Skincare - Body -Johnson & Johnson - Head to Toe baby wash
MissJulie89 5/19/2012 9:59:00 AM
I think there's a reason why our parents used this stuff on us when we were kids- Because it's GREAT. My skin has been going through some rough and desperate times. Cystic breakouts, bright red scars... just general unsightliness. The kind that makes you ashamed to look anyone but your closest loved ones in the eye. I'm always on the hunt for good products, and after trying so many- drugstore, high-end, natural- the amazing reviews for this J&J baby wash shone amongst the rest. As I've been using Neutrogena's All-in-One Acne Control scrub and treatment at night with great success, J&J sounded like everything I wanted in a morning facewash: economical (cheap for a ton of product), readily available, gentle, dye-free, and all-around SIMPLE. Guess what? It delivers! It's exactly what I've been looking for. The fragrance is light, clean and fresh, the suds are tear-free, it cleanses my skin with a tender prowess. Every time I use it is a delight. My skin is left wonderfully clean, soft, supple, even, and bright. My oil is more well-controlled throughout the day. Oh, and did I mention SOFT? Like a baby's butt! Like I said, no wonder why our parents used this on us! My skin has never felt this soft after washing my face as an adult. I can't imagine myself using anything else for a long time, considering its availability, price, and effectiveness. Not to mention the packaging is functional and visually comforting. I'm a sucker for that sort of thing. If you have irritated, acne-prone skin, or just all-around sensitive skin, run out and pick up a bottle, or if you have some lying around the house, I'm sure your baby would be willing to share. ^^
Mascara -Jordana - Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
MissJulie89 5/3/2012 7:50:00 PM
Alright, dammit. You got me, MUA. I was suckered into shelling out three big ones for this mascara, and I don't regret it one bit, nu-uh, no-how. At first, I felt like I wasted money. I'm a huge CoverGirl Lashblast fan, and Jordana just seemed too thick and goopy compared to CG. Also, I like silicone brushes, and Jordana has the regular... other kind. Whatever that's called. Consequently, for a few weeks after I used it a couple times, Jordana sat collecting dust in my makeup basket. Only recently did I decide to crack the tube open again and discover its powers. Since it seemed to dry up a bit, application has become a breeze, my lashes are volumized, lengthened and darkened without the initial overdone gloopiness. It's now probably my favorite mascara next to CG. Unfortunately, though, the mascara can re-gloop or too much can get on the brush, so you have to be careful. Jordana's too good for its own good sometimes. Even the packaging is great- it's simplistic, and the tube is narrow and non-awkward. All in all, this is an absolute gem for the price. I could seriously see myself not needing to buy any more expensive mascaras after trying this one. It's fantastic.
Shampoo -Suave - Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Shampoo
MissJulie89 4/8/2012 12:03:00 AM
I'm just gonna go ahead and add more praise to this product. Price: Probably one of the more expensive items in Suave's hair care lines collectively, but four dollars isn't much- at all- in the grand scheme of things. Especially considering the absurdly good quality of this shampoo, the price is unbeatable. Packaging: I actually like it! It's simple and functional. The curved shape is ergonomic and feels great in the hand, and the surface of the bottle isn't too slippery. The cap is a breeze to open as well, and doesn't feel as if it's gonna snap off in the when it's openend. The bottle's gold color is okay; I wish it were a bit more toned-down, but that's just me being a finicky visual person. Other than that, I think the packaging is pretty unisex- it doesn't have a girly look to it, so it's more accessible. Consistency: This shampoo is delightfully buttery and a tad thick without being a pain to lather and spread throughout my ungodly amount of hair. It's also a pretty pale gold color. However, it has an odd glimmery effect to it, which may be the mica in the ingredients list. I guess that's for adding shine or something. Scent: So. Damn. Manly. As soon as you squeeze shampoo from the bottle, it exudes a potent, cologne-esque fragrance that's hard to love and hard to hate. In other words, it's not a terrible smell, but it's rather strong and it lingers aaaaalll day. I've used this shampoo several times, so I'm used to it by now, even to the point of liking it. I guess it just takes some time to get used to. Ingredients: Yes, yes... sulfates... boo... But whudder ya gonna do. This shampoo doesn't have anything natural about it. It has silicones, and keratin, but despite of what it's made, it just WORKS. Oh, here's the list: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Dimethiconol, Fragrance, Carbomer, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, TEA Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, PEG 45M, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Hydrolyzed Keratin, PPG 9, Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491) Performance: Lathering and working this through my hair is a breeze. It cleanses well, but doesn't contribute to tangles. It moisturizes wonderfully for a shampoo, and my hair always feels more smooth after rinsing. Conditioner detangles with much more ease, and my hair looks and feels much more healthy and smooth (tamed frizz! Woo!), not to mention fuller and shinier. Overall: I can't get over how amazing this shampoo is. It has its downfalls- sulfates and a ridiculously strong fragrance- but it makes up for them with its awesome performance. I'll be repurchasing this stuff unless Suave... *shudder*... reformulates it, and they'll rue the day they do, since they'd be getting massive amounts of hate mail from me. ^^
Toners -Thayers - Rose Petal Alcohol Free Witch Hazel
MissJulie89 3/17/2012 1:19:00 PM
*Sniff* I wanted to love this toner so badly... *snivel* WAAAH! I adore beauty products with an old-school vibe- it's my weakness. I love salves and Dr. Bronner's Soap and all that jazz. Amazing reviews for this toner aside, when I saw the packaging, I totally caved. It's gorgeous.The label design made me feel like I went to the village apothecary for a cure-all tonic or something. I was so excited to try this stuff. I have mildly oily, acne-prone skin with some prominent pores around my t-zone. When I first applied it on washed skin (with a cotton ball), my skin felt refreshed, clean and bright without that tight feeling toners normally give. I had high hopes, so I continued using it- morning and night- thoroughly enjoying the light, fresh rose scent, oil control, and the pleasant feeling my skin was treated to after each application. ...Here's where the sad part begins... After about a week of using it, I noticed I was experiencing ridiculous, painful breakouts. I continued use for a month; the breakouts remained and got worse. I knew I had to stop using the toner. Once I did, my skin cleared up significantly. I don't know what it was in the toner that caused the breakouts, but I know I won't be using any Thayer's toners again. I returned it to Whole Foods, as being out ten bucks for a bunch of pimples would have sucked. Now I just stick to Walgreens 8% AHA cream at night, and my normal sunscreen during the day. My skin looks better than it has in a long time- but I'll save that for a later review. I wanted to love Thayer's. Such a shame. *Sniff*
Blush -Victoria's Secret - Beauty Rush Radiant Blush
MissJulie89 3/8/2012 12:37:00 PM
Have to say, I didn't expect much from this blush, but I fell in love with it as soon as I tried it! I have the shade Flutter- a bright, beautiful, buildable pink. Flutter is one of those colors that looks intimidating and potentially garish in the pan, but is natural and glowy when it's actually on your face. So pretty. The blush itself is actually well-milled, goes on very smoothly, and blends well. I've never tried any other Victoria's Secret makeup-related stuff, but they seem to be about middle of the road in terms of quality, and are priced accordingly. I'll gladly shell out another 7 bucks for this blush; you get plenty of decent product for the money. I hope to try the shade Fresh Love soon (Pink Love looks too light for me), and other Vicky's makeup thingies as well! :D
I can't rave enough about Demure. It's my signature polish color. It's a graceful, coral-nude-pink with a dainty bit of shimmer. Demure infallibly goes with any outfit, looks great on both fingernails and toenails, complements my fair, warm-neutral skintone, and wears beautifully year-round. It goes on mostly opaque in one coat, so if I'm in a rush, one good swipe of Demure on my nails is good enough, topcoat or no. It still looks best with two coats, though. Demure also dries relatively quickly, takes about a week to chip (with a good topcoat, that is), and, for the amount of time I've owned it and and the frequency in which I wear it, hasn't thickened up in the bottle on me yet. *Sigh* Limited edition, my butt. Looks like I'll have to scour the earth for a Demure substitute when I eventually run dry. ;____;
Styling Products -Beyond The Zone - Get N Creamed [DISCONTINUED]
MissJulie89 2/18/2012 12:49:00 AM
The Hair Gods hath bestowed upon me the most ethereal of styling products. That being said, if you have thick, at least somewhat dry and/or coarse hair (curly or non, but for reference, mine's very curly/wavy), you NEED this stuff. I do, anyhow. And I had no idea how much I needed it until I tried it. I'd been searching for a long time for a product that would be able to tame and define second or third-day hair that may be agonized with dryness and/or frizz. After reading rave reviews for Get 'n' Creamed on Sally Beauty's website, MUA, and other places, I decided to head to a Sally and give this a shot. It's around 7 bucks with a Sally card, and $7.79 without a card. The tube is 3.4 oz, so it's actually kind of pricey, but at least it's not wallet-draining like BedHead After Party, which I'm fairly certain this product is attempting to dupe (but actually surpassed). The packaging is a gorgeous metallic blue color, and its flip-cap and portable size let me keep a bottle for my purse or schoolbag as well as one for home. The product itself is a pearly, opaque white, non-heavy cream with a delightfully light, sweet fragrance. (Comparably, After Party's fragrance is decent but much too strong). The ingredients list is, yes, full of 'cones of sorts. I love my 'cones. Gimme my 'cones. There's some castor seed oil, panthenol, mica, and other things in there as well. The formulation of this product is one my hair absolutely adores. Applying it is a breeze- I squeeze a dime-sized amount into my palms, rub them together, and distribute throughout my hair, usually avoiding the top unless necessary. It never feels heavy or sticky, just light and smooth. What I'm left with is a softened, shiny, calm mane that makes me love my hair again after not washing it for two days. I can use this product 2-3 times throughout the day without my hair feeling greasy or dirty, as long as I use modest amounts. Oh, and it NEVER makes my hair feel crunchy. Too many leave-ins leave me with crunchiness, but this one's a crunchy antonym. By the Hair Gods, I love Get 'n' Creamed. Everything about it- the packaging, fragrance, consistency, and results. It's everything I've been searching for in a dry hair leave-in. I've never tried it in wet hair; I suppose I could and will update on that at a later date. But for now, go out and snag yourself a bottle of this stuff. It's magic.
No no no no no. Well, yes, it made my skin VERY soft, but that's partially from the yucky film this body wash leaves behind. I found film and leftover deodorant under my armpits that this body wash could NOT scrub off. It just doesn't cleanse well- at all- and is VERY difficult to rinse. Such a shame; I wanted to love it. The fragrance is lovely, the consistency is nice and thick, and it made my skin silky and moisturized. But that softness and moisture was from the amphibious film, not from sinking into my skin and moisturizing properly. Ah, well. At least it was super cheap- only a couple bucks into the trash. :\
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser
MissJulie89 1/18/2012 9:49:00 PM
I remember using this and the regular cleanser ages ago, and from reading all of these reviews, I had 'Nam flashbacks of why I stopped. The burning... the redness... the stinging dryness... It was too much. Here are the ingredients straight from the Neutrogena website: Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid 2% Inactive Ingredients: Water, Sodium C14 16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Linoleamidopropyl, PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Polysorbate 20, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, C12 15 Alkyl Lactate, Cocamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Polyquaternium 7, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Propylene Glycol, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, PEG 120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, PEG 80 Sorbitan Laurate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Chloride, Benzalkonium Chloride Solution, Red 40, Violet 2, Fragrance Now, riddle me this: Salicylic Acid AND Grapefruit Extract? Are we supposed to be putting citrus extracts straight onto our skin, or eating them for their benefits? Grapefruits are quite citrusy, and, therefore, quite acidic. Ever eat a grapefruit or drink straight-up grapefruit juice and your teeth hurt and your enamel feels like it's virtually desintegrating? Ever use a face wash that contains grapefruit extract AND an over-drying acne medication? Oh wait, all of us who have reviewed it have done so. It might work for some, but for the huge amount of us who have tried it and had awful experiences, heed our warnings- IT BURNS. And your face will need to be overloaded with moisturizer, or will over-produce oil, and contribute to more breakouts. ...Heed our warnings.
I have to agree with everyone who's said this product broke them out. I wanted to love this stuff- SO badly- but it did nothing but destroy my skin while I was using it. It doesn't have a bad consistency; it doesn't absorb that well, but it's not too greasy or slippery, either. The metal tube is anything but flimsy and the applicator makes it possible to squeeze just the right amount of product out of it. The pros end there, though. During the month or so that I used it- day and night- there was some noticeable lightening of my acne scars. However, it broke me out severely in big, painful cysts that only wound up in more scars. Not to mention it has an unnecessary citrusy fragrance and parabens to boot. Like the reviewer below me, and other reviewers, once I stopped using it and stuck to basic moisturizers and sunscreen, my skin cleared up significantly. Now I use a zinc sunscreen-based moisturizer (Trader Joe's) during the day, and Aura Cacia grapeseed oil at night. My skin hasn't broken out in weeks and my scars and skintone are improving at a much quicker rate than with the Garnier treatment. I'll never let that stuff touch my face again. What a waste of $17.
Conditioner -TRESemme - Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
MissJulie89 1/8/2012 11:08:00 AM
I don't like Tresemme products, so this conditioner truly is a diamond in the rough. It's so unlike all of Tresemme's other products (that I've tried, at least) to the point where it just seems like an entirely different brand in a Tresemme bottle. Price: Though I'm not a Tresemme fan, I do love the quantity of product they give for the price. They've stuck with the tradition of giving consumers an enormous bottle of product for around $3-$4 for a long time. That gives budget-conscious consumers a more sensible option. I can dig it. This conditioner, though part of the "Naturals" line, is no exception to the Tresemme tradition. Packaging: Huge white bottle, medium thickness, squeezable plastic. The graphics are actually a bit classy- it's just a spin on the original Tresemme labels but with a swooping leaf instead of the regular swoop. The fonts are well-placed and uncluttered. They still have the obligatory green and brown "earthy" color scheme to go with the whole natural thing, but whatever. It's probably some sort of "consumers won't recognize that this product is 'natural' if our packaging doesn't have green and some kind of vegetation on it." Consistency: Opaque white, and actually kind of thin. I normally prefer thicker conditioners, but this is a total exception for me. Its consistency, while not super-thick, provides a ridiculous amount of slip and detangling. More on that later. Scent: Kind of... odd. Not bad odd, just, faint and nondescript. It's kind of fruity, kind of oat-ish, but altogether smells a bit faint. I thought it was just my bottle, but it seems like it's every one, because I've been through this one a few times. Mind you, it's not a bad smell. It's actually pretty nice and fresh, but to my nose it's not the best fragrance. It's probably better that it's not such a strong fragrance, though. Fewer perfume ingredients and no cloying smell. Ingredients: Of course, no cones! Just fatty acids and detangling agents, with the good stuff (avocado and aloe) at towards the bottom of the list. And it has alcohol. Myeh. Those latter couple of factors bother me a bit, but the performance of this conditioner makes up for them. Performance: Aaaaah, miraculous! My hair LOVES cones, and this is cone free, but my hair does NOT care! Like I said above, its detangling and slip properties are SUPERIOR. It glides right through my thick, dry, long, curly hair with ridiculous ease and makes my hair washing experience much less of a hassle. It makes post-shower detangling and combing easier, and the moisture lasts in my hair until the next wash. it makes my hair quite shiny and helps form a curl well considering how light it is. I don't even have to use a crap ton of it. Once again, the fragrance isn't strong at all so it doesn't linger and clash with anything. Overall: I've been using this conditioner for about a half a year now and have been through a couple of bottles. I'm in love with it. No, I don't co-wash with it, so I can't comment on that, but I use a gentle shampoo prior. Let's just hope Tresemme doesn't discontinue this, because this conditioner is one of the best drugstore hair care buys of all time. You get a ton of amazing product for an extremely modest price, it's relatively available, and seems suitable for most hair types. This conditioner is quite fabulous, and I highly recommend it.
Blush -Wet 'n' Wild - Ultimate Minerals Loose Blush- Rose Shimmer
MissJulie89 1/7/2012 9:49:00 AM
If you check out my reviews, you'll see that I love Wet 'n' Wild's other mineral blush in Barely Peach to death. While Barely Peach gives me that from-within glow, Rose Shimmer gives me the just-in-from-the-cold flush. It's incredibly gorgeous- a darker and slightly redder/browner (rosier, I guess) shade than Barely Peach, with a hint of golden shimmer. It goes on smoothly, livens up my face and lasts ALL DAY. Like I firmly stated in my Barley Peach review, I don't like the flimsy packaging, but the product inside makes it all worth it. I'll continue to purchase these blushes, as I can't see myself ever needing another peach shade after trying these. Plus, they're around $3.99! Wet 'n' Wild can't be beat!
Apparently this shampoo is supposed to be a dupe for Mixed Chicks. I've never tried Mixed Chicks, but now have no desire to spend all that money on their products when I have this awesome shampoo at my disposal. Price: Sally Beauty (the only retailer I know of who carries this brand) always offers awesome prices. Around $7 for 17.25 fl. oz. of product is a total steal, considering the damn good quality of this shampoo. Packaging: Aesthetically, a tad plain, but the font choices and layout are quite classy. The brown and orange font colors go well with the off-yellowish color of the shampoo itself. The bottle is relatively sturdy, and the pump is pretty convenient. However, the pump is kinda hard to... well... pump, so I have to press down on it pretty hard. And I do NOT wanna know how difficult it's gonna be to get product out when I get towards the end of the bottle. I might have to transfer the rest of the product to a squeeze bottle by then. Heh. Consistency: THICK THICK THICK. The thickest shampoo I've ever used! I absolutely love that type of consistency, though. My hair is quite thick and curly, so the thicker the shampoo, the less I have to use. The color, like I said above, is yellowish, and kind of ugly, but its opacity and pearlescence make up for it a bit. Scent: Eh... kinda unnecessarily perfumey. Definitely doesn't linger though. It's not awful, but they probably could have brewed up a better fragrance. It's not cloying or headache-inducing either, which is a relief. It might be a tad heavy for some, though, so I'd give it a test whiff, waft, whatever, if you're sensitive to fragrances. Ingredients: Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. Okay, okay, it has a couple of sulfates. But they're only Ammonium Laureth and Tea-Lauryl sulfates, which don't seem to be as notorious as Sodium Lauryl/Laureth. I'm okay with this, especially considering it's performance, but we'll get to that. Now, the good stuff. I've placed the ingredients list above to view in detail, but let me say, there's some good stuff in here. Panthenol, avocado, silk, borage, mallow... all the beneficial stuff is at the top of the list. That's the sign of a good shampoo. Performance: Every time I was my hair with this shampoo, I'm treated to a thick, lush explosion of bubbles, clean hair without stripping, and surprisingly easy rinsing. This shampoo is silicone-free, yet it moisturizes and smoothes my hair as if it were laden with silicones, but without a heavy feel. I get about 8 pumps into my hands (the pump doesn't dispense much product), lather it up, and rinse with absolutely no drying or tangles. It's crazy. This is one of the only shampoos I've ever used that doesn't give me that tangled feeling. It almost feels like a 2-in-1. I still use conditioner afterwards (I have a bunch of conditioners I rotate with, so there's no specific one), but I don't need to use as much conditioner as I normally would with other shampoos. Overall: I absolutely ADORE this shampoo, and will continue to repurchase, though I don't see myself running out any time soon due to the sheer amount of it. If you have thick, coarse (or medium-coarse or medium), and dry hair, curly or not, you would probably benefit from this shampoo greatly. Also, if you have oilier or thinner hair and don't like to use conditioner, you might benefit from this as a 2-in-1 if you don't like using straight shampoo, either. This little gem is staying put in my routine, and if you try it, I hope you love it too. ^^
Skincare - Body -Aura Cacia - Sweet Almond Natural Skin Care Oil
MissJulie89 1/5/2012 3:12:00 PM
*Snicker* Drugstore eye makeup removers... "Snicker* Hmm? What? Oh, don't mind me. I was just giggling over the idea of spending my hard earned money on cosmetic eye makeup removers instead of using this little beauty. I adore this sweet almond oil! Not only does it makes the most fantastic, gentle, safe eye makeup remover, but it's cheap to boot! I spent about $5.99 on mine at Whole Foods, which is alot better than spending ten dollars on the Neutrogena eye makeup remover I used to use before Aura Cacia. I just get a little on a cotton ball, swipe a few times, and voila! Makeup's gone! It is a tad bit oily, so I just wet the other side of the cotton ball and wipe my eyes a bit to remove excess oil. Oh, and can you believe that since I started using this sweet almond oil, my lashes have grown longer and thicker? It might be due to the Vitamin E that Aura Cacia puts in their oils, but I can assume that it's due to almond oil's conditioning benefits as well. Hey, eyelashes and eyebrows are hair too, why not condition them to keep them healthy? I also use this particular oil as a conditioning treatment pre-poo on clarifying days. I rub some oil (sometimes I put a little bit in a bowl and heat it up int he microwave) through my dry hair, sleep on it, wake up in the morning, shampoo and condition, and bam! Softer, shinier hair. I love this little miracle. It's available, affordable, lasts a while, and is overall one of the best decisions I've ever made for my beauty routine.
Styling Products -Organix - Renewing Moroccan Argan Penetrating Oil
MissJulie89 1/3/2012 12:12:00 PM
Me: "What say you, Hair, do you like this serum?" Hair: "Bah! Feh! What a sorry excuse for a serum! 'Penetrating Oil'? I think not! How dare you shame me with this hogwash!" I've had to have this conversation with my hair (well, not really, and I don't know why my hair sounds like a gentleman) twice after falling for the hype. Twice. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on my gullibility for lemming overhyped products. Not to imply that those who love this serum are wrong; if it works for you, then that's awesome and I'm glad you found a product that you like. It just does NOT work in my hair, and my hair LOVES serums. I do absolutely love the fragrance, and this is the reason for the extra lippie. It's so exotic and, when I used it, made my hair smell lovely. However, its actual performance in my thick, now mid-back length, curly, dry hair is sub-par. Nay, worse than sub-par. The consistency of the serum is alright, not too thick, not too thin. When I apply it to my freshly washed wet hair, though, it absolutely does not live up to its name and "penetrate"- it just sits on top of my hair, making it sticky, dull, and totally not soft. It doesn't get rid of any frizz, either. My other cherished serums (Macadamia Healing Oil, Garnier Sleek&Shine with Argan Oil, One 'n' Only Argan Oil and John Frieda Thermal Protection Serum) might not "penetrate" either, as I don't heat style, but when I use them, I notice a huge difference. They definitely sink into my hair and create shine and eliminate frizz, while both times I used Organix's Moroccan Oil, it did the opposite. I think most of us can agree that the packaging for this serum is a bit nonsensical and messy as well. It's cute, but flimsy and doesn't dispense product without getting it everywhere. I did use Organix's Brazilian Keratin serum for a while and liked it alot before I decided it wasn't working as well as other seurms I rotated it with. There's just no justifying me buying any Organix hair product. Remember- this is just me, and this is my experience with this serum. Don't let my review and fickle hair deter you from trying it. It's not a total waste ($7-$8 isn't too bad), and if you hate it, just hold onto the receipt and return it. If you come to love it, then a thousand huzzahs for you!