Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Best of January Roundup - Arcona, Smashbox, Desert Essence, and Juliette Has A Gun

Hello, I began experimenting with many new products in the first month of the new year.  Like many of you, I enjoy trying new products.  As much as I enjoy trying something new, there is always the inherent risk that certain new products will not meet my expectations.  I often research the products first by reading reviews on the web and sample my picks before committing to purchasing the full size product.  This process saves me a lot of headache, time, and money.

When I do find a winning product, I am ecstatic and feel like hitting the *Jackpot*! Ding, ding, ding...Here are some of those products:

Skin Care - Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel

I was getting really dry and chapped skin because it has been cold and bone dry in the area where I live.  I moisturize my skin religiously, but for some odd reasons the dry and flaky skin on my face still persists.  Then someone reminded me that in addition to using a moisturizer, maybe I should exfoliate my skin more often.  The dryness and flakiness could be the result of dead skin sitting on the outer layer of my skin.  I remember I stocked up on some exfoliators from the last time I had a professional facial, so I went to my bathroom cabinet to shop my stash.  And there it is in a clean white packaging, Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel.  It looks like from the website that it comes in a tube now and I have the tub version of it because I had purchased it a while ago.

This product was recommended to me by the esthetician who gave me a facial at International Orange.  The Arcona products are sold in the retail store at the spa and on its website and also on Arcona's website.  The esthetician had used a similar enzyme peel on my skin during my facial and I remember loving my glowy skin after the facial.  When you use this product, it is like giving yourself a mini spa treatment at home.  It is supposed to exfoliate, hydrate, and oxygenate the skin.  I slather and leave the product on for 15 minutes (5 to 8 minutes recommended for very sensitive skin) and voila, I see clear pores and radiant skin in the mirror. And no more dry flakes!  There is a tingling sensation when the product is on the skin, but it is normal with most enzyme peel treatments.  The description of the product also claims that it will help reverse sun damage.  Though I haven't seen improvement in this area, but I am hopeful while continuing with the treatment up to twice a week.  It is suitable for sensitive skin.

Makeup - Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit

I have been interested in learning facial contouring and highlighting.  The Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit makes it easy for beginners like me.  This should be called Facial Contour Kit for Dummies because it is foolproof, you really can't mess it up following the picture guide that has been glued to the mirror in the compact.  The contour and bronze colors are matte and the highlight color has a soft sheen.  The overall effect is super natural on my skin tone.  The kit came with a free contour brush.  It is available at Nordstrom and other stores that carry Smashbox products.

Top: Highlight
Middle: Bronze
Bottom: Contour

Body Care - Desert Essence Organics Pumpkin Spice Hand Repair Cream

Desert Essence Organics is one of my favorite natural/clean brands, so I had high expectations for the Pumpkin Spice Hand Repair Cream.  It is packed with organic oils and extracts that are loaded with vitamins.  For those who are concerned with ingredients, the ingredients in this hand cream should be safe and good for your skin.  It softens the skin while it hydrates without being greasy.  It also brightens the dull look of my skin in the winter.  The scent is sweet, warm, and spicy.  To me, it smells more like cream soda rather than pumpkin spice.  Overall, this hand cream does not disappoint because it is effective, natural, and affordable.  It is available at most health food stores.

Fragrance - Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance

Lady Vengeance by Juliette Has A Gun is not a complicated perfume with a gazillion notes.  It is an eau du parfum comprised of three notes, Bulgarian rose, vanilla, and patchouli.  This is a perfect blend of some of my favorite notes in perfume.  I prefer perfumes that have substance and sophistication.  I am not one who is into overly sweet and fruity perfumes that are still very popular and common in the market.  

At first spray, this perfume packs a punch of all three notes especially the rose and patchouli.  The sweetness of the vanilla is subtle, but it lingers in the background.  It dries down to a soft rose that is very pleasing to my nose.  This is best for the cooler months.  The packaging and the bottle are lovely.  The bottle is so different from other perfume bottes I currently have.  I have the 1.7 oz bottle and it is available online at Lucky Scent.

Check out Katie Puckrik's review on this perfume in this video and in her blog.  She has the most colorful and dead on perfume reviews.

Have you tried any of these products?  Thanks for reading.  Until next post......


  1. oh the smashbox contour kit looks interesting! love how it comes w a brush.

  2. That pumpkin hand cream looks divine!

  3. love the smashbox shapes and thanks for adding video here. very informative post!

    Inside and Outside Blog

  4. I'm intrigued by the Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel esp. since it's suitable for sensitive skin. It's been awhile since I've done a peel. My skin usually gets flaky during the winter but since it hasn't actually gotten too cold, I've managed to escape that this year.

  5. The Smashbox contour kit looks promising! Absolutely love the way it looks :D

  6. Thanks for your sharing! I think I need that step by step contour kit b/c I still feel like a dummy in that

  7. Hello my friend, you got an award from me :)
    The rules:
    - thank who send you the award and add a link to her/his blog;
    - write 7 random things about you;
    - give the award to other 15 bloggers you love and tell them.

  8. Nice, you have providing very great tips about Arcona Skin Care, please keep it up...!!!!


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