bath products

Ten drugstore beauty gifts for Mother’s Day (under $10!)

One of my favorite things to do for a gift is fill up a bag or basket with pampering beauty goodies like face masques, bath salts, and other treats. This is a great idea for Mother’s Day and since everything I’ve picked out is available at drugstores or mass retailers like Target, this is a great last-minute gift idea as well. Take a look at these ten drugstore beauty gifts for Mother’s Day (under $10!) and tell me: what’s your favorite pampering product?

Check out these ten drugstore beauty gifts for Mother's Day (under $10!) and fill up a pampering basket for mom!


Dr. Teal’s Epsom bath salt, $5.99; Acure Lemongrass body lotion, $9.99; 7th Heaven chocolate mud masque, $1.50; Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange mini body butter, $6; Flower Beauty Cherished roll-on perfume, $9.97; Milani nail lacquer in Corrupted Coral, $3.99; Tree Hut Italian Mocha sugar scrub, $6.48; Organix Moroccan Argan Creme shampoo and conditioner, $5.79 each.

(If you really want to make mom’s day, I suggest pairing some of these treats with a pint of the new vegan Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Have you tried it? I love the coffee caramel fudge flavor!)

Product review: Perlier Volcanic Thermal Scrub

Disclosure: I received this product courtesy of iFabbo and Perlier for testing purposes. However I was note compensated for writing this review and as always all opinions are my own.

Product: Perlier Volcanic Thermal Scrub, $25 for 6.7 ounces. This product is sold through HSN (here).


Ingredient notes: This product appears to be animal-friendly at a glance; however, note that the imidazolidinyl urea can be animal-derived, and it isn’t clear whether this particular product uses an animal-sourced or synthetic version. Also, ingredients like fragrance, linalool and dye can be irritating to the skin.  

I tried it: Or perhaps more accurately, I wanted to try it. I love scrubs and while I had some reservations about the strange, thick blue goo in the jar, I was really hoping for a good exfoliating experience. The suspension of this product is really weird–it’s like hair gel with pumice bits inside, if that makes sense. The gritty bits are of varying sizes and are supposed to provide a superior smoothing experience while also working with the thermal water to renew the skin.

But my testing attempts were firmly squashed by how harsh this scrub felt on my skin. To be fair, my skin tends to be sensitive and picky about what it will and won’t tolerate, but this felt way too harsh for my body. The scrub promises to leave skin “soft and velvety”, but I just stepped out of the shower feeling like I’d taken a sheet of sandpaper to my body. Way, way too harsh.

The other problem was that this scrub really irritated my skin. After I tried to use it, I ended up red and itchy, either from over-dryness or an irritating ingredient in the scrub.

I also have to mention that I have no way of knowing whether Perlier used synthetic alternatives to animal-derived ingredients in their products (they do say that they don’t test their products on animals). As I’ve mentioned off and on in my blog posts, this is my year of transitioning from a vegetarian to a vegan life, so I’m slowly weeding out beauty products that contain animal ingredients like beeswax, lanolin, etc. Since I can’t be 100% certain that this product is vegan-friendly, it isn’t something I would feel comfortable purchasing for myself in the future.

My final thoughts: I was so excited to test this, but what a letdown! I have heard from other bloggers that they loved it, so maybe it was just me? In any case, I sadly can’t recommend it.

Disclosure: I received this product courtesy of iFabbo and Perlier for testing purposes. However I was note compensated for writing this review and as always all opinions are my own.


DIY: Lavender-coconut moisturizing sugar scrub

Hey lovelies! Remember last week when I highlighted Elle’s recipe for a coconut lime scrub? Well, I loved that combo so much I decided I wanted to find a recipe for a lavender scrub to use before bed. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, so after reading a bunch of different scrub recipes online and in my new DIY beauty book (find it here on Amazon) I just kind of winged it with this one and made up the recipe as I went! I chose to use a higher ratio of oil to sugar for a more moisturizing scrub, but you can just use less for a drier scrub.

What you’ll need:

–1 cup of sugar
–3 heaping tbsp. coconut oil
–3 tbsp. almond oil
–1 tbsp. lavender essential oil

In a large bowl combine the lavender essential oil and the almond oil. Add the coconut oil and blend well. Add the sugar and mix well with a fork. If the mixture still seems too dry, you can add a bit more coconut oil. Spoon into a glass jar (I use pint canning jars) and attach a label or tag for gift-giving.

Remember that when you make something with all-natural ingredients, it’s best to use it up quickly–I would use this up within the month. And be careful when using this, as the extra coconut oil can make the shower or tub very slippery. On the upside, it leaves skin silky smooth, so much so that you almost don’t even need to use body moisturizer afterward!

This scrub is not only easy to make–it’s vegan, all-natural, and if you do the math on the ingredients, it winds up being waaaay cheaper to make versus buying a conventional scrub at the store. Plus, if you package it up in cute jars with little tags and twine, it can make a great gift for your friends! I’ll definitely be making jars of scrub come Christmas time to give to my girlfriends.

Product review: Bath and Body Works Rome Honeysuckle Amore shower gel and body lotion

Amy from Small Budget Beauty asked for a review of this shower gel and body lotion, which I picked up during my birthday haul–so here it is!

Product: Bath and Body Works Rome Honeysuckle Amore shower gel and body lotion; $11 each at Bath and Body Works stores or

Claim: Take a romantic stroll through the cobblestone streets of Italy’s most glamorous city with pink honeysuckle, golden peach & cyprus woods immersed in our exclusive hydrating formula.

Ingredients/ingredient info: There was no comprehensive ingredient info available on the website. Bath and Body Works lists their products as not tested on animals and these products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, so they are vegan-friendly. However, you should be aware that they do contain sulfates, parabens and dyes, as well as linalool and limonene (both of which are allergens).

I tried it: If Wild Honeysuckle is the fresh, slightly bohemian scent of spring, then Rose Honeysuckle Amore is her sassy summer cousin. Notes of peach, mandarin and berry lend a fruity twist while hints of amber and sandalwood kick it up a notch. I feel like this scent lasts a little longer than the original Wild Honeysuckle and it will probably have a wider appeal among people who find straight honeysuckle to smell a little too strong.

I feel like this scent does a great job of capturing the romance of a trip through an exotic European city on a warm summer day. I like it even better than the original Wild Honeysuckle and I’m really hoping this doesn’t disappear to the clearance table on me!

My final thoughts: It’s definitely amore, but it might not stick around forever–and it’s currently marked way down–so grab it while you can! You won’t regret it!

Product review: Perlier 8-piece Mini Set

Disclosure: This product was sent for consideration by iFabbo and Perlier. However I was not compensated in any way for writing a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.

I’m a huge bath and body junkie–I always love trying out new shower gels and lotions. So when iFabbo offered up this 8-piece set of travel-size shower gels and lotions from Italian brand Perlier, I jumped at the chance to try a new brand. Read on for my thoughts on the four different scents!

The product: Perlier 8-piece Mini Set, $19.95; available through HSN. Use the promo code “ifabbo5” to save $5 off your Perlier purchase!

The claim: Moisture-rich scented products leave skin silky-soft. Made with natural ingredients like olive oil and organic honey. Not tested on animals.

I tried it: I went through these scents multiple times to get a good impression of them, and my most surprising find was that the shower gels and lotions smelled a bit different from each other–that is to say, one might be too strong and the other just right. So I’ll go through the shower gels first, and the lotions separately.

The full eight piece set comes in a clear zippered TSA-style bag (not pictured). I plan to reuse this during travel, as it’s just the perfect size for toting beauty essentials. The shower gels come in 1.6-oz. tubes and have a nice middling consistency, neither too thick nor too runny. These would be awesome for tucking in a travel tote. I kind of wish the lids had a flip top rather than screwing on, but that’s a minor gripe; I just think it would have been easier to handle in the shower.

The shower gels have fairly mild scents. The White Almond turned out to be my least favorite; this scent just reminds me of hotel showers, for some reason! The Olivarium smells mildly of olive oil, but not so much as to be overpowering. The Honey is mild and calming, while the Shea Butter & Citrus was probably my favorite; I have a soft spot for citrus bath products and this one doesn’t have that artificial orange smell of some bath gels.

Now, on to the lotions. The 1-oz. tubes don’t offer much if you’re going on vacation for multiple days but I would say there is enough product to cover the body at least 2-3 times. The consistency is fairly thin, with the White Almond a bit more like a hand lotion and the Shea Butter & Citrus akin to a hand cream. These also have a screw-on cap which makes it easier to squeeze out the last drops of lotion.

The White Almond was again a miss, not for formula’s sake but only because I’ve never been a huge fan of this particular scent. The Olivarium, surprisingly, was a huge miss; the scent was far too strong, especially compared to the shower gel. It was actually difficult for me to finish the tube, tiny as it was! The Honey was nice, but my favorite was the Shea Butter & Citrus, which was rich enough to use as a hand cream/cuticle cream. I used this on my legs while testing out a round of tanning products to ensure my skin stayed soft and hydrated.

My verdict: Overall, I think the concept is cool, the fragrances just weren’t quite my cup of tea. For myself, I’m not sure I would repurchase the full size of these products, as they are a bit on the expensive side and are not as natural as they seem to appear–the bath gels do contain sulfates, which I prefer to avoid. As a gift set, this would be nice for someone whose fragrance preferences you just don’t know–with four to choose from, you’ve got better odds of finding a winner!

Disclosure: This product was sent for consideration by iFabbo and Perlier. However I was not compensated in any way for writing a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.

Product review: Jason Pure Natural Body Wash in Soothing Aloe Vera

Here’s a belated review from the archives of a product that actually got used up some time ago. I picked this up for my hubby when I decided to start transitioning his products over to cruelty-free options and then somehow just never got around to posting a review for you guys, so here it is!

The product: Jason Pure Natural Body Wash; $13.79 for 30 ounces; in ten scents. I picked up Soothing Aloe Vera.

The claim: “This gentle wash cleanses with natural botanical surfactants and safely nourishes with Vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin B5. Our natural blend of soothing Aloe Vera and Sunflower Seed Oil provides lipid relief to smooth and hydrate your skin.” (From their website)

I tried it: While the price seems high for this body wash, that’s one huge bottle. If you do the math per ounce, this bottle is cheaper than just about any other natural body wash on the shelves, and it’s actually even cheaper than some of the mainstream “natural” body washes from brands like Aveeno. With ten scents to choose from, there’s something there for every taste. I settled on Soothing Aloe Vera because I was buying this primarily for the hubby and this looked like the most unoffensively unisex scent on the shelf.

If you’re trying to go natural on a budget and need a big bottle of body wash for the whole family to use (or just like to buy in bulk), this is definitely a good choice. The scent is very mild and almost unnoticeable, depending on your sensitivity to scents. Hubby appreciated that it didn’t smell like flowers and I liked having something clean and fresh for a break from my usual scented body washes.

If you’ve never used a sulfate-free body wash, you need to know that they don’t lather like traditional body washes. You’ll get a little bit of suds, but not much. It takes some getting used to at first but it isn’t a bad change. This body wash rinses clean and doesn’t leave skin feeling dry or tight.

Jason products are vegetarian-friendly and Leaping Bunny-certified. This body wash is free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates. I actually found this at my local Target store, which made me pretty happy since Target often posts sales on their natural products that let you buy in bulk and get a gift card in return, saving you even more money in the process.

My verdict: One of the best body wash buys on the shelf. Hubby is happy with this scent but I’m thinking for myself I might look at some of the girlier scents available, like lavender or rose, once I’m done with  my current rotation of body washes.

Product review: Bath and Body Works Cashmere Glow shower gel and body lotion

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m in love with Bath and Body Works. I think their products are to die for and I’m always super-excited when they come out with a new scent for a new season. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into my review of their latest fall fragrance, Cashmere Glow!

Product: Bath and Body Works Cashmere Glow shower gel ($11/10 oz.) and body lotion ($11/8 oz.)

Claim: “Every girl deserves cashmere!…an enticing blend of shimmering vanilla and golden peach wrapped in soft cashmere musk.”

I tried it: First, the shower gel. A little goes a long way with BBW shower gels and when you pour this on a shower pouf, you get a really luscious lather. The Shea-enriched formula won’t dry out your skin and in fact I feel like this leaves my skin softer.

The fragrance is present but not overly strong in the shower, so I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I could still smell the fragrance on my skin after toweling off. Normally I find that scented body washes/shower gels smell great while you’re using them, but don’t linger on once you’ve stepped out of the shower, so this is a major plus in my book.

Next, the lotion. BBW lotions are super-silky and hydrating and an absolute joy to use. I sometimes have trouble with fragranced products irritating my skin, but I’ve never had an issue with BBW. Ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba, and shea butter make this a great pick for dry winter skin, but the formula never feels heavy.

Layering this lotion with the shower gel really made the scent last for a long time. It’s a warm blend of vanilla, peaches, and cashmere musk, which makes for a very cuddly fragrance; this smells like something you’d wear while snuggling under a blanket with hot tea and a good book. It reminds me of sweaters, fall, and all things cozy. If I were to put this in a scent “family” I’d say it leans toward being a sexy scent, since the musk gives it a rather sensual undertone; but it isn’t so overly sexy that you would only wear it on a date night.

The thing that I really love about this scent is that it isn’t so strong that it knocks you over when you open the bottle. If you typically love fruity notes for spring/summer and want something a little deeper for fall and winter, this is a good pick that doesn’t smell too heavy. And if you love musks but want something just a teensy bit lighter, then this is a great pick as well.

My vote: A winner! My list of Holy Grail BBW products just got a bit longer with the addition of this scent.

I love this scent so much, I’m giving away a shower gel and body lotion as my 100 followers Twitter giveaway. I’m drawing a winner on October 15, so hurry and enter here!

[CLOSED] Twitter giveaway contest! Bath and Body Works Cashmere Glow shower gel and body lotion

I’ve reached the 100 follower mark on Twitter! I know to any of you who have hundreds (or, gasp, thousands!) of followers, that might seem like a small number. But it’s a big number to me, and to thank everyone for following along, I decided to host a small giveaway contest.

I’m going to give one lucky winner a full-size Bath and Body Works shower gel and body lotion in their newest fall fragrance, Cashmere Glow.  The contest ends on October 14, so you have a little less than a week to enter.

Entering is simple: you don’t have to follow me (though I’d love it if you did!). Just head over to my Twitter page to find all of the giveaway details and the full contest rules, then re-tweet the contest announcement and tweet me your best idea for creating a new fall fragrance. I want to know: what would inspire it, what would you call it, and what would it smell like?

The contest is open to international readers 18 and older; you just need a valid Twitter account to enter. Please remember that you must RT and tweet me your fragrance idea to enter. RTing alone or tweeting alone are not considered valid entries.

Good luck!