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.