1. Since I visit discount stores like (Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ross) and check out the clearance section in every other place I go, I'm always finding great deals on branded products
2. You never know if there's a better product for the job if you don't try different ones (even if you already love one, you might find something even better)
3. I'm addicted to buying products so I can't help it :)
Here are a few products that I'm using, or that are collecting dust, at the moment. I know this is a long post, but you aren't really busy at work anyway :)
We'll start with best and worst for the job. There are tons of products that claim to do the same thing and even contain most of the same ingredients but work completely differently. Or fail so miserably that I'm shocked that a popular brand made such a stupid product...
Case in point: Cosmedicine is a good brand and makes a lot of things that I like but when it comes to a sulfur based drying agent, this one is useless. The Mario Badescu one is from Ulta and it's essentially the same thing as the Kate Somerville EradiKate that's from Sephora. It works like magic to dry a pimple over night. It's best to use it when you first see the raised skin that will eventually ruin your life when it becomes a horrible, giant bump on your face! Use this drying lotion by dipping a cotton swab straight down into the bottle and dabbing it wherever you see a problem. (be careful not to shake the bottle). I like this one better than Kate Somerville's version simply because it's in a plastic bottle so I can travel with it without worrying that it'll break. When you travel with it, it will shake up and the 2 parts will mix together so unpack it first and set it on the bathroom counter. By night time, it will be separated and ready for you to use. The reason that the Cosmedicine one is useless is because it's in a powder form wtf? The directions are the same as the other, use a cotton swab to dab it on the problems...ya try dipping yor Qtip in there and when you draw it out, theres nothing on the Qtip. Ok, so i tried wetting the Qtip, then dipping it in the powder so that worked...but when i went to put it on my face, it didn't stick. It was like clumps of powder here and there and when the water dried, it just fell off of my face, lol. USELESS!!! So I decided that i would pour some out and mix it with water to make a paste, then dab it on my face, that worked but guess what? I just spent 5 minutes of my life, making what already comes prepared in the other one. Needless to say, I haven't used that crap since :)
*btw, when I just tried to link it to the website, it says that they discontinued the product, further proof that it's useless...and no, I didn't pay $38 for it...I payed $7 from Marshalls
|Cosmedicine Speedy Recovery Acne Treatment|
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
I am convinced that CHI only makes good flat irons because most of the products that I buy from them are really drying. Maybe they just don't agree with my hair type...but really, no matter what hair type you have, who wants drying products? Nobody does. So I am an advocate of heat protectants every step of the way if you use a blow dryer or a flat iron. When I straighten my hair, I use a water based spray on my damp hair after washing it, before blowdrying. The first one that I bought like last year was this CHI 44 Iron Guard. It smells sooooo good so I was impressed at first but when I tried to comb through my hair, I noticed that it made my hair feel brittle instantly. It's such a let down because after you go through all the trouble to wash and condition your hair for soft tresses, you reverse your hard work with one squirt of this crap! ok, another problem I have with this is the squirt mechanism. It is impossible to squirt this with one wet hand because it's too slippery and you're expected to be strong enough to just use one finger, that is for sure wet. So then you try to use two hands but the angle is wrong so it doesn't spray, just a small squirt. On the other side of the product spectrum, the Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray is amazing. It smells really good too, I hate to say it because it sounds like I'm just mimicking the commercials but it smells like a salon product :) Also, when I spray it on, my hair feels soft and it detangles, making my curly hair easy to comb through. BONUS, look at the spray mechanism...easy because it's a trigger. You can use like 3 fingers to pull and it sprays a lot on each pull. I love this stuff and I got it at CVS.
*btw, I also use this heat protectant when I wear my hair curly because in the winter, I use a diffuser to dry my hair...it's too cold to go out with it wet.
|Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray|
CHI 44 Iron Guard
Concealer is a must have product but unfortunately a lot of people abuse it. You know what I mean...when people leave the house looking like this, lol. DON'T DO THIS! Learn to blend, please!
Ok, so my fav concealer is this Smashbox High Definition Concealer in Medium/Dark. It's about a shade lighter than my skin color. I like it because it's easy to blend so I never look like the above picture but if I have a dark spot that i want to cover, I can just layer it (dab it, let it dry, dab it, let it dry...repeat until the blemish is covered, then blend with powder). It's 8ml in that tube for about $20 and I got it from Ulta (Nordstrom and Sephora also carry it). It goes a long way because you aren't covering your whole face with it. My least favorite is MAC Select Moisturecover which is 5ml for $17...kind of a rip off right :) The reason I don't like it because it's too thick so if you put it over foundation or tinted moisturizer then set it all with powder, you could end up looking like cake face. It's not the worst product ever...just my least fav concealer of the ones that I have.
|Smashbox High Definition Concealer|
MAC Select Moisturecover
So I use heat protectant on my hair again after I blow dry it, before I flat iron. For people who have naturally straight hair or who have a relaxer, the Tresemme can be used again. Since it's water based, I can't use it after because the water would obviously reverse the blow dry that I just spent an hour doing. I use these two products, they are both serums, are alcohol free and have a soft silky feel. I don't dislike either of these, I just use them for different seasons. The CHI Silk Infusion is nice and smells really good, sort of floral. This 6oz bottle is still 2/3 of the way full and I've had it over a year. Granted, I don't straighten my hair as often as others might but still I feel a little goes a long way. I use this in the summer because it's really lightweight and makes my hair really shiny. The Rusk Thermal Serum is what I use in the winter time because it's heavier and honestly a tad bit greasy because it has argan oil in it. I would normally frown about that but during the winter, everyone's hair is a bit dryer so it's great for me to use a product,with argan oil, it's so good for your hair. It's not greasy like Vaseline, just a little greasier than I'd prefer when it comes to a serum....that's the whole point of serums, shine without the greasy heavy feeling. I don't like that smell of this one though and It's 4.2 oz
*I got the Silk Infusion from Saks Off 5th for about $19 and the Rusk is from TJ Maxx $8.99 (they have these at drug stores, target and nordstrom rack too)
|CHI Silk Infusion|
Rusk Thermal Serum
These three products are what I use weekly, like Sundays when I'm not busy and have time to pamper myself :) OK, so I start off with CLEAN HANDS then I use the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. I have a picture of myself with this on but it looks so ridiculous that I am not posting it! It is completely black and comes out creamy and cool (not lumpy like a clay mask). It feels nice when you put it on, it has a calming light eucalyptus smell and dries into a tight mask. You peel it off like dried Elmer's glue and it pulls up all of the dead skin and black heads. After that I use the Cosmedicine Mega Moisture Mask. A common misconception is that if you have oily skin, you shouldn't use moisturizing things but it's not true. You should moisturize always, but if you have oily skin (or combination skin like me), just use oil-free moisturizers. This mask is lightweight and doesn't dry tight but it kinda smells like glue : / After 10 minutes I rinse it off and pat my skin dry with a clean towel. I use the DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew, long name but it's really good. It doesn't really have much of a smell...actually it smells like Lubriderm Lotion. Anyway, it's super moisturizing so your face doesn't feel dry or tight but there's no residue or shine. I actually use this everyday after I wash my face before I put on makeup. Even if I'm only wearing tinted moisturizer for the day, I use this first.
*I got the Boscia and DDF from Sephora. I paid full price for the Boscia (grrrrr). I got the DDF for free by using the points from my Sephora Card! I got the Cosmedicine from TJ Maxx :)
*ok, Cosmedicine also discontinued this mask but that just means that it's so awesome that they decided to only make it for a limited time! whatever, you can still get it on amazon
*DO NOT put the black mask anywhere near your hairline or eyebrows because it WILL rip them off when you take the mask off. I use a $1 elf foundation brush to apply it so that i can make a thin line and avoid my hairline. btw, if you have a mustache, you'll enjoy a free lip wax with this product! lol Also, if you are bleaching your mustache, stop. We can still see it...wax it please! Seriously, if you accidently get it on your hair line, just wet a bathcloth with hot water and wipe it off gently.
|Boscia Luminizing Black Mask|
Cosmedicine Mega Moisture Mask
DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew
This has to be my favorite product right now. It's a makeup setting spray that works for real! Simply spray a few times after you do your makeup and it stays pretty all day or night. This is great for people who unintentionally but constantly touch their face at work, people who have kids that always touch your face or people who get really drunk at night when you go out, and end up crying because of something ridiculous and unimportant and annoy your friends but still want to look pretty :)
It really works but the bottle is so small, only.51 oz. so I'll be sad when it runs out. I got this as a gift from my sweet sister Kimmy. When I have to buy it, which will be soon because I use it a lot, I'll get the 4oz. size.
|Urban Decay All Nighter|
This is sort of an odd product to love but it's super important for me because I don't let manicurists cut my cuticles. I don't let them cut because you end up with hang nails, when it grows back it looks really bad and if they're rushing (which they always are) they might cut your skin by mistake (or on purpose if you've been giving them attitude). This stuff is great, you just put some on each nail bed, wait 15 seconds and push your cuticles back, then wash it off. I use my nails to push but if you keep your nails short, you can just use one of those angled sticks. If you do your own nails, you can keep your cuticles looking clean with this or if you go to the nail shop, you can do this before you go. Even if you have acrylic (or use gel polish like me) you can still use it. You know that it's time to get your nails redone when the polish or acrylic part grows out from the cuticle right? So there's room there to put this stuff on and push back the cuticles. You could even do it at the salon while you wait cuz it only takes a min to do, then wash your hands and it comes off. Magic!
*I got this at the drug store
|Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover|
Tia, this is what I use to "slick" my hair down but since it's water based, I wouldn't use it on your hair if you've straightened it. So I put the coconut oil on all over first to protect it and smooth the cuticle. Then I use the gel on top of that and a little bit on my ponytail to stop it from being frizzy. I get the coconut oil from Marshalls in the cooking section...doesn't matter what brand, just make sure it says virgin, unrefined and 100% pure coconut oil. I got the gel from Dollar General, I know they have it at CVS and Sally's too. This brand has a few different versions and I used the Olive Oil level 10 hold. Hope this helps!
|Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil |
Eco Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel