Weekly Cheap Secret:

This soap bar is huge! It is so big that it is dangerous. I picked it up at a “health”/natural grocery for like $4. The weather was slightly warming up at the time (in the PNW, this means that it was sunny high-50’s day) and I wanted something fruity-floral. I wanted something different than my usual creamy or spicy shower products. I’ve never heard of the brand before and it isn’t actually made in the south of France. I have since found out that it is sold by hippie grocers and World Market.

The fragrance is a fruity-floral. It is much more pear than it is magnolia. It is a fresh, fruity fragrance that reminds me of sunny summer days. It is a “gritty” pear, it smells ripe. It is made pretty by a very light dose of white florals. The soap bar is gigantic. It was too large to hold safely for like 3 weeks. It eventually broke down into manageable soap slices after about a month of use and being kept out in the shower. (I did not keep this bar in a “safe” place). The bar is 8.8 oz. That is toe breaking big. The soap was long-lasting, especially considering that I kept it out and it was too big to keep in a covered soap dish. I was impressed that it remained evenly fragrant throughout use. Even the last use was highly fragrant. The color of the soap was a pleasing pale Anjou green. It is supposed to be colored with natural pigments. The soap lathered and rinsed nicely without being drying. I just love vegetable oils.

The scent isn”t my favorite scent, but I did like it at that time. I say to give it a try if you like fruity-florals or scents like Marc Jacobs Apple Splash, Harajuku Lovers Music EDT, True Religion EDP, Annick Goutal Petite Cherie EDT, Victoria’s Secret Pear Glace EDT, and/or Pre de Provence Pomme Poire soap. My only complaint and somehow one thing that I like about it, is the size.

The soap is available at a few places and the company’s website. I have since found out on the website that many of the soaps are available in manageable twin packs.

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Weekly Cheap Secret:

I love the smell of monoï, especially for summer. It’s warm, floral, and very beachy. Yves Rocher Jardins des Îles Alcohol-Free Tiaré Flower Body Mist isn’t my favorite monoï on the market, but it isn’t bad and the price is great. It’s a very simple fragrance. It’s a slightly coconut-y gardenia in an alcohol-free water, glycerin, and coconut oil base. It’s a very light wearing formula. It wears like a body spray but the formula isn’t as drying as a “typical” body spray. This does not have an oily texture so it isn’t like a monoï oil in a spray bottle. It’s just a non-drying tropical floral scent in a spray bottle. This fragrance is usually limited edition. Yves Rocher releases it for summer. It’s a nice and cheap reminder of a cherished tropical vacation. It isn’t overwhelming and wears nicely in summer heat. A 4.2. fl.oz. bottle is usually $6. Yves Rocher runs sales all of the time and I usually pick one up when it is about $3. It’s available on Yves Rocher’s website.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

Oh, Old Spice. I know it is low-brow but I really do enjoy its scent. Every fall/winter, I purchase a bottle of Classic Old Spice Body Wash. (Let me emphasize Classic here, those other varieties can go to hell. I thought Axe already had that market covered). This is an inexpensive  fix for my need for spicy scents when the temperature drops. I like spicy scents but I usually don’t want to smell like them all day or I only crave them for a short time. That’s why I would rather use the body wash than the cologne. The fragrance is mix of bitter citrus and every spice in your cupboard: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon. It’s the “classic” and I think everyone is familiar with it. Old Spice is aware of the kitschiness of this scent with such slogans as “If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist” and “It will still be around, even after a nuclear fallout”. I do find this comical because it is a classic fragrance that has been a part of American pop culture for some time. However,  some of their ad campaigns border on being chauvinistic. It’s all about the “swag” and attracting bodacious babes. I wish that they would realize that there are many, many females out there (some even bodacious) using their product. Sorry guys, but spice is a pretty unisex thing in the fragrance world. Spice for men is cheap; however, spice for women is expensive in the fragrance world.

The shower gel doesn’t smell as nice as the cologne. It does have a strange “chemicalness” to it that fades after a few seconds.. The gel lathers nicely and a little goes a long way. It’s a bright blue gel. I’m not wild about this because it makes the lather a pale gray, giving me a temporary zombie-like/corpse complexion. I guess their male target group doesn’t mind this? The fragrance lightly lingers and doesn’t interfere with any of my other fragrances that I choose to use. It isn’t very moisturizing. It appears that dudes aren’t interested in that.

An 18 fl. oz. bottle retails for under $5. This is a great deal for this shower gel. My husband and I have both been using a bottle for months now. I must add that I do love the smell of Old Spice on him and he even likes it on me.

Great pic from Vampy Varnish

Great pic from vampyvarnish.com.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

Dark nail polish is a must have for a closet goth like myself. I love the shade of Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Deliciously Dark. There are many colors out there like this one, but this one retails for under $3.50. This is a great drugstore nail product. It looks much more shimmery grape popsicle purple on Rimmel’s website, so I took this pic from a great blog that recommended this product: www.vampyvarnish.com. This blogger’s pics are really good and really represent the nail polish colors. (I highly recommend visiting the site before you purchase any nail color). Plus… by the time I take a pic of mine, they are chipped and so abused. It’s just too embarrassing. My cuticles would never forgive me.

Anyways, Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish dried in a short time. This is a must for somebody like me. I don’t have time to wait for my nails to dry and nothing gets to me more than smudged nail color. I would say that I was able to go back to being my old self in 3 minutes. The color took 2 coats to look as dark as Vampy Varnish’s. It came out as a satin blackberry jam shade. Like I said, there are many shades out their like this one, but this is pretty darn cheap. The brush was OK and the formula was thin but not watery. That is why it takes 2-3 coats to get a nice deep shade. It wore nicely on my finger tips for about 2 days. This is a record for me. My nail color chips in like 2 hours because I am too lazy to apply top coats, etc. And I don’t have a dishwasher, wash my hands frequently, and wear latex gloves throughout the day. I know that it sounds like this product doesn’t “last” very long but it has lasted longer than the Chanel, Estee Lauder, and Dior that I have used in the past.

So, this is a color and a product that I like. I haven’t tried other colors in the line. I know that this is one is nice for the money. The shade is lovely and a nice alternative to black. It is such a vampy, film-noir shade. This product is available at drugstores all over the place.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I love a multi-purpose product. And I love a multi-purpose product that retails for under $2. Africa’s Best Ultimate Herbal Oil is a must have for me. It is a super rich blend of oils and herbs multi-purpose oil. I use it as a cuticle oil, a hot oil hair treatment, and I just use it as a body moisturizer. It is great to have around in the winter when my skin gets ashy and itchy. It’s an oil so yep, it’s greasy. I love oils. Nothing makes my skin feel better. And the oil medium makes me feel like a goddess anointing my body.

It has a slightly powdery fragrance that reminds me a bit of Egyptian musk or a headshop musk oil blend. The scent doesn’t bother me but I could see it bothering others. It blends nicely with the musk oils that I own, ranging from no-name oil blends that I purchased from some Ethiopians at market and Tom Ford Private Collection Musks. It has that classic “African” hair oil aroma. I personally love that. It’s nostalgic.

Oh, yeah. I do use this an occasional hot oil treatment for my hair by applying a bit to a microwave safe dish and microwaving and the applying to my hair and rinsing it out. And I use it for those beachy, tousled waves. I add about 1/10 of this oil to a spray bottle filled with water. I shake it and spray onto damp hair. I either braid it or do a pin-curl variation and let it air-dry. I then get the perfect beachy waves.

An 8 oz. plastic bottle goes for $1.99 and it can be bought at Walgreen’s. And since it is an oil, a little bit goes a long way so this is an incredible deal. I seriously can’t get over the price and what is in this stuff. Ingredients include: walnut seed oil, sweet almond oil, sesame seed oil, olive oil, carrot seed oil, gingsing, comfrey and tons of other natural ingredients. This stuff would retail for like $50 if Aveda marketed it.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I love these little old school highly fragranced body lotions. I hope Avon realizes that this “retro” packaging is what sells these Perfumed Skin Softeners. Well, at least it does for me. I like to have them out, there isn’t a logo, a label. They are just in a “sphere”. They really look nice in a boudoir. They retail for about $5 and are frequently on sale for about 99¢ on Avon’s website.

Candid is a nice fragrance for those that like a classic late 70’s floral oriental type fragrance. I love a late 70’s oriental. It’s a dated blend of heady jasmine, red roses, woodsy but feminine sandalwood with vetiver. It manages to smell “fresh” and clean, I guess because of the vetiver. The scent isn’t very complex. It’s all blended together to make a feminine, fresh oriental scent. I find that it does mix well with pure fragrance oils of any of the scents mentioned above. I love to wear it with either jasmine or rose to bring out the feminine quality. I can make it more masculine and zesty fresh with a spritz of L’Aromarine Vetyver or Guerlain Vetiver. Since the product is heavily scented, I can still smell it wearing very closely to my skin after all day wear.

The lotion is thick but not buttery. I still find that at night I need to apply a heavier cream to keep from being ashy in the winter. I just use this skin softener for the nostaligic novelty. And it does wear nicely with fragrance oils and some of my more “classic” fragrances.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

This is a pretty good duo. I have worn the heck out of the beige shimmer that is infused with lots of gold. It makes a great base shade and mixes well with any color ever. It is very versatile. It can look very “natural” when worn with chocolatey browns such as MAC  Bronze or MAC Sable. It also wears nicely with blues, especially those with warmer undertones like MAC Tilt or the blue found in Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quad Seashore Frosts worn in the crease. It does well with everything from orange to plum to navy. It provides nice coverage and is very pearly. I bought the duo for the orange shade. It is an orangey bronze with gold shimmer. It doesn’t pack as much of a punch and needs to be layered a few times for maximum impact. It isn’t a bad color it doesn’t have as much “drama” as I would like. Actually, when paired with the other color in the duo, it looks pretty netural and “work” friendly. It is a warm shade with a hint of glimmer. It looks nice with other metallic metal shades such as Milani Sun Goddess or MAC Amber Lights. It doesn’t pack a punch like MAC Orange or Rule but does pair nicely with those. Warm shades like this really make blue and green eyes pop. I usually do a wash of orange over the lid, apply black liquid liner, lots of mascara or false lashes and pair with my RIP Nars Taj Mahal blush. It looks great in the summer with a hint of bronzer and a sheer gold gloss like Milani Buzzy Worthy Lip Gloss in Busy Bee. I have found with this duo when it is applied wet it really doesn’t appear much more intense and that it has a tendency to crease. However, for the drugstore price tag I find that the lightest shade is worth the money. This compact really makes blue and green eyes pop.