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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Odds and Ends Reviews: Not Your Mother, NYC, and Boots No. 7

Welcome to the Odds and Ends Reviews part of the blog. As much as I LOVE reviewing romance novels, I also like talking about and yes, reviewing other things as well. Thanks to Anna at Herding Cats and Burning Soup, I joined Influenster which basically allows you to review products based on your likes. I felt that those products, along with anything else I might pick up on my own, deserved a spot on the blog too.

As always though, I'd LOVE to hear your feedback on some or all of the products I feature here. Feel free to let me know of other products you think I should try too. I'm always looking for bargains in EVERYTHING.

* Unless otherwise stated, all products mentioned in this post were given to me by their respective companies via Influenster for the purpose of an honest review.

Developing a beauty regimen isn’t easy. It takes time, patience and of course, money. That last one is a big deal too and if you’re a book lover like me, well, you need as many deals, steals and inexpensive products as you can get. The trick though is finding products that work for YOU. Up until now, skin and hair care products and makeup choices weren’t really an issue. I was and in some ways, still am a tomboy and to me, spending hours on end doing this to my hair or putting this on my face was something that bored me to pieces. That changed when I took a good look in the mirror one day and realized that I had, among other things, dry skin, bags under my eyes, uneven skin tone, thin, dead looking hair and that my way of putting my make up on (Basically the “Throw it on and go” method) was just not working.

So, at 30 I am trying different products to find the ones that work for me and that are affordable. It’s going to be a learning experience, one that I’m actually excited about. So I hope that my experience with these products and others will also help you find something that YOU enjoy and that will fit in with your budget.

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Shampoo and Conditioner - So a few months back I reviewed this brand’s Clean Freak Shampoo and Conditioner and it made me a fan. I have such a huge problem with my hair thinning out, falling out and taking forever to grow. For 8 years I’ve tried numerous expensive “treatments” to no avail. Those all in one concoctions I tried from other brands failed every time because the product is trying to focus on too many issues at once, instead of one at a time like with this brand. What I totally LOVE about the Not Your Mother’s brand is that there are different products that target specific hair needs as well as a run of the mill shampoo.

The Beach Babe line has some serious moisture going on here. It’s got coconut oil and sea kelp, two things that are fantastic for dry hair. I didn’t even know how badly my hair needed help until after I used the shampoo and conditioner. My hair felt amazing! It was soft and smooth to the touch, and after a few days of use I also noticed that my severe dry scalp problem was also gone. Not only did I love the way the Beach Babe shampoo and conditioner worked but the price really can’t be beat either. I priced these products at Target and Ulta and while Ulta has more product choices, Target is cheaper at $4.99 while Ulta is at $5.99. The Intensive Hair Unit (Hair treatment) is a few dollars more at $7.99 but really, that’s not as expensive as some of the other products I’ve tried in the past. I also love the names that each product line has in order to distinguish it from the others: Beach Babe, Clean Freak, Knotty to Nice (Detangler), She’s a Tease (Volumizing Hair Spray), Way to Grow (Helps your hair grow) and more.

And for those of you who color your hair, the Beach Babe shampoo and conditioner is free of sulfates too!

Retail Price (approximately): $4.79 up to $7.99 depending on what product and in what store.
I Found It At: Target, Wal-Mart, Ulta, Walgreens, Albertsons and CVS (Though the site lists more locations.
Website:Not Your Mother’s Hair Care Products

Boots No. 7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream for normal/dry skin - I actually gave this one to my mom to try as well because she’s been trying for a few years to find an affordable night cream that doesn’t leave her feeling like a grease monkey in the morning. She loved this product. It made her skin feel softer in a matter of days and she didn’t have to worry about a greasy effect in the mornings. Since she sees herself in the mirror everyday she wasn’t sure if she saw a difference but I did. Her skin had a bit of a healthy glow to it which I’m sure with prolonged use would show more. I also noticed my mom’s skin was noticeably softer and when she put on her makeup in the mornings the overall result looked more natural and less like, well, makeup.

On myself I also noticed that my skin was softer and had a slight glow to it. I was surprised that for a night cream, it wasn’t oily and gross. I’ve never been a cream before bed kind of gal so this was very surprising. The only problem was that lately my pores have been getting clogged a lot so any thing that I put on my face will clog my pores. I’m pretty sure I need something to close those little boogers BEFORE I try applying stuff on my face. I hear Boots has a pore closer…

Retail Price (approximately): $14.99
I Found It At: Target (Seems to be the ONLY place I was able to find ANY of this brand’s products).
Website:Boots No. 7 (US Store)

New York Color Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder - This is my first time trying any kind of face powder to be honest. I don’t really like to put anything on my face that makes it feel like I’m wearing a rubber mask and almost all concealers/powders make me feel like that. I did put this on all over my face at first but it made my face look flushed instead of giving it a “sun kissed” appearance. I think it had to do with the fact that I’m dark skinned and more powder is required in order for it to have any visible effect.

HOWEVER, I do have some skin discoloration/unevenness on my cheeks and nose area and I found that this product works GREAT as a natural looking blush. It gave me a nice, natural hue on my cheeks instead of the blotchy red patches I normally have. So while I’m not going to be putting the New York Color Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder all over my face, I will be using it as a blush for the foreseeable future.

And since I noticed over a two week trial period that it DIDN’T make me break out, I’m interested in their other makeup products as well.

Retail Price (approximately): $3.59 (Target)
I Found It At: Target (Haven’t looked for it anywhere else)
Website:New York Color

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