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Throwback Thursday: Handmade Soaps

Hey guys! It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Throwback Thursday post. I haven’t really been as active on Instagram lately as well. Things are busy at work and I have my personal life to take care of, so those come first. But I passed by these in the guest bathroom today and couldn’t resist. As seen on my IG account here, I present to you a few of the handmade soaps on the guest bathroom counter in our house.

Throwback Thursday Handmade Soaps

I LOVE handmade soaps. Up until a few years ago, I was actively making soaps as a hobby. I use 2 methods primarily: cold process (CP) and melt & pour (MP). I started with MP buy change at a Michael’s store. They had the glycerin base and the process is basically melt the base, color and add fragrance before pouring it into molds. I got fancy with it eventually, making full logs of cake soaps and stuff. I then tried CP and loved it. The problem is I produce at least 12 bars with each batch so I participated in soap swaps on this soap forum I belonged to. As you can see in the picture, one of them was from 2005 (which is at the height of my soap making and swapping I think). It was fun as some were themed and some even had non-soap items but fall into the bath and body category like bath bombs and body butters. Some swaps even have the recipes included to share with others. I eventually had to stop because I was producing too much for any swap and even for giving away to people I know that would appreciate them. Sometimes I’d save a few bars of soap from a swap completely because I liked the look or the packaging. Some I’ve used once just to see what the formula is like but then set it to dry so I can keep it still. The recipe booklets come in handy too if I end up liking a formula, so I can make it for myself. I have a base formula I follow and tweak that I’ve stuck to since 2004. I still have my soap making notebook where I log the recipe of each batch of CP soap I’ve ever made. I use them as my inspiration for when I make my next batch of soap. :)

Laura Geller on HauteLook

If you’ve ever wanted to try some items from Laura Geller, now is a good time if you have a HauteLook account and even better if you have enough things you want from this brand or another (hello, Stila!) to reach $100 for free shipping. I caved and placed an order 2 days ago. While I do wish there were more sets (more value and a nice mix), there was enough for me to hit the checkout. Here’s a few items that ended up in my cart:

Laura Geller Portofino Collection

I mentioned I love Laura Geller sets and that was one of the few that appealed to me. I love her baked stuff a lot, especially the marble ones so this ended up in my cart as well:

Laura Geller Ethereal Duo – Berry

I’ve been wanting this eyeshadow duo for about a month now. I love Rome/Milan that I got with my Beauty Brands order and looked up online to see what other shades they have and this one was calling my name:

Laura Geller Baked Marble Eyeshadow Duo – Amethyst/Lagoon

The one that almost made it into my cart but didn’t (because I could only justify adding one eyeshadow duo to my order and chose the one above instead):

Laura Geller Baked Marble Eyeshadow Duo – Forest Mist/Unearthed

And here’s something I would’ve gotten if I didn’t end up getting some stuff already from this set:

Laura Geller Baked Highlighter Trio

My experience with her products has so far been really good. It actually surpassed another brand in terms of what I’m looking for (something that doesn’t make me feel like I have makeup on at all, but not that I’m not looking for full coverage or anything like that really). I didn’t want to chance what I like selling out by waiting for the Stila event (went live a few hours ago) but looks like I’m not missing much at all. This ends tomorrow at 8 AM Pacific so grab whatever you want before that!

Curtain Call: Eclos Skin Prep Cleanser

Hey guys! I’m back with another Curtain Call post. It makes me extremely happy to finish up a product that’s part of my beauty routine. There’s always a LOT of new stuff coming out that I want to try, but I can’t cause I have a ton of those type of products already. I’m just at a stage where I’m trying to use everything up as much as I can and only getting something new cause I need it and don’t have any backups stocked. It will take a while for that to happen unfortunately. But here’s what has been laying empty on the shower floor for a few days now: Eclos Skin Prep Cleanser.

At 6.8 fl oz / 200 ml, this retails for $14.99 at their online store and is similarly priced at various retail and drugstores where it is sold. This entire pump top bottle lasted me for about 4 months. This definitely lasted longer than I thought for using it both in the morning and before I go to bed. Some days during the morning though I do end up using something else I have in the shower. The back of the bottle reads the following:

“This purifying, foaming gel cleanser is perfect for lifting make-up and pore-clogging debris without over-drying skin. Special pH-balanced formula with Chamomile and Cucumber helps soothe, revitalize, and hydrate skin. Skin Prep Cleanser is part of the Eclos™ anti-aging skin care system. Eclos™ products are exclusively formulated with Apple Stem Cell Technology, extracted from a rare Swiss Apple, clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin texture in 2 weeks.* Antioxidants help tone and revitalize for a fresh, super clean surface.

Directions: Using gentle circular motion, massage a quarter-size amount onto damp skin. Rinse with warm water. User morning and night.

*100% of 20 participants in a clinical study on Apple Stem Cells experienced a decrease in wrinkle depth after 28 days.”

Eclos Skin Prep Cleanser

Verdict? It’s not bad as a cleanser really, but on the pricier side for a drugstore product. It does a good job of cleaning my face well while leaving my skin soft and not drying at all. After getting the hang of how much product it dispenses with one full pump, I adjusted and figured out how much pressure to apply to get the desired amount for washing my face. The smell is fresh like ginger. It’s not bad but I do know some people who dislike scents like this. I can’t say I saw much of a difference with all the good things this Apple Stem Cell Technology brings. I personally think something like that would be more evident in a leave-on product like a facial moisturizer (which I also have and will start using eventually) rather than a wash-off product like this. I’m not saying that their claims aren’t true — everyone’s different and it just didn’t work that way for me. If I didn’t get this as a Klout Perk for free, I wouldn’t have purchased it without it being on a good sale at the very least.

This product can easily be purchased at the online store here or at various retail and drugstores such as Target, ULTA, and Walgreens. It is also available online at various websites that carry beauty and personal care products.

Shimmer Polish Nichole

Hey guys! How have y’all been? I actually ventured out this weekend to visit my husband’s side of the family since it was his birthday weekend. It was hot out and it also happened to be the tax-free weekend for back to school. There were more people out than usual but we managed to just stick to the few stores he wanted to go to (I could care less….I don’t like crowds). We also shaved down our dog so he would stay cooler in this heat. I’ve been doing a mini polish inventory at home and slapped on a neon shade for my toes and a glittery number on the nails. What went on my nails is Shimmer Polish Nichole.

Shimmer Polish Nichole

I feel like I should’ve worn this on July 4th since the color scheme would work very well for it. It’s made up of primarily red, silver and blue glitter, just like how the creator described it on the website. The sizes of the glitters are all different, but that just makes this shade more fun in my opinion. Just like other Shimmer Polish shades I’ve used and reviewed, glitter pieces are abundant and no sinking glitter at all even though I’ve had this bottle for more than a year. Glitter is decently packed. I had to retake the close-up shots later on because I actually ended up dinging that nail onto the corner of a table. Formula is good and it applied beautifully. Shown is 2 thin coats with no top coat.

Shimmer Polish Nichole (in shade)

Shimmer Polish Nichole (lighting changed)

Shimmer Polish Nichole (direct sunlight)

Shimmer Polish Nichole (close-up)

Shimmer Polish Nichole (lighting changed again)

Another winner in my book definitely!

Shimmer Polish retails for $12 each and you can purchase them on the website or through their Etsy store. If none of the shades are quite right, you can request a custom polish to be made in any name you want for $15 each.

*Some products in this review may have been provided by the PR company or manufacturer for an honest opinion.*

Curtain Call: Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask

Hey guys! I haven’t done a Curtain Call post in a while. I’ve been struggling to finish some items I have open in the shower and my bathroom counter. I’m sure some of you can relate to that. This post is on a product I got from my ipsy May 2014 Glam Bag. Here’s Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask.

At 60 ml / 2.03 fl oz, this retails for $12 at their online store and is similarly priced at various retail and drugstores where it is sold. The entire tube lasted me for almost 3 months. Keep in mind that I have long hair that goes down my back. The back of the tube reads the following:

“The Therapy Session Hair Mask deeply conditions, repairs and strengthens dry and damaged hair. Argan Oil nourishes and revitalizes, while Keravis Protein drastically increases hair’s strength and elasticity. The results are hydrated, soft and manageable hair.”

Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask

Verdict? I love it. I notice the difference more on first use, but it works pretty well until this morning as a deep conditioner I use about once a week. The directions listed on the back instructs you to us this either as a weekly treatment or an everyday conditioner. I use a generous amount enough to coat my hair from the tip to close to the roots but not touching it. I wait for 5 minutes usually and rinse thoroughly after. It kept my hair smooth and soft. The color is a creamy white and the texture is just like what I would expect from a conditioner. In fact, both color and texture reminds me that of John Frieda Luxurious Volume Full Splendor Conditioner with the texture part just a little bit more firm/less viscous compared to that. The scent is more on the warm side for me like what I would think of with sandalwood. My co-worker sister Renix thinks it’s pretty close to sandalwood. It’s a bit pricey, but if you end up really liking it I don’t see a problem dropping the dough for what you get. $12 isn’t too, too bad really for a once a week product that lasts for months. For me, I’ll pick more up if it goes on sale or clearance for a good price.

This product can easily be purchased at the online store here or at various retail and drugstores such as Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Kohl’s, ULTA, and Walgreens. It is also available online at various websites that carry beauty and personal care products.

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