Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Man Post - AHAVA Men and Molton Brown Cassia Energy Sport

I remember my mother using Ahava products when I was a child (and when they were still by mail order only) so when I saw this on the shelves at Bath&Body Works for 50% off I couldn't resist! I didn't want anything for myself because I have literally enough skincare stuff to last me until eternity but as a beauty addict, what kind of girlfriend would I be if I didn't lavish my Schmoopy with fantastic skincare products as well? Schmoopy is a metro-man but he could care less about fancy skincare products. Before me, he was quite satisfied with drugstore brands but I made him see the Matrix :)

I got him this small sampling of Ahava Men shaving products. The smell of the products is really nice. It does not smell like Old Spice but it is manly and it's not overpowering (i.e. I didn't smell Schmoopy coming down the hall from half a mile away).

I also couldn't resist getting him a sport body wash from Molton Brown - it smells so good! I'll review this after the AHAVA products.

Products from Ahava are all derived from plants and minerals found in the Dead Sea. Yea, that's right - THE Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is considered nature's natural spa and it's waters contain the highest concentration of minerals in the world – an astounding 32%. The mineral mud of the sea bed yield extraordinary concentrations (ten times more than ocean water) of natural elements – such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, strontium, boron and iron – all of which are essential to maintaining healthy, supple skin. Even its water is unique, infused with useful proteins created by fossils and algae. Using scientific research they've studied the therapeutic effects of the Dead Sea minerals when applied to the skin and found them to be revitalising and effective. Ahava is also an environmentally-friendly brand. They utilize non-polluting and environmentally conscious manufacturing processes. They do not use animals in any product testing phase and all of Ahava product containers are recyclable plastic.

AHAVA Deep Cleansing Gel for Men $18

Micro-peeling, foaming gel eliminates impurities and deep cleans skin without drying. Prepares skin for shaving. Invigorating. Gently massage micro-peeling cleansing gel onto wet face in a circular motion. Rinse with lukewarm water.

AHAVA Foam-free Silk Shave $19

This luxurious foamless shaving cream is enriched with Dead Sea minerals, vitamin E, Provitamin B5, and plant extracts including ginseng, ginger, ginkgo and dates. Specially designed to lift up, soften and condition individual hairs to achieve a comfortably close, even shave, and to leave skin soft, smooth and moisturized. Approved for Sensitive Skin. Hypoallergenic. Free of Parabens, SLS and Alcohol . Apply onto dampen skin and shave.

AHAVA Soothing After Shave Moisturizer $28

Dead Sea Minerals enrich this daily moisturizing cream. Alcohol free, it instantly addresses discomfort and irritation while smoothing fine lines. Antibacterial. Smooth onto clean, dry, shaven skin for instant absorption and relief. Avoid eye area.

The Verdict - AHAVA Men : A
Schmoopy was happy with all 4 items, not that he had a lot to compare to. He was impressed with the Soothing After Shave Moisturizer since it was alcohol free and did not sting his skin. He also liked the Foam-free Silk Shave because there was no foam, his skin was visible as he was shaving so he could see where he was placing his razor. The products did aid in shaving by softening his hairs and his skin was not irritated one bit. They also have a pleasant spicy scent that isn't overpowering.

Molton Brown Cassia Energy Sport Hair & Body Wash $24

This is just a simple body wash from Molton Brown. I know a lot of guys really like the scent Black Pepper, but I'm really not a fan and neither is Schmoopy. I really like this smell for a guy because it's refreshing and not floral or fruity.

This product is great for atheletic guys as it's a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner that can be easily taken to the gym. Cassia is a spice related to cinnamon and it's scent helps relax muscles and has antiseptic properties making it the ideal natural deodoriser.

The Verdict - Molton Brown Cassia Energy Sport: A+
He loves this body wash! I think a lot of guys out there hate body washes because body washes usualy leave a filmy feeling. My Schmoopy loves this body wash because there is absolutely NO filmy feeling at all. In fact, he says he feels squeaky clean just like if he used a bar soap but his skin isn't dried out. He also says wash's deodorant effect really works. He has that "I just showered" smell for most of the day. This body wash is highly recommended by Schmoopy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dior Addict High Shine $26

This is the Dior Addict High Shine in #222 Casual Beige. Like all of the Dior High Shine lipcolors, this one goes on sheer and gives just a hint of color.

I used a flash here, so it's not quite this pink in real life.

The Verdict: A
I love this super moisturizing lipstick! As my lips have a naturally dark pigment to them, I have to choose lipcolors carefully or I'll end up looking like a little girl with lipstick smudged all over her face. Becuase of this, I have a tendency to lean towards sheer lipcolors for daily use. I love throwing this on for en everyday, casual look.

Swatch with no flash - see how sheer?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Caudalie Cleansing Water $12/$23 Review

I had heard a lot of nice things about this toner and when I ran out of my usual Shiseido toner, it was a perfect time to try this guy out! I say that I "ran out" of toner knowing full well that I have like a bajillion little promotional sample sized toners stashed away in a promotional makeup bag under my bathroom counter. I bet if I poured all of the little toners into 1 container it'd fill a full-size toner bottle....but I digress!

So back to this toner! As with most Caudalie products, you can purchase Caudalie Cleansing Water in 2 sizes: 200ml/6.7oz for $23 or 100ml/3.4oz for $12. This toner is a micellar water meaning it will attract dirt from the skin to gently cleanse and remove makeup without rubbing. It is suitable for all types of skin, including sensitive skin.

The Verdict: C
I have to first say this is called Cleansing WATER - meaning not oil so I was skeptical it would remove makeup. Well, I was right. If you soak a cotton ball with this stuff, it will remove some makeup but it really is no comparison to cleasing oil. I would not recommend using this as a makeup remover because there's a lot of stuff that gets left behind.

I gave it a shot for eye makeup too. With mascara and full eye makeup, I used cleansing oil first to get rid of as much as I could and then used the Cleansing Water to remove any remaining residue. It removed some, but again it wasn't as thorough as I'd hoped. I even lost an eyelash or 2 in the process. When I'm going light on makeup, this stuff works great for removing pencil liner.

I also tried using this solely as a toner. As it is alcohol-free, it does not tighten skin or suck moisture away. It is also odorless, so there is no funky smell at all. It does get very slighty soapy as it's applied and because of that it leaves a weird gummy film after it's dried. I find I have to rinse my skin after this and that just tears it!

Unfortunately after all this trail and error, I will not be re-puchasing this. I'll probably use up the bottle I have for removing pencil liner only.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kose Sekkisei Emulsion $48

I picked up this full-size bottle of Kose Sekkisei Emulsion after loving the sample packet I tried.

It's to be used following a toner to improve skin moisture, elasticity and to make skin more radiant and transparent. I think the "transparent" description is asian-speak for "glowing skin."

The Verdict: A-
I love how hydrating this lotion is but at the same time it is not at all oily or creamy. The consistency of this is a bit runny and it absorbs very quickly into the skin.

See how runny it is? This is just a tiny blob of the emulsion.

I've only used this at night (usualy after masks) but I don't believe it would make me shiny even if I applied it during the day. It is so lightweight and moisturizing. I would even be so bold to say that I'm adding it to my daily cleansing routine to replace my regular Shiseido nighttime moisturizer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mentholatum Acnes Creamy Facewash $15

Sorry to be MIA the past couple of weeks. Work's been crazy and I've been baking like a mad woman. May is my most demanding month when it comes to baking. I've got my little cousin's birthday, Mother's Day, boyfriend's birthday and granny's birthday. And for this year only, I'm hosting/catering a bridal shower this weekend!

My aunt got back from a trip to Taiwan last week and this was one of the goodies she brought back for me. It's a Japanese drugstore facewash repackaged for Taiwan in Chinese characters. Mentholatum has a full product line to address acne prone skin.

According to my aunt, this medicated facewash prevents acne, helps heal acne scars, minimizes pores, and has bonus whitening thanks to a dose of Vitamin C. I don't know what the cartoonish little green guy is supposed to be but it made me laugh (those crazy asian marketing peeps)! It looks like the Green Giant's sidekick.

I normally don't stray from my Shiseido Pureness facewash but lately I've been getting small annoying breakouts on my cheeks and jawline. So I gave this a shot and have been using it for a week. There is a scent that smells like a combo of grapefruit + Lysol. It's not strong but it is noticeable. What surprised me was the tingling feeling when I applied this. The tingly feeling is especially noticeable where I had breakouts - I really hope it's because they were being annihilated! I've really liked it so far as I tend to like foaming facewashes. This comes out of the tube creamy but foams when water is added to it.

The Verdict: B+
I have to warn that it is quite strong! If I use it both morning and night it makes my skin peely around the pimples. Once a day seems to work the best for me. So far I'm liking the results and am interested in trying out the other products from this line. You can purchase some of the products online but of course it's much more expensive online than in Taiwan (my aunt said she got it for around $7 US).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Eye Treatment $50

Woot! Woot! The Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Eye Treatment just won the CEW 2009 Award for Best Eye Treament! It really is a great product and I've been using it for about 6 months.

Like all other products in the White Lucent line, this eye treatment is formulated to address dark circles by boosting microcirculation and reducing melanin.

The Verdict: B+
I really like the creamy but light texture of the product and it does not irritate my eye area one bit. The product is dispensed from a pump and just 1 pump is enough for both my eyes. You can apply both morning and night, but I only apply this at night. In the morning my eyes look energized and awake! I don't get that zombie look from sleep deprivation.

The one complaint I have is the bottle itself. Since it's opaque, I can't tell how much is still left and also the pump sometimes dispenses the product unevenly if there's an air bubble in the tube.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Caudalie Eau de Beaute Beauty Elixir $15/$49 Review

This product is a 2-in-1 toner and serum combo. It claims to hydrate and smooth skin using essential oils and plant extracts. It also tightens pores and makes skin radiant. There are 2 sizes available: 1 oz for $15 or 3.8 oz for $49. The 1 oz bottle is meant to be travel friendly (also the size shown in the pics).

It can be misted on clean skin or over makeup and used as a toner or to hydrate the skin at any time of the day. The product has to be shakened up before use because the oils in it separate from the water and it forms little yellow gobs that float towards the top.

Close encounter with the yellow gobs!!!

The Verdict: A+
This is currently my favorite Caudalie product! If you are considering the Caudalie Grape Water - skip it and go straight to this! I thought the Grape Water smelled like old bottled water and was grossed out when it was misted on my face. The Beauty Elixir's got it's own smell too but it smells more medicinal than dirty. I should warn that the medicinal smell does linger for some time before it dissipates - about 1-2 minutes. Also, my final complaint - this stuff seems to go quickly. Even after a few spritzes I actually notice the level of product has gone down. This leads me to think the bottle must be made of really thick glass so that it only appears to contain a lot of product.

When I mist this on, it gives skin a cool refreshing feeling. There is alcohol in it to give it that astringent effect, but it's not at all drying. It hydrates without overly wetting skin and the smell combined with the coolness literally "wakes up" my skin! Once it dries, it's either absorbed by the skin or evaporated so there's not a trace of film left behind. I really love this product but I have a feeling it's a love it/hate it kind of thing. Definitely try it out before taking the plunge!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Colgate Wisp 4pk $2

I was really excited to try these out! It's the handy dandy Colgate Wisp! They come in 3 flavors: Peppermint(blue), Cinnamint(red), and Spearmint(green). It's a single use, disposable mini toothbrush for on-the-go use. There's no need for water or rinsing.

Each Wisp is indiviually sealed and there's a small pull tab to help you open it.

The opposite end of the brush is pointed so you can use it as a toothpick too.

The Verdict: D-
I think I now have a better understanding of how cavemen kept up their dental hygiene. The little plastic bristles on these things are so tough! It's like brushing with a twig. I really really hope they improve the design. I felt I couldn't really use it as a "brush" as it was more or less just scraping over my teeth.

On the positive side, the little freshening bead was fantastic! It's the little colored sphere in the middle of the brush. When it bursts it releases the liquid toothpaste that is so refreshing! The sphere's not huge so the amount that is released is just enough to leave you with that minty feeling but not enough to make your mouth foam.

If Colgate can just get the bristles of the brush right - I'd be all over this! For now I'll just stick to my travel brush and travel toothpaste :D If you wanna give it try, check out their website and print out a coupon to save 50 cents.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Evecare Guerlain Meteorites Miniature Sale!

Holy moly! The Guerlain Meteorites Minature Set with a Miniature Pink Brush set 50% off at for the price of $42.95.

If you purchase $45 or more you also get free shipping! That's only $2.05 more to make the cut. A great opportunity to try these out!

Click on the image to be taken directly to

It was love at first sight!

This is my dream vanity! Isn't it beautiful? I love the storage cabinets - so unlike the leggy vanities that are more common. Not that thrilled with the bench cushion. I'd want a cushion that's overstuffed and upholstered with say....a Lilly Pulitzer pattern for a pop of color!

This is the Restoration Hardware British Cane Vanity $1499. Unfortunately, it's no longer available online. The bench is sold separately for $89.99 (orig. $189).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Caudalie VinoPerfect Radiance Revealing Mask $42

Caudalie is a relatively young company that was launched in 1995. Their products originate from the benefits found in grapeseeds and they are all-natural. They extract and stabilize polyphenols which have been shown in laboratory tests to be 10,000x more effective than Vitamin E in fighting free radicals. Caudalie holds the patent for the extraction of polyphenols. From these roots, the company has since patented Resveratol (grape vine stalk extract #uno) to address cell renewal and Viniferine (grape vine stalk extract #dos) to treat dark spots and enhance radiance.

**Warning** The following is copied directly from the product itself and it's box (I got lazy :P)

The extraordinary combination of an ultra-soft brush applicator with a super-active formula. This fresh peeling mask renews the appearance of the skin, tightens the appearance of pores and provides an immediate burst of radiance to your complexion.

Apply twice a week on clean skin. Then the applicator to the ON position Press lightly. Apply avoiding the area around the eye. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse. Theun the applicator to the OFF position, then rinse and wipe the applicator.

Applicator in OFF position.

Applicator in ON position - with a bit of the mask squeezed out.

The Verdict: A-
This mask feels cool when applied and I think it's a good mask to try if you have sensitive skin. It's completely non-irritating and it makes skin brighter and more radiant. There's no smell to the product and the consistency is quite thick and creamy. It's a peeling mask that is rinsed off so it never hardens or dries out.

Close-up of the brush. It's soft and feels just like a foundation brush.

At first I was excited to try out the brush applicator becuase I thought it would be like a mini-spa experience! Unfortunately, the product is only squeezed out from the very middle of the brush and it was hard to spread over my skin evenly. I'm thinking(hoping) this is just a learning curve and I just need a couple of tries to get the hang of it.

Shot of how the product is dipensed from the middle of the brush only.

I really enjoyed this product and I will definitely continute to use this. I like the cool feeling it has and how gentle it is. Also, since you use the brush applicator to apply it, a little goes a long way.

I was looking all over for a little instruction pamphlet but then realized the instructions were printed directly on the inside of the box. In fact, Caudalie uses every surface of their outter packaging for printing. I loved how it was eco-friendly! I gripe I have with Caudalie in general is that they package their products for the English, French, German and Italian speaking populationg. Because of this, it looks like a lot of detail is printed but it's actually only a 1 sentence description. Also, with all the extraneous information it's like a "Where's Waldo" hunt for the English text - haha!