I would sum this eye cream up as a great preventive eye cream for normal skin. A “starter” eye cream as I call them. I’ve been using it since the beginning of summer. It is odorless, very creamy, fast absorbing, no stingy despite its SPF of 20. It does have a “souffle” like texture. It’s nice. However, it doesn’t do very much other than “protect” and moisturize. It has done nothing for dark circles. As far as fine lines goes, which this product claims to “reduce”, I haven’t noticed that. But, I am 25. I don’t really have fine lines. I need to prevent them as much as I can. Like I said, this is a “starter” eye cream. You should be using this during the day if you have pretty good skin anyways. Or you should use more of a treatment eye cream in the PM to address certain concerns. I will most likely purchase again, especially for summer months. It’s difficult to find that high of a SPF that doesn’t sting the eyes plus this does provide some moisture and my concealer just glides right on afterwards, no tugging. One day I know I will graduate to more of a heavy duty eye cream during the day, for now this will do. It retails for $47, not bad for a Dior product, and can be purchased on sephora.com.

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

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I bought this strange thing. OK, it has a name eos which stands for Evolution of Smooth. I was attracted to this product because it is 95% USDA organic and 100% natural with ingredients like shea butter and olive oil, even has honeysuckle flower extract! I needed a lip balm and thought I would try something new. (OK maybe not needed…) I’m not tired of my Rose Bud Salve, I love that stuff. I  just wanted something less glossy. I need a “balm”. I ordered this from drugstore.com for $3.99. I couldn’t really judge scale or anything from it because I have never seen this product in person before. I guess it is sold at Target and at Safeway here in the PNW.  I was tempted by the “honeysuckle” flavor claim. I wanted it to take me back to my childhood when sucking the nectar out of honeysuckle blossoms was the best treat ever. Well, this is the “smooth sphere” so what I got was a strange melon green sphere thing the size of a small chicken or quail egg with a twist off top. Unfortunately mine looks dirty because it rolled around and got grimy in the drugstore.com box. Inside is a lip balm, like the size of a small quail egg. It’s huge and you just apply it like you would a tube lip balm. I have a big mouth and one swipe and I’m done. It reminds me of those old school and huge Lip Smackers. One swipe of those and I was done too. I think when it gets flat, I can just use my fingers to get it out. I don’t know yet. The fragrance is more honeydew melon and not honeysuckle.  It’s a fresh and very sweet honeydew melon that doesn’t smell “fake” like a Lip Smackers 🙂 Really the odor is very faint and not offensive, I just wish it was more floral. However, the flavor is sweet like honeysuckle. Not the type of floral sweet found in honeysuckle but more like the sweet “honey”/nectar found in a honeysuckle. I really don’t “smell” it but I taste it. The balm is smooth, not sticky. I like the way it feels. It is a good lip balm, not too thick or waxy but not too thin or overly slippery. Unfortunately it doesn’t wear very long and I find that I have to reapply very, very frequently. It’s not a bad product, my only complaint is the lasting power. . Mainly I like the strange shape which reminds me of a Kinder Egg with a lip balmy surprise. The sphere also comes in Summer Fruit and Sweet Mint. eos also sells from their website. They also sell a shaving cream and lip balm in a stick form.

WEELKY CHEAP SECRET:

Sometimes I will stumble across something that I would of never, ever purchased in a million years. However, I will try it (usually by accident or random sample) and find that I really, really like it. This is one of those products.

I was in the local Walgreen’s (which one? every town has like 50). I was picking up the usual necessities and drugstore faves and couldn’t wait on a drugstore.com order. The nice teenie bopper behind the counter gave me a handful of samples, which I wasn’t aware that Walgreen’s even did this. I went home and looked them over and it was this unknown Merlot brand. I had them stored in my little 50’s poodle “sample and GWP” box. I ran out of my usual favorite Clarins cream and was waiting on an online order. I grabbed a few samples out of the rainy day box. I started to use the Merlot Day Moisturizer. I was really impressed with its texture, smell, etc. Well, I ran out of Clarins and actually decided to buy a jar of this instead.

I had to look Merlot up. Don’t judge them by there looks. It looks like a mail order product but obviously it is carried in some stores (based in El Paso, TX). However, the website does offer free shipping on purchases of $50 or more: merlotskincare. com. There schtick is that everything contains red grapeseed polyphenols and claims to be a super awesome antioxidant for the skin, better than Vitamin E and C. I have read a lot about red wine and its antioxidants. I’m sure we all have, we love to hear positive health news about some of our favorite vices 🙂 I know that we would have to drink like a million gallons a day of wine to get as much of the polyphenols that we need to make our skin look youthful. But, there is some very positive studies our there about applying the grapeseed extract to skin. Many skincare brands add this to their mix, expensive or not. Anyways, Merlot appears to be an “antioxidant” skincare line to protect and preserve. I don’t know if I believe any of it, skincare in general. I mean I don’t know if we can smear some stuff topically onto our bodies for a positive effect. I just know that I want to believe in it and the power of positive thinking is great thing. Worries cause wrinkles and believing that  I’m using a great product keeps me from worrying!

Anyways, It is carried at drugstores and does carry a drugstore price tag which is really nice when I am saving up for a down payment for a house. I got the huge 4 ouunce jar with a “travel” sized bonus for under $15. It is almost a gel cream texture. It is super lightweight, really nice for warmer weather. It absorbs very quickly but leaves my skin feeling moisturized and a bit “cool”.  Usually I would have to use a very heavy cream to get that “taken care of” feeling. But, this leaves absolutely no residue. It also contains an SPF 15 which my Clarins or my other go to, Shiseido, did not have. Another bonus for summer since that is the only time the sun shines in the Northwest. It claims to have no fragrance. I find that hard to believe. It has a slightly fresh, fruity stone fruit or “grapey” aroma. I really like the fragrance. It only “smells” when in the packaging and quickly disappears when the moisturizer absorbs. My makeup blends beautifully over it. I have younger skin so I can’t say that I’ve seen a difference using this stuff as far as wrinkles go. But, my skin does “glow” a little more and I feel my complexion isn’t so dull or blotchy. I have pretty normal-to-dry skin that gets more normal in the summer. This is the perfect warm weather moisturizer match for me. I would say that since is a good “preventive” cream. It is lightweight, contains SPF, and contains antioxidants. Perfect for the 20 to 35 age range.

The downside to this product is that it has butt ugly packaging. But, that is OK. I may be a packaging whore but I know that a product is not worth its packaging. That is the downside for the product though because if left up to me, I would of never wanted to try it because it didn’t look interesting. The cream is also a strange lilac shade in the packaging. It doesn’t tint the skin or anything. I just think it is a weird color for a face cream. But, those things are very minor and quite petty really.

I really like this line and I know that I’ll give the body products a try. I needed a lesson like this. I needed to be reminded that price (or packaging) has nothing to do with a product’s quality or effectiveness. I needed that because I feel broke going through this stupid path to home ownership process.

rosecollage

Sometimes I just get in a rosy mood. I just want rose scented everything. Luckily, there are many options out there. These are just a few of my favorites. If I had to narrow it down to my top 5…I would have to choose the items I keep repurchasing: Smith’s Rosebud Salve, Benefit Benetint, Fresh Rose Face Mask, Dr. Hunter’s Hand Creme, and Thayer’s Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner. I love so many rose fragrances but I don’t run out of them too often since I can be embalmed in my current fragrance collection.

I don’t associate rose scent as grandmotherly. My grandmothers wear Estee Lauder Youth Dew and Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. Not very rosy items. I just love rose. I love to smell them when they first bloom. They really represent nice, mild weather to me. Which is nice because the roses outside of the window completely opened up this morning. Time to open up that window.

For once I am purchasing a product not just because of its fragrance. In fact with the Caress Exotic Oil Infusions, I am not too wild about the fragrance. I just love the product. It is the perfect shower gel for my skin. I use this stuff and then slap on some cocoa butter lotion and my skin looks so healthy and like it is glowing. It feels very “touchable” and I actually get compliments on the condition of my skin. It just looks flawless.

The products comes in three “flavors”: Moroccan, Brazilian, and Japanese. The fragrances are pretty faint in comparison to other shower products on the market. Moroccan is a blend of cassis cream and starflower oil. It smells somewhat floral but a bit woodsy as well. It reminds me of Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy, a very faint and tolerable version. It’s somewhat feminine but just a little masculine. Brazilian is enhanced with passion flower cream and acai fruit oil. It smells somewhat fruity and like passion flower. It smells a bit “fuzzy” and a little fermented.  Japanese has white lotus cream and kuikui nut oil. I have not used this one so I can’t comment on its fragrance. The funny thing about this product is that despite it’s “exotic” ingredients and fragrance that is supposed to represent its “country”, they all feel exactly the same (who knew that acai fruit oil and kuikui nut oil are so similiar?). And the fragrance left on the skin smells the same. One world, I guess. Luckily the scent doesn’t hang around very long. I am sure it would disappear completely if paired with a fragrant body lotion/cream. The scent doesn’t linger but the moisture does. I can’t get over how smooth my skin is when I use this. I think in the summer this would be all I need. No lotion. I don’t use it with a loofah. I just apply it directly, massage it in, and rinse. This seems to really work for me. The price is under $7 for a big bottle. Granted that since I do not use a loofah/sponge, it doesn’t last very long. But, I have used very expensive things in the past and nothing has actually improved the condition of my skin like this. I can ignore its scent. I have to say that so far my favorite scent is Moroccan out of the ones that I have tried. So ignore the scent and the image of the product that says, “Want to try a Moroccan beauty secret? You’ll enchate everyone around you!” Lame but a really nice product. It’s available at drugstore.com.


As you know by now, lip plumpers aren’t working unless they are burning the daylights out of your lips. I feel they are so popular, well other than the fantastic claim, but I feel they are popular because women love to feel pain for cosmetic reasons. We like the reminder that something is uncomfortable because it reminds us of how “sexy” we are. That is why we continue to wear 6 inch wood heeled pumps, thongs, and strapless bras. It (the pain) will be on our minds more reminding us that we are damn sexy. Anyways, lip plumpers are one of those things. I have big lips and I still fall for and buy lip plumper. Other than being stupid, I just like the pain. It is simple as that. I feel like, “geez, this is really working”. The Borghese Lip Plumper is OK. It is clear and not too shiny. It burns. For some reason it burns more than Duwop or Too Faced on me. So, in my mind it is really working. So it contains all of those irritating ingredients. That isn’t too special. The price is expensive at $31.50 a tube. It can be picked up on beauty.com. It does plump up the lips and makes them have a bit more “color”. It plumps out the lines on the lips and makes them look so smooth. Other products can be layered over this. It isn’t sooo glossy. I feel like my lips keep the “plump” for hours, so there is no need to keep torturing yourself.