So when did this stuff stop being fun????

There are a hundred million and eleventy hair and skin products out there – with varying price tags.  Some work.  Some don’t.  Some work but the work is not equal to their price.  What’s a girl grown assed woman to do?

Ladies, I humbly submit to you my top ten hair and skin care products and will respectfully tell you that I like them, why and that they don’t break the bank.  These are my go to, holy grail, tried and true favorites.  They’ve revolutionized and simplified my life (ESPECIALLY the hair stuff).  So here they are, in no particular order.

  1.   Cosmetic Skin Solutions Vitamin C 20% Advanced Formula

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Y’all – don’t ask me what this is, why it works or what it does.  I do not know.  I started using this serum about 12 years ago on the advice of my dermatologist’s office.  They said it was good for my skin so I tried it.  About 8 years in, I decided that it wasn’t “doing anything” and quit using it.  Well, ladies, a couple of weeks after that fateful decision I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and looked like Granny Clampett.  So if you want to know what it does:  Use it = Pretty Skin.  Don’t use it = Granny Clampett.

When I first started out, I used the SkinCeuticals brand and although a bottle of this will last a good 4 months it was still a bit pricey.  Then I discovered the Cosmetic Skin Solutions line which is as close to SkinCeuticals as you can get without breaking the patent.  For about half the price.  A bottle of the Vitamin C 20% will set you back $29.85 and you can order it from Amazon Prime.

Go forth.  Antioxidize your faces.

2.  It’s A Ten Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin

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I got a large, full size bottle of this stuff free from Ulta one day.  I promptly came home and put it under the sink.  Stuff like this DOES NOT work for me.  Nope. Uh-uh.  Doesn’t work.  My hair is thick and heavy and anything that one “leaves in” is a recipe for disaster.

Several months later, I was on a cleaning rip and decided to purge under the sink.  I came upon this stuff and decided, on a whim, to give it a shot (after all it was a Saturday and I had all day Sunday to look like a flat haired grease ball).  So I gave it a shot.

Ladies – this shit has CHANGED MY LIFE.  Seriously.  I was a wash your hair every day girl.  This stuff turned me into a wash my hair every 3-4 and sometimes 5 day girl.  Its that good.  And again, I don’t know why it works.  It just leaves my hair so light, shiny, un-frizzy and manageable.  It’s almost like it repels dirt.  I still can’t believe it.  Put it on my hair in Mexico, spent the day at the beach – didn’t wash my hair before dinner.  It just looked that good.  A bottle of it will set you back about $20.00.  Since I only wash my hair about every 3 days now, a bottle of this lasts forever – not to mention my shampoo and conditioner savings.  And the fact that my highlights last so much longer.  And the time I save not having to do my hair every day?  Priceless.  Is it a 10?  Oh, no.  Its an 11!

3.  Organic Coconut Oil

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When the whole coconut oil craze started, I was skeptical – as I am with most crazes.  But after a while, I decided I’d give it a try and dispatched my darling husband to bring me some home.  He returned with a gallon jug of this stuff which he informed me he purchased for $12.00 (that was 2 years ago and we still haven’t used it all).

I wasn’t expecting it to be solid and white, nor was I expecting it to melt in my fingers so easily or to smell so good.  I dutifully slathered myself up after my shower.  My dry skin soaked it up.

Two years later, we’re still going strong.  I do not purchase any other lotions for my skin. My nails grew stronger and faster.  My cuticles got in line.  And – here’s the kicker my keratosis pilaris (KP) on the backs of my arms, which I’ve had forever and have been told by multiple doctors that nothing can be done about – is gone.  Gone.  G.O.N.E.  Seriously.

I do find that using this twice a day is too much and causes breakouts on my more delicate areas – so once a day does it for me.  Soft skin.  Soft nails.  Organic oil on my skin. Cheap.  What’s not to love?

4.  Suave Max Hold Non-Aerosol Hairspray

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I love this hairspray from Suave and have been using it forever.  Like since college forever.  I’m hesitant to rant and rave about it.  Its not life changing or anything.  But it does provide soft, touchable hold, doesn’t smell bad and for $2.94 per bottle at Target – its a go to for me.

5.  Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo

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There are a couple of Living Proof products on my list and I have tried several more – honestly I love all of them.  I really like the dry shampoo because once I started extending the days between washings, I started looking for more ways to extend them even further.  So far, Living Proof has been my favorite.  It’s non-goopy, doesn’t smell to high heaven and adds lift and volume without the weight.  It’s also great for those times when you need a little boost before going to dinner or something and don’t want to do your hair.  At $22.00 it’s a little pricey – but I’ll take it if it works.

6.  Cerave A.M. Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30

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So  – I’m in love with CeraVe.  Love.  As I said before, I got so sick of buying skin care products in general (and facial moisturizers in particular) that promised the world and cost a fortune.  This is just a good, solid, gentle, every day moisturizer that provides strong SPF protection, doesn’t clog my pores, goes on well under makeup and you know, moisturizes my skin.  It comes in a nice pump bottle and one pump usually does it for me.  It’s $12.49 at Target.

7.  Shea Moisture African Black Soap

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My girlfriends and I went on a little girl’s trip in February and I bought this Shea Moisture African Black Soap on a lark at the CVS in Smith Mountain Lake.  LOVE IT.  Dadgum, it smells so good.  It makes my skin so soft.  The fragrance is so warm and comforting.  The lather is amazing.  I hate spending money on shower gels but this one is my keeper.  Pick it up at Target for $8.99.

8.  Living Proof Amp2 Instant Texture Volumizer

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The Amp2 Instant Texture Volumizer is the second Living Proof product to make my list.  If you are a hair product and you want me to love you – give my hair some bounce without smelling strongly or weighing my hair down.  This one does the trick.  At $26.00 for a 2 oz. jar it is one of the pricier items on this list – but it works and I use it between washing without gooping up my hair.  Hair goop is a thing for me, in case you haven’t noticed.

9.  Cerave Eye Repair Cream

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This is my second CeraVe product today – the Eye Repair Cream.  Again, if you’re looking for a product that will magically make you look like you used to look when you were 15 and too stupid to take care of your skin – keep browsing.  If you want a solid, gentle, non-greasy under eye cream that moisturizes and improves your under-eye area and won’t drive you into bankruptcy… we’ll for my money this cream ($10.25 at Target) can’t be beat.

10.  Witch Hazel

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This is another all natural, super simple, inexpensive miracle product.  A big bottle of Dickinson’s Witch Hazel will set you back $3.99 at Target and last you the better part of six months.  This was recommended to me by my darling L.A. (shout out!) – skin care guru extraordinaire – and if you’ve got a little pimple, a little irritation, a little shine at the end of the day, or just feel the needs to tighten up your pores after your shower – all you need is a little Witches Hazel (as my darling husband calls it in all seriousness).

So there they are – my Top Ten hair and makeup products that won’t break the bank.  Anybody else out there got any super terrific finds to add to this list?  I’d love to hear from you!




One thought on “The Bee Charmer’s Top Ten Hair and Skin Products

  1. Oh no. You are so bad/good for my pocketbook! I’m definitely going to be picking up the Cerave eye repair. I’m always looking for a good eye cream and I’ve never found something that’s good enough. So I’ll try it! I’m also totally going to try out using coconut oil as a moisturizer! Genius! I would never have thought of that! I love a good shower gel and that Shea Moisture one sounds brilliant – now to find it….I live in Canada without a Target (I was quite angry with Canadians when it left our country. How could I alone have kept it in business here? I tried. Trust me. I tried.). Thanks Tonya!


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