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Kristen plays with Garden Botanika

This is my first experience with Garden Botanika. Just as I was itching to try out a complete skin care line, I jumped at the opportunity to try out this one. Although I am not even 30 yet, it also means I am not 20 anymore and my skin needs slowly change. I typically go after anti-acne skin care, and now I am trying to incorporate more anti-aging products. Plus, just trying out something that may get rid of my acne scars, undereye puffies and just make me have a more rested look-I'm all for it.

Anti-Aging Lip Treatment
This is a thick waxy-type balm in a small round glass container. It's fairly thick, so you only need a bit. It was nice, but nothing spectacular. I really can't say anything about the anti-aging properties as my lips look the same as they did a month ago. Personally, I like plain 'ol Chap Stick.

Gentle Shave Cream
This is a white cream and the consistency reminds me of shaving cream, but not as foamy. It's very moisturizing and made my skin super soft and smooth. I really didn't need a moisturizer afterwards and my skin stayed soft for a couple of days after use, even after a shower.

Natural Cream Concealer Palette
This is a palette with multiple colors designed to mix to get the color you need and the range of colors would suit most all skin tones, except for those with extremely tanned or dark skin. I mainly used it under my eyes and as an eyelid base because I was afraid that any oils that it had in it would irritate my skin if I tried to cover a blemish. It's also a bit drier than what I like, so I really didn't like it as an undereye concealer. However, the brush included is fabulous.

Rejuvenating Eye Treatment
This is a nice undereye cream. It comes in a sturdy, round glass container. Like the rest of the GB line, it's full of nice things for your skin, including Vitamins K, C and E, and a mysterious light-diffuser called Boron Nitride. It sank right into my skin and left no residue. I have a bit of puffiness under my eyes and this cream didn't help it, but I've not found a cream that would. It also claims to lighten dark circles, but I don't have those, so I cannot say. After having used it for about a month, I my undereye area seems a bit smoother.

Rejuvenating Peel Off Mask
I really enjoyed using this mask. It's got a thick, gel-like consistency and spreads around your face with no problem. Like any other mask, you apply it lightly and spread it around your face and let it sit for about 15 minutes while it gets dry and tight. My favorite part of this mask is the removal. The only way I can describe it is like peeling off skin after a bad sunburn (and some people I know love to do that). You just grab a spot on the edge, lift it and pull slowly. I had to use a warm washcloth to remove it from around my hairline (trust me--once you try to pull from that area and grab a hair, it ain't coming loose!). This makes me more confident in it's abilities to grab whatever is taking up residence in my pores. My skin felt nice and smooth and not dry at all. I'd definitely get this again.

Soothing Leg Gel
I've never really used a leg gel. I've always used a moisturizer, but this green, almost minty scented gel almost made me want to change my mind. It claims to smooth and protect while making you shave less often, I think I found this to be true. When I first used it, since it is a gel, it didn't sink right into my skin immediately. After a couple of minutes, it dried into my skin leaving it nice and soft. When I combined this with the Shave Cream, I notice my legs were certainly softer and when I had hair regrowth, it was also softer. The Shave Cream is fabulous by itself in making my legs soft without the need of a moisturizer.

Tri Shimmer (pearl shade)
This product eludes me. After using this product, I am still wondering what happened to it 2 seconds after application. There is literally nothing on my face. It's a shimmer product designed for highlight the cheekbones or brow bones, but I don't see it-and I don't wear glasses. The consistency is nice and soft, like that of Benefit's Dr. Feel Good and that's all I can say for sure about it.

Balancing Gel Cleanser
This is a gel cleanser that is designed for normal to combination skin, which mine certainly is. At first, I was very impressed with this cleanser. It smelled great and cleaned my face without drying it out a bit. But then I noticed with continued use, my skin seemed to get oilier and I broke out. I switched back to using my EmerginC cleanser to get my skin acting "normal" again. When it did, I started using the cleanser again. Again, it just made my skin oilier and caused some breakouts. I think this cleanser is better for more normal skin. I really liked the feel of the cleanser, but it will have to find a home somewhere in my useless product graveyard.

Balancing Facial Tonic
I've never found a use for a toner. I just never found one I liked, so I never included one in my skin care regime-until now. This alcohol-free, chock full of goodies toner is fabulous. Like the cleanser, it's designed for normal and combination skin. Unlike the cleanser, I saw no skin irritation or excess oiliness. I just love the feel of this stuff. It's almost like I am smoothing liquid silk on my skin. I just makes my skin so soft and supple and more refreshed-looking. It dried nicely without having a residue and I found it to be useful to use as a foundation primer (without having to use a separate primer). I can see this bottle lasting a while as I've been using it daily for a month now and the bottle is still full to the top.

Skin Rejuvenating Face Treatment
This product is used after you cleanse and tone. In serum form, this product is supposed to decrease redness, even skin tone and just simply make your skin look great. I found that two pumps was more than enough for my face and neck. This stuff reminds me of Estee Lauder's Idealist, but with more moisture in it (due to the Ceramide 3 in it). I really like this product, too. It makes my skin super soft and smooth and I really don't need a separate moisturizer when I use this and it is fabulous as a foundation primer. I did find that I could only use this every other day because if I used it daily, morning and night like it says, my face would get a bit oilier than usual. When I decreased the use, I didn't have any problems and had better results. Oh, and the pretty leafy green color of the bottle certainly made my bathroom look prettier despite the million other products sharing that space.

Balancing Moisture Lotion
I really liked this product as well. It's a light, perfect-for-daily-use moisturizer that, like the rest of the GB line, has a host of good ingredients for your skin. I can't say much about the "encouragement of natural collagen production," but it's a nice moisturizer that softened up my skin and caused no breakouts.

Triple C & E Moisture Infusion
This daily moisturizer is just like the Balancing Moisture Lotion, but it is more for dry and mature skin. I really expected this lotion to be too much for my combination skin, but it wasn't too bad. I also expected some breakouts due to the extra ingredients (including Rose Hips Fruit Oil), but had none. I don't use it much now because my skin isn't dry during the summer, but will certainly use it during the wintertime.

I must say that after using these products for a month, my complexion just seems more even and I look more rested. I definitely think that using the products all together is the most beneficial because some of the products, I didn't care for alone, but combined with the rest of the system works great. I also enjoyed simply using the products because of their apple infused scent. You can check out Garden Botanika at gardenbotanika.com. There are a lot of products I'd like to get my hands on and for the efficacy and the amount of product I received, the prices are very reasonable.

find out about this reviewer and more about the panel...

Posted March 7, 2005

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