Monday, January 12, 2009

Product Review: William Sonoma Pure & Green Collection, Ruby Grapefruit Ylang Ylang Hand Cream

Hi friends! So in my last post, I mentioned the virtues of moisturizing one's hands daily. If you've decided to take this to heart, then you need to hop over to your closest William Sonoma to check out their Pure & Green line of hand creams. Yes, I know William Sonoma is more known for its bakeware than beauty products, but seriously, this line is so delicious it would be perfectly at home sitting on a shelf in Sephora!

Being a lover of all things Pink Grapefruit, of course I zoned in on the Pink Grapefruit Ylang Ylang scent. It's zippy, sweet, and refreshing... just as it should be. The Ylang Ylang is pretty subtle, and I can only detect it in the form of a slight floral warmth. The cream feels great on the skin, and while it is not the most moisturizing product I've ever tried, the mix of shea butter, olive oil and glycerine certainly does a good job of leaving hands soft to the touch. It absorbs fairly quickly as well.

Other favourite scents in the line are the Wasabi Green Tea (amazing, unique and refreshing), Herbes de Provence Sweet Orange (bracing but sweet), and Olive Oil Coriander (comforting, with the bright green Coriander smell I love). Each of these scents come in a hand cream, hand soap, dishwashing detergent, and scented candle so you can put this scentual bliss in every room of your house.

The selection is dwindling though, because these are on sale right now for 50% off! The hand cream is only $7 CAD, where it normally is $15 for a 473 mL bottle. I hope this doesn't mean they are discontinuing the line... better go stock up while you can! These yummy scents almost (almost!) make me forget all the snow and cold that's happening outside!

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Product Review: Body Shop Mineral Makeup

Hello guys and dolls! Welcome to 2009, I hope it's off to a great start for you! With a New Year comes all sorts of resolutions and promises. Some of them are ambitious and noble ("Will volunteer at homeless shelter once a week!"), and some are perhaps less lofty, but no less important ("Will use hand cream daily!" -- hey, scaly dry hands are no joke).

Typically though, our resolutions fall somewhere in between, and often have to do with improving our bodies. Whether it be to eat better or exercise more, getting healthier is high on many priority lists. As for me? You can count me in for both. Not because I'm keen on resolutions (I'm not), but because a) it's always a good idea to eat more veggies, and b) I'm going to Cuba in 6 weeks, have bought a white bikini, and dammit, I want to look decent in it!

But this is not a diet and exercise blog, worthy and interesting though those topics may be. This is a makeup blog, and if you're like me (unfit, vain, and yet motivated), you might too be wrestling with an all-important question: How do I look pretty post-workout?

Okay, okay. Obviously I'm not advocating a face full of products while you're working out. But what about after the fact? That fresh-faced glow (neon, in my case) from your cardio session might be good enough for some, but for me (see again: unfit and vain), I have to at least put foundation and concealer on before I head out into the real world.

Since I pretty much exclusively use mineral foundation, this is problematic. Those sifter jars can be a messy affair, and dumping powder all over the gym change-room is not my idea of a good start to the day. But with the Body Shop's ingenious new Nature's Minerals makeup, my worries are over!

You can't see it in the photo, but one of the best aspects of this new line of mineral makeup is the packaging. Instead of the usual "salt & pepper" type sifters that let powder out whenever the jar is jostled, these babies come with a mesh sifter that only releases powder when you tap it. This means there won't be a pile of powder waiting for you when you open your jar, threatening to spill everywhere. Rather, you just tap out the amount you need -- no fuss, no mess!

This travel-friendly packaging makes Nature's Minerals an ideal product to take to the gym (or on any trip, really). The foundation offers sheer, natural looking matte coverage, which is just enough to get me home after a workout. Shade 03 is just about right for my warm skin tone. The coverage can be built up a bit, but if you're looking for a medium or higher coverage, it might not be enough.

The line also offers blushes and eye shadows. The blush shade I got, Golden Terracotta, is a warm bronzey pink. It is very pigmented -- so much so that it's too dark for my medium-light skin in the wintertime. With a light hand, it would be great for a summer glow. I received the shadow in Pink Opal. It is described as a pale pink, but on me it shows up more as a medium pink. It's a nice, neutral pink with subtle shimmer... no chalkiness or overly cool tones. I can't wait for the line to launch in Canada so that I can check out the other colours!

Look, dragging yourself to the gym is not the easiest thing, whether it be at 6am or after a long day at work. And if you've got the willpower to do it, why not have flawless skin afterward, to go along with that exercise-induced endorphin rush?

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