A New Relaxation Ritual

August 15th, 2014 Posted in beauty products, Spa Retreat, Toiletries | No Comments »

Inspired by Priscilla Ahn’s (musician) positive review of Rain Living, I’m planning to make a purchase to include a few of their bath bombs and bath salts.  It’s been a small decision put off for too long; maybe about a year even :(.  Oh my, has time flewn!  I recently saw their products at the Westport Connecticut’s Terrain on one of my terrarium shopping expeditions; the first time I’ve seen their stuff sold in a store, though their free-standing shop isn’t too far away by train.  A welcome reminder of how detox and rejuvenation is essential before taking on future cares… and now I must formulate a special bathtime playlist ;)

*Photocredit: Rain Living

My Top New Finds of Summer 2014…

August 14th, 2014 Posted in beauty products, Toiletries | No Comments »

I don’t differentiate between seasonal or day/night scents.  To me preference will always supersede trends.  Here is a playful medley of my new favorites…

While browsing at my favorite Anthropologie, a tube of Library of Flowers‘ Arboretum caught my eye, but didn’t make a purchase until my visit to New York Botanical Garden weeks later ;).  It delivers all that it promises too… “divinely creamy, dissolves quickly into skin, extra-conditioning delivering deep hydration to parched skin, a replenishing pick-me-up, restorative and healing, unique formula with superior soothing power, sublimely scented & irresistibly soft sweet, silky joy at hand!”   With a top note of green cardamom, middle note of ylang ylang, and bottom note of amber resin, you’ll be smelling like a beautiful bloom.  Love their gorgeous packaging as well!  I picked up their reimagined triple-scented perfume alternative, the Parfum Crema (a modern interpretation of parfum intended to be worn in place of traditional fragrance).  I would categorize it as a sophisticated exotic floral and I’m very excited to try all the other scents they offer!

library of flowers arboretum handcreme

*Photocredit: Library of Flowers

 

Can’t wait to become better acquainted with this next brand… none-other-than, Illume Candles.  Their Cactus Verde has a crisp refreshing “green” scent as its name suggests.  It’s a soothing and moisturizing paraben-free blend of cassis, pink sea salt, and wild geranium with a hint of avocado.

 

illume candles Cactus Verde Hand Cream

 *Photocredit: Illume Candles

 

Last but not least, Zents :)… I remember agonizing over the choices of Ore, Petal, Sun, Water; and though the light and feminine fragrance of Petal won out at the end, I still have the other scents on my mind…  Another day, another splurge ;).  Though it’s a”greasier” (for the lack of a better word) formula than the previous two products, its texture is non-lingering and very quickly soaked up by the skin.  I always feel like Cleopatra as I open the pretty stone container (so very nice!), as crazy as this sounds.  With the notes of lily of the valley, freesia, and lemon, it’s no wonder that anyone would feel like a queen ;).  Zents raves, “this deep conditioning daily treatment balm transforms even the driest skin, repairing moisture-depleted elbows, knees, heels and cuticles. With a powerful infusion of 100% organic shea butter and a protective dose of beeswax, the Concreta rehydrates and restores skin’s natural softness.”  I can substantiate that this is no empty rave!

ZENTS Concreta Petal

*Photocredit: Zents

My New September Favorite: Farmhouse Fresh

October 4th, 2013 Posted in beauty products, Toiletries | No Comments »

On the first evening in Cape May, New Jersey, my husband and I walked to the main shopping strip (just minutes from the White Dove Cottage, Bed & Breakfast).  BTW, thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the White Dove; Stella gives it two paws up as well!

After a quick preliminary scout around the area, I found the cutest bath boutique ever and quickly ditched the hubby…  Bathtime Cape May (also fully-equipped with a custom fragrance bar); most certainly a bath lover’s haven…  Every brand imaginable…  I was drawn almost magnetically to their Farmhouse Fresh collection; what a perfect find!  Since autumn’s crispness was approaching and that we were far away from home, I decided that a Splendid Dirt pumpkin puree mud mask was in order.  Awww was it pore-fection too =); a thin, gradually tightening film, quick dry, yummy scent, easy cleanse-off, and fairly reasonably priced at $20 for a 3.2 fl.oz. jar.  For you chocolate lovers out there, they have a chocolate version too called Sundae Best Chocolate Softening Mask…  so with a name like that, what are you waiting for?

*Photocredit: Farmhouse Fresh Goods & Bathtime Cape May @ CapeMay.com

 

 

Lush Cosmetics’ Facial Masks

October 3rd, 2013 Posted in beauty products, Lush Reviews, Spa Retreat, Toiletries | No Comments »

I’ve tried a few of Lush’s face masks and really love them!  These are the ones I’ve tried for my combination, mildly sensitive skin (recommended via a Lush consult)…

Cupcake: Great for oily or spotty skin.

Catastrophe Cosmetic: A blueberry infused maintenance mask.

Love Lettuce: Balancing mask for all skin types.

BB Seaweed: A gentle seaweed mask for sensitive skin.

You will easily get 3+ uses from each regular-sized container ~2.1 oz.  Please remember to refrigerate as soon as you get home since they can spoil easily (all made from fresh ingredients be it fruits or veggies, essential oils, clays, and herbs and can only be purchased at a Lush store for this reason).  I also wouldn’t recommend purchasing more than two at a time since they are meant to be used once to twice a week as a facial treatment.  From my experience, they can be safely kept in one’s fridge for 2 to 2.5 weeks without worry of spoilage.  Also, when you “Take Back 5” (5 containers of any size #5 recyclable plastic), you will receive 1 free 2.1 oz. face mask which is quite an awesome deal =)!  Another wonderful detail about Lush is the ability to sample the mask on your skin at the store.  I hope you will give them a try; they have quickly become a repurchase must for me =).

 

*Photocredit: Lush Cosmetics

lush fresh face masks

 

Gumback Express Smoothie

February 13th, 2013 Posted in Lush Reviews, Toiletries | No Comments »

I had heard about this amazing product from Lush even before trying it.  At the time I came upon various posts regarding Gumback, the product was in discontinued status and was in high demand for a second wave of production.  A few months later I saw it re-offered online (yayyy, Lush really listens to their fans) and jumped on the Gumback Express and boy was I glad I did!  It is a great product- a treasure-find of an exfoliator!  It does a good job without being too abrasive and I love the scent (a sweet mild almond and banana)…  Moisturizing with a nice texture!  Smells good enough to drink ;)!  I finished my Gumback tub just yesterday =(.  This is definitely worthy of a re-purchase and I hope Lush will continue to offer it permanently!

  • Almond oil
  • Apricot oil
  • Ground almond shells
  • Orange blossom
  • Honey
  • Fresh bananas
  • Gardenia extract

 

*Photocredit: Lush Cosmetics

lush gumback express exfoliator

Tend Skin to the Rescue!

January 31st, 2013 Posted in beauty products, Toiletries | No Comments »

After years of improper leg skincare, I’ve developed a number of ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and very dry skin below my knees.  Last winter I realized that I needed a drastic change of regimen so as a trial remedy, I had a few waxings and meticulous tweezings done over a course of a few months and even tried spray tanning in preparation for the approaching summer.  I was mostly pleased with the spray tan too; however, due to my extremely dry skin, the color wasn’t as even as I would have liked.  I was recommended Tend Skin by an aethetician.  I really like the product.  I usually use it after my shower and on well towel-dried skin.  My legs show a good improvement so I will definitely continue using Tend Skin.  I’m currently also careful to only use the most moisturizing shaving cream I can find- I learned my lesson.  Just bought myself a refillable roll-on =).

*Photocredit: Tend Skin

Basin White

January 30th, 2013 Posted in Spa Retreat, Toiletries | No Comments »

Last summer’s trip to Las Vegas had us venturing into the Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes after enjoying a Blue Man Group performance just moments before.  I was looking for a Thank You present to gift to mom and chose the three pictured below.  My mom thought they were too pretty to use =).  Due to the ingredients and their nature, I would not recommend anyone use Basin White vegetable glycerin soaps to scent their drawers or closets since they are prone to mild melting.

For myself, I purchased the Pink Sugar bath salts, Birthday Cake/Cupcake vegetable glycerin soap, and the Jack-O-Lantern vegetable glycerin soap.  I have yet to use the bath salts but highly recommend the bar soaps because they are moisturizing, smell nice, and will add visual interest to a dull sink area =)!

Basin White, please come to New York!!!

*Photocredit:  Basin White

 

A Beach Cottage Getaway…

October 5th, 2012 Posted in accessories, Cool Gadgets, curiosities, Home & Garden, Toiletries | No Comments »

Lately I’ve been under a lot of stress from a family project I took on and feel that I had emotionally missed a good part of the summer with all the chaos and bustle.  Even earlier (during the last part of 2011) and before the onset of this project, I had found inspiration in shells and organza blue ribbon.  More so now than ever before, I wish to recapture (in a small semi-permanent way) the beauty of a beachy summer by changing my bathroom theme.  Perhaps my initial hopes to have been able to enjoy this summer have not been completely dashed =)?  Memories of cute Nantucket cottages, the salty ocean breeze, soft sand, and pastel colors…

While shopping for Halloween decorations at Pier 1, I was amazed to find a similar but much cheaper dupe for Gianna Rose Atelier’s seashell soaps.  In the package are two sea star soaps, two sea snail soaps, and one shell soap, which fit perfectly into my lidded glass jar purchased from Michaels Craft Store a couple years back.  Kismet, I say!  The only thing missing are soap corals, sea grass, sand dollars, sea glass, and driftwood.

I’m excited to show you my beach-themed terrarium and mini tabletop zen garden but that will have to be in future separate posts.

Everything is slowly coming together (family project included, I hope) as it should and my creative energy is renewed once more =)

*I have also included below other beach-themed items you may like which are not necessarily new goodies for my partial bathroom re-design.   Either way, I hope you will feast your eyes on these pretty little things.

*Photocredit: Gianna Rose Atelier, Pier 1, eBay, Pottery Barn.

 

A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet?….

October 5th, 2012 Posted in beauty products, Toiletries | No Comments »

I have been on a long and arduous “Des Esseintes” hunt for rose scented products which actually smell like a real rose = /.  My obsession began with my yoga instructor’s rose essential oil which she occasionally dabs onto our hands as we are readying ourselves for shavasana (I love to place it on my wrists, temples, and over my heart chakra besides taking a big whiff of the fragrance).  She tells me it’s an import from India, from what seems to be a mysterious friend.

It would make me so happy to be able to start each day with a luscious rose fragrance or an invigorating aroma of lemon; both uplifting in their own ways.

I was first led to Song of India Natural perfume oil but was disappointed it was no where near the sweetness of the rose oil.

Next were two rose essential oils (Aura Cacia’s Rose Otto and Rose Absolute) purchased from Mrs. Greens Natural Market- getting closer but not quite right…  Maybe I just haven’t found the right combination of oils?  *Please note that certain essential oils and absolutes need to be used with a carrier oil to dilute its potency on skin.*

Following, I found Indigo Wild/Zumbar (also at Mrs. Greens Natural Market) and although I like their Sea Salt Room & Body Mist, Sandalwood-Citrus Room & Body Mist, and Almond Zum Rub very much, I wish they would offer rose scented products because I’m convinced they would do a great job inventing some.

I must try Pacifica’s Persian Rose and Mor Cosmetics’ Sugar Rose Tiger Lily soon!

Finally where I’m at currently…  close to being content with Panier des Sens Rejuvenating Rose and The Body Shop’s Moroccan Rose and Wild Rose scents.  If you love the scent of roses as much as I do, you should give these a chance.

*Photocredit: Panier des Sens & The Body Shop

 

Third Time’s The Charm: Origins

September 21st, 2012 Posted in beauty products, Cosmetics, Toiletries | No Comments »

I first tried an Origins product years ago; I believe it was a small bottle of milky makeup remover.  It was okay but didn’t leave a huge impression on me.  A few years later I was dorming at college and found out that one of my suitemates was an Origins fanatic.  Had I liked her personality more, I would have given Origins more of a chance back then (sad to say but true).  A few years ago, I bought a big pump bottle of their A Perfect World serum with White Tea along with a couple of eyeshadows and a lipstick.  I liked all of them just fine but somehow I still wasn’t in love with their products.  A few months ago I re-visited that same Origins store at Grand Central Terminal and fell in love with their Checks & Balances frothy face wash, Modern Friction exfoliator/gentle dermabrasion, Clear Improvement charcoal mask to clear pores, and GinZing eye cream to brighten and depuff.  One word of warning, Modern Friction can irritate your eyes so be very careful when you use it.  I haven’t used GinZing as consistently as I should so I can’t accurately review this product yet.  I do love all four thus far.  I have not purchased anything from their current makeup line so I cannot comment at this time.  The only thing I tested was a tinted moisturizer and a peachy pink blush (which I liked both but didn’t buy since I don’t need to replenish any cosmetics just yet).  Origins can be generous with samples so if you are interested in trying any of their products, I would ask for a sample before committing to a full size product (which is what I did before buying two of my full-sizes).  I would really love to go back to the GCT store for a free facial.  I think it would be a lot of fun to try more of their other products.  Another thing I love about Origins is they do offer some of their popular skincare staples in travel sizes.  Their logo is so pretty too!  I always notice the little things.

*Photocredit: Origins