Monday, May 28, 2012

(Monday edition) Sunday Sunblock - UV Naturals Adult Sunblock

I was really excited about this one, but it turns out that UV Naturals Adult Sunblock is not for me. This would maybe work for you if you have the sort of super-dry skin that just sucks up oils, but I am of the more oily/combination skin variety. This product, on me, is very oily, very sticky, does not absorb, and makes my face itchy. That last part surprises me, because I'm not sensitive to any of the ingredients, so it's got to be the formula. I'm glad I have a sample and not a full-size product. One good thing about this is that it does not leave a white cast, probably due to the iron oxides. Otherwise, I'd have nothing good to say about it.

Though it would be great for a run through the sprinkler and a lie in the sun, provided you plan for a soapy shower afterwards.

Active ingredient: Zinc Oxide 24.8%

Inactive ingredients: Caprylic/capric triglycerides (Derived from Coconut Oil) Fumed Silica (Colloidal Anhydrous Silica) Zinc Stearate Vitis vinifera (grape seed) oil Macadamia ternifolia seed oil Camellia Oleifera (green tea) Leaf Extract Vitis vinifera (grape seed) extract Tocopherol ( Natural vitamin E) Iron Oxides

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

April 2012 Used It! Part II

Orly Glosser* I used this up by coating some wooden hairsticks I'm decorating with it. It's not really anything as a top coat, and I never just paint my nails clear. 

Self-made shea butter hair cream* This was my second batch of this. Now, I'm on my third. I use it as a pre-shampoo treatment, as styling paste (can either calm down flyaways or help braids stay sleeker longer), and as a leave-in conditioner for my ends.

Silk Naturals Awesome Sauce* This was my second bottle of this. It's pretty great stuff, and I highly recommend it, but I'm trying their Super Serum instead now.

Silk Naturals Equalizer sample - I'll probably get a full size of this yellow-green powder at some point. It's great to tone down redness and even out skintone a bit without looking made up.

Simple Cleansing Wips travel size - Wow! These work! They're just not a fun experience, and they feel a bit too rough, even though they're designed for sensitive skin.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation sample - I did buy a full size tube of this. It's not bad stuff. The shade "fair" matches me pretty well, and it looks good on my skin. More to come on this, probably.

Yes to Blueberries facial wipes* - Smell nice, sort of work, not worth the price. Also, they kind of sting if I use them to take off eye makeup.

I am going to be talking about the rest of the stuff I used this month in another post more focused on my opinions on acids in skincare.

*Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel (full strength) - little tube. 
*Brazilian Peel sample vial

*Dr. Dennis Gross blemish treatment sample
*Dr. Dennis Gross serum sample

Monday, May 21, 2012

April 2012 Used it! Part I (Sorry so late!)

C.O. Bigelow My Favorite Lip Balm* - Your favorite, maybe. Not mine.

CVS brand tooth whitening strips* (not pictured) - These did seem to work a little bit, but they do not dissolve like the box said they would. Instead, they turned into a snotty, mushy, sticky goop. Also, some of them wouldn't come off of the paper backing very easily. Overall, not impressed.

CVS brand nail polish remover minis - regular and the one you dip your finger in.
The normal one is ok, but nothing earth-shatteringly awesome. The one you dip your finger in has some serious limitations, like being useless for toenails. Also, on this one, the hole for the finger wasn't wide enough. And the formula didn't seem to do anything.

Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo* I very well might buy this again. It smells amazing, just like lemons, works pretty well, and did I mention that it smells like lemons?

DivaWash* (not pictured) - Works fine for its intended purpose, but (TMI alert!) due to my "method" of choice, I haven't needed a cup or anything for years. It works nicely as a face wash or body wash, too, but not nicely enough to justify the price.

Evil Shades Opal eye primer sample - Decent stuff, but didn't keep things in place as long as I wanted. If your skin's drier than mine, go for it!

Kiss My Face Whenever conditioner* - This might be my Holy Grail of conditioners. I also think that this should count as two or three products, because it was the 32oz size with the pump. It's at least the third, if not the fourth, of these that I've gone through. It smells amazing (lime, cut with green tea), conditions my hair without coating it, and provides some slip but not so much I can't do anything with my hair.

Nivea moisturizer sample - Not bad, not great, don't put it on broken skin unless you like stinging.

Nuance Salma Hayek Macadamia Body Scrub* - Impulse buy at CVS. Mistake. This seemed slightly drying, despite the high moisturizer content, and I did not like the way it smelled.

I already reviewed these as part of my Sunblock Sunday series:
Devita Solar Body Block SPF 30+ sample
Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+ sample
Lavanila The Healthy Face Cream SPF 40 sample

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunblock Sunday: Lavanila The Healthy Sun Screen SPF 30 Body Cream

This week, I am reviewing this product:
 Here is what it looks like straight out of the container and applied to my hand below the blob:
Here is my face, with sunblock on one side and nothing on the other. Note that the sunblocked side is both lighter and shinier than the bare side. This stuff does leave a white cast on the face, which subsides mostly after about fifteen minutes (or can be covered with makeup). On the body and neck, it feels a bit tacky, and the zinc oxide can settle into lines and creases, like where your arm bends. I have not burned with this on, and it's been sunny and hot here. Don't swim in this and then not reapply - it's not designed for that. I think that this is an ok product. I bought it instead of the face cream because, at the store, this one seemed to have a better texture. I wish I'd have bought the face cream instead. I'm not going to repurchase the body cream, but it will get used.
The deets:

Size - 4 oz.
Price - $38
Availability - Sephora
Dollars per ounce - $9.50

SPF - 30

Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide 20%
Inactive Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice* (aloe, water), Capric caprylic triglycerides (coconut oil), Sorbitan stearate (vegetable), Glyceryl stearate, Polyglyceryl-4 isostearate (vegetable glycerin/palm oil), Jojoba oil*, Salt, Sunflower oil*, Cucumber extract*, Green tea extract*, Morinda citrifolia (noni juice), Butyrospermum parkii* (shea butter), Hyaluronic acid, Phenethyl alcohol and Ethyl hexyl glycerin (plant-based preservatives), Vanilla planifolia extract*. *Certified Organic.

Thoughts? Input? Anything you'd like me/my readers to know?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thoughts on the new Urban Decay pick-your-own palette

I have some very mixed feelings on Urban Decay's offerings, and definitely would not call myself a superfan by any stretch. They say they're cruelty free, but still use animal ingredients. I'm not vegan or an animal-rights activist or anything, but I would like "cruelty free" to be a useful shorthand for "you can use all of our products without scouring our ingredients lists for beeswax."

But enough whining. Palettes, in any brand, often have that product or three that you know you just won't ever use, even if the rest of the palette is a fabulous deal. And Urban Decay is really well known for having quality shadows, which they've recently reformulated!

So, in theory, being able to easily make your own palette of the Urban Decay shadows of your choosing sounds great. I set to thinking about which shades I'd like in mine. I even went to Sephora and swatched the palette I'd build myself (mushroom, mildew, pistol, last call, and freelove or X). Swatches are over Too Faced Shadow Insurance, and the shot is taken in full sunlight. They are beautiful, and the colors are ideal for my warm-toned but pale skin and my blue eyes.

Then, I started doing math. The palette, which comes with Walk of Shame, is $18. Each additional shadow is $18 a pop. There is space in the palette for five additional shadows. 6x18=108. That means that you pay over a hundred dollars for the palette. The palette itself takes up more space than six individual shadows would, and then there's the question of what to do with the perfectly good packaging you'd be left with.

I really, really wish that Urban Decay had offered shadows in pans only without a compact and with a discount for saving packaging. It's an extremely wasteful way to do this. Clearly, this is all a ploy to get us to start shelling out for individual shadows instead of buying palettes.

I'm going to pass on this.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quick check-in

Just a quick note to say I'm running behind on my blogging. Coming up soon: 1. Sunday Sunblock Lavanila The Healthy Body Sunscreen. 2. A late April used it, maybe done in two chunks. 3. Possibly some crappy iPad pics of a blue look I did. 4. Thoughts on Urban Decay's new palette system. 5. Pics of my makeup area, if you are interested. 6. I ordered some Inglot, which I'm now waiting for.

Monday, May 7, 2012

DIY pressed body bronzer and shimmer duo

A few weeks ago, I made body bronzer and shimmer powder! I mixed a bunch of medium to dark powders I had together, and then made a separate mixture of sparkly powders I wasn't using. I pressed the powders into a giftcard tin lid with fractionated coconut oil and 91% rubbing alcohol, then put that into a palette I made out of cardboard and leopard-print duct tape. Look at the pile of stuff I emptied just for the bronzer! Contact lens case included for scale.
And look! Here's a swatch. Body bronzer on the left, shimmer powder on the right.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunblock Sunday: DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+

This was the first sunblock by DeVita that caught my eye, and I mainly tried the other one (for body) to make sure that the larger, more economical one wasn't an inferior product. I bought a sample from Pure Complexions. Last week, I told you that I would probably buy a full size of the Body Block and that I liked everything about it except the potential link to eye-stinging. Who needs that?

I also did not notice any burning or "color" with this, but I didn't really test it, either. 

It's a physical blocker, and the active ingredient is zinc oxide, which blocks everything. 

This has the same light cream/gel texture as its larger, multipurpose cousin. It also wears well under makeup. It's not greasy at all. It's very hard to tell which side of my face I'm using it on. I like it. The only thing I'm not sure of is: do I like it better enough to buy it instead of the Body Block?
The deets:

Size - 2.5 oz.
Price - $25.95 (MSRP) $16.49 (at Lucky Vitamin)
Availability - health food stores, Devita's website, LuckyVitamin (and other discount hippie emarts)
Dollars per ounce - $10.40 (retail), $6.60 (at LV)

SPF - 30+

Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide 19%
Inactive Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), purified water (aqua), Capric,caprylic triglycerides (derived fron coconut oil), glycerin (vegetable), hyaluronic acid (vegan cource), glyceryl stearate SE (derived from vegetable oil), Stearic Acid, Lecithin phospholipid, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Allantoin, Vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract

Thoughts? Input? Anything you'd like me/my readers to know?