Sensational Shaving: EOS Shave Cream

 Don’t you just love it when a cheap little impulse buy becomes your new favorite thing? That’s precisely what happened to me a couple of weeks ago when I grabbed this hot pink tube of EOS Pomegranate Raspberry Shave Cream while waiting to check out at Ulta. 

My sister had already told me that she loved it, but I’ve never been all that into shaving creams – run of the mill conditioner works just fine and is fairly inexpensive. But I loved everything about this pretty little tube, including its $1.99 price tag. So into my shopping bag it went!

I’ve been using it for the past couple weeks and I am absolutely in love with it. It’s packed with skin-softening shea butter and helps prevent nicks and razor burn. The scent is mild and the cream lathers lightly. My legs haven’t looked or felt this smooth in ages!

August 2015 Empties

Happy Labor Day beauties! The end of summer is painfully close, but today is a beautiful day and I intend to spend it soaking up some delicious late summer rays. Before we say hello to fall, let’s celebrate the holiday with a look back at some of the products that helped me through this season:
August 2015 Empties
Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water: I wrote about this new skincare favorite here. I still love it. A perfect summer cleanser.

Gillette Fusion Hydra Gel: This technically belonged to my husband, but I’m pretty sure I used more of this shave gel than he did. With aloe and cocoa butter, it left my skin super soft and allowed for a really close shave.

R & Co Atlantis Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner: I took this little duo on a road trip to a beach wedding on a hot summer day. It left my hair feeling clean, smelling fresh, and miraculously free of frizz. I was very impressed.

Suave Tropical Coconut Shampoo: I seem to return to this cheapo shampoo every summer. The light coconut scent is just what I’m looking for in the warmer months, and it’s great cleanser.

Dove Go Fresh Cool Moisture Body Bar: I wrote about this last month, too. Still a fine choice for a summer soap. In other news, I’ve finally used up my soap stash! Hooray!

Whish Three Whishes Almond Body Butter: This thick body lotion left my skin feeling soft, but I don’t think it’s moisturizing enough for the cooler, dryer months. The almond scent was a bit too strong at first but became much more pleasant as the day wore on. It makes a really nice hand cream.

Benefit Bad Gal Lash: When this mascara was first released, I tried it, loved it, and then promptly swore it off because it burned my eyes in the most painful way. Years later, I received this mini and decided to give it another go. I’m so glad that I did! Benefit must have tweaked their formula; it didn’t bother my eyes at all! It did make my lashes look full and gorgeous, though. Bad Gal Lash for the win!

Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Water: Another waterless cleanser, this product claims to remove makeup and impurities while toning and brightening skin. While I don’t think it worked as well as the Caudalie cleanser, it did help remove makeup and keep oil in check.

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil: If you’ve ever used products from this brand, you’ve probably noticed the sugary sweet scent they usually have. I’m happy to report that this hair oil had a very mild, hardly noticeable scent. It also kept frizz at bay and protected my hair from being fried this summer, without any greasiness. A great summer hair product.

May 2015 Empties

May tends to be a pretty exciting month, product-wise, because it’s the time of year when we use up our winter beauty staples and get to move on to lighter, more fun summer products. There will be plenty of those to discuss in the coming weeks, but for now let’s take a look at last month’s winners and losers:

Aqua Spa Relax Body Creme: I really loved this rich cream. Despite its thick texture it absorbed quickly, left no greasy residue, and kept my skin soft all day. Its lavender and chamomile aroma was quite perfumey when first applied, but it quickly diffused into a much more subtle scent that I really liked. 

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream: This tiny jar – from my Benefit Advent Calendar – saved my face during the last dry days of spring. When my tinted moisturizer just couldn’t provide enough moisture, I paired it with this thick-but-not-too-thick cream. It kept both dry patches and blemishes away while providing a perfect base for makeup. 

L’Oreal Volume Filler Thickening Shampoo: I found this shampoo incredibly disappointing. Since the ads for it featured Blake Lively, the queen of enviable hair, I was really hoping this shampoo would leave me with luscious locks. Instead it left my hair looking dry and dull, with no shine and a straw-like texture. 

Bliss Grapefruit & Aloe Body Butter: With its fresh citrus scent and rich texture, this body butter became my go-to hand cream throughout the winter and spring. It absorbs quickly and protects hands and cuticles for hours, even through the excessive hand washing of flu season. 

Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle: This deep conditioner isn’t new to this blog, and neither is my opinion of it. This is a high quality conditioner that can be used daily or as a weekly treatment. It repairs hair and leaves it silky and shiny without weighing it down. I still swear by it. 

Bliss Multi-‘face’-eted All-in-one Anti-aging Clay Mask: I decided to try this multi-tasking mask last weekend and almost instantly regretted it. It contains 10% glycolic acid, which was so harsh I had to wash it off after four minutes and still ended up with a chemical burn near my lip! Then my skin promptly broke out with several small pimples. Definitely not a fan. 

Whish Shave Cream: I recently wrote about this Birchbox find. I liked it more with every use. It really moisturized my skin and softened hair, leading to a closer-than-usual shave, less irritated skin and smooth legs that stayed that way for almost a week. 

Bath & Body Works Dark Kiss Body Lotion: This medium weight lotion featured a sort of sweet, sort of sultry scent and kept my dry patches in check through the spring. It didn’t clog pores and it gave my skin super soft all day. A perfect lotion for spring and/or fall. 

Beauty Protector Beauty Wash: This shower gel featured a sickeningly sweet scent and though it lathered up richly, it didn’t leave my skin feeling particularly clean. I’m a big fan of Beauty Protector’s hair products, but this body wash is definitely not for me. 

In other news, I finally came to the end of my body lotion stash last month! For those keeping track at home, it took me one year and five months to clean out that collection. So, now that I’m in the market for new lotions, please feel free to leave some recommendations in the comments below!

Birchbox Best: Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion

Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye LotionThis month Birchbox partnered with the incredibly stylish and addictive show Mad Men to create a special box inspired by the memorable and covetable looks of the show. While this was a five star box overall, there was one product that stood out to me as the most impressive: Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion. This cooling liquid, made from a variety of skin soothing botanicals, is my new morning best friend. Whenever I wake up with tired, puffy eyes – and don’t have time for my usual morning walk – I simply pour a little of this on a cotton pad, hold it over each eye for approximately 5 seconds, and then go about my normal beauty routine. The cooling sensation of the lotion starts soothing instantly, and within 20 minutes my eyes are completely de-puffed. It hasn’t bothered my sensitive eyes at all. If you’re prone to puffy eyes, this product is a must-have.

Runner Up: The entire rest of the box! Here’s a quick look at all the other great finds this month:
Mad Men Birchbox
Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel: I’ve never used brow gel, so I was excited to try this one. It kept my brows in place all day without any sticky or flaky residue, and added a little extra polish to my day. A word of caution: brow gel highlights your brows, and that includes any errant hairs. You’ll want to make sure you’re brows are well-groomed before you swipe this on!

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil: This hair oil protects against UV rays and heat styling. It also made my hair silky smooth and frizz free. My new favorite hair product!

Cargo Swimmables Water Resistant Blush in Los Cabos: This pretty peachy blush is universally flattering. The powder goes on streak-free, and can be layered for more or less pigment. Once on, it won’t budge until you wash it off – mine lasted all day, through rain and workouts.

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream in Blueberry: This unique shave cream makes for a lovely shaving experience. It doesn’t foam up like traditional shave gels, which means it won’t clog up your razor and makes shaving quick and easy. It also does an exceptional job of moisturizing skin – no itchy razor burn here!

Smooth Operators

I’ve been happily writing For the Love of Gloss for three years now, and to celebrate this milestone, I thought I’d revisit a topic I wrote about that first summer: armpits. Let’s Talk About Armpits was one of the most popular posts in this blog’s history, and for good reason. By their very nature, armpits are not very attractive body parts, yet as women we strive – and are expected – to make them beautiful. I am very happy to report that, three years later, I’ve discovered some highly effective new weapons in the never-ending war on underarms.

First of all, I have to sing the praises of the new Schick Hydro Silk razor. Featuring five blades and a water-activated moisturizing serum, this razor gave me the smoothest and most delightful shave of my entire life! I generally think that more than three blades on a razor is unnecessary. Until now, I’ve never been proven wrong. But this razor gave me the closest, smoothest, longest lasting shave I have ever experienced. And I don’t know if it was the moisturizing serum or the razor’s unique design, but the blades felt so smooth that the first time I used it I actually had to double check to make sure I had removed the blade cover! It doesn’t feel like a razor. It feels amazing. Armpits, legs or bikini line, this is the best tool for the job. Period.

Getting a close shave is key when one is aiming for attractive armpits, but even smooth and hairless underarms can have an unappealing dark tinge that makes them look dirty and not at all pretty. Many antiperspirants and deodorants claim to improve our armpits in one way or another, but I’ve recently started using one that actually does.

Dove Clinical Protection Clear Tone antiperspirant and deodorant claims to help restore skin to its natural skin tone. Amazingly, it actually works! Not only has my underarm skin tone vastly improved – we’re talking a complete reversal of the above-mentioned dark tinge – but it has happened after only a handful of inconsistent applications. To be honest, I’m not in love with scent of the deodorant. It isn’t bad, but I have others that I prefer for daily use. As a result, I only use the Clear Tone a couple of times per week, usually after an evening shower. Apparently, a couple of applications per week will do the trick. My armpits have never looked better.

Hot Legs

I don’t know about you, but in the cold, dark, dead of winter, keeping my legs freshly shaven and silky smooth starts to drift toward the bottom of my to-do list. Maybe it’s the abundance of pants that I wear this time of year. Perhaps I’m hoping a little extra leg hair will shield me from the icy December winds. Either way, it’s hard for me to get excited about shaving my legs.

Until now.

Browsing the beauty section at my favorite natural-goods store, I happened upon a bottle of Kiss My Face Lavender/Shea Moisture Shave. I liked it’s pretty packaging and mild lavender scent. So I bought some, and headed home to my shower.

The first thing I noticed about the Moisture Shave is that a tiny dollop lathered up my whole leg, and stayed there. So many shave gels and creams rinse away with the tiniest spray from the shower. Not this one! And my razor glided easily over each section of my leg, leaving behind incredibly soft, silky skin.

I immediately hopped out of the shower and slathered on a generous layer of body lotion. Suddenly, my cave woman legs had been transformed into soft, sexy limbs.

Almost worth writing a song about.


A guy friend of mine recently confessed to having a somewhat unusual grooming habit: he waxes his chest. Evidently, he’s been using an at home kit for a while, but has just discovered a local salon that will do it for him. He describes the salon experience as comfortable and relaxing – soothing music, hot wax, and the confidence that comes with feeling good in your own skin are well worth the money.

Not knowing many men who wax or even shave their chest hair, I had to know, why does he do it? I assumed his wife preferred a smooth chest. Not so. She actually makes fun of him for enduring the procedure, although she agrees that he looks good when all is said and done. No, my chest-waxing friend does it because it makes him feel good.

I can’t argue with that logic. I don’t curl my lashes, paint my nails, or straighten my hair because anyone else likes it. I do it for me.

The whole chest-waxing conversation got me thinking about male grooming in general, or manscaping, if you will. Our society is increasingly more open to manscaping. More and more men visit salons for basic procedures like manicures and pedicures. Some even get their eyebrows waxed. I like that men are getting to enjoy some of the pampering that we ladies have long enjoyed, but I have to admit, a guy that spends more time in the salon than I do and uses more products to get ready is a turn off. Here, some guidelines on manscaping:

Face: Whether or not you rock facial hair pretty much depends on you and your face. Some guys look good with it, some guys look good without it, but either way, you should never let your beard run wild. An electric razor works great for touching up and grooming a bearded face, but when it comes to getting super smooth, a good old-fashioned razor and shaving cream can’t be beat. My boyfriend has been using Gillette Fusion HydraGel with his disposable razors and his skin is amazingly soft. An added bonus? It smells amazing. Also, I may or may not have stolen some of the shave gel to use while shaving my legs yesterday. (Let’s just say my legs feel like satin!)

Body Hair: As my waxing friend’s decision indicates, this is really a personal choice. Honestly, if you like a smooth chest, feel free to wax. If you’re proud of your chest hair, let it grow. But a basic rule of thumb for body hair is this: if you can’t cover your chest hair with a tee-shirt, it might be time to do a little trimming. Also, if there is enough fuzz on your back to be called back hair, take care of it. We ladies shave our legs and armpits daily so nobody has to look at our unsightly hair. We don’t want to see yours either.

And as far as grooming, ahem, below the belt is concerned, I will just say this; if you expect your significant other to do it, you’d best be prepared to do it too.

Pretty in Pink

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make you feel transformed from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. Sometimes all it takes is the right eye shadow.

Over the course of the past couple of months, I’ve kind of felt like life has gotten in the way of me taking care of myself. It’s no secret that grooming myself is one of my favorite pastimes (vain, but true). Yet when other, more pressing matters arise, my grooming time is the first thing to go. This, of course, has the spiraling-out-of-control effect of making me feel worse and worse about myself, the situation at hand, and my ability to cope with stress.

Not good.

Last week I woke up one morning and realized that my head of hair had actually turned into a wild, frizzy mane. I desperately needed a cut. I went to work, cringing every time I passed a mirror or caught a glimpse of my reflection in a computer screen.  I checked my email, where a spam message urged me to get a great haircut. That settles it, I thought, and called my beloved hairdresser. She could fit me in that afternoon. God bless her.

So, after lopping a good six inches off my hair, I started to remember what it’s like to feel pretty! I continuously ran my fingers through my hair, admiring my new look in the mirrors at home. But my transformation from duckling to swan was not complete. I decided it was time for new eyeshadow.

While perusing the shelves at my local Rite Aid, I remembered an article I had read a few months back about Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow. It’s made with 98.2% natural ingredients, and is packaged in 58% recycled materials. (I must be on a going green kick lately; I recently became obsessed with the new BIC ECOlutions ReAction Ball Pens, which are made with 74% recycled materials and write SO smoothly.) So I headed to the Almay section, where my eyes immediately locked onto the Pure Blends shadow, in a lovely pale pink shade.

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow in Petal is my new favorite thing. It’s subtle and light, and doesn’t irritate my eyes at all. The light color helps brighten up tired eyes and helps to put a sparkle back into mine. And it’s cute little recycled package is adorable and eco-friendly.

What more could a beautiful swan ask for?

Who Brought the Bearded Lady?

The other day at work I encountered a woman who clearly cared about her appearance – her hair looked as though it had just been done, her nails were neatly manicured, and her clothes were neat and stylish. Sadly, her whole look was marred by an obvious strip of  hair above her upper lip. With all of her careful grooming, how could she have forgotten her mustache?

Facial hair is, unfortunately, a fact of life for most women. We ladies are not supposed to have facial hair, and as a result it’s often left undiscussed and is frequently unaddressed. This means that, as was the case with my mustachioed client the other day, many women are letting a little bit of fuzz ruin an otherwise well-groomed face. Here, some common types of female facial hair and how to get rid of it.

Fly Hairs: Puzzling and embarrassing, these random hairs are usually dark and stiff, and are some how able to grow to abnormal lengths before you will notice one on your neck or chin. There it stands, all alone, a single long dark hair poking out like the beard of a pubescent boy. Your best bet with these babies is to leave them alone until you can tweeze them. Nothing is less attractive than catching someone twirling or pinching a random neck hair. To catch them early, grab a magnifying mirror once a week and take stock of the area. But if you do notice one while out in public, take heart; chances are nobody else will.

Upper Lip Fuzz: Probably the most prevalent and stress inducing form of facial hair, the female mustache can be as insignificant as a dusting of nearly invisible peach fuzz or as thick and dashing as Tom Selleck’s. The fact remains that, in either case, removing this particular patch of hair will do wonders for your overall look and polish. My recommendation in this case is waxing. At home wax strip kits are inexpensive, easy to use, and work well on this type of hair, as long as you follow the instructions on the package. Some people choose to tweeze errant upper lip hairs, and this is also an effective, although more time-consuming, option. I would urge readers to avoid bleaching their upper lips, as this often has the undesired effect of drawing attention to the problem: the hair often comes out too light, and if you have enough upper lip hair to bleach, you’ll just end up with a blonde mustache.

Eyebrows: I’ve touched upon them before, and for a crash course in grooming your brows you can reference my earlier post, “Taming the Beast.” There are many schools of thought regarding eyebrows, with some women essentially eliminating them while others prefer to keep them full and sometimes bushy. Regardless of your personal style, regular brow maintenance is one of the easiest ways to brighten up your face and keep yourself looking put together. If your brows are out of control, seek professional help and get them waxed. From there it’s easy to keep up the general shape with regular tweezing.


Taming the Beast

It happened this morning, while in the car. I glanced in the mirror and noticed that my eyebrows, which are usually tame and well groomed, resembled an overgrown shrubbery, vague strips of hair that had no real shape and did nothing for my overall appearance.

Come to think of it, my elbows have been kinda dry and my feet look terrible – cracked heels and chipped nail polish taking the place of my trademark pretty peds. (That’s right, I said peds.)

So what’s with my sudden beastly appearance? Obviously I love grooming myself. I mean, I write a beauty blog! It dawned on me today, as I stared in horror at my brows, that I am guilty of a classic girl-in-a-relationship crime; I have let myself go.

Not in a spandex-wearing, ate-too-many-buckets-of-chicken kind of way, but in a way that is noticeable to me and, over time, to others. My boyfriend and I are apartment hunting, and for the past couple of weeks I’ve pretty much been living at his house, a sort of trial run for when we finally get to co-habitate for real. It’s been great, but the unfortunate side effect of nearly 24/7 togetherness is that I stopped doing the things I normally do that I don’t necessarily want him to see me doing. Like tweezing my eyebrows and scrubbing dead skin of my feet.

Which brings us to the present, where I am soaking my foot in a peppermint foot bath as I type. In an effort to tame the beast that I have become, I have also tweezed my brows and trimmed my nails, and will be giving myself a full blown pedicure momentarily.

For anyone else out there who has been neglecting herself and just wants to feel pretty again, here is my favorite 30 minutes or less beauty routine:

Fill up a big bowl or  foot bath with hot water and a foot soak. Remove all nail polish from nails and trim both finger and toenails. Soak feet for 5 to 10 minutes, or until your skin has been softened and you feel relaxed.

While feet are soaking, I like to do eyebrow maintenance. Using a hand mirror, remove any obvious stray hairs. Using an lash comb, comb brow hairs upward and tweeze any hairs that are outside your lash shape. Then comb brows downward and do the same. When finished, comb brows back to their normal position and make sure you didn’t miss any obvious strays. This is a simple way to touch up between waxes or heavy-duty tweezing sessions.

When brows are done, remove feet from soak and use a generous amount of foot scrub on each foot, concentrating on any especially dry areas. Once you have scrubbed away any dead skin, rinse feet in the soak, and then pat dry with a towel. Immediately slather foot lotion on each foot.

If you have the time and would like to add nail color, swipe each nail with polish remover and then paint. The polish remover will remove any soak/scrub/lotion residue and allow the polish to stick to your nail. Your skin will be soft and your feet will look lovely.

My hooves look like feet again. Thank God.