August 25, 2013

Beauty & Home: Hits & Misses

A couple of posts back I said that I was going to start trying to blog about some tried and true beauty products so I thought it was time for another post since the month is almost over! I got inspired about doing these blog posts after watching beauty guru's on YouTube for the past year! One of my favorite "tags" they do is the monthly "Hit and Miss" video where they give you an overview of products they tried over the past month or so and tell you if they would repurchase the item or not. I love these types of videos because I do find them helpful when I am considering buying something they are talking about and sometimes it makes me actually go out and buy an item they are discussing. I would love to have my own YouTube channel to discuss this type of stuff but I am scared that I would completely suck at it and nobody would really even watch it. Maybe I will get around to doing one in the future when I get enough courage! is my list for August and some come from July because I seriously don't go through this many items in one particular month; I have just held on to some of these empties for a while because I had been planning on doing this post for a while. These aren't in any particular order so excuse the randomness :)

Equate Refreshing Cleaning Towelettes ($3.48, 40 pack) are the Wal-Mart equivalent to Garnier's Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes. I talked about these in my last post because it was one of my favorites but I needed to do an update! I really liked these in the beginning because it removed all of my make-up without having to scrub at my face and wiped away my mascara without a problem. I loved the clean scent and the towelette wasn't soaking wet with cleanser like you sometimes encounter. It didn't dry out my skin or leave a residue on my skin afterwards so I was pretty happy with the product. However, the formula did start to irritate my eyes towards the end of the package. I am not sure if the last 20 towelettes or so had more cleanser on them due to being the last few in the package or if my eyes were just more sensitive at that time. I did repurchase another type of towelette from the Equate line to try this month but if you don't have sensitive eyes I think these would be perfect for you to try.

I have an olive tone complexion so that tends to make dark circles under my eyes a little more obvious plus I am a Mom so I can tend to just look "tired". I have tried so many concealers that I have lost count. I decided to try the Physicians Formula Conceal Rx ($9.99)after seeing a YouTuber rave about it. I can honestly say this is the BEST concealer that I have used that really works well. A little of this product goes a long way! It is more on the creamy side so it covers well and it doesn't get cakey once it sets. I also find that it doesn't settle into my fine lines around my eyes like some of the other concealers do. I also have a few hyperpigmentation areas on my cheeks that I use this on and it completely conceals them!! The packaging states that the product covers blemishes, dark under eye circles, scars, birthmarks, age spots, bruises, rosacea and hyperpigmentation. I truly believe in this concealer and I think if you have any of the above then this should be a staple in your beauty regime.
I am always trying new mascara's so I decided to buy the widely publicized new item from Maybelline, "The Rocket" ($5.94)and I went with the waterproof formula. This product is supposed to give you clump-free explosive lashes that are 6x more in volume. It also has been Ophthalmologist tested and safe for contact lens wearers. I tried wearing this alone knowing my eyes are always my problem child and I was impressed with the new formula. It was clump free and went on smooth. It wasn't thick and it gave my lashes a fuller effect without looking like I had a ton of mascara on. eyes did not like the new formula so I had to go back to wearing my regular mascara from Physician's Formula. I have found that if I apply one coat of "The Rocket" on after applying my Physician's Formula mascara I don't seem to have a problem. Weird, I know. I still think if you want a fuller lash effect and you like Maybelline products you should go with their "Falsies Volum' Express" formula because that stuff is AMAZING.
This isn't a beauty item but I think it's worth mentioning because it will save you money and who isn't about saving money?!? My family is pretty particular about our laundry detergents and fabric softners so that means that we are strictly a "Tide" family but I can get away with buying the Great Value Blooming Lavender Fabric Softner Dryer Sheets from Wal-Mart ($3.98, 80 sheets). I use the Tide Plus with a touch of Downy in the Lavender scent for our washer and I put two dryer sheets of the Great Value softner in the dryer and our clothes come out smelling great and feel super soft. Tide isn't cheap so if I can save money on the fabric softner I will and I've found this is just as good as the pricier ones.
I think I am trying a new toothpaste every time I turn around because I can never find one that I like. They either don't leave my mouth feeling fresh and clean or the formula hurts my super sensitive teeth. I feel like the "sensitive" toothpastes never clean my teeth well and doesn't leave my mouth feeling like I even brushed anything. I decided to try Colgate's Total Zx Pro-Shield Plus Sensitivity, Mint Gel ($3.47, 5.8 oz)and I am so happy that I did! It says it is anti-cavity, anti-gingivitis, anti-sensitivity and lasts even after eating and drinking. I don't have a problem with it hurting my sensitive teeth and my mouth feels so clean after brushing. I think I finally found a toothpaste that does it all after what seems like a life-time of trying to find the right one!! So, if you are a Sensodyne user and feel like your mouth isn't as clean as it could be then I think you should try this because you will be pleased.

While browsing at CVS a while back I ran across a trial version of Salma Hayek's Nuance Anti-Aging AM/PM Super Cream ($5.99, .265 ounce) and decided to try it. The formula has Tepezcohuite, Borage Oil & Vitamins A and E, Parsley; it claims that 83% of women noticed an overall improvement in skin appearance, tone and texture after 30 days and 86% of women felt an immediate improvement in their skin's hydration. Tepezcohuite is supposed to help tone, condition and smooth your skin. Borage Oil protects skin against dryness. Vitamins A & E are supposed to visibly smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Parsley, an herb rich in vitamin C, helps nourish your skin. The cream is dermatologist tested, Not tested on animals, Non-irritating and Paraben Free. Okay, so there is all the for my review. I give this two thumbs DOWN!!! I hated it. I should have known it would be a bad experience when I couldn't even get the top off the jar! It has a twist and click lid which is very hard to get into; I didn't know you had to keep your kids out of a night cream jar!! Once I opened it I couldn't get over the smell of the product. It smelled like a mixture of bug spray and medicine so as you can imagine you don't want that on your face. The cream is almost like a watery type consistency and it seemed oily while I tried rubbing it in. I was not impressed at all and I felt like it didn't hydrate my face like I was expecting from a "Super Cream". I never used it again after the first night so I can't tell you if it helps with anti-aging or not. I would definitely never purchase the full size jar of this and I hate I even wasted the $5.99 on this jar!!  

I constantly have dry lips so I am always buying some type of lip balm or chapstick. As crazy as this sounds I find it very overwhelming to buy chapsticks because they all claim to do something different and you never know what you really need. I am also always misplacing my tubes of chapstick so I get to try a lot of them out, lol. I haven't gotten into the whole EOS lip balm thing because the packaging weirds me out, it's a ball, who the hell wants to carry that around in their pocket or purse? It's just odd. I was a strictly "Blistex" girl until I picked up a tube of Nivea's Milk & Honey Lip Care ($2.99)and now I am on my second tube! I can't get enough of this stuff!! It's hydrating and doesn't feel like I am just putting wax on my lips. It doesn't dry my lips out like I've found some chapsticks do and it lasts longer than most I've tried. It's also preservative-free so that is an added bonus. This is something that I will continue to repurchase because I really like it and it seems to work great for my dry lips!

During one of my grocery shopping trips they were out of my razor catridges so I decided to try Noxema's Super Smooth Triple Blade disposable Razors ($2.88, 4 count). The packaging claims it's supposed to reveal smooth, fresher skin. Navigating tricky areas with ease and the jojoba strips are supposed to help prevent nicks and cuts. I don't know if it's just me or I got a package of crappy razors but these were the WORST razors I have ever tried in my entire life!!! I thought being made by Noxema they would be pretty good quality, they were triple blade and they weren't the cheapest ones in the razor section. I didn't get a close shave with these and found myself going back multiple times over the same area to get a clean shave. I wouldn't dare try this my bikini area or underneath my arms because it was hard to shave just on my legs. I even opened a new razor mid-bath just to make sure I hadn't gotten a bad one in the package by was the exact same way. I was totally dissatisfied with these and would never ever repurchase these again. I think the cheapest razor you could find would do a better job than these. Do not waste your money on this product, you will be sorry that you did.

Now if you are wanting to try a good quality razor that you don't have to spend a fortune on refill catridges you should try the Wilkinson Sword Oasis Razor and Refill Catridges ($5.98, 4 catridges). I buy mine at Wal-Mart and I am not sure if any of the Drugstores carry this brand. The razor has three blades that does provide a very close shave. It does have the typical aloe/shea butter strip that most razors have these days. I find that as long as you use a new razor it's fine to use in the bikini zone. It does not leave my skin irritated and I can even use it under my arms without water or shaving cream. I ran across these by accident and I am so glad that I did because I was spending a fortune in Venus catridges. I found that I like this just as much (if not more) than my Venus razor. They do make a mans razor (Wilkinson, Tech 3) that my husband loves and the refills are about the same price, so it would be worth picking one up for the man in your life.

Like any female, I have tried a billion hair care products! I am constantly trying new shampoos and conditioners! I have tried high end products from the salon and I've tried the cheapest of the cheap aka "Suave". I have found products that I like in both but typically my hair care products come from Wal-Mart or the drugstore. I hate being so cheap when it comes to Shampoo/Conditioners because you literally wash it down the drain but I know your hair does need nourishment just like your body. I decided I would go the middle of the road and try Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner ($5.74 each, 13 fl.oz.) and I FELL IN LOVE with the stuff! Not only does the stuff smell amazing it makes my hair feel so soft and it looks healthy. The scent lasts forever too, I can have 2-3 day old hair and it still smells great. I have very dry hair from blow drying and using hot rollers so I don't wash my hair every single day. I also have to be careful with shampoos because some do dry my hair out even more causing it to look and feel brittle. The Coconut Milk line has coconut milk (duh) and whipped egg white proteins in it so it helps with elasticity and adds strength to your strands. The shampoo foams up nicely and rinses well, not leaving residue on your scalp. The conditioner is hydrating and it doesn't leave your hair feeling/looking weighted down. Some conditioners can actually make your hair look oily and this doesn't do that.

This isn't a beauty product either but it's another money saver! For all of you Listerine lovers, save some money and buy the Equate Antiseptic Mouthrinse ($2.98, 16.9 FL OZ)! I buy the Blue Mint flavor but they do have the original yellow looking stuff that tastes horrible. I stood in the aisle and compared these two bottles side by side and there is NOT a difference!! So, unless you are just a name brand person who loves wasting money, buy the Equate version. It's minty and does what it says (Kills plaque, gingivitis and bad breath)for $1 less. Also, in case you didn't know, this stuff works great for ant and mosquito bites!! If you or your child ever runs into an ant pile and gets bitten by those little suckers this helps dry the bites up. Brody stepped in a pile 3 years ago and they ate his little leg up, I applied this with a cotton ball to his bites and within minutes it took the sting out. If you apply it for several days afterwards you will see a noticeable difference; you can thank me later :)

I have been on a mission to find a good moisturizer so I have tried several the past 2 months. While I was at CVS (I promise, I don't live there) I noticed on a bottom shelf that they had a Physician's Formula skincare line that had been marked down for close out. I didn't even know that Physician's Formula made a skincare line but since I am a huge fan of their make-up I decided that it was totally worth trying. I picked up two different products from their line but I am only going to discuss one this month because I haven't made my mind up on the other. I have been using the Physicians Formula Deep Wrinkle Corrector Day & Night Cream, Formula Rx 121 ($9.99, 1.7 oz)for several weeks and I really like it. My main skin concern is aging and this is what this product targets. It states that it's supposed to enhance skin's cycle of repair, encouraging healthy cell renewal that reveals younger looking skin. Your wrinkle length and depth should improve with regular use. It also helps improve the moisture barrier, strengthen skin and protect collagen. It says it's clinical proven that you will see visible results. It also claims you will look 6 years younger in 4 weeks. This line has been Dermatologist approved, clinically tested and is hypoallergenic. It's also 100% Paraben free. The directions say you are to use this morning and night on your face and neck before you apply your make-up. It does not have sunscreen in it so you do need to apply that if it's not already in your foundation. I have been impressed with this product because I do feel like it's helped my skin look more youthful in the sense I have a glow back. My face is always so dry that it tends to look dull. This product contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid so it does help shed some of that dead skin. However, if you are sensitive to those types of ingredients then you may want to steer clear of this product. I love the consistency of the cream, it has a whipped like texture so it blends in well and doesn't leave an oily film on my face. I love the smell and it doesn't interfere with my other make-up products (mainly my foundation). I will say that the first couple of times I used this product I was skeptical because once I rubbed it in I would get all of this dead skin coming off my face. That just showed me how well it really was working and how much dead skin I actually had on my face! I only used it at night for the first week or so and then once all of that was off my face I started using it under my foundation without a problem. I am a firm believer in the Physician's Formula line, I have never had a problem with any of their products and I don't mind paying a little extra for them since I know they are great quality. I am not sure if you can find this at your local CVS or Walgreens but I noticed you can find it online or at Ulta. As far as wrinkles, I am my own worst critic so I can't tell you for sure if it's making me look any younger in that department but it does wonders for moisturizing my face and keeping a healthy glow. I will definitely repurchase this jar when I have used this one up!

Well, there you have it folks! That is my two cents for the products I have tried in July and August. I hope that you found this blog helpful and please let me know if you have tried any of these and what you thought! Also, let me know if you are on the fence about a product because I have tried a lot of them so I may be able to sway your decision.

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