Empties | July 2014

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Every month I keep thinking I’m not going through that many products, that my little trash stash under the sink doesn’t look very full.  But when I get around to finally dumping it out on the floor so I can organize and photograph it, it looks like some crazy person’s been hoarding their garbage for about 30 days or so.

Huh.

Well, anyway.  Here’s my empties.  Let’s do hair first:

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The EVOLVh shampoo and conditioner set was just alright.  It arrived when I had about one day left in my other shampoo and conditioner, so it served it’s purpose of not making me run errands on a Wednesday after work.  For that reason alone, I was appreciative.  However, there was nothing special about this stuff.  It smelled pretty good.  That’s about it.  I did not get supermodel riding on the back of a horse along the coastline of a beach kind of hair.  And that’s a darn shame.  Have you seen me on a horse?  Stunning.

The Davine’s Love Shampoo fared better.  I actually almost bought the full size until I realized it cost $24 and I reconsidered my true feelings. Do I like it? Yes. But do I love it? Mmmmmm … not $24 worth of love. Plus when you don’t have the matching conditioner, the shampoo on its own is pretty much no frills. My hair was ultra smoothie when I used both, but only quasi smoothie when it was shampoo solo. And normally I don’t do shampoo solo but someone (Birchbox) gave me a one-time-use conditioner packet so I was forced into it. I do not recommend this method. The two together are a dream. So next them you have $50 handy, put these in your basket.

Speaking of DO NOT RECOMMEND I got this little sample of Dove Oxygen Moisture shampoo. I’m not sure if the moisture aspect of this was a mistake or just pure arrogance, but this stuff dried out my ends and did quite literally the opposite of moisture. Not even sure how that’s possible. I’d contemplate this further, but I am so very bored now.

Face things:

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I really wanted to love the Caudalie Polyphenol C15 serum. I tried hard y’all. But unfortunately, it wasn’t in me. It was a texture issue. It did not feel good on my face. Was not soft, was not special, was not worth my time. Thankfully it was free.

However, everyone else in the world loves this stuff so don’t listen to me. Apparently I am an idiot.

But then I got this Flash Facial from Sonya Dakar, and I was rendered literally speechless.  I have never used a product quite like this one.  I wasn’t sure what to expect other than what I was supposed to do – apply to face, leave on for a minute, then wipe off using circular motions.  I knew my dead skin was supposed to ball up and flake off and that I would be left with a brand new face.  But I’m not even kidding you when I say my jaw dropped to my chest.  This stuff WORKS.  I had the most radiant, softest skin afterwards, and I knew immediately I had to own the full size.

$95?!  Dangit.  So I’m currently searching for a dupe.  If anyone has any suggestions, please comment and save me some money.  Or else you may gift me the full size.  I have told you it’s my month-long 40th birthday celebration, haven’t I?  Welllll, it is.

Last product is the Lancer Eye Contour Lifting Cream.  I liked the texture of this eye cream very much.  It was thick enough to really set in, but not so thick where it left behind a sticky residue.  I feel like it moisturized the area pretty well.  However, I used this for roughly a month and couldn’t figure out what was causing my eyes to burn.  Was it the new serum I was using?  The moisturizer?  After doing some investigating (in the form of a very scientific process of elimination), it’s been determined that it was the eye cream culprit.  Well, that’s a bummer isn’t it?  Except it costs almost $100 so I wouldn’t have bought more of it anyway.  Sometimes things just work out.

Now for makeup:

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If you want to feel like a fancy lady, grab a pack of these Tatcha blotting papers.  They are exquisite.  Then be sad when they are gone and try to placate yourself with a pack of NYX papers which will not even come close to the same.  So I’m at that crossroads where I turn right and buy 30 Tatcha papers for $12 or turn left and buy 50 NYX papers for $3.99.  Or maybe go straight and buy 100 Boscia papers for $10.  Aaaack! I can’t decide.  If the Tatcha wasn’t so good, this would not be much of a dilemma.

On another note, there’s a math problem in there if you are so inclined.

Look at my sad little Pixi bronzer.  I actually hit pan on this and used it for another few weeks afterwards.  Then I had a wee makeup avalanche, and it ended up in a billion pieces.  Kind of sad because I hate throwing away things that aren’t empty, but there’s no way in hell I was gonna spend 15 hours trying to press this back together with rubbing alcohol.  Do I have that kind of time?  For other things, yes (pajamas, couch, bed, lazing), but for tedious arts and craft projects, NO.

Aside from all that, I liked the bronzer.  It had some shimmer in it, but it didn’t bother me.  And it was my favorite up until I started using the Too Faced Chocolate Soliel.  I probably won’t repurchase because of that.

Look at that cute, itty bitty Benefit Fake Up concealer.  It’s pretty precious if you ask me.  I haven’t heard much about this concealer, but it was a Sephora freebie so figured why not.  It’s a clear moisturizer stick with a concealer core.  And I absolutely loved it.  Went on very smooth, blended like a dream, and moisturized my under eye like nobody’s business.  I’m trying desperately to finish up my other concealers before I buy the full size, but my fingers are starting to get clicky.  And once that clicky feeling hits me, sometimes I end up buying things from Korea at 3 a.m.  So pray for me, k?

The Laura Mercier Foundation Primer is not empty.  It’s probably about 1/2 full or so.  However, I didn’t realize there was only a 6 month expiration date on it, and I wasn’t sure what would happen to my face if I used it past its freshness date.  So to be safe (and avoid any face-falling-off sort of scenarios), I’ve decided to pitch it.  However, it wasn’t my most favorite primer anyway.  Not bad by any means, but it felt like just plain moisturizer not anything special like the Laura Geller Spackle or the Benefit That Gal.  And even though it hurt my heart a little to not finish the tube, I consoled myself with the 15 other primers in my stash.  Don’t worry – I’ll be okay.

If you suffer from enormously large pores like me, then the L’Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher will be your BFF.  It’s similar to the Benefit POREfessional, but it’s also different.  Instead of the silicone feel you get with Benefit, this one has more of a gel texture, although looking at the ingredients you can clearly see it’s made of silicone.  Regardless, it just feels nice, for lack of a better word.  Also, I’ve been typing for several hours (seems like), so fancy words are hard to come by at this point.

Now I seriously have large pores – that’s not me being a typical overly dramatic woman.  They are colossal, bottomless holes.  Okay, that might be dramatic.  But still.  Large pores, nonetheless.  This stuff truly does blur them out.  Now, don’t get all excited thinking you’re going to walk away from your makeup mirror looking like a 13-year-old girl, but it does help somewhat.  And if you have minimal pores, but you’d still like to blur them, I bet this would work even better.  I’m definitely repurchasing.  It may be 100% psychological brain trickery, but I liked it.

One product I wasn’t too keen on was this Sonia Kashuk lip liner.  I can only speak for the nude pink shade I got because it’s the color payoff I had trouble with.  It barely showed up on my lips, almost as if I didn’t put any liner on at all.  I’m not really sure how much of a complaint that is depending on what you would want out of a lip liner, but I personally prefer some color.  I ended up tossing this because I got another nude pink liner (from Starlooks) that works way better and I needed to free up some storage space.

Lord, are we done?!

No.  Here’s some moisturizer:

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That dadgum Pur-Lisse Pur Moist moisturizer haunts me forever.  If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you will know this is only like my 6th or 7th tube.  Not by choice, let me make that clear.  Virtually every beauty box I’ve subscribed to has sent me this moisturizer.  It’d be alright if it was the world’s best moisturizer, then I would have lots of it that I could hug and kiss and hoard like a crazy person.  But instead it’s just a basic moisturizer that I couldn’t give two spits about.  I mean, it’s fine.  It does the job.  It smells decent.  There’s not really anything to hate.  I’m just tired of looking at it.  I did use the entire tube – well, within maybe an inch or so – and by doing so I feel as if I’ve accomplished the impossible.  Yes, I’m comparing finishing this moisturizer to climbing Mt Everest because to me, it’s pretty much the same dang thing.

One moisturizer that I did love and would be perfectly fine in receiving duplicate tubes of is the H2O+ Oxygenating Rejuvenator.  This stuff just felt so good going on the skin.  It’s a gel consistency, it wasn’t thick, it wasn’t sticky, it was the perfect moisturizer for me.  One of these days I’m going to settle on a skincare routine, and this quite possibly might be the one.  Strictly on a texture basis, mind you.  Cuz honestly, if it works actual skincare wonders I have no idea.  I mean, a week’s worth of product isn’t enough to perform miracles.  However, if texture is your main thing anyway, then you should go ahead and put this in your basket.  (Cuz I am the boss of you, that’s why.)

Got another H2O+ moisturizer, this time the Micro Collagen one.  I didn’t like this one as much as the other one, but it was still decent.  It had a silicone look to it and it applied nicely.  Absorbed well.  I wouldn’t hesitate a bit about using this again because it was better than a lot of the moisturizers I’ve used before.

I’m boring myself. Sorry. Let’s talk about mushrooms.

Got this Amore Pacific Future Response cream as a free sample from Sephora. It has a delightful earthy mushroom smell – or what I like to refer to as, not delightful. Apparently mushrooms have wicked anti aging benefits, but to put them on my face? Eh. Granted, it’s more of a weird smell than a gross smell and I was able to put up with it for the roughly three weeks this sample lasted me. But let me reiterate that it WAS NOT DELIGHTFUL. They could’ve tossed a handful of flowers in the batter at least.

Finished off another tub of Josie Maran body butter. This time it’s the Vanilla Apricot scent, and it smells much better than the Sweet Citrus. Sweet Citrus has a slight hint of skunk and grass, and you have to convince yourself it’s grapefruit before it actually begins to smell like grapefruit. But the Vanilla Apricot is delicious right away, and no effort is to be made other than applying it to your body. That’s a successful body butter just so you know.

Last batch of goodies. It’s cleansers:

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If you’re in the market for some decent, but no frills, cleansing cloths, then give the Michael Todd Skin Loving wipes a try. These smell like cucumber, aren’t overly moist (good thing or bad – you decide) and will refresh your face first thing in the morning. I probably won’t repurchase (I got them free to begin with) simply because I’d like to continue trying different kinds.

I’ve been slowly working my way through my hoard of cleanser samples. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Evologie Stay Clear. It’s made for acne prone skin, which I don’t have, so maybe that is why I didn’t love it. My skin felt kind of tight after using it, and there wasn’t anything that special about it. Thankfully there was only about a week’s worth of product in it, so I checked it off my to-do list rather quickly.

Another cleanser that almost put me right to sleep was the Iluminage Skin Prep. I can’t even tell you anything worth remembering about this cleanser other than it had a pearly sheen to it. Is that enough to make you wanna buy it? Perhaps if you are easily distracted by sheen-y things; otherwise, NO. Especially not for it’s $25 price tag.

Tried a new style of eye makeup remover, a gel one to be exact. The Mario Badescu eye makeup remover gel is rather decent stuff. Plus I got pretty good at applying goop straight on my eyelids, and only got it in my eye just 20 or 30 times. But most importantly, this removed my mascara very gently without too many eyelash losing situations like I tend to get with my liquid removers. Could be user error there, I don’t know. Regardless, I lost less eyelashes and that made me var var happy. I will repurchase for sure.

Last thing – yes, we’ve made it at last – is the REN makeup remover. I used this like a cleansing milk, even though it doesn’t say it’s milk anywhere on the packaging. But the texture is similar, maybe even better, than a cleansing milk so perhaps I’ve reinvented the cleansing milk? Yes, probably.

That’s it. We are finally done. Like kaput, finito. If you are reading this, you’re amazing. Thank you for sticking around even during the boring parts. Later, lovies.

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