My Top 10 Beauty Products from 2013.

by remembersarah18

This year I really got addicted to Pinterest. Okay, who didn’t? But I feel okay about it because I actually tried probably 80% of the things I pinned. I have started sewing clothes from scratch, rather than just editing thrift store finds, I’ve baked something (once), and enhanced my beauty routine.

So after pondering my concoctions in my various mason jars from the bathroom, I came up with ten things that I won’t be going without from now on during my morning routine.


1. A Nice Wide Tooth Comb

Dude. These things used to stink at the pool as a kid, butnow I love mine. It does such a good job of detangling, without pulling chunks of hair out. And it keeps the waves in my hair without pulling my curls into frizz!


2. Witch Hazel

I used to use ProActive’s astringent, until the bottle finally decided to die. So I used rubbing alcohol. My mom used rubbing alcohol on her face all through college- and she has great skin. But one of my nursing friends told me that rubbing alcohol, along with hydrogen peroxide, kills not only all the bad oils- but good oils too. Call me crazy but I didn’t really know a good oil existed. I have super oily skin, so removing it ALL has always been a goal of mine. Then I read an article on Pinterest about using witch hazel as an astringent after washing your face with water. I tried it. I liked it! It feels amazing, and although I thought it smelled weirdo at first, I grew to like the smell. It’s soothing- annndd it doesn’t nix all the oils on my face which can be healthy. My skin tone has improved, although I still get the occasional zit, my overall complexion seem a lot better. 


3. Dr. Bronner’s

Okay this one is a bit of a cheat because I met Dr. Bronner’s in 2012, but I’ve come to love him throughout the year of 2013. My hubs first used the wonderful soap of Heaven while he biked across the US. He brought it home and hasn’t bought a different body wash, shampoo, or face wash since (money saver!). Now I have a few different things I use (I don’t use the Doc on my hair – too harsh for me!), but I do love Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Soap as a body wash. It’s all natural and … eel rather than me telling you, here’s the quote from their website: “Unlike any you’ve ever used. A combination of organic extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba and hemp oils, together with pure essential oils, creates a unique soap that cleans effectively without being aggressive and produces a velvety-lather that leaves the skin silky-smooth and refreshed.” And I can testify, that this is INDEED true! silky smooth and refreshed. I love Dr. B!


4. SunSilk Daring Volume Spray

I got my hair cut at the Salon Academy in town and the stylist used a “root booster” on my hair. I fell in love. Rather than buying the expensive Revlon brand, I came home and found that the volumizer I’d been using was specifically meant for roots! I didn’t really know what root-boosting-volumizer was, but the way the stylist used it caused my hair to stand up at the roots and hold it’s tease longer. Basically, you spray this magic (watered down gel like substance?) at your damp/wet roots by making rows with your comb. Then, blow dry your hair upside down so the roots gain extra volume. Then tease your hair and hairspray lightly. It sounds like a lot of work, but its just one extra step in my routine, and it does a fantastic job!


5. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails/Wraps.

If you know me, you know I have a mild obsession with painting my nails. Okay, a full blown obsession. I like trying new patterns, using the funky nail pens, and trying out all these fun things I see on pinterest… I usually fail 😉 but its fun. And my hubs makes fun of me because I usually pick it off in the next couple of days. But I try not to! This polish works great as a base coat for me, and it prevents my nails from chipping. It has made them stronger as Ive continued to use it, and I’ve seen major nail growth! Which is super unusual for me, since I never see growth it seems like.


6. Apple Cider Vinegar

I tried this whole ACV rinse that I saw on pinterest, and I actually like it. I don’t mind the smell of vinegar, and it did leave my hair feeling super soft. Just a word of caution, try not to get the ACV in your eyes. It doesn’t feel nice. I mixed 1 part ACV, 1 part warm water and rinsed my hair after shampooing, and it worked as a conditioner. If you didn’t pick up the trend, I have a tendency to favor natural products. Also ACV is like $0.70 at the grocery store so thats a plus! I’m not sure if it actually helps with growth, like some people claim, but I’ll keep you posted if I do this rinse weekly.


7. Mango Body Scrub by the Body Shop

My dear friend Alex got this for me as a gift, and I have used it so sparingly because I will cry on the day it finally runs out. Its like lotion, exfoliator, and soap in one. It leaves my skin feeling soft and actually moisturized after a shower, and it smells so good that I wanted to eat it. But I didn’t.


8. A Boar Bristle Brush

After using my cousins boar bristle brush once, I was really intrigued. It made my hair feel wonderful and seemed to add volume! How can this be? I’m no expert… I don’t really know. But I went to Ulta and bought myself a pretty nice one. I used it all the time, for regular brushing, blow drying, and detangling. I didn’t take care of it very well (I never washed it), and it eventually fell apart. So rather than go back to Ulta and buy another expensive one, I just got one from the drugstore. This time, I read about the care for boar bristle brushes. This girl had the best advice: –

“(How to Clean your) natural bristle brush- because they’re so similar to human hair, you will see every little bit of crud it picks up…oils, sebum, extra product, lint (story of my life), etc. so every week at least, you HAVE to clean it! first, run your comb thru it sideways (in the direction of the bristles) to get the big gunk out…like your hair. next, mix up a solution of warm water and soap (i use dr bronners of course). i make about a 1:15 mix ration of soap:water for my brush. seems to do the trick! let the brush soak bristle side down in the water for 5 to 15 minutes to loosen everything up. then gently run your hand back and forth over the bristles to encourage all the gunk to get outta there. then give the bristles a good swish around in the water. then rinse the bristles well under running water, and shake excess water off. take a clean, dry towel and very gently press it into the bristles on all sides to sop up extra water. lastly, lay your brush on the towel BRISTLES DOWN (so the water doesn’t get into the handle) and let completely dry. done!” –

Now, after learning how to care for my brush, even the not-as-expensive brands have lasted and done a great job. It goes to show that you have to take care of the things that take care of you! I’ve also noticed that after using a BBB that my hair doesn’t seem to have as much breakage and tear. I shed a lot it seems, but this brush helps. My hair also feels fuller and healthier.


9. Bare. Stinkin’. Minerals. 

Okay so after every single tube, bottle, and packet of weird foundation crap I tried in high school ran out, I’d just head to the drugstore and buy the next cheapest, newest, most interesting thing. Let me tell you, my skin did not enjoy it. I’m not sure if it was hormones, high school, or a bad makeup choice, but I’m thinking it was a combination of the three and the bad foundation sure didn’t help. Like I said before, I have oily skin, so I stay away from any type of foundation thats liquid or oily. One of my friends uses bare minerals, and she was showing me how it worked as she put it on. It was like what I saw in the commercials. Coverage without slathering it all on. So I bit the bullet (I’m a cheapskate, and $18 was expensive for me at the time) and bought some. I got an awesome deal though, since I bought a starter kit, and it came with the Bare Minerals brushes, foundation, and a light bronzer. Let me tell you– $18 is such a good deal when it comes to this stuff. It lasts me months! And it really does do a good job at full coverage. I will never go back to a different make up. My breakouts are nonexistent with this makeup. I love the bronzer, because it doesn’t look fakey. I just can’t say enough good things about it. You have to try it out. Go buy some. Right now. Do it.


10. A Good Night’s Sleep

As a single lady, I spent my last hour of the day staring at my phone (usually Instagram or Pinterest…. I know I have an addiction!). That last hour was usually anywhere between midnight and 2am. But since I got married, we’ve fallen into a more regular pattern of going to sleep around 11. We spend the last hour talking about the day, which is more relaxing for my brain. Getting up at a regular time has also helped me feel better overall. We usually get up around 9, which gives us a good long sleep. I’ve noticed I have more energy, and I don’t want to always take a nap. I still love the occasional Sunday afternoon nap- but its not an everyday thing like it used to be. Sleeping is just a good thing.

Again, I’m no expert- but I hope you enjoyed reading some of my favorite things 🙂