Thursday, May 17, 2012

Beauty Regimen

A few of my friends started getting Birchbox in the mail a few months ago, and posted about how fabulous it was. Needless to say, I bought into the hype, and subscribed myself. I really liked it, and wanted to post about my experiences with the products they sent, but think I probably need to establish a base of comparison before doing that.

So, even though I know nobody cares, here is my beauty regimen:

I'm a fan of rotating through my shampoo and conditioner. I have three that I am currently using, and I like all three, but for different reasons.
  • Aquage
    I can only get this through my hair dresser (stylist? I have no idea what the politically correct term is--Sorry, Tina, is you are reading this!), and always make sure I have plenty of it on hand. Unfortunately for me, I tend to grossly under-estimate how long my remaining product will last, so I tend to have about twice as much as I need at any given time. But, I suppose that's a good thing when I can't make the trip back to GA for awhile. Anyway, it's my "main" hair product, and I use it every other day. It smells divine and just really makes my hair feel... natural. It isn't heavy or overly producty... It also lathers up really nicely. Who doesn't like shampoo lather?? The conditioner isn't too heavy, either, and while I can tell a difference after I use it on my hair, it doesn't leave it feeling overly oily.
  • Giovanni
    This is my "off-day" shampoo and conditioner. I use the Tea Tree Oil version on the days when my hair is feeling extra oily. I typically wash my hair once a day, but every once in awhile I will let it go an extra day, and then I feel like I need to use something that will wick the oil away. Mostly, I ended up going that route because Costco carried a GIGANTIC package of shampoo and conditioner for half the price of my "old" alternative, and I like it well enough (I have about half a gallon of the stuff left, so that's a good thing). I actually prefer their 50:50 line, better. It has a light, orangey smell and I use it when I want to have really shiny, highly "pretty" hair. Usually for days when I know I will be out of the house doing something other than the normal trip to the commissary. The best part about this line is it's eco-friendly and not terribly expensive.
  • Biosilk
    This is my leave-in conditioner. I put it in before I blow my hair dry, usually just around the ends of my hair. I tend to get a lot of split ends, and I feel like this helps. It also keeps my hair from going ultra-frizzy after I blow it dry. The downside is it's expensive. I used to be able to buy it at Costco for a fairly reasonable price, but they haven't had it in a long time. I only have a little bit left, so I am in the market for a viable alternative.  

  • Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub and Refreshing Facial Wash
    I just started using Simple's products a few weeks ago. I have been bouncing around trying to find a cleanser I really like for awhile. I like Avon's Anew cleanser, but I got it through my mom at cost, and she quit getting Avon... And so, so did I. Before that, I used an acne-preventing regimen, but then my skin finally decided it no longer wanted to be a temperamental teenager, and I got to using big-girl cleanser. Anyway, back to Simple. I like that is is really fresh feeling and smelling, although the scent isn't my absolute favorite.I love, however, that it has no artificial dyes or perfumes, and that it is hypoallergenic. I will probably continue to use it, as I can get a really good deal at the commissary.

  • Bio-Oil
    I know, it's weird, but I use Bio-Oil as my moisturizer. I tend to do my face washing in the shower, and then apply the Bio-Oil right after I have dried my face. I let it sit for a few minutes until I can no longer "feel" it before I put on my make-up. I started using it to combat the lines and wrinkles that were making their virgin appearances around my eyes and forehead. They obviously aren't anything horrible, but I could see them. Anyway, after about three or four weeks of the Bio-Oil, I started noticing a reduction in the above. It is very reasonable, especially because I need so little of it. Just a couple dabs does my entire face. Love it.
  • Make-Up
    I use a variety of make-up, but all of it is mineral make-up. When I switched to mineral make-up, I started to notice that my skin started to clear up and be less oily. I started with Bare Minerals, and then branched out from there. I still have some of their eyeshadow that I use, but haven't bought anything new in years. One of my favorite brands is Aromaleigh. Unfortunately, the owner closed down the business last year, so I was unable to get it for a long time and had to find new minerals, elsewhere. Happily, they are back up and running, I just haven't ordered from them, again. I do, however, use their eyeshadow everyday and still love it. They have tons of colors, more than any other company (or at least they used to). I just started using E.L.F. cosmetics around Christmas when I began to run out of other products. So far, I like everything I have used except their finishing powder, but only because their lightest color was too dark for me. My favorite E.L.F. product, however, has to be their mineral eyeshadow primer. One of the problems I have with the mineral make-up is, by the end of the day, the powder has rubbed off or pooled in the creases of my eyes. But with that stuff, it stays exactly where it is supposed to be (and the colors don't get diluted by the chemicals in my skin. Double win!)

I hate to admit it, but I use the Victoria's Secret Fantasy products, and the Love Spell scent more specifically. I keep trying to find a new, more grown-up scent, but I always end up coming back to Love Spell. It smells divine, and it was the scent S picked out for me for our first Christmas together. I really do like it, but I feel a little silly buying it, sometimes. I usually try to switch out my scents every once in awhile, so I have been using the Sheer Love scent recently. It's a little on the floral side for me, though (I like floral, but I like it mixed with a fruity scent, as well), so I probably won't keep it around after I finish it up. I'm always looking for an alternative, though. Feel free to make suggestions.

I typically apply the lotion the second I turn off the shower spray, before I towel off. After it's good and worked in, I towel off. This keeps my skin super soft and moisturized, much more so than when I apply the lotion after drying. I use the spray and perfume, too, but I think their application is pretty self-explanatory/well-known.


I am pretty skeptical of mall-kiosk products, but S gave me a manicure set from Dead Sea Premiere for my birthday. It comes with a nail block, cuticle oil, and a hand lotion. It's fantastic. It makes my nails look beautiful and my hands feel lovely. I totally recommend it. I also have a salt scrub (which I prefer to sugar scrubs) and a body butter. Ah-mahz-ing. I use the whole set about once a month, and it really lasts that long, if not more.


  1. I've been wanting to try mineral makeup, but I wear it so rarely that I can't really justify the added cost. Oh well. :)

    I love the idea of using BioOil as a facial moisturizer. Definitely going to try it!

    1. Might I suggest you try some of the stuff found at the Exchange? I have recently started using the Physician's Formula mineral foundation, and like it. I had to find something else when my Aromaleigh ran out :(. It is probably enough to last me at least six months (if not more) and was only $9 at the PX. They usually have coupons in the paper for it, too. And Target carries some of the ELF stuff; $5 for foundation. Or, if you have a sephora or Bare Minerals in your mall (any mall? Do they have malls there? lol), they will do a make over for free. You'll at least be able to see if you like it. I always liked Aromaleigh because they would have great deals on eye shadow and TONS of awesome colors. Just not sure how they are working things since they reopened.

  2. Aromaleigh is same as always, different colors, but more expensive.

  3. I use PUR minerals and I love it! I used to use Bare minerals, and Ulta had a big sale one week on PUR so I went for it. I LOVE it! It matches my pasty self perfectly and works so well with my sensitive skin.

    1. May have to look into them! I am not sold on the foundation I have been using. Thanks!