Archive for category Hair
Hiiii guys! I have been hiding out and trying to minimize the time in front of my computer zombifying…seriously, these damn electronics can suck you in and eat your brain big time. I’ve been drafting up posts here and there but not sitting down for too long because I just need a break. S’OK? And plus, I want to show you some fab looks with all of my new(ish) pretties! Here’s one look that I wore out this weekend:
Forgive me for less than stellar shots, as usual I was running late and took these in the bathroom of the party I was at while trying to remain inconspicuous lol. And I probably had a few rum & cokes by this point… I’m a lost cause ~sigh~ Anyway, I took this look directly from this tutorial of Lisa Eldridge’s – I ADORED how it came out, another one of those looks that made me feel badass and awesome all evening (and isn’t that the point?). I’ve been really getting into colored shadows again lately, so fun! FYI – I’m wearing MAC’s Blue Edge (discontinued) topped with Shimmermoss on my top lid and Beautiful Iris on my lower lash lines. Oh, and also, I used the Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil in my hair and HOLY SMOKES. I LOVE THIS STUFF – look at my hair! Just look at it!!!!!
I’ve also got a spring-themed post in the works that I’ve been thinking of for ages but haven’t had all the pieces to put it together. If I’m not too, um…under the weather after Paddy’s Day on Sunday, I plan to get it done that Monday as I’m off work. It involves some very pretty polishes that I’m totally diggin’ – unlike this polish, which sadly did NOT do it for me:
I know, an it’s an a-England polish too! Tess d’Urbervilles, a blackened green shimmer. It looks nice here but I couldn’t wait to take it off. I’m just not a fan of green hued polishes, unless they’re pale /pastel-toned or more of a teal green. Ah well, can’t win ‘em all!
I have been trying to do things that are good for my well-being as much as possible – this semi-computer break being one of them, as well as joining a yoga studio that had an awesome deal: $108 for three months of unlimited classes. Heck YES! I went today after work; the focus was shoulders and OMG I feel so effing great!! My back and neck are always sore from working at a computer (and being at one at home too) and this worked it out so well. I am feeling particularly SUPER WOMAN LIKE today because I also went for a run at lunch. So YAY for mental & physical health! I feel all zingy – kinda like this nail art I did a few weeks ago:
This could have been SO much better – the concept and colors I totally liked, but I used french manicure strips that kept pulling up the polish beneath it, no matter if I let it dry for 5 minutes for 15. SO irritating! Half of this ended up being freehand and the other is just a mess of me trying to fix the peeled polish areas. Urgh. For reference, the shades I used there Revlon’s Sterling, Essie No More Film, and Zoya’s Wednesday.
And there you have it! My very best attempt at giving you something to look at while simultaneously chattering away with abandon, and trying to link the two. Successful? Probably not, but I wasn’t sure when or how I’d post these photos, so it worked for me!
I hope everyone had a great Monday!!!
I’m just going to start by letting out a huge ~GROAN~ before beginning this post. OMG dudes. I’ve been putting this off for AGES and it’s going to get crazy. I suggest getting comfortable with multiple snacks and a beverage of your choice. Let’s get ‘er done.
Part of the reason I’ve taken so long to post this is because I have had so many products thisclose to being finished, and just when its used up, another takes it’s place. I’ve got a handful sitting on my counter that are probably going to be done in a week or so, but I can’t wait any longer – and honestly, I’m in the business of entertaining you, not wasting all of your time and punishing your eyes and scrolling fingers. So here we are!
I’ve said this far too many times and not held my word, but seriously – I’m going to keep the wordiness to a minimum. Let’s start with makeup this time, since that’s always what I find most difficult to finish:
OK. The good: I finished 4 eyeliners! UD’s 24/7 in Crash (shimmering eggplant), Lise Watier’s Gold Eyeshine (which is so old that it kept smushing down into the pencil so I’m turfing it), and two black shades (Tarte Starry Night and MUFE 0L, both which were fine, but smudged more than I’d like). I’ve since bought Chanel’s Noir Intense waterproof liner to replace the two blacks, and so far so good. Also good is Clinique’s Bottom Lash mascara, which seems SO gimmicky but which is actually awesome. The Chanel bi-phase remover is a sample and was good but nothing crazy.
The bad (or just OK): MUFE’s Star Collection gloss in S4 – smooth and not too sticky, but it has this weird cast to it that could make me look dead if worn to heavily. The Revlon lip butter in Peach Parfait still has enough that I could eke out a few more uses, but I won’t. HATED the gritty shimmer in this! The white tube is a primer by Jay Manuel’s line (which I have no idea if it exists anymore or not), that I never used at all. Toss! Lastly, the MAC Haute & Naughty mascara I bought while en route to NZ. For the first month, this was great, albeit a little clumpy due to so much product on the brush. I found as time passed, it got worse, and ended up that the brush looked like this:
Anyway, not bad as far as things go, eh? Next, let’s look at facial skincare:
I’ve reviewed the 100% Pure eye cream, Pangea Organics masque, and Shiseido toner previously and my thoughts still stand on those (which is to say, overall good impressions), but I won’t repurchase. The Clarins Sun SPF30 eye cream is my 2nd or 3rd tube, and as always I think it’s great. I don’t know if I’ll repurchase, just because I might just start using sunscreen around my eye area (I use only physical sunscreens, like the ones in the Clarins, which cause less irritation I find), but you never know! Speaking of physical sunscreens, this is also my 2nd or 3rd tube of the Clinique City Block Sheer SPF25, and I’ll continue to use it unless I can find something similar that doesn’t make oily in summer – I find this still *slightly* heavy. The Clinique Super Rescue cream for combo-to-dry skin is a nice moisturizer, but I find it only gives hydration (and antioxidants – can’t beat that!), and I like something that will aid in smoothing my skin as well, as I tend to have slight roughness from my eczema. I have another tube but probably won’t open that till next winter. The Boscia Make Up Break Up remover is nice enough and effective, but I probably wouldn’t get a full size, as I still use a cleanser afterward because I find it can irritate my skin a little otherwise. The Clinique Even Better Lotion SPF20 is actually a lot nicer than I gave it credit for before I tried it. It’s hydrating but not oily and it made my skin look really good while I was using it. My skin is still doing well but I don’t think it’s AS nice as it was since using this up. I might order this on my next gratis.
I bought a handful of these MaskerAide masques before Christmas and used one per week. I really liked them – they were easy to use and gave great hydration without breaking me out or being too heavy. I’d definitely buy them again. The Elizabeth Grant Eye Power Pads were one of those random beauty items I get from my aunt, and I’ve had them for ages. One day I decided to use them, and it was nice! I didn’t notice a big difference in anything, as I don’t have much in the way of wrinkles yet, but it was a treat and they were hydrating. The Kniepp muscle gel was great for tired legs after working a shift at Clinique or a hard run, and if I was feeling spendy one day I’d probably buy it to have on hand.
Almost done, are you still with me!? Let’s move on to body products:
This is my most triumphant success in terms of empties. The Hawaiian Tropic Aftersun and the B&BW Vanilla Bean Noel lotions I’ve had for SO EFFING LONG – the B&BW lotion was my very first swap EVER (back in 2008). Because they’re so scented, I didn’t wear them often, or in very specific, less sensitive areas like my feet and chest (which isn’t sensitive somehow!). I finally finished them both last month and I’m so stoked – I now have NO scented lotions kicking around, and I don’t plan to ever again! I’ll just go the much safer route and just wear perfume. Sweet
The iconic Kiehl’s Creme de Corps lotion is always a nice luxury to have, and it was effective as ever, though FAR too pricey for my needy body. I would repurchase is my budget allowed it though! Although in saying that, I’ve found my holy grail body moisturizer in Haus of Gloi’s pumpkin butter in Aether – honestly, I can’t see myself buying anything else. It smells good for being non-scented, and it works like a dream on my finicky skin. I love it with all my heart. Aveeno’s Moisturizing Lotion used to be my go-to, but I’m SO over it now. It just doesn’t work as well! The Clinique Deep Comfort hand cream is quite nice and if you’re looking for a great moisturizer to tote around, this is a great option – hydrating, absorbs well after a few minutes, and lasts. And it’s unscented
The last time I ordered a few Aether pumpkin butters, I also picked up a couple 2oz jars of Haus of Gloi’s Bubbling Scrubs. This one in Satyr was lovely! Its a sweet, warm, edible scent which some may not like but is right up my alley. And it gives a nice light exfoliation on my sensitive skin, which I usually avoid, but which I can indulge in with these scrubs. Yay! The Hugo Naturals body wash smelled lovely (natural scents) but something about it I didn’t like, so I wouldn’t repurchase. The star here is the Organix Macadamia Oil conditioner, which is absolutely PERFECT for my crazy-curly, mega-dry hair. I hate that it comes in a smaller container, as I went through it pretty quickly, but I would repurchase even though it’s $8 and lasts only a month or so for me. I usually buy jumbo sizes of conditioner because I need so much, but this is worth the cost, as it really hydrates, and is a bit heavy (so, those with fine hair steer clear) which is just what my hair needs. LOVE.
Ok. Wrapping things up, I have a couple fragrance samples!
I got Angel as a sample when I got my mom’s bottle refilled for her birthday last year. I know it’s a hate it or love it scent for most, but for me I actually am in the middle. I don’t think it’s ‘my’ scent, but I do like it – I think because of the associations with my mother. It really works on her and when I smell it I feel cozy The Lancome fragrance however, La Vie Est Belle, IS ‘my’ fragrance – it’s got the same tones with vanilla being predominant (I’m definitely a Gourmand fragrance wearer), and smells FANTASTIC on me. Initially I wasn’t sure if I liked it enough to buy a bottle, but over the past couple weeks I had three men tell me I smelled good (in an almost surprized way, like “You smell really good” and looking sort of shocked like, ‘oh wow, yum’) so I’m taking that as a sign. Its the first fragrance I’ve found in a while that really does it for me. FYI the notes are: black currant & pear (top); iris, jasmine, & orange blossom (middle); tonka bean, vanilla, praline, and patchouli (base). I think the reason I was initially unsure is that I’m not a huge fan of orange blossom in fragrance, but the inclusion of vanilla and iris (iris being in 3 of my favorite scents, interestingly) end up making it a winner. I’m just finishing up my second sample of this and will buy a bottle as soon as I’m able.
So there you have it! In the past three months, those are the products I managed to finish. Not too shabby, huh? My skincare for face and body particularly has been seriously streamlined, and I don’t have anything ‘extra’ in either. Makeup of course is an ongoing battle to use up products I’m not madly in love with, but I’m getting there! It’s an ongoing process, and you are all probably familiar with. Moving forward I hope to post these monthly to keep on top of things!
Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts? Any skincare products you’ve found to be absolute winners?
WAAAAAA! I wrote and posted this on Saturday, but I just saw now that it never posted!?! WTF?! Anyway…without further ado…………
Well, I survived yet another trip, and for the first time ever I’m looking forward to NOT traveling for a little while (until the BIG trip next month, anyway! ). I am thoroughly on a break from airports, having been to and from and to and back again six times in the past week – my flight was delayed six hours going to Ottawa, and if I hadn’t had my laptop I would have been one sad, sick gal! From all the travel and stress going on, I got the flu just as I was leaving for Ottawa, but happily I seem to be on the mend now and should be good as gold when I head back to work this week. It made for a rough couple of days in workshops, but nevertheless I enjoyed my trip; I got a boost in work morale and ambition, I got to meet a fabulous long-time reader for a delicious lunch (thanks Sarah!), and had a couple of days to spend with one of my favorite people – a good friend of mine who’s now living in the city. All in all, its been a whirlwind of a summer – not without it’s highs and lows – and with the weather cooling a bit, I’m really looking forward to fall and all it has to bring!
I arrived back from Ottawa feeling in desperate need of some R&R and major pampering. My hair and skin lately have been showing my fatigue – the ends of my hair are painfully dry and tangled, and my skin has been itchy, irritated and flaking in patches. I haven’t yet been home, staying with my mom overnight and enjoying her company and nurturing, so since I didn’t have my ‘usual’ treatments on hand I got creative, concocting a few home spa recipes! I’m normally not entirely on-board with this kind of thing (though not against it by any means – just lazy I think), but it was a perfect way to spend a day, whipping up some treats to soothe the body and soul. I must say, I am exceptionally impressed with the results, and think I might incorporate these treatments into my regular routine from now on! Let me show you what I got up to
Brown Sugar and Olive Oil Scrub
I got the ball rolling with a smooth start. This ‘recipe’ only conains two ingredients and is super-easy and requires only items I’m sure you already have in your cupboards: brown sugar and olive oil. Mix a small palmful of the sugar (just the regular kind, not the raw sugar) with a few drops of the oil, creating a paste. Rub on face (or body!) in a circular motion to remove dead skin cells and wake up the skin. Rinse thoroughly and gently pat face dry.
Ta da! That’s it! You’ll find as your rinsing that it feels like the olive oil is leaving a residue on your skin. I was worried that it would leave my oily skin oilier, but surprizingly after I patted my face dry, my face felt neither greasy nor like there was any film on my skin at all! I actually would have needed to apply a moisturizer to some of the drier parts of my face afterward if I wasn’t going to follow with a masque – so I would say this is a great scrub for all types of skin. It wasn’t too abrasive but definitely gave my skin a good buffing…I think I’m hooked!
Cucumber Soothing Masque
Next, I wanted a masque to soothe my skin from contact with all the random allergens of other people’s (typically fragranced) laundry detergents that I had come in contact with over the past few weeks, which has really taken a toll on my skin (I actually usually bring my own pillowcase to places away from home but due to the busy-ness of the month I forgot for the most part). This cucumber masque was noted for being great for sensitive skins (hello!) and it didn’t seem to contain any funny stuff, so I tried it out. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
1 tbsp active yeast
1 tbsp finely ground oatmeal
1 whole cucumber, peeled
2 tbsps plain yogurt or sour cream* (what I used)
1 tsp honey
I made several mistakes/changes to this face masque – first, I used only a half a cucumber, and forgot to peel it (LOL!); I also combined everything together in a blender at once, though they recommend mixing the oatmeal and yeast together and setting aside, and blending the cucumber separately first – then adding other ingredients, blending, then finally the oatmeal/yeast into the rest of the mixture. However, my version still seemed effective so I wouldn’t worry about it too much (though I would peel the cucumber as I had bits of it stuck to my face haha). They suggest to apply it chilled so I had it in the fridge for a while before using. Once I applied it to a clean face and neck, I left it on for a good 30 minutes, until it fully dried, then gently splashed warm water on my face, loosening the bits until it fully washed off. I didn’t experience any irritation or uncomfortable sensations while wearing it nor after it had been washed off – what I DID feel was smooth, soft skin that wasn’t itchy or inflammed at all, and an awesome by-product – smaller pores! I don’t know why exactly but I’m not questioning it! I will definitely be using this masque in the future without a doubt.
Avocado, Banada and Honey Hair Masque
Just before applying the cucumber masque, I whipped up this hydrating masque for dry hair (which would also work for the face – just exclude the olive oil). I’ve always wanted to make my own hair masque with avocado (probably due to my addiction to the yummy green stuff), so I was stoked to check this out. I actually combined a few recipes I read online to make this masque, as I really wanted to include banana and honey as well. So I used the following and it turned out pretty great!:
1/2 of a ripe avocado
1/2 of a ripe banana
1 tbsp of honey
1 tsp of olive oil
I combined all the ingredients in a blender and applied to dry, brushed out hair (now…my hair had been in a braid before I did the masque so I was able to ‘brush it out’…but normally I would have applied this to damp, just washed/rinsed hair because otherwise it would just *not* be happenin’ on this curly head!). I left it on for a few hours while I sat outside in the sunshine – optimal situation I think – but you can probably just leave it in for 30 minutes under a shower cap and retain similar benefits! As the masque dried my hair got hard as a rock, like I had put gel in it, which was kind of interesting.
I have to tell you gals, this masque was awesome! When I rinsed out my hair, it felt really good. Really, really healthy and strong, and to my surprize – thick! I have a lot of hair but it’s quite fine, and when I straighten it you see how not-thick it really is (which is probably good because if it were super-thick along with being super-curly, we’d have some major problems). After this treatment, my actual strands felt thicker and more resilient – I’d love to try this just before straightening my hair to see the effect! Also, it reduced the frizziness of my hair big time. And shine? Yea, ok, you get the picture, right? The only caution I have is that if you do have fine, limp hair, I would either use this at night when you’re just staying home, OR omit the olive oil, as it may weigh hair down a bit (which for me is a plus). Again, definitely a concoction I will be using again and again, I absolutely LOVE it!
So that was my homemade spa day! It was an excellent way to unwind from it all, pampering myself while sitting outside in the sunshine with a glass of wine. I feel rejuvenated and ready to get back to ‘er – and it only cost about $5. Note that both masques made WAY more than was necessary – the hair masque will easily make 2-4 treatments depending on your hair (more like 2 for me), and the face masque made enough to last me a whole month (though it probably won’t last that long physically – I’m going to try and use it every second day until it goes bad). Probably best case scenario is to do these with a friend and share the fabulous – maybe watch a little Sex and the City?…which is my plan for tonight This weekend has been all sorts of awesome – and we still have another day off tomorrow!! Which of course helped make today just that much better
Have you tried any home recipes for spa treatments? What are some of your favorite home remedies? What is your favorite way to unwind?
Well, hello dolls! Ready for your monthly installment of what I’ve been buying vs tossing? I’m pretty chatty in this post, so sit down, get comfy, and let’s jump right in!
Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance Free Body Wash and Moisturizing Body Lotion
As boring as these two products are, I’m fairly certain that I’ll be using this duo for the rest of my natural born life – the body wash is the only one that doesn’t irritate my skin and keeps it soft and smooth, and the Aveeno lotions and creams work miracles at keeping my eczema at bay. Since I’ve finally committed to using these continously, I’d had a lot less (body) skin issues, so dull and boring it is!
Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Sunscreen Lotion SPF15
I’ve been using Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen for years, and I love it (even though it IS a chemical sunscreen, which I try to avoid as they can cause irritation in sensitive skin). They changed the scent when they changed the bottle a year or two ago, which I was disappointed in at first, but now I’ve come to like the new scent as it’s less overwhelming and it doesn’t compete as much with any fragrances you wear (though its still beachy-smelling). I can’t comment on if this causes any breakouts anywhere (it doesn’t say oil-free or non-comedogenic anywhere) – I didn’t experience any, but I didn’t use it on my face and my body doesn’t usually have that issue. I used up the rest of this bottle when I was in Jamaica, and was bummed when I had to switch to the other sunscreen we had, Coppertone. When that runs out, I’ll likely pick up another bottle of this!
BedHead TIGI Foxy Curls Contour Cream
This is my second bottle of this stuff…the last time I bought one was back in May 2011 – so this lasted almost a full year!! Holy moley. I love the smell of this – like Skittles – but sadly that’s why I won’t be repurchasing in my effort to go as fragrance-free as possible. It works well though, and you only need a tiny bit (clearly!) to do the trick
Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this loads of times before. Great exfoliating product that doesn’t irritate the skin whatsoever. Makes my face feel nearly like a baby’s bottom! This bottle seemed to go faster than normal – I only got about two months out of it and I was only using it at night. I’m glad it’s done though, because I’m eager to start using my new Kate Somerville Quench Serum (more on that later)!
Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Cream 10% Glycolic AHA Anti-Wrinkle
I got this in a swap ages ago, as I read in the MUA reviews that it was awesome. Interestingly enough, the glycolic acid in this didn’t mess my skin up – it definitely tingles to the point of almost burning upon application, but the sensation dissipates within a minute and there’s no residual irritation afterward or the next morning. To be safe, I only used it every few days or so (and not in conjunction with the Clinique Concentrate, but it did make my skin feel lovely!
I reviewed this product previously, and my thoughts still hold – it was thick and hard to spread, and generally just didn’t feel very nice on my skin (though it felt lovely). I used this on my neck until it was gone so as to not waste it. I’m SO glad to toss this!
The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Lip Butter / Nova Scotia French Vanilla Lip Balm
I bought The Body Shop lip butter back when I had a boyfriend who really liked grapefruit (how silly!) – except the taste of this is like ASS (well…not really, but you know…). GAH, it’s horrible! Somehow I managed to make a big dent in this but I haven’t touched it in years so it’s really pointless to keep it.
The Nova Scotia balm, well, I got this at our Pride Parade several years ago and I guess they just slapped a Nova Scotia label on it. It’s nothing special. It had SPF in it which has since expired, and I have other lip balms, so it’s time this kicked the bucket.
CND Cuticle Eraser AHA Cuticle Treatment
I think I read on All Lacquered Up that this was Michelle’s cuticle treatment of choice, so I picked it up to try it out about a year ago. I found that while it might have kept my cuticles smoother, it irritated my skin (but the AHA cream above didn’t – go figure), so I used it very sporadically. It caused little bumps on the skin just under my nails – whether that was an eczema reaction or not, I’m unsure, so I can’t say if this would happen to anyone else. I love my Burts Bees butter so I think I’ll just stick to that
Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Anti-Chip Top Coat
I plan on doing a round-up of a few base and top coats in the future, so I won’t get into too much detail about this – just suffice to say, it was like Seche Vite in the fact that once it got half finished, it got majorly goopy and hard to use. I can’t deal with screwing up my manicures, so out this goes!
Here are just some samples I finished up – nothing too stand-out. Bioderma’s Sebium AKN, which is supposed to ‘restore the skin’s natural clear aspect’ – I used this as a spot treatment, but didn’t find it did much in that capacity. It might be much more effective if used as an all-over face lotion. Clinique’s 7-Day Scrub, which is too creamy for my oily skin and leaves a slight filmy feeling, which would be nice for dry skin but just feels unclean on mine. However, it DOES exfoliate well, and gently! I used Korres Yogurt Cooling Gel down South, and it was OK, but it was such a small sample that I can’t really give a fair evaluation. I mainly used Clinique’s After Sun, which was admittedly AWESOME, so that doesn’t help. Lastly, I used the sample of Ojon’s Instant Restorative Hair Serum while in Jamaica as well, and it left my hair feeling lovely and hydrated after penetrating in the sun all day. It wasn’t too heavy or greasy-feeling either, or too strong-smelling as some Ojon products have been in the past. I’d consider buying this for the Summer to protect my hair from the sun and add a bit of shine.
…..Wow, right? This is just pitiful. Two products!? Oh man. I sincerely apologize for my miserable turnout this month! What’s worse, I didn’t realize I did so crappy until RIGHT NOW. I almost scammed you guys by accident and included three ‘tossed’ beauty products that I had already accounted for last month. I guess I felt bad about throwing them out when there was so much product left, and kept them in the empties bag. Oops! Double-oops too because I thought I wasn’t doing THAT bad getting rid of makeup…shoot. Oh well – maybe next month
ANYWAY, what’ve we got? NYC’s Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder in All-Over Bronze Glow, which I mentioned last week, for one. I tried to make it work in Jamaica and it just didn’t do much. I’m done trying to make it work; no matter if I’m tanned or not, it just doesn’t seem to do it for me. Second, we have Stila’s Smudge Pot in Black, a surprize toss. I happened to open it up to use it last week and realized that it was pretty dried out and had pulled majorly from the sides (like a few millimeters!). Er, yea, time to go!
So that’s what we have for this month downsizing efforts – 11 full-size skincare products, 4 samples, and 2 makeup items. Not too shabby, though I’m a little let down with the meager makeup empties. Hopefully that’ll mean next month will be quite respectable!
Moving on to the scary portion of the post, lets take a look at what I purchased in the past month. In fact, aside from two items, everything I picked up I bought in the span of a week. Ah snap.
Yea. All of these items I bought in one week. Oh dear. Oh, well the three items in the front right were part of a deluxe sample set I got for free from Sephora. But the rest…no excuse. Here’s the list:
- Hugo Naturals Shower Gel in Vanilla & Sweet Orange $9.99
- (ANOTHER) Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance Free Body Wash $8.99
- TRESemme Flawless Curls Curl Hydration Conditioner $3.99 (on sale)
- Kate Somerville Quench Oil-Free Hydrating Serum approx. $66 (15% off reg. price – $78)
- YSL Glossy Stain in #12 Corail Aquatique approx. $29 (15% off reg. price, $34)
- MUFE #17 Eyeshadow (matte brown) approx. $19 (15% of reg. price – $22)
- MAC Crosswires Lipstick $17.50
I know that I just preached a bunch about going fragrance-free, and that the Aveeno Body Wash is my HG…but it doesn’t mean I LIKE it, so I picked up the Hugo body wash in the ‘green’ aisle at the grocery store, as the fragrance is all-natural – so I’m hoping I’ll find a loophole in my own rule
To add to the above, I also picked up:
- a-England Nail Polish in Princess Sabra (Tristam Eyes) approx. $10 (30% off reg. price, approx. $14)
- Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait $7.99 (on sale)
And to round it all out, I also bought two blushes from Illamasqua, Lover & Hussy (approx. $13 each [half off reg. price - approx. $26]). *I have yet to receive these in the mail
So yea…I had a busy month. As you can see, I got some pretty excellent deals on almost all of my purchases, which is partially why I went a little crazy. Sephora definitely reeled me in with the 15% off, and when I received the email about the Easter Egg Hunt sale from Illamasqua, I had to check it out (the day we were leaving for Jamaica, I got the one about certain blushes being half off, so I thought I’d take a look – I totally expected it to be unpopular shades, but each of the 5 shades were some of their top sellers! How could I NOT buy Lover and Hussy!? It would have cost me $65CAD to buy them full price (incl. shipping) and instead it came to $40 (with shipping). Sa-weet!!). So yea. A bad month according to my guidelines, but kind of a great month too! And it gives me LOTS of material for upcoming posts
However. In light of my spectacular failure to adhere to ANY restrictions regarding my purchasing, I have decided to restructure my guidelines. It just doesn’t make sense to me to pretend to follow a low-buy when in fact I seem to be on a ‘grab all you can’ buy. I still need some structure, but I need to tweak it a bit. So here’s the new rule for makeup (all other guidelines remain unchanged):
- 10 makeup purchases per season (previous: max of 3 LE purchases per season; non-LE items on a use two, buy one system)
Now, before you go and think that I’m being entirely too easy on myself (if I wasn’t already before!), let me explain why I’m making these changes. First of all, to be clear: while part of this low-buy is to weed through my stash, over the past couple months I realized that it’s not necessarily to scale it back, but to eliminate items that just don’t really ‘do’ it for me. I’ve come to grips with the fact that in being a beauty blogger, and being as obsessed as I am with beauty, the plain truth is that my makeup collection is going to continue to grow – there’s just no way I’m going to be able to use everything (c’mon, blushes last for YEARS) and I’m certainly not going to stop shopping until I do. What I really want to do is make sure that everything I own I love, and I’m really making headway in that area, so I think that’s an achievement!
I have to be honest with you as well, that the other part of the low-buy is definitely related to cash flow. While I’m managing my addiction fairly well, I do think that maintaining some sort of guideline is a smart thing to do, so that I don’t get too crazy or wrapped up in wanting everything – I find since blogging I want to be able to review every product that comes on the market, but I just can’t afford to! This way I can make sure that I have ‘controls’ in place so I know when I’m nearing a reasonable limit. AND it helps to ensure that whatever I’m purchasing, I absolutely love – which relates back to the first point! It’s a win-win in my books (ALSO…with Jamaica behind me, I have to get my butt in gear to save more $$ for New Zealand – definitely a huge priority!)
Fiordland, New Zealand *Photo courtesy of PacificIslands.com
You may think that it’s almost pointless to have any guidelines at all, since many others who are on a no- or low-buy are quite restricted in their purchasing. However, I do find it difficult not to just buy every single thing I’d like, so I think the above restructure of the guidelines allows me to have some fun while still keeping me in check. When I initially created the ‘Limited Edition’ rule, I had actually done so to make sure that I indulged in some of the great LE items, as I often missed out on them in the past. Well, I think I’m definitely over that behavior (LOL!), and a purchase is a purchase, so I just lumped all makeup spending together and made it a number that seemed reasonable. Again, if I get the urge to shop just for shopping’s sake, and buy something I don’t really love, that still counts as one – so I’ll be more likely to avoid doing that if I know my purchasing power has a limit.
Oh the silly things we do! I’m sure some of you find these kinds of rambles terribly boring, and I don’t fault you for it I just know that if I don’t have anyone to hold me accountable, I could go all sorts of crazy and buy everything I laid my hands on (I feel that urge more often than not!). And since I know some of you are going through similar bans of your own, I hope that on some level you can relate.
I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m bailing on my original terms or that I’m making things too easy on myself. This plan IS easier in the fact that I don’t have to bust my balls trying to find products I can use up or toss, which just started to feel ridiculous to me, but it is more in line with my true feelings about makeup. While I still get overwhelmed at how much I have and the impossible notion of how to use it all, I am actually developing a collection of products that I simply adore, and I can only get rid of so much before I am just basically throwing away money for no good reason. The low-buy has really opened my eyes and I feel SO much more at peace with my stash and all the connotations that come with it! That in itself to me is the best achievement I could ask for
I will continue to do monthly updates on my progress, as I still plan on challenging myself on holding back from making any ‘unnecessary’ purchases, and also because it’s a great way to give you an overall picture of my beauty world – what I’m using (up) and what new items I’ve been enjoying. I can’t wait to read about everyone else’s progress as we continue to push forward – I support each of you in your own reasons for your no/low-buy, and hope it’s going well. For you and anyone else engaging in a beauty challenge, I wish you good luck and hope you stay strong!!
(So sorry if you stuck with me through the whole thing! I try not to do too many of these lengthy posts :S)
I’m a little delinquent getting this post out, but better late than never!! Especially since this is something I’m really digging a lot!
For this installment of my fave product, I struggled to think of something that I was totally in love with this month. With all the skin problems I had, nothing seemed to be doing it for me. However, after putting in a serious effort to find the culprit (the LM concealer, as well as sheets/towels washed in ‘bad’ [aka fragranced] detergent), as well as incorporating some Evening Primrose Oil capsules into the mix (thanks
Mom Eugenia!!), I’m happy to announce that my skin is back to normal and feeling better than ever So, once that was out of the way, I was able to think more clearly about a product that kicked butt this month, and I had a brainwave while I was walking to work (where all my most brilliant thoughts occur, natch) – how about a beauty-related product?? Something that helps increase my ‘beauty’ but isn’t something you apply, exactly. Lo and behold, I found this month’s HG – the vitamin Biotin!
A couple years back, I got a tip from my hairdresser about biotin being great for hair growth, something I struggle with because my hair grows painfully slow (because curly hair essentially grows in a circle – you know what I mean??). From his salon, I bought a teeny-tiny jar of powdered biotin that you were supposed to take twice a day. However, that cost me like $27 and lasted maybe a month – wayyy too much investment for me! So, I stopped taking it for a year or more. However, back in the Fall, one of my fave SA’s from Shoppers was talking about taking it and how well it was working for her. I marched to the vitamin aisle and found a 100-capsule bottle of it, on sale no less, for $5 (it’s regularly around $10CAD)!! I quickly bought it and started using it immediately.
The first month or so I didn’t notice any change, though I had no expectations. It wasn’t until I straightened my hair back in late January that I realized just how long my hair had gotten – it had easily grown inches in the span of a couple months, which is HUGE for me since my hair usually grows that much in a year (or it feels like, anyway!). On the bottle is says it helps the body to metabolize fats and carbohydrates to produce energy. I don’t know how that translates to my health overall, but I do know that my HAIR got a major energy boost or something, and I’m loving it! I’ve also noticed that the little baby hairs by my hairline have started to finally get longer – something that has always driven me crazy to no end. It’s a miracle product I tell you!
Additionally, though my nails have always grown fairly quickly, I do notice that they’ve gotten even more unruly – I have to trim them constantly as they get to the ‘too long to type’ phase within a week. I’m certain that’s an added effect of the biotin as well. Oh! And there’s also evidence that it can help eczema as well – obviously it didn’t do much for my face, but I have noticed that my body has had a noticeable lack of flare-ups lately. Coincidence?
Long story short: for anyone who is looking to boost their hair and nail growth (and possibly thickness/strength, though I can’t comment on either of those issues so I can’t say for certain), definitely check out a bottle of Biotin from your local drugstore – I can vouch for the fact that it really seems to work! Just one pill a day…I plan to continue taking this until the time comes when I straighten and chop all my hair off like Halle Berry….when I’m like 50. The day WILL come, but I’m not quite ready for that right now my friends
Have you tried Biotin before? Do you take any supplements for skin or haircare reasons? And out of curiosity (re: jealousy) – how fast does your hair grow?
Well…I’m pretty much sucking at this whole low-buy thing. You’d think, a gal who could give up buying cosmetics altogether during Lent last year could do a silly low-buy that consequently enables her to ALSO buy up to 5 nail polish a month and 3 LE items per season? Er, no. Seems I can’t. I am simply struggling to finish enough products in order to justify the amount I’ve purchased!! I tell you, it’s becoming impossible. There are just too many awesome products out there, it’s *sooo* not my fault!~Boo Hoo~ Enough with the whining I guess…you want to see the damage, I take it? Check out what I bought/swapped for in the last month (reviews for products will be eventually forthcoming):
1) Olay Foaming Face Wash Sensitive Skin (bought)
2) Neutrogena Moisture Oil Free Sensitive Skin (bought)
4) Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencil in Aqua (bought)
6) Laura Mercier Full-Blown Volume Mascara (bought)
6) MAC Refined Golden bronzer (swapped for*)
7) MAC Pigment in Melon (swapped for*)
8) Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick in Nectar (swapped for*)
9) Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee in Shimmering Sands (LE) (bought)
10) Zoya Cho (bought)
11) Nfu-Oh #51 (bought)
12) Nfu-Oh Aqua Base (bought)
*For the swapped items, I exchanged for my MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot, MAC Electra and Strike a Pose eyeshadows, Urban Decay Zero 24/7 eyeliner, the Fyrinnae Shinkirou eyeshadow, and a Marc Jacobs perfume and a handful of perfume samples. So that totals to 5 makeup items.
OK. So I am at a surplus with my polish allowance – all good. I’m already down one for my Summer LE quota (which I can already forsee is going to be a HUGE problem with all the amazing items coming out!!!). Otherwise I picked up 2 skincare products and 7 makeup items. Hmmm…let’s see how I did in the *purge* category.Last month I was kickin’ butt at using up my makeup, but this month hasn’t been so successful. I did get rid of a couple of straggler products overall, but still…I’m disappointed. Take a look:
Suddenly, this was finished this weekend – I had no idea I was on my last pump, but I am SO happy about it! Shave gel = useless product.
Live Clean Moisturizing Body Wash
I used this to soak my feet in after realizing I wasn’t a fan of the generic soap-scent. Worked well in that area, at least! It foamed up really nicely.
Redken Real Control Crema Care (50mL)
This is a great styling lotion if you’re looking for a travel product – it holds and softens hair at the same time, but it’s a bit sticky feeling. I wouldn’t buy the full size version.
butter London Nail Foundation ($20CAD)
I enjoyed this for the first couple months, loving how *flawless* it made my bare nails look, and how it helped eliminate VNL, but it didn’t adhere my polish any better than any other base coat, and it got thick fast. I added thinner to no avail. For that price tag – bye bye!
I know a lot of people have issues with the Clarifying Lotion. I don’t dislike it, but I’m not necessarily a fan, and if you have sensitive skin it can be a pretty harsh exfoliant. I’d recommend the mild version for most skins, which I may try some day. For now, I’m glad this is gone. I got it for free, so you know I *had* to use it.
Ole Henriksen Truth To Go Wipes ($10CAD)
I have yet to have luck with any wipes which don’t seem to harm my skin in some way. The first time I used these, I loved how soft they made my face feel (and still with that lovely orange-y scent, yum!). But then the next day my face seemed to be extra-reactive, and I think these may have been the culprit. There were only 10 wipes, so I just used them on the nights when I was just TOO lazy to wash my face. All done now
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (50mL) ($17.50CAD)
Travel size of this cleanser. I bought it to check it out, and when I realized it wasn’t much of anything, I used it to travel with. However, I’ve been slowly running out of cleansers and I am trying to use them all up before buying more, so I started using this in the shower daily. It’s pretty fragrant so I worry about the effect it has on my skin – seems OK but I’m always suspicious. I wouldn’t buy this again.
Josie Maran Argan Oil (15mL) ($18CAD)
I sadly can’t get behind the hype of this product; it didn’t do anything amazing for my skin, and I was SO prepared for it to! I might be great in the warmer months for a nighttime product, but during the Winter days and nights, it was both greasy and yet not quite moisturizing enough some how. Fail.
I finished a foundation!! I can’t remember the last time I did that I’ve spoken of this one before – I really liked it; the color match was superb, the coverage just right (sheer to medium) and it didn’t irritate my skin in the least. I could use this on the sensitive skin around my mouth and it never caused any problems, and actually hydrated it a bit. I can’t use this in the Summer because it’s a bit too much for my oily skin, but in the cold Winter month it was just what the doctor ordered. I’d even potentially buy this again next year!
Clinique All About Eyes Concealer in Medium Honey ($20CAD)
- This used to seem like the perfect shade for me…but lately I found it to be a bit grey, for whatever reason. So it was a good thing that it was nearing it’s end. It’s pretty old too, probably 4 years+, and the sides are cracking so that I’d get concealer on my fingers when I squeezed too hard. How annoying. Time to go!
- I know some people really enjoy this mascara, and the first time I used it I LOVED how long it made my lashes look – but it quickly got dry and super-clumpy, and I never felt like I had enough product on the brush since it comes in the package with the brush separate from the mascara tube to begin with. I dunno. It got old quick, literally
Buxom Mascara in Blackest Black (sample)
- I received this back during the Sephora opening, and only started using it about two months ago. Could be because it was older, but it just never gave enough *oomph* for me. It was absolutely AMAZING for getting every lash and for not clumping, ever, but it almost somehow faded throughout the day and my lashes seemed to get more and more puny as the hours wore on. I’m not into the au naturale look with lashes so this is not for me. And NOT Buxom by any means!
- I got this in a gratis or through a school or something…and it’s SO not for me! Not only am I not a huge lipstick wearer, I don’t wear ANY of these shades, and I get irritated having to use a lip brush every time I want to apply it. No thanks man! I had this in a drawer at work just collecting dust – it’s time it kicked the bucket.
- I think I picked up the Annabelle liner looking for a recreation of MAC’s Spice liner, which I heard a lot about. Whether or not they’re dupes, I dunno…I barely used this because a) I just don’t use liner, and b) it was a muddy color on my lips. Boo. I’ve had this for like, 10 years – why am I keeping this kind of crap! BEGONE.
The Smashbox lip pencil, well…it’s sheer, and its a lip pencil. Not. For. Me. TOSS.
MAC Gleam Lipstick ($17.50CAD)
- I went through this kick a few years back where I wanted that pale nude-lavender lip look (see my post with Keri Hilson’s look) and this was the shade I picked up thinking it could help create it. Uh, no. This is like a pale silvery-beige-purple sheer lippie that makes me look dead. I tried mixing it with other shades to make it work, and I could, but good gosh – I don’t want to have to work so darn hard! It’s going, I can’t deal with it any longer. And it looks ugly in the tube. I hate when my makeup gets ugly-looking. GET OUT OF MY LIFE.
MAC Venetian Lustreglass ($17.50CAD)
- A couple years ago I had my makeup done at MAC for a Christmas party, and this was part of the look. It looks fantastic then, and then…never again. It’s too much of a blue-based red, and because it’s more on the sheer side, it looked weak as well. I am the most proud of this getting tossed – I mixed this with every friggin’ lippie I could to get rid of it, and hallelujah – success!! I could probably get a couple more uses out of it, but NO. NO, I REFUSE. I AM DONE WITH YOU.
So….yea. Getting a bit angry there, sorry! It’s just that those items that were long overdue to get the boot and it was driving me insane that they were hanging around forever. I hardly have any of those kinds of items left now though, sa-weet! …Except that means that I have very few products that are going to get used up any time soon, which means…very little allowable purchases for awhile (supposedly – hopefully I get some willpower this coming month). DANG.
Anyway, lets do the tally:
Limited Edition (Summer) – 1 of 3
Acquired – 9 (2 skincare, 7 makeup)
Got Rid Of – 22 (7 skincare, 1 hair, 14 makeup)
Skin- and haircare don’t even really warrant discussing – I think I’m always going to have more going out than coming in (although…how is that even possible? Hmm…eventually it’ll be one to one I guess) – but on the makeup side, I managed to achieve my use 2, buy 1 guideline by the skin of my teeth. I’m going to be up-front – I pretty much ransacked my stash to see if there were any items I didn’t want or even like and got rid of them just so I could ring in on the level. I know I need to strap down and really take this more seriously; the whole point of engaging in this challenge was to use and appreciate what I have…and lately I feel like I’m just chasing after the next thing and the next, and barely even registering what I’ve gotten. Which is a terrible habit to get into, and more than anything else I want to stop that cycle.
Next month, I PROMISE to do better! And hold me to it – there’s no point in engaging in another 9 months of this if I’m just going to continue on the same way I always have. My arse needs a good kick sometimes!
How do you keep your purchases in check? What are your suggestions on how to truly slow down and appreciate what you already have, and resist the siren call of new products?
Posted by Latoya in 2012 Beauty Challenge, Anti-Aging, Bare Escentuals, Blush, Body Care, Boscia, Brows, Chanel, Cleanser, Clinique, Concealer, Exfoliants, Fresh, Hair, Highlighters, L'Oreal, Lips, MAC, Make Up For Ever, Make-up, Mascara, Maybelline, Moisturizers, Skincare, SPF, Wet n' Wild on February 20, 2012
Well, we’ve successfully finished month one of the low/no-buys to which myself and several other fantabulous beauty bloggers have
chained dedicated ourselves! I have to admit, when it started, I thought it would be a piece of cake – my guidelines felt tough but reasonable, and left me a fair bit of leeway so that I wouldn’t go out of my mind from the challenge. However, once I was well into week two, I found myself becoming maniacal with respect to listing all the products I was *going* to buy as well as figuring out what products I could get rid of so I could make said purchases. I spent hours daily planning what I would do in order to be able to buy a new lippie or blush, in a way that would allow me to stick to the plan but get my ~fix~ Crazy, right? Thankfully, the feeling passed near the end of week three, and now as I move into the second month, I feel stabilized and am spending more time enjoying what I have rather than obsessively plotting my next purchase. Just like any craving, it passes if you don’t give into it I guess!
I’m going to combine my usual ‘downsizing’ post with my new ‘monthly purchases’ posts, since one directly affects the other. No shady business here! I promise to be truthful about what I pick up each month – if I slip, I’ll let you know about that too. Keeps me on the straight and narrow
So, here are the products that I managed to finish/part with since my low-buy began:
Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer
Good hydrator for dry to combination-oily skin, but honestly I wasn’t wowed by this. I find the Turnaround Concentrate, a serum, far out-performs this moisturizer, and I would recommend going for that plus your favorite basic moisturizer, rather than using this alone. Just didn’t exfoliate as well as I wanted it to!
Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Moisturizer SPF25 (Combination Oily to Oily)
I really loved this moisturizer with SPF, until I started learning about how any beneficial ingredients in products get lost when exposed to open air. Jars have got to be the worst packaging anyway, majorly unhygenic! So, while the idea of this product is AWESOME (helps to repair the moisture barrier so skin stays hydrated; helps treat and prevent fine lines and wrinkles via antioxidants and sun protection), I suspect a lot of the good-for-you ingredients are gone within days. Boo. But, if you’re looking for a nice moisturizer with sunscreen, this is a pretty good choice! It keeps skin feeling supple – though unless your very oily/do not need extra hydration, I’d probably opt for the dry to combination version as I found I could have used it this Winter.Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Facial Cleanser (travel size)
I liked this cleanser – it smelled lovely and rinsed away nicely without stripping the skin – but I always wondered if it was causing a bit of sensitivity in my skin. I think the fragrance, while enjoyable, made me nervous. It certainly didn’t soothe my skin at all. For ladies with less sensitive skin, I think you’ll enjoy this – though it requires a second wash (or a makeup remover) to get rid of all traces of heavier makeup. I’m not a fan of self-foaming cleansers as I find they run out more quickly, so that’s something to consider as the full size of this product is $38CAD.
B.Kamins Bio-Maple Suncar Sunscreen SPF30 (sample)
I used this while I was camping last year in Gros Morne, and didn’t experience any problems, it absorbed easily and a little went a long way – as I still had some left after 10 days! I used it up the past few days just to get rid of it. Nothing special, just seems like a basic physical SPF (it’s tinted pink and opaque and reminds me of Pepto Bismol…hmm), and shielded my skin from the sun. Would be a good product for ladies with oily skin as it imparts no hydration or greasiness whatsover. Complex 15 Face Lotion/Complex 15 Body Lotion
Super basic face and body lotions that would be ideal for someone with sensitive, oily skin, or for really hot, humid days. They both contain humectants such as glycerin to bind water to the skin, without being greasy AT ALL, but for me I need to also have products which act as a barrier so that I can retain that moisture. Neither of these were enough for my eczema-prone skin, but I could see them working in a pinch for those who don’t have those issues.L’Oreal Nutri-Shimmer Shine Detangling Spray
I liked this leave-in spray – it detangled my hair and left it very soft without being weighed down – but I noticed that my scalp itched a whole lot less once I ran out of it. Odd, because perfume was the last ingredient listed, but I have read studies that say that linalool (which is sort of in the middle of the ingredient list) can cause allergic reactions and inflame eczema, so I’m thinking that’s the culprit. Soo…I won’t be buying this again. But it was a good, light-weight leave-in all the same – and did make my hair quite shiny!Chanel Eclat Lumiere Highlighter Face Pen in 04 Beige Moyen
So. Glad. This. Is. Gone. Remember how I said last week that I don’t believe in undereye illluminators? Yeah. I paid upwards of $40CAD to learn that lesson! I tried to use this every which way – under concealer, over concealer, without concealer…the only real use I found for it was a subtle brightening of the inner eye area. Other than that, it was a total bust and just didn’t do it for me at all. If you have hardly any undereye darkness, by all means, give this a shot – I’m sure it’ll brighten the area just enough and its sheer enough that it looks quite natural. But if dark circles are an issue for you, don’t waste your money. Also – shade range is kinda crappy, this is the darkest they had and it’s still a touch light for my skin, and would be entirely useless once I’m getting sunshine on the regular.MUFE Smoky Lash mascara
I honestly don’t know how I feel about this mascara. There were times when I really liked it, and then times when I REALLY didn’t. I think the issue was that it was kind of dry to begin with, which makes avoiding clumps and flakes much more difficult. I think the brush itself was pretty decent, so really it was the formula they need to tinker with. All in all, I was glad to put it in the ‘finished’ pile.
Wet N Wild Color Icon Eye & Brow Pencil in Dark Brown
I got this from Walmart for like, $1.99, and it was a great pencil – just the right shade and was quite a large size to begin with, so it lasted ages. I can’t comment on the lasting power because I never really pay attention to whether my brows are still looking good at the end of the day – I guess because my brows don’t *need* to be filled in, just polished up a bit. I’d buy it again if I came across it, but it wasn’t so good that I’m going to seek it out, either.MAC Lustre Lipstick in Freckletone
Ugh. Worst nude lippie (on my skintone) ever. It was much too peach and looked far from nude on me. I’ve had this for several years now, and I’m sooo happy it’s finished (though I just realized you can’t tell from the photo – oops!). I had to mix this with a ton of other shades in order for it to work. I like the lustre formulation, just not this color.
Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstain in In the Buff
This product isn’t ‘finished’, because I’ve only used it a handful of times, but it seems like it is bone-dry – to get any color from this (which is supposed to be a muted berry) is damn-near impossible. It barely gives off anything at all. So today I decided I’m done with this. What’s the point of keeping something that doesn’t do anything?
Helena Rubenstein Stellars Gloss in Star Camellia
When I did my ‘Beauty Stash’ list, it was a process for me to find the actual name of this gloss, let me tell you. The name on the end of the product is impossible to read, and I bought this about 8 years ago in Portugal, so I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was. I found a picture and a swatch online that seemed to match, but I could be wrong. In any case, I don’t think they even make this anymore so no worries! In the package you can see that there is still product left, but the wand simply won’t get at any of it! The brush on the end of the wand is itty-bitty, first of all, and the way the tube is shaped you just can’t get at what’s left. Oh well, after 8 years I’m totally over this bright sparkly coral shade! It was fun while it lasted
Fresh Sugar Plum Lip Treatment SPF15
I’m embarrassed, yet sort of proud, to say that even though this was essentially done in December (as Liz can attest to – she took photos!), I scraped and scooped out every last bit before officially calling it quits. It wasn’t just that I liked the product – which I very much do, as well as loving the deep berry color this time of year – but for $22.50CAD, I just felt like I should make sure I get every bit of my money out of the product. Which I did I still have the Sugar Honey and the original Sugar Lip Treatments to enjoy – but don’t expect to see them finished any time soon!Clinique Glow Crazy Powder Highlighter in 03 Gold Dust (sample size)
GAH. I don’t know how old this sample is – Glow Crazy powder has been gone for some time now – but finally! I finished it! It’s too bad it was a sample size (of which I kind of have issue with as a general rule), because this was actually a beautiful highlighter (or eyeshadow!), but it had to go.
Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (sample size)
I got this in one of my free GWP’s from Clinique. Black Honey is our 2nd most sold product on the counter; the subtle reddish-berry looks good on everyone! ….Everyone except me. On me, this shade is god-awful. That sounds dramatic for a sheer lipstick, I know, but honestly, I can’t get down with this tone on my lips in any way, shape or form. I’ve had this for so long just because there was nothing wrong with it. Then, a couple weeks ago, I pulled it out to try it out again after the resurgence of the Almost Lipsticks, and it broke right at the base. Woohoo, out it goes! Bye BYE!!
So – yay! Managed to get some makeup items in there, woohoo! And I wasn’t just trying to get rid of stuff in order to buy more (I know you were thinking it! ); either they finished or they were products I really didn’t care for in the least and was hanging on to them for no good reason. Out you go!
Now, lets look at the purchases I made in the past month, and see if I stuck to my guns:
1) Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel $74
I bought this the very next day after the low-buy began. See how I started out strong? I’m still very much in love with it, and I’ve never had a moment of doubt about the cost. I am nervous to see if it’ll still show up once I’m tanned, but here’s hoping it’ll make a great highlighter if nothing else! If not, then – till next Winter, my dear
2) Simple Sensitive Skin Experts Exfoliating Facial Wipes (25 wipes) $8.59
Since I tend to run on most of my lunch breaks, I was starting to feel like I really should be removing and reapplying my makeup on those days. Though I leave my run till later in the afternoon, I still feel uncomfortable at the thought of my makeup mingling with sweat and possibly causing clogged pores and irritation, even in the two hours before I get home and can properly cleanse. So, I picked up these wipes on a whim, as they contain aloe, vitamins, and no perfumes or dyes – while also being safe for sensitive eyes, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. Bonus! The ingredient list is shorter than most as well, which always gives me comfort. I’ve used them a handful of times to no negative effects – I’m not sure how effective they are at cleansing, but I still feel better at putting in an effort.
3) Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush in #12 First Kiss $29
Newly minted blush fiend that I am, I saw a photoshoot in the recent issue of Glow which showcased a delicate redhead with a gorgeous peachy flush. The look I was hoping for with Torrid just doesn’t cut it, as it’s more pink-based than orange. This bright apricot shade seems to do the trick, and I’m often partial to cream/liquid formulas because I find they give a more believable glow.
4) Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm $24
I picked this up in anticipation of our Jamaica trip. It’s supposed to help soothe and hydrate sun exposed skin and help prevent any damage that the UV rays cause. I have wanted to try this product for AGES as I’ve heard so, so many good things about it – but amazingly, I’ve never had the opportunity! I find it difficult to actually *purchase* Clinique when I get so many for free, but the time was right so I finally gave in. I’ll be sure to report back once I’ve given it a go!
5) OPI ‘A Roll in the Hague’, and ‘Dutch’Ya Just Love OPI?‘ $9.99 ea.
I had long planned to grab ‘Hague’ once OPI’s Holland collection came to town, but I was pleasantly surprized to find that I ended up enjoying ‘Dutch’Ya’ as well!
6) Boscia Restorative Day Moisture Cream SPF15 $58
This will replace my Superdefense as my daily moisturizer with SPF. I bought it because my skin’s been tempermental with the Winter weather lately, though after the past week or so with unseasonably warm temperatures, I’m hoping this isn’t too heavy. The cool thing I’m excited about is the inclusion of Magnolia Bark extract, which apparently has cortizone-like effects. I’m hoping this will help with any eczema issues I have on my face and help keep any irritation under control. Fingers crossed!
7) Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black $22.50
I’ve been meaning to buy this for ages but just haven’t taken the plunge for one reason or another. It has great reviews on MUA and sounds like the perfect formula for my sensitive eyes. I hope its as volumizing as it claims!
8) MAC Tendertone Lip Balm in Purring $18
I fell for all the hype about these Tendertones returning, and not wanting to miss out, I scooped up this sheer orange one this past weekend. So far, I’m not terribly impressed, but I’m going to give it a fair shake before making my final judgement. It’s not the sheerness I’m disappointed with (though it is very sheer), but the moisturization. We’ll see how it fares in the end.
Not too shabby, eh?? If you recall, my guidelines were use one-buy one for skincare/haircare/essentials like foundation and concealer, and use two-buy one for everything else (ie. makeup). Note that sample sizes are considered a half-one, so two = one in the ‘use one’ category. Also, remember that I’m allowed 5 nail polish purchases a month. Here are my totals for this month:
USED – 4 full-size skincare, 2 travel-size skincare, 1 full-size haircare, 1 concealer, 6 full-size makeup items, and 2 sample-size makeup items.
ALLOWANCE – 4 skincare items, 1 haircare, 1 concealer, 3.5 makeup items; 5 nail polish + 2 brought over from January.
BOUGHT – 3 skincare items, 4 makeup items; 2 nail polish.
So…let’s count the MAC balm as a .5 product, eh?? LOL. I came pretty close! All in all, not too bad. It’s certainly gotten easier as time has passed – most of those purchases were made in the first two weeks LOL. I will admit, there is a lot of things to remember, but thankfully I have lists upon lists just about everywhere I go reminding me, so it’s been doable for the most part. Gotta keep on keepin’ on!
Have you put any restrictions on your own shopping habits? If you have, how are you making out? If you haven’t, what’s your secret to keeping yourself in check??
A couple months ago, I was in the market for a deep conditioner – something I use religiously once a week as my hair is so dry. I wanted to get Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak, as it gets good reviews and is formulated to restore hair’s moisture content. I’ve used the Olive Fruit Oil Shampoo and Conditioner, and liked them both well enough (and loved the smell). However, we don’t have a Kiehl’s in Halifax – Montreal is the nearest store – and I didn’t fancy having to pay shipping charges on top of the already pricier cost of $35CAD (for 8oz). I was torn.Then, when I was just using up the dregs of my last deep conditioner, Joico’s Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm (which I’ve discussed here), I happened to be in Pete’s Frootique – a fresh food grocery market that also carries a great ‘green’ section, among other totally awesome things – and noticed a large sample pak (2oz) of the Earth Science Olive & Avocado Deep Conditioning Masque, which I figured could tide me over until I figured out what to do. It was supposed to “repair, nourish, and strengthen hair…repairing dry, damaged, color-treated, or over processed hair” by “penetrating and coating the hair shaft in natural silk protein…leaving hair soft, tangle free (YAY!) and smooth, not sticky or weighed down.” Sounds good to me!I used it that evening and was entirely impressed – it made my hair feel hydrated, and also silky smooth (which the Joico did not do), but didn’t weigh it down, which usually is the by-product of products designed to give serious moisture to the hair. I usually suck it up, because the alternative is that my hair isn’t hydrated enough, but with this I get the best of both worlds I also noticed that my hair felt thicker after using this; though I have a LOT of hair, it’s quite fine and not really that thick, so this is a major bonus in my eyes! I liked that even though it comes in a tube form, it has a great density to it that usually is reserved for treatments in a jar (which is a hassle in the tub/shower). The scent is like a lot of products that have avocado/olive oil in them…I know that’s not explanatory, but that’s the only way I can think to describe it. Slightly floral, though more fresh than anything, and clean. I really enjoy it!When I went back and did a bit more research, it turns out that Earth Science’s Masque, which is a bestseller, won the 2011 Best of Natural Beauty Awards from better Nutrition magazine. Though I don’t believe that natural is always better, as the products can sometimes contain irritating essential oils, if I can find products that are ‘green’ and seem safe to use, I’m all for it.
Another thing I noticed about this conditioner was that the ingredients were reminiscent of Kiehl’s Hair Pak – check it out:
Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak – Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Amodimethicone Cetyl Esters, Olea Europaea/Olive Fruit Oil, Persea Gratissima/Avocado Oil, 2-Oleamido-1, 3-Octadecanediol, Trideceth-6, Sodium PCA, Helianthus Annuus/Sunflower Seed Oil, Citrus Limonum/Lemon Peel Oil, Methylparaben, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethyl Tin Dineodecyl Ester, Parfum/Fragrance.
Earth Science Olive & Avocado Deep Conditioning Masque – Water (aqua), cetearyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, amodimethicone, trideceth-12, cetrimonium chloride, panthenol, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, olea europea (olive) oil, hydrolyzed silk protein, ethylhexylglycerin, cetyl esters, citric acid, disodium EDTA, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol and fragrance (parfum).Though I’m not wild about it containing fragrance, it’s the last ingredient on the list (for both) and as it’s a product I only use once a week, it should be OK. Otherwise, I appreciate that there are only 18 ingredients (in both, as well!), and it doesn’t contain any parabens (a fail on Kiehl’s part).
After realizing that the two products seemed strikingly similar, I felt confident in picking up a full size of the Earth Science masque (though note that the sample pak I bought lasted a full month), which was $12.99CAD for 6oz. I normally don’t like to substitute products, preferring to go with the original when I can, but for the price and the similarities, I feel very good about this purchase – and I ended up saving almost $28CAD when you take into account size and shipping ($10 flat rate from Kiehl’s), and it’s easily accessible! It’s one of the better deep conditioners I’ve used and it makes my hair feel amazing after it’s rinsed. I usually rate a product against whether or not I’d buy it again (because usually no matter how much I like it, I still would rather switch it up) – and I think this will get at least another go-around from me in the future!
What deep conditioner are you sold on? Do you prefer to use natural products or are you more concerned with what works?
Posted by Latoya in Alterna, Anti-Aging, Aveda, Aveeno, Base Coats, Benefit, Body Care, Cleanser, Clinique, Cover Girl, Dior, Eucerin, Eye Liner, Eyeshadow, Giorgio Armani, Hair, Hand Care, Joico, Lancome, Lips, Make-up, Mascara, Moisturizers, Neutrogena, Paul Mitchell, Phyto, Revlon, Seche Vite, Serums, Shampoo, Skincare, SPF, Styling Products, Top Coats on December 17, 2011
This post has been a long time coming, as I’ve got quite a few empties to show you that have been piling up over the past weeks. I kept putting it off as I had a handful of makeup items that were nearing completion and I wanted them to be included. Even still, I have about three more that are thisclose to being finished, but I couldn’t wait any longer. This is gonna be a doozy, so let’s get right to it. Note: In an effort to keep my inherent wordiness down, I won’t be giving my usual lengthy descriptions of each – otherwise you’ll be here till Christmas But, if you do want further details on any product mentioned, don’t hesitate to ask!
First up, we have the hair products. From left to right: Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm, Phyto Phytolactum+ Intelligent Shampoo, Paul Mitchell Smoothing Super Skinny Relaxing Balm (sample), Alterna Bamboo Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist (sample), and Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother (sample).
Joico Moisture Recovery: I bought this at Chatters for something like $17CAD. It has good reviews on MUA and I wanted something to hydrate my parched hair. I don’t heat style for the most part, or do any coloring or other treatments to my hair, so it’s pretty healthy but bone-dry. I don’t like Joico much but this worked fairly well – though I wouldn’t repurchase.
Phyto Phytolactum+ Intelligent Shampoo: I picked this up from Sephora last March (see how often I shampoo?) and had high hopes it would sooth my dry scalp and not strip my hair. Mistakenly I thought this wouldn’t contain sulfates (it does) – though it was pretty gentle nonetheless. But it did nothing for my dry scalp, so I wouldn’t repurchase.
Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Relaxing Balm: I was in a buying mood when I picked up this travel size sample at Chatters – I don’t know why I get these ‘smoothing’ products because it’s really meant for people who blow out their hair, which isn’t me. I know you’d like that smoothing might be helpful to tame my curly hair, but I really find it doesn’t do much of anything. This product smelled lovely but that made me nervous (due to my eczema) so I was glad when it was finished.
Alterna Bamboo Kendi Oil: I had just read a couple good reviews on this and then they offer this as a 100-point perk at Sephora so I got it to try out. Again, pointless product for my hair type. Also contained fragrance so I was happy to finish it and be done with it. Can’t comment on it’s effectiveness, unfortunately!
Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep: ANOTHER smoother. I know. Anyway, this actually ended up being quite a gem – if I used this after I applied my usual styling creme, it really kept my hair soft and frizz-free. I’m not a huge fan of the herbal Aveda scent, but it’s also not a deterrent either. I probably wouldn’t buy the full size though; I find Aveda products so expensive!Next – Hand and body creams. Left to right: Aveeno Eczema Care Cream, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (frag. free), Eucerin Aquaphor. I’ve discussed all these in length here and here respectively. I’m using a different body lotion right now and I can’t wait till it’s done, it doesn’t measure up to Aveeno’s cream at all. Sometimes you should just stick with what works. I have a new tube of the Norwegian Formula at work – I really like this a lot – but I don’t think I’ll buy the Aquaphor again, it was a bit too thick and contained …. so I’d just rather not.Facial products. Left to right: Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus (sample), Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF15, Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild (sample).
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus: I extolled the virtues of this product here, and I still stand by my view – it was a great serum that make my skin feel uber soft and look radiant. However, now I’m onto Ole’s Truth Serum (though it’s almost finished, waaaah!) and I think I’d opt for that over this just because 1) I LOVE the scent of the Truth Serum, 2) Ole’s is slightly cheaper (by about $3CAD), and 3) I think Ole’s serum is more targeted for my age, whereas I was really using Clinique’s serum prematurely. I still think it’s great though!
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle: I’ve used this a few times in the past, and while I really like it – it leaves the skin really smooth – I think my sensitized skin can’t handle the retinol any more, which is pretty bad considering this is a very low dosage. But, for some one with hardier skin who’s looking for a great, cost-effective (it’s around $24CAD) moisturizer with SPF and anti-aging benefits, I highly recommend this.
Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild: I got this in a GWP or something I’m sure, and hung on to it because it’s great for travel. But then I realized I had all these samples and they were starting to annoy me so I began the ‘war on samples’ to mega-reduce my stash. This isn’t really the best formula for my skin, as I’m more oily, but it does the trick for an AM wash, especially in the cooler months. It contains emollients so that it doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry, so that’s a nice perk.
Now, get excited…here comes the makeup portion!!!!Mascaras etc. Top to bottom: Benefit They’re Real!, Clinique High Impact, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill, Diorshow Maximizer Base (sample), and Clinique Bottom Lash.
Benefit They’re Real!: See my initial review here. I really enjoyed this mascara and may even repurchase in the future. It was easy to use and gave me nice looking lashes. ‘Nuff said.
Clinique High Impact: Still one of my favorite mascaras – lots of volume and some length, and makes my lashes stand out. Also very easy to use. I wouldn’t recommend to those who want a really natural look however, as I’ve heard complaints of it getting clumpy (though personally I’ve never experienced this). And the $18CAD price point is much more reasonable than any other department store brand!
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill: I have been waiting to re-review this, as I have some sad news – this is the root cause of all my eye sensitivities and irritation! I’m makes me slightly disappointed (since it was great….but tres expensive, hence why I’m only slightly disappointed), but mostly really pissed off, because my eyes have been a trial ever since I used this. I blamed it on the cat (as I’m allergic), and while I am still very careful of Vegas (the cat – yeah baby!), this mascara is the real reason my eyes aren’t like they used to be. I had stopped using it in August because I fell in love with Benefit’s They’re Real, and my eyes improved – then I realized that it was going to dry up and be wasted, so I started using it again, only to find my eyes get totally itchy and messed up! I stopped using it immediately, and while my eyes aren’t as bad, they still get irritated pretty easily ever since. SO not cool. I couldn’t find the ingredients online anywhere so I don’t know the offending irritant, unfortunately. In any case, all I’m saying is that I recommend trying this out somehow first before fully committing!!
Diorshow Maximizer Base: I got this via a coupon code at Sephora.com. Meh. It made my mascara harder to apply and I didn’t see any maximizing whatsoever. I wouldn’t waste the $$.
Clinique Bottom Lash: Awesome. Seemed like the most gimmicky thing in the world, but ended up being really great. For $12CAD, you get this mascara with a mini brush that makes it ridiculously easy to apply mascara to your bottom lashes. It only removes with warm water, so you can cry your heart out with it on (or swim, or sweat) and it won’t budge. It lasted for AGES too (I know you’re not supposed to use mascara for longer than 3-4 months, but this seemed like an exception ).Lips and cheeks! Left to right: Clinique Superbalm in Currant, Lancome Juicy Tube in Simmer (sample), Cover Girl Wetslicks in Guava Splash, Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick in Rosy.
Clinique Superbalm in Currant: I love these balms! They’re a bit thick and very glossy, and wear pretty well while keeping my lips mega-hydrated. I’ve had this for like, 4 years now so while I’m a little sad to see it go (the shade is neutral and goes with everything!), I’m mostly glad it’s finally done! Having anything for more than like, two years just seems like too much to me!
Lancome Juicy Tube in Simmer: I read once that Denise Richards liked this lip gloss in this shade…she commented that it ‘looks good on everyone.’ While that may be true, I didn’t particularly like this shade for some reason. I used to love Juicy Tubes but thankfully grew out of that stage – it seems like one of those things to buy when you’re just getting into high end makeup so I guess the memory of being a newbie turns me off a bit lol. Nonetheless, these are nice glosses that wear well, but for me their time has come and gone. And this one in particular has had it’s time – I’m sure I’ve had this for well over 7 years! Yikes!
Cover Girl Wetslicks in Guava Splash: I bought this after seeing a makeup shot in Allure in which they suggested this gloss to re-create the look. It was pretty close, so good call by them – but I really didn’t like the formula of this at all. It was soo thin and slippery, I had to reapply it constantly! Blah. I’ve only had this gloss a year so the fact that it’s already gone is a testament to how quickly it wears off. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick in Rosy: I got this as a gift from Clinique a couple years ago, and wasn’t enamoured with it as it seemed too light for my skin. However, I reintroduced it in my rotation this Fall and realized I was missing out! It gave me cheeks the best natural flush ever. I am partial to cream formulas because I like the way they leave the skin glowing, and this one was nice because it wasn’t greasy at all. It had OK wear time – nothing terrible but not spectacular either – so I wouldn’t repurchase, but I sure did enjoy it while it lasted. It went with every makeup look I’d try – can’t beat that!Unfinished but still must go. Clockwise from left: Revlon Streetwear Double-Ended Liner (discontinued), Revlon Luxurious Color Eyeliner in Blackened Sapphire, Lancome Color Focus Eye Shadow Quad (sample), Rimmel Metallic Eye Gloss in Equinox (discontinued).
Revlon Streewear Double-Ended Liner: I brought this product up in my eyeliner post, and committed to tossing it, so here goes! I’ve definitely had this for over 10 years, I don’t know what I was waiting for!
Revlon Luxurious Color Eyeliner: Also discussed this in the eyeliner post. My mother has this too, and when she wears it (usually on her bottom lash line), it looks awesome – but since I’m too ~fragile~ to wear liners on my bottom lashes now, I just don’t get a good effect from this liner. On my top lashes its just kinda blah. So, time to go!
Lancome Color Focus Eyeshadow Quad: The shades are Daylight (the pale cream), Contrast (deep purple), Blink (khaki shimmer), and Peep (pale pink). I’ve also had this for way longer than I want to admit, and I never use it, so it’s really gotta go. I’m not really a fan of sample eyeshadow palettes anyway, they annoy me – when I get them from Clinique I always give them away. I want the real thing, darn it!
Rimmel Metallic Eye Gloss: Do you remember when eye gloss was a ‘big thing’ back in the day – around 8-10 years ago? Yeah, this was bought then. Oops! I couldn’t get it to work without creasing like crazy so I may have only tried it a handful of times. Fun idea, but just not easy to translate into real life. Toss!Honorable Mention. Seche Vite’s Dry Fast Top Coat. This bottle isn’t finished, though you can’t really tell from the photo. There’s about 40% left, but you KNOW how goopy and impossible it gets around that time!!! I kept it in my drawer, hoping for a miracle, but it’s time has come. Begone, you most-awesome-of-top-coats-until-that-time-when-you-become-absolutely-NOT-awesome-and-in-fact-a-total-nightmare top coat!!
PHEW!!!!! OMG I’m so sorry to submit all of you to that uber-lengthy post, but it had to be done. 25 items (though 8 were samples, to clarify)! Are you proud of me or what?! I have been chomping at the bit to get this out so you can all revel in my awesome downsizing abilities. What’s that you say? I have in fact replaced many of these products with new ones?! Oh, well, forget that part then, will you? The whole purpose to reduce is to buy more, is it not?? No? Huh. Well, I will keep trying, in any case. Looking at this post alleviates some of my guilt at least. ‘Till next time!!