Many people are unsatisfied with their hair. It’s too thin, too thick, frizzy, limp, dry, coarse, fragile, dull, or a combination of these. Then there are the scalp problems: excess oil, dandruff, sensitivity. Shampoos and conditioners on the market all claim to address at least one of these concerns. A lot of them do not meet the standards of their consumers. Sometimes they work, but at the expense of another attribute. Or they work, but not well enough. I’ve tried three Alterna products so far and I’m satisfied with all of them. Bamboo Smooth Anti-Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner made my hair super-sleek, but there was a little bit of volume reduction after use. For thick hair, this may be a bonus, but for fine hair like mine, I need all the volume I can get.
Alterna’s Caviar Shampoo & Conditioner duo make the hair sleek and shiny, although not as sleek as Bamboo Smooth. On the other hand, they do not kill volume as much as the latter. The smell is also not as nice as either Bamboo Smooth or Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisturizing Shampoo. Both Caviar Shampoo and Bamboo Smooth are superior cleaners – the hair stays clean longer compared to Black Vanilla. In terms of moisturization, the shampoo hydrated my hair well. Hair is also straighter than normal.
Alterna’s hair products are proving to be very good. For hair that needs a lot of sleeking, Bamboo Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner should work wonders. For hair that wants just a bit of silkiness without a dent to volume, Caviar is the better option.
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo: 1.35oz (ml) for C$9.00, 8.5oz (ml) for C$37.00 @ Sephora.ca.
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Conditioner: 1.35oz (ml) for C$9.00, 8.5oz (ml) for C$37.00 @ Sephora.ca.
There are so many fresh and/or fruity florals on the market today. A lot of them are pleasant and a safe option for everyday. But because they are safe, they are generic. There is nothing distinct or signature about them. They are feminine, light, soft, and liked by a lot of men. They are generic crowd pleasers. However, the fact that most of them lack tenacity doesn’t seem to hurt their popularity and every year ever more clones populate stores.
Coach Poppy Flower is one of these inoffensive fresh florals. It begins with a citrus and litchi introduction, followed by rose, peony, and water lily. The florals are light and ethereal, hinting more at green buds rather than mature flowers. I cannot smell a drydown as the fragrance is too airy. For running errands on a spring or summer day, Poppy Flower could be a choice. It could have pulled off being a good everyday fragrance if its tenacity wasn’t as short-lived as 2 hours. It sits close to the skin with a short trail detectable when the wearer moves if standing close.
If you are looking for an everyday item or a light scent to wear to work, Coach Poppy Flower can definitely have a place on the shelf. Not on a perfume shelf, however, as it’s a fragrance and not a perfume.
Coach Poppy Flower Eau de Parfum Spray: 1oz (30ml) for C$45.00, 1.7oz (50ml) for C$65.00 @ Sephora.ca.
Having liked L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap in Milk, I decided to try the Lavender-scented option. It cleans just as well and I haven’t noticed any difference in it’s properties despite the shorter list of ingredients (as depicted on Sephora.ca). The scents coming from both Milk and Lavender are strong and not all that pleasant, but the fragrance they leave on the skin is barely there and a lot more agreeable. Lavender’s scent is distinctly lavender and is detectable when smelled directly from the skin, not at a distance. For me, the scent of lavender is associated with cleanliness so I feel more refreshed than with Milk, yet both wash just as well.
Escentual.com increased their prices for the soap by 25% since the last review.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap: 8.8oz (250g) for C$14.00 @ Sephora.ca.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Soap: 100g for £4.50, 250g for £7.50 @ Escentual.com.
I’ve been slamming Tarte lately for their skincare products, but their makeup is very good. I think that their blushes are amazing and I’ve described their advantages in Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush review.
I’ve recently tried another colour, Dollface – a light pink very different from Flush’s highly pigmented berry shade. Dollface lasts just as long (longer than the advertised 12 hours, as does Flush) and is also highly pigmented. What makes it different is that it’s a colour best suitable on pale and fair complexions. With Flush I used a fan brush because otherwise I would deposit too much colour. With Dollface, a round or an angled brush can be used without making the blush look harsh. While Flush is a suitable colour for almost any skin, the lighter Dollface may not appear on darker skin or may even be unflattering by making the face look ashen. However, on lighter skin the colour appears natural, is beautifying, and is harder to overapply than brighter shades.
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush: 0.2oz (6g) for C$31.00 @ Sephora.ca.
Finding skincare solutions that suit individual needs is proving tough not only because of lackluster products somehow gaining popularity (Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment), but also because of the overwhelming choice – finding the right product is becoming more like finding a needle in a haystack. I did discover Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream, which I am mostly happy with, but am not sure how it will behave in the warmer months once the cold finally passes. If it doesn’t work as well in the summer as it does in the winter (as it may be too heavy), then I will switch to Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent! Eye Cream.
It’s Potent! has a silky texture with significant moisturization properties on par with Clinique Repearwear Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream – good without being thick. Clinique’s Eye Cream is more expensive and lacks the nice silk feel. I did not notice my dark circles diminish with It’s Potent!, but the cream did not make them worse and there are no horror stories of irritated, dry skin like I had with Tarte’s Eye Treatment. There are many causes for darkness around the eyes. Some of them are: lack of sleep, dehydration, microwrinkles, damage to blood vessels, and genetics/hereditary. Depending on the cause of dark circles, some solutions may not work. For me, It’s Potent! did not noticeably diminish dark circles. Perhaps if I use the cream for a few months, I will see a difference, but 2 weeks of testing did not yield considerable brightening results.
Benefit’s Eye Cream is a good moisturizer with a pleasant texture a little of which goes a long way. Although It’s Potent! did not diminish my dark circles noticeably, I will be repurchasing it for its other qualities. For those looking for a super-moisturizer, I suggest Shiseido’s Benefiance WrinkleResist24.
Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent! Eye Cream: 0.5oz (15ml) for C$36.00 @ Sephora.ca.