Weekly Cheap Secret:

Sometimes you just don’t mess with a classic. These are 5 items that I have used/use and really like. They are my “go to” products when the budget is tight because I want to save up and buy a Creed cologne or a new Serge Lutens like right now, haha.

Olay Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid Original– My great grandmother used this stuff everyday. She had great skin. I don’t know if I can give to credit to this pink, lightweight lotion or if it was just her luck, hope I have it too. This lotion is perfect for combo/normal skin. I use it at night in the summer usually. It keeps my skin feeling soft and not oily or dry. Many hate the fragrance. I love it. It is a very lowbrow violet. Its powderiness is so crude that I love it. If I could get this as a perfume, I would be very happy. A 4 oz. bottle retails for under $10.

Pond’s Classic Cold Cream– This is another of great-grandmother’s favorites. She used this stuff daily and so did my grandmother. It’s simple, nothing to it really with ingriedients like mineral oil and beeswax. It attacks makeup. I use this when I have put on more “face” than usual or when I am drier than usual like in the dead of winter. I wouldn’t recommend this for oily skins or even oily to normal skins. It is heavy and does “moisturize” after you wash it off. The 3.5 oz jar retails for under $5. I think it is so funny because one of the reviews on drugstore.com said grandma was right and now she uses this so she can buy expensive perfume. I promise that is not me! Somebody else is saving for niche fragrances…

Noxema Original Deep Cleansing Cream in the Jar– This stuff is much to harsh for my adult skin but I used to love this stuff as a teen (note, I had great skin, no zits back then and pretty normal skin). It’s tingly and still has that classic Noxema menthol aroma. This just screams clean 🙂 It cleans well and it is nice to use for “hot” skin. A big jar retails for under $5.

Dickinson’s Witch Hazel– Use it for whatever you want. I usually use it as a toner but it does make a great aftershave. I love it’s witch hazel aroma. Many do not. It smells so herbaceous and it is just one of those “classic” scents you either love or hate like a pine tar soap. I have normal skin and I use this stuff in the summer when I get a little more oily. The huge 16 oz bottle lasts forever and goes for $4. That is much cheaper than any department store toner!

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly– Yep, some people use this on their face. I have to say that this is a great multi-tasking product that often gets forgotten. It does great on lips, removes long-wearing makeups, smooths cuticles and feet, soothes windburn skin, keeps brows in place, and a ton of other things. I have read Jennifer Lopez uses this as a facial moisturizer. My grandmother does and she has great skin but I think she is just one of those people that is going to have great skin. No odors, but it is greasy. It’s vaseline. A big jar retails for under $5. And yes, I only buy the name brand.

drugstoreskin

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jeannatecollection

One of my favorite things about summer (other than lots of time off and the mild climate of the Pacific Northwest) is that I get to use my entire bath line of Jean NatĂ©. Busting out the Jean NatĂ© means that summer is here. It’s fresh, clean, citrusy and not fussy, making it a perfect summer must have.

Jean NatĂ© or Jean Nate as my grandmother would say (like blue “jeans” and “nate” rhymes with “late”) was launched in 1935 under Charles of the Ritz, now Revlon. This is a best selling bath line. It was a hit then and continues to be so. Every generation of women in my family has used this stuff. It’s timeless despite the lame 70’s ad campaigns that my mother was exposed to. The scent is one of my favorite scents ever. And to my benefit this product is inexpensive, available at drugstores all over the country, and has the cutest vintage packaging (got to love that font).

The trademark is “clean never felt so fresh”, OK, not very brilliant but I promise that the products are. Overall the fragrance is a super fresh blend of citrus, bergamot, and lavender. But, each item has its own “special” quality and scent that it plays up. It’s like if you use the body wash you have the top note, the lotion you have the middle note, and with the splash you have the base. They all work together wonderfully.The scent is light and refreshing and really reminds me of very, very expensive European EDT/colognes.

Moisturizing Body Wash: This is my favorite body wash of all time. It is so fresh. It leaves my body clean all day. It’s my girl version of Irish Spring, making it a summer must have, especially here in Washington with no a/c. This body wash is “sparkling” and almost effervescent and bubbly in fragrance. This reminds me of a “top” note used in fragrance. It is heavy on the lemon and bergamot. I love it. It seriously leaves a faint scent on my skin all day. It lathers nicely and is everything I want in a shower gel.Unfortunately this is a very hard product to find. When I find it I pick up a few bottles because it is my favorite shower gel of all time. It goes for $6-$10.

Hydrating Body Lotion: The texture of this lotion is lightweight and perfect for summer. It isn’t greasy or sticky. It is very fragrant but less effervescent than the shower gel. This has the lemon and bergamot but with more lavender making this is a very refreshing and soothing product at the same time. Plus, you can pick up a fresh, dewy floral such a geranium. It is lovely.This goes for about $6 and you can sometimes find a very large bottle for $10.

After Bath Splash: I would say this is the most popular product in the line. This hit it big in the 70’s and 80’s when “light” fragrances were all the rage. People were simplifying their routines. The After Bath Splash is now available in 3 sizes in a convenient spray bottle. I love the old school splash with the big black spherical top, but since I pretty much bathe myself in this stuff the spray bottle is much more functional. The scent is so refreshing and much more herbaceous than the other products. It is lemon rind, bergamot, and English lavender. It is simple and refreshing and has a slight almost patchouli dry down. This reminds me of a classic Guerlain EDT such as Mitsouko, refreshing herbaceous Provincial inspired colognes like Potter & Moore Lavender & Italian Lemon, Hierbas de Ibiza Agua de Colonia Fresca, Satellite Paris L’Ombre, and even Lubin L’Eau Neuve. I love this stuff. It’s what I want in the summer. It is light wearing, I mean it is a body splash with a high alcohol content. Sometimes in the summer this is all I want. But, if I want more I will layer it under the fragrances that I have mentioned above. Hint-Put it in the fridge for an extra refreshing, cooling spritz. The prices for this range from $6 to $10 depending on size.

Silkening Body Powder: I love a dusting powder because I am an old-fashioned kind of gal. The powder comes in a cute yellow container with a nice puff. I only wear body powder in the summer so I happy it is available in this scent. This is a floral herbaceous blend that smells like the after bath splash in powder form.It’s soft and easily mixes with other fragrances you may layer over it. It retails for $10. I love to use this after one of my very late evening summer strolls. Or to freshen up in the summer midday if I don’t have time to shower before going back out.

A cologne spray is available but I have not tried it but I hope to soon. Since this product is a classic you can find good deals on it. For example, limited edition jumbo sizes for summer where you get 30 fl. oz. of bath splash for $10. Many say that the formula has been tampered with in 2007 and that it isn’t close to the original. I’m sure the formula has been changed but I think it is all a matter of opinion. My family members declare that what they buy today is what they remember it being like. I’ve been using it pre-2007 and post-2007 and find it the same. But, with classic products it is a touchy game. Old customers tastes could of changed but they would never admit it. But, I’m not going there. I just bought a new batch of every item I mentioned for this summer and love them all. There is an old commercial on youtube here that further emphasizes the “exhilarating” aspect of the product. It’s funny but warning, video quality isn’t so hot.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I am really happy with the fragrance of many Softsoap moisturizing body washes. I have already raved about their Mango Pomegranate. I have been in a real honeysuckle mood lately; it’s summertime. I’m also finding myself attracted to orange blossom scents and this is new for me. Once again, it’s summertime. It only makes sense to be attracted to these types of florals. I picked this up, unsniffed. It’s soap and it’s cheap and you can easily find it for $5.50 or under for 18 ounces. I figured if the scent was really gross I could use it hand wash undergarments or makeup brushes. Luckily, I like the strange honeysuckle and orange scent. Together it smells like a honeysuckle and an orange blossom mix. Think bitter honeysuckle. Not the best, but very nice for the money. My grandmother did hair and this scent takes me back. It is definitely a salon hair product via 1992 and I don’t know what it is but it is dead-on mystery salon scent. Of course, it foams nicely, makes a nice shaving cream and decent bubble bath. The scent does linger around once you are out of the shower. I don’t mind. It mixes nicely with some honeysuckle and orange blossom scents by Annick Goutal and Melissa Flagg. It’s fresh, summery, and very girly. Don’t purchase this if you dislike florals because you think it will be heavy on the citrus. It’s not. It’s much heavier on the floral than citrus. Don’t purchase this if you don’t like the odor of hairspray 🙂 or if you don’t like honeysuckle or orange blossom. You’ll hate this. Do buy it if you want a cheap feminine fragrance or if you like any of the things listed above.

Oh, and have a great 4th of July!

weekly cheap secret, maybe?

My lesson: You get what you pay for. This isn’t a horrible product, it is just isn’t as good as other products on the market such as Clarins or Vichy.

I am a cellulite cream addict. Not because I really need it, but because I like the “firming” feelings. I have used so many in the past. They all “work”, temporarily that is. They all mainly tighten and firm or make the skin tingle for 5 minutes to try to convince you that it works. But, these creams do work. They stop working once you stop using them. So I am a fan of these creams especially if you know you are going on a bikini wearing vacation, etc. But, I don’t have moon craters or an extreme case of cellulite. I’m just jiggly and use these creams to firm the skin a little bit.

Anyways, I thought I would give a drugstore brand a try since Lancome, Clarins, Vichy, Estee Lauder, and all that jazz can be expensive. St.Ives Cellulite Gel Creme retails for $8 for 6.7 ounces. It has a nice texture: a gel creme. It is light and refreshing. It feels almost like a silicone based hair serum but it is not greasy and is super fast absorbing. It almost absorbs like a powder. It has a fruity citrus fragrance that isn’t offensive and doesn’t hang around. It just smells fresh. It contains many of the ingredients of the more expensive creams: green tea, caffeine, citrus extracts, menthol, etc. It has a nice texture and an OK fragrance. It claims that you “can feel it working”, I assume this must mean that it tingles. I haven’t had that at all. I’m used to my industrial strength products that “tingle” the cellulite demons out of your skin. So, for me it doesn’t burn, tingle, any of that. I don’t have a problem with that. My beef is that I haven’t seen a difference. I mean, I feel no firming at all. I can skip an application without noticing any negative effects. This is just a lightweight toning lotion in my opinion. That Jergen’s firming lotion does the same as this except it is heavier. This is lightweight and may make a nice “lotion” for the entire body in the summer. It isn’t’ a horrible product it is just an extremely “mild” product in contrast to what I usually use. It may work for you. I find that these products are like lip plumpers, everybody has their favorite.

I know I could live without cellulite creams at all. I don’t really need them. We all know that diet and exercise and being skinny is what really diminishes cellulite. We also know that we can be more prone to it because of heredity just like stretch marks. I also know, from doing makeup for photoshoots that skinny bitches has a few body dimples as well. No cream is going to rid these flaws. I just like the temporary firming feeling. Nobody really sees my body. I do it for myself. And I like to waste money on stupid things…

Weekly Cheap Secret:

This is one of my favorite finds. Yes, I like Bonne Bell, the maker of soda pop flavored lip gloss from the disco era. I bought this product because I was out of something more expensive (Bobbi Brown) and I didn’t have the money to spend on something that I thought wasn’t a necessity. Now this is a necessity. I love flawless complexions. To me flawless complexions resemble store mannequins or Barbie. I know many people don’t like the “plastic” look. Sometimes you’ll read reviews about how somebody hates something so much because it made them look “plasticy”, this is when I run out and pick this product up. I love “plasticy” not “plastery”. I love dewy and glimmery. And shimmery looks photograph so well. People compliment me on my complexion frequently and it because I wear this stuff.

This product sells for under $10. It contains four shimmery shades ranging from shimmery pale beige to shimmery taupe. I blend them together for a perfect beige look. It is a heavenly pressed powder that wears for hours. I apply it over my cheekbones and down my nose. It really “wakes” my skin up. I wear it on the eyes too. It is a great multi purpose product. I’ve went through so many of these. I always have it in my case and I swear by it.

Worn on my cheeks over NARS blush.

Worn on my cheeks over NARS blush.

I tried telling my job that I am really an Incan princess but they didn’t buy it. I thought it was a great scheme but it didn’t work. Just works for Yma because she is convincing. I on the other hand wear false lashes and red lipstick for no apparent reason. Yma is my favorite Incan princess. I hope one day I can grow up and be just like her.

To get the look apply foundation and concealer as needed. A matte foundation really looks nice for this look. Apply something like Clarins Truly Matte Foundation and a little bit of Clarins Instant Light Perfecting Touch Concealer. Powder really isn’t needed unless you have a major issue with oil. Brows are perfect and penciled in. Yma went for the dark brow look, my favorite. Pencil brows in with something like Revlon Brow Fantasy Pencil and Gel in Black if you have dark hair. Then, sculpt the brows into place with the tar colored gel. Apply foundation to lids to even out the tone and absorb oil. Apply a matte, nude eyeshadow all over the lid. Try something like L’Oreal Wear Infinite Single Eyeshadow in Seashell. This look is all about the liquid liner and false lashes. Apply a liquid liner in a cat-eye look, extending out on the top lashline. Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner Liner in Blackest Black creates a nice thick line. Apply a lovely strip of thick, black false lashes. There are many brands on the market. Now, to the bold lips. Line lips with Avon Glimmersticks Lip Liner in Red Brick to keep lipstick from bleeding. Apply Victoria’s Secret Perfect Lipstick in Slow Burn, a bright red. Go around the mouth with a Q-tip with a little bit of makeup remover if you just happen to draw out of the lines. Cheeks are pretty sheer and just have a hint of color. Apply Lancome Blush Subtil in Sheer Amourose.  Fragrance is difficult for me to decide for this look, I’m thinking something like Molton Brown Davana Blossom. Now you are the Incan princess that you deserve to be.

Weekly cheap secret: I bought a tube of this on sale for .99¢ and I still have half of it left and I’ve been using it for over six months. I really like this little bargain. It is different than many of the other formulas that I have used in the past. I’m usually a die hard Lancome Bifacil user. I like dual aqua/oil eye makeup remover formulas. I like the rosewater gentle stuff like by Clarins and Lancome but I wear too much eye makeup for that stuff to do anything. Water removes more eye makeup than those formulas. Avon Moisture Effective is a lotion based product. It is a rich formula and may not be so great for oily skins. I have normal to dry skin and this doesn’t bother me. A little goes a long way. I apply it, smear it around the eyes and lashes and wash off (pat) with a damp cotton round. My eye area is left completely naked, happy, moisturized, and clean. Plus, there is no need to tug or pull at the eye area. I have made mistakes of using this with my contacts in. Boy, does it make those things blurry if you get this on the lenses. It is great on the end of a Q-tip to correct mistakes, especially liquid liner mistakes. I love this product and I recommend it for anyone who is a heavy eye makeup wearer or for those days you wear alot of makeup. It usually retails for $4 and is usually on sale for $1 or $2. It’s an amazing cheap bargain. Just one ounce has lasted me for over 6 months.