12 September 2008

Product Review Time!

Looking around my house, I realize how much bloggers have affected my buying patterns. (Are you listening, marketers? LOL).

I'm as clueless as the next person when I walk into a store, so when someone I virtually know and truly love, like Jonniker (aka Jonniker the Pregnant Puker) says they think Secret Platinum anti-perspirant is the best thing ever invented, I make a mental note.
Secret for a blog post
This is the Vanilla Chai scent, which, if you know me, is probably making you say "Hey, I thought you were Unscented Girl?" to which I am answering, "Why yes, I am Unscented Girl, but my Vons Market is apparently not aware of that." Why, why, Vons, do you have dozens of weird scents but no unscented? Are you trying to hurt me? Why do you hate me so?

Anyway, it was a sweat emergency and Vanilla Chai (OMG is that the MOST ridiculous underarm scent you can imagine?? Like people are thinking "I would love to have my pits smell like Starbucks!") was better than Tropical Typhoon or Floral Bash-to-the-Head. It smells kind of like a rum-filled Tiki Bar drink, so all day long I walk around feeling slightly tipsy and as if I am holding a carved-out pineapple in one hand.

What was I saying? Oh, Secret Platinum anti-perspirant works great, especially the UNSCENTED kind.


My next item came to me on a recommendation from Amalah, probably on her beauty thingy over at AlphaMom, Amalah's Advice Smackdown.

Curel, for a blog post I was always the person most likely to have crusty elbows and scaly calves until I found the Magic Curel in the Blue Bottle (notice - unscented!).

I am super sensitive to lotions. Most scents give me a throbbing headache. Most lotions give me pimples. But Curel is perfect and makes my skin soft and lovely.

One day I got chastized by some beauty people who asked me about what lotion I was using because the Curel is "drugstore brand" instead of their $60 Miracle Mouse Milk or whatever.

I wanted to wave a copy of the wonderful Paula Begoun's Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me book. I LOVE THIS BOOK. Paula lays it all out in simple but scientific terms. What works, what doesn't, what is good for your skin, what is bad. You can scare the hell out of those chicks in the white lab coats at Macy's with this. Check it out.


Yesterday I knew I would have a couple hours til dinner and I was at the drug store, trying to puzzle out Dad's latest prescriptions (mix a forgetful, cranky old dude with 8 prescriptions, Medicare, a complicated benefit structure and clueless pharmacy techs and what do you get? Me, making multiple cell phone calls and standing at the counter for 30 minutes) so I bought a box of these:Fiber One for a blogpost I thought that they would be sticky and sweet, which seemed about right at the time.

I was right on both counts, but I underestimated the good people at GM and their commitment to Fiber. Look, I'm a vegetarian, so it's not like I need a lot more fiber in my diet. I eat oatmeal mixed with wheat bran for breakfast every single day, and I honestly think that fulfills my daily fiber needs for about 3 weeks at a time.

These Fiber One bars take the sticky thing a little too far by actually seeming to contain sticks. I didn't SEE sticks, but it sure felt like I was chewing on them. I have no idea what is in here to be so...persistently chewable, but it is in there, and unpleasantly so.

The other problem is with the sweet. These aren't just sweet. They are so sweet they remind me of the times I had pancakes and would lick the syrup off the plate when my mom turned her back...The kind of sweet that makes your eyebrows fly up and your head shake involuntarily.

So thumbs up on the Secret Platinum and the blue-bottle Curel. Thumbs down on the Fiber One bars.

Any questions? Any finds of your own?


mar said...

love the reviews & i wanted to say thanks for the soapnuts sample. i did try them out, but i'm afraid i may have broken out from the residue (because it stays in the washer).
i love secret platinum, but i either go for baby soft or unscented (!) it is true that one smells like a tiki bar. i hated getting a whiff of coconut whenever i'd turn the one time i tried a froofy scent. never again!
and haven't tried the curel. i'm helplessly addicted to the suave (cheap! store! brand!) skin smoothing formula. my big-k stopped carrying it, but luckily i discovered recently that tar-get has it.
i want no too sticky & full of sticks bar. i like the generic, store brand of cereal bars-wild berry or strawberry. mmm! since everything makes me nauseous & i have no appetite lately (normally i wouldn't think this was something to complain about, but i'm sick!) nothing sounds good.

grace said...

I love the Secret Platinum as well, but am partial to the lavender. The Tiki Bar scent turns my stomach.

I have recently rediscovered animal crackers, esp. Whole Foods' organic house brand. Yummy. And I'm doing a lot of white wine reviews on my blog--hoping that someday I'll get sent free wine to review...

Lawyerish said...

I, too, am a devotee of Secret Platinum. I like the Southern Peach scent -- you know, because I AM a Southern Peach. It's not overwhelming, just a light fruitiness that you don't notice once you've been wearing it for a few minutes.

The best thing I've picked up from the blogosphere's recommendations is Cover Girl Lip Slicks lip gloss in Daring. Holly at Nothing But Bonfires mentioned it ages ago, and I think by now 90% of her readers are wearing it. It's universally flattering, dirt cheap, and perfect for a makeup minimalist like myself.

claire said...

Actually, i like the chocolate chip flavored Fiber One bars. I picked them up after another blogger recommended them and i get a box only occasionally. And i second the Curel recommendation. I like that it absorbs easily and doesn't leave your hands greasy or sticky.

Rob said...

I want to introduce myself. I am the founder of Kardea Nutrition---and we seek to enable heart heallth and cholesterol management through natural, scientifically validated, therapeutic nutrition. Among our enabling products are our gourmet nutrition bar. 7g fiber, 7g protein, 1g plant sterols, only 150 calories----and these taste great and have great aroma. All four are vegetarian --- utilizing no dairy and utlizing lowerr glycemic agave and brown rice syrup as the primary sweeteners. 2 are vegan (chai spice and banana nut) and two are vegetarian (cranberry almond and lemon ginger) due to a very small amount of sugar used to infuse the cranberry and the lemon zest. (and If you know of a supplier who can provide these with an evaporated cane juice or other vegan sweeteners, please let us know). In the meantime, we would be glad to send you samples.

SUEB0B said...

Hee hee - Lawyerish, I am too a fan of the Daring lip gloss. I got the reco from Chirky, who got it from Holly...all of us bloggers are going to look and smell alike if we don't watch out.

Mary said...

I used to use Secret Platinum, and then all of a sudden, it just stopped working for me. Now I use Lady Mitchum (unscented) gel formula. I mention the gel formula because I've been using it for over a year now, and DH still managed to buy the Solid, Flowery-scented kind that made my underarms break out the one time I asked him to pick some up. I said, "Not powder scented, and not flowery scented" because the only 2 kinds left would be either unscented, or the shower fresh in the GEL formula. *sigh*
We're Eucerin users here though.

Swistle said...

I LOVE product reviews. Today I let a salesperson dust me with Bare Minerals make-up because EVERY BLOGGER ALIVE has mentioned it.

www.startswithanx.com said...

Um, Curel is the shiznit! It's the only lotion that improves my boyfriend's super itchy, super dry skin. When people touch my skin they freak over how soft it is. The big secret? Um, the stuff you buy at Walgreens. TAke that cosmetic counter queens!

Major Bedhead said...

I'm going to have to try that Curel lotion. I have horribly sensitive skin (because I AM a delicate, fragile flower, dammit) and so far, only Aveeno and Eucerin have helped. And Eucerin? Expensive. And goopy.

I've never had good luck with Secret deodorants. I use...um...I think it's Lady Mitchum but it might be Degree...the one with the black dress on it. And the less scent, the better.

gael said...

Oh gosh, I didn't expect to leap into a product discussion this evening, but my deodorant makes me happy. Okay, maybe not like those women in the Tickle ads in the 70s, so perhaps I should simply say content.

Like Mary, I had a favorite deodorant suddenly stop working. So I became my very own product reviewer. 5 deodorants later I found Tom's of Maine long-lasting unscented. It's natural, it's from a conscientious company and it works! Once I got the apricot scent by mistake and even that is pleasant enough.

Sister Wolf said...

You've sold me on the Curel. And god knows I need fiber AT MY AGE, so thanks for the warning about those icky looking bars.

Suzanne said...

I love the Fiber One bars. Yum. Have to agree that vanilla chai scented deodorant is hilariously stupid. (Almost as bad as "Tropical Rain" or "Sweet Romance" scented douche.)

Christina said...

I love the Fiber One bars, but only the chocolate chip ones - the caramel really are too chewy.

I used to be devoted to Secret Platinum (also in Vanilla Chai), but I'm a heavy sweater, so I turned to the clinical strength and love it. No wetness at all.

I've tried all kinds of products based on recommendations from bloggers. If I ever need something, I ask my readers - they never let me down on product recommendations!

Jhianna said...

I tried Secret Platinum after Jonniker recommended it too - love the stuff. But I go for the powderish smelling one. I'm not sure that I'd want my underarms smelling like my favorite Starbucks drink. :D

(Oh, and tried the fiber one bars and they just didn't agree with me.)

And now that I've read the comments: I went through a phase where my normal deodorant stopped working for me. I traded out for a new brand, but the same thing happened after a week or so. I ended up with Mitchum and a spray for that summer. But then I found out if I alternate every other day between Secret (now Platinum) and another normal one like Arm & Hammer or Degree, I never have a problem. I read somewhere that your body tends to become used to one if you use it all the time. Switching between two seems to have worked for the husband too when he started having a problem.

Sarah Bellum said...

I love the chai deodorant a little too much.

Every time I wear it I insist everyone around me sniff my armpits because they smell exactly like sugar cookies.

I haven't yet been arrested for shoving strangers faces in my armpits, but when I do I'm going to insist my family send care packages of the deodorant to prison.

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