Empties | May 2015

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It’s June and that means winter is almost here.  Ugh.  You know, as much as I complain about stifling heat and humidity, I’ll take it 100% of the time over snow, ice and cold.  No one ever got in a car accident because of a heat index, but winter is scary.  Roads don’t work right in winter.  And there’s no more green grass and skies are more gray than blue.  The whole thing is hideous.  So even though it is June and technically winter doesn’t start for six months, it might as well be tomorrow.  I swear, someone better push that STOP button before I have a meltdown.  I’m not crazy or anything, but I’m pretty sure this is how it starts.

Let’s do some empties!

Used up the L’Occitane Immortelle Essential Water, which is just a fancy name for toner.  This product was just okay for me.  It had a super perfumey smell that I didn’t particularly care for.  Maybe it refreshed the skin, maybe it prepped it properly for serum and moisturizer, but if you touch your tongue to your lips for a nanosecond after spraying this on your face, the game is over.  You like the taste of roses in your mouth for about two hours straight?  Then by all means, lick away.

Tried some new wipes.  Not because I fell out of love with the Pond’s ones, but because I can’t stop trying new things.  Picked up the Simple Oil Balancing ones to sate my curiousity.  And while I didn’t feel they did anything astounding in the way of oil control, these were pretty decent wipes.  Not as wet as the Pond’s but definitely wetter than some of the other brands I’ve tried lately (ahem, Klorane – I’m talking to you).  I’m currently using another pack of the Simple wipes but the exfoliating version.  These have a rougher texture in order to buff your skin, and can kind of be a little painful first thing in the morning, but they’re good wipes too.  I’ll repurchase.

I am still on the search for the best cleansing milk, so I bought the REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk.  I was not a fan.  It had a very unpleasant smell – kind of peppery and strong – and I had to force myself to finish it because I couldn’t stand it so much.  Paying $28 for it might have also been a reason, but it was mostly the smell.  It broke up the makeup alright, so if you like smelly cleansers, first of all you’re WRONG, but secondly this would probably work just fine for you.  I think I’m going to give up my quest and go back to the original one I tried in the very beginning – Clinique Take the Day Off.  It’s good stuff.

I bought an anti-aging skincare kit from Michael Todd Organics about 18 months ago, and thought maybe NOW would be the perfect time to start using the products.  First up is the Cranberry Antiox toner.  Unfortunately, I can’t say much for it since it’s honestly just a basic toner, but it does have antibacterial properties in it as well as vitamins to repair and strengthen the skin.  It soothes redness and restores proper pH balance.  It also has organic aloe vera leaf juice in it, which doesn’t sound as fancy as melted ice water from the top of the Swiss Alps or anything, but I imagine it’s still a pretty good thing.  Not sure if I’d repurchase only cuz I want to try everything else first.  I have two in the stash right now (both full size) and then I’m buying the Givenchy mattifying toning lotion because that sounds like something different, and also cuz GIVENCHY.  Is that shallow?  Probably.

How about stuff serums and moisturizers?  Yes:

Finished the Jurlique Herbal Recovery serum.  I don’t remember anything special about this other than the fact it had a milky consistency.  I swear I need to keep better notes sometimes.  I mean, does “milky consistency” help anyone at all?  Unless you’re big on milky consistencies, I’d venture a NO.  So because I am a professional, I have done some research for you.  Here’s what it says it does:  reduces the appearance of fine lines, helps increase elasticity, restores radiance and increases hydration, all while antioxidants create a natural defence shield to help protect against environmental aggressors. Leaves skin visibly glowing, hydrated and younger-looking.

I cut-and-pasted that entire thing.  I hope that’s not illegal.  Cuz prison life is not for me.  When you have 27 foundations to get through, you ain’t got time to go to jail.

Then I finished the Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching serum and I remember even less about this one.  Who sucks?  ME.  This post has spiraled all to hell.  In my defense, the tube lasted about a week.  I barely had time to put it on my face before it was already empty.  I don’t recall hating it, but nothing stands out in my mind in regards to miracles.  Two things I do know:  it’s best for dry skin because it’s a hydrating serum and it’s made in France.  That France thing get your attention?  Yeah, me too.

Let’s get this post back on track.  I really liked the SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair.  It had a nice consistency and left the skin under my eyes very velvety and soft.  It absorbed pretty well too, which is my number one quality in an eye cream.  I would totally buy a full size except OF COURSE it costs $98 for half an ounce.  Why do the things I like the best always costs the most?  Who’s in charge of the Universe?  We need to fix this like stat.

Got a single-use packet of the Omorovicza Blue Diamond Super Cream along with one of my Nordstrom orders.  I usually don’t bother with these samples, but I like the Omorovicza brand so thought I’d go ahead and give it a go.  It feels extreeeeemely luxurious on the face.  Like sinking into a ginormous pile of pillows.  Or taking off your bra after working all day.   But unfortunately for me, the cream never really absorbed into my skin.  I felt it sitting there for a good long while so I gave up and went to bed.  Upon further research, I discovered its main focus is to deeply hydrate the skin, and since I’m oily/combo, it’s simply not for me.  I also discovered it repairs the DNA chain, and I don’t know what that means but it sounds like something I want.  Pretty sure there’s some gaping holes in my DNA chain, particulary where my thighs get fat.  So if this Super Cream can make me skinny, that’d be great.  I’d put up with a greasy face for that kind of miracle.

Thought I’d try out the Fresh Seaberry Face Oil because I like to make my 17-step nighttime routine as long as humanly possible.  I mean, when you get to 17 steps, one more isn’t going to make a bit of difference now is it?  But since I applied the oil right before I turned my lamp off to go to bed, it felt more like it was just part of my chapstick/hand lotion routine instead of my face one.  Let me just say I don’t really know what the purpose of a face oil is other than to seal in your moisturizer so it doesn’t evaporate off your face in the middle of the night.  But I liked it nonetheless.  It’s not my favorite oil – that’s the Kate Somerville Dilo Oil – but it was fine.  The smell was more herbally than I prefer so I wouldn’t repurchase for that reason specifically.

Let’s do masks:

I’ll admit I wanted to try out the Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud for two reasons and two reasons only:  it was black and it came from Ireland.  Otherwise known as non-acceptable reasons to choose skincare.  But who doesn’t want to smear black mud all over their face?  Especially 9,000-year-old mud that’s been harvested by hand from the Irish countryside.  They might as well tell me it’s been blessed by Jesus Christ himself, cuz at this point I’m all yours.  I may be incredibly shallow, but they made me that way.

In case you didn’t know, mud isn’t dirty.  It actually purifies and decongests the skin. There’s some volcanic ash in there too to draw out oil and impurities.  This is right up my alley.  My skin has all those things.  I loved how smooth and creamy the mask itself was.  And it didn’t dry like a hard shell on the face.  It removed cleanly and easily and left my face so incredibly soft. I really really loved it.  I’ve added this to my Sephora wish list for future purchases – mostly because it’s mud from Ireland – but also because I think it might work.

I did not finish the Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask but I owned it and used it for well over a year.  This is another of those masks that acts like a magnet and draws out impurities in the skin.  In fact, it says it contains a negative electric charge which is what helps create that magnet.  In other words, you can just sit this on a table with a little sign and call it your science project.  Homework, DONE.  Just like that.

I did enjoy this mask while I used it.  I liked that it was a pretty earthy green color.  However, it dries incredibly hard.  It was almost painful when you scrunched up your face in order to crack the mask a little bit.  And removing it took some time.  Basically, you need to plan for a mask like this.  It’s not a wipe-and-go; it requires a chair and a snack cuz you gonna be there a bit.  I decided to throw it away because the last time I used it I swear it smelled like burnt popcorn which was a new thing so I figured it was going off.  Better safe than sorry.

Last mask was the Wild Honey Apothecary Pumpkin Cocoa Raw Honey mask that I picked up from the Birchbox shop.  This one was pretty interesting.  First, it didn’t smell much like pumpkin, which was okay by me since that’s not my fave smell.  The consistency was like a thick and sticky honey (aptly) mixed with a bit of sugar (or something like sugar) to give it a bit of texture.  As you apply it on your face, it’s kind of hard to smooth out.  I mean, the word “sticky” may be an understatement here.  But as it starts to melt from the warmth of your skin it almost liquifies and then it becomes another sort of problem altogether.  Suddenly your face is dripping.  It can be a messy mask if you’re not careful.

Removing the mask is surprisingly easy, though.  As long as your washcloth is hot enough, this will wipe away very cleanly and completely with hardly any hassle.  And then get ready for the smoothest skin of your life.  Aaaaaahhhhh.  Not even kidding.  A drippy face is now completely worth it.  I would buy this again with no question.  I loved it.

Last bit – hair and body.  Weeeeee! Look:

I loved the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special shampoo and conditioner so much that I bought more of it before I even finished these samples.  First of all, I loved the smell.  Reminded me of peppermint, although I know now that is just how tea tree oil smells.  And the tingly, cooling feeling on your scalp was really nice.  I felt like it got my hair super squeaky clean too.  And after I dried it, my hair was silky soft.  I couldn’t keep my hands out of it.  I wanted other people to put their hands in it.  Like strangers even.  Well, just the cute ones.  But still.

I was working through this tiny Fresh Sugar lip polish sample for what seemed like such a long time.  A little bit goes such a long way with this product.  Y’all may recall the issue I have with straggly lip skin (that may or may not be caused by sleeping with a blowing fan on my face for eight hours straight).  I’ve yet to find a cure.  And sad to say, I’m still looking.  But while this isn’t one of those miracle products, it still worked good enough.  At least for most of the day anyway.  Wasn’t a big fan of the brown sugar scent, though.  That’s pretty much the only reason why I don’t think I’ll buy the full size.  However, the exfoliating bits were nice and gentle and the polish itself was very moisturizing.  So if you don’t suffer from chronic dry lips, or you can manage to sleep without a fan in the room (how, I’ll never understand), this may be a product you should try.

Last item is this Lauren B. Beauty hand crème in Orchid and Peony.  There isn’t much to say about a lotion.  It had a thin consistency that absorbed pretty quickly and smelled like flowers.  I did look up some information on the internet just in case I was missing the point, and surprisingly I was.  It’s laced with antioxidants, peptides and amino acids.  I don’t know what any of that means or anything – this isn’t THAT kind of review – but I’m sure some of you scientists out there will get it.

Will you be surprised if I told you this post took two weeks to write?  Probably not.  My track record lately has been kind of sporadic.  If my husband would stop making me do stuff – like dishes and grocery shopping – I’d be a better blogger.  So all this is his fault, and I’ll be sure to let him know YOU ARE NOT PLEASED.  I’m getting back into pajamas by way of protest.  Bye, friends!

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