Skincare & Fragrance

On the Bathroom Shelf: Body Lotions by Ahava, Antica Farmacista, Tata Harper and Agraria

Published in: Skin Care

On the bathroom shelf

My friend Cindy is staunchly anti-beauty, and it’s rare when she wants to talk about makeup or beauty products, so this snippet of a thrilling conversation we recently had was a pleasant surprise. :)

CINDY: Do you use body lotion every day?

ME: Well, yeah. Don’t you?

CINDY: Uh uh. I don’t need to. I don’t really have dry skin.

ME: Lucky you!

CINDY: Do you have to use it everywhere? Even on your feet?

ME: Oh, yeah. Especially my feet.

CINDY: What happens if you miss a day?

ME: My skin starts to look like crusty parmesan cheese.


Yeah, it’s not a good look, which is why I’m big into body lotions. Here are the ones currently living on my bathroom shelf…

Ahava Mineral Body Lotion Duo ($37.50 for a 17-oz bottle): One for me, one for my mama! And these bottles are huge.

First, Ahava Mineral Body Lotion is hella moisturizing yet doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind. It comes as a two-pack available now exclusively at Nordstrom for $37.50 ($96 value), and the light powdery scent doesn’t overwhelm my perfume.

Antica Farmacista Peonia, Gardenia & Rosa Body Moisturizer ($25 for a 10-oz. bottle): Rose dominates this moisturizer’s memorable scent, and the fragrance lingers all day long and layers well with my rosy perfumes.

The moisturizing formula is a touch greasier than the Ahava lotion I mentioned earlier, but it contains many moisturizing ingredients that sit well with my alligator skin, like aloe vera, sweet almond oil and shea butter, to name a few.

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On the Bathroom Shelf: Diptyque Paris Skin Care

Published in: Diptyque, Product Reviews, Skin Care

On the bathroom shelf, Diptyque Skin Care

Diptyque Paris skin care

Diptyque Paris, those purveyors of fancy-schmancy candles, now have a pricey new skin care line called L’Art du Soin, which le Google machine translates to “The Art of Care.”

And I totally get that. I’ve been giving a few of the items a try this month, and my mug does feel like it’s been properly cared for and nurtured. The gentle products haven’t aggravated my normally fussy, acne-prone combination skin at all, which is quite an accomplishment.

The heavily scented products contain some unusual sounding ingredients, too, like marble powder (Wha? As in statues and countertops?), and other things, like sweet almond oil, that are more usual for skin care.

The overall presentation is très posh. These are the kind of skin care goodies you find in those fancy bathrooms at five-star hotels frequented by movie stars and diplomats.

After using them for a while, I see these as great getaway products. Vacation products. But when the plane lands and it’s back to the real world grind, I think I’d want to resume my aggressive anti-aging, anti-acne agenda.

Gimme, gimme, gimme, the stuff that slows down time’s march across my face and prevents the zits, which left to their own devices would take over my chin (those @ssholes), from exacting their reign of terror.

For me, the standouts in the line include the Infused Facial Water ($55), which contains damask rose and geranium extracts and smells amazeballs — like someone (either Prince Charming or a stalker) left 10 dozen roses on my doorstep. Lightly hydrating, it doesn’t make my skin feel sticky, which is great.

The Moisturizing Protective Lotion ($72 OMG!) has SPF 15 and absorbs quickly into my skin. It also layers well with makeup and looks lovely in pics (none of that SPF flashback).

Diptyque Radiance Boosting Powder

Radiance Boosting Powder, $58

Diptyque Infused Facial Water

Diptyque Infused Facial Water ($55) and Moisturizing Protective Lotion SPF 15 ($72)

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Currently on the Bathroom Shelf: Fourth of July Sun Protection Products From Neutrogena, L’Occitane, Vichy, Avene and Philip Kingsley

Published in: Avene, L'Occitane, Neutrogena, Skin Care, Vichy

Sun protection from Neutrogena, L'Occitane, Philip Kingsley, Vichy and Avene

Sun protection from Neutrogena, L’Occitane, Philip Kingsley, Vichy and Avene

It’s almost Fourth of July, and fireworks are completely legal in my bathroom!

Wait — that was weird.

By fireworks, I’m referring to exciting sun protection products, like these things currently celebrating their independence on my bathroom shelf. :)

Neutrogena Age Shield Face Oil-Free Lotion SPF 110

When a two-digit SPF ratings just isn’t enough, there’s Neutrogena Age Shield Face Oil-Free Lotion SPF 110, which I’ve been using every day for about a month.

The oil-free formula is fabulous to the max! Not only is it easy to apply makeup on top of it, but it doesn’t pill up into little flecks, or otherwise behave strangely no matter what I wear it with — primer, foundation, whatever else.

Best of all, it’s not greasy! — so when I put it on my neck, it doesn’t feel all sticky and gross. For $12.99, you get a 3-ounce tube, and it’s available now at drugstores, Ulta and online.

L’Occitane Jenipapo Gel-Protecting Body Jelly Milk SPF 20

I like L’Occitane’s Jenipapo Protecting Body Jelly Milk SPF 20 for a couple of reasons.

First, the name. Jenipapo.

That’s pure win right there. :)

As for the formula, I like it for light SPF protection when I only plan to catch a few rays while running errands or going for a quick walk.

It’s a lightweight, moisturizing sunscreen lotion that smells ah-maze-balls! It starts with notes of watermelon, orange, pineapple, frangipani and Lily of the Valley, and dries down to a smooth vanilla musk.

It launched last May with a whole slew of skin care, fragrance and sun protection products in L’Occitane’s Au Brasil line, a range inspired by the fabulous foliage of Brazil.

Jenipapo, a fruit tree found in Brazil’s Cerrado tropical savanna, is said to be very moisturizing.

Neutrogena, L'Occitane Jenipapo and Philip Kingsley

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The Forecast for Lush Summer 2014 Calls for Yummy Mango and Marshmallow Showers

Published in: Lush, Skin Care

Lush Summer 2014

Lush summer 2014

Two of the many reasons I like to run…

  1. Because it means I get to eat more candy. Copious, vast, galactic quantities of candy, like OMG! — milk chocolate butterscotch squares from See’s, which are and always will be my caloric downfall.
  2. Because of the post-run shower. Sure, I can shower anytime — not just after a run (obvs), but there’s something extremely satisfying about rinsing away all of that sweat after a good run, ya know? And in the summer when it’s hot, it’s even more satisfying because there’s more sweat. Sorry, truth! :)

This morning after my run I showered with a few new products from Lush. They released six new things this summer, all of them cruelty-free and handmade. Lush calls them “self-preserving,” because they contain high levels of oil, butter and glycerine and a reduced amount of water, which altogether are supposed to stop bacteria from coming around and messing with yo’ groove.

1. Mangnificent Soap

Lush Magnificent Soap

Mangnificent Soap, $7.80 for a 0.25-pound slice

“Mangnificent,” as in mango-nificent, especially if you’re into mangos, which I am.

When I was a kid, dried mangoes were some of my favorite treats in the whole wide world.

Still are, actually. But back in the day they were kind of hard to get here in the U.S., so I’d have to wait for relatives to bring them over when they visited from the Philippines.

There’s nothing quite like dried mango… Sweet, a little tangy and chewy… YUM!

Yes, I’m starved right now.

Anyway, this bar smells just like that! It actually contains both dry and fresh mango (for antioxidants). There’s dried mango on the outside and fresh pureed mango throughout.

The bar also contains Sicilian Lemon Oil and Tunisan Neroli Oil, with the former supposedly increasing seratonin levels in the brain.

Hmm… I am feeling pretty good right now, but that could be ’cause it’s Friday. ;)

2. D’Fluff Shaving Cream

Lush D'Fluff Shaving Cream

D’Fluff Shaving Cream, $9.95 for the 2.5-ounce tub pictured here, and $16.95 for a bigger 5.2-ounce tub

I guess you really do learn something new every day, because this stuff was inspired by strawberry marshmallow fluff, which I did not even know existed.

But it does.

Because I Googled it.

And OMG it looks good!

D’Fluff feels fluffy and light directly from the tub, but once you get it on your skin and work it in a little bit, it thickens into a lotion (like this Shave Cream by EOS).

I definitely feel like I get a closer shave with my razor when I use it.

Surprisingly, it’s not as sweet-smelling as I expected. Rather, it’s more tart, like real life fresh strawberries.

In additional to the strawberries, which are supposed to help cleanse the skin, it also contains egg whites to tighten skin and cocoa butter to moisturize.

Both guys and gals can use it, too.

Hint, hint, El Hub. It’s time you parted with that stubble you’ve been rocking all week. #justsayin

3. African Paradise Body Conditioner

Lush African Paradise Body Conditioner

African Paradise Body Conditioner, $39.95 for an 8.8-ounce tub

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Currently on the Bathroom Shelf: Makeup Removers

Published in: Skin Care

Best makeup removers

From the left: Trish McEvoy Long-Wear Face and Eye Makeup Remover, Klorane Floral Gel Eye Make-Up Remover, Cle de Peau Beaute Makeup Remover Towelettes, DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil Face & Eyes

Just a peek into ye olde bathroom cabinet. Here are the makeup removers currently performing acts of great beauty bravery on my bathroom shelf! :)

Trish McEvoy Long-Wear Face and Eye Makeup Remover

Niiiiiiiiiice, although for the life of me I can’t figure out why an $18 bottle of this is so small (just 1.7 ounces).

It whisks away long-wearing face and eye makeup but isn’t oily, and sometimes it can be tough to find removers like this that don’t leave a greasy or oily film behind. This stuff feels just like water, and it doesn’t irritate my sensitive water lines.

A 1.7-ounce bottle goes for $18. Available now at Trish McEvoy counters and neimanmarcus.com.

Klorane Floral Gel Eye Make-Up Remover

This gel formula eye makeup remover is designed for sensitive eyes and feels nice and soothing on my lids. It doesn’t make the skin feel tight, but I find that it doesn’t handle real-deal waterproof stuff, which it’s touted as being able to remove, as well as Trish McEvoy’s remover, and, ironically, it stings my water lines (but my eyes are SUPER sensitive, for what it’s worth).

I don’t really use it very often, mostly when my lids feel dry or tight.

This one’s $16 for a 3.4-ounce tube, and it’s available now at Klorane counters and online.

Cle de Peau Beaute Makeup Remover Towelettes

Good grief! These are hella expensive, but oh, so good.

I mean, I am not a makeup wipe snob at all. I’m usually just as happy with drugstore wipes as I am with anything else. For a long while I’ve alternated between MAC Wipes and the Neutrogena Makeup Remover wipes, but these Cle de Peau ones? — holy crap.

If an eccentric billionaire decided to fund my makeup-loving lifestyle, I’d probably just use these. They’re the softest, most comfortable wipes I’ve ever used.

To borrow an overused phrase, they feel like fluffy little clouds, and they remove everything in a flash. I don’t even have to tug or rub at the skin.

Kinda bomb, but they’re $38 for 50 sheets…

Available now at Cle de Peau Beaute counters and neimanmarcus.com.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

This smells like really fancy olive oil to me, which I guess makes sense because olive oil is the numero uno ingredient.

When I use it at night to remove my makeup, I have on more than one occasion imagined having it with tomatoes and basil. :)

Mmm… Tomatoes and basil.

It removes everything — long-wearing foundation, waterproof mascara, gel liner, the whole shebang, and one pump does the trick.

I think I might even like it more than MAC Cleanse-Off Oil… I’d say it feels richer, and I have combo dry/oily skin, so I appreciate that.

This one’s $28 for a 6.7-ounce bottle with a pump.

Available at DHC counters and online.

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