Category Archives: Olay

Spotted: New Fall 2014 Collections from the Drugstore

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It’s been over a month since I did my last “spotted” post, and there are plenty of cool new collections out at the drugstore.  I have a few of them to show you today, including Milani, Maybelline, CoverGirl+Olay, Sally Hansen, and Wet n Wild.  Some are limited edition, some are permanent, but all of the products are pretty interesting.  So, let’s get started.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

First up, we have the new Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish.  SH claims that this 2 step method (polish and top coat) creates a real gel manicure, but without the lamp.  No curing process needed, and it is supposed to remove with normal nail polish remover.  Too good to be true, or true miracle indeed?  I’m not sure yet, but I will let you know.  There are 45 shades in the collection, and though this display didn’t have all of them, it did have a 2-pack with a polish and the top coat.  I am not loving the nearly $10 price tag per polish, but for gel lovers, this may be a great option.

Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow

Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow

I finally spotted the new Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow.  I am not sure what gel powder means, so here is what Milani has to say: “Rich, vibrant color that glides on in a single stroke, delivering a stunning multi-dimensional effect. What makes it a gel powder? Well, the formula starts as a gel and then is transformed by a special process into a stunning powder eyeshadow with pure color and power wear. The unique process allows you to blend this incredibly innovative, weightless formula easily with your fingertips to light up your eyes. Even more to entice: It can used wet or dry, resists creasing, and comes in satin matte, shimmer and iridescent metallic finishes. You just have to try this gel powder. It’s that different.”  There are 30 shades in this new permanent collection.

Maybelline Fashion Rocks

Maybelline Fashion Rocks

Next up is the Limited Edition Maybelline Fashion Rocks Live Fall 2014 collection. This collection celebrates Fashion Rocks which is an annual international charity fundraiser event that debuts on CBS on September 9th.  The Maybelline Fashion Rocks Collection is broken into four looks which include Indie Princess, Rock Goddess, Urban Attitude, and Sultry Siren.  The collection features repromoted shades for eyes and lips, but the Color Show nail polishes are new LE shades.

CoverGirl+Olay The De-Puffer

CoverGirl+Olay The De-Puffer

CoverGirl+Olay The De-Puffer Eye Concealer has a cooling metal tip in the squeeze tube to massage away the look of puffiness and dark circles.  With Olay Rejuvenating serum and cucumber extract, this could be a big hit for those with aging eyes.  I have more issues with fine lines than with puffiness or dark circles, so I may pass.  It does look promising, though.  If any of you have tried it, let me know what you think.

Wet n Wild Fall 2014 Limited Edition Megalast Matte Nail Colors

Wet n Wild Fall 2014 Limited Edition Megalast Matte Nail Colors

Lastly, we have Wet n Wild Fall 2014 Limited Edition Megalast Matte Nail Colors.  Wet n Wild has released three limited edition collections for Fall 2014.  There is a collection of limited edition matte lipsticks, as well as a collection of limited edition Coloricon 5-Pan Eyeshadow Palettes that my drugstore did not have.  But, they did have this display of Megalast Matte Nail Colors.  There are no repromotes in this display, and all six shades look fantastic for Fall.  That gorgeous navy blue is calling to me, especially at only $1.99, but I am trying to stick to my no-buy.  Still, these are pretty nice.

That’s it for this round.  I can’t wait to see what else pops up as we get more into Fall.  I feel like the drugstores around me get collections very late compared to other places.  But hopefully I can find the new limited edition collections early enough to show you so that you can get your hands on them if you want them.  More Fall displays should be on their way, as well as 2014 Halloween displays.  After that, my favorite time of year brings all of the Holiday collections.  Be sure to keep your eyes peeled when you are out and about because there will be a lot to see.  🙂

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Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleansing System

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Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleansing System

I purchased the Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleansing System months ago (hence the white background in the pictures) and am now ready to review it.  With skincare items like this I wanted to use it for a good long while so that I could give an accurate review over time.  I already own the Olay Pro-X cleansing brush and love it, but I don’t use it every day because of my skin sensitivities.  I wanted the Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleansing Brush because I wanted to use a smaller brush just on my nose where I have large pores on days that I don’t use the Pro-X.  The Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleansing System is around $12-$14, so it’s pretty affordable.  Here is what Olay has to say: “Liberate your skin from dirt, oil, and makeup for fresh, fearless, unstoppable freshness.   An ingeniously designed power brush to get around your face’s contours—the T-zone, hairline, and nose—for a 400% better clean compared to basic cleansing.  Fresh has never felt, or looked, so good.”

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Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleansing System

The Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleansing System comes with a small Powered Cleansing Brush and a 20ml tube of Shine, Shine Go Away cleanser.  The cleanser is alright, though nothing special.  It provides a nice clean feeling, but is a pain to wash off because of the thick formula.  The brush, which is the main focus of  this review, is perplexing.  It has some wonderful qualities, but ultimately falls short.  Let me break it down for you.

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Size Comparison: Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleanser vs Canon camera lens cap

First of all, the cleansing brush is really small.  Here is a size comparison between the Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleanser and a standard Canon camera lens cap.  I actually really like the size.  The brush is travel-friendly, and the small triangle head is perfect for getting around the contours of the face, especially around the nose.  The unique size and shape is exactly the reason I bought it in the first place, wanting to target the nose area.

The brush has one speed with an on button and an off button located on the handle.  It takes one AAA battery that is replaceable.  Simply unscrew the knob at the bottom of the brush and the head rises.  You can then pull out the head, replace the battery, and screw it back in.  It is a vibrating head, not one that rotates.  I am okay with that, especially since my Pro-X has a rotating head.  The problem I have with the Cleansing brush is the brush head itself.

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Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleanser Head

Olay claims that the system offers a “Facial cleansing brush with super-soft bristles”.  They lie.  The Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleanser does not have brush bristles at all.  Instead, it has small rubber nubs.  I think that they are ineffectual and ill suited for this type of device.  When I first started to use the cleansing brush, it made my nose tickle and itch so much that I could hardly stand it for more than a few seconds at a time.  Eventually I got used to the sensation, but it has never been comfortable.  The rubber “bristles” don’t lather up the cleanser very well, so it doesn’t feel like you are getting a good cleanse.  The nubs just don’t have enough give to be either comfortable or effectual.  Since I started to use it, I have noticed no difference in my skin, and I strongly dislike the feel of the brush.  It’s just not worth it.

The Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleansing System could have been a really good product.  They weren’t off by much.  Unfortunately the poorly designed brush head on the Cleansing Brush makes the product a fail for me.  I haven’t use it nearly as often as I should have, considering how long I’ve had it, and I put that solely on the bad design.  Save your money and invest in something else.

Top 10 Drugstore Products that I Can’t Live Without

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Drugstore Top 10

I have a ton of makeup.  This is not news.  In this blog, I bring you a lot of great products in my reviews, and I show you what I’m loving in my Monthly Favorites posts.  I try to mix things up so that it stays fun and interesting (How boring would it be if I had the same favorites every month?).  Because of that, it can be tough for you to keep track of what the really great items are with the ever revolving door of products on this blog.  That’s why I want to show you my top ten items for makeup and skincare.  These are items that I use all the time, all year round.  They could be in my favorites every single month.  I will repurchase them all when I run out, and have repurchased some of them many times.  The best part is that these are all drugstore (and Ulta, Target, etc.) products, so they are budget friendly.  These are (in no particular order) my top 10 items that I don’t want to be without.

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Wet n Wild ColorIcon Eyeshadow in Brulee

The first item is the Wet n Wild ColorIcon shadow in Brulee.  This may not look like much in the pan, but I use it with almost every eye look that I do.  It is the perfect “magic eraser” shade to flawlessly blend out the edges of any shadow.  It is my go-to brow-bone shade. I use so many shimmer shadows on my lid, it’s nice to finish off with a matte shade.  Also, I don’t love skimmer shades under my brow-bone because that area is a little puffy on me and I don’t want to over-emphasize it.  Brulee is fabulous and goes with everything.  I have backups of this shadow because I do not want to be without it.

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Sonia Kashuk Medium Fluffy Eyeshadow Brush

Along the same lines, is this Sonia Kashuk Medium Fluffy Eyeshadow Brush.  This is the perfect blending brush.  I finish all of my eye looks with this brush (usually with the Brulee eyeshadow) and it works like a dream.  It is fluffy, but dense, and allows for really good control.  I find Sonia Kashuk at Target.  I bought a back up of this brush because I love it so much.

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NYX Slide-On Eye Pencils in Brown Perfection and Golden Olive

I’m sure that this is no shock, but my absolute favorite liners are the NYX Slide-On eye pencils.  I like several other brands, but these Slide-On liners are the perfect formula for me.  They don’t smudge, and you don’t have to set them with a powder.  Now that I have used Zero for a few months, I can say that they are dead-on dupes for the Urban Decay 24/7 liners.  I use Brown Perfection and Golden Olive all the time, and they are my favorites.  They are really fantastic.  I hope that NYX keeps making them because I will continue to buy them as long as they are available.

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Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes

To remove my makeup, I use Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes.  I love the ease of makeup wipes, and have tried several brands.  Ponds, LA Fresh, the Target brand… none of them work for me the way the Neutrogena ones do.  I use the wipes to remove my eye makeup, and a lot of other wipes sting my eyes.  Neutrogena wipes don’t sting at all, and they don’t strip my skin.  I always wash my face with cleanser afterwards to really get my face clean.  I vary what cleansers I use, but the Neutrogena wipes are a staple.

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Jergens Ultra Healing lotion

Another item that I can not be without and use every day, is Jergens Ultra Healing lotion.  I like to use body butters and scented lotions too, but I change those out all the time.  One thing that never changes that I have been using for years is Jergens.  It may not be the most fun or flashy product, but I will always have Jergens Ultra Healing lotion.

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e.l.f. Makeup Remover Pen

The e.l.f. Makeup Remover Pen has been a wonderful addition to my collection.  It’s the king of product that makes me wonder how I lived without it.  The remover isn’t too oily or creamy, so it doesn’t smear where I don’t want it, but it removes the problem areas really well.  It has a semi-precise point, so I can even get mascara smudges on the lid without removing the eyeshadow underneath.  For only $3.00, this is such a good product.

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Maybelline Color Whisper in Made-it-Mauve

I am completely in love with Maybelline’s Color Whisper in Made-it-Mauve.  It is the perfect color for me.  The Color Whisper formula is comfortable and hydrating on the lips, and Made-it-Mauve is just gorgeous.  I keep coming back to it.  I can wear it all year long, no matter what the season.  I love it, and will definitely repurchase when I run out.

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Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum (fragrance-free)

Another staple for me is the Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum (fragrance-free).  It has been so great for making my dry skin less dry. I use this silicone-based serum to lock in moisture and help heal my skin discoloration.  It has softened my fine lines and helped a lot with redness.  It makes my skin feel velvety soft and healthy.  I’ve been using this Serum for about a year and a half now, and have no plan on stopping.

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Seche Vite top coat

Seche Vite is the only top coat I use.  I’ve tried other ones, but I love how Seche Vite smoothes out wonky texture and can save a bad manicure without having to repaint.  It dries rock hard in a flash.  Seche Vite is a cult favorite for a reason.  It works.  I also use the base coat, but the Seche Vite top coat is my favorite.  The only bad thing about it is that it thickens up before I get all the way through the bottle.  That’s really annoying because I usually like to use every last drop of a product before I toss it.  However, Seche Vite is so good, that I am willing to put up with that.  I have repurchased, and will do so again.

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Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment

Finally, one product that I really can’t live without is the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment.  Neutrogena had discontinued this product, but there was a public outcry and they brought it back.  Thank God!  I had used this product for over a year when it was discontinued.  I’ve had to go several months without it, using other products trying to replace it.  I’ve been using Paula’s Choice Beta Hydroxy Acid lotion, but I don’t really like it.  I have the lotion, as opposed to the gel) because it is the formula recommended for dry skin, but it doesn’t blend in very well.  I’ve been breaking out and having more redness over the last few months, and I am sure it is because I’ve been without the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment.  Right now it is available again on Neutrogena’s website and Walgreens’ website.  I haven’t seen it in stores again yet, but I am sure that it is coming soon. Those with dry skin, don’t be scared off by the name of this product.  The Neutrogena Treatment contains 2% salicylic acid, and is a good BHA exfoliator for all skin types.  It has actually helped a lot with my Rosacea redness.  It definitely has moisturizing ingredients, and those with oily skin may not even need to add a light moisturizer on top of it.  It is such a good product and I don’t want to be without it again.

Those are my Top 10 products from the drugstore for both makeup and skin care.  They all make a difference in my routine, especially the skincare items, and I miss them when I am out.  How about you?  What are your go-to products that you don’t want to be without?  Let me know in the comments below.

Spotted: New in Skincare

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I was at Walgreens over the weekend, and while I didn’t see any new makeup displays, I did spot a couple skincare displays that you may be interested in.  So I snapped some pics with my phone, and here we are.

Maybelline Clean Express

Maybelline Clean Express Makeup Remover Collection

Maybelline has a new Clean Express line of makeup removers.  Included in the line are the Clean Express Flash Clean Makeup Removing Lotion, the Clean Express Facial Towelettes, and the Clean Express Eye Makeup Remover in both Classic and Waterproof formulas.  I forgot to grab the price on these, but I believe that they retail for $4.99-$5.99, depending on where you buy them.  I have already heard some good things about the eye makeup removers, and am wondering about the rest of the line.  Kudos to Maybelline for branching out into skincare as well as makeup.

Olay Fresh Effects

Olay Fresh Effects Collection

Fresh Effects is a huge new collection from Olay, focusing on getting the younger generation hooked on the brand.  Olay is targeting Millennials, giving them “Unstoppable freshness that lasts all day”.  There are seven products available in this display; the Olay Fresh Effects: Bead Me Up! Exfoliating Cleanser ($7.99), Shine, Shine Go Away! Shine Minimizing Cleanser ($7.99), S’Wipe Out! Refreshing Makeup Removal Cloths ($5.49), Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleansing System ($14.99), Olay Fresh Effects, BB Cream! Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer SPF15 in Fair to Light and Light To Medium  ($14.99), and the Long Live Moisture! Moisturizer for Happy, Healthy-Looking Skin ($14.99).  Some of these items do look very interesting, I have to say.

Revlon Magnetic Style nail Polish

Revlon Magnetic Style Nail Polish

And last up, not skin care and not exactly new, I finally spotted the Revlon magnetic Style nail polish.  This collection came out months ago, but I hadn’t seen it until now.  Revlon Magnetic Style has five shades in the line, and a starburst shaped magnet in the cap.  They retail at my Walgreens for $9.99.

I hope that you saw something that you like.  I am very tempted to try out some of the Olay Fresh Effects line, since I already use Olay products.  Have you tried any of the Fresh Effects line?  What about Maybelline Clean Express?  Let me know in the comments below what your experience was.

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System Review

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Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

I received the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System for Christmas from my husband who is made of awesome, and have been using it since early January.  I think that it has been enough time for me to get a good idea of how it works and give you an educated  review.  The Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System has been a very popular alternative for people like me, who are interested in the Clarisonic but don’t want to spend $200.

Before we begin, a few things to take note of.  I use Olay moisturizers and cleansers daily, so I am familiar with the brand and like it in general.  I have dry skin with mild rosacea, so I have certain sensitivities that others do not.  Finally, I have not tried the Carisonic, or any other cleansing system of this kind, so the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System is not like any other product that I have tried.

Here is what Olay has to say:

Is it time to rethink your daily cleansing routine? Designed by a team of dermatologists along with Olay, the Advanced Cleansing System is as effective as a system sold by skin professionals for nearly $200. Professionally and clinically designed to cleanse 6 times better [than basic cleansing], the Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System also sets your skin up for supersonic anti-aging moisturization [by maximizing the immediate hydrating effectiveness of your anti-aging moisturizer]. 2-speed rotating system delivers daily deep cleansing and gentle exfoliation for brighter, smoother skin.

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System is a mechanical cleansing brush, which appears similar to the Clarisonic.  There are three main differences between the two.  First, the brush head on the Clarisonic oscillates back and forth while the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System brush head rotates in a full circle.  Second, the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing brush takes two AA batteries, while the Clarisonic has a charger.  Lastly, there is a huge price difference.  As I said before, the Clarisonic is $200 or, if you get the Mia, it’s around $150.  That is way too much for me to spend.  Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System is around $35, and is widely available.  The products that came in my pack are the battery operated brush, a 6 oz bottle of Olay Pro-X Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser, 1 replacement brush head, and 2 AA batteries.  I believe the husband purchased it for $35 at BJ’s.

I personally really like my Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System.  The main reason that I was so interested in trying Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System out is because I get cystic acne (which are those painful zits that occur under the skin and don’t present with a head) in the same place all the time.  I know it is often caused by hormonal changes, but I had heard that these deep cleansing brushes are really good for clearing them up somehow.  I have found that my skin is much more clear since using the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing brush and my cystic acne has pretty much disappeared.  I still get breakouts, especially rosacea bumps, when I am really stressed out (like in March when I was dealing with everything that happened with my grandmother), but otherwise my skin has been doing really well.

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing brush and replacement brush head

The first couple weeks using Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System my skin did have some issues, which is normal.  Many people experience breakouts, flaking, or mild irritation when starting a new skincare regime.  (If you experience anything beyond mild irritation to any product or if it lasts for more than a week, you may be having a bad reaction and should discontinue immediately or consult a Dr.)  Since my skin has special sensitivities, I chose to start slowly by only using the brush once a week and adding in more days gradually.  Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing brush has two speeds, so I use the low speed on my cheeks, which are the most sensitive area on my face, and the higher speed on less sensitive areas like my chin, nose, and forehead.  I still don’t use it everyday, but that is because of my own skin issues.  Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System is gentle enough to use everyday if you want.  The rotating brush head is super soft and it exfoliates without irritating.  It actually kind of feels like a massage.  I think people with sensitive skin can feel confident in trying Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing brush, as long as they are smart and allow time for their skin to adjust.

In addition to clearer skin, the texture of my skin has improved.  I certainly see my skin as smoother and think my complexion is brighter.  The husband had even noticed a difference, so that says a lot.  You can use the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System to remove makeup, but I choose not to.  I prefer to remove my makeup first so the brush head stays cleaner longer.  It’s easy to pop the brush head off and replace it with a new one.  I have been using the brush since January and have not had to replace the batteries yet.  Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System is water resistant, so it is fine to use in the shower.

I really don’t have anything negative to say about the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System.  If you are interested in the Clarisonic, but refuse to pay $200, this may be a good alternative.  Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing is not the same thing as the Clarisonic, but it is a good cleansing brush that gets the job done.  You can find the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System at drugstores, as well as Target, Ulta, Walmart, and also some club stores.  Prices will vary by location, but it should be around $35 or so.

On a completely different note, I have 150 posts here on BiBB.  Yay!!!!  I hope that you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you.  🙂

2011 Favorites: The Final Chapter

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This is the fourth and final chapter in my 2011 Favorites series.  This post will cover skincare as well as body and hair care.  For the final time, when I say “favorites of 2011,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product came out in 2011, but that it has been a favorite of mine this last year.  I chose one favorite and one honorable mention in each category.  My favorites are all drugstore items (and Bath & Body Works) but my honorable mentions may include high-end items.  I also limited my selection to items that I had time to enjoy during the year, so anything I got in November or December is not going to be included.  Just because a product isn’t listed, doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it.  These products are the ones that really stood out to me this last year.  I’ve reviewed many of these products, so be sure to click the provided links for more info.  I forgot to include the prices this time, but all of my “favorite” choices are budget friendly.

Skincare  I covered most of these products in my Skincare Routine post, so check that out for more details.

Makeup Remover:

Favorite- Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes  I prefer the Neutrogena wipes to take off my makeup because they remove all of it without stripping my skin.  The Neutrogena formula feels slightly oily (not the bad kind), as if I were removing my makeup the old fashioned way with night cream.  Because I follow this step with cleanser, I don’t fear the oils.  My skin certainly appreciates the more moisturizing Neutrogena wipes over other brands.  They don’t irritate mt eyes at all, and mascara and eyeliner are no match.

Honorable mention- Ponds Clean Sweep, Original Clean Wet Cleansing Towelettes  I used these for the first half of the year and they worked well, but I prefer more hydration.  Those with oily skin may prefer these to the Neutrogena version.

Cleanser:

Favorite- Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads  The pad is smooth on one side to lift away dirt, oil and makeup, and textured on the other side to gently exfoliate and smooth away dry patches. The textured side is perfect to mildly exfoliate without causing the micro-tears on my skin that harsh abrasive scrubs cause. My skin feels fresh and clean, without stinging or turning red.  Read my full review here.

Honorable mention- Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Regenerating Cream Cleanser  This cleanser has teeny tiny micro beads, so there is a little bit of exfoliation, but not too much.  It’s super gentle and does not strip my skin of moisture while still giving me a clean feeling.

Treatment:

Favorite- Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment  I use this as a BHA treatment. Those with dry skin, don’t be scared off by the name of this product.  The Neutrogena Treatment contains 2% salicylic acid, and is a good BHA lotion for all skin types.  It has actually helped a lot with my Rosacea redness and definitely has moisturizing ingredients, leaving a decent level of hydration.

Honorable mentionClark’s Botanicals Intense Radiance Mask  I received a sample of this white clay mask in my October Birch Box.  It smelled fantastic, left my skin feeling great, and the sample was large enough for three masks.  It really left quite an impression and is the best product that I’ve put on my skin all year.  Too bad about it’s $72 price tag.

Moisturizer:

Favorite- Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum  Since I’ve been using the Eye Lifting Serum I have not had any problems with dry patches on my lids and the fine lines around my eyes are much less noticeable, so this is a Holy Grail product for me now.  I will absolutely repurchase again and again.

Honorable mentionOlay Regenerist Regenerating Serum (Fragrance Free) I use this silicone-based serum to lock in moisture and help heal my skin discoloration.  It has softened my fine lines and helped a lot with redness.

Body

Bath/Shower Gel:

Favorite- Bath & Body Works Shower Gel  I am totally loyal to B&BW and almost exclusively use these shower gels.  I have several favorite scents and love the formula.  I will probably always use Bath & Body Works Shower Gel to get clean and yummy-smelling.

Honorable mention- Philosophy Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath in “Vanilla Birthday Cake”  I received this multi-tasking product in July as my free birthday gift from Sephora.  I really like how creamy and moisturizing the formula is.  Though I’m not a fan of sugary scents most of the time, I’ve been loving the scent this winter.  One tip though, don’t try to use it as a shampoo.  Philosophy lies, ‘nough said.

Moisturizer:

Favorite- Boots Extracts Body Butter  I am really loving Boots Extracts Body Butter, in Brazil Nut especially, and featured it in my November favorites.  I am a huge body butter lover, and for me, the thicker the better.  Boots brand is really thick and creamy, and leaves my skin feeling amazingly soft.  I’ve also smelled the mango and shea butter scents and they all smell divine.

Honorable mentionJergens Ultra Healing Lotion  Call me old fashioned, but I have been a regular user of plain old Jergens Lotion for years.  It will always be my go-to lotion to fall back on.

Body Care item:

Favorite- Spongeables Pedi-Scrub  “A unique blend of glycerin, olive oil, shea butter, tea tree extract with lavender aromatherapy infused into a double sided sponge to exfoliate, smooth and relax your tired feet.”  They smell amazing, and feel really great.  These really keep my feet in order and ready for sandal season.

Honorable mentionAquaphor Healing Ointment  This is a godsend.  I won’t go into details, but I have a skin condition on my elbows.  Aquaphor really helps to keep the symptoms at bay.  I’ve used it while sick to avoid a chapped nose, on minor cuts and scratches; you can even use it on chapped lips.  It’s excellent.

Hair  Disclaimer: I am truly crap when it comes to hair.  I don’t really do anything to my hair, so I don’t have styling favorites.

Shampoo:

FavoriteOrganix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo  I wanted to try a sulfate-free shampoo.  Organix is free of sulfates and parabens, and is safe for color-treated hair.  Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo leaves my hair soft and shiny, but also controls oil (my hair is the only oily part of my body, go figure) and keeps my hair looking clean longer.  It smells wonderful and worked well for me, but those with dry or damaged hair may want to stay away.

Honorable mentionHerbal Essences Color Me Happy  I’ve used Herbal Essences for years and the line has always worked well for me.

Conditioner:

Favorite- Herbal Essences Color Me Happy  While I really liked the Organix shampoo, I hated the Organix conditioner.  With Moroccan rose and passion fruit nectar and an infusion of hydro-activated silkening ingredients, Herbal Essences Color Me Happy leaves my hair super soft and silky.

Honorable mentionJohn Frieda Full Repair Full Body Conditioner  I got several (like, 4) samples of this conditioner and really liked them.  I have purchased the full sized version and will be using it with my Organix shampoo.

And that c0ncludes my 2011 Favorites series.  As always, I hope that you found some of this information helpful and that you spied a few items that you’d like to try for yourself.  2011 saw a lot of advances in the beauty world, and 2012 is already looking to surpass it.

Skincare Routine

Standard

I don’t know about you, but I am always interested in what other people do for their skincare routine.  I have not been blessed with clear, alabaster skin.  My skin has so many issues, it needs therapy.  If I go without makeup, I am not a pretty, pretty princess.  So I am very interested in what products other people use to combat their own skin issues.  That being the case, I thought that I would share my skincare routine with you.  Keep in mind that my skin is very dry, slightly sensitive, and I have mild rosacea, so these products are geared for those issues.  If you have oily skin, these products may not be the best option for you.

I start with Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes to take off my makeup.  I have tried Ponds brand towelettes and prefer Neutrogena because they remove my makeup without stripping my skin.  When I used the Ponds wipes, my skin felt leached of all moisture.  The Neutrogena formula feels slightly oily (not the bad kind), as if I were removing my makeup the old fashioned way with night cream.  Because I follow this step with cleanser, I don’t fear the oils.  My skin certainly appreciates the more moisturizing Neutrogena wipes over the Ponds brand.  Added bonus:  I get them at BJ’s (it’s a Costco-type store) for dirt cheap.

Next comes  cleanser.  When I don’t feel the need to seriously exfoliate my skin, I use Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Regenerating Cream Cleanser.  Cream cleansers are best for dry skin, while gel cleansers work well for oily skin.  This cleanser has teeny tiny micro beads, so there is a little bit of exfoliation, but not much.  It’s super gentle, and again, does not strip my skin of moisture, but still gives me a clean feeling.  Again, I can get a club pack of these at BJ’s, so it is also a cost-effective choice.

When I want to step up the exfoliation, I turn to Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads, which I reviewed here.  I pretty much said it all in the review, so be sure to check it out.  I really love how quick and easy the pads are to use, and they really work well.  It still kind of amazes me that those tiny bumps can get the job done so well, but they do.  I use Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads about three times a week.  If my skin wasn’t so sensitive, I would use them more, but it can’t handle manual exfoliation more than that.  Which brings me to my next product.

After my face is cleansed, I use Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment.  I didn’t pick it up as an acne treatment so much as a chemical exfoliant.  Most of my acne issues are hormonal.  I was looking at Paula’s Choice Beta Hydroxy Acid exfoliant, but it’s kind of pricey.  Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment was recommended to me as a cheaper alternative.  Those with dry skin, don’t be scared off by the name of this product.  The Neutrogena Treatment contains 2% salicylic acid, and is a good BHA lotion for all skin types.  It has actually helped a lot with my Rosacea redness, which is awesome.  It definitely has moisturizing ingredients, and those with oily skin may not even need to add a light moisturizer on top of it.  My dry skin needs more help, though.

I use Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum (Fragrance Free)to lock in moisture and help heal my skin discoloration.  This is a fairly new product for me.  I’ve only been using it for about a month, give or take, but I like it so far.  It’s a silicone-based serum that leaves my skin feeling velvety soft.  I do not understand the science behind the ingredients, but I believe the big winners are niacinamide and peptide for healing and restorative properties.  I have been impressed with the Olay Regenerist line, in general, and though I haven’t formed a solid opinion on the Regenerating Serum, at this point I’m positive on it.  It certainly feels great, though I don’t really expect it to preform miracles.  This is another item that I can find at my local warehouse store.

My last step is to use Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum.  Some people say that eye serum is not necessary.  If you are using the proper moisturizer on your face, you should be able to use it on your eyes too.  I actually agree with that sentiment for most skin types.  However, because  of my skin issues, I sometimes get dry patches on my eyelids.  I really need the extra moisture.  Since I’ve been using the Eye Lifting Serum (sixth months or so), I have not had any problems with dry patches and the crinkles around my eyes are less noticeable, so this is a Holy Grail product for me now.  I will absolutely repurchase again and again.  This is another item that I can pick up at BJ’s.

I seriously recommend checking out your local warehouse store to see what makeup and skincare items they carry.  You may be surprised.  Not only are several items on this list found at my local warehouse store, but I also found my current favorite mascara Cover Girl Lashblast, in a club pack.  It can’t hurt to check, especially if you already buy your groceries there.

I hope that you found this interesting, and maybe you found a new product or two to try out next time you go shopping.  All of these items are available in drug stores, as well as Target and Walmart.