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Friday, August 1, 2014

Farmhouse Fresh Agave Nectar Body Oil Review


The other day I was browsing around at The Paper Store, a new gift shop that opened near my house (I believe there are locations all over New England). It's a great store because they have jewelry, cute boho clothes, home decor and of course, beauty products. As I was browsing the beauty section I saw a table of bath and body products from a company I had never heard of before- Farmhouse Fresh. Based out of Dallas, Texas, they believe in creating natural (up to 99.6%!), whimsical products that are totally giftable (or to keep for yourself).
They had some testers out and the Agave Nectar Body Oil ($16) caught my eye. When you have dry skin, body oils are the best because there's no water in them like lotions have, so it doesn't evaporate from the skin. It sinks in and lasts all day long.
From the moment I tried this in the store, I knew I had to have it. It feels lightweight but packs a seriously hydrating punch. Going on it felt like it was drenching my skin with moisture, rather than that "dry oil" feel a lot of body oils have. After it soaked in, my skin absolutely glowed and felt soft and plump, like it actually absorbed the oil, rather than it sitting on top.
 Here's the description:
"If you love a deep-soaking, luscious after-shower body oil, Agave Nectar will love you back! The scent is heavenly light - an oat/milk scent (comparable to a to-die-for tiramisu dessert) that women and men alike adore. But it's so much more than a body oil. Made with a special blend of extracts tested and proven to reduce the rate of your skin's water loss - one of the culprits in signs of aging. Barley, Sandalwood and Amurense bark combine with Agave Nectar and a blend of natural oils to deeply hydrate without a greasy afterfeel. This bottle of glistening comfort even turns white in the water, so any droplets on your clothing or sheets remove clean in the wash. No staining. How brilliant! 96% natural and like all FarmHouse Fresh products, Agave Nectar Ageless Body Oil is Paraben & Sulfate free".
Here's the ingredients panel (click the photo for a close up):
This is one pump of the oil on my skin...it immediately spread out and started sinking in before I could take a picture.
The scent is an oatmeal milk scent that's soft and creamy. Lately I've been taking my showers at night after my little guy goes to sleep, and this is that perfect calming, bedtime scent. Plus, I wake up with super soft skin...bonus! I'm not sure i would wear this in the daytime- maybe because it's summer I'm drawn toward light, fresh scents right now. Maybe when the weather gets colder, I'll be more inclined to wear this during the day, since it's more of a cozy scent.

Final Thoughts:

Packaging-




This comes in a beautiful glass jar with a pump but I had to take 1 star off for the glass. It makes it more luxurious to look at than plastic, but also a potential hazard since I'm holding it with wet/oily hands over a tile bathroom floor. I can see it shattering into a million pieces.

Formula-



I love the formula- it's so luxurious and it works! My skin actually glows when I wear it.

Scent-



I so love this soft scent before bed, but not sure I would want to smell like oatmeal and milk all day.

Overall-



Really, it's more like a 4.5. This is my favorite body oil out of all the ones I've tried so far.  If it wasn't in a heavy glass bottle and came in a few other scents (maybe a really light and fresh one for daytime) it would be perfection!

You can buy it at The Paper Store or at Farmhouse Fresh. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Memebox Express Shipping Upgrade until August 3rd!

Great news!  Memebox is waiving their $25.99 express shipping on certain boxes, so you'll get your Memebox in 3-7 days (I've gotten mine in 2 before!) for only $6.99 shipping!  So if you've been wanting to try Memebox but didn't want to wait weeks for shipping, now's your chance.

This only applies to the boxes that are ready to ship now.  Here are some of them with links:

Superbox #29 Burst of Color $39


Superbox Pore Care #3 $39

Superbox #36 Pore Care 3

Superbox #34 DermoCosmetics $39
Superbox #34 Dermocosmetics 2

Memebox Hair and Body 2 $23
Memebox Hair & Body 2

To see all the rest of the boxes that are Ready To Ship at $6.99 express, Click Here.  This offer is only good until Sunday, August 3rd, so don't wait if you want to try Memebox- you could have it by early next week!

Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner Review

Ro's Argan Body Conditioner from Lush ($32.95) is a rinse-off body lotion, similar to a hair conditioner that you apply in the shower and then rinse off before you get out. What a fabulous idea...why didn't someone think of this before?! Or maybe they have but I've never seen it. I decided I had to try it, even though the price was a bit on the high side.
My experience with Lush products is fairly limited since we only recently got a store in the mall near us. I remember ordering from their catalog back in the 90's. I got some bath bombs and a shampoo bar which left my hair feeling dirty so I kind of gave up on them at the time. Then last year when our local store opened, we went in around the holidays to buy some soaps for a family member who loves Lush. We spent 45 minutes in there picking out different soaps and when we left my husband had a splitting headache and said he was never setting foot in there again because of the smell (but he says the same thing about Sephora, Yankee Candle, and Bath and Body Works, so I didn't think much of it). Then I bought their Henna hair dye when I was pregnant because I didn't want to use regular chemical hair dye. Oh my gosh! It stunk up the entire house with the most horrible stench, because you have to heat it on the stove (my husband said it smelled "literally like poop") and he said, please, please don't ever buy anything there again. 
But then I heard about this body conditioner and so, ignoring the pleas of my darling husband, I ventured into Lush and picked up a tub of it. In the store around all the other scents, it was hard to tell what it smelled like but to me it smelled faintly of roses. OK no problem there.
I got it home and read the instructions: 
Sounds easy enough, smooth it on your body, then wash it off just like a hair conditioner.
Next I checked out the ingredient label. The list of all natural ingredients was impressive (click on the photo to enlarge if you can't see it well). Like most Lush products, there is an expiration date, but this one is good until Sept 2015 (it contains parabens as preservatives FYI).

When I opened the cap, it looked like butterscotch pudding and after I was home, I noticed that the scent was much stronger. What smelled mild in the store among all the other scents was a bit overpowering at home. It smells like roses, but there's also a warm element to it...almonds, maybe. Almond Oil is the third ingredient so I'm guessing that's what it is. But I figured, hey, I'm washing this off so if it works well I don't have to smell like it all day.
The texture is thick and creamy like body butter. It felt so nice going on and while in the shower I didn't mind the scent so much. It was strong, but I could deal with it.
When I rinsed it off, it felt like there was some residue on my skin, like I had just put on lotion. I was worried about feeling sticky but once I used a towel to pat my skin dry, it took away the excess and I was left with very soft moisturized skin, no additional body lotion needed! 
But the scent...oh man. This time it was me, not my husband who felt sort of ill from the scent. Despite rinsing this off in the shower, it stayed with me rather heavily most of the day. I also noticed that my towel smelled like it the next morning. It was OK smelling it in the shower but as the hours wore on, it started to get to me. 
So in the end, I had to return it. I love, love the idea of a body conditioner and the product itself was amazingly moisturizing and easy to use! Sadly, there's only one fragrance available and I happen to not like it. But...that doesn't mean you won't! I suggest getting a sample from your local Lush store before you drop any cash on it. 
Here are my final ratings:

Formula- 
I give it 4 stars because it has some wonderful, all natural ingredients (some fair trade) and makes the skin feel super soft and hydrated. Those with dry skin will love how this makes your skin feel, especially in the colder months. Oily skinned girls may find this too rich though. Also it contains parabens, for those who are concerned. 

Packaging-


I'm not a big fan of skincare products packaged in jars. They're messy and prone to growing bacteria from constantly sticking your fingers in them. This one is even worse because it's a shower product, so I'm sticking wet fingers in it and water ends up getting into the jar too. This would be much more convenient and sanitary if it were packaged in a tube or a pump, like hair conditioners are.

Scent- 


You know where I stand with this one. Tolorable in the shower but headache inducing breathing it in for a while. That being said, fragrance is a very personal thing so you might like it. This is just my opinion.

Price-



$32.95 plus tax may seem a bit steep for a 7.5oz jar of body conditioner. However, it does have some expensive, all natural ingredients in it, so I guess you get what you pay for. I'll be on the lookout for some cheaper options.

Overall Rating-


I wanted to love this so much but the scent kills it for me. It's still a quality product that works really well and it's something you don't see every day so it's worth getting a sample from your local Lush store to see how it works for your skin (and your nose).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Freeman Sleeping Mask Honeydew and Chamomile Review

The other day at Walmart I spotted some new single-use masks from Freeman. Well, I don't know if they're actually new, but they're new to me, since I've never seen them anyplace else. I almost never go to Walmart so I just happened to spot them and grabbed a bunch. They were $2 a piece. 
I got 2 paper masks, Hydrating Blue Agave and Brightening Rose, a Charcoal and Black Sugar rinse-off mud mask, and a Honeydew and Chamomile sleeping mask.
I plan to review them all separately since I only use a mask once or twice a week. I decided to try the Honeydew and Chamomile sleeping mask first. A sleeping mask is one that is applied as the last step of your skincare routine and you leave it on all night while you sleep, rinsing it off in the morning. I've been doing the multi-step Korean skincare routine (read about it here) the past several weeks, so adding a mask is just one more step. This is why I like the idea of a sleeping mask because it just takes the place of moisturizer rather than adding more time to the routine.
 This mask is for hydration and contains a lot of really moisturizing ingredients. Here's the description from Freeman:


"To wake up with dewy skin, you have to hydrate while you sleep! Our overnight sleeping mask with antioxidant-rich Honeydew and calming Chamomile is just the thing for rejuvenating skin. Deep moisturizing Coconut Oil makes rough skin a thing of the past, and Dimethicone dramatically smooths. Conditioning Jojoba Oil and moisture-binding Silk Amino Acids deeply nourish. Rinse upon waking to reveal well-rested skin that’s ready to face the day! Perfect for dehydrated skin."

Directions: At night smooth a generous amount evenly over cleansed face. The mask absorbs like a cream, meaning you can wear it without worrying about getting any product on your pillows. Rinse off in the morning.
The mask felt like a thick cream, almost balm-like. It felt really rich going on and I was worried it wouldn't sink in. It took about 5-10 minutes but it finally dried down to where it only felt slightly tacky so I felt comfortable getting into bed at that point. It gave a tingly cooling sensation when I first put it on but that subsided in a minute or two. Also, it smells delicious, like honeydew melons!
By the way, the packet is huge and I decided not to bother trying to save it for another use because I didn't want to make a mess trying to fold the packet over to close it. So instead I slathered the remaing mask over my hands and feet.
When I woke up this morning, I was treated to smooth, plump, hydrated skin. The coconut and jojoba oils really made everything look smooth, even my hands and feet looked soft and supple.
Overall, this mask did it's job and it was an easy way to use a mask, rather than having to wait 15 minutes and rinse it off. My routine takes a bit of time at night so any way I can shorten it, or at least not add more time, is great!
Have you tried any sleeping masks yet? If so, what's your favorite?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer Review Perfecting and Dark Spot Correcting

Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primers ($8, Walmart) have been around a while now and there are several different formulas that address different skin concerns, such as Shine-Free, Illuminating, and Color Correcting. I purchased the Perfecting formula, which is supposed to brighten and even out dull skin while diffusing redness, and the Dark Spot Correcting formula, that's supposed to diffuse the look of age spots, freckles and uneven skin tone for a brighter look.

 The Perfecting formula comes in a light pink tube and is supposed to even out the skin while filling in fine lines and wrinkles to help makeup go on more smoothly. Basically, it sounds like your average everyday primer.
 The ingredients are mostly silicones, like many primers.
 The texture is a drier, mousse-like consistency that feels velvety going on. It's more like a light paste than a cream, so it definitely sits on top of the skin rather than sinking in. This one was hit or miss for me...I liked the fact that it had a drier texture with a matte finish because it's summer and even my dry skin needs a bit of shine control. But on the other hand, it sometimes pills (rolls off in little balls) off my face and I'm not sure why this only happens sometimes. It might be a certain skin care product I used those days but I haven't narrowed it down yet. Also, I didn't notice this making my makeup last any longer than usual.


 The Dark Spot Correcting version is supposed to diffuse age spots, freckles and uneven tone, but I only found that out when I got it home and read it more carefully. Since the front said "Dark Spot Correcting" I assumed this had some sort of whitening ingredient in it to help fade spots on your face. But that's not the case...it just "diffuses" them with light reflecting pigments. I honestly didn't notice any difference...I could still see my spots just fine. However, it did add a nice glow to my face.
 This is also a silicone based primer but it contains some extra ingredients that the Perfecting primer doesn't have, such as hyaluronic acid, caffeine, and cucumber and pea extracts.
 Unlike the Perfecting formula, this one is runnier, like a lotion. It still has that silicone feel but it sank into my skin nicely and felt really hydrating without being greasy.


Overall, I like the Dark Spot Correcting one the best. Even though it didn't seem to help diffuse my dark spots, it gave my skin a nice glow, hydration, and a smooth, less lined canvas to apply makeup to.  The Perfecting one was just OK but I don't think I'd buy it again.
Have you tried any of the Sheer Envy primers from Hard Candy?

Mally Beauty Poreless Perfection Fluid Launch and Special Value Kit!

Hey, all you Mally Beauty fans, you're going to be so happy when I share this deal with you today! Mally Roncal, for those of you who aren't familiar with her, has an award winning line Mally Beauty, and today she's presenting a fabulous kit on QVC that is a crazy good deal.
She's launching a new foundation called Poreless Perfection Fluid that comes in a compact with a sponge, similar to the Korean brand Laneige that's gaining popularity right now in the U.S. (see my Laneige review here).  I'm going to predict right now that we'll be seeing compact foundations soaked in a sponge coming to the U.S. very soon, just like we adopted BB Creams from Asia a few years ago and they just exploded into the U.S. market.
Anyway, you can't buy the Mally foundation by itself yet, but she's launching it in a kit called Simple Steps to a U, U love! It's worth $163 for only $59.96, today only!
I'm a huge fan of her Poreless Perfection Primer and also her Volumizing Mascara (which comes in this kit!) so I'm excited to try some more Mally products!

Here's what you get:

  • 0.35-oz Poreless Perfection Fluid Foundation in Fair, Light, Medium, Tan, or Rich
  • 0.40-oz Perfect Prep Under Eye Brightener in Lighter or Deeper; Fair, Light, Medium, and Tan foundation come with Lighter choice; Rich foundation comes with Deeper choice
  • 0.13-oz Nourishing Lipstick in French Kiss, a natural rosy pink shade
  • 0.06-oz Shadow Stick in Copper Rose, a shimmering rose shade
  • 0.04-oz Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner with Pro-Blender Brush in Black Navy
  • 0.39-fl oz Volumizing Mascara in Black
  • Sharpener
  • Foundation brush
  • Poreless Perfection Fluid Foundation, Foundation Brush, and Evercolor Starlight Eyeliner in Black Navy are exclusive to QVC until 1/1/15




I ordered this kit already and will be doing a review on it this week. The Copper Rose eyeshadow stick looks like a gorgeous shade, and the Black Navy eyeliner is perfect for making the whites of your eyes pop without looking bright blue. I've always wanted to try the yellow eye brightener as well, and I'm already in love with her mascara. This kit is an amazing deal since each product adds up to $163. It's also fully returnable within 30 days so if I hate it, its going back. But given the quality I've seen in Mally's products I doubt that will happen.
Grab this today at QVC.com!
Here's a short video where Mally demos the kit!

Monday, July 28, 2014

OGX Smooth Hydration Argan Oil and Shea Butter Moisture Restore Weightless Oil Review

OGX Argan Oil and Shea Butter Weightless Oil (as I'm going to refer to it since the actual title is super long) is a "creamy blend of moisturizing shea butter to balance hair and scalp while weightless argan oil restores luster and shine, giving you silky smooth strands or softens your natural curls for hydrated perfection".

I normally stay away from hair oils since I have fine hair and they can make it look greasy. But I saw that this one said it was    "weightless" on the bottle and it made me curious to try it since it not only has Argan Oil (which it seems like every product these days does), but it also has Shea Butter, which is super nourishing for damaged hair like mine. The problem is, Shea Butter products always weigh my hair down too. So I wanted to find out if this could truly be a "weightless" Shea butter oil that would work for my hair type. 
Here's the back of the bottle and ingredient list: 
First, before testing it in my hair, I pumped a few drops into my hand and rubbed them together so that I could feel the weight and texture and decide how much I should use. The first thing I noticed was how quickly it disappeared into my skin. This is truly a very lightweight oil...probably the lightest I've used so far. It left almost no residue in my palms, and the scent...oh the heavenly scent! It's a warm, buttery vanilla that smells good enough to eat (but please don't). 
I used a drop about the size of a quarter since I have long hair (medium or short use a dime sized amount). I rubbed my hands together and applied it to towel dried hair starting in the middle, working down to the ends. When I was finished blow drying, I was truly amazed at how my hair looked! It was shiny and the ends looked freshly cut. It had plenty of volume and didn't seem weighted down at all. Not to press my luck but I wanted to see how far the weightless claim went, so I decided to try adding a dime sized amount to my dry hair for added polish and shine.
Using a trick I learned recently, I rubbed the oil between my palms and pulled my hair back like I was pulling it into a ponytail, then ran my fingers through the ends. This ensures that you don't put too much oil toward your scalp where it'll start to weigh your hair down. Then with the remaining tiny little bit left on my hands, I then smoothed them over the top of my head, getting rid of the little frizzies around my part. It never weighed my hair down at all, and it looked smooth, healthy and shiny right through until bedtime. 
OGX Argan Oil and Shea Butter Weightless Oil is an amazing smoothing product for fine hair (I suspect it'll also work great on thicker hair).  I'm thinking that my other hair treatments are going to sit under my sink, unused, now that I've found this (well at least until the next great thing comes along)! 
I bought this at Ulta for $7.99. I believe they also carry it at Walmart for $5.79.