Friday, January 8, 2010

I Can Vouch For That: Part 3

It's time for another installation of my favorite things! I really like doing these posts for some reason. Almost makes me want to go out and buy more stuff just so I can write about it... Ha ha Seth, just kidding. (no I'm not) 

Baking Soda: Ok I know this is going to sound a little weird, but I like to use baking soda as a beauty product. After years of trying everything from expensive facial scrubs to sugar, I have finally found the perfect exfoliant. My pores always seem to get clogged so fast so I have to exfoliate everyday in order to keep my skin looking good and my makeup application smooth. I add probably 1/2-1 tsp. of this to my facial cleanser (see below) every morning and scrub away. The baking soda is rough enough to be a great exfoliant, but not so rough it hurts. Plus it's what, $1 for a box? And it lasts forever.

Cetaphil Facial Cleansers: There are actually two different Cetaphil cleansers I use. The first one is called "Gentle Skin Cleanser: For All Skin Types" and I use it in the morning mixed with the above mentioned baking soda. It's very mild and is best for light dirt/oil (i.e. from sleeping). This isn't very good for removing makeup. The other Cetaphil cleanser I use is the one labeled "Daily Facial Cleanser: For Normal to Oily Skin." I use this one at night when my face is more grimey from dirt and makeup. I don't like mixing this one with the baking soda... I think the combination is too strong for my skin.

I do wish the bottles looked a little more different because it would be easy to accidentally grab the wrong one at the store (which I have done).

Oxo Mug: This is my second Oxo mug of this design. The first one was very similar, but it was blue plastic instead of stainless steel. The stainless steel mug was probably $10 more than the plastic one, but it is much better at retaining heat. These mugs are spill-proof because of an inner seal that opens and closes when you push the button on top. I also like that the lid screws on and there is no handle to get in the way. The lid isn't the easiest thing to clean thoroughly, but I just rinse mine through with hot water and soap and it seems just fine.

CoverGirl LashBlast Length: I was hesitant to try a CoverGirl brand mascara (my inner snob I think), but figured it couldn't hurt as I hadn't liked any others I'd tried. Plus the bright packaging and plastic wand bristles sucked me in. I can now say I have finally found my perfect mascara. The wand is AMAZING. It separates each last beautifully and picks up just the right amount of mascara. I can easily apply more layers of mascara without getting spider lashes or clumps. And it doesn't flake off during the day! That has always been my one problem with every other brand of mascara besides Loreal. This stuff really is great. And because it's CoverGirl, it's also pretty cheap! (p.s. I've heard the CoverGirl LashBlast Volume mascara is great as well. I may try that one next just to see if it's as good as this. I couldn't decide when I bought this if I'd rather have length or volume. That's what she said. HA!)

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lotion: Let me get one thing straight... I HATE lotion. But it's pretty much a necessity, so I have to have it. There are so many problems with lotions and I hate spending money on lotion anyway, let alone on stuff I don't like. Up until now the lotion I bought had either too strong of a fragrance or was 'fragrance free' which always smells like glue. Or, the lotion was way too thick (think body butter)... never completely soaking into my skin making it impossible to pull my jeans on or leaving grease marks everywhere. Or the lotion wasn't thick enough and my skin would need several applications in order to get the right amount of moisturization. Then a few weeks ago I bought this stuff. It has a very light 'milk chocolate' smell (but not too sweet or off-putting) and it's the perfect consistency. Most of it gets absorbed into my skin before I get dressed so it's not too greasy. It makes my skin feel so smooth and it doesn't irritate the sensitive skin on my chest and neck. Plus it was cheap... around $7 for 13.5oz.

Revlon Colorsilk (Dark Mahogany Brown #32): After getting my hair professionally colored a couple times, I realized I was going to go broke if I had to keep doing it every month or so. In comes the store-bought color-in-a-box. Let me tell you I was scared to color my own hair. What if the color was all wrong? Or I missed a spot? Or it looked completely unnatural? So I did some research and found a couple brands that were rated highest, especially in the brunette color family. After spending probably 2 hours in the isle at Target trying to decide what color to get, I settled on Revlon Colorsilk Dark Mahogany Brown (#32). I just about did a dance at the checkout stand when the total came to about $3.50. Let's see... $3.50 vs. lots of money... I choose $3.50! Anyway, long story short, I really really like this color. It is just what I was looking for and it also fades really well... maybe even better than the professional color I had done. Plus, get this...the last time I went in to get my haircut, one of the girls complimented me on my hair color. And, my stylist couldn't tell I'd dyed it again! Sweet! p.s. This stuff also makes my hair look really shiny :)

Quaker Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal: I'm all about eating healthier stuff, but that's not the initial reason I bought this. I think regular instant oatmeal is way too sweet... especially because I usually eat 2 packets. In the past I'd mix one packet of regular sugary stuff with one packet of plain flavor, but then it was a little too bland. With the lower sugar oatmeal I can just use 2 packets of the flavor I like and it turns out perfect! I keep a stash at work for quick easy breakfasts (just dump it into a cup and add hot water from the tap on the coffee machine) and there you have it! I have tried the fruit & cream type flavors which are good too, but I'm a bigger fan of the cinnamon and brown sugar flavors.

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk: I'd heard about almond milk before and people were always raving about how good it was. I thought it was probably the same people who though soy milk was good (yuck), but decided to give it a shot anyway. This stuff is so good! It tastes great straight up or on cereal. I've never tried the plain unflavored stuff and not sure if I ever will, but vanilla has my stamp of approval. (You can find this by all the other regular milk & soy milk in the grocery store.)

Biggest Loser Bootcamp & Cardio Max: I added these 2 DVDs to my workout video collection recently to keep me from getting bored with my indoor workouts. They are both pretty tough, but not too hard. The cool thing about these is you can customize your workout. Each DVD has a menu with a warm-up, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Cool-down. It tells you how long each segment is and then you can select the sections you want to do that day and it plays them automatically. It suggests you start at level 1 and gradually add each segment as you get in better shape. If you do the entire DVD it is about 50-55 minutes (10 minutes of which is the warm-up and cool-down). As the name states, the Cardio Max is a bit more cardio centered where the bootcamp is more circuit training, switching between cardio and strength training... although both videos involve strength & cardio segments. I like that they have the Biggest Loser contestants in the videos because they look more like regular people and because they are obviously fitness video rookies... they have constant goofy smiles, don't do the moves exactly right all the time, and are completely out of sync with each other. For some reason it's not annoying, more funny than anything. One last note, if you don't want to do pushups, don't buy these.

Scientific Angler Fly Boxes: I finally forked over the cash for some decent fly boxes after the cheap one I had completely fell apart after only a couple uses. These boxes rock. They are quick and easy to open and stay securely shut. There is a rubber seal around the edge that keeps the box watertight and it fits perfectly in a vest pocket. The foam holds the flies really well and the gaps keep the hackle from getting smashed. There are a large variety of inserts available so you can choose the one that suits your needs (i.e. smaller dry flies, large streamers, nymphs, etc.). I even have one with extra compartments that I use for sinkers and strike indicators. The inserts remove completely from the clear cases so you can swap them out depending on the situation and there is enough clearance between the insert and case for bigger flies so they don't get smashed. I also like that they are color coded and clear so I can tell at a quick glance whether it's my 'dry fly box' or my 'wet fly box.'

Bed Head Hard Head Hairspray- I read somewhere that hairspray that doesn't contain water as an ingredient is much better, so I decided to see if this was really true. This hairspray is one of the brands I found that doesn't contain water. It was pricey... about $13 at Target (but the cheapest of the water-free hairsprays I found), so I had really high standards for it. I have to say it does have much better hold than the hairsprays I've used in the past. It dries almost instantly and for a flexible hold, you don't need much. Use a little more and your hair won't budge an inch. It smells a little booze-ish to me when it first comes out of the bottle, but this smell dissipates quickly and there is no accompanying lingering perfumey smell. If I used a lot of hairspray on a daily basis this could be an expensive new habit, but luckily the bottle is pretty big and one bottle of hairspray lasts a long time for me.


Budsly said...

I bought Eric one of those mugs for Christmas a couple of years ago. The lid is had to clean, but it seems to be a nice cup.

I'm glad you like the workout videos. I was worried you didn't like them after we had talked.

One more thing, $13 for a can of hairspray! are you CRAZY!!!!!!

Rachel said...

As you well know, I immediately rushed out and bought all the items on this list. Except for the fly-fishing stuff, which I quickly glossed over.

And just how do YOU know what booze smells like?

Holly said...

I was so excited to see another "I Can Vouch for That"! I love these! You make me want to run out and buy everything, whether I need it or not.

I've been thinking about coloring my hair lately (I don't have a big cluster of grays along my part or anything) so it was nice to hear your recommendation.

heidi said...

Hey, I tried your baking soda (as exfoliant) trick and I really like it!

I would TOTALLY fork over $13 for hairspray as awesome as you say that is! I mean, if I used hairspray, which I rarely do.

Paul found the make-up items of particular interest. I think he should try out the mascara; he's got lovely eyelashes. (I AM excited to try the CoverGirl Lashblast Length...)