So all I want lately when I get in the shower is to use some relaxing scent that makes me get out all ready to put on my pajamas and get into bed. (This is a good plan at night, not so much in the morning). The newest addition to my already way over-crowded shower is the Stress Relief - Eucalyptus Spearmint Aromatherapy Smoothing Body Scrub. I already loved the Body Wash, but I'm totally obsessed with this scrub at the moment. It's the same fantastically mind-clearing scent, but in a really gentle body scrub that doesn't irritate my sensitive skin at all. Plus, it comes in a tube so it's much less messy, it's only $13 so totally affordable (I got mine with the free item coupon that's going around now) and it's not oily at all, which means that I'm much less likely to slip and fall in the shower, an event that happens surprisingly often because I'm a total klutz. It also leaves my skin really soft AND it matches the Wallflower scent that I currently have in my bathroom, which means that I've mastered not only scent layering, but home AND body scent layering. Clearly, I'm a genius. Too bad I can't somehow pipe it into my car as well...
This is the time of year when all the stores are awash in gift sets. Makeup gift sets, skin care gift sets, body care gift sets... Sometimes the deals are so good, it's actually cheaper to buy the set and get a couple products than it is to buy a single one of them on its own. (I call this the "doesn't even need justification, just throw it in my basket as fast as I can" purchase). Since I'm sure at least some of you are like me and still have the majority of your gifts to buy, here are a few of the sets I'm either buying for myself or handing out to others this year.
Bliss' "Glow"-Ho-Ho Radiance-Revving Triple Oxygen Trio is a limited-edition set with three products - a1.7 ounce Triple Oxygen+C Energizing Cream, a 3.4 ounce Triple Oxygen Energizing Mask, and a pair of Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Masks. Before I got the set, I'd only tried the mask before, which I love, but now that I've tried the cream too, I like to pair them up for full effectiveness. It's a great value too since Bliss can be a little pricey and you're getting a lot for your money here. (And if you like Bliss, make sure you check out all of their holiday gift sets because there are a bunch of them and they're all fantastic values. I sort of want them all). This set's a great way to get introduced to their skin care line if you've never tried it before and it's easy to pick up at Sephora at one of your many holiday shopping trips to the mall.
I've been totally obsessed with Ahava's products all year because they're great on my sensitive skin, so I'll take any excuse to pick some more up. Shoshanna for AHAVA is another limited-edition set that comes packaged in a bright travel bag perfect for a weekend away. Inside you'll find a 3.4 ounce Mineral Hand Cream, a 3.4 ounce Mineral Body Lotion, and a .85 ounce Dermud Intensive Foot Cream. I love their Mineral Body Lotion so much that I use it almost every day, so I'm really psyched to have stumbled across this set before I have to pack for my trip to the east coast next week. More room for another five lipsticks!
Origins is one of those brands that I sometimes forget I love as much as I do and then I'll use one of their products and get all excited about how great it is and want to buy every single thing they make. Since that's (sadly) out of the question, this season I'm turning to their gift sets as a way to get the best bang for my buck. I know their ginger products are uber popular, but I hadn't tried them until now and I can finally see why everyone raves about them so much. I always thought I didn't like the smell of ginger, but apparently I was confusing it with like, the scent of exhaust of something because it's SO nice. It's all rich and warm and a little spicy and just delicious. The Ginger To Go and Stay set is great because you get both travel-size and regular-sized products in it, so you can use them both at home and on vacation if you want. (And I definitely do. The smaller sizes will also be making the cross country journey with me next week. They'll be perfect to use in the apparently frigid NJ weather that I'll be flying into). You get a full array of body products in the set too - Body Wash, Body Scrub, Body Cream... You'll be able to layer the scent as much as you want, which always makes me very happy. Now I kind of think that I need the Ginger Essence to spritz on top as a final layer. It seems very winter appropriate, doesn't it? It'll be the perfect scent to wear to cheer me up when I'm shivering in my sixteen layers as I trudge through the snow, wondering how I ever managed to spend four years of college in upstate New York with its ten foot high snow drifts. Los Angeles has made me soft!
Note: Samples of these items were sent to me by PR representatives working with Bliss, AHAVA and Origins
I have found the most amazing sugar scrub ever created! Seriously, I am not even exaggerating when I say I will now use this scrub as a measure against which all future scrubs that may attempt to come into my life will be judged. The Sugar Scrubs from The Abbey James Company are the best I've ever tried (far superior to any expensive department store ones - sorry guys!) and are extremely reasonably priced for what you get. A little background here: Becky Smith is the creator behind this amazing line of scrubs. She actually lives in Aurora, OH with her family and makes all the batches by hand. So, from start to finish, this is a unique, homemade product that will literally blow your mind. Her ability to combine such great ingredients into a scrub that actually makes skin look and feel amazing (without that greasy, oily residue) is a gift for sure. From the moment I checked out this product at a local boutique here in LA, I was floored and had to buy a few of her scents. Sugar Shack smells of cotton candy mixed with undertones of a perfume like Aquolina (okay, it's not actually mixed with any perfume, but I'm giving you a visual). I have been using it every single day on my feet and hands and am awestruck by the results. Plus, the scent is absolutely intoxicating (so much so that I've been sniffing my hands at work the better part of the day). I'm telling you, you will be stunned at these scrubs. She also has a bunch of other scents - Lemon Biscotti smells like fresh baked lemon squares - each one as brilliant as the next. Check out her etsy shop to purchase (although she's on vacation until July 15, so you may want to sign up to be notified when she's back in town). The Abbey James Company also sells to local boutiques, but you'll have to reach to Becky for more information about where to find near you. Oh, and she makes matching lotions which are equally amazing, but I have to post separately because I might burst from the excitement of it all.
I was recently introduced to the brand Made From Earth and if you haven't heard of them, they are something you need to check out. First of all, they are an organic, all-natural body and skincare line that is chemical free, hypoallergenic, vegan and cruelty free! It's crazy how awesome their products are, especially considering how good they actually are for us! I was so happy to have been able to try some things and am completed obsessed with two stand-outs. First of all, their Olive Night Creme is amazing! Highly-moisturizing, non-sticky and has barely any smell to it. My skin is so happy when I use it that I've actually been using it during the day as well. Really great and only $28.00 online right now (they're offering a 30% off promo). My other favorite item is definitely their Grapefruit Glycolic Scrub which is so gentle, even my sensitive skin was so happy! The scrub smells incredible, leaves skin feeling soft and exfoliated, and you only need to use 2-3 times a week so the bottle lasts a long time. I love that it contains aloe vera and the grainy texture is perfect - it doesn't strip my skin! Love, love, love it and will definitely buy again. Retails for $29.99.
Note: Samples of the above items were sent to me by a PR representative working with Made from Earth
Two words that actually make me shudder with fear are "limited edition." I don't care what the product is, but as soon as they slap those little words on it, my ears perk up and my wallet comes out. I can't stand the thought of missing out on something that's not going to be around forever. Only thing worse than saying it's only for a limited time is if it's something that I really love and will miss when it's gone (Prescriptives, I still cry over that Shimmer Hair Mist you used to make!!) Bath and Body Works has released their limited edition Vanilla Verbena collection under the Aromatherapy line and it's a refreshing change to their normal vanilla scents. This one has a nice, earthy smell to it - mixed, of course, with vanilla - but it is light and not as overpowering as many earth scents can be. When you first put on the lotion you mostly smell vanilla, but over time it melds into that wonderfully woodsy smell. I can't stop sniffing my hands (the fact I'm sitting in a jury room sniffing my hands is all sorts of disturbing). Collection has shower gel, scrub, mist and my favorite - body lotion. The lotion sinks right into skin, so no waiting to get dressed. And, as I said, this is limited edition - so, if you miss out don't say I didn't warn you.
Note: A sample of this product was sent to me by a PR representative working with Bath and Body Works.
Okay, I LOVE, LOVE the Sugar Souffle Moisturizing Body Scrubs by LaLicious. They are super-moisturizing, smell fantastic and last a really long time because you don't have to use much at all. My top two are Coffee Bean (a definite wake-me-up in the morning) and Sugar Kiss (a deliciously delightly sugary sweet treat). Sugar Kiss makes me so happy because it smells a lot like cotton candy mixed with vanilla and the scent lasts all day (a light scent so no overpowering sickly sweetness at all). My skin looks fantastic and I actually scooped some from my big tub into a smaller container which I use every night on my hands before bed. I am telling you, it's the best manicure and my hands feel so fantastic (even my husband, who's an air-head noticed). Check out all their awesome scents (Coconut Cream sounds like another one I would adore), and I know I love Lily Mango because I already use their body lotion in this scent. I guess you could say I've become a LaLicious junkie? Not such a bad thing to be addicted to, now is it?!
Note: A sample of this product was sent to me by a PR representative working with LaLicious.
When the weather turns hotter, I instantly start to stock up on body scrubs. Besides the fact that I know more of my skin is going to be exposed (guess who's spending more time at the gym?) it also means that the self-tanner is about to be taken out of my closet again. I think we all know by now that any self-tanner application has to be prefaced with a thorough body exfoliation, otherwise you end up with weird white streaks or brown patches and (take it from me) you'll feel really stupid if you have to wear a dress to a fancy event while having that problem. Really, really stupid.
The past 10 days, I've been giving There's The Rub, a salt scrub from Bath and Body Works' True Blue Spa line. Scrubs are usually a little pricey, but this one isn't bad at $24 for a big 24 ounce size tub. (Plus, we all know how many coupons Bath and Body Works gives out, so you should have no trouble finding one). After testing it out for over a week, I'm a big fan. Usually, salt scrubs are more abrasive on me than sugar scrubs, but this one isn't harsh at all. It's definitely exfoliating - I can see the difference in the areas where I had some dry skin before, and the salt doesn't dissolve on contact with your skin, so you can really work it into the areas you're trying to scrub. (And on a purely shallow level, it's a really pretty color!) I read a few reviews of it where people were put off by the strong smell and maybe I'm the weird one, but I kinda liked it. It sort of smells like a mix of the way spas smell and a freshly cleaned bathroom - it definitely wakes you up and gets you moving. I've been using a combo of my favorite Mint Body Wash and then this scrub after my post-gym shower and it's very energizing after working out. The scrub washes off easily, which makes me happy because for some reason, I keep ending up with scrubs that seem like they're rinsed off, but then I get out of the shower and find little scrubby bits in weird places, like under my arms. Not fun. Not fun at all...
Now that I've got at least one great summer scrub in place, let the self-tanning begin!
Note: A sample of
this product was sent to me by a PR representative working with Bath and Body Works
Shea Sugar Scrub! Say that ten times fast. No, seriously, try it. I've been saying it over and over again because apparently I have nothing better to do with myself. Tree Hut (a new brand to me) has this great Sugar Scrub which moisturizes like nobody's business. Not only does the scrub make skin incredibly soft, it's not harsh like salt scrubs and doesn't leave any oily residue like so many others on the market. The scrub comes in Almond and Honey, Brazilian Nut (Cocoa), Coconut Lime, Hawaiian Kukui and Original Shea. I, personally, love the Hawaiian Kukui which smells deliciously tropical. Aside from the fact the scrub has an awesome tongue-twister of a name, it also is really reasonably priced! For a big container (18 oz) it only costs $8.99. And the matching lotion (because we all love our matching products) is only $5.49. Such a great line and so inexpensive. Love, love it. You can buy online at drugstore.com and amazon.com or purchase in-store at a whole bunch of places they have listed on their site. Shea Sugar Scrub! Shea Sugar Scrub! Okay, I'm stopping now.
Note: A sample of this product was sent to me by a PR representative working with Tree Hut