The consistency of the wash is similarly harmonious: you get the sudsing action of a gel but the moisturizing aspects of a cream. Bamboo water and silk protein hydrate, while aloe vera gel soothes irritated spots and patches. Mostly, though, it's the perfect transitional aroma from Summer to Fall, thanks to its citrus and floral base. Blossom forth, indeed.
Creamy but not oily, this hydrating wash builds up an impressive amount of lather. And it's neither too heavy in feel or fragrance that you'll constantly be reminded you showered with it earlier in the day. Speaking of scent, it's subtle in the best of ways. Somewhat powdery like Karan's popular Cashmere Mist line, Woman is a bit more sensual and soft. Notes of sandalwood keep it grounded, while vetiver and orange flower give it a bit of a zing. It makes sense; the collection does celebrate the confidence and nurturing qualities of women, after all.
- Nivea Touch of Cashmere Cream Oil Body Wash ($6) — With the word cashmere in the name, you know this one is going to feel soft. But it's the light scent, a powdery and subtly sweet fragrance, that will please the I-hate-strong-aromas crowd.
- The Body Shop Candied Ginger Shower Gel ($8) — Yes, it sounds sugary-sweet, but thanks to the zesty scent of ginger, this soap-free gel is warm, rich, but not too cloying.
- Otter Creek Spit Shine Body Wash ($18) — It's technically a man's product, and the name isn't the most inviting, but what lies within this black and white packaging is pure sexiness. A mix of leather, coffee, and cedar, this lather is not for the faint of heart — but it sure does smell seductively inviting.
- Organic Surge Gentle Meadow Shower Gel ($6) — And for times when you don't need to be so riled up, turn to this naturally derived cleanser, which features soothing, relaxing scent of lavender and the mood-enhancing benefits of geranium.
Traditionally, the 12 Days of Christmas begin on Dec. 25, and last until Jan. 5. That's a lot of celebrating, no? But since Christmas is just 12 days away, let's partake in a bit of preholiday revelry Bella-style. Using the classic tune "The 12 Days of Christmas" as inspiration for our anticipation, let's kick off this series off with the first day: a partridge in a pear tree:
Top off that fancy updo with Marc by Marc Jacobs Save the Birds Hairclips ($25) or the seasonally-appropriate Isn't It Pheasant Headband ($17). Get fruity (smelling) with Philosophy's Philosophy I'm Dreaming of White Pear Gel ($16) or Pre de Provence Apple Pear Soap ($7). And for a bit of glisten with a sweet finish, Love and Toast Prickly Pear Lip Balm ($17) or Kiehl's Lip Gloss in Pear Tree ($15).
Ding! Every time a bell rings, an angel gets her lipstick, er. wings. And since 'tis the season for angelic ways, let's take a look at a few cherubic beauty goods. It turns out that shades of pink and blue, along with metallic accents of silver and gold, seem to dominate the color schemes of what beauty product manufacturers seem to think these celestial beings embody. So blast Aerosmith's "Angel," and check out these discoveries below:
- For your hair: Wash your locks (or body) with Philosophy's Snow Angel Gel ($16), give your style some hold with Nick Chavez's Angel Wings Light Hairspray ($22), and top off your coiffure with the delightfully sweet Giddy Giddy Angel Wing Felt Hair Clips ($16 for two).
- For your body: Nostalgia Organics's Angel Kiss Peppermint Joy Soap ($8) will awaken the senses — and maybe even your spiritual side.
- For your face: For a sweet touch, Boots No7's Stay Perfect Lipstick in Angel ($10) is a sweet pink accent. But every angel has its own set of problems, hence the Becca Fallen Angel eye makeup palette ($45), which includes a not-so-sinful opalescent peach highlighter, tawny peach lip and cheek crème, sheer peach gloss, and crème brush.
Philosophy first came out with a Strawberry Milkshake 3-in-1 Cleanser — and all the boys came to the yard. Now with the release of the Raspberry Sorbet version ($16), I can barely keep the boys from banging down my door!
Ahh, if only this were really the case. But seeing as all jokes stem from a little bit of truth I'll have you know that after a few showers with my Raspberry Sorbet (sing along with me and Prince!) my beau has commented on how lovely I smell.
What I like about this sweet smelling shower gel, shampoo and bubble bath is that it leaves my skin feeling silky. The scent isn't overpowering, but it lingers just enough that you can skip wearing perfume if you like. I've also used it to shave my legs, and because it lathers well, it prevents nicks.
The downside: I wish that I could be more positive in my shampoo review. Although it claims to "smooth and condition the hair," mine needed heavy-duty conditioning to soften and detangle after just one use. That's not to say that those of you with oily hair won't like it, but anyone with semi dry to dry hair will appreciate the warning. After trying this and Amazing Grace, I think it's safe to say that Philosophy's three-in-one products work best when you don't use them as shampoos.
Tonight marks the start of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. I've gotta tell you, I love this holiday. The menorah is beautiful, the food is scrumptious, and how catchy is the dreidel song? If you want to add to the celebration with a few beauty treats, you're in luck — I've found three.
The scent of Say It With Suds bath and shower gel ($14) is unusual but pleasing. It's supposed to have a cinnamon doughnut scent, but to me, it smells more like the cinnamon buns at Ikea — kinda savory more than sugary sweet. It bubbles up well, and I was happy that it didn't dry out my skin or make it itchy.
For two more Hanukkah treats, read more
To smell Amazing Grace shower gel is to love the scent. It's soft, slightly sweet, and it somehow reminds me of that wonderful clean-baby smell. (Oprah loves it so much that she named it one of her favorite things in 2005!) But as much as I love the scent, I don't love this shower gel. It's supposed to be a three-in-one body cleanser, shampoo and bubble bath. Unfortunately, it's a good bubble bath, only an adequate shower gel, and a lousy shampoo.
First, I tried Amazing Grace as a shower gel. I was so excited about smelling good afterward, and I happily lathered myself up. During the shower, everything was great, but the scent didn't linger. A few days later, I used it as a bubble bath and was happy with the bubbles, but found that my skin got a little dried-out. Until this point, it was no big deal. But then I made the mistake of using the gel as a shampoo. Quelle horreur! Despite thoroughly rinsing my hair, it was left with a dirty, greasy feeling. Amazing Grace smells wonderful and I'd like to try it in a different form, but as a shampoo, it's just amazingly yech.
When Walgreens began carrying European beauty lines, I was thrilled. Sure, I'm always happy to browse the aisles for the old standby brands, but who doesn't like a little bit of Continental cosmetics when they pick up their prescriptions?
One of my favorite products is by Red Water Laboratories, a Greek brand that uses thermal spring water from the birthplace of Alexander the Great. Its Hydrating Shower Gel with Olive ($14) is more expensive than your average Calgon soak, but it provides qualities of premium products at a much smaller price. To find out why this green gel has found a home in my shower, read more