Product Reviews, Drugstore Beauty Finds – Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, Almay Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover Pads, Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash

Published in: Beauty Tips, Drugstore Beauty Finds, Product Reviews, Skin Care

Drugstore Beauty Grab Bag

If you spent a little too much at the MAC counter this weekend, you know I feel your pain. What’s a girl to do when she’s got limited dollars in her beauty budget? One of the ways I like to balance the costs of my beauty dollars is to mix department store and drugstore products. I don’t think cost is necessarily an indicator of a product’s effectiveness – it could be all just part of the marketing scheme, for all I know.


I like to prowl Rite Aid and Long’s for skin care and body care products, especially. Here are a few that currently are in heavy rotation!
Product: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
Use: As an anti-aging cream that smoothes skin, lifts sagging eras and restores elasticity
Price: $24.00
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

What I liked about it:
– Great light, fruity scent
– Non-sticky product texture that’s thick but doesn’t leave a sticky film on my face and neck
– Very moisturizing
– A little goes a long way, and you don’t need to use a lot of it.

What I didn’t like about it:
– Can’t positively say if it actually helped to lift or restore elasticity
– Jar packaging isn’t convenient, I wish it came in travel-friendly pump form.

Somebody once asked me what my anti-aging secret was, and I told them that it was a combination of immaturity and sunscreen. My sunscreen choice since I was a teenager has been Olay Complete. I’ve always had good luck with Olay products and love trying anything that they come out with because I’ve been a long-term user of the brand, so I got the chance to try Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream I was stoked. Get me on that Olay train!

I have to say the biggest thing about this cream is that it smells and feels great. The scent is light but not overwhelming or chemical. It’s light and fruity and a pleasure to put on at night. The texture of the product once applied to my skin is also great. I don’t like the sticky feeling some lotions have – I especially can’t stand having a sticky neck, yuck! But this cream leaves my skin feeling dry and moisturized.

The active ingredients are an amino-peptide complex and an intracellular fortifier made up of hyaluronic acid. Like with other anti-aging products that I’ve tested, I can’t really say if Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream actually lifted sagging areas and restored elasticity. It’s really hard to quantify, especially if you don’t have lots of areas sagging areas to start with (gimme a few years though, ha!)

The biggest points with this cream are that I like the texture, scent and the fact that it does provide excellent moisturization.

You might like it if:
– You are a fan of the Olay brand
– You like your moisturizers to feel dry and not sticky after application
– You need a heavier moisturizer on your face and neck.

Product: Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser
Use: As combination foaming cleanser and makeup remover
Price: $7.00 for a 6.7 fl oz pump bottle
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

What I liked about it:
– Removes all types of makeup quickly and thoroughly
– Great price
– Handy pump-top packaging

What I didn’t like about it:
– Weird plastic-y smell
– Too drying for me, left my skin feeling tight

Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser is the Casanova of all quick-acting makeup removers. It takes it off. It takes it all off. And it does it faster than you can say “get naked Christian Bale!”

Ya’ll know that I’m often in a hurry, so I have a weak spot for products that work quickly. Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser is a combination makeup remover and cleanser, and the best part about it is that it removes foundation, powder and most eye makeup (you’ll need something to supplement if you use Liquidlast or Fluidline) lightening fast. It doesn’t hurt my eyes and rinses away without leaving a film on my skin. And it didn’t break me out, yay!

However I find that it’s just way too drying for my face, and after I rinse off within a few minutes my skin feels tight. Also, when I first started using it I noticed the cleanser had a strong plastic-smelling scent. It did fade away after a few uses, though.

You might like this if:
– You are a teenager or in your 20s and have oily skin that can tolerate stronger cleansers and doesn’t dry out easily
– You live in a humid climate
– You are lazy like me!

Product: Almay Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover Pads
Use: To remove waterproof eye makeup and longwearing lip color
Price: $6.00 for 80 pads
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

What I liked about it:
– Didn’t break me out
– Cheap, and you get a lot (80 pads) for your money
– Removes everything (Liquidlast did take a little work, though)
– Pads are soft and non-irritating
– Pads are thoroughly soaked with product

What I didn’t like about it:
– Need to rinse off with water
– Makes my eyes a little blurry (!) temporarily

So cheap. So effective. So lovin’ this!

I’ve been using Neutrogena Ultra-Soft Eye Makeup Remover Pads and Almay’s pads blow those pads right out of the water. Almay Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover Pads are softer, contain more eye-making removing product and work faster. I use fewer swipes to get remove long-wearing products like MAC Mattene Lipstick and MAC Liquidlast Liner. You also get so much more for your money. I can easily stretch this jar out by cutting the pads in half.

Sometimes I get the occasional small pimple in the browbone area because I tweeze so I was nervous about how oily this product is. So far it hasn’t broken me out, knock on wood.

The only downside so far is that I can’t just use these pads and go. I have to do a final rinse off to remove the oil, the makeup, everything. Plus, my eyes get a little temporary blurriness, but that seems to always happen to me when I use oil-based cleansers.

Oh, and FYI, the main ingredient in this is mineral oil, so if you are sensitive Almay Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover Pads might not work for you.

Despite the negatives I would definitely purchase this again. A Makeup and Beauty Blog Winner!

You might like this if:
– You wear long-wearing cosmetics
– You like oil-based removers

Product: Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash
Use: To clear body pimples
Price: about $7.00
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A++++

What I liked about it:
– Nice, light smell
– Dried up existing body pimples, yet didn’t dry out my skin
– Helped prevent additional pimples
– Thick formula that builds to cushiony foam

What I didn’t like about it:
– Not much, however I wish it was cheaper

Sweet jeebus this stuff saved my ass, literally. Notice how this bottle is almost halfway empty? That’s because I used it for a month to cure the acne that developed on my shoulders, back and bum (BOO!) after road testing Curls Milkshake. (And I have to say one more time – it could’ve also been the new medication I was taking, I can’t say for sure if it was that hair product.)

The active ingredient in Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash is salicylic acid, which normally doesn’t do much in terms of pimple treatment/prevention on my face. It was a frickin’ miracle on my body though, and cleared up the handful of existing pimples quickly while preventing new ones from forming.

I was worried about the formula being too drying on the rest of my skin but that wasn’t the case at all. I just applied it onto my hands and washed without a bath puff or exfoliating gloves because I didn’t want to irritate my skin. The scent is light, and the formula builds up foam nicely. Love. This. Stuff.

You might like it if:
– You play a lot of sports and have to deal with body acne
– You are pregnant and your hormones are going nuts and you’re experiencing body acne
– You are a beauty blogger with sensitive skin who insists on testing mystery products

Drugstore Beauty Product True Confessions!
You might be wondering why you’re staring at this mangled tube of Neutrogena Visibly Even Foaming Cleanser. Well, I finished this bottle last week and could no longer squeeze any more product out of it. Instead of throwing it out I used some scissors to cut the top off. It was like Christmas, ya’ll! Inside was at least three more days worth of cleanser. I dug my little fingers in and just replaced the top back on the tube. You know I like to get my money’s worth!


Now don’t you feel smart?

Today is another gorgeous day in Northern California! I can’t wait to go out and go running today. The fall days here in Nor Cal are beautiful. The weather is warm with a slight crisp in the air, and the leaves are starting to change colors. If you ever travel to San Francisco late September/early October is probably the *best* time to visit.

How are you doing this Tuesday? I hope that wherever you are that you’re feeling good and lookin’ HOT!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 16 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Christine says:

    Love your resourcefulness!

    I’ll have to try out those Almay pads next time I’m at a drugstore. I have to force myself not go, because I end up buying too many new random beauty products.

  2. Karen says:

    Girl you know you gotta get those last bits outta those tubes because otherwise it’s like throwing $ down the drain.

    I buy random stuff too. I go into Rite Aid for a bag of Life Savors Gummies and end up with cleansers, wipes, Prestige eye pencils…

  3. etirv says:

    Thanks for your thorough review of Almay eye makeup remover pads! I think I saw being sold at Costco (3 jars in one package)… I think (hope) the brand was Almay and I remember thinking it was a good deal. I haven’t used eye makeup remover pads but I was considering using these for an upcoming trip because they seem more convenient to use for travel. So your review is very timely… thanks!

    I picked up the Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser for my teenage daughter because she ran out of her Paula’s Choice cleanser and she didn’t like it at all.. said it didn’t feel right… too bad.

    Thanks for your reviews of drugstore products!

  4. Karen says:

    Hi Etirv,

    You are very welcome! That’s too bad about your daughter not liking the Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser. It works so darn well, I just wish it was more moisturizing.

    BTW, there are two versions of the Almay pads – the jar I picked up was the “moisturizing” one. I think if you plan on traveling with it you might want to pop it in an additional ziploc bag just in case. The product is very oily (which is why it works) and you don’t want to risk it getting all over your makeup and other beauty products! 🙂

    Glad I could help!

  5. Christine says:

    Rite Aid a bad place to go for just “one item.” Kind of like Costco. Things just fall into your basket that you don’t remember needing!

    Oh, lord, why do I have to do homework? I need someone to do it for me.

  6. Vanessa says:

    Do you have a CVS near you? I think it replaced all the Sav-Ons, they have awesome things there, they have Essence of Beauty Brushes that are super soft, and other cosmetics there, almost like a playground!

  7. Karen says:

    Rite Aid is dangerous and so is Walgreens. I swear I’d go to Walgreen’s every day at break with my friend Naaman and I couldn’t leave unless I bought something from the makeup, skin or hair section. Or the food section, HA!

    Homework! Now that’s something I don’t miss about school! You should be able to outsource it, ha ha ha!

  8. Karen says:

    Hi Vanessa,

    Nope, I don’t have a CVS up here. I wish I did though! I was looking at the online website and there’s a ton o’ stuff that I can’t find at my local drugstores here. What I really wish I had though, was more Nyx, Milani and Black Opal. I can’t find that up here at all!

    I gotta look into those Essence of Beauty Brushes!

  9. Christine says:

    It would be heavenly to outsource homework. You know what’s better than that? Outsourcing exams 😉

  10. Karen says:

    RIGHT? I want to outsource Mondays at work. And dentist appointments.

  11. Irene says:


    Karen, I totally love your blog! I just turned legal here in Canada – so good to be a woman, finally! Thing is that I didn’t know older people were make-up addicts like me, so it’s good to know that grown ups with incomes also splurge like there’s no tomorrow – anytime! Hehe.

    I used to have acne problems so I have my own prescripted medication for lotion and cleasers; my “acne” doctor (he only treats acne patients) said that no other cleanser will really help – unless if it’s Spectrogel. I guess I was a little more problematic than everyone else so whatever works for you!

    I do have something to say about Almay though; a few years back when I tried them, they had the most amazing eye-makeup removing pads ever. EVER! They were so perfect; your skin would just really dry off after using it.

    Now, they’ve come up with these grossy pads that you were talking about and I really can’t stand them. I’m super lazy, and I hate that I have to re-wash my face/eyes after using these pads. Even the “non-oily” pads still leave that oily residue. I just stick with using bar-soap.

    But yes, you’re totally great! I just gasp with pleasure everytime you’ve got an update (which is everyday!) ’cause it’s like walking into Sephora – in my own home! So pretty… with pretty products and such a pretty background and everything! You’re faaaantastic!!!

    So I’ll be commenting much more starting now. =D

    PS – Smashbox is so good, lasting-wise. Their eyeshadow is so great, it just stays on forever, and it looks just like you put it on after hours and hours and hours!!! Same with tarte’s 2 sided lipgloss – I’m so in love, seriously. =D

  12. Karen says:

    Hi IRENE!

    Girlfriend, you seriously just made my day. Work was really long, I barely got any sleep last night (I was dreaming of Smashbox, I’m so not kidding), and I this afternoon I was starting wonder whether YE GODS OF FUNNY WRITING have abandoned me and then bam – I get your fabuloso comment!

    Congrats on turning legal in Canada! (BTW, what’s the legal age there?) Funny, I was thinking today about how much I love your country – universal health care, French speakers, hockey players, those awesome red outfits that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police wear. Canada rocks.

    I feel your pain about acne. I had a terrible bout when I turned 19, and it was so bad that I had to try different medications too. The only thing that helped then was Accutane, and it was a godsend, because I was getting the really painful, deep, cystic pimples that felt like they had roots. It can be very hard on one’s spirit, so I’m glad you found a product that works for you.

    (And I’ll be sure to look into those two-sided glosses and smashbox shadows, WOO HOO!)

    Take care!

  13. Yinka says:

    I’m visiting NY next month and am gonna stock up on the Neutrogena body wash’s no longer available here in England!!

  14. Sherry B. says:

    LMAO about you snipping off the tube and replacing the top! Thought I was the only person who does that, girl! I’m older and have tried out (just a sample jar) of the Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream and, let me tell you, it actually did help with the sagging while I was using it. Not like a surgical face-lift, maybe, but it helped to firm my skin better than any of the higher-end creams and serums that I have tried in the past. Unfortunately, we have had some financial problems since then, so I have had to cut out my beauty product purchases for quite some time now.*sad* But if things ever so get back to normal around here, I plan to buy myself a whole, new, fresh jar of this stuff! Keep up with all the great reviews on the blog! I love the way you write!

  15. Dilara :3 says:

    Hello! I’m 14 yrs old and I’ve been doing some research on what kind of acne cleaners ACTUALLY work. I’ve been using Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Acne Cleanser for WEEKS and it didn’t work at all! Eventually I became real pissed and happened to stumble upon your blog. I’m so glad because my mom bought Neutrogena deep clean the other day so score for me! I have pimples between my breast and on my chest so I’m gonna try out the body wash. Can’t wait to use the body wash and face wash. Thnx so much Karen!

  16. loisk says:

    I stopped using Olay because I saw more results with the Somaluxe Moisturizer in one week than I have seen in years of Olay. I am 44 and my skin has SOME wrinkles, and considerable discoloration from redness(no porcelian skin like when I was young). My skin is also extremely oily, prone to adult acne and I am beyond pale but otherwise think my skin has faired pretty I have become pretty skeptical of skin products and stuck with Olay.

    After several days of using the Somaluxe Moisturizer – even the big crease between my eyes isn’t as deep, and the discoloration has lessened almost to the point I can go without foundation!

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