About Me

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Enough time has now passed that I have a couple of products I have completely used up -- and since it takes me a while to use things up, this means over 6 months since my last blog post. I want to make this a more regular thing again, and I really have no excuses. Let's do this.

My empties are all shower-related, but I am nearing the end of a few skin care products that hopefully I will remember to write about in another post.

Organix Weightless Hydration Coconut Water Shampoo. I bought this because I wanted to buy Organix's Coconut Milk shampoo after using it at a family member's house and loving it, but they didn't have it at the drugstore so I thought I'd try this one instead. It's good. It's not as moisturizing as the Coconut Milk one, which I have recently purchased. I like that Organix has so many different "flavors" of shampoo and that they are, actually, organic, and affordable at the drugstore. I always buy hair products at the drugstore since the higher-end products I have tried do not justify the higher price to me. I've tried Aveda, Bumble & Bumble, Paul Mitchell, Alterna, and others. My hair also seems to develop buildup easily from shampoos, so I usually keep two shampoos in my shower at a time and alternate them and this seems to help. This is easier to do when the bottles are under $10 as opposed to $20 or even $30.
Aveeno Positively Nourishing Hydrating Body Wash. I don't usually get my body wash/shower gel from the drugstore, but I was out, and for once was not in the mood to carefully research which one to try and go out of my way to get it. Most Aveeno products are a safe bet for me allergy-wise, and it seemed like a fairly new product. I liked all of the scents when I smelled them in CVS, so I randomly chose this "hydrating" one which had a fruity fig scent. This is a solid body wash -- not hydrating enough that you can skip moisturizer afterwards, but not stripping and not irritating, and I used it pretty much every day in the shower. I've actually already repurchased this but in a different scent to switch things up.

L'Occitane Essential Oil Shower Gel. It appears that this product has been discontinued, as L'Occitane tends to do. In any case I don't think I would have repurchased not -- not because it didn't do the job, but because it didn't wow me at a higher price point. It had a unisex minty, herbal scent and lathered nicely.

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil. I am seriously shocked that I have not blogged about this before. I just went through all of my past blog posts to double check because I was that sure that I had. I've been using this on and off for years and often ending up coming back to it. I love the delicious almond scent of this oil and the other products in the L'Occitane almond line. It's very moisturizing on its own, but I like to pair it with the Almond Milk Concentrate when I get out of the shower. This does not produce much of a lather, so if you like the intense lather that comes from sulfates in most body washes you won't find that here. I do sometimes feel like I'm not getting as thoroughly "clean" as I could be when I use this, which is why I now prefer to use a regular body wash like the Aveeno one, and use the Almond Shower Oil exclusively for shaving. YouTuber Essie Button actually gave me this idea, and it does work SO well as a shaving oil. It also makes the product last longer, as it's on the pricier side.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Scrub. This was a great scrub that lasted FOREVER. I only used it once every few weeks most of the time, and because it's so rich, a little goes a long way. It's not like most other scrubs I used in that it has a creamy base instead of an abrasive one, so it leans more toward the moisturizing side as opposed to exfoliating. It does have "finely ground nutshells," though, as its exfoliator, so when you use the right amount of pressure it does the job. I got this as a gift but I would definitely purchase it, although I would probably try the Almond scrub first to see how it compares.

Cleansing Wipes - Yes to Cucumbers, Burt's Bees Pink Grapefruit, Neutrogena Makeup Removing, Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit. I lumped these all together in one category, but I actually only use the Neutrogena Makeup Removing wipes on my face and the rest on my body after working out if I don't have time to shower. The Neutrogena Makeup Removing wipes are surprisingly the only ones that I can use on my face to remove my makeup that do not irritate my skin. The rest - even the Yes to Cucumbers - make my face beet red. I know this doesn't make any sense because the Neutrogena ones are heavily fragranced (which I don't love) and not specifically for sensitive skin, but, that's my skin for ya. Side note -- I also tried the CVS brand sensitive skin wipes at some point and had to return them because my skin hated them the most. For my body, the Burt's Bees Pink Grapefruit are probably my favorite, although they all do the job. The Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit ones are very similar in scent but the Burt's Bees scent is slightly less artificial. The Yes to ones have a crisp, clean scent. 

And, finally, I would just like to take a moment to rant about how much I hate Eos Lip Balm. In my opinion, this is the WORST lip balm of all time. The spherical shape intrigued me, but this thing got dirty. I actually think it was growing some kind of mold at some point. I started wiping it off with a tissue before every time I used it which was annoying and time-consuming. It also didn't moisturize half as well as other drugstore lip balms, like the Burt's Bees ones. 


Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Year, New Citrus

Citrus is one of the strongest scents out there, and usually people have a love it or hate it opinion. I'm choosy about how I like my citrus smells -- I love fresh-cut lemons and citrus-scented cleaning products, but despise citrus candles and perfumes (unless it's mixed heavily with a floral or vanilla scent). I recently discovered another form in which I love my citrus -- skin care. I've been using my Peaches Skin Care classic cleanser for about a year now, which contains grapefruit and orange peel oils, and I really think the citrus scent helps to wake me up in the morning. It's a great all-skin-types cleanser that removes makeup and also works well with a Clarisonic. I've almost used up the bottle and I may even repurchase (gasp!).

However, this post isn't about Peaches again. It's actually about a brand I haven't mentioned before because I've never used it -- Origins. I got two Origins moisturizers in a sample pack from Sephora -- GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturizer and High Potency Night-A-Mins. I did not have particularly high hopes since Origins gives the impression of being a "natural" brand but I suspected that their products actually had a lot of synthetic ingredients, mainly from often seeing Origins being sold in department stores. But, according to their website, Origins products are free from "parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, PABA, petrolatum, paraffin, DEA, and animal products," which are all good things in my book. When I did a little research on the brand I also learned that they are owned by Estee Lauder, which owns a host of other beauty companies including Bobbi Brown, Clinique and La Mer, to name a few. 

When I tried both of the sample packs (got about three uses out of each) and didn't have an allergic reaction, plus they both smelled amazing with a strong citrus scent and sunk beautifully into my skin, I knew I was going to end up purchasing the full-size versions. A few weeks later, with my Sephora gift card in hand, I bought a limited-edition Origins kit that had full-size versions of both moisturizers, plus the GinZing eye cream and the Drink Up Intensive Overnight Moisture Mask. I was really excited for the mask, since Origins is known for their masks and I was hoping it would help clear up my occasional dry patches this time of year. Much to my disappointment, I had an immediate allergic reaction when I tested it on both my hand and neck (just to be sure) and had to wash it off both times. The eye cream is nice, but it was just about the last thing I needed as I currently have 4 eye creams in my rotation and I can never seem to use up a tube. I bought the kit specifically for the moisturizers though, and I've been using them on and off for a few weeks now and have no complaints -- no breakouts or irritation, just smooth, soft, faintly citrus-smelling skin. I use GinZing in the morning on days when I know I'm not going to be in the sun (which, admittedly, isn't too often here in Santa Barbara), and Night-A-Mins every night as the last step in my skincare routine. 

I will likely be turning to Origins when it's time to buy a new daytime moisturizer with SPF, as the one I'm currently using (Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion) is fine, but I can't shake the strong, powdery, perfumed fragrance or the taste of it if it gets in my mouth. Based on the reaction I had to the mask, I'm definitely going to be testing Origins products before purchasing, but I'm looking forward to finding other skincare staples from this brand.