The Beauty Bargain | Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser

IMG_8849There might not be much heard about the Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser ($9-10 CDN) but it’s been out for years and years and despite its rather boring appearance and general absence of hype, it’s kind of a lifesaver and one of those unsung heroes of the budget beauty department. It’s a gentle, soothing cleanser that I’m tempted to compare to Cetaphil but in my estimation, it has a much creamier texture and blows Cetaphil out of the water. In other words, it’s not a particularly exciting product but I’m not of the belief that cleansers should be – it’s good to look for cleansers that have the gentlest formulas and work effectively without stripping the skin or irritating it in the slightest, especially when you have irritation prone skin as I do.

While the emollients and the general soap-free cleansing agents in the formula will remove makeup to some extent, particularly when light makeup is involved, I tend to stick to using it as a morning cleanser or as a second cleanse after using my main makeup remover at nighttime. This might have something to do with the fact that I find that makeup clings to my face like glue and I seem to need to use heavy duty oil removers for the more benign formulas, though, so I wouldn’t necessarily be dissuaded by its limited makeup removal abilities – it just isn’t the best makeup remover in existence.

Now that I’m working on my second bottle of this lotion cleanser, I definitely do stand by my original assessment that this soap and fragrance free formula is the gentlest that I’ve ever tried, and the only formula that does not make my skin tingle, burn and redden when it’s at its most fragile state. Not only is the cleanser gentle, it also moisturizes the skin after removal with its lotion formula and inclusion of anti-irritants, chamomile and vitamin e. Even on my skin that has a tendency to get rather dry and irritated, this cleanser leaves a comfortable feeling after being rinsed away.

This cleanser is quite simply the best for irritated and drier skin and I would recommend it to anyone unless you’re very oily or relish the uber-cleansed feelings that more lightweight gel cleansers leave behind. It’s amazing and one of my few skincare repurchases.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Isohexadecane, Tea-Cocoyl Glutamate, Methylglucose Sesquistearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Bisabolol, Chamomile Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, BHT, Geranium, Dipropylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Methylparaben

Any beauty bargains to share?
Maggie, x.

The Beauty Bargain |Annabelle A-14 Angle Brush

DSC_1378DSC_1377I don’t know about you, but for me there are few makeup products that are as unenticing to invest in as makeup brushes, despite how much of a difference they can make to makeup application. I might not always admit it, but brushes can make such a difference to how your makeup looks and the ease of application and it’s very exciting when you find comparable brushes on an actually affordable budget. And before you assume otherwise, I am actually talking about a brush not made by Real Techniques and it’s a bit more affordable too!

A few months ago, I was perusing the aisles of Shoppers Drugmart and somehow I ended up at the cash register with the Annabelle A-14 Angle Brush ($7-8 CDN) and while I may have felt a bit of buyers remorse then, I don’t have any sort of regret now. I bought it because of my intense love for my pricy MAC 266 Small Angle Brush – a lovely offering from MAC that does unfortunately set you back $24 dollars – and desire for a second one because of its versatility in my daily makeup routine. Brushes in this format are my staples for filling in my eyebrows with power but I also adore them for either gel or using eyeshadow as liner and I was getting frustrated about having to clean the brush after each use so I’m pleased to admit that while I wouldn’t call this more affordable offering a complete dupe, it’s extremely comparable in both shape and quality, working effectively to fill in eyebrows with powder – and it’s nice with the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade that I’m currently testing out – and line the eyes like its more expensive counterpart. The only difference between the two brushes is that the head on the Annabelle A-14 is a hair larger and not quite as dramatically angled… see for yourself below, if you’re interested, though:

DSC_1381 I’m disappointed to say that while the Canadian brand has a website that ships both here and to the US affordably with their products — they’re only available locally here in Canada — they’ve conveniently left their brushes off their website. I am not pleased in the slightest with this news, I’ll have you know. Nevertheless, if you have access to Annabelle, I would definitely recommend checking out their brush line with this one in particular.

What’s your current favourite beauty bargain?
Maggie, x.

The Beauty Bargain: The Summery Bright Lip



Honestly I’ve wanted to begin this rather generic beauty blogger series but I’ve been angsting over creating a name that wouldn’t just be copying every other beauty blogger alive but I’m forcing myself to get over the drama and contemplation, going with the unoriginal The Beauty Bargain as I title to begin to share with you these affordable products that perform as well if not better than their higher end counterparts. The first product in question to begin this whole series – I actually do plan on making this a regular thing – is the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Stellar ($7-8 CDN), a glossy (but not overly so) vibrant coral liquid lipstick that stays put on the lips for ages even for those of us who might not necessarily be the neatest eaters for a good six hours without feeling heavy or sticky at the least.

I know I’m rather late to the party on this popular lip product but honestly I picked this one up at the end of the fall last year, wanting to try the formula that I had heard such great things about without truly realizing that it was not a seasonally-appropriate shade in the slightest. You know how I feel about corals, but I know bold coral lips are not a seasonless essential for the masses so I held off on sharing my love for this one until now. I haven’t gone for any other shades in the range as none of them have popped out at me as shades that suit me and that I don’t already own duplicates of so I can’t comment on that front but judging by the following of these, I believe its safe to assume that the formula is fantastic around the board. In my eyes there’s only one real downside to the formula, the creamy texture’s tendency to slip and slide before setting into their more satin finish, sliding onto your teeth if you’re not careful – but others might object to the candy-scent but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, especially in comparison with those artificial floral scents that lipsticks of the drugstore tend to have.

Aside from the fabulous pigmentation, longevity (i.e. wearing off evenly) and comfort of the lip lacquer, Rimmel Apocalips in Stellar is remarkable in it’s non-drying formula that glides over dry patches and uneven texture in the lips, especially considering the bold nature of the lipstick. If you’re looking for a comfortable long-wearing formula that applies precisely without loads of effort or skill on your part, I recommend this offering and I definitely recommend this shade if you’re after something bold but unlike the standard bold fuschias and reds.

This really doesn't showcase my application skills at their finest but I promise it looks much better in real life...
This really doesn’t showcase my application skills at their finest but I promise it looks much better in real life…

Have you tried any of these Rimmel Lip Lacquers?

Maggie, x.