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Suave Rosemary Mint Shampoo Review
Cheap Thrills, Hair Care - Comments Off - January 16th, 2013

In keeping with my money-saving efforts, and due to the fact that I liked the kids shampoo so much, I decided to pick up a bottle of Suave’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo. It’s a drugstore knockoff of Aveda’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo.

Suave’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo is part of their Professionals line, which are basically drugstore-priced knockoffs of salon brands. I say knockoffs, but it’s my opinion from comparing their ingredients lists that this Suave shampoo is at least as good a formula as the Aveda version. I have never purchased the Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo, but I have had it used on me at salons. The biggest thing I remember about it is the scent is quite powerful.

The Suave Rosemary Mint Shampoo is not as strongly fragranced as I recall from the Aveda version. It’s lightly minty and lightly rosemary-y, but the overall effect is more cleanly herbal smelling than specifically rosemary mint scented. I suspect the scent will be more of a crowd-pleaser, although I do like things to be just a bit more minty. But I really like peppermint in my shower. It has a lot of lather, rinses cleanly, and leaves my hair shiny but not dry. I only use conditioner once or twice a week, and mostly just because I like how my conditioner smells.

Overall, I’m totally pleased with this shampoo. I’m not going to make a judgment on whether or not it’s a perfect replacement for the salon version, since they are such different formulas that it’s pretty much apples and oranges. Taken on its own merits, however, I definitely give Suave Rosemary Mint Shampoo two thumbs up!

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5 Things: Drugstore Stuff I Want To Try
5 Things, Cheap Thrills, Makeup Fun, Shopping - Comments Off - December 28th, 2012

Since I’m on a budget, I’ve been more and more interested in checking out drugstore makeup brands. Most of these brands are owned by or are the parent company of department store brands, so a lot of the “fancy” formulas find their way into mass market products. Here are five new mass market products that I want to check out, in no particular order.

1. Physician’s Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Powder. I KNOW, I KNOW, the Western co-opting of the whole BB phenomenom is annoying at best, and offensive at worst. Let’s just set that aside for now, and ignore the purported “BB” aspect of this product, and focus on the fact that it looks like a pretty awesome face powder. It seems like a pretty nice formula for a face powder (just looking at the ingredient list) and I really want to try it out.

2. L’Oreal Shine Caresse Lipstains. L’Oreal doesn’t seem to have these on their website yet, despite the fact that I’ve seen them on displays at Fred Meyer. Annoying. Anyway, they are purported to be a mass market dupe for YSL Glossy Stains (L’Oreal owns YSL.) L’Oreal makes my current favorite longwearing lipgloss (Infallible Gloss), so I really want to try these glossy lipstains.

3. Cover Girl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm. These just look cool. It seems like everyone is hopping on the “gloss balm stick thing” bandwagon, but I like the way these look the best.

4. Flower Cosmetics. I got January’s Allure magazine and Drew Barrymore’s makeup line Flower was featured. It’s going to be a Wal-Mart exclusive, and I am DYING to check it out.

5. The Total Intensity eye products from Prestige. I need to visit an Ulta soon and check these out!

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Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask Review
Cheap Thrills, Complexion, Skin Care - Comments (1) - December 14th, 2012

I keep meaning to review this and keep forgetting! Doh! I bought this Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask from Rite Aid a few months ago because it had nice ingredients and was really inexpensive (like $3.99 for a 6 oz tube). I’ve been using it semi-regularly (I’m notoriously bad at remembering to use masks) and I really like it!

It’s a clay mask (obviously), with kaolin and bentonite clays, which are cleansing to your pores. It also has colloidal oatmeal (super soothing), and avocado oil (moisturizing). My face feels very clean and very soft after I use it, and not dry or parched like some clay masks make my face feel. It has a pretty light scent, sort of clean and vegetable-y. I like it. It’s a total bargain for a nice clay mask.

I was cruising the Freeman website, and discovered that they make several more varieties, which can be ordered at drugstore.com! WHOA! I really want to try this one and this one and this one and this cleanser. Since they’re all just as inexpensive, I’ll totally start checking them out!

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Glade Candles – Cheap & Cheerful!
Cheap Thrills, Home Scents, Reviews - Comments (1) - November 24th, 2012

I like a lot of Glade home fragrances, especially the seasonal stuff they release this time of year. I usually purchase either room spray or the Plug-Ins thingies, so I decided I should try a candle. They are really inexpensive (around $3-4), which is definitely a good price!

The Nutcracker Crunch scent is the one I purchased. It’s yummy. The scent is described as chestnuts, walnuts, and mocha. The candle has a lot of scent throw, and around 22 hours of burn time. They burn pretty clean, without smoking.

I’m accustomed to spending a lot more for a candle, so I am really tickled at how much I liked this one. I want to try some of the other seasonal scents now, especially the Peppermint Mocha and Shimmering Spruce.

If you’re looking for a nice scented candle and want it cheaply, check out Glade candles. They’re quite nice!

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St. Ives Scrub-Free Exfoliating Pads Review
Cheap Thrills, Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments Off - November 20th, 2012

I’m a little late to this party, but I finally picked up a tub of the St. Ives Scrub-Free Exfoliating Pads to try out. I’ve been interested in these for a while, since I always love AHA-based exfoliants, and these are really inexpensive. I’m really pleased with them!

The Scrub-Free Exfoliating pads are a small cloth disk, pre-moistened with an alpha hydroxy complex to gently exfoliate the skin. The scrub-free part is because they don’t use physical exfoliators, but rather the chemical peel action of the AHAs. They are meant to be used as a second step after cleansing your skin – I use them instead of a toner. St. Ives says they release dull skin and impurities while leaving healthy, fresh skin intact. They contain fruit extracts and moisturizing vitamin E help skin feel soft and smooth.

The first thing I like is the pads don’t contain alcohol. So many of the exfoliating pads that I’ve tried contain alcohol, which is just too harsh and drying for my skin. The third ingredient is actually glycerin, which is a humectant that will draw moisture to your skin. The lack of alcohol does mean that your face remains damp for a minute or two, rather than drying within seconds. I don’t find this problematic, but it’s worth mentioning. Once they are dry, your face feels clean, no film or stickiness or weirdness like that. You can go on to the next step in your skin care routine.

I was suffering from some lingering hormonal breakouts when I started using these which cleared up very quickly, and healed with less redness than usual. Score! My face feels smooth and soft. They are quite mild, so I’m guessing they won’t be too much for sensitive skin. They do have a fragrance, but it’s not overpowering. They don’t sting my skin at all, like other AHA products I’ve tried, so I think they’re pretty mild. The directions indicate you can use them twice a day. I’ve just been using them once a day, but that’s because I’m lazy. I bet I’d see even better results if I actually used them twice a day.

They are under $5 for 60 pads, so reasonably inexpensive. I think they’re a great alternative to toner in a skincare routine!

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5 Things: Mascara That Did Float My Boat
5 Things, Cheap Thrills, Mascara - Comments Off - November 8th, 2012

As a partner to my last 5 Things post, I wanted to make a list of five mascaras that did impress me, enough that I’ve re-purchased them and/or recommend them!

Let’s refresh what I want in a mascara. What do I want? Full, soft, individually defined lashes. My lashes are decently long enough already, so I mostly go for volume. I prefer not to have to bust out the lash comb to separate lashes, but a brief brush is ok. With that said, here are five mascaras that made the cut.

1. Kiehl’s Marvelous Mineral Mascara is gentle on the eyes, requires minimal work to make it look good, doesn’t flake off or smudge during the day, and washes off easily. I repurchased this twice.

2. Maybelline Volum’ Express One-by-One Washable Mascara. Oh my. This may very well win the award for Claire’s Favorite Mascara Of All Time. I’ve gone through two tubes, and will probably buy a third. It is FABULOUS. My lashes have volume, but also separation, I almost NEVER have to comb, it lasts all day with no smudging or flaking… dare I say, it’s practically perfect?

3. Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Cat Eyes Washable Mascara. Hate the waterproof version, LOVE the washable version. This one is all about the brush, which really does seem to help with curling, and getting all your lashes. I love it almost as much as the One By One.

4. Maybelline Lash Discovery Mascara. This one is all about the mini-brush. You can get right down to the roots without smearing mascara on your eyelids with this mini-brush. Nice formula too. I’ve purchased this at least twice now.

5. L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Plumping Mascara. I really liked the bigger brush on this mascara, and the plush look of the formula. It’s good stuff.

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5 Things: Mascara That Didn’t Float My Boat
5 Things, Cheap Thrills, Mascara - Comments (1) - November 1st, 2012

Mascara is a tricky thing to blog about. It’s hard to get decent lash pics, and quite frankly, most of the time my lashes come out looking the same because I want them to look a certain way – and I’ll fuss and futz to get them that way. So generally my criteria for mascara doesn’t really depend on what the end result is, but rather how hard I had to work to get there.

What do I want? Full, soft, individually defined lashes. My lashes are decently long enough already, so I mostly go for volume. I prefer not to have to bust out the lash comb to separate lashes, but a brief brush is ok. With that said, here are five mascaras that DIDN’T excite me.

1. Maybelline Volum’ Express Mega Plush Mascara. I wanted to love this. It’s got this gel formula that’s supposed to leave your lashes softer, not brittle, but with volume. It has a “flexor” brush, that’s supposed to be a plus, but I don’t really see that it helps anything. Mostly, the formula is a little too wet, which means my lashes stick together and have to be separated with a lash comb. I do like the results, but it fails the “too much work” test. I won’t re-purchase.

2. Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes. The famous pink & green tube is supposedly a perennial favorite of women everywhere. I’ve never liked it. But, being a sucker, I picked this one up because the brush looked cool and it had potential. After all, it’s supposed to give good separation and definition. Does it? Nope. First, I have to layer on a zillion coats, because this is a really thin formula. It’s also really wet, so my lashes want to stick together and I have to comb. FAIL. If I spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME fighting with it, I’ll get to something like the results I want. But life is too short to fight your mascara. I really hated this one.

3. Rimmel Glam Eyes Lash Flirt. See my review here. It didn’t suck terribly, but it didn’t float my boat either.

4. Maybelline Lash Stiletto Voluptuous. To be fair, this one falls into a “sort of floated my boat” category. I liked the formula quite a bit, but the brush is a little wonky and means I have to apply it verrry carefully, or I get it on my eyelids. I didn’t pitch it, but I won’t re-purchase either.

5. Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Cat Eyes in Waterproof. You’re probably thinking, Geez what is this woman’s obsession with Maybelline mascara? The thing is, when I find a Maybelline formula I like, I LOVE it. So, I keep trying new ones hoping to find my next holy grail. This one, in the waterproof formula, isn’t it. (The regular washable one, however… but that’s another post.) I love the curved brush, I like the results, I loathe waterproof mascara formulas. I wasn’t paying attention when I bought this, and bought the waterproof by mistake.

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Suave Kids 3-in-1 Shampoo Review
Body Care, Cheap Thrills, Hair Care - Comments Off - October 15th, 2012

I really have a thing for stuff that smells like Jolly Ranchers. I was cruising through Target, and was sniffing shampoo and hit upon this one to sniff. “This one” is Suave Kids 3-in-1 Shampoo, in Wacky Melon, and it smells just like watermelon Jolly Ranchers. I love it!

The 3-in-1 part of the product refers to the fact that it’s a shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in one. On my normal, no longer color-treated hair, it’s perfect. It leaves my hair clean, but soft, and I don’t need to use conditioner regularly. I use a deep conditioner once or twice a week and that’s enough.

It works great as a body wash too, with a lot of lather. It’s also not drying on my skin, although it’s not the most moisturizing body wash I’ve used. The scent doesn’t linger long, so if you don’t want to smell like candy all day, you won’t.

I don’t have any children, so I can’t comment on how it actually works for kids, lol. But if you are a grown-up who likes fun smells once in a while (I find it really cheerful), this Suave shampoo is a perfect cheap thrill. I give it two thumbs up! Now I want to try the apple version.

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