Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review: Qtica Smart Spa Cool Therapy Lotion

Image from The Art of Beauty Website
Ok, this lotion is totally my "Sleepy Time Tea" for my body.

You know how it is when a company sends you a sample of a product with an order. You use it. Suddenly it runs out. You don't think much of it until you try to substituted something else and then realize what is missing is that silly sample you got with your order a while back? Well that's how it was for me and Qtica Smart Spa Cool Therapy Lotion.

Qtica's Website Says
"Lotion shouldn't be a routine, it should be a luxury. QTICA Smart Spa Luxury Lotion goes on silky, absorbs quickly and locks in intense hydration and light scent for hours. The unique balance of vitamins, nutrients and essential oils repairs dry or damaged skin and stimulates the senses. Ideal for manicures, pedicures and total body moisturizing."
Ingredients
WATER/AQUA, MINERAL OIL, CETYL ALCOHOL, POLYSORBATE 60, DIGLYCOL STEARATE, GLYCERIN, SORBITAN TRISTEARATE, DIMETHICONE, BHA, FRAGRANCE, MENTHOL, PHENOXYETHANOL BLEND, CARBOMER, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, FD&C BLUE NO. 1

Texture
It's not as thick as a lot of moisturizing lotions out there, so you you can use this as your daytime moisturizer if you want. It also soaks into the skin quickly.

Scent
Nice minty scent. The scent fades a few minutes after applying, or at least you can't smell it unless you get close. So don't worry too much about mixing scents with your perfume. I like scented moisturizers provided it the product doesn't irritate me. This one doesn't bother me at all

Cost
The 8 oz is $11 and the 32 oz is 34 oz. If you're really lucky you'll get it free with a Zoya order like I did.

My Experience
When I received this product with a Zoya order back in the spring time I didn't think I would end up liking it as much as I do. I used it primarily post shower before bedtime. Since I'm a "shower at night" girl, I want my scent in my moisturizer to relax me. Cool Therapy puts me in the right frame of mind to go to sleep. I always feel like it tingles a bit, as though it has a cooling effect - though that could just be a psychological effect of the "mint" smell. I usually slather it all over. I do have a few places on my body that require more moisturizer (hands, feed, back of my ankles, elbows) so I can not use this moisturizer by itself. But that's ok. I don't mind.

Sometimes I do use this after showers during the day (like if I've just worked out). I have associated it with a relaxing activity, thus I feel instantly relaxed and refreshed upon using it.

Since scented moisturizers are a dime a dozen, could it be that bad if I repurchased it from a free sample? I must admit, for me this moisturizer is about the scent. I like this scent. I am tempted to try some of the other Qtica Smart Spa scents, but I have the feeling this will always be my bedtime scent.


Bottom Line
If you're looking for a relaxing bedtime moisturizer that isn't too heavy this is a great choice. If you need something more moisturizing, then look elsewhere.

Full Disclosure
The product in this review was provided to me by Zoya as a free sample with purchase. Later I purchased the product out of my own pocket for my own use. I am not affiliated with Qtica, Zoya, or the Art of Beauty in any way. I do not sell Qtica, Zoya or Art of Beauty products.

Polish - Essie Sew Psyched

I know this one has been floating around for a while and I intended to get to it earlier, but was held up. Anyway, here is Essie Sew Psyched!



Hey it's another green! This one I like, though. I know I've been saying that a lot lately, which is odd of me.  In general, I'm just not a green fan. But I picked this up at Ulta last month when I was hunting for China Glazes. It's the only one that appealed to me out of the fall Essie collection at that time. I wasn't going to pick it up but this incredibly chic woman on her cell phone wearing a gorgeous wrap dress was also eying it at the time. My intense desire to be as polished (no pun intended) as her made me pick it up.

Color
Sea green, army green but dusty. It's a cream. I keep hearing things about shimmer but I didn't see any in the bottle or on my nails so I think that's misleading to say.


Application
A nice clean 2 coats. No problems. But I think I've been spoiled by Ginger + Liz's brush. The Essie brush left something to be desired.

Wear
This got chippy on me pretty quickly, but it might just be my nails right now. I wore it over Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator and topped with Seche Vite.


Bottom Line
If you are into the color pick it up. It's different enough from the other greens offered this fall.

Rue-la-la Final Sale Today and Tomorrow!

They have some awesome deals up there on Rue-la-la.

I ended up purchasing these Awesome Report Signiture Shoes for $49 (discounted from $225) because I just had to:
Image from Rue-la-la

Not a member? Not a problem. Use my Invite Link!


Saw some great stuff today:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: Ling Skincare Pomegranate Detox Mask

One of the samples I was sent by Ling Skincare was the Pomegranate Detox Mask. I asked about this one (anything that says "Pomegranate" automatically intrigues me). The representative also told me it was good for acne. I imagine anything that would be the case when someone puts "Detox" in the name of the product.

Wait until you read what the website and literature says about this mask because it sounds like the Holy Grail to someone like me.


What the Website Claims
"Natural Pomegranate and Pumpkin Enzymes unlock dead, unhealthy cells, detoxifying the pores of impurities to reveal a clarified and refreshed complexion. Tea Tree oil delivers anti-bacterial properties without dryness or irritation, while Sea Whip soothes and reduces inflammation. Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is able to penetrate into the pore to reduce acne, blackheads and white heads."
 What My Big Book Of Ling Skincare Stuff Says
"This detox mask contains Beta Hydroxy Acids to even the complexion and eliminate acne bacteria build-up. A natural blend of Pomegranate and Pumpkin Enzymes digest dead skin cells and impurities trapped deep in pores. Tea Tree Oil provides anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties leaving you with a renewed and healthy complexion."
Ingredients
AQUA, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, GLYCERIN, BETAINE SALICYLATE, GLYCOL, LOCUST BEAN GUM, PUMPKIN FRUIT FERMENT EXTRACT, POMEGRANATE FRUIT FERMENT EXTRACT, SEA WHIP EXTRACT, 4-TERPINEOL, LEPTOSPERMUM SCOPARIUM OIL, NYLON-12, DEXTROSE, POLYSORBATE 20, CAPRYLY GLYCOL, ETHYLHEXLGLYCERIN, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, ALGIN, PHENOXYETHANOL, AMINOMETHYL PROPANOL, XANTHUM GUM, MANNAN, POTASSIUM SORBATE.

Texture
This mask is slightly peachy in color in the sample container but pretty much goes on your face clear and creamy. You can feel it drying as you wear it and the Tea Tree Oil certain smacks you in the face when you put it on (it stings a tiny bit if you have any broken skin on your face).

Cost
The cost of this product is $65 for 1.7 fl. oz. For that price I would expect noticeable results - a serious butt kicking mask.

My Results
My sample size only had enough in it or about 3 applications. You're supposed to use it 2 to three times a week for 10 minutes. I ended up using it primarily after softball games. Being a catcher, I know my face needs detoxing the most after  rolling around in the dirt for 1.5 hours. That being said, I didn't exactly use it as directed. But I wanted to use it sparingly to see if I could notice anything.
  • Claims to reveal a "renewed and healthy completion" - Not so much for me. The next day after the second time I used it I got a few more white heads than usual. That could be a side effect o the mask working, or coincidence. I know sometimes when using something new you go through a breaking out period as your skin adjusts.
  • Claims to do everything "without dryness or irritation" - Sorry Ling Chan, but my skin did feel more dry after using this product. I always wanted a moisturizer. I think it's the Tea Tree Oil doing it's thing. And since it stings on sensitive broken skin, yeah... it's a little irritating. 
  • Claims to "reduce acne, blackheads and white heads" - As I mentioned before I had a slight increase in white heads after using this mask. My acne is not reduced yet with this system over all and my blackheads are still around. But see the next point...
  • Claims to "detoxify pores of impurities" - Ok, I'll give them this one. I usually have very clogged pores around my nose and chin. So much so you can visibly see the build up. This isn't usually removed by cleansing alone. Immediately after using this mask had less visible clogged pores. So I believe it. 
Because of the last bullet, I have to say that if this were worked into a regular routine over time I think it could do what it says it does. But I don't think I had the time with it enough to judge it fully. The literature also says that it's "Product Partners" are the Herbal Clay Clarifying Mask and the Spotlight Resurface Papaya Peel. Having experience with the other two products on weekly basis with the Ling At-Home Facial, I think the three products together could be an awesome triple threat to my clogged pores. But I have no proof of that assumption. It could just be an "I have goop on my face" product. I also wonder where the AHA is. I'm so used to seeing AHA and BHA together.


Bottom Line (sort of... maybe not quite)
I am hesitant to recommend this one at this time on a hunch that long term it might help with clogged pores. If it were half the price I might say give it a shot. Out of the products I have tried in the Ling Skincare line this is not a "must have" for me. My mind could change on this. Budget allowing, I might consider purchasing this but am undecided at this time. Regardless, I am privileged to have gotten a chance to try this product.

Full Disclosure
The products in this review were furnished to me by Ling Skincare not only for my use but for review. I will not be compensated in any other way by Ling Skincare and have provided my honest opinion of the product. I don't sell Ling Skincare products, nor am I affiliated with Ling Skincare in any way.

Have You Used the Pomegranate Detox Mask Long Term?
If so, please share your experience. I would love to know, as a consumer, if you have anecdotal evidence that my hunch is correct.

A Supernatural Eye - More Fun with Meow Cosmetics

Anything that reminds me of Dean Winchester/Jensen Ackles is a good thing in my book. I think I'll be purchasing a full size of Meow Cosmetic's "Supernatural" Eye Shadow because it's just Gold Goodness.


You know I love Reds, golds, browns... Meow Cosmetics calls Supernatural Green. It's really a metallic gold to me.


Breakdown

Eyes
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • Meow Cosmetics Friday the 13th Eye Shadow in Supernatural - gorgeous metallic gold. I didn't quite get it in this picture. But trust me, it's hot!
  • Meow Cosmetics Friday the 13th Eye Shadow in Unlucky - metallic light red I used on the outer corner.
  • Meow Cosmetics Ideal Eyes in Clawstrophobic - I used this brown in the crease.
  • Meow Cosmetics Cat Eyes Eye Shadow in Bitchy - another matte peachy shade for the brow highlight.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Rockstar - lined upper, outer lower.
  • MAC Plushlash Mascara in Plushblack
Face
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC15
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Stereorose
Lips
  • MAC Lipstick in Chic
  • MAC Lipglass in Expensive

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Review: Qtica Intense Foot Repair Balm

Image from The Art of Beauty Website
Don't worry. I'm not going to bombard you with feet pictures.

I first received Qtica's Intense Foot Repair Balm nearly a month ago along with a bunch of other Qtica goodies. Out of everything I received this was the product I was most interested in trying because my poor feet really needed some TLC in a bad way. Let me explain my situation...

Foot Confession Time
No one wants to hear this but it is most definitely pertinent to my review. For the last year and a half I have been battling an on again, off again Athlete's Foot infection. I think it all started at getting dressed in the locker rooms at work over two years ago. Or it possibly started with my husband - he experienced symptoms first. Last year when spring came around I put on an old pair of Sketchers. The infection came back! Out went the shoes and into the dermatologist I ventured. Once I was cleared, I noticed my husband using Athlete's Foot cream about a month later. I got seriously angry because he didn't tell me. It's like he didn't understand that it's communicable and if you're sharing showers with people you need to advise them so they can take preventative measures. Sure enough, back came the infection. Since then I have been on meds daily hoping it won't come back.

The Point of the Story
I have not had a pedicure in a spa in well over a year and half. I have very callused feet in need of attention. Thank you, Good Fairy at Qtica!

What Qtica's Website Says
"Qtica Intense Overnight Foot Repair Balm helps to seal and heal the the most damaged, irritated feet and provides instant relief. A honey and vitamin base help to hydrate and provide an invisible natural protective coating that enables the skins natural healing process do it's work, while protecting from further irritation."
Ingredients
WATER/AQUA, LANOLIN, ISOPROPYL PALMITATE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, CETEARETH-20, PARAFFIN, SORBITAN SESQUIOLEATE, POLYSORBATE 60, BEEWAX, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, PEG-40 STEARATE, PANTHENOL, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, FRAGRANCE, BHA, PHENOXYETHANOL, ETHYLHEXYGLYCERIN, RETINYL PALMITATE, ERGOCALCIFEROL, TETRASODIUM EDTA, FD&C RED NO.4

Texture
Thick pink cream. I had the 2 oz version so it came in a tub. I have a bit of difficulty imagining the cream coming out of tube, but it does come in tube form.

Scent
It has a strong scent that reminds me of my grandmother's night cream.  Most of the Qtica products in this "Intense" line do. PI have gotten used to it, but I don't like it. (As I review the products I received from Qtica you will be reading that statement again and again).

Cost
A 2 oz jar costs $18. For $20 dollars you can get a 3 oz tube. Or you can get an 8 oz tube for $30. If you're ordering for the first time, I recommend purchasing the 3 oz tube. This product goes fast if you're using it every night.

My Experience
Every night before going to bed I slathered Qtica Foot Repair Balm on my tootsies, paying particular attention to the areas that needed it: my big toes, my heels, the sides of my feet. Gradually, after the first two weeks (at least) of use I began to notice my feet becoming softer. Eventually I thought they were soft enough to use a foot file on my calluses. Success! lots of dead skin flying everywhere. I am in no way free of hard crusty feet, but I'm a lot better off than I was.

Incidentally, I recommend applying this product while you're in bed, keeping your feet off the floor. You will slip and slide and waste product if you're feet touch anything for at least $15 minutes after application. It takes time for this cream to soak in.

I could definitely see myself wanting to use this product after trade shows where I'm standing on the most uncomfortable floor for hours. This happens about once a year for me, but I could see Qtica Intense Foot Repair Balm being quite soothing for those situations. 

Bottom Line
Effective cream, not-so-great smell, a little pricey for everyday use. I recommend it for occasional use after foot filing unless you're trying to soften them up like I was. Skip the 2 oz Jar - it's not cost efficient. 

Word to the Wise:  If you're feet are infected with a fungus, your pedicurist will THANK you for not coming in. Mine did.

Full Disclosure
The products in this review were furnished to me by Zoya for my use, but not specifically for a review. I was not paid to provide this review, and have provided my honest opinion of the product. I don't sell Zoya or Qtica products, nor am I affiliated with Art of Beauty in any way.
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