My favorite beauty products.

Growing up we didn't really get into a lot of expensive name brand stuff. We always had the cheapest shampoos or the Wal-Mart brand of face wash. And I didn't care, because hey, my hair and face still got clean. But as I've gotten older I've tried out other products and learned that sometimes it pays to shell out a little extra money to feel and look healthy and pretty. So here's my list of some of my favorite beauty products.

1. Lasting Foundation by Merle Norman - The year I graduated from college, my mom offered to buy me new makeup from Merle Norman (a huge step up from the stuff you can get at Wal-Mart) for my birthday. So I went, got my free facial, and had a consultation to find what worked for me. My skin always feels dry after a shower, but it can get pretty oily throughout the day (especially in the humid south). This particular type of foundation is great for oily skin and I feel like it lasts all day long, plus the coverage is great.

2. Ultra Powder Foundation by Merle Norman - Although it's also a foundation, this powder was recommended to me by my consultant as a way to seal in the liquid foundation. I also sometimes use it by itself on days when I'm feeling lazy or when I'm in a rush and need to speed through the makeup process. It doesn't have quite as much coverage by itself, but it still looks good.

3. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser - I must confess that I bought this because it was pink. I've always loved Neutrogena products and when I first saw the pink grapefruit line I couldn't help myself. I'm an easy sell. But then it turned out to be amazing. It smells good, it feels good, it fights acne, and it has a pump (pumps save time).

4. Clear Volumizing Root Boost Nourishing Shampoo/Conditioner - I'm not sure when this brand came on the scene, but I feel like it's fairly recently. I noticed it one day at Target and decided to try it. Normally, when I go to buy shampoo, I sort of make the rounds and get something different every time. Never again. This stuff is awesome. My hair is very fine (aka flat as pancake) so I've only tried the volumizing version, but it works really well. My hair looks and feels healthier too. When I was in Georgia recently, I used my family's shampoo - I hated the way my hair felt, plus I felt the need to use a whole can of mousse in the hopes of getting at least a little volume. Moral of the story: don't leave your Clear shampoo behind!

5. Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Foam Shave - The shaving foam was a huge relief for my sensitive skin. I have always had issues with razor burn until one day I read I could be allergic to a certain something that's in shaving cream. I also read that ORGANIC shaving cream doesn't have that certain something. So I hit up my local organic pharmacy and tried a few of their shaving creams and this one was my favorite. You only need a couple of pumps and it feels great after the shave. Oh and the particular scent I linked to is great because it's Aloe Mint, which aids in the fight against razor burn.

6. Schick Hydro 5 Razor - Splurging on a non-disposable razor was also a huge help when it comes to razor burn. I like this razor in particular because the 5 blades make for a very close and smooth shave. Totally worth the money.

7. Moisture Effective Eye Makeup Remover Lotion by Avon - I was first given this stuff by an Avon representative (shoutout to Kenniane!) when I did some house-sitting for her. At first I wasn't crazy about it because what? You're rubbing lotion on your eyes? That's weird. However, I've since started buying higher end mascara and, let me tell you, that stuff does not come off easily. After floundering with drugstore makeup remover that didn't seem to actually work anymore, I went online and bought 5 bottles of this stuff. It's regular $4 a bottle, but it always seems to be on sale for much less. When I bought my stash, it was for $.99 apiece. And if you don't know an Avon representative you can shop online now, which makes it super easy.

8. Revlon Perfect Heat 3 Barrel Waver - This is a very recent purchase and I've only used it twice, but I love it. It takes a little practice to make sure your hair doesn't end up looking too crimpy, but it can produce a really pretty curl and add a little volume in the process. 

I didn't put my new favorite mascara in the picture because I'm not done trying all the ones I want to try, but I will say that I love the one I'm currently using. It's Big Fatty Mascara by Urban Decay. I got it at Sephora, but I know it's available at other similar stores like Ulta.

Anyone want to share their favorite beauty products with me? I still love trying new stuff.

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