Tuesday, April 14, 2015

RIP Neutrogena Oil Free Stress Control Power Foam Wash

It took me years to find the perfect face wash.


Not even joking - for years I dealt with ugly, embarrassing and PAINFUL cystic acne on my jawline. I could feel them coming up before I could see them, but I couldn't do anything to stop them. Then they'd last forever, and even after they were gone, the red blotches were still there. It looked awful.

I tried new things and I stuck with them for the recommended periods of time. I'd wait and wait, hoping for results, seeing a little and wondering if it was the change in my routine or just a random coincidence. I tried many different face washes, from $10 drug store finds to $50 specialty brands. Some did give me results, but nothing ever cleared my skin like Neutrogena Oil Free Stress Control Power Foam Wash. Mouthful of a name, but a heck of a product.

I started using that with Neutrogena Oil Free Stress Control Toner and Benefit's Total Moisture twice a day. I also use clariSEA's salt scrub and charcoal mask twice a week. My skin has been clear ever since. I do get a tiny bump here and there around my period, but no more painful cystic acne. I add a dab of Neutrogena Oil Free Stress Control spot treatment to the bump and it never lasts longer than two days. I'm satisfied with my routine and I've stuck with it faithfully. So I was a little worried when my foam wash began getting harder and harder to find. I stocked up on what I could find and sent Neutrogena an email.

This, my friends, was the response:

While it was nice of them to reply and make suggestions, I HAVE the cream wash. I don't like it. It wasn't as effective and I don't like the way my skin feels afterward. So here we are. I'm back at square one and terrified of what's going to happen with my skin.

I have seen bottles of the foam wash for around $25 online, so I know there's a demand for it and people are exploiting that. But even if I bought every bottle I found, it's going to run out or get old and I still have to start over.

For now, I'm going back to purity by philosophy because it was my favorite before I found this. I also like Benefit's Gentle Foaming cleanser, but neither one was as perfect for my skin as Neutrogena's.

So there it is. If you've spent hours on the internet looking for Neutrogena Oil Free Stress Control Power Foam Wash, you can stop. Take that energy and use it to email Neutrogena over and over again, please, and let's convince them to bring back this awesome face wash! I've seen on many forums, on Amazon, on eBay, on other beauty blogs, that this has been a miracle product for many of you. Get in touch with Neutrogena, if you love this product, and convince them they're making a huge mistake.

Or go cry in a corner.

Either way.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 2015 Ipsy Bag

It's here! Here's my March 2015 Ipsy bag:

This month, I got:

  • Sexy Hair - Soy Renewal Creme Oil 
  • NYX Cosmetics - Butter Lipstick
  • Chella - Ivory Lace Highlighter 
    This is the only item I've tried because I couldn't resist as soon as I opened my bag. I applied it to clean skin, meaning I used no primers before application. It went on smoothly, blended quite well and was completely subtle. I used it as it's main purpose, a highlighter: on my brow bone, on the inner and outer corners of my eyes, and just a bit to my cupid's bow on my top lip. It worked well and did give me a more awake, perky look - but I can't wait to play around with it's reported contouring benefits as well.
  • Dr. Brandt Skincare - pores no more anti-aging mattifying lotion
  •  Marsk - Mineral Eyeshadow

As always, updates/reviews will be posted as I use the items. Trades open for the pores no more lotion, the Marsk mineral eyeshadow, and the NYX lipstick. They have yet to be opened but if I don't receive trade requests in the next day or two, they will most likely be swatched with a clean applicator. Email me at aGirlyMMA@gmail.com for trade requests :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Ulta Haul

I'm a terrible person when it comes to cosmetics. It's still a relatively newfound obsession for me - I used to buy every kind of every brand available until I was about 20. I took almost a ten year hiatus, guys! Go easy on me! So this past year I've kind of been making up for everything I've missed out on, skincare wise. I absolutely fell in love with benefit but there are a few other brands that have my heart as well: tarte, philosophy, Urban Decay, Too Faced...and my secret weapon, Neutrogena. That being said, I don't have a huge budget. So I wait around for great sales, especially stackable ones, and splurge at Ulta/Sephora when they have nice free products or deluxe samples. Two weeks ago, I found some nice deals at Ulta, stacked them, redeemed points, and got my regular moisturizer as well as a new set from benefit for super cheap. Behold the glory!

I bought the full sized Total Moisturizer and the Flawless Four boxed set, then got the deluxe It's Potent! eye cream, moisturizer packet, and the tote bag for free. (The Ultra Radiance spray was purchased in another order.)

These were all free items from my order. An Urban Decay set (Revolution lipstick, Eyeshadow Primer Potion, 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in LSD; and All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray); It Cosmetics CC+ packet and Brow Power brow pencil; Lorac POREfection mattifying face primer packet; and the above shown facial cream, tote bag, and eye cream from benefit)

This is the Urban Decay lipstick. I am NOT normally a lipstick person. I love balms and stains but often feel out of my element (either like an old lady or a stripper) when I wear lipstick. This one was a pleasant surprise. It's their Revolution lipstick in "Jilted" and it's a nice pink with subtle bluish undertones. I felt it went well with my skintone and would be very flattering on a wide range of different skin colors as well.

The benefit products aren't new to me, so I'm not reviewing them here. The It Cosmetics Brow Power brow pencil is nice, but although it says it won't smudge, it definitely does. I've mentioned in earlier posts, but I do have oily skin so that may have something to do with it, but when used without a face primer, it smudged quickly. The spooly brush at the opposite end of the liner is quite nice, though. I have yet to use the other items but I'll review them as soon as I do.

HOT Ulta Sale: $9 Urban Decay Eyeshadow (regularly $18)

Not only is this a great steal at half off, but Ulta is also offering free shipping with any purchase that includes this eyeshadow AND there's also a 3x points promo going on for Platinum members. If you're platinum, make sure you activate the 3x points promo before purchasing.

You can't beat this deal!

Click here for the eyeshadow.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Benefit Reviews: Ultra Radiance, Agent Zero Shine and NEW Roller Lash

My latest Ulta order came on Valentine's Day -- the best and only present I got! Lucky for me, it came with a few freebies so it absolutely made my day.

I ordered Ultra Radiance and Agent Zero Shine and got for free:

  • Deluxe sample of Benefit Fake Up
  • Deluxe sample of the NEW Benefit Roller Lash
  • A bareMinerals bag with blush, veil, lip gloss, and foundation primer. The bag quality as well as the items were nicer than most stuff in my monthly Ipsy bags! Ha!

I absolutely adore the Ultra Radiance facial spray. It works great as a makeup setter or just an overall refresher. I do have oily, sensitive skin and this doesn't bother it at all. It makes my skin feel great and it smells awesome.

I've only used Agent Zero Shine twice. As stated earlier, I do have oily skin. I don't think this will last ALL day for matte skin *but* it did last over four hours and for my oily skin, that's a miracle. I don't mind having to touch up once in the middle of the day. It's also a great product because it's self contained: you open the lid, tap powder into the lid, remove the bottom which is a push up brush, apply the powder, then cap it all back together into one neat little stick. I will definitely use this item regularly.

The new Roller Lash was a hit too. I tried it first without even pre-curling my lashes and was amazed at the results. I've tried many "curling" mascaras and didn't see half the results that this gave me - BUT. It smudged more quickly than my favorite mascara by tarte. Again, I have oily skin. It's a curse and a blessing. All mascara seems to smudge on me more quickly than others. The curling and separation powers of Roller Lash, though, are quite nice.

The FakeUp sample is A.MA.ZING. This little push up concealer stick has a ring of clear, creamy moisturizer around it to hydrate your skin as you conceal. A little goes a long way, much like their Erase Paste. Love it.

I haven't yet used my bareMinerals set but I'm sure it'll happen soon. I'll update you as soon as I do :)