Test Drive

Sunday, November 16, 2008


A quick inventory of my medicine cabinet yields no less than five -- count 'em, five -- eye creams. These under-eye fixer-uppers claim results from looking well-rested to erasing the dark circles I've battled for years. But am I any more bright-eyed than the next girl? No, because boring old creams are just, well, boring, and I can never stick with one long enough to notice any change. Hence my immediate fascination with Garnier's Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller, a futuristic roller-ball gadget with a no-mess application and a cooling, caffeine-infused gel. Surely this one could hold my interest.

Three weeks later, my eyes are still puffy and a bit raccoon-like when I wake up. I have diligently rolled on the stuff every morning and night, though. So while what's inside the tube didn't work for me, the gimmick did: I've finally started a habit I can stick with. Now to find a formula that works. . . .

-- Holly E. Thomas

About $13 at drug stores, mass retailers and http://www.drugstore.com.


Candle designer Laura Slatkin launched her Nest Fragrances brand of waxy concoctions in September, a line of oddly named creations such as Beeswax & Whipped Cream and Periwinkle Hyacinth. I tried Wild Oats & Bourbon because it didn't sound as dainty.

The verdict: The candle didn't smell of bourbon or wild oats, two ingredients that I always thought were part of a successful Saturday night rather than a successful candle. Instead, it reeked of mandarin and ginger, which are very typical candle smells -- strong, rich and inviting, at least until you extinguish the candle and allow the odor to dissipate. The scent lingers, but it turns a bit sour.

Looking for a second opinion, I asked a friend to take a whiff. She said it smelled like every Yankee Candle ever made. Large Yankee Candles cost just over $1 per ounce of wax, whereas Nest's candles cost four times as much. In this economy, I simply can't endorse such stinky extravagance.

-- Dan Zak

$32 for an 8.1-ounce votive at Neiman Marcus and


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