Friday, August 27, 2010

Alberto Vo5 Moisturizing Shampoo in Strawberries and Cream

Alright, so on vacation I typically buy Vo5 shampoos and conditioners, due to the fact that you can get a full bottle for $0.99 or less, whereas some of the travel size shampoos and conditioners can run you up to $1.39 a piece and is 1/32 the size of these containers.

However, you can definitely see what is lacking in the quality. While this shampoo will get your hair clean it is not as nourishing or as nice as some of its more expensive counterparts. Plus the smell of Vo5 Moisturizing Shampoo Strawberries and Cream is particularly overwhelming, and not in a good way. This shampoo smell sweet, very sweet, sickeningly so.

I think the better way to go is stock up on neutral smelling Suave's when they are on sale, the performance and scent of that brand is much better, and with coupons both of the brands are price competitive.

All in all, the price is the only thing that this product has going for it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chanel Levres Scintillantes in Sundress

Now Chanel lipglosses are wicked expensive, coming in at $38 at the counter, and Chanel does not offer gift with purchase like many of the other department store counters. What I usually do though, when making a Chanel purchase is ask the counter if there are any samples available when making my purchase.

However, as far as lipglosses go, this one is totally worth the price tag. The tube is bigger than many of the lip gloss tubes offered by Clinique or Lancome or some other competitors. So it lasts longer than many of my other lip glosses. Plus the gloss stays on longer than many of the other glosses I have tried, so I only have to re-apply once or twice throughout the evening instead of give or six times.

As to this specific color, Sundress, it is one of my favorites. I think it is the perfect summertime lip gloss and goes awesomely with all your sundresses. It's pale enough that you can wear it to work and sparkly enough that it still makes a great evening and night out lip gloss.

Overall it is one of my favorite lip glosses, and if I don't wear it all the time, it's just because the cost is a little steep.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Conditioner

Back in the day, you could only get Head & Shoulders in one variety, and while it dealt effectively with dandruff problems, it also stunk to the high heavens, and not in a good way. I used to use Head & Shoulders shampoo and conditioner and then go over my hair again with a cheap conditioner that had a pleasant smell, so my hair would not smell funky throughout the day.

However, these days, Head & Shoulders has a whole product line of different kinds of Head & Shoulders: silky & smoother, color treated, for curly hair, etc. etc. etc. I personally prefer the Silky & Smooth, as my hair is sometimes frizzy and gets tones of flyaways.

Now the smell has gotten MUCH better than the Head & Shoulders of the 1990s, but it still isn't the greatest. However, I don't have to use a second conditioner these days, which is a plus.

Another pro, is that it really does well on removing dandruff. I alternate this condition with my regular condition, every other day, and I really do see an improvement in the amount of flakes and dry scalp I have. So it delivers what it promises... the only thing I could wish for is further improvement in the scent department.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gillette Venus Embrace Disposable Razor

I am not normally a fan of disposable razors. I'm a bit of a tree hugger and think that the fewer "disposable" products society has the better. I own a Venus razor and normally just buy the replaceable cartridges for it, because even though these are disposable cartridges as well, I feel like they are less of a waste, and as a lady, shave the old fashioned way would most likely be tedious, time consuming, and possibly just a littly ridiculous.

However, there are certain situations where having a disposable razor is key. Mainly, travelling. Boyfriend and I often go on trips, and while I used to take my permanent razor on these trips, I have been know to leave it places (such as cruise ship cabins) where I know it won't ever be returned to me. Or, I've stupidly packed in it one of my carry ons, and the airport kindly confiscated it.

Another down side to disposable razors is that I do not feel that they work as well as a regular razor does. But these Venus Embrace ones appear to be the exception to the rule. These disposables are ALMOST as good as my regular razor, my legs are left silky and smooth and no razor burn is created.

The cost, for the fact that these razors are meant to be thrown out, is a little off-putting. However, I can usually find a coupon or two, when combined with something like my CVS xtra bucks, makes the price a little more reasonable.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lancome Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Quad Modern Edge

So as always, I wait to buy Lancome products until one of the Lancome counters is in gift. These days Lancome is in Macys, Lord & Taylor, Boscovs, Sephora, etc. So there are a variety of choices in looking for a counter that is in gift.

The palette itself is good eyeshadow. The shadow is long lasting and wears well throughout the night, without smudging or disappearing on you. And I'm also fond of the color combination in this specific palette as it can be used to create a nice brown smokey eye when using all of the colors, or the colors can be worn individually and still create a nice look.

The one downside to this eyeshadow is the cost. This palette of four is a bit expensive when compared to other eyeshadows that have the same or better quality. Some of this cost can be offset if you do purchase it when a free gift is included, and that might be enough to make you choose this brand, but I personally prefer Chanel's eye quartets. The Chanel quartets are roughly the same price and are a higher quality product in my mind.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Clinique - Superpowder Double Face Makeup

Clinique has a reputation for being the not-expensive, "expensive" cosmetic. Their little cases give women and girls a one-up on their cohorts and they fish their little green status symbol out of their make-up cases.

However, the reason for the price shows when you try the product. It's a standard drug store powder. It works about the same as any $5 powder I can get in cheaper packaging from CVS or Wal-mart. You have to hand it to Clinique for a billirant marketing campaign though, they are probably raking it in hand over fist on this product.

Granted, when purchasing this product from a department store, you can usually wait until the Clinique counter goes into gift, so that you can get a pile of free make-up goodies with your purchase. And I am actually quite fond of some of Clinique's mascaras and mascara prep products, and some of their multi-colored blushes and bronzers.

So while I don't frown upon the whole Clinique brand, (as you remember, I adore their All About Eyes Moisturizer) I feel like their powders are primarily a rip off, and you're paying for the brand at this point. Because this product is no better or worse than a Revlon or Rimmel powder.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion

So you would think from the name, that Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, would be dramtically different than the rest of the moisturizers on the market. Sadly, it is not. Now granted, it is less expensive that many of the department store moisturizers out there, but it is still significantly more expensive than a drug store moisturizer.

My main problem with this moisturizer is that it is SUPER greasy, it almost feels almost sticky, both on my fingers when I apply, as well as on my face. And even after I have rubbed this moisturizer into my skin, it feels most like bug repellant than moisturizer.

And another turn-off is that there are artificial colors added to this moisturizer. And any reason the creators might have chosen to do that is absolutely beyond me. I prefer my moisturizer to not have any color.

I prefer Nivea's skin so soft or any of the Dove or Neutrogena moisturizers to this. For about one third the price, you can get a moisturizer that actually feels like it is hydrating your skin. And of course, you all know that my FAVORITE moisturizer is Lancome's Hydra Zen for Dry Skin ... but that of course, comes with a steeper price tag.

The one upside, is that I purchased this program, as I do all of my department store moisturizer purchases, when Clinique was in gift. So I did accumulate a bunch of free make-up when I bought this product, which made me feel a little bit better about wasting money on this over-promising product.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cutex Nourishing Nail Polish Remover

So I keep waiting for the day when they will come out with a nail polish remover that does not smell AWFUL. The amonia/alcohol smell that comes with all of these products is awful, it bothers me, it bothers my boyfriend, it bothers my cat.

But I'm beginning to think that such a thing does not exist, so one has to make the best of what is around. This Cutex Nourishing Nail Polish Remover is not bad. You can normally find the product at a decent price, and occastionally there are even additional coupons out there for it as well.

This product is easy to use and combined with cotton balls is a quick and easy way to get the polish off of your hands and toes. And you don't need to use half the bottle to take one coat of polish off of your toes as opposed to some of the nail polish removers out there.

But as to this product's claims of being "nourishing" for your nails or skin, I'm going to have to call foul-play. This product dries out skin and nails at pretty much the same rate that any other nail polish remover does.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Eye Makeup No. 95 Sparkling Satin

Now, I know the main con about Chanel is that it is so expensive. And while this is true, some things that do cost a lot are totally worth it. For starters, I usually try to buy my Chanel make up from Macys or Lord & Taylor or Boscovs where there is a counter that I can normally beg for free samples from, in hopes of getting a little more bang for my buck.

However, the positives with Chanel are phenomenal. This eyeshadow quartet will last all night, I've often put the color on before going to dinner, and my eye-makeup still looks good 7 hours later at the club. And another plus is that the make-up is hypo-allergenic, and doesn't ever cause my skin to break out.

One of my favorite things about this particular color combination, the Sparkling Satin, is that you can use it to make an interesting twist on the typical smoky-eye. The pink adds a more dramatic touch to the smoky eye look that will make you stand out in any crowd.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Olay Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths

As most of you know, I am a coupon-diva, and as per usual, this is one of the products I tried because I had a coupon for it. A buy-one-get-one no less. And it's a good thing I did try this product, because they are WONDERFUL for travelling.

These cloths are packaged dry and soap up when wet. You merely have to take one cloth out of the box, apply a little water and later. The cloth makes enough lather to thoroughly clean your face and then you can rinse the cloth out and use it to rinse your face as well.

I don't feel that I get as good of a clean from this as when I use my normal exfoliating cleansing products, but I feel like these cloths make an excellent travelling cleanser. There's nothing about them that can spill or explode in your luggage, and they do well enough, they remove all of your make-up and leave your face feeling clean. And while I may not get as deep of a clean from this as I do my favorite cleanser, it does not dry out my face as much as exfoliating products often do.

One other downside might be that without a coupon, these cloths can be a little pricey. But I find coupons for this product fairly often, so it doesn't appear hard to find a way to make them less expensive.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

John Frieda Root Awakening - Strength Restoring Conditioner

I tried this conditioner out because it was on sale at CVS, and in addition to it being on sale, I had a coupon for it that basically made the deal "an offer I couldn't refuse."

The conditioner (and matching shampoo which I also purchased) both smell good, almost minty and very clean smelling. This is a big plus for me, because I'm not a fan of conditioners that smell like coconut or bubble gum or any other scent that doesn't leave with sense of cleanliness.

When I applied the conditioner I noticed that you did not have to use a whole lot to get your whole head smooth, which is also a plus, because that makes the price tag that would normally accompany this product a little easier to swallow.

I tend to leave conditioner in for a few minutes in order to ensure that my hair becomes silky smooth and tangle free. When leaving this condition in my hair, I did notice after about 30 seconds my head began to tingle. This is the first conditioner I've used where that has actually happen, so I began to put a little more faith in its claims of restoring capabilities.

The conditioner left my hair like silk and extremely easy to brush through. I'm not sure that over time I've seen noticeably fewer split ends that I've had with other conditioners. But another plus is that is doesn't weigh your hair down at all, even if you leave it in for 2-3 minutes (which is about how long it takes me to shave) ...

All in all, I think I would give it an A- ... the minus based in part on cost and in part on that it makes a LOT of big claims and while it follows through on some, it's not noticeably MUCH better than other conditioners.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chantix - Quitting Smoking Medication

Alright, so I should probably highlight that I have not actually tried this product myself, the experimentee in this case was my boyfriend. I do not smoke, so therefore do not have any need to quit smoking. Boyfriend however, smoked like a chimney, and really did want to quit; in part because I can't stand the smoking, in part because he'll live longer, and in part because it has become so outrageously expensive to smoke in New York State.

Chantix basically takes the joy out of smoking for smokers, it stops nicotene from reaching the parts of the brain that get pleasure out of it. Boyfriend stated that this part of medicine worked, he no longer got the same kind of high from smoking cigarettes as he used to. He also stated that it helped at work, he no longer felt the need to run out and smoke every hour, and that this was particularly helpful in meetings that went on for a few hours... he no longer became antsy and unable focus in longer meetings.

However, he said that he still was used to the habit of smoking, he still had the need to smoke out of habir and oral fixation, and also as a social gathering situation. The habit was not completely kicked. Although he did state that taking the Chantix did get him down from a pack a day to about half a pack a day.

The particularly scary part of this medicine though is the psychological effects it had on boyfriend. He said that he was no longer able to sleep as well as he did before taking Chantix, and that when he was able to sleep he had crazy dreams in which he felt like killing people or himself. And I can attest to the fact that he had nightmares which caused him to kick and punch in his sleep ... I ended up with bruises, in fact. And boyfriend also said that even during his waking hours taking Chantix made him feel slightly more depressed and less upbeat about life in general.

So all in all, I think that the risks outweigh the benefits here. Even though boyfriend had a mild case of depression and nightmares, there have been studies where this medicine has made people suicidal, and there have been record suicide attempts. Scary, scary stuff. There have got to be better ways to quit smoking.

And on that note, the newest tax hike in New York State appears to be what finally made boyfriend quit smoking, at over $10 a pack, $80 a week is a habit he cannot afford. So through sheer will power (and nicotene lozenges - which are $3 a pack) he has finally managed to quit smoking. So basically... stay away from the Chantix, it is bad news.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One A Day Weight Smart Vitamins

So I'm willing to try just about anything that I will think help me lose weight, and I had a coupon for One-a-Day vitamins, so I figured, what the heck, may as well as try out the variety that might help me lose weight as well.

Now, I will admit that I do feel a bit more energetic after taking these vitamins, which I suppose can help me lose weight, as it might make me more likely to take the stairs, or go for a walk on lunch. But, on the converse side, I do not seeing myself losing any significant weight.

Since I weighed myself since starting these vitamins two weeks ago, I have lost 1.5 pounds, but the human body fluctuates about 2-3 pounds all the time, so I can definitively say that the weight loss was due specifically to the addition of these vitamins to my life.

Another negative is that these vitamins are HUGE ... you need to take them with quite a bit of water, otherwise they're really hard to swallow. And you also should probably take them with food, because I personally have found that taking these vitamins on an empty stomach can leave you feeling a bit queasy.

All in all, I would probably give these vitamins a B+ ... they work well as vitamins, and even give you a small energy boost, but their weight loss properties were greatly overpromised and underdelivered.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Colgate Luminous Crystal Clean Mint Toothpaste

I tried this toothpaste, because I had a coupon for it, which made it extremely less expensive than my usual toothpaste. All in all, it is a decent toothpaste, the minty flavor is much more appealing than a cinnamon or bubble gum toothpaste would be. And my mouth does feel clean after brushing.

The one downfall to this toothpaste is the fact that it does not really whiten my teeth. I prefer the Colgate Total products that have whitening qualities in addition to cleaning and cavity prevention. My teeth are not so extremely yellowed that I need to ALWAYS use whitening products, but I do like to maintain a certain level of white in my teeth, as I am a coffee drinker.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Alli Diet Pill

Ok, so I know wer're all looking for the wonder pill that will help us magically kick weight while we pig out on fast food and ice cream. This is not it. If you do go for Alli, you should get the books and try to live the whole plan instead of just taking the pills. Taking the pills will cause your body to not process about 30% of the fat you each, however, it does this by making stool somewhat more liquid. So if you continue to eat massive quantities of fat and just take this pill, figuring that any help is better than none, life is going to get a little gross. And if you can't deal with gross, stop reading here. While taking this pill, it can turn passing gas into a situation where a diaper would have been useful.

The drug’s maker, GlaxoSmithKline, has even been up front about the pill’s side effects, suggesting that first timers wear dark pants or bring a change of clothes to work until they get used to Alli's potential consequences. All in all, while it may help you kick weight, you shouldn't take this pill unless you're willing to stick with the complete program.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Magic Powder by Prescriptives

Hands down my favorite loose powder. Prescriptives Magic Powder has a number of benefits. First, it doesn't clump anywhere on your skin, leaving you with a smooth finish. Second, it takes all shine off your face. So if you are looking for that powder that will make your face less shiny in all the pictures your friends are taking... this is it.

It is a little odd that when you brush it on your face it feels cold. But that is the chemical reaction which makes it "magic" ... pun intended.

Downsides include that it is a little expensive, and that Prescriptives pretty much never offers a gift with purchase. But it's the best powder I've even owned and has made me come out so much better in all the photos that are taken, so I do buy it regularly. I usually purchase it at my local Macys, but I know it's also available at Sephora and other department stores.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oral B Pulsar Toothbrush

Now, I have always been a manual toothbrush kind of girl. Mechanical toothbrushes have always creeped me out a little. But, on sale at CVS the other day were Oral B Pulsar toothbrushes, on clearance for $1.75 a piece, with the batteries included, no less. And as we needed new toothbrushes, I picked some up.

Now, I have to say, I'm really in love with this toothbrush. It does not brush too hard, as I thought mechanical toothbrushes might. And it has different length bristles, which I feel get in between my teeth better. And with the vibrations, I feel like my teeth are getting more brush strokes per brush, and they do actually feel cleaner. And I feel as if my teeth are even getting somewhat whiter because of the better cleaning going on.

The only downside to this toothbrush is that it is not rechargeable or replaceable. It is merely supposed to be tossed out after the battery expires. And at $1.75, this isn't too horrible of a thought, but normally these tooth brushes are $7-8. I think next time, I might go for a toothbrush that is rechargeable with a changeable brush. I feel like it's a greener option.

All in all though, for the price, this time around, I would say I am really pleased. I don't know that I'll ever go back to the manual toothbrush.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Clinique All About Eyes Moisturizer

Clinique's All About Eyes Moisturizer is touted as being able to diminish the appearance of eye puffs, darkness and fine lines. It is also marketed that the formula actually helps hold eye makeup in place.

I have been using this moisturizer for a few weeks now. I was initially excited, because I do have dark circles under my eyes, and there is nothing I would like better than to have them disappear.

The moisturizer's texture is nice, it's not greasy, and it applies smooth. And I have noticed that I am less puffy around the eye area than before I started with the moisturizer. However, there has been no affect whatsoever on my dark circles, which are just as dark as they were before I started using this moisturizer.

I'm not sure what to say about the claim that this moisturizer helps keep eye make-up in place. I do not wear eye make-up every day, usually only for special occasions. I wore some the other day for Easter and was wearing this moisturizer as well, and my eye make-up did stay in place all day long. But I'm not sure whether to credit that to the make-up itself or to this product.

This product is a little pricey at $28 for a small bottle/tube. And for what it is supposed to do, I am relatively unhappy with it. Most of my moisturizers prevent puffiness, I was really looking for something to reduce dark circles, and this just didn't cut it.

As per usual though, I did receive a gift with purchase, so it's not a total loss.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lancome Absolute Replenishing Cream Foundation

Lancome's Absolute Replenishing Cream Foundation is my favourite foundation for when pictures are going to be taken of me. It is a rich, creamy foundation which allows for full coverage without feeling cakey. Of course, one should always apply it with a brush or a sponge, because it may get a little cakey if applied with your fingers.

It will last all night, and comes off easily with soap and water. More importantly, when wearing it, your face does not come out all shiny in photos, which I think is super important.

And if you have somewhere to go during the day, this foundation also boasts SPF 20, so that you won't damage your skin or get skin cancer while out in the sun.

The one downfall of this product is that it is relatively pricey, coming it at $57 a tub. The tub will late you awhile. And again, I usually try to buy mine at Macys or Lord and Taylor or another department store while Lancome is in gift, so that a bunch of additional free make-up and a purse will sweeten the deal and make my wallet feel a little less beaten up.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Nivea Soft Moisturizer

I know the other day I wrote about Lancome's Hydra Zen Moisturizer, but I guess I should have specified that I only use that moisturizer for my face, due to the somewhat outrageous cost. However, for the rest of my body, I use Nivea Soft Moisturizer.

I love this moisturizer, because of its thicker texture than moisturizers, and it feels like it sinks into your skin, instead of sitting on top of it.

I'm also a fan of the tub it comes in, I find it much easier to estimate how much moisturizer you're going to need than squeezing a bottle. Plus, if you take too much, you can put the excess back in! Which you can never do with a tube.

Also, it does not have a strong scent, so I don't find myself smelling like the moisturizer hours after I have applied it.

All in all, in's an inexpensive way to get ALMOST all the features of the Lancome Moisturizer ... and since my arms, feet, etc., are not as sensitive as my face, I feel like I get the same results.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chanel Exceptionnel Mascara

Hands down, my all time favorite mascara. A bit on the expensive side, (at $30 a tube) but aren't all things that are truly worth it?

This mascara does not smudge or run. You can wear it all day long and never have that unsightly thick line of black on your lower lid or underneath your eyes. It functions better than all waterproof mascaras.

I have tried dozens of mascaras. Literally dozens. Cheap ones, expensive ones, name brand ones, designer ones, unheard of ones, waterproof ones. But this is the only mascara I have ever had where I could wear it all day and not have to wipe below my eyes.

I've worn it to the gym, and not had it smudge. I bought some for my sister for her wedding, she cried her eyes out and it did not smudge.

Another huge plus, is that it comes in four colours. Black, brown, marine and violet. I currently use the black and the violet, because the violet makes my green eyes look greener. I am in love with the Exceptionnel de Chanel in violet. It is my most favourite mascara.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lancome Hydra Zen Moisturizer for Dry Skin

This is hands down my all time favourite moisturizer. I know that it is a bit on the pricey side, but it's well worth it. Unlike some moisturizers, it does not just sit, tackily, on top of your skin. This moisturizer sinks down deep into your skin, so it almost feels like your skin is wet.

Another selling point for this moisturizer is that you do not need to re-apply it all day long. I put it on once, in the morning, and it works all day long. So one tub of this stuff will last you a lot longer than some less expensive moisturizers that need constant reapplication.

And finally. I usually purchase my moisturizer from the Lancome at Macy's. And if one does this while Lancome is in free gift, you can usually score a bunch of free make-up with your purchase. The last time I purchase this, I received a free bag as well as $110 of free makeup. Of course the price on the free make-up is usually marked up by Lancome, but the free stuff did include some sample moisturizers and skin serums that were useful as well as a mascara and eye color.

Monday, March 22, 2010

L'Oreal Go Clean 360 Facial Cleanser

So, I saw a commercial on TV for this new product, L'Oreal Go Clean 360 Facial Cleanser. The commercial promises "noticeably smaller pores" because it has a scrublet that cleans deep down. Later that week, I found a coupon for this very same product in my weekly newspaper, so I decided to give it a go.

I bought the orange variety, as it promised even more exfoliating qualities than the original green bottle.

Now I must admit, I was excited about this scrublet. As pomised, it is in fact, super soft. And it does feel like it is cleaning deep down in your pores. However, I've been using the product for over two weeks now, and my pores are not any noticeably smaller. And in fact, the pores on my nose, which I most worry about, are not any noticeably cleaner, they still seem to retain dirt and sweat.

However, my face does feel really clean after using this product. It almost stings, but in a good way, which makes you feel like the product is working as promised, and it does in fact clean you, however, it does not follow up on it's promise of smaller pores and no more trapped dirt and sweat. And one final plus for this product is that it smells like apricots, which I love.

Next up for me to try is Biore's Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, which also promise to rid your nose of all your blackheads and dirt.