Malin+Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser is a gel cleanser formulated for all skin types with a light, natural grapefruit aroma. I have normal skin but in the summer here in the PNW with no A/C, my skin gets greasy. This product did great for my skin when used at night. My skin was left smooth with no drying. I don’t know if this is a formula that I could use in winter. It may be too drying for my otherwise normal skin type. (I typically prefer cream cleansers in the cooler months).

There is a super light fragrance that is “naturally occurring”. It is a faint, vitamin C citrus. It isn’t strong or offensive. The gel foams nicely, especially with the help of Shiseido Cleansing Massage Brush. This leaves my skin feeling very clean and refreshed. I think this cleanser did a good job of cutting grease. I don’t know if it is the best at removing makeup since I’ve only been wearing a light dusting of powder lately. But, I would think that it does a nice job because it removes oil so nicely. I also want to add that this cleanser leaves my skin feeling smooth, thanks to citrus enzymes and amino acids. I do think it is a nice match with that Shiseido brush. It’s gentle everyday exfoilation. Everybody likes the look of a healthy glow.

An 8 fl.oz. bottle retails for $30. It is available at beauty.com and Barney’s.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

Humphrey’s Lilac Witch Hazel is a very nice toner. Sure, it isn’t much different than your regular ole’ witch hazel, but it has an amazing springtime fragrance. It may be more expensive than that regular ole’ witch hazel, but it is still a great deal at about $6 for 8 fluid ounces. I think all of the “extras” make up the difference.

This toner contains no alcohol but it still leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshed without being “tight”. It contains lots of antioxidants, every tea extract imaginable, and soothing calendula and cucumber. Plus, it has exfoliating enzymes from pineapple and papaya (these enzymes are known to lighten discolorations as well). So, yes, I like the formula. It is nice for my normal skin and I enjoy seeing all of the grime on the cotton pad than on my face.  It removes makeup and keeps my skin feeling smooth. It is highly fragrant. I like this but it could bug some people. It smells of spring because of the lilac. It’s a plain and simple soliflore. It doesn’t completely mask the odor of witch hazel but somehow that works out. (I actually like the smell of witch hazel). In fact, I like the smell of this so much that I’m thinking of purchasing a bottle to put in a spray bottle to use as spray to freshen up stale closets/rooms and to refresh my skin throughout the day. The fragrance just screams “spring!” which I need right now. (Currently, the weather in Seattle is terrible. It snowed…in the first week of April and it has been cold). I also like the packaging. It comes in a plastic bottle which I don’t have to worry about breaking on my tile bathroom floors. I also like the artwork, the colors and subject matter remind me of turn of the century lithography used in perfume/cosmetic ads.

The product is available at many stores like Whole Foods or Humprehys website.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I bought this strange thing. OK, it has a name eos which stands for Evolution of Smooth. I was attracted to this product because it is 95% USDA organic and 100% natural with ingredients like shea butter and olive oil, even has honeysuckle flower extract! I needed a lip balm and thought I would try something new. (OK maybe not needed…) I’m not tired of my Rose Bud Salve, I love that stuff. I  just wanted something less glossy. I need a “balm”. I ordered this from drugstore.com for $3.99. I couldn’t really judge scale or anything from it because I have never seen this product in person before. I guess it is sold at Target and at Safeway here in the PNW.  I was tempted by the “honeysuckle” flavor claim. I wanted it to take me back to my childhood when sucking the nectar out of honeysuckle blossoms was the best treat ever. Well, this is the “smooth sphere” so what I got was a strange melon green sphere thing the size of a small chicken or quail egg with a twist off top. Unfortunately mine looks dirty because it rolled around and got grimy in the drugstore.com box. Inside is a lip balm, like the size of a small quail egg. It’s huge and you just apply it like you would a tube lip balm. I have a big mouth and one swipe and I’m done. It reminds me of those old school and huge Lip Smackers. One swipe of those and I was done too. I think when it gets flat, I can just use my fingers to get it out. I don’t know yet. The fragrance is more honeydew melon and not honeysuckle.  It’s a fresh and very sweet honeydew melon that doesn’t smell “fake” like a Lip Smackers 🙂 Really the odor is very faint and not offensive, I just wish it was more floral. However, the flavor is sweet like honeysuckle. Not the type of floral sweet found in honeysuckle but more like the sweet “honey”/nectar found in a honeysuckle. I really don’t “smell” it but I taste it. The balm is smooth, not sticky. I like the way it feels. It is a good lip balm, not too thick or waxy but not too thin or overly slippery. Unfortunately it doesn’t wear very long and I find that I have to reapply very, very frequently. It’s not a bad product, my only complaint is the lasting power. . Mainly I like the strange shape which reminds me of a Kinder Egg with a lip balmy surprise. The sphere also comes in Summer Fruit and Sweet Mint. eos also sells from their website. They also sell a shaving cream and lip balm in a stick form.

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.

I am a sucker for body treatment products. I fall for anything that claims to tighten, firm, or perform miracles to the skin. Luckily, I haven’t been burnt by a product, well, until now. I have found that cellulite creams and firming gels really do improve the appearance of my skin (yes, temporarily) and I like the way they make my skin feel. I’m the kind of person that loves to wear control tights and feel pressure on my body. Yep, a bit of a sensory deficit and a bit on the spectrum and falling a bit off the neuro-typical line… Anyways, I have tried so many products and I have repurchased so many products. Maybe they don’t work, I just know that I am in love with the claims . I like most of Clarins products. I have had a few friends rave over the treatment oil. I thought I would give it a try even though I promised the husband I would no longer anoint my body in apricot kernel oil because I left grease spots everywhere like a Sphynx cat. My friends claimed of shedding excess water weight, having super smooth legs, blah, blah, blah. The Anti-Eau oil claims to “slim” by ridding the body of quite frankly, water weight. It is supposed to make the legs feel lighter and get rid of “sponginess”. It contains essential oils of marjoram, broom, geranium, lemon, and orange all in a fatty hazelnut oil base. The oil is a oil and needs to be applied to damp skin and rubbed in. A little goes a long way. It smells very herbaceous and like an herb garden or the spice rack. It smells mainly of citrus zest and marjoram in my opinion. I like the smell. It is very invigorating and really adds to the “spa” like experience of this expensive French product. (3.4 ounces retails for $50). I have been using this product nightly for months doing all of the goofy massages, etc. I use a Lancome cellulite gel in the morning. So far I haven’t noticed anything from the oil other than I smell really nice like summertime gardens and have really smooth skin. My skin is smooth because I am soaking in oil again. That does wonders for dry skin. But, feeling “lighter” and not puffy, nope. My gels do more. They are instant and temporary. This oil just proves that you can believe in something but that doesn’t mean it will work. Or that you are buying the wrong product because what the hell is water weight anyways? I won’t be repurchasing and I will have to break the pact with the hubby. I’m adding lavender oil to a bottle of apricot kernel oil and there is nothing he can do about it.

For once I am purchasing a product not just because of its fragrance. In fact with the Caress Exotic Oil Infusions, I am not too wild about the fragrance. I just love the product. It is the perfect shower gel for my skin. I use this stuff and then slap on some cocoa butter lotion and my skin looks so healthy and like it is glowing. It feels very “touchable” and I actually get compliments on the condition of my skin. It just looks flawless.

The products comes in three “flavors”: Moroccan, Brazilian, and Japanese. The fragrances are pretty faint in comparison to other shower products on the market. Moroccan is a blend of cassis cream and starflower oil. It smells somewhat floral but a bit woodsy as well. It reminds me of Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy, a very faint and tolerable version. It’s somewhat feminine but just a little masculine. Brazilian is enhanced with passion flower cream and acai fruit oil. It smells somewhat fruity and like passion flower. It smells a bit “fuzzy” and a little fermented.  Japanese has white lotus cream and kuikui nut oil. I have not used this one so I can’t comment on its fragrance. The funny thing about this product is that despite it’s “exotic” ingredients and fragrance that is supposed to represent its “country”, they all feel exactly the same (who knew that acai fruit oil and kuikui nut oil are so similiar?). And the fragrance left on the skin smells the same. One world, I guess. Luckily the scent doesn’t hang around very long. I am sure it would disappear completely if paired with a fragrant body lotion/cream. The scent doesn’t linger but the moisture does. I can’t get over how smooth my skin is when I use this. I think in the summer this would be all I need. No lotion. I don’t use it with a loofah. I just apply it directly, massage it in, and rinse. This seems to really work for me. The price is under $7 for a big bottle. Granted that since I do not use a loofah/sponge, it doesn’t last very long. But, I have used very expensive things in the past and nothing has actually improved the condition of my skin like this. I can ignore its scent. I have to say that so far my favorite scent is Moroccan out of the ones that I have tried. So ignore the scent and the image of the product that says, “Want to try a Moroccan beauty secret? You’ll enchate everyone around you!” Lame but a really nice product. It’s available at drugstore.com.