Weekly Cheap Secret:

Nivea is really pushing this stuff this summer along with the “matching” body lotion. Evidently “Happiness” is a blend of orange blossom and bamboo essence. The scent is getting rave reviews, but I’m not crazy about it. I love orange blossom. If this wash did not have orange blossom in the description and had something like “orange juice” labeled on it, then maybe I could like it. I do like the formula. So, I’ll start with that first.

The formula is a cream-gel meaning that is a thicker gel. One does not need a loofah to make this stuff lather. I like this because I am not a fan of a loofah. I think this body wash gives the same amount of lather as any other shower gel on a loofah. I like a thick lather. It makes me feel like I’m getting super-squeaky clean. This isn’t really a “deal” like other drugstore shower gels because you aren’t using a loofah.  You typically use more product without a loofah. The formula leaves my skin smooth and not overly moisturized/greasy, just soft (and clean feeling). I follow-up with a body cream. Now to the fragrance…

It isn’t that I dislike this fragrance. I find it odd. It’s like drinking Sprite when you thought you were drinking sparkling water. It’s not bad, it’s just a shock at first. I thought I was supposed to get orange blossom but instead I got a very “vitamin C” type fragrance. It smells like citric acid used in cough drops. It’s just very, very orange. Orange blossom is supposed to be a heady, white floral. I don’t know what bamboo smells like but I was expecting something green and/or aquatic. This scent isn’t bad. It just smells of a synthetic orange. Some mornings when I use this and my sniffer isn’t on its “game”,  I think it smells like Sweet Tarts or Smarties. It has a “powdery” citric acid smell instead of a hard, lozenge citric acid smell. Other times it reminds me of a vitamin C drop and The Body Shop Satsuma. The scent isn’t bad if you like candy-like citrus scents or the smell of orange juice. It is an invigorating fragrance. I think you’ll have the Sprite experience if you are expecting a more “natural” citrus scent or an orange blossom/orange blossom floral water type of fragrance. Don’t have the expectation that this is a floral scent. Expect orange juice and you may be happy with it. It really is a nice product for summer because it foams and makes the skin feel clean without being too dry. And the scent is a very energizing orange. Try this if you like The Body Shop Satsuma products.

This wash retails for under $6. It’s available at most drugstores and drugstore.com.

This is a richly lathering skin conditioning bar soap with a mild coconut aroma. It isn’t as fragrant as the Skin Trip Moisturizer in the family, but it does have a lasting fragrance that lasts on the skin after washing. It also leaves my bathroom smelling nicely after a shower. It’s a basic, rich coconut, much more natural smelling than others on the market. I’m trying to say that it smells like a real coconut vs. a B&BW Piña Colada or a dessert coconut creme fragrance. The coconut fragrance hasn’t faded yet. The entire bar is scented evenly. The bar is pretty heavy and contains lots of nourishing oils. For a natural soap, it hasn’t melted away in the shower yet. I feel that it is dense and lasts in comparison to other natural bar soaps. It lathers nicely, this is a plus in the natural market. It isn’t very moisturizing but it isn’t drying. My skin feels squeaky clean like I’ve used an evil corporate bar soap 🙂 but I’m not dried out. Thank you, coconut oil. I really like the soap. I see myself repurchasing it.

The bar is a bit pricey at just under $5. I think it is a nice product for the money. It lathers nicely and it reminds me of trips to the beach, warm, Floridian beaches. I’ve purchased $12 bars of soap that I like less and that have dissolved instantly. It is available at stores like Whole Foods and drugstore.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.

This body butter is a great product for those with really dry skin. This is a super emollient and rich cream. It’s thick but easy to rub in if your skin is a little damp or just right out of the shower. It keeps skin moisturized and soft until the next day. It isn’t greasy, sticky, or icky. I like most of Korres products. They are gentle, natural, and of course, I like their smell. This Guava Body Butter has a very light scent, it’s scented but it won’t interfer with your fragrance of choice. The scent isn’t overly fruity or like a Bath and Body Works version of guava fruit. It’s a bit beachy, almost rich and coconuty with a bit of soury citrus like aroma, zesty. It isn’t straight up coconut or generic beachy piña colada. It just smells very tropical, exotic, and like it would be one delicious mixed drink if it wasn’t a lotion. I can’t really say that it smells like a real guava since there are many types of guava and I never seem to let it ripen enough. Anyways, the fragrance is nice but it doesn’t linger very long. If there was a body spray in this fragrance, I would so buy it. The 5 oz. pump bottle retails for $21 and other sizes are available. You can get it at beauty. com.

It was very hot here in Washington about a month ago. This was freakish. But, what everybody forgets or refuses to recognize is that it gets hot and dry here every summer. Many homes and businesses do not have A/C. It’s torture but it only lasts about 2 weeks. We survive and then forget about it during the rainy season and then get shocked when we feel 90-100 degree heat again. It’s silly but it seems to be how it goes here. We haven’t invested in A/C because we only need it for a short time and it is very costly. Fans and being lazy do the trick.

Well, this past month we were in record breaking highs and I had to move all of my stuff to a storage unit during this freakish hot time. I’m telling you it felt so good to use this product, Korres Yoghurt Cooling Gel. I did not have a sunburn but just had a fever like feeling from too much heat. I had body aches and was hot to the touch. It’s strange what heat can do to the body. This cooling gel is marketed for excessive sun exposure and is supposed to relieve those negative side effects and provide some comfort. It is a lightweight cream gel formula. It cools and this sensation lasts for sometime. It cooled my skin to the touch but provided moisture. It felt like I used a lotion but it wasn’t greasy. Unlike other gel products it applied evenly and did not feel sticky or make my skin feel even drier. I really like the formula and it made me feel a bit more comfortable. However, the scent is strange. It is like a blend between sweet almond oil and Bengay. This is not what I want to smell like and it does linger and interfere with any other fragrances you may wear. The smell is awful in my opinion, but maybe when I get overheated I get grumpy and nothing seems right. However, it did provide instant relief and the next day the strange heat rash all over my body was gone. I don’t know if I’ll repurchase. It retails for $23.50 for a little over 5 ounces. This is costly and I would only see myself using this if the heat soared over 100 again just because I like the feel but hate the offensive odor. It is available at DERMAdoctor.

Rêve de Miel Ultracomfortable Foot Cream has a great texture. It isn’t sticky at all. It is very light-weight and absorbs quickly while still moisturizing. It is a great foot cream to wear during the day. I just wear foot cream nightly and still like the texture of this one because it doesn’t create greasy stains on my sheets. Lots of foot creams claim to be non-greasy. This one actually is. This is the “pro” of this product. And it still moisturizes and leaves my skin almost buffed when I wake up. That’s another “pro”. OK, now to the “con”. This cream has the strangest odor ever. It is like a mix of honey, cold bran cereal, and tomatoes. It is so strange. I was expecting this to smell rich and like honey. It has honey but it is just off with the other “notes”. I seriously won’t be buying this because of its odor. I find it too strange and disturbing. It grosses me out when it is on my hands and it is almost offensive. A 2.6 oz tube retails for $22. It’s a bummer because I really love the feel of this one. I just don’t think I can get over the odor it’s like Honey Nut Cheerios with compost scraps. If you are willing to give it a try because you want a light-weight, not greasy, and effective foot cream and can handle the odor then it can be purchased at beautyhabit.com or beauty.com.

cucumbercollage

Cucumber is a great scent for summer. It is light, fresh, slightly green and fruity with a watery and faint melon like odor. I crave cucumbers in the summer. Everything from little tea sandwiches of cucumber, dill, and cream cheese to my water pitchers of cucumber, lemon, and mint. Cucumbers are refreshing. I’ve put together a “collage” of cucumber scents that I think would be perfect for summer. And as always if you have any more to add, please do.

Budget Scents: This isn’t a “true” cucumber since it is a fresh, fruity floral but it dose have a healthy dose of cucumber: Carol’s Daughter Ocean. It retails for $27 and is nice for summer. This is light-wearing but awesome for summer: Tocca Aqua Amalfi Body Mist. It reminds me of a my favorite summer beverage which is water with cucumber, lemon, and mint. It retails for $30. Now, this product is very light wearing too but it is nice for a mid-day pick-up: Dove Go Fresh Body Mist in Cucumber & Green Tea. It retails for $4.50. It’s a “fresh” scent. I love the “pureness” of Kiehl’s Rollerball Essence Oil. It retails for $25 and has a great lasting power. I really do love everything about it. You can layer it with whatever you want. I think it would wear nicely with white florals or lemon/citrus oils. Demeter Cucumber is a garden fresh cucumber scent that goes for $20. It smells great but also has a light staying power. There is an entire genre of “Cucumber Melon” products from brands like Bath and Body Works, Avon, Body Fantasies. These are usually body sprays that are more on the melon side than cucumber.

More Expensive Scents: You get a lot of cologne splash for $68 with Marc Jacob Cucumber. This is a crisp and refreshing blend. This is a flirty floral cucumber scent: Yosh U4EAHHH!. It retails for $130 and I love its staying power and freshness. It is so pretty. Tocca Cleopatra is more of a citrus scent(grapefruit) but it has cucumber and it makes it refreshing. The EDP spray retails for $68. It’s a nice “heavier” summer kind of cucumber. Like the evening wear of cucumber. Jalaine Cucumber is a long-wearing fragrance that comes in a beautiful bottle. It is a blend of cucumber and Egyptian musk. It’s simple but heavenly and goes for $150. Fresh Index line has Cucumber Bale. It is a perfect summer scent with lots of cucumber, fruit, and blackberry musk. It goes for $75 (not pictured). But, I am not wild about its staying power.

Other “Cool” Products: Yes To Cucumbers Completely Cooling Body Butter is really awesome for summer. It’s moisturizing, cooling, and refreshing. Keep it in the fridge, its’ great for overheated skin. Kiehl’s Deluxe Body Lotion in Cucumber has such a fresh scent and a lightweight moisturizer. Origins Eye Doctor Moisture Care For Skin Around Eyes is cooling, lightly moisturizing, and has a fresh cucumber scent. It is great “beginner” eye cream. Estee Lauder Sparkling Clean Purifying Mud Foam Cleanser has a nice citrus and cucumber aroma. It’s a cleanser for oily skins. I also like Mario Dadescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion. Once again this is a product recommended for oily skin. Many cucumber scented items are recommended for oily skin. I have normal to dry skin but sometimes in the summer I will reach for the normal to oily products because I get a bit greasy, especially when I lived in the humid Southeast. So it’s a nice match between product and scent.

And since I usually wear cucumber scents during the summer, I keep them stashed in the fridge, especially the all-over splashes and sprays. It is so refreshing and great for when you can’t take the heat.

Even though it is a predictable scent for summer, I love coconut because it reminds me of the beach. It reminds me of frou-frou drinks and oily tanning lotion. It isn’t my favorite scent in the world and it is definitely low brow but it is so nice for that “instant” beach vacation. And it is rich and warm and delicious. You can’t say that about many other scents you can wear in summer. And you can find coconut scents and body products at a variety of price points. So if you just want the smell like a coconut sometimes, you can have it without feeling stupid for paying $60 for something you wear like 2 weeks out of the year. And if you are a coconut fanatic then you have so many choices!

Value Coconut Scents: I mention this brand all of the time but that is because they are cheap and high quality: L’Aromarine Coco. This is a fragrance oil that retails for under $10.  It is pure coconut: sweet and tropical.Yves Rocher has an EDT spray ranging in sizes but all are under $10: Le Plaisirs de Nature Noix de Coco. This is a “true” coconut as well in a convenient EDT spray. Urban Rituelle has a spicy coconut scent: Beachcomber Coconut and Ginger Perfume. It retails for $10 and a body line is available. Voluspa has a Victoria Collection (named after me of course, haha) in Malayan Coco. This is a sweet and exotic coconut that goes for $24. If you are looking for a sweet, gourmand coconut on a budget, try TokyoMilk Parfum in Let Them Eat Cake. It goes for $28 . A cheap EL Bronze Goddess substitute is Avon Tahitian Holiday. It retails for $15 for 1.7 ounces (watch out for specials, you can get it under $10). Bath and Body Works has an EDT, Ile de Tahiti Coconut Vanilla and it retails for $19.50 for 1.7 ounces. The Body Shop has a new Coconut line with body products and fragrance which retails for $16 for the fragrance oil. Demeter has a Kahala Coconut for $20 for 1 ounce and other sizes are available. This one is more like fresh coconut milk.

More Expensive Coconut Scents: LaVanila Vanilla Coconut is a sweet coconut scent that retails for $56 for 1.7 ounces. There is a also a body product line with this brand that includes deodorant. If you want a gourmand, dried coconut go for Laura Mercier Almond Coconut. It retails for $50 for 1.7 ounces and wonderful body products are available. One of my favorite scents ever is Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess. The EDT goes for $49.50 and the scent screams “beach” (more than it does coconut)! Comptoir Sud Pacifique has tons of “beach” scents. There is Vanille Coco and it is more of a coconut scent. It goes for $53. Susanne Lang has a Vanilla Coconut that goes for $50. French West Indies has a pure, light wearing coconut scent, Coco, and it retails for $42 for 4 ounces.

Coconut Body Products: If you want a “pure” and straight up coconut scented body product try Mountain Ocean Skin Trip Moisturizer and Soap. Both retail for under $7 each depending where you purchase them. These are my favorite coconut products ever, rich and creamy! Bath and Body Works have a few coconut lines: Creamy Coconut, Coconut Lime Verbena, and Exotic Coconut. And to be honest, I kind of like them all. The body sprays are nice for summer. Lush has some nice coconut products including: Coconut Deodorant Powder, Quinquereme of Nineveh Soap, and Creamed Coconut and Almond Shower Smoothie.

“Tropical” Coconut Blend Fragrances: This category is for those “based” on coconut scents. This is a fruity coconut scent: Ebba Miss Marisa Tropical Perfume Oil, retails for $62 and is long wearing. A nice “young” scent is Harajuku Lovers G fragrance it comes in a solid and spray and prices range from $18 to $45. Creed Virgin Island Water is a great “beach” scent and it goes for $210 for 2.5 ounces. If you can find a bottle of J.Lo Miami Glow get it if you want a rich coconut based scent. Also, Deseo is a nice “tropical” scent that isn’t as heavy on the coconut as Miami Glo.

Many of these products are available at their store (like Lush or Bath and Body Works), beautyhabit.com, b-glowing.com, Sephora, and even retailers like Wal-green’s.

coconutfragrances


Miami Glow Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz by Jennifer Lopez

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I am really happy with the fragrance of many Softsoap moisturizing body washes. I have already raved about their Mango Pomegranate. I have been in a real honeysuckle mood lately; it’s summertime. I’m also finding myself attracted to orange blossom scents and this is new for me. Once again, it’s summertime. It only makes sense to be attracted to these types of florals. I picked this up, unsniffed. It’s soap and it’s cheap and you can easily find it for $5.50 or under for 18 ounces. I figured if the scent was really gross I could use it hand wash undergarments or makeup brushes. Luckily, I like the strange honeysuckle and orange scent. Together it smells like a honeysuckle and an orange blossom mix. Think bitter honeysuckle. Not the best, but very nice for the money. My grandmother did hair and this scent takes me back. It is definitely a salon hair product via 1992 and I don’t know what it is but it is dead-on mystery salon scent. Of course, it foams nicely, makes a nice shaving cream and decent bubble bath. The scent does linger around once you are out of the shower. I don’t mind. It mixes nicely with some honeysuckle and orange blossom scents by Annick Goutal and Melissa Flagg. It’s fresh, summery, and very girly. Don’t purchase this if you dislike florals because you think it will be heavy on the citrus. It’s not. It’s much heavier on the floral than citrus. Don’t purchase this if you don’t like the odor of hairspray 🙂 or if you don’t like honeysuckle or orange blossom. You’ll hate this. Do buy it if you want a cheap feminine fragrance or if you like any of the things listed above.

Oh, and have a great 4th of July!

Weekly Cheap Secret:

This is one of those great drugstore products. Basically, it is the perfect summer moisturize. It is a lightweight lotion, not greasy and not very moisturizing either but really all I need during the summer when I sunscreen up anyways 😦 But, I must add that I am used to body oil and goopy body butters. That is my disclaimer. It is faintly scented. That doesn’t stick around at all so you can wear whatever fragrance you desire without your moisturizer getting in the way. Don’t worry this does not have that Original Jergen’s scent 🙂 What I love about this lotion is the shimmer. It has tons of tiny, finely milled gold shimmers. It looks amazing on tanned skin, any complexion really, because it “warms” it up. You are supposed to wait a few minutes before dressing because the shimmer may transfer on to clothes. I find myself impatient and rushed once I get out of the shower. Sometimes I dress immediately. I have gotten this on my clothes but it was no biggie. It washed out in the laundry and did not permanently stain. I somehow leave a glitter trail no matter where I go, so this didn’t bother me. If you let this dry, it will not budge. That is great. You will be shimmery all day! Do wash your hands unless you want gilded palms! I love to use this on my legs, everywhere, it really works with my complexion. I like it so much better than Michael Kors Leg Shine, which smells great but doesn’t give me a natural glow.

It’s a bummer because I can’t find this at any of the drugstores or superstores anymore. I order it from drugstore.com and it seems that many ladies are having this problem too. I hate that just because I hope it isn’t being discontinued because it is one of the best shimmer products on the market. I also read that a reviewer mixes this with body cream. That is a great idea. This is a little costly for a drugstore product and that will stretch it and it is hard to find. (I have been known to ration this product and only wear it when I know I will be showing some skin). Also you can customize how much moisture you need. It goes for about $7.50 for 7.5 ounces. I wish they would focus on this moisturizer again and stop coming out with all of those Natural Glow products, this is all I need!