cheap thrills: dove body polish

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don’t you love it when you find something that just ticks all the boxes? works well? check. looks pretty? check. smells good? check. oh and cheap, too? check, check, check! I tried a sample of the new dove body polish crushed macadamia and rice milk and after quickly using it all up, I promptly went and bought the full-size version (blue tub), along with the full-size tubs of the other two options: pomegranate seeds & shea butter (pink tub) and kiwi seeds & cool aloe (green tub).

first up: the scent. these smell delicious. the macadamia and rice milk version smells like confectionary, in the best possible way. not too cloying, but definitely in the gourmand family. it’s definitely a scent that would lend itself well to the cooler months because it has that sugar cookie/good things in the oven vibe, but it’s not so overpowering that you couldn’t use it in warmer seasons. the kiwi option in a word is fresh. the scent is definitely reminiscent of kiwi, but with a healthy dose of cool, fresh water thrown in – must be the aloe! the pomegranate option smells very fruity and tropical. it smells good, but it was a little too strong and one-note for me. the scent isn’t a deal breaker, but it’s definitely my least favorite of the three.

the packaging. I’m a sucker for packaging, and I like the way the tubs have been designed. the lids are your typical twist-off cover, but I love the colorways they’ve chosen for each scent and that the product itself is the same color. the colors are light and springy. I also really like that they made the tubs wider – it really helps with the opening/closing and general handling when your hands are a little slick in the shower. plus, it makes scooping out product a breeze – there’s plenty of room to get as little or as much as you want.

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the results. I would say these polishes are a good beginning/maintainance polish. they’re not the scrub you should reach for if you want some serious exfoliation, but they do do enough that you can feel a difference after one use. the fact that it’s on the gentler end of scrubs isn’t a bad thing – I think it would work well for those with skin on the sensitive side, as well as for sensitive areas. I like that it isn’t harsh and that I can choose the level of exfoliation to some degree by changing how much I use and how hard I scrub. I also really like that it doesn’t feel like you’re layering a sheet of paste on your skin. the particles are crushed finely, while the cream holding it together feels more like a mousse texture than your traditional body wash. it washes off really nicely and leaves a soft scent that lingers for a little bit.

all in all, these do a nice job and are a steal at $5.99 a pop.

have you tried these yet?

dry skin saviors

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as mild as this winter has been (knock on wood), my skin is still as dry as a desert. in the past I wouldn’t care as much about doing something about it, but as I’ve gotten older and ever since I started to have instances of eczema, I’ve really taken the time to hydrate my skin properly, especially in the cold. these are my go-to dry skin saviors.

for exfoliation, nothing beats the l’occitane pate delice in my book. I’ve tried other body scrubs and they were all either too harsh, left behind a residue that I didn’t care for, and/or smelled weird/too strong. this one is none of those things. the smell is amazing. it’s almond-scented without being cloyingly sweet. it leaves my skin feeling soft & new without irritation, and it washes off cleanly.

and on to the lotions. kiehl’s creme de corps is such a lovely product. it doesn’t feel greasy, moisturizes really well, & leaves behind such a nice sheen on the skin while still being matte. I don’t know how it does it, but it does. aside from doing all of that, it also doesn’t feel thick at all; in fact, it almost feels like you’re wearing nothing! I use it all over my body. I use the first aid beauty ultra repair cream as an extra layer of hydration over eczema-prone or incredibly rough spots and when I’m having a little bit of an eczema recurrence. I love that you can use this all over the body, too, as well as the face!

 what are your go-to products for dry skin?

f/w skincare updates

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while I’m loathe to put anything on my face besides sunscreen in the summer, I really get back into the pleasures of a skincare routine when the weather comes back ’round to getting cold. the cleansing/slathering/scrubbing that I find oppressive in the summer heat becomes comforting &  luxurious in cooler weather. here are some things I’m itching to try out come autumn:

one & two | true story: I first discovered le labo in the bathroom of a hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. I was there for my college roommate’s wedding, and they had le labo products in the bathrooms. I was really drawn to rose 31, which was surprising to me because I’m not really a fan of rose scents. this one, though, was the farthest thing from the overly powdery rose scent I was expecting it to be. it’s musky, intense, a little dark, & a lot sexy. I’d wear the lotion all the time and then layer it with the perfume for the evening.

three | during the colder months, I’m all about moisture, moisture, moisture. I’m a fan of clinique‘s gel moisturizer, so this overnight one seems like a good bet. I’ve yet to try it, but it’s on my list for sure.

four | ah, aesop. the packaging alone is drool-worthy. last Christmas, I splurged and bought their resurrection hand wash. I’m down to the last quarter of the bottle, and I’m doing my best to make it last because once that baby’s done, good ol’ regular soap is going in to that lovely bottle. but I might splurge on the hand cream version instead. ;)

five & six | the part of my skincare routine that I most want to overhaul is the cleanser. the cleaner I currently use is ok; it does the job, but I want something a little bit more. this cleanser & serum duo are certainly more ($$$, that is) but I’ve read rave reviews from numerous sources across the web and from friends who’ve tried them. perhaps a worthy purchase to throw a gift card at to lessen the sting?

currently eyeing

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every year around this time, I start getting antsy for spring. in addition to checking in with my closet as to what I might need to replace or add for the upcoming season, I also take stock of my makeup & skincare wardrobe. I don’t do a complete overhaul – I just assess what I’ve used up & need to replace, what I haven’t been loving & need to change, and what new items I might want to add. here are some things I have on my radar for a spring refresh to my vanity drawer.

skincare

I don’t know what happened exactly, but my skin has changed in the past couple of months to where some of my good ol’ standbys are just not cutting it. I know some of it is due to the weather, but I think some of it is just getting older and my skin changing accordingly. I’ve upped my water intake to combat some of the dryness, and I’m looking into changing up my routine with different products. I want to purchase a new bottle of this exfoliating cleanser because I’ve now used up the last bits of my old bottle, and it’s been one of 3 current items in my routine that I find still works. I’m also intrigued by this cleanser as a replacement for my current cleanser in the morning. lately, I’ve found morning cleansing to be really drying, but I still want a cleanse, so I’m hoping this will be the perfect medium.

one of the things I wanted to do this year was to slowly add more & more natural products into my skincare/makeup routine. while browsing through sephora one night in bed, I ran across drunk elephant. to be honest, I was drawn in by its name & logo, but after reading about the line, I’m excited to try it out, specifically the day serum, the night serum, the face oil, the sunscreen, and the peekee bar (so, basically everything). I’ll report back how it goes once I get around to trying them out.

nails

I love spring nail colors…all the lovely, soft colors are such a welcome sight after a long, cold winter. this chic pink (lady) from dior‘s latest collection might just be the light pink I’ve been searching for; this collection from nails inc. has so many great colors; and I’m excited for essie‘s spring lineup (out in March; sneak peek here)…I kind of want every single color.

perfume

I actually received this perfume as a Valentine’s Day present from James, and I’ve been loving it. it’s a great transitional scent that’s not too heavy but not too light. from reviews I’ve read online, a lot of people think it’s similar to the stella by stella mccartney perfume, so if that’s a scent you love, this one will be right up your alley (funny enough, I don’t own the stella and don’t think I’ve ever tried it!). this is the first perfume I’ve added to my lineup in a long time, and it does not disappoint. I received the solid version, which is perfect for travel. I really like the design of the bottle – it’s simple, modern, & graphic.

makeup

when spring comes around, I want everything to be light & dewy, including my makeup. I eschew anything thick or heavy or anything that takes too much time. I’m intrigued by this cheek & lip stain – the color seems really pretty and possibly workable with my skin tone. I also had a chance to try out this tinted moisturizer in store on the back of my hand, and I’m thinking this will be my go-to base in the warmer months. not only did it feel like I was wearing nothing, it also felt really moisturizing. the shade spice is the perfect match for my skin.

lastly, I’m not the biggest fan of pink, but in the spring, it seems to be the only thing I want to wear, especially on my lips. I’m excited to check out the stick form of this amazing lip gloss (which is in my top 3 lip glosses of all time), the lipgloss version of one of my favorite lip balms, and ysl‘s newest addition to its gloss volupte line (also a favorite), which was also a Valentine’s Day present from James in the shade peach me love.

there are so many new makeup releases right now. are you eyeing anything?

image number nine via

cold weather essentials

cold weather essentials

even though there have been some (barely) above freezing temperatures around here lately, winter is well & truly here. with the change in weather comes a change in daily must-haves to combat the cold air & dry, dull skin.

hat | I have a giant head, so I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with hats: I love them in theory, but I hate the way they look on me. because of that, I went for years without wearing a hat, but last year, I finally found a beanie that looked sufficiently okay on my head, and I enjoyed having the added warmth on my head. sadly, I lost that beanie and searched high & low for a replacement. this one was the winner. it doesn’t hurt that it kills two birds with one stone: it keeps my ears & head warm and lets me rep my hometown in style.

intensive lotion | I never had any serious skin problems until this past summer when I had a case of eczema on my arms & legs. I went to a dermatologist and was prescribed some medication that ultimately took care of the problem, but I wanted something I could use daily to hydrate my skin and hopefully prevent more intense flare ups. I picked up this lotion after receiving a sample of the hand cream. it really sinks in and keeps my skin moisturized all day long. I apply once in the morning and again at night when I go to bed. it’s not greasy at all, and since it’s fragrance free & formulated specifically for dry, eczema-prone skin, it’s great for those with sensitive skin. I recommended it to my sister who has a much more serious eczema condition, and it worked wonders for her. I also picked this up from the same line to apply to intensely dry patches.

lip balms & scrubs | this time of year is when lip balms & scrubs really prove their worth. I have four products in heavy rotation. I use this to slough away dead skin. this is a great balm to layer under lipsticks – it’s fragrance free & absorbs really quickly. this is a tried & true favorite and my default lip balm for on the go. for overnight lip conditioning, this is great. I apply a thick layer right before I go to bed, and when I wake up in the morning, my lips are soft & happy.

what are your cold-weather essentials?