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HollyGolightly712 RSS Feed (New York, New York)

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Banila Clean It Zero Sherbet Cleanser, 100ml
Banila Clean It Zero Sherbet Cleanser, 100ml
Offered by Ko'sMetics
Price: $16.98
64 used & new from $14.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Leaves my skin waxy, May 18, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
One of the intriguing things about Korean skincare (and possibly other Asian skincare products, I'm just scratching the surface) is the focus on the product texture. I'm not sure if there are true benefits or if it's mostly marketing, but it's kind of neat.

One of the cutest product types are "cleaning sherbets," which, texturally, are like nothing I've ever encountered at the corner drug store. They feel more like buttercream cake frosting but melt instantly with water.

I was excited to try Banila's Clean It Zero Sherbet, and the first few times it was nice. It took my eye makeup off easily, and left my skin feeling smooth...but then I noticed that unless I followed up with a very thorough soaping with my Rose Stick, my skin felt waxy. And then little bumps started appearing under the skin on my chin and cheeks. Bleargh. I may try this product again when my skin is winter parched, but it's too heavy for springtime in NYC.


MIZON Aha & Bha Daily Clean Toner, 5.07 Fluid Ounce
MIZON Aha & Bha Daily Clean Toner, 5.07 Fluid Ounce
Offered by Beautynetkorea
Price: $19.98
4 used & new from $19.98

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gently smooths out your skin, March 4, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Remember using the bright blue Sea Breeze astringent? Ever tried Clean and Clear? This is not those products. Used properly, it's about 10000x better.

Mizon is a Korean skin care line, and this product has a specific purpose within the pantheon of Korean skin care products: toner is meant to lower the pH of your skin. Healthy skin is slightly acidic and when you apply an alkalinic cleanser, you disrupt that acidity. A gentle toner, the theory goes, will restore the acidity and prepare your skin to accept the next steps in your skin care routine, so that the products are more effective (and not battling your skin's own attempts to restore its acidity). I use this toner 2-3x nights per week either when I want to apply hyaluronic acid serum, or if I'm starting to get little clogged pores on my chin or nose, and it keeps everything in check.

If I need something stronger, I use two very different products--I dab on Makeup Artist's Choice 8% beta-hydroxy serum for the occasional cystic acne flare-up on my chin, and I sometimes use Kama Ayurvedic Mogra Water (jasmine water) as a light morning toner if my skin is rosaceic or irritated.


Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil 5.07 Oz/150Ml
Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil 5.07 Oz/150Ml
Offered by SkinVera
Price: $17.84
15 used & new from $9.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Great first-step cleanser, March 4, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I use this cleansing oil, paired with the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick, as the double-cleanse start to my daily skincare routine. The fragrance is lightly apple-ish and the consistency is nicely watery; if you're looking for an oil-cleansing method (OCM) product--meaning that you want to cleanse solely with oil--I don't think this one would be rich enough.

I haven't tried the oil as a standalone cleanser, but it does a good job of melting off whatever crud is on my skin and then vanishing when I follow it with the cleansing stick. I am of the opinion that the initial cleansing steps are the most necessary part of an Asian skin care routine, so I pay particular attention to getting my cleansers right. With the Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil I have no breakouts, just fabulous skin...and the price is good too :)


Su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleanser in Stick Type, 80g
Su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleanser in Stick Type, 80g
Offered by LEEUWIN
Price: $23.87
32 used & new from $18.77

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing cleanser!, March 4, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As a relative newcomer to the Asian skincare philosophy, I have to say that not only is this my favorite product, but also the one I consider most important--I may be the only reviewer who makes that claim, but I will explain.

First, a review of the product: the rose cleansing stick is a low pH, low foaming solid soap cleanser. It smells distinctly but not overpoweringly of roses, and has flecks of rose petal within the stick itself (I don't think they do much, but at least they don't stick to the skin). You can either apply the stick directly to a wet face; lather the stick onto your wet hands; or apply the stick to a damp sponge or net and then your face. However you use it, the stick doesn't get the gnarly slime of wet bar soap, and it requires very little product. I just swipe the stick across my wet fingers twice, and that's enough to wash my face. It doesn't foam and it washes off nicely without drying my skin at all. And it travels well! For all these reasons, I think the stick makes a good standalone cleanser if you're not interested in an involved skincare routine.

I started getting interested in Asian skin care a few months ago when I turned 40, looked in the mirror, and realized that I looked like the Crypt Keeper. My skin had gone from being slightly oily in my 30s to tight and dry with gigantic pores and flaking plus crepey little wrinkles. I was using highlighter mixed in my foundation to conceal the dullness, and I also had the occasional rosacea flush. Frankly, it sucked.

After doing some interwebs research, I decided to try a Korean skin care routine. The approach here is one of multiple products that gently treat very specific conditions, mixed and matched depending on what your skin needs that day. The general order is a daily cleanser, essence, serum, and oil/moisturizer with optional toners, masks, exfoliants, and "sleeping packs." The routine is performed both morning and night, with whatever product is appropriate for that time of day, and the entire routine can include 10-12 products applied over 30-60 minutes.

A good routine requires several things to be successful: a willingness to commit to multiple steps, the $$$ to buy multiple products, and an interest in experimentation. I was originally hesitant about amount of time the routine can take, but after 6 weeks where I think this approach is mostly likely to fail is if you just want to slap something on and get it over with. The people who have the best results seem to be the ones who are constantly experimenting with new products or techniques, and tweaking their routines.

I invested in some highly recommended products and gamely applied layer after layer of potion, trying to pay attention to what my skin seemed to need at that moment. And here's what I learned...when you put on that much stuff, you absolutely HAVE to wash your face clean twice a day. You can't skip ahead to the ampoules and the oils, and you can't slack on the weekend. Hence my great love of the rose cleansing stick, which makes it possible for me to continue applying all of these lovely little products.

And is it worth it? Um, YES. Within a week of starting my Asian skin care routine, my skin felt better. After two weeks, my skin was so smooth and satiny that I literally glow--not oily or greasy, not a squeaky stripped shine, but skin so smooth and plump that I sometimes have to use mineral powder for photos. Yesterday, somebody at my office thought I was 34.

Bonus tip: discussions of Asian skin care have their own lingo. " HG" or an "HG product" means Holy Grail, i.e., something miraculous and you'd saw off your foot before you gave it up. (I consider this cleanser to be HG.) A "haul" means that somebody has acquired a batch of products, usually with the implication that they've either stocked up on favorites or are about to try something new. "Whiteners" do not whiten, it's an unfortunate translation of a word that is closer to "brightener" or "toner." A "double cleansing" means that you are following a two-step cleaning process at the beginning of your routine; the first step is a cleansing oil, the second step is a surfactant like this cleansing stick. (I double-cleanse twice a day with the Innisfree Apple Cleansing Oil plus the rose cleansing stick--if you want to try this, make sure you use an actual cleansing oil as the first step, because regular oils can be comedogenic.) "OCM" is an oil-cleansing method, meaning you use only oil and no soaps to clean.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 23, 2016 12:28 AM PDT


Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Standard Glass Bottles, 8 Ounce, 3-Count
Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Standard Glass Bottles, 8 Ounce, 3-Count
2 used & new from $59.90

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Dr. Brown's bottles are great--choose based on what you need, March 4, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There are actually 6 different Dr. Brown's bottles available on Amazon; I've tried all of them and liked all of them equally for different reasons. (The 3 different types are the traditionally-shaped "long" bottles in both glass and plastic, plus the shorter wide-neck plastic bottles, and they all come in 4 oz and 8 oz.)

All of the bottles have the same vent system, which is a piece of tulip-shaped blue plastic that fitts into a white wheel-shaped vent that sits over the top of the bottle. The nipple sits on top of the white vent piece, and the white threaded cap hold the whole thing together. The bottles come with a standard size 1 nipple--if you're using the long bottles, then the nipples are identical for both 4 and 8 oz, glass and plastic. The wide-neck nipples are much larger and fit both sizef of the wide-neck bottles.

We've used Dr. Brown's exclusively since our son was 6 weeks old, so I can't compare performance directly--I can say that there are very few bubbles in the bottles, and he never had a problem with gas. I wash all of the bottles and the various bits in the dishwasher; we have a Bosch DW that I hate with the passion of a thousand fires, but it has a third drawer at the top that is perfect for nipples and vents, while the blue tubes go in the silverware bucket and the bottles go on the bottom rack.

I only have two issues with the bottles, neither of which are that significant. First, all of the plastic pieces get eventually discolored (and I only wash bottles and baby dishes as a separate load so it's not discoloration from, say, dishes covered with Daddy's marinara sauce.) The nipples start out clear and turn cloudy, and the white wheel-shaped vents turn beige. Second, if you overfill the bottles or if the screw-on threads aren't clean, the bottle may leak. (Keep reading to see what I mean by clean threads.) Therefore, the "best bottle" for your family is going to be the one that works best for your situation.

Glass vs plastic: I love the way that nothing sticks to the side of the glass bottle, and also that they clean impeccably. However, my little one goes to day care and they won't accept glass bottles, so we use the plastic ones for travel and school. Btw, we have to label everything for daycare with our baby's name, so we labeled all of the plastic bottles with a label maker, and the labels are still firmly affixed and look brand new after 4 months of regular dishwashing. The glass ones are heftier than the plastic--the baby has an easier time holding onto the plastic bottles, but that also means that it's much easier for him to give the plastic bottles a jaunty swing when he's almost full, turn it upside down to examine the bottom, or offer it to the dog. He has to focus on holding the glass bottles.

For the wide-neck vs long bottle shape...my husband and I disagree here. He likes the long bottle, I like the wide neck because the formula scoop is almost exactly the same diameter as the top of the long bottle. If I'm not careful then I get powder all over the threads of the bottle and if the top of the bottle is already wet, it turns to sludge and I have to clean off the threads before screwing on the top. With the wider opening, I don't have this problem. (Trust me when I say that at 3 AM, this becomes A Very Annoying Thing.) I also like that with the wider nipple, I can clearly see whether the bottle is tilted properly and if the baby is actually drinking or just faffing around. The baby is neutral on the topic of bottle shape.

And the final question is that of size, which I hadn't really thought about when I was first buying bottles. A newborn with one ounce of milk in an 8 oz bottle looks comical, but pretty soon you may end up having to refill a 4 oz bottle at a single feeding for a voracious 3 month old. If you only want to invest in a single set of bottles, go for the 8 oz ones.

One final thing: all of the bottles come with size 1 nipples. Nipple size refers to the width of the hole at the top, not the nipple itself--if the nipple size is too big for the baby, it gives an interesting "drinking from a firehose" effect. Hospital nurseries use size 1 nipples because they can get a lot of milk into a newborn quickly, but we used Dr. Brown's preemie nipples at home because I was nursing and occasionally supplementing. We had absolutely zero problems with nipple confusion until we switched to size 1 nipples on the bottles, and then the baby vastly preferred the bottle because it was more efficient for him. (I am of the opinion that nipple confusion is better described as nipple preference or possibly nipple rejection.) So my recommendation to new moms who choose to/have to/are panicking about/want to keep their options open/need to include other caregivers in using bottles is to make sure you start with the smallest nipple size and then work up from there.


L'ovedbaby Unisex-Baby Organic Cotton Kimono Long Sleeve Bodysuit, Stone, 0/3 Months
L'ovedbaby Unisex-Baby Organic Cotton Kimono Long Sleeve Bodysuit, Stone, 0/3 Months
Price: $18.00
2 used & new from $16.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Good choice, October 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The L'ovedbaby cotton kimono onesies were a hit with both parents and baby! They are made from a substantial, moderately stretchy cotton (heavier and less stretchy than the Spasilk onesies that are my favorite), and the 0-3M fit well from 7 lbs through 12 lbs. Everything from L'ovedbaby washed well, without fading, and only shrunk a little. I had a few of the long-sleeve and short-sleeve onesies, and the arms on the long-sleeve version are cut generously enough to maneuver easily over a waving little fist.


Babysoy Kimono Bundler (Baby) - Cantaloupe-0-3 Months
Babysoy Kimono Bundler (Baby) - Cantaloupe-0-3 Months
Offered by Quidsi Retail LLC
Price: $16.00
3 used & new from $16.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked them, the baby didn't, October 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had bought a few of the Babysoy kimono bundlers prior to my son's birth, because I liked the idea of side snaps. I still like the idea of side snaps, although these bundlers never got much use. They are well-made and substantial--the colors were nice, and they didn't fade. However, they ran large; at 7 lbs, the baby swam in them comically, even if we layered the bundler over a onesie. The neck opening was so large that the fabric would ride up around his ears, which drove him nuts.

Sadly, by the time they fit well up top (about 10 lbs), he started fighting the bottom opening because it impeded his ability to kick like a rockette. (He's also rejected most sleep sacks for the same reason.) I tried unfastening the lowest snaps to give him more room, but then the bundler rode up around his waist.

I wish these had worked!


Spasilk Unisex-baby 100% Cotton Short Sleeve Wrap 2-Pack Bodysuit - 3 Months
Spasilk Unisex-baby 100% Cotton Short Sleeve Wrap 2-Pack Bodysuit - 3 Months

5.0 out of 5 stars Great go-to baby clothes, October 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First baby. Tons of clothes. Of all the clothing our little guy wears, the Spasilk onesies and kimono tops are my favorite. They are light, super soft and stretchy, so we used them from the day he came home from the hospital. The waist-high snaps were great for diaper changes, particularly the 2 AM sleepy fumble, and the kimono side snaps were a godsend for new parents who didn't want to wrestle a onesie over a tiny head. (The only flaw was an improperly sewn-on snap that had pulled away from the fabric on one onesie.) These were the only baby clothes that I bought extra, just so we had them in rotation. 0-3M fit the baby from 7 lbs through 12.5 lbs.

FWIW, the other brand that I liked is L'Oved Baby.


PetSafe Elite Spray Bark Collar for Little Dogs
PetSafe Elite Spray Bark Collar for Little Dogs
Price: $66.49
25 used & new from $60.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money, September 23, 2014
My husband and I own three hounds, ranging from about 20 lbs to 75 lbs, and none of them is shy about howling, baying, or barking when the spirit moves them. However, since we live in suburbia, I do my best to keep the noise down.

My go-to bark control is always a freshly-loaded citronella collar; for us, it's more effective than an electric collar, webcam supervision, or ultrasonic controller. I've experimented with a few different ones, and I thought I'd give this one a try. I should have known that there would be problems ahead when two different pet store employees helpfully reminded me to keep the receipt in order to return the collar.

Out of the box, the collar was easy to fill with the (included) citronella aerosol...but wait, how do I turn the collar on? I pawed at it for a few minutes before checking the instructions and discovering that the only way to turn the collar on and off is with a coin or flathead screwdriver. Srsly? Because when I'm already 10 minutes late for work, the last thing I want to be doing is hunting around for something to turn a collar on (or, more likely, wrestling with a squirming hound to remove the collar that I forgot to turn on first, THEN hunting for a screwdriver). But I was willing to try.

Once I turned the collar on--and you have to be careful, because you can pop the battery out if you turn too far--I watched the LED lights blink for start-up. In order to test the collar, I turned the sprayer end away from my face and blew into the microphone; that's enough sound and vibration to trigger a bark collar.

Nothing happened.

I huffed and puffed and thumped the microphone. I yelled "bark!" as close as I dared. Nada. So back it went into the box, and back to the store it will go. Given the ridiculously user-unfriendly design, I'm not going to bother replacing the unit with anything other than my usual spray collar.


Dark Fall: Lost Souls
Dark Fall: Lost Souls
Offered by RAREWAVES-IMPORTS
Price: $11.98
6 used & new from $11.25

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylishly creepy, August 17, 2010
This review is from: Dark Fall: Lost Souls (DVD-ROM)
The third installment of the Dark Fall games reprises the Dowerton train station and hotel featured in Dark Fall: The Journal. This time, you are playing as a nameless Inspector who has come to investigate the 2005 disappearance of an 11 year old girl, in the hopes of resolving the mystery that ruined your career.

Compared to the earlier Dark Fall games and especially the mammoth undertaking that is Lost Crown, Lost Souls is streamlined and plays quickly. Many of the puzzles are logic/common sense rather than inventory-based, so it takes some mental bandwidth. Several puzzles repeat themselves throughout the game (e.g., picking locks or talking to ghosts) so once you solve the first one, you have something to work from. The game also requires manipulating objects by zooming in and dragging up/down/left/right, which I found awkward. A few puzzles are timed--if you happen to die, the game automatically restores you.

Pros: The graphics are excellent--almost as good as Syberia--so if you like (or at least tolerate) the macabre, then there is PLENTY to look at. I'm not a big fan of the ghost-hunting equipment that Jonathan Boakes likes to use, so I was happy that I didn't have to mess with goggles and ghost-sensors and whatnot. Best of all, the game flow isn't overly burdened with complexity or a zillion characters to keep track of, so things move along quickly. Often, solving a puzzle and walking out of the screen is enough to prompt guidance on where to go next from a mysterious character who sends timely SMS messages.

Cons: So if the design is superbly atmospheric, what's the problem? The story--both by itself and in context with the other Darkling games--is pretty illogical. I don't want to give anything away, but while the trees are very nice, the forest needs a lot of work. Case in point: the game's tagline is "It Knows Your Name." No, it doesn't. The character is only referred to as Inspector, so if it knows my name then it does a darn good job of never saying it.

Overall, Dark Fall: Lost Souls is more than worth the investment. And if Boakes needs a continuity editor, then I'd totally sign up for the job.


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