Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Papain, Bromelain, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Mel, Acetic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Cinnamomum Cassia Leaf Oil, Salicylic Acid, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cinnamal, Potassium Sorbate, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate, Beta-Carotene (CI 75130), Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (CI 75810).

The product is easy to apply but the process of application is not my cup of tea.  Just like ExfoliKate for face, this is a product that is supposed to sit on skin for a couple of minutes.  I don’t know about you, but this means I have to step to the back of the shower and just stand there, out of the spray, and well, it’s not as convenient.  I also feel like I’m wasting a ton of water, since I’m not enjoying it and it’s going right down the drain.

It’s a good product, but I don’t know if it’s that much better than so many other body scrubs and exfoliators.  Seeing how my body doesn’t seem all that particular or reactive to scrubs in general, shelling out for this one is probably not the way to go.  I’m more apt to spend more for good facial care, which is an area of skin that seems more finicky.


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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: A lovely exfoliating scrub that relies more on enzymes and lactic acid to slough off dead skin, rather than scrubby particles, but it is an indulgence.  Certainly worth trying if you don’t mind the price tag, but it’s not so above the rest that it’s necessarily worth saving up for.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Scrub
Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Scrub

Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Scrub ($36.00 for 12 oz.) is touted as both a body scrub and skin polish, though the two terms mean different things to me. A body scrub is a coarser product designed to help slough off dead skin cells on the skin that covers your body (which essentially excludes your face, possibly your neck), while a skin polish is a grainier, finer product that buffs and just tends to be gentler overall. Do they mean the same thing to you? I’m more curious than anything. We all have our own expectations/ideas depending on products and how they’re marketed!

The body scrub has a fresh lemony scent that’s light and not synthetic, and it’s really not a scent that will last and last post-shower. It has rather fine, grainy particles that will get the job done, but if you’re looking for a coarser scrub like your typical salt/sugar scrub, I don’t think this will be vigorous enough for you. However, if you prefer something smoother, finer, and altogether gentler (particularly if you have sensitive skin), the consistency of this product is more up your alley. Bliss calls the exfoliating piece “circular scrubbing grains,” which is good, because their spherical nature will avoid tearing the skin.

Ingredients: Water, Myreth-3 Myristate, Octyl Stearate, Polyethylene, Butylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Distearate, Dimethicone, Propolis Extract, Dimethicone Copolyol, Beeswax, Gylcereth-7 Hydroxystearate/IPDI Copolymer, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate, Triethanolamine, Hops Extract, Horsetail Extract, Beeswax, Stearamidopropyl Phosphatidyl PG-Dimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea.

I like that my legs feel rejuvenated and more moisturized after using this product. Not all scrubs impart moisture, and I can always appreciate one that multi-tasks (though if you suffer from drier, scalier legs like me, you don’t get to skip the body butter). Depending on your budget and what you like to splurge on, Bliss’ body scrub isn’t for everyone–it can seem pricey. Personally, it takes me ten years (exaggeration!) to get through a jar of body scrub, so if it does the job I like, smells good, etc., I’m not overly concerned whether it’s $10 or $40, since I know I’m going to get plenty of use out of it. If, on the other hand, I was going through a jar a month, I’d be more wary.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you prefer gentler exfoliating products for your body, consider Bliss’ Lemon + Sage Body Scrub, which uses very fine, grain-like particles to get rid of dry skin.

AVAILABILITY: bliss, Sephora

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Monday, July 26th, 2010

AXE Snake Peel

The Tech Guy Shaun, aka The Tech Guy, aka my boyfriend, is here with another must-read “manly” review. He’s twenty-seven with normal-to-dry skin and suffers from no more acne (much to my envy!). Can you tell he’s on an AXE kick? ‘Cause I think he maybe raided the entire shelf…

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.

Here marks the end of our tour of AXE products (hopefully). We’ll finish off with AXE Snake Peel Shower Scrub ($5.49). I guess what they were going for is some sort of body exfoliator, but they did not accomplish their goal. Instead of exfoliation, it feels like you’ve been to the beach and are trying to get the sand off. I assume that’s what they mean by “desert minerals,” because, once again, the ingredient list reads like Egyptian hieroglyphics. Three wavy lines means water!

AXE seems to continually mold things to be gripped in the most awkwardly way possible.  Instead of the man grip of doom, they mold the bottle in a way that no mortal man could squeeze. I guess it should be called the Zeus grip, because only Zeus would be able to squeeze out any product based on the grip AXE wants you to use. Look at that, this review is turning into an Egyptian and Greek history lesson.

Smell-wise… Generic man-smell… I wonder where these smells are thought up, because every one of them smells practically identical. After heavy usage of this product, it made Christine have a sneezing fit, so I guess if you are partial to repelling women away from you, then this might be for you. This product should be used by the likes of Brad Pitt and that guy who plays the lead in Twilight–Edward Von Vampiro or whatever his name is.

Recommendation: Useful if you’ve never used a real body exfoliant. Not that I’d know anything about that… *whistles* …. *runs*

Just in case you haven’t heard, I’m on twitter (@shauntechguy) and apart from hilarious updates I go into detail about the sordid life of a Temptalia Tech Guy. Filled with adventures such as: Complaining about coding, complaining about the server, and complaining about making videos.

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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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Tuesday, December 8th, 2009


Philosophy’s The Gingerbread Man

Scrub-a-dub with Philosophy’s The Gingerbread Man

Philosophy The Gingerbread Man Body Scrub ($25.00 for 23 oz.) is a hot salt scrub with a citrus-y ginger scent.

I was actually disappointed that this didn’t smell more like gingerbread, because it was definitely more natural ginger scent with a kick of citrus–maybe orange–instead. Philosophy is usually totally on target with scent, so I’m not sure if maybe I just expected the wrong scent. It’s not a bad smell, but it wasn’t what I expected!

I was also a little confused over the best way to apply/use it, because it is advertised as a scrub for the “tub and shower,” but the instructions tell you to apply to dry skin, rub in a circular motion, and then rinse off. I don’t know about you, but once I’m in the shower, there really isn’t any dry skin anymore! I tried it on dry skin once, right before I jumped into the shower, and I don’t think it’s the way to go. It felt much too harsh, was tough to apply (there wasn’t enough slip), and it was messy (I had salt granules all over my floor for days, much to my boyfriend’s chagrin).

So, after that, I decided to try it another way — in the shower. So, so much better! It’s a gritty scrub as it uses big salt particles to exfoliate, which means it might not be appropriate if you prefer softer granules or have sensitive skin. In the shower, it’s just gritty enough to give you lots of exfoliation while you rub it onto damp skin. It does dissolve, but it doesn’t do so immediately upon contact with water — you can get a few minutes of “scrubbing” time in before it’s time to rinse and still have granules left.

Bottom Line: I didn’t notice much of a warming feel–maybe just slightly–but I did have much smoother, softer skin post-shower, and the scrub itself has enough hydration to keep my skin from getting scaly. I like that there’s no greasy residue or oily feel afterward as well! It’s a solid scrub, and you certainly get plenty for your money. After years of trying different scrubs, I’ve found I prefer slightly less coarse scrubs, so that’s why this one didn’t have me on my feet — but it’s still a worthwhile scrub if you do prefer coarse, salt-based scrubs.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you like coarser bodys scrubs, you may enough this one.

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Mmm… Body Scrub:  Kiehl’s Lavender Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub

Kiehl’s Lavender Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub ($25.00 for 6.8 fl. oz.) is pretty much my new favorite body scrub.  A part of me is struggling with how to describe what exactly I’m loving about it in such a way that truly conveys how much I adore it, but obviously, I’m going to give it a shot or else this review wouldn’t be here!

This totally does its job!  I don’t know about “gentle” exfoliation, but it has a nice level of grit/abrasiveness that makes it effective without being too harsh.  I’ve used other scrubs touted as gentle/sensitive, and they are definitely much less abrasive than this one, so I just don’t know if I’d really call this gentle.  I’d consider it more of a happy medium between what I’d consider gentle (which I think of as more of sand-sized exfoliating grains) and the average body scrub (that likely has sugar or salt particles for exfoliating).  It’s for your body, and I personally find this to be a good level of abrasiveness.   I couldn’t tell you what exactly they use for their exfoliant other than they’re “natural exfoliation particles.”

Surprisingly, the body scrub was also really hydrating post-application, too.  It both exfoliated, but it didn’t take any moisture out, and I felt like it even added a little to it. I know Kiehl’s website does point out that one of the “key ingredients” is aloe vera, so perhaps that’s where the moisturized feeling comes from.  I do feel like the scrub delivers on its promise to “leave skin silky-soft, refreshed and primed for moisturization.”  It’s also a body scrub that is creamy and lathers up a bit, so it almost feels like both a body scrub and a body wash.  I am a little partial towards body scrubs that also have a more lathering base, because I do find that they’re more moisturizing on the whole and easier to use.

I’m satisfied with the pricing on this product, too, because you get a good amount that will yield plenty of usages.  I found about a nickel-sized dollop was a good amount per leg, and I didn’t feel like I was being skimpy, either–it was just enough to be rich and effective without feeling like I was trying to conserve the product.   There are, obviously, cheaper body scrubs available, but if you’re a Kiehl’s fan, it is a bit on the top line of  their price range, but it’s a solid product.  I’d say that after seeing the pricing on Kiehl’s other body washes and scrubs, it’s about where I’d expect–cheaper than Creme de Corps, but a little pricier than their Ultra Moisturizing.  (I haven’t tried either of those, but now I’m curious!)

The one I tested out has a very lovely lavender scent–there’s nothing to it, it smells exactly as lavender would smell, and I love that.  I do find the scent of lavender to be particularly relaxing, so I often use lavender-based products at night.  I’ve been using this in the shower at night, and then layering a lavender-scented lotion afterward.  It’s soft, not at all overwhelming, and smells very natural.  They also have the scrub in Coriander, Grapefruit, and Pear Tree if Lavender isn’t your thing.

Bottom Line: This is definitely one of my favorite body scrubs of all time, and it’s my new go-to since I started using it.  I’m going to take a sniff at the other scents next time I’m near the Kiehl’s counter, but I have a feeling Lavender is the best scent for me.

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

Recommendation: Body scrub buffs should look into Kiehl’s for a moisturizing, gritty scrub!

Availability: Nordstrom

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