5 New Things: A Fall Edit

2016 hasn't been my most productive year blogging, but there's still been no shortage of trying new products!  It's been a bit of a mixed bag recently -- not everything has been the hugest hit -- but I think it's equally important to share the "just okay" products as the ones I fall head over heels for.  Today's batch includes a mix of skincare, body care, and nail products.

Rocky Mountain Soap Vanilla Mint Hand Cream
Vanilla Mint is one of my favorite scents from Rocky Mountain Soap, so when I noticed they added a hand cream to the Vanilla Mint lineup, I knew I had to try it.  I reviewed the Apricot Hand Cream last year and while I loved the cream itself, I had minor issues with the scent, which had a tendency to turn a little funny on my skin.  I happily don't have any problems with the Vanilla Mint and this cream has become a favorite hand moisturizer.  Just like the Apricot, the Vanilla Mint Hand Cream is rich and emollient, but also soaks into the skin quickly without leaving behind any greasy film or residue.  My cuticles got super dry when temperatures first dropped here last month and the hand cream had them healthy and back to normal within a couple days. 

Oro de Sonora Organic Jojoba Oil*
I've used jojoba oil on and off for years, but I usually just buy whatever brand is on sale at the time on iHerb or Vitacost.  Using the Oro de Sonora these last several months has really cemented for me how significant quality differences can be between different brands of oils.  Oro de Sonora's jojoba oil is coming directly from experienced jojoba growers in southwest Arizona where jojoba oil is the only thing they produce.  It's certified organic and expeller pressed, as well as filtered and rested to eliminate any impurities.

The oil itself seems richer and more alive than other jojoba oils I've used.  It's not richer in the sense of being a heavier oil, but it seems like it delivers more intense nourishment to the skin.  It also has a more noticeable scent -- though nothing offensive or overly strong -- which has me rethinking just how much processing other, virtually scentless jojoba oils go through.  Jojoba oil is super versatile and because it's very similar to the natural sebum produced by our skin, it's suitable for all skin types.  I like using it for both oil cleansing/makeup removal and as a gentle moisturizer, and the Oro de Sonora oil works great for both purposes.

Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant
This deodorant is a cult favorite in the green beauty sphere, and while it works well for odor protection, I'm not blown away.  My main gripe is that the deodorant repeatedly separated during the summer, despite never leaving my air conditioned house.  I tried to remix it at the time, but I must not have done a very good job as once I got about halfway down the jar, the texture became a lot more solid.  I mixed in some extra oil -- the Oro de Sonora jojoba actually -- and while it smoothed it out somewhat, the texture is still not as nice as the first part of the jar.  The deodorant also has a tendency to leave significant white marks on black and dark clothing, which is a big pet peeve for me.  It undoubtedly does keep you smelling good, but, overall, I think there are better options out there, including Meow Meow Tweet's baking soda version, which I liked a lot a couple years ago.

Mineral Fusion Gel Top Coat + Nail Polish Remover
The Gel Top Coat was recommended by a couple people on Instagram and I've been really happy with it.   It has a decently large brush and a thicker consistency -- but not in a gloopy way -- that easily applies a thick layer of topcoat onto the nails.  It dries to a lovely glossy, glass-like finish and I do think it helps keep polishes on longer.

The Nail Polish Remover, on the other hand, has me less impressed.  It removes polish okay, -- though not as easily as the Priti NYC remover I was using previously -- but it also tends to smear the color onto the skin all around the nail while doing so.  The scent -- some kind of floral mixed with a typical remover smell -- isn't horribly offensive, but again, it's not as pleasant as the Priti.

The remover also gives me this strange cold feeling, almost as if I'm rubbing ice cubes on my nails.  I've never experienced it before, although a quick google search taught me that it's apparently not all that uncommon with nail polish removers.  I don't wear a ton of nail polish and will certainly use the bottle up now that I have it, but next time I'll either try something new or go back to Priti.

Have you used any of these products?

*Press sample
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