Wednesday, August 5, 2020

MasqueBAR Gold Hydro Eye Hydrogel Eye Mask

Press Sample (Affiliate Links)

If there is one thing I am doing more of while living under what feels like perpetual quarantine, it's eye masking. In fact, I have been doing it every single day, and even my husband has been partaking in this daily ritual. I have not been wearing any makeup, whatsoever, save for a tiny amount of eye liner when I have Zoom meetings for work, but that's about it. Durning this five month period, of working from home, I have been taking care of my skin and hair, and they have been thriving as a result.

MasqueBAR Gold Hydro Eye Hydrogel Eye Masks essentially bring the spa experience to you in the comfort of your own home. I happen to really love the texture and the cool feeling associated with gel eye masks, and these do not disappoint. They cool the skin immediately, reduce the appearance of unwanted puffiness and dark circles, and hydrate the delicate area beneath the eyes. Furthermore, they soothe and pamper the skin while softening the appearance of fine lines. 
According to masqueBar,

This is an eye zone treatment that is enriched with Gold, Adenosine and Snail Extract to help improve elasticity and brightness and diminish the signs of aging. It is also effective to help reduce the appearance of eye puffiness and dark circles.

- Helps reduce the appearance of dark under eye circles and puffiness
- Enriched with Gold, Adenosine and Snail Extract
- Helps improve elasticity and brightness, and diminish the signs of aging

1. Thoroughly cleanse and dry face.
2. Open the jar and take 1 pair of masks by using spatula which is located on inner cover.
3. Apply eye masks on appropriate area under eyes and smooth out any air bubbles with finger.
4. Wear for 20-30 minutes and peel off slowly from the edges.
5. Gently massage remaining essence into the skin.
6. For optimal results, use every day for 30 days.
Warnings: Avoid using on blemishes, pimples, irritated or sunburned skin. Avoid using on skin which is sensitive to bandages, tapes or peel-off masks. Avoid contact with eyes. In the event of eye contact, rinse with water. Keep out of reach of children. For external use only.

Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Agar, Snail Secretion Filtrate, Adenosine, Butylene Glycol, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Gold, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Beta-Glucan, Carbomer, Allantoin, Disodium EDTA, Mica, Methylparaben, Parfum, CI 77891, CI 77491.
Overall Assessment: I am so happy with these, and I am actually wearing a pair as we speak. These are definitely worth trying, and I will purchase another jar when I finish this one!

$29.95-$35.99 for 30 pair from Masque Bar, Feel Unique and CVS (Affiliate Links).
Press Sample. All views expressed are categorically my own.
Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Aftelier Perfumes Berry Cleansing Balm

Press Sample (Unaffiliated Links)

Mandy Aftel, the genius behind Aftelier Perfumes, recently released Aftelier Perfumes Berry Cleansing Balm, and I am just so thrilled to share it with you!

Her creations are elegant, refined, visionary and luxurious, but they are neither pretentious, nor are they fussy. They appeal to the senses and the intellect, and one immediately recognizes the extent to which Mandy’s handcrafted artisanal works of art require reflection and savoring, and they deserve the very highest praise.
Aftelier Perfumes Berry Cleansing Balm, with its glistening golden hue, is an ultra-emollient lightweight and silky-smooth balm with the most indescribably refined texture. It feels glorious between the fingers, and the subtlety and complexity of the berry aroma unfurls and expands when it is massaged into the skin. Once the balm warms up it transforms into a deeper more captivating scent just as it begins to melt into the skin. It cleans every trace of makeup and dirt, and can be used as a stand alone cleansing balm or the first step in a double cleansing ritual. Once it is removed, skin is left soft and lusciously hydrated.

As I reflect upon this most captivating cleansing balm, I would characterize it as subtle and sublime, and unquestionably an unparalleled work of art.  It is the embodiment of perfection without being fussy or self-conscious. It features an idealized version of each of the ingredients because Mandy is able to coax the greatest subtlety and the greatest expression out of each of the constituent elements in this masterful creation.
Mandy’s learned and intuitive approach, and her mastery and deft handing of the individual ingredients, as well as her deep knowledge of the way in which they react with one another, is one of her many strengths as a master perfumer. Mandy doesn’t simply craft perfumes, skincare and chef's essences- she is an artist and an alchemist whose experimentation and bold visions result in the most extraordinary marriages of disparate elements. Her creations result in the most surprising juxtapositions of flavors, scents and textures that could only have been created by Mandy's boundless imagination and her learned approach.
I will also note, that it is no simple task to create a cleansing balm without a grainy texture. Hard grains often emerge when the heated oils re-solidify (particularly when using shea butter), and since, as Mandy notes, "all of these fixed oils have different fatty acid profiles and melt at different temperatures and re-solidify at different temperatures they don't remain smooth." Mandy posits, "there’s a synergy in the base oils chosen for my cleansing balm and cleansing oil, and the berry and geranium scents layer beautifully. Their individual properties are enhanced when used together, making them more effective and nurturing.. I like to do a dry double oil cleanse on my face in 2 steps, starting with this Berry Cleansing Balm and following with my Geranium Cleansing Oil."
According to Aftelier Perfumes,

The fresh berry scent is from the powerhouse trio of cranberry, raspberry, and blueberry seed oils. The rich golden color of the balm is from the kpangnan and berry oils, and it has a luxurious creamy texture and consistency that melts on contact with your skin.
The carefully chosen ingredients are:

- Raw Shea Butter – full of vitamins A & E and fatty acids, protects and moisturizes the skin.

- Kpangnan Butter - has a silky texture, with high amounts of stigmasterol, an anti-inflammatory plant sterol.

- Raspberry Seed Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Blueberry Seed Oil – with their delicious berry aromas, these oils are high in vitamins A & E and Omega 3, 6, & 9 fatty acids. Good for aging skin, they are rejuvenating & regenerative and help hold in moisture.
Directions: Scoop out a dime-sized amount of Berry Cleansing Balm onto your dry hands with the included spatula. Massage thoroughly onto your dry face, easing tension and drawing out dirt and toxins. Remove by pressing clean DRY washcloth into the skin. Do NOT rub.
Overall Assessment: This is a peerless cleansing balm, and I would characterize it as unmitigated perfection in every conceivable way. A+

$45.00 for a 30ml. jar and $7.00 for a 2ml. sample from Aftelier Perfumes (Unaffiliated Links).
Press Sample. All views expressed are categorically my own.
Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 3, 2020


(Affiliate Links)

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is from August 19-30! Early Access starts August 4 to select cardmembers and on August 13 to all cardmembers.

Anniversary Sale has always been a time of celebration. To continue that tradition this year while adapting to the unique impacts of COVID-19, we took a little extra time to ensure your comfort and safety. This year Anniversary Sale will be from August 19–30. While the dates have changed, what makes Anniversary Sale special hasn't—new arrivals from top brands at great prices. And with more ways to find the best deals—plus our convenient services—we're committed to making this year one to remember. Here's all you need to know to get ready to shop.
Anniversary Sale and Early Access: how it works.
What is Anniversary Sale?
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale offers new arrivals on sale from top brands like Madewell, Vince, Topshop and more. As always, Nordstrom cardmembers get to shop the sale before everyone else during Early Access. Apply for a Nordstrom credit card to unlock Early Access. Subject to credit approval.

When is Anniversary Sale?
All cardmembers can shop Early Access starting August 13—shop even earlier depending on your Nordy Club status.

Anniversary Sale is open to everyone August 19–30. Prices go up August 31.
You can shop the sale in open stores during normal business hours. Online shopping begins at 9:30am ET/6:30am PT.

Anniversary Sale and Early Access: how it works.
We're giving everyone the ability to preview all sale items even earlier—starting July 24. This way, you have plenty of time to save your favorites to your Wish List so you can check out faster when it's time to shop. This preview experience will replace our print catalog this year.

Cardmembers with Icon, Ambassador or Influencer status will get even more time to shop Early Access. The higher your status, the earlier you shop. This is on top of the six days of Early Access all cardmembers get.

Anniversary Sale is coming to Canada August 19–September 3, and this year you can shop online at! To learn more, go to

I purchased the Sisley All Eyes on Sisley Set, which I absolutely LOVE, and highly recommend. If you are seeking a wonderful device, then I highly recommend the NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Kit, I have this device, have used it for years, and think that this is an excellent value. I am a huge fan of Kate Sommerville Exfolikate, which is normally quite expensive, but they offering a $55.00 savings off of the 5 oz. tube!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Masque Bar’s Moisture & Nourishing Hand Mask for Soft and Hydrated Hands

Press Sample (Unaffiliated Links)

If ever there was a time for hand masking, it is now. My poor hands get washed so much these days, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, that I have to moisturize them a lot. Therefore, adding a hand mask to my routine is a nice way to deliver serious moisture to my hands whenever they need that pick-me-up. MasqueBar’s Moisture & Nourishing Hand Mask is a wonderfully effective mask that in 20-30 minutes make dry skin, of the hands and cuticles, soft, supply and very hydrated skin. My tip for the best results is to massage your hands while you are wearing the gloves to help the serum absorb even more effectively.
According to Masque Bar,

Moisture & Nourishing Hand Mask is an intense moisture treatment that restores suppleness to dry, rough, overworked hands. This newly designed "Glove-type" hand mask penetrates quickly & deeply to protect, nourish and moisturize the skin.

Warnings: Avoid using on irritated, sunburned skin or open wound. Stop use and consult a doctor if skin becomes red, swollen and/or itchy during or after use. In the event of eye contact, rinse with water. Avoid using on skin which is sensitive to bandages or tapes. Do not store under direct sunlight or in extreme temperatures. Keep out of reach of children. To prevent dryness, use mask at once after opening pouch.

Ingredients: Water(Aqua), Glycerin, Petrolatum, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Hamemelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Honey (Mel) Extract, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Ceteareth-12, Ceteareth-20, Allantoin, Propylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Palmitate, Sodium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Proplyparaben, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance(Parfum).
Overall Assessment: Masque Bar’s Moisture & Nourishing Hand Masks earn an A+ from LSBB!

$9.99 for 2 pair of gloves from Masque Bar (Unaffiliated Links).
Press Sample. All views expressed are categorically my own.
Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Beauty Spotlight Team Says Hello to August with These Great Posts

Accidentally dropped an eyeshadow palette or pressed powder compact? Received a beauty product order that arrived smashed? What to do? Never Say Die Beauty has been using FIXY Makeup Creation & Repair Kit that makes easy work out of repairing broken makeup so it’s as good as new!

Ever thought of doing an at-home skincare peel? Prime Beauty likes The Perfect Image, has several strength glycolic peels that are also affordable!

Currently Boxwalla has two amazing boxes that you don’t want to miss and that Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog is obsessed with! The Limited Edition Makeup and Skincare Box: Two Facets of Joy and the August Beauty Box: The Curious Comfort of Skincare Like Things feature amazing products from Lovinah, and Votary. Check out the review and swatches to see why these are covet-worthy boxes!

The calendar may say it’s August but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to end summer. To that effect Beauty Info Zone has 4 additional KBShimmer Endless Summer Nail Polishes. You won’t want to miss out on these beauties.

Looking for something to remove the liquid lipsticks that seem to be impossible to remove? Southeast by Midwest is loving the Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip Remover to remove not only Beauty Bakeirie Lip Whips but other hard to remove liquid lipsticks as well.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Empties July 2020

Press Sample & Purchased (Affiliate Links)

I actually surprised myself this month by finishing up more largely used up products than I had ever anticipated. As you have seen over the last few months, we have been going through lots of soap each month because we live in the epicenter of the pandemic in California. Therefore, we are doing a lot of hand-washing and shower-taking these days. In fact, we are being so vigilant that we shower and wash our hair every single time that we return home after being out in the world (in any capacity). There is something about living in the epicenter of the pandemic, in LA, that causes a profound paradigm shift.

I have neither been on an intentional no, nor low buy mission, but I have definitely been focussing on using up a lot of open products before they go bad. If there is any sort of silver-lining to essentially being back under the shelter-in-place mandate, it is that we are living far more sustainably. With that in mind, here are the things that I finished up down to the last drop this month. Please remember that they were already in use from the month or months before, and that few of these items were opened and finished in July.
Body Products from the Shower (Pictured above):

Nubian Heritage Peppermint Aloe Bar Soap ($4.99 for 5 oz. from Nubian HeritageSwanson HealthWalmart and The Vitamin Shoppe): This lovely bar soap gently exfoliates dead skin cells while hydrating, softening and conditioning the skin. It boasts a creamy light lather that neither strips the skin, nor does it leave behind a greasy residue. It has the uplifting aroma from the peppermint that is tempered by the aloe. I keep this bar at my bathroom sink, and love how soft it makes my hands. Purchase Again? Definitely, but not until I make a dent in my soap drawer.

Salt by Hendrix Luxe Oil + Salt Scrub Jasmine + Rose (This version no longer appears on their website, but there are many others from which to choose from Salt by Hendrix): This is an incredibly luxurious oil and salt body scrub that leaves skin soft, smooth, supple and incredibly hydrated. The aroma, which is informed by the Jasmine and Rose, is delectable and beautiful. Purchase Again? I have a couple more of their body scrubs and LOVE them. I would buy this one again, but it no longer appears to be available.

Tree to Tub Soapberry for Body Relaxing Lavender Body Wash ($17.88 for 8.5 oz. from the Tree to Tub Amazon Store): This wonderful body wash has a lovely light lavender aroma, a non-drying creamy lather and it is pH-balanced. It leaves skin soft, hydrated and soothed. If leaves behind no oily residue and washes clean. Purchase Again? I will definitely consider it when I need to purchase more body wash.
Uncle Bud's Body Wash with Hemp Seed Oil ($14.99 for 8 oz. from Amazon): I absolutely fell in love with this body wash the first time that I tried it. It contains Aloe Vera and Hemp Seed Oil that moisturize the skin, and it has a creamy-dreamy lather (especially when used with a body mit or sponge) that is non-drying. Not only does it thoroughly clean and hydrate the skin, but I find it emollient enough that I can shave my legs with it. It has the delectable scent of coconut that makes the whole shower smell delicious. Purchase Again? YES!

Mustela Stelatopia Cleansing Cream ($13.00 for 6,76oz. from Mustela, Escentual and Amazon): This cleansing cream has a very light lather, rather than a rich lather, and it is incredibly soothing, calming and hydrating for even the most sensitive skin. It has no detectable fragrance and it washes clean without leaving behind any residue or greasiness. While it is perfect for babies with eczema-prone skin, I find that it has the perfect consistency and texture for shaving my legs. Purchase Again? Most definitely– this stuff is divine!

Dove White Beauty Bar ($2.99-$12.99 for 2-14 bar packs from Target and Walgreens): This gentle, creamy cleansing bar contains ¼ moisturizing cream that leaves skin soft smooth and very clean. We used these in the shower, and loved them! Purchase Again? I already have another 2-pack!
Hand Soaps:

Dove Gentle Exfoliating Beauty Bar ($2.99-$12.99 for 2-14 bar packs from TargetWalgreens and Bed, Bath & Beyond): I am a huge fan of exfoliating cleansing bars that are gentle, effective and do not strip the skin. This bar effectively exfoliates dead skin cells, but leaves the skin soft, smooth and never in the least bit stripped. I used these to wash my hands in July, and the exfoliating action did an excellent job of thoroughly cleaning my hands. Purchase Again? Definitely!

Rebel Green Pink Lilac Fresh & Clean Hand Soap ($6.95 for 16.9 oz. from Rebel Green and Amazon): This soap is gentle and yet it thoroughly cleans the skin, but it does so without stripping, drying or irritating even the most dry and chapped hands. It leaves hands remarkably soft, smooth and hydrated. They also make their hand soaps in Unscented, Peppermint & Lemon, Frankincense & Pine and Lavender & Grapefruit. Rebel Green hand soaps are cruelty-free, and they feature non-synthetic fragrances. The pink lilac scent, which I love, is absolutely amazing. Purchase Again? Unquestionably. This hand soap is amazing!

Tree to Tub Soapberry for Hair Relaxing Lavender Shampoo (On sale for $17.88 for 8.5 oz. from Tree to Tub Amazon Store): This pH-balancing shampoo, that can also be used on the body, has a lovely mild lavender aroma that is a delight to the senses. It forms a non-stripping, creamy lather that is free of harsh chemicals. Hair is left hydrated, manageable and shiny. Purchase Again? Perhaps, but I have too many shampoos to use before I purchase another.

Cuvée Shampoo ($35.00 for 10 oz. from Cuvée Beauty): This gentle shampoo, which is free of sulfates, parabens and phthalates, is also safe for color-treated hair, is ultra-luxurious, hydrating and revitalizing. Furthermore, the nutrient-rich formula, which is thoroughly non-stripping, leaves hair soft, shiny and silky-smooth. It has a light and pleasant aroma that enhances the sensory experience of using this lovely shampoo. Purchase Again? I have a lot of shampoo, but would definitely consider purchasing it in the future because I really like it a lot!

Cuvée Conditioner ($38.00 for 10 oz. from Cuvée Beauty): This conditioner offers hair deep hydration that is weightless, washes clean and leaves behind no residue. It is made with high quality skincare-grade ingredients that nourish and moisturize the hair and protect it from heat damage. Furthermore, it softens the hair, makes it more manageable, adds a little volume, and it is safe on chemically treated hair. Like the companion shampoo, it has a light and pleasant aroma. Purchase Again? This is an amazing conditioner, and I would definitely buy it again, but not until I finish up more of the conditioners in my stuffed cabinet! 

Ouai Treatment Masque ($32.00 for 3.4 oz. from Sephora, Ulta and Nordstrom): Normally a 1 oz. sample tube would not be enough product to formulate much of an opinion, but wow– this masque is fantastic! It deeply hydrates and conditions and leaves my hair incredibly soft, smooth and manageable! Purchase Again? YES!!!!

LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant ($14.00 for 1.7 oz. from Amazon and Ulta): LAVANILA makes wonderful healthy deodorants that are effective and smell wonderful (though they also make an unscented variant for sensitive skin). Their Vanilla Grapefruit scent is probably still my favorite because it smells utterly scrumptious, but I have almost of their scents and use them all of the time. They offer long-lasting protection, and do it without all of the unhealthy chemicals. Just to be very clear, all three of these deodorants were nearly empty, and two of them were in my travel bags that are no longer getting any use because of the pandemic. Therefore, I used up what little was left before they dried out. Purchase Again? I already have a replacement!

M-61 Power Glow Peel ($30.00 for 10 treatments, $66.00 for 30 treatments and $116.00 for 60 treatments from BluemercuryMacy's and Amazon): During use I notice the slightest bit of tingling as the Glycolic and Salicylic Acids begin their work exfoliating my dead skin cells, but it is neither uncomfortable, nor painful. I began using it once a week, and was able to use it three times a week the second week, and by the third week I was able to use them every day. I would definitely recommend starting out slowly. I also have to say that whenever you exfoliate your skin that it is imperative to be vigilant about sunscreen use, and reapplication, because taking away dead skin cells leaves your skin more vulnerable to the sun and environment. The lack of an SPF leaves your skin more vulnerable to skin cancer, but also to hyperpigmentation. M-61 Power Glow Peel leaves my skin soft, smooth with a renewed fresh texture and clarity. I do not have enlarged pores, and therefore can't say whether enlarged pores appear smaller, but I do note that my skin appears more taut after use, and that fine lines appear softer because they are unencumbered by excessive dead skin cells. Purchase Again? Yes, but not until I use up my box of Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength first!
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength ($150.00 for a box of 60 treatments and $88.00 for 30 treatments from Sephora, Space NK, Nordstrom and Selfridges): I was so happy with th results of the M-61 Power Glow Peel that once I finished the entire box I decided to do more peels in the month of July. Therefore, I returned to my box of Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength. This two part peel is a fantastic maintenance program between professional peels, but also is highly effective if you never seek out professional peels. I am very impressed by the efficacy of this product, but the Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength will not be suitable for sensitive skin. They also offer the Alpha Beta Original Formula which is a far more gentle variant. It is perfect for keeping my skin in great shape, and is an excellent product to use between professional peels and facials. I used 7 of these this month! Purchase Again? I still haven't finished my big box of 60, but I will definitely purchase it again! This was worth every penny!

AMOREPACIFIC Treatment Cleansing Oil Makeup Remover ($50.00 for 6.8 oz. from AMOREPACIFIC, Sephora and Nordstrom): This is a very nice lightweight cleansing oil that emulsifies when you mix it with water. It washes clean, removes every trace of makeup and it leaves skin so soft. Purchase Again? While this was only a sample size, I liked this so much that I plan to buy a bottle as soon as I finish up my current cleansing oils.

Bodyography Coconut Milk Serum ($33.00 for 1 oz. from Bodyography): This serum, which looks and feels like a lightweight moisturizer, sinks into the skin immediately and leaves it hydrated and luminous. It softens the appearance of fine lines and nourishes the skin beautifully. On warm days, I can use this in lieu of a moisturizer, but it layers perfectly with my favorite moisturizers as well. It has no detectable aroma, and therefore should pose no problem for people with a sensitivity to fragrant skincare products. Purchase Again? Not any time soon, because I am swimming in serums, but I would definitely buy it in the future!

Arbonne RE9 Night Repair Crème ($88.00 for 1 oz. from Arbonne): This is a very thick and rich nighttime cream that deeply hydrates the skin while you sleep. It is very concentrated, therefore I warm a tiny amount in my hands before massaging it into warm, freshly cleansed skin. The following morning I note that my skin is soft, smooth, hydrated and luminous. It has no detectable scent, and it feels so wonderful on the skin. Purchase Again? As much as I really liked this, and I liked it a lot, I have so many open jars of cream that it will be a very long time before I need to buy another.

BIOTHERM Aquasource Gel ($44.00 for 1.69 oz. from Bioterm USA): This ultra-luxe gel-based moisturizer is one of the most hydrating products that I have tried in recent memory. Its lightweight texture lends itself to melting into the skin immediately and drenching and quenching even the most dehydrated skin. Biotherm's claim that it gives skin a visible glow and "intense regenerating hydration in one application" is absolutely consistent with my experience. This has a fresh green aroma that is uplifting and pleasant, but it does not linger. Purchase Again? At some point, yes. I have lots of light creams for the summer, and am not in need of another, but I will say that this one is phenomenal!
Face Cleansers:

Sponge Skincare Gel Katharistiko Cleanser (As I noted last year, their website is no longer online): This is my last bottle of this extraordinary cleanser, and I am very sad that I can no longer buy it! Sponge Skincare products were made in Greece by a family who had been making natural skincare products for more than thirty years. Among the key ingredients used by Sponge is olive oil, Vitamins D & E,  and organic and wild crafted herbs. This wonderfully aromatic, and hydrating cleanser, cleans without stripping and leaves skin soft, hydrated and nourished. Luckily I had backup bottle that I will thoroughly enjoy, but I miss the days when I could buy their products at Barneys New York (not to mention the fact that I still miss BNY tremendously). Purchase Again? I would in a heartbeat. I really hope that they didn't go out of business because their skincare products were absolutely extraordinary.

Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser ($15.99 for 4 oz. from Mad Hippie, Ulta, Amazon and Free People): This is a lovely non-foaming cream cleanser that leaves skin thoroughly cleansed, hydrated, softened and silky smooth. It neither strips the skin, nor does it leave behind a greasy film. Given that I have normal to combination skin, I was initially concerned that it might be better suited to dry skin, but I was thrilled to discover that it worked perfectly for my skin. There is no discernible fragrance or scent to this cleanser. Purchase Again? I definitely would if I weren't swimming in so many open bottles and tubes of facial cleansers.
Cotton & Eye Masks:

Koh Gen Do 100% Pure Cotton ($19.00 for 60 pads from Koh Gen DoDermstoreBeautylish, b-glowing Amazon Store and b-glowing): Whether you use a toner, micellar or spa waters or makeup removers, you probably have sought high quality cotton pads or cotton balls to use these products. My preference has always been 100% cotton, and while I have tried a great many over the years, Koh Gen Do ranks as my very favorite. Their cotton pads are very thick, 100% Certified Organic cotton, and they are not chemically treated, bleached or subjected to fertilizers or pesticides. Furthermore, the Koh Gen Do 100% Pure Cotton Pads do not fall apart during use, they are soft against the skin, and they are an ultra- luxe pleasure to use. Purchase Again? OMG YES! This is, without question, THE BEST COTTON PADS EVER!
MegRhythm Gentle Steam Eye Mask ($10.99-$17.77 for 7 masks from Yes Style Global and Amazon): If you are looking for serious stress relief, MegRhythm Steam Eye Masks, which stay at a comfortable temperature for 10 minutes, bathe "eyes and the delicate eye area in warm steam." This steam bath for the eyes helps release the tensions of the day. This is the perfect before bedtime treat! You will note that there is a stray eye mask in the photo with the Koh Gen Do Cotton pads above because I found it at the bottom of my recycle bag after taking pictures. I went through an entire box in July. Purchase Again? I have 4 masks left, and I will definitely repurchase more!
TATCHA Luminous Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask ($12.00 for one set and $95.00 for 10 masks from Tatcha): These nourishing and hydrating eye masks are absolutely amazing! They deeply hydrate, soften the appearance of fine lines, sooth tired and puffy eyes, and leave the delicate skin luminous. Purchase Again? Definitely! These are great.
Estée Lauder Stress Relief Eye Mask (These appear to have been discontinued and replaced by these masks instead. Available from Estée Lauder): These were absolutely amazing eye masks. They were described as revitalizing 10-minute masks that were perfect for, "long days, long nights, in-flight or whenever you need to 'de-stress.'" They included ingredients such as aloe vera and cucumber and they deeply hydrated the delicate skin under the eyes, softened the appearance of fine lines, and left skin soft, smooth and supple. Purchase Again? I definitely would if that were an option!

Mustela Cleansing Wipes with Olive Oil ($6.00 for 50 wipes from Mustela and Amazon): These full-size alcohol-free cleansing wipes are fragrance-free, gentle against the skin and they thoroughly clean without stripping. The olive oil infused cloths feel so soft against the skin, and whether you are using them on yourself or your baby (or both) you can be assured that they won't irritate the skin. Purchase Again? I have lots of wipes to use before I need to repurchase, but I will definitely buy these again!

Hanhoo Argan Oil Makeup Removing Wipes with Vitamin C ($4.00- $5.00 for 15 wipes. from Hanhoo and Walmart): While I have used a lot of different makeup removing wipes, I have to say that these are far more luxe in feel. The wipes are made from a very plush and ultra soft material that feels more like a fabric than a disposable material, and it feels oh so good against the skin! They are very gentle against the skin especially the delicate area around the eyes, and each wipe is moist enough that there is no need to tug at the skin to remove every trace of makeup. Skin is left clean, soft and lightly hydrated, and never dry or taut. The wipes have a very light aroma that may be from the Argan Oil, but it isn't in the least bit irritating or overpowering. Purchase Again? I will definitely consider repurchasing the once I need more wipes.
Clarisonic Classic (50% Off all products from Clarisonic and Ulta): When I learned that Clarisonic was going out of business on September 30, 2020 I was very sad. I loved and used my Clarisonic for years, and when I heard the sad news I pulled mine out of the drawer and sought to charge it. What was next to come was nothing sort of heartbreak upon heartbreak. My 8 year old Clarisonic would not take a charge, and it appears to have died along with its wonderful company. Purchase Again? I have lots of other cleansing devices, and therefore I can't justify the purchase, but the 50% discount is tempting for anyone in the market for a first rate cleansing device.
Travel Sizes (these are from my travel bag that I just emptied out since I won't be traveling for a while!):

Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner ($29.00 for 13.5oz. from Unwash and Amazon): This is a really nourishing sulfate-free cleansing conditioner that is really gentle on the hair and suitable for all textures and types of hair. It is non-stripping and hydrating, and my curls love it! Purchase Again? I have a couple more of their deluxe samples to test, but I would definitely consider purchasing more once I need more shampoos and conditioners.

Unwash Anti-Residue Cleanse ($24.00 for 10 oz. from Ulta and Amazon): This Anti-Residue shampoo gently removed product build-up without stripping the hair and scalp, and it leaves hair clean, pH-balanced and looking healthy! Purchase Again? Eventually, but I have a couple of clarifying shampoos that I ned to finish up first.

OUAI Wave Spray ($22.00 for 5 oz. from Violet Grey, Ulta and Sephora): If you love texturized beachy waves, then this wonderful Wave Spray offers a weightless mist that gives hair just enough hold, and the perfect amount of body. It works so well on my naturally curly hair, and I am so happy to have discovered it! Purchase Again? Thankfully, I have 3-4 samples left!

TATCHA Indigo Hand Cream ($38.00 for 2 oz. from Tatcha and Violet Grey): is a revelation for dry hands, and unlike anything else that I have tried. It is ultra-lightweight yet very rich and moisturizing, but it sinks in quickly leaving behind no greasy film. Hands are left soft, supple and left deeply moisturized. The anti-inflammatory rich formula makes short work of soothing redness and irritation, and returning skin to a balanced and hydrated state. Purchase Again? YES YES YES!
CHI ESSENTIALS Professional Hair Color ($32.00 from Avon): This hair color kit, which is made by Farouk Systems for Avon, was as easy to use as the drugstore brands, and it delivered great results. Initially, I was going to wait about a month to color my hair, but the sun has lightened my hair so much that I decided not to wait. I have natural dark brown hair, with red undertones, and each summer the sun significantly lightens my hair. Therefore, toward the end of summer I like to color my hair so that it is back to its natural dark brown shade. This set restored my hair to its natural color within less than 45 minutes, and unlike many at home sets this one requires that you shampoo and condition your hair after use. It is ammonia-free and gluten-free, but for all of the product details, see my initial post HERE.  Purchase Again? Yes, this is a great at-home hair coloring kit.
Essential Oils:

Aroma Foundry Bergamot Essential Oil ($10.00 from Aroma Foundry): This delectable, mood-enhancing, citrus is one of my all-time favorite essential oils to use in my diffuser. It makes the house smell glorious, it elevates the mood of everyone in the house, and its refreshing aroma is very refreshing. Purchase Again? Definitely.

Gurunanda Lavender Essential Oil $5.94-$7.99 each and Sets for $29.99+ from Gurunanda and Amazon): Gurunanda has a wide assortment of essentials oils and essential oil blends, and I use them all of the time. They pair beautifully will their oil diffusers, and their oil blends address a variety of concerns from sleeplessness to congestion, and there are even formulation for relaxation, tranquility and harmony. Their Lavender Essential Oil is one of my favorites! Purchase Again? I already opened a fresh bottle!

Artnaturals Signature Zen Essential Oil ($5.99 from Artnatuals and Amazon): This blend, which is made up of lavender, rosemary and sweet orange oils, is formulated to "decrease stress, nervous tension, headaches, anxiety, and anger." It is grounding, calming, relaxing and it smells delicious! Purchase Again? I definitely would consider repurchasing it, but I have a lot of essential oils right now– so I will reevaluate once I begin to run low.
Deluxe Fragrance Samples:

Arizona by Proenza Schouler ($75.00 for 30ml. from Proenza Schouler): I can't remember where I got this sample, and while I liked the way it smelled, it did not do well with my personal body chemistry. Here are the notes: Orris / White Cactus Flower / Jasmine / Orange Flower / Solar Accord / Musk / Cashmeran. Purchase Again? Unfortunately, no.

Candy by Prada ($76.00 for 1 oz. from Sephora, Nordstrom and Ulta): This is a sweet feminine scent, and I thought that it would smell to much like actual candy on me, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was quite pleasant. Notes: Top: caramel. Middle: musks. Base: vanilla, benzoin. Purchase Again? I am not sure, and I have a lot of fragrances to use up, but I really did like this scent.

Oud Palao by Diptyque ($180.00 for 2.5 oz. from Saks Fifth Avenue and Bluemercury): Some Ouds don't work well with my body chemistry, but I really do like this one. Here is what Diptyque says, "East meets West in this exotic eau de parfum interlacing and intermingling oud wood, vanilla and rose.Oud wood is one of the rarest and oldest essences in perfumery. It is the central focus of Oud Palao eau de parfum, which owes its name to the Palao variety of oud wood from Laos." Purchase Again? Probably not, but I do like this.
Deluxe Perfumed Body Cream Samples:

Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Body Crème ($84.00 for 5.9 oz. from Sephora and Nordstrom): This rich fruity floral body cream is rich, ultra thick and moisturizing, and I absolutely love the scent. It lingers for quite a while, and then becomes faint and lovely after a several hours. Key Notes: King William Pear, Freesia, Patchouli. Purchase Again? I would definitely consider it.

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Body Moisturizer ($ for oz. from Nordstrom, Bluemercury, Macy's and Sephora): I own the full size bottle of the Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau de Parfum and am absolutely in love with it. It is on of my favorite fragrances to wear during the warm months of the year, and I loved layering it with this matching moisturizer.  Key Notes: Tunisian Neroli, Italian Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon, Winter Yellow Mandarin, Orange Flower, Lavender. It is described as, "Vibrant. Sparkling. Transportive...this scent perfectly captures the cool breezes, sparkling clear water, and lush foliage of the Italian Riviera." Purchase Again? ABSOLUTELY! I love this moisturizer, and I will savor it!

Boiron ColdCalm ($8.99 for 60 tablets from Amazon, Walmart, Target and iHerb): ColdCalm is a Homeopathic medicine that you take at the first sign of cold symptoms. If offers cold relief for the following: sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and minor sore throat. It does not cause drowsiness. Purchase Again? Most definitely!

COCOFLOSS ($9.00 each. Available at SephoraCredo BeautyShen Beauty and goop): Cocofloss is a very effective dental floss that deeply cleans teeth and is gentle and soothing on the gums. It actually makes flossing something that I look forward to, and it is available in 4 coconut infused flavors: Delicious Mint, Pure Strawberries, Fresh Coconut and Cara Cara Orange. Purchase Again? I just opened another one, this stuff is great!
Overall Assessment: I can't promise that I will do nearly this well in August because I have a lot of full bottles, tubes and jars open, but I am on a mission to use things up before they go bad– so we will have to wait to see what August brings! What did you use up, toss out, give away or return in July? Any real winners or losers to report? Do tell!

Press Sample and Purchased. All views expressed are categorically my own (Affiliate Links).
Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Potager Soap Co. Gorgeous Handcrafted Cruelty-Free Soaps

Press Sample (Unaffiliated Links)

I recently discovered the most beautiful handcrafted soaps, made in small batches, from Concord, Massachusettes. Potager Soap Co. is a cruelty-free, vegan and certified organic brand that is woman-owned, and it is invested in sustainable practices.

About Potager Soap Co.,

Potager Soap debuted in 1999 with our Potager Pure line of vegetable oil bar soaps. After nearly 20 years and following the birth of Eloise, suddenly pure was not good enough.  As my daughter diligently sourced out ingredient lists to make sure that the products she used on her baby were safe, at Potager we began reexamining our ingredient list. Potager soap was always crafted with natural ingredients, but we decided we could do better. Out of her search The Potager Promise was born…CLEAN SOAP…NATURALLY!
Potager Soap Co. Natural Lavender Soap ($8.98 for 4.5 oz. from Potager Soap Co.): This lovely soap is a delightful lavender dream-come-true. The rich and creamy lather effectively and thoroughly cleans the skin and rinses clean without stripping or drying. Furthermore, it delights the senses, and calms the spirit, with its sublime lavender aroma. If you love the fragrant magnificence of lavender, then you must experience this fetching soap.

According to Potager Soap Co.,

Our all natural lavender soap is made with organic essential oil of lavender, organic lavender buds, and other organic ingredients to create a fragrant and soothing experience that your skin will love! Our plant oil, shea butter, and essential oils are certified by Baystate Organic Certifiers. 

Lavender purists will enjoy the aromatherapeutic qualities of this simple one-note bar embellished with organic lavender essential oil and organic lavender buds. Lavender is used to treat stress, depression, anxiety, acne, and other skin conditions. Handmade lavender soap is relaxing and cleansing. Let the relaxing scent of Lavender wash your cares away. 
Potager Soap Co. Natural Secret Garden Soap ($8.98 for 4.5 oz. from Potager Soap Co.): Secret Garden is a wonderful amalgam of lavender, patchouli, geranium and rose petals. The notable pungency of the patchouli is tempered by the rose, geranium and lavender and the result is a warm, rich and creamy aroma that is an utter delight to the senses. The rich lather rinses clean, but never strips the skin.

According to Potager Soap Co.,

Our Secret Garden handmade bar soap is made with organic olive oil, organic essential oils of lavender, patchouli and geranium, organic rose petals, and other organic ingredients your skin will love! 

Our Secret Garden Soap has organic lavender which antibacterial and used to treat stress, anxiety, acne, eczema, and can help promote sleep. It also contains patchouli and geranium.

Mysterious, engaging, playful…Potager’s Secret Garden Bar Soap is all of these. Crafted with a proprietary blend of organic lavender, organic patchouli, and organic geranium essential oils, Secret Garden promises and delivers a unique sensual experience. Take a walk in our Secret Garden! Popular with both men and women…an all-time favorite!  Gentle on your skin!
Potager Soap Co. Lemonngrass Soap ($8.98 for 4.5 oz. from Potager Soap Co.): Lemongrass is one of my favorite aromas, and Potager Soap Co. has created one of the finest permutations of that scent. This uplifting aroma is an unmitigated delight to the senses. The creamy lather is very satisfying to the touch, it thoroughly cleans the skin, and never leaves it dry or stripped.

According to Potager Soap Co.,

Potager natural lemongrass soaps are made with organic essential oils, organic plant oils, and are guaranteed to leave your skin feeling wonderful. Our soap blends are designed to clean, purify, and nourish your skin. Your skin care routine will never be the same!

Lemongrass soap contains vitamin A and vitamin C which can help skin look brighter. It is also an astringent and can minimize pores.   

Silky smooth and moisturizing with a generous lather and scent that at once soothes and awakens, Potager’s Lemongrass Bar Soap with skin-nourishing calendula petals is a sensory treat.
Lavender Soap Ingredients: Organic Olive Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic RSPO Palm Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Filtered Water, Sodium Hydroxide*, Organic Essential Oil of Lavender, Organic Lavender Buds. *Used to saponify oils into soap. None remains in the final product.

Secret Garden Ingredients: Organic Olive Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic RSPO Palm Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Filtered Water, Sodium Hydroxide*, Organic Essential Oils of Lavender, Patchouli and Geranium, Organic Lavender Buds, Organic Rose Petal. *Used to saponify oils into soap. None remains in the final product.

Lemongrass Ingredients: Organic Olive Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic RSPO Palm Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Filtered Water, Sodium Hydroxide*, Organic Essential Oil of Lemongrass, Ground Organic Calendula Petals. *Used to saponify oils into soap. None remains in the final product
Potager Soap Co. uses a very limited ingredients list, which includes: Organic Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Shea Butter (these are the base oils which are saponified in the soap making process). They use organic essential oils for scent and aromatherapeutic benefits as well as organic herbs and botanicals.
Overall Assessment: These are absolutely amazing soaps, and I highly recommend supporting this small woman-owned company. Not only are these very high quality cruelty-free soaps, but they are such a joy to use.

$8.98 each for 4.5 oz. from Potager Soap Co. (Unaffiliated Links).
Press Sample. All views expressed are categorically my own.
Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Baylis & Harding Goodness Natural Hand Wash in Lemongrass & Ginger

Press Sample (Affiliate Links)

I have said it before, and it bears repeating, that during the pandemic this much hand washing is more enjoyable when I use lovely soap. Such is the case with the truly amazing Baylis & Harding Goodness Natural Hand Wash. Everything about this made in the UK hand wash is ultra-luxe– except for the very affordable price tag. It has a lovely rich lather, a delectable lemongrass and ginger scent, and it thoroughly cleans without stripping the skin. Furthermore, their company believes and practices sustainability and their products are cruelty-free and vegan.
According to Baylis & Harding,

Lemongrass and ginger - a perfectly matched compilation, with a rich heart of ginger and lemongrass, expertly blended with black pepper, citrus and bergamot for added freshness. Underpinned by nutmeg and cinnamon for spicy undertones, this sensory explosion is generously enriched by no fewer than ten essential oils; Lemongrass, lemon, Lime, orange, eucalyptus, nutmeg, patchouli, cedarwood, cinnamon, geranium.
Features: Made in England | Vegan | 00% recyclable bottles |  Mild, plant based cleanser | 95% biodegradable formula | Dye free | Paraben free | Silicone free | Sulfate/SLS/SLES/ales free | Dermatologically approved | Mild & gentle. Made with organic extracts | Made with essential oils
Overall Assessment: You actually will love washing your hands because the smell and texture of this hand wash is just incredible. I need to try more of their products now! A+

$5.99 for 16.9 oz. from Target (Affiliate Links).
Press Sample. All views expressed are categorically my own.
Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.
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