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September 27, 2012 at 2:49 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

End of Summer Beauty Review

By Claire Franklin More Blogs by This Author

Aside from ugly breakouts that seem to come at certain times of the month, my chief skin complaint is that of dryness. I suffer from this condition year-round, particularly on my legs. If I don’t use a moisturizer every day, I can feel the uncomfortable tightness that lasts from morning to night. Worse, my dry skin is visible, flaking in some spots and just looking rough in others.

With this in mind, I constantly shop for an affordable moisturizer that actually works. I’ve tried what feels like millions, often without satisfaction. Today, however, I’m happy to report the vicious cycle has been broken thanks to St. Ives.

St. Ives Oatmeal and Shea Butter Advanced Body MoisturizerREVIEW: St. Ives Oatmeal and Shea Butter Advanced Body Moisturizer

Best Body Moisturizer I've Tried. Absorbs Quickly. Lasts All Day. Light, Clean Smell. Non-Greasy.

This company’s Advanced Body Moisturizer, Oatmeal & Shea Butter is by far the best formula I’ve ever tried. The most impressive characteristic is this: it smoothes quickly into skin and keeps it moisturized for literally all day. I’ve tried plenty of other brands that would moisturize for a time, but St. Ives keeps going. Its smell is light and clean, and the non-greasy formula means you’ll never feel like you coated yourself in butter. This is a great lotion for anybody with dry skin who needs real relief.

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily MoisturizerREVIEW: Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer

Facial Moisturizer. Good For Acne-Prone Skin. Helped Reduce My Break-Outs. Reduced Facial Dryness.

Having dry skin, however, means this condition exists on my face as well, not just my body. For some time now, almost a year, I’ve been using Aveeno calming lotion, which seems to work pretty well. I’ve noticed a reduction in my breakouts, and my skin seems less dry. However, I still have occasional dry patches on my cheeks, which is frustrating.

Nature Oh What a NightREVIEW: Nature Oh What a Night

Not Sticky or Greasy. Instantly Soothes and Moisturizes Face. I Had Smoother, Softer Skin After The First Night! Evens Tone and Makes Skin Look Healthier. Good Option For Sensitive Skin.

On the suggestion of a friend, I went to my local TJ Maxx and purchased Nature’s Gate Oh What a Night. This cream comes in a jar and is intended for nightly use to instantly soothe and moisturize skin. Let me say that it actually does what it promises. After just one application, I woke the next morning with smooth, soft skin that somehow looked healthier and more even. After several applications, my face looked more radiant. This cream is neither sticky nor greasy, and it’s perfect for anyone with sensitive skin (like me). Expect to pay at least $10 for a jar, but it’s well worth the price.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment in BlackREVIEW: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment in Black

Disappointing Volume. Flakes After a Few Hours. Would Not Recommend!

I am a sucker for beauty bargains and thus often splurge on the “free gifts” offered by companies like Lancome and Clinique. One such gift from Elizabeth Arden included a sample of Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara in black. Mascara is one of my favorite cosmetics, my go-to whenever I leave my apartment for a meeting or dinner. This product, however, is not one I would ever bother to purchase. My lashes are long enough but thin, so my first objective with mascara is to add volume. The Cermaide did not help in this department. Moreover, it began to flake after just a few hours, which is a huge turn-off for me. I hate looking in the mirror and finding chunks of black on my cheeks. So for me, this is a product I would not recommend to others. For half the cost you can head to a drug store and purchase mascara that actually helps enhance lashes without the unattractive run-off.

Victoria's Secret Color Drama Lip ShineREVIEW:  Victoria's Secret Color Drama Lip Shine

Fun, Flirty Lip Gloss. 12 Different Shades. Gave Me Fuller, Plumper Lips Right Away.  Worth the $9.

Finally, for girls who love fun and flirty lip gloss, I have a surprisingly great recommendation: Victoria’s Secret Color Drama Lip Shine, available from VS retail locations in 12 different colors. I used this gloss and instantly had fuller, plumper lips with lots of incredible color. It’s moderately priced at $9 each but is a worthwhile buy for any purse or briefcase. You’ll love the shiny shades and are sure to feel pretty, but sexy every time you apply this gloss.

Photo Credit: Mike Monaghan -

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