Product Review: The Body Shop White Musk Sumptuous Silk Shower Gel

the body shop white musk sumptuous shower gel

Name: White Musk Sumptuous Silk Shower Gel
Brand: The Body Shop
Size: 8.4 fl oz
Price: $15.00

From The Body Shop’s website:
Turn your shower into a sensual, lather-filled indulgence with a sumptuous, soap-free cleanser that has a silky-smooth gel texture and soft, velvety scent.

What I liked:
– cleanses skin well
– gentle, doesn’t irritate nor dry out skin
– beautiful scent

What I didn’t like:
– if you don’t like musky floral scents, this is not for you.

I wasn’t initially going to review The Body Shop White Musk Sumptuous Silk Shower Gel. TBS only gave me a small sample with an old purchase, and it didn’t last long. But then I figured that since a) shower gels don’t need to be tested for long periods, and b) this stuff is pretty good, I might just tell you about it.

I have dry skin, so I need a shower gel that cleanses it well without drying it out even more. This fits the bill very well. The combination of sodium laureth sulfate (not to be confused with its much harsher cousin sodium lauryl sulfate) and cocamidopropyl betaine produces just the right amount of lather and gently removes all traces of dirt and other impurities from my skin. The addition of glycerin, an humectant that draws water from the environment into the skin, keeps it soft.

Its musky flower scent is lovely. Flowery enough to still be somewhat feminine, but musky enough to also make it appealing to your man (he won’t mind if you leave it in the shower for him to use), it features notes of lily, iris, and ylang ylang, mixed with musk, vetiver, and patchouli.

Cleaner and soapier than the ETD version, it is quite subtle but still manages to cling onto the skin for a few good hours. If you’re tired of the usual sweet fruity floral shower gels that saturate the market, you may want to give this a go.

Ingredients:
Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Citric Acid, Honey, Maltodextrin, Methylparaben, Benzophenone-3, Disodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-7, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Hexyl Cinnamal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Hydroxycitronellal, Hibiscus Abelmoschus Extract, Coumarin, Isoeugenol, Benzyl Benzoate, Geraniol, Benzyl Salicylate, Farnesol, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Eugenol, Limonene, Benzyl Cinnamate, Citral, Violet 2 (CI 60730), Red 33.

Available at: The Body Shop IT, The Body Shop UK, The Body Shop USA

Summary
The Body Shop White Musk Sumptuous Silk Shower Gel gently cleanses skin, leaving it clean and soft. And it smells great!

Rating: 4/5

Disclosure: the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.
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Cream VS Powder Blush: Which Is Better?

cream powder blushes

Are you Team Cream or Team Powder? Blush, that is.

I’m Team Powder, but more out of habit than anything else. Every time I use a cream blush, I can’t help but wonder why I don’t more often. I love the natural flush it gives my cheeks. But, come the next day, powder blushes drive me back to them.

Even so, I wouldn’t say that powder blushes are better than cream ones. It just depends on your skin type and what look you are trying to achieve. Powder blushes can absorb excess oil, making them an excellent choice for ladies with combination and oily skin. They also tend to give a more matte, polished finish to the skin.

L: NYC Blushable Creme Stick in Big Apple Blush; R: Sleek Makeup Blush in Suede

L: NYC Blushable Creme Stick Blush in Big Apple; R: Sleek Makeup Blush in Suede

Cream blushes, instead, are moisturising. More suitable for dry and mature skin, cream blushes provide a dewy flush, like you’ve just… well, blushed. They give skin a more youthful appearance and look more natural on.

Sheerer than powder blushes, cream ones are easier to build up. You have more control on how intense you want the colour to be, and you never have to worry about clown cheeks. That’s always a risk with highly pigmented powder blushes. That’s even more true if you have fair skin. I love being a pale princess, but that can make blush application challenging.

The trick, with very pigmented powder blushes, is to use a light hand and a stippling brush. This type of brush picks up less product, giving you more control over application. If you need to, you can always add more, but I find that’s rarely necessary.

With sheer or medium pigmented blushes, a big fluffy brush works best. It makes application quicker and just as precise. In both cases, though, you can take your time in blending out harsh edges and blotchy patches.

cream vs powder blush

That’s not always the case with cream blushes. Often, they set quickly, and once they do, they are pretty hard to remove. To avoid streaked and marbled cheeks (ugh!), you’re forced to hurriedly blend them in. You can do so with your fingers but, if you don’t want to stain them, a stippling brush does the job very well too.

My main gripe with cream blushes, though, is their short staying power. Most cream blushes last only 6 or 7 hours on my dry cheeks. That’s not bad, but with powders, I can just forget I have them on at all. Most of the colour is usually still there when I take my makeup off late at night.

But, for a really longlasting glow and pop of colour, use them together. Apply first a cream blush as a base, and then a powder blush in a similar colour on top of it. This way, you can just forget about touch ups. The colour won’t budge. I usually do this when the weather start getting warm, so I don’t have to worry about the heat melting my face.

Best Blushes

My favourite powder blushes? I love anything from Benefit and Nars. Nars has a wide selection of blushes in different finishes. Some are sheer, other highly pigmented, so anyone will be able to find something they love. Benefit blushes tend to be on the sheer side, which is great news for pale princesses.

Darker damsels would, instead, appreciate Sleek Makeup Blushes more. Best applied with a light hand, they are highly pigmented and pack a punch. I also have a thing for Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes. The range includes both matte and shimmery shades, all of which have good colour payoff and an easy-to-blend texture. The only con is that they are almost impossible to find outside the US. Boo!

What about cream blushes? My favourites are from Illamasqua. They have good colour payoff and a creamy texture that makes application a breeze. If you’re on a budget, try NYX Rouge Cream Blushes. They are sheer, but buildable, and give cheeks a glowy and healthy flush.

What are your favourite blushes?

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Product Review: Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer

benefit that gal 01

Name: That Gal
Brand: Benefit
Size: 11ml
Price: $29.00

From Benefit’s website:
Our silky pink primer takes your complexion from dull to darling! Simply blend it on for the look of brighter, smoother skin. Contains light-reflecting pigments to help brighten all skin tones and raspberry & chamomile to soothe skin.

What I liked:
– provides a radiant glow when used alone or on top of foundation
– helps even out the skintone a bit
– longlasting
– silky texture, blends easily

What I didn’t like:
– doesn’t work well when used under foundation
– not suitable for very oily skin

That Gal is such a tease! She hooks you in with promises of beautifully glowing skin. But does she deliver? Only when she feels like it. Do what she wants, and she’ll take your tired complexion from dull to darling. But hide her under a layer of foundation, and she’ll sulk so much, she’ll just refuse to glow.

benefit that gal 02

That totally defeats the purpose of a primer, doesn’t it? But then That Gal, despite its claims, is not a primer. It does nothing when used as a base. It doesn’t brighten your face, and doesn’t even make your foundation last longer. It does help even out the skintone and hide very small imperfections, but only a little bit.

So, what is it? A highlighter. The pink shade is infused with light-reflective particles that catch the light and give your complexion a subtle glow, but only when used alone or on top of foundation. Applying a primer all over foundation is just too weird for me. I prefer to just dab a little on the areas that are naturally hit by sunlight, like my cheekbones and bridge of my nose.

benefit that gal 03

I also use That Gal on those days when my skin is good enough to skip foundation. Then, I apply it all over my face, which is instantly brightened up. I’m not talking about a discoball effect (although it accentuates oily patches if your skin is very oily). That Gal gives a radiant, subtle, and healthy glow.

Its texture is lovely. It’s silky, neither runny nor thick, and blends really easily. Once applied, it last for most of the day. It first starts to fade, after about 8 hours, from my slightly oily t-zone, and then, slowly, from the rest of my face. Its fruity, raspberry scent, instead, disappears almost immediately. Shame, cos it’s delicious!

benefit that gal 04

The packaging is adorable, colourful and fun. But I’m not sure I’d like to use the full size, glue-like container. My sample, part of a gift set sent me by my friend Janessa, is housed in a simpler, classic tube. It’s just as pretty, and much more practical.

Available at: Boots, Feel Unique, Sephora, and Ulta

Summary
As a primer, That Gal does nothing. But, as a highlighter, it gives skin a natural and radiant glow that lasts for hours.

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclosure: the review contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.
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Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.176

Hello gorgeous,

another week, another round of Random Ramblings. Ready? Here we go:

Confessions Of A Beauty Blogger

confessions of a beauty blogger

Beauty bloggers have a reputation for always looking polished, taking perfect care of their skin, and just never put a food wrong beauty-wise. That’s what we show you. But, behind the scenes, the reality is very different. We don’t always practice what we preach, can be lazy, and have some pretty bad habits.

It’s time for me to ‘fess up some of my secret, shocking beauty confessions. Here we go:

1. I very rarely finish makeup products. I test so much stuff for the blog that it’s almost impossible for me to hit pan on anything. When I do, I know I’ve found a HG gem.

2. I don’t clean my brushes as often as I should. Probably only every couple of weeks, but sometimes, I can put it off for a month. The only exception are my foundation and concealer brushes. I do wash those often.

3. I don’t take as good care of my brows as I should either.
It feels like a chore. Beauty should never feel like one. It should be fun. If it isn’t, I’ll put it off… and off… and off. Luckily, I like their natural shape, but I think I should tweeze them more often. *sighs*

4. I rarely wear nail polish. I love it, but both application and removal are a hassle I’d rather do without. So, it’s something I usually reserve for special occasions.

5. I stopped keeping count of how much stuff I have. My collection now fills five large and deep drawers, and keeps expanding. Soon, it’ll kick me out of my room. lol

6. I can’t stop buying pink lipglosses, even though I have too many and they are starting to look all the same. *ahem*

7. I don’t always leave the house with the FOTD.
Sometimes, I create a look just to show you up how pretty something is, and then, I take it off.

8. I can spend up to two hours in a bath. I know it’s not good for skin, especially when the water is boiling hot. But it feels so warm and relaxing!

9. Whenever I can, I try to wash my hair in the evening, or on days I stay at home, so I can avoid blowdrying it. That’s just too boring.

10. I’m crap at styling my hair. I just don’t know what to do with it. Learning how to create a few basic hairstyles is one of my resolutions for 2015, but so far it’s been a slow and frustrating process.

11. I hate skincare press releases. They are all full of incomprehensible, scientific-sounding jargon touting this or that natural extract that, in reality, does nothing for skin. It’s just there to make the product look natural and good.

12. I also dread it when I’m sent skincare products before I had the chance to check the ingredients. Chances are, they are just over-hyped, basic formulas that moisturise and do nothing else. So disappointing!

I’d love to hear your secret beauty confessions too!

Beauty Wishlist, Vol.03

beauty wishlist 03

KEVYN AUCOIN THE CONTOUR BOOK – THE ART OF SCULPTING + DEFINING ($59.00):
Contouring is in now, but a lot of us are still scared to give it a go. Having the right products is not enough to master one of the most challenging makeup techniques ever. You also need the right tips, tricks, and instructions. This gorgeous book contains both: contouring and highlight powders, and a helpful illustrated guide that teaches you how to apply them properly. Available at Sephora.

LUSH BUBBLEGRUB BUBBLE BAR ($7.95)
I hate bugs, but this one is adorable! It smells like vanilla, tonka, and sandalwood, and has eyes made from two types of chocolate. It promises to moisturise your skin too. Available at Lush.

LUSH HOPPITY POPPITY BATH BOMB ($4.95)
Hop this cute bunny in your bath, and let its refreshing scent (violet, lime, and lavender) energize you. The bunny also contains green popping candles that crackle, pop, and sizzle as you bath! Available at Lush.

BOBBI BROWN ART STICKS ($26.00)
Gorgeous, creamy, and moisturising, the new shades of Art Sticks – Hot Berry, Hot Pink, and Hot Orange – are fun and perfectly complement a nude eye. Available at Bobbi Brown.

ARTDECO MAGIC FIX (€12.80)
Don’t you hate it when lipstick feathers, bleeds into fine lines around the lips, and leaves stains everywhere? Now, you don’t have to put up with that anymore. Magic Fix comes to your rescue. It creates an invisible shield on the lips that makes your lippie transfer-proof and waterproof. Available at European drugstores.

What I’m Reading Now

crystallizing public opinionCrystallizing Public Opinion by Edward L. Bernays
Little known today, Edward L. Bernays was the father of public relations. In 1923, he wrote a book, or better a manifesto, about the significance of the public relation counsel, the scope and function of PR, the techniques used to shape public opinion, and the role this then new profession would play in a democratic society. That’s the most fascinating and terrifying part. Here, Bernays describes the “herd mentality” and explains how the masses are driven by emotions and primal instincts rather than logic and reason, which allows them to be easily manipulated by unscrupulous elites. Bernays, instead, believes the masses should be managed by an educated, honest elite, and stresses the ethical practices necessary to prevent the masses from being taken advantage of.
Although written soi long ago, everything Bernays says is still very relevant to our time. The only thing that’s dated is the writing style. Very formal, it is hardly engaging for modern readers used to a more colloquial tone. Even so, I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in understanding how PR, marketing, and advertising work, or who simply doesn’t want to be taken advantaged of by them. Available at Barnes And Noble.

The Links

How to rainbow color your hair for the weekend – Phyrra

Three Great Eyeliner Pens For Perfecting Cat Flicks – London Beauty Queen

My New Favourite Type of Packaging! Dr Lewinn’s, Code - Lab Muffin

Chemo Dry Skin: Care and Products to Help – Ageless Beauty

No More Mascara Marks - The Beauty Department

Sunday Survey, Vol.250

1. Your biggest boy band crush as a teen?
Boyzone. I was obsessed with them, and had a huge crush on Ronan Keating. He was so cute! :oops:

2. Have you ever had your makeup stolen?
Thankfully, not yet. I hope that’ll never happen.

3. Are you wearing your hair up or down today?
Down.

4. Gold, rose gold, or silver jewellery?
I’m a sucker for rose gold jewellery. So pretty!

5. Do you like jumpsuits?
Not really. Some are very pretty and flattering, but they are so not practical. You have to completely undress to use the bathroom!

It’s your turn now!
1. Your biggest boy band crush as a teen?
2. Have you ever had your makeup stolen?
3. Are you wearing your hair up or down today?
4. Gold, rose gold, or silver jewellery?
5. Do you like jumpsuits?

Disclosure: I received the book from Netgalley. In addition, this post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.
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Know Your Ingredients: Fibronectin

What it is
Fibronectin is a protein naturally present in the skin. Like collagen and elastin, it depletes with age, contributing to the formation of wrinkles.

What it does
Fibronectin binds water into the skin, helping it to stay hydrated.

Side effects
Fibronectin is generally considered to be safe.

(Source: paulaschoice.com)
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Are They Dupes?: Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Moisture Enhancing Gel VS Cosmetic Skin Solutions Hydra B5 Gel Advanced Formula +

skinceuticals hydrating b5 gel dupe

I don’t mind splurging on skincare products chock full of all kinds of goodies, such as antioxidants and AHAs, that help to my keep skin in top condition. But for a basic formula, such as Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Moisture Enhancing Gel, that just hydrates skin?

Not really. I’d rather look for a cheaper dupe. Like Cosmetic Skin Solutions Hydra B5 Gel Advanced Formula +. It’s pretty much identical to the Skinceuticals gel, and just as good a godsend to dry skin, but it’ll save you a lot of money.

Ingredient analysis

hyaluronic acid molecular structure

Sodium Hyaluronate & Hyaluronic Acid

Sodium Hyaluronate is the more stable sodium salt form of hyaluronic acid, a substance found in all tissues of the human body. It is used in the Skinceuticals serum, while the Cosmetic Skin Solution Gel contains Hyaluronic acid. There isn’t much difference between these ingredients. Both are humectants (the can attract water from the environment into the skin) able to hold up 100 times their weight in water! Like that weren’t impressive enough, they also work well in any climate, in both high and low humidity conditions.
Panthenol

Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic Acid, also called Panthenol and Vitamin B5, has moisturizing properties too. It helps slow down water loss, thus keeping skin hydrated, soft and elastic. But that’s all it does. It can’t help fight wrinkles, nor treat any other skin problems.
Phenoxyethanol molecular structure

Phenoxyethanol

Phenoxyethanol is one of the most effective and safe preservatives used in skincare. It can kill and prevent the growth of yeast and  bacteria, such as E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Further considerations on the formula

Both Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Moisture Enhancing Gel and Cosmetic Skin Solutions Hydra B5 Gel Advanced Formula + are very hydrating. And when skin is hydrated, it is softer and smoother to the touch, and looks plumper. The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is temporarily reduced as well. But that’s all these gels do. Neither contains antioxidants, niacinamide, retinoids, and other ingredients that are beneficial for skin and helpful in the fight against premature ageing.

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel Moisture Enhancing Gel Ingredients

Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pantothenic Acid, Phenoxyethanol

Cosmetic Skin Solutions Hydra B5 Gel Advanced Formula + Ingredients

Water/Aqua/Eau, Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B-5), Hyaluronic Acid, Phenoxyethanol.

Avaibility

Available at Derm Store, Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Moisture Enhancing Gel retails at $78.00, which is an outrageous price for such a simple, basic formula. Cosmetic Skin Solutions Hydra B5 Gel Advanced Formula +, available at Amazon, is a much more reasonable $29.85. Both are packaged in a 1 oz bottle with a dropper applicator.

The Bottom Line

If you have very dry skin, both Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel Moisture Enhancing Gel and Cosmetic Skin Solutions Hydra B5 Gel Advanced Formula + will give your skin the hydration boost it badly craves. But there is no need to pay a lot of money for it. The cheaper option will do just fine.

Have you ever tried Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Moisture Enhancing Gel or Cosmetic Skin Solutions Hydra B5 Gel Advanced Formula +?

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