Empties | February 2015


It’s Empties time again, otherwise known as YOUR favorite time of the month.  I suppose it would be my favorite time of the month too, if it didn’t take 10 years to write the dang post.  As a matter of fact, those two sentences right there took 5 days.  I’m trying to reprioritize my life.  But Allure magazine keeps sending me a new issue like every month, so it’s difficult to stay on top of things sometimes.  And the DVR won’t just watch itself, ya know?

First up – moisturizers:


Picked up this Ole Henriksen Nurture Me moisturizer, not because I have sensitive skin that needed soothing and coddling.  It’s because it reminded me of a strawberry parfait, and I’m not sure there’s any other way to make your skin care decisions.  It looked delicious.  BOOM! In the basket.

Finally got around to trying it after storing it away for about six or so months.  The plan was to share it with my husband since it was a full size jar, and anything full size always lasts me like 18 years or so.  Well, he took one finger full and decided he DOES NOT like strawberry parfaits and I was left alone to my own devices for the next three months. Blah.  Moisturizer samples just racking up over here while I’m diligently using this entire jar all by myself.

I can see where they’d call it Nurture Me.  It was a very soothing, gentle moisturizer.  Felt ultra cushiony on the skin.  Smelled less like strawberry, more like a cotton candy type scenario, which surprised because I’d swear it was strawberry in the store.  Regardless, still smelled pretty good (not manly at all, obviously), had medium-length drying time, and left my face feeling soft and pampered.  It was nice.  Would I purchase it again?  Probably not.  My attention span is very short.

Another Ole Henriksen moisturizer I tried is the Truth Revealed Super Crème.  It’s a daytime moisturizer, and this one came in a little kit of seven samples.  In even better news, it has the consistency of marshmallow crème!  Please tell me there are other people out there that perked up when I said that?  I can’t be the weird one by myself.  I mean, how else are you supposed to love a moisturizer?  You give it the texture of cupcake frosting or caramel drizzle, that’s how.  And then I will buy it by the basket-full.  It’s basic 5th grade science.

Aside from that, I did like the product.  It felt almost sticky putting it on, but within seconds the stickiness disappears.  Plus, it smells like oranges.  And it sinks in fast.  But perhaps the best part (other than that marshmallow thing) is that it leaves a glowy sheen on your face.  Not sparkly, just glowy.  It’s pretty subtle, especially when you top it with foundation, but you can notice a slight brightening kind of difference.  I would purchase this cream again for sure.

Next is the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster vitamin C drops.  You can mix this with your serum or foundation or use it alone, but it helps to get rid of brown spots to even out and brighten your complexion.  In case you weren’t aware, vitamin C is amazing for your skin.  If there’s one thing you can do for it every morning, it would be vitamin C in some form or another.  These drops are a convenient way to get it done – since you can mix them with something, you don’t have to make it an extra step in your routine.  Unless you are like me, and what’s one more step in a 17-step regimen?  Not much difference, I can tell you that.  But for people who actually care about getting to work on time, these drops are handy.

Can I just tell you how much I freaking love the Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar?  This is not a scientific-based love since all I had was a sample tube with a week’s worth of product in it.  No, this is texture-based love, which is how I rate pretty much everything anyway.  So smooth, so soft, absorbs super fast.  It was a pure pleasure to apply.  I can’t think of anything more nerdy to say, so yes, it was a pure pleasure.  Lots of people feel the same way, too, so for once my opinion actually makes sense.

Apparently this a reformulated version of the original Hope in a Jar, although they still do sell the original so I’m guessing it’s not meant to replace it.  The description on the Sephora website said it’s an advanced, lightweight, whipped moisturizer … and then I stopped listening after that.  Because WHIPPED.  Lawd, I need it.

And now, serums:


First is the Skin Inc Custom Blended Anti-Aging Serum.  Not sure what was specifically customized since Glossybox did it for me, but this is what the Skin Inc company specializes in.  It’s like a salad bar, where you pick out your own skin concerns (or “ingredients”) and then your perfect serum is born.  Pretty cool concept as it leaves out ingredients you don’t need (like stuff for sensitive skin – since mine isn’t sensitive – or cure for acne) and makes more room for the stuff you do need (like spackling paste to fill in all the wrinkled parts).

The texture of this serum is like a slick water.  Goes on super wet.  However, it evaporates pretty fast which I appreciate.  Time is money in the morning, and I never seem to have enough of both.  My little bottle only gave me enough use for a couple of weeks, but I did like the feel of the serum.  And knowing it was made to address my personal skin care concerns .  I’m open to a new bottle – preferably one with anti-pore, anti-gravity, anti-blotchy, as well as your basic anti-old age.  I just want to replace my old face with a new one.  Is that too much to ask?

Several years ago, I was in New York City and while standing on 5th Avenue, this tiny old woman wearing an ankle length leopard fur coat and furry hat with a feather in it walked past me. And out of the 10 million people walking around that day, she is the only person I managed to see twice in a two hour period.  Had I gotten closer to her, I’m almost certain she would’ve smelled like this Dior One Essential Intense Skin Detoxifying Booster Serum because when I think of old luxury, I think of old ladies in fur coats.  Particularly this one.  I mean, furry hat with a feather in it.  Come on!  If you’re not a billionaire, you wouldn’t wear this, let alone buy it.

Aside from that, this is a very nice serum.  Goes on very smooth; feels ultra fancy.  Consistency is thin, yellowish, and milky.  Face feels pretty soft afterwards.  You can use it as a serum or as a pre-serum serum because it will boost the effects of anything you put on top of it.  This detoxifies your skin, regenerates cells, and boosts luminescence.  And I don’t know about you, but the word luminescence is almost as brainwashing as whipped, soufflé, or sorbet (all of which makes me buy whatever it is – whipped slug trail sorbet?  Sounds delicious.  Yes, please.)  Full size of this stuff – the 1 ounce version – is $100.  Did your dreams just die, cuz mine sure did.

This Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate is surprisingly so nice.  When I first put it on my finger, it came out like an oil.  I was scared, I’ll admit.  But a pea size amount of this stuff will smooth over your skin like the finest silk.  It feels oily at first, but it sinks in very fast and there is no oily traces left whatsoever.  This serum is meant for dry/very dry skin, but I used it anyway (I’m normal with oily t-zone) because I got it in a box so technically paid for it.  My skin did not reject this.  My oily t-zone did not get worse, although I could see where it would most definitely work best for someone with the appropriate skin type.  I did notice that Paula has a combination/oily version, so I’m definitely interested in trying it out.

Now let’s put on makeup:


I do not understand the mechanics of a setting spray, but I’ve been using them anyway because I like to add as many steps as possible to my morning routine.  This NYX Dewy Finish setting spray is fine.  Pretty inexpensive, so even if you feel it doesn’t add any benefit you didn’t spend a fortune on it.  I’ve been told this stuff settles the powder on your face so you look more healthy – hence the dewy finish.  I don’t want to look powdery, so even though I can’t tell a bit of difference in the appearance of my skin, I’m using it anyway.  I like to think everyone else looks at me and wonders what my secret is.  They probably don’t –  maybe just the opposite – but if I can’t have psychological delusions such as these, how else will NYX sell their product?  I mean, I’m basically saving their company from bankruptcy.  I am a hero.

I only used this theBalm Put a Lid On It eyelid primer because it came as a free sample with an eyeshadow palette.  It lasted light years.  I didn’t like it as much as the Urban Decay Primer Potion, but it still worked.  I have one hooded eye that creases and sweats (oh so attractively), so if I can find a primer that fixes all that, it’s a winner.  Texture is slightly oily as it’s applied, but dries down kind of powdery.  It’s fine.  No thrills, but if someone sends me another tube for free, I’d definitely use it.

I was not a huge fan of the Tarte Timeless Smoothing primer.  It’s silicone-based, which I’m fine with.  It does have that silky feeling on your fingers.  But it just did not spread well for me.  I needed to add tons just to get it go all over.  Or at least it seemed that way.  It blurred my pores somewhat, but it wasn’t anything that wowed me.  My issue could be the jar format – perhaps if it was in a tube, it wouldn’t be as stiff to spread around.  I dunno.  I won’t buy it again, though.

I wanted to love this Revlon Ultimate Suede lipstick in Boho Chic so much.  The color is stunning.  It’s a gorgeous red shimmer but with a matte texture.  Really beautiful.  I put it on right after I bought it, and my immediate thought was SUPERMODEL, which honestly wasn’t that far off from real life.  For me, it was a wearable red.  I don’t know why exactly, but I felt like I could wear it to the grocery store in my pajamas and feel completely normal (except for the pajamas at the grocery store part).  However, not even 15 minutes later after the formula had dried, I looked in the mirror and noticed it went grotesquely patchy.  The color settled in the center and inner rim of my lips and was absolutely hideous.  I applied more (naturally) in case I did it wrong the first time, but no.  It went down the same dark path as before.  What a bummer!  I thought I found my holy grail red.  I have no idea if all the colors are like this, or even if this incident only happened to me, but I’m sad I had to give it away.

Got a little sample of the DHC Velvet Skin Coat primer.  It was alright.  It had the consistency of the inside of an Almond Joy, so that part right there made me kind of love it.  Aside from that, though, it didn’t perform any better than any other primer I’ve ever used.  So I finished the sample, my curiosity sated, and I moved on with my life.  The end.

Okay, this NARS All Day Luminous foundation.  It’s new (and is replacing the NARS Sheer Matte line, per my girl at Sephora), and anytime there is something new I feel it’s my duty as a blogger to buy it and review it.  This would be a tax deduction if someone cares to pay me to continue writing posts.  In the meantime, though, I had Sephora make me a little sample.  None of the colors was my perfect match so I got the closest I could find which was Punjab.  But sadly, it was too yellow.  I have another one, Vallauris, which is for pink undertones so I’ll give that a try.  It may be too dark though.

However, my correct color match isn’t what you care about (is it?) – it’s the foundation itself.  This is a very liquidy, fluid foundation.  It will seriously run all down your arm if you’re not fast enough.  The claims are full coverage with only one drop.  My opinion is maybe two drops, and maybe more like medium coverage.  But my face doesn’t conceal easily, so if you have the skin of a 14-year-old, you will most likely fare better.  And then go sit yourself back down, because nobody likes a winner. Pffft.

The finish is noticeably luminous, not just something that claims to be luminous.  I think it’s very pretty, especially on my old dull face.  It works for all skin tones, which is nice.  I really hope the other color works good for me cuz I want to own this foundation in a most unhealthy way.  In fact, I wouldn’t be past buying the Punjab shade just because I have no real control over myself.  I mean, what’s a little yellow tinge on a pink-toned face in the grand scheme of things?  Aren’t there real issues in this world to be more concerned about – like the socks with sandals epidemic, or camel toe?

Finally, let’s take off our makeup:


But not with the Yes To Cucumbers soothing facial towelettes.  These were no bueno.  Yes, I see that little award winner sticker on there, but for once, it failed me.  I bought this packet to take with me on my trip to LA, which was the only benefit.  Unless you like towelettes that are barely wet and the nauseating smell of cucumbers (but not fresh ones), then you should bypass these too.  Was not a fan.  Not even a tiny bit.

Working my way through my multitude of cleanser samples.  Finished up the derma e Radiant Brightening cleanser and it was just okay.  Nothing in here that really moved me.  It’s a clear gel, smells citrusy, and leaves behind a dry/tight feeling afterward.  Not necessarily a bad thing – since I have combo/oily skin, I could use a little drying out.  But other than that, there isn’t anything special about it that makes me want to buy the full size.  It may be brightening, but I’m not compelled to find out for sure.

One thing I did like was the Jurlique Herbal Recovery eye cream.  This was a medium-thick cream that smoothed on the skin like a dream.  You don’t need much, like less than a pea-size.  Had no noticeable smell – there might’ve been, but not enough for me to really notice.  It was soothing, absorbed quickly, and left behind a nice velvety feel.  The tube lasted eons.  I have the matching serum and night cream to get through as well, which needs to be soon since the package is clearly marked with an July 2015 expiration.  And on August 1, obviously it all turns to poison.

Several months ago, I had a very large and painful zit.  Went into Sephora to find something to make it go away, and the sales girl gave me a sample of the GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment.  She said I could use it just on the pimple, even though it’s marketed as a full face mask.  Took it home, put it on, and within two days I was pimple free.  At this point, I was beside myself and told everyone I knew as if I had invented the dang thing.  A couple months later I buy this GlamGlow sample kit and took to this mask like it was holy grail and blessed by royalty.  However, this time it didn’t work quite the same.  Not really sure what happened.  Yes, it does a great job of clearing out the pores (as evident by the dots appearing on your nose and chin while the mask dries), but the miracle I was expecting was nowhere to be seen.  Well, boo!

So here is my conclusion then.  This stuff works great at ungunking your pores (shhhh, it’s a word).  It leaves your face feeling very smooth, clean, and renewed.  Maybe it shortens the lifespan of your zit, but maybe it does not.  Maybe your zit was only going to last two days anyway and you attributed the miracle to the wrong thing.  It is a pricey baby – $69 for 1.2 ounces – and if you use it three times a day like their little scientific study suggests, it may not last very long.  BUT.  I would probably buy it again one day.  I’m not above wasting money.  I own 27 foundations that are all about to expire at roughly the same time.

Last thing, although not pictured, are the Sephora cotton pads.  I tried to include a picture of the wrapper, but it was clear plastic and wouldn’t show up very well.  But trust me, I emptied it.  In fact, it’s like my third or maybe fourth empty packet of these pads.  I really like them.  They are the best I’ve used out of the Target brand, Swisspers and White Cotton from Walmart.  You get 70 pads for $4 and if you are a few dollars away from free shipping, go ahead and toss a pack or two of these in your basket.  I haven’t had any issues with them at all.  Shedding is very, very minimal if at all.  I suppose they could shed if you try very hard on purpose.  Like wiping a honey mask off your face with them or something.  But for the most part, they work exceptionally well and I will continue to buy these and only these until someone (perhaps Jesus) invents something else akin to a miracle.

And on that note, we’re done.  How many people are still reading?  Whoever you are, internet high five for you.  Thank you thank you thank you for not making me talk to myself for the past 17 days (while writing this post).  More to come soon .. xoxo!

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