If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
The beginning of the new month to me always represents closing out the previous month. I will give you a mini review on each item. I’ll tell you the items I love and will repurchase. If I like or am indifferent to an item, I will not rush out to repurchase, but I would be willing to use or try it again. Lastly, I will present the items that are not for me. Generally, I will not use these any more in the future. If they’re really awful to me, I always hope I can find someone else who may actually like them. Thus, I will try to find someone to give duplicates to. For the items that I really love, I will do a separate product spotlight on them at some point to discuss them in more detail.
H2o+ Targeted Care Hand Cream- It is creamy, has a smell I enjoy that is not overpowering and I like the $5 price tag. Lately, I only purchase them when I get a discount or in a bundle, so I get them even cheaper.
Gold Bond Healing Aloe- This was very moisturizing for a medium density hand cream. It is slightly greasy, but I can overlook that for the price. I sampled this for PINCHme.
Gold Bond strength & resilience- It has a similar texture to the healing version, but it did not seem to penetrate as deeply. The formula was not greasy at all though. I samples this for PINCHme.
Bath & Body Works rainkissed leaves body lotion- I received the items from this line during our Legoland Hotel stay. That hotel is amazing but back to the review. Years ago, I started severely limiting my items from Bath & Body Works. When I was younger, I shopped there all the time. The scents are overpowering at times, and I decided I had enough. This scent is a huge exception. It is powerful but not overpowering, and I love that it smells clean. Rain kissed leaves does not sound pleasant (to me anyway), so I was thankful the smell did not make me think of what it was allegedly imitating. The only thing that prevents this from being a FabuFind is the Bath & Body Works lotions do not always give my skin enough moisture. I would gladly use this again and will happily purchase the cream version, if there is one.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Vanilla- This concealer is the one I always hear the most about. It is always lovely when samples happen are a perfect shade match, so that was great. The formula itself was nice, and I can see why so many people love this. It is not too thick that it settles into lines or too thin that the blemish shines right through. I am still experimenting with concealers and while I did love this, I am not ready to make it a FabuFind just yet. There is a magical concealer that is perfect for me, but I have not found it yet.
Davines SU Hair & Body Wash- I never go into multi use products with high hopes, because items usually work better when they target different areas. How can areas that have different needs get optimal benefits from different uses? This really did work well on both my hair and my body, but I preferred it on my hair. That meant I tried it once on my body and decided to keep it hair exclusive after that. It lathers very well on hair and body, rinses with the squeaky clean feeling I love, and smells incredible. The only thing that keeps this from FabuFind status is it did not help with my frizz as much as some of the stronger shampoos do.
Secret Clinical Stress Sweat Oh-la-la Lavender- This is my favorite brand of deodorant. The lavender scent is not my favorite but it smells fresh, which is all that matters. Nothing else keeps me as dry or smelling as fresh as the Secret Clinical line. It works all day despite how hard my workout is or how hot it is outside.
Essentielle Beauty Raspberry Cream- Moisturizes very well. It is silky and smooth. The scent is not great, which keeps this from being a FabuFind, but it is not bad enough to prevent me from using it again. I sampled this for Essentielle Beauty.
Essentielle Beauty Lavender Balm- I do not smell any lavender in this, but I do smell Christmas. It is thick and rich enough to give intense moisture. While it does take a while to melt into the skin, it does so nicely when it does. This is the perfect balm for dry patches of skin that are not yet in need of Egyptian Magic. I sampled this for Essentielle Beauty.
Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel- I adore this. It peels my skin quickly and efficiently. You can see and feel the skin coming off, so it is not at all like a peel where you’re unsure. After using this, I do not see dry patches at least for a few days.
Rituals Organic White Lotus & Yi Yi Ren Body Lotion- I love this offering from the Radisson. This smells incredible. It reminds me of a softer, cleaner baby powder scent. The lotion is on the thin side, so it will not moisturize enough in the winter time.
Lancome BiFacil- This is my HG makeup remover. You know you have a great makeup remover when everything looks like it removed and you do not wake up the next morning with raccoon eyes. Where does all the makeup hide. While this occasionally leaves a hint of makeup I only notice in the morning, it consistently removes makeup more efficiently and better than anything else. It does not sting my eyes. The oil blend very soothing and moisturizing.
Summer’s Eve Lavender Night-time Cleansing Wash- This is a little thicker than I prefer, but I loved the scent. It did seem relaxing, which is perfect for night-time showers. I sampled this for PINCHme.
Strivectin-TL Tightening Neck Cream- This was moisturizing without feeling greasy. I’ve used neck creams that never set properly and feel sticky when I bend my head. The sample was too small to see if there were any long-term effects. Having a separate neck cream is perfect, because I needed a step between my eye and face serum before jumping into face moisturizer.
Ole Henriksen Nurture Me Makeup Removing Wipes- I think no one makes wipes that smell as good as Ole Henriksen. I can still smell it on my face after following up with a cleansing water. It removes all of my makeup with ease. The cloth is large, moist, and durable. Although I love Protect the Truth wipes more, I love these as well.
DevaCurl Styling Cream- The top of my hair is wavy, but it is curly on the bottom. When I want to bring out the curls, I need serious help. My hair gets even more frizzy than usual and the top layer does not look right without help. This cuts down on the frizz a bit, helps the scrunching I do to make curls stay in place, and finishes soft. I hate products that dry crunchy.
Willing to Try Again
H2o+ Grapefruit Bergamot Body Lotion- The best thing about this lotion is it reminds me of my happy place every time I use it. This is Disney’s most common scent. I like the scent, and the lotion is respectable. It is a little thin, so I cannot use this on my hands, but it works well on my body during warmer months.
Bath & Body Works rainkissed leaves shampoo- While this smells almost the same as the body lotion, I found this shampoo average. It did not do anything special for my frizzy hair. I’d use it again, but I would not actively seek it out.
Bath & Body Works rainkissed leaves conditioner- Pretty much the same notes I gave the shampoo apply here.
L’Oreal Color Vibrancy Shampoo- You can order a sample of this or a different version of shampoo from this line if you visit the main page. That sample is a foil, but it is generous enough to get a feel for the product. For a drugstore shampoo, I actually thought this did a great job. It does not help with my frizz much, but there are way more expensive shampoos that do less.
Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum- This serum is thick, so it reminded me of a moisturizer. It actually did moisturize nicely, but I did not notice any difference using it. Maybe there are long-term benefits, but I cannot see those from a foil. I sampled this for PINCHme.
Simple Micellar Water- This sample was hugely disappointing. It came with an extremely tiny porous wipe and a little water surrounding it. After unsuccessfully trying to rub this tiny thing on my face, I used a Shiseido Facial Cotton to soak up the product on the foil. There was not enough product in it, because the pad felt almost dry. It left me with a wasted cotton, and no closer to figuring out if this product is any good. I can say I am not allergic to it, so I’d be willing to try this again in a better package. If it came this way again, I would not even bother. The whole thing is a letdown after ordering this free sample and waiting months for it to arrive.
Lancome Galatee Confort- The only thing preventing this from moving to the Not For Me Group is it left my skin really soft. I know some people swear by these non-lathering formulas. No matter how hard I scrubbed, I never got the squeaky clean feeling my skin craves. Every time I used this, I also noticed way more dirt in my cotton following toner application. That proved it was not cleaning my face as well as I hoped for.
Rituals Cool Kami Shampoo- The description claims this is a scalp balancing shampoo. If the claim is true, I did not notice it after a single use (which is all I got from this). My husband used it, too, and did not notice a difference. I’d be willing to try it again to see if it really works. This formula is pretty standard and did not do a lot for my frizz.
Rituals It’s a Wrap Cherry Blossom & Rice Milk Conditioner- This smells incredible. Rituals products awaken the senses with scents that are lovely but subtle. This is specifically designed for frizzy hair, but I did not notice much difference. I am open to trying it again to see if it can help.
Molton Brown Ylang Ylang Body Lotion- My husband stayed at the FontaineBleau in Miami on business. The Molton Brown products the hotel offers are the legit items sold by the retailer. Some companies outsource production to companies that sell watered-down versions of the brands items to hotels. When he heard these were the real deal, he took as many as he could get in his carry on and brought them home to me. I’ve heard great things about it, so my expectations were through the roof. Sadly, this did not live up to the hype. Not only did I not care for the smell, but I also did not find it overly moisturizing. My husband likes the scent (we never agree on scents). I’d use this again (especially since he left some of his grooming items behind to bring me extras). There is no way I would buy this product outside of a set.
Tresemme Moisture Rich Conditioner- This was not the worst conditioner I’ve ever used, but the thin formula did not help with tangles or frizz. I got this from Wal-Mart after checking into a time share that had no shampoo or conditioner. That was over a year ago, but I was not inspired to finish this any sooner. The only way I’d use this again is if it came in a kit. There is no way I’d buy it again.
Philosophy Miracle Worker- I love that Philosophy offers free samples without a purchase, because its products are so hit or miss. This one is no longer available, but I am sure a new one will come along soon. While I am almost certain this was a miss, I need a bigger sample. There was barely enough in this foil to cover my whole face. It is on the thinner side for a facial moisturizer. It is probably better suited for someone without dry skin.
Asprey London Purple Water Conditioner- I like the smell. My hair looks decent post use. Although I do not feel the need to buy it, I will gladly use samples.
Origins Smarty Plants™ CC SPF 20 Skin Complexion Corrector- I sampled the light to medium color and loved how well it matched my coloring. It felt great and set nicely. The formula did highlight the pores in my nose even with primer, so I would not buy it. Other than the pores, I liked the overall look, which was natural and well blended.
Peter Thomas Roth Massaging Bar for Bath- This bar from the Hilton is a typical soap. It leaves a slight film on my skin. I’d use it again, but I would not buy it.
theBalm Staniac- I love the beautiful pink this red gel like stain creates. It lasts longer than most powder blushes as well. The formula on this was a clumpy mess. This sample only lasted 3-4 uses, because what was left dried up. When I received a replacement version of this in my Gym Bag Heroes, it looked a lot better. Once I try the nicer looker version, I have a feeling this will move to the love group.
Botot Toothpaste- This is the best tasting toothpaste I’ve ever tried. It does not have even the slightest burn factor you feel in some formulas. The only thing that prevents me from using this full-time is it does not do enough for my sensitive teeth. I do occasionally use it when mu husband buys it.
Peter Thomas Roth Moisture Infusion Facial Bar- I never tried this on my face, but it works the same on my body as other bar soaps. It leaves a slight film.
Gilchrist and Soames Aloe Vera Soap- Run of the mill bar soap. Skin smells and feels clean, but the bar soap film remains. That film is not a deal breaker to me, but it is not a feeling I actively seek either. I’d use the soap again, but I would not purchase it.
Not For Me
Origins Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream- The only thing that prevents this from being a love is the scent. I wanted it, because I imagined it would smell like Christmas gingerbread. This ginger smells nothing like Christmas and is way too strong. It took me a long time to get through this and when I finally did, I could only handle it on the bottom half of my body far away from my nose. The formula itself was deeply moisturizing for a thin to medium density body cream. If I could get my hands on a different scent, I’d try this formula again. Ginger Souffle and I will part ways forever though.
Shine Lotion- The only reason I even took this from the Sheraton on our recent stay is I did not pack enough lotion. I keep saying I will stop staying there based on how much I hate Shine products. The only hotels worth staying at near Universal Hollywood are the Sheraton or the Hilton. Sadly, the Hilton did not have vacancies. This lotion is so thin and lacks moisture that I cannot even make it to the next hand wash before I have to apply more lotion. I can only use it once a day or so, because there was a time I used this all day and my hands were a wreck by the end.
Shine Shampoo- I absolutely hate this stuff. It does not lather at all, so I find myself using nearly the entire bottle for one wash. My hair never looks or feels clean either. This does absolutely nothing for my overly frizzy hair either. Yet, I keep using it. Why? We stay at the Sheraton often, and this is what they choose to give guests. I promised my husband I would work through my stockpile and do not want to gift this junk to anyone. It would be mean, not a gift! Anyway, I will no longer take these when I leave the Sheraton. Anything left over stays in the room. Part of the fun of traveling to me is using the hotel’s stuff (to pack less and get more samples I love). Well, I have used enough of these to know I will never love them.
Shine Conditioner- I am almost tempted to stop staying at the Sheraton based on how much I dislike this line of products. This conditioner does nothing for my hair, but I am trying to use all of my stash.
Swisspers 100% Cotton Rounds- I bought a six-pack of these from Sam’s Club without ever trying them. That was a huge mistake, because they stink. They’re rough, fall apart, and leave lint behind. Whenever I make a bad investment, I try to see it through, but there is no way I will purchase these again. Future reviews will be from the same bad investment this came from. The cheap rounds from Target are slightly better if you want a cheap option.
Boscia Self-Defense Vital Antioxidant Moisture SPF 30- This very thin formula was very disappointing. I decided to only use it on my oily skin, because it was not moisturizing enough for my dry skin. It did not seem to play well with my oily skin as well. I love the SPF factor, but I wonder how well the SPF works when it feels like this sits on top of my skin and does not penetrate. After putting this aside in the winter, I forgot to bring it back out in the summer. Luckily I remembered a few weeks ago while it was still pretty warm. Unluckily or maybe luckily, it expired. I had to toss it almost full.
Mario Badescu Strawberry Scrub- The only redeeming thing about this scrub is it leaves my skin feeling soft. I cannot handle how abrasive the strawberry seeds are. It seems like they’re scratching me. They are also so sparse in the formula that they cannot distribute well enough for any effective exfoliation.
Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Bronzing Beauty Balm- I tried this 3 times and looked like an Oompa Loompa every time. It is way too orange. Unless something gives me an allergic reaction or I really hate it, I tend to finish it. The formula itself felt great, but the color was too awful to endure any more. I even wrote a review to warn people about how orange it is. Someone found it unhelpful, so I hope it was not an Oompa Loopma I offended.