June 2014 Empties

Happy summer readers! Another month has come and gone, and with it, a big pile of empties – I’ve been busy testing and trying a variety of products. I’m also learning some important beauty shopping lessons. The most important one so far? If, like me, you are a beauty blogger or product enthusiast who enjoys buying and trying lots of different products, do not under any circumstances buy a jumbo-sized bottle of anything. Deluxe samples and travel sized version are perfect for girls like us, and give us a chance at actually finishing a bottle of something in a reasonable amount of time. Which brings me to my first empty:
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Pantene Pro-V Fine Hair Solutions Volume Shampoo: This has been my go-to shampoo for many years, which is probably why I purchased a giant bottle of it in the first place. Now, sure, I’ve tried other little bottles of shampoo here and there, but I’m pretty sure it took me a year to finish this one! It’s a great volumizer, although it can be a little drying. I love the fresh clean scent. This is certainly a solid drugstore buy – just make sure you pick up a smaller bottle.

Boscia Clear Complexion Willow Bark Spot Treatment: I’ve written about this skincare savior a couple times before, so I’ll be brief. It takes care of blemishes, quickly, and it comes in a convenient little pen. It’s awesome.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Extra Strength Alpha Beta Face Peel: I accidentally purchased a box of the extra strength peels instead of the regular ones, which I swear by. These are also amazing for smoothing your skin and getting you glowy in minutes. I have somewhat sensitive skin and I found these only very mildly irritating. If you have highly sensitive skin, I’d avoid this strength.

Secret Invisible Solid: I took this tiny deodorant with me on vacation and finished it up when I returned. It keeps sweat and odors at bay, but I’m not crazy about the scent, and it rubbed off on some of my clothing.

Freeman Facial Brightening Paper Mask in Rose: What a little gem! This serum-infused paper mask brightens skin in 3 to 5 minutes. I left it on for 4, and woke up to noticeably fresher looking skin the next day. I found it easy to use and very pleasant. I’ll definitely buy these again.

Bath & Body Works White Citrus Shower Gel: This super sudsy body wash has a light, clean fresh scent that’s just right for summer. A quality cleanser for sure.

Nuxe Multi-Usage Dry Oil: This hair, face and body oil smells absolutely heavenly, but my praise for it ends there. I used this sample on my hair, and the results were disastrous. The first time I tried it, I used a very small amount, and it left my hair both flat and frizzy. The second time I decided to use a bit more, and my hair was so greasy that I had to slick it back and pretend I was going for the oily look. Perhaps my hair is just too fine for this type of oil.

Crest 3D White Flouride Anticavity Toothpaste: I just wrote about the full-sized version of this, so there’s not much more to say. A standby whitening toothpaste!

Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Advanced Volume Shampoo: I think I may have found my new favorite volumizing shampoo! This stuff has a scent that I can only describe as a cross between bubblegum and sour apple. It made my hair so bouncy and soft, and really helped keep frizz at a minimum. I definitely recommend it for fine-haired ladies.

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Drugstore Delights

As a beauty fanatic, I’m always on the lookout for the best products on the market. I shop at a wide range of stores, and might spend anywhere from 4 to 40 dollars on a concealer, 2 to 20 on a shampoo, and I’m quite certain I’d spend any amount on a product that could make my dark circles truly disappear. That being said, I often find that you get what you pay for – my favorite finds tend to come with a larger price tag. Sometimes, however, I’m blown away by a simple drugstore product that doesn’t even come close to breaking the bank.

Right now I’m absolutely devoted to a couple of drugstore collections that, in my opinion, are worth more than their asking price. About a month ago I decided I wanted whiter teeth. I’ve tried whitening strips, whitening gum, and a smattering of whitening toothpastes, but none have really come through with the results I’m looking for, and many come with an extra dose of chemical aftertaste that I simply do not enjoy. But, before throwing in the towel on my whitening efforts, I decided to give Crest 3D White a try. I bought the Flouride Anticavity Toothpaste in Radiant Mint, the Multi-Care Whitening Rinse in Fresh Mint, and I even grabbed some Crest Glide Whitening Floss in Mint Splash. At the very least, I figured, I’d have minty breath.

So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the 3D White collection, and I’ve noticed a real difference in the brightness of my teeth. Also, in the last week I’ve had several different people compliment me on my smile. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought my teeth needed a makeover! I’m not sure the floss is really doing any whitening, but it’s not hurting, and it’s a nice, easy-to-use floss that doesn’t shred itself on my teeth. Both the toothpaste and the rinse are pleasantly minty. In fact, I find it nearly impossible not to pounce on my boyfriend for a make out session after I use the rinse – my mouth feels so clean, I want to show it off! The toothpaste leaves my teeth feeling super clean, and again, gets results. I use all three products at least once a day, and I started to see a change in whiteness after about a week.

The other drugstore deal I’m loving right now is the Dove Go Fresh line. It started with the Dove Go Fresh Cool Moisture Beauty Bar with Cucumber and Green Tea. The ultra moisturizing non-soap has a light clean scent that makes me feel breezy and fresh. Once I realized how much I loved it, I decided to try Dove Go Fresh Body Mist in the same scent. Not only is it non-perfumey and, yes, extremely fresh smelling, it also has a hint of moisturizer in it! A few spritzes of this mist makes me feel like I just hopped out of the shower. And it costs less than $5.

As if soap and body spray weren’t enough, Dove also makes a cucumber and green tea anti-perspirant! My next stop at my local Rite Aid had me stopping at the deodorant section and yes, I bought the Dove Ultimate Go Fresh Anti-perspirant. It shares that same irresistible scent, lasts all day, and so far has kept my armpits completely sweat-free.

I may not be trading my department store mascara for one of its cheaper cousins anytime soon, and I don’t expect to give up my Sephora shopping sprees, but these drugstore gems have certainly renewed my faith in less-expensive products. They’ve also freshened my underarms – and my breath.

Now that’s delightful.