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:
Ivory Simply Ivory Body Wash is a lightly fragrant body wash. Yes, it is simple. The scent is not the same as the classic bar soap. The classic Ivory soap bar is a bit lemongrass-ish. The fragrance in the wash is a bit more “perfumey”. It is perfumey like perfumes attempting to smell like clean, fresh, just-out-of-the bath skin. If you are a fan of the Clean fragrance line, Demeter Pure Soap or Laundromat, Bobbi Brown Bath EDT, Philosophy Pure Grace or even Amazing Grace, Apothia IF EDP, or other shower fresh/fresh linen type scents then you should like the fragrance in this body wash. It is fresh, lightly floral like water hyacinth and dainty lilies, slightly white/clean musk-ish. I wouldn’t waste my money on the shower gels of the fragrances listed above. This is clean, fresh, and lightly floral without costing too much. A huge bottle (24  oz.) retails for under $5. A bar of Bobbi Brown bar soap retails for $16. The scent in Ivory Simply Ivory Body Wash is “faint”, meaning that it is meant to smell soft and delicate. After bathing, the scent remains on the skin ever so faintly. It’s a clean, fresh, and feminine scent.

This formula has so many suds. This completes the “clean” experience. Just a little bit on a sponge/loofah produces excessive foam. The formula is pretty simple. It cleanses but it doesn’t really moisturize. I find it too drying for my parched winter skin. I do love this stuff for the summer. The fragrance isn’t overwhelming, the suds make me feel squeaky clean, and my skin only needs minimal moisture on most days.

This is available at most drugstores and drgustore.com.

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.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I still haven’t found my Holy Grail of mascaras but I have found a few that I like. Or that I would repurchase. Rimmel Extra Super Lash Waterproof Mascara is one of those mascaras. It is a great “natural” looking lash enhancer. This won’t add volume or make your lashes look Twiggy long. This is a good basic mascara. It darkens the lashes and the color does not budge. It slightly adds some volume and length. The best thing is that it isn’t clumpy at all. The brush bristles are very close together reducing the risk of clumps. I think I mainly in love with the brush. It is so good at separating. The formula is “wet”. This means you can keep building without any clumps (but don’t sneeze until it is dry!). This is waterproof and can’t be removed with soap and water. You’ll need a heavy-duty eye makeup remover to get it off. This is both good and bad. It just depends on your expectations. I love that it is waterproof. It makes a great consistency and I live in western Washington. It’s misty and I don’t need my eye makeup to run or give me raccoon eyes. This stuff wears through a blizzard and it wears during hot, humid weather. It doesn’t flake or smudge. The downside is getting it off. But, with a “real” eye makeup (oil-based) remover it is easy to get off.

I’ve read reviews that some people think this is a “dramatic” mascara. I’m not getting that from this. It darkens and I do wish that it was available in a brown/black shade. I find that with just 2 coats to to the top lashes and one coat to the bottom, that this looks pretty “natural” for mascara. Maybe they are using like 6 coats of something? Or maybe they had blonde lashes to begin with?

This stuff retails for under $4. It may not be a perfect product, but the price is fantastic. I’ve used $24 mascaras that were far worse than this. I have used mascaras that I like better as well, but they weren’t this cheap. For the price this is a great product. It’s a great way to stretch my beauty “allowance”.

I love a fig fragrance. They are what I “collect”. Sometimes I find myself purchasing less-than-perfect-figs just because I can’t help it. And I love a fig fragrance that actually smells wonderful and retails for under $10. (This product retails for $9). So, what I am saying is that I love Pacifica Mediterranean Fig Solid Perfume. It is a must have for the fig lover. And even a must have for those wanting a simple scent. I see why this is one of Pacifica’s #1 sellers.

The tin is adorable. I love the almost Marimekko inspired fig graphic design. The tin is nice for travel and is about the size of a lip gloss tin. The texture is a bit waxy but “sticks” just fine when mixed with the warmth of your fingers rubbing it in. It is moisturizing with coconut and soy wax. I love the intimacy of a solid perfume. They wear closely and you wear them, not the other way around. It doesn’t wear very long because of its medium, but that is why it is travel friendly. It wears on me for about 3 hours and I actually enjoy applying it again. It’s a nice fig pick-me-up. And isn’t that big of a deal to re-apply. I re-apply lipsticks like 30 times a day.

The fragrance is fig, not so fruity, but much more woodsy and green. My all time favorite fig scent is Diptyque Philosykos. Pacifica is no Diptyque but look in the difference of price! Diptyque is a great fig fragrance in a solid fragrance medium and I have layered it under the Diptyque EDT for “lasting power”. Like I said, it isn’t fruity fig or fruity fig sap like some fig blends. It isn’t blended with sugar or vanilla for a fig dessert like scent. This is more of a “Mediterranean” scent. It is warm, simple, and cozy. It smells of smooth fig tree leaves, “greeness” from neighboring plants, and a woodsy base of dry sandalwood. Since this is a solid, I feel it is what you smell is what you get. There isn’t a transformation. This is a well-rounded green fig scent mixed with sundried driftwood. It’s effortless to wear. It’s a great reminder of late summer seaside strolls. This is a great unisex solid perfume. I say to give it a try if you are a fan of fig scents or if you like Antica Farmacista Green Fig EDP, Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Amalfi Fig EDT, Diptyque Philosykos EDT or solid, TokyoMilk Marine Sel Perfume Solid, Heeley Figuier EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier EDT, Marc Jacobs for Him, and/or Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue for Her EDT.

It is available at www.pacificaperfume.com (I have to support them as they are a PNW company) and Whole Foods markets.

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 have a way for falling for gimmicks but with age I am getting better. I purchased L’Oreal Telescopic Lash Explosion mascara just out of sheer old curiosity. It sure looks a lot like Givenchy Phenomenon Mascara which retails for $28. This L’Oreal one goes for about $9. L’Oreal Telescopic Lash Explosion’s claim to fame is that it gets every lash. This sure sounds like a miracle that is too good to be true but I read others’ reviews and just had to try it. The brush is spherical as you can tell from the pic. It is on top of a super long and skinny wand. I don’t dislike the mascara but I don’t love it. That being said I haven’t found any mascara that I love yet.

Who is this mascara for? It is for the person that already has nice full lashes but they want to emphasize each and every one of them. This brush does get every single lash, even the tiny ones on the top and bottom. I love the brush despite the too long and flimsy wand, I can look over that. I am not a fan of the formula. The formula doesn’t flake or irritate. This is good. But,  it doesn’t do much of anything for my short and thick lashes. I need length and curl. All this formula does is darken and thicken my lashes. They don’t get any longer even with a few coats of this stuff and it is a heavy formula so it doesn’t hold a curl. Applying a few coats of this stuff takes forever because of the precise wand. It does get all of my bottom lashes and this is a great feature. I’m just finding that this mascara is a lot of work. To get “wow” lashes I need to curl lashes and apply a basic lengthening mascara of a different formula, apply a coat or two of Lash Explosion to top and bottom lashes. I can apply false lashes in less time than doing this routine. And I’m not wild about the “heavy mascara” look. I don’t think that this formula is clumpy. I think anything will look that clumpy with that many coats of product. I don’t hate this product, it could be wonderful for some people. Those people with long and maybe thin lashes or for those that have light but perfect lashes and just need color. For me, this isn’t my holy grail and I most likely won’t be repurchasing. I love that it gets all my lashes coated but I need length. So what I am saying is that I love the brush but I don’t like the formula.

I purchased Black which is OK but it has too many cool tones and in my opinion appears navy or midnight blue. Why don’t companies offer black/brown in all of their formulas? Blue eyes benefit from mascara with a warm undertone.

This product is available at all drugstores and drugstore.com.