I think I’m going to start posting random product observations on my blog as it seems to be increasingly difficult to find unbiased, un-sponsored product reviews for stuff. As we’ve just bought another fixer and I’m doing a lot of online research on different products, I feel like it’s getting increasingly more difficult because most sites with product review info are just hocking some product for personal gain.
So, here are my observations in no particular order.
My Favorite Beauty Products
GLIDE Floss – It’s great for people that don’t have a lot of space between their teeth. It doesn’t shred like regular floss, but whatever you do, don’t buy the mint flavored glide. It is much more brittle than the unflavored glide and it breaks all the time. Unflavored Glide is the only way to go.
Bobby Brown Foundation Stick – This is the most expensive thing in my makeup bag, but it gives great coverage without me looking like a kabuki doll. It also isn’t pasty or runny like other foundations. On Amazon it says it’s over $50, but I got mine at an Outlet mall in a beauty store for $22. It lasts forever, so I don’t feel guilty buying it. I definitely don’t follow the chuck your makeup after 3 months rule, so I don’t mind spending a little more on this item.
Cover Girl Pressed Powder – It’s cheap, it was the first thing I ever used as a teenager, and I still think it is the best shine control product out there that is also hypoallergenic. I have super sensitive skin and this stuff doesn’t do a thing to it.
Dove Soap – Pretty much my whole family has sensitive skin. Dove is one of the few soaps where it’s moisturizing, gentle enough for babies, but I also feel like it’s cleaning me too. Some of those other brands like caress feel like you’re just slathering yourself with lotion and not getting clean.
My Favorite Household Products
Kitchen Stuff. As a materials person, I love stainless. It’s one of the best raw materials to use for kitchen tools. I hate rusty things that don’t hold up in the dishwasher. Spoons, pots, mixing bowls, yes, even appliances. It’s easy to clean, easy to sanitize and does not impart odors onto food. I’m actually thinking the island on my next kitchen remodel may have one of those freestanding stainless steel work tables that restaurant kitchens have. Mason Jars are my second most favorite item. Polycarbonate is still my plastic of choice for food grade storage. Despite all the BPA hysteria which is totally based on wonky science, this material has the best properties for food storage use. Polycarbonate can last decades and doesn’t have that plasticy smell. It doesn’t stain like Polyethylene and it’s completely transparent so you can see the stuff you are storing. I went a little nuts and bought a bunch of the Cambro containers to put all my food in. In a house that’s 200 years old, you can never be too careful to keep the pests out. Kitchen supply stores still sell polycarbonate food storage containers, but you’re out of luck for small appliances. I had to resort to tag sales to find a food processor made with PC. The alternatives crack and shrink in the dishwasher. They’re horrible and who’s to say that plastic is any safer? I digress and I don’t want this to turn into a toxicology post, so off I go to the next item.
Bar Keeper’s Friend – I am in love again. When my new stainless steel fridge was delivered, there were these annoying suction cup marks from the factory that I couldn’t get off my door. When I called the manufacturer, one of the many suggestions they gave me was to make paste of bar keeper’s friend and water and gently rub the stainless to get the marks off. It worked when stainless cleaner, baking soda paste, WD40 and a whole host of other things did not.
My I-Pad – My kids are always trying to get a turn using it, but I also use this device constantly for work. Although it’s not perfect, I use it Far Far more than I thought I would. It’s a purchase I don’t regret.
Picture frame hooks – who invented these things? They are brilliant. You can hold 30 pounds on a tiny little triangle thing. It’s really a clever feet of engineering, despite the fact that you can buy a pack of 50 for $3.
Paint and Primer in one – I’ll admit, I was a skeptic, but it really does work. There are multiple brands out there, but it is my paint of choice for indoor projects. I’m going to experiment and see if they have an outdoor version because my house is white and has some bare spots and sometimes it’s hard to find the primer section that you just painted when the rest of your house is already white.
Zout – It’s the best stain remover and I’ve tried them all. Shout, oxiclean, and the others don’t even come close. Be careful though because I put it on my dresser once and it ate the varnish off my furniture. That made me mad and sad, but it still gets blood out and grass stains and almost anything. The only thing it doesn’t seem to remove is armpit stains.
My Favorite Clothes
The Gap Pullover Sweatshirt – If you catch a good sale, you can get them for $14 and they are warm, comfy and last through a million washings. My kids live in these sweatshirts and won’t wear anything else. I’ve been personally impressed that they haven’t faded by now and are such a bargain. Although I prefer fleece, the young ones like cotton.
Nylon Pants from REI – It’s been a while since anyone’s seen my pasty white legs, but when it’s hot in the summer, I can still keep them covered and cool at the same time. Even if my legs looked like Giselle Bunchen’s, I still would wear these in the summer because the mosquitoes are so vicious. It’s also easier and faster to keep covered than using sunscreen. I use REI brand because they have the 34″ inseam option and fit me well. Although they aren’t that hip, I live in these things when I’m kicking around the house or out doing something active. I also stock up on those thin fitted T-shirts from Target. They’re usually about $6-$8 each. They don’t last more than a season because they get all stretched out, but I like the fit and the weight of the target T’s and for $8, I don’t mind buying a few every season.
Land’s End Slender Suits – Well worth the money and very comfortable, although I was annoyed that when the I bought mine, the swimsuits were on sale, however the tall sizes were still full priced. They do stretch out if you swim a lot in chlorine, so I usually take my el cheapo bathing suit to the pool with the kids and save the nice one for the beach/lake.
LLBean Stuff – They are pricey but their stuff lasts forever and you can return things at any time for any reason. I love their supima flannel sheets. Their regular lower end flannel pilled. It didn’t used to but it does now so I returned them and upgraded for the higher end sheets and haven’t been disappointed. My husband buys this jeans there and my kids love their PJ’s and slippers. Their snowsuits are amazing. We received one as a gift and it lasted through 3 kids and still look brand new. Unfortunately, nothing ever fits me right from this store and it makes me sad that I can’t buy some of my clothing staples here, but they still made my list because the rest of my family uses their stuff. We don’t buy everything from here as it’s too expensive to furnish you whole wardrobe from this store, but for those things you want to last a long time, it’s definitely a great place to shop.
Okay, I’ll admit, I’m a little thin on the clothes department. I’m still in search of the perfect shoe. If anyone has shoe suggestions, I want to know. I was using Clark’s but they are not lasting like they used to and the fit gets overly loose over time. Plus, they look like granny shoes. I also hate traditional running shoes. My toes always seem to get numb wearing them.
What are some of your favorite products? I’m always wanting to know what people’s favorite items are. It’s really hard to find stuff you really love vs just a meh type of thing, so do share.