I had a little episode of spring cleaning fever over the weekend and completely reorganized my beauty product stash. Maybe it’s just me, but something about the process of pulling things out of drawers and boxes, sorting through it all and putting it back is incredibly enjoyable and stress relieving. As I was going through stuff I realized I’ve acquired quite a few new products that I haven’t had a chance to blog about yet. I’ve picked a few things up here and there over the past several weeks and am in various stages of trying everything out. So, I thought it might be fun to give you a glimpse at my most recent discoveries and see if there are any products that you’d like to read a more in-depth review about.
Prior to purchasing these two hair goodies I wasn’t all that familiar with Shea Moisture. I had heard of the brand, but I didn’t know anything about it or whether or not their products were of interest to me. I ended up with some coupons, and figured that at a super discounted price I’d be silly to not to give a few things a try.
After briefly looking over the selection in my local CVS (which wasn’t incredibly fantastic) I ended up picking the Shea Moisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Shampoo ($10.99) and Shea Moisture Yucca & Baobab Thickening Growth Milk ($10.00). My hair is straight, fine, and long, so I thought this line might work really well for minimizing breakage while also adding volume.
So far I’ve really been loving these products (the shampoo especially). They smell wonderful, leave my hair feeling clean without stripping away any essential moisture, and looking healthy. I’m also really impressed with the ingredients lists of both products (chock full of lovely oils, butters, and plant extracts), which makes me even more curious to explore the brand further.
When it comes to drugstore haircare, I love Not Your Mother’s. I think the packaging is so cheery and fun, the products are quality and extremely reasonably priced. They’re also always on the cutting edge of haircare, offering affordable versions of popular high end styling products much more quickly than other drugstore brands do (much like I think NYX does for makeup).
As I mentioned previously, I always need help in the volume department, so I thought I’d give the Not Your Mother’s Plump For Joy Thickening Hair Lifter ($7) a go. The nozzle on this bottle makes a pretty targeted stream that you can spray directly onto your roots (versus misting over your entire head). After spraying onto damp hair I’ll work the product in with my fingertips and blow dry upside down for mega volume. I definitely think it helps to create lift without making your hair look greasy, crunchy, or otherwise unpleasant. It also has a very fruity sort of smell that I totally dig!
Purchasing this mask has quickly made me realize something. I have been doing myself a disservice for a long time now by not trying more Freeman masks! Comparatively they’re SO inexpensive, with tons and tons of different formulas targeted at alleviating specific skin issues. After hearing so many rave reviews about the Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask ($4.29) I decided it would be a good place to start.
My first impressions of this mask were a bit mixed, but it’s definitely grown on me. The texture is much like your traditional sugar scrub, and the first time I applied this I sort of felt like I was making a giant mess with bits and pieces falling off everywhere. My suggestion is to squeeze a fair amount out into your hands and gently massage the product into damp skin, let it sit for the recommended 5-7 minutes, and scrub gently again once more as you rinse off. It does leave your skin feeling quite smooth, without being too overly drying. If your face is super sensitive the sugar particles could be a little irritating to you, but generally I didn’t find them to be overly abrasive.
Apparently I’m all about the scrub/mask hybrids lately because I also decided to try out this one from St. Ives. The St. Ives Nourished & Smooth Oatmeal Scrub + Mask ($4.29) has a more traditional mask feel and is very creamy and hydrating. The scrubby bits are small particles of walnut shell, which is nice on one hand because they’re natural (opposed to environment polluting beads of microplastic), and less nice because they have irregular surfaces which can damage the skin if you scrub with too much force. Basically, spread this over your damp skin, let it sit, and then gently rub it in circular motions right before/as you rise it off. It’ll leave your skin feeling nourished and soft without a lot of irritation.
If you’ve never tried a makeup setting spray, get ready for your world to be rocked. The L’Oreal Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray ($16.99) is a magical concoction that when misted over your freshly applied makeup will lock everything into place, noticeably improving how it wears throughout the day. Previously I’d tried the Urban Decay versions of this product (which are great, but almost double the price), and I’m so happy to see a similar offering at the drugstore! I should also mention that while $16.99 may seem like a steep price for a drugstore product, you can almost always find coupons or sales to get this at a discount.
Speaking of drugstore makeup, I’ve bought a whole bunch of stuff lately to play around with. I suppose I should get the one dud out of the way. I love the pillowy soft texture of the Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush ($7.99), but the shade I picked up (Orchid Hush) was essentially invisible on my skin. It’s more noticeable in the swatch below, but every time I apply it to my cheeks it’s like there’s nothing there. It’s such a bummer because I thought the color was so pretty and different from anything else I own. Maybe if you’ve got a porcelain complexion you’d have better luck. In the meantime I might experiment with this as an eyeshadow or something and see if I can somehow build up the color.
On a more positive note, I had a much better time with the Maybelline Color Molten eyeshadow duo in Rose Haze($7.99). The texture on these shadows is really interesting. It’s somewhere between a powder and a cream, and the level of pigmentation falls right in the middle of the road (you can definitely see it and build up the color, but it’s still soft enough for a natural, easily blendable finish). When it comes to application, you can also kind of go either way (powder versus cream) with your tool selection. Your normal shadow brushes will offer a softer finish, or if you want to pack on the color you can use your fingers to build intensity.
Continuing on the eye trend, I snagged one of the Rimmel London ScandalEyes Kate Moss Eyeshadow Sticks in Rose Gold ($4.49). Tati (the Glam Life Guru) has raved about how pigmented and long wearing these guys are, and I am totally on the same page. You can use these pencils to line the eyes, or color all over the lid and smudge them out with your fingers or a brush. The only thing I’m a little meh about is the shade. Perhaps when I hear rose gold I’m actually picturing something a bit more pink, but I guess technically mixing rose with yellow gold would result in this coppery shade. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty, it just wears a bit more orange than I think I was expecting.
The last eye product I’ve picked up is one of the new L’Oreal Silkissime Eyeliners ($8.99). At first I was a bit skeptical because the reviews on the L’Oreal website noted a lot of problems with how the pencil sharpened, and I didn’t want to invest a lot of money in a product I’d only be able to use a few times. But, in the name of science and honest beauty reviews I decided to go for it anyway. It also didn’t hurt that the Highlighter shade was SO PRETTY and I simply couldn’t resist. Let me tell you, I’m so glad I didn’t let those reviews scare me away! This pencil is absolutely stunning. The color is the most lovely metallic pink which instantly brightens up your eyes, and the formula is incredibly creamy. It glides on with ease and lasts all day without smudging. Also, I have had ZERO problems sharpening it, so I don’t know what all the fuss is about (I have a Sephora dual sharpener, similar to this one).
I’ve had a lot of love for the Revlon Ultra HD Lipsticks (which I reviewed previously here), so I naturally was curious about the lacquers from the same line. I started out small, picking up just one Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer ($9.99) in the shade HD Garnet. As I’d hope, I totally fell in love! The formula is really opaque and luscious looking, giving you a ton of color and shine. It feels pretty thick and rich on the lips, although not overly sticky, so if you tend to gravitate towards lightweight, barely there formulas this might be a little heavy for your liking. It also has a pretty strong fruity fragrance, which I personally don’t mind, but I know others may be sensitive to.
If a lighter lip is more your jam, you might love the L’Oreal Colour Riche Collection Exclusive ($8.99). These sheer, ultra creamy lipsticks feel buttery soft and come in a variety of gorgeous nude shades. I opted for Julianne’s Nude, a warm your-lips-but-better pink that I thought would be perfect for spring time. I think the packaging is ultra luxe for a drugstore product, but the fragrance (which has vaguely an old lady perfume thing going on) is a little off-putting.
The last thing I’ve purchased recently is the Physician’s Formula Nude Wear Touch of Glow Stick in Nude Glow ($12.95). I haven’t tried a lot from Physician’s Formula, and I probably should have done a bit more research before I went shopping, but like a true consumer I based my decision on pretty packaging and marketing ploys (flawless finish? rose gold? bows? YES PLEASE.). My impulsive purchase has resulted (to the surprise of no one) in generally mixed feelings. I’m kind of confused as to what this product is supposed to be, and why it’s only offered in a single shade (especially one that’s so dark). The coverage is decent, and the formula is creamy with a dewy sort of finish, but it’s definitely too dark to be a highlighter on anyone with a light complexion, and it’s probably too dark to even use as concealer or foundation. I’m hoping with a summer tan I’ll be able to make this work a little better for my complexion.
And that about wraps up what ended up being a kind of giant collection of drugstore goodies. As I mentioned before, if any of these products is particularly interesting to you and you’d like to read a full review, post a comment and let me know! And of course, if I’m totally smitten with a product you’ll be sure to hear more about it from me later.