Bubalina Spicy Pumpkin Skincare Products, A Review

In February, I ordered a Bubalina Spicy Pumpkin Skincare Set from My Habit.  It came with a bottle of body wash and a bottle of lotion.  I paid $15 for it and My Habit listed a retail price of $40.  Shipping was free.  I don’t know how much the products retail for regularly Looking at their website, the body wash/shower gel is going for $22/bottle.  Guess I won’t be getting anymore of their products anytime soon.  My inner product junkie should have jumped out and ordered two or three of the sets.  Oh, well.

Anyhow, today was the first day I tried the products.  I love them!  I still don’t know if they’re worth $15 in my book.  Perhaps they are because it’s a unique scent.  It’s cool either way because I deserved a treat and treated myself to this wonderful gift.

The body wash had a rich, creamy lather even using about a quarter sized amount.  The scent stuck to me for a bit.  When I got out of the shower I followed up with the lotion.  It was thick, strongly scented, and very moisturizing, even using a small amount.  +1 for the products being “anti-inflammatory”.  Great smell, great coverage, and medicinal naturally!

Sometimes I dislike skincare products because they aren’t moisturizing, require the use of too much product to be effective, or just aren’t worth the price in general.  However, I feel these products are wonderful and each 8oz bottle of product will last me awhile.  I’m not a tiny person either and the small amount of product used gave me great coverage.

If you ever catch these products on sale, try them out.  It’s such a nice treat :)

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Imperial Dax Hair Care Samples made an awesome mail day!

This is a review, kinda, sorta.  Last week I ordered samples from the Imperial Dax company, manufacturer of African-American hair care products.  The samples were free but I had to pay $3 for shipping.  Their website says ‘Due to the cost of shipping we had to add a charge to our DAX samples. When ordering DAX samples, you will receive 4 of each DAX sample packet that we have in stock.”

I received a nice priority mail envelope FULL of samples.  Wow!  I got hair care samples as well as skin care (body butter) samples too.  It cost the company $5.70 to send, so they still footed some of the bill for the samples.  I think it was worth it.  What do you think?  I can’t wait to use some of them so I can do an actual review.

You can get your samples here.

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Auromere Ayurvedic Hair Conditioning Oil / Pre-Shampoo Conditioner & My Stellar Mail Day

I went on a mini shopping spree this past week to reward myself for the hard work I did this month and my package came today!  I took part in three kids consignment sales in my area to make money from my children’s clothing & other items they’ve outgrown.  If you don’t know about children’s consignment, check out Just Between Friends for more information.

I was being loyal to Amazon because I have their prime membership which gives me free two day shipping on items sold by Amazon.  However, I had been looking at several different items after reading the forums at Curly Nikki and Naturally Curly and I found that Amazon wasn’t giving me the best prices.  I turned to VitaCost and I’m glad I did.

I purchased a total of 9 items including various oils, Biotin pills, andImage Auromere Hair Conditioning Oil / Pre-Shampoo Conditioner.  It’s a blend of oils and Ayurvedic herbs including Sesame, Coconut, Ginger Lilly, Khus Khus, Nutgrass, Neem, Brahmi, Castor Leaf and More.  I prefer to make my own oil mixtures, but this one included Ayurvedic herbs, so I wanted to try it.  My first experiment with Ayurvedic herbs didn’t go well because I didn’t know what I was doing lol.  This oil was a lot less messy and cost me less than $6.

I applied it to my hair liberally.  I don’t mind heavy oils at all because my hair “eats” them up quickly.  I left the oil on my hair for several hours while I browsed the internet, ate dinner, and lazied around the house.

I finally convinced myself it was time to wash my hair, so I hopped in the shower.  I washed my hair with a Chagrin Valley Shampoo bar sample, then added Giovanni Moisture Conditioner.  I am very pleased with the results.

After shampooing, the oil was removed from my hair, but it remained very soft.  The conditioner sat on my hair while I washed up and I exited the shower with clean, soft, moisturized hair.

The point of pre-shampooing is to keep the hair moisturized while washing and the Auromere Hair Conditioning Oil helped me achieve that goal.  I have to say though, it doesn’t work any better than when I mix random oils and use that as my pre-shampoo.  Like I mentioned before, the herbs are the difference.  From what I read, the herbs have benefits, but since I’ve used the oil once, it’s too early for me to tell if the herbs work as mentioned.

I recommend this oil to those that don’t have the desire to mix their own oils, but want the benefits of using multiple oils or those that are into Ayurvedic Hair remedies.  This is also a great item for Product Junkies such as myself to try.  It costs much less than many of the items marketed towards curly people and it does pay to pre-poo if you’re concerned about moisture or shampoo stripping your hair.

Now, for the downside.  This is a heavy oil. I rarely use shampoo that has sulfates in it.  I usually am satisfied with co-washing and using shampoo once a month or so. I don’t have product build up, but some people do.  I did use a shampoo bar, but it is all natural, contains no sulfates, and some say that it won’t clean your hair of oils and other chemicals, but my hair feels squeaky clean using a shampoo bar.  In addition, the oil has a funky smell once applied and I know for a fact, it’s the herbs.  The good part is that the smell went away as soon as I shampooed.  The smell didn’t bother me much anyhow.

The only way to determine whether you’ll like it is to try it out for yourself.  Even so, if you don’t like heavy oils or oil period, you may want to skip it.  If you do decide to try it, there’s only small investment and if you don’t like it, you can always give it to me.  Just kidding lol.

If you decide to try it, come back and let me know what you think.

The Natural Me Whipped Shea Butter, A Review

I heard about the “Natural Me” through some folks on a message board.  I love shea butter so I ordered two tins of whipped shea butter and a headband.  Almost $40 and three days later, I received my package.  Man, I couldn’t wait for the mail person to arrive.  To my surprise I received a tiny box that left me wondering if all I ordered could really be in there.

Well, yes all my items arrived.  I’m kind of upset that I placed an order though.  Looking at the products and smelling them, they look and smell like the shea butter sold on many corners in Philly.  In addition, the butters have scents, but they aren’t that strong considering the smell of shea butter is strong.  All I would have to do is buy shea butter, add oils to it, whip it up and voila, whipped shea butter for less than $15 per 8oz.

I’m not disputing that the product works. If you can get access to shea butter and whichever oils you’d like to add, you can save some money and have more of a supply.  Just sayin’!Image

Expensive Natural Hair Care products vs. Mainstream Hair Care poducts

I was almost beginning to think I was one of the only naturally curly girls out there that felt like $10 was more than enough to spend on a hair product.

Although I stopped relaxing my hair in 2010, I never got into natural hair until recently.  I began reading articles and message boards in a quest to find the proper way to care for my natural hair.

The information became overwhelming and I found more and more products I felt I just had to try.  Most of the products I had never heard of and once I’d research them, I’d find super high prices.  I can only continue to be the product junkie I am when the prices are reasonable.  But today, I found this article on 5 best hair care products under $5.  I was happy to see a product I use on there as well.

I’m all for whatever works for my hair.  I don’t care if it’s a smaller, less known company, or a well known, mainstream company.  BUT, the product can cost me my life savings for 2 or 4 ounces.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that although we all want healthy, beautiful natural hair, we should use what works, not what’s marketed as natural hair care must haves.  A lot of these natural hair care products use inexpensive ingredients.  For example, pure, unrefined shea butter goes for less than $12/lb on Amazon.  Different oils can be had for the same price or less (occasionally more).  Mixtures of shea butter and oil cost upwards of $10 for half a pound of product.  

The point of marketing is to get you to buy a product.  Many companies are doing a great job of that, but I won’t be a victim of price gouging to have products that are specifically marketed towards me because the company wants to. Show me a truly superior product that works much better than any mainstream product and maybe, just maybe I’ll buy into the hype to try it.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, A Review

Five stars for Palmer’s Cocoa Butter.  I love the smell and the price.  I purchased a 13.25oz for less than $6 at BJ’s membership storeIMG_0756.  I do realize that everyone doesn’t have a club store membership, so it may not be cost effective.  I’ve seen smaller containers of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter for more money at Target, Walmart, etc.

Plamer’s Cocoa Butter includes Vitamin E and claims to heal and soften rough, dry skin.  It also “soothes marks & scars” whatever that means.

I used this heavily during the East Coast winters.  Sometimes I mixed it with Neutrogena Bath oil, lotion, or just used it on its own.  It always made my skin feel soft and moisturized, refresh, and the extreme opposite of rough.

When I put it on my face, I always received compliments of having beautiful skin.

While I give this product five stars, it’s based on fulfilling its claims and the price I paid.  I’d give it less stars if I had to pay more.  In being frugal, I think there are several products that can do what you want that don’t cost a lot.  I also have a tendency to think that regular price is just an asking price or starting point.  Sales, deals, and coupons start the bargaining and bring prices down to an acceptable amount.  The exception to this is smaller businesses that don’t see their product in store or offer coupons.

Anyhow, Palmer’s Cocoa butter is it.  Go get yourself some!

Efa Gold Pure Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, A Review

Five stars for the Efa Gold Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.  I’m on my second 16oz container purchased from Amazon for about $11 and shipped free with Amazon or orders over $25.  It has a light smell, moisturizes, seals, a little goes a long way, goes great mixed with other oils or on its own, can be used for a multitude of purposes, cost effective, can be used as a pre poo, mixed with conditioner, and the list goes on and on.  Shall I say more?  The downside could be the price, but I have nothing to compare it to.  I’m that kinda gal that sticks with familiarity.  If it works great, why search for another alternative?

I purchased this item strictly to use as a hair product, but know that it can be used for cooking and skin care as well.  From what I understand, Coconut Oil is one of the best oils for hair as it has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft, unlike other oils.

I didn’t use it for cooking or on my skin, but with what it does for my hair, I know it would work.

It has a funky smell, but it doesn’t linger.  It is great on my hair by itself, or mixed with other oils.  The 16 oz size lasts months and months.

5 stars for this Coconut Oil.  I don’t have any other coconut oil to compare it to, but I do know that not all oils are created equally.

Have you tried this?  What do you think? Are there cheaper alternatives that work just as well?Image

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Infusions Hydrating Cleanser, A Review

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Infusions Hydrating Cleanser gets a 5 star rating from me.  I love this stuff and the 9fl oz bottle has lasted me quite awhile.  However, one must realize that I alternative the skin care products I use frequently, which means every couple days at the least.

This products claims it is made with real pineapple and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth. I can say that the claims are accurate and after washing my face with this, I don’t feel like I need to follow up with a moisturizer.  In addition, the price is right with it being around $5 at Target.  Another plus is that Clean & Clear often offers coupons for their products so they can be had pretty inexpensively.

Some might think this product has a few downsides.  For one, it has an allergy warning on the back of the bottle.  Anyone allergic to strawberries should not use this product as it contains real strawberries.  Another potentially negative is that the second ingredient is SLS or Sodium Laureth Sulfate, a harsh cleansing detergent found in many cosmetics, dish detergent, laundry detergent, etc.  I’m not one to avoid harsh chemicals, but if you are, you probably want to skip this item.

Overall, I’d recommend this product because it fulfills its claims, is pretty inexpensive, and it is usually easy to find coupons + sales and deals for this item.

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CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, A Review

Let’s cut to the chase.  I can’t give this product any stars for two huge reasons. First of all, this dried out my skin.  The product claims that it is good for normal to oily skin.  I believe I have normal skin and this facial cleanser left my skin feeling dry and in need of immediate moisture.  Secondly, it is priced at $9.99 for 12 fl oz regular price at Target.  There are less expensive facial washes that do a much better job.

I’ve seen coupons for CeraVe, but never tried it because of the price.  I’m frugal to put it nicely.  So when I found this on clearance at Target for $2.56, I grabbed two bottles and put it to the test.  I’ll be returning one of the bottles and keeping the one I opened.  Who knows what I will do with it because I wouldn’t wish dry skin on my worst enemy.  It looks bad and most of all, feels bad.

I wouldn’t recommend trying this at regular price, but if you find it for super cheap, try it on your skin and let me know what you think.Image

Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner and Botanical Boost Moisture Infusing Refreshing Spray

Boy, that was a mouth full.

I was excited to try some of Ouidad’s products as I’ve seen the most positive reviews about all of them.  I still want to try the new cowash, but I’m being tight with money and haven’t put out for it yet.

Anyhow, first I tried the Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner.  It smells okay, like something natural.  I washed my hair and put some in and it was okay.  I didn’t hate it, but fireworks didn’t go signaling it was the best leave in conditioner I ever tried.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars.  It helps keep my hair from being thirsty and incorporates well with the other products I use.  However, it costs $15-$18, so I don’t think it will be a part of my staple products.  The bottle I purchased cost me about $12 on ebay because the seller had a special on it.

The Ouidad Botanical Boost Moisture Infusing Refreshing Spray smells delightful but seems like it’s just another over priced product.  It works as it says it does, but again, its price range is in the high teens.  No way can this become a part of my staple products unless I want to go broke.

Considering the cost and size of each product, I would say it isn’t such a good value, even if the products fulfill the claims.  Both items are water based, which is good for moisture, but there are other products that work just as well on the market.  This is just my unbiased opinion of what I believe to be good for my hair.  What works for one, doesn’t work for all.  Perhaps you have a bigger budget than I do.  Perhaps you want to try these products.  If that is the case, please do and come back and let me know what you think.

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