My Favorite Mascaras (all from the drugstore!)

Mascara is my favorite step of putting makeup on each day.  It totally transforms you.  I have tried a million different kinds and these three are my all time faves.  The best part is that all three are from the … Continue reading

Beauty of the Month: Cathy Anderson of Poor Little It Girl

I’m thrilled to feature the beautiful Cathy Anderson from Poor Little It Girl as my December Beauty!  Poor Little It Girl (PLIG) is a fantastic fashion blog featuring all things stylish that are under $100!  I’ve found quite a few amazing … Continue reading

Awesome Lipsticks: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters

{From left to right:  Sweet Tart, Strawberry Shortcake, Creamsicle, Creme Brulee} I am head over heels for Revlon Lip Butters.  With the strong pigment, creamy texture and hydrating formula you can’t go wrong with these.  These aren’t just my favorite drugstore lipsticks, … Continue reading

My Current Favorite Shampoos & Conditioners

I’ve been asked a lot lately about my favorite shampoo and conditioner.  It changes frequently so I wanted to share what I’m currently using and loving on my hair!  Nearly all of these products are from the drugstore as well … Continue reading

Sunless Tanning Part 2: My Favorite Ways to Get a Sunless Tan

Happy Tuesday! Don’t forget about my amazing lip balm giveaway that started yesterday! If you haven’t entered already, go do it now! Also, voting has opened up for Albuquerque The Magazine’s Best of the City 2012. I would so appreciate your vote as best blogger. This is listed under the “People” category of the survey. Even if you aren’t from Albuqerque you can vote, and I’d just love it if you did! 🙂 Here is the link to the survey. Please and thank you!

As a follow-up to my previous post last week about sunless tanning, here are my favorite ways to get a natural-looking, summery glow:

Airbrush Tan $35

Getting airbrushed is the best possible way to get a tan because someone is manually applying the product all over your body and making sure it’s evenly distributed. My best friend owns Broadway Skin & Body Retreat and gives fantastic airbrush tans using South Seas airbrush system. I’ve had many from her and it always turns out gorgeous. It lasts between 3-7 days, depending on the amount of activity, swimming, showering, etc. Also, keeping skin moisturized after getting the tan helps prolong the color.

Mystic Tan $30

Mystic Tan is another great way to get a safe tan. They have upgraded their systems over the last few years and the color is much more evenly dispersed. It’s nearly fool-proof, as long as you hold your hands out properly and use the provided barrier cream on your knuckles, wrists and ankles.

Image Skincare Body Spa Face & Body Bronzer Creme $26

This is by far the BEST tanning lotion I’ve ever used, and I’ve used a LOT. It has a light tropical smell and doesn’t have a strong scent like most tanning creams. It can be used on both face and body, unlike the other products I list below. It distributes gorgeous color that develops gradually. Image Skincare is a fantastic line of face and body products that can only be purchased through professionals. I buy mine at Broadway Skin & Body Retreat.

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer $8.79

This really is an amazing product. It’s no wonder it continues to win beauty awards and fly off the shelves. They have different shades so you get the one that’s right for your skin tone and it provides gradual, buildable color. You don’t wake up tan after using it, but with regular use you can achieve the color you want and maintain it.

L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion $9.49

Before I discovered the Image cream, this was my go-to tanning lotion for deep color. First of all, it smells fantastic. It has a perfume-like scent to it that I love. It also has a bit of color to the cream itself and some shimmer, so skin is left with a beautiful sheen as soon you as you apply it. Like most tanning lotions, I have had a few mistakes with this but it was mostly user error. This is a fantastic product and it gives a pretty, natural-looking tan color to the skin. It also comes in medium and deep shades so you can pick the right color for you.

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup $12.79

While this isn’t exactly a self-tanner, it is an absolutely amazing water-resistent product that gives legs a natural tan color when applied. I’m totally hooked on this stuff. Any time I didn’t remember to put on tanning cream before wearing a dress I spray this miraculous leg makeup on and voila! Gorgeous, lightly tanned legs with an airbrush finish. Any scars, bumps,veins and discolorations are covered. It’s very natural looking yet it gives really noticeable and gorgeous color and coverage. It does have a bit of shimmer to it but you can only see it in direct sunlight. I use the light version but they have one for darker skin as well. It absorbs fast (within 60 seconds) and won’t budge until you wash it off with soap and a wash cloth or body pouf. Just spray it directly onto skin or to your hands (a little goes a loooong way) and then apply. Either way you do need to rub it in to get even coverage. You don’t just spray it and it’s done. Be sure to apply it BEFORE you get dressed. It will stain clothes and it’s not easy to get out. But seriously, go get some of this stuff. Now.

What are your favorite sunless tanning products?

New Beauty Find! CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

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With my skin being as dry as it is combined with living in an extremely dry, desert climate, I am really particular about the cleansers I use. It’s been difficult to find one that provides enough cleansing without stripping my skin of all its moisture. I’ve recently heard a lot about CeraVe in beauty magazines and it won an Allure Best of Beauty award in 2011 for best cleanser for dry skin. I’ve been using it for over a month now and I’m totally hooked.

This noncomedogenic cleanser has a creamy consistency and no scent. It really cleanses and gently removes all traces of eye makeup without stinging. My skin feels clean and supple after using this. CeraVe is full of peptides and hyaluronic acid to sooth and repair skin. The consistency of CeraVe reminds of Cetaphil’s cleanser, which is also a fantastic product.

Here’s a description from their website about the CeraVe cleanser:

“The goal of effective cleansing is to loosen and remove dirt, germs, excess oils, dead cells, cosmetics and medication residues without irritating the skin or drawing away needed moisture. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser gently cleanses the skin while helping to maintain the right moisture balance. It is proven to prevent moisture from escaping (evaporating) from the skin’s surface. Its fragrance-free, moisturizing formulation is non-irritating and noncomedogenic (does not cause pimples or acne by clogging the pores).”

This is officially my new favorite cleanser and I don’t see myself switching to anything else any time soon. At $11.99 this is an awesome value. You get 12 ounces of product and it lasts forever. You can buy it at any drugstore. CeraVe also makes a whole line of skincare products, including other types of cleansers and day and night moisturizers. I highly recommend trying this product. It most definitely gets a spot at the top of this list!

Have you tried any CeraVe skincare products?

Drugstore Hair Care Part 2

In continuation of my post about fantastic shampoos and conditioners you can pick up at your local drugstore, here are some of my favorite drugstore styling products!

Dry Shampoo

Dove Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo $4.49

I’ve used several different dry shampoos, including a pricey one from Sephora, and this one by Dove is my favorite. It leaves my hair clean and fresh and has the classic Dove scent.

Hairspray

L’oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray $14.99

This is hands down the best hairspray on the market. It holds your style and it’s never ever sticky. Your hair is left soft and bouncy, without the feeling of having hairspray in it. Celebrities and hair stylists swear by this stuff and I can see why. This is the only hairspray I use. It also has a really distinctive, pleasant scent that’s very light. It used to only be available for purchase in Europe but was brought to the U.S. in 2008.

Styling Products

John Frieda Collection Frizz-Ease Hair Serum Original Formula $9.99

This serum won an Allure Best of Beauty 2011 Hall of Fame award for winning 12 times in the past. A little goes a long way and the light-weight formula leaves my hair smooth and shiny.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme $6.49

Allure featured it in “The 9 Best Ways to Fight Frizzy Hair.” It’s full of dimethicone, sweet almond oil and milk protein to smooth, lock out humidity and hydrate. It keeps blowouts straight and shiny and smells nice.

John Frieda Collection Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Curl-Perfecting Spray $6.49

This is my favorite product when wearing my hair naturally. It’s alcohol free and helps bring out whatever natural wave or curl your hair has. It’s full of olive oil, panthenol and magnesium to leave curls shiny, springy and defined without ever looking wet or feeling crunchy.

What are your favorite inexpensive styling products?

Drugstore Hair Care Part 1

In continuation of my previous posts (here and here) about my favorite drugstore products, here are some fantastic shampoos and conditioners you can pick up at your local Walgreens!  I have either tried or currently use all of these products.  Stay tuned for great drugstore styling products in Part 2!

Shampoos

John Frieda Sheer Blonde & Go Blonder Shampoos $6.49

All the John Frieda products I have tried are salon-quality.  I notice that my highlights are brighter, blonder and shinier when I use either of these shampoos.  I’m currently using the Go Blonder.

Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Fortifying Shampoo $4.99

I use this once a week for deep cleansing.  It rids hair and scalp of product buildup without overdrying.  It also smells like fresh green apples and the scent lingers on my hair.  It’s 92% biodegradable, has no silicones and contains sugar cane, lemon peel extract, green tea and acerola fruit extract…whatever that is!

Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo $6.99

This super hydrating shampoo is full of coconut oil, egg whites and coconut milk.  It smells like a tropical vacation and leaves my hair really soft and fragrant.  Organix bottles are eco-friendly and manufactured from materials containing recycled post-consumer resin, which is an added bonus to this delicious shampoo.

Neutrogrena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo $5.99

This gentle shampoo is full of olive, meadowfoam seed and sweet almond extracts that deeply hydrate hair.  It also smells really great.

Daily & Deep Conditioners

Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner $6.79

This conditioner has all the same effective ingredients as the matching shampoo I mentioned above, and leaves hair detangled and super soft.

L’oreal Evercreme Deep Nourishing Masque $8.99

I absolutely love this deep conditioner.  I just ran out and need more ASAP!  It’s full of Omega-3 and 6 and it leaves my hair so soft and managable.  I use this once a week.  It’s also 100% vegan and smells heavenly.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deeeeep Conditioner $3.99

I haven’t used this product in years but I remember really liking it.  It won an Allure Best of Beauty 2011 Cheap Thrills award.  It’s full of Australian sea kelp, aloe and jojoba oil and is a  fantastic detangler.  Plus you can’t beat the price!

What are your favorite inexpensive shampoos and conditioners?

Drugstore Skincare

My post about great drugstore cosmetics got me thinking about all the other fantastic products you can get at drugstores. Many of the skincare products I use are from the spa where I get regular facials and from Lush. There are a few products I use daily from the drugstore and some that I would repurchase at some point. Here are some of the best skincare products I’ve found from the drugstore:

Cleanser:

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser $7.99

This cleanser is a fantastic product. It’s soap free and only has 8 ingredients. It’s gentle enough for all skin types and it really does cleanse and effectively remove makeup. I’ve used this in the past and would definitely repurchase. Jennifer Garner and many other celebrities use this cleanser. It won an Allure Best of Beauty 2011 Hall of Fame award for winning 11 times in the past.

Cleansing Wipes

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes $7.99

These fantastic cleansing wipes won an Allure Best of Beauty 2011 Cheap Thrills award. Their review of this product was, “With the perfect saturation level, these wipes gently melt away even waterproof makeup.” I completely agree and highly suggest these! I have tried quite a few cleansing wipes and Neutrogena’s are by far the best.

Toner:

Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner $6.99

This toner is full of hydroxy acids that sweep away dead skin without overdrying. I use this once or twice a week and it makes my skin soft and clean.

Moisturizers:

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Original Formula SPF 15 $13.99

This is my daily moisturizer. It also won an Allure Best of Beauty 2011 Hall of Fame award for winning 9 times in the past. This product is so popular due to the unique formula. Neutrogena discovered a way to stabilize retinol, a pure form of Vitamin A that smooths lines and wrinkles, in a way other higher-end lines were not able to. Allure explains, “they combined the retinol molecule with UV filters and several antioxidants to protect it from sunlight and air, and to keep it active. Without such defenses, retinol will quickly degrade.” This cream leaves skin soft and smooth.

Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion, SPF 30 $8.99

This is a fantastic moisturizer. It’s extremely gentle, hydrating, and full of SPF. It’s light-weight and fragrance free.

What are your favorite skincare products from the drugstore?

My Favorite Drugstore Makeup

I love department store cosmetics.  The gorgeous packaging, alluring fragrances and hefty price tags always make me feel like I’m bringing home something spectacular.  While shopping at places like Sephora and Nordstrom is still at the top of my list when it comes to perfume and most other cosmetics, I also love a bargain and am thrilled when I find high-quality products at my local Walgreens.  Here are my picks for fantastic drugstore cosmetics:

Mascara

L’oreal Voluminous Mascara $7.99

This is not only a great drugstore mascara, it’s my favorite mascara overall.  I’ve tried the various high-end mascaras and nothing exceeds the volume, thickness and length that L’oreal Voluminous gives.  It never flakes and lashes feel soft and flexible to the touch with this mascara.  Most others leave mine crispy and stiff.  I love the original formula in black and also the carbon black version.  Many celebrity makeup artists swear by this mascara.

CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara 8.99

This mascara is a very close second favorite for me.  Both the original orange tube and the purple Fusion version are fantastic products.  This mascara gives buildable volume without clumping or flaking.  While I despise chunky, spidery lashes, I also think the “natural look” with mascara is highly overrated.  I love full, long, dramatic lashes both day and night.  With several coats of Lash Blast I’m left with just that.  Sometimes I’ll start with a few coats of this mascara and finish with two coats of the Voluminous for added volume.   Did I mention  I like dramatic lashes?  🙂

Eyeliner:

Wet n Wild Mega Liner Liquid Eyeliner $2.99

I’ve tried department store liquid eyeliner and I keep coming back to this one.  You can’t beat the price and it doesn’t flake.  The brush is easier for me to use than liners with a marker applicator and this product dries very quickly.

CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Self Sharpening Eye Pencil $5.79

I use this pencil in Black Onyx.  You can make a thin or thick line and it comes with a smudger on one end.  I love pencils that you don’t have to sharpen.  It gives rich color and it applies really well over eyeshadow.

Lipstick:

Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick $8.99

This lipstick in Candy Pink is one of my all-time favorite lipsticks.  Allure voted it Best Pink Lipstick of 2011.  It’s a scary, Barbie pink in the tube but it goes on very sheer and lovely.  I lost mine recently and have been frantically searching for it at every Walgreens and Target in town with no luck yet.  I may have to just order it online because it is such a wonderful lipstick.  It’s the perfect bright but sheer pink for spring.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick $5.49

I love this lipstick in Airy Fairy.  The formula is lightweight with full coverage color.  Airy Fairy is a nude pink with a hint of gold shimmer.  I hate frosted lipsticks and am weary of any with a lot of shimmer but this is a very muted and flattering color.  All the lipsticks in this line have a smell that I can’t put my finger on.  I don’t love the fragrance but the color and price are great and outweigh the slightly strange smell.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter $6.49

Lipstick formulas have really changed recently and they now appeal to a much wider audience.  These Lip Butters have the pigment of a lipstick and the moisture and lightweight texture of a balm.  Now that the weather has heated up and the heavier texture of classic lipsticks is too much for me, this is my go-to lip color.  My favorite shade is Strawberry Shortcake.  I also have Cupcake, but it’s such a pale shade of pink that it doesn’t flatter my skin tone.  I also tried Candy Apple Red because it was getting rave reviews in the beauty magazine but it was too orangey-red on me.  I gave it to a friend with dark hair and a slighty darker complexion than me.  She has the same issue with the color.  The Strawberry Shortcake shade is a gorgeous pink color.  It has a bit of shimmer but the color looks more like a cream than a shimmer when I’m wearing it.  It has a light shine and makes my lips feel soft and smooth.  This line has no smell at all, which I really like.

Lip Gloss:

L’oreal Color Juice Sheer Juicy Lip Gloss $8.48

This is my favorite drugstore lip gloss.  It’s nearly the same texture as Lancome Juicy Tubes, one of my favorite gloss lines.  L’oreal owns Lancome so this similarity would make sense.  Berry Burst is the Color Juice shade I always pick.  The smell is fruity but not overpowering and the gloss has no flavor on the lips, which I love.  It’s a sheer, shimmery gloss that goes on mostly clear with a bit of sheer pink.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss $6.99

This is an extremely creamy and shiny lip gloss line.  The texture and packaging looks and feels very high-quality.  My favorite colors are Peach Petal, pictured above, and Pink Afterglow.  Peach Petal is a peachy creamy nude with no shimmer.  Pink Afterglow is a pink gloss full of shimmer.

Bonne Bell Lip Smackers $1.99

No list of drugstore favorites would be complete without Bonne Bell Lip Smackers!  Not only do these classic little tubes give me nostalgic memories of childhood and make me want to buy some Lisa Frank folders, they are actually great clear lip glosses.  They also double as a decent lip balm.  My personal favorites are Dr. Pepper, Pink Lemonade and Cotton Candy.  At that price point and having a big-girl job, I can collect all my favorites without breaking the bank.  🙂

What are your favorite drugstore cosmetics?