How's about I tell you about a couple of things I've used/been trying and what I think of them? Not that you have to feel the same way, or even give them a try, but I know that I often read what others have to say before I decide whether or not to plunk down cash for something.
So let me tell my thoughts on two products: Almay Intense I-Color Volumizing Mascara, and Innersense Beauty Inner Peace Whipped Cream Texturizer. There's good news and bad news.
First let me say, I love mascara. I am fortunate enough to have long eyelashes that are also quite full (even at my advanced age), and since I feel that my eyes may be my best feature, I like to accentuate them with mascara. Also, since I wear glasses, I like my eyes to actually show up. I am not overly fond of black mascara, since my eyes and skin are so pale, it can make me look ghoulish. (Please note: I do not wear mascara all the time - only when I am getting dressed up or going to work.)
I used to use Almay mascara pretty regularly years ago. Then they changed the formula and I moved on to other products. I'm a person who is just as happy with something from the drugstore as I am if it's from a boutique or department store, as long as I like it and it is a good value. So when I was at the end of a tube a month or so ago, I decided to try Almay again, since two people I know who are very picky had been singing its praises. I bought the Sapphire shade because I thought it would be pretty.
I am sorry to say that this product is a big fat NO for me. First of all, a LOT comes out of the tube. I tried the trick where you pull it out against the tip of the opening to get some of it off, and that just created a big blob on the opening, and left still too much on the wand. I tried using a tissue to wipe the wand before I used it on my lashes, and all I got was a messy tissue. I could probably have lived with that if I'd loved the product, but it was hard to get on evenly, and it almost immediately clumped and flaked. Plus, after about five minutes, my eyes felt itchy and I noticecd a little burning. It didn't look nice, and I didn't like it, no matter how reasonable the price point. Needless to say, your experience may differ, but I was really glad bought this at CVS, where I could return it. I tried it on five separate occasions, and not one time was I pleased with the result.
(old packaging, which shows up really well)
(new packaging, which barely shows up)
Years ago, I used to get my hair cut and colored at a salon that was uber-organic. The stylist used this on my hair, and I really liked it so I purchased a jar (back when it looked like the first image). I really liked it, as it was lightweight, barely/hardly/not really scented, and it WORKED! Even better, you use a really tiny amount, so though it was not cheap (it was $16.00 a jar back then), it lasted a good long time.
My hair is S-T-R-A-I-G-H-T. It's fine and soft, but I have a lot of it. It has no real body, and so it sits on my head, flat, and often sticking out in spots. Again, if I'm sitting at home, who cares, but if I'm getting dressed up or going to work, I like to look a little bit more presentable. I am not exaggerating when I say that over the past few years, I've tried hair products at every end of the price spectrum, and none have helped my hair look nice at all. I had stopped going to the salon where I got this a few years back, since it is not really that convenient to where I live. And they were the only place in the city that carried this line of products.
BUT - I realized that I could look online!! And there it was - in a new container, and $4.00 more expensive, but with the same formulation. So I placed an order, and it arrived, and to be honest, I almost hated to open the jar. I was sure that in the intervening years, it had become strongly fragranced, or different in texture. I needn't have worried - it was only the outside appearance that had changed - whew!
This stuff is great. It's really lightweight, but allows even my soft hair to look better, and hold a style (OK, I am too lazy to actually "style" my hair, but work with me here). You still need just a small amount for maximum results. And there is hardly any scent ... what is there dissipates almost immediately. If your head is sweaty, or has been under a sunhat, you only need to fluff with your fingers a bit, and things look good again.
So, yes it's somewhat pricey for the initial outlay, but I'll easily have this for a year or more. It works. Your hair doesn't smell, and people around you are not overwhelmed by some random scent (some of the others I've tried -WHOA!).
So now you know. Whether or not you even care. My opinions, for what they are worth. Let me know if you have any other products you've tried, and if they did/did not work.