Beauty Best Under $10


Weekly Cheap Secret:

Nivea is really pushing this stuff this summer along with the “matching” body lotion. Evidently “Happiness” is a blend of orange blossom and bamboo essence. The scent is getting rave reviews, but I’m not crazy about it. I love orange blossom. If this wash did not have orange blossom in the description and had something like “orange juice” labeled on it, then maybe I could like it. I do like the formula. So, I’ll start with that first.

The formula is a cream-gel meaning that is a thicker gel. One does not need a loofah to make this stuff lather. I like this because I am not a fan of a loofah. I think this body wash gives the same amount of lather as any other shower gel on a loofah. I like a thick lather. It makes me feel like I’m getting super-squeaky clean. This isn’t really a “deal” like other drugstore shower gels because you aren’t using a loofah.  You typically use more product without a loofah. The formula leaves my skin smooth and not overly moisturized/greasy, just soft (and clean feeling). I follow-up with a body cream. Now to the fragrance…

It isn’t that I dislike this fragrance. I find it odd. It’s like drinking Sprite when you thought you were drinking sparkling water. It’s not bad, it’s just a shock at first. I thought I was supposed to get orange blossom but instead I got a very “vitamin C” type fragrance. It smells like citric acid used in cough drops. It’s just very, very orange. Orange blossom is supposed to be a heady, white floral. I don’t know what bamboo smells like but I was expecting something green and/or aquatic. This scent isn’t bad. It just smells of a synthetic orange. Some mornings when I use this and my sniffer isn’t on its “game”,  I think it smells like Sweet Tarts or Smarties. It has a “powdery” citric acid smell instead of a hard, lozenge citric acid smell. Other times it reminds me of a vitamin C drop and The Body Shop Satsuma. The scent isn’t bad if you like candy-like citrus scents or the smell of orange juice. It is an invigorating fragrance. I think you’ll have the Sprite experience if you are expecting a more “natural” citrus scent or an orange blossom/orange blossom floral water type of fragrance. Don’t have the expectation that this is a floral scent. Expect orange juice and you may be happy with it. It really is a nice product for summer because it foams and makes the skin feel clean without being too dry. And the scent is a very energizing orange. Try this if you like The Body Shop Satsuma products.

This wash retails for under $6. It’s available at most drugstores and drugstore.com.

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Weekly Cheap Secret:

I seriously do not know how or why I haven’t reviewed this product sooner. I guess it is one that I use so frequently that I forget about it? I really didn’t mean to take it for granted. This is a product that I really like and it retails for under $6.

Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush has a mousse texture. It blends nicely and feels weightless on the skin. It works great on my normal skin type. I love that it feels like it isn’t there at all. This texture feels much more expensive than what the product retails for. I’ve used $30 blushes that were going for this effect and couldn’t achieve it. I’m not naming names. There aren’t many colors available. There are six to be exact. However, there are a few I really like. ( I loved Whipped Strawberries but I can’t find it on the website. That was the perfect flushed pink for pale skins.) I like Pink Frosting, a pale pink shimmer that I usually use as a highlighter, and Peach Satin, a sheer pale peach. Both colors are sheer so I choose to layer them and layer them for more color. I apply this blush with my fingertips. I only use a tiny amount. I rub it on to the cheeks. There is no tugging since this product has such a smooth texture. I layer and layer until I get what I want. I’ve used deeper colors (Cloud Wine) and “one coat” was enough to get what I wanted. It doesn’t streak with extended wear. Like I said before, my skin is normal, rarely super dry or oily. When I dip my fingers into the pot, I occasionally get little clumpy Maybelline Dream Mousse bunnies. This doesn’t bother me. I’ll either wipe it on the rim of the jar or I was going to use that much cream blush anyways, so it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it doesn’t clump or streak on my skin. It doesn’t do that. (It is gross when it gets under the nails. Sometimes I use the end of a makeup brush to dip it out onto my hand, then my finger tips so that I’m not digging in the pot.)

My complaints are that the colors are limited. Just like all drugstore makeup, they start with a few perfect colors that compete with department store brands but then get rid of them for unknown reasons. There aren’t enough colors for medium to deep skin tones.  If you are pale with normal skin this can be a perfect blush for you. It looks natural, somehow the shimmer ones look natural too. (Well, that is coming from me and I don’t mind shimmer on my complexion to give me a “plastic” look). It’s a great price at under $6. The packaging is hefty and glass. It seems like it is “more” than what it is.

It is available at most drugstores and drugstore.com.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

This soap bar is huge! It is so big that it is dangerous. I picked it up at a “health”/natural grocery for like $4. The weather was slightly warming up at the time (in the PNW, this means that it was sunny high-50’s day) and I wanted something fruity-floral. I wanted something different than my usual creamy or spicy shower products. I’ve never heard of the brand before and it isn’t actually made in the south of France. I have since found out that it is sold by hippie grocers and World Market.

The fragrance is a fruity-floral. It is much more pear than it is magnolia. It is a fresh, fruity fragrance that reminds me of sunny summer days. It is a “gritty” pear, it smells ripe. It is made pretty by a very light dose of white florals. The soap bar is gigantic. It was too large to hold safely for like 3 weeks. It eventually broke down into manageable soap slices after about a month of use and being kept out in the shower. (I did not keep this bar in a “safe” place). The bar is 8.8 oz. That is toe breaking big. The soap was long-lasting, especially considering that I kept it out and it was too big to keep in a covered soap dish. I was impressed that it remained evenly fragrant throughout use. Even the last use was highly fragrant. The color of the soap was a pleasing pale Anjou green. It is supposed to be colored with natural pigments. The soap lathered and rinsed nicely without being drying. I just love vegetable oils.

The scent isn”t my favorite scent, but I did like it at that time. I say to give it a try if you like fruity-florals or scents like Marc Jacobs Apple Splash, Harajuku Lovers Music EDT, True Religion EDP, Annick Goutal Petite Cherie EDT, Victoria’s Secret Pear Glace EDT, and/or Pre de Provence Pomme Poire soap. My only complaint and somehow one thing that I like about it, is the size.

The soap is available at a few places and the company’s website. I have since found out on the website that many of the soaps are available in manageable twin packs.

This is a richly lathering skin conditioning bar soap with a mild coconut aroma. It isn’t as fragrant as the Skin Trip Moisturizer in the family, but it does have a lasting fragrance that lasts on the skin after washing. It also leaves my bathroom smelling nicely after a shower. It’s a basic, rich coconut, much more natural smelling than others on the market. I’m trying to say that it smells like a real coconut vs. a B&BW Piña Colada or a dessert coconut creme fragrance. The coconut fragrance hasn’t faded yet. The entire bar is scented evenly. The bar is pretty heavy and contains lots of nourishing oils. For a natural soap, it hasn’t melted away in the shower yet. I feel that it is dense and lasts in comparison to other natural bar soaps. It lathers nicely, this is a plus in the natural market. It isn’t very moisturizing but it isn’t drying. My skin feels squeaky clean like I’ve used an evil corporate bar soap 🙂 but I’m not dried out. Thank you, coconut oil. I really like the soap. I see myself repurchasing it.

The bar is a bit pricey at just under $5. I think it is a nice product for the money. It lathers nicely and it reminds me of trips to the beach, warm, Floridian beaches. I’ve purchased $12 bars of soap that I like less and that have dissolved instantly. It is available at stores like Whole Foods and drugstore.com.

I think that I have finally found a brand of organic lip balm that I love. Badger USDA Organic Lip Balm is smooth and not gritty. I find that many formulas of natural lip balm get very, very gritty after a few weeks of use. I also find that many brands wear off too easily or they are too thick and apply unevenly. Badger is the perfect texture. It is not heavy or cakey. It is smooth without being greasy. It is the longest wearing natural lip balm that I have tried (and as you know, I’ve tried many). It’s a great everyday lip balm. I also love the Lavender and Orange fragrance. It is a perfect balance of lavender and orange, so it isn’t too medicinal or too citrusy. I know the aroma of lavender, I live in the PNW. This has a genuine lavender aroma that is balanced by the sweetness of orange. At first I think I was a tad disappointed with the aroma. I think that I wanted it to have more lavender and smell like a late summer day. However, after using it for a few days, I realized that the Badger blend was perfect. Just lavender would be too overwhelming in a lip balm. The orange adds a subtle sweetness. So, this reminds me of my favorite summer desserts that contain Meyer lemons and lavender. Delicious and gourmand without smelling like chocolate or cupcakes.

I’ve only tried the Lavender and Orange flavor. Six other flavors are available. I am interested in the Ginger and Lemon but I’ll probably stick with the Lavender and Orange since I know that it is perfect. The lip balm stick is a great price at about $3. It is available from Badger balm’s website or drugstore.com.

Weekly Cheap Secret:
Ivory Simply Ivory Body Wash is a lightly fragrant body wash. Yes, it is simple. The scent is not the same as the classic bar soap. The classic Ivory soap bar is a bit lemongrass-ish. The fragrance in the wash is a bit more “perfumey”. It is perfumey like perfumes attempting to smell like clean, fresh, just-out-of-the bath skin. If you are a fan of the Clean fragrance line, Demeter Pure Soap or Laundromat, Bobbi Brown Bath EDT, Philosophy Pure Grace or even Amazing Grace, Apothia IF EDP, or other shower fresh/fresh linen type scents then you should like the fragrance in this body wash. It is fresh, lightly floral like water hyacinth and dainty lilies, slightly white/clean musk-ish. I wouldn’t waste my money on the shower gels of the fragrances listed above. This is clean, fresh, and lightly floral without costing too much. A huge bottle (24  oz.) retails for under $5. A bar of Bobbi Brown bar soap retails for $16. The scent in Ivory Simply Ivory Body Wash is “faint”, meaning that it is meant to smell soft and delicate. After bathing, the scent remains on the skin ever so faintly. It’s a clean, fresh, and feminine scent.

This formula has so many suds. This completes the “clean” experience. Just a little bit on a sponge/loofah produces excessive foam. The formula is pretty simple. It cleanses but it doesn’t really moisturize. I find it too drying for my parched winter skin. I do love this stuff for the summer. The fragrance isn’t overwhelming, the suds make me feel squeaky clean, and my skin only needs minimal moisture on most days.

This is available at most drugstores and drgustore.com.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

Oh, Old Spice. I know it is low-brow but I really do enjoy its scent. Every fall/winter, I purchase a bottle of Classic Old Spice Body Wash. (Let me emphasize Classic here, those other varieties can go to hell. I thought Axe already had that market covered). This is an inexpensive  fix for my need for spicy scents when the temperature drops. I like spicy scents but I usually don’t want to smell like them all day or I only crave them for a short time. That’s why I would rather use the body wash than the cologne. The fragrance is mix of bitter citrus and every spice in your cupboard: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon. It’s the “classic” and I think everyone is familiar with it. Old Spice is aware of the kitschiness of this scent with such slogans as “If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist” and “It will still be around, even after a nuclear fallout”. I do find this comical because it is a classic fragrance that has been a part of American pop culture for some time. However,  some of their ad campaigns border on being chauvinistic. It’s all about the “swag” and attracting bodacious babes. I wish that they would realize that there are many, many females out there (some even bodacious) using their product. Sorry guys, but spice is a pretty unisex thing in the fragrance world. Spice for men is cheap; however, spice for women is expensive in the fragrance world.

The shower gel doesn’t smell as nice as the cologne. It does have a strange “chemicalness” to it that fades after a few seconds.. The gel lathers nicely and a little goes a long way. It’s a bright blue gel. I’m not wild about this because it makes the lather a pale gray, giving me a temporary zombie-like/corpse complexion. I guess their male target group doesn’t mind this? The fragrance lightly lingers and doesn’t interfere with any of my other fragrances that I choose to use. It isn’t very moisturizing. It appears that dudes aren’t interested in that.

An 18 fl. oz. bottle retails for under $5. This is a great deal for this shower gel. My husband and I have both been using a bottle for months now. I must add that I do love the smell of Old Spice on him and he even likes it on me.

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