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Get Your Money's Worth out of These Beauty Products

Updated on September 16, 2014
Moroccan Argan Oil hair treatment
Moroccan Argan Oil hair treatment

Quick Facts

What it's for: Revitalizing hair and replenishing moisture, volume, softness, and shine

Ways to use it

  • deep conditioning hair
  • hair conditioner
  • condition-shampoo-condition method

Where you can get it

  • Walmart
  • Kmart
  • any grocery store
  • cosmetics/beauty store
  • online

Cost: $8.98 for 8 oz.

Cheap alternative to: Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment by Moroccanoil - $28.87 for 3.4 oz.

Complementary products: Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner - $5.94 each

More information: here

Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Intensive Moisturizing Treatment

My hair, though recently cut, tends to feel dry and undernourished after I style it too many times with my flat-iron straighter and curling iron. Add summertime humidity and chlorine to that and come August my hair is ready for a decent treatment. This product seemed to be highly reviewed online so on a whim I bought it in hopes that it would revitalize my hair.

There are multiple uses for a treatment like this, but for the leave-in technique, it says to put it in your hair for 3-5 minutes and wash out. Optionally, you could put a shower cap on and wrap your head in a warm towel, but I didn't have any shower caps. The treatment can be used as a conditioner so I tried that on my wet hair (after taking a shower and only shampooing) and after 5 minutes, my hair felt no different. It was just extremely knotted.

The second time I tried it, I did it after I had shampooed and conditioned my hair in the shower. Still wet, I massaged a fingertip's worth of treatment into my hair (I have medium-length hair so I don't need that much, but you'll be able to tell how much you need to cover your whole head) and combed it through with a regular brush like this one because I didn't have an actual comb; either works as long as the brush doesn't have bristles because they damage your hair when it's wet. In place of the shower cap I used a gallon-sized Ziplock bag and opted not to use the towel. However, I left the treatment in overnight and washed it out in the morning. My hair was so soft it felt like satin, and it was bouncier than it had been in months. Even when I styled my hair after, it maintained its healthy softness and shine. Not only that, but this cream smells amazing, and the scent stayed in my hair for days.

Depending on how damaged your hair is or how much you need a treatment, do this process sparingly when you need it. I do it about once every two weeks, and I also shampoo every other shower and condition every other time I shampoo so that my hair isn't stripped of all its natural oils so much.

Listerine Whitening Pre-Brush Rinse
Listerine Whitening Pre-Brush Rinse

Quick Facts

What it's for

  • whitening your teeth
  • strengthens effects of regular brushing

Where you can get it

  • Walmart
  • Kmart
  • any grocery store
  • online

*Note: It's cheaper in-store than online by about half the price.*

Cost: $5.97 for 32 fl. oz.

Cheap alternative to: Bee Naturals Whitening Pre-Brush Rinse - $14.95 for 16 fl. oz.

Flavor recommended: Clean Mint

Complementary products: Colgate Sensitive Smartfoam with Whitening Toothpaste - $3.96 for 6 oz.

Listerine Whitening Pre-Brush Rinse

The new craze seems to be having pearly-white almost luminescent teeth, and one of the most popular pins on Pinterest is the recipe for a home-whitening remedy.

For the actual whitening remedy, follow the instructions as it says. Do not exceed the two-minute limit of brushing your teeth with it because of how strong the whitening chemicals are; for sensitive teeth, use it for half the time. When I did it, I got away with doing it twice a week rather than once like it says, but if your teeth start to hurt or ache or become super sensitive, drop it down to once a week or even less frequently than that.

As for the whitening rinse, this pre-brush rinse works really well in tandem with the remedy, or just regular tooth brushing.

With the remedy: apply the mixture at night before you go to sleep - follow the instructions. Since it's so strong, consider this as brushing your teeth. The next morning, use the rinse first, before you brush your teeth, for about a minute. Do not rinse out your mouth between the pre-rinse and the brushing; the residual rinse will strengthen the whitening agents in your toothpaste (assuming there are any).

Your teeth will need about one or two times of remedy + rinse to get used to the whitening, especially if your teeth are already sensitive. You will see results in less than a week.

With regular brushing: use the pre-rinse before brushing your teeth every day (assuming you brush when you wake up and before bed, that's twice a day). If this is too strong for your teeth to handle, drop it down to once a day or whatever works for you.

Just as a head's up, the rinse is not like regular mouthwash (and make sure you buy the right thing - rinse and mouthwash look very similar!). It has a grainy consistency that's a little thicker than you'd expect, and leaves a chalky effect in your mouth when you're done. It also doesn't taste that great, so stick with the minty flavors. It's only in your mouth for a minute and you spit it out anyway, so don't let that deter you from trying it.

Biore Nose Strips
Biore Nose Strips

Quick Facts

What it's for

  • removing blackheads
  • removing excess dirt, oils, and dead skin
  • help reduce pore visibility and size

Where you can get it

  • Walmart
  • Kmart
  • any grocery store

Varieties

  • Deep Cleansing
  • Ultra Deep Cleansing
  • Comes in packs of 8 or 14 strips
  • Strips for nose, chin, and forehead (designated on package)

Cost

  • $6.27 for one box of 6 Ultra Deep Cleansing nose strips
  • $7.47 for one box of 14 Deep Cleansing nose strips
  • $14.47 for one box of 24 Deep Cleansing nose/face strips

Cheap Alternative to: Earth Therapeutics Clari-T Pore Cleaning strips - $65.08 for one box of 10 strips

Complementary products: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture face lotion - $9.59 for 4 oz.

Biore Pore Nose and Face Strips

For my best results, I follow the directions pretty exactly except that some tips make the strips more effective and the results last longer.

When you're deciding which strips to buy, I've always used Biore. Always opt for the ultra deep cleansing if you can; they're not that much more expensive and the strips are longer and also noticeably stronger - you can actually smell the minty blackhead medicine on the strip as soon as you put it near your nose and feel it working on your skin.

For the strip to work, your face has to be wet - like, dripping with water - so that the strip adheres to your skin. Use warm water and, cupping a handful of it in your hands, hold your nose in it for about twenty-thirty seconds to open the pores. The best time to use a pore strip (or any skin cleanser) is actually after you've showered, since the hot water and long exposure has opened all your pores and you're already wet. Make sure you especially get plenty of water in the corners of your nose next to your nostrils, since it's harder for the strip to stick there and it's usually the area with the most blackheads and roughest skin.

Peel the strip off the plastic when you're ready and the side that was stuck on the plastic goes on your nose, and the softer side should be on the outside. Starting from the middle of your nose and going outward, push it into the corners of your nose and flatten it against your skin, spreading it out to avoid air bubbles, creases, or wrinkles in the strip - anything that isn't touching the strip will still be on your face when you're done. While it's on and drying, try not to move your face (especially smiling and laughing) so that the strip's adhesive doesn't lose its effect.

Do not take it off too early - if there are any parts that still feel wet or soggy or aren't hard like paper mache, the strip will not have worked there. When you pull it off, use one of the ends pull straight up. It's not really like the movies where you have to rip it off like you're starting a lawnmower, you can do it any speed you want. After you wash any strip residue off your face, throw on some light oil-free moisturizer to close pores and keep the skin hydrated.

Silk Elements Glossing Polish
Silk Elements Glossing Polish

Quick Facts

What it's for

  • heat protection
  • taming stray hairs and fly-aways
  • improving shine and softness

Where you can get it

  • Sally's Beauty Supply
  • online

Cost: $6.00 for 6 fl oz.

Cheap Alternative to: Hot Off the Press Thermal Protection Spray by Paul Mitchell - $17.20 for 6 oz.

Complementary products: Silk Elements Olive Heat Protection Spray - $16.40 for 8 fl oz.


Silk Elements Olive Glossing Polish

Using any kind of heat to style your hair causes damaging effects to it if you're not protecting it. I've used this particular serum for years and my hair has kept a healthy shine and softness, including my roots, even after I've straightened or curled it. I get less split ends and limp, lifeless hair.

Silk Elements does make an actual heat protection spray, but in my experience, product that is actually applied and massaged through your hair has a longer and better effect on your hair than sprays. It stays on the hair better and you're guaranteed to have it spread evenly, unlike a spray which only gets spurts of the top layer of your hair.

This polish is really thick and actually smells a little like olive oil in its naturally fresh scent, so don't use too much of it. I find that about a penny's worth of serum works well for my hair because I only apply it to the ends of my hair and the pieces around my face that I style the most often. Sometimes I'll even put more on when I'm straightening my hair with a flat-iron since the heat is directly on the end of the hair strands. Brush it through to even it out all over your head and back away from your face, making sure to check for spots that need more or less serum, depending on your hair type (thicker or more hair probably needs more serum and vice versa)).

Since this is a glossing polish, it's okay to put it on the top of the head to tame fly-aways before you style your hair so that they "behave" better for your final look. In addition, you won't need a serum when you're done either, saving you a step when you're finished with the styling tool. However, do not use this directly on your roots because, since it's oil based, it will make your hair look oilier faster, especially those who have a tendency to play with their hair.

Also, as it was originally intended, it can be a good after-styling serum, too.

My Favorite Tools and Products

For...
Tool/Product
Where I Got It
What I Paid For It
curling your hair
Conair 1" Instant Heat Curling Iron
Giant Eagle
$12.00
straightening your hair
Jilbere Tourmaline Series Flat Iron
Sally's Beauty Supply
$56.99
hair frizz
got2be Smooth Operator Smoothing Lotion
Kmart
$5.99
straightening small pieces with less heat
Conair Mini Pro 1/2" Ceramic Straighener
Kmart
$15.50
hair volume
Paul Mitchell Root Boost Mousse
REGIS Hair Salon
$14.00
lips
Eos Lip Balm
Walmart
$2.96
nails
essie Nail Color
Giant Eagle, Walgreens
$8.50
nails
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Polish
Giant Eagle, Kmart, Walmart
$2.48
eye makeup
Maybelliene Unstoppable Eyeliner (black)
Kmart
$5.94
body lotion
Be Enchanted Triple Moisture Body Cream
Bath & Body Works
$12.50

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    • Ally Lewis profile image
      Author

      Ally Lewis 3 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Haha always nice to hear from you! Yeah they're definitely not for everyone lol but I appreciate the comment :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Just dropping by to say hi. Obviously, at this point in my life, beauty tips are not my thing. LOL