March 2015 Empties

You know how sometimes you seem to run out of every single thing you need all at the same time? That definitely happened to me this month – in the midst of an already very empty-producing month, I ran out of deodorant, body lotion, moisturizer and shampoo, all on the same day! There’s lots to review this month, so let’s get right to it:
March 2015 Empties
Johnson’s Body Care Melt Away Stress Lavender & Chamomile Lotion: I found a tube of this old favorite in my stash of body lotions and decided to bring it to my office to use as a hand cream. It did a great job of keeping my hands and cuticles soft in the colder months, and that soothing lavender and chamomile scent really did help take the edge off on some of my more stressful days. My coworkers frequently commented on how nice it smelled, too. This lotion is lightweight but moisturizing, and scented but not overly perfume-y. I’m a big fan.

Secret Invisible Solid Antiperspirant/Deodorant in Powder Fresh: I was apparently feeling nostalgic the last time I went deodorant shopping because I bought this, the same deodorant I used during my middle and high school years. In middle school, it made me feel grown up. In high school, it made me feel feminine. Now? It left me feeling rather underwhelmed. It works fine as an antiperspirant/deodorant, but I didn’t think it smelled powdery at all. Instead, it had a scent that I’d call chemical cucumber. I wouldn’t purchase it again.

Roloxin Lift Revitalizing Facial Treatment: I received this mask in my last Birchbox. It’s supposed to act sort of like instant botox, smoothing wrinkles for 24 hours. Even though I (thankfully) don’t have many wrinkles, I gave it a try. I couldn’t see that it did much to improve the fine lines that I do have, though it did leave my skin feeling silky smooth.

Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Non-Greasy Lotion: I’ve written about this body lotion multiple times. I still have nothing but good things to say about it. It kept my skin flake-free and hydrated all winter long. This is one of my favorite new discoveries of the past year – a definite winner!

Boscia Recharging Night Moisture: This is a real quality moisturizer. Fragrance free and gentle enough to use when your skin is in the midst of a full-on rebellion, I returned to it again and again. It isn’t greasy and can be used as a daytime moisturizer, but it’s also deeply moisturizing and stood up to the cold, harsh winter air when most other moisturizers could not. I will likely be repurchasing this gem.

BeeKind Body Lotion: Made with honey and organic chamomile extracts, a portion of the proceeds of this bee-friendly lotion supports honey bee and sustainable pollination research. It had a mild scent and felt great going on, but I found that not long after applying the lotion, my skin felt dry again, like I hadn’t applied any lotion at all. It supports a great cause, but I need more moisture from a body lotion.

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner
: I don’t typically review shampoo and conditioner together, but I used these two samples together, and I loved them. The shampoo claims to make hair look fuller and thicker, seal split ends and smooth flyaways, while the conditioner boasts a featherweight texture that creates fuller looking hair. I have to say, this duo did all of the above. My hair felt like it looked good all day after using these products, and the mirror confirmed it – smooth, silky, bouncy hair. Great products.

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Colour Protecting Moisturising Shampoo: I wrote about the matching conditioner last month, and this shampoo wasn’t really any more appealing or effective than its counterpart. My hair looked and felt kind of dry after using it, and to make matters much worse, it caused my husband to break out in a rash around his hairline! Definitely proceed with caution if you have sensitive skin!

CoverGirl CG Smoothers BB Cream: Here’s another old favorite that’s been featured on this blog more than once. It’s my go-to winter BB because it’s both moisturizing and light enough for my pale, dry winter complexion. And with a drugstore price tag, it really can’t be beat!

Herbal Essences Tea-Lightfully Clean Refreshing Shampoo: This fresh-scented scalp clearing shampoo was another winter favorite – it soothed and de-flaked my scalp, smelled clean and fresh, and left my hair soft and clean. Another winner!

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Winter Beauty Problems, Solved

Winter is in full swing in my little town, along with all the unpleasant effects of the season: a touch of seasonal depression, a general lack of motivation, and a bevy of beauty problems that make those first two obstacles seem even harder to overcome. Never fear, my dears! Warmer, sunnier days are right around the corner, and I’ve found a handful of products that are sure to solve your winter woes and keep you looking lovely until spring.
Winter Beauty Essentials
Problem: Dry, flaky scalp and lackluster hair
Solution: Herbal Essences Tea-Lightfully Clean Refreshing Shampoo
I’ve been plagued with a dry, flaky scalp every winter for as long as I can remember. I am blown away by how effective this shampoo is. It contains tea tree oil, which is a great purifier and cleanser. My scalp situation was improved after one use, and after three I was virtually flake free! Better yet, this shampoo smells divine and leaves my hair looking full, soft and healthy. This is definitely my new favorite shampoo.

Problem: Dry, red, irritated skin
Solution: Clinique Liquid Face Soap Extra-Mild
I generally shy away from using anything that calls itself “soap” on my face, but I was compelled to try this one after my sister started using it – and stopped having blotchy winter skin. This time of year my skin tends to get dry and irritated, particularly around my cheeks. This incredibly mild cleanser has stopped all that, while still managing to keep oil at bay.

Problem: Chapped lips
Solution: Candy Cane ChapStick
I’ve been using this since November, and it has been serving me well the whole time. In addition to its festive, not-too-pepperminty candy cane scent, I find it less waxy than the ChapSticks of old. It soothes chapped lips without irritating them and is a great defense against the elements to help prevent chapped lips before they start! It’s clear, but leaves my lips looking healthy and pink when worn alone. It also makes a great primer under lipstick.

Problem: The winter itchies
Solution: Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair
I wrote about this lotion in the fall after I received it from Influenster for testing purposes. I have to say, I’m still loving it as my go-to winter body lotion. Non-greasy and fragrance free, it provides deep moisture and has kept my skin comfortable for the past couple of months. You can read more about my testing experience here.

Inside Influenster’s #Vaseline VoxBox

voxbox-blogimageI recently received Influenster’s #Vaseline VoxBox, which contained a full-sized bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Fragrance Free Lotion, a dry skin diagnostic tool, and a challenge: use this lotion for five days and watch your dry skin become normal, healthy skin.
Influenster Vaseline VoxBox
Now, my skin naturally tends to be a bit on the dry side, and the recent wintery weather in my area has not done me any favors. My regular skincare routine keeps my skin from turning into a desert of flakes, but I was already starting to notice some rough patches and that kind of tight, itchy feeling that accompanies cold, dry weather. I was beginning to develop a case of what I call dinosaur elbow, where the skin on that particular body part becomes so parched that it actually starts to resemble scales. Not a good look. So when I learned about this five day challenge, I was eager to give it a shot, even though I was admittedly a little skeptical.
Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair
First things first: the dry skin diagnostic tool. This cool little gadget comes with two extra-sticky slips that you use before and after the five-day challenge in order to measure the dryness – and progress – of your skin. It also comes with a “Skin Dryness Level” scale to determine how dry your skin truly is. I decided to test an area on the back of my forearm each time for consistency. My initial result? Little lines and flakes indicated that my skin was “dry” – better than “very dry” but not the desired “normal.”

For the next five days, I slathered on the smooth, completely scentless lotion before bed each night. Advanced Repair Lotion contains micro-droplets of Vaseline jelly – the bottle explains that the droplets absorb deep into skin to moisturize and heal from within. I was surprised and delighted to find that these little droplets truly did absorb, and quite quickly – the lotion wasn’t greasy in the slightest and left my skin super smooth. In fact, the very first night I used it my husband asked if I was using a new lotion – he couldn’t believe how soft my skin felt. A major win. And so far there’s no sign of clogged pores or irritation as a result of the Vaseline droplets – even better!

The pre-test strip, above, shows flaky dry skin; the post-test strip, below, is virtually flake free.

The pre-test strip, above, shows flaky dry skin; the post-test strip, below, is virtually flake free.


At the end of five days, my skin didn’t feel at all tight or itchy. My dinosaur elbows were a distant memory. And when I used the second sticky strip to test my skin dryness level, it was virtually flake-free – my skin had gone from dry to normal in five days!

I’m very pleased with the results from the five-day test, and I really like everything about the Advanced Repair lotion. It is officially going to be my daily body lotion this winter. Have you tried it yet?