Ten or Less: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser

If you haven’t yet, you will likely soon see a display featuring the new “Naturals” line from Neutrogena. And when you do, you should absolutely give these products a second glance and try them out. I picked up the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser and am pleasantly surprised at the quality and the “natural-ness” of the product!

As my profession, I do CSR communications and natural is definitely a word that in itself doesn’t mean much.  When I picked up this product, I was excitedly showing it to a coworker, a former journalist who covered marketing and PR agencies, and he scoffed a bit at the word “natural.” But I’ve got to give it to Neutrogena — this product has legs.

If you’re making any sustainability claims, the first step is definitely transparency so I was thrilled to see Neutrogena list the ingredients and the source. The plastic bottle is also made of 50% post-consumer recycled material.

I’ve always liked Neutrogena’s face washes, but this one takes the cake. And for some weird reason, my Clarisonic is dirtier when I use this than this as compared to other Neutrogena cleansers. A deeper clean perhaps? This contains Willowbark, a natural source of salicylic acid, which helps detoxify pores and treat acne. Whether it’s truly a better clean or not, this is a hard-working yet gentle cleanser. No stripping, no tight skin feeling or irritation to be found.

I’ll add that this smells deliciously of apples, and while it is one of the only unnaturally-derived ingredients, Neutrogena claims it’s necessary to blend the ingredients and maintain product effectiveness. I dig it.  And the icing on the “cake?” This costs less than $8.

Product Girl Summer Essentials Turned Fall Favorites

We are well into the fall season now, which we’re happy about… pumpkin spice lattes and sweaters are part of our every day routines now. We are still hooked on some of our summer essentials though, these products saved our lives during the summer and now they are helping us throughout the fall.

  • Votre Vu On Holiday Moisturizing Body Spray – I am not really a fan of body lotions but this is one body moisturizer I can get down with. It sprays on without feeling greasy and leaves my skin smelling AMAZING. Its just like I got back from the tropics and still have gardenias in my hair, this will help keep the tropical vibe going through fall and winter.
  • Osea Undaria Body Polish – This body polish smoothes and moisturizes all without being harsh and abrasive on the skin, it’s really gentle and rich and creamy as well. Thanks to the lemongrass a fantastic citrus scent that’s particularly invigorating in the morning.
  • Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunblock – This was Laurie’s go-to SPF all summer long. As the name indicated, it’s ultra sheer and ultra absorbent. It’s a summer essential, but this will likely see a lot of action in the coming months too.
  • La Mer Oil Absorbing Lotion – This was my go-to moisturizer this summer, I went with the “less is more” approach with this in the hopes that a light formula would help prevent my face from turning into an oil slick and it did really well. Now it’s going to be my oil absorbing staple this fall.
  • Kiehl’s Sunflower Color Preserving Deep Recovery Pak – Chlorine in the pool did horrible things to my hair but this brought it back to life. Just 3 minutes with this on and my hair is manageable again and as soft as silk… and fly away free! Plus I love the smell, it reminds me of my favorite shampoo.
  • Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage – This is a skincare gem for Laurie. She stores this in the refrigerator and uses it every morning while the coffee’s brewing. Beyond helping perk up the undereye area, it actually helps wake her up! It’s an icy cold blast of caffeine, botanicals and antioxidants. It’s delightful.

What about you? What are your fall favorites? Do you have any summer essentials you’re still using?

Ten or Less Thursday: Neutrogena Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser

Welcome to Ten or Less Thursday at Product Girl! Thursdays are about to get a little thriftier as we spotlight some great budget beauty buys — all under, you guessed it, ten dollars. Today I wanted to talk about Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser. If this feature were about product word count, this cleanser almost wouldn’t have made the cut.

I picked this up in an “in-between” cleansers phase. And to be completely honest, I reached for this one at Target because it reminded me of a green apple—a yummy snack and one of my favorite smells. The green apple comparison ends there though as this has a light chamomille aroma (the soothing part). It’s also got salicylic acid (the acne fighting part) and foams up nicely with the Clarisonic. I’m a fan, and this one only set me back $6.

Sun Safety Splurge or Steal: Kiehl's vs Neutrogena

I was nearly set to post about Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ when I picked up a tube of Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunblock. We’re definitely in splurge or steal territory here! They are shockingly similar in ingredients and performance.  Had I discovered the Neutrogena first, I may not have splurged on the Kiehl’s.  But I do love them both — they are serious sun safety rock stars!

First, the ingredient breakdown. They contain the same active ingredients at nearly the same percentages.

Both formulas are incredibly lightweight and need to be shaken prior to use to activate the ingredients. Unless you are sensitive to physical suscreen, these will not break you out or clog your pores. Both are intended to be worn under your makeup and over your moisturizer. Arguably, you could use this as your moisturizer in a pinch. Both formulas absorb almost immediately. I love the liquidity – just don’t forget to shake!

Now for the ever so slight differences. I noticed a slightly different scent. Both are fragrance free but have a slight sunscreen smell that disappears immediately after application. They have a slightly different finish on the skin to the touch – the Kiehl’s has more of a silky feel. I think that the Neutrogena has better priming abilities as it controlled oil longer on my face. Neutrogena is also available in higher SPF – 55 and 70. And last, the price difference. Kiehl’s is $32 for 1.7 FL oz and Neutrogena’s is $10.79 for 1.4 FL oz.

Whether you opt to spurge or steal, make sure you wear sunscreen!

Splurge vs. Steal: Chanel Bikini Peach Glossimer & Neutrogena Fruity Pink MoistureShine Gloss

This edition of Splurge vs. Steal has us pretty excited. Not only have we discovered a fabulous drugstore lipgloss by Neutrogena, it just so happens it bears an uncanny resemblemnce to my favorite gloss of the summer: Chanel Bikini Peach Glossimer. After hearing many raves about the Neutrogena MoistureShine Gloss, I decided to give it a try. I selected the Fruity Pink color, a pinky-peach with refined golden shimers. It’s a fairly sheer gloss with a creamy finish – not gritty in the least. It has a light, fruity scent that I liked. Overall, a fantastic lip gloss for under $10.

left: Neutrogena Fruity Pink, right: Chanel Bikini Peach

Then I decided to compare it to Bikini Peach and was stunned by how similar they are. Chanel Bikini Peach is slightly peachier and a tad more creamy upon application, but the color is nearly spot on. We deem this a worthy splurge or steal, since both of these glosses are pretty amazing! Let us know if you’ve tried either.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector – Love it or Leave it?

To say I’ve been obsessed lately with moisturizing my skin and brightening my complexion would be a huge understatement. Winter takes a toll on the skin and I find that I’m constantly fighting the dry air and dulling affect it has on my skin. So when I saw Neutrogena’s new Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector, I thought I’d give it a try.

The packaging reminds me of Bobbi Brown’s new Tinted Eye Brightener in that is a click-pen style with a brush affixed.  In fact, I was hoping I would love it as much as I love Bobbi Brown’s version because it’s about $25 less! It’s available in a range of shades, and I picked it up in Fair.

Sadly, I don’t love this product. In fact, I’m not even sure I like it. It certainly has potential, but the formula is incredibly thick. It’s intended to be used as both a concealer and a brightener – so it pulls double duty – but the formula consistency makes it incredibly difficult to blend. I do like that it includes SPF 25, but can’t help but think it somehow impacts the consistency. I worked with this for a few days before I finally gave up. It just sat underneath my eyes and I never felt like I was able to really blend it into my skin. It is better when mixed with an eye cream but that’s a step I don’t think you should have to add with this type of product.

My verdict is to “leave it.” I think there are other products out there that can do a better job.

Product Girl Travel Beauty Tips

In just a few short days, I’ll be transported from a likely rainy, cold Chicago to the warm, sunny beaches of Hawaii. I’m trying to downplay the excitement around my coworkers and friends, because well, it’s going to be rainy and cold the entire time I’m gone. Trying to be a gracious vacationer!

I need to get to packing, and like any beauty junkie, I’m thinking of what makeup I’m going to bring! There’s usually a three-step process that happens when I go to pack makeup for a vacation:

1) Sort through makeup bag and lay my vacation makeup on the counter – thinking the whole time I’m being practical with my selections.
2) Step back and see that I’ve selected 20 eyeshadows, 8 blushes and 10 lipglossees and realize that I haven’t been selective enough.
3) Start again, this time paring down to a reasonable amount of makeup that gets to come with on vacation.

Are you guilty of doing this too?

All that said, I still like to feel like I have options. For this I go to my palettes and multi-tasking products. Here’s what will defintely be making the trip with me to Hawaii.


The NARS Multiple Duo in Maui/Palm Beach. This gives me a pinky blush and a bronzer, plus it travels really well because it’s a sleek, rubber compact.


This Glitter Lip Gloss Palette from Bobbi Brown’s holiday collection is perfect for travel. I happen to love these glosses for one, and I have four options to choose from!


This is a must – need I remind you how long it has been since I’ve seen the sun? I do live in Chicago, we have the highest rate of Vitamin D deficiency in the country! Plus, this sunscreen doubles as my primer and never irritates my sensitive skin.


I like eyeshadow options and this Tarte Femme Fatale palette will serve me well. I have soft colors, deep neutrals, bold shimmers – yeah, I’m set with this one.

What are your travel beauty musts? Share any tips you have – after all my travels, I still don’t have this down to a science!

Red Carpet Beauty: Hayden Panettiere at the Golden Globes

Hayden Panettiere at the Golden Globes Celebrity makeup artist Amy Oresman created Hayden Panetierre’s Golden Globe look – now she teaches you her secrets to this flawless face:

Eyes: “With eyes like Hayden’s green sparklers, who needs a load of jewelry? We amped up the brilliance of Hayden’s green eyes with Neutrogena’s newest Nourishing Eye Quad in Vintage Wine. It includes a dazzlingly deep burgundy in a powder powerful enough to act as an eyeliner, which is perfect for creating the smoky look that Hayden adores. I layered on the Vintage Wine at the lash line and doubled it in the outer corners for an extra flash of drama.”

Face: “I love to build on Hayden’s golden look with Neutrogena Radiance Bronzer in Sunkissed. I swept it through the crease of her eye and all around her cheekbones and neck. It’s so soft and light you just cannot put too much on … so go crazy with it!”

“After bronzing, I mixed two delectable Neutrogena Soft Color Blushes — Sunny Spice and Divine Wine and applied them with a round brush in a circular motion to the apples of Hayden’s cheeks. I love layering this blush — it’s so sheer you can dust a little color in the crease of the eye to tie your look together.”

Lips: “This year lipstick is back and Neutrogena’s are brighter and better. My favorite is Neutrogena’s Moisture LipColor in Whisper Pink for painting on the perfect pout. It goes on with just a hint of shine so it leaves your lips looking healthy and moist.”