As they have done with a select few from the Exclusif range, Chanel will be releasing Coco Noir as a parfum. Continue reading NEWS // CHANEL COCO NOIR EXTRAIT PARFUM & BODY CREAM
I received the Naturally Nourishing Lotion in a Glossy Box– I’m not sure if it’s a full size, but it’s definitely a huge sample. It smells of milk and honey, which may just be the most calming smell ever. The formula is not greasy, but it takes a few seconds to soak up– however considering it’s a body lotion, this is normal. I only use this lotion on my hands (probably because I could use the entire bottle in one go) and for the moment, it’s beat out all of my super intense winter hand salves. Now that I think of it, this one would be great for the men in our lives who freak out (ie. wipe their hands on towels, clothes, and then end up rinsing their hands) when they’re left with the greasy residue of most hand creams (after forcing them to even apply it). And, let’s be honest, while I don’t mind the extra oils, I’m gonna have to agree with the guys on this one.
Next up, the Cuticle Creme. My mom has been using this stuff for ages, so one day I snagged a jar from her bathroom because I liked the smell– the lemonade fragrance is like summertime on your nails (but it doesn’t sting in that lemon-y way). It’s a hard wax, so you swirl your finger in it to warm it up then apply to any rough cuticles. I love that it’s solid, because it’s so easy to carry around with you ie. it won’t explode in your bag (it’s happened to all of us). Usually cuticle oils are more intensive, they’re just so frustrating for me– they always end up on my face or in my hair, which leads to me washing my hands (completely counterproductive). So I what I look for in a cuticle fixer is fast absorbing, but moisturizing results, and that’s why this one is great.
Small illustrations are by Jean-Jacques Sempé from Le Petit Nicolas
With the summer months rolling around comes higher hemlines, spagetti straps and a lot more skin showing. And I don’t know about you, but that stresses me out big time. As if I wasn’t pale enough to begin with, my legs seem to be looking extra pasty after a long winter hidden away under layers of thigh-high socks and stretch-denim. However, the urge to finally wear my long forgotten shorts and skirts has overcome me and I’ve had to scramble to kick my legs into gear. And here’s what I’ve used.
Saint Tropez One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion is literally heaven-sent. If the title didn’t spell it out for you, it’s an instant body tanner that washes off at the end of the day. It comes out a dark earthy-brown tone (a bit intimidating the first time), but once all massaged out, looks like a natural olive tint. It covers any pinkness or visible veins for all you pale girls out there. It doesn’t smell like that awful tanner smell and it washes off your hands in a pinch. It doesn’t transfer onto clothes once dry, and lasts all day. However, it does look a little funky at the gym if you happen to sweat…
Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Body Lotion is one of the most expensive body lotions I’ve ever used on myself. At first, I couldn’t justify using a $40 (for only 250 mL) (!!!) lotion, considering I only need a little moisture for my legs and arms after showering. Sure enough, I figured out why people go crazy for this stuff. The texture is truly luxurious. It soaks in immediately, and leaves your legs looking immediately healthier, shinier and softer. It also happens to photograph really nicely (even Garance Doré agrees). And to be fair, I’ve been working at the 500 mL bottle since Christmas, and I’m only halfway through. Well worth it, nonetheless.
Some say that you should never put on your body what you can’t put in your mouth–and this is specifically what the ladies at Earth Tu Face believe. All of their products can be eaten–every single lotion, scrub, balm and cream is made from 100% plant-based, food grade ingredients with organic oils and waxes. In addition, these products have been created with no animal testing and are housed in completely recyclable containers. This is truly a brand that won’t weigh on your conscience and you can feel good about using.
Speaking of eating–the first time I tried their Rosemary and Salt Lotion, I immediately pictured a fluffy foccacia covered in rosemary, olive oil and salt. Not that this lotion makes you smell like Italian bread–but the rosemary scent is vibrant and fresh, with a slight minty-ness. The lotion itself is wonderful–not too heavy and absorbs very quickly, leaving a light, herby scent behind. On particularly dry days (I have very dry skin), I love to layer some almond oil underneath.
The Rose Face Balm is not what you would normally envision for a balm–it is in no way heavy, goopy or waxy feeling. It is a very solid balm that you need to melt a bit first with your fingers. ETF describes this as a concentrated face cream as it contains no water, and I think that this is fair. It doesn’t feel as if you are slicking on a heavy layer, it’s light, protective and very hydrating. I probably wouldn’t recommend this for oilier skins, but for normal to drier skins, this would work wonderfully and be particularly beneficial in the cold Winter months. It also contains coconut oils (known to be great as an anti-bacterial ingredient), and sandalwood and lavender oils, which make for an incredible scent.
Dying to try the rest of their range now.
Gentle Body Scrub: Everyone thinks to exfoliate their face, but no one thinks about their body–little scrub can work wonders in this chill weather. I’ve had this huge bottle hanging around in my shower for months, and it works great for post-shave exfoliation (which prevents ingrown hairs, ouch), gets rid of dry and flaky elbows during the winter months, my go-to scrub to ward off keratosis pilaris bumps on my arms and the perfect pre-fake tan skin primer (or post-fake tan if things didn’t turn out so well).
Cleanance Lotion: This is one of those products that I’ve always got stashed away, that I come back to every few months. It’s a staple daily moisturizer for anyone with combination, oily or acne prone skin. The non-greasy gel texture feels light and nourishing on the skin and doesn’t clog the pores.
Cleanance Purifying Mask: This one’s a great quick mask to throw on (five minutes, pfft) and will be your best friend when your face is feeling a bit irritated from breakouts, or overdoing it with the acne treatments. The grainy texture feels strange for a mask, but when it comes time to wash off, the beads work as a gentle exfoliator.
Xera Calm A.D: This moisturizer, named a balm by Avene, is thick and really coats the skin in a non-greasy way to totally restore moisture and quell any itching from dry skin. This is especially great for those with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. This has been a god-send for me this winter since jeans can only protect my legs from windchill so much. The bottle also has a special top that keeps the cream sterile, which is important for those with eczema-prone skin.
Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Cream: This is a great cream for all skin types really. It has enough SPF to protect your skin from the sun and contains ingredients like Ceramides and vitamin E to prevent moisture loss. A really nice texture that absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue. Also available in both lighter and richer formulations.
Cold Cream: This is what they are perhaps best known for, apart from the Thermal Water. This super emollient cream is for skin that is parched. If you skin is so dry and dehydrated, or if you are suffering from patches of eczema, this is what you need to bring your skin back to life. You can apply it either to the whole face or on dry patches.While it looks greasy at first after application, it will quickly absorb into the skin. The accompanying lip balm is also wonderful and leaves your lips looking slightly frosted.
Rich Compensating Cream: This one is intense. It even comes with a little spoon for application. While it is thick and non-greasy, this isn’t for everyone. This is for skin that is mature, very dry and dehydrated, or has maybe suffered some trauma and has cracked or suffered moisture loss. This one does, however, contain mineral oil, so if your skin is at all prone to acne, I wouldn’t suggest it.
Cold Cream Nourishing Body Lotion: This is a really nice and lighter weight body moisturizer. Absorbs quickly, fragrance-free and hydrates dry skin well. My husband really like this one to relieve itchy, dry skin (plus no fragrance = manly).
Aveda Stress-Fix Body Lotion is great for when I have some time before I go to sleep, especially if you worked out the day before. You can give yourself a mini leg massage while you get a whiff of the calming scent of this lotion. It feels great on tired muscles and gives you a few minutes to clear your head. Amanda likes to apply this all over after jumping out of the shower at night. The matching rollerball contains a more concentrated oil of this lavender, lavandin and sage scent. It’s great to throw in your purse for both those crazy-stressful moments or just for those few minutes of the train or when you’ve got a minute to sort your thoughts. I like to apply this one to my wrists and behind my ears.
I was actually in Organic Garage when I discovered Badger’s Sleep Balm (don’t overlook the beauty sections of these natural grocery stores, they’re cheap and usually great for your skin!). Now, this stuff won’t make you doze off upon a sniff of this, as the name may suggest (although that would be really cool and somewhat dangerous now that I think of it…). But the aroma of lavender and bergamot in the form of a moisturizing balm can do wonders! I warm a bit between my fingers then apply to the tops of my shoulders, behind my ears, temples (beware, this may cause breakouts), the tip of my nose, my wrists, really anywhere where you’d like.
Origins Peace of Mind is probably the most effective de-stresser of the bunch. It has an immediate cooling sensation which effectively soothes a lot of tension around my neck and jaw (I apply a pump of this to my temples and behind my ears). The scent is actually really minty, which doesn’t strike me as calming, but after trying many others, the mint may just be the key.
But do remember, nothing beats stress like good sleep, a trip to the gym and lots of water (also, green juice is an instant pick-me-up!).
When I received these, I was immediately curious what these products would smell like. Milk? Dairy? Not at all (thank goodness, I hate yogurt). Cowshed is a British company, inspired by the English Garden. Their products are all-natural, homeopathic, never tested on animals, and the ingredients come from sustainable resources (which is important to a lot of you). The garden influence really comes through in both of these products–they both have wonderfully herb-y smells, perfect for both men and women (Jordan really likes these as well).
Normally, I always have Aveeno’s lavender body wash (aka Positively Nourishing Calming Body wash) in the shower. But really, that isn’t truly representative of what lavender actually smells like. It’s what pretty lavender would smell like–but since body wash isn’t something that I normally care about and Aveeno is cheap, it works for me.
This body wash is something else though. It is made with a bunch of essential oils–jasmine, chamomile and sandalwood–which are super aromatic and really relax you, which refers to their name ‘lazy cow’ (I appreciate their playful names–other product lines include grumpy cow, knackered cow, horny cow, etc.). Apparently, from my past body wash choices, I look for de-stressing and calming qualities, and I swear, a deep whiff of this as I’m showering, and I’m quickly ready to go to sleep. This body wash is definitely an upgrade from the Aveeno, and it leaves a clean, but not dry or tight feeling.
The ‘moody cow’ bath and body oil can be used a few different ways–pour a few drops into a bath, apply after a shower to damp skin to hydrate or use it as a massage oil (I even used it on Jordan’s sore neck one night). This product is also quite aromatic, even more intense than the cleanser. It contains essential oils of rose gernanium, frankincense (not just for Christmas, apparently) and linden blossom. I apply it after my shower before bed to envelop myself in the relaxing scents. If you are going to use it as a body oil, be sure to test it on a patch of skin first, as the essential oils might irritate your skin. Overall, this is a lovely oil that has a light, thin viscocity to it that absorbs quickly.
Every single time I have lathered up with this lotion, someone tells me that I smell amazing. On my wedding day, I was told by 4 different people that I smelled amazing (before dancing started, mind you), all because of this product.
Not only does it have the prettiest citrusy-flowery blend, it has the perfect amount of hydration for summer. Enough to moisturize and give your skin a glow, but it won’t make your legs slide off each other when you sit down and cross them. Plus, it feels so nice and luxurious to smooth this own after a shower.
The scent is not overpowering, it doesn’t smell as if you are layering on the perfume– it will just lend you a freshness and a je ne sais quoi. In fact, I still apply my regular Coco Madmoiselle and it mingles with it perfectly.
Clever title, huh? (at least I thought so)
After an extremely disappointing stint with a high-end self tanner (who’s name I will not mention), I really began to appreciate my #1, my Jergens. Let me tell you my little story about when I was foolish enough to try another—it was a Monday morning (typical, typical). I decided to don a sleeveless tank that I had never worn, except my arms looked just a tad, well, dull. They needed a healthy glow. My mom had given me a sample of a big-name self tanner the night before, and I thought, well of course, this will obviously work much better than the one I’ve been using for years. I mean, it’s practically four times the cost and I had been pleased with other products from the line. So I carefully applied, following the basic rules of self tanning. The smell, which stuck around all day, was very strong and made me feel dirty. Then, as the day progressed, I noticed the sparkles on my arms– how am I supposed to pretend that I got a nice tan on the weekend when my skin is shimmering? And, as I recall the rather unfortunate events of today, I’m staring at my now streaky, orange arms (and still, that damn smell). Let’s just put it this way; not a good start to the week.
The Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moistuizer has gotten rave reviews for years, which is what initially drew me to it. It promises gradual, natural-looking colour, and to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and oh, does it deliver. Not until this sad Monday night have I realized that this stuff really smells great, not that unpleasant typical tanner odor. As fair as I am (let’s just say I’m more often than not the first shade that most foundations offer), I use the medium to dark colour, and have never looked streaky or orange. For most pale women, the veins in our legs can be extra-obvious through our light skin, and can appear purple-y blue–not really the beach babe look. I mix this (50-50) with my everyday lotion, slather on my legs, and my legs are not only rid of this discolouration, but also have a subtle glow that doesn’t scream a fake tan. And, I mean, come on, it’s like, $9. For all of the $30+ fancy-shmancy self tanners out there, can you risk another perfectly fine Monday when you’ve got an all-star at your local drugstore? I think not. I should have never doubted you, my dear Jergens.
Now, time to hit the shower, this smell is making me sick.