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.

Clarins Eau Dynamisante is the kind of fragrance that nobody would purchase if they just sniffed it on a blotter card. It is the kind of fragrance that needs to be worn to really “develop” and to figure out if it works for you. It’s a unisex fragrance, so no Red Velvet cupcakes or honeysuckle blossoms here. It is citrusy and herbaceous and really lives up to its invigorating name. It kind of shocks the senses with a burst of lemon zest. Yes, the fragrance smells good enough to dip a French loaf into and smells mainly of items found in the herb cabinet or garden: lemon zest, thyme, bits of rosemary, a teeny tad of lavender. However, it is grounded by patchouli. The patchouli doesn’t take over, it still smells very green and citrusy. It is a cologne or EDT, so the lasting power isn’t so great. It lasts less than an hour. However, the fragrance isn’t even marketed by Clarins as a fragrance. Instead it is marketed as a “well-being” product. This is appropriate since the wear is short termed. It is an invigorating burst, a pick-me up. So, it would need to be sprayed a few times throughout the day to clear the mind. One “burst” doesn’t keep us going throughout the day anyways. I mean I know we all have more than our morning cup of coffee. This fragrance is very fresh, very energizing. It is perfect for summer because it isn’t heavy or offensive. It wears lightly and smells of citrus and in season herbs. The scent really shines with body heat. The warmth of the fragrance is really seen with the warmth of the body. It will begin to smell a bit more of rosemary and patchouli. It is very neutral and natural. I love it. I always have it around in the summer. It isn’t the most beautiful fragrance I own or even the most interesting. It is just so fresh and easy to wear. It’s gladiator sandals and a jersey knit dress in the summer. It’s just that easy to wear. It retails for $46 for 3.4 ounces. I really wish it came in a smaller and portable bottle so that I could haul it in my tote in the summer to spray and to sanitize mass transit 🙂 . I have chilled the bottle in the fridge for a summer shocker. It lives up to its “dynamite” name. It is available at fragrancenet.com.

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.

If you want an herbaceous smelling expensive body wash then this is it. I really like Borghese products. I use many of them. I love the smell of this product. It is very invigorating. It contains many essential oils but to me it mainly smells of thyme, lavender, and comfrey. It really smells of rosemary too but that isn’t even an ingredient. So I think it is the thyme that is really stealing the show. It has a nice unisex fragrance. It also contains chamomile and patchouli but those are very faint in comparison to the other herbs. It is a beautiful spa, teal blue soap. It doesn’t really “foam” in my opinion. I mean, yes, it foams but it isn’t like Mr.Bubbles or anything. It really feels “clean” because of its scent and the fact that it contains sea salt. It makes the skin feel invigorated and purified. So, saying that, it is like a day at the beach. Your skin feels really smooth but it needs moisture badly! If you are dry, you’ll need a strong, greasy body cream after using this. It comes in a nice shower friendly pump bottle. I really liked to use it in the summer because it felt so fresh and my skin wasn’t as dry as it was in the summer. Then I lived in the South where it got to 100 degrees and I drove an old Chevy with no air conditioning. Hell; I think that is what they call that experience. This stuff managed to make me feel clean. Of course any shower would if you would sweat like I would. But, one day this gel turned into liquid. I had it in the shower and never took it out. An 1/8 of it was left and it was just water like, it still smelled good and foamed, it was just really weird. Has that happened to anyone else? But, anyways. It is a bit pricey for $32 for 16 ounces. However, Borghese always has wonderful gift sets and have GWPs a few times a year. This has a nice herbal fragrance. It’s expensive but it is like being at the spa everyday and that ain’t cheap. It can be purchased at drugstore.com.

Here is another cheap gift I bought. The set comes with six popular Bliss items. I like it but I think the L’Occitane Verbena to Go gift set from Sephora which is the same price is a much better buy. This kit has six super small items. Each item is one ounce and comes in a pretty cheap-o but one step up from a Ziploc baggie that is just there in case these things leak. The bottles are super small, one ounce is pretty tiny, but they are great for sampling or for airline travel. It comes with 5 Lemon + Sage items: Soapy Sap, Supershine Shampoo, Conditioning Rinse, Soap Slab, and Body Butter. This scent is a bit lemon zest with a hint of herb. I like the scent of L’Occitane Verbena better, it smells more “authentic”. The scent of the bliss stuff isn’t bad, I just prefer the other. This kit also contains a one ounce bottle of the Fabulous Foaming Face Wash. This stuff is nice and it is nice to have a travel bottle around. It smells like fake passion fruit. It won’t make you gag or anything I just thought it was an odd choice. I like these kinds of kits because the price is right and you do get to play with a lot of new stuff. I just wouldn’t buy one of these for myself. Now if there was a Blood Orange + White Pepper one, I would definitely pick a few of those up.

Lancôme Pure Empreinte Masque Purifying Mineral Mask with White Clay is one of my favorite skincare items. It is a basic mineral clay mask. It is white and dries plastery. It has a strange but pretty authentic ylang-ylang fragrance that smells a bit baby-ish. I like it because it sucks crap out of my pores in like 5 minutes. I don’t have 15 or 30 minutes to do a mask. I have a few products that require that much time but I rarely use them. Masks aren’t a skincare necessity but I feel they do make a difference. Lancome’s masque is kind of expensive at $28 a tube but at least I use it before it dries into a clay lump in the bottle. It truly shrinks and clears pores. Don’t use it a few days before an important even or the weekend. You’ll probably get a zit you didn’t think was there. I love to use this stuff for that kind of “nonproductive” blemish. This product “matures” it and spends up that long process. Gross, I know.