Monday, May 25, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

Week 20: Helper || 52 Week Photo Challenge

SOOC for newbs, alittleofalot.net,
(50mm lens, ISO 200, f4.0, SS 1/60)

Oh look, it's another photo with Kate.  This little one loves to "help" me...especially if "help" means to ham it up for the camera while I take product shots.

I'm so excited because I didn't have to do any editing on this pic.  That sounds like a small thing, but it's not when it comes to shooting in manual mode...straight out of the camera is HUGE.

I think I need to post this picture in the kitchen so that I remember to schedule the dang dentist appointments!  (Love that jack-o-lantern smile, though.)

Happy Friday!!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Budget Beauty Hits and Misses 3

Here we go again--it's Budget Beauty Hits and Misses time!  Let's see what I thought about these budget friendly beauty products:

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Most of these products were picked up on a whim (hopefully Joe doesn't read the blog all that closely...but if he is, by chance, reading this:  I'm trying to SAVE us money in the long run because some of these products actually work :)  Plus, 5% off with the Target RedCard...again saving us money!)

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The only two non-whim purchases were moisturizers I picked up after writing about them in my post about The Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin.  Let's dig in!

1.  Cerave Skin Renewing Night Cream ($17) 


This is a super thick, unscented cream that works well at hydrating my skin.  It claims to restore your skin's barrier while you sleep.  That's probably mostly true and I think it could work for a variety of skin types.  The main thing I don't like about it is just how thick it is.

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There isn't a lot of "slip" to it and I found it somewhat challenging to apply.  It reminds me of the thick, white glue that we used to scoop out of the container in grade school.  And while my skin felt hydrated, it didn't feel moisturized in the morning--when I felt my skin, my fingers wouldn't just glide over my face.  It was weird.

For me, the lack of moisturizing properties and the negative experience of applying it and makes it a miss for me.  (I'm now using it as a neck cream at night before bed.  Waste not, want not!)

2.  Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream for Extra Dry Skin ($18)


The other moisturizer I picked up is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream for Extra Dry Skin.  (World's Longest Named Product)  There is a "regular" version of this available for less-dry skin.  This is a lot thinner than the Cerave Skin Renewing Night Cream, but it still has presence.  It's not like any other moisturizer I've ever used before--it's like a gel/moisturizer hybrid.  And it feels so nice and cool when you apply it.

I found that my skin was still dehydrated after using it, though.  And, unlike the Cerave, it has a lot of "slip" to it---too much!

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I felt like it was just sliding right off my skin.  It's hard to explain.

I tried to "pat" it on to get it to adhere/absorb better and that helped, but it felt like it evaporated soon after I applied it.

Because it has such a "cool" feeling, I would recommend it if you have rosacea or have naturally flushed/hot skin that isn't too dry.  It feels great going on!

After about a month of trying to convince myself on this one (I really wanted to find a good drugstore morning moisturizer!), I was reaching more and more for my sample of Origins Dr. Weil Mega Mushroom Moisturizer (I like this one!).  This Neutrogena Gel-Moisturizer is a miss.

3.  Simple Eye Makeup Remover Pads (30ct) ($4.50)


There's not much to say on these Simple Eye Makeup Remover Pads:  they are a miss.  They sting my eyes (you get used to it, but it never feels "comfortable") and I think they're a little pricey.

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As for removing eye makeup, they're just OK.  You still have to do a fair amount of rubbing, which is not ideal for the eye area.  The pads are textured, but that didn't seem to improve on their removing abilities.  I think baby wipes do a better job than these and baby wipes don't sting.

Okay, let's see where we are, here:

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Ah, yes.  Another eye makeup remover, this time from L'Oreal.

4.  L'Oreal Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover ($6.50)

L'Oreal's Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover is easy on the eyes and does a decent job removing eye makeup.  I think my biggest gripe with it is the packaging.  So much of the solution comes out on the cotton pad and I find that it gets into my eyes,  no matter how hard I keep them closed.  Plus, I think that wastes a lot of the product.

That said, it's the best one I've used in a long time.  I say it's a hit.

5.  NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder ($6)  


I was not looking for eyebrow powder, but while perusing the NYX line at Target, my eyes landed on this cool little kit.  I've always heard that using brow powder (or eyeshadow!) delivers a more natural look.

The kit comes with two shades.  You could potentially mix them to find your "perfect match", but I only use the lighter shade from the "blonde" kit.

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The little brushes are ridiculously small and annoying.  But they do actually work--they'd be great for traveling.  I think I'll buy an inexpensive brow brush so that I'm not annoyed every morning when I have to dump the brushes out and then try to handle the tiny brush while applying the powder.

The wax pot looks green, but it goes on clear.  You use it to set your brows after applying the powder.  I don't use a ton of the powder, but I find that my brows look more "done" after using the setting wax.

This eyebrow "cake powder" is a hit!

6.  Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($4)  


I've always wanted to try a pressed powder--I usually use loose powder.  I've heard so many good things about Rimmel and I could not pass up the chance to use this mattifying powder.

The packaging is really lame--the thin plastic, clear top isn't secure and it's very flimsy.  But what can you expect for the price?

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This is a great powder that almost feels creamy when you apply it (I use the shade "creamy natural").  It helps control any shine that might start to peak through as the day goes on.  It doesn't last all day, but again, it's four dollars.  She gets the job done, even if you have to reapply 'er later in the day.  I declare the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder a hit.  

7.  Herbal Essences Naked Volumizing Souffle ($5) 


I really wanted to love this mousse.  I mean, for five bucks, it would've been so great!  It comes out super fluffy and mousse-y:


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When I first applied it, I thought we had a real contender to de-throne my Aquage Uplifting Foam.  But after drying and styling my hair things took a turn for the worse.  It made my hair flat and dirty feeling.  Any of the poufy-ness that was there when I first applied it vanished.

I tried this several times because I don't know about you, but us fine, thin-haired girls?  Our hair is extremely sensitive to the weather, hormones, heat, etc.  You can't always assume it's the new product you're using (even though it was pretty obvious with this one).

Unfortunately, this volumizing "souffle"  is a miss.  

There you have it.  More misses than hits this round.  Have you found any budget beauty hits lately? Do tell!!

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