Written reviews from a rural perspective for the sassy shopper in all of us

26 February 2007

Herbacin Kamille Hand Cream

Everyone has a list of "must have" products that they rely on and frequently use. One of my "must haves" is Herbacin's Kamille hand cream.

My hands take a beating in the winter. The cold climate dries out my skin easily, be it my hands or my face. I can constantly hydrate myself but if I even spend three minutes outside without gloves or mittens, my hands suffer. They becoming unbearable - rough and dry, eventually cracking and bleeding. I find many hand creams to be a little over-powering, especially if you have very dry skin. Either they don't help at all or they help for a bit while your hands burn like hell because of the ingredients/scent. I find that even the products designed for people with sensitive or extremely dry skin leaves my hands moisturized but red and burning. So do I suffer with dry, itchy hands or soft hands that feel like they are on fire? It's a tough choice.

So I seek the expertise of my mother. Moms are good for knowing tips on what to buy and what not to waste money on - in other words, what works. They are not blinded by what's considered "cool" and trendy. They aren't phased by fancy packaging or celebrity endorsements. They've been around long enough to know what works and to guide you into becoming a smart shopper.

Years ago, my mother introduced me to Herbacin's Kamille hand cream. It remains my favorite hand cream product to date. I've tried many others but they failed to cure my chapped and dry hands, especially in the winter. I find a lot of products out there that are designed to heal (lip balm, hand cream, etc) do more harm than good. They only help you in the meantime, never truly solving the problem you have. I believe this is an evil way to sell more products.

Herbacin's Kamille hand cream is different. It is a very effective German-made hand cream that contains the healing properties of camomile extract, the moisturizing substances of natural glycerine, and the protection of natural silicone. The scent is natural and delicate, smelling of soft camomile and does not irritate my sensitive skin. It applies smoothly and easily, absorbing into your skin immediately without feeling greasy or heavy. A little goes a long way so this product will last you a long time. It is very gentle, not causing your skin to become red and irritated. It's simple and effective, no bull-shit kind of product.

Over the past weekend, I forced my friend to try it out for herself as her knuckles were rough as sandpaper. She blurted out a surprised WOW! and commented how smooth her hands felt - "not greasy like other hand creams".

I highly recommend this product. Your sad, dry hands (or ankles, or feet, or elbows...) will thank you for it!

The company, by the way, also makes a line of bath products called
Ombra. I only found this out recently. Ombra ROCKS, no lie. It's my favorite brand of bubble bath, good Lord! Their line of aromatic bubble baths are superb - they smell great (ginger lime, juniper, etc.) and the bubbles actually last through a long, long bath.

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Aveeno Positively Radiant Moisturizer

At the beginning of this year, I filled out dozens of free online beauty giveaways and samples. Needless to say, I have been waiting patiently for the mail to arrive. The only free goodies I have received were not beauty related and I don't think this is the right blog to talk about my experiments with the fine art of East Indian cooking (I got a free mini cookbook too).

Last week, I received a free sample of Aveeno's Positively Radiant moisturizer. I was a bit doubtful as I have used one of their facial soaps last year and didn't care for it whatsoever. I'm confident that it works - just not for me. It left me super shiny and smelled odd. Like fish. Yuck.

The first thing that impressed me about this free sample was that it came with a packet of wildflower seeds for your flower garden. It was truly a nice touch that made me look forward to spring. Sadly, I have no flower bed as I live in an apartment. I'm sending it off to my sister. I'm sure she will be pleasantly surprised by this little treat in the mail.

I have been using this 0.03 Fl.OZ sample for over a week now and I have to say - I am very pleased and impressed! I have never found a moisturizer that I completely loved and I was always too afraid to go out try a new one. Moisturizers tend to be a bit pricy when you have bills and other such adult things to tend to. Sigh!

The consistency seemed a little thick at first. However, I found that a little goes a long way with this product. Knowing that helps me feel a lot more confident to spend my hard earned money on it. It is rich but not greasy at all. The smell is subtle and natural. It did not smell like the soap, that's for certain! After a day or two, I noticed the difference. I don't know if you can say that my skin looks "positively radiant" but there is a definite improvement. My skin looks much more smooth. It feels much more soft. I'm amazed by it, quite frankly, because my skin has the tendency to look lifeless and feel very dry in winter conditions. As well, I have problem skin. This moisturizer did not irritate my sensitive skin nor did it cause any acne flair-ups.

The product contains "total soy complex" and "natural light diffusers". I have no idea what this means - only assumptions! I think it would have been handy if they contained a small description of the product with the sample. Nothing a quick internet search won't solve! For those concerned with UVA/UVB protection, it does contain an SPF 15 sunscreen. A lot of people don't realize that skin needs protection from the sun in the winter months too.

What I appreciate about this product is that it works well with the other products I use in my beauty regime. I found a lot of moisturizers I have tried left my skin feeling as though it was covered in a fine film, causing my foundation to go out with trouble. This product doesn't. My foundation goes on easily and smoothly. It also works well with the skin perfector I use daily - Biotherm's Source Therapie. They compliment each other greatly, leaving my skin the softest that it has ever been in the winter.

All in all, this is an excellent product. It is lightweight but effective. It's ideal for sensitive and/or acne prone skin. A little goes a long way so you don't have to feel guilty for buying it. It's smell is very subtle. It leaves your skin feeling brand new! I love it and I will certainly purchase this product again in the future.

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14 February 2007

Avon's Sparkle N' Shine Eyeliner

Recently, it was my birthday and I received a new cosmetics product in my mail from my mom - Avon's Sparkle N' Shine liquid eyeliner in Silver Twinkle. I saw this sparkly eyeliner in the catalog when I went home for Christmas and I instantly wanted it. Weeks before, I was shopping at the MAC counter and spoke with an artist there who was wearing a sparkly liquid liner. I was quite impressed by it, the silver glimmer instantly adds a bright touch to the eyes and can be played up for more of an evening look. I almost bought the MAC liner that day but after Christmas shopping for my family, I honestly couldn't afford MAC prices. Moms are great for paying attention to what their children like, no matter how old they are. I squeeled with delight when I found this Avon product at the bottom on my birthday care package!

I have used this product twice so far - as eyeliner on its own and as a sparkly coating over black liquid liner, for curiosity's sake (see above photo). The product works very well. I don't know if my skin is hypersensitive due to the cold weather this season but my eyes stung a bit when I first applied it. The brush and wand are very easy to use and control. There is a good consistancy of sparkle, though I found that I had to reapply a few times when applying on its own (however, I'm a sucker for dramatic looks). It doesn't apply heavily, even when you are reapplying for more glimmer. It removes very easily too which is always a bonus for your delicate eyes, providing you have yourself a good eye makeup remover (I use Avon's eye makeup remover - it's an wonderful product that not only does the job but it is super cheap).

I think Avon gets a bad rap sometimes. Compared to high-end counters or even the slick displays at the drug store, ordering from a catalog from a representative that comes to your door may seem a little less professional. Hell, I used to think this way about Avon products. It wasn't until I decided to end my snobbery and try some of their products out. Of course, there are some products that I really don't like but I can say that about every makeup/beauty line - even MAC Cosmetics. Beauty snobs may say "you get what you pay for". Sometimes that's true, but you can't always knock something when you haven't even tried it.

I'm happy with Avon's Sparkle N' Shine liquid eyeliner - it's cheap, it's pretty, and it's easy to use. What more can you ask for?!

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