Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Favorite Drugstore Products :)

So I have a crock-pot of White Chili cooking on the counter, I've finally gotten into my sweats and I'm curled up on the couch not doing my homework since my books haven't arrived yet. It's raining men [I wish, especially ones that resemble Tim Tebow] like crazy outside and has been all day. It's chilly for May - hence the pot of chili that smells wonderful by the way. 
Anyway, I feel like I've been neglecting this blog...and I don't want to do that so...

I think I'll list my favorite drugstore products. I think it's easy to write drugstore items off as "cheap" but there are some great products out there that I've fallen in love with; some that department store products can't hold a candle to.

The first "category" I'll mention will be haircare.
Two drugstore brands that I genuinely love for haircare are Suave and John Frieda. I love Suave because a) they are extremely inexpensive (less than $2/bottle) and b) they really do work wonders for my hair. My favorite line is the Suave Professionals and it's a toss up between Suave Professionals Vibrant Shine and Suave Professionals Rosemary and Mint for shampoo and conditioner. They both work about the same for my normal hair and they both smell amazing. My hair always feels shiny, smooth and soft after using either of these shampoos and conditioners. Now on to John Frieda. I think "he" makes fantastic "high-end" feeling shampoos and conditioners. They are a bit more expensive for a drugstore brand, about $7 a bottle/tube but I think they work well for colored/processed hair. His shampoos are generally aimed for fixing certain problems. I personally like the ones aimed for making blonde hair brighter and taking the brassiness out. I also love his Frizz-Ease line. All the products in that line make your hair smooth and tamed without weighing it down. My favorites are the John Frieda Frizz-Ease Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioning Spray and the Frizz-Ease 100% Shine Glossing Spray.

Another drugstore hair product that I recommend to anyone is the Pantene Pro-V  Restoratives Time Renewal Replenishing Mask. It retails for about $5 and last quite a long time. I use this mask about once a week instead of my normal conditioner and I only put it on about the bottom half of my hair. After I put a coat of this on I leave it on for about 3 minutes, I'll brush my teeth or shave my legs while it's "replenishing" my hair. Since I first bought this probably 2 years ago, I refuse to go without it. As soon as I get down to the bottom of the tub, I'll run out and purchase another because I think it is that good. 

The next product is TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray. I think this spray does a really good job of protecting your hair before you blow dry and before you straighten. I also like that it is inexpensive (about $5) and has a unique sprayer that is easy to use.

The last product I'm going to mention for haircare is the new L'Oréal Elnett StrongHold Hairspray. I have to admit, this is a "YouTube made me do it" type of product. I wanted needed to get it as soon as I heard about it. I've tried a ton of drugstore hairsprays. I tried the Herbal Essences one and the nozzle always got clogged, I've tried the Aussie one and it smelled like Grape Dimetapp. I've tried countless others and they all gave my hair a crunchy french fry texture...not cute. But when I sucked it up and bought this L'Oréal hairspray for (gasp!) $14.99, I didn't regret it. It made my hair stay in place but didn't change the look or feel of my hair. This hairspray also has the finest mist. The smell is just o.k., it smells like you would expect a hairspray to smell. I can live with it though, for what it does for my hair. I can still easily run my fingers through it - I'm in love. I don't use hairspray that often so I think hope this will last me a loooong time :)

Let's talk about skincare:
As a brand, I really like Clean&Clear. I feel like they have amazing products for people with acne-prone skin. I can't think of a time I was really "let down" by one of their products. My favorites are the face lotions. I like the Morning Glow Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF 15 because it really illuminates my skin and has an SPF for the day. I also like the Dual Action Moisturizer because it fights acne as it moisturizes. I just wish it had SPF!! I like their Advantage Acne Spot Treatment because it's the only spot treatment that gave me a noticeable difference overnight.

Another brand I'm rarely disappointed in is Aveeno. They are a little pricey but still affordable. They also use a lot of natural ingredients, which is good. My go to face wash, the one I've been using for at least a year now is the Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub. I honestly feel that it gives my skin a nice glow and does a good job as a daily exfoliator. I also love their Positively Smooth Shave Gel.

I can't talk about my favorite drugstore skincare products without mentioning St. Ive's. I never really realized how many products I own by St. Ive's until recently. My favorite product by them has to be the body washes. All of them. Especially the Oatmeal Shea one. All of them smell heavenly and moisturize like crazy. These are especially nice in the colder/drier months. I also love their lotions. My favorites are the Renewing Collagen Elastin Lotion as well as the Oatmeal Shea lotion. They all smell so warm and cozy and they're not at all greasy. Another St. Ive's product that I pretty much can't live without is their Apricot Scrub. I use the Blemish & Blackhead Control Apricot Scrub. It's good for a weekly exfoliator on your face and body. I really like how they make you feel like you have a clean slate and a fresh start with your skin by sloughing off all those dead skin cells.

I absolutely love Neutrogena products as well. I love their Pore Refining Toner. It's not too strong to where it dries out your skin but it definitely gets any remaining makeup out of your pores. Their sunblock is fabulous too. I use the Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60. It's great.

Another product that I can't live without would be the Up & Up (Target's brand) makeup removing wipes. They are the best I've ever found and I've tried a lot of different brands. The towelettes are textured so it really gets all the makeup off and they smell nice. Plus for $3.49 for a pack of 30? Sold.

Now onto makeup:
I can think of a fantastic makeup item for just about every category that you can find at the drugstore. I'll just go by facial features.

Lips: I love Nivea's Kiss of Moisture Essential Lip Care. The most moisturizing, smooth feeling lip balm I've ever tried. I have one in my purse, one on my vanity, one on my nightstand and back ups all over the place.
I also love Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick. They are super creamy and they have a nice color selection. For lipgloss I gotta go with Maybelline Shine Sensational Lipgloss. They are long-lasting without being too sticky and they're shimmery but not glittery. The Milani 3D Glitzy Glamour Glosses are also fantastic if you want that sparkly look.

Eyes: I truly believe that drugstores have the best mascaras on the market. My absolute favorite is Rimmel's Max Volume Flash. It makes your lashes voluminous and long and isn't clumpy at all. I also love Rimmel Glam Eyes Lash Flirt, Covergirl Volume Exact Mascara, Maybelline Define-A-Lash and a few others. One of the best eyeliners I've ever tried has to be Milani's Liquif' Eye in Brown. It's so soft and creamy and once it's dry, it doesn't budge all day. I also think Wet N Wild has really stepped up their game and have put out some fabulous eye shadows in the Color Icon Palettes. They blend really well. I did a blog post on them, you can check it out below if you want more info!

Face: I have to mention Physician's Formula Baked Blush in Baked Berry. I believe this delectable dome shaped baked blush is discontinued [ :( ] but you can still get it online [Thank Goodness.] It's the perfect shimmery pink summer shade. I also love NYX Blush in Natural and of course...the N.Y.C. Blushable Creme Sticks. These things are amazing! I just dot a little on the apples of my cheeks, blend it in and go. So quick and easy and gives you the look you want whether it be dramatic coral cheeks or a natural pink flush.
For a primer, there's two drugstore ones that I love. The first being Revlon Age Defying Primer. I think this may be discontinued (again, sad face) but even if it is, I still have a holy grail drugstore face primer. The Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base. This primer is seriously great. It gives your face a perfectly matte base to work with. Your skin feels velvety and soft. Love it!
I'm also a huge fan of Revlon foundations. Of course the coveted ColorStay is my everyday foundation but I also love PhotoReady for days that I want more glowy skin and/or less coverage. But I do think there is a foundation that is very "underhyped." Covergirl TruBlend Whipped Foundation. If I really need full coverage or a completely matte look, I grad this one. It's easy to apply with a brush because it comes in a jar and it has a very silky texture. Great color matches too!
And bronzers...I love my N.Y.C. Bronzer in Sunny. I think it's the perfect finish for a bronzer. I don't like ones that are too shimmery, they don't contour very well. This one is perfect and it's not too dark either.

Well, I think I've rambled on long enough and I must now go and put a pie in the oven...I hope you enjoy this list and I'll probably be editing it soon because I know I'm forgetting a million products. What are some of your favorite drugstore items??

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Everyday Makeup Routine

I will do a video of this soon...and then I will post it on this page. My camera is currently sitting on the counter and I'm currently in need of a shower...plus I also have a list of 3 or 4 videos to do. On the plus side, I have all day tomorrow to film :)

On to the makeup routine as of May, 2010 (I love to try new products so it will change soon, I'm sure.)

After I wash my face and put on Nivea Kiss of Moisture Hydrating Lip Care, I use a toner. For the past 3 months I've been using Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner. It's not too strong but still gets makeup residue off. I haven't noticed shrinking pores but it works well as a toner anyway.

Then I'll choose between using my Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60+ or Clean & Clear Morning Glow Moisturizer Oil Free SPF 15 Moisturizer depending on how long I plan on being outside that day. The Clean & Clear moisturizer has an illuminating effect that I really like.

For primer, I've been using L'Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base and I'm in love. This primer diminishes the look of pores and I'm assuming it would do the same for fine lines. It makes your face matte and is a perfect base. It really is magic. You only need a tiny bit (which is good because the jar is freakin' tiny) and you can evenly spread it over your face. If I have any out of the ordinary redness I'll also use L'Oreal Studio Secrets Anti-Redness Primer, I got these two when Ulta had a BOGOHO on L'Oreal products. I don't need the anti-redness primer everyday but I'd definitely recommend it for anyone who has excessive redness.

Now that the boring stuff is overwith, I'll start with the makeup.

In my "Go-To Products Video", I mention Revlon PhotoReady Foundation as my favorite. I believe that that foundation is good for people with normal to dry skin, or if you have oily skin, I think it would suit better for the colder, drier months. It was my all time favorite HG foundation but since the weather has gotten warmer and my skin has been more oily, I've switched up my routine. Lately I've gone back to another foundation, Cover Girl Trublend Whipped Foundation. This one is a perfect match to my skintone (I find the Revlon to be a little yellow for me) and it is about as full coverage as coverage can get. It makes me look almost airbrushed and dries to a velvety finish. I love this foundation, especially during the summer because it doesn't add any unwanted sheen. Love!

Then I'll do concealer. A lot of people put concealer on before foundation but I've never thought to do it that way before so I'm not gonna start now! For concealing blemishes or scars, I use Maybelline Cover Stick because it's thick and creamy and covers pretty well. You do need to set it with powder to make it last all day though. Then for under my eyes I'll use Clinique Advanced Concealer. I love this because it dries to a powder so that it sets itself. It also covers dark circles pretty well.

Next, I set everything with a powder. I alternate between 3 powders for this based on what look I'm trying to achieve for the day. If I need more coverage and/or I used PhotoReady Foundation I will use NYX Twin Cake powder. It provides a little color and goes on very smooth. If I am preparing for looong day at work/school or I'm going to be outside and risk sweating or my makeup running anywhere I'll use E.L.F. Studio High Definition Powder. This powder is really messy but it works wonders. It will help keep your oil to a minimum throughout the day and it's translucent. I like to apply it with a puff and blend it in with a kabuki. Some people say its comparable to the MUFE HD Powder, and even a little better. Plus its only $6. Can't beat that. If I'm going out at night or I want to add a little illumenence to my face, I'll use the Revlon PhotoReady Translucent Finisher. I like how it adds a little dimension to my face and it applies evenly and easily.

After setting powders I apply my bronzer, blush and highlight. For bronzer I always use New York Color Bronzer in Sunny. I like this bronzer because a.) its a nice warm brownish tan color that looks natural as a contour. b.) its matte and c.) it's like $2.99. I put that on the bottom of my cheek bones and through my temples to my forehead. Then for blush I've been obsessed with NYX Blush in Natural. It really does look natural. ha. Then for a highlight I use MAC MSF in Perfect Topping. just on the very tops of my cheek bones, temples, top of my nose, cupid's bow and chin.

Then I spray my whole face with MAC Fix + and let it dry...and put my nose ring back in :)

For my everyday neutral eyes, I have it down to a science. First I prime my eyes with Urban Decay Primer Potion. Then I put Ulta's Truffle Eyeshadow all over my lid, followed by MAC Satin Taupe in the crease. I blend it all out and put MAC Shroom in the inner corner and under my brow. Top it off with either MAC Fluidline in Dipdown or Ulta Automatic Eyeliner in Deep Brown, on the upper and lower lash line, depending on how much time I have. I finish with Rimmel Max Volume Flash Mascara. Very simple yet flattering.

After that I basically grab a lipgloss and run out the door hoping to make it to work before 9:04. :)

What do your everyday makeup routines consist of?