Don’t Judge a Facial By Its Brand

Let’s start out with the understanding that sometimes I can be a real snob and I sometimes judge a book by its cover. But when I was in college, I did not have a lot of money to buy high end products. This left me staring at the CVS brand facials, cleansers, toners, and moisturizers… little did I know that I was going to find gold.

Before you start assuming that I am just being cheap or that I have never had facials and don’t know what I am talking about- just hear me out. I do love getting facials but honestly I love doing them at home even more. When I do them at home 1. I can be in my pajamas or lazy sweats 2. I can get things done 3. my brother and I typically do them together so I would miss that.

Today I want to review the products that Stephen and I tested from CVS some CVS brand and some brands that you can buy at CVS (in the near future we will compare all pure CVS brand products together.) We show you what we liked, didn’t like, and how they compare to other brands we have tested in the past.

First Step: Face Wash

The first product we used was the Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub. We both liked that it was a scrub because we felt like we needed that extra scrub. I used makeup remover first thoroughly but felt like I needed to wash my face and then wash it again before I patting my face dry. Stephen did not feel that way though so who knows maybe there was still some excess makeup on my face.

We both agreed we will definitely continue buying this product to use at night a couple days a week.

Second Step: Pore Strips

IMG_4006IMG_4005We used the Bioré Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips. I have more black heads to I used in total 3 strips (2 nose 1 face). I use one pore strip as it’s intended then I cut one nose pore strip in half to reach a bit beyond my nose. I also use one strip on my chin (if you cut it in 1/2 and place both vertically side by side you are less likely to have it bubble.)

Stephen doesn’t have nearly as many blackheads as I do so he did one strip on his nose.

IMG_4010Okay so I do not know if you can fully see (you can see the top way better than the middle and end) but all of that but look how much came out of my face! To be honest I am so fascinated by anatomy and all that so this was super cool to me (Stephen thinks its gross.) I have been using Bioré pore strips for a really long time so I was excited to share them with you, and I typically do pore strips either once a week or every other week depending on what my skin needs. Stephen does pore strips every 2 weeks just about.

Third Step: The Mask

IMG_4015My FAVORITE part! Stephen and I face mask a lot and we are very in tune to what our face needs and wants that week. Today I needed something to moisturize & clean my pores (considering I just opened them and ripped out black heads with the strips) and with the winter weather I needed to hydrate my forehead, chin, and jaw line. I used a combination of two masks: for my T-Zone the Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask and for the rest of my face I used the Hydrating Cool and Calming Clay Mask.


Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask Review: I loved the smell and it was a light pastel green color. It was easy to apply but I did have to shake the bottle first. It went on smoothly and gave a soothing feel to my skin especially because I had just used a pore strip. I will 100% use this mask again and loved how clean my skin felt after.

Hydrating Cool and Calming Clay Mask Review: This comes out like a gel rather than clay and is clear. This made my skin tingle and cold and there was at one point a tiny bit of a burn-like feeling (which happens to my skin anytime I have cracked skin that isn’t hydrated.) My sister tried this one before and it was stinging her skin so if you have sensitive skin this is NOT the mask for you. I still really liked it and it washed off easy and my face felt so refreshed after.


IMG_4020Stephen’s face was very dry and cracking under the pressure of winter! He needed something that would moisturize, hydrate, and smooth out his skin. He used the Aqua Beauty Hydrating Cloth Sheet Mask.

Aqua Beauty Hydrating Cloth Sheet Mask Review: He felt that it was easier to get on than others; this sheet mask had a layer that after you unfolded it, you had to peel off and throw away. That extra layer helped ensure that it wouldn’t rip. As the 10-15 minutes went by he had to keep sticking the edges back down to his face, but overall it didn’t slide off his face like some masks do. He also liked when he took it off that there wasn’t tons of excess lotion left on his face. He said he would use again but also wouldn’t put it into a monthly rotation.


Fourth Step: Toner

We used a the Clean & Clear Essentials Deep Cleaning Toner. We both really liked it, but definitely would have preferred either the Pore Refining or Acne Stress Control Neutrogena Toner, the Deep Clean Toner from Target Brand, or the Truffle Therapy Face Toner from SKIN&CO Roma.

It wasn’t a bad toner it just didn’t fully address our skins needs.

Final Step: Moisturizer

Okay so let me tell you in Stephen’s words what he thinks about the CVS Brand Acne Fighting Moisturizer, “It’s like magic in a bottle.” It doesn’t dry out your skin but gets rid of acne. Stephen deals with acne on the reg and I used to have it as bad as he does, but now deal with small breakouts. We both use the moisturizer weekly. He uses it everyday twice a day, and I use it every other day at night.


We forgot to grab a picture beforehand and the Target brand toner was on the counter where we keep it, and I had put the clean & clear one we tried away- so that is why that product is not featured. We simply forgot to grab the right toner for the picture. 


Overall we found some new products that we will use daily, weekly, and some as a backup option. We try to face mask once a week and then we both have daily skin care in the morning and evening. We use a multitude of products because we have found things that work best for us. Maybe one day I will post about what my weekly skin care looks like. Below are the links to all the products we tried:

Step 1: Cleanser

Step 2: Nose Pore Strips  & Face Pore Strips

Step 3: Masks:

Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask

Hydrating Cool Calming Clay Mask

Aqua Beauty Hydrating Cloth Face Mask (This is not available at CVS Anymore)

Step 4: Toner

Step 5: Moisturizer (is not available online but is in stores)


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