Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Walmart Is Doing Something....Right?

OK, so as a nail polish lover (or really, a makeup lover), you can't snub Wal-Mart. They have amazing brands of polishes such as LA Flare, CQ, Pure Ice, and Petites that you really can't find anywhere else, and they usually have a pretty good selection of all brands. Not just that, Wal-Mart is REALLY, REALLY affordable.

Cuz here's the thing...most of the time, things that are more expensive are just more expensive. Sure, everyone loves a bit of Chanel nail polish, especially if they're in fabulous blue shades. But I would be broke and starving if my (very extensive) collection was all-Chanel. Not to mention kind of boring.

So yes, I'm going to give Wal-Mart a bit of a shout-out here. I used to feel guilty about shopping there all the time given all the controversy, but here's something that can soothe everyone's conscience: Walmart is not just jumping on the green bandwagon, it's invading, taking over, and controlling it. And not in a bad way, either.

Basically, Wal-Mart has taken steps towards creating a universal rating system that scores products based on how environmentally and socially sustainable they are over the course of their lives. And what Wal-Mart wants is what Wal-Mart usually gets. It's revolutionary and a bit scary how great their power is over the retailing world. Luckily, it's not just going to be a Wal-Mart exclusive, as they've invited Target (another fave), Costco (one of the loves of my life), Tesco, and others to join in this partnership. So really, the people who end up benefiting the most are the people. I really think that this wil force companies to look at their practices and maybe change them, even a little bit, to help save the Earth.

Read the full article from the NYT here.

The downside? I'm sure nail polish isn't exactly the best for the environment. In fact, many environmentalists are strongly against it. But, I think as long as you practice living green, you're allowed a few indulgences =)

Read the article from the NYT here

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Like a Lemony Dream

I've talked briefly before about my first encounter with Lush's Lemony Flutter and let's just say that it's all that plus a bag of chips. Or plus a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Ok, it's just amazing.
Effectiveness as a moisturizer: Great. It has a strong lemon smell but I like it. I could see how it could deter people but it's good. It seems very heavy as a cream but there's no greasy feel after a few minutes.
Good for body? Yes. I suffer from extremely scaly elbows and ankles, and this really helps soften those areas.
Good for nails?: It's originally a cuticle cream, so yes. It is a bit annoying and messy to apply though, but it's great for nails.
Price: I'm not going to lie, it's expensive, with tax it's almost $15. It lasts a while but for some the price may be the selling point, especially when you have so many great drugstore lotions
Verdict: It's best when it's cold and firmer instead of softer and warmer. When it's warmer it gets melty and looks really oily when you put it on. It carries an extremely high price tag, but I personally think it's worth it. It does last a long time if you only use it for nails. I used it as a cuticle cream and for my elbows and ankles and it's lasted me almost a year. So in the long run it's worth the initial high price tag. I will definitely repurchase but in this economy after I finish my tub, I can definitely wait a few months before repurchasing.
Fun Facts: LUSH makes everything by hand and therefore unlike most lotions has a shorter shelf date. Each product is marked with the name of the person who made your product and a "Best if used before" date. They also do not test on animals (for the record, I'm not a fan of animal testing for cosmetics. I can understand it for purposes of medicine, but rest assured I'm not going to bash anyone else's opinion because I can understand both sides).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Impressions: Vaseline

This post kicks off what I'm going to call my Mega Moisturizer Series. As I like to say, hydration is power (and also the tag of this series). I like trying out lots of products and since that's what the cosmetic industry banks on, here we are.

I'm also filing everything in the MMS under Back to Basics, because I think moisturizer is really important, not just for your nails but for your skin in general. My skin would look so much worse without moisturizer and let me tell you, the skin under my eyes would look so much worse without fancy moisturizers (my mom says that the dark circles under my eyes make me look like a panda. I tell her that that's just the life of a college student). So, expect me to focus on general moisturizers as well as specific cuticle creams....though I think the latter is a waste of money and regular lotions can work just as well. I believe in the power of multitasking


First up, pure Vaseline (also just pure petroleum jelly). Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of good ole fashioned petroleum (aka crude oil) refinement. Indeed, some environmentalists greatly dislike petroleum jelly because of this, but according to Wikipedia, it is possible to create a generic version of petroleum jelly. So that actually is good news for sustainability purposes. I never really grew up using Vaseline, but I know tons of people who are obsessed with it.

Effectiveness as a moisturizer: Ok, here's the thing. Vaseline IS NOT really a moisturizer. Wait, what? Yeah I know it's confusing but Vaseline is actually a sealant and prevents moisture from evaporating. So no it doesn't moisturize and is not absorbed by the skin, but it does protect the skin. This is also why Vaseline is good for cuts and minor scrapes because it prevents bacteria from entering.

Good for body?: I don't really use it as a lotion since it's not a moisturizer, but it's good for feet. I also use it for my lips since I'm running out of Aquaphor.

Good for nails?: Yes! I do use this for my cuticles since they tend to get raggedly and it helps my skin from ripping more. It's also a good cuticle softener .

Price: The nice thing about Vaseline is that a little goes a long way. I bought a 1.75 oz travel one from Target about 4 months ago for 99 cents and using it on and off I've only gone through barely 1/4 of the tub.

Verdict: Given the price, it wouldn't be a bad thing to have around. I would just get a sample size (1.75oz is what I have, and it's a lot) since it's only 99 cents. I only bought it because I was hoping for a cheap eye makeuup remover but that didn't work on me. It works for other people though. But if you're sure you never need it, save your dollar, especially if you have stuff like Neosporin for minor cuts.

Fun Facts: petroleum jelly has a dissolving effect on that's my safe sex warning. Also, petroleum jelly is less expensive than glycerol, but it results in a greasy feel in lotions as it just sits on your skin. Therefore, more expensive lotions are more likely to have gycerol instead of petroleum jelly. If you buy a $10 lotion that has petroleum jelly but no glycerol, you know you're getting ripped off.
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