Happy Chinese New Year! – by LUSH

Oh LUSH. I’ll never know how you do it. In honor of the Chinese New Year (which is today!), LUSH has so beautifully crafted a Red Dragon Soap.

Pretty, isn’t it? Retailed at $7.95, this beautiful bar of soap is gently dusted with gold shimmer.

I’m no fan of glitter particles in my body products but the good news is, after one wash, this dust of glitter washes away. What’s left is a perfectly scented bar of soap that will leave your guests going “OMG, where can I get one of those?”

Scent-wise, if you’re a lover of LUSH’s Karma (I am! I reviewed the solid perfume here), you’ll love the soap. It’s highly fragrant at initial lather but becomes mellow while scenting the skin with that lovely spicy concoction of patchouli, lavender and pine. And it’s a vegan dragon soap too that will be make a perfect gift for your beauty lovin’ vegan guys and girls.

Ah yes, that’s another thing. I find the Karma fragrance to be fitting for men and women. Because of its spiciness, it can easily work for girly girls, manly men and everyone else in between. How thoughtful of you, LUSH. You can snag this at LUSH locations and online.

Some Chinese New Year facts:
-Considering many Asian cultures celebrate it, Chinese New Year is commonly called Lunar New Year.
-The Chinese year is based off of the cycles of the moon.
-2012 is the year of the dragon
-In anticipation for the Chinese New Year, many families thoroughly clean their homes. Metaphorically speaking this is to get rid of the previous year’s bad luck to make space for the new year’s good luck.
-Red is considered a lucky color in China.
(source)

Have you ever celebrated Chinese New Year?

 

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A Milk Conditioning Cleanser. No cookies required

Random B Fact: I am severely lactose intolerant. Ya’ll know I’m the Queen of TMI Talk so my revealing this quite common condition among us human species shouldn’t even come as a surprise. When I first heard of glo|Therapeutics’ Conditioning Milk Cleanser, I got all giddy. Very rarely do I come across milk products that don’t have me doubling over in pain.

Okay, more TMI. My bad.

Fact is, the concept of milk cleansers makes sense. Milk can be moisturizing, soothing and conditioning. Why not be it in a face cleanser?

According to glo|Therapeutics this cleanser ‘gently washes away impurities, soothing and protecting the skin with conditioning and antioxidant ingredients’. Because of its non-foaming and gentle formula, it can also be used as a makeup remover. Quite frankly, I prefer oil-based makeup removers since I use sturdy eyeliners and mascaras, but if you don’t wear longwear eye products, I can see how this works as a makeup remover.


As a cleanser – I can’t say it’s one of my favorites. For one, while the formula feels nice and creamy, it is far too perfume-y to me. Even after I rinsed the cleanser off, I could still smell it on my face. I prefer to use products without fragrances and even if I come across one that does use fragrances, I never want them to be long-lasting. Packaging wise, the cleanser has a nice pump that makes distributing in the palm of your hands easy peasy.

Because it doesn’t foam up, the cleanser feels a lot like a lotion.


But unlike a lotion, it doesn’t sink into your skin. I always feel like I REALLY have to rub creamy cleansers in my skin to FEEL like they’re doing something. glo|Therapeutics recommends to gently massage the skin for 60 seconds but I found myself doubling that time.

After rinsing off, it felt great. Nothing exceptional but my skin didn’t feel tight and that’s always a good thing. I do think the cleanser would best be suited for guys and gals with super dry skin though.

I’m not sure if it’s the cleanser for me but if you’re on a mission to try something new, I would definitely give it a whirl. You can snag it from gloprofessionals.com.

Whatcha think? You down for trying a milk cleanser?

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Cocktail Body Wash is la-la-lovely.

Guess who, for the first time in a looooong time, has stepped away from bars of soap to play around with body washes again? Meeeee! I think I’ve forgotten how awesome body washes are. I’ve been so stuck on making my own soap that I haven’t even touched body wash until a few weeks ago. This divine bottle of liquid gold that is Alba Bontanica’s Hawaiian Cocktail Body Wash broke my fast.

Have you seen these in stores? I’ve spotted them in Target and Whole Foods. The fragrance of this body wash is just absolutely incredible. It reminds me of Hawaiian punch with a citrus kick to it. Folx always hate me for bragging about how it’s a good 80 degrees in Florida in November, but a whiff of this body wash will transport you to a tropical paradise.

Like…for reals. The best thing about this body wash is what it doesn’t have.


Yep, my skin and I are both product snobs (unapologetically so) and I love how this body wash does a whole lot of omitting of the stuff that my skin hates. It is chock full of artificial fragrance but it smells so pleasant that I don’t mind using it for time to time.


Not bad for $8.95. You down for a tropical body wash?

Boscia’s Luminizing Black Mask. And uh…it really is black.

I’m not gonna lie, yo. I wish it would get a little cooler in Orlando. As I type this, I am lounging on my patio as a breeze cools the 83 degree temps. I know, I know. I should be grateful. I could be shoveling snow. But come on! It’s the holiday season and who could blame a gal for wanting to have a bit of a chill? *pouts*

Anywhoovers, so we all know how much I love Boscia’s Clarifying Detox mask. I’ve been using it religiously for a good two months now. I also managed  to get myself on the highly coveted Luminizing Black Mask. I’ve been wanting to try this mask since I laid eyes on it last year.

Shout out to being able to do facials at home! Now I’ve tried all kinds of masks, y’all. But I have yet to try a black one.

I just knew it would be fantastical. I mean, seriously…can Boscia do any wrong? Not in my book.

What Sephora says about the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask,

“This jet-black, mineral-rich mask creates a unique peel-off effect that delivers powerful detoxifying, purifying, and brightening results. Made with a premiere-quality clay, its deep-cleansing properties draw out dirt and oil. Other natural ingredients go to work exfoliating skin and refining pores. Powerful antioxidants shrink pores, firm skin, and reduce inflammation. Once dried, the mask strips away dead skin, impurities and excess oil to reveal immediate and visible results.”

Like all Boscia products, this mask is without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and dyes and phthalates. If you find that your skin is super sensitive to most masks, I recommend giving this one a try as it gentle enough not irritate your skin but powerful enough to draw yucky stuff out of those clogged pores. I love how this mask doesn’t sting. I can appreciate the “stinging” effect in some masks but most times, I don’t want to feel that kind of sensation. In fact, I love when I forget that a mask is on. This baby is so comfortable that I accidentally went to sleep with it on.

Crazy, right? I woke up in my morning and felt it lifting from the sides and after a few tugs, it gently peeled away from my face. I was left with smooth skin. So smooth that I didn’t even feel the need to put on a moisturizer. Niiiice!

Pro’s

-It’s fragrance-free.
-Feels cool to the touch and is easy to apply.
-Removes easily.

Con’s

-Is a little on the pricey side at $34.
-Can be a wee bit messy.
-Takes some time to dry. This isn’t a 5-minute mask.

If you’re in the market for it, I would definitely check this mask out. It’s the perfect weekly pick me up for your skin. Especially if the winter weather has your skin a little weary.

Not that I can relate or anything. Pfft. You can grab this baby at Sephora stores or at Sephora.com.

 

TMI Tuesday: Confessions of a Hairy Woman

photo source

Yes. It’s true. I’m hairy. And I’m a woman. 10 years ago I could never admit this. Shoot, 5 years ago I couldn’t admit it. But the fact is…my hair grows at the speed of light.

This can be beneficial in some cases. Hair cut gone wrong? No worries. My hair will grow back quickly. Overpluck the brow? It’ll grow back in 2.3 days. Ironically enough, I’m not one of those “gotta be hair-less all over” kind of women. Even though I live in tropical weather year round, I shave my legs once a month. If that. Stubble doesn’t bother me and the only area that gets hair removed regularly is the bikini line and my underarms. Everywhere else though? Pfft.

I even have a mustache.

Sexy, uh? I spend several minutes a day in the bathroom try to get rid of it AND the hairs that sprout all over my chin. Dude, I don’t know what happened but when I hit like 22 or 23, I started getting a ridiculous amount of facial hair. In fact, I can’t even go a day without doing some kind of plucking or clipping. It’s quite the nuisance. And the whole laser hair removal thing? Yah. I’m not convinced that’s safe enough for us richly hued people. The only saving grace is Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion. While it doesn’t eliminate the chin hairs, it dries up the bumps that ingrown hairs cause – making it hella easier to tweeze the hair out. It sucks, y’all. It really does.

Chin hairs are vicious lil’ somethings. They’ll spout right before something important happens. You’ll be getting ready for a  date, meeting or important presentation with only seconds to spare. You catch a glimpse in the mirror and see a chin hair. You go to pull it. It doesn’t budge. Instead, it coils up into a darling little candy curl. You pull again. Doesn’t budge. At this point, you feel like the chin hair is laughing at you like…

It sucks, y’all. It really does.

Are there any other hairy gals out there? Please make your voices heard. I just know I can’t be the only woman who is thiclose to pulling out a razor and going at it on the chin. Have you ever tried laser hair removal? Would you? Are there any products or techniques that you use to get rid of or minimize facial hair? And what’s the deal with women who pluck their brows, only to draw them back in? I could SO use some insight on that.

Can facial cleansers double as makeup removers?

Soooo, I’m back with another St. Ives product that I can’t believe I’ve never tried. I thought I had given just about ALL of St. Ives products a spin buuuut I guess not. Have you seen this baby in stores?

Retailing for a little less than $4, this gentle cleanser also doubles as a makeup remover.


I am always skeptical of such gimmicks. After all, I’m a beauty blogger and skepticism is one of my finest traits. A cleanser that promises to not only cleanse the skin AND remove makeup must be good enough to cleanse thoroughly as well as remove making without drying out the skin. It’s the kind of product that will only work for guys and gals with certain skin types. The consistency of the cleanser is like a lotion.

In fact, it looks and feels exactly like lotion. But if you were to rub it in your skin, it wouldn’t sink in as effortlessly as lotion does. When rubbed together a bit, it because slightly frothy and creamier. And I do mean slightly.

When thrown on the face and mixed with water, it still feels just like a lotion. It took a ton of rubbing in for me to “feel” like I was cleansing my skin. You know, because, like many, I’m used to cleansers foaming up. But despite the foams and bubbles, I felt like the cleanser really did its job. My skin felt clean and after wiping my face on a hand towel, I didn’t see a left of leftover concealer. Score! It removed my mascara and gel liner with ease too. Eyeliner on the waterline is a bit tricky, though, because if you get it too close to your eyes, you may endure some burning. I’m okay with using a regular oil-based eye makeover remover for the hardcore eye cosmetics.

I’m thinking this cleanser is best suited for those with normal to dry skin. Because it can be a bit emollient, it may be too moisturizing for those with oily skin. I’m sold!

Another win from St. Ives. Woot!

Lovin’ glō•therapeutics Pumpkin Enzyme Scrub. Nom nom nom!

I’ve got pumpkin on my face! Cool, uh? I’ve tried beauty products with all kinds of fruits and veggies in them but this is my first time test driving a skincare product with pumpkin in it.

Speaking of pumpkins…do you like them? I don’t. Pumpkin seeds are just okay, pumpkin bread is no bueno and I’d much rather eat sweet potato pie over pumpkin pie. But I can’t deny how yummy a whiff of pumpkin anything smells. Such is the case with glō•therapeutics’ Pumpkin Enzyme Scrub.

What glō•therapeutics says about the scrub,

“Removes dead skin cell build up and stimulates cell regeneration with granules and

enyzmes that exfoliate without stress or irritation to the skin.”

Some of the scrub’s active ingredients:

-Date Seeds & Jojoba Beads – provide natural, gentle physical exfoliation without stress to the skin
-Zeolite – a porous mineral that has the ability to help trap impurities for removal from the skin
-Pumpkin Enzymes – pumpkin is naturally rich in antioxidant bioflavonoids and vitamin A that assist in breaking down dead and irregular cellular buildup
-Fungal Protease – mushroom enzymes that helps breakdown fats, proteins and carbohydrates
Fruit Enzymes – softens and smoothes the skin
-L-sodium Hyaluronate – (a.k.a. hyaluronic acid) enhances elasticity, lubrication, plumpness and moisture of skin and also has healing properties

$30 will get you a 1.7 oz bottle. Although the directions say that you only need to use the scrub 2-4 times a week, you may run out within a month or so if you REALLY like it. I think this product would be a better bargain if they gave you at least an extra ounce or two. It is certainly one of the most interesting scrubs that I’ve used.

At first squirt, it doesn’t appear to look any different from the average scrub. Until you rub it in…

It has a bumpy consistency. If almost feels like a pot of grits that didn’t cook thoroughly. Slightly creamy but still on the bumpy side. The fragrance, however, is divine….

If you love the smell of pumpkins, you’ll love this scrub. The fragrance wasn’t too overpowering but considering this was the first time I had ever smelled a pumpkin beauty product, I was in love!

If you’ve got super sensitive skin, fret not as I think this scrub does a great job exfoilating without being too harsh. The granules in all of their bumpy fashion feel good when rubbed on the skin, but they don’t hurt. It took awhile to rinse the scrub off but once I did, my skin felt ah-mazing. It didn’t give me a deep cleanse (you know, like how my Clarisonic gives me) but it felt wonderful and is an ideal scrub for pampering the skin before bed.

I’m starting to fall for glō•therapeutics. This brand is slowly but surely rocking my world.

Want some pumpkin in your life? You can grab this scrub online here.