Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo

Don't mind the CVS security tag label. I picked up the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo when CVS was running a special BOGO on Shea Moisture products. I'm always eager to try a new shampoo specifically formulated for temperamental scalps and I had been wanted to try this line for quite awhile. This shampoo contains various natural ingredients that are meant to help dandruff, eczema and psoriasis and retails for around $10 for 12oz.

The consistency of the shampoo is a bit weird. It is very fluid in the bottle, but when you apply it on the hair/scalp, it almost becomes gummy. It smells like banana for the most part, but there's definitely an underlying herbal smell. It isn't my favorite but is a nice departure from the tea tree scent that is very common on these scalp helping products.

As the name suggests, this is a deep cleansing shampoo, meaning that it is really too stripping on my hair and scalp to use as my normal shampoo. I don't wash my hair everyday as it is, but found this too strong for anything more than once every week or two. Because of how drying it is, frequent use made my scalp worse though I think the recent weather changes had an impact too. Unfortunately, I can't say this is a holy grail product for me and I don't think I'll be repurchasing. I'm back to using the Philip B. as my "daily" scalp-healing product which I have come to adore even with the high price point.

Ingredients: De-ionized water, Decyl Glucoside (sugar beets), African black soap, Salicylic Acid, Salix Alba (willow) bark extract, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) seed oil, charcoal powder, Melaleuca Alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, Simmondsia chinensis seed (Jojoba) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) oil (denotes certified organic ingredients), aloe vera leaf juice, vitamin E, rosemary extract, plantain extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower and Lonicera Japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) flower extract.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

February Birchbox

Due to the epic snowstorm that occurred recently (thankfully missing Maryland though), my Birchbox was delayed. It recently arrived in the mail and aside from missing the bit of chocolate, it was a good one!

Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls Styling Lotion 1oz (full size 8.5oz|$22) worth $2.50
Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator 20g (full size 120g|$34)  worth $5.60
Lancome Le Base Pro Makeup Primer .23oz/7ml (full size .8oz/25ml|$42) worth $12
Color Club Wild Cactus mini .25oz (full size .5oz|$8) worth $4

Even though I'm not a fan of sample packets generally, the Miss Jessie's packet is huge! I'm really excited about trying the Vasanti exfoliator and while the green polish really isn't my thing, I love the cute mini bottles that Birchbox has been sending! I don't typically use silicone based primers but I will definitely give the Lancome a whirl.

What did you get in your Birchbox?

Disclosure: Referral link utilized.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

January Empties

Weleda Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion - This 10ml sample came in a Beauty Army box. This smells like actual almonds (not marzipan) and was very gentle. It was great for washing my face in the morning though I wouldn't consider it for evening use as it doesn't remove makeup. I'd consider repurchasing this once I get through some other cleansers as the price is reasonable and I'm a fan of the Weleda brand.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir - I know I know. I tried finding alternate products for this but during a particular time of the month when I'm prone to breakouts, this product is great. It is pricey, the scent is not my favorite and it contains alcohol but I do really like it still.
Caudalie Vinexpert Broad Spectrum SPF15 Radiance Day Fluid - Even though this was only a 3ml sample, it lasted for quite awhile. This was very light on the skin. I didn't find it hydrating enough for me so I wouldn't repurchase.
amika Nourishing Hair Mask - This packet came in a Birchbox. It was a pretty decent hair mask, though it does contain silicone. I only got one use out of the packet so I'm not sure I'd repurchase or not.
Bath & Body Works Vanilla Pistachio Gentle Foaming Hand Soap - Oh my goodness, the Vanilla Pistachio scent from Bath & Body Works is divine! Seriously annoyed that they discontinued this but I picked this up at one of their semi-annual sales. I currently have a back up and I'm kicking myself for not getting more. So delicious.

Have you finished anything recently? Link your empties posts below if you have them!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Physicians Formula Winner!

Congratulations, to...


Don't fret if you didn't win. My goal for 2013 is to have more giveaways. A quick question though. Do you prefer multiple small ones (like this) or a big giveaway less often? I'm partial to these smaller ones myself since smaller items means I have the means to send to more readers and in more places, too! Let me know your thoughts below.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Review: (Zoya) Smart Spa Grapefruit Surprise Sugar Scrub

Zoya and its mini sub-brands, Qtica, Smart Spa and Callus are very generous with their gift with purchases. The best part is you don't need to remember any codes and items are automatically added to your order if you make a high enough purchase. It must have been several months ago that they were including these Smart Spa sugar scrubs as their GWP. Between a couple orders, I managed to get two of their sugar scrubs, the Grapefruit Surprise I'm reviewing today and the Cool Sugar (which I think might be discontinued). The 7oz tube usually retails for $18 so it was a pretty nice freebie.

I'm a big fan of scrubs and my favorites are sugar scrubs, but I'm very picky with my scrubs. I don't like oily residues and prefer fairly abrasive scrubs that really do the job. If there's only a few scrubby bits, I may as well use my gloves and regular shower gel and save an extra step and money!

The Smart Spa sugar scrub is a little weird. It's a thick gel and within the gel there are tons of little sugar particles. Upon first glance, I thought it wasn't going to be that great but when I actually used it, I was pleasantly surprised. The Grapefruit Surprise is a zingy slightly sweet scent which is great for mornings, it doesn't leave a residue as promised, it has medium "scrubbiness" and it's true, it's non-irritating. Even though this is marketed for professionals for pedicures and manicures, I used it all over my body without a problem. Because it's so thick, it's actually ideal in the shower and doesn't get washed away quite as easily as thinner or drier varieties.
The first thing I thought when I squeezed it out was that it looked exactly like a gum drop!

Anyway, I have quite enjoyed using mine though I'm not sure I'd repurchase as I already have a back up and it's a little pricey. If you received one as a freebie and stuck it in the back of your cabinet like I did, you should pull it out and give it a try!