Sep 20, 2008

Quick Product Reviews

One of the many awesome things about The Drugstore Game is that I get to try lots of new products for free or almost-free. Some have been delightful surprises, others shocking disappointments.

I'm going to start posting brief reviews of some of these items in case anyone is wondering what is and isn't worth spending money on. There are too many items for one post, so this will be an ongoing series. I'll start with one of my absolute favorite new items.
  1. Garnier Fructis Instant Melting Conditioner - This was free after Single Check Rebate at Rite Aid last month. I just started using it and it's awesome. "Melting" is a great descriptor for it. This is one item I will make a special trip for when it's on sale/free. In fact, I'm hoping it's included in the 2/$3 after-SCR-deal that started yesterday in LA and starts tomorrow in most places. I'm sure I have coupons, so although I now "buy" shampoo and conditioner only if it's free, I'll gladly pay $1 for two of these.
  2. Schick Intuition razor - This was free at CVS a while back, but I just started using it. Unlike the Melting Conditioner, it's awful. It's huge and clunky and I keep feeling like I'm going to cut myself. I don't even know if I can keep using it until the blade dulls, because I feel like I'm tempting fate too much. On the bright side, this is the only moisturizing strip I've ever had that actually feels like a moisturizing strip - I mean, it's slimy in a good way, if that makes any sense.
  3. Schick Slim Twin razor - I picked up a free-after-coupon travel pack of these, and Marc promptly declared them his favorite razor for that area between his nose and his upper lip - the razor is indeed slim, so it gets in there better than any razor he's had since I met him 10 years ago. It also seems to have a similar moisturizing strip as the Intuition. I actually paid for two full size packs of these when Walgreens had a great deal on them a couple of months ago, to make sure that Marc is well-stocked.
  4. Nizarol - My dermatologist recommended this anti-dandruff shampoo after he diagnosed me with alopecia areata (which I'm happy to report has completely filled in). I bought a bottle at Walgreens for $14.99 using a $10/$30 coupon at the end of May. But I don't think this shampoo works that well on long hair, because it doesn't lather much. I never felt like my hair was getting clean when I used it.
  5. Herbal Essences No Flakin' Way - My dermatologist had also mentioned anti-dandruff shampoos containing zinc pyrithione, although he seemed to prefer Nizarol. But since the Nizarol really wasn't working for me and I continued to have a little dandruff, I took advantage of's double cash back day at Ebates and bought three bottles of Herbal Essences No Flakin' Way and two bottles of Head & Shoulders Intensive Solutions. I can't find the Herbal Essences at local drugstores, and the Head & Shoulders is pretty expensive and excluded from the occasional sale, so I was happy with my deal. I've been using the Herbal Essences and it's worked great. I get a good lather, my hair feels clean, and best of all, the dandruff is now gone. (I haven't tried the H&S yet but will let you know how I like it when I do.)
  6. Gillette Venus Embrace - This is a much better razor than the Intuition. It's a normal shape and size, and I don't feel like I'm going to cut myself. The replacement blades are expensive, but I just keep getting free razors so it hasn't been a problem yet. I do feel guilty about the environmental impact of continually replacing the razor instead of just the blade, but not bad enough to want to pay for the blades.
  7. SoyJoy bars - These were a money maker at CVS a couple of months ago, so I bought the maximum of 20 bars. But they tasted pretty bad. I think it's an individual thing, and if you have the chance to try one for free, you should because you might like it. But I wouldn't pay to find out.
  8. Walgreens brand diapers - One of my very first posts was about my brand loyalty to Pampers Cruisers, because they were the only diaper we trusted. We had massive blowouts with Huggies but not with Pampers, and although I knew that other brands might be cheaper, it just wasn't worth the risk. But now, three years later, I've finally decided to risk other brands. The deals are just too irresistible, and Tyler's old enough that we don't have blowouts anymore. In fact, he's just starting to potty train, so hopefully I won't be buying diapers for that much longer. I've got a package of Luvs I need to try, but in the meantime, we're into our second package of Walgreens brand diapers. The first package was Premium but the second isn't, and both types have been perfectly fine. We don't use them at night, because I've taken the Walgreens diapers to daycare, but I'll gladly buy them again when they're on super sale.
  9. Huggies Clean Team wipes - My diaper loyalty was with Pampers, my baby wipes preference was with Huggies, but my flushable wipes loyalty was back with Pampers. I think when it came to flushable wipes, it actually had less to do with loyalty than knowledge: if I recall correctly, Kandoo products came on the market first, and I didn't even realize Huggies made flushable wipes until fairly recently. Even though flushable wipes are hard on toilets (never flush more than two at a time!), we prefer them because it really does make wiping easier. Huggies seems to regularly put out $3 off 2 Clean Team coupons, so I've gotten good deals on the wipes. I think they tear a little more easily than Kandoo wipes but I'm definitely deciding which to buy based solely on price.
  10. CVS brand paper towels - These are awful and I'm never buying them again. They are small sheets and not very strong, the exact opposite of what you want in a paper towel.
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Melissa P. said...

this is really helpful! thank you!

Clean ClutterFree Simple said...

I LOVE my Schick Intuition! I even buy refills at full price because it's so great. :-)

Soy Joy bars are disgusting. OMG, I got a freebie in the mail--no one liked it. Dry, tasteless and just gross. I see the BOGO coupons and the FAR and still avoid them because they're so icky. Sorry Soy Joy folks, this one's a failure.

Mercedes said...

This is a great idea!! Thank you for letting us know your impressions of these products. It really helps other shoppers.

Miss X said...

Here's a new idea for you: buy cheap shampoo (i.e. Sauve or something from the $1 store). Wash your hair first with the cheap shampoo, then use your more expensive shampoo, but use about half your normal amount. You'll get a better lather out of your more expensive shampoo and will save money.

My hair doesn't always want to lather and I generally need 2 shampoo applications to feel that my hair is clean.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to trying the Melting Conditioner now - I have some in my stash from when it was free.

I totally agree about the Soy Joy bars - they are just nasty. The worst bar I have had by far.

Thanks for sharing all of this info!


Chief Family Officer said...

@Melissa & Mercedes - Glad to help!

@CCS - Really? What do you love about the Intuition? I finally figured out that if I hold it way up at the neck, it's less slippery and easier to control, but man, it just doesn't feel right!

@Miss X - Great idea, thanks!

@Jennifer - Enjoy the melting conditioner!

Camille said...

I wanted to add that I tried the Walgreens diapers when they had the special a few months back and I LOVE THEM! I will gladly buy them any time.

On the other hand, I also just tried Luvs and truly hate them. So many leaks! I only bought them because I doubled the $5 off manu coupon with a Target coupon plus got back a gift card, but it wasn't worth it. I'm going to take them up on their love them or we'll give you your money back guarantee.

Chief Family Officer said...

@Camille - Yikes, now I'm afraid to try the Luvs. I will, but I'm glad you told me about the money-back guarantee. Thanks!

Christy said...

(I'm late to the party, as always...)

I love the Intuition. I stockpile blades when I can find them on sale so i don't run out and have to pay full price. Then I don't have to worry about shaving cream either. In the long run, it saves me money since I am only buying reduced razors and no cream.

That being said, I really like the razor and would probably buy it full price if I had to. But I use the Intuition Plus, which has a longer, narrower handle than the original model. (they use the same refills)