Hi, I’m Linda’s Occasionally-Overly-Appearance-Focused Blog. You may remember me from such posts as “11 beauty products that don’t suck,” and WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH MY BABY OH MY GOD HE’S A LEPER.

(It was a viral rash. He’s totally fine now! Also, six years older.)

I kind of got a kick out of posting my favorite makeup items a while back (mostly because the comments section gave me all sorts of great ideas for what makeup items I wanted to immediately run out and purchase), so I thought I’d do another thrilling roundup of products I’m currently slathering in my hair/smearing on my face.

(No sponsored content here, but I did include Amazon affiliate links.)


Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream No.23 Natural Beige. This one’s an update on the previous makeup post when I recommended this foundation. I still love, love, love it, but now that the sun’s out more often, I found that the original color I was using was too light. This #23 ‘Natural Beige’ color is better for a complexion that isn’t super pale—it still melts in and virtually disappears into my skin, but it’s not quite so fair. (Note that some people don’t tolerate this foundation well, I guess it has mineral oil in it which can cause weird reactions? I haven’t had trouble with it and I have sensitive skin/rosacea, but buyer beware and all that.)


NARS Bronzing Powder (Laguna). Also related to summer skin, this bronzing powder is AMAZING. I just bought it recently and it’s totally replaced my trusty Benefit Hoola. The NARS product is much silkier and more subtle, and can be layered really easily: one application is a nice sunny glow, the next is J.Lo, and so on.


Clarisonic Mia. Everyone raves about the Clarisonic, and for good reason—it deep cleans like nobody’s business, and leaves your face feeling all fresh and dewy and post-facial-y. I know they’re super expensive, but Amazon sometimes runs some decent sales on this product.


Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads. Someone recommended this product in the comments of the makeup post, and I’ve fallen in love. I don’t use them very often, but when I do I feel like there’s a visible difference in my skin afterwards: softer, more clear, less dull.


Terax Crema Daily Conditioner. Onto the hair products! I like this conditioner a lot for frequent use, it does a great job of moisturizing without leaving hair feeling heavy.


Joico K-PAK Restorative Treatment. I use this one every few days, it’s a wonderful deep conditioner that helps my tragically processed hair feel softer and less damaged.


Pureology Instant Repair Leave-In Conditioner. I’ve had several stylists recommend this product, and I’m a big fan of its effects. It’s not a bigtime detangler, but it definitely helps maintain coloring treatments.


It’s a 10 Leave-In Conditioner. This is the ultimate detangler/gloss-ifier. A little goes a long way, because you can easily get Exxon-Head from this stuff.


Kenra Dandruff Shampoo. Finally, the mildest, best-smelling, most awesome dandruff shampoo I’ve used, not that I’m prone to something so disgusting as dandruff. *cough*

Your turn! Favorite skin/hair products?


42 Responses to “9 skin & hair products that don’t suck”

  1. Pete on June 7th, 2012 11:55 am

    Irish Spring soap (cheap at Costco) and Costco shampoo. I’m a guy, what do I care. My wife, on the other hand, uses about a dozen different soaps, shampoos, washes, etc. every day plus the crap she puts on after she cleans it off (lotions, etc)

  2. Olivia on June 7th, 2012 12:07 pm

    I pretty much stick to Avon products for make-up and moisturizers, but I do like St. Ives for face cleanser and Suave for my hair.

    I recently bought the It’s a 10 conditioner for my daughter who has very curly, dry and somewhat coarse hair. Her hair soaks it up and is left feeling very soft.

  3. Amanda on June 7th, 2012 12:08 pm

    I tried the Missha foundation or whatever they call it and love it (wearing it now).

    I also tried the Blink mascara that you recommended and I love it while it’s on but getting it on is a freaking disaster. I have no idea why that shit ends up all over my damn face. I’ve never been such a mascara idiot before therefore I must blame Blink.

    I just ordered your dandruff recommendation (although there’s a link for a combo with the conditioner for cheaper and Prime) because holy hell can I not find something that works and doesn’t smell horrendous. I don’t even have flakes, I just feel like I want to gouge my head with nails all the freakin time.

  4. Heather on June 7th, 2012 12:08 pm

    Oh, Pete.

  5. Jessica on June 7th, 2012 12:08 pm

    I have curly hair and I pretty much swear by Biolage Gelee to keep it frizz free all day long. Amplify is another favorite for shampoo and conditioner, it’s not heavy or drying on my crazy hair.

  6. Adrien on June 7th, 2012 12:18 pm

    Pete. Dude.

    I also love my Mia and the Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads. My new favorite thing is this BB cream:


    It’s fairly light (only one shade) but it looks nice on and my skin seems to love it.

    My old favorite thing is Fresh Sugar lip stuff in Plum. It’s painfully expensive but I’ve gone through three tubes and keep re-buying which is rare for me.

  7. Debra on June 7th, 2012 12:34 pm

    I love Smashbox o-gloss. It is not too glossy, goes on clear and works with your body chemistry to turn the perfect color for your lips.
    I also can’t live without Too Faced Shadow Insurance. The. Best. Thing. Ever. to apply under eye shadow or just alone.

  8. Tracy Allen on June 7th, 2012 12:59 pm

    Have you ever tried Wen? Since I started using it daily, I will never go back. I have fine flyaway hair, and it has made an incredible difference. I don’t need all the other hair products I used to layer on every day.

  9. Amy N on June 7th, 2012 1:27 pm

    Oh Pete…I love you! I don’t use much, but I love It’s a 10. But a little is really all you need. I actually had to go to work late one day because I used a little too much and had to rewash my hair…I just couldn’t go in to work looking like that and baseball caps are frowned upon at work place!

  10. deanna on June 7th, 2012 1:43 pm

    shout out for smashbox halo hydrating perfecting powder. not necessarily cheap, but ive been really impressed by the coverage and staying power. also love that it is a pressed powder and you twist off what you need to apply as a loose powder. can use alone or over foundation, but i use alone mostly.

    also, diorshow iconic mascara. sometimes i use blinc, and other times i use this. LOVE them both!

  11. Christine on June 7th, 2012 1:46 pm

    Linda, does the Clarasonic bother your rosacea? I have it and the hubs has it and I was curious but don’t want to shell out big bucks for something that makes my skin angry. I read other reviews and someone indicated that the Clarasonic angered their rosacea. For what it’s worth, mine is pretty mild; but still inquiring minds, and all that. Thanks!

  12. sooboo on June 7th, 2012 1:51 pm

    Haha Pete! Kind of true! My favorite product is Now Solutions Moroccan Red Clay Powder Mask. I usually hate masks because they overly dry out my skin, but this one makes my skin feel soft, shrinks pores and gets rid of blackheads. Miracle mask! I gotta try that It’s a 10 stuff, I usually use Frizz Ease but I’m not in love with it.

  13. Linda on June 7th, 2012 1:57 pm

    Christine: no, it doesn’t — but I haven’t had a flareup in quite a while, so I’m not sure if it would bug while my skin was in the midst of a rosacea freakout.

  14. goingloopy on June 7th, 2012 2:45 pm

    For the occasional flakiness, I love love love Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special. No generic tea tree shit is the same. I’ve also recently discovered Urban Decay – the 24/7 liquid liner – holy crap, they mean it. Comes right off with makeup remover. My favorite color is Woodstock. I know, it’s odd, but it makes brown eyes look AWESOME. Finally, if you are prone to 38-year-old “WTF MY SKIN WAS NOT THIS OILY AT 14” zits and oil, this toner makes your skin zit free and soaks up some of the oil slick.

  15. Faith on June 7th, 2012 3:10 pm

    I also took your recommendation of the Blinc mascara, and I LOVE it, except that I found it didn’t add a lot of volume, so I use Diorshow Maximizer lash plumping serum underneath and that totally does the job. Great for a slightly more dramatic look when desired.

    Also, Jose Maran’s argan oil hair serum is HEAVEN. I cannot believe that an oil actually makes my fine hair lighter and bouncier instead of weighing it down, but it totally does.

  16. Frannie on June 7th, 2012 4:54 pm

    Ooh. I have to try that NARS bronzing powder! I like Dallas by Benefit. I have a couple trusty items: Federic Fekkai Glossing Creme, Kerastase Cement Conditioner (green bottle)-it’s pricey and I’ll indulge once a year or so now that I have kids. I rely on MAC Studio Fix Foundation Powder in C3 because it’s simple, covers all day, and covers my blemishes without looking cakey. Also, here’s a tip: I’ve discovered that waterproof mascara (got this by mistake before my husband separated from me, which makes me laugh) enlongates my eyelashes better than non-waterproof. The little things, I tell you lol. Especially, getting “dolled up” has to take just a few minutes these days.
    Currently: I am looking for the perfect nude lipstick to go with my complexion. Fair to kinda tan skin.
    @goingloopy I’ll have to try that Urban Decay in Woodstock. Looks like an interesting color to go with my brown eyes : )

  17. Jaime on June 7th, 2012 5:02 pm

    Ah makeup and beauty products-my favorite topic! I personally love Benefit’s Boi-ing under eye concealer, Nars lip gloss in Orgasm, super orgasm is good too. I’m also a fan of their matte lip pencils-think a crayon for the lips. I love almost anything by Philosophy. I’m using Purity face wash, when hope is not enough facial serum and hope in a jar moisturizer. I could seriously go on for days, but these are some of my faves.

  18. Karen on June 7th, 2012 5:04 pm

    I love The Strokes from Lush. I have fine, curly, fly away hair that likes to lay flat on my head.That stuff makes my hair super shiny and bouncy. It’s totally worth the money.

  19. Junni on June 7th, 2012 6:27 pm

    A friend gave me the deep conditioning mask that came with her Wen order, and I used it after four-day Vegas sun scorching + chlorine hair and holy crap it was like a miracle.

  20. Amy on June 7th, 2012 7:48 pm

    Tried It’s a 10 on your recommendation a while back.. I give it a 6 out of 10. To blow out my frizzy hair to sleek, soft amazing-ness, I use “Living Proof, No Frizz.” Its an 11.
    Also…. I am glad you found a good product for dandruff, but I wish it wasn’t Kenra. I interviewed for a sales rep job with them and they strung me along for months and at my in person interview they were intimidating and unpleasant. I wanted to love their small time, Midwest company but I couldn’t because their people were awful.

  21. Michele on June 7th, 2012 8:10 pm

    Your blog is the perfect balance of everything! I have tried lots of your reccommendations and have loved them all. Thanks for sharing!!

  22. Carolyn J. on June 7th, 2012 8:50 pm

    I tried Terax Crema on your previous recommendation, and it is good. But so, so expensive. And stinky in the shower – but thankfully that doesn’t last once my hair is dry.

  23. kristiina on June 8th, 2012 6:20 am

    Also love these posts! I love NARS blush, so with your glowing (ha) recommendation I’ll have to try the bronzer.

    I still use bare minerals..I also live and die by Origins skin care/lotions. I’ve been using them for over 10 years…amazing stuff. They also have a ‘primer’ for eyelashes which sounded waaay too excessive, but I tried a sample and have never gone back. It’s kind of like the tube technology where it adds length–that you can totally see because it’s white–and it nourishes my lashes. It seriously lengthens…like nothing I’ve ever used!

  24. Judy on June 8th, 2012 6:54 am

    I don’t use anything. Wash with soap and water. I guess I’m blessed because, approaching 70, my skin is still soft and wrinkle-free. I developed an allergy to any sort of cosmetic near my eyes some years back, even the most expensive hypo-allergenic makes the whites of my eyes turn red and my eyelids crack open and bleed, so for a long time I only used either eyebrow powder or a pencil to darken my brows, some blush, and lipstick, and now I’m retired and don’t even use those. Great to rub your eyelid without messing everything up!

  25. Judy on June 8th, 2012 6:56 am

    PS…I don’t have to shave my legs any more either. There ARE advantages to aging.

  26. agirlandaboy on June 8th, 2012 8:52 am

    Frederick Fekkai Glossing Cream for shiny shiny hair!

  27. Viviask on June 8th, 2012 3:37 pm

    I have a product to recommend! Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil, it strengthens, smooths and nourishes hair, plus it’s a heat protectant and smells amazing :)

  28. Sarah on June 8th, 2012 4:43 pm

    1. Sebastian Whipped Creme mousse — gives wavy/curly hair some boost and hold with zero stickiness or greasiness
    2. Bumble & Bumble coconut conditioner — great summer scent for feeling like you’re at the beach all summer long
    3. Kiehl’s apricot eye makeup remover — so, so gentle and so effective
    4. Stila convertible color — great cream blush
    5. Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer — I’m giving up foundation for summer in favor of this. I can put it on in the morning and even if I go workout or end up at the pool, I still feel like I’ve done *something* to my face

  29. Kelly on June 9th, 2012 8:08 am

    My hair’s generally lacking in the volume department and is fine enough it doesn’t usually keep a shape very well. Then I found Rusk’s Thick spray, which, sprayed in before a blowdry, gives more volume and better texture. Also Rusk Wired, which is a styling cream that is a wonder for helping it stay vaguely in the shape I want it to and looking much more put together. Love!

  30. Monique on June 9th, 2012 9:09 am

    thank you for the recommendation, I also use a great product that is helping me a lot , it’s Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil which protects my hair, makes it stronger and keeps it soft, shiny and healthy. :D

  31. Kami on June 9th, 2012 2:50 pm

    I’ve been using erase paste lately, I have lots to erase. Sephora. Another cheap fave of mine is baby lips (wal-mart), always have the blue one on hand and just started getting a few of the others that contain spf. Love the neutrogena ageless moisturizer, and I switched from hope in a jar, it’s just as good in my opinion and way cheaper. Ah I could go on for days, this is my favorite topic in the world.

  32. Nicole on June 9th, 2012 6:42 pm

    I have rosacea and the clarisonic with a squirt of cerave keeps it in check better than anything I tried including prescription meds.

    I started to take my makeup off with Abolene. It is nasty thick and gloopy. My skin has never been softer. It also doubles as lube – I wish I was joking. Clarisonic in the morning, Abolene when I come home from work.

    Cheap retin-a .025 from Mexico – twice a week and just around the eyes. If you are prone to occular rosacea, no way but I can tolerate it twice a week it helps and only burns a little.

  33. Anais on June 10th, 2012 8:42 am

    I second what an earlier commenter said about Too Faced Shadow Insurance. It is a MUST and hasn’t failed me yet in the 3 years I have used it.

  34. Cally on June 10th, 2012 10:24 am

    Fresh Umbrian Clay Treatment Bar. It’s a new product for me, but I love it fiercely and would now save it in a fire. After 15 years of trying to find products for skin clearing/pore minimizing, it’s the holy grail.

  35. Deanna on June 11th, 2012 6:05 am

    As much as I love Mac when I went to my make up to see what my faves would be I picked 4 non macs.
    I know this sounds odd but google it- it’s a real thing. I use Monistat chafing relief powder gel (like 5 bucks at walmart near the condoms) instead of pricey primer.
    I like Elf eyeshadow brushes (can get them cheap at the grocery store). Maybelline has this line of cream eyeshadows called color tattoo (I like the neutral browny grey but have the dark grey and white as well) and they really do stay on remarkably well.
    And I decided I needed a really simple neutral eyeshadow for the summer and found NYX Caviar and Bubbles palette. Niiiice.

    Also I just wanted to mention I also have mild rosacea and I found a local company who does studies. Who knew my rosacea could earn me some $$?!

  36. Cheryl S. on June 11th, 2012 6:11 am

    Just wanted to say thank you because after your first post like this, I picked up the Misscha foundation. (I got the one for sensitive skin) and I LOVE it! Thanks.

  37. askvivi on June 11th, 2012 5:20 pm

    One great product, in my experience, for keeping hair healthy and that doesn’t suck is argan oil. I have Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil and it deeply conditions and hydrates my hair, plus it leaves it smooth and shiny. Recommend it!

  38. Jen W. on June 12th, 2012 11:55 am

    Josie Maran Argan Face Moisturizer SPF 40 – I’ve tried a bunch of different moisturizers with spf and this is the best (and worth the price tag). It’s not greasy and it doesn’t smell like sunblock. I have sensitive dry skin and it does the trick. Score!

  39. Chelsea on June 12th, 2012 5:03 pm

    The ‘It’s a 10’ stuff is glorious. Softens & shines without screaming OILYHEAD for my long, long hair.

    Just started the blinc two weeks ago, and eh. I need to find an eyelash curler, I think. Although I did stab myself in the eye with it yesterday and am still feeling the effects.

    I’m digging the Bare Minerals pressed eyeshadow duos right now. Great for in my purse when I need a touchup but don’t need OH GOD POWDER EVERYWHERE FUCK FUCK.

  40. Clarissa on June 13th, 2012 4:56 pm

    Love posts about products! Don’t mean to be a downer but there’s so many chemicals in most of the ones you are using…I’m not promoting anything; just a mom of two who is mildy obsessed with non-toxic beauty/skin/hair products:)

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