Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bedside Toe Treats, Aveda Foot Relief Review

I read some wonderful blogs about our passion for lacquer but I have to recognize that much work and time is dedicated to bringing that final entry, especially if you have to color your nails with six different swatches then capture them in their most vivid pose. As an amateur, it still takes me considerable labor to get my piggies prepped. I can't imagine the cost of searching and purchasing half a dozen new colors weekly. My hats off to them! I'll have to post my favorite ones later on the section of what blogs I follow.

I really haven't taken the time to review foot care products. My decision to choose a particular product is influenced by location, availability, marketing, packaging, and branding. Personal choice ultimately decides what makes it home to slather on my precious skin. These happen to be my current options for loving my feet. I got manic and lost my senses for a bit during the beginnings of my new fetish when I bought several foot creams. I alternate products just about daily and often combine them. How the hell do I tell what is superior and what makes a difference for my skin? I can't. Sorry to disappoint. These are not randomized, double-blinded clinical trials. I like all of them and really choose one based on mood for a certain texture or fragrance. My feet stay moisturized and I always wear a pair of socks to bed. I generally use a flavored lotion first right after my shower (I do this at night) then follow with a fragrance-free base cream like Cetaphil. Do I need to double up? Or am I just wasting material? What conclusions can be drawn about the first lotion? The base lotion? Damn it! I don't know but my ridiculous obsessive ritual calms my anxiety and urge to twist the doorlock three times with my left hand each passage through a door. Ha! I'm kidding. I don't like touching faucet knobs or door handles in public places. This is true.

Back on track! From left to right, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, Kiehl's Superbly Restorative Argan Body Lotion, L'Occitane Verbena Body Lotion, Pangea Organics Egyptian Basil & Mint Hand & Body Lotion, L'Occitane Relaxing Foot Cream with Lavender, Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion, and Aveda Foot Relief. This composes most of my bedside foot bar where each night those silly piggies imbibe in these delicious toe tickling treats.

One of the tastier samplings is from Aveda. Their Foot Relief lotion "gently exfoliates, revitalizes and nourishes stressed feet." Before purchasing it on a trip to Las Vegas, I searched the internet for reviews and found a plethora of raves for this wonderful lotion. Its creamy smooth texture rubs on smoothly without feeling greasy. Just as you open its flip top, the herbal scent of peppermint and rosemary mixed with nuts and fruits quickly engages your senses. By far it has the most wonderful, irresistible smell of any lotion. Hands down. It absorbs quickly and does make your feet feel clean and refreshed. I tend to use this one by itself. It is made with many extracts of fruit and herbs, a characteristic trait of the Aveda Corporation. Cons of Foot Relief are that it's pricey for the amount ($19 for 4.2 fl oz), which can disappear quickly. It states that it exfoliates but I doubt it's significant. I will certainly always keep this product stocked in my bar. I highly recommend it and award it a full 9 piggies out of nine.

I will review the other products over the next few weeks. If you have any thoughts or have tried this lotion, please feel free to chime in. This is only my simple view and as you can tell, not an exhaustive or unbiased opinion. Keep those feet spoiled and show them off!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Naughty in Seattle

Seattle lives up to its reputation. It is cold, wet, and gloomy outside. Despite the typical forecast, the seaside city is vibrant, cultivated, fashion forward, and bursts through its seams with delectable food choices. My keen observational skills tell me that women are well dressed here. Perhaps the weather permits one to accessorize and bring forth a more complete ensemble of threads. Boots are very fashionable this winter. It completes the look whether you're draping over a dress or tucking in well-fitted jeans to show off those slim, long legs. Tres chic! Men, although fewer in numbers, were hip and tuned into modern looks.

I wish I'd spend more time here living so that I may run down to Pike Place Market, past the disgusting Wall of Gum, and plan elaborate meals utilizing the fresh seafood and locally grown fruits and vegetables. There is a neat store called Beecher's Handmade Cheese that sells specialty artisanal cheeses. Through its large windows, you can see their vats of curd and whey being mixed. Strolling through the downtown area, I notice that there are many nail salons. Some are nicer than others. Unfortunately, I did not feel the compulsion to visit one during my stay and can't really review one. (What kind of crap nail blog is this?)

The Hotel 1000 is a modern, swanky edifice conveniently located in downtown Seattle. It is near many attractions, including one right next door. Taboo Video is a 24hr adult store ready to satisfy any carnal urges at any time of the day. We had a good laugh about this since they're not shy about their front window display of many decorated phallic items. My oldest daughter read their sign and pointed out to us that it was for adults. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. The room, as you see above, is fantastic. It's relatively spacious and I didn't feel cramped at all. The bathroom was special as it was only divided from the room by a large glass pane. A nice touch is that the tub water fills from the ceiling. The feel and look of the hotel reminded me of our visit to Vancouver, BC. We stayed at the Opus. If you get a chance, I highly recommend these places.

Though my toes were colored, it was too damp and cold to wear sandals or flip flops. My piggies rebelled within their classic toe cap Ferragamo enclosures as I mingled with my stuffy colleagues in meetings all day long. Orly's Naughty is a rich, ultra-dark chocolate red that almost comes across as black in low light. My bottle was filled with thin liquid and when it came time for application, it brushed on like dark venous blood with a degree of transparency. Surprisingly, it took three layers to wear it but it layered smoothly. Wow! This is the darkest I've worn. Against my pale winter complexion, my piggy coats stood out naughtily, as the name suggests. I love this color. Good transition to the goth black I'll be attempting soon for Halloween's sake.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Back to the Start in Havaianas

One last stretch of chilly weather before utter popsicle days set in and my sad piggies become sheltered for a long bleak winter. Browsing through my girly drawer, I came across that old bottle of OPI Rodeo Rose, the one that started it all on that fateful afternoon with my precious daughters. I immediately took a fondness to this bright, almost flourescent cheerful pink and thought of what possessed me to polish my toes at all. I can't explain it other than it was sheer fate. One last effort for this bottle since the lacquer was condensed as syrup and its top forcefully opened (but not cracked! Ha ha!) Even its smell was stagnant and slightly repulsive, unlike the inviting swirl of exhilarating fumes flowing from a fresh bottle of liquid joy. Armed with crazed determination, I slathered it on each toe with swift strokes and startling skill, knowing that a second pass will likely result in aggravating smudging and frustration. It came on thick but the stroke ridges dissipated into a smooth thick shell. The top coat always seems to correct any minute contour deformities. At last, my toes basked in triumph and curled with delight. The pink is certainly loud, unlike the elegance that my Essie Movers and Shakers exulted.
It's a bit late to discover the fun of flip flops combined with well dressed toes. I have a few sandals and a pair of flip flops from Prada and UGG. Havaianas, especially on sale at the Rack, are only a small fraction of their Italian counterparts. I don't have much variety on the expensive side so I usually choose black. Havaianas have an attractive slim shape even in the men's styles (not that it matters to me whether they're women's or not.) Many of the patterns and colors are so fun that I can't help but keep a few. They are surprisingly comfortable and gentle on the heels. It's a great way to lighten up one's appeareance. They go absolutely well with jeans as well as a dressy pair of Armani pants. Shorts are a no brainer. One must still somewhat match the right shade of rubber, of course. Otherwise, it looks sloppy even in its casual dress down kind of way. Just my humble opinion. My latest pair is much wilder than my norm. Havaianas 4 Nite is a glow-in-the-dark offering with painted alternating ?s and !s interrupted by glowing circles. The Havaianas label on the lateral strap also glows. Radiation on my feet? Who knows but the glow doesn't last very long. Halloween is near so I guess that attracted me to these flops. Good times.
I went to the local mall to pick out sunglasses. The young man working there was very pleasant and when he offered to help me, he instantly noticed my toes. He said he really liked them. Since I was buying $300+ sunglasses, he wasn't going to insult me. He even admitted he colors his black. I appreciated that compliment from a complete stranger. A guy. A rather feminine guy. With flare. I'm totally cool with that since I'm probably considered borderline by those who don't know me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hot Toes in the Valley of the Sun

I am sitting at the Phoenix airport waiting for the my delayed flight to arrive. I am buzzed after only two, albeit large frozen margaritas, and all of a sudden this hub of frantic shuttling activity for folks from all walks of life has become rather warming. Comfortable. At the bar, an older business-type man started talking to me about football, the only thing screening on the multiple flat panels. I nod and smile and awkwardly try to come up with something smart to say about football. I don't watch tv and much less follow sports. Nothing comes to mind except for that thug M. Vick, who apparently had a bad week. I did feel bad for him as his focus turned to remembrance for his teenage boy who was apparently killed in some sort of accident. He has a 14 year old daughter who is so traumatized that when he or his wife travel, she freaks out because she thinks that something bad may happen to them and she'd be left alone in this world. Geez! Count your blessings and appreciate your life and your loved ones. Any time that I travel, I tell my wife to always let my girls know that I loved them very much and that I always want the best for them. She thinks I'm stupid for talking like that. One never knows.
My trip was for business, not pleasure. I did see my brother for a little bit since I also travelled to Tucson. He's just as busy and worked for the better part of our time. I will admit that I was at least anxious about showing my toes in front of him. I was bogged down with work the week prior to leaving and didn't have a chance to pick out a color. I stuck with the gorgeous fuchsia, which was at its latter end of luster. It chipped on two piggies. I was well prepared, as always, and promptly addressed the minor injuries to my ailing toes. I was shocked to find that when he saw them, the only thing he said was "Do you paint your toes?" I said with certainty in my voice "absolutely." It never came up again. I was shocked and ready to defend my position but didn't have to at all. That was easy.
Arizona is a conservative state and I got more negative grimaces from women and men alike than any other place. No one has yet to say a thing about my toes. It's just interesting. My next trip is to Seattle but it will be too cold to sport sandals. It already snowed a bit at home. The era of closet toes is coming.