Suki Concentrated Balancing Toner

Suki TonerRaw Review: Hit and Missed

After my initially underwhelming experience with Suki’s Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, I offered this aesthetically irresistible line a chance at redemption and picked up, again, what seemed like a gremlin version of the standard-sized line (no matter how much I wanted to love this thing, I just couldn’t justify the purchase of a more “jumbo” version quite yet). I figured this spritzer was easy enough to pop in my makeup bag for those city runs and for when the slime and sweat from catching a missed train might otherwise make you wish to melt away like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Let me first say that the function and design of this little gremlin spritzer lends to it a great illusion. I only realized this when, after three uses, I was almost finished with the product. This would be what I would call not even a travel size, but a weekend-getaway sampler. Just don’t venture off anywhere too far because this baby just might not last ya.

The potion itself leaves a wetness all too reminiscent of rubbing alcohol. I don’t finish feeling particularly “toned” – just coated in something that feels a bit too much like sticky, sweet tea. My 100% pure rosewater was far more impressive in this domain.

Best described as a boutique-spray that seems to be formulated more for fragrance than for use.

Differences can be seen but have yet to be seen.

Bottom line: This is something I would be more motivated to decorate my shelves with rather than actually utilize for skincare. I’m hard-pressed to realize any of its touted benefits.

Can be found at the Whole Foods on Bowery in Lower East Side, Manhattan.

Notes of caution: Size-volume ratio may be deceiving. Spray nozzle also does not always function properly, unevenly distributing product. Close eyes when applying.

All Raw Reviews products are chosen, purchased, and reviewed by myself. All products have been purchased at a Whole Foods location specified in the post.


Queen Helene 100% Cocoa Butter

Cocoa ButterRaw Review: Hit and Missed

To be honest, I’m more attracted to using this little stick of cocoa butter more as a snack than a beauty product – is that a problem? When hungry on the subway, or on day seven of a terrifyingly insipid detox diet – yes! Kidding, guys.

But really, don’t ask how I know that this thing tastes salty buttt, whatever you do, don’t use this as a yummy-tasting chapstick. After I quickly knocked out this edible alternative, I wasn’t really sure what to do with this thing – other than smear it on my elbows and any other very, very dry patch of skin. The consistency makes it a bit difficult to work with, first uncomfortably stubborn to maneuver along the skin, then all too quickly melting upon contact. The push-up access is also a wee-bit inconvenient when trying to strike a calculated balance between pressure and angulation – it sounds like an acrobatic act, and it is - really testing my ambidexterity as a 20th century humanoid. Good thing I made the shift from Blackberry to iPhone long before Queen Helene’s “steroid stick,” or I might not be able to use these thumbs for anything but accessing voice control.

This might sound like a rather brattish review, but I am completely open to the idea that this probably has a good use for someone with medium-very dry skin, and someone who doesn’t mind going outside with slip-n-slide looking shins.

Best described as a sweet-smelling but unfortunately salty tasting butter stick that looks a bit like a tube of consolidated sunscreen.

Differences can be seen after the first use – differences were not necessarily for the better.

Bottom line: I wasn’t wooed by any particular application of the product. The consistency, above all, proved it difficult to really stay on the skin, sink in, and heal.

Can be found at the Whole Foods on Bowery in Lower East Side, Manhattan.

Notes of caution: Since it comes off looking shiny, I would abstain from use on face or anywhere near clothing that might matter to you at some point in time. Also be sure to resist your temptations of tasting this thing – unless, of course, you’re a fan of salted chocolate.

All Raw Reviews products are chosen, purchased, and reviewed by myself. All products have been purchased at a Whole Foods location specified in the post.


Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser

Suki Exfoliate Foaming CleanserRaw Review: Mediocre

I was in search of a quality scrub with natural yet effective exfoliation properties. Since I am still curing a few acne scars, I wanted a treatment that was gentle enough to use daily, yet efficient enough to help expedite the regeneration of fresh new skin. I had never tried Suki before but had caught eye of a baby version for their Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser at the Whole Foods in Chelsea. Well, I can’t lie when I say the sheer marketing and miniature-ness won me over, and that I decided to take the plunge, including from my pocketbook.

Given its very sleek packaging and steep prices, I was ready for a spa-grade experience. My experience with this scrub, however, was not spa but rather sub-par. While the first wash left my face feeling smooth, it didn’t seem to do much of the deep clean and sloughing off of “facial debris” that I was looking for. The smoothness felt seemed to be more from the finish of an ingredient – lasting a short while – rather than my baby fresh skin breathing beneath.

Best described as a sugar-paste with hints of lemon zest and lemongrass. After all is said and done, it sounds and smells more appealing than it feels.

Differences can be seen immediately but, from my experience, temporarily.

Bottom line: A fine product for quick, once-in-a-while washes when you’re feeling the grimes (and I only wish I was referring to the band). Don’t expect a deep-clean feeling from this wash, though. I look at it as more of a temporary fix while on the go.

Can be found at the Whole Foods on 7th Ave in Chelsea, Manhattan.

Notes of caution: Getting just the right amount of water to foam up the scrub can be a test of both patience and skill. Add too much and you’ll have a pool, add too little and you’ll have a thick-ish mound of sugar that could be a bit too rough for sensitive skin.

All Raw Reviews products are chosen, purchased, and reviewed by myself. All products have been purchased at a Whole Foods location specified in the post.