Breezy VoxBox

I received complimentary samples in the Breezy VoxBox through Influenster, a free sample program, to facilitate my honest review.

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I received the following products and gave my impression accordingly:

  • Head & Shoulders® Volume Boost Anti Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner – I never thought I would find a shampoo that adds volume and alleviates my dry scalp symptoms, but leave it to Head & Shoulders to give me my dreams! I love this shampoo, hands down, it’s not drying and it leaves hair and scalp happy and gorgeous. I use this about 2-3 times a week currently as I wash my hair everyday (I know!), but I can only stand up to a day without washing. I’ve used in combination with my other shampoos and still yield great results that last. My hair is volumized, my scalp no longer flakes, and my whole head is grateful. As much as I adore the shampoo, the conditioner was a bit disappointing, but I’m not sure what I expected. I love the fragrance of this line, firstly. It’s extremely appealing. The conditioner has .5% less of the pyrithione zinc and you can somewhat tell. It doesn’t really moisturize the hair as it probably helps the scalp. It complements the shampoo well and I wouldn’t use it with any other shampoo unless necessary. I currently use it in tandem with the shampoo.. It helps to volumize my hair, remove flakiness from my scalp, and add to my whole head’s health. I’d highly suggest for anyone struggling with dry scalp and finding a shampoo/conditioner that gives your hair a little something, too.

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  • 20170614_162753Nair Hair Remover Wax Ready Strips – Big thumbs down! I have used many wax removers and these just don’t cut it. I have no idea what adhesive they used, but it’s incredibly gooey! You keep most of it on your face and will be lucky if you remove any hair from face or bikini area. They don’t hold well no matter how perfectly you apply them and forget using it more than 2 times because they don’t stick after that. I will not be purchasing this as the price is not comparable to other drug mart wax strips that are more effective.

 

  • Origins Perfect World SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea – I don’t understand how this is a moisturizer. It reeks like sunscreen, sheens like it, and lasts like it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good facial sunscreen, which this is close to had it not oiled up my T-Zone unlike some sheer facial sunscreens. This is thick, absorbs mediocrely, but protects very well. I wouldn’t buy this unless I was going to be outside in the sun with no makeup, but I wear makeup with sunscreen and this doesn’t moisturize well for application. IMG_20170721_113945_541
    • Origins Perfect World Age-Defense Eye Cream with SPF 20 – What a difference this eye cream is compared to the moisturizer! I really enjoyed it because it’s light like white tea and protects with SPF 20! It doesn’t sheen, it softens and felt like it lasted all day by blocking the sun from my blue eyes better than sunglasses! This is thin and water-like and absorbs quickly.

 

  • ProFoot Heel Rescue Foot Cream – I wasn’t sure about this cream as I have used many in the past and hate how they lingered and rubbed off on everything. ProFoot is different, but it’s imperative you wash your feet with warm water prior to application to real the full absorption and softening benefits.

20170718_094553It’s highly suggested for other rough areas, too, like elbows, knees, and hands. I couldn’t believe how well it worked on the first application. My callouses were moisturized and my feet felt happier immediately. I tried it on dry feet and the oils couldn’t absorb as well so you may get agitated if you try to walk with it on there. It’s incredibly affordable with unlimited uses that will continue to work on the toughest skin you have!

  • 20170603_203254Sour Punch Bites Ragin’ Reds – YUM! My boyfriend and I loved these! We took them to the Jack Johnson concert and passed them around to the delight of the crowd around us. I don’t like the tubular shape compared to the straw texture, but the flavor is completely there. Watermelon was my favorite.

 

  • Sour Punch Straws Pineapple Mango Chili – Disgusting… IMG_20170628_203947_439 Neither one of us liked these. The pineapple was extremely fake, mango anything is usually gross, and the chili was not methodically put in. You bite into it and it’s citrusy and then pure heat without any savory-ness that I believed this would provide. Do not even bother buying these.

This box was awesome for summer and we found some new things we loved, especially the Sour Punch Ragin’ Red Bites! Check out Influenster for yourself 🙂

Target Beauty Box April 2017

I bought a Target Beauty Box on target.com with my Target Red (Debit) card, free shipping, 5% discount with the card, for just about $7.50 packed with wonderful samples and full products. These used to be so difficult to nab every few months, but they seem to realize the demand and started stocking heavily and monthly!

April’s box included:

  1. $3 off $15 coupon that expires at the end of the month (I missed my deadline as I bought it later in the month and went on vacation… ugh).
  2. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser (0.5 oz)

Daily cleanser with ceramide-3 and prebiotic Thermal Water gently cleanses without leaving pore-clogging residue. Smelled like prebiotics, left my face so oily the next day and was generally unappealing for me to use regularly if at all.

3. Sally Hansen Double-Duty Base & Top Coat

2-in-1 strengthening formula preps and protects with nylon & pro-vitamin B5 for long-lasting, chip-resistant nails. This didn’t disappoint! It held up for a good 3 days and protected my nails well.

4. HASK Argan Oil Repairing Deep Conditioner (1.57 oz packet)

Hydrating argan oil works to restore and soften dry, damaged, chemically treated or over-processed hair. It does everything it says. I left it on for 10 minutes and could feel how it went to work on my dry, brittle hair. It brought it back to life from my AZ trip. It didn’t kill my scalp either, which is a real issue for me since I have high sensitivity. It moisturized and softened my hair along with giving it a radiance I haven’t seen in a while. I’d highly suggest for anyone looking for a mask to repair their hair, especially dry split ends, it’s going in my regular routine for once every two weeks or so.

5. Dr. Teals Lavender Foaming Bath (3 oz sample)

Unwind with essential oils that help soothe the senses, relax tense muscles and provide relief from stress. I haven’t been able to use it as my bathtub is a nightmare, but it smells heavenly and I cannot wait to borrow a tub soon!

6. eb5 Facial Cleanser (0.35 oz)

Soap-free, non-foaming formula exfoliates with lactic acid and nourishes with oat protein and vitamins E & B5. I couldn’t believe I liked this. It wasn’t soap, but it cleansed my skin amazingly well with heavy makeup. My skin felt nourished, moisturized, cleansed, and complete after using this one time. I would highly suggest it.

7. Rimmel Colour Precise White Eyeliner

White-colored liquid liner with a super-precise applicator for flawless, highly pigmented lines—bold or fine. I haven’t used this one as I have been utilizing less makeup for the summer months. I am not sure I’ll like it as I typically use the white under my eye in the corner.

8. Banana Boat Dry Balance SPF 30 (1 oz)

Soak up the vitamin D with this matte finish sunscreen that’s pleasant to use. SPF 30 with a dry finish that makes for smart sun care without shine and oily residue! I took this on vacation to Arizona and was so surprised at how well it protected me and how I couldn’t feel it whatsoever. It was easy to tote and apply when needed without having to wash my hands or feel gross. It maybe my favorite sunscreen I’ve ever used because of the dry feel.

 

 

Revlon PhotoReady

I received free samples of Revlon PhotoReady Primer and Highlight/Blush Duo to facilitate my review. My review is 100% honest.

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I have always loved Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer. It is unmatched to me in terms of discount drug store primers. It has impeccable coverage that allows you to wear this alone and still mask imperfections and large pores handedly. It’s a thick primer that is somewhat tough to apply with just your fingers. The bottle is interesting as it pumps out, but I don’t see a reason for it to pump out, it could have come in a tube. I haven’t diluted it as I really like what the product does in totality after I finally get it blended.

I let it set and then applied my foundation. I use my fingers and found it difficult to apply and blend over this primer. The primer actively collects the foundation to hold it on your face immediately, so you need to work quickly and keep motion on your face until you cover it completely, then do clean up, which is unlike any other primer I have used. However, this primer goes the distance and longer in terms of holding my look together for an an entire night and beyond. Everyone thought I had just applied it for how fresh it stayed throughout my long night. The only pitfall is that it isn’t moisturizing. My foundation is moisturizing and can’t seem to penetrate the primer to help my skin glow as much as it should. I would like to see a version of this that helps to moisturize or works with your foundation a bit more to get the most out of them both. Other than that, it’s truly astounding and powerful as a primer. I may end up diluting myself with an oil free moisturizer to see if I can rig it to be even better.

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Blush?

I was incredibly disappointed by the Insta-Blush stick. I am a heavy blush user, so I am persnickety when it comes to it. This was a rouge highlighter. I received 300 Rose Gold Kiss and it’s exactly as described. Golden highlighting speckles throughout it, so when you apply, it’s a hint of very light pink rose doused in golden specks. It was difficult for me to use with the primer and after my setting powder, which other blushes are not, I am not sure if I want to apply it under my setting powder because it offers minimal rouging as is. Blending it doesn’t work as it just comes off onto your fingers. I found it best to use as a blush primer. I applied lightly in the areas I was going to put my powder blush and it help my blush on so much longer than I’m used to, so it wasn’t completely useless to me. I may always get it to keep as a blush primer and pops of highlight as I’ve been searching for a blush that is light and stays on for a long period of time to no avail. Together, my new blush regimen is a real rouge enhancer that gives me great, natural color for an entire night!

rev5This is probably the second time I’ve used highlighter as I am not that skilled with it and haven’t felt the need for it with my fair tone. However, this is a gem that took my makeup to the next level and I’m incredibly grateful as my facial skin is starting to show signs of aging in my mid-20s! This is like ambrosia for skin, the extra sweetness it craved delivered by gods of makeup. I received 200 Pink Light and it comes out like a cream color and pure highlight. Easily blends which was huge as it’s a strong highlighter. I had given up on highlighters because of the strength, inability to use them properly, blend them, and tone them correctly… this stick did it all in one with a quick swipe and blend with my fingertips. They give incredibly instructions on the Duo pack and you can also quickly Google any other tips as it’s incredibly malleable and easy to work with.rev1 I applied it over my setting powder and blush as instructed and it was still easy to blend and didn’t mess up my look, simply enhanced it! I love it and was showered with compliments after using it. I’m never going back, it makes me more confident and forgives/blurs exhaustion and fine lines. It’s a must in your daily makeup bag and your glam bag.

Walmart Beauty Box Spring 2017

I received this Walmart Beauty Box for free, I only paid for shipping $5. My review is honest.

Spring brought more fun items to incorporate into my routine. I was happy it was less hair care this time around.

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This Trendsetter box included:

  • Sinful Colors – RADiant by Kandee Johnson – I received a pinkish polish that claimed to have a Demi Matte finish. I haven’t had a good experience with Kandee Johnson Sinful Colors yet. They chip so easily and never look like what they are in the bottle. This looked like a bright, “radiant” pink, but it came out like a pastel infused magenta. The brush is thick and gloppy, which would be nice if this polish had a bit more solidity to it, but it’s so goopy that it makes a mess. walmartsinfulAfter applying one coat, it was horribly light and proceeded to chip the same day I put it on. You will most definitely need to apply at least 2-3 coats of this polish to show and then apply a great top coat (eliminating the demi matte supposed finish) and hope for the best.
  • Bioré® Baking Soda Acne Scrub – I can’t sing the praises of Bioré® products high enough. I love them. I have been anticipating trying this scrub for a while, but was hesitant because of the salicylic acid. I usually dry up incredibly and find no benefit from them; however, I gave this a go because it was free and I haven’t been disappointed by them yet.
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    Clean small pores for once!

    It specifically stated it was “great for combination skin.” I used after my regular wash to get my make up and start with a cleaner face. I applied about a dime size to my hand and went to lathering. At first, you notice the smell is intoxicatingly good, it’s a citrus blend that isn’t overpowering. Next, you see that it’s unlike any other salicylic scrub because it lathers so well! I felt it go to work and I enjoyed using it. It claims to clear up, control, and prevent acne blemishes by penetrating the pores. When I got out of the shower, I immediately checked my nose to see if it did anything and was shocked to see that my pores actually shrank on the first use. My skin didn’t try out, it actually felt softened and my oil was controlled. I enjoyed this scrub and wouldn’t suggest for anyone battling acne or blemishes associated.

  • Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair Ultra Moisture Conditioner – I was nervous to try this conditioner because it contains liquid keratin. I’m so happy I did! It is a liquidy conditioner that applies easily through the hair and goes to work softening and restoring. I used after my regular clarifying shampoo and LOVED the fragrance first and foremost. I then enjoyed using it as it didn’t make me shed profusely like most repair shampoos do. Lastly, it rinsed easily and thoroughly. I let it air dry, I first noticed that it didn’t weigh my hair down whatsoever. I had less frizz and it didn’t bother my scalp, which is the most prominent win for this conditioner. My hair stayed clean, manageable, and beautiful all day.  I would highly suggest for anyone looking for a reparative conditioner.
  • Colgate Optic White Beauty Radiant – Super foamy for a whitening paste! It surprised me that I would only need a tiny pea sized amount to cover my teeth. I had been using Arm & Hammer’s Truly Radiant, but the baking soda or something in it dried my lips and I had to keep switching pastes to alleviate the dryness. I didn’t experience any drying with this paste, I was comfortable and I think I want to switch to this product overall because it whitens incredibly without any sensitivity for me. It combatted my tough coffee stains in only 3 days!
  • Aveeno Positively Radiant 60 Second In-Shower Facial – I thought it would yield greater results, but maybe it needs more than one use? I really enjoyed that this one had small exfoliants in it as I massaged and it actually clung to my face unlike many in-shower masks I’ve used. It stayed on for the whole 60 seconds until I rinsed it manually, which was purposeful. I think it could use more of an herb to make it tingle and scrub away at dead skin, but this was an extremely basic facial mask. It helped to remove the dry spots I had on my nose gently. I also noticed that my skin did soften somewhat, but that happens with any mask I’ve used in the shower.

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  • Aveeno Positively Radiant Overnight Hydrating Facial – It’s worth the hype! When opened, it’s luminous and shiny, then applied it’s smooth and as if you’re applying a drop of water across your entire face. No oil whatsoever and felt like a lightweight filmy facial. I woke up and it was absorbed without any residue or my natural oils pulling through *AWESOME*. It helped to brighten my face and the red spots I had disappeared. My skin was soft and supple with all the benefits of the radiance. I want this in my skin care repertoire ASAP. 
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    Day after using both Aveeno facials.

    • Side note: make sure you apply this right before bed, I applied it one night about an hour or two before and didn’t get the same productive results.
  •  Rimmel Stay Matte Lightweight Foundation – This sample came with a $1 off any Rimmel facial makeup coupon. I am pumped because I’ve wanted to try their primer for a while now! They had sent me a Soft Beige tone which isn’t for me, so I wasn’t able to try this one out. From the reviews, it sounded decent, but didn’t address pore minimization which is critical for me in a foundation now. If you’ve tried it out and had a different experience, let me know!
  • Dove Advanced Care Cool Essentials – Fresh is the only word I have for this deodorant. It feels like I’m applying lotion that acts as an antiperspirant when I put this on. It has a bright cucumber-y scent that lasts throughout the day. I believe it could easily last for 48 hours, but I felt it didn’t factor in heavy workouts. I did Zumba and spinning and this seemed to mask my odor rather than prevent it. It’s truly invisible and didn’t get on my clothing at all, which was an unexpected bonus.

Grab your free box here! 

Fierce Vox Box

I received a Fierce Vox Box for free with complimentary samples through Influenster to facilitate my review. The following review is authentic and real.

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SheaMoisture Argan Oil & Almond Milk was a flop for me. Both products were incredibly heavy for me and the marshmallow extract pulled through above all other ingredients. I don’t believe sulfates are bad for my natural hair; rather, I think I need them to have manageable, clean hair and a refreshed scalp. fierce11

I couldn’t get into the shampoo because as soon as I applied it, it reeked of marshmallow extract which is completely stomach-turning to me. It was very earthy and fake. I was hoping it would diminish when I blew it dry with the creme, but the creme had the same fragrance and only added to the nausea. The good about this product is that it really does tackle anything bothering you from frizz to nattiness. I really loved how my hair looked right after drying it. It had volume, no frizz, and real body and style to it, but I could feel how downing it was immediately.

fierce5If I were to use it again, I have to use it diluted with another compatible product because this was simply too much for my delicate scalp and natural hair. I enjoyed my hair for about 3 hours and then it started to grease over with the amount of oil in it. You can see the time elapsed in my photos from a fresh blow out to it started to fall apart out and about. I also received a $1 off any SheaMoisture product that I gifted to a friend who expressed interest in trying this. I’m hoping she has a better experience to flaunt!

Vaseline is a timeless beauty staple that I have grown up with. My mother always had a couple of tubs in the house for all kinds of reasons: treating burns, beauty tricks, and diminishing the imperfections of healing wounds (no scars). It’s an amazing healer and protector. I sing its praises as the best rescue moisture for chapped lips.

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Add me on SnapChat @alligator_fader

It is petroleum jelly so be wary that it’s incredibly thick and takes a while to absorb, but once it does, it brings skin back to life. I like to use a little mixed with my favorite lotion right out of the shower to help absorb while I dry. It cures my eczema and winter dry skin on my shins and face. I developed eczema around 24 and this has been the only natural moisturizer that treats it as I didn’t like using the steroidal creams due to a predisposed hormonal imbalance. It doesn’t cause me to break out as I use very thin layers on the sides of my nose only.  I’d highly suggest you have this around if you suffer from any of the above ailments, it’s wonderful and clean.

SinfulColors is a mediocre polish. It has fantastic colors, but it doesn’t last whatsoever and adds no real value to your nails in terms of care. I received Mint Chip, which was a better color than it looked outside the bottle.fierce9

It was to have a Matte finish, but it didn’t live up to its Pretty Vintage “matte and retro vibe” promises. This would be an excellent bottom coat for something spectacular, but alone it was lackluster at best. Anime may be a better line with the promises of iridescence. I wish that we would have gotten Mystique or Pride because it seems that the real value of these polishes is in the extremely beautiful colors.

Carefree Acti-Fresh Liners are the bare bones of a liner. I enjoy them for daily use because they keep you fresh without getting in the way of anything because they are so thin. They move with you, but stay stuck unlike some off-brands that curl and ride up when you work out. Since I exercise pretty vigorously daily, these are a godsend and I highly suggest them.
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However, if you’re looking for something that absorbs more than sweat, look elsewhere because these are incredibly thin and only good for maintaining freshness rather than protection from leaks of any sort.

Madam C.J. Walker Softening & Silkening Brassica Oil was my hands-down favorite! It’s sugary, creamy, and soft with vibrant notes of vanilla, red velvet, cake, and candy. It’s not immature either, it’s perfectly playful. It smells like a heavenly bakery.  It is a lightweight oil that’s great for all hair types and was spectacular for mine.

madamA word of caution is that despite it being lightweight, you still must use sparingly and focus at the roots or you’ll end up with a grease ‘do rather than a brilliant shine and softened heat-styled hairdo. I use about 5-8 drops, absolutely no more than that, while it’s damp focusing on my roots . I work through my hair a bit and then moreso while I blow dry. Make sure you wash your brush out because it will stay trapped in there and wreck a future style.

It’s absolutely intoxicatingly delicious. I wanted this as a perfume it’s that sweet and delicate. The fragrance lasts and dries to a serene note while it leaves your hair moisturized, styled, soft, and beautifully shone. My hair had a mellow shine, felt moisturized,  and looked healthier after only one use. It softened my hair, straightened my wave, added some bonus volume, and made me not want to stop running my fingers through its silkiness! I cannot say praise this oil enough. I loved my hair for once!

Overall, I enjoyed this box, it portrayed a subtle fierceness with an emphasis on hair, skin, and nails.
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Walmart Winter Beauty Box

I received this Walmart Beauty Box for free.

I absolutely love this program. The samples are small, but it’s free*! It’s a decent grab bag of mostly hair and skin care, but this time came a little makeup from one of my most beloved brands.

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* You only need to pay $5 for shipping each season.

The following products were included:

  • Garnier Whole Blends – Green Apple and Green Tea Extracts Refreshing Shampoo and Conditioner which is focused on reviving hair and leaving a healthy shine. I received these samples before through Crowdtap and wasn’t that impressed. The ingredients are not fully natural to me, however it is paraben-free. I really love the scent of it and it does leave a good shine, but I have to use it sparingly as I have a sensitive scalp that really doesn’t agree with this shampoo daily.
  • Dove Deep Moisture – I love this body wash. It’s gentle and moisturizing. I always have one constant for summer and winter if my skin needs to balance out. It truly does help to smooth and soften skin, especially when shaving; it’s my favorite sudzer.
  • Curél® Hydra Therapy – One of my very favorite moisturizers. It eliminates my toughest eczema spots and makes my skin feel youthful and revived. It’s the best at absorbing quickly out of the wet moisturizers I’ve tried. It’s not greasy whatsoever either, which is a major win for this type of product that predicates itself on mineral oils. As a bonus, I was given a $4 off coupon, which could average out to be around 50% off near me.
  • L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Smooth Intense Ultimate Straightening System – that’s a mouthful and it tries to capture exactly what it’s supposed to do. I never have luck with L’Oreal products, so I was hesitant to try this. I tried a very small amount out of the packets and was INCREDIBLY pleased with the results. It’s not an every-day-use shampoo, but it made my date night a success. I used the treatment as described and blew it dry. The keratin and tourmaline combination worked wonders with my thick, naturally wavy, hair. It was straight for 2 days, which is a feat considering I can barely hold any style for longer than 8-12 hours. I wouldn’t use more than a little amount, though, because it’s somewhat heavy and could easily go wrong and weigh your hair down immensely.
  • CoverGirl LashBlast Volume – This is an oldie, but goodie! It’s the first mascara I can remember that came out with a wand like this. Instead of a brush, it’s little bristles that help separate and coat lashes effectively. I love keeping the brush as a separator after the tube is empty, it’s that great. As for the formula, it’s a drugstore gem. It volumizes easily from root to tip and doesn’t flake. It’s one of my beloved undercoats and claims 10x the volume in which I can vouch for at least 6x the volume, personally.
  • Pond’s Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream – THE FAVORITE. I am always blown away by Pond’s, I don’t know why I never reach for their items to try on my own. I’m happy they often participate in these sponsored samples so I can discover their diamonds in the affordable rough! I have put this on my list to buy the next time I’m out because it is actually working and feels wonderful on my skin. I’ve received compliments on my even skin tone and the light fragrance it has. It smooths my skin and reduces the appearance of my fine lines on my forehead, crow’s feet, and neck! It’s comparable to Olay’s Luminous line to me. I use it right after I shower and every other morning now in place of my usual moisturizer because it makes me feel youthful and confident. It does warn for some consumers that they may experience a tingling sensation if they apply it to quickly to freshly cleansed skin, but I haven’t had a problem and I’m pretty sensitive to many products.
If you aren’t subscribed to Walmart’s Beauty Box, I’d highly suggest you get on it. $20 a year for 4 boxes full of these types of products.

Secret® Outlast Xtend™ Clear Gel

I received a sample of Secret® Outlast Xtend™ Clear Gel through Crowdtap to facilitate my review. This review is 100% honest.

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At the gym loving my sample of Secret!

I haven’t used gel in a long time, so I was intrigued to try out Secret’s as I’m most familiar with their line. I have to say, I somewhat liked it, but it’s not my favorite.

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I like that I can apply it while my underarms are still wet and it seems to dry with my body after a quick afternoon shower. I also really enjoyed that it came off easily in the shower or prior to so that way I didn’t muck my razor with deodorant like I do with the stick.

I could feel that it was different as soon as I put it on.

If you’ve been looking to try a new type of deodorant, it has amazing reviews and many benefits:

  • Keep your cool with protection that goes on dry
  • 48-hour odor protection keeps you fresh all day
  • pH-balanced formula helps stop odor before it starts
  • Sport Fresh scent: Designed with athletes in mind
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On my way out, confident with Secret!

My real qualm with Secret® Outlast Xtend™ Clear Gel was that it didn’t seem to outlast anything for me. I felt like I’d have to reapply this after 8 hours, which I don’t have to with a stick. It didn’t exactly hold it’s amazing floral scent through the day and that may be due to my natural biology. I didn’t stink, but I’d like to have capture that scent all day like other deodorants.

Overall, I think it’s a great deodorant and think I may have just tried one that wasn’t for me. I’d love to try the Olay version and think I might be adding to my cart ASAP.