Product Review! Burt’s Bees Sheer Body Lotion

DSC_8357

I picked up this lotion on a whim the last time I was at CVS. During the winter my hands and wrists get INSANELY dry, and washing my hands twenty million times a day doesn’t help. I have tried Aveeno lotion before and it’s decent but it’s never really made my hands feel truly moisturized — it always felt like a temporary fix, and I hated how long it took to sink in to my skin and lose the greasy feeling. I have always been a huge fan of Burt’s Bees products, so when I saw this Burt’s Bees Sheer Body Lotion I had to try it out. They have two other scents — Violet & Mango (which also sounds DELICIOUS) and Cucumber & Aloe — but this Clementine & Calla Lily scent caught my eye. I had also never tried a spray lotion before and it seemed intriguing.

DSC_8363

All I can say is that the first time I put this lotion on my hands I thought I had found liquid gold. Just a few quick sprays delivers the perfect amount of lotion, it rubs into your skin so smoothly, it smells ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS (a must for me), and it LASTS. Like I said, other lotions I’ve used have always very obviously been a temporary fix — they made my hands feel slightly less rough and dry for that 10 or 15 minutes, but then it was back to normal. But after just a few applications of this over the course of a day — even with washing my hands with my normal regularity — made my hands look almost normal again. Winter is notorious for making my hands crack and bleed in some spots (usually around the knuckles and sometimes in between my thumb and fore finger), but this lotion allows my hands to STAY moisturized so they don’t get to that point. You need to make sure you’re using it regularly — I try to apply it 4-5 times per day, but sometimes I forget — but this stuff is pure MAGIC. I cannot recommend it highly enough!!!

Product Review! Sojourn Serum Smooth

DSC_2037

I initially picked up a bottle of Sojourn Smooth Serum ($24 on Amazon, closer to $16 if you have Amazon Prime) after I got my hair cut super shortmy stylist, Tasha, recommended it to me to keep my hair smooth and silky since I planned to style it naturally (just scrunching it to encourage its natural wave and curl and going on with my day).

My hair is INSANELY thick and has a natural wave to it that tends to get lost when my hair is longer since it’s so weighed down. When I had my hair shorter, it was important to have something that kept my hair smooth and kept the frizz away, especially in the summer months when the humidity tends to poof my hair up even more.

DSC_2034

I don’t use it as often anymore (now that my hair is longer) but it’s an awesome product. It has a light, slippery texture and a great smell. Like any smoothing serums, you have to be careful not to over-apply since it will make your hair look and feel greasy… but a little truly does go a long way. I was using this every single day for at least a few months and the bottle is easily still 1/2 – 3/4 full.

When I use it I hop out of the shower, wait for my hair to dry for maybe 10-15 minutes (so it is still quite damp but not sopping wet), and then apply. I put a tiny bit in my palm, maybe the size of a garbanzo bean, and rub it together before running my hands throughout my hair, focusing on the bottom half. When my hair was shorter I’d also scrunch my hair upwards from the bottom and I’d twirl some pieces around my finger to encourage some natural wave. It worked like a charm — I’d end up with manageable, smooth, silky hair with much less frizz. Highly recommended — 10/10!

Makeup Review! Covergirl Lipperfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Rose Twist

DSC_1204

I was at CVS recently looking for a more natural lip color and stumbled upon a selection of Covergirl Lipperfection Jumbo Gloss Balms ($7.99 on the Covergirl site). They had a great array of colors but I chose Rose Twist (#225). I’ve been really into the jumbo pencil-style lip colors lately so I hoped this would fit in nicely!

DSC_1210

The packaging is nice — very sleek and attractive, easy to just toss into your purse or glove compartment. The color itself is a bit more bubblegum pink than I expected — not the most flattering for me and not something I would wear regularly. The consistency of it is so nice — a cross between a lipstick and a balm, truly. You don’t need to put any kind of lip balm or gloss over it unless you’d like a much more shiny/glossy finish — it’s very moisturizing. It takes quite a few swipes to get it as pigmented as I’d like — good if you like the freedom of having a more sheer color or a bold one, but could be frustrating if you’re usually going for a richly pigmented look. One big downside is that this color didn’t last hardly at all for me. It comes off like CRAZY — I sipped some tea maybe 30 minutes after applying it and my mug is now covered in 50% of my lip color. So I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for long-lasting power, but it would be good for a more casual look if you don’t mind applying it multiple times throughout the day.

CovergirlLipPerfection

Ultimately I’d give it a 5/10 — the lack of staying power is a big downside for me, but I’d be willing to try some more colors!

Product Review! Lush Solid Shampoo in NEW!

DSC_7565

I’ve been a fan of Lush for a long while. Everything I’ve tried so far has been amazing. About a month ago I had tried a “No ‘Poo” method for about a week and a half — mostly in an effort to ditch the harmful chemicals in most shampoos and find something more natural for my hair. When I posted about my journey on Facebook, a good friend of mine gave this solid shampoo her endorsement. Knowing how awesome Lush products have proved to be, and being downright intrigued by the cinnamon and clove scent, I went ahead and bought a bar of the NEW! solid shampoo from their site ($11.95 for a 1.9oz bar).

DSC_7562 This was my first time using a solid shampoo and I had no idea what to expect. My friend told me that not only does this shampoo smell amazing, but it lathers like CRAZY, and she was right on both counts. You just wet your hair and rub the bar on your scalp — it produces an incredible lather and you can then massage it into your scalp and throughout your hair. The smell is so fresh and spicy — cinnamon and clove, as well as some peppermint infusion and rosemary. It washes out easily and makes my hair feel clean but not stripped, and the scent is extremely subtle once it’s out (I really don’t even notice it aside from when I’m actually in the shower). After using it once I immediately noticed my hair feeling smoother and softer, and now that I’ve been using it regularly (probably 5-6 times now) you can hardly notice any difference in the size of the bar at all. It takes hardly any to work up a lather so it should last me a long while. Overall I am SUPER satisfied and will definitely try more of their solid shampoos when this one is gone! I’d give it a 10/10.

Product Review! Long Winter Farm Perfume Oil in Sugared Violets

DSC_0029

The other night I was wandering along Congress Street with my husband his parents. We had gone to a holiday pottery sale at Portland Pottery and we thought we’d pop into some other stores while we explored. One of the places along our route was Circa Home and Vintage. This place was just beyond adorable — a delightful mix of home decor, toys, jewelry, beauty, and vintage items. We each picked up a few items — my husband actually swooned over a candle, my mother-in-law bought a gift for her niece, and I fell in love with this perfume oil.

I’ve known about Long Winter Farm for a while now — oddly enough, despite them being local (they’re in Alna, Maine!), I first found them via their Etsy shop. I had tried some of their amazing lip balm but never got around to buying anything else. Circa had a whole big display of their items and the centerpiece was their perfume oils, with a sample available for each so you could smell as you go (though they have a TON more scents in their online store!). I loved a bunch of them — Barista and Lumberjack in particular — but Sugared Violets. OH MY GOD. It smells like heaven.

I was skeptical at first. I’ve tried rollerball perfumes before and they never lasted for me. I could smell myself for all of 10 minutes and then they would fade. But I put some of this perfume oil on my neck and wrists while still in the store — yes, I excitedly tore the plastic off while my mother-in-law was being rung up — and I still smelled like sugared violets the next afternoon. Amazingly awesome. And considering they only contain fractionated coconut oil, unrefined hemp seed oil, essential oils, and vitamin E, I give it a 10/10, easy!

Makeup Review! BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.30.37 AM

This BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector ($36 for a 1.35oz bottle at Sephora) is the second primer product I’ve tried in the past couple weeks. I got a teeny tiny sample of this primer with a Sephora purchase — a 0.027 fl. oz packet, just enough for a single use. The first thing I noticed was that the consistency was different than other primers I’ve used — less of a clear plastic-y consistency and more like a leave-in conditioner. It has a very mild scent that goes away almost immediately.

It is advertised as an “oil-control primer that perfects for an all-day matte, smooth complexion while minimizing pores” and instructs you to “warm primer in hands before applying to face”. I rubbed it in between my fingers for 10-12 seconds before applying it all over. My skin tends to be more oily than anything so I hoped this would help. The package mentions that it “can be worn alone or under foundation” and usually I scoff at this but I really did feel like this could be worn by itself. It easily and visibly filled in my pores so I could hardly see them at all — with such a tiny amount I wish I had rationed more of it for my trouble spots (t-zone) because I feel like I could have just covered my more porous spots and applied a tiny bit of cover-up elsewhere and been good to go.

It dries very quickly but it did leave my face feeling very tight, almost like I had applied a mask. While my skin is on the more oily side, I do like a dewy complexion, and this stuff really does take the matte claim very seriously. I found that my regular foundation on its own looked a bit dry and flaky when applied over it. Reading other reviews it seems like it does better when patted onto the face rather than rubbed, so perhaps that was a factor. Ultimately I think I’d consider buying a full-sized version — it would be worth the price to have something that made me feel more confident going out with barely-there makeup. I’d give it a 6/10!

Makeup Review! Dr. Jart+ Pore Medic Pore Minish Primer!

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.25.09 AM

I received a sample of Dr. Jart+ Pore Medic Pore Minish Primer (it retails for $32 for a 1oz tube on Sephora’s website) with a recent Sephora order. Speaking of which, they do KILLER samples in case you’re curious. I try to always buy makeup from Sephora online because they always include 3 free samples of your choice and they more often than not have another special in conjunction so you can get a free little gift bag of samples or something similar. So awesome. If it’s not advertised right on the site, Google “Sephora discount code” and you’ll probably find SOMETHING, even if it’s just free shipping.

ANYWAYS. I got this tiny packet of the primer and tried it out this morning. It’s not something I would ever normally buy without trying it first so I was psyched. It has the typical consistency of any pore-reducing primer… sort of a clear, plastic-y gel. It has a very faint scent to it but it’s pleasant and disappears almost immediately. Primers like this are always so bizarre to me because you almost expect it to be some kind of invisible magic cream… I’ll spread it on my face and POOF! No more visible pores. I wish. It makes almost no discernible difference to the look of my pores until I put my foundation on and then they are GONE. I’m kind of amazed, actually. It dried super quickly to a smooth, velvety finish and I only waited a few minutes before putting on foundation. I probably could have waited a few minutes longer but it worked fine, and now my face is super smooth. Win!

Ultimately for the ease of application, lack of strong scent, pleasant texture, and just straight up delivering what it promises — a smooth, pore-free complexion — I give it a 9/10!

Product Review! Lush Greeench Deodorant Powder

DSC_7557

I am a huge fan of Lush products. I may have squealed when they opened a store in our local mall. I’ve used various lotions, soaps, bath bombs, and other beauty products from them, but this was my first deodorant, and my first ever powdered deodorant. I initially gave it a shot because my good friend JJ works for a Lush store in Philadelphia and when I visited her there were Lush products IN EVERY CORNER OF THE APARTMENT. Seriously. On the windowsill in the bathroom there had to be AT LEAST 10 different products including foot scrub and moisturizer. Insanity.

She had some of the coconut scented deodorant powder and I fell in love. Sadly that scent was discontinued so through my tears I picked out this one instead, called Greeench. Honestly, I am not wild about the scent — the package describes it as “herbal” and that’s pretty accurate. There’s thyme, rosemary, and tea tree oil, and they combine for a very earthy, slightly spicy scent. Personally I prefer to smell more like flowers and/or fruity, tropical scents, so this is very different from my norm.

Untitled-1

I am a fairly sweaty person so while the powder is great at immediately soaking up any sweat that’s already happening, I do find that I need to reapply somewhat frequently. It’s definitely not something I could put on in the morning and forget about until the late afternoon or evening. So it’s great if I am just heading out for a couple hours but anything more than that and I start to be able to smell myself. Not awesome. The powder can also be a bit messy so I make sure to put it on BEFORE I put clothes on, especially if I’m wearing something sleeveless and/or dark. But it really does take care of business amazingly well for the time it’s active. I’d give it a 6/10!

Makeup Review: Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Romantic

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 2.17.39 PM

I bought this stain last week on a whim — I’ve heard great things about Revlon’s lip products and was in search of a great red. The combination of a balm and a stain sounded intriguing so I picked up Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in “Romantic”, a brick red. I got it for around $6 at Rite-Aid but you can also find it at Target, Ulta, Walgreen’s, and many online retailers.  It’s like a nice, thick crayon — super smooth application and you can immediately tell it’s soft and creamy without being messy at all. It has a light minty scent which is surprisingly refreshing!

It does take quite a few coats to get it to the color that I like… but you could also swipe it across your lips once or twice for just a hint of color if you wanted. The nice thing is that, despite it being a stain, applying it isn’t scary — you don’t feel like you need to hurry up before it starts to dry or that you’re going to mess it up and have to scrub it off. I just put some on about 20 minutes ago and it still feels soft and malleable, in a good way. I don’t feel the need to put a gloss on over it, though you can for a shinier look — my lips feel soft and kissable, which is rare for me with any lipstick, let alone a stain. I’ve worn it a few times already and I’ve found that even when the product itself rubs off (which takes a while), the color is still mostly there, so that’s a big plus. I’d give it an 8/10!

Untitled-1