*Nothing to disclose: bought with my own money*
Well February was certainly a painful month. Here in Minnesota, we've been subjected to one of the coldest and one of the snowiest winters on record. This means that most of us are crabby and miserable - I'm certainly no exception. Sure, it's a good excuse to not leave the house but that doesn't fly everyday. A girl still has to go to work and earn that scratch! And here's some of what I've spent that hard earned money on.
I talk all the time about my need for body butter all winter long. I'm telling you, I'm going through jar upon jar of the stuff. From Sephora, I bought a Soap & Glory body butter 3-pack that included Butter Yourself and Sugar Crush. I love the Righteous Butter (also included) so I wanted to try the other 2. Butter Yourself is a nice, thick butter with a grapefruit scent. Sugar Crush is a bit lighter in formula, more like lotion, and smells like lime CreamSlush from Sonic. Neither one was greasy, both absorbed quickly and moisturized well. The Boots cocoa butter body butter also came in a 3-pack, but from Target. It's exactly what you would expect - a nutty, rich and creamy scent and consistency. I'd say all of these were adequate but nothing super special. And both brands are cruelty free.
My dermatologist would probably not be pleased if he knew how I play Russian roulette with face cleansers. The Ole Henriksen came African Red Tea foaming cleanser came with makeup removing towelettes for $10 from Sephora on Black Friday. This little bottle of cleanser lasted forever and worked fine for removing makeup and the daily grime from my face. The First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay also came from Sephora but was not what I had expected. The consistency was more liquid/gel and it didn't leave my face feeling or even looking as clean as it should have. It was also irritating and aggravated my chin acne even though it's not supposed to. I probably wouldn't use either one of these again given the results. Also, both brands say they don't test on animals but their cruelty free status is questionable.
A few months ago, I bought a mystery bag of products from Freeman Beauty for $20. It contained mostly full sized items, including this Eclos restorative eye cream. It's supposed to reduce wrinkles and improve the texture of the skin around the eyes but I didn't notice any major differences. In fact, I've had issues with bags and dryness under my eyes all winter. The REN Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream came in a tote bag of samples from Drugstore.com. It's specially formulated to soothe and hydrate sensitive skin with all kinds of "Bio Extracts". I liked it and found it to be a really nice day moisturizer. I would definitely use the REN again. Both of these brands are certified by PETA as cruelty free.
It took about 2 seconds for this cute little redheaded girl working at Lush to talk me into the Ocean Salt scrub, but shortly after I brought it home, I forgot about it. I used it on my face a few times and then the Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser came into my life so Ocean Salt went to the back of the bathroom cupboard. By the time I dug it out again, it was nearly expired. Because it irritated my face a little, I used it on my legs for shaving prep and on my elbows. It's a really nice exfoliating scrub that I may get for self-tanner season. The scent is fresh and clean - not too heavy. And there's vodka in it! Lush is completely cruelty free.
Let's talk about some primers. When I succumbed to the Naked 3 palette, I also received samples of all of Urban Decay's eyeshadow primers. The only one I didn't already own was this Anti-Aging version of Primer Potion. UD calls it "your friend with benefits" because it not only locks down your eyeshadow, but is also formulated to fight wrinkles. I found this version to be a little greasier than the others; I didn't love it. That doesn't mean it's bad, but I'll stick with the original for now. I also had a deluxe sample tube of Too Faced Shadow Insurance. This is another stand-out product and some prefer it over the UD PP. I agree that it's pretty darn good and have no hesitation recommending it people in the same breath as the UD. Either way, your eyeshadow will stay in place for hours upon hours. UD and TF are certified as cruelty free by PETA and Leaping Bunny.
Now on to face primers and I love both of these. The first is from Cover FX and is their matte foundation primer & anti-acne treatment gel. It's a primer with a bit of salicylic acid to help fight pimples. This is perfect for those with oily skin as well as acne, assuming you aren't sensitive to salicylic acid. I had this tube for ages, as you can maybe tell by the old packaging. I was sad to see it empty. Same with the Too Faced Primed & Poreless. I had a hard time with the TF when my skin was still an oil-slick but now that my dermatologist has fixed me up, it's a wonder for applying smooth, long-wearing foundation. You already know that Too Faced is cruelty free, so is Cover FX. The Cover FX is also vegan.
I was really sad to find out the Exuviance is not cruelty free - I frequently confuse the name with Embryolisse which is cruelty free. I got this concealer sample with one of my Ulta.com orders and it was amazing. The beige color matched my skin tone perfectly and it covered my enormous and annoying chin acne without looking cake-y or dry. What a shame.
As a child, I loved the Smurfs. I even dressed as Smurfette for Halloween one year. I channeled that tiny blue female with this Freeman Beauty Anti-Stress Mask. It's made from dead sea minerals and is meant to suck all of the gunk right out of your pores. It took about 20 minutes to dry which is almost too long for me to wait, and I did need a washcloth to remove all of it. I'd say that this is a fine mask, but not my favorite. I'd use it again but probably won't buy the full size even though I love a blue face. Freeman Beauty is certified by PETA as cruelty free.
Maybe by the time March ends we'll have some warmth and a little less snow around here. In the meantime, I'll just keep on playing with more products. Did you have any February favorites?