Monday, September 7, 2009

Mini Haul: Hair, Skin & Smile

Being incredibly analytical (not to mention frugal), I'm prone to research products for weeks at a time before finally bringing myself to buy them. I'll search YouTube for reviews by makeup gurus, look at its ratings on, and compare ingredient lists with similar products by other brands. But today I was out and thought I'd finally pick up a few things I've been eying for a long time.

1) Tresemme Vitamin B12 and Gelatin Anti-Breakage Conditioner
Alright, so this one one was kind of a spur-of-the-moment buy. I'd actually been wanting the Garnier Body Boost Conditioner, as I'm cursed with incredibly fine, thin hair that won't hold any style and lies pretty much perfectly flat. Boring. I even went to Target, where the larger bottles were on sale for $4.50 - but when I saw the Tresemme formula specifying "anti-breakage," I was sold. I cut my hair about two months ago and am dying for it to grow out again, which is something I struggle with. I'm hoping this will help my fine hair resist breakage and regain its length much healthier than it was before I cut it.

2) St. Ives Apricot Scrub: Blemish & Blackhead Control
I've heard a lot of buzz about this exfoliant, and I'm hoping that it will llive up to its name and really help me get rid of the blackheads on my nose and cheek area. I tried it as soon as I got home (obviously I was very eager) and am loving it so far, though it's too early to tell. I don't find it excessively abrasive or painful at all, and I am absolutely in love with the apricot scent.

3) Jergens Natural Glow: Revitalizing Daily Moisturizer (for Medium Skin Tones)
The Express version of this moisturizer was on a list of most talked-about beauty products on, so naturally I started reviewing the Natural Glow line and settled on this. I'd read that Jergens recently changed the formula, so that it now has a more tolerable scent and gives a natural and gradual bronzy, streak-free tan that won't leave me looking orangey or fake. With fall and winter upon us, I'm hoping this moisturizer will help me maintain my summer glow. I don't find the scent unpleasant at all, and I'm excited for some results.

4) PlusWhite 5 Minute Speed Whitening Gel
I heard about this product on Kandee Johnson's YouTube channel and figured I had to check it out. It was on sale at CVS - I got just the gel, not the kit with the mouthwash and teeth mold thing - and followed her suggestion to buy sports mouthguards at Wal-Mart for $1 each.

Needless to say, I'm very excited about all my purchases and can't wait to see how they all work out in the long-term!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My First Makeup Encounter

I'll be the first to admit that my fascination and experience with makeup are limited. Throughout most of my school years, I lived in a household that forbade makeup and fervently believed in the parental mantra: "You're beautiful enough just the way you are!"

Once in elementary school, I went to a birthday party where the hostess gave out little goody bags. Among the contents was a miniature silver nail polish with Hello Kitty's face on the bottle. Nail polish was a definite no-go as well, but I kept the pretty bottle in my little silver train case of miscellaneous treasures, among them marbles, cards and pony bead bracelets.

It was years and years later, already in the 9th or 10th grade, that I picked up a bottle of nail polish again. By now my parents considered me old enough to wear it, as long as I chose a "tasteful color" -- absolutely no gaudy reds or outrageous neon greens. Not knowing anything about brands or quality, I picked up a bottle of creme baby pink polish by N.Y.C. because it was 99 cents, and put it on as soon as I got home.

My mom hated the color so much, she called it "Pepto-Bismol Pink," which wasn't too far from the truth. The polish was chunky and uneven, applied with the sloppy hand of a novice who'd never touched the stuff before in her life. Even so, I found I loved it. One of my simple joys was picking up another 99 cent bottle of N.Y.C. polish at every visit to Target.

So there you have it: my first "official" experience with makeup (if nailpolish is considered makeup). It was actually a few years before I ever ended up purchasing real makeup - my very first eyeliner - but it was a start in the right direction. :)