Search results for 'lotion'

Blithe & Bonny Hand & Body Lotion

30 Mar

So last week/weekend, the huzz and I flew to Palm Springs, CA, to shop, relax, and celebrate my birthday. Two days before we left, I started getting a sore throat and sure enough, by the time we arrived, I was totally sick. With the assistance of Mucinex, Advil, sunny, 80-degree days, and awesome company, I struggled through the days and fancy dinners out. But seriously, I was SICK. I mean it’s been a week and a half and actually, I am STILL sick. Horrible, horrible head and chest congestion, blocked and painful ears, headaches, sore throat, fever, not sleeping. It really kind of ruined my vacation and what’s worse made me feel like a real drag on everyone else’s.

Anyhow, that was a little pity party digression, but it had a point. There is a lot of turn over in the stores in Palm Springs. Last year I went into a store I absolutely loved – in fact, I’d like to open a very similar store in Seattle – called Home101 Apothecary. They carry all sorts of lotions, potions, and the like, and it’s basically product heaven. This year I went in and browsed around, feeling like I was home again, and found just the thing for my sicky self – Blithe & Bonny Eucalyptus Mint Hand & Body Lotion. Amber had already recommended eucalyptus oil to me for my cold, and I didn’t like the smell of the lotion I brought with me, so this seemed like the perfect thing to spoil myself with. And it was! Very soft, moisturizing, and with just the right amount of minty eucalyptus scent, I felt like I was babying myself every time I smoothed it over my body. It leaves just the tiniest tingle behind without being too medicinal or overpowering.

When I got home, I browsed online for this lotion and found they also sell it at Anthropologie !BUT! you can get it from Home101 (online) for a buck less and help support a great independent store.

Go! Buy! And next time you’re sick, you’ll thank me.

Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Argan Body Lotion

7 Mar

I LOOOOOVE body lotion. I think I mentioned before, I have a whole big bag of it that I am slowly working through. Currently, I am using Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Argan Body Lotion, and I gotta say, it’s aight… but just aight.

It smells nice – citrusy.
It moisturizes reasonably well.
It goes on smoothly and doesn’t leave a greasy feeling.

When it sinks in, it kinda smells like pot. (I am not the only one who has noticed this.)
It has a slightly grainy texture.
I’m not sure it’s that much better than any other moisturizer I have used, but it sure does cost more.

I also kind of half hopped on the whole argan oil bandwagon, but have not been particularly impressed by what I have experienced with it, so I am almost put off by it now – it’s starting to seem like a silly fad. I also see no basis for this lotion’s claims that it improves “skin’s texture and resilience,” either, but that could just be me.

Overall, I’m divided on this. If you already have a moisturizer you love, I’d say don’t bother. If you’re looking for a new one, maybe give this one a try and see if you like it. You can get it fairly cheap on Amazon at the link above.

Simply Botanicals Relaxation Blend Moisturizing Body Lotion

25 Feb

I have a tote bag full of lotions. Before my recent trip to New Orleans, I went to it to find something to take with me on my trip. I wanted a lotion that was in a smaller container, but large enough to make it through the six days we’d be there.

The smallest-yet-largest one I had was a 4-oz. bottle of Simply Botanicals Relaxation Blend Moisturizing Body Lotion. I picked this up at Seattle’s Elaia Spa (where, incidentally, I have had two of the best facials of my life) after the esthetician sprayed the Relaxation Blend Hydrating Mist over me during my facial. I absolutely love the smell of geranium (LOVE), so really did find this heavenly. After I got home, however, I tossed the bottle in my lotion tote and promptly forgot about it. Boy am I ever glad I rediscovered it.

Again, the smell is divine (assuming you like roses/geranium/citrus). It somehow manages to be both relaxing and stimulating, and the fragrance lasts just long enough to be pleasant but not overpowering, and is just strong enough without being too perfumey. It made my skin just as soft as can be, even though I neglected to bring any sort of scrubber or exfoliator with me. Finally, here are the ingredients, per their site:

A 100% natural moisturizing massage lotion combined with Egyptian Geranium, French Lavender and Blue German Chamomile essential oils – lotion contains organic aloe juice and coconut oil, emulsifying wax NF, kosher vegetable glycerin, witch hazel, vitamin e, phenoxyethanol, palm stearic acid, jojoba oil, lecithin, xanthan gum, black willowbark extract, neem oil, rosemary oleoresin, tetrasodium EDTA and citric acid.

100% natural! No parabens! No crazy weird stuff! No fine print! LOVE IT.

I went on their site yesterday to order more (I used about two-thirds of the bottle) and discovered they have larger sizes AND they offer volume discounts! And, if this makes any difference to you, they’re local (to me – Langley, WA), which is really nice for those of us who like supporting small local businesses.

I really couldn’t recommend this line more highly. When I finally open my body product store (oh, it’s gonna happen), I will DEFINITELY be carrying this line.

Epicuren Kukui Coconut After Bath Moisturizer

31 Aug

epicuren coconut

I have wanted both Epicuren’s Kukui Coconut After Bath Moisturizer and their Tahitian Vanilla After Bath Moisturizer for quite some time, but was (understandably) put off by the price. Fortunately, I usually only see them sold at spas while I’m on vacation, so it wasn’t like I was having to control myself every time I went to, say, Target (which is always a losing battle, by the way – self-control, Target, and I generally don’t appear in the same sentence). When we took Gregory down to Hawaii this spring, however, I finally splurged and got them for myself, reasoning that I have wanted them for a long time and also just produced a tiny human so deserved a treat (don’t judge me).

I have been using Body Shop Body Butters for months now, for four reasons: 1) ease of acquisition; 2) ease of use; 3) quality; and 4) price. About a month ago, however, I suddenly realized I had these fantastic Epicuren lotions waiting to be used, and that I should use the coconut one while the sun is still shining, because smelling like coconut in the Seattle winter seems a little off. Additionally, I love Body Shop Butters for being so hydrating, but it’s been an uncharacteristically humid summer here, so I wanted something a little lighter weight. Epicuren fit the bill.

I think I would typically give this lotion super high marks, except for the price. What I mean is, it is a great summer lotion – light weight, fragrant in a nice, summery way, easy to dispense, and has lasted some time. I just think there are other lotions out there of the same quality for half the price that do the job just as well. This is really a case of paying for the name. On the plus side, I have gotten lots of compliments on the scent.

Long and the short of it – if you have been considering picking up a bottle of Epicuren’s After Bath Moisturizer, I’d say do it. It’s a great product and for use, I give it high marks across the board. But if you’ve never heard of it before and are just looking for a nice daily moisturizer, maybe think twice – you can get other products for less that will please you just as much.

It’s a Beautiful Day for a Contest!

9 Aug

Today, I won a prize from Nest, the home organization company here in Seattle who is attempting to help me get my life together as I move all our belongings from the house my husband has resided in for 20 years to the house we just finished remodeling WHILE I AM PREGNANT. (No, I’m not at all overwhelmed, why do you ask?!?)

Anyhow, Nest is awesome, and you should enter their contest, BUT you should also enter my contest!

I am thinking, I have some favorites. And I want to share them with you lovely people. So how about a giveaway a month till the baby comes and makes me give up doing everything I have time to do now? YES!

This month’s giveaway will be a little happy Caudalie gift set. I have been raving about Caudalie for months now, and I know I still have yet to write the blogs to back up my love, but I will, I WILL! In the meantime, how do you feel about THIS:

It’s a Caudalie travel kit! Included are mini bottles of:

-Vinosource Quenching Sorbet Creme
-Cleansing Water
-Nourishing Body Lotion
-Fleur de Vigne Shower Gel
-Gentle Conditioning Shampoo

I haven’t even had a chance to try all these products myself, but I can attest that the Cleansing Water is awesome, and the Sorbet Cream is totally divine (or de vine, get it? Since their products are made of grapes? See what I did there?)

ANYHOO, sign up for this fun little giveaway – you don’t have long to enter, as I am going to do the drawing for this one on the 31st – and then next month look to win another of Kate’s Favorite Things, before diapers take over my life.

ENTER THIS CONTEST HERE, NOW!: Caudalie Travel Set Giveaway!


PS. If you enter and say you did things you didn’t do, I will know! Yes I will, and you will lose your entries. So don’t cheat!

Got the Blemish Blues?

20 Jun

Got the following message from a friend on fb:

hello Ms. Kate! Congrats on all your great news approaching: baby, business, seems like life is falling together well 🙂 I had a question for the resident beauty product girl 😉 perhaps you can make me a recommendation? haha i hope its not irritating that i ask you!! 🙂

Adult onset skin issues: blackheads and the every now and then red spot….any suggestions on products to diminish these? the daily cleaners leave my skin so horridly dry (i use the purity cleanser)…so do you know of good spot treatments? facial masks? once a week treatments? also, ingrown hairs…i get them something awful from tweezing on my face…i heard witch hazel helps to prevent the chronic issues..have you heard this or experienced anything?

by the way, mederma for scars worked but it takes FOREVER for old scars. once i get medical insurance making a dermatology apt might just need to have lazer treatment…

I actually LOVE that I am now product girl and can offer my insights and do something useful with all the product knowledge I have! Here is my response:

Hi! No it doesn’t bother me at all, and thank you for all the congrats – and congrats to you as well! So proud of you!

I have been blessed with awesome skin for most of my life. That said, pregnancy has be wreaking HAVOC on my face and I have been having terrible breakouts. My recommendations are:

Burt’s Bees Blemish Stick: Best herbal blemish remedy on the market. You can apply it a couple times a day with no ill effects.

Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment: For more serious issues, it’s a benzoyl peroxide medication and works great.

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque: I recommend it on my blog ( and I stand by it. It’s cheap, it’s proven, and it does the job – totally dries out problem zones and cleans the heck out of your skin.

Ingrown hairs: I blessedly don’t get these anywhere but my bikini line, but there, I get them BAD. I have been using witch hazel since I got pregnant but honestly it hasn’t helped much. Before that I used PFB Vanish and Whish Flawless, both of which my esthetician recommended, and both of which worked awesome. Before that I used Nufree Finipil, which works best of all, but can be hard to get ahold of.

My scars fade really fast and pretty much disappear… you almost can’t even see the one from my operation last year (again, just really lucky, I guess), but I did use Vitamin E Cream on it daily for weeks after it had healed, which may have helped.

One last note: Cleansers that dry your skin too much can actually cause more problems than they solve. I am definitely not a cream cleanser proponent – I hate having my face feel oily after washing – but if your skin feels really tight you might want to consider switching cleansers or using cold water to wash your face (if you’re not already). When your skin gets too dried out it actually goes into oil production overdrive (or so I have heard) to try to protect itself. I currently use Caudalie’s Foaming Cleanser (their whole line, actually) and absolutely swear by it.

OH one other thing, but you’re not going to like it. The best exfoliator I have found anywhere is Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate but it is super expensive. If you want I could put some in a little tester size and send it to you so you could see if it’s worth it to you, or you might be able to get a sample at Sephora. I use it every other day and it is awesome.

Okay, whew! Hope that’s not too much info! I might post this as a blog, with your questions (anonymously) first, if that doesn’t bother you?


There you have it! Not only did she agree to let me post her questions here, she has also graciously offered to try out my recommendations and get back to me with thoughts, so we can get a second opinion on some of these products. Hope this helps someone!

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Body SPF 20

19 May

Those of you who know me know I am not a small person. I never have been. I was born weighing in at over 10 pounds, and I’m now 6′ tall with Amazonian hips and bountiful bosoms. I’m not fat, per se, but I am certainly “womanly,” “voluptuous,” and “curvy,” and even when I am as thin as I can get without looking sick, I’m not blowing over in a strong wind.

I recently read an article about shoes (another love of mine) and how plus size women love shoes because shoes don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5’10” and 110 pounds or 5’2″ and 180, if you’re a size 8, you’re a size 8, and you can walk into any department store or shoe store in the world, pick out a pair in your size, and know they’re going to look fabulous. Those of us who wear larger-sized clothes (again, even at my thinnest, I am squeezing if I wear a 12) will never know the pleasure of buying off the rack. I don’t even bother with vintage clothing stores, much as I love the styles of the 40s and 50s, because they NEVER have anything in my size. To make matters worse, I am ALSO screwed in the shoe department – at a size 11, sometimes 11.5, I can’t usually buy off the rack for shoes, either. 9 times out of 1o – nay, 99 times out of 100, I will fall in love with a pair of shoes only to find out the largest they come in is a 10. And usually they don’t even have those in stock. And vintage shoes? Pahahahaha, right. Apparently women in those days maxed out at an 8, or they wore the boxes.

Now I have managed to amass quite the shoe collection in spite of (or maybe because of?) this disadvantage. I have found brands – Naturalizer, Aerosoles, Nine West – that make a large variety of shoes in my size. And I buy them with gusto and the satisfaction that I DESERVE these shoes because I am not like other women – I have to take them when and where I can find them! Still, it’s not always easy, and I can’t usually see a pair of shoes on a friend and ask where she got them, feeling I could go pick myself up a pair. Because they more than likely don’t even make them in my size.

What does that leave me with? PRODUCT. Product really and truly does not discriminate. One size blush fits all. A tube of mascara, used normally, lasts every woman the same amount of time. Lipgloss is lipgloss is lipgloss. You can have fat lips or thin lips and that lipgloss looks the same.

Okay okay okay. So getting to the point, which I am sure by now you thought I’d never do. I present you with Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Body SPF 20 in Glow (ain’t that a mouthful).

I love me some lotion, and I moisturize every day after showering. I got a generous sample size of this with my May Birchbox, and was stoked to try it. It’s a tinted, slightly sparkly moisturizer WITH SPF – what a great idea. So basically, it evens your body skin tone, protects from the sun, and gives you a nice, summery sheen. Love it! The sample was 0.5 fl. oz., and it took the entire thing to cover my body. It didn’t seem to come off on my clothes, gave me a really nice glow, and seemed to moisturize well. You may consider this a plus or a minus, depending on your proclivities, but it hasn’t much of a smell. I personally prefer lotions with a yummy, gourmet smell, but I don’t really like lotions that are too perfumey, so having no smell at all is really probably okay.

I liked this moisturizer/bronzer/suntan lotion SO much that I promptly bought a full-size bottle of it from Amazon. If you click above, you will note that it does not clearly say the size of the bottle, but since the sample size was half an ounce, I figured the full size would be quite large, especially for $34. I received the lotion yesterday and was surprised and more than a little disappointed to discover the full-sized product is – get ready – 3.38 oz. REALLY? I used half an ounce in ONE application! Please tell me if I am being crazy here, but that means there aren’t even seven full uses in this full-sized bottle! Not even a week’s worth of applications for THIRTY-FOUR DOLLARS? I mean, okay, yes, I am impressed by this lotion – its multi-functionality is unique and awesome. But $10 and ounce??? IS IT MADE OF LIQUID GOLD????

This brings me around to my opening. If you are short and thin, hey, this may last you a month. But if you’re 6′ tall and of ample body, it may be a waste of money. I’m so disappointed – even the product sphere has found a way to make me feel awkwardly large. Thanks, Sarah McNamara. Thanks a lot. :/

Chantecaille Detox Clay Mask

30 Apr

My skin has been feeling extra grody lately, and I have found that nothing perks it up like a good clay mask after my morning shower. I have had some good clay mask experiences lately, AND I have had some good Chantecaille cosmetics experiences lately, so I decided to splurge on Chantecaille’s Detox Clay Mask at Nordy’s.

Although I have switched almost exclusively to Caudalie skin care (and with awesome results – Shanda at Elaia Spa couldn’t say enough about how great and hydrated my skin looks last time I got a facial from her), I am a princess and like that Chantecaille is a “luxury” skin care brand, so I thought I’d treat myself to a mask from them. (Note: I’m also still addicted to the Kate Somerville exfoliant and it’s still incredible.)

Let me preface this by saying that although estheticians almost ALWAYS tell me my skin is on the dry side, it never feels dry to me. It always feels slightly greasy, especially around my nose and on my chin. So I really like a good drying clay mask that makes my face feel super cleansed and dried out before I apply lotion. (Another note: I think this most recent facial is the first one I have had where the esthetician said nothing about dry skin – again, thank you Caudalie.) So I am reviewing this mask based on the fact that I like a good, drying mud mask.

I never know what to make of these masks that are super dark, but it’s supposed to be made of clay, right? And sometimes clay is dark. I started smoothing this on and noticed immediately that it is pretty greasy. I covered my face, dutifully trying to avoid my eyes and hairline, which I am always terrible at, especially since I have short, completely spiral curly curls around my face that insist on being involved in everything. I finished and sought my husband out, making spoooooky souuuunds. He knew what I was up to and wasn’t impressed (although he soon forgot, left the room, and when returning, jumped upon seeing my face – HEE). I left the mask on for the recommended ten minutes, and when it wasn’t anywhere near “dry,” left it on another ten. That did nothing – it was still gooey and sticky to the touch. I got a towel and started wiping it off and let me say this stuff is MESSY. It took an entire large hand towel – not a wash cloth, a real hand towel – to even start cleaning it off, and any time the hand towel brushed the sink, it left behind dark gray smudges. I ended up getting most of it off but having to finish with wet paper towels and wiping off the sink with a separate wash cloth. (The towel goes in the wash later today – I’ll update if there are any issues with staining fabric.) In the end, I was seriously disappointed. My face felt no different. It was still greasy-feeling, it didn’t feel “detoxed” at all, my pores looked the same, I didn’t have any kind of glow. I gave it a day to be sure – I didn’t even apply any makeup yesterday – but it’s no better today.

Blah, total waste of money. I just can’t recommend this product at all. I see and feel no difference – not even in hydration. I stand by my previous recommendation of Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque for a nice, detoxifying, drying mud mask (super cheap, too). For a little more moolah, try Ummelina’s Sea Mud Mask at $11.00, which I also really like.

I’ll try to review some Caudalie products later this week – ce sont magnifiques.

A Week In My Purse – Wrap Up

29 Apr

I carry a lot of stuff in my purse – not just the usual cell phone, wallet, and lip gloss, but all the stuff I’ve mentioned over the last week(‘s worth of entries) and more. Hand lotion, hand sanitizer, a purse hook, a mirror, dental floss, ear plugs, argan oil (good for hair and skin touch ups), mascara, tweezers, a nail file, nail clippers, sunglasses, Shout wipes, my Kindle, elbow grease – anything I have been out and needed and not had, I have added to my purse arsenal. I’m always jealous of women who can carry just a little wallet or clutch everywhere and have that be everything they need, but I am not that woman – I am, for lack of a better term, high-maintenance. I am also, however, the woman those women turn to when they need a tampon or a tissue or a Tylenol. And I’m always happy to oblige.

What you carry in your purse is highly personal and totally personalized. I hope my week of tips was helpful in some way. What do YOU never leave home without?

Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Calming Creme

11 Apr

This is probably the most boring product I will ever recommend, but I use it every single evening, so it’s worth a mention!

Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Calming Creme is a thick, unscented moisturizer that I use nightly on my hands before bed. It softens and protects my hands without leaving behind a film, and the fact that it’s unscented makes me feel like I am using something designed less for the beauty realm than for the health realm. During the winter, when my skin gets especially dry, I’ll use it after showering over my whole body, and it definitely works better than my standard smell-good moisturizers at eliminating dry, flaky alligator skin.

I had a friend with sensitive skin visit last summer (shout out to Shari!), and I took her to my favorite mani pedi place in Seattle, Hoa Salon in Madison. The only complaint I have about Hoa is that I can’t be sure what’s in the lotions they use on you – it’s not a “spa” atmosphere where everything is organic (and thus ten times more expensive). I recommended to Shar that we bring my Eucerin for her, to ensure she didn’t have a bad reaction to Hoa’s lotion. (Incidentally, Hoa is always happy to use anything you bring – I actually bring my own lotion and Zoya nail polishes and they’re always extremely accommodating – love that place!) She had no bad reaction to the lotion, and quite liked how well it absorbed and the fact that it didn’t leave a fragrance behind.

At less than nine bucks for a tube that will last FOREVER, I suggest everyone picks up a tube or two of this for those times when you just want your skin to be moisturized without any scent. Well worth the money.