24 Carats? How about 40?

Given the latest push for environmentally friendly, well, everything, magazines have been touting the benefits of organic beauty products. I’m a skeptic by nature, so it takes more than the word of an editor who’s probably pressed to fill space to get me to buy. It takes a sale. Luckily, I found the 40 Carrots line of beauty products on sale recently. I picked up the Carrot+Mango Moisture Splurge and the Carrot + C Vitamin Serum. Both claim to naturally firm the skin and improve your skin’s appearance.

It’s love. The scent of both these products is fresh and citrus-y. It takes just a small amount of each product, and the results are nearly instant. The Vitamin Serum tightens the skin gently (you can actually feel it – I mistook it for skin dryness at first) while the Moisture Splurge refines the way the skin appears and adds much-needed moisture. Given that my skin is normally bone-dry and sporting redness, this lotion passed my litmus test.

Another great find recently – well, let’s call it a rediscovery. Back when Avon first came out with its Anew line of skin care, I bought my first jar and was blown away by its ability to seemingly erase fine lines. So when a friend became an Avon rep, it took me no time at all to order a jar.

Times have changed – for the better. There are several variations on the theme, which makes it somewhat more difficult to choose the right product. But I managed to find what I think is right for my skin type and so far, Anew has impressed me yet again. That you can now order online through any representative’s website makes it so much easier than trying to locate a rep, then waiting for a visit.

What have you found (or rediscovered) that you can’t live without?


December 28, 2008. must-have products. Leave a comment.

Beauty’s Tried and True Finds

As much as I’d love to be able to afford a jar of Creme de la Mer, I’m on a Benefit budget. Sometimes even that taxes me – we have to be able to buy more shoes, you know. It’s through trial-and-error and years of beauty mistakes that I’ve come up with my ultimate favorites. Here are my go-to staples, my can’t-live-without-’em items that get me through my day.


VO5 Conditioning Treatment – Oh my gawd, is there anything better than this little tube of wonders for dry hair? I’ll answer that for you – no! At a mere $5 a tube (and that’s a high estimate), I get shine, conditioning, and control. Since my hair is thick, dry, and easily frizzed, I can’t live without this stuff.

John Frieda’s Frizz Ease – If you blow dry your hair, you need this stuff. Just a few small drops and your hair takes on an out-of-this-world gloss. Worth every penny of the $9.99 it costs.

John Frieda’s Brilliant Brunette Shampoo/Conditioner – Look, I’ve tried them all; the Nexus line, the Goldwells, the Matrix, the Systeme Biolage and everything in between. For my money, I’m sticking with this stuff. My hair’s never looked better.


Maybelline Define-a-Lash mascara – I mean, WOW. I’m on my third tube of this stuff and still no clumps! Nothing either high-end or low-end touches the look you get with this one. It makes my scrawny lashes look divine!

Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals – This is no bargain-basement makeup line. But the compliments I get and the way my skin looks is worth every cent. Even the overall condition of my skin is better after using this stuff. I paid something like $250 for full-size jars and brushes, but here it is three years later and I’ve only had to replace one jar. I’m a huge fan.

Max Factor Color Adapt – Some days you don’t want to use mineral powder. On my lazy days, I dab on this incredible little foundation. A little under-eye pencil and mascara and I’m out the door.

Benefit Eye Bright pencil – Simply put, it’s a facelift in a stick. Nothing covers those circles better or brightens up your face faster than this!

Clinique Long Last Lipstick in Satin Blush (F4 for those of you who need to know that) – This color looks great on anyone, seriously. I’ve always loved Clinique lipsticks, and after trying several higher-priced brands, I came back willingly. Great colors and wonderful conditioning!

Neutrogena Age Shield Face Sunblock – This is the reason some people can’t tell how old I am, I swear. I wear this every day on top of my moisturizer or as my moisturizer, depending on the day. Fantastic protection.

Skin care:

Benefit Dear John Movin’ On face cream – I’m on my third jar of it. I love it. The smell is fresh and it feels amazing on the skin.

Gold Bond Ultimate Healing lotion: Your skin will just feel so much better after using this. Try it!

What are your personal favorites?

October 15, 2008. bargains, must-have products. Leave a comment.