Ever since I posted this article about how I rarely I actually empty beauty products, I’ve started paying closer attention to those cosmetics I deem worthy of finishing. One thing I’ve noticed during my observations is I tend to consistently use (and use up) skin and hair care products; whereas I rarely empty makeup products. I’m more likely to toss those for lack of use or expiration than “hitting pan” as it were. This month is no exception. Here are my product empties and brief reviews for October (2016)…
1. Neutrogena® Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover:
Claims – Neutrogena states this product has an “ultra-gentle dual phase formula (that) activates when shaken to remove all eye makeup — even waterproof mascara — without any greasy residue.” The company also promises “it is ophthalmologist tested, safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers and oil free.”
My Results – I use this first, before dual-cleansing. I shake it well (it basically doesn’t work if you don’t) then apply it onto 2 cotton pads which I then apply to my eyes. I allow the saturated pads to sit on my eyes for about a minute to start to break down the makeup. Then I lightly rub the pads around my eyes to remove additional traces of makeup. Then I followup with a makeup removing oil cleanser to my whole face and a cream cleanser (usually CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser). One of the best things about this product is that it never causes burning or stinging to the eyes. Neutrogena also delivers on their promise that this product leaves no oily or greasy residue behind. Then again I follow it with double cleansing so any residue gets pretty well taken care of in that process.
Price – $5.99 – $7.99 (per Neutrogena’s website). This one is available almost everywhere. From Walmart and other major discount stores to national drugstore chains (Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, etc.) and even many grocery stores. ULTA sells 2 sizes (3.8 oz. and 5.5 oz.) priced at $5.99 and $7.99, respectively along with a Buy One / Get One 40% deal (at time of this writing).
One note about finding this product in stores – almost every retailer stocks this product along side Neutrogena’s makeup products, not with their skincare products. So if you’re having trouble locating it, check the makeup area.
Draw-backs – The primary complaint I have with this product is the same one I have with every other eye makeup remover I’ve tried – that is, it doesn’t immediately remove all eye makeup without rubbing and tugging. I rarely wear waterproof mascara but do you use waterproof liner on a regular. Though I don’t consider my eyes very sensitive, I notice some redness and swelling the next day if I don’t get all my eye makeup removed at night.
Ingredients – Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Chloride, Dipropylene Glycol, Poloxamer 182, Allantoin, Tripotassium EDTA, Benzalkonium Chloride Solution, Glycerin, Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus) Extract (Cucumis Sativus), Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate
2. L’ORÉAL Paris EverPure Blonde Brass Banisher Shampoo & Conditioner:
Claims – L’ORÉAL promises this shampoo and conditioner will “boost your blond for fresh pure lustrous color,” and claims using both products together will “neutralize brassiness in just 1 use while deeply nourishing hair to restore hydration…and (help) you keep the color you love for up to 32 washes.”
My Results – Since going blond, I’ve tried SO many lavender, purple anti-brass toning shampoos and conditioners, and I really like these. First of all, the shampoo is sulfate-free so it doesn’t strip out my color which is important because getting my hair professionally foiled is NOT cheap! So obviously, I want to do everything I can to preserve it. There are other stronger purple toning shampoos on the market, Clairol Shimmer Lights comes to mind (works great but turns my hair into perfectly-toned brass-free straw). This one is gentle enough to avoid that overly dried out crispy result but it’s effective enough keep that dreaded yellow-orange tinge out of my hair.
Price – Price varies by vender. $5.97 each from Walmart. ULTA sells the shampoo and conditioner for $6.99 each and currently (at time of this writing) offers a Buy Two, Get One Free offer. Amazon sells the shampoo from $5.97 each. The conditioner is also available for various prices.
Draw-backs – My one complaint with the otherwise excellent pair of lavender toners is the difficulty I have getting the lids closed. For some reason, it’s nearly impossible for me to get the lids fully closed especially when the tubes are wet, I’m wet and my hands are covered in suds. So what ends up happening is that lavender-colored shampoo and conditioner leaks out onto my shower shelf, creating a mess and wasting product. While this is not an expensive product (especially when compared to salon brands) it’s still frustrating to waste product and it’s really annoying to discover a trail of purple soap dripping down the wall of my shower.
Ingredients (shampoo) – Water, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, cocamidopropyl betaine, glycol distearate, glycereth-26, decyl glucoside, fragrance, hydrogenated coconut acid, ppg-5-ceteth-20, dimethicone copolymer, polyquaternium-7, amodimethicone, polyquaternium-10, sodium isethionate, propylene glycol, peg- 55 propylene glycol oleate, carbomer, c11-15 pareth-7, benzoic acid, benzophenone-4, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, benzyl salicylate, laureth-9, glycerin, hexyl cinnamal, benzyl alcohol, linalool, trideceth-12, limonene, sodium benzoate, c12-13 pareth-23, c12-13 pareth-3, iris florentina root extract, calendula officinalis flower extract, ext. violet 2, red 33, sodium hydroxide.
Ingredients (conditioner) – Water, cetearyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, isopropyl myristate, cetyl esters, fragrance, isopropyl alcohol, hicone, polyquaternium-37, mineral oil, sodium benzoate, amodimethicone, tocopherol, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, peppermint leaf extract, chlorhexidine dihydrochloride, citric acid, limonene, ppg-1 trideceth-6, linalool, butylphenyl methylpropional, rosemary leaf oil, citronellol, benzophenone-4, iris florentina root extract, calendula officinalis flower extract, ci 60730 / ext. violet 2, ci 17200 / red 33. f.i.l. # d168573/1.
3. Nature’s Bounty® OPTIMAL SOLUTIONS® Hair, Skin, & Nails Gummies with Biotin:
Claims – Nature’s Bounty® states these sugar+corn syrup-based gummies “provide you with the vital nutrients your body needs to support your natural beauty from within. Vitamin E and Vitamin C are antioxidants. Vitamin E contributes to skin health, and Vitamin C is involved in collagen production and formation, which forms the basis for vibrant skin.” 2 Gummies provide 15 mg. Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid); 15 IU Vitamin E (as dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate); 2,500 mcg. Biotin (as d-Biotin); along with 15 calories, 4 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams of sugar.
My Results – Like most women, I noticed increased lost of hair starting about 3 months postpartum. Sadly, I never experienced the increased thickness and luster I started taking this supplement in May as a replacement for my previous Biotin supplement. I wanted something that provided both Vitamin C and Biotin to complement my existing Collagen drink regimen (read more about the anti-aging power of collagen here) and these dummies seemed like a tasty option to try. Because I was pretty panicked about the amount of hair loss I was experiencing, I started taking these (2 dummies) twice per day. After about 2 months (roughly 3 jars of dummies) I started to notice a significant improvement in the thickness and condition of my hair. Now, during that same time I continued taking 1-2 collagen drinks each day so I’m certain the results were attributable to the combination of all the supplements more than any one on its own. But I definitely think these dummies have an impact so I continue taking them.
Price – These supplements are widely available sold everywhere from grocery stores to major discount retailers (Walmart, Target, etc.) to drugstore chains and online retailers. Price varies by vender. Vitacost offers the lowest online price (as of this writing) at $7.19 / 80 Gummie jar. CVS and Walgreens vary from around $8-$8.50 for the same sized jar with local stores often offering in-store coupons and discounts. You can usually find Nature’s Bounty® coupons in your local Sunday paper or coupon mailer.
Draw-backs – As I noted above, these gummies are designed to mimic gummy candies so the good-for-you vitamins and nutrients are contained in a sugar and corn syrup base. If that’s a problem for you – i.e. if you’re sensitive to sugar; if you need to avoid all sugar for health reasons or you’re actively doing the #Whole30 or similar sugar-free diet – then these supplements won’t work for you. I had to switch back to Vitamin C and Biotin tabs during our recent #SeptemberWhole30 but eagerly switched back to these on October 1st. They taste good and make taking vitamins a lot more enjoyable!
Ingredients (according to Nature’s Bounty website): Corn Syrup, Sugar, Dicalcium Phosphate, Grape Juice Color Concentrate, Gelatin, Modified Food Starch, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Natural Strawberry Flavor, Black Carrot Juice Color Concentrate, Maltodextrin, Fractionated Coconut Oil (Contains one or more of the following: Carnauba Wax, Beeswax), Silica.
Wisdom for the Day:
“In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity.” ~Richard Baxter
Read more about the importance of unity here.