Tag Archive | cvs

Moisture Superstars

I recently went overboard with the platinum. It doesn’t look bad, just not what I was shooting for, when within 24 hours two men I know quite well looked at me and said “Wow, your hair is white.” I chose the wrong toner, and though it took out the gold, it lifted the blond even higher. Luckily I am so OCD, my hair is not too fried. The last time I got it trimmed, the stylist said “I can’t believe your hair is in this good of condition when you retouch the bleach yourself.”

I’ve been able to stay glam as opposed to “girl next door” trashy in two ways:

1. Lots of research. I am NOT a professional cosmetologist, so God bless all the bloggers and product reviewers out there.

2. MOISTURE. I condition every single day, use leave in conditioner every single day, and only shampoo 1-2 times per week.

So despite the decent condition of my hair, it looked pretty pathetic the other morning after dying it. I frantically turned to the “magical closet” to see what I had in the hair product bin. (Yes most people have a drawer, I have a closet.) Voila! Ketastase Elixer from my March Birchbox. First off, it smelled amazing. I felt like an Egyptian princess. Why Egyptian? I don’t know – it gave me visions of laying around all day like Cleopatra. Anyway, it worked fantastically and brought life back to my mistakenly overprocessed locks.

As a side note, I also received a Twistband Hair Tie in the box. I was skeptical about this, as it just looked like a folded piece of ribbon. I was WRONG. It had lots of stretch in it, and held great. PLUS, unlike ouchless ponytail holders, which I like for the most part, it did NOT leave any funky lines in my hair. LOVE!

Back to moisture. Since I was in awe of the Kerastase, I thought I’d introduce to another moisture superstar I am having a not-so-secret love affair with. Time Freeze Firming Day Cream is the first product I’ve tried from Lumene but I guarantee you it will not be the last. It feels so thick and cool on your skin, and uplifting without being restricting. Sometimes these kinds of products can actually make your skin feel tighter and drier – not this one – it’s an awesome mix of moisture and lift.

Finally in the quest to repair my hair, there was one product I was not so impressed with. Biolage Intensive Strengthening Mask was not nearly intensive enough for dry, fried hair. It may work out well for normal to oily tressed girls, but I unfortunally can’t speak to that.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is the last day for my giveaway! (see related stories)

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Defining Products: Wax or Creme?

So originally this post was intended to be my first “Pricy v. Practical Challenge,” but the two products I chose ended up being pretty different. I was looking for a defining pomade, the perfect mix of wax, creme, and gel. The first, Got2B “playful” creme pomade ended up being all creme. The second, Rusk beingwarped, was much more like a wax. Both promised to shine and define. Only one delivered on both promises.

Winner: Wax!!! The creme gave nice shine and smoothing. However, I just got a new cut; as a midway solution to “growing out my hair boredom”  I had them add a little more angle to the bob, a little more layering, and shorter funkier bangs. So I was really looking to piece out the layers to give my new look some spunk. The creme just didn’t do it for that purpose. The wax did great, giving me a sleek, yet not boring look. Also, it wasn’t too heavy so my hair get get gunky or crusty.

P.S. In the end they tied on price – about $4 each – the Rusk you can get a tiny travel size at CVS, the got2be was full size. However, I felt I had to use more of the got2be to get effect.

March Product Roundup – Skin Detox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am only a quarter Irish, but St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I had a great holiday weekend, in a small town known as the Irish capital of Nebraska. After a weekend of bad habits (unhealthy food – vegetarians don’t fare well in small towns, falling asleep in makeup, too much alcohol, not enough water, no formal workouts, etc.) I looked in the mirror and saw more imperfections emerging than I’d seen in months. So, what a great time to turn to a couple old faves and try out some some new skin products.

First, I washed my face with Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Acne Facewash. I have been pretty satisfied with this face wash. I love anything with scrubbing beads in it and I love anything that keeps acne at bay, so this is a good combo of both.

Next, and I was so looking forward to this, I did the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. Love this mask. My pores feel so tight and clean after using it. The only suggestion I would make is be sure to apply it thickly in all spots because if you have any spots that are too thin they will be more difficult to peel. Some people prefer wash off masks but I am a superfan of this peel off version. I recently got a sample of the black moisturizer – I’m excited to try and you’ll  hear about it when I do 🙂

On to the new products . . .not my first date with Philosophy, so I came in a little biased. So far I had not tried on a product that I didn’t like. This one didn’t disappoint either. I purchased the Dark Spot Correcting Kit because I find the older get, the slower my skin bounces back from blackheads, whiteheads, sunburns, etc. You pour the liquid over the pads, which is nice if they dry out it’s your own fault for not sealing the cap tight enough 🙂 The kit cost about $80 for 30 days worth. They suggest doing it every night, but I’ll probably go with once or twice a week to save money. You move the pad over your face and heads. It’s odd because it felt moisturizing and stimulating at the same time. It brought a fresh rosiness to my face, so I knew it was stimulating circulation. But the oil felt soft and soothing. Then you add the brightening cream which, and I don’t know why this was shocking to me, comes out tan. Obviously, you can’t evaluate the full result after one use, but I will continue using and give an update in a few weeks.

Finally, as a result of my CVS addiction, I got a new moisturizer, Nuance AM/PM Anti-Aging Super Cream. Nuance is Salma Hayek’s line, carried exclusively by CVS (as far as I know.) I had tried a conditioner in this line, and it was fine, but didn’t really wow me. The moisturizer I did really like though. It has a nice citrusy scent, and it was heavy enough for dry skin, but light enough for daytime. I could tell it had antiaging ingredients because I could feel a little bit of a lift after using it. It cost about $20, which at first I thought might not be worth it. But then I rethought how little it took it to cover my whole face, and therefore how long the jar will last.

CVS v. Walgreen’s: The Search for Cleansing Conditioner

In the land of bargain drugstores, there two giants: CVS and Walgreen’s. Much like the Pepsi and Coke debate, most people come down clearly on one side. Personally, I’d pick Pepsi and CVS nine times out of ten. CVS tends to have better deals overall – that’s basically what it comes down to. But in two recent instances in my life, Walgreen’s came out on top. The first, unrelated to this blog, was on Christmas Eve when serving as designated driver to my brother, who insisted we find food at 11 p.m. Walgreen’s was the ONLY place we found open. Of course, there is no CVS close to our places (it’s actually under construction), so that may not be a fair assessment.

The second was a win for carrying new products. I learned about the new L’Oreal Evercreme Cleansing Conditioner in, ironically, a CVS email but when I went to CVS, they didn’t have any of the line. But Walgreen’s did. And they got extra bonus points for having the new Dove Style + Care line (I got the amplifying mousse which I am super excited about trying).

So why was I consumed by finding the cleansing conditioner? Well first, what is it?

Cleansing Conditioner
The king of this fad is Wen. Basically it’s mostly conditioner, with a little shampoo. Much like conditioning your hair every day and only shampooing once or twice a week, it restores the natural oils and makes your hair healthier. I still shampoo mine once a week so I can tone the blond with the violet shampoo but virtually you can use the cleansing conditioner every day if you have normal to dry hair. If you have oily hair, it may not be the best for you or you may have to alternate between cleansing conditioner and shampoo.

Ok, so I love cleansing conditioner. I have naturally normal  to dry hair, much drier due to my ever growing relationship with bleach. Also, I am growing out my hair, so the healthier it is, the better. However, Wen can get quite expensive and they autoship it to you, you can’t cancel online if you don’t like it, etc. I just don’t appreciate slimy sales tactics like that.

So I was very excited when I learned about this product. Plus I love the products in its sister line – Everstrong.

I was not disappointed. It was approximately $6 for eight ounces. It felt nice, smelled nice, and worked well. I can always tell how well a conditioner works by how much by waves bounce up when I get out of the shower.

 

It was really almost a dead tie with the other cleansing conditioner I’ve tried, Hair One by Sally Beauty Supply, which runs about ten bucks for 12 ounces. Hair One is a little thicker and does a little heavier conditioning, so if you tend more toward normal hair than dry, I’d actually go with the Evercreme. (PS I believe the Wen is about 30 dollars a month and they just keep sending it.)

Mama Knows Best

My mother hardly ever wore makeup, but what she did teach me was very valuable: spend good money on your basics and go with the affordable, even cheap, products for your colors. I thought I’d open my blog with these words of wisdom, as they kind of lay out my perspective. I am a product junkie, but a poor one, so I constantly debate the value of “is this product worth it?” Sometimes it is worth paying more for a product and sometimes it’s not. Higher priced, higher quality products last much longer, but sometimes something more affordable will do just as well.

So that is my goal – to give you the honest, unbiased lowdown. My friends have been encouraging me to write a blog for sometime, saying “Why should I try five mascaras when I already know Liz can tell me about her experiences with me first?” So here I am, sharing it with the  world — the good, the bad, and the value. I hope LPO will be the first place you check for product advice, and if I haven’t reviewed it yet or covered and advice topic, submit your ideas. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll do the research and get you one!

Based on my product addiction so far I’ve developed . . . da da da da da (that’s my magical drumroll)

The LPO Golden Rules

1. Lipstick – there is never any point in buying expensive lipstick. You get free ones in gift packs and I just haven’t noticed a big quality jump. I guess the only exception is if an expensive lipstick is your very favorite color you can’t find anywhere else. Chubby pencils with lip plumper are a whole other story. I’ll pay a little more for that, but that do have good cheaper ones. Hey, if you can prove me wrong, please do, I just haven’t found a lipstick worth paying a ton.

2. Mascara – Drugstore mascaras have gotten so much better, there are so many options now. There are a few exceptions I’d splurge on, but for the most part, it’s not worth it, when it’s unsanitary to keep your mascara longer than three months.

3. ALWAYS seek out a bonus – If you want to buy department store makeup, always wait until they offer the bonus with purchase. If you buy online with Ulta or Sephora, they always offer free samples, and make sure you sign up for their emails because they’ll have extra bonus samples. Also check to see which brands are offering bonus with purchase. A lot of times the skin care lines do this. Bonus! They are both on ebates.com, so you can get a percentage of your money back. In store, the Sephora staff are very helpful and will often do deluxe samples for you. CVS constantly has beauty offers where you get CVS bucks (basically in store credit) plus their beauty club gives you $5 for every $50 spent. Never buy bath products at Victoria’s Secret or Bath and Bodyworks at full price. They are always having bogo or 3/whatever price sales. And finally, check retailmenot.com for coupon codes and coupons.

4. Skincare – Skin products are a toss up, some cheaper ones are great, some are awful. In this category, it’s just a lot of trial and error.

5. Hair – A lot of hair products are close to the expensive stuff, but not quite as good. What I often do is use more affordable products most of the time and buy a smaller version of the expensive product and only use it once a week (hellllllllllllo Pureology conditioner for going out Saturday night!)

6. Foundation and Concealer – This is the one area where I say go for it! These are always worth spending more money on. It’s like the difference between starting a painting on a crumpled piece of paper or a beautiful clean canvas. Powders I have found are fairly similar, but if you know of one that knocks it out of the park and can’t be beat by the affordable stuff let me know. I’m always open to being proven wrong.

For my quick and dirty reviews, visit my pinterest board – product junkie.