BeautyArmy: April 2013 Review.

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Let’s get right to it, shall we?

What I Received (Chose):

YES TO Tomatoes Daily Pore Scrub

New York Streets Dry Shampoo

Mark. Hook-Up Lip Gloss in “Honey”

GG Gatsby “Raise Volume” Conditioner

Amlactin Moisturizing Body Lotion

COTZ Face Tint SPF 40

Product #1: YES TO Tomatoes Daily Pore Scrub ($9.99)

Back in February, I had given YES TO Carrots Body Butter a glowing review. Seeing another YES TO product available to try this month, this time a pore scrub, I didn’t hesitate to select it as one of my samples. The scrub, which didn’t smell too much like tomato (only a little bit, but it wasn’t grossly overpowering), was gentle enough on my face where it didn’t hurt to apply, and yet it was powerful enough that when I rinsed it off, my skin felt really smooth and exfoliated. I wish I had gotten a bigger sample so I could see the results over the course of a few days as opposed to just a one time only use, but I liked what I saw and what I felt, and I wouldn’t be opposed to trying it again.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! This product is pretty inexpensive compared to other pore scrubs and exfoliators on the market, and as I mentioned, the results after just one use were impressive. I’d like to try to see if the results stay consistent with continued use, and I’d be willing to make the purchase to find out.

Product #2: New York Streets Dry Shampoo ($17.99)

Having hair as curly as mine poses an issue with dry shampoo, especially in the warmer seasons. A lot of dry shampoos I’ve tried in the past either make me look like I have dandruff (ew) by not absorbing properly and just being stubborn when it comes time to brush it through my hair, or they disappear almost instantly on my scalp and I’m left with hair that feels a little greasy. I’m selective with dry shampoos, usually sticking with my trusty Lush one, but I decided to give this aerosol dry shampoo a try.

I sprayed some of this product on my scalp, and immediately noticed that it turned my roots white- which wouldn’t be an issue except that it would NOT fade, even after excessive massaging and brushing. I eventually had to apply styling product on top of it, thus wetting the shampoo and pretty much defeating it’s purpose- and making my hair feel not very refreshed at all.

Would I Purchase?: No. This product was a dud for me. The one good thing was that it had a pretty scent to it, but I could get the same result- without the powdered wig effect, that is- from hairspray.

Product #3: Mark. Hook-Up Lip Gloss in “Honey” ($6.50)

I have an addiction to lip color that can’t be controlled or stopped. I’ve come to terms with it. I’ve accepted it. It’s part of who I am. I love to try all kinds, colors, textures, and finishes. I’ve heard good things about Mark. lip gloss, and seeing this pretty pink-ish, neutral tone up for grabs, I couldn’t resist.



One of the things that I loved about this lip gloss, apart from the flattering shade that’s perfect for everyday wear, was that even though it looked thick on the sponge applicator, it actually applied smoothly and didn’t feel sticky or tacky on my lips. It gave a great glassy shine finish, but it wasn’t as long lasting as other formulas I’ve tried. I had to re-apply shortly after I finished my morning coffee.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! Longevity downfall aside, this is a nice gloss with a decent and reasonable price tag attached to it. I’d love to see more shades!

Product #4: GG Gatsby “Raise Volume” Conditioner ($14.99)

In February, I also reviewed GG Gatsby’s “Raise Volume” shampoo. I was on the fence about it, since certain aspects like the color-safe formula and the scent were nice, but it didn’t quite give me the results it advertised. The same can be said about this conditioner. Like the shampoo, the scent to this creamy, light-weight formula was lovely, and it detangled and moisturized my hair without making it feel greasy- but I didn’t quite get the shine or the volume the packaging promised.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I’m still a little indecisive about this brand and their products, since they seem to only make it halfway with their results. I liked this conditioner, but I wasn’t in love with it. However, the price isn’t obscene, which is definitely a plus and might weigh in on my decision to eventually purchase a full size bottle.

Product #5: Amlactin Moisturizing Body Lotion ($11.99)

I have a drawer full of body lotions, body butters, body oils, etc., but the exfoliating aspect of this body lotion caught my attention and I wanted to see what type of results I’d get with it. Advertised as being deeply and intensely hydrating, and for being capable of boosting cell turnover to promote radiant, glowing skin- I slathered some of this on after a morning shower and again before bed. While the formula absorbed into my skin quickly and didn’t feel greasy or leave any kind of film behind, I had a couple of reddened, itchy patches pop up a short time later, signaling a small, but noticeable reaction to the product.

Also, the lotion is fragrance-free, which is great for people with sensitive skin, but it seemed that the ingredients that make up the moisturizer developed a scent of their own, and in this case- it was sort of medicinal, like something I imagine you could find in a hospital ward.

Would I Purchase?: No. I’d pass on this one. The combination of the weird smell, the irritated patches on my skin after applying, and my skin not feeling all that hydrated was the deal breaker for me. I’ll stick to nicer smelling, less abrasive lotions and body butters.

Product $6: COTZ Face Tint SPF 40 ($19.99)

I swear by SPF, and I try to make sure it’s in everything I use- whether it be my facial moisturizer, BB cream, body lotion, etc. I have fair skin and I burn entirely too easy (my last accidental sunburn from a couple of years ago resulted in my missing nearly a week of work and almost being hospitalized for how severe it was), so I have to be careful and conscientiousness about sun protection. I decided to see if this tinted mineral sunscreen was worthy of praise.

When I first got a look at the color, I had a sinking feeling I was in for a messy situation. The shade was entirely too dark for my skin tone, so even after some of it had absorbed, I was left discolored, like I had dirt on my face, and had to apply my BB cream over it to conceal both the SPF tint and any imperfections it didn’t cover. Also, the texture, almost foamy in a way, wasn’t my cup of tea and made applying it evenly a little bit of a pain. On the plus side, it had a matte finish, and seemed to be long-lasting from what I could tell.

Would I Purchase?: No. The shade, which I believe is the only one this SPF comes in,  was too dark for my complexion, and the consistency made obtaining an even application a hassle. I’d recommend a creamier, un-tinted sunscreen to wear under makeup, or even a BB cream that has a decent amount of SPF added to it if you’re looking for sun protection and good coverage.

With the exception of the tomato pore scrub and the rose-colored lip gloss, this month’s box was kind of a let down. Admittedly, I’m the one choosing the samples for this particular brand of beauty box, but it seemed my options were sort of limited during my selection window. I’m hoping for a wider, more diverse selection of products to choose from in May.

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