L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is a fairly simple product that does what it is intended to do: moisturize hands. The formula is very smooth and rubs in easily. It is a white balm that is smooth as butter.  It is smooth and spreads very easily, meaning that you don’t need too much to have soft hands. It is moisturizing and you can tell that it is on your hands. I wouldn’t call it greasy but you can tell that it is there. It isn’t sticky or slippery. The formula doesn’t get all over my steering wheel or on my paperback books. However, I do have super dry hands that go through hell in a work day. As a speech therapist, I wear latex gloves frequently and I use alcohol based hand sanitizers and I use harsh “institution” grade hand soaps so many times throughout the day. My hands are often tight feeling and ashy. I have been having a real problem with “ashiness” during the cold weather.

There is a scent but it is faint. I only smell it while I am rubbing in the cream. I would say that this scent lingers around for about 2-5 minutes on me. I get a super soft aroma of a tropical bouquet of ylang-ylang and jasmine. But, like I said, it doesn’t stay around. I do like this. I am a fragrance nut and I don’t really want my hand cream interfering with my choice of fragrance for the day. And I do love anything jasmine even it is there but only for a short amount of time. This provides a quick fragrance pick-me-up.

The packaging is cute but not very practical. I do wish that it had a flip cap so I could open and close it with one hand. It is no fun dropping that cap and having it roll under the bed.

The formula contains 20% shea butter, vitamin E, sweet almond oil extract and other nourishing ingredients.

It is a nice product but it is expensive at $26 for just over 5 ounces. I know I will buy it again but I won’t be purchasing a tube for my purse, my desk, my car, one for each bathroom, etc. I can’t afford that. Smaller sizes are available and throughout the year gift sets are offered. It is available at DERMAdoctor.

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Did I really need to fall in love with a luxury makeup remover? The answer is no. But, I can’t help it. Cinq Mondes Pâte de Fleurs Makeup Remover/Cleansing Balm is the most luxurious cream cleanser on the market. Or at least from what I have tried and trust me, I’ve tried so many.

Cinq Mondes describes everything as a “ritual”. Of course, I fall for that since my skincare rituals consist of 30 minutes twice a day. That’s why I fell for Erno Laszlo. I love to spend time doing that kind of stuff. Anyways, this is described as ritual from Bali. It is a thick and rich creamy paste that is supposed to cleanse and moisturize skin without drying it out. It is supposed to be used with some special cloth which I am not using and it is working out fine. Somehow this paste is rich but it doesn’t leave my skin oily or greasy. It is formulated for normal to dry skin. It leaves it feeling smooth and soft, almost like it has been exfoliated (it does contain natural acids). It removes makeup so easily (this is why I go for cream cleansers in general). The paste does a great job and feels great, so do many of the items like this on the market; however, it is the fragrance of this one that makes it special. It smells like Tahitian gardenia, white exotic lilies and passion flowers. It is such a romantic and luxurious fragrance. The fragrance is what makes this product ritualistic. I have never used a skincare product that smelled so lovely.

I don’t know if I would use this cleanser daily since I don’t wear face makeup very often. This is almost a special occasion cleanser due to its price, fragrance, and the fact that I need it to remove heavy makeup. This makeup remover is the Guerlain Shalimar pure parfum or the red lipstick of facial cleansers. It just seems so luxurious and special.

It retails for $58 for 150 mL and is available at beautyhabit.com.

This Almond Apple Sweet Peel is a must have exfoliant for sensitive skin. I can use a scrub and be the color of a beet for hours. This is why I would only add a scrub to my nightly routine. I had to sleep off the inflammation. This product was recommended to me by a sweetie at a L’Occitane in downtown Seattle. I’m happy she talked me in to trying this.

After being showed this product, I had to smell it. I love the aroma. It smells like all the other products in the Almond Apple line. It smells like sweet almond and faintly of tart apples. The aroma is not overwhelming. It’s pretty faint and soft smelling. It smells innocent and “cute”. I want them to make this in to a fragrance spray so I can use it as a linen spray or at least to spray Frink the frugglet with (um, he’s a dog). The scrub is in a thick gel like base. It has a few almond shell scrubbers. They aren’t jagged, they feel very “round”. The scrubbers aren’t too small and they are aren’t too large. There aren’t thousands of them. You just get a few during a use. A few, but enough to exfoliate. This is why my skin can take it. It also doesn’t leave me dried out. Good, no pain or tightness. This is a must have for dry or sensitive skin. It’s a scrub for those not trying to scrub away their acne (bad idea anyways) or for those not trying to sand down to their skeleton. Since I have normal skin that has a tendency to get dull, I use this twice a week. It is gentle enough to that and my skin actually looks better afterwards. I do not look like I have a rug burn all over my face. I think I could use this in the morning and actually leave the house, looking refreshed and glowing. ( I haven’t tried this). I also like this stuff because it is gentle enough to use on my neck. I would also guess that this scrub could be used daily by those with normal skin that do not wear too much makeup as a face wash.

It’s a bit pricey at $34 for 3.5 ounces. I justify the purchase because I like the fragrance, I like the way it makes my skin look and feel, and it isn’t something I use every day. I can get many uses out of a jar and I think I have to consider the cost per use. So far I would say that I have used it about 48 uses and I have about a half a jar left. Let me say that I can get about 96 uses out of a jar, making this 35¢ a use. That’s worth it to me. It is available at L’Occitane, beautyhabit.com, and beauty.com.

Sorry for the lack of postings. I’ve been on spring break. You know enjoying Seattle’s cold and rainy spring days 🙂 Anyways….

This is a pretty good body butter. It is thick and moisturizing but not greasy at all. It doesn’t feel like it is “on” the skin. I like it as a heavy moisturizer for warmer climates. It doesn’t linger or feel oily. It claims to be fragrance free, but there is a fragrance. However, it isn’t a gross or chemical fragrance that is often used to disguise a products occurring fragrance. It is nice and clean and super faint. The fragrance fades very quickly once the butter is massaged into the skin. It is a bit pricey. It is $23.50 for 6.7 ounces. However, a little goes a long way and a tub of this can last longer than most liquid lotions this size. It does moisturize and leaves the skin moisturized all day. The fragrance doesn’t interfere with other fragrance products you may wear. (See I am trying to justify spending this much on a body butter when I know there are great drugstore body butters on the market.) And Clinique does offer GWPs. So I’ve justified it.

This eye balm really doesn’t do much but I like it. OK, some background information. I have pretty normal skin that goes a little dry in the winter. I am young, mid-20’s, so it isn’t like I am combating deep lines. I really just like the idea of preventive care. I get really dry, even around the eyes in the winter. This is just a basic, rich but quick absorbing odorless eye cream. I love to use this at night. It is so smooth so it doesn’t tug the eye area. It combats lines, just those caused by harsh and dry climates. A little bit goes a long way. It hasn’t irritated my eyes or migrated into other areas since it absorbs so quickly. It is cheap too at $30. As you know, eye creams aren’t so cheap. Of course, this really doesn’t do much either… Anyways, I really recommend this for those living in extreme climates and those with dry skin. If you have serious “eye issues”, don’t use this. Go for something with an acid or something. But, if you do have serious “eye issues” this would work wonderfully mixed with concealer for the undereye area. It would keep things from settling in the creases and from tugging away at the delicate eye area. It’s a gentle cream, I like it but I know that our relationship will only last a few years before I have to move on to bigger and better creams for the eye area 😦 It is available at DERMAdoctor.

Weekly cheap secret: I bought a tube of this on sale for .99¢ and I still have half of it left and I’ve been using it for over six months. I really like this little bargain. It is different than many of the other formulas that I have used in the past. I’m usually a die hard Lancome Bifacil user. I like dual aqua/oil eye makeup remover formulas. I like the rosewater gentle stuff like by Clarins and Lancome but I wear too much eye makeup for that stuff to do anything. Water removes more eye makeup than those formulas. Avon Moisture Effective is a lotion based product. It is a rich formula and may not be so great for oily skins. I have normal to dry skin and this doesn’t bother me. A little goes a long way. I apply it, smear it around the eyes and lashes and wash off (pat) with a damp cotton round. My eye area is left completely naked, happy, moisturized, and clean. Plus, there is no need to tug or pull at the eye area. I have made mistakes of using this with my contacts in. Boy, does it make those things blurry if you get this on the lenses. It is great on the end of a Q-tip to correct mistakes, especially liquid liner mistakes. I love this product and I recommend it for anyone who is a heavy eye makeup wearer or for those days you wear alot of makeup. It usually retails for $4 and is usually on sale for $1 or $2. It’s an amazing cheap bargain. Just one ounce has lasted me for over 6 months.

I know that I am one of the few people on the planet that really loves this product. I also know that I am a fool for paying $22 for a lip balm so maybe that is one of the many reasons why people dislike this. I love this lip balm mainly for its smell. It smellsl like cheap wine, that’s it. That is why I dish out $22 for this stuff. I like the fermented fragrance. It has a nice cheap rosé odor. I like it, in a sick weird, maybe I am a wine-o or maybe a trashy lady of leisure way. One fo the main ingredients is wine. So,the taste of wine can be on my lips constantly. This stuff really repairs my abused and dry lips. I hate the cold! Burning, chapped lips are the worst. It exfoiliates and moisturizes them, leaving my lips as soft as they were when I was a baby. It doesn’t leave a sheen or a gloss, which is nice. It is really difficult to find a truly matte, shine free balm. I like that look sometimes, you know? This balm was created in 1828 and you know how I love antiquities and vintage crap.