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Shu Uemura Haul! (With Swatches)

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Hey there gals! Hope you are all off to a great start this week.

I recently stopped by my local outlet center and took a gander and what they had in the LancĂ´me-Designer Fragrance & Cosmetic Outlet. I was super excited to see a bunch of Shu Uemura goodies, so I picked up some eye shadows (for the RIDICULOUSLY low price of $4 each) and a Shu Uemura Depsea Treatment Lip Balm for around $13.

Yay! Here are some photos so you can share in my joy :)

Shu Uemura Eye Shadows and Lip Balm

Shu Uemura Eye Shadow Swatches

This is my first experience with Shu Uemura makeup, although I do cherish their coveted eyelash curler. I am pleased to report that the eyeshadows are EXCELLENT quality. They have awesome staying power even without a primer. I am in love with the bright yellow color (boringly named ME YELLOW 300). The shadows are super blend-able and feel great to the touch, very soft and almost creamy, although they are pressed powder. They are made in Japan, which is pretty cool.

The lip balm seems to be good quality as well, and I'm glad that it has SPF 15 so I can wear it out in the sun. The only thing I dislike about the lip balm is that the tube is solid white so you can't see how much you have left, and it is slightly hard to squeeze out. It has no real fragrance, which can be good, and there is a slight sweetness to the flavor. Also, there are minimal ingredients according to the package, which I like, and NO petroleum.

Next time I am in the area, I will definitely be heading back in hopes that these eyeshadows are still priced so low! I will be STOCKING UP. I might even venture into the Shu Uemura lipsticks. If you have one of these cosmetic outlets near you, I'd highly suggest checking them out. You never know what amazing bargains you can find!!!

Any Shu fans out there? Got any recommendations of Shu Uemura products for me to try out? Let me know!

Alice Cosmetics Giveaway! (6/29/08 - 7/05/08)

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Congratulations to reader Michelle, winner of the Sterling Minerals Cosmetics Giveaway!

This week's giveaway is from another fabulous Mineral Makeup brand, Alice Cosmetics. The lovely Patty of Alice Cosmetics is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a $30 gift certificate to their online store, as well as a free Eye Shadow Guard, and the Mini Miracle Cloth pictured below.

The Eye Shadow Guard is a super-useful tool for applying eyeshadow, as it protects your face from any shadow fallout. Eye shadow fallout is when (generally this happens with pigments or loose shadows) you are applying your eye shadow and it "falls" all over your cheeks.

The Mini Miracle Cloth is a cloth to be used for cleansing, whether wet or dry. It is made up of millions of microfibers which emusify the oil in the skin and rinses it away along with your makeup. This means you can clean your face without soap!

If you are interested in participating in this giveaway, please leave me your Name and E-mail on this Form!

This giveaway is limited to U.S. participants only. All complete entries, via the form, are valid until the closing of the contest, at 12:00 AM on 7/06/2008. Multiple entries under the same name/e-mail do not increase your chance of winning. One winner will be selected at random at the date of the contest closing. If the winner, chosen at random, does not respond to my e-mail by one week after the contest closing, another winner will be chosen!

Shipping costs for the winner's order will also be reimbursed! How awesome is that?! For more information, take a look at my previous review of the brand, or start shopping at Alice Cosmetics' website. Good luck everyone!

Discount on MAC Pigment Samples and other Cosmetics!

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Hey there, I've got some good news for you MAC fans!

Mary from MadeBeautiful Cosmetics 4 U just contacted me and let me know that she is offering a special discount code for my readers!

If you aren't familiar with MadeBeautiful, it is an awesome eCrater site that sells MAC Pigment and Paint Pot Samples, full sized MAC items, Lancome, Urban Decay, some drugstore brands, and more! It is run by Mary herself, who is so sweet! I posted a blog about some pigments I received from there a little while ago, so here that is.

Anyway, back to business, the code is only available to be used via Google Checkout, but if anyone wants to pay with PayPal, just message Mary [madebeautiful@yahoo.com] and let her know the code and she will deduct the discounted amount for you! This code is valid for 10% off an order of $30. or more purchased at MadeBeautiful! It is valid through July 18th, 2008, for new customers and can only be used once.

So, for those of you interested in discounted MAC and other brands... (and who isn't!?) the code to enter is: SWAV10

Fashion Match: Jessica Biel!

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Fashion Match

This week's Fashion Match is Jessica Biel's out and about look! She looks super cute and casual in this easygoing outfit. Unfortunately, we can't all shop like celebrities, so I decided to recreate this look on a budget!

Jessica Biel

Here's how I did it:
  • A) Cropped Lady Jacket in "Cream"
    $33. at Forever 21

  • B) Naomi Low Bootcut Jeans
    $50. at G by Guess

  • C) Sunglasses P.. Globo C
    $15. at Mango

  • D) Pink Accessories Tassel and Stud Bag in "Beige"
    $85. at ASOS

  • E) Women's Shelf-Bra Cami in "Lattice Beige"
    $10. (on sale) at Old Navy

  • F) Matisse 'Mayella' Flat
    $39. (on sale) at Nordstrom
The grand total for the outfit? Just around $230 for everything, including accessories! Pretty good, right?

What do you think, would you wear it?

Cute Picks from Lulus.com & 15% off your total order!

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Bargain Finds

Just letting you all know, Angela from Lulus.com has invited my readers to come shop at their fabulous online store and receive 15% off your total order (no minimum required!). The code is valid through August 1st and all you have to do is enter "shopwithavengeance" at checkout!

Take a look at some of the cute, and affordable, stuff they have!

In addition to all this, they have a ton of cute tops, shorts, pants, dresses, and accessories for your shopping pleasure.

Remember to use your coupon code and save an extra 15%!

Celebrity Crave: Kim Kardashian's Bracelets!

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Celebrity Crave

Today I've done a Celebrity Crave of Kim Kardashian's Wooden Bangle Bracelets. These bracelets and their accompanying clutch add an air of natural beauty to Kim's always made-up style. Let me know what you think about her look!

How to get it:
            • Guilt-Free:
              (A) Oasis Embossed and Wooden Bangle set, $22. at ASOS

            • Average Jane:
              (B) Wood and Ivory Bone Bangle Bracelet, $30. each at Shimmer & Stone

            • Luxe:
              (C) Neur Wood Bangle, $85. at Mosaic Online


Do you have any wooden jewelry? Would you sport this look?

Celebrity Crave: Hilary Duff's Necklaces

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Celebrity Crave

I'm introducing a new category! This one is called "Celebrity Crave" and just gives you a little sample of a celebrity style item, whether it is makeup, jewelry, clothing, shoes, etc, and mimics the look. Sort of like a mini Fashion Match, with three budget options. Hope you enjoy!

Today's Celebrity Crave features Hilary Duff's eclectic black beaded necklaces!

How to get the look:
  • Luxe: (C) PONO - Large Black Multi Bead Necklace $238. at Ron Herman

  • Average Jane: (B) Cultured Freshwater Pear and Onyx Necklace $55. at ICE.com
  • Guilt-Free: (A) Lace Beaded Necklace in "Black" $18. at Target

What do you think, would you wear it?

Like my new category or have any suggestions?

Make It Or Break It: Offensive Stray Facial Hair!

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Ugh. What could be worse than ungroomed brows, prickly upper lip hair, overgrown sideburns and dark facial fuzz!? Nothing.

Maybe I'm making too big a deal of this, but in my opinion, our society seems to look down on the unibrow or some upper lip fuzz pretty drastically. It just makes you seem unpolished to sport a full 'stache as a lady.

What do you think?

The SWAV Solution:

Get waxed or threaded. You could also try a depilatory cream. There's always plucking with tweezers too, that's usually my number one. Its quick and lasts a long time... the only downside is the potential pain or the time involved in getting to the salon (for a wax) or doing it yourself.

OK, I get it, you're busy. Does that mean no time to wax or pluck those stray hairs? Instead of trying to grin and bear it, try a portable personal groomer, like the one I have by Artemis Woman.

This little groomer is safe to the touch, super easy to use, painless, and quick! All you have to do is run it over the offending area and the hair is "shaved" off safely and simply. There is nothing like a little stray hair to ruin your whole look. I use a groomer if I notice some stray unpleasant hair around my brows or upper lip. Just a quick swipe, and its gone... how much easier can you get?

The Artemis Woman Groomer goes for $14.99 at Amazon.com or you can also find it at Wal-mart. A small price to pay for beauty, don't you think? Since it shaves off hair at the surface, the results won't last as long as waxing or plucking, but as a temporary fix, the groomer is your friend! The best part is that 2% of the profit from every Artemis Woman purchase is donated to support alternative treatments and screenings for women's cancers! So you can look good, and give back!

Do you use a personal groomer? Why or why not?

Sterling Minerals Cosmetics Giveaway! (6/21/08 - 6/28/08)

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Congratulations to reader Jean, winner of the Mineral Concepts Giveaway!

If you missed the last giveaway, don't worry -- This week I am offering a fabulous new prize from Sterling Minerals Cosmetics!

Sterling Minerals Cosmetics is a truly exquisite Mineral Makeup line that caters to sensitive skin of all ages. They use only the finest ingredients in making their delightful products and are soft to the touch, incredibly lightweight, and hand crafted to provide luxurious benefits to your skin. To ensure safety, Sterling Minerals Cosmetics does not use micronized minerals and is nanoparticle free.

If you've been dying to try mineral makeup, Sterling Minerals Cosmetics is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a full sized Rose Petal Foundation, Lip Glaze, and Mineral Veil!

To participate, simply look over their Rose Petal Foundation shades and choose which color and formulation would best match your own skin type. Then, fill out this Giveaway Form!

Once a winner is chosen, I will be in touch to get your shipping address and let you know you have won. The Lip Glaze and Mineral Veil will be hand selected based on your Foundation choice.

This giveaway is limited to U.S. participants only. All complete entries are valid until the closing of the contest, at 12:00 AM on 6/29/2008. Multiple entries under the same name/e-mail do not increase your chance of winning. One winner will be selected at random at the date of the contest closing. If the winner, chosen at random, does not respond to my e-mail by one week after the contest closing, another winner will be chosen!

Want more info? Read up on Sterling Minerals Cosmetics at their website, here.

Fashion Match: Leighton Meester!

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Fashion Match

This week I've done a Fashion Match for our favorite Gossip Girl, Leighton Meester! Her dress is summery and fun with an overlay of yellow chiffon, so I tried to emulate that as best I could. With this look Leighton has kept her face and hair fresh and natural looking, to really keep the focus on the dress, similar to Cameron Diaz's orange look. Enjoy!

Leighton Meester Fashion Match

Here's what I used:
  • A) Traffic People Silk Chiffon Layered Ribbon Dress
    $119. at ASOS

  • B) Metro Bracelet Set
    $7. at Forever 21

  • C) LORAC Gloss Stick For Lips in "Sheer Peach"
    $15. at Beauty.com

  • D) BCBG Women's 'Alba' Peep Toe Pump in "Summer Brown Patent"
    $89. at Endless.com
What do you think of this look? Are you a Leighton fan? Would you wear it?
Leave a comment and let me know!

SWAV Loves: Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder Sunscreen!

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Since any sunscreen I use usually leaves my face a broken-out oil slick, I am currently loving this new product by Peter Thomas Roth. It is a bit pricey at $30 for the small filled brush, but I think it's worth it!
Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Sunscreen
This SPF 30 mineral powder is so fine and translucent that it feels and looks as if you have nothing on. I do notice a slight bit of oil absorbancy but aside from that, although the powder is tinted, it offers no coverage. I've been using this for about a week now and have had no allergic reactions or problems so far, which makes me a happy camper! I love the fact that there is only a minimal amount of ingredients listed on this container (so it's not filled with chemicals). I also appreciate that it is totally portable and since it is a powder it won't "melt" in the sun.

Getting down to business, most reviews on MakeupAlley complain that this brush is poor quality. The brush is not the worst, but also it is far from the best. The bristles are not as soft as they could be, and are clearly synthetic. In order to operate this product, you have to twist the bottom to release powder and apply, then slide up the body of the brush to cap it closed.

I have not had issues with the bristles breaking or falling out myself, but also when I apply I am not so much "brushing" it on as I am "dabbing" it on with the brush. I noticed that unless I am "dabbing" (going with an up and down motion horizontally tapping against the skin) I can't really see the powder coming out and so I don't really feel like it is working. But when I use this motion, I see small puffs of the powder so I know it is coming out of the brush.

I usually apply as a final layer over other mineral makeup or just alone when I am feeling lazy but going to be out in the sun. Although I love it, I do find it to be a bit pricey so I'd like to see what other companies come up with along the lines of mineral sunscreen. Most mineral makeup does offer a bit of SPF anyway because of the Zinc Oxide in it, although that isn't necessarily their claim to fame. I purchased mine at Ulta, but you can also find it wherever Peter Thomas Roth products are sold. If you're looking for an easy to use, portable, good-for-your-skin sunscreen, check this out ASAP!

Have you tried this product? Love PTR? Hate it? Let me know!

FOTW with Alice Cosmetics!

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Hey everyone!

Sorry it has been a little while since a real update here, I am in the process of moving and my laptop crashed the other day so I've been a little frustrated and busy and unable to blog. Anyway, I'm back for the meantime and I have a FOTW today using a few products from Alice Cosmetics!

Alice Cosmetics Samples

I was given the opportunity to test out some samples from the Alice Cosmetics Mineral Makeup line so I decided to do a Face Of The Week with them instead of just talking about it. I did take some photos, so here are what the samples looked like (such cute sifter jars!) and some swatches of the eye colors they let me try:

Alice Cosmetics Swatches

For my FOTW, I used Alice Cosmetics Oil Control Base, followed with their "Medium" Foundation and "Warm" Buffer. For a little extra coverage, I used Ecco Bella FlowerColor Coverstick in Beige.

FOTW 6-18-2008

For the eyes I used MAC "Old Gold" pigment (view my post about that here), and Alice Cosmetics "Sage" Eye Shadow. I used MAC Fluidline in Dipdown to line my eyes, The Body Shop Brow and Eye Powder for my Brows, and NYX Doll Eye Waterproof Mascara in Black. I also used MAC "Funtabulous" Dazzleglass on my lips but it doesn't really show up that well in the photo.

MAC Old Gold and Alice Cosmetics Sage Eye

All in all, I think Alice's foundation was very flattering and a lot lighter of a formulation than previous minerals I have tried. It seemed to provide coverage without a heavy look, and I liked that. The shades were dead on, so I was glad that the colors worked out as well. The eyeshadows are really shimmering, sheer, pretty shades as well that seem to be in a neutral palette.

What do you think of my look? Have you tried Alice Cosmetics?

MiN New York for Ingrown Hairs!

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I was recently given an opportunity to try out MiN New York's "Solution2" post-shaving treatment. This product offers an advanced blend of liquid aspirin and spearmint to prevent redness, alleviate razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and general skin irritation. It comes in a really easy to use rollerball that makes it simple to just apply wherever needed.

I did happen to have a somewhat unpleasant ingrown hair that I figured would be an awesome place to test out this product. I applied it after showering. Right when I applied it it felt cooling, but then it started to sting over the ingrown spot. A lot. It was tolerable but I was concerned that I was going to have a reaction or something... until I read the ingredients and discovered that alcohol was on there. That was definitely what was causing the stinging on my ingrown hair. Nevertheless, in the name of beauty, I went to bed and awaited the results.

The next morning I was pleased to notice no problematic reactions and that actually the ingrown hair bump had reduced and "healed" quite a bit. I was skeptical at first, but I think I will continue using this to see if the area will completely clear up, which I feel that it will. I think it is probably a good idea to use it preventatively after shaving as well. I wish I had known about this when I wrote my Reader Feedback about ingrown hairs!

If you find yourself with the ingrown hair problem frequently, definitely check this product out! You can use it right after shaving or after waxing as well, perfect for bikini season! This is really great for healing and helping the area, and it is fairly affordable. MiN New York is sold in spas and online at their website, and you can find Solution2 for around $20.

What do you use to combat ingrown hairs? Would you try MiN's Solution 2?

M.A.C. Friends and Family SALE!

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WOW! MAC Cosmetics is offering a 15% off everything in the store coupon! They never do sales like this!

Valid June 11th - 16th only in Freestanding MAC stores (no department stores). Can't make it to the store? Enter the code NEIGHBOR while shopping online on June 16th, 2008 to receive your 15% off.

Enjoy :)

Print This Coupon!
(Courtesy of SlickDeals.net)

Fashion Match: Lauren Conrad!

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Fashion Match

Here we have a recreation of a casual look by Lauren Conrad of The Hills fame. I think she is very pretty and appropriately dressed for her age in all of her photographs.

Lauren Conrad Fashion Match

Here's what I used:
  • A) Juicy Couture 'Wish' Bangle
    $48. at Nordstrom

  • B) C&C California 'Ava' Tank in "White"
    $48. at Revolve Clothing

  • C) Judith Leiber 'Zebras' Silk Scarf
    $175 at Ruby Lane

  • D) Marc B Oversized Chain Clutch
    $84. at ASOS

  • E) 'Lauren' Stretch Skinny Jean
    $28. at Forever 21

  • F) Pelle Moda Women's 'Myron' Thong Sandal
    $137. at Endless.com
What do you think? Are you a Hills fan? Would you wear this look?

MAC Pigment Samples from MadeBeautiful! (with Swatches)

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I have recently jumped on the MAC pigment bandwagon, thanks to the lovely Mary at MadeBeautiful!

The MAC pigment samples I got were: Old Gold (my new favorite!), Your Ladyship, Cornflower, Aire-De-Blu, Kitschmas, Mutiny, and Fuschia.


I love, love, love, Old Gold! It's such an awesome color! As we all know, I'm not the hugest MAC fan but so far I am digging these pigments. Kitschmas is a little different in real life than I figured it was by looking at other people's samples... but its a pretty color nonetheless. All the blues are lovely and I can't wait to try out some looks with them!


MadeBeautiful's samples come in nicely visible clear 5 gram jars. They are supposed to be about 1/4 of a teaspoon but it looks like Mary is pretty generous with it! Her prices do vary depending on whether the pigment is limited edition or whatnot, but overall it is a good deal. Most samples are in the $2 to $3 range, which seems to be the going rate for authentic MAC samples. Also, she has a special deal where you can choose 10 pigments for $25! Pigment samples are definitely a great way to get more "bang for your buck" when it comes to MAC, and MadeBeautiful is here to fulfill all your desires.


The MadeBeautiful store has plenty of MAC pigment colors to choose from, and many of other cosmetic goodies on her site! They also have MAC Paint Pot samples, New-In-Box MAC items, Urban Decay, Lancome, and even a couple drugstore items. She accepts payments through PayPal and will even ship Internationally. Check MadeBeautiful out! You won't be disappointed :)

What do you think of my growing MAC stash? Are there any pigments or MAC products you've been dying to try?

SWAV Loves: ChopSaver Lip Balm!

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Summer is upon us and all that salt water, wind, and sun can really irritate your sensitive skin. If you're like me, chapped lips are a thing of all seasons, leaving you to rely on various balms and products year-round to temporarily moisturize before having to reapply excessively. So then, in the summer, your problem just gets worse as the sun beats down on your poor lips! Well... not anymore, folks!


Enter ChopSaver. This awesome lip balm is made of organic and all-natural ingredients and contains no petroleum or harsh chemicals. Instead, ChopSaver balm is infused with soothing shea butter, mango butter, vitamin E, and aloe. ChopSaver uses the comforting goodness of arnica, comfrey, calendula, and white willow to regenerate and nurture your dry lips back to life all season long!

The best part... it stays on for hours without reapplying. I kid you not. I was reapplying by force of habit but it really lasts and lasts. The reason it is so durable is because ChopSaver lip balm was invented for musicians who play wind and brass instruments, as their lips generally get easily chapped, inflammed, and sore. You may have noticed all that musician talk on the packaging. The balm was designed to soothe these issues and quickly heal your lips, while protecting them for an extended period of time. It would probably be great under lipstick as a primer as well!

ChopSaver is beloved by the musician community and is slowly but surely easing its way into the beauty and dermatology world! This product stays on forever and feels great on. It smells light and natural, and feels like your lips are truly protected when you glide it on. The scent is wonderful but not overwhelming or so exceedingly delicious that it will make you lick the product off your lips. Dermatologists recommend this product for people who have dry lips due to Accutane, or just chronically dry and chapped lips. Oh, goodness, this stuff is just great.

So, I am currently carrying the SPF version in my purse and it is likely that I'll be using it all summer long. I truly am in love with this balm. It really speaks for itself so I urge that you try it ASAP! I promise you will likely THROW AWAY your Burt's Bees or Chapstick after using this product! You can find ChopSaver at music stores in the U.S. and abroad! Check out their website :)

Thank you ChopSaver!

What are your favorite balms this summer? Have you ever tried ChopSaver?

Father's Day Gift Idea: Every Man Jack "Beginner's Luck" Kit!

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Recently, I was given an opportunity to test out the Every Man Jack brand mens' skincare 'Beginner's Luck' Kit! This brand has been received by celebrities such as: Brendan Fraser, David Arquette, John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Matthew Broderick, Matt Damon, Jim Carey, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Adam Sandler, Tim McGraw, and more... so needless to say I was pretty excited.


The Every Man Jack kit is a very chic, sustainable, and stylish way to introduce the man in your life to finer grooming. It is affordably priced at $24.99 (at EveryManJack.com or Target.com), and comes in two pleasantly masculine fragrances, Cedarwood and Signature Mint.

I tested out the Signature Mint scent, which was a gentle mint fragrance that had an extra air of masculinity, like a soft mint cologne.

This kit comes with several items. The first of which that caught my eye was the Shave Gel, which has Chamomile extract to soothe your skin, Aloe and Vitamin E to protect, and Glycerin to help retain moisture. All Every Man Jack items are packaged in a simple, fun, but manly way that will appeal to even the pickiest of males.

Both the Face Wash and Body Wash are clear, oil free, sulfate free, dye free, and paraben free so as to not irritate your guy's skin. The Body Wash contains an extra kick of peppermint oil to leave you skin feeling cool and refreshed. If you prefer bar soap, Every Man Jack's Body Bars are vitamin enriched and are 100% vegetable based.

The face lotion deeply hydrates and soothes without feeling heavy, and will not block pores. All these products are wrapped up in a manly gift box, emulating the look of wood. This would be a great gift idea for the dad who wants to look and smell good without putting too much time or effort into his grooming regimen.

Last minute shopper? Pick one up for Father's Day!

Gloves In A Bottle Review!

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I recently got the chance to review Gloves In A Bottle, a shielding lotion which rapidly absorbs into and bonds with the outer layer of skin, creating a protective layer... like gloves!

I am not usually in need of excessive hand creams, but from time-to-time, like everyone else, my hands feel a bit rough. When I'm not blogging or at school, I work part-time in a small retail store. From moving around clothes, cleaning, organizing, and working at the computer, my hands do get a little dry.

I decided to carry my Gloves In A Bottle with me to work, and I've been using it there ever since! I like that there is no distinct fragrance to this product, so it isn't apparent that you just slathered your hands in lotion. The lotion dries super fast, so you aren't greasing up your keyboard either!

This product comes in a simple, deep blue bottle, and has a diagram on the back to show how it "keeps the good stuff in" and "protects from the bad stuff". It's easy to understand, and it works. Who could ask for more?

I think Gloves In A Bottle is an awesome product if you work somewhere where you use your hands a lot, like a retail store or a desk job or even a medical office. Also, perhaps if you are a swimmer or gardener, this would be good to protect your hands. Overall, if you need a serious hand lotion and protector, I'd say Gloves In A Bottle is a great bet to help you out, and I'd recommend it!

Attention Bloggers! If you want to try Gloves In A Bottle and are willing to post a review on your blog, send your blog URL and mailing address to Pete Grimaldi for info and free samples!