Friday, June 25, 2010

Softymo Speedy Cleansing Milk

I have dry skin so I am always on the look out for cleansers that sounds like they would be nice and gentle so this Softymo Speedy Cleansing Milk seems to fit the bill. That is, until I started using it. While it is a nice cleanser, it's not what I was looking for.

Just out of curiosity, but when you read "Cleansing Milk," how do you expect that cleanser to turn out? I was expecting a sorta runny milky cleanser that's very mild and, perhaps, foams a tiny little bit. Well, I was way off. This one actually turns out to be a cleansing cream. The texture is in no way a milk but is not a firm cream either. Rather, it's sort of like your Yoplait yogurt, only thicker and creamier. It does not foam, and it does not rinse clean, i.e. it does leave an oily film on your skin after rinsing, as all cleansing creams do.

That said, it is a gentle and moisturizing cleanser indeed. I am definitely not a fan of cleansing creams, but I find myself tolerating this one, probably because it is a soft cream and not too firm and greasy like your average cleansing cream. It is unscented, and if you know what unscented Cetaphil products smell like, this Softymo Speedy Cleansing Milk smells like that. I am not sure whether it removes makeup because I always use an oil cleanser first to remove my sunscreen, and the oil cleanser pretty much takes off everything before this cleanser can prove itself in that department. I had plan to use this cleansing "milk" at night as a mild follow up cleanser after the oil cleanser, but I generally prefer my follow up cleanser to foam at least a little bit. And since this cleansing "milk" does not foam, I use it in the morning instead, skipping 2 days in between when I only rinse my face with water.

Anyway, may be I should just stop making assumptions or having any expectation for a product altogether because this is the second time I ended up being way off, the first time with Softymo Airy Whip and now with yet another Softymo product. Then again, may be that's not possible, given everything about a product calls for expectations and assumptions, which is why we get terribly disappointed sometimes. I'm not saying I'm disappointed with this Speedy Cleansing Milk, but it certainly isn't what I expected at all. Had I known it was a cream cleanser I would have never bought it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Softymo Airy Whip

Did you know those Naive Facial Cleansing Foams last for freakin' ever? I started using the Peach one in January, and by April I barely used up a third! So I got impatient and started trying out a different cleanser :P

I spotted this Softymo Airy Whip on and didn't have the strength to resist it. It had glowing reviews with 5 stars, and they all says it's gentle, non-drying, and suitable for all skin types. And it was cheap! I was completely sold and tore into the package as soon as it arrived.

Well, I hate to rain on all the great reviews, but other than the scent, this cleanser didn't bode well with my skin at all :( First of all, switching from Naive Facial Cleansing Foam to this Softymo Airy Whip, I was a bit disappointed with the foaming factor. To be fair, the Naive cleanser foamed much more than your average foaming cleanser, and just a tiny little dollop would yield a very thick and rich foam. Also, the Airy Whip's packaging gave me incorrect assumptions and my expectations were way off, which probably also explains my disappointment. Because it came in an aluminum aerosol bottle that requires rigorous shaking prior to dispensing, I expected that it would be sort of like shaving cream. You know, shake well, dispenses a gel or foamy cream, and upon application it would foam like mad. Nope. Not so. The Airy Whip dispensed a thick and rich foam, but upon massaging that foam onto my face it would quickly dissipate and become a very light and airy foam and did not stay thick and rich. So in this sense it did stay true to its name, just not the way I expected it to.

Why didn't it bode well with my skin? It stung like hell, that's why, although not consistently every time I use it. No, it wasn't because I bought the wrong stuff or that because the bottle I got had gone bad or anything. The cleanser just wasn't suitable with me skin, period. It only stung on drier days and stung the areas where my skin is most dry and/or sensitive, i.e. around my eyes, my nose and mouth, especially the under eye area, corners of my nostrils, and the area above my upper lips. You see, other than the oil cleanser to take off sunscreen, I avoid using any other cleansers on these areas directly. Of course, with any foaming cleanser it's not possible to neatly contain the foam to wherever you want them, but out of all the foaming cleansers I have used in the past (which is quite a lot!), the only other one in recent memory that stung me like this was Estee Lauder Soft Clean Moisture Rich Foaming Cleanser (what a long-winded name it was too)! So unfortunately, on drier days, washing my face was like a race to wash and rinse off before it starts stinging, which is totally ridiculous if you ask me.

To top it all off, by May I had already used up the darn can! Yes, it lasted me 1 whole month with nightly use and every other 2 mornings' use :(

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss

Just another quick review for the Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss here. It was another cute GWP :) I have lots of these because I really like their smaller size. The color, or rather non-color, I have is Fizz.

This has the same scent as all other Estee Lauder lip products, which is a sweet but not overly sugary scent. I actually reminds me a bit of lychee! Anyway, I can't comment much on the "Pure Color" aspect of this gloss because it is, well, umm, clear. Other than that, its texture, feel, and lasting power is very similar to its sister High Gloss, not too thick (like Bobby Brown Lip Gloss), not too thin at all (like C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine), and definitely not sticky (Stila Lip Glazes - urgh!). Hopefully, though, the "Pure Color" factor means that it doesn't fade like the High Gloss did with me.

It does have a minor fault, very similarly to the Fusion Beauty LipFusion Color Shine, the doe foot applicator dispenses very little product, which can get very irritating after, like, 10 tries. That said, the full size of this gloss is actually in a squeeze tube, so this won't be a problem anymore once you buy the full size. Perhaps Estee Lauder is making me work for its GWP :D

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Avon Solutions Plus Total Radiance Eye Gel

After many a jars of Avon Hydrofirming Eye Creams later, I got a bored and started making my rounds with various different eye creams, only to return Avon after a big circle, this time with Solutions Plus Total Radiance Eye Gel.

I have dry skin, so at night I apply a much thicker eye cream for deep moisturizing treatment. The thing is these heavier moisturizing creams also melt the sunscreen I wear around my eyes during the day and stain my contacts, so I have to stick to a much lighter cream, preferably gels, for day time use, and this Total Radiance Eye Gel fits the bill.

This eye gel is not the most amazing thing I've ever tried, but it's really great for its price! It's very light, non-greasy, and absorbs quickly. Although whenever I accidentally apply too much it pills up, but other than that, it gives my eyes just the right amount of moisture to balance any dryness my sunscreen may have caused and I have no complaints whatsoever. As for the "total radiance" thing, I can't say much about that because I don't get under eye circles very often so I can't really tell if it does any brightening. And for looking tired, my secret to perking up actually has nothing to do with skincare - it's chocolate :D

No, the jar didn't come half empty - I was half way through with it before remembering to take a picture :P The eye gel does not have any fragrance and I recommend storing it in the fridge for a cooling effect upon application. I would definitely buy this again, but I have also have a ton of other eye gel/essences lining up to try, so perhaps after making another around I will circle back to it again :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Soap Crazy Part VII (Picture Heavy!)

More soaps!!! Hubby and I have been going through them like crazy!

Anderson Soap Company: Dennis's got many new soaps up and I couldn't help myself :)

- Lemon Sugar Cookie Soap: smelled exactly like its name sake, good enough to eat (but don't)! Hubby usually hates sugary sweet scents, but this one he was actually okay with because it was sweet but not too syrupy and the lemony aspect balance things out. Loved this one!

- Ambrosia Glycerin Soap: this one smelled like ambrosia indeed! It was like a fruity Hawaiian punch with a dash of citrus, sweet but fruity and very light. Also, since it was just glycerin soap I was expecting it to be a bit drying but it wasn't at all! Loved this one too!

- Peaches-n-Cream Oatmeal Bar: this is one of the rarer Anderson soap bar that I actually didn't like. Similar to the Calendula Wilderness Bar, things didn't turn out quite as hoped, or named. While the name peaches and cream suggests yummy results, it smelled like peachy Play-Doh. May be it was the oat meal...

Jadedmind: new soap shop, although she is no longer making soaps and focuses on only handmade jewelries now. I think I bought the last of her soaps actually, and even then it was only 4 bars. It really was too bad because they were beautiful soaps!

- Orange Passion Shea Soap: this bar was great! It smelled like Anderson's Rosehips and Kumquat Soap and I liked it a lot! The only downer was that the exfoliation bits were larger and a bit harsh. They scratched my hands a few times and left scratch marks. Then again there were very few of the exfoliating particles anyway so it wasn't a big deal.

- Raspberry Blitz Shea Soap: This one was okay. It wasn't as well scented as the Orange Passion bar above and I could barely smell the raspberry. Oh well. It was still a good bar of soap!

KreatedbyKarina: I'm still very conflicted about this vendor and while a few her other soaps looks very interesting, past experiences have prevented me from going back for more. In the mean time, the two bars of soaps I used below reeked of cigarette, and not just the wrapper or upon opening. I'm pretty sure now these soaps were made in a smoking home. How else would it still smelled like cigarette half way through or even when it was almost gone? To top it all off, the vendor sent me the wrong soap!!!

- Love Me Shea Butter Soap: upon opening this bar, I knew I had gotten the wrong bar of soap. The description on the Etsy listing says, "Asian Mandarin, brown sugar, sumptuous Tahitian Vanilla, a sprinkle of soft jasmine and oakmoss, and blends of juicy berry and pineapple...," but all I could smell from this soap was...peppermint. Then I thought, well, I do have a Japanese Peppermint bar (reviewed below), so let's see what it smells like. Yep, it smelled identical. I was about 99% sure, but I still wanted to give the soapmaker the benefit of the doubt. She had included in my order a sample of Love Me solid perfume as a freebie (pictures below), so I immediately dug it out and confirmed she had sent me the wrong soap, no doubt about it now. And now that I had smelled the solid perfume, I was actually even more irritated because the Love Me fragrance pretty damn good! It was flowery, but had notes of fruits and powder in it, sweet but not sugary and so very light. Urgh. So annoying.

Love Me Solid Perfume

- Japanese Peppermint Shea Butter Soap: I actually liked this scent a lot. It was minty, powdery, with a dash of flower. The biggest gripe was that it had very obvious cigarette odor. Grrr.

LostRiverRags: I have lots of soaps from this vendor so I've been trying to go through them, although more slowly than I would like because I get distracted by other soaps :P Also, I actually bought something other than soaps from this vendor, which is very unusual for me since I'm normally so obsessed with soaps that I don't have eyes for anything else in the shop.

My conclusion is that this vendor makes better Goats Milk Hand & Body Lotion than they do soaps. My first soap sample purchase during the holidays arrived with this tiny little pot of Goats Milk Hand & Body Lotion sample that was enough for, like, 3 uses on my hands. But just after the first use, I literally logged right back into Etsy to check out the stuff. Seriously, wow. With just a small amount, my hands became super soft and lightly fragranced, and best of all, there was not a trace of greasiness or stickiness. It didn't even feel like I just put lotion on, save for the fact that my hands were just velvety soft. This lotion is some of the best stuff I've ever used, hands down! So yeah, forget the soaps. I'm returning to vendor just for the lotions!!!

- Frosted Snowdrops Goat's Milk Soap: this bar smelled like spiced something rather, I couldn't discern much due to the strong musty odor that overwhelm the soap's fragrance. Oh well, other than the non-existent fragrance the soap was still a good bar of soap.

- Lavender Sage Goat's Milk Soap: the musty odor was so strong in this bar the lavender barely came through and I could only smell just a touch of it in the shower. The sage was pretty much absent, so yeah, this bar was technically unscented too, saved for the odor...

- Sweet Sugar Goats Milk Hand & Body Lotion: Looooooved the lotion! Loved it!!!! It had a very light texture, like fat free yogurt but more firm, none the runny nonsense I get else where. And using it all over my body, I loved how it absorbed quickly and completely, leaving skin very well moisturized. I ran out of my usual Oshima Tsubaki Oil in January started using this lotion when it was still super duper dry in my apartment. Let's just say I now prefer this lotion (although perhaps in a different scent) over the 100% pure Camellia oil as a body moisturizer, that was how good this stuff was!

This Sweet Sugar fragrance was very warm and milky with only a tinge of sweetness. It really should have been named Sweet Milk instead of Sweet Sugar, although may be that wouldn't sound as delectable for some, but it really did smell like sweet milk! Anyway, the scent disappeared after a while, so I didn't walk around smelling like an ice cream cone or anything. Still, I will definitely buy the lotion again and again, but probably in a different scent :) This 8oz. bottle I got for $6 on super sale (normally $8 I think...), and it lasted me for about 3 months with daily use all over the body (arms, legs, front, back, everywhere!), so my $6 was well spent!

- Winter Mint Goats Milk Hand & Body Lotion: I'm still using this one right now after finishing up the Sweet Sugar above back in April. This Winter Mint scent smells like sugary sweet minty candy, a bit too sweet for my taste but luckily it isn't too strong. Also, it's June now and we have had some really crazy hot and humid days where I am, but I'm still using this lotion right after my showers every day and it doesn't make me greasy or sticky!

Even more amazing is the fact that I actually store the bottle in my bathroom, right next to my bathtub, for quick application while my skin is still damp and warm from the shower, and after 2+ months of daily temperature and humidity swings the texture of the lotion has kept its original integrity! Why is this anything significant? Because you really shouldn't be storing any cosmetic/skincare products inside your bathroom (or bathroom cabinet) to begin with. Think about it this way, depends on how hot you like your shower, your bathroom can be either a hot and humid room or a hot and humid sauna room, and not many cosmetic/skincare products can withstand such daily torture! After all the lotions and creams I used in the past lost their texture within days, I learned to keep them out of the bathroom (and in the fridge)!

Paradise Body Shop: I'm just so antsy and can't wait to go back for more of Candice's soaps! Her soaps are right up there with Dennis's (Anderson Soap Company above) for me. Love love love them!

- Garden Mint Shea Butter Soap: this one was really awesome! It smelled like fresh and leafy Irish spring! I can sort of smell the mint too, but more like the wild mint variety and not the kind on your desserts or cocktail :P So very invigorating!

- Clean Laundry Goat's Milk Soap: probably one of my top favorite bar of soap right here! It was crisp, clean, and soapy, just like clean laundry! But oh, it has a bit of a surprise too - cinnamon! At first I thought I was imagining things, or that I had stored this bar on top of another cinnamon bar or something and the scented "bled through." But then when the bar was almost gone and the light cinnamon fragrance was still there, I thought, damn, what a nice little twist! Who would have thought cinnamon would go so well with a clean scent like this! Hubby was very happy with this bar and I was very pleased as well. Will definitely buy again!

RachelRene: yet another new vendor from whom I now buy my bars, and I have to say I am very impressed with the texture of Christine's soaps! They were just the absolute most luxuriously smooth bars of soaps I have ever used and I didn't even know soaps can be "smooth"! I mean, what the hell I am talking about since all soaps are smooth and slippery fishies once in contact with water, right? The thing is, these soaps were more than just smooth and slippery - they were super velvety and I could feel the creaminess beyond the slippery surface. Wow!

The down side? The fragrance. It was totally hit and miss. Oh well. Can't ask for too much now can I?

- Winter Grapefruit Soap: smelled like bitter grapefruit peels. I didn't dislike it, but it was a tad too bitter for my taste. Even though the soap crumbled into bits at the very end, I still liked the texture enough to buy it again.

- Banana Kiwi Soap: this fragrance was a bit too strong and my entire bathroom smelled like banana peels! In fact, the banana scent was so strong I couldn't smell the kiwi at all. But that aside, this bar of soap had characteristic smoothness of RachelRene soaps. I may not buy this particular bar again, but will definitely buy more soaps from Christine!

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