Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Talking Products: Hits & Misses in the Drugstore Cosmetics Aisle

Since I discovered stores like Aveda, Origins and Sephora years ago, I seldom venture to the cosmetics section of the drugstore or grocery store anymore. Lately, however, I've been drawn there by ads or magazine articles or perhaps the invisible force of Max Factor. Here are few things I've been test driving.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil

There are many Burt's Bees products I like and use regularly (my daily shower would not be as happy without Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream and Citrus & Ginger Root Body Wash). But when it comes to lip balm, I've been a loyal Rosebud Salve user for years. But then a magazine ad for this Burt's Bees lip balm made me wonder if it's really wise to continuously put a petroleum product (petrolatum) on my lips. So I gave the Burt's Bees balm a try--and I'm hooked on it. It feels nice, has a pleasant taste, offers a hint of tint, and it makes my mouth feel smooth and happy. It's also a great base for lip color. (One should never paint lipstick onto a chapped canvas.)

L'Oreal Endless Lipcolour
Speaking of lipstick...lately I've been searching for one that really stays on, which is a bit of a switch from my usual lip tints and sheer lip colors I've been wearing for the last five years or so. But lipstick and I--we're old friends. In the '80s I went through tube after tube of a L'Oreal variety in Toned Up Taupe, a pinkish beige with a hint of frost. In the '90s I went more bright and bold--L'Oreal Colour Endure in Wild Violet or Kiss Me Red. Colour Endure was awesome. It wore well and and it felt great. I've still got a few long thin gray tubes of it in my vanity table, but I was told by Charlotte, a L'Oreal Customer service person, that they no longer make it. Unhappy news. Charlotte suggested I check out L'Oreal's website for an alternative, which is where I discovered Endless. It came also came in a long skinny tube, and, says the site, it offers a "tattoo effect" for your lips. I was game. I bought Never Ending Rose. It's a great shade for me and it stays on well, but my lips felt like the Sahara--dry dry dry and hardly kissable. I miss Colour Endure (which is available here and there online and on eBay). My relationship with Endless has ended.

Yes to Carrots Eyes and Face Makeup Remover
I read about a Yes to Carrots product in Jean Godfrey June's column several issues of Lucky ago. She loved the product. I happened to see a Yes to Carrots display one day as I was walking through Walgreens, and, since I was in the market for something new to wash my face with, I decided to give Yes to Carrots Eyes and Face Makeup Remover a try. I've been using a rather expensive cleanser. Or actually not using it. Generally by the time my day winds down--after I work, pick up Cheapy Jr., run random errand, cook dinner, clean up, get Cheapy Jr. to bed--the thought of pinning back my hair, getting out a wash cloth and waiting for the water to warm up seems really hard. For more than 20 years, I actually took off my makeup with Pond's Cold Cream. I loved how it smelled and it reminded me of my grandma. Once I found my current facialist, however, this was no longer allowed. (I had some seriously clogged up pores, whiteheads, etc. Mineral oil--not so great for the face.) And besides the washing my face thing being hard, I also missed the creamy loveliness of the Pond's. This Yes to Carrots makeup remover gives me that creamy lovliness, it makes my face feel almost as soft as Cheapy Jr.'s, and it's made from good ingredients like carrot juice, minerals and Dead Sea mud. I absolutely love this stuff. And I'll definitely be trying other Yes to Carrots products--I have a feeling their Body Butter will be awesome.

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