Category Archives: Ten or Less

Ten or Less: CoverGirl NatureLuxe Gloss Balm

It’s fair to say that 2011 is going down in the beauty books as the “year of the hybrid lipstick.” No longer is a tube of lipstick a tube of lipstick. Case in point: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine and the new Dior Addict Lipstick, two formulas that we absolutely love. But nothing beats the satisfaction of finding something of this nature for under $7, ala CoverGirl NatureLuxe Gloss Balm. They’re everything you think they’re not: sheer, moisturizing and an incredibly great bargain beauty buy!

L-R: Tulip, Sandstone, Coral, Hibiscus, Spice

The NatureLuxe Gloss Balms are like candy to me! Every time I go to Target, I seem to acquire a new one. I love the scent — it’s really subtle, but sort of sweet. The formula contains mango and shea butters, as well as SPF 15.

L-R: Tulip, Sandstone, Coral, Hibiscus, Spice

I’ve found a favorite in the Coral, but Hibiscus is a close runner up. The range of colors is pretty impressive, and try as you might, you won’t find one that doesn’t look good on. Trust me, I’m working on it! That’s the beauty of the sheer formula.

Ten or Less: MAC Cosmetics Sized to Go Collection

I use to take my old bottles of MAC’s Fix + and transfer them it into smaller bottles so I could keep some with me, I love stuff and every version of it since.  Now with the new MAC Sized to Go collection arriving in MAC stores now, I can just pick up bottle of Fix + in a carry-on approved size  just in time for the summer travel season. Half of the collection is priced at $10 so I thought it was perfect for this week’s Ten or Less.

In travel, small has a virtue that goes beyond size. It’s mandatory! And in your M·A·C skincare formula of choice, small universally approved volumes of 30 ml. or less are not only more tote-able, they allow you to carry on all of your favorite regime: Fix +, Cleanse Off Oil, Cleanse Off Oil/Tranquil, Pro Eye Makeup Remover, Demi-Wipes, Studio Moisture Cream, Strobe Cream, Green Gel Cleanser and Oil Control Lotion – everything you need to keep your skin cleansed, refreshed and hydrated. In anything but a round-the-world marathon, small is most likely all you need. These handy sizes also favour local jaunts and can be great for the space-challenged. Exclusively at M·A·C stores.

At $10:

  • Fix +
  • Cleanse Off Oil/Tranquil
  • Cleanse Off Oil
  • Pro Eye Makeup Remover
  • Green Gel Cleanser

At $15:
• Demi-Wipes
• Oil Control Lotion
• Strobe Cream
• Studio Moisture Cream

If you have never tried some of these products, I like that these travel versions give you a way to try a substantial amount of product without the full price. The Strobe Cream, for example, costs $29.50 for 50ml so why not give it a shot?

Ten or Less: Eos Everyday Hand Lotion

I was starting to think that these EOS Everyday Hand Lotions were urban legend because finding them locally was almost impossible. Then one day not too long ago I finally spotted them in the bins by the cash register at my favorite Ulta and I just HAD to have one. I felt like I hit the beauty jackpot.

There’s plenty to like about this EOS Hand Lotion. The formula is lightweight but it absorbs quickly without leaving hands feeling greasy. Don’t you hate that greasy feeling? At first I was a little surprised at the size of the lotion (it fits in the palm of your hand) but when I started using it, I realized that you don’t really need a lot of it at a time. A pea sized amount is enough to do the job. The formula includes shea butter, oat extract and vitamins C and E and it is paraben free and 97% natural.

I also love the packaging in this hand lotion. It was designed to fit in your pocket so it is no wonder it is so sleek and convenient. The price of this hand lotion is also JUST right. At $3.99, they are cheap enough to pick up a few to keep at home, work, in the car or wherever you want to keep hand lotion. It comes in two scents; Nourish and Refresh. If I were you, I would pick up Refresh – the cucumber scent will be refreshing this summer!

Ten or Less: TRESemme Climate Protection Finishing Spray

Don’t call this one a hairspray, because TRESemme’s Climate Protection Finishing Spray is so much more than that. Part of TRESemme’s 4-piece Climate Protection line to keep your tresses looking good despite the usual destructive elements of static, wind and/or humidity, the Finishing Spray is like the grand finale to any hairdo. Up, down, straight, curly — this product will set you on your merry way for the day, especially one with weather woes.

The secret to this spray’s success is TRESemme’s Climate Control Complex, a blend of Kertain and UV blockers, that build a residue-free barrier between your hair and the effects of harmful elements. We’ve been having our share of nasty weather in Chicago this month and I’ve been impressed with how my hair has held up throughout the day when using this. I spray it all over, let it dry before touching and then do a final fluff with my fingers. It dries completely and feels weightless.

And in usual TRESemme fashion, I was able to snag a ginormous can of this from Target for about $3. I’d happily pay the same amount for a tiny version for travel! Because now, I need this product in my daily routine no matter where I am.

Ten or Less: Aveeno Positively Nourishing Calming Body Wash

What do Aveeno, Recyclebank and the Independent Spirit Awards have in common? This weekend, the shared thread is Product Girl! I’ll be heading to Los Angeles with a team of bloggers and Aveeno to attend the Independent Spirit Awards. We’ll be meeting with experts from Aveeno and learning more about their eco-initatives. So it’s only fitting that today’s Ten or Less focus on one of my favorite Aveeno products: Postively Nourishing Calming Body Wash.

This is one of my go-to evening body washes. I take a lot of baths in the wintertime or a hot shower before bed to warm up and relax, and this helps put me in a zen state. It contains natural ingredients ylang ylang, chamomile and lavender and smells fabulous. Truly relaxation in a bottle. A recyclable bottle at that!

The other factor in this equation is Recyclebank, a partner of Aveeno’s that works to encourage a green lifestyle and rewards you with points for doing so. I’m excited to head out west this weekend, and will provide a full recap when I return. My one wish at the Independent Spirit Awards? To see Mark Ruffalo. I adore him! He’s actually from my home town, and his family owns a hair cuttery called Ruffalo’s that I used to go to when I was a kid.

His movie “The Kids Are All Right” is a frontrunner for a few Independent Spirit Awards, so good luck to him!

Ten or Less: Burt's Bees 100% Natural Tinted Lip Balm

I’m having a bit of a moment with these new Burt’s Bees Natural Tinted Lip Balms. They are just delightful! It’s a conditioning lip balm that leaves behind the softest hue of color just as a tinted balm should. Of the six shades available, I’ve been using the lightest two: Honeysuckle and Pink Blossom.

They boast 100% natural ingredients (we covered off on my stance of that word last week!), and is certified as such by the Natural Products Association. They’re very moisturizing — which is likely due to the shea butter and the plethora of natural oils in the product — everything from coconut to vegetable and olive.

They do leave a really sheer wash of color on the lips that looks very fresh. The Pink Blossom (on the right) is my favorite — I could wear this all day, every day and feel put together. The only thing, Burt’s Bees, that sounded off my sustainability radar is why the added packaging? While the cardboard shell contains 60% post-consumer recycled content, it’s an unnecessary addition. If you’re going for low impact, certainly this isn’t going to help your footprint. That said, I’m keeping the balm housed in there until I’m ready to recycle it. :)

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.

Ten or Less: Wet n Wild Silent Treatment Eyeshadow Trio

Just look at these eyeshadows. Ladies, I am absolutely blown away by Wet n Wild’s Eyeshadow Trio in Silent Treatment. After seeing Cafe Makeup’s review of this trio a few weeks ago, my curiosity was majorly piqued. And I’m so glad it was, because this is easily the smartest $3 I’ve spent in awhile!

Silent Treatment is a neutral, and taupe lover’s, dream. The soft peach, deep chocolate brown and silvery taupe that compose this palette are so soft and pigmented. The “crease” shade reminds me of NARS Mekong and is beautiful smudged over black liner along the lash line. And the taupe “eyelid” shade is so beautiful all over the lid, and as a crease shade when the “browbone” peach shade is all over the lid.

This is a budget beauty steal — the pigment on these shades are better than some of my highest-end shadows. A really great value!

Ten or Less: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Gloss

Revlon is doing amazing things lately. We both loved the Revlon ColorBurst Lipsticks so were excited to see what the ColorBurst Lip Glosses were all about. First thing that caught my eye was the  packaging. Overall, it has a very “glam” look with the quilted cap. I picked up the shade Pink Ice, and while it doesn’t have much in the way of color, I like this gloss very much. It’s got some shimmer to it, and it has a very natural vanilla scent (like vanilla extract).

The wand is quite similar to the Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss. It’s squeezed in at the middle and is flexible — makes for a good application in my opinion. Definitely a great budget beauty buy! While Pink Ice is demure, there are some vibrant bold shades that can satisfy the urge for more color.

Ten or Less: John Frieda Root Awakening Health Boosting Detangling Spray

John Frieda’s Root Awakening Health Boosting Detangling Spray is one part strengthening and a million parts “smells amazing.”  I’m going on my third bottle of this stuff, and I’m addicted to the scent. Granted, I also happen to like what it does for my hair. I came to the realization maybe a dozen haircuts ago that I wasn’t using enough product. I was almost too low maintenance with my hair. So most days, I use this on wet hair as a first step to make combing through easier before I use any other product. My hair feels healthier and even if I do nothing else to it, I know this is helping prevent damage and injecting some vitamins in those strands.

Now back to the smell. Obsessed! It’s a blend of natural eucalyptus and peppermint oil, so it is actually very “awakening.” And the best part about this spray is that it is about $5.