**This is an honest review of this item and record of my experiences with it. I have purchased all items with my own money, unless otherwise indicated. I have not been asked to do a review of these products, unless otherwise mentioned. -mdp**
I was sent the Coffee Burdock Root Twisting Cream from Cheryl Kelly- Moye, the facilitator of the Thinning Hair Project on Facebook. Cheryl is a part of another Facebook group that I am involved in (and from my hometown) and was offering samples of this product for feedback. I was not asked to do a review on my blog, I offered, and I was not paid for my opinion, nor did I pay for this product.
Ingredients: I am not sure, as they were not listed on the package since this is the testing stage. I am sure that Cheryl would be more than willing to provide them if contacted.
Cost: Contact Cheryl for prices. From my understanding, she would like to have this product available for sale by Black Friday.
Likes: consistency, smell, produces good shine and moisture
Dislikes: This isn’t a dislike, but I wish that there was a thinner version so that I could use it during the summer months.
Smell: There is a very faint coffee smell to this cream. Cheryl asked my opinion on the coffee smell and I told her that I thought that it was just right, as most coffee smells are too strong for my liking. Upon the second usage, I realized that the smell could be a tad stronger, not by much at all, just my preference. For my next usage (and will probably be final), I think that I am going to add in a drop of vanilla oil just to see what happens.
I intentionally waited to take a picture of the product after I used it so that you could see the texture. This is very fluffy and creamy, yet heavy enough that it weighs my hair down. I didn’t have a problem with getting it to emulsify, and it coated my hair with ease.
All of my trials were done on freshly washed and conditioned hair.
For my initial application of this product, I used Curl Junkie’s Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion on damp hair as my leave in, and then applied the CBRTB on top as a sealant/styler. I put my hair in 12 twists and let it air dry for 2 days. My chunky twist out was fluffy and moisturized, but my hair felt a little greasy. Let me state that the greasiness was totally user error. When I have previously used CJCASM on my hair, I have loved the results, but it always flaked on me, which was why I decided to use Cheryl’s twisting cream over it- and I was heavy handed. I wore the twist out for two days, then for the rest of the week, I would wet my hair in the shower, lightly finger detangle, and pull my hair back into a clip (not adding any more product). My hair feels as though it has product in it- but not too much, and my curls are staying clumped together. My hair has small ringlets on the ends (which really only appear when fully saturated with water) and are shiny. Score!
So, I skipped the CJCASM all together and went back to my previous routine. After I rinse conditioner out of my hair, I use a mixture of aloe vera juice and water throughout my hair as a leave in. I try to catch the mixture and repeat until my hair is fully saturated. Then, I blot some of the excess water out and continue with setting my hair. This time, I just put my hair 6 large twists and let it air dry. Bingo- that was it! Soft, well moisturized and shiny! I usually have a problem with detangling my hair after a few days, but this product made it easy- I just dampened with water and separated. My hair was refreshed and there wasn’t a need to reapply the product, except for at the roots just to lay down some unruly hairs.
I plan on purchasing this product when Cheryl released it because this is honestly, one of the better products that I have used on my hair that was handmade. I want to put my hair in mini twists for the winter, and I am anxious to see how this product would do with them.
Thanks Cheryl and keep up the good work!
Let me say that I have a love/hate relationship with Sweet Anthem- but not in the way that you may think. Customer service has always been stellar. I love the overall design of the packaging and the marketing techniques of Meredith Smith, the owner. I love the scent descriptions on the website, they always draw me in and the scent combinations are always things out of the ordinary (mention must go to the Alice in Wonderland inspired collection from a few years ago). What I hate is that so many of Sweet Anthems fragrances just don’t work out for me. I have tried all three formats, (sprays, oils and solids) and I usually order the fragrance oils because that is just my preference. Sometimes the scents are gone far too soon from my skin and that, honestly, makes me sad because some of them are so glorious on first whiff. A lot of the times, these perfumes are totally hit or miss for me and, well, I don’t know what else to say about that.
So this review is for Emily, one of the year-round scents.
When Sweet Anthem announced their Spring timing fragrances, I was all over it. My order consisted of Hippolyta (in solid perfume), Catherine, Caroline, Emily (in oils), and I was sent Cybele as a gift.
Emily (from Sweet Anthem’s website)
Still she wears her red dress, and paints her toes and twirls. Emily takes it back to old times of honey, oatmeal, yuzu, almond, Turkish mocha, vanilla, coconut, and sandalwood.
Notes: Almond, Honey, Milk, Oatmeal, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Yuzu
About the oil fragrances (from Sweet Anthem’s website)
Our flagship product, we first began perfecting this odd duck of a fragrance format. Containing 40-60% concentrated aromatics, these perfumes are diluted in skin-loving fractionated coconut oil and will wear for nearly 8 hours when applied to clean skin. Presented with roller balls under a silver overshell cap for easy, leak-proof, and portable application.
When I opened this bottle, I was a little unsure of how this scent would play out. I am not a fan of almond or coconut (I know, why did I buy it then? For the oatmeal and vanilla…) but was hoping for the best. The upfront smell of this was simply amazing; it was sweet and smooth, but not cloying. The Almond and coconut were the standouts initially (Sweet Anthem’s Karen make me realize that I could fall for coconut) and within a few minutes, those two started to fade into a spiced oatmeal sort of scent. An hour later, I could no longer smell this on my wrists. If I put my chin to my chest, I could barely smell yuzu. Roughly 3 hours later, this scent is gone from my skin. While I like my fragrances close to me, this was a bit too close. I am disappointed in its lack of staying power and strength.
Would I repurchase?: I am on the fence. The perfume oils are supposed to have the longest wear time. The eau de parfums are next, with a wear time of 4-5 hours. Considering that this doesn’t last on me, I doubt that I would repurchase. On the other hand, I adore this scent.
Have you tried anything from Sweet Anthem?
This past Sunday, I decided to use our juicer. MHS and I had purchased a bunch of citrus fruit (mainly oranges, a few grapefruit, and a lime) from the Commissary. My hopes were to juice the citrus items and then freeze it for this winter so that we weren’t paying crazy prices for orange juice.
Let me say upfront that I juiced 11 oranges, two decent sized grapefruit and a lime. I thought that I would get much more juice than what I got, I didn’t even fill the old container that I was using (I think that I got a little more than 32 oz.). In addition, I took all of the left over pulp and ran it back through the juicer. While I want us to do this for our health, if it wasn’t for the Commissary, I don’t know if we would be able to reasonably do this because I feel like we would need a case of whatever we wanted to juice in order for this to be truly beneficial. In addition, I was not pleased with the amount of pulp that was left over. I think that if I was doing all vegetables, the pulp would be good to make vegetable broth, but I am going to have to figure out a way to use it or eliminate it.
In the middle of juicing the citrus, I figured, “Why not make something for yourself and see if you would actually be able to do the juicing diet thing?” So, I juiced 2 carrots, one orange, a handful of grapes maybe 2 cups of celery and one McIntosh apple. Uh… Wow! All I can say is that while the juice smelled faintly of oranges, the celery taste was wicked! I told MHS and I think that he found it amusing, but for me, it clearly wasn’t, that was almost a deal breaker for me. Anyway, I came out with about 24 ounces of juice for myself, which I was a bit disappointed in because I thought that I would get more juice. I was able to drink it all; I didn’t have any adverse effects as some people report, and just drank water for the rest of the day. I wasn’t hungry, didn’t feel faint, nothing. The lesson learned for me is to not use even half as much celery when juicing because it was almost unbearable.
My goal is to slowly work into juicing. I think that I would like to start off one day a week, then move on to juicing for 2 meals a day and eating one. What are your experiences with juicing? Do you have any favorite recipes?
3/20/2013- So I guess that I should have updated everyone on this like I said that I would! I gave these products away the next month; I just couldn’t take it anymore. The facial wash & scrub was like cleaning my face with lotion. While I prefer creamier cleansers (think Origins’ Checks and Balances), I felt like my face was never clean with that product. In addition, the notion that this it could have been a scrub was boggling, as there was no exfoliating action whatsoever. The facial mask was too heavily scented for me and again, I didn’t feel like I had a clean face after using it. For the mask to be mud based, I felt like it was clogging my pores instead of clearing them. I did not witness any brightening, although I don’t think that I used the products long enough to see those results. The only thing that I can say to these two products is that I didn’t have my usual winter dry patches- but the other issues outweighed that.
Would I repurchase? Definitely not.
This month I decided to switch up my skin care routine. MHS and I were in Target last weekend and I came across Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Facial Wash & Scrub, as well as the Coconut & Hibiscus Facial Mask. Both products are said to be for brightening and toning, which my skin certainly needs.
I battle acne and the scarring that comes along with it. Normally, I have combination skin with an oily t-zone and everything else is normal. In the winter, I get dry patches in between my eyebrows, under my eyes, and around my lips. Considering that both of these products contain shea butter, I figured that would help with the moisture.
So, here is what I have been doing since Sunday, Nov. 4, and continue to follow until I finish the products:
- Cleanse every AM with the Facial Wash & Scrub
- Tone with witch hazel infused with lavender
- Moisturize with Kelapo Organic Coconut Oil
- On M,W, & F evenings, do step 1, then apply the Facial Mask until it dries, the n wash off with warm water
- Follow steps 2 & 3 from above
Since I am posting this late, I will post my first impressions and pictures after a week of using these products.
Happy, with cold & flu season coming up, you can never have too much of anything that has ‘sanitizer’ in its title.
**This is an honest review of these items and record of my experiences with them. I have purchased all items with my own money, unless otherwise indicated. I have not been asked to do a review of these products, unless otherwise mentioned. -mdp**
Creamy Hair Cream [4 oz., $12]
Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Distilled Water, Aloe Vera Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Coco Butter, Avocado Butter, Castor Oil, Aloe Vera Oil, BTMS, Xanthum Gum, Hemp Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Optiphen, Essential Oil Blend.
Description/Directions: Apply to wet hair alone or with your favorite leave in to seal in moisture or whenever relief is needed from dry brittle hair.
Likes: First and foremost, my hair doesn’t generally like cocoa butter, but I was hoping that things would be different with this product. I used this to do two strand twists on damp hair. When I applied this, it sank into my hair with ease and provided slip for extra detangling. The next morning, my hair was super moisturized, and my hair was soft and fluffy. That evening, I realized that the definition of my twist out might not make it to the next day sue to the softness of my hair. I sprayed water around the circumference of my head, added more CHC (which I really didn’t need by the way), brushed my edges back and tied them down with a scarf. The next day, the CHC had laid down my hair fairly well. Totally hooked.
Dislikes: While nothing on this product claims that it should/would be used for styling, my hair was so soft that there wasn’t really any hold. No biggie, but don’t expect a lot of hold from it.
Customer Service: I have watched Janay’s videos on Youtube (TastiRedbone) for a few years now, and have always admired that she has not been afraid to speak her mind about the bad customer service experiences that she has had with companies. Tasti Kiss Essentials will exceed all of your expectations. I am in PA, and the company is located in CA. I placed my last order on a Friday morning, and it was waiting for me on Tuesday when I arrived home from work. Plus, there is always a small item with the kiss theme in the package, which I think was a nice marketing touch.
Would I repurchase?: Indeed!
Rich Hair Butter [4 oz., $13]
Ingredients: Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Babassu Oil, Castor Oil, Soybean Oil, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Emu Oil, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Fragrance
Description: n/a as this product is not posted on the website right now
Likes: I have only used this product a few times to seal the ends of my hair. This product did a good job of keeping them moisturized and intact. Normally when I do two strand twists, my ends like to get puffy and unravel, but this helped with that. I am hoping to revisit this product in the cooler months.
Dislikes: Nothing that I can think of thus far.
Customer Service: See above, no additions.
Would I repurchase? Not sure yet, I would like to use the product more before making that decision.
Whipped Shea Butter [4 oz., $8]
Ingredients: Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin E, Fragrance
Description: Apply to body and hair for added moisture. Best for very dry skin and straight out of the shower so that you can lock in the moisture.
Likes: I purchased these in the scents Tasti Pastri, Vanilla Cream, Strawberry Cream, Sweet POM, and was sent Hawaiian Punch as a bonus. All five scents are awesome; none of them are overly sweet.
The Tasti Pastri smells like cookie dough, despite the name, with a hint of something else that I can’t put my finger on. The Vanilla Cream threw me off at first because I smelled shea butter upon opening the jar. I love vanilla based scents, and I like this one. After putting it on the skin, the vanilla came out and this scent was the second longest lasting of the bunch. The Strawberry Cream is my favorite, sweet strawberries, nothing cloying or artificial, just strawberries and cream. Again, there was an undertone of shea in this one, but not as obvious as in the Vanilla Cream scent. The Sweet POM smells like fresh pomegranate with a slight musky note. This scent is my second favorite. Hawaiian Punch smells just like the drink and this scent was the strongest in the jar and the longest lasting on the skin.
Next, the consistency and texture. This shea butter is pretty tightly packed into a super filled jar, which is great, because I don’t usually see that from whipped butters of any sort. I have seen whipped butters that have a lot of air in the packaging, and when you start to stir the mixture, your container is about halfway full… Not the case here at all, these were filled to the brim. All five were super smooth and glide easily onto the skin. My skin didn’t feel coated and felt moisturized throughout my work day without an additional application. One thing that I noticed, and maybe it is just me, I have yet to use a shea butter blend from a company that doesn’t feel ‘wet’ and ‘cold’ when you apply it. These whipped butters feel ‘dry’, but go onto the skin like… butter! In addition, the weather where I am has been in the 80’s the last few weeks and I have been using these without any greasy/heavy feeling, they absorb pretty well. I am totally impressed with the whipped shea butters.
Dislikes: I wish that the scents lasted longer on the skin. When I first purchased these about a month ago, the Tasti Pastri was gone in about 2 hours, the Vanilla Cream in about 4 hours and the Strawberry Cream in about 3 hours. The Hawaiian Punch had the strongest smell when opening the containers, and also lasted the longest on the skin. I opened these this morning and that scent has faded on the Tasti Pastri, Vanilla Cream and Strawberry Cream significantly. I know that some people are sensitive to scents, so this may not be a sticking point for them. I probably will not purchase more until I use up the ones that I have because I don’t want the scents to fade while they are in standby. If the scents continue to fade, I may just end up using them for my hair.
Customer Service: See above, no additions.
Would I repurchase?: Certainly! There are a ton of scents listed that I would love to try, like the Apple Pie a la Mode. I am slightly hesitant to purchase multiples now because I don’t want the smell to disappear if I don’t use them right away.
Natural Lip Gloss [4mL, $6.95]
Ingredients: Vegetable Glycerin Castor Seed Oil Hydrogenated Castor Oil Beeswax Carnauba Wax Hemp Seed Oil Mica (Color) Flavor
Description: Red Velvet Chocolate Cake Flavored and rich pigmented. Copper tone with red undertones.
Likes: I purchased the Red Velvet gloss and was sent the Coco one as a gift. These two glosses have very good pigmentation; they are almost like lipsticks in a pot. The Red Velvet has a nice, deepened red that isn’t overpowering, while the Coco is a rich brown color. While the color isn’t as deep as a chocolate brown, it certainly smells like Hershey’s.
Dislikes: Before applying these, exfoliate your lips as much as possible. While these are fairly moisturizing, I have to put on some sort of chap stick/balm underneath or color pigment tends to stay in one spot. In addition, if I don’t use a chap stick/balm, I find that these can become a little drying.
Customer Service: Nothing in addition to above.
Would I repurchase?: Yes, I would.
Please check out Miss Smith’s shop at http://tastikiss.bigcartel.com
For those of you that have stuck around this long, I’m back! And welcome to any new readers. I have a bunch of postings coming up, so hang in there, and let me know what you would like to see.
Happy Friday to you all!
Let’s get to the important things first, shall we?
I don’t have a full ingredients list because I received these as samples from Sephora. But, here is what Sephora says about them:
Soy Face Cleanser
What it is:
A silky foaming cleanser that instantly sweeps away impurities and makeup.
What it is formulated to do:
Soy Face Cleanser, Fresh’s most popular cleanser for all skin types, is an extra gentle, fragrance-free, multi-tasking gel formula that instantly whisks away every day impurities, removes makeup, and is safe to use on the eye area. Safe for use on the eyes, it’s face maintenance made easy. Plus, it’s soap free and will never leave behind a film or residue.
What else you need to know:
Soybean extract is a valuable protein that protects the skin and improves texture and resiliency. Soybeans provide amino acids that are essential in helping the skin to retain moisture maintain elasticity and preserve a smooth appearance. They contain a high concentration of isoflavonoids, a type of polyphenol that exhibits antioxidant properties. Soybean germ extract is derived from the soybean; after the hulls and oil are collected, the remaining flakes, which represent this valuable protein rich extract, are crushed into a fine powder.
Soy Face Cream
What it is:
A lightweight daily moisturizer.
What it is formulated to do:
Fresh Soy Face Cream is a beauty ritual must-have for all skin types. This Sephora-exclusive complexion essential is enriched with natural protective soy proteins, restorative rose water, soothing cucumber extract, nourishing meadowfoam, and jojoba seed oils that work together to provide moisture and promote collagen synthesis. It hydrates and renews the skin, creating supple, healthy, firm, radiant results.
What else you need to know:
Soy Face Cream has been scientifically proven to have significant, long-term moisturizing and restorative effects on the skin. A healthy dose of antioxidant-rich tea complex and an infusion of vitamins A, C, and E make this skin-smoothing formula exceptionally fortifying and beneficial. For best results, use it as a complement to the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser.
My thoughts on the cleanser: While this was a very soothing and gentle cleanser, it was just that. I have used this for about 4 days and was surprised as to how much dirt my toner was pulling off of my skin after using this cleanser. This might be good for someone with extra sensitive skin, but I didn’t find this to be a good product for cleansing or makeup removal.
My thoughts on the face cream: Wow… First of all, for this to be labeled as something ‘gentle’, the smell is horrible. This product contains rose water, but smells of that and rubber cement. It took a good hour for that smell to fade away for me. Second, this is not a lightweight cream as they are suggesting. This is comparable to a night cream, so use sparingly. While I have combination skin, I felt like this just sat on top of my skin and made it feel waxy. I haven’t felt any benefits from this product and plan to stop using it today.
Overall, I would say that this line wasn’t for me. I was disappointed because so many people raved about it, but when I went on Sephora’s website and read some of the lower reviews about the products, I agreed with them. If you want something with soy, you are better off using the Aveeno line that contains it.
Good morning all,
In the last entry, I told you about the Honey & Oats bar from this line. Today, I am back to tell you about the Shea Butter bar.
This bar is pretty darned good! So, let’s start with the basics… Shea Butter soap ingredients: saponified extra virgin olive oil, purified water, saponified coconut oil, shea butter, lavender essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil.
Ok, the only con that I have for this bar, and it is something that occurs a lot if you use natural soaps, is that if the bar itself gets too much water on it (say you are a bath person and you drop it into the water, then quickly retrieve it), the bar will get… quishy? I don’t know another word to describe it, but the bar will form a really thick and gooey layer on it. At first, I was really annoyed by this, but then I started doing this to the bar on purpose to get that thicker coating to make a mask for my face when it was dry.
The pros: The skin on my body is normally dry, but I get much worse as the weather changes. I will say that in the month + that I have been using this soap, I haven’t had to add lotion afterwards until about a week ago. This bar is pretty luxurious on the skin. I feel bad rinsing this off in the shower so quickly because I feel like I should slather in it, wait a few minutes, then rinse for full benefits. I have used this to shave my legs, and for me, this is better than shaving creams (or conditioner for the people that do that) because it provides better slip and is extra moisturizing afterwards. If you are worried about the lavender, eucalyptus, or shea butter smells, that isn’t a problem. The smell of lavender is very faint, and there isn’t that strong, nutty smell from the shea butter.
Two thumbs up for Made by Mieka and the Shea Butter soap!!!
We went back the City Market last weekend and found Mieka again and she remembered me. This time, I bought the Creamy Clay soap (I didn’t see the skin deep, but I will eventually order it online) and the Peppermint soap. I haven’t used either one yet because I am still using the Shea Butter soap, but here are the ingredients:
Creamy Clay (with Shea Butter and Eucalyptus): saponified extra virgin olive oil, purified water, saponified coconut oil, green illite clay, shea butter, eucalyptus essential oil
Peppermint (with Tea Tree and Rosemary): saponified extra virgin olive oil, purified water, saponified coconut oil, peppermint essential oil, tea tree essential oil, rosemary essential oil
I will let you all know the results as I try these two!
First, I offer my apologies for being gone so long. I have been wrapped up in a few other things, but have made a list of things that I want to share with you. So expect more things coming soon!
Last weekend, my fiancé and I traveled to Charlottesville, VA to go the City Market. The City Market is a place for vendors around the area to come and set up and they are open on Saturdays from 7am to noon. This is where we came upon Made by Mieka. Her soaps are here: www.madebymieka.com
So, Mieka told me that her soaps were made from 95% olive oil and other natural ingredients. My initial thought was, “Wow, these soaps must be really soft then…” She offers a regular sized bar for $6 (4 oz.), but we purchased 2 2oz. bars for $7.
The two bars that I have are the Shea Butter (with lavender and eucalyptus) and the Honey & Oats (with honey, oatmeal and shea butter). I have only tried the Honey & Oats thus far, so that is what I will tell you about.
Honey & Oats ingredients: saponified extra virgin olive oil, purified water, saponified coconut oil, oats, honey, shea butter. I have been using this bar on my body for about a week now. The good: This bar is very moisturizing! I am skeptical of some bar soaps that hype up all of these great ingredients and then they just dry your skin out anyway. Second, this creates a nice, silky lather that I like. This bar is good for me in the summer, I don’t have to put on any sort of moisturizer afterwards. The true test will be taking it with me back to PA and seeing how it does in the winter months.
The bad: If you like the smell of honey and are expecting it, you won’t find it in this bar. In addition, there are a lot of oats in this bar, and it is pretty scratchy! I thought that this would be a great exfoliating bar, but have found more scratches than I really want to have.
My overall thought is that I am neutral on this particular bar. I can really feel when I am giving myself scratches and I don’t like that. But, the moisturizing qualities are a plus. I want to try other bars from her line (particularly the Skin Deep bar) and when I do, I will let you all know.