Posts Tagged Reviews
The New Year is almost upon us! Even though the number 13 conjures up some unsettling feelings, 2013 was kind of a great year for me! Though it started out a bit rough, with a lot of talking and support it turned around for me (a big thanks to all of you who sent kind words – and a care package! – my way!). As always, the hardships make the good times feel that much sweeter. I had the immense pleasure of standing in my friend’s most amazing wedding; I started dating a guy who makes me feel loved and truly content in a way I never have before; I’ve had the opportunity to work in several different positions at my work and found my niche; and I finally got to go to New York City, a long-standing dream of mine! Not too shabby 2013, not too shabby
Over the month of December I’ve been pondering what beauty products in my collection really stand-out and get the most use. Though I could probably add one or two more, the 13 items below really have rocked my world this year and have been very well-loved. I would even go so far to say that I would repurchase most of them (and that’s saying something!).
And so I present to you, my favourite (beauty) things of 2013:
1. Osha Mae Calendula Salve ($15CAD). On it’s own, without any cortisone products, this can clear up the chronic eczema on my hands overnight – absolutely unheard of! I first got hooked on a sample of M.J. Herbals Calendula Salve ($15CAD), but when I saw this very similar version at our local market I picked it up, as I always like to support local!
2. La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask ($65CAD). When LBF was introduced on the Clementine Fields website, they had a promotion for 15% off it’s pre-sale. I ordered this mask as I was looking for something hydrating that could replace the uber-scented derma-e mask that I’d been using for a while (uncomfortably). I didn’t know what to expect, and was completely bowled over once I tried it – its truly amazing! It hydrates, it heals, it calms, it brightens…I honestly feel like it’s almost a one-stop shop as a mask, because my skin just looks SO DAMN GOOD after using it. I attribute it’s awesomeness to it’s inclusion of raw manuka honey (it’s the first ingredient) which is noted for it’s therapeutic, antibacterial and nourishing qualities. Other ingredients include kaolin clay, rosehip seed oil and calendula extract – be still my heart! Oh, and it’s also BRIGHT PURPLE (due to the aronia berry). I want to get my hands on the Purifying ($65CAD) version next.
3. Lina Hanson Global Body Serum ($64CAD). I really wish this didn’t cost so damn much because I just want to drown in this fantastically scented body oil for the rest of my life. As it stands, I’m still trying to ration it, but I still fear it won’t last long as I keep using it every few days because it’s so addictive!
Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille ($130US). Yum. And YUM. You all know my penchant for vanilla-based scents, so my love for this probably comes as no surprise. With notes like sandalwood, coconut milk, musk, vanilla and tonk a bean, it’s a gourmand fragrance-lovers paradise. I was surprised however that it also contains notes like black liquorice (which I hate) and bitter almond – but I suspect they help round out the scent and keep it from being too OTT vanilla, which can get headache-inducing fast. I have worn this and only this since purchasing it in NYC; the only gripe I have with the fragrance is that I don’t find it lasts on my skin – but I guess that just gives me an excuse to spritz, spritz, spritz!
Make Up For Ever Medium Highlighting Brush in #152 ($43CAD). I didn’t quite understand just how much I would love this brush until I really put it into practice and had a while to play with it. This brush is absolutely integral in my makeup application – aside from applying cream or powder highlighters like a dream, it also blends all formulas of blush or bronzer perfectly. I don’t quite know how it does it, but somehow the fibers of the brush, its density, and it’s softness all contribute to a beautifully seamless complexion. LOVE.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (full-size, $50CAD). Though I only have a deluxe sample size of this product, you only need the slightest amount to get amazing, glowing skin, so it’s lasted me ages! I usually pull this out when I am either going for a really ‘natural’ look that focuses on the skin, or if I’m looking to amp up the glow factor for an event. Though the full-size would probably last me a lifetime – something that doesn’t appeal to a fickle beauty fiend like myself – I still think I’ll repurchase this when I DO run out, because it’s truly the most beautiful yet natural-looking illuminator I’ve ever used.
Buxom Full-Bodied Lipsticks (full-size, $26CAD). My love for this lipstick formula is still going strong. I use the little sample bullets I’ve got more than any other lipstick I own, and I’m looking forward to the day when they run out – so I can justifiably buy some full sizes! Just so, so creamy and comfortable to wear, with awesome full pigment. For the price especially, you really can’t beat ‘em!
Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Revelation ($43CAD). I have been on a cream blush kick for a while now, as I find it just looks so darn natural, which fits my makeup M.O. these days. The newish Blush Cremes dry to an almost powder-like finish, so they don’t have quite the same effect; nevertheless, this natural-looking apricot shade gets a lot of regular use because it goes with just about every makeup look I wear. The only downside is that its a touch too light when my skin is tanned – but at the moment it’s just right
MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters (pro-pan, $12CAD). Though I have lessened my use of this shadow recently due to switching up my makeup routine, this baby got some SERIOUS love for months after I bought it early last spring. It gives my eyes the most subtle yet beautiful sparkle I’ve ever seen, and accompanies a bright lip look beautifully. The hype is TRUE, you guys. BUY IT.
Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench ($30CAD). Even after owning this shadow for a year and a half, I’m still amazed at how perfectly it blends and melds on the brow bone to give the perfect level of highlight to the eye. As I have a lot of shimmering shadows, it keeps them grounded without making me look too ‘show dancer,’ but also isn’t so flat that it looks dull. On top of all that, it’s HELLA soft.
Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Noir Intense ($29CAD). I wasn’t big on black pencil eyeliner until I purchased this early in the year – I didn’t have one and thought I should at least have one in my arsenal. I don’t use it as a traditional liner, but rather as a tightliner on my upper lash line. It a nice, dark black that gives great definition when I’m doing a more natural look (see a theme here?) and doesn’t budge – in fact, it’s difficult to remove at the end of the day, so keep that in mind. But as I find a long-wearing liner hard to come by, it’s far from a deal-breaker!
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack ($19CAD). Black pencil liner may never have been my thing, but I can’t say the same for black cream/gel/liquid formulas, which have always been a staple in my arsenal. When I ran out of my last black liquid liner, I decided it was about time I tried the cult fave Blacktrack. It’s nice and dark, and its creamy texture makes creating a winged look (a regular go-to for me) incredibly easy. I’m not convinced I would repurchase, only because there are several black cream/gel liners that I’d like to try, but it’s been a faithful staple for me since I purchased it.
XLash Eyelash Enhancer ($59). You’re all probably sick and tired of hearing me trumpet on and on about my love for this lash serum, but seriously, just get some and then get back to me – I promise you’ll be converted! I won’t repeat my gushings yet again, but I will say that I am actually planning to buy more of this when I run out (still haven’t!). SO. GOOD.
That just about rounds up my year in beauty in a nutshell! I’ve tried many things, some duds, some *pretty good*, but this collection here have been raised to the level of HG status for me. As I learn and grow I find my selections have become more and more curated to the point where I rarely have a miss (at least if they’re purchased by me) and I’ve grown quite fond of my collection, to which I’ve whittled and culled to include *almost* only products that are a pleasure to use. I still have a bit of work to do (which I plan on laying out for you in a future post), but overall I’m quite pleased and have passed the ‘GAH! My-stash-is-overwhelming-OMG-the-anxiety!‘ stage that I was in for a long time since starting the blog. Which I deem a HUGE success
So say farewell to 2013 and welcome in the New Year with a bang! I appreciate each and every reader of my little beauty haven, whether you’ve been with me or a while, or stumbled upon my ramblings by accident. You’re the only reason I keep on writing! I wish all of you a very excellent finale to the year soon past and hope that the very best is yet to come in 2014!!! Let’s make it all sorts of great, yea?
Image credit: ilovehdwallpapers.com
Woohoo! My last empties post of the year. As these are always lengthy (because I am too damn chatty) (and even though I just did one last month…how do I use up products so quickly?), I’m going to get right to it.
Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner – I do like the Organix conditioners, and this worked quite well to hydrate and detangle, but I preferred the heaviness of the Macadamia Oil version to this. Smelled DELICIOUS in the summer though!
Earth Science Deep Conditioning Masque – 2nd tube of this, and I still feel the same as I did when I first tried it. It’s really good shit, dudes. For $13CAD, it’s one of the best deep conditioners I’ve ever used, and to top it off – all natural! If I were so fickle I’d buy another tube, and I still may…I’m just too curious to settle *just yet*
Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil – I really liked this oil a lot, much better than the Ojon Restorative oil that preceded it. It just had a great consistency and smell, and it never irritated my scalp or caused any breakouts around my forehead, which can happen with products like this. Good stuff, and lasted AGES.
Haus of Gloi Komodo Pumpkin Butter – don’t mistake mangosteen for mango, my friends – NOT THE SAME. I found the scent of this quite intrusive and it has this slightly rotten fruit smell…so ya, just not diggin’ it. So, I used it as a foot cream! Problem solved.
Nutiva Coconut Oil – great stuff. I used this as my primary body moisturizer throughout last spring/summer and it was awesome – it really kept my skin in great condition, prevented eczema flare-ups and helped heal old scars that I sometimes get from past eczema patches, which tend to result in the absence of pigmentation. However, once the weather cooled it wasn’t quite enough, so I would either layer it with a moisturizer, or use it in my hair periodically as a deep treatment. I’ll definitely be picking up another tub of this – so many uses! However, keep in mind that coconut oil is highly comedogenic – except when it’s in the form below:
Fractionated Coconut Oil – fractionated oil is non-comedogenic, perhaps due to having had all it’s triglycerides removed. It has a super-long shelf life and increased stability, and it’s antioxidant potential is more jacked up than regular coconut oil. It’s also in a TON of things and usually listed as ‘caprylic/capric triglyceride.’ My roommate had left this behind when she moved so I used it up – it was a lot easier to use than the solid coconut oil (though a bit messier at times) but I found it slightly less moisturizing on my body.
Getting through my non-organic products! I’ve only got a few last products and a couple straggler samples to get through and I’ll be essentially fully ‘green’, woot!
eos Lip Sphere - this balm works really well and was exceptional under lipstick, offering just enough hydration without much slip, but honestly the size of it sometimes felt very cumbersome. It’s a cute novelty, but not the most practical – though I do maintain that they’re terribly easy to find in your purse!
Indeed Labs Hydraluron – I’m sure this does have a purpose, but I don’t think I have dry or dehydrated enough skin to see a difference. I don’t miss it.
Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector – this stuff does work well, for those of you not concerned about using non-organic products. I really do like serums because you can pile them on and they generally don’t have heavy moisture to the skin which can make you greasy as the day wears on.
RoC Soft Smoothing Scrub – too gentle for my liking, though this is a good choice for a morning cleanser just to wash the night’s oils off, or as a second cleanse. But as a ‘scrub’? No thanks. One more non-organic product down!
Avene Thermal Spring Water – I love misting my face before applying any serums or oils, as it just feels good to seal the moisture in…but paying for water in a can kinda irks me. I far prefer the facial mists with a little bit extra in them, like hydrosols etc. that add something more. Right now I’m using Kahina Giving Beauty’s Facial Mist and I quite like it (though its just so darn SMALL at 1.6oz for $46CAD…ouch!).
Samples! Lots of good organic stuff here. The Marie Veronique Organics Treatment Oil is excellent for keeping oily, pore-clogged, acne-prone skin in check. I don’t have the latter, but I do get clogged pores on my nose and cheek area, and I found the sample really refined my skin nicely. I actually just purchased the full-size last week! I tried the new Kahina Giving Beauty Fez Body Serum this past weekend, and while it worked nicely on my skin, the scent it NOT for me – far too spicy and heady for me. I’ll stick with my Lina Hanson Global Body Serum, thanks. The Soapwalla Deodorant sample lasted ages, and I enjoyed it so much I purchased it last week as well – it smells awesome and actually works a treat, even on wetness! It’s not entirely as effective as traditional antiperspirants, but for every day wear its perfect and I really like it a lot. I thought the Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream was gonna be my JAM for the dry patches I get sometimes from my eczema, but it sometimes made my skin itch a bit rather than soothe it, so I’ll have to keep looking for a nice nighttime hydrating cream. M.J.’s Calendula Cream on the other hand, was a freakin’ miracle product – this honestly cleared up my eczema overnight on my hands, which tends to be a persistent problem for me. I ended up buying a similar product from the local market, but I’m not sure it’s *quite* as effective, though I do like to support local. The Eminence Blueberry Soy Exfoliating Cleanser was a strange product. I used it as either a morning or second cleanse and I didn’t notice any exfoliating, and it left a slight film on my skin so I’d recommend using a washcloth to remove it. Not something I’d spend my money on, overall. The Rahua Shampoo was fine, but I didn’t enjoy the smell at all, and to spend $$ on a shampoo that I don’t love is just not gonna happen. One of our local high-end department stores here, Mills, will soon be stocking the organic brand Babor, and the SA’s gave me a few samples of this Calm & Relax Cream to try. It was pretty great, truth be told! I used it after doing an intense masque treatment, and it was soothing and hydrating without being heavy at all. I just may purchase a full-size when the line becomes fully available. Finally, another Eminence sample I snagged was this Red Currant Rapid Infusion Masque…suffice to say it was a total dud. I have no idea what it was supposed to do, but I wasn’t wowed. PASS.
Sephora She Sparkles Gloss – decent gloss formula, decent shade. Despite the fact that I didn’t love it, I actually used this up fairly quickly in the grand gloss scheme of things. Huh.
NARS Gold Digger Gloss sample – HATE the brush on these Larger Than Life glosses, uh. So. Tiny! I liked the shade well enough, but the formula isn’t my favourite – similar to MAC lipglasses, which means they wear fairly well, but I’m not a fan of the stickiness. It still looks quite full here but I wasn’t getting any more product, so out it goes.
Marc Jacobs Blacquer Mascara – this was such a weird product, like webbing for the eyes! I loved that it had this kind of patent-leather shine, but it applied horribly and made a total mess of my lashes every time. Yuk.
MUFE Eyeshadow #17 Espresso – I thought I’d use this a ton and then hardly did. Then I dropped it and it crumbled, and then honestly, I just was OVER IT. Plus, I now have a similar shade in my Laura Mercier palette, so I don’t NEED YOU ANYMORE. *I really hate broken makeup!*
NARS Pro Prime Pore-Refining Primer – this was just meh. I used it regularly for a couple weeks to use it up, and I wasn’t wowed – I still got shine after a few hours, and though my makeup wore a bit longer, it wasn’t anything to write home about. Plus, non-organic…I’m not totally converted to organic makeup (or at all, really) but primer is like skincare, so I don’t think I’d buy this even if it did work well.
Marie Veronique Organics Everyday Coverage – the darkest shade offered is still too light for me, so this was a no-go. Bummer, as I’ve ready a lot of great things about it! Can’t beat coverage plus SPF in one.
I’m now finished my empties for the year! I was going to do a tally in each category, but honestly that’s just too much damn work LOL. Suffice to say, I feel really good about how many non-organic products I’ve used up, and I’m pretty stoked that I used up a whole gloss (and a half!) – I’ve been trying really hard to use up any lip products that are at least half-gone, because they’re much more feasible to finish (as opposed to blush…let’s not go there). I’m going to make a real effort next year to cull my stash to only products I really love – I know I’ve said this before, and I continue to make progress, but I think next year will be THE year. I’m loosening my grip on keeping things because they ‘should’ work or because they were expensive and therefore I have to use them. I just want to pull out any shade of any product and be like ‘Yep, looks great’ with minimal effort. I learn more and more what looks good on me and what doesn’t. And also, it’s a lot easier to reduce the stash when you focus all your effort / money on skincare!! I certainly haven’t saved a dime not buying makeup, because organic skincare costs a pretty penny in many cases, but the whole ritual of applying oils etc. is really up my alley, so I don’t mind. And less makeup means less anxiety in that area – I never overbuy skincare so I never have to worry about having too much of that!
So, out with the old (thinking) and in with the new (skincare, not makeup). Now I need to put my 2014 resolutions to paper!
How did your empties go this year? Do you think your reducing or expanding?
I am terrible at keeping up with these posts…honestly, I should probably just give up! But NO. I will persevere, because SOMEONE has to see that I am not only continuously exercising my strong consumerist muscle, but also actually using shit up (and possibly at a faster rate than I’m buying, which is the ultimate goal). And so here we go again.
Many products means we’ll jump right in lest we be here all night. To begin, let’s start at the exciting end – the makeup.
Left to right: Clinique Lash Doubling mascara (sample), Fresh Sugar Honey Lip Treatment, Clinique High Impact mascara (sample), Make Up For Ever Star Gloss Diamond Collection in S0, Clinique High Impact + Bottom Lash mascara (sample), Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Extravagant mascara, Guerlain Maxi Lash D’Enfer (sample).
I actually quite like all of Clinique’s mascaras and it has nothing to do with me working for the brand. I just find they go on nicely, don’t dry out too fast, and stay on all day while washing off easily at night. I always seem to have a lot of samples because I get a free gift every time I work a GWP. I don’t mind one bit
After I determined that the fragrance in the Fresh lip balms cause my lips to be perpetually chapped, I hardly used this for close to a year. Then I decided I just wanted to get rid of it, so I used it like crazy down to a nub and then tossed it. Not sorry to see it go, even though the shade was a nice nude that looked good with a variety of looks. The MUFE gloss seemed to finish extremely quickly so I question it’s size, but I’m not complaining – another lip pie down! The MUFE mascara ended up not being so bad as I thought it might be in my original review, but I still didn’t love it and was happy to see that it was drying up. The Guerlain mascara was CRAZY clumpy and annoying and scented and just NO. Buh bye.
Above are two concealers I’ve had for well over 3 years a piece (possibly 4 for one) that I was tired of trying to ‘use up.’ The NYX Concealer in a Jar was decent but the shade wasn’t great except when I was tanned and could use it under eye. The other pot there is theBalm Time Balm, and it was OK but too pink. I checked both shades recently in natural light and was like ‘NO MORE’ so out they go! The other two little pots there were samples of foundation – the one with ‘MJ’ on it was the Marc Jacobs foundation, which I actually liked a fair bit and would possibly purchase. Not right now though, not until I use up at least 3 of the 5 or 6 I have kicking around :S There are some Becca foundation samples in the back there that were just too dark for me – toss. Finally, we have the pièce de résistance - the NARS Loose Powder I bought back in 2010 that JUST WON’T DIE. So very, very done with this!
There’s still some dregs in there but I don’t care, I’m OVER IT. Also finished is the MUFE HD Powder that I got in a kit probably two years ago – POOF! Hence why I was justified in buying the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Ok. that’s it for the makeup. I’m trying to slog through a few other makeup items that I’m hoping will be done in the next couple months. Wish me luck!
Next, we have skincare. Oodles and oodles!
Clockwise from top left: Clinique Moisture Surge Intense (sample), MD Formulations Moisture Defence Antioxidant Hydrating Gel, Clinique Even Better Eyes, Boscia Oil-Free Daily Hydration SPF15 (sample), Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream, Clinique Moisture Surge (sample)
The Clinique Moisture Surge original is a great aloe-based hydrator that just feels good on the skin. It doesn’t treat dry skin long-term but it’s great for oilier skins like mine that just need a little somethin’ somethin’. However, I DO NOT LIKE the Intense version, and I actually think it does funny things with my skin. If I get any more samples of it I’ll be passing it along. The MD product was great, as previously mentioned; the Even Better Eyes product was OK but didn’t blow my mind so I’d never spend my own money on it. I think I liked the Boscia lotion, but my skin was getting irritated for some reason by something (I think it might be the sample I had of the UD foundation but not sure) and I was using this at the time so I’m hesitant to buy the full size. Lastly, I always like the Neutrogena cream and it’s a cheap and effective retinol product (albeit quite gentle).
Then we have the cleansers and exfoliants:
Clockwise from top: Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, Vichy Purete Thermale (sample), Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover (sample), REN Glycol Lactic Masque (sample), Kiehl’s Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion
Another Clinique product line that I enjoy is the Take the Day Off (TTDO) products. Every time I get a sample of the TTDO eye makeup remover I’m glad to have it on hand, as it’s effective and gentle. The cleansing balm is great at getting off all makeup and sunscreen, and rinses off well without drying out the skin. I probably wouldn’t use my own money to buy either, but that’s mostly because I sort of feel like all Clinique products should be free for me LOL. The Vichy cleanser was OK for makeup-less skin, but otherwise meh. The REN masque that everyone loves? Not for me, really…it’s kinda scary on my sensitive skin, and I’ve since used other masques that blow my mind and work much better without any irritation at all (hint: La Bella Figura’s Bio Active Healing Mask. Get it. SOO GOOD. Review forthcoming). Lastly, the Kiehl’s scrub I got in a swap, and it was right around the time that I was over-exfoliating my skin in a bad way, which took a good year and a half to recover from. Once I did, this was a nice product to buff the skin smooth but it is quite intensive, so I’d never repurchase and would caution against it for less hardy skin.
Now for my pile of organic samples and one full-sized organic product!
I’ll start with the Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Eye Treatment. This was one big MEH from me. Didn’t do any harm, but it didn’t do anything that wowed me either. It didn’t feel nearly as lovely as the Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Serum sample I tried (above) which lasted me long enough to know that its GREAT and I will be buying it as soon as I use up my 10238 eye creams (or…5. Still. TOO MANY).
As for the other samples…lets divide them according to ‘awesome and will buy’ status or ‘save your money’ piles. In the latter, we have May Lindstrom’s Youth Dew and the Problem Solver (too heavy / too messy), Lina Hanson’s Global Face Serum (odd smell, too heavy), Rahua Conditioner (odd smell, not heavy enough, and full-size is PRICEY at $34!), and the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask (didn’t feel it did much of anything). In the ‘awesome’ pile, the Babor body cream felt lovely on my dry body skin, with zero reactions; the One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin B Cleansing Oil takes off all traces of makeup, and rinses clean away without a cloth or left-over residue (though I still don’t love the strong fruity smell); the Kahina Giving Beauty Brightening Serum felt great going on, with no reactions, and though I didn’t have enough to get a full test, will likely be purchased in the near future; the aforementioned Eye Serum by Kahina; and Lina Hanson’s Global Body Serum (which I DID purchase and wrote about here).
You may notice I skipped a few samples….those would be in the ‘what the heck do I feel about these?’ pile – I just haven’t made a full decision on them yet and more samples may be required. I only got one use out of the Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser so I can’t make any kind of judgement on it at all, sadly. I really want to love May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt and I don’t feel like I got a good trial run with it, so I might try it out again and see how I feel the second time around. The OLO Active Moisture Vitamin C Serum seemed great in some ways (it gives a FABULOUS glow), but it was another product I was using while my skin was getting a little irritated a while ago, so it’s possible this was the culprit. Finally, OLO’s Easy Does It cleanser is a nice price at $29 for a big bottle, and can be used on face, body and hair (yay dual-purpose!), but I felt it might have been irritating to my skin (also using during that funny time period). Probably all of those things I was using then I’ll have to re-try separately to weed out which was the baddie.
Wowza! Thats a lot ‘o samples, yes. We’re almost done folks, I hope you’re still with me! We now come to body products.
Clockwise from top left: Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm, Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Creamy Body Wash, Kniepp Lavender Herbal Bath Soak, A-Derma Exomega Body Cream (sample), Haus of Gloi Aether Pumpkin Butters (x3), and Burt’s Bees Lemon Cuticle Balm
Alrighty. Clinique’s After Sun is a fave of mine that I just enjoy using in the summer after being out in the sun. Soothing, cooling, and repairing. The Organix body wash I liked so much I bought a second which I’m just finishing up now. I probably won’t repurchase though where it’s still quite scented. It didn’t seem to irritate but I should still watch what I’m using carefully. The Kniepp soak I could never actually SOAK in (fragrance is right up with the first ingredients), but I used this for soaking my feet and its was lovely.
More evidence of my Haus of Gloi love with 3 jars gone; the A-Derma cream was actually quite nice, very hydrating and one of the few fragrance-free products from a line that designed for sensitive skin (WTF?! You’d be surprised how often that happens, actually); lastly, my final jar of the Burts Bees cuticle balm, which I always enjoy.
Right, so let’s wrap this up eh? The grand finale – hair products:
Left to right: Living Proof Satin Hair Serum (sample), Bumble & Bumble Texture styling cream, Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner, TIGI Bedhead Catwalk Curls Collection Curls Rock Amplifier (longest name of life!), Schwartzkopf Extra Care Deep Nutrition Shampoo, OJON Restorative Hair Treatment
The serum – meh. Not notable to me. The conditioner – smelled AMAZING and worked fairly well on my curly mop. The fragrance seemed to be naturally sourced. The TIGI product was actually really great – just a small pea size was needed and it controlled my hair well without being crunchy. Lasted AGES too. But I’m in the process of looking for an organic replacement, so… The Schwartzkopf shampoo was a left behind product by a friend while in NZ. Yes I’ve had it that long and just finished it! What, I don’t shampoo often lol. It was OK but I don’t think they sell it around here even if I wanted to repurchase (I don’t). And lastly, the OJON treatment. I remember getting a full size of this crap back in the day when it was a big deal and thinking it was just great. I am SO over this brand now it’s not even funny, and my aunt keeps giving me more and more of it, ugh. At least this was just a sample!
~nudges self awake~ OK So we’re done, yes!? Woot! Not only are these hard to get through, I know, but they’re hard to write! (at 10pm on a Sunday night, no less!). Nonetheless, I’m glad I got ‘er done. I hope it was *somewhat* helpful/interesting?? If not…well, maybe it will serve as a sleeping aid
And with that, I bid you adieu! Till next time, my friends.
How are your empties coming along???
I’m in a mood guys. Or rather, a mode – a research mode. I have spent that past several days doing MUCHO investigation into different ‘green’ brands and the products they offer, trying to weed through them all (they all sound FABULOUS) to find the right ones for my skin needs and type. In doing so, I realized a few things: 1) I don’t make enough money to fund this new-found obsession, and 2) I better start using up what I currently have that doesn’t ‘fit the bill’ so to speak, before I go all shopaholic and buy every last amazing organic product out there. Thankfully, as mentioned before, that pile is not TOO large. Let’s take a look!
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser: This cleanser is really lovely – non-foaming (which also means non-stripping) and gentle and leaves me skin feeling soft and supple due to the ceramides and hyaluronic acid. I don’t feel too bad about using this as it doesn’t cause any issues for me and its a relatively basic product. I’m in no hurry to finish it. Note to oily gals that I used this in the summer every AM and found it entirely effective – I really believe that trying to dry out the skin in an effort to ‘reduce oiliness’ is NOT the way to go; my skin has been better behaved and less greasy when I keep it hydrated the right way. Just sayin’.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream Night: I’ve used this off and on for several years, and I always find it quite effective and keeping my skin clear, soft, and smooth. As you can see its on it’s last legs, and I won’t be repurchasing as I’m hoping my Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil will be it’s replacement, but if you’re looking for a cost-effective anti-aging/anti-acne moisturizer with retinol, this is a good bet for most all skintypes (I find it quite moisturizing, but it isn’t greasy).
Clinique Acne Solutions Oil-Control Clearing Masque, and Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector: Good ol’ free Clinique products. The clay-based masque is pretty decent, it helps to deep clean the skin but doesn’t leave me feeling completely sucked dry of moisture afterward. The serum is really kinda useless to me, as I don’t have any dark spots, but it has antioxidants so I’m using it up just for that. I also get the occasionally pimple scar (which are dark on me) so it helps with that too. Needless to say, when these are done I’ll be moving on to other, organic replacements (Stark’s Green Tea Detox Mask, as well as about a BILLION other oil/serum-type products, come to mind).
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF60, Clinique Super City Block SPF40, Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Cream for Face SPF50: I ended up not using the LRP sunscreen as much as I thought I would, as I found it didn’t play well with other skincare products unless I had the time to let them really sink in and absorb first (time which I rarely leave myself). The Clinique was my go-to, and is nearing the end – I have used the City Block products more times than I can count now, and I will turn to it again if I can’t find a suitable organic replacement. The Shiseido I received as a 500 pt perk at Sephora, and oddly enough I’ve deemed it my ‘running’ sunscreen – I think because it has quite a strong scent, and I worry about wearing it for very long. Since I shower after my runs, I can throw this on and then wash it off no more than an hour or two later. Then it gets used and not wasted! Bizarre possibly, but effective
Avene Cicalfate and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: These are my two ‘emergency’ products for when my eczema gets wacky. The Avene is more of a protectant so if I’m really rashy, its like a barrier to the outside world so my skin gets a chance to heal. It’s also very soothing. The F.A.B. product on the other hand, is fickle – sometimes its just what my skin needs, other times it actually makes my skin burn and itch – so bizarre! Due to that aspect, I don’t use it much. I may relegate it to a hand cream or something just to use it up. Neither product I would repurchase – even though the Avene is somewhat helpful, it gets used relatively infrequently.
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist, Indeed Labs Hydraluon, Boscia Oil-Free Daily Hydration SPF15, derma-e Hydrating Mask w/Hyaluronic Acid: These are the suspect ‘green’ products in my arsenal, that aren’t really organic but contain more basic, ‘natural’ ingredients. I don’t trust ‘em. The Aveda toner has a horrible spray mechanism which requires me to use a cotton pad to apply – for that reason alone I can’t wait ’till this is gone. The Hydraluron only contains one ingredient so on principle its very basic, but it’s really to be used with other hydrators that contain water – which many organic products do not have. So once it’s gone, despite the fact that it’s fairly effective, I won’t repurchase. The Boscia moisturizer is actually really nice. It balances my skin to make it less oily during the day, and the sunscreens are physical so they don’t irritate my skin. I’m tempted to buy this again in the summertime when I won’t want to be layering a bunch of moisturizers and sunscreen…we’ll see how it goes. At least there is no preservatives! The derma-e mask is a puzzling beast. It hydrates, softens and smooths my skin like a charm, but OMFG the scent on this thing is outrageous!! It’s floral and uber-strong, even though the scent is natural and is the last ingredient. It’s unreal. I will find some kind of replacement for this, because when it’s done, I WILL BE SO HAPPY.
Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion +, Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus, Clinique Moisture Surge Intense, Murad Instant Radiance Eye Cream, Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Eye Cream, Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, Clinique Take the Day Off, Boscia Oil-Free Daily Hydration SPF15, Kate Somerville Ret-Asphere 2-in-1 Retinol Nigh Cream, La Roche-Posay Derm AOX Multi-Corrective Day Care, NUDE ProGenius Treatment Oil: Samples! Please excuse the Boscia in here again, I changed my mind about where it should be afterward. I feel like I’m never going to get through those eye creams – they are generous samples that will probably last forever!!! ~sigh~ The rest shouldn’t be too hard to finish up – the Moisture Surge and the TTDO are nearly done, and the others for the most part will just be a few uses. I’ll be glad to see the end of them all.
…and more samples! I won’t list ‘em – suffice to say, these gotta go. I’ll probably use one a week just so my skin doesn’t totally freak out. None of these nor the ones above really intrigue me now that I know I won’t be repurchasing any, anyway. But I’ll soldier through nonetheless
The last of the samples. Kniepp is a sneaky brand that kind of portrays themselves like they are natural and ‘green’, but they contain synthetic fragrance in heavy doses in all of their products. I won a basket full of ‘em from my spa last year, and have hardly used a thing. I tried to use some bath salts and my skin paid a dear price for it. I should just give ‘em all away…
Ok, so there you have it. All the skincare I gotta use up before going whole-hog and buying all the pretty organic beauties out there! Some of these will be easy, and some not so much (the masques in particular will take a while). Its helpful to have these all laid out though to see where I stand and keep my trigger finger from pushing the ‘order now!’ button… it’s tough though. Especially because I’ve really found that my skin has changed even in the past week or so from altering my routine. My pores are significantly smaller, and my skin hasn’t felt itchy, irritated or inflamed once – and I committed a cardinal sin and started all three of my Pai products in one day! (I usually try to incorporate new products in slowly so as to minimize any potential flare-ups) But, you guys know me and excess – stresses me out too much, so I’m determined to employ a hard one-in, one-out rule here until I’ve literally *cleaned up my act* Lets hope the process moves quickly, huh?
Do you have any organic / grean beauty products you just love and can recommend?
Sooo…..it’s been about 149345 days since my last
confession empties post. Honestly, I haven’t used anything really exciting lately that I haven’t already written a review about, so the empties just kept growing and growing until it was honestly freaking me out to write about them all. But tonight I’m feeling energetic so I figured it was time to get ‘er done!
Since this is going to be sort of long, I’m going to get right to it. First up, we have all the items that I’ve previously reviewed. Feelings on those products remain the same unless otherwise noted (or have notes about them in general):
Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil (note: returned Boscia Tsubaki Oil – too heavy I think – and exchanged for a new bottle of this)
Glysomed Hand Cream (frag. free) (apparently I haven’t officially reviewed this but it’s certainly had a number of *great* mentions!)
La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF60 (sample)
Clinique City Block Sheer SPF25 (again, no official review, but this has been a repeat product in my stash many times)
Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butters (Aether x 3, Snow Wolf, Plotters Breakfast)
Haus of Gloi Soft Bubbling Scrubs (Selkie, Twice is Nice)
Moving on, we have the items that are kinda ‘meh’ and which I don’t care to review because they are non-note-worthy – not bad, but not stand-out either:
Kniepp Gentle Body Wash Almond Blossom (too fragrant for me)
Barefoot Venus Save Our Skin Extra Rich Cream in Ruby Red (smells awesome but…too fragrant for my skin)
Montagne Jeunesse Mud Pac masque
Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream (nice and lasts ages but still meh)
Perlier Moisturizing Lip Balm
Sibu Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil (weird and stinky)
Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum (sample) (decent)
Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser (travel size)
Avon Foot Works Therapeudic Cracked Heel Relief Cream
Finally, we get to some new (mini) reviews! We’ll start first with the non-makeup items:
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser (deluxe sample) - I really liked this at first, but now I’m not so sure. It seemed to cleanse well without stripping or making my skin dry, but I am not confident that it really cleansed as well as I imagined now. *most confusing review ever*
Paula’s Choice Acne Fighting Treatment 5% Benzoyl Peroxide (sample) – didn’t work. The end. Wouldn’t buy the full size.
Lancome La Vie Est Belle (sample) – this is my kind of fragrance (which is to say, it smells edible). I got a ton of compliments every time I wore it, so I think I’ll buy the full size this fall.
Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo (sample) – really didn’t like the smell of this…and as I have tons of hair, a thickening shampoo kind of (ironically) falls flat on me.
A-Derma Exomega Emollient Cleansing Oil (deluxe sample) – a sensitive skin line that has fragrance in almost every product. WTF!?!?!!?
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Cleanser – prefer this over the Sebium, which has fragrance (annoying). I like micellar waters for the AM but that’s about it. Possibly would pick up again if it were on sale.
Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque – guys…I’ve had this for 5 years. TOO EFFING LONG. Just sayin’. It was alright and fairly gentle for a clay masque, but nothing special.
John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner – herbal smell, thinner consistency….this probably would have been great for someone with fine, thin / limp hair looking for a deep conditioner, but for my super-dry, super-curly hair, I need something with more weight to it. Would not repurchase.
L’Oreal EverCreme Nourishing Leave-In Spray – overwhelming scent, reminiscent of moroccan oil or something. It took me probably a year to finish this because of how infrequently I used it, partially for the fragrance and partially because my hair care routine is extremely minimal and I have no use of a leave-in right now. Would not repurchase.
Mill Creek Botanicals Biotin Shampoo – very runny, but with a nice tingly effect, though I’m not sure if it did anything for hair growth/health
Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Conditioner – honestly, this was just…fine. Perhaps I should have put it with the ‘meh’ list above, but it was such a gigantic bottle (a gift) that I felt it needed to get some mention. I wouldn’t spend the money on this though if I were in the market for a conditioner.
And then. *Fan fare* We have some makeup items!! Wooooooooo!!!! And a fair number of ‘em too. Heads up though that some of these are not ‘empties’ but discards as I just couldn’t hang on to ‘em any long. TIME TO PURGE. Let’s DO this:
Tarte BB Cream in Medium and Tan (samples) – there were things I really liked about this product, such as the sheerness (as I personally didn’t want a ton of coverage) and then stuff I didn’t like, such as how it felt a little suffocating even though it was so sheer. Overall it was just OK but I wasn’t fully convinced to buy the full size. Additionally, shade matching for my skin SUCKED.
MUFE HD Elixir – this is essentially a serum to boost skin’s hydration levels, that plays well with their HD foundation. To be honest, I didn’t notice much effect, though I also noted that about Hydraluon’s serum as well, so maybe I’m just not dehydrated! Nonetheless, I used it all
Clinique Chubby Stick in Graped-Up – uuuggggh. I HATED this shade on me, these kinds of greyish-mauve-plum tones are horrible on my skin. I scooped out the rest and put it in a tiny jar to use on others when I do makeup applications. I just didn’t want to see this package anymore in my stash. BEGONE.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara – yikes! I bought this on a whim as it was on sale one, and it was NOT good. I got a couple uses out of it but had to give up the ghost because it made my lashes look wonky. Not a fan.
Clinique Touch Tint for Eyes in Gold Glimmer – I got this tester way back when I worked on the counter full time and the product was discontinued. Like 7 years ago. So, even though it’s pretty and sparkly, it’s probably time to go.
OPI DS Desire – I don’t want to toss this at all, but the cap absolutely won’t come off and I’m tired of trying everything to get it off! I like this shade but not so much that I’m willing to break my hands trying to get at it. Plus, it helps me in reducing my polish numbers (which if you recall I’m trying to keep at 100…and I’m hovering around 116. Gotta get to work!).
Dior Addict Glitter Collection Lipstick in Show It – I got this as an extra in a swap, and it’s kind of pretty but also pretty glittery…it’s a muted red with gold glitter bits that looks great during the holidays but inappropriate any other time. I scooped the last of this out too and put it in another little jar for times when I was a little something special. The old packaging is kinda ugly and annoyed me.
MUFE Uplight Face Luminizer Gel in #23 – I got this in my treat bag back when we had the Sephora grand opening here in Halifax, and maybe used it twice…it’s so glittery! I just can’t. I left it so long that the color has morphed and it looks pretty wonky. Bye bye!
MUFE Aqua Cream in #10 – I reviewed this back in the day and while it’s a cool color, it’s essentially unwearable unless you want to put in some major leg work. I don’t – and it’s shows because there’s cracks in the product where it’s drying out. See Ya!
Tarte Vitamin Infused Gloss in 40 Winks (deluxe sample) – I actually liked this quite a bit, though it started to smell a bit funny at the end. Nothing special but the golden shimmer was pretty on the lips.
Annabelle Le Big Show mascara – sorry to be the dissenting voice here, but this mascara was not my thing. I personally found it mediocre and it irritated my eyelashes. I had to toss well before it dried out. Sorry guys! *ducks*
Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara – now THIS mascara I liked. It was a touch on the dry side, but otherwise it made my lashes look pretty great and was easy to use. I’d possibly even buy it again, which is a big deal with mascara for me.
Wet n Wild Mega Liner Liquid Liner Black – this smudged like crazy!!! I only used it a handful of times and then I had to toss it, it drove me nuts. Absolutely do not waste the $3 or whatever for this.
Dalton Lash Fix Tilting mascara – um. Yea. This was a weird product gifted to me by my aunt – weird as in I’d never heard of the brand, and also the tilting brush was ridiculous. AND. This mascara was NOT GOOD. After a couple times I had to trash it. Totally bizarre stuff.
Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum (deluxe sample) - still diggin’ this stuff hard. I have another deluxe sample that I use sparingly when I want to look extra good. I’m not sure I’d buy the full size as the scent makes me nervous, but this size lasts ages for me so by the time I run out of my other one, there will probably be some new-fangled primer that’ll have taken over anyway and this will be a memory.
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF15 (deluxe sample) – I liked using this as my sunscreen when the sun was a scarcity in the winter/spring. I’d consider doing that again if I was feeling spendy, but I’m not entirely sold. It’s good but not HG status for me.
MUFE HD Primer (deluxe sample) – I liked the consistency of this a lot – which was much more runny and watery and non-silicone-y feeling than most other primers – but probably for that reason it didn’t work very well at keeping everything in place. I wouldn’t buy the full size.
HOLY SMOKES. Sorry guys. I know that was a lot to power through (and if you did – YOU ARE TENACIOUS). I will try and keep up with these posts more consistently moving forward, it’s just….DAMN they’re boring to write. When something is done for me, it’s done. I like to talk about the new and shiny
One final note I want to share with you about buying and consuming. As you know, the past months have been quite financially restrictive, and I was really putting in an effort to keep my spending to a minimum. However, what started as a cost-saving endeavour has turned into a lot more. I read all of these fantastic blogs and see all the haul posts and pretty purchases, and rather than feel deprived, I feel kind of anxious and stressed out. I just can’t get behind all these makeup purchases. I’m not judging, truly, it’s just that more and more it works me up to think of all that makeup just sitting there – you only have one face, how much of all those products are really getting the love they deserve? ~sigh~ So while I still get enticed here and there to buy a bunch of stuff because DAMMIT ITS SO EFFING PRETTY, I just can’t pull the trigger as easily as I used to. I already have too much stuff that doesn’t get used, and I just don’t want to go on like that. I’ve made huge strides in this area and have only bought 4 makeup items in the last 3 months, which may still seem like a lot but which I feel is a good improvement – and I am determined to keep it up. So while this empties post seems sort of ridiculous, these have been building up since early spring, and most have not been replaced – it’s been more of a 2-3 out, 1 in sort of system that really eases my mind a whole lot. Here’s to hoping I stay in this mind frame for a while!
So…how are you doing on your empties? And your purchases??
It’s time for the Spring edition of the Beauty Envy Bag! We want to share our springtime beauty essentials with you by giving you the chance to win a makeup bag filled with products we love.
For those of you who may be new to our blogs, here’s a quick introduction.
Check out the reviews for the featured products in the Spring Beauty Envy Bag:
- Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Harem & Venous (Reviewed by Lakeisha)
- Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Quince (Reviewed by Latoya)
- Kat Von D Shade Shifter Eyeshadow in Devotion (Reviewed by Leticia)
- Dior Vernis Haute Couleur in Lilac Colorvision (Reviewed by Lola)
Extras that are also included in the bag:
- Hourglass High Shine Lipgloss in Child
- NARS Pro Prime Eyeshadow Base
- NARS Illuminator in Copacabana
- MUFE Aqua Eyes in 12L
- China Glaze Nail Apps in Cherry Blossom
- Philosphy Hope Oil-Free spf 30
Here is what you need to know to enter in the Rafflecopter widget below:
- Must leave a blog comment (just one blog, doesn’t have to be all four) letting us know your favorite spring beauty product.
- Additional entries for following each blog on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Open internationally
- Must be 18 or older
- Giveaway closes on Sunday May, 26 at 11:59 EST
Good luck, everyone!
So here we are again. For obvious reasons, this month has been pretty lean in terms of shopping, especially on the beauty front, where I reallydon’t need anything, anyway. And it was pretty easy to resist almost everything; when you have a goal in mind (to have the most awesome of times in New Zealand), and a life change (double the mortgage!), it’s really a no-brainer. And actually, the purchases I did make were all before everything happened – the only thing I bought since then was a body lotion, which I needed (though…maybe not as pricey, but I was in a town with a Holts – IMPOSSIBLE to not buy ANYTHING).
As usual – The Guidelines:
1) Makeup: Purchase no more than 10 items per season (excludes replacing staples of foundation, concealer, powder)
2) Nail Polish: Purchase no more than 5 polish per month
3) Skincare/Haircare: Use one, Buy one
And here we have it!
Purchased (August 20-September 19):
- Kiehl’s Creme de Corps ($37.50CAD)
- Mill Creek Botanicals Biotin Shampoo ($9.89CAD)
- Kariderm Neutral Natural Soap with Shea Butter & Vitamin E ($5.29CAD)
- Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Lotion ($24.99CAD)
- OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest ($10.50CAD)
- Zoya Dea ($8.75CAD)
- Zoya Anchor Base Coat ($12.50CAD)
FYI: The L’Occitane shampoo I purchased back in July I returned, unopened. I was just too nervous to use something so fragranced and really – I shampoo my hair like, twice a month, so why spend big bucks on something I hardly use!? I haven’t yet tried the Mill Creek stuff because I just finished my last shampoo, but I have high hopes :) I picked up the shampoo, bar soap and the Weleda lotion from Well.ca – my first order from the company – and I had a $10 coupon code, so it was a good first experience!
Also, you may notice lately I’ve been buying a lot of base coats – I really find it makes a difference with my polish wear time if I’m using a compatible base. I’m trying to pick up one from each brand I own essentially, and already my polishes have been lasting SO much better. I might be crazy, but whatever works, right?
It might not seem like I pared down that much, but when you add up the actual dollar amount I spent this month ($109) as compared to the last ($198)…yea, you see what I’m sayin’? ~pats self on back~
Used Up (August 20-September 19):
You see those empties? Not too shabby eh??
These were both just OK. The L’Oreal Studio Silk & Gloss Curling Spray didn’t make my hair TOO crunchy, which was nice, but I don’t even know why I bought it because I hate spray gels. Blah. The Aveda Scalp Benefits Shampoo (which I bought last November if you can believe it! See how much I <don’t> shampoo my hair??!) was fine – I did like the way it seems to clean my hair without stripping it, and it made it soft – but I just don’t like the standard herbal smells of Aveda…I never learn. Also, if you’re a fan of shampoos that lather a lot (I’m not, hence why I bought it), you won’t like this.
On the right – Clinique’s Makeup Brush Cleanser. Pretty good stuff, though nothing crazy. It lasts a fair while and I like that if I’m really in a rush, I can spray, wipe and go. I rarely do that though and typically spray, rinse, spray, rinse, dry. Just to make it more difficult on myself.
On the left – I know you’re thinking “What the…!?!” Well…does anyone remember when they carried the brand Pupa in Shoppers Drug Mart? This was something they came up with, this ridiculous cow with a makeup palette inside. It’s double-sided, too!
When I was traveling around Europe, this thing was GENIUS, with two blush, a bronzer, a powder, and a handful each of eyeshadows and lipglosses. But guys – that was 6 years ago. Since then, I’ve kept it in my office drawer ‘for emergencies’ and rarely used it. When I moved my cubicle a couple weeks ago, I decided it was time to go. Too bad, so sad, we had some good times! ~Mooooooooo!~
And the pitiful makeup empties – they’re always so frickin’ tough to accumulate! I finally finished that blasted tube of Jack Black’s Lip Treatment (two months later than planned), and my travel size of Hourglass’ Veil Mineral Primer. I sort of fell out of love with it for a while, then got back into it when the weather cooled. I found that it, on top of my Clinique City Block, didn’t mix well and I still got greasy throughout the day. As a replacement for sunscreen (it has an SPF of 15) on rainy or overcast days, it’s pretty good. Not sure I’d spend $70 on a full-size though (sorry Liz! *ducks*).
I also had a small sample of a L’Occitane Ultra Comforting Serum that seemed nice, but those kind of samples tell me NOTHING about the product as a whole, so no further comment there. The mascara in the front is from Pur Minerals - and I used it once and just couldn’t. Awful, awful stuff! The brush was horrid and the formula was clumpy. However, it could be old and I generally don’t make opinions on mascara based on sample sizes because it never seems true to form. The mascara sample in the back is the famed Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara I’d featured in a couple FOTD’s, which sadly isn’t why my lashes are so curly (all-natural, sorry! *ducks again*). But it was still nice and not even remotely clumpy and defined the lashes well. Not sure I’d buy the full size though.
Lastly, we have a nail file. I know that’s weird but I threw it in for fun, what the heck. It is so worn down there is no filing to be had any more from this. It was also in my desk at work, and it appears there’s food or some crap stuck to it – for that I apologize. Another reason it has to go!
Phew! Ok then – let’s Recap:
1) Makeup: 0 makeup items purchased [6 non-staples this season (Summer)], 1 palette and 3 samples used/tossed
2) Nail Polish: 2 polish purchased this month (20 total since the beginning of 2012)
3) Skincare: 3 skin/1 hair bought, 3 skin/2 hair used
Wha-wha-whaaaat!? No makeup bought??? This is unheard of! I didn’t even realize ’till I just did up those tally’s. Wow!! That actually makes me really happy – I’m trying so hard to use what I have an enjoy it rather than jumping on every next big thing. I could handle a massive slow-down of makeup purchases for a while, no doubt! And it’s likely to continue at least until I return from New Zealand, so hooray!! And this ends the 10 per season for Summer…back to the drawing board for Fall!
Speaking of, I’m hoping to come back with less makeup than I bring while away – I’m packing the very dregs of a lot of little samples and ends of liners and stuff, so here’s hoping it’s gone over the course of 5 weeks. Although, to be honest, I’m not even sure how much makeup I’ll be wearing down there! In any case, I’m going to show you what I’m packing before I leave so you can be nosy and see for yourself
So, another month down! Only four more to go before I can stop boring you with these posts, and I right!? I’ll still continue with the continuous whittling down, but maybe not so regimented. Though I always look forward to showing you guys – it’s like hoping for a gold star from the teacher :P It’s likely – no, a for sure – that my next post will NOT be on time, as I’ll be away, but I’ll do a special edition featuring the stuff I used up while away when I return. I hope it’s a HUGE one!
Which do you like more: seeing the purchases or the discards? What’s your average monthly beauty budget?
Go, GO, GO! Moving right along into month seven and again, all things seem fairly equal. This is all old hat to me now! The trickiest part is remembering what I purchased throughout the month – thank god I’m anal and have a spreadsheet that tracks all my purchases
Le Guidelines (I’ll drill them into you yet!):
1) Makeup: Purchase no more than 10 items per season (excludes replacing staples of foundation, concealer, powder)
2) Nail Polish: Purchase no more than 5 polish per month
3) Skincare/Haircare: Use one, Buy one
It felt like I was shopping a lot last month – and indeed for the whole month of July I was a little less thrifty than I’d like – but it was mostly that I was buying bigger ticket items rather than larger quantity. I’m hoping to pare down to next to nothing for the rest of August and all of September – only 45 days till New Zealand, yeehaw!!
Purchased (July 20-August 19):
- Aveeno Eczema Care Cream ($12CAD)
- TiGi Catwalk Curl Collection Curlesque Curls Rock Amplifier ($23CAD)
- L’Oreal EverCreme Nourishing Leave-In Spray ($12CAD)
- Parissa Strip Free Hot Wax and Microwaveable Warm Wax ($10.50CAD each)
- Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Silk Eye Shadow #24 ($33CAD)
- Too Faced Sun Bunny Classic Bronzing Powder (swap)
- a-England Camelot ($8CAD – promo)
- Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (approx. $25CAD)
- MAC Raizin Blush (matte) (swap)
- Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L102 ($36CAD)
- NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in More (approx. $28CAD)
I had to write out the whole TiGi product name because it’s absolutely insane – and how many times do you need to say CURL for people to get that it’s for CURLS?! Jeez Louise.
I just realized I had the waxing kits turned to the French side – my bad! I have a very traumatizing yet hilarious story about these kits, but I’m going to dedicate it’s own post to them so keep your eyes peeled.
Also, just word to the wise – I bought that GA Eyes to Kill shadow from Neiman Marcus (remember, one of my fave shopping sites?), and it came to $35.90CAD taxes and fees in. As compared to $42CAD plus tax ($48.30) at Holts. So I saved myself almost $13. Canadians, do yourself a favor! I also order the NARS gloss pencil and the LM eyeshadow from Neiman’s, because I’m impatient and they were in stores here yet :P Savings wasn’t as good though.
I did a fair bit of swapping this month – some items still to arrive – and I’m really pleased with the two items here I picked up. MAC’s Raizin would look terrifying to many people as it’s so dark and brownish, but on me it looks really good. FOTD coming up soon!
Used Up (July 20-August 19):
- Fresh Brown Sugar Body Lotion (100mL size)
- Life Brand Skin Relieving Moisturizing Lotion
- Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (50mL)
- MAC Nico Lipglass (discontinued)
- OJON Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy (sample)
- Clinique Comfort On Call (preview sample)
- Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit Rollerball
So, not too much going on here, I guess – OH WAIT IS THAT TWO BOTTLES OF PERFUME I SEE YES IT MOST CERTAINLY IS!!!!!
…Ok, sorry. But seriously dudes, how frickin’ cool is that!? I can’t remember the last time I finished a fragrance – hence why I always buy the smallest sizes possible, because I get bored and then they take forever to finish! I’ve had that J.Lo. bottle since I lived at home, which is AGES ago, and I never wear it, but this summer I kept spritzing like mad, determined to finish it once and for all. I used to love sickly sweet scents like that, but now it’s a bit too much for me. Unfortunately for my bf, every time I wore he was like “YUM!” and I had to keep reminding him that I was never buying it again. LOL.
The rest really is kinda ho-hum though, couple ‘o mascaras, a small Clinique DDMG along with a preview sample jar of a product we no longer sell, my trusty pseudo-Aveeno body lotion…all kinda boring! I finally made peace with myself over never being able to finish that horrid MAC gloss – gah, what an awful shade, that SA should be shot – and decided out it goes. I also finished up the Fresh Brown Sugar cream I got in a gift set at Christmas; loved the scent, but didn’t trust it not to burn my skin off, so I used it very infrequently and in impervious places like my feet. Lastly, I had a sample of the new OJON Rare Blend Oil, which I think is a bunch of hooey as the first ingredient is dimethicone, which pretty much ensures none of the good stuff is even touching your hair. Meh.
And now, Le Recap:
1) Makeup: 4 makeup items purchased + 2 swap [6 non-staples this season (Summer)], 3 used/tossed
2) Nail Polish: 1 polish purchased this month (18 total since the beginning of 2012)
3) Skincare: 3 skin/2 hair bought, 4 skin used
*bonus: Two fragrances used!!
It’s funny – I look at the purchases I made and think “Geez, that’s not too crazy!”, but when I told my friends that I only buy a couple actual makeup items per month, they said “Uh…that still sounds like a lot” LOL! THIS is why I blog, so I can feel normal!! I know you guys totally get it
Anyone else still doing some sort of a no/low-buy!? I am *almost* tempted to do a no-buy for the rest of the time until New Zealand…it would be a great challenge, and I think I’ve gotten all the fall items I wanted from the collections (which is to say, not many…I was sort of underwhelmed by a lot of it!). I’m not sure its wise though, given how I don’t work well with total restrictions – and I stop in L.A. on the way to and from NZ, so that could be disastrous lol.
Do you think that 3-4 makeup purchases a month is too much (or not enough)? What have you finished lately that you’re proud of?
Ok, so I’m halfway through these monthly updates, and they’re starting to be all business – and this post is no exception, I’ve got a LOT to cover! I did a fair bit of buying, but I think I did an equal amount of using (that sounds SO wrong), which justified most of the purchases I made. Anyway, I’m giving the whole thing away – go see for yourself, huh?
As usual, a recap on the guidelines:
1) Makeup: Purchase no more than 10 items per season (excludes replacing staples of foundation, concealer, powder)
2) Nail Polish: Purchase no more than 5 polish per month
3) Skincare/Haircare: Use one, Buy one
Fairly straightforward (at least to me…goodness knows that sometimes my challenges can be convoluted LOL) – so, here are my purchases for the past month!
Purchased (June 20-July 19):
- Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer ($26CAD)
- Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 06 ($5.79CAD – on sale)
- Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita ($31CAD)
- Shiseido Pureness Balancing Softener Alcohol Free ($29CAD)
- DermaE Vitamin A Wrinkle Treatment Moisturizing Gel ($13.99CAD)
- Vichy Capital Soleil 30 Mexoryl XL Sun Protection Cream SPF30 ($16.99CAD – on sale)
- Aussie Catch the Wave Mousse + Leave-in Conditioner ($5.49CAD – on sale)
- Bumble and Bumble Creme de Coco Tropical-Riche Masque ($32.75CAD)
- Revlon Nail Enamel in Whimsical ($5.95CAD)
- China Glaze Nail Lacquer in For Audrey ($6.50CAD)
- Deborah Lippmann Daytripper nail polish ($16CAD – *Sidenote: they lowered the prices of these at Mills to match the US!! Yay!!!)
- Chanel Vernis in Inattendu ($26CAD)
I’m happy to say every single item I purchased (save for one) was well thought-out and part of my ongoing wishlist of products, which is my ultimate goal when buying now. The Kate Moss Rimmel lipstick was an impulse, one that I’m unsure of (review to come), but it was so cheap I’m not going to beat myself up for it. Anyway, moving on to the good stuff…
Remember my just-wont-die-discard pile from last month? Well, let’s check out the empties and see just how many I conquered >_< (Side note: It’s funny how my photography for these posts are SO lacking…but who really wants to shoot snazzy images of empty, crappy old containers of stuff? I mean really)
Used Up (June 20-July 19):
- Avon Foot Works Paraffin Moisture Treatment Mask
- Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat
- Witchcraft Durable Base Coat
Seems I’ve written reviews on many of these products (what a good lil doobie I am :)), and the all still held true to the last drop. I disliked the Ole eye cream so much I used it up by using it on my neck for a couple weeks LOL – ’cause lord knows how long eye creams take to be finished! The Avon foot mask was fine – nothing like a paraffin treatment really, but did leave my toosies soft and hydrated.
I actually liked the Revlon top coat a lot, even though I’ve heard opinions to the contrary. It stayed fairly thin and easy to apply right till the bitter end – by which I mean, when I couldn’t reach it any more with the brush (why do they make polishes that way, anyway??). Same end came to the Witchcraft base coat, though I was ambivalent toward it; it didn’t perform badly, but it didn’t blow my mind either. I got it free, so whatever!
- Bobbi Brown Corrector in Dark Peach
- NARS Multiple in South Beach
- MAC Lipglass in Evolution Revolution
- Clinique Brush-on Cream Liner in Black Honey
There’s not a whole lot to note about the makeup – the BB corrector looks frickin’ orange when you apply it, but it brightens the eye area nicely and I like that it’s creamy and keeps my eye area looking young. But in terms of coverage, it’s not the greatest. I know that the purpose is to then use the concealer too, but I wasn’t wowed by the two together when I tried it in store. I’ve also purchased the concealer solo twice, again for the creaminess (and also for the shade selection), but for price vs the amount of product you get, I won’t be buying it again.
The South Beach multiple was a lovely, slightly peachy-toned highlight for my skin which looked great almost all the time. But MAN have I mentioned I hate sample sizes? So I was glad to see it go. I’d like to say I’d repurchase, but the way this took FOREVER to finish, I’d hate to have the full size too! Lose-lose. Also lose-lose is MAC Lipglasses – I’ve been powering my way through this one and planning to start on the other two I have left, and once they’re gone: never again. Too sticky, and there are SO many better formulations out there. I’m done with them!
Lastly, the Clinique liner was great when it wasn’t dried out, a deep brown shimmer, but I’ve had it for several years now and it fell by the wayside for a while, so it got crappy and it’s gotta go. Sayonara, sucka!
- Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum deluxe sample
- Steam Cream moisturizer sample
- KO Denmark Jasmine Neroli Rose Body Wash sample
Meh to all of these. I read a great review of the Tarte serum on Scrangie, but I never found it did much of anything for me. The moisturizer and body wash sample were two of the three I received from Beauty Habit, and while it was nice to try different brands, neither wowed me. Not much else to say about that!
So…am I the only one who’s pretty stoked about all those empties, including makeup items!?! All month I’ve been tossing and chucking and eager as anything to to show you guys! All but the Jack Black lippie (which initially I was in no hurry to finish, but after reading this on Temptalia, consider my mind changed :S) and the MAC Arena shadow, which was really only thrown in there because of PAN (sidenote: yes, I will capitalize that word every time I write it, because PAN is a very elusive thing for a beauty aficionado such as myself! – and speaking of PAN, last night I had a dream that I hit PAN on some product I own — seriously, a frickin’ DREAM, and it was SUCH a good one — which makes me sound even crazier than you probably already think me to be lol), was used up from the discard pile I was working my way through, plus some!!
OK! Putting it all together, here’s a quick recap:
1) Makeup: 3 makeup items purchased [2 non-staples this season (Summer)], 5 used/tossed
2) Nail Polish: 4 polish purchased this month (17 total since the beginning of 2012) + 2 polish tossed
3) Skincare: 3 skin/2 hair bought, 4 skin/2 hair used
I’m really quite pleased with the way this month turned out The thing is about this whole process – the restricted buying and the selective shopping – is that I’m working toward being both able to fully enjoy beauty and all it has to offer, while reconciling it all with my personality as a whole. I realized today the best way to describe it: I want to TRY everything, not OWN everything – does that make sense? I compile lists upon lists of beauty items I want to experience, but I don’t want to be overwhelmed with piles of them in my bathroom and having to feel like I have to ‘use them up’. I want to fully enjoy things rather than love it for a day or two before moving on to something else that’s grabbed my attention. So the hope here is that eventually I’ll streamline my stash to be filled with only products I’m not eager to finish, ones that I don’t mind owning for years because every time I pull them out, no matter how (in)frequently, they still bring me sheer joy every time I use them. I know I’ve sort of said all this before, but it really clarified itself for me today, and I wanted to explain myself more clearly for anyone who isn’t sure just what my freakin’ deal is :P I hope that you might be able to relate a bit more with my goal now!
To anyone who’s engaging in a version of a low-buy/no-buy, I sincerely wish you the best – I know from experience how hard it can be at times, and how it’s a challenge to want to be restrained and at the same time want everything! Hopefully you’re making headway in your own endeavours
What’s your approach to beauty in terms of acquisition etc? Does an ever-expanding collection give you stress at all?
The past 30 days seemed to drag on, don’t you think? I found this month a bit tough to keep myself under control – nothing too serious, but I kept feeling like it should be time again for me to be able to buy something else pretty guilt free :P I think my mini Burberry haul really added to the heft my purchases list has this month. I’m not going to worry about it, since it was a 30th birthday splurge and I’m worth it, dammit! But, back on the horse – I plan on doing better this coming month. I think I’m one of the last ones standing regarding the low/no-buy (except Larie, who’s extended her ban – hooray!), so possibly these posts have lost their zest for you, but nonetheless I’m going to keep pressing on because otherwise I have no one to hold me accountable!
I think I should be recapping a few of the guidelines before jumping right into the empties/purchases, so let me just refresh your memory:
1) Makeup: Purchase no more than 10 items per season
2) Nail Polish: Purchase no more than 5 polish per month
3) Skincare: Use one, Buy one
Ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way – let’s see how I’m doing (gulp!).
Purchased (May 20-June 19):
Here we have:
- Marcelle Hydra-C Facial Exfoliating Gel ($10.74CAD – sale)
- Life Brand Skin Relieving Moisturizing Lotion ($5.99CAD – sale)
- Aveeno Sensitive Skin Sunscreen ($10.99 – sale)
- Zoya Arizona & Wednesday polishes ($8.75CAD each)
- Essie Bikini So Teeny & Blanc polishes ($7.99CAD – sale – and $11.99CAD, respectively)
- Orly In A Snap Quick Drying Top Coat ($12CAD)
- Essie First Base Base Coat ($12CAD)
- Sparitual Aurum polish ($12CAD)
- Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base ($66CAD)
- Burberry Light Glow Blush in Russet ($54CAD)
- Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Trench ($33CAD)
- Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Abstraction #88 ($37CAD)
Err…yea. Not great…but in fairness, my birthday was last month and I felt it was appropriate to treat myself :) Ah well! Many of these I’ve reviewed already – and I plan on posting the other polish shades soon, especially Bikini So Teeny – LOVE this shade!!! And the Marcelle scrub is actually quite lovely as well.
My discard pile is somewhat meager this month – and I blame the handful of products I have that just won’t die!!!! They’re driving me crazy. I even took a shot of them so you could see what I mean:
All of these products have been *thisclose* to being finished for like a month. Well, excluding the MAC shadow (in Arena – great natural brow highlight for darker-skinned ladies), I just threw that in there because – PAN! PAN! PAN!! Being able to see pan is very exciting for me; I only have one other full-size product showing pan in my stash, a blush from CoverFX, and it’s just HUGE. As for the rest…it’s just ridiculous, half of these are deluxe sample sizes, WTF are they still kicking around for?? I can’t STAND sample size products :S I promise you that next month, these will be finished, kaput. Or else I’m gonna go stark raving MAD.
…Anyway. Empties, anyone?
Used Up (May 20-June 19):
winners loser are:
- Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer SPF15 in 06
- Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF15 Original
- Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara (sample)
- Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Bourbon
- Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator
- Clinique City Block Sheer Daily Face Protector SPF25
- Life Brand Skin Relieving Moisturizing Lotion
- Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray
So there’s a lot of Clinique, and a lot of the Moisture Surge line eh? Hmm. Guess my skin’s been thirsty lately :P I do like the line, and almost every school we get a bottle of the Face Spray, which used to sit in my cupboard going mostly unused, ’till I read this article on Beauty Editor, and now I use it daily and it is AMAZING. I thought it was just for a pick-me-up, but it’s way better when used between skincare applications. The Moisture Surge Intense was nice, but I actually like the original better, which is weird because that one is merely a temporary solution, whereas this one supposedly restores your moisture barrier to help ‘fix’ the problem. I just didn’t like the texture as much, or something. The Tinted Moisturizer provides quite good coverage for that kind of product, but it’s a bit too hydrating for me (re: greasy), especially in the Summer. Would be perfect for someone with drier skin though!
As for the other Clinique product, the City Block Sheer, I honestly think switching to physical sunscreens has been the difference-maker in my skin. I have absolutely NO irritation ever and my skin has never been better – I haven’t needed to wear foundation in months. I will never go back to chemical if I can help it. Also, I find that using only this sunscreen in the warmer months, with no ‘official’ moisturizer during the day, has made me SO much less oily, I hardly have an issue with it now at all (though it could be because I’m also not wearing foundation). Hallelujah!
Here lies the second Fresh Lip Treatment which I have finished, and finished HARD:
I’m sad to say but I won’t ever repurchase these again, as I find that due to the high fragrance in them they cause irritation in my lips, which means that even though they’re hydrated, their often rough and chapped. I have one more to finish and then I’m done with them! Too bad because they’re lovely but just not for me!
I snagged a sample of the Estee Lauder Sumptuous mascara in April which was sweet because I was considering picking it up as my next mascara. However, I was underwhelmed. I sort of don’t think mascara samples are fully representative of the full-size product, but at the same time, the brush was just OK (very reminiscent of Clinique’s Lash Doubling, which I could just order for free on my gratis), and it didn’t give me KA-POW lashes in the least, which is sort of my goal. So, I’ll pass for now.
I used to love the UD 24/7 pencils and wanted to acquire them in every shade (I still have probably 5-6), but lately I find that they’re so gritty feeling with all the sparkle, and its just not comfortable on my eyes. I did like this shade, Bourbon, a lot though. But, once a pencil gets down too far for me to sharpen it, out it goes!
Lastly…the Life Brand Moisturizing Lotion, which I’ve talked about before (I really should just stop putting those in because ~snooze~ but you can see how fast I go through them eh?) Also, I know how much you enjoy the fact that I cut these tubes in half to get as much product as I can LOL (also see the Clinique SPF). What can I say? I hate waste
OK! Putting it all together, here’s a quick recap:
1) Makeup: 4 makeup items purchased [12 this season (Spring)] *Tossed 3*
2) Nail Polish: 5 polish purchased this month (13 total since the beginning of 2012)
3) Skincare: Used 5, Bought 3
This time around, that’s 5 full-size skincare products, 1 sample, and 2 makeup items
So…I didn’t succeed on the makeup front, but I’m pretty pleased overall that I was able to only buy 12 items over the course of 3 months – it felt like I was buying a lot more! Happily, only one of those products was really a ‘filler’ purchase (the Revlon lip butter from last month’s recap) , which I’m trying to avoid, so even though I went over my limit, I mainly only picked up items I really wanted/love, which is ultimately the goal of this whole endeavor anyway, so YAY to that!
However, I will admit – SO happy that we’re into the Summer season now and I have 10 more items I’m allowed to buy!!!!!!! :P (Though…condo furnishings will probably deplete my budget for the next little while, so no fear of going over 10 this time around!)
Have you tried any of the products I mentioned? What are your feelings on sample size products? What’s the last ‘filler’ purchase you made?