Results from the Dove #OneShowerChallenge

Dove #OneShowerChallengeWhile scanning my twitter feed a few weeks back I noticed that Dove had issued a “One Shower Challenge” – try a sample of their new Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash and see if the claims for softer, smoother skin in just one shower are legit. Always eager to find a good, hydrating body wash, I jumped at the opportunity. I used it this morning; here are my thoughts:

The body wash has a thick, creamy consistency, and I was delighted by its silky suds – it lathers up very nicely and feels incredibly smooth on the skin. It also left me feeling very clean – a giant plus in a body wash! The scent is fresh and clean out of the bottle but doesn’t linger on the skin, which could be a pro or a con, depending on your personal fragrance preferences.
Dove #OneShowerChallenge
But on to the good stuff – did it make my skin softer and smoother? To really get a sense of how moisturizing it was, I skipped my normal lotion application this morning. I don’t have any itchy dry patches but my skin isn’t quite as soft and moisturized as I’d like. However, my skin feels better than it normally does when I skip the lotion.

The verdict: Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash is a high-quality, moisturizing cleanser. It’s not a replacement for the moisture of a regular body lotion, but it does soften skin!

Beauty Resolution 2014: The Shopping Ban

I know it seems a bit odd to write a resolutions post in February, but I honestly wanted to see if I could actually do it before I made a pledge to all of you. This year I have decided to try a shopping ban.

The Rules:

1. I cannot purchase any beauty or personal hygiene product, unless I have completely run out of that product. For example, I can’t buy a new bottle of shampoo until I have used up all other bottles, trial sizes and samples of shampoo currently in my home.

2. No beauty subscriptions.

3. Gifts or free items are allowed.

4. This ban is in place until December 31, 2014, or until I use up my entire beauty stash, whichever comes first.

I decided on a shopping ban after frantically searching my bathroom one morning for my favorite lipstick. I sorted through boxes, bags and baskets full of products and samples and could not find it. I did, however, discover several new products I didn’t even know I had! I realized I had backlogged Birchboxes and Ipsy bags that I’d never even opened. I was on beauty product overload.

So, a shopping ban it is. Not only will it help me use up my enormous stash and save a good deal of money, it will also help me discover new products that might otherwise sit in a drawer or basket indefinitely. At first I was afraid my willpower would crack, but a little over a month into it, I haven’t cheated and I’ve really enjoyed using up what I have. Below, a quick run down of what I’ve used up so far:
IMG-20140112-00266
Bath & Body Works Aruba Coconut Body Wash: A trusted standby, I find B&BW body washes to lather well without being overly perfumed, unlike some of their lotions. I’m a sucker for anything coconut scented, too.

Malin & Goetz Gentle Neroli Shampoo: I used up a couple sample packets of this delightful shampoo, and instantly added it to my post-ban must-buy list. It has a slightly spicy scent, and did a fantastic job of cleansing my hair. Plus, it left my scalp clean and moisturized, and my hair extra shiny.

Whish Deodorant Swipe: Deodorant wipes seem to be all the rage these days, but so far, I’m unimpressed. This one failed to keep my clean and dry after about four hours.
IMG-20140209-00287
CoverGirl CG Smoothers BB Cream: This is my go-to daytime moisturizer in the winter. It’s light enough for my fair skin and keeps my complexion nice and even. Thankfully my sister gave me another tube of it to replace the one I used up!

Dove Deodorant in Powder: A pretty basic deodorant, it had a very mild scent and did a decent job, most of the time. I wasn’t in love with it, and don’t think I’ll buy it again.

L’Occitane Hand Cream: I had a mini tube of this on my desk and used it up in a little over a week. Super moisturizing with a light, clean scent, this one is a classic for a reason.

Have you ever tried a shopping ban? Would you?

Polished, Naturally

 

It’s hard to ignore the impact we, as humans, are having on our environment, and even though I wouldn’t consider myself a full-on Greenie, I do try to do my part to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. I’m a big believer in making small changes that can add up to a big impact – recycling, switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs, shopping with eco-totes rather than using plastic grocery bags, etc. – and those small changes can sometimes be made in my beauty routine. I’ve tried all-natural moisturizers, exfoliators, body washes and shampoos. Some have been keepers and some have been duds. But by far the most delightful “green” product I’ve encountered has come in the form of nail polish.

 

Zoya Nail Polish is natural, non-toxic, and comes in a huge selection of colorful and quirky shades that are dripping with chicness and sass. My favorite shades are playful neutrals: Pandora, a creamy beige-pink, and Dove, an ultra cool soft gray.

 

A word of caution when using natural nail colors – they are just as gorgeous as traditional high-end nail colors, but they simply do not have the staying power that classic polishes do. Zoya boasts that it is the world’s longest wearing natural nail polish, and that may very well be the case, but you definitely don’t want to scrimp on top coat when wearing one of these sassy shades.

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.

Let’s Talk About Armpits

Armpits. What an irritatingly unfeminine body part. Left to their own devices they grow hair, are sweaty, and produce an aroma that begs to differ with the saying that “women only glow.” Right.

A few summers ago a friend of mine arrived at a party and, clad in a tank top, proudly displayed what had to have been the most attractive armpits I had ever seen in the real world. We’re talking deodorant commercial, model-on-a-billboard type armpits. She was not plagued by stubble, and her underarms did not have that dark appearance that most do, thanks to close-to-the-surface hairs showing through our delicate underarm skin. Instead, she freely raised her arms and showed off her smooth, pretty armpits. How?

She had discovered the Epilator, a seemingly torturous device that essentially yanks hairs out by their roots and is most definitely effective. Shortly thereafter my sister became a loyal user of the Epilator, and although she is generally in agony for a short period after de-fuzzing, she swears by the thing.

Another friend of mine recently confessed to waxing her armpits anytime she wants to wear a sleeveless shirt, and has apparently been doing so since her teen years. I once read somewhere that the key to beautiful underarms was tweezing, but I’ve never made it past one hair. I apparently just don’t share my friends’ patience and tolerance for pain. As much as I’d love to have the kind of armpits they write songs about (if, in fact, they do), I’ve stuck with the razor my entire armpit-loathing life.

Shaving gets the job done, but it definitely leaves something to be desired. Which is why I was intrigued when I heard about Dove’s latest creation, Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth anti-perspirant deodorant. This product claims to condition your underarm skin and, over time, it’s supposed to make hair softer, less noticeable, and easier to remove.

It comes in a couple of nice fresh scents (pretty standard for Dove products). I chose the wild rose scent, which thankfully smells nothing like the old-lady-ish rose petal creams I was imagining before I sniffed it. My review? First of all it smells fantastic and (and this is the number one deodorant priority in my book) keeps my armpits dry. I’ve found more and more lately that  most anti-perspirant deodorants, even the top brands, are great at covering up body odor but fail when it comes to stopping sweat. So far, two weeks of use later, Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth has been great on both counts. (I’ve also found that Lady Speed Stick is another very reliable anti-perspirant and deodorant, and it comes in a lot of different scents.)

As far as the reduction of armpit hair, it may be too soon to tell. Honestly, I haven’t noticed a real change in that regard, but I do think my underarm skin looks noticeably nicer. And I’m so pleased with how good I smell and how little I sweat, I will definitely buy it again.

So the quest for pretty armpits continues. I guess two outta three ain’t bad.