Thursday, 30 August 2012

Burt's Bees: Coconut Foot Crème Review


I like Burt's Bees. I haven't been terribly disappointed with any of the Burt's Bees products I've tried.......so far, anyway.

Burt's Bees has done it again with today's featured product. There are some aspects about it that irk me but overall, the brand has come up with a good rescue product.


About the Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Crème (excerpts):

This pampering natural foot cream combines coconut oil, lanolin and vegetable glycerin to revive and rejuvenate even the driest, most neglected feet. There's also a hint of rosemary and peppermint oils to refresh tired feet.

Ingredients
Glycerin, olive fruit oil, oat kernel flour, lanolin, fragrance, coconut oil, quillaja bark extract, oat kernel oil, tocopherol, rosemary leaf extract, soybean oil, canola oil, butylphenyl methylpropional, coumarin, limonene, linalool.

It says on my tube that it's 99.51% natural.

Consistency
One thing you must know is that the foot cream is jelly-like, very thick and sits heavy on the skin. Its oily, slightly-sticky and highly-viscous consistency is what I dislike but then again, this very consistency is one of the things that makes this product a star.


Scent
It smells very strongly of coconut oil but not as scrumptious as the hunger-inducing, fragrant smell of pure coconut oil. That's because it's been 'laced' with rosemary and peppermint. I get the sense that many ladies love the smell of this foot cream. Personally, I find the perky freshness of peppermint juxtaposed against the heavy, cookie-smelling coconut oil rather, uhm, weird. But don't mind me.......

Application
You need patience when working with this foot cream. Because of its thick consistency, it does take a while to work the cream on the feet. Wait a couple of minutes and then, put on socks. You definitely need socks not just to lock in the moisture but also to avoid getting greasy stains on your floor or your bedsheets.

Burt's Bees also suggests this: For a luxurious way to treat your feet, soak feet in warm water for 10-15 minutes and rub gently with a pumice stone. Massage Coconut Foot Crème into feet, paying close attention to heels and calloused skin. Then cover your feet with cotton socks overnight.....


When to use
I prefer to use it at bedtime. In colder seasons, it's nice to have the feet kept warm and cosy with this thick foot cream plus socks. On warm summer nights, it's not so pleasant with the socks and all.

I believe some ladies also apply a thin layer of the cream on the feet before putting on socks and sneakers and then going off with their day's activities.

Efficacy
After leaving my feet to 'marinate' overnight, I would wake up to still-fragrant, softer feet. The Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Crème is certainly capable of rescuing dry, calloused feet or cracked heels. You'll notice some improvement already after just one night but you'll need to follow that up with diligent application for your feet to fully heal.

Sometimes, I use it on my hands as well, especially when I feel they need a quick overnight fix. Yes, wear gloves if you're going to sleep with this. I use my pair of Essence Nail & Hand Care Gloves.

I can't vouch for this myself but I thought I'd add this one other use that I've read about: Some ladies say it's good for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy.

Caution
When you remove your socks in the morning, there will be some residue left on your feet. It's quite hard to describe it: the feet feel kinda dry, kinda tacky, kinda waxy, kinda greasy. Just be careful if you're stepping out of the bed barefoot.You wouldn't want to leave waxy foot marks on bare flooring.


Price
USD9.00 / £12.99 / €14.95 for 120g / 4.25oz.

Here in the Netherlands, I haven't seen many stores carrying this. You can find it in places like Sephora and Biocosmetica. Over at Zalando, I see a mini version of it as part of a kit.

This tube should last quite a while. I've been using mine once-twice a week for half a year and I've still a long way to go to finishing it.

Last Words
A robust foot cream, this is. No regrets getting this.


Burt's Bees website

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Adorned Nails: KOH Holy Hip Hop


This is the third polish to be featured from the KOH Sound collection. Such a cool name for a nail polish.


KOH Holy Hip Hop is a medium grey crème. The formula was very creamy and I'm wearing two thick coats here.

The thing is, that's not it. At first, I dismissed them as specks of dust on the bottle but when I looked closer, it dawned on me that they were micro-glitters in the polish. However, it's easy to miss them as they are very, very sparse and just a few are bigger specks than others. Very little got on the brush and so, hardly any transferred onto my nails. I promise I squinted very hard!

Anyway, here's a close-up shot of the bottle. Do you see the bitty-bitty bits? Do you, do you?!


Gospel rap with reluctant bling.

This polish was provided by KOH Cosmetics.


Previous Sound polish: KOH Keep On Jazzing
Next Sound polish: KOH Punk Up

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Adorned Nails: Teeez Big Apple



The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!


You seriously do need shades when viewing Teeez Big Apple in the sun. Opacity in at least three coats, it's a bright, almost-neon apple green shimmer. It's blinding and sure to catch everyone's attention.

Summer's definitely not over yet!


Big Apple belongs to the City Trip collection and was kindly provided by Teeez Cosmetics.


The other City Trip polish: Teeez Coffee To Go

Monday, 27 August 2012

Mill Creek Botanicals: 99% Aloe Vera Gel Review


We had an aloe vera plant at home when I was young. I remember once having tried rubbing a small piece of raw aloe vera on my face but its yucky sliminess just didn't appeal to a girl of twelve. Encouraged by my aunt, I had tried eating it too. It was something between tasteless and bitter. I had it with some honey as well, which made the experience slightly more pleasant but that was the end of it, really. I wasn't impressed. I guess I was just too young to appreciate its simple, natural goodness.

Of course, I've learnt to see things differently now that I'm a lot older. I have used a couple of skincare products which contained a bit of aloe vera but that's not quite the same, is it? For the longest time, I had toyed with the idea of getting an aloe vera plant of my own but hey, who am I kidding? Plants always die on me! So, the next best thing was to get bottled pure aloe vera gel.

I only started a serious search on it early this year. There are many choices out there if you looked and this tube of Mill Creek Botanicals 99% Aloe Vera Gel just happens to be the first one I bought.


True, it's not 100% pure aloe vera gel but 99% is pretty good, methinks.


Ingredients:
Aloe vera gel (organic), deionized water, cucumber extract, comfrey extract, allantoin, carbomer, tetrasodium EDTA, triethanolamine, oleth-20, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, essential oils.
*Certified organic ingredient by BCS OKO - Garantie


Mill Creek Botanicals says:

All the amazing properties of pure Aloe Vera are carefully extracted from the Aloe Vera plant and are completely intact in this convenient tube. We add Cucumber to help keep the skin toned, fresh and soft. Also Comfrey and Allantoin to further assist the skin's healing process. This moisture-rich, quick-absorbing Aloe Vera Gel helps soothe and moisturize dry skin and relieve skin irritations, minor burns, insect bites and sunburn. A cooling aftershave balm for men and women.

It is pH-balanced and it contains no fragrance, no parabens and no glycols.


I gave half the contents to my Mum and frankly, she has got more to contribute to this review than I do. She loves this aloe vera gel and in fact, she finished her half within a couple of months. I got her another brand of aloe vera gel to try (and compare) after that.

Here are some uses:

• Heat rashes
In hot weather, she often has rashes on her limbs and as we all know, the more you scratch, the more it spreads. The aloe vera gel (plus the cucumber extract, I'm sure) cools and soothes the skin/itch. The rashes are gone within fifteen minutes after application of the gel.

I use it for the same purpose too. It works like a charm. Love it!

• Insect bites
She applies it on the ocassional mosquito bite. Again, it soothes the itch and after a while, the bump and the redness are gone.

• Sunburn
My husband uses it on his sunburnt arms sometimes and it really relieves the discomfort.

So, the keywords are 'soothing', 'cooling' and 'relief'. Sometimes, I apply it on my skin simply to cool down on a hot summer day. Aloe vera gels tend to be neutral in many ways - colourless and almost no smell (this one from Mill Creek has a subtle cucumber-y scent). It's just a gel minus the sliminess. The gel doesn't take very long to dry and/or evaporate and you can almost feel an unobtrusive thin film left on the skin.


I've read that some ladies use it as a facial moisturiser. I can imagine it would work great if you have oily, sensitive skin. I have tried it a few times on my face but I didn't find it moisturising enough. It won't work well if you have dry skin. Ditto for say, the hands. It just cools the skin. Period.

Mill Creek Botanicals also has a couple more aloe vera products in its range. One of them is the Aloe Vera & PABA Moisturizing Lotion, which combines the goodness of aloe vera to soothe minor skin irritations and PABA for natural protection with its UV absorption qualities. Perhaps that is something I could look into later.

Anyway, the best thing about this 99% Aloe Vera Gel is how cheap it is. The recommended retail price is US$5.99 but I paid just US$3.58 for this 180ml / 6fl. oz tube. I bought it from the US-based iHerb, which is one of my favourite places to shop on the internet.

A bit of shameless plugging here: If you're new to iHerb, my iHerb coupon code QOJ683 will get you a US$10 discount on orders of US$40 or more, or a US$5 discount on orders less than US$40. Once you're a customer of iHerb, you'll get your own coupon code too, which you can then pass on to your family and friends.

As I said, there are many brands of bottled aloe vera gel on the market these days. iHerb carries several brands of it but you can also easily get one in your local drugstore. It's such a useful multi-purpose skincare product to have.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Adorned Nails: Herôme W.I.C. Goa


It's been a tough week here. Thanks for sticking around. I'll have to speed things up a bit as I have a lot to write about.


Here's a polish from Herôme, which, for those who don't know, is a sister brand of KOH. Its collection of nail polishes is just as impressive as KOH's and all Herôme W.I.C. polishes are named after cities around the world. W.I.C. stands for World Inspired Colours.


Herôme Goa comes from the brand's latest limited edition collection called Herôme Magical India. Goa would appeal to purple polish lovers. I have two coats on in these photos. It is what it is: a gorgeous, plush purple with some red and turqoise twinkles (when viewed in direct sunshine). Compared to KOH Rich, Goa's purple has a slightly bluer tint. It's hard to dislike either of them.


These are the six Herôme Magical India nail polishes. It's a beautiful collection and is as colourful as Incredible India (yes, the ad campaign did make an impact on me). Price: €7.50 per bottle (7ml) or €12.50 for two.

These polishes were kindly provided by Herôme.

L-R: Herôme Madras, Herôme Agra, Herôme Pune, Herôme Goa, Herôme Bangalore, Herôme Jaipur


Next Magical India polish: Herôme W.I.C. Madras

Monday, 20 August 2012

Adorned Nails: KOH Keep On Jazzing


Here's the second polish from the upcoming KOH Sound collection.


What can I say? KOH Keep On Jazzing is simply a burgundy-brown jelly and jellies being jellies, this one was a real joy to apply. I have here two coats on some nails and three on others.


It has no shimmer or glitter but it managed a twinkle or two in the bottle for my camera. I like how its red wine element caught the sunlight.

This polish was provided by KOH Cosmetics.


Previous Sound polish: KOH Lazy Lounge
Next Sound polish: KOH Holy Hip Hop

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Teeez: Love Triangle Lipsticks Review


My, don't these ladies look fierce!


These slimline Love Triangle Lipsticks are from the City Trip collection by Teeez.

Teeez says (excerpts):

The innovative formula combines special esters and emollient ingredients to guarantee depth of color.........It gives instant color release with the very first stroke, due to the concentration of premium quality pigments.

The three Love Triangle shades that Teeez kindly sent out are:

L-R:
Travel Light - medium nude
Centre Ville - bright coral pink
Boulevard - fuchsia pink


All three have a matte finish and pigmentation-wise, the lipsticks certainly don't disappoint. I thought the formula was on the dry side though, so I do prefer to apply lipbalm as a base first. As for the scent, these lipsticks smell like Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Lotion, something which you may or may not fancy.

Centre Ville

Travel Light and Boulevard applied more smoothly and were marginally more creamy than Centre Ville. For some reason, Centre Ville ends up looking rather blotchy on my lips. Its bright colour only accentuates its matte-dryness and the unevenness.

You know how I feel about nude lipsticks, so it's obvious that my favourite lipstick of the three is Boulevard - top marks for its lovely, flattering soft-fuchsia shade and its smooth application.

The Teeez Love Triangle Lipstick is available in 16 shades. Price: €5.99.

Ingredients:
Coco-caprylate/caprate, Isostearyl neopentanoato, Octyldodecanol, Candelilla wax, Kaolin, Microcrystalline wax, Bisdiglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, Oxokerite, Methoxy PEG-17 / Methoxy PEG-11 / HDI Crosspolymer, Fragrance, Propylparaben, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl palmitate, Citric acid
May contain: CI 77891, CI 15850, CI 45410, CI 15850, CI 77491, CI 15985, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 42090

Boulevard

More information:
Teeez website

Monday, 13 August 2012

Adorned Nails: KOH Lazy Lounge


It's time to explore the upcoming limited edition collection by KOH called KOH Sound.


The first polish is KOH Lazy Lounge. While it appears to be a baby grey at first glance, it's really a very, very pale lilac. Laid-back and soothing, it has a creamy formula. You're looking at two thick coats.


Well, here are the six KOH Sound nail polishes laid out in a row. Their names are:

L-R:
KOH Keep On Jazzing
KOH Soul Sister
KOH Lazy Lounge
KOH Punk Up
KOH Holy Hip Hop
KOH Pop Mania

The collection is expected to be out in stores sometime in September (price: €14.95 per bottle). As mentioned earlier, it's a pretty broody collection and now that we see the polishes up close, they are not as monochromatic as they appeared in the small press photo. It's a collection of crèmes and jellies, with no twinkles and sparkles. The polishes look downright serious to me.

But that's fine. As I always say, "broody" fits my soul.


These polishes were provided by KOH Cosmetics.

Next Sound polish: KOH Keep On Jazzing

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Essence: Ready For Boarding Eyeshadow Palette Review


I hadn't bought any eyeshadows from Essence for a pretty long time. My last eyeshadow purchase from the Trend Editions (i.e. limited editions) was the much sought-after Vampire's Love Eyeshadow Palette back in November last year. The pans may have been tiny but the eyeshadows were fab.


The Ready For Boarding trend edition collection has been in stores here for several weeks now (and not selling well, I must add). Against my better judgement, I bought the eyeshadow palette, called 01 Beauty On Tour. I'm not a huge fan of light/pastel eyeshadow shades but after swatching the testers in the store, I convinced myself that I needed some lighter eyeshadow colours to balance out the abundance of medium-dark ones in my drawer.

[slaps face]

I regret getting this palette. I really do. Okay, I didn't spend a fortune on this - only €3.49 - but it's still a waste of money. Cosnova (the company behind Essence and Catrice) knows how to make quality eyeshadows and selling them at very affordable prices but this palette is, ppffff, sub-standard.


The Ready For Boarding Eyeshadow Palette does look cute with its postcard/stamp-like design. It's small (approx. 3.5" x 2.5") and it shuts with a magnet. You get six mostly pastel shades for the price but to be honest, I thought the only respectable one of the lot was the brown eyeshadow on the far right. All the shades have a satin finish.


The swatches:

L-R: Light taupe grey, pale yellow, mint green, pale cornflower blue, pale beige, medium brown


They look quite all right in the swatches, don't they? Decent.

Well, the problem I have with the five light eyeshadows is that once I've blended them out, they all look pretty much the same. The grey and the blue end up looking ashy. Faded out, the mint green and the pale yellow would resemble the pale beige. I can hardly tell the difference! Ashy and beige become one!

The brown shade is the only one able to hold its own. It's not unique but at least, it's a lovely bronzy brown.

I've worn these eyeshadows numerous times but I won't bother to show you a couple of the eye looks. They were just, yes, ashy and/or beige.

However, the following eye looks were okay (not wow), I thought, but that's only because in one, I had used predominantly the brown shade and in the other, I used the orange Exotica (one of the Catrice Coolibri Eye Shadow Pens) as a base.

Note: For all the swatches and the first eye look, I've used the Etos Eyeshadow Underbase as my eyeshadow primer.

Products used:
Ready For Boarding Eyeshadow Palette - pale yellow and brown
GOSH Velvet Touch Eye Liner - Metallic Brass
Catrice Lashes to Kill Mascara - Black Green



Products used:
Ready For Boarding Eyeshadow Palette - pale yellow, pale blue and brown
GOSH Velvet Touch Eye Liner - Metallic Brass
Catrice Lashes to Kill Mascara - Black Green

For this second eye look, I applied the pale cornflower blue on the orange of Exotica.

"Where is the blue?" I hear you ask.

My point exactly! It just 'ashened' the orange.

Perhaps it's worth pointing out that this Essence palette was made in China. Many of the Essence/Catrice products that I've purchased were made in countries like Italy, Poland, France, Germany and Luxembourg, so seeing 'Made in China' here is unusual. Oh, I don't know.........

Enough said!


Essence website

Thursday, 9 August 2012

SheerinO'kho: Outdoor Meetings Wintertime Face Cream Review


On the box, SheerinO'kho has just this simple tagline: Natural skincare for active lives.

Intelligent skincare presented in aesthetically pleasing packaging is how I see it. You've read a bit about the brand in my SheerinO'kho Eye Cream review. Briefly, it offers premium skincare solutions to address the effects the environment has on the skin, for example, temperature changes, sun exposure, pollution and air-conditioning.


Never mind the unconventional name. However it is translated, it boils down to being outdoors in winter. The SheerinO'kho Outdoor Meetings Wintertime Face Cream was developed to help protect the skin and minimise sensitivity to the rigours of winter (and autumn) weather.

SheerinO'kho says (excerpts):

.....this face cream is designed for lovers of sport, hiking or gardening in the crisp autumn and winter air, protecting their skin from the effects of wind, biting cold, rain and sun.

Concentration in active ingredients of 20.45%. A fusion of more than 20 extracts including Buriti, Candle Tree, Baobab, Larch, Pea peptide, Acerola, Tamarindus Indica, Myrothamnus Flabellifolia, Indian Senna, Tamanu, Mourera Fluviatilis, Jojoba, Cupuaçu, Tucuma and Shea.



Ingredients:
Water, glycerin,tamanu oil, sunflower oil, pea extract, buriti oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, jojoba oil, cetearyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate, cupuaçu butter, shea butter, sucrose, astrocaryum vulgare kernel oil, pca, serine, arginine, benzyl alcohol, potassium palmitoyl hydrolyzed wheat protein, undecylenoyl glycine, proline, xanthan gum,alanine, baobab oil, cassia angustifolia seed polysaccharide, capryloyl glycine, parfum, trehalose, cassia alata leaf, threonine, tamarindus indica polysaccharide, tocopherol, glycogen, dehydroacetic acid, larch wood extract, mourera fluviatilis, sodium hydroxide, myrothamnus flabellifolia extract, acerola fruit extract, isoeugenol, linalool, geraniol, citronellol, limonene, citric acid, benzyl salicylate, eugenol, citral.

This face cream has the same gold-toned lockable dispenser as the Eye Cream.


And just like the eye cream, the texture of the SheerinO'kho Outdoor Meetings Wintertime Face Cream is light and neither oily nor sticky. Actually, it feels more like a very light lotion. It spreads easily and I typically use three-four drops for the whole face each time.


I'd gone through this bottle last year, also covering a short period in summer (40ml lasts about six months, used twice daily) and well, I have only nice things to say about it. My skin soaked up its goodness and in all the time that I used this face cream, my skin was nicely plumped and always nourished. And I love its subtle sweet herbal-earthy scent too.

In addition to that, there was another improvement to my skin. Rosacea. I haven't got severe rosacea but before, it did ocassionally rear its ugly red head cheeks, especially in winter, when entering a very warm indoor space from the biting cold outside.

Well, I haven't had any facial flushing ever since using this face cream, certainly not last autumn/winter. I thought nothing of it initially but it dawned on me some months later that SheerinO'kho may have had something to do with this.

The thing is, I checked the SheerinO'kho website afterwards and it says that this face cream has been proven effective as a daily treatment against rosacea and broken capillaries. A-hah!


Good stuff but I'll admit, it's on the pricier side: €58 for 40ml / 1.35 fl.oz (as per its website). Prices may vary when purchasing through authorised SheerinO'kho retailers. The bottle, by the way, comes with its own elegant protective sheath.

SheerinO'kho products are made in France (Provence), using fresh spring water from the Durance river that runs from the southern French Alps. Its products contain various and often uncommon botanical active ingredients sourced from all over the world. It uses no parabens, no PEG, no colouring and no artificial fragrance, preferring to have its products naturally scented with essential oils.

Oh, one more thing gleaned from its website: This face cream has even been tested in Antartica!


Further reading:
Disclosure and my review of the SheerinO'kho Eye Cream
SheerinO'kho website

Friday, 3 August 2012

Adorned Nails: Teeez Coffee to Go


It's a warm, glowing golden brown/bronze polish today. This is Teeez Coffee to Go from the Scandalous Nail Lacquer range.


Coffee to Go applied all right - the usual two coats here - but I had some issues with bubbling which you may or may not see in these photos due to the shimmer shine. Price: €4.90 (8.5ml).


Do you remember Teeez Smooth, that awesome pink holo polish featured last year? I figured I'd try layering it over Coffee to Go. I did my best to apply a very thin layer so as not to overwhelm Coffee to Go but as is typical of holos, Smooth had pretty good coverage any which way.

Nevertheless, I think Coffee to Go has managed to give Smooth some golden depth and extra warmth.




I was pleasantly surprised to get Coffee to Go, along with some other items, in the mail from Teeez a couple of weeks ago. The Scandalous Nail Lacquer range belongs to the City Trip collection which actually has been available since early this year. I had seen the collection in stores in January/February and had bought a multi-glitter topcoat from the same range. You can see Teeez Fireworks in this post here.


Teeez website