Since I last provided extensive product reviews (see The Verdict), several readers have asked me to review additional products – a request I love and relate to well, since I depend heavily upon product reviews from friends and neutral third-party sources when I buy any new products.
One of my favorite resources for product reviews is MakeupAlley.com. Membership is free and provides me with access to hundreds of product reviews from real people (not paid) on thousands of beauty products. You’ll find reviews on everything from fragrances, hair products, skincare products, makeup, self-tanners, nail polish…even deodorant! Whether you’re a beauty junkie or your tried-and-true lip gloss was recently discontinued and needs to be replaced, MakeupAlley.com is a great place to start hunting for your new favorite product.
With that being said nothing beats a referral from a friend, so here are a few referrals for you to try out this fall.
Baby Foot Original Deep Exfoliation for Feet Peel by Baby Foot
As an adult living in sunny Southern California, wearing flip-flops, sandals or no shoes at all, my feet take a beating. Despite regular pedicures, by the end of the summer, my heels are dried up little deserts. Abrasive callous removers work temporarily, but (I swear!) seem to make callouses worse over time.
So when my girlfriend recommended Baby Foot Original Deep Exfoliation for Feet Peel by Baby Foot, I knew I had to try it.
I ordered it right away, but it sat in my drawer for all of August due to the warnings from both my friend and the product packaging, saying my feet would peel for up to two weeks. With a handful of summer-end parties to attend wearing sandals, I didn’t want to risk it.
Last week, knowing I had ample closed-toe shoe events in the month ahead, I saw my chance to finally try this out.
A single pack comes with one pair of plastic-bag-like slippers lined with a thick, clear gel-like substance. Following the manufacturer’s advise, I soaked my feet before placing them inside the slippers in order to enhance the product’s results. Once the gel-filled booties were secured with tape, I placed a pair of athletic socks over them and settled into bed to read for an hour while I waited for the product to work it’s magic. I felt a slight tingling sensation, but nothing unpleasant. (The only unpleasant part was the noise my feet made as I walked to and from the bathroom while my husband slept.) I washed off the gel and went to sleep.
Sure enough, by the end of the third day, I took off my heels and found my right foot covered in Wheaties-sized flakes of white, dead, peeling skin. I was both horrified and fascinated. I immediately called my kids to “come see something really gross!” and the disgusted fascination spread through my family.
A week later, my feet are still peeling – my right foot more than my left for some unknown reason – and I’m definitely not fit for sandals or open-toe shoes. The directions advise users to allow the skin to peel and slough off naturally and warn against using any other means to remove flakes. This is very difficult to do and I admit to taking great pleasure in peeling off an onion-skin like sheet from time to time. The fresh, smooth pink skin being revealed underneath is definitely hinting at good things to come.
That being said, I find it hard to believe I will not need a second (or even a third) pack to get the results I want. The exfoliation is aggressive, but it’s also somewhat uneven, leaving patches of the old behind. I will give the product it’s due timeframe of two weeks before I decide for sure. Regardless, I’m definitely impressed. The product works as advertised – no question – and I will definitely be using it (as many packs as it takes) once or twice every year going forward.
Fragrance, like jewelry, is a highly personal item and something I have tended to shy away from giving as a gift. But ever since my girlfriend gave me this perfume for my birthday, I’m changing my tune. I LOVE this. I love the scent. I love the convenience size of the bottle. I love that the rollerball gives me so much control over the amount of fragrance I use.
This delicious scent also has me rethinking how I shop for fragrances – period – because it has notes I would not normally choose: ginger, rose and honey-amber. (However, it also has jasmine and sandalwood, which are high on my list of notes to look for.) It’s highly feminine yet without the big flowery notes so many so-called feminine fragrances tend to have. I highly recommend testing this the next time you’re in the fragrance department.
Full disclosure: I bought this nail polish for the color alone – Sheer Fantasy. I did not realize it was Essie’s answer to the race to provide gel-like quality polishes outside the salon and I did not buy the topcoat recommended to go with it.
However, I love the swirl-stem nail brush – a “curve-hugging brush” that is the exact size and shape of my nail bed so that, with a single swipe, my entire nail is covered with a coat of lacquer. I can put on two coats of polish and a top coat in less than three minutes. It’s great!
*NOTE: my cousin, Susan Udall, is a super talented nail technician in Atlanta and cautions against this product, saying it’s very drying to the natural nail. Being fairly neglectful of my nails, I haven’t noticed any adverse side effects. But I trust her and definitely don’t want to damage my nails, so I will likely rotate this product in with my other more nourishing polishes to prevent excessive drying.
I have already documented the merits of Snail Mucin as a beauty product in this post from last June. At that time, I was testing the Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule by Mizon, which I liked very much. But when I finally used up my supply, I decided to try a new brand and went to Sokoglam.com, my favorite resource for Korean beauty products, in search of a recommendation.
Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence by Cosrx is a top seller on Sokoglam, boasting a whopping 96% snail secretion filtrate (compared to 80% in the Mizon). Right away, I noticed that the texture was thicker and more syrupy than the Mizon. After a few weeks, I noticed my skin feeling firmer and more hydrated than before. I now use it twice a day on my face – patting in a little extra around my eyes – neck and chest. If you’re into snail slime or just curious to try it, definitely check this product out. A $19 supply should last you several months.
Oil Capture Pact Face Powder by Peripera
I’m always on the hunt for a good oil-controlling powder that doesn’t cause breakouts. This translucent powder from Peripera has a nice, satiny finish that isn’t too mattefying and doesn’t cake. I used this as-needed throughout the day (which is usually 3-4 times for me) and it lasts for several hours, which is great. The compact is also quite small and conveniently fits into my smallest clutches. Definitely worth trying out if you are looking for a reliable powder!
Good luck with your search! And be sure to let me know what you think about these products after you try them.