Soap & Glory The Ultimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser

soap & glory ultimelt hot cloth cleanserWalgreens/Duane Reade is really killing it with beauty sales lately. I’m excited they’ve brought Soap & Glory over from the UK, because I would stock up on every trip to London and now I don’t have to! Even better, the entire Soap & Glory range is on buy one get one 50% off right now. My favorite from their line is The Ultimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser ($14), which comes in the best packaging ever – like a giant toothpaste tube, super easy for dispensing. It is a great morning cleanser, makeup remover, or second cleanse at night. I tend to choose something more basic and boring to remove makeup, because I save ‘the good stuff’ for a second cleanse that will actually work on my skin. But still, you could use this to take off makeup, and then cleanse with it again for round two. I’m going to restock on that, plus grab the Soap & Glory Beauty Sleep Accelerator ($18), a hydrating cream that gets rave reviews all over the web.

I used to be really into Soap & Glory’s body products, like The Righteous Butter ($15 for a 10+ ounce tub that will last you AGES) and Hand Food ($4). But you know how sometimes, you absolutely love a fragrance until one day you can’t stand it? Maybe it’s just me, but it happens sometimes, and that happened to me with the ‘original pink’ scent of their body products. It still smells nice to me; I just got burned out after using it so much. But the body products are very rich and hydrating, so definitely check them out – especially with colder, more dehydrating temperatures upon us in the western hemisphere. (Note: Soap & Glory is a brand of body products I like to give to the young ladies in my life, and they love it, so bear that in mind with winter holidays coming up so quickly.)

OGX Hydrate + Repair Argan Oil of Morocco Miracle In Shower Oil

OGX Hydrate + Repair Argan Oil of Morocco Miracle In Shower OilFirst of all, there’s no “miracle” in this oil, but it is pretty wonderful. I’ve been using it for a few weeks as a boost to conditioners that aren’t quite deep conditioning masks, and it always leaves my hair extra-shiny. I also recently discovered that it’s a fabulous dry oil for the body, absorbing instantly. If you have dry hair, you might also want to add a couple of drops to your shampoo. It’s yet another OGX hair product I find worthwhile, as I use their shampoos regularly. More good news: The entire line is on a buy one get one 50% off offer in Walgreens/Duane Reade (which also has a new, free Beauty Enthusiast program that gives you bonus loyalty points, beauty coupons, and other perks when you register). Stock up now!

What’s In Your Hands-Off Box?

One of the great joys of my life is introducing my friejackie danicki perfumends to new beauty products. I don’t just mean on this blog and in emails and emoji-filled texts: I love nothing more than shoving a bottle of something in a friend’s hands and imploring her (or him) to try it. When people come stay with me, I beg them not to pack toiletries. “I have everything! You can try new stuff! It will be so fun!” It’s all very selfish; just another way for me to feed my obsession.

That said, I get nervous when children come to stay. My friends’ two young daughters recently visited me from England. One day, I came home to Hannah and Jessica asking if I could tell how they’d vastly improved my bedroom. “Notice anything different?” My heart sank. I had roughly 100 fragrances on my bureau, painstakingly arranged based on beauty, frequency of use, and seasonality.

Had.

jackie danicki beauty blog
Fourth row at Matilda on Broadway with Hannah and Jessica – thanks, P!

Hannah and Jessica had wanted to smell all of my scents, and very sweetly put the bottles back in an order that made the most sense to them. One of my earliest memories is racing into my grandmother’s bedroom to examine and sample her perfumes. So I was moved by how much mine had entranced these girls, whom I have loved since the day they were born.

But I had been scarred for life remembering the time a friend’s three-year-old daughter dumped a huge bottle of her Jo Malone bath oil into the tub. Since then, I always make sure to clear the bathroom of any products too precious to be touched by reckless little hands. Here’s the box from the most recent pre-arrival clear-out:

Algenist, Philip B, Hotel Costes, Roger & Gallet, Davines, Peter Thomas Roth, Sunday Riley, Kate Somerville, The Sanctuary

  1. Algenist Genius Melting Cleanser: Stupendous, one of my favorite cleansers of all time. Feels and smells like a chocolate-scented, buttery dream.
  2. Philip B Oud Royal Forever Shine Conditioner: I use this primarily for the smell, which sticks to my hair and makes my entire day wonderfully fragrant. Even the amortized cost is depressing. I keep reordering it anyway.
  3. Hôtel Costes shower gel: My favorite hotel in the world makes my favorite shower gel in the world. I used to have to bring it back from the actual hotel in Paris, but now the legendary CO Bigelow and Aedes, within spitting distance of one another in the West Village, carry most of the Hôtel Costes range of fragranced products.
  4. Roger & Gallet L’Homme Sport shower gel: This is one of my favorite men’s fragrances, which isn’t quite the same coming from the eau de cologne as it is from the shower gel. I pick it up in Paris, where it’s affordable. You can get it (for a much higher price than in France) at the venerable Clyde’s on Madison Avenue. I gave a full bottle of this to my friend’s 15-year-old son, telling him, “Steve, the fact that I’m giving you this is a sign of how much I want you to be happy. It’s going to make all the girls love you as much as I do.” He didn’t need the help, but it didn’t hurt.
  5. Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Cleansing Butter: There’s gold in it. I love it. Not for kids.
  6. Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm: Its blue color (artificially achieved, as I understand it) is entrancing. I’m sure children would love smearing it everywhere. At $50 per pot, I cannot allow this.
  7. Davines Oi Conditioner: This demands an entire blog post, and I will write one. Its price would be scandalous if it weren’t so effective. As Caroline Hirons puts it, this conditioner and the accompanying Oi All In One Milk are like taking your hair to the hospital. If you have color-treated or otherwise dry hair, you need these in your life.
  8. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate: Somehow I have accrued several full tubes of this around the house. I prefer my chemical exfoliators in the form of acid pads and the like, so I don’t use ExfoliKate very often. But I still wouldn’t like to see its algae-green, cinnamon-scented contents squirted all over my shower walls.
  9. Davines Your Hair Assistant Prep Rich Balm: Davines = spendy. Demands a lock and key (or an old Amazon box tossed under my bed).
  10. Sanctuary Spa 2 Day Moisture Shower Oil: I take at least two showers a day, so this hyper-emollient shower oil I bring back from London twice a year helps protect my skin from my really bad, moisture-depleting habit. Plus it smells of the exotic holiday in Morocco that I’m still waiting to take.

I say all this because I’m dying to know: What would be in YOUR hands-off box? What are your most protected, beloved products? If you’d keep them away from kids for anything other than safety reasons, I clearly need to know about this stuff. Email me, comment here or on Instagram, or tell me on Facebook!

 

AmLactin: Am Loving It

body lotion beauty blogThis blog has existed for less than a week and I’ve already talked about my hatred of applying body lotion twice. Some of you have told me you feel the same way. So let’s go over this again.

It’s just SUCH a drag. So much so that The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Beautifying Oil discussed previously has become my primary moisturizer for my legs and arms. It absorbs instantly.

But, having talked to friends about it, I’m not alone in realizing the skin on our bodies often doesn’t have the same texture all over. I’ve never suffered from keratosis pilaris, the very commonplace affliction that makes the dermis (usually on the upper arms) look and feel like chicken skin. Many of my friends have and do. Whether it’s the bottoms of our feet, elbows, knees, or elsewhere, skin needs more than merely washing and moisturizing can provide. Knowing the benefits of using daily chemical exfoliation on the skin on my face, I really wanted to do it for the rest of my body.

sunday riley disrobe discontinuedSo I experimented last year with Disrobe, a $65 (I KNOW) body lotion by Sunday Riley, maker of my beloved Good Genes serum. Drawn in by the promise of lactic acid exfoliation and yeast extract to promote fresh new skin growth, I bought a bottle of Disrobe with my SpaceNK NDulge points. Ultimately, I was let down not just by the results, but by the smell, which I can only describe as the faint whiff of souring milk into which a packet of brewer’s yeast has been dissolved. That is to say, not great. (Disrobe has now been discontinued.)

But then I was in Target and spotted AmLactin, an alpha-hydroxy moisturizing body lotion. With a whopping 12% lactic acid, pH-balanced for skin, I had to try it. Bonus: It’s cheap as chips. I now buy the two-packs on Amazon for next to nothing, and I actually use them up. This is due both to AmLactin’s efficacy and the fact that it comes in a pump. (I have a gigantic Muji bin full of high-end lotions in squeeze bottles, mostly untouched. I have had some of them, like my Prada body cream, for nearly 10 years. They have moved countries and continents with me, many times over. Will I ever throw them away? Nope.)

amlactinThe only “bad” thing about AmLactin is actually a feature for me: It’s totally unscented. While I’m usually drawn in by smell, this one lets me take care of my skin and leave the fragrance to my perfume. Since I cycle through one of 150 or so scents on a daily basis, I like not having to worry about a clash between lotion and eau de parfum. And compared to Disrobe, the lack of olfactory stimulation is a total godsend. Lots of people have skin reactions to fragrance, so this is a super-safe way to treat your skin for next to no money, without endangering it.

I have yet to try all the products in the AmLactin range, but am going to get right on that. In the meantime, you can buy the body lotion on Amazon or at Target and other pharmacies.

(Note: This is NOT a sponsored post or an ad. None of that here, just my own personal opinion on products I paid for with my own money.)

Nivea In-Shower Nourishing Body Lotion

Nivea In-Shower Nourishing Body LotionI brought Nivea In-Shower Nourishing Body Lotion back from London earlier this year, before I realized they actually sell it in the US under a slightly different name than the British version. For someone like me who hates applying lotion after my shower, it seemed like a miracle product. The concept: Put this all over your body in the shower, rinse off, and skip the tedious body moisturizing before you get dressed.

My hopes were cruelly dashed. I still needed to moisturize after my shower. This is one of the few products I have ever thrown in the trash without finishing. If you’re someone who doesn’t really care about the skin on your body being extremely soft and silky – like, say, a guy – this might work for you. Otherwise, skip it.

The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Beautifying Oil

body shop pink grapefruit beautifying oilThis is my first post featuring a specific product. I wanted it to be something within everyone’s budgetary reach – and something I always look forward to using, that’s made my life better. Look no further than The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Beautifying Oil.

For some reason, I absolutely hate applying body lotion after my shower. It just takes too long to get it all to absorb, especially on my sizable, 6-foot frame. But this stuff goes on like a dream, absorbs instantly, and has a fresh, energizing, non-cloying citrus scent that never gets old. (Guys love the smell, too. Just sayin’.) It’s especially great for keeping legs super soft and moisturized, with no messy residue. I discovered this in TJ Maxx last year and never looked back. (Meanwhile, several hundred dollars’ worth of more expensive body lotions, serums, and moisturizers sit neglected in a giant Muji bin in my beauty closet…)

You can also use this on your face and hair, so it’s pretty versatile. It comes in a variety of scents and The Body Shop often has them on offer, e.g. three-for-two. (You’ll pay $14 per bottle there, regularly priced. I got mine in TJ Maxx for $3.99.) If you’re super-sensitive to anything with fragrance, try it in a Body Shop store before buying.

A small (3.3 oz) bottle has lasted me a couple of months this summer, when I’ve been taking two or three showers per day (not great for skin, but necessary when it’s super hot and you have to fit exercise, work, AND social activities into the same day). Stock up, especially if you spot this on sale, because it’s fabulous year-round.