Month: July 2013

Product review: Victoria’s Secret fragrance mist (six different scents reviewed)

Happy Saturday everybody! Fisi recently asked if anyone had a review of the Victoria’s Secret fragrance mists, so I thought I’d share a quick review of the mists I received for my birthday! My wonderful hubby picked up six scents for me: Amber Romance, Aqua Kiss, Endless Love, Pure Seduction, Secret Charm, and Vanilla Lace.

The product: Victoria’s Secret fragrance mist, $12/8.4 oz. at Victoria’s Secret stores or through their website. 26 different scents available.

The claim: Refreshing formula is infused with conditioning aloe vera and calming chamomile. Spray on for a touch of scent.

Ingredients: (from the back of “Endless Love”) Alcohol Denat., water, fragrance, propylene glycol, glycerin, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, PPG-25-Buteth-26, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, chamomilla recutita flower extract, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, amyl cinnamal, benzyl alcohol,benzyl salicylate, butylphenyl methylporopional, citral, citronellol, limonene, geraniol, hexyl cinnamal, hydroxycitronellal, hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, linalool, blue 1, red 33, ext. violet 2.

Ingredient notes: I’m not even going to try to go into a long explanation of the ingredients panel; long story short, like most mainstream fragrance mists, this is packed with potential irritants, harsh chemicals, and dyes. It’s stuff that most of use anyway without thinking, but I just like to point out that if you’re trying to stick to very “green” cosmetics or if you have allergies, these are not the sprays for you. That said, Victoria’s Secret does not test their products on animals and these sprays are made in the USA.

I tried them: The packaging looks nice sitting on a dresser (better than your average plastic mist bottle) and I feel like these bottles are perfectly sized: not so small that you use them up too quickly but not so big that you’ll be using the same scent for a year. They do smell a bit strongly of alcohol for the first few seconds after spritzing but I don’t really notice unless I put my nose right to my skin; after that the alcohol fades and the scent emerges.

All of the six fragrances I have here can be spritzed on (2-3 pumps on pulse points) for a lighter scent or applied more heavily if you want other people to notice the scent. I typically use several spritzes all over and a couple more on my arms and neck before work, and the smell is still lingering on at lunch time. If you like a stronger perfume smell you’ll probably want to spritz a little more on every couple of hours. Obviously, layering them over a similar body lotion will help the scent last longer.

  • Amber Romance (amber & cream anglaise) is very close to Bath & Body Works Sensual Amber; it’s warm and rich, slightly more musky than spicy, and would be great for evenings or for autumn/winter wear. I would probably not wear this one to work, but for a date night instead.
  • Aqua Kiss (sun-kissed freesia and daisy) is very light and fresh, a bit like a wildflower bouqet. This is one of my favorites and is definitely a spring/summer fragrance. Since it has a “cool” scent, it’s a nice one to spritz on in the heat of the day if you’ve been sweating a bit and are starting to need a fragrance refresher!
  • Endless Love (apple blossom & ylang ylang) is slightly sweeter than most ylang ylang fragrances but not as sugary some of the other Victoria’s Secret florals; I find it relaxing, personally. This would work for day or night, depending on how intensely you apply it.
  • Pure Seduction (red plum & freesia) is a very strong, romantic floral; it makes me think of a summer evening dinner date on the outdoor patio at a really nice Italian (or your fave) restaurant. I don’t think I would wear this one to work, personally. I have gotten compliments on this one!
  • Secret Charm (honeysuckle & jasmine) has seen the most use thus far. This is another relaxing, sweet, light floral that can be worn day or night, depending on how much you spritz on.
  • Vanilla Lace (vanilla & musk) is a very sweet vanilla with a touch of musk. It’s more of a cupcake vanilla scent that I would normally pick out for myself but it’s growing on me–it is very sweet and fun and would be good for a true “girly girl”.

My final thoughts: I really like these! I feel like they’re much nicer than your standard fragrance mist and the scents are fairly lasting without being so strong that they curl your nose, so they’re good for the workplace or any other time when you want to smell nice without wearing a “cloud” of fragrance. Plus, Victoria’s Secret currently has them on special–5 for $30–which makes them half price. So, you know, you’re getting a better value if you do a small haul… :D

Something different: workout music!

I thought I would put together a slightly different post today! I try really hard to exercise a little each day, whether through something fun like dancing or hiking or a more strict “workout” routine from a DVD, magazine tear-out, etc. But I really struggle with motivation to get up and get moving. The best way for me to get moving (and stay moving) is to have a great soundtrack blasting in the background. So today I thought I would share some of my favorite new workout songs!

Make sure you leave me a comment and tell me some of your favorite new workout tunes so I can check them out!

Pendulum–“The Vulture”
This is a couple of years old, but I just found it by chance on Spotify. Remember when Korn and Skrillex teamed up? This is the same sort of dynamic–metal and EDM mashed up for a fast-paced workout song that’s great for a long run.

The Naked and Famous–“Punching In A Dream”
This band reminds me of MGMT. I think this has a good steady beat that would be good for a bike ride.


Gnarls Barkley–“Going On”
Okay, not the newest track by far. But I can’t help dancing around to this one. If you’re pressed for time and/or don’t want to do a strict workout, toss on some dance music while you clean the house–it makes the cleaning go faster and you work up a sweat at the same time.

 

Portugal. The Man–“Creep In A T-Shirt”
Another danceable track. How awesome is the horn section? I won’t lie, I’ve been listening to this non-stop all week. Also, this new album was produced by Danger Mouse, so that tells you something!




Avicii–“Wake Me Up”
Remember “Levels”? This is a slightly different direction for the Swedish DJ–it has a bit of a country influence, if that makes any sense. This would be another good one for running or biking.



The Hives–“Hate To Say I Told You So”
This song is actually really old–but this would be great for a run! I want Guy Ritchie to put this in a movie. Please, please, please?



Random Thursday: Where do you like to go on vacation?

To be honest…I’m kind of a homebody! I like to relax on the couch with a stack of books and something yummy to eat.

When I do get off the couch though, I like to be out in nature. I like to hike. I love those dense old forests that make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, and I love the mountains.

If I have to be in an urban area, I like to wander off the beaten path to explore. You can find cool shops, eateries and other interesting places if you get away from the crowds and the tourist hotspots.

I’ve also been to the beach in Oregon a couple of times and it’s gorgeous there! I’d love to go back.

There are lots of other places I would like to go too, I just haven’t gotten there yet. Where do you like to go on vacation? Or what’s your fantasy vacation spot?

Product review: Acure Organics Mineral Protection Sunscreen SPF 30

I’ve got another suncare review for you today! I’ve been looking for a new facial sunscreen for awhile and just couldn’t find one I liked. The chemical sunscreens sting my eyes like no tomorrow but I’ve just had to make do! But the more I’ve learned about the toxic makeup of these sunscreens and how they affect the body and the environment, the more eager I’ve become to find a good natural sunscreen! And where better to start than with my face?

I decided to go check out the skincare aisle at my local health food store and with the the help of one of their awesome associates (they seriously have the nicest people there!) picked out this little tube to try out. Acure is already fast becoming one of my favorite skincare brands so I thought their sunscreen had to be worth trying!

The product: Acure Organics Mineral Protection Sunscreen SPF 30; $15.99/1 oz. at health food stores or through their website

The claim: Physical mineral sunscreens offer broad-spectrum sun protection while prickly pear extract fights free radicals.

Ingredients: Titanium dioxide9%, zinc oxide 3%, aqua, caprylic/capric triglyceride, carthamus tinctorius oleosomes, isopropyl jojobate, jojoba alcohol, jojoba esters, silica, benzyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, polyhydroxystearic acid, opuntia ficus-indica stem, glycerin, tocopheryl acetate, bisabolol, isostearic acid.

Ingredient notes: Acure products are vegan and Leaping Bunny-certified (yay!). Paraben-free and free of harmful chemical sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone.

I tried it: I think it’s fantastic that Acure is vegan and natural, I love the higher SPF, and I love that they threw in some antioxidant action to help fight skin damage. Now, with all of those basics covered, I still needed to know how this sunscreen would perform “in the field” as it were, across my five main points of concern:

  • Does it leave a white cast? No! This sunscreen rubs in very well and doesn’t leave any whitish tint.
  • Is it greasy/slick? No! If anything, this sunscreen left me with a matte, velvety finish on the skin, much like a makeup primer. Surprised? I was too!
  • Does it sting or smell? Nope! The wonderful thing about mineral sunscreens is that they’re much less irritating, so no watery, burning eyes here!
  • Can it be layered with makeup? Yes! No slip and slide here.
  • Will it cause a breakout? This is a huge concern for me since I have combo-oily skin, but thankfully–no breakouts to report!

My final thoughts: A definite winner! I do wish the tube were a little bigger but since I’m only using it on my face (I’ll use a separate sunscreen for my body), that’s okay. I don’t mind paying a little more for a nice facial sunscreen since, after all–if it isn’t nice, I won’t want to put it on my face–and if I don’t ever use it, then it does me no good!

Favorite blog posts this week!

Here’s another round of favorite blog posts for you to peruse!

Beauty Redefined by Pang has a ton of swatches of both green and purple liners. Beauty Passionista has a review of the Boots No. 7 Hero eye cream. Green Eyed Monster has a review of the Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter cuticle cream, which I’ve been eyeballing for months.

If you’re into using natural products, you might like this post on the many ways to use coconut oil, from We Were Raised By Wolves. Sifa’s Corner is experimenting with honey and she’s got some great tips on how this natural product can improve your skin and overall physical health. (This is great for non-vegans who still want to use very natural, healthy products but might be allergic to nut-based natural items.)

Sugarpuffish discusses the environmental impact of sunscreen on coral reefs–something I had never before heard of–and Shoes, Sushi and Spare Change talks about the trouble with “faux” fur.

If you want a laugh–Dabbling in Dixie wrote this hilarious post about being a single girl in the season of weddings. I just love Katie’s use of GIFs and as always she has some good ones here! Cocalores talks about the ten types of tourists from hell, which is applicable no matter where you live. (She’s from Germany, but some of these types can be found in small US tourist towns, too!)

Finally, for bloggers who want to learn more about SEO optimization for their blogs, Rosalilium has some helpful tips that are easy to follow even if you don’t know a lot about search engines or keywords.