Review: Garnier Oil-Free BB Cream

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(Image courtesy of GarnierUSA.com)

I’m getting a little panicky because I read over the weekend that DD Cream is the latest and greatest, and I’m still only on BB cream… But, the good news is, I have a new favorite to add to my arsenal: Garnier Oil-Free BB Cream. It makes my skin look like a better version of itself (translation: no dreaded “mask” effect) and it retails for $12.99, which makes it a very affordable option amidst the hundreds of BB creams that have flooded the market lately.

I had originally tried a tiny sample of this BB Cream from a magazine insert (I love those, btw. Whoever invented them should get an award.) but I didn’t really care for it. Or, I thought I didn’t care for it. But when I had the chance to try it out via my role as a BzzAgent, I decided to give it another shot and I’ve had nothing but great results.

The consistency is actually pretty runny – I’ve been storing it sideways in my makeup bag so I don’t get it all over myself when I put it on in the mornings. But I’ve been reaching for this consistently, over all my other foundation & foundation-esque items.

Even with the runny consistency, I still like to mix it with a tiny amount of oil-free mattifying moisturizer. It thins it out just a little bit more and enables me to apply it to my face easily. I think it just looks that much more “natural”. And now that the dog days of summer are so close, I’m definitely embracing the natural, “no-makeup” look.

Here are the official deets on this product, via Garnier:

  • Works on combination to oily skin with three shades: Light/Medium (this is the shade I tried), Medium/Deep, and Deep
  • Features an ultra absorbent formula and contains mineral Perlite, which retains twice its weight in oil and water
  • Is formulated with sheer natural mineral pigments, so you’ll get a natural matte finish with each use (I can vouch for this – it’s very natural and leans towards “matte”, instead of “dewy”)
  • Is non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic: it won’t clog pores or cause breakouts
  • Is oil-free, non-greasy

Disclaimer: I was provided this product, potentially for review, via my role as a BzzAgent. However, this is MY blog, and all opinions and experiences are 100% my own.

Review: Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge

bzz Garnier HydraWhen I was a senior in college, I had the chance to spend six months in London on a study-abroad program. Forget culture, castles, royalty, history (well, I enjoyed those too) – I was obsessed with the plethora of new beauty products now at my fingertips. Boots, the British version of Walgreens/CVS was a treasure trove. Finding new beauty brands to try was ridiculous amounts of fun.

One of the brands I latched on to was Garnier Fructis, for my haircare needs. This was back in fall of 2002, and Garnier was not yet widely available or well known in the States. They were nourishing, smelled great, and carried the cachet of being something that none of my friends back at home had access to yet.

And now, ten + years later, I had the chance to try Garnier’s new line of products – Hydra Recharge – via my role as a BzzAgent. I hadn’t used Garnier regularly in some time, but Garnier Hydra is a great line of hydrating products, plain and simple.

First off, it smells amazing. It’s fruity, but not in an overly aggressive HELLO MY HAIR SMELLS LIKE COCONUTS way that some mass-market brands tend to be. Overwhelming, one-note fragrance in hair products, not my fave. For the record, the great smell comes from goji berry, passionfruit and kiwi. Come on, how classy is that??

I tried the following products: Hydra Recharge Shampoo – “a hydration innovator”, according to Garnier, “featuring for the first time thousands of beads that burst on impact”. You can see the beads in the close-up picture above. And despite this being a clear shampoo (something I associate with clarifying shampoos), it was extremely hydrating.

Hydra Recharge Conditioner contains “superfruits goji berry, passion fruit and kiwi to actively replenish without heaviness” and Hydra Recharge 1-Minute Moisture-Plenish Treatment is “a powerful deep treatment whose revolutionary lightweight crème-gel formula transforms dry hair with a surge of high-performance hydration in just one minute”. [All information in quotations is from Garnier’s promotional materials.] To be honest, I couldn’t tell much of a difference between the regular conditioner and the treatment. It looked, smelled and felt the same without any discernible difference in my hair. Which is fine – no harm, no foul and they both worked great – just didn’t see the need for the two different products.

Another item of note about the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge line – they claim that the silky results from this line of products last for up to “two days”. I found this to be true – after blowing out my hair, it stayed amazing looking for longer than usual. I wore it down for two days straight and it looked great.

Disclaimer: I was provided this product, potentially for review, via my role as a BzzAgent. However, this is MY blog, and all opinions and experiences are 100% my own.

Review: Garnier Olia Hair Color

BloggingTop left: pre-Olia hair dryed naturally; top right: in process of letting Olia do its magic; bottom left: post-Olia blow-dry; bottom right: post-Olia second-day hair in a sock bun (I loves me a sock bun)

I have been coloring my hair at home FOREVER. My Mom finally caved when I was about 13 and helped me color it. I kept it up, every few months, for, oh…15 years? I never dyed it anything too extreme – my natural hair color is dark brown with red/blonde tones from the sun. I tended to dye it red when I was younger and then stuck to various golden brown shades when I was in my 20’s. It made my hair soft and shiny, and made the tone more even.

Two years ago, almost exactly, I went through my usual home hair-coloring routine. This time I tried one of the (relatively new at the time) foam color kits. I honestly don’t even remember the brand but it was a little bit harder to apply evenly. As I was washing it out, I remember thinking that the water run-off looked darker than usual. Then I realized that my wet hair was waaaay darker than normal. WAY darker. Cut to me blow drying my hair in absolute panic and looking in despair at my new black head of hair. JET black, not dark golden brown, as the box indicated.

I rushed out the next day and bought the cheapest clarifying shampoo I could find to try and get the color out. It lessened it a little bit, but it was still black. Just when I had convinced myself that it wasn’t too bad, my little brother came to visit me for the weekend and starting calling me Severus. As in, Severus Snape.

And THAT is why I took a vow to never again color my hair. It took a few months for the dark color to fade, and I was very happy to get my “normal” color back. I didn’t touch it for almost two solid years.

Then I read about Garnier Olia hair color. It kept on coming up – in magazines, in beauty blogs I read, on TV. It was a major breakthrough in hair color – oil propelled, incredibly softening, no ammonia. I would walk longingly down the hair color aisle at Walgreens – just to see what kind of colors they offered. I was like an addict coming back to an old love. I was almost ready to cave and buy it, when I had the opportunity to test it out for free via my role as a BzzAgent.

Per Garnier, “unlike traditional haircolor, Olia uses an exclusive 60% oil blend, with natural flower oils in the colorant. The oils help to reverse roughness and dullness for more brilliant shine, dimensional color, and softer, shinier hair with bounce.”

IMG_9914 IMG_9916I chose shade 5.3, a medium golden brown. The box came with the standard stuff – base, colorant, post-color conditioner, gloves, instructions, and a vessel for distributing the color in hair. Olia’s version is unique, in that it is tear-drop shaped instead of a standard squeeze bottle. I didn’t notice a huge difference during application, but then again, I haven’t colored my hair in almost two years.

The conditioner that is included in the box is great – I used half of it immediately post-coloring, and I’ve been using the rest in small amounts at a time. It makes my hair easy to comb through and very soft.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous the whole way through – didn’t want to have any more “Snape” incidents. It looked fine when wet and it was amazing once I blew it out. There are actually quite a bit of red tones throughout, which I don’t mind at all, and it was gloriously shiny and healthy-looking.

IMG_9931I think this picture speaks for itself! Makes me want to blow my hair out every time I wash it (I only wash every 2-3 days and alternate between letting it dry overnight and blowing it out – I plan on blogging about my “process” soon).

I’ve got to give Olia 5 out of 5 stars, two paws up, 10 out of 10 chiweenies, or whatever rating scale you prefer. It got me through my Snape-esque fears and left my hair shiny, healthy, and with a gorgeous color.

Disclaimer: I was provided this product, potentially for review, via my role as a BzzAgent. However, this is MY blog, and all opinions and experiences are 100% my own.

Review: Schick Hydro Silk razor

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Up until about a week ago, I just assumed that all razors were pretty much the same. I mean, I see the ads and commercials touting “a better shave”, but come on. As long as you aren’t buying the cheapie plastic kind that you get in packs of 10, they are all the same, right? Wrong.

The Schick Hydro Silk razor has changed my mind on this front. I had been loyal to my previous razor (also a Schick) for I don’t know how many years. But the first time I used the Hydro Silk, I could immediately tell the difference. It’s the closest, most moisturizing shave I’ve ever experienced.

IMG_9899See those holes on the top and bottom of the razor blades? That’s where the “water-activated moisturizing serum” is dispensed. And yes, I realize it looks slightly gross in this picture, but whatever – it works. It adds another layer of protection (along with the shave cream of your choice – I’m loving eos shave cream these days) between your skin and the razor blades.

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The handle and bearing of the razor are different for me, so I’ve had to get used to how I hold it, etc. But, this makes for a rather ingenious design, as the razor can be set down and the blade area does not touch the surface. Which is nice, because picking up a razor that is slimy from sitting in the pools of water that form when you set it down, is just nasty. The Hydro Silk also works well around problem areas (ankles, knees, etc) without any issues.

As part of the sample pack I received, I have several $5/off coupons for the Hydro Silk starter kit (the razor and an additional cartridge). If you are interested in trying the razor out, send me an email (birdieandbijou AT gmail dot com) and I’ll figure out a way to get the coupon to you.

Disclaimer: I was provided this product, potentially for review, via my role as a BzzAgent. However, this is MY blog, and all opinions are 100% my own.