About a week ago, I began the harrowing project of documenting and reviewing my massive collection of goo to decide what stays and what goes. Without further ado, here are the results of the first batch:
1) Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo
I've been using this shampoo for a while and I like it a lot. I decided to do the Curly Girl method about six months ago (meaning no sulfates, 'cones, etc.), but I didn't love the way my hair felt when using just conditioner. Luckily I managed to find this range at Target just over the border, which offers natural shampoos that don't strip your hair but give you a more thorough clean than conditioner alone.
Pretty straight-forward on this one -- I continue to like it and it's still my go-to for shampoo.
2) Burt's Bees More Moisture Conditioner with Baobab
Anyone going natural knows the hardest thing to find is a good sulfate and 'cone-free conditioner. Typically, they're too weak and runny, which gives me big bushy hair. While I normally like the Shea Moisture conditioner that pairs with the above shampoo, I ran out a few weeks ago and haven't found the time to hit the border, so I picked up Burt's Bees More Moisture Conditioner at a local London Drugs.
First, this smells amazing. I'm terrible at placing particular scents, but to me this conditioner smells like a key-lime pie and the scent lingers faintly in your hair for a few hours once it's dry. Really, really delicious in the shower.
More importantly, it has a good consistency -- not too runny and not too thick -- which keeps my hair soft and shiny, but not weighed down. If I can't get the Shea Moisture conditioner soon, I'd definitely re-purchase this. It's a huge improvement over their old Raspberry conditioner which was much too thin.
3) Boots No.7 Natural Blush Cheek Color in #22 -- Candy Pink
This was probably the biggest disappointment of the week. I originally bought this blush for a Snow White costume from over a year ago. I used it then because I wanted a really theatrical look, but this was still a fail for me.
The color is actually quite pretty -- it looks like Lancome's Shimmer Pink Pool without the glitter, which was the main reason I bought it -- Shimmer Pink Pool has been my HG blush for ages, but I ran out two years ago and have yet to justify the expense of repurchasing. Unfortunately, where Lancome's blush blends beautifully on the skin, this is horribly chalky and sits on the skin in an obvious way. Rather than giving you a healthy flush, it looks like you're running a fever.
Definitely won't be using this again. If I hadn't committed to the idea of trying out each of these products every day, I would've stopped after the first use.
I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with my cast-offs once they've been removed from the collection, so if anyone knows of good options, please let me know. I'd rather not toss them.
4) Zino Instant Smooth Cream
I bought this at the local T&T Market downtown. It was somewhat pricey (about $35.00), but I'm always looking for a good alternative to foundation. The cream promises that it will fill lines and imperfections, rendering foundation superfluous. If that sounds too good to be true, that's because it is.
Credit where credit is due, this does give me a nice air-brushed look when it comes to my pores. The trouble is that it has a habit of collecting around any dry areas, like around my nose, and gives my skin a bit of an ashy tone that I don't like.
I wouldn't say that this cream replaces a foundation, but I would say that it makes a fantastic base, given its pore-perfecting powers.
With that said, $36.00 seems steep for a product you won't even see beneath your make-up. I don't regret buying it, but I probably won't re-purchase. There are a lot of more affordable bases that will give me the same effect.
5) Skin 79 Hot Pink Super Plus Beblesh Balm
I really don't like foundation, by and large. To be fair, part of that is because I don't need it most of the time. If I want a really flawless look, it's helpful, but otherwise I like my skin's tone and texture and I find that the artificial, uniform look of foundation dulls my features.
But what I love about BB Creams -- real ones, not the North American tinted moisturizers masquerading as BB Creams -- is that they provide a hint of coverage, evening out a bit of my redness without erasing my skin altogether. They're also great for small touch-ups on blemishes and under-eye circles.
Skin 79's Hot Pink BB Cream was the first I tried, and I loved it. If I'm going to use a foundation, this is always my first choice. Just make sure you don't over-do it, as it can give your skin a slight grey-ish tint.