Powered by Blogger

Life of Colleen

10 Recent Posts
·· This blog has moved
·· Mrs. Peel...
·· Continued wardrobe meanderings
·· Happy Friday!
·· Happy Monday!
·· They all end up doing Elvis
·· More wardrobe meanderings
·· Further wardrobe meanderings
·· Should strapless be scary?
·· Happy Saturday!

The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog
~Old Blog
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
July 2006
September 2006
October 2006
December 2006
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
December 2007
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
Wardrobe & fashion, beauty & product reviews, general female yadda yadda.
Current blog
More product reviews
Children's art
 Subscribe in a reader
Add to Technorati Favorites

Search only this blog:

Google Custom Search

I also blog here

Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia soap, continued
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-30 at 8:02 PM (Pacific)

Bryan Ferry - "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"

You must be tired. You've been running through my mind all day. Actually this is not the song that's been running through my mind--that would be "Taxi," from the same Bryan Ferry record. But I like this cover as well.

It's occurred to me Pacifica's Tahitian Gardenia soap smells quite similar to a perfume I've thought about, on and off, for a couple of years: Diptyque's Do Son.

Google Street View of the Diptyque shop on Maiden Lane

Tahitian Gardenia is not as complex as Do Son--you wouldn't expect it to be, soap not being perfume--but this is one type of scent to which I return, time and again.

Do Son was almost freakishly realistic--along with the Tahitian Gardenia slew of white flowers and a fresh green note out of nowhere, it featured a slight bitter edge (as actual flowers possess) and what I swear smelled like running water and a smidge of sunlight. The deal-breaker--like the other Diptyque eau de toilettes I sampled back then (2007, the same time I took a screenshot of the shop), it had no staying power. You'd be like some kind of a nut, spraying it every half hour or so.

So the question--and it's a beauty blog question--would be, how does Pacifica's perfume version of Tahitian Gardenia compare to Diptyque's Do Son? I'll have to look more closely next time I visit Whole Foods; maybe they have Pacifica scents out?

Labels: , , , ,

0 Comment(s)

Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia soap review
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-28 at 8:20 PM (Pacific)

pacifica tahitian gardenia soap

I chanced upon this tasty soap at Whole Foods in Berkeley, from the standard wall of scented soaps each health food store seems to possess these days. The Pacifica soaps were not the most economical--I get my bath soap at health food stores; less drying, superior quality--yet were reasonably priced, and smelled nothing short of divine.

So, along with my Whole Foods store-brand soaps ($3.99 for a honking 8-ounce bar), I chunked in a Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia soap ($5 for 6 oz.).

I was in no hurry to try it. A confirmed cheapskate, I was content to have the soap function as a sachet for a while; its white-flower scent could infuse my clothing with intense tropical goodness. (I'd never forgotten how flowers smelled in the South. They don't, out here, in our parched Western air.)

When the Whole Foods soaps had been consumed, it was time to unveil the Pacifica model. I somehow expected a neat white bar, like a Lever 2000, the kind of soap sold in the actual tropics, but the Pacifica bar was beauteous--a slightly translucent block, with softened corners and edges, a freckling of what appeared to be crumbled dried flower petals, beneath a thin layer of more translucent soap, so the whole was smooth and silky, yet angular enough to be interesting.

Soap-wise...good, but then good soap is good soap. A Trader Joe's shea butter soap is as good...the outstanding features here were the fragrance and lovely look and feel.

To me, Tahitian Gardenia didn't smell purely, nor even mainly, of gardenia; rather of a blend of white tropical flowers and lilies. To me the lily note was as strong as anything tropical or gardenia. On the Pacifica site, this soap is described as follows:

Pacifica's Tahitian Gardenia Natural Soap is handmade using a proprietary biodegradable, vegan, vegetable oil and glycerin soap base, ground almond meal, and Pacifica's own fragrance blend with ylang ylang, osmanthus and jasmine essential oils. No parabens, animal testing, animal ingredients or artificial colors. 100% VEGAN and Gluten-free.

Sweet! Oh, and I had to replenish my stock of Whole Foods soaps tonight; I added in another Pacifica soap--French Lilac--mmmmm....

Labels: ,

0 Comment(s)

Odds and sods, part 4
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-27 at 7:28 PM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka body care kit

Dr. Hauschka Rose Body Oil review

Hermmm...I see this sample pack is a bit over two years old. I've been using up each item slowly--the three creams are gone, the kids got into the Lavender bath oil; the Blackthorn body oil is something no one seems to want to use, so it's slated to be next on my list. I've just shaken out the last drops of the Rose Body Oil.

I wasn't particularly into body oils; they appeared simply a messier alternative to lotion, and the inner cheapskate scowled that a mixture of oils and fragrances had got to be more economical to make yourself. But, hey. The Hauschka rep was nice enough to send a plethora of samples, and I've liked just about all of them--the products are, in a word, engineered.

Rose Body Oil is no exception; you need a mere drop or two of this delicately scented oil to moisturize an area of dry skin. It produces a silkier effect than lotion, and doesn't feel greasy on. As evidenced by my poky use of the product, it keeps at least two years. A full-sized bottle could be a negligible expense.

salux beauty skin cloth

On second thought, I've decided to replace my current Salux Beauty Skin cloth. Its lifespan would appear to be about a year and nine months. Its scratchiness had diminished over time--it never frayed nor developed a hole, making it a bit awkward to throw away, but it is noticeably less abrasive (this is the thing for keratosis pilaris, ingrown hairs, and even some prevention of acne).

a zipper

"Fixing" a zipper

I had a horrific experience: the zipper on my handbag ceased to zip. It'd started out getting sticky; crossed my mind it would need some kind of lubrication, like graphite for a keyhole, but one day the pull simply wouldn't lock the teeth. You'd yank the pull all the way over, and the zipper would gape open.

Sometimes the teeth at the base of the zipper would lock for about an inch and a half; I theorized one of the teeth beyond that point was bent, throwing off the remainder of the teeth. Got out my chain-nose pliers, and looked for something to bend back...but after a close examination, I couldn't find any bent or otherwise damaged teeth.

Finally I googled to get some ideas. One article stated you should lubricate your zipper by rubbing a piece of beeswax on it. I actually owned a piece of beeswax, from way back when, so I got that out and started rubbing it along each side of the zipper. You need to do this several times to make zipping nice and smooth.

Weirdly enough, the zipper works now. It wasn't really damaged; it was the stress of sticky zipping that kept the teeth from aligning.

The morale to this story is--if you can't find broken teeth on the zipper, and the pull starts out working (isn't out of sync at the base), why not try this method?

Edited to add: I'm also not unzipping it quite all the way.

Labels: , , ,

0 Comment(s)

Odds and sods, part 3
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-22 at 10:26 PM (Pacific)

Eh...tired. House cleaning, laundry, mending, yadda yadda...

Which brings us to:

tide coldwater detergent

Tide Coldwater detergent. I've used this for several rounds o' clothes; so far, it's good. It cleans as well in cold water as regular Tide would in warm. Possibly too soon to say, but it also appears to fade colors less quickly than regular Tide would in cold.

dharma trading dye swatches

In 2010, I'm planning to get some black dye from Dharma Trading Company, and toss all my fading black cottons and linens into a ginormous dye vat. The site is a trip: four kinds of black dye (Black, Jet Black, Better Black, New Black), half a page of advice specifically on black dye, plus an entire small-print page of instructions on how to do it.

And finally--given this blog still touts itself as a beauty blog, despite the fact I seldom if ever post about beauty products any more--a passage about makeup.

My beloved Nars Jezebel duo eyeshadow has bitten the dust:

nars jezebel duo eyeshadow

It's still in the "Vintage" section (which is polite, apparently, for "discontinued")... And there is a 20% off $60 coupon code, CP9H1211, good through December 31, 2009, at narscosmetics.com, and free shipping for $25 orders--et cetera.

Buying a back-up copy of Jezebel, and tossing in some other Nars-a-licious product to get the discount, would appear a cosmetiholic no-brainer.

But...do I really want a back-up copy of Jezebel in the first place? It's my favorite eyeshadow--the lilac side features a good-sized dent, whilst the coppery side can't, since it requires a light touch. The duo goes with just about everything...but it'll be months, if not years, before the thing gets used up. I bought it July 2007, and Nars eyeshadows keep for years, without the tragic hardening of, say, MAC eyeshadows, or anything weird and crumbly happening.

I'd much rather wait longer and visit a b & m Sephora and just fiddle around with whatever's on offer at the time.

Labels: , , , ,

0 Comment(s)

Odds and sods... part 2
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-11-25 at 9:08 PM (Pacific)

Watching an entire video of John & Yoko is too sad, so I liked this blend of Lennon's drawings (animated) and dark New York City clips.

aubrey organics honeysuckle rose shampoo

I picked this up on something of a whim, along with a repurchase of Aubrey Organics Blue Camomile shampoo (reviewed here, a bit). Hm.

Honeysuckle Rose smells heavenly; though, to me, neither of honeysuckle nor of rose. Rather, it evokes orange blossom, only without the loud righteous cleaning-product edge so many orange blossom scented products fall prey to. Really nice soft fragrance, which lingered in my hair a commendable several hours.

But, they're not kidding about "DRY"--this may be the ideal shampoo for desert-arid hair (a notch behind Dr. Hauschka's Macadamia and Orange Shampoo, which could lube your bike chain).

Used Honeysuckle Rose the once this morning, and could tell right away it was too heavy for my fine, limp, "combo" hair (oily roots, dry ends). Oh well. I look forward to mixing it with an Avalon Organics shampoo I find too drying.

I can see Aubrey Organics are a bit literal about their shampoos...Blue Camomile was labelled both "Normal" and "Hydrating," and it made my hair quite normal, perhaps a tad on the hydrated side. Camomile Luxurious was both "Normal" and "Volumizing"--pretty normalizing, a skosh less moisturizing than Blue.

oval two-tone barrette

If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right. I'm not overly big on hair ornaments, most of which require thick hair, but there are exceptions. One is the "French clip":

french clip inside the barrette

As long as you don't get a huge clip, it should hold even straight, slippery fine hair as well as a claw does.

Originally I was seeking a plain matte black barrette (difficult to find, most are glossy), but the yin and yang of this particular design caught my eye.

Labels: , , , ,

0 Comment(s)

Troika 3
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-06-25 at 8:02 PM (Pacific)

Sixpence None the Richer, "Kiss Me"

Yay! Finally located a copy of the original, "Jules and Jim" video for this lovely song.

aubrey organics camomile luxurious shampoo

(Looks like my old "Lipstick Page" photography, eh? It's not, I'm just saying.)

Ever the shampoo whore, I picked this up on a whim. Turned out to be cool stuff: an archetypal granola-flavored, health-food-store shampoo. Too thin in consistency to please conventional shampoo-ers, and too herbal in scent, this golden liquid feels almost oily on hair, yet rinses almost too clean (not looking for squeaky), leaving hair feeling pretty darn good.

It does build up, used daily over time, but who cares. Just switch to something else for a while.

I'm impressed enough with this to consider trying other Aubrey Organics hair products.
dr. hauschka nasturtium and lemon shampoo

Dr. Hauschka Nasturtium and Lemon Shampoo, revisited.

Cannot laud this enough; even though, as a shampoo, it's a bit of a total rip-off (raised from $13 to $20 a pop). So, I don't use it as a shampoo, but rather as a scalp treatment, applying a small amount to the top of my head, and washing the main part of my hair with a cheaper shampoo.

This has "cured" that top-of-the-head itchy scalp thing I had, when used over time. I don't think it cured it--I think it just doesn't irritate the top of my head, the way just about every other shampoo does.

Aubrey Organics shampoo image courtesy www.nonasties.com.au

Labels: , , , , , ,

0 Comment(s)

Happy Friday: Sundry thoughts and product reviews 1
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-05-01 at 6:37 PM (Pacific)

REM Driver 8 (Live, 1985)

Mmmmm...love a Southern guy who keeps his accent. :) This song in particular evokes a slew of things I miss, in the almost 24 years I've been a Southern expatriate. You can hear the grits in this music, and the red clay and kudzu, and the people sipping iced tea from their screened porches.


Brushpicks! My mil turned us on to these. They are essentially plastic toothpicks, but with a tiny brush at one end and a curved pick at the other.

These are sturdy enough to be washed out and re-used many times...but the genius lies in the brush end. When you're totally knackered at the end of the day, and feel like doing nothing so much as brushing your teeth and falling into bed, you can use the brush end of this thing to quickly floss your teeth.

woolite dark laundry

Woolite Dark Laundry, revisited.

Recently repurchased my dual Woolites of regular and Dark Laundry (though I have sighted Woolite for All Colors at Costco). So two Woolites last me almost four months.

It's a bit difficult to say at this point whether Dark Laundry is better than regular Woolite on darks. I have a black linen dress which now shows the most minimal signs of wear, but the thing is legitimately old. The newer darks look pretty good.

Dark Laundry costs the same as regular Woolite, is as mild, and smells nice. If it works even nominally better on darks, you haven't lost anything. I'll probably have a better feel for it after another four months or so, though.

Labels: , , ,

0 Comment(s)

Sundry thoughts and product reviews
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-04-25 at 10:36 PM (Pacific)

Was home sick for two days...with one of those weird colds from Hell, the kind I used to get all the time in Washington State. One staple of the Pacific Northwest is Sudafed (or the Costco version, at a better price).

Whilst guzzling generic Sudafed and painkillers, I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands, and thoughts began to meander toward...our economy. Sure, there's an extremely ugly side to it; but in the long run, it will be interesting to see how it turns out. I feel it's like much of life. If you can last through the crappy parts, you end up on a higher plane.

When I was growing up (pre-Internet of course), if you wanted to shop for clothes, you went to New York City. :) Okay, some people actually did go to New York, but the rest of us had to settle for local department stores. There were Leggett and Smith & Welton, along with the prosaic (and now defunct) Monkey Wards, Sears, J.C. Penney and the like.

At the time I was constantly bitching why I couldn't find clothes similar to those in Seventeen magazine. There was some truth to it--"conservative" is too pale a term for 1970's Norfolk, Virginia--but, in retrospect, I was a lousy shopper. I "couldn't find a hooker in a whorehouse"; there were good clothes about, I just had no strategy.

So--even as b & m choices morphed from a mix of local stores and chains to...chains...and women coast-to-coast began to wear exactly the same clothes...simultaneously, a million online stores opened up. And just as the clever women of decades ago had their sources, and always looked smart while the rest of us clearly shopped at Monkey Wards, it's well to develop your own small list of where to go, for what.

While I was home, I started poking around on the Net to see what could be found locally. I actually like online shopping, in a deranged way--combing customer reviews of the item, trying to find someone with my body type--I think they should ask your measurements, for writing reviews. They are anonymous reviews after all. Shouldn't they ask for height, weight, and bust-waist-hip measurements? It sounds horrible, but wouldn't it be more helpful than your age range, which they do ask?

It should be voluntary, but I'll wager women who shop online would be more willing than not to share their measurements, because that's what's crucial to buying something you can't try on.

Yet, online shopping alone gets to be expensive. And so, in this early 2009, random, Google-flavored, Sudafed-induced stupor, I discovered four new places to shop for clothes locally. Hm. Not bad.

This is stellar when you're sick:

yogi ginger tea

According to my mil--if you have a runny nose, you need to drink much more water.

I'm one of those sad sacks who loathe drinking water, but I like plain hot water or hot tea. The Yogi ginger tea is surprisingly tasty, despite its herbal ingredients; it tastes overwhelmingly of ginger. The other components merely pop the ginger and keep it from going bitter.

sundance catalog riley linen shirt

At first blush, Sundance Catalog's Riley Linen shirt would appear yet another heartlessly-priced Sundance offering, however attractively presented. But I've seen it in person, and--in that uncanny sixth-sense o' Sundance, there is something to it. It's engineered...to be wrinkled.

Now, I don't care about wrinkles on my face (I know, I should care), so I'd hardly wish to care about wrinkles in my clothes. Though I am one of those freaky people who don't mind ironing--I'm not particularly good at it, but I am competent--it is time-consuming. This shirt struck me as being impossible to iron; you'd ruin the effect.

It's something I've sought, for quite a while...on travel-clothing sites and others...crinkled clothing, or items otherwise designed not to be ironed.

garnet hill button front scoop neck tee shirt

Garnet Hill Button-Front Scoop-Neck Tee review, part 2.

Garnet Hill came through with their free exchange policy, and I now have two of these shirts. Definitely, your bust size determines which size to order. I tried the Large, ran it through the dryer (even at low heat, most cotton items shrink one size when tumble-dried), and came up with something wearable. If you're really stacked, I have to question if even the XL would work or would pull across the bust.

You need a camisole under it; these guys are not kidding. The white one I got was more ordinary than the Dusty Aqua, and part of me rather wishes I'd gotten either Graphite (dark grey) or Paprika (the peppy burnt orange one), but this is a top you reach for when it's hot. For me, white or off-white is far more versatile (mix it with any summer-weight skirt or any pants).

Labels: , , ,

0 Comment(s)

Troika 2
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-03-27 at 2:10 PM (Pacific)

Hmmm...I have employed way too many exclamation points in my blogger titles, as of late. Oh well. Let's do a bit of catching up, shall we?


Mederma Review, part 2

(see Mederma review, part 1)

I used this faithfully on my scar the recommended 8 weeks--December and January--then got lazy. The scar had faded after that time, but hadn't miraculously disappeared. Hence I have been applying Mederma, since much of the tube remains, whenever I can remember or find the time to do it (it's been pretty sporadic).

Currently--end of March--the scar has all but gone. I checked in the bathroom mirror under electric lights, with a measuring tape. At 3 feet away, the scar can barely be detected (no makeup). If you were good, and bothered to apply concealer, I doubt it could be seen at all. It is next to perfectly flat; only very slightly raised where the cut was deepest.

This was a cut that took nine stitches to close. I think this is a good product and certainly worth trying. (Best price I found was at Costco.)

garnet hill button front tee shirt

Garnet Hill Button-Front Scoop-Neck Tee

I bought Dusty Aqua and White, when they were on sale.

I'd like to say I was bitterly disappointed, but it wouldn't be entirely true. On the Garnet Hill website, the tops are described thusly:

"Trim and slim in a stretchy rib-knit of soft pima cotton, this updated basic is finished with jersey-knit banding at the scooped neckline, button-front placket and elbow-length sleeves. Imported.

This is a slim-fitting style. For a relaxed fit, we recommend that you order up a size."

O-tay...but, perusing the first several pages of customer reviews there, the consensus appeared to be the tops ran true to size, or else ran big. I'm thinking now this is a sign...oh hapless online clothing shoppers...that the top is true to size, or even runs a tad large, if you're built medium to petite, bust-wise. If you're not, forget about it; that's when you need to order one size up.

I mean, according to the sizing chart, the Mediums I'd ordered should have worked for a bust of up 39 inches (size 10-12). The white one had three distinct gaps over the bust, where Dusty Aqua fared better at two lesser gaps--which would have only gapped more, given the washing instructions:

# Machine wash cold, gentle cycle, with similar colors
# Do not use chlorine bleach
# Tumble dry low
# Cool iron when needed

Then I noticed two of the iridescent shell buttons (nice, btw) on the white shirt were flaking off at the back. Clearly the button QA folks had taken the day off when that shirt went down the inspection line.

The blue shirt's buttons seemed a skosh rough on the backs, but at least they weren't flaking off.

Now, the good news. The Dusty Aqua was to die for; the ideal muted greenish blue, more subtly lovely than pictured. The material was nice and soft, lightweight, not overly thin.

The neckline was too scoopy to work as is; you need don a camisole or tank. I think it looks nicer that way though, as it would look blah with a high neck.

The sleeves looked best on me folded up once. (They with long, willowy arms could likely forgo the fold.)

All in all: nice shirts. Dressy enough for casual Fridays or the weekend, when you want to be comfortable without looking like a slob. But I suspect (without having tried the Large yet) your sizing decision should be based almost purely on the size of your bust. The rest of the shirt was not particularly slim-fitting imo.

Garnet Hill does free exchanges. I'm confident the replacement shirts will be just right.

The Animals

Eric Burdon, I love you. Although, for the longest time, I thought of the Animals as having made American music...beautiful, slow, heavy, a sublime singer up front and a real band. Hearing it now...the odd factor is Alan Price's keyboard playing on some of the songs. That sounds quite English to me.

And speaking of that, how about this song with a charming English accent? (Or you could spin the original.)

Labels: , , , , , ,

0 Comment(s)

Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Nasturtium and Lemon, part 2
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-12-28 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka nasturtium and lemon shampoo

See Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Nasturtium and Lemon, part 1

I see this was initially reviewed October 30 of this year--one great thing about blogging is you don't have to remember anything, you just have to know how to look it up. :D

I started out using this more or less regularly, then began using it daily, on my scalp. On the rest of my hair, I alternate other shampoos, such as Avalon Organics Lavender or Lemon.

Pretty much, it's gotten rid of my long-term itchy scalp. Before I came across this, I had read many posts and some articles about itchy scalp, and not one recommended this shampoo. The typical recommendation was Nizoral or tea tree oil shampoo. I tried the latter, never got around to trying the former, but over the long term I can't say it worked.

I've become a great fan of German skincare. It's not the cheapest stuff, but it is affordable, particularly when used judiciously. It's not luxe, but it works. You have to stick with it...which again makes sense (I'm suspicious of skincare which works immediately, miraculously, because it tends to be too harsh used over the long run).

Labels: , ,

0 Comment(s)

Mederma review, part 1
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-12-26 at 10:21 PM (Pacific)


I've been using this since the beginning of December. The short version is I was in a boating accident late November, while in Jamaica. Something hit me on the head, and the gash required nine stitches. It was a nice straight gash (according to the doctor who did the stitches) and I felt rather fortunate, could have been a lot worse...anyhow, I started using Mederma a couple of days after the stitches were removed.

Though it's a bit difficult for me to say whether this stuff works, in the sense I never bothered treating a scar before--since this was on my face, I thought I should try fading it--and it's been only four weeks of the recommended eight--still I feel it's working. The shallower part of the scar is nice and soft. The deeper end still feels a bit thick and hard, but again it's early in the game.

Mederma is basically onion extract along with botanical extracts and perfume (so you don't smell like an onion). You are to massage a thin layer into the scar three to four times per day for eight weeks, for new scars (old scars requiring three to six months of the same treatment). It's over the counter, and Costco carries it at some discount.

Mederma is the tiniest bit oily when you're applying it, but when it's dry, it's perfectly smooth. No need to worry your hair will get stuck in it, et cetera. I did a little Net research on scars beforehand; apparently at least part of the mechanism is the massage itself. The idea is, scars form when your skin is cut deeply enough so that collagen comes to the surface. What you're doing is trying to break down the collagen.

Hence the onion extract, in a base which holds the extract onto the scar. It really sounds like marinating meat in onion juice. Which stands to reason.

I'll post again after the full eight weeks, if not sooner.

Labels: ,

0 Comment(s)

Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Macadamia and Orange (part 2)
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-12-16 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka macadamia and orange shampoo

See Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Macadamia and Orange (part 1)

I've utterly ditched the concept of using this on my hair...which is naturally oily, and colored at home (ergo, dry ends). This shampoo is far too moisturizing, even for the ends of my hair.

Unlike Hauschka's oily-skin skincare--also abundantly emollient--Macadamia and... does not work, at least on me. I just get oily hair.

That doesn't mean I've tossed it, by any means, as it makes a great moisturizing additive to my shower gel. The shampoo doesn't lather sufficiently to use alone for this purpose, but shaking in a few drops on top of my usual gel has been hydrating for wintery-parched skin. Its scent is rich and somehow almost ambery, for being comprised of oranges and nuts.

I can't claim I'd purchase this for use as a shower gel addition, since it makes more sense to, ah, just buy a shower gel. It's a nice-enough product though, and I have to speculate whether it would work sublimely for super dry hair.

Labels: , ,

0 Comment(s)

Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Macadamia and Orange
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-11-01 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka  macadamia and orange shampoo

Dang if this thing doesn't smell...sumptous...the polar opposite of the austerely scented Nasturtium and Lemon shampoo...which smells neither of nasturtium nor of lemon, particularly. Nasturtiums grow wild here, if you can picture legions of East Coast gardeners with their jaws agape--and they don't smell much (the nasturtiums that is).

But Macadamia and Orange shampoo smells exactly that--macadamia nuts and orange, and not in the horrifying fake fruity-nutty way it sounds. It's incredible. If I were to use a shampoo purely for its scent--you're looking at it.

All of that said, I found it a tad touch too moisturizing the first time I used it. Yet the same may be said of the Hauschka facial cleansers; it's their philosophy that "like treats like." Macadamia and... is marketed toward people with oily hair, so it stands to reason it would be a touch too moisturizing, counter-intuitive as it seems.

Hm. It's a bit too early to judge. I feel Nasturtium and... is better for irritated scalp, as claimed. If only Nasturtium and... smelled like Macadamia and... But then I'm not above using two shampoos at a pop, one for scalp, the other for the rest of the hair (it's faster and easier than it sounds), because typically one is better for scalp and the other one smells better. grumbles...

Labels: , ,

0 Comment(s)

Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Nasturtium and Lemon, part 1
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-10-30 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka nasturtium and lemon shampoo

Day One.

First sniff: health food store. The faintly sweet, herbal-y, mysterious scent of all health food stores, from Charlottesville to Berkeley.

Commenced to use it...like most non-sulfate shampoos, you don't get tons of lather. There's a trick to it; you mix the shampoo with a bit of water, on your hair, to get it going. But don't use too much shampoo in order to get more bubbles; the usual amount is fine. This stuff produces a denser, almost creamy lather instead of the foamy airy sort.

Nasturtium & Lemon began to smell rather soapy, more than herbal or lemony. Quite pleasant; perhaps a bit more utilitarian than mind-blowing.

Hair: easy comb-out (I use a separate conditioner on ends, but hair wasn't stripped), and fluffy when dried. I didn't jump to conclusions, since switching shampoos usually produces fluffy hair at first anyway.

Scalp: seems less irritated and itchy, actually. I didn't expect it to immediately work 100%, for the same reason I don't expect good skincare to work 100% right away. It's usually a sign the product is too harsh--you get instant results and believe the product is working, but it's really screwing up your skin over the long run.

Day Two.

Yup--classic eau de health food store. Today Nasturtium & Lemon seems to have worked even better.

I've had this itchy, irritated scalp for a long time actually. Before, I used to get it only in winter, and speculated whether it was caused by indoor heating drying out my scalp (I get dry itchy skin in winter in general).

This year, irritated scalp seems to have expanded into a four-season issue. It appears to flare up when I've spent long periods of time indoors, i.e., no sun on hair...which would also explain the winter flare-ups, since I tend to remain indoors in cold weather.

Research on the Net netted the usual skin-problem gibberish: no cure, no information as to the cause of the problem, and a recommendation to use mainstream medicated products. Since I already went through all of this with my adult acne, I don't have much faith in this type of advice.

I'll post an update when I've used it more.

Labels: , ,

0 Comment(s)

The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Bath and Shower Gel review
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-18 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

the body shop shower gel
$13 for 8.5 fl oz

My daughter turned me on to this...or I should say, she persuaded me to enter The Body Shop to begin with. I'm not inclined toward such stores, tending to find much of my bath and body products in health food stores. And she looked around summarily, before settling on this.

May I say, I actually dislike Bath & Body Works in the main, which is why it didn't occur to me to visit The Body Shop. The two had become entwined in my mind, places of strongly, even harshly and chemically, scented stuffs.

But it's hardly true of this product. In fact I was pleasantly surprised. (You can hear my wallet groan in the distance.) This has a delicate, natural-smelling fragrance, faintly flowery, with the slightest inclination toward cherry. A decidedly feminine smell.

The product itself isn't moisturizing particularly, nor is it drying. It's on a par with other mild shower gels I've tried, perhaps a tad more drying than my usual Jason Satin Shower Body Wash. It lathers handily; you don't need much.

The image above looks, well, horrible and plastic-y; in reality, the transparent bottle with its clear pink gel is nice to look upon.

All in all...would I repurchase? Oh, no, I'd go into The Body Shop with my daughter and look at what has to be a bazillion scented items and probably walk out with something else. But I am pleased with TBS on the basis of this product.


0 Comment(s)

Crystal Body Deodorant review part 3
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-16 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

crystal body deodorant

see part 1 and part 2

I take back the idea that this doesn't control odor quite as well as a traditional deodorant/antiperspirant. Been fiddling around with this for days now...and I think it's actually a bit superior at the odor thing.

If only someone would make something similar, but with some wetness control aspect.

I've been using this first, and applying (less of) my regular Right Guard after it's dried. It's a case of adding yet another step to your morning routine trying to at least reduce the amount of traditional aluminum salts usage.


0 Comment(s)

Crystal Body Deodorant review part 2
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-03 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

crystal body deodorant

see part 1 and part 3

Hm. I wore this through an average work day today. As far as odor control, this really is not bad. Not quite as good as a conventional deodorant/antiperspirant, in my opinion. Your satisfaction with it, odor-wise, may well depend on the amount of stress you have.

As far as wetness, this product doesn't claim to be an antiperspirant, only a deodorant. So if you're the kind of person who gets sweaty, this is not for you.

Using it is kind of weird. Not unpleasant, just different. You are to moisten the crystal with water prior to applying it. I read elsewhere on the Net you could forego drying your armpits after showering, and just use the residual moisture to moisten the crystal for you, so that's what I did.

It does sting a tiny bit if you've just shaven. Otherwise, it's similar to using a roll-on, i.e., the product combined with water takes a minute to dry. I don't particularly care for that, but would put up with it, had this product equaled my regular deodorant in performance.

It's not a great quest for me, finding a non-aluminum underarm product, yet it would be nice to find one that manages wetness, and has comparable odor protection. For me, this is not it.

P.S. They do sell this in sample form, I believe it's $2 and change.


0 Comment(s)

Crystal Body Deodorant review part 1
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-02 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

crystal body deodorant

Forgot to mention, I'm trying this out too ($6.99 at my local health food store).

Normally I'm way too nervous to contemplate rubbing a plain old stick o' crystal under my arms and leaving it at that. Yet the (several) people I've known who have tried this, smell pretty darn good at the end of the day.

It's gorgeous today, in the manner the San Francisco East Bay is supposed to be, and wasn't, the better part of summer. So, it's hot. Dry heat, mind you, and nothing excessive. Still, if this thing didn't work, I would know by now. It seems to work even better than my conventional Right Guard Xtreme Sport solid.

If this crystal can stand up to a long day of stress at work, and not leave yellow marks on white shirts, I'll already be sold. But--cheapskate alert--they say it lasts for years.


0 Comment(s)

Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying Shampoo review
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-08-25 at 10:45 PM (Pacific)

avalon organics lemon clarifying shampoo

By this time I have realized I never actually reviewed this dang shampoo!

The thing with shampoo is this: it's as complicated as skincare, and then some. When you "wash your hair," you are in fact washing your scalp, and then your hair.

Hair itself seldom needs much in the way of true cleansing. Hair is silk; it's a natural fiber. Like any silk cloth, it gets dusty and grimy, but unless you've been playing football in it, your silk cloth needs only minimal washing in order to be clean.

Your scalp now, is skin. If you use harsh cleansers on your skin, it balks and itches and produces flakes and/or excess oil. In fact one major complaint of skincare, at least for oily or acne-prone skin, is that it "works at first, then stops working." Isn't the same often remarked of shampoo?

Hence, naturally cheap as I am, I am willing to spend a bit more on shampoo. I stopped using mainstream, drugstore shampoos quite a while ago. It's my belief that these changed, and became harsher...have you noticed even regular bar soaps have changed? Have you tried Irish Spring lately? It's hard to believe now, but it used to be a decent soap.

The Avalon Organics shampoos are rather like good skincare: they don't impress, up front. In fact they seem a bit funny. They don't lather particularly well, nor impart a luxurious sensation. They smell good (though Avalon Organics did reduce the scent at one point). But, you're thinking, eh. What's the big deal about a low-lathering shampoo that seems neither creamy, nor astringent, nor...orgasmic, particularly?

Again with the skincare comparison...the thing is this. I've repurchased Avalon Organics shampoos many times. I'm not a big re-purchaser of shampoo. But if something works, I always return to it.

That's not to say I'll never try anything new ever again, but there is something to be said for a basic shampoo that neither strips nor weighs hair down.

Labels: ,

0 Comment(s)

Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk review
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-08-23 at 10:09 PM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka cleansing milk

I'm on the dregs of my Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk. It's good skincare, no doubt about it...the strength of Hauschka seems to lie in treating oily or problematic skin.

The packaging...truly sucks. It's bottled in glass, so the only way you could use it in the shower would be to port it into plastic. When you get towards the end, the stuff stops coming out of the pump. You have to pump in water and shake it around. Cheap skincare is easier to use.

All of that said, I've never tried anything like it. The philosophy of Hauschka--"like treats like"--sounds simplistic, but it works. Oily skin fares best with oily products--not products which remove oil. As counterintuitive as that sounds.

I've been playing with the idea for some years, since a poster on the old Lipstick Page board turned me on to jojoba oil in 2001. I went from that to jojoba butter, and now to the Hauschka Cleansing Milk, as well as their Cleansing Cream. All of these products leave a delicate film of oil on the skin, rather than rinsing clean.

This has lasted me a good five months and then some, so I shouldn't complain overly much about the cost. (I will anyway, I'm just saying.) The Cleansing Cream lasts about that too, making my skincare cost in the range of $60 every five months, or $12 per month. Not that bad.

On a side note, I stumbled across this...


It's a song people loved to make fun of..."aaaaaaaan-jay"...but here, it's rendered beautifully. And I always liked that song, when I was a kid. Recall we didn't have cable tv or Internet in those days. Radio was king.

Labels: , ,

0 Comment(s)