Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Purchase - MAC Black Knight Lipstick and Blackware Gloss - It Depends

image from maccosmetics.com

OK. Let me first start with a little rant.
/rant
You kids have it soooo easy these days. Do you know how hard it was to be a freak when I was your age? We didn't have Hot Topic. We didn't have easy access to Doc Marten's We DIDN'T HAVE THE INTERWEBZ! When we wanted to look like a freak, and by the way, I was Old Skool when it was just Skool, we had to MAKE our clothing. We had to sew our pants up so they were "skinny jeans" we had to BUY vinyl from the fabric store and make our own pleather skirts. When we wanted freaky nail polish, we had to MAKE our own by mixing colors and adding glitter. Yeah. Glitter found in craft stores! Better yet. we sometimes used SHARPIES on our nails & covered it with clear nail polish! We didn't have green hair dye at ready access. We had to us LIME JELL-O. When we wanted black lipstick, ya know what we did? We used black eye liner and lip balm! AND WE LIKED IT!


(OK. We really didn't like it. Revlon black eyeliner tasted gross and wore unevenly. Wet N Wild had a decent eye liner but it wasn't black enough. and none of it was lip safe I'm sure. I dread thinking about the toxic chemicals I ingested in the name of freak beauty)

So there you go. MAC comes out with a black lipstick AND gloss in their Style Black Collection and you baby freaks with your McDonalds punk clothing and your clip in pink hair extensions can saunter into your local MAC counter and just pick up a little tube of freakdom. I hate you!

/end rant

You might be asking yourself
”Does an over 35 suburban mom have any need for a black lipstick and lip gloss?”

The standard answer is
“NO!”

The makeup addict answer is
“It Depends”

“It Depends” is a crutch. It allows makeup addicts, such as myself, to purchase almost ANY makeup item, within reason. “It Depends” gives one latitude to purchase bright fuchsia lipstick, ultramarine blue eye shadow and green nail polish AND wear them all together. OK. Actually “It Depends” does not give THAT much latitude. It shouldn’t at least, but some ladies have been known to abuse “It Depends” from time to time.

Back to the matter at hand. The New MAC Style Black collection hit stores last Thursday and in a mere matter of seconds many items were sold out. Typical MAC frenzy. Fortunately I was able to snag a few items from this collection. Most noted is the black lipstick and lip gloss.

Now I have heard some rumblings from certain someones ::cough JOEYBUNNY cough:: that the gloss was too sheer and so was the lipstick. That told me that it was most likely going to be perfect for my uses. A sheer black lip gloss is exactly what I “needed” to tone down some bright lipsticks and to deepen some other lipsticks for the neat-o dark Autumn look.

So let’s look at the lipstick first. It’s called Black Knight
Sorry for the wonky pic angle. google blogger was acting up.

This is the cremesheen formula. The lipstick is super creamy and slick. It is translucent bordering on opaque (depending on how many coats you apply) It has a very nice shine to it without gloss and wears fairly well.

The Lip gloss is called Blackware.


It is part of the Glimmerglass formula. It comes in a tube about the size of MAC Dazzleglass and it has the hefty $18 price tag as well. The gloss comes with a brush applicator (versus a doe foot) and is sheer. It is not opaque by any stretch of the imagination…even with layering. You are not going to get an opaque black lip from this gloss. The gloss is smooth and not sticky.

I adore the brush applicator but it’s not an easy gloss to apply evenly. I end up applying some of it and using my pinkie or ring finger to smooth it out and pat it on. It wears as well as most other MAC glosses.

So here is how I used the lipstick and gloss. I just wanted to show you what it looks like applied alone and then I’ll show you how it looks applied over various bright lipsticks.

Lipstick only Applied with brush to line lips and then directly from the tube.

Lipstick and Gloss. Gloss applied using brush wand.

See. It looks pretty good right?....I mean for a black lipstick. Not something I could get away with at the local Safeway supermarket, but maybe if I got my fat butt downtown and went to one of the local goth clubs I could look like a complete poseur!

OK. So here we go. The lip swatch-a-thon. And trust me. I took more than just 3 pictures. I did like 3 other lipsticks, but these are the ones where my lips didn't look like they were going to peel off...which is what they felt like by the 4th lipstick. *note to self. Do not attempt to do more than three lip swatches in one evening.

Guerlain Fluer de Feu Kiss Kiss Stick Gloss

Fluer de Feu with MAC Black Knight lipstick applied with a brush

Clinique Buttershine lipstick in Parisian Red applied with brush and straight from tube.

Parisian Red and MAC Glimmergloss in Blackware applied with a brush

Besame Red Hot Red Lipstick applied with a brush.

Red Hot Red and MAC Black Knight lipstick applied with a brush.

As you can see. The addition of a black lipstick and/or gloss drastically changes the color and tone of the lipstick. Sometimes good sometimes not so good. You'll need to experiment with your own shades. Honestly, I wish I had a bright fuchsia lipstick. like MAC Girl About Town or OCC Lip Tar in Anime to show you how amazing it looks with a black gloss or lipstick mixed in. You'll gust have to take my word for it.

Do you NEED this? Honestly. No. You are probably just as well off picking up a cheap Wet N Wild black lipstick from the Halloween display. While the lipstick formula is very nice, I honestly can’t endorse spending the money on one. The gloss is another story. I think it’s a fairly decent gloss and works well with other colors so if you want to spend the money go for it, but honestly, you can probably find a less expensive gloss out there some where.

MAC Cremesheen lipstick in Black Knight costs $14 USD
MAC Glimmergloss lip gloss in Blackware costs $18 USD

Monday, September 28, 2009

Purchase - MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator Redux

image from maccosmetics.com

OK. I will totally not take offense if you skip this post. It's going to be long and full of chemical names & explanations and honestly a bit of obsessive compulsive focus on the order of ingredients. I'm just letting you know so you can switch over to another blog..or book mark this story for when you need help falling asleep.

So why even create a post that has the potential to numb the minds of readers? Because I am passionate! I may not be passionate about politics or world history or anything else but I AM passionate about a product that makes my skin beautiful. (Partly because I rarely find products that work for my skin and partly because I'm incredibly self centered and vain!)


When I heard news about MAC re-releasing the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator (VAE) I was overjoyed! I fell in love with this black gooey scrub last year. You can read about my pleading to MAC via haiku about VAE here. With baited breath I waited for September 24th to arrive. I circled it on my calender, I checked the MAC website every day the week of the release...hoping it would show up on line earlier than the official release date (it did).
I quickly ordered 2 tubes of the VAE as soon as I saw it on the web.

This is where the problems started. MAC did their exceptional quick delivery and accurate shipping. I have no complaints about that. No. The first problem was that the VAE is now sold in TUBE form rather than TUB form. The new VAE is almost a full ounce less than the old VAE and the new VAE costs 50 cents more than the old one. Bummer! Seriously. I understand that the economy sucks, but I can't imagine that the costs of the materials went up THAT much that MAC needed to cut the size and raise the cost. Bleh.


Speaking of the ingredients. The only NEW ingredients in the new VAE is an iron oxide (colorant) and the addition of SILICA. Yes. Silica. Sand. So the pure wonderful scrubbiness from the old VAE is not the same scrubbiness of the new VAE. Sugar was the original and only exfoliator in the Old VAE. Apparently people left their old VAEs in the shower and the heat and moisture melted the sugar in the old VAEs. In order to combat losing the actual exfoliation properties of the old VAE, MAC decided to add silica. This would still keep it "scrubby" even if the sugar melted due to heat/moisture/whatever. So that's a good thing right? Well. Not entirely.

It's great for a body scrub, but not so great for using on your face. The sugar crystals melt as you scrub, since you add water when scrubbing. But silica dosen't melt. I think that silica is just too harsh for the delicate skin on your face. That does not mean that you can't use the new VAE, you just need to use a lighter hand when scrubbing. Be careful not to over scrub or apply too much pressure when using the scrub on your face. If you scrub too hard you may actually create tiny microscopic cuts on your face in which bacteria can get into and can cause acne or other skin issues.

So with the addition of Silica to the ingredients, and the new tube to hold the product MAC had to change the formula so that the new VAE would be easily dispensed though the tube. Basically it is thicker than the old formula. This is NOT the exact same VAE.

However, all is not lost. When looking at the list of ingredients, and comparing the two I noticed 2 KEY ingredients that are in the same order and that means the same percentage is in the new formula compared to the old formula. The 2 key ingredients? Sucrose (sugar) and Volcanic Ash (awesomeness). So that's good.

Do you NEED this? Well. I'll begrudgingly say yes. But under protest. Only because there is no alternative. (You can't get the old version) The new version, while not exactly the same, is close enough.


Note that Sucrose and Volcanic Ash are in the same order in the old and new versions.


Ingredients explained:

Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate is a natural, food grade, emulsifiers derived from the sodium salt of lactic acid. It is a moisturizing foaming agent and emulsifier


Translation: It’s a foaming soap and makes the sugar granules and/or silica suspend rather than settle to the bottom of the product


DISODIUM COCO-GLUCOSIDE CITRATE: Disodium Coco-Glucoside Citrate is the disodium salt of the ester of citric acid andCoco-Glucoside (q.v.).DISODIUM COCO-GLUCOSIDE CITRATE has reported used in the following product types: shampoo ; body wash/cleanser ; facial cleanser ; bubble bath

Translation: It’s another foaming soap and non irritating to eyes & nasal membranes


Sulfosuccinate is an unusually mild surfactant which is suitable for the manufacture of quality cosmetic products including shampoos, bubble baths , cleaning lotions, liquid hand cleaner, dishwashing liquid and baby preparation. This products has outstanding foaming properties and is non – irritating to mucous membranes. The low level of eye irritation is an important characteristic of this material.


Translation: A wetting agent that allows two or more liquids to combine and create “slip”


Lauramidopropyl Betaine Origin: A synthetic compound obtained by the extensive chemical modification of lauric acid, a natural fatty acid.Function: Antistatic agent / Surfactant

Translation: A wetting agent that allows two or more liquids to combine and create “slip”

Methyl Gluceth-20: Glucose is a natural component of the stratum corneum layers of skin that binds water and hydrates skin. Glucose moisturizers, including Methyl gluceth-10 and -20, are water-soluble emollients (allow oil and water to mix), humectants (water retention) and moisturizers derived naturally from corn sugar and corn starch. Methyl Gluceth is considered a special moisturizing agent due to its moisture retentive qualities and ability to open pores and follicles. Its therapeutic uses include atopic eczema, clogged pores, skin dryness, roughness and itching, wrinkles. It is noted for its safety and mildness that imparts a smooth and silky feel on the skin. It is frequently used in creams and cosmetics along with other ingredients to improve skin hydration.


Translation: A chemical that allows water & oil to mix and moisturizes skin


PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate is a water and alcohol soluble emollient derived from coconut oil and glycerin. It is anionic and compatible with other ionics in formulation. It is used as an emulsifying agent and as a secondary surfactant with a moisturizing effect due to its refatting properties. It is ideally suited for use in haircare and bath products such as shampoos, liquid soaps, body washes, shower gels, and facial cleansers where its luxurious after feel combined with its solubilization and emulsification properties are best employed. As a solubilizer, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate is useful in coupling essential oils or fragrances into surfactant-based systems. Due to its dual solubility, it can be particularly useful in after-shave lotions, splashes or colognes that contain alcohol.

Translation: Rids your skin of the after rinsing film that make come from using soap products. But also can be used as a foaming soap


Ethylhexylglycerin servces as a surfactant and preservant enhancer and acts as a safe preservative in minute amounts. It’s a proven preservative-enhancer and is often used instead of controversial parabens. Ethylhexylglycerin is a synthetic compound derived from grains and plants and works by reducing interfacial tension on the cellular walls of micro-organisms, promoting their more rapid destruction and a wider spectrum activity


Translation: A preservative


Caprylyl Glycol, which is probably the most effective humectant* available today. It is naturally derived from coconut and has the unique property of protecting against microbial growth from bacteria and yeast while giving the finished product exceptional feel. caprylyl glycol. Skin-conditioning agent that may be plant-derived or synthetic. Often used as part of a preservative blend with phenoxyethanol and chloroxylenol, two preservatives that meet current global regulations.

Translation: A moisturizer

Hexylene Glycol is used as a solvent and viscosity decreasing agents in cosmetics and personal care products.


Translation: It makes a product less thick


Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate The most gentle detergents available to cleanse but also respect the skin & hair. Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate is the sodium salt of the Cocoyl Glutamic Acid (q.v.). It conforms generally to the formula: where RCO- represents the fatty acids derived from coconut oil. SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE has reported used in the following product types: facial cleanser; body wash/cleanser; shampoo; bubble bath


Translation: A cleanser


Phenoxethanol is the aromatic ether alcohol. Fragrance Ingredient; Preservative


Translation: A fragranced preservative

volcanic ash When applied to the skin’s surface, this soothing clay lifts, firms and exfoliates, resulting in a revitalized and more youthful-looking complexion. It also has the unique ability to draw out toxins and impurities that are embedded deep within the skin’s pores.Volcanic ash clay also known as sodium bentonite clay is formed when the ash, which results from a volcanic eruption, mixes with water. The result is clay, which contains an extensive concentration of a number of minerals. These minerals have been found to have a number of healthy benefits.
These minerals have been found to create a significant difference in the health and vitality of the skin when applied in the form of masks and masques. When applying this volcanic ash clay to the skin it helps to lift and firm the skin. It also can help to exfoliate the skin as well which lifts dead cells and can provide a radiant look to the skin. Sodium Bentonite clay or volcanic ash clay because of its mineral content can draw toxins out of the skin it can also help to draw out a number of impurities. These impurities and toxins are some of the things, which cause skin conditions like acne, and blemishes, which can lower self-esteem. Using a clay mask can help to pull out oils, and other substances, which leads to these types of blemishes. Clay treatments can also help to reduce the appearance of cellulite, sun damage, wrinkles and even stretch marks. The secret is the minerals, which make up the volcanic ash clay.

Translation: Awesomeness




image from maccosmetics.com
In memorial.
RIP original VAE

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Poll



There has been a feud in my home for the past week. It's been long and drawn out and crippling. Who is feuding? My Machines! My Computer refuses to talk to my Camera, and vice versa. I have a ton 'o pictures on my camera yet, when I plug my camera into the computer The computer refuses to recognize it. The two devices are not on speaking terms. Even when I take the memory card out of the camera and plug that into the computer...nope. nothing. The computer knows that the memory card is from the camera and continues the stalemate on talks. I imagine mediating talks between a union and an employer must be as frustrating. Sure lipstick swatches aren't as important as getting better retirement benefits but in the beauty blogosphere dang...they might as well be freakin gold! So that's why you have seen so many posts this week with stock photos or "updates" from MAC and Sephora. Yeah. I had to take a lazy way of blogging this week. I like earning my comments that people leave. Not by re-hashing some e-mail I got ...that you probably got too...but by showing you all an actual product, describing my experience with it, loving it or hating it and telling you if you should even bother buying it...that's what I love about blogging. So this week is a wash. I hope to settle the fight between Computer and Camera this weekend. If I don't, expect to see more posts about stuff I don't need to photograph. Ballz! Oh no. I didn't mean I'll be reviewing "Ballz". No; quite the contrary. It's just a slang expression to show frustration and disappointment.
On to the poll.


1. Blush Of The Day? - Chanel Jouse Contraste Blush in Narcisse. I have a serious dip in the blush. I'm hoping to hit pan some time next summer!


2. Last item in which you "hit pan"? (Face powder does not count..too easy) - My ArtDeco eye shadow primer. I scooped the last bits out this morning. On to my next jar! Oh and I had hit pan on my Chantecaille The Coral compact a year ago, but someone ::cough Mr. Sith cough:: knocked it off the counter and it finally shattered everywhere. It's OK. I wasn't really using it, but I still had not taken pictures for my PAN PRON extravaganza. Oh well. Not like I would have been able to get those pics off my stupid camera anyway.


3.
Which of Snow White's 7 dwarfs describes you best and why? (Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey) - I think I'm Grumpy...what with the camera issues and all.

4. How many blushes do you own? - 11 or 12 if you count the one in the Chantecaille palette. I had an epiphany a few years ago that I pretty much only like to wear my Chanel blushes. Once in a while a non Chanel blush will catch my eye, but for the most part I decided to stick with Chanel. It's easier for me because I seriously had over 25 blushes to choose from and it was giving me a headache in the morning when I did my makeup. I was starting to become a "Blush Hoor" and already being a "Taupe Hoor" and "Foundation Hoor" and "Highlighter Hoor", bing a "Blush Hoor" seemed too much. Now my blush stash is much more manageable and I don't feel like I'm missing any colors. I have exactly what I need. *do not use this statement against me the next time I buy a new blush and write about it here*


5. Do you make your bed every morning or do you leave it unmade? - I leave it unmade. Mostly because Mr. Sith and I wake up at different times and you can't make a bed if there is someone in it. Plus. I really don't see a need to make it every day since I'm just gonna get it messy that night. We change our sheets every week, so on Sundays it's wonderful to get into a freshly made bed, but honestly, I don't have the time or energy to do it every day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sephora's NEW 500 Point Beauty Insider Gift

image from sephora.com

Well I guess Sephora got the news about the last sucktastic palette and decided to switch up the 500 point Beauty Insider (BI) gift.

This time your 500 BI points get you a Kat von D eye shadow palette described as having "Four Glitter Flecked Shades". I wonder if there is more glitter in these shadows than Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again?...nah, not possible. The purple shade looks promising. However...just so you know. Kat von D makeup is essentially Sephora brand makeup in a different package. I'm not saying it's bad or poor quality, but buyer beware.

So. will you be cashing in your 500 BI points for this palette?

I think I have about 800 points right now, and I think I'm going to pass on this.

Also check out other codes to use at checkout here
I'm fond of the AmorePacific's Enzyme Face Peel (code AMORE) a little goes a long way. I need to doa review on this too!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MAC Style Black Collection is On Line NOW!

image from maccosmetics.com


MAC Style Black Collection is up on
maccosmetics.com Click here for a direct link.

The new collection is bittersweet.
I'm excited that they have re-released the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator that I love so much, but I'm so very bummed that my beloved Volcanic Ash Exfoliator is in a tube. Not only is it 50 cents more expensive it's almost a full ounce less than the one they had last year!
This year Tube: $19.50 = 3.4 fl oz
Last year Jar: $19.00 = 4.5 fl oz


Grr. That didn't stop me from ordering 2 of them. What can I say? I'm addicted.

I also picked up a black lipstick and gloss. I know they are sheer but I'm OK with that.


So? What are you getting from this collection?

Mineralize Eye Shadow @ US $19.50 four colors
Gilt By Association
Young Punk
Cinderfella
Blue Flame

Penultimate Eye Liner @ US $16.50 one color
Rapidblack

Greasepaint Stick @ $17.50 one color
Black

Eye Kohl @ $14.50 one color
Smolder

Lipstick @ $14.00 one color
Black Knight

Mattene Lipstick @ $14.50 two colors
Night Violet
Midnight Media

Glimmerglass @ $18.00 three colors
Blackware
Bling Black
Blackfire

Cream Colour Base @ $16.50 two colors
Black
Bat Black

Nail Lacquer @ 12.00 three colors
Nocturnelle
Seriously Hip
Baby Goth Girl

Volcanic Ash Exfoliator Volcanic Ash Exfoliator
$19.50

Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask
$19.50

214 Short Shader Brush 214 Short Shader Brush
$23.00

Monday, September 21, 2009

Press Sample - Parfums DelRae - MYTHIQUE

Diane Huntress (portrait of Diane de Poitiers) c. 1550, Anonymous painter of the School of Fontainebleau (Paris, Musée du Louvre).


DelRae Roth has a new addition to his line of fragrances! Available now, Mythique, will join the five existing fragrances in the DelRae Collection.

Inspired by a painting Diane Chasseresse (translates to Diane Huntress), depicting the French Renaissance figure, Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of Henri II, and the great rival of Henri’s wife, Catherine de Medici. Diane de Poitiers became a woman of mythical beauty, intelligence, and charm. Widowed at a very young age, she always dressed in black and white while wearing simple, yet beautiful jewels. She was a woman who lived with passion and she is the muse for DelRae’s newest perfume; MYTHIQUE.

Oh and by the way. Henri the II gave Diane a Chateau and Diane was 20 years his senior. You can understand that Catherine would be pissed about her husband having a cougar mistress …that’s why, when Henry II was critically injured in a jousting accident, she never once let Diane see him (although it is written that he called for her many times), nor did she allow Diane to attend the funeral. Later Diane was banished to her Chateau and lived to 67 in quiet luxury and anonymity. The story itself is mythical so it makes sense that DelRae chose this figure for his new perfume.




The perfume centers around a very beautiful yet costly Orris Butter from Florence, Italy. Orris root essential oil (AKA Orris Butter) is one of the most precious perfume materials. The roots need to be peeled and aged for a long time before extraction and distillation. It is invaluable in perfumery, for its powdery and delicate aroma and its role in floral compositions (especially violet-like). Orris is also used to soften woody, floriental and oriental compositions. The Orris Butter combined with flowers found around Diane de Poitiers’ Chateau in the Loire Valley make an exceptional and complex perfume.

The notes are
Mandarin, Italian Bergamot, Ivy,
Peony, Jasmin concrete Sambac, Florentine Orris Butter
Sandalwood, Patchouli Indonesia, Ambrette Musk

So this fragrance is NOT flowery despite all the Peony, Jasmine etc. It is a great Iris fragrance. If you don’t like Iris, you probably won't like this scent, but seriously, if you do like iris, this is one knockout of a scent.

The crisp Mandarin and Bergamot greet you once you apply. Like walking into a French Chateau’s garden. You open up the ivy covered gate and are greeted with rich citrus trees that line the garden. Heavy with fruit, you pick an Italian Bergamot Orange and the oils from the skin seem to mix in the air. The bright pink peonies gather by your ankles and the scent almost envelops you…but you see in the center of the garden... Iris! So beautiful with the blue to white to yellow gradation. You wonder how nature could have created such a perfect delicate flower. The iris are strong and tall and drip the remains of the morning dew on your toes as you wander into the Chateau. A box made of sandalwood is on the table in the parlor. It is next to a vase of fresh cut iris. The two scents mingle to form a powdery embrace, which gives way to the Indonesian patchouli that seems to permeate the walls. It’s not overpowering, but at times it can seem to bully the delicate iris. You decide right then and there that being banished to a Chateau isn’t all that bad. After all, you still have your wealth and your looks… and there is a rather attractive Duke living down the way…

Chenonceau, in the Loire Valley, which was a gift to Diane from Henri.

50 mL /1.7 oz costs $135 The EDP can be purchased directly from Parfums DelRae at www. parfumsdelrae.com or by clicking on the store locator from the website here


all images from parfumesdelrae.com

Friday, September 18, 2009

Purchase - BORBA Orbital Eye Rejuvenator Soy | Silk Fiber Eye Treatment.

image from borba.com

There are some products in the beauty world that are very subjective. That means. Your Results May Vary (YRMV)…and they usually do from person to person. Mascara being the biggest culprit of YRMV followed closely by eye cream. At last count there were 21,093,712,084,361,290,846 eye creams on the market (not scientific or real number). I think I have tried about all but 10 of them. So only 10 more to go! YAY! So what was number 21,093,712,084,361,290,835? BORBA Orbital Eye Rejuvenator Soy | Silk Fiber Eye Treatment.
I know what you are thinking.
“BORBA?”
“Elvira! That’s just a bunch of snake oil.”
“Don’t they sell powered drinks claiming to ‘fix’ your skin and don’t they sell gummy vitamins and stuff?”

Yes. Yes. They do.

I honestly did not set out to buy this product. I’m very skeptical of such claims that BORBA makes.

According to the BORBA.com website:
"This exclusive BORBA eye treatment formulated with Soy and silk fiber helps soothe the delicate eye area, locking in vital moisture for improved softness, smoothness, and more youthful looking skin. Palmitoyl Oligopeptide works with skin’s own natural collagen to help diminish signs of aging, softening visible lines and wrinkles. Skin brighteners help diminish the look of dark circles. This luxurious, multi-benefit eye treatment is designed to minimize the look of fine lines and crow’s feet while re-energizing a younger appearance."
However in a recent order from beauty.com I received a sample packet of the BORBA Orbital Eye Rejuvenator and I decided to give it a try.

I open the sample packet and, Woah! This is a really rich cream! Thick and lightly scented. I dab it on my under eyes using my ring finger. I find that I only need a tiny bit to tap lightly abound my entire eye…even on the lid. I go to bed and ya know what happened the next morning?

NOTHING.

No. BORBA Orbital Eye Rejuvenator did not provide an overnight miracle, but I kept using it until I ran out. I got 2 weeks of use from that sample! I looked at my eyes and lo and behold I noticed no dryness and a slight firming of my lid area. Humm. Could this eye cream be ....how do you say?….working? The only way to tell was to buy a full size product and keep using it. I saw that it costs $38 for 0.5 oz tub. Honestly, as eye creams go, that’s not too bad. So I added it to my cart and waited. Thankfully Beauty.com practically ships overnight (not really) but I had my order in 2 days and just in time. My eye area was starting to feel a bit dry and I needed my “fix”. I used the eye cream for 3 more weeks and I can tell you I definitely saw results.
My eyelid was slightly lifted and had less droop.
My eye area was smoother and I didn’t notice additional lines (but in 5 weeks I doubt I would have had extra lines form)
My eye area seemed firmer and brighter and just all around better!
I like the results from this eye cream. I like that I do notice an increase in firmness. I’m pleased.

As far as the ingredients go...I find it amusing that they list SILK in the name of the product but it’s one of the last ingredients in the list (so that means it’s barely any in there). I was also a bit sad to see “Dimethicone” in the ingredients list. I’m usually sensitive to silicones but so far no problems...but if you are sensitive to silicones steer clear of this product.

The packaging is the basic tub. No spatula included so that’s a tad irritating that they expect you to use your fingers. I would prefer a hygienic pump or squeeze tube, but I make do by using clean fingers.

Do you NEED this? Maybe. Eye cream works differently on everyone. As I said YRMV. I suggest trying to get a sample first, but if you don’t mind the cost (Hey, I’ve spent a TON-o-Money on all those other eye creams so you might be like me, and are immune to the cost) you should at least pick it up.

Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Isocetyl Stearate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Dimethicone, PEG-40 Stearate, Sorbitan Tristearate, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Bisabolol, Ceramide 2, Panthenol, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Papain, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Ascorbic Acid, Creatine, Hydrolyzed Silk, Heptapeptide-1, Tripeptide-29, Algae Extract, Iron Oxides, Silica, N-Hydroxysuccinimide

P.S. Be careful reading the BORBA website. I started to get suckered into all the hype. I almost found myself with a shopping cart full of stuff. I, thankfully, resisted and purchased nothing. Peruse the site at your own risk. You can buy directly from BORBA.com, or from Dermstore.com, Beauty.com, SkincareRX.com and SkinStore.com

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Poll


Mr. Sith and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this week. We were married a few days after September 11 and as Mr. Sith likes to say “It was a bad week that ended well.” This year, for our anniversary, we both took the day off and went to a movie & lunch together. Now that we have Darthypie, going out to a movie is a special treat. Honestly it’s not financially sound to go to a move during the evening. That would require a baby sitter AND the cost of the movie which would make an $18 evening turn into a $50 evening. Let’s face it. I’d rather buy makeup with that money. Mr. Sith and I decided on our first anniversary that we would follow the “traditional gifts” for anniversaries. i.e. Paper for the 1st, Cotton for the 2nd, etc. I did really well with my gifts…or so I like to think…and Mr. Sith did OK on his….so HE likes to think…but this year, the 8th, was Bronze. Honestly I couldn’t come up with anything suitable for a Bronze gift. The rule is that you can’t spend more than $20 on the gift. Honestly I couldn’t find anything I wanted to give him that was a) Bronze and b) Under $20. Mr. Sith had the same problem so we went without gifts this year and just did a card exchange. We are quite a sappy pair. We usually get 2 to 3 cards each. We both gave each other the sweet romantic “you are my everything” cards in the morning. Awww. Then after the movie we both had cards to exchange again. Mr. Sith gave me my card, and I gave him his card. Guess what? We had picked the identical card for each other! How gross is that? Don’t you just hate us? Yeah. We hate us too. We laughed and realized that we are perfect for one another. We both have the lame and dark sense of humor and obviously excellent taste in greeting card selection. By The Way, the movie we saw was District 9. Most amazing movie I have ever seen. A new standard in story, acting, and special effects has been set. If you haven’t seen it yet. Get thee to a movie theater STAT!
On to the poll!


1. Lip Of The Day – Lunasol Intellectual Lips in #25 Beige Pink. A warm nude light pink. A great color with smokey eyes OR to distract from the fact that you have a huge zit on your upper lip. Honestly. Lunasol lipsticks are as good as Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks. If they didn’t cost so darn much I would have more of them.


2. Do you squeeze the toothpaste from the top or the bottom? – Ah ha! This is a trick question because I squeeze from the middle! It drives Mr. Sith so crazy...to the point that we each have our own toothpaste tubes. Once the middle is flattened out from all my squeezing I squeeze up from the bottom to make a new middle. Hee hee!


3. What are you waiting on in the mail? – Aside from my Giorgio Armani Foundation and lipstick which I mentioned on Tuesday, HERE. I am waiting on my Chanel nail polish in JADE and my Rouge Allure Laque in Ming! Quite the Chinese theme going on. The Jade nail polish is a light pistachio green. I can’t wait to post pics of it for you all!


4. Fall beauty trend(s) that you didn’t think you would like but are finding yourself strangely attracted to it. – I guess the Black lipstick and Matte nail polishes. I’m honestly thinking of getting a black lipstick from the new MAC collection coming out next Thursday. I hear they are sheer, but I’m OK with that. Maybe I will use them over my more brightly colored lipsticks for an interesting look. As far as matte nail polish goes. I have 2 now and I think I want at least one more. I like them. They look neat and better on than I thought they would. Both are by Zoya, one is a deep crimson red and the other a gunmetal grey.


5. What is the weirdest gift you have ever received? – For our wedding, Mr. Sith and I received this resin book ends cat things. It was heinous. Too awful for words. Here’s a picture of it.

a much younger and blonder Pink Sith

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Purchase - Chanel #14 Mystic Eyes



Chanel Mystic Eyes Quadra Eye Shadow was released this past Spring but you can still purchase it directly from Chanel.com or Bloomingdales or Nordstrom. After my wretched Chanel makeover I went back to the Chanel counter and had the regular (and lovely) Sales Associate re-do my makeup. She used the Mystic Eyes quad on me and I was won over by Chanel's quads. I had heard in the past that many of the Chanel Quadra eye shadows are dull and lacking in pigmentation. I must say that either, Chanel got the message and amped up the pigment or the new releases are focusing more on pigmentation for the shadows. Either way, we win!

The pigmentation is decent on this quad. the shadows are sort of on the hard side but not terribly hard by any stretch of the imagination. They are sort of powdery so expect some fall out. They last a decent amount of time. Not a full 12 hours but at least 8-10 depending on the eyeshadow base you use and how oily your lids are. I didn't notice any creasing but there was some fading at the end of a long day. I'm OK with that.

The eye shadow quad itself is a conundrum. Things are not as they appear. The light silvery taupe shade is sheer and meant to be used as a shimmer wash over the entire eye and/or as a highlight for the inner corners of the eye and for the brow bone. The rich copper shade seems out of place among the cool deep brown. The pink? I don't wear pink eye shadow....until now. Once the shadows are combined a beautiful etude appears on your eyes. OK. I'm getting too whimsical too poetic. but I really was surprised how much I enjoy this quad. Had I not had the Chanel SA show me how to wear it, I might have not appreciated it as much as I do. She told me she took a class on how to apply this quad and it was almost the opposite of what I thought.

Here is how she applied the shadows on me:

The light pink shade turns into a sheer base for all over the lid. It's not as pink as it looks in the pan..thank goodness...and has a semi matte appearance to it.
The deep brown shade is use in the crease starting for the inner eye to the middle of the eye.
The Copper shade is used in the crease from the middle of the eye to the outer part of the eye.
That's right! 2 crease shades ladies!
you blend the two crease shades with a clean fluffy brush into the crease and work it slightly above the crease.
Taking a thin flat brush you use the deep brown shade to line the upper and lower lids. ( I like liquid liner so I only used this on the lower lid)
using a fluffy tapered brush you dust the shimmery silvery taupe shade all over the eye (LIGHTLY) and then use a flat and stiffer brush to apply the shimmery shade to the corner of the eyes and town the brow bone if desired.
Viola!

Do you NEED this? Sure! It really is nice and I think it's a limited edition. Once it's gone it's gone. This quad would be better suited for warmer skin tones but neutral ladies take a look at it too. My next Chanel Quad purchase will be Winter Nights. I used to own Winter Nights but I swapped it away in a fit of insanity and have had "swappers remorse" ever since.

EOTD using Chanel Mystic Eyes Quad. Chanel Ecriture de Chanel liquid liner in Brun.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

20 Percent Off at Giorgio Armani Beauty!


I can never resist a good sale...especially when it's cosmetics. Yesterday I saw that Giorgio Armani Beauty had a 20% off code (MAKEOVER) and free shipping with a $50 or more purchase until Friday, September 18, 2009.

Since I have been lemming those eye shadows that Lina at The Beauty Look Book reviewed on her blog I decided this was the opportunity I had been waiting for. I was gonna get one..the greyish taupe one of course and maybe a lipstick too.

After only a few minutes I had $129 of product in my shopping cart. It was time to cull the wheat from the shaft and lighten the dollar amount.

Let's see....I had the Eyes To Kill palette in #1 Steel Black, Lasting Silk UV Foundation in #4 light sand, Sheer Blush in #12 Pale Raspberry, Shine lipstick in #5 Mauve and Silk Lipstick in #23 Rose.

Here's the strange thing. I actually tossed out the eye shadow, blush and one of the lipsticks. I kept the Lasting Silk foundation! I guess I might be a bit Taupe eyeshadowed out! I think in reality it's just that I'm still searching for my holy grail foundation. Well I still have until the 18th of September to use the code if I change my mind.

Expect a review and pictures soon!

Are you going to get anything from the sale?

Do you have any Giorgio Armani Makeup? What is it and do you like it?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Purchase - Chantecaille Sylvie's Personal Palette

image from neimanmarcus.com

I had wanted the new Chantecaille palette ever since I heard of it. What a perfect item I thought. Three eye shadow colors and a blush. I had never once used any Chantecaille eye shadows or blush but I had heard such good things about it I decided to get this palette. This is a limited edition palette for fall. It is called Sylvie’s Personal Palette. Upon first look you see the colors are pretty basic. Easily dupable. I probably have similar colors already in my collection, (except for the blush) so why did I want it so much? I have no idea. I had this irrational NEED for this palette. Perhaps it was the model (Sylvie Chantecaille's Daughter, Oliva.). She is stunning is she not? Perhaps it is the rose design which is stamped into each eye shadow and on the blush. I do love roses and all things rose. Maybe it was the color of the blush. I don’t have anything that shade of pink. Maybe it was the convenience of having a blush picked out for the eye shadow…honestly at 5:45 in the morning I’m not always awake enough to pair blush with eye shadow..This would be a time saver right? Perhaps I didn’t NEED a reason to want this palette. Yes. That’s it. I don’t have to justify every purchase. Sometimes you just get stuff because it’s pretty. Yes. That’s it. So stop judging me!

Let’s start with the case shall we? It’s slim and a purple-y silver. It comes in a smart little leather metallic drawstring bag…however I don’t think you can actually draw it closed...but that’s beside the point right? Once you open the case there is a piece of velum paper with the words "base", "color", "definer" and "cheek" over the appropriate colors.

Palette with overspray:

Palette without overspray:


The eye shadows:

The base eye shadow color is a warm matte bone. Don’t let the glittery look fool you. That’s just overspray. The bone color is almost exactly the same color as my natural skin. It could double for face powder I think. The color is very sheer. Darker skin tones might enjoy this color slightly more than fairer skin tones. The shadow is not soft and not hard. It’s not overly powdery but not creamy. It’s hard to describe. It seems to just attach itself to your brush and then attach itself to your eyelid. It’s just that easy.

The color shadow is a shimmery brownish taupe. The shimmer in the picture is overspray but this is definitely a frosty color. It seems to turn a tad more plum on me than it is in the pan. It makes a lovely crease color. The pigmentation is amazing. You only need a little bit to get a lot of color payoff.

The definer shadow is a plumy brown satin. It is not matte but it is not frosty either. This again has the overspray but once it is gone you are left with a wonderful crease color or liner color or outer V color. Honestly I think if you wanted a really dramatic look you could use this as a crease color with the brown taupe as a lid shade and then use the matte bone color to highlight. Again, the color payoff is amazing and a little goes a long, long way.
The shadows wear really well. These are my first Chantecaille shadows so I can’t draw from past experience but I am floored when I return home from work and my shadow looks as good as it did when I left in the morning. I’m not kidding. This stuff does not fade or crease or anything. It’s wonderful.

The Blush
First let me say that I’m a tad confused as to why Chantecaille decided to pair a cool-ish blush with such warm-ish eye shadow shades…but us neutral girls (Hi! That’s me) will love it. The blush is a neutral to cool-ish pink. The shimmer is overspray this is a satin formula blush with no glitter. I must say that you MUST…let me repeat MUST use a light hand when applying this blush. It is so insanely pigmented. You only need to acquaint your blush brush with the blush in order to get color payoff. Seriously. Anything more than a second on the blush and your brush will be saturated. I recommend using a small skunk brush for an even more diluted color. The blush is my true love in this palette. I don’t have anything like it. It does seem to wear off by the end of the day, but I have oily skin and no blush really lasts all day on me.


So here is the big question. Do you NEED this? Well don’t take my saying “No” as a negative thing. If you are anything like me, you probably have duplicates for the eye shadows already. The price tag is $72 USD. Some may find it spendy as far as makeup goes, but then again, three shadows & a blush for $72 isn’t bad for high end makeup. Plus the palette is refillable…obviously not with the limited edition colors it comes with, but other Chantecaille shadows & blushes can fit into this palette once you finish the original shades. So am I regretting the purchase? Not in the least. I wore this palette for three days straight and didn’t tire of it. The colors are on the warm side for the eyes, but I’m cool with that. Get it Warm and Cool? HA! The blush is to die for and I love it all being in one sleek little package. I’m very happy with it. If you want one you better hurry to your local Neimans or order it on line as soon as possible because once it’s gone, it’s gone. I already saw one for sale on evilbay for $89.99! Yikes! Oh AND the Chantecaille website is FINALLY up and working so you can order DIRECTLY form the manufacturer!

EOTD using the Chantecaille Sylvie's Personal Palette. Definer to line bottom lash line, Color in Crease and Base over lid. Chanel Ecriture de Chanel in Brun to line.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Guest Review by Joeybunny - Purchase - Paul & Joe Beauty!

A few weeks ago I had the happy occasion to meet up with a friend from Makeup Alley, MarleyPugh (hi Marley!), who was in NYC vacationing with her mom and aunt. Being the nice, native New Yorker I am, I just HAD to drag her to Bergdorf Goodman’s Beauty Floor (more like, basement, but it’s a sweet effin’ basement) because Bergdorf does have some extremely hard to find makeup brands. One of these brands is Paul and Joe, which Elvira has mentioned here a few times before. Paul and Joe’s ONLY U.S. counter is at Bergdorf, so it is always a real treat to visit.

Paul and Joe is famous for its incredibly darling packaging, and amazing lipsticks. I had the intention of buying Pearl Powder #3 (a taupe, clearly - refer to Lina’s amazing blog, The Beauty Look Book, for pictures) but it was out of stock. The fabulous counter manager, Hettie, then offered me a makeover using one of the new Fall eyeshadow duos, #063 Breathless. This is what I ended up with (and trust me, I would have bought more had I not been so broke!):



#063 Breathless is one of three new eyeshadow duos Paul and Joe is offering for Fall, along with three new lipsticks (the lipstick I bought is NOT one of these). The other two duos include a blue/blueish-grey and a yellowy beige / medium brown (I might have to get this one also). Now the packaging is absolutely adorable, of course, but the product inside is INCREDIBLE. Now mind you, Hettie removed my eye makeup before applying this duo, and did NOT use eyeshadow base. Dear readers, this eyeshadow lasted THIRTEEN hours without creasing or fading. This means it lasted through my time with Marley, plus six hours at work in a HOT vinyasa yoga studio, a long walk and train ride home, PLUS time at home before I decided to wash my face. And the colors are fabulous! One side is a pretty pinkish beige, which Hettie used as the highlight and base, and a gorgeous aubergine color, which she used in the crease (Pearl Powder #4, a pretty iridescent pink, was my lid color - I will be buying this eventually as well!). This duo retails for $24.


I also chose to buy Lipstick #21, which I believe is called Chocolate Mousse. Don’t let the name fool you, though. It IS more brown than my picture below captures, but it is actually a very lovely plummy-brown that brightens my olive-tan complexion. Hettie did use a plummy lipliner to up the plum factor, but it is fine on its own, I think. The texture and lasting power of this lipstick is new to me. It felt creamy and cushiony but feather-light, and it did last through a delicious lunch courtesy of Marley’s mom. I definitely need to pick up more of these lipsticks! They retail for $20 and are worth the cost - and how pretty do they look? You’ll feel elegant pulling it out of your makeup bag.

I highly recommend getting to the Paul and Joe counter if you’re ever in NYC. If not, do not hesitate to call Bergdorf Goodman directly, as the counter will deliver to you anywhere in the U.S. And if you get to speak with Hettie, even better, as she was quite darling and knowledgeable!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday Poll


Back to school. Each year it brings back the same memories. Some good some bad. Good ones like the fresh pack of crayons, Trapper Keeper notebooks and new backpacks. Buying new clothes was another thing I always looked forward to. I used to get the Fall issue of Seventeen Magazine in the late summer and start circling pages and pages of clothes. I wanted to be so trendy. I wasn't very popular in school. Always kinda stuck between the freaks and geeks...never fitting in with either. I remember one year I got an entire outfit straight out of the pages of Seventeen Magazine. Yes. I was entering the 7th grade. I chose a red sweater vest, a black & gray plaid shirt to wear with the vest and black jeans. (OK not entirely the same outfit. The Jeans in Seventeen were by Guess and the ones I got were by Palmetto..the cheap rip off of Guess Jeans.) My mother decided it all needed to be washed prior to wearing it to school. Not paying attention to the washing instructions, everything shrunk. The day I chose to wear the new outfit, the sweater vest was too tight, the sleeves on the shirt were at my forearms and the pants barely buttoned. I HAD to wear the outfit because I was lectured about HOW MUCH MONEY my parents spent on the new outfit. I wore the outfit to school but it was awful on me. The sweater seemed to cling to any roll of fat (real or imagined) on my torso. It was unusually hot that day so I was sweating in my "new" outfit and by the end of the day my back and underarms were damp from sweat. I raced home after school, took off all my clothes, changed into something that hid all my flaws and ripped up the entire outfit. In a fit of tears and sweat I stuffed all the "evidence" into a garbage bag and secreted it under my bed until such time that I could put it in the trash without my parent's noticing. They never once asked me about that outfit nor do I think they even noticed I never wore it past the first day. The 2nd day of 7th Grade is the day I learned how to do my own laundry.
On to the poll!

1. Blush Of The Day? - Chanel Joues Contraste in Tea Rose. Such a sweet light pink but on the warm side. Dare I say a hint of peach?

2. I'm so over _____ (product/brand/trend/etc) - Mineral Makeup. I'm so over swirl, tap and buff. And I'm already over the 1980's looks in fashion. Been there. Done that.

3. What was your favorite book as a child? I had several but I think Ferdinand was my favorite. the drawings were awesome and the story was sweet.

4. Do you prefer that cosmetics are labeled using numbers (189) or names (Safari)? - I prefer names. Mostly because I forget numbers. Shu Uemura has some numbers I remember, but Chanel started using numbers in place of names for the glossimers and I can't remember ANY of the numbers!

5. Are you a member of the Silent Generation (1925-1945), Baby Boom (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1979), or Generation Y (1980-2000)? - I'm Generation X. I don't even want to think that Generation Z (2000 to present) is reading this blog. If you are. Go ask your mom for permission!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Free Sample - Bond No. 9 Astor Place


The calendar reads September
I resist with a spray
The weather turns gray and cool
I resist with a sniff
Pencils and backpacks invade the kitchen table
I resist with a spray
Sweaters are unpacked from storage
I resist with a sniff
Autumn is upon us but Spring fills my senses
Bond No. 9 Astor Place brings me back to spring
I refuse to douse myself in patchouli just because the calendar says so.
It will forever be Springtime as long as I have Astor Place.

I never had a particular image in my mind when I thought of the ideal floral perfume. But when I had an opportunity to sniff (and wear) Bond No. 9 Astor Place, that image is firmly implanted in my teeny tiny brain.

Bond No. 9 Astor Place debuted on April 1, 2009. Granted I’m several months late in wiring about it, but better late than never. The multi-colored bottle looks like a bouquet of fresh spring blooms and it makes me smile.

According to Bond. the notes of this scent are:
Violet Leaf, Mandarin Zest, Freesia, Red poppy buds, Orris (iris root), teakwood, Musk and Amber

Astor Place would be ideal for The Big Day...the Wedding of course! It's an ideal Mother's day Scent. It's an ideal Office scent to escape from the drudgery of gray cubicles and gray weather. Astor Place is not too strong but not meek either. It is long lasting and has decent silage.

If you are going to buy only one new flowery fragrance this year I recommend Bond No. 9 Astor Place....however, if you are like me and are going to buy a kazillion floral fragrances this year....I stil recommend Bond No. 9 Astor Place. Let's put it this way. I love Bond No. 9 The Scent Of Peace and I got a big bottle of it for my birthday. I sniffed Astor Place and had immediate perfume envy and a slight case of buyers remorse. My next purchase WILL BE Bond No. 9 Astor Place.


Astor Place, the eau de parfum, is available in two sizes: 100ml and 50 ml, at Bond No. 9’s four New York City boutiques, www.bondno9.com, 877-273-3369, and at Saks Fifth Avenue nationwide.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Press Sample - Ramuan Spa - Malaysian Beauty Treatments


As you may or may not know. I have a slight obsession with body scrubs. I’m not sure if it is because of some deeply hidden childhood trauma or the fact that I get a lot of ingrown hairs and suffer from Keratosis Pilaris (KP), or that I love indulging myself with a neat little spa goodie from time to time. Either way, my obsession is your gain as YOU get to read all about the ones I tried and make your own decision on which to buy.

I recently had an opportunity to try 2 scrubs and a face mask from Ramuan Spa Products. A part of Biotropics, Ramuan Spa allows one to enjoy the pampering experience of Malaysia’s legendary spas. I tried the following:
Coconut Body Polish
Coffee Scrub
And
Relaxing Face Mask

Here is what the website says about each of these products:


“Coconut Body Polish - BODY POLISHING with natural herbs and conditioners is a Malaysian ritual to reveal skin of eminently touchable refinement. Coconut and rice exfoliants combine with refreshing Pandanus leaf extract, stimulating circulation for a soft freshness and lasting glow. Smoothes with gentle exfoliants combined with comforting conditioners. Leaves skin at its silky finest.”



“Coffee Scrub - A GENTLE SCRUB reveals enhanced freshness, gently exfoliating and stimulating circulation. Coffee beans and native rice combine with soothing herbal conditioners derived from Pandanus & Cinnamon. Skin at its liveliest delivers a most radiant glow. Helps smooth rough skin. Tones & exfoliates. Conditions and revitalizes, to leave skin soft and silky.”



“Relaxing Face Mask - TONGKAT ALI is prized for its legendary revitalizing effects. In this relaxing face mask, it is blended with select fruit and seed extracts, along with herbal moisturizers and soothing agents. Use it for a gently uplifting freshness with glowing radiance. A nourishing and revitalizing treatment to soften & condition skin.”

Having never been to Malaysia nor know anything about its “spas” I decided to contact my buddy Paris B from My Women Stuff Blog. Since Paris is one of the TOP Malay beauty bloggers out there I asked her for some insight. This is what she told me.
Ramuan in Malay basically means “Ingredients” OK. I can dig that. They are using ingredients sourced from Malaysia but it looks like their products are not available in Malaysia. They are available for purchase on the website and through GNC. Yes. You got it. GNC. Apparently the company believes that “outer beauty emanates from inner health” and therefore sells supplements for men and women based on this premise. They also sell a book “Health and Beauty from the Rainforest: Malaysian Traditions of Ramuan” I’m not a nutritionist nor do I want to even get into condoning taking supplements for “beauty” purposes on this blog. So please explore the other options that Ramuan has on their website under the guidance of your Physician. I do not endorse or sponsor anything in that arena.

OK. So let’s start with the face mask. This is a sheet mask. (As you can see from the scary picture.)
he Relaxing Face Mask with Tongkat Ali is a one time use mask. It retails for $3.37. There’s a funny thing about Tongkat Ali. According to Paris B, “It is a root that is traditionally boiled into a drink to stimulate the blood and in many instances, taken by men for um... a cheap viagra substitute without the instant effects of Viagra. It is quite commonly found mixed into coffee or tea locally if requested but I've never really heard of it being used in skincare or in spa therapy. I'm uncertain if using it topically on the skin can boost skin's circulation the way it can if ingested.” Thanks Paris. Yes. I’m not sure how external application will produce any benefits at all. My nose didn’t seem to grow bigger nor did it seem more …erect! Seriously, my face was incredibly red after use. I will warn you that my face gets red easily and the redness I experienced from using the mask was not unusual nor do I believe more extreme than usual. I didn’t notice any short term or long term benefit from using this mask. No increase in moisture, not smoothness nothing. I suppose if I had several weeks worth of the mask to use I might see a long term benefit, but even as sheet masks go this was nothing special. I have about a kazillion sheet masks at home and this was priced in the mid to low end, but for those westerners that are not used to sheet masks they may balk at the $3.37 per use price tag.

On to the coconut and coffee body scrubs. First of all let me warn you that this is not a ready to use item. It must be mixed with water. Yes. That’s right. It comes in a powder form. You have to mix it with water, form a paste then use it. If you are like me, the typical American is going to HATE this. First of all, you have to find a container to mix it in, then you have to make sure you are putting the right amount of water in, too much and your “paste” turns into soup, too little and the “paste” is still dust. I will say that the packets are large enough to get at least 3 uses for full body scrubs, but honestly that’s the only good thing I can say about them.

Coconut Scrub Dry

Coconut Scrub Mixed with Water

The coconut one smelled the best. It smelled like raw coconut, not that synthetic sweet kind. I made a paste and rubbed it all over my body. It seemed OK but nothing special. It scrubbed decently enough, but certainly didn’t provide any moisturizing properties, and since the scrub itself was rather large grained I wondered if it really did any good for me. My skin was smooth after using it, so I guess it did OK, but I wasn’t wowed by the results. The mere fact that I had to mix the product turns me off.

Coffee Scrub Dry

Coffee Scrub Mixed with Water

The coffee scrub was OK, but again, you had to mix it. It looks terrible in the bowl. I’m not gonna say what it looks like, you can draw your own conclusions. It smelled more like cinnamon than coffee….well. it smelled like cinnamon coffee. I detest coffee so I let Mr. Sith take a whiff. After he snarked about looking like I was involved in scat play in the shower he said it smelled “great!” He likes coffee very much and said the cinnamon was a really nice touch…however he didn’t want to put it on his body. Men! The coffee scrub was a finer grain than the coconut and did seem to do a better job at exfoliating, but again, it was a pain to mix and apply while in the shower. Not to mention that my shower looked like a freakin crime scene after The Gingerbread Man went missing.

Do you need these products? No. Honestly I don’t like having to mix my own products in the shower. I don’t like having to mix my own products out of the shower. I don’t like to mix my own products period. The prices for the coconut and coffee scrub were not on the website and honestly I have no idea if they are a good value. Granted you can get more than one use out of the packets but honestly, storage and mixing are too much of a hassle to make it worth it. The sheet mask, well…it’s a sheet mask. It doesn’t seem to do anything for me, but as I said I only used one and I can’t say if there is any long term benefit for use. The whole Tongkat Ali being used as an herbal Viagra turns me off completely.

If I’m ever in Malaysia I plan to visit with Paris B and have her take me to a few authentic Malay spas. Lord knows I need the relaxation.

Progrids

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