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10 Best Inexpensive Sensitive Skin Care Products

October 23, 2015
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I’ve gotten several positive comments on a recent post about some of my favorite sensitive skin products. One of the items on the list peaked the curiosity of several people because it was inexpensive and a great product for those of us who battle sensitive skin. It was suggested I continue that list to include some budget-friendly options. So here you have it!  These are my choices for non-budget busting beauty products.

1. Simple Skincare Cleansers ($5.99)
Let’s start with the brand that initiated this post. I professed my love for Simple’s Kind to Eyes Makeup Remover Pads. So let’s continue spreading some more love for the brand. The Simple product line has several cleansers. Foaming, micellar, moisturizing, and a smoothing scrub are all part of this line. It’s easy to find one that is just right.  The entire line of cleansers contain minimal ingredients and are super gentle. No dyes, perfumes, or known irritants make it perfect for sensitive skin.  Many gentle cleansers don’t always remove all the makeup. That isn’t the case with these. Skin feels clean and not overly dry. Added vitamins make it extra good for your skin. My personal favorite is the Simple Smoothing Scrub.  It isn’t harsh like a lot of facial scrubs either. Both of my kids use this product line. Gentle but effective, and budget-friendly make Simple cleansers great. Oh, and this line is cruelty-free. Winner!

2. Burt’s Bees Cranberry and Pomagranate Sugar Scrub ($13.00)
Most people think of lip balm when thinking Burt’s Bees. I love all their lip balms, lip tints, and lip glosses. I have them in the car, my purse, everywhere.  I also like BB’s all-over body scrub because it exfoliates skin for a nice glow and soft feel. I’ve avoided body scrubs in the past since I have sensitive skin. That much abrasion irritates sensitive skin like crazy. This scrub by Burt’s Bees doesn’t do that. Natural ingredients I can pronounce like sugar, cranberry seed, shea butter, and sunflower oil make me feel good about what I’m using. There are no tiny plastic scrubby beads either so it’s environmentally friendly and it is cruelty-free.

3. Gud by Burt’s Bees Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, and Lotion ($7.00)
Since we are talking about Burt’s Bees, let’s talk about their Gud product line. This is a line of shampoos, conditioners, lotions, body wash, and even body wipes. What I like most about this product line is I can have the same scent in all my products. I like that layering option. My favorite is Mango Moonbreeze. There are five other great scents, too. Similar to the Burt’s Bees line, ingredients are minimal and pronounceable. There is no irritation or redness when using these beautifully scented products, either. It washes off clean, leaves a great scent, and does a great job of cleaning. Of course, this line is cruelty-free. It’s a great line to start a tween on, too. Thumbs up!

4. Albabotanica Good and Clean Pore Purifying Mini Peel ($8.99)
The Albabotantica line is pretty extensive.  Ive not tried all the products in this line but I do particularly like the mini peel with Alpha Hydroxy. Using it a couple times a month gives a deep clean and smooth feeling to my skin. Like so many other products, I’ve avoided peels. After a disasterous peel that left my sensitive skin red and irritated for days, I avoided them like the plague. Why I bought this on a whim, I can’t say. I’m glad I did.  There are no artificial colors, fragrances, or other ingredients I don’t feel good about. Again, it’s cruelty-free. What’s not to love?  I plan to explore this brand further and blog about this line more.

5. Physician’s Formula Nude Wear Touch of Glow Foundation ($14.95)
There was a time when makeup was just about the last thing on my list. With two small children, studying for graduate school, and a husband who worked crazy hours, it was progress just to shower most days. When I did wear makeup, it wasn’t pricy. It was what I could grab in the drug or discount store as I purchased other items for my family.  Most of the makeup I grabbed quickly I didn’t like. Physicians Formula foundation was one I found in the big box store that I actually did like.  It goes on light, but it can be added to for more full coverage. It looks natural and not cakey. It isn’t greasy. There are several shades to choose from. Application is smooth. There is no irritation or redness after removal. It’s a solid foundation when you are on a budget.

6. Pacifica brand makeup, body care, fragrance ($5.00–$30.00)
I think this is my favorite cruelty-free brand out there right now. (Okay, I may have said that about the Simple line, too?). Pacifica works hard to make sure their products are safe for all skin types, but especially sensitive skin folks. Their fragrance line has 17-18 different scents to please everyone. Tahitian Garden is my favorite. The fragrance lasts most of the day – like the majority of the perfumes out there. Their Skin Renewal Micro Dermabrasion Scrub is fabulous, too. Again, no irritation because what goes into Pacifica is good. If you only pick one product line on this list. Pick this one. From makeup to hair care to perfumes and scented lotions, Pacifica will have something for a sensitive skin gal.

7. Sally Hansen fingernail polish ($3.00–$7.00)
Michele, will disagree on this one, but I’m not quite as into polish as she is. I like this polish. It gives good coverage, most of the time in one coat. It lasts as long as any other polish does on me. This polish is always forgiving and easy to use. It does not irritate the skin around my nails. It comes in millions of colors and lasts several days.  At this price you can buy ten polishes and paint every finger or toe a different color.  I do not think this line is cruelty-free, though. Thumbs down for that, but it’s a solid purchase overall.

8. Almay One Coat Lengthening Mascara ($4.97)
Almay is not cruelty-free, that’s for sure. It IS recognized as a good brand for contact lens wearers or those with sensitive eyes, though. I suppose there is some give and take here on the whole animal testing issue and making the product extra safe. My point isn’t to argue either side but to list budget-friendly products I like. I like this mascara. It’s gentle. It comes off easy at night and it doesn’t smear during the day. Best of all for this redhead, it comes in a brown color. That is harder to find than you think. This mascara stands out above most for those with sensitive eyes.

9. NYX Finishing Makeup Setting Spray Matte or Dewy ($7.99)
On the previous list I told the Internet of my love for Urban Decay Setting Spray. I stand by that completely. If you are on a budget and find that one out of your price range (which I do a lot) NYX has a good spray also. I like that you can choose between dewy or matte finish. I’ve bought both and like them both, though I tend to buy the matte more often. NYX keeps the makeup in place, doesn’t make my face itch, and the price is right. I think Urban Decay keeps my makeup in place longer than NYX, but I’ve done no official test. Overall, NYX does the job for less.

10. LUSH Bath Bombs, Bath Melts, and Bar Soap ($5.00-$8.00)
What list of loves doesn’t have at least one LUSH item on it?  Especially if it’s on this blog site. It’s LUSH love around here all the time. Yes, some of their products like facial moisturizers are a bit pricy (but worth it). While others are very reasonable. LUSH is a believer in scent affects mood. I am, too. A yummy smelling soap, or calming scented bath can change my mood instantly. There are so many fabulous scents by LUSH in their soaps and bath products to have a different one everyday for weeks. There are no harsh ingredients. No irritation. No weird ingredients. LUSH is a sensitive skin girl’s dream. With a few dollars, LUSH gives a spa-like experience with no worries. The brand is environmentally friendly, cruelty-free, and just all-around the best.

So there you have it–my picks for budget-friendly beauty products. They are out there. Let us know what your faves are.

 

Photo Credit: Taryn Nefdt

Beauty Boxes Cosmetics Nail care

Another reason to love Julep

October 13, 2015
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I like a good surprise. I do. What I like more is picking things I enjoy.

As I continue to receive Julep boxes, I discover that they let you be surprised or pick what you want, and it’s that ability to choose that makes me love them more and more.

My daughter is 12, and we share the box (she currently has orange and black nails for Halloween), so we want to make sure that what we get each month has something for both of us. Each month, Julep sends an email to a link that tells exactly what we’ll receive.

Last month, she really wanted a new green polish. We weren’t scheduled for one, so we picked the color we liked least and hit the ‘Swap It’ button. That brings up a screen full of options we can choose instead. She chose a deep, forest green polish named Anya.

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In some lights, it’s a deep green, but in others, it’s almost black. It’s just beautiful. Perfect for fall.

We knew we could swap one product, but we decided to test it and see how many we could customize. We ended up swapping all three of the products in our box for ones we chose ourselves. We got the Anya green polish, a bottle of the Julep polish remover and an eye shadow.

Now, we’re pretty devoted Zoya polish remover users. It’s in a groovy, no-spill pump, and it smells good, which is unheard of for a remover. But if we could try the Julep as part of a box, we decided it was a good deal. Their’s, too, comes in a no-spill pump, and it’s moisturizing, too, for your nail beds. We’ve only used it once, so we’re still deciding. We’ll let you know if we prefer it to the Zoya.

She picked the polish, so I picked an eye shadow. It’s called Feels Like Velvet, and it does glide on really smoothly. I haven’t had any trouble with it coming off or fading during the day. I also find that I can apply it with a dry brush for a sheer look or with a wet brush for a darker, more intense look.

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In this box, all subscribers received one free extra product (in both of the boxes I’ve gotten, I’ve gotten an extra product – one their new signature shade & then this). It’s one of their It’s Balm lip colors. I admit I’m loving it, too. It goes on like a nice lip balm but with more than a hint of color.

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We loved all of these products. Why wouldn’t we? We picked all of them. The ability to swap out things we don’t like – even if it’s every single product – is a big bonus for Julep and their boxes. Will I do this with every box? Probably not. A surprise here and there is good. And if I get something neither of us like, I can always gift that to someone else.

But to be able to try their beauty products and to know that we’re going to like what we get is a huge deal for me. You can try Julep for as little as $3 for your first box. After that, boxes are $24.99. In addition to having the ability to swap out products, you have the ability to say that you don’t want a box that month or to gift your box to someone else that month.

You’ll fill out a survey to determine your best box – your Maven Style Profile – and you’ll be off and running. You also have the option at various times to purchase additional add-ons and mystery boxes, all at vastly reduced prices (I bought 10 polishes which typically run $14 each for $20. Birthday goodie bags had very nice $2 polishes this year.).

Choice. I’m a fan.

 

Photo Credit: Julep Maven via Instagram

Beauty Boxes Cruelty Free Nail care

Do I have to choose just one?

August 18, 2015
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Nail polish is my guilty pleasure. OPI and Essie are my favorites. I polish my nails easily twice a week with complete color changes. I know the difference between polish and lacquer (polish is thinner, easier to layer… lacquer is thicker and heavier).

How could I resist the lure of a Cruelty Free polish subscription box? Or two.

For the record, there are well more than two such subscription boxes out there. I might have considered just all of them. I settled on Square Hue (partially because it is based in my current home state & I feel some loyalty to buying somewhat local if possible) and on Julep. My theory is that I will get a couple of boxes of each and try the polishes and decide which ones I like the best. Then, I’ll choose which box to keep. It’s the theory at least.

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Other than the fact that Square Hue is based in Miami, I also liked that it allowed for you to select from two options. You can select two or three polishes per month, with two pricing tiers. I chose the two polishes, which is priced at $10.99 per month. I thought that was an exceptional deal… right up until I realized that they do not include shipping in that price. The $5 shipping isn’t unreasonable, but all of the other boxes I’ve received in the past have included that in the price, so keep that in mind.

One other great thing about Square Hue is that they give a portion of the proceeds each month to a different charity. The hippie in me likes that.

Each of their boxes are themed, and the first box we got was a 1970s theme. We received a shimmery silver polish that is perfect as a top coat, and a shimmery blue. Both are thinner polishes that go on more like a gel consistency. The blue has a royal color with just one coat but builds to a really nice darker blue color with multiple coats. The shimmer in the blue is subtle, but with the silver on top it’s got a really beautiful pop.

My daughter has pronounced Square Hue her favorite after just the one box.

We’re also trying the Julep Maven box. Julep lets you select options as well. There are options with three polishes and options with two polishes and one beauty product. I received a Welcome Box with three polishes, two little buffers, and their Oxygen Bonding Base Coat. The base coat is said to allow your nails to breathe while serving as something akin to sticky tape for your nails. I’m not sure how it works, but it did seem to help the polish stay on my nails longer than usual.

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The Julep polish is thicker, like an OPI lacquer, with a wider brush. And the shine on these polishes is astounding. This one is, however, more expensive. For the two polish/one product or three polish option, it is $24.99. Shipping is included.

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This is the pretty purple included in the Welcome Box. The initial box after that is curated for you, but by your second box, you have the option of switching out colors. You can also choose to suspend the box for a month or to send the box to a friend.

I know that we’re supposed to narrow it to just one next month. Maybe.

If anyone wants to try one of these boxes, let me know & I’ll get you an invite. And if you already subscribe, leave a comment telling us what you think. If you happen to get one of the other polish boxes – Black Dahlia, in particular – let me know what you think of it.

Polish on.