(Beauty) Products: Review 3/12

Since I am on a mission to figure out my skin and make myself more product-sophisticated, I even added some beauty gift sets to my Christmas list this year! Another little review on items received outside of my monthly sample set will be coming soon.

I’m kind of impressed with how I’m going beyond my beauty/product comfort zone lately and really trying some new things, reading about what things actually are and how to use them (primers?) and then actually attempting to work it in real life.

So for this latest bundle of surprise trials I had a bunch of fantastic items, nothing I didn’t want to try.


First up is a leave-in conditioner spray made by Beauty Protector, the same brand of the Shampoo/Conditioner I loved from last month. 


I’ve been spritzing it on my ends at night to give my hair some extra love. This product actually sealed the deal for me. I am sold. The Shampoo/Conditioner set is so fantastic, the smell so good, and the outcome so amazing, that this brand of hair stuff was going to be my first REAL purchase from Birchbox. But then, when I went to pull the trigger, they were sold out. Makes sense though… this stuff is amazing and if you have thick hair, (or if you are obsessed with shampoos like I am) I highly highly highly recommend it. I’m on a waiting list to be notified when it comes back in stock. If anyone can find it elsewhere, please leave a link in the comments. I’m tired of my John Frida from Target. Let’s be honest. (Edit: I just ordered them! YAY!!!)

Also included in my sample set was La Fresh makeup remover wipes.


I really wanted to like these, but it was just a meh product for me. I feel like other cleansing wipes (aveeno, neutrogena) that you can get at the drug store are more satisfying. I had a pack of two and I used one in the shower, the morning after a holiday party where I had layyyeerreddd on the mascara, and I didn’t feel like it really got it all. The second time I used it after I had washed my face to get my eye makeup off and it did fine. But… not worth the moneys honeys.


I was stoked to have a product from The Honest Company that was not for my baby included in the pack! I have written about their diapers and wipes before, and I have come to the conclusion that I WANT to love this company more than I actually do. I mean, the company is fine, and their products are made well, and I do love Jessica Alba, but when it comes down to it, their stuff just doesn’t work for me. I wanted to be able to use this balm on my hands at night. I have really dry skin that gets bumpy, especially in the winter, so I also wanted to try it on my calves if they were itchy, or just other random parts of me that seemed it need a balm of sorts.

Unfortunately, I feel like this is a totally unusable product. It is so…. balmy… that it doesn’t really soak in and it gets EVERYWHERE. On my hands? Forget it. I am smearing goop willy nilly until it eventually rubs off. On any part of my body? Clothes stick to me or it just gets wiped off by my jeans, etc. Where is this balm supposed to go? Is this for diaper rash? I couldn’t figure it out. Bummer.


(Image snatched from Birchbox site)

So there were two things that I didn’t get a photo of and one of them was a hair tie. Mine was silver and sparkly. It looked like you could make this at home in about 2 seconds and for my thick hair, this hair tie is a joke. Moving on!

I also got a LAQA and Co. “Fat Lip Pencil” which I currently cannot find and is pissing me off because it was awesome! It was a lip crayon and so much fun to use, especially in winter. I feel like bright red lips are made for winter. Super easy to apply, and I think I like this non-messy, non-lipstick/lipstick even better than a lip stain! Easy to reapply and with a little vaseline, Bam! Glossy red!

So now I would love to hear from you (my favorite part of these posts!) 1.) did you recently pick up (or get gifted) and cool beauty products? and 2.) Over the holidays and all of the get togethers, parties, hubub, did you try any new beauty trends/techniques? Do tell!

23 thoughts on “(Beauty) Products: Review 3/12”

  1. My husband travels for work (he’s been gone five days a week since February) and he brings me back little soaps and things from various hotels. I have quite a stash of the LA Fresh make-up wipes. I feel pretty “meh” about them, too, but they’re great in a pinch and for traveling.

    Also, shampoo/conditioner/hair goop is always on the splurge list for me. I only have two inches of hair, but I want it to look good. Cheap shampoo/products don’t do it for me. Congrats on finding something that works for your hair. That always makes for a good day.

  2. I subscribed to Ipsy in November and so far, I’ve enjoyed most of what they’ve sent me! My favorite so far was an eyeshadow brush (Mirabella Eye Blender Brush) and mascara (Lash Gallery – Em by Michelle Phan). I’ve also been mostly disappointed in make-up removing cloths. I used to use Neutrogena, but it made my face freak out. I’ve been trying the Simple brand from Target, but they don’t seem to get all of my mascara off. I’ve resigned myself to using actual eye make-up remover and just washing my face a few times.

    Glad you found some great hair products! I might have to give them a try, as I also have super thick hair. 🙂

    1. Guys, try these make-up remover cloths: http://www.allure.com/beauty-products/skin/makeup-remover/2013/maybelline-clean-express-facial-towelettes

      They get all the makeup and mascara off without any burning sensation AND they smell nice. I will never buy another brand!

      Also, I was gifted a couple lipsticks for Christmas (really more like a chubby lip pencil but with great coverage) by the brand Bite and they are wonderful. Gorgeous colors, easy to apply and they last.

  3. that leave in conditioner spray is my faaaaaaavorite. I used it this morning, in fact 🙂 and i think it offers heat protection, which comes in handy because i blowdry and/or straighten my hair almost every day. wins all around.

  4. I’ve been trying to blow dry my hair straight. I had a decent amount of success on New Years Eve, but not since them. It just becomes a frizzy mess, which is what I feared all along.

    So, what I need, probably, is a really good product. I’ve just been using argan oil, which isn’t enough. HELP ME, INTERNET LADIES.

    1. I agree with Maris. Sometimes it’s the tools and not the products. Do you have a blow dryer with a comb attachment? That is what has worked best for me, and I have really thick, curly, kinky hair. Conair has the YellowBird Pro which has worked wonders, and it’s priced right at $35.

      As far as products, I really love Ion’s line of straightening solutions, particularly the flat iron cream and the heat protectant spray. http://www.sallybeauty.com/iron-cream/SBS-302277,default,pd.html

      1. I do have a nice round brush and a concentrator attachment for my hair dryer. The inconsistent results are what makes me wonder if there is a product that can keep things smooth. But it could just be the learning curve!

        1. Also, straight argan oil (or any oil) can basically “fry” your hair, so make sure it is a blend with a heat protectant!

  5. I actually posted on some of my skincare favorites this morning (spoiler: Aveeno and Yes to… are current and unsurprising winners). Also for the holidays, my super generous parents gave me the Ole Henriksen skin care sample set (seven adorable tiny jars of various face lotions and cleaners). It smells like tea and, so far, I really like most of the products!

  6. As a person trying to get into makeup, I very much love these reviews!!! I’m also thinking of getting birchbox for my sister for her birthday because she also wants to love makeup but is one of those people that is terrified to spend money and hate it. Can’t wait for the next one!!

  7. This might sound weird but pretty much all I use now as beauty products on my head/face, unless I have to wear makeup, are baking soda, vinegar, coconut oil, and shea butter. Baking soda and vinegar to wash my hair, blend of coconut oil and shea as a defrizz, coconut oil to wash my face. My skin and hair and scalp have never felt or looked better. I was so skeptical and I have heard it doesn’t work for everyone so well but I’m loving this new minimalist, CHEAP, beauty regime. I don’t wear makeup often because I work at a mine but I have heard that coconut oil is also an awesome makeup remover.

    1. This. I just started using raw honey as a mask on my face- dry skin disappeared instantly. If it’s extra cold (extra drying), I can add a bit of avocado and yogurt. I also wash my hair with raw honey. I started a couple weeks ago, so I’m in the ‘scalp is producing as much oil as possible because it’s confused’ stage, but the bottom 2/3rds of my hair is super soft and pretty. From what I hear, I just need to wash every day for a little bit and my scalp should adjust in a week or two. I’m a big fan of coconut oil for non-face skin (it might be good on my face, but I’m prone to clogged pores in the first place, so I’m wary of putting oil on), and cooking everything in.

    2. Yes to the coconut oil being a fantastic makeup remover! It totally gets rid of any trace of mascara and foundation as well as leaving you with conditioned lashes =D.

      Also, for natural face wash/mask options, I recently began using fresh lemon juice squeezed onto a cotton pad and then swiped all over your face. It leaves your skin GLOWING and so soft!

    3. My hairstylist of many years (And who I miss terribly now that we’ve moved) was telling me about this!! … I’m just too lazy to try it. Is it messy? How do you do it? I need the break down. 🙂

      1. Not sure if you were asking about hr honey or the bsv, but for bsv you make a paste of about a tbsp or two of baking soda and water and then just massage it into your scalp. Wash it out, spray your scalp and hair with diluted vinegar. I’ve been doing it about a month now and only use the bsv about once every three days, the rest of the days I use just water. My scalp is still transitioning but definitely the itchy feeling of “I need to shampoo” doesn’t exist any more. The eventual goal is to only need to wash with bsv once a week or less. I kind of miss the foamy shampoo feel but it’s totally worth it for healthier, more manageable hair!

      2. If you meant the honey, it’s super easy. Raw, unfiltered honey,I do about 1tbs to 7 tbs of water. The original recipe I found said 1:3, but I have longer hair and needed more liquid. The honey is pretty thick/slid, so I put it in a pot of hot (from the tap, not stove) water for a few minutes. Then just squirt it around on wet hair, wait a bit, wash out. I did the washingevery-day for 3 days when the scalp freakout started, and that seems to have just about fixed it, I’m now tapering to every other for a week or so, then I see from there.

  8. I’m looooooving the ideas and discussion on this blog today: gives me a really good distraction!

    I didn’t try anything new this holiday season – I actually lost my favorite and only seldom-used red lipstick that I whip out for special occasions – and am still frantically checking various purses in the hopes that I left it somewhere.

    I too have been feeling super Blah about my hair product (I use Bed-Head “After Party” smoothing cream), and although the phallic bottle always produces a few laughs from friends and I do really really enjoy the smell – it works just fine – not great, but just fine. If I pile too much on, it gets oily, duh, but it only seems to really do the trick in terms of smoothing if I pile it on – so I don’t really “know” if it is doing anything for me at the current amount I use.

    I am also really wanting to invest in a volumizing mouse – that could maybe also add some nutrients to my hair/roots. Any ideas?

    ps: if anyone is looking for a fresh and clean face-wash solution: I use Bronner’s castille magic soap (peppermint is my fav) – and I dilute it with water in my hands – or use it straight if I am post-workout and super gross. I also use this on my body (and it can even double as shampoo in a pinch, like camping, etc) – and it’s super all natural made with organic essential oils – and I highly highly recommend it!

  9. because of YOU Lauren, I decided to try a hair mask! The colorado air is SO dry and my ends get dry and sometimes static-y so I decided to try it out. My parents got me the moroccanoil hair mask for fine hair. So far I LOVE it! It doesn’t weight me down or look greasy, just keeps things nice and soft. Thanks!

  10. I wonder if the Honest Co. balm would be good on super dry winter feet with some cozy socks on to keep the balm from rubbing off on everything. Your description of it reminded me of my Burt’s bees foot balm.

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