Saturday, March 16, 2013

Yes to Tomatoes Daily Pore Scrub- February Beauty Army

Sample- dinky foil packet
Full-sized- $9.99 for 4 oz

I’ve used several things from the Yes to Tomatoes line and liked them all so I was excited to get this. I’ve actually been meaning to try it so it was nice to get to try a sample without having to buy the full-sized thing. The whole Yes to Tomatoes line is mostly natural products. They use salicylic acid that’s naturally derived from tomatoes (hence the name). This particular product also has ginger root and bisabolol (whatever that is) to help reduce redness. This scrub is also sulfate free and paraben free which I have been into lately.

Even though this says it’s a daily scrub, I didn’t use it every day.  I use my Olay Pro-X cleansing brush (which exfoliates gently) every other day so I really don’t feel the need to use an exfoliating scrub more than once a week. This scrub uses ground up bamboo to exfoliate. I don’t know how I feel about that. I feel like this is kind of along the same lines as the St. Ives Apricot Scrub with the ground up apricot pit that rips your face apart. Okay not literally but those types of irregular, rough granules are not good for your skin. If I exfoliate I would rather use little microbeads that have a smooth surface and are gentler on my skin. Besides the fact that the exfoliants are harsh, they are also quite highly concentrated, which adds up to a super harsh scrub that is way too much for my sensitive skin. Besides that, the scrub only lasted two uses so I really couldn’t tell you if it did anything for my skin. My skin certainly felt quite soft and clean, it didn’t make my face tight or anything. It doesn’t have any smell that I could discern.

So overall, this was to harsh for my skin, even once a week. If your skin is super non-sensitive and hearty then this might be a good weekly or bi-weekly exfoliator to try but I can’t imagine anyone being able to use this every day. Its just to harsh for that.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sebastian Professional Potion 9 Styling Treatment- January Glossybox

Sample was 1.7 oz
Full-sized is $19 for 5.1 oz through Sebastian Professional Salons (or Ulta)

This styling cream is a very unique orange color. It’s a cream gel that smells like coconuts and tropical breezes. This is a pump applicator so I just used the amount that came out with a pump. It seemed just right for my hair but someone with shorter or longer hair would need to adjust accordingly. The directions say to work into damp hair blow dry or air dry for conditioned smooth hair. I used this in my damp hair and let it air dry. I was impressed with how smooth and shiny it was. The next morning it was still very soft and shiny and it didn’t make it any more greasy than normal. After using it every day for a couple weeks I still really like it. It’s a good leave-in conditioner/smoothing serum/shine serum. Just an FYI, if you have super fine hair and this is too heavy for it they do have a Potion 9 Lite as well that you could try.

Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how much I liked this stuff because I’m not sure I’m going to be able to buy it. It’s a salon brand so you have to get it through the salon. There are no salons anywhere near me. After doing some more online research I did find it at Ulta. You can’t buy it online but if you’re lucky enough to live near an Ulta that carries this you can buy it there. I have an Ulta about an hour and a half from me so next time I’m in that direction I plan to check it out and see if they carry it. I did find some on Ebay and Amazon so if you’re interested check that out but just a warning, most of them are way more expensive than the regular price. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

GG Gatsby Raise Volume Shampoo- February Beauty Army

Sample- dinky packet
Full-sized- $14.99 for 8.4 oz

Pic from

I was excited to try this because I have been doing some research about sulfates and how bad they actually are for your hair and why you shouldn’t use them. Basically sulfates are the things in most shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, and basically everything that lather up and clean you. What they do though, is strip your hair and body and whatever else of its natural oil and moisture. So in the long run they are bad for your hair and skin and whatever else. Unfortunately, my experience with sulfate-free shampoos have been less than stellar. I haven’t yet been able to find one that actually cleans my hair. This one might be an option.

This was quite a small sample and I only got two uses out of it (although I could probably have gotten three out if I’d been more frugal. . .I feel like I say that about everything) so I can’t really 100% say that its wonderful but from the amount that I used it, I loved it. It’s a clear non-lathering shampoo (although it does actually lather a little) that smells wonderful. As I was washing my hair with it today I was trying to think of how I would describe the smell of it but I really just can’t. The best I can say is that it’s a nice fruity smell but also a little flowery. I can’t really get any more descriptive than that. I don’t know that its added any volume to my hair and it doesn’t give my hair “mirror-like shine” as it claims but it definitely leaves my hair very clean, which is more than I can say from any other sulfate-free shampoo that I’ve ever used. So that’s saying something right there. I have a large back stash of shampoo and conditioner right now but I feel like I might want to try this more long term next time I need shampoo.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Serum- January Glossybox

Sample was .17 oz
Full-sized is $35 for 1 oz

Pic from

First of all, what is Umbrian clay? It apparently is an ultra-fine clay that comes exclusively from Nocera Umbra, Italy. So there you go. The Umbrian clay in this serum is supposes to neutralize acid on the face, purify and clarify. Ginger root and meadowsweet extract control oil and minimize pores. If this actually does all of the things it claims. . .I will be in love.

This serum doesn’t really strike me as a serum. It seems more like a light moisturizer. It’s a sort of tannish colored cream that smells weird. It doesn’t really smell bad, just weird. It smells sort of like cucumbers but not like a refreshing cucumber, like a bitter cucumber. Its hard to describe but it doesn’t hang around after it dries. It’s a very light moisturizer. It smoothes on really nicely and was enough moisture for me but someone with dry or normal skin might need an extra moisturizer. But then again someone with dry or normal skin probably doesn’t need a mattifying serum. Now, you know I have oily skin. Not horrendously oily this time of year but I do still have to blot at least once throughout the day. This serum didn’t change that. I still had to blot at about the same time I usually do. And I didn’t notice my pores were minimized at all.

So overall, it was a nice light moisturizer but it didn’t control my oil and it’s a little more than I would spend on just a day moisturizer.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yu-Be Lip Balm

$5 at

Pic from

I really don’t like lip balms that have beeswax in them. They tend to be waxy (duh), don’t smooth on my lips well, and don’t moisturize that well. As far as lip balms that contain beeswax this lip balm is better than most I’ve tried. It smoothes on fairly well and moisturizes decently. It does have a rather unpleasant herby smell and taste. It comes from the rosemary in it. Its not horrendous but I don’t particularly like it either. I like rosemary in my food and sprinkled on top of my focaccia bread but I don’t like it in my beauty products.

This moisturizes pretty well and isn’t horrendously waxy in texture. It’s a decent lip balm but I don’t think its worth the money. $5 may not seem like much but its twice as much as my normal lip balm and at the rate I use lip balm it only lasts me a couple weeks. I’ll stick with my Blistex.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Le Metier De Beaute Replenishing Daily Solution- January Glossybox

Sample was a dinky foil packet
Full-sized- $225 for 1.7 oz exclusively at Neiman Marcus

Pic from

Its obvious to see why Glossybox only sprung for a dinky foil packet of this stuff. This crap is expensive. This rich cream promises to hydrate, nourish, and detoxify the skin. It says it uses Syntoc Actif which apparently is some breakthrough technology that delivers the ingredients to your skin more efficiently. This says it can be used along with moisturizer but for my oily skin I am using this alone as a night moisturizer. Even though this has SPF 30, I feel like its too rich to use during the day. The cream is one of the richest creams I have ever felt. I would liken it with some of the eye creams I have used. It’s a pretty peachy pink color. It has more of a chemical, sunscreen-y smell than I thought it would. From such an expensive cream I was expecting a more pleasant scent. It does smooth on well though and my skin feels fabulously smooth after just the first time using it. As far as the moisture level goes it seems pretty similar to my Simple Night Moisturizer but when I woke up the next morning my face was way smoother and softer than its ever been with any other night moisturizer. And I haven’t noticed any extra blemishes. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. Using just a thin layer of this at night, the packet will last me a good two weeks. I should say though that I only used this about a week and a half, rather than the whole month I usually like to take to test skin care products because I received a trial of another skin care brand that’s kind of time sensitive so I had to start using that. But based on the length of time I used this I loved it. Unfortunately Its way too expensive for me to ever actually buy it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

GoClear Clarifying Cleanser AM/PM

$25 for 4.4 oz (where? I don’t know)

pic from

This cleanser claims to be a gel but the stuff I got was a very thick white cream with green beads. The beads don’t actually add any exfoliating qualities. They burst and I’m not really sure what’s in them. It does not lather up at all (the directions say it does). So right then and there I was a little weirded out because two things that it is supposed to be are not true. Plus it was on sale so maybe this is some faulty batch? Or an old batch? Anyway, the cleanser doesn’t lather up but oh well, its just a cream cleanser. It has a very light herbal smell. I usually don’t like herbal smells but this just kind of smells like a cup of chamomile tea or something so I’m okay with it. It felt like it left a bit of a film on my face. Not a greasy residue but just like there was some weird stuff left behind on my face. A good toner takes care of that though. The GoClear website claims that this cleanser uses powerful antioxidants such as acai berry and green and white tea extracts to fight free radicals. It also says it has shea butter in it to hydrate. I find that very interesting. I’ve never heard of a facial cleanser having shea butter in it. I’m surprised it didn’t make my skin super greasy. But that aside, I used this cleanser twice a day for about two weeks and then I started only using it at night and using another cleanser in the morning. I haven’t noticed that its done anything for my skin. It’s a fairly good cleanser and I feel like it does clean well and didn’t dry my skin  out or make it too oily but it certainly didn’t do anything for my acne. 

The GoClear line also has an acne treatment and a moisturizing sunscreen. There is no toner in this regimen and the description of the cleanser says that it has gentle exfoliating granules (which I guess is the green beads) that dissolve into skin and time-release vitamin E & C so maybe that’s the residue and maybe its supposed to be there? Maybe I’m taking off the stuff that’s supposed to help my skin and maybe that’s why it hasn’t done anything? I don’t know but maybe I’ll try it again with no toner and see what happens. Keep an eye out for this in an empties video and I’ll tell you how it worked with no toner.

(BTW this is way too much to actually use
 but I wanted to show the  green beads)
Does this look like a lather to you?
Actually it kind of does in this picture but its not I promise.
I got this when it was on sale at Sephora (they no longer carry it) but I am at a loss as to how to buy it now. The website has a “buy it” link but it just goes to the Sephora website. When I first got it I looked on amazon and ebay and I thought I found some of the three piece regimen kits but I can’t find them now. I didn’t love this anyway so I guess it doesn’t really matter but I would have liked to try the whole set and see how the whole kit works.