Share your favorite beauty products. What do you use daily? What can’t you live without?
I am nowhere close to being an expert on beauty products (so far from it!) but I do have to be careful with the beauty items I buy so I have figured out what works for me. Maybe it will be a help to someone out there!
In high school my mother and I noticed that I had an odd reaction to any shampoo with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) in it. It’s not a true allergic reaction but it is definitely noticeable. Any soap containing SLS did not get my hair clean. After my hair dried I looked like I drowned in a vat of oil. Smelled like it too. It was awful. To say that I was embarrassed about my hair right at the time in your life when this matters is an understatement. It was grueling and painful for me.
(Hi to all my high school friends who read my blog!!)
Anyhow through some trial and error my mother and I found that so long as a shampoo only had Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) and no SLS my hair didn’t look as bad. It was lifeless but at least I wasn’t a greaseball. Sulfate free shampoos I’m sure were on the market but we lived in a small town in Nebraska in the 1990s, only so much we could do or had access to. Over time sulfate-free actually became a thing and now it’s actually trendy. I don’t care about trends I just want my hair to look okay. Now I use only sulfate free shampoos & soaps and I’ve definitely got my preferences among these.
First and foremost I consider price and availability. It needs to be cheap (I have a lot of hair and use a lot of shampoo) and it needs to be easy to find. It also has to actually clean my hair, since that is the point. And it can’t smell bad. Big turnoff. And while I don’t dye my hair – I might, not likely, but I might – sulfate-free would help with limiting fading.
Kirkland brand of shampoos & conditioners are sulfate free but you can only get those at Costco. I currently do not have a Costco membership as we could not justify the cost (overpurchasing). There is only 2 of us and buying in bulk didn’t save us as much as I would have hoped. Though we gave it a good 2 year run. I have no complaints about the Kirkland line.
There is a nice selection of sulfate free shampoos at Ulta but I admit price & selection is the issue here. I usually end up buying shampoo because I notice I am about out – I’m terrible at stock piling it – and almost all of the online list is not available in my local stores. Some of the list also leaves a lot to be desired in the price category as well as the smell category.
Typically organic shampoos are sulfate free. Not always but it can be counted on more often than not. But organic soap = $$$$. And I’m a cheap ass.
Ultimately through trial and error of several different brands I found that I love – Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo. As it does contain Tea Tree oil you might have a reaction to it or it might be drying on your scalp but it’s perfect for my naturally oily hair. It smells lovely, leaves my scalp very healthy and my hair has some life – though I still have stick straight hair no matter what I do. Since I go to Trader Joe’s nearly every week and it’s only $3.99 a bottle it’s definitely got all the perks in the right places. The only thing I would recommend if you try it is to give it a week or so. The first week I used it I had that tingling “cool breeze” sensation that is similar to intense mouthwash just on your scalp. It’s weird but you get used to it.
Similarly I have tried Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Balance Moisturizing Shampoo and this works great for me too. Usually I will buy it as a back-up if they are cleaned out of my regular stuff. But I’m not big on the smell. It’s fine, just not my cup of tea.
For make-up I turn to ELF – Eyes Lips Face. Most products are decent in quality (especially their Mineral line) and they are super cheap. I will still turn to other brands for some things like lipstick or mascara. Both of which are Ulta’s line of products, Sephora’s line of products, Rimmel, Smashbox or just about anything else I stumble upon in the store. I’m not loyal where mascara and lipstick are concerned as I am usually looking for the best color and/or doing what it says it will. And besides face paint (base) I don’t wear much beyond mascara, eyeliner and lipstick.
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