Saturday, January 5, 2013

Product Review

I doubt anybody comes to this blog for this type of information, but when I started writing, I forewarned the information could vary widely: DIY, organizing, home improvement, cleaning, and now: beauty product reviews!  I am definitely more like my Dad when it comes to "research" and LOVE when another person can give a product a rave review before I buy it!  

So without further ado, here's my favorite (current) beauty products in no particular order.  I have included links to where you can purchase the products (and so there are pictures of EVERYTHING), but the majority of the products were purchased at my local Target. If I purchased them elsewhere I will let you know!  

Almay Oil Free Eye Make-Up Remover Pads ($5): Each container contains 80 pads which do wonders to remove waterproof mascara and eye-liner, yet are gentle enough to use daily.  I do NOT recommend the moisturizing version - they left an awful oily feel to my eyes and surrounding skin.  

Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System ($119): I debated this purchase for many months, but splurged and compromised at the same time by buying the Clarisonic Mia (retail price $119), the "travel" version of the original Clarisonic Pro ($199).  The main difference between the two is that the normal version has pre-programmed times to spend on each portion of the face, but I decided the $100 difference wasn't worth the minor difference.  (The Pro has recently been replaced by the "Aria" and there is also a Clarisonic Plus ($225) that has brush heads for your body.)

I took the plunge and ordered the "Mia" on sale from at a discount of $25 and free shipping (purchased over a year ago now, but have the email to prove the price!) bringing the total to under $100.  This system REALLY gets my face clean and gently exfoliates without being abrasive.  There is definitely no make-up left after using the brush and since you can take it in the shower, its super easy to use.  Since I have sensitive skin, I used the brush with Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser.  Yes it was a splurge up front, but I actually ended up saving money in the long run since I was no longer purchasing ProActiv every month.  Plus, my skin doesn't seem as irritated - win win!

Downside: you do have to replace the brush heads (recommendation every 3 months) and they run about $20 a pop.

Up and Up Makeup Remover Cleansing Towlettes (~$3): Can't say enough good things about these!   With the traveling I have been doing recently, these have been AMAZING to take with!  They do NOT count against the amount of liquids you can carry on, you don't need water to wash your face, and they leave my face feeling refreshed with a pleasant scent.  Plus, when you REALLY don't feel like washing your face at night, take the 20 seconds to wipe your face and your morning self will thank you.

My sister also uses the Up and Up brand and said she accidentally bought the exfoliating version, but likes them just as much!

Sonicare Rechargeable Toothbrush: I got a steal of a deal on this toothbrush thanks to a "Friends and Family" discount and I can honestly say it was money EXTREMELY well spent!  I got the toothbrush when I had braces (at the tender age of 23, I was totally that girl) and it has made a world of difference.  My toothbrush has 5 different options for cleaning and a UV brush head sanitizer.  It's the Cadillac of toothbrushes to me, but not having a cavity since getting the toothbrush and noticeable improvement in my oral hygiene?  WELL WORTH IT!

I went a few weeks without it while traveling since I didn't want to take my "nice" toothbrush and could tell immediately when I started using it again that my "manual" toothbrush hadn't been cutting it the previous weeks.  My gums bled like crazy the first time I brushed them and my teeth felt noticeably different - cleaner if that was possible! Now, my toothbrush will be traveling with me on future trips and vacations.  

Downside: Like the Clarisonic, the brush heads need to be changed out every 3 months or so (they have indicator lines like usual toothbrushes) and are more expensive to replace (~$20 for two).  Also, the actual toothbrush needs to be cleaned fairly regularly.  

One other plus: You can share the base unit of the toothbrush and switch out the brush heads!  (For the record, we have different bathrooms and this would be too difficult - so this toothbrush is ALL mine.)

Like I said, I got mine through a friend, but check with your dentist to see if they have a similar toothbrush or offer a discount!

Chi Shine Infusion (~$11 - 15): I can normally find this at my local TJ Maxx, but it is also available at salons and Target.  I use this spray as a pseudo heat protectant and after flat-ironing my hair to cut down on static and frizz.  It almost polishes my hair and has a pleasant yet not overpowering smell.  

Downside: It doesn't come readily in travel size any where I have looked.  

Aquaphor Healing Ointment (don't remember exactly, but around $7 for two maybe?): BEST LIP OINTMENT EVER!  I have notoriously chapped lips.  Put this stuff on and they feel smooth and nourished.  I keep one in my purse, one in the bathroom, and one in my book bag.  That good.  

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream ($11):  LOVE this stuff!  Works wonders on eczema and dry cracking hands, but not oily or greasy so I use it on my face everyday after using the Clarisonic or the Up and Up towelettes.  One container goes a long way and I actually end up replacing the container before it's gone just because I've had it so long.  I only use it on my face and hands, but bet it would work wonders on dry cracked feet! I'm weird, I know, but I don't want to put lotion on my feet then put my hands back in the container of lotion that I put on my face. Gross. Dang medical school ruined me. 

Downside: No SPF so apply sunscreen too or make sure your make-up has it.  Your future non-sunburned, non-wrinkled face will thank you! So will your dermatologist. 

Do you have a product you can't live without, at least for the time being? Any products you have always wondered about but are too scared to try?

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