Since I’ve been trying to cut down on my skincare and makeup purchases unsuccessfully, I have to find a different outlet for my shopping urges and it turns out to be artisanal soap…. I discovered Duross + Langel while browsing on Yelp and decided to pay their store a visit. It’s a pretty small store with first floor full of handmade soaps, body and skincare. There’s a salon and yoga studio upstairs but I wasn’t interested in either of those. Instead, the soaps caught my attention. They look beautiful and smells so fresh and true to their ingredients!
From left to right: Rosemary Lavender (smells just like if you mixed dried rosemary and lavender together), Green Tea (smells less like green tea but more shea butter like the L’occitane shea butter line), Oat, Milk & Honey (mild scent of milk with a hint of honey), Jasmine (mellow Jasmine flower scent, but look at how pretty it is with the little clouds!), Ocean (seriously smells like fresh, cool sea breeze) and they also gave me a sample of a beer soap (that’s right, they’ve got soap inspired by different brews, but this one smells more like orange/citrus soda).
I finished the sample and am half way through Ocean, which makes me feel like I just came back from the beach or is taking a summer vacation every time I use it *deep breathe*. They are handmade with nourishing ingredients (a base of coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable glycerin and shea butter) so they clean well but also hydrates the skin (on par, or maybe slightly better than the L’occitane shea butter soap I have). It doesn’t foam but produces a nice lather. You can get it to lather if you use a lot with a puff but you don’t need to. Because it glides well and is so emollient, it works great when I’m shaving as well. I think I like them a bit better than Lush soaps *gasp*. They do have skincare and I decided to try the Green Tea and Avocado Mud Mask, which is their best seller and have great review. It’s more of a hydrating mask but didn’t really impress me.
Their products are similar to Lush. While I like Duross+Lagel soaps better than Lush ones, I like Lush skincare better than Duross+Lagel. I don’t have bathtub so, regretfully, I was unable to compare the bathbombs. And that was the fun discovery of the month, time for speed review…
Ahava Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask – it smells like dirt, and feels like a creamy, slightly grainy mud. It may have a slight burning sensation if your skin is sensitive or irritated, but otherwise I’ve used it with no problem. It’s a basic mud mask, good for oily skin but a bit drying so I would not recommend it for irritated skin or dry skin. It certainly absorbs oil and is antiseptic, but it does not soothe and moisturize for my combination skin. If you want a mud mask that soaks up oil without drying and is gentle, I like white Glamglow. If you want detox, I like Origins charcoal altho it’s a bit difficult to rinse off.
AmorePacific MoistureBound Refreshing Hydra Gel – I’ve tried the AmorePacific MoistureBound cream before, and the consistency/thickness feels the same as cream. However, that feels more like a cream while this feels more like a gel, with a watery based? It is slightly less moisturizing but the difference is minor. The gel is appropriate for oily/combo, while the cream is better for combo and dry. Both are pretty lightweight, hydrating and refreshing but there are definitely cheaper options that does the same.
Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo – I have oily and itchy scalp that gets build up after 2-3 days even if I don’t use any styling product or conditioner on it. I had previously tried Ouidad Bay Leaf Hair & Scalp treatment, which is like a fine creamy scrub with rounded beads for hair, and it made my scalp feel very nice. However, that was meant to be use on top of shampoo and this is more convinient. It’s a light brown lotiony shampoo with a herbal earthy scent. It doesn’t foam but lathers a bit. You can’t feel any beads and the exfoliant is very fine, like baking soda or exfoliating powder. It leaves my hair and scalp feeling clean without drying it out. I really like it and has been using it once a week or so whenever my scalp feels out of control. I don’t know if it helps with hair growth, but hair growth starts with a healthy scalp and it certainly keeps it from being flaky, dry or itchy.
Dr. Jart+ Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask – the sheet is a medium weight cotton cloth with a gel type serum. It have a refreshing feeling on the skin, with a slightly perfumed floral scent. Because it’s water/gel based, you didn’t need a moisturizer afterward and it didn’t feel greasy even after I massaged everything on. The skin felt moisturized and soothed. There’s plenty of serum left in the packet for next day. There are cheaper hydrating sheet masks, but it is a good mask with good ingredient appropriate for all skin types.
Fresh Rose Eye Gel Cream – it is a nice lightweight gel cream with a mild rose scent just like the Fresh Rose moisturizer. It sinks in well and my eye area feels hydrated but it’s lightweight enough to wear under makeup. However, it’s got silicone and stuff so it doesn’t feel that different from other eye gels like Boscia Amino etc.
Fresh Sugar Advanced Lip Treatment – I’m a big fan of the original untinted SPF15 version, and this have the same texture/consistency. It doesn’t feel significantly more hydrating than the original except for lack of SPF, or my lips are not dry enough to pick up the difference but it is emollient, nourishing and makes my lips soft without leaving a film.
Lancome Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate – it is a lightweight translucent serum with no scent. It glides on easily and sinks into the skin easily. It works well with anything I put on top and makes my skin feels hydrated, soft and comfortable. I actually used up a mini bottle of it before the sample packet and it feels very similar to Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair. I think I like it slightly better because my skin seems to absorbs it better while EL Advanced Night Repair seems to be a tad richer. I don’t have wrinkles so I can’t test the effect, but I do like the way it feels and would say it’s appropriate for all skin types.
Laura Mercier Face Polish – it is a peachy colored creamy scrub with small round beads. It feels like Clinique 7 day scrub but finer and creamier. It have a mild apricot scent and foams slightly on the face, leaving it feeling smooth and clean. However, microbeads are bad for the environment and is already banned in a few states so I’m not buying it. Aside from powder scrubs, I like dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion so I will be buying that from now on.
Skin Transformer Miracle Mud Mask – it is a creamy light grey mud with an earthy, slightly medicinal scent. There is a slight tingling/cooling when I applied and it doesn’t dry in that cracked dusty way. It’s suppose to hydrate, detox and calm down redness. It does hydrate, and detox I suppose, but I have not noticed anything with redness. It’s also a tad difficult to rinse off and not one of my top picks. PTR Irish Moor, Algenist Brightening, Perricone Chloroplasma and Chantecaille Detox masks all do approximately the same thing and I like them better. With that said, this is appropriate for all skin types if you want to give it a try.
Supergoop Everyday Face & Body lotion SPF30 – normally I’m not a fan of using face&body products on face just because I’m fancy like that, but I heard good things about Supergoop so why not. It feels like a creamy lotion, with no scent but moisturizes without feeling greasy. It have a natural finish, not matte or greasy. It goes on slightly white but doesn’t leave any tint once you rub it in. I would recommend it for combination/normal skin, and it works just fine on the body.