Browsing Tag


Cosmetics Cruelty Free Nail care Skin care

10 Best Inexpensive Sensitive Skin Care Products

October 23, 2015

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

Cosmetics Cruelty Free

CF Drugstore Brand Reviews

October 2, 2015

Here’s the thing. Buying Cruelty Free can be expensive.

There. That’s out there. Now, I told LeeAnn when she first began her 40s ReStyle that she didn’t have to switch her products that she didn’t have to make a complete switch or even switch everything all at once (all of which I’m pretty sure she ignored).

The testing process is more expensive when it’s done ethically. But most of us don’t have an endless supply of beauty-dedicated funds, so we began to search out and try CF lines that you can get at your fave Target or big box store.

We tried NYX, e.l.f., and flower (Drew Barrymore’s line at Wal-mart) for cosmetics. We’ve also tried some inexpensive skin care lines, but we’ll cover those another day.

There were some hits and misses here, mostly misses, I’m afraid.


You can buy this at your drugstore chains, Target, and Ulta. I bought a mascara (trying to give up my favorite CK-1) and a lipstick. The lipstick was nice. It was creamy with a full pigmentation. I’ve had lip issues this year, so I’m particular. This didn’t dry my lips out, so I was pleasantly surprised. The color was a little off for me. though. The downside of a less expensive brand is that you can’t swipe a test patch on your hand before buying. LeeAnn now has this tube and likes both the color and the creaminess.

I would, however, give the lipstick another try in another shade.

The mascara, on the other hand, not so much. Whatever I paid for it was a waste. It was like I was waving an empty wand over my lashes. Nothing ever happened. Ever. I was startled at the difference between the CK-1 I had been using and this. Please don’t buy this.


I was very excited to try this one because I had read such glowing reviews. Again, I bought a mascara. I added an eye shadow to this purchase. The eye shadow didn’t have enough pigment to give me much coverage at all. I had to add layer after layer to get any color on my lids. I added the mascara to my lashes, and they did look fuller, which was nice.

It took about three minutes – max – for my eyes to begin to burn. And I’m not talking a light tingle. I’m talking I couldn’t wash my eyes fast enough. I threw both products out immediately. Do. Not. Buy. This. I’m not sure what’s in these products, but anything that makes skin & eyes burn has to be bad.


I wanted to try these myself because I might have a girl crush on Drew Barrymore, but I refuse to shop at Wal-mart, so LeeAnn bought and tried these. She bought multiple eye shadows. The shadows looked good but within a few days, her eyes were itching and watering, a result of a reaction to the new shadows. So, again, we have to suggest, don’t do it.

Other Options

More expensive brands like Tarte, Urban Decay and Bare Minerals all have good products. Sale shopping can make a more expensive brand close to equal in price, especially if a sale is combined with coupons at places like Ulta. Much as I love fabulous cosmetics, I’d rather have three or four really great products that work beautifully than a drawer full of things that harm my skin and don’t work well at all.

Let us know what your favorite CF brands are so we can try them. Or if you’re looking for a specific CF product, let us know that, too, and if we don’t already have a brand we love & can suggest, we’ll do some testing. For now, buy the NYX lipstick & skip the others.


Photo Credit: Wonderlane